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.

Friday, 13 May 2016

The Annual Family Picnic

Just heard knocking on the window. A duck. I don't know if it was picking the bugs off the windowsill, or asking for a corn refill. Either way, we both got what we wanted.

I miss the dog. Angus was so much fun! Now, mind you - let's not forget that 10 days is a reasonable commitment when you are talking dog. Those things need a great deal of maintenance! I loved every minute, but on the 11th day, I rested. Here I am resting prior to the 11th day. It was an enforced rest.

I have to make a list of what to sew. Every time I go to the 'makery' I am overwhelmed by the possibilities. So much fabric, so little ability to not start and stay with one project at a time. And then, why do I care about that? Why do we put pressure on ourselves to complete projects or make 'good use of our time'? Mind you, I do need clothes. Maybe it's not me doing the pressure so much as it might be my closet. Ah! I do have a boss - and it seems I bow to the hanger. I'm good with that. 

Oh, and the undie drawer seems to have an issue with me too. I am a woman with many bosses.

On Mother's Day the sisters and I had the annual Mother's Day Picnic with my mother, her mother and lots of other family members at the Chester graveyard. We spread out the picnic blanket, open the snack and wine and have a proper family time. Mom likes a nice glass of wine, so we pour her a sip. The same man we met there last year drops by and offers to bring the wine next year. He's visiting the wife. We make a date with him for 2017, Mother's day at 1 pm. This all makes sense to us. It just feels right.

Although I could never explain to anyone outside our immediate family why mom has yet to get a marker with her name - we all understand. It's been 9 years. She might get her marker this year. Maybe. It's an act of great love and respect on our part to honour the family tradition of procrastination. It's what we do, but only when wildly inappropriate and yet fitting into the family criteria.

Oh, and there was an almost albino blue jay at the picnic. White with a few black streaks in its tail. It hung around for a while so we got to enjoy it. Neat!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Cherry Cake

The excitement continues! The CS Pro2 should come on the big brown truck on Tuesday. Staff are on high alert. My cell phone is at hand. Preparations continue.

I bought fabric for the sewing space do over. I have a lovely sewing space. It's time to make it beautiful. And my machines all need covers. The dust that gathers is so harmful, and as electrical devices they attract lint. Then there will be chair covers, accessories - general frivolity.

One of the virtual gifts I got was an idea for a project. I want to stitch out stitches I don't know. The machine has about 600. I think if I already know it, I may skip over a few. C brought me some lovely projects she stitched out (see last post) so I based my fabric choices on a sweet print I have loved for some time. I bought the remaining fabric on the bolt. There should be enough for a sewing room mum! Then I pulled in some solids to show off machine stitch work.

Thanks to those who have contributed to my virtual shower! It's been hard to make people realize I don't actually want anything. I just want the ideas! Share in my excitement people! Send me a virtual gift!

Monday morning I am baking a lovely cherry pound cake for the arrival.

Mouse update: DH cleaned up the makeshift house and found no bodies or other signs of mice. I'm hopeful this means they collected the troops and went on their way. DH says they have probably moved back in the garden shed. If so, I'll be letting them stay.

Our house guest is  making himself comfortable. He is smart and aims to please. I like him. However he does remind us how much care a dog requires, and therefore I don't see a dog on our horizon.

There was great consternation when his fav stick just wouldn't fit up the stairs and had to stay at the park. He did give it a good try.