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Monday, May 18, 2015

Victoria Day - Garden time!

This was my front garden on Sat. morning. Mourning is a better word. My poor Weigelias at the front barely survived last winter - just like me! And to top it off, last winter was the first year  tented them - for protection! So, last week I gave them a good dousing of Miracle grow, and this weekend the nephew came over to help put my pation together (THANKS MARK!), so I had him tote a big bag of black earth and gave these poor babies some new dirt to live in.
We also moved the tower from the back yard to the front. Here's hoping these bushes recover this summer. Shall be babying them along! I moved the bird bath to the back - you know sometimes you just need a change! Those are decorative cement Mushrooms at the foot of the bath ...
My lavender from last year only half survived, so I lucked out and was able to purchase 2 small bunches to supplement last year's crop. Here's hoping it will be happier in its new location atop the bird bath, and produce some florets before the end of summer!
Last fall's garden work paid out and my White Irises are blooming! Last fall we (Mark and I, but mainly Mark) added some nice black earth and cedar chips. I guess this gave them the protection they needed.
My Caragana is in full bloom, and the bumble bees love it! While I sat and enjoyed the patio last night there were at least 5 buzzing around. What an extra bonus - I get a beautiful tree and the bees get much needed food.
Well, the wonders of the season never end, at last week's guild meeting I WON!!!! First I won a fat quarter - a rare, usually once a year event, then I won the door prize basket - an unheard of, never happened before event !! And indeed it was a basket, with a small cutting mat at the bottom, an "Elegant Quilts Country Charm" book, a charm pack, 4 fat quarters in matching solids, a tape measure, pack of flower head pins, a pair of snippers, a bobbin holder and a pack of Heat n Bond. Can't beat that eh!
WooHoo!!!
And last but not least of all the good things happening so far this month - I have this week off work - yeah - it's sunny and warm - yeah, and it's the Quilt Festival in Ailsa Criag this week = Quilts of France! Whoopee !!
I finished off the May Flowers door hanging for mother - finding the perfect scrap of blue for the binding ...

  TTFN









Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pow!

Summer has arrived! Spring  is over ! Pow! It happened so fast I barely got a chance to enjoy Spring and now the heat and humidity are here :(.  The Forsythia has gone from brilliant yellow to green and both trees in the back have popped their leaves. The Bumble bees will soon make an appearance to get the nectar from the Caragana flowers. The nephew is coming over next weekend to help me put out the patio furniture just in time so I can sit outside and enjoy this season on my week off. YEAH! I am soooo looking forward to having some time away from work.
I've got some of my cooking mojo back and tried a new soup recipe last week - Russian cabbage roll soup. Verdict = YUMMMMMM. It made way more than I could eat in a week of lunches. I was afraid  it would not freeze well, so took some over to the nephew who also pronounced it Yummmmmy.
Still working on my May flowers wall/door hanging. Almost finished quilting the white background. Plan on doing some quilting in the borders, probably just follow the circles in the fabric. Hope to have enough done for Show-n-Tell @ guild this week.

TTFN



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Yeah Spring !

This is what I woke up to last Sunday and they are still in full bloom! Thankfully the wee bits of snow have disappeared, although we did get one last (least we hope it was the last) snowfall this week. Although my backyard faces east and gets full sunlight all morning, for some reason my back garden is slow to bloom. This spring that is a lucky situation as my Daffodils were barely in bud and not affected by the late snowfall. Got my finger's crossed for the Daffs and the Irises later in the Spring.
Wasn't feeling the very best in the early part of the week, both cats had gastro-intestinal issues and so did mommy :(. None-the-less I rallied by mid week and enjoyed my evening out with the Sew What's ladies. I also got a start on another door hanging, or maybe I'll keep this one for my bulletin board at work.
Spring flowers with mini Dresden plates, yellow yoyos and green rickrack. The outer border, found in my stash, is the leftover from a baby Kaleidoscope quilt I did maybe 10 years ago. Just goes to show you it's worth saving all your scraps!!
 
  Have a great sunny week everyone,


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring is Here !!


 
Yeah - Spring has finally sprung (shhhh - I may have just invoked the wrath of the winter gods). My Daffodils and Iris plants are poking through their winter cover in my patio garden - Yeah !! Easter has come and gone. What fun having a little one around.
Claire had her first Easter egg hunt the day before our family dinner, so she was all prepared and knew just what to do :). She had a bunny sweatshirt on and those crazy Bunny ears - too cute!!
I'm soooo sick of sandwiches for lunch at work, so today I made Broccoli, Ham and Cheese muffins. They smell great, hope they taste as good as they smell.

 Last week's Have it All wallet is a hit and I have requests. I ran out of the black fabric I used in the first wallet, but found this fab script print - and on sale. I may just have to make another for myself as I love script prints ... Hope they don't expect one any time soon ....  I have a huge agenda for today, including getting outside (I hope) and no time off until May :(. Sundays are never a day of rest for me. Ok, enough of my boo hoo story.
On a more positive note I have an announcement! I have finished - yes FINISHED cutting the 2000+ honeycombs and assorted paper pieces needed for my Lucy Boston POTC, and here they are
Woohoo!!
They are now stored away in plastic boxes meant for embroidery floss. I saw this neat organizing tip on a blog during one of my many tours of blogland. Can't remember who's blog it was, but what a brilliant idea - Thanks! Can't say I'm not tempted to start right away on LBPOTC, but I must keep to my "schedule" which includes housework (spring cleaning), garden work (yeah - outside work) and UFOs!

It's sunny and bright and warm today. Have a great week everyone :)



Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter !

Last week my "theme" was ENOUGH. Well, I've had enough of this white stuff! I mean come on .... it's Easter! But no, that wasn't enough, this past week was a lesson on what is enough ...
The president of the university (image from Facebook friend) where  I have laboured for the past 36+ years experienced a lesson in how much is enough. For those  readers not tuned in -  the province where I live has legislated the publication of a "Sunshine List" = a list of every one in the public sector who earns more than $100,000.00 ! Well, it was revealed that our fearless leader not only earned over $400,000.00 but double dipped last year by NOT taking his paid sabbatical while still earning his salary at the same time, which then equalled close to $1 million in salary last year! The uproar was something to behold, and it was quickly obvious that everyone has had ENOUGH of corporate GREED!  It was all over social media, traditional media and even in the Provincial legislature. The faculty association held a non-confidence vote or 94%! and my own union is holding a non-confidence vote this week coming. In an attempt to mollify the masses and employees @ the university, who by the way average $43,000.00 per annum in earnings, an email and campus news story was sent out. The president offered to return the salary for his sabbatical and to NOT claim this same amount at the end of his second contract. The Board of Govenors, who negotiated his very favourable contract, also had a press release!  We'll see if their spin does anything. It certainly was an interesting lesson in enough is enough!
So, along with all those lovely fabrics I purchased on our road trip I also purchased some lovely sewing charms. I already had the pin so now it was time to add the charms and pin it to my sewing bag! (pssst that's a quilt block on the left end). Nice eh ?
I also found this fabulous selvedge fabric. Not sure what I plan to make with it, but I couldn't resist :)
On the right is some fabric I purchased a while back to make myself a new wallet. I got the pattern, Have it All Wallet,  at another of my favourite quilt stores (I have a few) the Marsh Store .

So on the left is the finished/not finished wallet. I decided to add a flower to the front and a wrist strap. On the right is an inside view. The black  /3 is a card holder area. Well, after it was all done I wasn't overly happy with the results. So I spent the next day unsewing .... Now that I understand the pattern (not enough pictures, not enough description for me) I now know exactly how/what I want to change to make this wallet suit me !
What else have I been up to? Well, it's Easter and the family is gathering, so I made a Lemon cake. Hope they like my Easter egg decorations :)
 
What an interesting week! TTFN





Sunday, March 29, 2015

Enough !

When is enough enough? Do we ever have enough? Do we have too much? Guess that depends on what we're talking about ... Last week was cold and gray and it even snowed one morning! Enough already!! As you can see from my patio shot, the snow is melting - slowly.Even worse - it's supposed to snow again next week :(.
A week ago Friday was our best day so far, sunny and bright and warmish. I  had the day off work - woohoo! So I gathered up a couple of friends and off we went for a wee road trip to Cherished Pieces. The store was having a $10/yard (hey we're in Canada eh - why sell by the yard!!) sale of Downton Abbey & Civil War fabrics, so off we go!! We started off in Ingersol at Stitch it Central a lovely little store which has lots of stitching stuff, and fabric too! Then off to Tillsonburg for some serious shopping! Here's a shot of  the fabrics for my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses. Doesn't look like much, but at last I've started collecting fabrics for this project - I'm still cutting paper honeycombs, and yes I do know I could buy them but I have chosen to cut them up myself- woohoo!

