Sunday, 19 November 2017

Four Reindeer Later And Unamused Hubby

So I said to Hubby, November will be the month to get a lot of things done...stuff we've been kind of putting off.  On the short list-
                                          flu shots
                                          winter service the cars
                                          put away the patio chairs(definitely not going to be sitting outside                                                          anymore)

       But look at this! We've been caught out on two of these things.
 The view from my Kitchen window, today November 19, as we are experiencing our first winter snowfall. I've enjoyed a long lovely fall so I'm thankful for that and that the snow held off as long as it did...a help to all the little critters.



And another job on the list for inside-strictly mine- clean the oven...we all have ovens so I thought you might be interested in my little experiment.  This, byw, is a job I detest. But I don't like a really dirty oven so needs must!

Perhaps you've seen all the links for cleaning your oven with more natural products, not those awful chemical oven cleaners; they also offer great savings too, I might add.

 I decided to give one of the concoctions a try.  The one I mixed was part baking soda, vinegar and a squirt of dish detergent.  I put the temperature on 200 for about 20 minutes beforehand because  I think I read somewhere that a warm oven is easier to clean.
My oven before


During which I left it for 24 hours. No, I did not scrimp on the mixture.




And After


No not really much cleaner.  The dirt that's gone is what I scrubbed off myself at the end.
 Oh well, I satisfied my own curiosity.  If you know of a cleaner that does not have those harsh fumes and is not so hard on skin, please let me know.

Snack time...sometimes simple is so tasty...cheese and tomato under the broiler in said slightly cleaner oven. (But I must say it smells nice.)
 This goes well with a bowl of soup and especially so on a snowy November day.


I seem to have a lot of hand stitching projects just now.  I usually rotate them day about.  The Scandinavian Christmas blocks are moving right along with two of the four blocks at this stage...
Lynette's reindeer have been so cute to stitch.

Block 2 taking shape. Cross stitching the borders was fun to do. Who would have thought mushrooms would look so at home in a winter scene!



Now I have to bring Block 1 along.  Today's slow stitching will be more reindeer ears and a snowman's scarf.  So appropriate for the weather!



But I confess I've been a bit distracted by this (amongst other things!).  The Crazy Quilting Journal Project  or CQJP for short.  I'd looked closely at this last year when the 2017 project was announced so it is high on my radar for this year.  I love the creativity involved with both the quilting and the surface stitching that make up Crazy Quilting.

Here is the link if you would like to read more about this one block a month project.

Hubby is hard of hearing anyway and presently has an ear plugged.  No speaking in the house.  Here is what I write him at one point. (I'm such a nerd.)


He was not amused.

Lots of slow Sunday stitching to check out at Kathy's Quilts. Caroline at Sew Can She has made a very cute little tote with a tutorial for us as well as hosting a link party. 














Thursday, 16 November 2017

Good Enough and Lily Love

New to Me!

I love these shoes and my feet are thanking me now that I've decided to forego slippers and wear shoes in the house. I am much more sure footed as a result too. I now have a collection of Sketchers for indoor wear.
My constant companion is trying to figure out what are we looking at.





In that photo I'm wearing one of my favourite skirts that has swirly designs in pretty mauves and purples and black...it is an inexpensive Joe Fresh  purchase. I included the link because online there is a Womens Plus section that I think is so sensible to offer. Imagine buying clothes in the grocery store though!  It is almost like we are returning to the old "needle to an anchor" type stores only on a far grander scale.
Anyway, back to the swirls...there is true quilt inspiration there if in the right hands.


Lily Love

I didn't show you any of the day lilies that bloomed last summer.  They came in late because of the rainfalls but the wetness did not dim their beauty. There is a clump or two of just about every colour here.



Knitting News

I really like how the Ticking Stripe Scarf (my knitting project from Purl Soho) is turning out.  I can only get one row knit during an hour long episode of one of my shows... each row being 490 stitches. I also admit I've ignored it the last two weeks in lieu of time spent getting a couple of other projects up and running.  But it's back in my line of vision for this weekend.  This main body part has to measure 20 inches before repeating those pretty coloured stripes again. The wool is very soft which is essential for a scarf.


