Well, I was right, LOL. That lovely weather left right after I wrote my last blog. The next day it dropped 20 degrees and has stayed cold ever since (sigh). The past couple days have been bright and sunny though, so we have our fingers crossed the nice weather will be back soon!
As those of you who have followed my blog for a while may remember, March is my own birthday month - and this year is a biggie, as I turn SIXTY!! I know, I can't believe it either, LOL But as usual, I'm being well spoiled during the whole month. We've been out to dinner with friends, and there's a family party Saturday night I'm looking forward to. Little gifts from my DH all month make it special as well!
It's tax season (ugh), so Bill is busy as he has 5 returns to do (my parents; his and mine; and our oldest DD). But we did spend a bit of time on the house... we picked out a new countertop, which I'll wait and order next month, as I have too many shows in April to have time to have counters installed! We're also looking at renovating the second house on our property, which we are considering severing... at the moment the plan is to rent it out, but if we decide to sell it, it will need to be severed - and if we sell the main house, we can either sell the smaller house, or keep it as a rental property. We're arguing a bit over layout, (GBG), but we have the general idea of what we want to do figured out... that will likely be a summer project!
OH, and I FINALLY got the color paint I want for the library - I hope! I've bought paint 3 times now, LOL, and twice I got almost exactly the same color (from 2 different companies), w/o comparing colors. It looks fine on the little color strips, but when I put it on the wall it's way too dark. So Bill suggested we get a couple of those little sample containers, and paint patches on the wall and pick the color that way - and I think it might have worked. I'll know better next week, when Dree paints the wall for me - yet again, LOL. If I'm happy with the color, we'll finally finish re-painting the library a lovely linen-yellow (kind of a soft creamy yellow), with white trim / shelves.
Other than that, we've mainly been doing once-a-year things... Mollee's dog tags; car license renewal; van license renewal; and today we went and got new passport photos taken as well, as it's time to renew our passports if we want to do any travelling in the future. We're going for the 10-year option, so we don't have to renew as frequently. Bill is a bit hard on his passport though, he uses it so much he generally has to get it replaced before it expires! I'm wondering about a case or something to keep it in, so it travels better... he has one of those book covers, but of course they make him take it out of the cover and he ends up cramming it in a pocket until he's through security and on the plane.
As for stitching.... I had that little plaid chair all done - really I did! Then I decided it needed to be an inch taller, so I've been stitching away at little one-inch high pieces to add to every part of the chair (4 arm front/backs, 2 arm sides, the base front and the body back). I've figured out how to add them so they barely show at the join (but all the stitching has to continue the plaid on each piece!)... and when I finish the last 2 pieces, I can put the chair back together! I ordered in a supply of these great little purse feet, which I'm also using on my chair bottom, and I got some emery sand to put in the seat of the chair, so it can be used as a pin cushion, if desired. I don't plan to use mine that way, so I probably won't put the sand in my sample... but I'll have a couple packages on hand if someone wants them (wink).
I also took some time to create a large purse, with an accompanying wallet... and of course it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be! I made the large purse THREE TIMES before I was happy with it, but I'm pleased to say the wallet came out right the first time (wink). A NEEDLE PULLING THREAD wants a purse design for next summer, so once I had the body figured out the design was easy, and it's now off being stitched... I can't wait to tell you all about it... but unfortunately, you have to wait until next summer!
OK, time for me to go do some stitch therapy, LOL, so happy stitching everyone, and I'll talk to you next month...
WOW, the weather the past few days has been gorgeous ... an early spring! I know it won't last, but I sure plan to enjoy it while it does, LOL. Hope you've been having the same good fortune where you are.
Some website issues have kept us hopping this month, so we're not getting much done around the house.... though Bill did cut new wood counter tops to fit the new kitchen layout, so we can get an even better idea of how we like it - and so far, we like it very well!
Not much else happening here... we've been out to dinner with friends, and saw a wonderful movie (HIDDEN FIGURES), which we both highly recommend, if you haven't had a chance to see it yet... we also saw a Disney pic (MOANA), that I liked better than Bill did ... he said LITTLE MERMAID was better, LOL. Tuesday night is date night (when he's home), and we generally do dinner and a movie.
