Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Who turned out the lights?

Should I or shouldn't I? That's the big question right now about my phone. After our Monday sewing, I went to the mall to chat again with the Bell folks. I could get a new phone, but the S21 is obsolete, so that's not an option. This means I'd have to go with the S22, which requires a new case. Why? Because someone is going to make more money that way! The guy in the store even said so! That is very wasteful as my phone case is perfectly useful, but who will want it? 

They recommended I check in with a phone repair shop in the mall. So I did, and they cleaned my microphone, although they said it looked pretty clean. I spent several hours yesterday and the day before on the phone, and there were no issues. So, let's see what happens. 

And wouldn't you know it, I took a call in the evening, and it crapped out. So I switched to the home phone (I know -- why do we still have one), and that battery was dead in 20 minutes. It's so old, it doesn't hold a charge. So back to the cell phone, which was fine for the rest of the call. 

I will call the carrier today and see what they say, but I think I will just suck it up and keep it. It's a lot of money to replace it, and the repair service thinks I might be losing service -- but how can that be? It's not like I moved into a new location -- I can be in ONE spot, and my voice comes and goes? I don't buy that. Anyway -- I don't spend hours on the phone, so I'll leave it. But I will make one more call. 

But while I was at the mall, I checked out Calendar Club to see if they had any EXIT games. Nope, they did not, but they had puzzles on sale for 25%. I know -- I should NOT have bought one, but I did. 

It was super cute. Really -- the price of a jigsaw puzzle is good value. For $20, you can get hours and hours of entertainment. 

My new puzzle

But I loved the saying at the top, which is mainly why I bought it. OK -- so the dogs are cute! 

Everything you can imagine is real.

I have an empty worktable at the moment, and it's become my puzzle station as well as a quiet spot to contemplate that puzzle advent calendar. I'm still on Day Two, only because I have yet to have the time to look at it. While I still have some classes, and meetings, for the most part, things are quieting down. 

My puzzle station

And I will need to get some light bulbs replaced and SOON. This is the situation right now. The completely dead one is over the puzzle table, so that needs to change. The center one is fine as it is. 

Three dead light bulbs

Two of these three fixtures are fine, but the third one in the front is over the cutting table and needs to be replaced, but it's the light fixture, not the bulbs, that is the problem. I need to get an electrician in the house. Where's my list of things for them to do? 

A dead light fixture

And just yesterday, one more bulb went in the third set of lights, leaving seven bulbs dead and eleven still working. I still have lots of light, but it's time. I buy the bulbs by the box, and I got the more expensive LED ones, so if I were to replace all of them? I'll need sunglasses!

Two more dead bulbs

I got another quilt done - this time, it was a very small one and belongs to a YOUNG, brand-new quilter. She did an excellent job on the piecing, and she's got a good teacher (grandma) to help her.

Customer quilt - DONE

The next quilt is loaded and ready to go this afternoon. I want to remind people that when you sew a seam, ensure the two pieces are ATTACHED. This is the backing of the quilt for today. About 3 to 4 inches on one end are simply not secure! Fortunately, the backing was wide enough, that I moved the quilt over. This is a very common error, and if that's on the quilt top, it can become a HUGE mess. 

A bad start to the seam

I put away two more things from those shopping bags. A roll or a beautiful orange cork. This is the good stuff, and I LOVE it. I might do some embroidery on it and make a table topper. 

Orange cork

And I bought a roll of faux leather. This is gorgeous, and I can't wait to make a zippered pouch or something creative, or I could use it for applique. 

Faux leather

I have some papers sitting on the cutting table to deal with today. While there are a few small extra things on the cutting table, I finally have it the way I want. There are things on it, but those are the things that I can easily clear up in ONE day or the project that I need to work on THAT day. The rest of the stuff is stored on the current project table, and as I need it, I'll grab it. 

But I now have a big open space to work, and I LOVE it!!!

