Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Where Is A Book I Can't Put Down


 

 Image by Itty Bitty Bunnies


Yes, where is a book I can't put down?  You know the kind I mean.  Where you just can't wait to get back to it or you sit up till the wee hours reading past your bedtime because the book is that good.  This has not happened to me in a long time.  I read a lot and most of my books are well chosen and they are all well written.  The writing isn't the problem, in fact, some of these are wonderfully written; I admire how well they are written.  The problem is they don't captivate me and I guess I need that to really love a book. 
Hubby says if we got rid of our television viewing we would turn to books with more interest.  I've lived in places with no television and he is right; I certainly read far more when I was there.






That being said, here are a couple of books I thought were good.

I enjoyed Still Alice by Lisa Genova and decided to check out her other books.
 The premise of this one, Left Neglected, appealed to me and I read it over a couple of days.  Yes, it held my attention and I was eager to read to the end to see how the characters would fare.  No it wasn't quite a book I couldn't put down, but it was awfully close.
 In a nutshell, the story is about a very busy career woman and mother, Sarah, who has a car accident resulting in a specific brain injury called "left neglect".  It means you are no longer aware of anything on the left side of your body or to your left, a condition I had never heard of. Lisa, a neuroscientist herself, handled this portion of the book quite well as you'd expect. 
 I found the descriptions of day to day life leading up to the accident almost painful to read...so tightly wound was this woman's life.  Lisa describes Sarah's management of the details of a 70 hour a week job plus a family as that of an air traffic controller.
 I actually could identify a little remembering well the days when I was working when my daughters were little; every minute of every day was scheduled.  Anyway, watching our protagonist cope afterwards when she can't even floss her own teeth is just as interesting as the description of her life before.
While not a particularly literary novel, I enjoyed the medical bits and sympathize with the intent, trying to show that pursuing a life of consumerism can leave important parts of life left neglected. Pun intended because I think this was a point Lisa was trying to make. 


I began this book The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory only to realize I had read it before.  I usually enjoy her books mainly because I love historical fiction.  I have much admiration for an author who can make a time and era in history come alive through their words.  But I think I've read all Philippa's books, sadly.



This book, Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett, is one of those described as a psychological thriller.  It was part of a display at the library featuring British authors which caught my eye.  I read the first couple of pages standing there and knew I liked what I was reading.  I haven't finished this one yet but almost.  The main character is on the run and we don't know why except something really bad happened.  Like heist movies, on-the-run novels appeal to me for some reason.  I always root for the fellow doing the running even if a criminal, don't know why.  Anyway, the story telling is strong and the characters interesting to me and I like our hero.  This would make a great Beach book, I keep thinking.  And I will be checking out Simon's other books featuring a forensic anthropologist as the main character.


And lastly today, Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood, a book of nine short stories.  Loved these a lot maybe because Margaret is fearless in the way she will take on aging and dying, the awfulness of old bodies, the sad and bad things people do to each other. The way these things haunt us or not. And also I like how her honest portrayals made me smile sometimes.

A quote from one of her characters....
"You believed you could transcend the body as you aged, she tells herself. You believed you could rise above it, to a serene, nonphysical realm. But it’s only through ecstasy you can do that, and ecstasy is achieved through the body itself. Without the bone and sinew of wings, no flight. Without that ecstasy you can only be dragged further down by the body, into its machinery. Its rusting, creaking, vengeful, brute machinery.”

Yes, we all secretly think we will transcend this aging body of ours, don't we. 











Tuesday, 29 September 2015

WIP's and Farmer's Wife

I'm soldiering away on the border of my William Morris Strawberry Thief.  It is easy to stitch and I can manage almost an inch in a good afternoon. I'm using the magnetic board and bars to keep me on track and wish I'd had them in the beginning. 



Similarly my Granny Stripe Blanket is inching along.  The Stylecraft Special DK wool is really lovely. That red, named Lipstick, is so pretty; the picture isn't doing it justice.  I loved crocheting it and kept wondering what other project it could be used in.  It is like a Christmas red, no orange in it at all.


