Sunday, May 29, 2011

Brentwood Retreat

Another year has come and gone for our Brentwood Retreat and what a great time it was.  Tons of laughs, tons of food, tons of fun and best of all tons of stitching. 

For the past two years the Stitching Sisters from the Brantford area meet up with the Four from Forest to spend time doing what we love most, stitching, knitting, crocheting, and laughing.  This year a few traveled all the way from Ottawa and Sault St. Marie to join in our antics. Some are known to sip a few 'specialty' beverages and sit with a bottle of Tylenol beside them the next day, and some are known to 'entertain' everyone with silly bedtime stories.  It has been rumoured that the video may show up on someone's blog one of these days. 
Just a few of the many stitchers which invaded the resort.
Cheers Jayne!

Last year a few creative stitchers designed and created this lovely keepsake needlecard of our stay at Brentwood.  I love this piece and I use it every single time I cross stitch. 

Brentwood's signature colours are aqua, teal, and white and this needlecard was stitched in the same cheerful colours as a keepsake for everyone.
Upon opening the card you find a piece of flannel sewn inside
to house your needles safely.
So this year we, the Four from Forest (Anita, Bonnie, Jody and Tracey), wanted to do something as well for these lovely ladies.  We found yarn in the aqua, teal, white and sandy beach colours and we thought this very appropriate colours to crochet some dishcloths as a keepsake from us.  Tracey and Anita are the expert 'dishclothers'.  Bonnie and Jody struggled with the hook - so they were assigned with the task of figuring out how to 'present' the gifts to everyone. 

This adorable cross stitch look stamp was so appropriate for our gift tag.

A memorable poem was written by Bonnie on behalf of the Four from Forest.
So when we arrived this year, we were greeted by a beautiful little trinket sitting on our beds.  I don't know how many people were in on this surprise, but a HUGE thank you to ALL who created these gorgeous Flat-Folds. 


As a group we always sign Anita, Bonnie, Jody and Tracey.  This photo would be particularly pretty without the bag of chips adorning the background. 
As a side note and to be fair to the chips - they WERE delicious.
Brentwood Retreat - Group Photo 2011 

Thanks again ladies for such a lovely vacation. 
Many laughs, Many memories. 
Tracey, Bonnie, Jody, Anita
With lots of love from the Four from Forest.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where the Heck Did My Garden Go???

Each year I take my holidays at the end of May and I bust my butt off getting the heavy spring clean up in the gardens done before the hot weather comes along. I usually spend 3-4 days non-stop in the gardens and I finish the week off by going to Brentwood to our annual Cross Stitch Retreat and sit on my butt for 4 days, stitching, recouping, laughing, eating, walking on the beach, recouping, laughing, stitching and eating. This week the weather was particularly cooperative and I got so much accomplished.  However, I have one garden that is quite a challenge every year and I wasn't surprised when I saw the mess it greeted me with this year. 
Man!!  I've got my work cut out for me. 
Could that be a tiny blue flower peaking out of the weeds.
I believe it's saying "Forget-Me-Not! -- I'm choke-choke-choking"

Is there anything in here that isn't a weed?
"Romper Bomper Stomper Boo,
Tell me, tell me, tell me do,
Magic Mirror please tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?"
"Why I see Charlie, and Dandi and Clover ....Oh, I think I see Iris"

My favourite birdhouse kicked the bucket and rotted off its stand.
Dare I hope there is a neighbouring follower out there who is especially handy with repairing bird houses? 
And remember the story of the neighbour's dog who greets me at my door with my earwig traps in his mouth?  I have a sneaking suspicion he has something to do with the meat tray in the garden??? 


Before
After
There is still a lot of work to do in this large garden, but I look forward to working away at it each weekend.  In the early morning while it's still shady, I grab a cup of tea, my garden tools and I pull up a blanket and start working the earth; as luck would have it, there is a robin who likes to keep me company when I'm in the gardens.  (I call him Rob) He knows an easy meal when he sees one and I keep tossing him the occasional worm inching him closer and closer to me each time.  One of these days, I've got to remember to grab the camera and take it to the garden with me, but I would have to be careful not to set it down or I'd never find it amongst the weeds. 
Bonnie

Monday, May 23, 2011

4 From Forest

If you've read our blog for a while now, you may know that our little stitching group is sometimes referred to as the 4 From Forest

We acquired this moniker last year while attending a stitching retreat at Brentwood on the Beach with the Stitching Sisters group.  Even though the 4 of us had spent time at Brentwood before, this was the first time together with this wonderful group of ladies.  When the owner of the B&B saw that four openings remained for this particular retreat, she contacted us and we jumped at the chance to join in.

As we all got acquainted over the weekend, a couple of the ladies found out that the four of us all lived in the town of Forest; either currently, or at one point or another in our lives. 

So, as the saying goes... the rest is history.

