Tuesday, May 31, 2016

To the Pond.

Hubby has been wanting to get down to the pond so I went with him this afternoon and took my new camera.  I worry about him mis-stepping and having to get the surgery redone but we got there and back safely.  Other than an overly generous amount of mosquitos it was a good day to be out. 
The first photo is of the pond with the beaver house just visible peaking out from under a tree on the right side.  The second picture is the path leading back up the hill that goes toward the house.  I love our maple bush.  It is peaceful anytime of the year.
I loaded a quilt onto the frame this morning and, within a very short time, it was 3/4 finished.  Having that extra quilting space makes such a difference.  I was a good girl and changed the needle, cleaned out the bobbin area and oiled everything that needed to be oiled before starting.  Because I quilt so much, I often forget those little things that keep everything running smoothly.
Tomorrow I am off to the optometrist and to buy some groceries.

Friday, May 27, 2016

A Fowl Job

I have spent a bit of time today getting familiar with my new camera.  I took a few photos to illustrate my latest Quilt Pattern Magazine column but nothing else other than just something that was in front of the camera as I tried different settings.
Tomorrow we have to do a dump run and then we are going for a drive to one of the most picturesque rivers in the area.  I will get a chance to see what I can do there.  We also plan on buying a few annuals for the garden at a local centre.  We have a planned hydro outage in the morning so this will give us something to do until it comes on.  I got some of my Saturday morning chores done today and am doing a couple of loads of laundry now so the outage will only be a minor inconvenience.
I have been working on a modern wall hanging using my Island Batik fabrics and am pleased with how it is turning out.  I also need to do some more practicing on my long arm.
We have been letting our dual purposes (meat and layer) chickens outside so they can forage.  I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get them back inside when it was time for them to be closed in for the night.  However, when they see me coming, they all run toward me and they scoot inside.  It helps that they know they are getting a special  treat.  There is a poultry food called scratch and they go crazy for it.  I only give them a bit but they sure love it.  The other chickens are in a fenced in area so I don't have to worry about them escaping but they do have to, voluntarily, go through their door.  No problem with them either.  They know what is coming and in they scoot.  I scatter a bit for them in their area, pop out and close the hatch and everyone is secure.  After I check for any more eggs and make sure they have enough water, I am finished my chicken duties.
Happy Memorial Day weekend to our American friends.  Please drive safely and wear your PFD on the water  so you can all get back home without mishap.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Washed Away

We had quite a rain today.  I had been out with a friend and when she brought me back to my car we discovered that it was surrounded by a puddle about 3 inches deep.  There was no choice but to wade through although I should have just removed my shoes.  I was wearing one of my favourite pairs.  There are just cheap ones but very comfortable.  I hope the unexpected bath didn't ruin them.
After I got home, I went out and put the chickens in for the night.  They were already in the coop so I gave them a feeding, gathered the eggs and locked up.
Tomorrow, I am hoping that the rain has washed away some of the mosquitoes and blackflies so I can finish planting the garden.  I think I will go out even if it is lightly raining as wet is better than bit.
If you didn't read yesterday's blog, I would  like to let you know again about the special subscription price The Quilt Pattern Magazine is holding to celebrate the printing of my pattern  "Dancing Stars".  All the details and the link is on the May 25 post or you can go to my Facebook page
If you know a quilter, please share this information and link.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Good News and More Good News

This has been another of those days when people seemed to be constantly coming and going.  A friend brought out feed for our chickens.  Then a couple of neighbours came over to help move his treadmill into the back of his truck.  I had borrowed it a while ago but found I preferred walking outside and it was taking up too much room.  We had to remove one of the doors to get it out but thanks to everyone's work, it got done.  It is really hard on my hubby having to let other people do his chores but it is a necessity.
Good news:  My pattern "Dancing Stars" will be published in the June edition of The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  This is a ezine and it always has really great pattern designers so I am honoured to be amongst them.  I also write a monthly column for them.
More Good News:  I am able to offer you a special rate on a subscription to the magazine.  If you are interested, click on this link and enter the word ark.  You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Yard Sale Find.

