Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Wild rose

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This week I …. (January 23–January 29)

Took pictures of snow to help the hot Australians cool off…No sun here this week so the photos are dull…
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Stayed in Whitehorse from Monday through Thursday… Some friends rent an apartment in Whitehorse and they are away.  They offered the use of the apartment to my friend Donna and I.  It was interesting getting home from work at 4:45 p.m. and going for an after work walk in the daylight.  I missed DH, the dog and my bed though… I’ll be staying there again this week coming up….
Went to a play.  I haven’t been to a play in years.  This wasn’t the right play to resume a play-going career with.  It was called Almighty Voice and his Wife” by Daniel David Moses.  It was very “edgy” and was not the kind of play one leaves saying “I liked it”.  Here is what it is about…


Almighty Voice and His Wife tells the story of a Native hero/victim from two different perspectives. Almighty Voice was a 19th century Saskatchewan Cree, whose poaching of a settler’s cow resulted in his incarceration, escape from jail and his shooting of a Mountie. He was tracked down by a large group of police and civilians, and shot. The first act provides a naturalistic portrait of Almighty Voice and his wife, White Girl. The second act shows how the story has been appropriated by a non-Native society in an attempt to locate an “almighty Native voice.” Almighty Voice is now a Ghost and his wife White Girl is the Interlocutor or Master of Ceremonies, dressed as a Mountie. Both wear whiteface, and engage in a parodic vaudeville routine which mocks the expectations and assumptions of a White audience.


Started my new year exercise routine….20 minutes a day minimum of walking, skiing, running, snow shoeing…. I walked Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and snow shoed on Friday….


Got together with friends to prepare some dinners for the freezer….lasagne and squash/apple soup… We all went home with two pans of lasagne and  three containers of soup, enough for about eight meals…
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Received my first Year of the Dragon postcard from the swap I’m participating in… very ferocious…
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Also received the first of my Mystery Muse offerings…. My word is Happiness and I received this imaginative box…
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IMG_4495I can write my happiness wishes or achievements each month on one of the twelve panels…  too cute…

I completed my second Mystery Muse offering for my giftee…These are the Chinese/Japanese/Kanji symbols for “brave spirit”.  I hope I’ve written them correctly – I bet a little mistake in a brush stroke can change the meaning…This is a postcard by the way….I didn’t take a photo of the back…
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I finished cutting the three matching sets of 100 – 2 inch blocks…I have plans for more but haven’t started yet.
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And I made a little progress on quilting the fairy quilt…I finished stitching around all the blocks… then I tried leaves but didn’t like how they were looking so I ripped them out and I’m doing stars….
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I don’t know if I’ll get this done this week because I still have to finish two Year of the Dragon postcards before the end of January….Yikes!!!
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I’m off to bed...
Janet

Friday, January 27, 2012

TUSAL

I’m linking up to Daffycat's Totally Useless Stitch-a-long.  Where you save your thread ends and miniscule scraps (she calls these ORTs which stands for Old Ratty Threads) and post a picture of them on the date of the new moon each month. 
Well I know the new moon was on Monday, but I was away and I swear this is how my jar looked on Monday. 
Daffycat only saves threads but I love the colourful look of all the teeny scraps too.  I have a lot of them right now from cutting all the two inch blocks.  And this is a FUN stitch-along where you can really keep whatever you want and post when you can. 
I think some people keep their ORTs for stuffing dog beds and such.  I actually throw these away.  This is shocking because I am the kind of person who recycles EVERYTHING!  The summer before last I tried putting all my threads and cotton scraps in my compost heap, but they didn’t decompose all that well.  I guess because they are processed.  And probably the dyes aren’t that great for the garden.
So without further ado, here is my January ORT pile. 
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Please don’t fret.  Although some of those piece might LOOK large, I promise you there are no pieces that are useable. 
My jar already has some ends and threads as we build toward the next new moon.  Smile
Janet

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This week (January 16–22) I

Survived the first real cold weather we’ve had this winter.  Low –30s all week.  Car pooled to work with a friend most days.  Wore my long johns and felt packs and carried extra clothes in case the car broke down.  Had an electric heater on in my freezing office.  Cold weather really zaps the energy though and it was a busy work week as well.  It’s warmed up to –25 or so now.  Right balmy so I ….
Went for a nice long snowshoe this afternoon….
Received this lovely Christmas block from Sue. Thanks Sue…
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Made these hexies for my January swap partner, Alberta ….
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Made this block for my January partner in Victoria's New Bee swap, Kathy…
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Made this strip block to send to Karen for the group strip quilt…
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Participated, somewhat half-heartedly, in Friday Night Sew In.  Check this post to see the little bit of sewing I got done….
Made this Christmasy mug rug top….don’t ask why I’m making a Christmas mug rug now….someone gave me the half square triangles and they were calling out to me to be sewn…
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Finished cutting my second two sets of 2 inch blocks for Mary's Postage Stamp Charm Swap and Challenge….I’ve now got 400 charms cut….and started cutting three more sets…
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Whew!  I think that’s enough for one week!
Janet

Resolved to Sew

I am linking up with Very Berry Handmade's huge 2012 resolution and giveaway.  Go check it out!

