Friday, 17 May 2013

News, Sports, and local weather in my life

I had decided to try  to write more frequent blog entries, but here it is  Friday, and I'm a day short of the one week mark. This was a busy week, one like I'm sure each of us experiences from time to time. In fact for some of us this is the norm. During those years when we have a young family, are working both inside and outside the home, and have other flourishing relationships , busy is the "way of life".
This week n Tuesday I attended a demo at the Covered Bridge Quiltery, Cheryl, a Pfaff educator, was demoing lots of new notions, tools, and machines . she had a trunk show so you couls see the techniques. For me these events are valuable as the techniques may be completely new, and provide a stating point for new ideas in my quilting journey. I didn't take my camera along as  wasn't sure it would be acceptable in that venue.
A flying trip back to Nappan for our Cumberland Twirlers closing dinner and square dance Thanks to Claire Christie for sharing some of her photos of the evening.

 We had a pot luck with lots of great choices, Omer tasted some delicious brownies and some fresh pineapple. no one went home hungry
.This picture is of Faye and her husband Jerry. Faye is a patient teacher and caller. You would be hard pressed to find anyone with a more upbeat personality.

This pic is one of the current class. We were presented with our certificates for completing the 50 basic square dance moves or steps. While we mayhave done the stepps a couple of times or more, lots of practice is still needed before we can say that there is a degree of comfort with the dance situation. It is all fun though.



The weather this week did not cooperate with the activities planned. Wednesday was set for the district softball playoffs. It was raining and cold early in the am. Imagine, those kids were scheduled to start playing at 9am. As it happened, the fields were too wet at that time and needed some work before they would be safe for play. These playoffs will determine who from this district will get to attend the regional playoffs. School sports are important for both the kids and the school community. Both boys and girls teams played that cold day. I was there especially because our grand daughter, Anna, is now in high school and able to participate in school athletics. Each team played three games during the day, and every participant deserved aa  medal for coping with the elements. The cold north wind from the bay,  was creating a crosswind to intimidate even the stoutest of spirits. Again I didn't have my camera, but thanks to Shaun whalen, I have a few pictures to record parts of the day. Unfortunately I don't have any pics of the girls games. These are great though. Thanks Shaun. Now to get those pics from gmail to thiis blog page. There are definitely times when I wish I was a techie!

This is Alex Rushton from Oxford  making a throw while falling to the base

 Luke Jackson gets a hit in Springhill's game against Pugwash

Tom Brander from Pugwash hits in a game against Springhill

Tiarnan Whalen at bat for the Oxford team

It was quite a day. Next week Regionals will be completed, and that will be another busy day for those students, coaches, and parents/grandparents, and other supporters of student athletics. Congratulations to all those students who braved the day and did such a great job. You are all winners.

Lest you think that I do nothing but run the roads and have fun, I also have fun at home. Today I was not a sparkling personality, so I lounged and did a bit of baking.

Don't overmix  the dough. It has taken me years to get this right. Once you get it though, these are so very light and delicious

I like to use parchment paper on my baking sheets for both biscuits and cookies. For my oven at 400degreesF, it takes 12 minutes to turn out the perfectly baked biscuit.

That is the finished product. They are tasty!
I also made bread today. This gives me the entire weekend to do other things. While I was getting ingredients from the baking cupboard, I opened the dried cranberry bag in error. The smell was to appealing, that I decided to add some to my whole wheat bread. My hsband says it was a GOOD choice. If you decide to do this, keep in mind that the dried cranberries puff up and become much larger than their starting size.
Omer has gone off to bed and I guess that is my next stop as well. The weather person suggests that we might have snowflurries tomorrow. Brrr. I hope not.
Wishing everyone a bundle of blessings


Saturday, 11 May 2013

"Well it's another Saturday Night"

That is about the limit of the resemblance between this Saturday night  (we are tired but content) and  that great 60's tune written by Sam Cooke  and released on the RCA label as one of the singles from the 1963 album "Ain't That Good News". Sam Cooke had some sweet tunes, and I've heard it said that the great Elvis modeled many of his dance moves and hand gestures after Sam Cooke.Just an extra comment about Sam Cooke, he also released "Bring it on Home to Me" in 63. That was a good decade for music.
I guess the music buff in me is out tonight. I was listening on you tube to some great tunes.
Last Saturday morning before 10 am., Omer and I went out to the West end Elementary School  to watch the start of the 5 km. foot race . This run/walk, was sponsored by the local Tim Horton franchisees  Bud and Cathy Anderson. In Running Colour, was a first for the community. There were over 250 participants.
Waiting for the starters gun

They are off!

