Monday, November 29, 2010

A Sneak Peek

Well, I got my Christmas tree up and all decorated on the weekend. I still have to do the rest of the house, so here's just a sneak peek until the final reveal...

...from the outside looking in

...a close-up of some of the ornaments

Until next time...


Friday, November 26, 2010

Getting Prepared...

... for the season to come:

Some pretty new ornaments for the Christmas tree...

A book to read while wrapped up in a cozy afghan...

A yummy smelling candle for that warm glow on a blustery night...

A favourite movie or 2 for those long snowy days...

Do I even have to mention stitching?...

Are you prepared??


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though we here in Canada celebrated our Thanksgiving in October, Anita, Bonnie , Jody and I would like wish all of our American friends (bloggers, visitors, stitchers, etc.) a very happy Thanksgiving. We hope you all enjoy your day with your loved ones- being together, carrying on old traditions and making some new ones. (Not to mention all the yummy food involved. Have a piece of pumpkin pie for me!)

I didn't finish stitching this little guy until after our Thanksgiving so I thought I would share it with you now. It is by Heart in Hand and is appropriately called "Thanksgiving Sampler". I got this pattern in a trade last year from
Michele from Just Another Stitching Blog. Thanks Michele!

The "Thanks" piece is one in a series of 5 that I stitched by Sisters and Best Friends. I have only one frame, and each new season I just take one out and replace it with the one for that particular season (next one up for Christmas is called "Wish"... I will post a pic of that one soon!)
The last little one you see below is by JBW Designs called "Alphabet Pumpkin". I stitched it with Vicki Clayton's Hand-dyed silk thread called Fool's Gold. Love, love, love her threads!!

Now, onto preparing for the next holiday :^) ...


Friday, November 19, 2010

"Awww Mommy. Why is the church so sad?"

One day when my oldest daughter Niki was about 4 years old - we were out for a drive and we were sitting at the stop lights and then... in a very sad voice she asked me, "Awww Mommy. Why is the church so sad?" I wasn't sure what she was talking about until I started to drive towards the church and noticed what she saw as a sad face on the tower of the church. Now everytime we drive by, someone says, "Why is the church so sad?".

When Paige was about 5, and we were out for a drive, she was sitting quietly looking out the window. Keep in mind, when you are 5 and sitting in the back there isn't much to see in your travels (car seat regulations weren't quite the same then). It was an overcast day, a very light grey sky, no fluffy clouds just a solid mass of dullness. Then from the back seat you hear this sad little voice say, "ooooooooo mommy, the sky is r-r-ripping-g-g. I looked out the window and the clouds were beginning to part in one long strip and the blue sky was doing its very best to emerge. But to the little eyes in the back seat, it appeared to her as if this were a painful process. (of course I didn't have a camera on me, but the image below is a rough idea of the sky r-r-ripping-g-g). I've never seen another moment where the sky was ripping quite the same.

Now...when Holly was about 5, again.... during a car ride, we were just driving along in silence and everyone was deep in their own thoughts and all of a sudden up pops this little voice that says, "Anyway, I don't know why a whale would attack you!" Everyone just burst out laughing because we had no idea where that came from or what on earth she could have been thinking about at the time. Wait, let me guess - a whale attacking someone?? To this day, every once in awhile someone exclaims "Anyway, I don't know why a whale would attack you!"

I'm glad that my vehicles didn't have DVD players in them, and that my kids didn't know what an iPod was or what texting was back then...

I'll take these memories to last a lifetime over technology any day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crochet Night at Anita's

At our October cross-stitch meeting, Anita gave us all a beautiful tin pumpkin stuffed with goodies: tucked amongst the treats was a gorgeous crocheted dish cloth. She's always making us dishcloths, but this one was different. When Anita found out how excited we were about this new pattern and yarn, she thought it would be fun to have a crochet night the next time she hosted.

Of course we (and when I say we, I mean I...) decided to start on a more challenging pattern as our learning tool. Rather than learn how to chain, the difference between and single crochet and a double (besides 2,,,), or even HOW to read a pattern -- we just jumped right in with both feet. (or should I say 8 hands).
Knit one, pearl one. Oops wait a sec, wrong saying...
*Chain 3. Eat 3. Rep from * to end of dish.
Starting out... a flood of memories came back to me (and when I say back I mean 'haunt') of the days that my mother attempted to teach me how to knit and crochet. My difficulty was with the tension, I was either too loose or too tight, and I couldn't hold the tools just right. "Practice", she said. "Just watch my hands". Watching my mothers hands reminded me of watching Speedy Gonzales - which then made me think I'd rather watch cartoons. No A.D.D. here!

So, back to Anita Gonzales: Anita very patiently sat with me to help me learn and self-taught Tracey helped Jody along. Both Jody and I have had a stressful week and every time I would bitch & grumble about the tension of my yarn, or Jody would curse "shit, bugger damn"someone would say "It's a dishcloth - it doesn't matter - keep going" After a few hours of learning and tearing out the sentence got shortened to "It's a dishcloth!:"

It's a dishcloth!
"It's a dishcloth" really puts things into perspective doesn't it?
Along with a slew of sayings:
"How important is it?"
"In the grand scheme of things..."
"At the end of the day..."
"Five years from now... will it really matter?"

This is a excellent example of why we love to get together: Live, Laugh, Love and remind each other that we are there to support one another. To lift the ones who are down and turn the frowns upside down.

After we finished crocheting, Anita brings out 3 large bags and surprised us with an early Christmas gift. She had crocheted an afghan for each one of us!!! Thank you so much Anita, we appreciate the time and effort that went into these treasured keepsakes.

Seriously - I'm snuggled in my afghan right now as I create this page.

Jody's (left) - Tracey's (middle) - Bonnie's (right)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lest We Forget

We observe Remembrance Day here in Canada on November 11th. It's a time to honour and remember all those people who fought (or who are fighting) for our freedom.

My FIL Jack was in the 1st Canadian Armoured Division. He served in the 2nd World War from 1942-1945 as a gunner in a Sherman tank. When Jack passed away in 2007, my husband got his first tattoo the following year in memory of his Dad. (Coincidently, Jack's birthday was November 11th...)

Here are a couple of links to videos that better express the importance of this day:

Love this cross stitch (pattern can be found here)... I'll have to add it to my "wish list".


Friday, November 5, 2010

Before and After

Well, I never thought I'd see this day... the day when I would be able to post both the before and the after pictures of our sitting room!
This particular room has had many uses over the 22 years we've lived here... junk room; play room; computer room... and I can't believe it is finally our sitting room. Boy, I have sure waited a long time for this!
It all began back in February of this year when my hubby and I ripped off almost 1 and 1/2 tons of plaster and lathe and then carted it all to the dump. (I think I can still smell that old plaster smell!) I'm embarrassed to say that this whole process took a long nine months; but it was certainly worth it all in the end.

In this view from the top of the staircase, you can see where the piece of the baseboard is missing... that's where there was once was a wall. It was such a cramped space when people came in off of the porch through that open door. Not very inviting at all!

We salvaged as much of the original baseboards and door trim that we could from the walls we took down. Our amazingly talented contractor then used this wood to trim up the fireplace he designed to match up with rest of the room.
See the one wood corner cabinet? That is one of 2 that we rescued from Jody's brother's house when he was doing a total renovation. These would have ended up in the burn pile if Jody hadn't asked if we wanted them. Thanks Jod! :^)

You can also see here the pine floors that I had originally painted, now sanded down and waiting for a
coat of Minwax English Chestnut stain.


Long gone is this awful blue colour... now replaced with a soothing green historical colour by Benjamin Moore called "Wethersfield Moss". (For some reason I can't get the true green colour when I take a pic with camera.)

The 2 doorways that lead into the kitchen. Now there is only one. While we were in the mess, we decided to rip up the flooring in the kitchen and refinish the floor in there too. A total gut and redo of the kitchen will happen someday... probably in another 22 years! :^)

Looking forward to putting my Christmas tree in the space next to the staircase. (Not for a few weeks though!) The little black chest of drawers holds all of my DMC floss. We got it for $40.00 at a little antique place and changed the colour from white to black.

The corner cabinets in their temporary homes until we got around to the reno. The window behind the one on the right was filled in... didn't think we needed a window in the closet!

Painted the corner cabinets white to match the rest of the trim. We wanted them to look like they have always been a part of the house.

So happy that the room I envisioned for all these years turned out even better than I had expected.
Thanks for stopping by! :^)

Monday, November 1, 2010

C is for COOKIE

November 2nd is Cookie Monsters birthday. This year he will be 41.

So, my co-worker and I decided to celebrate. We sent an email to all the staff and said "Let's have some fun! November 2nd is Cookie Monster's birthday and we want to start an annual Cookie Day at work. Please bring 1 dozen cookies to the office that day to share with your co-workers"

The response has been incredible. Everyone is so excited. Of course, we already know that I don't do anything small....and so today I baked Chocolate Chip cookies, Lassy Mogs and Sugar Cookies. The Sugar Cookies are sure to be a hit.

Someone at work commented how cute it would be if someone came in dressed like the Cookie Monster. Hmmmmmm ...wished someone said something sooner.... !

Poor Linus: Another No Show for The Great Pumpkin

Sally: I was robbed! I spent the whole night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, when I could have been out for tricks or treats. Halloween is over, and I missed it! You blockhead. You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, and all that came was a beagle. I didn't get a chance to go out for tricks or treats. And it was all your fault. I'll sue! What a fool I was! I could have had candy apples and gum and cookies and money and all sorts of things, but no, I had to listen to you. You blockhead. What a fool I was. Trick or treats come only once a year. And I missed it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead. YOU OWE ME RESTITUTION!

Charlie Brown: Well, another Halloween has come and gone.
Linus: Yes, Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown: I don't understand it. I went trick-or-treating and all I got was a bag full of rocks. I suppose you spent all night in the pumpkin patch.
[Linus nods]
Charlie Brown: And the Great Pumpkin never showed up?
Linus: Nope.
Charlie Brown: Well, don't take it too hard, Linus. I've done a lot of stupid things in my life, too.

Linus: STUPID? What do you mean "stupid"? Just wait 'til next year, Charlie Brown. You'll see! Next year at this same time, I'll find the pumpkin patch that is real sincere and I'll sit in that pumpkin patch until the Great Pumpkin appears. He'll rise out of that pumpkin patch and he'll fly through the air with his bag of toys. The Great Pumpkin will appear and I'll be waiting for him! I'll be there! I'll be sitting there in that pumpkin patch and I'll see the Great Pumpkin. Just wait and see, Charlie Brown. I'll see the Great Pumpkin. I'll SEE the Great Pumpkin! Just you wait, Charlie Brown. The Great Pumpkin will appear and I'll be waiting for him...

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016 was held at Jody's this year and we were lucky we had good weather for our travel eastbound.  If there is going to be a...