Tuesday, March 26, 2013

sea glass

It's supposed to be spring, friends! From the Rockies moving east the country is being battered with sub-zero temperatures and howling winds, and the south is not being spared. We had two beautifully gorgeous days that were sweet with spring before being plunged back into the depths of winter. Life has been a roller-coaster for us, filled with hopes heightened and dashed, nourished and pulverized. We are in limbo. I am trying to keep busy. 

The best thing to come out of this miserable weather is that I'm free to spend my days curled on the couch crocheting, having Park and Rec marathons and drinking pot after pot of steaming tea. Although I'd promised myself not to start another project, I was quick to backtrack with the knowledge that my bestie back-home's birthday is on the horizon! Instantly I dreamed of a 60's-mod blanket in rich blues and greens with black detailing, and rushed off to make it a reality. The colours remind me of sea glass, those shards of bottles transformed by the surf into something truly precious. My hands ache from working on it, but it is so unbelievably pretty that I almost don't mind. I hope she'll like it!

I am starting an online gardening course this week, and hope to regale you all with photos of my various homework assignments around the house, as well as pictures of my busywork once it warms up enough to spend time outside. Keep cozy, everyone!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

sadness and socks

This week has been thrown entirely off-kilter. One minute life is a gas and the whole world is your oyster, and in an instant everything you thought important seems trivial and useless. Sunday morning, in my hometown, a friend of mine was lost in a fatal house fire - along with his girlfriend and a roommate. Mark had been such a gentle, wonderful, ALIVE person; perhaps the most alive a human can be.. and now he's gone. Although I feel so removed from the situation, I was overcome with a feeling of ennui - what is the point of living if we could all die at any given moment? - but I cannot be sad forever. I am now resolved to living life like the fullest, and in a way that I know Mark would be pleased with. It is, perhaps, the very least I can do.

Here are the few mementos I have here to remind me of my friend: two polaroids taken when we hung out in Toronto, and a pin he had made for me by John K Sampson of the Weakerthans. Any others items be in a box in Victoria, which I will pull out and appreciate when next I find myself home, surrounded by friends. 
I remember making jack-o-melons on the back porch of the movie theatre where he was living; jumping a fence and wandering through a chinese fairground lit up for an event; drawing hot-air balloons on his wall. I remember the day we bought a vase from VV and walked from Store St into Ross Bay, chatting and singing and collecting flowers from gardens as we went. We stopped at the Ross Bay Cemetery, the oldest on the island, and wandered around until we found a grave in terrible shape. Alice Conner, if I remember correctly. It was overgrown and cracked so we cleaned it up and swept it off and left our flowers there. For Alice.  
I hope one day I can do the same for dear Mark. 


To keep myself sane and somewhat busy, I've started on the process of knitting all my leftover sock yarns into a few pairs of crazy socks - although, this first pair is not all that crazy. The cuff is a blue/grey gradient, transitioning into black/white/grey stripes, which may end in more blue/grey and possibly some green if I need to stretch the toe. I have half a drawer filled with odds and ends like these, and I'll be glad to cull it... if only to full it again with more yarn. My goal for the year is to knit up some of my existing yarn, and finish 2 of the three half-pieced quilts in my sewing room. It should keep me busy for a little while!

Stay safe, friends. Remember to treasure every moment.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

one down

Dear friends! I have been eager to share these photos with you, the anonymous masses, because I will not post them to facebook until the subject arrives safely with its owner... but I know you're all good about keeping secrets, right? Right. So now, without further ado... 


The quilt is finished!! This is my third hand-quilted project since I learned the art two years ago, and I'll honestly say it may be my favourite. The front pattern is an adaptation of Color Play from Sew Scrappy magazine (spring 2012, I believe), and the back is a nine-patch gradient jumble that I made up based on the dimensions for length. It was many long and tedious months in the making, but I enjoyed (almost) every minute of it and am beyond excited to send it off to its intended...

My grandmother. She will turn 75 in the next few weeks, and has always been my closest friend and confident. She is an amazing woman who I have missed terribly since leaving my little island in the north and moving here to the bible belt, and making this blanket for her is the best way I could think of to show her I love her and give her a hug every time she uses it... which I hope will be lots. 

