Tuesday, November 19, 2019

It's all about the magazines

I've been truly blessed with the response to my designs in the magazine world. I'm not even sure how many designs have been published and I haven't always had a chance to blog about the where, when and so on.

But this time - here I am! On the COVER. This is the current issue of McCall's Quilting. That's the January/February 2020 issue. It's made with Banyan Batiks - the Baralla collection (pink slate colorway).

My quilt on the cover!

I'm super excited to make the cover. And this quilt is so simple - you could make it in a day. That's my favorite kind of quilt these days. Simple and easy. It's all about using up our stashes!

Speaking of stashes, I read a comment the other day - about why do we need to use up our stashes? The comment alluded to the fact that painters aren't required to use up their paints. I get it! But people - a fabric stash takes up a whole lot of space. It's heavy, it gets dirty and for god's sake - it gets DATED!!!!!  Tubes of paint are timeless. So be a responsible quilter and start to use up some of that stash.

I picked up three more quilts to add to the customer quilting queue, with three more to arrive. I think I'm good until the end of the year! So whatever else comes in, unless I'm totally free, will have to wait until January. That gives me a wee bit of time to do some decluttering, and get a few of my community project quilts done as well as maybe one or two of my own.

We had Monday sewing yesterday and I made good progress on the next block of hand applique. Actually, I finished the applique on a small project. I was so busy running around with iPads, sewing machines, phones, and cameras last night and very early this morning, that I totally forgot to take a picture of my work. It's all about pictures for the blog. You're going to love the blog posts.

I started reading the book from Oprah's book club. Oh boy - a heavy subject and the first chapter was just weird. But I persevered and I think it's going to be a good book. But could not just once, she pick a subject that is not heavy and depressing. This book is about a slave in the south.

Today, I have to write a letter of dissatisfaction. I got my winter tires put on yesterday. When I booked the appointment several weeks ago, I was told it would take about 1 ½ hours for the tires to be changed. I was informed when I arrived that they were running late. My tires are on rims so I would expect it to be more like 1 hour, but OK - I'm good with 1 ½. Well it took 2 hours and 15 minutes. This is the SECOND time. I was furious. I kept my calm and totally expressed my complete dissatisfaction with the service at this dealer. Seriously???  Can they not figure out how to book appointments? They're as bad as doctors  - not my doctor, but other doctors.

On top of it, there was water leaking into the lounge area and for 2 hours and 15 minutes, I heard DRIP, DRIP, DRIP. Very loud and very constant. I was very annoyed. But I'm good today. I had a good sleep and my head is clear and I don't have time to waste being grumpy. But I'm going to write that letter and I'm going to have my tires taken out of storage (I didn't have room in the car to take them yesterday) and move them to another place for future tire changes.

Just another annoyance in life in a first-world country. Seriously!

On that note, I'm out of here. This has to be short because I realized upon waking this morning, that there was a deadline yesterday for a quilt submission. I forgot to send in my design so I had to get that prepped this morning. It's gone. Wish me luck!!!

Have a super day!!!!!


Monday, November 18, 2019

To quilt or not to quilt

I'm possessed! I'm trying to clear up the list of quilts! I've no idea why - there's nothing urgent to be quilted, but I'm on a roll.

And - well I had another interesting customer. I shall not name names, but she knows who she is. I can see her rolling her eyes as she reads this.

A while back, she gave me a couple of quilts. I did ask which one was more urgent and she told me the hockey one was more urgent than the football quilt. OK - so I loaded the football quilt. Hey - it was the first one that came up.

I was going to see her yesterday so I decided that I'd better get her quilt done before she came. I had loaded the quilt the previous night. In the morning, I had a funny feeling that the quilting pattern she chose was directional and so was the backing and it wasn't loaded the right way. DARN!! So I took the quilt off the long arm and turned the backing and the quilt.

As I went to load the backing, I determined the direction of the print. Then when I started to pin - WHOA? This isn't working. I turned the backing around and OH BOY - the prints on the two halves of the backing were going in opposite directions. I choose the side that would give the most visibility to the directional print in the correct direction.

The quilt backing

If you didn't know, your brain probably wouldn't register what happened. But it was important to me.

Needless to say, the quilt got quilted and the binding got put on and she was able to take the quilt home with her yesterday!

Customer quilt - DONE

Since it was a hockey quilt, we used a hockey quilting pattern. I'm very familiar with the steps now to operate the robot on the long arm. HOWEVER, if you miss a step which is very easy to do when you're in the zone (or listening to an audiobook). That happened once with this quilt, but she'll never know! And that's because I pretty much know how to get myself out of trouble with any situation. At least any that I've encountered so far. I'm sure one day, something will pop up that I've not seen before. Just to give me a new learning experience.

The quilting pattern

What to quilt next? I have a list for the week and trying to fit them in as I have time around my other activities. Oh - here's a small one - that will work perfectly. Dare I say this is the same customer and the backing had to be pieced? She always has the backing pieced. Oh well - bottom line - this quilt is now finished. It's trimmed and this time she is going to learn how to put the binding on herself by machine!

Customer quilt - DONE

You can put a binding on a quilt with any sewing machine. However, I've been using the top of the line sewing machines for the last couple of years and they are so powerful that putting a binding on a quilt is like running a hot knife through butter. DONE!!!!

It was so gorgeous yesterday, that I had to take a walk in the afternoon. OH - I could go back to the library to pick up a book that I had seen the day before. I know - I have to stop going to the library for a while. I'm only allowed to go if I'm returning something. NO MORE BOOKS.

Speaking of books, I also have 7 audiobooks on my electronic shelf. Now, how the heck did that happen? I started listening to James Patterson and David Ellis's book called Unsolved. Oh boy - I have two hours left in the 13-hour book. I NEED to know how it ends. I listened most of yesterday, been up very early this morning and listened some more. Where can I sneak in two hours? Maybe tonight. Maybe in the car driving to Monday sewing (that's only 15 minutes away) as my radio station has moved over to Christmas music - 24 hours a day until Christmas. I like Christmas music, but I can't handle that.

I read the first book in this series called Invisible. Also in audiobook and it's chilling! Personally, I think some of these books are way better in audiobook format because of the voices that read them. There was a HUGE twist at the end of Invisible. Will there be one here?

Anyway - this book is about a very unsavory character - where do they dream up these guys? And the plot twists? Some parts are frustrating, but that's part of the storyline. I'll be finished tonight for sure.