Good Enough

I really like this little piece made by Christine Kelly and shown at her Gentle Work blog. Her posts are scarcer these days but oh so pretty when they do show up. I love how Christine uses vintage linens in her creations...recycling and reusing with such beautiful results.
 This notion of "good enough" as in -is it good enough has crept into my life from time to time...is my mothering, my food, my teaching, my writing, my stitching, etc etc. etc. good enough?

So pretty and a reminder that our best will be good enough.

                           

Hope all is well and definitely "good enough" in your life!

There are lots of other little things to love, ogle and give a try at Not Afraid of ColorLittle Things Thursday , It's A Small Town Life and Home and Garden Thursday.



Sunday, 12 November 2017

Sad News, Autumn's Call and Painted Lady

There is something pleasant about walking in November sunshine.
Maybe because the leaves are now down, nesting is done, frost has brushed the ground several mornings and yet here is a bright crystal clear day with faint warmth on my shoulder.  But there is a tinge of sharpness in the air that makes me walk a little faster, breathe a little deeper and wish I'd remembered to wear gloves.  When the dogs and I come back in the house, Hubby tells me we've brought the cold in with us.

Yes, now we are deep into Autumn here in Canada.
Here is my version of Crabapple Hill Studio's pattern Autumn's Call.  I worked this piece in 2013 using crayon tinting backing the embroidery.


The  2017 International Quilt Festival in Houston mounted a beautiful display of 75 quilts made by Sue Garman to honour her memory.  As I watched the Aurifi+l video I was a little sad but just completely in awe of her wonderful work.  This is the Aurifil Facebook link if you'd like to check it
out.
Here is the last design Sue was working on, Blue Heaven.  BTW, her daughter is continuing the Sue Garman Blog with lots of quilting info.

.                          

I was also sad to hear Nancy Zieman's news.  An icon in  the quilting/sewing world, she is retiring due to serious illness.

                         Image result for sewing with nancy

Her personal note to us is here.

 I go way back with Nancy to my years of living in Labrador and when we finally got PBS included in the lineup.  I loved to catch her t.v. show and I've been getting the Nancy's Notions catalogues which she started, for eons.

I'm boiling the kettle as I write this to you btw. And I am also cleaning my oven supposedly as I sit here...more about that later in the week.

I am now keeping a few stitching projects afloat.  So far, so good.  No sinking.  LOL

Today's slow stitching will concentrate on my Painted Lady project.  All the tiny hearts have been blanket stitched since this photo was taken.  It's  ready for the embroidery inside the petals which just couldn't be more relaxing stitching.


I will finish this to the quilting point before Christmas which will be fine for now.
Like so many of you, I have Christmas stitching I really want to work on.

And I'm off to enjoy a mug of tea; this time Earl Grey, which is one of my favourites. 


Hope you get to enjoy a favourite something or other today too!

So grateful to the hosts at Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsThe Needle and Thread NetworkStitch All the ThingsEm's Scrapbag, and The Quilting Room With Mel for giving us sewists lovely places to meet up on the web.  And Kathy at Slow Stitching Sunday has an interesting post on lighting...a topic of much interest to all of us.



Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ahh, The LIttle Things One Loves


My world just lately has included these little and great things.  

 As a Nana, I don't take it for granted for a single minute that I can have a grandchild actually trick or treat at my door.  I'm the one who moved away from friends and family to be near them after all.  So this little Spiderman is special to me.

The temperatures are slowly dipping and we have had two mornings now with frost on the ground. So soup simmering season is here.  This one turned out so well I thought I'd share it.  I had a chicken carcass I used for the basis and the rest of the recipe is here.
 It is Ree's recipe; you might know her as the Pioneer Woman.  We both thought it was delicious and so hearty too.
Pioneer Woman's Easy Mulligatawny Soup

Hubby has a tiny problem with hypoglycemia especially if he overexerts himself (he'll smile at that last bit because he feels so little means overexerting these days.)  Anyway, we have found these particular candy to be useful for those moments.  Ginger Chews, an all natural type low glycemic candy we take on outings and seem to do the trick.  And like the line from the very old Irish Spring soap commercial..."I like them too".

