Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

Good-bye 2015.  You have been a good year and we have had a lot of good times together but it is always fun to see what the new year has in store.
We aren't doing anything to celebrate other than having a few nibblies and watching a Shrek movie.  I got the blocks sewn together on the project that was on the design wall and have them in rows.  Those of us that signed up for the 365 day block challenge received their first one today as  in this country we are a number of hours behind Australia.  So many people had signed up that the server couldn't handle it.  I had to refresh a number of times but was finally able to access and do the download.  I think I will pick out some fabric tonight and then get started sewing tomorrow. I will post photos as I go along.  We will see how long I stay on track.
Enjoy your evening.  Stay safe and I with all the best in2016,

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

All Deadlines Met.

I hope everyone had a good and safe Christmas.  As mentioned previously, we went to my husband's family for the meal and gift exchange.  The weather and driving was good which is a bonus this time of year.  It was nice to see how much the littlest members of the family had grown. 
When we got back home, I found two phone calls waiting.  One was from my son and we had a nice chat.  The other was from a neighbour and, as soon as I heard her voice, I knew something was wrong.  I was devastated to learn that our next door neighbour had died.  She hadn't been well but was, we all thought, back on the road to recovery.  After all she was five years younger than me and very active.
The funeral was on Monday and there wasn't a seat left available.
I am still finding it hard to accept that I won't see her out gardening or hear her music filtering through the trees.
I am ending the year with all my quilting and writing deadlines met.  It is a great feeling.  I have restored the studio to some semblance of order and am looking forward to getting at the project that has been patiently waiting on my design wall for about two months.
I have signed up for a block of the day challenge which starts Jan. 1st.  It will be interesting to see this time next year how well I did on that.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Temperature Woes and Wins

Hubby and I went carolling with some friends from church tonight.  We just went to a few houses in our neighbourhood but it was fun and well received. Depending on weather conditions, we may make it an annual event.
Just three more days until Christmas.  I have everything done except wrapping a few presents which I will do tomorrow.  I have finished the foundation pieced quilt except for the binding.  I have two more baby quilts and a magazine article that are on my schedule and then I am all caught up.
Our weather is still staying unseasonable mild and looks to stay that way until next Mon.  It will make for better driving conditions for all those who are travelling for the holidays but the lack of snow is costing ski resort operators a lot of money as well as those who benefit by snowmobilers and other winter sports enthusiasts. Those employed by these businesses are also, if you will pardon the pun, being left out in the cold.  The three main ski operations in this area employ over 3,000 people, mostly students.
So, no matter the situation, there is always people who benefit and others who don't.
Hope your Christmas preparations are almost completed and you are finding time to relax.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


It was a relaxing day today.  I got together with a couple of friends and spent it working on a quilt block.  We are all doing the same one so we can help/encourage each other through the steps.  The quilt was originally a block of the month kit so we do a block each time we get together. 
I really needed a day to stop everything and de-stress. 
Step son arrived late this afternoon so he will be able to take over the heavier outside work now which will be much easier for me.  My back and neck are protesting the heavy lifting I have been doing.  I will have to go to the doctor's and get a treatment but will wait until I know I won't be hurting them again.
I am going to get the label on the quilt I finished so I can get into the store tomorrow.  Perhaps it will end up under a tree for a new baby.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Crib Quilt Finished.

This is one of the quilts I had been working on.  the first photo (which is just noticed is upside down) is a close up so you can see what I did with the sashing.  The second, which also appears to be upside down, shows the whole quilt.  This one was fun to make as I loved the colours. The binding is in two sections.  The yellow is a folded strip that was sewn on first and then the back binding added.  If you look at the bottom of the second photo, you can see what I mean as I bent the yellow over the black.
I used the grey background fabric for the backing.
I got the last of my Christmas shopping done today so, other than a bit more baking and setting up nativity scenes, I am finished.
Christmas Blessings,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

