Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gift from my Secret Santa

First I would like to thank my Secret Santa Nadine I was very surprised to see that she was my SSCS partner. Here is a picture of what she sent. I have never read any of this series and I am quite looking forward to reading "The Christmas Quilt" I have two weeks ( 17 days actually) of holiday now and I am going to make the best of it!! Thank you Nadine!! I also hope to make a baby quilt or two while on holiday - so the fabric will be perfect. I have a perfect little frame for the cross stitch so I can put it up in my sewing room.

There are still major computer issues going on here - Jim spent the day trying to fix them (apparently the squeaky wheel does get the grease!!) But it does not seem to have helped much and it seems that the biggest problem is I cannot log in to my yahoo email, google email or google reader!! It is some sort of Active X registry issue - that is bugging the heck right out of me!! I can eventually read my mail but I have to go a weird way about it. Very annoying!

Maybe it is doing this because someone up above wants me to read and quilt instead of spending so much time on the computer -LOL!!

Happy New Year to all!!!

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

I am having some major computer problems right now so I thought I had better wish you all a Merry Christmas while I still can get online. The computer needs to go to the doctor and it might be awhile before I can check back -- not sure what's up with it.

Have a wonderful and joyful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The tree is up and it is starting to look a bit like Christmas!

For some reason the tree ended up becoming a two day event! We put it up Monday night - put on the lights and then finished the rest on Tuesday. But it is finally ready for the holiday season and it is a very lovely tree. I think Jim said it was a Noble Fir - but I could be wrong.

A few of my Christmas decorations that now adorn the fireplace.

Both the Santa and the Angel were made by my friend Maureen and given to me as gifts on different Christmas seasons. I love them both! If it wasn't for Maureen I wouldn't have any Christmas quilty things at all. She has also given me a couple of Christmas placemats and a Christmas table runner.

This was made for me by Jessica when she was about 11. Still very special and I bring it out every year. I probably showed these all last year :))

And of course, Jenny has offered her services to Santa to help with the sled trip on Christmas Eve!!

Although she doesn't look all that enthusiastic does she? I think she kept the antlers on for about 17 seconds!!!

Well - I am off to wrap some gifts. I still haven't received my Secret Santa gift in the mail. I think Canada Post is the slowest in the world -- that is my observation!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Gift from my Sister

Well, here another week has gone by and we are no closer to having the house decorated for Christmas. I am working on Friday and Saturday 12 days and I decided to take an extra night shift on Sunday and then remembered that Jim and I had decided to have our "decorate the Christmas tree" Sunday night. Oh well - it will have to get done on Monday.

But I did go out and get some Christmas shopping done, which made me happy.

My sister sent me a gift a couple of weeks ago, and I just didn't seem to get around to taking pictures until yesterday. My sister works in Nigeria - she has been there for about 4 years and she is now finished in Nigeria and will be going back to work in Angola. Many months ago I mentioned to her that if she ever saw any fabric in Nigeria I would love to have some. She is not a quilter -- or a sewer... or any sort of domestic goddess. So I was quite surprised to get this big box in the mail from her.

She didn't mail the box from Nigeria, she mailed it when she was back in Canada.

Fabulous African fabric. Bought in the street markets in Lagos. There are also a couple of pieces that are left over pieces from some of the women after making their clothes - they donated them to Sharon's cause apparently. Sharon goes back and forth to Nigeria every 28 days and brings back a lot of things for the children of the people she works with and there is a school there she takes books and pencils and such to as well.

Sharon did not actually go shopping for the fabric herself, she said she asked someone else go for her. Apparently the fabric is sold in pieces big enough to make a complete set of clothing - top and pants, and that is it. Sharon said they vendors were very confused as to why someone would want 1/2 yards or 1 yard. So each piece is about 4 yards.

I did not unfold it to show the whole entire piece but with each piece of the batik fabric there is a patterned section and then a large piece of solid fabric - for making the pants. So with the purple fabric above - there is about a yard of patterned fabric on each end of the piece and then about 2 yards of solid matching purple in the centre. The colours are just beautiful. The batik fabric very heavily waxed. It needs to be well washed to get all the wax out. There are also some pieces that are not batik and they are patterned the whole length of the fabric, they are a heavy cotton -- but not damask like the batik fabric.