I also did some machine embroidery last night. Oh my - what fun. Wait until you see what I did and how I did it. That's a story for next week.

I have to go - my brain isn't good enough to write a blog post and listen to an audiobook at the same time, but I might just get in an extra 20 minutes by cutting this short. Sorry!!!

We also have our UFO club yesterday. Holy - people are focused! I'll be sharing that with you later this week. The good news - it's going to continue in the new year. I'll be putting a post together soon with classes and other stuff that's happening in the new year. My goal is NOT to make you start a new UFO - it's to help you finish the stuff you started and sometimes a new technique to keep your brain learning. OK - who am I kidding - there's a couple of new projects in the works! Fun ones!

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Back to normal

I'm back to normal! Well, as normal as things are going to get around here. But I'm back to my routine and I love it! Yep - as much as I like new and exciting things and I love going away, I love my routine at home.

I spent most of the day in Studio B and I was happy. I was working my magic with the camera and with the computer writing blog posts and wait until you read those blog posts. You're going to be as excited as I am. The Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC2 is - well it's EPIC and that's all I'm going to say about it right now. I don't ever want to stop sewing/embroidering on the darn thing.

I trimmed a lot of quilts and still have one more to trim. It's my own so no rush. I'm still on the fence if I need to add more quilting to that one of mine I did last week. I have to make a decision real quick on it as I need it for show n tell this Thursday. Should I or shouldn't I? That'll be for later today to make a decision on that.

Here's the quilt in case you have no clue what I'm talking about. You see - it has a wavy line going in one direction. I thought about a wavy line in the opposite direction, but since I didn't keep the original pattern, I think it's going to be too difficult to replicate that. Hmmm - I may have answered my question. No more quilting. Now I want to play around with a grid pattern with that wavy line, but not on this quilt. Where's another quilt to experiment with?? OH - I got lots and I'm going to play with them.

Lilla quilt - decision to be made on adding more quilting or not

I was busy on the long arm yesterday. First I finished this quilt.

Customer quilt - DONE!!

I was on a roll so I loaded this Quilts of Valour quilt and it's done as well.

Quilts of Valour quilt - DONE

That's exciting to get another one of these Quilts of Valour completed. I'll drop the quilt off this week and pick up another one! I have a quilt from our charity days that is slated for Quilts of Valour and that one is also slated for this coming week.

My little whiteboard is great for keeping me on track. If things go as planned, that board will be clear by the end of the year - well not clear. It'll never be clear, but things will be up to date. There's even a couple of my quilts on the board at the moment and a couple from our community project days.

This all means that there is, in fact, a light at the end of the tunnel! There's room for one or two more quilts before Christmas. Speak up now or it's not going to happen!

Here's a reminder if you are going to bring me a quilt to quilt on the long arm. DO NOT baste the three layers together. I need three separate pieces - a quilt top, batting that is at least three inches on all sides or you can buy batting from me. And the backing must be at least three inches larger on all sides as well. A quilt recently landed on my doorstep with the three layers basted together. The batting was polyester and the EXACT size of the quilt top. UGH. The backing was about 1" larger all around. Double UGH!

I was able to get the quilt quilted but it took a lot of finagling to make it happen. I also used a new piece of batting - I'm good, but I'm not that good to use a polyester batting that's the same size as the quilt. It drives me crazy when people don't listen. It cost her more money because she didn't pay attention to what I said. I have no qualms about charging to fix a problem. I did NOT get the quilt directly from the owner - it came via Pony Express in case you think I accepted something that wasn't right!

It was a nice day so I popped down to the library to pick up a book that had come in. OH - this is the book from Oprah's book club. I better get that read in the three weeks as I know for sure someone else is going to want that book. And I made good headway on an audiobook as I was buzzing around in Studio B.

It's so nice to go away, but gosh being home is just the best.

I've got a load of work lined up for today - what the heck would I do with my time if I didn't have sewing? I'd be bored out of my mind! You can only read for so long and once you declutter, what then? I'm glad I love to sew!

Still waiting to find my sewing buddy that I can mentor.

On that note, I'm out of here! I still have a wee bit to finish on my homework for today's UFO club. And god forbid that I cough up another $10. That won't be happening. There are quilts to bind and quilts to sew and quilts to quilt. It's going to be a busy day.

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Travel Day

Travel days - you never know if the day will go smoothly or if there'll be a few bumps along the way. I had been told that the Northern airports are somewhat forgiving about luggage, but perhaps that's only if you're a local.

I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Now keep in mind, the Timmins airport is small. As I was approaching the Air Canada desk with my huge suitcase, my carryon, and my backpack, the attendant instructed me - from a distance that all checked luggage had to be x-rayed. WHOA! What's that mean?

Well, I knew what it meant, but do I need to check-in first? What's the protocol? AHA - then I realized that there was an X-ray machine right beside me and I needed to put the big suitcase through the X-ray machine. OK - that was easy. It gets a little tag to let the attendant know that it was X-rayed.

Now I'm allowed to approach the counter. OH - your suitcase is overweight by 5.6 pounds. You can pay $100 or move some stuff. And she literally looked at my carryon suitcase and said: "do you really think you can move 5 pounds to that suitcase?" Of course, I can - do I look like an idiot? Then she proceeded to make me fit the carryon into the metal frame and well - the bottom line - she made me pay $50 to check that second bag. I don't remember the fee being $50 but I paid up.

But not before, I opened both suitcases and rifled through things and rejigged the contents to make the huge suitcase weigh 48.9 pounds. Who knows what the small suitcase weighed. Before I hit the magic number, I weighed the large one a second time and it was still 1.6 pounds over. Was that good enough? "No, the flight is full and weight is really important."  OK - I get that, but does it matter if my 1.6 pounds is in one suitcase or the other - I'm taking them both with me. She should have said - it's for the baggage handlers. Perhaps she was having a bad day!

The bottom line, I got both suitcases to her specifications and we were all happy and I was $50 poorer. I had bought a couple of things while I was there and that's what tipped the scales. I don't know why she was so huffy about the smaller suitcase. On the DASH-8 plane, it goes in the sky check anyway. But she wasn't having nothing to do with that.

