Saturday, January 31, 2015

Little Poem Project - January 17-30

Here are two weeks worth of poems (minus one day that I'm not sharing). I didn't post last Saturday due to Friday Night Sew-In. I'm still enjoying this project after one month and am looking forward to continuing. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 17th.

Sunday, January 18th.

Monday, January 19th.

Tuesday, January 20th.

Wednesday, January 21st.

Thursday, January 22nd.

Friday, January 23rd.

Saturday, January 24th. Husband, Joseph and I were talking about 6 word poems. I included his.

Sunday, January 25th.

Monday, January 26th.

Tuesday, January 27th.

Wednesday, January 28th.

Friday, January 30th.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Year of the Sock

I am in desperate need of some new knitted socks and declare 2015 to be the year of the sock. I plan on making 6 pairs for me and 6 pairs to be given as gifts. 
I started the first pair a couple weeks ago and was so into it that I made it just a little too big. Guess this pair will be going to my sister. Hope you like the colours, Sarah.

The yarn is Felici by Knit Picks. I've heard great things about this yarn but this is my first time using it. The yarn is discontinued but they brought back a few colourways over the holidays. By the time I decided to buy some, this was the only choice left. 

Just a few inches left before pair #1 is complete for the year. Then they'll be out the door for my sister's birthday next month.

And since the first pair are going to my sister, I needed to start a pair for myself. And pay closer attention to the foot size. Turned the heel last night but forcing myself to finish my sister's sock before I finish this one. 

Spent some time this week going through my Ravelry favorites and patterns I have printed off and found several more sock patterns I'd like to try this year. Hard to decide which one to start next. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What I read in January

This is might be a short post. I haven't been doing much reading this month. I've started a few books and then returned them to the library because I didn't want to give them my time. It's not that they were bad books, it's just that reading them wasn't how I wanted to spend my time. A few I'll get out again from the library when I need something to read but not any time soon. 

I haven't written much this past week either. I am now at the stage where the new chapters need to meet the old chapters and the ending of the novel is going to change. I had three possible plausible endings I could go with and then a bunch more that were possible but maybe not as believable. I've been doing a lot of thinking about it this week, about what direction I want the novel to go and I've done plenty of knitting and some quilting while I thought but not much writing. I think I finally decided what ending I'm going to work towards - although that could always change as I write, but I hope to get back to writing as soon as I post this and have some lunch.

Now onto the few books I read this month.
Making Habits, Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean
Instead of making resolutions this year I am focusing more on changing habits. Some small, some big. A good read but there were several chapters full of studies of how habits are made and how they're broken. I was looking for more how to actually break the habits but it did get into that. I did enjoy reading it and have made steps towards trying to change habits I didn't like and making new ones - including getting back into yoga. For several years I have put start doing yoga again on my resolutions/ goals for the year list and I don't do it. This year, I'm doing it; usually while Floyd watches Sesame Street. And I'm beginning to associate the show with my time to do yoga - it's becoming a habit. I can't leave him alone in the living room so I do yoga beside the couch and he often interrupts and I have to kick toys off the mat while I do it but I'm doing it 2-4 times a week and I feel great.

Broken Cup by Margaret Gibson
A great, powerful collection of poems written about her husband's battle with Alzheimer's and how it impacts their lives. Whether you know anyone who has had Alzheimer's or not it is an amazing collection of poems to read. I think those who are or who will be taking care of their aging parents could also relate to a lot of these poems. 

The World Split Open - collection of essays
I'm not actually done this book but it is due back at the library today and I can't renew it so I will be finishing it. I think any writer would enjoy this. I love that both Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson are in it - they are two of my favourite authors. And the sub-title sums the book up best, "Great Authors on How and Why We Write".

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friday Night Sew-In Results

Finally posting what I was able to do yesterday. 
I got a good start on 48 log cabin blocks. Need a good ironing before I sew on the next piece.

Last year I cut up a lot of my scraps into squares (2, 3 and 4 inch). I had several 3 inch squares sewn into pairs and sewed some together into four patches last night. I think I did almost 30.

Once the kids went to bed, I watched Milos Rancic win his match at the Australian Open while working on a sock for me. Knit about 2 inches.

Birthday boy with his new scarf that I finished as we watched a movie last night. He had requested a black scarf for Christmas but I didn't get it done.

Should keep him warm. Washed and dried it this morning and now it's really soft. I cast on 25 stitches and did seed stitch until I ran out of yarn. Yarn is worsted weight acrylic from Michael's.

