Monday, March 26, 2012

A Happy Mail Day

A couple of months ago, Nancy from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe was having a contest where she wanted people to help her come up with names for her 4 new limited edition sets... (1) Heather/Lavender shades, (2) Antique Plum shades, (3) Antique Peach shades and (4) Russet/Brown shades.   For each set you suggested a name for, you received a ballot to win one of these sets. 

So I decided to put on my thinking cap, and give it a whirl... what fun!!  This is what I came up with:  (1)  Springtime Medley, (2) Sugar Plum Fairies, (3) Sun-kissed Roses, and (4) Autumn Cornucopia.

What a wonderful surprise when I read that I was one of the lucky winners!  

A few weeks after the drawing, I was totally blown away when I read on Nancy's blog that she had chosen not one, but 2 of the names I had suggested for her sets...  Sugar Plum Fairies and Autumn Cornucopia.  What an honour!!!   

I was so happy today to pick up my mail and find the gorgeous hand dyed floss that I had won.

Antique Plum Shades a.k.a. "Sugar Plum Fairies".

It will be neat to see what names Nancy will pick for each one of the individual skeins in the 4 sets.  She has decided to pick from the remaining names that weren't chosen for the sets... what a difficult job that will be!

Now for me to decide what I will use these pretty colours for... thanks again Nancy!

Tracey

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Face the Day

For those of you who are not familiar with Cinnabon's, it's a chain of stores throughout malls that serves the most delicious cinnamon rolls smothered in icing. A couple of days ago, my sister asked me if I had tried 'Cinnabon' bread yet.  And I said, "No, I hadn't heard of such a thing"  She said, "OMG, it tastes just like the Cinnabon's"  So the next time I was at the grocery store, I decided to pick some up and when I got home I realized... hmmmm, I'm sure there is left over butter icing in my fridge, I'm going to try some of that on the bread.  Hmmmm, shall I toast it or just eat it plain.  I've had it toasted and just out of the bag, and OH dear, it was just TOO delicious. I like it best just fresh out of the bag, after all, we don't really eat toasted cinnamon rolls huh? 

I'm afraid I'm going to have to force myself not to buy this bread anymore! 

So I said to my co-worker Lisa, "I'm bringing you a treat tomorrow"  and I told her about the bread and  I said, "I have to bring it to work and share it because if I leave it at home, I'm afraid I'll eat the entire loaf."  (...now, I'm sure Jayne is saying ... well if you weren't planning on eating the whole loaf, What WERE you going to do with it...?)

At any rate... I was getting ready today and I grabbed a couple of pieces to take to work and I set the bread on the plate to put the icing on before I packaged it up... and I burst right out laughing. 

What a good start to my day ...someone smiling at me!!




I wonder how many of you will make it a point to go pick up a loaf and try it.... ???  Do let me know.


Bonnie 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Now I Know...

... why I've seen so many people out there in blogland stitching this pattern!

With the summer-like temps we've been having this past week, everything in my garden has really been sprouting out.  For that reason, I thought this was the perfect pattern to pick up and take my needle and thread to.  This is my first time stitching with Belle Soie Silks by Crescent Colours, so I was excited about that too!


 I've been working on it a couple of nights now...the colours are so scrumptious, and the silk floss is just heavenly to work with!  At first I wasn't sure about the coverage with just one strand of floss on the 32 count linen, but after stitching for a bit, I found that it really does work with the delicacy of this pattern.

 It's hard to capture the true colour of this fabric.  It is called "Chestnut" and definitely more brown than it shows here.

This has been a really fun stitch so far... I will be sure to keep you up to date on my progress.

Many thanks for stopping by!

Tracey

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tracey and Bonnie's Shopping Adventure March 16.12

Some of you may remember Tracey and Bonnie's Shopping Adventure last year; to celebrate our birthdays, each spring and fall we cross the border to spend the day shopping in the United States.   We hit every craft store along the strip, but before we do we always start our day with a hearty breakfast at Cracker Barrel, take in all the country decor, then browse their shop before moving on.

Departure 8:04 am.  Four minutes late picking Tracey up. Upon entering the car Tracey said, "Did I get the time wrong?  I thought we decided on our drive home from cross stitching the other night that we were leaving at 7:30?"  (...well it was 1:15 am when we decided...)

Departure:  8:04.  Thirty-four minutes late. 

Now... I knew there was construction on the interstate as you leave Cracker Barrel, however, what I didn't know was that the construction was now on the other side of the interstate on the road that takes us to Cracker Barrel!!  OK, so we go a little further ahead and turn around. How hard can this be?  

As I take the first off ramp I realize it veers off to two separate highways.  "Crap! Tracey I'm taking the one on the right."  We get on it and realize it's taking us to Flint and I have never been on this highway before and have no idea how far we will have to travel before we get another off ramp.  Destination Cracker Barrel: unknown. 

