Thursday 25 July 2019

Favourites... YouTube, Potato Salad, Basket Blocks,

Yes, the chandeliers at the Hilton, Lac Leamy, are the exceptional work of Dale Chihuly.  His remarkable glass blown creations are completely new to me so thanks to all who commented about it.

This photo has a number of my favourite things in it.
 Veranda stitching, my pretty robin cup for keeping drinks cool (or hot) and my latest viewing on YouTube.  The Last Homely House in the East is the title of this video channel featuring Kate and her cats, chickens and ducks on a small farm near Hexham, Northern England.  She shares her cooking, baking, crafting, knitting and quilting and chatters on in a very engaging, interesting manner.  In the video I'm watching above she shares how she makes her Kaffe Fasset Trip Around the World block.  Below she is making something completely new to me, a Nut Roast which consists of nuts and loads of vegetables.  Btw, does anyone recognize the reference in the title of her vlog?
A favourite of Hubby's and the quintessential summertime dish is potato salad.  I am always on the look out for a great potato salad recipe.  What I've learned during my search is that a lot of folks claim one or all of the following....
their recipe is
- the best in the world
 -their grannies' recipe thereby more authentic than all the others
-sure to be a crowd pleaser so the best to bring to pot lucks
- has a secret ingredient that will make it the best you've ever eaten
 I've visited many sites and here are the links to three that sounded very good to me.  Hope you try one and come back and let us know if it was the best.
At Susan Branch's very pretty site she shares her family recipe for Old Fashioned Potato Salad.


Here is Stacy Lyn Harris' World's Best Potato Salad recipe . A mother of 7 children, Stacy Lyn knows a thing or two about feeding people. I've made her Cowboy Cookies and they were so good!  Too Good!
                                          Finished bowl potato salad
As Heidi says on her blog, Foodie Crush, this is not her first potato salad rodeo.  She has shared several different recipes before but thinks she has hit the potato salad jackpot with this particular recipe.

                                           Oh writing about this and looking at these photos is making me hungry.
I guess the inclusion of certain things is a distinguishing feature of each recipe.  I'd never had celery in my potato salad till I went to my mil's and she wouldn't make it without it.  Probably the prize for most colourful potato salads would go to myself and my fellow Newfoundlanders who make mustard and beet potato salads. I know that  sounds a bit weird but is very tasty.  Here is Bonita cooking in her Newfoundland kitchen showing just how this is achieved.  I must admit hers are even more colourful than I'm used to.
Something that is bound to be a favourite is the latest autumn fabric collection called Plum Garden from the team at Tilda's World.  If you like dreamy florals, this is sure to please. Also at that link, you can find a selection of very nice free patterns.
Still a favourite of mine, my wall of baskets keeps on climbing.  If  I just keep making them, I'll never have to face the putting together part which is my least favourite bit.
Favourited by so many, the daisies are in bloom.  Pretty green beetle there, some kind of weevil?? Ahh July. And summer, the second favourite season for most especially loved by extroverts apparently. That  is not me but I'm thoroughly enjoying my gardening/outdoor time which is definitely a favoured pastime of mine.
So have I struck on any of your favourites?  Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this post and those past...especially the recent clothing suggestions. To be chatted about next time.
As always linking to Not Afraid of Color where you will find a list of bloggers also sharing wonderful, fun and interesting things on a Thursday.
Also linking with It's A Small Town LifeKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and My Quilt Infatuation.

Sunday 21 July 2019

I Meant To Do My Work Today

There used to be rules about dressing for the older ages. I remember the talk about old lady clothes and not wearing bright colours, etc.  Nobody wanted to be called mutton dressed up as lamb. Those old "rules" seem to have fallen away just like so many other things. Now it seems we need to know how to dress so we don't look old fashioned.
Like this advice, definitely British...
Avoid tweed skirt suits teamed with lace-up brogues...and anything crimplene."  I thought of Agatha Christie when I read this though I wonder what exactly is crimplene??? 
I was thinking about all this recently while looking about for a new good summer outfit.  We had/have several outings planned and my wardrobe has definitely slipped all the way to garden casual. I looked in the usual places and did not see anything a) suitable, or b) likeable.  I didn't even see anything I liked that could be called frumpy to have a mental debate about. I came home empty handed and thought, well that's a fine howdoyoudo. Trying to clothe myself going forward with no discernable style other than preferring black or white with the odd flowery blouse thrown in and definitely needing to feel comfortable is going to be a bit of a challenge it seems.  Anywhere online you are shopping and finding appropriately youngish old lady clothes?

