Tuesday, April 30, 2024

It's all about TEAMWORK

I'm going to confess right up front- this will not be a pretty blog post. 

I'm having one of those days—a pity day, perhaps, but I'm so frustrated that I feel like throwing in the towel, ditching all the technology and people. Curling up in a chair and reading—not just for today but forever—is tempting! I told you it wasn't going to be pretty!

OK, I feel better having written my frustrations out and then deleted it! 

I feel that there is too much of everything in this world, and people are trying to do it all, watch it all, or do it all, and let's face it—we CANNOT!!! For example, I came across a disturbing post on Instagram yesterday. 

I've met the person who posted, but I don't know her that well. She is a wonderful lady who posts about her life on her farm. I do not expect to see regular posts from her, and I see her posts occasionally, but I don't dwell on how often she posts. But from this particular post, it sounds like people do. She said that she is not a content creator and finds it challenging to keep up with social media - she was almost in tears. 

This is a problem. How many other people out there are in this same boat? They spend so much time creating content to get those likes or views that they ignore the things they love. Then, they get a plaque or some other recognition. Why are they spending their entire lives living to create content? For the little bit of photography that I do, styling photos can be a tremendous amount of work. Doing videos is even worse! 

How many people have multiple social platforms? I do not - I refuse to bow down and let other people's lives dictate how I spend my time or view the world. I have my own struggles. 

Everyone wants a piece of the pie and to claim their 15 (or more) minutes of fame, but at what cost? And at what cost do we follow along? I'm so tired of it that, as I mentioned, I don't post any longer (not that I posted much), but I'm trying to unfollow so many. I don't need more of anything in my life!

I search for information if needed, but I do not watch anyone religiously. Where's the "fun" learning if you always watch and learn from someone else? What happened to the "fun" of figuring it out ourselves? OH GOD—that's why I'm stressed! Let me clarify that I'm not stressed from learning; I'm stressed because my device is not working properly. Is it me, or is it the machine? 

Oops, that's another sentence I wrote and deleted. Yes, there are things I want to tell certain people about how they make me feel, and I should direct that to them, not in a blog post! So I wrote it and then deleted it! 

Let's put it this way -- I cannot wait for my three-month hiatus this summer. I want to get away from Zoom calls, emails, and requests. I want to leave it all behind. I may even figure out how to set an "out of office" on my email and shut it down for three months! I know how to do it, so don't be surprised! People who walk the Camino become obsessed with it. I don't think it's the walking or the location. I think it's the ability to leave everything they know behind without worrying about their daily life. 

So, how can we create that lifestyle here at home? SIMPLIFY --- stop taking (and giving) so many classes, trying to do it all, trying to make and read content online, go back to what YOU LIKE to do, and have fun with that. 

As I said, today has been extremely frustrating so far, so I'll go back to the basics, see what happens, and work my way up from there. Perhaps someone is trying to teach me a lesson—to slow down, to enjoy life!

It doesn't help that I've injured my shoulder and am in constant pain, which doesn't do much to one's morale. Now DH and I are a matched pair—his right shoulder and my left. Let's just say I'm too old to climb trees and leave it at that! 

Anyway -- we all have that kind of day, and I'll get through - I'm strong enough to do that, but it's easy to see how those with less stamina can get bogged down, and I can't imagine dealing with this daily. Hopefully, the machine issue will be resolved by tomorrow. The shoulder is another story!

But let's find something happier to talk about—the EXIT Game Advent Calendar! So we unlocked door 12, and we'll solve that puzzle tonight. What is hilarious is how we solve the puzzles. Last night, we opened up the clues, and there's this diagram that looks like Pac-Man. Two other cards and some diagrams are in the box (room). 

The EXIT Game

I was going to spend time deciphering the drawings in the room. Dh says that so far, we haven't needed what's in the rooms. OK, so then he reads the information and tells me that he solved the puzzle the night before and that it's my turn. I kind of freeze, and then, in a flash, the answer or the methodology comes to me. So, while he's puzzling over the cards, I'm figuring out the numbers. 

