I found two welcome surprises when out walking yesterday:
- The neighborhood sharing bin has ebbed and flowed with assorted items but has never contained many books. But things are changing! A good selection of literature, and non fiction. interestingly the mysteries I had left are gone after sitting there for a while. Definitely a step in the right direction and more genre fiction will be added as I read through my shelf.
- Dollarama finally has sketchbooks in again. These were in stock in the summer and then when I went back for more they were out of stock. But right now there is a good supply in. When I can pay $3 for a sketchbook with 80 sheets of 60-pound paper in the preferred 9 by 12 size, I’m SOOOO there.
I figure this means I can spend more money on other supplies from specialty stores.
What’s YOUR take on this debate about shopping from local stores versus discount places? Are you firmly in one camp or the other, or like me split between the two? I’d love to hear!
Who hasn’t daydreamed about living in a stately home furnished with shabby-chic antiques and the bric a brac collected by their forebears, such as the eighth duke’s collection of golf clubs and the ball gown Lady Amanda wore when dancing with the Ruritanian Ambassador?
No such dwelling would be complete without the haunted Long Gallery with the portraits of long-gone ancestors, showing the family resemblance as to chin, nose — or antenna?
And this portrait of Snarfie and Pie Thagoras has its own secret treasure, to be revealed in the last chapter of the story, saving the family seat from being redeveloped as a bingo hall … stay tuned!
Meet Pie Thagoras and Snarfie!
They are from Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures: Evolutions, Mutations and Other Creations, by John Murphy, published by Lark Crafts.
Young Sprout made most of the design decisions and did some of the cutting and ALL of the stuffing — to the point where I had to do reverse stuffing to sew these critters closed!
Like quilting every project is a learning experience. With Snarfie I learned ladder stitch. He is made from a pair of orange ankle socks, felt, a scrap from an old t-shirt, and a giant blingy bead.
With Pie Thagoras I learned that critters stuffed with rice are heavy and need stronger stitching — he already has an extra blue patch on his derriere covering over the spot where he was sewn closed. He’s made from a pair of crew socks plus a third blue sock for contrast.
YS has learned how to do the stuffing, that sewing takes longer than you think, and hopefully that persistence pays off to complete projects. He has also learned more understanding and respect for the importance of sewing equipment and supplies, which in this household can only be a Good Thing. Also that although the results may not look quite like the book it’s all good.
It’s amazing how these guys have taken on personalities. The book gives them all names and life stories, but ours have lives and minds of their own!
Michael James could be described as the first extreme quilter. This book, which was published in 1998, is in many quilters’ libraries.
It just so happened that when I bought it at a Guild retreat, I also bought a basket of goodies which I discovered included a magnifier. Anxious to see how well it worked I held it over the book cover (not something I would usually do) and was gobsmacked to see that Michael James did not use only solids in his work. In the older pieces especially there are some pretty tame calicoes that today would likely be relegated to baby quilts or quilt backs, as they’re just not that dynamic. For example follow the fourth orange stripe from the bottom left and see what it’s joined to when the colour change happens!
CHALLENGE – what do you think? Is it harder to use colours you don’t like or prints you don’t like?
Drop Everything and Read is a program that encourages everyone to commit to doing just that, for 20 minutes. As a homeschooling extended family we are pretty conscientious about reading at least 20 minutes every day. But it’s certainly easier when there’s a good supply of reading material.
Our library has an even better than free book sale. It goes on all weekend about four times a year.
They cunningly have different price points. Saturday you pay to get in and then have the best pick of all the books. Sunday morning you get in for free and buy the books (think it’s a dollar for pocket books and kids’ books and $2 or $3 for hardbacks and trade paperbacks).
Perhaps the best time to go is Sunday afternoon, when you pay $10 to get in but it’s an all you can eat buffet, so no agonizing. Yup, they ACTUALLY let you take ALL THE BOOKS YOU CARE TO READ!!!
We filled a large suitcase in minutes, and then went on to fill all our tote bags too. Eventually the volunteers started passing out boxes and in the last few minutes one of them walked around urging everyone to “Take more than you want! Please!!” At home I counted about 40 books for my shelf, then got tired of counting. See photo for a clue to why.
