Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. -Henry David Thoreau

Dionne wrote a fun post today about the City of You. She wrote about all of the wonderful things that can be found in the imaginary City of Dionne. I thought it would be fun to carry this on over here and write a little bit about the City of Kaye.

In the City of Kaye there are book shops, fabric stores, and coffee shops galore. Everyday is bright and sunny and warm with just a touch of frost in the air. There is one citywide holiday every week where everything is closed and people have to stop working and spend time with their loved ones; this is how I would get Alex to spend holidays with me.

There would be beautiful trees, flowers, and birds everywhere, and the air would be filled with wonder and magic. Everyone would smile and say hi to each other, and life would just be pleasant in general. I wouldn’t be mayor in the City of Kaye, but I’d own a store that sold rare books, antiques and vintage housewares, and things handmade by me.

Yup, that sounds pretty good to me!

I managed to finish up the quilt for baby Lucy on Friday. Hand sewing the binding on was not the funnest thing I’ve ever done! It took all day, but I did manage to stop by the new Anthropologie store in Yorkville on my way home from the fabric store. John and Tasha came over to our place on Saturday bringing baby Lucy with them; she’s just so cute! They said that they loved the quilt and Tasha said that she thought I should sell my stuff (which is also what my Grandma said when she saw the monkey I made my Mum). I would love to try selling some of the things I make, but I don’t think they can really compete with a lot of what you can find on Etsy; everyone on Etsy just seems much more talented than me.

Anywho, about the quilt: all of the colourful prints come from Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern collection and the sashing is an ivory cotton with white flowers that I picked up at Fabricland. It measures about 2” x 3” and is backed with a pink, orange and white floral flannel.

My Mum came on Sunday and took Alex and me to The Ex. While I love The Ex it does seem to be getting more and more commercialized every year. I didn’t even see the quilt exhibit this year (maybe it was hiding somewhere) and there just seems to be more outlet stores than ever (which I do enjoy, but in moderation). I did get some new clothes, including a jacket, for cheap so I can’t really complain.

When my Mum came down she brought me two sewing machines from my Grandmother so that I would have something to use until mine was fixed. Unfortunately it came to light that mine cannot be fixed and so I’ll be keeping one of my Grandmother’s. I’ve decided to keep the free arm machine because it will make certain tasks easier; I’ll get used to the new machine, but I really wish my Singer would come back. Again though, I don’t have the manual but I’ve been able to figure out everything so far except how to use the built-in buttonholer. My Mum’s hoping that she can find the manual by rummaging around at my Grandmother’s.

Because I’ve got the new machine I was able to finish the new pillow covers for the living room sofas today. I just need to sew the buttons on and they’ll be completely done! This is where the buttonholer would have come in handy as I had to sew 16 buttonholes by hand today and it took forever! I’ll share pictures once the buttons are on.

I’m really excited to be going back to school in less than two weeks, but I’m also really nervous too. I keep thinking “why did I do this to myself?” and “wow, I really have lost my mind!”. Alex keeps trying to scare me and make me even more nervous by telling me how much harder it is than undergrad and that all I’ll ever be doing is work and that we’ll never see each other. I think he thinks he’s being funny, but I don’t think so. I’m worried that people won’t like me and that I won’t make any new friends and that it will be too much work for me to handle, especially since I’ll also be having a job while going to school. I hope it’s not as bad as it seems.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm back! Did you miss me?

Whew! Wow, it seems like such a long time since I last blogged, but in actuality it’s only been three weeks (that still seems crazy-long to me though). Alex and I returned to Toronto on Saturday after spending two lovely weeks at his family’s cottage in Quebec. Since then I’ve been trying to catch up on things that should have been done during those two weeks, or at least things that came to light as needing to be done during that time.

Back to the cottage; I basically spent the whole two weeks reading and relaxing; I read a ton of books and am planning a giant book review post to talk about all the books I've been reading this summer. I went fishing with Alex a couple of times, and just out in the boat a few more times. We wondered around looking for animal tracks, hiked up to the sugar shack, went to the nearby town because I can't live for two weeks with out stepping foot in a grocery store, played boardgames and cards, stalked a beaver, and went star-gazing every night. Here’s a photo of the sunrise on Lac Chaud (the cottage is right on the lake; that is the boathouse in the picture though) the morning that we left for home.

Pretty, ain’t it?

The only thing I wish is that it had been a bit quieter at times. There were a lot of people around most of the time, and Alex’s five year old nephew can be a bit of a handful. He can also be a very lovely little boy though, and while at the cottage we celebrated his fifth birthday. Here’s a picture of the t-shirts I made him.

The one t-shirt uses the same owl design as Ollie, and the other is a rocket ship. It was very cute when he asked me later if I’d make him matching pants for his next birthday. I didn’t tell him that the shirts probably won’t fit him by his next birthday. They will be passed down to his baby brother, Noah, though who is the cutest baby on the planet and probably the happiest baby too.

I was very homesick while we were away, and while I had a nice time and enjoyed spending time with Alex's family, I am very happy to be home. I missed it so much!

On Tuesday I made my Mum’s birthday present. She turned 44 on Monday (she’d kill me if she knew I wrote that, but seriously she’s obviously way younger than most of my friends parents) and is coming to Toronto on Sunday to go the The Ex with Alex and I (my Mum and I go every year; we love it). My Mum collects sock monkeys, but I didn’t particularly want to make her another sock monkey, so I mixed it up a little. Introducing Madeleine the Monkey…

See, she’s not a sock monkey, but rather a monkey wearing socks! Funny? No? I’m sorry, I’ll stop, but at least she’s pretty! I made her based on the Molly Monkey pattern over at mmmcrafts; I changed a couple of things, but it’s basically the pattern. I hope my Mum likes her. You’ll notice also that she’s sitting on top of the almost completed baby quilt. I just found out today that it actually needs to be done by Saturday since that’s when John and Tasha are heading to Toronto with baby Lucy.

Finishing this quilt would not be such a problem (it just needs to be bound) if yesterday something sad and horrifying had not happened. I was sitting at my sewing machine working on the second of four new covers for the living room pillows when all of a sudden I heard a loud KERPLUNK…and the feed just stopped. At first, I had no idea what happened and tried to sew again but the feed just did not move. I whipped out my tool kit and started removing the casing and bottom from my machine; I do things like this all of the time and one day (you know, other than that other time) I know I’m going to be electrocuted. Anyhoo, I got the base off the machine and little waxy-plastic pieces started falling out; one of the feed gears disintegrated! I’ve read of this happening before, but I didn’t think it would just happen out of the blue like that. I’m sure that it’s something that can be fixed, but the issue right now is getting it to the repair shop and paying for it. I’m still pretty sad about it.

So tomorrow, I’m off to Fabricland to get some binding for Lucy’s quilt and then I’ll be sitting at home all day, sewing the whole thing by hand. Hopefully it happens. And for those couple of people who’ve emailed me: Dionne has not done a post about the swap yet, that is why I haven’t posted any pictures or links to the things I made her. I’ll let ya’ll know when she posts.