I have yet to research how to wash the wax out of the batik fabric. I may just wait until the weather is warmer so I can hang the fabric outside to dry. It is just beautiful and I have no idea what I am going to do with it.... but isn't that always my way!!!

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Not ready for Christmas yet

It is so much fun to read all the blogs posts about Christmas and all the Christmas preparations that are going on. It seems in the U.S things really start to get going right after Thanksgiving. In our house we don't get the tree up until the last weekend before Christmas. I think for us that could be around December 20th this year!!

I posted my Secret Santa gift off and I did finish off the Christmas stocking and I now need to send that off. I wanted to make a few more Santa tree decorations and I can not find the pattern anywhere. I know I have it somewhere in my sewing room -- I wouldn't have thrown it out.

If anyone recognizes this and has the pattern I would love to have it again - although I think it would be easy enough to copy a pattern from this one.

I really enjoyed reading the various posts about Christmas traditions - they are so different all over the world.

We have a very typical "North American" Christmas (I think) We usually have a nice evening of Christmas music and egg nog and snacks on the night we put up the tree. Now that the kids have all left home it is just Jim and I decorating the tree but we still enjoy the evening.

The same decorations have been put on the tree for years and years. When Andrew was about 6 or 7 he brought home this little angel he made in school and it has been the angel on the top of the tree ever since.

Christmas Eve is my favourite time of the season. We have another nice evening - we finish wrapping the gifts (because that is how organized I am every year) We enjoy a few glasses of port with some various cheeses, snacks and Rogers Chocolates (my favourite being Empress Squares)

The kids usually come and spend the night on Christmas Eve. Then Christmas morning is coffee first - gift opening and a nice breakfast of French toast and strawberries and whipped cream and maple syrup. We have been going to Jim's brother's house for dinner the past 5 or so years - since we moved in 2002. Which is nice - but I do miss the turkey leftovers. Turkey is the traditional Christmas Day meal for us. I will quite often make a turkey for New Years Day, just so we can have the leftovers. I don't think there is anything better than turkey leftovers!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

From White sink to white out!!

This is my street this morning!! Such a mess it was today.

Poor Jim, here he is trudging up the driveway to do some shoveling. It was his birthday yesterday and I worked an 8 hour shift yesterday - as he was going off in the morning to make pickled salmon. I promised that we would go out for a nice birthday dinner after we both got home. Instead it started snowing - the roads were a mess and it took me 40 minutes to drive 300 metres (and that was just a small part of the drive home) Both of us got home safely but there were many, many cars in the ditch that we passed along the way.

The snow flakes were huge!! It snowed from about 11 AM yesterday until about 8 PM today -- and now it is raining!! So the forecast is now for 100-150 mm of rain where we live. So there is now a flood warning.

So today I made a Christmas stocking. It isn't finished yet, - I just need to sew in the lining and then put the binding on.

I had my Secret Santa gift all wrapped and ready to post as I was coming home from work yesterday - I was going to stop in at the post office - just a quick in and out of the Caulfield exit - and there was an accident and the road was a disaster. So --- best laid plans..... I think we will be able to get out tomorrow once the rain washes away most of the snow. The traffic all along the highway today was at a stand still. Jim walked up to take a look and he said people were just sitting in their cars watching movies on their portable DVD players -- LOL. I guess those DVD players can be a good idea!!

Jenny is quite enjoying the snow and has had a very good day out playing in it.

I can't believe it has been a week since I posted. I worked 4 days this week - which could account for my blog absence. I have been popping in and out when I get a chance. Happy Monday!!
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

The white kitchen sink

Of course I didn't take a "before" picture of the kitchen sink. But the story is that our house has a white kitchen sink - and the taps are terrible - they have been replace two times already and the plumber guy at Home Depot says that white kitchen taps are never as good as the chrome plated ones. The taps were replaced again in the summer and the new taps leaked and then just two days ago they got really leaky and wouldn't shut off properly and needed to be replaced again!!

So - I told Jim about Susan - from Blackberry Creek and her new taps - Chrome taps on a white sink - and how good it looked. He looked at her taps on her blog and then printed out the picture of Susan's sink and off we went to Home Depot in search of new taps! Although we didn't get the same taps - I really liked Susan's taps - they didn't have exactly what we wanted in stock. Jim wanted the Kohler taps and I decided I wanted a little soap dispenser. We used to have a boiling hot water tap which was leaking as well. So thanks to Susan - we have lovely new chrome taps for our white kitchen sink!! And they are a dream!!

