Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Greetings!



Easter fills us with hope, joy and warmth. It is a time to get together with friends, family and loved ones and celebrate this joyful time.
Happy Easter!

(There is nothing like an Easter Greeting showing a juggling, Speedo wearing, bull frog! Enjoy!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Threads That Bind Us


















For many years, (not sure how many to be exact), Neil's mom Pat has been stitching away making embroidered tablecloths and matching napkins. I'm not sure how many she has done but her stitching is exquisite. She says it keeps her busy in the evenings, along with the crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper that her and Neil's dad, Alf work on together. I believe the process is that she starts it and Alf completes it (that is the crossword puzzle not the embroidery, in case you were wondering). A few weeks ago, Pat was going through the leftover skeins of thread. "Either they give you too much or not enough" says Pat. "Do you want some? I have lots." I took a good sized bag home and immediately thought of needlepunch embroidery. My friend Christine Baker of Fairfield Road Designs http://www.uppercanadaquiltworks.com/ has the sweetest needlepunch embroidery patterns that she has published with lots of ideas of what you can do with your work afterwards. The above pic is "All Abuzz" pattern. I'm using Pat's leftover thread and will be giving it to her for her 86th birthday the end of April. If you haven't tried needlepunch before, well it's very simple, easy and very portable to take on the road when traveling.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Happy Baker














Any one that knows me can tell you that I like to cook/bake and I'm constantly reading, clipping and trying out new recipes. I read cookbooks like novels and would put myself in the category of a "foodie". I love to eat! (Have you seen my hips and thighs. They were inherited from my mother. God Bless her!!) A few weeks back, the Ottawa Citizen ran an article about "The Happy Baker", Erin Bolger. What caught my attention was, 1) she's orginally from Blyth, Ontario (I actually know where Blyth is since its not far from where I grew up) 2) she wrote a cookbook that is a collection of recipes and matched them with her own personal dating memories (I can add a few disastrous dating stories myself!) 3) she also appeared on "Dragon's Den" to promote her cookbook and hopefully get one of the Dragons to invest in her quest to sell 300,000 copies across Canada (I am addicted to "Dragon's Den". It gives me palpitations when I see an entrepreneur making a pitch to the Dragons' whether good or bad, followed by a typical "below the investment belt" comment by Kevin O'Leary. I'm pretty sure that his bark is worse than his bite.) So, when the Dragon's told her that her numbers were a bit high, I thought, "Oh yes she will". (I love it when people tell you that you can't do something. It just gives me even more determination and courage to prove them wrong). I went out and purchased a copy to support her and now I'm blogging about her to promote her. It took me two evenings and lots of salivating to get through her cookbook. Her dating stories are fun and the photography is uniquely done for each of the recipes. Who cannot resist "Me and My Cookies are So Over You", "My Mom Didn't Like You Anyway Cupcake" and my favorite "I Forgot to Mention I was Married Blueberry Cheesecake". The recipes are easy to make and are tried, tested and true. Many where passed down Grandmas, Aunts and Great Aunts (Now you know that any recipe that a family member gave you is going to be a family favorite). As well, this cookbook would also make a perfect gift for a girlfriend who is going through a few dating dilemmas herself since it also serves as a dating guide and baking 101 all at the same time. You can read more about her at www.thehappybakerchick.com

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wouldn't It Be Great!

It's that time of year again...filing tax returns! Wouldn't it be great if we could write off all of our quilting expenses on our tax return? How many quilters/artists work full-time and quilt/design/build on their days off as a stress reliever? I'm one of them and I refer to it as "therapy" (most days, much needed!). Wouldn't it be great if would could keep track of how many hours we spend in our studios and the amount of quilting supplies required on our tax return for a "write off or expense claim"? I would have no problem justifying my purchases that occurred in 2009, every single one of them! I think I'm on to something wonderful here.