Sunday, May 8, 2022

Two More "Same But Different", Movie, Book, Dog

 Here are two more quilts of the same pattern, but different colour choices.



The pink quilt got a fun back too - made with a floral panel.

Whenever I go to a quilt show I hang around the aisles where they've hung all the quilts that were made at a workshop, so you can see the "same but different" quilts.  I've learned a lot about colour by paying close attention to how other people make use of their fabrics.

MOVIE:
I watched West Side Story and did not enjoy it.  It was depressing.

BOOK:
I finished reading The Diamond Eye.  It was good.  Except for the people who died, everyone lived happily ever after.  ha ha ha

DOG:
OMG, Coco loves doggy daycare.  When I took her last week she was whining in the back seat all the way there.  I thought maybe she needed to poop and I almost stopped at the side of the road.  I didn't (see:  proof right there that I'm a bad dog mom).  When I got her out of the car at the trainers' she was CRAZY to go see the handler, wagging her non-existent tail, rolling over for belly rubs, and jumping up in excitement.  After my little burst of joy at her happiness, I felt a bit like chopped liver.  Sigh.  Taking here here (The Canine Bond) was definitely the right thing to do to help her get out of her anxiety after the traumatic move from Mexico.
Coco's the little one on the right, with one of her new friends. 

SOCIAL OUTING:
Yes.  I went OUT.  The Beach Girls met in St. Jacobs for a celebratory birthday lunch.  Afterwards we hit the outlet mall, and then drove three minutes over to the Market.  I've never been to the market that I can remember.  We got a bonus deal on blueberries so the next time you see me I might have a slight purple tinge. 

And speaking of food, I made a batch of DELICIOUS Maple Buttertart Bars.  If you're like me you might scratch your head a bit over the cranberries, but trust me - these are delicious.

What I should be eating:




Saturday, April 23, 2022

Same but Different, Coco updates, More UFO's

 I love seeing the same quilt made two different ways.  These are customer quilts, but this pattern is definitely on my "to-do" list.

Example #1 - dark geese with light background.


Example #2 - light geese with dark background.

COCO UPDATES

  • She's still terrified of DH.  I keep reminding both of us that we should expect to have 14 years with her, so calm down.  If it takes a year for her to get comfortable, then so be it.
  • We go out in the backyard in the afternoons now.  She kinda plays but not for very long.  She HAS barked at me a couple of times out there.  The first two or three barks really made me laugh - you could tell she hadn't used her vocal cords for quite a while.  You know how weird you sound first thing in the morning?  Transition that to dog barks. 😄
  • Morning walkies can be a bit of an adventure.  She likes to pick things up, carry them for a while, drop them, pick them back up, repeat...  She also likes to eat dirt.  Ick.  That can't be good for her, can it?  She also likes to eat grass (which might explain the middle-of-the-night puking).
  • The most recent "normal dog" event - twice now she's gone and picked up one of her toys from the dining room and brought them to her bed in the living room.  Is she corralling them?  Maybe.
  • She looked like she had fun at doggy daycare this week.  
  • I washed the floors on Easter Sunday.  OMG they were filthy with dog drool.  And that's all we're going to say about my housekeeping.

MORE UFO'S

Yes I need to have my head read.  I have two more ufo's on the go.

I'm working on a quilt for Ukraine with a friend of mine.  We're each making blocks, then we'll assemble them into a nice sized quilt (double bed size I think).  It will go to one of the refugee families.

Working on those blues & yellows has temporarily interrupted my other recent UFO.
I have 98 of those little blue/grey half-square triangle blocks, which are cutoffs from a baby quilt I made a few years ago.

JANUARY 2022


The are getting the log cabin treatment until they hit 7" x 7".  At that point I will make two baby quilts from them.
APRIL 2022

And speaking of Ukraine and the atrocities being wrought by the Russians, I just started to read The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn.  It's too early to say good/bad but it's about a female Russian sniper.
 

