Category Archives: Everyday Life

Oh Summer, where are you going?

Right now I am in the throws of getting ready for back to school. Oh the prep work for back to school!  Schedules, calendars, lesson/unit/long range plans, first classes, etc.   But along with that comes prepping the new guild schedule/program/brochure, finishing a commission quilt I am working on, back to school shopping, while still enjoying the last bit of summer that remains.

august

During Ella’s naps I try to spread my time between the projects.  A little school here, a little quilting here, a little housework there, and guild planning also….there.  And its not like I’ve been procrastinating and waiting till August to work on stuff.  I’ve been working on guild stuff and school stuff since the beginning of July, its just been in smaller chunks of time instead of a few full days and I’m done.

But with all that, Ella and I have had a great summer together.    We have gone biking most days or for walks, visited friends and were outside as much as we could be.  Ella and I just wrapped up swimming lessons at the pool which was a great time.  She loves the water and was happy to be in it – though it was rather cold so she was good after 30 minutes.  We visited the zoo quite a bit as well.  She is now becoming quite interactive with the animals – well as far as pointing and banging on the glass is interacting.  The spray park was another destination that we went to this summer and she had such fun, though she hasn’t quite realized that the slide is something you go down, not climb up.  Its been a rather warm summer for us, so we were thankful we splurged and got one of those little kiddie pools.  We play in it most afternoons.  To clarify, Ella plays and I get splashed.

Even though there seem to be much to do, and everyday I seem to find something new I have to do, it just doesn’t matter because we are going to enjoy this last week of summer.

 

 

 

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Let Me Introduce You To….

The Sowers of Jireh.  A friend of mine introduced me to the group a little while ago.  She brought in some of their amazing products and told the story of how they began and the work they are doing.

The Sowers of Jireh began October 2011 in San Vicente, El Salvador by a group of determined young Calgarians. It started with a dream of starting a sewing centre where women could come and learn a skill, or use one they already had. This in turn would help them support their families. Even more, it would give them hope, confidence and a chance at a better life.

Is Sowers a misprint? Nope. Just a play on words. Jesus tells a story about a sower in the Bible. As he sowed his seeds, some fell on rocks, some fell in the ditch, some among thorns and some in rich fertile soil. We, like the sower, are trying to plant and cultivate ideas, dreams and skills among some impoverished people in El Salvador so that they can grow and flourish.

They have some terrific products on their website like their quilts, bracelets, silk screen items and some fun coasters.  You can even design your own quilt.  They give you plenty of customization options with their products.  You can even design your own shirt to silk screen.

Please check them out.  They are making some great things and doing some amazing work.

 

 

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2013 in review

I can’t believe that the year is over and we are just beginning 2014. Honestly, where did the time go?

2013 seemed to be jammed packed this year.  It seems like it was only yesterday that I was ill with morning….all day sickness, that Nate helped supervise a junior high ski trip, that I somehow was getting bigger and bigger daily, we completed our nursery and got ready for our new arrival and taught my last day – for a while.

Then Ella came in June and everything changed.  It feels like our lives finally got interesting once she arrived and there has not been a dull moment since and makes us wonder what we did with our time before.  Her laugher, her smile, those cheeks, the sounds she makes, and her wiggles when she gets excited.  She has been a blessing to us.

I worked through out the year on only a few quilts and spent quite a bit of time hand stitching or my newest in front of the tv activity – crocheting.  Unfortunately, those projects aren’t finished yet so I don’t have anything to show you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for visiting my little blog.  I love to read your comments and get excited when you “like” a post.  I am so grateful and humbled by those of you who follow me and thank you very much for that.

Every year WordPress.com puts out these stat reports and I must admit I enjoy reading them and seeing them because I am often floored by how many people visit and from all over the world.  Nigeria, Indonesia, Argentina?  Really?  Wow – thank you so much.

Again, all I can say is thank you so much.  For following me, for leaving your input, for your kind words, your likes and being part of my life.

