STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Four more days... not that I'm counting... Four more days before we head out to move both kidlets, bags and baggage, off to University. I will miss them, that's for sure, but I sure am tired... Tired of cooking meals, tired of doing laundry, etc. etc. I have been trying to get some meals made and frozen for Mark..homemade spaghetti sauce, homemade soups, banana bread, etc.etc. Mark has shown absolutely no interest in learning how to do much of anything in the kitchen. I have failed as a Mother!!! I figure by Christmas, he'll be mighty tired of eating Kraft Dinner, Campbell's soup and frozen pizzas. Maybe by then he'll be a little more interested in a few cooking lessons! Guess I've got to let him learn the hard way..
Anyway, I am looking forward to some ME time in my studio - once the kids are gone, my hubby might not see me for days! Think I'll lock myself in the studio and start making up for lost time ... I have to get busy and get working on some new CQ projects ...April and Quilt Canada in Calgary will be here before we know it...I have to get some new samples made for my classes... I want to post a new section on my sidebar showing samples and perhaps even a tutorial or two, to help prospective students - particularly for my two day class, as students will have to prepare a fabric base before they come to the class. I must say, I can't wait to get "back at it".. Actually I spent some time in the studio yesterday doing some tidying and organizing, and this evening I pieced a small CQ block. It felt gooooodddd!! Since I'm home with no car tomorrow, maybe I'll even sit down for an hour or two and stitch! I'll share a photo with you as soon as it's finished. It seems like forever since I've shown you any stitching...
God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of tasks. As of today, I'm so far behind I'll need to live forever!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Time Travelers....

Last night I finished a great book... you know, one of those that you find difficult to put down? Are you familiar with Diana Gabaldon? I am hooked on her "Outlander" series, the story of Jamie Fraser, a Scottish Highlander from the 18th century and his time-traveling wife Claire. A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the sixth book in the series and it was every bit as good as her previous five: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, and The Fiery Cross. I enjoy historical novels, but these books are more than that- they are also classified as Romance, and with the time-traveling element fit the Science Fiction genre as well. The first novel begins with Claire, a Royal Army nurse, enjoying a bit of a second honeymoon with her husband Frank Randall in Inverness Scotland in 1945. While out exploring alone, she passes through a standing stone in an ancient stone circle and finds herself back in war-torn Scotland in 1743. The story continues from there, and needless to say, I was hooked on page 2! I can't wait for the seventh of the series, An Echo in the Bone, to come out this fall. A big thank you to my friend Susan for acquainting me with these novels!
Last week Laura and I went to see the movie "The Time Traveler's Wife" based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger. It was okay, I can't say it was a favourite. I guess I would rather have been watching a movie about Jamie and Claire....
Speaking of time travelling, I can't believe it's the last week of August. Where has the summer gone? ha- what little summer we had... Next week we'll be moving Mark and Laura off to university. Mark is going into an apartment for the first time, and being a typical guy, he's pretty laid back about the whole thing. Really hasn't given much thought to what he might need. On the other hand, Laura has been planning and preparing all summer long, has things packed, boxes labelled with entire lists of contents, etc. I guess that's the difference between guys and girls???
Both of them are working right up till the night before we leave... I can just imagine how hectic things will be next week, as Friday approaches...


"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?" ~ Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

Bouquets to You!!

Bright as flowers be thy life's hours....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fun and Funky!

Laura has had such great fun planning and choosing things for her room in Res at University. Her colour scheme is bright to say the least- hot pink and lime green are the two main colours, with a little yellow and orange thrown in for good measure. Her comforter has all these colours in a vivid stripe. We got hot pink sheets and microfleece blanket and a lime green desk lamp and storage units...what fun! She found this funky teapot at the local Co-op and it is just perfect, so it became a "has to have". I had fun making a little hot pad for it to sit on when she has made a pot of tea... It is reversible so she can flip it over if one side gets a drip or two... I put in a double layer of thermal batting and just quilted it with random slightly curvy lines, with hot pink and green Sulky thread. Quick and easy, fun and funky!!
Next Res room project- a hot water bottle cover, made from Minkee.... pink of course!


A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dog Days of Summer....

