A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Monday, July 31, 2006

100 Details....finally!

I think blogger will co-operate this time...I hope! These are some of my efforts for SharonB's '100 Details for 100 Days' ( Since I have yet to figure out how to put the corresponding text with the proper picture, I'll do some explanation. The picture of a block corner shows Day 22 and 23. The peach-y coloured braid was already on the block, so I used Sharons detail to highlight it. Her original showed buillion stitches, but I chose to use the pearl beads instead. The section to the left of that is supposed to represent wisteria, but, as usual, mine look more like grapes.

The green square...shows Day 17...the cluster of buttons and Day 15...the seam treatment directly below it. Don't forget you can enlarge the pictures to get better detail.

The other green square picture shows day 20 (the pink ribbon flowers) and part of Day 4, which is below and to the right of the applique rose.

I know I included a picture of the long & short stitch butterfly I did, but it seems to have disappeared. Hmmm. Not only that, I now see that my earlier post for today appears twice. Odd.

I am getting a complex!

You know, I really don't consider myself a complete dork (at least most of the time) however this computer is giving me fits. First I have such a struggle to even get onto the internet and now, to add insult to injury, blogger is refusing to acknowledge the fact that there ARE pictures to be uploaded. I know they are there. I can see them. Blogger says the file is empty. Now, tell me, is blogger lying or are my eyes deceiving me? I was so proud of myself too, because I had more pictures of the 100 Details I've been working on. Oh well, if I can, I'll try to load them later and have a second post for today.....but then again, I'm assuming this will go through first. Do you ever notice that happens a lot in life too? Just when you think things are going pretty well, something comes along and smacks you upside the head, just to keep you humble. (Computer, if you're listening....I'm humble, I'm humble!).

It's hot again today, which could explain my tendancy to ramble. Hanging five loads of laundry on the line in the heat has most likely addled what's left of my brain. So, it's time for ice tea!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sounds in my Studio

Studio Friday's topic this week is 'Sounds in My Studio', which I thought might be interesting to pursue. What are you hearing right now? Here it's the air conditioner; the dehumidifier; the sound of keys on my keyboard; the squeak in my chair; Cosmo running amuck upstairs (sounds like a small horse); another cat scratching in the litter box (you don't want to know!); the clinking of Odin's dog tags as he tours around to check things out. Here I thought my room was pretty silent, but such is not the case when you start to pay attention.

Had a couple of heavy storms today...both while we were driving to & from a garden show. It cleared up and the sun shone while we were at the show. Very weird! Cars had to pull over during the first one because you just couldn't see to drive. It's been a pretty strange year for weather.

Friday, July 28, 2006

No picture, but interesting & fun

Whilst I was cruising around reading my daily blogs, I stumbled on this (from and thought it might be fun to do. How about trying it along with me? There's a lot of 'tagging' going on through the blogs and this is one of them....

1. 5 things in my purse
-a very old cutout of a piece from Readers Digest about what to do with me when I die (morbid?)
-a picture of Jack taken before we started dating
-a coin from a trip we took to Niagara Falls & a small stone from another trip

2. 5 things always in my wallet
-drivers licence
-medical card
-library card
-ATM receipts
-money (rarely)

3. 5 things always in my fridge:
-cranberry juice
-lemon juice
-soy milk

4. 5 things always in my closet
-dirty laundry
-extra purses
-out of season shoes
-last year's Christmas cards
-my sun hat, that I never wear

5. 5 things always in my car
-car registration
-2 insulated coffee mugs
-charger for cell phone

6. 5 things on my desk
-various & assorted pieces of paper containing interesting web sites to visit when I have time
-a list of my favourite blogs
-a can of pencils & pens

There, have fun and see what you come up with!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Away day

Another garden tour picture. Note our gazing ball...formerly an ugly 70's garage sale lamp ($3).

Jack and I had an 'away day' today. Every once in awhile we just get out of town and dawdle our way around elsewhere. Sometimes it's just nice to get away from the house and the phone and not be responsible for anything. We enjoyed it thoroughly!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Last Two!

