Thursday, 22 December 2016

So long 2016 and Hello Holidays!

I'm not one for seeing the negative in a year that's nearly done.  A year is a year and like the weather even in rainy Ireland there are more sunny days than rainy ones.  I must admit though that 2016 has been a challenging year in lots of ways.  I for one am glad to see it come to a close and am thoroughly enjoying the holiday spirit in this run up to Christmas!

New decorations this year and I love the Labrador card!

Apart from all the craziness in the world, I found this year to be challenging and frustrating as I struggled to get all the things I wanted to do completed and the creative sense of achievement in getting things done seemed to elude me for a good part of the year!

the last of the Bee Blocks for Stash Bee Hive #4

We had a very late holiday in October and at the end of it I picked up a head cold that lead to a chest infection that lead to bad reaction to antibiotics and meant I was out of action for the last month from anything but work and staying indoors.  I haven't quite gone into hibernation but I have been nesting!

Making a family tree in the hall, new knobs for the dresser and finally a tidy wardrobe (need one more hanger!)

I re-read the Marie Kondo book on tidying and though I haven't quite gone all Zen and thanked my possessions for their service or quizzed them as to the level of joy they bring me, (ok there may have been the green cargo pants I've had for 10 years that finally ripped beyond repair and I might have thanked that one!), I did take 2 things to heart from the book.  1. try to keep like items in one place only and not all over the house and 2. the frustration I am feeling is not down to others to pick up after themselves but for me to get my bit in order and others will follow.

What's going on here then, changing my garden?                     Tea-break?                Ta-dah! A path to my outside house!

I'm not sure that is exactly the case, as my side of the bedroom is looking ok, but Gordon's is like a tornado passed through but at least there has been some progress!  The dogs had run a path through the grass so I thought stepping stones would be a good idea so we wouldn't get all muddy when we have to clean up outside.  They magically got put into position with me only asking once!

Maggie is way bigger than Charly now, so Charly gains height by using the sofa!  Their play always looks so rough!

Spending a lot of time inside has had me casting my eye over the entire house and making small changes and planning bigger ones to nearly every room!  I moved in the dresser from my sewing area and it fits better in the living room and means I get more places to put Christmas stuff including the wreath I made for our branch demos in November!

Those two are mad little monsters!                                                     Who us?

Wilbs has had more seizures, 4 in 24hrs.  We were supposed to celebrate my friends birthday by all going out to dinner but Gordon kindly stayed home after seizure #2 in case there would be a third.  There was.  20mins after I came home from a very nice meal!  Poor Gordon missed out but we weren't leaving the old dog behind alone.  He has gotten massively clingy and talks to us all day long now in whines and chirps.  We have a seizure diary for him up on the fridge and as long as we are consistent with his meds, we seem to be able to get it to 1 cluster a month.

I have to agree with Wilbur, Maggie - 1 Christmas cushion -0  Still I rescued the tree from it so not all bad! 

Like the weather, more sunshine than you think, I did get quite a bit done in the end.  Got my Christmas one hour basket finished (another branch demo) and made progress on the Modern Irish Bee Round Robins.  2 done, 1 more to go!  I'm hoping to get there by the end of the year on the last one!

The last swap of the year was a covered notebook swap with the Modern Irish Quilters.

In September I had signed up for a paper piecing miniatures class with Gwen Cottis though our branch of the Irish Patchwork Society.  I had some cute 2 1/2" squares completed and decided they needed to be a Spring (February's valentine heart), Summer (Irish one with lots of rain in July), Autumn and Winter notebook cover. I used ribbon from a bundle of fabric bought from the Fat Quarter Shop, a Daler Rowney sketchbook and some letter fabric I bought on Instagram from Betsy Grey Crafts last year.  The tutorial we all used for the swap was Cindy's really easy to follow step by step on her blog Fluffy Sheep Quilting here.

