Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Christmas bee

Berna & I got together last Monday. Just showing off some of our work in this post. If you are curious, read on. If not, skip this post.

Look at this masterpiece Berna has made. The top is completed! Love the combination of classical embroidery and quilt blocks. 2011_09_26

Hubby was so kind to take some pictures. Lots of happy faces in these shots. 2011_09_261

Here is me busy stitching on the right hand panel of the ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ quilt. I really love this pattern from Crab-Apple Hill.

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As some of you know, Berna, has started with the SBS. It is amazing how many blocks she has already done. Here are two. 2011_09_262

The block on the right was nearly done, but she finished it when she got home. She was only here for a short visit. I was soooooooooooo tired. Not even the coffee enabled me to stay up  longer. All the yawning gave me away. I couldn’t deny that I was kind of tired.

I enjoyed our bee very much, caught up on all that is happening and I’m looking forward to the next one. Can’t wait to see how many blocks Berna are completed by than.

I’m kind of hoping to be able to start on the third panel. Question: do you think I should take the stitchery with me onto the plane? Are you allowed to stitch while flying? What can you take onto the plane with you regarding quilting & stitching notions. Please share your experiences.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Gratitude post – week 38

I’m tickled to notice a change in me. I’m definitely more relaxed and self-assured. I have a dream and I know I’m able to make it reality.

Came across this quote I want to share. ‘Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so’ ~ Belva Davis.

By the way, Belva Davis is one amazing lady. As some readers of this blog have noticed. It has taken me some time to find myself a new dream. But it is funny to realise that now I have a dream, I too have acquired patience to let my dream unfold itself. I have all the time in the world. I’m convinced that it is not impossible, if I just keep my head and listen to my heart. I’m in the right environment to realize my dream. I applaud this mindset change. For this I’m grateful.

I’m thankful to those who helped me find my dream.

If you believe it, you can realize anything. Even this perfect Latte Macchiato.

IMG_6821I’m thankful that I was able to create time to be creative this week. I was able to work on my Dear Jane quilt and my Christmas stitchery quilt (‘tis the night before Christmas).

The weeks before Christmas make me merry. Love the preparation phase. Only 90 days to go! To not come empty handed to the ‘Tilda doll workshop’ in 3 weeks time, Aagje, my quilt teacher, convinced me to buy this.IMG_6830

The kit contains all the materials that you need for this Santa. I chose to make this one because of the sack with the reindeer and candy stick. If the workshop is a success and this doll is easy to make, I might even make the Santa with the drum, see the Santa on the book cover on your left.

I’m pleased that hubby and I were able to deliver the new TV to my mum. She might even go digital! Once she has made up her mind to get a decoder. I’m thankful that we can do this.

I felt exhilarated after my yoga session last Tuesday. I really love yoga! On the one hand it gives a sense of peace and on the other hand it gives energy. A paradox.

I’m delighted that the boss had decided to pay for the cleaning of the interior of my (lease) car. A dirty and poorly maintained car can really effect my mood. This proposition has made me a lot happier. I didn’t even have to nag too much.

Last but not least, I’m grateful for this beautiful warm autumn. I was hoping for an Indian summer and it looks like my wish came true. It is absolutely awesome. Even now, at 6pm, we have blue skies and the sun is making the evening look a lot brighter.

I’ve come to realize, change your thoughts and you will change your life.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

We need you! Please volunteer too!

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This year at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas (November 3-6), a team of volunteers lead by the nonprofit Alliance for American Quilters will interview 64 Texas quiltmakers for the Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.) oral history project.

Many volunteers are needed, and each one will have an important job to do! The AAQ needs folks to serve as interviewers, scribes, registration desk attendants, photographers, and data entry/backup assistants. This is a grassroots effort; professional experience is not required. 

To find out more and register online go to the website here. Or email: qsos@quiltalliance.orgImvolunteering

Are you tempted? Go on and sign-up here. Please leave a comment on this post if you intend to join me as a volunteer. I would love to meet you. 

I’m so looking forward to this trip, going to the Festival and joining the Q.S.O.S. team to interview some of the Texas quiltmakers. I’m pretty excited, as it is only 37 more sleeps till I fly to Houston. 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A baby Jane under construction!

