Thursday, 18 January 2018

Talking to Mom and Other Things

During our weekly phone chats, Mom always asks me what I am making for supper.  She was saying yesterday how though she still has a good appetite (at 84), she is finding it harder to know what to cook and she is losing her interest in meat in particular.  Lately she has been making a simple soup of tomatoes, onions, broth and barley and throwing in some carrots and peas and this seems to be satisfying enough.  I don't know if this is what happens as we age or not.

Mom went on to say here I am with a fridge full of food and don't want it and there are children out there hungry...tears at this thought as she is very sensitive and especially about children. We talked some more about the ways of the world and how thankful we are to have enough and I reminded her about how all of her life she has always done her part with sharing and giving, etc. which is about all a person can do really.  Oh my.

The Other Things

I like this saying and realized it applied to me.  I am always trying to do things I don't really know how to do!  I always wondered why.

                      "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it"


New To Me

Hubby grew up with this British pickle concoction. I had never heard of it till he spied it on one of the infrequent times he was in Walmart with of the things I like about Walmart is the very large Ethnic Food aisle they have.  So we bought a bottle and he says it is just as he remembered it...good with sausages.

I like how sometimes, just sometimes more natural remedies can be found for what ails us.

  I mentioned having some finger woes....a sore knuckle on my right hand and a trigger middle finger on the other and boy, that is surprisingly sore especially in the morning.  I was fortunate to read Chris' post at Quilting At the Farm where she speaks of  similar issues and uses turmeric and also immerses her hands in heated lentils.  I've been taking the glucosomine and using turmeric and now I'm going to try the warmed lentils.  My doctor told me it was arthritis but I really don't want to start a drug regime for just occasional discomfort or get into using steriods.  I mean when I have to, I will.

 Then I remembered my finger exercises and I've started doing them again and already feel relief.  They really do work.  The exercises are at about the 3 minute mark in this little video.

The French Needle is having their Blue Moon Sale with many items such as their lovely cross stitch patterns marked down.  The kits to make this little doll and her friends are reduced and all so cute.  I just love Miss Violet.
                                       De Witte Little Violet Doll Kit

 Can you remember making snow forts when you were a kid.  I sure do. I love how my Snowball wall is growing.  Just like a fort!
Stressfree stitching is wonderful!

Another Happy occasion is just around the corner.
This Valentine tree with wooly valentines was posted on Facebook by Tammy Thurman.  Isn't it sweet.

And the  wool feather tree is available at White Oak Ridge Designs on Etsy.

Image may contain: plant

Another happy thing is linking with the following:  Not Afraid of ColorThe Needle and Thread NetworkFree Motion By the RiverSew Fresh QuiltsEm's Scrapbag

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Orange Isn't Just A Colour and Hubby Update

As I write this, the wind is howling around the house, strong enough that it has moved my door wreath right across the door.  We have had wild weather with rain, then a freeze up and a snow storm on top of it all in the space of hours.  The weather network has had a hard time keeping up with all the warnings.  Today's is Extreme Cold Warning.

So it's January in Canada and so cold even Niagara Falls has been freezing in unusual spots.  Photographers and ice climbers are having a field day.

                            Image result for niagara falls 2018 freeze up

Orange isn't just a colour as in the the new black...

I know I comfort myself with food and especially so in winter.  I've always liked heavier food-bread, bananas, potatoes, stews, etc. As well, I've come by my love of food Newfoundland, a hearty appetite was considered the hallmark of good health. I know many of you share the same kind of upbringing with an emphasis on plentiful food and being told to be thankful for it.

(I realize now how much I miss those couple of morning hours I would spend in the garden during the other seasons. Kind of take my mind off food.)

So orange in foods signals beta carotene too.  I grew up being told to eat carrots because they were good for our eyes...did you have that told to you too? I like carrots and especially carrot soup and carrot cake. And winter is definitely the season when we need to boost our immune systems here in Canada so if beta carotene will help that along, all the better.
 Personally I wish carrots would taste as good as I remember them; I would eat one raw when I was a kid but it's rare to get carrots that good tasting these days.

Anyway, nothing makes me happier than seeing this in the kitchen.  A winter Vegetable stew with peppers, carrots and sweet potatoes.  A lot of orange going on there!

And this.  A batch of homemade raisin biscuits to go with it.

