Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bean Bags!

Felix: What are these things, Oscar?

Oscar: I have no idea. Our owner has been working on them all day. They must be good for something!

Felix: They're fun! I can bat them around. And maybe chew on them.

Oscar: Or you could just sleep on them like I'm doing.

Felix: Oh.

Mimi: Those are bean bags! Jeez, you guys are so dumb! Our owner is making them for her DD. They're for the kids at school to use in the gym - for exercise.

Felix: You mean they aren't for us?

Mimi: No! Those things are boring! But... maybe if they were mouse-shaped and had some catnip in them. Then they'd be pretty neat, I think! Me: Is this what you had in mind, Mimi?

Mimi: Oh! Yes! Delicious! Good exercise for my teeth! Thanks Mom!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Foto Friday!

Holy Halitosis, Batman! Killer Kat Breath!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall in the Garden

I went into my backyard yesterday - for about the first time this year. (It has not been easy to get around in my scooter. I had to wait until a ramp was completed in order to get into the backyard.)
OMG! I was in shock when I looked around at my plants! The garden looked more like an overgrown weedpatch! What a mess! No one has looked after it much this summer. And then there is the issue of the 'slowly-being-filled-in pool', which I had to maneuver around carefully so as not to fall in. It's still a huge 5-ft deep hole, but that is another story for another time!
I pulled up ragweed that had reached a height of 5 feet! Also some wild lettuce that was even higher and had already gone to seed. I will have lots of weeding to do next year if all this stuff seeds itself in! Most of my summer blooming perennials are finished. I had to keep reminding myself that it is the end of September, after all. But there were some bright spots. I found this lovely patch of wild sunflowers in the back corner. Usually I pull most of these out, but this year they have been allowed to grow. Don't they look great? It's kind of like botanical sunshine! I also found a lot of wild asters. These I have always pulled up in other years too, but this year they were spared. And look at how beautiful they are! Here they have found a nice place growing up through some well-established lungwort (Pulmonaria). The lungwort has long finished flowering, but it almost looked as if the asters are part of that plant.
Not only did I go out and pull some weeds yesterday, I also went to the first meeting of our quilt group, the Rouge Valley Quilters Guild. It was another first for this year, because I haven't been able to attend a meeting since last September. And I finally finished this little quilt for 'Quilts from the Heart'. It will be donated to a local shelter or hospital by our guild. It was great to do some 'normal' things. I feel as if I am getting back into the swing of things again!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mimi Always Has the Last Word

Me: Hey, Mimi! What are you doing?! Get off that quilt! Now!

Mimi: Why?

Me: Because! It's a baby quilt! You shouldn't be on it! It will get dirty! No one will want to wrap a baby in a quilt full of cat fur!

Mimi: Why not? The baby's Mom won't care. They have several cats at their house. They love cats and cat hair! And anyways, I am a very clean feline!

Me: Now you listen to me, you little white critter! Get off now!!

Mimi: Awww! But it's so comfy! I love baby quilts! Me: Don't make me come over there and throw you off!

Mimi: Sorry, I can't hear you!

Me: Mimi! I'm going to count to 10 and you'd better be off by then. 1.....2....3....4....5........

Mimi: Oh, Jeez! Can't you see I'm busy! A cat's got to do what a cat's got to do. See how clean I am? I am always licking myself. The quilt will be fine! You worry too much!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The New Status of My UFO's

These are Now WIPS - Works in Progress!

This is a miniature quilt which I found in an old Australian magazine. It is paper pieced, using up lots of scraps. But not enough! I have too many scraps! Each strip is only 1/4inch wide. I used a total of 336 pieces of fabric and I still have to put a border around it. It was fun to make, especially since it made me realize that I am able to use my sewing machine again. Because of the weakness in my legs, I was not able to control the foot pedal before going into the hospital. But things are getting better and it is not a problem any more. Hurray!!!! Here is a close up of the tiny strips.
While going through some of my UFOs, I found this little I Spy quilt. I started this quilt a couple of years ago - maybe even longer! It seems like it was in another lifetime! This project was a Bee Night 'demo' at our Quilt Guild. Each piece is about 5 inches square. (We had a great exchange a few years ago. Everyone who wanted to take part had to cut half a metre of fabric into 24 - 5inch pieces. These were collected at our monthly meetings and returned to us at the following meeting, giving each of us a package of 24 different 5inch pieces.) The blocks are arranged in rows, which are later cut on the diagonal and then sewn back together to create a quilt that looks as if it was sewn together 'on point'. I completed the last four rows last night and hopefully over the next few days I will be able to cut it, re-sew it, sandwich it and quilt it. I hope I will be able to follow the instructions and cut it right.
And finally, a little 'Bear' quilt that I started a few days ago. The bears are machine appliqued. I still have to put some kind of border on and quilt it. I hope I can get it done as soon as possible. It is intended for my new grand nephew, Theodore Quinn, who was born a couple of weeks ago!
There! I feel much better now. At least I am making a little dent in my stash and unfinished projects and in posting them on my blog!