As I was sitting in the waiting area, waiting for security to open, I noticed a man with a carryon bag that was larger than the one I was trying to bring. OH  - I forgot, after I had the bags to her satisfaction, I had to take them both back to the X-ray machine to be X-rayed. While we were waiting, this man's name got called. No idea why, but he was called to the counter where the attendant having a bad day was stationed. When the man came back to his seat, he didn't have his carryon with him. She made him check that too. I didn't feel bad at all and I was watching for others with carryon luggage. I bet most of them wouldn't have fit in that metal frame.

When I looked out the window in the morning, the weather looked bad. However, I soon realized that it was windy like crazy and it was just blowing snow. When I had to get out and put gas in the car, let's just say that it was a fun (NOT!) experience.

Oh - the workers at the airport were having a bad day because after I was finished checking in, I remembered I had to turn in the keys to the rental car. I approached the desk and a woman was busy doing something. She asked me if I wanted a receipt, I said "sure". As I was standing there, I noticed a sign on the desk that said - you could have one e-mailed to you. I asked if mine could be e-mailed to me. She literally grabbed the keys and threw them in the pile beside the sign. She said something rude and that was that. HEY LADY - if you don't want to do anything - then put the sign right up front and I'd have been happy to throw the keys in the pile myself.

I mean really - these people have to realize that STRANGERS unfamiliar to their area fly through that airport. It's not like we all live up north.

Anyway - I got on the full flight and we had a great flight home. Took much less time than going up - must have been the wind. The flight was delayed by 15 minutes and I bet that was because of the headwinds for the plane coming in. I don't usually travel in the winter and certainly not when you have to get on the plane from outside. Everyone was so bundled up in their coats - it made the small plane feel even smaller. However, there was one man who had no luggage and no winter coat. What was that all about?

When I arrived in Toronto, to my surprise, my luggage (both pieces) were the 2nd and 3rd pieces that arrived on the carousel. Was that a benefit of my paying $50?? I hardly doubt that! I love to watch the reaction of people when they get their rides outside. There was this large black vehicle - bigger than an SUV waiting. There were two men inside and when the person they were meeting walked up behind me, these two guys got out. Of course - shouts to their buddy who was arriving and big hugs all around. Now, what's that all about? Most people, just quietly get in the car. To make matters even worse, as the new guy was trying to put his suitcase in the back of this HUGE vehicle, I hear a crash and saw a 12-pack of Corona beer fall onto the pavement. What the heck was in the back of this HUGE vehicle? You could tell that something broke inside and as one guy picked it up, it was gushing beer.

NO!!!!!! - that's good stuff. So they opened the case, took out all the unbroken bottles and put the remainder in the garbage beside me. I told the guy - "what a waste". He concurred. Then they all got in the vehicle and drove away. And the area smelled strongly of beer! What was so funny was the guy they were picking up said to them as he got close "is this the FBI picking me up?" It seriously looked like that except the driver was in a plaid shirt.

Anyway - I made it home safely and the girls were beyond themselves to see me. And that should be the LAST overnight road trip of the year. Yeah!!!!!  I don't mind road trips, but I really hate flying with that huge suitcase. It's so not me, but it's very important to what I do. I can't imagine flying with more than one of those huge cases. Not going to happen in my lifetime. OH - I'd better be careful, but I would try to never fly with more than what I do right now.

I unpacked the suitcases when I got home and has to wash the wheels twice to get all the salt off of them.

I literally puttered around all afternoon. I had to teach a class at 4:30 so there wasn't a whole lot of downtime. The class was to teach two young girls (grades 4 and 6) how to make a zippered pouch. This is the second time I taught these two girls (they are cousins). The first time, one borrowed a sewing machine from the store and the other one brought a toy sewing machine. This time, they had REAL sewing machines that the parents bought for them. I knew that purchase had happened and I was THRILLED for the girls. What did they buy?? They are very cute.

New sewing machine

Huge KUDOS to the parents of these two girls for buying them a $200 sewing machine that actually works. Remember, they are in Grade 4 and Grade 6. Can you imagine being in Grade 4 and having a sewing machine? They got matching machines by the way. The color is Arctic Crystal. I think the color was a huge influencer in the purchase.

Matching sewing machines
And they knew how to use them. Apparently, they've been watching videos on YouTube and they knew how to thread them and they knew how to wind the bobbin. But when it came to loading the bobbin, they were a bit lost. It would appear that the video had them inserting the thread into the hole in the bobbin case and not through the slot like you're supposed to do. When I showed them, they were amazed. Oh, this way is so much easier. So if you're going to make a YouTube video - make sure you have the right information. Just a small beef I have about YouTube videos.

Last time, the girls made pillowcases, this time they made zippered pouches. The smiles on their faces when they turned those zippered pouches inside out was priceless. For obvious reasons, I don't have a picture of them holding their zippered pouches. Mom's rules - no pictures. I'm good with that.

Zippered pouches

 It took them two hours and during that time, I did all the cutting for safety reasons and to speed up the process. Now isn't that just the best????  I wish these two girls lived a wee bit closer to me as I'd love to mentor the two of them. Anyone know someone in Mississauga who wants to learn to sew?

And we may have another young sewist as well. As the girls were finishing up, a mom, dad, and young girl walked into the store. The young girl, seeing the young girls in the back, marched right into the back and wanted to see what they had done. She wanted to learn to sew as well!

I tell you - these kids want to sew and make things, but with parents who never learned, they don't stand a chance. If you know someone who wants to sew - help them out!!!  Become a mentor - loan them a sewing machine or get the parents to buy one - Christmas is coming.

Here's the thing and this is a comment to marketing brilliance that all sewing machine companies should pay attention to. If you go online and search "sewing machine for a beginner" (actually I went to that huge online store) and guess what pops up? These machines (amongst others) in three eye-catching colors.

Then it was home where I could relax for the remainder of the evening. Yeah!!!!

I don't have a whole lot going on this weekend - officially that is. But I have blog posts to write, pictures to take, quilts to quilt and a bit of a mess created by madly prepping before I left. So it's going to be a super busy day. I'm OK with that. I'm home and I putter to my heart's content.

On that note, I'd better take these wild dogs for a walk!

Have a super day!!!


Friday, November 15, 2019

Wrapping up

After the late finish on the first day of presentations, I stayed in Cochrane. I wasn't about to travel to Timmins in the dark when I was tired. I was up early yesterday and back on the road. There was a bit of snow coming down but nothing too significant. The roads were just fine.

