Saturday, April 29, 2006

End of April

It's been a week since my last post and time has flown. I can't believe it's already April 30th.
Last weekend, I "framed" my class block by sewing a 1" burgundy/rust trim around it and sewing the block as a diamond on a similar coloured background. More on this later.
I also worked on Sari's chuppah. I sewed the three panels, separated by two fuschia duppioni silk 2" strips and added purple side borders to bring the width to fit the 72" chuppah frame. I pinned the top and bottom borders (same purple) and pinned the whole thing up on my design wall to see what else to do with it. I was going to drape ribbons from the birds' beaks across the top of the two white side panels. I was auditioning ribbons and Alissa was over and said she didn't think they added anything. I wasn't sure so I removed the ribbons and left the "canvas" blank. I still wasn't sure but Mintzy was over today and I said that I thought it looked a bit naked. She convinced me it didn't. So tomorrow I will take it off the wall, sew on the top and bottom borders and bead the tree top and trunk and flowers. I'm not quite sure yet what fabric to use as backing. Probably just plain lining material. I am going to attach coloured (fuschia, purples, pinks) ribbons at 12" intervals all around the perimeter for tying the chuppah to the frame. I may attach metal charms -- birds, chamsot, etc. to the ribbon ends.
I also decided to finish the second baby quilt. I had machined quilted a few rows of "waves" previously and decided one evening to finish it. It wasn't until I had finished sewing about 2/3 of it that I realized my waves were going top to bottom instead of side to side. Oy. But I wasn't about to pick out the stitches, so top to bottom it is. Then I made the border but didn't make it wide enough. Oy vey. I mean it was wide enough to sew on the quilt but another 1" of width would have made a more pleasing proportion. Never mind. It still looks quite nice because the fish fabric is lovely.
I will try to take and post photos.
Let me try to remember if anything interesting happened at work this week. No.
Friday was my mother's 85th!! birthday. We had a family dinner at Devora's house to celebrate. Penina and family were there for a quick visit before Shabbat started but couldn't stay for dinner. It was very nice. And in July, the day after Sari's wedding, we're going to have a joint birthday celebration for Shloimeh (80th), Mom, and Ethel (90!!!) in the party room at Ethel's building.
Today I picked out the stitches of my class block "frame" and removed it from the backing. I had machine stitched it and because of the encrustment (encrustage?), the trim got sewn down crooked. And the background was too dark. I think I will presew a frame from a lovely damask type off-white fabric I have and hand sew it to the block and then embroider the seams between the frame and the block.
Once that's done, I will allow myself to start on the blocks using the fabrics I bought to match the trim from Yoni's bar-mitzvah invitation.
I also did some organizing of my stash. Menachem hung a dowel last week to hold my ribbons and this week made me a thread holder which sits above it. So there are a few less containers lying around on my tables.
I also edited a bit on my shelves -- found the instructions for the correct border width... Reviewed my UFO's (WIP's) -- I really don't have that many.
I also am reworking (i.e. letting out the seams) of a black floor length skirt to wear to Yoni's and Sari's affairs. I need to buy black lining fabric. Or maybe I should buy something sparkly -- the black is a sheer type fabric. Then I still need a top -- probably something goldish because I have a lovely black and gold shawl which was Aunty Nechama's. Note to self -- make sure it doesn't have holes in it!!
This afternoon, we are going down to Queen's Park (Ontario legislative building) to attend a rally for Darfur. Aside from the importance of taking a stand for the cause, the rally is being organized by members of hadracha and we want to support their efforts. Afterwards, we're going to Shaul and Malcah-Margaret's.
And that's about all for now.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Post matza stress

Ha ha. No such thing. I'm matzah'd out.
Can't believe it's been a week since my last post. Where did it go?
The second seder wasn't. Rachel and Adi came for dinner (i.e. leftovers)and it was a nice and quiet evening.
Last Friday, Good Friday, was a day off work. We did nothing. It was lovely. Rafi and Mintzy came for dinner (i.e. leftover leftovers).
Saturday we drove up to Perth. Discovered another breakin at moshava. No visible theft, no major vandalism. Still, it's annoying. Menachem met with our local contractor and the electrician about work to be done before camp starts. He fixed the broken lock on the chadar ochel and we took inventory of the dishes and cutlery. And when we went to Canadian tire to buy the new lock, I bought a unit to hold my beads. So now there all on the wall beside the embroidery thread and buttons.
Sunday, we went to visit with Dee and David. Dee showed me the quilts she's working on now. I didn't take in my quilt -- I figured she has enough to do without it. It's waited until now, it can wait a little longer. We came back Sunday afternoon.
Good Monday was a work day for me. But only half a day since we had a funeral to attend. On the way, we stopped in at Fabricland where there's still a draw for a new sewing machine. And I picked up a few meters of fuschia and dark purple duppioni silk to continue on Sari's chuppah.
Tuesday evening was the Hashomer Hatzair third seder at the Bloor JCC. Not too many participants, but it was nice.
Yesterday, we were invited to Ethel's for lunch. Bat and Sandy and Yunkie were also there. Considering the lady's going to be 90!!, she did quite well. And the food was edible... When we got home, we took the patio furniture out of the garage and filled the tires on my bicycle. Must use both soon.
Today was a regular work day. Before work this morning, I dug an old long skirt (black crepe material) out of the closet. I took off the waist band, ungathered the waist and am planning to regather and put a new waist band on it so I can wear it to Yoni's bar-mitzva do and Sari's wedding. Then all I have to do is get some sort of a top which will go with a black and gold shawl and/or several fancy black shirts. And I need new shoes -- flats but without holes in the soles... And a skirt to wear to shul. Oy.
Tomorrow is Friday already. No plans other than work, so far.
And then the weekend. I've got an itch to stitch. I want to work on Sari's chuppah, maybe quilt the baby quilt, turn the cq square into a wall-hanging, and be outside, if the good weather holds up (the forecast is, of course, rain).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chasal Seder Pesach

So last night's seder was good and fun. We had twenty-four people at the table!! Aside from the immediate family (my mother, Bat & Sandy, Devora and Noam, Yunkie, Mindy, and Alana, Jeremy and Michelle) we had Aunty Ethel, Alissa, Mel and Johanna and Matty, who I guess are pretty close to immediate family. And then we had my mother's "entourage" -- Chaim (formerly known as Charles...), Noam and his sister,(I can't remember her name at the moment), Ori, and his wife, Tali (formerly known as Stacey), and Ori's mom and brother, Tzvia and Oded. Sandy joked that my mother travels with her own minyan...
Even our two tables put together were still a bit short so we improvised by adding a board between the tables to provide another 4 table settings. The atmosphere was festive and laid back. The Israeli contingent was very musical so we had a lot of singing.
And the food was delish as usual. Menachem's gefilte fish turned out great. He also made an aromatic roasted vegetable soup with Odetta's ugly but yummy knaidlach, roasted chicken (very moist, so I'm told), roasted potatoes and yams, roasted vegetables, and tsimmes. Devora brought two types of green salads. My mother did not disappoint with her veal roast or so all the carnivores tell me. We finished off with a wonderful sponge cake Alissa made, a chocolatey cake Bat-Sheva brought, my mother's matza anti-dote, compote, and a gorgeous fruit platter Menachem made with melons, pineapple, grapes and strawberries.
I have to admit that by the time the last of our guests left (after 11 p.m.), my back ached and my feet were throbbing. I got one load of dishes done while people were still at the table, put another into the dishwasher before I went to bed and did another two machines this morning. So now everything is clean and ready for tonight. No, we're not doing another seder. Just a quiet meal with Mom, Rachel and Adi and us. I doubt if we'll finish the leftovers, but hopefully we'll make a dent in them.
Tomorrow, nothing is planned. It's Easter Friday so everything will be closed. I hope to get some sewing done.
And then Saturday we're going up to Perth to make our initial spring camp inspection and meet with contractors. Sunday, we may drop in on Dee. And that's about it.
I'm going to take a nap before I put away the last of yesterday's dishes so that's all for now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Countdown to seder

