Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy 149 Canada. Looking Good.

The part for my machine arrived by courier today. I was getting a little concerned that it might have been sent through the post office as we may be getting a mail strike.  Now I have to figure out how to get the old part off so I can install the new.  I will give the technician a call tomorrow so he can walk me through it.  I suspect I have to remove part of the body. 
I finished the top I had been working on and then found I put a block in the wrong place.  Not sure how I managed to do that but now I have to unstitch so I can change two of them.  This mistake was a forerunner of today.  I got together with a couple of friends to work on our projects and made a mistake in every step.  Mistakes that, of course, I didn't discover until I had the section finished.  I finally managed to get most of one block done and I will finish the other (there are two of each block) at home. 
The change in barometric pressure has given me a headache the past two days so I think that may have been the problem.  That is what I am going to claim anyway.
Happy Canada Day tomorrow .  Hubby and I will be going to some of the events in the village.  Happy Independence Day to my American friends for Monday.  Nice that we get to share a long weekend.  I expect we shall see a number of U.S. licence plates in the village.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another Writing Job.

After a morning of shopping and then lunch at a local restaurant, our company headed back south.  It is always a bit of a let down when company leaves especially for our little dog who just loves the extra attention.  She is moping a bit right now but will be back to normal tomorrow.
I have been doing a little bit on the stripped top I started.  I would like to get it done as I now have another venue for my quilts.  A shop in the village is opening up a larger store and is going to be carrying quilts.  I will take in wall hangings and other home décor items like table runners.
I also got another writing job.  I will be doing a small weekly column.  This is in addition to the community news one I am currently doing.  I was having second thoughts about it as I don't like to book up my time to much but as I enjoy writing, I decided to give it a few weeks and see how it goes.
Tomorrow I am at a friends for our monthly quilt day.  I really look forward to this time as it is relaxing day of working on a joint project.
Remember that with the start of the summer months, children will be playing on or near the streets so please watch for them when driving.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Here are photos of the dolls I bought. The first one is the musical doll.  The shorter doll in the third photo is one of the new ones and  the large doll in purple has an interesting history.  I got her at a motorcycle rally.  She was one of the draw prices and was won by a burly, tattooed gentlemen who was not married and, therefore, had no need for a doll.  I, on the other had, won a pair of leather gloves which were too big for me.  So, I approached him and we exchanged.  Of course, many of the other participants thought we should have kept our original prizes.
We are expecting company for a couple of days and they should be arriving shortly.  The couple are dear friends from near Edmonton, Alberta and they will be coming with their daughter who  lives south of us.  It will be nice to see them.  The lady and her late husband were in the Christian Motorcycle Association with us.  The man she married a few years ago is a brother of another member.
I expect we will be  recalling a lot of memories.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Musical Doll

Hubby and I went to an estate sale this morning.  I always prefer them to auction or garage sales as I don't have to bid on anything as with the former and better selection than the latter.  I had a list of things that I wanted to buy if they had them and hubby had the same.  Photos of the items had been on Facebook for a few days as it was a very large sale so we were somewhat familiar with what was available. 
I noticed a few vintage machines but when I saw them they were all electric and I was looking for a hand crank.  I did get 3 lovely collectable dolls and some stands for them.  I intended to get just one for my granddaughter but they were so nice that I got the ones I liked best.  I found a few smaller items and that was it.  Hubby got some fencing which was more practical than my purchases but not as pretty.
The sale goes on for three days and the last one will have really good prices but it isn't cheap if you don't really need it.
The rest of the day has been spent doing this and that.  I finished the blocks for a top and got it laid out.  Now I just have to sew them together and add a border.  You can see what I have done in the photo below.  I will have to remember to take pictures of the dolls to show you.  One of them has a key in the back and, when wound, it plays music which I found rather odd.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Probiotic Potassium-They Both Start with a 'P'

