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Monday, August 3, 2015

It's all about the BIKE!!!!!

While I miss being at the farm (OK - not really) - but I do miss my family, I am very glad to be home and trying to make heads and tails of the mess I left behind.  Like that will ever happen!

Anyway - when I was in North Battleford, I visited the Rivers' Edge Quilt Guild. My aunt belongs to the group and even if she didn't - I have to visit them to see what they are up to!  

It was funny because when I arrived, they were having a break for tea. Perfect.  They quizzed me on what was the big thing in Ontario regarding quilts. I thought for a moment and said BAGS.  Well they were happy to hear that because they were working on bags.  When I glanced at one person had in her hands, I asked - are you doing the Professional Bag????   Oh yes!!!!!!!    So we had a great chat about how to put the bag together - why we love and hate the pattern.  Here are a few of the bags.

The Professional Tote

Gosh - I purchased that pattern years ago and lately - it has become the rage.  I've taught it at The Hobby Horse and will be teaching it again this fall.  If you want to sign up - better do it quick.  Well wait until they get the dates set.

But here are the pictures from the guild.

Small tote

Big tote
 There were others which you will see another time and not everyone was there. I think 11 took the class. This group is very lucky - they have a gorgeous room and they sew THREE days a week. Would love that!  I may actually get ahead!!!!

This next quilt was made by a lady for her daughter who married a fellow from Mexico.  Nice way to tie the colours of the two countries together.

Canada/Mexico quilt
Quilt getting marked for free motion
 The lady who made both of those quilts was pretty funny.  I saw the traditional cable pattern that she had marked on this second quilt. "Are you going to hand quilt?"  Oh no - I will be free motion quilting that.  She just goes - if it is not perfect, she doesn't care and best of all, she is getting better with each quilt.  I love that attitude!!!!

Another bag that someone was putting together

When I was in Saskatoon, I had to visit my favourite bookstore. That is McNally Robinson.  I'm sorry Chapters, but this bookstore is funky, it's big and I just love it. How about this display of children's books.

Children's books about riding a bicycle

And where do you park your bike in Saskatoon????   Next to these funky bike racks.

Bike racks in Saskatoon
 Now my brother and I are alike in one way - we both like bikes. However his cost a bit more than mine do and go faster!

Big brother's Harley Davidson!!!!

On that note - I have a TON of things to get done today and well - where the heck will I start.  The logistics of this row by row things are keeping me busy and I have tons of quilts that need to be done now!

So I'm out of here. Have a great day!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

I'm Home!

Got home late last night and of course I couldn't sleep.  There are so many things on my mind these days. I hate when I can't sleep - makes me cranky the next day!  Not really, but I have loads to do and I hate to lose time should I need a nap.

I had been wanting to get to at least ONE quilt store in Alberta (that makes seven of nine provinces).  My parents are not all that far from the provincial border, but we had to keep putting off our travel date because of family business.  At last, we were able to free up Friday and Dad and I were off early. We drove over 600KM to get to THREE stores.  But it was worth it.

On the way there, we passed through Marsden which is a town where my Dad lived when he was just starting school and we stopped to take a couple of pictures.

At that time, my grandparents ran the telephone office.  My grandmother ran the switchboard while my grandfather did the line work outside. How cool is that!  There are pictures of the switchboard somewhere but it was the kind where you had to call the office and then they would take your line and connect it to another line to complete the call.  How times have changed!

Welcome to Marsden

The house where they lived and also housed the telephone office is long gone, but here is a picture of Dad at the street corner.  That is 1st Avenue and 1st Street. Not hard to remember!!!   So is that 1st Ave. and 1st St. or 1st St and 1st Ave?

Dad on the corner of 1st and 1st

We went to Irma and Vermillion in Alberta.  Both of these stores had license plates and that is what I was after. Didn't hurt that I bought the kit as well.  Then back to Saskatchewan where we stopped at the Maidstone store. I was so focused on the painted bikes along the street that we completely missed the store and had to drive down the street one more time!!!!  No plate at this store, but we stopped for the pattern. Why not?

