Saturday, October 31, 2009


I love Hallowe'en. I think it's so much fun to dress up as somebody (or something) else for one day out of the year.

Derby and Abby don't agree.

I made this little clown costume for Abby when she was just a pup, so 9 years ago. At the time, she let me put it on her just long enough to take a few photos. Nothing's changed. When the OnlyChild dressed her up in the same costume for pictures this year, she barely tolerated it.
We'd never take the dogs out in public dressed like this - we wouldn't want to embarrass them - but putting a hat on them is cute for photos... I don't know why they hate dressing up so much.
Like I said, I love it!

I made this costume for Hallowe'en four years ago and this is the first year since then that I've been able to do it up. It fit quite nicely, although it's definitely not the most comfortable outfit. I put the headpiece together in about 30 minutes the other night, since that was all the time I had. It's not great, but it served the purpose.
Can you guess who I'm supposed to be? Want some hints?
  • Wife of a king
  • Died in 1536
  • Beheaded by sword by a French executioner
  • Rumoured to be a witch and an adultress

Do you dress up for Hallowe'en?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Enter to Win!

Wow - you won't believe your eyes! Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works is having a giveaway. Here is just one of the five, yes FIVE, prizes she is offering.

There are already tons of entries for this wonderful loot. Oh, but it's so worth it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Show Off and Tell

Over the weekend, I had - I mean, made - a bit of time to work on some projects.

Some knitting... using this beautiful bamboo yarn. It's a lovely, soft sage-green colour (which is not showing up well in the photograph). I'm almost finished this project, just a few more rows to go!

And I quilted a quilt top Saturday afternoon. In the evening I started sewing down the binding.

Using the handy caddy that Sharon's hunka made for me (I love it, Sharon!) and the pincushion that Regena sent me for my birthday (it's so beautiful, I can hardly stand to put a needle in it so I still use a box for my pins).

Here's another little peek at the quilt. I can't show it all to you just yet... be patient. I will reveal all soon. (Don't you hate it when people do that?)

Okay... just one more little peek at it:

Some of you wondered how I get so much done. HA! Let's be serious, girls. This quilt top took me over a year to put together. I was yapping about it when I started my blog last January. It's only because I was under a deadline that I finally finished it. And, believe me, other things suffer every time I choose to sit at my sewing machine. For example, the course I'm taking has taken a back seat to just about every thing else in my life.
I devote so little time to sewing and other activities and so much time to my job. It gives me a panicky feeling inside when I think about how much work I have to do and how much sewing and quilting I'd rather be doing! Do any of you feel that way, too?
I have about an hour now to make a headpiece to go with my Halloween costume. More on that later...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A DerbyDog Morning

Instead of going to the gym this morning, I decided to take DerbyDog for a nice walk in the River Valley. It's only a couple of blocks from our house and it was a beautiful morning, so off we went...

I tried to focus on the small view, like Stacy did, but the only small thing I took notice of was my little pup.

He's so very handsome.

Look at that blue sky! You wouldn't know that two weeks ago, we were covered in snow here.

Everybody and their dogs were out walking. Derby doesn't do well with other dogs so the nice, relaxing walk turned into a frustrating experience. Lots of people allow their dogs to go off-leash on the walking paths. I realize that many dogs are well-behaved, gentle creatures. I envy people who have well-behaved, gentle dogs. Derby is not one of those; he's a crazy Jack Russell Terrorist.
However, even if you have the best dog in the world, you still have to be sure that he or she will come back when called and will not jump at other animals and people. Some of these people mosey along and their dog is 20 yards in front or behind them. They have no idea where that animal is, nor do they know what's around the next corner.
A couple of times, dogs came running at Derby (just trying to be friendly, I'm sure) and he went loco, barking and lunging. The owners weren't quick enough to get their dogs back before the insanity started. They should be paying attention and snap that leash on when they see another dog.
After about an hour, I decided to just take Derby home.

The walk along the streets back to our house was uneventful... we met no other dogs.
Now Derby's all tuckered out and is taking a nap on the couch. Me, I'm about to get to work.
Some marking... some planning... a learning guide to finish writing and to format. Then the fun stuff... I'll show and tell later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


  • Another knitted project (trying to be cryptic here so I don't give too much info away)
  • A quilt top and the backing. I'm going to pin it after work tomorrow. I like to use the classroom floors to lay out my quilts rather than do them on the hardwood at home. That would be a disaster! Hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll have an update on this saying that I'm finished the whole quilt, finally.
  • Most of the marking that came in today - and tomorrow is a PD day so no kids at school!
  • My very good book The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. I'm so sad it's done. Now what am I going to read...?
Some finishes are good; others not so much.