One of the features of the race that was of great interest to me, is that there were so many elementary school children and family members walking or/and running.. Some elementary schools have running clubs led by teaching staff outside their regular responsibilities.We give teachers and the education system our most precious resource, our kids, and here is yet another example of the special group of educators who go well beyond what is in the work contract. Let's remember to say thanks to those special people.
This has been an interesting week at our house. There were a couple of spring days that seemed to jump directly into summer with the warm temperatures. If you listened carefully, you could hear the grass growing. The rhubarb at my cottage changed from small nubs just peeking out from the earth, to stalks that I will cut this week for those great spring rhubarb desserts.It also gives my heart a lift to see the tiny green leaves as they usher in all of the wonderful colours of the land around us. As I was turning in a laneway not too far from our house,  saw an abandoned homespace with a riot of tulips in bloom. They were so beautiful and brave in that unkempt area.Of course at my house there are tulips scattered here and there, but the daffodils are still waving their cheery greetings, and the small grape muscari have been adding colour to the landscape for a couple of weeks. Probably the lawn will get it's first trim in the upcoming week. Earlier this week we had an interesting display in the front yard. As I was about to close the shade, to protect my sewing machine from sunlight, I noticed two birds dancing and strutting in an unusual manner. At first I thought I was seeing a male trying to court a female of his species, but I later determined that the display was a challenge for territory or something in the territory,(a ladyfriend) I think. This was a Northern Flicker. we have a fairly large population of them here
I took this photo while they were throwing threatening glances to each other. Parts of the challenge looked like a choreographed dance.

There is a little quilting info this week. I received an email from Martha  telling me that my piece for the BBQchallenge had been awarded second place. I was thrilled.and anxious to see all of the entries. At our Thimbleberries sewing group  this week, I had the chance to take pics of them and will post them here today.

 This piece received the fist place award.  It is paper pieced and  has made the very best use of the fabrics provided. There is also some embellishment with beading. It is a lovely wall hanging
This table piece is made by my friend Peggy. I really like it. I find the blues are a natural with greys
This quilter has made excellent use of the provided fabrics as well, and received a third place . Congratulations !
 Prairie points surrounded this colonial lady. There is embroidery embellishment enhancing the appeal of the little lady

This is mine. I made a clothes pin holder. As anyone who has read the blog knows, I am not comfortable with grey and dull gold. After much searching, this filled the requirements of the challenge, as well as my need to have more colour involved. I also got to play with applique, and hand embroidery, two bonuses as I see it.

Congratulations to those quilters who managed to fit this challenge into a busy life. I sure learned a few things, and hope that otherss did too. Thanks to the Covered Bridge quiltery for the opportunity

On Friday morning as I was checking emails, I was surprised to see one from Bronwyn Hayes have followed Bronwyn's blog for some time. She is an Australian designer, whose artwork and humour inspire and entertain me. I have completed several of her embroidery designs. They are extremely adaptable for quilt blocks on a special quilt. Well this email informed me that my entry in the "Sisters Bag" design contest had been chosen as one of four winners of a copy of Homestead Magazine. I'm really excited. This is a magazine I cannot easily access locally. There is apparently a quilt pattern for a Daschund type block .I hope it is within my skill scope.Bronwyn had asked her readers to leave a comment stating what they would put in one of these bags if they were going on a little trip. There were some very interesting ideas about what different quilters would bring. Mine was simple in comparison. I would bring a flashlight, (I take one everywhere), tweezers, in case I find an errant facial hair, fingernail clippers, in case I actually have time to sit and try to do minor repairs on them, a muffin, cheese, tissues, and a book. This is my real list, regadless of what bag I would be carrying. I would dearly love to have a pattern to make one of the Sisters bag. Well, maybe someday.. I do hope you will have a visit over with the Red Brolly blogsite.
Today after a very slow start for me, Omer and I drove to Amherst so I could search out a quilt magazine . Disappointment there as I could not find the two blocks I was looking for. I will try to contact Micheline as she made two absolutely beautiful blocks from this magazine.
After we completed a few errands, I got a pair of long handled clippers for pruning. If it doesn't rain too hard tomorrow, I'll try them out.
After we rested a bit we went to the golf course and played nine holes. I think I'd be better advised to stick to other endeavors. I enjoyed being out with Omer though. I drove the power cart today, and Omer the passenger. I had to be reminded several times that if I kept taking sharp turns so quickly, my evening would be spent at Emerg having my passenger repaired(smile) My dear husband then made me some Kraft dinner and fried bologna for supper. Really it is one of my old favs. The special cheese sauce we make to add to it, puts the dish in my favourites list.  I know it is not the most nutritious, but once in a bit I can't resist. "It's late, I better get on home" .I seem to have song lines running through my head non stop tonight. This is of course Ricky Nelson from 1959. That wasn't a bad dance tune.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

