Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WIP Wednesday.....and thoughts on blogging

I have all kinds of things to post about until I sit down to post. Then I think who wants to hear this or are they interested in that... ?

So I have been reading a bit about blogs and what would interest people. There is a whole lot of advice to get more readers or increase your following. Does it become a numbers game of what makes you more in to read.

So I thought why do I read the blogs I do?
In no special order it is
- work I am interested in
- a story
- developments
- experiments
- learning something
- someone who asks questions and really takes the time to listen and reply to comments

I guess I feel like it is a community a give and take.

My favourite Blog for sharing, learning and experimentation is andthenwesetitonfire Judith and Beth are wrapping up the blog this month. The commitment these and  the other  co- bloggers have put in is amazing and for no benefit really to them accept the joy of doing it. They are going to leave the content up so you can go there to still see all the wonderful work that has been done.

If you have enjoyed their blog please do use the link to leave them a thank you for the work they and others have done.

Another blog I enjoy is Elizabeth Barton She is a wonderful author, teacher and artist! She talks about her work, teaching and asks questions! I enjoy reading her blog very much. Please check her out if you like to learn more about art quilting and you can also take her classed at academy of quilting
Sample I did in an Elizabeth Barton class online. 


Over the next while I am going to write why I like the blogs I do.... It would be great if you would share some great blogs with me.

Another thing I am going to try to do is finally document some of the experiments I have done on certain subjects. Usually I find a topic that I want to investigate and research. Often I take pictures and plan to write up what I have done. I like to learn this way. It gives me tools for my toolbox. I hope to point you to the books, DVDs and resources that I have come across.

Then my other goal will be to document my own journey. This may be my own Fibre Art or my more run of the mill sewing for home, family etc. I still love to traditional quilt for my family and think I will continue to do so.

So what I have I been up to this week? It is working on not much. I had great intentions but have spent the time with my sister and her family. Watching live soccer games, movies, and just hanging out.

I have been trying to do some hand quilting on the baby quilt for our first Grandchild due in 3 weeks. It won't be done for the shower next week but the baby will be in a bassinet for the first few weeks anyway.
Picture on phone.....uggh




I also finished up this for the Art Gallery of Burlington for a call for blocks for the 150 year anniversary of Canada. Of course this is  on my beloved peach blossoms of Niagara. Growing fruit in the area of Niagara I grew up in and still live is near and dear to my heart.
Peach tree in Niagara 12"x12" block for AGB

I am starting to update my experiments with Lutradur so I have created a page on my header. First done is the references I used. 

Hope you have a great week. I am linking to  needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com

Please share your favourite blogs with me! 



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thats What Friends are for....

Today is a wonderful day. I sit and hear the birds singing, the sun shining and only a few tasks on the to do list. None of them items I  hate....well maybe the dishes.

But that is not what makes it a wonderful day. Today is the day when at 5:30 or 6 pm DH walks through the door and is officially retired. My best friend will be spending a lot more time with me and also doing the things he has wanted to do for a long time.

In the worlds standards he is young to retire.... 57. But he has been a smart guy all these years with our finances despite my fabric habit and my book habit. It is actually me that worries about finances. My mom said it best when she said Jake wouldn't do it if he knew there was a risk.
Jake at Canada's Wonderland the summer before we were married. Always has been up to do what I ask for a laugh. 

It is interesting to hear peoples comments from joy for us to I think a bit of envy. And if I know my hubby he will be humble and down play the whole event. We celebrated with our wonderful kids on Saturday at his favourite restaurant. And he said you can have anything on the menu. My beloved did not choose a steak but his favourite a Panzorotti.
So happy to be a Dad with each one of our 3 children but here he is in 1990 shortly after our DD was born. 


When asked at work if they could throw him a potluck he declined it. So it is cake at 3pm in the lunch room. My guy just goes quietly about his work with a lovely quirky sense of humour.
Here in 1995 we posed at my sisters wedding. Our family.


