Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mr. Bunny Hill, I love You!



I'm not sure where I saw it first [on someone else's blog, undoubtedly] but in January of 2009 I fell in love. The object of my mooning was a series of free blocks by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs. She planned to dole out the patterns for the blocks, one at a time, at the beginning of each month throughout the year.

So do-able! So adorable. So sign-me-upable!

What harm could it do---one wee block per month? Speaking of blocks, I managed to block out the fact that, behind the closed door of the guest room closet, which itself was behind the closed door of the guest room, was a groaning shelf, laden with an [ahem!] unspecified number of unfinished quilt projects. What can I say? New projects hath charms....]

It was painless. The most fun was seeing the next block at the beginning of each month....Or maybe it was picking out the fabrics once I knew what the block was.....Or maybe it was the actual stitching.....To be fair, I think it was every step of the process! I bought several yards of a lovely cream fabric for the background...and nothing else. I had such fun [and made such a mess] every month, rooting through my stash for just the perfect scrap for each part of that month's design. I think Anne must have to pinch herself every day. Imagine making a living doing what you love to do----in this case playing with fabric! When I was a child, nowhere on the horizon did I see the possibility of making a career out of such fun. Which just goes to show that my imagination wasn't firing on all cylinders at the time. Of course I did love art in school, but art was associated with Beatniks and Teddy Boys and in no way to be encouraged!

But better in one's dotage than never. I finished January's block in record time. And February's.....March's.....April's...... Then there was the added incentive of posting one's finished block each month on Flickr [see sidebar], taking a bow, and handing out kudos to one's fellow stitchers as they posted theirs!

Every month I managed to keep up with the program, and every month I was loving it more. Christmas loomed and I fell a bit behind. New year came and I fell more behind. But this week I finally put all the blocks together.[Takes a deep bow...]


I had long ago decided I didn't want to do the simple sashing shown on the web site. The idea of an Irish chain setting appealed to me, so I made alternate blocks with the background fabric and a variety of yellows from my stash that would compliment, but not steal the limelight from, the applique blocks.





The last thing to do was to put on the borders. All along I'd thought that green would be good for a narrow border, separating the blocks from the outer floral border. But when I went to the quilt shop to buy the green, had it in my hand and was heading to the cutting counter, I spied a beautiful red, all dappled with sunshine and calling my name! So much for the best laid plans.

The borders are on and the corners are mitered. The first three came out perfectly, but wouldn't you know it [I got smug? or careless?] the fourth corner did not. But I have learned it is futile to fume. Far better to unpick an inch or so, tweak a little, and restitch by hand, coaxing things into the way you want them to go.




It's close enough to perfect now.





I need a break before I tackle hand quilting it. And let's face it, after all that applique, I think it needs to be hand quilted. Sigh. Which means I might be able to hang the finished product in my sewing room five years from now.

Besides, there are ladybugs in that closet clamoring to get out......

Pipe down in there ladybugs! I'm coming to get you!



Note: And thank you Anne Sutton....I had so much fun with this!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Mysterious Case Of The Body In The Pizza Box

I didn't get much rest that night. It's difficult to rest when you're involved in a murder. When the alarm went off at six a.m. it was still dark. I groaned. I don't do early risings at the best of times, but having stayed up very late the night before, I needed just a few more minutes. So I bashed the alarm and went back to sleep.

At ten past seven I bolted upright, rigid with panic. I'd been off in the land of my subconscious where the goings-on are much more interesting than those in my waking life. Trouble is, I usually can't remember them. As soon as my eyes open and the light gets in, the characters in my dreams scurry off around corners, and, try as I may, I cannot call them back.

But this time I did! It was all fresh in my mind.

I had murdered somebody.

I was very calm in this knowledge, whereas the waking me would, first of all never have done it, and secondly, if she had, would have been a mess of guilt and jitters and nerves. But no. There I was, cool as a cucumber, unencumbered by guilt or remorse, walking along in the half light, carrying a box under my arm.

I was in a place that my dream self knew well, but my conscious self does not know. It seemed to be a village. It was dark and the street was deserted. The box was made of shiny black plastic, with a hinged lid. It was flatish and rectangular, and it contained the remains of my victim. No blood, no guts, no gore, just facts. Cold, hard, dispassionate facts.

I went into a barn-like building where I met and was greeted by a man who seemed to know me. He appeared to be in a workshop of some sort. I was not alarmed to see him. But when he saw the box I was carrying he tried to take it from me, telling me it was one of his pizza boxes. [I never said this wouldn't be bizarre!] I clutched it tighter to me and refused to give it up. I knew that if he opened the box, I'd be exposed as a murderer[ess?]. Who my victim was, why I had killed her, how I killed her, and what I was planning to do with the body, were all mysteries, parts of the dream that scurried away as soon as I opened my eyes.