Monday, April 4, 2022

Log Cabin & Stars

 This is quilt work from January.  During the pandemic I didn't really have a lot of opportunity to go over quilting ideas in my studio - we were all afraid to get within six feet of each other.  Quilts would get dropped off on the front porch and we'd visit for a little while.  The quilt would stay in quarantine for at least three days, then I'd photograph it and email doodles to the piecer so we could kick around ideas.


This was nicely pieced, which makes it much easier to work on.

Feathers, with some nice contrast from the straight lines.

A beautiful combination of colours, don't you think?

My favorite kind of back...artsy-fartsy, using some leftover blocks. 

WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON...

  • First use of the solar dryer on March 18th.  That's always uplifting because it means sunshine and warm weather.
  • Our s.i.l. passed away from a brain tumor - just heartbreaking, she was only 62.  I contacted the hospice where she spent her last days and they would be grateful for flannel pillowcases.  I had offered them either pillowcases or a Dignity Quilt, but they already have a quilt.  I've got lots of flannel on my shelves (ahem) so that will be my little project for the next few weeks.
  • I'm trying to use up some of the frozen produce from last year - I made a nice pot of asparagus soup, rhubarb muffins, and cherry-almond crisp.  You can probably see my arse expanding from there.
  • Coco started doggy daycare with the scaredy-cat group.  The first day she spent two hours being a scared/disinterested attendee.  Then she must have figured what the hell and decided to play for the last hour.  Week two was even better - she got right into the fun as soon as she got there. 
  • I finished the Superbowl Sunday quilt.  Yay!  This goes into my box of donation quilts that will be delivered somewhere later this year.  Usually I bring them to the Women's Shelter in Hamilton.


  • Coco is starting to turn into a "normal" dog.  She woke us up puking at 3 am.  sigh.  Other big events:  she picked up a Kong ball and nosed it around, she's eaten the treats that were stuck into the Kong rubber bone (one of those toys designed to keep a dog amused for a while), she likes to roll around in the dead/rotting bird carcass on our morning walk, and she's chased the frisbee in the backyard.  Mind you, she only chases it ONCE.  Then I throw it, I go get it, I throw it, I go get it...  
  • I finished the 2021 bookkeeping and got everything off to the accountant.
  • Out here we all have those rural mailboxes at the road.  One of our neighbours has a problem in that their little mailbox door is usually open.  I guess it's loose and won't stay shut.  On our morning walkies today Coco jumped up and tried to rip it off.  Just for fun.  You know.  Thankfully she has bad aim!


Thursday, March 17, 2022

A Day In The Life (or five weeks worth of days)

I'm reading Her Turn by Katherine Ashenburg.  It's a good book, and I noticed that each chapter represents a week.  Since I haven't posted in quite a while I thought I'd borrow that format.

Feb 6 - 12

I started the week by giving myself another covid haircut.  I was due for a proper cut at the beginning of January, but it's not like anyone cares what I look like.  37 years married...if you get my drift.  Most of the time DH is happy if he notices that my shoes are still in the closet.  Coco is not settling in yet...some days she only has one pee, which freaks me out.  Everyone is stressed and she's still terrified of DH.  I talked to the rescue's dog trainer who had a few suggestions to improve her comfort level, we'll see how that goes.  



This week's treat was the spinach ravioli that DH brought home from Costco.



Feb 13 - 19

This week included both Superbowl Sunday when I make a wee quilt top, AND Valentines Day which often includes too much chocolate.  I'm burning off the chocolate by taking Coco for three walkies a day.  We are not letting her go out in the yard by herself because we're pretty sure she would not come back in.  Two seniors chasing a dog around the backyard, in the winter, trying to corral her is not something that appeals to us somehow.  So for now, I'm getting lots of exercise.  



The Beach Girls are scheduled to arrive for Winterruption soon, and I'm trying to clean up a lot of crap.  Several years ago my brother & nephew & DH installed built in speakers in the living room.  The old Technics speakers went in the office, and have been collecting dust ever since - but it is time for them to go.  I flipped them down on to a sheet and hauled them out into my workroom (friggin' heavy bastards!) where I vacuumed and wiped them down, then took photos and listed them for free on facebook marketplace.  Holy Sh*t - my devices immediately blew up.  Who knew they were a collectors item???  



More Coco walkies stories include stopping at the neighbour's, where she refuses to take a treat; turning her head away in that "I can't see you" move.  In the past two weeks we've stopped at their place twice for little outside visits.  Coco seems to think that's enough of that, and now turns around just before we get to their driveway.  Ha ha ha...Yah, uh, NO dog.

The Binbrook guild will be meeting in person again at the end of the month, so I've started working on a small quilt as a sample of a 3-patch block.  Flying Geese blocks make an excellent chevron design.

Feb 20 - 23

Continuing with the sh*t-shovelling before Winterruption, I'm purging old paperwork.  The idea of names, address, account numbers, etc going in the garbage freaks me out a bit.  Well, ok - maybe more than a bit.  I don't want a Nest thermostat, or security camera, or Alexa...all of which can SPY ON ME1-800-LUKE just shakes his head and smiles.  For paperwork disposal, I tear off the personal information and burn it then put the rest of the stuff in the recycle bin.  

Guest speakers for the Binbrook guild for April and May have been confirmed... yay!! 

 Neighbour Sophie gave me some focaccia bread, so I've been having runny eggs on bread.  Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Feb. 22 get a real haircut!  The biggest housecleaning chore before Winterruption is cleaning the office, where one of the girls will be sleeping on a blow-up bed.  All the storage totes, file boxes, travel bags, piles of photos, etc, etc, have been moved down to the basement.  I vacuumed within an inch of my life and then got out the Murphy's Oil Soap.  I washed the baseboards and both desks.  Really, I should probably do that more often (she says rolling her eyes).

Feb. 24 - 27 the girls are here.  Thursday afternoon and evening was catch-up time.  This past year we implemented Video Cocktail Hour on Friday afternoons, and it's been great but it sure doesn't take the place of a real hug. We spent Friday at the Van Gogh exhibit, then headed out to Waterford for lunch & Quilt Junction & the antique mall (where I picked up a cute little gift for Margaret's birthday).  Saturday was spent in my workroom talking shop and doing quilty-things.  Sunday morning breakfast of Eggs Benedict (my birthday!), then they packed and headed off for home.  Coco was pretty good with them but mostly tried to follow me around while staying out of their way.



Feb 27 - Mar 5

Much of my birthday was spent cleaning up after the girls left, then the rest of the day I finished the prep for the 3-patch block presentation I'll do on the 28th.  



Coco has had a breakthrough and is coming downstairs in the morning all by herself, without prompting.  She's still really freaky and prancing around the house, but at least she's willingly coming for walkies.  

A birthday lunch out with a friend included a couple stops at quilt shops and more word fabric in my shopping cart.  I also got some anti-anxiety dog treats that were recommended by the dog trainer, hopefully they will help.   I booked an appointment with a dog groomer who comes to the house for nail trims.  I'm pretty ticked at her...she got lost on her way here, and now will not return my messages to rebook an appointment.  WTH.  It's not MY fault she got lost.  sigh.

Mar 6 - Mar 12

I'm in charge of the Red Hat outing in March, so I made the arrangements for that.  We're going to the movies for the first time in two years.  For an afternoon matinee the cinema should be empty (and post-outing I can report that it WAS empty).  I felt like such an ass though, one of our gals was not on my email list so I neglected to invite her.  I definitely owe her a little something by way of apology.



I had my blood pressure checked at the doctor's office and it's good.  Normal.  Within a tolerable range.  Thank God.  After my appointment I took a drive in to town, with the back of the car filled with two years worth of booze empties.  A couple people have organized a bottle drive with proceeds being donated to the Red Cross in support of Ukraine.  I was crying in a restaurant this week over the atrocities taking place in Europe right now.  Giving away my empties won't make much of a difference, but every little bit helps.  Here is a link to the Red Cross if you want to make a financial contribution.



