Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Life in 3D

We went to the BIG mall yesterday.

A movie - Alice in Wonderland in 3D

Cheryl and I thought it was amazing; the OnlyChild pronounced it "Meh." What does she know, anyway?

Our favourite thing, I think, was the 3D glasses. hehe.

Then some shopping. Shoes for me (hey, I had a store credit) and for the OnlyChild (for grad). Pants and a blouse for Cheryl.

And we went to Anthropologie. Oops.

It opened in the mall in October (I think) and I'd never been in (I stay away from the BIG mall). I fell in love with a pink sweater.

I bought a pink sweater.

I snuck it upstairs and didn't tell Mr. P how much that pink sweater cost.


It was a fun day. We got home around 9:30 pm after picking up the OnlyChild's friend for a sleepover, ate the supper Mr. P had kept warm for us, then stayed up all night. All. Night. We went to bed at 6:30 this morning.

Guess what we were doing? All Night. Three guesses... and the first two don't count.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm still here

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth... just been busy.

Busy chatting and staying up all night and cooking and chatting and chatting and chatting.

Cheryl and I are having a great visit... even though we haven't really done anything. Isn't that the best thing about old friends? You can hang around all day and night and never run out of things to say.

I wish I had some pictures to show you, but Mr. P had my camera in North Carolina and Pennsylvania for the past few days. He's home now, so I should be able to get some shots of Cheryl and me eating and chatting and cooking and doing nothing and...  you get the picture.

I do, however, have some pictures of my March ATCs to share with you. The theme was chosen by Cory this month and was "Free for All". She sent each of us a package of embellishments and we could do anything we wanted with them. Here's what I did:

Pretty random, eh? But there was a method to my madness. I actually started out making one big 'picture' and then cut it up into cards, so they're like puzzle pieces and together they make this:

It was fun.

April's theme is "Paperless". I have about a million ideas for this theme (it was my month to choose), but I haven't started them yet. Cheryl and I are planning on spending some time doing these together... but we'll see if we have time between the chatting and eating and cooking and shopping and staying up all night...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Spring Break starts on Friday!

I cannot wait.

I'll be bringing home a pile of marking... but I'm not sure I'll get it done because I'm having a visitor.

Cheryl is coming to stay with me!

We've been friends for... well, forever.

We are going to have so much fun... and we'll try to stay out of trouble.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Have you used this book...?

Have any of you used/seen this book?

If so, what did you think of it?

I'm looking for new ways to spice up my quilting, instead of always resorting to the same old thing (stippling).

If you haven't used this book, what would you recommend?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

No Finish

No finish for the Friday Night Sew-in, but I did spend a little time working on A Tisket a Tasket, and now all 12 blocks are stippled and I've started the borders.

I didn't get started until about 8:00 pm. I had a ripping headache, which made me just want to lie down on the couch and sleep, but it gradually went away. Mr. P asked if I wanted to get a movie and that sounded like a good idea - I could do some hand-sewing, maybe finish sewing all the coins and beads onto my new veil for dance. But then he decided to make supper... and I waited for him. Then he wanted to finish the episode of Law and Order he was watching... and I waited. Finally I said, "Are we going to get a movie or not?" and his reply was, "Ahhh... I'm feeling too comfortable and lazy to go out."

Grrr... I could have been sewing all that time instead of waiting for him. That'll teach me.

So, a couple of hours of sewing was all I got in. But that's okay... at least I had a bit of time. And this quilt will get finished when it's ready to get finished, I guess.

Not much else to share today. I think my posts must be getting boring...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In Tonight!

I almost forgot about the Friday Night Sew-In. Thank goodness Jen keeps me on track.

I'm not even sure I have time to devote the entire evening to sewing... but I'm going to try. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to finish my A Tisket a Tasket quilt. I picked out all those nasty straight lines the other night and stippled four of the blocks. That's more progress in one evening that I'd made in a month on that quilt.

I've promised myself that, one day, I will finish a quilt all with straight-line quilting. Just not this one.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'd rather be stippling

Thanks for all your comments on last night's silly eggs-travaganza. Wasn't that fun? Mr. P got a good chuckle out of those eggs when he opened the fridge this morning. I wish I could have seen his face, but I was upstairs putting on mine at the time.

Sometimes all it takes to get the creativity flowing is to step out of the box and do something different, like decorate your eggs. I was inspired by my own foolishness and compelled to get back to A Tisket a Tasket. I started again on those straight lines, but I still can't get excited about the quilting.


Just look at this! Not only is the quilting booooring, but at some point I'm going to have to sew in all those ends. I've only done 3 out of 12 blocks - wait, let me amend that thought; I've done 1/2 (one direction) of each of 3 out of 12 blocks - and I'm so tired of the stopping and starting, marking and measuring.

I'd really rather be stippling.

So, I lay in bed last night thinking about this one. I couldn't get it out of my mind and I had to reach a solution.

I've decided to pick out all those straight lines. All of them. Now I'm thankful I didn't make much progress on this quilt.

I'm going to stipple the backgrounds to the baskets. One start. One stop. Very few ends to sew in and lots of rhythm in the quilting.

The rest will take care of itself.

And I might actually finish this baby.

Monday, March 15, 2010


You may have noticed there's been a slight lull in creativity over here at Chez Rachel.

Quilting has stalled. Ennui seemed to have settled in. I thought I was doomed. Then, today, redemption!

I got a hilarious email from my mum that inspired this...

Front row by the OnlyChild; back row by Me.

I think these two have sadly discovered what their future holds.

A tribute to RexCat.

One shocked and angry, one a little frightened. Maybe they got in an argument - that carton is pretty close quarters, even for friends.

