Thursday, 28 February 2019

Thursday Things

Hubby's memory is short for the old days whereas mine seems to be growing longer all the time.  I feel like I remember everything from the past which is definitely nonsense.  But I do hold in memory names, old comments, scenes, events.  I've had several "I can't believe I just said that" moments but thankfully long ago, that are also not forgotten to me. Do you have words you wish you could take back?

What is a ski-doo? someone asked. Here is a photo of our two seater snowmobile.  It's great for getting around in wintertime snow. I used one similar to this to go get my groceries when I lived in the far north. I'm sorry I forget that some of you in other countries, especially warmer ones, would not be familiar with what we take totally for granted.  This is used to flatten our snowy trails for walking and they are fun to drive and ride too.

I love these Folk Art Wooden Sewing caddies which make me think of ingenuity, recycling, and hand work.  The scissors forming the beaks are so neat and the hand carved crochet hooks are ingenious.
 This post at Country Threads has photos of many more.  For some reason this reminded me of Little House on the Praire, a series I enjoyed watching with my girls when they were young.  Did you?  I also loved reading that Michael Landon was just as nice in real life as he seemed to be on the show.
                     
 "Dozing off, the book slips out of my hand." A line from a poem and something that has never happened to me.
I've whined before to you about sleeping woes. Lately, I'm happy to say I've been sleeping better and I have no explanation for that.  Maybe some worries are fading, the grandkids growing up, family more settled, time dulling my senses, LOL; I don't know and I don't want to examine it too much. Just let it be.

I did not make my OMG for February as stated at Elm Street Quilts, that was to finish all the Quaker half motifs in the border of the Cornwall Cottage Sampler.  But I'm not sad at all because I was able to have my Quakers meet up; they are not all stitched but I came very close.

Without Google Plus, comments are turning up in my email account so I've been replying there in case you have wondered. And I am delighted that some who were not able to comment before, can now do so.
 In response to a recent post, we've had some chats about tea, tea versus coffee, heirloom tea cups, etc. All interesting to me.
Also I've had several people mention tea blocks to piece, applique or embroider of one kind or another; thank you for that.  It is a very popular theme, it seems.

I subscribe to The Patchsmith and Amanda is nearing the end of her Patchsmith Sampler Sew Along.  Block 49, as it happens, is this very pretty one.  She has quite a knack for piecing and putting fabrics together.

                                     

And speaking of patching, I have squared up and  joined my Lily blocks.
 I think I mentioned I hand stitched a lot of my scrap bin reds together. I really want to work these strips into the border somehow.
 Looking at them on the wall hoping to get some ideas on how exactly to do that.  I guess I'll figure that out...hopefully I hang onto my confidence long enough to do so!

Below new to our house for Christmas this year from Wayfair.  So perfect. Just like Murphy and with birds, as it happens all birds to be found here in Ontario.
I must close this post. My editor (Hubby) will say it is too long. Hope you are enjoying the ending to another good week.

Linking this post with Not Afraid of ColorQuilt FabricationKatie Mae QuiltsThe Inquiring QuilterIt's A Small Town LifeBrian's Home BLog, and My Quilt Infatuation.


Sunday, 24 February 2019

Baking, Birds, Books and Stitching

The still early darkness is making long evenings, even longer nights for sleep, leisurely mornings for us retirees, comforting ourselves with food and hot drinks all the while. Sort of housebound but in reality not. This winter seems to be going on long without a break, not giving us any hint of an end in sight just yet.
We are comfortable though and only uncomfortable from our own doing...over eating and not walking as far or as long. The urge to treat yourself seems stronger when the outside weather is cold and too much treat type food has found its way into my cupboards. No one to blame for that but myself and the store that had Lays chips on special 2 for 1.  Salt will usually win over sugar for me.

And speaking of comforting food, I made a massive apple crisp. I used this recipe from Amanda at the wonderful I Am Baker site- it sandwiches the fruit between two layers of the crisp mixture which is my favourite part.

 A great little video and her other videos are wonderful too.

Perfect with a dollop of cream...
Anyway, a good season to sit in my pet chair by the large window and stitch which has led me to this point as of today with my Cornwall Cottage Sampler. Pleased with this progress.
Will I be able to close that gap by the 28th?? Fingers will have to be busy all this week! Having all these half quakers finished by then is my February OMG at Elm Street Quilts. Ummm looking tight.

So happy to be participating in the SAL hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea, the perfect encouraging group to get this project finished. Such wonderful stitching and interesting projects to be seen by these fine stitchers:-
AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLinda,HeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherineDeborahConnieClare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharon

Stitching pairs perfectly with audio books!
The Silent Patient by British author, Alex Michaelides.. Truthfully, so far I don't see what all the fuss has been about but apparently, the ending will be heart stopping. ( Don't mean to sound a bit snarky there but so many books are not delivering for me these days, which I know is just me.)

