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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloweeeeen

Hallowe'en has come and gone for another year. It's always a relief when the evening passes quietly and there don't seem to be many "hoodlums" about, causing trouble. We only get about a dozen trick-or-treaters at our door each year and it's fun to see their costumes. This year the "Cutie Pie" prize goes to the 4 year old twins who live just up the street- they were little princesses, aren't they cute?

The forecast rain held off , and it is mild yet extremely windy- it's actually warmer, at 10 pm, than it was all day... it's 18 C out right now!!

I have been working on a fall wallhanging this evening- pumpkins, sunflowers, maple leaves and flying geese. I'm hoping to get it pretty well finished up at the Retreat next week. We'll see...

I hope you all have had a safe and fun-filled Hallowe'en, and don't forget to turn back the clock tonight- an extra hour of shut eye..woohooooo
The night is dark and the goblins are out,
The witches and black cats are prowling about.
And costumed creatures - the strangest I've seen
Are knocking on doors 'cause tonight's Hallowe'en!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Creepy Creatures....

I am so happy to tell you, I have finally finished all my outdoor work. It feels so good to know it's done for the year. All beds are now covered in thick leaf mulch and the chicken wire is on to hold it down in a windstorm! I raked and finished the last small area this afternoon. I always like to have this done before Hallowe'en night, as you never know who's roaming around. I'm just "in under the wire" this year! haha Now I can begin my hibernation - in my studio!! Yeah! I have spent some hours at my machine this week and it feels sooo good!! Next week is our Guild Annual Retreat so I am finishing up some little things for that- can't show you any pics right now, but check back on Monday- I'll show you one of the little projects (great for a Christmas idea) that all attendees will be receiving.

Getting back to my gardens- I'm always a little sad to see the end of the gardening season come. While chopping down all my perennials, I'm making mental notes of what needs moving, splitting, etc. for next year. I guess it's true what they say about gardeners- we work all summer and dream all winter.... It's always fun to look ahead to next season and think about what you'll do differently, and also to think back over this season. There seeemed to be more failures this year than usual; I'm blaming that on the poor weather and lack of sunshine.

Part way through the summer, I treated myself to a new digital SLR camera, along with a zoom lens with macro capability. So I've had fun playing with it a bit. I still have lots to learn, but thought you might enjoy seeing some of the creepy creatures that visited my garden this season. There are many creepy crawlies that I hate to see (like lily beetles, slugs and earwiggies) but those pictured here were not so bad. In fact they were quite co-operative in posing.. :) Hope you have enjoyed viewing some of my gardening efforts through the summer. I'm already counting the days till next summer and gardening season again.....

And now, I will leave you with a little poem for Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en Wishes

Since this is the time for witches and bats,
Hallowe'en spirits and ghosts and cats,
Weird happenings and witches brew,
These are the things I wish for you:

May the only spirit you chance to meet
Be the spirit of love and warm friends sweet.
May the tricks that you are asked to do
Be a trick to help you gain a friend or two.

So, by tomorrow pick three friends sweet,
And give them all a Hallowe'en treat.
You only have one day, so hurry!
Leave a treat on the doorstep, then flee in a hurry!
~ Author unknown

Happy Halloweeeeeen
"Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf's a flower".
~Albert Camus

Monday, October 26, 2009

A great Christmas idea..

If you are looking for a great idea for a special child on your Christmas list, I have a suggestion. If you are anything like me, you would far rather give a child a book than yet another toy. I want to tell you of a new children's Christmas book, which hit the market about 10 days ago, titled "No Room - A Read-Aloud Story of Christmas". It is published by CCB Publishing of British Columbia, and the author and illustrator are both Maritimers, from Nova Scotia. The author is Peter Riddle, a retired Prof. from Acadia University, and the illustrator is a personal friend of mine, Shelley Hustins. Shelley, a small animal veterinarian, lives on a dairy farm just outside Wolfville with her husband and two children. Drawing is her life-long hobby and over 350 friends look forward to her hand drawn Christmas card each year. The three photos here show what a talented artist Shelley is. Above is the front cover, below are two illustrations from inside... (I do have permission from author and illustrator, by the way, to quote a verse and show these illustrations).
After seeing her collection of Christmas card drawings a few years ago, Peter Riddle approached Shelley and asked her if she would be interested in illustrating a children's book. After some thought, she agreed and it has been three years "in the making", as they say. Since seeing all the original drawings for the book this summer when we visited Shelley and Dana, we have been almost as excited about this whole project as they are!! We ordered 50 books from Shelley, received them this weekend and have only a few left.

The story is told in rhyme, and is appropriate for all ages. The family in the story (based on Shelley's family) discovers the rewards of kindness when a stray cat appears outside their home on a snowy Christmas Eve. The oldest boy wants to bring the cat in, but Father says no. "We haven't got room", Father said, "for another. We already have seven pets, and your brother". Before bedtime, Father reads the Christmas story to the family, telling of Mary and Joseph being turned away from the inn because there was no room. What happens next...well, you'll have to read it to see... With it's beautiful poetry and wonderful illustrations, No Room brings a message of kindness and compassion for readers of all ages. This book is bound to be a Christmas favourite, to be read year after year. I am proud to add it to my collection of children's Christmas books. It is already one of my favourites!

