Thursday, October 31, 2013

Third Fingerless Prototype

There was just enough time last Saturday afternoon while I was in Calgary visiting my daughter and her family to make a quick trip to the closest Fabricland. It was busy. Partly because of costume making and partly because, once again, huge portions of the store were marked way down and the bargain center was 40% off the already low prices only...




... there was a large group of women shopping together in that area and spreading themselves and their fabric and their bags, buggies, and babies all over the area which made it really uncomfortable to shop because I had to keep moving in and out of their group and they weren't speaking English. Nothing like feeling like you don't belong which - LOL - was probably good for my pocketbook.




I purchased one and a half meters of a stretch denim, two meters of a turquoise knit, and two meters of a black knit mesh with white embroidery along each edge for less than $15.00. The yardage is washed and maturing in the stash.




Yesterday, I sewed a set of felted fingerless gloves based on the measuring system I've determine. I think they fit quite well so now I'm measuring every arm I can to make test gloves. I measured Howard and Kyle last night. Today, I'm having coffee with a friend and then tomorrow meeting with my creativity group. They don't know it yet but they're all being measured - VBG. Since I see them once a week, it'll be easy enough to stitch up the gloves and try them on quite soon.




In the comments, Carol asked would the machine felting process be durable enough to hold pieces of felted material together for quilt blocks? As I replied, she has way more experience than I do but I did make a sample to test the idea. Above, I cut two remnants of the felted fabric and then...




... overlapped the edges and used the felting machine to felt them together. The surface is smooth without a bump from the overlap. Next I...




... yanked on the fabric as hard as I could and it stretched out of shape but the joint held and didn't pull apart even a bit so it can be done. I'm not sure about in quilt size especially when you consider laundering and the weight, stretch, and pull of using it plus you'd need to overlap not just butt the edges. Hope that helps. Let us know what you decide Carol. I'm sure we'd all love to see a picture of the quilt if you go ahead with it.




I finished the purple scarf - except for blocking - and started on a black one. The ribbed pattern is knit 2, purl 2 on the right side and purl on the back for twenty rows. It makes a mock rib that is somewhat less stretchy than a traditional rib. The stitch pattern for the rest of the scarf is a wonderful basket-weave-ish pattern only knitting in black is not for me. It's way too hard on the eyes.

I had two balls of sock yarn and after knitting two thirds of the way through the first one had a scarf twelve inches long which meant that even if I persevered by knitting only during daylight hours, I'd end up with a scarf three feet long and that's about half the length I wanted so I abandoned that idea. And that's okay. I think learning when to listen to our intuition and push ahead and when to listen to our intuition and quit while we're ahead are equally important. I'll morph that yarn into something else at some point in the future.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - for the person who invented prescription glasses so I can see

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Act Of Felting

Yesterday, I spent some more time on prototypes of the fingerless gloves. I've sewn several pairs for myself that fit very well and am transferring that information to a system that will allow me - you - us - to draft customized gloves when the arm/hand is present, customized gloves when working with a set of measurements, and gloves that are based on standardized sizes for when you have a rough idea of size but no specific measurements. I'm making progress.




Once I've figured out sizing, I want to illustrate the different methods using knit fabrics, stretch wovens, and felted materials such as old sweaters along with variations on the theme. Ideally - in the end - I'll end up with a booklet of possibilities.




I knit this sweater four or five years ago and have worn it twice so the last time I cleaned my closet I opted to recycle it. My friend Patti taught me how to felt on her Baby Lock Embellisher machine and then let me bring it home with me. I felted around the seams on the sweater to prevent the knit stitches from unraveling and then cut it apart around the armhole, shoulder, collar, and underarm seams to keep as many big pieces as possible.




I felted the pieces once, washed them in hot water, felted them twice again, washed them in hot water, and then felted them again. I debated doing them once more only I'm not noticing a significant difference so there seems to be a maximum felting point which may be contributed to by the fact that this is a wool blend as opposed to 100% wool. Some info I read yesterday indicating that a sweater needs to be at least 80% wool seems to support that fact. Good to know.




