Saturday, February 28, 2009
Life is short, my friends. Do what makes you and those close to you happy. Pursue your dreams and passions.
I'm off to take my own advice.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I'm giving you up for Lent. Yes, 'tis the season, and although I'm not a particularly religious person, I do try each year to give up something for Lent. This year it's sweets and ~ gasp! ~ Facebook. Forty days without chocolate, cookies, cake, granola bars, pudding, candy, suckers, ice cream... and Facebook. Can I do it? Just watch me.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I'm down 1.5 lbs since last Monday, so that leaves me with 13 lbs to go. Hip hip hooray! I think I may have unravelled the secret to losing weight and I'm gonna share it with all of you. It's this crazy fad diet:
Wow - imagine that!
I have a question for you. I've read a few articles in the newspaper lately that describe online communities such as Facebook and MySpace as "narcissistic". I think blogs were lumped in there too. So, I was wondering if YOU think blogging is a narcissistic, self-absorbed activity. When we blog, we write about ourselves and share information about what we've done. I've looked back at my posts and, yes indeed, mine are very self-centred. They're all about ME (even this one). Most blogs I read are similar, except many of them also share patterns and sewing tips, which is very nice and generous. I'm not at the point yet where I feel I have anything of value to share in that realm. I'm working on it. In the meantime, I use blogging to kind of chat with people and I really enjoy it.
So, if blogging is a self-absorbed activity, are novel-writing, script-writing, painting, photography, quilting (gasp!), etc? In all of these 'arts', the artists plants a bit of him/herself. Right? Hmmm... maybe it's too early in the morning to be so thoughtful.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday, despite the fact that it is Monday. I have a busy week ahead of me (see, there I go again, talking about myself) but I'll always have time for the lovely inhabitants of blogland.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Wonky-house pictures from New Orleans. Sorry about the awful picture - the wall behind these pictures is the same colour as in the picture above, but I had to turn off the flash because it was reflecting in the glass. (You can kind of see me taking the picture in the lower one.)
Now into the dining room. This is a Valentine made for me by the OnlyChild. We were not really on good terms around VDay and she was quite mad at me (can't remember why - teenagers!), but she still cared enough to create something crazy and sweet. She signed it "From your belly-button connection".
Japanese Washi eggs in a bowl. I made tons of these years ago with a couple of friends. The bowl was overflowing. One day I came home from work to find that Abby Dog had eaten half of them. If it wasn't so funny, she would have been in the doghouse. Oh, the little egg in the bottom right-hand corner is a Ukrainian Easter egg, made by a man who is quite high up in the school district that I work for. I guess that's his relaxation.
Family picture circa 1971. That's me sitting on my dad's lap.
We're in the front entry way now. I have an antique mahogany table that I bought at an auction on Prince Edward Island about 3 years ago. We brought it home in the back of the truck, carefully wrapped in blankets. Yes, we drove 4500 km with that table in the truck, along with our luggage, the OnlyChild and the dogs. The old jar came out of the basement in my mum's house in New Brunswick, and I purchased the black sheep in St. Peter's, Nova Scotia when I was there visiting friends.
On the way up the stairs, you'll see this big birdcage. I don't own a bird and never plan to (well, I had a canary called Sunshine when I was a little girl living in the Canary Islands), but I love the birdcage. To the left is a huge window that lights up the whole staircase.
Upstairs in the bedroom - a stack of books, recently read and currently being read, found on the bedside table. I am really interested in history and current events, but I also read a lot of fiction. I don't like romance novels, though, or fantasy/sci fi. I am a realist.
Coloured pencils make me happy. I had to move them from the shelf in the sewing room so they would have a nice backdrop. The red walls are in the spare bedroom (formerly the OnlyChild's room). I love that room - red walls (and one green, sounds weird but looks great!), white woodwork, white furniture, off-white comforter with bright red poppies and green leaves on it.
So, that's a little tour of some of the items in my house that I love. It's a good thing Mr. P isn't home this morning - he'd think I was strange taking pictures of all those things!
Have a lovely and relaxing Sunday. I'm off to do my tiny bit of marking and planning, and then edit some yearbook pages. Later I have a date with a treadmill at the gym, and (groan) need to stop at Wal-mart for some necessities. I tried to boycott Sprawl-mart a couple of years ago, but after about three months was forced to go back. No other store has such a good variety of products at such great prices. The Wal-mart by my house is also open 24 hours. And it's always busy. Ahhhh... the Americanization of the world.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
No, no. I was Etsy-naughty! I went shopping at Lara Lewis's Etsy Shop. Here are the goodies I bought:
The Cherry Charming set. Yummy!
A Poppy Ring and
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Such was the conversation a couple of nights ago as the OnlyChild gave up on Wordpress and discovered Blogger. She kept hitting the "Next Blog" button and discovered all kinds of neat things out there in blogland.
And she pointed me in the direction of golden bird knits. Stacy is brand new on the blog block but I think I already love her because she posted the most wonderful knitting pattern for her Blue Bamboo Scarf.
Now, I'm not a knitter. I have made a few sweaters in my life and not much more. There was the baby outfit for Cheryl's first child, a navy blue sweater for my nephew Mathew, the snowflake sweater for the OnlyChild, and that wonderful turquoise cable-knit and chevron pattern chunky sweater I made for myself that my husband convinced me to give to Goodwill because I rarely wore it. Boy, do I regret giving that away. I mean, I made it! Plus, one day on the bus going to the university (this was wayyyy back), an elderly lady complimented me on it.
I tend not to knit unless my mother is around. She can hear a dropped stitch from the next room and is always willing to fix my mistakes, but she lives all the way across the country. This scarf from golden bird is so easy! And beautiful! Here's my version (made out of some leftover wool from another sweater I started to knit about a decade ago), but please go and visit her blog to see what it should look like!
And Lola. L-O-L-A. Lola. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Lola of ...And Sew On is having a giveaway. She makes adorable potholders and even posted a tutorial on how to make them. How nice is she! But she's made a couple to give away too. I think they would look very nice in my kitchen, but I'd have to keep them away from Mr. P, who is the real cook of the family, because he'd get them all dirty or something. Sheesh, he might actually use them.
Not much news from the homefront. Oh, except that I received a parcel in the mail. Remember I won a gift certificate from Above All Fabric? My Moda Soiree Jelly Roll and Charm Pack arrived today! So beautiful... I'm drooling... Melanie wrote me a little note on the invoice: "LOL ☺ Guess you knew what you wanted!" Hmmm... could she be referring to the fact that I ordered this fabric immediately after I found out I'd won the gift certificate? She's right, though, I knew exactly what I wanted! Now I need to find a pattern that will do them justice. Any suggestions?
Today was what I like to call Monday-equivalent. When you have a holiday Monday, the next day back at work always feels like Monday, so it might as well be. It was a pretty good day. My student teacher started today. She seems like a nice girl and a smart one (thank goodness!). I think we'll get along just fine - especially when she takes over my marking and I can sit with my feet up. Haha. It doesn't quite work that way, in case you actually believed me. Having a student teacher can be a lot of work if he or she is needy/scared/easily intimidated by the kids. Yikes! I've never had a bad one; I've been lucky in that regard. The school where I work has a unique program so any student teacher coming to us has to be open-minded and flexible. I'll tell you more about the school another time, if you're interested.
It's still winter; it's still cold; I'm still sick of it. I'm counting down the days until Spring Break when I jet off to Italy and France for 12 days. That's what's keeping me going for now!
Hope your week is humming along nicely.
Monday, February 16, 2009
That said, I did just step on the scale and find that, despite my awful food week, I'm down 0.5 lbs. So, now I have 14.5 lbs to lose. For some reason, I am really happy about that.
