Friday, February 25, 2011


Our trees are festooned with strange growths.  Some have large plastic bottles hanging from them and others rusty pails.  It is maple syrup prep. time and my husband is outside each day doing something to get ready for this years run.
He says that he wants to paint the pails in some bright primary colours next year so that will cheer up the forest during the last days of winter.  I will have to remember to take a photo.
Tomorrow, I am going to a winter festival parade.  Roger is a volunteer so I usually take him over, watch the parade and then come home.  I am going to take my camera as the entries get funnier each year.  It reminds me of the silly summer parade that is held in Edmonton every year.  It is pretty much the way it sounds; people dressing in outlandish costumes and doing weird things.  Rather like Alice's tea party come to life.
It is always good fun watching adults forgetting their dignity and being silly.
Sounds like those of you in Western Canada are having another minus 40 cold spell.  That means those of us in the east can expect the temperatures to head downward in a few days.  Winter always seems to enjoy reminding us that it is still in control, doesn't it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Web Page

I couldn't believe it how fast the time went this morning.  When Roger mentioned making lunch, I had to check the clock as I thought it was only around 10.30.
This photo is of a quilt I just finished.  Part of what I was doing earlier was making the bed with the new quilt.  I have a blanket underneath so I can remove this at night and I now have Heidi's blankie at the foot of the bed.  She is NOT going to be allowed on the new quilt.  Well, at least not when I am at home.
The other thing that has taken a bit of time today was talking to the lady who has set up my web page.  She needed some more info and then we were discussing how to add my patterns and so on.  I am very pleased with her design.  If you would like to check it out, I have added the link to My Favourites list.  You will only be able to see the home page right now but we should soon have the free stuff and some patterns added.
Now that I have that quilt finished, I am getting ready to do another of my UFO's .  The pile of quilt tops is gradually diminishing.  Of course, I will probably add to it before the last one is done but I am moving in the right direction-slowly but moving.
My husband is getting to be quite the techie.  He is navigating Facebook, uploading and sending photos and going on chat.  I am quite proud of him.  I am hoping to introduce him to my long arm frame one of these day and see how he does on quilting!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Income Tax Time

As I write this, my husband is sitting at the kitchen table doing our income tax return.  We get a property tax credit this year because of my advancing age-an advantage of marrying an 'older women' that my husband never considered.
Another benefit of being retired (besides all the credits) is that the return is easier to do.  As I have usually been self employed or had a small business of some sort, mine has always been a bit more complicated.  I paid to have it done for a number of years and then noticed that the preparer was using a computer program.  As I often had to advise them of some of the decudtions, I figured I might as well do it all myself.  I bought a simple program and did just that.
I am hoping, of course, that my latest business-quilt pattern design, will be successful so I might have to go back to the computer program again.  But, if I have to, I have to.  It will be a small price to pay for being an international celebrity (If this were an e mail, I would now insert the letters ROTFLOL).
I have been making lists of all the quilt patterns I have designed over the years and I am surprised just how many there are.  The designing is the easy part.  The hard step is writing the instructions so they can be followed.  This is what I am spending most of my time doing.
We have had some great weather the last couple of days.  When I took Heidi for her walk yesterday,(if you saw us, you might think it were the other way round) I just kept going.  There is a lake about 3 or 4 city block lengths from our driveway and we walked along it for a bit.  You get glimpses of it from the road and I noticed that it was still ice covered.  It isn't a big lake so I suspect that water should be appearing soon.  I may take a walk to our pond today and see how things are progressing there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Changes

