Sunday, 16 June 2019

Does Her Neck Look Okay?

Hubby has been busy mowing. Kitchen window view to the left on Thursday.
Tilly the wild Turkey visited the front yard again this week.  Does her neck look okay to you?
I got a couple of sewing items in the mail.  I've never used these needles before- the Bohin needles from France which sounds posh as Hubby would say.  For certain projects like applique, I prefer shorter needles. I usually use John James. But so many of you recommend the Bohin I thought I would give them a try.
And how do you like my Murhpy mug as I call it?  I bought it to mark her coming to live with us.
And it is sitting on one of the dish cloths knit by my Mom when she was 84 (sadly at 86 her fingers no longer allow her to knit). I use the smaller ones as rug mugs.
 A couple of hanks of Valdani 6 ply floss just to try. But will they be worth the $3 a skein price! Gulp!
Murphy checking out the pond area in the rain.While the west end of Ottawa was still clearing up from the May flooding, the east end experienced a small tornado. The weather guy has warned that we are likely to see more of this unsettled, almost unheard of weather this summer. Hope he is dead wrong!
Before I forget I wanted to show you this.
 The blogging world has led to the discovery of many things for being the heritage of Dutch quilting. I came across this book Dutch Flower Pot Quilts by Anja Townrow available used on Abe Books (CLICK) for a very low cost. They offer an abundance of quilting books and other needlework as well as many other subjects, so stay and have a look around this site.  It is like a mini Book Depository.
                              Dutch Flower Pot Quilts: Marjorie L. Russell; Anja Townrow
After cloudy skies yesterday, we have been blessed with steady sunshine this morning. Glorious!
I have this in my lap-
Hope you have sunny skies and something wonderful in your lap too!
So glad to link this post with Kathy's Quilts, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Busy Hands Quilts, Powered By Quilting and Viewing Nature With Eileen.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Hobbies...The Keeping Up Of

The irises take their turn. There are pale blue and pale yellow around the garden, but the purples are classic.
We enjoyed our sunlight there for several days in a row. Outside every minute I could get despite the mosquitoes which every year Hubby thinks get worse. I've caved and spray some Woods around my ankles, arms and neck. Sometimes around my sun hat which is always on my head.

Ants decided they liked our bedroom and were making their way inside and milling about, unsure of what exactly they were there for. Once again, I had to get chemicals to spray under the baseboards to get rid of them. No,vinegar did not deter them. Now just spotting the odd sad little carcass.
 Determined not to complain about any of it after the long winter and seemingly longer cold spring, what there was of it.
Hostas are the most remarkable perennial...coming to life so quickly...view from the sewing room several weeks ago.
The plants that overwintered inside got replanted with a few petunias, marigolds and begonias that I bought at Home Depot.
  I've used two old apple baskets for the bigger planters this year as a change and I've added a couple of hanging baskets.
 Every spring I always start out in a bit of huff to have everything sorted.. if it's something that needs doing, it should have been done yesterday is the way my brain works.  But after the initial big cleanout from my overwintering Ugly Gardening, I quickly relax into a rhythm of outside work for an hour or so in the early morning.
I just love the outdoors and do not need to remind myself to enjoy every minute of this season too. It is a great feeling to work the body gardening, aching in places later but feeling great satisfication that a bed has been weeded or seedlings planted.  I'm not even sure why I get such enjoyment from it but I do and am thankful my interest has not waned.

Someone asked what I made with the cabbage. I made nasi goreng, a meal I make sometimes when there is leftover beef, pork or chicken. It's a stir fry really. This is the Wikipedia entry about it. I don't add egg but often make papadums with it. I just stir whatever veggies I have all together.

                                               Image result for nasi goreng
I also shredded some for salads.  I had a small ham that I served with twice baked potatoes, buttered cabbage and mashed turnip; pretty basic but I think that was our tastiest meal recently.
 I wonder how do they make the pickled turnip served in schwarmas. Must remember to look that up as I like pickled anything. Do you?

I spent one morning in the sewing room and quilted two more of these quilt as you go string blocks.  I would love to have this finished and on my bed next winter.  Though the batting is thin, they feel heavy so I'm thinking warmth. An old WIP that needs finishing rather than just wishing it done.
The blues are cheery too.
I've prepped this pattern for embroidering. ( And couldn't resist stitching a couple leaves.)

