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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Memories of my Mother

I miss my Mum. She passed away 8 years ago today, just three weeks short of her 86th birthday. After a lifetime of good health, she suffered two heart attacks in 1993 and a stroke in 1996. It left her with little speech and weakness on one side. But, being the determined lady that she was, she continued to live in her own home for 6 more years, with some help, until the day she died, peacefully on her own couch - just the way she wanted it. I was alone with her that day; we had shared a nice lunch, ending with some yummy chocolate. Then she went and laid down for a nap as she often did after lunch.... and peacefully slipped away. What a way to go..... we should all be so fortunate. (I can only hope I too will die with the lingering taste of chocolate in my mouth... sigh...)
My mother was indeed quite a lady. She grew up in a rural area, the oldest of six. After leaving home at 15 to live with her grandparents in order to finish high school, she then continued on to become a nurse. She was never afraid of hard work and continued to nurse for a number of years while raising her children and helping my father in his business pursuits. She eventually did all the "bookwork" and accounting, and was certainly the backbone of the growing family business.
I guess one has to reach a certain age, or level of maturity before one truly appreciates their parents. Looking back now, I realize how very lucky I was to have two such loving parents. They always made sure we had good healthy food and got lots of fresh air, exercise and sleep - something many children today do not experience. Mum made sure that if there was an activity we wanted to participate in, she somehow found the money to make it happen. My brothers did Cubs and Scouts, I did Brownies and Girl Guides. I was so very fortunate to have piano lessons and many other musical activities - various church and school choirs, high school musical productions and so on, and my love of music has never diminished. Thanks Mum. When I left home to attend University in another province, like most 18 year olds I couldn't wait to "get out of Dodge"... thinking I would never return to live in my boring little hometown. But it wasn't long before I realized what a great place it was and how lucky I was to have such loving caring parents.
Mum always stood up for me and made sure I had the same (or equal) opportunities as my older brothers. She taught me to stand on my own two feet and made sure I got a good education so I could support myself. She taught us to work hard, to be thoughtful of and helpful to others and treat everyone fairly. She taught us so much by example, much more than we were even aware of, as children.
I credit my Mother for my love of nature and gardening for she was certainly a nature lover and had a very "green" thumb. She was "green" before her time (lol) as she was always thrifty and never wasteful of anything, and recycling (or re-purposing) was just a natural part of her life. Certainly my love of all things fibre came from her as well, as I grew up watching her knit, sew, do many types of needlework and hooking - none of which interested me much then, but look at me now - following in her footsteps!! My love of travel also began when I traveled with Mum and Dad as a child. Looking back at my first solo trip at age 17 - by Greyhound bus to visit my Mum's only sister in West Virginia, I can hardly believe they let me do that all alone! I had to change buses in every large city down the eastern seaboard, and I made it, but not without some nervous hours at home for my Mum I'm sure, waiting by the phone... When I left for 3.5 months of backpacking around Europe the day after graduating from University, my Mother's sage advice was - "Use your common sense, and be careful. You have a tongue- all you have to do is use it. If you are in trouble - just ask for help." (Of course she was forgetting that I only spoke English and minimal French - no German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch.....) My love of reading also is the result of a mother who taught me to love books. She introduced me to the Library, but we both loved spending time in a bookstore, and she never once said no to the purchase of a worthwhile book.
There have been so many moments during my life when I can hear my Mother's wise words. She was indeed a wonderful person- a bit on the shy side, never one for crowds or big gatherings other than family ones. She was content to spend time by herself with her hobbies . She was always willing to help someone in need and supported many worthwhile causes in the community. She was good to her parents and all her siblings, and helped them all her life in whatever ways she could. She was kind and compassionate, and loved animals and all living things. She was a lifelong learner and always tried to better her skills. She was a great cook and would never turn anyone away from our table, always finding a way to "spin things out" to feed one more.
I miss my Mum every day. I still find myself thinking I'll just call Mum and ask her how to do... whatever. Or I wonder what she would say or advise about a certain predicament. I regret that my own children have few if any memories of her, other than after her stroke. They never knew the wonderful warm loving person she was. She would be so very proud of them both today...
I am lucky to have some great pictures of her in her younger years, and thought you might enjoy seeing them. At the top is a baby photo of her. The next one was taken while she was in (nursing) training, I'm guessing in the late 30's. The last two were taken just after my parents were married, I think (1942). She was getting ready for a big dance and I'm not sure who took this photo while she was doing her nails. The last shot is a closeup taken on the same night, and as you can see it has been tinted.
Yes indeed she was a wonderful lady. If I can be half the woman and Mother she was, I'll be happy.
I love you Mum, and miss you every day.


A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. ~Agatha Christie

Meet Rosebud Angel

Yes I'm still busy stitching!! Here's my latest "finish" - she's known as Rosebud Angel. She's a Mill Hill Charmed Angel, and comes in kit form, similar to the Charmed Santa Faces I've shown you. Like the Santas she is stitched on 14 count perforated paper and all the supplies come in the kit- pattern, paper, floss, beads, needles, charm and ribbon. This series came out in 2000 so may be hard to find now in your LNS. I've had this kit for "a while" and finally got around to it this year. She measures 6"w x 2.5"h . and her kit number is MHCA 20, in case you might want to order her. I have checked and this series of 6 angels are still shown here on the Wichelt website so I'm assuming they can still be ordered. I collect angels so am happy to add this little sweetheart to my tree this year.
Isn't she cute? Next Monday I'll show you her "sister", Holly Angel, who's a redhead rather than a blonde.


An angel in the house they say, will guard your family night and day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Here is the other project I was working on during our Guild Workday last Saturday. I couldn't share it with you then, as I knew Laura would see it and it was a surprise for her. A little something to hang in her apartment for a bit of Christmas spirit...It is a long narrow wallhanging, or banner, if you like. (She has hung it on her door.) Nothing fancy- just quick and easy .. and cute!! Realized after it was in the mail that I forgot to sew the jingle bell on the tiptop of his hat....

Here is the little tip I mentioned in an earlier post re. the binding, when first attaching it to your quilt by machine. If you are doing a large piece, or anything that needs a long length of binding, you might try this: If you have an extension table for your machine, or if your sewing table has a "leg" or something at the front like you see here- roll the binding up around your hand, and place the "leg" or post in the center of the circle. The binding will unroll as you stitch along, and it will not get twisted, caught on something, fall to the floor, or any of the other scenarios that usually happen when you have a great long length of binding. Works like a charm. I cannot take credit for this idea- I read it somewhere..and can't remember where. So to whoever thought of this, a Big Thank You!!

We had a beautiful snowfall yesterday. It was so "picture perfect" when I went to bed last night after midnight- all was still and the trees were so pretty. I got out this morning before the wind came up and snapped a few quick photos in my backyard. Hope you enjoy them.


"Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again." ~ Bill Morgan Jr.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ollie is Quite the Helper...

One of the projects I was finishing up last week at our Guild workday was a pair of fuzzy cozy flannel sleep pants for my daughter. She always seems to be cold, so she loves anything that's flannel. I mailed them off to her on Monday and she received them yesterday, and is wearing them tonight. It's been a while since I have done any garment sewing, and when you have purchased a new pattern and the person is not here to try on, it involves a bit of guess-work. I was questioning the size and ended up using some of the Small and some of the Medium size markings. Laura says they are a perfect fit so I was lucky. I put a drawstring in the waist, so that solved the "how long do I cut this elastic?" problem.
Thought you might enjoy seeing what a HUGE help Ollie was to me when I was cutting out the pieces. He really loved the nice crinkly rattley tissue paper and he was convinced I was doing the entire job just to entertain him!!! He enjoyed trying to pull the entire length of fabric to the floor and when that didn't work he decided he should get right up where the action was. He did a great job of holding things in place till I got it all pinned down! lol Perhaps I should think about renting him out as an Apprentice for a Seamstress??
One bright idea I had while doing the waist and the drawstring was this: you know how hard it can be to thread a drawstring or elastic through a casing when you come to the seam allowances... if they have been pressed open, sometimes it is difficult to get by that spot. Instead of pressing them open, just in the waist area I pressed them to one side- all going in the same direction around the waist- lets' say clockwise. So when I threaded the drawstring through, there were no "fetch-ups" at the seams. Worked like a charm.
In another day or two I'll show you the quick Christmas Banner I made for her (now that she has received it) and share a hint to make applying the binding a little easier.


A dog is a dog , but a cat is a purrrrson.

And the Winners are......

I hope you all enjoyed my Giveaway- I certainly had fun! I not only got a good number of comments/entrants, but also a number of new Followers - a whole lot of new friends and new Blogs to check out. Yippeee! I hope you all will enjoy dropping in for a visit now and then, following my progress on new projects, and listening to my ramblings!

And now, without further ado: the WINNERS were drawn by my Hubby last night, and they are both Bloggers from Ontario!!

The first name drawn was Karen from For The Love of Needle and Thread. Congrats Karen!! You get first choice of the Santas. Let me know which one you would like.

The second name drawn was Dolores of True Blue Canadian. Dolores, once Karen has let me know which one she would like, you can choose from the remaining two Santas. Or, if you really really wanted the one Karen chose, I'll make another one for you. You might have to wait a week or two for it though... :)

I'll get these Santas in the mail within the next few days. This was so much fun, I think I'll do another Giveaway in February for my second Blogiversary!! Sound like a good idea?


"His eyes - how they twinkled, his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow...."
~ Clement Clarke Moore

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's a Whole New World.... (Post #300 Woohoo!)

When you go into a Quilt Shop these days, it's sometimes confusing and you might wonder if you are in a Bakery instead. There's Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Honey Buns (getting hungry yet?) and the newest - Candy Bars. No, I'm not talking about indulging your sweet tooth (although that's one of my favourite things to do, especially if chocolate is involved...hint hint wink wink). No, I'm talking about fabric "pre-cuts". You probably already know that a Jelly Roll is a pack of 2.5" strips and a Honey Bun is a pack of 1.5" strips. A Layer Cake is a pack of 10" squares and a Charm Pack has 5" squares. The newest "sweet" on the block is a Candy Bar which is a pack of 2.5" x 5" rectangles. And although we don't see them often here in my corner of the world, apparently there are also Dessert Rolls (5 strips that are 5" x 45") and Turnovers (80 6" triangles). Pre-cuts- a whole new world in quilting. Very clever marketing strategy!! All of these, of course are collections of co-ordinated fabrics.
I seem to be a bit behind the times in that I have not foraged far into this new world of "pre-cuts". I tend to like to choose my own fabrics, and Lord knows, I've chosen quite a few over the years- I could probably open up my own Fabric Shop (that is IF I wanted to part with them, which I don't. Yet.) I did buy my first Bali Pop this past summer- that's a pack of co-ordinated 2.5" strips of Bali fabrics from Hoffman. I love love love the colors and can't wait to use it. Just one small problem- I'm still waiting for the inspiration to hit. What to do with it? I'm still looking for a design I really like....
But I digress. This post was to talk about my latest quick project. I picked up a Charm pack recently - my first! How exciting! I chose North Woods Botanical (by Holly Taylor for Moda). I was in a new shop and I have to admit- I just couldn't help myself - I simply got carried away with the excitement, frenzy, call it whatever you want. (C'mon, admit it- You know EXACTLY what I mean!!) ANYWAY- when I got home, I thought now what am I going to do with this????
I rarely buy Modas. I rarely buy Christmas fabric. WHAT was I thinking? I do like the more subdued reds and greens and I did love the prints of pine sprigs, pine cones, holly leaves, etc.
Well, after some serious web and blog surfing I did come across something that fit my bill- quick, easy, not too large - the Disappearing Nine Patch. Yes! That's what I'll make - 4 large blocks will give me 16 blocks to make into a table center. Perfect.

So - here it is: I used 36 of the 42 squares in the Charm Pack and made 4 nine patches. Since Charm Packs are 5" squares, these are 14" (unfinished) nine patches. Here you see several- I chose 5 darks and 4 lights for each block- darks in center and corners.

As I laid this one out, I thought - can't do that- 2 greens on top, 2 reds on bottom...but then I realized it won't matter. You'll see why next...

After pressing the seams, cut each nine patch in half, vertically and horizontally, giving you four smaller blocks. So I will end up with 16 blocks.

Here is one possible layout.

Here is another.

I'm going to play around on my design wall to see what other layouts I can come up with. I'll share the finished design with you in a few days.....

