January 25, 2014

Persian Pickle Project

Hellooo!  Yes, I know, I've disappeared again.  I've had such good intentions of posting this month but the days have been jammed packed and just flown by and that means trying to recover with as much sleep as possible.  Now that I've enjoyed a full 12 hours in bed (luxurious, right?) I'm feeling motivated to catch myself up on a few things so here we go...

Persian Pickle Project
What is this 'Persian Pickle' thing, you ask?  Well, the idea is based on the book, The Persian Pickle Club.  It's a story about a quilting circle of women in Kansas, USA during the Great Depression.  They come together to sew, quilt and support each other and because times are difficult, they swap fabric scraps with each other.  One of the women has a large bolt of Persian pickle fabric (AKA paisley) that her husband bought for her and she shares it out among the women and so this one fabric infuses itself into all of their creations, binding them together, as it were.  It's a book on my to-read list and I should probably see about reading it this year.  My friends whom have read it highly recommend it, so if it sounds like something you'd like, go for it!

Anyway, back to the project.  My Haberdashery club has been looking for a group project to work on together and as you might now have surmised, we've decided to use this book as our inspiration.  So here's how it's going to work:

1. Everyone will donate a 15cm square 'scrap' of fabric to each member of the group.  We can either give a different or identical fabric to each person, the choice is ours.  I personally like the idea of giving the same fabric to everyone, as it will be easy to pick out each person's contributing fabric from everyone's creations.

2. Each member will create a finished project (could be a mini quilt, wall hanging, table topper/runner, etc.) measuring 40cm square and it MUST have everyone's fabric scrap donations used in it somewhere.  We can also add additional fabrics to complete the design, too.

3. The project needs to be completed for our up-coming quilt guild exhibition September 2014.

How fun is that?  I'm thinking that I'd like to choose a fabric that really represents me, so something with bright colours (probably including a splash of orange in there somewhere) and retro/modern prints, likely very geometric.  We'll be swapping fabrics at our next meeting in February so I'll share a snapshot of my fabrics then.  So excited - can't wait to see what everyone makes!

The Sewing Corner Project
So two weeks ago I mentioned my plans to convert my old desktop computer corner into a permanent sewing corner.  Well, I have been making some (slow) progress on that project, I'm pleased to say.  As I mentioned in that post, I spent part of the day hauling an old wardrobe in pieces out of my attic storage into a trash container.  Doing so has made a big space in the attic where I plan to store the shelving unit for the old desk.

I know some of you suggested that I keep the shelving unit on the desk, as it might come in handy but unfortunately, the design of how the shelves attach to the desktop severely limits the amount of workspace and wouldn't work with the way I want to position the desk in the room so I'm happy to remove it and find other solutions.  The unfortunate consequence of having moved an old wardrobe in one day, however, is that I woke up Monday morning almost completely lame from the knees down and could barely stand or walk.  It took a week to get back to a pain-free state.  Not one of my finest moments.

Anyway, last weekend I spent some time cleaning off all of the 'stuff' that had accumulated on said desk for the last year - it had sort of become my random dumping grounds for stuff and then turned into a black void.  Most things have now either been pitched or found new (proper) homes.  There are just a few things that I plan to pack up into a box to relocate in the attic along with the shelf.  So, progress indeed!  Now the next step is to do a final boot-up of the old desktop computer and backup the files onto my new external drive and then it will be shipped off to a friend's to use the monitor and spare parts for whatever she wants.  Nearly there - more photos coming soon.

And in other news, it was my birthday yesterday!  Nothing exciting, I have to say.  I went out to supper the Thursday night with friends and that was lovely.  No birthday cake but I did have some truly awesome panecotta at the Italian restaurant we went to:

This year was the year of little notebooks and owl decoration gifts.  My friend Ingrid really hit the nail perfectly on the head with the little notebook she got me:

Travel Tidbits Notebook

How cute is this?  This little notebook is filled with all sorts of fun pages - some lined paper, some library-style pockets, some plastic insert pages, etc.  There's even a plastic zippered pouch at the back!  It's like a traveling scrapbooker's dream notebook.

Now you know, when I go on holiday, I save all sorts of little things - entry tickets, postcards, local stamps, brochures, business cards, etc.  I always come home with a pile of things that I've saved to later incorporate into my travel LOs.  Well, my current 'organisational process' for this goes along these lines: fly home, unpack suitcase, put all ephemera into random plastic bag, store plastic bag with X-number of similar plastic bags from previous trips alongside scrapbooking supplies (creating an increasingly unsightly mess in lounge).  As Ingrid stated, now I can pop all of these little bits and bobs into my new travel notebook - brilliant!

As for my actual birthday yesterday, I had a bit of a lingering headache / eye strain all day yesterday, which was unfortunate, but my students were super excited that it was my birthday (they're 7 and 8-years-old, remember, so birthdays are a BIG thing).  They sang me Happy Birthday in the morning, including clapping out my age (really *didn't* need that...heh) and then insisted that I choose a birthday treat from my teacher prize drawer, which they said would be their gift from all of them to me (even though one clever soul pointed out that all of those prizes were already mine to begin with - ha!).  Then during choosing time at the end of the day, many of the girls made me handmade cards and even gave me some of their own special pencils and rubbers.  All together now: Awww...

There's a bunch more on the whiteboard, not shown.

Today I'm enjoying a whole weekend to myself, where with the exception of needing to go grocery shopping at some point, I'm intending to leave my bed as little as possible - pure bliss.