Friday, December 31, 2010

At the end of the year

Here we are on the last day of the year. What a year it has been. From a fantastic quilt trip to Japand to being down and out for a while after surgery. But by and by it has been a good year. We had a lovely time during Christmas. The group was smaller then I'm used to,but that did not matter. We had a white and cold Christmas, but right now it is raining, so no more smowmobile rides for a while. This year I have been knitting up a storm. After not being able to knit for years, because of painful shoulders, I found that I could knit socks again if I took my time.Most of the socks have found a good home. These were barely of the needles before Christmas. I gave our son-in-law's mother a choice and she picked this pair. The pattern is another by Cookie A and the yarn is by Socks-that-Rock, my favorite combination. I'm working on a new pair, since my inventory is quite low after the holidays. I have a new idea for a quilt and this Delft Blue vase is part of it. The idea is to make a quilt with old Delft Blue vases and pots. In the vases I would applique bouquets of spring flowers. I'm thinking of tulips, daffodils, snowdrops and crocusses.To see if I can pull it of, I took pictures of a vase that I remember sitting on the mantle at my grandparents. From there they( yes there are 3) came to my mother's and after she passed away they came to me.
I found a few suitable blue/white fabrics in my stash and I have been looking around for more. Next week I should have a good start.
This vase will be filled with tulips and I found some fabric by Phil Beaver with lots of color variations. I have not been able to find a suitable Dutch picture for the center, but I did have a suitable oriental fabric, so that's what it will be.
Now it is on the the next job. When we were growing up, my mother would always make oliebollen for New Years Eve. I found a recipe, so I will be making some for us and take some to the neighbours, at least if they will turn out.
Wishing all of you out there a very Happy 2010!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thinking a year ahead.

Not long after I had send all our Christmas cards away I discovered, that I was a few short. My eye fell on my container with selvages and an idea started to form. I had a nice piece of dark blue batik,already with WonderUnder at the back. And I found a piece of Timtex, big enough to make 5 cards.The Timtex is used to make the cards stiff, so they look like a real postcard. I dumped the whole box of selvages on the table and started to sort the blueish ones out, both with lettering and color dots. I also found a few pieces of a silky type ribbon, used to tie fabric packs together. First step was to cut out the Timtex a little larger then I needed. On one side I ironed Wonder Under. I took the paper of so only the glue part was left. Next step was to audition pieces of the selvages and ribbon and try and come up with a nice design. Once I was satisfied I ironed the pieces on to the Timtex. I had a piece of dark blue batik all ready to go. I drew halve the tree design on a piece of freezer paper, folded it double and cut it out. From there I ironed it on the dark blue fabric and drew around it with a white marking pen. Once cut out I centered it on the selvages and ironed it down. For the back I found a piece of grey/blue wintery fabric with cranes, just enough for 5 cards. After ironing some WonderUnder to the back, I put a piece on the back of each card. Now was the time to square it all up. Then the final step, the finishing of the edges. I used a variegated King Tut thread, left over from a previous project. Some cards are gone, but a few were stored in a safe place. I have been making different cards for what must be close to 15 years and at times the hardest thing for me is getting a new idea. Now I don't have to worry about next year. I will have to start to collect more selvages from blueish fabrics though. It took more thant I thought. This will be my last post before Christmas and I wish everybody out there a very Merry Christmas.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas cards

I know it has been a while, but I did not feel the best. But a visit to the doctor and some medication took care of it. But in the meantime not much got done. Last week I managed to do the water area of my landscape. The front will have more trees and rocks, but I have not decided what will go where. It is on my design wall and once in a while I have a good look. One of these days I will get THE idea. Yesterday I mailed this year's Christmas cards. I had the wintery print for a while and I had enough for 12 cards. The back ground is a fine Indian cotton, what made it hard to stitch the sashiko. The sashiko was done by hand and I used overdyed cotton thread by Sassalyn . It was left over from another project. Inside the cards is a piece of Timtex and this makes it firm. Now today I realize, that I'm a few cards short. I found enough Timtex for 5 more cards and I will show the result next week. Most of my Christmas shopping is done and the gifts are wrapped and under the tree. This is the first time we went to a tree farm near Mount Forest for out Christmas tree. What I liked the most was the giant Saint Bernard, which greeted us. We used to have one years ago on the farm and I'm still partial to them. I did some special baking also, but around here that never lasts too long. Whereever I hide it, my dear hubby will find it. My solution is, to do the rest of the baking just before Christmas Day. On Tuesday I finished my schedule for this year. I did a trunk show at the guild in St. Mary's. We have had a fair amount of snow, not as much as a lot of places around us, and the roads can be slick at times. We were lucky. I did get there in time and had a wondeful time. And after my talk, there was a catered lunch. What can be better. When it did start to snow again, I got out of there in a hurry and I made it home in good time. We have had the bird feeder out for a few weeks now. When we just moved here, I was complaining to Laurence , that we never saw any birds. Well, this year is different. It seems, that every few days I have to fill up the 'big' feeder. And for the first time I saw my favorite bird, the cardinal. I know, that this is not the best of pictures, but I cannot get any closer. All in all it seems that most of the work for Christmas has been done and I feel less pressure than some years.
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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Winter is here

Last Saturday I had a workshop in Burlington, at least a 11/2 hour drive from here. When we got up, it was freezing rain. Not good for this nervous driver! But since we were up early, Laurence decided to come along. He quickly did the chores and of we were. He dropped me of at the store and spend the day visiting with Jeanette and Tony. They had promised to take him out for lunch if he would bring the truck. That way he could take their summer tires back to our place for storage. We had a pleasant time during the workshop. For lunch a few went across the road to a deli and they came back with some Dutch chocolate I had not seen in 40 years. As a child we would get small chocolate Christmas wreaths topped with sprinkles. And here was a whole container to be shared by all. That started the conversation and it ended up that most had some Dutch in them and all had stories to tell. And yes, during this all they kept working very hard. All in all a succesful day. When Laurence picked me up again, the snow and ice were gone and the sun was shining. But I was very happy he came along. I have been somewhat under the weather for the last few weeks and had dreaded this day, but it turned out fine. Not much has been accomplished, just the necessary seems to get done. I put the crazy quilt away till next year. I did find this small wallhanging I made years ago. I never used it. No wonder, it did not have sleeve. I put a sleeve on and will hang it in the hall. I think I made it, when I got a machine with some fancy stitches. I do remember, that it was hard sewing with this golden thread.
And winter is here. We have snow on the ground. This morning I saw a car almost sliding in the ditch. It seems that you have to see something like that, before you are slowing down yourself. And now the snow can come for Laurence. The outside work is done and he has his new snowmobile licence!Posted by Picasa