Wednesday 30 December 2015

The STATS Are In!

I started writing this blog near the end of January 2015. It was a "New Year Decision", I don't really believe in resolutions. I had joined forces with some other quilters working on a special project (which I can't talk about yet, it's still under the Quilters Protection Program) and many of them are bloggers. I felt left out...all the cool kids had blogs. Herd mentality is not lost on me, so naturally I needed one too.

Writing is something I enjoy and in fact, before the blog came to fruition,  it was something I had forgotten that I enjoyed. I used to journal a lot in my scrapbooks, and back in the day I loved writing papers for school...but blogging! This has been so much fun! Why? Because people actually read it!

I may or may not be obsessed with a little Blogger feature that lets me know people are reading, how they found me and what country they're reading in... STATS. They make my day. I toss up a new post and bam...people read it! And more, there's proof:

I give you my TOP 10 POSTS OF 2015,
*as determined by you, the readers.

When I hit the button to see the "All Time" results, I was a little surprised at some of the results. I am a new blogger, I rarely link up with anything or anybody and I do very little to promote my blog...I just like writing it so the numbers certainly startled me; 687 hits on the block call for Project Kona Nerds, Unite! Go way, b'y!  So far I have written 92 posts, which amazes me in itself, and only a couple of the posts that made the cut were among my favourite pieces. Though I am certain in comparison to the stats of lots of long standing & popular bloggers my stats are piddly widdly...but, my numbers are growing, which means my readership is growing...this pleases me.

So, thanks for reading along with me this year...I appreciate the time it takes to read my posts.
I ramble...I know.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Snow Day...Kona Day: TAKE TWO

So when I left you a couple days ago I was here...

Looked alright, hey? Yah...but....

When I looked at it I immediately had regrets about that little spot in the joining patchwork between the rows where the colourful triangles turn into a deep blue strip. Had I planned more carefully (or at all!) I could have made what hinted at an arrow an actual arrow. If only...sigh...

You know me...or at least by now you should if you've been reading along for any length of time. I don't like to go back. And, I rarely do. But this spot with all that wasted potential has been eating at me...calling out to me...driving me crazy. I've lost sleep over it. (*Well not really...the lost sleep was more of a side effect of a teenage boy who plays Xbox online, rather loudly, with other creatures of the darkness his friends half the night long; I am almost certain the intent of this teenage activity is soley to torture the over tired parents who attempt sleep in the next room.)  Anyway, while I was awake at 2am my thoughts drifted between this little arrow and the one I wanted to poke in my eye. Or his eye. Take your pick.

So...this afternoon I got out my handy dandy stitch ripper, cut & added in a couple more wee triangles and sewed things back up.

See? So much better! It's the small things that get me every time.

Sometimes reverse is a necessary gear...and sometimes a snow day gives you just the time and all the permission you need to go back, Jack.

Sunday 27 December 2015

Snow Day...Kona Day

I had storm chips...and storm chocolate, storm whiskey and storm cookies. I also had a bit of time on my hands and the desire to dig out Project: Kona Nerds Unite! You might say I had everything a girl could ask for, seeing how there were even enough leftovers in the fridge to keep me from doing much in the kitchen come suppertime.

Mr. Purpleboots and Not-So-Little Purpleboots seriously spoiled me this year for Christmas. Among other things, they got me this simple little cabinet I've been pining over for my sewing corner. I'd like another one to help corral my mess in the corner of the rec room. Ever since The Robot came to roost in my sewing room I've had to resort to commandeering the corner as he takes up most of the floorspace in that wee room leaving no room for sewing. I'm not thrilled with the set up, but at least I have a spot. The boys aren't thrilled with my presence in there as it means the overhead lights need to be on when I want to sew. Problem? Seems these bright light cast a glare on the television screen. Poor Petals. At least they don't complain too much. They do seem to like my cooking so are treading lightly in the complaint department lest I get annoyed and go on strike or worse.

Once we put the little cabinet together last night, I dug out a couple lil wooden whiskey crates that I'd squirrelled away quite some time ago. These make great hiding spots for some of my threads. I'm going to drill and put dowels in the bottoms of them eventually to tame the roly poly spools...eventually. I might even stain them with something to age them a bit...might. Rome wasn't built in a day! My Rome ain't likely to be built in a 100 days!

So...about that Kona.

I love Kona. Have I told you that lately? I managed to get another row attached to the top half. I cut a whack of little 60* triangles to form a row of joining patchwork, made some other weird bits & pieces and whipped up some checkerboards too. I am totally swooning over the aqua and cardinal together. Yum. I have no idea how long this flimsy will be at its completion, but the width at present is 76" so it'll be a good sized quilt.

(And seriously. The SKY block...check out that is HAND PIECED and covered in awesome sauce! Wow! Some Kona Nerds are hardcore.)

