Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out With The Old ... & In With The New!

I had planned to be up early today ... to go to the clinic and get something to relieve my current affliction.  The alarm went off at 6 ... and knowing I could sleep in today (after being up half the night anyway coughing  miserably) promptly shut it off ...but I was dismayed to see 10:45 on the clock when I finally was awake.

By the time I was fully functional and ready to head out ... it was 12:30.  My first stop was the clinic ... and was further dismayed to find that ... they were closing at 2:00 pm ... and due to the backlog of cases ... they were not accepting any new patients.  I decided that my next best option was to go see Ash ... my pharmacist.  He really knows his stuff and was sure he could at least recommend something to me to deal with this grief.

Glad I did ... he took one look at me and knew that I had conjunctivitis ... or otherwise known as Pink Eye.

He gave me the best non-perscription thing he could ... Polysporin drops made just for this thing.

After just one application ... I did get some relief from that "scratch-my-eyes out" feeling ... and am glad that it will help until I can get some actual antibiotics ... which is what I will need to abort this virus.

It will be a low-key New Years for me ... given my current situation ,,, but in spite of it all ... I do wish all of you the very best for the coming New Year.

Peace ... Love ... and Joy to all.  May life be loving & kind to you & yours in 2012.

Biggest Hugs to All ... Marie

PS ... caught up in my misery, I totally fogged on my promise to share the pic of the finished Go Bag!

This is the outside flap.

Will see if Mel can take an actual full shot of the whole thing tomorrow ... though it might be really late in the day!  She has plans to party-hop tonight ... so expect she'll be pretty much sleeping the day away tomorrow!

She bought herself a spankin' hot little red party dress ... that I'm sure will leave them all breathless!  My baby is sooo growed up now ... OMG!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Life Is ... Moving On.

Ups & downs ... joys & sorrows ... gettting through it ... unexpected surprises ... every day life sends us these ... in varying forms...and it keeps us moving on.

Yesterday was sorrow ... Mr. G's funeral service was difficult for all of us ... but particularly hard for my friend Paula ... she had to endure her mother's service in the morning ... and Mr. G.'s in the afternoon. 
Duty calls ... you do what you must.  Several of us had to return to duty after the service ... and continue on in spite.

In the midst of it alll I was surprised by a special Season's Greeting ... a card signed by all my staff and a gift card to Michaels to boot!  It was their way of saying thanks ... for all I've done for them this year!  I truly appreciated this unexpected gift!

And well ... with all of this added stress ... my resistance is down & I'm dealing with a nasty upper resperatory demon that has afflicted my sinuses/chest/eyes ... the latter being the current worst.  Goopy crap is impairing my vision and making me want to scratch my eyes out!  I will most likely visit the clinic tomorrow to see if I can get something to make it go away!

Oh ... and I've forgotten to mention that I was totally able to get some quality stitching time in over Christmas ... and my Go Bag is nearly done!

I'll share that with you tomorrow ... as DH is chomping at the bit to get some Net time just now!

More soon ... Marie

Thursday, December 29, 2011

R.I.P. ... Mr G.

When I arrived at work today  ... I was surprised to see lines six-deep of shoppers waiting at the checkouts ... but not surprising in light of the fact that we have had actual winter weather ... a few cms of snow followed by rain ... and to top it off ... sub-zero temps that froze it all. 

I swear that almost everyone had salt in their carts ... which contributed to the line of carts.

In the midst of it all I was stunned to be informed of the saddest news ... in spite of our hopes and prayers ... Mr. G succumed to his illness ... and lost  battle on Dec. 23rd.

The staff was not informed right away ... the family decided to wait until after Christmas to  ... hoping to spare us the extra burden of pain that they were dealing with.

But tomorrow is his funeral ...and we will be there for our family.

I will pay my last respects and attend the funeral service of this wonderful man who didn't make it through.  I am truly sad for his loss ... but sadder still for those he has left behind.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Favourite Christmas Carol ... Carol of the Bells

Hark! how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say,
"Throw cares away."
Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold

Ding, dong, ding, dong
That is their song
With joyful ring
All caroling
One seems to hear
Words of good cheer
From ev'rywhere
Filling the air

Oh how they pound,
Raising the sound,
O'er hill and dale,
Telling their tale,
Gaily they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer
Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas

On, on they send
On without end
Their joyful tone
To ev'ry home

Ding, dong, ding, dong.

Hark! how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say,
"Throw cares away."

Many years ago ... in my days of youth ... I was part of our church's Christmas troup that went caroling to our parish members  homes.  It was total fun to entertain ... singing from the heart all of the wonderful music that is part of Christmas.  This one is my all-time fave songs... and while I cannot authenticate this as fact ... my sis Cathy believes that it actually was Ukrainian in origin ... and yes we did sing it in Ukrainian ... and it was lovely. 

We were reminiscing those days tonight as she & family joined us for our traditional Christmas Eve buffet gathering ... we opened a few small gifts ... and shared some Christmas spirit(s).

So I'm curious to know ... what is your Number One Favourite Christmas song ?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

And So This is Christmas .....

The retail madness finally over ... I can finally begin to enjoy & anticipate Christmas!

While I did have to work today ... I actually had a really great day ... many regular long-time customers made a point of chatting with me after their purchases ... to wish me Merry Christmas ... and several actually thanked me for my great service to them this year!  That was special!  And ... yesterday Diane Matheson stopped in to say Hi & Merry Christmas in person ... so that was lovely too!

This week was a sad one for two more staff members.  One of my cash staff received news that her father passed away out in Nova Scotia.  He had been ill for some time ... and while she is relieved his pain is over ... it doesn't make his loss any less painful.

My friend & co-worker Paula lost her Mom ... and my heart goes out to her ... certainly a difficult time to have this happen ... another curve ball in life ... death's timing sucks.

My SIL Kristine is awaiting bad news soon too ... her brother Jamie is in critical care right now fighting cancer ... his time is very short ... he only has days left ... heavily medicated for the pain ... which is all the medical staff can do for him.

And so this is Christmas ... not the best one ... but the burden of the living is to carry on ... in spite.

Some of you have shared memories of similar losses at this time of year ... so you know the pain & sadness first hand.

Despite the adversity ... I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas ... and All the Best in 2012!

Peace ... Love  & Joy to you & yours!  Cherish those who are special to you ... remember those you miss ... for they will be with you in spirit!

Love & Big Hugs ... Marie

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Sentimental Moment

So there I was last night ... working feverishly to complete this huge card for Mr. G. & family ... and I was adding cut - out bits from saved cards that ... for whatever reason I had saved over the years.

I wanted to add bits from these ... on the pages of the card ... stuff like graphics & scripting ... and then welll ... I stumbled across one that just made me cry.

It was from my dearly departed SIL Patty that she had sent back in 1989 ... wishing a Merry Christmas and telling me that they were planning on coming out (from Nova Scotia) to our wedding the following February.

As it turned out ... my brother did manage to make it ... but she was tied up with her business and not able to attend. 

I only saw her once after that.  My brother had been transferred by his company back to Toronto ... and I visited them at their new house when they had settled in.  Patty had landed a cool new job selling travel insurance to travel agencies in the South-Central Ontario Region ... which required her to travel and visit these agencies as a rep.

It was summer ... and they had rented a weekend cottage on a lake ... to enjoy .  It worked out great for her ... as she could stay there on the weekend then she could head to appointments closer to this location than it would be from home.

On Monday morning ... she was doing just that ... heading for her first appointment.  She was en route when the thoughtless actions of a truck driver put her in a fatal situation.  She met with this fool in a head-on collision that ended her life.

He was going too fast ... and not prepared to slow for  a vehicle ahead that was turning right ... so he pulled left to avoid colliding with this car ... and  she was right there.

Senseless ... nowhere to escape ... final.  Tragic.

My brother was only able to identify her by her wedding ring.