I lack the will power to deprive myself of the foods I love and right now, I'm not moving enough.
 So my food balancing act continues...into old age it seems!

Slow Stitching on a Winter Sunday

Kathleen Tracy at her site Country Lane Quilts  is hosting a free Mystery Quilt Along.

And she cleverly provides alternate with applique and one pieced so you can choose both or either/or.  I've downloaded the applique block and am really curious about what Block 2 will look like.  Already some lovely blocks are being posted.  These blocks are going to be small as that is Kathleen's specialty.  I freezer papered Block 1 yesterday to have it ready for the hand stitching today and that didn't take long at all.

Hubby update

Hubby decided he should see a doctor on the very night we had that winter storm warning. We figured getting to the clinic just a five minute drive away would be no problem.  Despite my nervousness, it really wasn't...a bit of driving snow and wind and slippery on turns. But we bundled up, took our time and with no traffic around, made it safe and sound to and fro.
 So his chest was clear but because he still has a cough and nose congestion, the doctor gave him antibiotics especially in light of how long this had been dragging on.  So we shall see if this is the ticket now.
  I wish he would drink more water; he says he hates it and just can't do it.

Note: Blogger lost my comments on my Mrs. Tishell post and I'm really sorry I didn't get to read them all.

It wouldn't be Sunday without linking to the following:Kathy's QuiltsBusy Hands QuiltsGone Stitchin'Small Quilts and Doll Quilts,

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Jack Frost and Indigo Snowballs

Here is Jack Frost totally coinciding with his presence outdoors these days.

I really like his cheery little face and I've begun the echo quilting around it.  Kathy Schmitz's designs are so cute; I don't think I've seen anything of hers that I haven't loved at first sight.

Does it look like we need more snow???

Yesterday I went mitten shopping...not often have I written that sentence.  I've been getting by with old ones from the house but my poor frozen fingers were crying out for lined ones.
Luckily winter seasonal items haven't been completely replaced with spring items just yet and I nabbed these two pairs, the last of both.  So yah to warmer hands and with another Winter Storm warning posted, I'll be needing them.

I'm waiting on the release of the first block for the Sarah Fielke BOM.  While doing that I was reading the Temecula Quilt Company blog and found This Post about making a scrappy Snowball quilt.  I know that pattern and thought " I can do that".  Two wishes came together making a Snowball Quilt (how fitting for where I live!) and also having always wanted to make a blue/indigo quilt.  Love indigo quilts.

 If I get this near a bed size, it will be my first real quilt! ( I don't count my Farmer's Wife top because I honestly put so much work into those little blocks, I don't think it could ever be used on a bed.)

And how am I going to improve my piecing skills if I keep avoiding it.

So to my little fabric cupboard I went a little concerned if I would have enough dark blues and lights on hand to suit this little venture.  Silly me, there was more than enough of both (I think) to suffice and I can always cut it short or buy more! if need be.

 I then spent a happy couple of hours making the templates and doing some serious marking and cutting and remembering to replace the blade in my rotary cutter.  I like when my brain seems to work.

Because it doesn't always.  Look at this taken last month; such a rookie mistake.  I couldn't believe I did this. Grrr

So wish me luck with this little adventure with just me and my sewing machine.

We did not mail out Christmas cards this year. I gave a donation to Unicef instead.  I would love to see a world where all children are protected and valued for the special little (dependent) humans they are.  Now that's a dream worth chasing.

                                         Image result for children's rights posters unicef

So happy to link up with the following:Quilt FabricationNot Afraid of Color.Free Motion By the RiverThe Needle and Thread NetworkConfessions of a Fabric Addict , Em's Scrapbag and My Quilt Infatuation.  Thank you all for hosting these wonderful link ups.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Mrs. Tishell, Cabin Fever and Tidy Stitches

Still freezing outside, Hubby still coughing but a little less, and I think I have put on weight with this stretch of staying indoors.  I guess that last will happen if a person is soothing themselves with hot chocolate and baked goods and not getting in their two walks a day.  Oh well, this too shall pass, as one of my grandmothers always said.

A Bit of Foolishness

I think I've mentioned I like to mimic accents.  I'm terrible at it but that doesn't stop me.
I've been wearing a lot of scarves and turtlenecks around the house lately. This has prompted Hubby to nickname me Mrs. Tishell, a character from Doc Martin we both love.  And I love how Selina exactly nails a slightly seductive tone whenever talking to the Doc.

Just for fun, I tried to strike a Claire Foy pose as Her Majesty in The Crown.  Of course, neither of those lovely women have my square jaw!  But I think I have learned some of Claire's inflection in speech which, since Hubby is slightly deaf (luckily), amuses only me.   Thenk Ku!

And before I get an email...this hair is not a wig and it is not blue/purple. Weird lighting. LOL

  BTW, there is huge interest in the details of the accents in this show (not just by me!).

Here is an excellent aritcle about getting the accent and all the other details of the show just right.

I also wanted to mention the broach I'm wearing... a stained glass hummingbird a friend gave me knowing my love of birds and broaches. Very appreciated.

And lastly just to show "you know who" is always with me.  Hubby keeps telling him...I rescued you too you know!

I must get out of the house this week, I really must! Cabin fever is a real thing and thanks for putting up with me and my silliness.

More Serious Stuff

I have this piece, Painted Lady, up on my wall. I've completed more embroidery on it than in the pattern but I think I will call it done now.  Sandwich time!

Loads of enjoyable slow stitching still with the SC piece. I'm using one strand of thread in contrasting red around some of the figures (like in the pattern) and realizing how neat and tidy the stitches need to be in that case. Eek

Hope there is lots to enjoy in your Sunday!

Always a pleasure to link up with the following: Kathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts, and  Cooking Up Quilts.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Signed Up For a BOM and January Pics

I love living where there are four seasons but perhaps that is because it is all I've ever known.  Though I love the sun in summer I always had to guard my skin so that took some of the fun out of it.

So now it is January in Ontario in Canada which means the full winter season upon us.
 And I have to say the Farmers Almanac may have been right when it said we were in for a hard winter.  The deep cold alternating with snowfalls has started earlier...(but perhaps that means it will leave us earlier too!).
 But happily we know a thing or two about dressing for the weather...wrapping ourselves in wool and fleece and wearing our down vests around the house. I marvel at how warm a log house is with no attic and a metal roof.

Snow on evergreens does make for nice views from inside the house!

Baking is something I love to do.  Both of the dogs love it too.

What is better on a frosty day than a "warm straight from the oven" blueberry muffin!

Caught sight of this little guy at the back of the house and managed just one shot of him through the screened bedroom window.  There are heating vents back there so maybe that's why he seemed content sitting there.  I see rabbit tracks all over so I know many are around.

New to Me

My moose night light...bought in Newfoundland last summer and totally at home in our wooden house.

Have you signed up for any BOM's??

I have signed up for the Sarah Fielke 2018 Block of the Month project.  Though I like to challenge myself with trying new things, I am a bit nervous about this, specifically the patchwork piecing bits.  But I've chosen The Grasshopper pattern which Sarah promises is mostly hand work and she is providing video tutorials along the way.

Hubby's cough is still there and we are at that point of trying to decide if it warrants a doctor's visit or not.  Luckily we don't have to go to Emergency at the hospital where there are so many sick you worry you are exposing yourself to more germs; we can go to a same day appointment clinic in the town which is convenient.  Yes, so thankful for our health care here (but only think about it when we need it!)

Hope you are ailment free and okay with being back to normal after the holidays....whatever your normal is.
 Also as is normal, linking this post to LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Wild Times at the Wooden House (NOT)

Walk Fast or Freeze

I hate to bang on about the weather but it seems this massive swath of Arctic air (that is reaching as far south as Oklahoma!) has us in its hold and is just not letting go.  -27 C straight temperature out there this morning.  Even the dogs are doing their business super quick to get back inside.
Walking just once a day and the balaclava is perfect as my rosacea is staying quiet and this kind of cold would normally set it off.

Here is Murphy at the window by my stitching chair letting me know she wants in -

And when I'm not fast enough to her liking....I tell her I don't move as fast as I used to!


I promised I would let you know how the dessert for a pineapple fluff kind of thing worked out.  I found just the recipe at Amanda's Cookin' called Pineapple Dream Dessert.  I used real cream and fresh pineapple and added cherries.
 It was very tasty but I'd popped it in the fridge to firm up the base of graham cracker crumbs and didn't let it warm up enough so it was hard to cut into at serving time. That ever happen to you?  These bases can be too crumbly or in my case, too set it seems. Note to self to not to do that again. Yes, it disappeared fast and another recipe noted to use again!

