Thursday, May 28, 2009

April mini for Isaacsmama

April mini for Isaacsmama
Originally uploaded by davenjilly
This was my April 6 - 12" mini. These blocks are about 3" square.

This block is called "broken dishes" and I love it because it has sneaky little hourglasses and two-toned pinwheels everywhere in it. I love patterns that you can look at, and then unfocus your eyes and look at again and see a different pattern. Do you see the original broken dishes block? The two-toned broken dishes? The white pinwheels? The two toned pinwheels? The hourglasses?

Quilting Bee Anyone?

I've joined another quilting bee, and we're looking for a few more good quilters that are willing to brave the arduous task of shipping internationally. Its kind of cool because instead of sending all the fabric you want used, you just send one piece and the other quilters add to it from their stash to make the block. How much fun is that?

If you're interested, check out the rules here .

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gee's Bend Mini Swap Quilt

Here it is! KnitOneQuiltToo posted a photo of the quiltie I made her for the January Mini Swap. Due to my Dad's funeral it was late, and not quite all I had hoped it would be, but cute none the less.

I may have to try some half log cabins again. I love the strong graphic lines in them.

Garbage Worker's Union, Local 110 Scotia Dr

I have decided that Andrew has a future as a union rep. Today I was moving everything around in the basement and vacuuming the floor. For whatever reason, that floor always seems to be covered in tiny pieces of garbage -- bits of cardboard and tape from various "inventions" of Andrew's, bits of fabric and thread from my sewing, three vials of very small seed beads Aaron decided to explode everywhere . . . that kind of thing. So while I was clearing the floor and moving the furniture around to vacuum, Aaron decided he was going to be the garbage man and take charge of collecting the garbage on his little car.

When Andrew caught wind of this (and realized it was taking more than 20 min or so for me to vacuum the basement) he came downstairs to see what was happening. Before I knew it, I had two garbage men collecting up tiny scraps, and I was informed that I was not allowed to pick up garbage. I must leave it on the floor for the garbage men.

As I kept moving furniture and gathering all the toys on the couch, the garbage men continued in their important function. Until I found the plastic cutting knife. This knife went with one of those produce cutting sets with the velcro fruit and veggies. I got rid of the fruit about 6 months ago because I would be constantly finding random slices of plastic pineapple and discarded plastic pea pods all over the house. But the knife sparked the idea of cooking lunch.

I was vacuuming one section of the floor, and as I went to move the furniture and bins in my sewing corner Andrew informed me that I would now have to pick up my own garbage. The garbage men were taking their lunch break.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quilt Qua, Summer Swap and Spring Cleaning

So, I'm feeling a little naked around here without my camera. Its been so long since I posted without photos that I'm feeling silly. Seriously, can you do a crafty blog without photos?

But despite that, I just got an email from Connie who has started a new website, QuiltQua . It looks like a great round up source for quilt shops, classes, teachers, blogs, and information. Go check it out. And if you post a quilt on her Show and Tell page right now, you could have a chance to win a Jelly Roll. How sweet is that?

In other news, Inpired Mama has just opened up her Summer Celebrations Swap. She is accepting swappers until May 31. I am a bit low on sewing time and creative energy right now and in June I plan and execute a youth group camping trip and plan our yearly Art camp, so I might not join, but it is sure to be a great swap, so check it out.

Now that I am out of the first trimester fog (yay!), I have also decided to spring clean my house. It is in serious need of a thorough clean and de-clutter. I spent a whole $7 on Tsh's 10 Day Guide to Spring Cleaning for Normal People ebook, and I am working my way through it. I think it may take me more than 10 days, because I have a basement and our house is a big mess. I am a huge hoarder, and can think of a use for everything (and I do mean everything) so the first day was the hardest for me.

On day one you go around your house and just go through every room and throw out of decide to give away everything you don't think to be useful or beautiful. In my case, this includes all the scrap wood and yogurt containers that were drifting around the house. And broken toys. And (take deep breaths) two bags full of fabric and assorted fabric-y things I had vague plans for or that I bought when I started quilting or that I bought on an impulse and then realized I would never actually make into a garment, or that I thought I would re-purpose into something else.

