Monday, June 20, 2016

MY MAMA SAID...

"Tomorrow never comes".   Did your Mama ever tell you that?

I know I said I would finish my blog post tomorrow, and yes I know that was 3 days ago, but I am doing it today instead. <grin>
I think I said I would tell you about a few of my current projects. Good thing I am going to keep it to a few or we would both be here for a long time. Surely I'm not the only one with several projects on the go at once. 
Earlier this winter a friend and I went to a introduction class to Annie Sloan paints and techniques. I was enjoyable couple of hours and has given me so many ideas for projects that need to be done around the house. The first project I decided to tackle was a small wooden bench/storage chest that I had purchased at a consignment shop on our last trip to Ontario to visit to our son. I actually purchased a few items that trip and here is a before shot of the chest alongside a large metal can that also came to live at our place. It was in terrific shape and although it was not a fine antique I knew it was just what I wanted for the foot of my bed. I had been wanting a small bench and the fact that this one had storage in it was an added bonus! 
 

In progress with just paint

 

But how much richness the wax adds to her look. Here she is dressed in her new coat of Annie Sloan  "Emperor Silk"  red paint and finished with dark wax. 

 

I also purchased a couple chairs from the same store and hauled them home from Ontario...poor Mr O! He just shakes his head...
In my haste to start this project I for the before pics so you will have to trust me on this one that they look WAY better with the makeover. I painted them in AS Graphite, again this totally changes it's look once the wax is added. The seats were covered with very black cord type fabric so that had to go. I have always been quite smitten with linens and toiles and ticking and although I have some in my stash, I needed a particular colour of ticking for this job. One very rainy day a couple weeks ago 4 amigos went on a road trip to do some fabric shopping and to pick up Ruby from her very long stay at the sewing machine hospital. We were able to score some great purchases at terrific prices across the border in Maine. I had the perfect piece of ticking for my chairs!
This is what they look like finished...well, almost finished. It needs a few more staples in the fabric, but as luck would have it I ran out of taples in the stap,e gun and with Mr. O away I was a bit of a loss as to where to find them, but you get the idea from this shot. 

 

No I didn't miss a spot. I distressed them a it after painting and before the wax went on. I cant have them looking too new, they won't match anything else in the house! 😳
I had a couple projects in mind while shopping and was able to get one of them almost completed last weekend while at the cottage.
We have 2 futons in the guest house/quilt studio for overflow company. I was really feeling crowded with 2 of them and with a grand daughter getting her own apartment this fall while away at university I was able to pawn donate it to her. She is happy, and Nanny is happy! ( She was also happy to take a  coffee table off my hands as well)
I kept one futon but was not totally enamoured with the fabric so I decided to make a slip cover for it in red and white ticking. Yes I know summer is tick season but for me this summer is ticking season! I wanted this to be as easy as possible to make and change as possible so the plan I cam up with was to make a large tube and then sew twill tape ties along the edges to keep things closed and secure. I am quite happy with the results. Unfortunately I was not able to purchase as much twill tape as needed so once I am able to get a few more meters of it I can complete that job as well. In the meantime it is working out just fine.

FUTON BEFORE

 

FUTON AFTER

 


I have several cushions that I brought home to recover so that will make it look a lot better once they are done.

I have an old Queen Anne chair that I love but has seen better days, so I shampooed it and am now in the process of covering the seat cushion. The original plan was to make a slipcover for the whole chair, (😱 what was I thinking!) however after shampooing the chair I came to the conclesion that covering the arms and the cushion would be sufficient. That is now a work in progress. I started out with a floral fabric, then switched to ticking and yesterday I decided that I wanted something different. I have been struggling with the piping. Not only have I never done that before but I am trying to replicate the method used by the original makers of the chair where the piping is not a piece unto itself but it is fitted into the seam while the top and side are sewed together thus making less bulk in the seam...I know I know...that explanation was as clear as mud and you are scratching your head saying, "what in the world is she talking about?"
I know what I need to do but fabric is limited so I may have to go at it ankther way after all...tume will tell.

This is my chair 
 

She looks much better since her shampoo, but the cushion was realling hurting so this is what has happened to her.

 

 

The cover has been removed and dismantled so I could use it as a template for the new cover and yes that is ink on it! Don't ask!
I am really labouring over this project because I want it to look good. This chair is an old favourite of mine and she deserves it.

