Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scary, Soft, Stringy




And that was my weekend.

The 40+ essays I brought home didn't get marked.

Instead I house cleaned and then went out with my friend Patt Friday night.

Did laundry and had lunch with my friend Sandi on Saturday.

Spent a couple of hours at the MediCentre with the OnlyChild on Saturday night and
a couple of hours with her at the medical lab this morning.

She's sick, poor girl, and has been for a few days. She finally relented and let me take her to the doctor, who ordered some tests.

Then I decided the rest of the day was mine so I

Finished the flannel baby quilt top (it might end up being one of those "ugly quilts")

then I got a bit bored with that and decided to

Play around with some strings.

Red, Green and White for Christmas.

Maybe I should finish something...

Nah. Playing is so much more fun!

Hope you had a fun (and scary?) weekend too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy from Amy's Creative Side is once again hosting the Bloggers' Quilt Festival. It's a happy place where all quilters can get together and share their creations... without having to go out into the cold, or leave the comfort of the computer room.

Here's my contribution to the Festival. This is a quilt called "Flurries" that I made a few years ago for my mother. I liked it so much that I made one for me when hers was done. I think this one pictured is hers...but it could just as easily be mine.

It's a sofa-sized quilt and perfect for snuggling under on a cold, winter night. The recent snowfall we had made me think of this quilt and I'll be pulling it out very soon.

The snowflakes, stars, and snowballs were appliquéd by machine using a blanket stitch. That was a lot of appliqué! It's a good thing I like appliqué. I learned an important lesson while making my mother's version of this quilt (as it was the first one). I thought I'd make the quilt extra-snuggly by using a thick polyester batting and a heavy flannel backing. Boy, did that make the quilting difficult! Since then, I have stuck with Warm and Natural batting, which is thin but, as the name indicates, very warm. I still like flannel backings, though, and would definitely use that on a future wintry project.

Do you have a quilt you'd like to show off? Go and visit Amy for the "rules" and to see a list of the other contributors.

Thanks for stopping by... and don't forget to leave your calling card

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Show Off and Tell

I won a giveaway over at My Patchwork Life and lovely Erin sent me these beautiful gifts, picked up as she jetted around South America a couple of weeks ago. Look at that little gecko - have you ever seen anything that cute? Thanks, Erin. I  the goodies!

And, my order arrived from Pink Chalk Fabrics. I love them so much that the $11.00 shipping fee was (almost) worth it. Grrr... postage is so expensive!

And look! I finally spent some time in my sewing room and whipped up these Halloween pillowcases for the OnlyChild. And you doubted I'd get them finished in time... ha!

I have to admit, I really really wanted to make them in Ghastlies fabric, but there was none to be found. Oh what I wouldn't do to have me some of that. Oh well...this is also an Alexander Henry print - it's called Boo Kitty. The OnlyChild thought it was great. I hope she puts the pillowcases on her bed right away!

And speaking of bed... that sounds really good. 'Night all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are you in?

Are you joining November's Friday Night Sew-in?

Let's face the painful fact - Christmas is coming! That means we probably all have a list of projects to complete that's a mile long. I need all the help (and time) I can get.

So join us on Friday, November 19!

Go and see Heidi to sign up. See ya there!

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Winter is on its way!"

Did you see that line in my post yesterday?

What was I thinking... yanking on the tale of fate like that.

Blurry picture taken out the window at work with my cell phone this afternoon.

And to think - Saturday, I was wearing sandals.


Sunday, October 24, 2010


I just got back from my road trip. I went to a workshop down south and stayed for the weekend with my friend Kim and her two sweet little girls. We had such a good time visiting!

The workshop on Friday was great - very informative and interesting. The speaker was also hilarious, which always keeps me awake.

After school, we went to ballet lessons (and I ran into a former student, which was kind of neat).

Then we went to a quilt store.

Supper was dill pickle soup. Amazing!

Saturday, we went to gymnastics, and shopping at Winners for Halloween stuff, and then out to brunch.

Then... we went to an antique sale.

I bought an old iron.

And some old milk bottles for my button collection.

Here they are displayed together in my sewing room.

I bought an antique typewriter for the OnlyChild. She's been wanting one for a while.

She's already done some internet research on it to find out when it was made. It had to have been manufactured before 1930, according to her information, and most likely sometime in the 1920s.

Ask me how much I paid for it. Go on... how much do you think?

I also picked up these old Christmas lights for Mr. P. He loves retro Christmas decorations. I don't know if they work, but for $2 a box, I thought it was worth a try.

After antiquing, we all headed to the playground at the lake. It was so beautiful there, but a bit chilly. The girls didn't mind as they were running around all over the place. Winter is on its way!

After the playground, we all put on our pajamas and Kim and I were treated to some hair-styling while we flaked out in front of the t.v., courtesy of the two cutest little stylists around. It feels soooo good to have my hair brushed.

Today, after some pancakes, a bit of crafting, and a shopping trip to Costco, it was time to make the long trip (5 hour drive) home. It was such a fun weekend, but I'm exhausted. Who knew a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old had so much energy? But I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

The typewriter, by the way, cost me a cool $20. No kidding. And it works.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Have Fabric, Will Sew

Honestly... I will.

I have not been very productive in the sewing room lately. Other things get in the way. You know, things like work, the course I'm taking, yoga and dance classes, and ... umm ... laziness.

But the other day I received a package in the mail:

Two Kona solids (straw on the left and black) and two cuuuute Halloween prints to make pillowcases for the OnlyChild. Yes, she is 18 but the pillowcases are still fun for her (and for me to make). I use the very easy pattern from Sew4Home. I've used a couple of their tutorials and I find them quite easy to follow.