And that's a very pretty yellow sticking out ready for the next 2 rows.  The folks at Stylecraft named it Saffron. 

About my Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt

  I think I mentioned to you that I was starting at the beginning of the book with the "A"s  rather than with the easiest blocks.  So I have the first two traced onto freezer paper, cut, ironed onto my fabric, trimmed and the edges all glued under. Some of the pieces are tiny and really didn't suit basting so I chose to glue.
 That doesn't sound like much but it took most of three Sunday mornings to get to that point. Addie, Block #1, has 25 pieces and Aimee, Block #2, has 28 pieces.

  Then I came across some news about this project.  I read about the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-Along Angie Wilson at Gnome Angel  began yesterday September 28.  Her group has put a lot of time into sorting out the blocks and have divided them into 4 groups and are making tutorials available for the making of each block.  The first group of blocks consists of the easiest and that is where they are starting.  I've made the decision to join this group and sew along with the blocks as they have arranged them.

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-along: Learn to sew the 99 Blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird's book The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt" with Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com, Fat Quarter Shop and From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates. Find out more here: http://gnomeangel.com/farmers-wife-1930s-sampler-quilt-sew-along/


I've never joined a SAL before so this will be a new experience for me.  I registered with the Sew Along Facebook group they have started and the numbers are amazing...almost 4000 have signed up but not all are going to be sewing.  Some are chiming in to read the stories and pick up quilting tips and information.

I've checked out their Facebook page a number of times and enjoyed reading what everyone has to say about this project.  What a lot of excitement people seem to be feeling. Are all sew alongs like that?  Many were posting photos of their fabrics they've chosen and as usual it is fascinating to see the variety of prints and colours.  Some people noted they intend to make two of every block; they couldn't settle on just one colour scheme.   I do have the book but I don't have the templates which are recommended to complete certain blocks.  Because of the massive interest in this SAL, both the book and templates have been sold out everywhere.

 I do think I will benefit from the expertise and experiences of so many of the fine stitchers taking part in this group activity.  I've already picked up a few interesting tidbits.

So this post has been a projects update. Oops forgot to show you my Block 5 of Hazel's Summer Wildflowers; presently embroidering Block 6.
 My projects are still WIP's but my interest and enjoyment in them has not waned, happily. Fingers crossed that won't happen!

 How are your projects coming along?  Anyone else interested in the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt SAL? 

Monday, 28 September 2015

Worth Leaving the House For

Sunday past was another wonderful day to be outdoors.  I decided early in the morning this would be the day for our annual picnic in the back woods...yes, the selfsame that I lost myself in a few weeks back.  However, with Hubby with me I figured I would be okay. We both grew up with picnicking as favourite family activities and I always wish we did more these days, especially with a woods literally outside our back door.

The dogs were mightily excited to have both of us walking up the trail with them.  They are used to us taking turns so they get two walks instead of one.

                               Hubby with Murphy heading up the trail



                        Picking a log to sit on is easy, so many old and fallen trees.


                               Rex had exhausted himself running around;

                                never catches a thing.


                                         He kept a constant eye though.



                            Our picnic, egg salad on white bread sandwiches 

                                and apples, Red Delicious, Hubby's choices


                      Murphy is a true Labrador.  She loves her stomach

                       and she loves  apples.


                                               A lovely day out 

It's a shame Murphy has to be kept leashed.  But her nose would have her in the next county in no time if she wasn't on a lead.  We noted many different kinds of mushrooms around.  Conditions obviously favoured them this summer.   But I didn't see one bird or animal to get a photo for you; I guess Rex made sure of that.



Friday, 25 September 2015

Fabulous Food Friday

Yesterday's post about food wasn't an accident.  Lately I've been feeling hungry all the time.  I'm not alarmed yet, because I know I go through these cycles with my appetite.  I think I've mentioned I'm a person who has never missed a meal in my life so my baseline is a healthy enough appetite.  But I've become a tad bit obsessed with food in the last two weeks...thinking about it and daydreaming about what to make.  I guess I have a food-lover's brain... instead of eating to live, I'm living to eat.