Well, I've done as much cleaning as I'm going to do. Just about everything on my list was finished. Yesterday, Menachem cooked. I came home from work to my end of the bargain -- washing the dishes. I put most of them in the dishwasher and did the rest by hand so by Coronation Street (7:30 p.m.) the gefilteh fish and tsimmes were in the fridge, the soup and kneidlach were cooling down, the chicken was in the oven, and the kitchen ready for today's cooking: baked potatoes and yams and roasted vegetables. Menachem made a delicious charoset but the hard-boiled eggs didn't peel nicely and they are all pocked. We'll spin it as part of the hardship of our forefathers in their haste to leave Egypt...
So my jobs today are: peel potatoes and yams, clean and cut vegetables, cut up celery (karpas) for seder, set up tables for 24, set table, last minute cleaning.
And if i get a chance, straighten up sewing room, although I have several wip's going so a messy (but clean) sewing room is allowed.
OK. Since it's 3 a.m., I think I'll go back to bed.
Chag Sameach

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I have been busy doing neglected housework. The plan was to do the main floor (kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, front hall) yesterday and the upstairs 3 rooms and bathroom, and sublevel TV room today. How am I doing, you ask? I am pooped.
I started yesterday with the front hall. Cleaned out the hall closet, throwing away stuff which will never be used, putting away winter boots, hats, scarves, etc., washing the rugs (in the washing machine, thank you very much. If it isn't machine washable, it's very unlikely you'll find it in my house), and organizing the hall storage unit. Then the baskets on the three stairs up to the living room. I bought these lovely baskets so there's a place for Menachem's briefcase, papers, etc., my purse, lunch bag, etc. and the third one was for Carmit's purse, etc. when she still lived here. And it does keep the mess contained. Only recently, there started to be an additional buildup of books, papers, things. So that's all sorted.
Then I moved on to the kitchen. I wasn't going to do the whole empty all the cupboards etc. because when I do, I usually end up getting the top done and am too exhausted to do the bottom units. So this time I did the two units over the oven, the floor to ceiling pantry, and the bottom units. I was really only going to do the fronts of the bottom units and the kickplate under them, but I decided to do a thorough clean, also threw out stuff we don't need (three cans of beer -- neither Menachem nor I drink beer so who knows how long they've been here), utensils that are grubby looking, etc. So now the cupboards are clean. Did I mention that I dusted everything in the dining room, cleared off the top of the credenza so there'd be room for the three loads of Pesach plates I ran through the dishwasher?
By the time I was done, I was too tired to do anything else.
This morning, I cleaned the bathroom, sort of, I'll redo it on Wednesday, dusted the living room and wall unit, and washed the floors in the kitchen, hall, bathroom, living room and dining room. So when company comes, at least the areas they frequent will be clean.
Today, I still want to do the TV room, although I honestly don't know where to start. There are books and video tapes and crap all over the place. I rarely use the room. I have never liked it. It is Menachem's TV, DVD, video room. And it has the treadmill which doesn't work taking up half of it. Oy. I will just top clean, considering that only the kids will be going down there to watch TV. (and the adults all know I'm no balabusta)
I would like to get the upstairs done also, but I am not going to kill myself. If it happens, fine. If not, not. There's always Wednesday. I'm going to take the day off work so I can give Menachem a hand. He will have done most of the work on Tuesday anyways, but if I peel the potatoes, yams, carrots, etc. on Monday after work, it will be one less thing to do.
Anyways, if I'm talking, I'm not cleaning, right? So I'm off to tackle the upstairs hall bookshelves.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Equarelle's trunk show

