Friday, December 28, 2012

Vanilla Bread

Today is the first time I have done any baking in over two weeks.  I made bread,  cookies and some lemon cake.
I usually make something else while I am waiting for the bread to rise and this morning I tried a new recipe for oatmeal cookies.  It was a fairly simple to follow so I was tossing in the ingredients without a great deal of attention.  It called for both vanilla and lemon extract so I measured out the first flavouring and added it to the batter.  Then I stopped and realized, to my horror that I had just dumped two teaspoons of vanilla in the bread dough!  Instead of moving it to the table while making the cookies, it was sitting on the counter right beside me. The cookies have turned out okay and the bread is now in the oven so I will soon find out what vanilla bread tastes like.
It could have been worse, I guess, but I better confine my cooking to one dish at a time until I am sure my head is completly back to normal.  It is still a bit fuzzy-obviously.

Tomorrow, we are going to my in laws for a delayed gift exchange and then on Monday to my brother and his wife for new year's.  I am glad our little car is fuel efficient as it seems as though we are often travelling to see someone.

If you are living in an area that got or are getting the snow storm please stay safe.  It didn't come north this time so we are able to get out and about.  It is cold but the sun is shining brightly so I will bundle up and take Heidi for a walk later.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Visitors

Looking for the Buffet?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  Ours was peaceful.  We did our traditional things; watched The Christmas Carol, opened gifts, ate and relaxed.  It wasn't what we had originally planned but life is often that way.
These deer were on our driveway enjoying the sun and end of hunting season.  The little shrubs along the road were just the right height for an easy brunch nibble.
My printer broke yesterday.  I have been having problems with it and it finally didn't work at all so, as we were going into town anyway, I bought another one.  It cost less than an ink cartridge and has all the features I needed.  In other words, it works.
We still haven't completely recovered our heath but are considerable better. We both have a cough that seems to have taken up permanent residence and don't have all our strength back but we are thankful to be upright.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

For Unto us a Child is Born

Merry Christmas to everyone.  Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my life with you this year.  I wish you all a safe, happy and blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Egg Nog and Bare Ground

I am a day ahead.  All day long, I thought it was Wednesday when, of course, it isn't.  Doesn't really make much difference but it is an odd feeling.  I didn't go to quilt group on Monday because of my husband's illness so that is probably what has thrown me off mental schedule-not that it takes much.
I have just got back from taking dear hubby to the doctor's.  He has bronchitis and was given a prescription for antibiotics.
I hope this speeds him on his way to good health.  I have been sweet and patient now for almost a week and I can hardly stand myself.
We still have a bit of snow on the ground but it is pretty mushy.  We may get a brown and soggy Christmas.  I am going to put out my nativity sets tomorrow to try and get some festive cheer in the house.  I'd sprinkle a little eggnog on the light bulbs if I had any.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Change of Plans.

I didn't expect I would be here to post anything this week but, here I am.  We had to cancel our trip to England at the last minute because my husband got ill.  I am not feeling one hundred percent myself but am able to function which is good because the chickens need tending, wood brought in etc.
We are both very disappointed which is putting it mildly.  It takes me a long time to mentally get ready to leave my home and I was at that point when everything came crashing to a halt.
Of course, it is not just us that is affected.  My nephew, whose wedding was the reason for all this, is now short an usher.  To make matters worse a number of other people have also cancelled because of illness, falls etc.  I won't even go into the financial repercussions.
So, we are all trying to adjust.  In our case, we are trying to focus on the coming Christmas.  My husband is still in bed but has a doctor's appointment for tomorrow.
Prayers for us all would be appreciated.
To put everything in perspective, is the horrible news from Connecticut regarding the mass shooting of all those little children as well as 6 adults.  Everything else pales beside that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Delay

Why I Love Winter

I have finished-I think-all my cards and some will be sent when we go into the village this afternoon.  The rest will be dropped off in Orillia and Toronto on Saturday on our way to the airport.  They will get to their destination much quicker when sent from a larger community.  We cut back on our list this year because of the postage costs and are sending more e cards.

For those of you who have been waiting for me to announce that my quilt book was ready, I have decided to wait until after the holidays.  I am too busy as is my editor.  I think that customers will have more time ( and, hopefully, money) to once again think about quilting related purchases as we start into a new year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas in June.

I just submitted my latest article for the Quilt Pattern Magazine.  You would be justified in thinking that it was possibly about Christmas or the new year and, while I did touch on this season, that wasn't the main topic.  Magazine articles are written six months in advance of the publication date so, while it is December when I wrote, it will be June when it is read.
Newspaper articles also have to be written in advance but, depending on how often it publishes (daily, weekly etc.) the lead time isn't as great.  For example, I write a local column for the Burk's Falls paper and send it in Sunday evening so it can be read on Thursday.  There still has to be some thought as to the readers perspective but not as much as with other publication.
If a person is submitting an article to an editor in hopes that it will be accepted, they need to think even further in advance.  It takes a long time for something to be approved, terms agreed upon and then sent for editing and publication.   If I were submitting a pattern with a Valentine's theme to a magazine, I would probably do so at least eight months before February.
One would think that with all this thinking ahead that writer's would be the most organized people on earth but I don't think this is the case-or at least it isn't for me.  Writing an article in June about Christmas doesn't result in me starting to make gifts or my fruit cake.  Like many other people, my preperations are left until the last possible moment.
This year, I have had to get ready a bit earlier as we will be in England for Christmas.  I am almost done.  However, because of my trip, I will not be posting until almost the end of December.  I may write a few words from my sister's computer but I expect I will be quite busy.  I expect you will be also.
So, you will hear from me a couple more times this week and then you can concentrate on your own Christmas celebration.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bargain Shopping.

Heidi's Christmas Photos

Evening in the Back Woods

We went to a department store that was closing down and did some shopping today. 
It was an  unplanned trip but when our Heidi's caregiver said she would like to have her for a few hours, we took the opportunity to shop.  Everything was at least 30-40% off so we were able to stock up on essentials such as soup as well as get a new kettle and toaster which we needed.
I hate to see stores closing especially when it means that employees are going to be out of work but the upside is that you can get some discount purchases.
We had a big lunch while we were out so I don't have to cook this evening.  After I get a few house chores done, I can have a relaxing evening.  I have started knitting a sweater as well as a new applique project so lots to do while watching television.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Time's A Fleeting

The time is getting closer for our trip to England-a week on Saturday.  I spent an hour trying to get some information from Air Canada without any luck.  They are experiencing higher than normal number of calls.  Isn't that another of those 21st century phrases that are great indication of poor customer service?
I have started to pack.  I never know what to take for clothes.  Doesn't matter if I am going overnight or for an extended stay in another country. And, of course, you never know what the weather will be so you have to allow for various conditions and temperatures.
I finally finished my maple leaf quilt and added the label.  I wanted to do something extra in one corner and just couldn't decide.  Finally appliqued a heart with a name and date embroidered on it. sometimes it is the little extra details that take the longest.
Tomorrow we are taking our wee dog to her caregivers for a pre- visit.  If Irene hasn't seen her for a bit, she likes to have Heidi over for a few hours so she (Heidi) can see that we do return. Irene is an absolute God send.  I hated leaving Heidi at a kennel because she would just bark until she lost her voice.  Most of the other dogs were so much bigger than her so she couldn't be left to play with them which meant she was crated the whole time except for walks.  Not much fun for an energetic little dog.  Irene takes her for an hour walk twice a day and Heidi gets the individual care that she is used to.  Still hate leaving her but I know she will be well looked after.
Sun just came out.  Hurray!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Photos and Lists

All the snow if gone from the back woods.  We are back to dead leaves and dead appearing trees, however, I do see a few snowflakes fluttering down so perhaps the ground will soon, once more, be white.  It is always a bit dreary when the weather can't make up its mind as to what season it is.
I must admit that, although I love the snow, I won't be too disappointed if it stays warm enough to hold it off until our flight leaves.  After all this preparation, I don't want to be sitting in an airport waiting for the weather to clear.
Yesterday, we got our photos taken for the family calendar.  Our niece is a photographer and she puts together a calendar for her grandparents using pictures of family members.  Our Heidi is going to be included this year and got to do a little posing on her own.
Jayme was good enough to take a few snaps of me so I can use one for my book etc.
I have made a list of things I need to get done today and so far I am making good time.  I am going out after lunch for a hair cut and some 'in town' things and then need to get at the magazine article that needs to be in before we leave.
Hope your personal 'to do' list isn't very long.  Try to find a few minutes here and there to remember why we are doing all this.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Internet Blues.

Just a quick note to let you know I am still alive and busy.  I have to go out today and likely won't be back until late so I thought I would just write a bit now.
On Saturday, we had our Christmas parade in the village with a record number of floats.  Friday night was the annual lighting of the tree, so our season has now officially started.
I have been having a lot of problem with my Internet service again.  If you live in a rural area and are considering getting the turbo stick (that operates on cell phone waves) do not do it.  It is the most frustrating system I have ever had.  Bell doesn't seem to offer any solution-reduced rates, booster so I just keep phoning and complaining.  My contract doesn't finish until next September.  I haven't called yet to see if I can cancel because they aren't living up to their terms but will look at that after Christmas.
We won't up to 12 degree weather this morning.  Our snow is gone and none is forecast for the next while.  If it stays like this, everything is going to start blooming again.
the lack of Internet and busyness has made it difficult getting the last bit of the book done but I am hoping for this weekend.
Will keep you posted.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Who Let the Dog Out

I just got back from going for a walk with the dog.  I have a choice of three routes I can take and I try to alternate them as each has a different terrain.  If I follow the trail through our property, I have to walk slower because there are a lot of things that could cause me to trip.  Using this route, I believe, helps my balance.  If I go north on the road there are a lot of hills, whereas to the south it is easier so I go further and include a bit of running.
I haven't done the latter route for a while because I have been trying to build up my stamina but, today, that way was my choice.  It was nice to be able to walk at a good clip at least until the neighbour's dog came at us.  It is a large one but friendly so not a danger.  However, it kept dancing around Heidi and she kept trying to avoid it.  Not fun.  My repeated shouts to go home didn't make much difference but it did, eventually, go away.  Of course, we had to pass it again on the return trip.
I find it very annoying when people don't keep their dogs under control.  Obviously, this one was outside on its own.  It could have been hit by a vehicle.  I know the owner and he is a responsible person, a retired police officer, but has a blind spot as to his dog.
I always carry my cane with me in case there is a need to ward off something wild and waving it around often deters the tamer animals.  If necessary I could take a poke at a annoying dog but I hate to do it.  It isn't the dog that is at fault.
I shall probably have to avoid going in that direction although I shouldn't have to make the choice.  Life, no matter where you live, is never without problems.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Cover


8 Detailed Projects plus Recipes and Stories from
Anna Branch, the Back Woods Quilter
The book is now off to be proofread.  I am, despite illness and holiday preperations, on schedule.  It will be available as a download, payable through paypal.  You don't need to have an account with them to purchase the book.  I will make provisions for those who prefer to have it mailed because of internet speed.
Now I am going to try and not think about it for a bit and get some other work done.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trials and Triumphs

Just a few more days and we will be in the last month of the year.  It hardly seems possible that another year is about to slip into history.
How has 2012 been for you?  Did you reach some goals?  Celebrate a milestone?  I am sure some of you have gone through some difficult times and are glad to see the end of the year.  Others know their problem will continue on for some time.
Like you, we have had challenges and victories.  My husband's youngest sister was diagnosed with and then defeated cancer.  We have a friend who is, with faith and courage, continuing to fight the same disease.  Another friend has had to deal with a devastating family situation but, she too, continues to trust in God and know she will have the strength needed to keep going.
We also have had some family problems and don't see any immediate solutions but we continue to experience many blessings. 
My book completion is on schedule and should be ready within a week.  We both still enjoy good health and never a day goes past when we don't give thanks for living in such a wonderful place.  In a few weeks, we will be celebrating Christmas with my family.  This is the first time I have been able to do so since I was fifteen.  My Canadian brother won't be there but as he lives near by, we are able to visit often. Life is good.

Friday, November 23, 2012


We have had a heavy rainfall this morning and it is supposed to get steadily colder as the day goes on which is going to make for a nasty drive home for commuters.
I am snug in my backwoods rug with the stove going, gentle music on the radio and my Internet working.  We are planning on going to an area craft sale tomorrow if the roads are okay.  If not, we will stay home.
I finally figured out what I am going to do for the corner blocks on a pattern.  Seems a simple enough situation but because the border is pieced and the way the colours lined up, I just couldn't decide.  I finally picked one of the blocks from the pattern and used it.  Perfect. Often when I come up with a design, it seems so simple that I wonder if anyone will find it interesting enough to do.  However, when I start working out the details, I have the opposite reaction.  I hope to get this top done today and ready for the frame.  I also need to do some baking as my husband is running out of munchies.  Will probably do that this afternoon.
Is anyone taking advantage of the grey Thursday, black Friday or cyber Monday sales?  I looked at a few things on line but there wasn't anything that tempted me to spend.  Things I would like but not enough to put it on a credit card.  So, I guess I saved a lot of money!
My cactus plants are blooming.  This is the first time since we moved here and they are covered in beautiful red blooms.
Hope all is well in your part of your world.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More Fowl Stories

If those of you living in other countries heard a loud cheer this morning, it wasn't because of a sports team wining a game.  We received e mail notification this morning that Craftsy is, once again, shipping to Canada.  They are one of my favourite souces of fabric and books as well as patterns (the few that I buy). I was disappointed when they decided not to ship north. 
Whatever the reason for the decision-monetary, probably-we are now able to once again spend our hard earned loonies (slang for a dollar coin) on their products.
It is gradually getting colder here in the backwoods.  We are having to feed the woodstove more frequently and bare arms aren't as comfortable.  It is still above freezing but that is supposed to change by the weekend.
We are starting to take care of the final details of our trip to England.  I am going to book a motel for the night before today and will be getting my dress for the wedding started on Monday.  I am taking advantage of the large table space at quilt group to cut the fabric.  After that, all we have to do is pack and show the lady who is going to be looking after the house and chickens where everything is.
Once this month is finished, I am sure the time will go quickly so I don't want to leave anything to the last minute.  Any available time has a habit of filling up in a twinkle.  And now I am going to have a look at the specials that Craftsy is promoting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Running Afowl.

It is a foggy day in the backwoods today but, thankfully, that is outside.  My head has cleared up as has all the flu symptoms and I am getting things done.  I have started editing my book so am on the home stretch for getting it published.  Still have a couple more patterns to do but one is almost finished.
I thought, yesterday that I might have to buy another printer.  I was part way through printing the book,  as I prefer reading on paper than a screen, and I got a paper jam.  Of course, I did what you are not to do and just pulled out the sheet.  It was intact so I thought I was alright.  Nope.  Spent the rest of the evening searching for non existent bits of paper.  I even disassembled some of the printer, used my little hand vacuum, wiped what I could see all without success.  While I was doing this, the ink cartridges didn't move from its position part way across the carriage.  I figured they were stuck and as I wasn't risking anything by 'encouraging' them.  I gave them a push, they moved and the error message went out.  Voila.
This morning I had to put everything back in place around the printer stand (I will really be glad when I have the extra room in my new studio) and finished the printing.
We have been having some problems with one of our chickens.  She keeps escaping the fenced in area.  She avoided detection the first time and spent the night outside which, if chicken are able to reason, should have cured her wandering problem.  It didn't, however, and Roger has been busy trying to find all her escape areas.  As she is one of the ones not laying at the moment, her days may be numbered!
Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers.  I have been getting Black Friday sales information on my computer all week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Flu?

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  My husband and I both had some sort of intestinal upset.  he was quite sick and in bed on Wednesday and Thursday.  I was feeling somewhat smug as I looked after him because I was healthy. We were scheduled to go to Orillia on Saturday to get our photos taken and, by Friday evening, it did look as though we would make it.  Not on Saturday.  I got sick.  Felt a bit better Sunday and then worse on Monday.  Today I think I am over it.  I hope.  I have a lot of work to do. 
That being the case, I hope you will understand if this is just a short note.  I am trying really hard to get my book ready for the beginning of December and I still have things to do for our trip to England.
By the way, here we nearly at the end of November, and I saw a robin yesterday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Retreat

It is still pretty dreary outside.  A spot of sunshine would be nice to add a bit of zip to the day.  However, a dreary day when you are retired and living your dream is still better than a sunny day working. 
There was a picture on the news this morning of a retreat and it showed this gorgeous view from a picture window where a man was lounging.  For a moment, I felt envious and then remembered, I have basically the same view from all my windows.
One of my favourite spots in my new quilt room is going to be my corner where I hand sew.  It will be my very own little retreat area.
My retreat Area

Even now, with the construction material all around, I like to go, sit on the rocker and just contemplate.

View from the Window

As you can see, the scene right now is pretty drab but it will be beautiful when we have a snowfall and, believe me, you will be getting to see the photos then.  You know what I am like with winter photography!
Another busy weekend ahead so I guess I better get started on my work.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Run Henny Penny.

My husband is feeling much better so I am able to get some more things done today.  I have been working on the last pattern for my book and will give you a peek.  It isn't finished but, as you can see, it is one of those pattern in a pattern ones. The photo doesn't really do it justice but as it is just a tiny peek, I guess that is okay.

Our wee Heidi was a bad dog yesterday.  I went out to gather eggs and put the chickens in for the night when I noticed one was missing.  The black hen is quite adventurous and I guess she decided it wasn't curfew time for her.  She came wandering by, Heidi saw her, she ran, Heidi ran and so did I.  I always put her (dog's) leash on even if we are staying in the yard and this is one of the reasons why.  I was able to step on the trailing lead; it is five feet long, and bring her to a halt.  I think she was just curious but she got a good scolding anyway.  We are trying to teach her to leave the hens alone but it will probably take a few lessons.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Bit of This and That

It is a bit of a blah day.  My husband is in bed ill with the flu.  He is a bit better than yesterday but still not well enough to let him fend for himself.  I was supposed to go to Orillia and meet my sister for lunch but had to cancel.  She is here from England and I hate to miss the opportunity to see her but life is what it is.  We shall be at her place in just over a month so we can do catch up then.
I am doing a bit of sewing, a bit of quilting and a bit of writing today. I have cut out a blouse to make, want to sew up some pin cushion chickens to give as Christmas gifts.  I have got, monetarily anyway, rather addicted to them.  I also have to finish up my next article for the Quilt Pattern Magazine.  It is due on Tuesday.  I am almost finished that  Just have to add a bit more and do a rewrite.

Here are a couple of pictures to remind you of the summer.  I am looking forward to having snow covered ground to take away the dinginess but, until it happens, I will just look at my photos.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Little Chicken Fun

We had a fun day at our local quilt group yesterday making non-quilting things.  One of the ladies was going to show us how to make a snap closing bag and I was doing a session on making pin cushion chickens.
We decided to do the chickens first and that was as far as we got.  This group of creative ladies decided to put wings on their chickens which I hadn't done.  I had to-if you will forgive the really bad pun, wing it.  We stumbled and laughed our way through that part and on to the rest.  Counting myself, there were 8 ladies making the chickens and what a time it was.
There were a lot of false starts, many repeated instructions, suggestions (!) of alternative methods and, above all, laugher.  At the end of the session, everyone did complete a chicken and we made the decision to leave the bag until the following week.  The ladies then went on to try a few variations.
I've promised to write up a set of detailed instructions that will include photos and some of the variations.  I am going to try making one of white satin and lace.
We all found that making these things are addictive.
The craft sale on Saturday went fairly well.  I sold some of my things-including a number of chickens, as well as some of the quilt groups products.
My husband isn't feeling well today and is in bed.  I am hoping he doesn't have the flu as we are supposed to be going away tomorrow and Saturday.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scrappy Pattern for You

I have had a busy morning.  I've made four quart jars of chili sauce, six 500 ml of jam and a huge pot of pumpkin carrot soup.  I want to make some cranberry chutney but that can wait for another day.
A friend sent me a link to a scrappy quilt pattern that I thought you might like.  The designer, Cindy Carter is providing it free of charge but please make sure you read her copyright instructions.
the link is:

My husband is doing some more work on the addition.  Things have pretty much stopped lately as I have been busy getting ready for a craft show, cooking etc and he has been hunting.  We still hope to have it done so I can more in before Christmas but life involves other things as well.
Hope you enjoy the pattern.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Small flock

I am making little pin cushion chickens.  A great way to use up bits and pieces of fabric.  Am also thawing tomatoes and fruit so I can make chili sauce and jam tomorrow.  That is two different recipes not some weird combination.
Took my car in to get the winter tires done this morning and am waiting for them to call so I can pick it up.  I find it hard to get into anything when I am waiting for someone/thing. 
My quilt room is an absolute mess again.  I had kept it tidy for a while and then I was looking for something and there are boxes and fabric all over the place.  Tidying that up might be a good thing to do while waiting for that phone call.
I really am looking forward to getting into my new quilt studio so I can have everything where I can see it.  Even though my various things are in labeled clear totes, I still have to root around trying to find the correct one and, if I am just looking for a piece of fabric that 'might' do, the rooting turns into a mess.  I know I shouldn't complain.  Many quilters have to sew on their kitchen table.  I really am fortunate.  I not only have a nice room but am getting a bigger one.  Even more important is that I am married to someone who supports what I do. (There now I feel better)
I hope, if you are American, that you took time to vote yesterday.  I recently watched a video that showed how really dreadful women were treated when they tried to get the right to vote.  I am afraid it is now another of those rights we take for granted.
A Small flock

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Melted Dessert

I got my maple leaf quilt back yesterday from the lady who did the quilting.  I am really pleased with it.  I just have to add the binding and that one will be done.  It will have to wait until next week though as I have some odds and end to make for our local craft fair.
I already have quite a few larger items so I want to do some pin cushions, bibs, aprons and a couple of fabric decorations.  I am going to get started right after I finish writing this as the sale is Saturday.
I don't much feel like doing it as I have had a headache all day.  Not sure if it is the weather or something else.
I saw a cardinal today when I was driving home from Huntsville.  a neighbour told me tha tthey  had had one in the bird feeder so I have been keeping any eye out.  I can't even remember when I last saw one.
I was a bit annoyed at the checkout person (actually more than 'a bit) where I got my groceries today.  I have a number of freezer bags that I always take as it is, at best, a half hour before I get home from the store.  I make a habit of always putting the freezer stuff on the counter first so it is easier for the staff person to pack.
I don't always see what they are doing, although I try to watch, as I am getting things on the  belt.  I did notice he was not doing a very good job of packing and, in fact, had to put some of the spare plastic bags I carry and he used into one of the larger fabric bags.  When I got home, I found that he had put dog food, celery and other items in a freezer bag and the ice cream, milk, etc. in a regular one.
I phoned the store to complain.  It had been 3 hours from the time I left the store until I got home as I had to do other shopping, go for my mammo and have lunch so you can imagine what happened to the ice cream.
The manager said he would replace anything that I thought had been harmed which I appreciated.  The ice cream was the only thing that suffered because, thankfully, it is cool today.  However, I really just wanted to make sure that the young man was was told that he actions weren't acceptable.
Now on to that sewing.

Friday, November 2, 2012

World's Best Soup

We arrived back from shopping a short time ago and noticed that the hydro had been out.  When I went into the studio, I saw that the computer monitor was blank.  Mini panic.  Turned everything off, back on.  Nothing.  Waited for an eon or two and there it was. I am so attached to my computer that losing it can send me into a bit of a tizzy.
I bought some backing fabric for my wedding quilt while in town and then picked up at parcel at the post office which contained more fabric so I have my material fix for a bit.  I have a pattern that needs to be made up as a sample so had to get the fabric for that.  Also bought more of the backing material that I am using in one of the hand applique projects because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough.  That happens to me frequently which, if I am doing a scrappy it isn't too much of a problem.  However, that rarely seems to be the time when I discover I need another few inches of a particular colour.
I mentioned to one of the ladies in group that I am, one day, going to pick out a pattern and buy all the fabric I need to make it.  She reminded me that as we often change our mind as to where we want a fabric to go that my plan probably still wouldn't work.  I guess I will stick with my usual habit of finding-or designing, a pattern that uses what I already have or mostly have.
I have a new favourite restaurant.  We had lunch at a place called The Farmer's Daughter in Huntsville and the food was fabulous.  I had mushroom soup and was angling for the recipe. Definitely a place that will get further business from me.

And Now It Starts

We had our first snow last night.  Warning for new readers!  This is the time of year when I go on and on about how much I love winter, how beautiful it is , how I love being outside on the crisp days, how I...well you get the idea.   This really is my favourite time of year.  I do try to give everyone a break a few times a week and talk about other things such as how cut my dog looks chasing the snow. 
I'm kidding about the last bit although she really does.  Quilting is still my main purpose for this blog so I do focus on that.  The latest edition of the Quilt Pattern Magazine came out yesterday.  This is an e mag and I have a monthly column.  I have been a writer for eons but it is still a thrill to see my words in print.  The quilt I used to illustrate the article is one that is in my book and I am glad to see it reproduced clearly.  When you are taking photos for e publications that will be printed, you have to be extra careful about crispness.  My book will be downloadable; first time doing that, so it is a 'learn as you go' process.
News reports show that conditions are still pretty difficult in the areas that were most affected by Sandy.  I know everyone is doing there best to restore hydro, provide shelter etc. but it must be scary for those living in the situation as the weather gets colder. 
I have made a huge pot of stew this morning and it is simmering on the wood stove.  I am going to spend the rest of the day working on a quilt top and the stories for the book. 
My sister arrives from England today to visit her son and his family.  I will be going to see them later on this month.
Stay safe.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Storms and Wild Animals

It has been a longer than normal length between posts.  On Tuesday, our hydro was out and then we had company.  Yesterday, we were away and, after we got home, I  forgot.
Hurricane Sandy has left such devastation and it is going to take years to recover.  I am thankful that there wasn't a great loss of life although if there was only one and that person was someone close to you, it is devastating.  We have have had two deaths in Ontario but many more in in other countries.  Rescuing continues as well as restoring hydro, transit systems and normalcy.
I can't help but wonder how many of those that needed rescuing from their homes were people who ignored warnings to evacuate.  Perhaps none of them but it does seem like there are always a few who feel they know better than experts and then depend on others to save them if they are wrong. 
This doesn't just happen during storm related disasters. I've seen the same pattern during thin ice warnings, approaching fires or signs telling the public not to feed wild animals.  Some people still refuse to use seat belts, put down their cell phones or avoid driving when intoxicated.
These folk insist they have the right to choose but when their choice puts others at risk they have made the wrong choice.
I have finally finished my maple leaf quilt top and it is being quilted as I write.  I am working on another top now as well as making a dress. 
My husband continues to make progress on the addition.  It is mostly the detail stuff now.  I am going to pick up some paint today to do the window trim and the ceiling boards.  Deer hunting starts next week so he will be taking a well deserved rest.
Hard to believe tomorrow is Friday already.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Easy Half Square Triangles

I am working on a new quilt with a lot of half square triangle.  One of my favourite methods of making these blocks is to do four at once.  the following photos are self explanatory.  I started with two squares of 5 1/2" fabric, placed right sides together and sewn.

Sew 1/4" around perimeter

Cut diagonally

Cut diagonally in other direction

Open and press. 3 1/2" squares.

Hope you find this method helpful.  It is cool today.  My husband is working on the walls, I'm quilting, the wood stove is warming the house and adding cheer.  Our Heidi is laying on the hearth and the chickens are outside doing chicken things.  All is right with the world,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Good News

I have taken advantage of the lovely weather today and hung my laundry outside.  I don't usually wash the clothes until Saturday when it is reduced hydro rates but I just couldn't resist.  I reasoned that using just the washer with cold water would, at peak rate, use less hydro than both washer and dryer at low rate.  The things we have to think about now.  In any case, I have clothes-and the fabric I got yesterday, on the line.
We have had good news today.  The building inspector has been, given his approval and left.  We can now finish the walls and ceiling and start moving in some of the stuff.  There has to be a final inspection once those last bits have been finished.  It does tend to go on and on but that results in a  Christmas like feeling each time a step is completed.
Speaking of Christmas, you do realize we only have 2 months until the big day, don't you? I haven't really thought much about gifts as we won't be here but I guess I better start planning a few items.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Failed Recipe

How many panels do you have? No idea.  What about left over blocks?  Any idea how many you have stored in bags, tucked in a drawer or taking up space on your cutting table.  I couldn't answer either of those questions because they, like an embarrassing incidence from my past, are something I'd rather not think about.
However, the members of an on line group I help moderate, have been talking about uses for these panels we bought with such enthusiasm and then forgot. The suggestions ranged from totes to pillowcases, aprons to cushions.  All great ideas and ones I am going to put to use-eventually. 
When I get into my new studio, I will have to sort out all the panels and put them in a separate container.  If I also label it and include some ideas, perhaps, hopefully, I will use them.  I know I have some crib panels which are always great to have on hand.  I also have an advent panel and some smaller ones of sewing scenes, animals, and, I think, some cartoon characters.
My maple leaf quilt top is finally almost finished.  I thought I would get it completed at quilt group yesterday but, of course, I left some of the fabric at home.
I have been baking today.  I tried a new recipe for pumpkin cookies but I don't like it.  For some reason, the batter was sticky and the cookies taste the same way.  My molasses cookies and the bread turned out alright though.
We have started letting one flock of chickens roam free.  Their original owner only contained them at night so they are used to being out and come wandering back when it gets dark.  It is an interesting sight seeming them scratching around in the leaves and grass.  One of them found a juicy morsel yesterday and the rest decided she should share.  A lot of flying feathers and squawking resulted in nothing.  Reminded me of some people.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Birds and Pumpkins

We have had a lot of birds around the house the past couple of days.  There are the usual chickadees and sparrows but also blue jays and woodpeckers.  It is almost as though something was driving them from deeper in the bush to the perimeter. 
Yesterday,  when I took Heidi for a walk, a flock of robins flew past.  It seems as though they are heading south later each year.  We also saw a couple of partridge which will make my husband happy as he though they might have moved onto another area.
This morning as we were sitting by one of the south facing windows in the new room, having our coffee and watching the wildlife, we commented again on how fortunate we were to live in such surroundings.  It is such a peaceful place and often the only sound outside is the singing of birds.  Of course, at the moment, we do get the noise from our own construction project as well as from one of our neighbours.  Another neighbour is an entertainer and we occassionally are treated to her music courtesy of outside speakers. Usually, however, it is turned down to a level where it doesn't drift our way. The country isn't as quiet as most city dwellers think it is but it is vastly less noisy than an urban area.
We have finished our building until the inspector comes so today we were cutting up and cooking pumpkins.  We still have a couple of large ones and three small pie types left but our hands are sore and the cook pots are full.  Once everything is cooked and cooled, I will puree and freeze where it will be ready for soup, muffins and bread.  I may make another batch of pumpkin butter as well.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Time Needed

Today, my husband is picking up our turkeys from the butcher and I have to make room in the freezer.  We are going to cut most of them in half as, with just the two of us, a whole is too big.  We will probably have one for this Sunday's dinner.
I am working on my column for the On Line Quilt Pattern magazine and it is hard going.  My mind is on pumpkins that need cutting up and cooking, tile to the laid the the sun room part of the addition and the sunshine outside that is enticing me to go for a walk.
I think I will give in to the latter need after lunch.  We haven't been getting many days without rain recently so I should take advantage of the day.
I also have the corner blocks to finish on a quilt top so I can send it to a friend to be quilted.  This is the first time I haven't done that step myself but I want the result to be extra special and I really don't have time with everything else that needs doing.  I also want to get my scrappy heart quilt in the frame so I can get it done for the spare bedroom. 
I wonder how many hours in a day a person would need to do everything on the mental to do list.  The number would likely keep changing because, just as nature rushes in to fill a vacuum, so our projects grow to overflow the time available.
I better get back to the article if I am going to get it finished in time for lunch.  Enjoy your day.  If there are any flowers left in your garden, take time to smell them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fabric and Flooring

We got the floor and the support post finished in the addition today. Now I can start moving in some totes that have been taking up so much space in my quilt room  Another couple of weeks and I should be able to do a complete move; depending on the building inspectors report.
I have been putting together an order for Connecting threads.  If you need batting, they have really good prices: Hobbs 80/20 queen size for 20.00.  I buy a lot of my fabric from them as well.  If you live in the U.S. you get free shipping with orders over 50.00 and it is only 8.00 for the rest of us.
Usually, a few of the ladies in our quilt group share an order and the shipping price.
If you would like to check them out, the web page is:
I started making a dress last night.  If it turns out alright, I will use the same pattern to make my outfit for my nephew's wedding.  It is nice to be able to sew.  the fabric for this dress cost me $15.00!
Hunting season started in our area and we hear gun fire occasionally.  We have to remember to wear bright clothing if we go for a walk in the bush although no one should be that close.  However, what people should do and what they do do are often quite different.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Steep Learning Curve.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We are having a non rainy day which, apparently, will be the only one for the week.  My husband is outside getting pre winter things done: moving a tree, making sure the mudroom roof doesn't leak etc.
I was thinking this morning about how many things he has had to learn since we moved here from the city.  Using both a chain and table saw, caring for chickens, building sheds, additions and steps, felling trees as well as knowing which are the best ones for firewood.  And, of course, the making of maple syrup. He has done well and, more importantly, is really enjoying it.
My work has remained essentially the same: cook, clean repeat.  Most of my adjustments has come from the distance of amenities.  Popping across the road for purchases has changed to a drive of at least 10 kilometers and, usually, quite a bit more.  Mail delivery and garbage pick up are a perk of the past but the lack of really isn't a hardship.
I am glad that even though we are well into the last half of our life that we are still healthy and flexible enough to enjoy the change.
I was expecting some friends coming for a visit this weekend but plans have changed.  Disappointing but there is, as Scarlett said, always tomorrow. I imagine we will now use the time to get the addition ready for final inspection and then, hallelujah, I can start moving.
A Moment's Rest

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Home for the Backwoods Quilter

My New Studio
 As you can see, the exterior of the addition is almost done.  the rest of the work; exterior trim, skirting, will probably wait until the spring.  I think it looks lovely.  Certainly a perfect home for the Backwoods Quilter.  I can't wait to start moving my things in.  That will happen at the same time as my husband takes over my old studio.
His former room will become the guest room and I am equally looking forward to decorating that for future company.
The second photo shows part of the interior.  Still lots to be done there.  We hope to be able to pick up the flooring tomorrow.  The wood bit you can see on the ceiling is where a support post is going.  We need to have two because of the snow load.  Roger is going to square them off with cedar planks.   Won't that smell wonderful?
The bottom picture, of course, has nothing to do with quilting but it has been a while since I posted a picture of Heidi.  She was patiently waiting for a chipmunk to show up so she could chase it.  That is
Inside-Still Lots to be Done
 her self imposed job: chipmunk hunter.
I Can't Chop Wood, I'm Too Little

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Not a Lazy Day.

If I wasn't so busy, this would be a lazy day.  It has been raining in a steady drizzle and the sky is a discouraging grey.  It is the kind of weather when you want to grab a book or some knitting and sit in your favourite chair while the wood stove sends its glow of warmth and colour.  did you know that knitting lowers your heart rate?  Apparently, the repetative movement is so soothing that blood pressure drops a few points.  I read somewhere that petting a cat and making it purr can have the same result, however, in this case, it was the purring not the petting that made the difference.
I am not sure what our wee Heidi would make of this.  Probably that just looking at her being cute is healthy and I believe she is right.
I have been working away on neck scarves for boy scouts.  A friend of mine is one of the leaders and whenever they get new members, I make their scarves.  Not a hard job but usually something that has to be done quickly.
I had been finishing the last blocks for a quilt top but have had to put it away until this job gets done.  That may be sooner than I planned as I am running out of red bias tape.  Drat.  Another trip to Huntsville.  We are waiting to hear from the hardware store as they are cutting some linoleum for us.  If it is ready tomorrow, then we can combine trips.
I have also had a quilt pattern buzzing around in my head that I would like to get on paper.  That too will have to wait.  Busy, busy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Left Over Turkey

We ordered the flooring for my quilt room today and picked up some tile for the ceiling.  We got this at a recycle place so it saved us a lot of money.

Yesterday, a follower asked me if I had a recipe for left over turkey and, after sending her one, I thought I would share it with everyone.

You can use any leftover, cooked poultry and there aren't any measurements.
Place cut up, cooked turkey in a casserole dish, add a bag (or left over) of frozen vegtables.  I use the ones with smaller pieces containing peas, carrots, corn etc.
Add a can of cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup.  Stir together.
Top with biscuits or pastry.  You could also use mashed turnip, potatoes or yams (sweet potatoes) as a topping. 
If using turnip etc.  toss some bread crumbs with a bit of garlic powder and basil and sprinkle over topping.
Bake at 350 until everything is hot and the crust is brown.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A New Quilt Book

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Here in Canada, we were celebrating Thanksgiving and most people gathered with their family and/or friends and had roast turkey.  Ever the rebels, my husband and I stayed home, worked on the addition and had a casserole-it did have turkey in it and it was home made but not quite the same.  We did, however, finish the outside of the room. I am taking a day off today and getting inside stuff done.  I have a quilt I have to get finished and neck scarves to make for the local scout group. 
With the definate change in season comes a change in clothing and I've put away my summer wear and got our the winter things.  If the weather warms up again, it won't be a problem as I always keep a couple of outfits to wear in the house if it gets too hot.
Of course, once Thanksgiving passes, thoughts start turning toward Christmas.  I won't have much to do this year as we will be in England celebrating a wedding.  It will nice to spend the day with my family before flying home on the 26th. 
If you would like to buy yourself a little quilty gift this year, my book will be ready.  It will be a downloadable and can be bought through paypal.  There will be more details later but I can tell you that there will be at least 10 patterns, many of them scrappy, plus some stories of our move and life here in the backwoods. The cost will be $25.00 with a presale special.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin and Fabric

Loons and Cattails Fabric
This is some of the fabric I bought yesterday.  I really like the colours and the design.  I am not a big fan of patterned batik but this is so subtle that it will blend wonderfully.
I am looking forward to trying these in my vintage Tiles applique but it will probably have to wait for a bit as we continue to work away on the addition.  We have one of the ends done now.  Once the other is finished we can relax a bit.
I am also cooking up some pumpkin to make my curried pumpkin soup to serve tomorrow.
My thoughts will be in England tomorrow as one of my neices is getting married.  She is marrying a very nice man who she has known for a number of years.  I hope they will be as happy as my husband and I.
Happy thanksgiving to all my Canadian followers.  We truly do have much for which to be thankful.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Fabric

We took a day off today, did some shopping,  met friends and had lunch together and bought fabric.  You didn't think I would go shopping and NOT buy fabric did you?  I went to the Bracebridge quilt store and picked up the 6 fat quarters that I had asked them to save for me.  These are the Canadian designed batik line, Loons and Cattails and they are lovely.  Unfortunately for everyone else, I got the last of it until the new shipment comes in in about a month.  They were specially designed and ordered for the area shop hop and will be on the general market in March. 
I will try and scan the fabric for you to see.  It really is striking.  Also picked up at FQ of pastel batik for my Vintage Tiles applique quilt as well as something for the lady who popped in and took our Heidi for a walk while we were away.
Don't tell our wee one, but it was nice to be able to shop as long as we wanted and to go into No Dogs Allowed stores together.  She did get a nice treat when we got home.
The leaves are really starting to fall now and I think there are almost as many on the ground as on the branches.  Christmas ads are starting to sneak their way onto the airwaves as the end of the year creeps closer.  In the meantime, I will enjoy the day in which I am living.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Rustic Look

One side nearly done

This is the long side of the addition and, as you can see, it is approaching doneness.  I really like the rustic look and opted for leaving the knots and non straight edges.  Some of the planks even have a bit of bark on them. 
I had a bit of a mishap while getting one of the planks and tripped over a board.  I scrapped my right leg pretty badly but, brave soul that I am, after applying some ointment and a bandage, I soldiered on.  It is almost lunch time so I am taking a bit of a break while dear husband adds the trim to the roof edge.  thank goodness for leftovers because that is what our meals have consisted of this week.
We are taking the day off tomorrow while we check out the second hand places for flooring.  More photos to come

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Indian Summer?