 It is Nancy Nicholson's Bouquet Sampler pattern that was downloadable which is quite a saving on shipping for us Canadian folks. That little pouch is perfect for toting about this simple project.
Some might remember the other fun project of Nancy's, one of her fanciful birds I worked, which was a kit.
Tomorrow we make our way to the airport to pick up the grandfather (my ex); a long drive for us but I want to do it as long as we are able. Must keep up. The grandsons are very excited to have their Poppie visit.
Next time I'll share a great new book site I've found.
Happy Thankful Thursday to all! Linking with Not Afraid of ColorIt's A Small Town LifeEsther's Design BlogSo Scrappy, Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and My Quilt Infatuation.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Thrift Shop Surprises, SAL Update

Early morning warmth, the first of the season, led me outside early and down to the pond with my camera.  I had in mind to look for the small flock of ravens that hangs out to the left around the little wetland area.  Sure enough five of them were there moving about on the ground with their hobbled, hoppy way of walking. I thought I was soundless, but of course, wasn't and before I even adjusted the camera, they took off filling the air with mad squawks. I  wonder what is their intention there every morning or perhaps they roost there overnight. I haven't figured that out.
One day I did catch a couple hurried shots of Canada geese gliding about the pond. Hurried because these alert easily as well.  Two are seen together often for several years now and I wonder would they be the same ones.  I was pleased with this shot when I got to look at it on the computer later.  Such a distinctive chin strap.
Thrift shopping is a fun outing for me and it is not just about the bargains. You can find things in these stores that are unique and different, items you do not see in any regular stores these days.   Here are some things I bought recently when I did my drop off.
My love of china, tea cups, plates, whatever, continues. I cannot resist looking through the well stocked kitchen area. I didn't question buying the large plate below. I love the blues but also can't resist the pink when I come across them.   This Old English Staffordshire piece depicts the French fort at Lake Chaplain, New York.  Each plate has a different floral garland which is interesting. At $20 US on ebay, it is a bit of a collector's piece.  I paid $1.99.
No need to wonder why I bought this numbered piece, Loyal Companion by Bruce like our Murphy girl.  We both enjoy dog memorabilia celebrating the dogs we own and have owned.
I know what this book costs new because it had the tag still on it.  I don't think the cover has ever been cracked.  I love America's Test Kitchen shows.
This heavy bag of scrap fabrics priced at $9.99 was debatable but I am so happy I made the decision to buy it.
 Scraps on the outside but inside were hiding three yards of Sandy Gervais Nature's Christmas fabric for Moda.  Also other coordinating pieces too. I checked and it is $13 a yard Canadian.
As well as two large pieces of this fun fabric...Treelicious by Maude Ashbury.
I got a 20% off coupon for donating so that helped with the bottom line.  Pure guilt free shopping.

I had to push myself to finish my cross stitching goal for this month.  My arms were a bit tired from all the weed pulling and repotting which just shows me how out of shape my arms really are. I guess plying a needle doesn't build muscles. :) But most of the garden plots have had some attention at this point and I won't be doing any more planting so my weakling arms will have plenty of time to recover.  I like how the two shades of floss made this interesting basket weave like pattern.
Propped on our knickknack shelf...
I have vines and leaves left to finish and to add a date as well. In anticipation of finishing this slow stitching Sunday and veranda stitching (yah!), I have prepped an embroidery project from Nancy Nicholson. More about that later.
Meanwhile I appreciate the incentive provided by linking monthy with the SAL group led by Avis at
Sewing Beside the Sea.  It has been a great experience to visit each other and offer encouragement.
AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayley,MeganCatherineDeborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharon

To those of you sweltering, stay cool and those feeling wintry breezes, bundle up. Our extraordinary natural world continues to fascinate.
Linking with Kathy's QuiltsViewing Nature With EileenPaying Ready Attention and I'd Rather B Birdin.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

To Do List Sharing

To Do List for This Weekend

Pick more of these plants. SIL showed me where wild leeks or ramps grow on our property. Turns out there is quite a lot of it on the right side through the old deciduous woods.  These have a mild flavour that is not as pungent as regular leeks so I can tolerate them better...I've used them in roasting with vegetables and in two soups.
Ramp Up Heart Health With Wild Leeks
Finish binge listening to this.
 I'm up to Chapter 6 in two sessions of my audio version.  I mistakenly thought this was about a politician's wife, but no it is about an author's wife. Marriage talk always interests me and I'm enjoying this one very much.
You may have seen it around in movie form starring Glenn Close who I admire because she is a massive dog lover. Her dog, Pip, has his own Instagram account.
                                       Image result for the wife
Treat my hands better. 
It is actually difficult to work with delicate embroidery floss when my hands are dried and nails cracked. Gross, heh.  As soon as I work in the garden, the skin and nails on my hands take a beating.  And I don't learn-I'm one of those people who don't think about hand cream till I need it. (And I must hate working with gloves on...I always start out wearing them; at some point they come off and then I forget to put them back on.)
Also To Do- finish cross stitching the basket on my Cornwall Cottage Sampler.

