Monday, May 30, 2011

Busy, Busy Weekend!

We have enjoyed a week of terrific (unusually warm) weather in my remote corner of the planet!  The next two pictures were taken from my front deck at 5:30 in the morning on Friday...
... what a wonderful way to begin the weekend!  This was the last week of school for our seniors ... yep, you can guess how crazy it was!  But a good crazy!  

It was another week of very little time to dillydally ... I anticipated that, so last Sunday I pulled out a WIP that would be easy to pick up for a few minutes here and there.
Further adventures in wool applique'... ;-) ... still not too sure about my abilities.  I picked up this kit in Minnesota last summer ... sorry ... I can't remember where.  There was a sample of it on display ... and I fell in love with it ... a mother hen looking after her chick ... yep, it definitely pulled my heart strings!  When I pulled it out of storage, there was only one short border finished.  As can be seen ... those little tidbits of time add up ... it is nice to have a project I can easily pick up and put down without losing my place or having to reread the directions!

Mr. DillyDally and I spent most of Saturday going though items we've had in storage for too many years.  I did find one treasure ... will share more about that in another post.  Graduation was late in the afternoon and then the evening was spent attending receptions.  I love working and living in a small community where I have watched many of these graduates grow from infancy.  It is a honor to watch them evolve and to be a part of their lives ... gosh ... I love my job, teaching is a privilege.

Sunday was spent doing weekly chores ... I can hear my mother's voice ... she always said, "The only time anyone notices your housekeeping is when you haven't done it."  She was so right ... but I just wish my efforts would last a bit longer ... at the end of the day it looks like I didn't do anything!  ;-)

Today, we celebrated Memorial Day by going on a picnic out at Sheridan Glacier.
  We kept it simple ... 
... the DillyDally men built a small campfire.
Our first fire roasted hot dogs of the season ... it must be summer!
 After eating we went on a hike.  Brother DillyDally works for the U.S. Forest Service during the summers on their Trail Crew.  He loves both being in the woods and the hard physical labor of his job.  This is a bridge he helped build ... they have to pack in their tools and supplies ... difficult work ... but very gratifying ... it was fun to see the results of his efforts today!
Alpine meadows are usually very wet and soggy, but with a week of sunny weather, it was very dry and as you can see, not very green yet.
The only thing blooming at this elevation is "Skunk Cabbage" ... it is beautiful, but you can guess what it smells like!  ;-)
We stopped here at the waterfall.  Because we have had no rain for a week, the water isn't especially high ... this is primarily snow melt from the higher elevations.  Kysa enjoyed the view as well!
Hiking Partners
The Sheridan Glacier

One more week of school for the students ... another week after that of inservice ... and then summer truly begins for me!  There is a lot of dillydally dreaming going on in this head of mine ... in two weeks I'll be a full time dillydallier!  Join me ... you become a dillydallier too! ;-)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Taking My Own Advice!

College basketball has March Madness ... school districts across America have May Madness!  This month is "crazy busy" for those that work or attend public schools!  Field trips ... competitions ... awards ... finals ... graduation ... it is a circus!  Not much time for dillydallying ... just ask my Supervisor and assistant! ;-)
Both Teacup and "Her Majesty" (sewing machine) are feeling very neglected.  Earlier this week ... I found Teacup here ... it is about 6:00 am ... she sits in the dark room ... in her supervisory position ... waiting ... and waiting.  As you can see ... "Her Majesty" is currently being used as a desk ... she is holding knitting paperwork ... she too is quite put out ... paperwork is not part of her job description.

During the past few weeks I've only had snipits of dillydally time ... but even a few minutes here and there eventually add up...
... yep ... I was able to finish one sleeve and began working on its partner.  No ... I don't know yet if it will fit ... although it looks promising.  I am quite uneasy about it ... gosh, new dillydally paths can be frightening.  So I've chosen to place myself in lala-land (denial) temporarily ... I'll take the pilgrimage to reality when it is possible to breathe deeply.  ;-)

Over the past few weeks I have been promising myself that Saturday (May 21) was going to be a dillydally day!  All other responsibilities would be placed on hold ... I would only respond to my dillydally whims!
I woke at 6:00 and enjoyed the view with a cup of fresh coffee ... what a lovely way to begin a productive dillydally day!  The dillydally winds were blowing in the "Git er done" direction ...
I began by binding this scrap quilt.  I had the longarm quilter use a wool batt, a first for me!  After binding, I washed it on the gentle cycle and put in the dryer on a cool air cycle.  This quilt is twin sized and there is no pattern ... it truly was made of leftovers!  I love everything about this quilt, and have claimed it as my own snuggle quilt!  I will only share it with Teacup! ;-)
This is a queen sized "Lucky Stars" by Terry Atkinson that I pieced a few years back.  It has been quilted for some time.  Yep ... you guessed it ... I bound it ... washed and dried it ... love the results!  I love this pattern and have made it 3 times in 3 different sizes and styles! 
Lap sized "Entwined" quilt ... pieced some time ago ... quilted last summer ... finally got binding yesterday!  This pattern was taught at a guild retreat a few years back.  This quilt will be a gift to a very special person ... more later! ;-)
My Alaskan Wildflower quilt.  Bought the hand stenciled blocks back in the mid 80's ... pieced top to honor Alaska's 50th year of Statehood ... used Terry Atkinson's "Confetti in the Corner" pattern for the alternating blocks ... had The Green Fairy quilt it ... you guessed it!  It is now bound and ready to hang on the wall!
This is a Thimbleberries table runner that I pieced and wool appliqued several years ago.  Yesterday I finally quilted and bound it!  Ya-Hoo!  I celebrated finishing 5 projects!  I was exhausted ... but it was that wonderful, euphoric kind of fatigue!  It felt oh my gosh good golly great!

Today, it was necessary to tackle the tasks outside of dillydallydom.  You know ... laundry ... housekeeping ... the usual.  But I did begin the prototype of the next "Sew to Go" project for the QBees traveling to Minnesota this summer.  Here's a peek!
For whatever reason ... there are some life lessons that I refuse to learn quickly.  I should not have denied my dillydally urges these past weeks.  Dillydallying is so much more than the silliness it implies.  Creative pursuits ... working with my hands ... brings clarity to my thought process ... it brings balance to my chaotic life ... it enables me to manage life's difficulties and to delight in life's pleasures.  I am so grateful for the dillydally side of my life, thanks for letting me share it with you.  
Do not deny yourself ... Do Dillydally!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome Home Mr. DillyDally!

Mr. DillyDally spent the past few weeks back in the midwest visiting family.  He was there before Brother DillyDally had returned to Alaska for the summer. 
Here Brother is with his youngest cousins ... they live in South Dakota.  It is so great to have a picture of them together!
 As a young child, Brother was his grandfathers constant shadow.  They would leave for hours at a time and enjoyed many adventures together.  Because of their time together, Brother has developed a lifelong interest in farming and agriculture ... even though it is so different from where he was raised on the Alaskan coast.  Grandpa was also the one who taught Brother how to drive.  These two share many treasured memories.
Nana has the patience of a saint ... Brother and Grandpa would bring home all kinds of things that required her assistance.  Once they picked stole a ton of apples from other farmsteads ... and Nana was required to hide the evidence by making many jars of apple butter!
Mr. DillyDally spent a lot of time with our firstborn, Sister DillyDally.  She lives in the city, so he had a chance to enjoy the urban lifestyle!
They returned to South Dakota to spend Mother's Day ... Cousin Linnea and Sister have a special bond!
Sister and Nana share many passions ... their Swedish heritage ... American Girl dolls ... Anne of Green Gables ... fashion design just to name a few.  They spent a great deal of their time together in artistic pursuits ... again, Nana's patience was put to good use.
As a birthday gift from friends, Mr. DillyDally and Sister were invited to a Twins Baseball game!  Unfortunately for everyone except Mr. DillyDally, the weather was cold and rainy.  They were freezing ... Mr. DillyDally was comfortable ... cold and rainy is our norm up here! ;-) 
We are always amazed at our daughter ... who grew up here in our remote corner of the planet ... who now lives and works successfully in the big city.  She is so comfortable having a foot in each world, even though they are so different from one another.  Mr. DillyDally loved his time with her ... she is a joy!
Yesterday, when he arrived home, he returned to his role as  "The Grill Master"!  Friends shared their King Salmon catch with us ... it is impossible to describe how good it was!  Freshly caught Copper River King is being enjoyed all over the globe as well as on our dinner table ... the first of the season ... both DillyDally men are home ... yep ... life is darn good!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Change in Season!

Yep ... signs of the change in season are everywhere in my remote corner of the planet!
The sun has already been up for a while when this picture was taken from my front deck at 5:00 am.
 All the ice has melted on Eyak Lake.
Our local garden supply store is open!
The sun is still so bright at 8:30 pm that it is difficult to work on our digital scrapbooking project.
Much of the snow on the mountains has melted ...
... and the rivers are swelling from the run off.
Our seasonal restaurants and businesses have reopened!
Kysa is especially happy because ...
... Brother DillyDally has returned from college for the summer!
Our boat harbor will empty today ...
... because our famous salmon are returning to their home, the Copper River.
We watched the commercial gill net fishing fleet leave today...
... to harvest those salmon.  We can't wait to see that wild salmon on dinner plates all around the world, including our own! ;-)
Teacup isn't as easily impressed ... she only tolerates our enthusiasm and finds us all somewhat irritating! ;-)
And then ... like frosting on a cake ... a small bit of green revealed itself today!  We welcome and embrace this change in season!  Enjoy the changes in your corner of the planet as well!  Do dillydally!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. DillyDally!