It has been some time since I opened the box with all my Dear Jane stuff. Four whole weeks!! I even had forgotten how far I had gotten with G-9 ‘Mary’s Journey’. It won’t surprise you, it was a little disappointing to see what I still had to do. 

Oops, I better get on with it and draw some lines and cut-out the pieces! It is hard to see the lines on this dark fabric.They fade so quickly.

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Together we are making some progress. In the second row you see my blocks on the left and Juud’s blocks on the right. In the top row some more completed blocks that Juud has made. Love the fabric!

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I had an enjoyable evening last night and happy to realize I’m getting into the rhythm of the Dear Jane again. I just need to piece this baby Jane and I will have completed another block! Whoopee!

Juud showed me what she brought back from Ste Marie aux Mines. See the lovely fabrics and the autumn issue of Quiltmania?

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But she also bought this book back from France. Which is a little funny as this quilter is Dutch. Will put this book on my wish-list! This lady has made some lovely quilts and isn’t it grand that she is sharing them with us?

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If you want to read more about Juud’s trip, visit her blog by clicking here.

Lucky for me, only 9 more nights before we have our next Dear Jane bee.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Yoga night – Quality time

Yoga_driehoekPicture copied from here

I need some ‘me’ time!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Progress on Christmas Stitchery!

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My stitching MOJO is back!! As you can see, Teddy, the cat, likes watching me as I work on this redwork stitchery.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Being Grateful

Being Grateful in any circumstance is a Choice!   Too many people are unhappy because they haven’t learned Gratitude.  We are sole responsible to find happiness in our lives. The more Gratitude we show – The More we will have to be Grateful For!  We need to put on those Rose Coloured Glasses! I sometimes wear mine. Yes, I have pink glasses, or at least the frame is pink!

My Attitude, a poem by Charles Swindoll

“The longer I live, the more I realize
the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than
education, than money, than circumstances,
than failures, than successes, than appearance,
giftedness or skill.  It will make or break
a company, church or home.
The remarkable thing is that we have
a choice every day regarding the attitude
we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past.
We cannot change the fact that
people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one
string we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is
10% of what happens to me
and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you.
We are in charge of our attitudes.”

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I love being in my study and are extremely thankful that I have a place to think, reflect, ponder and appreciate the wonderful world we live in.

Looking forward to coming week and thankful for all that has come across my path last week.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A entry for my ‘Simple Woman’s Day book’

TODAY

Saturday, 17th of September

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Please visit The Simple Woman's Day book

Outside my window...in one of my dreams. The sun is shining over the lush green valley. Its rays are brightening up my room. Some alpacas are wondering through the paddock, that lays along our backyard. I hear the trickle of water meandering down the small stream alongside our large farmhouse. A quiet breeze is blowing and birds are chirping merrily.

I am thinking...about time. What sense or senses do we use when perceiving time? Even if all our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) were prevented from functioning for a while, we could still notice the passing of time through the changing pattern of our thought. Perhaps, then, we have a special faculty, distinct from the five senses, for detecting time. Or perhaps, we notice time through perception of other things. I’m unable to grasp time. For disappearing acts, it's hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work. ~ Doug Larson. If I count correctly, there is still somewhere eight hours left in my day. I’m just thinking where do the hours disappeared to?

I am grateful... for being here!

From the learning rooms...I need to chunk my goals. I set such high goals that it seems I’m not going anywhere. I need to make choices. I can’t do everything. I need to learn to lower my expectations, but most importantly let myself not be influenced by the expectations of others have of me. Need to learn not to live for tomorrow. But most of all I need to learn to enjoy what I have achieved today.

From the studio...progress on ’tis the night before Christmas quilt. The right panel of the quilt.

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In the laundry...the washing machine is turning. Two loads of washing has been done so far. The first load is hanging to dry on our door racks. I have a couple of these hanging on doors upstairs.

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I am wearing...jeans & shirt

I am creating...this post

I am going...to watch the Star Wars film series. Yes, I’m talking about the series created by George Lucas. I’m most probably one of the few people on this earth who hasn’t seen one film in the series. Hubby asked, how did I want to see it. In the order the series was produced, or from the beginning of the double trilogy. I’m a practical girl, so I’m going to watch from the beginning. Hoping that the spiritual underpinnings of the story meets up to my expectations. I have been made to belief that when you look at the films through a symbolic lens, the life-lessons are abundant. Will let you know what I think!

I am remembering… my father. If my father was alive today, he would have turned 77 this month. It is hard to imagine my father as a man in his seventies. My father died at the age I am now, which is 47. Hard to grasp this. Time is such a strange concept, as in a certain sense it only seems like yesterday. But it was a long time ago. His death had a big impact on me. I dedicated my PhD thesis to him. Cuius mors initium erat fascinationis meae.

I am wondering...whether I have PMS or slowly coming into the peri-menopause phase. Cues that make me wonder if menopause is on its way:

  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • Memory loss and lapses
  • Difficulty in concentrating, mental confusion and disorientation
  • Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons, and increased tension in muscles
  • Headaches
  • Itchy, crawly skin
  • Vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of losing your balance
  • Gastrointestinal distress, flatulence, indigestion, nausea, bloating
  • Worsening of existing conditions, increase in allergies
  • Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
  • Tinnitus -- ringing in ears, bells, "whooshing," buzzing
  • Fingernails that become softer, break and crack easier

After reading the above, I’m a little worried now! I guess I’m aging!!

I am reading...the English magazine Good Housekeeping & the Dutch magazine Happinez. Have you checked out their app?

I am hoping...to get some popcorn when watching the movie!

I am looking forward to...coming Wednesday. Going to make another baby Jane block. It has been sometime since I’ve been able to work on the Dear Jane. Nearly 28 days.

I am hearing...nothing. It is pretty quiet at the moment. I prefer this silence, but it won’t be for long as I see it is raining. Even though I can hardly hear it.

I am proud to say...I’m getting back into a workout rhythm. I’ve been able to make time to get onto the cross-trainer and rowing-machine 3 times this week.   

One of my favourite things... is flowers

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What I have loved most about today...is letting go of my goals for today. Tomorrow is a new day!

A few plans for the rest of the week: last coaching session on Monday, yoga on Tuesday and dietician visit on Wednesday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

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I have a 3 seater-lounge in the livingroom. Why does Teddy choose to sit on my stitchery, when he can have the rest of the lounge for himself?

Only 98 days to go!!

I might not have much time to quilt or do patchwork, but I did find some time to get ready for…….. Christmas Wink

2011_09_17I feel no pressure when working on this stitchery. I just pick it up when I get home and while sitting on the lounge, I stitch. Love the redwork! The nicest thing about this project, is to notice I’m actually making some progress. Love the story that unfolds. Loved stitching the cheeky snowman sliding done the sloop. Second panel is nearly halfway done. 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Gratitude post – week 36

Today we remember 9/11. It is hard to remain unaffected when you really try to understand the full impact this act has had on our lives. Words that come to mind: compassion, community, grief, courage, gratitude, grace, morals, freedom, peace, hate & beliefs.

I think ‘we’ must be the change we want in the world (Ghandi) and from my view one of the ways to achieve this change is to live the attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is the way to bring more into your own life, but lots more into the lives of others.

If only we all lived by this code of morals. I would love to hear if you agree with these ethics.

We are interdependent. Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole, and so we have respect for the community of living beings, for people, animals, and plants, and for the preservation of Earth, the air, water and soil.

We take individual responsibility for all we do. All our decisions, actions, and failures to act have consequences.

We must treat others as we wish others to treat us. We make a commitment to respect life and dignity, individuality and diversity, so that every person is treated humanely, without exception. We must have patience and acceptance. We must be able to forgive, learning from the past but never allowing ourselves to be enslaved by memories of hate. Opening our hearts to one another, we must sink our narrow differences for the cause of world community, practicing a  culture of solidarity and relatedness.

We consider humankind a family. We must strive to be kind and generous. We must not live for ourselves alone, but should also serve others, never forgetting the children, the aged, the poor, the suffering, the disabled, the refugees and the lonely. No person should ever be considered or treated as a second-class citizen, or be exploited in any way whatsoever. There should be equal partnership between men and women. We must not commit any kind of sexual immorality. We must put behind us all forms of domination or abuse.

We commit ourselves to a culture of non-violence, respect, justice, and peace. We shall not oppress, injure, torture, or kill other human beings, forsaking violence as a means of settling differences.

We must strive for a just social and economic order, in which everyone has an equal chance to reach full potential as a human being. We must speak and act truthfully and with compassion, dealing fairly with all, and avoiding prejudice and hatred. We must not steal. We must move beyond the dominance of greed for power, prestige, money, and consumption to make a just and peaceful world.

Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first. We pledge to increase our awareness by disciplining our minds, by meditation, by prayer, or by positive thinking. Without risk and a readiness to sacrifice there can be no fundamental change in our situation. Therefore we commit ourselves to this global ethic, to understanding one another, and to socially beneficial, peace-fostering, and nature-friendly ways of life.

We invite all people, whether religious or not, to do the same.

The above italic text are excerpts from The Declaration of a Global Ethic read at San Francisco's Day of Remembrance on September 17th 2001.

If we abide by these morals wouldn’t the world be a better place to live in? I often wonder why when you ask the individual they agree that they live by these morals, but as a society as a whole we somehow can’t achieve the same level of commitment.  How do we make a community? Do we need to focus more on our similarities than on our differences?

I want to voice my gratitude for the person who wrote this quote:

We shall never forget
We shall keep this day,
We shall keep the events and the tears
In our minds, our memory and our hearts
and take them with us as we carry on.

I won’t be reflecting this week on all those things on a personal level that I’m grateful for. They are too numerous to write down, and in light of today not appropriate. I’m hoping that we are able to live in a more compassionate society. We just need to understand that if you want to be free from interference yourself, you are then obliged to acknowledge the same right in others. I think this will make the world considerably better than it is now.

What counts is not what we feel, but what we do. Walk the talk.

This is my way to pay tribute to all that lost someone on 9/11. Please go here and read the beautiful poem written by David J. Carr on memory quilts.

For those who committed this act and those who are contemplating on doing the same, I ask why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Gratitude post – week 35

I’m continually trying to be in a state of gratefulness. Not only on Sunday, when I make time to write this post and reflect on all the happenings of the past week, but I also try to acknowledge my gratitude on the other days of the week.

"Our favourite attitude should be gratitude" (source unknown).

Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling, emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. For some gratitude is treated as a duty. Which is an interesting concept to consider although the duty of gratitude is not to act but to feel a certain way.  Another concept to consider involves the idea of repayment, although gratitude is not simply the repayment of a debt, for the benefactor cannot demand gratitude in the way a creditor can demand repayment.

Gratitude should not be confused with indebtedness. It is not the same. We should feel gratitude for things that we cannot in any meaningful sense repay, such as life. What is required is a feeling of love or honour for the benefactor.

The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions, and has been considered extensively by moral philosophers. With the advent of the positive psychology movement, gratitude has become a mainstream focus of psychological research. I try to be grateful not out of moral obligation or because of my religious beliefs. Feeling grateful gives me more control, allows for personal growth, gives me purpose and self-acceptance. I’m happier and more satisfied with my life. It helps me cope with difficulties in my daily life. Being grateful helps me be more positive.

The funny thing is that life just seems to get better when you’re in a state of gratefulness. Gratitude should really be our favourite attitude Happy

My list of things I’m grateful for

- being able to hear the violin concerto in G major – Allegro Moderation, from J. Haydn by Rachel Podger coming from the music room.

- that it was finally the 1st of September last Thursday and I could start working for my new employer. Love the positive attitude of my new colleagues and the entrepreneurship they seem to posses naturally.   

- that my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces had a good holiday in Sweden and came home safely.

- feeling bliss after picking up the new car and seeing that it is black. I think a car can be painted any colour so long as it is black. This is my degeneration of the remark Henry Ford made about the Model T that was brought into production in 1909.

- Saturday being a beautiful warm sunny day. Making it possible to barbecue outside with friends. We were able to sit outside till 9pm. I think this was one of the first and most probably only time this year.

- Raymond taking our wooden garden swing with him. We have been trying to get rid of it for some time, but no one wanted it. The swing was just too big for our backyard. Still I hope one day to have a porch swing (a two-seater), but I guess that means we need to move which won’t happen in the foreseeable future as we love where we live now.

- that hubby is such a clever man. At the moment he is connecting my mobile phones to the car, so that I can phone hands-free.

But most importantly, I’m thankful for the fact that I’ve found my rhythm again. I only wish for some more balance regarding my creativity-time. In my professional capacity I create solutions for clients but on personal level I also love creating works of art (quilts). Being able to create is a necessity. Only it is hard to find a balance allowing me to be creative on all levels.