Thursday 28 March 2024

Easter, Stitching, Food

 Easter seems to have crept up on me. I'm just now noticing all the bunny and egg patterns and realizing how fast time is spinning by for us here at the wooden house. We are both convinced a week is now feeling like five days not seven. I remember wondering how would I cope with all the free time in in the world to fill all those hours not spent at work. Like so many idle wonderings, this one also turned out to be a waste of time and thought...time speeds up it seems.

So Easter is a surprise. I plan to have the family here for a turkey dinner so I'd better get in gear, make a grocery list and get to the store. For Dessert I'm doing something easy like store bought profiteroles with chocolate sauce. Who doesn't love cream puffs, as we always called them. And make one of those Ambrosia salads; Robbie would probably love a "salad" that includes marshmallows. 

 Speaking of food, I've decided to give this a try...imperfect produce. A small company sources imperfect produce in our area and offers a weekly drop off to our door. The price for the smallest box of mixed fruit and vegetables is very reasonable and savings off what we'd pay at the grocery store for like items. Beth has been very pleased with her boxes so I thought we'd give it a try too. The Odd Bunch

So happy to have all the blocks for the Crossroads quilt finished! That makes two fairly large projects soooo close to the flimsy stage. Here are the last of the blocks on the sewing room wall together.

 Figuring out their arrangement will be a bit of a challenge as I don't have a design wall space big enough for all of them at once. Maybe with half at a time I could work it out.
I've sewn a few Tiny 9 patch blocks using the FPP method. And I'm still stitching the blocks with EPP that I had previously prepped. Pleased that this is a year long challenge so no pressure. That's my bobbin tin there.
What did not get even taken out of its box was the Diamond Patchwork Quilt, my Chookshed Stitchers Challenge project, for this month. But that's okay. I feel good about all the March stitching I did accomplish along with a whole bunch of other things.

LeeAnna's Prompt this week is if we could have any wild baby animal, which would we choose. I thought the baby guinea pigs Sally showed in this post on her Crafts, Cavies and Cooking blog were adorable but they are not wild. Of the wild animals, all the babies look adorable to me. Close to home here, I sometimes glimpse a tiny rabbit so I'm going to go with that. They are furry and seemingly tame and entirely pettable ( not a word but should be.) And since my nickname as a child was Bunny, that would suit, wouldn't it. What about you? Is there a baby animal that stands out?

We had workers here for two days, early light to dusk, and they got a main log and three new struts made and up for the front veranda roof. The original main log had rolled a little. They made it a little more decorative than the original brothers who built it had. And the stain looks nice too.

They also removed extra boards which has opened up the view; I notice it through my kitchen window. I don't really like having strange people around here but sometimes you just have to. Don't get me wrong; these guys were really nice and came highly recommended by our chimney sweep. They work together at a local lumber company and were moonlighting. But, you never know... Tony says I watch too much Dateline.

Hope your weekend is great and if you are celebrating Easter...Happy Easter!

Happily linking with Quilting Patchwork Applique and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Monday 25 March 2024

Hockey Fun, Stitchy To Do List, My Tiny Video

 I thought of some of my blogging friends on Sunday...those who spend time in arenas with the children involved in one sport or another. This is where I was this Sunday...the Kingston Invista Centre, watching Robbie with his team at the final tournament of the year. They'd won all their games right down to the very last one which they lost and there were tears. Life lessons of course, but much satisfaction that the boys had certainly come a long way skill wise. Overall, a wonderful season of hockey. 

On my To Do List this week...

I've sewed more of the Crossroads quilt blocks. Trying to balance the colours and still using scraps for the strips. But that doesn't seem to be making a dent in the scrap bins. How is that possible! Nearing the end of this project and want all blocks finished this week.

Finish the orange peel blocks for the next border of the BB Challenge. Hand stitching in the evenings so a little slow going.

Finish Block 7 of the HRH cross stitch....very nearly done. I'm stitching the fireworks now.
 Practice the block for my next crocheted blanket. An easy solid Granny square block; really just have to refresh my memory about how it goes. I'll be using this tutorial on YouTube.  What a marvel YouTube is!
Tony has medical appointments this week that will take up a couple of days. But I am hoping to get to the thrift store for a shop. Something to look forward to as well as my stitching. And we are still enjoying our cozy fires. Here is a tiny video I made showing my stitching chair. 
After heat breaking records we returned to usual March temperatures with double digits wind chill temps. So what crazy weather here in southeast Ontario! But sunny and no snow so still no shoveling. 
Hope there is lots in the upcoming week, this last one of March, for you to enjoy!

