Sunday, January 29, 2012

Suet Balls--Yum

This weekend Bill & I tried our hand at making suet balls for the neighbourhood  feathered friends. I was purchasing them but it was becoming costly for this feathered flock & squrriels. So onto Google I went &  wrote down  the most relating recipes for suet balls,  all bacon grease was now being saved & the sunflower, cornmeal, grits, birdseed, & all vegetable shortening was added to the melted fat. I found these suet holders at the CO-OP a few summers ago in Baie-Sainte-Anne, NB. I was trying apples but that did not work, they love the suet mixture that Bill & I made up together & I was so pleased to see them all come together to feast. The photo was taken through the window so the clarity is not the best, the watching of them is though!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bill's Cobblestone Quilt

Bill took his Cobblestone quilt home with him last week & today sent this photo of it on his bed. It took me nearly 3 years to finish. I started it in a workshop with Heather Stewart & watched many  a 'show & share' at the London Friendship Guild of the completed ones that were started that day. I used ecru flannel on the back, so hopefully it will not creep off the bed. Just peaking out you can see the other quilt I made for him, another Heather Stewart, it was called the wonky log cabin, she is such a great teacher that I take her class when I can.  Bill will be as snug as a bug in a rug ---now that's not such a great saying with all the bedbug problems...warm & toasty he'll be this winter!

Temecula Mini Quilt

Such a cute little mini quilt, it measures 18'' x 22'', I did mine in the left over's from a Underground Railroad quilt I made a few years back. This is a free download pattern found on the Temecula Quilt Blog site, it's know as the '12 Days of Christmas' quilt, the 1st block is a one piece block, the 2nd is a two piece block, the 3rd a three piece block and  so on. It could be made in any colour theme & is fun to do, each block finishes at 3" so cute! Now if I could harness the energy to start that Dear Jane Quilt with Paulette, I'm so glad we are girlfriends that will grow old together---because we're going to need the time to make that quilt. : )
 I'm going to try hand at 'hand quilting' this little beauty, then add a dark brown & black fabric for the binding.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Curtains Are Up

Here are the curtains hung up & closed. When my husband Bill & I were in Fabricland to get the brackets, the whole rod sets were on clearance. The set contained rod, finials, rings, & brackets, for just $10 more than the brackets, so all the painting will be for another job in the future. Bill thought with the length of curtain & the pulling of them across the rod,  it would only be a matter of time before the paint wore through. So for $20 this set was installed & it moves so freely across the rod.
I think it really warms a room to have drapery & I've been sleeping in a bit more with them closed or maybe I'm doing the mammal thing & doing a bit of hibernating. Either way it's cozier in the bedroom now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Productive Day

Today is going to be a productive day!  I made a list of 'to do' last night, just so I'm not sidetracked. Diesel thought he would lie in the middle of the kitchen floor & I saw this a photo shot as he was right in the middle of the design. Back in 1996 I had designed this floor to be installed as a mat area inside the small work area which has all my appliances & cupboards around it. It's a small but functional kitchen, having the work triangle in a equal distance from each other, the stove & double sink are both on an angle with the fridge being the top of the triangle. So today was making the chicken stock & once that was simmering for the hours needed, I would being painting the curtain rod pieces. Diesel got bored watching me paint, I did have his attention when the stock pot was being filled, then left for his crate while I painted all the wooden rings, finials, & rod.

17 rings to paint, I did a project like this last year for the parlour & dining room drapes, so the tension rod was installed to hold the rings from twist ties.
Multi-tasking with the broth on the left & rings & finials getting done now : )
1st coat of colour has been added, this afternoon or tomorrow morning, I'll do the 2nd coat. The rod was a mahogany colour, the same as the finials & the rings were 2 different wood colours--now everything coordinates in the soft Aura cloud white colour.
Last Saturday was the one day sale at Fabricland & new curtain fabric was needed as the old fabric once I washed the cream cotton, 16 year old fabric it was colour faded & sun bleached, showing its age. It will work for another project in the future, maybe being tea or coffee stained for a primitive project or cut & crotchet into a cotton rug, loads of fabric as it was originality 2 harvest table cloths, durable fabric with the length that I needed at the time. 
 The sale was great, after scanning all the decor fabric, Bill & I found a vertical stripe in a soft grey satin & plain design & was on for  only $5.44 a meter which was good as I needed 12 meters, the shirring was 1/2 price too! Yes for $86 dollars(including tax!) I have my floor to ceiling drapes with the matching drapery hardware that was painted today! Yes a productive day.
Now the measuring for the be continued.

