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

Monday, June 28, 2010

NYC Here We Come!

Just wanted to let you know I'll be absent from here for the rest of the week. I'm off to the Big Apple tomorrow. Hopefully the weather there will be better. I've had enough of this rain!
NYC won't know what hit it when 50 of us step off our bus.... Our hotel is right at Times Square so at least we're right in the heart of things and it's a short walk to the Broadway shows in the evenings. They will be the highlight for me...
I'll report in when I return..with a few good pics to share, I hope..
Oh yes, stop by on July 1st for a small "Show" of red and white...


New York... the city that never sleeps...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wasn't That a Party!!!

"Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo
'cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou..."

Sound familiar? Last night we attended a big birthday bash for my good friend Sandi Mac. I won't say how old she is, but it rhymes with nifty.... Let me tell you, this gal knows how to throw a party!! Sandi invited about a hundred of her closest friends for a Cajun Kitchen party, complete with band direct from southern Louisiana. Yep, you read that right. Waylon Thibodeaux and his band prepared a huge pan of Jambalaya for us and then entertained us with Cajun music for dancin' all night long.... what a blast! Those of you who are local might be familiar with Waylon from Fredericton's fall Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival as they have performed here a number of times. Here is Tim at left, serving up the Louisiana Jambalaya - it was some kinda good!!
After the meal and socializin' for a while,Waylon, Jimmy and Tim warmed up their instruments and got everyone's feet a-tappin'. Tim had a great time pickin' ladies out of the crowd to play the rubboard. Here are Sandi and her good friend Bebe (on the board) havin' a good time on the dance floor.
Waylon entertained us with stories and jokes in between songs, Tim chased all the good lookin' ladies to join him playin' the 'board, and Jimmy belted out the tunes on his squeezebox. It was a great party... some people danced, others just enjoyed the music, and we all had fun watching the birthday girl. They even threw out Mardi Gras beads to us all (so we could pretend we were in New Orleans??)
Thanks Sandi Mac, for invitin' us to your shindig. We had a blast. You sure know how to throw a good party! Lova ya babe!

"Without music, life is a journey through a desert." ~ Pat Conroy

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Kumihimo

Just finished another Kumihimo bracelet. I think this is my sixth. This one is what you'd call a "custom" job I guess. I made it specifically to go with an outfit- rayon batik skirt, teal top and tan shoes/purse. I'm off to The Big Apple next Tuesday- yep, New York City here I come!!
So I'm trying to get some outfits pulled together so packing will be easy. Yes NYC will never be the same.... 49 of us, from the Ladies Choir I sing with, are going on a little trip!! We're not performing, it's just a pleasure trip, primarily to see some Broadway Shows. I'm seeing Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys and Billy Elliot. Others are seeing Wicked, Lion King and a few more... I can't wait! There's nothing like a Broadway Show. I also plan to spend a good chunk of time in the Garment District: I'm not much of a shopper when it comes to "fashion" but I'm sure I'll find something to spend money on there.... haha
Tonight we're off to a big Birthday Bash.... IF the Birthday Girl allows, I'll share some stories and/or pics tomorrow...


"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out if you like people or hate them, than to travel with them." ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Stroll in the Rain...

Another few days of rain. Forecast says sun tomorrow, then more days of rain.... Ugh. I guess I should be grateful that I'm not having to water the gardens, and things are looking very lush and green. I have plants in bud now that don't usually bloom until late July. I guess everything is going to be early this year... My vegetable garden is all up, except for the carrots - they usually take a little longer, so not to worry...

I love to take a stroll around my yard after the rain... want to come with me for a look-see? You'll likely get your toes wet....


"I am sure it is a great mistake always to know enough to go in when it rains. One may keep snug and dry by such knowledge, but one misses a world of loveliness." ~ Adeline Knapp

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer is officially here!

The days are flying by.. where do they go? We have celebrated the official first day of Summer! Yeah! And Father's Day is behind us... We're hoping our computer problems are also behind us. Our nephew who is a computer "techie" was in town on Saturday so he came by and "tweaked" a few things for us.. I hope it lasts. I couldn't even sign in to my Blog a few days ago (most frustrating!!)
An update on my brother Wayne: (a big Thanks to all of you who have been enquiring about his progress) He had another check-in with the surgeon in Saint John today, as well as x-rays. The Doc seemed very pleased with how things are mending although he is still somewhat concerned about the big toe. He is waiting until the next appointment (in 3 weeks time!) and will then make some decisions re. the toe - whether it will need a skin graft or what. Wayne is off all the pain meds now so that's a good thing. He has some discomfort and some nerve "twitches" but no more major pain. He is a little apprehensive about the removal of the pins, but the Doc assures him it will not be a painful process.. I don't think Wayne is convinced... But overall, things are going as well as one could hope at this point. I took him some fresh soft molasses cookies today; judging by the grin on his face, I'm sure they made him feel better.... Love ya, bro!
"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together". ~ William Shakespeare