I glanced in those tubs of paper; there are FIVE rolls of brown paper. Good grief -- perhaps I was going to use it to wrap parcels. Remember when we used to do that? Now, we just send the box with a label. 

Five rolls of brown paper

Could a school use it for drawing or coloring for the kids? I certainly do not need it. 

So when I tell people about cleaning up, if you don't want to get rid of your fabric, I'm OK with that. But what about the stuff that you will absolutely NEVER use. That's the stuff you want to be getting rid of! I've gotten rid of a ton of stuff, and I don't miss any of it! And it's giving me more space to enjoy the things I want. The freedom of movement and the peace of mind I'm getting is PRICELESS, and I'm so happy. 

Here's another reason it's so hard to part with things, I can hear my Mom's voice as I write this. "But it could be useful to someone or maybe to me one day!" Yep -- I get it, but if you haven't used it in the last year, it's probably not going to be useful EVER! At least to you! Then it's time to find a home for it. No need to trash it; just start looking for a home and then ACT on it! 

And yes -- even though I used my seam ripper this morning and I will likely sew this afternoon, it went back in the box. It took mere seconds to do that! I'm still a LONG way from having it exactly as I would like, but now that the bulk of the work is done, I can focus on small areas at a time (and have room to sort), and it doesn't take up huge amounts of time, which gives me more time to sew or do whatever I want!

On that happy note, I'm out of here! I only have two commitments today (a meeting and a pickup), so I have much more flexibility in what I do! I can't wait to get started! 

Have a super day!!


Monday, December 5, 2022

Cutting it close!

What an AMAZING day yesterday! Some great discussions on tools that quilters buy but never seem to use to their fullest extent! Things like digital cutters, EQ8, and embroidery software! We have enough interest to form clubs for all of them, and I want these groups to be manageable, or we lose the ability for everyone to chat. So we'll see how many people sign up! 

I now have a bit of paperwork to prep for each of them, and I have this afternoon and tomorrow to do so.

The minute that we were done, I was out the door as I had 20 points (I said 10 yesterday, but it was really 20) that I needed to close off the geocaching goal for this session. The clock reset last night, and I made it. 

I got 500+ points! 

It was a much nicer day than the previous day. Somewhere in that parking lot is a geocache! I was going for easy ones. It was a perfect day of the week to get them in an industrial-type parking lot. Not such a good idea to hit a mall on Sunday afternoon. 

A geocache in this parking lot

Then I walked to the second location and had to laugh when I arrived. You are supposed to sign the log book when you find the cache, which comes in ALL sizes and shapes. So the second cache was here. Was one supposed to sign the BIG, very obvious book? No, but I thought it funny that someone left a notebook right by the cache. Intentional or accident? 

Is that the logbook? 

Then I made a quick stop at Micheal's (more on that another day) and spotted this giant ball of yarn. It's HUGE. And huge thick chenille-type yarn seems to be very popular. So you can make an afghan in a day? 

A big ball of yarn!

Two long phone calls, and on those two calls, my phone did not cut out once! I will save money if I pay the penalty and get a new phone, but the current offerings could be more spectacular. It doesn't make sense to get the same phone, and the next one from what I have (S21) is the S22, and all they did more or less is slightly change the size. Why is that? That's the most ridiculous thing EVER! Then your cases don't fit. A MONEY GRAB if ever I saw! I don't want a flip or folding phone, and I don't want a huge note. The only option would be to change the brand. Hmmm!! A bit more research needs to happen. 

Then it was off to the long arm. Another smaller quilt and so much fun to do. OK -- it's not like I don't like the large ones, but nice to change it up. The one for today is small, so I'll load that during Monday's sewing and quilt it when we're done.

Customer quilt - DONE

I dealt with the papers from my screen print design yesterday, and I cut them up into 8 1/2" by 11 and used them to take notes during the discussions. I hate to see things go to waste! 

I spotted this in one of the tubs. MORE designs that I prepped for screen printing, and this was one of my favorites - a  smattering of maple leaves. 