What's next for my busy fingers, you may be asking? Well, I have a sweater that I started in the fall with a little work left to it, and a blanket that I crocheted that still needs its ends woven in. And then, likely, on to the next big quilt! I'm equally excited and apprehensive. Quilting through the summer is a fresh brand of torture. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

tea for two

Here in the middle of winter, nothing says true bliss like a hot pot of tea. English Breakfast, Earl Grey, green, peach permeated, black with sparkles in... something warm and properly steeped works wonders to soothe the soul and make a body feel whole again. It occurred to me this week that while my tea sat waiting for me to put down my quilting it was getting COLD! And as someone who prefers her cup with milk and sugar, cold tea is a travesty. So I took a little break, pulled myself together, and whipped up a simple tea cozy from some leftover yarn and a button from my box. It may not be the fanciest thing on earth, but it serves its purpose and serves it well. I've also purchased a sharp bamboo tea tray so that I can have everything at arms reach without making multiple trips. Isn't civilization wonderful? 

In other news, I have officially finished the quilting portion of my quilt (YAAAAY!) and will be devoting a day this week to making and attaching the binding. I'm so pleased to have this done, and to have the ability to paint my nails again! I've worn a serious groove in my thumb nail from pushing a needle through the bulky fabric, and it is in need of some attention. 

Happy February, friends! 

Monday, January 21, 2013



Dear friends! January has been a month full of change - and almost exclusively for the worse. We received some extremely bad news about Mr's military plans, which has put us both on edge for the last couple weeks. Also, our dishwasher broke. It's been a thrill a minute up in the hills, let me tell you! I've been spending my evenings engrossed in Downton Abbey, wearing my fingers to the bone working on the quilt, and am rewarded to find that it's just over half done. Zoey seems to think it is hers, and finds every opportunity to claim it in that sadistically sweet cat way. The photo below barely does it justice, as it was captured late one night under the lamp. My apologies!


After Christmas (and embarrassingly, after New Years) I finally got around to dealing with the leftover turkey; making the turkey turnovers my grandmother faithfully delivered to me while living alone. Simply diced turkey coated in gravy and seasonings, packaged in pie pastry; they are a treat to pull out of the freezer and bake on those dreary end-of-winter evenings. Like a little parcel of Christmas, hot from the oven. I haven't given in to having one yet, as I try to make them last as long as possible... but I have a feeling there will be some in the oven tonight.

As we wear away the weeks into the new year, some days it seems difficult to find something to smile about... fortunately, my darling love always know how to cheer me up. This week he brought me home a bouquet of white tulips - blooms very sentimental to me, as they were the flowers I carried on our wedding day almost two years ago. I remember fondly wrapping the spray in white ribbon, making sure there was one bud left to pin to his lapel, and threading his ring onto one of the stems so that it would be handy when the time came. These are blissful memories, and although I didn't get a single photo of my lovely bouquet I don't need one; my husband always brings some home when he sees them out. What a lucky lady I am. 

Best wishes for the rest of the month friends! I'll be back soon! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I've been a poor blogger, friends - and for it I apologize. The holidays have been an intensely busy and exhausting time, and I've been taking some over-due rest days wherein I accomplish nothing more than dozing, reading, and spending time with my loved ones - usually while still in PJs. I did cook a fantastic christmas dinner for my hubs, and will be turning the leftover turkey (Daryl, we named him) into turnovers this week. I was particularly proud of my tablescape and coffee/dessert service, complete with the fancy china, christmas cat linen napkins, and a centrepiece made from cuttings around the house.

I have been diligently quilting away - I worked out that if I quilt two squares a day it will take me a month. I'm going to try to set aside a few days to quilt my little heart out and expedite the process. I'm crazy about how it's looking so far - pictures to come shortly.

I am always one for resolutions. I may not always keep them but, as a list-maker, it fills something inside of me to write down my hopes for myself in the new year. For the sake of accountability, here are my 2013 New Years Resolutions:
  •  Keep up a healthy and active lifestyle. Lose 10-15lbs by the summer; ideally by April. Run the Color Run completely, without walking. Spend more time hiking with the pups.
  • Drink more water - 8 glasses a day.
  • Read a minimum of one new book a month. Rereading old books doesn't count (but is encouraged.)
  • Sign up for an activity/join a social group. Make new friends. 
  • Complete the 4 quilts that I have pieced/half pieced. 
  • Write more, and take more photos. 
  • Worry less. Allow myself to enjoy spontaneity again.Try to finish a project before I get started on a new one!

I've got a lot of work to do this year, and we've got a lot of plans for 2013. Here's to truly living this year, and making it the best year possible! 
 Love, Kate