Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

My appologies to everyone, I may have bitten off a little more than I expected in the past few weeks and haven't been posting as regularly because of it. A little ironic given the subject of my last post, but when "something's gotta give" I'd rather it be my online life than my "real" life.
Easter is a time to celebrate new life, and many years in Saskatchewan it also means signs of spring. I thought this year might be an exception to that, but temperatures have been on the plus side the past few afternoons, so the snow is melting and the streets are flowing with mud and tiny ice flows.  It is rather amazing to watch as every year we cycle through the seasons.
I've been working on more samples for the Bargello class I'm teaching at the Saskatoon Quilters' Guild Spring Retreat, and will post more pictures as I finish them up. I also need to finalize the pattern for the Learn to Quilt class I'm teaching through the community recreation office in the latter part of April.
And while it's a bit late in the day Joyeux Poisson d' Avril too!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Blog Hop Winner

Sorry for the delay everyone.  I did the draw on Friday using a random number generator and then promptly got distracted and forgot to post the winner.

Drumroll please...Michell K is our winner!  I have replied to your comment on the original post asking for your mailing information.  I'd love to see what you do with the fabric :)

Have a safe and happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!


Friday, 15 March 2013

How Do We Do It?

I've been asked a few times recently "how do you do it?" mostly with a look of wonder/puzzlement on the face of the individual asking.  The simple answer would be that I don't do it all, my kitchen is usually a mess, the bathrooms are in need of a major scrub (spot cleaning happens more regularly), and the clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away is almost a bigger pile than the laundry needing to be cleaned.

I believe we all work well under different levels of stress, and that the type of stress can also factor in.  "Good" stress for me might be "bad" stress for someone else, though there are probably a few universal "bad" stresses out there.

Good stresses in my life (in no particular order), just a few samples:
  • my son's somewhat constant desire to be the centre of attention.  He's just over 20 months.  It's how he shows his love for us, or atleast that's what I choose to believe. 
  • piles of clean laundry--I may dislike "laundry diving," but it means that at some point I had time to do a few loads of laundry while accomplishing other tasks.  This means I will probably be able to "multitask" again in the near future and continue to have clean clothes (note:  I tend to only buy clothes that I can machine wash and dry or hang to dry, and that do not require a lot of pressing to look good).
  • balancing a busy schedule.  I enjoy being involved in the organizations and informal groups I'm involved in and tend to make time for them at least once a month.  I have a desire to be part of these communities, and recognize that over time "new" communities will become part of my calendar--especially as Ian gets older. 
Bad stresses (not always present, but too much at a time results in very little being accomplished):
  • loosing my day planner.  I may not always look at it, but I need to know where it is.  I lost one a few years ago that had a lot of important information in it. It caused me a lot of stress, mostly because I had no idea where I had left it.  So I bought a new one, which I misplaced last month temporarly.  This time I went strait to the office supply store and bought a simple replacement before I really even had time to panic.
  • not finding what I'm looking for.  I can hear my mom's voice already (sorry mom) saying "if you put things in the same place all the time they won't be lost so easily."  In reality, I've gotten a lot better at this--keys go in the bowl, if they are not in my jacket pocket, and these stresses are reducing as a result.
  • "day job" stress--unfortuntately a bit of a "can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em" situation.  Every work situation will have a bit of stress, I don't know of any business that doesn't stress their employees out every now and then.  But it's how we choose to handle the stress that makes the difference.  We either choose to let it roll off and do our best to ignore whatever the issues are that cause the stress (sometimes easier said than done), we can focus on the negative so much that it affects our lives outside of work (sometimes the "easy" thing to do), or we can carefully pick our battles and decide which parts of work are okay to deal with, and which ones are deal breakers--which means deciding at which point a deal breaker means looking for a new job.
I think Tiffany Han (life coach, blogger, etc.) put it well today with her Friday Confession:  I have doubts (click to read--CAUTION LANGUAGE WARNING).

So "how do (I) do it?" I'm not sure.  Would I do it all again?  Heck Yes!


Monday, 11 March 2013

Just a Peck

While most Sunday mornings find me worshiping from the pews of the cathedral we attend, yesterday morning was spent at the sewing machine.  Intermixed with smiles as I listened to my hubby and son run around and play upstairs were prayers of thanks for the gifts of family, friends and the inspirations of the world around me.  Then came the prayers of "please Lord, not another thread break" and "Lord give me patience to not rush this project".  I was promptly reminded to be very careful when praying for patience, as it often comes with times of trying that "newly acquired" patience (read:  more thread breaks, a burr on the brand-new sewing needle, empty bobbins and more lint packed into the feed-dogs than I thought could fit in that space). 

However, I was able to finish up the sample quilt for my "Bargello for Everyone" class being offered at the Saskatoon Quilters' Guild Spring Retreat.  My husband was rather amazed at how quickly this quilt came together and went from:

To this:

Then I finished doing this:

And last, but not least:  "Just a Peck" (c) Balanced Needles Knitting & Quilting

The details are not clear, but it was machine quilted using an all-over large "stipple-like" pattern (my stippling skills are still a work in progress).

While finishing up the quilting and binding it occured to me that this would become the smaller version of a charity pattern I have been working on and a silent prayer of thanks for the friendship of the family that inspired this pattern was said.  I will be finishing up the written instructions for this pattern and the full-size version over the next week.  Which means I will be looking for a few pattern testers.  If you're interested, please e-mail me and I will be in touch shortly.

Until next time,

Friday, 8 March 2013

Quilter's Blog Hop Party!

Quilter's Blog Hop Party with Give-AwaysWelcome quilters, fabric-addicts, and friends.

I'm very excited to be participating in this week's Blog Hop Party and hope you visit everyone's blogs!  Click on the picture to see the list of participants in this year's party.

This is the first year I am participating with a Give-Away: a Batik charm pack could be yours! 

There are two ways to enter, with up-to two entries available per person:

1.  Follow this blog using the "join this site" button on the right side of the page, and leave a comment on this post saying that you have.  This will get you one entry.

2.  "Like" my Facebook page Balanced Needles Knitting & Quilting, and leave a comment on this post saying that you have.  This will also get you one entry.

The draw will be made at 12 noon (CST) on March 15.  The winner will be announced in a new post that day, and will be asked to contact me with mailing details at that time.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!