Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sugar day

Wednesday afternoons are my time to play with sugar with my friend Verdie. We're working on an order for May 11 for a combined Christening and Confirmation. There will be an 8" Jamaican fruitcake with a baby cradle, a 10" lemon cake with a cross and rosary beads, twenty 4" lemon cakes each with a sugar calla lily, a standing card, and several dozen cookies, half of which will be baby-themed cutouts. It's a pretty big order with not a lot that can be made ahead of time. Today we worked on the calla lilies, the baby cradle, the rosary and lettering for the cakes & card.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Busing it.

Because I cannot drive with one arm, today I took the "Flag Bus" to my hairdresser. We are lucky in our condo that the Flag bus actually makes a stop right outside our front door. The schedule is a little thin, about every two hours, but, hey, at $1.75 a ride, it's cheaper than a taxi and better than always asking for rides from friends. The bus just happened to let me off outside a book store that I have never been in before, and as I had about 35 minutes to kill before my hair appointment, I went inside to look. Well.....there was a rack of non-fiction books for 75% off and I came away with French Knot Pictures by Christine Harris, Garden Landscapes in Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Helen Dafter, and Silk Ribbon Machine Embroidery by Nancy Bednar, all for a total of $26. The machine embroidery book has some nice patterns that are easily adaptable to hand embroidery; I don't expect I'll every use my sewing machine for SRE!

Another day out!

A month or so ago I had signed up for a bus trip to the Casino at Niagara Falls. It was a cheap do at $10 each which included the bus trip (400km total) and a buffet lunch. Even though I am still in pain and it's very awkward with just one good arm, I decided to go. My mum (91) and I had a great time, the lunch was delicious, and we made our $20 betting budget last for 5 hours on the nickle and 2-cent slots! At one point I was up $24, but didn't have enough sense to quit!
The bus was very comfortable. In the two hour journey, there and home I was able to get one seam of my summer garden block done.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A good day

Well, I have to say that today I felt that I was on the mend! I spent a great day with my two girls at the Creativ Hands show at the International Centre. I really wasn't sure that I could handle dodging folks who were heading for my poor shoulder, but in the end we went early and it wasn't crowded, and it was nice to get out of the house. I didn't buy a whole lot, a couple of needle threaders, a little jar of shades of pink "Flower Soft" that gets glued on to hand made cards. I did a quick make and take and it turned out quite pretty. I also bought some packages of silk thread in beautiful shaded colours. I have limited use of my fingers on my left hand, and I can manage a little bit of embroidery, but not much. I've had to drop out of the two RR that I signed up for because I would not be able to finish on time and I'm not as neat as I would like to be on someone else's block. But since I have my blocks put together for the under the sea and summer flower garden block, I'll work on them slowly and post photos of my progress soon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shouldering The Pain

I tripped and fell on the lobby floor in my building yesterday amd dislocated and fractured my shoulder. It is my left one and I am right handed, but you need both hands to sew! I also had to finish the cake. What a disaster!!
My daughter brought me home from the hosp, and went home with the un-iced cake, the frosting and the pieces I'd made, and this is the result. Well done Suzie and John!
Wih crazy quilting on my mind right now, I'm glad I had the presence of mind to stop the nurse from pitching my "15 Year Anniversary of Disney World" sweatshirt which they had to cut off my body.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shabby Chic Block

I couldn't stop myself this morning! I just had to cut and pin a new block out of my new fabric. Pink is almost my favourite colour, so this was a real pleasure to put together. I'm very much a newbie at crazy quilting so I don't know all the different procedures in constructing a block. This one I drew out on the back of a 12" x 12" scrapbooking sheet and then cut out the fabric using the paper pattern. It worked really well. Does anyone else use this method? I took a photo to show the block and the paper pattern on my "design wall" (the back of my sofa)! I still have over half pinned but not basted, so it looks a bit wrinkly.

More fabric!

As if I didn't get enough fabric on the Pensylvania trip last month, I had the urge again to shop! You can see from the pile on my bed that I was in the shabby chic mood and found some really pretty pieces. A couple are vintage tablecloths which have a nice damask design. I also bought a piece of sheer curtain with a printed rose design which will look nice as an overlay. Now I just have to find somewhere to put it all!