Filed down, no polish.  When the gardening calms down, I'll repolish.
I can't take strong smells for creams. Here are two hand creams I have, like and must remember to use! The fancy one from daughter on the left smells wonderful and is some sort of French Shea Butter and Argon Oil combination.
The Johnson's Cottontouch is for babies and is wonderfully absorbent and smells nice too-not just for hands.
Take these items to the goodwill store. 
 I have been doing what the experts say. Walking around the house once a month with a bag and putting in whatever I realize we no longer like or use.  I discovered one thing in this process...we don't have a whole lot of extras here.  Oh there's lots here, make no mistake about that, just it is antique/vintage things from Hubby's life that are not going anywhere.
Use up this cabbage and turnip.
I try to have greens in the fridge all the time.  Last week we had broccoli and spinach. This week end cabbage is on the menu. (Hubby is blissfully unaware of my attempts to feed us right.)
Share this with you.
Have you ever wondered what kind of money people make with a Youtube channel (if they've monetized it)? Darlene Michaud shares her earnings on this video called How Much Money Do I Make???Full Disclosure. Another interesting listen.  I have enjoyed Darlene's Crumb Quilting videos.
Lastly Show you these
My latest three stringed blocks with applique bringing the number to 10 blocks now.  A slow process (when not worked on, :))
We have dinner out and birthday cake on today's menu...younger daughter's special day. I'll share what we bought her later on. Hope she likes it-I think it's interesting.
Hope there are good things in your day too!
And it is always good to link with Not Afraid of ColorSew Fresh QuiltsThe Needle and Thread Network, Katie Mae Quilts and Esther's Quilt Blog where Esther admits she has over 100 WIPs to work on!

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Recap of a Busy Week

This turned out to be a crazy busy week for us...with the caveat that this is from the point of view of two old retirees!
 Besides the vet day and all the puttering Hubby has been doing opening and getting things up and running for the summer, he had two medical checkup appointment days downtown. This means we may as well scrap the whole day as the getting down there through all the traffic and finding parking, etc. is time consuming. Also both of us feel apprehensive about the test results so overall a bit stressful as well.
 Friday, homeward bound, we got stuck for almost two  hours in the evening rush hour and we wondered how can people do this every day. Luckily we both enjoy cars so had a great time checking out all the kinds of vehicles while we were stopped/crawling along in the middle of the three packed lanes.  Saw one Nissan Leaf and two Teslas and declared the Honda Civic the most changed vehicle in our time.
The good news...Hubby is fine and can now go from yearly to every two years for these checkups so we won't have to face those runs for a while.

Some photos I took of the hospital neighbourhood gardens which are very posh and much further ahead than mine outside the city.
This "host" of yellow tulips lining a busy sidewalk; such a sweet sight for walkers.
I can only imagine the level of enthusiasm for container planting as evidenced here. 
So many beautiful blooms weighing down the branches of this tree... taken in sunnier times in May, 2016.  We noted it didn't have nearly the blooms this year.
Ask Rex and Murphy why so downcast?
 Because we woke to the sound of heavy rain on our metal roof which they know means our walk will be a little delayed.  Note Murphy the Diva commandeers Rex's nighttime bed for herself.

I did manage to sew another flower on a stringed block mostly to see if I liked it. I do and now have a bunch more prepped to applique today.  The upside of the rain...slowing down with indoor activities like stitching.
I have a beef roast thawing out for supper that I plan to pop in the slow cooker..still can't completely shake the idea that Sunday supper should be a special one.  Any of you feel like that?  Cooking a big meal as a little reward for Hubby.

I'm recalling happy moments stitching this... Kathy Schmitz's A Patchwork Year June block called Tweet Home.
So from my little corner of rain drenched Ontario, Canada, Happy June all!
Happy as well to link up with others enjoying hand stitching at the Kathy's Quilts post today. Also linking with Love Laugh Quilt and Em's Scrapbag.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Mostly Blues Happy Post

I've spent more time outside lately it seems than in. I've been raking, scrubbing, sweeping and replanting. It feels good to be moving and though I have a slightly sore shoulder and scratches on my hands, I'm thankful to have the strength to do these things.  As well as admire these pretty common dog violets that have crept into the flower beds and are in bloom now. I've let them be which may be a mistake as there are many more around than last year.  But they are so pretty.

