Jan 16, 2011

Quit Your Belly Achin'!

After watching this I am coming out from under my covers and stopping my belly achin'. What an inspiration she is! Watch and enjoy. Makes my "lousy" week a walk in the park, and makes me proud to be part of the sisterhood of quilters.
I'm off to do some handwork. It will be a pleasure to not only feel the fabrics, but see them in all their beauty.

Jan 15, 2011

Have You Ever Had...

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just want to crawl into your bed and pull the covers over your head? That is the kind of week it has been here for me. I should have known. I was getting smug. I was getting things done. I was walking around like a peacock- well, only for a day or two. It all really started on Monday night. Waiting for me that night was an official looking envelope from Citibank. Hummm...don't deal with Citibank. Was going to recycle, but it looked suspiciously like it contained a check. After opening the envelope I did indeed discover a check- a good sized check- made out to Key Bank. Huh?
Well the official letter stated that this check arrived at Citibank on Dec.16th (now remember- Monday is Jan. 10th!!) in error. They are no longer the bank holding my credit card account. I know that, I told my credit union that months ago, but non-the-less, the electronic payment went to the wrong bank. Great! Late fee on my account! Immediately called Key Bank and confirmed that Dec. payment was never received and I went on to explain my tale of woe. Just exactly when was my last posted payment I asked (knowing full well I had made another payment on January 3rd). November 2010! Say what??
Come to find out not only was my December payment misdirected (they worked with me and waived the late fee after bringing in the Citibank check), but January's was missing in action. Another good chunk of change had been sent to an inactive account! Now this payment can't be found and I have spoken to 2 different people at Dell Financial and as of this morning 4 different people at my credit union. Everyone is giving me a different scenario, and as of tonight the ball is back in my court-I have to fax information to Dell tomorrow am. Can I just mention that this still leaves me with out my large chunk of change? I'm not happy, and everyone I spoke to knows it and are trying to be nice. Poppycock!
To sooth my nerves, I decided that I would spend the rest of the day in my sewing room and just do what makes me calm and happy. Turn on my machine, push the set up for my quarter inch stitch and wham! Beeping and yelling from my machine that it can't do that. What?? Turn off machine. Start again. More yelling and beeping. Eject stitch card, reload. Still beeping and yelling, and now my screen is telling me I am going to rip the fabric and break the needle. NO, NO, NO!!! Turn machine off. Try once again with the regular stitch card rather than the quilting card. No go. ##$%^$$^. Yup- that is what I said (just thought I'd spare you your delicate ears) and then I had a total meltdown. So Missy Machine is going to work with me on Tuesday so it can get picked up Thursday (or will that be next week? I'm unsure of the new schedule!) and go to get a look see at the "sick machine clinic". Hopefully fixed?? Did I mention I have lost a big chunk of change from my account this week? I did?? Just checking. I'm looking at a nice bill for repairs I'm sure- the new rate has electronic machines in astonomically high repair territory.
OH, and did I mention that on top of it all I have a nasty, yucky head/throat thing??
Yup- going up to bed, pulling the covers over my head, and will not come out until I'm sure its safe to put my feet on the floor and deal with what life can throw at me.

Jan 12, 2011

The Return of Workspace Wednesday!

It has been what seems a great while since I was productive enough to post a workspace Wednesday post. I want that to change in the new year, and even if it is one block, I intend to get back to "showing off" what is being stitched up this year.
Kelly (whom I seem to mention a lot lately!) had us think about those fermenting projects taking up space in our sewing rooms and beyond. I know I have more than any one's fair share of fermenting masterpieces and decided to "reconnect" with them throughout 2011. Reconnect is my word for the year, and I've already jumped in with both feet- having reconnected with my small monthly friendship group. Some of us quilt, one of us scrapbooks or works on her cross-stitch. Mostly, however, we vent, we laugh, we munch healthy goodies, and vent/laugh some more. Last Sunday was no different other than I didn't have to get the post stitching day "we missed you" emails. It was wonderful, and semi-productive. This past week, I made the conscious decision that I would work on one or two fermenting blocks before allowing myself to pick up my latest endeavor(s). It is working beautifully, and I've found one project that has been sitting in the to-do basket since it's inception last May that I am absolutely crazy about. I find myself working on it every chance I get.

Today, this

is happening outside my sewing room window (as well as all over the east coast), and my son didn't want me to brave the elements or the roads to get across the river. I am home sewing while he and most adorable grandson are having a daddy-son day at home. I hope the sled gets a bit of a workout once the brunt of the storm slows later this afternoon.

So now, without any more built up.....

Ta Dah!!

The first 4 finished blocks of Creme Brulee - a block of the month my partner in crime ran at the shop the past 9 months.

This is actually its second running, and I passed on the first- much to my chagrin when I saw the finished project. I wasn't going to to pass again. I have 2 more sets of wedges ready to prepare on the machine. This is a combination of machine piecing and hand applique, and so far this one is my favorite block:

Sunday when the girls and I got together, I finished the applique on a Jan Patek pattern, Give Thanks, that I had fully intended to be done for Thanksgiving. Oh well....next year it rolls around again, and I will have Mr. Gobble all set to go. I intend to add the inner and outer borders later today and get it all ready to hand quilt. Now where exactly did I put my linen thread?? I think it would be a perfect way to quilt the little guy. I'll have a photo for you next week (such a tease!).

I also finished this since the beginning of January:

These 4" blocks are just part of the blocks I received in a swap with the Quilter's Circle that meets once a month at the shop. I haven't gone to the sewing get-togethers for quite some time, but did make blocks to leave at the shop for swapping. This is one of the groups I want to reconnect with this year. My top of broken dishes will get an applique border similar to Jenna Kimball's Fairmount Fair:

I had enough blocks left over to complete a second little top that I would like to set with sashing strips and cornerstones. That will be next in line to complete.
And with that- my Workspace Wednesday post comes to a close. Time to change a load of laundry and get back to enjoying a snow day!! The real world will return in record speed, and I intend to enjoy every minute of today.

How many of you got an impromptu day off today?? What are you going to be doing??
Whatever it may be- have fun!

Jan 7, 2011

"Word Up"

To start out the new year, Kelly our fearless (Charming Girls and Guys) leader has asked us to chose a word that will guide us through 2011 (and perhaps beyond). I have thought about all the wonderful words out there that might be a good fit for me- especially as many days life continues to spin out of control . "Control"- would that work? I just didn't think that was what I was going for as far as an anchor to keep me grounded this coming year. Many things in life are very hard, if not impossible to "control". In fact the more I thought about it, the word control took on more negative aspects for me than positives. After much thought I have decided that my word for 2011 will be RECONNECT:

• v. [tr.] connect back together: surgeons had to reconnect tendons, nerves, and veins. ∎ [intr.] reestablish a bond of communication or emotion

Now there are days I feel as if the transitive verb fits well- my nerves could use a good reconnection, but what I am looking to do is the intransitive. Over the past year I've let a lot of connections fall by the wayside. I've lost part of the strong connections I've always felt to myself and my family. I've lost the connection with friends that keep me grounded, I've lost the emotional connection with new ventures- and just gave up on many things I've planned or hoped to accomplish. All of that was put on the back burner as time became a commodity. Sadly, I also felt I lost the connection I've always had with my quilting. I found it a chore. It was work, literally, and thus much of the joy of creating was taken away. There was always something to "produce", to think about for the next month, the next season...things that I wasn't 100% connected to but forced myself to complete.
Toward the end of 2010, some of the old happiness was sneaking back into what I was doing. I accomplished a few things that didn't have to be hyped, packaged, sold... it was a feeling of reconnecting with something I love and it felt good. No! It felt GREAT!!
So, this year, I will make a conscious effort to do more reconnecting with myself- stop hiding feelings and emotions I should acknowledge. I will make a more conscious effort to reconnect to family. It is not that I've turned away from family, mind you, but many days I have gone through the motions rather than feel a part of the family picture. I will reconnect with those special girls (you know who you are!) who keep me grounded, and not find excuses as to why I can't spend time with them at least once a month sewing, laughing, sharing secrets and stories and opinions. I need to reconnect with several long time friends who I know are just as crazed and as busy as I am. If I just sit around waiting for them to connect with me, that is more time wasted waiting. I have to make the move instead of making excuses.
I would like to reconnect with several groups I've let fall by the wayside and remind myself that I CAN spend the time to contribute once again without guilt. I'd like to reconnect with all of you who may be reading this blog by posting more! Most of all, on those days when all I want to do is let out a primal scream, I think I might just do that- it could be a good way to reconnect my nerves to the rest of my body...and then move on!
As far as definitions go, my word might be a stretch, but RECONNECT surely seems like the word that fits, and will bring more of the Good Things back into my daily life.
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