Saturday, December 29, 2012

Swing Into Spring.....but we have had only one week of Winter

Here in Canada we have a mail/on line order catalogue for a popular retail store, delivery of the catalogue is done for city residents, however, customers living in the country are provided with a card advising their copy is available at their local delivery office. This morning when I reached for my daily newspaper, the Spring and Summer 2013 edition of their catalogue "Swing into Spring" was also in my mail box.

We have just finished the first week of Winter, the snow is still falling, and I would love to swing into Spring right now, however, I know that is not going to happen any time soon.  So I will just have to take the plastic wrap off and look at the warm weather clothes and decide if any will suit me once I have completed the New Years resolution I plan on making at midnight on Dec 31st.  What resolution is ask...the one I make every year, "eat healthy and become more active during the Winter so that the pounds I usually put on for the hibernation season are not as many as last year".  This resolution usually lasts for the month of January, sometimes a bit longer, other times, well........ you know what happens.

Before Jan 1st. there are one, two, three more days to finish those meat balls, sausage rolls, home made brown beans, biscuits, veggie's and of course the shortbread cookies, Christmas cake, chocolates, chips and dip and the desserts, oh!! the desserts.   It's a good thing I have invited family members to come in tomorrrow for another Christmas celebration and help clean off all of those platters, if not, I will be operating a doggy bag service for them. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blue sky and sunshine and a thoughtful neighbour......

If you look up today we have beautiful blue skies and a bright sunny day, cast your gaze down to the ground and it is a different story.

At 3:00p.m. yesterday afternoon our first Winter storm started to blow into the area.  High winds and snow lasted well into the night.  How much snow did we get?  It is hard to tell as drifts are piled up in some areas and then only a few inches cover other spots in my garden. Whatever the depth is, it is way too much for me, I do not like snow.

The direction of the wind, a nor'easter dumped a lot of the snow in my driveway, and my neighbour has just finished clearing it all away with his snow blower.  I am so thankful to him, as I would not have been able to shovel it all off.  The snow is quite wet due to the sun's heat melting it somewhat, perfect snowman snow, however, the only man you will see in my garden today is the snow removal man.

The sun is pouring into my sewing room, giving me some much needed energy to get my mojo back to do some cutting and stitching.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

White Christmas???

As the song goes............"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas"........
A white Christmas in Canada is defined as having 2cm of snow on the ground on Christmas day. I don't have that much in the garden, however, if the forecast is right there is a possibility.

Blustery winds brought a light covering of fine snow last night.  Today, it is still windy with a chill factor of minus 0* C. temperatures, and cloudy with the possibility of some additional snow flakes. Will it be a white Christmas at my  house? a 50-50 chance.

The snow looks nice on the ground, and is welcomed by children who received sleighs and toboggans from Santa, and it does put a bit of colour, albeit white, into the countryside.  For me, however, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas",  would be just that, to have snow for Christmas and then it can leave, I am not a Winter person, however, having said that, I really don't mind the cold but give me the sun.  The dull grey skies and early dark evenings leave me feeling down with little ambition and OMG it's only the second full day of Winter...........

Now, where did I put that sun lamp......I've got lots to do before the 25th, family will all be home for the day and 18 will be sitting down for dinner.

Many countries define a white Christmas with different measurements of snow on the ground, where others say the snow has to fall on December 25th.  What country do you live in? will you have a white Christmas?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mayans' prediction proved false

as we all woke up this morning on this lovely place we call Earth. 

If the prediction was right and the end of the World came, it makes one think of everything that would have been lost, if I started writing now the list would go on forever.  We are all still here so instead of looking back, it gives us a chance to look ahead, a new beginning.  A new beginning for each one of us to make one positive resolution to change something, small as it may be, to make this World an even better place.  In light of recent tragedy's, Heaven knows we need to make some changes.

What better day to start, it's December 21st, the first day of Winter, the shortest day of the year, it can only get better from here, the days will be getting longer.  Better did I say,  brrrrrr we have some snow this morning.

Everyone, including myself, is getting busy preparing for family gatherings during this festive season, so at this time I would wish everyone who reads my blog a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Instructions must be wrong!!! It's not me, is it?

Our guild is having a dinner and secret Santa gift exchange in the New Year.  I try to give a gift that is usually handmade by me, plus a little something else.

Again this year there will be a handmade item, and that is what is causing me grief at the present time.  The pattern I am using is from a recent issue of a magazine, have you ever had problems with applique patterns in magazines?

This afternoon I did have a couple of hours in which I could sew. So I started to put this project together, everything was going well until I came to the applique pieces.  The instructions say----enlarge pattern by 200%, which I did, however, after cutting out the pieces and putting them on to the project as per the picture,  grrrrrrrrrrrr, they are not fitting.   Now, what do I do,  there are two options I guess, enlarge the back of the project so the pieces that I have cut fit, or make smaller applique pieces to fit on the current size of the project.  The second option is what I am going to do, less work in the long run.  Next time I will certainly check out the sizes etc. before cutting out all of the fabric.  Lesson learned.

Will not be able to work on this now until Saturday,  tomorrow I am taking my 95 year old Mother to her Dr. for her six month check up and to get a Rx renewal.  Then doing what I hope will be the last of my Christmas shopping.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sealed Pot Total

Myself along with a number of bloggers from several different countries decided last December to take part in The Sealed Pot Challange.   The rules, obtain a container that could be sealed, and throughout the year add coins to the pot.  Most of the bloggers had a reason for saving, a special night out, theatre tickets, Christmas spending money, etc. etc.

Previously, I thought mine would be spent on Christmas, however, have now put the money back into the sealed pot and will add more to it during 2013.  What I will spend it on has not been decided yet.