April 2, 2013

Last evening I went to town and spent some time rug hooking with a group of women who have been working at this craft for some time. They talked of their adventure dyeing wool last summer, tying up completely, the facilities at two cottages. The resulting samples I saw were very beautiful. Maybe this year, if a similar dyeing day takes place, I'll find a spot for myself in the activities. I managed to get a few inches completed on my hot mat project. Joanne is working on a runner that features baby chicks making their way along a route. Barb is making a table mat with a rich creamy white background and gorgeous purple and mauve flowers. Janice is making a chair pad with a black background, and floral centre. Catherine is creating a landscape . Pippa left her hook at home last night and just curled up with the group and enjoyed the camaraderie. Next week, I may take my camera and record some of the groups progress.
Today my Fibre Friends met in Roslin at Peggy's house. We  were a very small group today, but Bonnie was working at the binding of her Thimbleberries group project. Peggy is on to a new cot quilt. She is making a four patch within a four patch. I did a bit more on my hooking project.
The air temperature today did not encourage me to be outdoors, but my dear husband managed to play his eighteen holes of golf.
It will be a quiet evening, and an early night for me.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

April at a Glance

Tick -tock, the minutes, hours, days and weeks fly by so quickly. This month of April held much promise for blogging, but I failed to capitalize on the potential, and now we are embarking on the month of May. The peepers are singing in great numbers near the house, and the sounds of birdsong are everywhere in the yard. I am watching the squirrels as they engage in play through the trees surrounding our place. This morning the sun is trying to establish a presence, burning off the clouds covering our sky space.Income taxes for this past year are completed and sent on the wings of Canada Post to be reviewed by a CRA employee who probably has dealt with hundreds, if not thousands of returns as Canadians pay their share to keep governments running.
And then there is my hooking. This piece is taking forever to finish. I think that because I am compelling myself to use the strips already cut to complete this small piece, and my desire to start my summer piece, which I hope will be an inch mat, are contributing to the feeling of "taking forever".
The paper bag challenge from the covered Bridge Quiltery is completed and delivered to the shop. It really caused me to push my brain. Greys with gold are not my first choice in quilting colours. Eventually I decided to use those fabric pieces with some stash colours to make a quilted clothespin basket. As I didn't finish until the eleventh hour, I made a quick trip to Riverview with the finished item.I used grid quilting, machine applique, and primitive embroidery as the piece took shape. I'll post a pic after the challenge judging is over and I get my clothespin bag back.

Today I am getting my bearings reset. Omer is away enjoying his first game of golf for the season on his home course. This morning I saw a new picture of my youngest granddaughter, Penny, on Facebook.
Mike Bourgeois  Isn't she a sweet looking girl!
This afternoon, I plan to do a bit of sewing. The blocks from my Bonnie Hunter mystery are sitting waiting to become a top. I wonder how many rows will be made today?
This is my first row
I want to think about the borders for this top. Maybe some aqua is in order.
I have reached a new stage with my cot quilt. since the appliqued borders are finished and added, I thought the time has come for some quilting. Here is a pic of its present status

 We had a great time at Thimbleberries in April. We missed a couple of our members, but hopefully in May we can all make it.
What pics did I get this past month?

 Micheline is working on card trick blocks for her project. she had other places to be so we had her company for a short time only.
 Donna's working on a Nancy Halverson project, a Christmas quilt. "I Believe" is going to be  a  beauty

Can you imagine stitching all this lettering. Patience needed for sure!

 Joan is working on a bed runner, in fact she has a major portion of it done. The workmanshi is sew fine.

 This is my today project. I was making a couple of hot dog styled pillow cases, one children's print, and one for my mum.
 Check out Jackie's spiffy quilting. She has finished a large number of blocks for her 2 quilts. This too is a QAYG project.

 Bonnie is ready to add the binding on this elegant table runner. Martha is lending her expertise .
 Just a pic here so we get a better look at Bonnie's work.

Getting the binding right, makes an impression on the esthetic appeal for all of us. Bonnie is on the right track.

 Peggy is working on the wiggly worm cot quilt. It is definitely a cute one.

Wow but I have zipped through the month. One more pic to add before closing the post for today.I started this quilt, my first one, back in 2004, with Marilyn and some other women at the Southampton Baptist church. It is hand pieced and hand quilted. I've finally put all of the blocks together in rows, and brought the rows together. This is a QAYG technique also, but different from what I am doing in the Thimbleberries group. There are thirty twelve and one half inch blocks in this sampler. I am and will be forever grateful to Marilyn for her leadership, friendship, and abundant patience as our little group worked away at the project . It still needs a binding, and a small amount of finish quilting in some of the sashes. Maybe I'll have another break before getting that last bit done.
 I wonder if I am back on track for a bit now? I never know just where the wind will blow my life.
With good friends and a loving family, I'm always one of the "lucky ones"