Mama also used to tell us, "whatever you do, do with your might. Things done by half are never done right."

While going through my decor fabrics I discovered a piece I had purchased while vacationing in Spain and I think it is just crazy enough that it might work with the blue fabric of the chair and the red and white ticking and the Union Jack throw quilt for the futon. It is a Queen Anne chair after all so this British themed fabric should be fun!


Come on now! Keep an open mind!

I purchased an antique dresser/cabinet this weekend as well and I am trying to decide on a colour for it. It will be residing in the beach studio and will probably house quilts and blankets. I think she will add some character to the place and I want her colour to reall "sing". My first choice was the same red as my little bench chest but I am also leaning toward an English Yellow. What would you pick?

 

I made several jars of stewed rhubarb this week and 11 jars of Heavenly Jam today. 

 

 

 

See that little zip lock bag of rhubarb? I'm saving that to make another rhubarb loaf just like the one I made a week or two ago. It was without a doubt the best rhubarb loaf ever! I mean E-V-E-R! Really. I also made it into muffins for our fabric buying road trip. A tasty snack.
This is the loaf minus a slice or 2.

 

This is the recipe in case you want to give it a try. I used the zest from the whole orange not just the requested tablespoon and I also added a cup of chopped pecans.

 

My weight loss journey has taken a bit of a detour and I really need to focus and get back on track. ( please refer to the previous paragraph and photos to help you to understand about the afore mentioned detour) In all fairness with all the bad weather, walking has been difficult and any excuse to eat is a good one, which is ok if you offset the damage with physical activity but things have been a little lopsided lately and I need a good kick in the pants to get me motivated. I started out today fully intending to walk...got my hiking shoes on and then realized I better get my rhubarb washed and cut for my jam, so the apron went on instead, but I have to say I was really rocking this look today; ruffled apron over my skirt with hiking shoes! 

 


Something else my Mama used to tell us was, "be yourself. Don't worry about what everyone else is wearing." 
I'm pretty sure this is not a look everyone else is wearing! How am I doing Mom?



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Word Of The Day : PLUVIOPHILE

How many of you know what a Pluviophile is? No cheating! I know your first instinct is to Google it, or maybe check with old Mr. Webster, but be honest. Did you know what it meant? Have you ever heard the word before? I hadn't and quite frankly I stumbled on it just recently but a Pluviophile is.....

Definition of Pluviophile

a lover of rain;someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

If there are any Pluviopholes in our area they must be absolutely euphoric! We have had nothing but rain for the last 2 weeks. I'm not talking of an occasional shower or a light drizzle, I am talking RAIN! Every day! Cold rain, and wind; the kind of weather that had me turning on the furnace in the middle of June! I spent the weekend at Winterpast with a quilting friend and I had thought we were to have some decent weather, and we did for a few hours but before the day was half done it was raining again and Sunday was gloomy and windy and blowing and so soggy, I thought it could not get much worse. Boy was I wrong! Monday we had the most frightful weather you can imagine. It was so dark and windy, with absolute downpours for hours on end! I not only turned the furnace on, but I was so tired of the dark gloom, I went all around the house turning on lights...It was an all in all revolt! I went to each and every room...bathrooms, entries, hallways, bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, all three lamps in the living room, everything that had a lightbulb and a switch got turned on! I just could not take the dark and gloom another minute! It didn't change the weathr outside but at least it was brighter inside. 

I took a few videos and photos of the effects of the rain around the house and neighbourhood to send to Mr. O. 

 

My poor rhubarb patch was pounded into the ground. 

NOTE:  I have been fooling around on my ipad for the last hour trying to enlarge the font and to insert a video of the nasty weather but have had no luck...maybe later.
NOTE #2 : I get very frustrated with all the updates to apps etc. It seems I just get used to doing something one way and they change it and leave me muddling around again!
NOTE #3: This is one reason I have been so slack at blogging...it takes me forever to get things done on this app. I have tried 3 different ones and still have issues!!!

Ok! Enough whining.
I will post a few weather related shots of the shore areas on the way to our cottage. These are not my pictures. I retrieved them from afriend on my Facebook.


 
 

 

A few more taken around home

 


This was a lawn a few or so ago.