How much did I save in 2012, $155.35, it would have been more, BUT my pot wasn't sealed very well and I must confess my hand did dip into it several times.   Only bills and silver coins were in the pot as the pennies are deposited in a goldfish bowl, which incidently is almost full, and is eventually deposited into my three youngest grand daughter's bank accounts.  


Saturday, December 1, 2012

A finish and a beginner?

The finish------When I knew second eldest grand daughter was to be married in June 2011, on a beach in Cuba, I immediately found the pattern I had used for her sister's wedding quilt.  That was the easy part.   I wanted to use the colours of the ocean, sand and the sun in her quilt however, trying to find just  the "right" fabric took me forever. To make a long story short, the quilt is now finished and ready to give to the newly weds---- only a year and a half later.  Better late than never, so they say.  Here is a picture of the finished quilt, unfortunately it does not show the true colours due to the lighting.  The other two pictures are a close up of the blocks and in these the colours are better.  

The beginner-----My ten year old grand daughter was here with me for a a sleep over last weekend.  She has always been a girl to play with her dolls, and recently her focus has been on making clothes for them, getting patterns from the inter net and sewing them by hand. Looking in my stash she found lots of fabric for the outfits she was planning to sew . I asked her if she would like to use my sewing  machine, she was a bit reluctant at first, however,  after a few minutes of instruction she was ready to sew.  So we made doll clothes and then graduated to squares and then more squares eventually making blocks, I believe I have a sewer in the making,  now added to her Christmas list ---------------------a sewing machine.!!!!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Indian Summer

Wikipedia describes "Indian Summer" as a period of sunny warm weather with above normal temperatures accompanied by dry hazy conditions, usually after a killing frost.  It typically occurs between September through to mid November.

Where I live in SW Ontario, all of the above conditions apply to the weather that we have had during the past few days, foggy mornings and evenings, sunny warm days with temps in the double digits and I am loving it..  HOWEVER, Saturday's forecast looks as if we are going to be shocked back to reality with our typical November weather, as the forecast is for snow and a high temp of 1*C.  

Guild meeting tonight, looking forward to seeing everyone again, as I missed the October meeting. It is my turn to assist the hostess with the lunch, yesterday I baked a carrot cake, it smelled so good.  When I finish this post the cream cheese frosting will be going on top.  I have a couple of "show and tell" to take, then I will take  photo's and post during the next couple of days.

To all of my U.S. followers, hope you are having a great Thanksgiving day.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Names crossed off.....

Yesterday, I started my Christmas shopping and was able cross quite a few names off my list.  It was a glorious day, sunny and my thermometer indicated the high had been 14*C, not your typical Christmas shopping weather, but I will take it none the less.  My focus was gift purchasing and I am so proud of myself as I resisted to urge to visit two fabric shops, so not an inch of fabric came home with me.

Today, is already looking like a duplicate of yesterday's weather, which is just fine with me as I will be volunteering with a local organization which provides food and gifts to families which need a bit of help at this time of the year.  Today, my job will be "home visits" to clients who are unable to make the trip to the registering centre.

Must get going.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wedding quilt finish this week

At this point in time my second eldest grand daughter has been married for a year and a half, and I will be able to give her, her wedding quilt next weekend.

Why am I so late?  Fabric, no it was not for the lack of it, my stash will confirm that,  just could not find exactly the right one that I was looking for.  When I did find it, life got in the way as it usually does, then along comes Summer, not much sewing done during that time of the year.  Life then comes along again, finally completed the top and sent it to the friendly quilter man.  All quilted and picked it up Monday last week, at the present time doing the binding and label.

Going to take it with me on Thursday to my quilting meeting for show and tell, then will post a photo.  Waiting for the right fabric paid off as I am pleased with the way it looks.

Lazy, lazy lazy, as far as sewing is concerned right now, after doing all the necessary outside work, just too tired to get into the sewing room.  That work is now all done, must get my mojo back and dust off that machine and  finish a couple of UFO's and start a new one, a person always needs to start on another quilt.

This week I also donated a quilt to a local nursing home to be used in the palliative care department,  it was  simple pattern  but very colourful, so hope it gives some pleasure to families during a very difficult time.

Hope everyone has a good week.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A warning S. Africa heavy...........

There will be no quilting information or pictures during the next few days so if you don't want to look at my blog, I will understand.  I do, however, want to show some of the photo's from my South Africa trip.  As mentioned previously I took 1,600 pictures,  but have no intention of boring you with all of those, I will only be showing a few of the ones are particularly like.  All of these are familar to everyone, Elephant, Cape buffalo, Lion, Rhino and Leopard.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ok "OLD MAN" bring it on......

Today has been a beautiful day.  Sunny and a warm 16*C,  a bit windy, but nice just the same.   So I took advantage of this weather to complete all the chores that still needed to be taken care of in the garden,  because  tomorrow's forecast is for rain and then later in the week much colder temperatures.

Pond pump removed---check.
All the leaves picked up and in the composter---check.
Bird feeders put out and filled---check.
Flower urns emptied and put in greenhouse---check.
Cut the lawn for the last time this year---check.
Deck furniture put away---check.
Spring bulbs planted---check.
The only item left on my "to do" list, is to get my Winter tires put on my car and that is scheduled for this coming week.

"OLD MAN WINTER"  bring it on I am now ready for you, well not really, however, my garden is ready.  As I am getting older I don;t particularly like Winter with it's dark mornings and evenings,  snow, ice, freezing cold temperatures and dull cloudy days which seem to last forever.   The only consolation is after Dec 21st. the days do get longer, if only for a minute at a time.

On the lighter side, I have a good stock of fabric in my sewing room, to be made into quilts for my three children and their spouses.  There are also three UFO's, one of which is for one of my grand daughters 18th birthday next year.  Then our guild makes quilts for chemo patients at our local hospital, so lots of time sewing away during those cold days.

