Thursday, October 28, 2010

I apologize for keeping you waiting so long

So sorry for taking so long to post the winner. As I said Mr. O was away so I wanted to have several witnesses when the winning name was picked.
I took the names and the prize with me to the retreat because I knew that three of the participants of the draw would be attending the retreat.   There was an awful lot of whining going on because their name was not picked. At one point in the evening I was even concerned that the charm pack had gone missing... it did eventually show up hidden under my notions case. The pressure was quite intense at times.

The winner of the 100 scrappy charm  pack is Martha!

It really was all in fun although they did assure me that if you did not respond to the e-mail notifying you of your winnings they were expecting to have their names added to the "re-drawing".
Martha would you please get back to  me with your full name and address so I can drop your prize in the mail.

 I will post a pic of what I worked on at retreat...and all I can say is HOORAY!!!
It is finished! ...well almost finished...I am over half finished piecing the back and then it is off to the long arm quilter.

It is not an especially clear photo, but I had a friend send it to me from her camera. Hope to post another when the binding is on it.

I have spoken to Mr. O and he is having some unique experiences in Australia. Went out for supper with some co-workers and had crocodile and kangaroo for an appetizer; and guess what? The crocodile tasted like He really did not have anything to compare the taste of kangaroo to, but others said it was similar to horse! Blech!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I've been on a trip!

I just finished cutting the last of the 100 scrappy charms and it was like a trip down memory lane of a lot of past quilting projects. What I made and who I made it for; easy pattern or not; wish I had bought more of this fabric; man! ... I will never make that again....
Now I know I said I would post a winner this morning, and I have not forgotten; however I have been so busy getting ready for not just one quilt retreat, but 2 of them; back to back! Poor me eh...
Not only that but Mr. O has gone away so he can't make my draw. What I am going to do is take the names with  me to retreat and get someone there to make the draw. When I get back I will post the name of the winner. I may not be able to take photos because Mr. O has taken my digital camera. You see he has gone to Australia on business for 2 weeks.  Again I apologize for the delay in posting a winner, but when I get back I promise to post the winner.

Now what is a post without a photo? Borrring! So I will leave you with a vacation photo or 2.

Mr. O and I at Stone Henge.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh by the way...

You understood the pic in the last post right? It was a stack of 100 (fence) posts; get it? for my 100th post? Yeah I knew you got it, but I was just making sure.

I entered a give away as well as posting one. It is for a charm pack and a pattern book. You might want to check it out here because if you were lucky enough to win mine and then win that one, then you would have a pattern book to help you with your 100 charms. Hope to post a pic of the100 post anniversary prize maybe tomorrow. I have some cutting to do though...
Can I bore you with a few more vacation shots?

Don't you love the character in these old stone and thatch cottages? They seem to hold such a charm and romance about them to me, although I think that the long ago residents may have thought differently.

another lovely Scottish image.

the very charming little village of Grasmere in the English Lake District quite close to where Beatrix Potter spent her summers and where Wordsworth is buried.

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love". William Wordsworth

Train station in a little village in Wales. This village has the longest name in the world. It means "The church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave". I'm sure glad I  was not the conductor who had to call out the next stop at this junction.

My maternal grandmother was a Gladstone and my paternal grandmother was a MacGregor so I was always on the look out for those names while touring. Below is one of the times I was not so impressed to see the Gladstone name. (click on the photo to enlarge to see what I mean)

You've heard it said, "Somedays you're the statue, and somedays you're the seagull".
Today I wish you a "statue" kind of a day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A milestone

If I showed you this picture would you know what I am celebrating?

Nope! We are not enlarging my sewing space...

How about this picture?

100 posts!

It took me a while but I made it. Now you can't celebrate without gifts ...

There is so much talk about scrappy quilts these days. 
I see more and more patterns for scrappy quilts, and honestly they are my favorite. They just have so much interest and character. 
So I am going to go through my stash and make up a bundle of charms. 100 to be exact! ( I may even post a photo of them after I get them all cut)
Add a nice neutral to them and voila you have the makings of a scrappy quilt, or split them up and you have enough for a couple of totes or table toppers. 
If you would like a chance to win this bundle of charms, just leave a comment(I love comments). If you want to tell me what your favorite charm pattern is that would be good too. 
I will take comments until Thursday October 21st, 9 p.m. local time. 
If you are posting your comment "anonymously" just leave your first name at the end of your comment. If you are the winner I will announce it Friday morning and then you can e-mail me  privately to leave me your address. 
You could even go to my profile and send me an email, if that's is easier for you.

Good luck and don't forget to tell me your favorite charm pattern.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Look What I Dug Out

I am still in the midst of cleaning and purging things, although in the purging dept I am not doing that well. I just know that when you get rid of something you will want that very thing before long. It doesn't matter that you didn't even remember that you owned it... just one of those "Murphy's Laws" type of things I suppose.
One of the things I dug out to try to make headway on is this quilt.