Back in January I was up late scrolling through the Costco website, and in a weak moment ordered new bedroom furniture.  I was 15 years old when Mom bought my current bedroom set.  I just turned 66.  I will not be living with the new stuff as long as I did the old stuff.  Anyhow, the new stuff was delivered on Saturday.  I was really worried about how different things can look in real life, as compared to online photos, but I'm very happy with the real stuff.  Yay!  Please, let this motivate me to finish the bedroom drapes that have been lounging on my pressing table for (omg, embarassing...) a few years now.


Sunday, February 6, 2022

The Flag of India, First '22 Finish, & New Addition

 This was such a fun piece to quilt!  It's based on the flag of India and was the last "custom" quilt of 2021.

Much of the quilt is hexagons.


Some applique.  Well, actually all of the hexies, the mountains, and the wheel are appliqued on to the background of sea & sky.

Lots of c/c quilting (Continuous Curve) and s.i.d. around all of the elements.

The strippy blues for the water are very effective.

I always love the back of quilts.

FIRST FINISH OF 2022

This one's mine.  Started on New Year's Day and complete by January 31st.


I purchased the layer cake in 2017 while I was on a bus trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Missouri.  I had NOTHING in my stash that would make a suitable border so I crossed my fingers and went online.  Cherished Pieces had exactly what I needed.  With such a lovely stripe I decided to take the extra time and miter the border.

The panto I used is a new one and I like it - looks a little Art Deco-ey to me.

The bonus - 10.8 meters off my stash report!  Woo hoo!

NEW ADDITION

Let me introduce you to Coco, our new family member.  She's a rescue from Mexico, a border collie cross, 10 months old.  She's been with us for two weeks and is VERY skittish.  She's starting to get a little bit comfortable with me, but she's quite afraid of DH.
The challenge with a rescue dog is the lack of history about the dog's circumstances.  We don't know what toys or treats make her happy.  We managed to find a food that she likes, thank goodness.  She still spends the majority of her day laying around/sleeping.  According to the paperwork that's to be expected. We are looking forward to her coming out of her shell...soon, hopefully!

Because she's an unknown quantity we are keeping her on the leash whenever she's outside.  This means we are getting LOTS OF EXERCISE until the day comes when we feel safe to let her out in the backyard on her own.  For now, we worry that trying to get her back in the house might be an issue.  And could she jump the fence?  We don't know.  So for the time being, better safe than sorry.

IN MY SPARE TIME

Sit down.  Really.  I have started cleaning my house.  For the past two pandemic years there have been almost zero people in the house, besides DH and me.  The Beach Girls are coming for Winterruption at the end of the month (well, fingers crossed about that) so I need to get my shit together. This week I washed down all the doors in the house - 18 of them.  Also the cupboard doors in the potties.  Next I will be cleaning the kitchen & dining room chairs along with the table frames/pedestals, and then the kitchen cupboards.

WHAT I'M READING

I recently finished two rather intense stories.  The Breadwinner, about a young girl in Afghanistan, and The Nightingale, about France during the Nazi occupation.  After those I needed a bit of a mental break, so I'm working on The Unhoneymooners which is rom-com fluff.  It's good though - laugh out loud funny.

COVID-19, STILL

World:  Total cases 393,623,786.  Total deaths 5,735,389.

USA:  Total cases 76,458,488.  Total deaths 902,266.

Canada:  Total cases 3,117,218.  Total deaths 34,635.

Ontario:  Total cases 1,050,000.  Total deaths 11,770. 

The latest Covid bug up my ass is the truckers protest.  Do those idiots actually think the population of this country thinks THEY should be in charge of setting public health policy?  FFS.  Have another beer.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Very Simple Yet Very Effective and Some 2022 Plans

 Here are a couple of November quilt jobs.  Both of these are made with simple blocks, and the end results are great.  Both are also very scrappy - my favorite!

