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