Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Paperwork! - UGH!


While I'm a long way from getting my desk organized, it does make a HUGE difference to have the computer stuff mostly organized. I really need to migrate the laptop data to the new external hard disk. I'm creating new folders on the hard disk and I shouldn't be because they're already made!  Hopefully, that will happen later today.

Here's the thing - I still have stuff that I'm finishing up for work - yes - work work!  Don't worry - it's all good and I hate to leave things hanging. I've some blog posts to write and I few other things to take care of and THEN I can start clearing up the desk area and getting rid of the excess paperwork. I'm highly motivated and it'll happen. Just have to take care of the deadlines first.

I discovered something yesterday - it's been a long, long time since I had this relaxed of a schedule and well - I'm not coping well. I didn't go out yesterday at all except to shovel the driveway - otherwise, I would have stayed in my PJs all day! I know - not good! I need to treat each day as if I were going to work otherwise I'll be soon frittering those 50 hours away!

One of the weirdest feelings was that I was working away and I couldn't believe that I actually have time to do what I'm doing and not trying to rush through it because I work to do! This is my WORK! I love that!

It's also a bit weird as I didn't have face-to-face contact with anyone (DH is away) and well for a social girl, that's crazy! Yes - I didn't even make it to Tim's. I'm trying to be reasonable and not get in the car to drive 1 KM to get tea when I could make it at home. However, today I've already been to the gym, pumped out 26 K on the spin bike, stopped at Tim's on my way home and I'm good!

I also noticed yesterday that as soon as I had breakfast, I was looking forward to lunch and once I had lunch, I was looking forward to dinner. Really?  What's that all about? At least we have no snacks in the house so I could nibble. I better not start doing the shopping.

I did make good progress on the paperwork so I was happy about that and I had a chance to read my book(s) - one is fiction, the other is not! I didn't get any sewing done! I'm going to aim for paperwork/errands in the morning, sewing/quilting in the afternoon and relaxing/reading in the evening.

And I'm able to almost get a handle on my e-mail as well. Yep - I'm not missing work at all!

Then in the afternoon, I thought I had better produce something that I could actually see progress on so I quilted my scrap quilt.

Scrap quilt of mine - DONE

I have one more like this to do. I made them from scraps that came in all those bags that people gave me to make pet mats out of. I'm going to keep one for my trunk show and I'll finish the other one off and donate it.

I'm keeping on top of my lists and well - it's absolutely weird to be able to do this and still have time in the evening to read. It's totally insane! BUT - I must remember to NOT overbook myself as that would be the death of this situation.

It's a tad chilly out there this morning, but the girls couldn't care less. They are running around like idiots.

Oh yes - I'll be doing a review of EQ8, Elements 18, the Reliable irons and a whole lot more. I just need to get this wee bit of work out of the way.

On that note, I'm out of here to check out a few more e-mails and then get to work!

Have a great day!

Ciao!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Crossing items off the list!

Off to Monday sewing yesterday and it's so great to be back with the group. I almost feel like I wasn't gone for two years. That's so bizarre, but that's how comfortable I am with the group!  

It's time to get rolling on some of those UFO projects. The end of the year is looming and well - I still have a lot of work to do!

I spent a couple of hours and did the buttonhole stitch around all the silhouettes on this wall hanging and it's done! I had completed the other one last week. 



Safari wall hanging - ready for quilting
 So now both of them are done, backings are made and the binding is made. Ready for quilting!

Backings/bindings and tops ready for quilting!
 I decided to do a little bit of piecing and I got block number 11 completed of the Kaleidoscope quilt. Only two more sets of blocks to do and I'll be ready to sew this quilt together!  The end is in sight!

Block #11 for Kaleidoscope -  DONE

Then I dug out the Dirty Dozen list for 2017. Hmm - now there are three items completed as the safari quilts were part of the list. That still leaves a lot to be done before the end of the year. There are two other projects that I've been working on and it won't take long to complete either of them. Can I get all of them done by the end of the year? You'll have to stay tuned in order to find out.

