Friday 29 April 2022

Weekly Wonders at the Wooden House

The Eastern Phoebes are nest building on the back of the house. I'd cleared out last years nests and two pairs are using the exact spots again. Location, location, location, I guess. LOL

It was Anzac Day, April 25, recently. Newfoundlanders were the only North Americans to fight along side the Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli in World War I. This event is marked by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment each year. In 2021, the bands of both forces, while continents apart, linked up to make this video.  The piece is called Invercargill, named after a city in New Zealand. How important these connections are!  Now more than any time in my life maybe.
I cooked a roast pork dinner for us and have leftovers today.  The sides were cheesy cauliflower, peas and carrots. The pork was cooked in the slow cooker and turned out very tender. It made a great gravy too. I must remember this when our heat ramps up and I get reluctant to turn on the oven. 

Speaking of heat...don't have much yet. Still have freezing overnight temperatures and high winds too which is not usual but becoming more common here it seems. My morning walk is a chilly one.  As always I find the cold invigorating so I'm not complaining. 

One of Daughter's cakes to us recently was this Maple Pecan Carrot Cake with buttercream  frosting. Delicious as always. Hubby is so spoiled with these wonderful desserts. Maple Pecan Carrot Cake recipe at Rock Recipes.

I got my Elm Street Quilts OMG for April partially finished.
 I did work out a little motif for that missing spot on the Angie's Pots piece above.
Thank you all for the great suggestions and the idea of a small vase with small flower made sense so I went with that. I think it fits in well. There was a surprising amount of decision making for such a tiny thing.
I chose a neutral colour for the vase and picked up on the blue of the water pitcher for the petals. The black with red center is like the flowers beside it and the green; oh my, I had the hardest time choosing the green. It is a difficult colour with the brown greens, blue greens, bright greens, yellow greens, etc. In the end I picked what looked like it matched the other stems. 

Now my OMG for May will be to add some embroidery and get this one quilted and finished completely. 

I also finished this little piece for a mug rug. I had the idea of joining the fun at The Joyful Quilter's Table Scrap Challenge. These tiny 4 pink and blue square blocks were orphans from the Kathleen Tracy SAL I took part in several years ago. This link will take you to her site and the free pattern for the foundation pieced tree pattern I am using for that project. Thank you Kathleen!

From my scrap bags, I picked out spring like florals and colours for the backing. 
And enjoyed embroidering a very tiny Spring '22 on it too. 
I hope your week has been great and your weekend even better!

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Shopping Purchases, The Perfect Nanny, To Do List, More Panama Pyramid Blocks

 I love the look of ivy trailing along a wooden shelf. The dining room back at the farm had almost floor to ceiling windows so lots of bright though indirect light. Above was my English Ivy also called Common Ivy -there are actually two plants there...the plant I have now is remnants of one of these.

My audio book this week is The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani.

 It was voted one of the top ten best books last year by the New York Times Book Review.  I am enjoying it too. Though a translation,  passages are beautifully written. It's turning out to be more a character study kind of read. Nannies, who usually are very poor, hold an interesting/complex place in rich households; so close providing affection and kindness, yet just employees. 

I love things that light up and bought this very heavy crackled glass item from Wayfair. The two Bluebirds have a string of lights inside and sit, center mantel, in front of a photo of the two lovebirds, LOL.  

I promised to show you what I bought on my shopping trip last week. After months in cozy and casual wear, I decided I needed a couple of dressier items.  This first blouse is a viscose material and drapes well. Tiny pale blue dots all over it. Very light and airy so will be good when the weather turns hot and muggy.
 It seems polka dots, which I happen to love, are very popular this spring. I had three tops in my cart at first and thought that a little excessive so returned one. This one below is also a soft material, not cotton and black with white dots. I like the stand up collar and the curved hem. 
To Do this week...
Make an appointment to get my hair professionally cut. That will be a biggie for me. ✔ Appointment made for Friday morning. 

Sew more seeds.

Get the last of the Tumbling Blocks slabs sewn together.

