Saturday, September 17, 2011

Plodding along

Happy to say all the ripping out has been finished. Now all I have to do is sew them all back insanity of it all.
I have finished piecing 6 fall placemats. One of them is quilted and waiting to be bound. The pattern has them being enveloped and then quilted, but I think a binding is so much nicer...besides I wanted to throw in a third color to the pattern and this was the best way to do it. Have a peek.

Colors are a bit off. Four of them are going to be for a fund raiser for upcoming retreat. Hoping to sell tickets on them at the next guild meeting. I am keeping 2 for the Mr. and myself. I put some lovely bird fabric on the back of the ones I want to keep...what do you think? Should I back them all in this? It makes them totally reversible for differnt look.

Got to go picking wild blueberries with a friend (thanks Glenda!) this week...a totally unexpected surprise. I thought I had missed the berries altogether, so this was a real treat.

Also picked up a book from the library this week. Kind of nice to cozy in on these blustery fall days with a good read.

Moving back home tomorrow til Thursday and then I fly out to Regina til the first week of Oct. More about that later. Got to run...............

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I am Blessed (an earlyThanksgiving post)

There is a chorus we sing in church that says:
I am blessed,
I am blessed,
Every day that I live, I am blessed.
When I wake up in the morning,
Till I lay my head to rest,
I am blessed,
I am blessed

I was pondering over some of the pictures I have taken in the last few days and got to thinking how blessed I am. I have all the material things I need (and more) but I have so much more than that. I made a trip into Bathurst on Tuesday and listened to several different radio programs all of which seemed to talk of problems somewhere in the world. Civil unrest, political strife, starvation, AIDs epidemics, hurricanes...and my biggest beef that day was that I was running late to spend an afternoon visiting and quilting with friends.
I have taken pics of some of the gems that have brightened my last couple of days.

I had a perfectly lovely afternoon with friends I have not seen in ages it seems and I believe they were as happy to see me as I was to see them. The setting was not too shabby either. Just look at the view through those windows!

As a little side note, the inside offered a bit of eye candy too! Here are 2 of a number of quilts in the home. Apparently when the Mr's great aunt died and the family was going through her possessions, they found these old quilts stored in a barrel. They are perfectly charming!

The spectacle in the sky the last few nights has been so beautiful. Just look at that moon! This was taken from the side of the road looking toward "Winterpast"(our name for the cottage) I know I could have gotten a better pic if I had gone home and set up the tripod and fooled with camera settings, but it can change so fast I thought I would take my chances and hope for the best.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon cutting and piecing 6 autumn placemats. I hope to get them quilted today and may post later with some pics of a finished product. YAY!

I could hear a commotion in the water out front and when I went to investigate this is what I saw...

It looked and sounded like a water park mid July! The splashing and carrying on was a real treat to watch. I had to zoom in with the camera and it doesn't fully capture it but it gives you an idea...

love these little shore birds!

Once outside it didn't take much for me to decide to take a break and walk the beach for awhile.
All free to enjoy but priceless, priceless, priceless.

"The world is so full of a number of things; I am sure we should all be as happy as kings."  Robert Louis Stevenson 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I should have known better...

I am probably the only quilter on the planet who has not made a "rag" quilt. I have however made a rag cushion cover and a rag jacket. These projects did not require using a batting between the pieces of flannel. I had a large amount of flannels and brushed cottons remaining, so I decided to make a simple rag quilt. Just 5 inch blocks. Sew them in strips...slap, slap; quick and easy! I made them the same way I made my cushion. Match 2 blocks together, sew an "X" from corner to corner and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. After I had a very large number of blocks done I realized I should have put batting in between them to give them a little more body and warmth. Too bad I had to sew about 200 blocks together before coming to this conclusion. Do you have any idea how long it takes to "un-sew" a stack of blocks like this? Let's just say it is not a speedy process.

The job is a little more pleasant with a cold jug of lemon water and something to watch to help keep the mind occupied during such a "mindless" project. So that's precisely what I did.

