Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween all! We didn't have many Trick-or-Treaters, just 15 (not counting Heidi and Chloe! lol)

Chloe had made plans to go out with friends on her own, but they fell through and so Heidi took her out. The neighborhood was very quiet, but we met a few more neighbors and saw little Izze from across the street, who was dressed up as a ballet cheerleader. lol

Chloe carved pumpkins with her friends yesterday and she did a fantastic job as you can see here. The girls decorated the front of the house with Steve (the big dummy) and Tim (the little one).

Chloe is dressed as an exclamation point- it was Holly's idea.

Tomorrow is November... yikes! Rich and I are heading to Grand Junction to see Becca and I have heard the west of Colorado is simply lovely- I will be armed with my camera for sure!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Works in progress...

Yesterday I finally went to a quilt class here in town. The store is called Fabric Expressions and has a lot of really nice people there. I have been there a few times- they don't have a huge selection of notions, but their fabric selection is great and so is their book selection. Plus they are friendly and helpful, so I like it. It isn't Taylor's- but it is the closest I can get here.

The class I took was a wall hanging called "Let it Snow" from the Whimsicals book, Cabin Fever. I learned how to use/cut border fabric and I got the top put together in class. When I got home, I did the applique and embellishing- mine is a little different from the book. Now all I have to do is quilt it and get the binding on. And I have the perfect place to hang this one- over the fireplace! We haven't been able to decide what to hang there yet, and I thought yesterday that a pocket rod would do just fine- then I can change the quilts according to the season- or my whim! lol

I also have two blocks almost done for Nellie's BOM, Be Attitudes by Nancy Halvorsen. I am doing the BOM along with my friends in Brockville! I just have to do the embellishing today and quilt them. I will be making these as a series of wall hangings instead of a quilt.

We are driving to Grand Junction this weekend and so I am hoping to have the binding ready on all three projects so that I can do the hand work in the car. 

Here are the tops so far, I will post photos when I have them finished.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Quilt studio

Since the kids have been back in school, I have been trying madly to get things organized so that I could work on setting up my quilt studio, and I have finally done it. These three photos show the room from enough angles that you can see how I did it. I love it! It has a lot of stuff in it, but there is still plenty of space to move around and I can do all of the steps that quilt-making requires in its proper space.

I really had to do some planning when it came to buying a sewing table- with limited space to work with, it needed to be small but effective. I debated about buying a sewing machine table and cutting table combination, but not only are they really expensive, but their size means you have limited options when it comes to arranging the room.

I settled on a small table where my machine could sit recessed, and a cutting table that is 36" x 60" when folded out to it's full size, and a mere 36" x 16" or so when the sides are folded down. It is also on wheels which is great when I am pinning, and the wheels lock when I don't want it to move. Rich had a number of cupboards that I could put to use to store fabrics, quilt books and patterns, and my scrapbooking stuff, as there is no closet in the room- just a door to the hallway and a door to the main floor bathroom.

Besides the two doors, the room also has two windows, an east facing and a north facing one. This means I get the lovely morning sun. It also means that three walls are virtually useless as far as a design wall is concerned. 

When we first put things in there, everything fit, but it was congested and confining to be in there. So I got a book out of the library on how to set up a quilt studio and read it.  As suggested, I cut out all of my furniture to scale from paper and drew the room measurements on graph paper.  

The book suggested having your sewing machine, your cutting table, and your ironing board in a triangle so that was my first challenge. My second challenge was finding a way to fit all of the furniture around that triangle. The third challenge was to see if I could free up some of the only solid wall in the room for a design wall.

So I kept moving things around on the paper and I figured out a way to meet all three challenges! YAY!! I have a small light on my sewing table and another small lamp that shines down on my cutting table when I need it, and there is a light on the ceiling- no matter the time of day, I can see what I am doing.

The end result is a happy quilter and a happy room to quilt in!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Congratulations to Donna and Paul Taylor, and the fabulous Quiltathon Committee who pulled off a spectacular event and raised a TON of money!

This past weekend was the 30 Hour Quilt marathon at Taylor Sewing Centre, in Brockville, Ontario, Canada. "The Quilt" is sponsored by Northcott Fabrics in Canada, and every year, quiltathons are held in quilt shops across Canada to raise money for Breast Cancer Survivorship. This program supports the patient and the family in many ways and is a very worthy cause. 

