Sunday, 28 September 2008

Retail Therapy - electronic gadgetry

One of the best purchases I have made in a long time is this lap top cooling pad, ($29.99). It sounds a bit lame but it actually is amazing. 6 hours on the lap top and it is still as cool as if I just turned it on. The lap top gets so hot that I worried if the stability of the components would be compromised. This should really help it last much longer.

The other purchase was more of an exchange and upgrade. I had a digital picture frame that was waiting for me to place my photos on a memory card; the hinge however was unstable and it fell over very easily. I was hesitating in using it. While at Costco I noticed a large display of the digital frames. My 8" size was a lower price than I had originally paid and the hinge was a completely different design, it actually looked sturdy.

The beauty of Costco shopping is a 1-year no problem return policy (even on electronics). I went home, found the receipt then returned the unit. Now the decision was whether to take the $10 lower price on the 8" frame or upgrade to a 10.4" for an additional $30. Peter talked me into the upgraded size. Funny, the whole Digital Frame is on the upgrade. Peter originally bought it for me for Valentine's Day. Whatever the reason, I saw the 8" digital frame at Costco for $20 more than he paid which offered far better features and he had no problem with me upgrading. I paid the difference.

Now the holdback was still the memory card (there is internal memory 256MB) . I figured I would take a look at the memory on sale at Costco. I have been looking for a 4GB card that was compatible with both my lap top and the digital frame so it would be easy to transfer the images. There was an 8GB USB stick which fits perfectly behind the new digital frame for $35 so that was an even better deal than I have seen anywhere over the last few months. Now I have a memory card and a new digital frame.

What did this lead to? quilting time? house work? homework? NO
I had to sort all my 6000 digital images on the laptop, of which there were nearly 2000 that were duplicates. That was how I spent the 6 hours mentioned earlier in this post.

Is the frame running pictures now? NO
I still have to rotate hundreds of these images

What have I learned? Deal with my photos as I download them so they are ready to enjoy when I want to see them. Now they are organized but most of my friends are walking up the left side of my screen.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Fabric Postcards and a wonderful weekend

I owed Fabric Postcard Debts. I needed to put things in the mail, and I needed to finish some of this up before I could put the stamp on them.

The weekend was amazingly wonderful. I planned to spend the whole day Saturday down in the studio/dungeon. I had to run out for more thread and discovered how absolutely beautiful it was outside. Sunshine, blue skies, 26 C, calm.

I knew I had to drag my machine and supplies out to the back porch.

So a lovely sewing day was had, shared with a friend, mmm--margarita's, happy dogs, and a stack of completed Fabric Postcards (16) to send out to .....

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

What happens here late at night.

The dogs are driven crazy by my late night bed time. Shiraz lays curled on her favourite cushion, her eyes half-open, watching me do random things - put away some papers, switch laundry loads, write blog entries, put the early morning to-do list together and then finally, iron Peter's shirt.

She knows that when the ironing is complete I will go to bed.

Peter insists (on an almost daily basis) that I do not need to iron his shirt. Ironing his shirt however feels to me as if I am hugging him all day long. Well I can imagine that I am hugging him all day long, and that he looks cared for and that he can feel "the love".

In return, Peter makes me a lovely cup of herbal tea and sets it bedside for me, then he prepares a little pot of tea that I take to work in a thermos for my afternoon tea. In this way I feel loved and cared for all day long too. I do not insist that Peter does not need to make my tea every day. I love it. I appreciate it. I smile at every sip.

Django, for his part, runs up to me with a pleading look, "...follow me, I need you". He runs and jumps up at the bedroom door, again pleading, "please, open the door, let's all go to bed".

So now, it is time to iron Peter's shirt, those cute little brown eyes are rolling up at me - is it time???

Woohoo, tomorrow is cappuccino time! Good friends will be here just after 7:30 and we can celebrate that even though it is not yet Friday, it is past Wednesday.

P.S. Today is DD#1 29th Birthday, Have a wonderful new year ahead sweetie!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

This might be the year we really pare down Christmas

The kids (yes I know they are 24,27 and 29 in a few days) have asked to cut back on the gifting. The last few years we have had Santa's helper (Murielle) forward us our stocking partner name and we would each fill a stocking for that person as well as prepare a general exchange of holiday gifts and cheer.

Okay, it did take a few hours for us all (8) to open every single gift; we do it one at a time and everyone shares everything.

So, there is not enough time, not enough $ and not enough place to put all this holiday cheer.

We will try it this way for 2008:
Santa's helper will send out a gift partner's name. Mom and Dad will fill everyone's stocking.

...and we will try very hard to exercise more control over the urge to indulge, spoil and generally save the global retail economy so that we all can afford to live in our happy little homes.

Gracious, first the kids torpedo the Turkey dinner, now Santa has been uninvited.... what next!