I've been on the trail of these guys below. Grouse are funny birds; here we almost step on one before it explodes into the air and away. The flurry is almost frightening and drives the dogs crazy.  I spy one or two in the trees but not very often.
Murphy spotted these first; I didn't know what they were, with their feathers all puffed out like this to keep warm. I enlarged the photo on the computer and could see they were Ruffed Grouse.  I read they withstand our frigid winter temperatures by growing extra feathers around their nostrils to warm the air they breathe. Isn't nature grand! Now if only we could do that! I asked Hubby what are our special adaptations and he said our brains. 😊
That one on the bottom looks like he's about to burst! Love their expressions.

Hope you are keeping warm or cool as your climate dictates! And thank you all for stopping by; I love hearing from you and getting to know you even just a little bit.

Happily linking with Kathy's Quilts, Stitch All the Things where Christine introduces us to her new updated sewing room,and The Jesh Studio.











Thursday, 21 February 2019

Blues, Hand Work, A Flimsy

I'm sharing this photo of our living area to show you the fireplace. The mason who made it passed away in the nursing home at the age of 92 several years ago. We had been told he was very proud of this particular piece of work and took three weeks choosing the stones.
I wonder are kids being encouraged to think of this kind of career these days. Working with your hands is important and as us stitchers all know, endlessly satisfying and rewarding. With all the emphasis on computers, I hope young people are being presented with other options, the ones involving hands on work. I've read several articles lately like this one that says working with your hands is not only good for your heart but also your brain.

This is a new lovely free BOW called Delft Blue and sorry I was late to the start-up.
 Here is the link to the post at Piecing the Past Quilts where you can sign up. They are up to Week 6 now which I just downloaded (past blocks are available for a small fee.)


The patterns are not too difficult and who doesn't love the simple beauty of blue and white together.

I've looked at this book many times- Dutch Treat by Judy Garden...just love the blocks. Available from Amazon here . I'm so tempted but surprising myself with how good I'm being since Christmas.



Good in the finishing of things before starting anything else and Bonhommes en Chapeaux is a flimsy!

I've spent several enjoyable, relaxing evenings adding bits of embroidery.

A Nana Moment
 Ontario celebrated Family Day last Monday and the little grandson went to the annual Family Ice Fishing Derby at White Lake. Fresh air, rosy cheeks, and participation prizes.
                           Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
Certainly no worries about thin ice this year that's for sure.

A Murphy Moment
At the old farm, in the sunshine, contemplating life.

Such wonderful company; I am never lonely.

Well, we are almost in the home stretch with tucking away February, 2019.
So pleased to link this post with Not Afraid of ColorEsther's Quilt BlogThe Needle and Thread NetworkSew Fresh QuiltsIt's A Small Town LifeThe Inquiring Quilter, and Silly Mama Quilts



Sunday, 17 February 2019

Tea, Crochet, Birds, Stitching

Tea cups and time pieces, once so important, are now to be found in the thrift shops.
 I have a few tea cups here inherited from first wife. I remember the only English lady in a tiny village I was teaching in showing me how to pour tea properly so everyone got the same strength in their cup. I took that knowledge to heart.  I remember Dad telling us that in the Korean war, any time they camped with English troops, tea would be offered and to his surprise, even to those injured.

Hubby would definitely second this!
Image result for tea hierarchy
 And growing up in Newfoundland, there was always a pot of tea sitting on the stove.  I drank my first cup of coffee at age 26 when I got to teach with mainlanders in the Arctic. Today, we have a cup of coffee in the morning, but switch to tea for the rest of the day.

During my watercolours research, I came across this- the famous Wedgewood Cuckoo Peach tea cup. At $60 C is a steal compared to                                                  Cuckoo Peach Teacup & Saucer
This one...the Ming Dynasty tea cup featuring a common rooster that is worth amazingly $36 million US!
Image result for most expensive tea cup

I always look through the tea cup shelf in thrift stores. Some are so pretty but I don't buy them.  Never one for flavoured teas, I have recently embraced several kinds including peppermint tea because it does help settle the stomach and aid with sleeping.

Pinterest site with loads of patterns of cups and pots to quilt and some time I intend to make something with one of those patterns.  I did make a tea cloth with cups once...must try to find it.
It will pale in comparison to this gorgeous piece by talented Maureen at the Mystic Quilter. A sight for my eyes in this white world of mine right now. Visit her blog to see other amazing quilts!