Another design for screen printing

There were three different screens for this one, and I layered them -- just like when the fabric companies print their fabric. Did you know that with conventional methods, you can go as high as 18 screens (each screen is one color)? But with digital printing, there are no screens and no color limit. That's why digital printing is more realistic than traditional screen printing. 

My three designs

Anyway -- the inspiration for this design came from the forest floor in the fall. I printed two different colorways for it. One was on tan fabric with gold and burgundy. Not sure what the third color was. And the second colorway was black with grey and two other colors. I still have the black one, but I didn't want to dig through the fabric pile last night to get it. I will try to locate it today. The original colorway was made into a quilt that got sold. I sure wish I could locate the pictures for that. I might try that because I thought it was a pretty unique quilt. 

I cut four T-shirts in those laundry baskets and stowed them away with other cycling T-shirts to make a memory quilt. 

The start of a T-shirt quilt

I dug out a couple of other things to deal with today, and they are sitting on the cutting table, but I forgot to take pictures last night, so you'll see them tomorrow. A little bit at a time! While it would likely take only a few minutes to empty the bag and put everything away, this is fun. It's like my own advent calendar! Even opening those rolls of paper in the bins is kind of fun. It's bringing back loads of memories. I'm taking pictures and then dealing with the pieces! 

I think there are many rolls of BRAND new paper in those tubs, so I'll have to find a home for those as I haven't touched them in how many years? Do I really need a massive roll of tracing paper? I might look through the supplies and take them to the textile studio to see if any students want them. And there are at least three rolls of brown wrapping paper. Do I need all that? I don't think so. 

I haven't been posting what's in my advent calendars. I just opened two of them this morning. It's been a busy week, and it hasn't been on my radar. This is going to be another busy week. Not stupid busy, just busy. Lots of stuff to prep, which means writing, but not deadline writing, so that's good. And we're going to have a big show and tell of our advent calendars this morning, so I can't wait. 

However, the adventure advent calendar that I bought? It's HARD!! After looking at all three clues to solve Day One, I'm still on Day Two. I've already looked at the first clue for Day Two. OK -- so that part was OK, but now what? This is the clue --- how do I get three numbers from this? 

The clues for Day Two

I'm going to take it downstairs to think in peace and quiet and see what happens. But at this rate, I'll finish it by Christmas next year!

Well, I'm off to spin class. Last Monday, there was an issue with the sound system, but we all love Joseph so much that no one left. Although I did the same distance I normally do, I have to admit that music is a huge motivator. I wasn't there on Wednesday, but I bet it's fixed now. Yikes --- you could hear every heavy breath and cough! 

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, December 4, 2022

A can of worms!

Yikes -- I see Torry is on Book FOUR of The Seven Sisters series! I finished Book Two and needed a break! She will be ready when the 8th book comes out sometime next year. I'll be behind - as usual. But that's OK. I don't mind. 

Having a decent narrator for the audiobooks sure makes a difference. I'm currently listening to an audiobook (more about where it came from another day), but the narrator is literally reading (not narrating) the book. No inflection; she barely takes a breath. The nature of the book is simple, but the way she reads it does NOTHING to the storyline. I will finish it -- it is interesting but certainly different from when the book is professionally translated into audiobook form. 

We had two great classes (via Zoom) yesterday! Gosh -- I LOVE looking at all the homework, and that's the most essential part of the class. It's so much fun to see the choices of fabric the others have made and how each makes the quilt look so different! I've learned so much from my students! I hate to call them students, but you know who I mean!

And then I opened a Can of Worms! Yesterday's classes were hosted by Thimbles and Things, and if you are NOT on their newsletter -- you should be! I'm teaching some great classes in the new year (Free-motion quilting, One block Wonder, and Fab Farm by Elizabeth Hartman!) Yesterday marked the final (for now) Timely Technique session. I would love to do more, but I need more hours!

