Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I am way too impatient.  Our hydro just flickered off and then back on again but it was enough that the computer shut down.   I had to wait for it to reboot which it didn't do instantaneously so I pushed the start button again and that confused it.
I really try to be more patient but am not very successful. I think it is a form of ego; my world is not performing the way it should, other things are upsetting my world.
To make my reaction even less understandable, I have been expecting hydro problems because we have had freezing rain and there is  a lot of ice on the trees.  I assumed that there is also some on the hydro wires.  I have prepared by filling the electric kettle as well the one on the stove and a large bowl so we will have water. Perhaps, I should also have done some mental preperation.
I had planned on going to the town to do some shopping today but, of course, it is not good driving weather. (My schedule has been mucked up).  As I am housebound, I guess I will just have to quilt. There's a hardship.
Did anyone take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday?    Just in case you are still in the shopping mood  my 25% off sale will continue until Dec. 17th. then a draw will be made from purchasers names and the winner will receive a 12 Days of Christmas panel.
It appears as though the power is going to stay on so I will finish the quilt that is in the frame and perhaps start a few Christmas gifts. We are on the downward slope to the season now so I guess I had better get moving.  House decorating and baking starts next week.
If you are on the roads today, please be careful. Impatience combined with a steering wheel is deadly.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Five Hens A-Laying

My Way
All five of our hens are now giving us nice wholesome eggs.  They are starting to accumulate in the cartons so we may have to add another person to our customer list.  My husband is seriously thinking about adding to the flock next year as there is enough room for another 5.  They eat a lot of kitchen scraps along with their regular food which helps the cost.  Did you know that there is arsenic in some chicken feed.  Trace amounts but as it accumulates in the body still not a good thing.
This photo is the original of a design that I am just finishing up to get on my web.  It will be included in the sale.  Please pass on the information about the sale to your friends, groups etc.  All publicity is welcome when you are a struggling (although not starving) artist.
 I am still waiting for the snow to arrive.  Am I the only person who feels that way?  I always feel so much healthier in the winter.  And I love cooking on the wood stove.  It is such a cozy, homey thing and the food doesn't burn on the bottom if I get distracted by quilt making.
Another weekend arrives tomorrow.  I am off to a craft show with a friend and am planning to get a few Christmas gifts. I make the majority of mine but do like to support other artisans as much as I can.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Quilty Friends

I have mentioned in the past that I belong to a number of on line groups as well as co-hosting one.  They are all, with the exception of my family group, quilt related.  Each has a specific focus such as hand quilting, frame quilting etc.  They are a valuable source for encouragement and information.  I have learnt so much from the members of the groups.
I have had a chance to meet some of the members of the Canadian group and will get to see more of them on the retreat that is scheduled for next year.
It is amazing how close you feel to these people you have never met.  I was reminded of this today especially as I opened my gift from my secret santa.  One group does this gift exchange each year and, once all the packages have arrived, we have a cross country gift opening.
I got a box full of amazing things but what I found the most wonderful was how well my secret santa seemed to know me.  We do, of course, list some likes-spicy and dislikes-perfume but my package included a CD of Celtic music.  I am sure I have never mentioned to the group how big a fan I am of things Scottish. 
I have been baking today and just took a break to check my e mail and write this.  Now I am back to the bread and apple butter.  I will be playing my CD while working.  Bliss.
Don't forget that the big sale starts tomorrow.  25% off everything in the Sisters Quilting Expo on line store and my web page.  www.arkangelcreations.org and www.sistersqiltingexpo.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Baltimore Album Blocks
I am just waiting for the water to boil in my canner so I can make my grape jelly.  Then I want to do a large batch of chili.  Tomorrow it is bread and pumpkin butter that is on the schedule list. This photos shows the first two blocks of the hand appliqued Baltimore Album quilt I am doing (and my dirty kitchen floor). I still have to embroider the stems on the wreath block.   I have also added the poster advertising the sale that starts this week.  There will be new items added so check back frequently.

Nov. 25th until Dec. 17th

In not one but two locations

Two stores are offering 25% off

On everything

Fabric, Patterns, Notions, Quilts

All 25% off

But wait, there’s more

Everyone who makes a purchase will have their name entered into a draw.

Winner receives a Twelve Days of Christmas quilt panel.

Sale Locations:

Click and Buy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Panic in the Chicken Coop

Winter seems to be passing us by.  We had a little snowfall which since has melted and now are back to the greys and browns of a late fall.  I know it is nice for driving and getting decorations put up but taint natural.
My husband phoned while I was at quilt group yesterday to tell me that we had an uprising in the chicken coop.  He had been looking outside to wave goodbye as I left and saw the hens jumping around in excitement about something.  One got so carried away that she popped right out of the partially covered run.  Roger went out, scooped her and and put her back where she belonged.  I always thought that if one got out it would try to fly away or at least run but, apparently, it just hunkered down and waited to be rescued.
Always some sort of excitement here in the backwoods.
My webmistress has the latest free block on my web now. www.arkangelcreations.org. Tomorrow I will be posting information about the upcoming sale.

Friday, November 18, 2011

We Have Four

I have mentioned in past blogs that we have five hens but only three had been laying.  The other two seemed to be younger judging by the size of their combs.  The past couple of weeks we have seen there was a definate difference in size.  Yesterday, we got a fourth egg.  Bertie, one of the hold outs was sitting on the nest when my husband went in to gather the bounty so he left her alone.  Sure enough, when he returned later in the day, she had done her job.  The amusing bit is that although she is one of the larger hens, her egg was tiny-about the size of a banty. 
Still, we are glad she is producing.  Ernie is now the only holdout.
This is my self imposed work day and I have a pattern to write up for the owner of the Sisters Quilting Expo on line store and a couple of smaller projects.  I also want to get another section of my book finished. My husband is out in the bush hoping to see an exusive deer.  Now that we have snow, they should be heading this way which is their wintering area.
I didn't get as much sleep as I needed last night because I stayed awake reading a book.  I finished it at 11.30 which is about an hour later than my usual 'turn the lights out' time.  This was a Lawrence Block book that we hadn't read and husband was taking it back to the library today so I decided to see what it was like.  I have been going through a stressful situation for the past few months and find I need to hide in a book a little more frequently than usual.
Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Favourite Kind of Day

There were probably not very many people cheering this morning as they woke to find snow on the ground.  However, I was and so was my husband.  I am not sure about wee Heidi but I think she showed a little extra excitement when she went outside. The chickens are out happily pecking inside their wire run.  We debated letting them out as we weren't sure what was best for them but as they are clad in a thick coat of feathers we finally decided they would be fine.
 It had been looking pretty dreary here in the backwoods.  Fall, although welcome at first,  had, like that last straggling guest, hung around far too long.  The little forest creatures were ready to hibernate and I was ready to start wearing cozy sweaters.This morning the ground is white, the trees are tufted with little cotton balls adding just a touch of whimsy to their gently swaying trunks.
I have chicken soup cooking in the cast iron kettle on the wood stove and pumpernickel bread in the bread machine. While I prefer to make the majority of our bread by hand, I use the machine for specialty loaves.
As promised, I am including a pattern for a foundation pieced block.  I think you should be able to print it off and then enlarge.  If not, it will be in my web in the Freebies section soon. It is an seven inch, finished, block.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scrappy Block Coming Soon

I have just finished doing some house stuff-vacuum, fill the bird feeders, clean and fill the dog's water dishes.  Once I have this finished, I am into the village to deliver some flyers to our business owners/managers.  We are having our first ever Christmas Tree Lighting celebration this year and I am inviting the businesses to take part.  I couldn't believe that this had never been done before.  The community is nearly a hundred and fifty years old!  Perhaps it was done in the early days but not within any ones memory.
Attention scrap quilt lovers and those who can't bear to throw out the smallest bit of fabric!  I am going to post a paper piece block  pattern tomorrow as well as a photo of one I have completed.  This is an excellent way to use up those bits and pieces and give yourself a break from whatever you are working on.  I am also going to post this on the web along with a foundation piecing tutorial but that might not get done until the weekend. 
Also a reminder of the big sale that starts on Nov. 25th.  Lots of bargains.  Lots of choices and two web sites.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Good Cause