#1 - 9-Patch blocks


#2 - Half-Square Triangle blocks

This is my New Years Day project.  I've been stitching a bit on this every day.  The rows are ready to sew together.  Maybe tonight I'll start that?

Today was one of those days where I was having trouble getting motivated.  To be honest though, many days are like that.

In the past week there have been THREE mornings when I slept until 9:30, and NONE when I was up at 5.  Today was a 9:30 day, and a girly-bath day when I allow myself the luxury of soaking in a hot tub with epsom salts and some lovely fragrant oil.  Me, a coffee, and a good book. If you do a little ciphering you'd figure out that it was after 1:00 when I finally got dressed.  Today's book is  What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad .

With the province kind of locked down again the ennui is in full force.  And the weather has been rather unco-operative so I haven't gone for a walk for a couple of days.  Thank goodness a friend popped over yesterday - we had a nice visit on the front porch.  The Universe gave us some beautiful sunshine but it was a cold wind.  I brought a couple of quilts out for us to keep our legs warm.

What I DID manage to accomplish today:
  • updated the Caledonia Guild blog
  • downloaded a year's worth of bank statements and made my TFSA contribution for 2022
  • put the new-to-me laptop from 1-800-LUKE into the gifted laptop case from neighbour Doug
  • had breakfast, lunch, supper
  • changed the sheets
  • did a load of laundry
  • did some admin work on the SOLO facebook group
  • paid the internet bill
  • called a Binbrook guild member about the block swap - what to do in January when we most likely won't have a meeting

CURRENTLY GRATEFUL FOR:

  • DH, who has been doing a lot of cooking.  A HUGE batch of hamburger soup, Chicken Parmesan which was very good, a LARGE but not huge batch of vegetable soup, biscuits.
  • hobbies to keep me occupied. 
  • the friend who popped in and who ALSO brought me a loaf of her sourdough bread.  Yum!!!
  • neighbour Doug, who is the world's best scavenger.  He happens to be married to my egg supplier, who I am also grateful for. 💕
  • a good sized house with two t.v.s so I can watch the news while he watches his bang-bang-shoot-em-up shows.  The upstairs t.v. room is also a nice place to escape to for a nap.  Or when, in the midst of a pandemic, you feel like the sharp knives are too easily accessible during a conversation which is quickly degenerating into a domestic.
TARGET ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR 2022 (we will NOT be referring to these as "resolutions")
  • at least 5 donation quilts - I normally have no difficulty with this target.
  • net stash reduction of at least 50 m.  Also not usually difficult.
  • finish at least 3 ufo projects, another goal that should be easy to meet.  I need to do another ufo count - I don't think my sidebar list is accurate.
  • find some floor space in the room I laughingly refer to as my office.  I need to sell the old floor speakers, clean then sell a nice toaster-oven, get rid of some boxes of junk, and OMG we have so much electronic stuff (cables, plugs, routers, thingies) that need to go...
  • lose 5 pounds.  Ha ha ha ha... I said that last year too.  The year before I said 10 pounds!  Crazy woman. Pfftt.  Actual pounds lost is negative 2.  Yup, that's a double negative.
FALLING DOWN A RABBIT HOLE
  1. at the niece's recommendation, I watched The Maid on netflix , which is very good.
  2. I noticed that it's based on a book.
  3. I looked for the book through my online library.
  4. FOUND the book, which has a wait list.
  5. I noticed there was a recommendation for another book called The Maid and downloaded that instead.
  6. I spent a week reading the story of Joan of Arc.  This was also a very good book, although a little more gory that what I'd normally read.  It is a war story, after all.
COVID 19
I can't seem to get away from this topic.  Someone I was talking to thinks it will be a major issue until 2023.  Dear God!  They are probably right, though.  It's quite difficult to get a test these days because the health system is overwhelmed.  The general guidance is that the Omicron variant has symptoms very much like a cold or seasonal flu.  Most reported symptoms are sore throat, cough, runny nose (also nausea, night sweats, lower back pain).

