Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm Kind of a Cut-Up

As usual, today's post is related to what is on my mind, not about quilting or pattern design.

Admittedly, on occasion I am easily confused. But, I'm trying to puzzle something out here, and I can't quite make sense of it.

This weekend Hubby and I were camping. And by camping I mean, no running water, no shower, no outhouse, no electricity. No other people for miles around. Think deep woods survival. Roughing it in a tent and cooking over a campfire. On Sunday, I reached into a deep bin of dishes and silverware and being a klutz, I managed to skewer the inside of my forearm on a sharp knife.

According to television crime dramas, the wound is in what could be considered the 'defensive position.' You know, where a knife would strike me if I had my arm up to protect my face. So we pack up our junk and head into the Drayton Valley hospital to get it stitched up. I show up in the emergency room bleeding like a stuck pig, filthy from camping all weekend, my legs and arms covered in bruises (because I am a klutz and bruise like a peach). My hair looks like I was caught in a windstorm and I haven't showered for three days. Frankly, I looked like I had been in a brawl. I talked to five different members of the hospital staff and not one of them, including the doctor, asked how I got a knife wound in such a weird spot.

Now, flash back to about a year and a half ago, give or take. Way back then, we had fish for supper one evening and somehow I managed to get a small fish bone stuck in my throat. (Probably because I was starving and eating way too fast.) I tried eating a piece of bread because I heard that might dislodge it; but it didn't work. To make a long story short, the next morning, my throat was still bugging me so I went to the South Calgary Health Center to see if there was still something lodged there.

The nurse takes me into the back and starts asking me questions. One of the questions was "How are things at home? Is everything okay?" That stumped me, I didn't know what she was getting at. I finally managed to determine that she was asking about domestic abuse. What the hell? My response was, "Tell me how that has anything to do with a fishbone in my throat and how it is any of your f-ing business?" Seriously, I'm a chubby girl. I'm not skinny enough that someone might be force feeding me by ramming whole fish down my throat.

The concept of asking patients about abuse pissed me off. I didn't have bruises, scrapes, cuts or broken bones. (And don't give me a lecture on how the questions might help someone, I had a damned fish bone stuck in my throat, not a wound that might come from being battered.)

Does this make any sense to you? I get a fish bone stuck in my throat and get the third degree, and I have an awkward knife wound and nobody even asks how I got it?

Like I said, I don't get it!

Oh, the cut was small, but deep enough that I needed it sutured. Only one stitch but it hurt like hell when they stitched it without freezing. Had to get a tetanus shot too. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. (And I'm getting a getter bin to store the dishes and sharp knives in.)

Rant finished.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

End of an Era

I have made a very painful decision.

With all the things going on in my life (grand-babies, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, novel writing) I have determined that it is time to sell my long-arm machine.

It is funny how much the decision hurt. My long arm machine has been part of my life for six years. I have quilted close to 1000 quilts on her. I love using her. Sadly, she takes up an entire room and a whole lot of my time.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot of irons in the fire. I am a quilter, doodler, crocheter, knitter, stitcher, pattern designer, wife, mother and grandmother. In addition to all this, I am a writer. I write novels, and am working on several quilting instruction books. My life is full and my time is busy. Something has to give.

When I sit back and reflect on it, I know that selling my machine is the right decision. Yes, I will have to pay to have my larger quilts quilted by another professional, but Calgary is full of ladies who do lovely work. But my body is telling me to slow down and take care of myself. So I shall use the gym more, eat better and leave the physical strain of standing for long periods while quilting behind me.

So, my plan is to finish the few quilts in my queue and part ways with the machine.

That adorable granddaughter of mine needs a playroom when I start babysitting her in the fall and my long arm is sitting in that space. So while I am giving up one pleasure, I am replacing it with another. And in the long run, I know that I will be much happier spending time with grand children than with a machine.

Life is all about change so, don't be sad for me, celebrate with me. It is the end of one era and the start of another. I shall still design quilts, write quilt patterns and I shall play with grand children. Life will be wonderful!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

It's that time of year again; it is Father's Day.