If you live in my local area and would like an autographed copy, let me know (as we'll be getting more in). The cost is $13.95. If you live further afield, you can order from Amazon, or, as we are hoping a number of bookstores will pick it up, you could "help the cause" by asking for it at your favourite local bookshop.....


The best thing you can do for a child is get them hooked on books....

Friday, October 23, 2009

I LOVE mail!!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win the Birthday drawing on Marie Alton's Blog. (You can visit Marie here.) The package arrived today - look at my goodies - eight skeins of Vicki Clayton's hand-dyed #12 silks from Marie's personal stash. Thanks so much Marie!! I can't wait to use them. You can see more of Vikki's wonderful hand dyed threads here.

I'm off to Moncton today, to teach a class tomorrow at The Covered Bridge Quiltery, one of my favourite shops to visit. I'll be back soon...


"For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday". ~ John Glenn

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jailbird and cellmate...

A week has flown by.... I have been busy as you no doubt guessed, from my absence here! I'm trying to finish up all the outdoor garden work- emptying pots and planters, cutting down my perennial beds, spreading a little slug bait and compost, etc. before the weather turns any colder.
Our Guild has just had Karen Henry of Dartmouth NS here for 4 days, 3 days of workshops and a Trunk Show Tuesday night for our monthly Guild meeting. Karen stayed with me for 2 nights, and I was thrilled to have her. We enjoyed getting to know each other, as we will be roommates in Calgary for Quilt Canada 2010. There's no doubt in my mind that we will have lots of fun together. She very quickly labelled us "Jailbird and Cellmate"... yep - we're gonna have lots of laughs.....
Karen is an exceptionally talented self-taught quilt artist. I so enjoyed the 2 workshops I took, and regretted not being able to do the third one as well. Karen has a very easy going, friendly and enthusiastic manner and everyone enjoyed her immensely. Her Trunk Show was a wonderful cross-section of her pictorial quilts - landscapes, animal portraits, commissioned pieces, flora and fauna wallhangings, (see "My Father's Dahlias" above) people quilts and still life- you name it, Karen has done it! I was most impressed with her "composite" quilts. She has put such careful thought into not only the composition and design, but also the colour, balance and detail. I would have to say my favourite was "Snowbird 1 Alpha - Pete Henry", (above) made for her husband to celebrate his term as a pilot with the Snowbird aerial team. I remember seeing this quilt in the 1999 National Juried Show in Charlottetown and it blew me away then! My other "most" favourite (because they were ALL favourites!!) was one of her tree quilts. The golden tree just seemed to glow. Karen's color sense is wonderful and her technical skills are second to none. Her use of a variety of techniques - a "woven background", confetti applique, bobbinwork, use of tulle and organza, etc. makes for such interesting pieces. We were so fortunate to have Karen with us and it's a shame more people did not take advantage of the opportunity to take her classes. You can enjoy more of Karens' work here.

Thanks Karen, for all the inspiration, and I promise - next time, there'll be no "bushwacking"!


Life is like a cup of tea; it's all in how you make it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Wedding, Part 2

Weddings are much like spend so long preparing, anticipating, looking after the tiniest details to make sure everything is perfect... then all of a sudden, it's over. Within a few short hours the entire thing is over and all you have left are the memories. And hopefully some good photos.
But it's worth all the effort and preparation, when everyone gathers together to witness the happy event and surround the couple with love. We were so happy to finally meet many of the good friends we have heard about for so long. Three of the four attendants travelled considerable distances from Montreal, northern Ontario and Alberta to be with Ian and Tiff for their special day. All four attendants are best friends from High School days or earlier. It was evident from the speeches given that they all share a very special bond of loyalty and close friendship that has endured for years, and will no doubt continue to do so.
One can't help but wonder where the time goes, when seeing one's own child grown and taking on the responsibilities of marriage. It seems like just yesterday that 10 year old Ian was wearing a cute little tux at our wedding. Time is moving too fast, methinks....
I cannot believe that I didn't get a family photo with me in it- I guess that's what happens when you're the person with the camera... at least the "real" photographer took several of our family- we'll have to wait a few weeks to see those.
Since it was Thanksgiving weekend, the wedding meal was a full turkey dinner. The first course was a delicious Harvest Squash cream soup and the warm Chocolate Almond Coconut Cake for dessert was a fine way to finish off ! And then, of course, there were the Truffles...
My favourite moment of the day? Watching Ian's eyes "fill up" when Tiff came down the aisle....
Love is patient, love is kind; love never ends.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Introducing my new Daughter-in-Law

And what a sweetie she is! Yes the wedding is over and all went well, except for the rain all day long. However we all know you can't control the weather, so you just have to go with the flow! (Sorry, bad pun...) Ian, being a Meteorologist, took lots of ribbing for the poor weather. "Can't you DO something about this? Have you no "drag" at all?" "No, I just report it, I don't make it...." Anyway, all went well. The day went off without a hitch, other than their ruined plans for photos at the Halifax Public Gardens.

