Monday, October 12, 2009

Butterfly Fling

IMG_2881, originally uploaded by minerscreekmum.

This is a crib size quilt made from a Moda fabric called "Butterfly Fling." It is bright and pretty. Just right to brighten up a crib and keep a little child warm. I was recently notified that all 465 quilts that our group has made have been handed out. The weather is turning colder now so more are needed. It may seem like a lot of work to make quilts for this project. I mean we could go out and buy some blankets for the cost (or less) of the fabric. Not to mention the time. However, years ago when we lived in Egypt there was a nun who worked with the Cairo Garbage city children. She came to the speak at our women's group one time just before Christmas, and to accept our donations for the children. Her "talk" was illuminating. Basically, she conveyed the message that when we give to the poor, the poorest of the poor, we need to give our best. She didn't mince words about NOT giving partially broken toys or hand-me-down clothes with holes in them to her precious children of Garbage City. Hey, if you are an older nun with an eloquence of speech, you get away with some straight talk like that! It was a lesson that hit me significantly back then when I was in my late 20's living the privileged expat life. I truly can't remember what I brought to contribute that day. I think I was Ok, but there were some women who were crying. Anyway, her message stuck with me. When you give to the poor, give the best you can. Well, this is my best . . . for now. I hope it finds its way to someone who needs it. I will wrap it up and send it off. That is the last I will know, but I can imagine for a long, long time that one night a little girl went to bed with a brand new butterfly quilt- and she felt sooo special that night.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On the road again-

It seems I spend a good part of my life traveling to a different location. That happens when you move seven times in the first seven years of marriage, live overseas for 16 years, own two houses in different counties, and now have three grown children spread out over the United States. So, I'm on the road again. This time heading for Washington State to visit son #1, and have a mini vacation with my cousin. I have my faithful pup with me. Today she slept her way across western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. It wore her out. She has gone to bed for the night. She currently has a lovely little snoring rhythm going. I love that sound. Hope she gets her rest because she will have a full day of napping ahead of her tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Please tell me . . .

IMG_2376, originally uploaded by minerscreekmum.

I am currently working on the "string quilt" which is kind of challenging time wise. Each square is paper pieced. That means that you cut a small square of "special" paper to the exact size before you line up the white piece carefully. Then you sew all the little strips from your scrape box on to make a beautiful fourth of a complete diamond. Next you meticulously and carefully remove the paper from the back without undoing any of your seams. Then you press it, hold it up and admire it before making the next of oh, say 48 of these. So . . . please tell me that if you had a little girl, this would be a wonderful gift to be given. Tell me how much fun you think all these pinks, oranges, and turquoise fabrics would be to wrap her up in and show her off. You know, tell me how adorable she would look all sleepy eyed in the crib sitting in the middle of her specially made string quilt. Ok? Thanks. It will be even prettier when quilted.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pretty Strip Quilt

Pretty Strip Quilt, originally uploaded by minerscreekmum.

Just because it is so pink and pretty . . . I had to post a picture. It is draped on the ladder that leads to the sewing loft. The special, magical, no place I'd rather be, sewing loft. Ah, how I love to imagine all the projects that will find their way down from the loft to give to friends, charities, appreciative daughter, or nieces, or more . . . I love this hobby. Can't help myself.

Two dogs on vacation

IMG_2335, originally uploaded by minerscreekmum.

Moose and Tally went for one last swim before we left Colorado. They LOVE to swim in the ponds. I actually, finally . . . broke out my new wide angle lens for this shot. Now I love the lens! More pictures to come.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meet Willard

IMG_2237, originally uploaded by minerscreekmum.

This is Willard. He is a 40-year-old mule, but not just any 40-year-old mule. He has CHARACTER. See those two horses in the background. The reddish one is "Blaze" and Blaze is Willard's best bud. Where Blaze goes, so goes Willard. Don't try to take Blaze out on a ride leaving Willard behind to coast in the sun. No sir. No fence can hold Willard without his best bud. He is coming with Blaze one way or another, through the gate or through the fence. You can decide.