I am embarrassed to say how long this has been a work in progress. I really love it and am not quite sure why it is not finished yet, but I do know that I will never get it finished if I don't work on it, and I won't work on it if I don't leave it out where I can see it. I'm going to aim for one hour a day of hand stitching. I may even leave a little journal beside my chair to actually record the time spent stitching...
Are you tired of vacation photos yet? I'm not...I have spent hours over our photos trying to decide which ones are my favorites; which ones I want to frame; which ones I should get rid of. I mean how many pictures do I need of Big Ben?
How about a few amusing and curious shots?

One of the many "human" statues along the Queens Promenade in London...quite entertaining.  I have played around with the color a bit.

Sign in the window of a wool shop in York. It was only 9:15ish so I missed out.
Trees growing from the chimneys.

Complicated eaves trough, but I had to smile at the living greenery over the doorway.
I have a Henry vacuum at the cottage. Didn't know they were made in the UK

Ancient "indoor plumbing" in The Tower of London. Enough said!
Not quite so ancient, but often seen in public "loos".

Another public "loo" curiosity. "One stop shopping" so to speak, (well not quite one stop). Press left button for soap. Press middle button for water. Press right button to dry.
In case you are wondering I am not fixated with restrooms, but you have to admit,  these were a bit different.

In St. Ives the streets are rather narrow; yes? The highways are not a whole lot roomier. There were many times when we had to stop and back up when meeting another coach on the hi-way. 

Easy to understand why we saw these road signs quite often.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


10/10/10 is a special day.

A steady stream of brides and grooms exchanged vows in Toronto on Sunday, hoping their weddings would be perfect 10s on a day that comes around just once a millennium.
Couples were lining up to get married on the 10th day of the 10th month of the 10th year, or 10/10/10.
Demand at Toronto's city hall was so high, ceremonies had to be moved to a downtown hotel. Weddings were booked to take place every half-hour, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Couples from Chinese cultures said the day is considered "lucky," while followers of numerology called the day "magical."

Toronto's 23 ceremonies Sunday had nothing on Shanghai.
More than 10,000 couples exchanged vows at the city's wedding registration offices, breaking the previous record set on 09-09-09.
And people from all over the world travelled to South Korea, were 7,200 couples said "I do" in a mass ceremony.

That's not why it was special to me though.
10/10/10 is our 40th wedding anniversary.
Yup; 40 years ago today Mr. O and I said "I do"

couple holding hands

I would do it all over again in a heart beat. Happy Anniversary Mr. O

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

      I didn't get as much accomplished as I would have liked, but I think the biggest accomplishment was just starting. I got some shelves cleaned, two kitchen cupboards cleaned a few drawers tidied and sorted. Took down 3 light fixtures and cleaned them, cooked a nice supper and even threw in time for a walk.

Not too much going on today; I signed on for a drawing class. Should be interesting.
Do You remember Jon Gnagy?


When I was a young girl we used to watch a television show. Jon Gnagy, Learn To Draw. Did you ever watch it? Jon made it look so easy and really whet my appetite for learning to draw? More than once I put a "Learn To Draw Kit" on my list to Santa and I know for sure that I received it at least once.


I have always doodled, but Jon you may be pleased to know I am going to try again. We'll see how much I remember. 

Just like my "Spring Cleaning" it won't all happen in one day, but I am curious to see if it still interests me as much as it used to.

While on my walk yesterday I was approached by a neighbour who is doing major renovations. She knew I was looking for a couple of window frames and had one for me. We are still going through our vacation photos, but I am hoping to decide on 3 to put in this frame and hang in our bedroom.

Scottish images

Some of these were captured through the window of the coach on the fly, so they may not be the best quality, but aren't the moors and highlands beautiful?


Loch Ness

Eilean Donan Castle near The Isle of Skye

Wild Blackberries so abundant

One of many, many, many stone walls with so much character.

Describe Scotland in 20 words or less.
Castles, battles, stone walls, castles, heather, highlands, moors, mist, blackberries, sheep, (did I mention castles?) pipes, kilts, plaids, and of course haggis!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spring Cleaning
 Every fall after starting to move back from the cottage we bring in boxes and totes and bags of things we have shuffled from one living space to the other. Then I have to find a place to put them. Now you would think that the space I "took" them from would be empty, but it never seems to work that way and I feel like I am surrounded by stuff that is slowly closing in on me.
When my home feels cluttered my mind feels cluttered. When my home is tidy and clutter free I mentally feel so much better. So today I am going to start my "Spring" cleaning. I know it's October but I have been playing catch up for over a year now so for me it is Spring Cleaning time. I have painting that needs to be done, drawers to be tidied, closets to uncluttered, curtains to be washed...Looking at it now, the job seems insurmountable but I have read where Mark Twain said,

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” 

That's my plan, one small job at a time.  

Here's a few vacation pics ( and a little history lesson before I go.)

See the sign on the gate? This is a working church; and so quaint in comparison to all the huge cathedrals we looked at.

 This is a little church  in a community called Heddon-on-The-Wall. Strange name for a town, but not if you know some of the history. It is built beside the remains of Hadrian's Wall. 

In actual fact most of this ancient little community is built with stone/rock from Hadrian's Wall.

