Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dizzy Day Update!

Well ... let's see ... the French Toast casserole was ok ... but definitely will receive some tweaking! ;-)  I kept my appointment with the polka-dots ...
... Flicka seemed to approve of my efforts!  Obviously she loves polka-dots too!  Hee-hee!  It is a 007 project, so no reveal yet!  As always ... a day at our guild's Time to Sew event is very inspiring ... check it out here ... I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by such talent!
I spent time this weekend designing wristers for the high school level of my "Hogwart's Knit n' Lit" group.  I want to provide them with projects that increase their skills at a rate that ensures success without being overwhelming.  It has been such fun!
I took this photo from the front deck at 10:00 am on Sunday.  You may notice that there is little or no snow on the mountains.  It was 50 degrees!  In January!  It felt like June!  My brother in northern Minnesota had temps that were 70 degrees lower!  We keep reminding ourselves that it is still January ... Mother Nature is messing with us ... there is plenty of winter weather ahead!
Those charm squares I recently turned into quarter squares have been sewn together!  Yep ... I found a plan for them ... stay tuned!
A weekend filled with fun and all kinds of dillydallying was a great way to begin my week!

Do what you love.  Enjoy your week.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Dizzy Dillydally Day!

Flicka is in a serious pout this morning!  She has made a little nest for herself with her favorite quilt and put on her "I am not a happy kitty" face.  She does this when I am too busy to sit and snuggle or play. Life is so difficult when your human parents forget that you are the center of the universe … apparently pouting helps! ;-)

Today is a very busy and dizzy dillydally day … and even though that makes Flicka unhappy, I love it!  First on the agenda is baking a French Toast casserole for guild members.  
Next, I have an important appointment with some super cute polka-dots during our quilt guild's Time to Sew event!  Junior High Volleyball games to attend … and the culmination of our annual High School Basketball Tournament!  All this neatly packed into one day!
 As I'm rushing to prepare for the day … I have promised my sweet and self-absorbed kitty that I will smother her with affection when I return late this evening!  Actually … I'll probably pass out … but I make an excellent kitty cushion!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. Dizzy DillyDally

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Knitting with Harry and Anne!

The Hogwart's Knit n' Lit programs that I'm sponsoring at school have been so enjoyable.  When I last posted about the program, I shared pictures of the senior high school knitters.
Today I'll feature the progress of the 7th and 8th graders.  They have been busy learning to knit and have gotten a strong start on their "First Year Scarf"!

Once they learned the knit stitch … it was such fun to watch their young hands find their own "knitter's rhythm".  Every knitter creates and finds their own "beat" … one that will travel with them through out their knitting journey.

When getting to the point of changing colors for the next stripe, there is a lot of excitement!

Each stripe is cause for celebration … and their sense of accomplishment is written all over their faces!
 It occurred to me the other day that the book we're listening to, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was written before the girls were born … they are between the ages of 12-14 … the book was published in 1997, seventeen years ago.  Some of the girls have read the book … most have not … and I read it back when it was first published!  So …  we are all having fun … often giggling out loud as we knit and listen to Harry discover that he is a wizard!
Here in DillyDallydom, I have been making progress on my own literature based knitting project!
This week I finished knitting the front …
… and back of "Matthew's Vest"!  All that is left are shoulder seams, the armhole/neck edging, and blocking it!  My hope is to finish it over the weekend … we'll see how things unfold and which way the dillydally winds blow!  ;-)
Gosh … I love tweed … especially on the men in my life.  I look forward to seeing this vest on Brother DillyDally … as his mother I am especially biased … but he will look so handsome in this vest!

Do what you love.  Knit & Read!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Seeking Balance

It had been two weeks since I had spent any time with "Her Majesty"!  By dillydally standards … that IS a crime!  I have been so busy with work … and have been guilty of brushing my dillydally lifestyle aside.  YIKES!  Did I just say that?  The words guilt and dillydally should never be in the same sentence!
Flicka and "Her Majesty", ganged up on me this morning!  Look at the two of them!  I couldn't refuse … but the problem was … I didn't really want to drag out an PhD (Project Half Done) as I knew I had to go into work today for several hours.  I needed something quick and accessible … with no fuss.
When life gets so complicated that I am unable to spend much time dillydallying … I tend to medicate by shopping!  I have loved all of French General's fabric lines … but this one really spoke to me.  Josephine was my mother's middle name and red was her favorite color.
Neither of our local quilt stores carried this line so I ordered it online late last fall!  It has been resting patiently on my cutting table in the box it arrived in.  It is always difficult to purchase fabric when you don't have any plans on what you'll make with it … and not being able to see and feel it up close and personal … just adds to the challenge fun! ;-)
I only gave myself a two hour window of time … so I didn't want to spend it choosing a design or pattern.  I just wanted to sew!
I love working with charm squares … first I divided the pack into color families … red, a toasty brown, cream and beige!  Having a very simple palette sure helped!
I've always wanted to make quarter squares with a charm pack … this morning was as good a time as any! ;-)  No … I have no idea what I will turn them into!  I am holding a dillydally whim responsible!
Before long I had a pile of 40 quarter squares … it felt wonderful!
Lil' Miss Snoopervisor believed she had earned a nap … in my sewing chair!  When I get up to iron or cut she loves to steal my spot!  Such a silly kitty!
After the squares were pressed, it was time to trim them.  I could have trimmed them into 4 inch squares, which would have resulted in 3.5 inch finished blocks.  Hmmm...
Since I have no idea what I'll be doing with them … I decided it was best to trim them to a more versatile size … 3 inch finished.  I ran out of time, so most of them still need to be downsized.
It was a beautiful morning … and a very therapeutic one as well!  I spent a very productive afternoon at work … because a bit of dillydallying this morning brought some balance to the day!  I hope that this post will serve as a reminder … to me … and us all.  We can accomplish more if we have balance in our lives.