This week brought good mail! I received two cards from my ATC swap group. Our theme was "The Witching Hour."

    The one on the left is from Stacy; the right hand card is from Cory. I think they're so beautiful!

    And here are the cards I sent out for October. I made two different styles this month because I wanted to try both the witch stamp and the spider web.

Well, I think I'm also finished with this day. It's time for me to go to bed!

Night night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Wanna

A few years back (ohhh, maybe about 13 or so), a lady I worked with encouraged me to make a "Spirit List", listing all the things I want to do in the short term or accomplish in life.

Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, and it veers off into the wacky zone a bit, I wanted to share it with you.

I Wanna...

  • Sing the national anthem at a hockey game. I prefer “The Star Spangled Banner” to “O Canada” so it would have to be a night on which a U.S. team was visiting and I could sing both.

  • Be a novelist. I would give up teaching (and all that dratted marking) in a split second if I knew for sure I could make money writing.

  • Have a baby… but I won’t because I’m almost 40 and I have no desire to do all the work that accompanies having another baby.

  • Live in Paris

  • Rid my house of all the unwanted/unneeded stuff we’ve accumulated in the past 18 years.

  • Design a best-selling quilt pattern… or a line of fabric.

  • Strip the paint off all the woodwork in my house. Who does that anyway, paints over gorgeous wood? Lazy bums couldn’t be bothered to sand and revarnish.

  • Host a fabulous party (and invite all of you).

  • Fit into the medieval costume I made 4 years ago for Halloween. It’s a bit snug… almost there. Update: tried it on this weekend and it fits!!! I won’t be able to sit down in it, though.

  • Spend time with my best friend Cheryl because I miss her.

  • Play a musical instrument. I used to play the French horn, but it’s now gathering dust in my dining room.

  • Buy back the Prince Edward Island house we sold in April. I’m still so sad about that house. The people who bought it, promising they were going to live there as artists, just flipped it.

  • Be positive all the time and inspire other people.

  • Volunteer for something really worthwhile.

So, what do you wanna do? Really, what would you put on your Spirit List?

I wanna know...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Everybody wants to win...

...this giveaway!

You do too. Believe me. It's a doozy.

So head over to Pumpkin Patch Primitives and tell them Rachel sent you.

Or don't... and give me a better chance of winning. Whatever.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Visitor

This little fella was hanging out in our front yard yesterday afternoon. The dogs went crazy, barking at him through the window.
I stepped outside to take a few photos and he sat nice and still for a while, but as soon as I started down the stairs, he took off through the hedge to the neighbour's lawn.
We live in a fairly densely populated area, but close to the river valley. We see lots of rabbits around, even in the winter. And we can sometimes hear coyotes. I wonder where this guy lives when he's not touring around.
How do I know it's a 'he'? Well, I don't. He wouldn't let me get close enough to lift up his tail.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Outside my window … it is overcast and dull. But at least it isn’t snowing.

I am thinking … about the work I have to do this weekend: marking, writing, planning and assignments for the course I’m taking.

I am thankful for … a warm and cosy house. And for my husband, who doesn't mind driving all over town for our daughter.

I am wearing … jeans, a black shirt and a long grey sweater.

I am remembering … how much I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mum for the year I was on maternity leave.

I am going … to try to finish my “Let it Snow” quilt this weekend. I decided to take off and re-do one of the borders because it didn’t quite line up properly.

I am readingThe Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. It is a novel about the aftermath of the Columbine shootings. It’s amazing – as are his other two novels.

I am hoping … that I have some time to do what I want this weekend – sewing, knitting, reading.
I am noticing that … our old cat, Rex, meows like he’s in pain. It’s the Siamese cat in him. The sound is piercing and annoying – especially at 3 in the morning.
One of my favorite things … is having the house to myself for a couple of hours. If it’s any longer than that, I miss my family.

