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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


What is a volunteer?

  1. a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.
  1. 1.
    freely offer to do something.
    "he volunteered for the job"

I was chatting to my Dad yesterday as he has a meeting today about volunteering. He volunteers at a museum where he helps get the gas driven tractors ready for the upcoming local parades and shows. Yes - the apple didn't fall far from the tree in our family - both my parents volunteer and over the years - they have volunteered a LOT. Not so much when they were actively farming, but once they finished with their "real" jobs, they volunteered.

And not just sitting on a committee, but running the committee. And in many cases, they have done the same job for years.  Yep - the apple didn't far from the tree at my house.

Sometimes I wish I was a psycology (???) student doing a thesis in volunteerism.  And why?  Well it never ceases to amaze me that in a group - there is only a portion of the group who would ever consider volunteering.  And it doesn't matter how big the group is or what the theme of the group is - it is the SAME.  And then of those willing to volunteer, only a fraction are interested in doing anything BIG and only a hand full will want to be the leader!!!!!     I think it is fascinating how that works out.

There are so many questions I would love to know the answers to...........
1. Why do people volunteer?
2. Why do people join a group and assume that they can get the benefit of the group without putting anything back in?
3. Why do some people think they are above certain jobs - like I signed up just to drive the tractor, but I will leave the dirty work of getting the tractor operable to someone else. In other words - I want only the glory, not the behind the scenes work.
4. Why do people think they can abuse the volunteers (this can be other volunteers or the organization that the volunteers are working for - think INTERNS today - many of them are UNPAID!!!!!!!)
5. Can the group dynamics change the behaviour of individuals and their volunteer behavior?

And those are just the few on the top of my head. But do you not agree that this would be a PERFECT thesis. Anyway - I am just curious about all those questions and MANY MANY more. Mostly because I am a volunteer and I think it is important to our community that we volunteer.

Now I know some would same that the jobs I volunteer for are non-essential and they would be right. I don't go out and save lives or fight fires. But I think as a volunteer that you must do something that you like to do or work with people who have the same interests as yourself.

I just know that as our quilt guilds wind down their 2013/2014 year and quilt show committees are getting put together that we are all struggling to get volunteers to fill the exisitng positions.

The 80/20 rule is so much a part of the volunteer community.  How does one change that?   Can it be changed? Well - I could keep asking questions all day. And don't get me started on members of a group who are quite happy to NOT lift a finger at any time - even so much as putting away a chair!

Well - I have a busy busy day (what else is new!!!!!!!!)

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

TAG - you are IT!!!!

It is AMAZING what one can accomplish when one is "chained" to their desk!   Helen Anne was over using the long arm yesterday and while I technically don't need to be here all day, I like to be here in the event something goes awry and then I am able to fix it and get them back on track. Helen Anne is pretty independent and managed to get THREE quilts done yesterday!!!   And me?????   Well my day started out like this..........................

I had borrowed a book from the library, then when I gone home I was certain that I had the book so I was trying to find it. Then FRUSTRATED because my books are EVERYWHERE.  Not necessarily everywhere, but LIKE subjects are NOT together. So if I want a book on applique - I have to search the entire collection in order to find something.

As usual - I started small.......................

Let's just pull the books off the smallest shelf

Oh crud - might as well do the other book case as well

And this is how it looks this morning - OK - not quite that bad - I did manage to get some of them back on the shelf. 

I also got some from the other main book shelf and incorporated them into these shelves and I did a bit of sorting on the big bookcase as well, but it looks the same.  I am tempted to get boxes from the LCBO - sort the magazines by title, put them in boxes and put all the books on the shelves instead of having some of them on the floor.

BUT I MUST start going through the magazines at a FASTER rate than I am.  I started going through The Quilter in January of 2013 and I still haven't gone through them all. I still have about a dozen more issues to go through.  I don't have a problem getting rid of them and not keeping anything, but I do WANT to read them before they go, otherwise what a waste!!!!!    So - I MUST make time in the day to make that happen.

I have to laugh because I can envision my day like this:

9:00 - 9:25 - read quilt magazines
9:26 - 9:59 - read quilt book
10:00 - 10:15 - cut Farmer's Wife blocks
10:16 - 10:30 - cut second Farmer's Wife blocks
10:31 - 11:00 - embroidery

There are only so many hours in a day and well - I can't work on EVERY PROJECT every day!!!!!!!!

The other thing I need to do with my books is put them in an electronic database (sound familiar????)   Checked out the software that I currently have for books that I have read and I can use my phone as a scanner (but must buy the scanner first - $7 - I don't know if the software works with any other scanner) and I must UPGRADE my version of Book Collector.   I have a note into the support team right now waiting an answer. Oh yes - this organizing just NEVER STOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will likely do a fast sort on the remaining books and throw them back on the shelf. At least it is better than it was?  A bit anyway!!!!!

Well of course I got bored with dealing with the books, so I decided I could NOT put off prepping my homework any longer. I am teaching Farm Fresh and Garden Party (Both are by Buggy Barn) at the Hobby Horse.

Farm Fresh

Garden Party

I AM GOING TO MAKE A HUGE EFFORT to stay ahead of the class.  Oh GOD - if only that would happen I would be so happy.   I JUST HAVE TO MAKE THAT COMMITMENT to myself.

And that is what I spent the entire day doing yesterday and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!    But how much space does it take to do applique?????  


My stuff was spread out all over three tables -  Fabric was sitting on one, light box on another, cutting and ironing on another 

My work station

The patterns are HUGE and this makes it cumbersome to trace the designs

Some of the pieces ready to be trimmed down

I ended up with FIVE blocks that are prepped - now don't be getting too excited - they are PREPPED like above. That means, the individual pieces need to be cut out and then I will use the starch method to turn the edges. 

Work station looking a bit cleaner????

One box filled with prepped stuff ready for the next stage!!!!

And the Monday basket all ready to go  with applique

Last Monday I threw all the fabric, freezer paper and patterns into the laundry basket. It was just too overwhelming with limited table space.   So now - I just have to cut out the pieces and then I have my own small press mat - it will be perfect for Monday/Thursday sewing.

And look - the table looks not too bad now!!!!!!!!!!!

Just before Ruti's closed yesterday, I had to scoot over (yet again) to get some more background fabric for Garden Party. Picked up the greens that go in the bottom of each column.   Then I arrived home and OH CRUD - I think I left the booklet with the colour picture at the store??????   If I didn't, I am going to be irked because I can't find it in the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I got one more Farmer's Wife block cut

And another one - that leaves SIXTEEN!!!!!!   I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel

Now I have a dilemna.  I am a pretty decent quilter. I can figure out yardages for pretty much anything - mostly in my head. BUT I have to figure out how much yarn I need for the sashing of those log cabin squares that I am knitting??????   How much yard do I need?????

Remember my squares

Well I bought 5 skeins of this for the sashing. Do you like the colour??????

Now here is my thought on it all:

There are 100 M on the variegated skeins
There are 200 M on the brown skeins

Each block is about the same "area" as three sashing pieces. For the entire afghan, I need 50 "sashings". Each skein of 100 M makes about the equivalent of FOUR sashings, so a skein of 200 M should make about 8 sashings. Therefore - 50 divided by 8 - I need FOUR more skeins of yarn??????   I would rather buy more and make the afghan bigger (which I think I will do since I believe I have MORE than what is required for the original one).

ACK - I need help on this or just throw money at it - buy four more skeins and make it as big as what I can get.  Here is a picture of what I am aiming for. If you want the pattern - check out this free download from Ravelry. Not sure if that link is the exact same pattern, but close enough.

What my log cabin should look like sort of - I used the SAME colour yarn throughout - not different colourways like above

I am happy to report that it is NOT just me that is getting things done these days. The last quilt that Helen Anne threw on the machine was a mystery quilt from the Lady's Circle Patchwork quilts.  Do you want to know when she started it?????    Take a guess - I haven't even been quilting that long.  

Yep - TWENTY YEARS!!!!!!

Awesome job Helen Anne. She (and her quilts) looked like a pro yesterday!!!!

Helen Anne with her twenty year old mystery quilt - and now it is quilted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have got some quilting done myself - here are two quilts that just need to be trimmed and back to the cutomer

Customer quilt - DONE
Another customer quilt - DONE

On the subject of macrame - Susan brought up a GOOD point yesterday. She wants some plant hangers for her window but where does one buy macrame cord?????  

I have this HUGE spindle of cording - got it from M's high school - it was sitting in the automotive department. Anyway - it is huge and I was going to crochet a rug out of it. Won't that be fun on the hands!!!!!!!!   Have to wear a guard on my finger to prevent chaffing!!!!!

Huge spindle of cording
Hey Susan - thought you might be interested - not only did I have plant hangers...............  

See the plant hanger in the window - obviously I took this picture because the dog was watching outside while sitting on the bed - ON MY QUILT no less.   See that clock radio and that lamp????   YEP - still got em!!!!!    Matter of fact - just bought lamps last week in an effort to ditch those old ones. This picture was taken in early 80's. 

Yep - that dog liked to watch out the window, but there is another macrame hanger in the window. And YEP - still got that desk and that chair. 