We chatted about EXCESS in our studios, but the techniques can also apply to other areas of our lives. Over the years since I started cleaning up, I've lifted a HUGE weight off my shoulders. I still have a lot of stuff, but I've also gotten rid of many things. What I have now is organized, more or less. No more hopping over tubs to get to something, no more massive searches to find a particular piece of fabric or a quilt top. No more buying duplicate tools because I can't find the original. No more danger of me being buried alive amongst the fabric! 

It's not perfect, but it's pretty darn good. I'll be refining and culling forever, but it's so easy now that there is less stuff to deal with (and yet I still have TONS of stuff)! 

Well -- the topic seemed to strike a cord in the attendees. I received thank-you e-mails from some of them, including pictures! And someone jokingly asked in the class if I would hold them accountable. And you know what? I AM!! They don't know this yet, but I'm going to ask who wants to check in monthly during 2023 and send photos! Let's see how much gets cleaned up! 

As the new year approaches, people are starting to think about resolutions. What happens is the motivation peters out quickly. Many programs show you how to declutter but give you no resources to make it happen and little support to maintain it. For some reason, I'm a self-motivator (and self-enabler!). I now am meticulous about keeping my space neat and tidy, and every year it gets worse (or is that better?) As I mentioned, I'm now to the point where my three sewing tools and the thread on my machine go into a box at the end of the day. It keeps the space clean and neat, and everything can be moved off the tables quickly should I need it for something else. I am NOT my mother's daughter in that respect. OK -- if you look in the office - I'm following in her footsteps, but not in the studio where it's important. 

Do not ask how many times a day I pass the Swifter! OK -- that's an exaggeration, but I use it every day as the amount of dust and lint that collects is obscene! 

OK, and now for some pictures. After the Zoom classes, I was off to get some points for geocaching. I decided to take the easy route and went on a couple of adventures. While they were 3 KM from each other, they were totally different. 

The first one looked at various art installations in the heart of my city (the sixth largest in Canada). I don't get down this way very often, but this is a happening place in the art world. This is the Pool of Knowledge and is filled with letters. I LOVE it -- and I should have taken better photos. 

Pool of Knowledge

And this is a building I see when driving past this area on the highway. Actually, there are two towers, and they are pretty funky. Looks like someone needed help stacking up a bunch of trays. 

Funky towers

Then I got a bit closer. I'm in denial that I have height issues, but looking at that gave me slight vertigo! If you want to read more about it, check this out.  

Twisted towers

The entire area is cool, with the outdoor park with two big screens where I could have watched the soccer match if I wanted to. But it was a tad chilly for that. Definitely, an area where you could get away without a car! Something to think about when I need to move. But I wouldn't be living on the 61st floor! And if you read the information on the website, they take a dig at the Marilyn Monroe (Absolute Towers) just down the road, which are round, and therefore some of the space is compromised to maintain the outside of the building. 

Once I was done with that adventure, I was off to the second one, a wooded park by the river. Just three KM down the road, and it was gorgeous! Look at the sculpture in the tree. 

Owl sculpture in the tree

I got a chuckle when I saw this sign. I need that on my blog -- the enabling blog! 

The enabling garden

And I spotted this beautiful house nestled in the woods. This is the first time I've seen this house, even though I've been to this park several times. 

Gorgeous old house

It was built in 1919!!! Wow!!!

Cornerstone dated 1919

I'm still short 20 points, and I NEED them today. So, where will I be going after my Zoom discussions? I'll post the links at the end of the blog. We have so many tools, and we don't use them. My goal is NOT to enable anyone to buy or start a new project (OK -- so I'm lying), but I also want to enable people to use the tools they have!!!

Here's what I unpacked from the bag on the cutting table today. I bought this pattern in the US and need to make it, and I can see beautiful embellishments on it, which will be perfect for work. 

Clothing pattern

Here's the quilt of the day. It was so nice to work on a small project for a change! It seemed to take no time compared to the others I've done recently. The next one is loaded, and I might even be able to get two done today. Let's see how it goes. 