It is a glorious day here in the backwoods.  It is only 9 degrees Celsius but the sun is shining as brightly as it would in the middle of summer.  We are about to have lunch and then are off to Huntsville for an appointment and to do some shopping so it will be a nice day for a drive.
This morning, I went over to the church to help pack boxes that are sent to children in less fortunate areas of the world.  Operation Shoebox (hope I have remembered the name correctly) is a yearly event and is contributed to by hundreds of individuals and groups across Canada and, probably, other countries.  It is nice to think of the difference this little shoe box sized gift will make to so many children.  There are practical gifts such as soap and toothbrushes and plenty of fun items like yo yo's, crayons, little stuffed toys and cars. 
The majority of these things are bought at discount stores so don't represent a lot of money but, if this is the only gift you receive in a year,  it is worth hundreds.
There has been a lot of news coverage of the occupation by hundreds of people in various parks and vacant lots in North America.  These citizens are concerned about the disparity between the poor and wealthy.  I admire them for there willingness to draw attention to this eternal situation but hope that they also do something practical like donate to agencies who are daily involved in helping others.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day

My husband and I were at the local Remembrance Day service this morning.  There were a lot of people from babies in carriages to the elderly who were in attendance.  The village event is really well organized.  I have been to some in larger communities which seemed to have been put together at the last minute.
We had a skiff of snow last night and it has stayed on the ground.  The sky is still overcast so we may get more although the weather report predicts warming temperatures.  My car has gone in to get the winter tires installed so I am prepared no matter what happens.
I got a sudden inspiration yesterday and designed a new pattern.  I really like it and am now making it up and working out the steps.  It goes together quickly so hope to have it on my web before the end of this month.
Did you see the moon last night?  It was shining through the top of the trees in the early evening and looked as though it had got tangled in the branches.  It was huge.  I wanted to take a photo but it was too far back for it to turn out properly.  The leaves are all off the trees now and everything looks pretty grey so the birch and evergreens really stand out.  Each season seems to feature something different as do the between season times.  I am anxiously awaiting the most spectacular season: winter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making Progress

I have another quilt almost finished.  Just a few more inches of the binding to do.  Another one is on the frame but I have a crack in one of the runners on which the carriage sits so I have to wait for a replacement before continuing.  I can still use the machine but it is very difficult getting my curves, curved.
We had a noisy windstorm last night.  It woke me up just after midnight and, at first, I thought I was hearing a train.  I could see the trees swaying in the moonlight.  I got up to see if everything was alright and, oddly, none of the lawn furniture or shrub covers had moved.  I had to put ear plugs in to deaden the noise so I could go back to sleep.
My web genius got the free block and some other patterns on my web site yesterday if you would like to take a look. www.arkangelcreations.org
I also got the first section of my book done  so it was a productive day.  Each chapter/section is going to have a pattern that relates to the topic.
I am meeting some friends in town today for lunch.  Haven't done that since moving from Edmonton so it will make a nice change.  Husband is going to the family hunt camp with his nephew so, he too, has a planned day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Free Block and a Sale

The pattern to make the block that is in this little virtual quilt will be on my web site shortly.  I am showing it as a quilt because it is hard to see how nice it would look made up if all you can see is the block. I will have a quilt pattern on my site later but this is a freebie for you. 
Later this month, I am going to be telling you about a great sale just in time for Christmas shopping.  It involves two locations and both will include everything in stock.
I learnt something about planting bulbs this morning that was a revelation.  Did you know that you could plant snowdrops over grape hyacinth over daffodils over tulips.  All those bulbs in the same hole at different levels.  In my garden, I get spotting colour happening in different areas.  I am going to dig up all my bulbs and replant-when it stops raining.  I am also going to be buying more bulbs now I will have extra room.  This was a tip from Mark Cullen who is the Ontario guru of gardening. The general idea is the plants that flower the earliest go on the top.  So it will be necessary to do a little preplanning and reading of packaging.
  Now I have to get working on a book I have been mentally planning.  You won't be able to read it unless I get it on paper, will you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chipmunks Away

The little chipmunks have been very active in raiding our bird feeder this week.  We seem to have an abundance of the little creatures this year and we have been entertained by their activities.    They don't seem to have any fear of humans or a dog.  Yesterday, just after I had once more replensihed the feeder, I noticed two chipmunks were stuffing their little cheeks.  My husband had left a long stick near the feeder so I got it and poked at the base.  One chipmunk had already fled but the other was determined to get as many seeds as possible.  I had to give the feeder a good jab before it fell off.  It lay on the ground looking at me as much as to say " What just happened".  I went back in the house and, of course, as soon as the door closed, it was back in the feeder.
They will soon be hibernating so I guess I will just leave the feeder empty until then.  They must have enough seeds to see them through a good long winter by now.
I had a touching reminder yesterday eveing that I live in a small community.  I chair a muncipal committee and we were discussing an event that we are holding and someone mentioned that we should let the funeral home know what we were doing so, if possible, they wouldn't have visitation on that evening.  I thought the concern might be for parking but that wasn't it.  The woman was concerned about family members having their grief interuppted by a group of noisy celebrants.  Isn't that a wonderfully considerate thought and can you imagine that being a concern in a large city.
I have a lot of time to get things done this week as my husband is in hunting mode.  Tomorrow, I hope to have a free block pattern for you,

Friday, November 4, 2011

Feathers and Hens.

I finished the top on this quilt yesterday and am somewhat pleased with the result.  This is my first 'all over' pattern that I have done with the frame.  That means the effect is not repeated rows of quilting.  There are lots of mistakes as I have not yet learnt to control the machine but it is better than my first attempts. The stitch design is double feathers and I will use it again. This quilt pattern will be added to my web site as soon as I have done the binding.  I will also be announcing a big sale just in time for Christmas sewing or gift giving.  The sale will include everything on my web site.
My husband is chopping wood this morning and has also put the heater on in the hen house.  The temperature has dropped below freezing so I am happy to be comfortably coccooned in my studio.  I have a number of projects listed to get done on this 'work' day but I will go for a walk later.  It looks as though the sun may break through the grayness.  Yesterday, husband, Heidi and I tromped through the bush and noted which trees were in danger of falling.  Heidi took the opportunity to fly around the trees scattering leaves in all directions.  Somewhere along the way, she rubbed her head in something offensive and had to have a bath before bed time. Why do dogs do that?
Speaking of the hens; I've mentioned in previous postings that one of the chickens is a real good layer.  Her eggs are huge.  We had eggs for breakfast and those large ones are double yolkers.  
Hope you all have a good weekend. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


What do you do to relax?  I would guess that most of you, like me, find quilting is a peaceful occupation.  I also enjoy baking but if I am really stressed, I read a book.
When I worked (as in 'got paid') I used to say to my husband that I would like to go to a motel for a couple of days and just read.  Would be even better if I could get room service. 
The one problem besides funds was that I read so fast that I would have had to lug at least ten books with me.  When we first moved here and were living in the camper with nothing to do, I was reading a minimum of four library books a day!  You can go through a small libraries collection in a very short time doing that.
The other problem I have with reading is that once I start a book I don't want to put it down until I have finished.  Therefore, I don't read before or in bed or anytime I don't have a couple hours of free time.
I have a number of favourite authors and usually read all their work.  We have a great library in the village and the staff let me know if something has arrived that they think I will enjoy.
My husband will be busy hunting for the next while.  I think I might see if there is something on the shelves I haven't yet read.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scrappy Projects

These are the little Christmas decorations that I made from scraps.  They measure approximately 2 1/2" square except for the bottom one which is about  3 1/2 X 4".
They are very simple to do and I have a couple-not completed that are checkerboard.  When working with something this small, it is easier to have a base fabric and add your material like you would in paper piecing.  In fact, you could draw a simple design on your foundation fabric and then sew your fabric onto the lines.
We are going to have a warm day today-plus fourteen so I want to get the leaves raked onto the flower and vegetable gardens but first I am off to Huntsville to do the shopping that I didn't finish on my last trip.
Got my Christmas quilt top half done yesterday.  Nice to be making some progress on the pile of tops that have accumulated.
If you try some of these decorations, send me a photo and I will share it with everyone.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Blahs

Yesterday, I had the quilting blahs. I couldn't get enthused about any particular project or even put the material together to start one.  I ended up making little Christmas ornaments.  I have a lot of 3 1/2" muslin squares and bags of scraps so I sewed strips and little squares and other arrangements onto the muslin and came up with almost a dozen ornaments.  I will now sew on a back, stuff, and add a hanger.  These are nice to put on a parcel, stick into a stocking or even give as hostess gifts. So, sometimes even the blahs can result in a useful project.
I have been very concerned about a family member for some time so I haven't been able to work up much enthusiasm for anything or at least not for an extended period of time.  There isn't anything I can do about the situation except trust but that doesn't stop the worry or occasional meltdown.
I am not sure of what the outcome of it all will be but, as with everything else, I try to take each day as it comes, be thankful for the blessings I have and pray.
Yesterday after quilt group, I put a top in the frame and today I will start quilting it.  I had to catch up on housework and need to go into the village for a few errands but should be able to get a bit of it done today.  Doing something relatively mindless is often what the brain needs.