I must admit, I'm a movie junkie! My favorites are old black and whites, but I love a well-done movie in almost any genre (though I will also admit to preferring comedies and action movies). The joke between Bill and I, when asked what we feel like watching (when we're picking a movie), is an "action adventure comedy", LOL.
OK, before I go, I promised to tell you what I'm working on each month... well, I'm still assembling that plaid chair, as I had to take some time out to complete a couple of other projects. I made a purse for a lecture I'll be doing at the Creativ Festival, framed a couple of pieces I wanted to take in to guild, helped Bill create a new product I hope to tell you about in next month's newsletter (wink), and came up with two new designs I'm itching to take from idea to graph, so I haven't been slacking off, LOL. Hey, I'm also doing a how-to video as I assemble the chair, to add to the other two I made before Christmas... I hope to have them on-line shortly, and will tell you about them in my newsletter... and since I'm slipping into work talk, I think it's time to close.
Hope you took some time to enjoy "Family Day", which is a fairly new Provincial holiday here in Ontario... since there was no stat holiday in February, they created one! Take some time for yourself as well, and HAPPY STITCHING!
Boy oh boy, sometimes I don't know where the heck the days... weeks... months go, but life just seems to be rushing by, LOL. I'm always really busy, but I'm not sure what the heck I've been doing! Of course Christmas and New Years were full of activities with family and friends... and there's always year end business stuff that needs to be done (closing off old files / accounts, setting up new ones). I still seem to be coming across things I forgot about.
We've also taken some time to get together with family and friends we didn't have time to see over the holidays, and spent a lovely (but long!) day, driving out to see one of my BFF's from high school, then stopping for dinner with my DH's cousins in Smith Falls on the way home. We made a pit stop at Tim Horton's in our travels, and I discovered a sea salt donut that is just yummy! Fortunately they don't have them at my local Timmy's or my diet would be shot every time I went to town, LOL.
I try not to talk shop here, but I will mention that I have been busy lining up the events we're going to participate in this year... and boy, am I going to be busy! Here's a peek at the list so far... 4 On-Line Shows; 2 Creativ Festivals (these include classes and / or lectures and Make-It-Take-Its); a guild event in Muskoka; Quilt Canada; our Studio Tour; another guild event in Kingston; ANOTHER guild event in Toronto, LOL... and that's just what I've confirmed so far! Details will be posted in my newsletter as they become available...Whew, LOL... I'm tired just thinking about all that work!
Of course we're still piddling away at the house (sigh). Not much got done over Christmas, but while he was home in January, Bill did cut temporary wood countertop for the latest version of our kitchen, and we're going to live with that until the summer to be sure we're finally settled on how we're going to keep the kitchen! I need to get a plumber in to install the sink counter, then all our lower cabinets are installed. We're looking for some black "floating shelves" for down either side of the cabinet above the countertop stove (Ikea has the ones we want, but were out of stock when we were in Toronto, so we'll probably order them on line, now that we've seen exactly what we want).
Hey while we were in Toronto (attending POTTED POTTER, a theatre production I gave Bill tickets for at Christmas), we also did some shopping, and I found the most adorable whimsical reindeer to stand at the top of my stairs, LOL. His legs are extendable, so you can pose him short, or tall, or short in the front with his butt in the air, ROFLOL. Too cute - and half price!
We went down the day before, as it was an early matinee performance, so had lots of time to stop as the fancy hit us, and browse. You can spend a whole day just at Ikea - it's huge, and easy to get lost in there too! We do enjoy theatre, and also have tickets for a Murder Mystery Dinner closer to home, for Valentine's day, so next month I'll tell you how it was!
And I just spent some money at Amazon, ordering in some of the books we didn't receive or find over Christmas - Bill and I don't always have the same taste in books, but are both reading J. D. Robb's IN DEATH series (you won't believe it, but there are 56 books (including a few novelettes) in this series - so far!). She is SUCH a prolific writer, and her stories are so hard to put down! I'll find myself staying up to 3 a.m. because I'm almost done, LOL. As one of his Christmas gifts, I gave Bill 7-8 of the ones we were missing from near the beginning of the series, and just ordered a few we were missing to give us the first 20 (we have about half the rest, but there are gaps, so every month I'll order in a few more). I even managed to find one at our local secondhand bookstore before Bill left to go back to work last week, and he picked up the latest one while he was travelling, so we're getting there, ROFLOL.
