Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happpy New Year!!

A couple of cute grandbaby pictures to finish off 2009.

Phoenix in her little Christmas dress! Of course every 6 week old baby needs a Christmas dress!

And happy little Hunter in his reindeer antlers. Gosh he is so cute!!

And a picture of the whole rag tag gang of us around the dinner table on Christmas day. Nothing too formal about this bunch -LOL - I am the photographer and of course I am decked out in my Christmas finery -LOL
I couldn't even find my Christmas table runners this year -- they are still packed away in some box marked Linen closet!!

The grandbabies has gone home and I should do miss the holding of babies. I went through a bit of baby withdrawl the first couple of days -- in between the bouts of total exhaustion!! That Hunter is HEAVY!!

We are getting ready for a quiet New Years Eve with some neighbours and a bit of Prawn Thai Curry -- hopefully we can all last until midnight. If we were in Australia this would be over by now. I remember the year 2000 and watching as the TV would follow as the turning of the millenium went around the world. I think Vancouver is almost one of the last places on earth to get to the New Year -- maybe Hawaii is the last -- so it is now New Year in most of the world ---so Happy New Year!!
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I have been busy with Christmas preparations. I baked cookies, biscotti and buttertarts in my lovely new kitchen!! I have been stitching a few Christmas gifts as well. I will have to post pictures after they have been unwrapped.

Jessica - Dave and the babies came from Calgary. Jenny has been enjoying Hunter - mostly the food dropping aspect of a two year old, but she also think Hunter should be playing with her as well -- and tries to "talk" him into throwing the ball for her.

The tree is up and decorated and it is lovely. We have not put out any of my other Christmasy items around the house because Hunter doesn't really like clutter -LOL!! He has been pretty good around the tree though and not pulled it down yet!! The mantel is still not on - so no mantel to hang our stockings with care.

A couple of baby in a box pictures -LOL

Hunter -- who has "All the features you have been looking for"

And a box turned into a bassinet for a baby.

Phoenix is such a little sweetie!! And she cries every evening right at dinner time -- doesn't seem to matter if we eat at 5 PM or 7 PM - she just doesn't want us to all be eating at the same time - that's okay - we take turns --LOL.

Merry Christmas to all!!
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

I am home and boy am I exhausted.

I returned home after a week and a bit in Calgary and had to work a night shift -- so it was double exhausting. And boy are two babies a lot of work!! Jessica is doing fabulously with the babies - I am very proud of how wonderfully she is managing it all. Hunter is just a little going concern - walking everywhere and he doesn't miss a thing!!

A few pictures of the babies....

Here is Grand dad with little Phoenix.

Here is Great Grandma Pauline with Phoenix and Nana Pam - looking like a couple of old grannies --NOT!!
At least I hope not!

Here is little Hunter - cute as can be in his little cowboy hat -- fondly known as his "Yeehaw" 

Here is a picture of little Phoenix.  She is a very lovely little girl - she is not too fussy - loves to be held and cuddled and is quite content - likes to stay up until midnight though! 

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It was a very busy week - the weather was nice - sunny and +10 or so and I hear it rained the entire time I was away, so it was nice to be out of the rain. But nice to be home - now I need a rest!!

Thanks everyone for their wonderful comments.  I just can't believe how busy it was - there were days that I didn't even think about brushing my teeth until supper time.  Two babies are certainly a very good weight loss program if anyone is interested - now I must rest!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I am off to Calgary tomorrow

Okay -- two quick pictures --- Phoenix with her eyes open!!

Look at how long those fingers are!! And she has very long feet as well. She looks so calm and content.

I just finished two 12 hour shifts and I am "sort of" packed and I need to be up at 5 AM to catch a ride in with Jim. I am planning on taking the new Canada Line to the airport from downtown in the morning. But I needed to quickly post these two photo's of Phoenix with her eyes open. Gosh she is cute. I will take lots of pictures when I am there. Not much quilting will be done this week. I was thinking of taking something with me but decided not to bother. I am sure I will get lots of time to go out for nice walks with Hunter while Phoenix and Jessica are having a nap and such.
Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I will try to get on the blogs a bit in Calgary - but I might be busy!!
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Phoenix Autumn Ross

Finally some pictures. Jessica is home from the hospital and it sounds like she is doing pretty well. Phoenix is eating well and not crying much and sleeping well.

She is certainly a pretty little girl -- if I say so myself....

Here she is with Dad. She certainly looks a bit like Hunter don't you think.

And a picture of what Hunter was up to while Mum was in hospital. Hanging out with his little friend Lorelai.... hmmm..
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Exciting News!!

