Thursday, October 30, 2008

Marking a quilt

I had this lovely embroidered quilt to work on. I wanted something in the narrow-ish green border at the outer edge.

I needed to mark some registration lines, so I pulled out my
1 1/2" lined stencil and my chalk pounce pad.

Once the chalk lines were in place it was simply a matter of quilting the continuous line design of "hearts & L's". This is all done AFTER I have finished stitching in the ditch on the border. No s.i.d. makes for a drunk looking border.

The chalk line was the centre of the hearts and the L's went in between each chalk line.

Here is a wee shot of the finished quilt.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Girls Night Out

Back 25 years ago, girls night out meant something very different - involving tight jeans, loud music, and much alcohol. Remember??? Now, we go out for a little pampering... ahhh.

In August, Jane decided that we needed to book something which would, hopefully, prevent us from postponing our night out yet again. A little 'spa' time at the Adrien Arpel counter at the Bay was just the ticket. This included a back & arm massage, a facial (which removed most of the top 12 layers of skin), a makeup application, and a free gift bag containing goodies.

Here is the 'BEFORE' of Jean and I. I wanted a 'DURING' photo with the cucumber slices on the eyes, but Jean and I were in separate rooms. The A.A. counter has been downsized recently which meant I was in what has turned in to the storage closet. No room for cucumbers. Although, part of my treatment WAS a 'vegetable peel'. Something else was honey and almond which put me in mind of Amaretto. This put me in mind of Harvey Wallbangers (back from 25 years ago!). There were also a couple of products with papaya. All of this stuff was making me hungry - it had been several hours since my lunch.

Here is our 'AFTER'. Anna (who worked her magic on me) asked if I wanted dramatic or natural. My normal routine includes under-eye cover and mascara, period. If I'm feeling fancy I will add lipstick. So I thought I should go natural. Do you know that natural requires 5 colours of eye shadow?

Jane and Teresa 'BEFORE'.

Jane in progress. Jane got the storage closet too.

Teresa in progress. Her 'natural' required several colours of lipstick. Who knew???

Finished, starving and heading for the restaurant.

It is now 6:40 pm and the restaurant is waaay lined up, so we must wait another half hour. What to do, what to do???? Well, since we are in a MALL, I guess we'll go shopping. Four heavy parcels later we trundle back to the restaurant and squash our stuff under our seats. It was one of the typical 'girl' dinners with laughter enough to bring on the tears. OMG, watch the fancy makeup!!! But it was already too late for the lipstick - it was long gone (I think the bread took care of that). There may be more to follow - rumour has it we may have a SPA WEEKEND in the works. Perhaps by then, some of my skin will grow back?

A side comment regarding my purchases:
I bought 2 pair of slacks and 3 blouses. All 5 pieces were made in China. I shopped at a name brand boutique store, and they were not cheap. I wish the 'powers-that-be' had some notion about the North American middle class and truly considered that people need decent paying jobs HERE so they can buy this stuff. If things keep going the way they have been, there will be no market for these goods. The Salvation Army and the Goodwill stores will get much busier. OK, off my soapbox now. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Long Lost Relatives in the Philippines???

My darling niece in Singapore travels a lot. Really a lot. I had to book my week with her for my January trip. She sent me this photo - apparently I have a store in El Nido, Philippines. Who knew?

I hope the local cops don't get wind of my other career as an international coke dealer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tutorial - Scarves on the Longarm

Before I start any creative project I make sure I have completed my domestic duties... in this case I cleaned out the fridge.

Next, I assembled my supplies:

Step 1 - pin a layer of stabilizer to the canvas leaders

Step 2 - lay out a selection of yarns

Step 3 - cover with a layer of stabilizer - this requires a bit of futzing around because the yarns like to wiggle all over the place. Very similar to the useless assistant.

Step 4 - stitch out a wavy line to hold the threads in place - go around in a rectangle which will give you the basic outline of the scarf. Then go over top the yarns. If you notice any really bare spots you can slide a pin into the top layer of stabilizer and coax the stray yarn into a better spot, then stitch it down.

Step 5 - do lots and lots of stitching. You are creating fabric, a la Joyce Drexler.

Step 6 - now you can get uber-crazy. Create additional patterns with MORE stitching.

I also love thread junk - I save the pretty colours and variegated threads which are cut off during longarm quilting. I took one or two threads at a time and laid them out on the black/red scarf during step 2.

Step 7 - when you feel like you are finished remove from the longarm and cut 'em apart

Step 8 - cold water soak (for the brand I used) to remove the stabilizer. Make sure it is all out, or apparently (?) it turns hard. And that would be a bad thing. Especially if you are giving this to someone special, like your husband's boss' wife, for example. Or your landlady as an apology after you let the bathtub overflow.

Step 9 - rinse, blot in a towel, gently pull out flat and let dry.

Step 10 - find yourself a nice perle cotton or other suitable yarn to make a little fringey thing at the ends. I plan to do some embellishing with beads. Just enough to be flashy, without (hopefully) stepping over the line into gaudy.

By now, your shoulders will be SO SORE you will check the fridge to see if it needs more cleaning out. You also might be able to whine to whoever is around that you have been working very hard making ________ (insert appropriate occasion) presents and you deserve a massage. You will probably have better luck with the fridge.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Christmas quilt and Crockpot Recipe

Karen, who made the smaller Christmas wallhanging, also made a bed quilt to match. As you can see, it was nice and sunny the day I took the photos.

If you decide that
TODAY IS A SEWING DAY FOR ME, here is a recipe for the crockpot. Crank 'er up on your coffee break, then fuggeddabuddit.

1 1/2 lb (
or .7 kg if yer Canadian, eh?) boneless chuck steak 1 1/2" thick
1 clove garlic peeled and minced
1/4 c. wine vinegar
2 Tb. brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 c. celery, thinly sliced

1 med. onion, cut in half, then all thinly sliced
beef broth to thin, if necessary
  • Cut the beef across the grain into slices 1" wide and place in the crock. Combine the next 9 ingredients then add to the meat.
  • Set the cook cycle for 5 - 6 hours, on low if you have a choice.
  • About 1 1/2 hours before the time is up (your afternoon coffee break), add the celery and onions. If the liquid seems to be too thick, add some beef broth.
When done, the meat will just fall apart. Serve over mashed potatoes or on crusty dinner rolls. Add a salad or a couple veggies. And don't forget the glass of red wine for the cook, who worked sooo hard.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Red Hat Day

OMG, Lois took us out for YOGA.

Nope. It won't go.

Girls... what are you looking for?

Waaay too much caffeine, I'm thinkin'.

All exercised out and starving for lunch.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Darn (not really my first choice of word!) computer stuff (also not my first choice of word!). Somehow about a dozen pictures have disappeared from my blog. I have noooo idea why. Google's Blogger Help isn't helping - funny that, eh? If you happen to be reading along and think "huh, she forgot to insert the picture", well I didn't forget. I have put several of them back but I must get into the shower and start my day. I can't just SIT HERE and FIX something I did not break. More Grrrr....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving at the Nephew's

Luke and his fiancee Melanie hosted Thanksgiving dinner yesterday for Luke's parents, Mel's parents, and DH and I.

Mmm, love turkey. Turnip - not so much, so we all left that for Mel and her mom.

Lincoln the wiener dog, keeping a watchful eye on the perimeter. No one is allowed to steal the food. Grrr, ruff, ruff.

Empty plates and verrry full bellies. Yum - excellent job. Thank you, Luke & Mel!