*gasp* Two posts in a month?

 Friday, June 24, 2011

I know, don’t fall off your chair – it’s a second post in a month.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Things are finally starting to calm down a bit and I’m catching up on things like toilet scrubbing… And blogging….


I had thought that I would be completely finished with work for this school year – I had even gone so far as to scrub my equipment and run things like lab coats through the wash…..  Clearly that was a sign for the universe to rain on my parade…..I got a last booking for (get this) June 29th…..  Who’d a thunk it?  But on the up side, I’m going to a school that might take me 5 minutes to drive to if I hit all red lights, so it’s no hardship to go there.


But outside of this last workshop, I’ve gotten all my expenses submitted (yay!  Money!) and I went to the end-of-the-year party (a bit damp about the edges as it rained that day, but it was still fun!).  And for the first time since March, I’ve had time to sit around and do absolutely nothing.  I’ve done a fair bit of that lately.  Paige (my Kindle) and I have been curling up on various couches, beneath warm cats and enjoying some time together too.  I did rouse myself for long enough to plant some things in the garden (floral instead of vegetable this time).  Mostly I’ve been enjoying not needing to go somewhere or get something ready to go somewhere or go buy something to use to get ready to go somewhere….


Needle, fabric and fibre have been meeting up a wee bit too…..


Cirque des Cercles (from Ink Circles) has been out and played with.  I so love this piece and I enjoy every little stitch:



I’ve made it to the lower right-hand corner and can relax a little – it’s going to fit on the fabric.  Despite measuring, counting, checking and double-checking, until I know for sure that a piece will fit on my chosen fabric, I always harbour a little worry that I’ve messed up.  It’s always pleasant when I discover that everything is going to work out just the way I had hoped.


Here’s a little close-up of the areas I’m stitching now….




The blank area to the left is blank only because the chart for that section crosses over two pages….  Since I’m working with an overdyed, I want to stitch that section all at once, but it’s a pain to flip back and forth between two pages.  I’ll be photocopying those pages and sticking them together so I have one chart for that little oval.  I’m looking forward to working my way up the right side of this piece…. 


Halloween Rules has come out and been worked on a bit too:



(sorry for the wrinkles – I couldn’t be bothered to iron!)  I’m loving the colours in this piece.  It looks so much better IRL.


My purse project is nearing completion – so much so that I’ll probably sit and finish it off this weekend, if I get time to sit and stitch:




This is a close up of the square that is left to finish – just a little metallic in 3 more corners and it’ll be done!


DSC06176  That’s both squares….  I’ll be finishing this as a biscornu.


I’ve also been spoiled by a good friend recently…..  I mentioned that I had a birthday last month and this past week had me meeting up with Heather from Reflections on the Pond…  We both had birthdays in May and we exchanged gifts.  I feel very lucky, because Heather showered me with the loveliest things:



First Heather sewed this beautiful Pyramid bag.  I love the colour and it’s just so neat.  I intended to try and sew one for myself, but now I don’t have to.  I did have to rescue it from the clutches of DS#2 though – he thought it would be great for storing Lego in.  I quickly made it clear that it was mine and he’d need to keep his paws off it.  I think I’ll put a knitting project in it – I really want to get back to some sock knitting – even if I am a rather pathetic knitter.


Then I discovered this charming pincushion:



(No, it’s not crooked – my camera and I are having ‘issues’)…  I’m totally in love with this.  It’s currently sitting on my cutting table, waiting for me to transfer my pins to it.  The colours are totally ‘me’ and I’m looking forward to using it.


And if that wasn’t enough (and holy cow was I feeling spoiled by this point), Heather also gave me all this:



Lizzie*Kate’s Abcs of aging artfully (something I’m not doing, but this piece offers some good advice on how I should do it!), some KnitPicks scissors (that I wanted to try out – and they’re purple!) and a lovely sachet full of fragrant lavender.


Aren’t I lucky?  I certainly think so.  Thanks again Heather!


I’m off to play with my new toys!


*tap* *tap* Is this thing on???

 Thursday, June 02, 2011

Um, well, it’s been a while.  The merry month of May has been positively insane around here.  I’ve hardly managed the most basic of blog reading for the last month.  And commenting?  Um, no.


Work has been insane, but in a good way.  I’ve worked like mad and driven over what feels like 90% of the planet.  I work with schools in 5 different school boards, which has me driving as much as 100 kilometres in a day sometimes.  Thankfully, not every day, but I’ve had numerous opportunities to see if my van can drive long distances this past month (if you’re interested, yes the van can still do long distances, however there is no air conditioning and it needs a new muffler.  It also refuses to start if it’s really rainy.  And the windshield leaks water.  Bring an umbrella if you’re in the passenger seat.)