The sweater fabric is felted sufficiently to hold. The knitting stitches are visible but felted together and don't run when pulled. The fabric is softly firm if that makes any sense. It'll make lovely fingerless gloves.  I'd like to make at least two pairs, one for myself and one for a friend to go with the purple scarf I'm knitting her for Christmas, and hopefully more since I can use the felting machine to "stitch" together remnants although I'll need to return it sometime soon. So far, I've enjoyed the possibilities I see in the felted fabric but can't see myself wanting one of these machines. The actual act of felting is incredibly boring unless you're adding details rather than felting yardage. It's great for playing but for this purpose I'd rather buy the fabric or felt old sweaters in the washing machine.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - being trusted with a friend's machine

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hemming Jeans

Jeans seem to come in two leg sizes - way too short or way too long - which means I'm always buying the long ones and hemming them. Before going to my daughter's this past weekend, I hemmed my newest pair. You might not know about this way of hemming jeans to save the original hem so I thought I'd detail the process.




Start by determining how much you need to shorten the jeans. For me, it was 2 1/2". Divide that number in half, fold the hem toward the right side, and measure that distance from the fold to the bottom of the previous hem line. In the picture above, the distance between the fold and the row of pins at the original hemline is 1 1/4".




Sew close to the original hem. I used the zipper foot to get as close as possible and, as you can see, the line of stitching is roughly 1/8" from the fold.




Make another line of stitching equal distance from the fold. I used the edge of my regular presser foot and stitched roughly 1/4" away. Trim just beside that line toward the fold so that you don't cut off the second stitched line. It will hold the layers together.




Finish the raw edge. I could have used the serger but it seemed less complicated - since I was already sitting at the sewing machine - to run a row of zigzag over the edge. I used a short, medium length, stitch.




Press the seam upward away from the hem. When I washed the jeans and hung them up to dry, I made sure that the seam remained in the upward position and dried like that.




This is a close-up image of the finished hem. That line of stitching is not nearly as visible when you're actually wearing them. From start to finish, this hem took less than fifteen minutes and is easy to do for this type of pant. You could also use this method on other casual pants but it wouldn't be appropriate for dress pants.




My daughter put this picture of my adorable grandson on her Facebook page so I'm pretty sure I'm okay to post it here. LOVE this picture. He's a little bit younger but it reminds me of a picture of my daughter taken when she was about ten months old.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - baby snuggles, family, safe travels

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just Add Color

A few weeks ago, I took pictures of my dining room, seconds apart, from different directions. Looking into the north light, it's harsh and dark. With the light at my back, there's a different brightness to the same scene. Very interesting.




One of the areas I wanted to brighten is our couches. When I saw this paisley décor fabric, I loved the bright colors and swirling shapes and...




... when I looked at the color strip along the selvage, many of these colors are already in my home so it seemed just perfect.




In retrospect, the couches should have been covered in a lighter fabric so they'd stand out better against the floor and walls. Oh well. It didn't happen. It's another didn't go as planned part of the move from you know where. ANYWAY... back when we moved in... and I had the couches recovered... I sewed two square and one rectangular cushion for each couch in the same upholstery fabric. They softened but didn't brighten the look.




Chapters recently had some turquoise pillows in their décor section. They are linen on the front, high end cotton on the back, have an invisible zipper along one side, and are stuffed with feathers in a separate casing. They were expensive however, when I calculated how much it would cost me to sew similar pillows IF I could even find the fabric, they were less expensive to buy than sew.




The two turquoise pillows brightened the couch considerably and for a while I debated whether or not to sew the paisley cushions only I'd wrapped bits of the fabric around throw cushions to simulate the look and when I took those away, it was obvious they were needed. The fabric picks up several colors around the room plus the purple/brownish shade of the couch.




This last picture of the couch was taken at the end of the day. The earlier ones were taken in the morning. Even with less light, you can see how much the cushions brighten the space. I sewed two square and one rectangular paisley cushion for each couch and it looks good and it's annoying to have so many pillows around. Already this morning, I've moved one square from each of the two couches to the floor.

Just add color is my plan for redecorating the main area. It's not a major make-over just a brighten up by adding color in bits and pieces around the room. So far, I've lightened the entrance way with lime paint, brightened the dining room with turquoise paint, am in the process of painting the doors a brighter white, and I've sewed the cushions. Good so far.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - that I can paint and sew and don't need to hire anyone

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First Fingerless Prototype

Even though it seems like they breed in the night extrapolating into endless piles of left over bits that threaten to overwhelm and devour us, scraps are a wonderful thing. I can't keep every remant - it's just not possible - but I do recycle, pass along, and keep as much as I can toward my goal of zero waste sewing.