Whew! We have just survived a week long blast of summer heat and humidity. For seven days in a row, we had temps in the 30's (that's in the 90's for those of you who are still on the Fahrenheit scale). The heat is bad enough but when you combine that with high humidity, well, let's just say it's hard to feel energetic for long.. Some days with the Humidex, the temp. felt like 40C or above....
Here is Ollie, illustrating how we all have been feeling... lazy!! Ollie seems to find my ironing board a comfy spot for a little cat nap.... Perhaps I should have titled this post "CAT Days of Summer" ???
I'm not complaining about the heat, especially after the June and July we had- dreary, overcast, rainy, etc . etc. I don't actually mind the heat too much, it's the humidity that's the killer! Thank goodness for heat pumps - we just have to set ours from "heat" to "cool" and in minutes, the house is nice and cool...
Today the heat has finally broken, and we are now preparing for a rainy weekend - Hurricane Bill is heading our way! Hopefully we are far enough from the coast that we won't feel the effects of the storm too much - probably just some rain.
I actually got to spend a little time with my sewing machine today- it sure felt good. I'm sure my machine was wondering who I was.. it's been way too long! I did a quick little "fun and funky" project - something for Laura's dorm room. I'll show you a pic tomorrow - I just have to finish hand-stitching the binding tonight.
Ollie! Stop that yawning!
"Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia."
~ Joseph Wood Krutch

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One's nearer God's heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Trip to the Past...

Yesterday was Friday and my goal was to be finished next door by then. Well, I'm pleased to say that I'm about 98% done!! Hurray! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders... The only thing left to deal with now is the old appliances. Everything else is gone other than a very few odds and ends. There's a big Yard Sale in our area tomorrow so maybe we'll put the last few odds and ends in it and we'll be done.
I "took the afternoon off" and my buddy Sue and I took a little jaunt to McAdam. Now I know those of you who live in my area are thinking "That is a strange destination..." - true, there isn't a great lot in McAdam these days, but I had to pick up a small parcel in Vanceboro Maine, which is just a few minutes from McAdam. In it's heyday during the early 1900's, McAdam was a bustling railway hub, and the Railway Station there is really something to see. It was declared a National Historic Site in 1976, a Heritage Railway Station in 1990 and a Provincial Historic Site in 2004. Built in 1900-'01, and commissioned by Sir William VanHorne, the 285' long structure is a combination of Gothic, Baroque and Victorian styles and was modelled after a Scottish castle. The second storey has nine dormers. The restoration is ongoing, but many areas are complete and we enjoyed a walk through, seeing such things as the telegraph office, the waiting room (originally it was the men's waiting room - the ladies had a seperate more elegant waiting area), the dining room and lunch counter. Originally the station included a CPR Railway Hotel with eight and later 17 guest rooms. These first-class, five star accomodations catered to an upper class of travellers, and the diningroom with it's white linens and fine china featured elaborate menus. Most of the hotel furniture and dishes were not original to the McAdam Station- they came from the CPR Royal York Hotel in Toronto - whenever the Royal York was updated, the old furniture and dishes were sent to McAdam. The Lunch Counter, at the west end of the Station, was used to serve light meals and snacks to hundreds of passengers daily. During the heyday of the Station, lunch counter staff had to be ready to serve breakfast to upwards of 1200 passengers, arriving mainly from Boston and Montreal. Fed here as well were many soldiers passing through on the troop trains headed to the coast during the First and Second World Wars. Anyone desiring dessert could enjoy a slice of one of ten different types of "Railroad Pie" that this lunch counter was famous for. We were disappointed that we could not have lunch here... The Station even contained a Jail - one holding cell for anyone found violating train rules- such acts as thievery, debauchery or vagrancy!
I couldn't help but feel a bit nostalgic, imagining the excitement and "romance" of a trip by train in the early 1900's.... when McAdam enjoyed the golden age of the railway....
The joy is in the journey, not at the journey's end...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kumihimo Fun

My beading class this evening was such fun! I was very pleased with the bracelet I finished. Kathy, the teacher, was excellent and very patient with those of us who had little beading experience. The Kumihimo braiding was not all that difficult once you got the hang of it. She wisely had us practice with yarn first, before we tried it with our bead strands. I didn't use quite the same combo of beads that was suggested for the class, as I didn't want mine to be quite as "chunky" and big. (I know I'll be visiting Sarah's shop every once in a while to see what new colors of pearls and co-ordinating beads she has in - The Beadnik on Main St., Fredericton North). I am very happy with my first effort and can't wait to try another, with other bead combinations. I think it is something that once you have the braiding sequence down pat, you could do it in front of the TV or whatever... Now to fashion some matching earrings from the leftovers... Thanks Kathy for a great class!
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Progress, progress...

