Friday, June 29, 2012

Brentwood 2012 Part 2, Sunsets and Scenery

How often have you heard the expression 'pictures just don't do it justice' ?   

How many pictures have you taken of a sunset in the hopes that 'this is the one, the one that will capture it all' ???  A near impossible task if you ask me. 

So.... sit back now and try to imagine the following sunsets as if you were standing there taking the picture yourself.

 

This is one of my favourite pictures.
To the right, the upper deck of the mechanical lift that takes you to the beach.




I set the zoom on the camera as high as I could to capture the moon.

I took advantage of my holiday to sleep in so there are no pictures of the sun rise, however, once the sun was high in the sky it was time to take pictures of the scenery.  

The stairs leading down to the beach....
Looking down towards the beach.
It doesn't seem that far down to the beach,
but it sure seems far on the trek back up!


Each year, there is something new to see.
At first glance I was not sure what this was from a distance...
Soakin' up the sun.
Such an appropriate spot for this statue.

Also new this year is a mechanical lift to assist you down the cliff to the beach.  I am standing at the lift looking across the neighbouring property and the flood of purple phlox that seems to go on forever.  Now if you were in a boat looking at the shoreline, can you just imagine the excellent photo opportunity.



Ahhhhh... a quiet romantic moment.
Perhaps I should have stopped and asked this couple if they would like this photo.







Stay tuned for more.... 
Bonnie

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brentwood 2012 Part 1, Gorgeous Gardens and Cozy Corners

Recently, our cross stitch group (The Four from Forest) went on our annual cross stitch retreat with the Stitching Sisters to Brentwood on the Beach.  It's a beautiful bed and breakfast located right on the shores of Lake Huron in South Western Ontario.  [my dream... to own it one day]  Check out the link to Brentwood, enjoy a weekend at Brentwood and then I'll see you back there as a regular when I am the new owner.  (smile) 

Brentwood hosts many different weekend retreats, but the cross stitch retreat is by far our favourite and we literally countdown the days until blastoff.  With our cars fully loaded (and I mean fully) it takes the 4 of us about half an hour to unload them once we get there.  Why I didn't take pictures of the loaded cars is beyond me, because we just kill ourselves laughing about it every year.  We literally only have half an hour to drive to your destination and we are only gone for 4 days, but you would think we were going to be gone for 4 weeks.  Significant others don't get it, but we are well assured we haven't lost our minds when we watch the other 'retreaters'  pull up with their fully loaded vehicles.

Upon arriving, we took all our luggage to the bedrooms, we set up all our cross stitch paraphernalia in the sitting room over looking the lake and then we headed down to the kitchen to unload all the 'goodies'. 

As we were unpacking the food I said, "Guess what I had for breakfast?" 
'What?' 
"My two fruit servings of the day; orange juice and peach schnapps!" (Laughter)  It was like the confession floodgates opened because Tracey replied "Well I had Shreddies and homemade Skor bars"  (Laughter)  Anita piped up to say "I had mini-wheats and the rest of the Reeces Peanut Butter cups that wouldn't fit into the container I brought" (Laughter)  to which Jody replied, "I had cold left over asparagus" (more laughter)... and this was only within the first half hour of arriving - and while we always know we are going to have a great weekend, this was a most hilarious start. 
Enough talking Bonnie - on with the photos..... starting with the garden tour.....

Each year, we are excited to see if the poppies are in bloom.
Day 1 - Answer = no.
By day 4 - gorgeous.
Last week, Jody gifted us all with pink poppies;
I'm so excited to see them in bloom next year (I am a pink lover)
I love the cascading frills of an Iris.
 This is my favourite colour in the Iris family.
There is a large area of garden covered with Forget-Me-Nots.
Not to worry Brentwood - we could never forget you.
I tried many times to get a shot of this bumble bee from the front.
It appears he is too busy for a proper photo shoot.
A stroll through the gardens and along the little brook
that leads to the waterfall.
There are many gardens to show, but lets take a look now at the grounds.   Every where you go, there is a nook or cranny somewhere to settle down and cozy into.  


Care to lay back on one of the lounge chairs and look out over the water?
... or snuggle side by side and soak up the sunshine.
This view also overlooks the lake.
Sitting at the top of the hill you can listen to the babbling brook and waterfall while overlooking the new BBQ area that also overlooks the lake. 
 

Pull up a chair and have dinner while the sun sets.
Off to a corner in a quiet little area you can cozy up....
...to the sounds of the bubbling rock.
There's even an area right on the beach to sit and relax.
Perhaps even a nap on the hammock with the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep.
I hope you enjoyed the first part of our retreat at Brentwood. Stay tuned, more to follow. 
Bonnie

Friday, June 22, 2012

Way Overdue

It's been almost 2 years (hanging my head in shame...)  since I last shared any progress on my "Summer In My Garden" by Mirabilia.  (You can read all the details about it here.)
  
I came across a picture that I had taken of it last summer so I thought it was about time I shared that, along with a recent photo.

