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.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Links, Woolworths Famous Cheesecake, Flowers at Last

Neither fine nor entirely foul lately. We seem to be enduring a new season composed of sunlight in thin bursts, cloud cover, rain showers and winds at times cool enough to make us shiver. Overnight temperatures dipping down almost flirting with freezing. Springish, I guess you could say but keep a coat/umbrella/duck boots handy.

In spite of it all, we have flowers! In the garden!  They ignored the frost warnings and decided to bloom anyway. We have a number of small bunches of daffodils dotted throughout the flower beds adding just a touch of colour here and there. We've also let all the dandelions be for now hoping to help early bees but sadly we've not seen one.

And luckily the weather does not put a damper on all the loads of things to love.

I loved this tutorial on how to applique using freezer paper from Simple Bird Studios.  One of the best I've seen and somehow seems to be my favourite method as well.

Wendy in this excellent post at her blog Pieceful Thoughts shared her favourite ways to find fabric. I picked up a few ideas to note for future reference.

I saw this panel on One of Nanette's posts at Chopin- A Passionate Quilter; she is embroidering it and I fell in love with it.  Embroidery is like my first love and this is on my wanted list as well.  From the French General site.

                            Atelier De France Embroidery Sampler
I enjoy Karen's videos at Just Get It Done Quilts so much.  Plain talking/explaining and she is real about life too.  This one is about finding useful quilting items from the Dollar Store.  I also liked the one about using masking tapes in quilting. Always something to learn!


I made this particular no bake cheesecake last Sunday.  The  Famous Woolworth's No Bake Cheesecake recipe which someone said is over a hundred years old!
 My mother worked at Woolworth's for over 25 years in the Ladies and Children section. It was a surprise when I heard she wanted a job later in life but it suited her.  She loved her co workers and the socializing and chatting with all the shoppers her job provided.  When I came home for Christmas that first year, I could see a difference in her. She was much more confident somehow and livelier. And she was making her own "bit of money" as she called it.  She also still gets her small Woolworth's pension after all these years.

This has been published often and I know I have a copy poked away in a scrapbook somewhere but who needs that with the internet.

Selling your crafts can be very profitable. If only you knew what to make that people would actually pay money for! I have an ultimate list of 30+ hot craft ideas to sell to help you out! This list will be sure to help you find that something you have been looking for that you can DIY for a profit! Hot craft ideas to sell | Handmade craft ideas to sell | DIY craft ideas to sell | easy craft ideas to sell | craft ideas to sell for kids #workfromhome #makemoneyfromhome
 I did not have lemon jello and used orange instead. With a simple graham cracker crumb bottom and a bit of whipping, this is easy to put together as well as tasty. It is very light which makes it a great summertime dessert.  I made sure my Carnation milk had been in the freezer till it had thickened a bit before the whipping. Hubby is having no problem eating his way through a 9 x 13 pan of it. LOL

How does my Sweet Pea afghan grow!  It is keeping my knees warm as I crochet which is needed as our basement is cool where the t.v. is.
I showed you Lucy's colourwash version of her Dune blanket. Here is the regular version in shell stitch. A soft muted palette Lucy says inspired by walks on a beach when there is still a chill in the air. Could apply right now today! All the Dune blanket details can be found here at Attic 24.
                                 Dune3
More photograph blocks while I dicker about with the borders of those flower blocks.  Mindless fun sewing with my little Brother sewing machine which is such a workhorse.  It's small enough I can strip it down to fix things...would not dream of tinkering with the computerized Singer Quantum in such a way.

Littler grandson with an egg from their hens. He is enjoying the hen keeping very much.  They have "designer" hens this year which give them different coloured eggs...just for fun.  He tells me that he loves nature which is music to my ears.
                                
And with his happy face I'll close this post.
Hope you follow some of the links included today...so much information and inspiration to be found there! Happy Thursday all.
Linking with Not Afraid of ColorThe Jesh StudioEsther's Quilt BlogThe Needle and Thread NetworkMy Quilt InfatuationEm's Scrapbag, Quilt FabricationSugarlane DesignsBusy Hands Quilts and It's a Small Town Life.




Sunday, 19 May 2019

Birds, Most Wanted List Continued, Hubby's Latest Toy

Hubby with his Ryker.  He's loving it and it has taken a load of worry off my mind. I now notice them on the road; many more than I would have thought.  I guess with the population aging and bikers wanting to bike no matter the age, it makes sense these rigs become more popular.

My hand stitching time lately was devoted to cross stitch and I made reasonable progress on the Cornwall Cottage Sampler.  I worked on that feathery kind of green border which you might miss altogether if not pointed out.
Before....