The OnlyChild thinks these two look like Mr. P and me.

And as I was putting them all back in the fridge, I noticed that I was being watched.

Two considerations arose from this silliness: First of all, we can't wait for Mr. P's reaction when he sees them. The OnlyChild suggested we ask him to make us omelettes for supper tonight. Second, how will we ever be able to crack these babies now?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wee Wee Hours

It's 3 am. I've been awake since about 1:30 and got tired of lying in bed, waiting to go back to sleep. I seem to have a lot on my mind tonight (this morning) and my brain won't relax.

Things are starting to get busy again at work. Marking, writing learning materials for next year, student registration, more marking. I spent all yesterday afternoon in a meeting and when I left, my to-do list had doubled.

I'm headed to Calgary later this morning to observe International Baccalaureate students at a history colloquium - and I can't find the email that tells me where it's being held. I hope my colleague has the information or we'll be wandering the university campus looking for it. Sigh.

I'm dancing in a show on Saturday. I'm not sure I'm ready for it - I don't feel I know the choreography well enough - but my dance teacher has convinced me to do it anyway. Butterflies in my stomach.

A Tisket a Tasket has been sitting on my sewing machine since last Friday and I haven't done much more than give it a glance. Where did my motivation go? I wonder if it's just the weather...

The OnlyChild has had a blue funky week. She's one of the stage managers for the school play and she's feeling a bit underappreciated and abused. Some of the students she's working with are real prima donnas and have been quite rude to her. And she doesn't feel she's getting any credit for the hard work she's done over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I can relate. We both tend to do what we have to do in the background and don't draw attention to ourselves; then we feel resentful because noone notices us.

I'm starting another master's course at the beginning of May. I can't skip another term because this course is mandatory for the program, and if I don't get to it, the degree will never be finished.

I have to find time to go to the bank to wire the deposit for my apartment in Paris. The thought of spending all this money on myself is starting to make me feel a little sick and selfish. Guilt is settling in.

People (meaning me) probably should resist the urge to blog at three in the morning. Being awake during the wee wee hours makes one morose and depressed. I'd go back to bed, but why? I have to be up in about an hour and a half anyway.

I think I might go and bake something...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Silence is golden

How unusual for me to be so quiet. To be honest, I just haven't had anything interesting to tell you the past couple of days.

Ho hum... got my laptop, Lucille, fixed. She may crash again, though. I was warned. I guess I should go and buy an external hard drive and back everything up on a regular basis.

No sewing happening, even though A Tisket a Tasket is actually on the sewing machine right now. Straight lines... maybe not my thing.

Work is work. Marking, teaching. Nothing exciting there.

Oh... I have booked the apartment in Paris. It's within walking distance to Notre Dame Cathedral.

And the Louvre.

Last year's trip seems like a distant memory.

I can't wait to re-acquaint myself with Paris. This time I will not have to snap pictures from inside a moving bus. We will be walking everywhere... or taking the Métro. Like real Parisiennes.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille

Say a little prayer to the computer gods; my laptop, Lucille, is under the weather today. I hope she won't require surgery and/or a lengthy hospital stay.

We've had just over two good years together and I am totally, thoroughly dependent on her. One would think a computer would last more than two years... I haven't even finished paying for her yet. Sigh.

Mr. P and I went to the market this morning. We bought bread and tomatoes and cucumbers and salsa and potatoes and some very good, very greasy Korean food for lunch.

On our way out, there was a lady was selling daffodils.

At two bucks a pop, they were an expensive little symbol of Spring. I could have bought an entire bunch of them at the grocery store for about $4.00. But they brighten up the front hall.

Tonight: dinner and a show. Not much sewing going on today. A bit of marking, a bit of ATC-making, a lot of frustration. Maybe I should pack it in and take a dog for a walk...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Why English Teachers Die Young

I used to teach English. I'm glad I don't anymore, not because I don't love literature; I do. I'm also a grammar freak. But the essays... oh those essays to mark. I mark plenty of essays as a Social Studies/History teacher, but somehow they're different.

My department head sent me this email the other day. It gave me a laugh, and it made me think of Isabelle, so I hope she reads this:

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country.

Here are last year's winners...
  1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
  5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
  8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
  9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
  10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
  11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. Instead of 7:30.
  12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
  14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. Traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m., at a speed of 35 mph.
  15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
  16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
  18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
  19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
  20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law, Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
  25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
C'est drôle, n'est-ce pas?

Another beautiful day here, with temperatures reaching 9 degrees celsius. That's about 48 degrees fahrenheit. Lovely for March. I even washed my car today; I had to because I could barely see out the windows. All the thawing and mud this week has made a real mess. But I'm not complaining. I love the sunshine!

When I got home from work this afternoon, I baked a batch of oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies for the OnlyChild to take to rehearsal tomorrow. She's a stage manager for the school play; she used to be on-stage, but then she gave it up. Too bad - she was a very good actress. I'm glad she's renewed her interest in theatre and is enjoying her 'job'.

I also did my housecleaning for the weekend (well, the downstairs anyway). I opened windows and let the air and sun in. I have a bit of marking to do, and lots of sewing, I hope. The weather is supposed to continue like this for a few more days - then snow on Monday. Ugh.

Got any good plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Feels like Spring

But I'm not fooled. Spring never comes to stay this early.

Nope, I'm not putting away my coat and boots... not yet.

Nothing much happening here at Chez Rachel. Some marking, lots of eating (I'll be gaining back that 15 lbs if I'm not careful), and I finally pin-basted my Tisket a Tasket quilt. I haven't done anything with the Checkerboard top yet because I still need backing fabric.

Italian lesson tonight. Dance tomorrow night. Lazy every other night.

How are things going with you?