Yesterday, I used the remnants from the Vogue 8666 dress to sew the first fingerless prototype. The pattern above is a rough draft drawn from measuring the purchased gloves. It has issues BUT...




... the finished pieces are somewhat reminiscent of the starting point. These ones are lightweight. The kind of fingerless glove you might wear in a cold office while typing.




This particular pattern is drafted with the seam toward the back, centered down the middle of the thumb. As a design element, it moves the seam from a visible to a less visible position and simplifies construction. However, it also makes it hard to achieve a better fitting glove and places a bulky lump along the thumb and palm. As you can see, the gloves are slimmer fitting over the finger tips, baggy over the wrist, and slimmer through the arm. I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't even notice but I don't like the fit especially...




... from the front where there is a lot of bulk between the thumb and fingers. It's exactly the same bulk that I didn't like in the original purchased gloves as you can see...




... more clearly in this picture without the distraction of the print. I'm working on the second prototype that will - hopefully - have less bulk and a better fit even though I've now veered away from the original inspiration. That's okay. The point of a starting point is starting. I'm working toward a pattern that can be easily drafted in a step-by-step format so hands of all sizes can have fingerless gloves. I'm probably re-inventing the wheel since fingerless gloves are certainly nothing new... but... I like doing this kind of thing.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - unanswered "ignorant" prayers (as in not knowing better)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bucket Of Buttons

Thank you for the many supportive comments yesterday. Now that we're looking at things differently, we're hopeful that it's "only" stress because Howard's work situation has been increasingly difficult for a long time - years. Significant changes, like not being on call 24/7, would be helpful only when he went to work yesterday intending to do just that - make changes, he instead learned that at the manager's meeting this past weekend the owner had increased the pressure on the men to significantly up their output. I'm pretty sure that's not going to be met with success. Everyone is already on overload and there's been a steady stream out the door. Several of the remaining employees are reviewing their options including employees in key positions and those that are staying are not willing to work themselves to death or - LOL - their wives aren't willing to let them.

What does it say about our current working culture that employees are treated as interchangeable and expendable tools. Break one, throw it away, get another one. Just a number. If nothing else, the next few weeks and months are bound to be interesting. I'm glad...




... to have creative outlets in my life that energize and take the pressure off.  Above are the two scarves I bought at the Salvation Army thrift store on Saturday. They are both about three feet square including the fringed edges. I intend to refashion the top one - it's wool - and wear the bottom one - it's cotton. I haven't decided if I'll cut up the wool scarf and include it in a garment or if I'll layer and quilt it as a centerpiece for the table. We'll see which happens first.




In June, I sewed a black and lime coat with fuchsia buttons that I took to the Design Outside The Lines workshop. Marcy's feedback was that it would have been nice to vary the size of the buttons. Where I live, it's hard enough to find buttons that work never mind in a variety of sizes. The buttons above are darker and bluer in real life than they look in this picture. They're similar in color to the ones on the coat and when I saw them, I remembered Marcy's advice and bought these for a future project.




The two black buttons on the left and the three copper ones are for purses. The six navy blue ones with swirls are for my friend Caroline as part of her Christmas present. She LOVES buttons.




These turquoise ones are on a card. They're probably vintage but I'm not sure. This is a color that's been showing up a lot lately. Apparently it's my new favourite... probably because it goes so well with lime, fuchsia, and navy - my other favourites.

On Saturday, my friend and I went to see a collection of buttons - over a million and a half - that are stored in a woman's basement. It's not an official store however, if you know about it you can visit and make purchases. When it was an official store in another city, you could buy a scoop of buttons from the bulk bin for $5.00. When we visited on Saturday, we could buy a baggy of buttons for the same price. I did not have the energy to figure out how many baggies I needed and could see myself trying to pick through the buttons to get the "right" ones. It was too overwhelming because...




... what I wanted was a lot of buttons to cover the surface of a coffee table similar to the one above. I don't have the coffee table yet but this is the shape I'm searching for in the second hand stores. I want to use spaced risers to support glass above the buttons and...




... cover the top with buttons of various sizes spray painted black with touches of copper like I did years ago for the mirror in my main bathroom. That takes a LOT of buttons so...




...when I couldn't face all that decision making, I asked Darlene - the woman whose house we were at - how much she'd charge for the bucket of "free" buttons because it didn't seem right to simply pick it up and walk away. She said $10.00. SOLD. There are all kinds of things in the bucket besides buttons including some wonderful vintage finds - definitely more than enough to make the coffee table once I find it - YES YES ! ! ! 

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - "free" buttons

Monday, October 21, 2013

In This Time

On Saturday, a friend and I went shopping in Vernon, about an hour and a half away. Originally, we were going to celebrate her birthday however, with all that's been happening lately, the trip was quite possibly more about saving my sanity than her birthday. Either way, we had a great day.

One of the stores we went to was the Salvation Army thrift shop where I bought two scarves, one to wear and one to refashion. Exiting the store, I noticed a prayer box set up on a small table along the outside wall. It's not in my typical nature to utilize a resource like that but I took one of the small pieces of paper, wrote a note, and dropped it in the box.

All I need
In this time
Thank you Lord




It's interesting how life can be going along in one direction and suddenly take a radical shift and how once we've made that shift, and we're seeing through a different filter, the experiences start to make better sense. Life at our house has been tense for a long time in an escalating manner that got really ugly this past week. I've been praying for answers and God, being typically God, answered in one of those if you won't get it with this little nudge, I'm going to hit you over the head with a whammy kind of ways.

The picture above is of a rose that Howard gave me in the middle of a devastating argument. He couldn't understand why I was upset at his news. As the argument worsened, I threw it back at him. I've since retrieved it and am drying the petals to put in a vase that he bought me on a holiday to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. When we were dating, Howard bought me a rose every week. It meant I love you. This weekend, I've realized that the issue we're going through isn't personal. Something weird, something medical, is going on. We have an appointment with a doctor on November 1st to see what we're dealing with.




I was already exhausted and now that there's been a paradigm shift, I'm emotionally much calmer and thankful for this new understanding but I'm still exhausted at the start of what looks to be an interesting journey. On Saturday, when I sat down to do my bible study, I wondered why I was bothering because this particular study didn't seem like it was going to match the new situation... but I did it anyway... because that's what I had in front of me... and that day's portion was about dealing with disappointment when life doesn't go the way you expected. Sunday's portion was about how God will meet our needs in a way that is unique to us. Apparently, I should keep reading.

The first thing we're going to do is reduce stress as much as possible while realizing that when you make those kinds of decisions, there are always ramifications. Reducing work hours reduces income and that impacts. And that's life. Howard needs to work less and his employers need to rely on him less, especially after hours.

I need to do whatever is energy gathering - like meditative knitting - because reducing Howard's stress will increase mine as I take on concerns I have no answers to. God does... which is good... because I promised Howard that we can stay in this house and I have no idea if I can keep that promise.

If you are praying for us, please pray for answers as quickly as possible, energy to deal with the situation, and solutions in areas of concern and particularly in the area of finances. I am asking for a God size miracle - for our mortgage to be paid off, in full, asap. I want to know that no matter what else happens, we have our home and I can keep my promise.

Right now, that's all Howard and I are willing to share in public. Even though I'm not talking about it, you'll know this concern is swirling in the background. When I have news I can share, I will. Until then, I plan to keep blogging and it may seem at times as if I'm nattering on about nothing and not really doing much. Please hang in there with me. I enjoy writing and the need to have something to write about helps me to continue to be creative. Right now, that's important.

I've delayed my trip to Calgary so Howard can come with me. We're leaving this coming Friday. There won't be a posting that day, possibly not on the Monday either. THANK YOU for your concern. It is much appreciated.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - whammies

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Life

Life took a rather messy turn yesterday. I don't know when I'll post next. Definitely not this week and not next - I'm going to visit my daughter in Calgary. Some time after that but I have no idea when.

- Myrna

Monday, October 14, 2013

Elements Of My Element

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving and while we have many things to be grateful for, a long weekend is not one of them since Howard has had the strange luck of being scheduled to work on virtually every long weekend for the last year and a half since we moved to this house. Hopefully that will change at some point in the future. I spent much of the weekend curled up on the couch by the fire reading or in the studio stitching. I finished the Vogue 8886 dress... sort of.




It turned out to be a wonderful - basic - highly useful - pattern for all the reasons I've already listed - cup sizing, princess seams, curvy style lines, a center back seam, and three-quarter sleeves. It fits like a dream especially in this gorgeous sweater knit - soft and cozy - except...




... right after I'd finished the hems and was putting it back on Millicent to take the pictures, I found this hole at the neckline. I'm not sure how it happened because but luckily, the neckline is high and I have enough binding fabric to re-cut it lower and redo the binding. I'm debating if I'll go considerably lower or slightly when I get to it. Right now, I'm ignoring it - VBG.




The skirt to cardigan refashion has been tickling at my brain long enough that I've pulled out the fabrics. It's next on the list of things I want to do only this week seems just as busy as last week and a smaller project might be better... say...




... fingerless gloves. I bought these at one of my favourite dress shops - South of Pine - with the intent of developing a pattern and making copies as gifts for friends. That was last year and I haven't gotten around to it, mainly because I didn't have the right fabric. When I cleaned my closet, I put aside a purple wool sweater to be felted and then a friend gave me a long, full, black wool coat. Both are perfect. Tomorrow, my friend Patti is going to teach me how to felt using a felting machine as well as a hand felting tool and use that information to - attempt - to duplicate the gloves. They have a simple shape so hopefully it won't be too difficult.




Activities we love fill us with energy even when we are physically exhausted. Activities we don't like can drain us in minutes, even if we approach them at our physical peak of fitness. This is one of the keys to the Element, and one of the primary reasons why finding the Element is vital for every person. When people place themselves in situations that lead to their being in the zone, they tap into a primal source of energy. They are literally more alive because of it.
- page 93, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson

This posting refers to many activities I love - fitting a pattern, finding a pattern that flatters my figure type and matching it with a fabric that fits with my fashion personality, the challenge of refashioning, zero waste, learning new skills, copying RTW, sharing, writing, and developing patterns. These are elements of my element.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - I can fix the hole

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Read A Book

... when you're clear the world responds with clarity. It responds with the same degree of clarity that your consciousness is operating in. It's very magical. I do think it's a gift from God. - page 194, Creating A Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd


   


... what you can't do, God can. The first step is to recognize this very truth, when your ability ends, God's ability begins.  - - -  If you search your heart for what you like to do, you'll see that God has placed desires in you. No matter what your vocation, God wants you to be involved in using your gifts to help others and influence your world. -
 pg 26 and 30 - You Are Made For More, by Lisa Osteen Comes



My friend Ruth is in town and came for birthday dinner. She's on a sabbatical because, like me, she's dealing with some stressful issues in life. Not the same issues but a familiar stressfulness. After dinner... when the guys headed off to watch a movie... we talked about the importance of keeping our brains active and of the problem solving tasks - like sewing and knitting - that are good for that purpose. She asked me if I sew everyday. Sort of.

I do sew most days but not every day - like yesterday. In-between appointments and birthday events, I read a book... a light and fluffy romance, purely for amusement. I do a lot of reading and sewing and you might think that's a blessing however, when the thing you love is the thing you can do all day, there's an unfriendly edge there - for me at least. I want to fill it out and give it more depth, purpose, and a point of my choosing only it already has depth, purpose, and a point that is different than the one I'd imagined.

Both Creating a Life Worth Living and You Are Made For More are books about finding and living into your passions and purpose. The second talks about the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking and affirmations from a Christian perspective. I read a lot of books like these and all of them talk about fallow waiting periods or about the times when you devalue what you're currently doing because you're wishing for something in the past or hoping for something in the future. That, in my opinion, is easily done and a waste of time and it's not how I want to spend my time so...

... for the past few months especially, I've been thinking about the gift of time and the gift of limitations. I can go into my studio and I can create and I can stretch my creative abilities by making do with the supplies I have and I can grow my creative abilities by reading the books in my library and implementing the lessons there and I can share what I've learned through writing and every day, I am doing the things that I believe are a part of my passion, my purpose, and my destiny. That's a gift and even so...

... it's been an interesting journey to embrace the gift and I don't think I'm using it as wisely as I could yet - although I have been getting better at valuing it - most likely because I've stopped resenting it or wishing for something else. When I started my business years ago, I wanted to be a big name and now that's the last thing I'd want because I definitely don't want those demands on my time BUT those demands do make you more productive whereas an endlessly open schedule has insufficient pressure. And so...

