Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The 'other' Cellar

Angela over at The Country Cellar has some amazing goodies on her Etsy site. She also has a great sale going on to celebrate her grand reopening. Go here to check out her goodies and tell her Claire sent you!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lazy Summer Days

Well, the Canadian National Exhibition started yesterday and in honour of Toronto's 175th birthday, admission was just 1.75. Did I go? No way! Too busy, and hot for me. To a lot of people, this marks the end of summer.

A few weeks ago I was at the African Lion Safari. These two lions have the meaning of 'lazy days of summer' down to a science.
Todays is my mums' birthday. She is 75....and she'll probably threaten to kill me if she reads this post....
The 1930 quilts are almost finished! By tomorrow night they will be complete. There is one more that the lady asked me to just tie, it's really heavy and made with wool and a tweed like material. I think I am going to back it in flannel with no batting and add a few buttons along with the floss. I think it will be a trunk quilt.

Friday, August 21, 2009

After the storm

What a mass-hu-sive (is that a word?) storm we had late yesterday. We went on a bit of a mini quilt shop hop and within an hour of leaving one of the towns (Durham) a tornado touched down. This happened in several of the towns we visited. Seems the storm was just to the west of us all the way home. We got home just in time to make a quick grilled cheese sandwich and fill our bowls with homemade beef stew (I love my crockpot!) and then the power went out. And, the rain came down. And, the wind? That was the scariest part. I thought we were going to loose our maple tree in the backyard at best or the deck at the worst. It was just 7:30 and it was so dark out, it seemed like midnight.

My daughter bought me a rose bush for mothers' day and it has taken quite a while but here is the first bloom. Isn't it gorgeous? I am so glad the storm didn't damage the bush. After all that rain and wind, what a special treat to wake up to.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's been a busy, cool (as in weather ) summer. I gotten a few projects finished and twice as many started. Now, how does that happen?

A while back I posted about a lady at work who wanted me to make her some memory quilts from a few blocks and material found in her mum's basement. This is one of many blocks that I received. None of the centers were done and not one of the blocks would lay flat. Technically you can't call them blocks as they were not stitched onto anything (or can you?). I removed some of the wedges (shiny stuff, thin gauzy stuff, wedges that had peices added to make them the same size). Some of these blocks had 10 wedges, others had 12, still others had 15...what was the original quilter thinking? And, she stitched them together with BLACK thread!!! Most of this material was original 1930's fabric. The pic on the left is of the wedges after I sewed them. On the right, well, they didn't make the final cut. You can see the shininess on the dark green one. I really don't know what kind of fabric that is/was.

This is the final result, a bit hard to see, but I think you can see the wedges. The border has not been added to this pic, but it 3 inches wide and a 1930's print as well. I quilted a flower in the middle of each block, quilted the wedges along the top and the centre circles as well. I then added random white buttons on the sashing. I was asked to make 3 of them and then tie a quilt top after a backing has been added. I don't think I will add batting as the material is a really heavy wool suiting fabric.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Argh!! We have been glittered!

Who invented glitter? Ethan was over on the weekend and we did arts and crafts.....and now there is glitter everywhere! On the dog, on the floor, on me, in the washer....did I mention it was everywhere? He wasn't being bad with it, but oh wow! At one point he went to check on the dog and added even more! And his dad and stepmother think it is hilarious! Guess what they will be getting in the mail? And the best part? We get to do it all over again next week. Grandchildren are so much fun....I'm treasuring every moment.
Ethan has a bottom tooth loose, so a visit from the tooth fairy is imminent. I sent him home with the 'tooth fairy' pillow my boys used. And, he has been fitted for glasses! Our little boy is sure growing up fast.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where does the time go?