Did I tell you Bill gave me $100 gift certificate to the bookstore as one of my Christmas presents? It's about half gone already - so you can see why we need a 2-storey library (wink). He also gave me some lovely jewelry, the entire DOWNTON ABBEY series, the first 3 seasons of the original MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series (funnily enough, I gave him all 5 of the new MI movies, with Tom Cruise, LOL), and the first season of CALL THE MIDWIFE (which I adore - makes me cry almost every week), among other goodies. As you can tell, I am very spoiled, LOL, and I adore books and movies!
Well, I want to start telling you about all the great designs I have in the works for this year, so I better close (wink)... However, I DO think it's a good idea to start telling you what my personal stitching project each month is, and we can compare our progress, LOL. I'm currently finishing up the miniature plaid chair (to go with my miniature table topper / rug), which I had the stitcher return, as I just couldn't wait any longer to see it. My progress report for January is that all the basic stitching is done (the stitcher did have all but one piece stitched), and now I'm going back and doing all the backstitching, as she left it all to the end, so none of the stitched pieces is backstitched. It's going faster than I expected - the final piece is stitched, and I would say the backstitching is about half done. I'm actually looking forward to the assembly part, as that's always a lot of fun for me - although a LOT of stitching on this one, so could take me a while to assemble...
talk to you next month, and happy stitching!
And MERRY CHRISTMAS once again, LOL. If you read my TIP BLOG, then you already received my greetings, but you can never say it enough, LOL. Even my favorite radio station is playing non-stop Christmas music to get us all in the mood!
Like all of you (I'm sure), we're busy getting ready for Christmas (or whatever holiday you may celebrate this time of year). I'm pleased to say that all my shopping is done - though not all wrapped yet - our tree is up, and I've already been to a Christmas party and a Christmas lunch, (GBG). Thursday our guild is having a stitch-in day - a chance to relax from the bustle of the holiday and enjoy stitching with friends!
Bill is home day after tomorrow (so I better get HIS gifts wrapped tomorrow), and we'll have his HUGE family Christmas gathering on Sunday - which means I'll spend all day Saturday baking homemade buns (mmmmm LOL). I not only make enough for the meal, but a dozen EACH for my MIL, two SIL's, and a couple nieces - and I better not show up w/o them (GBG).
On Christmas Eve I'll make a few more dozen buns for our own dinner, as well as gifts for our minister and church pianist. Our oldest will be home in time to make our famous family trifle (another MMMM, layers of chocolate pudding, bananas and crushed chocolate cookies, with a layer of cherry pie filling in the very middle, and whipped topping and chocolate bar shavings on top). Boy oh boy! LOL Good thing we only make this once a year, or we'd all be big as houses.
I'm going in to the church office this week and do up the final 2 bulletins for the year, so I can have the next couple weeks off to spend with my family (did I mention I'm the church secretary? It's a part time position, only a few hours a week). One of my favorite traditions is the whole family attending the Christmas Eve Service at our church... and if I'm lucky it will be a candlelight service! So nice to sing the old carols, listen to beautiful music, and enjoy a quiet time with family and friends in the midst of the hectic activity that too often surrounds this time of year.
Usually I put the turkey in the oven late on Christmas Eve, to cook slowly over night, but I get a break this year, as Mom has decided she's cooking the turkey (and if we're lucky, she'll make her yummy cocoa cakes - white cake cut into cubes, frosted with chocolate icing and rolled in crushed peanuts - (another goodie we only get at Christmas). My sis is making pies, so all I have to do (besides the buns) is veggies... so I'll do the Christmas breakfast as well - French toast with strawberries...a family favorite. Though since it's Christmas I'll probably do up some bacon on the side as well *wink*. Can you tell that food is a big part of the celebration for our gang, ()GBG)?