And on the quilting front I have finished my Secret Santa gift, and I have been working on a Dear Jane block -- G4 - Shutterbug. So far I have the centre of it completed -- as you can see it is 3 inches at this point and there are 17 pieces in these three inches!!! I can't believe I am doing this quilt! So no wonder this darn thing takes so long!!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some Mail and some wool

Last Thursday I came home from work to a bunch of great mail!! First I got a nice little package from Carole of goodies some of which came from Australia. It is amazing when I got the package of goodies - Jim and I enjoyed a few and then I thought -- oh, better take a picture before we eat it all - LOL. As you can see, not much left -- I love Turkish Delight, haven't had that in years. Thanks so much Carole!

Then I also got my first Moda Fat Quarter Club package from The Fat Quarter Shop in Texas! Very pretty fabrics this month -- Decadent Victorian by April Cornell.

Next is a photo of the wool I have been collecting for the past few months. There is a woman that lives in my village that hand dyes her wool and I have been picking up small pieces here and there. This weekend at our retreat she brought some small kits and gave a wool applique workshop and she also had some black wool for me to buy. I bought two metres (for a pretty good price). It was very expensive in the Quilt shops and I was going to order some online but her prices were pretty comparable to the online shops, like the Quilted Crow that Carole likes to go to.

I think I have managed to get myself a pretty good collection. Although I noticed I need a bit more blue.

I started one of the wool kits this weekend. It is a small mitten that you can put goodies inside and hang up on the tree or give away. Very cute. So I bought a few more kits as well. Nice little gifts. As to whether I will get them done to give away for Christmas - that's another question.

I have been working this week on my Secret Santa gift. I have no idea who my secret Santa might be and I don't mind if they post a picture of the gift they are making - although I will like the surprise of finding out on Christmas. I don't even know if I read the blog of my Secret Santa - there are so many people on the list!! I am trying to figure out a way to organize my blog reading to make it easier for myself so I am not missing out on posts that I wanted to read. I think the thing the gets in the way of my blog reading the most is Work!!! Gotta figure out a way to fix that - LOL!!
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

After the Retreat on Monday

I have been so incredibly tired all week. I don't know why but beside from working two days I have been too tired to do anything. I went off to sleep last night early (around 8:30 pm) and I finally feel a bit brighter this morning. I have neglected my blog reading terribly this week.

These are a few pictures of what I arrived home to Monday after the wind storm.

This is my street - note the power lines hanging down. We were without power for 14 hours. Which is actually pretty good as last year we had a power outage of 5 days. Also note the Bear trap!!! The bear is still in the neighbourhood and not at all interested in the bear trap which has been sitting there for over a week, apparently it caught a raccoon last week!!

The neighbour across the street had a tree come down on the corner of their house. This is a view from the side of the house - there were three trees down in the yard and this is a picture of part of one downed tree -- the part on the roof was already removed and there is a tarp on the house already. When I came home the fire truck was sitting in front of my house - but it was there to work on removing the tree across the street.

This is what is left from a shed that belonged to another neighbour - two doors down, on the same side of the street as us. We were pretty lucking -- no trees on us!!

New Generator!! After borrowing one last year Jim decided we needed one of our very own!

I sure hope I feel better this week - and the tiredness is just left over from 4 intense days of sewing! I have to post about my wool applique - next post!!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What I did at retreat

Boy - Blogger is really misbehaving tonight!!

Here is my work station. I set up the Featherweight and spent most of the weekend sewing together the blocks from the Jelly Roll that I got from Toni (Quilting Pirate)

The Featherweight worked really well -- note my Tazzie mat as well - which I love!

I finished all 20 blocks. I didn't really do much else. I had plans to do a few things on Monday but, with the power failure that didn't happen. I am really happy with how these blocks turn out though.
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Returned from my Quilting Retreat

We got back from Bowen Island early yesterday. It was a fabulous time and we could have stayed until 4 pm but there was a wicked wind storm and we lost power at 8:00 a.m. But we had 3 great nights anyway.

I took so much stuff to work on and all I really needed was one small bag because I spent the entire weekend working on my Jelly Roll Quilt. Typical quilter hey!! I will post pictures of the quilt later as we were planning a show and tell for Monday that got cancelled because of the storm - so I have taken some pictures of my blocks up on my design wall at home.