Today is Mr. DillyDally's Birthday!  He was the first born in a family of five children...I always have loved the fact that he was born near Mother's Day!  In honor of the day, I decided to scan and share some photos of him teaching his children the things he loves to do.  Sister is three (1986) in the photo above...she had received her first pair of cross-country skis for Christmas.  She always referred to him as "my papa"... like someone else might claim him ... ;-) !  Her Papa is strapping on her skis for her first lesson!
By 1991 Sister had learned to share her Papa with Brother ... this is a picture of him teaching Brother DillyDally how to fish for salmon.  Brother is three and had received the fishing pole that Papa is holding for his birthday.  Hard to believe that a pole that size can catch anything!  ;-)

Wonderful memories ... have a wonderful day Papa DillyDally!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

They didn't arrive with instructions ... each a blessing ... I continue to cherish every moment of this journey called motherhood!
Have a dillydally day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

First "Sew to Go" Project

This was the view from my front deck at 5:00 am this morning ... heavy cloud cover ... tide receding ... still water ... what a peaceful way to begin the day.  I also wanted to share with you how light it is that time of the morning, even in very cloudy weather.

Next thing to share ... the QBee's first "Sew to Go" project that we did to prepare for our trip to "Quilt Minnesota"!  
This was the inspiration for the project ... I received it as a gift a few years back from QBee Dena.  She and I are Co-Presidents of the Alaska Chapter of the Terry Atkinson Fan Club!  ;-)  It is a long story ... the important thing is that it provides the two of us with hours of entertainment that only we find funny!
As you can see ... I have used it a lot!  See the coffee stains and the notes I made while planning last summer's "QBee and Me Minnesota Shop Hop"?  You can begin reading about that adventure here.  The point is that I take it with me when I travel, and it has proven to be very useful.  It holds a 5 x 8" notebook and easily fits into an average sized purse.  I made a few modifications ... here goes ...
Begin by cutting the following:
  • Front fabric                     cut 12.5 x 9" rectangle
  • Lining fabric                   cut 12.5 x 9" rectangle
  • First pocket fabric         cut 12.5 x 9" rectangle
  • Second pocket fabric    cut 12.5 x 6" rectangle
  • Timtex                             cut two 5 x 7.5" rectangles
  • Batting                            cut larger than 12.5 x 9" rectangle
  • Label fabric                    cut 3 x 4.5" rectangle
  • Label Timtex                  cut 2.5 x 4" rectangle
If you want to put a label on the front of your cover or embellish it in anyway, now is the time.  I just took a silhouette of the state of Minnesota ... stained it with crayons to match the color of the cover and hand wrote the information with a permanent pen ... lined it with the timtex and topstitched it in place.
On the back side of your lining fabric place the timtex rectangles 1/2 inch from the outer edges ... sew in place as pictured.
To create the pockets, take each fabric rectangle and fold in half lengthwise ... press a permanent crease on the fold.  Layer them as shown ... pin ... and baste in place 1/8 inch from the outer edge.
Place batting on cutting mat ... put front fabric on top right-side up ... fold back corners and trim batting.
Place lining right-side down on top of front fabric.  Pin in place leaving a generous opening at the bottom.  Sew around rectangle using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Trim batting to the stitching line and turn right side out.  Tuck in seam allowance of opening ... top stitch around the entire rectangle.
 I used painter's tape to mark the center sewing line.  Stitch down the center beginning at the bottom to secure the pockets in place, and continue to the top.  This stitching line acts like a binding in a book.
Add the notebook ... fold in half ... and you're ready to "GO"!
Here is the original ... and the two I made Sunday morning while testing my modifications ...
...yep ... I was happy with the way they turned out!
This is the one Terry B made ... love the bird theme ... so happy ... I always love how a person's fabric choices reflect them!  Too fun!
QBee Lila had to leave town Sunday for a business trip so she came by with her fabric, and I made it for her ... again, the fabric matches the QBee!  Love it!

I'm already planning the next "Sew to Go" project ... team building ... it's the dillydally way! ;-)
Here's the view at 10:00 pm tonight ... still heavy cloud cover ... but plenty of light!  I love the extra light this time of the year ... more light to dillydally by!  Have a wonderful weekend ... and ... do dillydally!