Repetitious and not that interesting to stitch but I got it done. Everything lined up, whew! And this month I will concentrate on finishing the basket.
Today...
I am so happy to link up with my fellow stitchers at the international SAL hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea. It has provided just the incentive I needed to get this project finished.  And I'm finding it fascinating to see what these folks are creating with their cloth and threads.
AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherineDeborahConnieClare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharon

Quick question...can needlepoint designs be used for cross stitch?
 I started my stitching journey decades ago with needlepoint and hope to return to it when my eyes start to have issues with counting. I was given this gorgeous book by the wonderful needlepoint artist, Beth Russell. Inspired by William Morris.
There is this pattern I would be interested in working.  So please let me know if you think this is possible.


Most Wanted List-continued

French General Fleur de Noel fabricImage result for french general fleur de noel fabric

Blackbird Designs Wild Orchid fabric. Some say this is gone forever.  Please say that isn't true! It was so popular!

Image result for blackbird designs orchid
Perky Pet Oriole Jelly Wildlife feeder. Kind Collette at What About Rheema?  sent me this link on Amazon to check them out.



I got no photos of orioles at the farm but was thrilled to spy one just a couple of times. I've yet to see one here but know they are around. So I would love to attract them.
Here is one of the rose breasted grosbeaks taken back in 2015 at the farm with my little point and shoot camera. It was thrilling to watch him at the feeder and he grew comfortable with other birds like the mourning dove being very close by.


I have a hankering for something baked...think I will make a cake today, the old fashioned way baked in the oven! (Definitely not going to be using my bread machine again for cakes).

Hope all is right with your world today!
Linking this post with Kathy's Quilts  and Viewing Nature With Eileen.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Most Wanted List and Mother's Day Outing

Who knew?!
I had no idea my way of devoting a container to each of my projects was a thing called boxing. I came across it on Ann Wood's Blog and realized that is what I am doing and it is a way of lessening anxiety about having more than one project on the go at a time.  I would definitely fit that category of stressing about it. 
 Here is what Twyla (love saying that name!) Tharp in her book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For the Rest of Your LIfe  has to say about boxing...
“The box makes me feel organized, that I have my act together even when I don’t know where I’m going yet. It also represents a committment. The simple act of writing a project name on a box means that I’ve started work”
I found that interesting. 

 I actually felt overwhelmed in the sewing room one day last week. I got very down on myself about my lack of finishes to show for the time invested. Normally that aspect of the process doesn't bother me. In the end I questioned whether I should be looking at some of the pro type blogs where those talented folks have, if not two, then always one finish every single post. 
 But the upshot of that little bout had a positive outcome- it spurred me to look through my unfinished shelf. I pulled out these little applique blocks I made in 2016 and never sewed into anything useful . 







 They are designs from this book, Inspired By Tradition by Kay Mackenzie.


 I experimented with fusible applique and enjoyed  hand stitching a blanket stitch around them at the time. ( But decided in the end that I prefer using freezer paper overall for applique.)
  I squared them and sewed them together in an effort solely to make myself feel better.  To feel like I was accomplishing something.  A summer runner for the sofa table.
Having a complete rethink of that yellow and blue border ...too much/too busy.  What do you think? Now looking at these more subdued/neutral type fabrics.  Decision making, duh!

On a more satisying note, I got out and about in the local town recently.
I had a lovely day at the spa for Mother's Day. Younger daughter and I had facials, pedicures, drank mimosas and relaxed.  I'm not one for a lot of fooling with me from other people but I have to admit I loved every minute.  It is also enjoyable to know such a facility exists ten minutes from the house in the little nearby town, so we promised ourselves to go more often. 
Image result for mahogany spa carleton place
We also visited the very well stocked Granary where all manner of health food, baked goods and grooming items  are available.

                                                  Image result for granary carleton place
Where I bought this, Vegenaise mayonnaise...so surprised to know it is available locally. It is quite tasty.
 And ended the day with excellent Indian food from another local spot, Sagar Indian Cuisine, which I'm so happy to support. The naan bread too was a real treat.
logo
Nice to know shopping, eating out and entertainment is on our door step; we don't have to go into Ottawa for it which is a good thing as we get older.
What's on your want list?  
I want to join this group on Facebook... the Twinkle Twinkle Challenge- Het Klossie with Marijke Tabak. You might remember the Lily Challenge from last year. This year she has designed a star block also to be made with scraps and is free for members. 
cover photo, No photo description available.
I need to settle on which kind of frame or holder I want to buy for my stitchery projects.  The hoops I use are hard on the material and also hurt my left hand to hold for any length of time. I've looked at lap stands but they are pricey; lately I've been eyeing this one. It receives wonderful reviews so I think this is the one I'll go with. Q-Snap Needlework frame which gets a consistent 5 stars from stitchers on Amazon.