This is a very simple quilt design - easy to construct, great for beginners. Great for scraps, also great for Charm Packs. It may also work for an I Spy quilt. Doing the Math is very simple- take the size of your original fabric squares, multiply by 3 (3 across in the 9 patch), divide by 2 (when you cut in half) and subtract 1 (for seam allowances). The resulting number will be the finished size of your block.
So if you are using a Charm Pack: 5" x 3 = 15/2 = 7.5 -1= 6.5"
If you had 6" squares: 6" x 3 = 18/2 = 9 -1 = 8"
If you use 7" squares: 7" x 3 = 21/2 = 10.5 -1 = 9.5"

I saw this Disappearing Ninepatch on Judy Laquidara's blog. If you're not familiar with Judy, she is very prolific and makes many beautiful scrap quilts. Definitely worth a frequent look!!

Don't forget today is the last day to enter my Giveaway. I'll be drawing the Winners tonight at 9 pm Atlantic Time, and announcing them tomorrow morning... See you then!! :)

And a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends/ followers/readers!!


Is a nine patch part of a twelve step program?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet Lapland Santa

Here he is - the third and final Arctic Circle Santa- this happy gent is from Lapland and is accompanied by his reindeer friend. He measures 3.75" w by 4.75" h. This kit series came out in 2009. In case you might want to order them or look for them at your LNS (local needlework shop), Greenland Santa is #MH20-9301, Lapland Santa is #MH20-9302 and Nunavut Santa is #MH20-9303. I love these little kits and there are always ample supplies - almost enough left to do a second one. All floss numbers and bead numbers are supplied so you could easily buy more to make additional pieces.
I'm now working on another little Mill Hill stitched and beaded piece- I'll show it to you next Monday. Here's a tiny peek at left- she's a cutie!!
My next post will be #300!! In celebration, I'm having a Giveaway- have you entered yet? The draw will be held on Thursday Nov. 25 at 9pm local time (Atlantic Standard Time). Don't wait till the last minute. Click here to see the details. Good Luck!
A fellow blogger, Marie over at SRE Deluxe, is also having a Giveaway for her 300th post. Check her out here and enter her draw too - it runs till Dec. 1st.


Christmas is a time of joy,
A time for love and cheer,
A time for making memories,
To last throughout the year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Post #298.. getting close!

Only two more posts till I hit the 300 mark. Check out my Giveaway here if you don't already know about it. The more entries, the more fun it is. And a Big Welcome to all my new Followers! I hope you will enjoy following my ramblings! How do you like my new Visitors Widget? That spinning globe shows us where viewers are located...what fun to see those little dots pop up all over the world! I can hardly believe in just one week there are that many international viewers! Wow! I guess there are people out there listening !! :)
I've had another busy weekend. Yesterday our Guild held a workday- members could spend the day sewing on whatever projects they wanted; I worked on several things- neither of which I can show yet (shhh- it's a secret). One is finished and ready to mail off to Laura, (I'll share pics once it is received), the other is still a WIP. You can go here to see a few pics from our workday. I'm also still stitching every evening when I finally sit down to relax. Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see the third and final Arctic Santa. Once he is revealed, I'll show you a hint of what my next stitching project is...
This afternoon, when I had planned to be in my studio, I ended up taking a little trip upriver to Northampton to an Open House at The Jolly Farmer with my brother Leigh and SIL. Having never been before, I really didn't know what to expect- I thought it was just a large greenhouse or two. Wow- was I surprised! It is one huge operation with much more than just greenhouses. They also sell fresh produce (in season), meat, honey, frozen goodies like meat and fruit pies, quiche and frozen cookie dough logs, granola, cookies and fudge. They offer agricultural and turf products like soils, growing mixes and compost tea, hardwood products like cutting boards and knife blocks... suffice it to say I was amazed! Of course the greenhouses (which cover acres!!) are full of poinsettias and cyclamen this time of year. I could not resist snapping a few photos to share with you. It was just so wonderful to look at fresh blooms after all the dreary November weather we have had... Enjoy!! If you live in my area and have never been, it is well worth the 1 hour drive. Their next Open House is in May- and you KNOW I'll be there!!
See you tomorrow- Lapland Santa is waiting to meet you!


Happiness is a journey, not a destination

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

Today is my brother Wayne's birthday! I won't tell you how many "years young" he is, suffice it to say he's older than I (by "about" 10 years.. haha). I made him a batch of Nut Brittle this afternoon. Like me, he loves nuts so I thought he'd enjoy that. I thought I'd give you a little update on Wayne since many of you were so kind this past spring/summer to keep him in your thoughts and prayers. For those of you who don't know, he had a serious foot injury in May, when he crushed all the bones in his left foot. He was doing a move for the family business, picking up a Mobile Office Unit from LNG Port in Saint John. While he was lowering the trailer onto the hitch, something slipped and the weight of it all came down on his left foot. Luckily there was a "flat shoe" on the bottom of the hitch post or it would have gone right through his foot like a cookie cutter! Needless to say he was pinned there with his foot driven right into the ground (steel toed safety boots didn't help much), and if someone on the site had not been within shouting distance he would have bled to death right on the spot. To make a long story short: surgery, 10 pins in foot, wires replacing many ligaments and partial amputation of big toe; months of pain, extreme swelling, infection, meds reaction, many trips back to see surgeon in Saint John.... Happily, we're now "coming out the other side" of this whole thing. Pins are all out, cast is gone, walker is gone and he is "sort of" walking - with cane, crutches or sometimes nothing at all for support. However he cannot yet put full weight onto that foot - he is walking very cautiously. At his last visit with the Doc, he was told the bones are slowly healing but they are very thin. I guess with no walking or weight bearing for months, they have lost mass? So it will take a while to build that back up again. Methinks it will be a quiet winter for Mr. Wayne, with little to no snowmobiling, I'm thinkin'. And I suspect Mr. Arthritis will be moving in... He still has no feeling at all on the top of his foot (but does have feeling on the sole). His toes are rigid and he finds it hard to put on a boot. But he has made significant progress, for sure! We are so very grateful for his recovery and I do thank all of you who said prayers for him back in May and June - we sure appreciated it. It was nice to celebrate another birthday today. Happy Birthday Bro! Love ya!

Thought you might like my easy peasy recipe for Peanut Brittle (done in the microwave):

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup salted peanuts (I often used salted mixed nuts)
1 tsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda

In a 2 qt. glass measure, combine sugar and corn syrup, stir. Cook at high 4 minutes. Stir, add nuts, stir well. Cook at high an additional 3.5 minutes. add butter and vanilla, stir well. Cook at high 1.5 minutes. Add baking soda, stir gently until light and foamy. Immediately pour mixture onto buttered cookie sheet. Spread out as thinly as you can. Let cool, then break into pieces. Yield- about 1.5 pounds. Caution - mixture gets extremely HOT, be very careful not to burn yourself, and do not make this when young children are around... and DON'T lick the spoon!!! :)
Thanks to Joyce H. for this recipe (from our Guild Cookbook)

Don't forget to check out my Giveaway here. It is open till next Thursday Nov. 25


He ain't heavy, he's my BIG brother...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time for a Giveaway!

The more I "blog-surf" the more giveaways I see, so I think it's high time I did a giveaway. My "excuse" is I'll very shortly be making my 300th post! I think this is as good a reason as any, don't you? (*wink) I don't know where the time has gone, and I certainly can't believe that in less than 2 years in Blogland, I am at this point. And to think I was worried about "what will I ever talk about?" ha!
I must say though, in all this time, I haven't gathered many followers.. of course I haven't really worked hard at that either.... Nor do I get many comments; it seems to be the same few who comment all the time.. I like to hear from you, readers - no one wants to think they are talking to themselves..haha!
SO- here's how the giveaway is going to work: 1. You don't have to be a blogger to enter- it is open to all readers. But if you are not a blogger, you will have to include your email address with your comment so I can reach you if you are a lucky winner!
2. You must leave a comment on this post to say Hello. I will choose a winner next Thursday, Nov. 25 - one month before Christmas, by pulling a name "from the hat". And - if you're not a Blogger, I'd love you to tell me where you live!
3. If you are already a Follower of my Blog, or if you join as a new Follower, I will add your name two extra times.
4. If you have a blog and mention my giveaway there (you could even link to my post!) I'll add your name two more times. Of course, you'll have to tell me that you have done this...
And what might you win, you ask? You could win one of the stitched beaded Santa ornaments shown on this post - Saint Nick (top), San Nicolo (left) or Santa Claus (below) - your choice. If I get more than 100 comments, or I reach 50
followers, I'll draw two winners. If I get both - over 100 comments AND 50 followers, I'll draw three winners! I will add a little something else to the winnings as well, depending on if you are a quilter, crazy quilter, a stitcher or whatever your passion is....
So, dear readers - I'm waiting!! I want to hear from YOU!