He even worked a full week longer than his notice date given last December because there was more info to pass on and work to get done before he left. And has suggested he go in a couple days a week after we take a few weeks to visit the cottage and my sister.
On his 40th birthday with his mom! Year 2000

He is a good guy and I am so blessed to have him. I look forward to having my best friend around doing what he likes, what I like and what we like.
Always leaning into a pose! Year 2005


Playing on Vacation in his beloved Vacation shirts! Year 2010


So we are in another phase of life. Kids grown and well on their way. Grandchild on the way. And some time to be together a bit more. Many don't get this chance.
See that love of the Vacation Shirt! And the spirit of fun ! Year 2015

It is my hope and prayer we use it wisely, to value it's worth, to help others as opportunities arise and support those who come in our path. And I know this man who I have been married to for 31 years will do it as he has done his work life, quietly, diligently, lovingly, with honour and with a quirky sense of humour.

Doing what he loves! 2017

Love you hunny! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Another Wednesday has rolled around. I have missed a couple of weeks posting because I have just been incredibley busy! I feel like this is my first day at home where I can give myself permission to do a task that is not time sensitive.

I have decided to take a leap of faith.

As my blog will show I bought a Babylock Tiarra over a year ago. This is a great machine. It is  a sit down midarm machine for quilting. At the time is was a good fit for me because I felt it would be a boon for my art quilting as I could use the large throat space to thread paint and quilt larger quilts then on my domestic machine. And it is/was.

My problem came with my severe headaches and back problem issues last year in April. Since then I have had a fall (balance issues) and found out I have disc deteriation in my spine in many of my vetebrae and that is normal they say for my age... (54) but I also have a stenosis in my C4/5 area and a disc problem in my lunbar area. Add in a dash of arthritis and curved spine with Fibromyalgia and I have become a bundle of inflamation.

I am working on the things to do to make life more manageable but I have to limit my sit down sewing. And I love my sewing!!!!

An hour is about all I can manage before pain rears it ugly head.

So an opportunity came up to buy a stand up long arm on sale and my wonderful husband said you need to get this so you can keep on with the work you love!

The Tiara makes the work easier but makes the quilting of the larger quilts that I was sending out even easier for me. No strain on my neck from bending it and no slumping of my shoulders.

So now I have my Tiara 2 Babylock up for sale.

If you know anyone who may be interested in Southern Ontario it is a deal. It really works like a charm. I have it posted on Kijiji and Craig's List or message me for details.
Please pass this on to anyone who may be interested. They have come out with the Tiara 3 but there is very little difference and I had added the Tru stitch regulator and the overlay table.

I am not panicking about selling it but the funds do have to go toward the new machine. I can't work at my secretarial job anymore because I can't sit at a desk and work on the computer for an 8 hour day.

What else is new in our house... my husband is retiring.... so we have to learn to live with each other more hours in a day. I don't think we will find this to hard. We miss each other after a long weekend. Up until last April I worked in his office for 3 years and we loved it!

He will have some new adventures and probably will do some work or consulting in a year. He is head tired and needs a sabbatical but in his line of work you can't get one. lol

So I have no sewing to link with this week to the needleandthreadnetwork but a sewing machine instead.

The sewing room is changing looks... I have to take over the whole  basement now which we had stuffed with stuff. Slowly I am reclaiming space to sew. I need to start on baby sheets etc for our first grandchild coming in July!

Time to get to work and work smart so I am not in pain for days after.

Have a great week! And what if anything did you find indispensable for your children, nieces/nephews and or grandchildren to have sewn by you?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WIP Wednesday

This week I have a finish! At least a finished top.

Most Canadian Quilters will have heard of the Canadian Quilters Great Canada Quilting Bee for Canada's 150th Birthday this year. They have been asking for slab blocks with Canada 150 fabric in it to make Quilts for Ronald McDonald House.

I belong to the Canadian Quilters Association who is hosting the Bee at their annual Event held this year in Toronto, Ontario.

