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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"You say To-may-to...

..and I say To-mah-to".. Isn't that how the song goes? Well anyway, I'm (happily) up to my eyeballs in tomatoes today. My garden crop was a total failure- lost them all to blight. I don't think I got more than a half dozen good tomatoes this year- the rest turned black and rotted in a very short time. How frustrating after nursing them along all summer. So I purchased a 22 pound box from my favourite friendly farmer at the Market on Saturday. I made one more batch of Ratatouille and am stewing and freezing the rest today. I love having a good supply of tomatoes on hand in the freezer- I use them all year long, for spaghetti sauce, chili, salsa, etc. Your own "home grown"  just taste SOO much better than those from a can... (If any of my local readers should happen to know of someone with an excess of garden tomatoes that they're trying to get rid of.. PLEASE let me know.   :)
I'm also busy gearing up for another "teaching season". I have six classes scheduled  for this fall, all out of town. Three are within the next 10 days, all different. So, that takes some prep time plus I'm trying to get one more Miniature done, since the class this Thursday is on Miniatures. I will have the top done, but it won't be quilted - I'll have to take it as a "flimsy". You'll see it in another day or two. I'm just sashing the blocks now...
In the evenings when I finally sit down, I'm stitching away on a new little Autumn piece- it's nearing completion too.
Last night was our first Embroiderers' Guild meeting, and tomorrow we are fortunate to go on a tour at our local Beaverbrook Art Gallery. As well as seeing the gallery's collection of tapestries, needlepoint and other embroidery-related exhibit pieces, we will be able to see Queen Elizabeth's coronation gown!! You can be sure I'll be taking some photos, IF they are allowed. Stay tuned....


Gardeners are down to earth.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Spiced Apple Jelly Recipe

Several readers asked for the Apple Jelly recipe, so here you go. First, I should tell you that jelly is a rather finicky thing to make, so if you have never tried jelly before, I strongly recommend doing it with an experienced jelly-maker for the first time or two, as it is something that's hard to do just from written instructions. Much better to have someone "show you" - especially when it comes to knowing when the juice has cooked long enough and is ready for bottling. I speak from experience - I have undercooked and overcooked, it can be hard to get it "just right".
This is an old family recipe- from my Grandmother Kelly. Her name was Lil, short for Lillian. I barely remember her- the only thing I can clearly remember is that she always kept maple buds (chocolate candy) on the top shelf in her kitchen cupboard, for treating her grandchildren. And she was a great cook! Funny what kids remember, eh?
Of course you will need a jelly bag- you can purchase a stand with a bag to use, or you can make your own from unbleached muslin or an old pillowcase which is what I did. Choose a clean pillowcase you no longer use, but make sure the fabric is still strong and it has NO holes. I simply cut several slits in the hemmed end, and threaded through a strong string or cord- I actually used a length of double fold bias tape - the length you need will be determined by where you are going to hang your bag, and how high it will need to be. I hang mine in the basement from a nail driven in a floor joist, and the large bowl under it sits on top of my freezer. It's out of the way and can hang undisturbed for a day or two. It would be wise to figure out where you will hang your jelly bag before you begin, and make your drawstring ties the appropriate length.

Lil's Spiced Apple Jelly:

Ingredients: Apples or crabapples or a combination of both - firm, not too ripe
water and white vinegar
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
1 Tblsp. whole cloves
white sugar