We recently bought this 10 acre property adjacent to our own land. A wrangler friend of ours, Tom, has graciously allowed us to host Willard, Blaze and Lightening on our land. (Looks much better with 2 horses and a mule on the property). They are helping us by grazing off the land. They seem happy to oblige, especially since we throw in a few horse/mule biscuits now and then.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mountain Baby Quilts

IMG_2144, originally uploaded by minerscreekmum.

This one is for the Appalachian project. Just had to hang it on the porch to take the picture.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Sunday post 4th of July

It is Sunday. The dogs are washed. D took them to the auto-dog wash. When I asked him how it went he said, "it took a loonie to wash Moose and a toonie to wash Kathleen." LOL. Sorry Kathleen, dad didn't really take you to the dog wash as you are far away in North Carolina. But the image of it all made me laugh. You know he meant to say Tally, our other girl. Hey it isn't every person who gets to have a labrador named for her. It's special.

I have been cleaning. My least favorite thing to do, next to cooking. My priorities go as follows: Dog walking, sewing, gardening, reading, walking for pleasure, walking to Starbucks, and then more dog walking and sewing. Now I may have to add bike riding to the list since I got a new bike yesterday! That was fun. David and I went to the bike store and I tried all kinds of bikes. I brought the one I liked home with me:)

Summer is flying by in C. The weather is dreamy summer lovely. Beautiful flowers everywhere, people up and down our street sitting on porches, flea market every Sunday one block from our house, farmers markets that make me want to run out and buy 40 acres to grow my own everything . . . in between sewing and dog walking.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sadie's litter

Sadie's litter, originally uploaded by minerscreekmum.

Remember these guys and gals? I love the little puppy dog tails hanging in the back of the bench. No, I did not tie them down to get this picture. I did make some strange noises to keep them still. I can just see Candy thinking of jumping. Moose is looking calm and noble. Just thought I would post this for fun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Must be Crazy

I spend hours "creating" things with beautiful fabrics. When I am not creating I am on Etsy looking at beautiful fabrics. I think I'm crazy. Yup. Crazy. I am not alone though judging by the blogs out there, and the Etsy shops. Sometimes though . . . I think I am losing it, or trying to recapture the days when I would see a lovely little floral fabric and turn it into something for K. She would look like she just stepped out of a storybook . . . little white collars and pretty jumpers. One friend of mine told me she learned how to dress her daughter by checking out what K wore everyday! I even smocked a bubble suit for P when he was a baby- in peach! Those were the days when I would walk Paul to school, run K to preschool, and our Egyptian housekeeper would take Peter for a lazy stroll about Maadi. (Who knew she was taking him to the Kiosk for orange soda and chips at 9 am? I learned that fact when he was about three years old!) Anyway, K had more lacy ankle socks, Laura Ashley blouses, and smocked dresses than she could ever wear. 

Time to walk the dogs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shock and Thaw

Shock part: 
Yes, I am posting two days in a row. This probably means that I am having "human interaction withdrawal" after being with child #3 for a month. It was nice to have a buddy for awhile again. After I posted yesterday I checked 4 times within half an hour to see if there was a comment, like someone was just waiting to send me a message. I don't think so.

Thaw part: 
It is actually a lovely spring day here in the city of the Great White North. The sun is shinning. Green leaves are peaking out on trees and shrubs. It is so easy to walk around the park now that I am not dealing with snow and black ice. Tally doesn't have to walk "carefully" anymore. It is hilarious to see a 55 lb. black lab gently taking baby steps so I don't take a spill on the end of HER leash. Gotta love a dog that will do that. No wonder they use labs for assistance dogs. Oh, and the giant rabbits have turned grey again instead of their winter white. And I do mean GIANT rabbits. 

So that's it. Just had to put some thoughts out on the web this morning.
Have a good day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring has sprung in the sewing loft.

