Wednesday, May 18, 2016


QUILTING AT THE COTTAGE: COLD COTTAGE DAYS!:   My poor Wilson this morning! He fell down a few stairs a few weeks ago, and his right paw is still bothering him. I had thought to tak...


 My poor Wilson this morning! He fell down a few stairs a few weeks ago, and his right paw is still bothering him.

I had thought to take him to the vet, but as we arrived there he saw a squirrel and was instantly cured!  But today, it is really bothering him again.  We may need to have him seen tomorrow.  He is even moaning as he sits on my knee.

Our little hummers are still only two little males who are awaiting the females to arrive at the cottage.  It has been so cold that I am sure they know weather patterns
better than us, so are staying away.

In the mornings I have been putting out warm feeders from the kitchen, as we are below freezing temps at night still.  Crazy, crazy spring.

Usually, our flowers near our little cabin (aka bunkie) have started to grow, but not this year, everything is slow, slow.  Even the dandelions are nowhere to be seen.  

Last year, I bought a flat of
nasturtiums.  I had not grown these in years, and years.  Goodness, they were easy to grow, and bloomed all summer long.  

I had so many of them that I filled around some of my planters that I have on the deck.

Typically, we buy pots such as the one here, already done up so beautifully, and the hummers like the flowers, so they buzz around us all summer long.

I did not read about the nasturtiums regarding the fertilizing thing, and I ended up with almost elephant ear leaves, and not too many flowers.  I stopped fertilizing them and wow, prolific flowering.  So try them, so easy and the birds and bees like them.

Still too chilly to go to the sewing machine...I get cold, and it doesn't do for good sewing, so maybe next week I will have at it.

A long weekend for us in Canada, which is when cottages are opened, the boats are launched, and we have our first guests of the season.  It better be warm.

Monday, May 16, 2016


 The weekend was a wash out.
So much rain, and so cold!

We had so much rain!  But this morning we awoke to about a quarter inch of frost on the docks!  Hazardous if one had to get to the boat!

And I couldn't get onto the deck as there was ice all over it.  The rains were such that huge puddles were there when it was raining and overnight the big freeze happened!

The two little hummingbirds that are here were feeding big time over the weekend.  Now, as the sun is out, the day is warming, so they seem to be doing happy swooping.

Honestly, this cold front affected most of Canada and the US areas south of us.  Of course, Canada, gets the blame for sending this cold weather south, but something sent it to us!  It was freezing, and the rain was not pleasant.

No sewing in our sunroom as it was just too cold out there.  This, is where I sew.  The windows are Weatherwalls.  That is they have a heavy plastic window covering, but no insulation to speak of, so, it is very chilly when the temperatures are only in the 40s, and no sun.

We do have heaters out there, but these would not have warmed it up sufficiently to sew.  A lost weekend for sewing, but I knit socks and watched as the Toronto Raptors won their game against the Heat.  Great cheering in Toronto as we win so few sports the Leafs..

It is the beginning of a new week with expectations of spring in the air, and a long weekend coming up!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


 I haven't made strippy quilts in ages.  They are great for kids quilts and when one is in a hurry to get it done!

I have a few little ones in need of something bright and cheery little blankets!

I was at Fabricland, where there was a big sale for $5.00 per metre of bright colours, so I bought 2 metres of yellow, orange, navy and the lady bug dots.  The others I had in my stash of left overs from other projects. 

The first two are made from same two inch strips just place differently to give a bit of different effect.

The last is the same fabrics, cut differently to give a really busy (I think) but fun quilt for a little guy I know.

I am still not sure what I will be doing for the backs, but I will probably piece
a couple of fabrics together.  Always

a problem for me, doing backs.  I'm getting better at it though.

I cut the strippy on the  third photo and reversed the stripes to make it different.  I also have some green fabric that might just do the back of this one.  

I make bread!  I like Artisan Bread (the 5 minute recipe one)  I usually have dough in the fridge on had so that I never run out.

Well last year, when I got my new Cuisinart food processor, it came with a dough blade.  Today, as I write this, I have two loaves rising which are not ready for my blog adventure as yet.

The photos on the right are Artisan breads.  My sweetie says he like a bit higher loaf than the boules (french for ball) that I usually make, or more the french stick style.  So I stuck them in a couple of bread pans.  They came up well.  Honestly there is nothing like the smells of homemade bread in a kitchen!

My little humming birds have finally returned!  It has been quite cold here for our spring weather, so it was quite the event when we saw one yesterday, and today my friend Helen thinks she has seen three males.  They eat so many bugs, which is hard to believe that 70% of their food is protein, and the other 30% is the sugar water  that they seem to gorge on.  Only white sugar too please, 4-1 ratio and they love it.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Red and white isn't usually my cup
of tea.  I am not really a red person, but years ago when I started quilting, there was a blue and white quilt on a magazine cover.  I loved it.

