Friday, 27 February 2009

Quilting stuff is happening too, and don't forget the give-away!

The last 5 days have been intense. I promised a quilt for a fundraiser, which was needed a week earlier than I expected.

I had chosen the fabrics with wine motifs that I had been collecting . There are corks, wine labels, wine bottles, corkscrews, grapes, grape vines and a few white FQ's added. I did not want to purchase any more fabric (remember the post about frugality a few weeks ago?) so I have attempted to use 4 different patterns that worked out with only the fabric I had on hand. None pleased me. A meter and a half of the cork, a meter and half of the black background with wine bottles; a few skinny quarters of some of the wine prints and a FQ of another wine print.

Finally I visited Bonnie at Quiltville for inspiration. She is always a great inspiration and so I thought I would work off her StripTwist pattern. It is great to look at as it uses lights and dark to create the illusion of movement and blocks set on point.

I am happy with the project.

I still needed to complete it in a few days so I had to quilt it up quickly. I chose a meandering hearts pattern for the main body of the pattern and a vine of leaves for the borders.

What do you think? I hope it raises some good funds for the Grace Donnelly Women's Pavilion.

I would throw along the back of my couch!

I am still collecting comments to draw for a gift from me. I would like to send someone a fabric postcard so please leave me a comment. I will wait until the counter reached 20,500 before I randomly draw a name.

Kathy, I named this one "Cork or Twist top?".

Thursday, 26 February 2009

House build update

These are windows waiting in the snow. Perhaps next week they will be in the framed out areas of the wall.

And more snow, I think about that crew working in the cold and I appreciate them very much.
This is the back of our house, the narrow openings at the top are framing for a row of glass block windows that will be in the space above the kitchen cupboards. The larger windows will be our living room wall of windows. This wall faces due south for the most sunshine and daylight.

This is further along the south wall. There is framing for glass block in the master ensuite and it will surround each of the his and hers mirrors above the sink. The next windows at the far end of the house are our bedroom windows.
I will upload more photos this weekend. I heard that the wall is poured right up to the roof line; soon the roof trusses will be put on.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

...over 20,000 visits time for a give-away

While I was not watching very closely the counter rolled past the 20,000 visits mark. I think this calls for a give away. This counter logs visitors since Oct 31, 2006. Please leave me a comment and I will choose a lucky visitor to send a fabric postcard (very miniature quilt art for the non-quilty visitors to my blog).

If anyone wants to help me learn how to add an animation to my blog I would appreciate it. I really wanted to add fireworks!

I have to get back at the machine quilting that is not quite finished.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Photos from week 3 of the building project

Many hands make light work... the Bag Ladies are quick at basting quilts.

Good Canadian plywood for the subfloor.

These Nudura forms are made in Canada also.

This is the western face of the foundation.

Now we are looking into the basement, it will be about 9 feet high with in-floor radiant heat. There will be loops tied into a grid within the concrete floor. Below the concrete there will be a layer of insulation.

This is where the geo-thermal loops will go into the utility room in the basement.

The Nudura forms are filled with concrete and rebar. There is a plastic webbing inside the blue Styrofoam which will serve as the studs for the interior drywall so this minimizes the wood used for studs.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Being frugal, Lent, practicality and thoughfulness

February, more so than January is the time I consider making a commitment to a well thought sacrifice or discipline. Lent. Not that I am Catholic (I'm not) but I appreciate the value of the 40 day structure of giving up or doing more.

Over the years I have given up such a wide variety of things for seemingly strange purposes. I have given up such things as: treats except home baked goods, second helpings of any food, candy, cookies, shopping for fabric, chocolate * and I have tried to go to bed by 1 AM, make a healthy choice every day, reading a scripture passage; what should I do this year?

* the year I gave up chocolate was rough. I did survive the whole 40 days, with suffering. On the last Thursday before Easter Sunday I went to Bernard Callebaut to purchase the chocolate goodies for the kids. I innocently and quite unconsciously picked one of the sample treats from the plate at the register. As soon as it touched my lips I remembered why I had been avoiding this particular shop for six weeks, Lent, sacrifice, no chocolate. It broke my heart to stop from rolling that bitter sweet treat onto my waiting tongue..., I threw it away. I could scarcely face that not only had I nearly broke my self-imposed denial but that I had to waste a perfectly wonderful morsel of B.C. chocolate. Lesson learned = never give up chocolate again, my friends all agree.

Kay has been considering frugality on her blog. I am thinking about this as well. I know how to be responsible and frugal, I appreciate every lesson my grandparents taught me, we managed to raise a family through tough times; I might just challenge myself to a 40 day commitment to active frugality. There are many reasons to do so, the current economic times, Lent, environmental respect, being wise with the household income, the house that is being built, preparing for the move, the sheer challenge of doing it as creatively as possible.

I might well choose frugality. Let's see how I feel in a couple of weeks, and how I manage over the next few months.

sewing and life

This was a jam-packed weekend. Friday night I had a wonderful visit with a very dear friend. We had planned a movie, pizza and wine night but that was rescheduled. I wanted to visit anyway so a few cups of tea were perfect for catching up.