I might not make it to the Bee (more on that another time) so I thought I would make a whole top to send. I hope to have the second one done this weekend as I go to retreat with the Stoney Creek Quilters guild.

As a child my dad spent extensive time at Sick Children's Hospital from the age of 5 to 17. I also did part of my nurses training 34 years ago. Having sick kids is not easy. Dad was left at the hospital for days sometimes weeks at a time while his parents had to go back and run the farm in St. Catharines Ontario. This Bee for quilts for the Ronald McDonald houses touched my heart. Dad is 85 and was never expected to live this long.

There is still time to make some blocks. The link is above.

Here is the picture of the finish top.

I used fabric from the the stash of scraps I had left over from several quilts plus one fat quarter of Canada 150 Fabric. 
I hope this top becomes a comfort to someone who needs it. 

I am linking up with the Needle and thread network


Exciting and changing times coming up at our home this year. After a year of many trials and sorrow it is good to feel the sunshine. (However the forecast for the weather is rain ironically for the next 4 days! ) 


Jo

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sewing for Baby!

This past week I was sewing for Baby... My daughter in law's sister had a baby girl in March.

It was fun to go back to sewing for a new baby. I was invited to her shower so I made some crib sheets and a Baby cuddly bear.


I used the matching blanket to wrap the gift which my daughter contributed to as a joint gift. A baby bear cuddly blankie was made with zebra striped flannel and minkie. 

Now I need to get back at it for our first grandchild due in July. More sheets and blankies to come!

I am linking up to the needleandthreadnetwork for my WIP Wednesday although I was ahead this time and this is a finish!

Jo

Thursday, April 6, 2017

WIP Wednesday and Printing on Fabric

Last week I organized my paper load...

I do have a piece I am working on but I am waiting a bit to post the pictures.

Not sewing related but prepping for sewing I explored printing on fabrics with my printer. This was for my monthly group working on the book Fabric Embellishing The Basics and Beyond by Liz Kettle etc.

What fun I had! Here are a few pictures of what I printed. Now I have to think of how to use them in my work.

Dover clip art design printed on my home printer on "fabric and tissue paper"

Snow on Big Hollow Road. Picture taken by me in Vermont in November. Printed on "fabric and dryer sheets"


I am linking up with WIP Wednesday!
My challenge to myself is to post everyweek. 

Jo

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Organizing Paper Part 2

Organizing the chaos took longer than I thought... Doesn't it always!
Years of collecting interesting articles and printing them out. I have always grouped them in a clear page protector but had no way to find where was where.
Recently I did a bullet journaling workshop at our local library so I took an idea from the class and created a simple index listing the articles I have. No order just a number on the page protector and a corresponding number on a Index I created in an excel spread sheet. 


The excel spreadsheet. Simple only two columns. 

I popped the index in the front of the binder and added a label on my binder spine. My daughter suggested to put another copy in a "Listings" binder I have already containing books I own and
DVD's

I did not empty to many binders in the end... only two but I do have a system set up and no extra papers left over to file or search for.


It may seem like a waste of a couple afternoons but now I will be able to find what I want when I want it. I also found a whole bunch of pictures I had printed on fabric, inspirational pictures and notes on things I had made.

Tomorrow I hope to get back to sewing on my latest fibre project.

The Fabrigos have given ourselves a challenge to make a project based on a specific topic each quarter. I have until Monday to get it done.

So my WIP this week involves more paper than fabric but it does feel good to have a whole pile of stuff having a home!.
http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca/

Linking up with the Needle and Thread Network!

Feeling good about a getting rid of paper!

Jo

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Organizing.... Paper.

Are you ever like me? Do you find articles you want to read and save them? Do you save to computer hard drive? or do you print them out? or do you do both? 

I have a fear of not being to find everything.  I save the articles on my hard drive and I print them out. I have a pretty economical printer and paper is realitively cheap. So my problem is not so much of not saving it is finding. 