To this day I cannot imagine how horrible it must have been for him.

To make matters worse ... my neice Emma had just been born ... the day before.  My sis ... Emma's Mom ... was the one who had introduced Lawrence & Patty ... and none of us could bear to tell her of this tragedy ... until she was home from the hospital ... and her funeral service pending.

Cathy had planned on naming her first sweet baby Emma Jane ... but changed it to Emma Jean ... Jean being Patty's middle name.

When I stumbled accross this special old Christmas greeting ... I just lost it.

For me ... Christmas is all about family ... cherishing & sharing with those we love ... and for remembering the ones who are no longer with with us.

I know this is not unique to me ... I'm certain that many of you have these sad feelings too ... especially when the holiday season is here. 

Share if you wish to ... the memories of special people that you want remembered ... at this time of  year.

Call it a Hugfest ... let's be there for each other ... to share in our feelings ... of loss ... remembrance  & love for those we so dearly miss.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

One Week To Go ... 'Til Chrismas Eve!

Where does the time go?  OMG ... Christmas Eve is a week away!

But I am gaining on it ... a bit at a time.  Planning to shop a bit more tomorrow and the wrap like a fiend!

Today my focus has been on creating a really big card ... the most special one to date ... as it will be from the staff of the whole store ... for Mr. G & the Graham family.

Those who have been following will know that he has recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer ... and has decided to retire ... not only to deal with his treatment ... but to focus on beating this ... and we are all praying that he will succeed in doing so.

We as a group decided to share our good wishes sooner than later  ... as our hopes & prayers are needed now ...for encouragement & support.

I penned a poem remeniscent of "T'was the Night Before Christmas" ... but with a whole new twist  ... encompassing our hopes, prayers & wishes that he will have the strength & ability to beat this foe.

I'm just about done with my efforts on it today ... and will carry on with it tomorrow ... with a ton of "Cut & Paste" to do with photos.

Sleep now ... more to do tomorrow!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Two Weeks Till Christmas ... and I'm So Behind!

Okay  ... more than behind ... more like behind the "eight ball"!

I haven't really even started Christmas shopping ...except for the wee staff gifts I picked up ... some 2-year Planners ... which I'm hoping they will use to write in their schedules and personal events to help me plan their required time off etc.

These were a big hit the last time I gave them ... such a little thing ... but it was so effective ... very slim and fits in to any purse or backpack ... perfect for everyone.

I've had social events that required my attendance ... like a Farewell Dinner for one long-time staff member who left recently ... and our annual Duffin's Creek Board Dinner last night ... which was wonderful at The Keg!

When I've found a little spare time I've been adding seams to my new Go Bag ... and have made some really good progress on it.



You can see some of the seams starting to come together ... but there's still many more to do ... so I'm pecking away at it when I can.  I haven't imposed any specific deadline on myself for completion ... so I'll be finished whenever I'm finished.

I suppose I'd better get focused on being Santa pretty soon ... or there won't be much under the tree!

Oh darn ... no tree yet either!  The kids are gonna have to help with that next weekend ... for sure!

While I'm sure it'll all come together on time ... I still have sooo much to do!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Show Was Fun ... But ...

Oh well ... shows are always a crapshoot ... ya never know what to expect!

It was fun ... but traffic was very low ... the weather certainly did put a damper on things ... as it poured all afternoon!  Needless to say it was a bit disappointing ... but the spirit of the season was there ... for the people who did come in.

I did get to hang out with Jen ... and enjoy warm apple cider ... and a tiny yummy cupcake that one booth offered ... topped with a wee sugar Gingerbread figure ... sweet!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Show Time !

While I like the exposure on the Web ... Artfire in particular ... to share my wares ... every once in awhile I like to "get out there" & personally share my creations with the public!

Such an opportunity recently presented itself ... a Christmas Bazaar / Fundraiser for  local dance studio.

My dear friend Jen (a former neighbour) has two girls who are very talented & very involved in dance ... at the Alison Darling Studio ... which is a stone's throw from here & where this event will be held.

It's a mere $20 to have a table ... plus I get to hang out with Jen for a few hours ... and that is worth the price of admission alone! 

I'll have an assorment of goodies to share ... from earrings to Potpourri ... so it should be fun.

Will fill you all in with the details when it is done,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Survived Magic Weekend!

Well ... I'm late out of the gate at wishing all my US friends a Happy Thanksgiving ... and I hope it was full of good fun & good food!

I myself was enveloped in the craziness that we at the Tire call "Magic Weekend" ... our annual event that is the kick-off to the Christmas season.

Friday & Saturday I was there from 7 - 4 ... to process the throngs of shoppers out for the best deals ... and OMG ... we were at one point a little overwhelmed!  I had to keep calling in more & more staff for help!  It was certainly a Black Friday for us ... as we were sooo in the black (way better than last year)!

I was glad at the patience of the crowd ... they were very content to wait in long lines to score their deals ... next year we'll plan for more staff earlier!  Who knew so many people would have this day off & free to shop?  Live & learn.  Yes well ... that's retail for ya!

In the free time I could scrounge ... I tried to relax & spend a bit of time in the therapy of creative pursuits ... finished piecing a new heart for a special project ... and then this new Go Bag ... which seems to have raptured my creativity!

Maureen Greeson has referred to this style as "whole cloth CQ" ...but I prefer caaling it "Faux CQ".

Faux translated from French would mean "Fake" ... but Faux sounds more elegant.  It employs seam treatments ... but on one piece of solid fabric as opposed to a traditionally  pieced CQ format.



Here you can see the right & wrong sides of the denim fabric I'm working on ... thought I'd show both as the lighter wrong side shows it better.  On the right side ... I'll stitch the seam treatments ...mostly in Pearl Crown Rayon for it's awesome & spectacular contrast on the denim ... and if  need be I could throw it in the wash the odd time.

So now with the basic map in place ... I'm going to start creating seams ... yaaaa the fun part!

I'll share more when I get that happening!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Busy Busy Busy! BDs, Projects & Retail ... Oh My!

November is always a busy month for me ... both my kids are November babes ... so I don't even start thinking Christmas until ... well ... today!

Melanie's BD was November 13th ... yes my baby girl was born on a Friday no less ... so I've always thought of Friday the 13th as a pretty darned lucky day.

In Canada ... 19 is Legal age ... and it is with mixed feelings of relief and dismay that I  welcome this milestone in her life!

I have to say ... it was quite amusing to watch her do Birthday Shots with a couple of friends that we've known since Grade 3!  Tim treated to dinner and a huge bar tab ... but he also instigated many of the shots.  Her party was at the Bear & Firkin where he works ... and while he was actually working that night ... indulged in a few shots with the group.

Mommy lasted till 9:00 pm ... with only one drink for good cheer ... and headed home ... as she had been at work early that day ... & was pretty much done!

Tim's BD was yesterday ... and he wanted to go to the Imperial Buffet for dinner.  So we did ... and then afterward met up with his friends for some BD cheer.

This was his King Birthday ... born on the 21st ... and turning 21!  Now that's a special BD!

Both of their gifts this year were wallets. 

I was thrilled that ... weird as this may seem ... the very wallet that I chose for Mel. ... she was actually contemplating buying from Danier ... not two weeks ago ... but I was unaware of that when I bought it!

And Tim's ... was exactly right for what he needed ... a new one that was a bit more elegant  than his old raggy thing ...just enough for ID and cash ... and he was happy with it.  Hard thing to accomplish for a young man whose first love is electronics ... video games specifically ... which he also got from Melanie.

Okay ... so even with all these special events going on ... I've been focusing on some creative endeavours ...because welllll ... when the ideas hit ... ya just gotta go with the flow!