As I mentioned earlier, our oldest will be home for Christmas, and my sis and BIL will come and spend the night on Christmas Eve, which means we'll all be together to open gifts on Christmas morning. You may remember that our youngest lives in England, but we will skype while we open gifts, so she and her family can share in the fun. We even do up a gift bag for Miss Mollee (our dog), and it's such a hoot to watch her pull out the tissue paper and discover a stuffy she can carry around and pull the stuffing out of while we open gifts, LOL.
I'm trying to find time to work on new designs (oops, sorry, LOL, that's biz talk!), but there's so much going on each day, I don't seem to be making much headway (sigh). Ah well, it's lovely this time of year just to get out and see the lights, and watch the people so busy, but still smiling and sharing holiday greetings with strangers... Please take some time to relax and enjoy this festive time of year, to get together with friends and family, and from my family to yours, all the best wishes for a wonderful holiday season! Happy stitching, and I'll talk to you next year!
Well, after a busy and productive couple of months - with lots of events and tradeshows - my DH took me away for some relaxation in the sunny south. Actually, Bill came in on a plane, I met him in Toronto, and we flew to Florida - he didn't even get to leave the airport!
When we came home, he got to spend two nights in his own bed, then he headed back to work out west! So we invited some family over and put up our Christmas tree on his last night - and it looks great, (GBG). I LOVE Christmas trees.. nothing is better than sitting with no lights but the tree, except maybe a fire in the fireplace, some soft music playing... ah, Christmas bliss, ROFLOL.
Though it's not his best thing, LOL, Bill actually managed to sit on the beach for a whole afternoon this trip, (GBG). He always refuses to wear sun screen, so he got burned pretty bad, and now he's all itchy and peeling! We took walks on the beach at sunset, did a bit of shopping, ate way too much, *wink*, and sat around the firepit at the resort a couple of nights visiting with other guests.
We spent a day wandering around looking for a good bookshop, and found a great second hand bookstore where we went a little nuts, LOL, I'm not sure who bought more books, him or me, 'cause we found several by an author we both like, so we'll share those ones, ROFLOL. Fortunately Bill travels so much he gets TWO suitcases with 50lb limits, and we took half-empty ones with us, but they were sure full when we came back!
We spent half the trip in West Palm Beach, and half at a Waldorf resort in Key West, were we always enjoy walking Duval St and going through all the art galleries to see what's new... just a nice relaxing time, with no rushing, no computer, recharging our batteries and enjoying each other's company. We stayed the last night at the Hilton in Miami, so we didn't have to rush to catch the plane the next day. The Koi there are HUGE - and you gotta love a free happy hour and buffet breakfast, (GBG).
OH, before I forget, I did the most fun thing just before we went away - I spent two days taking a Porcupine Quilling class, taught by a native woman at a nearby pioneer museum ... it was a different technique than I'd seen on tv, but very interesting. She told us how to harvest quills, and the best time to harvest birch bark, LOL, but fortunately she didn't make us do either of those things, but supplied all the materials we used - though she did offer to let us come with her if we ever wanted to try the entire experience.
It was a very nice group, who I enjoyed getting to know as we worked. There were a couple other native women (from Ottwa way) taking the class, and it was very interesting to hear them talk about their experiences growing up native. They even sang us some working chants, and just before we broke up for the weekend, they sang us a travelling song.
And the quill colors! Kim (our teacher) dyes her own quills, and she must have had 20-30 colors for us to choose from. While we used a basically traditional technique, some parts had been updated - like the dyes used for the quills, and the tweezers we used to pull the quills. Really, since the barbs were still on, I can't imagine how they used to pull them! Kim told us that the woman who taught her refused to use bowl of warm water to soften the quills, but kept 2-3 in her mouth till she needed them - ouch! Kim sez she used to use plant based dyes, but they aren't as bright as man-made dyes and fade over time, so people prefer the more modern colors in her work.
Anyway, I took my project on holidays as well, and I have the main quilling design all done, I just have to finish the sweetgrass edging, held in place by sinew. Fortunately, we were also given imitation sinew, not animal parts! Once I get the piece complete, I'll share a picture here, and let you know I've done that. Till next time....