I have had a busy and productive day.  Now that hubby is almost back to normal he is able to move back into his bedroom.  He had been in the guest room as the bed was higher in there.  We decided to switch the two beds around so the higher one would be in his room so took the opportunity to do some sorting and cleaning first.  Everything was finished by lunch with the exception of making up the guest room bed.  We are having company next week so will get all done before then.
After lunch, I went back to working on my machine.  I decided to check out tutorials and see if I could get any more idea as to why the thread kept breaking.  I followed through one that gave detailed information on setting tension and found that my bobbin setting was to high.  That helped but didn't cure the problem.  I can't remember what gave me the idea to look at the throat plate and see if it was centred properly.  It looked like it was slightly off.  I undid the screws, made a slight adjustment and retightened and that seems to have been the problem. 
I did a bit of practice sewing at various speeds both in a straight line and doing loops and everything was fine.  Just have to tighten the top tension a bit and everything should be perfect. 
The quilt that was on the frame will be removed and unpicked-this will be the third time- but while doing that I will load another one and see how it goes.
Yesterday, both hubby and I had an optometrist appointment; my regular, his first.  I got my yearly pressure test which involves drops to make my eyes dilate.  They were going to incorporate that in his test but I suggested he rebook for that as one of us had to drive.  I have quite a bit of problem after that test and it is almost the next day before my eyes return to normal.  I tried to do a bit of grocery shopping but it was too difficult.  My doctor had suggested I take a probiotic supplement and trying to locate that on the bottom shelf was fun.  After I got home, I found that I had bought potassium not probiotic so now will have to take that back. Adjusting to the new glasses was much easier although I am still not used to seeing myself in the different frames.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lovely Almaguin.

On Sunday, we took the dog and went for a drive in the country, stopping for an ice cream on the way.  It was quite hot so nice to be outside in an air conditioned vehicle.  Of course, I took my camera with me and took some photos.  The Almaguin area is so pretty with many little streams as well as larger lakes and rivers.  There are many forested areas where you can still see huge trees with wildflowers growing in the sunny areas.
Yesterday evening, we went to a local campground for a barbecue that was hosted by our Chamber of Commerce.  A lovely eveing with a delicious mean and we met an interesting couple to add to the enjoyment.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Kitty Cats

It is much hotter than I find comfortable today but I know a lot of people enjoy it.  We get out and get the chores done first thing in the morning so we can stay inside where it is relatively cool for the rest of the day.
Wee Heidi's hair had been getting quite long and her regular groomer has been very busy so I decided to give her a trim.  Poor dog.  She looks like a hungry beaver has been nibbling her hair.  However, patchy though it is, I am sure it is a lot cooler.  I also trimmed her nails so she had the full spa treatment along with a bath this morning (which she hates).
I am caregiving a friend's two cats while they are away.  I visit them morning and evening, feed them and clean out the litter box.  I really like cats so this gives me a chance to interact with them without bothering my husband's allergies.  There is a young tabby that frequents our property which we encourage.  We have enough mice to keep it fed and I would prefer she (or he) gets them than they end up in a trap in our house.
Have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Playing With My Camera

As you can see by the photos below, I have been out playing with my camera.  The chickens in the fenced in area are the barred which are layers.  The other one, feeling sorry for the barred, is part of the dual purpose (layer/meat) flock. 
The other pictures are pretty self explanatory.
Two things got accomplished today.  We replaced our clothes line which broke the end of last week and (drum roll) I think I have finally solved the thread breakage problem on my long arm.  I have been trying different threads and when I got to my cheapest (Gutterman) it quit breaking.  I have to now get the tension set but am just gradually increasing and then checking the back of the quilt.  I am going to have to unpick everything again-for the third time-but that is okay if everything is now working.

What Are You Guys In For?

Getting The Wood Ready for Next Winter

Our House with Studio on Left Side

One of the Planters in Front of Old Board

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Little Chicken Brains

We have had another of those drastic temperature changes.  A couple of days ago we were back wearing a jacket and had the heat on at night.  Today, the air conditioning is on.  I prefer the cooler weather although the vegetables aren't growing as fast as they normally would be so, in the interest of food prices (which are high enough) we need the warmth.
I have started picking our lettuce and rhubarb.  It will be a while before anything else is ready other than our various berry crops, but it is nice to have something fresh from the garden.  I bought another flowering shrub today.  I am focusing more on the flower beds this year and have added quite a few perennials as well as the shrubs. Today's purchase was a pale pink hydrangea.  I have given up on roses.  They bloom beautifully the first year and die the next-or go wild.
Hubby has been going back to the chicken coop more often so the hens start getting used to him again.  They run and gather around me when they see me but tend to cower when they see him.  Those little chicken brains apparently are not very good at remembering anyone beyond a couple of weeks. We are hoping that by the end of the month he will be able to return to full duties.  He had his final x-ray today so the surgeon can see if everything is where it should be and doing what it should.  He has an appointment with him at the end of the month so fingers are crossed for a good report.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Solving Tension Problems