I also have 1600 photos from my recent trip to sort out and put into an album, that will keep me busy for a little while.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

African Sunset

My new header picture is one I took of the most amazing sunset I have ever seen and was able to capture numerous photo's during an evening and nighttime game hunt.

Just as the sun was starting to set, all of the jeeps on the game hunt stopped.  We were all very quiet as we had been instructed to be and expected to see an animal in the area.  However, everyone was asked to get out of the jeeps and stand on the sandy dry riverbed on which we had parked.   As the sun was getting lower and lower everyone was snapping photo's as the sky changed colour.  Just prior to me taking this photo we were all handed a small bottle of Amarula to toast the beautiful sunset that you now see on my header.

The colours were changing every minutes while we stood there watching, unable to tear ourselves away from such a beautiful sight.  We watched until  it faded, boarded our vehicles again to look for nocturnal animals roaming in the area. 


Thursday, November 1, 2012


Yes, I am home after the most fantastic three week vacation in South Africa.  Travelled thousands of miles, by air, boat, jeep, helicopter, bus, and on foot with a great group of people.  Seeing and experiencing so many things, the people of S. Africa, especially the children, animals, oh! the animals, birds, and a python.  The most incredible scenery, dry desert areas, which have yet to received the Spring rains, the mighty Victoria Falls, the rocky mountains, trees and shrubs in full leaf where some rain has already fallen, fertile valleys in the wine growing area and some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.   I have eaten some of the most unusual food and visited the S. African wineries, and drank their wines.  There are over 1600 photo's in my camera, no don't worry, I will not be posting all of them here.

Today, I am taking things easy, getting over the jet lag after flying  to Toronto via, Cape Town, Johannesburg and  London UK all one after the other, with lay over times in each airport, it was a long 36 hours.  The unpacking of my suitcase is also on the agenda.

For those quilters that read my blog, yes I did purchase fabric.

Bye for now,


Monday, October 22, 2012


Count them:

1...Elephant,   2...Lion,   3...Leopard,  4....Water Buffalo,   5.....Rhino.    The BIG FIVE and on my first trip to South Africa, how special is that.

Chobe National Park and Kruga National Park have given me the opportunity to see these animals plus so many I can't list them here.   Future posts will most likely be filled with photo's and you will soon be tired of seeing them.

Victoria Falls.... helicopter ride over them and a 2 km. walk along the rim.  It was unbearably hot here, but a fantastic sight. 

Having a wonderful trip, writing this from hotel just outside Kruga Gate which leads into the Park.  This morning was a day of rest as yesterday we were on a full day safari 6:00 am to 5:30 pm.  At 5:00pm this evening we go on a nighttime safari and come back to an African meal under the stars.

If time allows more news will follow, if not, talk to you later when I get home.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

After a week of pleasant warm temperatures, we now are experiencing a drastic cool down thanks to a system which spawned all of the cold temps and snow in Manitoba and Northern Ontario.  Hey, it's Fall what else can we expect, we have had no frost yet, so we really cannot complain. and I have yet to turn my heat on. 

Here in Canada, this weekend  it is Thanksgiving, and usually the time for families to get together and participate in an Autumn oriented activitiy, such as picking apples, choosing a pumpkin, walking though a corn maze or raking those leaves that are starting to fall, or just getting together for a meal which more often that not includes a  turkey on the menu, as it is in my house.

Tomorrow, Sunday, October 7th  all of my family, except for my grandson will be here for dinner, 16 of us in total counting  two little great grands.  Each family is contributing something to the meal which makes my job a little easier.  Turkey thawing in the fridge, cranberry sauce cooling in the saucepan, ingredients assembled for the stuffing and a bag of potatoes waiting to be peeled tomorrow.  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting made, as well as a pumpkin pie and an apple pie is in the oven as I write.  That is dinner done, all that is left to do is setting the table.

What are you thankful for this holiday?

 I am thankful for the good health that my family and my extended family enjoys at this time, as it can change in a moments notice.
Thankful that I am able to prepare a meal as we will have tomorrow, knowing that there are many who are not that fortunate.
Thankful, for my home and garden, and that I can enjoy my hobby of sewing and quilting, and also that  I am physically and financially able to splurge on a vacation and trips.  Many people in their golden years are unable to enjoy these luxury's.

Happy Thanksgiiving.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Final Four Days

Day 18, a tour of Cape Town, and to the Malay Quarter, S.A. Museum and Kirstenbosch Botanical  Gardens.  Afternoon of leisure to shop at the Victoria & Alfred waterfront area. 

A full day tour on day nineteen to Cape Point, with a boat ride to Seal Island and the Cape of Good Hope, where we will see seals and penguins.  Hoping to see the S.A. national flower, King Protea,  in bloom which I understand is abundant in this area.
Tonight is our farewell dinner, where we formally say goodbye to all of our travel companions.

Day twenty, A wine land tour through scenery of vineyards, oak shaded rivers and Dutch colonial homes.  Wine tasting in one of the cellars and lunch at a private estate.  Then on to Stellenbosch to the Village Museum.  We then transfer to the airport for our flights home.

Day twenty one, is a long day, flight from Cape Town, to Jo'berg, then on to London, UK, for a connecting flight for me to Toronto, and then a two hour drive to my home. 

This will be a trip that I have wanted to do for many years, and never thought it would ever happen,  but here I am getting ready for a trip of a lifetime.  It's going to be great to have the opportunity to do all of this, but also so nice to get home again and see my family.

Ummmmm....... where will I go in 2013.   Oh no !!   there is that "13" again, maybe I should stay home.

