Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Grace's very first bubble

Well today, not quite by accident, Grace blew her very first bubble ever, and I caught it with the camera. It's a rare occassion that mommy lets the kids have bubblegum, but today they had 2 pieces at the same time. So, the kids were practicing their bubbles, and there, quite by surprise, Grace was grunting at me... of course, she couldn't talk. I looked, I screamed with delight... camera, camera....and she froze while I turned it on. It seemed like it took so long to power up. But here it is for the whole world to see...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Think Spring

So, if you read my December 25th post, you'll see my sister gave me a table scape formula for the hallway table in my main entryway. In preparing for the up-coming baby shower, I picked up this wreath and lamb and put the paper shoes in my big glass for now. I'll keep my eye out for potpori in pastel colors. Do you like? This will also serve as my Spring/Easter display. I think it's cute.

My friend Linda is in the hospital today. She had a major operation early this morning. Her hubby sent out a note to everyone saying she's doing well but she has to stay in the hospital for 2 nights. He said she's not very happy about that, so she must be feeling pretty good. Anyway, instead getting her a card/flowers etc, I'm making her a little get well quilted table centerpiece. I picked up these batiks and I stitched out some cute sewing themed embroidery designs. These are just the samples. I'll restitch in blue (Linda's fav. color) cut them apart, and sash. I'll put this all together tomorrow and be ready to deliver later this week. I think it'll be nice. Yes, 2 of the designs are upside down. But that's because I didn't cut the fabric when I re-hooped. These designs are sweet. Click on the graphic to enlarge...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tissue anyone?

I'm following my 25 weeks group... and they set out a requirement that we make 6 tissue holders in the month of January. So different little patterns for tissue holders have been suggested. Today, I thought I'd try one that somebody said was too friggy. It has a flap for a cover. I was in my sewing room and I did one, in 4 minutes flat. Really. It's so simple... So I made 5 plus the one I made last week. If you are into origami, and have a 5.5" x 21" piece of fabric. Give it a try. It's the neatest thing... I love easy projects like this that look hard, but are a snap. The picture in the pattern link is better than mine. I need to post this picture in my 25 weeks group file as proof I did my January project.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Baby Shower

We're planning a baby shower for Baby A after she arrives. My sister found this paper shoes idea. Isn't it cute. I got "It's a Girl" ribbon at Michaels and the paper and buttons and bows at the dollar store. We'll use these as favors or decorations.

I also purchased a set of pink stacking boxes. I'm not sure what I'll use them for, but I'll think of something.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The 25 weeks before Christmas

By noon today, we had driven Patience to Saint John and returned back, and gone for a 40 minute walk at the Orena and had lunch all made. This afternoon was spent quietly surfing the internet, and cleaning up my sewing room. The snow is falling gently.

I found myself sewing in my dreams all night last night. See, I joined a yahoo group called 25 weeks. It's a sewing/quilting group who are planning to sew small projects/gifty things for each the 25 weeks preceeding Christmas. So the group is laying out a strategy..... Plan, prepare and execute. Plan means to decide all the projects you want to make. Prepare means gather all the materials you will need, and put it in a ziplock bag and put in a holding bin. Execute means that in July, we start to make these 25 projects, week by week. Many members are contributing patterns they created and are giving links to other public patterns. It's fun to see them. I contributed the luggage tag pattern since I was one of the 2 designers. So in my semi-sleep stage, I was thinking of my list of 25 items that I'll plan to make. Right now, on my list, I have table runners, owls, luggage tags, nesting cosmetic bags, baby bibs on my list. I need about 20 more items.

Look at these owls, aren't they precious.

Tomorrow I work for half a day. Well, not quite half a day... after I get my run in, I have a meeting to go to for half an hour. Then I need to hit the dollar stores looking for fun things for the kids lunches on Thursday. Glad you mentioned the chocolate rocks Donna.... I almost forgot..

Monday, January 21, 2008

Getting ready for baby.