Prep more of the Panama Pyramid blocks. Great to have them ready when sewing time crops up.
OH yes, almost forgot...finish my OMG for April. Thank you all for suggestions as to what could occupy the little empty space. As someone suggested, I have a little vase applique made. Now need to make the templates for the tiny flower.

Final week of another month. It is tiresome to say again how fast these days are flying but they really are! Enjoy every minute!!

Enjoying linking with Texas Quilt GalQuilt Fabrication and Life in the Scrapatch.

Thursday 21 April 2022

4 Bits of Wisdom, Fabulous Fishy Cake, Amongst the Mostly Masked, New Quilt Start-Panama Pyramids

 My research of one site showed this was a Thanksgiving cactus. Because it bloomed at Easter, I thought it might be one programmed for spring, but no. I couldn't remember the colour of the original plant, but turns out this is pink. The Geranium there is also budding.

I just have to show you the cake Daughter Beth made for SIL' s birthday. He is a sports fisherman and Robbie said make a fish cake when asked what kind of cake should they make. 

She used a little Air Brush for Cake Decorating tool to get the colouring right. She said she is still wiping up green in the kitchen as I guess there is a learning curve with using that tool. 😁

I'm enjoying this book. Successful over age 50 women from all walks of life  speaking about what life has taught them. 
Here are 4 ideas that resonated with me...any of these strike a chord with you?

That it is empowering to nurture and encourage people, animals, nature, etc. (not confined to mothering and grandmothering which applies, of course).

That I, too, have been many women throughout the years, some still with me, some come and go. For instance, I'm still coming to terms with being an over 70 year old white haired woman; while my body feels pretty much like I did at 40, my mind needs to catch up or something. 

That I too wish I had had the confidence at 30 that I discovered I had at 50. 

That beating myself up over some words I used in a conversation decades ago is senseless. I've forgiven others so time to let myself off the hook too. 


With Fans and Wildflowers finished, on a cold, lightly snowing April day, I decided to make a new start.  A project I first mentioned maybe two years ago so has been on my list for a long time...Panama Pyramids, pattern by Linda Collins.... more EPP, my favourite!! This is another big scrappy project-want it to be a real quilt so it will be with me a while. Still working out the fine points of the templates I made out of cardboard. I think I will check out if I can get plastic ones online. This scrappy project was featured in Quiltmania magazine, 2013; any of you work on it?? I would love to share your work here on the blog if you like.  Etsy Link to Linda's pdf patterns and pretty quilt here.

I used pinks for these first blocks and will link up with So Scrappy on Saturday. 

I've been busy walking, reading, writing a bit, shopping (I'll show what I bought next post), bird watching and visiting family. Not spending as much time in my own head as it were which is a good thing. It feels wonderful to be out and about amongst the mostly masked folks! 

Sunday 17 April 2022

Window on My World, Fans Finish, Beautiful Ukrainian Eggs

I've turned around my happy chair in the living area so I can face this window and watch the clouds glide by.  I can also keep an eye on the bird bath that is now up and running. So far, lots are taking a drink but only one American Goldfinch and a Robin have availed of a little wash up. 

But as you see, the ice has receded except for shaded areas, and the grass is already showing some greening which always happens surprisingly fast. It is still quite cool with freezing temperatures overnight so I'm holding off on any planting.
Or cleanup just yet.  

SIL dropped us off a little treat to have for Good Friday dinner, a Costco Fish and Chips meal.  It was very tasty and we had leftovers the next day. Costco is putting together more of these meals I noticed when we got inside the store finally after a year or so.
Look what's up on the wall in the back hallway. Yes, Fans is a finish!
I really only had the edging to hand stitch and a couple more embroidered butterflies to add. That did not take too long, one evening actually. Here I lightened the photo to show the butterflies but normally they don't stand out.
Anyway, nice to have another finish for my Done With It All year!
My good friend, Heather who lives at home and I miss,  posted these very lovely Ukrainian Easter Eggs on her Facebook page. She made them years ago using the wax resist method and they are still so beautiful.  And poignant too when thinking of all the troubles in that part of the world. 
I am surprised when I think of how far away I am from the Easters of my youth. Some of you remember too the new bonnets, outfits and gloves to wear to church and the big Sunday. very traditional meal following. 
But still I am so fortunate to live close to the daughters and be able to have family coming over for dinner tonight. We are going very non traditional for Easter and ordering in Indian food. We are all looking forward to it!
SO happy to share this post with the Slow Stitching party at Kathy's Quilts. Also sharing with Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsWendy's Quilts and MoreLife in the ScrapatchCreations Quilts Art WhateverHome Sewn By Us and Alycia Quilts.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