I usually use a combination of crabapples and apples. I try to find crabs with nice red skins, so I get good red color. This year I picked up a 3 litre basket at the farmer's market. I add at least 10-12 large apples, usually Paula Reds or Macs- again, I choose apples with nice red skins if possible. The ripeness of the fruit is important- they cannot be under-ripe or over-ripe. (Degree of ripeness affects the level of pectin in the fruit- VERY important when making jelly as pectin is what makes it gel.) I usually make an apple pie the same day (Gravensteins) and I add those peels and cores with seeds to the apple mixture as well, ensuring I will have lots of pectin.
Wash the apples and crabs, and cut up into your stockpot. Remove stem and blossom end, but use everything else- leave skins on and core and seeds go into the pot as well. The small crabs I just cut in half- the large apples I cut into eighths.  Add equal amounts of water and white vinegar until you can just see the liquid through the apples. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring to a boil, then boil gently until all apple pieces are softened, stirring often to prevent scorching on the bottom. Do not overcook. Wet your jelly bag and wring out, place it in bowl you will use to catch the juice. Ladle or pour the hot apple mixture into your jelly bag, (juice will start to run through bag immediately) and hang to drip overnight. (it is really great to have a second pair of hands to help you hang your bag as it will be HOT!!) Use the largest bowl you own to catch all that beautiful red juice.
Day Two: (My Mum always told me- never boil jelly on a rainy day- wait for a dry day, so you can store the juice in refrigerator for a few days, if need be, while you wait for a dry day.) Wash and prepare your bottles for sterilizing. I use 250 ml. (1 cup) jelly jars, the type with sealer caps and rings. See photo with Sept. 21 post. Take down your jelly bag, being careful not to dip it into the juice. (I put all the "apple mash" into my compost pile.) Measure the juice exactly and place in large pot or stockpot. (If you have a good amount of juice, divide it into two batches- don't boil more than about 5 cups of juice at a time- otherwise it takes too long.) Measure an equal amount of white sugar- place into another large bowl and put in your oven at 200-225F to warm. Bring juice to a full rolling boil and time for 8 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms. After 8 minutes add the warmed sugar, stirring well. Place bottles in oven to sterilize. Return juice to full rolling boil, continuing to skim off any foam. Knowing when it is done is the crucial ( and tricky!) part. I do not use a thermometer although  I am considering getting one. Consulting an experienced jelly-maker at this point would be invaluable..... I use the "drops from the spoon" test: at first the drip from your spoon will be light and syrupy - running in one drop. As it cooks and thickens, it will eventually form two drops along the edge of the spoon. When those two drops come together and fall as a single drop, it is done! [ The required cooking time will vary depending on the type of fruit used, the amount of pectin (degree of ripeness), the amount of sugar and the amount of juice you are cooking (more juice = longer time). It may range from 8 - 30 minutes.]
Remove hot bottles from oven and fill with the hot juice, to within 1/2 " of top. I place a metal spoon in the bottle to absorb some of the heat, as I fill each bottle. I seal my jelly with paraffin wax, then top with the sealer tops and rings. Let sit until completely cool - I actually let them sit in the same spot for at least a day, before storing in the coldroom. Good Luck!


"The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living."
~Dione Lucas

Friday, September 23, 2011

Teeny Tiny Twister

Here it is- finally finished! It's a teeny tiny Twister. It measures 6" x 7.5". My buddy Sue bought both sizes of the  Twister templates, and tried them out, using the smaller size. When she finished I asked her for the leftover "bits" so I could try doing a miniature version of hers. I wanted to challenge myself to see how small I could go - the finished blocks are slightly under 3/4 ".
Twisters are a lot of fun. The templates are very easy to use- you sew either 5" or 10" squares together, then use the template to cut out the twister blocks. I am working on one now for a Community Projects quilt for Guild- it will go to the Neonatal unit at our local hospital. I just cut a variety of pink prints - for someone's precious baby girl, and will do one in blues as well. It's a fun quick project.


Sewing mends the soul.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apple Jelly...yummm