I pieced another CQ Heart ... because I have plans for a new project themed with it.  And ... right out of left field came another project that has consumed me ... a small purse that I'm calling a Go Bag ... the kind of  thing that will accomodate just the bare essentials ... wallet, phone & keys.  Base is denim ... with the outer flap worked in Faux CQ ... seam work done on a solid base.  Some pics will help to visualize ... when I get to that stage.

And then there's my day job ... which is becoming more intense with  Christmas on the horizon!  Yup ... sales are up ... and that's a good thing!

More soon!

Ciao for now!

Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On The Roller Coaster ... Yet Again!

Yes well we all know life is about "ups & downs" and that's why I always feel like I'm on the perverbial Roller Coaster!

The Past two weeks have been no exception.

Now that I'm over this "sick thing" ... I'm back into the grind and from now on ... it's pretty much "full tilt" to Christmas!  Yup ... that's the way it goes in retail ... Halloween is but a memory ... pack it away and Deck The Halls!  And ... just to make sure I can stave off the worst new bug that might rear it's ugly head ... I got my annual Flu Shot this week too!

I don't think that I mentioned this ... but one of my regular day gals had a very bad injury a few weeks ago ... she was getting off the bus on her way home from work one day ... and managed somehow to trip on the stairs ... the worst is that the way she fell ... she managed to fracture BOTH ankles!

OMG ... like one would have been bad enough ... two is gonna definitely put you right out of commission!  She can barely walk at all ... let alone stand!  I feel so bad for her ... she is one of my most dedicated people ... the kind who will do whatever it takes ... whenever it's needed!

Okay ... this is a glimpse ... I phoned her today to see how she was doing ... and if she had any idea when she might be able to get back on duty.  She was being faced with the possibility of surgery to fix one of the fractures ... but the specialist told her that ... fortunately it would not be needed.  While happy about that ... this same specialist warned her that because she's diabetic ... she would have to expect a longer recouperation time.  And ... while she can accept that ... the realization that winter weather is imminent ... and that she'll have to be extra careful ... she dresses every day in her uniform ... just to keep focused that soon she will be coming back to work!

Now that's dedication!

Yesterday I got some very grim news ... our Dealer ... Bill Graham is going to retire ... for health reasons.  He has recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.  This is a cruel diagnosis for a man that was expecting to have Golden Years in front of him.  Now it is uncertain as to how much time he has left.

Harder still ... is the repercussions for us all ... going into the busiest time of the year ... knowing that the Boss is personally overwehelmed by a fight for his life.

As a team ... we can only perform as we must ... to focus on the task at hand ... and to do what we must to get through.  We are strong ... and can do this ... in spite of all odds.

But it so sucks ... that we will have to face  the ultimate demise of one man who is so loved by his staff ... a gentle giant .. a husband & father & grandfather ... it is just so hard to anticipate.

And ... on the horizon ... the prospect of a new dealer ... what does that mean for all of us?  Are we all secure in our positions ... or will we be replaced by staff of his/her choosing?

It's not even something we can speculate on at this time ... it's a "wait & see" situation.

I for one am confident in my abilities and contributions to the day-to-day performance that is required to keep things happening ...but I do worry for some of my protoges.

Time will tell!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's a Cake Walk!

Imagine my surprise ... when the local Wednesday paper arrived ... and right there on the cover was my daughter's boss!

Lisa is another local Pickering artist ... her medium ... cakes!

She & her team recently won top honours on Cake Walk - Wedding Cake Edition (TLC - Slice) ... with their Halloween themed creation!

You can see some of her fabulous creations at :  flourconfections.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Playing With Paisleys

I actually have a few projects on the go right now ... one is simmering for a grand debut early next year ... and one is sort of a spin-off that just kinda happened as a result.

The latter is in essence ... beaded paisleys ... and I've cranked out 10 so far ... and they are pretty cool!

I'll get them scanned in and put up on ArtFire soon for you to see.

I'm thinking they'd be a perfect little embellishment for a CQ piece ... they're strung on wire ... which can be couched down ... then embellished as your heart desires ... fill it up with stitchery or more beads ... an SRE spray or ... well ... just let your imagination run wild!  After all ... there are no rules here.

Inspiration is the key ... and fun will be the result!

Hugs ... Marie

Friday, November 4, 2011

MUCH Better ... Thanks!

Ahh ... it feels so good to be back to my old self again.  I'm confident this nastiness is behind me.

At the worst of it ... I did seek out the advice of a trained professional ... namely a pharmacist ... to find out what I could / could not tolerate in combination with meds that my doctor has me on.  Funny how it fell in step with what I was already contemplating!

There's this cool product that I've employed from time to time that for me seems to help a lot ... and it's basically a mega-dose of good ol' Vitamin C ... Redoxon 1000 mg hits ... helps naturally to fight invading viruses ... that's it's job ... that's what it does ... and why didn't I think of that earlier?

I also added just a few doses of Tylenol Rapid Release and OMG ... I can function again!

It's all good!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

FLU ... Ewww

It's been a long time since I've had the flu ... sure ... the odd cold here & there ... but the past few days ... OMG!  Wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!!!

It started Saturday ... and got worse as the day progressed.  I had already planned to have a few more vacation days (in lieu of Friday & Saturday I had to cover because of scheduling conflicts) ... I just hadn't quite planned to spend them in horizontal misery!  Didn't even make it through my whole shift ... didn't care ... just had to go lie down!

Nausea ... dizziness ... headache ... stabbing flu pains ... but worst was a dry hacking cough that wouldn't stop & left me feeling like I'd been beaten ... couldn't sleep ... then the coughing turned painful ... like my lungs were on fire ... ooowwww.

That was enough!  Headed out in search of brandy ... which I have found works better for chest congestion than any damned cough medicine!  It's that warming sensation that radiates all the way down ... and the alcohol's sedative effect turns off the cough trigger ... and I'm sure it wipes out some germs along the way!

While I'm still feeling a bit rubbery ... the worst is over ... the brandy did get rid of that nasty hack ... still the odd one now, but not painful like yesterday.  Keeping my diet light ... soup, eggs, toast ... the thought of anything heavier just not appealing at all.

To top it off ... this was the first time ever that I didn't do Halloween treats ... I felt bad about that ... but felt worse period.  Mel had to work until 6:30 ... and called to see if I had picked up any candy.  No ... I said ... but feel free to grab some if you feel like doing Shell Out ... so a bit later she arrived with several boxes of treats ... got some tea lights for two plastic Jack O Lanterns and set up outside to hand out treats!  She only had two kids come to the door!  Awwwe!

I'm thinking that she missed the bulk of the traffic the hour or so before ... and with Halloween on a school night ... they were done early.  Gotta give her A for effort!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Evanescence ... AWESOME !

I haven't been to a concert in a very long time ... think the last one was Pink Floyd ( before kids with DH) so ... okay that was well over 20 years back!
Tonight I had the incredible adventure of seeing Evanescence LIVE and OMG it was an awesome show!

It was way cool that I enjoyed it as much as my daughter did!  Amy Lee has an incredibly powerful voice and such unforgetable talent ... the air was electric ... with the resounding echoes of all the TO fans singing along to all their faves as she belted them out (several time she just let the crowd sing the lyrics) ... interspersed with songs from her newest album (which I'm sure will be as succesful as the previous ones ... by the sound of what they shared!)

While it was a general admission show ... which translated into standing for the whole thing ... I wouldn't have missed it regardless ... but I think there should be a standing rule that us short people should be automatically be allowed front row spots ... really hard to try & catch a glimpse of the action while peaking between tall people!  I did resort to watching part of the show on monitors ... and even the cell phones of some of those tall people in front of me!

Still ... it was worth it ... and wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hearts For Betty

Hurricanes are a phenominal force of nature ... that wreak havoc and create severe destruction in their wake.  Imagine back-to-back hurricanes!

Our dear friend Betty Pillsbury can tell you a thing or two about that experience ... and how she was affected ... suffering loss of crops (the full effect may not be known until spring) and household damages.