Forest Of Trees- by Heart in Hand Needleart (Just knew I had to do this one when I saw it!  Stitched it back in 2007.)

This Thursday, we are all back together again for another 3 fun filled days of stitching, eating, laughing and getting to know each other better.  Can't wait... only 3 more sleeps!!

We would like to thank each and every one of the Stitching Sisters for graciously including us as honorary members of their group.  We hope to spend more great times together for many years to come!!

Tracey

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sushi loves to Help!

Don't you wish your family members were as happy to help with the laundry as Sushi is?  What an adorable smile on her face, so happy to help me fold the towels.

Wait a minute!  Is she happy to help, or is she smirking at me?  I truly believed she was happy to help, but now as I study that look on her face I begin to wonder. 

After all, she really wasn't much help now that I think about it.  True, she was by my side the entire day as I flit from room to room doing housework, always at my feet and constantly 'talking' to me as only a cat can.  The occasional time when she gets too close and I step on her,  she reminds me how loud she can scream.  Then we bond by reminding  each other how good we both are at throwing dirty looks.  I can hear the conversation now: 

Sushi, I love that you like to help out and that you like to be near me at all times,  but for goodness sakes can you please pay attention? 
Pay attention, that's all I want is some attention.  You leave me alone in this house every day and go off to God knows where, while I have to listen to that screeching bird stuck in that cage all day long. -- By the way, that needs cleaning too.  And speaking of birds, I mean really ?? What's with putting the bird feeder right outside the window I sit in every day?? 
Jeepers, I work all week long to be able to buy you clean litter and run around to the vets to get your 'special' food, and your hairball tonic - it would be nice if I could get this work done without you under foot so I can sit down for awhile. 
I wish you would sit down, I'm tired of sitting in the hard window sill all day waiting for you to come home; and when you do, you sit in front of that alphabet tray that makes noise and mumble stuff about working on your blog and how hard it is to type while I'm on your lap. It's not easy to concentrate on kneading your belly and thighs when you distract me about getting in the way and you can't reach your MOUSE.  Let's make things clear, never say the word mouse when I'm trying to settle in.
For heaven sakes, I'm trying to fold the towels!! 
Duh! Why do you think I followed you from that noisy heat contraption in the first place; I'm not stupid, I know a good heat source when I see one. By the way, seriously, do those bouncing balls in the dryer really help?  It's quite annoying when I'm trying to sleep.
Suuuuushi - I just folded that, get off... if you are going to be on the table then HELP. In fact, go get in the window and look at the birds.
Could you hurry up and lay the last one on top of me, it's been raining all week and I've had no sun to curl up in. Enough with the window already; remember, I'm in it ALL day.

Would you mind adjusting that top towel just a little more to my left so I can curl my leg under just a little more...
awwww, that'll do... now can you go turn off that dryer so I can get some sleep.

 
Bonnie



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Uber Confused ? ? ?

I had never heard of the word Uber before until Jody purchased a cross stitch pattern called Uber Pumpkin.   When we looked at the pattern I said:

What is Uber? 
I dunno. 
Is that the pumpkins name? 
I dunno. 
What does it stand for?
I dunno.
Is that the designer of the pattern?
I dunno.
Is it a type of pumpkin?
I dunno.
(those of you who know what it means…stop laughing and keep reading)
I don’t’ get it.  It’s got to mean something.
  
We kept looking at the pattern to see if it could tell us anything about Ms. Uber designer or Mr. Uber printer, or company Uber.  Of course, we found nothing.   We couldn’t use Jody’s internet to Wiki it so we decided to distract ourselves by eating the 11 pounds of candy that Jody displayed on the coffee table. 

When I got home, I could stand it no longer and I had to contact two of my trusted advisors Wiki & Webster to see what they had to say about Uber.

This is what Wiki told me:
 Über (sometimes spelled ueber, uber, the former being a correct form in German just like über; German pronunciation:  comes from the German language. It has one umlaut. It is a cognate of both Latin super and Greek πέρ (hyper). It is also sometimes used as a hyphenated prefix in informal English, usually for emphasis.

Television

One of the first popular modern uses of the word as a synonym in English for super was a Saturday Night Live TV sketch in 1979. The sketch, What if?, pondered the notion of what if the comic book hero Superman had landed in Nazi Germany when he first came from Krypton. Rather than being called Superman, he took the name of Überman.[3] In the kids' television show Animalia, Alex uses the word "uberly" a lot for emphasis.
 
This is what Webster told me:

über-prefix \ˈü-bər, ˈue-bər\

Definition of ÜBER-

1: being a superlative example of its kind or class : super- <übernerd>
2: to an extreme or excessive degree : super- <übercool

So, there you have it: emphasis; super; extreme.  I'm not sure why the pumpkin was an Uber; perhaps it was his super smile, or his extreme pattern?  Just in case you've never seen an Uber pumpkin before: see below for the example picture. (I haven't actually photographed Jody's completed project yet) 

From then on, as is the norm when you discover something new, we saw Uber everywhere. Tracey and I were on one of our adventures in Port Huron at Mary Maxim's and we found all kinds of Uber patterns we had never seen before.  Go figure. 