And a favourite perennial of mine, the  purply blue dwarf hyacinths have cropped up here and there.  (A blue hyacinth symbolizes sincerity, btw). Blooming before I had a chance to rake the garden. White violets peeking out there on the left.
It feels marvelous to come inside, shower, check for ticks!, and sit back with a cup of tea (in my gift of a cup from daughter) and some stitching.
Applique has been my main focus in the sewing room. Prepped a pile of leaves and chose a new flower shape for more of my Stringed Blocks As Backgrounds blocks. This is a great scrappy project as I've been combing my little tins and totes for bits big enough to use.
Hopefully I will finish five of these and ten more of the basket blocks this month.  That should be doable so I'll make it my June OMG at Elm Street Quilts where Patty is doing some painting with colourful fabrics using foundation paper pineapple designs to great effect.
In between these two got taken to the vet for their annual checkups. A few fatty lumps between the two of them but otherwise great especially for their ages; Rex is 12 and Murphy is 8.  They both find vet visits stressful and sleep a lot when they get home. Poor things. Still very soggy down by the pond and with regular rainfalls, it will probably remain so for a while longer.
I had a flock of blue jays drop by to check out the bird feeder last week. I am always happy to see blue jays though I know some don't like them.  It was unusual to see such a large group of them at once. After much jabbering and jockeying, they disappeared in a flash. The oldest known banded wild blue jay was almost 27 years old when it was found off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada caught in fishing gear. So much about these birds is unknown which suprises me as they are so common.
And now to the sublime-
One of my friends on Facebook (thank you Linda!) sent me a link that led me to the amazing embroidery on the Game of Thrones' costumes..costume designer, Michele Clapton's stupendous work.  Breathtaking stumpwork!
I spent ages looking through The Wedding Gallery  I don't think I've seen anything like it before and I've been looking at embroideries for a long time. The rendering of the natural world- birds, fish, leaves, trees, insects etc. filled me with awe for such talented fingers.

 Julian Earles Photography
And something else that is awe inspiring. It is Iceberg Alley time off the coast of my home province, Newfoundland and Labrador.  This is the video of Dylan Dreyer from The Today Show visiting Newfoundland and kudos to Dylan for learning to pronounce Newfoundland the way we do.
This was a post I tried to keep all blues but alas Rex and Murphy are not blue and none of my scraps are blue as such either so that didn't quite work out now did it.

Thank you, btw, for all for the kind comments on my posts...a real positive in my days. It is also the only way I know who is reading and an avenue for us to connect. If you visit me, I will definitely visit you back!

Thankful too to link with Not Afraid of ColorIt's A Small Town Life, Paying Ready Attention, My Quilt InfatuationHumble QuiltsViewing Nature with Eileen and Brian's Home Blog.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Stitching Two Kind of Baskets

Ontario's provincial flower is in bloom and it is lovely. The white trillium.  It is the state wildflower for Ohio. It is also called wood lily and snow lily.
 Though it blooms for several weeks, it doesn't hold up for an indoor bouquet sadly. But it is wonderful to see them dotting the forest floor.
The sky lately...our weatherman said this would be wonderful weather we are having...if it were November!
Today, Sunday, there is more warmth flowing between the sky and the ground it seems. The breezes are not making me shiver, so maybe we are taking steps into the next season which now should be near summer. But I must hasten to add, the weather does not dampen my enjoyment of the daily walks about the place. No, not a bit.
I have not achieved my Elm Street Quilts OMG for May- yet. That was to get 20 more basket blocks finished.  I made 8 with 3 more in the works so well off the mark.  However, I did make better strides with the photograph blocks.
 My excuse, more time puttering in the garden including time spent splitting and moving wood with the immense indespensible help from a family member who came to help out.  I now have enough wood for the pool stove for the summer and our fireplace for next winter all close at hand.

The view from my pet chair...another rabbit much smaller than the one I showed you before. Can you spy him? He's flirting with a bit of danger there because this is the back yard and Rex and Murphy's domain.
I'm also working on my Cornwall Cottage basket. Love the slow and soothing stitching that is cross stitching. So soothing that I forgot to check the pattern and sewed far too many stitches across that middle line between the handles. A little unsewing will fix it but I was hoping the good luck I'd had with no stitching errors so far would continue.  Oh well.
Heads Up and prior notice for this SAL, the first ever from Shabby Fabrics.
The North Pole Sampler Sew Along promises to be beginner friendly.  Pretty fabrics.

I'm sure not thinking of Christmas but I know many of you are.
Happy Sunday all!
Linking this post with Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkEsther's Quilt BlogQuilt Fabrication and Kathy's Quilts.