White Christmas

We got a tiny dusting of snow here in the backwoods today and the temperature has dropped below freezing.  We are supposed to get snow for the next few days so we may get a white Christmas; at least here in the north.  I have depleted one of the woodpiles hubby did for me in preparation for his operation.  There is another, much larger one, just outside the backdoor so I don't think I will have to do a great deal of carrying before he is able to return to his chores.  It is hard on my neck but has to be done.  I can get a treatment when everything returns to normal.
I finished the binding on my crib quilt today and got the last side of the border on the foundation pieced top.  Then I washed them both.  The crib quilt has a lot of very light grey and it had got dingy.  There was still small bits of paper on the top so I was hoping that washing would take care of them.  Which it did.  Unfortunately, a few seams came lose so I will have to repair them before I start quilting.  It is better that this happened to me rather than a customer.
I posted a link to a block a day challenge on Friday and have heard from some of you that have signed up.  The members of my on line group had, like me, decided not to do it but then one changed her mind and then another and now quite a few are going to give it a try.  I can't imagine actually being able to keep up with one a day but some are, apparently, small, so I might be able to do a number of them on quilt day.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Block a Day

Hurray!  Hubby is home.  He called at nine this morning to see if I could be there for ten.  I didn't expect him to be released until late morning or early afternoon so I had to do a quick shuffle and out the door.  He is still in a lot of pain which is to be expected but is managing.
I am also managing to get things done.  I finished the quilt that was on the frame and am just sewing on the binding.  I am doing an additional step and putting a folded strip of bright yellow around the edge before adding the black binding.  I know there is a name for that strip but can't think of it.  Once I get the machine part done, I need to get at a couple of baby quilts that have been commissioned.
Have you heard about the 365 day block challenge?  When you register at the link below, you will receive a block a day for the next year.  I don't know how I will manage to get them done but I think I will give it a try.

Let me know if you register.  A number of people in my on like group have signed up as has at least one lady in our local quilt group.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

An Overnight Stay

Hubby's operation went well although the surgeon decided to keep him in over night because there was scarring from a previous op. in the same place.  He is in a lot of pain so I think he is in the right place although the house is empty without him .
I have had supper and done a few odds and ends and now can relax for the rest of the evening.  We left for the hospital just before 10 a.m. and I didn't get back home until after 4 p.m. so it was a long day.  I got a bit of shopping done but I found it hard to concentrate when I was thinking of my dear one.  I thought he would be done by the time I got back to the hospital but he hadn't gone in yet as an emergency had come up.
He will be laid up for about six weeks before he is able to get back to his usual activities.  Then he will have his hip replacement!  It is going to be a fun few months but he has done as much as possible to get everything ready  Wood is chopped and moved closer to the house so the main job will be looking after the chickens and gathering eggs.
I am just happy we live in a country where all these medical needs not only can be done but they don't cost us anything.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cards in the Landfill

Tomorrow is going to be busy and a bit stressful day for my hubby.  He is going to the hospital in the morning for some day surgery.  He will be laid up for awhile and not able to lift anything so I will be taking over the responsibility of looking after the chicken flock and getting in wood.  Our middle son is coming for a visit from Alberta and will be staying for a few weeks so that will really help.
I got all my foundation pieced blocks put together today so I can take a bit of a break and work on some other projects.  It has been a long process getting those done but I am pleased with how they look.
We are just getting our Christmas cards sent off and we have decided that this will be the last year we are going to send them.  The cost of stamps and the cards themselves continues to rise and the money could be better spent on other things.  We will be making a donation to a charitable agency that buys chickens and other items such as school supplies for those in developing countries.  A much better option than a card that will be looked at for a few days and then tossed into the landfill.
I think people are sending less and less cards, largely due to the ease of e cards.  I am not sure I will do that route but we will see next year.  A phone call seems to be a better idea.
Our Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ and I think this decision better reflects that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Beaver House

We got second prize on our parade float. I think our costumes were fantastic!
It was another day of unseasonable warmth so there was a good crowd watching which always makes it a fun time for those of us on the floats.
Christmas is getting closer but it just doesn't feel like it with no snow on the ground.  We are still in the above freezing area.
Hubby and I went for a walk to the pond as he thought he had seen a beaver house recently.  It appears he was right.  We haven't had a beaver in residence since moving here and the dam is in poor condition with the water seeping out at every increasing rate.  Nice to have Canada's symbol on the property.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Parades and Tree Lighting