I can't believe it has been 6 weeks since my last post. Some things have changed, some have stayed the same.
Lucie is home, came home late February. Life for us now is the 'new normal', whatever that is. Innocence has been lost, but with that loss comes a new realization of just how precious life is. Savour every moment.
I'm still working part time at a local coffee shop, cleaning, no full time job yet, despite 400 + resumes. My arthritis is particularly bad, especially with this cleaning job~~scrubbing floors, hauling garbage and cleaning bathrooms does nothing to help it. I work 2 days a week and it takes me the other 5 days to recuperate. For this I earned a degree?
One of my managers at work lost her mother earlier on this year and while cleaning out the house found some 16 quilts blocks, some hand stitched, some machine stitched. I have not gone through them all, but what I have seen are authentic 1930's fabric. The blocks are 'Dresden Plate'. She would like me to 'do something' with them for herself, her sister and her brother. She also found a lot of fabric~~4 large boxes, 7 or so green garbage bags. She would like to go through them with me and pick out fabric to make quilts for the 5 grandchildren (her mothers'). This should be interesting. I am excited to get started!
Not much else happening here~~I have been working on BOM's and a mystery quilt, but did manage to get 2 tops pieced over the weekend. Hopefully, I'll get to them in the next week or so and get them quilted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'Summer of Sorrow'

That was the name of the documentary that I watched last night. It was on the Irish immigration to Canada and documented one family's journey for a better life. I researched the Irish Diaspora in university and retraced my ancestors steps when I was in Ireland 2 years ago, but nothing prepared me for was so sad....what a wrenching decision for this and many thousands of other families....stay in Ireland and face certain death from starvation and disease or risk an ocean voyage of 2 plus months in cramped, unsanitary 'coffin' ships and face an unknown future and probable death. You'll have to watch it next time it's aired.
Saint Patrick's Day...the one time of year, that I reflect on my ancestors and silently thank them for taking that journey into the unknown.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Banns are posted

Well, the marriage banns are posted...seems this is a custom in England. To back up a bit, my 29 year old son is getting married in November to the love of his life...the word 'smitten' was invented just for them. She is an amazing young woman. Picture this, big tough solider, talking love and menus and seating and dresses....and when he speaks of her, his voice goes down a notch or two. It really is incredible to see and hear him. Who would have thought? Of course, when it gets right down to it, he is staying away from the dress shopping part....he says he is going to defend his adopted country the weekend the girls go dress shopping. Hmm...I wonder who is going to defend the country from him?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cancer won't kill her...

...but I might, or rather my driving. Last night I drove Lucie back to the Lodge in Toronto she is staying at while undergoing radiation treatments. Normally, driving in Toronto doesn't bother me in the least...unless I have a 'back seat driver' (or in this case front)....She took it well when I told to be quiet and let me drive....BUT...the worst part was yet to come...the street we needed to be on to get to the Lodge has no lane markings and it quite confusing..there are not even any solid lines, yellow or otherwise....I ended up going Southbound in the Northbound lanes...oops...okay both our arteries are clear husband tells me later on that the markings are above the street....this is a 5 lane street, in the morning there are 3 lanes going South (into the city) and 2 lanes going North. In the evening it is the opposite. I would have been fine if it had been morning....and yes there was a car coming right at us! Like I said, our arteries are now clear. And, yes she still loves me and is still speaking to me.
We were coming back from an enjoyable day out. We wandered through several malls, and checked out hand bags that we couldn't even afford to look at...(1000.00 plus), had a wonderful dinner at the "Rainforest Cafe"...we were warned by the hostess that there would be thunder and lightening about every ten minutes and 'noisy' animals, but we weren't counting on the animated animals. All in all a wonderful dining experience, and quite reasonable.
We then went to the quilt shoppe, 'Sew Sisters' for a class I was taking, she tagged along 'cuz I was driving, but it was good for her to get out. She sat and embroidered some blocks she was working on, and while I really didn't learn anything from the class, but it was so good to get out as well. (You can only see so many people when you are not working and are stuck at home). I am sure that I will learn something in the upcoming lessons. We are making a 'Neutral Quilt' is absolutley gorgeous, go here for a look You can also see the Block of the Month (Christmas) we are both working on. Yes, we are keeping ourselves busy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's Spring!