I saw the picture she shared of water flowing across her garden like a river ... crazy ... devistating.

My heart went out to her ... for having deal with it all ... and pray she can recover her business & crops next season.

I found a post on CQI from Cheryl Anderson ... inviting members to create Hearts For Betty ... to share heart ornaments as a show of support & caring for one individual who contributes so much to the stitching world through her amazing talent & teaching.

I had the opportunity to meet Betty at a stitching weekend many years ago ... and learned tons from her ... and in general the whole weekend was a blast ... especially the Downtown TO shopping trip!

So ... now my "heart" will really be going out to her ... as I will mail out my ornament today.

Yes ... I have pics and No you can't see ... at least until I know that she has seen it first!

Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, October 9, 2011

That's What I'm Talkin' About!


Can't you just taste them???

MMMMmmmm!

Rich & Yummy ... with some goodness in there somewhere!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving !

MMMmmm ... I can almost smell that ham baking ... and all the fixin's that'll go with it ... like roasted sweet potatoes ... squash ... and baked stuffing!

Keep the Pumpkin Pie ... I'm going with luscious Carrot Muffins ... which will of course have a Cream Cheese frosting ... but Melanie decided to buy a piping bag from the shop where she works so they'll look extra decadent!

The weather is supposed to be awesome ... and I'm sooo thankful that I'm off to enjoy it!

Decided to play with a new background this morning ... a change is as good as a rest!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canuck friends ... what will you be enjoying?

Hugs ... Marie.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Snowing Again!

Just kidding!  I don't mean in the natural sense  ...  but I'm referring to those snowflakes I had created last year ... pendants ... pins ... and earrings!

I had some left over ... & have put them up on ArtFire !  I have a few more to scan in ... that were not shown last year ... and hope to get to those this long weekend ... Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.

I was hoping to create more this year ... but am now thinking I may not have the time ... work is imposing some unexpected staffing challenges and well ... I may be otherwise occupied!

So what's there is the balance of what I have available ... scoop 'em while ya can!

Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And ... The Winner Is ...!

Well ... even though I did have to work today ... Tim did treat to dinner tonight and we had a great time!

Melanie couldn't make it ... as she was part of her company's booth staff at the "Baking & Sweets" show at the International Centre this weekend ... and Dad was swamped at work shipping out three tractor-trailors of products to meet a deadline for one major client ... so my sis Cathy & neice Becca, Tim & I had a lovely time regardless!  Irish Nachos (potato cross-cut fries topped with traditional Nacho fixin's) and deep-fried Mozzarella Sticks started us off with cocktails ... then Wings in Forty Creek sauce with a side Caesar salad for me ... Honey Garlic for Cathy & Becca ... while Tim opted for Hot.  No ribs on the menu ... poo!  But really good wings ... so we did totally enjoy!

Tim's boss John treated me to a birthday dessert ... OMG ... a huge scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with caramel & chocolate sauce, with a warm Chocolate Fudge Brownie in the centre ... and a mound of fresh whipped cream on the side to boot!  It came with one solitary candle ... and a rousing chorus of  "Happy Birthday" from the staff & guests!

All in all ... just lovely!  Good food ... good fun ... good memories!

So now  ... without further ado & as promised ... the name of the winner ... that one name drawn from the infamous Lucky Tin is ...

Lisa Jo ... from Black Bear Cabin!

Congrats to you my dear!  I'll need you to e-mail me your snail address so I can forward your prize!

Thank you all for your BD good wishes ... much appreciated!  Hugs to you everyone!

Marie ... aka ... the BD Girl!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Coming ... and that means ... a BD Draw!

I keep telling myself ... "You're not getting older ... you're getting better!"
My body keeps telling me ... "Yup ... you're getting older!"  Ugh!

Ahhhh to be twenty something again ... a physical impossibility I know ... but I try to do it mentally!

October 1st is the day ... Kids & Dad are taking me out for dinner ... and that's all I really want!  Don't need any presents ... but I'm going to give one!

I do apologize for being "late out of the gate" ... I'm having issues with the downstairs computer ... it won't let me get onto the Net ... have to wait for DH to find out what's up with that!  Mel let me use her box to get on-line.

For several years now I have taken up a tradition started by Nora Creeach ... a dear departed e-friend.  It was a book I won in one of her BD draws that led to an epiphany & triggered my ability to create patterns!  I can't say that will happen for you with this gift ... but it will be something cool created by moi!

My dear followers ... your names are automatically entered into the Lucky Tin for the draw ... and a comment post will get you a second entry! Other readers may enter too by posting a comment!

I'll draw the winner after my BD Dinner on Oct. 1st.

Good Luck to all!

Birthday Wishes & Hugs also going out to two of my fellow Libran stitchers ... the amazing Pat Winter ... whose BD is the day before mine ... and who incidentally is having a huge BD Draw of her own ... and to the awesome Betty Pillsbury ... a few days after mine ... I still have fond memories of that stitching weekend in Markham!  It was so great to learn so much from you!

Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 ... Ten Years After

I know we all remember the horror vividly ... it was a catastorphic event that shook us ... to the very core.
We stared in disbelief that such an unbelievable disasterous event could be happening as we watched ... that the lives of so many innocent people could be lost ... fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, firefighters, police officers ... paramedics ... all who had no idea that this would be their last day of life ... 2,977 was the final official count of the victims that day.

My niece Sarah was born on September 4th that year ...  my sister recalled standing & rocking her new baby ... as she watched the events on TV ... crying openly ... and feeling such grief for all mothers out there ... who had lost their children ... but at the same time feeling blessed with this new sweet creature in her arms.

My niece Amber's birthday is September 11th ... it was her worst birthday ever!  Who could feel happy on such a day ...knowing the awful things that happened?  At that time she was already becoming socially concious ... and realized what the whole event meant to all of those families affected by the loss of loved ones!  It took her a long time to shake  off the grief ... and to this day never forgets what happened on her 15th birthday.

This year Sarah turned 10  ... and shared her day with several friends ... the way kids should.

This year Amber turned 25 ... yup ... a whole quarter century ... and is currently going to school to become a paramedic.

I'm not certain if those specific events had any bearing on her career focus ... but she is determined to follow her heart.  Maybe it's her way of sharing her giving spirit in light of the trauma she felt back then.

Time is the healer of all wounds ... & I pray that it has been for the families of every soul lost on that tragic day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fruits of My Labours

I added a whole whack of new stuff over on ArtFire today ... some were completed recently and some I had scanned in ... and finally had the chance to list!

I've been preoccupied lately by the Little Black Dress ... or rather Neck Lace that would simply be the perfect thing to finish it! 

Delicate & classy ... maybe even sassy ... definitely different!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labour of Love Day !

Labour Day Weekend ... the last long weekend of the summer ... and I had to labour!

Yup ... it was my weekend on ... but the store is closed today for the holiday and tomorrow is my day off so it worked out okay.

I suppose Labour Day in general is meant to recognize the efforts of all who work ... and who have over the years contributed to building strong nations ... affording us the bountiful lifestyle we enjoy today.

I for one spent the day labouring at what I love most ... creative endeavours!  I had a few ideas simmering ... and turned them into completed projects ... 4 and a half to be exact!  I'll get to scanning the finished ones in tomorrow ... and will have them up shortly on ArtFire for you to see.

For now I have to finish up with another form of labour ... laundry!

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, September 1, 2011

PARTY ... Like You're ... ONE!

 Well ya know ... a special event ... like your first birthday ... there's gotta be fun ... and cake!
Those two li'l monkeys sure got a fun one!


 Uncle Chris came to visit for the day ... Alex got a photo op here with him.



Cake is not a regular item on the menu of any meal ... but hey ...it's expected for your BD!
Yummy ... we like cake!


There were lots of fun presents ... and check out the cool new Cars chairs!



That's how ya party when you're ONE!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Jasmine!