You may have noticed that I have added some links to the side of the blog.  Thanks to my webmaster, Rachel's, guidance, I now know how to do that.  I will continue to add sites as I go along.  Most of them will be quilt related and will include free patterns, instructions etc.  I will also be adding my own web page link when it is up and running.
Once it is on line, I will also have free stuff as well as my patterns.  This is a big step and will mean more time spent in designing so I can bring you some new fabric arrangements.  However, it is something I have been wanting to do for a few years so I am quite excited about it becoming a reality.
On Sunday, a lady gave me a poem that had been printed in a local paper in 1989.  It is called, "The Quilting Bee" and is by Hazel Bently who is no longer with us. Although, few of us are fortunate enough to have been involved in a bee, I find that many of the things Mrs. Bently mentions, still happen today in our quilt groups.  In Burk's Falls, we even have our own Alice who always has something interesting to share.
We all like to gather around the quilt
It is called a quilting bee
When all of us do our very best
For each and everyone to see
Our needles fly swiftly in and out
And the tongues wag just as fast.
Some people say, 'it's a gossip group
Diggin' up things from the past'.
We tell jokes about by gone days
About beaus and their pretty belles,
But nothing is nearly so funny to all
As the stories that Alice tells
And then around about three o'clock
Everything stops for lunch
And Oh! the goodies that do appear
Soon satisfy a hungry bunch.
Now that's not all by a very long shot,
We have wonderful times you see
But if you want to know more of what goes on
Just come out to our quilting bee.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Scary Day

This photo is of one of the patterns that I am now selling on  It is paper pieced and there is an alternate layout.
I am now working on an applique' pattern (I have a friend who refers to applique' as the A word!) so I will then have covered all the methods.
I hope to soon have figured out how you put links on the side of the blog so those of you who are interested, can check out the patterns.
I had a bit of a scary trip yesterday.  I needed to go into the village to buy a few things.  It was a nice mild day and everything was melting but I thought, once I got out of our driveway, the roads would be alright. They were considerably less than alright.  The slush was quite deep and under it, ice.  I skidded a couple of times even though I was going slow.  I could only take my foot off the gas and steer until the car was under control again. It is rather scary being across the center point and not knowing if a car will be coming from the opposite direction. I finally decided that it was best to turn around.  I made it back home and about three quarters up our drive and that was it.  My husband came out, I spread some ashes from the stove and, with Roger pushing, I got the car to its parking space.
This morning, there is a skating rink all around the house including the driveway hill.  We really do need to get in to pick up the mail, do banking etc. so my husband is out there with the quad trying to make it driveable.  It looks as though he is dragging a heavy chain to try and break up the ice.  It is well above freezing right now but the concern is what happens once the temperature drops.
I don't really have to go anywhere but I admit that I am beginning to feel a bit of cabin fever.  Oh well, I will soon be complaining about all the mud.
Have a great weekend,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Google Earth and Marriage

There is always debate on whether it is better to marry someone with whom you have a lot in common or an opposite.  My husband and I are opposites and it seems to work well for us.  This morning I was trying to find a couple of small communities on a map.  I wanted to see where they are in relationship to each other.  They weren't on the map I had so I asked my husband if he could find them on Google Earth.  This, as you probably know, is a program where you can locate areas, specific buildings such as Tower of London, sites, monuments (Statue of Liberty) and so on.  Roger is very good at using it but I have never spent any time figuring it out.  He located the communities I was interested in and even wandered down the streets of the village.
Despite my lack of Google Earth expertise, I am the computer expert of the family.  I am also the one who knows how to spell,  am logical and a hermit.  My husband is good with numbers, is outgoing and humble.  He is also the romantic one (yes, I know I am lucky). We  have opposite tastes in music although we both share a love of gospel and the blues.  We are both readers, enjoy the outdoors, animals and being active.  We are both creative.
So I guess the answer to the opposites or same questions is it is best to have a mix.  The same in important things and differing in others so as to be interesting.  I always say that my husband and I together make one complete person and that is the way it should be.
Welcome to the blogs newest followers.  You will find a number of free patterns, BOM's (just realized I didn't do this months yet) and quilting hints.
It is raining here today and above freezing so we should be losing more snow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tracks in the Snow

My husband has had a nasty cold since Saturday and is just starting to feel well enough to go outside.  This has, fortunately, conincided with what looks to be a nice day.  We have not had a snow fall for three days and, with the warmer weather, the snow banks are starting to recede somewhat.  We still can't see the bottom step which is at the back door.  In the winter time, Heidi can easily jump onto the landing rather than walk up the steps.  She doesn't really like the stairs as her chain tends to catch on the corners (which I am always planning to round off) and prevent her from getting to the door;   the travails of a tiny dog.
A friend that lives half hour or so north of us said that she saw a bobcat in her back yard (the four legged variety) last week.  She had been seeing tracks and suspected that this was the source.  She, understandably, was quite excited.  These creatures are people shy and usually stick to the bush.  I think they are also nocturnal.
We see a lot of tracks around our home as well and, while we can identify most of them-deer, rabbit, wolf etc.  there are others that we aren't quite sure who made them.
When I lived in the city, I used to look at skid marks and try to figure out what had caused them-ice, animal and where the vehicle had stopped.  Often the marks were left by more than one vehicle so I could guess at who was at fault and why.  When you are on the road a lot, such things are interesting.
Now, of course, the majority of tracks I see on the road is left by wildlife.  That changes a bit during the summer as the fair weather residents return to their cottages but this area is still relitively traffic free.
I expect that will change eventually but probably not for a few years and we are far enough from the road that it still should be quiet.
I am, once again, organizing my quilt room and right now there is fabric and quilt tops piled on every surface.  Should have that finished today.  I hope. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting There

This is a 'better late than never' posting today.  I always seem to have a bit of a problem getting at Tuesdays blog.  I suppose that is because it is three days since the last one.
I am still really busy but am starting to get some things finished.  I needed to put the extension on my machine frame and that led to tightening bolts, cleaning the track and a few other bits and pieces.  I finally have it together again and will get the machine on and everything set up to load a quilt.  I have been stacking up some tops so I can just go from one to another and get everything done.  First up is the quilt for the master bed.  I just have the border to do and then I can add the binding.  I don't know how long I have had this one waiting to be finished but, at a guess, probably five years.  It will be so nice to get it on the bed.
I finished another pattern for the on line store that is selling them and it is posted.  I need to get a couple more done but have other projects that are more important just now.
On Monday, my husband cut up and cooked a bunch of venison.  He added some vegatables and put it all in the slow cooker.  Today, I made pastry and turned most of it into meat piece.  There are two full casserole dishes left that I am going to cover with biscuits just for something different.  A lot of work but now we have something in the freezer for emergency or in case I don't feel like cooking.
I went for my afternoon walk with the dog today and I could feel spring just on the edges of the weather.  It is still early yet but Roger was making maple syrup in early March last year.  I will be happy if we can just get a few days of sunshine.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Photo Problems

The end of another week.  Monday is Valentine's day and then the following week it is Family Day long weekend. Both the groundhogs and the Farmer's Almanac are predicting an early spring.  My husband is already talking about and preparing for maple syrup time.  Me?  I am just trying to keep up with the things that need doing.
My pattern has been uploaded onto Sisters Quilting Expo web page and the owner of the on line store is asking for at least two more.  I think I will do a paperpiecing one next and then, perhaps an applique.  I will then have covered the major quilting forms.
Our weather started out nice and sunny this morning but, as it has warmed up, the snow has once again begun to fall.  Next week, we are promised warmer and brighter weather.
I have been trying to upload a picture I have of a dog standing in the rain with a bright red, inside out, umbrella beside him.  He is soaking wet and looking as dejected as a dog can.  He is the image of our Heidi after I have given her a bath. Unfortunately, I am getting a message saying the server is refusing it.
I had just been giving my husband a lesson in how to upload photos to his Facebook page and was feeling quite pleased with myself.  Another example of pride coming before a fall.
So, here is differant and equally cute photo.
Enjoy your weekend,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold and Bright

This morning I woke to a bright and sunny day. A nice change from the continual snow squalls we have been getting.
I was at a community meeting last night and we had a good turn out with lots of positive response so I am happy.  Our rural community, like so many others, is struggling to have a vibrant downtown area.  There are so many little things that could be done but it takes people working together to accomplish it.  Hopefully, last night was the first step in acheiving that.
I also found out that I might be eligble for some grant money for the quilt business I want to develop. That has sent me on a mental happy dance.
I am feeling rested after a good nights sleep and now am looking at all the work that needs to be done.  Isn't it amazing how quickly laundry, dirty dishes and fabric can pile up?  My quilt room looks as though there was an explosion in a material factory.
I got an e mail from a friend this morning and it was so typical of her that I had to smile.  She is one of those women who doesn't just stand in a check out line, or take a taxi or any of the usual activities.  She always gets involved with people.  This morning she was saying that it was quite slippery in Edmonton and, while waiting at the bus stop, she was showing people how to slide their feet rather than step so they didn't fall. 
I always except to see her on you tube conducting inpromptu stretching exercises or something while standing in line at Walmart.  Quite the lady. She keeps life interesting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pattern Finished

I didn't get enough sleep last night-dog decided she wanted out just after five.  My brain is too fuzzy to be working on business plans so I decided to finish up the pattern for the web site I mentioned yesterday.  It might sound odd that someone as math deficient as I would find it easier to do something that involved a lot of numbers but I do.  I guess it is because I already know what to do with the pattern but the business plan is something new.
In any case, the pattern is finished and sent off.  I am not sure how quickly she will be able to get it on her web shop but I will keep you posted.
I have a meeting in the village tonight and the weather hasn't been good.  I hope it clears up before then as the committee that I am on are trying to get the business owners, organizations etc. together to work on revitalizing our downtown.  This is a concern shared by many communities whether they have a large or small population.
We got a positive reaction when taking around the posters so I would hate to have to reschedule.
Going to have a lie down and then have to put together an agenda and sign up sheet.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Too Much Thinking

It's time to take a break.  I have been working on a business plan for a woman who is starting a quilt shop.  Even with the help of templates and samples, it is a lot of mental work.  I am thankful that there is so much help on the Internet and all of it free.
It is important that this all be done correctly as it will be used to apply for financing.
The store already has an online shop at:  if you would like to check it out.  They will be carrying my quilt patterns so that is exciting.  That may give me the impetus to get them written properly. The web store will be a big help toward the success of the 'real' shop.
We are having a cold and sunny day which is a nice break from the almost constant snowfalls.  The accumulation of fluffy stuff doesn't amount to much; just enough for the road to need plowing almost every day.
My husband went shopping today and, when he returned, he kept something carefully hidden as he went to his cupboard.  Valentine's Day must be approaching!
There seems to be a lot of turmoil in the world at the moment.  I am glad for the peace of my little backwoods home.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A New, and Better, Day

Today is baking day.  The bread is in the oven, the stew is on the stove and the applie pie is undone.  Ran out of energy by the time I finished the first two and still had the cleaning up to do so, no pie for supper.
I called the dog owner yesterday and left a message on their machine and it seems to have worked.  No dog and no dog souvenier's today.
Last night I finished the quilt top I have had laying around for a while.  This one is, as I think I mentioned, for the master bed so is quite large.  I started it while living in Edmonton and then set it aside while working on other projects.  The pattern is called Patience Corner's, if I remember correctly and it is one of those optical illusion ones.  I still have to quilt the borders and put on the binding but that shouldn't take long. 
I spread the quilt out on the bed last night and it does look really nice against the headboard my husband made.  I will take a photo and show you next week.
With this project almost completed, I have just about caught up with all my unfinished project.  Just re read that sentence and I sound completely wishy washy-almost completed, just about caught up.  Let me off set all that with a definate statement.  Have a great weekend and if your weather is stormy, stay inside.  Quilt, read a book, snuggle or watch a movie but stay safe.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Letting Off Steam

I am irritated enough to melt all the snow in our backyard! I mentioned yesterday about a web site that had a pattern that I wanted to buy but they only sold to Americans. I was offered the home address of an on line contact which was very generous of her.  I put it into company's order form and then found that I had to pay by credit card.  You can guess the next problem-my credit card address didn't match the one given.  Well of course not.
All this idiocy for a downloaded six dollar pattern.  I sent them an e mail that should get their attention.

