Let’s go to Finland!

As you may know, I’ve been taking a Northern Studies course (Introduction to the Circumpolar World) and since I love textiles, quilts, knits and all things that require stitches to make, I thought it would be fun to tour around some of the circumpolar blog world and take a look at what’s up  in other Northern countries! Maybe I’ll go there someday in person, but for today, lets take a cyber visit and skip on over to Finland. Grab a cup of glögi (mulled wine) and let’s get going!

I don’t understand a word of Finnish, so this will be a photo-tour. Here is a little glimpse into what’s going on over at Ajatusten Aalloilla in pictures:

 

Eija Kause has a blog called TILKKUTAIDE in Finnish (of course) but with bits and pieces of English. I learned that she is a hairdresser who quilts in her spare time and enjoys time at her lake-side cottage. Oh! We have something in common, eh? Here is what Eija has been up to:

 

…and I assume this is her lake-side cottage: beautiful!

Then I found myself over at Inglborg’s Lotta and found this picture. Dogs and quilts seem to go together no matter where in the world you live. And just look at that beautiful quilt – such beauty in simplicity!

Love this shot, too:

Ina at Ina-Knits spins and knits and sometimes uses Drops patterns, which I have only recently discovered myself! Love the smallness of our world sometimes!

 

A quick visit over to Töölön Tilkkupaja – tikkauspalvelu:

And last (but not least!) we’ll visit the Finn Quilt show, photos courtesy of Life’s a Quilt in Vaasa, Finland:

 

I hope you enjoyed our brief tour of Finland!

 

 

 

 

The Simple Woman’s Day Book

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Today I am going to take part in the Simple Woman’s Day Book.

FOR TODAY

Outside my window…
Fresh snow fell overnight so everything is fresh and fluffy white. The sun is trying to come through a thin layer of cloud and the sky is a milky washed-out blue.

I am thinking…
That I would really like to spend the day in my pajamas, reading, knitting and quilting in front of the fire, but really should do some housework and try to cook a few make-ahead meals for the week.

I am thankful…
At this very minute I am thankful for my wonderful husband who made me a cup of tea and brought me an aspirin for this crashing headache that I woke up with.

In the kitchen…
A big question mark. What will I cook for dinner tonight? I might send hubby to the grocery store for soup fixings.

I am wearing…
My pajamas as I have not been up for very long. We played a dance last night so didn’t get home until the wee hours, resulting in a sleep in.

I am creating…
A home made Christmas this year! A rather frantic one, however. I have so many projects on the go that I despair of finishing any of them!(just kidding) Slippers and scarves on the needles, a lap quilt in the frame, the binding to sew onto a toddler quilt. I’m excited and happy to be doing a home made Christmas this year…it feels good!

I am going…
Crazy? Lol! Seriously, I am going to have a nice hot bubble bath. And I am going out for a walk with the dog. I’m not going anywhere that I have to get dressed up for…not today, anyway!

I am wondering…
If I should put up the Christmas tree today or wait awhile yet. It seems early, but Michael is coming over tonight, and that means free Christmas-tree-putting-up-labour, lol! And, Christmas is one month from today!

I am reading…
Knit, Pearl, Die by Anne Canadeo. Light, easy, fun reading.

I am hoping…
That this headache will go away soon. I’ve had it since last week. One of those squinting through the pain types of headaches that drags you down day after day. Maybe a type of migraine, new to me?

I am looking forward to…
Everything! Life is such an adventure!

I am learning…
How to be content doing less. That I don’t need to please everybody, and I don’t need to follow those old rules in my head that tell me that worth comes from how much I accomplish. Because it doesn’t, and it’s surprising how hard it is to un-learn that.

Around the house…
A tremendous mess that I am responsible for having created and must put to rights myself (in all fairness to hubby, who does the lions share of the housework anyway, and for which I am grateful…)

I am pondering…
Living simply. Frugality and what that means, because it doesn’t just mean spending less money (does it?)…guess that is why I’m pondering it.

A favorite quote for today…
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first workd you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

One of my favorite things…
The first cup of tea in the morning. And especially when its in my “special” cup that hubby bought me years ago and is such a beautiful china cup with an English garden wrapped around it.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Finish up two knitting projects and make some progress on the lap quilt. Oh, and do my homework for the Northern Studies class I’m taking and which I am woefully behind in.