Patience came home at the last minute for the weekend. So we worked on getting ready for baby at Grammie's house. We set up the new pack and play. What a good deal. I bought it second hand from a guy at work. It's just like new. It is set up as a bassinet right now, but when the baby is 15 lbs, it must be taken out.. I made receiving blankets and a pad to fit over mattress. I think I'll make 2 fitted sheets too. It's not the same size as a crib mattress, or the same thickness either. We take Patience back to Saint John tomorrow morning.
Next on my list is to make fabulous lunches for Jessica and Emily who are coming through on Thursday, enroute to Bangor. There, they'll be taking an airplane to Florida, where they'll be catching a cruise.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Luggage Tags for Quilt Canada NL

Last summer, my friend Linda Hubbard and I developed a simple pattern for a fabric luggage tag. We sent it to all the guilds in NB to ask if they would participate in sending a common item to put in the goodie bags for Quilt Canada. This morning, 9 quilters gathered at the local Sobeys Community Room to make quilted luggage tags on behalf of the Fredericton Quilters Guild. I can't wait to see which one I get in my bag. It might be none of these since each of several guilds in NB are making them. I heard one guild made all pink tags. I hope I get one of those... Here is a picture of the ones we made this morning.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quilting DVD

Well I got my Pajama Quilter DVD yesterday. I have decided that this year, I'm going to work on my free-motion machine quilting skills. So I ordered this DVD after seeing another quilters blog where she showed a fantastic sample after watchint the dvd once. Well I watched it off and on since yesterday. It does look easy enough. Part of the practice, is to practice on a whiteboard with dry erase makers, so off to Walmart I went, and to pick up these training materials. The gal in the video makes it look so easy. All her samples are shown on the longarm quilt machine, but the techniques apply to the domestic machines. So I plan to practice a bit in the next 2 days on the whiteboard. My instinct is to jump right on the machine and try it... but I've got the whiteboard stuff now, so I'll do that.

I'm so proud of Mert. All week he's been painting our 2 upstairs bathrooms. Yesterday we decided to change the light fixtures. I had the idea we were going to call an electrician in to change the fixtures, but he did it himself. What a guy. One of the bathrooms is totally done now, and we bought new accessories tonite. It looks so much nicer. We have the curly energy lightbulbs in each of the 3 globes over the mirror. They don't look too bad. We discovered, there are different colors of white light bulbs... some look yellowish when lit...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hodges comes for a visit

Today Grace and Caitlin came for a visit while their brother went to play hockey. Grace and Caitlin made yummy chocolate cupcakes. They made some for Mitchell too. I forgot to take a picture. In their rush to get all dressed and ready for daddy, Grace forgot Hodges here. He's a special little kitty that she sleeps with (along with a dozen other animals). Well I asked her if Hodges could sleep with Grammie and Grampie tonite. She said yes. So at first hodges said, I want to sleep with Angel, Graces other cat that stays here all the time. Then Hodges said, I want to sleep with Grampie cause Angel sleeps with Grampie every night. Then Hodges said, I really really want to sleep with grammie tonite. So Hodges will sleep with grammie tonite on her pillow..

Oh, the things we will do to avoid driving a forgotten toy home...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sewing little things.

The storm was bad, but not as bad as some others we had last month. Mert snowplowed out the yard early and the big plow went by early, so we were able to get out to the main road. We ventured to the hardware stores in search of new bathroom light fixtures. There were very few people in the stores. After visiting Home Depot, and Kent Building supply, we ended up getting something at good old Canadian Tire. So after we came home, Mert spent 3 hours doing cutting in and trim in one of the bathrooms. We should be ready to put up the fixtures tomorrow.

While he did that, I went and enjoyed a nice lunch with my friend Jane. We went to Panos, who feature greek food. Always a good quick lunch, but we stayed and stayed and chated. She had to get back to work for 2, or I think we'd still be there. I was going to go for a walk at the new Orena, but when I got there, the track was closed because of the grand opening preparations. Sew, I came home and finished a couple of little projects. I'll get back to quilting tomorrow..