Friday 22 March 2024

Friday in Photos

A recap of some things here at the Wooden House I enjoyed this week...

I can always pick this one out of a scurry of squirrels because of its' outstanding tail! Learned a new word...scurry. No, not a spring animal which is LeeAnna's prompt this week but a regular year round visitor.

Here is a mug rug I just stitched for someone I love and am so grateful she is in my life.

Don't paint my nails often but when I do I usually use clear nail polish and this one has shiny flecks in it that I like.
 Here is my latest lunch out, Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, something I also love. Do you like Eggs Benedict? This was a favourite of Mom's to make for special breakfasts. 
And last but certainly not least, happy stitchy mail....
The dreaming about and desire to stitch is still with me, now into my seventies. I hope I never lose it. 
And I hope you have a wonderful weekend with time to do the things you love.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Bramble Blooms, Tiny 9 Patch, Animal Rescue

I showed Ned and his fellow chocolate Lab litter mates in this post to celebrate his birthday.   The litter included Petey who stayed with them and Beth made them a cake.

And Ned got to have his piece too which disappeared so fast it's a good thing I took a photo beforehand.
I finished my wonderful Peter Pauper Press Snowman and Friends jigsaw just in time to see the snow leave. Each of these puzzles includes a full poster of the picture which is a great help.
 I finally made a decision about what next for the Bramble Blooms Improv project. I'm echoing the petal shapes and colours of the center bouquet with orange peel blocks to surround it. I'm using EPP...freezer paper applique for these small peels and the block size is 4 inches. In real life, they are not competing with the center flowers size wise.
Angle here makes them look much larger.
 Of all the ideas I tried out, I like this one the best and it looks okay to me so far. Those embellished blooms I worked last week are still in the mix though I'm not sure how just yet. I want this border finished this week. Audrey, our Quilty Folk host, has called for another border of 9 patch blocks which is right up my alley just now.

As I have been sewing more blocks for the Tiny 9 Patch QAL, in this case, using FPP which has speeded up the process. I'm very happy to be using scraps for these little 3 inch blocks. Some folks stitch 10 a day; I can't do that as I have other projects to work on -always.
That's a little cross stitch made by Mom.
 We usually finish our evening's tv viewing with something light like a comedy show alternating with Noraly, the Dutch lady, who is motorcycling round the world. Her You Tube channel is called Itchy Boots. Right now we are watching her series in Africa and learning so much. In this particular video she joined an Ocean Conservation group in Namibia who are rescuing seals. The way they catch them and the job they are doing with helping them is just wonderful to watch. What good work they are doing! 
I know you like minded animal lovers will take some comfort in knowing people around the globe are helping our animal kingdom. 
Hope your week is going well and your stitching fingers are flying!

Friday 15 March 2024

Shopping, Books, Slow Stitching

Our trails have dried up and there is no ice on the pond. The geese have been floating around on it.  MUCH earlier than usual and such a welcome sign of spring. LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is if we have a favourite flower of spring. Truthfully any of the early blooming flowers are a welcome sight for me, I really can't pick just one. But I do especially love to see the Lilac tree bloom which is brief but showy. What about you?

Robbie spent part of his March break here with us and it was fun to have a 10 year old in the house. Children really have their own unique energy, so different from us old folks. I noticed how fast he talks with such enthusiasm, for instance, compared to us. His hockey season is winding down and he has started football lessons just for fun and loves it. I don't think I've shown you something I bought for his Christmas present this of those human dog beds. It was a gigantic hit! Everyone agreed we'd all like one. 

I'm doing okay with the full coverage on my HRH Block #7. I swapped the called for blue of the sea for a slightly brighter one. Folks had an rare issue with this pattern when it came out in that the colours in the picture didn't match the called for colours.  The called for colours were much more subdued, even dull.

Did I tell you already I ordered The Woodpecker, #9 in the Year in the Woods series by Cottage Garden Samplings? Ned and I have watched a juvenile Pileated Woodpecker at the top of the lane going about from tree to tree. It stays far enough low on the tree trunks, which right now are leafless, that Ned can see it. One morning we trailed it for quite some distance till it finally moved to the tree tops. Ned surprises me with this because he often misses a rabbit darting to the side of us. Anyway, I think it appropriate that I stitch a bird now to join the Jackrabbit. Summer stitching maybe. Here at 123Stitch.
 I'm reading(rereading) this book of short stories by Canadian author, Alice Munro.
Alice won the Nobel Prize for Literature which was remarkable. Often Nobel Prize winning authors are novelists writing about major events, wars, unrest, injustices, etc. so it was rare to have it awarded to a short story author who wrote about ordinary people dealing with the ups and downs of domestic life. For example, some of you may have seen a movie called Away From Her starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent about a husband coping with a wife whose memory is fading. The movie got two Oscar nominations. It was based on Alice's story called The Bear Came Over the Mountain

Alice had dementia herself when she was given the prize and could not attend the ceremony. Her daughter went in her place and did say that her mom understood and knew she'd gotten the award. I really hope so.

I promised I'd show the tops I bought at the Real Wool Shop. Here they are. The colour of this one was what caught my eye. It is a deep violet/mulberry colour and will look good with white hair. It was a winter item so on sale.                  

This second one is a summer top, 3/4 sleeves, very light rayon like material and a pretty design on it. 

 Would these suit you?
We are off to the vet's with Ned to get his spring time vaccinations and tick meds. Afterwards, we might go through the McDonald's drive through and get egg and sausage mcmuffins and seniors' coffees. Do you ever do that?
Hope your weekend is fabulous and you get a chance to do something you love.
Sharing this post with Days Filled With Joy and Kathy's Quilts.

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Stitching and Shopping

We are kind of holding our breaths re the weather. Still no snow. Is it possible we could slip into April without another snowfall. Here is the backyard view this morning; not a flake in sight, and sunshine streaming in. 

I'm playing again with the Bramble Blooms Improv project...more to be found here at Quilty Folk.  I need to nail down what I am doing with this next border. With that in mind, I began embellishing petals. Fun stitching of an evening.

Weekend machine stitching and the Blue Courthouse Steps blocks are together. Much larger than I thought it would be. I really should pay more attention to numbers! Working on borders this week.

Ned turned 3 on March 3. Those three years have been a flash. Here are the browns in the litter with Ned in the middle. 

I sat down with the doctor for my consultation on Thursday past. I am happy to tell you that all the tests showed no indication of anything wrong with my heart; my aorta valve is normal. I was given the green light to exercise as hard as I want. His last words to me- Exercise is good for you. He doesn't know me. I'd been nervous; my voice sounded weak so I didn't bother saying to him you don't have to tell me that. I got back in the car and thought I should celebrate but I couldn't think of anything in particular to do. I decided to go to the lovely Wool Store in the town, the one where we bought our Auckland wool winter duvet. 

I had a great look about and wound up buying two tunic type blouses (I'll get photos for the next post) which seem to suit my shape these days. The room with all the wool floor to ceiling is so wonderful, I said to the lady I could live in there. She said everyone who comes says the same thing. I'll have to remember to take photos next time and hopefully that will be soon as I'd like Tony to take a look in the men's room which had lots of warm wool shirts. I bought three balls of wool, all variegated. I will have to share the project I have in mind- I keep forgetting as there is always lots else to talk about it seems. And I don't want the posts to be too long.


Humble living does not diminish. It fills.

Going back to a simpler self gives wisdom.

Don't know about myself and wisdom but my life and enjoyments are definitely simpler these days. What about you? 

Linking this post with Alycia QuiltsIt's a Small Town LifeCreations Quilts ArtMelva Loves ScrapsQuilting and Patchwork, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and A Quiltery.

Friday 8 March 2024

Patchwork Projects, Lucy Bird Art, It's Spring-Maybe

You know you're living in the country when a heading in the local forum reads..." Do Not Approach: Bobcat Sighted". It was noted to look healthy and was not aggressive. One time people did not have to to be told to stay away from such a wild animal. Once Tony showed me a clip of a man and woman being chased by a buffalo...they thought they could pet it or some such nonsense. But perhaps it is not new. Just that with our impressive social networks we are hearing about it. I read the phrase "common sense is not so common anymore" dates back to the 18th century. So folks must have been getting up to ridiculous hijinks even then.

I contacted Lucy to see if I could share one of her neat prints found at Lucy Bird Art. I ran across her work when I was looking for unique jigsaw puzzles which she offers as well as the prints. I had a hard time choosing one to share with you as they all seem to represent aspects of my life these days down to those woolly slipper socks and Geraniums in a pot in one of the prints. This one with the birds is more spring like. I just refilled my feeders and I would certainly enjoy two orange cats very much.

For the Chookshed Stitcher's Challenge
 Deanna pulled #4 this month so my Diamond Patchwork quilt is back in play. I love it so it will be a treat to move this project along this month. Luckily I finally smartened up and have these larger projects with their fabrics and thread in their own containers; no wasted time searching. Six of the 12 blocks have been made; wish me luck in getting this one to the flimsy stage.
And here are six more of the Crossroads Quilt blocks. I need to put them altogether on a wall now to take a look at where I am with them. They remind me of presents and it is wonderful to paw through the scrap basket to find those strings. I think the pattern calls for 56 of these and I have 30 now. 
 LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is to describe spring through our is my list but with the caveat that spring, though giving the appearance of having sprung here, is not to be trusted. March is when we traditionally get the most snowfall of the season. 
Hearing...the bird song I already mentioned in a post recently. Always a thrill to hear the first birds of spring twittering. Sight...geese overhead and their honking too; grass and new shoots showing through underfoot.
 Smell...I'm going to say something on the is always windy here in early spring, a warmer wind and it has a different smell, maybe of earth.
 Touch...handle seed packets. And it always feels good to be able to go outside in lighter clothing. It will be great to put away my weighty parka, the heavy boots, neck warmers, tuques, etc. What about you if spring is heading your way? I know our friends in the southern hemisphere are getting winter nudges these days. 
I use several senses to enjoy this special thing about spring- following along with the Indiana Barred Owl live cam now turned on for the 2024 breeding season. This year, the female has settled in and laid three eggs. The male has been busily bringing her food so things are on track to be a successful season.
It's been raining and then sunshine, neither of which I have to shovel so it's all good here at the Wooden House. Hope your week has been productive in and out of the sewing room!

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Two You Tube Quilty Stars, Stitching Tiny Blocks

I park at the edge of parking lots and one day I went behind the little mini mall to park. Look what was there waiting for me. Usually here on the property, to see 3 deer together is a big deal. I counted 9 spread out amongst the trees. It was early morning so they may have overnighted there. 

I roasted a large chicken (I now buy the largest one I can find these days) that I stuffed with a bread stuffing.  It made meals most of last week, well, for three days anyway.
 Finished it with cooking the carcass and making chicken soup as usual. This one got a tin of tomatoes added to it. We tried these Ritz cracker chips and liked them. Quite crispy. 
I like reading Jackie's In the Land of the Living Skies Monday Menu posts as they always give me ideas for meal plans. And I borrowed Ree's 2019 book from the library. 
The pasta section is quite good. We both really like pasta and I'd love to learn how to cook more dishes...I'm so basic in that department. What about you?  But I don't want anything else just drying out and taking up space in the cupboards either. You know what I mean? 
Two Youtube Stars

I'm slowly stitching the 3 inch Tiny EPP 9 patch blocks.

 Kind of feeling like I need to speed up the process so I did a little research and found a video by Teresa Down Under sharing how she stitches 9 patch blocks using FPP.
 It led me to her Etsy Shop, Sewn Up Patterns, where she has the PDF downloads to make this quilt, a tiny quilt made up of 9 tiny blocks. 
Amongst them was the pattern for the 3 inch 9 patch so I bought them. I love all the tiny blocks and it would be a neat quilt to make. I've downloaded the pattern and we'll see how it goes. Fingers crossed...faster. 

For years now Teresa has generously maintained an amazing bank of free quilt patterns...HERE.

 I don't know how many of you may have caught Karen's -Just Get It Done Quilts- amusing post where she counts her fabric stash...yes, digging deep into boxes, drawers, closets and cupboards and pulling it all out. And measuring every piece. It reminded me of some of the places I have cloth put away that I forgot about. The final figure is astounding to me but she stitches a lot of quilts.  

 Our weather smashed all the records with +15C on Monday so we took Ned to the nearby Shady Branch trail and had a wonderful walk in mild sunshine. Heard two woodpeckers but no camera. 
And now I'm off like a herd of turtles, as Spinster Stitcher says. Hope your day is equally calm and there is time in it to do what you love.

Friday 1 March 2024

Chookshed Stitchers Challenge,Hawk Run Hallow Cross Stitching, Favourite Meal

 We had an amazing temperature shift in the weather this week...+15 C high one day back down to -15C low the next. Definitely surreal to have another higher temperature like that in February. There was a tremendous amount of melt that took place in a very short time. The change over period brought on early darkness amidst a heavy wind, thunder and lightening storm that seemed to be crashing right above our roof. Ned was scared- not the bravest fellow, and we were so relieved we only lost the power for a couple of minutes. I wonder what did the critters think of it. 

Chookshed Stitchers Challenge

I'm pleased with how far I moved this project along in February...the FFP Blue Courthouse Steps. I've stitched 35 of the 9 inch squares and sewed the border made up of 6 inch squares.

See the block on the right...not the real colours at teal or aqua at all in this quilt. That's how badly my camera phone represents certain shades. 
I now have to pull out the papers and sew it all together. 

 I had just three things in mind for this quilt...that it be kind of manly since it's a gift for a man, it be large enough for a lap quilt and that some of the men's thrifted shirts would be used in it.  I'll have to do some dreaded quilt math to make sure it will be a good lap size but the other two goals have been met.

 I've also sewn together a number of orphaned blocks to use on the back. Definitely another plus to use scraps and stash for this project.

As on track as that project is, in other areas....

 I've gone off the rails with my current winter Cross Stitch project, Jour de Neige. Here's what happened. I was taking stock of my cross stitch WIP's ...there are 4 of them and most are large projects. I pulled out A Year at Hawk Run Hallow and just felt the impulse to pick up the needle and lay a few stitches. I was ready to stitch Block 7, July.

And I've just kept working on it this week-as the stitching spirit moved me if you will.  July's block now has a spouting whale and a waving, though sadly headless couple. I've added that will be underwater whale myself and for a reason. 

My stitches are just not good enough anymore for full coverage areas which is what that whole area required. ( I was relieved when I heard I'm not alone in this...full coverage is not a favourite thing for many cross stitchers.) I may add a couple smaller fish than the pattern has just to break up the space even more. I used Brenda's book to help me chart that little fellow. Here at  Amazon if you'd like to take a look.
LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is if we could come home to a favourite meal cooked by our partners what would it be...assuming they can cook. I had a chuckle at the very thought of Tony in the kitchen preparing a meal. While good at so many things, he's the first to admit having to cook for anyone would be his worse nightmare.  When he was alone, he lived on President's Choice blue menu frozen items, prepared salads, Delissio Frozen pizzas and toast for years. However, if Tony did cook, there would be much precision involved both in the cutting/dicing- he likes things to look uniform, and the cooking time as he reheats his tea at exactly 66 seconds in the microwave. He would literally have it down to a science. I think he is a little surprised at my rather slap dash approach to teaspoons, tablespoons, quarter measures, etc. 
 But anyway, for me, my favourite food tastes are all over the place. I used to say my favourite meal was anything I didn't have to cook myself. I love a good steak, any kind of pasta dish, souvlaki, Indian food, Chinese, a good burger and good fries, etc. But if I had to name one thing, I would make a nostalgic choice... my mother's big cooked dinner (as we called it) she made every Sunday...usually a roast with Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes, cabbage, turnip, carrots, peas pudding, etc. and her good gravy which she was known for.  What about you? Do you have an absolutely all time favourite meal? Do tell, as I love reading about food. 

Speaking of which, thank you all so much for taking the time to comment! I really enjoyed reading about your favourite romantic couples. I loved hearing that for some of you, you and your present partner is your favourite couple. Romance lives on!

 And I also loved how many of you commented about that special amazing thrift store find I shared HERE. But no one has suggested which of the Baltimore Album type patterns this one is. So keep an eye out as I would love to know more about this quilt. Surely that special block would be a good clue.

Hope your weekend has no unpleasant weather surprises and time for you to work on what you love.

Happily sharing with Alycia Quilts, It's a Small Town LifeKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.