Every year, I think to myself that I don't appreciate my father nearly enough for all that he has done for me and for all that he continues to do. I let the little moments slip by without telling him how much I love him and how much he means to me. I don't get up to visit him often enough, I don't call enough and I surely don't show my appreciation enough.

Today, I want to tell my father that he is my world. My father, and my mother, raised me to be a good person. To help out where help is needed. To be kind and giving. They taught me to be strong and self-sufficient. To look after myself and my family. To be there for my friends. Dad taught me that actions have consequences and that I have to suck it up when i make a mistake and be accountable for all that I do; good and bad.

He taught me cooking, hunting, fishing, jewellery making, camping, and sports (admittedly I fell short on this one!) He gave me his twisted sense of humor and taught me how to cuss. He was there for me when I did well, but more importantly he encouraged me when I failed. He stood behind me against the bullies and mean girls. He taught me to believe in myself even when no one else did.

But above all else, he taught me that love is a circle and that the more love you give to others, the more you get in return. The more love you get, the more there is to give. Love is unending and you can love countless people and never run out.

So I say it now, thank you Dad. I love you. I appreciate you and all you have done for me. I don't say it often enough, but you are the reason I am who I am today.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Dad, I wish I could shout out to the whole world and tell them how wonderful you are.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Normally, I write about my own crafting successes and failures. But, today while surfing the net, I stumbled on this picture. While this is lovely to behold, the idea is pure insanity. Small beads and a baby? Imagine picking those out of her nose. And a string to wrap around her neck?

I ask you ... what could possibly go wrong?

Epic Fail!
With my apologies to the creator of this.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Adding Borders to Your Quilt

(This is a repost, as I had to delete the original due to thousands of comments by spam-bots.)

As a long arm quilter, I have a few pet peeves when dealing with customer quilts. Bad pressing is one. But what bugs me the most is bad borders. Borders that are too short on one side and too long on the other. Borders that are rippled and wavy. Borders with too much fullness. They all add up to one insane quilter.
To a certain extent, they can be "quilted out." But it takes a lot of fidgeting, time, steaming and irritation on the part of the quilter.

My posting for today is simply my own instructions for adding borders. I’ve gathered bits and pieces of information and techniques from a variety of sources, blended them together until I found what works best for me. Many of my students have told me that it works well for them. Try it for your self.

How to Add Straight Borders to your Quilt
Ensuring that the quilt is square and the borders lie or hang flat without ripples is as simple as following the steps listed below.

  1. Measure the quilt to calculate a "base" measurement for each border.
  2. Do not take the measurements on the edge of the quilt as the seams may have opened a little and will give a false result. Instead position the tape measure approximately 20 -30 cm in from the edge at both ends. Take a third measurement through the center of the quilt.
  3. Now average the three measurements to find the "base measurement". However, If there is more than a 1.5 cm variation in the measurements it means that the pieced seams are not even so go back to the quilt and adjust seams before adding border. This will make you quilt lay and hang flat. In the end you will be glad you took the time to correct your seaming.
  4. Cut your side borders to base measurement for the length of your quilt.
  5. Mark the quilt and the border at the ½ and ¼ points with pins. Match these points and pin the entire length together of your border and center unit together. Sew with a ¼ inch seam.
  6. Repeat for the other side. Press these seams. Generally press to the darker fabric. You may press to the light or open as needed.
  7. Measure the width of the quilt (including the added borders) in three places as instructed in step two.
  8. Add these borders as above.
Note: if your fabrics strips are not as long as the required borders I recommend that you piece them together using a 45-degree seam. This lies flatter than a straight cross-seam and is less visible.
Lay two border strips right sides together at with their ends at a 90-degree angle. Sew a seam from point to point. While stitching from point to point, think of the capital letter A. Your strips are the legs of the A and your stitching the cross bar. Open to ensure the strips will lay straight. If so, trim seam to 1/4inch and press open. Repeat with another strip if more length is needed. Cut desired strip length from this piece. Piecing all your strips together and then cutting your borders gives all one large piece for your scrap bin rather than many small ones.
It doesn’t take long to make your borders perfect. Try it and see what you think.

