A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Spring Dreams

5 days.

Our spring break is quite late this year and my colleagues and I are hanging on by our fingernails. There are two things wrong with a late spring break when you teach middle school (and especially eighth grade, like I do). First, the kids have been ready for spring break for about two weeks already so they're really antsy. Here in SoCA the weather has been absolutely gorgeous and my students do NOT want to be sitting in a classroom.

The other problem is that when they come back, there are so few weeks left of school that it's very difficult to "get them back" on task. Especially the eight graders. The high school has already been out to register them for next year. State standardized testing will be the first week in May. A double dose of "I'm outta here." But another month of school to go. A positive of teaching eighth grade, however, is that the last week nobody questions when we decide no more lessons. Graduates are in and out constantly on end-of-year trips, commencement rehearsals and awards presentations. I just tell them to bring their yearbooks and if they happen to be in my classroom they will be signing books.

Anyway, this year spring break is AFTER Easter and Easter is late so the break is late. The last several years I've gone to Utah, hoping to catch some snow. No, I don't do winter sports, but I love tucking in surrounded by the white stuff. In the six years we've owned the condo, I've been in the snow once, and that was the first year.

Of course, it looks nothing like this, now, as it's all been built out. But it's still a beautiful place to be. Unfortunately, because I still have to work, I never get up there in the winter (or fall for that matter) and there's never been snow left during spring break when I do get up. Until this year. This year I'm not going up because of this guy.

There will come a time when we will haul Dodger everywhere with us, but he's too young now for a two-day car trip (not to mention he hasn't completed his series of Parvo shots) so home we'll stay.

And, of course, they're enjoying beautiful weather following several days and 41" of new snow. (The link shows the resort at the top of Powder Mountain. Our condo is near the bottom.)

My goal is to do the same amount of relaxing that I would have done if I'd been up there for the week. Here is my dream list of things to do for my soul when the great break finally arrives.

I've been saving Stephanie Meyer's, The Host, for spring break. I've read the Twilight series twice and got started on this one. It seems to have a much more complex storyline so I set it aside until I could really relax and sink myself into the book. In the picture the book is waiting for me on my new recliner. Reading and napping are right up at the top of my list.

Stitching is next on my list, and I will probably stay focused on this winter bird scene. If I were going to Eden I would take my Firefly Faeries, but things will be a little too distracted for that one with Dodger around so I will keep it simple.

One thing that I'm never able to do, of course, when I'm in Eden is work in my garden at home (kinda hard to take it with me). It really shows the neglect it has had over the last five years or so (as we're like homing pigeons flying to Eden every time a door is opened).This is the side yard off my room. It's so overgrown with grass that you can't even see my little flower fairy sculpture.

She almost looks like something the Easter Bunny might have left hidden in the grass. (See that bright magenta freesia? The picture on the package of bulbs showed a pale pink. I've been trying to get rid of these for years. Of course, I've never seen a pale pink one.)

Anyway, I'm hoping to have this entire area cleared out, all the old wood cut up and out in the recycling pick-up and the planter finished up to the decking by the end of the week. Then I'm going to lay landscape cloth and shredded bark in hopes of keeping the grass under control in the future.

A major rescue is needed here:

This is my Cecile Brunner in her third year (so she's ready for some shaping). Last year our wooden fence in this side yard blew down in heavy winds. The fence guys wrapped rope around this rose and pulled her to the ground to get her out of their way, breaking the stake that was holding her upright. I haven't repaired the damage yet because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with her. She is way too rambunctious for a simple trellis, and I don't want an arch (although that's how most people grow her.) I ended up just getting a 12x12 cement deck support post and a 4x4 to bolt upright in the support. That should give her enough support for a while. I love this sweet, 19th century hybrid. The tiny pink rosebuds look like little hybrid tea roses and the flowers smell divine. I'm looking forward to being able to see and smell her from my room, but am not looking forward to the battle to get her upright again. Although she is listed in most rose lists as "thornless", this bush is definitely armed.

There will be some quilting, although I don't know if I'll get any stitching done on this project. I've absolutely fallen for the BOM that Anne Sutton has going over at her Bunny Tales site. She just posted block four, and I haven't started any yet!

I decided to use the Maywood Studios Willowberry line that I've collected for the main fabric line. I would love to use the stripe as the background, but I don't think I have enough so picked up the background fabric today.

If I could get all the patterns onto freezer paper, then cut out and pinned to the backgrounds, I would be a very happy girl. I've decided that these are 'traditional" enough designs that I want to do them by hand, and I think I'll try a needle-turning technique I learned online. In this version, you iron the freezer paper to the RIGHT side of the fabric and turn the edges under as you go along the outline, removing the pattern when you're finished. I've done the freezer paper on the wrong side and the paper always presents problems. If I catch it even a tiny bit in the stitches, when I go to remove it I damage the stitching. This seems to present more possibility for success.

I also hope to figure out what I want to do with the Easter piece I just finished. It would make a darling pillow or wallhanging. Towards that idea, I picked up some fabrics this morning:

So far I'm only getting a "Yeah, it's OK" vibe from this so I'm not going to jump in and do anything quite yet. Just think about it for a while. (Hmmm. I need a pink, don't I?)

Finally, while I have no delusions of getting this teeny office/sewing room/ bedroom and now / kennel the way I want it in just one week, I have set as a goal finding a place for everything in this pile:

It looks scary, but is actually kind of a hopeful collection. This is all that's left of last year's giant gag-out attic clearing. I know where some of it goes or needs to go and it's just a matter of taking it there or buying one or two totes for a few things (I need another underbed storage box, for example, for my overflowing paperback collection. When I get one and get the extra books stored in the garage with the other two boxes (yes, there's room) then I'll have space in the house for some of the books that are in this pile. If I take care of just a few things a day, I should be able to declare myself the victor by the end of the week.

Ambitious, I know. I don't expect it all to happen (after all, I'm supposed to relax). But there's nothing on the list I don't want to do, and if I get even one or two things completed AND can say I had a relaxing break, I will feel like it was a successful vacation.

In other news, when I first "met" Kim, I cracked up over what was in her sidebar. She had a picture of a USPS priority mail shipping box with a caption something like, "Helping the economy one box at a time." So when I got an email from a small quilt shop in a nearby town that announced a "Staying in Business Sale," I felt it my patriotic duty to follow Kim's example and hightail it up there this morning. That's where I got most of the fabric in this post, as well as a couple more pieces.

I'm trying to help the economy along by influencing my karma re: moving to Utah. We have the property and a set of designs for a house. I must stop saying "If we ever get to..." and start saying "When we do...". So, "when we do move to Utah" my sewing room will be fairy themed and I love these flower fairy pieces.

Lots of imagining to do here, huh?

1 comment:

Von said...

Wow, your spring break is extremely late this year! Our kids were out last week which was a week early and the weather was not all that great until the weekend.

Looks like you've got your vaca all planned with some great activities. Maybe you should also get out your pleater and play with it. Not all smocking has to be made up into clothing. :)