Friday, May 28, 2010

Rows and strings and a road trip

Friday night at the sewing machine... when I probably should have made a start on marking all those essays.

I played around a little with some red and white strings:

and I did a bit more (but not much) sewing on the Authentic quilt:

How I love this fabric!

I wonder why I didn't open up this charm pack sooner. Oh yeah... I had other stuff to do.

Tomorrow Mr. P and I are going on a road trip to Calgary. We'll stay overnight and leave the OnlyChild all by herself (with the Wild Things). She's almost 18, but we've never gone out of town and left her behind before. I hope she can handle the responsibility. Maybe I'll let the neighbours know we won't be around so they can spy on her...

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who Cares?

(If you're here for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, please go to this post. Sorry, I didn't post a direct link...)

How did it get to be Thursday already? This week has just flown by, but it hasn't been without its trials.

I've had to adopt a new philosophy: Who Cares? (And, of course, the answer is Not Me!)

An annoying kid at school told me yesterday that it is my job to sit down with him and teach him all the stuff he missed in my seminars when he wasn't at school. And he said I should meet with him and his mother in the evenings to prepare him for his Diploma Exam. What? You're kidding, right? Nope, he wasn't kidding.

But who cares? After the feeling that I wanted to rip out my hair (or his) subsided, I really had to laugh at how ludicrous that was.

Then there's this:

The Put-Me-to-Sleep textbook I have to read for my master's course. Zzzzz. The questions we have to answer and posts we have to write are interesting, though. And this course will actually be finished in about 2 weeks, so that's nice. (I wish the professor would give us some more information about our final project so I can get started on procrastinating about that.)

Then there's that ever-growing pile of marking:

Just kidding - that's the picture of my Christmas marking pile. The present pile is not quite as tall, but it might be soon, since the final deadline for all work in my grade 12 class is June 7, and some of the students have a lot left to do in the course. Oh, the glory of self-directed learning. It would work so much better if more students actually had some self-direction.

But who cares... it will all get done... it has to. Right?

And lest you think this is a whiny, feel sorry for me post, I want you to know that I'm just exploring options and looking for a way to prevent myself from going crazy in the next month until school is over and I can fly far away across the ocean and leave this all behind...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flowers and Coins

(If you're here to see my Blogger's Quilt Festival contribution, please go to this post. Or you could stay for a while and scroll down when you're ready.)

Ahhhh... Holiday Monday. My American friends have their day off next weekend, which makes more sense because the weather will be nicer. But here in Canada, we celebrate the birthday of a long-deceased British monarch. I'm not complaining: I'm British and I enjoy a long weekend. Bring it on.

After marking essays today (the ones I was supposed to do yesterday before I got distracted), I decided to plant the flowers Mr. P and I picked up yesterday morning. The last couple of days were cold and rainy (with temperatures as low as 3 degrees celsius, which converts to 37.4 degrees fahrenheit. brrrr.) so planting was out of the question. We actually had to store the flowers in the porch overnight.

But today, the sun came out and so did I. Finally, my flower barrels in the front have gone from this (ugh):

To this (don't worry - they'll fill out; they always do).

Mr. P is building me a planter in the back yard. This year, it will just hold flowers as I will be away all summer and can't trust Mr. P and the OnlyChild to take care of vegetables. Surely they can do a bit of weeding and watering...

I also picked some lilac off the tree in the back yard and displayed it in an old teapot on the dining room table. It smells heavenly!

While Mr. P was watching the hockey game tonight (Philadelphia won the series! Hurray!), I started a new project. I know, I know... I said I wouldn't start anything else until I had the Checkerboard Quilt finished. But I have an excuse (or three).

First of all, that quilt needs to be basted and the only place I can do that is at work on the classroom or staffroom floor. Second, I still have no idea how I'm going to quilt it. I just can't decide, despite all the suggestions you've given me. And third, I had this amazing charm pack and some yardage of Authentic just hanging around my sewing room, calling my name. How could I resist? I'm weak.