I have no idea what happened after that because that's when I woke, in a panic, realizing I had to be somewhere by 8 o clock and it was already ten past seven.

I am fascinated by the places I go to, and the things I do, when I close my eyes. I know that, often, when I am fretting and worrying about something in my waking hours, the solution will come to me when I am fast asleep. And while that is helpful and amazing, it reinforces my feeling of the unfairness of it all: that I am deprived of fully knowing who I am, when I can recall so little about the state in which I spend so much time.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Cussy Futting and Bavishing Reauties.......

The title of Silfert's most recent post is a spoonerism. It took a second or two for the penny to drop here, as it does. I had just uttered one myself, so should have been quicker. It has always fascinated me how our brains can do that. I get tied up in knots if I try to think of some. Yet, when I least expect it, they drop, unbidden from my lips! No thinking, no plotting, no effort. I meant to say one thing today, but what came out was "cussy futting!" You quilters will know what I meant!

The OC's long time favourite is "bavishing reauties." When Silfert heard that she came right back with "beeping sleauty!"

There must be some howlers out there....Care to share?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Losing My Mind, One Marble At A Time



The OC is away. He is not a demanding man, but if he's around I stick close to home, because, you know, he might need a sandwich, or a cup of tea, or he might go to the bathroom and find the roll was empty, and then what would he do? He doesn't know how to make tea, or sandwiches or find where the TP is stashed.....At least that's his story [wink, wink.] So, I stick around most of the time, and we play house. Well, maybe I'm the only one playing house. He plays the overworked program manager,sitting in his cave, tearing his hair out over demanding customers who want their rocket parts and want them now and no they don't want to pay another million dollars for the five million worth of extras and the additional man hours they decided they needed since signing the contract ......

We're both up for Oscars this year. Watch for us on the big night, decked out in dazzling duds, smiling radiantly, bowing, speechifying and thanking our mothers and great-uncle Boris.

But I digress.

The OC is away. It seemed a good time to go trawling around the shops. I never got beyond the first one because it's the kind that gets last season's merchandise, and discontinued lines of all manner of tempting things I really don't need, from luxury Italian linens to gourmet coffee to Polish pottery to gorgeous German dolls to scuba equipment to extra-fine quilting pins! I could have spent the entire day in there. In fact, I only realized how late it was when the manager moved into my orbit, coughing discreetly but insistently.

Paid and left. Clutching my pins and a nice pair of casual, gray pants, original price fifty nine dollars, mine for twelve ninety nine---and long enough!

Trawling around shops, even just the one, is exhausting work and I was gasping for a cup of tea when I arrived home. Started the kettle and put a tea bag in my favourite cup. Got distracted putting away my loot, but did remember to set the timer for five minutes.

Wherever I was, I heard the timer go off, and returned to the kitchen, eager for the restorative cuppa, only to find that I had never poured the water into the cup! Sigh.

I do all the right things. I exercise; I eat my fruit and veggies; I do crosswords and sudoku every day; and still, brain cells are dying.

Last week, late one afternoon, I wasn't in the mood to make a big production out of supper. The OC was fine with my suggestion of warming up some frozen pizza. I set the oven to preheat,and while waiting I put the pizza in the fridge because I wanted the crust to be crispy. The directions on the box advised keeping the pizza frozen until ready to bake, and who would I have to blame but myself, if I didn't do as I was told, and we ended up with pizza that tasted like soggy cardboard?

The oven beeped, we were good to go. I set the timer for the recommended twenty minutes and gathered up tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms and onions; the least I could do, since I was off the hook for cooking, was to make a salad. So I stood at the counter, humming to myself, washing and drying, slicing and dicing, carefully cutting off a good chunk around the occasional hole pecked by the birds, whose mothers, obviously, never taught them to finish all the worms on their plate, or at least to only take as much as they intended to finish.

Salad ready. Table set.

"Supper's ready dear!" I really do play my part well [modest blush.]

"Ding!"

That'll be the pizza.....except.....it wasn't! Oven mitts in hand, I opened the oven door, felt the blast of heat and saw.....nothing! [Unless you count "seeing" that the oven needs cleaning.] I stood with my mouth hanging open....

"What the heck???" Mutter, mumble, mutter....

Then it dawned on me. The pizza was still in the fridge, maintaining its crispitude!

Meanwhile the OC sat down at the table, ready for his supper. He had heard me muttering, so asked with a smirk

"What did you do now?"

Among my other services I provide entertainment, albeit unintentionally.

But, on a positive note, the oven being so thoroughly heated, the pizza, when it was finally done, was nice and crispy!

I guess I'll have to up the ante on the mental gymnastics....Chess maybe? Bridge? [shudder!]Classes in calculus? Logic? Egyptian hieroglyphics?

Or,radical thought, slow down and do one thing at a time?