Saturday was a sewing day. Penny and Lyla were over to make another baby quilt; this time for a boy. We did make a "girl-y" quilt in November but Charlie M. likely would prefer something more "boy-y"! Both quilts were made using the Juke Box pattern from Fons & Porter.

It is so bright and happy, Charlie may never fall asleep. (sorry Charlie's mom & dad).

These quilting Saturdays are wonderfully fun. We start the day with cappuccinos then the work begins, in a well orchestrated rhythm. One of us cuts, one of us irons, we measure, match and then sew pieces into blocks, blocks into strips. It is so easy because we work together and there is always someone ready to iron.

We stop for lunch and then back to work. The top is done and we think it is great.

With apologies, I have to send these special friends off because I have invited a few couples over for dinner at 6 PM (what was I thinking?). I guess the weekend after the end of January and before Valentine's day must be the best socializing weekend of winter.

The menu:
*Welcoming Margaritas or Tequila shots
*Tortilla Soup (the same recipe as Christmas Day dinner)
*Fajitas on the raclette: strips of beef marinated in a Club House Tex-Mex seasoning blend or strips of chicken marinated in Club House La Grille Limited Edition Chipotle Mango seasoning and lime juice, thin strips of red, yellow and green peppers, mushrooms, red onions seasoned with a hint of garlic
*Mexicali Slow Cooker Rice: rice, black beans, corn, diced red peppers seasoned with lime and cilantro

The evening's entertainment includes a crokinole tournament, Pina Coladas and music. Dessert is vanilla ice cream with fresh mangos, chocolate cake (yes it was gluten free, dairy free for my sweetie) and whipped cream. Mmmmmm.

There were lots of laughs and so much food.

Sunday was for resting. Sort of. We took a drive out to the build site. The foundation is in place up to the floor level, window framing is in place, the conduit holes for a future wood stove and utilities are in place. I am sure everyone is happy that it will be warmer this week. (The weather man tonight predicted even a double digit on the plus side day this week!).

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Weekend visit to the build site, and the rest of the weekend stuff

Today the sun shone. What a simple sentence yet for us, after 10 weeks of freezing and snow the simple sunshine and the merest hint of warm under the wind rather than arctic cold is a cause for rejoicing.
After a visit to "James Place" for our weekend breakfast, we headed to Lakeside. It was my first real look at the building since it began. Sweetie has been sending me daily photo updates. He can easily pass by on his route to work. This is why we are moving to Lakeside.
Lakeside is about 30 minutes from London and an hour from Waterloo. We are splitting the difference. He has been doing the 90 minute drive twice a day since 2000. I have a 7 minute drive, a 18 minute bike ride or a 30 minute walk to get to work.
The town is pretty small, 110 water hook ups including the cottages. Probably 60 houses (plus one partly done). The lake - Sunova Lake - is about a 5 minute walk from our place.
The house is being built in a decommissioned rail line. There have been a few houses built along that old rail line.
This is the view from the studio door.
This will be the view from the kitchen window.

These are the pipes that will carry the warmth from the earth into our home.

The far end of the house will be the kitchen and the studio.

Sweetie standing in the side yard.

The temperature actually went up to +5 Celsius. !!!!
What else happened this weekend?

Sweetie took me to the jewellery store on Saturday and bought me a beautiful white gold bangle bracelet, with diamonds. We have been looking for a month and he found one which was perfect. It was my birthday on Saturday and he treats me very well.

We went to a favourite restaurant for lunch, Jambalaya . Kevin is a fantastic chef. We had not been for a year and this was the longest period we had not visited. When they opened (nearly 11 years ago) I used to pick up "Sweet Potato Fries" for lunch 3 times a week. mmmmmm . Their menu is a fusion of Thai, Caribbean and Cajun. Jambalaya Blackened Chicken is the best. The daily soup is served with corn bread. Anything there is wonderful!!!

It was lucky that we chose to go on Saturday since they are closing at that location, but will be re-opening in a new location downtown. I will miss the bright decor and the cozy atmosphere of that old building.

My birthday was wonderful. Flowers, chocolate, lunch with a special friend and wine were also the other gifts I enjoyed.

Sunday was just as good. After we finished checking out the building site we went to the big "North by Northwest" sale at the Western Fair Grounds. I bought great shoes: to wear with a pair for jeans (Merrell Paris maryjanes),

a pair for work (Timberland Ballerina shoes),

plus summer sandals (Columbia Sapphire).
The prices were great. I also bought a new winter coat, a summer dress and a spring jacket. Regular price for this would have been: $770, I paid only $320.

Day 5, Nudura blocks

The Nudura blocks that will become the foundation and walls for the house are in place. These will be built up right to the roof line and filled with concrete . The styrofoam forms become the insulation.

Day 4, footings and rebar

This will be where the garage foundation is poured.
..where the house and garage footings meet

Yeah, it was a bit snowy.