Saturday, 30 July 2011

TUSAL and a new ort jar

A few of you figured out from my last post that one of my other finds on my antique shop trip was a new ort jar. It's a double purpose jar because it has a screw top with holes in the lid which looks very much like a flower frog and is now being used as a scissor frog beside my stitching chair. It holds all my orts and then some! I have no idea what it's purpose was originally. Look at the unusual holder it sits in.  Any ideas? 

As you can see in my small ort jar there are lots of gold orts this month from my wedding sampler finish. The remainder are the colours from Their Song.

We are having a great time at our high school band reunion. Last night was the meet and greet. We haven't seen most of these folks for 37 years. There were many that we knew right off the bat but quite often we'd have to drop our eyes to their name tags before we could figure out who we were talking too. What a hoot! So much reminiscing and stories being told that I had not heard about during our time together. We are heading out shortly for a tour of our former school and then gathering for a band practice in the music room. We have a choice of playing or listening and laughing.  Should be interesting! Many of us haven't picked up our instruments since leaving high school. I've brought my newly refurbished flute with me and we'll see just how much I've remembered!

We've had one incident since arriving here that had everyone pretty shook up. Two of my sons have joined us this weekend to see the family. Daniel travelled by car with us on Thursday but Chris was taking the train on Friday since he had to work on the Thursday. Just about an hour before his expected arrival in Windsor he called to tell us that he would be delayed because the train had derailed! He was okay but really shook up. It seems that a 24 yr old driving a pickup truck was crossing the tracks as the train approached but he didn't quite make it. The train got the rear end of his truck, throwing it up into the air. It then landed in a ditch and caught fire. The impact derailed all four cars on the train. Pieces of the wood ties were flying everywhere and the train landed on an angle. One of the rails was completely flattened! Other than the truck driver most of the injuries were not serious and only a few were taken to hospital to be checked out. The truck driver has survived and was airlifted to London, Ontario with a broken back, and both arms and legs broken. Life can change in a split second and I'm sure his error in judgement will alter his life for some time. I am just so very fortunate the God was watching over them all and my son is alright. He arrived here safe and sound by bus and was delayed only 2 1/2 hrs . Things could have been so much worse. Below is a link to the local news report on the incident.

For my Canadian blogging friends, I hope you enjoy this Civic holiday long weekend and that you remain safe whatever you do.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A bit of this and that

The summer is just flying by isn't it? We've been home for 5 days now from our cottage vacation at Lake Muskoka and I have hardly had time to put my needle to fabric. This is one of the reasons why:

My son and granddaughters arrived at our place just 2 days after we got home so I was kept rather busy. We took in the Winnie the Pooh movie while they were here. Very cute!
This is one of the other reasons I've not had much stitching time.

This solarium/gazebo was a retirement gift to myself. Now I can stitch outside in the evenings until daylight fades and even then some since we made sure an electrical power line was installed underground, coming up inside it. As you can see, those cedar hedges to the right are one of the main reasons we can't sit out at night. We get eaten alive by all the mosquitoes they harbour. The hedge isn't ours to remove and anyways it does provide some privacy. Now all we have to do is fix up the lawn around things. They had put down some sod which they didn't tell us they were going to do and while we were gone it pretty well burnt up with all the heat. The neighbours found it and tried watering but I think by then it was too late.

On my way home from Muskoka we took a side trip to see my friend Ann at Knowledge and Needles in Brighton. It was there that I found my WDW Havana and was then able to complete BBD Their Song. Here is the final picture.

And here is my meagre progress on LHN Acorn Hill.

One of the things I did do this year on our trip was to visit a few of the antique shops in Muskoka. I'd always wanted to do this but we never seemed to have enough time. Here are  the treasures I picked up.

This piece is a very close match to my childhood tea set which is also pink depression glass.

This was my favourite find of the day. A beautiful glass rose bowl with flower/scissor frog.
I had one other find which I'll save until my ort post. Can you guess what it is?

That's about it for now. I've just finished my packing for our next trip to Windsor to visit our family and attend our high school band reunion. It promises to be a lot of fun! 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

More cottage life and stitching too!

Welcome back to week number 2 at the cottage. The picture above is of our rental here in Lake Muskoka. We have a lovely boathouse cottage and I spend most mornings on the deck stitching.  The owners also have some lovely gardens on the property which I snapped a few pictures of yesterday afternoon.

Don't you just love the flower sculptures  in the background? I've posted a close up of them as well. This is truly a lovely cottage which unfortunately is up for sale as well as the main house behind it. They have already had a couple of offers and are negotiating a sale so it looks like we'll be vacationing elsewhere on the lake. We do have a lead on two other locations, one of which is just across the bay from our current location.
As I mentioned earlier, I love to stitch on the deck of the boathouse with the view of the lake in front of me. However I've been unable to do much stitching the past couple of days since the sun was just too strong and I found I had a headache for most of the day. This could also be due to dehydration. I've never been one to drink lots of water and the water here tastes awful as far as I'm concerned. So I've been filling up on ice tea and lemonade. All that extra caffeine from the tea is not helping the headache any.