Quilter's Paradise - Maidstone

When I got to the door, the sign said CLOSED.  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!    But as I was peering at the sign trying to decipher the hours, the door flew open and the owner was inviting me in. It has been pretty quiet on Friday afternoons this summer so she technically closed the shop early, but she was working in the store so let me in.  As I was paying for my purchases (I know - I couldn't just pick up the free pattern), I heard the door jingle and said "oh you have another customer".  When I turned around - it was my Aunt Irene who lives near my parents and is also a big time quilter!!!!   That was pretty funny!!!!

The land in that area is dotted with oil jack pumps smack in the middle of the fields of crop.

Oil jack pump
Oil storage tanks are everywhere
Oil storage tanks
Some farmer's fields have MANY of those storage tanks and oil jack pumps. I would say that they are farming just for fun.  The income from the land to access the tanks and pumps probably gives some of the farmers a pretty nice income.

Saskatchewan countryside

My plane was late in the afternoon yesterday which allowed me to zip down and visit Susan - a friend I met because she had painted a quilt block on a shed in their field.  Check out QUILTSocial to get the whole scoop.
Me and Susan
We had a great visit, exchanged license plates, traded some other goodies, got Joyce's package and had a fabulous lunch!!!!   (Thanks Susan!!!!)    And look at her holly hocks. Keep in mind that it has been very dry in Saskatchewan and these have grown with very little water.   The leaves look dry, but boy those plants are blooming like mad.

Holly hocks

 Then off to the airport to wait for my plane.  WOW - the Saskatoon airport has changed.  It used to be a teeny tiny airport and you had to walk outside to get on the plane.  Over the last couple of years it has been under extensive construction.   The new (and HUGE) security check had opened since I had arrived 10 days prior, and it is beautiful upstairs in the departures lounge.  You would probably think you are in a much larger airport.

Departures lounge at Saskatoon airport
 A brilliant idea - all the benches have electrical outlets and USB ports.  Yeah!!!!   I could charge up my phone.

Electrical outlets and USB ports in the chairs
 They had this board which shows all the Air Traffic coming into and leaving Saskatoon. Never seen that before.
Air Traffic Live!
 It is always a comfort to see your luggage being loaded onto the plane. Especially when there is such precious cargo like license plates and fabric in the bags.

My red bag and green suitcase just about to go in the cargo hold

My girls (including M) were very happy to see me last night and I was very happy to see them.  I love to go away, but I love to come home.

The girls on their walk this morning

Many things to do today and which one will I choose first?????   I think I will edit pictures - I have a couple of blog posts for QUILTSocial that have to be done.  Let me get a tea from Tim's and then I'll tackle that.

By the way - if you are into crochet - check out this call for action.  Mikey and Dan from The Crochet Crowd are creating a Winter Wonderland for the CreativFestival.  Their booth is always fabulously creative and worth the price of admission just to see it!!!!!    I have been following their adventures on the internet and the display this year is going to be spectacular - as usual.     If you make some snowflakes - send me a picture.  I might just dig out some crochet cotton or yarn and see what I can come up with.

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


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Little Free Libraries

It's been a very long (but productive) two weeks.  It's been a great opportunity to solidify ties with family and was very refreshing to see how everyone is working together to make the best of a difficult situation. Who says you can't love your family!

I will be heading home later today - yeah.  Can't wait to get home - I have so much to do and just want to dive in right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember the other day, I posted the link about the Little Free Libraries?  Well I see that there are Little Free Libraries in Toronto.

And I found this very interesting article about the "bad" side of the Little Free Libraries.  There is always someone who gets their undies in a knot about everything and anything.

Two people sent me pictures of Little Free Libraries that they are connected with and I thought I would share them with you.

Barb's SIL

It's his first wood working project and the library is ouside the local school that their children attend.  How how fun is that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karen sent me a picture of the Little Free Library that is on her street.

Little Free Library

I think it is a fabulous idea. If you do a search for Google Images for Little Free Library, it is amazing how creative some of the libraries are.

I thought I would share a couple other things with you this morning.  Here is a link to some photos from Quilts at the Creek 2015 - the recent quilt show at Black Creek Pioneer Village.  What an exciting show. I MUST get that on my calendar for next year and attend in person. I almost made it by taking a class on the Friday.  One small step at a time.   I see in the photos that Sherri Hisey (from Border Creek Station) did a walking tour of the MANY mystery quilts that people completed for the show.  Sherri designed the quilt.

There is a picture of a group of people standing in front of my quilt and Sherri is giving a little chat. Would so love to hear what she had to say!  

Sherri (by the post facing the group) chatting about MY quilt

As crazy as this sounds, you can buy tickets and sign up for classes at the Fall CreativFestival.  The dates are October 15, 16 and 17.   I am not teaching any classes this year. Somehow the deadline came and went and we were just not organized. And I'm OK with that. I did check out the classs schedule and there are some great classes.  Sign up early so you aren't disappointed.  And for those that say "oh this one is in the city and I don't drive".  Last year, I took the GO train and it was a dream to get there.  No parking woes, the GO train takes you right to the Convention Center - no need to walk outside.  Note - it is in the NORTH building this year so for those that say "oh I don't want to go down all those levels" - this one is up top!   Watch those dates - the event is earlier in the month of October, earlier in the week - runs Wednesday to Saturday and is in a different building at the Convention Center.

And last but not least - I leave you with the latest of 50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation.  It has been a riot collecting pictures for this blog series and I'm not done yet.

Guess I better get moving as I have to finish packing. One more aunt to visit to deliver some afghans and then off to see Susan so we can chat our heads off about our Row by Row experiences this summer and best of all - we get to trade stuff.  Can't wait.

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, July 31, 2015

Busy like a bee!

Yep  - what do you get when the apple (ME) doesn't fall far from the tree.  Any opportunity to go for a drive and my Dad and I are there!   We are off on a bit of a row by row adventure today. Going to be a long day - not sleeping worth two cents these days so glad to be doing something!!   We did hit TWO row by row stores yesterday - got patterns, no plates as these stores did not order any.

No time to post pictures - we have a lot in order for the day and no time!

Have a great day!!!!!!!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

A lesson for us all..................

This trip has definitely been an eye opener. Of course in a situation like this, there are many questions and my Dad and I (with assistance from many family members) are plowing through the paperwork and appointments like a hot knife through butter. So far we haven't hit any major road blocks, but what a lot of running around.  The bank needs some paperwork. Does it even exist?  A call to the lawyer. Yes - it does.  But a letter has to be written and then signed by Mom and back to the lawyer and then back to the bank and then back to the bank again for more paperwork.  The good news - we are almost done!!!!!  At least that part of it.

Now we are working with the health care system to try and figure out that aspect.  We are making progress but just have to wait. In the meantime, Mom is in hospital and will stay there until arrangements have been made for a safe place for her to go.  That is a huge relief!!!!

And now we have the issue of the house or rather the contents of the house.   All I can say is and this is to EVERYONE out there - start cleaning out your house NOW!!!!!   If you have finished quilts or other finished items give them to friends and family - donate them or something, but do NOT let them pile up. WE are dealing with fifty years of a mad handi-worker!!!!

I feel like the afghan gift giver.   We went through one closet - or shall I say - we have attempted to get into the closet.  What a mess that was - I had to move boxes and boxes of yarn before I could get to the closet.  We have dug out over THIRTY afghans SO FAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!   And the closet is still very full.  Mom wanted them donated to various family members so we have loaded the car with what we found so far.

Trunk full of afghans
Back seat of the car is also full

There are boxes and boxes of yarn and I mean BOXES.   Boxes and boxes of old sheets, fabric (not quilting) that "friends" of my mom bought at garage sales and gave to her.  ACK - "friends".   I have made a resolution.  I am NOT taking any more scraps for the pet mats. At least until I get what I have under control.  No way do I want my house to look like this.  I have two tubs of yarn and god help me if I buy even one ball more until I make progress on those tubs.    But for the scraps from Monday - we just need a pillow case to put that in - so don't throw that out!  Help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are scads of pillows and rugs that have been crocheted.  We have to start small because I don't have a lot of time left here.  Let's get done what we can and the rest will have to happen later.  Thank goodness for brother, SIL, and aunts who are pitching in with help and advice - both now and offers in the future.   So nice to know that we are not in this alone.

Had to fill the car up with gas last night and we stopped at the new Co-op which is beside my parents new place.
Service!  but at what price?????

Cheap!!!!!    I'll take that
 Stopped off on the way home to get a picture of the buffalo. Quite a big herd!!!!

Anyway - we are off to Saskatoon to gather more information.   We will then be able to make some major decisions so that is good.  Hope to get most of that decided before I head back.  And let's not forget there are TWO quilt stores in Saskatoon that are in Row by Row - no plates, but I'll get the patterns.

On that note - I am out of here.

YOU on the other hand are going to your basement, stuff room or wherever and you are going to get rid of at least FIVE things today!!!!!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Let the flood gates open...................................

No time to explain this morning except that we have a green light to start moving some of the stuff in the house.  Oh boy - I think going white water rafting may be more fun (and I hate white water rafting!!)

Anyway - things are good - we are getting the paperwork done, got more appointments today and must run so we don't miss the doctor.

In the meantime - you can read the latest installment of 50 ways to keep a quilter happy on QUILTSocial.

I am debating whether to post any pictures of the mess in this house.  But I am rethinking my situation at my house!!!!

On that note - have a great day!!!!!!!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Roller derby!

Despite the fact that the vacation started off on a sour note, things are looking up. 

 I'm happy to report that all four quilts are now bound. One is delivered already and there are two labels left to sew on. That will get done this morning.  I've got dates set up to visit the rest of the aunts to get them their quilt and the agenda is chock a block full of activities.  I will be glad to get home to rest. 

Oh and we have to sneak a quick trip to do some row by rowing!  Can't forget the quilting world while I am here. But getting in a lot of visiting with people so that is good. 

In view of what has happened, my timing couldn't have been more timely. Dad and I are running around town, checking paperwork.  Talk to the bank and they need some paperwork. Then to the lawyer and they need some paperwork.  Got lots more discussion with various people and based on their responses, decisions need to be made.  BUT the most important thing is that EVERYONE is on board. My mom knows the severity of her situation, Dad is on board, brothers on board. The only one NOT on board is the health system and we are trying to understand the options. I have a feeling they will NOT be working as fast as we are. 

That is my biggest concern, but I think we may have a temporary solution which we need to check out and then I think everything will be OK for the moment. Boy I can sympathesize with anyone who has gone or is currently going through the elderly parent situation.  It is not fun and I have to say that I am blessed that we are all on the same side. If that wasn't happening - well things would be awful.  I can't imagine that scenario. 

Time is the only thing against me as I am leaving on Saturday so we are hustling our butts this week to try and get everything in place.  Forget the house for the moment - that will have to wait until all this mess is cleared away. 

The other night I got invited to a roller derby scrimmage.  It was an opportunity for the newbies to play with the more experienced people.  My cousin is involved in the local team. Since I have never seen roller derby - I went to check it out. 

The first thing I spot are these signs taped to the floor near the seating. Yikes - that doesn't look good. 

 I had no clue what the rules were or even how they scored the points. But there was a lady behind me who knew much more and was helpful to figure it out.


That's my cousin -  "Chestie LaRue" standing at the penalty box and my aunt (the penalty time keeper ) in the coral shirt!

Chestie - number 28
 Let's just say that these ladies really get into it with the outfits and the makeup. There are a couple of larger ladies who play but they are very swift on their feet. I was very impressed. But I don't think I would want to meet any of them in the dark!

Look at that outfit!!!!


I didn't stay for the second game as they last 2 hours!!!!   But it was fun to watch. 

When I am here, I usually stop at Fabricland.  The Fabricland here is a bit different than the ones back home. This one is a franchise store so they have a bit more flexibity in what they stock. There is a quilt guild in town and no quilt stores close by so they have a good selection of quilt fabric. However I won't be visiting Fabricland this year. Why?????    I think the answer is obvious. 

 A major fire completely destroyed the building next door.  While there was no damage inside the store, I think they are dealing with smoke issues, smell of the smoke.  Anyway - big sign on the door - closed until further notice!!!!   Looks like I saved some money!!!!

I think I mentioned when I was trying to find the plush backing for the fourth girlie John Deere quilt that the store in Regina called it Roughrider green and NOT John Deere green.   Well that was for a reason.  It would appear that half the population here has a Roughrider license plate. Even my brother who has (had) no interest in sports is now a Roughrider fan!!!!  

Roughrider plates

I love to read and came across this article on the internet this morning. I love the idea - I wonder if there are any in Canada. 

And that's it for today.  Yes - wild and wacky!   Oh - in case you are wondering what I will do now that the bindings are done?  Oh yes - I have some applique and embroidery with me so I will keep busy. No worries about that!!!!

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