Friday, July 27, 2012

Bolero is a Bother

Do something today that scares you.  I read that on a bag from a clothing store and the statement started me thinking of what I could do.  I am afraid of zip lining and walking over gorges on a rope bridge,ferocious animals, angry people with guns and a number of other things that I am not going to challenge.  However, I am also afraid of climbing ladders.  I don't mind hopping on a chair but not a ladder.  So, I think, I will get my husband to prop one up somewhere and hold it while I attempt to climb a few steps.
I am usually of the opinion that shopping bags should stick to their purpose-carrying things rather than trying to be philosophical etc.  Maybe, though, this one has got me on a path of facing new challenges.
On another note, if you will pardon the pun, do you have a piece of music that makes you want to change stations.  I really dislike Ravel's Bolero.  I think it is like a drippy tap.  I have been getting some work done up this morning and was just getting ready to take a break, have a cup of tea and write my blog when Bolero was announced.  A load of laundry was waiting to be put on the line so I grabbed that, hung it up, chatted with my husband, took the dog for a mini stroll and came back in to hear the last repetitive drum beats. Whew!
We are having company for a few days this coming week so I may not be posting regularly.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boring Borders

I decided to go to bed early last night.  I grabbed a book from my shelf without really looking at the title and then realized it was one that I hadn't yet read.  Borders: The Basics and Beyond by Jill Reber is just that; a guide to various border designs.  It is a well written book and I can see why I bought it.  Every time I make a quilt I keep thinking about doing something beyond the usual straight strips added around the top.  This book has given me some ideas and it also included some border samplers so I can see how they will look.  I may make one of them to keep and use as a prod to be more creative.
I suppose what got me thinking about borders is a small quilt I am finishing.  I just added the border strips and it is lying on the cutting table where I can easily see it.  The more I look at it, the more I wish I had done something different around the edge.  To late now as the backing has already been cut. It sure looks boring though.
We have finally got some rain and it has cooled down considerably.  Mom-in-law is coming for a visit so I am going to take advantage of the temperature and do some baking.  May even make some rice crispy squares for my husband.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Age equals Tidiness?

It seems that  the weather with its heat and lack of rain has been a continual focus the past few weeks.    I really haven't felt much like working on anything other than my hand applique for a while although I have managed to get a bit done each day on a quilt that is for a gift.  Today, I am seriously thinking about getting another top in the frame as my studio is cooler today.
I have been thinking, recently, of a container for my applique supplies.  Right now they are in a couple of plastic boxes but that hasn't proven to be very efficient.  One of the ladies in our local quilt group carries all her quilting notions in a fishing tackle box.  A great idea.  I am going to look for a small one and see if it will be sufficient for the various spools of thread, needles, scissors etc.  It doesn't need to be large but the compartments have to be the right size.   Of course, once I get the right container, it will be a real help if I do keep putting everything in it.  I find that stuff tends to spread out and the more room you have, the more is spreads.  I admire people who put everything back where it belongs at the end of the day or session. 
My tendency is to wait until I no longer can find anything or the mess creates more distraction than relaxation. I do find that as I get older I  get tidier so that is a plus.
Still waiting for baby news.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Weddings and Babies

I have been eagerly awaiting, since Sunday, the news of the arrival of a new great nephew.  My youngest sister's daughter's baby was due on the 22nd but has decided to wait a bit longer.  Perhaps he is hoping to coincide with the start of the Olympic games as he is an English baby.  My sister tells me that if nothing has happened by today then things will be hurried along medically.  It was supposed to be a home birth but not it appears that it will now happen in the hospital.
Last month, the same sister celebrated the arrival of another grandchild when her youngest and his wife had a son.
Once the births have all happened, we have a round of weddings.  My other sister's daughter  will be the first to take the trip down the aisle.  The last wedding will take place in December and this will be for the oldest child of my youngest sister. So, you can see, it is going to be a busy time for our family in England this year. 
It does seem as though events are like that, doesn't it.  There is either nothing happening or everything at once.
Our youngest brother has two lovely daughters and I am sure we will be hearing of their engagements soon.
Here in the backwoods, life is much less exciting.  My husband is making progress on the addition to our home and I am muddling along doing housework and quilting.  Soon it will be fall fair time so I need to start thinking about my entries.
I mentioned previously that I am redoing my web site.  If you would like a preview, go to:  Let me know what you think.  Any changes you would like to see?