Kids can surprise you ... okay that is putting it mildly ... they can make you shake your head and wonder sometimes when they decide they want something ... unusual!

This is Jasmine ... Melanie's new pet.  She is a Yellow Belly Ball Python.
We picked her up yesterday & she's now getting aquainted with her new environment.

I suppose it's the lesser of two evils ... because before this she was contemplating spending her hard-earned money on an elaborate tattoo ... in the wake of several peircings (ears, nose & belly button).

In general Mel is a good kid ... I've never had to fish her out of a police station ... or worse had her brought to the door by same (for all the neighbours to see) ... so indulge her whimsical notions.

As far as pets go ... this baby is rather economical ... she only feeds about once a week ... yup one frozen mouse will do her ... and they cost about $2.00 each.

The cats don't know what to make of this new creature ... Kota doesn't seem to care for it at all!
He used to enjoy watching the fish swimming around in the tank ... but they're gone now and this thing is just ... welll ...not a fish.  After their first encounter ... he ran from the room muttering!
We'll see what the long term brings.

I personally have not gotten up enough courage to hold her ... but in time I may ... maybe.
It's not that I don't want to ... it's just uncharted territory for me too ... at the moment!



Saturday, August 27, 2011

So Long, Ross French!

Ross French has been our "fix - it" guy for nearly ten years ..... and now he's due to retire!
He's soft-spoken ... he gets in & does what needs doing ... and moves on to the next job.
We are going to miss his professional abilities around here.

 

We wanted to give him a keepsake ... and this card included some pics
as well as messages from all of the residents thanking him for his dedicated service.

 


My friend & fellow board member Val penned the poem & took the pics around the co-op.

I cut out and pasted exactly enough little houses for each unit ... plus an extra one for the office.

Each small house was labelled with a Unit # so that residents could add their own message.

 

We ( The Board of Directors) took him out to The Mandarin Restaurant for a
Farewell dinner ... and presented him with this card.  He was thrilled!

So long Ross French ... we're all gonna miss you!

 








Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy 1st BD to The Twins!



Happy BD You Two
Happy BD You Two
Happy BD Aiden & Alex ...
Happy BD You Two!

That's how ya sing Happy BD to twins!

My how time flies!  These li'l monkeys turned 1 today!

Getting so big ... and almost walking!

Love & Hugs ... Aunt Marie

Saturday, August 13, 2011

OH YEAH ... I Can Scan Again!

Hardware frustrates me ... when it's all hooked up & running smoothly its great ... but when you find yourself with a great scanner hooked up to a dead computer ... well that sucks!

So ... yesterday I finally did something about it ... unplugged it from the dead one ... and after re-organzing the computer station downstairs got it hooked up to the one that works.  I did have driver issues that DH had to help with ... but it's all good now!

I've got lots of little goodies that I've been tinkering with ... aimed at ArtFire !

Some of you may know that they have recently made changes that pretty much eliminated the "basic" memberships ... so PRO I go!

I've added some beaded CQ motifs ... that'd be perfect for adding sparkle & pizazz to a project ... & they could even be used to secure a cabachon or frame a ciggie!  There's a few up already ... and a bunch more on the way ... just as soon as I get them scanned!

As I've been light on the visuals of late ... thought I'd treat you to a project that is "hot off the press".

It started out as a motif until my brain decided to switch gears ... and now it is Neck Lace ... with earrings to match!  I like it so much ... I'm keeping it ... but hey ... I may be making more!

Enjoy!



Friday, August 12, 2011

It's Official ... Amy & Chris Are ... Engaged!


Isn't this gorgeous?!!!

I heard it said (some time ago) that "People still get married, buy houses, & have children ...
but not necessarily in that order!"  True enough for Amy & Chris. 

Priorities change when you find out that twins are in your future!
They bought a home together and got settled in ... and the nursery ready!
They also had to move my brother (Amy's Dad) in too ... so there was a lot on the go!

Welll ...those two l'il dickens are almost a year now ... August 25th to be exact!
They took their first family vacation altogether ... to Newfoundland ... to meet Chris's family!

With the sea and icebergs as a backdrop ... Chris got down on one knee ... and proposed!
Amy cried for ten minutes ... then after she regained her composure said YES!

They're planning the wedding for next year in September ... but wisely checking out locations now.
Amy has a friend who is a wedding planner ... and will be helping them with arrangements ...
and booking the venue now was the first thing on her list!

It seems like a long time away ... but at the speed of life these days ...
it'll be here before they know it!

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!
Big Hugs ... Love ... Aunt Marie

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More Cards For Life Events!

Like Nana Roseanna Danna used to say ... "It's always something!"

OMG ... I've created a perverbial monster!

These cards I've been creating seem to fit the bill so readily for a wide variety of occasions that I've created several more recently for BIG events!

( I swear I'm gonna have to clue Hallmark in to this untapped market ... maybe even offer my designs up for sale!)

Mel has taken pics for me ... but need to get them from her computer to this one ... after they get downsized to a portable format ... as they're just too large to put on the Jump Drive,

A Baby Shower ... A Retirement ... and a Farewell Amanda are the most recent creations!

Jennifer is due sometime later this month with a baby ... Ross is retiring after 10 years as our reliable  Maintenance Guru at the co-op ... and a gal that has worked for me for five years just landed an awesome job at a resort out in Banff, Alberta as a Reservations Clerk ... the very field she's been going to school for!

How can these awesome life events not be appreciated?!!

The fact of these matters are that these special people/events were celebrated with custom unique cards that celebrates them ... and that my friends is reward enough ... in that each of them will feel special in their own right ... which they are.

I'm fortunate to have a talent that can create special things for special people ... and it doesn't have to have a monetary value attached ... when the end result  is the reward of making someone feel special ... just because they are.

Visuals will follow ... as soon as I can post them!

Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Alive & Kicking ... But Hot!

Well ... I haven't fallen off the face of the earth ... I've just been busy ... and/or haven't found time to actually sit down & catch up.

I had heard that this summer was forecasted to be hot & dry ... and so far it has been exactly that.

But ... there's hot and then there's HOT!  This past Thursday was just ridiculous!  Oppresive heat!  It was the first time ever that I closed the Garden Centre ... because of the heat/humidity!  Nobody in their right mind was looking to garden that day anyway!

So much going on recently that has been distracting me too.  I recently aquired a new family doctor ... after not having seen one for several years ... and he insisted on a full  regimen of tests ... everything from bloodwork to mammogram and a Bone Density Scan ... and while that was not my initial reason for going to see him ... thought it was prudent to cover a wide spectrum ... to see what was up with my general health.

I wasn't quite prepared to learn that I have severe osteoporosis.

For several years now I've been having issues with various types of pain ... mostly joint pain ... specifically in my knees ... and hands.  But to think that my interior structure is weakening to the point where I have to worry about the possibility of fracturing things ... like my spine or hip bones ... wellll ...it's downright disconcerting!

I've never had a broken bone in my life ... and now I have to worry that any false move could do just that.  It's kind of scarey.

Upon medical advise I have begun a calcium supplement regimen ... but repelled the suggested therapy of a drug called Fosamax ... which is supposed to help strengthen bone ... but that apparently has alternative affects in a small percentage of patients ... my sister being one ... something diagnosed as Jaw Death ... when the drug basically causes the jaw bones to weaken.

Needless to say when my doctor suggested this treatment ... I categoracally declined.  His response was to recommend me to a specialist. 

After an appointment with same this past week ... who actually understood my concern ... recommended a different course for treatment ... so we'll see how that pans out.  I already have an appointment to see him next year after the two bi-annual treatments ... I guess that's all I can do for now ... except to be careful about my daily routine ... so as not to put myself at risk with activities that could cause a problem.

It sucks getting old ... and even more so when it adds to having to worry about things that could dibilitate me.