I realized that I just don't throw things out. There is some twitch in my brain that thinks is might be interesting to keep ten mandarin orange boxes or a metre of tangled wire or the plastic balls that are supposed to go in our little wire and vinyl house, but instead just get scattered around endlessly. I just love stuff. It all fascinates me. Like, everything fascinates me. I am amused to watch my children turn broken furniture into trains and ladders and spaceship parts. But then when they lose interest and it becomes crazy clutter around my house, I keep it around anyway, in case they think of something else to do with it. I enjoy being constantly surprised by what I might find drifting through the hallway at any given moment on any given day, or what might be under the couch when I go to find the sippy cup Aaron shoved under there. Its like having a constant treasure hunt in your own home. Unfortunately, this oddity is not very conducive to peaceful and calm family life. It drives my husband crazy that he can never find anything or walk anywhere (which I agree is rather maddening). My oldest son goes around the bend when a piece to his latest thing-with-lots-of-small-parts goes missing because it has been drowned under the book hurricane that has blown right out of the book bin and all over the floor. So I am going to have to change my ways.

Maybe if I put something interesting on the walls (like art, or fabric or photos or, um, anything) I would be able to throw more crazy things out because there would actually be something to look at in our house. Maybe. I'll have to try it and see.

Friday, May 15, 2009

No camera!

Well, I'm afraid my blog might be a bit slow and boring for a while. I seem to have misplaced my camera. I'm guessing it is either at Kym and Jeff's house or at my sister's house, where I stopped to pick up some boxes in Portage la Prairie.

This is unfortunate, because I brought home an awesome stash of my Dad's ties. He had given a bunch away a few years before he died, since he didn't wear that many, but there are some beauties left over. I have plans to make wall hanging sized quilts for my siblings and my mom sometime when I feel up to it. It was fun to sort through them today, as I could see the different eras of my dad's style reflected in the ties. There are a bunch of solid ones from his "Power Uniform" stage in the '80s, and some bright, geometric ones from his "Pinstripe Mafia" stage in the '90s, and some wide, paisley and crazy patterned ones from the '70s, and a bunch of blue striped ones from when he used to preach on tv a lot and had to wear grey suits and blue ties and shirts because they "read" better. My Dad loved pattern and colour and having a "look". His ties always remind me of this side of him, which he passed down to me, so I'm happy to have them.

I also wanted to take a picture of the newest addition to our family. At 12 weeks along, we just have a little bump to show for my three months worth of exhaustion and yukkiness. But since this addition will be baby #3, my body is pretty confident that it knows how this goes, and has relaxed into a roundish shape already.

And yes, if you missed it, that was my round about announcement that I'm pregnant again! If all goes well, Baby #3 will be arriving in late November. Andrew is hoping for a girl. I'm fine either way -- I don't know what I'd do with a girl. Girls means actually having to brush hair and buy them more than one pair of shoes. And somehow manage to teach them all the feminine wiles I've yet to catch onto myself . . .

Hello, again!

As you may have guessed, I did get away. The part never did show up, so at 2pm we asked them to just put the car back together for us. They did, and it was fine. Apparently, when you are driving on roads without giant potholes, and with out a huge gulph between the edge of every driveway and the road (like 2 - 5 inches), you hardly hear the rattle at all . . .

This meant that I had to rush off and shop and didn't get away until well after 3, which meant we got into Winnipeg at around 12:30. Crazy. The boys travelled amazingly well, especially considering that it was so cold that we couldn't even stop to play. Andrew was disappointed because I had told him we could stop and play in some parks along the way, and then because I hadn't packed their winter jackets it was too cold.

The wedding was lovely, despite a last minute venue change (garden party weddings in the pouring rain when it is 2 C are just not so fun), and it was great to see all my family and catch up with everyone.

The rest of the trip was really great. I just hung out at my friends, the Lukins' house or went out to do the shopping that I needed to get done. Kym and Jeff have a lovely home, and know just how to make it tidy and comfortable and welcoming. The boys played well with Sam (also two) and I got lots of chances to chat and rest. I was really tired, and kept falling asleep with the boys at around 8pm, but the Lukins were terribly understanding and didn't hold it against me.

