Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Working through the stash

After taking the zipper class, I decided to make a Herculean attempt at using up what fabrics I own, making at least a dent in the stash that I have hoarded.

I had two very ancient Jelly Rolls, so old, the fabrics I am sure are now "extinct". If you don't know what a jelly roll is, this is what they look like. The pattern is Madeira.

And here is what you do to make a jelly roll quilt top. I didn't race, I just enjoyed the process and getting comfortable with the machine.

1600 Inches of jelly roll strips

Ooops! A miscalculation required a corner fix in the border. There is now a block in each corner. Adds texture I say!

Voila! One down and one to go...could be one snuggle quilt for a little girl and one for a little boy!

For sure I will try and make the back "Patchy" thereby using up even more oldies but goodies. The quilting will be extremely primitive and hopefully by hand.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Another series to consider

Sunday evening is my favourite t.v. night. The line up is: "The Amazing Race", "Call the Midwife", "Mr. Selfridge", "The Good Wife". The Professor likes "Game of Thrones", so we have to have all electronics at the ready. It's always the same, all the great shows on the same night, the same time....makes the PVR a total necessity. Now I can't stand to view things any other way. I have to fast forward through all commercials.

Last night on "Call the Midwife", toward the end, when the narrator Vanessa Redgrave speaks in her mellifluous tones, this sentiment made me finally decide to read Jennifer Worth's collection. The language is perfection.

"Perfection is not a polished thing.
It is often simply something that is sincerely meant.
Perfection is a job complete, praise given, prayer heard.
It can be kindness shown, thanks offered up.
Perfection is what we discover in each other, what we see reflected back.

Oh! And if perfection eludes us, that doesn't matter.
For what we have within the moment is enough."

Credit: Quote from Call the Midwife.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The music that ended a great day

What better way to round out a day thinking of 'literary Paris' than to attend a sultry jazz concert. Jill Barber has come such a long way, and is the consummate performer. If you get a chance to see her latest tour, do so, you will not be disappointed. She will also have a new album out soon! We were delighted to see her "back home" in Mississauga. A new mum with grandparents as roadies. Way to go Brian and Joyce! Looking forward to the next event :)

Jill Barber - Petite Fleur "by pepe le pew"

Friday, April 25, 2014

Literary Outing

Had a wonderful afternoon at the Toronto Reference Library yesterday. It was the perfect day to take an adventurous trip on the subway and meet with a friend over a shared enthusiasm. Sandra Gulland has a new book out now "The Shadow Queen". You might remember her as the author of one of my all-time favourite trilogies "Josephine B." It was wonderful to hear the author read her own passages and speak to many cogent audience questions regarding her process as a writer.

Sandra Gulland and Susan Williamson

I have not yet read the book, but do have a lovely signed copy to look forward to.   I really enjoyed meeting an International Bestselling Author.

Susan and I caught up over a coffee and treats at Balzac's coffee shop which is installed on the ground level of the library. Just like J.K. Rowling's beginning efforts, of writing in cafés, almost makes one want to write a book. Almost....well, Susan is.....(writing a book that is) but I'd rather be a patron of the arts :)

P.S.   I mentioned to Sandra that I have difficulty with having the books I loan to people returned.  I can never remember who has my copy of this or that.  So, if YOU have my copy of "Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe"....please pop it in the mailbox, I wish to read the entire trilogy once again.  Sandra also has given me a hand written book plate to include in my newest book :)

Photo: Taken by me and permission granted to post.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Overcoming Zipper anxiety....

Finally did it. Took a little class in pouches with zippers! It was a splendid day, and apparently I am not the only one terrified of a new machine! Perfect place to start and learn the zipper foot technique.

The small pouch

The large box pouch


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


To say the least, the Easter montage was shocked at this morning's snowfall. It is April 15th. They are now chirping....""Stay Calm and Carry On!" by tomorrow it will all be gone. In the meantime, put on your gear and get under the umbrella chaps!"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Home Scents

I can never get past the section of bath products in 'HomeSense'. I love it when I'm the only one standing at the shelves sniffing each and every scented soap. I don't wear scent any more out of respect for so many who are adversely affected with allergies and breathing complications, and many public places are now "scent free", but I do love a waft of fragrant soap in my bath. The delicious Green Tea, Lavender, and Lily and Marigold, are like nature itself and even if we are expecting more snow this week, hope springs eternal in the bath.

The wrapping is also very important:)

Friday, April 11, 2014


Our son titled these photos "Cone Head". Little Simon, who is now getting to be the bigger cat, had a little operation last week and was out of commission for a few days. Forest, the big brother was very protective. They seem to have found a sunny warm spot on the windowsill in which to recuperate.

Gordon titled this first shot: "I will keep watch while you're sick"

And this one "Oh good, now I can sleep".

The two little kitty brothers are growing up. They have good responsible parents.

Monday, April 7, 2014

An unexpected bonus

Whilst swanning around "The Bay" yesterday, in search of new appliances, I ended up in the table ware section and spied these fabulous Kraft paper table covers that I've always admired. They were on SALE! These just look so very springy and Eastery and I could not resist. With the table roll, just cover what you want and cut if off, the place mats come in a tear off pad.....how easy is that??! The sort of thing you could add crayons to at festivities :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Like someone we know well

This could so be our Zoë. She was a Ninja for Halloween. That's how we know. She is also practicing her gymnastic front rolls daily in the living room....on a mattress. Not sure about the fruit juice:)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thinking nice thoughts

Some very appropriate door decorating ideas from Better Homes and Gardens. For some reason I keep getting emails from them.
Something to consider. Or not. I love the idea, the work...not so much. Think I'll just leave it at the nice pictures. It's raining.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Total Diversion

Finally! The weather is getting nicer and some days the sun is even shining....what to do??? Go to a dark movie theatre! I know, it seems a bit weird, but if all things have to be perfect for an outing, then a sunny day at the movies it is.

I'm not going to say anything about this one. It is TOTALLY Wes Anderson, and you either like his narrative style or you don't. Past works, "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" are particular favourites of mine, so if you enjoyed those, you might enjoy this. It's quirky, weird, visual fantasy and a cast of just about everyone you ever knew. While we were there, we noticed "The Lunchbox" and "Great Beauty" - films that I have on my list, as well as a new Canadian one from Newfoundland - "The Grand Seduction". I can recommend the popcorn too!:)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In response

Mary Ann Moss was wondering about cello music to add to her collection. This piece by Massenet "Meditation from Thaïs" is one of my very favourite pieces of music. One summer, at Chautauqua, I had the pure joy of hearing Zuill Bailey perform this masterpiece live. I have never been so moved and it has remained my calm ever since. Meditation indeed.

Mary Ann, thank you for being the kind of teacher who stays with her kids in the music class. Wonderful photos too.