Sunday, December 10, 2023


I was in a bit of a huff yesterday, not because anything significant happened. OK -- DH did NOT solve the EXIT Game puzzle before he went to bed. So we attempted it again in the morning, and we were stumped. I had to check the first clue, and OMG. You have to be kidding me. We missed something so blatantly apparent that it put me in a funk for part of the day! 

So last night, when we opened the next room, it was with great trepidation. And we fiddled, and we fiddled, and we chatted about it. And we were going down the road of overthinking again. I'll blame DH for that - he is a bit more black and white than I am and is trying to relate the puzzle to the "real life" of the story. That's not important. 

He walked away, and I was left to puzzle alone. I mulled over it, and then I literally had a lightbulb moment. Literally --- the idea just popped into my head! And the worst part is that DH asked the question that provided the answer, except that we didn't think it was important at the time. DUH!!!!! 

Of course, just like Murphy, I SHOUT - "I think I have the answer!"

So, without looking at the clues, we solved the puzzle. And we live for another day! I must admit, I'm hooked on the darn thing, and I look forward to dinner to solve the puzzle. Yep -- I'm getting way more enjoyment from this one than I would from one where you open a gift!

The jigsaw one? Oh dear - it's sort of got abandoned a bit. Who would have thought? But I'll get to it, as it's an excellent way to take a mini-break in the day. I now have six of them complete.

One more jigsaw puzzle done!

They all have these pieces in the bottom corner. 

Unique pieces to the bottom right corner

I'm not looking at any picture while doing them, so a few are "challenging/"

A bit more challenging with all those colors

And here's the last one that I have completed. 

One more puzzle - DONE

I promised a list of classes for 2024, and well -- it won't be formal. Good grief! But then, it doesn't need to be. Some details need to be written up, so I can only provide you with some information now. But you're going to get a basic idea of what's coming. 

THREE software classes will be hosted by THREE different Husqvarna Viking/PFAFF dealers. The software we are working with is mySewnet embroidery software, and I'm happy to talk about anything related to mySewnet, including the NEW VAULT, which I LOVE. This software can be used by ANY brand of embroidery machine. The topic for the first class in all three will be the same, but they will be different after that. They will run once a month for ONE hour on Zoom. I'll provide the days of the week and times once that is all firmed up. 

I'll be continuing my two Zoom classes at Thimbles and Things. There is Everything you wanted to know about Applique and Tequila Lime. I will also do a two-part APPLIQUE SPECIFIC PROJECT to help those (or anyone else) who "refuse" to make samples. It's a cute wall hanging and will be loads of fun and a way to try some of the applique techniques we've been working on. 

At the Hobby Horse, I'm going BACK IN PERSON! Yep, returning to the classroom will be good, but only ONCE a month. We'll host some machine quilting classes and demos on good sewing habits, so watch for more details. 

As for what I'm teaching privately, I'll continue with Heartfelt until it's done in April. 

And then for what else is happening. I will NOT teach any new large projects in the year's first six months. But I think my arm can be twisted to teach more Jen Kingwell. So watch for that, but it won't be until October. 

As far as clubs -- here's what's happening. These are all ONE HOUR per month on Zoom. The point of these clubs is to do something (each month) that you can share with the group. That's what a club is all about. I fully appreciate that we cannot do something every month - life gets in the way. But the idea is to participate in the group and show your work so we can all learn from what you are doing. 

UFO Club

There are TWO sessions of UFO Club, and one or two spots might open. I have to check the numbers. 

Machine Embroidery Club

IT IS A GREAT way to learn what's happening in the world of machine embroidery, and we have some beginners and some pushing the envelope. Some have small machines, and others have top-of-the-line. It's OK -- we are there because we love machine embroidery. 

If you don't have an embroidery machine, did you know there's a new machine in town -- the Singer SE9180. It's a small machine that connects to the mySewnet ecosystem and is currently on sale for about $1,300 CDN. Yep --- it's pretty exciting. Check a Husqvarna Viking or PFAFF dealer if you want to dabble in machine embroidery, but the cost was a deterrent. 

Applique with the Digital Cutter

This is the one that I'm so excited about. My goal is to marry all the technology in my house so I can create appliques from anything and have them cut by the digital cutter. The ultimate step will be to make the machine embroidery files and let the machine do all the work! If you don't have an embroidery machine, that's OK. You can still learn to transfer your paper designs to SVG files and have your digital cutter do that. Then, you can stitch them on a swing machine. I had "loads of fun" with this yesterday!

