Thursday, 19 October 2017

Did This Make You Smile

New to Me

I have a thing about mugs.  I just love using a mug or cup I like.  They can't be too heavy which is kind of sad because I love pottery and often those mugs are just too weighty.  They are always part of my hunt in thrift stores and Winners or Pier 1.  A surprising place I've found two mugs I really like and that is Walmart. They ran a series of Canadian items to celebrate our 150th anniversary and I really liked the mug that was part of the collection.  It is actually a deep red, not pinkish like this photo and I love that moose.  It seems very at home in our wooden house too.

I had not realized you could get turmeric in pill form.  Some may remember my phase of adding turmeric to my drinking water when it had been recommended to me for its claim to have anti-inflammatory components. It involved mixing these items-

Admittedly taking a pill seems a much easier way to get turmeric into your body.  Considered golden and not just in colour, turmeric is an interesting spice.

This was a most excellent gift for a quilter I received back in Christmas 2014.  It had an insert that came with the actual calendar and it includes all the instructions to make the monthly featured quilts.

I usually look at each month still just to ogle the pretty quilts.  This was the quilt for October and I found it useful for picking colours for the Sew Spooky blocks.  It is called That 70's Quilt and is from Kate Henderson's Strip Savvy is here if you want to check out more patterns in the book.

And from the sublime to the ridiculous,as the saying goes...

I use the biggest jar of peanut butter I can buy for the dog's kong treats. So this caught my attention. I'm apparently not the only one who keeps a tiny spatula just for getting the last of the peanut butter from the bottom of the jar.  Well just for us folks, they are making a double lidded peanut butter jar.  No more getting your knuckles full of pb smears!

This little film made me smile perhaps because I love train travel. Will it make you smile?
 I'd love to know what you think of it!

Hope there is something to smile about in your day today.

So happy to link this post with  Not Afraid of Color and  Little Things Thursday.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Focus, Jocelyn, Focus

A maudlin kind of day.  Mildish but wet off and on. But the best kind of day to stay indoors, forget the gardening you had planned, and settle in with various pursuits.
 Like having a pot of soup simmering on the stove.  This is my Red Cabbage Soup, as I call it.  Really it could more aptly be termed "clean out the fridge" soup, as whatever vegetables I can find go in it.  I just start with chicken broth, an onion, lots of sliced cabbage and go from there.  At some point a can of good tomatoes goes in to make it red.
Hubby likes his a little hot so his bowl gets a swish of sriracha sauce.

Our littler grandson started Junior Kindergarten this fall.  I am so happy I still get to see him two days of the week to be there when he joyfully gets off the school bus.  It's nice to stay in contact with him however briefly.
His dad made the wonderful sign for him.

I have a small flock of these wonderful birds- bluejays, visiting one of the feeders.  They will stay with me all winter and make even more striking sights when their blue is backed by white snow.
They have a reputation of being assertive, but I have witnessed one or two give way to the mellow mourning doves from time to time.

Lots of these little guys, the white-breasted nuthatches, very busy after sunflower seeds too.

I am in love with Sophie Digards' scarves ( I think you either love scarves or not; I do).  I think hers are beautiful and I would have one in a flash if they weren't so darn expensive.  To that end, though, I am trying out a tiny crocheted block with my Debbie Bliss Andes yarn just to see if I can stitch something a little bit similar to Sophie's beauties.

However, that is just a momentary distraction.  I will be hand stitching on my Sew Spooky hanging today and yes, the blocks are all together with sashing so is officially a hanging.  Those spiders' webs are to be finished by day's end and then the quilt sandwich bit and just maybe I might get this quilted by Halloween. Focus, Jocelyn, focus!

Just look at this. I think it's lovely. You can see more of Sophie's work at this site of beautiful things, The French Needle.

Related image

Hope your day is anything but maudlin and your distractions, like mine, are beautiful ones!