Now if anyone laughs at the next picture - well - NO laughing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This picture is from an even earlier era - 1979 probably and LOOK - I even had MACRAME HANGERS for my speakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep - look at those speak hangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK - you can STOP laughing now!!!!!!!!   It isn't that funny!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do not seem to have any pictures of the hanger that I made with the big glass shelf. I remember our sterio sat on that thing. It was great for cleaning - nothing sat on the floor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I remember that sweatshirt that I am wearing - my brother brought it back from the NorthWest Territories.

Today is the first day of the FitBit challenge at the gym.  I wanted my tea from Tim's but did NOT want to drive. So I got out my townie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   It was SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Townie all ready to go for a ride!!!!!!!!!!!!

Might as well snap a few photos along the way - OK - so I took a detour to go past the mall!!!!!!!!!!!!   

Some damage to the trees because of the ice storm

This tree just split in half

The pyramid structure is almost gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Parked outside Tim's - that cup holder is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And speaking of FitBit's - I walked the dogs yesterday morning and the only other time I went out was to Ruti's where I was able to park right in front. Despite the fact that I was doing applique all day - I still managed to do 35 flights of stairs and over 10,000 steps!!!!!!!!!!!!!     Just a hyper person I guess!!!!!!!!  

Oh yes - the reason I called this post - TAG.   Helen Anne and I were chatting about tagging photos - she is an avid photographer as well.   I decided I should do some more reading. According to Mike Hagen from the book "Thousands of Photos - Now What?", tagging photos is the LEAST liked job of photography.  He states that EACH photo should have between five to ten tags.   He also states that he can tag about 2,000 images per hour!!!!!!!!!!!    Hmmmmm - so that folder of rogue photos (10,000 rogue photos) would take the expert FIVE hours and I am the amateur. Oh CRUD!!!!!!!!!    I WILL BECOME AN EXPERT just to get this done.

I have  my Lightroom manual and the books from the library out and I am learning. I am going to learn to do that task efficiently even if it KILLS ME!!!!!!!!!!    The beauty of tagging everything is just staggering.  There is nothing like being able to see EXACTLY what you want when you want.  And I WANT THAT.   I also want that for my quilt book collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Watch out - I am on a tear today!!!!!!!!!!!   My goal - get another quilt quilted, 15,000 steps, do something with the books and maybe do some piecing????    Tag - you are IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have an AWESOME DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


Saturday, April 12, 2014

You better sit down for this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was out last night (I'll tell you why in a second) and on my way home, I decided to swing by Indigo which is just by the mall (I know - I can't help myself). Anyway - went into Indigo and OH MY GOD - you are kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Look what I saw on the cover of a magazine...................

Do you see what it says - TRY MACRAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   - Seriously?????

I used do a LOT of macrame. My whole family had plant hangers, wall hangings and we had a hanging glass topped coffee table in my first apartment. I wonder if I can dig up those photos. Hey - if everything was tagged it would be a cinch to find them!!!!

I see the gauntlet has been thrown down as well.  I have a growing number of friends who have a FitBit  (do NOT buy the bracelet one for $99)  and it seems that we are all MILDLY competitive!!!!   Susan lives in my neighbourhood and the other day she needed to drop something off. I told her I could stop by to pick it up, but NO she insisted on coming to my house.  Just so SHE could get the steps on her FitBit!!!!!  

Then I saw her at Ruti's Needlebed yesterday and the first thing she asked me "did I walk there?"  I replied NO and she said she did. Oh crud - now I have to walk to Ruti's to get steps!!!!!

And I see that Mary did almost the same amount of steps as myself last week. Oh boy - I have to step it up a notch.   However I have to say that when I got home from Ruti's, I walked the girls to Mary's, then the library (of course passing the mall along the way) and then to Tim's and back home. Combined with the rest of my day - have a look at how many steps I took..............    (Hey - I just learned how to take a screen shot of my computer screen, throw it into Photoshop!!!!!!   And get a picture for the blog!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway - in case you can read that - it says 20,208 STEPS yesterday.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know - YOU want to see my latest mall pictures.

This was in the afternoon when I walked the dogs

And this was at 9 PM when I went to Indigo - I am not sure if they were still working, but there were lights on!!!!!

One of the ladies in our knitting group (yes I am STILL knitting the same project), but anyway while Nancy is a quilter AND a knitter, she has been painting FOREVER. She invited us all to attend a show that their Art Society was hosting. Hmmm - why not - I was home alone. DH is away on a golfing vacation, M was at a sleepover with Caroline who celebrated her birthday yesterday!   So I hopped in the car and headed down to the Visual Arts Center. I had never been and this was a good excuse to go.

The grounds at the Visual Arts Center are BEAUTIFUL  (I snapped this with my phone about 8:30 PM)

A nice place to just relax and yet it is minutes from my house (smack in the middle of the city)

Anyway - if you are looking for something to do - go and have a look at the art work. Some pretty amazing stuff. I didn't buy anything, but I saw a couple of pieces that I loved and I thought long and hard. I just have something else in the back of my mind that I want MORE than a piece of art, so I will remember the paintings!!!!

Visual Arts Mississauga

And the link to the group hosting the show -   (this link takes you to the info about the show - THIS WEEKEND ONLY)

The Clarkson Society of Artists

Anyway - it was a nice change and I  met a couple of people that I knew!

On that note - I haev a HUGE mess in the studio. Someone is here working on the machine so a perfect opportunity for me to get some of the mess cleaned up??????

Have an AWESOME day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    (don't forget your 10,000 steps!!!!!!!!!!!)


Friday, April 11, 2014

Doing good.....................

OK - so I have overwhelmed even myself!!!   I came home - made a HUGE mess in the studio - trying to get an applique quilt on the go and there is fabric and stuff EVERYWHERE.

Doesn't look too bad in the picture - but trust me - it is a disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However I did manage to get TWO more Farmer's Wife blocks cut - eighteen to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Farmer's Wife block - number one

Farmer's Wife block - number two

I would have to say that I am a BIT oblivious to a lot of things. Like my new rain boots. I have worn them a couple of times - and before I could wear them, I had to cut the elastic that was holding them together. Then yesterday I am out walking and wondering what is flapping around my feet.  OH MY GOD - the BIG price tag is still attached!!!!!!

DUH - I never saw that??????   Seriously?????   I must be totally asleep when I walk the dogs!!!!!!

However I love them. They allow me to splash through the big puddles and not get my feet wet (the forest still has streams and puddles we must cross), they are low enouhg that I can get them off easily and they do not rub on my shins.  Yep - as sad as I was to give the orange ones away, these are better. More practical for me.

 I was trying to clean up some paperwork last night and reading through a local magazine. I found TWO things of interest that I thought I would share with you...................

So you know I have an obsession with the mall. Right?  I can't help it - I had to go to the library yesterday and I took the dogs. Except that we took a different route so that we could see the mall on the way.  I know - totally obsessed!!!! And then we had to scoot home because it looked like a major storm was headed our way. We had a few sprinkles, but nothing major. Anyway - I digress..............

As I was reading this local magazine, there was an article on the mall renovation.........

 Now you probably won't be able to read thise, but there is that BIG ball that they are replacing the tower with. I am just not so sure about that.  But the interesting thing in the article is that the mall is working with Habitat for Humanity and are donating as much of the salvageable building materials that they can.  I think that is VERY responsible of them.  I don't feel so bad about it coming down, but really - where are they going to put those HUGE clock faces???????    Really?  On the side of a house????

I think that is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Way to go Erin Mills Town Center.

The other article I read in the same local magazine (Spirit of the City - September/October 2013) was about The Benefits of Fitness.

Oh boy - this is such a subjective subject (many people don't feel there are benefits to fitness), but the article opens with this statement "It's no secret that regular exercise makes you more energetic, helps you lose weight and leads to restful, satisfying shut-eye at night."   I SO BELIEVE this is true.  And it doesn't not mean that you have to go and run a marathon, NO it means just get active in your day.  I am sure that many people would be shocked at how little they move.  Invest in a FitBit and then evaluate how many steps you take in a day.  When I was at  my parents - I could barely eek out 500 steps in a day (it was bitterly cold out), the house is small and I wasn't doing my daily routine. My normal routine means that I do anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 steps in a day.    How many steps do you do?????    I am very serious - you SHOULD check this out. Most libraries have pedometers that you can borrow.

The article ends this way "Imagine your doctor told you there was a drug-free way to enjoy better overall health and protect yourself against Canada's leading causes of death all while looking younger, sleeping better, having more energy and enjoying stable moods and a sharper mind. You'd think it was  medical miracle. That's the power of regular exercise, and it's never too late to get up, get active and enjoy a better life."

They talk about having higher oxygen levels and how oxygen is deadly to cancer cells, keeping your brain functioning well and much much more, exercise will NOT get rid of depression, but it can reduce levels of anxiety and depression. I mean when you are so focused on breathing - there is NO room to dwell on your issues.

Yes - we all have aches and pains. We all have time constraints, but I could NEVER give up exercise (or high activity levels). I would die!!!!!!!!    So while you don't have to follow me for a bike ride - why not enjoy the nice weather and take a walk. Doesn't have to be miles and miles, but just longer than you would normally. Enjoy the nice weather. Do anything, but MOVE!!!!!!!