You can go see what everyone else did for Friday Night Sew-In here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Getting ready for Friday Night Sew-In


 Tonight is the first Friday Night Sew-In of 2015. I hope to get a little quilting done today, though I doubt I'll get much done this evening as it's my son's 9th birthday and there will cake and a movie and gift-opening to do tonight, as well. I thought I would finally show some of the fabric that joined my stash over the holidays in hopes that it will motivate me to do something.
New fat quarters from my parents (perhaps picked out by my dad? He likes to do that).

Fabric from my sister. She made our SIL placemats and said I could make my own. She gifted me one of her patterns. 

My sister also gave me this which is beyond awesome. Really want to quilt this and get it up on the wall. 

In the past, my sister and I have worked on different quilt projects together, including a quilts for our parent's 35th and 40 wedding anniversaries. This summer will be their 45th anniversary! Before, my sister and I have planned and made the quilts without asking my parents what they want. At Christmas this year, I asked my mom if she wanted another quilt and if there was something specific she wanted. She said they didn't need another quilt for their bed, but she would like Christmas quilts for all the beds - their double bed and a double and twin used for guests. 3 quilts by the end of July? Yikes. She said as long as she has them by next Christmas that would be fine. Whew!

So, my mom and I went fabric shopping before we came home and she picked out some Christmas fabric (at 50% off) and it's up to me to design and make them. I think I have them all figured out but designs might change. Here is what she picked.

She liked all the music on these 3 fabrics. She plays the piano/ organ so they seemed appropriate. They will be used for the guest double bed quilt.

For their bed she picked these two fabrics. The cardinal fabric is the main fabric (bought twice as much as the holly). Think I might add red and white to this quilt. I've been playing around with several designs for this fabric so it will be interesting to see what I finally decide.

I liked this so much we bought some of it too. Not for any of the bed quilts but going to make something else with it. And maybe something for myself too. Got 2 metres. 

As for the twin bed quilt? I had some jelly rolls that I had planned to make a Christmas log cabin with for a couple years now. My mom likes the log cabin block (I made a quilt for her with that block) so I think she'll like it. I got all the fabric cut to make 10 inch blocks. There are 48 blocks in total.

I placed the fabrics to see what it will look like finished and I really like it. These blocks are what I hope to tackle tonight for FNSI.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Writing Wednesday post...

... because I've actually been writing.

     When I finished my NaNoWriMo novel at the end of November it had 50, 411 words. Skimming it last November, I had added and corrected some words but hadn't done any real editing. Last year was the first time I went into NaNoWriMo with a real plan, including a chapter outline. I didn't really look at the outline as I wrote but just writing it down before let my brain know where I saw the novel going. I finished the novel suddenly, and a few days early, because I decided to omit one major event I had planned for the novel. It no longer seemed to fit. Last week I reread the whole novel from beginning to end  - only took two days - and realized that the major event needed to be in it. I tried to figure out where exactly in the story it now fit and started writing new chapters. Since last Thursday I have added over 12,000 words to the novel. Several times I wrote over 3,000 words in one day. I know there will be some heavy editing needed for the chapters before the new chapters and especially the ones after, but the new material has me very excited to be working on this again. I was even going to give myself the day off from writing today but somehow I've already added another 700 words. I guess when I'm in the groove I better write!

My writing plans for 2015 are to focus on what I've already written and not start another novel until November. The first four months will be spent on editing/ rewriting last year's NaNoWriMo novel, tentatively titled "Stronger with Time". I don't like the title, so that will need to change, but it needed to be called something. When it gets to a point that I am happy with it or just so sick of it that I need another pair of eyes or two, I'll give it to some readers for feedback. And after receiving that feedback and revising again, I plan on sending it out to agents. I am going to be researching literary agents this spring and trying to find several that I think would be a good fit for me. I have thought about trying to be my own agent and submitting to publishers but I'm not sure if I'm ready to do that. 

Once I am done editing that novel, or need a break from it, I'm going to finish the rewrite of "Lucy" that I had started last year. I need to sit down with that work again and make some changes as something about it is not right, but I don't know what. And if there's time this year, I hope to finish writing my first NaNoWriMo novel from 2011. It currently has over 70,000 words and several chapters still need to be written. I'd like to finish it, as I still love it. Especially since writing it, is what convinced me that I am what I always said I wanted to be when I was growing up, a writer.