Dirty Dozen list for 2017


I'm liking how this list kept me motivated (in a very slow way), but I got things done that I wouldn't have done otherwise. I liked it so much that I created a new Dirty Dozen list for 2018.  Yep - I found 12 more projects (easily found 12 more) that I would like to get done and so that list is created! If I don't finish this list before the end of the year, I will continue to work on it for next year. The list for next year is a wee bit more forgiving. Some of the items on the 2017 list involved FOUR quilts for one project. Several included two quilts and so on. Next year - there are ONLY 12 items in total!  It'll be way easier!

One of my favourite things on Monday is to come home from sewing and unpack my sewing bag and repack it for the next week. I'm focusing on that list so here is the next project (which is actually two quilts).

Amish with a Twist and Amish with a Twist II

Amish with a Twist II just needs three borders put on and I think two of the three are partially cut. Amish with a Twist needs some applique. All the applique is prepped - it just needs to be stitched down and then this last border needs to be sewn to the quilt. I'm doing applique next Monday.

Applique to be stitched next week
 While I was tidying up more stuff this morning, I was working on the cutting table and knocked my scrap bin off the table. Oops - just missed the garbage bin by a few inches. I need a better aim! The scrap bin needed to be emptied anyway!


Not a very practical way to empty the scrap bin


We had our first snowfall yesterday. Hm - am I going to miss my old commute?  I don't think so - 20 seconds and I'm in the basement. Yep - I can handle that!

Let's just say that Lexi and Murphy are thrilled with the snow. I think Lexi blogged about it.

Have a super day. Drive safe if you have to go out.

Ciao!

Monday, December 11, 2017

The planets were aligned (and so were the stars!)

You know me and technology. Some days things are great and some days things are not. 

Yesterday was my lucky day. I decided that I had too much work to do to keep messing with two computers and I needed some pictures so I had better bite the bullet and do what should have been done years ago! 

I started by installing EQ8 onto the new computer. It was easy - I went into my online account for EQ and hit the download button. Once the file downloaded, I hit install and next thing I knew, I was in EQ8 messing around. It's so super easy to use - no more EQ7 as it's only on the old computer and I hope that I won't be opening that up any time soon. I still need to grab all the files off of it. 

So that was good. I'm feeling super confident. Let's move onto the next one - let's try to upload that new photo software - Photoshop Elements 18. 

Signed into that account on the internet. Oh yes - this is the one with the very tricky password. I think I've had to reset my password a hundred times whenever I work with it. And yes - I had to reset the password yesterday, but once that was done - I was good. The software took forever to download, but once I was done that - it was quick to install and I was good on program number two! 

Seriously? It was that easy? I think I worked the entire day on the new computer. 

There is one more piece of software that I have to migrate and that is the book database that I use to keep track of the books I read. I have three choices - download an app to my mobile so I can get a scanner so I could scan my own books (would be great to avoid duplicates when shopping for quilt books), I can have one accessible on the internet and one on the desktop. There is a price associated with all of them. What to choose? what to choose?  I think the internet based one might be the best? I can acccess if anywhere - that would be awesome. 

Any thoughts on that? Does anyone else use a software to track their books? I do NOT want to move the information from one file to another company so probably stuck with this one, but that's OK. That's a job for later today - I think!

And to top the day off, I decided that I needed to try and install the drivers for the printer. Gosh - I hit the appropriate button and then I had to run to the printer to get a code - 90 seconds to do that dash and then I was able to print. Seriously?  And I was able to print later in the day so I know it wasn't a fluke!

Like I said - it was my lucky day. I should have ran out and bought a lottery ticket!

There are still a few things to tweak and the worse part is the lack of e-mail addresses. It's a royal pain as I need to send e-mails to people and I can't because I don't know their address.  I will have to open up the old computer and get as many as I can because the auto-fill is still working there. 

I did get some sewing done - well prepping for a sewing session later today. You'll have to wait for that one. However there is one thing to be careful for - don't gawk around while filling the iron. I overflowed the darn thing! I've got some great stories on irons and ironing coming up as well!



Don't overflow the iron!
And yes this is Motivational Monday! I don't have anything to report other than what I've already done. Perhaps I'm going to have to do a recap on Monday.

I'm still thinking about how best to set my goals for 2018. Plus I'm reading a super book on goal setting and it's a bit of an eye opener. Don't worry, I'll be sharing that with you as well.

But I'm off today to sewing where I hope to finish ONE more of the UFO goals that I set for 2017. I do have a number of quilts to finish off before the end of the year - quilts with deadlines - not sure of the number at this point, but the maximum is 4 possibly 5 or the number could drop to 2. Waiting for confirmation on a couple of things. But holy cow - the pace around here has slowed to practically a crawl.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!

Ciao!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Back in the saddle

Oh, my - I have to say that I LOVE my new phone. It's the best upgrade I ever made in a phone (and the cheapest as well). I wasn't so sure about this fancy case the guy sold me. It's a Samsung case and I wasn't sure I would like the flap thing. I LOVE the flap thing. You can answer the phone without opening the flap, you can see the time through the flap and other little symbols, like battery power, etc.  


My new phone
It's going to be a learning curve for sure to get to know all the details of the darn thing. Yesterday morning, I'm at the park trying to take a photo. Not happening. I got into something called Bixby Vision which every time I took a photo, it would provide me thousands of like images. I don't want that. I just want a picture of the girls!  I figured it out and I got some very cute pictures of the girls. You see - I'm not so bad with technology - I just need some patience and time!

And yesterday, I didn't use the laptop at all! But then you didn't get pictures on the blog either. Today, you have pictures which were edited on the laptop. I MUST install my photo editing software on the new computer today.

Yesterday, I got back to serious long arming! I loaded the backing which was huge and then the quilt. It's an all-over design and so no issues or hiccups. So here I am at the end of the quilt but WAIT - there is a ton of batting left over. Why?

Tons of batting leftover
That's because there were not one, but TWO quilts to be done for this customer. The quilts were identical as well. So I had loaded the backing and the batting (for both) and once I was done one quilt, I loaded the second top and I was good to go.

Two  identical quilts quilted one after the other
And here are the two quilts off the machine.  It was HUGE to work with those two quilts and a wee bit cumbersome to work with that huge backing and all that batting, but it was fine.

Two quilts  - DONE!
Here's a picture of one of them.

Customer quilt - DONE!
It was great to have that EMPTY cutting mat to work on to first cut the quilts apart and then it was a breeze to trim them up.

Trimming the quilts
I felt positively in control all day yesterday and I LOVE that feeling. Even though I have a LOT of work to do, I'm in control and I love it!

We watched a movie last night (at home) - that's our weekly entertainment it seems and one night a week out for dinner. And I grabbed my grab n go bag and did more embroidery while I watched. I'm making great progress with the embroidery and I'm happy about that. I think I shall take the grab n go bag with me wherever I go and I may just get the darn project done some day in the near future!

Embroidery progress
I'm going to sneak one of my own quilts onto the long arm later today. Why? You remember all those neatly labelled tubs full of projects to be quilted?

Tubs full of quilt tops, backings and binding
I have one tub left to fill.
One last tub to sort
And there is this HUGE pile of quilt tops/backings/bindings that are supposed to fit in the tub. I don't think that's going to happen.

This needs to go in the tub
Hence - I need to get a couple of these quilts quilted so that everything will fit in the tub and I can clear up that last little area. Plus it would be nice to get a handle on some of those quilts of mine and actually get some done this year. That may go on the list of things to do in 2018 as well. I'm still thinking long and hard about that - no firm decisions yet.

