Saturday, March 31, 2012

Making Progress!

Spring?  Progress is Steady, but Slow
As friends and family welcome spring in the Lower 48, Old Man Winter remains cool and comfortable here in this remote corner of the planet.
Truth be told, our trees and bushes usually leaf out around the third week in May, so as much as we are complaining about our winter, spring will still arrive on schedule here!  Eventually the snow will melt and those long summer days will embrace us!

Knee?  Good Progress
This past week I worked full days!  Yeah!  It got easier as each day passed!
 Being back on a normal schedule was good medicine...both physically and psychologically!  Getting a bit more of my groove back every day!

Wool Applique'?  Good Progress
After working all day on my knee, I have noticed that I am more exhausted in the evenings.

Normally, this would have taken less time to finish, but I'm still happy with my progress!  It has been fun to work on, and puts the spirit of spring in my heart!  Now...the question is ... will I finish it in time for Easter?  Who knows!  No promises!  It's the dillydally way!  Stay tuned!
Do what you love!  Make progress!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Snip-It of Normal!

Thursday meant that it had been 3 weeks since my knee surgery.  I wanted to celebrate by doing something that would prove that I am getting my life back!  You know ... a person sure misses "normal" when they lose it!
Here she is ... Her Majesty!  "Normal" for me means spending some time nearly everyday with this dear friend.  Yes, I worship her ... after all, she is the only one in the house that has a room of her own! ;-)  Before surgery, as my knee became worse, it became very painful for us to spend time together.  Gosh ... how I missed her!  So on Thursday ... I decided to fire her up!  Yep ... she was very happy to see me!
 Organized my "Leaders & Enders" so that they were ready.  It is amazing how many materialize while working on another project!
Because "Her Majesty" and I were celebrating ... we had to work on a new project!  One that oozes with fun, spring and moving forward!  Plus, I need a new purse ... one with fun new fabrics!  We can never have too many handbags! ;-)
I love making handbags, but am always disappointed with the properties of the filling.  I have tried every trick I've found ... using every type of batting and interfacing available ... they never held up like the Vera Bradley bags I love ... and buy.  When I discovered this new alternative ... I got excited and have been waiting to give it a try!
A bit of piecing and then a chance to do some machine quilting!  Yep ... it felt so good to be doing something normal!
One of the features I love most about Her Majesty ... her dual feed or walking foot ability!  We had so much fun together!

Well ... my knee held up for about an hour.  That hour of sewing felt like a little slice of heaven here on earth to me!  I also went back to work for half days this week ... another step that means I'm returning to my normal lifestyle!  It felt so good to be surrounded by my students ... their energy is very healing!
 Yep ... as snip-its of normal return, it feels like the clouds of grey are parting and glimpses of sunshine are breaking through!
Do what you love!  Celebrate normal!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebrating Spring? Umm...not yet!

Soooo ... all over the Lower 48 everyone is celebrating the first day of spring!  And rightly so, spring has arrived early in most places.  Here in my remote corner of the planet ... Old Man Winter and his sidekick, Jack Frost, are holding on tight.
I spoke to a Cordovan yesterday, older than myself, who was born and raised here.  He remembers having this much snowfall before, but not having it accumulate like it has this year.  You see, normally our coastal living puts us on a "snow, rain, thaw" cycle.  Yep ... that is what it was like for the first 26 years I've lived here. ;-)

Because so many family and friends (especially the DillyDally children) have asked to see pictures of the snow and our home ... Mr. DillyDally carefully climbed around the glacier that surrounds our humble abode.  Here's a tour...
...this is from the landing on the top our first set of stairs, facing the road.  Our Explorer is under that pile of snow on the right.  Uff da is an understatement!
This is taken from the same location, looking down the bank at the back porch.  Do you see Kysa on the side deck?  It looks like she is standing on the deck railing, but actually she is on the snow next to it.
Here we are on the side deck.  You can see how the snow has edged itself down the slope and unto the back of the deck.  Mr. DillyDally is always removing it ... more creeps forward ... now you understand why we call it a glacial field. ;-)
This is the view from the side deck ... looking back up to the top of the stairs.  You can see how it is sliding towards the back porch.
Here you have a view of our humble home from the beach.  Mr. DillyDally navigated that snow pile you can see descending from the side deck.  We gave up trying to keep the stairs from the side deck to the beach clear.  And there is the infamous front deck from which I take all those photos of our view.  As you can see, the tide was low when we took this photo.

