Sunday, May 31, 2009

Who Knew - Even OJ is not what it seems to be!

One of the stories that made the news while I was in Canada was about Orange Juice - something I guzzle quite frequently. Who new it had a "dark side"!
Read up on it in the Toronto Star - will make you think twice before grabbin that carton of Tropicana I tell ya!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cottage Project "Challenge" Quilt

You may recall I filled the Carol bag and took a quilting project to the cottage.
Of the 28 squares I need to complete, I managed to get eight done.
However, it was one of those patterns (geared for a Beginner I might add) that as soon as I read it I thought “this ain’t right”!
My first inkling was this direction for the first inner border…

Measure the length of the quilt top and cut (2) strips to that length. Sew strips to the sides of the quilt. Measure the width of the quilt, including the borders just added, and cut (2) strips to that length. Sew strips to the top and bottom of the quilt. Measure the width of the panel plus the added border strips and cut (2) strips to this length. Sew to the top and bottom of the panel. (huh???)In the same manner, add the outer border…

Okay, I still consider myself an advanced beginner but even I knew this was not quite right. In the photo the inner border does not look doubled up anywhere. At least I know enough to ignore what I highlighted above.

But then came the piecing of the blocks – they are supposed to be 10 ½” each but mine all turned out 10”. When I added the first border I immediately had to trim a ¼” off and for the life of me can’t figure out what went wrong. On paper the cutting directions look right and I checked my ¼” seam (which I have to do with this particular machine). Seems like I was following directions – but every single one turned out the same.

Oh well, I think it will still turn out cute (and scrappy).
Just need to be sure it does not become a UFO as I have sworn I will only use what is in my stash and refuse to buy new material for it. Will let you know!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cottage Weekend Report!

Well I’m back from a GLORIOUS weekend at the cottage with G&G. The weather was perfect – sunny and around 70F/20C every day I was there - just sorry hubby was not able to join us. The only downer was the black flies – and they were bad – which kept me indoors a fair bit but I did get out and about to catch up with changes in the area (there always are some).
On my first day I had to visit our favorite bakery, Harvest Moon. Owners Graham and Tina are big on organics (even in their own lifestyle choices) and make some of the best pies, quiches and breads around – all 100% vegetarian. Our favorites are the Cornish Pasties and tarts (their take on butter tarts, a Canadian tradition, includes cranberries).

Since I was on my own I could not pig out on all their goods but did manage a lovely loaf, a savory pie (lots of veggies) and a tart (though Tina also included a second one that had broken for free). Needless to say I had a very nice lunch that day - yummmmm.

I also hit my favorite Thrift shops – I always love that OPEN sign! Though the pickings were not so great. Primarily because the previous weekend was a long one in Canada because of Victoria Day so lots of tourists – also, one of the shops had just opened for the season and I swear they must have completely emptied everything out from last season – the shelves were definitely bare!
I did manage to score a few a things. Some old sewing items, postcards and a really sweet paint box.
The one great thing about thrifting in Canada is you will find a lot of English things (including my paint box). Though it had me a little baffled – it looks very Australian! A Koala bear sits on the girls shoulder and a Kangaroo is posing for the painting…hmmmm?

The hooks and eyes are World Famed and “By appointment to her majesty Queen Elizabeth” don’t you know. Our closest village is Tobermory, Ontario. It was pretty quiet – on a busy summer weekend you would never be able to find a place to park and there would be all sorts of people milling about.As you can see – beautiful sunshine - my picture hardly does justice to how blue everything was.
The harbor is waiting to be filled up with boats. By the time we return in July there will be very few docks empty!
When I was brave enough to deal with the flies (and a good breeze blowing) I did venture out to check our property. This time of year the orchids are starting to come out – but too early for me to get photos of all the Lady Slippers we have. We do, however, have lots of trilliums starting to come up.
And since Spring is later here many of our daffodils and tulips had either just opened or were getting ready.
Even Miss Gwendoline enjoyed them!
Poor Master Gryphon really got attacked by the flies all around his “unmentionables” and was quite happy to stay indoors and do his usual thing. Don't mind the stitches on his leg - just some minor surgery he needed to remove one of his many "lumps".
He hadn’t read the sign, poor old dog.
And even though it was warm in the day it did get quite cool most nights so I was able to start the fire (how cozy)…
…and drink a glass of wine – don’t you just love this cork! Cottage time really is the best time. My last shot - as we were leaving I noticed that one of the old cabins was dressed in flowers. The owner recently passed away which is why it is boarded up - hopefully someone will be able to take ownership and enjoy this lovely garden.