Edit: Mon. Nov.22 - I just realized that some viewers may not know how to comment, or become a Follower. Anyone can leave a comment - all you do is click on the word "Comments" below- a white box will open up - type your comment in the box, then below it click on "Comment as". If you do not have a Blog or Google account, select Anonymous in the drop down menu. (just remember to add your name and email addy in your comment so I'll know who you are in case you are the lucky winner!!) Then simply hit the "Post Comment" button. Simple as that!
To become a Follower, you must have a Google account. Scroll way down my sidebar to find the box of Followers, then simply click on the word Follow and follow the prompts.


Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Introducing Nunavut Santa

As promised, I have a small "finish" to share with you today. Last year, right after Christmas, I started a new series of Christmas ornaments, cross-stitched on perforated paper. In January I completed the first Arctic Circle Santa, known as Greenland Santa, seen here at right. You can read what I wrote about him last year here. Greenland Santa is 4.75" by 3.25". These are sold in kit form, by Mill Hill; the kit contains everything needed for completion- pattern, perforated paper, threads, needles and beads. I have done many MH kits and have never had an issue; they are always generous with the materials, giving you more than enough floss and beads. Their pattern charts are always well done and easy to read.
Today I have the second in the series of three to show you - Nunavut Santa. I love his friend the polar bear! And his parka reminds me of my Hudson Bay parka - it is sooo warm on a bone chilling winter's day... Nunavut Santa is 4.75"h by 3.75"w. I have enjoyed working on these Santas- they've gotten me out of my November funk, and beginning to feel that Christmas spirit. Come back next Monday to meet Lapland Santa.


"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say "I used everything You gave me." ~ Erma Bombeck

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What a Weekend...

What a busy busy weekend. It was great to have Mark and Laura home for a few days. They were busy working on papers that are due later this month as well as spending some time with friends and family. Laura and I went to our local farmer's market on Saturday morning- one of our favourite weekend "things to do", and of course she got in some Mall time too... I spent considerable time in the kitchen so could send them back with frozen lasagna, chili, spaghetti sauce, banana bread, muffins, and fresh apples, Clementines, carrots, broccoli, and some other groceries. We lined a pair of mitts Laura finished knitting while home with fleece, so they'll be extra warm, and I got a pair of jeans mended for Mark. I was going to get a new pair of flannel pajama pants made for Laura, but that didn't happen. Maybe this coming week... Ollie is exhausted from all the extra playtime and attention he received!
I did sit down late last night and finished Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It was a quick and easy read, and a heartwarming story of father and son relationships, as well as young love. I didn't know much about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, nor about the frosty relations between Chinese and Japanese at this time. Guess I didn't stop to think of the fear and prejudice there would be towards the Japanese after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Anyway, a great read, and a slightly different "slant" on life during the early 40's.
I should finish the last outline stitching and beading on my Arctic Santas tonight so may have one ready to show you tomorrow... Y'all come back !!
I will soon be hitting the 300th post mark, and since I've never done a Giveaway, I think it's time!! So stay tuned ... you will have to comment to be entered in the draw, and Followers will get their name in the hat an extra time. Stay tuned for more details soon...


"A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise that you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad." ~John Andrew Holmes

Friday, November 12, 2010

November blahs...