A peek into my day…

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One Yukon Minute

Todays minute was filmed last Saturday at the Fox Lake Cabin. The sound you hear in the background is the generator running. We had been splitting wood with the wood splitter, and I left my post for a few minutes to take some pictures and film this minute. Seems like a quintessential Yukon minute…It was about -18 that afternoon. Just about perfect. Enjoy!

And a few stills…

 

 

 

 

Saturday Night Swing Dance with The Big Band!

I love me some big band music. And I love playing in this band! Come on out and kick up your heels for some good old-fashioned fun! Saturday Night @ Mount Mac. See you there or see you square!

Turquoise and Tangerine

I took this picture out the window when I was flying home last month. I love the colours together. And I love flying Air North, too (but that goes without saying).

WIP Wednesday – bring it on!

Well,  I’ve got a lot of things in progress to show you this week! (Could it be because I haven’t done a WIP Wednesday in a while? lol!)

On the needles:

November’s We Be Learning BOM languishing around waiting for me to get around to actually mailing it:

This little dolly waiting for me to finish it:

This one waiting for me to decide how to quilt it:

This little toddler quilt waiting for me to finish the hand work on it:

the Mon fils quilt is in the hand frame:

Waiting in the wings are my November 1/2 square triangle block, the last two Treasure Chest blocks and my orange peel quilt blocks.

A maelstrom of quilty ideas are chasing themselves around and around my head. I really should write some of them down and make some space up there…

One Yukon Minute: November 10, 2012

Last Saturday at the Fox Lake cabin.

 

Eat your Peas!

I’m back on my balance journey after being knocked off my pins for about a year and a half and it feels great! I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately, so when a particular post from Nancy at A Rural Journey popped into my inbox at breakfast this morning, I could really relate to it. Nancy did such a beautiful job of expressing what I have been thinking about, and so I wrote to her and asked if I could post her blog post on my blog today (say that fast three times, lol!). She very graciously said yes! Which, I guess makes her my first official guest blogger!  Please pop on over and share some love with her for these beautiful words she is sharing with us. Thank you, Nancy!

Eat your peas

~Bill Cosby
Live in the now.
Be present.
Just be.
These phrases, although short and to the point, are often overused – the original intent somehow getting lost on us by virtue of their familiarity.
Yet, there are so many books and poems and notable quotes on the subject, I realize as a society, we must ponder the value of our days quite often — as they effortlessly, predictably –blur into one another.
Necessary daily tasks and routines must be accomplished before we can get to the interesting and motivating parts and pieces.
So it seems.
That’s being responsible.
Eat your peas or there will be no apple pie for dessert.
Not that there’s anything wrong with peas. I love peas.
But I’d rather have apple pie.
So here’s my point —
What if the apple pie never comes?
Do we have the forethought, the insight —
to savor, to appreciate the ordinary “peas”
as if they are something special, something sweet,
a feast?
We should.
Because they are.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
It’s not always easy to do this,
particularly when one day or week
just blows.
Your perfect child is acting up in school; the dryer and the tv decided to go out simultaneously;
you locked yourself out of your internet banking account. Twice.
The trick is finding small moments of each day, each week — to fully inhabit.
Don’t suffer through the peas to enjoy the apple pie.
Enjoy your peas.
Because all we ever have is now

A Home-made Christmas

Today is Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet over at Lily’s Quilts. Two linky parties for the price of one!

Small Blog Meet is for bloggers with fewer than 50 followers. I definitely fall into that category! And Fresh Sewing Day is for telling what you’ve been up to the last month.

