Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Been looking for this ......

First saw this on CBC Stars on Ice and have been looking for an official video of this piece. This totally clean version of Radiohead's "Creep"... magically skated by 4 great Canadian women skaters.

The Music: Scala & Kolacny Brothers is a Belgian women's choir, conducted by Stijn Kolacny and arranged and accompanied by Steven Kolacny on the piano.

I'd love to see this live..."Stars on Ice" is in Toronto ~ May 8, Air Canada Center.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What I know today

Today, Monday, March 2nd., 2015 is the 50th. anniversary of the world premiere in New York City of "The Sound of Music", starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Tuned in to the last half yesterday but may have to pay homage again today. Best ever.

Having had a few wakeful nights of late I decided to read "Dear Jane" The two hundred twenty-five patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt, by Brenda Manges Papadakis. If this doesn't induce sleep through abject fear, I'm not sure what will.

The most important lesson learned was the cutting out of the template pieces. After having traced the design onto the fabric, it is instrumental that you cut away the line on which you drew the pattern. The thickness of the pencil mark can affect the accuracy of the size. This came up when I was tracing around the felt ornaments I am currently working on. Cutting inside the line...makes sense! Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have made some crazy decision to try this based on my dear daughter Jane's name. I'm over that now.

Wendesday is World Read Aloud Day.

Regarding Date Squares...Parnoosh are the best dates for baking with. The Medjool dates may be more exotic and better for eating, but for cooking, nothing beats the Parnoosh. Cheaper too.

You can try and fool yourself. Buy some spring flowers and pretend. P.S. Daylight savings time is this weekend and spring is officially here on March 20th.

As for Saturday, it's National Cereal Day.

If you are verklempt because Downton Abbey is over for the season, you have these to look forward to.


March 29

Call the Midwife, March 30

Wolf Hall, Sunday, April 5

Poldark, June? 2015

And that folks is all I know for today!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A little late but hey it's cold outside!

With these days of relentless cold and wind and snow and .....----cold... It seemed like a good time to pick up something I've been meaning to do for a long time. (Read: didn't get this done for Christmas). This is the first piece in the kit, and now I will attempt the cup of hot cocoa. It's a lot warmer making these than actually donning the skates and going out there all bundled up. This is a kit ordered from "Posie Gets Cozy"...aka the amazing Alicia Paulson. If you like a little bit of handwork, this might be just right for you. Check out the site anyway, there are lots of darling little kits to choose from. I love blanket stitch :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Two for Two in awards shows

Don't care what you say. I loved it all. Loved the fashions, no matter what, loved the production, loved the crowd and particularly loved the selection of awards. I was so pleased that "Birdman" came out on top and as well "Budapest Hotel's" great accolades. All in all a splendid night. This may change the tone and rolling eyes when I pronounce that I LOVE Lady Gaga. She's so talented and smart and I can't think of a better rendition to celebrate 50 YEARS of sound of music. Well done all.

In the very slight chance that you missed it last she is, in all her glory. Bravo Oscars 2015!

Photo Credits: All web and Vanity Fair

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cleaning up

I am valiantly trying to tidy/clear/clean up my studio/Gordon's old room/4th. bedroom. It all started because I was trying to find a file folder of paper dolls that I had saved from Mary Engelbreit's magazines ~ a lifetime ago. One thing led to another and I'm in the thick of it now. Fortunately, the sub-arctic weather here is conducive to indoor activities, so I'm not missing anything other than frozen nostrils out-of-doors.

Did you ever hear this totally appropriate and totally silly poem?

"Little Willie from his mirror
Licked the mercury right off
Thinking in his childish error
It would cure the whooping cough.

At the funeral his mother
Smartly said to Mrs. Brown;
"T'was a chilly day for Willie
When the mercury went down!""

Anonymous....{As if anyone is going to own up to this ditty :)}

As you can tell by now, I am on a work avoidance program at the moment. These are a few other things I found, and by putting them here, I can keep tabs on where they might turn up. It's good to clear up, it's quite another to remember where everything was put! From an ancient Martha Stewart Good Things Made Even Better. I may have to suss out a few of these jars, but I have unearthed a plethora of mason jars in my travails of late.