 Since we all have our own favourite style of patterns, if one of us happens to come across a pattern that we think the other will be interested in, we’ll forward the picture in an email.  Comments then start flying back and forth such as: Uber Simple, Uber Complicated, Uber Quick-Fix, Uber Gorgeous and once when a pattern didn’t quite suit our taste, we all agreed - Oh! Uber Scary face on that one !!  Uber was the new buzz word for us.

In December when southwestern Ontario was hit with the 'state-of-emergency' snowstorm of the decade, emails were flying around like crazy:  Bonnie where are you?  You aren't answering emails? Pleeeeeaaase tell me you are not stranded on that 402 Hwy !!!!  Bonnie, did you try to go into work today?? Bonnie ......answer !!!

Tracey's husband told me the night before, "Bonnie, You're not going in to work tomorrow by the looks of this weather forecast."  So in the morning, I had taken Paul's advice, watched the forecast, called my boss and went back to bed. By the time I got to the computer, that morning there were Uber emails.  I was touched by everyone's concern and I promptly replied that I was home safe and sound and exclaimed  "It's an Uber snowstorm out there!!!"   Thank goodness I didn't attempt to go into work because normally, I would have taken that exact route where people were stranded  for more than 24 hours.   I was Uber lucky. 

In April I hosted Cross Stitch Night and I decided to make an old family favourite dessert called Butterfly Tarts. When I was little, my mother would spend a great deal of time creating these tasty masterpieces.  She made her famous homemade pie crust and placed it in tart tins; added a heaping teaspoon of homemade strawberry jam; and filled the tart shell with white cake mix.  Bake as you would a cupcake; remove from oven and cool.  Once cooled  mom would carefully slice off the top part of the cake and set it aside; she then iced the top of the tart with butter icing.  Then she took the sliced off piece of cake and cut the circle in half; she took the flat edges and set them into the icing on an angle to represent butterfly wings.  Then she would sprinkle the wings with powdered icing sugar to look like a speckled butterfly.  

I have since learned that these delicious tarts are consumed far too rapidly to go to that much effort.  So my version consists of store bought shells and no wings. I simply put icing on the top of the tart once cooled.  They were an Uber hit at the cross stitch meeting and I think I'll have to rename them Uber Butterfly tarts.  I wish I had a picture of one of my mothers creations to show you.  Someday perhaps I'll make them the old fashioned way just so I can post a picture for you, but  I'm Uber busy right now....

Bonnie



Monday, May 9, 2011

May Blooms

Anita hosted our monthly meeting last week, and we are always curious to see what cross stitch she has on display in her powder room.


This time around it was a pretty little pattern called May Blooms.  This is part of Bent Creek's Snappers series.  See the little black snaps used for the middle of the flowers?... How cute!  Also love the frame that she got for it from the Thread & Eye.  Anita has stitched a few other patterns from this particular series.  You can check them out from a previous post here.

These are perfect patterns when you are looking for that "quick fix", don't you think?

Tracey

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring Mantle


It's that time again to change things around and spruce up the mantle for the warmer weather months.


As in my previous "mantle" posts, some of the treasures you see here came from my Nana's house... the picture, the cup & saucer and the tea towel are all things I was lucky enough to "inherit".


When I came across this pretty painted picture, I just knew that I had to have it!  Adding to my excitement was the discovery of what was written on the back...


 I found out from my Mom that the lady who painted it was my Dad's great Uncle's wife (clear as mud??) .


 The cream coloured vintage looking hyacinth was a bargain found at Hobby Lobby... only $10.00!!

 Thanks so much for stopping by our blog  :^)  Happy Mother's Day weekend to everyone!

The Lettered Cottage

Tracey

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TUSAL- Post #5

Sunshine... Green grass... Blue skies... New threads added for this month's TUSAL...

All is good...

Tracey

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finally In The Mood

To frame a couple of finishes!
You may remember this finish from April 6th.  I bought this frame a few weeks back, but it was black... the only one I could find that was ready made in a 5"X5" size.  So first of all, I had to wait for a nice day weather-wise to get out my trusty spray paint and head outside.  Then, all of those little pink buttons had to be sewn on.



Now, I have to admit, framing is not my favourite thing to do, so when the mood strikes I dig right in!  So I thought I may as well get my snowman in his frame too; since I had all my supplies sitting out anyway.


I had Neale from the Thread & Eye make me this distressed, painted frame to tie in with the vintage look of the piece.  I'm really happy how it turned out!  He'll now be packed away (the snowman, not Neale!) until that nasty weather returns... many, many months from now!!

Tracey

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