Then he looked at me and offered his idea, and I was excited to show him. So I punched in the numbers, and voila -- it worked. But if he had not said, don't worry about the box, I might still be there. I think we would struggle individually, but collectively, we make a good team. SHARING IDEAS -- it's all about sharing ideas!!! 

That's what I want my classes to be—sharing ideas, but so often, I feel that I'm the only one sharing! I know that's not true, but it sure feels like it on some days—until I start asking questions. 

I desperately need to go through my sock drawer and eliminate the ones with holes. I know I get attached to them, and yes, I'll wear the holey ones! So, I made a start yesterday and pulled out a brand-new pair of socks. They're pretty wild colors. I didn't even notice there was a left and a right until I had them on. They look like alien faces! 

My new socks

Looking closely at the green area, you will see an orange letter - left and right! 

I haven't been walking as diligently as I have in the past, which might have something to do with my mood. I admit I'm irritated by many things, and most of those things are small, and it's starting to show in my interaction with others. So I better get my butt back out and walk! I'm not behind on my Virtual Challenges, but I must get outside and walk to blow off that steam! 

I stopped at the dollar store yesterday to look for two things various people mentioned. I found precut parchment shapes, but only rounds and loaf liners, not the cookie sheet ones. I don't need them as I can create the same thing from the boxes of my own parchment paper. 

Pre-cut parchment shapes

I found cotton rope in the craft section. I do not need any more of it, as I have oodles of it here. 

Cotton rope

I also found this: Seriously? That looks like the real thing and look at the price. The brand name is Calvin. 

A weeding tool

I did not buy this as I now have so many scrappers and weeding tools, but I love that there is only one of each. It's simple, and well, you can't beat the price. 

This is a huge problem; how can the dollar store sell something like this? How does $3 cover the material cost, the design cost, the packaging cost, and the shipping cost? And then how do the other brands compete? Paying only $3 becomes an item that we don't care so much about and can easily replace, adding to our throwaway society. 

I think dollar stores have contributed significantly to our society's waste. Because things don't cost much, no one cares about them and throws them away after one use. That's bad. The other day, someone mentioned something (making a photocopy) I shouldn't do because it wasn't environmentally friendly.  I do ALL my errands on foot, I don't buy packaged food, I recycle like mad. HEY—let's just say we are saving the planet each in our own way! And there are days when I see how others treat the planet, and you think - seriously?? A photocopy or two is NOTHING compared to the waste in the corporate world or in some people's houses! 

By the way, I checked the label on the car's side door and saw the vehicle is manufactured in the US. I did further research, and NO CARS are being made in New Zealand, so while I liked all the other information the guy gave me at the Toyota dealership, I think that information was incorrect. 

So, while I have nothing official to do today, I have loads of work. I'm going to allow a certain amount of time to figure out my issue, and then I'm going to walk away from it unless I can get it to work. There is some computer work I can do and then I have many other things that I need to tackle. 

Here's hoping the day goes better than the last four days. And who knows, I may be walking miles and miles today to blow off steam! 

Have a great day!!!


Monday, April 29, 2024

Learning is HARD WORK

I chuckled this morning when I remembered the title of yesterday's post—Writing Quilt Patterns. During the Virtual Retreat, we discussed how some patterns are good and some are notoriously bad. Why is that? Do these people not have pattern testers? Do they not get feedback from their audience? 

Most designers will have changes (for free) on their websites, but one designer (I won't mention the name) is famous for writing confusing patterns. And then, I guess once they get enough bad feedback, they reissue the pattern with the same name but a different version—i.e., Backpack 2.0. I checked their website. They remove the old patterns, but many patterns have a NEW version. 

What is very irksome is when I contacted them about one of their patterns and how bad the instructions were, they offered me to PURCHASE the new version! The least they could have done was send a free PDF of the new one. 

What is also irksome is that they do not learn from past pattern writing fiascos and test, test, test the instructions BEFORE they get released. Nope—they continue to issue new patterns and then rewrite them and release them as new. OK—so they no longer sell the old version, but quilt stores do! The problem is that I LOVE these patterns, but I HATE the instructions. 

Anyway, we had two great sessions in the morning. As for me staying on track and ending the classes on time, we went over the digital cutter time frame by 30 minutes! It's an exciting class, and there's so much to learn and discuss. And there are so many ways to do everything. You have to learn it all and pick the one you like best!

I have to say that my learning continued into the afternoon, and I was learned out at one point! I was done, and I knew others were still learning in the afternoon, but my brain was maxed out, which doesn't happen often!

I was working on my Scan n Cut until I needed to stop and clean the mat. I pushed the limit on this -- it was covered with threads, and while still sticky, it needed to be cleaned. 

Cleaning the mat for the scan and cut

If anyone out there has a Scan and Cut, NOT in my class, and who has experienced fabric that will NOT stick to their mat, I'd love to hear from you. It's strange, and I want to determine why that is happening. I have some theories and experiments to do later today, but I'm curious about them. Send me a note - elainetheriault@gmail.com

Then, while I let the mat dry and took a walk because my brain needed a break, I moved over to the Momento. Hmm—there were more learning curves here! 

Working with the Momento

I have a few questions about the Momento, so I'm waiting for answers. 

Here's the thing -- if you never use something, you'll never have questions because you won't know what you don't know! But if you start to use it and learn the basics, then you can begin to push the basics, and well, that's when all heck starts to happen. You are headed for murky (but exciting) waters once you push the boundaries of anything. 

If you're not aware, I'm trying to marry the technology of machine embroidery applique (and the software) with digital cutters. This involves working with patterns NOT created for machine embroidery applique, which must be translated or digitized.

While I know that as a quilter, I am very interested in machine embroidery, I'm a minority in the quilt world! Many quilters do not have and will never have an embroidery machine. I get that! But someone in the class was surprised and thought EVERYONE wanted to do what we are doing. Nope- we are a small but mighty group pushing those boundaries. Some people will buy a pattern that has already been digitized. There is room for all of us to play in the sandbox, but I would say that we are the minority!

And I should also say that my class is for DIGITAL CUTTERS! Many in our class do not have an embroidery machine, which is OK as it's NOT specifically for embroidery. It just happens that I'm personally taking it one step further. And I offer advice to the group as I'm not alone. But I need to be clear, or I'll scare away the others. Many in our class do

But I love it enough to persevere through the learning curve! It's more complicated than that, but I'm having fun. But I hit my limit yesterday. 

I love this quote from Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs Quote: “Learn continually. There's always “one more thing” to learn.

To counter that, here are some pretty flowers from my walk in the forest. These are tiny little things, and people have mentioned that the trilliums in their area are in bloom. I haven't seen any yet, but I will keep my eye open this morning. 

Flowers in the forest

And look at those girls of mine. Lexi loves to sleep on the couch and is so lazy that she'll follow your every move but won't lift her head! Oh, Lexi -- we love you! But boy, does she need some good brushing! 

MOM -- I'm watching you!

And then there's clingy Murphy. She does NOT want to miss a thing and ensures you can't miss her. I couldn't even pull my chair up to the computer because she was right where my chair should be!

MOM -- I'm here if you need support! 

Well, I have more stuff to do today, and hopefully, there is NO LEARNING involved. My brain is tired!

On that note, I'm off to spin class this morning. I feel like I have missed so many classes because of being away. I MUST try to get to the gym more often. I hate giving up my morning time, but I also hate going to the gym later in the day. I've got some thinking to do about making that happen. 

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, April 28, 2024

Writing quilt patterns

There is one area of my life that won't get cluttered with digital stuff, and that's Zoom. I think I have 5 GB of "free" storage, enough to store a month's worth of video recordings—about 12 hours or something like that. I get emails from Zoom if the account is getting close to full. Do I want to buy storage? No, and then I go in and delete the older videos! Yeah, me! One area that will never become cluttered! They will shut down the ability to record if you go over! Or so they say! I'm not testing that. 

That area is easy since it doesn't have history! 

I'm trying to get ready for my two presentations this morning. I'm a wee bit behind, but I have time! One is done, and one is almost complete. It's a matter of sorting the slides into a logical order, and I sometimes take MANY photos, and I don't need them all. So all is good! And without Bear to walk in the morning, I have oodles of time! 

On my big walk the other day, I spotted these tulips. Yep, the tulips are almost done in Vancouver and just starting here. Different growing seasons!