I have spent most of the day ironing.  The village  Christmas parade is tomorrow and our church has a float entered.  A couple of the ladies made fantastic costumes a couple of years ago and they all had to be pressed.  It was a long and tiring job but I was glad to be able to do something to help.  I originated the idea of a float about 5 years ago and did all the organizing.  It was a relief when this (younger) family took over.  They are very creative and detail orientated so our entry has got up a lot in presentation.
We also had our community tree lighting at the park this evening.  Hubby and I go to this each year and enjoy singing carols and watching the children.  There hadn't been a lighting celebration for many years and when I was on the Economic Development Committee, it was something I suggested.  I am thrilled to see that it has become a tradition again.
I haven't done any quilting today other that unstitch one of the sections of the paper piece quilt.  I didn't like how it looked so am redoing that bit.
We still don't have any snow and it looks as though we won't for a while.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


My sister recently took up crocheting and this phone case is her first project.  I think she has done a great job; even stiches, good tension.  Helen was in the very beginning stages during her visit a few weeks ago and would get a bit done, tear it out and start over.  She did this numerous times until she felt she was mastering the technique.
My family tends to be like this.  We do not give up or in easily.  This trait comes from our mother who stuck it out and rose above many circumstances that would have defeated those less determined.
I confess there are times when I wished that I were able to just give in but, like my mother and siblings, I can't do it.  I am sure my sister will be turning out more intricate articles very soon.
I finished decorating my trees today and started getting the nativities set up.  I have also finished the last section of the foundation pieced top and can start sewing them into blocks.  Well, I would be able to if I hadn't decided I need to redo one section.  Shouldn't take too long though.  I hope.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

To the Pond and Back

I know I have said this numerous times before but I really dislike shopping-especially grocery shopping.  It doesn't seem fair that I have to spend so much time doing something I dislike and then having to pay for it.
Hubby and I went to Huntsville just after nine this morning and got home when it was nearly two.  We did get quite a lot done and I remembered everything on my list so it was a successful trip.
I have more or less puttered for the rest of the day: got supper, did a bit more decorating, watched the news.  I need to get back at some sewing now.
Although I was tired, I went I took Heidi out for her walk at the usual time.  I wasn't going to bother but, I swear that dog can tell time and I defy anyone to resist the soulful eyes of a pet they love.  We went through the bush and, what started out to be a short jaunt, turned into a lengthy walk along the ridge, down to the pond and back up the hill on one of the trails.  The fall leaves covered the ground and, although it wasn't slippery, it looked as though it was in spots.  There is, of course, a lot of undergrowth to either go around or over and Heidi's leash got tangled a number of times. 
I came home feeling invigorated and in a much better mood.  I love walking through the bush and it is a good workout because of the deep slope down to the pond.  If I went over the bridge to the other side, I would then get to climb up another very steep hill.  I usually stay on this side, however, as that is enough of a workout.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pass the Shoe Horn.

Happy Dec. 1st.  We start the month with a new refrigerator and freezer.  They arrived yesterday .  The day before a neighbour came over and helped us remove everything from the freezer, put it in totes and into the back of the van where they stayed until today.  We were only able to do this because the weather, fortunately, was cold enough.  We got everything put into the new freezer this morning and then, after lunch, tackled the fridge.  We still have another, larger one, in the kitchen, but needed this one because we buy in bulk. 
Where to put the second one was a problem but we finally fund a spot in another area of the kitchen.  We had to take a leaf out of the table, move a stand that was there into the master bedroom.  That fits behind the door and holds the large crockpot, electric skillet etc.
I don't know how people live in little houses or apartments.  This place isn't big-just over 1400 square feet, so we are always having to be creative about storage.  Sometimes, I feel like the old woman in the show. Of course, my hubby is always building so having out buildings help.  Our next project is to redo the mudroom so it is more stable and a bit bigger. When that is done, we can add shelving which will hold my canning supplies and other odds and ends.  I am sure he feels it is going to be a never ending process.  Fortunately, he enjoys doing it.
Our tree lighting and Christmas parade are this weekend so that should push me into finishing my tree and house decorating.  We still don't have any snow on the ground which would do the most to make it feel like Christmas.