Customer quilt - DONE

And what paper did I deal with from those containers? I found another design I created for screen printing when I was in the textile program. As one of our assignments, we had to work with the college theatre program to make fabric for the costume department. So we had a client. My job was to create material for some underwater creatures, and they wanted fish on them. Yes -- I had to move away from my geometric world. 

Here is a small drawing of my finished design. 

My undersea design

Then I had it enlarged onto a sheet of paper four feet tall (the size of the screens we used). This version still needed something. See how flat it looked until the circles got added? A small detail, but it makes a huge difference. 

A version of the design

I even found the actual sheet of vellum used to create the screen for the printing. 

The vellum to create the screen

I don't think I have any of the fabric left, but the material was green - some flimsy stuff and the fish were purple. But everything had to be oversized, so it showed on the stage. I never did see the costumes that were created with this fabric. I don't know why as today, I would have a picture, and I may not have time. But the contract was made once we gave the fabric to the costume department! 

If any of you want to get on my e-mail list of decluttering, send me a note. I want BEFORE pictures. You can only get in if you send pictures! And I'll check in once a month to see how progress is made! You need to only pick one small area. More on that another day! Something to think about for today!

So if you want to attend any of the discussions this morning, here are the links again. 

If you want to join us, just log into the call. All these one-hour zooms are discussions to discover your level, what brand you have, and what you want to learn. There is no cost and zero commitment. 

Sunday, December 4 at 10 AM. zoom opens at 9:45
Digital Cutters  -- Brother Scan and Cut, Cricut, Silhouette

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86553551005?pwd=OERLRVhObTZFRUtLUTlHc0ZLR2RKQT09 Meeting ID: 865 5355 1005 Passcode: 675303

Sunday, December 4 at 11:15 AM. Zoom opens at 11:00
EQ8 (Electric Quilt 8 -- software for designing quilts)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84750425875?pwd=R015NWkrMURSYXNvQ21HdXRzRG1ZZz09 Meeting ID: 847 5042 5875 Passcode: 388459


Sunday, December 4 at 1:00 PM. Zoom opens at 12:45
mySewnet Embroidery Software

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87534524274?pwd=ZmNiNmFMSUdkVDQvWUM4cjlYZXhIUT09 Meeting ID: 875 3452 4274 Passcode: 355283

And on that note, it's time to get moving! 

Have a super day!!


Saturday, December 3, 2022

Good news/bad news!

Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I will get them answered; I'm a tad busy at the moment. I didn't even get a chance to open my Adventure advent calendar yesterday. 

However, I'm happy to report that I finished everything I had planned, which was good!

I sent Zoom links to everyone who wanted to sign up for the EQ8, mySewnet embroidery software and digital cutter discussions for TOMORROW. If you have yet to receive an e-mail, let me know. Some people put everything in the same e-mail, and it's hard to catch everything. I'm NOT printing anything anymore, and I work strictly with the computer and extensively use the filing systems. But when ONE item needs to be filed in MANY places, that becomes a challenge. 

So if you think you are saving me time by putting everything in one e-mail, you are NOT! And most of you are very good at placing the topic in the subject or at least in the e-mail. I get some e-mails that say "block 3". For what?? 

My e-mail if you need to get in touch is elainetheriault@gmail.com. 

The discussions tomorrow are NOT the actual class sign-up, as they are strictly a discussion -- the official sign-up will be again put on the blog shortly. I put all the links at the end of this post. 

So what happened yesterday? Well, there was good news and bad news, and the good news is that another giant customer quilt is done. 

This one was very wide! 

That's a big quilt

But the quilt is beautiful, and the colors are stunning in real life. 

Customer quilt - DONE

However, we had a little problem near the bottom. 


This wasn't a case of the seam not being sewn, it was a case of NO seam allowance in that area, and the machine just pushed into that opening. I stopped it as quickly as possible, but the quilt will need a minor repair when it goes home. You CAN NOT sew a seam and not have a seam allowance. I checked the rest of the quilt and found another spot in the same block on the other side, and there is ZERO seam allowance there. I watched the long arm, and it went right over that spot, but I held the fabric down, so it didn't catch. 