2 In Between Quilt Projects, Raisin Oat Cookies, Tulips For Planting Time

Emily's Quotes- Pinterest

I've just put another pan of raisin oat cookies in the oven. The smell is fragrant.  Make no wonder cinnamon is so prized among spices; it makes anything baking smell so delicious.  
Outside we have had rotating bouts of snowflakes, hail, rain and yes even sunshine all these recent days. There was snow on the ground when I got up Sunday morning...I suspected because the light behind the blind seemed whiter. That bit didn't last at all.  Today we have a promise of 12 C. 

Getting back to the cookies, I used partial whole wheat flour and also ground flax seed. Extra molasses and lots of raisins. I had soaked dates with the thought of   adding them to the dough but decided at the last minute, I had played havoc enough with the recipe. I'm saving them to add to my oatmeal tomorrow. Recipe is here at Sally's Baking Addiction.

Since I had the oven on and warmed up, I roasted chicken thighs afterwards for the meat to use in a curry dish too. Chicken thighs are good for that.  All of it was tasty.

Two IN BETWEEN Projects

#1   I have a few more blocks from my Tiny Trees project to show with the thought of stepping up the sewing of these blocks this week.  I've not kept up the six or so a week I had promised myself that I would do. Need to play catch up while using up scraps.

#2  I did test out the Confetti scrappy quilt block using foundation piecing I mentioned in this post last month. It really wasn't effective for me as I realized right away I do not have enough white fabric. Seems like a lot of cream, off white, etc. is in my stash.  I also wanted to use scraps and not many of my scraps are worthy of fussy cutting like Rachel did with hers that made them look so pretty. In the end, I went rogue and just sewed randomly with the smaller scraps especially.  Perhaps more confetti like in the end as I think of confetti as tiny bits. 
 The pattern is there if I want to revisit it but for now I'm just going to sew more blocks in a liberated style and try to use up as many scraps as possible in the process. The white fabric does showcase the colours well.  This will be a 9 inch square and the thing that really surprised me was how long it took to sew this. Putting it together so it doesn't look like a dog's breakfast takes time. Hopefully,the result in the end achieving an "unstudied, unpretentious, and more interesting" quilt...a quote from Gwen Marsden.
 And another  upshot, I need to buy more fabric!

The ground is softening up quickly. I have tulip bulbs I received as a birthday gift last year that I want to put into planters as soon as the threat of frost is over.

  I can't put them in the ground as the squirrels find them. Of course, they might find them in the planters too but I plan to keep them up on the veranda close to the front door. That may or may not help.

I have two robins combing the side lawn for worms already. They are off to an early start with the nesting. 

The Phoebes are back; it was music to my ears to hear their familiar calls. Migration is such a miracle. How in the world do those tiny birds manage it! 

I'll leave you with a photo of one of the red squirrels.  It was munching away on last years' spruce cones sitting on a branch outside the dining area window. It's a good thing they're so cute!

Hope you are having a great week!

Thursday 7 April 2022

Canadian Spring, A Gardener's Alphabet, Links, Free Patterns, Inspiring Quilts

Crabapple Hill Designs A Garden's Alphabet BOM, pink crayon tinted and embroidered. Blocks all done; assembly required. 😄

 I really don't mind winter; in fact there are many aspects of it that I love. But there is something magical about spring and the way the earth awakens as it were after a long sleep. And all the little creatures along with it. It's all happening right now outside my wooden house in the middle of our eleven acres. I'm taking the time to note it and be amazed at what a miracle a Canadian Spring truly is.

And I'm trying to feel these things below I wrote on this photo with thanks to so many of you who left me such encouraging words in the comments 0n my last post. Sometimes we think we are unique and alone with feeling a certain way which adds to the sadness. It helps to know others are feeling similarly so thank you for sharing your experience and also what helps you to feel better. It is hard to believe that even at my age, I'm still a work in progress. 
This pair is back; I think it might be the same two from years past.
Enough about that. On to other noteworthy things. This is interesting. I'm finally reading James' book and enjoying it very much. I'm finding out that I've been practising a lot of these things most of my life. I do wish I could have had this book when very young. There is a great lesson in it all.
I'm still loving the cross stitching of this piece, The Scarlett House, Floral Motif Sampler. I've made it across the top and down the side a little. It is almost 20 inches across and I'm nearing the half way mark. 

Talented and generous Sarah at A Little Happy Place offers a free pattern and tutorial for a very cute mini quilt for spring. Be sure to check out her bank of lovely patterns with tutorials that include applique and embroidery with the quilting. I especially love when designers do that!

I want to also share this post at Magpie's Mumblings. Mary Anne is stitching a quilt from a photo of an old barn. Her perfect rendering is quite remarkable!

Also Gladi at this post shared her photos of quilts at the New England Museum including several amazing quilts from Barb Vedder of the Fun With Barb blog. So much inspiration; I am in awe which goes without saying. 

Here is just one of Barb's amazing works. I love the idea of using motifs that are personally meaningful to create a quilt.

We finished the last season of Shameless and while some of the scenes are over the top and a bit much, let's just say, we enjoyed following this remarkably scrappy Chicago family and friends right to the end. 

Here is sweet Ned with a stick he very happily recovered from the bottom of the ice free pond. I had to sneak it from him because he could seriously stab someone with that and since I was the only one with him, I mean me. LOL

That's my little roundup for this Thursday. Check out Not Afraid of Color and the gang there who share thankful, likeable things too. Also sharing with Brian's Home BlogIt's A Small Town LifeAlycia QuiltsCreations Art WhateverKathy's QuiltsSo ScrappySmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Life in the Scrapatch

Monday 4 April 2022

Pond in April, To Do Applique Finish, Crazy Feelings

The pond is gradually losing it's icy surface and the water level has dropped. This morning I heard a frog, a sure sign of spring.

Prelude to this comment...I can make my clothes dirty eating an apple; not kidding.
That moment when you put on a brand new blush pink t shirt and remember you were going to make spaghetti sauce for Saturday night dinner and also transplant some flowers so going to handle dirt.  

Took it right off!! Hubby and I both wear aprons...his a manly one, to eat our suppers. 
Speaking of Hubby, he was confused about the flying geese comments on my last two posts. I don't see any geese he said. Where are these geese people keep talking about?  LOL
Not a goose...just got a quick shot of a retreating turkey. The tail feathers are really magnificent. The two females with him didn't appear as impressed as I was.

This week I need to put away the shovels and winter gear, boots, and what not and get out  the spring jackets, etc. Seems like only yesterday I was doing this in reverse.
I enjoy reading Jackie's posts at In the Land of the Living Sky II. I especially like her meal planning, organization and general frugality. Though I know I am not wasteful, I need to make the effort to be more like Jackie. 

My next OMG at the Elm Street Quilts link up involves applique and is a runner I almost finished, also from 2017 or thereabouts. It's Angie's Pots from Angie Padilla Quilt Patterns and here is my favourite of the motifs.

I paused this project because of the space between that pot and the pink flowers. I can't remember what Angie had shown, I think a card, but I didn't care for it. Then I couldn't think of what to put there. So the old thinking cap will have to go on to get this one all done. Any suggestions of something kind of small/skinny that could fit?? To Do this week.
Do you ever get an overwhelming anticipatory feeling thinking about what is on the agenda for the week?  I've noticed this lately about myself. Now I am a loner by nature so outings have always been a teeny bit stressful sometimes. But I wonder if now it is just where we went almost no where for a few years.  Now we are back to in person appointments and get togethers, etc. so have the usual  things lined up for the week. Nothing crazy mind you. But still enough to ramp up my "fight or flight" feeling. I know, crazy, right.

I hope your week is off to a great start with absolutely no angst and only happy thoughts. 
Happily linking with Love Laugh QuiltTexas Quilt Gal and Life in Pieces