Christmas baking this year included this recipe from Cathy at the Lemon Tree Dwelling site... Cranberry Pumpkin Bread and it is delicious! I used a little less sugar and wished I'd added more of the fresh cranberries.  I will be making this again!  Definitely a  wonderful Thanksgiving or Christmas kind of loaf to have on hand and adding the cream cheese frosting makes it more of a cake like dessert.

A flimsy...

I had a productive indoor week finishing my Scandinavian Christmas hanging.  I used every bit of the fabric Anne sent me. I gave up on the 3 inch churn dash blocks after several more failed attempts and then enjoyed improvising a couple of other ideas.  I fussy cut a couple of Santas, a house and some chickens from the Lynette Anderson fabric and used those as tiny blocks.  The blocks actually lined up more or less properly, much to my surprise.  I guess my accuracy is improving.

I am hoping to hand quilt around the figures and will begin this today. And I've decided that will be my goal for this month.  My backing fabric is in the dryer as I write this.

Our New Year's Eve...

Local New Year's Eve events got cancelled due to the cold and I missed seeing the kids enjoying fireworks.  Hubby has a cough which we are keeping an eye on so we did our usual.  I made a mango curry which we ate while watching our evening television, in this case another episode of  The Crown.  Yes, wild times!!

A very happy new year is wished sincerely to each and every one of you from me!

Happy today to link up with the following wonderful sites: OMG at Elm Street Quilts,  Busy Hands QuiltsSew Can SheQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSew Fresh Quilts,  The Needle and Thread Network, and What a Hoot Quilts.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

We Are Not All Quilting Queens!

 January is named after the God Janus...the one with two faces, one looking backward and one looking forward. This post is my glance back, I guess you could call it, at 2017.

There is a small amount of information Blogger provides for each post that gets published. One of those things is the number of page views. This count of page views is then broken down by countries of the world- but I don't know, dear readers, what province, state, territory or county you live in.

The number of  pageviews and comments continue to grow which heartens me to keep this blog going whenever I think I should concentrate more on other endeavors.

Here are the top five posts for 2017 in ascending order ranked by page views.

For the Sake of My Sewing Sanity

We are not all Quilting Queens!
I loved how so many of you chimed in to let me know it was okay to change up a pattern to suit my skill level and thus save my sanity.  It really helped me feel fine about the decision.
I was talking about my A Patchwork Year project by Kathy Schmitz.  I am loving it and just finished another block using the Pot Holder quilting method.

I attempted to hand quilt what I thought of as snowy swirls around Santa in this block.

 And this little video from that post is so pleasing especially as I look out on my snowy landscape today.

Liberty Block and Smashed Finger

I got a lot of concern and advice about my smashed finger which I showed you. The nail did grow out the broken bit which took about 4 months and it was really ugly during that phase. At one point I had a brand new nail and the smashed bit in equal parts on my finger! I now have a slight ridge straight down the center of it that I suspect will be permanent.  This is also the finger that I have trigger finger response in and I've wondered if the two are related.

Liberty Block on the wall.

What's Green and Very, Very Scrappy

All the scrappy patchwork quilters out there responded well to this post. And this one lived up to its name- truly scrappy as seen here getting its binding.

What the World Needs Now

This one was such a sentimental favourite I assumed it would win.  I received by far the most emailed comments about this post, some so touching and heart felt.  There is a lot of concern about leaders, politics, war and the general way of the world these days.  Some of you, like myself, are doing your share of fretting about these things!

The concept of Sonder intrigued so many of YOU!

Sew Spooky So Finished

Such a fun project to work on.  No stress!

Thanks to Cheri Payne's patterns!  A huge number of people completed this project after she posted the free patterns on her Facebook page, Quilts by Cheri Friendship Group.  There seems to be a massive following for anything primitive these days.  Other than that I can't think why this one got so many clicks. I never did post my finish on the Facebook page.  I'm still learning how powerful Facebook can be for bloggers.  Something to explore in the new year perhaps.

I am so happy to meet people from all over the world through this blog and the connections it gives me are so meaningful. I appreciate it all every single day and I hope you all know that amplified as it is by the fact that I am a true loner in real life.

Stay tuned...A Scandinavian Christmas is THIS close to being a happy job for today.

Happily linking with the following: Best of 2017 Linky Party