Unfortunately, all of us have been touched in some way by this terrible disease and we are all eager to help such a great program.

Donna told me they had eight teams of incredible quilters, all hand quilting on a quilt top that was assembled from blocks donated to Northcott for just this reason. The quilt top was put together and borders added at Taylor Sewing Center back in the early spring, and was machine basted by Christine Baker. The completed quilt will either be donated to a Breast Cancer survivor or to a group that will use it to auction off and raise money for cancer research or support. I am not sure where this quilt is bound yet!

The Quilters and store staff raised $10,000 in pledges!!! Way to go, Brockville and Area quilters! You rock!

And running simultaneously was a Silent Auction and Bake Sale which raised another $2,500! All proceeds from those went to the Brockville Palliative Care- which again, too many of us have had personal experience with, myself included on three separate occasions. The Palliative Care service in Brockville is excellent.

I really missed being a part of the fun! I miss working at the store and seeing all of my friends and fellow quilters.

What I couldn't miss was taking some time to say Congratulations and Job Well Done! to everyone who donated their time, efforts, silent auction items and bake sale items to help this event go as well as it did. You are all FABULOUS!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Circus!

With all of the excitement of the kids' visit last week, I didn't get to blog a very exciting outing we had- to the circus!!!

Last Wednesday night Rich, Chloe, and I went into Denver to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey "Over The Top" circus and what a show! Heidi chose not to go, but she didn't know how much she was missing.

Chloe and I had never been to the circus and I don't think I will ever forget it. We got ringside seats and we were invited to participate by riding in a float toward the end of the first half of the show. How awesome was that?! 

There were clowns, daredevils, acrobats, trapeze artists, contortionists, and jugglers just to name a few. Of course these titles don't give any indication of how incredible their talent is- nor how awe-inspiring their acts made the show. There were dogs that were so fast and could catch anything, there were huge tigers, there were horses, goats, elephants, and even a porcupine! lol

Here is just a sampling in photos. In the first photo, one of the trapeze artists is hanging by her HEELS. In the second, the inner tube type things were cool- they would bounce in them and then flip right over! The third shows the elephants which I have always liked.

I took lots of photos of course... lol This is just a taste! If you want to see the whole folder, I have posted it on my Webshots page. Many of them are blurry due to the lack of light and all of the movement! But you will get the idea of how cool it was. If you want to see a short video, here is a link- if you aren't on the "Over the Top" page, then at the top left, you will see a button that says "Explore the Shows"- we saw the first one, the blue show. 

There are three shows owned by Ringling Bros. so we will see a different one next year.  And make no mistake- we ARE going again next year! I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Heidi's friends save the day!

As you likely noticed, I had trouble publishing yesterday's post... something with an internet upgrade. ARGGGGHHH!!!!

Anyway, I mentioned that the girls went with me to the airport yesterday to see Holly and Ben off. It was upsetting and hard to say good bye and the girls were feeling understandably down.

But didn't Heidi's friends save her day! Three of her marching band friends, Whitnee, Nate, and Monica, had been planning for this occasion, knowing not only that it was Canadian Thanksgiving, but that Heidi would likely have a hard day of it, having to say good bye to Holly and Ben.

When Heidi got to school, she was given a t-shirt to wear that matched the other three; on the front it has a Canadian flag drawn on with dimensional paint, and on the back it says: It's all ABOOT Thanksgiving, EH!!! Some of the paint is glow-in-the-dark apparently. lol All four kids wore the shirts yesterday, and again after they competed last night in the qualifiers (for State semis and finals).

Not only did they do the t-shirts, but Whitnee baked Heidi a cake and they took Heidi out for ice cream after school to celebrate- and to cheer her up. Heidi was so thrilled with it all.

I am thrilled that she has made such good friends here.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian family and friends! I hope you all had a wonderful time with loved ones. We sure did.

Holly and Ben flew in on Friday to celebrate the holiday with us and to check out our new surroundings. They weren't overly impressed with air pressure at 30,000 feet, but had a good flight experience overall; flights being on time, good visibility, etc. They liked our neighborhood and kept saying they couldn't believe that they were more than 2,000 miles from home! lol

We had a very busy weekend with band stuff; a football game on Friday night and a competition on Saturday in Longmont. The weather was pretty miserable all weekend, rainy and overcast- something we have rarely seen here. Rich blames the Canadians. He says, coincidence??? Ha, ha, ha. As a result of the bad weather, Heidi's competition was cut short which meant she got home much earlier than expected and she had the evening to chill with her siblings. Their band came in third place.