Please, if you share these directions, let people know where you found them. Thanks.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Indulge Your Inner Goonie and Find Time For Your Passions

Have you ever noticed that life has a way of throwing curve balls at you? Just about the time you think you have everything under control, shit hits the fan. You know what I mean. You finally get the credit cards paid off and the car goes KLUNK and dies on the freeway. The Christmas bills are paid and the furnace blows up. You finally free up a four day weekend for relaxing and doing nothing when Great Aunt Bethany calls to say she’s coming to town for a few days. It is easy to get caught up in the little things and lose sight of your passions. A few extra hours at work; a couple dinner invitations; people making demands on your time and asking you to do things for them; it all adds up and eats into your time.

How do you find time for those passions? When do you say no? When do you start to let things slide? When do you shout at the world, “Enough is enough?”  But most importantly, how do you decide which things occupy your time?

Personally I am selfish. I try my best to put myself and my needs first. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean I refuse all requests or tell people to take a flying leap when they ask for a favour or for some help. I just do my very best to make time for the things that I love to do, for the things that nurture my soul. I try to hear what my mind and my soul are telling me.

I am a creative person and I try to be aware when my creative side screams for an outlet. I NEED to do crafty things. I need to write stories. Some are good, some are awful, but they need released from the crowded confines of my mind or my head will explode. My house is littered with the detritus of my creative side. There are piles of partial manuscripts, writing materials and reference manuals. There are balls of yarn, knitting projects, needlepoint canvases and half-finished baby afghans. My studio looks like a fabric truck exploded inside of it. Fabric is stacked and draped on every surface, pattern books stick out of weird places, all higgety piggety.  Generally, I have so many projects on the go that I can’t decide what to work on. My husband says that I have Magpie Syndrome; I get distracted by bright shiny or colorful objects. He may be right. Personally I think it is just my creative side trying to escape and express itself to save my sanity.

The trouble is that sometimes it is hard to fit that creativity, that passion, into my life. But somehow I manage it. It is a very rare day that goes by when I don’t indulge myself. Sometimes it is with quilting or writing (most days); sometimes it is a couple rows of crochet or a bit of applique or needlework. To find the time, I have turned down invitations to coffee, to home clothing parties, dinners, and on occasion, I tell my man that I cannot go with him to Home Depot, or that he has to wait an hour while I stitch this. Recently, I have told my kids I don’t have time to visit. That isn’t as cruel and heartless as it sounds. I see one daughter and her family at least five days a week, so a missed visit isn’t a big thing for any of us. My other daughter is as busy as I am, so I rarely turn down the chance to see her.

For years and years, I cleaned my house from stem-to-stern at least once a week, sometimes more often. Now, I’m doing good to get it done once a month. We don’t live in squalor. I’ve just changed my priorities. Things are clean enough. Nobody who comes over complains, in fact one fellow says, “I like coming here, I feel comfortable, like I was at home. I’m not worried about destroying a show-home.” The first thing he does when he shows up is take his socks off … so the floors can’t be that dirty.

The joke around here is that if I have cleaned up, someone must be coming over. (And usually that is true!) And hubby has taken over the dishes and the laundry. This leaves me more time to play with the things that nurture me and keep me sane and happy. Because we all know that if Cathy isn’t happy, no one is happy!

It’s about balance. It’s about not neglecting your needs to meet the needs of others. It’s about being who you need to be and not feeling guilty when you say no or when the toilet doesn’t get scrubbed exactly on schedule.