Recently I listened to an author explain how she keeps herself trim and never needs to think about cutting back.  She eats one egg and one slice of toast for breakfast, one half a ham sandwich for lunch, a salad and a piece of meat and one vegetable for supper.  An apple rounds out the day's menu.  She doesn't vary from this and finds pure joy in the freedom from having to think about food.

I have to admit I'm a bit envious because I know I could never do that.  I get too much enjoyment from just going up and down the aisles at the grocery store. I still like to take cook books to bed with me to look through and dream, and I still want to taste different foods.

 Here is one thing I've been thinking of ...this recipe went around Facebook and I added it to my favourites.  I blame it for starting my latest food obsession.  Kidding...

Heavenly Blueberries and Cream Angel Dessert

This is Heavenly Blueberry and Cream Angel Dessert from the wonderful Mel's Kitchen Cafe
 and her recipe can be found at that link.  This is angel food cake so that helps a little with the calories, but that aside, doesn't this look, well,  HEAVENLY.  There is something about trifle-like desserts that I love.  Maybe it's the whipped cream.
Maybe I'm going to have to make this recipe to get it out of my system.

Do you find you are like I am...cyclic in rise and fall of appetite?  Do you have appetite under control or give in to cravings? 

Meanwhile, here is what is on my night table this weekend.


 Diane tells the story of how they coped when her husband had a severe stroke.  I've just begun it and so far I'm enjoying it. Maybe it will captivate me enough to keep my mind off other things.

Hope you have something captivating in your weekend.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

What is Your Dream Meal

My mother had a 'company' dinner that was a favourite of hers to eat and serve.  She always made carrot soup as a starter, then a baked salmon with bread stuffing, served with a vegetable terrine,  and always creme caramel for dessert.  She served this meal many times to many people over the years.  She even had a special glass loaf pan she would use to bake the terrine.  I tried this meal myself once for company.  Of course, I didn't think anything I made tasted as good as hers did.  But I am one of those people who thinks whatever someone else cooks tastes better. And hey if it is going to be served to me, I'm going to like it.

Being a person who likes everything except marmite (sorry marmite fans), narrowing down to one choice for a dream meal is tough but I think I can do it.
The main course of my Dream Meal is unattainable to me.  I would like to have fresh cod fish fried up by my mother.  I'll never forget about five years ago I was staying with them at their summer place and a neighbour brought us a whole cod fish he had just caught.  My mother cut it up and pan fried it and the three of us ate it all in one sitting.  I can't describe just how good it tasted to me but I never forgot it.  Being a Newfoundlander plays a role in this; not all of us love cod fish, the main staple for the island's economy for many years, but I'm one who does.

  Here is a photo of Jennifer's pan fried cod at Own Your Food blog (sorry I couldn't pick up a link).

Pan Fried Cod

With the cod?  Real French fries, not frozen.  Dessert?  Not sure, maybe the Salted Caramel Ice Cream I talked about around last Christmas.  I seriously can't have that stuff in the house because it keeps calling my name till it's all gone. 

I have read with some interest (a little morbid) what prisoners on Death Row order for their last meal. That would have to be a person's Dream Meal, wouldn't it?  Not surprising there's always requests for lots of lobster, steak or pizza and they can sometimes have their family with them for the meal.
There is a site called  Famous Last Meals where you can read what people have requested  and it ranges from things like cheesies to ice cream to full three course meals. There are a few surprises about this whole thing, one being the number of people who make no request at all. Then they are often served steak and eggs.  Also some prisons have no last meal policy and avoid the whole request thing.  The death row prisoners then get whatever is on the jail menu for that day. That seems a little anti-climatic to me.  

So what is your Dream Meal?

