Friday, October 31, 2008

Birthday Fun


I had a lovely birthday yesterday. But this photo was taken a year ago. My birthday is on the 30th of October and my eldest daughter's on the 1st of November. So we usually celebrate together. Our big joint celebration this year will be on the 8th of November and we'll add my daughter-in-law's birthday (on the 16th) to the celebration.

My parents came over from the mainland and spent a couple of nights with us. They took me out for lunch yesterday and we spent a very relaxed day together. For dinner my husband picked up Chinese food on the way home from work, and afterwards we went to our son and daughter-in-law's for tea and the cutest pumpkin cupcakes (and I forgot my camera).
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Hydrangeas

Although it's hard to choose a favourite flower, hydrangeas are up among the top five on my list. I love them all year round. Now, in autumn, they turn pinky brown and dry perfectly. One of my plants just bloomed with a new blossom, you can see the blue ball there on the right.

Pale, muted, yet still so beautiful. We are enjoying a wonderful autumn - very little rain has fallen so far and the skies have been mostly sunny and blue. A good time to take long walks and store up the sunshine for darker days ahead.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blogging Friends Forever Award

Christi, from Charm and Grace, included me in this award. I'm grateful and honoured. Christi's wonderful and positive outlook on life and her artistic endeavours bring me back to her blog again and again.






1. You may only choose 5 people/blogs to give the award to...

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog...

3. One has to be a new follower of your blog or live in another part of the world...

Like Christi says, it's very hard to choose. But here are some of the friends I've made through this whole blogging adventure. I'm trying not to duplicate those I've seen on other blogs.

1. Barbara from Ramblings through an English Garden has been a visitor almost from the beginning. She shares her heart and her faith with her readers, and takes us on thrilling jaunts through the English countryside, to castles and cottages, woods and moors.

2. Laura from Decor to Adore has a blog full of decorating inspiration. She comments frequently on my posts and is always encouraging.

3. Lilli is uber-creative in many fields. She teaches violin in Vancouver, and also has an Etsy shop full of stitching treasures. Her blog is called Make Mine Blissful.

4. Abby is a fairly new blogger. We haven't exchanged many comments but she's added me to the blogs she follows - everytime someone does that I get tickled. Abby has several blogs, Crafts by Abby is just one of them.

And for my last award...

5. Jessy has a blog called Life. She's also new to blogging and lives in Calgary. I'm looking forward to reading more of Jessy's honest and upbeat posts.

Warm and soft

I've just started knitting and am surprised at how much I love it. It calms me to sit and weave the threads with the needles, in, around, through and out. Over and over, the same motions. Knitting is one activity where I think the process is more attractive to me than the product. I just love the quiet rhythms.

Of course, I'm still happy to actually accomplish something and this is what I just finished - a tweedy scarf for my father for Christmas. The yarn is a wool/silk blend, soft and touchable. So simple - just plain knitting, but I like it. In November I'm signed up for a class on cables - that should be challenging for me, and will expand my repertoire beyond knitting and purling.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Glitter House


Isn't this the cutest thing? (in spite of the blurry photo) Linda from LindaJo's Obsessions sent it to me as part of a glitter house swap on Christian Paper Artists (yahoo group). I've long admired them and thought this would be the time to try and make one. Linda's is so cute. I love it.

I'll put mine up in a few days. I'd like Corbi, my partner to get it before I post photos of it.

This has been a most busy week. I've set a goal of finishing two courses by the end of November, which means ordering the exams this next week. Yikes! That really puts the pressure on. I still have two research papers to do for these courses, and one more assignment. So there won't be much time for making pretty things with fabric, paper and thread, although I find sitting down in the evening with a bit of knitting or stitching a great way to unwind from the day. It lets my poor brain absorb and sort all the stuff I've been cramming into it all day!


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making an Impression


I've always loved the Impressionists' work. The idea of capturing an emotion, a fraction of time in a landscape. I like the way they looked at the world and translated it to their canvases.


When I went to Provence I felt like I had walked into one of their works. I realized that the colours, shapes and textures in their paintings were more than abstract renditions - they truly captured the light and grace of that beautiful part of the world.


