Thursday, December 31, 2009

SkyWatch Friday and a Happy New Year!

The sky over Pickering Ontario on the Winter Solstice of 2009.

I was at my daughter's house. Her house is on a hill and faces east. The sun was just beginning to set on this, the shortest set of daylight hours of the year. Unfortunately there are tall trees on the west side of her house and the setting sun could not be seen. But I did get a nice photo of the eastern sky from the patio deck off her kitchen.

For other SkyWatch photos please go here.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some Friday Block Party Blocks

We have had a wonderful Christmas! Lots of hosting, visiting, cooking, baking and eating! And now it is back to 'sort-of' normal. I have finished the last three blocks in the Friday Block Party. I thought I'd better get them done seeing as how I am the one who is posting the blocks each week for the year 2010. If anyone is interested in joining our party, let me know. I have no idea how to add you to our blog, but I'll figure it out.

This first block is called Double Hourglass. It was for week 50. It is a 9inch block. I didn't follow the instructions very well. I made the hourglass units in groups of two, so I ended up with four of them. I only needed three, so in order not to waste a unit, I put a novelty print in the centre and put the hourglass units around it. This created a whole new block, but it is in keeping with the novelty 9in. blocks I have made in the past. I hope to make all of the 9in. blocks into a baby quilt soon.

The next block is called 'Four Square'. It was for week 51 and it is a 12in. block. This one has lots of HST and 2 1/2 inch units. I like it, but I doubt if I will ever make it again.

And this is the block for week 52. It is called Double Cross. It is a small 8in. block. It was easy and quick. So now I have finished all of the blocks for 2009! That means I have 52+ orphan blocks in my collection. I think it's time to put together some quilts. Don't you?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

"May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace. The gladness of Christmas give you hope. The warmth of Christmas grant you love."
- author unknown

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Celebrating Our 43rd Anniversary

Today we are celebrating our anniversary. We have been married 43 years. Does that seem like a lifetime to you? Gosh I feel old! I wish I could post a photo of our wedding day, but unfortunately, there are no photos. The ones we had taken by a family member did not turn out. The film broke (old days before digital) and all of our photos were gone! We did take a few more a few days later, but they are all slides. (I think that was the most economical way to take photos back then) Although we had several slides made into prints, we gave all those away. We always meant to make photos for ourselves, but it just didn't happen. So I am including a photo of the two of us on board a cruise we took to celebrate our 25th anniversary. I still have all of the wedding slides and after the holidays I will go through them and have some printed to make up a little wedding album for myself. I asked the guys at the photo place if they still make photos from slides. They told me it only takes one day to get the photos made. So how come it has taken me 43 years?

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

If you came for SkyWatch Friday, please scroll down to the next post.

Today I want to share some of my Christmas decorations with you. My tree is completely decorated in homemade ornaments this year. I did include a few very special ornaments which were given to me over the years and hold a lot of sentiment for me. The rest have all been made by me over the years.
This first one is part of my Folk Art Bear collection. I cut the shapes out on my scrollsaw, then my DD and I painted them with acrylics. I have given many away, but luckily I still have some. Maybe one day when the time is right, I will make some more.

The next two are part of my Stained Glass collection. A few years back, I made these little angels in all shapes and sizes. I also made several other shapes, like trees and candles, but I have given them all away.
The little bear was bought in a craft shop, but his little sweater is made out of no.10 crochet cotton.

Here is another stained glass angel. I think she was the first one I ever made. Also in this shot is another folk art bear in his pajamas.

Sorry, the lighting was very bad today. I have all of my lights on because it is so dreary outside. This snowflake should be a very bright white, but I was experimenting with and without the flash. This one is without and it looks kind of pink. I made literally hundreds of these little snowflakes. They make a nice carry-along craft. They fit into a purse and can be worked on any time waiting is involved.

This is an Amigurumi Santa that I made when I was stuck in a chair and couldn't walk. I had lots of time that year. These Santas are very labour intensive! Beside Santa is a little stitchery that I made many years ago. It is also part of a collection of cross stitch ornaments. I really enjoyed making them.