And when I need a break from writing/ editing novels? I plan to start sending out poetry to magazines/literary journals. I have always enjoyed writing poetry and it's a nice change from novel writing. I am currently going through old poems and deciding which ones might be good enough to publish after a little work. And of course, I'm enjoying The Little Poem Project that I publish on the blog every Saturday.

I have a good feeling about this year and am looking forward to all the joy and frustration my writing will bring me.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Around the Web with a Cup of Tea

This post is a day late since I spent most of my spare time yesterday writing. This past week I've added over 8,000 words to my NaNoWriMo novel but I'll talk more about that on Wednesday. Here are some of the interesting things I found on the internet last week that I wanted to share. Enjoy.

Looks like 2015 has some great books coming out: Fiction here and non-fiction here.
And because I can't seem to get enough of CBC Books, here is something else that might interest you.
Have always wanted to write but can't find the time? This might help.

I think this is a great read for anyone who works from home, and that includes stay-at-home moms because that is a job, too.

I have to admit, I'm so happy that I found Elise's blog. I think I link back to her blog several times a month and some times have to limit myself to just one post a week to link to. I feel we are very similar yet very different and I just like how she writes. She's a version of me, but with a lot more confidence. Her latest project looks amazing.

I haven't done this yet but it looks like a lot of fun.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Little Poem Project - January 10-16

Sharing all my little poems from this week. You can read more about this project here. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 10th.

Sunday, January 11th.

Monday, January 12th.

Tuesday, January 13th.

Wednesday, January 13th.
This one popped into my head while doing yoga that morning and wouldn't leave.

Thursday, January 15th.
Written in celebration of the safe delivery of the baby my SIL was carrying as a surrogate. "Little" Norman came into the world at 9 lbs 5.5 oz. Everyone is doing well.

Friday, January 16th.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Last 2014 finish

Today finishes up my week of finishes. Next week I'll be able to share all the things I've started since the new year. I have both quilt projects and knitting projects occupying my time. But back to the last finish of 2014 that started almost a year ago. When I was looking at 2013's calendar and writing birthdays and anniversaries on 2014's last January, I noticed that my father-in-law would be turning 60 at the end of December. My sister and I have worked on quilts together for our parents but I hadn't yet worked on one with my sister-in-law, Michelle. I sent her an email about perhaps working on one for her dad and having the kids help in some way. Her kids at the time were 12, 10 and 6 and mine were 11, 7 and 8 months. She was on board with the idea and we started looking for patterns. When I sent her the link to Cluck, Cluck, Sew's Suburbs pattern we decided it was the one. The houses were easy enough for kids to sew and the blank spaces could be replaced with drawings. Michelle added some paper pieced stars to the top  and we had one amazing quilt. 

Each family did 4 rows. Each kid was responsible for picking the fabrics for their rows (I helped Floyd), then Michelle and I each did a row that tried to balance or fit in with what the kids picked. It's a good thing Michelle had I have similar tastes and thus fabric stashes that worked well together. She mailed me her four rows - her row is at the top with the star row attached to it - and I sewed all the rows together. We ended up going with birth order since the rows went back and forth between the families. Except at the top and bottom since she has the oldest grandchild and I have the youngest and my row is last. We were able to discuss it once in person when we visited in June but all other discussions were done via email. Some kids helped, (pictures of my son sewing here), but they all drew something. Above is the quilt top before I mailed it back to her for quilting.


I also pieced the back. 

On our way up to spend Christmas with family (all our parents live in the same city) we stopped at her house so we could pick up the now quilted quilt which I still needed to put the binding on. We tried to get a picture of all the kids with the quilt but Floyd wouldn't really cooperate. At least he's still kind of in the picture.

A day before his birthday, I set myself up at my parent's house with my old machine which I keep at their house and put the binding on while Floyd napped. Great view. I also did a little writing in that room while we were there but that's a different post. 

Father-in-law with his birthday quilt. I think he was very surprised and very happy with it. Floyd was thrilled that he was allowed to walk on it.

And the back.

Close-ups of the drawings by my kids can be seen in this post.

This is one of the blocks I drew. He lives in the middle of nowhere or the centre of the universe if you ask him, and often posts pictures of animal tracks on his blog. The "human" feet are either his or belong to a sasquatch. 

Using our bed while deciding the layout with Floyd's help, of course.

Final layout and a better look at some of the drawings and blocks.



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