Friday, March 25, 2016

I Have No Excuse

Ok this is the third (and last ) start at this blog post! 
As I was saying, I really have no excuse for not posting except maybe laziness. I've had a few people ask me where I've been and why no blog activity, I'm going to try to write something worth reading. Here goes. What have I been up to? Well, I was kept quite busy helping to plan a 5 day quilt retreat for 46 women. Then of course I had to plan and prep what I was going to work on for my retreat projects. 
Mr. O  has been doing some consulting work this winter. That means a fair bit of travelling on his part and he is away for two weeks and home for one so that has taken a little getting used to. I've  been snowshoeing, walking, knitting, crocheting, walking, quilting, walking, oh wait I've said that already… But I have to say I have been fairly diligent in trying to improve my health and fitness. So far I have lost 27 pounds and probably have another 20 to go. It's slow going but I am seeing progress. One of my best tools is the bathroom scales. Yes I know it's just a number but it keeps me on track. There's nothing that motivate more than to see the numbers going down, unless it's seeing the numbers go up! And that motivates me too!


When I look back and try to recall what I've made this is what comes to mind. I've knit four pairs of socks. I crocheted a pair of slippers for my daughter.






I finished piecing a UFO that has been lurking in my studio for about 8 years. A tin can challenge that seemed like a good idea at the time...


I pieced and quilted a baby quilt for my nephews new daughter. I built a house…


Well, it's not finished but the rest is pretty much cosmetic. It Was a different kind of a project I must say. I am not totally happy with the strip piecing. Working with plaids can be a bit challenging. I think things are straight and all lined up and then when I look at the finished results there seems to be a bit of a wave in it. Sort of like real houses! I saw a quilt like it during my travels last year and Mr. O commented that he liked it. I bought the pattern and on another trip I bought the fabric and I thought it was time to get it built. I have some trimming to do and a little more applique to finish and then it goes to the long arm quilter where the magic happens.
I also made an iPad case for my daughter.


One day while snowshoeing I was noticing our tracks. I thought we were travelling in a straight line across the field but when I stopped and looked back it wasn't as straight as I thought it was and I got to thinking that it was sort of like quilting. Looking at the small picture looks pretty straight but when you stand back and look at the whole strip...meh! Not so straight after all.



Looks pretty straight...



Well, maybe not so straight after all.



This is what I used to snowshoe with, but Mr O bought me new snowshoes for my birthday this year, and it is sort of like quilting with templates and scissors and then going to rotary cutters and rulers. What a difference!




Something else I have wasted a lot of time on   been spending time on, is a guild challenge. In January we were asked to bring in a meter of ugly fabric. We all stood in a large circle and we were to cut in 2. We kept one piece for ourselves and the other we were to pass to the person next to us. You kept passing fabric around until the music stopped, sort of like when we played Hot Potato at birthday parties when we were kids. What ever ended up in your hands when the music stopped you had to tear it in half...keep one piece and pass the other on....


This is what I ended up with! The challenge was to make something using these fabrics. You could add one fabric to it, and embellish as you wished. Talk about a challenge! I had all kinds of ideas and tried a few things but finally decided on something I thought I might actually like to keep and use. I cant show you the finished project just yet, but I can give you a peek.



As I am finishing this post the clock just chimed 3:00 am, and I am thinking that it is time to call it a day. 
If I told you I promise to be back soon you wouldnt believe me, so I won't tell you that...

I will leave you with this picture that has a very good message.





Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CHANGES



Believe it or not, this blog post with this title was on my mind to write way back in November. I was walking one day and the changing of the season was so evident ...the weather, the colours all around. All the gorgeous coloured leaves that just so recently had been on the trees was now dry and crinkly and blowing all around my feet on the ground. There was starting to be a nip in the air. The changes I was working on in my health were starting to pay off. I had planned to go to Ontario in November to do my annual Christmas baking and buying and wrapping with my sister and brother, but because Mr. O offered to come along, my travel plans changed. Insted of flying we would now be driving, and the date changed to December, then we decided to meet up with friends and spend four days at Boyne Mt Resort after the Christmas chores were done. In the meantime, our son and his family decided to come home for Christmas, so we were excitedly looking forward to that, but I had only left myself 3 and a half days to prep for Christmas. More changes, because all the things I normally did for Christmas in the baking dept were just not going to get done due to time constraints, and you know what? That was okay with me...I was just happy to have them home, and the fact that I didnt get the home made chocolates done, or the peanut brittle , or the poppycock, or...or ...or were okay. I was having a change of heart. What was more important to me was having them home, not what I baked and cooked. I managed to get a few of the traditional things done and it turned out to be way more than we needed. There was no Christmas tree, but I did get out my Robert Kincaid village and set it up on the mantle, and we did some outdoor decor earlier, and a few candles and favourite Christmas/snowmen decorations turned out to be just perfect. I hung a quilted Christmas tree with lights and that was okay too...
Can you see why Changes seemed like a good title for a blog post...the one I intended to write but just never seemed to get around to it.
Well here I am almost 2 months later finally writing my Changes post!
I think I have probably mentioned before that the hardest part of writing a blog post is coming up with a title. Give me a title and I am off and running...you may have also noticed that very often I will end with a quote that has reference to my topic of conversation. 
Well I am on the road again because of more changes...life is ever changing...while Mr O is snoring away and the television newscaster is rambling on in the background, about all the newsworthy events. The big story was about the death of David Bowie....another headliner was about the Mexican drug lord that had been recaptured, and of course the weather. (Because the weather is almost always newsworthy) I decided it was time to blog, so the first thing I did was Google the word CHANGE/CHANGES and the first thing that came up was David Bowie...apparently he recorded a song by that name( by now you have guessed I was not a David Bowie fan, because I did not know this...The next item referred to a song by Tupac Shakur; Changes...a hip hop song that makes reference to "the war on drugs". (Apparently I am not a fan of Tupac because I did not know this either)
By this time I was thinking, maybe I better CHANGE my title to something else, but I knew that if I had to come up with another title this blog post just would not get written, so I put my foot down and decided that this was one CHANGE that was not going to happen! Now you know the story behing the title, let me show you a few (well okay maybe more than a few) photos.


As you can see, the leaves were mostly off the trees and on the ground. This was taken at a local walking trail at Daley Point. I always bring along a little bag of seeds because the chickadees are so friendly they come and eat right out of your hands! We went back with the grandchildren on Christmas day, because I thought they would enjoy feeding the birds too. Quite a change in the scenery eh?








Meg sprinkled seeds on my beret and the chickadees ate their Christmas dinner atop my head. My witty son said I looked like the "crazy bird lady in the park" from Home Alone! Some things never change!
In November on a warm day Mr O and I collected branches and berries and I made some seasonal arrangements while he built me some ornamental wildlife for the yard. By the end of the day I was pretty pleased with the outcome.











We woke up the next morning to some beautiful changes!







There have been a few other drastic changes and people who know me, know that I don't accept change easily, but let me tell you that I love these changes!
Mr O bought me new custom cabinets and bookshelves for my quilt studio! And new lighting! 2 flexible track lights with a total of 10 LED daytime lights on them. We also swapped ends of the family room to accomodate all the changes and I managed to sneak in a few more inches of space 👍😀😄😜. This is one change I am loving!




I celebrated by getting out a 10 year old UFO, and that baby will be finished by months end! The quilting may not be done but the top will be finished! I probably would have finished it by this evening but a very dear friend we have known for many years passed away this morning so we are on our way to Ontario for a funeral. This very special lady has a very special daughter who just happens to be my Bosum Friend(inside joke) but kidding aside we are long time friends. She has been such a loving and caring daughter and has devoted a lot of her time to spending it with her Mom and this is going to bring tremendous CHANGES in her life! It just won't be the same going to visit our Son and family without a little visit with Marie. I will miss her big smile and just sitting and sharing old times.


You have gone to your reward, rest in peace my dear friend.

I leave you with a few pics of my trimmed down Christmas trimmings.



A robin in December enjoying my cranberry decorations!
















My favourite decoration of of all was having part of my family back home with us for the holidays!



I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a Happy Healthy New Year with only good and positive changes!









Thursday, October 29, 2015

Today's post is brought to you by the letter W



Walking, Wellness, Weight loss, Weather, Winter, Windows, WIP's

and .....Wrench


How's that for a mixed bag?