I finished mp3 bags for some girls I work with. Julie, Ann and Lindsay. Lindsay's last name starts with L, and I couldn't resist using the double initial. Doesn't it look cute. I also saw on another quilters blog last night where she made coasters to go with her tea cozy. What a great idea, so I whipped up some to go with Julie's tea cozy.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's a run day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Snowy day in Freddy Beach

I feel like I've used this title before. Yes, it is snowing again... Blizzarding, I should say. Yesterday was so nice. It was clear and sunny. The sidewalks were 95% clear, so guess what I did. I put on my lipsil and went for my run outside. OMG, that felt so good. I didn't run as far as I normally do. I ran a loop that I know is to be about 3km and it was all sidewalk - no trail. I was sweaty and happy when I got home. Oh, I hope I can run outside again this month. It was enough to purk my spirits.. for a day or 2 anyway.

I'm making a tea cozy for my friend Julie. She was whining today that her green tea, gets cold while she's waiting for it to steep. So I said I'd make her cozy. I asked her if she wanted frilly... and she said, you know that's not my style... So here's the cozy I made for her using a pattern off of Mary Engbright's free craft patterns website. It's called the Bloomin Tea Cozy. I didn't put the flowers etc, as I was looking for a quick project. I looked through my stash and found this fish fabric. I think it's fabulous and it has 2 focused scenes... I did free motion around the pink eninimi and the crazy prickly fish. and all the other fish too.. It's cute and functional. I think her kids will love it...I'll give it to her on Thursday when we go out for lunch. She's buying.

I need to take a break from making quilts for a day or two. I love making little projects. So I'm also making her and the other 2 girls I work with my original MP3 bags. It's a little pattern I made for myself to solve a problem of tangled earphones in my purse. Because of my juicebag fame and the Canadian Living article coming up, Julie now teases me and wants to know if I'm going to contact Canadian Living with my mp3 bag. I'll just post a pic of the 3 bags tomorrow when they are done. I just have the initial embroidered on them right now. Actually I might make one for CL and send it, who knows... I could use the money!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Burnt Stew

Today was a quiet day. I went for my Orena walk early today, so that I could watch Mitchell's hockey practice on the other side of the rink after my walk. Poor Mitchell.. when I got there, he had just had a crash, wipeout, when another little timbit crashed into him on the ice. He was out of sorts for the entire practice.

Then I had a pretty quiet day, surfing, surfing, watching TV, etc. I decided we'd have stew for supper. I put on the stew to seer and then put water in the plan to let it simmer for a while. Simmer, all right.. The darn pot boiled dry and it was just starting to smoke when I went up to check on it... some 45 minutes later. It's hard to adjust the big burner on our stove to low, low, low.... Darn. It took exactly 1 minute for the house to fill with smoke, and by this time, I'm putting the burnt stew pot out on the deck, in a pile of snow and using a tea towel to make a human fan, fanning the smoke outdoors. Got the picture... So, we had a u-bake pizza for supper.

I can't tell you the last time I burned supper... Must have been 10 years ago. Mind you, I don't cook that many suppers by myself anymore, but I take all the credit for burning this one...

Friday, January 11, 2008

I love Fridays.

The Friday girls were over, and Donna, they loved the Winter tablescape you put together for me for Christmas. They were impressed with the idea that you change it out with the seasons. They want you for a sister... I said no, no, she taken. They love the feathers over the snow that you sent along.. and they think that feathers would be appropriate for easter/spring too... you know, chickens.-.feathers...rabbits - feathers, well you get the picture.

While having coffee, they also looked at my window and fabric for my new kitchen curtain. They suggested, and I agree, that it should be a roman blind style rather than a frilly style. And after I provided samples of fabric, they all confirmed on one swatch. I love it too but was afraid it might be toooo much color. It was nice to get their's like free decorator consulting. See the swatch, it's gives nice color up against the cupboards and the new wallpaper. I like it I'm off to Fabricville tomorrow to purchase the fabric and the other stuff required to make the Roman blind for the kitchen. That'll be a project for next week or the week after the St. Dunstan's quilt is done.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

To run, or not to run... that is the question!

So, is running better for you than walking? I guess the answer lies in the angle from which you look at it. I started to run, just to see if I could. When I learned that I could run, I thought I'd continue because it would help me loose weight. I'm now in my 3rd year of running and I've been faithful running between 4 and 5 km's per run, 3 times per week. I walk 3 times a week as well. Well, I haven't lost much weight, although I do think it slimmed my heavy legs up a bit. I recently read in prevention magazine, a suggestion that waking is better for burning fat and calories etc than running. By running, I could be sabbotaging my weight loss efforts. Does that even make sense? Could that be my problem? I really enjoy running. I think I'd rather run than walk. If I stop running, will I ever start running again. What do I do. I'm contemplating cutting my runs down to 2 times per week, and increase my walks by 1.

Argh....what it must be like not to ever have to watch your weight!!!
Other than being frustrated with my weight, I had a good sewing day.

---St. Dunstan's Quilt - got 70 9-patches and 50 4-patches done today.

---Baby A's quilt. I think it needs another narrow border, so I'm doing that tomorrow. I made a kleenex holder out of scraps from Baby A's quilt.

---And I embroidered a thistle family logo on 2 aprons for a friend of mine. Payment was a bottle of sparkling wine.... yum, my favorite.

Tomorrow, Friday, I'm hosting the Friday Girls quilt group. I'm anxious to see what everyone is up to after the holidays.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

French Rose Bud quilt top finished

I worked for the past 2 days to put this top together. It's sweet. The roses will bloom after it gets washed a couple of times. The raw edges of the flowers and the inner flowers are clipped. So fraying is expected and will soften the look. It needs to be layered with batting anc backing and quilted before it can be washed. I'll just do that next week. So tomorrow and probably Thursday is dedicated to the St. Dunstan's Burgoyne Surround quilt. I expect to put about 4 or 5 solid days into sewing that top.

Have you ever heard of a Pack 'n Play? I had never heard of it, until Carrie suggested that having one would be useful. It is a portable playpen. I've been looking at them online and I agree, since Baby A. will likely spend nights in all our homes, it would be good to have a portable crib. So we think we'll get one instead of putting up a full time traditional crib. We have a crib, but don't really have room in our spare room. When we had it up before, we had a twin bed in the spare room. Now it's a queen bed so just having a portable device will be great for us.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fabric, Fabric, and more fabric

Well, I went to Fabricville this morning to look for fabric to make a baby carrier/sling for Patience. Special fabric that stretches across the grain and is stable on the grain was required. I was lucky, I this blue fabric on sale for $4.00 per m. Patience likes it so I'll make that next month when she's here. I bought a pattern off ebay for the sling.

I also came across some seersucker and washable silk to make sundresses for Jessica, Emily, Caitlin and Grace. I'll make Mitchell a pair of PJ's too. I got 7 different pieces of 2 meters each (but healthy cuts!!). They are blue, turquiose, pink, purples. The lower picture is a picture of pink sundresses I made them last year.

I also started another Burgoyne Surround quilt today. I decided that the background fabric was too thin on the other one I did for St. Dunstans. It was a hard decision to call, but now that I've started, I'm glad I did. And I have the 12 white base blocks cut for Baby Aurora's French Rose quilt. So I have my work cut out for me this week.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Caitlin visits

Caitlin came for her visit today. First thing we did was make a list of all the things she wanted to do. We did all the usual stuff like sewing, cooking, origami, but today we added something new. Knitting. She was thrilled to learn how to knit. After making our list, that was the first thing she wanted to do. We learned how to do the plain knit stitch. Eager as she was, it's hard to hold long grammie sized needles. We got through a few rows, then she called enough for the day and we went up to the sewing room.