So, I have started a Chinese Coins quilt. Very simple, very fresh in these fabrics.

Who knows when it will get done.

But who cares? It's all about the process...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One leads to another and another and then to SuperBuzzy

I have a pretty extensive blogroll listed on the right hand side of the page, and I visit blogs that I "follow", which are listed on my dashboard. Yes, that equals lots of time spent on the computer, but none of it wasted, in my opinion.  :)

One of my new favourites is Noodleheads. I discovered Anna's blog a while back by a fluke and rediscovered it a few weeks ago.

She has had some guest bloggers lately, all of whom have provided wonderful tutorials. Today's guest blogger is Penny of Sew Take a Hike. Wow. You have to check out her fabulous blog.

Penny has a giveaway going on - but it's a limited time offer because it ends tonight. Why not go over and see what you could win. But hurry.

And if you just came over to see my quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, click here because, even though we were instructed to provide a direct link, I guess I just didn't listen.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday Night Sew-in

I can't believe it! I forgot all about the Friday Night Sew-in. Jen usually posts something that twigs my memory and she didn't yesterday... so can I blame it on her? Just kidding.

It's okay, I guess. I was pretty tired last night anyway. In fact, I fell asleep at the hairdresser's during my appointment. She put me under the dryer for a bit and I was trying to do some reading for my course... but ZONK! I was out for the count. A good little nap!

Hey, can I list all my marking and course postings as 2010 finishes? Then it would look like I actually accomplish something.

If you're here for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, sorry about the rambling. Just scroll down to the previous post. I forgot to add a direct link when I signed up. Duh.

Hope you're having a great Saturday. It's rainy and cold (brrrr) here, but I'm just fine with that since all of the items on my to-do list are indoor activities (and the rain kind of reflects my feelings about that list today).

Back to reading my stimulating book, A Guide to Research for Educators and Trainers of Adults. Sigh. I think I need another nap...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is my contribution to the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy. It's an Irish Chain quilt I made for my friend Caroline's second daughter. I love this quilt - the colours are so vibrant and fun - but I didn't love quilting it. I did all straight-line quilting and didn't enjoy the process at all. I read every hint and tip I could find, started quilting from the middle out, used my walking foot - you name it, I did it - and still there were a few little tucks and puckers. I found the quilting part monotonous, which is probably why I tend to stay away from that now and seem to always fall back on stippling.

It was a learning process, that's for sure.

I would make another Irish Chain quilt because I do love geometric patterns. I think, though, I'd be a bit more adventurous in the quilting process next time.

Head over to Amy's Creative Side and see the other quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival! You will be inspired.

In other news, you may have noticed that my posts have been sporadic lately. I'm trying to get back into a routine and had nearly caught up on marking until I assigned an essay to my grade 12 social studies class last week, so marking those is on my to-do list this weekend. Plus, I started another master's course and I'm behind on the readings already. There has been very little sewing going on, except for a lavender eye pillow which took me all of 15 minutes to make. Oh, and I did knit another "feather and fan" scarf over the past couple of weeks. I don't know when I'll get back to the sewing machine - I'm really thinking I need to clean out my sewing room in the near future and maybe that will get me inspired.

So, this weekend will be full of marking, reading, writing for my course, laundry and cleaning (the usual) and, if the weather cooperates, some yard work. But probably no sewing, unfortunately. I really wish I had something exciting and inspiring to share. 

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A bird on the ledge is worth...?

There is a little bird family that lives on the ledge outside my office window. They're building a nest in a crevice in the wall and have been flying back and forth all day with twigs and leaves to furnish their home.

They are very entertaining to watch. I wonder if they're expecting...

Could this be why I'm getting so far behind in my marking?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quick post and picture

I'm hoping to return to normalcy (whatever that actually means) soon. The craziness of grad is now over (POOF! - all that planning and then it's done!) but school hasn't slowed down one bit. Someday (soon, I hope) I'll catch up on all that marking and get up-to-date on the readings and postings for the master's course I'm taking. Someday.

