Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This is pretty much how it will be for me! I'll be off for a few days to meet up with my peeps in order to watch the festivities. While it won't involve crossing any oceans, it will involve food and libations. It will all be very Royal.

Enjoy the event of the year wherever it may find you!
See you when our eyes open after a very long night! :)

Hat Tip: Sharon L.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What the horses know

Horses are to be respected. I usually keep my distance from them, knowing full well that they sense my deep reservation about being near their flanks...or any other part of them. You can see that this particular guy has his eye on me, right from the get go.

That beautiful eye with those amazing RED eyelashes! The only way I would ever know this is with a very long lens!

Here they come!

Rest now.....good horsey

A beautiful sunny Easter afternoon in the country. These are my cousin's horses at Wheeler's Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp.

I can't wait to take Zoë here some day. They have a wonderful children's play area and the wagon ride looks thrilling :) We purchased the 4 litre size maple syrup. Liquid Gold! Pancakes anyone??

Monday, April 25, 2011

What is a Penny Rug?

Just when you think you are aware of every crafty-thing known to woman, you spy a Penny Rug.

What is a penny rug?

Wikipedia says:
"In the 1800s, starting around the time of the Civil War, thrifty homemakers would use scraps of wool or felted wool from old clothing, blankets and hats to create designs for mats or rugs. Using coins as templates, they created circles and each piece was then stitched in blanket stitch fashion. (Thus, the name "penny" rug). Sometimes, the mats or rugs were backed with old burlap bags or feed sacks. Sometimes a penny was stitched inside the mat to make it lie flat.

Penny rugs are not actual rugs for the floor, but decorative coverings for beds, tables and dressers and mantles. Sometimes they are used as wall hangings or pillows. Most designs include circles and some include images from everyday life such as cats, flowers, birds and shapes such as stars and hearts.

Penny rugs are made by selecting good quality 100% wool. It must not be too thick. It may be hand-dyed or overdyed to give the piece dimension. Circles are cut from the wool in varying sizes and then stitched together concentrically using complementary colors. The circles are stitched to a wool backing in a pleasing design. When finished the entire piece should have a backing to cover the stitches and to protect it. The backing may be wool, linen or burlap."
There is a Canadian connection here. Colleen MacKinnon, of Surrey, British Columbia, over at Rag-a-Muffin Collectibles is the resident guru of this folk art needlework. Colleen's blog has many useful tutorials and links to her Etsy shop where you can purchase kits.

If you happen to have a stash of left over felted bits, I see that she is also offering an e-pattern. The old meeting the very new.

To me it seemed much more expedient to order a kit than to rummage and felt.
I love the blanket stitch

All Credits: Photo: Colleen MacKinnon Rag-a-Muffin Collectibles

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On the topic of Rabbits

While I'm still thinking about the Vancouver area, I remembered my recent discovery of yet another Canadian gem.

Charles Van Sandwyk
"Rabbits cannot sing. They can do a good many clever and thoughtful things, even some rather prolific things (which I shall not touch upon at present), but they cannot sing. Armed with this intimate tid bit of self awareness, Mr. Rabbit took up symphonic conducting."

This being the season of the rabbit, it seemed like the perfect time to alert you all to this wonderful illustrator.

When Zoë is not in the habit of ripping books, I just know she'll adore this splendid little volume with her Mamère. It's such a delicious publication with French flaps, 24 hand-sewn pages, a folded frog bookmark, and eleven "tipped-in" full colour illustrations. "Tipped-in", is a new bookbinding terminology for me.
"Tipped In – An illustration that is lightly attached to the book by a narrow strip of gum or glue. This happens after the book has been bound, so the illustration is not sewn in with the rest of the pages. Usually, a stand-alone illustration is expertly “tipped in” along the inner edge, between two pages of the book."

"Charles illustrated two books for the Folio Society in London, England: Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book in 2002 and Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows in 2005 which was the winner of the Grand Prix in the Printing World Awards 2006 for the finest achievement in British Printing.