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary

June 18th - today would be my parents' 68th Wedding Anniversary. They were married in a little country church on the Miramichi in 1942. It poured rain, and Mum got "locked" in her bedroom and was very late getting to the church; I'm sure Dad was wondering if she had decided to bail on him... Apparently, as I remember the story, a piece of old oilcloth somehow got stuck under her bedroom door and she couldn't get the door opened. Everyone had left for the church but she and her dad - he eventually had to climb up on the roof, come in through the bedroom window, and I can't remember if he got the door open or if they both had to exit via the window... Along with the pouring rain, I'm sure she was pretty stressed, emotional, and close to tears by that time!! What a way to start your wedding day!
My Mum loved flowers and was a great gardener. Among her most favourites were roses, irises and peonies. When I was at Corn Hill Nursery yesterday, it seemed I was seeing these three at every turn, so needless to say my Mum was in my thoughts... So bouquets to you, Mum and Dad, today on your anniversary! I'm sure you are enjoying the exquisite gardens of heaven.

All photos on this post are from the Show Gardens at Corn Hill near Sussex.

"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning." ~ Lydia M. Child

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday...

If you live in the Maritimes, you just gotta love the Lupins! Like many things this spring, they are several weeks early. Usually they would just be coming into bloom right now, but in fact in many places they are almost past their peak already. I just couldn't resist sharing a few photos with you - these were taken very close to my home. If you are familiar with the award-winning children's book "Miss Rumphius" written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, like me you probably think of her each time you see a drift of lupins. I wish there were more people like Miss Rumphius to spread lupin seeds far and wide!

I am glad to say I now have my vegetable garden all planted (yeah!!) and I'm about 98% finished with my annuals. Just a few more to tuck in here and there. Of course, I'm off to Corn Hill Nursery tomorrow with a friend; we've been trying to make our way there for about 10 years now... So who knows, by tomorrow night I may have more stuff to plant.... I like to look for "out of the ordinary" plants, so I'm hoping to find something different there... Like fabric, one can never have too many plants.
"You must do something to make the world more beautiful". ~ Alice Rumphius

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm back...

I can't believe it's almost a week since I've posted something here.... I've been busy with a number of things plus we've been having some computer problems. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
I'm happy to say I've made good headway on gardening chores and I'm pretty much done. If we could just get a few days of warm sunshine and NO rain (is anyone listening??) so I could get the rest of my vegetable garden planted, I'd be soooo happy. Beans, carrots, cukes and tomatoes are still waiting to be planted... the rest is done.
On the reading front, I have read three good books this past week. I mentioned Alan Bradley's new book The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag last week and it did not disappoint. Another adventure with young sleuth Flavia DeLuce kept me turning the pages. I can't wait for Bradley's third book in the series, A Red Herring without Mustard due out in January 2011.

Several friends recommended New York Times bestseller Sarah's Key by Tatiana re Rosnay. So I put it on hold at the local library (what a great service!!) and picked it up Saturday afternoon. I started it after supper and literally did not put it down till I finished it around 1 a.m. I have to say it is one of the best books I have ever read - I cannot recommend it enough. To quote the book jacket: "PARIS, JULY 1942: Sarah, a 10 year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door to door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard - their secret hiding place - and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.
SIXTY YEARS LATER: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the round-up. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future."
Although the characters in this novel are fictitious, the round-up on July 16th, 1942 in Nazi-occupied Paris is not. I knew nothing of this event when thousands of Jewish families were herded into the Velodrome D'Hiver, held there for several days with no food, water or toilet facilities, then put onto trains to the death camps.
To say this story is compelling, is putting it mildly. It's shocking. It's moving. It's mesmerizing. You will not be able to stop reading....
I've made several batches of one of my fav Muffin recipes this past week - Rhubarb Muffins. Yummmm. Give them a try:

Rhubarb Muffins

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
1/4 cup slivered almonds
sugar to sprinkle on top

Mix dry ingds. Beat egg, add milk, oil and almond extract. Pour egg mixture into dry ingds., stir just until moistened. Fold in rhubarb and nuts. Spoon into muffin pan, sprinkle with white sugar, bake at 375F for about 18 minutes. Makes 1 dozen. Sooo good served warm with a glass of cold milk...
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ~ Beverly Sills

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Family Swim

Not a lot to say today... just thought you might get a smile from these photos of a family swim...
Photos taken yesterday on Mactaquac headpond...

Swimming is an easy thing,
If you know how to do it.
You push the water wide apart,
And then you just go through it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rain, rain, go away...