On that note - I am out of here. Got loads to do and I have to get myself under control!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, April 10, 2014


Had an awesome embroidery club - AGAIN!!!!!!    Such an amazing group of ladies and the conversations - well they are just the best!!!!!    Thanks everyone for a wonderful morning. One of these days I will show you what I am embroidering. I am making slow progress - what else is new!  but everything takes lots of time and the important thing - I have a plan and I am focused on this particular project. That is all good news!!!!!!!!!!!!     And I am making progress!!!!!!!!!!!

It was such a nice day that I just had to be outside. Did a bit of cleanup in the backyard and then off for a walk.

BUT I did get work done - have a look................

ONE of my plans for 2014 was to try and get those quilts done that are missing backings, bindings and/or borders.  And for some reason I have been ignoring that pile, but I felt like digging one out yesterday. This was sitting on top. Now the TOP was easy - just a GIANT Spiderman panel.  Pretty cool - it is big enough for a single bed!!!!  

Spiderman Top - DONE!!!!!

And cool backing that I already had

BUT - no binding. So of course - I ran over to Ruti's Needlebed and found this amazing fabric.
The binding for Spiderman

And before you knew it - it was sitting in the "TO BE QUILTED" pile

And so one more UFO bites the dust!!!!!!!!!!!   I love it!!!!!!!!!!

Then I got brave and decided to work on the border of that bargello. Well - what do you think?????

Border print Bargello with THREE borders on

When I saw the quilt laid out last night - this made all the fussing worth it!!!!!   Yep - that little internal gratifiacation for a SUPER job is all the satisfaction I need.

Mitered corner number one

Mitered corner number two - NOT BAD for matching the design

And the center join - do you see it????

Here is a better closeup

What I have left to make the last border - there is ENOUGH to work with, just not sure if I will have to piece any of it or not

This is the bonus border that was between the wider border that I used.  It will be good for a sashing of a quilt, an inner border????   Make frames for blocks??????    Lots of options

Is this for ME?????????????   NO Sparky - that quilt is NOT for you

That quilt was BORING - not thick enough. I much prefer my RUG!!!!!   Thanks MOM!!!!!

Might as well deal with the leftover pieces since that part of the quilt is done

I took everything apart and seperated into colours. They are now safely tucked away in their appropriate coloured scrap box

Oh - here is the label from the border print

And look what I found among the fabric - TWO rogue half square triangles. There is a whole bag of these - I am just not sure where I have put it. I keep moving things around and never know where anything is!!!!!   But there is a bag with hundreds of them in it!!!!

And the countdown continues.......................
One more Farmer's Wife block cut

And ANOTHER Farmer's Wife block cut

That leaves TWENTY more to cut!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we were at the retreat, we took a side trip to Huntsville. Someone needed something from Fabricland so we popped in. I saw this "quilt" and it was only $40.  I know - I bought one. I have no idea why, but I guess if you ever want to give up quilting - you can just buy the cheap things!!!!!!!!

Not sure if you can see it, but there is a great narrow quilting pattern on this quilt that would be good for inner border or sashing or frame.  Check it out - follow the lines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   This is the back by the way. 

This is the front!!!   That is why I bought it - I loved the toile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got the pinwheel blocks made for the Guild raffle quilt!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was looking for something this morning and OH MY GOD - WHAT IS THIS????????????????

I found ANOTHER THANGLE project.   GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

Well - I was thinking I was DONE with those Thangles projects. So the question now is should I drop everything and work on this - it was NOWHERE near the 2014 shelf, but I would like to get these Thangles finished. And well as long as I am working on finishing stuff, does it really matter if it came from the 2014 shelf??????

For those people who think the iPad is the ONLY solution for a small portable computing device - LOOK at this.  This is a KOBO (I have forgotten which one).  The cost - between $99 and $149.  And it does everything JUST LIKE AN iPAD.   Why or why do people think the iPad is the only solution?????   The mini iPad costs about THREE times the price of this. Not saying that you have to buy this one, but just DO SOME COMPARISON shopping!!!!!   I WILL NOT pay the additional price to buy an Apple product. Sorry Apple.


While I was out - I stopped at Indigo and saw this book. I just had to buy it - I don't normally buy books, but it is filled with pictures of the ice storm. Beautiful pictures - yes I know it is pictures of a bad situation, but the pictures are spectacular.

Ice Storm book

It is Thursday sewing today!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I won't be doing much sewing - I have to get applique prepared so didn't have to pack up the machine.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!