Sunday, November 25, 2007
Many of our family heirlooms are in Florida and it will be my job, and my brothers when they get there, to weed out what needs to be kept and what needs to be tossed/donated/given away.
There are a couple of weird little chairs that have seats upholstered with needlepoint, the backgrounds worked by my grandmother. And the silver tea set that I only remember being used once but is quite lovely. Then there are the soup tureens and crystal that my father collected that do not fit into the lifestyles of this generation. And there are the shoe boxes full of undocumented photographs and the bookcases full of books that will need to sorted. What about the tea cup collection, the battered 78's or the evening gowns my mother wore on the cruises they took together? All will need to be evaluated and disposed of in some manner.
Although I have known for a few years that I would need to do this, I hate it. I feel like I am wiping out part of my father's life and, at the same time, closing out a chapter of my own. To add insult to injury, I will need to travel to Canada after I return to Texas to officially be told the dismal prognosis for his future health and, probably, begin the process to have him transferred to a long term care facility. I know it has to be done but I hate it, hate it, hate it.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Before anyone gets all outraged at my non-traditional celebration or all sad that I won't be at a big meal please remember that I was originally Canadian. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, on Columbus Day Weekend. Those festivities were spoiled for me many years ago because of the job I had that had a huge deadline every year on the day after Columbus Day. With a four hour drive each way to my parent's home and the huge deadline the next day I rarely enjoyed myself. Many years I would be at work that Tuesday until mid-night (when the system closed) trying to blance the Bank's budget submissions. Not conducive to a relaxing Thanksgiving meal! American Thanksgiving, while I was married, always meant another long drive each way to my in-law's home and spending four days with them. They are very nice people but there is only so much I can take of whiny sisters-in-law and long discussions about people I knew nothing about.
Be that as it may, please accept my best wishes for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving day for everyone and a calm and joyful holiday season.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
First up - Perpetual Kid at http://www.perpetualkid.com/index.asp?pageaction= some of the items offered for sale are bandaids with fake tattoos on them, fake tattoos for the eldery and gingerbread men cookie cutters wth parts missing. A little twisted, I admit, but a lot of fun none the less.
Sew, Mama, Sew is posting tutorials available on the web all this month. There really is a lot of stuff out there ... even things that I have no interest in ever making like felt donuts or recycling a bath mat. Check it out at http://www.sewmamasew.com/blog2/.
Another site, by a fellow Kngwood resident, has the most beautiful and simple things for making or just admiring. Check out A Little Hut at http://alittlehut.blogspot.com/.
And have you seen the latest Penguin pictures at Antarctic diary (http://antarctic-diary.blogspot.com/)?
Don't forget the funniest blog in the internet - http://bitsandpieces1.blogspot.com/ just remember that it is not for kids as some of the material is definitely for adults only.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Did I get an education!
Carter Smith is an incredibly talented shibori dying artist who creates high end garments and beautiful silk banners. His website (http://www.shibori.com/) shows some of his garments and other work and it is awsome. Check out the K dress and see if you can figure out how he constructs it from squares of fabric with little or no scraps. It's a bit of a mind bender.
Cut to the meeting yesterday. The talented Suzy Seed took a class with Carter Smith at the Surface Design conference this summer and came back with a top that is constructed with a large square of fabric and a small square of fabric. The only leftover fabric comes from an oval cut out of the top for a neck hole plus two scraps from cutting out holes for your wrists. It is a very clever design that anyone can do if they read and follow Suzy's instructions. I failed to follow her directions and made a couple of mistakes this evening when I tried out the design. I've asked Suzy if I can publish her instructions so that we can all enjoy this design. I'll post a photo of how mine came out when I post the instructions.
If you are intrigued by this design idea, experiment with paper first. Take a large square of paper at 8" x 8" plus a small square at 4" x 4". Sew/Tape up the edges. Cut a slit at the waist then cut out an oval for the neckline and two chunks for wrists. It will definitely make you beieve in a fourth dimension or alternative universes.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
This time Leah organized a Christmas themed trade. A few of us signed up and were paired with each other for a more directed trade. I offered to trade with two others and gave them both a choice of a funky little purse or a more Christmasy item. They both opted for funky little purses. If they hadn't I would have traded them one of the embroidered poinsetta wall hangings I have been trying, unsuccessfully (so far) to complete. Here are the purses I mailed out today..
That green felted purse ended up with a large felted flower on it centered with a wonderfully large glass bead that reflected all the colors in the wool.
I hope they both enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed making them and admiring them as mantle decorations... and that they get used!
On a lighter note... The girls and Alex have been showering me with a lot of attention the past few days. In the evening I have ended up with all three of them curled up next to and on top of eah other on the couch. As I was trying to take a picture of the doggie pyramid, Alex decided that he had had enough of that and slipped off the couch to the doggie bed pile under the TV to get a nap.
That's me on the left, working on my lap top with my mouse on its mouse pad to the right of the girls. It's sometimes quite a stretch over their sleeping forms to get to the mouse but they don't seem to mind getting pushed out of the way every once in a while... they just crawl back to their former position regardless of my wishes. With Alex in the pie with them I have to really stretch to reach the mouse.
Ah.. the little prince wondering why the wacky lady with the big lap is flashing lights at him again.
