Monday, December 29, 2008

Favorite Christmas Gift Of All!

Christmas has quickly come and gone after so many weeks of planning and preparing for its arrival. As always, I like to ask the kids what their favorite gift was. Each one gave me their answer and then I thought what was mine?? I would have to say with no hesitation that it has to be the "Cassidy Calendar 2009 Edition" made by Neil's niece and nephews, Jack (14), Simon (12), Iain (11) and Robinson (9) that we received all the way from Nova Scotia, Canada. The drawings are computer composed with lots of color and creativity. I am so thrilled with my calendar (because the kids took the time to do 12 drawings, printed them, made into a calendar and sent in the mail in time for Christmas. As well, apparently there were also some goodies that Rachel sent along but some how was consumed very quickly by Neil but that's another story) that I would like to share with you each month from now until the end December 2009. The first one, for January of course, is "Snowfort" by Jack. I hope that you will enjoy along with me the upcoming year of monthly drawings!

Christmas Arrival

Just before Christmas, I received a quiltie in the mail from the Spring Fling Round Robin (final exchange for 2008!!) I had been busy participating in this Round Robin during this past summer and into the fall season and have posted pics in my blog along the way. This is what I received in the end!! The center block and flying geese were paper pieced. The center block was made by Lisa Sanner from Pennsylvania , first border by Helen Conway from St. Helens, United Kingdom, second border by Dorian Lee from Illinois and quilted with finishing touches by Solidia Hubbard from Indiana. The quiltie has found a permanent home on the wall in my living room where everyone can enjoy it! Thank you one and all for the beautiful quiltie!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spring Fling Round Robin

If you will recall from an earlier posting, I had been working on a center block for a Round Robin that I was participating in. Here is the end result!! I can't take all the credit. Margaret from the USA added the 1st border, Alicia from the USA attached the 2nd border and Wendy also from the USA did the quilting and binding. The proud owner is Laila from Norway. I am very pleased and honored to have been part of this exchange. Thank you goes out to Margaret who is the hostess of the Round Robin. A job well done for organizing the exchange.

Monday, December 8, 2008

TIQG Small Quilt Sale

A couple of weeks ago, the Thousand Islands Quilters Guild which I am a member of, had a Small Quilt Sale. This is what I came home with!! It is a beautifully stitched wallhanging containing some pretty funky prints! The fabric is not what I normally work with, but it really caught my eye. Perhaps it was the border print! Anyways, it has found a permanent home on Chelsey's bedroom wall since it contains a lot of purple (Chelsey's favorite colour). Lucky girl!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Christmas Time!

It's December 2nd and officially "Christmas Time"! I recently took Koda for a walk in a wooded area north of Brockville where I came across some branches that had been discarded. I quickly scooped them up and went home and got busy. This is what I came up with for the back door. I found the old shutter at a yard sale this past summer for a couple of bucks. The welcome sign was found at a Farmers Market in Halifax, Nova Scotia (one of my road trips with Nellie). You will find at my front door an old granite pail (just like what we had on the farm to feed the calves) filled with more greenery and dogwood. Total decorating cost...not much!!

Another Sneak Preview

Here is yet, another sneak preview of something that I'm working on. It's Christmas time and you're not suppose to ask questions! I'm trying to get it pieced and then off to my friend Tammy Spencer for quilting. When it's completed, I'll post a pic.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Arrival of Quilts

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you will recall a couple of "sneak previews" of miniature quilt exchanges that I'm involved with. I can now show you the finished product since both miniature quilts have arrived to their final destination. The first quiltie (log cabin) was sent to Andrea, Flintshire, UK. Andrea was pretty easy going and only mentioned that she was a lover of the colour blue. Not hard to please!! The next quiltie has more of a story and basically I have been sitting on "pins & needles" for the past 2 months. I mailed this quiltie to another Andrea from Australia. I posted the envelope on September 3rd and it just reached its destination yesterday!! I was very afraid that it went "missing" with all the hard work that I put into it. As well, I wanted to include something "Canadian" for my Australian friend and sent along a small container of maple syrup. I thought for sure that customs confiscated it and were enjoying their own pancakes and syrup. All is well and it arrived in one piece and Andrea loves her quiltie. I can now let out a hugh sigh of relief!!

Another Little Quilt Swap

I received this miniature "Bees in a Japanese Garden" in the mail from Liliane from Luxemburg, Europe. I absolutely love it!! The little bees are a combination of applique and embroidery.
The branches on the outside border is hand quilted with big stitches which really add to the effect of the fabric. Thank you so much Liz!! It has found a home on the wall in my studio.

