Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Spring Break and a visit

It is spring time here in Alberta and we still have snow on the ground. The last few days of March have finally brought some melting to the big piles of white snow that fell over the last few months. This beautiful array of alstromeria has decorated our table for the last couple of weeks.
 I love the rainbow colors after all that white outside.
I have had the past 10 days off- a lovely break from the busy days at school. However, it is not that I have not been busy- au contraire- we had a very hectic beginning, with the arrival of our son and his fiancee from the east coast( about 4000 miles from where we live). We met them at my parent's home which is about 100 miles south of us.
This is a photo that was taken by either my mother or his girl- I like it very much- I miss his beautiful smile and this one fills my heart with joy when I look at the two of us together. Here is the four of us in my parent's kitchen- My folks renovated it a few years ago and it was one full space when the kids were home. My mother ( chef extraordinaire) cooked up a full turkey dinner( actually two turkeys) to feed the 20 of us that got together. The house was bulging with activity - there was one toddler, one five year old, two babies not to mention all the adults in the house. It was great to see so many of my family and to have time together, however compressed that it was.  One of the other highlights of their whirlwind visit was a lovely evening with some family that lives her in Edmonton. They also tried to fit in some time with some friends of our son. My husband went with the boys (Kev's best friend) to see the Star Wars exhibit at our local science center. It was a grand show that had lots of artifacts and props from the movies. The Star War exhibit finished up this weekend so he was lucky to get a chance to see it.
I love seeing my folks with our son and his fiancee. He loves my parents very much and I know that the feeling is mutual.The boy and his girl had come to start their wedding plans for next summer. The wedding will be held in Banff- a spectacular place to visit with the gorgeous mountain views. It is only the beginning of some exciting days ahead. Lest you think that I did not get any quilting things done well that would not be true... Kev and Rose were here  in the beginning part of the week. After they went, I found lots to keep me busy. I finished a couple of novels- one by Lisa Jackson (Wicked Lies) and the other by Kristin Hannah ( Winter Garden).
I got the mystery quilt ( the quilt has already been revealed on Quilt with us Connecting Threads forum) parts cut out and sewed the first part together. I still need to cut the strips into sections so that I can make the four patch blocks. I have barely got this quilt started but I think it will work out pretty well.

I pieced the next part of my blocks together for the Rock Candy purple quilt. My next job is square up the 120 sections so that I can piece the 30 blocks together. It is a pretty quilt but I am not sure that I am going to make it into a large quilt. I also tried to fit in a little beading as I have offered to make a bracelet or two for a fundraiser auction that is being held in mid April. Time goes all to fast so I need to get them finished for the auction.

Yesterday I had a new assistant( Dusty the dog) as I began to cut out 10 baby wraps. I tend to make them in bunches as babies seem to be coming in bunches. A friend at work commissioned me to make a couple and I know of three babies that are to born in the summer that will need a wrap.    Dusty all but disappeared in the pile of minkee... LOL
She does look somewhat pathetic doesn't she? All she wanted to do was sleep in her bed on the floor and the minkee fabric kept getting in the way..

So here is the pile of wraps waiting for me to quilt them together.. The scraps on the right will be turned into bias binding before I put the rest of the fabrics in the scrap box for other projects. Somehow the scrap pile keeps growing..

 I was a lucky lady recently ( actually I am lucky lady all the time) but this good fortune had to do with winning this lovely bracelet and earring set. Isn't it pretty? Do go and check out Elaine's lovely blog- she has recently returned from a trip to Florida- lots of great photos of a fun journey. .
I also won some bunny buttons from Button Mad from an earlier blog hop giveaway.. They are really sweet buttons and will look great on children's clothing or some other fun project.
I return to school on Tuesday so I have one more day to get some more work done on projects. I will have some last bits of paperwork to finish. This school year has flown by - I can't believe we are soon in the last quarter of the school year. There is lots of learning to do but I can see lots of growth in my little ones at school.
 Happy Easter and Happy Spring....

Thanks for dropping by for a visit... Until next time be well..
 I am looking forward to sunshine and green grass..
My other assistant will be watching for it..
Warmest regards,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Possibilities and The Lost Blogger....

