Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finally... a finish!

I started my Halloween Cat wall hanging late Saturday afternoon and finished sewing on the binding Sunday night while watching Mad Men (on t.v. this time rather than on the internet). Finally... a finish!

I didn't hang it up in the front entry until tonight. I faced a bit of trepidation about punching yet another hole in the wall. But I overcame and now it greets all who enter the house with a big smile-less cat.

Smileless? Yes, I forgot to embroider the cat's mouth before I started quilting. I guess I could go back and stitch through all the layers... but I probably won't.

Welcome, Fall (I think). It's been beautiful here - for the most part - over the past week.

I hope it stays warm and Autumn-like for a while. Winter is such a long season here... no need for an early arrival this year.

(Are you listening, Mother Nature?)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Makin' stuff

It feels like it's been such a long time since I did anything creative. Poor Bernice has been sitting in solitude in the sewing room, waiting for me to thread her up and do some stitching.

I did, however, get my August and September ATCs done and mailed, finally. I meant to make the August cards before I left for France. That didn't happen, so I thought I'd get them done in that week between arriving home and the start of the school year. That didn't happen either. Luckily, my ATC group members are forgiving and were willing to wait.

I think I forgot to take photos of the August cards I made for "Shoes and Purses", but here are my September cards, "Home Sweet Home".

They are cross-stitched on 14-count Aida and backed with starched cotton. Keep in mind these babies are only 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. They were a fun little project to do (while watching episodes of Six Feet Under online) when I was supposed to be doing something else.

This afternoon, I decided I need something Autumn-ish for the front entrance. My Tisket a Tasket quilt is hanging on the wall there right now, but I really want more Fall colours.
I chose this little project from a 2004 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. Instead of the blue cat on a black background, though, I'm doing a black cat on a purple background. But... a problem arose. I had no purple in my stash, other than a couple of scraps. So I sent a text to the OnlyChild who was out with Mr. P and, I knew, very close to my favourite LQS. Please pick me up a fat quarter of purple, I said. Not too bright, no crazy prints, tone-on-tone would be great.

And they did... in fact, they bought me five fat quarters. Lovely. Now I have purple in my stash. I chose the one on the right as my background fabric.

I've got most of the applique done already. So far, I love it. It's so cute. And it's a little tribute to our Rexy.

I have the OnlyChild making up some yo-yos in matching fabric for the yo-yo tree on the hall table. She calls herself the Yo-Yo Queen... and says I'm her Yo-Yo Ma. Haha. Okay, we thought it was funny.

Now, I do have some marking to do this weekend, and some reading for my course. But why not take a little time for myself and make some stuff?

I hope you're also makin' stuff this weekend. I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hurry up, Andy

I'm supposed to be finishing up a paper for my master's course - an article review which was to be completed with another student. My assigned partner, Andy, and I divided up the workload and each did our part. He was to email me his half and I would put it all together and send it back for his perusal before we post it for the rest of the class. He emailed me last night but I think he forgot to attach his document because there's nothing there.

So I'm kind of in limbo until he checks his email and discovers my panicked little message.

It's been that kind of weekend, though. A weekend of not getting things done when I intended.

Friday night I was supposed to be taking part in the FNSI

Ahhh... a night of sewing was just what I needed after the sadness of the past week. I had a few projects I could have been working on.

But then Mr. P invited me to go shirt-and-pants shopping with him because there was a big sale at the men's store. I didn't expect to be out until 9:30 at night so no sewing got done. (It was fun, though.)

Then yesterday, I spent the whole day with my friend, Kim. I used to teach with Kim years ago when we lived down south and she was the OnlyChild's grade two teacher. I love it when she comes to visit; she stays with her boyfriend so I don't often get to see her for an entire day. She brought her sewing machine and we were going to do some sewing but...

first we decided to go to Wal-Mart,

then I realized that I hadn't packed everything I needed to work on my quilt (so I pressed fabric and seams for her while she sewed),

then we went to the BIG mall to go boots- (for me) and clothes- (for her) shopping (she found lots of clothes; I didn't find any boots),

then we went to a movie.

I got home at 1:30 this morning!

I was up and showered and sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee by 9:00 am, ready to get that damn paper finished and... well, you know the rest of the story...

So... until I hear from Andy, I'm in limbo. I hope-hope-hope he checks his email right away. He's in Ontario and I have no other way of contacting him.

What to do until then...?

Well, I could read yesterday's newspaper because I didn't have time to read it yesterday. And I could read today's paper, too.


I got a new issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in the mail sometime this week, but someone hid in on me and I didn't even see it until this morning.

All is not lost.

But I still don't want to be up until midnight working on that paper. Hurry up, Andy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

At peace

Well, I hope Rex is at peace. I'm certainly not. I am feeling tremendous guilt over making that decision. Is that normal?

(If you're thinking to yourself, "Oh heavens, not another post about that cat", please feel free to close the window and move onto the next blog on your list. I won't be offended. Heck, I won't even know. Because, yes, this is another post about that cat.)