Have a great day.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Moving to the Garden Route, South Africa

I have had requests to mention where and what I will be doing on my trip, so hope this is not too boring for those who visit expecting to see some sewing or quilting.  There will be plenty of time for those posts during the Winter months.
On day fourteen, we fly to George, to our hotel overlooking the ocean.
Day fifteen, has us going to Oudtshoorn, and then to the Cango Caves, leisure in the afternoon, hoping there will be a chance to find some shops....fabric shops.  Dinner tonight is with a South African family.
Today, day sixteen, has us travelling to Knysna, then on a ferry to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, which is dedicated to the protection of the flora of this area, after animals and birds, flowers, shrubs and trees are things I love to see.   Here is where we will eat what is described as a sumptuous lunch.  Dinner is as a seafood restaurant tonight.
Day seventeen, has us driving along the coast, around lakes, mountains, beaches cliffs and forest, sounds as if there will be many opportunities for photos.  Arriving in Cape Town and a cable car ride up Table Mountain.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Africa - Days ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen

Four days in Kruger National Park have us up early in the morning for a game drive, the best time to find the largest variety of wildlife.  A full day game drive.  Another day of bird and game watching and walks in the park, and an evening game drive to catch sight of some nocturnal animals.  Kruger is known for viewing wildlife at it's best, so I am keeping my fingers crossed  hoping that I see some of the Big Five, plus other wildlife in the Park. 
A visit to Blyde River Canyon to see God's Window and Bourke's Luck Potholes and later that evening a dinner of native dishes.

As this trip is for the older generation (of which I am one, maybe not in heart, but getting there in years)  we are being treated to the best of two world,  luxury and rough and rugged.. Luxury hotels for a comfortable sleep at night, nice hot showers, balconies overlooking some beautiful scenery and great food. Swimming pools and dips in the ocean.   Rough and rugged during the day, safari's in open vehicles, walking though the bush and grasslands.  Climbing in boats for rides on the rivers and to see seals and penguins, and over rocks and in caves.  Riding an ostrich and  a cable car and visiting vineyards.

Also on the itinerary is what is described as leisure time, hopefully while in Cape Town I might be tempted to search out a fabric shop of some kind. 

Have a great day

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day six, seven, eight and nine.

Here are the next four days of my trip.

Day six:
Victoria Falls and an evening sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.

Day seven:
Chobe National Park to go on our first game cruise.

Day eight:
Chobe N. P. morning game drive and an afternoon boat ride along the river banks to get close and personal with wildlife.

Day nine:
Fly back to Johannesburg, with an afternoon at leisure.

No sewing today, the sewing room needs a good tidy up, so that I can organize some of the UFO's that need to be completed before I start another project. 


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Days One through Five and ugly fabric project

In the near future I am going to embark on a trip that I have wanted to do for many years, South Africa here I come.

Day one: 
I depart from home for a flight to New York.  Here my room mate, from Montreal, Quebec and myself will meet for the first time.  We are hoping to have sufficient time to take in a bit of late afternoon sightseeing.

Day two:
Depart from New York to Johannesburg, a long flight, so hope to be able to get a bit of sleep.

Day three:
Arrive in Johannesburg and at our hotel, we meet all of the people on the tour during a welcome dinner.

Day four:
Starts with a tour of Johannesburg, a visit to the Apartheid Museum.  In the afternoon we visit the township of Soweto.

Day five:
We fly to Victoria Falls and transfer to our Lodge.  Dinner tonight is described as a special African experience.  Always open to trying new foods, I am looking forward to this meal.  I have taken precautions, Dukoral is now in my system.  LOL

Thursday night was the first meeting of the Fall season for the quilting guild I belong to.  It was great to see everyone.  At our June meeting, our host asked everyone to bring a fat quarter of their ugliest fabric.  All of the fabric was then placed in a bag and each one of us had to pull out a piece and make something from it for our September meeting.  This is a piece of the fabric I pulled out.
And this is what I made from the fat quarter, a reversible apron, a draw resulted in it going to B.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alaska...missed the boat...finally caught up with it.

After many delays, missed connections, lost baggage and many other misfortunes, we finally arrived in Juneau, Alaska to board our ship, the ms Volendam,  two days after it set sail from Vancouver.  Better late than never, so they say.
The main reason for my sister, brother in law and myself going on this cruise was to take this person, my 95 year old Mother, on the vacation that she said earlier this year, that she would like to take.  I am so glad that we finally made it to the ship and she was able to fulfill her dream.  Her positive attitude and pleasant personaliity certainly made our trip one we will remember for a long time.  One to remember, not only for the many problems at the beginning, that we can now laugh at, but that we were able to have what might be our last vacation together.  
My new camera has a feature that can take panoramic photo's, which I know I am going to use a lot in the future, that is rain spots on the lens, not snow.

Marjorie Glacier, the most spectacular one we saw while cruising the Glacier Bay National Park.
A close up of the Glacier showing all the different colours of ice. The photo does not do justice to the colour of the blue ice, it was a lot brighter that it shows. If the sun had been shining we would have seen even brighter colours.  Some ice was black where the Glacier had been rubbing against the rocky mountains as it moved on its way down to the water.
Even though we had a bad start to the week, we did have a great time, fantastic scenery, yummy food and the gin and tonic's went down very well.
Oh, by the way, I did find three quilt shops, in which I did spend some time drooling over the fabric and patterns, some of which just happen to come home with me.  But, that's another post.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Today I was reunited with an old friend.  Several years ago we parted on friendly terms, however, I regretted that she was not longer in my life.   She lived quite close to me, however, in all those years we never met.  I was quite shocked when I saw her, because I don't think she has done a good days work since I last saw her.  That's not a nice thing to say about a friend but none the less true.  Years ago she was not afraid of work, however, the years of inactivity have definately reduced her attractiveness, you could also say she was a recluse. Now we have renewed our friendship, I am sure with some love and care beween the two of us we can pull her back into the world of the living again.
My friend's name is Genie, not the one that lives in the lantern and grants wishes, but that would be nice wouldn't it, because she needs some magic in her life, and hopefully I can find that for her.  I was going to take a photo, however, decided not to as it would be a very unflattering one and did not want to embarrass her by posting it on the internet.
By the way her surname is Singer.    ..............................................................