With no cell phone or GPS, we laughingly move on.  How bad can it be?  Not far off is an off ramp and I said, "We're getting off here!"  Luckily for us, we found a way back to I-94. (... you American readers familiar with this area are probably getting a real hoot out of this...). Destination Cracker Barrel: 15 minutes.  

Driving along I said to Tracey, "Watch for signs, I'm not sure how far we veered away from I-94"  Destination Cracker Barrel: hopefully - 11 minutes.  Let's not waste anymore time on this part of the story: We made another wrong exit.  Too soon.  Destination Cracker Barrel:  unknown. 

We find a quick turn around. Woooo Whoooo!  Back on I-94. Traveling, laughing, traveling, laughing - we start to get off another off ramp and realize it's the wrong one again. OMG! Damn construction. Damn cement road barriers.  A quick recalculation back into the left lane and further up Tracey said, there's the Cracker Barrel billboard - turn off here.  Destination Cracker Barrel: 1 minute. 

We finally arrive and as we sit down at our table, Tracey immediately noticed a vintage calendar on the wall from 1951. 

Tracey and I both love vintage, but she really has a special place in her heart for cardinals.

We ordered breakfast and it really didn't seem like much;  eggs, bacon, hash brown casserole  and pancakes.  Pretty simple huh?

Simply huge... and delicious!!

After browsing through the merchandise at Cracker Barrel - First stop - Mary Maxim's.  Tracey spotted this cute little doll sitting beside the cash register at Mary Maxim's. 

What a happy little face... for some reason it just made Tracey giggle!

This doll is almost as sweet as the little old lady standing in line at the register with us.  I take that back.  The doll is sweeter; it didn't fart. 

While browsing the fabric section we stopped to talk to Nan.  Nan has been employed at Mary Maxim's for years and used to be in charge of the cross stitch department where she used to keep bowls of M&M's on hand at all times...  probably one reason Tracey loves M&M's so much.  As she was folding fabric, I exclaimed, "Is THAT Gone With the Wind fabric??!!"   sure enough... 


After Mary Maxim's, we head straight to Hobby Lobby, where we normally spend a minimum of 3 hours.   Since Easter is just around the corner, I thought for sure we would find some eggs.

Feed me peanuts and call me Dumbo,
but someone tell me how kids are supposed to find Camouflage eggs!

Since the 4 from Forest LOVE Cadbury Mini Eggs, we were really excited to stumble upon giant versions.  Good thing they aren't really chocolate, I'm not sure we would be able to take a bite of these?? 

Dem Dare's some big mini eggs.

Leaving Hobby Lobby - Tracey captured a photo of my infamous cape... here you go Chantelle!


Next stop; Walmart.  Tracey had the idea of taking a picture of every single thing we stumbled upon in the store that someone left on a shelf because they didn't feel like putting it back where it belonged.  Both of us have worked in retail for years and this is a peeve of ours. Needless to say - there were far too many misplaced items to even attempt to blog about!

While browsing the shelves we stumbled upon this!  Anita's daughter sells Scentsy warmers and her step-daughter had a part in the movie The Tree of Life.  How ironic is this?? 


Stay tuned for October's adventure.  Perhaps we'll venture someplace further down the highway?? 

Bonnie 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Will That Be 1 Lump or 2 ?

Today - as usual -  I got up and put the kettle on for a cup of tea. I got my cup out and then realized the sugar bowl needed to be filled.  

Apparently, I was really tired this morning..... 



Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Since I totally skipped over Valentine's Day this year (as far as decorating my mantle goes), I thought I'd better not miss out on St. Patrick's Day... especially with my Irish roots.


I've changed things up a bit from last year and added one new tiny "stitched" item.  I've had this pretty little frame for quite some time now but never knew what to put in it.  I decided to stitch up this mini shamrock and it fit just perfectly.  Weeks floss in "Hunter" is the colour I used.


Whether you celebrate today enjoying some corned beef and cabbage, drinking a green beer, or just wearing a little something green, I want to wish everyone (whether you are Irish or not!) a Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

I'd like to end this post by sharing an Irish Blessing I found...


Tracey

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gotta love S.E.X. !!


 Bet that got your attention!! LOL         

S=(stash)  E=(enhancement)  X=(experience)

Since going back to work this past January, and now having a little extra money in my pocket,  I find that I've been "treating" myself quite a bit lately with new stash.  There is so much out there that seems to catch my eye and say "hello".  Maybe it's from reading so many different blogs and seeing all the beautiful patterns that everyone is stitching.

Needless to say, once I saw these 2 patterns I knew I just had to have them.

This first little kit is a newer one by Lizzie Kate called "A Little Love" that I bought from Joanne over at 1-2-3 Stitch.  The kit didn't come with floss, but I was very happy to see that the fabric, button and beads were included at a very reasonable price.

 
Look at those teeny-tiny little beads!
Such pretty colours!

The 2nd pattern I fell in love with is by Citrouille's Designs called "Garden of Love".  I ordered this one from Inspired Needle Ltd., and they sold it as a kit with the pattern, fabric and the silk floss (the amount needed to complete the pattern).

