Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Still Around and WIP Wednesday

I would like to say that  I have neglected to post because I was busy but really that isn't true, Monday was provincial election day here in Albertaland and this election was the scariest of my little lefty life. I am and always have been a lefty and the party projected to win were so righty it made righties scared. Fortunately for lefties and righties alike, the ultra-rigthies made some serious blunders (ahem racism ahem bigotry) in the last week of the campaign so Albertans stuck with what they knew and voted PC; first time in my lefty life I have cheered a PC win. My beloved NDP doubled their party size ( 2 more seats) and while I consider the Wild Rose to be scary I think they may have opened the door for more political diversity here and that could be a very good thing. Blah blah blah politics, on to the crafts and cute kids!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I have a lot of works in progress and I am going to begin a few more so I have things to do on our road trip next week.

This week's progress in Bottled Rainbows

1. Fabric Choices 2. Teal Block Done
3. Pink Block Done 4. More Work to Do

Progress on Retro Flowers

Half the curves sewn
All the squares sewn

Ideas for A's Quilt
My little fireball has outgrown his baby size quilt and he needs something a little bigger. I ordered this fat quarter bundle with A in mind but now I am not sure what to do with it. Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
This week's work in progress is something of which I am just a small part. My part of the WIP is complete and on its way to the UK. I am participating in a group quilt for Siblings Together. It is a charity in the UK that works to provide activities and gatherings for siblings separated by the care system for them to be together. This is something that strikes very close to home as my nephew (soon to be adopted by The Aunties) has been separated from his brother by the foster care system.

When asked what she wanted for her birthday my sister told me that she wanted me to donate something I had made to a charity. I was stuck for an idea of what to make and where to donate but last Friday, Maria from http://sewlovetosew.blogspot.ca/ randomly happened by my blog via a link party and commented on my finished quilt. When I clicked through to her blog, her post was about the Siblings Together quilt project. What luck!

Quilts for Siblings Together

The charity is in the UK and doing an entire quilt would be killer to ship and let's be honest, I have a lot on my plate and one more quilt might just push me over the edge. Fortunately Maria had put a call out for 9 Patch blocks in a style to suit an older teen boy. Perfect!

I made three last night and popped them in the mail this morning. Happy Birthday Amy!

Linked up at
The Needle and Thread Network

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Little R&R

Cappuccino  +  NCIS + knitting  = Bliss
The Man returned a little over a month ago and it has been blissful having him around. We have been in full on family mode, doing everything together and it has been really great to be a family again. He is off work for the next while so we can get used to being a whole family again and so he can have some R&R. The last few months he was gone I would dream of a few days away in the mountains alone with just a book and some knitting. Sure, I have been get a lot of time to do those things but a whole day or two to myself would be absolutely decadent.
Meet Kenny our new to us VW
Our recent car troubles have made a trip to the mountains again a distant dream (see new to me car above) but I did get a whole day to myself and it was decadent. Yesterday The Man to The Boys to Drumheller to go to The Royal Tyrell Museum to see the dinosaur fossils. When he arrived (4 hr drive) he found the museum to be closed on Mondays but, being the quick sort he took the boys to Fossil World and Reptile World. Thank goodness for towns with themes.

Look up, way up! T-Rex!

Fossil !

Yay, digging!
  Knitting, 5 episodes of NCIS (let me have my guilty pleasure), Chocolate Cheerios for lunch, two uninterrupted phone conversations and all the fabric for Retro Flowers cut. I even cleaned the house a little.

Yesterday should fill my cup for a while but I would definitely like 2 or (if I am greedy) 3 more before the end of May.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Little Boy Colour Brick Finished

The Colour Brick to celebrate my nephew's adoption is completed. I am really happy with pretty much everything. I love the robot flannel on the back, the rainbow thread and the not perfect but absolutely my best binding to date. I have enough of the flannel left to make pajamas for D and maybe a pair for G too.

Quilts in the snow in April!

Robot flannel!

My amazing sister and her wife paid me more than what I asked for when I commissioned the quilt and I am thinking a little fabric splurge on something really really special is in order. Inspired yet again by Stitched in Color , I think I may finally splurge on some Liberty of London at Purl Soho

Flannel detail
Rainbow thread and simple quilting
Linked up at http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.ca/

Also from this week:

Zoomer the baby goat came for a day

G got to go to emerge after an incident with
his face and a train table. Yay , not broken.

Spring chocolate extravaganza

We got a picnic in before it snowed!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I think I may possibly be the queen of works in progress. I have quite a few sewing and knitting works in progress and a bunch of other unfinished projects hanging around. I am trying hard to keep WIP at a minimum but as I foray more fully into sewing and dyeing yarn it is getting quite difficult and really, I am not so sure I want to limit myself to a few projects at a time. Anyway here are this week's featured works in progress

Some of the squares cut for the Retro Flowers Quilt Along

Bottled Rainbows, two blocks now complete.

Goodale Cardigan, almost half done

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Fabric Accidents and Fabulous Family Fun

Those of you who know me know how much I love fabric; I possibly love it more than wool (*gasp!) and while The Man was away I indulged in what I called "fabric accidents". I would feel lonely or sad and I would innocently browse some online fabric sales and suddenly I would find myself with a shopping cart full of amazing finds.

