catching up and coming in last

I’ve spent this week sick, on the couch. It’s okay. Really, it is.

It’s actually kind of nice to just rest and do what my body tells me to – quite a change from the working years when we just had to push through. Take drugs to stop coughing, stop blowing, stay alert. Then collapse the minute we walked in the door at the end of the day. No time to look after ourselves.

handquilted 2Well, now I have time. After two years of retirement, I’m finally at a place where I can give my body what it needs when it’s sick: rest. I’ve lazed around, sleeping when I need to, chain-drinking pots of tea, moving around when I need to. I feel like I’m charting the progress of this cold. It changes every day. It’s interesting, in a scientific sort of way. Uncomfortable, even painful at times…but interesting.

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I’m getting lots of reading in. And some small bouts of sewing. I get up and putter a bit, then go lay down for awhile, then get up again and putter some more. It took me two days to make one splendid sampler block. And that’s perfectly okay. It brings new meaning to living simply – something I’ve been striving for.

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And just in case you think I gave up on the A-Z challenge: I didn’t. I’m just coming in last.

XYZ

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t find a single pose that begins with the letters x, y or z. So what I’m going to do is tell you about something I’ve challenged myself with. It’s the end of the alphabet, after all. What comes next? My personal goal: Crow Pose

my challengeSomeday I will be able to do this. I don’t know why, but I just know that in this pose I will know myself to be physically strong. That hovering in crow pose, I will be as strong as I will ever need to be.

Partly it’s because this pose requires strength from the entire body: tremendous core strength and the shoulder & arm strength that I have been lacking. And mental strength, too, to overcome the fear of falling forward and doing a face plant on the floor.

Inside myself, I think of this as the Raven pose.

crow pose

I miss the ravens of the Yukon. I miss their burbling and clicking and cawing and the thousands of different sounds they make. I miss them being ever present and watchfully perched on the lamp posts, heads tilted. I miss the way they fluff their feather up so they look like they’re wearing furry black parkas in the winter  If I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be of a raven. If I ever master this pose, maybe I will.

 

The End (of the alphabet and the a-z challenge.)

What comes next for you?

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Blog Categories | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A busy day and the letter W

Thank you to Cindy for identifying the mystery tree!

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Do you want to know what it is? Watch this short 20 second clip to find out!

Now there is a little family-of-origin joke in the clip you just watched. Oh my, how we kids would roll around laughing!

Today has been one of those very productive days that has felt very relaxed at the same time. A batch of sourdough bread has been baked. A venison stew is simmering. Laundry is drying on the line.  A lovely walk has been taken with my neighbour.

More straight and wavy lines have been sewn on my nephew’s quilt:

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And I sewed a skirt! Well…I didn’t really sew it from scratch.

I had this pair of palazzo pants. They’ve never been that comfortable, so I hardly ever wear them. I’ve kept them all these years because they were expensive! Silly!

pants

I finally said enough is enough. I need something black for community band, so I cut up the pants and refashioned them into a skirt!

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With the yoga pant waistband, it will be a very comfy! :)

Speaking of yoga…

W

 

 

 

 

250_hp_lift_02_4502Wild thing (I just had to include this…for the name!)

No? Me, neither.

 

 

How about this W pose, instead?

Wide Legged Seated Pose:

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Blog Categories, Made by Me Clothing, me-made clothing, Yoga | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

A walk in the park and the letter V

Sam and I have been going for morning walks to Harold Provincial Park with my friend Shelley, who lives next door. The park is only a 5 minute drive away. It’s such a beautiful time of the year…I thought I would share a bit with you today.  :)

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Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? We think maybe a Tamarack?

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And for the A-Z in April Blogging Challenge:

VVirabhadrasana -better know as Warrior pose – comes in handy-dandy pack of three varieties. The warrior poses are what a lot of people think of when they hear the word “yoga.” At least one virabhadrasana is included in just about every yoga class. :)

 

 

warrior I

 

 

 

 

 

 

warrior II

 

 

warrior III

 

 

 

 

I don’t know why they are numbered I, II and III instead of each being given it’s own name.  I guess it’s one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Either that or I’m too lazy to go find out.

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Beauty, Blog Categories, outdoors, Salmon Arm, Shuswap, Yoga | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A Collette Crepe wearable muslin…and the letters T & U

Presenting….the Crepe dress by Collette!

muslin

A summery wrap dress that wraps at the back! And no worries at all…there’s a lot of wrapping back there. I’m not worried about any stray gusts of wind at all, thank goodness!

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I’d read a lot of pattern reviews before choosing this dress. They all said there were issues with fitting the back, so I expected that. And wow! Were they ever right! It was huge on me!

I took excess fabric away from the back bodice pieces by drawing a wedge that tapered from the inside seam to 4-inches on the outer edge like so:

muslin back

The back still has issues, but I’ve no idea what to do about it. I wonder if I should have take a rectangle of fabric out instead of the wedge…if that would have made a difference. But then, the front and back sides wouldn’t match anymore. Has anyone out there made this pattern before? If you have, and you know how to fix this…let me know!

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There is a lot of stress on the seam joining the tie to the left bodice piece. When I snugged it up, I heard it tear a little. Oops. I’ll have to reinforce that! collette crepe 022

There’s a little pulling at the underarm, but I think that’s because the underarm is a little tight. Next time, I’ll cut the arm holes out a little lower. They’re snugged right up there. Not uncomfortable…but not comfortable either. Does that make sense? I’m aware of them.

I graded from a smaller size at the shoulders up to a bigger size at the waist. I’m so glad I learned how to do that! The bust darts sit right where they’re supposed to, I think (accomplished seamstresses & seamsters, feel free to chime in here! I want to learn!)

