Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ahh Moments

Do you know what I mean when I say "Ahh Moments"?  It is when out of the blue something nice happens and you can't do anything but just say "ahh...".  I had that happen to me a couple times yesterday which makes it a very good day.
First of all, on my blog travels yesterday I was surprised to see my photo on my friend Cathy's blog, Crazy by Design.
Cathy  Kizerian (rhymes with Hungarian) is a good friend and we have been the moderators together, along with Leslie and Hideko, of Crazy Quilting International for a good while now.  Cathy is a very talented lady with a wonderful blog and also a whole lot of fun.  Here she is modeling one of the kimonos that Hideko brought for us from Japan to the last CQI retreat.  It was a lovely surprise and a real ahh moment to read what Cathy said about me on her blog yesterday when she was writing about new year resolutions.

At my workshops, I let my students take home any fabric they may need to finish what they are working on.  After all, I don't have any shortage of stash!  lol  I am always pleasantly surprised when they come to me later to return whatever bits of fabric are leftover and it was one of these packages I was taking out of my bag yesterday when I discovered this note inside.  I thought it was just so sweet that Sue took the time to write me a note telling me she enjoyed the class and to include the gift of some vintage sequins.  Another ahh moment!

It is little moments like this that make life so pleasant sometimes and I wonder if perhaps we should all be making an effort to create ahh moments in the lives of those we come in contact with more often.  I can see another new year goal being added to my list here...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bountiful Beginnings Novice Round Robin - Misty's Block

This was an unusual round robin in that I ended up acting as round robin angel for two different stitchers in it so this is the second time I have worked on this block.  The first time I had it I worked down the right hand side:  the black lace motif, the three dimensional butterfly, the button cluster and the parasol filled with silk ribbon flowers.  When the block came back to me again, it was mostly full so I just filled in where I found a space here and there.  I added the dyed and glittered lace bird at the bottom middle and the cretan stitch seam meandering up to the left of it.  In the top left hand corner I added a piece of Nicki Lee's beautiful hand dyed lace with little pearls and down below a bit one of Gerry's gorgeous hand painted buttons.  Other than that it was just filling in the blanks.

Goals for the New Year!

Well, I am not going to rehash last year's goals again.  I made 8 stitching goals for last year and I met some of them, exceeded some, and fell short on others.  So, some of these will look familiar because they will be the same from last year or revisions of the same theme.  I am sharing them again here in print because it helps to keep me honest with myself! lol  Also, I see a few blogs are doing this for 2011 so I am right in fashion this year!

Without further ado, here they are:

1. This year I am going to continue with teaching crazy quilting that I started last year.  I will make as many opportunities for myself as I can to do this.  I am also going to build a workshop or class around a specific project that I'll design and submit an application to teach it wherever the opportunity presents itself.  More of the same as last year - just stretching further with it.

2. I will try to go ahead with the "Homemade Christmas" plan that fell by the wayside last year.  I have already told my family that I intend to be on a cruise ship somewhere during the holidays next year (that part might not happen! lol) and that I will be making all the presents I give.  If you made two gifts each month, you would have 24 gifts ready next Christmas. Not just that you have made something from the heart, but avoiding a good part of the annual Christmas panic! I am resolving to do this and will post photos of them as I get them done.  None of my family reads my blog so no worries there.

3. This year I will make, or at least make a good start on, an actual crazy quilt - not just single blocks. 

4.  I will finish my crazy quilt Christmas tree skirt in progress in time to enter it in the Calgary Stampede Creative Living competition next summer.

5. This year I will enter at least four competitions with my stitching - that`s one every four months so it sounds not too intimidating!  I only got halfway this last year on this resolution so I'm going to try again.

6. This year I will write about crazy quilting and stitching and submit it for publication somewhere. Let`s see.... twice! So at least two separate things will be submitted for publication.... somewhere. Their being accepted and published is not part of this goal but would be a great addition!

7. I will create and give at least one item a month to charity - this will be my service project for the year. I will post pictures to keep myself honest.  Some of the groups I would like to do some work for are the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) continuing with the pledge I have made to them, Grandmothers for Grandmothers (the purse auction), Aids Angels, The Toy Society, and CQI's Making Memories project for Breast Cancer. In addition I'll be doing small things on a local basis like baby quilts and baby sets for the hospital gift shop (profits go to the Ladies Hospital Auxiliary) and knit caps for the newborns at the same hospital as well as placemats for Meals on Wheels. There are actually a lot of things you can do locally if you look around. Even the local library is in need of book bags for the local literacy program.

8. I have decided, because I am a terrible procrastinator, that I will stitch a minimum of 15 minutes per day. Once I start I am likely to carry on longer, but starting is the difficult part for me.  This was the best goal I set for myself last year - I highly recommend it!  Doing that 15 minutes a day keeps the creative blocks at bay and really increases my output.  I just can't say enough good things about the 15 minutes a day.  It has even extended to other areas of my life - 15 minutes of housework at a time, 15 minutes of organizing, or sorting, or computer work...  They all add up!

9. I will organize and clean out my sewing room so that I can actually work there! And find things! I'll work on this one hour a day (minimum) until it is accomplished.  I have added the library room adjacent to my sewing room to my work space as an annex so it should be easier to find places for everything.

10.  I am going to put the time and energy necessary into Leslie's and my Etsy shop and get it going. 
It is a new area for me and that is always a bit scary but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

11.  The best advice I ever received about UFOs (UnFinished Objects),was from a quilting teacher, Anne Severson:  that perhaps the reason you haven't finished something was because you had already learned what it had to teach you and have grown past it.  So, bearing this in mind, I will deal with at least one UFO a month - either get rid of it if it no longer holds my interest or to put it back into my stitching schedule if it is still a part of my stitching journey.  I might even finish a few in the progress!

Well, that should keep me busy and on my toes for the year!  So, has anyone else sat down and thought about what they would like to accomplish this year in the way of goals related to their stitching?  I would love to hear them!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas - Nativity Display

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and sharing some pictures I took at the Nativity Display in High River this year...