The tulips are just starting

When I was at Indigo, I browsed the few remaining quilt magazines. The numbers are dwindling, and many we no longer get. I heard the other day that Quiltmania recently shut down. They published three titles:  Quiltmania, Simply Moderne, and Simply Vintage.

Remember when I said that Quiltmaker made a double issue for the summer. How convenient for us! However, the publisher (Golden Peak Media) also combined Quick and Easy Quilts and McCall's Quilting. Hmmm - are they trying to tell us something? 

MORE double issues by Golden Peak Media

I've managed to empty one of the three giant suitcases. I'm in no rush, and I have all this week to get them empty. Only two more to go!

Suitcases to unpack

I went to the Paris Quilting Bee's quilt show in the afternoon. What a treat, as I hadn't been to a quilt show in a long time. I rarely use cash, so I loaded all my loonies and toonies into my "purse" - a Ziploc bag and got rid of some of that! I did NOT win any of the door prizes or penny draws, but I heard that my friend won TWO pairs of applique scissors. Two separate draws, and she won both! Yeah!!! Scissors are so important to the success of machine embroidery. 

I had put my tickets in on a couple of jigsaw puzzles, and I guess the powers that be were telling me that I did not need more puzzles. However, remember the door puzzle from the other day? I already had someone say they would take it off my hands once I was finished with it. The only problem is that I didn't buy it! Perhaps I need to go back!!!

The show had many beautiful quilts, but I will only share one with you. OH  MY GOSH! What a surprise to see this quilt pieced by Lorna Z. 

Radiant Light quilt

Deborah Edwards (Design Director at Northcott) designed the quilt. She wanted to dabble in quilt design and used one of her Northcott fabric collections called Radiance. 

The pattern

I got the lucky job of writing the instructions. That task took forever and darn near killed me as I provided pressing instructions. There were a lot of arrows in that pattern! It was made up of nine blocks, and well, it was a nightmare to write! I'm glad to see someone made it! 

The pressing instructions

Then we had a virtual retreat last night, and I confess that I got barely anything done. OH -- I made a binding for my Heartfelt Sampler! That was it. I MUST be more productive today. Although I'm OK with slacking off last night. I needed some downtime, but I have loads that need to be sewn today, and I should have no problem doing that while chatting with the group. 

The binding for Heartfelt Sampler

So, if you're around today with nothing to do, be sure to pop onto the Zoom call to say hello. 

Virtual Retreat - Sunday - April 28 -- starts at NOON (or perhaps a little bit later if we run over on the digital cutter club) 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 8351 7671
Passcode: 117636

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

Have a super day!!


Saturday, April 27, 2024

Three birds with one stone!

We all have those days - you get "lots" done but have nothing to show for it! 

Yesterday was the day to get the car's tires switched. In the morning, I worked on the project for this morning's applique class, which I am able to double-dip for tomorrow's digital cutter class. 

All I can say about that, for the moment, is that cutting fabric with my Brother Scan and Cut is child's play. Why was I "afraid" of using it before? Oh -- I know -- because I had no idea how to make it work and had never used it. But the more I use it, the easier it becomes. Now I have other things to learn, like cutting different materials, using different mats, etc. But when it comes to scanning and cutting fabric? I'm good! I've experimented, sometimes with success and sometimes not, so more learning is required. 

OK, so then I went to the dealer to get the tires changed. I had a whole list of things that I needed help with on the car, and I had sent the list to them when I made the appointment online. Yep, no one calls for appointments anymore. You book them online. 

Question one was whether I could change when the FUEL light comes on. It comes on at 35 KM left, and I don't like that. My other car was 100 km, and the warning was larger on the dashboard. I know this car is different, but I find the fuel warning light is small, and the gas gauge is not super accurate. The answer is NO, but there are reserves, and I forgot to ask what the reserve amount is. Many of you would never let the car get past half, but the half indicator is NOT half! We'll learn to live with it! 

Question number two was, can we permanently shut off the device that stops the car engine when you're at a stop light? The answer is NO. Apparently, since 2015, all automatic transmissions have had this "fuel-saving, emission-reducing" feature. You can temporarily shut it off in the car or not apply the brakes all the way. 