I'm always on the look out for birds and was happy to watch this one in the back yard.  A Hairy Woodpecker- that I spied on for ages as it pecked its way up and down this large tree.  Quite noisily too I might add.

And I've been instigating a midnight lights out policy for myself.  Sometimes I need a little help going to sleep so play music videos very softly such as this one. ( Insomnia continues to be an issue for me despite my efforts. )





                                          Image result for rest and be thankful quote


I am thankful to be able to link with Not Afraid of ColorLittle Things Thursday, and It's A Small Town LIfe as we celebrate taking pleasure in small things.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The One With the Crooked Eye

We are rained in today! After a glorious fall day I spent in the garden yesterday, we are now under a rainfall alert for today. I am so happy I got to muck about in the fresh air yesterday.

You know at times I've lamented finding clothes to suit/fit me?  Someone mentioned to me why not sew your own clothes.  She even gave me a link to a free pattern (thanks Marilyn who doesn't have a blog) and now I'm passing this information along to you.

The pattern is for a full gathered skirt and available from Pattern Runway.  Don't know about you but this would definitely suit my style. I wear a lot of skirts and jumpers because they accommodate my ample hip/thigh region (isn't that a nice way to write about fat thighs!).
EasyGatheredSkirt
I wonder how hard is it to sew your own clothes.  I think of words like interfacing and inset sleeves and get kind of worried.  Zippers would definitely pose a challenge. I'm the one with a crooked eye remember. I've had to unsew a seam when sewing perfectly square Block A to equally perfectly square  Block B.

Amy at  Free Motion Quilting Adventures had a Tunic Challenge with her blogging friend Leah.  I really liked her final tunic and could definitely see myself wearing it.  Amy has some lovely FMQ videos too to check out btw.
She mentioned this book- The Tunic Bible, which claims this one pattern is all you need with interchangeable pieces.  It is available Here on Amazon if you want to give it a look.

                              


And Michele at William Morris in Quilting sewed herself the most beautiful tunic type tops as well. Her April 30th post shows two she made from Ikea fabric. I was so impressed.

So do you sew clothes for yourself?  Care to share about it..

Ok enough daydreaming, back to the real world...
I've been cutting freezer paper templates for the hearts in my Scandinavian Christmas.



And ironed them onto their chosen fabrics...18 on reds and 5 on creams.


 These are honestly such relaxing jobs.  I turned the edges while watching this handsome gent last night.

                                       Image result for george gently

Friday I got out my light box and traced a bunch of stuff.  Also relaxing.




I have the cross stitch edging on Block One traced.  A little bit fiddly.

Now have all the last three months for A Patchwork Year blocks traced and ready for stitching as well. Someone asked...I use a simple back stitch for my redwork.

Today though I will be hand stitching the sashing onto the Tweet Home block and also my Cornwall Cottage Sampler is calling out for some attention too.  So lots of stitching happening on this rainy November day. Actually a perfect slow stitching kind of day.
Hoping something perfect is happening in your day.

Happily linking this post with the very pretty Sew Can She,  BOM's Away at What a Hoot Quilts, Love, Laugh, Quilt and Crazy Mom Quilts sites.  Thank you all for hosting my favourite way to visit fellow stitchers.





Thursday, 2 November 2017

Do You Know This?

I bet you know what a group of crows is called but do you know what a group of ravens is??? I thought of this because I have several check out the feeders from time to time.  Immediately all the other bird activity ceases...they are so striking and I've noticed the blackness of them even their legs.  They don't travel in any numbers particularly but even so have a swagger about them just like bad boys on the block.



New to me and I think it is something you might be interested in.  I'm rather sparse on beauty products in general but I have used moisturizer all my life and have tried so many.

