Monday, February 26, 2007

In Need Of Cheer

I found this quote today over on LaDonna's blog under the daily scripture for the day:

"A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired."
Proverbs 17:22

If ever there was a day to remember that, it would be today. It's a difficult time of year for our students to keep on track with their attendance. To compound the problem, one of our grads lost his father to cancer this past weekend. The funeral is tomorrow and we're all feeling the strain of it.

But as I read through some of the blogs on my sidebar, I find solace and comfort in the messages from other bloggers. LaDonna's blog is especially dear to me today as it features a gorgeous heart quilt and some special messages to help me keep it all in perspective. Thanks for that, LaDonna.

Thanks to all the bloggers out there who are making small differences in the lives of those you reach.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Morning

Wow, I'm one seriously tired crafter this morning. Too much grey weather these past few days. Not enough green vegetables. Add them up and you get a tired me.

Good thing I finished this baby quilt yesterday. Notice the sheep fabric? How cute is that?

My student Jana had a baby boy on Thursday so this one is for him.

I am a bit sick fo doing baby blankets right now. But I have a couple of weeks before the next one is due so maybe I'll make some socks or something for now. Or work on a quilt that isn't made of cutesy fleece.

Hope you're all having a sunny day, M

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Whole Week? Or A Hole Week?

It seems like a hole of a week in that it disappeared so quickly.

This time of year is tough for some of our students and, to be honest, we're all getting a little tired of the long winter that keeps snowing and snowing and snowing. So keeping everybody on track takes a lot of time and energy.

None the less, there was a little crafting going on. I finally finished one of the student baby blankets and delivered it yesterday afternoon. It's the cutest fabric on top.

I just sandwiched batting between two pieces of fleece, practiced some quilting techniques, and then put a binding on it. Considering how easy it was, it sure took me a long time to get motivated to make this one. I'm still binding the second one. I also have a third one to get together before next month. Ach! Better get on my pony! (See how I cleverly tied this into the title of the last post! Subtle yet effective! Bah!)

I would like to point out that these baby blankets and the Row Houses wall hanging I did a few weeks ago were all done with my stash fabrics. I didn't have to buy a single thing to finish them (although those pins I bought last week came in very handy). My point . . . and I do have one . . . is that I'm totally staying on my fabric diet!

We also made time for baking of the cookies - skor bits and chocolate chips. Yummy!

But Chad and I have decided that we're laying off the cookies for a while otherwise we'll both be much bigger by the end of the school year!

Okay, I'm off to have a day of crafting because, frankly, I deserve it!

Happy snowy Saturday, M

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Back In The Saddle Again

Okay. Now I know that I'm on a fabric and yarn diet, and I've even been trying to control my crafting books habit. And I have to say that I've been doing very well with these goals.

So what do I do instead? I buy support items. Thread, some new needles, pins, a marking pen and a thimble ring. The kinds of things that help me finish my crafts. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

We had a busy but good week. We covered 2300km (1430 miles) in 5 days but, man, did we get lots done. The purpose of the trip was to gather up a lot of free furniture from my family and transport it to my cottage. It was also a good excuse to visit with them while we were there.

Just to prove we really did it, here's Chad putting together the hide-a-bed in the spare bedroom. He's a very useful guy to have around!

When we got home, Reuben made it very clear that he had been doing a very good job protecting the house . . . from killer Valentine heart pillows!

Man, I have a cool life!

Hope you're having a great Sunday, M

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Alarm Clocks and Row Houses

When Chad arrived last week, I asked him if he had an alarm clock to get up in the mornings. "Nope," he says, "Could you just knock on my door in the morning?"

It was a good idea in theory, I guess. But it doesn't work so well. Thus we have resorted to other means . . .

We've since invested in a proper alarm clock for him.

In crafting news, I finished the Row Houses wall hanging for Andrea's mom. I think it turned out to be rather sweet.
I just did a stitch-in-the ditch around the houses and outlined the doors and windows.

I am so impressed with the ease and quickness of this block that I really want to try it again in something funkier.
I was thinking about trying a tea cozy with some brighter fabrics. I 'll have to give it some thought, though.

Right now I need to get on with some housework and some packing. Chad and I are going south for a few days during our Winter Break from school. I have errands and shopping to do. So no blogging for a few days.

Happy Sunday Morning, M

Friday, February 09, 2007

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zooming right along here. I didn't even have time to recharge the camera batteries before these were done.