My resolutions:

1. All three of my daughters are graduating this year, two in June and one in November – that means graduation quilts!  DD # 2 already had one graduation quilt, but since I have another quilt started for her, a second graduation quilt seems like a fine idea.  The top for DD # 3s is almost finished, and I don’t have a clue what to do for DD # 1. 

Mosaic DD#3, DD#2, DD#1

2. I signed up for a BOM quilt from Fat Quarter Shop.  I want to try to keep up with it month by month.

3. At the beginning of the year I thought I wanted to resolve not to join any more swaps.  Because they take a lot of time and cut into my “me” sewing.  But I like swaps.  It’s fun to meet people, try things I might never otherwise try and receive fun mail.  So I’m going to resolve to be judicious in signing up for swaps and not get myself overwhelmed.  And I resolve to make sure that I post pictures of the swap items I receive.  I' haven’t always been diligent in doing that.

4. I have already resolved to finish four of my UFO quilts this year.  DDs # 2 and # 3”s quilts will count as two of them.  These are the other two I want to finish.  The first is a present for a friend that has been in the making much too long – about four years.  The other is my colours quilt, which is for me.Smile

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5. I have a couple of smaller UFO items that I want to get finished this year as well.  This table runner that is half-way quilted and this pincushion.

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6. Try something new.  I’m not sure what it will be…. I am interested in trying a selvedge quilt, a crazy quilt, and I’ve started a collection of silk ties for a tie quilt.  I’m taking a class using shrinking backing that gives you cool textures.  I’d love to make an EPP quilt with all the various stars – although EPP isn’t new to me, shapes other than hexagons are.  I’m sure the mysteries of the quilting world will unfold for me as they should. Smile

7. The biggest and best… I want to have fun and stay in touch with quilting blog buddies! 

Janet

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday Night Sew In report

I did not have an extremely productive FNSI.  Too zapped from the cold week; I watched lots of shows on tv and didn’t even hand stitch.  I did make a little bit of quilting progress on this baby quilt which I started before Christmas.
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So far I’ve just quilted around the inner and outer squares.  And I have to bury my threads.
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I want to quilt along the zigzag between the two squares and do something in the sashing – maybe leaves or stars or….
Any suggestions?
Janet

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nosy Parker in the Neighbourhood–Sewing

I missed linking up for part 2 which was about Christmas…. but too late now, we’re on to new things…Like Sewing – Yeah!

 Edited to add what I forgot- the link back to Kat's Nosey Parker link up site.

1)  How long have you been sewing? Are you a first generation sewer or was the knowledge handed down to you? Basically tell us about your journey...
I remember sewing when I was quite young, four or five years old.  I actually have evidence that I sewed when I was that young, in the form of a pot holder that I made for my mother.  My mother never used it.  It lived in the linen cupboard for years and years.  I thought I was very clever because I embroidered her initials “BREW” on it and they spelled a word.  Only those were the initials of her maiden name.  Her married initials were “BRC”.  I always thought she kept it hidden in the cupboard because it wasn’t acceptable to have a potholder with her maiden name initials on it.  It was only in more recent years that I started to think maybe she kept it safely put away because she was so proud of me.  I wish I had a picture to show you but DD # 1 had the pot holder - I need to get her to take a picture for me.
My mother sewed.  She did lots of mending and when she didn’t have children at home anymore she sewed clothes for herself.  She had this little Singer featherweight and that’s what I first learned to sew on.  I am thrilled to have this machine now although I don’t use it too often.
IMG_4476 I suppose my mother must have taught me something about sewing, although I don’t remember that particularly.  I do remember taking home ec in grade 8 and sewing a couple of items: a lined pantsuit and a pair of bell bottom pants.  I learned embroidery and cross stitch as well when I was young, and how to knit.  I never have learned crochet. 
I always loved stitching and textiles and thread.  I took weaving courses when I was a young adult and imagined a career in that area, but it wasn’t to be.  I sewed lots of items by hand and machine: toys and clothes for my kids, useful household items (since DH and I lived in tents for about ten years, cloth had a big place in terms of storage for items and things like tent flys, doors etc.), and decorative things like Christmas decorations and wall hangings.  I knitted socks, sweaters, scarves, mitts and a few shawls.  I started my first quilt the year I was married.  It was an applique quilt but I don’t remember the pattern; it was made out of green solids in a variety of hues and whites.  I had most of the applique blocks done when our tent burned down with everything we owned, including my quilt.  I didn’t start another quilt until about eight years ago when I made a few baby quilts.  Then I discovered some quilting friends, both in person and on the computer and my love of sewing has been revived in a big way.