                           

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Autumn Offerings

September 23 - Happy Autumnal Equinox to the Northern Hemisphere Folks

and Happy First Day of Spring to Southern Hemisphere Folks


Till I started writing this blog, I was not as acutely aware of the Southern Hemisphere and the seasonal difference.  Whenever I read about the influence of the Sun on Earth and how it affects our seasons, etc., I feel a little unease.  Suppose something were to happen to it like in so many of those disaster scenarios. Not that this is on my worry radar because it isn't.

Meanwhile here on Earth, I can hardly believe that date.  How is it possible?  Time is truly, really careening out of control, or at least, my control.


Autumn In Vermont counted cross stitch chart

Love these colours in this picture. Very Autumn.
This is a cross stitch pattern available from The By The Bay Needleart Etsy shop and called Autumn in Vermont.  The link is HERE
 While there check out the "Stich An Inch" Halloween patterns.  These 1 inch motifs are adorable.  Perhaps they are a way I could get started on the smaller thread count material.

Stitch An Inch Halloween 2  Counted Cross Stitch Pattern

I am not working on anything for autumn but my fingers are busy, busy, busy with WIP's # 1, 2 and 3.
 Here is a little Crabapple Hill Studios design I worked several years ago.  Pumpkins always get me.


I remember the pleasure I had stitching this.  It is crayon coloured to start and then embroidered mostly with back stitch.  I made it up into a little wall hanging for the kitchen sitting area.


This is my pumpkin from the Gardener's Alphabet hugging the letter A for Autumn.  Another  happy stitching memory.  And really that is what stitching is all about isn't it,...to add pleasure to our time.




Another Autumn offering from the garden...the decidedly fallish looking Sneezeweed is in bloom and providing a lovely spot of colour as other plants die off each week.  I've moved the tomato plants into the greenhouse.  There are a few reddish tomatoes and I think they will fare better in a warm overnight environment. I just checked my gardening book to see if I could move a few Hostas now but it is recommended to wait for spring.  But there are lots of other things needing doing so I will be celebrating the first day of Autumn busily in the garden.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

What Tools Do You Use?

This is my orts dish.  I clean it out just about every day and always register surprise at how many threads I seem to generate. (Just the way I seem to have no trouble filling the compost pail I keep in the kitchen.) But then I do have two projects using threads on the go.



Here are my embroidery scissors that have been around my neck and in my hand for about five years now.  They replace a pair I lost that had been specially ordered from Germany for me.  I don't love these scissors quite as much as I did the old but these have a feature I find very useful.  You know how I am always having to unsew?  These have two little bits of metal sticking out on the points that catch perfectly in a stitch to pull it out.  See the ribbon; I got that ribbon from a Godiva chocolate box and it has only recently started to pill.  Good quality that.


A while back I noticed many quilters recommending using this special ruler.  There are only special rulers these days it seems.  I can't keep up with the array of marvellous patterns that specialty rulers can achieve.
But this little six inch has a special feature too...an added on quarter inch on one side.  This is marvelous and I'm liking not having to eyeball the quarter inch seam now as I'm drawing out my patterns for the current quilting project...more about that later.  This particular ruler was a campaign promotion for the Breast Cancer Society so I figured Win Win.

My tools are  pretty low tech; I'm not much of a gadget kind of person. I'm still mastering the rotary cutter, seriously.  I only just learned I should be lubricating my cutting mat to help it heal and last.  Who knew?

Here's a pet peeve of mine about gadgets.  It annoys me when I look at a wonderful video showing how to easily make a complicated looking quilt block only to find out you need a gadget or specialty ruler to accomplish it. That happens a lot.

So are you a gadget gal? Have you got one you think I should know about? 

  And before I leave you today, I want to show you my pretty New England Asters in their fall bloom.  They are also called Michaelmas Daisies.  Clumps of them were planted around the property many years ago and they still come again each year.  I think it is the only purple flower besides the violet lilac tree that grows here.