From my picture journal … this is a photo of a room at Orwell Corner Historic Village on Prince Edward Island. My mother and I visited the museum in the summer of 2008.
From the Simple Woman's Daybook. You can play along here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Melting

Well, not really. It is melting outside though. Temperatures went above freezing today so all that dratted snow is slowly sinking into the not-yet-frozen ground. And better news... it's supposed to go up to 16 celsius this weekend (that's about 61 fahrenheit). It will be like Spring here! I think we're doing our seasons in one-week stints this year, so by next week it will be up in the high 20s (80s) and I'll be wearing a bikini.... yeah, right.

Anyway, the wheels keep turning, time keeps slipping away. I'm running as fast as I can but I can't seem to catch up. All that work I did last weekend seems to have been for nothing because I'm behind again.

Deep breath... I'm off to dance class; the rest can wait!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


There are hundreds of tasks we feel we must accomplish in the day,
but if we do not take them one at a time
and let them pass through the day slowly and evenly,
as do the grains of sand passing through the narrow neck of the hourglass,
then we are bound to break our own physical and mental structure.
- Ted Bergernine

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snowing and Sewing

It's still snowing here...

(Pictures taken today around supper time)

The awful weather gave me a good excuse to stay inside and get some things done. First, I started with marking. Considering how easily distracted I am, that job took me all day Saturday. Not to worry - I set aside Sunday for the fun stuff.
I think I've figured out why we got snow in October. I took out the Let it Snow quilt again. You might remember me complaining about the weather back here and making the connection between the snow falling and this quilt. Yep, I did it again. Out came the quilt and down came the snow. Will I ever learn?
I can only show you a peek for now. It's supposed to be a secret. (Shhh)

I played around a bit with a Moda Swanky jelly roll. Ooohhhh... love those pretty colours!

This is also supposed to be a secret.
And I did a bit of knitting.

Another little peek. It's getting close to Christmas (well, sort of...) so I can't give too much away. Full disclosure in a few weeks. Promise.

My ATC cards for October are ready to be mailed. I had a great time making this month's. The theme was "The Witching Hour." What clever person thought of that, I wonder... why, it was me! I can't post pictures of my cards until everyone has received them. More mystery...

But I can show you something Halloweeny. I made this little witch about 10 years ago and she hangs on my front door every October. I think she's kinda cute.

Today was planning day - getting everything ready for my classes tomorrow. I was supposed to do all this on Saturday, with the marking, but like I said, I'm easily distracted so the marking took me much longer than anticipated.

So, just a few more things to take care of - another border to sew on Let it Snow and backing/batting to prepare so I can pin it after school on the classroom floor - and then my day is done. It was a good weekend... and I was very happy to be reacquainted with Bernice. I missed her!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilt Festival 2009

Amy at Park City Girl is hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2009. Here is a chance to showcase some of your work - your favourite, your first, your best quilt. There are hundreds of bloggers participating. You don't want to be left out!

Plus, there are some wonderful giveaways to go with the Festival. All you have to do is blog about a quilt, add your name to Amy's list, and leave a comment. Easy! Just click on the button above to be magically transported to Amy's blog.
Here's my contribution to Quilt Festival 2009:

This was the first big-ish quilt I ever made. It is one row shy of being twin size. Why one row shy? Well, I cut some of the pieces incorrectly and had to leave off one of the vertical rows. No worries. I never intended to put it on a bed anyway. It's the perfect size for snuggling.
I made this quilt about 8 years ago when we lived in northern Alberta. I used to get together one evening every week with a few friends and sew in the home-ec room at school. I miss having quilting buddies!
I really love the colours in this quilt. Red and yellow are two of my absolute favourite colours (green is the other - yes, like a traffic light haha). And I think the black and white just sets it off nicely. The backing has a 'racing stripe' down the middle, which became kind of my trademark (but it's really because I'm cheap and try to use up what I have by piecing my backs). The pattern was called Hometown and was from a quilting magazine, darned if I remember which one.
I quilted a flower pattern into the quilt. I think that might have been my first attempt at free-motion quilting. I remember thinking that the flower would off-set the geometric blocks. The borders were stippled, because for me that was - and still is - the easiest way to free-motion quilt.
Look at sweet AbbyDog. She still sits on the back of the couch and looks out the window. But now it's a different couch, a different window and a different view. And, thank goodness, different flooring. That blue carpet was hideous!
Okay... back to my marking. My goal is to get all the school stuff out of the way today so I can sew tomorrow and holiday Monday. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Snow? Oh No!

