Monday, July 27, 2015

It's A Beautiful Life

Lately I've be pondering about life  & I smile, I'm living alone most of the time but I'm not lonely.  I look around me & I can't help but love where I am right now.
My creativity is starting to pick back up & the environment around me has been coming together quite nicely. ;-)

                    How could you not enjoy looking out the sunporch window shoreside?!
                                                     So lovely, so peaceful, so Canada!

                                          The Miramichi Bay was unusually still this day.

                                             I could see the cloud reflections in the water!

                                And the town of Burnt Church looked closer than it usual.

                                          So still that day the flag was just hanging there!

 And the water was like glass, no movement from the tide in or out or the wind on the water.

                        Looking out any of the new windows these days are delightful views!

 Rexton's silhouette, as she sits on the sill. She likes to watch the birds, namely robins, look for their food in the grass.

 The garden has just loved all the rain we've had in the past weeks, everything is green & lush.

 It's a pleasant view looking out the front of the house on the sunporch & seeing the garden. And that has been for a couple of weeks because of all the rain! I did manage to get the lawn mowed in between the rainy days.

 I'n going to have Bell take back their satellite dish. I don't watch the shows enough to pay for them & I don't like seeing their dish as a reminder of how little there is on TV these days.

                              Yes, with a view like this in your backyard, it's a beautiful life!

                          The youngest boys feel it too as they return here whenever they can.

 Yes indeed, a very unusual still day, winds would come later that day & bring rain with them.      And what an enjoyable photo shoot, seeing such a day!

Parisian Essence   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 OK, she's now sewn up & stuffed. I didn't have any polyester stuffing so I cut quilt batting scraps into slivers & stuffed the doll. She really is a recycled worked piece. lol
Now with 2 tablespoons of Parisian Essence & 1 cup of hot water...

                                                  The watery painting process begins!

                                                            WOW! How cool is that?!

                               I've used tea & coffee staining but nothing was ever like this!
 If you do try this be sure to put something like a plastic garbage bag under the doll as you paint.

                                 The speckling is really quite unique & she looks oh so aged!

 I put her on a baking rack so she could dry evenly on her underside, then I worried about the checker grid drying into a pattern...

                                                   So...I hung her on the clothes line to dry.

 Rexton was watching for ribbons or thread to be moving around for her to grab.

 I made the dress & embroidered the apron, using wool applique & machine stitched those on.

           The pattern did not call for pantaloons, so I made her a pair to go under her dress.

 I went to the wood pile & found some 16" branches for her wings. I had made the bird the other day, so it was just a case of hot glue & voila!

                  She's still too wet to try on any of her 'things' right now. lol

 This will be her halo, I couldn't find the proper vine for her head so I improvised with roses & hemp cord from the Dollar Store. I braided everything together & the wire stems on the roses will allow the head piece to bend & stay on. Fingers crossed! lol The roses were too white so I painted those too with the Parisian Essence mixture.

The Gardening Angel will be dressed & ready to show you, on the next post. ;-)


Mary Beth & I took in the Loggieville Auction this weekend & what fun we had!

 Remember the 'Arctic Aura' picture by Daniel Smith, Mitchell gave me the limited print,  from Duck's Unlimited for Christmas? Well did I find a beautiful piece to compliment it!! And it now sits right under the picture.

How sweet is this trio?! It's a Goebel from West Germany, the makers of Hummel Figurines. I saw it & knew that I was going to bid on it. I'm glad no one else had too much interest on it. Some items did get into a bidding war. I set a budget to what I was going to pay & only went $2.50 over my budget!

I saw this & immediately  through my hand in the air, no one else did?? I got this hand hooked rug for $7.50. It came out of a estate auction & as a rug hooker, I know that it truly was a labour of love, one that I will enjoy for years to come.

There were other items but those are for gifts & their eyes read my posts. ;-)

Some More Sewing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Some more sashing to sew on then the 80 flying geese & two 6 1/2" blocks & this project will be off to the quilters to get quilted. I still don't have a backing for it...must pull out from my stash here to see what the wall would like to look at! lol

 Since that embroidery project is done, I've started another on another one, this time Fall Fairies & Elves. I'm using  that Sulky transfer paper on it. It is harder to stitch through but more precise for stitching. The background will be muslin but the rest of the quilt is all done in batiks in fall colours.

 Could you image tracing this leaf skirt out over a light box or window? It will be done with just one thread, all others are two threads of embroidery floss.

 I've completed one of the blocks with the Sulky transfer paper, I'll wait till they're all done then place then in warm water & it will just dissolve away. Press the blocks & starch & they'll be ready to put into the wallhanging.

 Boris has been sleeping in his basket in the studio these days as I'm in my studio more than I've been since I've arrived here. He loves to hear the hum of my sewing machine as he snoozes.

Woodland Update~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 With the flooding problem this spring, we're having a culvert installed from the woods low spot to under the road to the side culvert that runs to the shore. This should help next spring to keep the water under control when the pond over flows with all the snow in the woods. Notice how green & lush the woods are? We've had so much rain this summer. Not down pours like years past, just daily drizzle. It really reminds me of my time spent in England & it's just a chilly too when the shore winds blow from the north.

                              Lawns are cut & ready for the arrival of Bill & Nicholas this weekend.

 They will probably be doing some archery in the back yard but will see the front yard upon arrival.

 The green & yellow glass mushrooms are solar lights & they line the front garden & light up at night

These bulbs just keep on blooming...I'm going to have to find out what they are really called, other that gorgeous flowers! A gift from Ross for my new garden & I'm just loving the garden this summer.

Yes it's a beautiful life & I've much to be thankful for.