We are not big garage/yard salers but do go to one if it looks interesting and we happen to be passing by.  On Saturday, we saw that a family on the next road was having a sale and, as they had just sold their home, we thought they might have something we could use.  Hubby got a skill saw and a large metal pot for making camp tea.  I saw this chest but wasn't really interested.  We went into the village to do a couple of things and I kept thinking about that piece of furniture.  Like the majority of quilters, I have quite a collection of quilts and I really don't like to store them in totes.  The full sized ones get laid on the guest bed which works until you have company.
I decided if the chest was still there on our return trip, I would get it.  As you can see, it was.  The price?  $20.00.  It is big enough to hold my quilts as well as my batting.  Hubby is going to put a couple of chains on the lid to keep it from flipping to the back.  I have given the top a sanding and will rub a bit of furniture wax on it.  I thought about painting it with folk art but I hate covering natural wood with paint.
I am quite pleased with my purchase.  Sometimes it pays to brave the clouds of black flies and top at a sale.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seven Seconds to Disaster

I am too tired to write much this evening.  It has been a long day which started with an early drive north.  We dropped Heidi off at her sitter's and then went on to hubby's appointment.  The surgeon says he is doing well although it will still be another 6 weeks before he can bend to a 90 degree angle or more.  He can, however, start driving again so that is a biggy.
After lunch, we did our shopping and then back home again after retrieving the dog.  Groceries put away, email checked and dealt with and, once supper was over, the news watched I could relax.
I bought a light box and it was delivered today so I am looking forward to getting my applique patterns traced onto my fabric.  I have been using a home made box and, it did work, but not as well as a purchased one.
And that, my friends, is it for today.  If you are driving to your cottage, campground or other weekend destination, please do so carefully.  Experts say that speed kills but this expert will tell you that it is inattention, aggressiveness and overrated skill levels that cause the problems.  It takes 7 seconds to react to a situation if all the conditions-you, road, vehicle are in perfect shape.  In seven seconds at 100 km you travel the length of a football field! How long have you really taken your eyes from the road?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


An on line friend was mentioning about the deluge of rain they were experiencing.  Streets and basements were flooded.  I replied that it was too bad she couldn't ship some of it to the fire ravaged areas in western Canada.
It always seems that when it comes to weather, one area is getting too much of what another area desperately needs.  Eventually, it does all even out.  There is only so much rain and what goes back into the atmosphere comes back down again somewhere. 
There is some fluctuation in the area.  Some summers  are drier than others, winters that are snowier but generally they are pretty much alike.  We are, now that I think about it, fortunate.
I am beginning to feel as though I am almost back to my normal quilting routine.  I was able to get more done today than I have recently. I also started a scrappy baby blanket from some 2 1/2" flannel squares that a lady in our local quilt group didn't want.  I have bits and pieces of my own to add to it so it will be a reasonable size.
Tomorrow, we are off to see hubby's surgeon.  We are both hoping that he will tell us that hubby can start resuming some of his activities.  Even being allowed to drive will make a big difference.
Hope you are not in one of the areas that is getting any of the weather extremes or, if you are, you are safe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Obstructed Vision.

I was reminded today, while out for my walk, about the verse in the Bible which talks about seeing through a mirror darkly.  I was wearing my hat that has a netting which covers the wearers face and neck protecting them from the winged pestilence.  The netting does its job well but looking through it creates a bit of a problem.  It isn't as bad as one of the more expensive clothing items which is almost like a beekeepers covering for the upper body.  It is black (which I always think is rather odd because that colour attracts bugs) and the net is a very fine mesh.  So much so that air circulation is somewhat limited so you get quite warm.  Again, it does do a great job but it is difficult to see and, as I mentioned, hot.  My safari style hat is cooler and vision, while not as perfect as when not wearing it, is better than the other item.
I do find that it is good to really concentrate on where you are going as it is easy to miss a rock jutting from the ground or low tree branch.  My walking cane helps me maintain balance and push obstacle out of the way.
As you can tell, we are entering black fly season.  They aren't bad yet if you can rate such a thing but even a few are annoying even if they haven't yet started to bite.
We are still having cool weather so our wood stove has been on.  I made a pot of stew today which will be nice to have on hand for one of those many days when I don't feel like cooking.  Hubby has taken over a lot of that job as he is still recovering from his hip replacement.  He has an appointment with the surgeon on Thursday and are going to take the opportunity to do a bit of shopping.  Heidi is staying with a lady while we are away so we don't have to rush back.  We can have the stew for supper.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Island Boats

I just finished this project today.  The blocks are foundation (paper) pieced and I call it Island Boats as the fabrics are Island Batik.  This block will be part of the quilt that I am making to donate to our area women's and children's shelter.

