Monday, 12 November 2018

Learn to Sew and Quilt

Do you want to learn to sew and quilt?  I love to share my passion for sewing and quilting!

Do you know a child or teenager that would like to learn to sew?  
Have they been asking for a sewing machine but you don't really know where to start?
I offer private and semi-private "learn to sew" classes for all types of beginners including children.  

In my classes I use this amazing book The School of Sewing which has quite a few small projects with instructions and photos that are easy to follow.  I can also provide a tutorial to get to know your sewing machine and tips on what to look for when purchasing a sewing machine.

In my home, I offer one-on-one classes and semi-private classes.  Students need to have a sewing machine that is working well.  We start by becoming familiar with the sewing machine first, if necessary.

Looks at those smiles!

The following are two beginner class project ideas from the book.

Private class projects start at $60 plus materials.
Semi-Private class projects start at $45 plus materials.
Please note that the project book, The School of Sewing, is not mandatory to purchase but suggested.

Classes can also be customized as well.  Please contact me directly for more information.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Dear 41

Dear 41 Year Old

Here's another birthday you were not looking forward to.  Being 41 brings another fresh new batch of feelings you don't like.  It reaffirms that you haven't met some of your goals and you have so much more to do to be happy and "healthier". 

Then you woke up this morning and you feel very happy.  It's like you just need a little sadness and a "feel sorry for yourself" moment and then you can realize all of your blessings.  There are so many.

Being 41 is just a number but you know that.  You just don't like that number very much.  You haven't accepted that you are not some young chick anymore with loads of energy.  You hoped to start embracing this age, but, well, you are waiting for those feelings to begin... maybe today. 

At 41 you thought you would be happier in your body.  By 41 you thought you wouldn't have financial worries.  You had hoped that you would be excited about your career(s) and be moving towards some exciting prospects.  You also thought at 41 you would have travelled more.  At 41 you thought you would have a solid group of friends that you could call upon at any moment and not worry about bothering them.  You also thought your marriage would be rock solid with no challenge that couldn't waiver you. 

It turns out that doesn't always happen.  It turns out that you can move into your 40s and still feel insecure.  Well that wasn't what you were expecting as a 41 year old.  I am sorry about that.

Keep going though.  Maybe this is just a blip before something amazing will happen.  Maybe something amazing won't happen in one big shot but maybe it's the little things.  Maybe you need to love yourself more just like the people around you do. 

Dear 41 Year Old, don't worry that this letter sounds sad and negative because your life is what you make it.  If you want to be happy, then just be happy.  If you want to make some changes, then do it... it's super scary to disappoint others but maybe you will be surprised that by your happiness you will make others around you happier to.  Maybe life is a journey not a destination where all your dreams come true.  Some dreams will come true and be thankful for that but some won't... hold on to the ones around you that love you.  Hold on tight.  Give yourself grace... and find your passion.  I have a feeling you already know your passion just don't be scared of it.  Don't be scared of what you love to do and don't be scared of failure.  Continue to surround yourself with the people that lift you up and give others a break.  You don't need to be close to everyone but be kind to everyone.  Continue to keep the mantra "there is only love"... ahh there you go... that's the good stuff.  There is only love.

So this letter didn't end up being so sad.  Love is all you need to move forward. 

Love Me.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Happy 14th Birthday to Grace

Grace (our oldest) just turned 14 years old.  It actually seems like she has been 14 years old for a while now... mature and ready to move on to bigger opportunities.  I try hard to remember her as this cute, sweet girl of mine...

She has been mature for her age her whole life.  Always pushing herself to be better and to accomplish her goals.  Rarely do we have to nudge or push her along... she is self-driven towards her own goals.  I know her high school years are going to fly by... 

My hopes and dreams for her for the next few years is that she can find her own people that will support and love her (other than her family of cheerleaders, of which she has many).  I hope she goes after all the opportunities that give her excitement and that we can support her journey... and maybe even follow along a few times.  I often say I don't want my children to go very far but honestly I want them to soar and find their way and it doesn't really matter where they end up as long as they are happy there.  It's amazing how different all three of our children are... Grace wants to do so many things.  She is adventurous and independent.  How awesome is that?  

There are two lasting things we can give our children; one is roots and the other is wings.

A Quilt for My Son... The Good Old Hockey Game

One day I came across this pattern seeing it on Mad About Patchwork's instagram feed.  They were hosting a class to make this quilt but I wasn't able to go.  My friend went and she finished her quilt quickly and it inspired me to just try to make it myself... I had never sewn circles or any kind of curve before but I felt I could attempt it because I knew where to go for help.

Once I got the hard part done (the rink) I could personalize it with the borders I wanted.  Green, yellow and black are our son's hockey team colours and #12 is his jersey number.  Once I finished the top, he asked me to add his name and number... I knew it would look nice but I was ready for it to be DONE!  No regrets though... it turned out really nice.

I originally thought I would quilt it myself on my domestic machine (Pfaff Expression 2.0) but decided that I might be happier with it if I rented a longarm quilting machine.  I found a great little shop near Carleton Place, Happy Wife Quilting, who offered this service and I really enjoyed the time with her using her machine.  It turned out really, really nice.  I backed the quilt in flannel which I used for the binding as well.  

This quilt might be my best finished quilt so far... I learned a lot and was making it for someone I love very much (and he was so excited about it).  It covers his double bed nicely and it's very cozy.  The last step (and a scary step) is washing... I need to find some colour-catchers for the washing machine because I will cry if the colours run.  