                                       
I got my wooly package of Stylecraft DK from across the pond. I ordered it through Lucy's blog Attic 24 as I like to support those of you using your blog for income. It came in Wool Warehouse packaging, a pretty gossamer bag. The biggest challenge I will face with beginning the Sweet Pea Blanket will be casting on the correct number of stitches.  I think I figured out a way to mark every 50 stitches last time.

Almost all my bird photos taken in winter are through a window shots. Given the usual temperatures, can you blame me! This one of a cardinal would have had more value if not for that maybe. A lone male has been visiting the feeder area for a couple of weeks. Why just the one? Is this my messager from heaven?


I've made it down to the corner and ever so slightly turning round the bend on my Cornwall Cottage sampler. I love when progress is visible. A little stitching every day adds up, it really does.

I've also started joining some of my scrappy red squares for the border of Lilies. I just can't throw out pretty tins like this Russell Stover one.  It came in handy to hold my little red and pink squares.

This is more hand stitching but enjoyable without the counting.  However, I'm trying my darndest to keep the stitches tiny and even. Great practice!


A sunny Sunday but cold. Nevertheless, the sun streaming in the windows is so welcome.
So happy to link this post with Viewing Nature With Eileen, So ScrappySew Can SheLove Laugh QuiltPretty PineyWild Bird Wednesday and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework. Thank you all for hosting!



















Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Reds, Cake, Primitive Quilts

So the world is now simply white. Yesterday we had a snow storm which while we get lots of snowfalls here, seldom is there a good enough wind to make a storm of it. But this one had a stiff breeze as I would call 60 km/h of wind. Flakes flew enough to obscure the views and give us the sense that we were house bound.

And this morning outside by my pet chair, a rabbit has made its' way.  Hubby thinks one may be living in the piping for the ornamental pond near this and if so, is extremely cosy under a layer of rock, soil and now 30 extra cm of snow.

We enjoyed our Indian food very much especially the fresh naan bread; perhaps that is my favourite part. Younger daughter treated us to one of her cakes, which she loves to make and decorate. This one had mascarpone in the frosting and blueberries which made it delicious.



I bought this magazine (which I seldom do) because it had a number of features I liked.  Baskets, houses, hearts...


Including this article with pattern about the wonderful Cheri Payne who passed away last year. I love that her contribution to quilting and stitching is still being acknowledged and celebrated.  The facebook group called Quilts by Cheri ~ Friendship Group is thriving. There are now many, many pages of free patterns in the Files there, btw.


I wanted to show you hearts but have lilies on the wall instead.  But they are reds.  I'm starting to wonder how many to make.  The border was easy to choose as I'm going to sew together left over little blocks in keeping with what a scrappy project this is.


If you celebrate Valentine's Day, hope it is wonderful for you.
I must go and break the bad news to the dogs that there will be no second walk today...the first one was hard going. Hubby and I have massive digging out to do first and being old, we must pace ourselves. 😊
So happy to link with Not Afraid of ColorEsther's Quilt Blog, Em's ScrapbagMy Quilt Infatuation,
It's a Small Town Life, and Quilt Fabrication.











Sunday, 10 February 2019

Wise Words, Mellow Sunday Doings

                       Image result for noble lovely and true

I've had this in my online notebook for quite a long time.
I don't pick a resolution or a word for the year- usually. But I will keep rereading this as a reminder of how to cope sometimes. This saying represents the deliberate turning away from the awfulness and bad news we seem to be bombarded with these days. Choosing to focus on and keep enjoying the wonderful, the sweet, the unique, the pretty, no matter how small is how I aim to keep it because there is still good in the world; we must never lose sight of that.   According to how old this verse is, it's a reminder we have always needed.
And it's one of the reasons I joined Not Afraid of Color for the Thursday I Like posts celebrating the little and the large in our days to enjoy.

I'm having a mellow Sunday back home again. A weak winter sun is trying to fill the skies but it is bright nonetheless.
Just added this lovely cello piece to my YouTube music list. I find a cello sound a haunting sound.



Allie at  Allie Oops Sweet Happy Life has been drawing and embroidering very sweet little designs and offering them for free at the Allie Oops Design Facebook Group.  Each has an inspirational message, for instance Block 2 is be healed.  Check it out.

In line with doing our own tiny things for the environment-- are you familiar with Arne and Carlos, the two knitting Norwegians? I had their book about how to knit Christmas ball decorations from the library a few years ago and there is a YouTube video of that too.
                                     Related image
  Anyway, they have made a video of how to knit a tote bag for grocery shopping. More and more stores here are wanting you to bring your own bags and praise be, I'm actually starting to remember to bring mine in from the car!  These guys are amusing.