It was a great experience to go as a family, as the sale was in an arena so there was plenty of space and no anxieties about losing track of the little ones. Also it was heart-warming to see them finding books for themselves and ones they thought other family members would enjoy. There were even board books for the baby!
Victoria boasts one other epic used book sale every May, the famous Times-Colonist Book Sale, with proceeds going to literacy programs. This is considered better than Christmas by all local bibliophiles.
We’re blessed too by a number of street book boxes, so as I read through my pile I either pass to friends or recycle in the book box in our neighborhood. So far I’ve dropped off two books I realized I’d already read, some fiction and a book telling you how to make liquid soap which totally cured me of wanting to ever try doing it! Interestingly, that was picked up by someone else very quickly.
We still go to the library but the kids are more amenable to taking just a few books out at a time so this has cut the stress of looking for misplaced books on the day they’re due back. Or they will put holds on books by the authors they found through grabbing books at the sale.
For the holiday meeting in December the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild had a mug rug swap.
This is the rug I received fro “Dragon Lady” Laura (it’s the subject of her art not a reference to personality!). Laura doesn’t blog but had enclosed a handwritten note which I thought I’d memorialize here, as a way of easing myself back into blogging without going crazy right off the bat.
Dear fellow Modern Quilt Guild Member
I’ve noticed that the blogs of modern quilters include information about fabric choice and construction considerations. So here goes (in my low tech way 🙂 )
Spool fabric was found on a field trip to the Sunshine Coast. I’m thinking this one was from Carola’s. Right away I knew I wanted to piece improvisationally and add some white to complement the mug. So that I did. Top is quilted with Wonderfil cotton Tutti TU 03, bottom is Aurifil 50 wt 3320.
Hope you enjoy the mug rug with its spools and the heart fabric showing quilting love.
Have an amazing, creative 2015.
Ironically it was Laura who saved my bacon as we were putting our efforts out, because I had completely missed the point that the mugs and rugs were supposed to be wrapped, and Laura came to my rescue with a spare plastic bag.
What was my mug rug like, you ask? Well, erm, I had the best of intentions of taking pix, but with one thing and the other that didn’t happen. However, I took two somewhat stripey fabrics and a triangle ruler which I’ve had for years but never actually used, and put together a hexagon. The mug I chose was white with a real knitted cable knit sweater to keep the contents warm for longer so hopefully the recipient enjoys it!
Finally figured out how to save my masterpieces made in Threadbias and be able to post them!
Here goes nothing!
This has been a huge learning experience and for that I’m grateful. One thing is that on the Quilt Design A Day Facebook page all the images post as squares in the albums so it’s preferable to design them that shape for the best impression. In the stream they show in their full glory though.
Quite pleased with this one, I was aiming for using one shape with variations and to have a sense of weight at the bottom and airiness at the top.
my latest creation on Threadbias
Someday I’ll figure out how to get those “masterpieces” into here in resizable format!
This was inspired by the colours here at Design Seeds. Today I used my box of 64 Crayola crayons although the only way I could approximate the dark blue brown colour was to mix brown and indigo.
I’ve been busy making half square triangles for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild’s first charity project, for which about 1,000 hst’s are needed so have been thinking about different ways of putting them together.
there’s also a set of smaller ones in Michael Miller fabrics on the design wall that I’m playing around with. I thought Young Sprout and Pirate Girl might get into exploring design but for whatever reason that hasn’t happened quite yet. More of an indoor thing and they’re happier outside in summer.
Check out the inspiration photo and palette at design seeds.
I watched Anne Sullivan’s webinar through the Modern Quilt Guild explaining the concept of Quilt Design a Day and took to heart her reassurance that one can participate without necessarily using a computer program to do it. Although that is something I also do plan to look into!
This was done in two stages
- outline the pieces on quad ruled paper
- trace over onto sketchbook paper and colour
Starting a list of ‘missing colours’ to pick up either markers or perhaps watercolour pencils whenever I’m in an art supply store. This palette also has a light cream that I don’t have anything close to, a very low volume colour.
The colouring was done with oil pastels. The blues and gray reproduced well in the scan but the lilac around the gray in the centre portal is disappointing.