I have too much to do ... and don't want to have to worry about such things ... but it doesn't do any good to ignore the possibility of it happening.  Caught between the rock & the perverbial hard place.

Life goes on.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 144th Canada!

1867 ... was the year this nation became one! 

I remember our Centennial ... I think I was probably like Grade 5 then ... and we celebrated it just before the end of the school year by honouring our past in costumes of our ancestors.  My Mom sewed a pioneer costume for me from brown & white checked gingham ... complete with a bonnet ... and I was so proud to wear this pioneer-type costume ... to pay hommage to those who forged this wonderful land.

They came from all parts of the world ... arriving here with hopes and dreams of a better life ... free from opressive government ... and war-torn environments.  They were not afraid of hard work ... and put forth every effort to achieve their goal ... to live in peace in a lifestyle that was productive & rewarding.

They never expected that it would be easy ... or that they would become rich ... but it was a better life than they had known ... and that was all that mattered.

My father was born during my grandparents journey from Ukraine.  They made it as far as Poland when he was born ... spent some time there and arrived in Canada just after his second birthday.  They were farmers by trade ... and settled in Saskatchewan ... carrying on their inherant abilites there.

My Mom & her Mom were both born here ... but Grandma's parents arrived as newlyweds from Ukraine ... settling in Sandy Lake, Manitoba.  They were also from a farming background ... and continued with their trade here.

I suppose I've enjoyed the richness of an immigrant past ... as it has been instilled in me from a very young age.  I was taught things that were important to them ... like stitching ... and growing things ... and preserving the fruits of your labours to save for the winter months ... when opening a jar of preserves brought you all the wonderful bounty that was summer.

I am glad to be one of the fortunate people to call Canada my home ... and native land!

Raising a pint ... of what else ... than "Canadian" to this awesome country of ours!!! 

Cheers ... to 144 years!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

As Expected ... She Cried !

Yup ... we managed to pull off the surprise as planned!

Diane had no idea (until she got to there) that it was a bigger event than she thought!

She was totally shocked to find a whole bunch at the table ... when she thought that only three of them were having dinner ... yes!  Gotta love when a surprise is a surprise!

I had the dubious honour of presenting her with the card and her "Honeymoon Cash" gift (over $350.00) and ... ya ... she was swept up with emotions ... and cried ... joyful tears!

All of the planning and scheming was worth it ... we had a really fun night ... and now she can let it all sink in as she has a week off for holidays.

Her next holiday booked off is for the wedding ... but she has promised to take all of us with her in her suitcase (via the card) ... to Jamaica!  Sweet!

Friday, June 17, 2011

While The Cat's Away . . .

So we busy little beavers have been scurrying about in secret to organize a surprise for Diane who thinks this event is something else ...and as she booked a few days off to visit her neice in Ottawa ... we can get  going in earnst & not fear getting caught!

The card is smaller than the one I had done for Jenny ... as I wanted to make sure it'd fit in her suitcase!  Yup ... we're all going to Jamaica ... at least our hearts will be!
Here's a shot of the envelope ... hearts & flowers & bubbly!


and the poem that's computer-scripted inside



and here's all of our hearts ... some messages added & more to come.



The card front is a compilation of pics cut from gift bags ...with scallop-edge scissors that cost a whole $1.00 ... which I also used to cut the inside hearts with!

Also found & used Gliiter Glue pens to add just a wee bit of sparkle ... hearts on the card & trim on the envelope ... even bubbles over the champagne glasses on the envelope!

Yup ... it was cheap fun ... but turned out way cool!
I'm expecting there will be tears of joy when we present this and donations
to her "Honey Moon Fund" at the dinner we're planning next Friday eve!


Will tell more about that after the event!

Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, June 4, 2011

So , Here's The Latest Episode on my Roller Coaster!

Of all rides at any Amusement Park ... my least favourite has always been the Roller Coaster.

But life ... anyone's life ... is typically that ... a big freakin' Roller Coaster ride!

I guess it really has been a couple of weeks since I posted anything ... and where the heck did May go???   Okay so now we're into June ... and it was weird how all of a sudden it now seems to be ... summer!

The rain seemed to disappear ... and warmth & sun seemed to magically appear ... until today ... when thunder storms were prevalent.   That weather band seems to have moved through ... and back to clearing skies. YAY!

I did manage to scan in the pics of the Twin Frames ... but damned if the box upstairs didn't crash!  Yup ... you guessed it ... with the pics still on there!  I hate when that happens!  DH has promised to move the scanner for me ... but may have to get Amy to snap pics & send to me now that she has possesion of them.

I've taken on a new project for work ... seems my last big card was such a hit ... that I was asked to do another for the next big event ... Diane's wedding!

Speaking of Roller Coasters ... her life has been one too the past few years ... especially having to go through her mother's cancer fight ... then her passing after losing the fight ... so it was fabulous when she told us that she & Les were formally engaged & going to get married in August ... in Jamaica no less!

You know those times when you've found out that someone is going away to some really great place ... and wanted to get taken along packed in their suitcase? ... well ... I finally figured out how that can work!  Via a big card!

I am going to insist that she take us all to Jamaica!  Inside the card I penned a small poem ... and without reiterating it completely now ... suffice it to say that the message conveys that we will be with her as she & Les say their " I do"s.

I'll save a thousand words trying to describe the card ... Mel will get some pics for me to share when it's finished ... so you'll just have to wait a wee while until it's done.

This past week was devistating for my DH.  One of his co-workers ... someone who he's worked closely with for over ten years ... dropped dead from a massive coronary ... a mere 52 years old!  DH turns 51 in a couple of months ... so hit him pretty hard.  Guess it left him feeling his mortality ... as well as the loss of a valued fellow employee.  Pretty much sucks.

And as if that weren't enough to deal with ... my Mom ended up in hospital too with "drug-induced dementia" ... after her doctor changed up her long-time medication!  Seems these changes had an adverse affect & now hospital staff is putting her through a barrage of tests to get her back on track ... she was home briefly ... but ordered back by the doctor for further evaluation.

Lord ... give me strength!

This too shall pass ... but it certainly  increases the stress levels.  The Roller Coaster ride continues!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Been A Looonnnggg Weekend!

May 24 weekend ... also known as Victoria Day ... when those with cottages typically get their summer abodes open ... and those of us without cottages typically get their gardens planted.

This year proved to be quite a challenge ... Forget-me-nots just took over my small backyard ... and as much as I hated to do it ... I had to hack a bunch of them down ... just  to gain ground!

There is still a 2 foot deep border of them around the garden  but they'll have to come down before they go to seed ... or I'll have the same blue backyard  next year!

I have reclaimed the area that has been reserved for tomatoes ... and  planted some annuals that will be the focus of my summer colour ... it was definitely a labour of love ... but worth every second spent !

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crazy Quilt Gatherings - Issue 2 Up For Preview!



It's official ... and it's another awesome edition of Crazy Quilt Gatherings from none other than the incredible Pat Winters ... and will be available for you this weekend!

You can preview the latest edition here.

I'm so excited about this one ... because it features a special block that I'm thrilled to share with you all ...something I created some time ago ... entitled Twilight in the Fairy Glen!

This block was my submission to "another" magazine's annual Calendar Contest. 

While it didn't win a coveted spot in their calendar ... I personally felt it was some of my best work.

So ... check it out!

I'm thrilled that Pat asked me to submit my work for her CQ Gatherings ... this marks my sixth published piece ... I hope you enjoy it!

Love & Hugs

Marie

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday The 13th!

Are you superstitious?  Does a Friday the 13th spook you?

I for one love them!  My daughter Melanie was born on one ... and I know three people who have their birthday today ...Deb & Moe from work ... and my dear sis Nadine!  Hope you all had a great day!

I'm still working away at Amy's first Mothers Day gift ... took soooo much longer than I thought ... but nearing the final stage & hope to scan at some point over this weekend ... and will visit her on Tuesday to deliver ... so pics will be forthcoming shortly thereafter!