However I do have stitchy photos for you! Here is the picture of my completed BBD Their Song minus the three words which I ran out of floss for. It's a bit wrinkled looking. There is an iron here in the cottage and I did try pressing it last night but I don't think this iron is as hot as my one at home plus it doesn't have steam. I'm going to give a call to one of my LNS which is on my way home and see if she has any of the WDW Havana which I'm needing to complete this with. Next I thought I'd try getting back to my Canadian version of LHN America. But once again I'm not happy with my choice of floss colour for the flag in this one. I'm trying to find just the right shade of red in the Canadian flag and am not having any luck at the moment. They either look too cherry red or too orangy red and I've ended up frogging out the flag once I get it started. I'm still undecided  on the colour of the house roof too. I guess I'm not very good at making decisions. Maybe it's heat stroke! So the only thing left to stitch on was my new start, LHN Acorn Hill. Below is a pic of my progress to date. It does't look like much but it will eventually be a cute little house. See that pretty red door? I'm stitching this one on LSL Buttercream and loving it!

At the tail end of last week I returned to the village of Rosseau to have a look in the antique shop there. We had visited this village on our first weekend here and found it very quaint. Imagine my surprise when I found this beautiful old sampler in the shop. I tried to get a good picture of it but where it was hanging the sun shone on it at the wrong angle and always gave me a reflection.
It's been stitched by Eliza Prout, aged 11 in the year 1833. It took me a little bit to decipher this but I believe that's what has been stitched. Take a look below at the other pics and see if you agree with me. The sampler is not in the very best of shape. The linen is torn in several spots, perhaps just eaten away and the colours are faded somewhat but hey, wouldn't you look a little worse for wear if you were 178 yrs old?!

Is that supposed to be a dog in the above photo? I'm not really sure but I love it as well as the deer and the butterfly in the previous pics. I would love to own a sampler like this but it's a bit out of my price range. I'm aways amazed at the stitching abilities of these young girls.
I visited other antique shops during the week but didn't find any other samplers such as this one.

Here are some other pictures we took during our visit to Rosseau. My DH loved the General Store and its collection of old bottles on the upper shelves.

The gardens are found next door to the local ice cream stop and the church is where my DH played the organ on the Sunday morning. 

On our way home from Rosseau we stopped briefly in the village of Minett. That's where we found this fantastic carving in an old tree. What a wonderful way to preserve the remains of some of these older trees. We found out from some of the villagers that many of the trees in the area were lost during a horrific storm on the lake three weeks ago. We ourselves saw evidence of this on our many boat trips on the lake. In some cases we saw where the trees had fallen on the cottage.
One of the many other things which we like to do each year on our visits to Muskoka is to take in the waterski show in Bala. This show makes the rounds of the lakes each week and has a different theme each year. Two years ago when I saw it with my son the theme was Raiders of the Lost Ark. This year the theme was James Bond. Goldfinger was also present and was responsible for taking off with all of Bonds' Girls. The shows are great fun and showcase the talents of waterskiers from the area as well as abroad.

This will be my last post from the cottage. We are heading out on Friday morning for the long trek home. I absolutely hate leaving the lake. I always feel so much at peace here but we've had a wonderful time and all good things must come to an end. I'll post some more pics of our vacation when I've returned home. Until then, happy stitching!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Launches, Lizards & Loons at the Lake

It's hard to believe that a week has already passed since our arrival at the cottage. And what a week iIt's hard to believe that a week has already passed since our arrival at the cottage. And what a week it's been! As the title may indicate, we've seen a lot.

As for the launches in the area, they're varied.....from rowboats, canoes and kayaks to sailboats, motorboats and seadoos.This year however was the first time we'd ever seen a motorized raft. I couldn't believe what I was seeing the first time it passed by. I'm not sure if those chairs are anchored down or not but it would be a bit of a rough ride if they're not!

Then there was the boat that passed whose horn emitted a mooing sound. Turns out it was the local butcher who makes his rounds on the lake. The boat is equipped with a freezer and they carry just about any cut of meat that you can think of. If you click to enlarge the pic you can see the butcher's name on the rear banner.

Our jaunts on the lake have found some lovely wooden boats as well as a sailing regatta which we came upon this afternoon.

However my DH feels there is nothing better than a spin in his own boat, nicknamed HAPIS (Happy as a pig in sh....)

Of course with any lakeside vacation there are always loons to be found. We both love the sound of the loons calling to one another and are fortunate in that there are a couple who reside in our area of the bay. I managed to capture this photo as we pulled in at the dock today.

Oh yes and the lizard! Well we just happened to come upon Spike, as he's known, as we were leaving Don's bakery in the nearby town of Bala. He was out for an afternoon stroll with his family if you can imagine that.

And yes, my vacation is including stitching! I've already spent many lovely hours on the deck of our boathouse cottage, taking in the sights as I stitch away. I'll have a picture of my progress on Their Song next post. I suddenly realized this morning that I was stitching away on some of the cherries in the design as I munched away on fresh cherries we'd picked up the day before. I think you can spy them on the table if you look hard enough.

Update: As of this evening I've completed everything I can on Their Song. I managed to run out of the WDW Havana which is used for the lettering just three words short of a finish. Tomorrow I'll press it and take a picture to show you. I'm a little disappointed and wish that they would state in the pattern whether more than one skein is needed. I nearly ran out of the Moss green as well.
I guess this means it's time for another start. Yippee! I'll dig it out tomorrow. I've brought LHN Acorn Hill figuring it was just about time for a fall start.
I'll also have a picture on my next post of a lovely, old sampler that I discovered in one of the local antique shops. I need your help in deciphering some of the lettering on it.
It's hot and sticky here tonight. So sticky that you just hate to even move. This might call for a midnight swim! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, 8 July 2011

A finish and cottage bound

I held a stitching marathon this week to try and finish up the Wedding Sampler before leaving on holidays. It resulted in a serious case of numb bum!!  I was headed to the home stretch on Tuesday when I realized that I was out by a row on the right side and the two sides would not meet properly in the center. Drat! ( That's not exactly the word I used).  So I entertained the frogs for the remainder of the afternoon, removing about one third of the stitching on the right border. Wednesday I set about restitching the works, praying that I didn't run out of floss in the process. Besides what I was stitching with, I had one remaining skein of the gold however it appeared to be from a different lot and was much lighter than what I'd been using. I was very careful and managed to get everything completed. Then it was on to the beading. I spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning stitching the beads on,  picking myself with the needle on several occasions. That's what happens when you rush!

After the final touches I hopped in the car and rode into Ottawa to leave the sampler at the framers. That way it will be complete when we return from holidays and I can get it mailed to the bride-to-be.  I posted another pic here as well with a closeup of the beads. Originally I wasn't sure if I'd add them but they did make a difference. 

I feel much better now knowing that this is completed. I'm quite pleased with it and hope the newlyweds will be pleased as well.

That completed, I spent a small amount of time stitching on Their Song. This one will accompany me to the cottage  where I'll have much more time to spend with it.  I've kitted up Maple Leaf by Alessandra Adelaide which arrived this week. However since it's being stitched on white I'm hesitant to start it until we return from the cottage. I'm afraid it will end up soiled. So very shortly I'm browsing through my stash looking for some smaller stitches to take along with me.

We are cottage bound tomorrow morning and can hardly wait until we are seated on the dock overlooking Lake Muskoka. This is the weekend of our 10th wedding anniversary  and we spent our honeymoon in Muskoka so we intend to celebrate once we're there with a sunset dinner cruise of the lake on the Segwun steamship. It's a fantastic tour of the lake and a view of some of the lovely cottages not seen otherwise.
Here are some photos from our wedding 10 yrs ago. These were not taken digitally and we didn't have  professional photographer so the quality is not as good as the ones taken today.

  Jeff (center) and Dan (right) haven't changed all that much but boy oh boy has Chris ever changed!  I've posted another pic of them today with me taken during our recent spring get together.

As you can see, he likes to play with his hair colour. Mmmm, maybe he got that idea from someone else!

Since we're heading out tomorrow for 2 weeks I may not be online as much as usual. I am taking my lap top with me and do plan on posting at least once but I know I won't be commenting on your blogs as usual. I'll peek in once in awhile when time permits.
See you soon!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

New designer

Please join me in congratulating Berit on the release of her very first design effort and the formation of Jaunty Fox Designs to showcase her works! In celebration she is having a giveaway on her blog. Just follow the link on her name and you'll be able to download a copy of her first design.
I don't often post giveaways here on my blog however I feel that it's important to promote and encourage our hobby and art form. Particularily in Canada there have been so many closures of needlework shops and I sometimes feel like ours is a dying art. I am thrilled to see that there are still those our there who believe in the joy of cross stitch and continue to provide us with wonderful designs.
Congratulations Berit!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Canada Day Orts

HAPPY CANADA DAY  to all my Canadian blogging friends! I don't know about elsewhere in the country but the weather here is just perfect for Canada Day celebrations. The skies should be just as great as those in the picture above taken at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.
We've decided to forego all the celebrations in the city and spend a day catching up with some friends. We're hosting a dinner at our home and I made a special dessert for the occasion. In keeping with our patriotic colours, I've made my first white chocolate berry pie but I have a feeling it won't be my last! 

We spent yesterday getting the house spruced up for our guests and there wasn't a lot of stitching going on so no new stitchy photos. However I do have a lot more orts to show for this TUSAL post. That's right, it's the new moon once more!  Look at all those bright colours! Lots of gold from the wedding sampler and that lovely red from my Canada Day stitch. The final stitches on Spring Quaker make up the remainder of all that colour.

Not much else to report for now although I'm sure to have more stitching progress after the holiday weekend. Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by and comment and especially for all the lovely comments on my Spring Quaker and O Canada finishes . I hope you all have a wonderful weekend .