Do what you love.  Seek balance.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year Blessing!

Here in DillyDallydom, 2014 could not have had a more wonderful beginning!  I know that I am a bit late in sharing my joy … but when you get to the end of this post … I think you'll understand why!
Last September QBee Sara, our guild president, organized the first ever "Secret Santa" event!  Eight members participated by putting fabric odds and ends into a bag … we all picked from those bags … having no idea what we would find inside!  Our task was to make something from the fabrics in the bag and our stash.  We were to gift the recipient with a finished project at our monthly Time to Sew event the last Saturday in December.  I know!  What fun!  Guild post is here.
Here are the fabrics from my "grab" bag.  And guess who it belonged to?  My next door neighbor!  Can it get any more fun?  Very traditional … with a neutral … so many possibilities!
Every time I thought I had a plan … a dillydally wind would blow in and carry me in another direction. I was running out of time and finally decided to use a paper piecing pattern for this humming bird block … and I was hooked.
I pieced as many blocks as the background fabric allowed, for a total of nine 4" blocks.  I added fabrics that blended in … yet expanded the color palette.  
There wasn't enough fabric from the grab bag for the border, so I dug deep in my stash and found a green print that was about 30 years old!  Yep … I have been hoarding collecting for some time … and moments like this help me feel justified in doing so! ;-)  No guilt about such things here in DillyDallydom!
Here it is finished!  Of course the entire process was supervised by Flicka … and it received her final approval!
QBee Neighbor seemed pleased with the result.  I found out that she had gotten the fabrics from her mother's stash … that was heartwarming to know … her mother is a very accomplished quilter!  I'm happy I went with a traditional design.  Making and giving something to a friend is a great way to begin the new year!  Little did I know it was about to get even better!

In my grab bag, I had placed a half-yard pack that I had purchased while traveling … who knows when or where!  Yep … that is the dillydally way!
And look at how my "Secret Santa" used her talent to transform them into this beautiful blanket!  I was speechless.  I got choked up.  I was stunned.  I went weak in the knees.
She sandwiched the blocks together and turned them right side out.  She did a blanket stitch by hand around each square.  Then she crocheted two rows of "granny stitch" around each square.  And last, crocheted the squares together.
This QBee is a young wife and mother … she leads a very productive and busy life.  She even worked on this while vacationing on the beaches of Hawaii!  In order to complete this project she had to learn how to crochet … yep, this is her first crochet project.  Tucked inside the blanket was the most touching note … each time I read it … I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude.  To go to such effort on my behalf … I am humbled.
This is my favorite (recent) picture of her … at our 2013 Spring Retreat!  It has been such a joy to watch her grow into the wonderful woman she is today.  I've known her for most of her life … she was a student in my classroom … now I consider her a friend.  She inspires me … she encourages me … she helps me believe in myself.  She is a blessing … not only in my life, but also in the lives of others … my heart runs over.

Do what you love.  Be a blessing.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Holiday Recap!

This was our second "extremely and completely empty nest" holiday … I so wanted to wallow in self-pity … but that just IS NOT the dillydally way!  So … Mr. DD and I kept some traditions and switched up some others … we allowed ourselves to get distracted and unfocused … and we deliberately did not obligate ourselves in any way!  Yep … it was odd … but good!
Making snowmen.
We went to harvest our annual Christmas tree … it was raining and icy … Mr. DD decided we should buy an artificial tree … only one in town with multi-colored lights … yep, we brought it home.  I nearly fainted … big change!
We kept the tradition of lefse making … we did share with friends … but honestly, we ate most of it!
A walk to capture the sunrise on the delta …
… it was beautiful …
… Kysa enjoyed the sunrise too!
The DillyDally snow family found a home on …
… and Flicka played her version of "Hide n' Sneak" under our artificial Christmas tree!
Just a few neighbors … out for a walk along the road!
An amazing sunset … I felt it captured the spirit of the season for me.  He brought joy to the world … and heaven and nature sang!
Christmas morning … Flicka and her quilt on my lap … a very happy kitty!  ;-)
We spent time with friends Christmas Day in their beautifully decorated home.  It was so nice to spend the day in someone else's home … filled with friends!
My favorite Christmas gifts … both will result in many dillydally adventures!  The best gifts do!
Several walks were taken ...
… with my favorite walking partner.
Flicka and I did a bit of quilting.
And I started a new quilt …
… while at a guild event!  Such fun!
We had a few visitors …
… a couple of juvenile eagles.  This weather of icy rain means they are hungry … Flicka had to stay indoors.
 Since it was so dark and dreary outside …
… and we were both forced to stay indoors ...
  … Flicka and I decided to start a new knitting project!
 It was Sunday … so our local yarn store was closed.  That added to the adventure … I had to dig deep into my yarn stash!  Fun!
So … the project … and the recipient were determined by my stash!  Those circumstances just added to the adventure and fun!
Flicka and I spent the last few days knitting … and watching holiday movies.
We've made good progress …
… I love tweed …
… this tweed comes from Norway and is no longer available.  Yep, this is a nail biter … I should have enough, but it will be close!  Adding to the dillydally adventure!
Mr. and Mrs Claus may be enjoying a vacation … I return to work today … my holiday has ended.  I am pleasantly surprised … even though it was not the holiday I would have preferred … it was relaxing … actually restful …
  … it truly was different, but very, very good!  There you have it … my holiday recap … from my remote corner of the planet!

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year filled with many dillydally adventures!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally