Thursday, 22 December 2016

So long 2016 and Hello Holidays!

I'm not one for seeing the negative in a year that's nearly done.  A year is a year and like the weather even in rainy Ireland there are more sunny days than rainy ones.  I must admit though that 2016 has been a challenging year in lots of ways.  I for one am glad to see it come to a close and am thoroughly enjoying the holiday spirit in this run up to Christmas!

New decorations this year and I love the Labrador card!

Apart from all the craziness in the world, I found this year to be challenging and frustrating as I struggled to get all the things I wanted to do completed and the creative sense of achievement in getting things done seemed to elude me for a good part of the year!

the last of the Bee Blocks for Stash Bee Hive #4

We had a very late holiday in October and at the end of it I picked up a head cold that lead to a chest infection that lead to bad reaction to antibiotics and meant I was out of action for the last month from anything but work and staying indoors.  I haven't quite gone into hibernation but I have been nesting!

Making a family tree in the hall, new knobs for the dresser and finally a tidy wardrobe (need one more hanger!)

I re-read the Marie Kondo book on tidying and though I haven't quite gone all Zen and thanked my possessions for their service or quizzed them as to the level of joy they bring me, (ok there may have been the green cargo pants I've had for 10 years that finally ripped beyond repair and I might have thanked that one!), I did take 2 things to heart from the book.  1. try to keep like items in one place only and not all over the house and 2. the frustration I am feeling is not down to others to pick up after themselves but for me to get my bit in order and others will follow.

What's going on here then, changing my garden?                     Tea-break?                Ta-dah! A path to my outside house!

I'm not sure that is exactly the case, as my side of the bedroom is looking ok, but Gordon's is like a tornado passed through but at least there has been some progress!  The dogs had run a path through the grass so I thought stepping stones would be a good idea so we wouldn't get all muddy when we have to clean up outside.  They magically got put into position with me only asking once!

Maggie is way bigger than Charly now, so Charly gains height by using the sofa!  Their play always looks so rough!

Spending a lot of time inside has had me casting my eye over the entire house and making small changes and planning bigger ones to nearly every room!  I moved in the dresser from my sewing area and it fits better in the living room and means I get more places to put Christmas stuff including the wreath I made for our branch demos in November!

Those two are mad little monsters!                                                     Who us?

Wilbs has had more seizures, 4 in 24hrs.  We were supposed to celebrate my friends birthday by all going out to dinner but Gordon kindly stayed home after seizure #2 in case there would be a third.  There was.  20mins after I came home from a very nice meal!  Poor Gordon missed out but we weren't leaving the old dog behind alone.  He has gotten massively clingy and talks to us all day long now in whines and chirps.  We have a seizure diary for him up on the fridge and as long as we are consistent with his meds, we seem to be able to get it to 1 cluster a month.

I have to agree with Wilbur, Maggie - 1 Christmas cushion -0  Still I rescued the tree from it so not all bad! 

Like the weather, more sunshine than you think, I did get quite a bit done in the end.  Got my Christmas one hour basket finished (another branch demo) and made progress on the Modern Irish Bee Round Robins.  2 done, 1 more to go!  I'm hoping to get there by the end of the year on the last one!

The last swap of the year was a covered notebook swap with the Modern Irish Quilters.

In September I had signed up for a paper piecing miniatures class with Gwen Cottis though our branch of the Irish Patchwork Society.  I had some cute 2 1/2" squares completed and decided they needed to be a Spring (February's valentine heart), Summer (Irish one with lots of rain in July), Autumn and Winter notebook cover. I used ribbon from a bundle of fabric bought from the Fat Quarter Shop, a Daler Rowney sketchbook and some letter fabric I bought on Instagram from Betsy Grey Crafts last year.  The tutorial we all used for the swap was Cindy's really easy to follow step by step on her blog Fluffy Sheep Quilting here.

Just yesterday I received a really lovely spring themed flower notebook and shabby chic calendar from Kristina - thank you so much!
Modern Quilters Ireland Christmas swap!

So frustrations aside, it's been a lovely finish to 2016.  Sunny side out.  Always!  So for 2017, I guess to get that feeling of a job well done I need to bust those UFO's and get back to what I enjoy most.  For me, that's exploring colour and shape in my own design ideas, testing them out in a quilt and hopefully writing more patterns - I'd like to get back to more of that next year.  It would be nice to get another magazine publication under my belt and finally make that quilt for our own bed!  Small goals but very achievable.  I have 2 teaching opportunities in March and April and am very excited about them.   And save for a proper summer holiday next year - that would be nice!

Crib set mum bought for me in the Vatican shop on a trip to Rome, Nativity scene from Dresden Christmas market (my favourite decoration in the whole house!

So that's it from me for 2016.  Happy Christmas everybody and here's to a productive, happy and fun filled 2017.
2017 Planning Party
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