Charles' own books are designed, written, and illustrated by himself, and he oversees every step of their publication. In 2012, the University of Alberta in Edmonton is publishing book about Charles' work."

All Image Credits:
Joyce Williams Antique Prints and Maps
Joyce Williams Gallery
#114 – 1118 Homer Street, Vancouver, British Columbia CANADA, V6B 6L5

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our Mr. Sun/SON Mr. Gordon son

The Boy in our family rarely gets much press. He's always been the shy one, preferring to fly under the radar. HOWEVER, from time to time, he has to be outed. He just ran in the annual Vancouver Sun Run April 17. The race is the largest 10km race in Canada. In his own words....
I did extremely well! The weather was perfect, I had a great run, and got a time of 45:12, which is a few minutes faster than my personal best. I placed 204th in my age category, and 1300th overall out of 50,000! Not too shabby for one of the biggest 10Ks in the world and only having trained for 2 months. Makes me wonder what I could achieve if I trained year round. I only got one crappy picture from my iphone at the start.

You have to see some of the pictures to understand how many people 50,000 represents.

So, now, can we find Gordon amongst these participants??? Let's play where's Gordo?



I sincerely hope not!

He has been known to dress like this, but....nope

This is not my son

It was a little hairy at the start with soo many people, but Jesse and I were able to weave through the crowds and find some open road after the first 2K. Jesse also crushed his personal best by 7 minutes to get a time of 51:00. It was very rewarding to see all our hard work over the last few months pay off. But I must say, I'm looking forward to not having to run 5 days a week anymore.

So, here's a little Raffi song that we used to sing when he was a little boy. We changed the words from Mr. Golden Sun, to "Mr. Gordon son".

He's still our sunshine. Bravo son. You're a RUNNER!!! :)

Photo Credits: Vancouver Sun

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Christ Church 1773 Alexandria, Virginia

It seems appropriate to post this today. I'm sure this little chapel will have opened it's doors and be filled with all the people.

Here is the church

Here is the steeple

Original hand-lettered tablet. Painted by Col. James Wren, who made the architectural drawings and specifications for the building, the tablets have never been retouched. The background, originally white, has mellowed to the present burnished gold. True American folk art.

George Washington sat here. Washington once bought and later rented a pew in Christ Church and attended services when in Alexandria. His pew is the only pew preserved in its original configuration.

Robert E. Lee married Washington's step-great granddaughter, Mary Custis, and attended Christ Church throughout his life when in the area. His plaque is one of the only ones where you see the middle name "Edward" spelled out in full.

The wonky chandelier dates from 1817 and originally hung in the center of the church. It must have been serene with just candles.

Looking through history into the churchyard




To all the YOUTS and my lawyer friends out there. This is one of my all-time favourite movies. "My Cousin Vinny". Not only is it totally hilarious and makes me say "Youts" every time, but it also has Ralph Macchio in it! Ralph is currently in DWTS - Dancing With The Stars, and I might add, doing pretty well! This video sets up the connection with 'youts''s worth all ten minutes, but if you must, advance it to the 9 minute mark.

I expect a few young lawyers I know will be particularly impressed with this entire court scene :)

If the scene you remember from "My Cousin Vinny" is "My Biological Clock is ticking"...then you can see it here. I hope this scene also resonates with those same young lawyers!:) Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei..a classic.

In this country we are facing an upcoming election. This is exactly the rant I had in the car the other day with The Professor. We both agree on this one

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Sunny Side of the Street

I have done quite a bit of traveling in my lifetime and I must say that Washington, DC and surrounds combine the best of anywhere in the world. On one splendid day, my friend and guide David and I spent the most delicious day on the sunny side of the street in Alexandria, Virginia.

Couldn't resist this vintage version.

If you find yourself anywhere near the Capital, cross the Potomac and spend a day strolling in Old Town. You may even be able to rustle up my guide! I can tell you he knows all the best places for lunch and tea. Bliss.