Many Blocks

This is for those of us with one of those crazy projects with MANY blocks - such as Dear Jane, Town and Country Quilt, 365-day challenge quilt, and so on. It would be preferable if you have already started the quilt. The idea is NOT to give you another project to start but to help you finish one you are currently working on. 

Out of the Box

This has been a fun class that we've done for several years. Each month, you get a prompt (word); from that, you must create something. You can use any medium (paper, wood, vinyl, fabric, etc.); you don't have to finish it (make a sample - experiment), and some people will keep on a specific technique topic for several months as they explore. It's open ended and LOADS of fun and the levels of creativity I'v seen will blow you away. 

Have I cut back? You bet -- I used to host ELEVEN monthly events that I ran privately on top of the two software clubs and four one-hour Zooms with two stores. Those eleven private events are SIX, so that's almost half. And did you notice that ALL of them are about specific learning, creativity building, or FINISHING stuff? No BIG sewing projects! The in-person are easy to prepare for, even though they take time to get there, but that's OK. I really hope that 2024 is going to be more about learning, exploring, and getting creative!!! And so far - it's looking like that's going to happen. 

And the calendar is LOCKED in -- no more additions are allowed - at least until October 2024! 

To keep you entertained, here are a few pictures. 

I spotted this on the internet the other day, and it's hilarious! Yep -- that's me. 

Love it

In between everything else, the cleaning, sorting, and decluttering continues. 

Even though I haven't been wearing them for the last couple of weeks, my Camino shoes still sat in the hallway. I said goodbye to them the other day. 

Camino shoes are now gone

Their quality was excellent (Thank you, HOKA), and my toes did NOT come through the front even with about 1,000 KM on them. That's impressive. The soles are history, and not only that, but the support within the shoe breaks down, and they just aren't suitable to wear. Not as we get older and have knee and other joint issues. So they are gone. 

The soles are toast

Then I looked at my shoe pile (I don't have many shoes), but they are mostly all in one spot. I spotted these mismatched ones on the bottom. Something happened to the other of each pair, and I wore them like this. However, I can't longer wear those non-supporting shoes, and they are probably too small, so I put these in the giveaway box. 

Shoes are now in the donation box

I thought you'd have a laugh at the table in my office. This was clear at one point, with only my class information sitting there. And that information is still there, but a few boxes are now on top. The boxes are waiting to be filled with junk or donations. I could put them in the garage, but I'm good with it for now. 

There is a table beneath all that stuff

Here is the area around the other desk. Things look pretty good in that area, although the desktop still needs some TLC. But a few items a day for a month could make a HUGE difference, and that's what I'm going for. There is ZERO rush to get this stuff cleared out, but I am NOT waiting until we have to downsize. That would be a terrible job to do all at once, and dealing with Studio B will be a challenge. Even DH is in the swing of things. 

The mess from the day before is gone

I need to come up with a solution to the computer area. I'd like more room to work - not a lot more, but I'd love space on the right-hand side. I'm not ready to make a decision yet, and a LOT of decluttering needs to happen here. Slow and steady is my motto. It WILL get done. 

The desk area is a bit untidy

I guess I'm doing an excellent job because Miss Lexi is coming further into the room and has tucked herself behind the table. This would never have happened before. She's so skittish and afraid of being closed in somewhere. What a big, brave girl you are, Lexi!!!! 

Lexi - my big brave girl

Well, that's enough for today! If you are interested in any of the SIX PRIVATE classes (machine embroidery, Applique with a digital cutter, UFO (times two), Many Blocks, or Out of the Box, send me an e-mail, and I can add you to the list. There is NOT a lot of room in any of them - it depends on how many of the group members continue on, and I still need to get that sorted out. 

As I walked yesterday, I thought how nice it would be to give out some of my enthusiasm (yes - I'm just like Murphy - except I don't bark!) to everyone. I can only hope that by sharing my stories on the blog, you can catch some of that excitement for what each new day brings. There is never a dull moment, yet I don't live a very exciting life. It's how you choose to look at that glass -- is it half full or half empty? 

Have a super day!!!! 



  1. Half full and sometimes overflowing! Like you, I love my life :-)

    You totally WILL overcome the "stuff". :-)

    1. AND overflowing!!!! I love it --- yes --- that's me as well!

  2. I don't care if the glass is half full or half empty, I'm just grateful for the glass! Torry

    1. LOL -- that is another way to look at it!! Good one!