Friday, 22 August 2008

Vacation day in London 08 08 08

It looked as if things were going to be stressful because of the time crunch. I lent my car to DD for a road trip so I was biking it on the great Mother's Day gift bike. Life was working well until I realized that I had a specialist's appointment at the hospital, at the far end of the city, at 9:30 AM.

Normally it would be not great problem to go to a medical appointment. I give the extra hours at work and then if I need an hour or a couple it is balanced. Except - if the appointment may take half of the workday and involve perhaps 3 hours of bus riding. hmmmph

So in an attempt to fix the problem I took a vacation day (sad to waste a vacation day for an inconvenient doctor`s appointment though). So to fix that problem I decided to create a micro vacation for the middle of the day. I knew there was a major project at home that required intense quilting time - the birthday party was the next night.

So at the transfer point downtown I took a detour to the local The Covent Garden Market.

First matter of importance was to pick up a cappuccino- definitely A nice chat with the Joel the Baristo, updating him on what my kids have been up to, and finding out what he and family are doing. Great cappuccino, cinnamon and chocolate, sorry I needed my sip before I could even take a picture of how pretty it was.

Next stop, Marc Forrat, la Chocolaterie Forrat. Amazing handmade truffles, mmm. He usually shares some extra tastes with me because I am sooo appreciative.

The batch underway is so hypnotizingly rich, the warmed
cream, gently poured into a pot of chocolate pieces, ready to be stirred into the delicious fondant filling for these truffles. Today's choices included raspberry, roasted almond, champagne and dark chocolate. The little truffle business keep growing and Marc slips it into the conversation that after Christmas he is switching to organic chocolate and building the dark towards an 85% cocoa content. I could love this man easily if I could figure out how to fit him into my wonderful little life. The honey of mine might not be so thrilled about it though.

The truffles are safely stowed and I still need a bit more vacation time.

Wandering around the market I am enjoying the colours, the buzz and the simple happiness of a few hours freedom midday under a perfectly blue sky.

I finally choose a lunch from the myriad food cultures (Thai, Japanese, Indian, Mediterranean, Italian, German and plain old simple) Veal cutlet sandwich it is.....

Our city has been "growing" these happy metal trees. Each sculpture represents a tree from the region, the leaf, any flower and seeds are sculpted from wrought iron and then crayon box coloured. No matter the season these trees make me smile. I love them.

The quilting project beckons, the bus transfer is almost going to expire so I board the bus and head home with my treats. The route home delighted me with the sweet smile of some mother's happy toddler. I manage to bring the tasty treats in the back yard, Sunshine, cute little happy dogs and nothing ahead but quilting pm a special quilt. Life (and using up a vacation day) is pretty good.

postscript: This day was two weeks ago. It is not a good idea to write your blog entry and then download over a dozen photos that have numbers as names.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Blogiversary celebration winner

Annett from Mouse House is the lucky visitor to stop and make a comment for my blogiversary. As soon as she sends me her snail mail details I will send it out to her.

See Sally. See Sally run. Run Sally, run.

The last 2 weeks were dedicated to power quilting. I wanted to finish the quilt for Bianca's 50th. It was perfect.

When I started collecting the Dick and Jane prints I knew they were meant for us. See Linda sew. See Linda sew for Bianca. Bianca and Linda learned to read together in that other life. Sally, Dick, Jane, Puff and Spot were the featured characters in our first grade primers.

36 dedicated hours to put the pieces in place.

I thought that Tricia Cribb's "Turning Twenty" pattern was the best way to enjoy the prints. I meander quilted the blocks so I would not compete with the busy images. The border however wanted me to play so I free-motioned a simple leaf and vine pattern.

The first 6 hours of quilting was arduous. Every 6" the upper thread broke and so did 4 needles. Rethreading, new needles, cleaning, "Thread Heaven", oiling,argh.

I dissassembled the machine and changed feet. Instead of the "Big Foot" I used the darning foot that came with the machine (Brother PQ1500s)and then we began to sing! yes, after the slow start covering 2 blocks, we danced through the next 18. No upper thread breaks, 4 bobbins and 1 endless quilting line.