 I spied this one, L'Oreal Rosy Tone Daily Moisturizer, in a magazine, and made note of it.  Because of my vitiligo, I have no melanin in my face from the neck up. The dermatologist who diagnosed me said when he first laid eyes on me, my you are very white.  I said something silly like well I am Caucasian because I had no clue at the time I had an actual condition.  So that is a long way to say that I am actually deathly pale and anything that promises to give me some rosiness is welcome.
 I found a jar at Walmart...and on a mark down so am giving it a try.



Well, I can't say it is giving me a rosy glow but it is one of the nicest moisturizers, very creamy and not greasy, that I have ever used. Also not causing any issues with my occasional bouts of rosacea. But maybe it feels good to me because I do have dry skin.   As for reducing lines, I'm a sceptic and really I've earned every line I have so they belong to me.

I took the below picture October 21.  I was so surprised to see an intact rose bloom while all the others have completely withered.  There are two bushes, one each side of the front walkway and they bloom the entire summer.  Another great perennial.



This is Rex, resting but eyes wide open.  He chose this spot because he can keep an eye on me sitting in the Pet Chair.  My Shih Tzus, while totally lovable, were never attentive like this.
Sadly I think he is slowing down and it makes me even more kind and solicitous of him.


On Facebook I've been getting the live feed from the Aurifil folks at the International Quilt Market.  Here is the link to their facebook page  Aurifil on Facebook where you can watch all of them.  It's neat to see the famous designers like Sarah Fielke and Tula Pink sharing sewing tips and chatting about their favourite tools, etc. 

Meanwhile I enjoyed watching this Moda video from a 2016 Quilt Market.  In particular, I liked seeing Anne Sutton here talking about her Sugar Plum fabrics and the new BOM she had designed for it.



Here is a look at that sweet quilt which I may have shown you before.  So Christmasy, heh.
                                 

A group of ravens???  An "unkindness" or "conspiracy".  Both certainly suit their rather intimidating demeanor. While I love learning new words such as this,  I am yet to have a conspiracy of ravens in my yard.

So happy to link this post with # 61 of Thursday Likes Posts at Not Afraid of Color , It's A Small Town LifeWilly Nilly Friday and Little Things Thursday.
 How fortunate we are to have such an array of happy things in our lives.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

OMG, A Patchwork Year and Autumn Finale

Before any stitching chat, you must allow me to brag a little about the beauty of my hometown -Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  But you don't have to take my word for it...here is a video made by my brother and sister- in- law that shows the autumn is beautiful in scenic western Newfoundland.

So a last look at Autumn 2017...



Completely new to me is this idea.  


I've been reading Wendy at The Constant Quilter talking about Potholder Quilting.  Well I just thought she was meaning "quilt as you go" so I admired her work and didn't think much else about it.  Then reading one of her posts it struck me..Potholder quilting is something different. Duh!
 You quilt and bind each block and then sew those completely finished blocks together.  Sort of like sewing potholders together.  What a neat idea!

I realized that my Kathy Schmitz A Patchwork Year Blocks would work perfectly for this technique.  So you know me, I had to give one a try.

Before I show you that...here is the October block which I'd meant to show you last week.  Yet another pumpkin; I know it has been pumpkin overload around here this past month!



I feel a little sentimental about these three little birds (this post will explain why) so this is the first one I've made into a quilt sandwich and begun to quilt.  I intend to sash half the blocks in red and the other half in the cream.

June Block


And a little close up of the hand quilting I'm attempting to do.



So I think for the first time I will link up with the pretty site Elm Street Quilts and join the challenge of meeting a stated One Monthly Goal in quilting.  I've visited the OMG list many times and dropped by some of you I've seen there; these link parties are a wonderful way to meet like-minded stitchers.

My One Monthly Goal for November is completing two of my Patchwork Year blocks the potholder way.
Happily linking with the folks at the Needle and Thread Network and Silly Mama Quilts this week.