When I got home I pulled some fat quarters from my stash. I think they'll work with the colour  scheme which seems to be emerging.
Well, those purchases just weren't enough to fill that buy fabric urge ....  right ladies? So I managed to find a few fat quarters .... I totally fell in love with the Bees and the Chicken Wire fabrics !!! Thanks ladies for another fun day :)
Wednesday last week started off  with "Why is it so cold in here ?" Oh, the programmable thermostat is one of those appliances which does not automatically spring forward ... aha! I'll just go down and reset the clock on the thermostat .... NO, its low batteries! that's the problem!!! Luckily I had some batteries in the house, the right kind ....  so problem solved. Then Wednesday evening my computer decided to stop in it's tracks. 3 hours and I finally got it booted up in safe mode. YIKES! off to the shop and many $$$ later. My budget is squeaking - first a shopping excursion then a trip to the computer repair shop! Do I have enough $ for this month?
Well, the week ended off with a gathering of our sewing group.  We had lots of laughs sharing who we like more .... Brian BaumlerScott McGillvary, or Mike Holmes ;) what's your vote? I then conducted a social experiment to see who would ask me the dreaded "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO RETIRE" question. To complete the "experiment" I answered all the same old boring questions. They'll never understand .... So here's the story ...
My Life is differenent than your Ivory Tower
As a single woman I won't share a 2nd income/partner's pension
My pension will only be WHAT I EARN 
I'm lucky to have a pension, many don't
But my pension will not be the golden handshake many of you Boomers got!
I have a financial plan/planner
I'm almost there, but it's a bit of a struggle.
Ok? I've had enough of this particular conversation  - now lets move on.
This weekend was the usual Saturday afternoon with Mother. It seems she is wanting to downsize - again! Not sure what is driving this, boredom? that Spring cleaning urge we all get at this time of year? something else? Anyway, what ever the motive I was the recipient of some terrific gifts.

This spoon was my Great Grandmother Boyter's (nee MacKenzie). At some point in my life I told mother I wanted it ... so now it's mine! My Great Grandmother lived until I was 16, so I definitely remember her. The milk glass plate apparently first belonged to the grandmother of my grandmother ! So its provenance is: Keziah  Norton (nee Heighes) to Elizabeth Armstrong (nee Norton), to Lilian Grace Boyter (nee Armstrong), to Betty Jean Smith (nee Boyter), and finally to me!


The cut crystal plate below is very heavy. Mother won it as a prize from the company she worked for and always valued it for that reason. Now I will value it too.
Here's hoping Spring comes soooooon. Easter is next weekend!
TTFN

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

Thought I would start this post with a look at last week's pic of the patio. The snow was still heavily built up.  The last 5 weeks of extreme cold weather really did me in, and of course I ended up sick :(. I know it was cold for everyone, but I'm a 90 lb weakling with a health condition which means the cold reallllly affects me. So, besides ending up @ the Doc's I started the process @ work to have accommodations in place.  Maybe next winter will be easier. I don't get much sympathy/support from family/friends - all of whom are retired and have the choice to stay home! One of these days I'll have the good fortunate to retire. As they say, it's a great life if you don't weaken. Guess I'll struggle on 'til retirement  .... soon, coming soon! the countdown is on!  It Last week's weather was nothing to complain about - it was FAB, in the + ALL WEEK long!! So the snow is finally starting to melt  - woohooooooooo!
 
After I started quilting, I found my favourite local quilt store had the perfect quilt stencil for the small project I've been - raindrops! So, I purchased 4 different marking pens, 3 were air erasable, 1 was water erasable, and did a mini experiment overnight. In the end I used the water erasable marker. I did not wash the hanging once the quilting was completed, instead I wiped the marks away with a damp cloth. Turns out I had to go over the hanging a second time - maybe next time I'll wear my glasses when I wipe off the markings, ;) hint hint.
I'm rather please with this one. I use white fabric with polka dots - thinking it could represent rain. Turns out there were polka dots in some of the umbrellas, so I used more polka dots with the red in the one umbrella and in the cornerstones, inner border and binding. The rain boot fabric also complemented my rain theme. At first I was going to call it April Showers, but now I rather like Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head so I guess that will be its name :). All done, with a hanging sleeve except the label. Will complete that tonight while watching Downton ! Should be ready for the mater's front door in time for April !
That's been my life lately - what are you working on?