So of course I bought red fabric, enough to make two really large tops.  I had no idea how to quilt them, because you know I just
taught myself how to quilt so had
no expertise after two quilts how to quilt two of these let alone one.

Fast forward about 8 years, and I sandwiched them together, so made a very large almost king size quilt, on my Janome 600 no less.  I am pretty pleased with it but not totally in love.  So I put
it on my sofa in the family room.

It really brightens up the room.  The table is where I create!  That is basically my studio.  But what a view!

I am beginning my summer season  of sewing.  I have a couple of tops cut out, and am pretty happy so far.

I love the backs of quilts I think sometimes more than the fronts.  I love stripes on the backs.  They have become my signatures I think.  This quilt shows what is really an awesome stippy thing.  This is from Pinterest, but could not get any more re this quilt which I love.  But wow!  I love it!

I am trying not to be messy when I cut fabrics, because you have seen the size of my little "studio", which is pretty hard to do no matter how tidy we try to be.  There are scraps all over the floor, but a dust pan does amazing wonders.

Are you messy when creating?

Friday, May 6, 2016


 Mother's day is always a time of reflections for me.

My mother loved geraniums because they were so hardy, easy to keep, and forever colourful.  I always have them on the deck of the cottage, and think of her often!

My mother was a beauty!  She had a brunette colouring, different from me, and always loved clothes when she
grew up.

She grew up in New Brunswick,
She was a country girl with the love of the city life for years.  She moved to the Virgin Islands when she was 50 years old, opened a bar, and served the first lobster sandwiches in the BVI.

She said that her love of lobster had led her to order a small lobster sandwich when shopping in
Buffalo in the 50s.  It was served on
a hotdog bun.

When she opened her bar on the shores of Cane Garden Bay, she started serving the sandwich but on a much larger scale, and so incredibly yummy that people came from far and wide to have them, along with her great rum punches and pin colados.

She wined and dined a lot of people in her business there, one of which was Jimmy Buffet, while he was young an wild on his first Savannah Jane.  But that's another story.

She lived a life that many of us dream of, on an island in the Caribbean, on the beach no less.

She passed away at the age of 94.  I wish I had spent more time with her now.  She was formidable!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


I finished the nine patch yesterday afternoon.

I just love the look of this colour. It's a soft

yellow in the sa!62 X 68 size of it too.

I posted a photo of my daughter and thinking

it was her daughter, but in fact the little girl is

another granddaughter and these two could pass

for sisters even today, so as a grandmother, I can

make mistakes. My daughter corrected me .....of course. But it was the thought that I went after.

I am today, piecing the black quilt blocks and really even though I needed the striped fabric to make it larger, it's going to be a large lap quilt by the time I put the border sashings on it. My friend Helen (my private free teacher) helped me put it together.

I learned that not all fat quarters are the same size too. I also learned that cutting one way or the other determined a totally different count in block sizes. Some fate quarters at the local quilt shops around here are larger than the Walmart ones.

Did I tell you I bought two Moda Jelly Rolls? Oh my goodness am I excited or what. This is big time quilting for me. It was the Oh Cherry Oh that did it. It was on sale at the Fat Quarter Shop as was another Jelly, so I ordered the two.


I have a few quilts that are, well, extras!  I made some of them years ago, hung on to them because of the fabrics really.  I liked the fabrics!  Does that happen to you?

The top right hand one is from my original purchase at Value
Village (like Sally Anne) and I kept this quilt because the back is from a sheet and I loved the little flowers, but my tastes have changed, I am culling and these are "extras" I think.

One of them is quite large, a big double, from the days when I had my Janome 600, new to my life of a quilter.

The others are just, well, others.
But how does one say to a friend, um, do you want one of these for your home?

My darling Kelly has so many, and a lot of those are ones picked up by granddaughter.  (I need to borrow this one Nana)...

I have more quilts around here at the cottage, but there is no room on the shelf.  

I really am stressing over this.  Maybe my other granddaughters would like one or two.

I have written about my friend Helen a few times, she of the teaching patiently to this person, and how extremely talented she is in most things.  This is a paper shoe!  She made this as a stress relief in the winter, and then made about a dozen of them as a table setting for a dance at her community centre!  Yes, she has a big talent.   I love this little shoe!  Never can I ever wear heels again, so looking at it is of memories gone forever!

At the cottage, we get such boring sunsets at times!  Haha, they are sometimes so spectacular that many people post on our FB page about the lake.  Well Sunday night, this was ours from our deck!  The photo does not do it justice, because it was hard to tell the sky from the water.

We have set up our sunroom, so my days of quilting are about to begin.  I hope we get some warmer weather soon.  Where is spring?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


This is just a little pile of quilts that are on a shelf in the living room of the cottage.