Remember the movie Goonies? They were under the wishing well and had to choose between following a dream and searching for One Eyes Willie’s treasure and returning to the world of their parents. Remember Mikey’s passion speech about time and staying a Goonie? “Our parents, they want the bestest stuff for us. But right now they gotta do what's right for them, 'cause it's their time. Their time, up there. Down here it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.” Mikey had it right! Stand up for your time, not what is right for the people in your life. Be strong, be a Goonie and make time for your passion. Make time for you! Stay out of Troy’s bucket!

What is your passion and how are you going to find time to fit it into your schedule?


Friday, April 19, 2013

Seizing the Opportunity to Tangle with the Karma Bus

Wow! Holy applesauce, Batman! Crap just hit the fan. Shit just got real.

Last November, when I turned 50, I made a promise to myself. I was going to become fit, fine and fifty. This would be the year I started taking care of myself. I've been slowly puttering towards that goal. I've been modifying my eating and getting back to working out. Nothing radical, nothing too fast or hard and definitely no deprivation. I've just been taking small steps towards becoming healthier. I've decided that I am worth it!

I was beginning to think that I was making some progress. My jeans were getting looser, my arms firming up a bit, my knee sausages were shrinking and my breathing was getting easier. The numbers on the scale were even starting to creep lower.

Like I said, things were improving slowly. Baby steps! Things were looking good.

Enter . . . . . the Karma Bus!

Clearly I've been very, very naughty.

It began like any other day. I got up had two cups of coffee. Just two, limiting caffeine as part of the health kick. Did a little sewing on the current block of the month applique. Piled into the car and went and got my monthly blood work taken. (Part of the whole rheumatoid arthritis gig is regular blood work.) After that, I drove to Along Came Quilting to meet a friend for a bit of fabric shopping and after that some lunch. So far, so good.

Into the store we go, stirring up trouble and kibitzing with the staff. Lots of fun and laughter along with some fabric stroking. All of a sudden, out of no where, I started feeling weird. Not bad, just a bit off. Then things started to go dark, like when the electricity dips and the lights go brown.

Crap! I realize that I might pass out for the first time in my life. The next thing I know, I'm fighting off hunky ambulance attendants in the parking lot.

What the heck?

Through the crowd of attendants my friend (a nurse) starts trying to reassure me that it is okay. I've just had a seizure and that they were taking care of me. Her words fell of deaf ears because, needless to say, I was just a little freaked out and totally disoriented. I panicked a bit and they had to drug me to get me into the ambulance. It seems that up to that point, I had been following instructions fairly well. Shoot!

So, they drag me off to the hospital, my friend in hot pursuit. Run some tests. CT scan was clean. Heart test okay. It seems that I had a grand mal seizure for no immediately apparent reason. Holy crap-a-doodle-doo! I've got a boat load of bruises, I tore a big chunk of skin from behind my ear when I hit a hook and I've got aches and pains galore, but it could have been a lot worse.

Over the next two weeks the real fun begins. MRI, chest x-rays, EKG and EEG all coming up in rapid succession. I've seen a plethora of doctors this week and they are all fairly confident that this is likely a one time thing.

The trouble is, I can't drive until I have been three months without a seizure. It has only been a week and I am already chaffing at the bit. I find that I am not liking being tied down and needing a driver. Sigh. Oh well, better safe than sorry. I shall survive this debacle. I'm just glad I live in Alberta. In the rest of the country, they take your license for a full year. :(    
What strikes me the most about this whole unfortunate event, is the quick response from the fire fighters, then the ambulance attendants. They gave me great care, even when I resisted it (in my state of panic.) The staff at the hospital was patient and helpful. But most wonderful of all was the attention from the staff at Along Came Quilting. They were quick to react and help out. They remembered my usual cohort's name and called her for my emergency contact information. She didn't have my husband's number, so she told them where I worked. They called work, work called my daughter, and she called my man, who raced to the hospital. Quite a chain of caring.

A couple days later, Linda, the owner of ACQ called me to check up on me and to express her staff's concern for my well-being. While we were chatting, she told me that someone on her staff said it was a good thing I didn't put the hook through my neck. Linda said it was a good thing I didn't take my eye out with it. YIKES! I hadn't even thought of that. Thank heaven for small reprieves!