Today,I got all the loose threads removed from the quilt top and backing and reloaded onto the frame.  I found that a clothes brush worked best for loosening the threads from the fabric and then gathering into a bunch so they could be removed easily.  I have a purchased do dad called Cotton Picker but I found that it didn't do as good a job as the brush.
I have cleaned the lint from the machine and rethreaded so it should be ready to go.  When I was working on the quilt before I decided I didn't like the pattern, it was humming along quite nicely.  I am trying to make sure I've eliminated any reason for it to not continue to do so.
I was reading a blog from Tony O'Toole of APQS on tension and thread breakage and I think one of the reasons I have problems is the sandwich is too taut.  There isn't any give at all.  I am going to try and keep it looser and see if that helps.

Here is a copy of the article.
Troubleshooting tension issues is one of the biggest issues for a long arm quilter. Find out how to get those threads to loop together perfectly inside the batting of your quilt with these five articles from the APQS blog. Click here to read other machine troubleshooting posts.
tension troubles

Tension troubles? Try these tricks ...

Balanced tension is the goal of every quilter. But it doesn't take a magician to master it. With a few tricks up your sleeve you'll be able to tackle it with ease.
thread colors

Add motion to your design with quilting

A quilt is like a "snapshot" capturing a moment in time. Fabulously splashed with color or featuring exquisite appliqué, these are "static" images that focus attention on a specific element. Use machine quilting to create motion in your quilt to keep the viewer's attention focused on your masterpiece.
thread breakage

Step-by-step instructions to fix thread breakage

Most thread breakage issues have easy solutions. When thread breaks, it is either at its "stress point" or something is snagging it, causing it to break. The trick to finding the right answer is to use a step-by-step process to eliminate the obvious suspects until the problem is fixed.
bobbin tension

Master bobbin tension

Longarm quilting machines require much less bobbin tension than you may believe when compared to your home sewing machine. If the bobbin tension is too tight, it can lead to top thread pokeys on the back, railroad tracks and top thread breakage. Find out how to get your bobbin tension just right.

Tips for taking the headache out of tension

Learn about the drop test, how to eliminate railroad tracks and why cleaning your machine is essential to achieving balanced tension.
23398 Hwy 30 East
Carroll, Iowa 51401
United States

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Oh My What Were They Thinking.

I got my quilt unstitched and ready to reload today and finished another of those dreaded blocks of the day.  Took me most of the day working at it on and off to get it done.  I made a mistake, unpicked, resewed, made another, repeat.  I haven't seen much talk about them on the various groups so don't know if everyone has given up or just toiling away and wishing they had an excuse for tossing the whole idea.
I would like to quit but I hate to give in so on I go.

The following is something that was sent to me today and I thought you might find it humorous.  I think I found it somewhat scary to think these young people are driving cars, voting and may one day be in a decision making position that will affect all our lives.  Or perhaps they just had exam days nerves and are now banging their heads against the wall.

Why Teachers Drink
  The following questions were set in last year's GED examination. These are genuine answers (from 18 year olds) 
Q. Name the four seasons?
A.. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar
Q. How is dew formed?
A.. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire
Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
A.. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed
Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections?
A.. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election
Q. What are steroids?
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs  (Shoot yourself now , there is little hope)
Q... What happens to your body as you age?
A.. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental
Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A.. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery  (So true)
Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes?
A.. Premature death
Q. What is artificial insemination?
A... When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
A.. Keep it in the cow  (Simple, but brilliant)
Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorized (e.g. The abdomen)?
A.. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels:    A,E,I,O,U  (huh)
Q. What is the fibula?
A.. A small lie
Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
A.. Nearby
Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A.. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.  (That would work)
Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A.. The caesarean section is a district in Rome
Q. What is a seizure?
A.. A Roman Emperor.(Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)
Q. What is a terminal illness
A. When you are sick at the airport. (Irrefutable)
Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A.. Benign is what you will be after you be eight  (brilliant
 Q. What is a turbine?
A.. Something an Arab or Sheik wears on his head. Once a Arab boy reaches puberty, he removes his diaper and wraps it around his head.  (now we’re getting somewhere). 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Where Are My Keys?