Anyway, a quick photo of the OnlyChild so you can see her headpiece.

She looked beautiful. All the girls did. I have tons of photos (mostly stolen from the OnlyChild's friends on Facebook), but I'll have to organize them and take a better look before I post any more. Plus, we had professional photos taken the night of the banquet and I'll get them in a week or so.

It was a good time, but I can't say I'm sorry it's done. Whew.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Thoughts

I'm a little stressed... busy busy at work with grad, crazy marking coming in, need a vacation big time! So, let's think happy thoughts, and what could be happier than new fabric?

Look at that gorgeous aqua fabric! And the other fun goodies! How about a close-up?

Love those fat quarters.

And how cute are these "Sweet Sixteenths"? Ahhhh...

More happy things:

Mother's Day roses (they kind of make up for having to cancel supper out because I was sick).

And a portable hard-drive for my computer so I can back up my files (just in case Lucille goes on the blink again - fingers crossed she doesn't!)

Plus, the OnlyChild and I made her headpiece the other night. She was quite particular about what she wanted, and I wasn't able to accommodate exactly. Luckily we were able to compromise and she's very happy with the result. I can't wait to see her wear it with her beautiful grad dress Friday night.

Not a great picture of it. I hope I get better ones with the OnlyChild actually wearing it. But I'm not making any promises - you know how it works with photos of special occasions in my family.

So... Happy Thoughts to get me through the next couple of very busy days.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Adventures and Misadventures

Did you miss me this past week and a half? I didn't think so - nobody even wondered where I was. I have been busy. Between some personal stuff (that is not worth mentioning) and grad stuff, I had no time at all for sewing or anything else last week. Then I took off for the mountains for a few days with my friend Sandi to attend a conference on Global Citizenship.

That's where the adventures and misadventures happened.

First the adventures.

Beautiful mountain scenery. We were about 4 hours from home. It was cold and snowy there (but then it's been cold and snowy here at home too).

I had another brush with celebrity.

This is Craig Kielburger, founder of Free the Children and author of a number of books, including Me to We. He was one of the keynote speakers at the conference and he was incredible! Click on the links to find out more about Craig.

We took some time to wander around in the town of Canmore and went to the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop. This is one of the nicest quilt shops I have ever visited, and the staff was so nice. I forgot to take a photo of the outside of the shop (which is unfortunate, because it was so cute), but the lady told me to go ahead and take as many pictures as I wanted inside. So I did.

Needless to say, I put a few items in my basket. I'll show you next time.

And the misadventures? Well, they occurred when we were setting out for home. I started my car and all these crazy lights came on. The manual said, "DON'T DRIVE THE CAR - PHONE YOUR DEALERSHIP!" and, being the ever-obedient girl, I did that. My dealership was useless. The technician who answered the phone didn't have a clue what to tell me and finally directed me to the Roadside Assistance Hotline. They sent out a tow truck which took us to Calgary (the nearest dealership). The service department was closed, but one of the salesmen had an inkling that the dealership here simply hadn't reset the alerts last time they changed the oil. As it turns out, that was all that was wrong. So, a lot of stress and inconvenience for nothing!

Plus, I came down with an awful something. I wasn't feeling well Saturday morning and thought I had just got a cold or maybe hadn't had enough sleep. By the time we got home Saturday night, I was dragged-out tired and sick. I spent the better part of Mother's Day in bed (and we had to cancel our dinner reservations) as well as today. Mr. P had to call in sick for me this morning; I couldn't even lift my head off the pillow. I feel much better now and will, no doubt, go to work tomorrow but I sure could use another day or two to relax and recuperate. There's just too much that needs to be done both at school and at home.

This is the week of Grad for the OnlyChild. My mother arrives tomorrow night, commencement ceremonies are Thursday and the banquet and dance are on Friday night. It's going to be another busy week!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

To my beautiful Mum.


And to all my Momma Friends out there in blogland!