See - I'm motivated! I have to get these pillowcases made before next weekend. I'm hoping that will help me find my sewing mojo (my sew-jo) again, because it seems to have gone missing.

I still haven't gone back to that flannel baby quilt I started and I really should get that done before my friend/colleague's baby gets to university.

I still haven't quilted the Checkerboard quilt top that I finished in February. I love that quilt so much that I'm afraid to ruin it (sound familiar?)

I haven't even touched the Green and White blocks from waaaay back. Or the Authentic quilt I was experimenting with a while ago (hmmm... that Kona straw will look good with this fabric).

Christmas is coming too, which brings a whole other sewing to-do list. Yikes!

So, now that I've listed all my sewing inadequacies, I'll finish by saying that nothing is going to get done this weekend because I'm going on a road trip. I'm attending a workshop in the southern part of the province, then I'm staying with my friend Kim for the weekend. I'm really looking forward to the whole experience.

Even though it means no sewing.

Next week... surely I can fit in some time next week.

I have to, because I've also got these coming in the mail:

What was I thinking...?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I totally forgot about the Friday Night Sew-In, as usual, but by coincidence I was sewing last night anyway.

And then I went on Heidi's blog and I remembered.

I was, for once, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.

I sewed some scrappy flannel blocks for a baby quilt.

And look - I even have made a pattern for it.

Hope it turns out okay. I've already taken these pieces apart once because I didn't like the look of what I was making.

Everything I do lately turns to poop (figuratively speaking, of course). I'm experimenting rather than following the rules and I don't do rule-breaking very well; it's not natural for me to go off the beaten path. Maybe I should stick to patterns after all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

If I were a better knitter

I would most definitely make one of these:

It's adorable!

And you can find the pattern here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Saturday = Awesome

Upon waking up this morning, I was quite sure that today was going to be a bust. I slept in (no big deal), copped out on the dog-walking (lazy, lazy, lazy), and faced the seemingly monumental task of finishing a paper for my master's course.

But how quickly things started to improve.

First of all, I managed to convince Mr. P to take a ride on the streetcar across the river and to the farmer's market. I didn't think he'd want to go but he agreed rather quickly. Then the OnlyChild decided to come with us. Not only did that mean we had an outing with the whole little family (rare indeed), but also that she was out of bed at a decent time. And by decent I mean before 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

It was an absolutely beautiful day!

As you can see, most of the leaves have already blown off the trees so the landscape looks a bit grey. The temperatures, however, were in the 20s (75-ish in Fahrenheit), which is very unusual for mid-October. We're not complaining; winter can stay away as long as it wants!

We browsed the farmer's market (picked up some pickles, plums, dips, and a couple of treats), ate lunch in the park, bought me a beautiful new sweater (rust-coloured chunky knit with a hood), and then took the streetcar back home.

Revived and refreshed from my little adventure, I managed to finish that paper tonight. I'll let it sit and percolate for a day or two, look it over one more time, and then send it off in advance of Friday's due date. I love it when I'm not rushing at the last minute.

But you know what the BEST part is...? I am freeeee for the rest of this long weekend to do whatever I want - sewing, dog-walking, cleaning (yes, I do want to clean). I have only a couple of other obligations: a bit of planning for Tuesday's seminars and a hockey game tomorrow night. And the hockey game is kind of exciting for me too because an old friend from high school is in town and we're going to meet for a drink before the game. I haven't seen him since... well, probably since high school. I'm looking forward to the reunion.

The OnlyChild is working all weekend - tonight, tomorrow night and Monday - so we may save our turkey feast until next Sunday. We'll see. In any case, I wish all my Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Columbus Day to my American buddies!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Books and more books

I really really want this:

Have you seen the projects inside? Sigh...

And I'd like to read this:

And this one:

The OnlyChild met Thomas Trofimuk a few years ago when she was at a young writers' camp. I read another book by him, The 52nd Poem. It was interesting.

This one looks good too:

I swear I dreamt this plot a few years ago. I think Emma Donoghue stole my dream (but, don't worry - I'm not going to sue).

This is what I'm currently reading:

I read the first in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in the summer and loved it. It's not the type of novel I usually read, but I found myself immersed in the story. This one is good too. I read [almost] every night in bed. Often I doze off in the middle of a sentence. I rarely have "reading days" like I used to - you know, when you spend the whole day in comfy clothes with a good book and copious cups of hot tea. I miss those days.

They made the first two books in this series into movies; I'm not sure I want to see them. The book is always better than the movie. Always.

Back to what I should be doing... writing a paper... not reading novels. ☺

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Home decor

For some reason, I'm in the mood to decorate for Autumn and Halloween this year. It started with that wall hanging and moved on to more yo-yos for the front hall table, this time in Fall colours.

I found the metal tree in the basement - a leftover from a years-ago Halloween party. It had candle holders attached to it, which I removed. Then, after a good scrub with a toothbrush, it was ready to be decked out.

I don't know what it is with those yo-yos... I love them!

Remember the corks from all that wine Sandi and I drank while in Paris? Here they are in a nice vase on the dining room table. I haven't thought of anything more creative to do with them, but I like this arrangement.

This is actually the second vase in which they've been displayed. The Wild Things (or one of them at least) knocked the other one off the table and it smashed to bits. I wish those dogs would stay off the table. They can find sunbeams on the floor too.

Don't let that innocent look fool you. Abby is every bit as devious as Derby, and she's more agile.

We've been having glorious weather here. Today's temperature has reached about 24 degrees Celsius (which is about 75 Fahrenheit) - definitely above average for this time of year. But a big gust of wind blew most of the leaves off the trees.

Now we have some raking to do.

Not yet, though. I love the sound of leaves crunching under my feet!