Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ready to roll

Slightly behind in class, but getting there. There is much more to this project than it seems. First of all you have to make the little sketch books. Sounds simple enough. Sourcing out the paper and supplies takes leg work, lots of it. Assembling takes time and requires a space devoted to paper, rulers, cutters, linen threads, punches, needles and bookbinding supplies. Once that is accomplished .......

The little Sketchbookery books are assembled and ready

The paints, pencils and pens are amassed and logged

One has to root around and find every available source of watercolour whatever. Pens, pencils, crayons, paints, tins and tins of colour. Little empty jars of artichokes, make the perfect size for water. Get the brushes....don't overlook the value of making little cards to refer to for the perfect shade....

Nothing left but as teacher says to "get at it!"

Indeed. What could be more summery than sitting on the patio with watercolours all around and a perfect summer day ahead. Let the sketching begin. Let the good times roll. And that my dear friends is why these courses always come with a signature cocktail! Cheerio!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Then and now

It's blushing time in the garden. When the spring blossoms come forth on the fruit trees over the fence it's always a lovely time of year. Unfortunately, these old stand fruit trees are not attended to properly. Without proper shaping, pruning and attention, the fruit appears, but is stunted and ends up mainly as ground fall, and the trees themselves are overgrown and wild.

The assumption is that prior to subdivision development, this was once a farm orchard. It's a case of cutting down the trees and naming the streets after them, hence, Peachtree Avenue. I have yet to find the elusive peach. Certainly the old oaks are arranged in perfect rows and must have majestically lined a farm drive.

I so wish past and current owners had taken more interest in and valued more highly the history and antiquity that remains. These trees could be such bountiful beauties.

Apple Blossoms

The blush is on the apples.

Pear Blossoms

The blush is on the pears

On a brighter note, the tomatoes are coming along splendidly. Not long now before we can sample this year's crop. I am hopeful that a variety change to beefsteak will yield tasty reward.

Tomato plants

The Blush is on the tomatoes

Friday, July 18, 2014

If you are looking for me

Guess who is back for summer camp? It's Myles. He's getting a bit older each year...aren't we all. This summer, he's decided to take to the underbrush and scare the pants off me. I rush around worried if I've closed the gate, has he gotten under the fence, where in the world??? After a quietening of the heart, and a small rustle at the edge of the garden, this is the face that appears. Again. Who? ME? You lookin' for ME???? Oh Myles, we do love your antics.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This is why

Jane started it, Gordon seconded it, so the Professor and I had to get on it immediately.

After a coffee meeting with my "gym buddies" {where I go to have my electronics updated and for the coffee, not the gym}, I realized that I'm really not as hip as I thought - since I did not know the song "Rude". It's by a group called Magic, and apparently there is a gym connection there too. My swiftest response was that this is why I like to hang out with these creative young women...they make me feel so which the ever brilliant Louise remarked "That's why we like hanging out with you too! You make us feel so young!" Touché.

This post is for Auntie Helen who will totally approve. The Professor had been sent the photo a long time ago, so that is his contribution '2' the family thread. Irresistible really.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The sweetest wee pies

Ever since seeing Kristina Matisic's "Pie in a Jar" photo on Instagram, I've been obsessed with the idea. I can't find her original inspiring picture which was taken at the Whistler Farmer's Market, but you'll get the idea soon enough. I sure hope I haven't thrown away all those darling little mason jars in one of my fits of tidiness!

Here is a great description/recipe of how to accomplish this darling little treat. Such a fun idea for summer. Enjoy!

Photo Credit:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Great concept

Today is the last day of the soccer "drama". I cannot tell you how many years we sat on the side of soccer fields with our daughter and her cohorts. So long in fact, that an unlikely troupe of mothers became "The Horts" and ventured off to garden societies across the land. That was probably a reaction to the majority of players who picked daisies on the soccer pitch!

Well into University soccer years, I don't remember any of these shenanigans happening at such a rate in women's soccer. There were always a few 'histrionics', but this is so ridiculous, I'm thinking that I'm pushing ballet for the grandkids! :)

This is a fabulously ridiculous rendition of everyday soccer prat falls. Thanks to the Globe and Mail for the head's up!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Do you have any ballet slippers?

When you are watching the DVD of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" performed by The Royal Ballet, it's always nice to wear your pointe shoes. If the slippers are slightly too big for you yet, you may only sit on the couch and pretend for most of the performance.

Or possibly you could stand right in front of the screen and use the stand as a barre for support.

If you are very, very careful and with assistance you might just "try" and get up on pointe knowing that it will only be for a very small moment.

It's harder than it looks!

One of those magic moments shared with a granddaughter!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The ice cream story

"The Girls" have departed and The Professor and I are constantly going over some of the highlights of their all too short visit.

One evening we had a very special ice cream treat in mind. Little did we know that it was so special, it would turn into an impromptu birthday party for a 4-AND A HALF year old. The photos are by iPhone and of course the lights off for the candle. A note went home to LA for Zoë's teachers that this is the ice cream she would like for her birthday in January.