Slow Stitching Sunday is happening over at Kathy's Quilts and it is always a treat to see what Kathy and the other stitchers are up to. Also happily linking to the pretty Busy Hands QuiltsCooking Up QuiltsStitch All Things and Normandy Life sites.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Thrift Store Finds and Ugly Gardening

I feel like I struck the jackpot when I found this tea pot at one of the local thrift stores.  It matches my dish set...the Friendly Village, and pours beautifully.  It also holds a goodly amount of tea which is great for Hubby with his multiple cups of tea a day habit.

Funny  how coincidences happen.  I'd just gotten this deal from Massdrop, Tula Pink's Free Spirit bundle of fabrics.  Isn't it bright?  I'm adjusting my liking to things a little bolder and brighter striving to move along with the times, as it were. I'd like to think I'm keeping up.

Anyway the coincidence is that at the thrift store, there was The Tula Pink Coloring Book.  The designs are great and so are the pictures to colour in the other one I found, Jardin Secret by Johanna Basford.  I won't be colouring but love idly daydreaming about embroidering the designs sometime. I like how colouring book designs can be transferred onto cloth quite easily using my light box and then stitched.

I have looked at both of these at Chapters.

I also found this sweet little jug; it is marked James Kent Ltd, England, and from the 1930's.  Just right for a couple little flowers. I looked it up and it is worth about $15, much more than I paid for it.

Btw, I've had to unsubscribe to Massdrop. The quilting community on there has really grown and is now continually offering deals.  I really can't buy anything more right now and seemingly don't have the will power to resist when I see fabric at a good price.  That lack of control is kind of sad at my age. LOL

But thrift stores are great spots to practice the three r's- recycle, reuse, reduce.  We are still not up to par with some other cities in recycling.

Speaking of recycling...

I am practicing the Ugly Garden idea and liking it.  It sounds like a thing but really isn't...just not pruning or clearing out all the dead and dying plants (yet).  The birds in particular still find lots to munch on from the drying stalks and old seed heads and it is working.  Hubby called me to look at the plants around the tiny decorative pond in the back.  A flock of American goldfinches were having a field day, with what I'm not sure...but definitely finding something to nibble.  Again, this is something we can do, hidden as we are from the neighbours. I'm not sure how it would go over in the suburbs because frankly, it is kind of ugly.
Here is the state of the Purple Globe Thistle and the Ligularia.

Warmer temperatures during September and into October encouraged both to put out new growth.

I like how I was able to divide these mounds very easily last fall.  Both plants grew well in their new spots and because they are still overlarge and overgrown, I will be dividing them again soon.  I have oodles of places around the property to plant them and the bees and butterflies like them.  Win, win.

I'll leave you with this early morning photo of a pretty plant that is here in abundance and is much loved by bees as well, the foxtail. 

Hope your day is going well and your weekend will too!

So happy to join link parties with friends writing about positives and fun things.
Not Afraid of Color
Little Things Thursday
It's A Small Town Life

Sunday, 8 October 2017

A Little Spooky But Blissful Stitching

I have been busy working on my Sew Spooky blocks designed by Cheri Payne.  They are really a lot of fun to make and I am a bit sorry the blocks have ended.
Mrs. Pumpkin Head is a little lumpy looking as she still has her freezer paper dress on.

It's taking me a little longer as I'm hand stitching around most pieces and doing a little embroidery here and there.  I must admit I enjoy the "feel" of the pieces made with freezer paper over those with the fusible backings.  There is something soft and more homey about them. I guess that is because they are more like the quilts I grew up with and those were never stiff and certainly never beautifully quilted with all the feathers and designs you see today.

What a great way to use up scraps and smaller pieces of material.  And make a mess in the sewing room.

That bag, btw, is one I bought at the Salvadore Dali museum in St.Petersburg, Florida.  I consider it one of the highlights of my travel to have gotten to see his great works there.   Presently, it is my library book bag.

Again, Cheri Payne generously shares these patterns under Files at the Facebook page, Quilts by Cheri-Friendship Group.  I love how she encourages individual creativity to change up the details and add your own touches if you want.  Of course, some people are turning out works of art which is wonderful to my old eyes.

Also wonderful to my old eyes is the bloom on these wonderful sedum these days.  Sedum really can't be beat for late fall blooming and is a most hardy perennial.