Did you guess or did you think I was being very unkind to a friend.

Genie is my Portable Singer sewing machine.

Now here is the true story---several years ago I purchased a new fancy dancy sewing machine and thought why do I need two machines when the new one does everything I could ever want to do.   I sold my Genie to my sister, it was a mistake, I loved that machine.  Now, my sister.....sorry "B", is not a sewer, never was and never will have the inclination to be one, I was the one which inherited all of the sewing "jeans".  lol.  Today, "B" wanted a pair on pants shortened, and asked me to do it for her.  In payment for this task, plus any future sewing she needs (how much sewing will two seniors require anyway), I could take back this stupid machine that continually comes unthreaded, breaks the thread and generally just does not work.   "B" you have to plug it in.
So Genie is now home with me.  She is going to require a lot of cleaning inside and out, the tensions adjusted and just maybe...shhh... don't tell Jacqui but maybe a little help of her OH.

Hope everyone has a great week.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ugly Fabric

At our guild's June meeting the hostess asked we bring a fat quarter of the ugliest fabric in our stash.  She did receive some really awful pieces.  Little did we know that each of us was going to take home someone elses' "ugly".  All of the fabric was put into a bag and in turn, we all put our hands gingerly into the bag and drew out fabric, what came home with me was a piece with a yellow background and small pink and orange flowers with green leaves and stems all over it.  Sorry, no photo, I broke my camera, grrrr!!!!  Going to get another one, but  I don't know what kind is the best, anyway, that is another post.

For our next meeting in September, we are to make something using this piece of fabric, I have just finished my project.  No, I am not going to show it to you, remember--- broken camera----, plus I want it to be a surprise for the person who is going to receive it.  Because what I am going to do is put all of the  names of our members, minus mine of course, into a hat and the person who's name is drawn will receive my ugly duckling transformed into what I hope she will think of as a swan.

Teaming down with rain this morning, I guess it is a housework morning and then into the sewing room this afternoon.

Have a great day everyone.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Graduation & Selvage Backpack

This proud grandma wanted to show you photo's of my grand daughter taken at her graduation from grade 8 in June.  So wanting to be grown up with a new strapless dress, high heels, nails & toes polished and her hair done just right, but still a little girl at heart. 

It was too hot outside this afternoon to do any garden work, it will have to wait until the sun goes down later this evening.  So what did I do? I finished my selvage backpack. The two photo's show the front and the fabric I used for the lining and you can just see the selvage trimmed pocket.  I am so pleased with the way it turned out, however, if making another I would make the key tap and the closure loop a little longer.  This backpack is for a student, and because I have a bit,  no, a lot more girth than a young girl, the shoulder strap measurement was too short.  To make the job of lengthening them a lot easier, I unpick the bottom seam and added a new longer piece of strapping so that it could be adjusted to fit me.  It's just the right size for carrying a change purse, camera and travel books while on vacation and a lot of fabric can be put in this bag when shopping at the market stalls at quilt shows.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Another scorcher

At 9:30 a.m. and my thermometer is reading 33.*C, fore casted temps today 34*C but by the looks of it, it will be higher.  When the humidity is factored in it feels like a sauna at 44*C.  The rain we had earlier this week during thunderstorms did not do much good, it almost evaporated as fast as it fell.  It's summer what can we expect.
Birds and squirrels are regular visitors to my pond to get a cool drink of water.  Robins are even getting into the waterfall for a shower, they are such fun to watch.
So what am I doing to keep cool?, staying in the house with the A/C on, (which I absolutely hate) reading and sewing.
Reading--Just finished two of Nicholas Sparks' books, The Wedding and The Notebook, which was recently made into a movie, which I have yet to see.  Thoroughly enjoyed them both.  Earlier this week pick up another of his books Dear John, plus one from Gilda O'Neill. 
Sewing--Using up some of my selvages by making a backpack.  So far I am liking the way it looks.  Today the lining and the flap will be finished so on the home stretch now.  Just have to purchase a large coordinating button, haven't been able to find one that is "just right".  Also, working on putting together my one block wonder and making "cubes" to go in it.  The fabric, I am using would be classed into the ugly category, but after being cut up into small triangles for the hexagon blocks it looks a lot better.
Photo's of both to follow in a later blog.
Have a great Friday everyone.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

My world today....

Early last week we had a heat wave, however, on Thursday cooler weather brought some thunderstorms and rain.  At sunset there was a brief opening in the clouds, and it was still raining, the result was a beautiful sky and of course a rainbow, this photo does not capture the colours that were in the southeastern sky but, if you look close you can see two rainbows.  If you click on the pictures you can enlarge them.

Flowers in my garden today

Rose, sorry don't know the name of it.

Shasta Daisy

Day Lily




My three year bonsai I grew from seed

Voodoo Fuchsia

Balloon Flower


Topiary Bird/Animal?

Other flowers are just starting to bloom so a lot of colour at the present time.  This afternoon we are forecast some showers, so a bit of time will be spent in front of the sewing machine.
Hope everyone is having a great Sunday.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thank goodness........relax

Today, is the end of a stressful and emotional ten days for me, which included phone calls and e-mails from one end of the country to another.  It  may not have been an earth shattering situation for anyone else, but for me it was.  I will not bore you with the details, but suffice to say, it was not a matter of illness or life or death.   When I feel this way I fill the day with tasks that need no concentration, such as gardening.  My garden has never looked better, all the weeds are gone, so I did accomplish something. Obviously no sewing or quilting done, or I would be doing more reverse sewing than necessary. 