Ahhh... colours of spring
First peek
"Love"  the bag  :^)
Ooooo... look at the pretty silk floss!
It's the attention to detail that really makes a difference; like the finished edges on the fabric.

 I'm sure that all my fellow stitchers can relate... I have no idea when I will start either one of these.

At least I will have everything ready to go when I get the urge...

Tracey

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cuba - Part 8 - Heading Home

The week was over and it was time to head home.  Our flight was at 11am, but we had an hour and a half bus ride to the airport.  Because we had to stop at all the other resorts to pick others up we had to allow enough time, which meant we had to be at the front desk to check out by 5am.  While we were waiting for the bus to arrive, I decided to have one last kick at the cow and sat in the lobby drinking one of my favourite drinks.  Why not??  How many other times will I be drinking at 5am?  The bus was late arriving and to make a long story short - our 1.5 hour bus ride ended up being 2.5 hours.  Here is our journey to the airport and the sights from our bus ride.
Royal Palms - the national tree of Cuba; these lined the roadways.

Approaching the Causeway; a stretch of roadway joining the islands.
It took 10 years for it to be built. 
Sometimes it was a bit scary when you looked out the window
and could really only see water and not the road. 
Seeing the poverty throughout the town really puts things into perspective.   
Local vendors.  I would like to have stopped,
however we were already running late. 
The oldest church in the town. 

The following pictures are of some of the architecture and of particular interest to me... the iron works that covered the windows of the houses.




Notice the iron work staircase.  Very cool. 



Now, while I love the iron works - I found this quite odd.  We came upon a playground, and the swing set grabbed our attention right away.  The bus was going too fast so we didn't capture a proper picture, but the swings - instead of having wooden or cloth seats, it had flat metal seats. We referred to them as 'the machete swings.'

Next we came upon the Eiffel Tower of Cuba. 


Next was an odd site; a bus full of people - and when I say full of people - I mean Full!

Like Canada has its national symbol of a beaver; Cuba's is a crab.
This is the town's landmark.  

We finally arrive at the airport and enjoy a some time in the VIP lounge while we wait for the plane to arrive.  If traveling to Cuba, I would recommend the VIP service for the extra $20.  This allows you the privilege of not waiting in line to check in at the airport, you get to sit in the air conditioned lounge and you are served a lunch, then you are the first to board the plane.  A nice little perk.



Our plane has arrived. It's good to see that Maple Leaf. 
Goodbye Cuba. 
Flying over Niagara Falls.  If you zoom in on the picture
 you can see the falls and the Rainbow Bridge.

Flying in over Toronto. It's good to be home - and especially nice
to see that the sun was shining and it was not snowing! 
Arriving home was the same day that Holly's company was having their Christmas party, so she invited me to go as her guest.  We couldn't wait to get to the restaurant to have a 'real' steak and enjoy our Canadian food.  The trip was fantastic, but really... there's no place like home; there's no place like home. 

I hope my trip relieved any winter blahs you may have had.  It certainly helped me. 
Bonnie 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cuba - Part 7

It's only a short ride into town to check out the local vendors.  Each day it's a different group so if you see something you like, you get it that day because it's not going to be there the next.  It really wasn't what I expected to see for a town.  I expected a lot of poverty, but this was a pleasant surprise when we came upon what I would call a villa and what some of them call the city.


We always made sure to sit on top of the double-decker bus so we always had the best view. A few people were shocked when they saw us go to the back of the bus and we couldn't figure out why until we were going at full speed.  It was mighty windy back there. I'm nooooot even going to post those pictures.


Ya, gotta love that view !!!
I admit I was surprised to see a 'round-about' on our trip.
When you caught the bus into town, you got on knowing that you would be stopping along the way to pick up other guests from the neighbouring resorts who also wanted to venture in to town.  As we approached each resort and pulled up to its lobby, we had the added bonus of checking out all the other resorts.  While sitting there waiting... I looked up to see the light in the lobby driveway entrance and I could actually touch it.  One lady had to quickly be told to sit down because she didn't even see the light she was about to be hit by.

The pond just outside the neighbouring resort.
As we drove by another resort, I noticed all these brown enclosures on the side of every single complex. It wasn't until we got closer and then I could tell what it was.

Outdoor showers.  Neat !!
As we are approaching the town.
Very colourful streets.  We never went to town at night,
but we heard there was a disco there.  We should have gone...
Straight ahead, you can see the vendors tables.
This was taken inside the cigar shop. 
Cigar boxes mounted on the ceiling with their lids dangling.
Holly and I decided to take the trek up to the top of this building.
Holly laughed at me because I'm afraid of heights and even though it was very safe, I was very nervous. She had to take the camera away from me because I couldn't hold on with both hands and take pictures at the same time.
The view from the top, overlooking the vendor areas.

The view just to the other side - more resorts being built.
Pan over to the other side, and more resorts that are almost competed.

Headin' home in a few days.... 
Bonnie


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