I AM making progress with my major project next door. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - finally! I can't wait til this is over and I can get back to some serious stitching!! Right now I am just too exhausted at the end of each day. I must say, I am sleeping well at night though... lol
One of my recent discoveries was a very heavy thick hardcover book titled "The Columbia Encyclopedia". It is a one volume encyclopedia, published in 1940. My mother's maiden name is embossed on the front cover - I was so surprised as I had never seen this book before - it has been sitting quietly on the end of a bookshelf, hidden behind the arm of a couch. I guess it has been there all my life (and then some!) but I had never pulled it out to see what it was. My mother was a registered nurse and she obviously scrimped and saved pennies for dear knows how long to afford this book, obviously purchased before she married.. I recall her telling me that once she graduated and was working fulltime, she made $6.00 a week. I can only imagine how long she had to save to acquire this book which I am sure she treasured.... I know times were pretty tough in the early 40's and I have nothing but pride and admiration for my Mum, knowing how hard she worked to afford the little she had, plus sending money home to her parents besides, to help out her 5 younger siblings. The younger generation today could sure take a lesson ....
I'm looking forward to taking a break tomorrow evening. I am registered for a Kumihimo beading class. Kumihimo is a method of braiding silk threads, developed in Japan. The literal translation means the coming together (kumi) of threads (himo). Kumihimo braids were originally used as ties, cordings and belts for clothing and closures for Samurai armour. The braids are beautiful and durable, having patterns in them formed by varying the sequence of thread movements while braiding. I will be making a Kumihimo beaded bracelet. I have my "homework" all done: my four strands of beads and pearls are strung and ready to go! I'm really looking forward to the class- hopefully I'll have a photo to show you tomorrow night of my finished bracelet.
Until then....Piece!
The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Find of the Day

As I told you a week or two ago, I am spending a lot of time trying to get all ends tidied up at my parent's home, which is next door. My goal is to be totally finished in 5 days- next Friday. I am (not so patiently) waiting for my brothers to "do their part"- pumping out the oil barrel, and capping off the water. Then we're ready for demolition. That will be a difficult day for me. Watching the home we all grew up in, being torn down. But it is the only solution and it has not been an easy one to make. However I keep telling myself I'm past the emotional/sentimental aspect and we must move on.
I still have some furniture to get rid of, and some other household odds and ends. I guess another yard sale/tag sale is the answer. I have gone through all the books- my Mum was a great reader - and never got rid of a book. I have piles- one pile for me, one pile for the City Library, another for St. Annes Court Library, a stack for our elementary school, a pile of some to be given to friends with particular interests, and a "what do I DO with these" pile. I still have 78 Readers Digest Condensed books - do any of you local readers know anyone who does "Altered Books"? I thought they might be perfect for that...? I'm having a real hard time with the whole "just throw them in the garbage" thing....
My mother never was a quilter, so imagine my surprise when I found this hand-pieced quilt top in the very bottom of the linen cupboard! I have no idea who made it; the only possibility I can think of is my maternal Grandmother.... I'm guessing it's at least 70 years old. It smells pretty musty, so I'll let it "air out" on the clothesline while I contemplate it's future....
Well, back to work for me.....
"If we shall take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures." ~ Emerson

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I'm borrowing this idea which I have seen on other Blogs..."Wordless Wednesday". Today there will be a few words just to explain... Somedays I haven't much to say (hard to believe, I know!) but do have images I would love to share with you, so on some Wednesdays, I'm going to do just that- simply post some fav photos. Today it's more "Faces of King Landing".... Enjoy!
"Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision." ~ Ayn Rand

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rattle on the Stovepipe...

Yesterday was New Brunswick Day, and dear daughter and I decided to spend it at one of our most favourite places - Kings Landing. Kings Landing Historical Settlement is a "living history museum", depicting day to day life in rural New Brunswick in the 1800's. This past weekend was a "Special Event" weekend at KL- a new theme called "Rattle on the Stovepipe" Music Festival. Now how could we go wrong, with music, singalongs, dancing, workshops and concerts to celebrate our history and heritage? Since Laura and I both love music, we didn't want to miss all the fun!