We had Rex for 19 years. Mr. P and I got him less than two weeks after we were married. The OnlyChild never knew a day without him in her life. It's strange not having him around. I keep seeing him out of the corner of my eye. I keep hearing him meow from the basement. Except it's not him - it's just my imagination. And my guilt.

He was called Rex because Mr. P wanted to get a dog but I wanted a cat. So we compromised. Sort of. We got a cat (yay for me) and gave it a typical dog's name. But the name was so appropriate. I wrote in a letter to my mother, "He Rex the curtains, he Rex the furniture, he Rex a good night's sleep" and during the holidays, "He Rex the Christmas tree." He did - he climbed right up the middle of our artificial tree, knocking off the branches and sending ornaments flying. He did it every day until I finally had to start locking him in the laundry room while we were at work.

He had his own unique personality, like all our beloved pets do. He was a scrappy little fellow when he was younger, constantly fighting with other cats in the neighbourhood to secure his territory. Of course, these fights always took place at night in the back yard (another way in which he Rex a good night's sleep). He was terribly entertaining when we had guests as he would visit each person and show his affection by pouncing on them or climbing up their pant legs.

He loved snuggling, but hated to be picked up. He loved belly rubs but was equally fond of grabbing a hand with all four paws (and all 20? claws). He lost the tips of his ears to frostbite when he was a few months old. He lived in four different towns and six different houses with us. He spent a couple of summers hanging out with my brother in law, and another summer with my nephew Chris when we went back east.

In his last two months, he slept more than he was awake, co-opting the dogs' bed, much to their chagrin. They let him be; maybe they realized he was tired and worn out from a long, busy life.

I hope he knew how much we loved him. I hope he knows now how much we still do.

Thank you for all your kind comments. And for not once telling me, "he was just a cat". Because, you know, he wasn't just a cat. They never are.


Friday, September 10, 2010

RexCat 1991-2010

Contrary to the impression you might get from this photo, he went peacefully.

We love you sweet RexCat.

(It was hard to say goodbye. I'll be back after I've pulled myself together.)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Farewell to our funny feline friend

Photo by the OnlyChild

After much soul-searching and two years of deliberation and arguing back and forth on the issue, our family has decided it's time to say goodbye to our beloved Rex.

He is feeling all of his 19+ years and, without going into the gory details, we've noticed a serious decline in his physical state over the past few months.

Although I have spoken to the vet about Rex a number of times, I had been procrastinating about making an appointment to have him put to sleep. The OnlyChild phoned and made that appointment today - brave soul.

It is going to be so hard to let him go. He's as much a member of our family as any human or dog. I've struggled with this decision immensely, wondering why I have the right to choose when he dies. I'm still wondering, even as I prepare myself for tomorrow afternoon.

It will be a sad, sad day!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Mi manchi / Je vous manque

Summer is over.

Not in any "official" way - the calendar tells me Autumn won't arrive until September 23. But I don't believe it.

We've put away the blow-up pool, removed the air conditioner from the bedroom, and calked the windows in the porch.

And today, out the window, I saw this:

The leaves are turning colour already.

And it's cold outside.

Oh, this makes me miss the summer. And Italy. And France.

I was looking through my photos and my blog entries today and remembering the fun I had in both countries and all the things I was able to see.

I am a very lucky girl to have had those opportunities, and I should never forget that! Here's hoping the memories will keep me warm throughout the coming winter... and that next year I'll be travelling again!

My sewing room is more or less in order now. There are a few items strewn around the spare room that have yet to find a home, but I'll take care of that. Their home will likely be the Goodwill box.

The room seems much brighter with white woodwork. It helps that the ugly dark green curtain is gone from the window, too. I need to find another window covering, though, because when the light is on in here at night, there is no privacy.

I have a picture to hang on that blank bit of wall.

The built-in shelves are nice and neat (those were a royal pain in the butt to paint).

I'm displaying some fat quarters and half-yards of fabric. They're too pretty to store away!

The dresser holds the rest of my cotton fabric. Other fabrics as well as quilt batting and fibre-fill are stored in plastic containers opposite the desk. I threw away two-and-a-half big garbage bags of stuff - mostly bits and pieces of fabric in unusable shapes and sizes, but also anything that I didn't think was useful or important to keep. I was ruthless and unsentimental (for most of the purge).

The room is still crowded - it's very small - but at least I don't feel like the walls are closing in on me anymore.

And someday I might get around to painting those walls. Someday...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I want to be...

Sewing... and quilting... and making ATCs...
and making Christmas (shhh I said the C-word) presents... and writing...
oh, and I have a new course for my master's degree

Yep, I wanna...
but I can't do a thing until
I clean up my sewing room
What. A. Mess

School started this week
Monday and Tuesday - teacher days
Today - first day with students

So far... awesome
but it's going to get busy, I know it is

So, I'd better clean up that room and
sew while the sun shines
before the shadow of all that marking (oops, I said the M-word) looms over me