Hot Off My Hooks!

Perhaps 'hot' isn't the right word. These items were completed a while ago. I just haven't posted them. Too tired? Too lazy? Lack of interest? Who knows! But now is the time to get on with things. No more procrastinating! No more excuses! It is time to dust off the ol' crochet hooks, the knitting needles and the sewing machine! So without further ado, here are a few of my finished projects.
This afghan is similar to the one I made awhile ago. This one is done in dark green and off white. I started it while I was still a patient at West Park. When I got home, I completed it. It only took me a few hours to do so. I had planned to make several more of these afghans because I love this pattern. It is one of those 'Mile a Minute' ones - done in strips. I crocheted mine together, but they could be sewn too. This afghan is for my DD. Her favourite colour is green. It will go nicely in her TV room.

Then there is this little baby sweater. I only had one ball of this yarn. I think it was something by Red Heart, but I'm not sure. I ran out of it, so I used white to go all the way around the edges. So far this little sweater doesn't have a home yet. I started it while I was in Sunnybrook. I think it took me all of two days to complete. But it has taken me several months to sew the buttons on.
I fell in love with the colours of this yarn when I saw it. So I bought two balls. I can't remember exactly what it's called or who makes it. I think it might be by Bernat. This little sweater was also crocheted while I was at Sunnybrook. I was very bored at that hospital. Can you tell? I made a blue outfit while there too. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of that one. The woman who cleaned my room (I think her name was Velma) saw me crocheting one day and got all excited! She had just learned how to crochet and was making a baby blanket. She asked me if she could bring it in the following day so that I could see it and maybe help her with the pattern because she seemed to be stuck. It was nice to have a crocheting 'friend' while I was there. She asked me if the baby sweater was difficult to make. I told her it worked up very quickly. Then she asked me if she could commission me to make her one. Her sister was expecting a baby boy the following week. I told her that I very seldom sell my items, but if I had time I would love to make her new nephew a little blue outfit. I got some blue yarn and started crocheting. A few days later the baby was born. I gave her the finished sweater, hat and booties. I had finished them just in time! She was so excited and promised to get a photo of the little guy in his new outfit. Unfortunately I never did get a photo, because I was moved to West Park the following day.

I have a few quilt projects that I am working on. I will put them in the next post.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm having a 'Duh' moment!

I was just sitting here at my computer, idly wasting time. I really didn't have much to say at the moment. And goodness knows I haven't been very prolific in the creativity department lately! I was just sitting here thinking about the comments on my blog posts, wishing that there were more of them. Out of boredom I began reading some of them over again. And - DUH! - I realized that Aim from bumpydoink.blogspot.com wrote that she had tagged me. I kind of remember reading that before, but I didn't know what it meant, exactly, and it was a long time ago. Then my computer was down and I forgot all about it. Sorry Aim! I will try to fix that now.

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking to them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers' blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

Six Unspectacular Quirks of Mine

1. I am almost totally and completely computer illiterate! I don't even know how to link stuff on my blog. Have you ever seen links on my blog? Of course not! Because I don't know how to do that. It was quite an achievement for me to get my camera program to work and for me to hook up my printer after I had to get my computer reformatted. Maybe I should take a course sometime. That would probably be a good idea.

2. I love Japanese food, especially sushi! Before I began hosting Japanese students, I knew nothing about sushi or even Japan for that matter. But over the past years I have become enlightened during their visits! I must admit that trying to eat sushi for the first time was rather scary! After all, it is raw fish, you know, and I was afraid of anything raw. Thanks Mom! (She taught me that!) But once I tried it I became hooked! Now I love it. My favourite is sashimi! But I also like to try something new every time we go out for Japanese food. And that is often!