Usually by this time of the school year, I’m finishing up work until the fall.  This year seems to be an exception – I’ve still got two weeks of work to go and I found out yesterday that there’s another school that has just asked if we can squeeze in 9 more workshops for them before the end of June.  I can’t believe how late I’m presenting programs this year.  I can’t complain though – it’s hard to turn down money, especially since the hot water heater gave its last gasp a couple of weeks ago and we did an emergency replacement. 


I’m a little late (but I don’t think anyone will shoot me) for this month’s TUSAL post.  Here are my ORTs:




Most of the threads this month are from sewing rather than stitching, but the last bits of the model I had been working on are in there too.  The model has been returned to its owner and I’m free for a bit!  Stitching for myself is odd now – I don’t have to feel guilty for working on projects for myself since there isn’t a model that should be worked on….  In that vein, since I did finish my latest model, I started a new project for myself:



Halloween Rules by Lizzie*Kate.  I’m using the recommended fabric and threads – I bought it all kitted up as I’m just too tired to contemplate pulling all the bits together myself.  I’ve actually stitched a lot more since this picture was taken – I’ve completed the first two blocks and I’m almost done the third….  But I’m too lazy to haul it out and take pictures again – and the light is fading fast now that it’s evening.  The pictures would be horribly dark anyway.


As for the sewing that’s been going on around here – I’ve actually been sewing for work.  I needed a small container for an experiment that my Grade 3 students perform.  And I needed 15 of them.  I wanted something that would hold some shape, but could be squished for transport (I haul around a *lot* of equipment at any given point in time and anything that can compress and take up less room is a good thing!)…  So, I found this tutorial to make a hanging bag and knew I found a great little solution.  So, fabric and interfacing was purchased and much time spent at the sewing machine later, I made 15 different bags that look like this:


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I used a variety of fabrics for these – this is just one of the bags I sewed.  I would take a picture of all of them, but they’re all packed up and ready for my next presentation and I’m not up to digging them out of their container.  I used them two weeks ago for my workshop and they were just perfect.  The kids liked them and they did just what I needed them to do.  I’ll try and take an action shot of them next time I get a chance.


In other news, one of the models I stitched has come home to roost.  The designer is finished with it, so I get to keep it.


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This piece is called A Treasure Trove and it’s from Enchanting Lair.  I had so much fun picking out my own colours for this piece!  Laura always lets me do things in my own colours.  Her version of this has more green in it.  I’m rather fond of purple (in case you hadn’t noticed), so I’ve got lots of purple in this piece.  I also spent hours and hours and hours writing and re-writing and re-writing the chart for this – something I’ve never done before.  It’s not as easy as it seems!  But I’m very happy with the finished product.  Hopefully there aren’t too many errors in it.  I need my own proofreader…  It’s hard to proofread your own stuff!


And waaaaayyy back in April, I entered a draw over at feeling stitchy.  I wasn’t really thinking about the draw itself, but rather the question they had asked – they were asking about where and when you stitch.  So, I answered because after I read everyone else’s answers, I wanted to share my thoughts.  Then I promptly forgot about it.  So, imagine my surprise when I was catching up on blog-reading and I discovered that I had actually won the prize.  Me!  I was beyond surprised!  So, my prize arrived in the mail a few weeks ago and here’s what arrived:




I’ve only managed the most cursory glance at this book called ‘Sewn by Hand’, but it is beautiful!  There are tons of neat little projects in this book and I’m looking forward to having some time to really sit down and read it.  I may even attempt to make a few things from it.  I’m not a huge hand-sewer, but I am interested in learning better ways to do it.  This book may be just the thing to get me moving on it.


I unwrapped the little package that came with the book (wrapped in an old sewing pattern), to find these goodies inside:



What a nice surprise!  And even better – I found out I won this lovely prize on my birthday!  Couldn’t ask for more than that.


And because it was my birthday back in May (and I admit it was a big birthday – one of those numbers that divides evenly by both 0 and 5, but that’s all I’ll say!), DH and my boys asked what I wanted…..  I’ve been drooling admiring these for ages, so the mailman dropped this in my mailbox….  Paige, my Kindle, needed a better case than what she had and now she’s really travelling in style.  They bought me a bunch of new books for Paige as well.  I’m all set for summer reading.


Well, now that I’ve blathered on and on and on, I suppose I should go and get ready for tomorrow’s adventure – another day as Scientist Erica and more fun wrangling ankle biters.  At least this time I’m at a school that’s only a 15 minute drive from my home.  Next week I’m not quite so lucky as I’ll be driving much further afield, but I’m enjoying having a few days with short trips.


Maybe I’ll get to put needle to fabric too – but first I’ll have to convince one of my cats to stop using it as a pillow first….


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