Friday, April 24, 2020

Some hope

We’re in a province that has had a low level of Covid cases and none for about a week, so there is talk about easing the closures. For me, until there is a good vaccine, I’ll be still having to do a lot of self isolating. Even so, I’m so hopeful today. The only thing I really care about is getting to see the grandkids. They may try to come visit in summer if travel between PEI and NB is allowed.

Good reasons to feel hopeful today. It’s beautiful and sunny here too, although still cold. I hung out the sheets and the breeze will dry  them. 
I’ve been walking every day with my husband. Unfortunately, my good hip has decided to start acting up, keeping me up at night and making it painful to walk.  It’s the norm for osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis I guess. I have a phone consult with my doctor Scheduled  for next week, so we’ll see if I can get on the list for a shot done at the hospital. They are starting to schedule some things again.

This morning, I added the final borders to a simple baby quilt which I think I’ll send out for quilting.

And, I started to put together a little zippered pouch that I’ve had all ready for assembly for some time.

My latest knitting project is a Nordic type knit for Ollie, my 3 year old grandson. I’ll have enough to make a smaller size 2 that Gus will grow into as well.

I also continue to make collage pages, often with my tea after meals. Sometimes I get very wrapped up in it and papers and paints are everywhere! It’s a very good creative outlet though. I ordered a couple Daler Rowney inks that I’m enjoying learning to use with my old calligraphy pen and I’m surprised how well it works.

For our lunch today, I made us a salad from leftovers in the fridge. Rice noodles, cucumber, pineapple, cranberries, sunflower seeds, broccoli, grated carrot, purple cabbage, sprouts, and shrimp with a lime dressing. It was yummy!

Hope is my feeling for this week! 

Friday, April 17, 2020

Another week at home

Im wondering how everyone is doing. Are you sleeping, keeping busy, holding onto hope? I’m feeling tired this week because I’m not sleeping well but I continue to keep busy walking, making meals, creating with paper, knitting and quilting. I’m finding a lot of creative escape with the paper collage. I’m in the habit of working on one or two a day after breakfast or lunch. The scraps of paper are taking over and the more I do the more seems to appear, lol. It ends up spread all over our table and I try to do a little clean up before meals and sort colors, etc. Gord says it doesn’t bother him at all. He’d push it aside to eat if he had to, lol. 

When it dries I’ll add the date and maybe some line work.

For my night time knitting (I’m up late), I finished the baby afghan and love the colors and lacy texture.

Now, I’ve started a size 4 merino wool socks for Ollie. I’ll have enough to do a smaller pair for Gussie.

My husband sent my packages of masks and baby gifts out with Purolator. The Baby quilt I sent to my daughter  is pictured here with  Gussie.

In the afternoons when I need to put my feet up, I’ve been watching something called The Last Homely House on You Tube. Kate is in the UK living on a small sort of hobby farm. She does a bit of everything including knitting, spinning, cooking, pottery, quilting, basket making, gardening, book making, and more. Her videos go back about 2 years and I find them so comforting and interesting to listen to and watch. 

While I’m watching I’m slowly knitting on the bunny. I have to focus and check it off row by row. I’m ready now to stitch up the bunny tail and cast on for the front.

This week I finished  the majestic mountains quilt top and now need borders. 

I sent a pic to the local shop and she sent me a few pics of what she had in batiks.  I settled on these two and they’re now in the mail.

As many people are right now, I’m finding it very hard to focus and couldn’t seem to get into my fiber art. A zoom call with my Atlantic region SAQA group this week gave me some ideas and inspiration to get going on some Gelli prints that I’ve had up on my wall.
This is the first group laid out in somewhat  of a placement I like. I’m going to iron them down when finalized and then start to quilt.

The second one has more pieces and is a bit larger. I also have a few more pieces to add - some mono printed organza for one. Again I’m going to iron it down, not piece it and start quilting and embellishing. We’ll see where it goes.

Are you trying lots of new and creative recipes? I’m tired today and decided to throw together a simple casserole after my lunch. It’s something I used to make for my kids. Now, I generally make my sauces from scratch rather than use a canned soup but in these times it’s nice to have something easy once in a while.

Something hopeful I’ve been doing are the seeds I’ve been starting. 
When it warms up on the deck my husband can put up the small portable hot house we bought a couple years ago.

As I’ve written before, I keep the news minimal, usually twice a day and try to keep busy. I’m continually thankful though for the country I live in (Canada) and how things have been handled. I’m very sorry for all the loss of life around the world and I’m very aware and thankful for how lucky we are to have a small home and a yard.
 That we’ll soon be able to get into to garden. Many do not and are far worse off. 