3. I have a rather strange sewing needle preference. I like to hand sew with one special needle. I have been known to throw a fit if I can't find my favourite needle. I have turned to house upside down to look for it. The last time I was at the Sewing and Needlework Festival I bought several packages of the kind of needles that I like. But there are only two of the size that I prefer in each package, so I still tend to throw a fit every now and then!

4. I like to make stained glass objects. Not quilted ones, but stained glass pieces using real glass. I like to make lamps, vases, bowls and other three dimensional pieces. But at the moment my stained glass is down in my workshop in the basement. And I can't get down there! I still have to use a stairglide to get up 4 steps to the main level of our house. I have no idea when I will be able to go up and down the 10 steps to the basement, but I hope it will be soon.

5. I love nature and I love the great outdoors! If I can't hug a tree every once in awhile, I get cranky. I have always enjoyed going camping and canoeing in the great wilderness that is northern Ontario. I love the coolness of an early morning dew rising off the lake, the taste of wild blueberries, picked in the old airfield in Algonquin Park and the haunting sound of a loon on one of the quiet interior lakes. I get high when I see the colours of wild flowers growing along the roadside. I love the changes of the seasons and would probably not be happy living in an environment that only had one season.

6. I have several acquisition disorders. I have FAD - Fabric Acquisition Disorder! Also YAD - Yarn Acquisition Disorder and PAD - Pattern Acquisition Disorder! Those are the tree main ones. But I have lots of others. I like to collect stuff - any stuff - from shells on a beach to rocks to leaves to, well, just stuff.

Well, that's six quirky things about me. There are probably a lot more, but thank goodness I don't have to admit to them! And now I have to tag 6 other bloggers. That is going to be difficult. I don't even think that I know 6 other bloggers. I used to have a lot of blogs on my 'favourites', but they were all lost when my computer was reformatted.

So here they are - in alphabetical order.....
Catherine at quiltobsession.blogspot.com
Martha at mybestfriendcallsmemartha.blogspot.com
Nicolette at devliegendekoe.blogpost.com
Nynke at thedutchpurplerabbit.blogspot.com
Opal at alkamaiknitter.blogspot.com
Oiyi at oiyi.blogspot.com
I am not sure what will happen if any of these people don't want to take part in this. Probably nothing. I won't threaten you with bad luck or some other malady. In fact, I doubt if anything bad or good will happen as a result of this, except that I will get to know you better. So, just do it if it moves you. Thanks.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Things I am Grateful For

I realize that each day is like a new beginning for me. I have to stay positive in order to get through this disorder. I need to get the nerves and muscles back in my legs and feet. Nerve cells grow about a millimetre per day, so it will take a long time. And my muscles have to gain strength again, but I am working on that in physiotherapy. So here are a few things that I am grateful for.

1. Being home! It's the best place on earth!

2. Summertime! But where has it gone? School starts again for a new year tomorrow.

3. A working stairglide so that I can get up and down the stairs. My legs just aren't cooperating yet.

4. My new scooter! Ohhh! The places I can now go!

5. Like a quiet forest path. A little paved way for me to travel through the woods under a canopy of leaves. Cool and inviting!

6. Freshly cut grass (weeds mostly) at the edge of the road. It smells so sweet and reminds me of cinnamon and other fragrant herbs.

7. The sweet melody of a song bird as he sings from a branch high above me.

8. A little wooden bridge to take me to the other side of the creek.

9. The honking of a flock of geese as they fly off for the night to feast on a farmer's field of corn.

10. My furry felines. They have finally forgiven me for leaving them for an almost three-month stay in the hospital. Now I have to share my rather narrow bed (I am still sleeping in a hospital bed because I can't get in and out of my regular bed) with them, but that is a good thing too! Their purring comforts me.

11. Nature! All of it! From the tiniest insects to the largest mammals and all of the plant life - weeds, especially weeds, trees, rivers and streams, birds and even people that make up our wonderful planet. I am grateful for all of it. And best of all..... I am now able to enjoy idyllic places like this one with my scooter! It's Highland Creek and it is only about a kilometer from my house. Hurray for scooters! I wouldn't be able to get there any other way!

12. Oh, yeah. I almost forgot to mention my computer! I am really grateful that it is working again. I was totally lost without it!