... in my studio, I'm working at appreciating the gift of time, at learning new skills and abilities, at sharing what I learn with those who also want to learn, at using supplies that have been stored for years but never opened, at cutting up fabrics that have aged in the stash long enough, at re-reading and re-applying the information in the books in my library, at connecting with friends who share my interests, at challenging my design skills through more refashioning, at not over thinking, and at applying enough pressure to push and not enough to overwhelm.

What are you working at?

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - time and... this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. We have another birthday celebration tonight and then again on Monday so I'm thankful to not be cooking a turkey dinner as well - LOL.

Edit - Sunday - I removed a portion of this posting because it didn't clearly communicated what I had wanted to communicate - the thankfulness for the gift of time - and instead took things in the wrong direction. Perhaps that's wrong. Oh well. It's also one of the advantages of blogging. You can delete what doesn't work, which I did, including the comments because they no longer made sense.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's Not Neon Yellow In Real Life

Yesterday morning, I finished the muslin and then pinned and tucked the fabric until it fit the way I wanted and then I transferred those changes to the paper pattern. It's amazing what significant improvements to the garment slight differences to the pattern can make. First, I took a 1/2" vertical tuck from underarm to hem on the side back and side front pieces and then, I raised the armhole 1" but only took 1/2" off the cap height on the sleeve. I also removed 1" of hip depth and added it back to the finished length plus an additional 2" to equal my favorite knee length.




In this image, the princess seams are sewn together plus one shoulder. The other is pinned. I found the neckline in yesterday's image too high and choking looking so I reshaped it into this shallow scoop. I don't think the V will show much since this fabric is a knit and I'm going to bind the edge. In a woven, it'd be easier to maintain the shape.

I'm always intrigued by the color of the wall behind Millicent. It's not neon yellow in real life. In fact, you can't actually see much yellow in it at all. It's more of a blue based lime. What color is next to what color plus the angle of the light has such an impact on color. I've been doing some work in our living room that's not quite finished yet so there will be more details to come however...




... when we first moved in, I painted the walls Pasture Green which is a mix between my favourite lime and Howard's favourite hunter green. The picture above and the picture below where taken seconds apart. The living and dining get north light which any artist who comes to my house raves about. Looking into north light is rather harsh and darkening BUT...




... when it's behind you - such as painting with your back to the window with the light falling on the easel - it's fabulous for showing true color. My goal with repainting was to make the overall area brighter, to make the painting in the dining room and the one over the fireplace stand out better against the walls, to add variety, and to brighten the entry way in particular.




I chose a double split complimentary color scheme with shades of lime to turquoise and shades of pink to purple. The image above is of the 3 in 1 color wheel. It's THE best color wheel I've ever used and available from Dharma Trading. The numbers beside the color refer to the card number. When you go to that card...




... it shows a full range of tints and tones and any of these shades mixed with any of the other shades will create the color scheme you're looking for. It's fabulous for knitting, beading, sewing, decorating, quilting, textile art work, painting and... and... and... I highly recommend it. SO...




... I painted the dining room wall and the wall with the sliding glass doors turquoise - a shade Benjamin Moore refers to as Lake Blue. Looking toward the window it seems darker than it is and...




... looking back from the window it's a lot brighter than it really is. Imagine the color as somewhere in the middle. When my friend Francine was over yesterday, she said that's so you. VERY fun and vastly...




... different from the previous owner. I had a hard time not laughing when she told me that if I bought this unit I wouldn't have to make any changes because she'd already done everything. Our tastes are not at all the same. I'm working on the fireplace view right now which - along with a busy week - is making sewing even slower than slow. I'm hoping to get the dress done by tomorrow morning only...

... today is Howard's birthday. He's 55, an age he never thought he'd see with his health. This is good. If he retires at the typical age of 65, that's ten years from now so we've been having some discussions about what we want to do in retirement and what does your list look like and how does it match mine and what compromises do we need to make to get what we want to get and do we want to wait to do those things or should we make some changes now.  As you can imagine, this is more my type of conversation than Howard's so it's been a bit tough going but I think it's a positive conversation to have especially in light of the shake-ups that are happening at his work. IF we're going to make a major change, now is probably a good time. But not today...

Today, we're celebrating.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - 55