What I did do was asks myself a lot of questions, and answered back, it's difficult not being able to bounce ideas and questions off of  someone else.  My children would have/could have helped, however, this was something that I had to do myself.
Am I doing the right thing?  Of course you are, you made the decision months ago. 

Will I have any regrets?  No, it is the right and only sensible decision.

Could it have been handled in a less stressful way?  Likely, but at the time you did what you thought was the best way to proceed.  In the end it has worked out OK for you.

Will it affect my family in a negative way?  No, this is your decision and yours alone, your family will not suffer any ill effects. 

Did or will they question my actions now or in the future?  No, they are OK with what you are doing.

Could it have turned out better than it did?  Yes, it likely would have prior to now but,  as it happened you had no control of any of these circumstances.

Are you happy with the result?  Yes, you are and hopefully by this time next week someone else will be.  A worry, (concern) has now been lifted on your shoulders, ......relax.

Putting my thoughts down in black and white makes me feel  a lot better, my headache is gone and everything is alright with the world again.  Thanks for reading.

A One block Wonder is up on the wall and I can start re-arranging the blocks, again, at some point in time I will have to say enough is enough.  Sandwich the quilt I have made for my bed and also do the same for my grand daughter's quilt.  Time to get at it and get back to work.

The immediate tasks at hand are to do some errands and grocery shop for some fresh veg.

Have a great afternoon, I will


Monday, June 4, 2012

Memories........1953 Coronation

Did anyone watch the Queen's Jubilee pageant on the River Thames yesterday?
I did sit in front of the tv for a while, quite an undertaking, but it did get a bit boring.  Actually being there would have made it more exciting.  The weather did not co-operate, does it ever in the UK, but being British everyone mustered on come rain or shine. My Mum's favourite saying when we were caught out in the rain and not prepared with a mac, wellies or a brolly,  "your not made of sugar you won't melt".    The Royals must have been frozen to the bone, however, I bet they were well fortified,  prior to boarding the boat and definitely after when arriving back at the palace.
At some point in the program a woman from the crowd was being interviewed, she was holding a piece of ribbon she had saved from the coronation in 1953. This brought back memories of what I did on coronation day.  Back in '53 I was living in England and remember all the children dressing up in fancy costume.  I was Queen Victoria, wearing a light mauve bridesmaid dress, with leg-o-mutton sleeves, a home made ruffled collar and a sash with fake jewels and badges completed my outfit. My long hair was put up in some kind of bun and on top was a tiara.  My younger sister was Little Bow Peep,  Mum made her a dress that resembled the one that is always shown in picture books.  The previous night a neighbour curled her hair in rags and then in the morning made it into ringlets and Dad made a crook.  Instead of sheep, she had a live baby goat.  Needless to say she won first prize.
All the children were given a mug, here is a photo of mine.  It has travelled thousands of miles since '53, and couldn't go all that distance without some kind of mishap.  (Note to myself, get handle repaired.)
I belonged to "GFS" "Girls Friendly Society",  which I remember as being  much like a combination of CGIT, "Canadian Girls In Training" and Girl Guides.  After the Coronation all the girls were taken to London to see  the Crowns etc. that were used in the ceremony.
Do you have memories of Coronation Day, 1953?.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Do you Price Match? Watch out.......Check your receipts..

Just like a lot of folks these days I try to save money where and whenever I can when buying my weekly groceries.   After looking at the store flyers on Thursdays I use them to price match at my favourite grocery store, (maybe not my favourite anymore).
Yesterday after coming home from a quilt show (that's another post), I gathered my flyers and shopping list and off I go.  On three items I saved quite a lot of money, or so I thought.  After several errands, dinner and dishes done I looked at the receipt from the grocery store.  What!! I paid a total of $8.46 for a small box of Special K cereal.  The regular price was $5.49, however, using the price match from another store I purchased it for $2.97, or so I thought.

Not being in a very good frame of mind, I called the store to let them know what I had been charged for the cereal.   Apparently, the cashier is suppose to do only a "search" function on her till to find the price they sell it for, not scan it as she had done with my cereal, which automatically charges me on
my tape.  They have to record every Price Match item,  their price and P.M. price.   She then, has to manually enters the price match price.

Feeling a lot better about the whole episode because I got my $5.49 back today.

Do you price match?  if so, check your receipt, ideally prior to leaving the store.  That's what I intend to do in the future.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


My grand daughter and hubby, are now parents of Alena who was born yesterday, Tuesday at 5.07 a.m. and weighed in at 7 lb. 13 ozs.

Proud Daddy

Big Brother, not sure what this tiny little one is.
Now I know her name and details I can do a label to complete her quilt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Where has Spring gone. and what was I thinking.

My garden is looking a lot better now after a few showers a couple of nights ago.  Most of the flowers in bloom at the present time are either blue or purple, with a few pink and yellow tulips and some daffodils here and there.  It was too cold to work out there today, seems like we are back to Winter again, cold wind and cloudy skies, where has Spring gone, so I visited the greenhouses at a local garden centre.  Got my colour fix, such beautiful plants in all the colours of the rainbow,  purchased some seeds and also completed an entry form for a  door prize, I am not usually lucky, but you never know.

On my design wall I have some "one block wonder" blocks,  I am using some fabric from my stash,  it is not a very attractive design, don't even remember when I bought it or why, however, must have been a fantastic sale for me to purchase it.  What was I thinking though, seven yards of this ugly fabric.  "One block wonder" blocks make ugly fabric look fantastic.  I am liking the blocks because this awful fabric is now not looking too bad.  Will take a photo of both fabric and blocks when camera battery is charged.

Stayed in the warm, yes I had to turn the furnace back on again, and did some quilting for a quilty friend this afternoon.  Wouldn't  you know it, skies cleared just in time for the evening sunset. 