Friday, July 20, 2012

And More Dreadful News Reports

It is quite a lot cooler today so I am baking bread and, now that it is in the pans, I will go out and pick the ripening raspberries.  My husband is working on the house addition.  He usually has to stop after a couple of hours because of the heat but today he is able to keep going. 
I am having a hard time dealing with the news of the past few days.  Multiple shootings, bunkers with nearly a 100 home made bombs and an arsenal of guns and gang fights with no regard for innocent  bystanders have dominated the news this week.  It won't make it all stop, but I am almost to the point of no longer watching the news.  What makes it even worse is the commentators who go from those horrors to giggling about something else.
If you have family or friends who have been affected by these events, please know that others are thinking of you.
It is hard to remember in the midst of all this that the majority of people by far are kind, generous and care about others.  Much of this world is beautiful.  I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by natural splendor and peace.  Perhaps if everyone where able to spend a few minutes a day in such surroundings, earth would be a happier place.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dashing Here and There

Yesterday was a busy and tiring day.  We left the house shortly after eight so I could do my cat sitting responsibilities.  Then it was off to my eye appointment which consisted of half a dozen different tests the result of which is laser surgery.  My brother and his wife had invited us for a barbecue so that was the next stop.  We had a lovely meal, my sister in law is an excellent cook, and a equally lovely visit.  It is always interesting gong to their house as they had bought a real fixer upper and the changes are astounding.  I am sure the neighbours are really pleased with the results as well.
On our return trip home, we stopped for groceries and fuel, settled the cats in for the night and picked up our dog.  We got home just before seven.
It is a lot cooler today and I should be making bread but I am puttering.  My husband has gone for a motorcycle ride and Heidi is still resting from her visit to her caregiver where she gets a lot more exercise that she does at home.  There were two other small dogs there this time so she got to have a play date as well.
I've done the cats this morning and some bits and pieces in the village.  I will need to go out again later but, for now, I am glad to be at home enjoying my tea and the music on the radio.  Our road is being paved so I hope it will be finished by supper time as I hate getting all that gook on my car.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New (ish) Web Site

I have been working on updating my web site for a week or so.  It isn't ready to be published yet but I can give you a sneak peak.  When completed, it can be seen at the usual address:  For a preview, go to: http://www.
I am putting my patterns in a slide show and on 3 seperate pages.  There will also be the same free stuff, tutorials and lots of photos.  Take a look and let me know what you think.  Do you prefer the old layout or new?
I've taken on a new job for a week or so.  A friend has gone away and I am kitty sitting.  She has three older cats so I go over morning and evening to feed and pet them as well as opening and closing drapes.  I like cats-as well as dogs, so it is nice to have a chance to be around them.  We keep thinking about getting one of our own but as my husband is allergic to them, it would be a problem.
We haven't had any more raccoon problems and our remaining chickens are doing their job with only the occassional shortage which is to be expected given the extreme heat. We got a nice rain last night and it feels as though we may get more.  I think we need two or three days of a steady downfall for the ground to truly benefit. 
Our Heidi is going to her caregivers tonight so we can have a day out.  I have an eye appointment, then we are going to my brothers for a barbecue and then some shopping.  We will be able to take our time without worrying about her being left too long.
Hope you are managing to stay cool.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Smell of Contentment

   While we were driving around last night trying to find a road that no longer had a highway sign, we passed a number of fields where the farmers had cut the hay.  Even with the windows closed, you could still smell the wonderful aroma of freshly mown crops.
   I know next to nothing about haying; when you plant, cut etc. but I do appreciate the work that is involved.  My husband's sister and brother-in-law have a small, family owned farm and the work seems endless but so is the reward.  Despite the problems with weather, ever rising costs and other problems, I know that neither of them would chose a different life.  When the grandchildren come out to see the newly born calves or baby chicks, the expression on their faces make it all worthwhile.
 Our own little plot of land can't remotely be referred to as a farm but we too get a lot of satisfaction from our fresh laid eggs, home grown fruits and vegetable and the knowledge that our food is pesticide and chemical free.
   The day may come when the family farm no long exists.  It seems that goverments prefer the mega operations where the animals never see the sun and the produce no longer has any nutrients.  Until then, stop at farmer's markets or farm gate stands and enjoy the way food is supposed to taste.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Nice Visit