Shipping from the US usually takes an agonizing two weeks and usually the packages would arrive on a Friday. On Fridays between shipments the evil Jackie would either get me to grab her from school so we could covertly steal away to the fabric store, or abandon her poor husband with all the children after dinner and head to the ones open late. Last Friday was a doozy.

The plan was to meet Jackie and Steph at the Farm and Ranch Show to go see the alpacas and maybe get some fibre and watch Jackie geek out at the volunteer spinning area (yarn spinning), and then head to the fabric store to get specific fabrics.

On the way to the show I stopped by my PO Box to see if my fabric from Fabricworm had arrived. The lady that works at the post office was smiling because she knew my fabric was there and I think she likes that I squeal a bit (sure sign I may have a problem). So after buying the softest yarn I have ever felt in my life (unnecessary purchase #1) the evil Jackie dragged me to the fabric store. I planned to just buy the background and backing fabrics for my the upcoming Retro Flowers QAL and the batting for Colour Brick but I left there with much more.  I have plans for most of it; I can stop whenever I want... really!

Clockwise from upper left
1. Retro Flowers 2. Apollo's Quilt bundle 3. Stash
4. Superheroes for hats 5. Stash 6. Pants and Shirts

Out here in Alberta land we had some insane weather: it went from fabulously warm and dry to 20 cm of snow and wet in less than 12 hrs. Yucky and slushy, but that didn't keep G from learning, in record time, how to ride his new bike (no training wheels) or A from tagging along.

Needed a little help getting going at first.

According to A this is now his job.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

WIP - Work in Progress Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Around here I have a lot of works in progress but if I had to choose just one for today it would be my newly started Bottled Rainbows quilt. The plan is to work on the ticker tape blocks whenever the mood strikes. I have completed the twilight blue block , planned the light blue block and learned I need more teal scraps for the teal  block. I am really enjoying the ticker tape process. New addiction perhaps?

Monday, April 2, 2012


In 2008 this made me cry
In the fall of 2008 I cried the entire drive through Edmonton to our hotel. All I wanted to do was go back home to Ontario; I could not believe I had to live in this treeless, lakeless landscape of oil refineries and wheat fields. The first three months of living here was terrible. I hated living in the pseudo-suburb that is the base.  I was used to my Ottawa life style; my car-free, abundant local shopping, slow-paced, Byward Market lifestyle.

I spent the first three months of living here pining to go back.  It must have been awful for The Man because at one point he suggested that I take G and go back to Ottawa and he would "catch-up" as soon as he could. I realised then that I was really being a child about the whole thing. With my outdated degree, bizarre resume and little work experience in my field, I could not be the breadwinner of the family and expecting The Man to stay in Alberta while we resumed life in Ottawa was ridiculous and unfair. I didn't want our little family to live separately so I decided to suck it up and like this place.

I made it my mission to stop complaining (at least openly) about the things I couldn't change. I needed to drive everywhere in the city, there was no farmer's market within walking distance, no yoga studio a block from my house and I felt like a lefty hippie outcast.

Prarie winters are quite beautiful
I set out to actively cultivate community. I joined a yoga studio and started attending playgroup at ASAC and when G was old enough I enrolled us in Parent and Tot at the local Waldorf School . I met some really amazing people at all of those places, found the other hippie nut-bags who secretly hide out here and found regular folk that didn't seem to care about me being a lefty hippie nut-bag.

One of the things about community is you need to use it or lose it.  However small, you need to participate in what is going on, stay in the loop and at the very least talk to people or you will end up alone and out of touch. Facebook or other social networks are a great way to stay in touch with local and far away communities. That being said, online communities, faraway friends and relatives and friends who are strictly online friends are a boon to well being but a physical, local community is a life essential, one that life online cannot replicate.

The community I have built and that has risen up around me knows me, knows my kids, really gets me because unlike online friends they get all of me. They get to see me and my family interact in person and have chosen to hang out with us and join us on the journey we are on and have invited us to share theirs. We are all the same in some way and in others very different and we all offer something to each other and each other's children.

1. Soccer party  2.Childcare 3. Childcare 2.0
4. Getting Crafty 5. Lending gear for apple sauce 6. Field trips!
Polucks, birthday parties, hang outs, helping out, playdates and just generally being a presence for each other are all part of the joys and the job. It takes work to build it, it takes work to keep it but when you have it and you need it, your community will pull through for you.

I have seen my community move into action during a crisis and they are quite the force. During The Man's deployment I had an incredible amount of support from everyone. I knew that I could have emergent childcare on a moments notice or that if things got to be too much someone would swing in and help.

Community takes work though, you need to at first figure out where you fit and who you can trust and a community can change entirely or evolve over time. People move and lose contact or their life changes so much that they drift away or abruptly leave a community (hopefully building a new one). My life when we moved here and for the first year is very different from now; it took a year for me to fit just right into the variety of places I have put my loyalty (and oh boy did I make some mistakes along the way).

I really hated this place when we moved here and now we are waiting to see if what They are saying is true. We are waiting on our posting message to find out where we are going (likely Victoria) and though it took almost three years to love this place, I love this place and I am not ready to leave. I don't want to leave the most amazing community I have ever had and I am not looking forward to that lost feeling, the navigational sort of lost and the social lost. Social woes and isolation only cured by making us vulnerable, putting all our weirdness out there so we can find the freaks that we mesh with; all the while trying to keep alive the strong relationships we made here. Sigh, I am not so sure how cut out I am for this nomadic life.