Time flies so fast ... the Twins are nearly 9 months now ... Amy recently told me about the differences in their food adventures ... funny how their palates vary ... one seems to be  a "meat & potatoes" kinda guy ... while the other seems to have a more adventurous food spirit ... taking to the likes of Brussel sprouts, mango & turnip!  Kids , eh?  They are such a surprise!

Well it has been a long & busy day ... and while that's a good thing ... it's also tiring for an old broad!

Time for feet up and some Tube Time!

Later ...Marie

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day To All You Moms!

Hope all you Moms got pampered today ... you deserve it!

It dawned on me that this is my 20th Mothers' Day ... wow!  Where does the time go?  But for my Mom  ... it's her 59th!  I'm so glad I still have her with me!

My dear children found me a replacement bottle of my fave perfume ... that escaped from my purse & smashed on the ground (half full no less!) ... a box of decadent fudge in various flavours ... & DH got me a lovely bottle of Chardonnay ... that went very well with my Clam Alfredo for dinner!

For my dear neice Amy ... it is her 1st ... and though I haven't been able to connect with her yet .. I hope she is enjoying it!  The twins are just over eight months now ...getting mobile ... teething ... and all the other fun stuff that comes with those infant stages ... stuff I am glad is long gone!  It's lovely when your children are self-suffiecient ... have jobs ... & help pay the rent!

I am working on a special gift for her (which I'd hoped to have completed & delivered to her today ... but it is still in the works ... so maybe by Wednesday ... my day off I'll be able to get it to her).  Will share pics after she receives it.  For now ... suffice it to say ... it's a Twins frame.

Amy lost her Mom to cancer in 2001 ... my project incorporates fabric from the dress her Mom wore as my Matron - of - Honor.  Blue satin ... and Brenda certainly was the Devil With the  Blue Dress On!
I miss her every day ... she was a kindred spirit ... an awesome Mom and was taken far too young.

As I was working away on the frames ... my thoughts turned to my first Mothers' Day ... it was quite an event!

Tim was barely 6 months old ... and I decided to go visit my  Mom for the day.  On the way home ... I had car trouble ... on the 401 ( Toronto area residents can appreciate this ... it's one of the main arteries for traffic through the city).  I was in the left centre lane of a six-lane highway when the engine started acting strange ... had to move over three lanes through heavy traffic to get to the shoulder before it all-out died!  I was nearing panic at this point ... this is not where you wanna be ...  ever ... let alone with a 6-month old in the back seat!  He had been peacefully asleep until we stopped ... then woke up hungry & began to cry.

Ya ... just what I needed at that moment ...a crying hungry child ... while I was in tears having my own little panic attack!

I had planned to be home by then to feed him ... but a Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do ... so I climbed into the back seat .. got him out of the car seat & whipped out the boob! ... all the time praying that (A) I wouldn't  get rear-ended or that (B) help wouldn't arrive while we were nursing ...with me still crying my eyes out!

Somehow we got home ... don't even remember how (but I think it was by tow-truck).

So ... got any great Mothers' Day memories to share?

Sharing Sendai Block #2


Instead of making you scroll down to see the "before" picture, I decided to start with it on this post so that you could quickly see how it transformed ... from the bare state to the finished one.

The starting point for this block was the heart.  I wanted it to be like a floral wreath ... and just add as my creativity dictated from there.  I kept thinking ... from the darkness of dispair ... into the light of hope ... and to life continuing in the face of adversity.

The butterfly at the centre caught me up ... quite close to what we know here as a Mourning Cloak.

If one creature in nature could be so reprisentative of a feeling ... surely this one seemed to fit.

Seam by seam & patch by patch I kept adding things as my inspiration dictated.   Once the heart wreath was in place, I felt compelled to complete the tree at the bottom.  I had cut off the greenery that completed the original scene ... but replaced it with a different look ...  a wonderous full-blooming Flowering Crab that I sooo love to see this time of year.

Then I decided to add the vine with the pink florettes and heart-shaped leaves.

On the bottom right ... I added the script For Sendai and surrounded it with Griffin Rose Buds in yellow for remembrance ... of all the lives lost in this devistating event.

Spring here was obviously on my mind when I added the Lilac spray on the upper left corner.  I am fortunate to have an awesome bush out back of my yard ... and just had to add the bouquet of them!

Upper right ... the blue & cream seam treatment came out of the blue ... but left a patch of pink bare ... filled in with a bunch of laser-etched roses ... I was going to add leaves & such ... but decided that their basic beauty needed nothing more.

Last but not least ... Forget-me-nots.  Thank you Pat for reminding me how welcome these spring flowers are ... they' re taking over my small backyard as we speak ... but I welcome them  and their cheery disposition ... they bring joy & colour to my world and to the rest of the world.

So ... there ya go ... it`s done and I`m happy with it!

Hugs!





Monday, May 2, 2011

Quick Update ... YAY ... It's May!

Enough with the April Showers ... let's get on with the May Flowers!

As I drove up the drive today I noticed that the big batches of tulips in the beds in front of the office are showing flower buds ... and can't wait to see the multitude of yellow blooms!  On the next street over one house has a Forsythia hedge that is now in bloom ... and it looks awesome!  Ahhh ... the plants are saying that spring is here!

Rainy weather has put a damper on the opening of the Garden Centre ... but better weather this week has prompted us to get it happening ... and that is encouraging.

I'm also looking forward to this weekend off ... and to hopefully get some spring clean-up done outside ... and anticipating finishing my second block for Sendai before then.  It's getting pretty full ... just a few more things to add ... then I'll scan & share.  I'm liking how it's coming together!

Well  ... that's about it for now  ... more soon!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Day of Sorrow ,,, Followed By a Day of Joy!

Isn't that the way life goes ... mourning the passing of a friend one day ... and revelling in the joy of of a new beginning the next?

I had to start work early today ... so didn't have the opportunity to  experience the celebration going on in England as William & Kate were wed.

Thanks to the Net and ABC News ... I was able to  view all of the events  of the day and well it was simply awesome!

If you followed this Royal Wedding ... you will know what I mean ... it was such a joy to share in the wedding day of two special people who will one day be the future of England.

God Bless & keep them ... and give them a wonderful life together!

Their future holds such promise!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paulette ... RIP

It's always sad to have to say goodbye ... but sadder still when someone too young has lost a valiant fight against that awful consumer of the living ... cancer.

Paulette was a co-worker.  She found out two years ago that she had a tumor growing in her.  She was so scared ... as I'm sure any of us would be to be told this ... but once the diagnosis was confirmed ... she resolved with every fibre of her being to fight it ... to do whatever she had to ... to buy more time.

Initial  treatment was encouraging.  Chemotherapy did help to slow and shrink this invasive predator ... and she was able to hope that it could be beaten ... but alas ... it proved to be stronger than she could fight ... and on Easter Sunday ... she was overcome by it ... and passed away.

Her funeral service was this morning ... I decided I had to go ... to pay last respects to this courageous lady. 

Needless to say that her family is devistated ... her two sons and her DH were openly distraught ...but remembered her with such loving thoughts ... that simply moved everyone to tears.

I kept thinking of others I've lost to the same demise ... felt their pain at being helpless to change the outcome ... and missing a life lost to this tragic disease.  Never easy ... painfully final.

Rest in peace Paulette ... your fight is over ... may you enjoy life everlasting ... free from the pain and suffering.  We will miss your bright smile.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter !

Wishing you all a Happy Easter ... Peace, Joy & Love to everyone!

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Playlists ... Dead & Gone!

Well ... I was wondering how long it would take before the copy-right police would catch up to the Playlist thing.  I had noticed that certain songs were ...over time ...becoming "blocked" ... but as I checked them out tonight ... seems more are blocked than available!

