Saturday, October 31, 2015

A stroll along Wellington

A cold and rainy day in Ottawa. The Nation's Capital. Started out in light drizzle and ended up in pouring rain at the Chateau Laurier. Wonderful place to hunker down and have lunch after a walk with quickening pace to outwit the climes. From the archives past the Supreme Court to the cleaning and upkeep of the copper tiles on the Parliament buildings. Parliament hill 1812 statue and the Rideau locks.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Celebrating a wonderful teacher

It all started with several inspiring classes at The Workroom in downtown Toronto.

Getting back into quilting has been a real revelation for me. The new modern fabrics, process' and techniques are so much fun to learn. The enthusiasm of younger women and their tremendously clever ideas really puts wind in one's sails to hoist the main and get-at-it!

First class with Carolanne Graham was:   Intro to Hand Work. 
 We made pillows and pillows and more pillows. It was that much fun and very addictive once you had the tools to whip them up.

The classes aren't just about the techniques, they become a camaraderie of like-minded people who just click on one level or another. The students are as diverse as the fabric selections in the shop. In addition to learning about quilting and hand work, there was much chatter about life, favourite books, movies, food etc. It soon became clear that we collectively shared Carolanne's passion for all things Jane Austen. Quotes were flying liberally around the room and bonds were forming as quickly as the stitches. This sense of belonging and never wanting to leave the atmosphere of learning and laughing and creating inevitably led to "What's next Carolanne???" We need to be together!

That would be the Wholecloth Quilt.
Remember this one?      Okay, well that one got totally out of control with creativity.   Esthr was hand quilting/embroidering a quotation on hers, Yvonne was working on the Haptic Lab constellations, I of course was copying Carolanne's prototype....this one?

It was in this class that Carolanne announced to us that she would be getting married in November. This was EPIC (another Carolanneism). It seemed like a long way off, but with our "youthful" exuberance, we all looked at one another and tacitly the stage was set for a proper "Jane Austen" tea party.

Carolanne Graham

Many months later things came together with not just our own small group, but with the addition of more friends and colleagues of the-bride-to-be.    Karyn, the owner of the shop allowed us to use the new Workroom Studio space and then things started to they do.   It was very difficult to cap the number of people who would want to attend, but we were doing this arranging in the middle of elections, Blue Jay's games, auctions and classes at the shop.  We cobbled together lists and sent out subversive messages via Instagram...another skill added to the list.  It was all very last minute, but the core group were there and everyone pitched in.  Perfect.

These fantastic pictures were taken by Tasha Shaw-Verbic ~ Woman extraordinaire with one of the cutest dogs on the planet. 
Make sure you click on the link and read her wonderful post on tea parties...including this one!

 This pie is very important.  Carolanne not only taught us about quilting and hand stitching, but she also launched herself into a career of pie baking.  It became an intrinsic part of the class along with gasping and clutching of pearls!   This is the Salty Honey Pie from "The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book".   I never would have ventured to try "Sour Cherry Pie", but she did and now it has to be one of my all-time favourite pies.  Since she thought she was coming for a small gathering, she, of course, also brought her pie.  The common Date Squares that I bring are also formally known as "Matrimonial Bars" appropriate. 

The gorgeous quilt on the wall is such a work of art. It is a hand-dyed, hand-pieced and hand-quilted indigo star by none other than THE STAR of the day....Carolanne Graham!

It was such a lovely day and everyone who could attend was there and added to the bounty of the tea table. I was delighted to be able to teach all these "youngsters" a little trick of my past. The stacking of the tea cups which they had me record in 15 seconds!! so as to get it on social media. Several have decided to start their own collection of vintage china.

The wedding will be in November and we want the bride back so that we can all reconvene at her next class.
Hand Pieced Star Sampler Have a look at the calendar in the new year and join us! Thank you Carolanne for everything.

All tea party photos and video courtesy of Tasha Shaw-Verbic. Please ask her permission for use

Carolanne Graham photo. The workroom.

BAPalmer for her decorating help, floral arranging and constant suppervision :)
All Carolanne's friends and colleagues who helped and contributed to the party ~ couldn't have done it without you all.

PartyEverAfter ~ Etsy
ArtTeaLife Sandy Gordon/onecrabapple ~ Etsy
Countryatheart2008 ~ Etsy ~ Etsy

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


So proud to be able to say Prime Minister Trudeau again!

My father was with Justin's father on this mission


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Three's a Charm!

It's like a hat trick. Yesterday was a very fine day. Not only did the Professor and I enjoy a perfect fall afternoon "Wednesday with Luca", but The Blue Jays hit it out of the park...Gordon hit it over the moon....and Hazel hit it on the head!

#1. The Blue Jays!! - Take the Series and off to the ALCS - waiting since 1993!!!

Photo Credit: Global News

#2. Gordon Above The Clouds! Another Stretch Goal achieved! BALLOONS!!! and Highland locations. Now I'll really have to learn how to play this game:) Let the balloons loose!

#3. Great Liberal political ads ~ Hazel Weighs in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Entering the home stretch

Awoke this morning to an email from number one son. As you know, he, and a few good men and women, are starting their own business and are doing so on Kickstarter

Posted by IronOak Games

"We'll keep this one short and sweet. Only 48 hours left in the campaign! Thanks so much to everyone for your undying support, we've created an awesome community here and we can't wait to adventure together with you all!

To show our support we're giving away an in-game statue. For the next 48 hours every time you send out a post, tweet, or update on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Imgur or Tumblr we'll add your name to the draw to have your own statue in game. Just make sure to link to our Kickstarter page and use #ForTheKing. Bonus points for reddit posts!

We'll announce the winner in the first post-campaign update. Let's work together to spam the internet with some For The King love and crush the Above The Clouds stretch goal!"

They met their initial goal and are now working on "Stretch Goals" to further animate, the game. This way they can hire more people who have different expertise in animation and recording. This one is called "Above the Clouds Stretch Goal!" They need to reach $125,000. Not far to go, but every little bit helps. Spread the word through social media and you could win a statue in the game.

As for me, I WANT BALLOONS!!!! This is what I have in mind...not sure if this is what these game designers are thinking of, but hey....who knows where inspiration comes from!!

Get on board everyone and fasten your seat-belts! It's going to be a thrilling ride.

Image Credits: All credits from the web

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Truly Thankful

For the first time in many, many years, the Professor and I had family at our table for Thanksgiving. The Vancouver clan were absent, but as I was preparing the meal, "Gordon's song" came on the radio. I saw it as a sign that he and Rach were here in spirit. They are working full tilt on his new business venture, but we are hopeful for a Christmas time reunion. The little family came all decked out for a special meal. I love the fall. It's my favourite season and the day was absolutely spectacular.

The table represented 5 generations. My grandmother's good china which was used only on very special occasions. My mother's crystal which is still used only on very special occasions. My sterling silver flatware guessed it....Jane and Michael brought some delicious wine and two beautiful children. One of the last generation slept through the entire meal, but at only 2 years old, will have many more turkeys to remember in the future. It was a splendid day topped off with pumpkin and apple pies from the heart of the Niagara Region....the Pie Shop in Virgil. Just the right amount of make some and buy some as "Ina Garten" would say.

Hope you all had a nice long weekend and were able to celebrate in some small way this wonderful time of year.

AND ....How about those Jays???!!! :)

Hey Gordon!