On the wall- my Bonhommes en Chapeaux 
Still have a few more bits to add and I keep auditioning fabrics to use for borders- with multicoloured polka dots on that background there is a lot of choice.  I'm a little hampered too because my tendancy is to use just scraps for all of this.  Cutting into a fat quarter for just a tiny bit is hard for me to do.


More hand stitching, dog walking and a treat of takeout Indian food for supper..my idea of a perfect day.  Would it be yours too?
Also perfect is linking up with Kathy's Quilts, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Sew Can She, Cooking Up Quilts, Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkFree Motion by the River and Love Laugh Quilt.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Daughter's Pretties, Rex and I

This Thursday finds me somewhere different. I am at older daughter's house, about 30 minute's drive away,  staying with my teenaged grandson while she is away on holiday. I love her little cottagey house and shared a few photos last year when I did the same thing. You can read my post about that here.  She has a real eye for surrounding herself with things that spark joy I would have to say. :)

Looking out at her back yard. Her large stained glass hanging looks like a quilt pattern to me. I think of the propeller pattern and in particular, it reminds me of Karen's Retro Air Space Propeller quilt.


I really should get her to shop with me for the wooden house.
I've always liked this chicken proudly holding her sunflowers.
And here is my work set up while I'm here in the little den.
Note my travel lamp...yes an Ott table top lamp I bought at Costco for $39. No I don't get any renumeration for praising those lamps. :)  You can see all the specs on it here.  A handy USB port and pretty white leather like look.
  Daughter has these pretty pale aqua and white painted side tables around this room.

I brought two projects with me, the cross stitch one and the second Kim McLean applique block to hand quilt.  While grandson is in school during the day, I have been peacefully stitching and have made real progress on both. 
Below another chicken and that little star lamp is sweet.


And a close up of that tea dyed cross stitch piece. Cute, heh.


This is a small house but has huge windows so the light is amazing. Perhaps because the original and only owner, Margaret who had the house built, was an artist.  She was well known in this little town because people saw her walking her Dalmatian every day. She also had a cat and lived here till her passing in her mid eighties.  As soon as Daughter and I walked in, we got a good feeling-funny how some houses just seem to do that.  I still love hanging out here.

Of course, I'm missing Hubby and the fur babies. Speaking of which here is Rex who is my shadow photo bombing when Hubby was trying to take a picture a couple of weeks ago.  We were trying to get that quilted panel in and he would not move.





Yes, he is certainly my loyal companion and I love him.  And I'll be home tomorrow evening with him and Miss Murphy.

Happy Thursday all. 
With the elimination of Google Plus, all those comments have disappeared. But I did read them all before that happened, so thank you all for dropping by!


Sunday, 3 February 2019

Free Patterns, Stitching And Feeding the Birds

Happy February to all!
Half way through the winter and the sun on our backs this morning had real warmth to it despite the freezing air temperature.
Here is the February block for A Patchwork Year called Forget Me Not, designed by the wonderful Kathy Schmitz.


Hubby has just had to use one of his favourite toys, the snow tractor/blower. ☺

A little update on my Cornwall Cottage Sampler, designed by Karen Kluba for Rosewood Manor.  It is large at 294 x 294 stitches, 2 strands on 32 count linen.  It features a border of half quaker motifs...a pleasure to stitch. Click here to check out some free charts from Karen.

The beginning in January 2017.

Stitching on the veranda in the summer of 2017.  Oh how I liked that.

The purchase of this Ott light greatly helped these old eyes with the counting.


Present day; its' time has come to be finished. I took a hard look at it and decided to make this my OMG for February over at Elm Street Quilts...not to be completely done, nooo, but to have all the quaker motifs stitched. I think I can do that as they are my favourite to stitch.
And with that in mind I am also joining the SAL at  Sewing Beside the Sea, a stitch along designed to give encouragement to get a started project moved along or finished or to work on a new one. Perfect for me.
And here are all the stitchers taking part so far. Perhaps you'd like to check out Avis' blog and read more about it.  Meanwhile there are wonderful projects being stitched by these ladies...take a look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelen,StephLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherineDeborahConnieClare, Mary MargaretReneeJenny,CarmelaJocelyn

  How do these little mites survive in such frigid temperatures!  Here are a couple of American Goldfinches with a chickadee coming in for a landing during the last heavy snowfall. Taken from my window and closely cropped.

On this February Sunday I will be filling the feeders as well as stiching. Take care out there; this polar vortex thing is serious stuff. And likewise, enjoy your warmth but stay cool my friends in the southern hemisphere.
Always appreciated: joining the slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy's Quilts. Also meeting up with the folks at Viewing Nature With Eileen, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, and Pretty Piney.