Another snowflake, with better lighting, a tiny crocheted angel and a patchwork star. I drew up the pattern for this one, but I have misplaced it. I want to make a few more of these. I guess I will have to get my drafting board out again. If I did it once, I can certainly do it again.
The little pewter ornament is one of my sentimental ones.

And here is a little basket with cinnamon sticks and lace. The kit for this was offered at a local craft shop in the late 1990's. That shop has since closed, but I still have the little bear in the basket!

He who has not Christmas in his heart,
will not find it under a tree.
- Roy L. Smith

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

I went out on my scooter today. I bundled myself up really well! It was cold, -7C, but the sun was shining, so it didn't seem as bad. I took this photo on my travels to the post office to mail my Christmas cards. This tree is a magnolia. I guess what struck me as interesting was the fact that it already has buds ready to burst forth with some beautiful blooms in about four months. A long cold winter is before us, but this tree gives me hope. Spring will follow. Nature knows it and now I find comfort in knowing it too.

If you want to see more SkyWatch photos go here!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Colour in December

My Christmas Cactus is blooming! It must be Christmas.

I love this cactus. I bought it so long ago I can't even remember. It gets a bit fuller each year and blooms profusely starting in the beginning of December. I don't do anything special to it. It lives in my solarium for most of the year and gets lots of sun there. Perhaps that's the key to its success. Lots of sunlight. Then cooler temperatures as the year goes through the fall season. The solarium is heated, but in spring and fall it feels more like the temperatures outside than inside. I think that helps to set the buds.

Here is a closeup of the flowers. They are huge - measuring about four inches in length. I had this plant sitting on my basting table. I also had my batik nine-patch blocks laid out on the same table in order to move the blocks around more easily. When I got up this morning I noticed that the blocks were all mixed up. Many were on the floor and some had fallen behind the table. I know that had to be Mimi's work!

But how can I accuse her of messing up my design when she looks so innocent and cute? After all, it's Christmastime! And at least she didn't push my cactus onto the floor!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Some Quilty Things

Welcome to my blog.
If you came to see SkyWatch Friday, just scroll down past this entry.
But of course you are welcome to stay and view my quilts!

You'd think I would have gotten lots of quilting done since my computer was out of commission last week. But I didn't. I was too depressed over my computer and the weather wasn't helping any either. Lots of snow, rain, cold and wind. But today is sunny and I feel much better!

This is my block 49 in the Friday Block Party. It's called 'Cross and Ring' and it is only 8inches square. I like the way it turned out. Just left-overs from other projects, but now they have a special place in this block.
I also finished the table runner with the block from week 48. This turned out nice, eh? That's because Mimi helped me!
And finally I want to show you the finished 'Flowering Sawtooth Star' lap quilt I made for a friend's mother. I finished sewing the binding on last night. Now I can get to work on some of my other Christmas projects. It's very bright and flowery and I hope it will provide warmth and cheer for the person it is intended for.

Notice my Christmas Cactus? This thing never lets me down. It is flowering profusely at the moment and has enough buds to carry it right through to the New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm Back! Just in Time for SkyWatch Friday Too!

At precisely this time last Thursday my computer crashed. OMG! I was devastated to say the least! I took my hard drive to Future Shop. On the advice of the salesperson who served me, I purchased an external hard drive. I had been meaning to get one for a long time. They promised to backup all my files and then reformat my computer. On Monday they phoned me to say my computer was ready to come home. But when I got it home, I discovered that they had given me a blank external drive and I could not find any of my photos and documents. I called and complained - several times and got nowhere. I had visions of all my crazy cat photos ending up on someone else's computer! Poor Mimi! Someone from the store finally called me yesterday and told me that they had found my external drive with all my back ups. Yippee! I did a little happy dance! Mimi is safe!

So I'm up and running now. At least I hope I am. Still trying to find everything and get my machine back the way I like it. But for now here is my entry for SkyWatch Friday. It's a photo I took when I was in Chicago a couple of years ago. I was on a bus trip to see a quilt show. A few of us decided to take the subway downtown. Don't get me wrong, I love nature and the outdoors, but a part of me also loves buildings and cityscapes! I have no idea which building this is, but it caught my fancy, so here it is.

If you want to see more SkyWatch Friday photos just click here. I'll be back in a couple of days to show you all the quilts I have been working on. See you.