Friday, April 15, 2011

In and Out the Windows

Some windows have curtains, but when they are open, they can view the flowering shrubs. At night, when they are raised, the scent of the blossoms can waft inside.

Some windows beckon with ice cream. The one's high up curiously have bubbles wafting out. Click on the picture to find one bubble.

So that's how they do it! A bubble machine. I love it.

Some windows are all ready for Easter. Clever bunnies.

Some windows reflect history through original glass and a shadow of the past.

The Windows of Old Town - Alexandria Virginia

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In and Out the Doors

Some doors don't open. You can only look outward.

Some doors speak of days gone by.

Other doors are always open.

Some doors speak of elegance.

These doors welcome one to tea!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home again, Home again

If and when you ever get an opportunity to pick up and go to Washington DC, for heaven's it! The Professor had a meeting, so I jumped in his carry on and tagged along. Good friends put up with me for a few days, as I ate my way through the district.

You may as well start things off on a good foot and end up in a great grill.

You know it's a great grill with these door handles!

"Off-centered ales for off-centered people"

It's very obvious that we are definitely in the right place now!

The sign said
compelling ales and whatnot. I can tell you that the "whatnot" was a Whiskey Cake! I'm accepting all submissions of your favourite version. It was worth temporarily falling off the diet.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flanders Bike race...the sequel

The quick part of the race that they were attending is at the very end of the video. Meanwhile, this is what the girls were up to.

The most humourous moments, to me, in this little outtake are right at the beginning where Jane yanks Zoe into the picture. Little one looks a bit perturbed that she's being lined up. Then there is a lot of clapping, but the babies have flags in their hands, so they have to put the flags down, clap, and resume. Looking down drain grates, running away lots....because you can!...and finding and losing a blue dot to stand on. Just a few of my favourite things. Oh yes, the sweater Zoe has on....I knit that one.

In Jane's own words:
"Last weekend we met up with my friend Kate and her daughter Lucy to watch the Tour of Flanders bike race. Our big take-away from the event: Zoë is wild. Almost all the video of her is running away! Luckily the weather was beautiful and everyone had a great time. Michael was so happy to be able to see this race - he's been wanting to experience it for 3 years now!"

Busy girls!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meeting in Flanders

The big girls grew up in Mississauga, playing soccer together. They each married "foreigners" American and one Aussie. They now both reside in Europe. Jane and Michael (the American) live in Brussels, Belgium, and Kate and Mick (the Aussie) live in London, England. Now both 'women' have babies!! Zoë and Lucy. This is the first time the babies have met. They were attending a famous bike race in Belgium, and I understand that my granddaughter is a beast and Marcia's granddaughter is a polite little lady.

More video to follow is promised.

They were so lucky this year to have sunshine the entire weekend. This video is much more typical of the weather in any time of the year!! This is the bicycle course. I believe the Aussie did this route the day before! Bravo Mick.

"The Tour of Flanders (Dutch: Ronde van Vlaanderen, French: Tour des Flandres) is a Flanders Classics road cycling race held in Belgium every spring, a week before the Paris–Roubaix road race. It is part of the UCI World Tour and one of the so-called monuments of the European professional calendar. It is the most important cycling race in Flanders. Its nickname is Vlaanderens mooiste (Dutch for "Flanders' finest")."

See the screen behind the little family? They were situated where you could see the racers progress. Things really erupted when they did their split second pass-by.

Kate, Mick and Lucy Vance

It was so nice that the little families could hook up. Michael was delighted to be able to talk biking! I think he and Zoë plan to attend all the Tour de France races they can.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Alice and Co.

Pay close attention to the "flight attendant's" socks! This is the best thing an airline has done in years! Thomson Airways safety video.

Credits: Thanks G. for the head's up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring is just around the corner

The community center where I go to the gym has installed a wonderful concrete area for skate boards. It's so nice to see that it is being used. Each day that I come out, this young man is practicing his moves. Some days he has an audience, some he's just out there all by himself. On this chilly, overcast day, it was nice to see him being cheered on.

My son would have loved this park.