Are they cute or what?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Fast forward to the night before my surgery. I was sorting through the loot I had picked up from the Quilt Festival and found the two bag patterns I had purchased. Lo and behold but they were from the same designer as the pattern my friend had shown me when she first arrived. The company is called Quilts Illustrated (http://www.quiltsillustrated.com/index.htm). The bag she loved was the Bow Tucks Tote. I picked up the Weekender Tote and the The Desk Deli. All the samples at Festival had fabric kits available for them in fully co-ordinated color ways. They were also selling Pellon's fusible fleece, which they recommend as the inter-facing for these bags, which made me ask Paul to pick up some from WalMart so I could try these bags.
The Weekender uses fabric for the exterior that I received from my Fall Swap partner in Florida. I had just enough for the exterior and the handles so I don't have enough for the luggage tag that the designer included in the pattern. I used some fabric I bought a while ago for another project for the lining and added a small zippered pouch and an attached change purse to round out the tote. I used the fusible fleece to interface the interior and exterior but I did not use it to interface the pockets... that just seemed like over kill to me. The button is really fabulous but I think I need to move it up a little on the bag so that it fits better with the tote. I added, as suggested by the designer, a purse bottom made out of two layers of mat board and covered it with the lining fabric.
The Desk Deli uses the fabric from the weekender tote lining for most of the tote. I added another fabric cut on the bias for the trim. I admit that I misread the pattern (or maybe I just skipped over this instruction) but the tote is supposed to have a bottom that is two inches smaller than the top of the tote. Ths means mine does not have the nice slanted sides of the pattern. I also eliminated the fleece interfacing for the exterior and for the pockets to reduce the number of layers my machine would have to plow through. The pattern includes instructions for a two layered napkin and the suggestion that you make up five of them if you are giving this bag to a daily user. The interior pockets are set-up to hold disposable silver ware, the napkin, a blue ice freezer pack, snack bars and other condiments. The interior is large enough to hold a water bottle, a microwave meal and anything else you might want to take with you for an office lunch. I have not made a bag bottom but may in the the future.
These patterns are very well written but do require that you read each instruction in order. If I had, I would have made the adjustment required to the sides of the Desk Deli. Be aware that if you follow all the instructions that your sewing machine will be sewing through up to six layers of fleece so plan accordingly.
Watch out for these patterns if you are interested in well thought out instructions that return good results.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Since surgery on Monday I have spent most my days in a Vicoden fog. Its a great drug but it makes a normal life almost impossible. On the TV show House, the lead character uses Vicoden like candy to combat his pain and still manages to solve great medical mysteries. I, on the other hand, couldn't seem to get the energy to shower or even change clothes without a huge effort. My days have been running like this:
- wake up
- check the time
- is it AM or PM?
- look at wounds
- wiggle out of bed or off couch
- feed the dogs (scatter required amount of dry food around each of their bowls)
- water the dogs (pour water from a pitcher at the bowl and hope it makes it)
- drink something
- take a pill if tummy is sore from getting up and feeding and watering the dogs
- turn on TV/PC/radio
- snuggle down to watch movie/read e-mails/listen to NPR
- fall alsleep
Paul has been a bit of a saint through all this. Although he is working extended hours, he has been here in the evening to make sure I eat something, giving the dogs some much needed loving and running errands. I sent him out on Tuesday to buy some fusible fleece for me so I could try out a couple of patterns I picked up at the Quilt Festival. I don't know what I was thinking as I didn't use it until today.
Today, I decided to stop the pain meds as this morning I actually got out of bed without yelling out in pain. As long as I don't do anything crazy, such as bend over to pick up the dogs or run the lawn mower, I can handle the occasional twinge. I actually did some sewing today and completed a swap package.
Things are returning to normal but I think I will still be taking a couple of naps every day for another week or so until my system returns to normal. I missed the neighborhood group meeting that meets the second Saturday of the month as I napped through the time I should have been showering and getting ready to go there. I had already sent my regrets and I know I couldn't have stayed awake long enough to drive to the meeting but I really missed being there.
I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I will post my swap package and what I have been working on today on Sunday... if I stay awake long enough :-).
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
After the fashion show I got a chance to view some more of the quilts. I seemed to be attracted to those with more linear details. But check out that Moon over Snow one. It makes me cold just to look at it.
I also checked out some of the garments from the Bernina Fashion Show from the evening before. Here are two examples of great concepts gone a little wrong. The gorgeous dress on the left (and sideways... sorry!) did not have a lining and the model apparently showed almost everything on the runway when she adjusted the skirt. The dress was a very impressive garment, totaly wearable and beautifully made.. too bad about the side show. The other one below featured a huge knitted collar on a short jacket. The model wearing it at an informal modelling event mentioned that it was very heavy and itchy but you would never know that from the big smile on her face.
Later I helped to man the ASG booth, looking for new members. The location of the booth stunk and by Friday Evening we had processed only two renewals. If we can't get back on the sales floor, our participation should be limited to a table with brochures rather than tying up so many people's time manning the booth.
We attended the luncheon on Saturday where Charlotte Angotti presented an hour long talk called... 'Why don't you make more quilts?'. My friend is part of Charlotte's posse which meant I got to sit with some of the group at a table right at the front of the hall. Charlotte has a wonderfully easy going style and, although able to complete the most complex patterns, she prefers to work on quilts with simple elements but great results due to creative fabric selection and unique block placement. If you ever get a chance to participate in one of Charlotte's mystery classes you will not be disappointed.
With that class, and a further browse through the sales floor, the International Quilt Festival ended for me for this year. I am incredibly weary and my head is spinning with all sorts of new ideas. I will sleep well tonight before my surgery tomorrow. I hope my recovery is swift as there are so many things I want to get going on. I'm just glad I'm not working these days or I would not have any time to accomplish any of the projects I want to complete.