NO seam allowance

This is not just for the quilting process but for the integrity of the quilt. The moment the quilt gets washed, that raw edge will start to fray! And if you know you did that and are hoping it will work, then at least let me know so I can watch that spot. 

So fixing that delayed my timing, and I went to dinner and said I would finish the last row when I got back. 

I returned to find this on the screen. 

What? The program closed down! 

Sorry -- so much reflection, but the program basically shut down! And I still had one more row to do. I don't know if the power flickered when we were out. Sigh.............

However, the good news is that I had saved the design for this quilt when I started. You get prompted, and I never used to use that feature. Most quilts are smaller and easier, so I never saved the quilting setup. But I'm trying to get in the habit of saving, especially for the larger ones. So within mere minutes, I had the program opened, the file loaded, and the registration marks positioned the design, and I was back in business. 

What the screen should have looked like

So that was a good news/bad news kind of day for quilting!

More good news -- I found another storage spot I could take over. This wine fridge no longer works and should be moved out! That would give me room to store those plastic containers of paper! 

A storage spot!

Although they are too tall with all the paper sticking out, but I can fix that! Because of my schedule for the next week, I will have little time (well, I could make time) to sort through them. But I started today and grabbed one item. Remember, this is stuff from when I went to the textile program at Sheridan Collage --- in 2001~~~ Here's the printing for my selvage! 

The selvage of my fabric design

Here are the acetates I used to create my screen to print the fabric. 

Acetates for creating the screen 

OK -- so that's hard to see. Here's what the design looked like. Yes -- I'm not a good artist for freehand, so all of my stuff is somewhat geometric. 

My fabric design

And I still have the yardage!!!

The yardage that I designed and printed

I was going to use it for a quilt back at some point, but a chunk had been removed, and it wasn't large enough for that particular quilt. I'll move it to the backing section. 

However, all the acetates are gone. I threw them out. I will never use them, so why keep them? I've documented it all here, and that's good enough for me. 

I plan to grab one or two more pieces during the day and quickly deal with it. Some of the stuff is design stuff, and others are brand-new rolls of paper. 

I will do the same thing with the laundry baskets of clothing, and I'll take a couple of pieces a day and deal with them. YES -- I know it would be better and faster to just focus on it, but I don't really have time to focus right now. I need to get customer quilts to them so they can be bound for Christmas. I should have everything out of the house by the end of next week!

Here are the four T-shirts to work on today. I may keep one or two of the backs to use as practice for machine embroidery. 

T-shirts to be cut up

Here's one more item that I bought when I was in the US. I know -- I do NOT need another Kimberbell project, but this was adorable!!! And this was why I wanted that small pie dish -- someone had made a pincushion with the pie block as the top. So technically, you just need a small dish -- it doesn't have to have anything written on the bottom! 

Kimberbell embellishment kit

Now let's look under the table. OK -- so this is the long arm. This is what it looks like underneath while quilting a quilt. The top part moves back and forth, and the bottom section moves side to side! And that's how the quilt gets done! 

Underneath the long arm

But now, let's look under my sewing table. Remember, I wanted a drawer, and a drawer won't fit as a bar is under the table. 

A bar under the table

However, I found a drawer that works with that kind of table. 

It may not work, as the lip under the table is further back than shown here. But the concept is pretty cool. 

I love putting my stuff away every night. Well, the machines stay up, but I just tuck things away, making the space look neat and tidy. I can't wait to get the space completely in order. So close now! But I didn't make a mess overnight, so I don't expect it to be cleaned up overnight!

My three presentations are done for today! How did that happen? 

To make my life easy and not miss anyone, I will post the Zoom links for the three discussions HERE. 

If you want to join us and haven't signed up -- just log into the call. All these one-hour zooms are discussions to discover your level, what brand you have, and what you want to learn. There is no cost and zero commitment. 

Sunday, December 4 at 10 AM. zoom opens at 9:45
Digital Cutters  -- Brother Scan and Cut, Cricut, Silhouette

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86553551005?pwd=OERLRVhObTZFRUtLUTlHc0ZLR2RKQT09 Meeting ID: 865 5355 1005 Passcode: 675303

Sunday, December 4 at 11:15 AM. Zoom opens at 11:00
EQ8 (Electric Quilt 8 -- software for designing quilts)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84750425875?pwd=R015NWkrMURSYXNvQ21HdXRzRG1ZZz09 Meeting ID: 847 5042 5875 Passcode: 388459


Sunday, December 4 at 1:00 PM. Zoom opens at 12:45
mySewnet Embroidery Software

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87534524274?pwd=ZmNiNmFMSUdkVDQvWUM4cjlYZXhIUT09 Meeting ID: 875 3452 4274 Passcode: 355283

On that note, I'm out of here! Another busy day and I need to get 110 geocaching points by Monday, so guess what I'll do later today? And I have another quilt to quilt, but it's much smaller than the ones I've tackled the last couple of days!!!

Have a super day!!


Friday, December 2, 2022

Shipping SNAFU!

I went to bed last night utterly exhausted! My afternoon walk was only to the library, yet I did well over 13 KM in the day! How did that happen? Back and forth to the long arm, back and forth to the storage room, moving boxes and fabric, and everything else! 

But -- Studio B is almost back to normal, and I'm so excited! 

First, let's chat about advent calendars. For whatever reason, I got on a roll with advent calendars this year. M got an adventure calendar, and she's already solved the first clue! I opened up my first package from the Watergirl Advent calendar. Oh shoot -- I should share what we got -- let me do that tomorrow. And some of the companies have videos showing the store owner opening the box. More on those tomorrow. 

I had ordered one for DH. It came from England, and I've been watching the tracking. However, when I was away, I didn't, so imagine my surprise yesterday when I saw they were about to return it as it was REFUSED at our house on Monday. WHAT???? NOOOOOOOO   -- you can't do that. I immediately e-mailed the seller and the carrier to say - do NOT return this item. We were home, and what happened? The carrier is DHL. 

Last night around 5 PM, the doorbell rang, which I didn't hear as I was listening to an audiobook. DH lets me know, and I run upstairs. I noticed the address was from Korea, but that did NOT register in my brain. The box looked like it had been opened and retaped shut, and it seemed large, but I didn't pay attention. I plunked the box on the floor in his office. 

The missing box

Then about 10 minutes later, the doorbell rings again, and oops -- -you have the wrong package. But at least he also had MY box. I bet they tried to deliver the package on Monday, and someone (more intelligent than I) said -- we're not expecting a package, and they flagged it refused! 

So we switched them out, and I again gave the box to DH. He was on a phone call, but he popped the box open the minute he was done. Now being a man, he immediately opened the advent box to see all the contents. Sigh................. I told him --- put it back in the box and open each window on the day indicated. 

DH's advent calendar

He thoroughly enjoyed the whisky, and now he has something to look forward to each day until Christmas. I think he was happy!

The girls each got an advent calendar, and their reaction was HILARIOUS. 

MOM -- oh yum --- this is great! 

Murphy was a bit more enthusiastic. 

MOM? What's this? What's in the box? 

Oh my gosh -- look at her tongue. I was killing myself laughing!

MOM -- YUM --- this is awesome -- open it NOW!!

So they were also pleased! 

At some point in the day, I got to open my non-quilting advent calendar. 

My advent calendar

You must use the storybook and some clues to know which little door to open each day. Only, the first one is marked, and there's a clue book in case you can't figure out the riddle. 

The "game" board

What else is in the box

OK -- I confess that I looked at the clues. I puzzled over that thing all afternoon and used my encoder to get the answer. I visually figured it out right away; however, my skills at translating that into the decoder failed miserably. So I hope to be better at it today! But I'll look at the clues each day (AFTER I have solved the riddle) to understand the logic! I had the answer but needed to understand how their clue worked! 

So it was a fun day for advent calendars. The fun is still ongoing -- there is one more to arrive, and hopefully, it'll get delivered today. It's not for me, and that's all I will say. 

I swear Lexi thinks we live to cater to her. For the most part, she stays off the sofa only because we put a table in the way. However, she thought she could squeeze her butt into that space. After sitting there looking at me with those baby blues, she realized it wouldn't work to her advantage, so she jumped down. 

Mom -- a little space, please?

Gosh -- I found a brand new set of crayons when I went through the stuff on that shelving unit. How many boxes of crayons does one person need? For the moment, they are with my other crayons, and I'll deal with them later. 

A brand new box of crayons

When going through the bolts of interfacing, I came across a bolt of protective upholstery fabric. Does anyone know someone who does upholstery that can use this? I'll never use it, and I hate for it to go to waste. 

Upholstery protective fabric is up for grabs!

I have many odd types of interfacings. I was at Quilt Market one year, and Pellon gave away all the bolts they had on display as they didn't want to ship them home. So I snuck it onto our crate and brought them home. Some I'll never use -- so this one is up for grabs if you are into upholstering furniture. Obviously, it's black, and there's a lot on the bolt -- it's brand new - still wrapped in cellophane. 

This is the giant quilt I did yesterday. Definitely, a farm theme going on here!

Customer quilt - DONE

It took forever because the pattern is quite intricate. That's a calf head, in case you can't make it out. 

Detail of the quilting

Oh --- here's the cutting table. I switched so much stuff around that I will need help finding something. This is what I'm working on today and my bag of goodies to unpack from recent shopping trips. I aim to keep this clear, except for the day's projects or I need to find fabric for a project. It is NOT a storage area! This is like a temporary parking zone! 

The cutting table with today's projects

Here's this beautiful ball of yarn that I got in the US. I've got a plan for it, but I have one project that needs to be finished first. I'm trying to avoid flitting from one project to another, which will be challenging! 

Ball of yarn

I came across this big tub of striped fabric, which I had a thing for a while back, hence the tub. 

Striped fabrics

More striped fabric

Batik striped fabric

Don't ask! I get on a roll, and can you tell me why I needed every color of that batik stripe? I didn't need it, but boy, I WANTED it! Fabric buying is a sickness; all I can say is, thank goodness, I'm cured!

I have two things without a home. These two containers are filled with rolls of miscellaneous non-fabric stuff. A lot of it came from when I went to craft school and did fabric printing. I could get rid of all that -- there's zero need to keep it. OH wait -- take pictures first and then let it go!!!

Two containers of non-fabric rolled items

The second is the two baskets of clothes that need to be cut down for a memory quilt. I could do that as well, and then what I need to find a home for will be much smaller. I know I said that if things don't have a home, they need to go, but I want to keep these, and I have ONE empty tub that this will all go into nicely. So that will be a job for the next couple of weeks. 

Clothes for a memory quilt

There's still too much stuff, and it's shocking how many small projects I found. Bags and bags of them, so I plan to get one done during the Virtual Retreats, in-person retreats, and Monday sewing. That would be about 4 or 5 a month! It would be great to clear up those things. And most are half finished --- why??? I had an illness for sure, and it's called -- FOMO?? Can't say No? I'm not sure, but I'm cured! 

Could I give the stuff away? I could, but then it'll end up in someone else's house as a mess. My plan is NOT to add to the mess and work away at it. Then I'll have a finished item to give away, which will give me greater satisfaction than something that is not done. 

It's much easier to walk around the stash room now that I have made changes and even added that big shelving unit! So that was a bonus! The quilting machine is still in the box! 

On that note, I've got loads on the agenda today (another giant quilt), sewing, and whatever. 

Have a super day!!!