2)  Where do you sew?
I have a sewing room, an addition to our house that DH built for me.  It is small – about 9’ x 10’ - and often messy but it is my space.  DD # 3’s boyfriend was in it recently, when she was sewing her apron, and he said “I like this room”.  I like it too. 


3) What does your sewing room/area look like today in it's real state. Take a picture of it if possible and show it to us real :)
Okay, I’m going to show you, but please look past the clutter.  It is actually quite organized – although somewhere in this room is a pair of quilting gloves and a colour wheel that I can’t find.
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The sewing corner.  My Bernina, which I love.  A basket of selvages in the corner.  The pile of BIG mending – sleeping bags that need some recovering.  My little scissors with the scissor keep from Melody. My chicken pincushion, made by my friend Dahn. The big ironing board that I seldom use, except to pile things on.
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The ironing board I do use, under the big picture window, my cutting mat and my rulers.  I love the ruler stands, one of the best organizers I have.  A pile of home dye scraps in the corner I need to put away.  Other fabric scraps from which I am cutting 2 inch blocks for Mary's Postage Stamp Quilt Swap and Challenge.  Felt and buttons that I bought to play with next time my DGD and DGS come over.  My vase of bits and pieces of thread and tiny fabric bits which will eventually go in the garbage.  Do you like the two tone walls?  DH did some window retrofits a couple of years ago and didn’t have blue paint for the walls, so we’re trying out yellow.
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The third corner – a storage area.  Piles of fabric and odd bits.  I know where almost everything is in those piles.  And lots of lovely things that I like to look at, some that I made, some gifts from others: a pin cushion from Nova, a scrappy basket from Cindy, the little bag in front from Katy, which I use to carry my hand stitching projects.  A foot pattern on the wall for the mukluks I said I’d make for my psedo-daughter.  The green bag which is the REAL garbage pail.  And my board full of interesting bits and pieces.
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And the other storage corner.  More fabric piled up.  I get lots of sun in this room, so try to keep the fabric covered.  The Mona Lisa.  Bags and boxes full of thread.  Pin cushions, pins and needles.  My Ooh La La wall hanging from Em, which I need to pin back up.  A fishy batik DD # 3 brought me from Mexico. The yellow danger tape is going into a garbage mini-quilt one of these days.   


4)  What is the first thing that you made which you were really proud of. Show us pics of your favourite project.I like most things that I make but I’ll show you something that I made a couple of years ago.  I took a series of “art quilting technique” classes at my LQS.  We all took our pieces from the classes and made items for a show.  It was great fun. 
I painted the purple, red and silver fabric with acrylic paints.  I didn’t like it at all, but when I cut it up and paired it with the solid red and purple, I loved it. The fabric piece is unbacked and unbound - just mounted on a white canvas.  I have this piece in my bedroom where I can look at it every day.
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5)  Do you always stick to the "rules" when you sew, or are you more improvisationally minded?
I don’t follow many rules.  Sometimes I use patterns, but more often I just put pieces of fabric beside each other and more them around until I find what pleases me.  I have had to teach myself most often – which means that I have had free rein to do things my own way.
Janet

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This week I…..(January 9–15)

Noticed that the light is starting to return; it isn’t completely dark when I leave work anymore….
Experienced my first really cold weather this winter…. – 25 today and the wind chill makes it feel like –40s…it is supposed to be in the –30s tonight and tomorrow with more wind chill….
Saw this bizarre sight in my town….A German tire company called Fulda brings many of its employees to the Yukon each winter as a reward and they go to different places and do activities.  They are all issued identical clothing and drive identical vehicles.  Here they are having a competition hauling logs on a sled, but it was very windy and bitter cold out and I’m sure they were wondering why they were doing this…
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Received my lovely January Adventure block from Susan….
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And made this block for her.  The pattern is Lynne's Lynne Bob Square Pants.  Susan wanted it with whites instead of blacks, and modern fabrics….
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Received my December hexie flowers from Lynette…  She sent a couple of cute charm squares too.  So sweet of her….
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Made this inspiration item for my Mystery Muse partner….you can see I utilized my dragon again…Smile
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Finished cutting my 100 packs of 2 inch blocks for the swap and started cutting a couple more sets…
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And most exciting, DH and I celebrated our 34th anniversary yesterday.  We went and stayed overnight at our friends’ cabin in Atlin, two hours drive from home.  Cold, but very beautiful…
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I hope your week has been equally full and wonderful…
Janet

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This week I….