Hadrian's Wall was built by the Romans in AD 122. It was planned as a continuous wall with a "milecastle" every Roman mile and 2 turrets equally spaced between each mile. The wall with it's defensive ditches and large forts stretched from coast to coast; a distance of 80 Roman miles (approximately 120km). It formed the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. It was not all built to the planned 3 meter width, perhaps to save time and resources. At Heddon is the longest surviving section of the broad wall. Some of the foundation stones weigh over a tonne each. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site

Detail over the entryway into 
 Rosslyn Chapel. It is touted as being one of the most mysterious places in Scotland. It is feautured in the book, 'The Da Vinci Code', as the place where the holy grail is supposedly buried.

Inside detail. 
It is also a working church.

I detested History when I was in high school and I really can't imagine why, because I find it so interesting today. I still don't have a head for all the dates, but the events are so intriguing.
Mind you we had a tour director that made it sound so interesting and with his BBC acting background he made some of the scenes come alive!

Mr. O standing at the 18th hole at St. Andrew's Golf Course. What a spot. Just to the right of the 18th hole is a marvellous may recognize it from a scene in Chariots of Fire.

Awesome scenery. While there we were treated to an air show featuring a spitfire and 2 other planes honouring the anniversary of The Battle Of Britain.

Well I am off to start my "spring cleaning" on this beautiful October day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Okay! Enough is enough!

I keep thinking I am feeling better and then that dreaded sore throat strikes again. I had what I thought was a pretty good day yesterday. We had company for dinner...I felt good. This morning I woke with such a sore throat again, it makes me think that I am never going to shake this bug. We had a nice meal with friends yesterday, but I didn't take time to document it with photos...
How's your imagination?

Can you imagine my soup tureen filled with this?
It was pretty yummy.
Ok, how about this?

See that big platter? It was filled with onion and mushroom roasted pork loin. Add some sage stuffing, fresh cheese rolls, marinated greek salad, hot mulled apple cider, assorted pickles and relishes, and a few other sides and don't forget good friends to share it with.

Tuck in some fresh flowers
( I couldn't find candy corn to put in my little fall colored dish; had to settle for gourmet jelly beans..what hardship eh?)

add a few seasonal decor items

a beautiful view from every window

Now that I rethink this, I am so blessed and thankful to have what I have I really shouldn't be complaining of a simple sore throat. Shame on me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Starting to feel Human...

Amazing what a plane ride across 5 time zones can do to you. You think, okay I may need a day to catch up, but you would be wrong. Especially when you get blindsided with a cold and sore throat. All week I have felt like I have been hit by a truck; today not so bad...the sunshine may have a bit to do with it. It is so nice to look out and see the fall colors. I always say I am a Winter child, and I do love winter, but I think I love Fall just as much. It is mesmerizing to just stand at the window and look at all the colors, and it is such a treat because it seems to change every day , so you just never seem to tire of them.

note: see how fast time flies it is tomorrow already. I was sitting at the computer writing away on my blog and thought , " I should go take a picture of all the fall colors for today's entry."

Well one thing led to another; I started tiding up, which led to something else, and I just never got back to finishing my post and here we are into Friday! Seems I do that a lot these days...start one thing which leads to something else, which leads to something else etc and before you know it I have several unfinished jobs on the go. If you are a quilter you may have some idea of what I mean.
I was noticing my list of UFO's and I think it may be time to rethink them. Let's face it, there are just some things you lose interest in and know you will never finish and I think there may be a few there. It will feel good to get them off my list...whether I finish them or give them to someone else to finish and love makes no difference. Done is done!
I will leave you with a few more pics from our trip...

This is called THE  LONDON EYE and aptly so. There is quite a view of the city from the top. Mr. O wanted to go on this and I was  not really that interested, but it is not like a circus ride at all. It takes over 30 minutes to make one revolution. Each pod holds approximately 25 people and on a clear day you can see as far as Windsor Castle, which is quite a way out of the city. This wheel holds 32 pods;  one for every borough of London and it was built to celebrate the new millennium.
We rode it on a quiet day and there were only 4 of us in our pod. The pod that followed us however had 20 people that were being served champagne to celebrate some occasion. Apparently they even cater to weddings!
Here is one shot of our view from the top. It gives you an idea of just how high we were.
Previous pics taken from ground level showed just how tall Big Ben and the Parliament buildings were and if you look closely you can see Westminster Abbey dwarfed in behind Big Ben. 

Anne Hathaway's cottage in the Cotswolds.

London Bridge

St. Paul's Cathedral (they build 'em big over there!)

90 metre spire from a cathedral in Coventry England that survived an air raid during the 2nd World War. The new cathedral was built among the ruins as an act of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is like a phoenix rising out of the ashes of the ruins. They have incorporated one wall of the ruins as part of the replacement cathedral.

Last one for today...

Just look at the detail above one of the doors of the York Minster Cathedral (enlarge for details)

Master craftsmen worked on these buildings for many, many years. Some of these churches took 40 years to build and when you look at the attention paid to details that can hardly be seen you can understand why. More tomorrow...

p.s. Sharyn, nice to hear from you. Hope you are rested after your long trip home. I have no other way of contacting you but here. Enjoyed your company on tour!

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