I realize I do forget to show you the things I finish.  My interest lies more in the process I guess and that applies to my baking as well- once something is in the oven, I have a tendency to forget about it; have always had to use a timer.
 However, every time I take out my sunglass cloth pouch, I'm reminded I didn't show you this little project after it was done.  Anyone remember my kantha stitching efforts? I was using a small selection of Tula Pink fabrics and enjoying the stitching very much.
I did turn it into a useful item and in fact it is large enough for both my reading glasses and sunglasses to fit so I'm finding it very convenient.
I sewed it together with a little crossed stitched design that mimicked the pattern on the inside fabric.
You can find the whole project tutorial generously offered by Sara at Radiant Home Studio in this post.
I'm glad I chose to keep the Queen's face stitch free.
What do you think?  Would this make a good gift?  I really enjoyed making it and would make more for family possibly.
There are some surprising sights here at the wooden house. Recently we noticed a small fox trot confidently across the front driveways on several occasions. Then one day I spied this. He'd been in the pond because I watched through binnoculars as he shook his soaking wet fur and groomed himself. Then he very calmly lay down in the middle of the drive and took a nap!

While he was doing that, Hubby went to the net to look up rabies and this little guy definitely was not showing any of the signs other than an unusual level of comfort in front of the house. Since then, Rex was outside off leash with me on the veranda one morning when the fox appeared walking down the lane. Rex gave chase and the fox dived into a den in an ancient rock pile to the left of the big barn (the building he is in front of there). Rex was left wandering all around and couldn't figure out where it had disappeared to.
 I was happy the fox was safe but not worried.  Rex might think he can run fast but for such short distances these days, I knew the fox had nothing to fear.  We have glimpsed a fox down by the pond; not sure if it is this little guy though. But no more driveway siesta sightings since!

I also finished my Cornwall Cottage Sampler as mentioned before. It joins my little group of finishes that would be nice to see framed sometime. This was Karen Kluba's design, 294 x 294 stitches on Belfast linen, 32 ct cream. ( Bad photo: Taken in the sewing room which is either too sunny or too dark with shades drawn these days.)
I've picked Alicia Paulson's kit, Summer Storm, from her pretty site, Posie, that has all sorts of lovely things to stitch as my next project. After the sampler, I wanted something smaller to work on.  Perfect summer stitching actually.  You can read this post about middle of the night shopping when I bought it.
I've sorted the 31 colours of floss, made and labelled cardboard strips to hold and separate the strands. Though far fewer stitches than the last project, the tricky bit in this one will be keeping these shades straight. Pretty names- Cyclamen Pink, Beaver Gray, Nile Green
And made a beginning on the 32count French Country linen in Rain 258 colour photo because it is literally just the bottom row of the quilt there which is where I chose to begin. There is nothing in the dead center which is where I normally make a start.
It is time for our monthly SAL update hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea. Projects are getting finished and new ones started; always interesting.  Here are the stitchy folks participating...
AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayley,MeganDeborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharon

Yes, I've been feeling very distracted lately. So much garden time watching the blooms and bugs, the birds and the critters.  These summer time experiences have to be favoured over all other things for now.
                              Image result for I meant to do my work today, but
What are you favouring today?  Please do drop by and share it with me.
Sharing this post with Viewing Nature With EileenLove Laugh Quilt, Quilt Fabrication, Sew Fresh Quilts and Cooking Up Quilts

Thursday 18 July 2019

Camelot It's Not, Celebrating in Style, What All the Quilters are Making

I just can't tell you what a treat it is to be outside so much these days. No, as I've moaned about, it isn't perfect what with the heat a little stifling by midafternoon but I've just had to figure out how to work around it.  After all, it is only in Camelot that the weather is decreed by law to always be beautiful as Richard Harris sings to Vanessa Redgrave in this video. What a hopeful, romantic melody!
This was made all the more popular after the Kennedy era when it was learned that John Kennedy listened to it every evening and particularly liked the final lines "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot."

Though I also think the weather is pretty near perfect in New Zealand from what I hear from blogging friends there so maybe Camelot exists!

Hubby had his 80th birthday this week which we celebrated hugely with a limousine ride to the restaurant, Lac Leamy Arome in Quebec. It was so much fun. My first time in a limousine!

And we ate a veritable feast.  After platters of meat and seafood tempura, the restaurant treated us to two trays of Creme Brulee, a favourite of Hubby's. The theme for the night was you only turn 80 once!  Of course, the real pleasure was to share the celebrating of reaching a grand age and more importantly, being thankful the life in his years has not diminished.

I received my new camera, another point and shoot and one a little more rugged since these old hands of mine are not as grippy as they used to be.  I've had fun learning its features which are much the same as the last one, therefore, not daunting and I'm pleased with the results so far.
Wild Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) grow all over the property (except in the deciduous wood) and each year I pick a little for one indoor bouquet.  These are so pretty and cheery.