Just yesterday I received a really lovely spring themed flower notebook and shabby chic calendar from Kristina - thank you so much!
Modern Quilters Ireland Christmas swap!

So frustrations aside, it's been a lovely finish to 2016.  Sunny side out.  Always!  So for 2017, I guess to get that feeling of a job well done I need to bust those UFO's and get back to what I enjoy most.  For me, that's exploring colour and shape in my own design ideas, testing them out in a quilt and hopefully writing more patterns - I'd like to get back to more of that next year.  It would be nice to get another magazine publication under my belt and finally make that quilt for our own bed!  Small goals but very achievable.  I have 2 teaching opportunities in March and April and am very excited about them.   And save for a proper summer holiday next year - that would be nice!

Crib set mum bought for me in the Vatican shop on a trip to Rome, Nativity scene from Dresden Christmas market (my favourite decoration in the whole house!

So that's it from me for 2016.  Happy Christmas everybody and here's to a productive, happy and fun filled 2017.
2017 Planning Party


  1. Hi Ruth: I hope 2017 brings you good health and lot's of sunshine. Your goals seem quite manageable and I wish you well with them. Looking forward to following along in 2017.

  2. Happy Christmas! Your fireplace is gorgeous, dark green?

  3. Happy Christmas Ruth. I have had a frustrating year in some ways too, but there has been a lot happening that I am thankful for. Here's to 2017!

  4. Hello Ruth, I hope you recovered OK from being knocked out. While I understand your frustrations I feel you achieved quite a bit in 2016 and maybe should allow yourself to be proud a little too. Good luck for 2017 and happy sewing.

  5. good to see your round up and the pups. The baby is so big now! LeeAnna

  6. I hope you are feeling better; I'm sorry to hear about your reaction to the medication! Congratulations on more teaching opportunities coming up soon and I hope you have a wonderful 2017. Thanks for linking up.

  7. Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017.

  8. I'm very sorry to hear about your health problems, the progress on your multiple projects is even more impressive for that. Have a happy Christmas and a successful 2017, may all your dreams come true.

  9. Oh Ruth, I wondered if something was going wrong. It's been awhile since you posted. So sorry about your illness and bad antibiotic reaction. And poor Wilbur with those seizures. But it does look like he is happy and immensely entertained by the other pups.
    It was a difficult year. But here is much hope for 2017 being better! Your home looks so welcoming and warm and that can't help but cheer a soul up! And your plans for the coming year sound quite fun.
    Merry Christmas to you an all those you love!

  10. Hope that you are now fully better Ruth. I had to smile at your comment that when you are unwell and at home a lot you start seeing your home differently - some big changes to our homes have come after I have been confined to bed or the sofa!! It's lovely to have a recap on your year and see such lovely work. Good luck with your goals for 2017!

  11. Hi Ruth! I hope you are well now! Sorry to hear about Wilbur's seizurs. I wish you all the best for the New year 2017! Give lots of hugs to Wilbur! Nero's artritis is getting more difficult and we are worried. I have also tried to fix things in our home but feel tired and can't even sew much. Last year was hard one and I hope 2017 will be great for all of us! Hugs! x Teje

  12. I thought I hadn't seen much of you of late. Glad you're on the mend. I love seeing the pics of the dogs wrestling and yes, it DOES look a lot rougher than it is. Good rescue on the lovely cushion; lucky dogs (and smart humans) to get the path to their outside house (that's a great sequence of shots too). I like what you did with your family tree on the wall too! The round robins are looking terrific! So much to look at in each right?

  13. I hope you are feeling better Ruth . Like yourself I like to look forward , and I look forward to my finishing off some projects . Cue sudden feeling of Deja vue! The covered notebook swap seems to have been very successful , and good luck with the pattern writing .

  14. Like you, I am looking forward to seeing 2016 behind me. On to 2017! I look forward to seeing all your amazing projects. I wish you and your "tribe" the very best!


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