Right now I'm thankful that you took the time to stop by & visit. Thank you!!

Have a wonderful week & enjoy the long Civic Weekend. This week & next are the two most popular vacation times to book off,  so be careful on the roads as you travel. Traffic will be a little heavier than normal & people visiting places they're not use to.
Have patience while your on the road this week. That goes for you too Bill & Nick,  as you travel east this weekend. ;-)

Thought for the week.

Those that drive like lightening...crash like thunder!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Learning Brazilian Embroidery & Making Parisian Essence

This past month has been weekly lessons learning how to do Brazilian Embroidery. Mary Beth has been kind enough to teach us at our rug hooking days. She winters in British Columbia with her daughter & family & took this class to learn herself & came back home only to find a huge interest here in this fine needlework she has mastered beautifully!
Mary Beth ordered complete kits for us to being our lessons, the kits would have everything needed to complete a sampler piece.

This is mine, I've got three out of the seven done. We work on one flower a week, this circular piece measures 6" across. It literately can take an hour to complete a flower!! This is a labour of love as it will take a long time to work but the beauty in the unique rayon simmering threads make it beautiful!
                                                   How frilly is this French Hydrangea?!

                                 I was thrilled to learn the bullion stitch, on this Rolled Rose!

                              And this Knotted Lazy Daisy has been my easiest so far...

New Ironing Board Cover!

 This was a much needed job to do & I did my usual procrastinating about it but once I took the old cover off & it literally fell apart as I took it - I knew what I needed to do! Sooner than later! lol
 I washed the cover & when it was dried, I reused the padding & elastic & placed this IKEA fabric from 2005 on top of the pad & cut out around it. Leaving a one inch seam for the folding for the elastic casing. And Voila! I really don't know why I procrastinate so much, the job went off so easy & looks great!

Parisian Essence~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well the last time I saw Bill he had brought one of my old  2006 Australian Stitching books out to me & laughing he told me how he & Nick had found it while packing & in it was a doll that was so me as I have been living & breathing my garden this year! And I probably would want to make it for my potting shed. I looked at her & she was oh so sweet!

                           Her apron reads 'A time to sow and time to grow in my garden...'

OK! I'll see Bill & Nick next weekend so I best get busy making her---I read the instructions but she's to be painted with Parisian Essence & her apron to be dyed in it, what's Parisian Essence?!
I looked it up on Google & it's a darkening sauce used for gravies, fruit cakes, & fabric for craft items. Well then I found a recipe so last night I made some & here's how it went!

Recipe for Parisian Essence

1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of hot water

In a heavy bottom pan, over low heat, melt sugar, stirring constantly until burnt and black.
Remove from stove & cool a little.
Add hot water a few drops at a time, stir till smooth & return to heat till the burnt sugar becomes a thin dark liquid.
When cool - pour into a bottle.

Parisian Essence will keep for years, the intense heat destroys all sweetness. A few drops will go a long way to darken gravies, fruit cakes, and the staining of fabrics for various crafts.


How simple was this going to be! Well it was simple but a very long process of nearly two hours~!

                                       I used my faithful, handy cast iron frying pan!

                 I'd never done this before so I was surprised when the sugar started clumping...

                                                                    Then it melted!

                                                    And started to smell oh so good...

                                                              I stirred & stirred...

                                      The yummy smell left & the burnt smell was present.

                                                         I stirred some more...

                                                       And it finally happened...

 The white sugar had turned as black as the cast iron pan it was in! I added the water a few drops at a time & watched it bubble like crazy, then a few more drops, again & again....

                                               One cup of bottled Parisian Essence!

For the doll I will need 2 tablespoons but for years to come I will now have Parisian Essence in my pantry & better yet...I know what it is!! lol
I'll post my results of the Gardening Angel Doll, when I start the process. I swear I've ADHD, I'm so close to finishing the Vintage Tin. Two more squares & I can bring it all together but what do I do?!!
I spend an evening making Parisian Essence & tracing out a doll pattern, pushing away any Vintage Tin fabric that was in the way. I really need to focus on the task at hand!

You do have to admit---Gardening Angel Doll is cute! Can't wait to create her, she's a big one at 26"!!

Blooms In The Garden

                                                 How gorgeous is this bulb's flower?!

                    I was thrilled that it came up so beautiful, there's several now.

When Ross brought me these bulbs last month, he told me I would have to remove them in the fall.
I planted them in a large basket pot & placed gravel deep in the hole for drainage. In the fall I will remove the basket & retrieve all my bulbs for next spring!

                                The colour seems to be a lovely purple shade right now.

We've had so much rain here on the east coast & being shore side it's been chilly & damp but when I look out the window & see the garden, it makes me smile & happy to see it!
Maybe not so happy to see the grass & how much it has grown!

My post is late this week as the beginning of my week started off sadly with the passing of a friend then on Monday John  Cowhig, my father-in-law died. He battled cancer for over a decade & was one of the positive, caring person I knew. I will miss him & his Irish accent as he would speak, I would smile, he was a delightful man.

Our last family Christmas together in 2012, John is on the far right sporting his red & white winter sweater. We keep our house at 64F so everyone know to layer when visiting. He use to watch Boris for me & it was John that gave him the title of 'Little Man', always asking in telephone conversation, 'How is the little man?'
                     Grandpa John with some of his grandchildren as he celebrated his 80th birthday!
                                                                   God Bless You John!

You are so loved & missed by so many of us! What a privilege it was to have you in my life!

We all come with an expiry date.
Live each one of your days to the fullest & love & enjoy all the friends & family that are part of your life each day. You never know when your date is up.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit with me. :-)