We had a lovely visit with my sister and her family yesterday.  The younger relatives grow and change so quickly that it is hard to keep up.  Our one nephew, who will soon be starting university, is over 6 feet tall and doesn't seem to be stopping yet.
The Haliburton area is one of Ontario's beauty spots and the drive to and from took us past a continuous view of lakes and small, lily pad covered ponds. We were quit tired when we got home as it is a long trip but was certainly worthwhile and enjoyable.
Today,  we got outside early in the morning to do some work.  I pulled weeds and my husband worked on the addition.  We have final approval now so he is going to be able to start the serious work.  We just have one more step.  The inspector has to come over and see the foundation.  I am quite anxious to see the floor done and the walls go up.  Once the roof is on we can take our time with the rest of the work. (I say 'we' but really my part is very minimal.) I am so proud of my husband for being able to do all this.  It is going to add a lot to our home and he is saving us a bundle of money by doing the work himself.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Applique

Vintage Tiles Revisited-Block of the Month
This is the first block I have completed from this series.  I think this is actually block # 3.  It looked as though it might be the easiest of the ones I had and I was right.  I am still very much a neophyte appliquer and I was able to complete this without any problem.  I used batiks for the applique fabric.  The background is actually darker than it appears in the photo.  I am now back at doing a block from the Baltimore Album set as well as working on a pattern I designed, a wedding quilt and probably a few other projects as well.
Tomorrow, we will be visiting my sister at her cottage.  I have been thinking of a knitted bag pattern so will take the materials for that to work on when it is my husbands turn to drive.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Nature's Down Side

A raccoon family got into our hen house last night.  We knew they were around but, other than eating some vegtables, they weren't creating a problem.  However, they have now killed two of our chickens; our only white and a lovely red.  Momma raccoon got away with the white hen but the two young were trapped in the coop.  My husband had to take care of them and then repair the window. 
We have tried to leave everything as natural as possible here in our corner of the world.  We have cleared only enough of the property to put up the house  and area for the vehcles and gardens.  The pond, wetland and the rest of the bush has been left as is.  Consequently, we do have some endangered species living here.  However, there are times like this when we have to act like human beings and show our strength. Neither of us enjoy it.
On a  happier note,  my sister arrives from England today and we will be going to see her on Wednesday.  Her family; husband, two children and their families, will all be at a cottage they've rented so it will be nice to have a get together.
Hope you all have a great weekend and are staying cool.  Four more months until winter.  Yahoo!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Four Years and Counting.

There has been a number of new followers signed up recently so I would like to welcome you.  I started this blog when my husband and I moved here to the backwoods from the city of Edmonton.  In it I chronicle some of the differences between the two homes, our daily activities and my love of quilting. 
We have lived here for just past four years now-a time span that seems almost unbelievable, and each day is still a blessing.  We continue to uncover treasures in the maple bush and even around the house.  My husband just popped in to say that there are some different wildflowers blooming near the composter.
A recent, and unwelcome, addition to the property is a raccoon.  We haven't seen it but it's presence has been felt in a demolished bird feeder, a hole in the chicken's run and the disappearance of some of our vegetables.  We hope he/she gets discouraged and moves on to plumper pastures.
The heat wave is continuing here and I am planning to go to Huntsville to do some shopping after I take advantage of the cooler morning to do housework.  However, I am also waiting for my doctor to phone a prescription to the pharmacy so may have to wait until tomorrow.
While I try and decide, I am going to take my cup of tea outside and look at those flowers.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm Late, I'm Late

We have had another scorcher of a day and tomorrow is supposed to be worse.  Fortunately, unlike much of the rest of the province (and continent) we aren't getting the humidity.  All our company has come and gone.  It was nice to have these dear frinds visit.  I got one of the ladies interested in applique so am doing my bit to continue the spread of the quilting virus.
I want to cut some fabric for placemats tonight.  It has cooled down enough that working in the studio is doable.  These placemats are for the community yard sale that I think I already mentioned.
I am making good progress on one of the Vintage Tiles Revisited applique blocks and am pleased with how it is turning out.  A free pattern from Robert Kaufman was mentioned on an online group and I have downloaded it and added it to my already overflowing applique 'to do' file.  I wonder if other arts have this problem.  Do painters, woodworkers, cooks etc also have more ideas than time?  I sometimes feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland:  I'm Late, I'm Late, I have too many quilts to make.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I hope everyone had a good Canada Day weekend.  This, for those of you who don't live in this country, is the anniversary of Canada's founding and we were 145 this year-very young by European standards.
We didn't do anything special other than a barbecue.  The weather was good so it was nice to just sit outside and enjoy it.
We have company for a few days.  A cear couple from Edmonton is here on family business and is visiting with us as well.  It is now to be able to catch up on news and show off our rural home.  they have been here once before but it was in the winter.
My entries today and tomorrow will be short so we can get out and do some touring.  I also want to get my friend started on some hand applique so she will have something to do while waiting for appointments, meetings, and all the other things which keep us spinning our wheels throughout the day.