I was listening to a blue jay while getting lunch today and it reminded me of the poem, Indian summer by William Campbell.  It is one that I often quote as it seems to describe so well the area in which I live.

"Indian Summer"

Along the line of smoky hills

The crimson forest stands,

And all the day the blue-jay calls

Throughout the autumn lands.

Now by the brook the maple leans,

With all his glory spread;

And all the sumachs on the hills

Have turned their green to red.

Now, by great marshes wrapt in mist,

Or past some river's mouth,

Throughout the long still autumn day

Wild birds are flying south.
I don't think that we are experiencing Indian Summer just yet but the sun is shining through the maple leaves and the temperature is a lovely 15 degrees.  I seem to be in a soup making mood lately and this morning I made a kettle full of cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and rice with lots of spices.  It is a Weight Watcher's recipe so it should be slimming as well as good.
My husband has been out all morning helping a friend but, when he returns, we will be working on the addition.  We started putting the siding on yesterday and we need to get that done before winter arrives.
Right now, I am going to have a cup of tea and perhaps read a few pages of a book while I wait for him to return.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thank You.

It is hard staying indoors when the weather and scenery outside is so lovely.  I am getting all my Saturday housework done today as we are having company tomorrow.  I have a soup cooking in the crockpot and am thinking about making a few little things to give out but probably won't have time.  I also have to get the label on a quilt that I am taking to my nephew's on Sunday.  He is taking it to England for his sister's wedding.  Of course, I could have done that label ages ago but I've left it to the last minute. 
I received an e mail from a friend who is a regular reader of my blog and it started me thinking about how many of my family and friends are faithful readers.  Knowing that they, as well as many other people around the world, take time from their schedule to see what I have to say is humbling.
As you know, I do write a lot about our home and quilting.  I do also try to get in some comments about how I am feeling about something or my reaction to a notable happening such as the Royal Wedding.  Sometimes I just ramble away and hope everyone will forgive the boring non-topic.  I also try not to be too repetative.  Right now I could write daily of the beauty of the trees in our area.  When you are surrounded by something, it is at the forefront of your mind.
Thank you for reading.  Thank you for your comments and thank you for the encouragement.  I will never meet the vast majority of you but you are important to me. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Building Woes

I have been helping my husband with more of the inside work on my new quilt studio.  Those of you who have gone through the renovation process will know how much fun (!) it can be.  My husband and I work together much better than when we were first married but we still have the occasional huffy moment.  However, we are making progress and, for the most part, enjoying working together.
He has gone to Huntsville now to return excess insulation and get more of the boards we need for strapping.  You always seem to have too much of one thing and not enough of something else although it is most frequently the latter.
I am sure those who build for a living have everything worked out to the last nail but we poor 'do it yourselvers' spend a lot of extra money on fuel.
Doesn't that remind you of your early quilting days?  I continually had to figure out how to add a different fabric to my original plan as I didn't have enough and, naturally, my fabric was no longer in the stores.  That is one of the downfalls of having a stash; you can't add to a particular fabric because it is no longer in stock.
I am sewing my maple leaf quilt rows together now so am making progress on that.  I may get it done within my deadline yet.
 I hope you enjoyed the two lots of autumn photos I posted yesterday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Autumn in Burk's Falls

My husband and I went for a drive this afternoon as the sun was shining and it seemed to be the perfect day to get out and enjoy the fall colours.  I think we are just about at the peak in this area although those to the south of us haven't reached that point.  In addition to the colours, we are also blessed with many rivers, lakes and waterfalls.  This area is one of our favourites as it combines colour with water both calm and rapid.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Our Lovely Home

End of the Drive Way
Beside the House

Our colours are almost at their peak and I thought you might like to see some of the scenery that we eanjoy every day.

Same View Two Days Previous
Our Driveway.


Friday, September 21, 2012

In Praise of Pets

I have, as regular readers know, a little, white west highland terrier/poodle cross (westiepoo).  She is a real delight and adds a lot of laughter and love to our days.  Those of you who have a special animal (or bird, fish etc) will understand when I say she is very much a part of our family.  Of course, we think she is the smartest, cutest little dog every born.
For the first couple of years after we got her, we wondered how we would ever manage such a lively, energetic dog.  However, like us, as she has got older, she has become calmer.  She is still yappy, likes to chase chipmunks, warns us of real or imagined dangers and prefers my husbands lap to any other place in the world.
When I am quilting, she likes to sit on my sewing machine table and look out the window.  The fact that she is in the road doesn't seem to matter to either of us although I do have to push her a bit when she gets too close to the machine.
Cats tend to be more associated with quilters and I love hearing my quilting friends tell of how their felines will get caught up in the fabric, and give every project the coziness test.  I miss that.  We did have a wonderful white male who added his personal approval (and a ton of cat hair) to every quilt I made.  We haven't been able to have a cat here because of my husband's allergies but I do miss their specialness.  Fortunately, I am able to get my 'cat fix' when I go visiting my various friends.
I am going out to do some gardening shortly as we are getting a break in the rain showers.  Heidi will help me chose the best spot for some spring bulbs and make sure I take a break now and then to pat her.
Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Block

Vintage Tiles Revisited
Design by Dorothy Baker
I finished this block last night.  I still have to add the embroidery but will wait until I have all the blocks done.  I am really enjoying these blocks as they are challenging enough to be interesting but not so much to scare me away.
Have you heard the arsenic warning for rice? I get so irritated with all these food dangers and they are invariably for something that those with lower incomes depend on.  A plot by the wealthy??  I am kidding, of course, but doing so out of frustration with the lack of government control over foods that are imported.  Why oh why do we not have better labelling so we can judge if we want to buy a certain product?
That is my rant for today.  I am now going back to making my cabbage roll casserole that contains rice.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pumpkins and Plants

Autumn Splendor
I have just finished making four batches of pumpkin butter and one of pepper jelly and I am pooped.  I have chili sauce, strawberry jam, pickled beets and green tomato mincemeat yet to do but no rush for them.
I took Heidi for a walk in between all this and had a few moments toenjoy the sunshine and fall colours.  It is cool today which is why I was getting some canning done but the sun is nice and bright.
Later on this afternoon, my husband and I are going to pick up some more plants that my friend is giving t
Last night I all but finished my latest Vintage Tiles applique block so will take a photo to post tomorrow.  I don't seem to be getting any other quilting done lately.  I am completly hooked on hand applique.
I hope you are able to take a bit of time from your day to enjoy some of the lovely fall colours.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spammers, Ugh.