My main problem is I create systems to file stuff and I have years of stuff. I forget or can't find the stuff. So I reprint or look for new things. As part of my new year starting this month I have been contemplating stuff and how it makes me feel. 

I love stuff! I love my stuff! I love buying stuff! I love learning about the newest stuff! I lose stuff! I hate stuff! I feel guilty about stuff! I hate the mess the stuff makes! I hate how the mess the stuff makes and how anxious it makes me. 

That is a lot of feelings on stuff. 

I am working on my stuff and how it makes me feel. 

So I am taking it one stuff at a time. 

 My first stuff category is Paper!!!!!! 

Check this picture of Papers. 


 This is the binders, papers, loose papers I pulled from my sewing room only! 

I have a whole movable cart with papers and stuff from the kids. 
Piles of photo pictures half organized.
Scrapbooks started.
Bookshelf with Binders of saved quilt patterns. 
All paper stuff. 
We won't go into the scrapbook cupboard and talk about supply stuff. 



This is a shot of my kitchen table with the whole lot brought up from the basement. 


I don't know if I have the answers and I don't want to go looking for more systems. 

Out it all is coming from each binder. Sorted into category piles. With recycle box by my side for junk. Articles I don't want for my guild. And by the end of a couple of hours I want to downsize this mess! 

I am giving myself a challenge to downsize without moving. Use it up or loose it. 30% is my goal. 

When the basement is done being purged of my stuff and hubby has looked at his we are going to treat ourselves to removing a small wall, and ridding of three doors. This will open up the sewing family room to a bigger size and won't make me feel so confined! Trapped! Unable to breath! Guilty! 

No pressure purging! 

I will post an after picture of the the table, recycle bin and binders. 

Here is to an afternoon of favourite tunes and tv and moving a mountain of paper! 

Do you feel guilty about stuff? 
Do you ignore it or tackle it? 

Have a great day! 

Jo

Tackling her world one day at a time! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rant, Rant, Rant....or maybe a mini melt down....

I try not to rant... but sometimes it is a way to let off steam. 😩

I officially want a redo... a restart, a jumpstart or something that can change the direction of me!

I thought 2017 would be that start but now it is March and the to do list I made in early January is lost. The goal list is lost and I look for things and can not find them.  2016 was a year of minor and major up sets in my family and with those I love. 😭 Care giving and support was the theme.

I did accomplish a finish but it has to remain a secret until I can reveal it . So while that is a big Win in the finish area it can't be public....

How do you reboot? Change paths? Shed the sad? Support with out running down? Just move on...?

The Fabrigos meeting yesterday was a good start. What a good group of friends who all have had their own challenges in the past year or so or even closer. I treasure that group!

Looking for change and energy.

March is going to be my January!

Jo😸

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Caught my breath!

It has been one busy fall. I needed to take off my quilter cap and put on my caregiving cap.
While I manage to keep up with commitments on a day to day basis I could not keep up with every thing. People I loved needed more of my time. And it is an honour and a privilege to give.

Enough said.

2017 what does it mean to give ... well after a week or so in I know it is going to have lots of change in store.

Postitive Change!

Exciting Change!

Scary Change!

While I have chosen my word of Balance , I am kind of viewing it as a kind of Tetter totter word.


My world has never been totally balance. I have a love hate relationship with change and excitement. 

But I am trying to do is change my thinking patterns to a more positive approach. 

I tend towards the dramatic. An all or nothing approach. Or actually I am a great starter and beginner but I kind of lose interest quickly. 


So what have I planned for 2017? 
Small goals for bigger projects. 
Eating better
More reading! And not feeling guilty about it. 
Continuing with my embellishment small group at my house. 
Work away at my dreaded WIP's - list to follow. No more new quilt patterns until 1/2 are finished! (big statement) 
Walking more. 
Making more art. 
Just starting! 
Figuring out my lightroom program. 
Playing on my tiera! 
Spending more time with good friends... 

So I am developing a plan right now... (Remember I am good at plans, bad at carry through!) 

And this all has to be fit in around our families big news of becoming a grandma in July and Dear Hubby retiring in May. 