Today was a beautiful day- sunny and warm, and I really wanted to spend the entire day outside working in the garden. It's time to start cutting things down and getting ready for wi... oh, I can't say that word!! You know what I mean - that cold season that will soon be upon us... But instead I stayed indoors and bottled my apple jelly this afternoon. The next few days will supposedly be rainy and my Mother always said you should boil jelly on a dry day, so I decided today was the day! I think of my Mum most days, but I always think of her and wish she was here each and every time I make jelly. I just wish she was here to consult- have I cooked it long enough? A little longer? It's always a tough call. Not long enough and it won't be properly gelled. Too long and it will be gummy - I did that once- it wasn't pretty! Just like rubber! I nearly cried.
Anyway, here it is- done for another year. Fourteen bottles. I just did a single batch this year- I think I did a double batch last year and still have some left. This jelly, my paternal grandmother's recipe, is an old Kelly family favourite. Whereas most people like cranberries with their turkey or roast chicken, in my family, we have this Spiced Apple Jelly. If there is no jelly, well there's just no sense in having turkey or chicken. It just won't taste the same! So I make it now that Mum's gone, and give some to my brothers. I use a combination of crabapples, apples, spices (cinnamon sticks and whole cloves) and I usually make an apple pie the same day so I can throw in the peels and cores from the Gravensteins as well - that way I am sure there will be lots of pectin. This batch is a gorgeous ruby red color- a deeper red than this photo suggests.
Tomorrow I'm spending some time in the studio, finishing up a very small miniature quilt. Stay tuned!


"Autumn...makes a double demand. It asks that we prepare for the future--that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go--to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness."
~ Bonaro W. Overstreet

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Few Finishes Feel Fine!

Framed piece is about 5" by 8"
Don't you love seeing projects through to completion? Whether it's a batch of pickles (finished my 14 day crock pickles this week) or a quilt or piece of needlework - it just feels good to be able to cross them off the list!
I have had several small pieces laying around a long while, waiting for me to get them to the framer. When hubby had something he needed framed quickly last week, for a gift, I rounded up some of my pieces and took them along. So here they are - two pieces of cross stitch and two H'mong applique. You may remember me showing the first H'mong piece before here, I was trying to decide whether to border it and frame it, make it into a pillow, or whatever.. I finally decided there was so much "motion" in the piece that it just needed a simple treatment, so I chose a simple black molding for both. These incredible appliques are done by the H'mong women of the Golden Triangle- an area of northern Thailand where it meets Burma and Laos. They call these works pa'ndau, pronounced "pan dow", often translated as "flower cloth" - a style of reverse applique that decorates many items used by
Framed piece is 7" by 8.5"
 traditional H'mong families. The H'mong people have no written language, so rituals and artistry have been vital in
keeping their culture alive. Extraordinary needlework has long been a part of that culture. H'mong girls traditionally begin to learn the stitches for pa'ndau embroidery as young as five years old! (info from Tammachat website and blog here. Tammachat is a Nova Scotia business run by Ellen Agger and Alleson Kase. They import high quality fairly traded environmentally friendly handcrafted textiles from women artisans in Thailand and Laos. Imagine my delight, when reading back through their travel blog, I found mention of  Laurie Swim! How serendipitous! Ellen and Alleson had presented Panmai weavers in northeastern Thailand with one of Laurie's photo cards. They had previously taken several Panmai weavers to Laurie's website to show them why we cut up their beautiful silks into small pieces- for art quilts! )

Framed piece is 9.75" by 10"
I purchased the second pa'ndau this past summer in the Merchant's Mall at Maine Quilts. The workmanship on these pieces is amazing- below is a  photo of the back side. Their stitches are tiny and oh so neat and even! I'd love to know what size needles they use???!!
I am amazed at the precision and perfection of this applique- the very narrow strips of fabric (about 1/8" on this first piece) are so even and straight. I couldn't do this if my life depended on it! Wow!
And the second piece, below, is equally impressive- look at the smoothness of those curves, and again the consistency of the width of the pieces. I'd love to meet the ladies who did these...and know how many years they have been doing this wonderful work...
And you just know they are not working with Ott lights and John James needles....
Framed piece is 10.5" square