We have a new grand baby as of yesterday afternoon.  Hunter has a little sister - Phoenix Autumn Ross.  Unfortunately I have no pictures yet to share.  The technology of getting pictures from a camera to nana seems to be missing this time.  I think it is a problem with the camera phone and facebook.  Hopefully I have pictures tomorrow.  The baby was born at 4:57 PM on November 12th -- my mother's birthday.  Although since I have yet to get a picture I am beginning to doubt her existance -- but I have heard her loud and clear in background of numerous phone calls.  Everyone is doing well.  Hunter is missing his mum I am sure -  and not allowed to go to the hospital because of the H1N1 flu.  I will be going to see little Phoenix and Hunter on Tuesday.  Since the baby was supposed to be born sometime after November 17th - I can not go until after working this weekend.

Since I have no pictures of the baby I can show pictures of my weekend retreat at Bowen Island last week.

This is the kit that I bought in Skagway on the cruise in May of 2008.  It was actually much easier to cut out than I thought it would be.  I used Steam a Seam lite.  It is amazing how much fabric gets cut away from the fish.  I have since cut out the rest of the two borders and it is ready to be put together.  The fish are not ironed at this time - just placed in position.  About half way through cutting out the second fish I discovered that I had put the fish on the fabric upside down --so the second fish was opposite in colour to the first fish -  red part of the fabric was on the bottom instead of on the top.  I was in a panic.  It was a kit and I had no more fabric - and it was going to look silly.  As we all gathered around my table Sunday afternoon trying to decide what I should do - search on line for more fabric - place the fish in a different position.  We actually decided we liked it better that way and all Jim really cared about was that they had green heads!  So I think the colour movement in the piece actually adds to it a bit -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it! 

My next accomplishment was my Morris Garden quilt.  I made 20 or so blocks -- there are a LOT of half square triangles!!  I am going to make as many as I can with the amount of fabric I have - which should be about 60-70 or so.  Because I am still having mathmatical issues with this quilt.  Thinking - obviously not clearly -   I decided that each large square cut  into two half square triangle would make two blocks - so 30 fat quarters -- two large squares -- four large half square triangles = 120 blocks.  Except that each block required TWO half square triangles --- thus only 60 blocks - and not quite enough for the size of quilt that I thought I was making.  I am sure in some previous math class some math teacher insisted that this Grade 10 algebra would one day come in handy!!  To make the quilt the size I want I think I need about 72 blocks.  So -- my dear friend Dianne gave me a bit of William Morris fabric from another line -- quite lovely and I ordered a few fat quarters from the new Morris Workshop line - and I think I can do this.........

A couple of pictures from the show and tell at retreat --one of my favourites was this little Red Rocks of Sedona wall hangings made by one of the ladies in my Friday stitch. 

And a very pretty quilt made from a "Flower of the month" fabric club.  Not a fabric club that I would have thought of joining but you just can help but feel happy when you look at a quilt just full of bright and pretty flowers. 

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I will post pictures of Phoenix as soon as I can.  I am anxiously awaiting them!!  I hear she has dark hair - like her mum and looks a bit like Hunter as well but she has very long fingers and toes -- 6 lbs 2 oz and 50 cm long and she is a very good little eater and doesn't cry too much.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why perimenapausal women should not handle rotary cutters!

I have spent the past few days getting ready for a 4 day quilting retreat.  I am so looking forward to spending some quality quilting time with my favourite quilting peeps and away from the long "to do" list that still looms large.

I decided I was going to make that long planned for Morris Garden fabric "Lady of the lake" quilt.  I bought a fat quarter bundle of the Morris Garden fabric quite some time ago.  I have planned out exactly what quilt I wanted to make with the fabric.  At first I was thinking a basket block but finally I decided on a modified version of the Lady of the Lake.  I decided the best thing was to cut all the fabric before going to Bowen Island to be ready to just sew - sew - sew.  I will take the little featherweight - perfect for piecing.

So I start cutting up the fat quarter bundle.

After cutting up about 18 fat quarters -- it suddenly dawns on me that 7/8 is NOT the bigger line - second from the end but it is the SMALLER line right at the end --- I knew that!!  So all of my squares and triangles are cut at the 3/4 mark - not 7/8.

In a panic I decided to grab what ever two fabrics - whether they go together or not and make a quick test block to see if I can get it together by fudging the seams.  There are a lot of half square triangles that have to fit along a long seam. 

So I make my test block --- seems to work okay if I sew a narrow seam on the half square triangle.  The block finishes up at 10 inches   I have planned this whole quilt up on EQ6.  Block size - quilt size - number of blocks.  Planned out my fabric placement.

I don't like the block - it is too large. I am very visual and now that I have sew it together it just doesn't look right - the big triangles are too large for the small half square triangles.   I just don't like it.   I spend the entire night fussing and worrying and the next day I re-draft the block - the quilt - and re-figure if I have enough fabric because if I make the blocks smaller I need more - many more blocks.  Oh the trauma -- And I thought quilting was supposed to be fun and relaxing!!  I think I should just let it go - leave the blocks 10 inches.  Jim says "leave the blocks the way they are - it will be fine"  But I can't!!

