Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Springs arrival - sweet!

Good morning everyone and thank you for all the lovely Easter greetings I received from you this past weekend. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as we did. Despite a drop in temperature over the weekend, we had a sunny day and enjoyed the company of good friends and family as we shared a meal. I had so much fun preparing my meal this year as my sons, Dan and Chris, stepped into the kitchen to help chop, dice, and slice the various ingredients for our meal. Bob prepared a fabulous leg of lamb! Chris is vegetarian so the two of us put together an awesome vegetable and chickpea stew. Following the meal the men cleared table, loaded the dishwasher and washed up the remaining pots so that I could sit and enjoy my coffee with my friends. Thanks guys! I really appreciated the help and enjoyed having your company throughout the day. I was thinking how different it was from when they were young and would step into the kitchen to ask, "Is it done yet? When are we going to eat?" Then they would conveniently disappear when it came time to clear the table and do dishes!

The preparations and many services during Holy Week left little time for stitching. I sing in my husband's church choir and we were gone from home from Thursday right through until Sunday evening in addition to many rehearsals prior to that. The only time for our meal was on Easter Monday. Between services I did manage to squeeze in a little stitching time on Viktor and Irina. 

I'm enjoying this one soooo much! I've only run into one problem so far. The called for DMC 950 for the blooms on 3 little flowers is not showing up at all. If you click on the picture and look at it closeup you'll see what I mean. When I look at the original that comes with the pattern, they don't show up either. I tried doing one with a slightly darker shade and it looked awful. I'm thinking of swapping out the colour to a yellow or gold of some sort. Any other ideas or suggestions? I'm just getting started on stitching the lamb next. I've put in the first few stitches on his ear just below the second flower.

I'm heading out to my Wednesday afternoon group today and I think I'll pull out something I haven't touched in ages..... Paradis Perdu! Yup, it's still hanging around and I don't think I've touched it for a year now. Definitely time to get this beauty out once more. I've also chosen my ornament for the April Ornament SAL. Once again I've chosen a Prairie Schooler and I've gone with a spring theme. Sorry but I just couldn't stitch a Christmas ornament when the sun is shining so brightly and our snow is almost gone. This little fellow dropped by this morning to sing a spring song for us.

The arrival of spring also means its time for a visit to the sugar bush!
For those of you who are not familiar with this tradition, the sugar bush refers to a group of Sugar Maple trees which have been tapped to collect sap for the production of maple syrup. When my children were young, each spring we would drive to our favourite sugar bush just over the Ontario border and into Quebec. Now there is one just down the road from our home! The photos below are of my granchildren on their visit to the sugar bush in Quebec.

A horse drawn wagon takes you out into the bush to see the taps on the maple trees with their buckets collecting sap. The sap flows in mid March to April, when the days are mild and the nights freezing. In a major operation, plastic tubing carries the sap through the bush, back to the shack where it is boiled down to produce the syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce just one gallon of maple syrup! 

The wagon follows the lines back to the evaporation shack where you can see the sap boiled down into syrup. One of the biggest treats of the visit is when they pour some of the syrup onto the remaining snow and then wrap the resulting taffy onto a stick. Mmmm, mmmm! 

The visit to the bush is usually followed by a meal of bacon, eggs, sausage, beans and pancakes all drenched in maple syrup. We usually have to peel the kids off the ceiling after all that sugar, lol! Ah, but it's only once a year, right? 
At some shacks, they have music and dancing as well. I can remember hearing traditional French folk songs at the sugar bush we used to take the kids to. If you've never been and the opportunity presents itself, go! It's a fun filled day with memories that I know my grown children have never forgot. 
Have a sweet week!


  1. Have to laugh Lynn! My teenage son just asked a bit ago, what are we having? When are we eating? ;)

  2. Great stitching. I bet gold would look lovely. But it is too bad about the called for colour not showing up.

    And, gosh, I haven't been to a sugar bush in years. There is one near Hamilton (where I grew up), as we went there on school trips a few times.

  3. Lovely progress> What a wonderful tradition. It looks like so much fun.

  4. Such a cute project! I think gold would look lovely if you're not pleased with the 950.

  5. Viktor and Irina is really coming along. I think substituting with yellow or gold would be very pretty.

    Can't blame you at all for not wanting to stitch a Christmas ornament this time of year. The daffodils are finally starting to peak through here although it's snowed twice this week.

    I went to a sugar bush once many years ago with my school. It was loads of fun! It's great that you have one so close by.

  6. Lynn it sounds like you had a lovely Easter!

  7. Such a wonderful spring post, Lynn! So nice that you had help in the kitchen from your guys--nothing like a man who knows his way around a kitchen :) Mine could certainly learn a few lessons from yours!!

    Your new start is so pretty--I think a soft gold might work perfectly...Looking forward to seeing which PS piece you're stitching next!

    That may be the prettiest little bird I've seen--do you know the name of it? We definitely don't have them around here...

  8. I think you substituting the yellow for gold would look very pretty too:) Love your new start. It sure looks and sound like all of you enjoyed your trip to sugar bush. How fun!
    love Annette

  9. Sounds like you had a great Easter :) I love Maple syrup but have never been out to a place where they collect it.

    I'm behind in my emails, will send you one soon :)

  10. Sounds like it was a lovely Easter for you and your family. I'm a wee bit jealous about the fact you live so close to Maple Trees and can eat the maple sugar candy! YUM!!! I've always wanted to see that festival since I was a kid. Hopefully one day I can do that! Lovely stitching so far Lynn on PPS. I hope you find a good colour substitution for those wee flowers. Gold might be good with that rusty red colour.

  11. Your piece is looking so pretty, but the one color does seem to just disappear. I think a gold or yellow would look lovely, and allow it to show up much better. Looking forward to seeing what you decide to do and your next WIP posting.

  12. Sounds like a great Easter weekend. I enjoyed a quiet weekend at home after working on Friday:)

  13. Ooh, I love your Viktor & Irina start! I thought the same thing when I pulled the colors, that the rose color may be too faded. But in the end, I went with it and loved it! However, I actually like tone-on-tone stitching sometimes, and I know I'm in the minority. I think your idea of a soft gold is marvelous, and I hope you'll show a photo when you're finished!

    And what a beautiful little bird!


  14. Wonderful post ~ I would love to visit the sugar bush, what a fun tradition!

  15. Viktor and Irina are looking great. The sugar bush sounds like a wonderful traditional.