Hmm—so far, I'm not getting the answers I want! But it's things I can live with. The third question really needed to be addressed: how to dim the navigation screen at night. I had checked and found the settings, and it was set to automatic, so it should have dimmed at night. But it did not. 

Turns out there is a MANUAL setting on the left-hand side (practically hidden) on the underside of the dash that needs to be set BEFORE the automatic setting will work. That was NOT intuitive to ensure that it was in the right spot. But the problem is solved. 

The dash lights dial

This is good; this screen can be pretty bright and distracting in the morning on the way to the gym. 

This screen is bright at NIGHT

Of course, I had to report all to DH last night at dinner and he said -- if he had read the manual, he would have figured it out. Seriously? I just checked the manual, and although that dial is indicated in TWO spots (which both say the same thing - why?), NOWHERE does it say that it has to be in a certain spot in order for the automatic feature in the navigation screen to work. Car manuals are useless as far as I'm concerned - GASP -- another oxymoron from me! They are WAY longer than needed -- so repetitive in information and extremely hard to find anything. The first part is so ridiculous, but it is necessary as they explain the safety required to drive a car. 

I got my tires changed, and for the first time, we got to drive the car with the fancy rims. I wasn't happy when they installed the winter tires, as I purchased sensors (tire pressure) on those rims, and they did not install them correctly, so the sensor light was on all winter. YES—I checked the tire pressure to ensure all was OK. And I couldn't be bothered to go back, so I reminded the young gentleman who served me about that. I can see the tire pressure lights from the app on my phone, so next winter, I can check that before I leave the dealer. 

The car with its fancy rims

It will cost $500 to fix the tail light that DH broke the first time he parked in the garage. Don't even ask -- but men are so rigid. Did he think to get out and see what his surroundings were before he backed into the garage? Nope- he relied 100% on the camera (low) and didn't notice the shelf (tail light height) where he put his empty beer cans! Sigh... So that will have to be fixed later on. I didn't have time before to deal with it. 

And the last issue is the wind whistling on the passenger side. So, this was an eye-opener. It appears our car was made in New Zealand. Seriously? And of course, we know that some of the workmanship in building the vehicle may not be the best. The young gentleman told me that the best builds are those from Japan. It appears this wind issue is a known thing. And yes -- we could have them look at it, but it'll take several days, so I will hold out on that for a bit. 

It'll be fixed under warranty, so I'm going to hold out on that for a bit. They will need the car for about a week as they pull it apart to try and fix it. I'm not sure I want them to do it or wait until it becomes a company-wide fix. So, if you have a Toyota Corolla Cross and have wind whistling issues, complain! 

Lastly, I bought a touch-up pen to fix the door ding that someone put on the driver's side passenger door. But we're all good for the next 6 months unless I deal with those two issues before then, which I think I will. 

However, the appointment was LONG—it was going to be four hours. I appreciated David's response when I asked the time frame because he was honest and said—four hours. OK—if it's going to take long, be upfront. Don't say two hours when you know that's not going to happen. The attitude of the guest (me) is much better! 

I knew it was going to be long, so I went for a walk. I needed to get to Michael's, which was about a 20-minute walk away—easy for me. I went and picked up a couple of things, stopping at Indigo on the way. Then, I needed some more fabric at Fabricland and stopped at Value Village. Yes, this is the street on which I do the errands with the car, but since I was close, I walked the entire strip. 

I took my folding shopping bag with me, and by the time I made it back to the dealer, it was full. 

My shopping bag was filled with goodies

By then, only two hours had elapsed, so I took the opportunity to read my book. I think I nodded off at one point. 

Then I got the car, and I was on my way home. David also told me that they have an inventory of cars. Yes, I could walk onto the lot and likely buy a car and come home with it. I may not get my choice of color, but it's nice to know that things are finally getting back to normal in the car world. Not all models of cars are available, but there were plenty of RAV4s in the lot, in boring colors like white and black. 

So it truly was a three-birds-with-one-stone day—I got the car serviced, I went for a walk, and I completed my errands. 

I will say that it's a good thing this thrift store is not the one near me. They didn't have much in the way of craft books to look at, but puzzles? Oh boy, and I love the note on this one. Someone wrote, "It was fun to do even with two pieces missing!"

A door puzzle

I did not buy any puzzles. I do NOT need any puzzles. 

I worked on my project for the class this morning, and now I must finish putting the presentation together. Which I'll do as soon as I'm done walking the girls; that's a quick job. 

Remember the virtual retreat this weekend. 

It starts tonight at 6 PM. Here's the link. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 1648 3795
Passcode: 248667

Here's the link for Sunday, when we start at noon. It may be a bit later since it's the digital cutter class right before; sometimes, we exceed our allotted time. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 8351 7671
Passcode: 117636

It's going to be a fun day—there's a quilt show in Paris, Ontario, today. Remember to bring cash—I've got mine lined up at the door. Virtual Retreat tonight! 

On top of that, it's my Dad's 91st birthday today! I must get a call into him!

Have a super day!!!


Friday, April 26, 2024

Cleaning up!

Yep -I'm deleting from SENT and then emptying the TRASH folder. I don't have time to deal with it today, but I'm happy knowing that I've found a good part of the culprit. However, I'm still a long way from cleaning up that email. I'll do a little bit each day! If I were to add up all those "little bits" each day, I'd need a long, long day!

But all is good! You can't sweat the stuff you can't deal with that day. Just tuck it in the back of your mind and know that it will get done. Even more important is knowing how to fix the problem. Let's hope I can stay on top of it and it won't become an issue in the future. 

There is still loads of stuff on the computers, hard disks, USBs, and external drives that I need to delete! But I'll get there. 

And does anyone go into their smart devices and clean out chat streams? Yep -- that's another area that can quickly take up space on your phone! I do it occasionally, but I could improve at it. This is a huge problem -- we are inundated with so much crap that there's not much time to deal with keeping those areas clean!

Well, one area in my life that is super clean is the car! It's not because we have a new vehicle; I've always been like this. I arrive home, and I empty the car of EVERYTHING, especially my garbage. How hard is that? A wrapper, a drink cup? Grab it and trash it! I've always wondered why people keep a ton of stuff in their cars. Anyway, I digress. 

I arrived home about 5 p.m. yesterday, and I was quite happy to be home! I'm now home, except for a one-day meeting for almost two weeks! Yeah!!

However, I didn't get anything done last night. I was tired, so I started reading a book, and the rest is history! 

This morning, I got up and went to Studio B, but I almost turned around and went back to bed. Why? 

It's like a debris field in there. 

The debris field that is called Studio B

And the area around the long arm isn't much better. 

A second debris field

The place has been worse, but this is getting pretty bad. While I brought the suitcases (3 huge ones) into the house yesterday, they are still parked in the hallway. I unpack them a bit at a time since the quilts are heavy and need to be put away. 

I have work to finish today as I have three sessions over the weekend, and the show must go on. So I started with the cutting table, which wasn't in bad shape, considering what the floor looked like. 

AH -- A while back, I spoke about the Peaky and Spike unit in the quilt world. This was named because of Doreen Speckman. And at some point, Marti Michell made a ruler in honor of Doreen and this unit. 

Peaky and Spike template

There's only one problem with this template - it makes ONE SIZE!!

The templates only make a 5" finished unit

Deb Tucker has released many rulers; her version for this unit is called the V Block. I chuckle when I say that because so many rulers do the same thing, but everyone thinks their spin on it is best. 

The V Block ruler

However, I think the Tri-Recs Ruler, which has been around for eons, is the BEST ruler for making this unit. It's versatile—you can make units from 1" to 6" finished (or something like that). There is NO NEED to trim the unit down when you've sewn it together, so it takes less time, and there is ZERO waste. 

The Tri-Recs ruler

That sounds like an oxymoron statement coming from me - -someone who makes their HSTs slightly larger and trims them down. But I'm also an old dog, and teaching me new tricks is tough! 

Anyway, I LOVE my Tri-Recs ruler, and that's what I'll use for any of these units I need to sew. To me, they are called Peaky and Spike!!! Thank you, Doreen, for that cute name!

Oh gosh -- if I look a bit closer, there is more stuff on the floor. 

More stuff to deal with

OH, do you remember me saying I couldn't find my metal bias bars a week ago? That's because I was trying to be very proactive in prepping for my applique classes, and I stuck them in the box with the patterns I was working on. DUH!!!! 

Found the bias bars!

The missing bias bars. I've moved them back to the box where they belong, and I guess it shows that I am NOT good at being proactive because I don't remember pulling them out. So, in the future, things must stay in their original spot! 

The missing bias bars

I found a bag of thread that I bought a while back that had yet to be put away. I emptied the bag onto the cutting table. 

Brand new thread, which was homeless

And while I was sorting, I found two more mini stashes of new thread that had yet to be put away. Sigh.....

More homeless thread

More homeless thread

I find the best way to organize things is by color, as that's how I usually need them. Well, my threads are sorted by category first and then color. These are my boxes of embroidery thread, and the three stashes of recently purchased thread were all for machine embroidery. 

So, I pulled out the appropriate colored box. Hmm, there is not much room in this one. 

Oranges and yellows

And only a little room in this one, too. 

Blue embroidery thread

Now I have an overflow bag, which I'm not fond of. I could separate the oranges and the yellows into separate boxes and sort the blues by teal and blue. 

A bag of homeless embroidery thread

But my embroidery thread cupboard is already full, and technically, I could fill a second unit. The question would be, where do I put it? NO MORE buying thread!

My embroidery thread cabinet

I was cleaning something out in the storage room the other day- more on that story another day. And I found this mat smoother. Hmmm -- unopened, so I'll try it later today. I wonder if it'll be good to clean some of the debris off the mat or if this is just another expensive gimmick I fell for?  But I chuckle as I see this -- I met a lady the other day who has a small mat that she used for quilt classes. The mat was FORTY years old, and the front of it was pretty scarred. The back was flawless, so I suggested she use the back!!! 

A mat smoother

These are the background fabrics for my Green Tea and Sweet Beans. Since the quilt top is done, I guess I can put these away. So the whites are in the white bucket, the grays are in the gray bucket, and the scraps are in the appropriate spot. 

The backgrounds for Green Tea and Sweet Beans

I trimmed some half-square triangles sewn in the last month, and they were put away. 

Trimming half-square triangles

While rummaging in the storage room a while back, I spotted a box of solids. Hmm --- I could probably put those with the other solids. So, I opened it up this morning. ACK -- why do I do this to myself? 

Stuff I found in the box of solids

I found two patterns in the box, containing leftover fabrics from the Gravity quilt or leftovers from Amish with a Twist. I also found the MINI Hex ruler by JayBird and some half-hexes that were already cut. CRAP --- I can't just leave those half hexes, so I'll sew them together to make the little quilt on the left. WAIT --- I can sew them as enders and leaders. But first, I need to be sewing to use them! 

Well, it's always an entertaining day when I decide to tidy up, but I'm glad what I did. While it still is a disaster, I cleared off the one table where I need to do some work. I dug out the fabrics for the two projects that need to be prepped for tomorrow, and I'm going to focus on that one table only today! So all is good, but then I need to get that place whipped back into shape at some point. 

As I mentioned, walking in there this morning was not encouraging, and that is NOT a good thing. 

So -- yes, there is a Virtual Retreat this weekend. Here are the links. 

Saturday - April 27 - starting at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 1648 3795
Passcode: 248667

Sunday, April 28 - starting at NOON

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 8351 7671
Passcode: 117636

My computer only has THREE windows open this morning. WAIT—that's my Google Browser. One of them is the blog, one is my calendar, and the third is something I want to share with the Monday Sewing group. So I'm doing well!

I'm going to try to keep things clear on this computer. I doubt that will last long, but there's always hope!

On that note, I'm out of here. The girls (no boy - sigh -- I miss him, but it's amazing how quickly we fell back into our routine, although it's been chaos this week) are waiting for their walk, which they did NOT get yesterday and were pretty miffed about it.

Have a great day!!!


Thursday, April 25, 2024

A digital hoarder

OH --- so I perhaps found part of the issue with my email. Someone had mentioned it before, and someone mentioned it in the comments the other day. 

I don't have the pictures to share with you this morning, but here's what happened. I did a disk cleanup -- somewhere on my computer, I found that, and it cleared up maybe one GB. That's nothing -- I need gobs of space.

So, I went into the SENT folder in my email. Hmmm  --- I figured out how to sort them by size and got a chuckle. The first category that came up was HUGE (10 - 25 MB). Yep -- that's what the computer categorized it as. That's hilarious. 

And here's what has been happening over the years—yes, I know years! Do people clean out that folder? I know some of you do, but I don't usually. I've been saved in the past by being able to prove that I sent something. The same goes for the files in that IMPORTANT folder. I found very useful information there as well. Things I deleted elsewhere were in the important folder. 

But I started looking at what was in the sent folder, and OK— there were a "few" emails in there. I manually deleted some in that HUGE category, and can you believe that I deleted 25 GB of data? My email is now only using 75 GB of space, NOT 106. But I'm not done yet. 

I've tried to do a general delete in that folder, but it doesn't seem to work. Do I have to manually delete all the messages? I didn't have much time yesterday to play around with it, but at least I have space, and my computer should be much happier. 

Here's what causes the problem -- let's say that I send a message with a 10 MB attachment to someone. It saves that one message in the sent folder. If I send that same message with a 10 MB attachment to a group of 20 people, it saves the message TWENTY times. So, with all the group emails in the last couple of years and sending them my files, the space got eaten up!!! I doubt any of you will ever come close to having that same issue!

I'm unsure if there are any more HUGE files in that folder or if they are now only VERY LARGE (5 MB - 10 MB). Yep -- again, that is the terminology that GMAIL assigns these messages, which is hilarious. Now that I know, I may go in and delete those messages but keep the rest? I don't know. I just need to empty it for the moment. 

So when I get home again, I'll be able to tackle that folder once more and try to get rid of all those messages with attachments. OK -- I'll just empty the folder, but like I said, I can't just delete the contents as it seems to reach a limit and then stops. So, it may take several deletes to completely empty the folder. Then I'll check again to see how much space that freed up. Then, I still need to go through the inbox and delete more messages! I think I'm good with all the subfolders. I've gotten rid of quite a bit of stuff. 

I guess you could call me a digital hoarder! I collect stuff and don't even know that it's there until I hit a wall! 

Yes, I'm not home again! But this time, it's only a couple of hours by car. I spoke at the Georgian Bay Guild last night, and I'm doing a workshop today. Then I'll be home and no travel for a few weeks. Yeah!!!

Poor Murphy was beside herself yesterday. She was clingy and didn't know what to do with herself because there was no one to share the front window with her! What? Why are the stairs gone? Where's the little guy? And then, when I got the suitcases out to pack the quilts, she was even worse! What is happening? What about me? 

Lexi? She couldn't care less! 

But it was nice when I walked them in the morning because I was in the house before 9 AM, and both dogs had had their long walk. Yeah, high Maintenance—he was high maintenance!!!

Other than packing my quilts and the workshop supplies and reading a book, I didn't really do much. Gosh, all this traipsing around is exhausting. 

I keep forgetting to mention two things. YES, there is a virtual retreat this weekend. It'll be on Saturday evening and Sunday starting at noon. I'll put the links in tomorrow when it's easier. I don't have a mouse right now to cut and paste. How lame is that? 

Secondly, I have a REAL retreat at Springhouse (near New Hamburg), which is a beautiful facility. If anyone is interested in attending for a day or two or all five days, let me know, as I have a few spots open. The dates are May 17 - 22 . Send me an email if you are interested. elainetheriault@gmail.com

No one should be afraid to send me an email for fear of clogging up my space when it's the emails I send that are doing the job. But I now have LOADS of space, and I'm not done yet!!!

Well, I guess I should get myself together. I'm staying at a beautiful house on Balm Beach! I've been here before as when Kim originally bought the house, she used it as a quilt retreat house, and I stayed here twice before. I should get my butt in gear and walk down to the beach, but I don't think I have time for that. Yep -- I'm becoming a slug for sure!

Have a super day!!!