My goal today is to finish all the touches on my spooky blocks and hopefully begin to sash them.  I've decided to use black for that.
Happy Stitching All!

And happily linking to the lovely sites in my sidebar as well as the sweet Love, Laugh, Quilt site.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Me Last Month and My Wishful Someday List

I was trying to focus on Rex in this photo.  I don't move in the house without him being beside me. If I move, he moves.  He brings new meaning to the term loyal companion.

 I see now how unslimming this jumper is but I love how comfortable it is.  And comfort more or less reigns these days.
 See that little table in the background... I like it and it is antique, just barely though being Regency and is interesting.  It has faux drawers and also one secret real drawer.  There is a story in Hubby's family about a good ring being lost for many months before someone remembered the drawer and sure enough, there it was.
This was taken when layers were needed just before the odd September heat wave hit.

On my Someday Wish List

I have a bunch of stuff I could show you having to do with my stitching and like most of you, I do keep finding the most wonderful projects that inspire me to give them a try.
I have always admired the Hawk Run Hallow cross stitch series by Carriage House Samplings and love spying it around the blog world or on Flosstube.  In particular, I'd like to get the A Year at Hawk Run.
A Year At Hawk Run Hollow

 But I have to have my Cornwall Cottage Sampler pretty much done before I'd consider tackling another big project.  I just can't seem to work with a number of cross stitch projects on the go at once.  One each in wool, applique, quilting all at the same time...yes, that I seem to be fine with.

I get Quiltmania and just love it.  In the September-October 2017 issue, lo and behold there was this particular pattern by Edyta Sitar of the lovely site, Laundry Basket Quilts.  I'm just now noticing her everywhere! Pumpkins always seem to grab my attention as you know.  Edyta used batiks with reproduction fabrics so cleverly to make this gorgeous quilt.

 Anyway, I do not have any batik cloth and it would be nice to finally jump in and get some.  The patterns, including all the colourways, are in the magazine so now this too is added to my wishful Someday list.  You can check out Edyta's wonderful site here in case you haven't already.  I also have my eye on her umbrellas and butterflies patterns which also use batiks I think.
 Isn't this pretty, though?

Image result for pumpkins by edyta sitar

Here is the right bottom corner of my Cornwall Cottage.  Can you spy what I thought was a problem?  My heart sank.

I had a small moment of Oh! Oh! Then realized when I checked the pattern, I'm meant to turn now and proceed across and most importantly(!) will probably miss hitting that bit sticking up.  Hopefully, problem averted!

Before I spied this, I'd decided to start the big basket motif that fills the center just to be sure I'd have room enough for it all at the bottom.

I'm enjoying this work so much and am quite happy that so far, I have not had to take back stitches.  But one never knows!

I was happy to hear that this years' winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature is Kazuo Ishiguro.  I've read and enjoyed each of his books and adored the movie version of The Remains of the Day starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.  In fact, I think it is time I watched it again.

My Sew Spooky blocks are moving along and is a very enjoyable project.  Can't wait to put them together and show you my progress.  Soon.

Happily linking with LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Colo and Little Things Thursday at Good and Random Fun.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Quaker Love

I realized in the post about butterflies that I think of them as 'shes' and I have no idea why.  Growing up we thought of all boats as shes too even though women were considered bad luck on a fishing boat.
 Also friend's dad had a car before we did and they had named it Betsy.  When driving up steep hills around snowy Corner Brook in the winter, all us kids in the back seat would shout "go Betsy go" as the tires spun and the chains clanked.

Yes, I am old enough to remember tires having to be fitted with chains each winter to make it around slippery roads.  I sometimes wonder if having chains today would prevent some of the winter accidents we have especially during freezing rain situations.  But of course they are illegal these days.

But I digress...
I wanted to show you my Quakers cross stitching which I'm just loving.  The continued spate of sunny days has encouraged my veranda stitching and with good light out there, I have been working on my Cornwall Cottage Sampler.  You might remember it ....

