Sunday, July 17, 2011

What makes Life Awesome?

Some little vignettes of things that were Awesome in our life this past week.
Pink and White Snapdragons
Snapdragons do have a delicious fragrance- Their smell was the first thing that I noticed when Bruce found this bouquet at the grocery store. A funny story about the price of them: You could buy one bundle for 7.99 or get two bundles for 7.98 It truly was cheaper by one cent to buy two bundles rather than one. LOL
A Sleeping baby in a quilt:
Our niece sent us this photograph of Anni all wrapped up in her baby wrap. Doesn't she look cozy in it? The wrap design does work well in a stroller and a car seat.

Some quilt progress:
The music quilt continues to progress- albeit slowly. I am to the next border and not sure what fabric to use- Unfortunately, I do not have any more of the dark black multicolored musical notes left- I can find the same fabric line in lots of other colors (pink, blue, green and yellow but not black- I am going to make one last stab at it tomorrow, and see if I can find it at one of the quilt stores- if not, I am going to use one of the ones shown and hope for the best..

Lots of musical fabrics:
Of my current choices, I think I may use the black one with the gold musical notes or the black and red one- One thing that crossed my mind was to take the strips apart to use the one black fabric with the instruments but that would not be my first choice.

Having two beautiful god daughters who are like daughters to me:
My god daughters, A. and E. came along with their wonderful parents to have a barbecue the other evening. We were celebrating a few of their family birthdays.

A just because kind of gift:
E is showing off a bracelet that I made earlier this summer. This was the one she chose- She is partial to the color green and it looks lovely on her wrist. Before school was out, I made about 15 bracelets out of glass beads, stones and silver. E's bracelet is lentil shaped beads with gold foil in them combined with square black beads. Playing with beads is fun and a good alternative to times not spent quilting..

A silver locket:
On another note entirely,this lovely young woman is my other god daughter A. She just had a special birthday and I was thrilled to be able to gift her this vintage silver locket found on Ebay. It was the first time I had ever bought anything off e-bay and I was very pleased with the result.(It was kind of exciting to win the bid VBG) My parents gave me a heart shaped silver locket for that same age birthday and I still have it - though, mine is a little less shiny than this lovely one. I thought it was a nice tradition to start with these special girls in my life.

Buying something that contributes to a worthy cause:

Isn't this a beautiful piece of quilting? It is a piece that I bought from a local quilt store. It could hang on the wall or be used on our sideboard this fall. It is a batik applique and the money that I paid for it, will all go to the Alberta chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society. I do not do much applique quilting. I love pieces that have leaves and fall themes. One hopes that these charities, through their fundraising efforts, will help provide the monies necessary for the researchers to find better treatments for all forms of cancer.
A friend's memorial celebration:
We attended a friend's memorial celebration on Friday afternoon. Our lovely friend Sue was 51 years old and lost her battle to a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Each time I go to a memorial celebration, I am reminded of the importance of making the time to spend with our friends and loved ones.
Memorial thoughts:
Some thoughts: Let the important people in your life know how much you love them. These events act as a reminder to treasure one's relationships and the special gifts that each one of us brings to the world around them. At the celebration, we saw friends that we hadn't seen for a long time. I sometimes, wonder where all our time goes. How is it that we only find time to go celebrate someone's life after the fact, rather than celebrating the person's life when they are still with us? Our friend Sue, was a quiet gentle person who contributed much to the lives of people with whom she crossed paths. May we all leave such a legacy. My last thought that afternoon was that life does seem especially fleeting and much too short...

Some final this and that:
Summer is moving right along- I am slowly finding my form and getting a few things done. I have met for coffee with two lovely quilt friends this past week, besides co- hosting a barbecue. It was so much fun talking about fabric,learning of new techniques but, more importantly, getting to know some new friends that have a passion for creating things. I never cease to be awed by the many talents that people are blessed with, and all the different crafts that one can explore if one has the time.
Summer reading:
I have been reading a few books- This weeks offerings are " Sarah's Key" and " The Postmistress." They are both a good read and take place during the second World War. Sarah's Key goes between the Second world war and current time. The other book that I discovered is" The Book of Awesome". I am not a big fan of short stories, but these little vignettes help one reflect on one's daily blessings, and celebrate the little joys of life. There is now a second book by the same author that is entitled something like "even more Awesome". If you need something to uplift you, you may enjoy these little readings.

I hope you have some " Awesomeness " in your life 'til we meet again.

Warmest regards,

Friday, July 8, 2011

I've started .....

It is windy and raining outside today. We have already completed the first week of my summer break. I don't have much to show for my week. I have spent my time searching the magazines,patterns and books for a quilt pattern to make a quilt. After much deliberation and scouring stacks of patterns I checked out this book off my book shelf:
This book was a gift from my brother in law a few years ago. I love looking at Kaffe's books just so that I can drool over all the beautiful fabrics. Inside I found this pattern called ""Mossy Radiation and thought it work quite well with my group of fabrics:
Earlier today I started pressing all the fabrics that I have, that were music related fabrics. It took awhile but if a girl wants to accurately cut the fabrics then one better press the fabrics. Some of the these fabrics came together in a bundle that I bought when Carolyn and I went to the guild show recently. They had a nice little market mall with the show. (Check out Carolyn's blog if you want to see some of the things she found when we went to the Guild garage sale. After a bit of playing and auditioning fabrics, I made the center block followed by a bold musical print for a border.( I wish I had a little more of those bright musical notes)

Next step was for me to cut many strips and lay them out in a sequence. Now I have to decide whether I want to add red and blue strips or to use just the neutral prints and only have the bright colors in the borders....