Anyhooo... I did a little sewing this weekend. I'm supposed to be making costumes for the school's Open House on March 2, but nobody else has got their job done and I have to wait to find out the cast of characters and meet with the drama teacher before I can proceed. At the rate they're going, I'll be sewing from Friday night to Monday morning the weekend before the event. I hate doing things at the last minute (when it's not my choice to do so). This is what spent my time on the last couple of days:
Saturday, February 14, 2009
So, today is not a bad day at all. But yesterday. Oh yesterday. Horrible. Friday the thirteenth. I'm certainly not superstitious, but it was an awful day. Let me recount:
7:23 am - I pull out of the driveway in my husband's truck. I have in the back the waffle iron, waffle mix, fruit and whipped cream to make a V Day breakfast for my colleagues. I am dressed up in a nice burgundy silk top and dressy pants, feeling good. I pull out from the side road onto the main road and BAM! I get hit by a pickup truck that decided to change lanes at the same time I pulled out. No damage to Mr. P's sturdy SUV, very little to the pick-up (just a light broken) but, boy, is he MAD. And he yells at me that it's my fault. And he won't talk to me to exchange info, preferring to talk to someone who pulled over as a witness (I am suspicious of this because I was not allowed to hear their conversation). And he won't back up his truck so I can assess damage. In fact, I actually had to call my husband to come to the corner to "rescue" me. The guy obviously has issues with women. Anyway....
8:10 am - finally arrive at school. Don't tell anyone what happened ('cause I feel like an idiot) and just make waffles for my five department colleagues. One of the guys brought bacon and eggs, so it was quite a feast! Yummm.
9:30-ish am - kid lips me off. I'm not very tolerant. She complains to the department head. He backs me (thank goodness).
10:00-ish am - another kid with an attitude. What is with these young people? Have they no respect. Okay, I sound like an old woman now.
1:00 pm - have to attend a meeting in place of the department head. Booorrrring. Listen to principal yak yak yak for over 2 hours.
3:15 pm - go back to my office and mark (and talk to colleague about rude kids and boring meeting).
4:17 pm - Mr. P calls. Where am I? I'm still at work. He thought we had made arrangements to meet at home and then attend a going-away party (for one of his colleagues who I don't know). I don't think we ever decided on that. I was going to meet him downtown. I decide not to go to the party. He's a bit annoyed, but we're meeting for supper with another couple at 6:30 anyway.
5:00 pm - Mr. P calls again. Reminding me to meet at 6:30 pm. Duh.
6:15 pm - I arrive at the restaurant. Early. Think about ordering a drink at the bar, but I don't.
6:35 pm - Mr. P and the other couple arrive. We have a very nice supper together.
9:00 pm - home. Waiting for me is a parcel from Regena from Quilt n Quilt Things. What a sweetheart! She sent me gifts for my birthday... just because she is a lovely person. Lookie...
There's an adorable apron, a project bag (I know just what I'm storing in there!), a hat pincushion (which has already been put to use), and that little pouch. Do you see that? It's the neatest thing - and it has chocolate in it (yes, it still does). I just about cried when I opened that box. I cannot believe how nice some people are (so I reverse any miserable thoughts I had about humanity at 7:30-ish in the morning). Thank you, Regena!
After reading what I just wrote, I guess it wasn't such a bad day after all. I have a husband who will rescue me when I need him (and won't make a big deal about a little fender-bender), colleagues who support me and listen to me whine (and enjoy breakfast with me), a daughter who actually asked me to help her sew her dress, two dogs who are happy to see me when I get home after a rough day, and a lovely blog friend who sent me beautiful gifts, even though she's never met me.
I'm feeling loved ♥ I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day and keep the love going all year long!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
My tree building expedition went well this weekend. I finished all the X and Y blocks and now just need to do the Z blocks (all light fabrics). Here are a few samples of the pine tree blocks:
I am well aware that some of my seams don't match perfectly. I don't care; in fact, I may have done that on purpose. hehe. For so long, I have been told that I am a perfectionist, anal-retentive, A-type personality, control freak. Therefore, I have decided to become more human and allow some little mistakes in my work. I will not rip out stitches (and my hair) unless it is a glaring error. After all, the small glitches show that the item was handmade. Right?