Did I show you this picture? This is some of the stuff that was in my office. Boxes and boxes of paper, a sewing machine, a sewing machine table, a regular table, an ironing press, quilts and more paper and all the stuff from my inspiration board. I did manage to squeeze it all into the car in one trip! And now a lot of it has been put away or still waiting for me to go through. A little bit at a time. I tried to dump everything into the office. It's best to have one hugely messy room than little messes in lots of rooms.  I will get this place cleaned - a wee bit at a time.

Stuff from my office
And on that note - Oh WAIT - I see that Miss Lexi was on the computer earlier and I think she has something to say. Check out her blog.

I edited a ton of pictures this morning and a lot more to go. I'm doing great on my "TO DO" list and well, I'm off to do a major project today.

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Waiting........

I think I'm going to have to take my Grab n Go embroidery bag with me wherever I go.

I had several errands to do yesterday and I thought - no problem - I can get them done and get to the long arm in the afternoon. I barely made it home by 5 PM with only two of the four errands done.

What happened? My phone started to act up - the battery was losing power almost faster than I could put it in. I could go and get a new battery for the phone despite the fact that the phone will be eligible for an upgrade in one month.

Stopped in at Best Buy to see what they could do for me. I had to wait to see one of the consultants. But it was my lucky day. They had an AMAZING sale on the Samsung S8. $49 instead of $740 or whatever the ridiculous price was. It's a sale on all weekend.

So we chatted and I wanted another major piece of technology as well which I'll tell you about another day. I felt like I was on Ellen or Oprah during one of their giving shows. I ended up trading in my phone, got a wireless charger, TWO cases for the phone, a protection plan for the phone, the SIM card, plus the phone and I paid the grand total of $84 including tax. It was crazy! 

Since I was trading my phone in, I had to remove all the data from the phone which I hadn't done so it took a LONG time to make that transfer   (all those damn photos). Plus we had to talk about the other item and all the goodies that went with that. I was there for over FOUR hours!  But in the end, it was so worth it.

I love the new phone. It's an S8. Sorry - no pictures this morning. I'm in slow motion mode and I have two very impatient girls waiting!

The best news? I can play Scrabble on the phone. I haven't been able to play on my old S6. I've no idea why and we've tried everything. No worries - it's gone!  History!

If you're in the market for a new phone - this is the weekend as Best Buy has some major deals.

But here's how much I get out. He says to me - "you came in on the perfect weekend. We have the S8 on sale for $49". I give him a BLANK stare - is that good?  I text Ronda and M to get confirmation. I'm so not with it! I got a thumbs up from each of them so I figured I was good to go!

I had a good look around the store and got a few ideas for future purchases and then home.

I've got the quilt that I was supposed to be working on yesterday half loaded and that's my job for today!

On that note, I'd better go before these girls have a fit!

Have a super day!

Ciao!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Getting old is not going to be good!

Yesterday I had to do an errand for DH. His mother has had a lot of issues with her eyes and she needed to go for a follow-up appointment. I was told that the appointment was going to take three hours. Seriously?  Yep - so I went prepared. 

We arrived at the place - I don't even know who she was seeing, but I believe he's a specialist or an ophthalmologist?  First up - she needed a test. She had to be there at 11:40 to have a wee test that took all of 30 seconds. Then her appointment was at 1 PM. Why? Can you tell me why they would do that? 

So we sat in the waiting room and I soon noticed the number of people waiting and waiting. One lady said - "my appointment was at 11 AM (it was close to 1 at this point). I'm diabetic and I need to eat". Lady - if you're diabetic, you should be carrying food with you at all times! How many hours were wasted by everyone sitting in that room? It's criminal that eye doctors can do this to us! And many of the people waiting were with someone! 

Then at 1 PM, she gets called into to see the technician so she can read the eye chart and they can put drops in. Seriously?  Now we have to wait for the eyes to dilate and this could have been done when we first sat down. While we were in with the technician, the doctor went on lunch at 1 PM. Are you kidding me? Yep - and he took a full hour! She was the third patient called when he came back at 2 PM, but we didn't get out of there until almost 2:30. That's a blatant waste of people's time. I'm disgusted but from the sounds of others, this is normal for an eye specialist!

A couple of other observations I made while there. My ears are very crooked! I was trying glasses on and holy smokes, everything went on very crooked as they sat on my ears. I'm also a very visible minority in my own town. And while this was funny, it really isn't, but when they called people's names, they had been sitting for so long and many of the patients are older, that they were so stiff that they could barely walk. And it took a moment for some of them to realize that it was their turn. Thankfully, it's not a draw where you miss reading your ticket number and they move to the next one! 

So we get in to chat with the doctor and he said something about her blood sugar. My MIL could stand to lose some weight. I piped up with something and the next thing, he was chatting with me about diabetes and how over 50 percent of his clientele are in because of complications with their eyesight and diabetes!  WOW!  He was pretty passionate about it as well. And I guess I don't blame him since most diabetes is avoidable or curable if people watch their diet! He even gave me a sheet on what he recommends people eat - it's the stuff we all know - low-fat protein, unsweetened yogurt, some fruits and veggies. 

And I was feeling super guilty. I had brought some embroidery along to stitch and OMG - look what I had in my project bag - a bag of candies that I was chowing down on while waiting. ACK - I'm going to die blind! It was hilarious but of course, I didn't offer up the fact that I was binge eating candies because I was starving!



My project bag with that hidden bag of candy!
Here's something that's very important for everyone. You need a Grab n Go bag. I found this bag and wondered what was in it. I found one of those redwork embroidery blocks that was marked with the blue wash away pen. I was still able to see the design so I grabbed that.

Look - my bag still had the tag on it. That's gone now!

Price tag still attached

I promise to eat better! I promise to not eat so much sugar! I do NOT want to get diabetes and spend half of my life waiting for some eye doctor to see me. That was awful, but at least I had something to do.

Look at this great cup - I got this as a gift the other night (thanks, Annette) and I love it because it looks like a quilt. Even the little container of marshmallows (which are NOT made with sugar - oh no!) and the package of hot chocolate (also NOT made with sugar) have the same packaging. I love it!

Hot chocolate gift pack

This is what I got accomplished in three hours while waiting. Actually, it was about two hours as I did spend a wee bit of time on my phone. I'm not sure what's happening there, but the battery just seems to drain very quickly these days. I'm due for a new one in January - I hope I can wait that long or I bite the bullet and pay the difference which is probably less than $100 at this point and get a new one.

What I got stitched while waiting
Hard to see in this next picture, but yes - I can still see the lines.

Pattern still exists on this block
And here's my new book - my new lifeline. Everything I do or need to keep track of is in this book! So far - so good! A few more lists that need to be added to it but no more hunting down lists of this and that! That's half my battle most times is that I can't find the information that I know I have. 

My very important book

I did manage to cross off a lot of things off my list yesterday so I was very happy about that.

And now it's time to get the day going as there are more things to do. The exciting thing is that the amount of stuff going on the list has slowed enormously so that is encouraging!

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!!!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

In the neighbourhood


The girls and I took a leisurely walk this morning. As leisurely as a walk can be with Murphy. She has two speeds: OFF and PULLING. It's not the most relaxing thing I've ever done!

But what I did notice is the number of school buses that were picking up kids BEFORE 7 AM. I mean - that's terrible for these kids. I wonder what time they get home? And where are they going? We have perfectly good schools in our neighbourhood. Catholic and Public and in some cases, these kids were getting picked up right next to the Catholic school. Are they going to French Immersion? Is that important enough to get on a bus before 7 AM? I had to ride the school bus 30 miles to get to school as a kid cause I didn't have a choice. I hated it! I feel for these kids!

At least, I get to see what's going on in my neighbourhood now. I was never home before and missed all the good stuff. 

