Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Winterlude and fresh starts

Every year in Ottawa they celebrate winter for a period of 17 days  which they call Winterlude. This past weekend was the start of the celebration. Sunday, after church, the weather wasn't too bad. A little overcast but not as cold as I expected. We decided if we couldn't beat winter we might as well join in and so we headed on down to Winterlude to join in the fun. 

Ottawa is home to the Rideau Canal which in winter becomes the longest skating rink in the world. The rink is 7.8 km long and runs through the heart of downtown Ottawa, starting not far from the Parliamaent buildings. If you follow this link it will take you to a webcam where you can actually see part of the canal and watch live photos of people skating by. If it wasn't for my darn old arthritic hip, I'd be out there skating with the rest of them. I'm just afraid of falling and doing further damage to it. My DH never learned to skate and says that he likes skating but it doesn't like him! In the pic below, our National Arts Centre is located to the left of the canal with a view of the Parliament buildings in the distance and on the right you can see the tops of the Chateau Laurier hotel. The many buildings on the canal host souvenirs, hot beverages and our famous Beavertails, a hot pastry, my favourite one coated with cinnamon and sugar.

Instead  of skating we paid a visit to Confederation Park which is home to the ice sculptures. Every year there is a sculpting competition which this year included 26 carvers from 11 different countries.
Here are some pictures I took of the winners:

Pairs Competition

First place - Epilogue- team from France/Poland

Second Place - Rhythm of the Seas - team from Philippines/Canada

Third Place - Birchtrees Dream Summer - team from Russia

Single Block Competition

First Place - Spider - Philippines

Second Place - Courtship Dance - Japan

Third Place - Maple Polar Bear - Russia
Here are a few other sculptures I liked as well.

Polar Bear
Plus I spotted this little guy on top of one of the sculptures. Trust me to find a cat!

We had a great time wandering around and checking out all the other activities. I'll post some more pictures of our day on my next post. 

I also treated myself this week with two new starts, a small and a larger piece. 
The small is a freebie from Plum Street Sampler for Valentines.

Sorry, I got a little lazy about ironing this piece. I'm using a Gloriana variegated floss for this one but I'm not sure I like the striped effect its giving. What do you think?

My larger start is Heartstring Samplery Baby It's Cold Outside.

I'm stitching this one on the recommended Picture This Plus Ale fabric and loving it!
Hopefully I can get in lots of time tonight on this piece or perhaps my BBD for my friend as I meet with my Tuesday night group.

I hope your week is off to a good start!


  1. Great stitching, Lynn! How appropriate you are doing Baby it's Cold Outside!! It looks really COLD there!! Love all the sculptures, and my fave is the cat.

  2. Ice scultures are so very impressive aren't they?

  3. Thanks for sharing your pics of the ice sculptures - they're fantastic. And your stitching WIPs are lovely.

  4. What a fun event ~ thanks for sharing!!

  5. I love seeing the ice sculptures. They are all so beautiful.
    Great starts you have there.

  6. Hello Lynn,

    The Ice Sculptures are simply amazing. Good luck with your stitching. Stay warm.

    Happy days.

  7. Oh the canal skating looks like tons of fun, love all the vendor caravans. Gorgeous ice sculptures, thank you for sharing.

  8. Wow, these sculptures are looking great. Sounds like Winterlude is such a fun time.
    Love your stitching, especially "Baby its cold outside"

  9. How great, it makes me want to visit during Winterlude. Wonderful choices for your new starts. CJ in OK

  10. Your post is everything I love about blogging. Thank you for sharing Winterlude.

  11. Amazing sculptures. I would like to skate on Rideau Canal, maybe one day!
    Thanks for sharing "winterlude".
    Greetings from Germany

  12. Loved your post. All the sculptures are truly amazing. For your wip? Gloriana variegated totally ROCKS:) Looks very rich in color - great choice. Thank you for sharing "Winterlude".
    love Annette

  13. Beautiful ice sculptures and two great starts :-)

  14. I really enjoyed seeing all the pics Lynn, those ice sculptures are stunning! Two lovely WIP's for this time of year!

  15. Wonderful new starts and the Winterfest looks amazing!

  16. Thank you Lynn for sharing the pictures of Winterlude. My son is in his first year at Carleton and we aren't going up this winter as he will be home on the 13th after midterms for a break . Great to see all the ice sculptures. I love the cat and everything else. Ottawa has certainly been hit by snow this year and the Toronto area will be in the same boat by the weekend when we get dumped on . Your stitching as usual is looking fantastic. I have to get my blog updated and some stitching done asap!! Happy Valentine's day!!

  17. Lynn,
    What an awesome time you had. Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea about the Winterlude. How fun all those people skating in one place. The Ice Sculptures are amazing and beautiful.

    I love the Gloriana floss you chose for Valentines. Don't change it. It looks good.

    You have a nice start to Baby It's Cold Outside. I love the fabric.


  18. Really enjoyed reading your post and looking at the photos :) I like the third place sculpture of the trees! Your new starts are looking good too!

  19. Oh, how interesting to follow you on your walk and to admire all those ice sculptures. Must have been a great event.
    I love your two new starts, looking forward to seeing them grow.

  20. What an amazing experience to see all of those incredible ice sculptures, Lynn!! I hate being out in the cold, but to see something like those in person would be worth it :)

    Pretty new starts--lots of pinks and reds in everyone's stitching right now!

  21. What beautiful sculptures! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    I used to love the variegated effect, but now I find I like a more consistent look. I still use variegated threads, but to tame it down a bit I double the thread over and start with the loop method like I would with a regular piece of DMC. I still cross each X one at a time to make sure there is some contrast. I did this for my Maple Leaf, so you can see it still gives a bit of contrast, but not as over-powering.

    Great start on Baby It's Cold Outside! I love the colour of the house.

  22. Hello dear Lynn, thank you for sharing those beautiful ice wonders! And love to watch your cross stitching, so gorgeous, wish I had that much patience :)

    hugs, Wendy