These are some ATCs I made from a pamphlet I got through a French tourism site when we were planning our trip in 2007. Some are for a swap, but I made extras just for me. Tiny works of art to admire in my studio/office.


Provence captured a little piece of my heart and I hope to someday return. And I'd like to see more of France - Alsace and Burgundy, the Loire region, Normandy. And more of Europe - Italy, Germany, Austria. I think the travel bug has bitten hard.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colour and Texture


This bleached log on a beach reminds me of a dragon, old and weathered but still a bit dangerous.
A couple of Sundays ago we went over to Sidney Island and hiked around the trails there.
We saw hundreds of deer - they were taking their afternoon naps in the woods and as we approached along the shore, they rose up in waves and retreated further inland. I've never seen anything like it.


In this grassy field there's the foundation of an old brick building. They used to make bricks on the island and ship them to various places. Now, the island is mostly parkland. Isn't this a beautiful place to camp?

Since having a digital camera I look at things a bit differently. I like the big pictures - like this one of the meadow and the ocean, but I also like the small details - the myriad of textures in nature. Rocks, beach, trees, grass - creation has infinite variety. I have hundreds of photos on my computer and I've heard it said that they aren't safe until they're printed. But oh, how to choose from so many!

Meanwhile, I keep clicking away, zooming in and zooming out.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Grateful Friday


It's been a hectic two weeks - I've been subbing for a French teacher (who took a group of students to Paris - oh I wish I could go again.) And Thanksgiving. And visiting with wonderful friends. I was supposed to be home yesterday but the teacher called in sick and asked if I could fill in one more day. She caught a cold in Paris, which apparently isn't any more fun than one caught in Canada.

So today I've been doing laundry and studying. I'm a little behind on my courses - of where I want to be at this point. But I think I can catch up. I worked on an English lit assignment and an essay in French. I do love studying, which my husband thinks is just kind of weird.

And now I've taken a little break - to blog and I'm going for a long walk. Walking helps me think - if I toss the ideas I'm writing about in my brain as I walk, I get home and sometimes I can put them into coherent sentences instead of a jumbled mess.

Have a great and grateful Friday.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Too Many Bags?

Can anyone have too many bags? I don't think so. I made this one over the summer. And since I've started knitting (like I need another craft to do) I think this bag will be perfect for storing/carrying knitting needles and yarn. I pleated the toile body, added some buttons just for looks and had a fun time with this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Signs of the Season




Leaves in the forest...

Leaves in the water...


Leaves on a shell beach...

Over the weekend we took one last sailing trip to Russell Island. Wandering around - with camera in hand, I noticed the trees were much barer than on our last visit just a few weeks before. Windy days have had the leaves twirling in gusts, dancing in circles as they fall to the ground.



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Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. We celebrated with turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie (plus more). We usually have our dinner on the Sunday, leaving the Monday free for other activities.
I made this banner to hang on the fireplace - I see that the "a" fell just before I took the picture. Regluing is in order!


I love being together with my family. Our son brought over his PlayStation 3 and we laughed while he tried to teach us how to use it. (I just took pictures - video games are not "my thing.") And we talked, laughed and ate some more. Friends from Ecuador/USA came up for the weekend and joined us.

Dinner started with a salad. I made small bags of caramel corn tied with a collaged and stamped tag for place markers. We have the tradition of going around the table and everyone saying something they are thankful for...jobs, houses, family, purpose in life, faith...the words stay the same but the sentiment is always heartfelt.

A Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Last Roses of Summer

There's been a touch of frost on the roofs at night. These are some of the last roses from my garden.
This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada...family gathering, out-of-town guests, turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie! We have much to thank God for.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yummy

Betz White, of cupcake pincushion fame, has a tutorial for the cutest pomander. I've started making some of the flowers - it's addicting - but then today I had the idea to cut a smaller circle and add it to the top of a pincushion (inspired by Betz) that I'm making for a friend.