So I cut 2 inches off every 8 3/4 inch half square triangle I had already cut.  What a waste of fabric. I have saved the little bits - maybe I can use them in the border somehow.  Although I have cut them the correct size now -- 6 7/8!!  But I am still using the same size smaller triangles - so there are only 7 half square triangle around the block instead of 9.  I am thinking with my muddled brain that I will have enough fabric.  I had ordered extra fabric for the borders etc.  My small squares are mostly still 2 3/4 instead of 2 7/8 -- so I am still going to have to work with slightly smaller seams there.  Good thing fabric has some stretch!!

So this is the block.  I like it.  I am happy - and now I have to go back to cutting fabric -- I have a lot more fabric left to cut -- hopefully all goes well today -- if I never post again  -- you know what happened!!

Monday, November 02, 2009

A recent finish

This is a bag kit that I bought at the Seattle quilt show a couple of years ago. I decided I really needed to make it up and do some sewing. I finished it up last weekend at QBTB. I just wanted to show that I am starting to do something other than house renovations!!
And I discovered I have a perfect use for this bag - and I am going to make another one for a perfect reason very soon -- so that is good.
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Jerusalem tiles and a table runner.

These are the tiles that I ordered from Jerusalem tiles -- in Jerusalem. Now that they are all up in the kitchen I thought I would do a quick post about a table runner I am hoping to make.

There is a small group of tiles behind the stove. This is about 18 inches square.

There is a small row of them on the wall with the glass door cabinets.

And then there are Jim's fish tiles - one on either side of the window. Jim decided he wanted some cobalt blue tiles in the kitchen - so that is why we ended ordering tiles all the way from Jerusalem. I posted about that here.

I bought this fabric at the Vancouver quilt show a couple of weeks ago and just had a recent "Ah ha" moment about a fabulous table runner to compliment the new tiles. I have 10 fat quarters of this fabric - five in each bundle. The fabrics are all slightly different but the same indigo blue with a white design. I now need to find the perfect pattern. I am guessing this could take years. Kim from Stillmeadow sent me a pattern for a really lovely table runner - I think I have some great fabric for it but I don't think it will work with just the same colour blue - although my problem is I am not good at visualizing something - I really need to see it finished first and then of course it's too late. One of the big problems I had with the renovation --- How am I to tell if I like this granite - colour, whatever - from a tiny little sample!! Boy am I glad this is over -- more or less over anyway.

Our computer modem has died and I hooked up an old - very old modem - I think our very first modem. And the computer told me that it was working but it has limited use and I need a new modem -- good thing I know that! At least it seems to be working - so who knows what the computer access will be this week. I am heading off to spend the weekend quilting at a quilting retreat as well.  I have a few plans as to what I am going to do there -- mostly just relax I think!!  But I have a pattern for a quilt to make with the Morris Garden fabric and I am going to do a bit of cutting this week.  I also have a few Christmas stockings to make.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some of this and some of that....

I have been busy --- with a little of this and that and not much of anything!!

I made myself a lunch bag to take my lunch to work with me. It is a pattern from the Moda Bakeshop blog. I made the bag much bigger than the pattern called for. It is the small bag for a charm pack. Makes up in to a great little lunch bag. Everyone at work wants one now!! Yah........... That will be my next project ---LOL. Although I did promise that I would make a Christmas stocking for the Craft fair in November.

I was at the Vancouver quilt guild's Quilt show last weekend. It was a very nice little show. There are a few pictures of the show floating around blogland. I ran into Wendy -- from Snippets of a Quilter at the show. It was so great to see her. I haven't seen her in person since last year.  Wendy has some great photo's of the show on her blog.  I went to the show with my Friday stitch group -- Gathered Threads... Krista has some great pictures of the show on her blog as well... at Poppyprint.    Krista's latest post is about her fabulous Halloween cookies.... worth the read!

I bought a bit of fabric from my favourite African fabric shop -- Kitambaa. This is African Indigo fabric!! I bought two bundles --- as they were different. Who knows what I will do with it. Love the buttons!!

Here is a nice picture of the new kitchen/dining area now that the furniture is back. Very modern....I am loving the new kitchen. It is so much nicer to work in --  bigger, it seems so much brighter as well even though the window is not much bigger than the old window it seems so much bigger. Maybe it is the fact that the area is not so closed in and we get light from the rest of the house as well.