Lets see how I carry through. 

Jo






  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Absence.....

2016
I am still trying to mull though this past year. So many things in my personal life have occurred that once again I feel at a loss.
Blogs are to me to be inspirational. Mark your mile stones. Entertain. Teach. Share.
I am at odds of what I want to do, what I can do and what I should do.
January is going to be a month to regroup. Make plans. Take care of myself. Figure things out.
Until I have got that sorted I will hibernate.....

It is my hope that 2017 will be a year of peace.

My word for the year is balance. Until I can find some I don't think I can be the blog person I want to be.

May your 2017 be a year of balance for you too!

Jo

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What I am working on in the past week.

I didn't get to post last week on the Link up to the Thread and Needle Work Network.

Not that I have't been working. In fact I have been busy sewing away and have crashed the kitchen area so I can spend time getting some sunshine.

As I usually hang out in the basement hours can go by without a break.

And that is not good for this girl.

In fact its not really pretty work. It is get the work done. I have so many things that just need to get done. This is my kitchen table. I have four hoodies/jackets that need new zippers for my boys. 

And I have been trying to work on some blocks that need to be done by March 1. 

I also need to finish a few cuddle bears as the 7, I made on holidays are all gone to little ones. 

I have a wall hanging that I want to go to it's home for US Thanksgiving. 

And a skirt for my wonderful sister for the same time. All not hard sewing but just the normal grind. 

Sometimes you just have to do the grunt work to get to end of the finish line. 

How about you...do you sometimes just have to get the mundane done and out of the way before you can move on? 

Off to get the laundry done then down to the machine. 

Maybe by next week I will have some pretty to share! 

Jo

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weekly Sum UP....

Blogging regularly has been my goal. My online journal of what I am doing in my arty craft world.

I really haven't made it weekly even yet!

But I am going to really take the guilt out of it and make it at least a sum of the week.

Lately or maybe even for the longest while my personal goals of where I want to go with my work have not been met.

People talk of dedicated time to their work. Blocking off time and letting nothing interrupt time in the studio. You need to take time for you! - All true.

However, (I refuse to say but anymore unless I slip up! ) maybe that is not wholly who I am. For me I have been struggling with the needs of others and the needs of me... and trying to make art for my own need.

I love reading blogger Elle's blog - Elle's Place She blogs about her creative journey and all the other things that make up her life. Home, projects, farm, helping home school, unscheduled plan changes.
She has been trying to incorporate the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Sweetie (I like that word better than Stupid that is used sometimes in the world)

It helps me to remember to take the simpler route when needed. Because I have found my life never has a set routine.
Health issues will always be there- but I am not going to let it define who I am.
Family - Will always trump making art.
Friends - Always will be at the for front
Strangers - Are put in our path

I don't want to be the person who rushes past.

Does this take energy? Sure does. Do you always get a pay back? No you don't and nor should I do something for that reason.

So I am adding to my list of how to be... I am going to try to KISS life and take the Doris Day Method.. Que, sera, sera what ever will be will be, the future is not ours to see, Que, Sera, Sera!

So what have I been up to this week... was a change of plans. And while it was not a fun or wanted thing to do it was what I needed to do.

So I will share with you the projects that I was able to work on while I was off doing the unfun things.

Plain old knitted squares. I knit on them when I am tired or waiting. I have done alot of waiting the past while. These will be donated to our regional cancer centre. 
And on the right are my bending stitch circles from my Judy Martin class in September. This is handwork for tired times and waiting as well. These projects are easily picked up and set down. 

11pm last night. The last paint and stitch was done on the Halloween costume of one of my favorite people. No I won't be a Timbit Box for Halloween but I know a young lady who is going to be thrilled with our finished project. 

And lastly a surprise from my wonderful super family in Vermont. The door bell rang and here was a great surprise! I didn't make it but it sure was great! 

Linking up with the needle and thread network. Hope you had a wonderful week creating. 

Jo