While I am, understandably, nervous about the upcoming tests, I can't help but be grateful that they are all happening within two weeks. I guess when your brain is screwy you get good service! I am thankful for the excellent care I received at the hospital and en-route. I am also thrilled that the ACQ staff reacted quickly and efficiently. I'm glad my friends, family and boss were all there to help out. I'm not sure if it is good or bad that I'm at the quilt store often enough that they remember me and know who my usual cohorts are.

This strengthens my vow to get fit and take better care of myself. As soon as I get the all-clear, I'll be hitting the treadmill again.

Now, if only they would give me back my car keys.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Fabricaholic Chooses Her Shop

Sundreams. My pattern. It has nothing to do
with this post, except showing why I need such
a large selection of fabrics.
I am a fabricaholic. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Then again maybe not. Bear with me for a moment ... Do you think that I am a fabricaholic if I have fabric stored in 24 Ikea bins made into drawers, 2 four-drawer plastic towers, 15 plastic containers, 8 carboard boxes and a have bunch of yardage on my shelves?

No? Good! I didn't think so either.

My point here is that I buy a lot of fabric. But then, I use a lot of fabric. Most of my purchases are 100% cotton for quilting. I do buy a bit of minky, a bit of drapery fabric, some rubberized baby fabric and a few odd bits. My cotton is 90% quilting cotton and 10% flannel for backs. I do love a soft cuddly quilt back, but that isn't where I was going with this.

I spend a lot of time in quilt shops and fabric store looking around, stroking the fabric, and buying what I need for my current work in progress. Oh, and I might buy a meter or two of fabric just because I like it. I am not a quilt shop purist by any stretch of the imagination. I shop the fabric store chains and I've purchased fabric at second hand stores on occassion. I will shop almost anywhere. The question is, how do I decide where to shop and what brings a shop to the top of my favorites list?

Years ago, we had a shop here in Calgary that was lovely. They have since closed their doors. They had wide open spaces and neatly arranges racks of fabrics and notions. They carried quilting cottons in a wide variety of colors and themes. It was brightly lit with a huge classroom and world class teachers. I never shopped there, unless I had no other option. Why? Because the staff was stand-offish and rarely spoke except to ask for your money. I'm funny that way, I like to be greeted when I enter a shop. Ask if you can help me, ask about my day, make some idle chit-chat. At the very least, acknowledge my existance. I understand that you are busy, but would a finger wave really break your concentration during what is clearly a personal call? If you can't be bothered with me, I can't be bothered to shop with you. Fail.

When my daughters still lived at home, we would hit the quilt shops together. (They are quilters too.)Twice we went to a shop in Edmonton that I will never revisit. I won't even stop at their booth at quilt shows. Why? because when the girls and I went to their shop the staff followed them around like they were criminals bent on stuffing bolts of fabric down they pants. I understand that teenagers can be a shop-owner's nightmare, but come on ladies, be a bit more subtle and take the fact that they are with their mother into consideration. The staff never spoke to them, just hovered behind and beside them like vengeful hawks. Fail!

There are anumber of quilt shops here in Calgary and quite a few in the surrounding area that I get to on the rare occassion. (Oooo, road trip time! Followed by another post of my finds.) But back to this post ...

I love visiting the local shops, and yes, I am going to name them. Traditional Pastimes has a lovely quaint feel, friendly helpful staff and dozens of inspiring items on display. The only trouble is, many of their fabrics are muted and washed out colors. Not really my thing, I am more of a high contrast, lots of brights girl, but I find their shop interesting and inspiring all the same. The staff is good, but the lack of parking is a huge downfall. Overall, a passing grade.

Out of Hand is bursting to the seams with bright colorful fabrics. So much so that you have to move several stacks of bolts, just to see what is behind them. There aren't a lot of completed projects on display and the staff is hit and miss. But their fabric selection is incredible and they have a huge selection of wools, buttons and teddy bear making supplies. The clutter drives me crazy, as I like room to move and more light to see, but I still give them a passing grade.