I think it looks delectable. Yum!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Soft and cozy

Wool next to my skin makes me itch so I wondered why would I make a wool pillow? But propped up in my back, or under my feet, it doesn't bother me at all. And I love its earthy look - kind of different from my usual style (whatever that is - I don't think my decorating fits a style, sigh - kind of mish mash of whatever is available.)

A thrifted wool sweater, nicely felted in the washer and dryer, a few interesting buttons, and a project finished! I wonder if some of the people on my gift list this Christmas would like some cozy wool pillows?
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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Downtown....

I don't go downtown often. Parking is terrible - this town has parking police who take their job verrrry seriously....I've seen them with measuring sticks to see how far the wheels are from the curb. But we won't let them bother us today...we're going window shopping! I love this shop window - The Tuscan Kitchen, full of all kinds of Italian goodies. Beautiful linens, pottery and seasonings.

Trounce Alley - a pedestrian-only street, just a block long, but full of wonderful shops to explore. My favourite is the Button and Needlework Boutique where my daughter used to work. The owners are fabulous and so helpful. I love all the unique, handcrafted buttons, the stitching threads, the beautiful books and NOW they carry wool and knitting needles. So luscious.

And what's a trip downtown without a peek at the Empress sitting in grandeur on the Inner Harbour? Although tea is really pricey, the hotel is open for tourists and I love wandering through the ground floor hallways and envisioning myself taking tea in style.
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A Sweet Award

I was honoured by Lynne Laura of A Romantic Nest who included me on her list of blogs. Thank you so much Lynne Laura.

Here are the rules of this award.
1. The receiver can put the logo on his or her blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 other bloggers.
4. Put links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you mentioned.

There are so many wonderful blogs out there. It's hard to choose just seven, but here are a few, in no particular order.

1. Jennifer of A Charming Life
2. Hen of Hen House Homemade (I don't know if this is her real name - maybe short for Henrietta?)
3. The Purl Bee
4. Carole at Fee du jardin et du logis (Carole writes in French and English from her home in Alsace.)
5. Alison at Brocante Home (Life, Love and Vintage Housekeeping)
6. Heather at Pretty Petals
7. Linda at Linda Jo's Obsessions

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Bit of Brightness


After a glorious September that extended the feeling of summer, recent days have confirmed that autumn is definitely here! As my eldest daughter says, "We've begun the long descent into winter."

Cloudy, grey skies, drizzle, and heat and electric light are part and parcel of these days. I love feeling cozy inside and then bundling up for a walk outside - although my hair frizzes up like a bad perm. Touches of brighter colour around the house brighten things up a little. I bought this cloche during the summer and am having fun arranging things to feature underneath.
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Friday, October 03, 2008

New Inspiration


The latest issue of Somerset Life arrived on my door yesterday. No time to read it yet, but I did flip through the pages and oh my, what lovely inspiration awaits me.
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Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Rainy Morning



When our children were smaller, I would light a candle on cold, dark mornings for the breakfast table. The flickering light added an air of mystery to the day, and I like to think we all headed off to work and school with a bit of a glow in our hearts.

The skies are dark today, a few fat raindrops have fallen and there are more to come. A good time to light a candle and sip a cup of tea as I study.
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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hello October



Listen! The wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!
(Humbert Wolfe)


It's here - my favourite month of the year (although it's really hard to choose between all the fall months.) Things I love about October...

1. warming fires to sit by and dream
2. putting the garden to bed for the winter
3. candles on the dinner table
4. soup for dinner (roasted tomato, spicy tortilla, cream of broccoli)
5. the first frosty morning
6. Thanksgiving (I'm in Canada) with turkey, stuffing, cranberries and more - yum!
7. leaves - first the colour on the trees, then scuffing through them as they fall
8. windy, rainy nights while I'm cozy inside
9. apple cake
10. my birthday! (at the end)

How about you? What do you love about October? If you post a list, leave a comment and I'll put up links so we can all share what's so special about this month.
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Circling Spring Break

Some of the names and geography of the west coast of Canada can be confusing. For example, we live on Vancouver Island, but the City of...