Christmas Count Down...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another Little Quilt Swap

Here is a sneak peak of my "final" miniature quilt swap for this year!! I have been busy hand quilting and will have it ready and posted to Wales by the end of the week. That's all that I can tell you since it's another secret!! I will post a full size pic when it arrives safely to its destination. My blog/postcard exchange friend, Kate North is the organizer of this swap. I'm looking forward to my own surprise in the mail in the upcoming weeks.
Stay tuned!!

Button Fairies

I belong to Art4mail which is group of amazing quilters, fibre artists etc. Recently, I participated in a "Button Fairy" exchange. These are the fairies that I have received so far from Charlie Davidson, Utah, Pam Patton, Texas, Vicky Baker, Alberta, and Nancy Moore, North Carolina.
Each one is so different with the use of buttons and embellishments.

A Walk Around My Neighborhood

After spending almost 2 hours shoveling my lane way, I decided to take a walking tour of my neighborhood to assess the damage done by our
"freak snowstorm" this past week. I am fortunate to live in one of the historical areas of Brockville and there is no excuse for not taking a walk through the neighborhood. I would like to share with you a couple of my pics on my recent foot tour. Since it was only October 29th (two days away from Halloween) I couldn't resist the Jack O'Lanterns with their snow tops.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Adventure...

Neil and I recently went on a week long Mediterranean cruise. First time for both of us.
We flew from Montreal to Paris, switched planes, on to Barcelona were we boarded the ship. From there, we sailed for the next seven days with stops in Marseille (took a smaller boat to Portofino), Savona (visited the ancient city of Pompeii), Napoli, Palermo, Tunisi, (yes, Africa), Palma De Mallorca (our favorite stop of all) and then back to Barcelona. I could not possibly show all the pictures that I took so I chose some of my favorites to share with you. We spent most days sightseeing at each destination since with both enjoy architecture and history. The one stop that we didn't enjoy was Tunisi, Africa. We had been warned by the ship crew not to head out alone and that it was recommended that you went with a tour guide for obvious reasons. I was very uncomfortable at first because of the stories that we were told but eventually relaxed as our guide made the excursion interesting and humerous at times. He took us to a couple of markets which was a real experience!!! They will sell you anything!! It was a short excursion and I was more than happy to return to the ship. I did however see a couple of camels walking through a field. The meals on board (dinner was a six course meal every evening) were absolutely wonderful along with wine!! The flight home from Paris to Montreal had to be the longest flight in history (or so it seems). We were seated the row right behind the wall. No place to stretch your legs out (the plane was jammed full). I had finished reading my book well into the flight with nothing else to do for the next 3 1/2 hrs!! Eventually, we arrived in Montreal. Canada has never looked better and I was glad to be home back in Brockville, Ontario.

Weather Report for October 29, 2008

This is what came down overnight here in Brockville, Ontario. Driving home from work last night was at times a "white knuckle" experience and became worse the further I headed East to Brockville. This is what I woke up to this morning and it's only October 29th!! According to the Ottawa Citizen, the last record set was on this day in 1962, 15 cm fell overnight. This is pretty darn close!! Next thing is making the trek to the shed and rummaging through to find the snow shovel!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Must Read...

I recently picked up a copy of "Mudbound" and read it during my holidays last week.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it. The story takes place in 1946, when a family moves from Memphis to a remote cotton farm in the Mississippi. The story revolves around two white and the other black. Each chapter is told by one of the characters which adds more interest to the story. I don't want to give away too many details. The ending gave me chills and the characters haunted me for days!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

First Border of Spring Fling Round Robin

Here is a sneak peak of the 1st border added to a center block made by Tami Levin of Sunnydale, California. I don't want to give away too much since this exchange is a secret!! I'm on way to the post office to mail it to Luisa Silva, Portugal who will add the next border.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ottawa Valley Button Show

This past weekend I attended the Ottawa Valley Button Show downtown Ottawa. Neil gave me ride downtown but turned down the invitation of attending the show with me. "Call me when you've had enough" Neil just didn't know what he was missing! I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived since it was a first-ever Canadian button event. The show consisted of antique vintage buttons of all shapes, colours and sizes. There was also a display with the history of buttons. So much I didn't know. Apparently button collecting remains fairly unknown as an organized hobby in Canada but is very popular in the United States and Europe. Most of the buttons were displayed on cardboard in specific groupings (wooden, ceramic, metal etc). I overheard one of the ventors saying that her mother collected buttons for years and she just kind of took over her hobby and turned it into a part-time business. I did manage to pick up a few vintage buttons which I will use on one of my quilt labels or incorporate into a crazy quilt.
I did however purchase a few vintage buttons but it got me thinking of taking a trip to Goodwill and snoop through the clothing for more buttons.