I forgot to take process photos. But, I did manage to grab a shot or two of my mess. Kona Nerds are notoriously messy creatures I hear...or maybe it's just this one in particular. Quilty folks with design walls (as opposed to design floors like me) can't possibly have THIS much mess fun. This jumbled "layout" happened right about the time Mr. Purbleboots came home to a warm and exuberant greeting from the Springy Things...laminate flooring is clearly too damn slick to turn sharp corners on for the two 4 footed speed demons that reside here. At any rate, the mess was gratifying and easily tidied up just like the chocolates I opened earlier. If you look closely at the photo below you'll see that Cooter left his orange ball by the Project...poor dog got tired of begging me to go play and instead snoozed the afternoon away in the big chair.

The snow outside? Well, that's not tidied up...or exactly gratifying in any way. Oh well, there are chippies and there is whiskey. And while there may not be snow worthy ambition, there's always more Kona.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Tree Time Continued...

So remember when I said that the kids were pretty little when we started cutting our own trees down in New Ross? Well, they were really little!

Turns out after a little investigation that the first year was 2006, 9 years ago. I did a lot of scrapbooking back when my boy was little, and I just love looking back thru the albums...Not-So-Little PurpleBoots was indeed a Little PurpleBoots back then. Good grief, how he's grown. How they've all grown! Katie is in her first year at university, Cam started high school and Ben is in his last year of junior high. Time flies!

Anyway,  back to 2015. I took my wee quilt with me in hopes that a photo opportunity might work in to the event, but after all these years of practice, we've got this tree chopping gig down to a science and we were in and outta there in record time. I did manage to nab just one shot, but the wind blew my perfectly draped quilt off it's corner perch just as I pushed the button.

For the first time in Clevey history (*that's Levy + Cleveland reduced)  we've got a pine tree. A very tiny pine tree. In fact it's not even as tall as the book case by which it stands. The teeny weeny pine tree is adorable and the boy loved it at first sight but it isn't without its issues. The branches are rather flimsy, the trunk twisted and gaping holes have appeared that weren't exactly noticed when he saw it standing proudly at the edge of the lot, shining like a beacon of Christmas joy, begging to be the chosen one.

I suppose a mother should be more conservative in handing her son the saw with permission to cut whatever tree makes him happy...especially when the challenge of decorating is left to her.  I didn't manage to get many ornaments to stay put on its limbs but all the special ones are there and the weight of the star is attempting to push the weak spine of the tree top into downward dog position, a position that seems more possible with each passing day.

It's is fair to say that this pueny pine certainly gave me a run for my money, all $13 of it. Yup. You read that right. 13 bucks. That's all we pay for our annual Christmas conifer. Seems such a pidly amount when one considers the enormous role of the tree in the making of a family Christmas, doesn't it?

Monday 7 December 2015

Tree Time

It's fast approaching.
Do you have fond memories of tying a big ole Christmas tree to the roof of your car like I do? When I think of some of the trees I've lugged home over the years tied to the roof or somehow stuffed into a hatchback over the years it makes me chuckle. This fabric reminded me of all those fun times.....

I grabbed this charm pack of Holly's Tree Farm and the 2 supporting half yards at Avonport Discount Fabrics in the Valley a few weeks ago and on Saturday night I decided to nab a couple hours of stitching time to whip up a little table square for myself. I don't tend to keep many of the small things I sew at Christmastime but I loved this fabric instantly, so this one's for me.

I dug out the Lil Twister tool that's been tucked in a drawer for years. It's the perfect tool to use when you've got 5" precuts...little work, big impact...and quick! I sewed these charms out in a 6 by 6 grid and added a 3 inch border of Kona Silver, because every project needs a little Kona. Then I cut up my made panel with the slick, so quick. Just remember to lay them out in the same order in which you cut them or your twirling bits will get confused...

You lose about a third of the size in the never ceases to shock me how much smaller the project becomes once you cut it up and restitch the new blocks. I added a 4.25" border with mitered corners. This was about as big as I could go with the half yard cut of adorable tree-toting-car fabric I had to work with and I think it looks about right. The table topper finished up at about 30" square and suits the center of my oval table perfectly. A little Robot magic with Dawna Sanders design "Twinkling Snowflakes"  and we were all set!

Next weekend we'll make our annual trip to New Ross to cut our Christmas tree...and since there's no stuffing a big tree in a tiny Jeep we'll lug it home with Mr. PurpleBoots truck. I love this tradition...we've been sharing it with StepSister PurpleBoots and her family for many years. All the kids were pretty little when we started cutting our own trees, we've been to the same tree farm every year for I don't know how long. Rumor was that the old fella who runs it was making 2014 his last season, but I drove by there a couple weeks ago and his sign was up! It positively made my day!

Yay for longstanding traditions!!!