With thanks to "Auntie Bonnie and Uncle Jimmy" for this wonderful idea. It was a huge hit and everyone enjoyed the surprise.
                               Mostly, by a 4-AND A HALF year old!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The American Girl Day

Today was American Girl Doll day. This story involves Yorkdale shopping center, Isabelle the doll of the year, Isabelle's kitty cat Tutu, Isabelle's new outfit with a matching one for her Mama Zoë, a new outfit for Itty Bitty (fortunately unfortunately they didn't have the girl's outfit to match Itty Bitty), a Princess book for Itty - as she was only getting one thing and a crafty t-shirt project. Luckily the only thing in the Disney store was a "Doc McStuffins" (don't ask) lunch box. Whew!

The moments of being 4 AND A HALF....are all too fleeting. Why not indulge now?? We are having such a wonderful time this summer!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Look who I found in the garden

THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It's not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead --
I do so hope they've really come to stay.
There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there--
Well, they do.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
You cannot think how beautiful they are;
They all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen and King
Come gently floating down upon their car.
The King is very proud and very handsome;
The Queen--now you can quess who that could be
(She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?
Well -- it's Me!
Rose Fyleman

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mornin' !!!

What's your story morning glory??? I do so love morning glories. Planted three this year and surprise, surprise....number one.....

Friday, June 27, 2014

Oh My Goodness

It's always such a pleasure to hear from your grown son. This one is a man of few words, but he never ceases to amaze when he does have something to share. Fortunately for his aging parents, they are usually things like, my job is going really well, we just bought an adorable house, we got two new kitties....not   ... "I'm entering in an obstacle race that involves lots of mud, freezing water, and shocks." These are things that make mothers, in particular, cringe.

I'm glad it's over, I'm glad his knees are still intact and I'm glad someone took these amazing photos of his latest claim to fame. Let's just hope this is a "been there, done that" moment.

In his own words:

"Here's what I did last weekend. 19km mountain race with obstacles up at Whistler. The worst ones were diving under a submerged wall in glacial water and the 10,000 volts of electric shock at the very end of the race. I got shocked twice and it felt like I had been shot each time. Super fun!"

This is my favourite photo of this grueling series.

This is my least favourite photo. Not sure that it's a good thing to see that ambulance by the shock wires!

Not sure about this one either....YIKES

Yeah Gordon!

The moral of this story is that while your children are young, you are constantly trying to equip them with the ability
to be independent and strong so that they will become responsible adults. The only problem is that when they become strong responsible adults they tend to fly the coop to do strong "responsible"??? things. While the other half of the siblings are dancing away in LA, this one is grappling with mud and shock in the mountains. Go figure.

We are immensely proud of our son who is in the best shape of his life at this point both physically and emotionally. As parents, we can't ask for more than that, other than to ask that he might take up ballroom line dancing next :)

Needless to say, this is still his theme song! Never more appropriate than now!
{Rachael, you are a saint! :)}

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Rose Collection - Number 2

This is another finished cushion from the "Rose Collection". Not sure what I had originally intended all this flowery fabric for, but it's making a good base for my lessons.

I learned so much from the wonderful women who taught and attended this class. From tying and embedding knots in the quilt top, to proper measuring and marking, to quilting stitches and sewing it all together with a quilting walking foot. My gosh. There was a lot to take in and even more to remember. The class was very knowledgeable and shared all their insider techniques. THAT is invaluable information and inspiration. The newer quilting techniques don't follow any of the old rules, so it's a bit like colouring outside the lines. I love it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

No excuses needed

One doesn't need an excuse to indulge in strawberries and cream when summer is officially in swing. However, if you feel the least bit guilty, you can always fall back on the Wimbledon tradition. It's a must for the next two weeks.

I'm also watching select soccer matches. I wonder what the tradition is there?

Probably something like chicken wings, rancher fries and beer. Dessert can still be strawberries and cream. Enjoy....whatever your sport :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Everyone in the class finished her project....... IN CLASS!!! This was a hand sewing course instructed by the adorable Carolanne Graham, at the Workroom. Over 4 sessions, we hand constructed an 18 inch pillow cover. This particular pattern is a Sawtooth Star Block.

The sewing Diva - Lindsay Stead, not only stayed up until the wee hours of the morning finishing her signature block, but also whipped up a strawberry shortcake treat for the entire class.

The finished works are as individual as the cast of "characters" who attended the class.

I was/am determined to use up a lot of my rather "vintage" fabrics. One can never have too many cushions!

Just goes to show that old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A good day

I bought my first Burt's Bees tinted lip balm in Maine, at a little country store with a fabulous bakery. Now it is everywhere and I can't live without it. This documentary was brought to my attention by the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). It is now available on t.v. What a story.

The Tom Waits music at the end is totally perfect for the context of this film and I love the music.

Like Burt says: "A good day is when no one shows up and you don't have to go anywhere"

Photo credit

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Makes you want to burst into song!

At last! The Peonies are popping. I had to run outside between rain showers and take pictures with my iphone. Makes me want to join Etta James in full voice.

The Weigela are also bursting forth. It's important to have creative shrubbery these days. If you are wondering, it's pronounced "Why Gee La". It's a fabulous shrub for sun and bright shade. You can probably never have enough. Pretty simple too. Here are pruning tips

The Fleeceflower is also doing very well this year. It's nice to be home at this time of year to fully enjoy the garden!