Can’t wait to get back in July! I'll post about my cottage project soon...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cottage (and Other) Projects

Well I am off to the cottage later this week (fingers crossed). I always need to take a project with me. I have a very "low tech" sewing machine (heh it sews a straight line) - that I use.
I got this great bag from Carol (she made for one of our bazaars).
I'm stuffing it with fabric to take with me -
- thought I'd try this quick project out and use up some of my scraps.
I've also got other projects on my to do list. I picked up this great jar at a Church Rummage Sale - plan to do some button sorting and use it to store my "whites" (which I know I have a ton of!).
You may remember my thimble story - the shelf is also coming to the cottage with me for a paint job.
I'm also working on a little gift for someone (which I really need to finish and get in the post)....Carol will recognize the picture (thanks for sending to me)....I may have to make more of these!
And Sis, I have not forgot our other project. My brother in law is a volunteer fireman and we have been planning a wall quilt for him. We DO have the backing - and are particularly enamoured with the young man wearing keds ;->.... what a hoot! By the way, I think I'm FINALLY getting the hang of my camera - pics seem to be much improved lately don't you think?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Philadelphia Freedom

Well I'm back from seven days of business in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, while our hotel was right in the historical district, I had little time to go site seeing. I did get the one thing in that I wanted to see (of course) - the Liberty Bell. I don't know what I was expecting, but it is in an enclosed area across the street from Independence Hall. A long hallway has stations talking about the Bell, its history and legacy which really was interesting.

I also had a chance to go around (outside) Independence Hall, Betty Ross house and the Old City Hall. It was fun to play tourist for a few hours.

This sculpture was in a passageway through to a courtyard in the middle of the old city hall...
Anyway I feel a need to get back into my "routine" and my garden girl is telling me I need to start thinking about blossoms for the front of the house! I'm looking forward to bringing in some color (I was amazed how much everything had grown over a week - including the dandelions )....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Does anyone remember...

...Diver Dan? It was one of those kids shows I grew up on (oops, really showing my age). I remember Baron Barracuda and Miss Minerva. Apparently I can get the show on DVD now - can you believe it!
Another show I remember was Sir Graves Ghastly (heh, I grew up in a border town and was definetly influenced by American (in this case Detroit) television - I always remember the quote "Turn out your lights... Draw the drapes... Pull down the shades... Cuddle up in your favorite spot by the telly".... What I dont' get is how my parents let me sit in our basement on many a Saturday afternoon watching horror movies when I should have been outside in the fresh air (on the other hand they probably didn't realize thats what I was doing!)....He was such a ham for the camera...
I'll be taking a blog break for awhile - I need to leave town on business and won't have much time (unfortunately) to even think about writing (though that's what I'd rather be doing!) I'll catch up with you in a couple of weeks!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Something Blue Saturday

Well my pal Carol and I decided to post things "blue" for this Saturday. She is much more poetic then I looking at her pics and I love them - make sure you check them out! Meanwhile, I stayed indoors (it was that kind of week for me) and poked around looking to be inspired...and it did not take long!
When I first had the blue idea I immediately thought of this tea towel - it was one of my "first" - in very sad shape when I found it. But after a good soak it seemed to come back to life - and I loved the Dutch graphics - I got hooked!
This quilt has a story (don't they all). Near our cottage there is a National Park which has a lovely Visitors Center - to raise funds they had a "silent auction" over several months. Of course I had to contribute! Much to my surprise I won (though hubby does not see it as winning - what's not to understand???). When I got it home I realized someone had very lovingly hand stiched each square. I can imagine whoever did it over the winter months up on the Penninsula thinking about why they were doing it - and that makes me happy.

I did manage to get outside this week and while looking around at those dang pine cones (a different story) I noticed many of my Birdhouses happened to be blue - so I grouped a few. You will notice many of my plants have poked their "noses" out of the ground - and that makes me happy too!
Well of course I have blue embroidery and hankies, so had to share some of those as well.

It just so happens another thing I like, running, involves the colour blue! I noticed my shoes, weights and ball all were that colour (hmmmmm).

But best of all was this picture. It belonged to my Dad - an aunt bought it at Boots the Chemist in England in the 1930's. She supposedly thought my Dad looked a lot like the little boy. My Dad allowed me to have the picture and I have it hanging in one of my rooms at home. Every time I see it I remember looking at it when I was younger - and I think about that aunt buying it for her nephew. Aren't family stories great.

Anyway, till next time - I think I'll convince Carol to go Mellow Yellow with me - cheers!