Remember our home is at sea level ... so we have far less snow than many of our friends and neighbors who live at elevations only a few or more feet higher.  

One thing that Old Man Winter can not control is how quickly we are gaining daylight!  Our days are getting longer at a fast rate this time of the year ... unfortunately daylight does not always equal warmth ... so even though we are enjoying more sun it has not helped melt much snow.

Yep ... the first day of spring will pass unnoticed in my remote corner of the planet...
... but I can still celebrate spring in my heart and in my dillydallying!
Do what you love.  Celebrate where you are.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A DillyDally Family Celebration!

The entire DillyDally family is doing the "Happy Dance" on our feet and in our hearts!  We're celebrating Sister DillyDally's current success!  She recently received top awards from the corporation she is employed with!  
Age 3 - Playing hide and seek in lupine.
It is still difficult for the DillyDally parents to believe that our little girl, who grew up in the middle of nowhere, comfortably navigates her life in a big city and career in a large corporation!  Who would have guessed?  Not us!  Our little "Sunshine Girl" is living her dreams and creating her reality!  Yep...we could not be happier for her!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in you shoes.
You can steer yourself,
Any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dillydally Breezes Continue!

Yesterday's sunrise ... it was a beautiful day with clear skies ... ugh ... how I wanted to leave the house ...  I longed to adventure out ... take a walk and pictures.  Yep ... my view is limited to what I can see from the front deck.  I did go out on the deck multiple times, just to stand in the fresh air.  It is still cold, so it was short visits to the out of doors! ;-)

Once again ... unable to do what I want ... time to tame "Cranky" the dragon and get busy!
I assembled a pile of knitting magazines ... this was the earliest one, 1985 ... fortunately this pile of magazines wasn't nearly the tower that the quilting ones were!
Found several articles written by my knitting mentor, Elizabeth Zimmermann.  We never met, but her books were and still are my knitting lifeline.  Our relationship began in 1980 when a friend lent me her book, Knitting Without Tears.  She has been by my side through out my 32 years of knitting!  And any accomplishments I may have had in my knitting ... I credit her.
Here they are!  All in protective pages, categorized, in a notebook and on the shelf!  Whoot!  If my knee allowed it, I would have done a happy dance! ;-)  The two, much older notebooks, are filled with all the knitting projects I've designed and knit over the past 32 years.  And that doesn't include all the designs that float around in my head!  I can not begin to tell you how nice it is to have these magazines organized in a way that allows me to access them easily.  And the bonus is that this process has increased space on my shelves as well!

In February, as my surgery date approached, my anxiety increased.  I am sure that is normal, to distract myself I spent a ton of time dillydallying on the internet.  Yep ... it involved just a bit of retail therapy.
I frequent Bird Brain Designs' blog, and one day they featured a pattern that I just could not resist.
Eggs on Parade ... when I saw it ... I knew I had to have it ... that it would be just the medicine I was going to need while recovering from my surgery!  It just oozed the feelings of happiness and hopefulness, and I was needing both!
Yep ... I ordered the works!  The wool and the thread!
Yesterday I got myself organized and the fun began!  When in Anchorage, I purchased this tray at Target, thinking that it would help while I was in the recliner.  It is probably one of the best things I've purchased ... $15.00 ... made stitching small pieces together from my "silly workstation" possible!  Everything in one place ... on my lap ... and contained!
Oh gosh ... those dillydally breezes really picked up!
I am having sew much fun!  Great medicine!
Today is another gorgeous day!  It has been two weeks since my surgery and today I have my first appointment with the physical therapist!  Yep ... I will be leaving the house and facing those stairs for the first time in 9 days!  Yeah!
Do what you love!  Let those breezes blow! Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Dillydally Breeze!

We arrived home a week ago today...
...this is why I haven't left the house since!  There are 33 steps required to get from the house up to where our vehicles are parked.
This is the top of the stairs ... yep, 22 feet of snow really piles up!
This is our Ford Explorer ... it's ok ... I am unable to drive anyway. ;-)

So much of the dillydally lifestyle is about being proactive ... dillydallying means doing something ... being and feeling productive!  My challenge has been how to accomplish that while my knee is elevated and iced!  ;-)  I'm sorry... I can't help but giggle.  If you were a fly on the wall and could see how silly I look here in the recliner ... how I've built this work station around me ... all within an arms reach.  Believe me, it is very funny looking!

Now ... to show you my dillydally progress over the past two days!
The magazine articles and pattern that I wanted to save have been put in protective covers ...
... and organized with dividers into categories ...
... it became very obvious what types of quilts I like the most!  Yep ... Star themed quilts have always been my favorite!
Here they are ... on the shelves in Dillydallydom ... easily accessible to inspire myself and others!  Honestly ... I would have put this task off forever if I were able to do other things.  A piece of silver lining within this dark cloud of knee pain!

Next ... I began working on the knitting magazines and one page patterns.  But a dillydally breeze came my way ... and I got distracted. ;-)  Oops!
Yep ... came across this pattern, Baby Merry-Jane Booties by Bekah.knits ... went to my yarn stash ... grabbed my needles ... and knit like a fool!  I just HAD to make them.  They are so "stinkin cute" ... I can hardly stand it!  I knew my dillydally groove was coming back when I responded to a whim and could focus on a project!  I was so excited that I could not wait until the booties were blocked to share them with you!

Mr. DillyDally has been "Mr. Wonderful" by accommodating my every request for assistance and running the errands I cannot do for myself!  He has been terrific, but I think he is happy to see glimpses of my former self returning.

Yep ... the fresh air provided by these dillydally breezes has been great ... very healing ... let the winds blow!
Do what you love!  Enjoy the breeze!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, March 12, 2012

Taming a Dragon!

I have never (until recently) had trouble finding ways to entertain myself.  I have always been able to find creative ways to use my tidbits of free time.  After all ... it is the dillydally way!
This knee injury and surgery has really messed with my dillydally lifestyle!  It has challenged me in multiple ways.  We, women of Viking heritage address challenges aggressively!

Because I have been unable to do the things I want to do ... frustration and boredom have tried to move in!  And "Cranky" the dragon, has attempted to raise her ugly head!  As I've cut back on "mind altering" drugs (pain killers) I find that I have been able to battle with this dragon more effectively.
In the past few years I have been organizing my quilt and knitting magazines by saving what I want and throwing out what I don't.  But I had a pile of older magazines that hadn't been dealt with!  Oh ... how I loved this magazine, Quiltworks, when it was in print!  I still wish it were around.
Most of them date from the mid 80s to the mid 90s...what fun!  A trip down memory lane and a lesson on the timelessness of good design.
I loved the articles by Sharyn Craig.  I would read and re-read her articles ... there was so much information to soak up!
She would take a block, in this case "Half Log Cabin" and explore the many possibilities that block could offer!  It was wonderful!
Yep ... I re-read them again.  If anything her work has increased in value ... it was very inspiring to revisit her and her creativity.  Check out her website, I need to make sure her books become a part of my quilting library!
It was fun to come across articles about Quilt Rock Stars, like Jackie Robinson.  I learned so much when I took her class in 2008 at the Valdez Quilt Festival!  How interesting to read about her 10+ years prior to meeting her!
This is a pic of the QBees and Quilt Rock Stars together on a tour of Prince William Sound.  Jackie is sort of in the shadows, in the center, fifth from the right.  She was such a joy to be around. She took a special interest in our lives while sharing hers.  She has accomplished so much as a quilter, it was an honor to learn under her direction.
 And of course, I found multiple Thimbleberries patterns within the pages of these magazines!
Lynette Jensen's inspiration and designs are timeless.
Her books, patterns and articles have taught me so many of the quilting skills I enjoy today!
It was such a thrill to visit her in her studio store this summer!  She continues to inspire and teach us through her patterns and designs!
My knee pain prevents "Her Majesty" and I from spending the time together that I would like.  I really miss her ... withdrawals are difficult.  I will give it another try tomorrow.

My Viking warrior ways have paid off ... I was able to tame "Cranky" for now!
 Do what you love!  Tame your dragons!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally