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Showing posts from March, 2013

Good Friday

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As out of Jesus' affliction came a new sense of God's love and a new basis for love between men, so out of our affliction we may grasp the splendor of God's love and how to love one another. Thus the consummation of the two commandments was on Golgotha; and the Cross is, at once, their image and their fulfillment.

Malcolm Muggeridge

 comments closed for Good Friday

This is a Fence Post

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Mary, from the Little Red House, gave out the prompt "fences" for today. I looked through my photos and found the above one, a detail of a fence in San Diego. I like the curved lines and the "sort of fleur-de-lis" detail at the top. 


More fleur-de-lis adorn this fence in Paris, around the Luxembourg Gardens. How pretty a fence can be while protecting and defending. 



This fence, around part of Victoria's Inner Harbour, is a mere hint not to fall into the water. Nor does it block the view. 

Linking with Mary of the Little Red House. More fence posts (HA) will be up starting around 11 am Pacific time.

For those who inquired about yesterday's post - yes, I made the bunnies. One for Little Miss A and one for Little Miss S. But shhhhh - they won't see them until Sunday.

What the Bunnies Said and Indulging in a bit of Narcissism

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Bunny A:  What's she doing?

Bunny B:  Smiling and talking to herself. Taking photos, like she always does. What's that she said? "How silly is this?" 

Bunny A:  Taking pictures, that's what she's doing. She just took some of us. You know she's going to put them on her blog, don't you?

Bunny B:  I know. Do you think she'll be brave enough to put the pictures she's taking of herself on the blog?

Bunny A:  I doubt it.  


Take that, Bunnies.

My hair looked virtually the same this morning as it did last night and when someone suggested that I document the ultra-straight look, I did. ( I had my hair cut yesterday and the stylist always straightens and flattens it to the extreme.) There are a few bits and pieces in the back that are starting to curl, but otherwise, it's the severe look. Is there anything so ridiculous as taking one's own photo? Those editing features in Picasa are wonderful for minimizing wrinkles and such.

A Full Moon, Stitching, and a Blog Reader

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A couple of years ago I felted a number of wool sweaters. Each felted differently. I used much of the felt for various projects, but still had some left over. I've been making baby blocks from 4 inch squares. They are soft and squishy and just the thing for little hands to clutch. On each block I've appliqued a felt shape or letter. Then the blocks are assembled with blanket stitching. I completed the top one yesterday - as part of a gift for a new little one. 

These come together quickly and are easy enough to do while watching television. We're fond of the BBC dramas that come on to our public broadcasting network - shows like Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lewis, Doc Martin, Poirot, and others. We thoroughly enjoy watching without any commercials.


Tim and I often walk in the evenings. I could go by myself during the day, and often do, but it's enjoyable to walk together, too, and this way, Tim gets a little exercise, too. The full moon last night shone so round and brigh…

Celebrating

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Our family got together over the weekend to celebrate Tim's birthday. The actual day is later this week. Family gatherings are lively these days, with two little misses around. I wouldn't trade the busyness for anything. Tim's cake was Black Forest - a recipe received years ago fromone of my best friend's mothers who came to Canada from Germany after WWII. I cannot make my cake look as good as she could, but it tasted wonderful.


The Little Misses tried on their Easter dresses. This is Sis Boom Fabric, designed by Jennifer Paganelli. Last summer I won the yardage for the girls' dresses in a giveaway. Little Miss A is learning to pose for the camera - in split second intervals during which she says "cheeeeeese."


Little Miss S in her bubble dress, sucking on her lower lip. The Sis Boom Fabrics are so happy you can't help but smile. It's getting harder and harder to take good photos of these little ones who wiggle around so much. I've used several …

Cherry Blossoms - Mosaic Monday

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"Anne blew a couple of airy kisses from her fingertips past the cherry blossoms and then, with her chin in her hands, drifted luxuriously out on a sea of daydreams."  L.M.Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
While driving through town these days, I'm prone to distraction. Along every street, singly here and there, or marching in grand allées (de grandes allées in French) in front of houses, cherry trees are blooming. In parks. In empty lots. Pink clouds of sweetness. Sure signs of spring. Although the skies may alternate grey and blue, although the wind blows chill, spring is well underway. Hooray for spring, I say! 
Linking toMosaic Monday, hosted by Mary of the Little Red House. There's sure to be more posts welcoming spring there. 