Monday, 21 September 2015

3 Things I Love About This Project

I am happily crocheting my Granny Stripe Blanket and there are a couple of things I'm loving about this project.

1. The wool, Stylecraft Special Dk, is just as soft and yet not unstranding as all the reviews had promised.  For an acrylic type yarn, it is quite nice.  The colours are cheery too.



2. I'm enjoying how portable it is.  I put two balls in my carrybag and when littler grandson has his nap, I get a chance to crochet.  I actually put my feet up and crochet which is totally decadent.  Don't judge; you haven't seen the running round I generally do.  At almost 2, grandson is totally physical and I try to join him in his activity as much as this 60+ body will allow.  Tiring yes, but what a joy this is for me to spend time with him.



3. I can't believe how quickly and easily this is working up.  Granny Square pattern is pretty basic so you can work away at it without thinking and keep an eye on  a t.v. show which is a another plus for me.



I have a knitting project in mind now that wool season is approaching.  I'm a little reluctant to mention it because I usually like to work on a Christmas project or two during the actual season. Do you like to do that as well?

 Oh well, there's a long winter ahead, sigh, so plenty of time for woolly things.

Besides which, how many of these WIP's become too many.  

 Crocheting: Good Enough for the Queen:

You know she really did crochet and is credited with turning the past time into a trend in England.

Crocheting was not taken as seriously as it should have been for many years.  It was considered a craft but these days so many artists are crocheting, it seems to be enjoying newfound respect.  I was reading about a young graduate of the Royal School of Needlework who while a serious embroiderer, crochets in her free time.  She says many of her classmates are also crocheting for relaxation.  It's wonderful to read that.  

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Seeing Stars and DMC News

"Two men looked out through prison bars, one saw mud, the other stars."

I grew up with this saying and I often remind myself that it takes a little practice to be the one seeing stars.  I've read our natural inclination is to see the negative; it is some sort of default setting in the human brain.  But the good news is we can trick or train our brain to see the positive and thereby, improve our mood and outlook.  Takes work though.

 I know several things that work with me  and though they are generally considered "givens", I have had to learn to deliberately seek them out when I need a boost. Here are three:

  1.  I know my mood is lightened by humour...love a good laugh or in my case, a good smile, and the Pinterest humour category is very helpful to provide a few laughs instantly when I need it.  When I'm amused my mood is definitely improved. They don't keep telling us laughter is the best medicine for nothing.  
  2. An older relative of ours really favoured movies and shows involving dogs when she was elderly...she would watch Beethoven movies and The Littlest Hobo and the like over and over...any time we went to rent her a movie (imagine now renting movies!) we would look for the puppies or baby animals.  She said they cheered her up, and no, she was not senile or anything like that.  I've noticed that now I really like  puppies and baby animals and yes, as corny as it sounds, they also make me feel better. National Geographic has great videos of baby animals that are bound to please you.  I always enjoy the many videos of animals doing wonderful/crazy/funny/amazing things circulating on Facebook.  Definitely cheering and according to the number of 'likes' some of these get, I'm not the only one enjoying them. 
  3. And no surprise at all, any thing having to do with my needlearts, whether it is fabric, threads, tools, pictures, patterns, magazines and on and on, are all heartening and comforting to me.  Maybe because they all hold the idea of promise and future enjoyment. So I think we all need a little something to look forward to doing whether it's a hobby or not that gives us a lift.
Which reminds me.  Perhaps you could check out the DMC Website.  They have a number of good tutorials for embroiderers and others, as well as free patterns.  In October, 2013 they added 16 new colours to their floss collection, a big deal because it is the first time in 15 years that new colours have been added.  This makes their colour range the largest in the world.




And with one of the best lift-raising seasons coming our way,  I'm in love this latest project that Jenny Elefantz has begun.  It is a stitch-along Christmas design and is generously offered block by block for free until October 31.



The embroidered words in this little wreath are Family, Jesus, Merry, Faith, Home and Love.  All words that are positives and sweet.
Hope the weekend is uplifting and has a little bit of fun in it for you too. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

I Don't Want Marble Halls

"I don't want sunbursts or marble halls.  I just want you."