Walking has been prescribed by my Dr to help with my cholesterol levels and I have been pretty steady with it. I have to say that I always boasted about my cholesterol levels being great despite my diet and weight, but alas! ....the boasting has ceased. I really do not want to take cholesterol meds so the only way to improve things is to move more and eat less (and a little wiser [hey! Another W word!])
There have been a few times where I have wanted to skip my walk but I can honestly say I have been very faithful with it since the 22 of Sept. The only day I missed was a day I did yard work and then got called in early for an appointment and coupled with another appointment I arrived home in the dark and very hungry for supper, so I decided the yard work would have to stand in for the walk that day. I have walked in pouring rain




Yes this is me!



I have walked in the dark by flashlight....



And I have walked on some absolutely beautiful days!





Theses were taken at Daley Point, a local place that is a favourite with nature lovers. Mr O and I had a lovely walk that day and of course had a pocketful of seeds to feed the friendly feathered friends along the way. If you look at the next few pics you can see the birds perched on my hand getting seeds. A favourite thing to do along that trail!





We live on a secondary highway that is well travelled. One never knows what one will find along the road on a daily walk. I have often said that there are quite a number of vehicles on the verge of collapsing in a pile of rubbish at any given time if the number of nuts and bolts and hub caps that I see daily on the road are any indication...one day last week, or was it the week before? My oh my the time goes by so fast...anyway, one day while walking, I found this on the side of the road



An 18" pipe wrench! Seriously! I told you that there were vehicles on our roads in danger of falling apart and apparently someone had to do some emergency repairs along the way, because this is usually found in a plumber's  toolbox not a mechanic's.  😯
Something else that was left alongside the road last week was a little piece of me, because 
I lost three pounds last week, bringing my total loss since August to 13 pounds. I know I have a long way to go, but you have to start somewhere.

I was in to the hospital this morning for more blood work and have an appointment next week for results to see if my hard work has reaped any reults in lowering my cholesterol numbers. Actually my good cholesterol is too low and my bad is a touch too high. The body is a strange thing eh? The same regime (diet and exercise) will bring the low number up and the high number down or at least thats what I am hoping for.

Last week I was able to attend our annual guild Fall retreat. I have missed the last couple of retreats with all my travelling so I was thrilled to be able to attend. I had big plans of accomplishing many things but did a little too much socializing I guess because I only finished one small project.





It is a larger version of the Sew Together Bag. This one is called The Bionic Gear Bag by Sally Thompson. I purchased it through Craftsy. In my defence it is a rather involved project with several fabrics (further complicated by me because I chose directional prints) and applying 5 zippers thus making 9 different compartments to this notions bag. The pattern was 42 pages long. I found it to be a little "wordy" thus muddling my thinking process at times. I am someone who likes to say, " Just the facts Mam, just the facts." 



I will say this though, have to marvel at a mind that can come up with a pattern like this!

While at retreat, Mr O sent me a weather update. The first was a video asking me if I could see the snow..."not really" was my answer, and then another followed...with the same question...
"Can you see the snow now?"
( I was going to show you a video of heavy snow falling but seem to be having trouble to install Vimeo on my ipad)
I had only to look back through older photos to jog my memory of just how much snow we can be gifted with... But now? Snow! It was only the 17th of October for mercy sake! Winter is coming. We have been away South for the last couple winters and this winter may be a little hard to adjust to. 



This may be me before long. 

My last W is WIP's. While cleaning in my studio I decided to corral all my Works In Progress. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are a few others lurking about but this pile is enough to spur me on to trying to finish some of these projects. With Christmas looming on the horizon some of these just may be turned into Christmas gifts...



I realize that this may not seem like a huge pile but there are three quilt tops in there and many other various projects so I do have my work cut out for me.

Speaking of work...I have been cleaning windows and washing curtains  amongst the walking and Dr appointments and other daily affairs. I love clean windows, but they never stay that way very long. I read somewhere to clean them with Rainex(car windshield stuff) because apparently it helps them to stay free of rain streaks and fly specks etc. so that is on the agenda for tomorrow for the outside of the windows. I am curious to see how it works.

I have to tell you I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this post and If I was a journalist or story teller and was given the assignment of writing a story using walking, winter, wellness, wrenches, windows and WIP's in it my first reaction would be, "seriously! Are you kidding?" but that seems to be what I have done.

I leave you with a W tongue twister.

Whether the weather be fine or whether the weather be not. Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot. We'll weather the weather whether we like it or not.