This has been sitting in the WIP pile for quite some time, but I think it's about time to bring it out again.  Especially now that summer is officially here.

Have a happy stitching day! 
 
Tracey

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tag You're IT !!

Dear Jayne, you tagged us to do this new game racing around bloggville,  The rules are -- answer the questions another blogger asks and then tag eleven more bloggers asking your own eleven questions.

Your eleven questions and Our eleven answers;
  
  1. How do you feel about blended threads as in Teresa Wentzler's projects?
    Bonnie: Sorry Teresa W, I have never used your blended threads.
    Tracey: Love the effect they give… hate doing the actual blending part.
     
  2. Do you launder your project before framing?
    Tracey: Only if I haven’t used hand-dyed thread.
    Jody:  In the early days, I just threw mine in the washing machine. 
    Bonnie: Always, but unlike Jody – I don’t toss mine right in the washing machine!
    Anita: Yes.
  1.  How do you feel about the lack of colour fast in all the flosses now?
    Bonnie: It scares me.  I spent hours and hours on a project only to have it run and now it is ruined.  I still have it crumpled up in a box somewhere; I can’t seem to toss it out.  Please don’t call the producers at Hoarders.
    Tracey: Haven’t really thought much about it… I guess it’s only really a major concern if the piece I’m stitching gets dirty or stained while working on it.

  2. When you begin a project with a black and white chart how do you choose which symbol to begin with?
    Tracey: The one that jumps out at me as being the most prominent in the pattern.
    Bonnie:  I generally choose the symbol that is represented most in the 10x10 block.

  3. Do you do your own framing?
    Bonnie: Whenever possible, Yes.
    Tracey: Sometimes, yes – usually on smaller pieces.

  4. Do you choose your own mats and moldings or let someone else tell you what you would like?
    Tracey: I usually have something in mind before I start making the actual decision.  At this point  I do like to have a second opinion.
    Bonnie:  Both – depending on the project.  I often opt to include the other 3 from Forest because they all have impeccable taste and together we rock.  If it’s a particularly special project, I like to consult with Neale from The Thread and Eye.

  5. Pins or Lace
    Tracey: Pins if I’m doing it by myself; lace if Neale is going to do it for me.
    Bonnie: Pins.

  6. Do you have any wall space for a new project?
    Tracey: Yes
    Bonnie: Yes

  7. Have you ever gifted a finished piece right off your wall because someone really liked it?
    Bonnie:  Hell no
    Tracey: Ditto to what Bonnie said.

  8. Would you stitch it again for yourself?
    Bonnie: If I loved it; Yes.  If I liked it: Maybe.  If I didn’t care for it: Hell no.
    Tracey: Will have to wait and see if and when it actually happens.

  9. Do you have a group of friends whom share the love of stitching with you on a regular basis?
    Bonnie: Yes, we are known as “The Four from Forest” and 19 years ago, we committed to meeting once a month.  Not only do we alternate hosting the evening, but we also love to use each other as Guinea Pigs for new recipes. 
    Tracey: Ditto
  10.  Jody: Ditto
    Anita: I've been with the group for 14 years.

Now to tag our eleven choices and if you have already been tagged, well, sorry but your it.....(Jayne says so) :
   
Now for our questions & answers and a place for yours to pass on to whomever you tag:
        1.    What is the strangest thing you’ve ever confessed to eating for breakfast?
Bonnie:  Two fruit servings – Orange juice and Peach Schnapps.
Tracey: Shreddies along with Homemade Skor Bars.
Anita: Original Mini Wheats along with Reeces Peanut Butter Cups.
Jody: Cold, left over asparagus.
What’s your answer?

2.    When shopping, what aisle do you gravitate to first?
Bonnie:  Home Décor unless distracted by Bling.
Tracey: Books and magazines.
What’s your answer?

3.    What is the most recent book you’ve read?
Tracey: 50 Shades of Grey.
Anita:  50 Shades of Grey.
Jody:   50 Shades of Grey.
Bonnie:  30 Shades of Grey – I’m not done yet.
What’s your answer?

4.    Who is your favourite movie star dream guy/gal?
Tracey: Johnny Depp.
Anita: Richard Gere.
Jody: Robert Downey Jr.
Bonnie: Colin Firth, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Mike Delfino from Desperate Housewives, Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs; Bonnie is greedy!!
What’s your answer?

5.    Do you file your patterns by Designer, Alphabetically or by Category?
Bonnie:  Who files??
Tracey:  Mainly by category, unless it’s a series.
Anita:  Ditto to Tracey.  
Jody:  Ditto to Anita.
What’s your answer?

6.    Do you stick to the pattern when stitching or change it up?
Bonnie:  I tend to change it up.
Tracey: hmmmmm 9 times out of 10, I”ll stick to the pattern.
What’s your answer?

7.    Would you ever want to try your hand at designing?
Bonnie: Why yes of course.
Tracey: Perhaps…
What’s your answer?

8.    Do you tend to stitch more or less in the summer months?
Bonnie:  Less.  I spend more time in the gardens.
Tracey: Definitely less!  The gardens always seem to be calling my name.
What’s your answer?