 

Farmers fields

 

This was not waterfront property last week!

Needless to say we have been a Pluviophile's dream location! I on the other hand have had enough!
This post has taken so long to put together that it is far past my bedtime and I will have to tell you about my current projects  tomorrow.

 


Friday, March 25, 2016

I Have No Excuse

Ok this is the third (and last ) start at this blog post! 
As I was saying, I really have no excuse for not posting except maybe laziness. I've had a few people ask me where I've been and why no blog activity, I'm going to try to write something worth reading. Here goes. What have I been up to? Well, I was kept quite busy helping to plan a 5 day quilt retreat for 46 women. Then of course I had to plan and prep what I was going to work on for my retreat projects. 
Mr. O  has been doing some consulting work this winter. That means a fair bit of travelling on his part and he is away for two weeks and home for one so that has taken a little getting used to. I've  been snowshoeing, walking, knitting, crocheting, walking, quilting, walking, oh wait I've said that already… But I have to say I have been fairly diligent in trying to improve my health and fitness. So far I have lost 27 pounds and probably have another 20 to go. It's slow going but I am seeing progress. One of my best tools is the bathroom scales. Yes I know it's just a number but it keeps me on track. There's nothing that motivate more than to see the numbers going down, unless it's seeing the numbers go up! And that motivates me too!


When I look back and try to recall what I've made this is what comes to mind. I've knit four pairs of socks. I crocheted a pair of slippers for my daughter.






I finished piecing a UFO that has been lurking in my studio for about 8 years. A tin can challenge that seemed like a good idea at the time...


I pieced and quilted a baby quilt for my nephews new daughter. I built a house…


Well, it's not finished but the rest is pretty much cosmetic. It Was a different kind of a project I must say. I am not totally happy with the strip piecing. Working with plaids can be a bit challenging. I think things are straight and all lined up and then when I look at the finished results there seems to be a bit of a wave in it. Sort of like real houses! I saw a quilt like it during my travels last year and Mr. O commented that he liked it. I bought the pattern and on another trip I bought the fabric and I thought it was time to get it built. I have some trimming to do and a little more applique to finish and then it goes to the long arm quilter where the magic happens.
I also made an iPad case for my daughter.


One day while snowshoeing I was noticing our tracks. I thought we were travelling in a straight line across the field but when I stopped and looked back it wasn't as straight as I thought it was and I got to thinking that it was sort of like quilting. Looking at the small picture looks pretty straight but when you stand back and look at the whole strip...meh! Not so straight after all.



Looks pretty straight...



Well, maybe not so straight after all.



This is what I used to snowshoe with, but Mr O bought me new snowshoes for my birthday this year, and it is sort of like quilting with templates and scissors and then going to rotary cutters and rulers. What a difference!




Something else I have wasted a lot of time on   been spending time on, is a guild challenge. In January we were asked to bring in a meter of ugly fabric. We all stood in a large circle and we were to cut in 2. We kept one piece for ourselves and the other we were to pass to the person next to us. You kept passing fabric around until the music stopped, sort of like when we played Hot Potato at birthday parties when we were kids. What ever ended up in your hands when the music stopped you had to tear it in half...keep one piece and pass the other on....


This is what I ended up with! The challenge was to make something using these fabrics. You could add one fabric to it, and embellish as you wished. Talk about a challenge! I had all kinds of ideas and tried a few things but finally decided on something I thought I might actually like to keep and use. I cant show you the finished project just yet, but I can give you a peek.



As I am finishing this post the clock just chimed 3:00 am, and I am thinking that it is time to call it a day. 
If I told you I promise to be back soon you wouldnt believe me, so I won't tell you that...

I will leave you with this picture that has a very good message.





Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CHANGES



Believe it or not, this blog post with this title was on my mind to write way back in November. I was walking one day and the changing of the season was so evident ...the weather, the colours all around. All the gorgeous coloured leaves that just so recently had been on the trees was now dry and crinkly and blowing all around my feet on the ground. There was starting to be a nip in the air. The changes I was working on in my health were starting to pay off. I had planned to go to Ontario in November to do my annual Christmas baking and buying and wrapping with my sister and brother, but because Mr. O offered to come along, my travel plans changed. Insted of flying we would now be driving, and the date changed to December, then we decided to meet up with friends and spend four days at Boyne Mt Resort after the Christmas chores were done. In the meantime, our son and his family decided to come home for Christmas, so we were excitedly looking forward to that, but I had only left myself 3 and a half days to prep for Christmas. More changes, because all the things I normally did for Christmas in the baking dept were just not going to get done due to time constraints, and you know what? That was okay with me...I was just happy to have them home, and the fact that I didnt get the home made chocolates done, or the peanut brittle , or the poppycock, or...or ...or were okay. I was having a change of heart. What was more important to me was having them home, not what I baked and cooked. I managed to get a few of the traditional things done and it turned out to be way more than we needed. There was no Christmas tree, but I did get out my Robert Kincaid village and set it up on the mantle, and we did some outdoor decor earlier, and a few candles and favourite Christmas/snowmen decorations turned out to be just perfect. I hung a quilted Christmas tree with lights and that was okay too...
Can you see why Changes seemed like a good title for a blog post...the one I intended to write but just never seemed to get around to it.
Well here I am almost 2 months later finally writing my Changes post!
I think I have probably mentioned before that the hardest part of writing a blog post is coming up with a title. Give me a title and I am off and running...you may have also noticed that very often I will end with a quote that has reference to my topic of conversation. 
Well I am on the road again because of more changes...life is ever changing...while Mr O is snoring away and the television newscaster is rambling on in the background, about all the newsworthy events. The big story was about the death of David Bowie....another headliner was about the Mexican drug lord that had been recaptured, and of course the weather. (Because the weather is almost always newsworthy) I decided it was time to blog, so the first thing I did was Google the word CHANGE/CHANGES and the first thing that came up was David Bowie...apparently he recorded a song by that name( by now you have guessed I was not a David Bowie fan, because I did not know this...The next item referred to a song by Tupac Shakur; Changes...a hip hop song that makes reference to "the war on drugs". (Apparently I am not a fan of Tupac because I did not know this either)
By this time I was thinking, maybe I better CHANGE my title to something else, but I knew that if I had to come up with another title this blog post just would not get written, so I put my foot down and decided that this was one CHANGE that was not going to happen! Now you know the story behing the title, let me show you a few (well okay maybe more than a few) photos.


As you can see, the leaves were mostly off the trees and on the ground. This was taken at a local walking trail at Daley Point. I always bring along a little bag of seeds because the chickadees are so friendly they come and eat right out of your hands! We went back with the grandchildren on Christmas day, because I thought they would enjoy feeding the birds too. Quite a change in the scenery eh?








Meg sprinkled seeds on my beret and the chickadees ate their Christmas dinner atop my head. My witty son said I looked like the "crazy bird lady in the park" from Home Alone! Some things never change!
In November on a warm day Mr O and I collected branches and berries and I made some seasonal arrangements while he built me some ornamental wildlife for the yard. By the end of the day I was pretty pleased with the outcome.











We woke up the next morning to some beautiful changes!







There have been a few other drastic changes and people who know me, know that I don't accept change easily, but let me tell you that I love these changes!
Mr O bought me new custom cabinets and bookshelves for my quilt studio! And new lighting! 2 flexible track lights with a total of 10 LED daytime lights on them. We also swapped ends of the family room to accomodate all the changes and I managed to sneak in a few more inches of space 👍😀😄😜. This is one change I am loving!




I celebrated by getting out a 10 year old UFO, and that baby will be finished by months end! The quilting may not be done but the top will be finished! I probably would have finished it by this evening but a very dear friend we have known for many years passed away this morning so we are on our way to Ontario for a funeral. This very special lady has a very special daughter who just happens to be my Bosum Friend(inside joke) but kidding aside we are long time friends. She has been such a loving and caring daughter and has devoted a lot of her time to spending it with her Mom and this is going to bring tremendous CHANGES in her life! It just won't be the same going to visit our Son and family without a little visit with Marie. I will miss her big smile and just sitting and sharing old times.


You have gone to your reward, rest in peace my dear friend.

I leave you with a few pics of my trimmed down Christmas trimmings.



A robin in December enjoying my cranberry decorations!
















My favourite decoration of of all was having part of my family back home with us for the holidays!



I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a Happy Healthy New Year with only good and positive changes!