My start in January

A really big project so it will take me a long time to finish it.  Probably till this January!

I am doubly blessed with verandas. When the light begins to fade in the front, I can shift to the back which has equally pretty views.  However, it has cooled off quickly and I took out my afghan to cover my legs...yes, a real Granny I am now complete with blanket covered legs!
Pink asters in the back.

Quakers are so much fun to stitch.  I saw this Halloween cross stitch pattern and thought it one of the nicest of the Halloween projects.  Available from

Image result for halloween quaker cross stitch

Today I'm thinking about continued atrocities and wishing it wasn't so.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

What Dessert For a Heat Wave

  Having daily heat warnings in late September was such a new thing for us here in Ontario.  Luckily it hadn't been continually muggy with it which is the part I dislike and can actually feel a little overcome.  Like the old time swooning ladies, LOL.

But that is certainly over. On my early morning walk with Rex and Murphy, there was a light frost over all the grass and a mist over the pond.

Time for a weekly dessert recently and no way was I turning on my oven.  I wanted something with no baking but my mouth was craving something sweet.  I had bought cream cheese to make a baked cheese cake but then remembered one I used to make as a young wife that didn't require baking.  An assembly style cheesecake.
You just have to think of something these days and there is a video on Youtube for it.  So here is the one I followed, more or less.

 But I didn't have real cream so I substituted a container of CoolWhip instead.  (NO there is nothing low cal or good for you in this dessert). And mine looks much flatter because I used my giant old Corning Ware casserole dish instead of a spring form pan.

I really enjoyed it and of course it goes without saying that Hubby loved it.  The way to that man's heart is definitely through his stomach!

I am disappointed that BBC has canceled this show. (Apparently, it lost out in ratings when stacked against a celebrity reality show.) I enjoyed the language so much and would try to remember some of the phrases they put together for character dialogue.  I don't know if folks really had such fine commands of the English language back then but I admired it; I don't like how some period pieces occasionally slip into present day speech ( Downton Abbey comes to mind).

                    Image result for ripper street

What is in my Rooms Bag?

The Rooms is a beautiful museum in St.John's, Newfoundland and Labrador by the way. I tend to buy bags where ever I go because they are such pretty and useful souvenirs.

This, the start of the Ticking Stripe scarf from Purl Soho.  The hardest part was the casting on of 490 stitches.   I luckily followed the pattern's advice to mark every 50 stitches so if you lost count you wouldn't have to start all over.

I'll show you the picture from Purl Soho.

Image result for purl soho ticking stripe wrap

This is my first time using yarn labelled fingerling.  It took a little getting used to but I am now okay with how not tight the stitches look.  I'm knitting this in the basement where it was so cool these days compared to the rest of the house. However, I find I can't take my eyes off it as both the circular needles and wool are kind of thin and it is easy to make a mistake even with this simple pattern.  Basically stockinette stitch.

Hope your needles are flying or whatever it takes to make you content to be in your house safe and sound this very first Sunday of October.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

My, What Big Ears You Have and Special Mail

I'd like to be saying whoa to these late extended summer days.  Somehow lasso time to make it slow down just a bit.  The warmth is so precious and there is still so much to see outdoors. In fact all this continuing warm weather seems to have given the birds, dragonflies, etc. and little furry things renewed vigor.   I am happy that the beauty of this season and this land is not lost to me.  I'm doing my best to take note of it all and to that end, my daily walks help bring me that little bit closer to the blooming and buzzing things.
 But this was an unusual summer.  It didn't hold the softness like was a loud summer if anything with lots of thunder booming and lightening flashes. And also a very wet one, breaking all the records for rainfall.  I worried for a while how all the little furry and feathered things would fare in light of that.  But all appears well.

I didn't realize this one was watching me while I set myself up on the veranda.  As soon as I sat down she resumed her chewing with only a cursory glance at me from time to time.

"The better to hear you with."

My pet chipmunk
How fortunate I am to receive another package from Australia...
Anne West read how I liked Lynette Anderson's design, A Scandinavian Christmas, and I had admired her wonderful version on Facebook.  So she very kindly packaged up her patterns with some fabrics and other little patterns and sent the whole lot along to me!  (You might remember Anne is the lady who sent me the package with the TimTams.)

