Sunday, 2 April 2017

Women's Hockey Grows Up

I watched the Canadian women's hockey team lose to Finland last night at the world championships. It was a tight game but Finland took them down. It's the first time they have ever lost to anyone other than the USA at a world level competition.

I couldn't be more proud.

Our women have brought international women's hockey to a level where it's not just 2 teams anymore. They raised the golden bar. It took decades of hard work and setting an example for others to aspire to. Finally other women are able to stand toe to toe with them. And I hope those Finnish women remember to say thank you. They could have never reached this level without those Canadian women setting a blazing example for them.

Now, I should say thank you to the USA team. But I don't like them. However they just set an amazing precedent in the USA by demanding and getting a reasonable pay level. So, yah ladies for that!

Things learned in the sewing room this week.

  • When your thread and fabric keep catching on the needle (yes, that's a thing) switch to a single hole faceplate. Big improvement!
  • Those funny felt circles that came with your machine will keep your thread from spinning too fast when you use a vertical spool pin. I have wondered for 40 years what those things are for!
  • There is a thread cutter up by my bobbin winder! Who knew?
  • Patterns sized for a D cup are a step in the right direction for me, but not the last step.
  • This monthly calendar of projects started and finished is really helpful for me. I forget what I have done and it feels great to see I did get something finished.
  • I can move decorative stitches to the left and right as well as flip them over in both directions. This is a whole new world!
  • I found a use for the double ribbon stitches on my machine. I had little hope for them as they seemed impossibly frivolous, but I did find the perfect use and learned how to execute them in a straight line to boot! (details some day soon)
  • Reading the machine manual leads to good things.
  • The #3 foot (blind hem) is amazing! It makes an amazing edge stitch and should be used more!
  • I really do need to clean up more often.
I might need a new phone. It is at least 8 years old. Pictures are not as easy to manage as they were, and it needed to be rebooted to recognize its SIM card sometimes. So, if you want pictures send me money. Go Fund Me!

Just kidding. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Hot Air Travels

It has been a seriously long time since my last post. My apologies. I have been thinking about why the drought, but I don't have an answer.

Perhaps this may be of help. Last week I donated $2 at the grocery store towards their charity and got a helium balloon for my troubles. I took it home and let it hold my page in the current book for a few days. It had a clothespin for just this purpose.

So DH and I are sitting around this weekend, watching the balloon, when we remove the clothespin. It had been getting saggy. Next we attached a few bits of Kleenex to get the buoyancy just right, to drift just at ceiling height.

So, over the weekend our balloon made several circuits of the new kitchen island, ducked through doorways, travelled up and downstairs and showed a remarkable preference for the laundry room. We rarely touched it, other than to mess with the tissues or rescue it from the crawlspace behind the furnace. I can plot the air flow from almost anywhere in the house now.

Don't knock it till you try it. Just saying.

However, doesn't this just speak to a lack of exciting events around here?

Monday, 26 September 2016

Open For Dinner Invitations

Sophie the swimsuit is in a drawer. She is having a little time out to think about what size underwire she might like, and why the cups are too big.

Yes, I said too big.

We are renovating our kitchen. It looked like this as I came down here to post, and I hear plaster smashing as I tap away.
I think the beam between the kitchen and family room is biting the dust at this moment. It has a sag, brought on by it's inadequate size. Size matters when it comes to beams. We will be going bigger.

This all started when I wanted to paint the cabinets. They were mid tone oak. I was tired of that. However, this means removing the cabinets and sending them out to be painted. (Have you priced that lately!!!!!) Of course, a new countertop would set off the paint job nicely, and let's get a backsplash while we're at it. Repaint the walls - oh, let's do the whole house. It looks old.

So, what happened to the walls? Well, why not throw in a little insulation, check the wiring and reroute the heating ducts? No, the flooring will not match the new decor, so it's going and will be resurrected in slate with underfloor heating.