And for the rest - we will all just give more to others whose needs are greater, we know that we are all absolutely greatly blessed.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Rainy days and Saturdays

This morning was all about relaxing. Peter and I were indulged (a gift from my sister and family) at a local spa. We had a steam room session then a relaxing hour long massage together. This was nice.

The rest of the day will be slow paced. McCormick Canada is celebrating 125th anniversary so we are going to a picnic at the local Pioneer Village. It will be raining , hard and heavy; Ike is reaching out our way.
We are hoping that Texas and the areas just slammed are able to recover without great losses.

Still a bit later, it will be dress-up time. We are showing up at a friend's child's birthday party that had a "scary theme". So the Mister will be a Grim Reaper and I'll be a witch. A bit early for Halloween so I am sure we will get funny looks on our way over.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Falling forward

Now that I have taken a few evenings to breathe I am able to think about what I want to do, have to do and should do over the next couple of months.

Those WIP's are still waiting for me, as many quilts and projects that I have finished this year and that list has not shortened very much at all. Besides the WIP's are the QIW's. Quilts In Waiting, those packages, baskets and bags of fabrics neatly folded together, just waiting for me to start paying them more attention.

I had to pass on my Quilt Guild membership for this year as we are moving out of town mid year. Preparing for this move will take a fair amount of organizing, sorting, purging and of course packing. The move will take us from a house designed for living with growing teenagers, a grandma and us to a home that will be all about us and creating a welcome place to visit.

So far that is a few evenings a month freed, and very many weekends to come filled.

I am taking a class at the local college in "PR & Corporate Communications"; so, a few more evenings that are busy.

The adults kiddles are all quite busy working and studying, so that will (sadly) mean less visiting time, and more weekends that are quiet.

And for the next 4 or 5 months the Bag Ladies night will not change at all! We are happy that will be the same for a while longer.

So, all in all, looking forward, I will be just as busy as ever, and I really should work through more of the WIP's and QIW's so there will be less to manage when we move!

Maybe it is time to make a new list.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The changing of the seasons

It was time. I had to reach in the sock drawer and pull out a pair to wear. I have had happy toes since Mid May and now they are caged again.

Why are sandals so cute and fun while shoes are so serious and boring? I do not mean dancing shoes, that is a whole other party. I am referring to the "wear me to work" shoes, the ones that are tucked under my slacks hems and into which I stuff those overpriced orthotics.

Ahhh, now I must spend the next 7 months dreaming of sandals and sun-warmed happy, brightly painted toes

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

My soul is fed with needle and thread

Even 15 minutes of hand stitching at the end of lunchtime at work can calm me. I am so glad that I had this wonderful little project to do. Not too big (about 10 hours), fun (the fabrics are beautiful) and dedicated (for Ro).

I am not the quickest hand stitcher. An arm's length of thread on a needle, stitching down the back side of a binding takes 15 minutes, 20 If I am also watching TV. For me that is, however, one of the best "feel-good" steps in the whole quilting process.

Very Therapeutic. At the planning stage before machine quilting I was doodling so many images, none felt right to me. I kept on wanting to make paper airplanes and fly them around the quilt. Finally I doodled them enough that I knew it would be exactly what this little quilt was calling for. And Ro would either love it or hate it. I loved it.

And so I sent the planes soaring all across the quilt. (click on the photo for a better look)

You can visit the quilt at the "bespoke uprising" booth at the Circle Craft Christmas Market in Vancouver (November 11 - 16).

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Internet romance scams

It is absolute insanity that someone can be so victimized by the illusion of a fantasy fulfilled that all their common sense disappears. This weekend it has come to light that my mother, a senior citizen over 70 years old, let herself be swayed by promises of caring and romance with a stranger she met online.

It is not that we did not caution her because we did many times -
DO NOT TRUST WHAT ANYONE YOU MEET ONLINE TELLS YOU TO BE THE TRUTH !!!! Obviously the words she read on screen and listened to on the long distance calls collect were those she wanted to hear far more than our words of caution.

So now, this little lady pensioner owes a finance company thousands of dollars and nearly remortgaged her home because she trusted this man.


To protect myself I will not place any identifying information on this man but suffice it to say, he can tug at the heartstrings, unleash full compassion, and truly make someone believe that there will be love, affection, companionship and hope if you just send him some money to help him ........

He is out there, and there are many more like him, stealing money from lonely women, young and old alike.

Now my 70+ mother has to pay off a loan to a finance company from her monthly widow's pension; all the while she was worrying how she can afford new hearing aids, orthotics and home repairs.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

September projects and WIP

Penny and I have been working all summer on our "precincts of Japan" BOM. Only 1 left. These are our blocks so far:





Actually we do have 11 of the set of 12 completed. I have photos of some other blocks in an earlier post, or they may be lost until I sort through 6000 jpg images.