The drive back was a little tenative to start off with -- pouring rain and strong gusting winds -- but the rain cleared up and the winds just meant I used more gas. I was laughing at myself, because when I was in the midst of the storm, I kept staring at the horizon. I knew that if the storm was going to blow over, I would see the edge of the rain in the distance. You know you've been living on the prairies too long when you don't listen to the weather, you check the horizon.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Almost On Our Way

The boys and I are on our way to Winnipeg for a week. My niece -- who was my flower girl, incidentally -- is getting married this Satruday. We are all packed up, the boys are anxious and aggrivated because they have to wait until after Andrew's playschool. I am just missing one thing:

Yep. Still no car. Apparently the parts they got (early) were the wrong parts. So then they had to get the right parts ordered in, and now they are still fixing my car. It is supposed to be done by lunch. Which is great, because it is 7 hr to Winnipeg, plus a thousand stops to pee and eat and run around at every park along the way, so I was estimating I would get in at about 10pm if I left right at noon. So now I'm guessing 11? Or midnight?

Ah well. On the bright side, unlike yesterday, it is not snowing today.

The big blue bin is not coming with us. Still, do you think I packed enough?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Medium Sized Town Life

You know what happened to me today? I got a phone call in the middle of the day from the mechanic. We had a appointment to get the car fixed tomorrow morning. I was planning the next few days around this, because they boys and I are going to Winnipeg for a week, and I have to get everything ready. The mechanic phones me and says, "So, the part for your car are in." I responded, "Great." Then he says, "Well, can you bring your car down right now? I've got some free time, and I'm kind of busy tomorrow, and you said you need the car fixed by the weekend." What I was thinking was, "WHAT?" But what I said was, "Let me see if I can find a way to get back home." He says, "Oh, well just drive the car down and get someone to drive you back." Yeah, because I have so many friends and relations who can just drop everything and pick me up at the mechanic's at the drop of a hat. I said, "Well, I have two kids I have to bring, too. Can you give me half an hour?" "Yeah, I guess." he says. So the boys and I had a surprise walk to get slurpees and go to the park this afternoon, after I figured out how to pack Andrew's bike and the stroller into the car and packed my happily playing children away in the car. On the bright side, I did avoid folding the basket full of socks I had waiting for me at home for a few more hours . . .

I tell you, sometimes this city reminds me so much of Stephen Leacock's fictional town, Mariposa. I have come to know and love his book "Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town", a satire about a typical rural Canadian town. When discussing the business of the town, he says, "Busy -- well, I should think so! Ask any of its inhabitants if Mariposa isn't a busy, hustling, thriving town. Ask Mullins, the manager of the Exchange Bank, who comes hustling over to his office . . .every day at 10:30 and has scarecely time all morning to go out and take a drink with the manager of the Commercial."

Saturday, May 02, 2009

seasonal celebrations SPRING swap from tinteltenen

This is a pretty photo (better than mine) of all the spring goodies I received in my Spring celebrations swap. The two bunny things with flowers on them are bubbles for my boys, the little pots are eagerly awaiting me to get some soil so we can plant the nasturtiums, and the almond covered chocolates are a traditional sign of new life in Belgium, where this package flew from. This was a little unexpected cheer on a dreary day!

Mini Swap update

It looks like I'm behind on my swap posts! I just realized that I haven't shown you the last two little mini-quilts I received, or the last one I sent, OR showed you my cute spring swap package. Terrible, terrible!

First, here is the lovely little Gees Bend inspired quilt I received in January from KnitOneQuiltToo. See all that quilting? Its by hand. It is very pretty and vibrant:

I got behind on this swap because of my Dad's passing, and then I forgot to take a photo of the quilt I sent. So here's another photo of my lovely little quilt.

The next theme I participated in was Children's Literature. I made this little Dr. Seuss inspired quilt for spinstersister. The house is pieced, and the figures are made of wool felt that I thread painted on. After having to rip off the eggs and ham three times, I gave up on the idea of being able to do Sam-I-Am's face in this manner, so I did his details with a fabric marker. I wish I would have just done the face with marker and would have done his legs with thread, but once I had done it, I couldn't really go back. Still, I was pretty happy with it, and spinster sister's son claimed it instantly, so its all good.

The quilt I received FROM spinster sister put my little quiltie to shame. This is an amazing work of mini art based on the Eric Carle story "Draw Me A Star".

All those little fields and sky patches are pieced, and then the tiny houses and the star and guy are appliqued on top. This little lovely has now joined my mini quilt display in the kitchen. Aren't I lucky?