Saturday, December 25

Friday, December 24

Me, myself and I

Kind of selfish post title, in the light of the time of year, I admit, but it's been a while since my last update and there was a reason for that. I was, am, not doing great. Tinnitus therapy triggered more than I bargained for and after a nasty conflict at work I gave in and called in sick. It became clear that i was pretty exhausted, both in body and soul and something had to be done to prevent a burn out.
I slept a lot, cried a lot, worried a lot and felt at the top of my nerves all the time.
I'm doing a bit better now and decided to pick up blogging again. Sorry for not answering comments and an occasional email. I needed the energy that was left, just to get through the day.
Enough said and on to happier things!

I did sew! Well , I quilted more . The Dutch quilt is done. Except for the binding ofcourse. As you know I hate doing bindings and this time I had the perfect excuse: I had no binding fabric! Hurray for online shopping; it arrived this week so I hope for a real finish  soon.
I also finished sewing the "White, not the average Christmasquilt" (work title..haha) and even did a lot of handquilting after this pic was taken..
The border HST's on the front ánd on the back were all "waste". The things that you're left with when then pattern says: "sew, fold and cut ... off". Well, my name is NOT Eleanor Burns and i didn't want to throw piles of HST away.....

Another update on how things are in my corner..It's cold and white. I'm not a fan of snow and don't care a bit about a white christmas. Sorry, but i can't enjoy piles of snow, slipping and sliding when driving etc. I'm just not a winter girl. Today I got stuck with my car and DS had to push. I first stepped out, slipped and landed on my butt in a huge pile of freshly fallen snow. A man passing by said how he (really) LOVED that we were going to have a white christmas. Grrrrr! I remembered the "peace on earth" thing just in time..
This is last week

This morning we had 9 inches of snow on the garden table and there's more on the way.

Anyway...I wish you all a very merry Chrismas!
(and now I'm blogging again, I hope I won't loose another follower...lol)


Monday, November 15

He's here!

Last saturday, St. Nicolaas arrived safely in our country. Along with him lots of his helpers, the "Zwarte Pieten"
He's here to celebrate his birthday on the 5th of december with gifts for everyone.
In our family we buy a gift for one familymember. Ofcourse i know whose name came out of the hat for me to buy a present for, but  do not know who drew MY name!
More and more people don't celebrate "Sint", for they say it's only for children and they give eachother presents at Christmas. I think we should cherish this very old Dutch (and Belgian)tradition. Therefor I pinned my button on my coat, saying: "Long live Sint!)

Last week I also got the best envelop there is in my mailbox
Even on a flipped-over picture "Fabric" is the best word in the English language. In Dutch we say "stof"; how boring is that!?
This is what was inside:
Christmasfabric for the backing of my machine pieced (still working on it..) Christmasquilt. I do like the Falala fabric and am humming that song all day long..(The only lyrics I know are "falala..")
The colour is slightly different than the right side of the quilt and so I was in desparate need of RED to bind it all together. I never have to persuade friend C to come along on a quiltshoptrip and there I got these

Ridiculous to run out of red if it's your fav colour!

Wednesday, November 10

The Beep as far as I know it...

I had some emails from people that suffer from Tinnitus and some of those are "new" to the problem and asked questions. It was also asked if "it was all in my head" by others.
So for those who want to know: info on the Beep
I went to a specialist in nose, ear and throat problems. I had a constant ring in my left ear and had some dizzy spells. Perhaps it was Meniere's: a inner ear problem with no known cure. It was not.
I had an E.N.G. to check if my balance was okay. It was. An M.R.I. to enclude any medical problems such as damaged nerves, obstructed bloodvains. All was fine.
I had an audiometric test and though normal, they found a little ditch in high tones, both left and right. The sound of my Beep is exactly the ditch they found. It could be, it is caused by noise-induced hearingloss years and years ago. The brain can react to such hearingloss by producing a sound, one can no longer hear through your ears. The brain doesn't know that the sound is no longer there. Like someone who still feels his toe itch after the leg is amputated.

So, no medical solution possible, but you could try to re-train your brain. I started with a tinnitus masker that produced a white noise. Plan was that is neutralized the Beep. It worked a bit but the thing itself (although tiny) hurts my inner ear ánd not unimportant is very expensive. Besides, I beep in both ears now.