Here is a picture of a couple of fellow quilters in the room that we had. It was a great place to have a retreat. The big windows let in a fair amount of light but the overhead lighting was not that great - they said that the overhead lighting will be improved next year.

We had a deer come visit Saturday morning. The weather on Saturday was lovely and sunny.

A couple of pictures of the little bay that the camp is situated on. This is the view from the camp to the other side of the bay.

The camp in CNIB camp for the blind on Bowen Island. The food was fabulous!! We had the place all to ourselves - including a very nice and large hot tub! Except for the Monday morning power failure everything was so much fun.

I was going to upload a couple of more pictures but blogger seems to be resistant to that right now so I will just have to try to do another post instead.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Heading off to Retreat

I am packing up and heading out for a 3 night stay on Bowen Island for a quilting retreat. The weather is supposed to be pretty rainy and windy this weekend so I hope we don't lose power.

I have my Jelly Roll that I won from Toni's Quilting Pirate blog. It came with a pattern as well - so I had a different pattern in mind but I really like the pattern it came with so I might just do that one instead.

My bags are almost packed. I am going to take two sewing machines with me. This will be the first retreat that I take my new Featherweight. It is all tuned up and ready to go. But I will also take my Pfaff as I have some machine quilting I need to do this weekend. I was planning on piecing the jelly roll quilt on the Featherweight.

I will catch up with all my blogging on Tuesday. Have a good weekend everyone!!
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My next two stops

There is a really great quilt shop in Tillamook. Jane's Fabric Patch

It is in a cute little house along the main street - which is also Highway 101. I didn't spend a lot of time in the shop and I didn't buy a lot of fabric there but I could have!! I bought the Lori Smith Sampler pattern which I really wanted. A few fat quarters and two pair of socks for making some Sock Monkies. We can not get these socks in Canada. So I was pretty happy to find some. The package has two pairs. Does anyone actually wear these socks or are they just made into monkies?

Jim was sitting in the car and I didn't want to spend too much time in the shop. Later I discovered that there was an Airplane Museum just down the road - so I could have sent him off to the museum and shopped to my hearts desire -- ah well there is always next time :))

The next shop was quite fun to find - BJ's Fabrics and Quilts This shop is in the basement of a house down some winding dirt lane just off of Highway 101 somewhere around Cloverdale. It is stuffed full of fabric. The shop was full of women shopping and the parking lot behind the house was full of men waiting for the shopping women. So I happily left Jim in the parking lot with the rest of the men and shopped to my hearts content. Jim did eventually come into the shop and picked out a few fat quarters to add to the "Long Beach Quilt" collection -- (that is a quilt he wants me to make one day).

At BJ's if you bought 2 you got the third for free -- fat quarters, 1/2 yards, or yards. So -- good deal. Great shop to visit. Full of fabric -- stuffed full of fabric. I bought a few yards - and a pattern for wall hanging for Andrew - to put on my "to do" list.

I just finished two 12 hour shifts and nothing gets done when I work. So today and tomorrow I need to prepare for a retreat I am going to this weekend. I have a few things I really would like to get done - and it is a 4 day retreat!! I am pretty excited. I have lots to prepare - I have a bit of my Secret Santa gift to finish as well. And if you can believe it - I actually have to buy a bit of flannel for backing for a small quilt - can you imagine - I have to go fabric shopping!!
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Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Reason for the Fairy fabric

I guess before I get any further into my Oregon Coast shopping trip I should announce the reason for the fairy fabric.

My daughter is expecting a baby in April -- although I have no idea if it is a boy or a girl. I just knew that if it is a girl that Jessica would love the fairy fabric for a baby quilt.

It is quite exciting. Jessica is pretty excited. Her and Dave have bought a house just moved in on Monday. They are not going to find out whether the baby is a boy or a girl until after she/he is born. Therefore I will not be making any little fairy quilts until after ( I just can't see a little boy wrapped up in fairies!)

I am switching my email to Gmail - I can't seem to log in to my new Yahoo mail (I can log into the old classic Yahoo) and I can't seem to figure out how to contact Yahoo. So it won't really make a difference for the blog replies though. I will give Gmail a try.

My next quilt shop along the Oregon Coast will be coming up next -- Jane's Fabric Patch in Tillamook.
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