If you've never traveled in Northern Ontario this is what the roads look like. YES  - I stopped in the middle of the road to take that picture.
The "traffic" in Northern Ontario
I've driven across Canada in my car in various segments and I think I've only once driven through Northern Ontario. And I rode my bike across Canada several years back. Let's just say that there are a lot of trees. There is no rock per se in this area. No one passed me (in 100 KM) although I did meet traffic coming north. A long lonely stretch of highway. As I mentioned, the roads were good, the sky got lighter as I drove and I had a good radio station in the car. Speaking of which - that's the weird thing. I had dialed into a Timmins radio station in the car and I had amazing reception all the way to Cochrane.

When we're in Orillia, we have terrible reception. Now why is that?? Perhaps - it's the radio. Not the one in my car, but the one in the retreat house.

Yesterday I wasn't doing my presentation in a store. Instead, we were at a church where we had quite a few people in the morning and a full house in the afternoon. It was exciting to see so many people out. It's not often that "guest" speakers get up this way and everyone turned out in full force.

I met some great ladies and we had loads of fun. I don't know the numbers exactly, but there are a lot of bilingual people living in this area. It's quite impressive. Perhaps I can move to Northern Ontario so I can practice my French. Kidding! But you got to love the traffic or lack thereof. I mean seriously, how much time and energy (gas) do we waste in the city. Something to think about when I retire.

I have to say that by the end of the fourth presentation in two days (same presentation all four times) that I was getting a wee bit talked out. Yes - even me. So while I was sad to see the presentations end, I was very glad at the same time. And as far as I know, this is the LAST trip for the year. My December is so wide open, I could roll a bowling ball through it. Don't get me wrong - the next two weeks are crammed with classes and sample making and blog writing. And there's still Sit n Sew days, charity sewing days and UFO classes.

Now I can be home with my head down making samples and trying to get some of my UFOs completed before the end of the year.

As I run through my examples and samples, I realize - OH - I could make this or I could make that to show off some of the techniques or features. It just never ends and I'm OK with that. I need to get my creative thinking cap on.

I popped down to the used book store but I didn't have my list with me and I quickly went through some of the authors I remember but didn't see anything.

I had a long leisurely dinner last night in a restaurant right beside the hotel so that was great. Then back to the hotel to read for a bit. I have to repack my suitcases this morning as I just winged a few things into the car. So I had to haul all that into the room and now I have the fun of packing it all up. It never fails - I leave for a destination on an airplane and everything is neat and tidy. I get in the car and my suitcases seem to explode. EVERY single time. I guess that's why when I go to retreat, the car is filled.

Thank goodness I don't go to retreat via airplane. I'd never make it. How do people do that anyway???

Looks like the weather is good this morning so I shouldn't have any problems getting home. Which is good since I have a class to teach later this afternoon.

On that note, I'm out of here to cram everything back into the suitcase.

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, November 14, 2019

It's all about the Polar Bears

What a great day!!! I presented my session twice yesterday. We had loads of people in both sessions and that was very exciting. It's super fun to share samples with people, provide tips and also to showcase the incredible new sewing and embroidery machine - the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2, the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S400 serger and the Husqvarna Viking Platinum Q165 quilting machine. I haven't had a chance to play with the Platinum Q165, but I can't say enough about the other two machines. So MUCH FUN!

And there's so much new technology integrated into the Designer EPIC 2 that - well, it just blows my mind. The improved apps, sending files wirelessly, the new embroidery design library - well, I could go on and on.

One of the presentations was in the morning and one was in the evening leaving a couple of hours in the afternoon with nothing to do. Christina, the shop owner, took me to the Polar Bear Habitat.  There are currently five polar bears at the habitat.  If you check out the website, they have live cameras in each of the three enclosures so if the polar bears are out, you can see them.

When we arrived, we saw two bears in one of the enclosures. Both of them were being pretty lazy and just hanging out doing nothing.

One of them was hanging out at the fence while the other was back near the trees. We went inside the building where you can view their swimming pool, but obviously, they weren't in the pool

The polar bears

Here's a picture of me all bundled up against the cold!  Notice my northern themed jacket! That fuzzy jacket is made from recycled pop bottles!

Me with the polar bears

I snapped this picture of the other polar bear from inside the building. All this guy would do is wiggle his butt and lift his head. His back legs were totally splayed out so he was lying right on his tummy. Murphy does that too!!!

Having a look around

Then the other one by the fence started to get frisky and was moving around, stretching out on his back, grabbing his back paw with his front paw. So darn cute! So we went back outside.

Having a good stretch

The size of their paws is unbelievable. They are huge!!!  And they are so huge and furry. They look cute and cuddly although that is hardly the case and much care is taken to prevent any mishaps.

Then the other bear finally got up and lumbered over to the bear by the fence. Next thing we knew, the two of them started rolling around on the ground and wrestling. It was so fun to watch. I have to say that they reminded me of Lexi and Murphy. They played exactly like those two silly girls of mine. Grabbing each other by the neck and snapping with their teeth but all the while knowing to play gently and not kill each other.

Polar bears playing

I think we were there for an hour and well worth the visit. This was my first time seeing polar bears in real life. Did you notice that they are far from being white? They are a definite cream color.

The polar bears are from other locations and have been orphaned or born in captivity. They can never go back to the wilderness.

I'll be sure to check out their activity later today.

Driving back to Timmins this morning for two more sessions and then flying home tomorrow. I need to get better at scheduling my flights. I could have flown home tonight, but originally I thought the timing was too tight. Now I realize I would have had enough time. But the cost to change is way too much for my liking so I'll get a hotel tonight (it's way cheaper than the cost of the flight change) and leave in the morning. Shoot - next time - do NOT be in a rush to book a trip. Think it through and then book.

It was almost 10 PM by the time I got to bed last night which is super late for me! But I had a great sleep and ready to hit the road soon.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Travel Day

I did manage to get some stuff done yesterday, but the most important thing was to pack. I just laid out the backpack (portable office), the clothes suitcase and the sample suitcase and as I remembered things, they got packed. Are you kidding? That's not how it happened.

The backpack hadn't really been unpacked since getting home from the retreat so it didn't take much to get it ready. I did think about the charger for the FitBit, but I didn't throw it in and guess what? My FitBit needs to be charged today. Oh well. Not like it's going to collect a lot of data over the next couple of days, but I will miss having the time handy.