I hooked up the lap top to the bigger screen tv and googled quilters television and played some videos. I had a "rip" (pun intended) snorting good time and tackled an unpleasant job. I am about 3/4's of the way finished and I know I will be much happier with the finished result.
...and while I am at it, I may as well tell you another boo boo I made. I started making myself a bag this summer. I know you should read all through the pattern to acquaint yourself with the steps before starting any sewing, but come on! I have made so many purses I just dove right in...well when I got the part that said to assemble the lining, I decided to add batting to the lining and quilt it as well as the outer bag...more body; a more professional looking product in the end. So far so good; but when I started to assemble said bag, this caused me some some grief so I had to do a little damage control. A little ripping, a little tweeking here and there and in the long run I think I will end up with a better product, but I have to tell you I am not too fond of the directions in this pattern and will not be making it again!

Tomorrow I plan to sew a good portion of my day away and hopefully I won't need my ripper even once!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Salt Water

“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”.
Isak Dinesen (pseudonym of Baroness Karen Blixen. Danish Writer of Out of Africa)

On Wednesday I decided to take a walk on the beach. That walk turned into a three hour (plus) hike that covered 7km of beach (14km return)
It was my kind of day for walking on the beach and it was very therapeutic. Just me and the gulls and the small shore birds. Roaring waves, unrelenting winds, my camera, and a small lunch. Not your standard Rx but a good one none the less.

If I had been blindfolded and driven to this beach that I have walked so many times, I would have taken a very long time to recognize anything familiar. The severe storm surges we have had in the last year have altered the look of this piece of landscape tremendously. Most noticeably on arrival is the "remains" of the out buildings along the beach front and parking area. There is very little left. No change rooms or bathrooms left. The boardwalks and stairs bridging the area from the parking lot to beach are totally gone and all that remains are the rooves of 2 shelters that once had picnic tables under them. The face of the beach has altered a lot as well; little bodies of isolated water, little streams connecting them to the larger body of water. Large ledges of stones that were not there before; patches of exposed peat/turf; even the curve of the coastline along the beach. A reminder of how things evolve and change, not only in nature but in our daily lives.
Even with all the changes some things were still the same, and there is comfort in that.

Just like in our lives, storms come along and batter us and change things we don't want changed, but some things are constant and we take comfort in those things. We pick up the pieces that remain and make something beautiful, or fun with them reminding us that life does indeed go on.

note: I didn't start this post intending to be so thoughtful or melancholy, it just happened as I looked through the pictures I had taken on my walk. Losing Mom has seemed to make me so thoughtful of life; of how much we take for granted and how quickly things slips away. I pray God keeps me grateful for the family, friends and material blessings I have in my life today.

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Batman lives in Ontario and wears a baseball cap!

On our way home from Ontario last week, we were driving along and a car pulled out from an intersection that sort of caught the attention of Mr. O and myself. Have a look.

Lucky for us his flame throwing exhaust was not operational that day!

As you can see I was not the only one wanting to capture this moment on film. (notice the camera being held out the window of the car on the left)

Hey Batman, want to drag?

Well enough of that...Mr. O put the pedal to the metal and left him in our dust!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


It's hard to believe that just February of this year I wrote a post entitled, Sieze The Day

about saying "good-bye" to Mr. O's Mom and here I am just a little over 6 months later having said "good-bye" to my Mom.
Mom passed away with her family by her side on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011
I can't begin to count how many times people spoke to us about how tough Mom was; and she was. She fought through cancer and beat it over 7 years ago; came back from a life threatening car accident a little over 2 years ago and battled bravely through 3 major surgeries in 9 days this July. I believe she battled back each time for us. This time however her body was just too tired to fight any longer.
It's funny how you can be so "tough" for yourself and yet so tender when it comes to dealing with others but that's just the way Mom was. My words are totally insufficient to say how much she was loved and how much she will be missed.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From beginning to the end
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
It matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

Joyce Vivian Harvey n. Leach
April 1, 1935 - August 20, 2011
Rest In Peace

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