Another part of retraining is the therapy. Wikipedia says: (ignore the highlighted words)
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a form of habituation therapy designed to help people who suffer from tinnitus (ringing ears). TRT uses counselling to explain to the patient how a combination of tinnitus retraining and sound enrichment can end their negative reaction to the tinnitus sound, and then reduce and eventually end their perception of it.Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a form of habituation therapy designed to help people who suffer from tinnitus (ringing ears). TRT uses counselling to explain to the patient how a combination of tinnitus retraining and sound enrichment can end their negative reaction to the tinnitus sound, and then reduce and eventually end their perception of it.
...

My Beep bothers me the most when all is quiet e.g when you want to sleep. Sometimes it's so loud that I can't hear properly and then it is heard even over loud external sounds.
Depressing is that it'll never be quiet in my head again.
Mostly I handle it well, sometimes it makes me sad (when it's loud) and frustrated. I cried a bit on one occasion when it was really REALLY loud for a week on end.

For those who want to know what I hear: I downloaded the Beep from a cd with 150 (!) tinnitus sounds. Mine is slightly higher but just as annoying
pieptoon.wav

The nasty questions in the questionnaire came from psycho girl, who gives the therapy together with audio girl.
I guess she wants to determine the state of mind of the groupmembers, but if you ask me the questions are for people with other issues than Tinnitus! It can cause serieus depression but hearing voices??

Fellow tinnitus sufferers are welcome to email me: I try not to whine too much on my blog :)

Tuesday, November 9

Questionnaire..

I signed up for Tinnitus Retraining Therapy in order to coop with my Beep. For those who missed out on this one :Tinnitus is a constant sound in one or both ears, in my case a beep.
The therapy is meant to learn to deal with the given fact that the beep is here to stay.Information will be given about it and ways to relax and ignore your sound will be discussed. I choose grouptherapy. Individual sessions were given by a guy in his early twenties who attended the school where I'm working. No way I'm going to open up to him; I have more to teach him about life than he can teach me.
Groupsessions are given by an audiologist and a psychologist. They sent me questionaires..

Does the beep bother you in everyday life?
Have you trouble falling asleep?
Does noise bother you?
Do you avoid crowds?
                    ..open spaces?
                    ..silence?
Do you  think about death often?
Have you considered suicide more than once?
Do you hear voices in your head,other than your own?
Do these voices tell you to do things? (only in a quiltshop)
Are you afraid someone wil attack you in a crowd?
Does your Tinnitus drive you insane?
Do your muscles ache often? (they do after answering these questions)
Does your back ache often?  (yep, I worked bloody hard!)
 And so it went on..
You had to answer, with the past week in mind. It doesn't count apparently if one was suicidal 2 weeks earlier .

First "class" is 2 weeks from now. I'm so looking forward to it! It's probably best if I don't mention seeing faces (TWO!) in an old pair of pinking sheers...

Monday, November 8

Measure twice, cut once.....

Last week I decided it was time to sort out all of my quilting stuff. I have small wooden drawers on my table filled with craft stuff and need that space for sewing things. After I did those, I moved on to the big lower drawers of the fabric cabinet. Everything that is bigger than a treadspool I toss into those and it was a mess.
Turns out I have a lot more notions than I thought i had, e.g my collection scissors...
I also retrieved my pinking sheers. The big one belonged to my Mum and I think it was the very first pinking sheers that came onto the market. I remember how thrilled we were when she bought it. We couldn't stop cutting up scraps which was by no means an easy thing to do! Look at the size of the thing!!
All off my tapemeasures share a small drawer now too.

And last but not least I needed a new blade for the rotarycutter..When I came across this limited edition at the quiltshop, I couldn't resist. My fav flowers!

(..and with all this equipment I STILL make lots of mistakes whenever I cut up fabric.  I know: it's not the lack off tools but the absent mind of the one who uses them..)

Strange thing is that I knew where everything was, when it was a mess. Now all is organized I have to open every drawer 10 times before I find whatever I'm searching for.

Friday, October 29

Getting to know one another

Part of the last week I spent with my new friend to be: the new sewing machine. In order to get to know him/her(?) we need to spent time together. I came across a not-average christmasquilt in the latest McCalls issue and I thought I had just the right fabrics for it. Well I had: a few fq's. So....first job was to go to the quilshop and see if I could find some more..
Then back to the machine. I cut up some fabrics and sewed a little and found that my new friend is talking to me on it's display: your bobbin is almost empty (uhhh, no..) there's a piece of thread running around in the feeddogs (?? o yes, thanks) there's no needle ( duh! I just broke it!) I talk back out loud.