Hello again to my five faithful readers:)

I am going to show you some pictures of what I have been doing. (Need to call K and ask her how to get better photos on my blog.) I feel like running to the store to get hanging baskets and bedding plants galore, but it is too soon here to do that. The neighbors tell us not to consider putting things out to grow and enjoy until after Memorial Day. My solution-  to SEW a flower garden! Wala! I love sewing, and I spend many hours up in my little loft (much like an indoor treehouse) listening to podcasts and sewing away. I lose track of time because I get so involved in my projects. So, look to the right and see some quilt blocks (placed for now on some cream fabric) that will eventually become 10 times more lovely when they are set and quilted, and turned into something special. Really, they look so sweet after they are set and quilted, and become all old fashioned crinkly. Who will get this lovely textile garden to snuggle up in? I have no idea. I sew for the love of it. I am considering selling things on Etsy, but I am not sure. The little blocks are for a doll quilt. Doll quilts are my newest pleasure. They are so sweet, so cute, so little. Sigh. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sewing and such

This is what I have been doing the last couple of days (see pic at right). I'm making curtains for Kathleen's kitchen. I like the orange and green combination that she decided on. I am donating the quilt to the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). A bunch of people who like to sew have decided to send quilts which are being handed out by the CAP. I think the last count was 118 that have been received. For the one you see at the right I just used a bunch of scraps on hand in my sewing room. The pattern is called "stacked coins." It is fun to make because anything goes! And it's fast. I like quilts that are not so fussy that you have to be afraid to use them. People out in blog land got motivated to make quilts for donation after the Diane Sawyer special about poverty in Appalachia. The people with CAP are happy for the help.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Things I learned (or was reminded of ) from my kids:

Warning: Some of it is heavy stuff.

From my youngest son:

Guys really ARE clueless, and doing their very best to understand women:)

The things that people do that hurt us the most, are the most important things to forgive.

When someone takes a risk with their life, we get really mad at them because they forced us to imagine our world without them around. This comes after we are so happy they are still here. Delayed reaction.

It is entirely possible to have a chronic medical condition and remain genuinely cheerful.

A smile is contagious, day after day.

From my oldest son:

When things your spouse does drive you crazy, remember that they also do lots of things you like.

Take life easy and enjoy the small stuff.

No matter how little you have at times, you can still give back.

There are many ways to view anyone, any action, or anything. Be careful not to judge.

There is nothing like a kind heart.

From my daughter:

Pretty girls can be engineers.

It's Ok not to do everything perfectly.

Life is for having a good time.

It's Ok to be a woman and be confident, and very smart.

Go for what you what.


Good food is important.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rambling at the airport

Ok, Ok, so I haven't posted anything in a month or so. Is anyone really going to notice? Well, Peter noticed. I just get sidetracked with other things that (to me) seem more pressing (like reading my quilting magazines, sewing, walking Tally, making any excuse to walk to the coffee shop, ice skating lessons, watching Oprah or Dr. Phil). I do wish I still had Jamilla because the vacuuming, cleaning and laundry won't go away. Half the time I forget about the laundry because the washer and dryer are so far buried in the basement. What can I say? I am still in the honeymoon phase of being back in a first world country, and in denial that I don't have a housekeeper. I have already digressed before even started.

I am currently sitting in an airport on a 3 hour layover. I have watched my 30's rock episode and one of my Tutor episodes, had my Starbucks, and read most of my "O" magazine. I am charging up my computer so I can ration out one more episode of Tutors on the next leg of my journey. So, I will post. (Oh yes, and I tried to call my cousin but couldn't reach her. We are always good for at least a half hour of phone time. Usually more.)

So, the topic begins as "Rambling at the airport." I have no idea how much airport time I have logged in my lifetime so far, but it has to be a bunch. I can tell you I don't miss those layovers that were middle of the night body time. I don't miss filling my suitcase with as much long life food as possible, and the 2 precious heads of lettuce I always tried to squeeze in at the last minute. I don't miss the coolers of meat that we had to disguise by loading inside a big duffle bag. No sir. I get my lettuce these days at Safeway or the local farmer's market. But those days of world travel did have their advantages. We saw a lot of the world, and our kids grew up understanding how different cultures can be. I am really glad the kids got to travel so much in their formative years. Oh yes, back to today . . . I am on my way to a wedding. It is my nephew's wedding. You know, I barely know any of my nephews or nieces, except Sarah Beth. I have two nieces and (let me count) seven nephews on my side of the family. Wow. Since we lived overseas for so many years we just never got together to get to know them. (I will just leave out the family dysfunction and all that . . . you know . . . stuff.) We just didn't get together. I am rather sorry not to know my nieces and nephews better. I am sure it would be fun to have more of a relationship with them, but I am trying to make those amends now every chance I get. So off to the wedding I go! I hope it will be fun. Weddings usually are, eh?

