Monday, April 22, 2013

Lessons learned

I really shouldn't wait so long between blog posts.  So much happens in even just one day, that waiting almost a week means I'm bound to leave things out.  Perhaps you readers don't mind, but my blog is my online journal, so I hate to leave things out.

Anyway, last Friday's memorial service was painful, as expected.  My entire office shut down for several hours and walked over to attend together.  I armed us with "mourning tissues", made in black, but with musical notes lining the inside to honor my late friend's love of music.
the raw materials
The finished product.  I was kinda bummed that you couldn't really see the musical notes.
My tissues were almost gone by the time we left the church.  I'm going to miss him.
On Friday afternoon, Jason left for his first camping trip as a Boy Scout (as opposed to Cub Scout) - 3 days of fishing further up in the mountains.  He came back on Sunday half-frozen and reeking, but smiling from ear to ear.  Then, later on Sunday afternoon, I caught him practicing his cast in our yard. It is safe to say he is hooked! (pun intended!)

While he was gone, I had hoped to get lots of sewing done, but of course, I didn't.  Friday night I didn't feel well, and neither did Donald, so we cuddled together in my bed watching Mrs. Doubtfire on TV until we both fell asleep.  On Saturday morning, I felt better and took him to the doctor for some medicine to make him feel better, too.  Then, it was off to the Cub Scouts' annual Bike Rodeo.
Donald has the red helmet, blue sweatshirt and green bike.
Next, we delivered the baby quilt and bib to my co-worker.  Good news, Ella should be able to come home this week!!!
All washed and ready to welcome the new babe!
It'll be a while before she is big enough to wear this, but I wanted her to have it anyway.
Finally, we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying crafts and food with some friends as we prepare for another friend's baby shower. By the time we got home, it was all I could do to brush my teeth and crawl into bed before falling asleep.

Sunday, we picked up Jason and drove him to the gym at the university for a shower, since I wanted to take them somewhere before heading home for the day.  After a quick lunch of Mexican, we drove out to Cabin Spring Farm where they were having a two-day sheep shearing and fiber arts celebration. What fun!  My kiddos really took to weaving.  In fact, on the way home, we stopped to buy an old picture frame from Goodwill for Donald to make his own mini loom, per his request!

I thought the peg loom was fascinating and watched for quite some time.  She was making rugs out of cut up wool clothing.  She had another basket full of "t-shirt yarn" that I was coveting!

There was wet felting...
This is going to be a gorgeous rug!
As well as a woman needle-felting, but when I found out she was from Maine, too, I got to talking and forgot about taking her photo.  She made the neatest needle-felted dolls - fairies and mermaids and all manner of creatures.  I know next to nothing about yarn and wool and what can be done with it, so it was a true learning experience for me.

I had the opportunity to fondle some alpaca fleece, too.  Oh my goodness!  I just wanted to roll around in it, it was so soft and luxurious!

But we couldn't stay forever because I start back up with the after-school program this week.  This time, it is only 4 weeks long.  I learned some valuable lessons from last time:

  • limit the class size: I only have eight K-2nd graders this time - yay! 
  • set realistic goals: I ordered 14" square pillow forms, and the kids are each going to design their own patchwork pillow. We are using 2" squares and designing on an 8 x 8 grid. (yes, I know that makes 12" finished pillow size, but this was the pillows will be nice and plump!)
  • keep everyone's work separate: I bought 8 new, sturdy pizza boxes from a local pizzeria, and inserted a 14" square piece of batting in each.  Each child will have a box to keep their project in.  Hopefully we can be more organized this way.

Here's my sample pillow top (E for Erin, not yet quilted).

I'm going to mock up some more on paper grids for them today.  I kinda wish we had an odd number grid (7x7 or 9x9) because sometimes you want to have a center for your block, but oh well.

It's going to be a crazy work week for me this week, too, long days with a ton to do.  Two more months...only two more months. Then I'll have more time to enjoy this...

This was taken on the road to my house this weekend.  My house in the one on the left at the tree line.  I LOVE living here!  So quiet and pretty and peaceful...paradise!


Wacky Woman said...

Sounds like you have a wonderful time planned Erin.

Becky said...

The sheep shearing sounds fun! I am so excited for you that you are "retiring"! I'm not excited that you won't have a reason to come my way any more! BUT, we'll have to be purposeful in finding a way to get together to quilt some!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Glad you are feeling better - and counting down the days. The sheep farm sounded like a grand time - I don't do any wool, but love that kind of stuff.

Shay said...

You certainly pack a lot into a week Erin!

Ive been giving weaving some thought myself lately. I'd love to do a couple of rugs for my house.

Janet said...

I love how your boys are learning to love fabric and fibre!

Julie Fukuda said...

I think all you need is another hobby. You just aren't busy enough.

Nancy said...

What an interesting trip to the Farm this must have been. Glad that it seemed that the boys liked it too. Love the Indian Hatchet quilt for Ella. You seem to me to be so speedy with your hand-quilting. And it looks so good too.

Good luck with the after-school program. Is it at Central? Sounds like you have some good pointers from the last session.