And, our Mourning Doves are back! Every year they nest on the window sill outside the sitting room off my bedroom. It's been 4 years now. I don't think it's the same mummy and daddy birds, maybe their offspring? When I first saw them, daddy bird was trying to build a nest right on the sill. As it slopes downward, the nesting material was just falling off to the garden 2 stories below. He kept trying (silly man) and mummy bird, well, what can I say? She was giving him some kind of advice! I got a nesting box that one of my boys had made at Boy Scout camp and after filling it with twigs and grasses, they moved right in. That first year they had 2 babies. There was only one year that they didn't nest here. I really don't know why.
It's -26 C (-15F) with the windchill, but they are back and preparing their nest- a sure sign of spring.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not Divorced...YET!!

Well, my hubby and I spent the weekend cleaning the basement....correction...I did a lot of the cleaning and he spent a lot of time trying to get out of one point yesterday he took a nap...arghh!! He is a pack rat and hates when I throw out or give anything away. And, shelves and cupboards? What are they for? Put stuff on them? Why can't they stay in a box? I don't know how many times he asked me about the DVD's I was giving away..are you sure there are none of the kids on there? Are you sure?? The DVD's are going to Lucie's granddaughter and I'm sure that if there are family videos in the cases they will be returned. My 30 year old son is even worse. He just tosses stuff out of his room into a pile. Several weeks ago I asked him to clean it up. Well, yesterday I shovelled it into garbage bags...don't know what was in there, don't care...was that a work uniform I saw? The warranty for the computer? ooops, the charger for his phone? I said, don't care. The worst part of all that cleaning? When I moved a box, I found that the outside wall was leaking...guess what we will be doing in the spring? Yep, we're still married, but not speaking much to each other right now. And, he's just thought up an excuse to go out!
On a lighter note, I had a great time last Thursday and Saturday. Thursday was demo night and Saturday was Saturday Morning Sampler at my local quilt shoppe Table runners were demo'ed on Thursday night and the Saturday Morning Sampler is a row quilt. Last month I had to make 8-6 inch Churn Dash blocks, next month it's the Log Cabin block-same amount, same size. I'm doing mine in chocolate pinks..... Warning, sunglasses are strongly advised. These are 4 of the 16 already made. The Flying geese blocks are for the border-lots more to be made. And, yes they do have a right side, it just got cut off in the photo. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is my 28 year old son, Ash seen in Afghanistan in 2006. Somewhere in this house, there is a more recent pic, which I hope to post soon.

He is due to be deployed for his third tour in June.

Our prayers and thoughts will follow him.

This is a pic of one of the quilts I completed in 2008. 'Viking Valour' was given to my husbands aunt, Sister Mary for no special occasion, just to let her know that I am thinking of her.

Way too long

Yes, it has been way too long. In short, my 25 year old daughter moved out of the house she shared with her partner of 8 years and moved in with me with their 5 year old son. This was in September, she decided that she had had enough of mother hood and left her son with his dad..her former partner....are you lost, yet? Well, dad had housing and finance issues and by October, he had moved into my house with the 5 year old....still lost? Don't feel bad, just think of what my 5 year old grandson is going through....yes that is him on my quilt that is getting pinned (August post).
In September, my best friend (that's her in my profile pic) was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was found during a routine mammogram, which she has every two years as there is no family history. Quite a shock! She had a lumpectomy the day before Christmas, and 16 lymph nodes were removed. The lymph nodes were free of cancer, thank goodness. Prognosis is excellent. With radiation, the chance of this cancer recurring is 15%. With chemo and radiation, the chance of it recurring is 13-14%. So, she had opted for no chemo. That was a very difficult decision and one we hope won't come back to haunt her. I have helped where I can, but her boyfriend has been a rock through it all (thanks Bill!). Radiation starts on the 17th of February.
So it is now a new year and I hope to post more regularly.
I am still actively looking for work, know anyone that is hiring?? It is soooo frustrating, with over 300 resumes sent out and...nothing....more on the hunt later....