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I took everyone’s excellent sewing advice and made a muslin (test garment) first, using a duvet cover that I got at the thrift store for $2.00.  When I have all the bugs worked out of the pattern, I’ll buy some nice fabric and make a “real” one. But for now, I think this wearable muslin will be fine for hot summer days kicking around the house.

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And Mr C likes it. What else can I say?

Once again I’m behind on the A-Z blogging in April challenge. That means you get two letters today: T and U!

T

Tree Pose

Balance poses are great, especially as we age.  Having good balance means less chance of falling.

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www.yogaforkids.com

Start by simply lifting one heel off the ground. Sort of like using your foot as a bicycle kickstand.

 

 

 

 

estudiobabo.com.au

When you feel stable, move your free foot to your ankle or shin. That’s all the higher you have to go, really. It’s about working your core and balancing…not about how high you can lift your leg.

 

 

U

Upward Salute

This pose is related to the Tree Pose. It’s a nice stretch for your tummy and the area under your arms.

 

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/upward-salute/

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/upward-salute/

 

It’s also good for shoulder mobility…something else you want to have in good shape as you age. :)

 

 

 

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Balance, Blog Categories, Made by Me Clothing, me-made clothing, sewing, Yoga | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

S is for the Splendid Sampler and Side Plank

Every once in awhile I enjoy participating in a block-of-the-month quilt-along. That’s when a block is posted on a regular basis, and at the end of the year, you have enough blocks to make a quilt.

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Pam’s wedding quilt was made this way. So was the Trifle Dish quilt that I made for Dee.

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These little blocks I’m showing here all belong to The Splendid Sampler quilt-along. The instructions for these tiny 6″ blocks come out twice per week. Yes…twice!

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How big is six inches? Not very big, let me tell ya!

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Every Sunday and Thursday you can find me in my sewing room, tossing around scraps and assembling the little block du jour.

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Except for the backgrounds, I’m mostly using Kaffe Fassett prints. Mostly. If you’re a Kaffe fan, you’ll notice a few non-Kaffe prints in there, like Sis-Boom. Can you spot the block with the Sis-Boom prints?

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At first I wasn’t going to participate. My first reaction to the idea of making over one hundred 6-inch blocks was that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Not a good enough sewer. Blah blah blah. Screw that attitude! If I don’t try, how will I ever get better?

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Already – after only 22 blocks – I am better. It’s a wonderful world. :)

And last but certainly not least: the A-Z in April challenge:

S

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/side-plank-pose/

Side Plank Pose is one I’ve recently mastered. It’s one of those poses I was talking about yesterday, when I said I can tell I’m getting stronger because I can get into poses I couldn’t do before.

 

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Getting into and holding Side Plank was HUGE for me, because I have very little upper body strength.

I have the ab strength to hold the pose, it’s my lack of shoulder strength that has been the problem. Even here, you can see that my supporting arm is still a bit too far forward. But I’m up! I’m up and sticking it!

 

sideplankThe next progression of Side Plank is to lift that top leg.

 

 

 

FullSizeRender-7I keep trying to lift that top leg…

I gave it a try for the sake of this post. Here I am, falling out of it. At least I’m giving it a try! Eventually I will do it.

 

Do you want to work up to doing a full side plank, too? Because you can, you know.

Here are some short videos to get you started:


You can do it!!!! You can be strong!!!!!

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Quilting, Yoga | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Catching up with the letters Q and R

I got a little behind there for a couple of days. Sorry about that! Today I’m going to catch up with the April A-Z blogging challenge with the letters Q and R. :)

QQuotes

Honestly…I could not find a single pose that starts with the letter Q! But there are some lovely quotes floating around out there in cyber space, so I thought I’d apply a couple of them to my own thoughts around my home practice.

th2I admit it…yoga doesn’t meet the usual definition of working out. We aren’t racing our bicycles down the highway or dancing in a zumba class or running on a treadmill in a gym. We’re in our bare feet, doing what looks, to the uninitiated, like a lot of stretching. We’re sweating lightly instead of moping it off our faces with a towel. We’re slightly out of breath instead of gasping for air. When our practice is over, we lay down on the floor like we’re all taking naps together in kindergarten. We’re smiling and looking peaceful and trusting. We’re breathing with the effort, softening, looking inward, setting intention and releasing what doesn’t serve us.

 

th7I practice yoga for a lot of reasons. One of the main reasons is that I want to be strong. And happily, what I’ve have found since I’ve been practicing  two to three times each week is that it’s working. I’ve been getting stronger. Physically stronger. Poses are easier to get into. I can stay in them longer. I can bend into them deeper.

Let me say it right out: Yoga builds physical strength.

Because we move through the poses using our own body weight, the muscles develop in a natural way … following the natural movements of the body.

This feels so much more natural to me than going to the gym and lifting weights, listening to the clank and clatter of the metal disks and the loud pumping music.

th1What I enjoy about building strength through yoga is that my brain feels just as refreshed as my body does when I’m finished.

I always feel as though the day has slowed down and I’ve slipped those 30 or 60 minutes into it, like a love letter into the envelope of my day. ♥

*  *  *

RAnd for the letter R… the Rag Doll pose

 

 

 

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th5If the small of your back doesn’t care to have the entire weight of your upper body hanging off those few vertebra, go ahead and do a forward bend.

 

If you can’t touch your fingers to the floor, bend your knees, or use a block or a book or even a couple of soup cans to raise the floor closer to your hands. Whatever it takes.

 

 

th6Or do it sitting on a chair.

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Blog Categories, Yoga | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments