Another Vintage New Look 6510: are you kidding me?

Well, what can I say?

007It was Valentine’s Day and for the very first time I was going to a Big Band dance as a general audience member and not as the bari player! A gal needs a new dress for such a monumental occasion, don’t you agree? I mean…I held down the bottom end for what…17+ years… and never heard ’em out front! Not once! Calls for a new dress, don’t ‘cha think?

003And reason #2 (as if I need a reason #2 to sew a dress): the Big Band is in Whitehorse, duh! Which meant that I was going home back to my beloved Yukon for a whole week! In February! Whoot whoot!

Valentines Day 2015I had a fabulous time! My in-laws were there. My sisters-in-law & brother-in-law was there, my niece was there. My number-one-son was there. My girlfriends were there!

006Yes, these photos are taken on the deck of our little cabin in the woods at Fox Lake. In the Yukon! On a very balmy day, I might add! Excuse the wrinkles…suitcase, you know. And while I do have an antique iron at the cabin and can heat it up on the wood stove, I don’t have an ironing board there anymore. (note to Whitehorse friends…if you see a cheep ironing board at the Sally Ann, grab for me!)

014Why yet another version of the vintage New Look 6510 shift dress? Because I only decided to sew the dress the day my flight left. Yup! You read that right. I woke up in the morning and said to myself, “Nita, you have 3 hours. You should sew a Valentine’s Day dress.” And of course the only dress I have ever sewn is this one, and I knew I could do it fast.

013I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the dress as one piece. So I split it at the “adjust length here” line. In retrospect, that was the wrong place. I should have split it at the natural waist. Because when I wear a belt, it sits up on the bottom of my ribcage. Not the most comfortable spot to wear a belt…

008And because I am Thrifty Retirement Girl (♫ insert super-heroine music ♫)… guess what? The dress .25. YES!!! I made this dress for twenty-five cents. Out of three pillowcases. Yes, pillowcases. From the thrift store. Ha Ha!

004Gotcha!

(this post is dedicated to my friend Cynde who just can’t get over it, lol!)

Thankful for Rick Rack: The Simple Woman’s Day Book, January Edition

Today I am taking part in The Simple Woman’s Daybook. I haven’t done it for awhile. Today seems like a good day for it. Check out the link to see what other simple women are up to today. And if you’re a blogger, join in! 🙂
simple-woman-daybook-smallOutside my window… The sky and the lake are both the same colour. Fog obscures the far shore. Everything is shrouded and still.
I am thinking… about how I am procrastinating this morning. I mean to wash the floors but keep finding other things to do first. Like this blog entry. And how I couldn’t do anything (even get dressed!) until I sewed a bag. And my fiction story is waiting for me. I would prefer to devote the majority of my day today to it. And I just might do that! Who needs clean floors, anyway? (insert shifty-eyed emoticon here)
I am thankful…for the love of my husband and the care of my friends and my laptop and the web. And for pink shoes. And rick rack. Definitely thankful for rick rack this morning!
In the kitchen…no mess! Nothing baking, nothing cooking. Just the kettle waiting to be filled.
I am wearing…leggings and my funky green baby-doll top, my favourite brown sweater that could really stand to be new (but maybe that’s why it’s my favourite – well used/loved), beige & brown polka dot socks and my birks.  and a good collection of loose threads. Insulation, you know!
I am creating… a bag! I needed a bag for the Friendship Garden Quilt that I finished (click the link to see it) and just happened to have some happy denim-like sunflower fabric that I got at the thrift store that actually kind of matches the quilt! But I had some bobbin tension issues…
002Ta da! Rick rack to the rescue!
003The bag looked kind of small. Would the quilt fit?
007008The pattern is from The Green Bag Lady. I changed up the pattern a bit…4″ straps instead of 3″ and I used French seams.
I am going…to the Big Band Valentine’s Day dance in Whitehorse on Saturday! Pink shoes, you know. Just sayin’.
I am wondering…who of my old friends will be there to dance with me? 🙂 …And also what it would be like to write a song. My friend Fawn Fritzen, who is an awesome singer, is taking part in FAWM (sort of like NaNoWriMo except it’s February Album Writing Month) where she has to write 15 songs during the month of February. It would be fun to write a song together, except maybe more fun for me than for Fawn, lol! since I have never written a song in my life and can’t sing a note to save it!
I am reading…Festive in Death by J.D.Robb. I checked it out from the library and it is due tomorrow!
I am hoping…that I can  finish this book tonight! Shouldn’t be a problem…I love J.D.Robb’s Eve Dallas stories. 🙂 (did you know that J.D.Robb is actually Nora Roberts? Such a versatile author! And prolific…eee gads, that gal can write!)
I am looking forward to…spending time at the Fox Lake cabin. Really looking forward to it. I want to walk in the door and not walk out again for days and days. I love it there so much!
I am learning…always.
Around the house…dust bunnies to sweep. kitty and doggy footprints to mop, a rug to vacuum, a bathroom to polish.
I am pondering…whether I should sign up for a free Open University Future Learn course called Start Writing Fiction, which focuses on the central skill of creating characters. It’s 8 weeks long and starts at the end of April. Only 3 hours per week, but I am so slow, I know I will  need to devote more time than that to it.  I should sign up for this. Yes, I should.  But I’ve never taken one of these free Open University courses before. Have you?
A favorite quote for today…“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
One of my favorite things…cold left over pizza and tea, earl grey, hot – for breakfast! Served with a good book in a corner of the couch and don’t talk to me until I’m done!
A few plans for the rest of the week…Spend time writing on my fiction piece. I need to get another couple of chapters ready to send to my two critique partners, Holly and Lisa. And I’ve got Holly’s chapters to read and make comments on. Plus, I am determined to make 14 (yes, I said fourteen) baby elephants for the elephant-a-long that I’m participating in. 🙂 Here are the momma and daddy elephants:
013A peek into my day…because no matter else what I may or may not do today, writing is at the top of the list. 🙂
012and this:
045with a good dose of this little guy who will need to go for a walk.
IMG_1174What are you doing today?

Cheers for a Playful 2014!

Hello and Happy New Year!

Have you ever chosen a word
just one single word
to guide you through the year?

For the last couple of years I’ve held the word balance close to my heart. It was the word that helped me to navigate a very busy life: teaching up to 5 dance classes per week, directing a dance troupe, choreographing and producing shows while managing to have a family life and working a 9-5 day job (phew!)

58-Collins

Balance was the word that got me through to the other side of menopausal depression. I was out of balance physically, emotionally and hormonally. Searching for and maintaining balance was the lifeline that I clung to and the rope I hauled myself up by. It kept me secure during the heartache of deciding to let go of my dance troupe and students. I kept it in the front of my mind during my weight loss journey (65 pounds!).  It was the word that taught me to put health and happiness above productivity.

Balance guided me through the waters of deciding to retire relatively young; to move to a new town and seek out new adventures.

1-CollinsBalance: what a beautiful word!

But now it’s time for a new word to live by. It’s time to get out of the box and…

41-CollinsPLAY!

This year I am going to play in my kitchen and learn to bake a cake from scratch. Specifically, some of the Chatelaine cakes. Yum!

…and I will experiment creating delicious meals from all over the globe: India, Japan, Italy, Thailand…! No fear in the kitchen will be my new motto – play with those spices, Nita! Try it out!

37-CollinsIn my Creativity room I will play in the sewing nook, on the yoga mat, in-front-of the dance mirror and with words at my laptop.

My body will become stronger as I play outdoors, exploring local walking and hiking trails with Kelly and Sammy. We’ll take our bikes out and explore some of the country roads.

I will play in the garden, discovering all the wonders of living in a zone 5 gardening region.

I vow to put myself “out there” and be open to meeting new friends, getting involved in the community somehow (music? theater? dance?)

32-CollinsMy friend Melissa at 100 Billion Stars puts it brilliantly (you can read her entire blog post here):

Play is a way of making room for our potential. It isn’t about pretending to be something we hope to be one day. It isn’t about presenting a different face to the world, trying on masks and personae. It’s about being authentic and true to ourselves in an atmosphere without judgment or rules. It’s from this place that growth begins, releasing the possibilities that have been lying dormant all our lives.

So here I am this morning, wishing you all a wonderful year of play and a hell of a good time doing it!

70-CollinsNo fear! Have fun!

PLAY!

(these wonderful family photos were taken by Heather Jones of hpj photography at our Fox Lake cabin last September. We had so much fun!)

A Writing Retreat

You may have gathered that I moved into town 10 days ago, when Kelly drove out.  You also know that I’ve been taking a creative writing class this semester. 🙂

Well, I’ve been working on a story and needed a big chunk of uninterrupted time to concentrate on it, so last weekend I took myself on a private writing retreat and went back to the cabin for a visit.

At the lake (9)

I put a fire in the wood stove and made a pot of tea. I roasted a chicken breast and vegetables for supper. I listened to Loreena McKennett on the iPod and quilted in my lap with a notebook and pen at my elbow. Whenever I had an idea for the story, I’d put my stitching down, pick up the notebook and jot down my thoughts.

Later, I set up the laptop and started in earnest. I remember at one point lifting my head to see that it had grown dark while I worked. What a luxury it was, having all this time completely alone, all to myself!

fall winter 2011 076 - Copy

What thrills me the most, though st that I finished my story!  It came in at just over 10,100 words. I don’t know if it would be called a long short story or a short novella…

The lake is a truly beautiful place to write, but especially when you get up in the morning and the water is clear as glass and there is a fresh dusting of snow on the far hills.

At the lake (10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t have my camera with me, so dug up these photos from the archives. The lake is timeless, though, and this is truly what my weekend view looked like. 🙂