Tuesday, 24 June 2014

We Turn for Turtles!

So we drop the truck off for service and are driving home when....

I snap out directions for u-turning at the next driveway and the DH executes turn beautifully. There was a HUGE turtle (???) strolling the gravel parking at Red Bridge Pond! S/he was huge! We thought snapping turtle, but perhaps you have another call?

With the greatest respect for such an awesome beast I whipped out the phone to get pictures as we tried to determine where it was headed. It wasn't going anywhere with us watching, it seemed, so we took stronger measures. I hate to interfere but the road is really busy there, and Lake Banook is probably not the better choice for a peaceful locale. DH bravely picked the beast up and carried it to the pond edge. It snapped and wiggled hard all the way! Those jaws could do some real damage!

Water seemed to pour out of its shell as it was carried. That's what DH says. I think DH was being anointed. All is fair in love and war, after all.

DH is just disappointed I didn't get a video for YouTube. I've ruined his potential 15 minutes of fame and glory!

Monday, 23 June 2014


I won a Clover thingy, and you know how much I love new notions! I can't wait till it arrives. I lost my bamboo point turner and had to borrow one at the last retreat. This one looks like it has features! I'll let you know. Clover puts out a lot of things. I subscribe to their blog so I can see what's coming up.  They give a detailed description of how to use each tool. Often you see uses that way you'd never think of on your own. Sometimes they have giveaways - and you get a new toy!

Now, don't go there. This is the second toy I have won from Clover. I don't need your competition!

DH and I went to Acadia University yesterday and toured the Irving Gardens. They are amazing! If you have an interest in native NS plants and a beautiful setting, drop in any time. The garden is always open. It's well laid out and there are lots of labels. I'm a label reader. They do give a tour on the weekends. We were the only ones. I don't remember talking that fast when I was that young. She knew her stuff and was most pleasant, but wow! Could she talk!

No, he did not wear the new shirt yet. I may remind him of that this week.

I finished a new dress and cozy top lately and I don't have pictures. I'll get right on that and post. I do need to adjust the sleeve openings in the dress. I try to balance my bust and my shoulders, but if I leave the 'above bust' area too wide, the armholes cut into me as the day goes on. I will rescoop and then show you the 'before and after'. Maybe some of you will have suggestions.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Going Sewing/Sewing Going

The Atlantic Sewing Guild had a 3 day retreat recently. It was 3 glorious days of eating and sewing with friends. Social sewing is the way to go!

I made a squirrel! I see a lot of cute stuffed animals like this used to show off modern fabric prints. They make nice fun decor items. Stay ahead of the trends, people. The pattern for this came from a Burda Style magazine. The Great P got it for me!

I made a shirt for DH! Now I've made him things before, and he always likes that. He never wears anything I make him, but he appreciates the effort.

This shirt is the Negroni shirt by Collette, and he loves it! He likes the fit and the way it looks, and went off to the sewing room to find more suitable fabrics. Amazing! I think he needs a 'sway back' adjustment. I hate that term. It implies (to me) that an arch in the back is not normal. Anyway, he needs a little adjustment there and the fit will be even better.

This is a great little organizer I saw at a Pfaff gathering and loved. The instructions were a bit confusing but it went together very well and I'll be making more. It's called Pockets To Go by Atkinson Designs. I'll also try to get the fabric orientated correctly next time. The cowboys are all sideways!

Room To Breathe

I think I have the sewing room somewhat under control. There are still boxes on the floor and bags stuffed in spots and UFO's in the bedroom, but I'm ready to move forward. And I did. I am currently finishing a dress from our guild 'sewing going' weekend and stitching out the remaining blocks for my Oh La La quilt. The dress inseam pockets need to be moved up. As I put them there in the first place, I have only my own poor judgement to blame. Just how tall do I think I am? The quilt blocks are going well and almost finished.

 This is my Pfaff Creative Vision. It has its own table and window.  Sometimes it embroiders over there, all on its own! The floss drawers stacked up nearby hold trims and threads.

 Here my Pfaff 2048 and Juki serger occupy their own customized spaces. Home Depot cut 2 holes in a countertop for me and finished the edges. DH added a shelf underneath each machine and sat the countertop on 3 lower kitchen cabinets. Then he added upper cabinets above. There is a strip of fluorescent lighting under the upper cabinets. The magnetic strip holds tools close at hand. The little ironing board sits where the Singer Featherweight usually sits. It's currently off to a workshop with a friend. I did once have a piece of plywood covered with wool and canvas as an ironing board top for my cutting table. I liked that a lot and may return to that. 

 The upper cabinets are full and stacked on top as well. I leave notes to myself on the doors. Here's my Singer treadle. I use it to piece quilts from time to time. What a lovely straight stitch!  
Here we have my open fabric storage. The linens, silks and fine wools are in closed shelving on another wall.  Under the cutting table are drawer units from Ikea. I keep buttons, elastics and bra findings here. I need a label maker.


 I have my own patterns drawers that hold patterns ('natch), serger threads and more trims. My dress form is almost my size. The measurements are right, but the lumps aren't all in the right place yet. It's a work in progress.

 Here are some of my vintage patterns, machines and purse fabric storage. The closet stores big and bulky items, and also has a staircase to the attic, and more storage. 

 I love my cutting table. It has an extension (not currently in) and is a tall table. It's 5 x 5' and was meant to be bar height. These aren't in style anymore, so look for a cheap one. I bought my cutting boards with a 50% off coupon and a teacher present gift card at Michael's. Some parents know you so well!

So, yes indeed - my sewing room is tidier and more organized. I will continue to mess it up but will also be looking for better ways to store things. The best way to do that would be to get those unfinished projects under control. If I can just keep the squirrels under control!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A Really Big Goldfish Bowl

DH and I drove the back roads of nowhere today, inspecting potential rally roads for this summer's events. Got to get the AC fixed on the truck! When you crack the windows the dust pours in. There were 2 porcupines, a deer, squirrel, owl and a turtle and many goldfish in a quarry pond. Don't you just want to know the story on the goldfish? I'd have pics but my phone died. This reminded me that I have a really nice camera with spare batteries. I'm getting that baby back out!

I once had a school parent who came to my backyard pond to get some new goldfish for her children. When their previous fish went belly up, she told them the fish had gone to summer camp. She then (a few months later) convinced them that my pond was indeed that camp. Well done! They were even able to pick out their own fish from all the others!

It's June and I haven't given a thought to school! Two years of retirement and I have moved on. And it's good. This week I'm planting the garden, road running, Quilt Guild dining, working at the shop and diving into 3 days of uninterrupted sewing with the girls and guys. Yum. The sewing room is almost ready for your inspection, by the way. Just a few more storage decisions and I'll take new pictures.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Stop Nagging Me

So, after the picture of my sewing room went up the tongues did wag! Is nothing sacred? I bared my soul to yo'all and got little support in return. Just wagging fingers and shameful looks! Let ye without sin cast that first remnant!

I know. It was all in good fun. But I'll have you know I can find anything I need in that room. Anytime. Try me.

Some progress has been made. The MIL has come and gone and did sleep in the guest room bed, which was accessible by that time.

I moved my doily rescue collection to themed drawers and am moving my quilt cotton collection to the guest room cabinet. They look so nice on display! I really need to curate the doily collection, but for now it's tidy and awaiting further attention someday.

I am finishing off UFO's. The sister who had a significant birthday last year received her Lucy Neatby  Hot Tamale  socks a whole day before the subsequent birthday. Those peppers were enough to keep anyone from meeting a deadline! That gives her till Dec. 24 to finish that knitted cowl she started for me.  I await with baited breath!

I decided that 2 meters of lace were enough to embellish a blouse and called that job done. I do need to make a blouse yet, but the lace is off the pillow. It was a fairly simple design (for lacers other than me) and I learned a lot from it. Plain white. Perhaps something a bit more exciting next time? Currently trying to finish off the lace trim for a Chanel jacket. It sits in front of the TV awaiting a good movie or something.

Then there was that basket that needed more willow to finish the sides. I soaked some clippings from the backyard and now that's done. It was an ornery basket requiring a lot of brute force. This comes from not clipping my willow in a timely manner. 

This is the jacket that I made from the quilted material. DH says it is truly a 'me' jacket. It feels like wearing a snuggly, says The Great P, and she is correct! If I had to do it over again I would have used a second pattern on the other side rather than going plain. The reverse is really rather blah, and a reversible jacket should give you 2 good looks rather than 1.2.

I loved the pattern! It's the Sachi Jacket. The cut was very easy to adjust for fit and style. I'm wearing a small. I chopped the shoulders back about an inch, took in the sides, shortened the sleeves, lengthened the hem and lessened the collar by just chopping away. It has few seams and they go together easily, even after all that chopping.

I put buttons on both sides, back to back (shank on one side, flat on the other). The buttonholes work for both sides. I used the Pfaff plug in buttonholer. It's one of those things I would spend more money for. It stitches both sides of the buttonhole in the same direction and measures perfect repeats, as it is not swayed by slips or bumps as it stitches. I think both front and back are quite acceptable. The fluff from my quilt batting shows a bit. I may get out a Sharpy and tone that down.

I can see me wearing this a lot.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Do You Have Your Pocket Jamie?

This is just what every woman needs.


Are you an Outlander fan? If so, it would be hard Not to know that this book series is coming to the small screen this summer. Here you can get a 'pocket Jamie' to carry in your purse and pop out at the perfect moment. I've got one. I may get him laminated.

I've always wanted one. Always!

I've been rereading these books by Diana Galbaldon. These books weigh at least a kilo each and took years between each one to be published. Oooh the waiting! Now when I don't have to wait you can really pick up on the subtle things she throws in to tie the books together. Currently I'm waiting for the next book to arrive. I ordered it from the bookstore in her hometown so it will come signed. I am a fan!

And yes, I did pick a bit more fabric the other day. But I have started in on organizing the spare room. After all, the MIL is coming on Thursday and she will want to find the bed. I hope she realizes the effort!