You do have to love the portable office. I've got my iPad out (it's my portable radio which is super easy with the Radio Canada Player app). I've got my laptop to blog with and my phone which was used to take pictures. Yep - portable office. I love it!!

The clothes suitcase was the last to pack as usual. But hopefully, I threw in enough stuff for a couple of days. I did throw in a hat because well - it's cold here.

I was going to take the afternoon flight so that I could do my drive in the daylight. Nope - that flight got canceled and I was on the 4:40 flight. Oh well - it could be worse. I arrived at the airport with time to spare - no more winging it at the last minute - not with that checked bag and that was the last flight of the day. I was a bit worried about the weight of the sample suitcase, but it was fine.

Breezed through security, although it's a bit tougher in the winter. I almost forgot my coat! DUH!!!

Instead of boarding at 4:10, we didn't board until almost 40 minutes later. Why? The flight attendant was late!!!!  I get it when you're late for an office job, but a flight attendant? When the pilots, plane, and passengers are ready and you're not? And that plane had to fly back to Toronto so all the people at the Timmins airport were waiting. Oh well.

She was a very friendly person, but very strict. She actually asked people if they had their seat belts fastened as she couldn't see some of them because of all the clothing. It was freezing when we got on the plane so most people kept their coats on. We were like little sardines in a long tin can. I did take my coat off soon after we took off.

So where did I land? In Timmins, Ontario. That's way up north! Fortunately, they did not get the snow that we had back in Toronto, but it was cold. We flew up on a Dash-8 which is a small plane. I was in row 11 and I was two rows from the back. But the plane was full. The Dash-8 is a prop plane and it's fascinating to see the prop when the plane is in the air. See that quarter circle in the photo below? That's the edges of the prop. The blades are rotating so fast that it looks like a solid ring, but it's only three or four blades going at very high speed.

View from the plane

We had to wait in a queue to take off and I was watching the planes on the runway beside us. Have you ever thought about a plane taking off? It starts off slow, then it speeds up a lot and then it takes off. Just amazing when you think about it and how much weight is involved.

To top it off, we had headwinds so that slowed the flight down. We were forty minutes late compared to our original arrival time. I got my rented car and then I was off. I had a good laugh about the car. It's a Toyota Corolla. I got in and felt like I was home. The car is grey, a sedan and an automatic, but the interior is EXACTLY like my car. So I knew where all the controls were. I tried to pair my phone with the car, but that didn't happen. I probably messed up the pairing of my own car back home. No worries.

Timmins was NOT my final destination. I was off to Cochrane so that's a little over one hour away. The timing could not have been more perfect. Why? There was a full moon last night so it was a very easy drive. I didn't realize at first and then I was wondering why it appeared to be so light out, I looked out the window to see the full moon shining down on me. Thankfully there were no moose along the highway. The roads were clear and I made the trip with no issues. I also learned something about my car. It has auto high beams. Since I never use high beams back home, I didn't know that, but I should have known that.

I had booked the motel room a couple of weeks back and I swear that I was staying at the Travelodge. I arrived and NO, they had no reservation for me. Actually, I think the clerk thought it hilarious that I would reserve a motel room in the middle of nowhere in the winter in the middle of the week. She said I was likely at the Thriftlodge which was across the street. I checked my e-mail and yes - she was right.

I'm always leery of these motel rooms. Are they going to be cold? That happened to us once on one of our road trips. We didn't go to the motel room before dinner and when we arrived at the room, it was freezing. I'm happy to report that my room is toasty warm.

I emptied the car as I didn't want my stuff to be sitting in the freezing car overnight. I had to make several trips, but not before I locked myself out of the room and had to walk to the office to get a new key. It was a bit of a comedy of errors travel day, but it all worked out. I had a good sleep and I'm ready to go this morning.

Cochrane sign

Cochrane is home to a polar bear habitat. I'm hoping to get out and see them later today. This is the big sign as you enter the town. That's a big polar bear beside the sign above. Did you know the population of Cochrane is about 5,000? (That's from 2016)

For those of you back home who think it's cold. Think again!  This is the temperature here. Although I've already been out - had to get breakfast at Tim's and while the thermometer says it's cold, it's not that bad. Mind you, I was in the car and back (in my fleece PJs) before I could feel the cold.

Temperature this morning

My car had no problem starting. I did hear the diesel truck parked here overnight startup earlier so it could warm up, but the car was just fine.

So there you have the trials and tribulations of yet another travel day.

I notice that no one has sent me a picture or an e-mail of a gadget that they bought that they don't use. Don't forget to do that. Otherwise, the gadget blog post is going to be just my gadgets.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today for more information on those fusible products.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day and stay warm!!!!


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Monday rant

While we did have a great time at the retreat, there were just a few issues that I needed to rant about. That's what these Monday sessions are all about. I had my rant and then I was fine - it was out of my system! Time to move on!

Just in case you think I was ranting about people, NOPE - I was mostly ranting about gadgets. How much money and time is spent on gadgets and less than informative YouTube videos? I get it that everyone wants a piece of the quilting industry pie, but we need to make sure that what we put out there is correct information. My bottom line is that everyone should learn to do things the traditional way - then there's no need to buy all the gadgets that are on the market. Everyone is looking for a quick fix and that doesn't exist.

Some of the instructional videos/tutorials are just plain silly. Have you heard of the one of pressing blocks by putting them under a large book? Seriously??? Learn to press seams properly with an IRON and they'll be flat every time. Or how about GLUEING fabric together instead of pinning? Why would you waste so much time when learning to hold the fabric properly is so much faster and if you feel the need to put in a pin or two, that's OK, but glue??? For piecing?

Let's have a rant together. Send me a picture of the most useless gadget or technique that you bought and why. I won't share your name on the blog - no need to admit that we paid good money for something useless. Once I get a few things, I'll put them together in a post. Don't worry - I've purchased my share of useless gadgets or ones that I thought I'd get more use out of.

I finished stitching the applique in place on the border I've been working on for a bit. Oh, shoot - forgot to take a picture. And I prepped some applique for next week and even managed to get a few hexagons paper pieces (English Paper Piecing). I left a bit early as I had lots to do at home.

Helen Anne finished another block in her Christmas applique quilt.

The V block

Here's the pattern - it's called Christmas A to Z by someone in Oakville. I can't read her name. There's a LOT of work in this quilt, but it's super cute and she's almost completed all the applique. I think there's some embroidery to do. That's the beauty of Monday sewing - a little bit every week and projects get finished.