I am definitely going to do this collection this Easter. Whilst I was in the Valentine's aisle the other day, I turned around and there were the Easter bunnies popping their heads up in eager anticipation of their festival. It will take me from now until the beginning of April to cobble all of this together, so I will start now.

In a similar vein, I will also be doing this. Another of Martha's organizing tips. Say what you will, these are cool.

Hope you are all safe and warm inside on this Family Day (in Canada) and President's Day (USA). I know, I'll make Nanaimo Bars right now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Another one

You knew I would have to do this. Another pick from The Grammys. The ads for the Disney movie McFarland have started to air here now. Looks like a movie I will like. Kevin Costner. Love this song and I just know you will be moving your hips to this one.

....Let's do it "Together" ~ Juntos

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In case you missed it

I really loved the Grammys this year. Some are saying they were too slow and old....calling them "the Grannies"....that's probably why I liked them. Indeed. I loved the pairings young and "experienced", and really wish I could find an official video of this Ed Sheeran song that was performed with Herbie Hancock, John Mayer and Questlove, they are prohibited at the moment. The one I have copied here is the official Ed Sheeran video.

Reviewing it, I realized that this could indeed be The Professor and me, dancing at the Faculty Club :) It amuses me that the lyrics are so "youthful"...."When your legs don't work like they used to before.....I will be lovin' you till we're 70"..... Fortunately my soul really is evergreen and this is how I always feel I look on the dance floor (if only) and that's what counts. :) Indeed.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What I have in common

The Professor and I love "The Big Bang Theory". The other night an episode came on with Sheldon attending to a sick Amy Farrah Fowler. I soon realized that every single one of her flannel nightgowns was one that I too own! I still have them. "Lanz of Salzburg". Started in the 70's and told recently by one of the other girls to quit it, and move on. I did. I started ordering LLBean flannel gowns. So, by the way, did the other girl :) Amy Farrah Fowler has a couple of those too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Day After

The day after goundhog day and a split decision ~ no matter what ~ it's winter here! Thought you might enjoy a rendition of The Piano Guys playing a mix of Vivaldi's "Winter" and the ever popular "Frozen". How totally appropriate.

The sun is shining brightly today and the wind has dropped. Still bitterly cold, but's CANADA and it's WINTER. Enjoy.

Close the back door now and go and shovel out the front!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Last Class

After 4 consecutive Saturday afternoons in January, yesterday was our last class. This was such a fun gathering with so much shared, learned and enjoyed. I cannot tell you how gratifying hand work is, and in the words of our illustrious leader Carolanne..."There is something poetic about a well groomed needle and thread".

There was only one class member who finished her project. Joan opted to make two complementary cushion covers. You can see from the photo that she used Valdani variegated quilting thread. The tones in her thread tied the two rather different pieces together in a most charming way.

She worked with Carolanne to assemble her pieces and voila! Wonderful to finish something :)

The always fabulous Mel dove right in with her stunning colour pick. This will be an astrological masterpiece ....eventually :) There are many twists and turns to the universe!

Whenever it came time for a piece to be basted, hands appeared atop ~ and job done in no time. This gorgeous trio made light work of Mel's universe ....ready to quilt.

And THIS is Erica. Coerced by her 5 year old daughter's Christmas present...because "Good Mummies" know how to sew...Erica fashioned her own blocked top and chose Pearl Cotton to quilt her story-reading-cozy-lap quilt. It is also rumoured that she is an uber-fan of date squares and has a wicked good sense of humour.

Miss Esthr (yes that IS how she spells it) is working on a quilted quote! It is total brilliance. She is using different coloured threads and we all await seeing the oeuvre finished.

Our fearless leader Caroleanne Graham manages to answer all questions, conquer all difficulties with total elan, and make everyone smile while doing so. She is a master at handwork and if you ever have the chance, I would recommend her as a teacher extraordinaire!