                                  Anne Shirley to Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Avonlea

I wanted to write you that sweet saying because I read that the actor, Jonathan Crombie, who played the role of Gilbert in the t.v. series, died last week.  He was a wonderful Gilbert just like what those of us who read and loved the books would have wanted him to be.  You might have heard of the book Anne of Green Gables; Anne of Avonlea follows the grown up Anne into marriage.

Well, I definitely don't have any marble halls or marble anything for that matter, but I do have sunbursts today.  Love the way the warm weather is lingering.
 The last two nights have been balmy, almost tropical in feeling with clear skies that opened up all the stars for viewing.  This is a sky map of the stars over Ottawa tonight; a very busy sky and here in the country, clear as a bell.


current night sky over Ottawa

When we hosted Hubby's young English cousin last September, he would make a point of looking at the sky each night.  He was totally awed by the stars; apparently in his part of London, he hadn't seen stars in years.

 We are eating lots of green beans from our garden these days.  I usually pick a bunch and boil with a little sugar added to the water.  Then put a dab of butter for the plate.  They are good and even Hubby who is not a big bean fan enjoys these



Acorns are all over the property; the front lawn is completely peppered.   Even the very oldest oak tree has sprouted more than I have seen since living here.  If you stand under it, you have a good chance of being struck by an acorn.  The squirrels and chipmunks are having a field day, busily collecting them for the winter of course. It made me remember my Nicola Jarvis embroidery kit, Acorn, that I have tucked away in my stash. 


 The old farmers used to believe that all these acorns were a sign of a cold winter to come.  Gosh, hope that is just an old wive's tale. 


This little dish was one of my thrift store finds; it is stamped simply Japan on the bottom.  Of course I loved the little bird bending over in the center.  But the dish itself is a bit of mystery; it is like the maker couldn't decide if it should be a butterfly or a leaf and it has features of both.  Whatever, it is a great little catchall on the coffee table.

Well, today's chore is off to the library, which is no chore at all.  Don't know why I said that.  




Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Quilting Police

 A word about self-imposed pressure.

 I do this to myself just as I did in the work world.  I always seem to have the idea that someone is watching what I'm doing and I just have to keep up.  Who would this be now in retirement....the quilting police?!

I thought of this as I reread my post about Summing Up Summer.  It seemed as if I was disappointed in myself that I hadn't gotten more projects finished.  Really I should have been so happy my hand improved and I did what I did.  I actually had a lovely summer with lots of time spent at my favourite things in the world...reading, writing, in the garden, stitching and being with both grandsons.

  But really who do I think I am.  It seems I still have to get over myself and my notions about self-imposed productivity. Hubby says it is about patience; that while I show a lot of patience for others, I don't apply it to myself. 

 That is my mini rant for today! Thanks for listening.

And while on the topic of finishings which I do love, here is Block 4 of my embroidery project.  Two more to go.  I may go back in to add something more to the large pink flower in the center.  It looks a little unfinished to me.



For my quilt project, I am not using a bundle or pack or roll of fabrics that have been purposedly matched by a professional.  I have gone to my own collection and tried to choose what I think will coordinate well in a patchwork quilt.  How to choose is not that easy and yet so important to the overall look of the quilt. I can well appreciate why quilters would choose to avoid that guesswork and go with a pre-coordinated bundle.

  I found this article on Wikihow called How to Choose Quilt Fabrics very helpful.  Years ago we were told to choose a neutral, a solid, a small print and a larger print (about scale) and I will probably, more or less, go with that old time strategy.

Over at Diary of a Quilter  Amy Smart has been dealing with this exact issue and her posts about the topic are well worth checking out.  I really liked the section on dealing with scale in choosing fabrics.
  
Oh before I forget; I keep encountering Scandi things....everywhere.  The latest is this Scandi Red Cream Fabric bundle by John Louden.  Isn't it pretty? It also comes in gray which looks very chic. This lovely fabric and many more are available at Elephant In My Handbag.



Scandi Red Cream - Christmas Cotton Bundle 1

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

7 Things I'm Loving This Week

Lots to love this week, and here are a few things I found.

 This Saying

As August seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye, September hurried in before I was even thinking Autumn (and we've already heard about snow falling out west, yikes), we cling to these last days of warmth and sunshine.

"Steep thyself in a bowl of summer." so said Virgil and I add "while you still can"  here in this hemisphere.  Temperatures forecast to stay in the high twenties for the rest of this week; just right for getting outside.


These are this year's Morning Glories and the first of them to make it to the top of the fence.  It really is too bad they close up before day's end because they are such a pretty sight in the morning.


Depression Glass Earrings

Do you know someone who collects Depression glassware?  My sister is very fond of her little collection.  These earrings are made of depression glass and I think would make a special gift for her or anyone who likes collecting glass.  


DEPRESSION GLASS EARRINGS




And with jewelry in mind...

Jeweler In The Dishwasher: Home Jewelry Cleaning..


What about a way to clean your jewelry in the dishwasher.  I have no idea if that is a good idea or not; on second thought maybe not.

Both these items and many more unique gift ideas are available from Uncommon Goods.


The Red Brolly Seed Packet Quilt



seed packet quilt pattern by red brolly 5




This is a set of patterns for nine stitched flower pictures and instructions for putting them together to make a small quilt.  They are to be found at the wonderful Red Brolly site. 




Seed Packet Quilt

All the favourite flowers are included.


This cookbook,


Short and Sweet by the UK Guardian food writer, Dan Lepard.  With over 500 pages of cakes, pies, desserts and breads this is one hefty, well-packed cook book.  And your cupboard does not have to be posh to make most of these recipes.  I borrowed this copy from the library and liked it so much I've ordered my own from Amazon, a used but in good condition copy for $7.95. 


Something Exquisite

 Isn't this breathtaking?  This is from Wilmer Galeano's page on Facebook.  Just have to stand back and admire such a Cinderella dress.  It reminds me a little of the wedding dresses sometimes seen on those t.v. gypsy wedding programs.  This one is stunning and elegant at the same time.




Tula Pink is a designer and artist who has several quilting books plus lines of fabric to her credit. 
She has published a colouring book that looks delightful.  I have her quilting book, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks on my night stand now. 




The designs look amazing; I was thinking they would make the most wonderful embroidery patterns. It is available from Amazon  and costs about ten dollars.  

So many wonderful things, big and small to ogle and love.   

Monday, 14 September 2015

Fresh Peach Pie

Ontario peaches have come into ripeness and what a great thing to wind down the summer's fresh offerings.  Ontario grows about 80% of the country's peaches and baskets of them are lining every fruit stand and supermarket counters these days. Besides the fact that peaches are low in sodium, fat and calories, I don't think you can find a better taste than that of a fresh peach.  There was no question in Hubby's mind as to what I should make with the basket I picked up.  Pie.


I always use the same recipe for the pastry.  It really is tried and true and I only use Crisco shortening too.  I am tempted at times to try a different one, but then think, if it ain't broke why fix it.  The post when I talked about my fresh Blueberry Pie with pastry recipe is HERE.

  These peaches were smallish so I used all the ones you see here.  These are free stone and the flesh pulls away from the pits easily.

 Here is what I mixed with the sliced peaches...

                  1/3 cup sugar (these were very sweet peaches)

                  1/3 cup flour

                  a tsp. of cinnamon

                  a tablespoon of lemon juice


I gave the crust a brush with beaten egg and baked it in a 425 degree oven for about 50 minutes.  I always make a tin foil collar for the pastry rim so it doesn't get too brown in the baking. 



Interesting fact about peaches: Prehistoric and first cultivated by the Chinese, peaches symbolize immortality and friendship for them.



 Hubby says they symbolize good eating to him.