Still waiting to enter all of the birth information and name of my new great grand baby on a label for her quilt.  My grand daughter and hubby are now a couple days past their due date, so it shouldn't be too long now.

Have a great week.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Quilt and Violets

I have recently completed the quilt for my new great grand daughter that is due to be born around April 20th.  The Mum and Dad have not told us what her name is going to be, so the label will have to wait until after she is born.
After using this fabric with all of these vibrant colours, I don't know if this child will be too stimulated to sleep under it. LOL For the backing I used a white flannel with a design of small stars that pick up the colours in the top.  I like the way it turned out.

 This is a close up of the quilting, using the design on the fabric.
This beautiful carpet of violets was in my back lawn, the perfume from them was very strong, however, a white frost yesterday morning killed them all. 


Sunday, March 11, 2012


What a glorious day, I truly believe Spring is going to be on time this year. 
The sky is blue and we have had a lovely sunny day, with temps in the low teens C. 
Robins are back from their vacation in the sunny south and are now in my back garden. 
A chipmunk is out of hibernation and eating seeds that have been dropped from my bird feeder. 
There are crocus in bloom in my garden.
Everyone I have seen today seems to have a "spring"   in their step.
Our clocks went ahead an hour last night, so it won't been getting dark until 7:30 p.m. tonight.
I am typing this with fingers and toes crossed because I don't want to jinx everything I have just written, as I have seen our weather changed at the drop of a hat.
My Winter coat remained in the closet when going out for brunch with my eldest daughter and son in law.
Also joining us was my second eldest grand daughter, her husband and my great grandson, who are all having a birthday this week.   I finished a knitted shawl, hat and booties for their yet unborn daughter a couple of days ago and gave it to them today.  I am still working on the baby's quilt, however, after looking at all of the colours I am using this child will be so stimulated she will never sleep. LOL.  Pictures to follow when it is completed.
I am also sewing the binding on the quilt that I am donating to the nursing home where my youngest daughter works. Again, pictures when it is completed.
Hope everyone had a nice day, just as I did.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lamb or Lion

How did March come in in your part of the world?
In my area, I would say either a gentle lion or an aggressive lamb, if there are such things.  It is a cloudy day, and at the present time we have a mix of wet snow and rain falling.  The temp is hovering around the zero mark, so no telling what we will finally end up with today.
Yesterday, was another kettle of fish.  In the morning it snowed, then we had ice pellets which then turned to rain.  During the evening it became foggy and around 9:30 p.m. we had a thunderstorm and more rain.
A good day to stay  in and sew, I did some more piecing on my GGD quilt and also did some quilting on a quilty friends wall hanging.  It should be finished this weekend, I like the way it is looking, I hope she does.

In a few minutes I am expecting a quilty friend to come and we are going to work on a chemo quilt for adult chemo patients at our local hospital.  J and I are going to be working with pink, green and white blocks which members of our guild made for our February meeting.  Each month we have an assigned colour combination, and each  member makes a 12 inch block  of any pattern they choose with those colours.  We are then paired up and those two people make the top.  It is then sent to another of our members and she and her husband quilt it

Gotta go.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Day...quilt...South Africa

A very white frost this morning and now beautiful blue skies with a brilliant sun shining and the temperature is working its way to 0*C, with a high of plus 2*C.  A perfect day for those taking advantage of the holiday today--Family Day.  It is not a holiday for everyone so not sure what is open or closed.  There was no newspaper delivery but I did get mail..

Earlier this a.m. I looked out my patio door and my neighbour lady was outside doing her yoga stretching,  she was bundled up with a warm track suit and and gloves, so it was still be a bit chilly.  She is a very committed to her yoga,  and has said that it gets her moving so she can take on the chores for the rest of the day.

Visited my Mum yesterday, she is doing so well for her age, we have to be so thankful that she is so healthy, but we always know that it can change within a blink of an eye.  She is going to be 95 years old in August and wants to see Alaska!!!  So my sister, brother in law, Mum and myself are going on an Alaskan cruise later this year.  Will have to start eating wieners and beans and Kraft dinner, to stay focussed with my savings for my trips this year. (not really, just kidding)
No sewing done during the past couple of days, however, I did sandwich the scrap quilt top, batting and backing together so now it is ready for quilting.  The only way I can get this task done is to tape the backing onto the hardwood floor of my living room  to keep it taunt and then add the other layers and pin.  Works very well actually but crawling around on the floor makes a few muscles shout a bit.  This quilt will be donated to the nursing home where my second daughter works.  They are having a bazaar in May, so hopefully this will raise some $'s for their recreational department.

For my readers that are interested in my South Africa trip, some of you are most likely asking the question, why South Africa?.  I have always been interested in seeing people, architecture, scenery, animals etc. of other countries, not just sitting on a beach and drinking rum punches.  But, the questions still remains, why S. Africa?  As my profile states I was born in England, my Father was a dairy farmer renting a council farm with little or no advancement during the time after WW 11.  He wanted something better for himself and his family of my Mum, sister and myself.  So the discussion of moving to another country arose and Kenya, Africa was the number one choice, and he started some preliminary paperwork. He would purchase a farm and grow a flower called pyrethrum.  The petals from this flower contained a substance used in pesticides.  However, at the time of this decision, in the early 50"s,  the Mau Mau terrorists were recruiting members who were required to take an oath to drive the white man from Kenya.  It became a bitter battle with white men, women and children being killed in the process.  Not wanting to become a satistic in this conflict,  we remained in England until Canada was decided to be the place where we would move to. So why do I want to go to S. Africa, I have always wanted to see what might have been, and of course the people, places and animals of Africa.


Monday, February 13, 2012

I received an award..