World:  Total cases 306,689,375.  Did you get that number?  306 Million.  Total deaths 5,488,000.
USA:  Total cases 60,062,000.  Total deaths 837,504.
Canada:  Total cases 2,532,885.  Total deaths 30,812.
Ontario:  Total cases 877,000.  Total deaths 10,398. 


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Kicking 2021 To The Curb

One of the best memories from 2021 - Beach Day in Exeter.  That car and I are approximately the same age.  I think it's a '57, and I'm a '56.

Lovely scrappy one that I quilted in September.


Margaret's 150 Canadian Women Quilt.  Mine is still only half way complete.


Wow, beautiful vintage blocks!


Ooh, so pretty.  I had trouble figuring out the quilting for this one but I love how it turned out.


Ahem.  How I spent December 16th.  Lined up for 4 1/2 hours at Dundurn Castle's parking lot for a booster shot on the Go-Vaxx bus, with DH and a friend.  It was a nice-ish day considering it was mid-December, but there were gale force winds AND periodic bouts of rain.  After we finally (!) got our shots we went to Lemongrass Thai Restaurant for lunch.  That was my last in-restaurant meal for the foreseeable future, I expect.


 MY BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT

Finally managing to complete a no-complaint-30-days was definitely the top of the list.  That seems to have changed my brain, temporarily at least.  I still complain but I'm quite aware now that I'm doing it, and usually nip it in the bud.  I definitely recommend that long and occasionally painful process of personal growth.  It seems to me now that complaining is simply reminding yourself about your unhappiness about something-or-other.  There is zero point to that.  If you're unhappy about something, either shit or get off the pot.

MY NEW ONGOING HABIT

I could never remember when I did something.  When I talked to someone.  WHO I talked to about something.  I was listening to a podcast about something-or-other (see what I mean???) and apparently our covid isolation has resulted in our lives being the same, day after day after day.  We have no "markers" to isolate events.  My brain cannot flip through it's files and identify "the night at the pub when I met Chloe" as the same day when I got a haircut, for example.  So back in June I started keeping a tiny daily diary on Google Docs.  There are no deep dark secrets there, but I can tell you when I had lunch with someone.

2021 DONATION QUILTS    

These are the quilts I donated to the women's shelter this year.  These four were pieced in October at the Tobermory retreat.


These four have been waiting for a new home for a while.

I am guessing that I donated this one too.  It was supposed to be a gift for someone, but when I went to wrap it I couldn't find it anywhere.  All of these quilts were out in my workroom for photos at the same time, so this must have been inadvertently packed into the donation box too.  If not, then God help me, I have lost a quilt!!!


This is how I'll be spending New Years Day.  I saw that quilt pic on the internet somewhere - if I had any idea where I would certainly give the maker credit.  I sat down for an hour and ciphered out the measurements and drafted the instructions.


I'm supposed to have a friend over for the day, but we've changed that plan - she will stay home and sew.  The covid numbers are absolutely on fire here right now and we both prefer to stay healthy if we can.

COVID-19
Oh, what the hell.  I was hoping there'd be no more point to this part of my post, but the Universe seems to have a different idea.  Here are the numbers for today.

World:  Total cases 282,617,000.  Total deaths 5,413,000
USA:  Total cases 53,105,000.  Total deaths 820,458
Canada:  Total cases 2,031,000.  Total deaths 30,251
Ontario:  Total cases 697,000.  Total deaths 10,200

In Ontario our daily case numbers have gone from, well, here...  a picture is worth a thousand words.  The highest number since the pandemic started was on Christmas day at over 10,000.  Today is 8,800.  This might explain my earlier remark that booster day was probably my last in-person restaurant meal for a while.

I cannot end the year with a depressing topic like our covid numbers, so how about a cute cartoon?  Here's hoping 2022 will be an improvement over 2021 and 2020.