Taking a Break from Packing

I’m taking this week off work to do the final packing and cleaning of the house so that the boxes can go straight into the U-Haul next Saturday. Today I took apart the bed and did some cleaning.


My other job this week is to get us moved out to the cabin at Fox Lake, where we’ll commute for the next 4 months.

June 12 005 smaller








However, you I can only pack so much without taking (multiple) breaks, and so I took a break to finish this disappearing 9-patch quilt top.


Only it isn’t finished after all…it’s too small! So I will have to take some more breaks during the week to add an extra rows to the bottom and sides to bring it up to a good usable lap-size. The fabric is from 2 Kate Spain Cuzco charm packs that I paid full price for ($12.50 each) at my LQS. jeez, I hate paying that much for a charm pack! But since I’ve never EVER seen Kate Spain in there, I just had to buy it. I also bought 6 bright solids to use with them.


and then I did a little garden walk to see how everything is growing.


First roses of the summer!


Perennials are coming along.


Rhubarb  is ready to pick.


This is Michael’s dog Zeus.  They are staying with us until Michael finds a place. Just so you know, it is 28º in the shade today. So why is this  black dog lying in the hot sun? Beats me!

I better go and get back at ‘er! I want to get a good start on packing the bathroom before going to band practice tonight.

Stay cool, eh?

Six months of sewing by hand

Getting ready to live without my sewing room for the next six months has required a fair bit of advance planning in the quilting/craft/general handwork department. I’ve decided to concentrate on things that do not require a sewing machine. So I’m keeping my collection of knitting needles and the supplies I need for hand quilting, hand piecing and applique out. I’m working on Heidi’s quilt (which has quite a way to go yet), and I’ve also been finishing a couple of other tops that are next in the queue to be hand quilted.


This is the top from the In Colour Order block-of-the-month I participated in last year (only she spells it the American way without the “u” – probably because she’s American, lol!)


And this is the top from my We Bee Canadian group this winter.


And of course the never-ending Orange Peel quilt.

There is one more (maybe two) that I’m going to try to get put together this week, and whatever doesn’t get done, isn’t going to get done…because the U-Haul leaves one week from today!

Feels like dancing!

Tomorrow I’m dancing for the first time in over a year & a half…a small lunch-time performance for the seniors over at Macaulay Lodge. Amazing how just putting myself out there psychically  has opened this perfect little door. All I had to do was think to myself “I feel open to dancing again,” and voilà! …the most perfect little gig that a girl newly-recovered from menopausal depression could ask for.

To celebrate, here I am, performing Raqs Bedaya.


The Icing on the Cake: Kelly Collins wins the Yukon Order of Polaris

…a thick layer of frosting on an already rich and delicious cake.

Congratulations to my wonderful husband on being awarded the Order of Polaris and inducted into the Yukon Transportation Hall of Fame!



By Max Leighton, What’s Up Yukon
Photo by Michael Collins

Local flight instructor Kelly Collins has spent nearly three decades helping Yukoners earn their wings.

This month he was given the Order of Polaris, one of the Yukon Government’s top honours, awarded to Yukon aviators (and the odd Outsider) for service to the territory, its people and its unique culture.

Collins, who is retiring this year, has spent 27-years training more than 300 pilots from various schools in Whitehorse as well as satellite programs in Atlin, Ross River, Faro and Dawson City.

Until recently he had trained the majority of all private and commercial fixed wing pilots in the territory.

Collins has spent the last twelve years as chief flight instructor with Whitehorse Air Services — the last flight-training school in Canada’s North.

He’s taught everyone from the young to the retired the secrets of flight.

“It’s a pretty wide spectrum,” he says. “For some people it’s just a personal challenge, it’s a goal that’s not that easy to do. A lot of our students are folks who have always had a dream to fly.”

Collins is known for his hands-on approach to training, sitting fearlessly alongside would-be pilots attempting everything from basic aircraft control to emergency maneuvers, falls, spins, takeoffs and landings.

“I call it ‘knowledge through a fire hose,’” he says. “It comes fast and furious… and it’s hands-on from day one.”