This is my "Oodles of Poodles" of fabric that I bought in Saint John at the quilt retreat in October. It has 18 fat quarters of these very cute fabrics. I've picked out 12 of the 18 fabrics and I've decided to do a French Rose baby quilt for Baby A who will be grandchild # 6. This baby quilt will probably only have 12 roses. We'll see when I work out the sizes.

For granddaughter number 2 7th birthday in July, Emily, I'll be making a super twin size of the French Rose quilt using floral fabrics. She's a big girl now and saw this quilt at our quilt show last spring. It happened to win the "Viewers Choice" grand prize ribbon. This quilt was made by Willa MacLean, a very talented and funny quilter who lives close by. She adapted the pattern to do it in a "quilt-as-you-go" fashion. It lets you work on the stipling block by block.

A visit from Mitchell

Friday, I had a visit from my grandson, Mitchell. He loves to come visit. He always greets me with a hug around my legs. He such a cutie. We did a variety of things including sewing a fluffy soft pillow cover for a round bolster pillow for his bed, and making muffins. Didn't you love it when you were a kid, and you could lick the bowl and lick the spoon. Because he's a triplet, its rare he gets both the bowl and spoon at home. Today, Caitlin comes for her visit. Yesterday, when Mert brought Mitchell home, she told her mother she wanted to go to bed - now - so that it could be tomorrow - and her turn to come to Grammie's... That is so funny. So, our activities for the day will be cooking, sewing. I might try her on knitting. Since I'm knitting baby Aurora's hat, she and I can spend half an hour knitting.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

City digs out.

Well, what I've learned about all this snow, is that, when it snows, I sew. I finished my second quilt top this week. It's the Burgoyne Surrounded for the St. Dunstan's Quilters. They get together once a week to quilt as a group, but most are too aged to sew any more. I really like the different way the borders are on this quilt. A great to showcase great quilting in the borders, and the rest is straight lines. The ladies will like that.

I had a little visitor today. Since school is starting on Monday, I had Grace come over today to do her craft. Patience bought her this cute make it yourself Ballerina kit. Grace loved, loved, loved doing it. Great Gift Pear... Tomorrow Mitchell will come for a visit after his doctor appointment. On Saturday, Caitlin will come over. We'll be making fuzzy soft pillows.
My Aunt Mae sent me a card - or I thought it was for me. Inside was a baby card and a note to Patience. I was thrilled with the homemade look of the card. Isn't it cute.
I've started to work on Baby Aurora's hat to go with her sweater. It'll only take me a few days... I'll post a picture when I'm done. The pattern is an old pattern that my late sister in law, Zelda, gave me years ago.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, Happy New Year everyone. It's a bright sunny day which is always a great way to start a new year. After going out to hear Elvis at Franks Finer Diner last night and eating a deep fried seafood platter, I was so glad to go to the Gym this morning. A great ending to the old year, and a great beginning. I need to recalibrate my Nike sensor. This morning, I had the first run using it and it said that I went 4.7 kms but I only went 4.0 on the treadmill. So that'll be a good excuse to get outdoors for a run to recalibrate. I have a measured km that I use for calibration only and it's winter friendly so tomorrow might be that day. My running goal for the year 2008 is to get to 1000 kms according to my nike sensor. I'm at 500kms now.

I'm making a list of sewing projects to finish, and start. I really would like to improve my machine quilting so I ordered an instructional video. My inspiration was from this entry into a quilters blog. This was her first time trying after looking at the video and I think it's awsome. I can't wait to get started. Yesterday, I finished the borders on my Holly Goose Chase quilt from the Thimbleberries Classic book. I thought I might get it done for this Christmas, but it'll be done for next Christmas. It still needs the holly. I think I'll try to machine quilt it myself using free motion feathers. Get it, geese, feathers... we'll see..

In the month of January, I have to finish the St. Dunstan's Burgoyne Surrounded quilt top. I also have 2 small quilts to make for Baby Aurora, one for her place and one for mine. They won't take long. I also have a Christening gown to make for her. That will be fun. I love making little dresses. We're going to try to have the baptism on the same day as my niece graduates from UNB. May 29th, 2008.