Hope you all have a blessed new year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 31,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Crafting is a Sport

How many of you have heard something to the affect of, “Oh, you are JUST crafting, well I am ___________ (insert sport/athletic event/physical activity).”  Trying to make you feel as though you are doing something, well,  below what they are doing?  Well I have.  And I am here to set the record straight.

CRAFTING IS A SPORT. 

Myself, I am a quilter/sewist/a new crocheter.  I have dabbled in jewellery making, knitting and done some serious scrap booking, but I take my quilting/sewing and crocheting seriously right now so my examples will be based on them.

As I said CRAFTING is a SPORT.  According to the dictionary the definition of a sport is

“an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

Well come on people, crafting totally involves skill.  You’ve seen people’s quilts and think, “how did they get the points so perfect,” or “look at that free motion quilting,” or “really? that is hand quilted”.  Or people’s crocheted works – I still marvel after the crocheted Sheldon Cooper  I saw.  Those all takes skill.  What about  people who make beautiful jewellery?  Or scrapbook pages?  My friend Michelle and Paula are amazing knitters – AH.MAZE.ING.  Painting, clothing making, it all takes skill.

Ok, next part of the definition….competes against each other.  Every guild/club/studio has competitions, if it is viewer’s choice, or meeting a club challenge, or being entered into juried shows where there is a prize – even if it is just bragging rights.    I know ladies who stay up until 3-4am to make sure they have something to enter for the competitions.  There is competition.  And like sports you congratulated the winner and shake their hand, but in your own mind you are totally thinking how the victory should have been YOURS!

Physical exertion?  Have you ever hauled around a king sized quilt with about 1000 safety pins in a domestic sewing machine with only 6-7″ throat space between your needle and the machine?  Then you know all about physical exertion.  Aching shoulders, tired arms, tension across your neck for hours on end- physical exertion.   What about basting that king size quilt?  Huddled over it, feet getting sore, back aching, fingers past the point of no return then you have felt the burn.  Or the tension in your wrist from cutting out little paper flowers for scrap booking and all the glueing.

What about injuries?  They are totally in crafting as well.  There is blood from needles being stabbed in your fingers, or pins when it comes to basting.  There are scissor mishaps too.  I’ve seen people get attacked by their sewing machine needles when one breaks or when it runs over their finger.  There has also been those dreadful pictures of a misguided rotary cutter and fingers….oh I shudder just thinking about that and all those stitches.  And I’ll be honest with you, I think I just caused myself tennis elbow from all the crocheting and hand stitching I’ve been doing.  And what will I do to fix it?  Maybe a brace, a regiment of icing and physio?  Will I stop?  NO WAY!  Because if Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) can play through his injuries and still win – then so can I.

CRAFTING IS A SPORT, plain and simple!

 

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Filed under Crochet, Everyday Life, Quilting, Sewing

Quilt Retreat at Paula’s

This last week was the annual Fall quilt retreat in Sundre.  But I just couldn’t bring myself to go.  There was many reasons that made me lean towards not attending, but Ella was my biggest.  I just couldn’t leave her behind.  I couldn’t bear to not see her wake up in the morning or at night time or be near her.

I shared my fear with Nate and he suggested I stay home and have my own quilt retreat to give me a little break and relaxation but where I could still be close to Ella.  I shared my plan with my friend Paula who thought it was a great idea and decided that it should be at her house.  It was close to home, about 5 minutes away, and if there was a problem with Ella it would be easy for me to run home and quickly.

We met up on Friday afternoon, as my mom came over to spend some time with Ella, and got started.   Paula got right to cutting a fat quarter quilt in flannel and I went to work on my Trip Around the World project (sorry no pictures till June) and some Swoon blocks. We visited, and pieced/cut, ate some fab food, and stayed up really late – well really late for us.

We started early on Saturday too.  I finished my Swoon blocks, though it seems my staying up caused some problems  when assembling one of them.  When in the swing of things I can do one in about an hour – we timed it.

I also started a project that I’ve carried with me for 2 years now.  Windy Day was a Moda Bakeshop project that I loved. Though there were some complications that I didn’t anticipate. I’m not sure if it was me and the instructions or the instructions and me.  But I’m happy with the outcome.

I also finally got started on my birthday project, Tula Pink’s Anchors Aweigh.  Honestly I was saving that quilt for quilt retreat.  I was able to complete 5 rows.  Row 1-4 is shown below and I have row 8 complete as well.  It was a lot of work, each row has subsections in it that you assemble to complete the row.  It was a like a puzzle and I worked hard and making sure all my little squares lined up.

We had a wonderful time, a truly wonderful time.  We sipped tea, watched the snow fall, visited, laughed, ate lovely food, were cozy with the fire place going, listened to jazz, and shared time together.

I can’t wait till we go it again.

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Where did October go?

Seriously, where did October go?  My last post was in the middle of October and I haven’t been writing since.  Its not that I haven’t been doing things that I wanted to share, but I’ve been so busy doing those things that I haven’t had the time to write.

October was a touch busy.  In the guild that I belong to, The Flying Needles Quilt Guild, I was preparing for a demo that I had to present.  Reading and re-reading my demo notes and preparing my demo samples and trying to stay within my 20 minute time limit – self inflicted so I didn’t ramble on – it happens – look its happening right now.  Our theme for this year is Quilts Around the World and our big challenge for the year was to create a Trip around the world quilt using a minimum of 4 blocks, setting is up to you, block size is up to you.  I did a demo on the TATW block using that fab tube method.

Ella and I also went and watch Nate run his first 5k race with work.  I thought more people would have come out and cheered them on, but when the race is in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday it is a bit tricky.  But we were there and cheered as every runner and walker went by.

Nate Running

Don’t you think Nate looks too happy to be running a 5 k?  Though this photo was taken within the first 5 minutes of the run – so….

I also learned (again) to crochet.  I learned back when I was young and my Grandma taught me.  I remember making a maroon rug for my doll house.  Since trying it again I’ve crocheted an infinity scarf and two slouchy beanies.

We had Thanksgiving and friend visiting for Teacher’s Convention, a class on how to introduce solids to your baby, and of course Halloween.

Halloween was very fun….only because I got to dress Ella up in a fun ladybug suit and she didn’t mind it at all.

You may think that in this photo her legs are lifted in the air.  They are not, the suit is that puffy.

It was very fun to dress her up and take her around the mall with all the people fawning over her.  She was cute.  Can’t wait till next year – yes I have her costume already :)

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Inner Conflict: part 2

I shared with you the other day about this conflict that I’ve been having with trying to manage my “free time” also known as nap time.  I also shared this statement.

 If there was a project that people I knew were doing I wanted to do it too no matter what the skill level.  I joined every club, swap and group I could find, just to be apart of the group – to be included.

This is also starting to change for me.  I still have this longing to be included, to share the experience of trying to complete a project – the trials and tribulations but…how do I say this….some of the projects don’t quite interest me.  Harsh?  I know – I feel awful for saying it.  Before Ella, yep this again has to do with our new addition, I would participate no matter what.  And you know what?  I have quite a few tops that I think will remain tops only.  I don’t have any real desire right now to finish them, because honestly – where would I put them?  What would I do with them? And if I am being completely honest, I don’t like some of them – but I did them to be part of a group.

Now, I want to work on things that I want to do.  I’ve been hoarding projects for years now.  Ones that I’ve always wanted to do.  I have the pattern and even the fabric but just haven’t done them.  I’ve been working on gifts for other people and those group projects, but haven’t done a lot that are for us.  In fact I’ve been neglecting Nate’s quilt for  A LONG TIME NOW!  And I want to complete it – but those ‘deadlines’ for others seem to dictate the schedule.

I think I’m going to start doing the projects that I WANT TO DO.  I can still be part of a group, by physically being part of it and hearing about the woes and sharing suggestions (if they are needed), but I don’t think I need to work on the same project.

I’m discovering this because the time I have to quilt/sew is short and I would rather spend it doing a project that interests me rather than something that doesn’t really hold my attention and I don’t enjoy doing.

With this all being said – I wonder what I should start first?

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Filed under Everyday Life, Quilting