Is it the same with you that, whenever you start a new project, you shove everything on your table aside, and then you find yourself working on a small clutterfree corner of that table?
After an hour or so it  started to annoy me. Couldn't find my seamripper, the machine's manual, my rotarycutter. It annoyed me BIG TIME! So...desperate times ask for desperate measures!
I found 2 dead spiders and 3 dead flies, €2.25, piles of dust and 2 buttons.
Then I could sit and sew some more in peace with myself.
Look what is growing on my wall!
My machine stopped talking to me. Is it crossed 'cause I talk back? Did I push a button saying "to talk or not to talk"? Back to the manual!

Wednesday, October 27

Baby, it's cold outside..

Autumn really set in these past weeks. Coloured leaves everywhere, rain and wind and especially in the evenings, it's getting cold.
Even my apples wear sweaters now..
At first I thought it was just fun, but it really prevents bumping and brousing when you toss an apple in your bag, before going to work.



Needless to say I have to eat a lot of fruit now..

Wednesday, October 20

Commercial break..

On occasion I like to wear a skirt or a dress. During Autumn or winter I need a panty underneath. A thicker one, to hide ugly vains. Yesterday I bought a new one and it's unbelievable what it does for you. It regulates heath, reduces the upper part of you legs, firms your butt, softens the legs 'cause there's Aloë Vera in it. (I thought that was a cream?) It has "micromassage for your legs" and gives you a better sillouette all in all.
Can you believe this? I do! (note: I believed anti wrinkle daycream commercials for years..)So I bought one yesterday, put it on,  and went back to the store today and got another 3.
At least it has a good fitt. Normally the are either so short legged that only a gnoom can get in, ór you can pull them up so high they reach your armpitt. When you cut a small hole under the waistband for your arms, you have a bodystocking.
This one fitts. It stays all day where I put them in the morning. It's German, made in Europe and available at the Lidl store for €3. Go get one!


What a pity I do not own a full size mirror. Therefor I cannot show a pic of my beautifull shaped legs in the new panty and a denim miniskirt. You'll have to take my word for it that I look absolutely fabulous.

Tuesday, October 19

Wrong side!

I love my country, don't get me wrong! I wouldn't want to live elsewhere.(though I'm NOT happy with our new very conservative government, but that's another story..)but quiltwise...?????

Ranette just posted pictures of Hancocks of Paducah, my neighbour/friend Corrine came back from a holiday in Florida and visited a JoAnns megastore...these things we lack here. Big quiltstores, and low priced (at least compared to the Netherlands)
Patchwork and quilting is big on the other side of the Atlantic and supplies are available everywhere. Not only prices are skyhigh here, but lots of notions, interfacing etc. are simply not to be found.
I love books and I'm a returning customer of the UK Bookdepository. This is my latest...

In order to make one (or two) lunchbags I need things like Insul Fleece or Insul Bright. Nowhere to be found where I live. Hurray for online shopping, but do I really want to pay $28 shipping for 2 yards Insul Bright that cost me $3 a yard?? Don't think so!
One store nearby sells fusible fleece in a thicker quality. An item I really want for sewing bags; it's €16 a metre..*sigh*
Quilt and craftwise I'm definately on the wrong side of the ocean!

And while I'm so busy ranting: why is it that Blogger only allows me to post ONE picture? I had it with my last post too and finished that one at C's house on her laptop. And why, if you don't mind me asking, do I have to restart my laptop to gain acces to the internet??
And to get it all of my chest: why is it oké for the teachers at the school where I work to walk over my freshly cleaned, still wet, kitchenfloor, just saying "sorry!"
That's it, I'm done :)

Sunday, October 17

Alive too (sort of)

After the magical revival of my laptop it has been very quiet here. Reason? Being unable to revive myself! I try but after work I'm kinda dead and energy levels remain low in the weekends.
This morning someone phoned me to ask if I could read my emails (and ofcourse answer them!) and to my amazement I saw that even C revived her blog and actually posted! Omg! Some of you asked if I could kick her butt ,but problem is that C is loosing a lot of weight and therefor the target is getting smaller every week. I guess yesterday I was succesfull *lol*
We went to a quiltshow together, organised to celebrate the 5th birthday of this quiltshop. The quiltshop is hers and the attatched restaurant his









We had to walk to different locations in order to see all 380 (!) quilts. The old village Woudrichem is lovely...



Woudrichem is located where two of our great rivers meet. Lots of boats and we even saw one that was transformed onto a castle. And yes, it's a horse on the upper deck!

Afterwards we enjoyed the best clubsandwich ever:) ofcourse accompanied with a cappucino...

