Wednesday, August 26, 2015

One down....nine to go

I'm talking about courses to complete my Masters Degree.

I finished course #1 on Saturday - guess what I got?


I haven't done ANYTHING remotely crafty in months - - unless you count sewing a button on Hubby's shorts, and I don't!  To be honest - I just haven't felt like it.  Recently, however, I've been starting to take longer looks at quilty photos in my Facebook newsfeed, and sneaking Pinterest breaks from time to time.  Perhaps the crafty fast is coming to an end?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Guess where I am?


Yep - I'm at school.  Remember all the angst I went through from 2008 - 2011 doing my undergrad degree?  Well....I suspect the brain remembers university sort of the same way it remembers labour & delivery.... it wasn't THAT bad, and it was worth all the pain in the end.  So, I've enrolled in the Master of Social Work program - Leadership in the Human Service specialization - at the University of Calgary. So, while most of the program is online, I do have to actually travel to Calgary (a 4 hour/$500 plane trip across country) for a week twice over the next two years.  

I flew in on Sunday night....well, actually Monday morning - my flight was delayed by four hours due to electrical storms that effectively shut down the airport in Calgary on Sunday morning, and backed up the skies for the rest of the day.  I didn't get to bed until 3:30 in the morning - and had to be in class for 9am. But...if that's the worst thing that happens to me this week....I'm good with that!

I've been in classes all day for two days - with articles to read and assignments to complete each night.  It's been tough - especially having crossed a couple of time zones.  Being a early morning riser, and barely making it to sunset before I'm tucked in at night...it's particularly challenging.  I keep looking at the clock and wishing it was telling me that it was much later than 8:15 mountain time.



Saturday, January 10, 2015

A little thrifting

Not much quilting going on here - - I've been binge watching Downton Abbey this week.

Hubby and I went out to run a few errands, pick up a few groceries....and as long as we were on the road...a little thrifting.

I found this colouring book, and was anxious to learn more about the artist, and the purpose of the book.  As a social worker, I don't--as a rule--do any clinical work, but for a $1 I may find some use for it in my practice.  

Anyway, I learned that this colouring book was created to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, to support African women who have lost their own children to the AIDS epidemic and are raising their grandchildren under very difficult circumstances.


I also found this turquoise beaded necklace for $4 -- I have a serious case of like for it.  Hubby doesn't like this photo.  He thinks I look oooooold.  I think he has some sort of filter in his eyes that still sees me as 27.  I'm going to be 46 in less than two weeks.  Heck!  That's almost FIFTY!!!!  He's nuts.  I don't look old.  I look just the right age.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Another Pinterest pin - - NAILED! (but not in a good way)

Ah...the best laid plans...etc., etc.

Being a new-comer to the K-W area, I depend on the GPS on my phone to get me EVERYWHERE.  (I suspect the most seasoned native armed with a map and a compass would be unable to navigate themselves across this town - - but I'm naturally suspicious).  I saw this pin on Pinterest from "Positively Splendid" and thought, "AHA!  THIS is exactly what I need to attach to my dashboard to hold my phone when I'm wheeling around."

(photo from positivelysplendid.com)

AAAAAND here's the nighmare I made:


I had a number of problems with the construction of this THING.  First of all, the pattern calls for a layer of Peltex AND a layer of fusible fleece.  Not a problem, I happen to have both of these substances.  I should have stopped at this tell-tale instruction: "Note: The photos below do not show the fusible fleece backing on the back main body piece, since that was a later addition to the pattern." I can confidently say that the pattern was NOT tested after making additions to the pattern instructions.  Here is my evidence:

1.Trying to turn this thing inside-out was akin to pulling teeth.  Most of the seam on the top curve is hand sewn, because I had to keep ripping out more and more stitches to turn the piece.  Have you ever tried handsewing a curved edge that has fused fleece on one side and Peltex on the other?  Don't.

2.The material was too thick to close the grommet.  I had to cut the stitching out around the hole, and dig out some of the peltex and fleece.

3. The vaguely box shaped pleat at the bottom - too thick to be functional (i.e. no extra space was created within the pocket.

Okay...so the thing is done.  I can make use of it, right?

Nope - I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (a great phone!) - it's dimensions are: 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm (5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 in).  In short?  It doesn't fit.

Back to the drawing board...



Friday, January 2, 2015

"Can I Ask You a Favour?" (the most dreaded words for a crafter to hear....)

I traveled to my hometown today to celebrate my grandmother's 98th birthday.  While I was there, I received a text message from a friend.  I was shaking in my boots when I read: "Can I ask you a favour?"

I'll spare you the negotiations - - but what it boiled down to, was I agreed to stitch together 20 knitted blocks that were donated to a group she works with that cares for abandoned cats and dogs.  She was feeling pretty sure that  the blocks could but put together to make a nice blanket that they could auction off to raise funds for the group.

The reality of it?  I have ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE of the weirdest creations ever knitted.




The casting on and casting off techniques are completely unique to me - - I can't say I've ever seen anything quite like them.  

And there are at least two full cats of fur knit into these...uh....trapezoids. The cast-on edge is about 20" - - the cast-off edge is 14".  The are slightly "C" shaped, and about 9" wide.  The donor intended them to be used as bedding in the cages for the homeless kitties.

WHAT am I supposed to do with these?  They aren't suitable for anything except bedding for cats.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Down time


Working away on sewing HSTs into pairs, and then into Broken Dishes blocks for Jamestown Landing.  I worked on these while watching Quilt-Cam on Sunday afternoon.

It's been a little chilly in my basement sewing room.  I'm used to bare-footing my foot pedal.  I dragged a space heater into the hallway and aimed it into the doorway, but it was hard to moderate the heat - - simply no happy medium between arctic tundra and tropical heat.  I found a piece of carpet to put under my chair, and that helped a bit.  Then Hubby remembered that he had shut the furnace vent in my sewing room - - well golly gee! - - problem solved!

I've read two books in the last three days.  


"When She Woke" is not something I would typically reach for, but it's this month's selection for Book Club, so I had to give it a try.  I picked it up a week earlier, and read the first three or four pages, and thought, "no...I can't read this...".  It's a dystopian novel set in the not-too-distant future, loosely reminiscent of "The Scarlet Letter".  But I picked it up again Sunday and finished it within a day.  


"Kabul Beauty School" had been on my shelf for a number of months.  I had heard of it several years ago - I think I might have seen a news story or a documentary about it?  I'm glad I picked it up - it was very readable!  I will recommend it to my social work practicum students in the future as a lesson (or rather -  many lessons!) in cultural competency. I couldn't put it down.

It was back to work today after a week at home, and I had lofty ambitions to solidify some plans and presentation material for a training event in three weeks.  Ugh...could NOT get into it!  Another half day tomorrow, and then I'm off again until the 5th of January.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

....and moving along....


I can make any number of excuses about why I've been such a bad blogger these last few months....but talk about BORING!!!

Let's move on to more exciting topics:

1. I haven't sewn much over the past six months.  I recently have started flogging this old horse - Jamestown Landing from Bonnie Hunter's "String Fling" book.  Let 's do a little math.  The overall quilt centre (minus the borders) are made up of 21 x 18 little 4x4 blocks, each with approximately 8 pieces in them - roughly 3000 pieces.  Wow.

2.  I've applied to two universities to pursue a master's degree in Social Work.  I won't know for awhile yet if I've been selected.  Fingers are crossed.

3.  I bought a new memory foam bath mat - - the cat will not step on it.  It freaks him out.  I can now confirm--without any reservations--that THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG with my cat.

4.  Itty Bitty has just completed the first semester of his fourth year of undergrad.  Thirteen more weeks until he completes his degree.  This has been the shortest four years of my entire life.  He is also applying to grad school to complete a Master's degree in social work - different universities though.

This past semester he spent Fridays with me at my office doing an elective practicum.  It's been so much fun. Okay, not fun exactly. He has heard some truly horrific stories, and seen some hair-curling, run-screaming-into-the-street sorts of sights - - but certainly has the professional, non-judgmental, this-is-so-completely-normal, social-worky approach down SOLID. Besides, he's also really good at lifting heavy objects, mind-numbing clerical/administrative tasks, and run-down-to-the-courthouse-to-get-me-documents-and-while-you're-out-bring-back-coffee sorts of jobs.

5.  I've been reading quite a lot.  I also went to my first ever book club meeting to discuss "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion.  I want to recommend this book to everyone I meet.  I understand it is going to be a movie - - and the movie just will NOT be as good.

In the past 24 hours, I completely consumed "This Won't Hurt a Bit" by Michelle Au - very readable.


Lastly, I've been working through the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon again.  I started to read them when they were initially published back in the 90's - but since watching the TV series in the summ...wait...WHAT?!?!? You haven't watched the TV SERIES?!?!?!?  Wow.  Go do that.
Anyway - the books have been re-released to coincide with the  television series premier in August and I have been yummying them up:


  
I'm ready for book #4 - and my sister-in-law has given me #5 & 6.  Why is the bookstore so far away????