Last of the Warm Weather

I had the opportunity to travel with my husband Bill, to Clearwater Florida where he had elevator code meetings for the week. It's feast or famine when it comes to spending time with Bill & the last month has been a bountiful feast of time with him. Then sometimes it's months before even see him, for the moment it's been all worth it when I think of the time & memories we now have as I settle into winter, my worse season of the year.
This was the view for our Sherton Hotel at the Sand Key area, we walked the beach shoreline & began in that vast area which was all crushed shells--what a mistake going barefoot on that, wow I've got some soft feet, I did OK going to the shoreline as I wore my runners & took them off to have the waves hit my feet as we walked the shoreline...then coming back once we hit that open area as seen above, ouch. Bill kept saying it wasn't bad on his bare feet, I just kept thinking 'no sense-no feeling'but I wasn't going to put my sandy feet into my runners as those were used for walking my 1.5 miles on the treadmill. 
With this new year my goal is to shed some poundage, so exercise it is, like it or not & believe me I'm not a exerciser, more of a procrastinator! Let the game begin as the arthritis has been miserable in my lower back & hip, I know this weight gain doesn't help.
 This picture just doesn't show the beautiful colour & movement of the setting sun. I sure felt right looking at it though.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Awe Moment

While having my coffee this morning I looked out the lounge window & had a WOW moment. The morning sky was so beautiful in it's soft shades of pink & blue. I ran for my camera & tried to capture what my eyes were seeing.
These are morning's that make it worth while getting up early, it's like a gift - seeing this present!
The large trees have no leaves left, giving way to view more of natures beauty. My awe moment. As I've uploaded these photos & wrote this...daylight is upon us & this beauty is gone, photos are all I have left. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mystery Oops!

Planet Patchwork does several mystery quilts via internet, usually on calendar events like New Year's, 4th of July, or Super Bowl Sunday's. I did this year's mystery of Chips 'n Strips lap quilt - oops the second row went awl, it looked great on the floor during the layout & got mixed up on the sewing. I just noticed it during the photo shoot & yes a little more was said than 'oh shoot'. Oh well, it is what it is. I'll use this pattern again, it was a fun & fast & now I have hind sight! I do remember reading - make sure the 6 1/2" strips are on the bottom & at the right side.

Poor Squirrel :-(

New Year's Eve was terrifying for poor Squirrel. Squirrel has lived in captivity since April 2004 when he fell from his nest during a renovation, his mama never came for him as we left him on a warm rock to be collected. The wee pink one week old squirrel at the end of the day was orphaned, so onto the internet we went & with an eye dropper, he was fed every 2 hrs. & his bassinet would be a peck basket sitting on my dresser, being close by for the midnight feedings.  I called him squirrel, not naming him because I wanted him to be released back to the wild when me was ready. However when the time came his injury from falling out of his nest, the cut had healed but his leg was maned, so no jumping without falling was happening & our neighbourhood is full of outdoor cats. So a cage was build to house him for 10 yrs -that's the life span of a squirrel in captivity.
Well this New Year's Eve was a home evasion for him!  Two very large raccoon's chewed the nylon cable ties off & entered his home,  he fled his sanctuary. Now with two huge raccoon's in Squirrels cage, my husband Bill, & son Nick grabbed brooms-yes men with brooms, poked at those large raccoon's till they fled squirrels home.
Squirrel has been outside of his cage before, 3 years ago he escaped from a hole at the back, made by a large tree stump that had been added  to his cage & returned after three days, all beaten up with scratches. This time Squirrel returned by early morning, there he was on his feeding perch, drinking from his water bottle. A happy ending & a wonderful way to start 2012!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Vacation

What a wonderful Christmas Vacation we all had last week in the warm, sunny weather at every port, Nassau, Freeport, and Key West were all beautiful in their own way. My favourite was Key West & the bronze sculptured head casting of all those that made the islands history, freely displayed on the walking tour in downtown area.
This is what welcomed us upon arrival, it's in the center of the Carnival Fantasy. Bill ordered our rooms at the front of the ship--the very front of the ship, room M2 with the boys right next door in M4, all the food was serviced at the back of the boat. A lot of walking back & forth which probably helped with the maintenance of our weight, 3 pounds of 'float & bloat' was the average with all of us. The ice cream machine was available 24hrs & tasted just like DQ, we had one or two every meal, the taste of summer yum!
Our family portrait on Christmas Day

Christmas Day in the dining lounge
It was great having so much time with Bill and the family, everyday was a different event or port to visit.
Tea time with Aunt Alice, Mitch,Nick(taking the picture), & myself. Bill had tea- the 2nd time in 27 years he's had tea! he's a real coffee lover.

Trying to get the boys to cooperate for a photo was a real challenge, some really good shots were done with the professional photos. Once in our staterooms the laughter would begin, it was one of the best times I've had & smile now just thinking of the family fun that was had by all.
Every night our beds were turned down with a new towel animal & chocolates, made by our room stewart, a dinosaur, dog, crab, elephant, rabbit, & stingray. Nick & I spent time together learning these techniques & buying the book, making an elephant,dog, & swan, with just towels-such fun I can't wait to try this on over night guests.

Last night on the ship--tomorrow we all go back to land & reality, after all the ship is called 'Fantasy'
Charleston, South Carolina back in view, we were debarked and on the highway by 8am, excellent organized debarkation.
Our drive home begins...

I was bored on this 15 hour car ride & took photos of Bill driving & Mitch & Nick sleeping & of me :-)

I did manage to get some embroidery work done, but that's another posting!