Hopelessly Scrappy
Reclaiming fabric from old clothes is something I do from time to time. Recently I saw this shirt at a thrift store and really liked the fabric and the print.  I managed to reclaim from the pieces once taken apart, enough strips to form sashes for my Spring String blocks.   
More neutrals but the fern pattern is certainly in line with the spring theme of the project and using old clothes is scrappy too.  However, as soon as I saw these together on the wall, I second guessed my choice.  Perhaps something stronger in colour would have worked better. Groan, but I'm sticking with this.
I'll leave you with this image of one of the larger chandeliers at Lac Leamy hotel. There were smaller versions and I found them very creative and interesting. What do you think?
Well, it was quite a wonderful week and the birthday celebration continues this weekend with another get together. Very grateful for it all.
Meanwhile, visit  LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color where you can read about many more thankful, likeable things from her and all the folks linking up there.
 Also linking with Quilt Fabrication where Susan gives a rundown on The 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop.
 And joining The Inquiring Quilter where Jennifer shares how to get a free pattern for the most adorable Button Block.
Also linking with Busy Hands Quilts where Myra is displaying gorgeous quilting on a piece using the very pretty Seaside by Tasha Noel fabric.
Just had to link with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework where Cynthia is showing her array of RSC blocks made over two years and the sweetest plum in pinks added to the group.
As well as Em's Scrapbag where Em has the prettiest pink dresdens on display.
Also joining Small Quilts and Doll Quilts where Judy has used red as an amazing stand out colour.
And Show and Tell Monday With Bambi where Eva is sharing two new sampler blocks.
All wonderful inspiring stuff!

Thursday 11 July 2019

Cranky But Happy (!)

Truth be told, I am feeling a little tired and cranky this morning.  Too hot as well which may be the source of my problem.  A couple of weeks of heat and humidity that has driven us to turn on the air conditioning later in the day might be the source...the ceiling fans in every room just can't keep up and I've rediscovered that unless you are directly under them, they don't cool you off. I have a wide range of tolerance for heat and cold so if I'm feeling it, then I know it's hot.

Hubby has actually resorted to wearing his short sleeved shirts! And it's too stifling for much veranda stitching, sigh.  But though I'm complaining to you, I know this is peanuts compared to the havoc weather is causing elsewhere. 

But flowers appear to love heat...
Whites in Bloom
Snowball bush in backyard that frustratingly begins to drop its petals as it blooms.
Goatsbeard bush that is a gorgeous almost 6 feet tall on the far side of the house.
Hydrangea bush to the right of the main entrance. One of 4 in the front.
A garden visitor who likes to mow down certain hostas-there's another hydrangea sticking out there with tall weed beside it, eek.

A sweet but unnamed little fellow I think behaving like a peewee or phoebe.  Help??
Leanne at She Can Quilt is one of the hosts for the FAL Q3 link can write and share what you hope to finish over the next three months...

My baskets are getting more plentiful-at last count I had made 55 of these 6 inch blocks. I'm still enjoying playing around with the fabrics and am not tired at all of the hand appliquing...yet.

Christmas Wishing
I did order and receive the French General Fleur de Noel fabric and it is such good material...a little more subdued in design than I would have thought. Reds and greys. But I have the perfect free project to use it with from the folks at Quiltmania.  More later.
Hubby ordered me a new camera...old one that I knew and loved seems unlikely to be fixed 😢. Another learning curve to traverse which is a good thing. 

 Also hope you are not too hot or too cold wherever you are!

Thursday 4 July 2019

My In The Garden Portrait, LeeAnna's Gift, Free Circle of Fun Delight Pattern

It's 9:15 am and these old hands of mine (with nails still unpolished)
 have already patted two furry heads and fed them, made a toasted bagel and a coffee for Hubby...turned on his light for his morning newspaper read, watered my baskets, pulled a few weeds and gotten a mosquito bite.
Me in the front garden, August, 2018
And made a cup of coffee for myself using my pretty Portobello by Inspire mug ( I always keep an eye out for Portobello mugs at Winners) which states around the inside rim..."Cherish yesterday, dream of tomorrow, live for today."  Exactly!
And now typing this post with feet up relaxing for a bit.
Last week I was happy to watch these two Northern Flickers in the grass to the side of the house, hanging around the same area as last year. I'm wondering if they are a pair. Wish they weren't so wary to get a better photo of them.
Closely cropped- I think their markings are beautiful and their heads look velvety. Wish I could pet them!
Remember my photo of the chipmunk peaking through the grass.
Lovely LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color told me she was going to do a drawing of it for me! Sure enough, I received this in my email box a couple days ago.  Not only lovely and generous but very talented which I knew already. Thank you, LeeAnna! 💟
Recently I've been searching on the internet for pretty but easy quilt patterns and found this one.  Sachico at at her Tea Rose Home blog generously offers the free PDF pattern and tutorial to make this.  It just speaks of summertime to me.  Do you have any apricot/pinks or coral kind of fabrics like these?
I'd like to start a new little feature...Christmas Wishing which may also include autumn items because I do love autumn too.
Christmas Wishing #1
Cath Kidston Christmas the images of  plum puddings and robins.
This Santa reminds me of my childhood- maybe that's why they appeal to me.

                                     Related image
Cath Kidston site has so many pretty things to check out and a good sale section too.

It is the Glorious Fourth in the United States. Our two countries share the longest undefended, international border in the world, an abiding symbol of harmony and mutual cooperation.  My hope would be that it will always be so.
Meanwhile, friends celebrating today come back and tell me what you cooked or baked-you know how I love food talk. Enjoy it all!
Linking this post with Paying Ready Attention and It's A Small Town Life.