It turned out to be a beautiful day- sunny and by afternoon, quite hot. We had great fun, just strolling along and taking lots of photos. We enjoyed chatting with all the KL folk- human and animal. There aren't many things more entertaining than watching two kittens play and "rough-house" - these two in the Joslin barn were no exception. Everyone at KL is friendly, and willing to pose for photos.... :)

The photos that you see with this post, I will call "the Faces of Kings Landing". Friendly welcoming faces, every one!! Laura is very much "at home" at KL; I think she feels it is her second home. This is her seventh summer there - four years with the Visiting Cousins and Family Kin programmes, one summer as a volunteer, and now is working her second summer as fulltime staff. The staff have become another "family" to her. She has made many wonderful friends and they have lots of fun together, at work and "at play".... Her high school friend Angela is on staff this summer for the first time - what a cutie! Angela is part of the Music and Theatre troupe.

We did our best to see every scheduled "performance". We even took part in a workshop to learn about the Bodhran drum. This is an Irish frame drum, made by stretching a goatskin over a round wooden frame. The other side is open, for one hand to be placed against the inside of the drum head to control the pitch. The "drum stick" is called a tipper. We learned the basic skills, and actually could drum to a fairly good beat by the time we were finished. I must say, Scott was an excellent teacher! Thanks Scott!

KL is lucky to have so many musically-talented people on staff, and they are all so willing to entertain, and make sure that visitors are having a good time. Michelle, Tom and Paul did a great "show" on the Jones dock, singing, playing various instruments and making us all laugh at their antics. This was followed by a "wrap-up" concert in the garden at the King's Head Inn. Despite the sun beating down... and it WAS hot... the music was excellent. It was difficult to tell who was having more fun, the visitors or the staff/entertainers. The day ended with a Barn Dance in the Ingraham Barn. As I expected, Laura was the first to jump up when they asked for "volunteers" from the audience to participate...
As I've said before, I could visit KL daily for a week and still find more photos to take. It is a beautiful spot along the picturesque Saint John River. If you haven't been there lately, why not go for a day and see what's happening at the Landing? I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

"Life recorded is twice precious- first the experience itself, and then the memory of it full and sweet when we read about it later." ~ Elaine Cannon

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Such a beautiful Bride!

Yesterday, we were priveleged to attend the wedding of Kathryn and Adam, Kathryn being the daughter of our good friends Gary and Susan. Kathryn and Adam have been a couple for 9 years and we've all been waiting a long time, it seems, for this wedding. And they could not have picked a better day. It was hot and sunny with just the right amount of breeze - I think it's the only sunny Saturday we've had this entire summer. It was lovely sitting on the lawn behind the Delta, facing the Saint John River, witnessing these two fine young people exchanging their vows.

Gary and Susan are very special people and wonderful parents to their two children. We were honoured to be invited to this wedding. Everyone had worked so hard to make it a very special day and everything went like clockwork. The last while has been difficult for their family with parents on both sides in declining health. So it was really great to have such a happy occasion to celebrate. Until you've been through a wedding, you have no idea how much planning, time and effort go into making sure every little detail is perfect, and they did a fine job! (We won't mention the fact that the hotel fire alarm went off part way through the reception! All doors immediately closed and the A/C shut down. It got mighty warm in that closed room, before things were back in order...)
I don't think I've ever heard more expressions of love at a wedding- not just by the bride and groom for each other, but by the couple for their families and friends, and vice versa. It was very touching, and let me tell you- there weren't too many dry eyes in the place.

Susan has worked so hard over the last seven months to make a Double Wedding Ring quilt for the happy couple. I know there were many times when she felt like she would never complete it in time, but she persevered through all the stresses they have had lately and kept it a total secret from Kathryn. When it was opened today, I think Kathyrn was pretty much speechless. What a wonderful surprise, and such a special gift from Mother to Daughter. I know Kathryn understands and appreciates the time and effort her mother put into this quilt. Of course, it HAD to be done in Amish colors... Beautiful job, Susan.
Congratulations to Kathryn and Adam, and Best Wishes for a long and happy healthy life together!


Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

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