NOW. Here is someone who put me over the moon. This sweet woman Yvonne is doing probably the most creative thing I've ever seen. This is a tear away design of the Haptic Lab Constellation Quilt! I had never heard of this shop in Brooklyn NY. Oh what a delicious find for the quilting Mamère of an Astrophysicist! I almost couldn't breathe. Needless to say this will be one of my upcoming projects.

There are so many ways to approach this work of art. Yvonne was SO generous about sharing her method and decisions on materials etc. Again, another shout out to Valdani, this time SILK thread to quilt this one. Yvonne thinks it's the best thing ever and she should know - she is attempting the entire Milky Way in french knots!

It is always inspirational to see what others have chosen to do and their method of execution. So many great ideas and usage of fabrics lead to endless possibilities. Each one agrees that having a scheduled time frame helps with carrying on with the project and we all look forward to a binding class when all our stitches are in place.

If you are in the Toronto area and even if you are not, you might enjoy looking at the class calendar in this adorable space.

Photo Credit: Carolanne Graham by Karyn Valino Workroom website

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Latest

I finally found the time to take the Workroom's Wholecloth Quilting class. Ever since seeing Carolanne Graham's sample quilt, I've wanted to learn this technique.

For me, there is always the agonizing decision involved in fabric choice, the next step is to decide on the quilted design. As there is no fancy patchwork piecing, the quilting is everything in this approach. Next step is marking the design onto the quilt top. In this case it was achieved using a clever template.

The atmosphere of fellow quilters is nothing less than collegial. When it came time to baste the three layers together, helpful hands appeared from everywhere and the project was ready to start in no time.

A few minutes into the stitching, it became abundantly clear that I would be needing finger protection. I've always admired the leather thimble, but as the shop was fresh out of them, I was forced to make a trek to Michael's. I needed to amass yet a few more sewing items and get at this hummer. While there, staring at the wall of possibilities, I included a rubberized version just in case. I've never liked working with thimbles, but this project practically demands one as the thicker Sashiko thread and needle I chose to use require you to ram everything through the three layers ~ top, batting and backing.

These little finger pads looked like a viable possibility, so I added them to the collection. They work extremely well, but I must add a warning. If you have a touch id on your phone, you might be out of luck. They literally remove your fingerprints after prolonged wearing. I kid you not!

No more excuses. The fingers are covered by all possibilities ~ now the fun part! Keeping your stitches in order. I am using a contemporary approach to this quilting. Amish teeny tiny stitches it is not. When the finished product is washed, there is a bit of shrinkage in the overall stitch, but I like the longer look anyway.

Of course it would be a shame not to continue doing this handwork once one becomes somewhat adept with the method and has all the tools at hand. The advantage of taking a class is that there are more than enough ideas to keep one's interest piqued and inspired. A good indoor winter activity methinks ~ another 52 days till spring. Cozy to work on too!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Another stellar moment

Just wanted to share this with those of you who may not have seen it, but should. Quite the stellar cast included after the video so that you'll know who they all are. I especially love the audience clips. Great event.

"Billy Joel performs "Piano Man" with Kevin Spacey, Boyz II Men, Natalie Maines, Josh Groban, Gavin DeGraw, Tony Bennett, LeAnn Rimes and Michael Feinstein during the ceremony where he was honored with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on November 19, 2014 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The show premieres January 2, 2015 on PBS."

I missed this on PBS but will look for it right now.

Hat Tip: Miss "B" ~ Thanks

Monday, January 19, 2015

Postal woes?

This is what mail delivery is really about. Great story and gives new meaning to rain, or snow the mail goes through. Not so much here these days. This guy was NEVER paid and didn't expect a tip during the holidays either! Now that we face the community mail box system, this may entice someone in the neighborhood to take up the call!??? NOT.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A little late, but can't resist

Thanks to The Professor for finding this. Enjoy. This is so very, very funny! No spoilers either.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Makes me smile

Every time I see "Audrey" the tufted titmouse, she makes me smile.

I purchased a few of Vicki Sawyer's cards of birds wearing hats and can't imagine sending them.

I just like looking at them and hope this will introduce you to Vicki's work as well. She has an endearing story connected to her Blurb Book...."Birds Make Hats and Masks"

Another edition for the bookshelf.