I've dumped the whole works ... which is a shame ... I really enjoyed that music ... oh well!

Everybody wants their cut ... if it don't pay ... then the music don't play!

"The day the music died!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Food For Thought ... The Numbers Add Up ... to 111

I want to share with you something that I actually received via e-mail that piqued my interest because I tried it and ... weird as it may seem worked every time! 

Try it yourself ... and do the calculations for others in your family and just see how uncanny the results are!


This year we're going to experience four unusual dates - 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 - and that's not all!

Take the last two digits of your year of birth - now, add the age you will be this year. The result will be 111 - for everyone!!

This is the year of Money!

Also this year, October will have - 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays and 5 Saturdays. - This happens only every 823 years.

Wierd!



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sendai # 2 - Bare Block


I did get the block scanned this morning for you to see.  I think you can grasp more clearly why I'm partial to the pattern piecing method.  I was able to put the one beautiful butterfly smack-dab centre on the first piece ... one large leaf on the top left corner & at the bottom right a different scene from the same fabric that was the centre on the first block.

The fabric in the centre was from one of those ties I scored a couple years back at Goodwill.  It has brighter threads through it that don't show very well here ... blue, pink & gold ... which I used for other patches of the block.

Enough talk ... time to rock!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blank Canvas # 2 Awaits & Confessions of a Really Crazy Quilter!

Spent the day playing ... and the fruits of my labours is a completed second block ready to stitch.

It takes me a lot longer to piece a block than most I'm sure.  I do it by hand.  Oh ... I do have a machine ... but it's really old ... and cranky ... so I don't even bother with it anymore. 

Add to that ... I don't do "flip & sew".  I do it by pattern.  Crazy you say?  So ... it's Crazy Quilting!

While the set-up is time-consuming ... I find it more precise.  I can also select the best features of what a piece of fabric can yield ... especially when it comes to prints ... it's much easier to position a pattern piece over the exact section I want from it ... pin it place and just trim.  I mark the selvages to make sure I remember to leave extra fabric where I need it.  I tend to position my seam line on the straight grain of the fabric ... so it doesn't stretch the wrong way in the sewing process.

There is a big bonus to doing it this way in that I can re-use the pattern again.
I did that with the Portholes project ... though I actually used 3 or 4 differnt ones.  I simply store all the bits in a Zip-loc ... and save them for another day!

I've also done it again for my second block ... only the design got flipped horizontally.  This time my centre piece has the point downward ... and my first inclination is to work it into a heart ... then proceed from there.

I will get a scan of it to share ... but that may have to wait until the morning ... kids & I decded to go out for dinner to the Imperial Buffet ... and just too full right now to go up to the box to which the scanner is attached ... load it on the jump drive & come back down (long story short ... old box upstairs is no longer hooked to the Net ... is turtle slow ... about ready to fully crash ... and only good for a few things ... like scanning ... and I pray it will co-operate every time I turn it on).

So ... think I'll spend a bit of time tonight just letting the new block "speak to me" ... maybe get some mental images of what I want to do & where ... then get to stitching tomorrow.

Last day of freedom ... then it's back to the grind on Sunday.

Later  ... Marie

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finished My 1st Block!


So here it is all finished now.  Added Alton Loop lilies on the bottom right corner, plumed reeds above that, a woven seam topped with a row of garnet hearts, stitched that cloudy lace in place & then carried the clouds across the sky.

The leaves at the bottom centre looked too bare so I went over again & filled it in.  The blueish cast-on row did get beads added & finished with bullions to close.

Throughout the block I stitched an armada of tiny gold butterflies.  They are beautiful creatures of nature ... gentle as a breeze ... and always remind me how awesome nature's creations are.  They bring me a simple joy ... something so welcome on a summer day ... a captured feeling I wanted to share with those who have endured so much. 

Butterflies come back ... life goes on ... healing & rebulding will follow ... all in time.

Hugs ... Marie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

They Were There!

Tsunami ... we who have no possible chance of experiencing this phenomial force of nature in our personal environments will find it hard to fathom the degree of devistation that it can unleash.
If you have the stomach to watch ... the link above will take you to a first-hand account ... and powerful raw footage of the event as it was captured in real time ... these people were there!

It will scare you ... it might even bring you to tears for their plight ... but it will also impact on you the need for our help ... however small it may be ... in light of the seemingly insurmountable task of these people to start rebuilding their lives and their nation.

If you haven't already done so ... I urge you to consider adding your name to the growing list of stitchers who have found it in their hearts to give what they can ... to create a block ... crazy or sane ... to help the initiative started by CQI International ... Hearts & Hands for Sendai ... to create quilts that will ultimately raise funds to help a small portion of those people directly affected.

I've added two links on my sidebar that will take you to blogs where you can find out all you need to know about how to get involved.

I'm nearing completion of my first block ... and now intend on submitting another ... my heart dictates to the need ... and I'm proud that my hands can help ... in some small way ... to make a difference.

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another Quake In Japan

It's like "waitng for the other shoe to fall" ... on the heels of one quake ... there are sure to be aftershocks ... and that seems to have come today.
I had to work until 9 ... but one of my co-workers happened to hear on the news about this second one.  My first question to him was "Where?" ... but all he had heard was Japan.

When I came home ... DH had the TV tuned to Citypulse 24 ... our local station that has all of the latest breaking news ... and my heart saddened when I heard them include Sendai in the report. 

I immediately went to Hideko's blog to see if there was any further news ... but no new info there.

Hoping & praying that all is okay for her & her family.

Added afterward : while searching for more info about this last quake ... found that it was about 40 miles from Sendai ... but also found riveting You Tube video clips of the March 11th devistation.
The Helicopter footage is phenominal!

Reality is overwhelming ... and personally even moreso resolves my desire to help!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sendai Block So Far


So ... in a nutshell here's how the block looks now after the recent aforementioned additions.

I had to add a few more roses on the bottom right side to fill it in more ... I had deliberately left it spare thinking that I was going to add that piece of lace there ... but after playing with it for a while decided ... mmm ... no.  That was not where it belonged ... especially after I put it where it is now.

It kinda reminded me of clouds ... whispy & swirling ... blowing in from the east ... and well that's quite appropriate ... as Hideko's blog is called Winds From the East!

I'm planning on extrapilating on that at the top ... maybe adding more whisps of clouds and some birds to fill the sky.  On that garnet red patch on the right I may add some reeds & plumes which will also bend as if being blown by easterly breezes .

The half wagon wheels on the bottom right corner got ripped out twice ... first the spacing was off .. the next the spacing per section just was not what I wanted ... apparently third time's a charm.

The Cast-on scallop row on the bottom left patch seems to need more ... might be a good place to add some beads.  (Can you believe it?  Not one of them on there so far?!!)

I have a special idea for the small bits of fabric on various patches ... one particular thing I decided would fit on all ... but I'll show that on the final reveal! 

Okay ... so now I think I'm gonna go stitch for a bit!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stitched All Day!

It's been a very productive day ... as I spent most of it stitching.
Had a few other things to do that I managed to squeeze in ... like eating ... but as nothing in the outside world required my attendance & as I had the day off I just stayed in my jammies and stitched away.

I got quite a lot done on my Sendai block ... and will hopefully get some scanning done tomorrow night so I can show you what I've added.

One seam I did last night was in Kreinik gold cable Herringbone to which I added some leaf pairs in YLI Pearl Crown Drab Green & some Colonial Knot florettes in same but in Cranberry.

Today I added a seam with half wagon wheels using Ribbon Floss ... another with Cast-on scallops ... a Feather Stitch vine with bullion leaves Bullion-tip Lazy Daisy flowers ... and covered most of one patch with large green leaves worked in short-end Fly Stitch.

I've also pinned a small piece of lovely lace in place and will anchor that down next.

I think that's pretty much it for today.  Time to get horizontal ... have an early start tomorrow!

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