Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Many Many Gifts!

The gifts are pouring in and out!

Off to the Mic Mac Tavern with a friend for lunch. We went early, as that place has had a never ending lineup since they moved next door. We did not avoid the lineup, and I trudged up to the hostess desk to sign in. That little angel looks up and exclaims "Mrs. M!". Ah, yes! Another one from my teaching past. We were seated promptly!

Now, isn't that the best gift? She remembered me, was pleased to see me and happy to be of help. As a teacher you're not always sure how these things will go. We walk a fine line at times. I loved teaching! It's wonderful to think that I made a good impression that is worth remembering. Especially wonderful when you are talking about children. They see to the bottom of your heart and soul at times. At least, the ones who need to do.

Next gift incoming was the Chanel vintage braid I was gifted by A Challenging Sew. Canada Post arrived at the door with this marvellous package! What an amazing thing to do! She doesn't know me. I'm thinking she knows only a few of her many admirers. Yet she took time to share some amazing gifts with her readers. I spend a lot of time pouring over her couture details and sew alongs. I need to honour this gift with an appropriate sew. I got out my best Chanel boucles and I'm not sure I have what I need. Dare I say I may need to shop on? Opinions welcome.

The braid does nicely on either side, giving options. The front one won't work. Will the braid be lost on either of the others?

Last night I brought my magical basket o'gifts to a family gathering. Cup cozies, Kleenex pack covers, ear bud cases, etc.  They were warmly greeted. I found it totally unexpected that some of the guys wanted Kleenex covers. Who knew? The nieces and nephews are all grown now. They have collected partners and these game souls come to these rather boisterous family events. What nice people they have all grown to be! I am so grateful for my family and family gatherings. 

Merry Christmas! Happy Festivas!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Amy Sue

My cat died yesterday. She was 20. Today was a very long and quiet day. She will be missed.

Amy Sue Devil Child was more formally known as Amasis. She was a petite Abyssinian with lovely red fur. As a kitten she created a long list of firsts. She was first of her litter to purr, climb out of the box, scale the wall (and all of the subsequent wall extensions). She would also have been first born, but one of her brothers got in the way. She pushed him out and followed, for the first and last time in her life. She marched with teeny pink paws to her own drum. 

Amy tried modelling for a short time as a youngster. She was a fine example of why you don't take your hands off an Abyssinian at a cat show. The errant judge was severely disciplined. Her tetanus shot worked well, I understand. There was also those embarrassing incidents at the doctor's office. Amy was always one to hold others to a high standard. That scale was far too flimsy. Mama needed a tetanus shot update. That little velcro muzzle was fun. It's unbelievable no other cat had conquered that before!

Amy initially lived a quiet but full life with her brother (Percival), mom (Sam) and an aunt (Lucille) and uncle (Ben). She was the last of her family and therefore in her later years had to provide 5 times the feline needs of her servants. She greeted them at the door each day. Amy walked the driveway daily, if the temperature was right. Appropriate honour guards walked with her. Leaves were chased. Sticks were sniffed. We were allowed to sun with her on the patio, if the proper cushion was placed in the sunniest position - with a second cushion in the shade for heat regulation. Eventually, after the required 100,000 repetitions of "Don't eat that!" she even stopped eating grass (more or less). 

Her favourite activity was the constant monitoring of the fireplace. She kept it in perfect working order. She perfected the meow that turned it on and only fell off her fireside chaise when in the deepest of slumbers. Her figure was always excellent, although at times it was a battle to get her back up to almost 5 lbs. She was truly beautiful. 

Her purrs and her cuddles were given only to the most deserving, and those who received knew they were in the presence of something great. She will be missed. Deeply, fondly and with respect.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas Comes early!

I follow an excellent blog called A Challenging Sew. Leisa's reports on her trip to Paris with Susan Khalji is to drool for (go look, it's worth it), and her work with Marfy patterns has been really inspirational. Check her out. Great tutors and sew alongs. Today she brought me an early Christmas present! I won a lovely bit of Chanel trim! What an amazing gift! Now the lovely boucles aging in my stash are all calling out "pick me" as they sense some soon upcoming action. After Christmas, please. For now I will just check the mail box about 3 times a day. Even on Sunday. Just in case.

I have been working on Christmas presents. I often don't have a recipient in mind. I just make things I would like. Today I am sewing up Purl Soho pups. Little tweed pups put a smile on my face. The pattern fits together well and the instructional sequence makes sense. When you make little stuffies, these things are important.

I was working on Kathyrn Brenne's purse pattern, recently released through Vogue. Beware! You must use leather (or something like it) for all the outer pieces. I tried to get away with fabric for the main panels. It worked, but took a lot of luck and I'm not real happy with the results. I'm sure I saw an article by Kathryn on how to make this bag. I can't say the Vogue directions were much help. It's going in the 'give away' basket.

I went to a Lucy Neatby knitting workshop recently. She talked about how some people write patterns and some people write patterns to sell magazines, yarn, product. When I look at most of the independent patterns I have used lately I must say her point is well made. The directions are so well laid out and detailed. The cut of the patterns is unique and pieces fit together. The authors are a pleasure to deal with and so enthusiastic.

So, after fussing through the Vogue bag I went back to my pattern stash and tried out the Caliti Clutch. It's a free pattern from Sew Sweetness. Much better, thank you. I've tried several of her patterns and find them all to work well. In fact I just signed up for the Bag of the Month club on the ams site. I get a new bag pattern each moth for 6 months. Some of the designers I have sewn before. Sounds like fun!

Sorry. No pictures. Presents should remain under wraps. I will take pics and post them later.