They are seriously cute, aren't they? I'm trying to find a sashing fabric to go with but I'm a bit stimied right now. I prefer much less colour coordinated fabrics but I know Andrea doesn't so I'm trying to subdue my, er, shall we say, "less conservative" side. (Yeah, that's a nice way to put that I'm more bohemian and prefer it when stuff doesn't matchy matchy like the magazines.)

In truth, it just about killed me to have three of each of the blue fabrics. I would have prefered them all to be different colours and fabrics but I'm trying to consider the recipient here. Or at least the recipient's daughter.

It's another school-closure cold day here. Chad is still snoring away and I'm off to dig in the fabric bins for some sashing, backing and binding fabric.

I hope you're all having a most excellent Friday, M

Thursday, February 08, 2007

More Cold, More Crafts

It's another cold day in our neighbourhood. Chad and Sarabeth are playing computer games this afternoon. I tried to convince them to make some fabric valentines like I saw over here but they went running in the other direction. Apparently, that was a little over the top for two teenagers.

Instead of valentines, I decided to work on another special project of appreciation. (There's a bit of a back story so stay with me.)

Recently, Andrea had the daunting task of helping to move her mother into a seniors' home. In sorting through her mother's belongings, she found an enormous bag of yarn that had not been touched in years. She also found a large collection of knitting needles and crochet hooks. They generously donated these things to support my yarn habit.

I went through the bag and separated out some colours that I thought my friend, Verna, might like and put together a yarn parcel for her. Hope you like it, Verna!

Another pass through and I found a few early-stage projects. I asked Andrea if she would like me to finish them and give them to her and/or her mom, or if she would like me to make her something else from the supplies.

What she did ask for was a quilted wall-hanging for her Mom's room in the seniors' home, something to dress the place up. With nothing for a guide except a blue bedspread, I chose the Happy Scrappy Houses from Bonnie.

I've been wanting to make something with this block for a while now so I'm glad I have a good excuse to play with it. I'm thinking I'll do two rows of three houses, half in light blue, half in navy, and see how it turns out.

I'll post more as I progress but I have to say that it warms my heart to be able to do something for my friends.

Hope you're keeping warm today, too. M

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What Do You Do?

We're having another cold day at school - too cold for kids.

We spent the morning trying to ungum our heating pipes again, thus making sure we have enough warmth to keep blood flowing.

And while the oven was on for heat, Chad made some chocolate cookies.

It's his first independent attempt and while they are delicious, they do have a bit of trouble staying in one piece. They bring much giggling as a result. We're calling them joyful chocolate chip cookies.

Then Sarabeth came over to knit.

My camo girl knitting a pink scarf. Could I be prouder?

So we popped in LOTR Return of the King, ate joyful cookies, worked on scarves, mittens and socks, whiling away a sunny, if frigid -34 Celsius afternoon.

What do you do on your "cold days"? M

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Back Among The Living

Hello there. Yes, I am alive and nearly well. Still having some serious coughing fits and am weakened by making chocolate chip cookies, but I am still here. Something I mean never to take for granted again.

Now where to begin our update? Hmmm. Well, first we'll start with (royal procession in trumpets, please). . . a finished object. The pink camo socks.

So cute and already in the hands of the new owner. I hope you enjoy them, Vicky!

Next on the photographic update menu, I have started the Lapland Mittens from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski.

It's a bit hard to see here but the colours are chocolate brown, snow white and pale candy pink - the colours of Valentine's Day.

I loved learning the plaited edge; I loved learning the fair isle knitting technique. I still need practice with the two-handedness that is required but it amazes me that knitting is so diverse and wide spread that we all have new things we can learn about it.

Go visit the Yarn Harlot for verification of this concept with The Mittens of Rovaniemi. Truly amazing.

My Mom came up to visit last weekend. It was nice to have someone else around to take the dogs' attention off me. Although she may not have been quite so thrilled with the arrangement, I needed the rest.

And finally, in our big news department, we have a new foster son/boarder living with us. Chad is here trying to finish his Grade 12. We have been busy (okay, me not the dogs) trying to make room for a teenage boy in our house and in our lives.

My craft room has been emptied out and turned back into a bedroom (which was not a small feat, especially in my weakened state, and served to remind me how out of control very large my stash has become).

I would love to post a picture of Chad for you but because it is before noon on a Sunday, there is little evidence of his presence. The closest thing I can provide is this:

Reuben sitting outside Chad's door, waiting for him to get out of bed.

Happy Sunday, Bloggers. M