The stone masons have been busy this past week. They are a group of men from El Salvador. They have been doing a great job but it is slow work because they can't work in the rain and we have entered our "rainy season" so they work only a day or two here and there. They were here again today and I will put up some pictures of the front of the house when I can take some pictures in the day light.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

I had a dream

It has obviously been a long time since I got to enjoy my hobby of quilting. Although not as long as it has been for Jim to enjoy his hobby - he hasn't made beer in 9 months - so he tells me.  And I have had a few quilting getaways - a trip to Sisters Oregon and an occasional Friday Stitch group.  I meet with a group of "Gathered Threads" on various Fridays throughout the month.

I have been working quite a few night shifts in the past month.  This week I worked Monday and Tuesday night and then on Wednesday the contractor was at the house all day installing the baseboards - so I didn't really get a good sleep.  I sort of napped on the sofa downstairs and noise and banging made their way to my ears as I dozed.  And for some reason Jenny decided she needed to be up on the sofa as I slept as well!!

And I had a dream.  I invited all of my Friday stitch group over to my house for a stitch day.  They were looking for some fabric to finish the back of a quilt.  I offered that they could chose some fabric for their quilt from my stash.... and they took ALL of my fabric away with them!!  I was so upset - calling to Jim to go after them.... they didn't even leave me a tiny scrap!!  What do you think that means!!  I think it is the stress of this topsy turvey house!!  We are certainly getting close but the tiler -- who was supposed to come yesterday is now not coming until Monday.... as we drag into another month.

I thought a cute little Hunter picture would cheer us up.  Poor little Hunter spent time this week at the Alberta Children's Hospital.  He had his tonsils and adenoids removed.  He had a sleep study done a number of months ago and the recommendation was to have the surgery and they got him in pretty quick.  Jessica spent the night with him at the hospital.  He is home now and typical baby -- much better.

Isn't he cute!!

There is a new blog in town!  A member of my Friday stitch group has started a blog and I think it will be a fun blog to follow.  It is called Poppyprint.   Krista is a very talented quilter and photographer.  Krista is the organizer of the "Quilting by the Bay"  ( aka QBTB) that we quilters are lucky enough to attend.  It is a day of quilting from 9 AM until 10 PM... all the food and snacks are provided and brought out to us just about the time we think we should be eating again --LOL  It is a fun filled day of prizes and visiting and a nice glass of wine.

At the last QBTB that I attended Jim BBQ'd up a nice Spring salmon for all the quilters for supper and I got a pair of hand knitted socked - made by Krista's mother.  I was just thrilled.  I love hand knitted socks.  Jessica is starting to knit - so I am hoping she can knit me socks.  She wants me to sew her a nice big knitting bag -- maybe for some socks.....

And at my guild meeting a couple of months ago.... June I think.  Was it really that long ago??
There is a woman - Pippa Moore - Kimambaa Designs  that has organized a group of women in Africa to make a few different crafts and then the crafts are being shipped to Canada and sold through Pippa with all the money directly going back to the women.  I can't remember if I blogged about this before - but I am on a bit of a roll here so if I did mention this before.... here it is again. 

This is my quilty content for today.  I bought these four placemats.  And we have moved the dining room table back into the dining room so maybe they will get put out soon.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Finishing up the African Wedding Quilt

I was able to push some things to the side and put the binding on the wedding quilt. The wedding is October 3rd - so it needed to be done! There certainly was not much room to move about as stuff is piled on top of stuff. My sewing room was the last free bit of space left until we needed to clear everything out for the floors.

Here is a picture of the quilt - back from the quilter - who did a wonderful job on quilt it - binding is on and I am stitching the binding down in the evenings as we watch some evening TV. The quilt will be ready on time - I am almost finished the binding now.

A close up of some of the detail stitching in the border. I am very happy with the result. She stitched around all the individual people in the border.

We had a very busy weekend -- which continued right through Monday and Tuesday. The floors were being refinished - by someone who knew what they were doing! They are done now and they look lovely. We are still not able to move furniture into the house. We are planning on moving some items in on the weekend.

The first hardwood floor guy that we hired was terrible had we had to fire him after 4 days of making a mess of the job.  I have pictures!!  Anyway the guy who we got was able to rescue us and fix most of the first guy's mess.  There are a few little things that we will be stuck with though - but I am NOT going to stress out about it too much!  But if anyone out there is looking for a hardwood floor refinisher -- I can tell you who NOT to get!

We spent most of the weekend doing outside work. Repainting the garage door - painting the outside of the front of the house.

And Jim spent two days on the roof with a shop vac - cleaning the needles out of the cedar shakes.

Not a great picture with the sun in the wrong place but you get the point!

I was off to the dentist this morning to have a crown put on a tooth. So I spent the rest of the day in pain - boy did it hurt when the freezing came out. But I must get all those odd bits of dental work done in the next five years so I can retire with a good set of teeth - and no dental plan!!
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