Hugs to all (if we could) 💕

Friday, April 10, 2020

Knitting, collage, masks, seeds and a quilt

I’ve just put my feet up to give my back a break from the sewing machine. All week I’ve been sewing (struggling) with face masks. First, I started with a template pattern with 6 pieces. I made a few with both elastic and fabric ties. The fabric ties seemed best, the masks were labour intensive, and they didn’t seem to fit the best. My husband’s wouldn’t stay up. They’re at the back below.

Then I switched to a simple rectangular pleated one which went much more quickly. I stream lined the process after a few tips from a friend and added t shirt ties which seem best for us. I’m using either pipe cleaners or some wire I found doubled, ends curled and wrapped with floral tape. Amazing what I found in my boxes, lol.

Today I cut out 5 more and got them about half done.

I’ll finish them this weekend and hubby is going to send it all off by Purolator on Monday. I also have a box with baby gifts in which I’ll include some masks.
Baby Gus is about 10 days old . It’s bittersweet -  breaks my heart and gives me joy all at the same time. 

I’m sure there are many of you going through similar things. I’m very thankful everyday for all that we have - a house and a yard that where we can get out. We are lucky. At times, as I’m sure you may, I have anxious moments, as I have immune issues, take immune suppressing drugs and have limited capacity lungs. I’m doing my best to eat right, to get exercise and to  stay positive. My husband dies any errands but strictly those with limited contact. We order our groceries on line and pick them up and wash everything. It’s becoming the new norm although sometimes I wonder when I might wake up.

Here’s his big brother Ollie at a similar age, maybe a bit older.

He’s very taken with Gussie, wanting to hold, feed, and play with him whenever he awakens.

My quilt is still waiting for me on the ironing board. 

I have a few rows to add which I will get to as soon as the masks are all done.

After my lunch today, I also made time to get back to some collage play.

It doesn’t ‘sing’ to me but they’re always fun and relaxing to do. I think it may lead me on a bit in a new direction,

 At night I like my mindless knitting. I’ve got another small afghan on the needles. I’m kind of wishing I’d started it with more stitches as I think it’s quite pretty.

This pattern I purchased on line and downloaded. It’s definitely for  those time’s when I’m more focused like sitting on the deck on a sunny afternoon. I’m using two strands of sock weight yarn. 

Earlier this week, I started some seeds for the garden, some flowers and vegetables.

The mesclun mix is up and showing in the central pot. I also started marigolds, kale, tomatoes, Swiss chard, peppers, and a few different squashes and zucchini. I’ve just realized that I won’t have herbs as I usually buy the plants so I think I’ll send for some seeds.

The little pack on my studio window ledge are zinnias. Maybe I’ll also order more flowers as I may not get to garden centers this year.

I hope you’re all coping and finding ways to to relax or occupy yourself or your family. 💕

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Staying positive by being creative

We’re getting into nearly a month of staying home. At first we got out to do some snow shoeing but as it progresses the parks and trails are closing. I’m so glad that we are into spring and can get out into  the yard. I will be staring seeds next week.
At night before bed I do my best to watch less stressful shows while knitting to relax. I started another baby afghan, something to keep fingers busy in a sort of meditative rhythm.

I finished this one. I will eventually have lots to give away!

Because of my the Addison’s, I’m often quite low in the morning. I know this though and spend a quiet breakfast and then do something easy and creative with my tea. About 5 minutes into painting or collage, I brighten up. 
Today, I got out some paint and did some backgrounds for my collages.

I used gouache paints and one of my own designed thermofax screens.

This was the after lunch scene.

 I have stashed a lot of paper scraps and ephemera over the years, stuffing it all in a box, so I got out some files this week and organized them some.

I’ve also been drawn to doing sone paper cutting. It is mindless and addictive.

Another thing I did was to pull most of the pages out of the various books I’d been doing the collages in. Documenting this journey might be a good idea. I will gather them up and eventually do some  kind of bound book.

We are lucky here in Canada for how our government has handled this crisis and particularly lucky for all that we have. I’m thankful for so many things.

FaceTime with family and friends
Zoomer meetings with my quilting group
 My lovely little sunny studio

Some of my little treasures.

Good books

Clothes on the line

Despite the snow, even as it melts, a sunny spot to sit on the deck 

New knitting projects thanks to a yarn stash and internet downloads

Really we have much to be thankful for in the 1st world.  And especially, the birth of our second grandson this week, baby Gus, brother to Ollie. He’s 4 days old.

I saved the best for last, did I not?

I’ve shed a few tears that we can’t be there to hold and snuggle him and help with Ollie. My daughter had a section, thankful they’re all well though and that her partner is home.

Take the time to breathe, find something you live to do or try something new. Get fresh air, good food and exercise. Self isolate, Stay well.