Our Nation's Capital

I have been living in Eastern Ontario for over ten years now and one of my most favorite places to go is downtown Ottawa, Ontario. The above pics show Parliment Hill and the East Wing. I have had the opportunity to tour the main building along with a trip up the Peace Tower. These buildings continue to fascinate me! Another one of my favorite places is the Chateau Laurier (Neil and I met for our first date at Zoe's Lounge which is named after Sir Wilfred Laurier's beloved wife). I have also enjoyed High Tea (a must) and saw the Philadelphia Flyers who where staying at the hotel when they played against the Ottawa Senators!! Apparently the 5th floor is known to be haunted with several sightings reported over the years. I have never had the pleasure...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Booty Swap...

Here is a sneak peak of what I made for the Miniature Booty Swap. I don't want to give away the surprise until the recipient receives the quilt in the mail! I had a lot of fun building this quilt especially the machine quilting.
I hope she likes it!! When the quilt is received, I will post a pic of the finished product.

Miniature Booty Swap

I am so excited with the miniature quilt and the added bonus of a quilting magazine that I received in the mail from Rhonda Lawton all the way from Texas!! Rhonda used a Civil War Reproduction print for her favorite!! As well, its hand quilted with beautiful stitches!! I quickly found a place for it on the centre of the table for everyone to see. I love telling the story of the swap and showing off what I got!! Thank you so much Rhonda!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Something New...

In one of my postcard exchange groups, there was much discussion about Neocolor Watersoluable Crayons used when working with mixed media. I was able to find them online (sorry but with the price of gas, I wasn't going to drive around searching for them). They arrived in the mail yesterday from an art shop in Rochester, New York (I also love getting mail especially parcels). These crayons are made by Caran d'Ache Sa in Switzerland which excites me (where do you think the name "Zurbrigg" comes from). There are many internet links illustrating the use of these crayons which I am looking forward to experimenting with. Basically, you scribble the crayons on to plain fabric and use a wet fan brush to blend the colors which is your background and then do a design using thread painting. Stayed tune for more...

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Dad and I

This past weekend was spent at the cottage. If you have been following my blog, you will certainly recognize that Koda isn't too far away from Neil (here's the proof). Neil recently picked up this kayak which is a wider design for fishing. It didn't take Koda long to find just the right spot so that she isn't left behind. Neil and I spent part of the afternoon kayaking together on Bobs Lake. Several people did a second look since I'm sure they are not used to seeing a dog in a kayak. In the second pic, Neil was busy installing the new starter for the boat and Koda heard the motor start and jumped in real quick just in case there was a ride involved but also not to be left behind. She certainly is "Daddy's girl". Koda has been with us for almost a year now. We stumbled across her shortly after our other golden "Ben" passed away at the end of last summer. We have come to realize that Koda has huge "separation" issues especially around Neil. Our cottage neighbours have come to recognize the commotion Koda makes if Neil heads out in the boat without her. She also has been known to swim after him! Our newest neighbours, Mike and Margo from Burlington, Ontario can get Koda to turn around and come back by blowing a whistle (Mike was in the Canadian Navy). Thank goodness for great neighbours!!

With Deepest Sympathy...

This is my friend Jill Mason's dog Lexie who passed away August 8, 2008. Lexie certainly was a sweetheart and was loved by everyone who met her. She had the privilege of being walked around Lake Victoria Park, in Stratford, Ontario where she resided. This news comes very close to home since it will soon be one year since our beloved Ben passed away. My heartfelt deepest sympathy goes out to Jill, Bill and Tali during this sad time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Round Robin - Center Block

I finally have my center block completed
for the Spring Fling Round Robin
exchange that I'm participating in.
It took only 3 1/2 hrs to do this one
since it was my first attempt!
I cannot give away any details
of the's a secret!!
This block is then posted to the next
quilter in my group who will
then add the first border. In the meantime, I will wait for
a center block to arrive in the mail and do
the same by adding the first border.
Does this make sense? That's why it's called
a "Round Robin". Stayed tuned...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Another Quilt Exchange...

I did it again! I have been invited to participate in "Another Little Quilt Swap" hosted by one of my postcard exchangers/blogger friend Kate North. Kate resides across the big lake in Surrey, United Kingdom. I am very pleased and honoured to be included along with some incredibly talent quilters/fibre artists from around the globe! My mom would always tell us "When you get an opportunity to do something, you always do it since you may not get the chance again". I have always taken and followed my mom's advice because "Moms know best"!! Next week, I will receive my assignment. I can hardly wait!!