Last night we drove out to see a trunk show of a fantastic fabric artist, Elaine Quehl, at the Mississauga Quilter's Guild. Before I get into the trunk show itself, I belong to the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Textile. We have about 100 members and we usually have around 30 at a meeting. There were approximately 150!! members there.
I learned of Elaine's work while surfing the net for art quilts. Her website is, just in case anyone wants to check it out. She lives in the Ottawa region so the chances of me taking a course with her are slim unless she comes to our guild. So when I read on her website that she was coming to Mississauga, I made plans to go.
She brought, takeh, a trunk full of quilts and walked us through her personal growth in the world of quilting. On the web, her quilts are gorgeous, up close they're unbelievable. It was well worth the trip and inspiring.
Unfortunately, my inspiration will be on hold for a week or so until after Pesach (Passover). Wednesday night, is the first seder and starting tomorrow, we have to get ready. We are having anywhere between 18-22 people, that we know about. We have an open door policy so if someone calls and says their cousin/friend/stranger has no seder to attend, we say bring them here.
Fortunately, Menachem does most of the cooking (my mother brings her veal roast and although she said she wouldn't make any, compote, and my siblings bring salads, side dishes, etc.) So, Tuesday and Wednesday he will be making clear vegetable soup (he roasts the root vegetables in the oven first which makes them very tasty), knaidlach (a very light and fluffy version of matza balls which don't look like balls at all), his mother's gefilte fish, chicken, baked yams and potatoes, roasted vegetables and that's the menu so far. He often makes a delicious layered meringue cake as well but it depends on how he's feeling. It's hard for him to stand on his feet all day. I will try to take off Tuesday and Wednesday to give him a hand. He cooks, I wash the dishes and pots.
This weekend, my job is to make the house look like it's cleaned on a regular basis... Aside from regular cleaning (which I rarely do -- it's only dust...), I have the Pesach plates to take out of storage and run through the dishwasher (about 3 loads), enlarge the dining room table to accommodate the numbers, do a few tasks that aren't on my *cough, cough* regular cleaning schedule.
So that's what I'll be doing this weekend.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fabricland's birthday

I don't generally celebrate birthdays for commercial enterprises, but along with a great sale, Fabricland is having draws for new sewing machines. So I stopped by after work -- I walked and it's on my way home -- dropped off my ballot and bought some fabrics to match the trims from Penina's invitation. Four colours of blue, one silver and a lovely unrelated almost beige with blue green flowers. I only bought 15 cm. of each because cq doesn't require much more. And five meters of various lace trims and a meter of absolutely gorgeous gold, cranberry and moss green trim. Grand total? $12.39. Now there are two weeks left on the sale and two more ballots to be dropped off. I wonder what I'll buy next week...
I don't expect I'll get any stitching done in the next week or so. I can't seem to drag myself out of bed in the mornings and am too tired in the evening, and this weekend is Pesach cleaning and then there's Pesach prep, even though Menachem does all of the cooking. But the following weekend, chuppah.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Da veha again

It's been a few days since I posted. Things have been very hectic at work. I've been staying late hours so by the time I get home, I'm too tired to stitch.

I'm still debating how to finish the class cq block. I have a nice burgundy trim and an off white jacquard type fabric. I think I want to simply make a larger square using the trim around the block itself (I need to cover up edges and mistakes anyways...) and then the jaquard fabric which I may or may not embellish but probably I'll just sandwich the whole thing and then quilt the jaquard. Decisions, decisions.

We received our invitation to Yoni's bar-mitzvah. The invitation is very fancy and calligraphy done by Penina. The invitation has lovely fabric trim, three kinds!! in white and silver, and a silver tassel. The background paper was a silver-blue. I have already deconstructed (sorry Penina) and will now search for suitable silver, blue and complementary fabrics for a new cq project.

This coming week there is a trunk show at the Mississauga Quilter's Guild of a fantastic fabric artist, Elain Quehl from the Ottawa area. I am hoping to get out there to see it. Her website, in case anyone actually reads this blog (other than my family) is In my opinion, well worth the visit.

Tomorrow Menachem has camp-related meetings -- hiring committee and board meeting. I may or may not accompany him. Haven't decided yet.

Plans for today? None. I may do some stitching, may go domestic, may go out. Nothing firm yet.

I didn't get to climb stairs yesterday (too busy) so I may just try to make up for it today. Or not.

I am suffering from joggle forum withdrawal. Am trying to get into the flickr mode but not enamoured just yet. Did pick up a wonderful idea from Linda at for covered button embellishment.

Enough rambling for now.

About Me

I am in my mid 50's, have been married (happily) for 38 years, have 3 adult children who live an ocean away... By day I am a legal secretary. The rest of the time I play with fabric but I still won't run with scissors...