Saturday, 26 January 2008

Idling the hours away . . .

Having been stuck in bed for the past three days, I've had the wonderful challenge of entertaining myself - without my sewing machine!

Thank goodness the lap top is working fine now, and I was able to educate myself on digital scrapbooking . . . I know that anyone who has been reading my blog from the beginning will recognize some of these photos that were taken for my Photography Classes. Now I have taken them that one step further and placed them into actual "pages".

Let me know what you think . . . I want some honest opinions here! We are supposed to be having a photography show in February and I thought that displaying them like this would be much more interesting than just a little photo stuck on a page.

All of the pages shown are made using free digital scrapbooking pages and embellishments that I have found and collected from the internet. I have not bought any of the details that are shown in the layouts - how frugal is that???!!!?? My husband advises me that some of the pictures need to be bigger and I'll work on that prior to the photo show - but wow, can I ever see a difference from the first page I made to the final ones. It really is amazing how you can learn a computer program just by doing small bits of things and gradually branching out into more and more. I took a PhotoShop class at the local community college and I didn't learn as much there as what I have learned from one magazine and different little tutorials (which are also free!) off the internet.

Anyone who is looking for a new hobby or looking to put in some time laying around recuperating from surgery - this is the way to do it.

'til next time,


Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Benefits of not working . . .

People send you flowers!

What a lovely surprise yesterday when these little beauties showed up at the door. Not sure what they are and haven't had time to do any research . . . but I think it can be planted outside come Spring. Very cheerful and helpful.

On Monday night the mailman brought this wonderful assortment of books from - love shopping there! I don't think the price can be beat anywhere - very happy person now.

Yesterday I read the books basically cover to cover and am quite looking forward to curling up in bed tonight and starting that same process again. Love these books! Just the kind of inspiration I need right now - not that I'm racing for the sewing machine or anything - but still I can dream and plan.

Last week I did get around to doing some playing with the Stack and Whack method. Came up with six very interesting little blocks - love seeing the centres emerge when that final seam is sewn. Lots of fun!

Now my bed is calling me - it was my first day back to work and I feel like a lay down . . .
'til next time,

Monday, 21 January 2008

Cold and chilled . . .

Here in Manitoba the weather has taken a turn to the notorious January cold snap . . . with windchill factor calculated in, it is close to the -40C . . . a good day to be tucked in at home.

I know most everyone else is at work, but I've taken a few days to myself! I was scheduled for some surgery that I thought would be sometime in the next three months . . . I got a call last Wednesday afternoon telling me that they had some cancellations for Friday and could I make it in? I saw the specialist on January 3, had my pre-op checkup on the 11th and had my surgery on the 18th - wow, that is unheard of! I've heard of people waiting many, many months for procedures to be done . . . so I am counting myself a very lucky person that my number came up quick, everything went smoothly and I'm not scheduled to see the doctor again for three to six months. Knock on wood that all remains well.

So here I am snuggled up with some wonderful little tools and just puttering away at whatever tickles my fancy . . . a little bit of this and little bit of that.

What a mess I make though, papers are scattered everywhere . . . this one's good, this one has possibilities and wow, how did that one happen? Maybe I'll get a couple that will work for whatever little project that may need them.

I did some sewing yesterday - but very little. Mostly lounging in bed with a few little projects that didn't require anything electrical (I was supposed to stay away from anything dangerous!). Cut out the back side of some applique work I've been doing - boy, do I hate that tedious job! But I do like the applique thing and maybe I can get back to some machine work later today.

I've had fun receiving all the emails requesting the little quilt label pattern (see below). Requests came from all over and it is so neat to see the little addresses on the envelopes - the postal people will wonder what I've been up to! If you would like a copy of the pattern, it's not too late to send me a request . . .

'til next time . . .


Thursday, 17 January 2008

Buffing up on history . . .

The Municipality I work for is celebrating it's 125th Anniversary this year and I find myself serving on various committees.

One of these committees is the history committee where we are researching various buildings, landmarks, cemeteries and other interesting items from the past. Eventually displays and storyboards will be created for the anniversary day, but in the meantime I am having an interesting time learning about all the different histories and buildings.

The interesting rock display is reported to have been placed at the corner section to identify a traffic turnoff for local residents - works as good as a sign, doesn't it? It was supposedly erected by a local farmer who had three children and this is why there are three separate pieces. No one really knows for sure as the farmer is now gone and the children live elsewhere. Maybe we can catch up to a relative and get the real story . . .

This little barn was built in the early 1900's and sits alone in the middle of a field. On the other side of the barn it has the name "Maple Grove" and the date (which I don't have recorded!). The landowner is keeping it very well maintained and possibly even continues to use it for storage. Kinda weird seeing this sitting in the middle of nowhere - just a reminder of the past when these little red barns were actually used. I can't recall, in recent memory, when I last saw a new barn being built . . .

I call this house the "Gingerbread House". Look at the detailing on the edges! This is a big house compared to many of the same era - must have been a big family. I believe that this house may be slated for demolition this coming Spring . . . what a shame! They don't build them like this anymore.

Here is another local barn that is reported to be a fairly rare find in this area. The bottom half is made out of cement which, back in the era of it's construction, was not a very recognized method of construction. The longevity of it's existence, coupled with the current upright stature, are both testament to the construction practice used. Once again this is the only structure still standing on what was once a farm yard site (other than the little windmill which looks like it is missing a few upper pieces of it's structure!).

I love this little house! And I do mean little . . . it is one of the smallest houses I've seen in quite some time. When the kids were smaller I used to tell them that this was the house that we could afford to buy - something really small and not in very good condition.
It looks so abandoned, doesn't it? It was built on the edge of the creek, sheltered somewhat by old, scrubby oaks and has seen many, many cold Manitoba winters blow through it. You have to admire the way some forgotten farmer tried to board up the windows - even those have mostly rotted and fallen off.
The stories these old buildings could tell would be very interesting! I'm not even from this local area, but I do find the history of the cemeteries, folklore of the area and especially the old buildings very intriguing!
'til next time,

Sunday, 13 January 2008

It's a good day when . . .

new fabric arrives!

All Moda - Heaven and Happiness all rolled into beautiful jelly rolls - two from Fig Tree and the one in the tin is by 3 Sisters which also includes a very nice quilt pattern.

Now the dilemma . . . when will I actually feel compelled to untie one of these exquisite jelly rolls to make something. Stay tuned . . . it may be soon or quite some time from now before this really happens.

Although there are two quilting workshops that I plan on attending in January - one next Saturday and one at the end of January . . . maybe I'll have finished a few other projects and will be ready to start a new one.

'til next time,


Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Keeping you posted . . .

I received a request from a fellow blogger yesterday about my previous post and this particular quilt photo. The request was to see a shot of the whole quilt!
Not yet!
I'm starting the second half of my photography class tomorrow night and hopefully in the next four weeks I will learn how to take "wonderful" full quilt pictures.
(Also, as a little side note: this quilt isn't done yet - the applique in the borders has not quite yet been finalized and it is actually a two part quilt - just to keep you interested!)

Shadow has graciously agreed to demonstrate for you just how I've been feeling the last few months. Between doctor's visits and just not feeling really great, the stressful pace of work and the stress of the holidays - I've been a little upside down about most things.
Here's hoping the next few weeks/months can adjust everything that just isn't quite right . . .
'til next time,

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Back to Work . . .

All wonderful things must come to an end.

Three whole weeks of being at home!
And out of those three weeks I was able to find five days that were my very own. In some ways I found that very hard to deal with . . . I love my self time! It's my time to scheme and create at my pace, instead of trying to fit little bits of minutes here and there together. Don't get me wrong! It was wonderful having family home for the holidays but now things must return to normal . . . which means back to work.

Everyone seems to be making resolutions for the New Year . . . not me! Every day starts out with a new resolution for me - I seem to usually always start the day with a specific goal of what will be done by the end. I suppose I should look at the bigger picture and group my goals from each day into one or two big goals to try and achieve in 365 days time. I guess I come from the world of hard knocks and realize that the best laid plans usually don't come true. So I think that I will stick to making a resolution every day and then not be completely freaked out by some loftie dream that I had on January 1st that never came true.

Here is one of my goals for today . . .

This little flower label is something that I designed to be used for documenting your quilts. It is a very easy foundation pieced pattern that can be done in minutes using leftover fabrics that match your quilt. Plus the right-hand side is where you can write your name, the date, the name of the quilt or whatever you want so that each of your quilts will be labelled. You can use your sewing machine alphabet to write the information or use one of those wonderful black markers that are specifically made to write on fabric.

Here's the deal . . . this is a free pattern!

Send me an email ( and I will mail you out a copy of the pattern. I'm curious to see where everyone is from! Plus if you have a special resolution - let me know, maybe I need to change my view of how resolutions work before 2009 gets here.

'til next time,


Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's to a safe, happy, busy and successful New Year to one and all.

'Tis the time to look ahead and imagine where, what and how we are going to accomplish for a New Year. Some of those thoughts could be pretty intense, don't you think?
On a lighter note . . . here at the little quilt shop . . . there have been a few things that have been going on since my last post - (which was quite some time ago as some of you have noticed!)
As you can see above . . . Santa came to our house!

. . . plus he brought some reindeer.
After that things kinda got a little squirrelly . . .

What a busy time of year! Both kids were home for Christmas. Brennan was here until the 26th and Candace was here until the 29th. We also made a couple of trips to Brandon and one trip to Winnipeg. Randy's mom was also here for Christmas and she was thrilled with her quilt that was made special for her. The photo below is the little gift tag that I made from the leftover fabrics . . . it turned out really good and was almost as popular as the quilt itself!

Now it is time to regroup and make plans for the New Year. I have a few new projects underway that I am quite looking forward to, but I also know that January is already shaping up as a very busy month at work. So I'll be doing that tug-a-war thing where I want to do something but never seem to get to it - could be frustrating for the first month of 2008.
I hope your plans for the New Year are exciting and happy ones
and that each of us can reach our goals in 2008.
'til next time,