What are you doing during this long rainy stretch? I'm thinking "Enough already!!" Let's have some warm sunny days again... We've had quite enough rain to last us a while now.. the earth is waterlogged, methinks... My vegetable garden is tilled and waiting to be planted... how many days is it going to be before we can walk in the garden and not have 5 pound clods of mud sticking to our boots?? I got only half of my annuals in the ground before the never-ending rain... my pots and containers are planted and needing sun...
I have accomplished some much needed tidying in my's amazing what you find when you tidy up! If this rain keeps up I'll be finishing up the Blueberries and Cream miniature - I'm working on it today and you'll likely see it very soon.
I've finished up a few books too - Atonement by Ian McEwen, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and last night I read The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day. If you have read Water for Elephants, you'd probably enjoy The Circus in Winter. The author grew up in Peru, Indiana, the small town winter headquarters of the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus at the turn of the century. Her fictional story collection is based on stories passed down through her family's generations, and much other "local history". The accompanying black and white photos are actual photos from that era when "the circus came to town". I found it an enjoyable read and certainly a different view of the magical circus when seen from "behind the scenes". The Book Thief, narrated by Death himself, is the World War II era story of Leisel Meminger who is taken to live with a foster family in a working-class neighbourhood in Molching, on the outskirts of Munich. Her foster father teaches her to read, with the aid of books that she steals when the opportunity arises. Zusak weaves a mesmorizing story of Leisel's friendships with Max the Jewish refugee, neighbourhood "tough-kid" Rudy, and the Mayor's reclusive wife who allows Leisel to steal books from her impressive library. Don't be fooled by it's location in the "Young Adult" section of the bookstore - this New York Times and USA Today bestseller has won a number of awards and gives us a new perspective on this dark period of history - life in Nazi Germany from the viewpoint of ordinary German citizens.
Tomorrow, I'm picking up The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag from my local library. I can't wait to read this second Flavia deLuce mystery by Alan Bradley. Have you read his first in this mystery series- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie? You can read what I thought of it here..


"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." ~Joseph Brodsky

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pop Pop Poppies!

I know one is not supposed to show favouritism, but I can't help it- these Oriental Poppies are among my most favourites in the garden... I love these huge blooms of soft shrimpy pink.. their silky tissue-papery petals.. their whorled seedpods! This variety is called Princess Victoria Louise. I wish they lasted longer- they are only at their best for a few days. And this year it may be less than that as they are getting battered and beaten with the heavy rains we've had the last 2 days... But they are so beautiful, I had to share them with you. Their blooming this week proves we are about two and a half weeks ahead of last year as I can remember taking photos of Laura on Prom night last June, standing beside the blooming poppies...
I want to thank those of you who have been enquiring about my brother Wayne. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and well-wishes. He is doing OK. He has been home from hospital for a week now, and today was his first trip back to Saint John to see the surgeon. The Doc was pleased with how things are healing, except for his big toe. He said he may have to take a bit more of it off. We'll have to wait and see. But everything else seems to be doing well. He took all the sutures out today, the pins still remain for awhile yet. He is managing the pain fairly well now and his appetite is improving. He is so very lucky- it could have been so much worse. Had there not been someone closeby or within shouting distance, it could have ended tragically as he would surely have bled to death quite quickly... Thanks for keeping him in your prayers!
Love ya Wayne!
In times of test, family is best.
~ Burmese Proverb

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


What comes to mind when you think of the colour purple? The colour of royalty? A symbol of spirituality? Power? Bravery? The rock band Deep Purple or Prince's Purple Rain? Or maybe you are remembering the rock and roll hit of 1958, Purple People Eater? Did you know purple was Cleopatra's favourite color, or that it is the color of mourning for widows of some eastern Asian countries? Maybe you think of lilacs, or lavender, or violets...

Think of all the delicious words we use to describe this colour: grape, magenta, lavender, orchid, plum, violet, lilac, thistle, mauve, amethyst, eggplant, mulberry, pomegranate, heliotrope...

Purple has long been considered a magical and mysterious colour, and the colour of royalty, nobility and authority. It is said if you surround yourself with purple, you will have piece of mind. It is supposedly a good colour to use in meditation. Being the combination of red and blue, the warmest and coolest colors, purple is believed to be the ideal colour. It is often a favourite with children.
I had a friend at University who LOVED purple - Johnny Jones.... everything he wore was purple- purple shirts, pants, socks... He was from the Island and was my Chem Lab partner in our first year. I always think of him when I think of purple.. wonder if he still wears purple or if he tired of it...

I have to say it is one of my favourites too. I think purple and green is a striking color combination and I love it in my garden. Since it has been a rainy dismal day, I thought I'd share with you a few of the purples in my garden today... From the top- Bachelor's Buttons, Giant Allium with adoring Bee, and Japanese Iris. And I'll leave you with a bit of purple nonsense...

The Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess

I've never seen a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one!

P.S. No purple cows in my garden.. not today anyhow...
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