The Liebster award is the first award I have ever received, many thanks to SFT at  for giving it to me.  SFT has a fantastic blog in which she tells of the frugal life she is leading in the UK so that she and Mr. SFT can fulfill their dreams of travelling around this world of ours.

Here are the rules of the Liebster award,

1. Say thank you to the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
2. Choose five (5) blogs that you enjoy visiting and leave a comment on their blog letting them know you are giving them a Liebster award.
(You must give the award to blogs that have less than 200 followers).

3. Post the award on your blog.
    Right click on the award image and save it to the hard drive then upload on to your blog.

4. Enjoy the award.

Here are the five blogs that I have chosen to received this award.  I enjoy visiting them all and looking at all of the fantastic sewing, knitting, quilting ,cooking and reading the trials and tribulations of their daily lives.

I may not always leave a comment when I visit but enjoy reading about her sewing and quilting projects and her life of a busy Mum of two boys.

Pokey is always in the process of making some fabulous quilts.

Sam is currently learning how to knit.  She also makes many of her own retro clothes and quilts.

Bluebell is currently working on a Crazy quilt and doing some fantastic embroidery on the blocks.

Tarragonnthyme does some fantastic preserving of  all kinds with fruit and veg.  Also manages to make cordials and wines. 

Enjoy your rewards ladies.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter...3,2,1 Cake......Scrap quilt.....Trip

Winter did not forget to come, it was just late getting here.  Woke up yesterday morning to about 4-5 inches of snow, and at the present time a flurrie is passing through and we are getting more snow. 

I received an e-mail recently that contained this cake recipe, it looks interesting but haven't tried it yet .

3, 2, 1 CAKE

This is perfect for those of us with just one or two in the house and hate to make a huge cake.
These individual little cakes are amazing and ready to go in one minute.


1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
1 Box Cake Mix - any flavour

In a zip bag combine the two cake mixes and mix well.

For each individual cake serving take out  3 Tablespoons of the combined cake mix, and put in a microwavable safe container.
Add 2 tablespoons of water  and stir until combined.
Microwave on HIGH for one minute and you have an individual cake.
Cool and top each cake with whipped topping and/or fruit or topping of your choice.

Keep remaining cake mixture in a zip bag or container on a shelf in the cupboard.
Try various flavours but one cake mix must be Angel Food.

Remember: 3 tablespoons of cake mix, 2 tablespoons of water and 1 minute in the microwave.

I am still working on a scrap quilt at the present time, and I could make another with all the scraps I still in my sewing room.  Because of my need to create original pieces I am sketching ideas for another pictorial wall hanging. 

A fellow blogger has also asked if I was going to blog about my "bucket list" trip.  Yes, I will and hope not to bore all of you.  Where am I going, South Africa, and on Thursday last week paid my deposit. Over the coming months I will let you know more about it.

Keep warm

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February ???

My calendar is telling me it is February 4th, however, it looks and feels more like the end of March or early April.   It is a lovely day, blue skies and sunshine and no snow or bitter cold temperatures in the seven day forecast.

I started two new projects, one New Year's resolution broken already.  The first is a scrap quilt. My saving ways have also migrated to my sewing room.  There are containers filled with small scraps of fabric that I just can't throw out, (my quilting friends know how small some of these pieces are) lol.   Some of the larger scraps have been cut and sewn and I am liking the way this quilt top is looking.  I did have to purchase some fabric to pull the whole top together, second New Year's resolution broken, it was on sale at $5.00 per yard, so it doesn't count, right?   For the second project I picked up my long forgotten knitting needles and have started to knit a shawl for my yet to be born great grand daughter.  Some pink yarn is going to be made into a sweater set.  I find that little girl clothes etc are so much easier to make than those for little boys.  

Have a great day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I was asked to show some photo's of the pictures on the calendar I received for Christmas.
Finally... here are some, first is Jan, then March, Sept. and Dec.

As I have mentioned previously I love this calendar.
Finally...... I love making the traditional quilts, however, at times I feel the need to be a bit more creative, original wall hangings fill that need.   Here is a photo of one that I have been working on for what seems like ages, as it was started way back in late Spring '11.  Because of it's rugged landscape it's very much in the style of the paintings from "The Group of Seven", who's paintings were inspired by the Canadian landscape.  
Finally..... today we are getting some Winter weather.  This a.m. we had some snow and it was very windy, thank goodness snow is wet so it is not blowing around into drifts.

Keep warm, enjoy.


Monday, January 23, 2012


During the Spring and Summer you will find me in my garden, in Autumn and Winter sewing and quilting is my hobby, but I still have to have plants and flowers around me.  It has been proven that plants clean the air, (wish they could also get rid of the dust bunnies),  so I have numerous plants in my house.  

In the livingroom there is a beautiful Anthurium with five huge red flowers and more buds are starting to form , a money tree, (I must be doing something wrong with this plant, can't see any money yet) in the dining area, scattered in other rooms there is a pot of geraniums that I am hoping to get cuttings from in the Spring, the ever popular African Violet,  an orchid and several other plants whose names I don't know.  There is also the bamboo, you know the kind that you buy in the grocery store, so many stems for good luck, some for good health etc. I planted mine in soil, soon  the shears will have to come out to trim them, as they are almost touching the ceiling.

 Why am I telling you this.  Every Saturday I water my plants, however, because I had the day out sewing with quilting friends it didn't get done,  yesterday I visited my Mum for the day,  so no watering done on Sunday. Last night I had a dream, or in my case it would be classed as a nightmare, which was so real I had to jump out of bed this morning to make sure my plants were still alive.  I had dreamt all of my plants had died because I hadn't watered them over the weekend, they all hung limp and brown. 

After my breakfast this morning they all received a well deserved drink, tonight I should sleep dream free.

Do you dream, are they so real you have to check in the morning?

Do you have plants in your house?

Have a good Monday,