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." ~ John Quincy Adams

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Class with Laurie

Laurie Swim was born and brought up in Lockeport, Nova Scotia. She has worked as an artist for more than 40 years, honing her skills and developing techniques specific to her landscape/pictorial wall quilts. I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend two days learning from her and soaking up her tips and techniques.
Laurie offers workshops to students of intermediate level and beyond. I must admit I went with fairly low expectations for myself - landscape quilts are not really my thing. I did not want to have to try to "create a masterpiece" - you know how that just works much better in your own familiar surroundings. In a class you are always wishing you had brought those other fabrics or whatever... I wanted to just learn some of Laurie's techniques and work on small samples.
As we neared Lunenburg a message came through on the Blackberry that there was a change of venue - we would be in Laurie's studio rather than the previously arranged Lunenburg Academy. I immediately said to the other two gals- "Maybe it will be just the three of us! How great would THAT be!" And I was right!! We had Laurie all to ourselves for two whole days. Her studio is upstairs over her inspiring Gallery (a MUST VISIT if you are EVER in Lunenburg). The view is inspiring, looking out on Front Harbour and over to the golf course- we all wondered how she ever gets work done with such a "distraction" right in front of her. I find a view of the water is mesmorizing.. I could watch it all day long...
Anyway, we had a wonderful two days- doing just exactly what I had wished for - learning new techniques and making small samples. We painted skies and water, made cobweb lace, we learned Laurie's trick for easy applique, her finishing techniques and more. Laurie was warm and welcoming, supportive and helpful, and happy to answer our every question. Her class was well paced and organized and we appreciated her notes and the prep she had done for us. Thanks Laurie, it was wonderful!!
You can visit Laurie's website here . Be sure to have a look at her quilts, notecards and her latest book  Rags to Riches- The Quilt as Art. Laurie's quilts can be found in many public and private collections, as well as in her own Gallery at 138 Lincoln Street in Lunenburg. She has also been very involved in initiating and carrying out the "building" of a number of large scale "community quilts" created with the help of volunteers. These large pieces have been done as memorials and historical records, some addressing social issues such as workplace safety.
Breaking Ground, The Hogg's Hollow Disaster, 1960 measures seven feet by twenty feet and is permanently installed in the York Mills subway station in Toronto. It is a tribute to five Italian immigrant workers who lost their lives while digging a tunnel for a water main
Left - Right,  Sue, Laurie, Marty and I
under the Don River in northern Toronto. I will definitely be making a trip to see it next time I'm in Toronto. The Canadian Young Workers Memorial Quilt is a memorial to 100 young workers, aged 15-24, killed on the job. It was completed in 2003 and measures nine feet by eighteen feet. We felt a connection to Laurie because of her work on this quilt, as one of the young people commemorated on it is my buddy Sue's niece, TerriLynn Stewart.
If you are looking for a special workshop set in a magical little town by the ocean - this is it! Get in touch with Laurie and book your spot. Alternately, Laurie is on the teaching faculty when Quilt Canada 2012 comes to Halifax N.S. next spring. You can see more info on that here.
Just down the road several miles from Lunenburg is a picturesque little spot known as Blue Rocks. I'll leave you with these last few photos taken there. Is it any wonder I love Nova Scotia? I can't wait to return to Lunenburg and just spend several days doing nothing but photography... and maybe eating a little seafood, of course... (Okay, that's not a maybe, that's a definite...)


Near the sea, we forget to count the days.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lovely Lunenburg

 Okay, let's continue down the south shore to Lunenburg. Founded in 1753, Old Town Lunenburg was recently named to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It has also been designated as a national historic district by our federal government, both fitting honours recognizing the rich heritage of the town. Lunenburg was settled by German, Swiss and French immigrants who followed in the footsteps of earlier Mikmaq and Acadian inhabitants
View from our window at the Spinnaker Inn at 7a.m.
of the area. A vibrant economy was built on farming, fishing, ship building and other ocean-based commerce, all of which continue today. A view of today's waterfront reveals many well established marine industries, including High Liner Foods, the Lunenburg Foundry, Adams and Knickle (world famous scallop fishers) and the Lunenburg Shipyard to name just a few. (And by the way, Lunenburg has not one but TWO harbours!) Three famous tall ships call Lunenburg home: the Picton Castle was in her berth, just a block from where we stayed at the Spinnaker Inn. The world famous racing schooner the Bluenose was built here at the Lunenburg Shipyard, where currently her daughter Bluenose II is being rebuilt. You can watch her progress here. Having  a sail on her next summer when she's back in the water is on my Bucket list.