9.    Have you ever attended a stitching retreat?
Bonnie: Yes, at Brentwood on the Beach with the Stitching Sisters and soon to be at a cozy cabin in the woods.
Tracey: Ditto
Anita:  Ditto
Jody: Ditto
What’s your answer?

10.  If money wasn’t an issue and you had the opportunity to choose from one or the other, would you totally renovate your home and stay, or move.
Bonnie:  I would move to a one level home. (with a pool and lazy river)
Tracey: I would pick my house up and move it to the country.  Is that an option?
Bonnie:  No Tracey, that is not an option.
What’s your answer?

11.  Do you track the hours you spend on a stitching project?
Bonnie:  Not always, but I did for a special gift.  I tracked it as 197 hours.
Tracey:  I used to... I just don’t care anymore.  I finish when I finish.
What’s your answer?

There you have it...have fun everyone. We're looking forward to reading your answers!!

Bonnie, Tracey, Jody and Anita

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dinner, Anyone?

I have never really owned a full, matching set of everyday dishes.  I'll pick up plates and bowls as I need them - a few will break or chip, so when I see a replacement that catches my eye I'll buy it.

Well, something caught my eye one evening while I was out walking the dog.  I was going through downtown, window shopping along the way. (This doesn't take very long, since our community only has about 3000 people!).  I took a peek in the St. Vincent De Paul window and spotted these pretty dishes!  I couldn't tell how many pieces were actually there, so I kept it in the back of my mind to stop in one day after work and have a better look.


A week or so went by, and I finally got the chance to go in and they were still there!!  I inspected the dishes a bit closer and saw that they were in really good shape, but I couldn't find a price on any of them.  I asked the lady working whether or not I had to take the whole lot (I really didn't want the cups and saucers), and she said no... each piece was .25 !!  I scooped up all that was there and almost jumped for joy when the total came up on the till as $4.25!!!


They say (who are "they" anyway? lol) that if you hold onto something long enough, it comes back in style.  The pretty green/blue combo in the flowers is all the rage right now, so I guess I'm good to go.  I was curious as to the age of the dishes, so I did some searching online with no luck.  I did find one site though that was selling just one of the dinner plates for $10.00!!!


After seeing that, I really do think I got the "deal of the day"  :-)

Tracey

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Today's Find

Today on my way home from the flea market, I stopped at a local fruit & vegetable stand to pick up some fresh produce for dinner.  Besides local produce they also carry annuals, perennials and gift items and while I was perusing the gift section my eye was immediately drawn to a most unique wind chime and I just had to have it.  I have a fascination for antique glass door knobs and skeleton keys.  They remind me of my grandparents home and how I used to lock and unlock - lock and unlock - lock and unlock their cupboards and cabinets. There was no way I could go home without this treasure. 
LOVE IT !!
I just know this wind chime will always
chime in the right 'key'.
While I was outside taking the photo of my new trinket, I decided I better check  the gardens and see how everything fared in today's heat. 
The birds seem to be doing just fine.
Love the colour of the geraniums I got his year.
The stars and dragon fly didn't seem to mind the heat.
Petunia's seem to love the heat.
Tracey was walking by one night and said this plant just 'pops' out
at you as you are coming up the street.
He Loves Me. He Loves Me Not.
More Poppin' Petunia's.
ohhhhhhhhh... these ones didn't do so well today
But the snail is ok.
So far so good... the chicken poop fertilizer is keeping the
squirrels away from my impatiens.
Here comes' neighbour kitty' 




She knows I'm upset with her today,
but me thinks her eyes need to be a little more sorrowful than that.

Neighbour Kitty is a most affectionate cat.  Each morning that I go out the door for work, she is sound asleep and contentedly curled up on my lawn furniture and she jumps right down to greet me.  Only yesterday, she wasn't on the porch - I saw she was on the lawn and she was giving me the evil eye.  It was then that I discovered she was terrorizing a chipmunk and she had injured it.  It was trying desperately to get away from the cat and it had one injured leg, so he could only use three legs to run.  It would only get so far and she would capture it again.   I went to rescue the chipmunk ... and well... let's just say, I hope the neighbours weren't watching.  Did you know that in injured three legged chipmunk can run faster than a two legged Bonnie?

I've been trying all week to get a picture of the beautiful oriole that has recently joined our neighbourhood, but without any luck.  Tonight there were 3 cardinals, the oriole and a couple of robins flitting around, in and about the trees, but they were making it very difficult to get a good shot.   I'm surprised this photo turned out as clear as it did because this robin was right at the very top of the neigbour's tree and my camera was zoomed in as far as it could go.  I'm hoping to capture a good one of the oriole one of these days soon  - his colours are so vibrant and it would make a gorgeous shot.  Til then....

Well the weather certainly didn't allow for us to sing
"Robin In The Rain" today...
Who remembers THAT song????
 

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