The rest of us decided not to hang out at the competition for long and we headed over to Boulder. Ben had asked if we could try and get a photograph of the Mork & Mindy house- so we had looked up the address and over we went! lol

We did some shopping at the Pearl Street Mall (a pedestrian mall) and had lunch in this nice little Italian place that has a wood-fired oven to cook their pizzas in. It was delicious!

Sunday we had our big turkey dinner and everything went well. Zach came home to celebrate with us and to meet Holly and Ben. We all enjoyed dinner together and I am relieved!

This morning, the girls came with me to bring Holly and Ben to the airport. Lots of tears and hugs later, they were on their way. It's Columbus Day here today- but apparently it is a minor holiday, as most things are still open and running as usual. It's weird to know it is a full-blown holiday in Canada...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Homecoming Dance & Weekend activities

Here is a photo of Heidi and her friends going to dinner before the Homecoming Dance.

I have to say, our first experience with Homecoming was pretty great. The game was fun to attend and Heidi loved all of the activities throughout the week, ending with the dance. Being on TV was kind of cool too... lol

Yesterday we went to a corn maze and what a challenge that was! I had a lot of fun taking "artistic" photos as well as regular ones, and afterward we went for a drive up to the foothills to see the trees changing.

If you have ever driven on mountain roads, you already know there really isn't anywhere to stop, so most of my drive photos were taken from the car as we were moving. Considering that, I am happy with the photos, but they really don't show the colours the way I saw them- vibrant and breathtaking. 

It's the most amazing thing to see the bright gold aspens in amongst the evergreens- on the mountains it looks like fluorescent lights in the middle of the dark trees. 

I thought coming here that I wouldn't see the lovely fall colours that I am used to in Ontario, but I was wrong. Many of the trees and shrubs change here, and as you can see on the mountain, there are lots of colours to see here too. YAY!!! 

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Well, we are just coming to the close of our first ever Homecoming- it is really something, that is for sure!

The high school had a whole week of spirit-building activities and pep rallies, and yesterday morning, the local Fox news was at the school to film little segments of some of the groups. The marching band was one of them! Not that you can see much, but if you are interested, you can go to this link:
Click on the Good Day red tab, and from there there is a little photo under the main photo that says "Friday HS Pride- Columbine Rebels".  That will pull up a small article with a side bar that has five small photos- click on the fourth photo down to see the marching band- it is a short video. You can see Heidi in it two or three times- she is in the front row with a flute and has a bright green bandana across her forehead. They didn't show much of the band, but it was pretty cool to see her on live TV yesterday just the same!
Last night was the Homecoming football game (which we won 34-14) and Rich, Chloe, and I worked in the pit. The band played the National Anthem, then they played various little ditties throughout the first half from the stands. At halftime, they played just the third song from their show, so I had to snap photos QUICK! lol
Tonight is the Homecoming Dance and Heidi is going with a group of her friends- more on that tomorrow!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Outdoor Lab girl!

I am back- I just remembered that I forgot to take the photos of Chloe from the other day off of the cameras.

Chloe left for Outdoor Lab Monday morning and she was SOOOOO excited! (Well, you can see that in the photos).

They spend the whole school week up there, studying the stars and all kinds of outdoor stuff, staying in cabins with their friends, and doing team building stuff. The teachers have really been hyping it up and you could feel the excitement and anticipation while we all waited for the buses to arrive.

They are due back tomorrow afternoon and I imagine the house will be filled with chatter non-stop all weekend. What a change that will be, the house has been so quiet this week. I didn't think I would miss hearing Chloe's stories as much as I do. Just goes to show you, eh? lol

Playing with the camera

I have to say, playing with a good lens is great fun! 

I went outside to take some scenery photos in our neighborhood and discovered that I need a LOT of practice before I am any good at this! lol

I do enjoy taking and looking at photographs though and I am sure that I will love every moment of the learning process.

I will be taking more garden photos as I progress there- I am trying to do a little landscaping and some final fall planting- before it is time to plant tulips!

Thanks to a tip from my neighbor, I have found the perfect garden store nearby. They have the biggest selection of tulip bulbs I have ever had the pleasure to come across. Of course, the problem will be narrowing it down to just a few...

Template by