My Sewing Room is HUGE! Their selection of fabrics, tools, notions and supplies here is stupendous. They have a frequent shopper program as well. If you are looking for something specific, there is a good chance they will have it, or can get it for you if you have time to wait. They run a lot of classes as well. Often there is so much fabric that you feel overwhelmed. Their downfall, if you ask me, is their staff. They have an extremely high turn-over rate and many of the staff lack quilting knowledge. They are lovely girls, don't get me wrong. They are friendly and helpful, just not knowledgable about quilting. That isn't enough to keep me away, they pass.

Finally, there is Along Came Quilting. This is my favorite Calgary shop. It is very bright, and wide open, with lots of fabulous light. There is room to move and tables to fiddle with your fabrics on. A bright classroom with great teachers and a nice variety of classes.. Their prices on books is the best in the city and they have a great fabric selection. Best of all, they have an enormous batik section. (Yes I am salivating.) They carry books, several lines of thead and notions and it is all extremely well organized.They run block of the months in a variety of techniques and styles. They have decent parking. But what really makes them stand out is their staff. They are knowledgeable, intelligent, helpful, playful, and quick to greet you.  Their atmosphere is open, helpful and welcoming. They also have a great sense of humor and laugh at my silliness. This all adds up to a superior shopping experience. This is what makes them my favorite shop. They pass the shopping test! Big time pass.

Something that I haven't mentioned here is that typically I do not shop alone. Usually I have one of my quilting cohorts in tow. It should be noted that we tend towards a bit loud, we do a lot of joking and teasing and can be a bit unruly. For the most part, shops are tolerant of us. Some to better than others and that factors into my like or dislike of a shop. We are harmless, so be nice to us because we drop buckets of money wherever we go!

I am curious, I would like to know which shop in your town is your favorite? What makes them special? What makes you turn away from a shop?

Hugs and happy quilting

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rapid Fire Hunter's Star Class

Update ...

So another quilting class is finished. I want to thank all the ladies who took the Rapid Fire Hunter's Star class with Deb and I. We appreciate all we learned from you, but we REALLY appreciate you putting up with our irreverence and silliness. Kim Morrison (our instructor) was fabulous and helped us create some lovely quilt tops. Thank you to Along Came Quilting for holding the class.

Today, I feature the tops from that class for your enjoyment. Pardon the fuzzy pictures. I forgot my camera and had to use my phone. (A dunking in the toilet and tub have caused spotting inside the lens.) Sadly, I did not get pictures of all the quilts under production. One classmate's quilt didn't make the wall. She was working with shades of navy and it promised to be very elegant.
My finished quilt.
The binding is machine sewn to the front, but as yet is not
hand sewn down on the back.
The crazy back of my quilt.
I wanted to use up some of the scraps.
(I have four big bins of blue scraps already.)
 I like the way the back resembles a modern art painting.

The small top made with my left over blocks.
I like the star points jutting into the border.
Next time I will use a variety of fabrics for the extra
star points.

Deb's quilt.

A classmate auditioning border fabrics.

Love the pattern here. It is just waiting for borders.

Two different border options under consideration.
I think the layered borders will be incredible with
mitered corners.

A layout variation.

Elegance from only two fabrics.

I like the diagonal effect on this one.
It will have another border when complete.

Corner detail of my border.
I like how the flying geese print flows around the quilt.
I need to practise mitering corners!
Thank you for letting me post pictures of your work.

Hope you enjoyed the show.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Long Awaited Return of My Sanity

These past few weeks, I have been in my happy place.
You guessed it. I've been in my studio. My writing has taken a backseat for a while as I have been feeding my other inner artist. I've been long arming a bit, but more importantly, I've been piecing.
I am working on a Rapid Fire Hunter's Star Quilt. I am taking a class at Along Came Quilting with my good friends Deb and Wendy. Our instructor Kim M. is fabulous. She is a great teacher and puts up with our antics and smart comments very patiently. I am ecstatic that I decided to take this class. Not so much for the class itself, more for the companionship and the piecing. Having lots of homework due for the next class means many, many hours in the studio and I love it.
I love how there are so many options of how to put this together and how it looks so different in each layout. I have not shown all of the options here. Just the ones I like the best. Most are just a fraction of the quilt, as it takes too long to layout the entire design. I can easily picture myself making many color combinations for this pattern.

The fabrics. 20 Fabulous Batiks.
Blues, teals, turquoises and purples.
Possible layout #1.
Not too bad.
#2 Too Ziggy.
#3. Didn't care for the light
Center. This is for My Man's
#4 Too stop-sign-ish. Yes
I know that stop signs
have eight sides!
#5 The stars don't pop.
#6 Looks like a target.
#7 Nice curving edges,
but again too light in the

#8 This is the layout I decided on. Sewing the units together has begun.

I am a little disappointed in my color choices. There are a few light blues that are too light and one of the purples is too dark. However, overall it reads okay.
This will be the center of Dave's small queen sized quilt. I am planning on adding dark blue borders. The outside edge star points will extend into the borders. (If all goes as planned.) I am optomistic that the dark blue added to the borders will make this more masculine. It isn't exactly feminine now, more gender neutral-ish, but I had hoped for more masculine.
Hope you enjoyed this peek at my current work in progress.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


For the lovely lady who requested a recap of some of my projects, I give you ....
This is made my a lovely lady who purchased my pattern. 

So there you have it, a recap of a few projects. What a cheater post this was!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Solemnly Swear Not to Make any Resolutions

Party like it is 2013!
Happy New Year!
For me the New Year is always bittersweet. Saying so-long to the happy memories of last year brings smiles and a touch of melancholy. The hurts and disappointments of last year slip away a little easier than the joys and leave me a bit older and wiser. I always look forward to the upcoming year with optimism and hope.

I hope that I will find more time to visit with my folks. My parents live a few hours away and I don't get up there often enough to see them. Time is ticking inexorably on and each day that passes I regret not making the time to see them. Am I really that busy that I can't afford a few days of time to make that small journey? Not really, I just get so wrapped up my my own life that I let time slip by thinking that I will do it next month. It is shameful and it is my biggest regret.

Years ago, I made it my policy not to make resolutions. I only disappoint myself when I fail to follow through. Now, I don't make resolutions; instead I try to live each day as best I can and focus on being happier, kinder, neater and more productive. This year will be different. I WILL make time for Mom and Dad! This is my one and only resolution.

Beyond that, I plan to smile more and be a bit kinder. I will try to lengthen my short temper and be less sarcastic and to rein in my unkindness. I will treat my family, friends and myself better. I will eat better and workout more. Gak ... that sounds like another resolution. But I don't make resolutions!

2011 and 2012 were difficult for me in some ways as I battled undiagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis. Now, thanks to a fabulous rheumatologist and a wise friend I know what was wrong with my body. To the major pharmaceutical companies I say "Thank you. You have given me my life back." Now, I need to focus on eating right and getting fit once again.

Fitness and good eating are huge in the scheme of controlling my RA and if I want to feel 100% again, I have to buckle down and do it. It is time that I admitted to myself that sugar, chocolate and alcohol are fabulous but leave me with increased pain and discomfort in my joints after I indulge in them. Then, because things ache, I don't hit the gym. This is bad, because one of the worst things a person with RA can do it be stationary ... things stiffen up and get sore. It is a viscous cycle. It is time to buck up and suck it up and do it right. Sigh ... that sounds like a resolution.

So there you have it ... in spite of not making resolutions .... I have gone ahead and make them anyway.
I will find time for my parents.
I will find time for my kids.
I will be kinder.
I will treat my family, friends and myself better.
I will give my body what it needs to be healthier.
I will tell those I love that I appreciate them and will hug them more.

Happy New Year and may all your dreams and resolutions come true.

Cath (I don't make resolutions!)