Pattern:  The Good Old Hockey Game

Monday, 2 April 2018

A New Table Runner

As someone who likes to finish my own quilts (the whole process myself) using my domestic sewing machine (a Pfaff Expression 2.0) the idea of "quilt as you go" has always intrigued me.  I found a great book Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern by Jera Brandvig.  I liked the way she organized her book with general instructions and then patterns... the only downside for me is that the look was very modern.  I like modern but I love when modern and traditional are mixed together... her fabric choices in her book are beautiful which is inspiring.  I found a jelly roll in my own stash and decided to make the first pattern in her book for my new dining table.  It turned out really nice but smaller than I anticipated so I am going to make another one!  The next one will be from her new book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage which has many patterns for quilt blocks that I love!  It even has a few more finishing techniques which I might try.  

Monday, 26 March 2018

Taking On Life

I've given myself the gift of patience these last few weeks.  I am trying to figure myself out; what makes me sad, what makes me happy, what fills me up and what brings me down so low I just don't know where to go.  I find myself wanting to be quiet and immerse myself in myself and learn about ways to be happier.

This was where I was at earlier this year.  The last few years have been tough for me sometimes without me realizing it.  I admitted a few things to myself and others late last fall and started on a new journey.

It's only the end of March and I feel a change has slowly been washing over me.  Sounds silly but that's how I would describe it.  I am far from feeling perfectly content but I have come to the conclusion that I am a work in progress and that's okay with me.  I have bad days but more good days.  I have times I feel low but I now find myself understanding why and I have hope that once I tweak a few parts of my life, I can feel good again.
  • Sleep:  It's the cure for almost everything for me.  Sometimes life throws me short nights or interrupted sleep but I cannot handle too many nights in a row of that.  When I am well-rested, I feel like I can take on my life with a happy disposition.  
  • Limit red wine... especially before bedtime.  Yup... too much of this wonderful stuff causes me to have an awful sleep and mood swings.  I still indulge but try not to have too much before I go to sleep.  
  • Keep up with my "tracker"; I have a list of actions I would like to achieve each day.  It keeps me accountable and I like seeing the boxes all filled in on the paper.
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal:  this keeps me grounded especially when I feel down... making sure I can come up with at least one thing I am grateful for is mood-shifting.  Almost every day I can have no challenges listing numerous items but some days it can be hard.  Those are the days it is the most important.    
  • Talking with a therapist:  This was the hardest (THE HARDEST,) thing to do but might be the most rewarding on so many levels.  Talking with someone who specializes in counselling can really help.  I have people to talk to in my life most importantly my husband but what I needed was someone out of my life to talk to.  She made me visit some tough places but most of the time I leave completely uplifted and in a good place.  She is a good fit for me.
I want to be happier.  Recently I read the "Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.  It was the PERFECT read for this time of my life.  I want to be a happy person:  happy mom, happy wife, happy friend, happy sister and happy daughter.  I don't want to change my life I just want to be happier in it.  I know that if I am happier than the rest of my family will be to.  It's a big responsibility but one I am going to achieve and already feel well on my way.

When I look back on the last few months, I don't see a lot of accomplishment in my work, home and creating BUT I gave myself permission to work on my mental health instead.  Moving forward, I can see a shift is happening and I am looking forward to what lies ahead... I wasn't feeling so positive a year ago.

I want to feel a smile on my face and hear myself laugh more...  onward and upward.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Magic is Alive

It feels like we are living on the cusp of of a big change in our life as a family.  Our oldest is in grade 8 (she is 13 years old), our middle child is 11 years old and our youngest is 9 years old.  My husband and I wondered how this Christmas season would change for us and so far nothing has changed... magic is definitely in the air and it makes my heart happy.  Don't get me wrong, I am sure the doubts are swirling around.  I feel like our middle child has such a strong belief in magic and wants to believe that he just carries on and questions very little despite what the word on the street is at school and on the bus.  Our youngest is very much a believer right now as well.  Our oldest has always questioned more but we just carry on, talking very little about what's real and emphasizing the magical part of the season.  She was 9 years old when she started asking questions and after a few silent tears from me, I told her that magic lives in our home and believing is a choice.  Santa Claus, the North Pole, Reindeer and our Elf are just part of what Christmas is anyways.  We are celebrating the birth of Jesus and that will always remain the centre of our Christmas celebrations.

They each wrote their letter to Santa and Jean and Alex got a swift reply:

It's wonderful to see a personal note at the bottom that relates to their own letter... thank you to all of Santa's elves that take the time to reply to each letter sent to the North Pole.  We are still waiting on the third reply but that letter was sent later than the first two.

Alvin the Elf came into our life quite a few years ago before the elves decided to be in so many homes.  He arrives on December 1 each year and in the mornings he comes back from the North Pole and finds himself in different predicaments.  This little guy is our link to the big guy and Jean and Alex are always excited to find him each morning after they wake up.  On this day he got into the laundry soap area and got himself in a mess (a nice smelling mess though). 

December can be a very busy and full month.  We try to do as much as possible with all the Christmas preparations and extra events that happen.  I sometimes have to take a step back and watch the magic and excitement in our children's eyes and remember how times will change very soon.  This year the kids wanted to decorate early so we got a fake but beautiful Christmas tree and we had our living room all decked out earlier than usual but the kids want to participate because it's important to them.  I know that someday I will be decorating by myself possibly so I want to savour these moments. 

As I sit here and write this, early in the morning, I wonder where Alvin the Elf is (my memory fails sometimes) and if he will bring a small smile to the little faces here.  Ah yes... hopefully she will open her eyes and see him from where she wakes up.  Tee hee...