Well - here's an update on what I've been working on. The magazine quilt is gone! Yeah! I'm not sure why that was a tough one to get finished. I love the fabric and I love the quilt. Must have been all the other stuff - who knows? Bottom line - it's gone. Not that I can sit around and relax because I have a couple more deadlines and I can't let things slip. If I'm going to be a professional freelance person, I've got to keep on top of those darn deadlines. More lists - more reminders and it'll all work out. 

The top is done on this UFO. DONE - no borders required - it's the right size!   60 by 72. 

2017 UFO top is done!
Here is the second top that I made with this fabric. You see - here's the deal. The pattern was in a book about half log cabins. I wanted to make one of each style. One quilt is made and long gone and that left these two. Why would I do that? Because I can!  Because I'm an idiot! 

Top minus borders
Here is all the fabric that I have leftover to add the border to the above top and to make bindings. Hopefully, there'll be enough left fabric to make one backing. I don't think there's enough to make two. Not that I'm lacking in backings - there is a ton of backing material in that stash room.

Leftover fabric for binding and borders and perhaps one backing

Now the difficult part is to choose the fabrics for the borders. I could go this way.

Option One
OR
Option two
Interesting - when I saw them in person, I liked Option One, but on the computer, I'm liking Option Two better. I had better hang them both up and see where it's all going.

I don't think I'll have time today as I have a big errand to do - helping out DH with an appointment for his mother. Oh yeah - I hate waiting around doctor offices, but it's the least I can do. Got to find something to amuse me for about three hours.

Then I have to hit the long arm because I have a number of quilts that need to be done ASAP.

I thought I'd show you my computer set up!  Yep - I messed up on the photo, but you get the idea. The laptop has the keyboard and mouse contained in the laptop. The other one has wireless keyboard and mouse so I'm always losing them!

I still need to load that software so currently still switching back and forth.

Two computers are better than one?


But that's not my priority for today. I have a number of e-mails that I MUST get sent or well - it just has to be done today. One of them has been sent - about the Sit n Sew days. I misplaced the paper with the initial e-mails so I reconstructed it as best I could. If you had sent me an e-mail and didn't get one from me this morning, let me know.  I think there are enough names on that list that the dates are going to be FULL without any more notifications! Marlene - your e-mail bounced back. Send me another note! 

Here's the other thing - I hope to place ONE last order for all these tuffet supplies! I can hear you-you just ordered that huge roll of upholstery batting. Well - this is all that's left.





All that's left from my big roll of upholstery batting


YES -- I need more foam, more upholstery batting! 

The plan is to run a class at The Hobby Horse - they're in the process of setting the dates. You'll buy the kit from me and when you leave the class, you'll have a finished tuffet. Oh yes - I've got some tricks up my sleeve to make these process even simpler. Each time we run the class, more ideas. I think we're near perfection now.

Here's the thing - whether you want to take that class or not - let me know if you're interested in the foam or the upholstery batting. I'll do the blog post tomorrow describing what's in the kit and how it works. So you have between today and tomorrow to think about what you want so I can get another order in.  Yikes - who knew these darn things would be so popular!

And I'm trying - really trying to not lose any paperwork. So I have a nice little notebook. And I'm putting sign-ups ups for the sit n sews in that book and the people who want tuffet kits - all in one book. If I lose the book, I'm up the creek, but I think I can manage to keep an eye on that one thing.

I was the guest speaker at the Ancaster Modern Quilt Guild last night. Hello ladies!  They are a fun group and here's the funny part - I bet almost all the ladies were older or the same age as myself!  This Modern movement is taking the traditional quilt world by storm. And we want to make modern quilts from OUR STASHES - we don't want to buy new "modern" fabric. I showed them what I've made from my stash!  Oh - design is so much more important than the fabric. And a special hello to those ladies who came from Simcoe to hear me and everyone else - it was lots of fun!!!!  I'll put a list of my next speaking engagements on my blog soon so if you're in the neighbourhood, you can attend.

And on that note, I can cross a couple of things off my list and hopefully not add any more items today.

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!!!