Sew…I’ve decided to have a home-made Christmas this year. And not only that – I have decided to have a home-made Christmas that involves buying as few supplies as possible. That means working out of my various stashes.  And since I’ve decided this rather late, I’m scrambling to see what I can create in the little amount of time that I have (which basically means in the evenings after work).

slippers…

and the helpers had to get in on the picture-taking action of course!

and more slippers…

And yesterday I made a quilt top which will be for my son. (I won’t tell you how old my son is, but let’s just say he is closer to 30 than I am, lol!) I’m certain he doesn’t read his mother’s crafting blog, so I feel safe to show you! Now this is NOT the fabulous quilt I have planned for him. I want to make him a full-sized bed quilt with Little Black Dress by Basic Grey. And I will! As soon as I can afford the fabric! So maybe next Christmas? But for this year I want to give him a small little lap quilt that can be put over the back of a chair and pulled over the lap or shoulders when needed. 🙂 My problem was that I didn’t have anything in my stash that I thought he would really like!  So I went rooting around in the bottom of the stash and found a chunk of grey. Where did that come from? No idea…I think someone gave it to me years ago. Now, I thought, this is something that my son would like! He likes grey! It would make the perfect backing. More rooting around ensued and I came up with 4 charm packs that I had purchased back when Craftsy was still shipping to Canada. And guess what…(no, they aren’t grey)…they are Petite Odile by French General! I love French General! Love love love. I know my son won’t love it the way I do, but the colours are nice for a man, and he does like vintage and whimsy and antique.

Being short on time, I took the easy route and simply sewed all the squares together. Three charm packs worked perfectly and I still have one left over!

It will be sandwiched today, and will finish at 41 x 55″. A bit of an odd dimension, but I’ll take it.  I am going to call the quilt “mon fille” or whatever the French word for my child or my son is! (help! if you speak French!)

Anybody else doing a stash-busting home-made Christmas? Inquiring minds want to know!

Because you Matter: quilts for kids!

Yay! It’s happening!

Because You Matter: quilts for kids is alive! This is a project that I have been thinking about for months and months. And I’m finally getting started with my first quilt. Why? Because I know what it feels like to be a lost child. And because I know how good it feels to matter. And because I want to make a difference.

Each Because You Matter quilt will be made for a specific child to keep for his or her very own. These are children of all ages – toddler through teens – who are living in emotionally precarious situations. They may be foster children. They may be the children of single parents struggling to keep things together. They are all children who are having a hard time and who could use the gift of a handmade quilt to wrap up in for the simple reason that they matter. They just matter. And so do you!

I am finally able to get started because of the generosity of my friend Carrie-lyn. I told her about my idea, and she went home and cleaned out her fabric stash. Because of her encouragement and gift, I believed that it could really be done.

I have started my first quilt. It will be going to a teenaged girl. I have made 5 blocks so far – you saw them a couple of posts ago! (remember I said they were part of a very special project?)

And since November is my turn in the We Be Learning Bee, I’ve asked my hive-mates to each make me one block in this same pattern. The finished top will be the very first Because You Matter quilt. I am so excited!

I have also hooked up with Quilts for Kids (see the button on my sidebar), and they will be helping me make a second quilt. I want to be ready so as I learn of each child I will be able to work fairly quickly and not keep him or her waiting.

There’s a new page on my site, and I’ll be posting pictures of the completed quilts there as I finish them. I’m so excited to get started!

If you’d like to help out, I won’t say no! As you know, making a quilt can be an expensive undertaking. I’ll keep y’all in the loop if I’m looking for anything in particular from time to time. Fabric donations, donated rental time on our local quilt shop’s long-arm, letting me use your sewing machine for the occasional bit of machine quilting (mine is not up to the job), a bee to tie a quilt, or suggestions and well wishes. All are welcome! Lol!

I’m not going to obsess over this – it’s part of my balance plan. This is spiritual balance. and…I’ve got other projects and things that keep me busy in my life. I’ll be making these one at a time, and taking my time to enjoy the process as each quilt deserves. I like to think about the recepient as I sew, dreaming and imagining them enjoying and being comforted by the quilt in the future.

Making a quilt is like heating with wood. Warms you twice. 🙂

Unable to respond

My appologies…I always reply to comments, so if you haven’t heard from me it’s because WordPress is having some trouble right now. It isn’t forwarding your comments to me. And if you are used to getting posts directly in your mailbox and are wondering why you’ve missed a few, it’s for the same reason. WordPress has the flu or something. I hope to get it straightened out soon…I’m looking around for a patch. Anyway, keep writing – I do read them even if I can’t respond at the moment.

Thank you!