I've said it before, I hate November. It always seems to be a dreary month, the beautiful colored leaves are gone, and what remains is brown, grey, monochromatic November... "All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey..." I remember well that song by The Mamas and The Papas... California Dreamin' ... it was their first big hit.... I always seem to get into a bit of a funk in early November and this year is no exception. I guess I just hate the coming of winter and cold weather; I wish we could skip from October right into May... But that's not going to happen, is it? Not in this part of the world anyway....
I have my two kiddos home this weekend, so that's a little sunshine in my life. I've spent lots of time in the kitchen the last few days. Made a big pan of lasagna and a pan of brownies to "welcome" them home, yesterday a big batch of Chili to freeze for Laura, and today a big batch of Spaghetti sauce for Mark. I'll do a few Banana Breads tomorrow and maybe something else, so they'll have some homemade goodies to take back, to keep them going the next four weeks and through exams, until they are home for Christmas Break...
I'm working away on the beading on two cross-stitched Arctic Santas- will be showing you one next week for sure. Beading is slow work, especially when Ollie is around, constantly wanting to be on my knee.. he has upset more than one tray of tiny beads.... It's a good thing you're cute Ollie...
I started a new book this evening. I haven't done any reading for a while and I had reserved this book at the Library. They called on Wednesday to say it was in, and of course once I picked it up, I couldn't resist. It is soooo good, and a quick read too... Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It's the story of conflict between father and son, the sweet innocence of a first love, the cruelty of racism and the evacuation of Japanese Americans in the Seattle area to Internment camps during World War II.


A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer's wave goodbye.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." ~Joseph Campbell

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays....

...always get me down.. Do you remember that song? Well we are having lots of rain here in the Maritimes... man oh man- it just won't stop. It's been raining for four days now, seems like forever. Many communities are having serious troubles with flooding, having received a foot (300 mm.) of rain!!! At least flooding is not a problem here. As I've said before, I am so grateful my Grandfather had the foresight to buy the family farm on a hill....
I seem to have been in a bit of a funk lately... maybe it's the wet weather. I'll use that as my excuse. I have nothing to show you for my time in the last week, but I will have photos soon- I've been working on some Christmas cross-stitch. If you followed me last Christmas, I shared with you my Charmed beaded Santas. I have been working on two Arctic Santas for this year and will soon be ready to share them with you. The stitching is complete, but I still have beading to do... Stay tuned...


Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while. ~Kin Hubbard

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

F.A.R.T.S. system works for me!

FARTS. That's what I'm doing these days. Now lest you think I'm referring to something distasteful or crude, let me explain. This week is my Guild's annual Retreat. And I am not there. For a variety of reasons which I will not delve into here, I decided I would take a break this year. (You know I do have enough at home to keep me busy...) So although I'm missing out on the fun and camaraderie, I figured I should make good use of these few days and have something to show for my efforts while many of my buddies are sewing their hearts out and coming back with new projects complete or close to it....
I figured it was the perfect week to tackle my studio and do a good cleaning, tidying, reorganizing. And I'm using the FARTS system.... What?? You've never heard of the FARTS system? It's a very simple five steps that works well for tidying and organizing. I think it was Libby Lehman who taught me about this...
1. File - deal with the paper. Set up a good filing system and use it! Get all those papers filed so you can find them when you need them: notes from classes taken, newsletters, Guild Lists (membership, Library holdings, etc.), patterns or articles you've torn from magazines, etc. etc.
2. Act - do it! Do all those little jobs you've put aside- find that book your friend wanted to borrow. Put those pattern pieces back in the envelope. Tidy up those ribbons that are overflowing their basket. Renew that subscription. Make a list of all the little jobs you've been meaning to take care of - I love crossing things off a list- it gives me great satisfaction and a
sense of accomplishment!
3. Recycle - I try to recycle and find new uses for things whenever I can. I reuse containers to hold small things (especially Crazy Quilting supplies like threads, beads, etc.), recycle file folders by re-labelling and/or colorcoding, etc. Empty thread spools go to the local kindergarten classes. I have a big bag full to deliver tomorrow....
4. Toss - If you can't use it, lose it. If you can't bear to throw it out, pass it on to someone else. Bring old magazines to Guild for someone else to enjoy. Donate fabric you no longer care for to charity projects at your Guild or otherwise. It's amazing how much better you feel when things are cleaned out and re-organized.
5. Shred - Shred anything of importance...
Simple as that - FARTS. File Act Recycle Toss Shred. That's what I'm doing. Mostly filing and tossing.... It feels good....


"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned". ~Peter Marshall
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