Other quilty stuff that happened in the past weeks? I bought a new sewingmachine!



It's a Husqvarna Sapphire 875 quilt. Quilting DD got my "old" one and she already sent me a pic of her sewing like mad. She's happy and so am I..



Tuesday, October 5

It's alive!!!

My poor crashed laptop was put in a closet after it's meltdown. This evening DH took it out to see if he could save (parts) of the harddisk. I didn't expect much of this rescue, but one can hope..
To our amazement the Toshiba made feeble sounds after being plugged in and oh HALLELUJA:
it revived itself. The screen lit up, Windows appeared and it worked again as if it had never died.

 I am sceptical about unexplained miraclous revivals, so I immediately made a backup of my important files on the external harddisk.
Meanwhile, I'll do a happy dance and enjoy while it lasts. Yeey!

Sunday, October 3

Autumn depression..

..is what happened to september I guess. No energy left after work,nasty cold , being a couchpotatoe and even my hair lost all curly bits. Being a bad blogger and a bad quilter. I got myself a new Mp3 player and only listened to sad ballads. O my, this really sounds depressing now I write it down! Luckily Myra sent me a wake-up email asking why my blog remained so quiet!
 So, what else did I do last month but feeling sorry for myself without any reason???

I did sew another row of blocks for the propellor quilt. The last one; now i have to applique lots of circles in the centre of the blocks (if I can remember where i put the template..), then machine piece a border of leftover dotted strips and another top is done.














C is back from her Florida trip. She had a great time and came back with a ridiculous tan that made us all look extremely pale. She forgot our shoppinglist (tsk!) but luckily her memory is waaay better than mine.

As you can see I now have the Angler 2 for accurate machine piecing without having to mark every square by hand. My ruler won't slip anymore after attaching Invisigrip and paperpiecing and applique will improve with Steam a seam and foundationpaper.
C also bought us both a quilter's awl as a third hand while machine piecing. She also remembered that there's a Caleidoscope quilt in my head and got me a ruler for that.



I also spent lots of time thinking of a new sewing machine. I have a simple Husqvarna that I want to give to Quilting DD and have my mind set on a Husqvarna Sapphire 875. Searched the net and joined a yahoo Husq. Sapphire group. Now I'm looking for a good sewingmachine dealer; my "old" one is an unfriendly man who's annoying me big time.

Dh is still mourning his lost red bike. He's trying to revive his black Honda Magna but it's not roaring(yet) as it's supposed too. He went to see another red one but came home saying that it wasn't the one. He'll find one, I'm sure.

Happy days lay ahead; a shopping spree with Quilting DD, the birthday of Baking DD and a day filled with quilts with C. Only 3 more weeks of work before it's Autumn holiday and I have a whole week off again, so who's complaining?

Friday, September 3

The week after..

First of all: thanks, on behalf of DH,  for all the supporting comments on the burned bike.
The leftover of what once was is in my backyard now, and DH is getting every small thing off that is still usuable on another bike. He's on the hunt for a "new" bike (he wants a similar one which is an 1986 model) and rides mine to work for now.

I had quite a busy week: spent a nice days with my DD's shopping and eating out afterwards (+coffee and lunch) and went to a quilting friend who gives all kinds of quiltworkshops with C. C and I signed up for a class "learning to sew curves by machine". Two lessons with tips and tricks how to do that accuratly.
Afterwards we had coffee, enjoyed the sunshine and commented on every one who passed us by (more an episode of "what NOT to wear").

Speaking off curves..
I finished my apron and added FIVE inches to the bodice. I mailed the author, asking if perhaps I made a mistake, but never heard back from her which is bad (I think) But perhaps I judge too quick and for all I know she's on holiday (?)


















Note my new model! She's more willing to pose and more patient than Baking DD. She has lesser curves than me, but I think of her as my better half. She does, however, scares me everytime I walk in my sewingroom. Everytime I think there's actually someone standing in the corner! Have to get use to her I guess.

I also bought another pattern.



















I want to make the middle one for Quilting DD another one for myself. The pattern says:" .....especially flattering on those with a little something to fill out the top". Now I have a bit more than "a LITTLE something" but by the look off the pattern and the description, I think this pattern is a better buy.

Another book came through the mailbox.


















Beautifull and simple designs with solids. I already enjoyed just reading.

Coming week is "back to normal" week. Work starts again monday (blah!) and I spent half a day cleaning my workkitchen, ordering supplies etc. Not looking forward to it, but all good things must end and summerholidays are finally over. Besides: I have to earn money again...C is flying to Florida sunday for her welldeserved holiday and I gave her a list of supplies I "need". She'll raid JoAnns with a 50% off coupon but i DO have to pay the other 50% *lol*

Saturday, August 28

.....

No blogposttitle this time; simply couldn't come up with one.
You know it's NOT going to be a great weekend when the phone rings at 7.50 in the morning and the caller says: goodmorning, this is the police...
Luckily all the kids were home and safe so my first thought was: motorbike!
Sadly enough I was right: DH's bike was stolen and the police found it a nearby town, completely burned.

Dh was rather calm untill he came back from the policestation and saw his dearly beloved Honda. He was devastated to say the least. All the hours he put in this bike...It's not the money, it's the labour and the love for the machine. Just like a finished quilt: you don't think about the price of the fabrics, but how you loved to sew the pattern, the joy (and pain!) of choosing fabrics etc..You know, the whole process that makes that your heart is in that quilt.

Burning that bike is só meaningless. We´d rather had that they took it and drove to Paris for all we care..
DH´s bike on the right in happier times..                                                                                                      

Friday, August 27

Curves...

So happy that the David's well shaped behind brightened up the day for some. Glad to be of help :)
From David's parts to my curves seems like a big step, but bodyparts are bodyparts after all.
I started with the new apron pattern and hit a BIG obstacle.
You start with a 9"tall piece of fabric for the bodice and after loosing 2"for seamallowances etc. you are left with a piece of 7"inches tall. This piece, the final bodice, is supposed to go from the top of your boobs to your waist. Did you get the SEVEN inches??
I don't know about you, but I'm not Pamela Anderson or Dolly Parton but need a bit more than 7" to cover that part of my body. To be totally honest, I need at least 11" to reach my waist (or the part where I think my waist is).
I mailed the author to ask if I did anything wrong but got no answer yet. She states that women have curves. Couldn't agree more, but curves need a bit more room than 7"!

So I looked like a teacozy in my apron instead of a domestic diva. What else can I do than rip it all apart and cut a new longer bodice *sigh*

(btw: i'm having so much fun thinking that every female reader of this post, takes the tapemeasure in their hands to see how much space they need. I know I would *LOL*)



Thursday, August 26

From head to bottom..

Let's start with the head first and work our way down.
This is my new device. (omg)
It's called a "Tinnitus breaker" and it produces a soft static noise. I'm supposed to wear it when the Beep starts to bother me again as a sort of contra sound. It could "neutralize" the Beep and the static noise is at least more pleasant to listen to than bééééééééép. I can try it for 3 months before I have to decide to keep it (or not). Luckily the holiday did me so good that the Beep is very, very calm. There are days that I almost don't hear it at all.

Next...my apron to be! I want to make myself a new apron. In fact, I want 2: one at home and one for work. I ordered this pattern..                                                                                                                                 
It is, however, a little tiny bit dissapointing. It has no pattern pieces (as I expected) for the bodice. But with the directions I think I cut it okay. The pattern also uses a single layer of fabric for the skirt and I'm definately going to make that a double layer, so it's lined.  Perhaps I'll even add a  ruffle!                                                                                    

Next topic is my progress on the Propeller quilt . One more row of blocks (allready cut them) and add some missing sashings. I handpieced this one, but I'll probably machinepiece a striped border.                                                                                            

The little circles are appliqued according to Crispy. She has tutorials on handpiecing and applique. Well. it's more like a manual and it's great. If you are a handpiecer or want to know how: this is the place to go..

I saved the best piece for last: another holidaypic
This ,my friends, is the best butt ever and it is ART! I also have a front pic, but I'll keep that one off my blog,
It's Michael Angelo's David, at least part of it. I saw the original statue in Florence and, no jokes here, it is really beautifull and more impressive than the copy that's outside on the square ( the pic is from the copy)

Okay, now let's attack that apron pattern!

Tuesday, August 17

Rainy days..

It looks like autumn outside: grey skies and constant rain. The house is, well let's call it clean, the laundry done, the garden a mess (but I'm NOT going to do anything about that in the rain!) and tonight's dinner is planned. I set myself behind the pc to print a few holidaypics in order to frame them, but...the printer's cartridge is empty. Grrrr!
Instead I have no other choise to show some more on my blog...hehe





















DH had to work again last monday. When he came home I asked him how his first day back was and he answered: oh great, I'm going back tomorrow. *lol*
In 2 weeks it's my turn again and I'm not looking forward to it!