Yikes! It snowed! And it's still snowing!

Yep, we woke up yesterday morning to cold temperatures and that white stuff covering the ground.

And despite my bold pronouncement in the staff room that it couldn't possibly stick around (after all, the green leaves are still on the trees), it's been snowing again today.

Here's the view from my office window at lunch time yesterday.

Sigh. I'm already tired of it.

Snow before Halloween? Before Thanksgiving, even? Disgusting!

I want to wish all my Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving. And Happy Columbus Day to my American friends. Aren't we lucky to have a long weekend?

I plan to sew. (After the marking, planning and writing, that is). How about you?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cats vs. Dogs, Women vs. Men?

Have you ever received that funny email where cats and dogs are contrasted? I can't even remember how it goes, but I know it made me laugh and it made a good point about innate differences. I thought about that email this evening as I contrasted how Mr. P spends his time with how I spend my time. Perhaps this is an activity in which I should not engage...

My evening:
  • home from work.

  • went upstairs to change

  • took dogs out into back yard

  • took laundry to basement, folded sheets that someone had unceremoniously dumped on top of the dryer, fed the cat, took out chicken breasts for supper

  • put chicken in microwave to thaw

  • went back to basement to clean up cat mess (ugh)

  • prepared chicken, put in oven, set timer for 20 minutes

  • read newspaper for 20 minutes until timer went off, telling me it was time to get veggies and pasta ready

  • peeled zucchini and carrots, put pasta on to boil, prepared veggies and pasta dish

  • ate supper

  • marked tests and assignments while (sort of) watching Glee

  • put laundry in the dryer, another load in the washer

  • went upstairs, read chapter 5 in very boring textbook for my course, wrote really really long post in reply to the first assignment for this week

  • 30 minutes reading blogs and posting this

  • bed (I'm going now)

His evening:

  • home from work (about 15 minutes after me)

  • went upstairs to change

  • grabbed a snack

  • went into living room, turned on t.v.

  • ate supper

  • picked up the OnlyChild from an after school event

  • watched t.v. (he's still watching t.v. as I type)

Okay... what's wrong with this picture?

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm complaining again. I just really really want to be sitting at my sewing machine and, instead, it's cultivating a fine layer of dust. The dust of neglect. (Cue sad music here.)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Reading material

The other day I mentioned that I had recently won a giveaway.

Last week, a beautifully wrapped package arrived in the mail.

With a pretty little notecard.

Of course, it was from Jeanne at A Bushel and a Peck.

I was very excited, because I knew what it was. But it sat in my sewing room, still wrapped until tonight. Tonight, I carefully untied the ribbon and then ripped off the paper. And here it is...

My very own copy of Blogging for Bliss. I can't wait to sit down with a nice, hot cup of tea and pore over the pages. We have a long weekend coming up... maybe then.
Thanks Jeanne! I love it!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009


It's October. Now I can give myself permission to wear socks again. I've been holding out, you know. I didn't want to give in and admit that summer was over. But Environment Canada is predicting frost for our area tonight and somewhere in the province (I didn't catch where) there was SNOW this morning. (I know, I know - I said that dirty S-word again.)

I won't be wearing the socks pictured above. I don't actually own socks that look like that. I stole the photo from an online catalogue. The OnlyChild wears striped socks, though. Often odd socks. Not me. Mine are quite plain. With the exception of my little booties.

Speaking of booties... my friend Erminia phoned Nona (in Italy) on the weekend. Nona is thrilled that so many of you loved her booties. She's quite tickled to be famous in North America. Unfortunately, like many knitters of her generation, she doesn't actually have a pattern for the booties. She just knows instinctively how to make them and makes them by the dozens. Maybe I can start a bootie import business...

Anyway, it's definitely fall now. Time for socks and booties. Time to drag the boxes out from under the bed and exchange my summer clothes for winter skirts, sweaters and pants. Sigh.

I've been sick all week. I caught the OnlyChild's terrible cold. My head is so fuzzy I feel like I'm on something illegal (but I'm not, I assure you). The work hasn't slowed down - marking upon marking, still trying to write learning guides and tests, still working on that dratted course. I'm so looking forward to the Thanksgiving long weekend (Oct 10-12) so that I'll have an extra day to do my marking. Sigh again.

Back to the grindstone!