These are the last in my series of UFO's (aren't you glad?). The white one is a fan RR that I took part in. I have plans to make this into a wall hanging at some point. Make sure you enlarge it so you can see the exquisite work my friends did. The blue one, if I remember correctly, was one I simply traded one of mine for. She had a family problem and was unable to finish hers, so sent me what she had done, along with some additional embellishments for me to put on.

You know how they say things come in three's? Well, I have to admit I find it so often to be true. I have my 'worry hat' on this week because three people who are close to me are going through some pretty rotten stuff. One friend is having very extensive oral surgery done tomorrow; another is being tested for leukemia; and my husband has another biopsy being done today to check a couple of spots for any further melanoma. Sometimes life happens this way, and all I can do is hope for the best and stitch to try & take my mind off it. If you happen to feel like praying, please feel free!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More CQ squares!

These are two more of the smaller squares I have to be completed. I think I can put four of them together to equal the size of the bigger ones, which means I only would have to make one complete square to finish a wall hanging. My goal is to have it done by the time our guild has its quilt show in the spring. Can I do it? Stay tuned.....

Monday, July 24, 2006

Studio Sidekicks!

Friday the topic was 'Studio Sidekicks' on Studio Friday. are being treated to pictures of my critters that quite often keep me company in my workroom.

Cats are: Mitzy (the grey one); Whiffet (the multi-color); and Cosmo (black & white). Mitzy is the oldest and was once known as the cat-from-hell because she would whack you as soon as look at you. She has mellowed into the nicest lap cat, but I can't say as I trust her even yet. Depends on her mood! Whiffet came next and is better known as 'Fat Cat' (for obvious reasons). She spends most of her time loafing around trying to avoid all the other animals who all delight in making her life miserable. Cosmo (named after Kramer on Seinfeld) has name that very much suits him! He loves to make an 'entrance' just like his namesake. He very rarely moves at anything slower than a dead run and gets into more mischief than you can imagine.

Dogs are: Gypsy (better known as Gyppy) and Odin. Odin is just a big nut and loves everybody to distraction. He's a combination of border collie and springer spaniel and is my favourite (shhhh....don't tell the rest!). Gyppy is a llasa apso/shihszu combo and practices being dumb as a post, and mostly succeeds. She makes up for it by being cute though! You can see her pink ball in front of her in the picture, which she insists on driving us mental with during our meals. Her favourite trick is to bounce it off your bare toes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Late posting today

Sorry I'm late with my post today. The internet was most uncooperative! Took me fourteen tries to get in....argh!

Pictures today are of another small RR block, which I will have to attempt to re-size and another of the garden. I imagine everybody is getting sick of seeing these by now.

I spent most of the afternoon stitching and have progressed as far as Day 12 of the 100 Details For 100 Days ( This is proving to be a lot of fun and today I even learned a new stitch...oyster stitch. I'd never heard of it before. Hopefully I will be able to get my scanner back online and can show pictures of what I've been doing in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mundane Mumbling

After I loaded up these pictures, I realized they are quite uneventful. Another picture of some of the garden (showing the sandbox from the neighbours yard!) but trying to highlight the clematis vines. The other picture is another of the smaller CQ blocks I have - another one from the very beginning of my participation in round robins. I will need to enlarge it quite a lot in order to bring it to the same size as the latter ones.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Of bathrooms and gardens

Spent part of today helping Jack's sister choose her new bathroom. Guess she thought we were pretty qualified because she likes what we did with ours. It's rather fun going around helping someone else spend their money!!

A couple more garden tour pictures for you today. One shows the rattan seat we used to hold a half barrel we used as a planter. Alas this is no more after the storm the other night. It broke and fell into the flower bed. Minimum damage, thank goodness, but the seat is no more! The other picture is looking from the back of the garden toward the house/garage. More half barrels with impatients and an overgrown shrub covered in englemans ivy. The barrels were given to us and really make nice planters.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Days 1, 2 & 3 of the 100 Details For 100 Days Project

I realize I have a lot to learn with taking close-up pictures with the digital camera, but until I get the scanner working again, this will have to do!

This is the first three days of the '100 Details For 100 Days' project that SharonB is doing on her blog : Sharon is so very generous to share her talents! Day on the blue square. Day 2 is the rather fuzzy silver & white treatment, which is a really nice way to add ric rac to a project. Day 3 is on the purple-y and is the grapes/flower treatment. I really like this one too! Some of the days Sharon is giving us two treatments and the second one for day 3 is edging the blue rose hanky agove the grapes/flowers. Think they are supposed to be wisteria, but mine look a little more like grapes I think. Could be the colour I chose! I have Day 4 & 5 done too, but have yet to take pictures.

I'm closing in on catching up (hah!!) being on day 5 with 24 more to go. Day 6 is gonna take me awhile tho because it's long & short stitch, which has scared me for years. Oh well, I will bite the bullet and begin. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Paying the piper

Well we paid for the heat with a beaut of a thunderstorm last night. The wind did a lot of damage around the town and we were without hydro from nearly 11 last night til almost noon today. Fortunately we didn't have much happen here other than the planter we had hung in the tree at the back fell down. We were rather worried about the huge row of pine trees right beside us, but other than our usual shower of cones and needles, everything seems ok.

The garden picture is actually the view of our vegetable garden through the arbour you saw yesterday. This morning many of the potatoes are listing rather heavily from the wind and rain last night but we think they'll come back.

The CQ piece is the very first one I traded one on one for. It very nearly stopped my entire career in CQ! I sent her my very amateurish effort and just look what she sent me...a piece of art. This one will not be going in my quilt because I want to have it framed properly to display on the wall. Isn't it gorgeous? It's a wonder I wasn't totally intimidated.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Frying eggs and sidewalks

Yep, today is hot enough you could fry an egg on the sidewalk! It's over 100 degrees Fahrenheit right now and the air is so thick it is hard to breathe. I feel so sorry for anyone who has to work outside or has asthama. Fortunately our family reunion was yesterday when it wasn't quite so hot. We would have had to call it off had it been today because we simply can't fit forty people into our house at one time.

Today I have two more pictures. One shows the area beside the garage looking out at the vegetable garden through the arbour covered in englemans (sp?) ivy which is now starting to grow along under the eaves. Two of our four rain barrels are in the left corner.

The CQ piece is one of the first round robin exchanges I took part in and is considerably smaller than some of the others. I will have to enlarge it somehow so it will fit in my quilt. I bought a book some time ago called 'Twist 'n Turn' (by Sharyn Squier Craig) hoping that her method of making odd-sized blocks even and blending them in would work for my situation. Somehow I foresee this quilt taking at least five more years to complete! I've also been toying with the idea of embroidering (or writing with a permanent pen) the names of the people who worked on each block on the back of the quilt. Or maybe around the edges of each block on the front? We'll see.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

More pictures!

It's another hot day and good to stay inside. So what are we doing? Baking! Tomorrow is our family reunion (here) and we're busy making a carrot cake (recipie from the Harrowsmith magazine). Then we have to roast a ham. Are we bright? We should have done the easy thing and bought something!!

Todays pictures are of a 'insect' themed RR piece that is mostly finished but needs a few more touches to complete. I love what people did on this one already. The second picture is a tableau (in more ways than one!) that we had in our backyard. Jack made the cement top for the old sewing machine legs using rhubarb leaves and marbles for decoration. The chair was given to us pretty much in pieces. Gardening books, a cup of coffee and one of Jack's old gardening hats completed the scene.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Another UFO finished!!

Here she is, in all her glory. I realize that the close-up of her face is a bit out of focus, but my camera batteries were dying and I didn't want to wait to recharge before I posted these. I know that no self-respecting mermaid has ever been known to have short hair, but this one does. Somehow this was what she wanted and I know she's enjoying the freedom from all the seaweed getting caught in it and the fact that lobsters no longer grab her hair in fun as she floats by. She still needs a prop in her hand, but I know what I'm looking for and it will appear at the right time. Now I have to do a grand change in my workroom so I have room to display her! Guess I had better stop making dolls or get a bigger house. Anyway, hope you like her!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yet another one.....

This one you will have to click on to view larger! It's another round robin piece with an underwater theme. I chose to have mine as though you were looking through a frame. I think it worked. This one I might actually put up on a wall...when I get it completely finished that is.

I really love the work that has gone into these pieces and must admit I feel tremendously guilty that they are just languishing in a box in my studio. I don't know if it's proper to make a New Year's Resolution in July?? Many places advocate Christmas In July, so I would think resolutions would be acceptable too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rainy day...and it isn't Monday

Another picture of one of my UFO's (are you bored yet?). I'm still planning to attempt the '100 Details For 100 Days' to try and finish them up but to be quite honest, I haven't had any time to spend in my workroom. We're up to Day 22 now and if I soon don't get started I'm going to really be behind. Maybe I can be super-ambitious and do the current one plus one of the older ones each day til I get caught up. Of course anyone who knows me is quite well aware that the odds of that happening are pretty much zilch! I do go through life with the best of intentions though.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Murphy's Law!

Yep, it's Mr. Murphy again. It has taken me over two hours to get onto the internet and it finally decided to work ten minutes before we have to leave. I think it sees me coming and promptly takes a holiday!

Picture today is of yet another of the unfinished pieces. I love the colours of this one.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Chapter Two In the Trials & Tribulations of Gardening

Guess what? It appears that whoever the 'good' samaritan was that called us about the milkweed on Saturday must have also called the local by-law enforcement officers. Sunday morning there were two of them parked in a van across the street peering most studiously into our garden. Now you can't tell me that they were simply interested in looking at the garden! They didn't come in and didn't approach me when I appeared on the scene to take pictures. Interesting development. We spent today rather wondering if they would re-appear with some official piece of paper, but so far they haven't. All this fuss because of a couple of flowers!!

Todays picture is another in my series of round robin pieces. You can enlarge it to show detail. I have taken a number of pictures of the garden as it looked on the tour and at some point I will show you a few of them (at the risk of boring some people who only read this for the craft content!).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Trials and Tribulations of Gardening

Well, noone can ever say that we don't lead interesting lives at times! Last night was the preview tour for the garden tour, which went very well. Everyone seemed to like our garden, and the others on the tour were quite nice too.

However (here's where the fun starts) one of the master gardeners informed us last night that our 'hedge' of flowers along the front path were noxious weeds - commonly called Cypress Spurge - and very invasive. Oh oh. Today I got on the internet and started snooping around and found out that yes, it's on the list of noxious weeds for this area. Upon further research I found out that it's a Really Bad Plant. Double oh oh. Fine in this area for having noxious weeds is $500 and up. Big OH OH! So....Jack started digging it all out, which left us with a rather large area of dirt right at the front of the house. Panic call to the local garden centre to see how late they were open and nearly $100 and a mad planting later, we have something that doesn't look too bad. Not as nice as our spurge though! Why do the prettiest plants have to be weeds?

Part two of this fun story is that we got a phone call this afternoon from a good samaritan (!) who had read in the paper that we were harbouring milkweed in our flower bed. THAT is a noxious weed too!! If the truth be known we were aware of that and planted it anyway so we could encourage the monarch butterflies whose habitat is dwindling. We were delighted to see the butterflies hovering around it the past week or so. (By the way, did you know that milkweed flowers smell rather like a light version of lilacs?). More computer research! According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (who must know these things) I read the following: "Milkweeds are an important componant of the native & naturalized vegetation communities of Ontario as they are an important nectaring plant for many species of Lepidoptera, such as the Monarch butterfly.....Enforcement under the Act will only accur if a common milkweed population is negatively affecting commercial or horticulture production." So the milkweed is staying in the garden, and the good samaritan (who didn't give his name) can fly a kite. So there!

Sorry, no pictures today!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Block 3

This block is from an undersea round robin I took part in. As always, if you want to see it bigger, just click on it and it should enlarge for you. I really love the encrustation around the mermaid at the top.

Now its back to the garden.....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Block # 2....Frustration....The Countdown Begins

I have just spent over an hour trying to get onto the internet. Does anybody else have that problem or is it just me? It is most frustrating when I only have a limited amount of computer time each day. Then it manages to let me in, only to turf me off again. Downright maddening!!

Picture today is of an oriental theme round robin I was involved in. It's another one of my UFO's which I hope to get completed soon.

As for the countdown...the garden tour begins tomorrow night with the preview for the gardeners on the tour, the workers, and the master gardeners. We'll all be travelling in a convoy from garden to garden. Then the actual tour is on Sunday from 11 til 4. I've made up a guest book and hope people will sign and make comments which should be fun to read afterwards. Just hope it doesn't rain!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Page 123

I was doing a bit of surfing last night and I stumbled across this idea and thought it might be fun to try. Here are the 'rules':
1. Pick up the book nearest to you
2. To to page 123
3. Go to the third sentence
4. Write it in your blog

Sounds pretty simple! So...."I was, at nine years old, developing a sense of fashion." Taken from the book that was sitting on my desk waiting to be put away. 'Knitting Rules' by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Try it and see what interesting things you come up with!

The picture for today is the beginning of a series I'm going to show you. Hopefully you won't get TOO bored! I have a number of crazy quilt blocks which are sitting here unfinished and one of my projects is to finish them all and get them into a quilt so I can display them. SharonB's 100 DETAILS FOR 100 DAYS is going to be my inspiration. I think I've mentioned this before - Sharon is posting 100 differant CQ treatments over a period of 100 days. I had great intentions when I first discovered this that I would keep up with her. Well. The best laid plans of mice and men are bound to run amuck. She's up to day 15 and I have yet to start my stitching (is anyone surprised?). However, I have been downloading them all and will work my way through them at some point. (her blog is at, along with a whole lot of other eye candy and information).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Definitely mumbling today!

No pictures, no real topic. So....I shall mumble (which some would say is what I do best anyway).

We've had two huge rain storms the past couple of days which is panicking Jack a bit since he is hoping nothing gets flattened in the garden until after the tour on Sunday. Well, sure enough, this morning a branch was broken off his catalpa tree. He had hoped to do a huge weeding today, but it's far too muddy to attempt it. One thing about gardeners...they're at the mercy of Mother Nature!

You can tell by the lack of pictures that I haven't had any time to do anything creative either. We had all our kids home on the weekend for varying amounts of time, so didn't accomplish anything. We 'did' thoroughly muck up our diet tho' by going to the Kawartha Dairy to have a large ice cream cone. Large isn't so bad you say? haven't seen the large you get at Kawartha Dairy!! Complete with waffle cone and ice cream dripping off your elbows. Yum!

Tomorrow I'm hoping to make some strawberry jam (freezer type). We don't eat much of it, but the kids like it. Nice to have some in the freezer anyway.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Studio Friday - Time

I see that this picture is a bit out of focus...forgot to change the setting on my camera. Anyway, you can get the idea of what it is! Studio Friday's topic this week is 'Time', so what better picture can I show but my special clock that's in my studio. A friend gave it to me last Christmas. She had found it in a Value Village and thought it needed to live at my house (which it certainly did!). She added some extra embellishments before she gave it to me. Isn't it perfect?

I realize I'm a tad late in wishing my friends from the US a happy July 4th! Hope it was a good one for all.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Promised to show you this....

Remember a week or so ago I was talking about making something for the garden but I couldn't show a picture til it was done? Tah Dah! Our sign is done, and in place. Must admit it looks quite nice too. The little dog was a yard sale find a couple of years ago which Jack stuck up there for someplace to put it.

Gotta go! Just got home from the city and now the kids want to head out to go to a movie and guess what....they asked us to go too!!!