My man's imagination knows no bounds. At least this sort of thing keeps him out of trouble. He is happiest when holding tools and being professional. True to form he kept the dishwasher hooked up and running. Certain creature comforts cannot be abandoned! However, you do need 3 hands to do the dishes. One for the dish, one for the rack and one to keep the whole thing from falling flat on its face. They tip easily, apparently, when not hooked up under a counter.

I try to be helpful. I tote, fetch and admire. It's what I do best. We eat a lot of toast.

I shall be hiding out in the sewing room. I just finished a quilt. I pieced the top on my 1893 Singer treadle and quilted it on my 2016 Pfaff Creative Sensation Pro 2. It doesn't get any better than that! I really do need to measure and work to a plan. My quilts are often a bit strangely shaped. This one is too long and too narrow - and I cut some off as it was! I just get carried away, and the math takes time and makes my head hurt. This is the Lotus pattern from Jaybird quilts. I'm betting that reading the instructions more carefully might have helped with the finished size. The pattern uses the Hex n More ruler. I do like a nice hexy. I was a bit worried about dealing with a lot of bias edges, but they worked out just fine.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sophie and I Make Out

The duck pack is now huge! It's hard to tell which one is mom! Discovered the neighbours all feed the duck pack and none knew about the others. At least they seem to be getting all the food groups covered, from the reports I hear.

Momma deer and tiny fawn have not been seen in a while.  However her last year's child is still stomping through my garden and chewing on everything in sight! S/he will not leave until physically threatened (seems I'm not enough, DH must be called). You should hear the haughty snorts of derision as it finally leaps off, flagging its white fluffy tail!

But I am avoiding the topic at hand. I am building myself a swimsuit. The annual girls week in Montreal approaches, and I need a suit. Closet Case Files just released Sophie and I liked the look. It has a very fitted bra style top. It could be great for me, or not - but well worth a try.

I've also got her jeans pattern, but haven't tried it yet. She seems to get good reviews though. First to impress me was the cheat lines so nicely in place for me! You print off your size according to your bust and she has nested the lower part of the pattern with 3 sizes up and down in light grey lines. You have your size and all the alterations right there! This alone is worth the price of admission! Practical genius at work!

Things would have been just swimmy if I had bothered to read the Big Bold Red Print. I printed out the size based on my upper bust, as I usually do. She bases the size on your under bust measurements and then a cup size factor. Yah! I got to go down a few sizes! And I got to practice my gluing. Always need more practice with that.

She includes 5 cup sizes and I was most hopeful for cup size 5, even though the measurements she gives are not in my range. My cup spillith well over that, methinks. Me right. She helpfully suggested making a foam muslin from the foam inner cup pattern. I did and well, brilliant idea. Saved me a lot of tears later. She may need to expand beyond 5 cup sizes. This Sophie was not going to fit left to its own devices!

However, this foam muslin idea led to plan B. I made up a foam cup from my fav bra pattern and them cut it apart in the same lines as the Sophie pattern indicated. This gave me new pattern pieces for the cups, but not the suit that they needed to connect to.

This is why a girl needs toys. I have a flexible ruler (it's wiggly and can be used in interesting ways) so I measured the new cups along the bottom edge from centre seam to side and centre, curved the ruler along the original seam lines of the cup cradles built into the suit and just dipped the line until it would contain the beasts. I was surprised at how little fabric need to be removed to add the seam length I needed.

And that is where I am now. The suit body is together and needs leg elastic next. Then the cups go in. Then I hope I can find an underwire in my collection to fit. Swimsuits are huge investments of time. However, this one is princess seamed, 1 or 2 pieces, colour block friendly - and suitable for the slightly squishy body I seem to have.  Well, I'll let you be the judge of that in a few days. Or not. I need to see it first before I decide if it suitable for the public eye.

Monday, 20 June 2016


I looked out the window around supper tonight. That's when you check on the cracked corn before the ducks arrive for their nightly feed. The single girl arrives first, and then there's a flurry of 5 that circle the yard once and then land with a crash.