Coincidentally I'd already decided the Scandinavian Christmas would be my Christmas stitching this year so now I am all set...just have to gather more fabric.

This rather dull photo does not do Anne's wonderful work justice but you get the idea of what a gifted quilter she is, as well as generous!

Image may contain: indoor

I love the rather lofty quilting on this; those hearts really stand out.
How cheering to get Christmas things and in the mail too!

And new to me

And it was because of Anne that I first learned about someone who was completely new to me...the wonderful Edyta Sitar at Laundry Basket Quilts.  Such beautiful designs and if you are not familiar, do take a look.

Well, some of you know I am a bit of a monarchist; I enjoy following their antics and watch lots of videos of their outings, etc.  I also follow a blog about Her Majesty's jewels, From The Queen's Jewel Vault, not especially for the jewel part but because of the history I learn that is associated with each piece.  These people never "own" their jewelry; it all gets passed around and handed down. It is interesting to see a photo of William's great grandmother wearing a brooch that his wife now wore recently for instance.

  So this picture below has a couple of favourite things for me.  My coffee and my usual glass of water with lemon.  I'd like to be saying it holds something more exciting like gin and tonic, but sadly no.  I can't remember what it is the Queen is watching there but perhaps horses and her horse is not doing well I gather.  LOL

This is an 'out of the house' chore day for me.  So I must get going.
Thanks so much for your kind comments; they mean so much to me...

And do drop by Lee Anna's Not Afraid of Color blog to read lots more Thursday Likes.
Happily linking with Good and Random Fun and It's A Small Town Life.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Pleasing Pumpkins and the Blogger's Quilt Festival

I have been following the Baskets of Plenty quilt- along hosted by designer Cheri Payne and am a member of the Quilts By Cheri-Friendship Group on Facebook which has reached almost 5000 members.  In particular, I've followed the progress of fellow blogger, Nancy, at her blog, Joy For Grace with her baskets and really liked her final finishes.

 So pretty.  I've never tried to stitch anything labelled primitive but was very intrigued by what I saw Nancy and various group members achieve.  When Cheri announced she was offering a Sew Spooky stitch -along I thought perhaps I would give it a try. The patterns are free and the link is here if you wish to check out the project.  Cheri has generously uploaded the patterns there to make all 6 blocks.

 I started with the block featuring a pumpkin just because I love them.  My pumpkin and crow are freezer paper appliqued and the other motifs are fused.

  I've been hand stitching a little blanket stitch around it all...very enjoyable slow stitching.  And this will receive my attention on this lovely Sunday here in Ontario.

I noticed in my Connecting Threads October catalog this very cute pumpkin kit called October Vintage Blessings. Sometimes the most simplistic designs are the best.

                                   Image result for october vintage blessings hanging

 And I must show you something I've bookmarked from the beautiful Nordic Needle catalog. This gorgeous multi-coloured pumpkin to be cross stitched and I am so tempted and it's grinning at me just like it knows I won't be able to resist.

                            Image result for free halloween cross stitch patterns to print

Talking about pumpkins made me think of the Fall wall hanging I made last year.  I remember well how I struggled with trying to do the designs myself.  It looks easy but when you come down to it, it really isn't...or at least for me it wasn't.
Here is that particular pumpkin partway through the stitching.

 But I did like how it all turned out and I kept it hanging up in the back hallway till it was time for the Christmas things.

When I use these older photos, I can see now how my new Christmas camera is improving my photo quality.

I have bright sun to cheer me today and a veranda to sit on and stitch.  Hope all is as calm and calming where you are.

 Amy Ellis at Amy's Creative Side is hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2017 and I am linking this post.  Scoot over and take a look at all the beautiful quilts being shown.  However as Amy wisely states, "Don't let the beauty of what someone else has created, keep you from sharing your project."
Thanks, Amy.
I am also linking with Crazy Mom Quilts; thanks Amanda.