Making quilts to give to charitable organizations or for fundraisers is something that most quilters do.  I have a page  (My Free Patterns ) where you can find patterns to use for these projects.  Feel free to use them without cost but I would appreciate credit given for the pattern and a photo of your project.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


It has been another lovely day.  I got another bunch of chores finished and the only item left is getting the flowers done for church.  I completed a foundation pieced block I had started and will do joining sashing which will finish it off.  Today was the last class for the applique group I am leading.  We may start up again in the fall if the ladies need more instruction.
I bought the wool for the vest I am going to make but will have to get something different as I don't have enough.  This is a really pretty yarn so I think I will make a sleeveless pullover with it.  I should have enough for that.

Sale on Kits and Supplies

 Craftsy is turning five this month .  For a very limited time, they are celebrating with major markdowns on best-selling kits and supplies. Just think; You didn't even have to blow out any candles to make this wish come true!    Check out the deals by clicking on the link: www.craftsy.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hummers are Back

Our hummingbirds are back.  I put the feeder out a week or so previously but this is the first time I saw a little hummer using it.  I got a new feeder this year that has a concave top that prevents ants from getting to the syrup.  You just put water in the depressed area which is right below the hanger and the little varmints drown.
When Heidi and I went for our walk through the bush, we stopped for a bit at the pond.  Hubby built a log bench there so we can sit and watch the wildlife or, if there isn't any, just sit.  It is a very peaceful place.  I don't usually see anything in midday which is when I am there but we do have otter, beaver and various water fowl including a very stately heron.
I got a bit of quilting done today.  Very little but at least it is something.  I am working on the latest Island Batik project and am paper piecing sailboats.  I will post a photo when they are done.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Birds

I had a lovely and relaxing day.  I met my sister, who is visiting from England, in Orillia which is about half way for both of us.  We shopped, had lunch and chatted.  She learnt to crochet about a year ago and, since them, has progressed to the point she is looking for more challenging projects.  We found a couple of books and lots of lovely yarn for her to buy.  I love helping people spend their money!  She helped me find a new camera which I will be purchasing in a few days as mine is, literally, falling apart.
With the majority of my siblings living overseas, we don't get a lot of time together so, when we do, it is greatly valued. 
I have done so little quilting lately that I am sure my machines are gathering dust.  Hubby is getting better every day but he still is limited in what he can do until the surgeon and physiotherapist tell him otherwise.  He has taken over making a lot of the meal so that is a big help.  However, I still don't seem to be able to get everything done that needs doing.

I see we have lettuce and beet shoots coming up in the garden.  A welcome sight.  Less welcome are the black flies that we noticed while having our cup of tea outside this afternoon.  Ah, well.  I am sure the birds are happy to see them arrive.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Internet Operational Again.

My internet has been down all week.  Our local service guy got the repair order this afternoon and came out right away.  I have been able to go on line at our library and delete the accumulating posts and reply to the critical ones so that was a help.  However, there is nothing like being able to sit down whenever you want and waste a half hour or more reading about what my friends and prefect strangers (what makes them perfect, I wonder) are doing.
You would expect that with all the free time I got a lot accomplished but it isn't the case.  I always work better with looming deadlines so, while I did get some thing done, I mostly frittered.
My thoughts are with all the people in Fort Mac.  A dreadful situation and one that, I am afraid, will not be resolved for a long time.
My husband and I have been there a few times during our motorcycling days and know people who live there.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Winner

And the winner is:  Arley Haner in Canada.  Congratulations Arley your package of Island Batik fabrics will be winging their way west.  I know you will love the colours and feel of these beautiful fabrics.

It is a lovely sunny day here in the back woods.  I have been to quilt group today and while I didn't accomplish much, it was still nice to be with friends.  After I got home, it was out to the chicken coop to get in the eggs and then sit down and have a cup of tea with  hubby.

The seeds I started indoors are growing well but I won't be planting them until the end of May.  This is Canada, after all, and we still could get frost!