For some reason, I kept thinking today was Thursday.  Perhaps because it has been a busy week. 
Yesterday, I had a dentist appointment in another community and did something that I have not done in a very long time.  I couldn't find my keys in my purse and as I was searching, I walked out to the car, looked in the window and, there they were; safe and secure in my ignition.  I called hubby and asked him to rescue me.  He, of course, was waiting for someone to come and pick up some articles so I had a leisurely lunch and then went to the local library.  I read for just over an hour when he called back to say he was on his way.
If the day had been nicer, I would have window shopped but it was cool and drizzly and I didn't have a coat so the library was my best option.
Today, I did some work on the quilt that was on the frame, decided I didn't like it and am now unpicking it.  I have also been learning Windows 10 and making the necessary adjustments to get it the way I want it.  I am fortunate in knowing someone who is good at all this as well as good at explaining what to do.  She is a pattern designer and we are good at giving step by step instructions.
We have been thinking about adding a dairy goat to our mini farm and are now starting the arrangements.  All we will need is a small building which we can make for under a hundred dollars.  I am planning on having it near the house so the goat can eat the grass.  They are social animals so we will keep a buck as well and any kids will go back to the place where we got the adults.  One female should provide us with all the milk we can use.
I will let you know how we make out.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Supporting Local

I volunteered, along with another lady, at the Burk's Falls Art and Crafts Centre today (see our Facebook Page).  It was pretty slow as is normal for this time of year but we did have a couple of sales.    The customer, who was from Barrie, mentioned that she always shops local when she is at her cottage and, true to her word, I saw her later at the grocery store.  I appreciate our summer residents as well as tourists who come to the area and do their shopping here.  Our businesses (as is the case in many small communities) depend on the extra dollars to keep them afloat through the rest of the year.
Shopping local has become a popular phrase but it is more than just a catchy slogan.  It can mean the difference between a business staying in business or closing doors.  I often wonder, however,  how many permanent residents of the tourists areas support their community.  Their dollars is as important as those of the seasonal people.  It is local businesses that hire local people, support local charities and organizations and whose tax dollars make possible community improvements.
I would encourage you, no matter where you live, to use your purchasing power to support your home town  If you are travelling, especially to a small community, use some of that vacation money to help them.  A little goes a long way if it comes from many sources.

This top is my latest Island Batik ( project.  I haven't named it yet but it will be something to do with falling leaves.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

More Photos


Love the Markings on this Rock
(Love Rocks)

Lovely Lilac

Beautiful Begonia

As you can see, I was out with the camera again.  Going for a walk was the antidote to Windows 10.  It loaded up on its own accord this morning so I have been trying to learn how it operates.  I have only found two improvements:  Yahoo works better and uploading photos from the camera is easier.  Everything else is the pits.  I am particularly annoyed about my email contacts not all being added into what is now called People and that the email accounts themselves are more difficult to access.  I have found the solution to that.  Did a search for Google Mail, entered my information and when the former version popped up, I have saved it in my Favourites (which is also more difficult to access). 
I could go on about all the things I don't like but I expect I will adjust and/or find a way to circumvent the specific area.
Have finished my first quilt on the new machine and it turned out better than I thought it would.  I will post a photo of that tomorrow just in case you haven't seen enough pictures yet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Chicken for Dinner

It is surprising how exhausting shopping can be-or at least, it is for me.  We left the house at 1 and didn't back until 6 and all that time except for about 30 minutes, I was shopping, shopping, shopping.  Shopping at the ReStore, the dollar store, dropping things off at the Thrift Store, shopping at Walmart and the grocery store.
On the way home, we stopped at the chip truck and bought supper.  After eating, bringing in  and putting away the purchases, I had to tend the chickens.  Of course, one of them had got out of the coop and had to be persuaded to get into the hen house and then onto her proper side.  She must have flown over the fence (flew the coop) and it is probably the same one who had done it once before.  I was tired enough to just leave her out but she would have been caught by a critter looking for a nice chicken dinner so I persevered.
If she does that again, she may end up being our chicken dinner.