Pattern Cover for Christmas A to Z

I'm prepping for my big trip to Timmins and Cochrane. I leave later today - thank goodness the storm happened yesterday or I'm not sure I'd be heading out. I got quite a bit of work done and I did get the cutting table pretty much tidied up.

I know why I didn't take pictures - I was so busy listening to my audiobook that I didn't think of pictures. Well, I'll get you those pictures later.

As I was tidying up the cutting table and some of the stuff off the floor, I took pictures of the zippered pouches that I made at the retreat. Here's one of them. This fabric was scooped from the Cotton + Steel booth at Quiltcon several years ago. They had a huge box with scraps and offcuts that we were allowed to take. I took these two pieces and made the zippered pouch. Better late than never.

Zippered pouch

These next two were made with the scraps from a quilt I made several years ago. I sewed the scraps together to get the center panel. Then I added the coordinating fabric around the panels. They've been prepped for quite a while and now they are done!

Two more zippered pouches

I have one more like this to make, but I need to find something before I finish it. I hunted for the Perle cotton that I used for the decorative stitching yesterday but do you think I could find it. Nope - it's somewhere in Studio U, but it's not on the table where it's supposed to be. Now, where could that darn stuff be hiding????

You see, one side of the zippered pouch has the decorative stitching and the other side does not. It would silly with just one side stitched.

There's a craft sale at The Hobby Horse and I might just put those zippered pouches in the sale, along with the rest of my laundry bags. I mean - I do NOT need 12 laundry bags. Two should be sufficient. Actually, I'll keep one of each color. So if you're looking for quilty items and don't have time to make them, the craft sale will be a good place to look for those gifts.

Time to get back to the long arm for the quilt of the day. I got this one completed. It just needs to be trimmed, but no rush.

Customer quilt - DONE

I see I'm going to have to do some shoveling this morning, but it's not that bad.

So far, my flight is on-time and let's hope it stays that way as I have a bit of a drive once I arrive later tonight. In the meantime, I'll be spending my day getting some more samples ready and I'm also prepping blog posts for QUILTsocial. Wait until you see what I have to show you!!!

Speaking of QUILTsocial, did you read Paul's blog post about sticky stuff yesterday??  Well, there's another day of sticky stuff today. Check it out. I've heard really, really good reviews about the Grippy product that he talks about today.

On that note, I'm out of here as I do some prep work today.

Have a super day!!!


Monday, November 11, 2019

Fireside Retreat - Day Five

I'm back home now and while I totally enjoyed my time at Fireside Retreat, it's always nice to get back home. Let's just say the girls were quite excited to see me.

BUT - it was total chaos for a few minutes. I arrived home at 1:45 and immediately unloaded the car. It took me ten trips to the car and back to get everything in the house. Someone stopped by at 1:55 to pick up a couple of things that I had to dig out. Then a customer had an appointment at 2 PM to drop off and pick up some quilts. It was a first-time customer and she was totally thrilled. That makes me very happy.

Let's go back to the beginning of the day! We don't have to check out of the house until 3 PM, but I think in all the years that we've been to the retreat house, only once did we stay until almost the final minute. Even though I had been taking stuff to the car as I finished with it, it still took several trips to get everything in the car. I swear, I'll try to be more organized next time and you all know that won't happen. Even I know that won't happen, but it's something to aim for.

I was hard at work on getting the strips ready for a jelly roll rug. I sewed all the strips together and pressed them. It was now time to insert the strips of batting. Cheap me has decided that it's not worth it to buy the packaged strips. So I've been cutting my own from the leftover strips when I trim a quilt.

So the question is - how wide should those strips be? I've been cutting mine 2 ½". There's talk that they should be 2 ¼" but I don't think I'd cut them 2 ¼". I mean you could but if you cut them at 2 ¼", it's not a big deal. I was able to shove the entire width inside the 2 ½" strips of fabric. Your choice - either way works.

This was my bag of batting strips when I started. OK -- I did take a couple of batting strips from the bag before I took the photo. But it's full - right???

Bag of batting strips for jelly roll quilt

And what do you think the bag looks like now???

The bag of batting scraps AFTER

Yep - I took 1,600 inches of batting scraps out of that bag and it doesn't even look like I touched it. ACK!!!!  It's just like our stashes. It doesn't matter how much you try to use it up, it never seems like you use any. Hey - it would appear that fabric and batting are renewable resources!! 

I had not finished all the stitching in the morning at the retreat house so when I got home, I set up the sewing machine and I plugged in an audiobook and away I went. Next thing I knew, the cord for the rug was finished.

Ready to make a jelly roll rug

You'll notice that I do my stitching on the edge of the strip, not in the center. If you stitch in the middle and use the wider batting strips, you may have trouble. I like the heavier batting (than what comes in the packages) and the slightly wider strip of batting as it makes for a more substantial rug. Just saying!

I would say that I have cut strips to make another 5 rugs??? And a HUGE bag of batting strips that need to be trimmed. I've cut the strips to make the next rug. Perhaps people would like to buy these balls of cord????

After the chaos of my first few minutes went away, I put the food away that I had brought home and I brought everything else downstairs so it could be put away. Yikes - that's a lot of stuff. Now keep in mind, that I did bring supplies.

Everything that was in the car

It looks much better this morning. 

This still has to be put away

I'm trying out a pair of wireless earbuds. I like them as the cord doesn't get caught on things as I rip around the studio, but they are expensive and if I decide to use them, I'll have to share the charging dock which isn't a bad thing. The darn things have an echo when chatting on the phone which can be annoying to the person I'm chatting with. I'm still on the fence about them.

I loaded and quilted this small quilt later in the afternoon and the next one is loaded and ready to be quilted later today.

Customer quilt - DONE

I've got a list of quilting that'll keep me busy until the end of the month and a couple quilts slated for December. I hope to make some good inroads on our charity quilts over the upcoming holidays. We'll see what happens.

Now for some good reading this morning, check out QUILTsocial. Paul Leger is chatting about sticky stuff this week. He's talking about batting spray and several other products. I'll try to remember to post the link every day for you.