My blog seems to have picked up a spammer.  I have taken steps to stop them but, if that doesn't work, I may have to change the way I accept comments.  I appreciate all of you who take time to respond to my articles but, unfortunately, there is always someone who creates problems.
yesterday, our quilt group put on a disply of our work at the local Legion where we meet.  We had a chance to visit with those who came for the show while explaining the work involved in making a quilt.
The Legion provided dessert and hot drinks which added to our good time.
It is raining today so I am baking.  The bread is sitting on the kitchen counter rising in the pan and we had a nice bowl of soup for lunch.  I made a pot of spicy black bean with potato soup-my recipe, and it turned out well.  This afternoon, I am going to do some work on my book and the wedding quilt.  the blocks are finally finished so I can now start putting the top together.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Beautiful Heidi

Heidi After Her Grooming
We have a young neighbour who is just opening a pet care business and Heidi is her model.  I think she did a lovely job although our little one wasn't her usual co-operative self for the camera.  Heidi has been nicely trimmed, tangles removed and nails clipped.  Diana didn't rush it through and let Heidi have some play time in between the sessions.  I am very pleased with the result.  If you live in our area, I would be glad to give you contact information.
We now have windows and doors on the addition and the weather wrap on the outside.  All this thanks to the help of our friends who came from Haliburton.  Carol and I had a nice visit while the men worked.  I have been friends with this couple for nearly 40 years and, when I was a single parent and raising my young son, they were my support and encouragement.
We received some bad news yesterday.  My father-in-laws health is failing.  You always know this day will arrive with your parents but it still isn't easy.  Both my parents are gone and, with my mother especially, I still have days when I forget that I can't call her.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Good Read.

Today was one of those dreaded shopping trips.  As I am sure I have said numerous times before, I dislike shopping.  Today we went to a new store that had opened in Huntsville to check it out.  The closest ReStore (Habitat for Humanity) had been in Bracebridge which was over an hour away so we were looking forward to having one closer.  We picked up a few odds and ends and, when we were in the car, my husband gave me a book he had found.  It is called The Cats Gallery of Art by Susan Herbert and if you like cats and/or art you will enjoy this.  The book consists of famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa but with a cat instead of a human.  It is very well done and this is a book I am going to keep.

Speaking of books, I have been reading the Marie Bostwick series about a group of quilters and a shop called the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop.  It is similar to the Elm Creek series and I am quite enjoying them.

I also recently read The Chimneys of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston.  This book is about an ancient home, a quilter and her grandson.  This one is a bit more of a fantasy but does focus around a quilt.
On a more practical note: Tomorrow, we have a couple coming to visit and he is going to help my husband do some more work on the addition.  If all goes well, by the end of the day we should only have the interior stuff left to do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Buckhorn Quilt Show

It is peaceful here in the backwoods today.  I am catching up on some housework, my husband is bringing some cedar posts from the back of the property and the dog is sleeping.
On the weekend, I went to a quilt show in Buckhorn.  It was the first time I had been able to get to that one and it was very nicely organized.  One of the best features was plenty of room for the vendors.  I usually find that they seem to be an afterthought and get tucked into any available left over space.  It is difficult-sometimes impossible, to see the products or purchase anything.
I bought some Jinny Beyer border fabric and Roxanne wash out white glue that I want to try for applique and binding.
It was a long drive home and the weather was dreadful.  It was so windy with periodic downpours that, at one point, I pulled over and stretched. After stopping in Huntsville for shopping, I arrived home in time for supper, exhausted but happy.
Yesterday, my husband brought home some more hens.  These are a combination meat and laying birds and includes a rooster so we are hoping for some babies.  They are being kept in their coop at the moment until they get used to their new home but, when they are allowed out, I will take a photo.  They really are beautiful birds.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sawdust and Quilts

I feeling less tired today and am getting back to routine stuff-housework, shopping, quilting.  I have started another of the Vintage Tiles Revisted Blocks and it is coming along quickly.  I really enjoy the back basting method of applique.
I got my fair entries packed away.  Items that will be gifts went to their area, those to be sold seperated from the ones to be reentered next year.  We are allowed to enter the same item twice although I normally don't. 
I am going to start a list of things I want to do for next year as I am determined to get a red ribbon on one of my pieced or appliqued quilts.  I got a first for a quilt top but not for a completed one.
My dear husband is continuing to work on the addition.  He was out before I got up this morning and will soon be ready to put in the windows.  Of course, the house is full of saw dust but it is a small price to pay.  In any case, it sweeps up easily.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Additionally Speaking

Making the Walls

We had a busy, busy weekend.  Our work crew family arrived early Saturday morning and laboured until dusk, stopping only for food.  They continued again the next day until around two.
On Saturday I took my 2 sister's in-law garage saleing after dropping off our entries for the fair.  The rest of the day was spent serving meals and waiting to be needed for something.
There is still a lot to be done; finish the two short walls, add windows (there will be four on the long side) and the door.  Then the insulation, wiring, and siding has to be completed before putting down the floor covering and finishing the interior walls.
There were some changes made to the original design.  Because it is higher from the ground than we planned, the roof slope is less.  This means we are going to put support posts inside in case we are a away and there is an unusually heavy snowfall. The entrance door also had to be moved to the higher wall side.  This will be a bit of an inconvenience but easier for hanging out laundry.
Biggest One Done

Adding the Roof
All in all, I am pleased, ecstatic really, with the room.  I may not be able to move until the winter but I am going to have so much fun setting everything in place once it is finished.  
Tomorrow, I will tell you about our experience at the fair.
View from the West End

East End

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Free Classes on the Web

Today is our anniversary.  We had a laugh while opening our gifts to each other; we both went to the same store and bought similar things.  I guess it is true that couple get more alike the longer they are married.  We will complete our celebration by going into the village for supper.
Yesterday, I was watching a video on attaching binding to your quilt.  This is something I've haven't given a great deal of thought-cut, sew on, done.  However, Susan Schamber's method certainly produces a more professional finish.  If I ever want to win top prizes for my quilt, I had better increase my skill so will be giving this a try.  You can check it out   It is called Binding the Angel.  Angel being the name of the quilt as opposed to the being.
There are a number of other videos that are shown on the right side of the page that I would also like to try.
Another program you might find interesting if you own a business or are looking for work is:
This is a free webinar and I have signed up for it