Irritation #2.  We have a neighbour with a large dog.  When they first moved in, the dog was allowed to run free and, of course, it came here as we have a female.  Dogs being dogs, it left evidence of its visit.  I went to the neighbour and told them of the problem and we haven't had any more visits.  None until the last two days that is.  I am not sure what to do next.  Pack up the evidence and leave it on their step?  Call the dog patrol?  Visit them again?
I don't want to have bad feelings with neighbours and I certainly won't do anything to the dog but it is causing problems.  The mess is bad enough but the reaction of our dog is even worse.  She barks her little head off and starts running frantically all around the house trying to get to the other animal.  Argh.

Irritation # 3 (It's been a bad day). This one isn't anything to do with me but I never let a chance to be annoyed go past.  You will, of course, be aware that earlier this week we were warned about a severe snow storms.  Motorists were advised to stay home.  Many did.  Schools closed, meetings were cancelled and I am sure some business were operating with few employees.  It turned out that although we did get a storm, it wasn't as bad as predicted.  Now, the media is chuckling at Torontonians because they over reacted.  How fair is that.  People did as was suggested and then are told they are wimps.  I get a bit tired of the Toronto bashing.  What the media chose to ignore was that if the highways had little traffic, it was because the people who commute to Toronto stayed home.

Now I feel better.  My husband has already heard me going on and on and on about this so I needed a new audiance.  Isn't it nice to be able to let off steam once in a while.  Now I can go back to quilting and be relaxed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Last Storm?

If you are anywhere on this side of North America, you are probably getting a snow storm.  Seems as though most of the estern United States and Canada are hunkering down and waiting. 
We weren't supposed to be affected up here but it is snowing quite heavily.  I cancelled my hair appointment and rebooked for tomorrow.
So, today I will finish the stew I started yesterday, make some biscuits and work on a quilt.
I had a frustrating situation with an internet quilt site last night.  I saw a lovely pattern that I wanted to order and, as it was a downloaded, didn't think there would be any problems-pay the fee, push a button.  I noticed that they didn't ship to Canada but as I wasn't getting it shipped, again, I didn't think there was a concern.
Turns out I was wrong.  You have to give them a U.S. address.  I could probably figure out the pattern by looking at the picture but I would have liked to have their instructions plus, as they have lots of free stuff, given them a bit of support.
I may end up seeing if I can use the address of an American on line friend but it is a nuisance.
Better get this posted as it looks as though my internet service is flickering.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy February

I can never resist taking winter photos.  This one I did on Saturday morning.  It was one of those glorious sunny, cold days and the snow was glistening so brightly I had to shade the camera to get the photo.
The weather reports say that another storm is hitting southern Ontario.  We seem to have escaped all the extremes.  I am surprised to find just how easy the winters are here in the backwoods.  After living in Edmonton with its minus forties and Orillia which is in the snow belt, it almost seems balmy here.  Almost but not quite.  We have had some very cold days and others when the snow just keeps falling. Those are the times when you are especially grateful to a neighbour who has snow removal equipment and is kind enough to do your road.

This photo shows our next door neighbour working on our driveway.  You can see about three quarters of the road length which gives you an idea why we are so grateful.
If you are in the area that will be affected by the storm, please stay safe.  It is a good opportunity to stay inside and quilt.  If the hydro goes out, take it as a sign that it is time to organizes your scraps or maybe do some hand quilting.
By the way, if anyone is in need of some business cards, I have found a great source for some free ones.  They are good quality and you get a little case for them-also free.  The site is