On that note, I'm out of here. It's Monday sewing and a snowstorm is in the forecast. I may only go for part of the day as I have much work to be done before I head out to Timmins/Cochrane tomorrow. Don't forget if you're in that area, call Needle Works and get yourself on the guestlist for the events. We're going to have loads of fun!!!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Quilting Retreat - Day Four

It's the last morning! How the heck did that happen?? Although at the same time, it feels like we've been here for a long time. The Fireside Retreat house is so comfortable and so convenient and so full of laughter and friends that it feels like home. We had a little trip down memory lane last night in reading the guest book. Oops - I said that we've been here 16 times. I lied. It's been 15. It would appear that I can't count.

While I managed to get more accomplished yesterday, it still seems like I didn't get much done. I think I managed to get four zippered pouches completed but that seems like nothing. Oh well - it's like being on vacation so I'm not complaining.

I did pop out to The Book Re-View yesterday. I "sold" back some books and found some books in a series that I was looking for. It wasn't one of my best trips there, but we all know that the used book game is a treasure hunt. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't. Now I have a bag of books that need to be donated. Hmm - I could save them up in a box and donate them to the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra book sale. I must look up the details of the dates for donating and start a box.

 I was on duty to make dinner last night so I had to stop by the grocery store to pick up supplies for pasta. Once that was accomplished, I was back to the house to sew. Paula also cut my hair so that took up a wee bit more time.

I've taken pictures of what some of the others have done and I'll post more when I get home. If I can remember! I'm happy to report that my black eye healed rather nicely and quickly. I thought I was going to have this big ugly scab for a while, but the scab came off super clean with no second scab forming and the discoloration is almost gone. My head still hurts and my knees are still badly bruised but I'm going to survive!

Paula had great fun with the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air s400 serger. We told her that she needs to put one of those on her Christmas list. Dave are you listening???

Paula using the serger
She made pillowcases and little tote bags and it's so much faster with the serger than having to finish the edges on the sewing machine. I agree 100% and while I've had a serger for a long time, I was a bit afraid of the darn thing. Well, no more. Once I figured out which thread is which (I don't know that for all of the different stitches, but I'm learning), then if you do need to make a wee adjustment of the tension, it's as easy as the sewing machine. And threading the Amber Air s400???  Mere minutes - it's so darn easy.

And here are my two empty cones of thread. Yeah - love, love, love the serger.

Empty cones of thread
So it's currently 6:35 AM. Usually, there's at least one more person up by this time. I'm all alone in the kitchen while I eat my cooked oatmeal. I bet they are all enjoying that last morning in bed when they have no responsibilities!!!

I had to laugh when I was at Value Village. As I mentioned the other day, I love to browse the crafts and hobby book section. Guess what else I found???  A Bob Ross book. I had never heard of Bob Ross until the Cherrywood Challenge theme was announced one year ago. Since then, I've learned a lot about Bob Ross. I even made a quilt for the challenge which is going to be in the show coming to Seaforth. 

A Bob Ross book found at Value Village
 I left the book for a budding artist. BUT - if you want to enjoy the Bob Ross Cherrywood Challenge quilts, please mark the dates on your calendar. November 28, 29 and 30. Do it - DO IT NOW. It's amazing how many people try to remember dates without putting them in the calendar. Then they lament that they missed an event. If I don't mark something in my calendar, it gets forgotten. Do yourself a favor and come visit this show. It's well worth it to see the different styles of quilts that were created. Everyone started off with the same theme and the same bundle of fabric. What they did with it is what's amazing.

You might even get an idea or two. Either of quilting or making a landscape quilt or just figuring out how to tackle a challenge. And if anyone is interested in working with the PINK (Shelly????) bundle of fabric for next year's challenge (Theme - Princess Diana), then let me know. We could have a brainstorming session to get you on your way.

I went for a walk again yesterday. I mean how could you not. The temperature is gorgeous - just a wee bit of a nip in the air, but when walking, one warms up quite nicely. Well at my pace anyway. This time I wore my rubber boots which I had thrown in the car. My feet were nice and toasty, although I could have done with an extra pair of socks as the boots are a tad large for a "forced" march through the woods. If ever you are up here at Fireside Retreat and have NOT walked that trail, you should. It's beautiful.

I stopped along the way to take a couple of pictures. I love this one - it's a natural lichen shelf hanging off a tree.

A lichen shelf

Murphy and Lexi would be in their glory here. I'd love to bring them so they could run and run. It would be the perfect spot. Hmm - we might have to come up just for the day so they can run. I'm pretty sure Murphy would come back easily, Lexi? Not so sure.

AHA --  I see there are now two more people up this morning. Yeah!

I have one more project that I'm going to focus on this morning. I've already packed a lot of my stuff in the car so getting ready to leave right after lunch won't be a huge chore.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!!


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Retreat - Day Three

Late yesterday afternoon, I finally moved the sewing machine into place. The serger now takes a back seat although there are a few things that I'd still like to serge.

Even though I didn't sleep much the previous night, I didn't crash until 8 PM and I slept through the night - even though there was a rowdy game of something happening in the living room. I feel great this morning. It must have been that snack of ice cream and cookie crumbs that I had before dinner!!!!

I managed to get a couple of things embroidered for myself which I hope to sew up today. Holy - I never thought I'd go crazy for machine embroidery, but there's so much you can do and marrying the technology with sewing? Right up my alley. I'll be sharing some of the stuff with you later this month.

I also seemed to do a fair amount of stuff for others yesterday. Paula was happy that I was busy with the embroidery machine as she managed to make SEVENTEEN pillowcases on the serger!  I'm glad it got put to good use.  I embroidered the names of grandchildren - 10 in total. I don't know why that seemed to take up a lot of time. Oh, and I answered a lot of questions. Today - NO questions.

I have my little rounds of shopping that I do when I'm here and one of them is Value Village. I check out the craft books and craft supplies. I check the puzzles and games. I check the garments for things to embroidery and I check the bedding if something quilt related shows up. I scored in the book department and found a great book on making things with denim that is super cute. I'll be sharing some of those later on. But the real find was a book written about the Mennonite Relief Sale in Ontario. I didn't check when the book was written, but what a find.

That's exactly the kind of book that I love and at some point, most of my quilt books will go bye-bye, but I plan on keeping the history books forever.

Time just seems to pass by fast here. Really fast. Too fast! We leave tomorrow - now how did that happen???  I feel like I'm just getting started. But that's OK. It's all about friends and we've had some great chats with everyone.

