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.


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!

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