Cake's progress

It's 1:23am and the cake is in the oven. It's big, 12" x 18" and it took 3 cake mixes. My kids like box cakes (I doctor them up with a bit of this and that). It's so late because I had to pop around to our 24-hour Sobeys grocery store for supplies. In the meantime I've been working on the apartment building and the firemen. I'm not much good at modelling, so for these little guys I used the Wilton people cutouts as a base. I added flames to the building and glued the walls together with royal icing. It should be dry by morning, and safe to move upright.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Five on Saturday

My oldest grandson, Jack, will be 5 on Saturday and, true to form, he requested a fireman cake. Last year he asked for the same and I made him a great cake, trouble is I don't think this year's will be a patch on last years! (It wasn't my design and I would like to give that person credit but I haven't been able to track them down.) Photos below are from last year. Saturday's cake will be a big slab with an apartment building. I'll put some candles inside so it looks like the building's on fire! Sounds good in principal. Here it is under construction.

A mess of threads

My friends at our Seniors craft group were sorting out the embroidery threads today and gave me the leftovers! If I didn't already have all the colours imaginable, I do now!

My Bead Stash

I've done a bit of beading in the past but not to the extent that I am using beads on the CQ blocks. Which means I need lots of beads - all the colours, sizes and shapes, so I am always on the lookout. In Canada, at least Ontario, we have some really good dollar stores, one chain Dollarama sells everything for a $1. I shopped at two dollar stores today and a thrift store and this is what I purchased: Total $10. Red and blue seed, brown barrel, green bugle (all have 60 grams = approx 2ozs.) and pink sequins. Middle row has a mixed bag of metalic maroon glass beads and a bag of uneven shaped shot green glass. The bottom two were from the thrift store a metalic green/blue bead necklace and tiny woodden beaded bracelet and a sea shell necklace. The other two photos are a practice run at fishes for my Under the Sea block. The middle green guy doesn't make it as a fish, I think he will turn out to be a turtle! The silver slitherer will probably end up on some black velvet in the deepest part of the "ocean".

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Trip to Lancaster, Pensylvania

A couple of weeks ago I went with my friend, Anne, and a group of quilters from the Rouge Valley Quilter's Guild on a 5-day shopping spree to Lancaster, PA, Amish country, for fabric and a quilt show. It was a day's drive there and back, so there were three days for shopping! I had a ball!! It was my first trip with the Guild and I didn't know what to expect. Can you imagine 45 fabric-frenzied women being set loose in an amazing fabric warehouse where prices are about one third of Canada's? I didn't have much on my shopping list. I needed a backing, batting and sashing for the hanky quilt and I hoped to find some silks, satins and velvets for my CQ stash. Well, at the first stop I found the stuff for the hanky quilt, and just a couple of pieces of satin as the majority of fabric available is cotton. So back on the bus, driving to the second stop of the morning I decided that I would make a jacket and found glorious Japanese prints. At the third stop I bought fabric for table mats and at the fourth stop I found tucked away in a corner, lots of bolts of satins on sale. It was a really successful trip!

Sugar Flowers

Along with all the sewing, I love cake decorating and actually have a little corner of my living room set aside for this. There is a special sugar paste called "gumpaste" that can be transformed into beautiful sugar flowers. I have a good friend, Verdie, who is my partner in crime, and we spend half a day a week filling orders or just playing around with our gumpaste! This is a sugar moth orchid. Looks almost real!

UFO Resolution

I'm ashamed of my UFO's. that means unfinished objects, or unfinished projects. Really, I cannot count the number I have. Included in the UFOs are living and dining room curtains for my mum's apartment, a handkerchief quilt, an appliqued wildflower quilt, a quilted jacket using Japanese fabrics, place mats, knitting.... I'm also trying to learn needle tatting from a book. trouble with me is that I get interested in something new and am not disciplined enough to complete the project I just set aside. But, I'm going to have a serious try at finished up some of those neglected projects. In fact, I'm giving myself two months for each UFO (that means that I can still work on other things too). April and May will be for the curtains. If I get them finished I can start a new UFO (if I want), or wait until June to begin. Sounds like a plan.

My newest endeavour

I recently joined an online group called Crazy Quilting for Newbies. I had been fooling around with a square just for practice and it seemed like a group that would be very patient with new Quilters and I've found that is true They also have "round robbins" (RR) where one member makes their CQblock and then it gets passed around other members who add a bit of decoration or seam, and it finally comes back to the original member with lots of interesting stuff. Members are all over the world so you might get some very different embroidery or beads or other decorations from what is available to you. I've just joined two RRs one is an Under the Sea block, and the other a Summer Flower Garden. I've also joined a Newbie Baggie Swap where I made up a baggie of a certain amount of fabric pieces, ribbon, lace, embroidery thread etc and sent it to the hostess and in returned I receive a baggie from someone else

A Blog's Beginnings

Oh no!....More technology to learn!
I can't believe that I've done this! I'm not even sure that I know what I am doing, or whether I can actually find enough to talk about that anyone would want to read. But I'm thinking that it is a kind of diary and it would be a nice record of my crafts right from the first stitch.