I managed to get the remaining eight laundry bags done!!!!  Yep - there are four bright orange ones and four black ones. I really got the hang of it by the end. I'm very happy with the results. Now I have lots of extras. I could sell you one if you want. I see that some of the produce bags that I gave to the group are being used on the kitchen counter!  Yeah!!!!!

Laundry bags are done
Getting the laundry bags and the produce bags done means that several hunks of fabric that were languishing in the studio are GONE!!!!

I went for a walk in the afternoon. I knew there were walking trails behind the house but had never walked on them. The summer tended to be too buggy and well - I'm not sure, but I decided that yesterday was the day to explore. It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL in the woods. Parts of it are very dense and dark. And once or twice, I knew I wasn't on the path, but I knew that if I continued in this direction that I'd end up on the road.

The woods were beautiful

AHA - then I realized that the path was marked with yellow ribbons on the trees. Some were big and easy to spot, some not so big.

Trail makers
 Now I did go out with my running shoes and with the light dusting of snow, I knew that my feet would get wet. No big deal. However as I neared the end of the trail - actually, I wonder if the trail continued across the road???  I'll have to find that out. Anyway, near the end of the part that I was on, it was a bit swampy. I managed to skirt the mess and I reached the road with fairly dry feet.

On the return, I somehow thought the frost was deeper than it was and next thing I knew, my foot was immersed in frigid water. Oh well! I had a good chuckle about that and forged back to the retreat house.

Ooops - got a bit wet

I hope to get out again today and this time, I'll wear my rubber boots that are in the car!!!! I also found my FitBit charger. I knew I packed it but where????  In the food bag!

I'm fired up for today and hope to get a lot done. I have a bunch of small projects that I'd like to clear up and today's the day to make that happen.

And in case you're wondering where we are? We're at Fireside Retreat in Orillia. We love it here.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!!


Friday, November 8, 2019

Fireside Retreat - Day Two

It's a tad chilly outside, but thanks to not sleeping well and a few dying embers in the wood stove, I've got a nice fire going and we're toasty warm. While I wouldn't want to deal with a wood stove at home, I like having it here and I'm pretty darn good at keeping it going (roots from when I was a child), but Paula is our main firestarter here and I'm perfectly fine with that.

So it's technically day three this morning and I'm still using the serger. Can you believe that?? I'm in love with that serger and as I mentioned yesterday, it's just as fast to cut the threads and rethread from the beginning as it is to tie off the threads. The Husqvarna Viking Amber Air s400 is just the best and now I'm sharing it with Paula as she makes pillowcases. She's amazed at how quickly pillowcases come together in a matter of minutes instead of doing the french seam. Oh yes - every quilter needs a serger.

I even emptied two spools of serger thread. I don't think I've ever emptied spools before. Oh - I know I have, but two in one day?? I even had someone stop by the quilt store to buy me ORANGE serger thread. Wait for that project! I need to go back this morning to get some black thread as I've run out of black. Loads more at home, but I'm on a roll to get projects completed and it's not like I won't be using the black serger thread in the future.

So what have I been doing???

This is a small table topper that I assembled from a kit. I didn't like all the batik fabrics that came in the kit so I substituted two of them. It's serged together with a flatlock using three different spools of decorative thread.

Table topper assembled with a flatlock stitch

Then a ribbon was inserted into the seams. Let's just say that I learned a lot about serging doing this small project. A huge learning curve and it took quite a while, but I'm extremely happy with the results.

Detail of the table topper

Here's my fleece blankie that I made - also using the flatlock stitch and a different decorative thread. I didn't take a close up of the stitches. Shoot. Anyway, the flatlock adds some spice to it. I think eventually that it'll get quilted and bound, but for now, this is the way it stays.

Fleece squares serged together

That was about the extent of what I did on Day One. Like I said, a lot of this is a learning curve for me so things are taking a wee bit longer than normal.

Yesterday was all about bags. I had purchased two different pieces of curtain sheer to make produce bags. One of the pieces got used up when I did the blog posts on QUILTsocial. The other was sitting here. So I cut it up and made 14 produce bags. I learned a lot again! I actually managed to get one more seam done on the serger than what I posted originally and the only thing needing to be done on the sewing machine was to stitch the casing in place. Oh yes - I'm getting really good at serging, although this stuff is just basic.  Check out the new look on QUILTsocial - it got a facelift a while back and I didn't mention it, but oh my - it's very fresh looking.

Reuseable produce bags

I made fourteen of them and gave them to my retreat friends as I do not need more - we already have 16 of them at home. I like to have extra so that we can store the veggies and fruit in them in the fridge. I did have to pop out to get some additional cording as I didn't have enough. Yep - rarely go to Micheals and I've been there at least once or twice each day that we've been here.

Once those were finished, I had to finish a couple of blocks for our block exchange. Those blocks got completed and we did our exchange last night. I'll share that with you over the next couple of days. Let's just say that the blocks are amazing!!!!!

Back to the serger and this time, I was using a stretchy netting to make some laundry bags. I made four in white. I'm in the process of making four black ones, but they are on hold until I get more black thread. Everything was done on the serger except stitching the casing down. I did have to make a few adjustments on the sewing machine for that as this fabric is nasty to work with. But I'm happy with the results.

Three of my laundry bags

Some of us have pretty messy sewing spaces. But we can usually tell Lynn's spot because it's super tidy. However, I was a little disappointed to find that she had gone to bed the other night and left the lid of her project box OPEN!!!!  Holy - she's getting messy!!!!

Lynn's messy spot
I had a visitor yesterday afternoon when I was busy working on the exchange blocks. Pat dropped in and brought me a present. What was it? She brought SIXTEEN pillowcases for Ryan's Case for Smiles. What a pleasant surprise. Thank you so much, Pat - they are going to be very much appreciated.

Donated pillowcases

And that's it! I only did one trip to Micheals yesterday and that was the only time I was in the car. I did go for a LONG walk yesterday. It was beautiful outside and it was such a nice walk. I didn't feel so bad eating a cookie or two after that. One hour and I think four miles???

Well, I have a feeling that I'll be needing a nap later today. My brain just wouldn't shut off last night. Even when I did get up and tried to empty it on a piece of paper that wasn't enough. Oh well.

In case you think I'm up here by myself, I'm not! There are eight of us. I just haven't mentioned them - it's all about me and getting my stuff done! I'll try to take some pictures of the others today.

Here's another poppy display to honor our fallen soldiers. Thanks to Peggy for that.

On that note, I"m out of here.

Have a super day!!!!