My my, it has been awhile hasn't it!! I haven't meant to disappear from blogland but somehow the month of February disappeared - I know that it is a short month but, for a short month, it was one very full month. This pair of roses with specialty tea, candles and my favorite magazines arrived at our house for Valentine's Day. I love the beautiful contrasting shades of deep pink and pale pink. They graced our table for over two weeks..

My sister and her daughter came to the city to do a special errand- find a wedding dress for my niece, so we got the opportunity to have dinner together. Dinner at Red Lobster was delicious,
 and it was so nice to spend Family Day with some of my family.

Later that same week I reached a milestone of my own- I have worked 35 years as teacher for my schoolboard. The board hosted a lovely evening of beautiful hors d'ouveres and music along with the opportunity to connect with other friends that had also reached some special milestones in their careers. My friend L. has worked for the district for 25 years. The program is full of special things about each of the celebrated years ( 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years). I feel fortunate to work with so many fantastic people who bring much to the children of our fair city.
Time for creating this month has been pretty limited- I have had lots of paperwork at school with some additional writing that happens only every 5 years.
Have I been quilting or creating this month- well not so much- this new quilt is just barely begun. The pattern is called Rock Candy and, while it is not difficult, it does have lots of cutting and the blocks will only be 8 inch blocks when they are finished. This pile of triangles need to be sewn, then trimmed and then sewn again. I had originally thought I might make a larger bed quilt but I am not sure now.. I haven't even managed to complete one block and I think if I want to make a larger one I would have to make about 72 of them. That is a lot of piecing that would need to happen... HMMM

In case you were wondering if I have had lost my desire to quilt well.. I signed up for a mystery quilt along that is happening right now on Connecting Threads Quilt with Us forum. Do you know this group?
Connecting Threads is a nice company out of Vancouver, Washington that offers very reasonably priced fabric, thread,notions and books. I have bought a number of books, fabrics, thread and batting from them. Their shipping rate is excellent to Canada, or at least it was the last time that I ordered from them in January. The shipping from other shops can be a large deterrent these days when ordering from a US company. Sometimes, when I get to the check out and add the postage, the cost is about 50 dollars more- enough to make me stop and decide not to place the order.

Speaking of possibilities- here are  a couple of possibilites for the mystery quilt. I went upstairs a couple of weekends ago to make some choices from the stash. Here is one that I came up with ...
  and here is another one, that I am thinking of using for the mystery quilt. Perhaps if I wait another week,I will know which way to go- LOL -not much of a mystery, but at least I will know if I like my color choices.
I also have some scarf knitting going on too. I haven't used this boa yarn before and its a bit of challenge to get started, but is so pretty when it does get knit together. It is also very soft...
This past weekend we went to the opening lecture at the Art Gallery ( Canadian Art from Hart House in Toronto) We followed the lecture with a lovely dinner with some other extended family. One of Bruce's uncles was in town for the Friar Brier, that coincides with the Tim Horton's Men's Curling Brier. It was a wonderful evening catching up with nieces and SIL, BIL but especially with our energetic uncle who came to curl at a bonspiel ( he is in his mid 80's) and our sweet grand niece, A., who soon will be two. Four generations always makes for a memorable evening.
On Sunday we had the good fortune to take in a game of the Brier (a big Thank you to our dear friends who generously shared their tickets with us )- The brier determines a national men's champion. The winners were a young team from Northern Ontario . We went to the Bronze medal game and it went an extra end.( The game usually goes 10 ends unless the score is tied and then they play an extra end). We had followed the round robin games all week long on the television, but it is quite a different experience when one sees it live.
We do have fresh flowers that are brightening our table- gorgeous Alstromeria - the pale pink with the bits of wine make a great contrast to the red purply blooms of the other.. If you are still here reading I encourage you to check out the quilt gallery winter blog hop. Lots of wonderful blogs to check out and some great giveaways happening too.

Next week our son is coming for a visit- we are so looking forward to seeing him and his girl. It has been a year since his last visit.We appreciate our many conversations on Skype but there is nothing like seeing them in the flesh.. After they return home- I still will have some spring break holidays so maybe these possibility quilts will turn into some real quilting. I expect I might need some creative therapy after they return home.. I promise to return to the blog sooner this time.
Thanks for dropping by.. I always appreciate your comments, but most of all, the friendship that I have enjoyed from all of you out in Blogland.
We had some melting happening here in Alberta- perhaps Spring is just around the corner.
Warmest regards,