Saturday, 20 September 2014

Dusting in Blogland

It seems people do read me occasionally. Who knew? I have been complimented on my list of goodies on the web, which means I now have to update that page as I believe it's pretty dusty.

There is so much goodness out there, and I really appreciate the efforts of those who post their ideas and projects. I respect their idea ownership and try to give credit where credit belongs. When people also sell patterns I purchase from those whose free patterns worked out well. I prefer bricks and mortar stores, but after midnight, what's a girl to do? I do both.

The Great P and I have been teaching a quilted jacket class for the last 2 weeks. It has been a huge amount of fun. Sewists are the best people to spend a day with, and although teaching does wipe you out it is good. The students have all been great sewists (sewers just doesn't look right, people) but each came with their skills in their own particular direction. Some were quilters, some garment makers, some embroiderers - all looking at the project from that view point. It really brought home that I tend to take certain knowledge for granted. Just because someone is a perfect stitcher doesn't mean they have ever eased in a sleeve, and that has its own bit of finesse required. I need to be more detailed in my instructions. What an excellent job they all did, in spite of my best efforts to mess them up!

I love this time of year! The clear skies and cool nights just make me run to my jelly cupboard and admire my jars. I nest in the fall. Robins in the spring, me in the fall.

The sewing room is a real mess. Yep, even more that before! I just handed in 2 projects to my quilting guild and they were intense. As a fund raising charity project we were given a kit of fabric and told to come back with a result worth at least $25. It then gets sold at a show October 2-4 at the IWK . Now, everyone run out and bid a bizillion dollars on my bag o'bags.

It was a lovely crisp fall evening and you meet friends downtown for a cold one. A handsome stranger approaches and your eyes meet! Ooooh! 

S/he inquires as to your availability for a date, that night, but travel is required. 

"Not a problem" you say (after googling the date's credentials and marital status). "I always carry a travel bag in my Porsche. 

And here it is!

A cup cozy and mug mat for the stylish tray table as you fly off to Paris.

A travel wallet in which to tuck your passport, First Class boarding pass and receipts to prove what a bargain you got on the Chanel jacket.


Luggage tags. 

A teeny wallet to tuck away your shopper reward cards for the airport shops.

A zipped wallet that can double as an evening clutch.

A perfect, unique tote for daytime travel.

A backpack to tuck all this into - that then rolls up into the outer pocket as a shopping bag for the tote. (I forgot to line the tote pocket, so it's a bit ugly when you do that, so don't.)

And let's not forget - a tissue holder to hand to him/her when you decide to dump them.

And that is how I plan to raise a bizillion dollars for the IWK.

Now to really push the pressure, the guild also had a September Challenge due the same night. We were given a random quilting magazine in May and told to come with something made that was inspired by that magazine.

I was not inspired. I did hear of others making a quilt block or something else small. I should not have believed any of them! The results I saw at the meeting were incredible!

I decided to go well beyond a simple single block and made 4 complete, full sized quilts - exactly as represented in the magazine.

So I got out my T-shirt transfers, photocopied 4 quilts from the magazine and quilted them each perfectly! Four little miniature colour quilts. I believe this may be the best cheater quilts I've ever done!

You get away with this kind of nonsense once, right? I enjoyed it immensely! May I take a bow?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The First Day of School

Today being the first day of school a group of retired teachers got together for tea and crumpet. It was lovely!

I knew people, and I was quite prepared to know no one. We caught up and the air was all atwitter. It was lovely to see people and reminisce.

There seemed to be a bit of a divide. Some people are quite busy being grandparents. Some people have taken up new exercise routines. Some people have no idea what to do, and find it all very confusing. They've been retired for years and feel like it has been wasted time. They want to make a new life, but don't know what that looks like yet.

Think of the changes we've gone through. We had a 'very bossy, in charge, make it happen' job for a long time.  We worked with other people just like us. We got up every morning, dressed for success and roared off to earn the daily dog bone.

Some of us have gone from parenting to observing grown children at a distance. Our houses are too big and don't suit our new circumstances. Should we dump it all for an apartment? Condo? Money is a little tighter but our expenses have shifted, and our financial needs are still evolving to fit retirement.

And we don't know what to do with our day. We don't know how to revalue what we do end up doing.  Is it OK to read the paper till 11? What if I don't finish the Sudoku? If I read all afternoon am I lazy? Am I wandering aimlessly through life? Is this all there is? Teachers are so driven and expect so much from themselves. It's hard for us to relax and breathe.

My first year was way too busy. I wanted to do everything! My eyes were huge and there was so much candy to try. I have always liked to try new things and retirement gave me the opportunity to do that. I took classes. I learned to make bobbin lace. I sewed and made baskets. We travelled during the school year! I volunteered in a classroom. I volunteered with Grannies. If it was new I wanted to try that. My days were quite full. I often left parts of the paper unread. I felt a bit rushed.

Now I still do lots of things, just in moderation. I have to keep myself in check. I still want to do everything. My eyes are way to big for my calendar, and I'm finding I like to move slower now.  I like to finish the paper. Having my part time job is excellent! I get to dress up and see new people. I am helpful (I hope) and it's a whole new world without any of the real responsibility of my last job.  It starts at 10 - no early mornings!

I find myself looking at things more carefully and deciding not to do everything I want to do. I am giving myself permission to live slower and more thoughtfully. I savour the day.  I stop and sniff roses. Happiness is in the small things for me. With another 30 or 40 years I may get the hang of this yet. I'm learning to let go of my own driven expectations.

How are you doing? How has your life changed?