This list is to be continued. 
Meanwhile, everything is rosy in our garden...well not literally (will be a while yet before we see roses!) but figuratively for sure.
Hope for you all too!
Check out lots of positive/thankful Thursday things at Not Afraid of Color and It's A Small Town Life. Also linking with Sew Fresh QuiltsThe Inquiring Quilter, Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkLife in Pieces and Busy Hands Quilts.









Sunday, 12 May 2019

Tulips in Cloth for Spring



Mother's Love

Happy Mother's Day to all celebrating! There is no doubt becoming a mother is one of the great enterprises of life.  And if all works out, a lifelong journey at that.
I really liked this little poster that a friend circulated on Facebook.

No photo description available.

Wearing his summer coat, here is the rabbit we think overwintered in the backyard. We see this fellow sometimes on the trail closest to the house.  I took this photo from a great distance and you can see he is lifting his nose and getting a smell-perhaps me. He immediately turned and hopped away.
And here is little chipmunk, the only one around this spring. I was happy to watch him popping in and out of the wood stick home I piled up over two autumns. I knew it was being used as I saw various tiny tracks in the snow sometimes throughout the winter.

When I return from my Mother's Day outing, I hope to continue appliquing flowers onto the string blocks. The latest template, a sort of tulip for spring. On a bit of a roll and I would like to keep the momentum going.


Hope you have the momentum rolling today too.
Happily  linking with Kathy's Quilts and Viewing Nature with Eileen,.





Thursday, 9 May 2019

Spring Things, Free Patterns, Kindness Counts

I grew up with the saying" it's bad to be poor but it's worse to be sore." Feeling grateful this week, yes! I had my annual check up recently, with a couple of tests I've never had before and they turned out normal. Always a relief when that happens at any age but especially at mine. I never take good health for granted, not for one minute.

A flowering is happening! The trout lilies, first woodland flower of spring, are finally putting on a show.
I made what I call a "cooked dinner" for Hubby recently...a pork roast, cauliflower with cheese, green beans, homemade applesauce and this dish there on the left.  At home in Newfoundland, this is served with gravy. Mom made many different meals where her biscuit topping would be used.  People call it different names- a crust or a paste. It is really a basic biscuit and I used to put it on top of whatever meat I was cooking.  Now I use a casserole dish to bake it.  It's good leftover with a little butter and jam too, if you forget about the carbs.
There are numerous variations but this is the recipe I use...


My head got turned by this Springtime celebration fabric... called Spring Awakens For Henry Glass by Debi Hron. At Debi's site you can see how gorgeous and sweet her designs are, as well as download a free pattern using this line. The colours are so vibrant and the owls are adorable.

                        
Another springtime event. The very unlikely places robins choose for their nests. Like this one at daughter's house right on the wall by their front walkway next to the garage.  She flies off when someone walks by which is a lot when they are home.  
But she has stayed to lay her eggs with all of us marveling at that wonderful shade of blue.
My little wall of photograph blocks is growing. Today I'm going to start stitching these into larger blocks. I find that easier to work with than long strings.  So far I've used only scraps for these so I'll see how big a piece I can make before deciding if I want to dip into my stash...and if I like it enough for that.


Jacquelynne Steeves has released her latest free BOM project.  She led a popular one last year called Save the Bees which are still in need of saving, sadly.  This year's project is called Happy Little Things.  The link is here for the sign up.
                             

Members of yet another of my online facebook groups got into a real fuss and the administrators had to step in and shut down some of the commentary. I'm really surprised and disappointed that someone posing an innocent question can somehow make people turn on each other with unkind words, on a stitching forum of all places, nothing to do with hot topics or anything. Yikes! 

I believe this....
                                      Image result for unexpected kindness is the most powerful
                                    
We all know how good it feels when someone is kind to us even with the smallest gesture or word.
I hope there is only kindness and light and laughter in your day.
(Sorry the font sizes changed during this post; one browser shut down on me and I had to finish in another.)
Happy to be linking with Not Afraid of Color, It's A Small Town Life, The Needle and Thread Network, Sew Fresh Quilts, The Inquiring Quilter, Esther's Quilt Blog Creations-Quilts, Art and Whatever and Paying Ready Attention