After a while the training becomes reflexive — and marginally less terrifying.

“The better you get at the machinery, the farther out your awareness goes from all around you, to in the aircraft and outside,” he says.

Collins doesn’t just teach his students to fly, he teaches them to think like pilots.

“Learning how to fly is one thing — learning when to fly and when not to fly and what not to do and how to stay out of trouble, that all comes under the heading of pilot decision making and that’s probably the big variable in keeping people safe,” he says.

Getting a pilot’s license is hard work, and it’s not cheap —about $9,500 for a recreational pilot, $14,000 for a private license — but it’s probably more likely to lead to a job than your undergrad degree, and you’re guaranteed a good office view.

Sixty-one year-old Neal Letang became a licensed pilot this year. Letang had a lifelong ambition to fly, but says it was Collins’ mentorship and focus on safety that gave him the confidence to finally become a pilot.

“It does do something for your confidence,” he says. “You’re doing something that, for me anyway, was a little extraordinary and [Collins] helped me do it.

“At times when I was discouraged, or dissatisfied with my performance, or whatever I was doing and he’d work me through it,” he says.

As a recipient of the Order of Polaris, Collins joins the ranks of Canadian icons like WWII fighter pilot Ian Willoughby Bazalgette, and pioneering Canadian engineers Ronald John Baker and Alexander Graham Bell.

“Every student is different, every day is different, it’s all a challenge, it’s all rewarding,” Collins says. “Helping people reach that goal of flight for whatever reason they started out on, every day is its own reward. So to be awarded the Order of Polaris is a huge, thick layer of frosting on an already rich and delicious cake. I feel very humbled.”

This year John Van Every, a Dawson City trucker and transportation company owner, was also honoured as the Transportation Person of the Year award, and the late Frank Steele, an early Alaska Highway lodge operator, was named Transportation Pioneer of the Year.


A little bellydance for you!

Dance has been on my mind a lot these past several days, so I thought I would dig something out of the archives to share with you today.

This is a piece called Habibity that I choreographed for my dance troupe, Saba Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble a couple of years ago. Here it is in it’s debut performance, March 11th, 2011. Enjoy!

Moving in Stages

I suppose I could also call this post The Stages of Moving, lol!

Yesterday I sorted through my clothes into summer-clothes-to-wear-now, summer clothes-that-are-too-small-but-will-fit-next-year, fall/winter-clothes to send South and fall/winter-clothes- to-wear-this-fall.

Clothes going South in the U-Haul in three weeks got packed into boxes and stacked in the family room with the rest of the packed boxes.


Everything I am keeping here has to fit into two rubber maid trunks. Clothes staying with me got packed into a big rubbermaid trunk. Hats, shoes and my handcraft projects go into the other rubbermaid trunk.


I am keeping about 1/4 of my clothes and the rest are going South where they will wait in storage for me to join them.

It makes me think about why I have so much stuff if I can so easily live without it for the next 6 months.

I packed up my sewing nook, too. Now everything is gone except for a few projects to finish over the summer, my sister’s big quilt that I’m hand quilting and some knitting. It’s going to be a long six months without my sewing room.

Here’s Misty, checking everything out for size.

Kelly and Michael drive the U-Haul out in only 20 days from today. Wow!

Kate Spain, Charm Packs and Layer Cakes….

I adore Kate Spain fabric. I have lusted from afar for too long, and I think I am finally going to bite the budgetary biscuit and buy some. I don’t have any idea what I will make with it, but I can’t stand it for another day: I must own some Kate Spain! I can’t afford much, so I thought a handful of charm packs or a layer cake would be the best way to get a selection of an entire line.

So….my quilt knowledgeable friends… is it better to buy four $10 charm packs or is it better to buy one $40 layer cake?

And question number 2…What quilt patterns would you recommend for charm packs and/or layer cakes? Especially colour-dense ones that would suit her fabulous colour-dense fabrics?

Aren’t they yTerrainummy?!









I’m leaning towards Terrain.

♥ Which is YOUR favourite? ♥