One of these days I am going to write a post about Jamilla,  Cowsar, and Margaret. Stay tuned. Umm. Time to check my downloads.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Something new

I am taking ice skating lessons. Yes, you got it. At 52 fine years of age I am taking on the ice. I had my first lesson on Monday at the Olympic Oval, University of Calgary. It was so much fun! My teacher is a student who is trying to pay his way through school. He is full of energy and encouragement. I welcome a new way to burn up the calories and have some fun learning a new skill at the same time. 

Speaking of winter sports . . . David and I had an amazing day of skiing last Friday. Perfect ski conditions, amazing views of the Canadian Rockies, and good fun speeding down the slopes. Sorry we didn't have good weather for it when the kids were here. K would have worn out her wide angle lens! 

Next lesson at the oval is today:) Curtis, my instructor, says he will have me flying around the ice in no time. Hooray for Curtis and his youthful enthusiasm!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday skiing

Yesterday my husband and I decided to get out for the day and go skiing. This year we have our own equipment and season ski passes. So we got all the gear together, put gas in the car, stopped for coffee and hit the road for the BIG Rockies. As we put on boots, helmets, and all our gear (once we arrived) I was reminded how much gearing up to ski reminds me of wrestling a calf (yes, I have wrestled a calf . . . long ago in the many rodeos my brothers and I were a part of). Then we clomped to the gondola and took the ride up the mountain. COLD. The gondola drops you off at base camp. From there several open four-person lifts branch further up the mountain. COLDER. It was a bit windy yesterday which makes for frozen toes and fingers. Though I have to say that my hands were warmer because of the mittens, with fleece mitten liners, with hand warmers inside. Can't say the same for my toes. Anyway, we skied. After the first couple of runs I felt a little better about it all. I would like to be one of those skiers who blows down the mountain . . . but I am not. I do pretty well. I don't fall and I don't look like a beginner. I am a decent intermediate. Actually, I like skiing with my daughter because we ski at about the same level. (I shall digress here for fun.) But I don't ski with my daughter too often. The last time was when we all went to Switzerland before the older kids were married. Said daughter and I were on a lift which stopped for a few minutes in completely exposed frigid terrain. She turns to me and says "just think mom, we cold be vacationing in the Cayman Islands right now." My sentiments exactly at that point in time! Ever since then we both remember that moment in time. It has come to be a descriptive phrase between the two of us. Code for how cold it is . . . rather like measuring temperatures in Fahrenheit, Celsius, or vacations spots where you would rather be. Makes sense to me. Hey, women understand these things, especially mothers and daughters. We were once on a chartered sailing vacation in the Grenadines when my daughter and I were soooooo seasick. I (regretfully now) turned to her and said "childbirth is worse." Bad move on my part. I didn't scare her enough to keep her from having children but let's just say she will never opt for natural childbirth.  It's alright. I taught her early on that there is a very important phrase for every woman delivering a baby, "epidural, now!" 

That vacation is now referred to between my daughter and I as the "vacation from hell." The vacation when she and I were so desperate to feel clean that when we anchored near an island I went straight to some posh hotel and offered to pay $50 for a shower. The clerk looked at me like I was riffraff and turned my daughter and I away. Heartless soul. Thankfully we haven't had to pull out that measurement to describe anything else . . . not yet. Though my daughter does remind me that the food on that trip was amazing . . . a measure rarely equaled in dining experiences. You know, I'm thinking I could do a whole blog post on these types of measurements. Hmm.

Back to yesterday. We had a pretty good ski day. We kept it fairly short since it was cold. The tired feeling once we were back home and warm was really nice. Today my muscles are sore. Also a good feeling. I used my body in a way that it needs to be used once in a while (rather than just using it to walk to Starbucks). I imagine I will be wrestling the calf again soon.