The wedding took place in the Compass Room at the Halifax Casino. It was a small intimate group of family and close friends. The ceremony was short and sweet and there were no surprises- even the four year old ring bearer and flower girl performed their duties flawlessly. It was very difficult... no, it was impossible for me to get any good photos during the ceremony. I did not have an "aisle seat", and the lighting was low. The room is round and one whole side is windows facing out over the harbour. So when you combine low light and windows which throw everyone in front into shadow, actually pretty much silhouette... well many of my "inside pics " are not great.
There was a short break in the rain around 4:30, so after the photographer finished all the indoor posed photos with the wedding party and families, we dashed outside and managed to get some shots behind the Casino and along Purdy's Wharf. So the photos you see above were taken then. (You can click on these photos for a closer look.)
Here are Mark and Laura posing with Frank, Sammy and Dean outside the Compass Room. (Yes! It's true! The Rat Pack were at the wedding ! lol) Laura is not quite old enough to go into the Casino, so this is as close as she could get.

So, we are now lucky to have another daughter. Tiffany is a sweetheart and a fine partner for Ian. They complement each other and we are thrillled to have her as a part of our family. WelcomeTiff! We love you!

I'll show you a few more pics tomorrow...


The road is bright before us, as hand in hand we start. We'll travel on together, one mind, one soul, one heart.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving everyone

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! I came across this poem about being thankful, and I think it has a very good message. We are often thankful for all the wonderful things in our lives, but this poem suggests other things we should also be thankful for. I hope you like it. Have a wonderful weekend with family and friends and may the bounty of the season fill your hearts and your home. May your Thanksgiving truly be blessed

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
Its during those times that you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary.
It means you've made a difference.
Its easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those
who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.


Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

"We had gone to bed in summer, and we awoke in autumn; for summer passes into autumn in some imaginable point in time, like the turning of a leaf." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Ian's wedding is just a few days away now, and we are crossing things off the list. Hubby's Tux arrived last night- everything fit perfectly... except there was no tie. Hopefully it will come in tomorrow. I have finished my bracelet, so now I am all set except perhaps picking up an extra pair of pantihose to have on hand - always a good idea. This is another Kumihimo bracelet - they are really fun to do and I am pleased with it. This photo really does not do it justice...
Tomorrow I will cook a small turkey so that I can take some of the meat down to Mark. I know he will appreciate some yummy turkey - a few meals that he will not have to prepare himself! Not so sure I'll get a pot of turkey soup made before we go...
I know my posts have been a little less frequent lately, but those of you who have had family weddings know how busy things get. Just getting ready to be away for a few days takes a lot of work, as all Mothers know... and yes, I know my sewing machine is falling into a depression, thinking I have totally abandoned it.. did you all read the comment it left on my previous post? I tell you, I have one smart machine! Now I wonder who helped that comment along??? Hang in there baby, I'll be there soon...

Laura was home on the weekend, and it was so nice to be able to spend some time with her. Tomorrow I will share a few pics from Kings Landing with you - we spent a few hours there on Saturday; the sun actually shone and we had great fun with our cameras. I love the Landing in the fall - the trees, the crops being harvested, the pumpkins, etc. It's such a special place and we are so fortunate to have it so closeby. This is the last week they are open - Thanksgiving Monday is closing day.

Have you all been enjoying the gorgeous fall colors like I have? They seem to be more brilliant this year; the leaves also seem to be falling earlier than normal... :(

"Why is it that so many of us persist in thinking autumn is a sad season? Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful if we are to judge by her countenance".
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Friday, October 2, 2009



This month the trees begin to make
their autumn alterations;
October brings the turning leaf
in flaming variations!

Triumphant beauty clothes the hills;
the mountains are ablaze!
There's splendor everywhere to see
these gold autumnal days!

Then one day soon the whistling winds
will hustle-bustle by
Sending leaves a-sprawling with
a wistful wind-swept sigh!

~Georgia B. Adams

Autumn has to be the most beautiful season. I love it's vibrant colors. It just makes me want to spend all day outdoors with my camera!

I'm feeling like I've made good progress this past week. I have finished all the truffles for the wedding; they are packaged up and ready to go! I have "completed my wedding ensemble" with the acquisition of shoes, purse and wrap in beautiful burgundy to go with the navy dress. Now I am working on a new Kumihimo bracelet in burgundy and navy to "tie it all together". I love the individual beads- hopefully they will look good in the woven bracelet.
Laura is home for a weekend visit, so if Mother Nature will co-operate tomorrow, we're hoping to visit Kings Landing to do some photography.


Gracefully, joyfully, colorfully, autumn enters our lives.
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