Yeah, yeah, I am a master of justification. But, really, I pinned the heck out of these blocks when I was sewing the pieces together. They should have matched up exactly. I love the scrappy look of this quilt. To me, it's interesting to see how all the fabrics combine. Some of them are, maybe, kind of weird to be sewn into trees, but somehow they all work together. This is definitely a stash-buster; with the exception of the borders and the outside triangles, I didn't have to buy any new fabric to make this.
I think I'm over the blue funk. I had such a great time out Saturday night. The show we saw was Three Mo' Tenors. It was fantastic! If you ever get a chance to see these fellas, you should go. Even Mr. P enjoyed himself immensely. After the show, we went to get a bite to eat and had a couple of drinks. The drink special was a blueberry margarita. How fitting. I had two. Mmmmm. Yep, I'm cured of the blues. And now, for some strange reason, craving blueberries.
While we were out, the OnlyChild decided to do some experimental cooking. She phoned me to let me know that she had used my pasta cookbook (that I've only ever made one recipe from) to create All-American Mac and Cheese. She said it was so beautiful that she had to take photos. It really was good, too; we got the leftovers yesterday morning. And wonder of wonders, she cleaned up the kitchen.
A good weekend, after all. And, listen girls, I'm done dabbling in the weight loss challenge. I commit to being more committed because if I don't do something about this tummy bulge, I will need to be committed. Remind me of this promise later in the week, would you? I need to be accountable!
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
On the upside, I did manage to hide away in my little sewing room the other night and work on the "Let it Snow" quilt I started a while back. Here's a peek at what I've done:
You may not see this, but they are half-trees. I haven't put the other halves together yet. But I will soon. And I will show you my progress, when I've made some. I rushed home from work today and cleaned the house so that I don't have to do it tomorrow morning. I can sew instead.
Well, that ought to cheer me up a bit.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
I made her a basket from the Pink Penguin Tutorial and I will stuff it with some goodies, such as the lollipops (I made some for the kids at school, too) and Purdy's chocolate lips. I'll also put in some non-food items (don't know what yet). And I made a little card for her.
I made Mr. P a card, too (on the right). He maybe wouldn't appreciate a Valentine's basket but a card is nice. We don't usually exchange presents because we both consider Valentine's Day to be a "Hallmark" holiday. Can you say BAH HUMBUG?
I don't decorate for Valentine's Day either. I have a quilted wall hanging called "Open Hearts" (pattern by Laura Heine) on the wall going up the stairs. It stays up nearly all year, except for Christmas, so it's not really a V Day decoration. You can see it on the blog header until about the end of February - then I'll change the layout again to reflect the next season/holiday... Spring?
I'm very impatient for Spring to arrive. Always at this time of year, I find myself simply SICK of the snow and cold. We have about 5 solid months of winter here. Brrrr and Bleah! The only good thing about winter (besides Christmas) is that I don't feel guilty for spending so much time up in my sewing room. It's too bloody cold to be outside!
Monday, February 02, 2009
Here are a couple of the pages I did on Saturday at scrapbooking. These pictures of my daughter were taken when she was just over a year-and-a-half old... so fifteen years ago. I love black and white pictures and I love the red paper I picked for the background. Obviously, I have a little more work to do on the pages, but I get such pleasure out of looking at these photos that I wanted to share them with you.
I'm heading to the post office after work today to mail Shirley's package. Shirley was the winner of my Birthday Giveaway last week. I hope she likes her goodies because I had such fun putting the box together!
Sunday, February 01, 2009
My phone is Ruby Tuesday.
And finally, one of my most prized possessions, my sewing machine Bernice. We are very close. ♥
Bernice and I haven't spent very much time together this weekend. I went to a scrapbooking day with some friends yesterday instead of sewing. I don't scrapbook much (Mr. P. once referred to it as an old-lady hobby and I took great offense to that), but I'd like to finish the OnlyChild's baby book - she is sixteen, after all.