You can see that there are lots of black, grey, cream and white combinations in the strips and only a couple with colored backgrounds. In the original design Kaffe Fassett used gradations of color but added a couple of zingers in it..What would you do? add color or just go with neutrals and then have more colorful borders ?

I do have a bit of color to add to it but I haven't decided whether it the bright print will only appear on the back or if it will put in an appearance on the front.

In the meantime, I have been trying to stay dry as the rain has pelleted down today. The weatherman is predicting more rain this weekend. In between times, it has been very hot and unfortunately very buggy ( swarms of mosquitoes- you need bug spray just to get to and from your car) Bruce and I went out to a local restaurant with some friends last night but decided not sit on the patio because of them) The mosquitoes do like to exact a donation of blood - biting little critters that they are...

I have read a couple of books this past week- "The 19th wife" and " The Sky is Everywhere " by Jandy Nelson. I just got " A Vintage Affair " as well as Sarah's Key from the Library. I also got a few books from Amazon but they are mostly professional books with the exception of a book called "The Help". I highly recommend reading it, if you haven't already. The movie is suppose to come out next month. Kathryn Stockett is the author of the book " The Help."

On Tuesday, my friend Lou(no blog) came in from her cottage on the lake. Off we went on a local shop hop. I found a few things but mostly we enjoyed some time catching up with one another. Don't you love spending time with good friends - its one of life's special gifts!
In blogland, some blogging friends are off to Sisters Oregon to see the annual quilt show. What fun those quilters will have seeing the Gee Bend quilters and viewing some great quilts from around the US. Watch for posts about the show - Valori Wells will share her photos from the Sister's show that she and her mother Jean have worked together to put on for many years now. Perhaps some day I will get there- They bring in such wonderful quilters to share their passion for quilting.. It would be a great place to find inspiration..

Do you dream about attending an internationally known show or festival like the one's held in Paducah, Houston or Sister's? What makes a great show for you?

Happy quilting,
Warmest regards,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Plans... or ....

School is out for the summer and I have just begun to switch gears.. The last couple of weeks of school is full of finishing things up. The kids are excited and ready to be done and one races around getting this and that completed for the deadlines. Then you stop - suddenly it is over and the summer begins.

My husband is an amateur astronomer and he loves to watch all sorts of sky phenomena. These noctilucent clouds(commonly referred to as NLC) occur near the summer solstice or the early part of our summer. They make the coolest designs in the night sky and can only be seen at more northly latitudes.
So what does a girl do when she first begins summer break- first she sleeps a little, and reads and ponders what to do to get some things done in her time off. This pile of patterns were only a fraction of ones that I have gone through lately in search of the new project. I have fabrics chosen but not the pattern- My usual process is the opposite.. It has a bit of a time crunch so I better pick something soon and get making it..

Here in Canada, our postal workers were on strike recently but have now returned to work. On the first day we received mail, this great envelope of scraps came from Kate Spain who had hosted a giveaway of some of her latest cutoffs. I was one of the lucky ten who won a large envelope of strips. These are all from her line called Terrain. Thanks so much Kate for sharing your talents and your scraps.

Not long ago I went shopping on line- not intentionally but I saw the New Very Series of Eric Carle fabrics and it was a very good price - too good to pass up. I love his books and want to make the quilts for my classroom. His classic is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". The shop- The Fat Quarter Shop is in Texas. Their prices are good and the fabric always comes protected and wrapped up so nicely. Their blog is the Jolly Jabber and often offers a giveaway of some sort. While I was there I added a few more Kaffe Fabrics to my collection and another piece of Sock Monkey fabric because it is perfect for a baby wrap. Do you have a favorite on line shop that you buy fabrics or do you just buy fabric locally? I have to say my preference is to buy locally for lots of reasons but I do buy some on line because of the prices and the variety that is available that I can't find locally.

A very kind lady Terry from her blog Aviya Glass sent me note and awarding me this Versatile blogger award.

Thank you Terry for your kind gesture and thoughtfulness. I am not very good at awards and I read so many fantastic blogs so I can not choose 7 bloggers. There are just too many deserving blogs that I enjoy reading.

However I will tell you 7 random things about me:
I am left handed and do not like left handed scissors- I can't make them work.
I have no middle name- my proper name is Anna Marie but rarely use it.
I am a prairie girl through and through and sometimes wish I could live in the country.
I hate making lists and do so only when I am feeling like I need to remember all the things I need to get done.
I have pockets of things that I organize but my filing system would be confusing to others.
I love children's books, soft toys like bears and jewelery.
My mother is a fabulous cook - she bakes, cans, makes jam and once upon a time made homemade fudge and donuts. I can cook but I am hopeless at most baked things and I long ago gave up on canning- I did not get her cooking gene. I would rather be quilting. LOL

Last week, before I finished school, I laid out my dad's quilt to spray baste it. See how it filled all my kids tables! I had a pair of great assistants(aka as fellow teachers) who helped me, and together, we got it and another quilt spray basted.

Now I best get to work on some other projects today..
I want to cut some charm squares to experiment with two block possibilities for my next project and finish my current book and..... do some laundry...
What about you - what are your summer plans?
Happy Fourth of July to my American friends and family,
Warmest regards,