Went cross country skiing twice, on Monday and today…
Took a day and a half off work with the stomach flu – feeling better finally today…
Read The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  An excellent read…
Watched the movie Midnight in Paris and enjoyed it immensely…
Received these blocks in the mail: December adventure block from Margaret…..
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November six inch blocks from Robyn…
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I sewed these six inch blocks for the January swap with Jolanda…
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And this block for the January Christmas swap with Sue…
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I made this postcard for a Yahoo group postcard swap I am in.  I drew the dragon using this tutorial…
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I have to make two more Year of the Dragon postcards for the swap…
I prepared ten of these hexies to send to DD # 2 for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden stepping stones…I’m not sure how preparing the hexies became my job…
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And I cut two sets of fifty-five two inch blocks for the
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at The Curious Quilter.  I have to cut forty-five more blocks for each set as we are swapping sets of a hundred…
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It feels like a productive week…  Back to work tomorrow…
How was your week?
Janet

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year’s Eve gifts

I received great mail on the last Friday of the year; several items that I won in the pre Christmas Blog Hop Party and Sew Mama Sew and lots of other giveaway frenzy arrived, and I am sooooo lucky!

First up I won this lovely pattern from Daphne Greig.

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This is such an interesting design and I’m going to have to try it out soon, maybe on a block for a swap Smile 

Margaret from Applique Addict picked six different winners for batik charm squares in a range of colours.  I won the blues.  So beautiful!  I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with them yet.

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I also won the GRAND PRIZE from Jamie at Terrabyte Farm.  This parcel was so big. DH picked it up from the post office and insisted I open it while he watched. 

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He laughed as I pulled things out of the box one after the other.  There was just so much in there.  And he already thinks I have a lot of sewing stuff Smile 

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His laughing quieted a bit when I showed him the awesome wool from the Terrabyte Farm sheep.   And when he saw the package of heavy duty specialty hand sewing needles he grew really interested.  Remember that hubby sews leather from time to time.  Then he said “Her husband must be a bow hunter.”  This is high praise coming from him.  Jamie has seen told me that no, her hubby isn’t a bow hunter, but I am not passing that message on!

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Lovely wool and felted pieces.  In the tin is wonderful beeswax hand salve, also from the farm.  I know just what I’m going to do with the felted pieces. 

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A fat quarter case and almost enough pieces of fabric to fill it.  I love the orangey fall range of colours and there are different fabric weights too.

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And look at this bounty of sewing notions: hand needles – 4 packages of different kinds, machine needles – 6 packages with four different kinds, thread, bobbins, 2 sizes of elastic, snaps, 2 sizes of iron on patches, a lint brush, pins, needle threaders and iron on fusible web.  Jamie’s sister works as a marketing assistant with the US distributor for Singer.  I will definitely use all of this!  I had been thinking lately that I need to renew my hand sewing needle supply in particular.  Well no more!

Then, as if I hadn’t been spoiled enough, I won a stocking from Robin in the stocking giveaway she organized on her blog.  And oh I was starting to feel overwhelmed with the bounty… The presents from Robin were lovingly wrapped but I tore them open before I even thought about taking a picture.   So I had to stuff them back in the stocking and pretend. Smile  Here is the stocking ready for hanging by the chimney with care…

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Look at all the lovelies!  A bag pattern, a skirt pattern, a Schnibbles pattern (the first I’ve ever seen), two cute ornament kits, thread snips, a lovely piece of bright fabric (we all know I LOVE bright fabric), a little notebook and pen and six spools of thread.  And a lovely bell ornament that I seem to have forgotten to take a full picture of, but you can see it peeking out of the top of the stocking above.

This package must have been roughly handled at the post office because look at the plastic spools.

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Bits of plastic broken off and floating free in the bags.  Fortunately I have all those new bobbins that I can load them onto. Smile

So I may not have been spoiled in the sewing area at Christmas but I sure was for the New Years round.   Now I just have to get on with some actual sewing! 

Janet