Sun, Sky and Sea

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As I walked down the beach with Little Miss A this week, the wind at our backs pushed us along with great gusts of enthusiasm. I could only think of the return trip, against the wind. And as it turned out, I ended up carrying the Little Miss, who is not so little any more, much of the way back. 

But the day, with clouds scudding, waves rushing, accompanied by glorious sunshine was too beautiful to miss.

I hope the sun is shining for you today.

Linking to Sunlit Sunday, the last of this season, hosted by Karen of My Little Home and Garden.

First Things First

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During the past two weeks of spring break I've been able to schedule in more time with the Little Misses. We've baked cookies, returned seaweed to the ocean on a very blustery day, visited the Ocean Discovery Centre, played with blocks and Duplo, read a zillion books, and eaten snacks. What fun we've had.


Today, the sun is shining, but I have chores to attend to. There will be a little of the above,


and some of this, 


followed by a cup of tea and a little reading. Doesn't that cover look inviting? So full of colour and freshness. Do you have a favourite magazine?

But, first things first! Back to the chores!

Spring Buds: Vee's Note Card Party

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Each month Vee, of A Haven for Vee, hosts a Note Card Party. Attendees choose four photos previously published on their blog that they think would make good note cards. This month, I've looked back over my posts to find one photo from last March, immediately below, whereas the others are from April 2011.


No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. Anon 


Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" Robin Williams 

Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment Ellis Peters 

"Dear old world," she murmured, "you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you."  Anne of Green Gables: L.M. Montgomery
It seems that in much of North America, and Europe, too, winter just does not want to let go. But it will, and spring will come in all her loveliness. 
For more photos that would make lovely note cards, click on over to Vee's Party - a convivial gathering if ever there was one.

Restless

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When I began blogging, oh, about 6 years ago, my intent was to chronicle my creative journey and projects, and to connect with like-minded people. It was a tentative peek over the mountain to "see what I could see." The experiment resulted in connecting with people around the world, with meeting a few bloggers in person, and in finding an outlet for some of my thoughts.

For the past few months, however, I've been restless, wanting another purpose to blogging. I feel stagnant creatively, and the things I do create, I feel hesitant to show to you. There are so many creative, artistic people out there, filling posts with things I only wish I could dream up. I've thought about quitting blogging, but I enjoy it too much. I don't want to lose the cyber friends I've made. 

These stagnant feelings are not confined to blogging - they extend to my cooking, my needlework, my decorating, and even my reading. It's time for me to create new challenges for myself, to cont…

Sunny Yellow

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Golden forsythia is the first shrub to show colour in our garden. The cloud of yellow in the front yard is a welcome sight. Yellow against the blue sky makes is a stunning colour scheme, one of nature's best. 

 A couple of readers have wondered how to do a mosaic featuring photos superimposed on others. Here's a quick tutorial using the downloaded version of Picasa. For those who know how to do this, skip to the bottom for more sunny yellow.

Select the photos you want to use for your collage and edit them. Select and hold them together. Choose one for the background and one or two others to feature. In the create menu, choose Picture Collage.

Once in Collage, select Picture Pile from the choice of layouts. You will see your photos on a plain background. Click on your background photo, then move your cursor to the Background options on the left, choose Use Photo as Background. You should see the background change to your photo. Then you can remove the small photo (unless you want …

Greens of Various Kinds

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Mary's Inspiration Thursday prompt this week is green. These succulents and the little birdie in her nest are gathered together on a tray on my china buffet. I don't use many Easter-themed decorations - just things I like to have out for awhile that aren't necessarily specific to one holiday. These succulents were outside most of the winter, getting very water logged and they turned quite reddish as a result. I brought a few indoors and they thrive with the drier climate, even to the extent of beginning to shoot new growth. 


A few posts ago I showed you the kale and chard I'd harvested from my winter garden. With the kale I made Kale with Garlic and Blue Cheese. I like baking the kale until it's just a bit crispy. The Swiss Chard I added to tonight's chicken vegetable soup. Thank you for your recipe suggestions. I have lots more chard to harvest and I'm planning to use some of your ideas.


Here is a photo that's primarily shades of green - taken at Butchar…

The Kitchen Table

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I recently read an article discussing the return of certain 1980s decorating trends. Included in that list was the return of the kitchen table. Oh, really? The kitchen table was certainly NOT a 1980s trend. They've been around for much longer than that. When did they disappear?

When I was a child (back in the dark ages), our chrome-legged table sat in a corner of our not-large kitchen. We pulled it away from the wall when it was time to eat. Kitchen tables evoke coziness, family suppers (not dinners), homework done under a parent's watchful eye, craft projects and messes, and cutting out Easter dresses.It's the place where, after dishes were done, my mother set up her portable sewing machine and stitched away the evening, often listening to the radio. It's where we had family prayers and Bible reading, where we laughed ourselves silly, egged on by my father. 

We have a kitchen table. It's where the two of us eat most of our meals. The dining room table is currently …

And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down

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The rainy day song from Winnie-the-Pooh which you can hear by clicking on the link, has been going through my mind this morning. The grass is green, green, green these days and full of moss. 


On the ledge above the kitchen sink, a handful of tight daffodil buds is just beginning to open, adding a little brightness to the day. A good day to stay indoors and that's my plan. I'll be sewing a couple of little dresses for two little sweethearts to wear for Easter. 

Do your plans include indoor or outdoor activities?

March Beauties: Mosaic Monday

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My visit to Butchart Gardens resulted in a LOT of photos. Here are the last I'll share for now, until the next time I visit and see many more beauties. You can visit my two previous posts for more. Our city has the mildest weather in Canada and that's never more apparent than at this time of year.


On Saturday morning I awoke to the sound of birds twittering (in the old-fashioned way) outside my window. Tim and I spent much of the day in the yard, weeding, pruning roses, clipping bushes. My garden beds are almost ready for spring planting. But before doing that, I needed to harvest more of my winter garden. Rainbow chard, kale, and underneath is purple broccoli. More chard awaits cutting. This winter was so mild that some lettuce plants survived our few frosts.
This was my first time planting chard. I'd love to know if you cook it and if so, how. I've added it to soups, but that's about it. If you have ideas, please let me know!
Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Ma…

Late Winter at Butchart Gardens: Part Two

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Visiting Butchart Gardens (see yesterday's post for more) in late winter means fewer people and more opportunity to wander about. I went alone and took every little pathway, finding nooks and crannies that I had not previously noticed. Normally, the paths lead people in one direction, keeping the flow of traffic going in one direction. In a moment of whimsy, I decided to trace the route backwards, beginning with the Japanese Garden, where the miniature irises glowed blue. 


Water features are a major part of the Japanese Garden. The sound of water trickling through bamboo, gurgling over small rocks, and flowing along pathways, is inescapable. On a hot summer's day, this is the coolest spot in the garden.


Stepping stones lead through a pool. Notice the red railings on the bridge in the distance. I'm imagining taking two little girls here in a few years - wouldn't they have fun on these stones? Wouldn't Nana be watching carefully? 


Rhododendrons just beginning to flower.…

Late Winter at Butchart Gardens

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At the time of our Christmas Day visit to Butchart Gardens I upgraded my entrance ticket to a season's pass.I sort of forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I've been watching the skies and my calendar, looking for a dry, not-occupied day to walk through the gardens.


From January 15 to March 15 part of the original house is open to the public with historical documents and artifacts chronicling some of the history of the gardens and of the Butchart family. You can read more of the history online. Above is a small garden room. The pink rose wallpaper is covered with a gray-painted wooden trellis. Sitting there would feel like being in a garden, especially with the white wicker furniture.


Isn't this a pretty little causeuse, or conversation chair? It's designed so two people can sit facing each other to chat, or "causer" in French.


The billiards room is very large, with window seats on each end of the room, several sofas, a player piano and a gra…