I loved strolling the waterfront- there is so much going on. From a visit to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, to fine dining, to deep sea fishing, whale watching excursions or a short harbour tour - they've got it all. And it's wise to keep one's eyes peeled- you might rub shoulders with a movie star- many movies have been filmed in and around Lunenburg, most recently Jumping the Broom with Angela Basset and the scifi TV series Haven. (Currently  The Disappeared is being filmed on Lunenburg Bay.)
But Lunenburg is so much more than it's waterfront: a charming town with no strip malls, no big box stores, no fast food drive-throughs, not even a Tim Hortons, and we didn't miss them at all. It's full of history, incredible architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene - more artists, galleries, charming shops and music than one can absorb on a short stay. Lunenburg is committed to preserving it's history and heritage and this is evident when you stroll the streets. It's architecture is unique and there is literally history around every corner. For example- the local elementary school is the Lunenburg Academy below, a stunning example of Second Empire architecture, built in the late 1800's and lovingly restored between 1998-2000.
  Perched on top of Gallow's Hill, and visible for miles around, it has been designated a Municipal, Provincial and Federal Heritage site. (This was where our 2 day class with Laurie Swim was scheduled to take place, but the venue was changed. More on that later.) Can you imagine attending school in such a beautiful building?
Other buildings in town truly create a smorgasbord of building styles. In several short blocks you can find a simple Saltbox, a Cape Cod more than two centuries old, a classic Queen Anne Revival, a grand Victorian and a revised Gothic church. Everywhere you look you see evidence of the extraordinary carpentry skills of the early inhabitants - intricate Gingerbread trim, extra wide corner boards, widow's walks, and the unique "Lunenburg Bump" - an extended five sided Scottish dormer. Some elegant homes once had their intricate trim painted to match the colours of the owner's schooner.

 Lunenburg's churches are equally fascinating. Probably the most well known is St. John's Anglican, the second oldest Anglican church in British North America. It is undeniably one of the finest examples of "Carpenter Gothic" architecture in Canada. A devastating fire in 2001 caused significant damage, and led to a four year restoration project which is indicative of the love and dedication of it's congregation and the Lunenburg community. Nearby St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church features a spire topped by a five and a half foot codfish weathervane! How fitting for a town so centered around the fishing industry. Or perhaps it's a reminder to us all that early Christians represented Jesus with the symbol of a fish, and that several of his disciples were fishermen.

  In my next post I'll tell you about our time with the wonderful Laurie Swim, master quilter, and take you down the shore a few miles to beautiful Blue Rocks. I'll leave you with several views at harbourside (below) as the full moon lit the sky. Sooo very beautiful.....


"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Moonrise over Adams and Knickle

Sunset behind the Picton Castle

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Farewell to Nova Scotia, the seabound coast...

