Thursday, February 13, 2014

Crazy for Quilting!

Yesterday I was talking about projects and I thought I would share another very special project I am soon starting.

I have always loved the look of Crazy Quilting, so when my cousin called one day last summer and asked if I would like a quilt that my Aunt's mother had started years ago, I said yes.

What I received was several pieces of Crazy Quilting, none large enough for an actual quilt, but perfect for smaller projects, such as a wall hanging, pillow, table topper etc.

The largest is made up of 4 Quilt squares done in velvets... and the original quilter has done quite a bit of the embroidery on it that makes Crazy Quilting so special.

I would like to further embellish this one with beads and lace and such and turn it into a wall hanging for our bedroom.

The second piece is smaller, and it looks like it is made from men's ties.  This one has a bit of embroidery done, but not much.  I love the fan in the corner.  This one I think I would complete as a table topper (not to be eaten on, of course)

The third piece is a small scrap of a piece that I think I could perhaps add to with more fancy fabric and turn into a doll quit, or a pillow..

And the fourth piece is pretty much a blank canvas...

I consider myself so blessed to have received these old patches from years gone by - I plan to treasure them for years to come...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Projects Galore!

Since winter doesn't seem to want to leave us alone, and spring and gardening seem so far away still, I decided I needed a project.

In true Dale fashion, somehow I have ended up with quite a few projects.

I haven't cross-stitched in years, and I have several unfinished pieces sitting in totes waiting for some "time" to complete them.  Do I dig those out?  Not on your life!  Instead I buy new canvas and bump up my floss stash and start a brand new piece;  Norman Rockwell's "The Doctor and the Doll".  I bought the pattern quite a few years ago, and sort of stumbled upon it before Christmas.

In the meantime, I decided I should perhaps get to some of those forgot places in my house... perhaps to clean?  

File cabinets, came first - and there are still papers lying about that I really don't know what I should do - if anything.

My craft room closet - now there's a project and a half... I was afraid if I climbed up there, I would never be seen again - but it wasn't overly bad - quite organized actually, and I escaped completely unharmed.

But that little escapade led to yet another project... I unearthed several large boxes of photos.  I have thousands of photos, from every one's lives, including my own - and there they sit in boxes.  So I decided to sort and separate and organize, and while I was doing that I decided it was time so start returning photos to the givers, or their families.  So now I have several large envelopes of photos to get ready to mail away.  I hope the recipient's will be happy to receive them, and not think I am shooing them out of my life - nothing could be further from my mind, but there comes a time when this needs to be done.

Now it's time for a break, I see the sun is shining on my chair - I think I'll grab the canvas and take advantage of the natural light and do some stitching - unless of course the sun lures me to sleep  - which is always quite possible...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Simple Pleasures.

My neighbour's husband passed away last May, and though her transition has been very difficult she has done remarkably well these past few months.  We have always been friends, but since her husband has been gone, we have formed an even closer bond, certainly as neighbours, but also now as close friends.

While I was working full time, I tried to get next door for a visit at least once a week, and I tried to email several times a week, just to remind her that she is not alone.

She has rewarded me by returning the favour ten-fold this past week, and I find my attitude brightening much faster, thanks to her loving care and friendship.

When I went over to tell her my plight last Monday, she asked if I had an hour.  When I said yes, she popped a DVD into her player, turned on the TV and introduced me to a fascinating series produced by the BBC on Tudor Farming.

We both love gardening, and there is much about gardening in this series, but really it is about farming in early England.  This series has captured my interest, entertained my spirit, and fed my mind with knowledge about many things farming that I did not know.

Imagine a morning such as this...

It is cold and the snow is swirling outside against the picture window.
Inside, two women casually dressed, sit in reclining chairs, each with a cat curled sleeping on their lap.  Cups of hot coffee or tea, and fresh baked scones out of the oven are on the table between them.   Add an hour-long (sometimes 2) program devoted to farming, gardening spinning etc ... Simple Pleasures indeed!

Brings to mind a sampler I stitched many years ago...

So very true.

Monday, February 10, 2014

What a Difference A Day Makes - 24 little hours!

What a difference a day makes!  The song tells how 24 little hours can make a difference between grey skies and sunshine, the blues and happiness, no love, and love.... how true those lyrics are!  And for the record, I love Dinah Washington's rendition of this song best of all...

Last Monday was really a day that made a difference in my life.  I got up as usual at 5:30, got ready and walked into work at 7:00 AM,  to find my manager and a professionally dressed man waiting for me outside my office door.  They followed me into my office, closed the door and proceeded to inform me that I was being terminated immediately - my job was being outsourced to another company, and I was to vacate the premises immediately.  I was walked to the main floor entrance where I waited alone for my husband to come and pick me up and take me home.

Sixteen years - gone - in a blink of an eye!

I didn't get the chance to say goodbye to any of my long term co-workers, who have been my friends and family for 16 years; I did not get to collect my personal belongings... I ceased to exist.

Well that was a week ago, and in the week that has passed I have experienced emotions that are very foreign to me.

Anger comes to mind first.  I have never been an angry person - I loathe anger of any kind - there is no place for it in my life - or there wasn't until last week... now it seeps in to everything I do - and I hate it.

Shame.  What have I got to feel shamed about?  Absolutely nothing - but the mere act of being treated like someone who did wrong, has put the notion that perhaps I am not a good person firmly in my mind.

Fear.  Lots and lots of fear.  I am closer to 59 yrs than 58 - where am I going to be able to find another job at my age, that will help me sustain my mortgage, family... my life as it was last Monday?

Sorrow.  When will I be able to tell my friends face to face about my weekend, about my bad haircut experience, about my dog's latest silliness?

I know some of my co-workers will read this, so I am adding the last part for them.

My friends;

Thank you for all you have been to me.  You were the sisters I never had.  You laughed with me, you cried with me, you held my hand and my heart and walked with me when I had breast cancer and when my husband was going blind.  You were my cheering section, when I lost 70 lbs.  You have been my family, and I love you all.   God Bless You All...   Stay safe, be happy, and I hope we meet again...

That's the difference a day makes....

Take it Away, Dinah!