Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy 90th. Birthday, Your Majesty

History in the making

The Queen with her great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren, from left to right: James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise, Mia Tindall (holding purse!), Princess Charlotte sat on the Queen's lap, Savannah Phillips, Prince George and Isla Phillips.

Photograph: Annie Leibovitz/Getty Images

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cannot wait

Tonight is THE night. OUTLANDER is back. I cannot be more excited. The only disappointing thing is that it is airing on Sunday evening when everything else seems to be airing. My t.v. watching schedule has a bland space between "Dancing With The Stars" on Monday night to "The Amazing Race" on Friday....nothing. You could say that I should space out my Sunday night "faves" but I just can't do it! I'm way too curious.

There is another problem with my t.v. watching. If I even dare to recline on the sofa after dinner, I immediately fall asleep and miss all the shows ~ hence a very full PVR. In order to combat this 'condition' for my upcoming marathon, I decided I would refer back to Carol From Kansas and make something fairly "Outlander-ish". In my most recent Workroom class I inquired about the Rowan Felted wool, and Suzanne, the owner of Knit Stitch just happened to have some in her inventory. She very kindly supplied me with the requirements and I will endeavour to stay wide awake whilst knitting a poncho in "Antique". It's all working out.

My latest class at The Workroom. VISIBLE mending. More of an art form really and I love the possibilities.

"Call the Midwife"

"Madame Secretary". I love Téa Leoni's glasses.

"The Good Wife" ~ Julianna Margulies is great but him ?!?!?!? YOWSA!! Jason Crouse aka Jeffrey Dean Morgan

If you haven't watched "Grantchester" you probably should. Just saying.

Mr. Selfridge (Jeremy Piven) is not my most favourite, but I do like the period and story line

Since the weather is still threatening to be like this tonight, I feel confident that I have enough to do and watch to keep me busy and happily occupied.

Oh Yes!
I'm reading THIS

Very good so far.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It has been a wee while.......

Decisions, Decisions. They kill me. Not sure if it's because I'm so forgetful these days or if it's just a condition aggravated by age. Probably some of both.

The first decisions arose in the quilting class I was taking over an 8 week course. Rather than a sampler, our grandiose ideas turned into a slightly larger production which engendered many decisions on how many, how much, how big??? The last three squares have been decided and finished and now on to the putting together. Don't hold your collective's another HUGE decision.

Then there was the decision about the car. Pushed forward by a stone cracking my windshield, this decision became more urgent. After considering all the options, the new car is another Nissan. The 2016 Altima is a total model change. As I drove in to the Costco parking lot, there was another white Altima same vintage as my beloved old Navy Blue one, so I slid in beside it and you can now see the changes side by side. The only vehicle with the tan leather interior is white. Decision made easier.

Taking a break from hand sewing and stars I did an inventory of my current fabric stash and came across the easy breezy pillow cases that I had purchased some time ago in Vancouver. Since we will be returning to the West Coast in May, I decided I would whip these decision making here, just a really fun project and nice to have for the "chiclets" when they come and stay. Since March Break was approaching the decision was to 'get at it!'.

Luca really needed something new for the basement toy box. He's been really good about rooting around in the old Lego and assorted old Fisher Price stuff. When I spied this space station over at Milo's, it was so exciting and I knew he'd love it. The Professor does too so that's two situations covered :)

Zoë loved the idea of helping out making carrot muffins and did a really great job of scraping all the carrots and grating with the food processor. A skill I have informed her parents that they must not underestimate! One can always use a sous chef these days, especially a good one. The kids arrived for an overnight on St. Patrick's Day and we celebrated by watching the charming movie "Song of the Sea". It's a delightful tale and perfect for the wee ones although a tiny bit sad, but then again, it's a great conversation piece too. The animation is gorgeous and the music a delight. I have had one of these "adult" colouring books around for quite some time now, trying to entice Zoë into a little creative time together. Oddly enough, she decided that she could now do it and we settled in to many hours of side by side collaboration. She's doing really well and I'm delighted to use my good pencil crayons with someone who appreciates their magic. She woke up after our overnight all ready to "do art" now! Hope it continues, as it really is a calming and connecting activity.

Now that the weather has turned to spring??? (snow and ice in the forecast for tonight!) I've decided I had best get my fitbit into action and get those steps increased. Took a sprint around the neighbourhood and figured out how to use my iPhone music and camera at the same time. Came across some wonderful crocus' and then just around the corner in the oddest occurrence, a snow shower to compliment a remaining Christmas theme. I have been hearing the eerie sounds of wild coyotes in the park near our house. At night, the howling is other worldly and quite freaky. I called the city to report that I could hear what I swear is a pack of them....not just one....sounds like they are finding some sort of small prey...then on my walk, the signs. I guess I'll equip myself with "deterrents" next time I'm out! Yikes. If I spot them at midday we are seriously in trouble.

Well that's what I've been up to and why I've been diverted from blogging. It's really hard now with all the various media choices to settle down and get through the blog process. It's so much easier to hit a like button on Facebook, or Heart a little Instagram picture, that I often forget about posting here anymore. I know that some of you don't use the other platforms so here you go! Easter is upon us this coming weekend and I promise I will post a bit of that. Thanks for all the calls and inquiries as to my welfare. All is well, I'm just lazy and making waaaaay too many decisions these days :) xxxxxooooo

Onward and Upward

A while back I did a post on Dennis and Sharon Lanigan's collection of Pre-Raphaelite art.

The collection will eventually reside in Ottawa in the National Gallery of Canada, but for the moment, has crossed the pond to London, England and is gracing the halls of Leighton House Museum.

This is a lovely video of the installation and really makes me want to hop on a plane and go visit old London Town. I have to admit to being a bit of a groupie now that I have fallen under the spell of Dr. Lanigan's enthusiasm and love for his collection and all things "Arts and Crafts". This also includes Morris prints on Liberty fabrics!

Credit: Dr.and Mrs. D. Lanigan

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A little ditty

'I Love' by Jason Mraz

Here is one of my favorite tracks from the film, Jason Mraz sings 'I Love' the Tom T Hall classic, sit back and enjoy!

Posted by For No Good Reason on Friday, June 20, 2014

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cosy with Crazy

It's a very cold day today and nothing will warm us up more than revisiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the quilt collection. This is a snapshot of one CRAZY quilt. To be sure. This is only one quilt in the collection, but worth a close look at the intriguing way it is put together and the craziness of the entire piece. Stay warm and cozy today wherever you are!!

This Crazy Quilt label reads:

"Crazy quilts, a fad in the last decades of the nineteenth
century, were most commonly pieced from irregularly
shaped bits of velvet and silk.  This exuberant quilt is
far more unusual, since its unknown maker chose to
craft it from brightly patterned cottons.  The cottons 
create an album of fashionable, though inexpensive
fabrices of the 1880s, including Egyptian Revival and
Japanesque designs, children's handkerchiefs, and
pieces of "cheater" cloth - fabric that was printed to
imitate patchwork.   One of the handkerchiefs, printed
with playing cards, is inscribed "ORIENTAL PRINT
WORKS, APPONAUG, RI."   It is possible that this
mill produced many of the fabrics found in the quilt."
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

This last photo shows the binding used on this quilt. This is my favourite section. Inspiration.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Such talent

Yesterday I was being a sloth. Lying around, watching movies ~ snoozing...taking a day off. By night time, I was, of course, wide awake. Tuned in to the Late Late Show with James Corden (my new favourite) and saw Charlie Pluth. What a talent this kid is!!! By the way, for the record, he explained the slash in his eyebrow. It is NOT a fashion statement, rather a scar from a really bad dog bite when he was two years old. He does not condone his fans shaving their brows in his likeness.

I will share the link to the song he sang on the show and after some research to find the official video I came across another one of Charlie and Emily Luther. I had not been aware of these two, but they are now on my playlist. Pretty courageous to do an Adele cover. I like it better than the original.

In case you are celebrating "Pancake Day" and taking a snow day here in southern Ontario, this will give you something to do :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

100 years ago today

Alberta's "Famous 5" were petitioners in the groundbreaking Persons Case. Led by judge Emily Murphy, the group included Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Irene Parlby.

Provincially, women were given the vote in 1916 in the four western provinces, in 1917 in Ontario, in 1918 in Nova Scotia, in 1919 in New Brunswick, in 1922 in Prince Edward Island, and in 1940 in Quebec.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Another turn around

So happy I followed the steps down to this intimate collection of Cross Stitched Samplers. Reminds me of how many projects I have yet to finish. Perhaps this also shows that I should add my name to my works as well. I love that there is such a vast collection surviving at the Met.

American and European Embroidered Samplers, 1600–1900
November 16, 2015–February 15, 2016

The embroidered samplers in this installation were chosen for their practical character: each displays skills and knowledge acquired during the educational process and preserves this expertise for future reference. While these are notably functional samplers, even with more decorative examples, the maker's skill and creativity were tempered by her adherence to traditional patterns, passed down over the years by means of earlier samplers, patterns books, or instructional manuals.

Samplers were made as part of a young woman's education, either at a formal school or under informal tutelage at home. Through most of the eighteenth century, in both Europe and America, most girls were expected to learn only practical skills—basic reading, writing, and sums, along with sewing and cooking—to prepare them for their roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers.

The Museum has more than eight hundred samplers from Europe and North America. The survival of so many of these embroideries indicates a continuing appreciation for the skill they demonstrate, for their charming variations on a theme, and, perhaps most of all, for the names of the makers, which were proudly added to many of these pieces when their work was done. For many, these samplers are the only remaining trace of the lives they lived.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For the full collection

Monday, January 25, 2016

You never can tell

Before leaving the Met, I decided I really should turn around and do just one more special exhibit. I have to admit that I knew nothing of Jacqueline de Ribes prior to this installation. Below are notes from Wikipedia and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Jacqueline, comtesse de Ribes (born 14 July 1929) is a French aristocrat, designer, fashion icon, businesswoman, producer and philanthropist. She has been a member of the International Best Dressed List since 1962." (Wikipedia)

"This Costume Institute exhibition focuses on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the twentieth century. The thematic show features about sixty ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes's personal archive, dating from 1962 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy-dress balls, which she often made by cutting and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs, video, and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood "dress-up" to the epitome of international style." Metropolitan Museum of Art

So I turned around and descended into the dark exposition ~ how amazing! Glad I did this