I cannot help but feel sad, each time I leave Nova Scotia. It is SUCH a beautiful province. Don't get me wrong, I do love my home province. But Nova Scotia holds a very special place in my heart, for sure. Each time I cross the Missaguash River at the border and see those Nova Scotia flags snapping in the breeze, and the lighthouse at the Tourist Bureau, my heart does a little flippy flop. I spent last weekend in one of the most beautiful spots on the south shore. I have not been to Lunenburg for a number of years, and what a pleasant surprise - it was even more beautiful than I remember. Or perhaps I just appreciate it more now?
Before I tell you about the fun we had in Lunenburg with quilter extraordinaire Laurie Swim, you might like to come with me on a visit to Suttles and Seawinds of Mahone Bay. One must pass through scenic Mahone Bay to get to Lunenburg, and..well, if you're passing through, you may as well stop in, right? After our long drive, we were ready to stretch our legs anyway.. wink wink***
It's been quite a while since I visited the South Shore, but I had no trouble remembering that one must stop at The Teazer. It's a wonderful gift shop- well worth the visit. And then, we made
 our way to Suttles and Seawinds. If you are not familiar with this name, let me acquaint you:  Suttles and Seawinds began as a cottage industry of sorts, when Nova Scotia designer (and fellow Acadia grad) Vicki Lynn Bardon returned home after studying design in New York City and founded this business to employ rural women. Initially the products were quilts and home decor items such as pillows, placemats, runners, etc. Gradually the line expanded to include clothing items which were pieced, appliqued and quilted. The business grew, and eventually moved from the small village of New Germany to the charming seaside town of Mahone Bay.
 Today's offerings include beautifully crafted quilts, clothing, nighties, placemats, tea cosies, cosmetic bags and more, all still made by local women. Also one can find a wide selection of fashion, jewelry, accessories, home decor items, gifts and hooked rugs selected from  the best suppliers across Canada and global markets. I have been a fan of Suttles and Seawinds since the 70's (okay, I'm dating myself here, aren't I?) and I still love her quilts. Now of course, you can purchase fabrics as well, so what were three gals to do- we HAD to go in... The fashionwear and
accessories are found in a large pink Victorian mansion on Main Street (above, left) and the quilts, rugs and fabrics are next door in the charming barn (above, right).. you KNOW where I headed... The photos here will give you a little taste of Suttles.... "Suttles", by the way, is the local name for fabric scraps used for making quilts and Seawinds refers to the link between generations of Nova Scotians and the sea. We could have spent much longer, but as it was, we kept the gal past their usual closing time. Just cause for another visit, I'd say...
Next I'll take you to Lunenburg...


So farewell, farewell to Nova Scotia's charms
For it's early in the morning and I'm far, far away...

Friday, September 9, 2011

How many days 'til Christmas?

In early August, I wrote about some gals doing  "Christmas in July" projects. It seems I am always working on something Christmas-y... I showed you the beaded Santas I had underway and promised to update you at end of August.. and... I forgot! So, here they are. I finished seven over July and August. One has already flown off to Newfoundland to Jackie P. who won the giveaway.... Here are the rest, (plus two left from last year: on the bottom row- Father Christmas and St. Nicholas). All I have left to do is add the hangers.
By the time you are reading this, these ornaments and I will be on our way to Lunenburg Nova Scotia. I'm taking a 2 day class there this weekend, along with my buddy Sue and her sister-in-law from Toronto. SIL Marty is anxious to have one of my Santas, so she will get to choose which one she prefers.
Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be back here in a few days... Ta ta for now...


I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.
~ Charles Dickens

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Small Finish

It felt good to spend some time in my studio yesterday, even though I did not accomplish anything big. But, I did complete two small projects that are long overdue. Two more pillowcases- for my  nephew's children. Nathan plays hockey all winter and baseball all summer. He loved the hockey pillowcase I gave him for Christmas last year so I was on the lookout for baseball fabric in my travels this summer. It was an easy find, but fabric to suit Mallory was tougher- she plays volleyball and is into drama - neither of which the fabric designers have done. I looked high and low, to no avail. So I ended up with ladybugs- she has had a love affair with ladybugs since she was a toddler, so I hope she thinks this is cool. Her room is purple, so that was my choice for the accent band, and I thought the yellow polka dots went well with the dotty ladybugs! I will deliver these this evening.
These pillowcases are so quick and easy to do and all seams are enclosed. Click on the hockey pillowcase link above to see the measurements I use.


To be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feelin' Blue...