I look out - and there is the single girl - trailed by the seven most obedient, adorable little ducklings ever! When you get ducks in a row, you just know! Sorry, no picture of that.

I sent DH out with a scoop of our finest feed. The little ones turned up their cute little bills but mom had a good meal. I think the little ones are still on soft food. We would be feeding the school ducklings cracked corn by now, but wet. These guys had other ideas.

Next the gang of 5 arrived. She could see them coming and moved her flock off a bit. The others gave her a nod and took over the food. Mom headed her group down the yard and we followed. There were a few tense moments as we stopped traffic, but the crossing was successful.

I can say that AFTER we decided that 7 did reach the other side, even though DH only counted 6. Mom counted them after they cleared the ditch. She would know. DH and I searched the ditch and stream just in case. People never know.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Slippery Slope

OK. Today we drove by a church on the way to be a check point in a car rally, and there was the sign in the parking lot - ATM located inside.

We drove by it twice, so I'm pretty sure I got that right. I was flabbergasted!

We also dropped in on DH's cousin who has a farm store on her dairy farm. Happy little chickens, sheep, geese, etc run over to meet you. You pick up wayward eggs and put them where they won't be stepped on. I loved it! We got some Very free range meat and e-transferred the money. Ah, the modern farm!

I find it interesting that I will buy meat that has been ethically raised. Today I looked my food in its cute little beady eyes and I had no problem buying it for dinner. I don't think I'll change on that, but we'll see how it goes. I find my opinions or my ethics are evolving. Not sure where I'll end up - or if they will ever settle for good. Now that I have more time to think about decisions and more time to be 'less convenient' when I want - I find myself wanting to put my money and time where it will best placed.

I rarely buy clothing and I am starting to consider how the fabric for my sewing is produced. I will spend more and go further to buy local. I try not to use credit cards at small local businesses. Of course this is all slippery slope. Once you make a step in that direction it's hard not to keep going further and further.

And I am so, so grateful I can afford to be this way. We aren't rich but we can make choices. And we're Canadian. We are lucky duckies.

Yesterday we went to the Greekfest. A lovely man at DH's work had given us tickets and it was a beautiful day, so off we went. It was great fun. They have a beautiful location on the water. We had a delicious lunch and all was perfect until we ducked inside to see what was there.

There was the dessert table. It was long, luscious and really, really good. Oh, so good! Beyond the outermost regions of good. We stuffed ourselves at a sunny table outside and then worked very hard to waddle on back to the car.

I'm sure that man had good intentions, but he's now responsible for the current state of my middle. All of it! I'm throwing it all at him.

And the Greek church also had a cash machine. In this case I was left with the impression it was just there for the fest. Oh, I so hope so! Didn't Jesus tear up a place of worship for doing the same sort of thing long ago?

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Sound The Trumpets!

If I knew how to put a drum roll here, you'd be hearing it!

I have been working on a lace scarf for over a year, and it's finished.


Yes, it's done. About 120 bobbins, lace weight alpaca yarn - and a great pattern that let me really get comfortable with some very useful stitches. For those who don't know bobbin lace it's an obscure needle craft that is usually done with thread the thickness of a spiderweb. It takes at least an hour per square inch and if you make a mistake, fudging takes more time and knowhow than ripping it out and redoing it again - and again. I avoid the spiderweb stuff and like to try thicker, more interesting material.

I love the process. It's like a Sudoku for me. I started when I retired and it was just the thing to shake me up as a learner. I will never be anything other than a beginner, but that's just fine. I don't want to put the time in that would be required to get proficient. A few hours a week keep me happy.

Next I'm going to work on some pieces from a workbook I just bought. I plan to use the pieces in clothing I make. Practice that's practical.

Here is the masterpiece. No, the edge should not be all ripply like that. You are not looking at a good piece of lace. You are looking at a finished piece of lace that I am so proud of! I don't pick at or judge my work. I love it just the way it is, warts and all. So much more enjoyable that way!

Not sure what to do with the fringe.

Hours and hours of long scarf. 

These are some of the bobbins I used.