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Location: Maine, United States

I am a 40 something year old mother of 2. I have always been interested in crafts since my sister and I spent summer weeks with my Grandmother, who was a very crafty lady, while my mother was in college. I mostly quilt since I seem to have an obsession with owning large quantities of fabric, but at one point or another think I have tried almost every craft out there.

Monday, April 30, 2007

samples and socks

My friend Jan bought the LQS that opened a couple of years ago where we just moved from. She had been working there since it opened. The owners had become disenchanted and asked if she wanted to buy it. She always thought it could do much better than it had been. For some reason, which I don’t understand, the old owners didn't like to buy stock. The thread display was consistently out of most of the popular colors. They had gotten in a few new lines, but most of the fabric in the store had been there since they opened, had the same look and they didn't add often. There would be a sample made and they would sell out of the pattern or book and not restock that. Well Jan was only too happy to take it over. She has owned it 6 weeks now and is doing just great. The store is busy ALL the time.
One of the improvements she is trying to make is asking advice from her friends on what fabrics to buy. Since I don’t live close anymore I don’t get to help out with that as much as I would like, but 2 weekends ago there was a New England fabric representatives show in Massachusetts and she asked if I would like to go. That was right after my mom had died and I definitely needed a distraction. I had the BEST time. We bought a few complete lines and had a great time making our own collections from some others. I was able to help purchase over 200 bolts of fabric and it didn't cost me a dime. :cD The new stock that we ordered has started to come in and Jan asked if I would make some samples. Well, you don’t have to ask me twice. Her “I bought the shop” open house is next Saturday and she is holding back to new stock until then and wants to put samples out with it. I went up this weekend and picked up supplies to make a number of things. She is starting to carry hand dyed felted wool and she has no wool appliqué samples. Here is the start to some of what I am making. I’m not going to tell yet what I am doing with these Jo Morton’s. It will be a surprise when it’s finished.
On our trip up we, of course, had to stop at Marden's. I bought very little fabric since I knew I was going to be picking up a number of projects, but……. they had striped sock yarn for 1.99 a skein. How could I pass that up? I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I sometimes go on knitting “binges”. That’s the only way I can describe it. For some reason I start and its like I can’t stop. A few years ago I knit 36 cotton dish cloths before it was out of my system. I still have about 6 in my gift box. This past Christmas it was felted bags. I now have 4 of each size finished to give away. Yesterday, when I should have been making samples (don’t tell Jan), I couldn't stop myself from knitting socks. I finally had to force myself to stop and get those wool samples started. Now I just wish I could be home today working on my projects.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

scrappy trails

I have finally finished my first leader and ender project to flimsy stage. It will probably stay this way until I find a home for it and send it out for quilting.
I have to devise a new system of getting pictures of my quilts. I couldn't get one I liked of this, but I think you can get the idea. First I tried getting DH to hold it up. You can see the top of his head. :oD He said "I'm not tall enough or wide enough." Even with him standing on a step stool I couldn't get the bottom. Then I put it on a bed, but couldn't get a good angle. So positioned it to get a good border shot. I really like the way it turned out. The dark brown border was originally designed to be the same as the background, but I ran out. I LOVE the fabric I found instead. Necessity adds to the creative process.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

a week in review

This has been an interesting week. On Monday morning we lost our power due to the Nor'easter that went through. Houses to the left of me, houses to the right all had power except a few. Two houses down, there was a tree laying across the lines. I assume they had shut down ours for safety reasons. In the entire state there were more than 127, 000 houses without power so our little corner of the world was not top on their priority list. As much as I understand this, by the third night without lights and running water the adventure had worn thin. We were prepared so we were never in any danger. I cooked on the cook stove and it heated the house. We got up early to get to our jobs in time to shower (luckily that was an option). I had drawn water so we could flush. Boredom was our biggest problem. (I missed Dancing With the Stars) The first night we tried to read and knit with flashlights. It was challenging to say the least. I have a few battery powered camp lanterns, but they just don't give a lot of light. The second night I stopped on the way home and bought head lamps. These were a big help although they drove the kitties a little crazy. They were a little confused and not sure what to make of the situation. Since I couldn't sew, I knit and finished knitting a prayer shawl I was working on while I was sitting with my mom in the hospital.
My hero was on the pole when I came home from work on Wednesday. The tree had been cut up and he was up reconnecting. I have never been so happy to see anyone. It felt so good to take a shower in the morning to wake up. We lost a fridge and freezer full of food so spent a lot of time and money this weekend refilling. Cleaning had fallen behind with no running water so we got the routine tasks taken care of as well. I would say we are pretty much back on track with nothing more than our normal clutter (which I hate to admit is significant).
I did get a little time to sew this morning and got some borders put on. I didn't get a picture so I'll get one tomorrow and post it. I am really happy with the way this quilt is turning out. :cD

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

my new reality

As we go through life things change and life as you knew it is no longer your reality. Changes can be so overwhelming and adjustments are made as you move along. As this happens you have a new reality that becomes the norm and you forget what life was like before. I was 12 when I first had to deal with loss. My father's father died. My grandparents had always traveled to Florida for winters so I simply pretended that he was there. Gradually, I was able to adjust to that new reality. Over the years my other 3 grandparents have passed on one at a time and reality changed. As DD moved so far away to dance we had to adjust to being without her. DS off to college. Empty nest reality. I feel I took most of these things in stride with a sense of sadness and a few tears. My newest reality, however, is not so easily adjusted to. My mom passed away very early on Easter morning. Even though we have known since she was diagnosed this was a possible reality there was always hope and something that could be done to possibly avert it.
My mom was only 68 and had been healthy, active and took good care of herself and her family all her life. She loved camping, kayaking, almost anything outdoors. She was a good, caring person and well respected in the small community where she had lived since she married my dad almost 50 years ago. She was a teacher's aide in the elementary school. Deciding she would like to be a teacher she put herself through college summers and evenings to get her teaching certificate. She graduated sum cum laud and taught 5th grade for a number of years. When she retired from that she worked as interim Postmaster filling in on weekends and days off in the small town where I grew up. She was very supportive of our church serving for years as treasurer and teaching in the Sunday school. When I was growing up there were maybe 3-5 families who went to church regularly. Over the last 20 or so years the congregation had grown so that the pews are nearly full every Sunday and she was so happy and proud of that. Her passing has left a huge void in our lives as well as the lives of the people in the communities she was a part of.
I feel most of the good parts of me are because of her and the way she raised me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

sad times

I have been having a hard time blogging lately and I really wish I didn't have a very good excuse. My Mom, who had a good checkup in January from her ovarian cancer, took a turn for the worse in Feburary. She started a second round of chemotherapy a couple of weeks ago, but has still been going steadily downhill. She is very weak and back in the hospital. We were so happy in January when it looked like things were going well and it has turned around so fast.