I'm feeling a little blue these days.... It could be from the blueberry pie I've been eating... mmm... LOVE blueberry pie. It's one of hubby's favourites too. Each August when the fresh blueberries are available at our Farmer's Market, I buy one or more 5 pound boxes from Tuddenham's and put them in the freezer. That keeps me going through the winter for pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry crisp, etc. And since I had made several raspberry pies (MY fav but NOT his), I had to do a fresh blueberry pie for the hubster. This photo was taken in July at my friend Donna's cottage at the lake, just a few days before the birds totally cleaned her blueberry bushes... the little varmints!! I know they have to eat too, but it IS most annoying when they take your whole crop!
But probably my feeling blue is because my darlin' daughter is now back at University. The summer went by way too quickly and there were so many things we had wanted to do together, that just didn't get done. I miss her already. But she is looking forward to another year - remember that "first day of school excitement" - when you have all new binders, fresh paper, sharp pencils, new crayons...? Well, okay, she's past the crayon stage for sure, but each new school year always holds great promise and excitement. I'm hoping she has a better experience this year. It will be a tough year work-wise, with a full course load plus an Honours thesis to write. She will earn a little pocket money again by working at the DalPlex, hopefully she can be a note-taker for disabled students again too, as she did last year. She has already written an article for the first issue of  the student newspaper and has applied for another "writing job" for a provincial association's quarterly newsletter. SO I daresay she's not going to be bored and looking for things to do... Her apartment is all set up now and looking "homey"... snug and cozy. Miss you hon! Sending big hugs your way....

I never know what I'm going to see when I look out my kitchen window. This morning as I ate breakfast I was watching Mr. Woodpecker, once again drilling my apple tree for his breakfast... But look who was passing through the backyard a few days ago - Mr. Foxy Loxy! Bold as anything - at 3 in the afternoon - he was just out for a stroll. He looks thin, but his coat is in beautiful shape.... My paternal grandfather was a fox rancher for a number of years, selling the pelts to the Hudson Bay Company. You can read the story of the great fire that destroyed all of that, here... So foxes on our property is nothing new... For those of you who have never been close to a fox - they have an "odour" all their own.. very similar to a skunk.... yuch!
Guess where I'm spending the afternoon today? In my studio!! YES! It feels so good to be "back at it"... One might think I have forgotten how to sew by now- there sure hasn't been much of it going on through the summer. Just boring stuff like mending jeans knees for Mark, repairing clothing and a few sewing jobs for Laura's apartment (curtains, etc.) So now it's full speed ahead. Lots of quilting and sewing projects to get back to, classes to prepare for, etc. Whooo- hooo! Can't wait!


"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate accomplishments." ~ Napoleon Hill

Sunday, September 4, 2011

More long weekend fun...

The Joslin Farm
Labor Day weekend around here also means a special weekend at Kings Landing- it's Agricultural Fair time. This is one of Laura's favourite "special event" weekends, albeit a bittersweet one. It not only means the end of her summer job for another year and saying Goodbye to her KL "family", it also means some good ole fashioned competitive fun with her co-workers. Handicrafts and baked goods made by the KL staff are on display at the Exhibit Hall. Laura was thrilled to win four ribbons this year- two each for her knitting and sewing - three "seconds" and a "first"! The public can also get in on the fun with the opportunity to try some of the games and friendly competitions that the villagers
would have enjoyed in the 1800's, such as corn husking and eating,  the log toss and cross-cut saw competition, tug-of war, wool carding and woolwinding, the dishwater toss, the laundry competition, childrens' games and so on. I'm not sure who has more fun, those competing, or those watching.

As well there are a number of interesting displays around the village - a number of carriages and wagons, heritage  vegetables, herbs and their medicinal uses, spinning and straw-braiding demos, and so on. There's something going on everywhere you look! And the day finishes off with a barn dance- well okay, this time it was a "street dance" as the barn was in use... I even joined in and kicked up my heels a bit. Yes believe it or not, I know how to do the Grand Chain, Promenade, Do Si Do and a few other sweet moves of the 1800's! lol  Enjoy some of my photos of the faces and places at the Landing... better still, get yourself up to Kings Landing tomorrow and experience it for yourself!!


Kings Landing is "History Well Told"...

Laura with Lewis, the Ox Teamster
Could these three ladies be gossiping?
The Morehouse garden and Scarecrow
Wagon and Carriages near the Morehouse House
One of this year's lambs
Window at the Heustis House
Graham in the Cooper Shop
Musicians waiting for the dance to begin
Dancing the "Tucker"
The last Hollyhock...

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