The reason is that I don't know what to do with most of them, well the purple one on the bottom is a keeper, but the others are just others!

My friend Helen, well as fast as she makes them, she gives them away, but I have already given many away and as I create more, I have more. 

What to do is always a dilemma and I would like to offer them to a couple of people that have been very kind to us, but do they really want quilts?  Not everybody uses them in their decorations.

It's a tough one as my quilting season is just beginning once again.  We shall see.

We have had great weather.  Yesterday, the lake was a bit breezy, and an east wind seems to bring chilly days, but then last night at sunset, the lake became clear as glass, and this sunset photo is what I saw for about 10 minutes.   It was glorious which doesn't really show up in the photo.

On our local lake FB page there were many photos such as the above one as everyone was experiencing the same thoughts....we are in a little piece of paradise.

Spring seems to have arrived.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Art, it is the beauty in the eye of

The artist Joaquin Sorollo y Batista, Spanish, is one of my favourites of all time.  This painting was done in the early 1900.  

The one I have is a print similar to this is also a beach scene.  I picked it up about 30 years ago, had it for ages, never thought to frame it as it was a $10.00 purchase at a frame shop that was going out of business.

I finally had it framed about 10 years ago and I love it.  It always reminded me of my daughter although she is my only girl.  I should take a photo of it to post sometime.    The artist reminded me of Andrew Wyeth, who is also one of my favourites.

The second little picture is from Sanibel Island artists.  There must be a tonne of shells there as people are always posting photos of their painted shells.   I think they mainly use markers which would get pretty expensive I think because the markers are not happy to paint on shells as they get roughed up.

But, I have shells here and do plan to get paints to colour them up.

Another chilly, (alright cold) day.  We have a breezy east wind which does not lend itself to warmth.  So we are staying inside mainly with the wood fire burning.  

Spring cleaning is in my thoughts, mostly here we cull and cull some more as for some reason we seem to get "stuff" and wonder where to put it all.   I cleaned out my clothes closet today although, I had started it last fall before we left for Florida.  I didn't miss anything that I put in the box, so it is off to Sally Anne.

It is good to be writing again, and I have noted that some of my favourite blogs have also gone on hiatus.  I totally understand that sometimes we just run out of stuff to write.   

Have a great day, and please send warmth to our little piece of heaven....7 days till humming birds return.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


 When we returned to the cottage, the sunrises are always a source of amazement that we are so fortunate to have come to this place.

Our lives are so much at peace here.  We work harder here than we would if we were in the city scene, but would not have it any other way.

Each spring brings new ideas, new projects, but as is the case when life takes over, many of these do not get done.

But, the beauty on the right is my summer project to do.  When Old navy has sales, I will be there to buy all the flip flops I need to make the wreath.  It is so cute and I got it from a craft site some time over the winter.  I love it.  

I also will be making a memory quilt for my niece, who has given me two huge bags of her daughter's baby clothes.  I will be starting that little project as soon as we can access our sunroom which looks like a storage room at the moment.

The lake is quiet, not many people have come back for the season as yet.  Actually, the weather has not been warm enough for any but the most hardy souls.  (that is us)  We have a warm wood fire on most of the time, as we await the true spring weather.

Good to be back.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

 Spending the winter in Florida makes me long for my little island paradise at the lake.

We arrived at our little Villa on November 1st, but will not be leaving till the end of March.  I know I know, life is tough for those who must spend the winter months up north with snow, sleet and the rains.

The photo of the group of people is our winter family.  A lovelier bunch of retirees you would never find anywhere, so it makes the long months at the beach fun.

No quilting this year, just knitting my socks and teaching a few others the little things I have learned over the years.

I don't know why it is but, here at the villa, I love to cook.  I have started making artisan bread.  Easiest recipe ever, but of course I had a few problems with the adjusting to Florida humidity etc.

I had to buy bread flour as the flour here does not have enough gluten to make the bread rise.  I also place the dough in the oven with the oven light on to help it rise.  This works wonders.

In Canada, my darling daughter makes the bread a couple of times a week, gives loaves to those that do little favours for her or just plain love her bread.  I have given some of mine away, but not like her....we eat ours.

Happy to be back blogging after cleaning up the site and remembering my passwords.  March 1st .

Thursday, April 10, 2014


 When we left the cottage, we brought my sewing machine, table and a suitcase full of general quilting supplies.  I forgot my free motion foot.  Now, that limited me to just doing straight walking foot quilting which is not what I like to do. 

I did make two baby quilts for two baby boys born to staff here at our little Villas resort.

Very simple "blankets" as they were called by the recipients.  Yes, blankets.  Of course they are, just called by different names by those of us who sew little pieces of fabric making big
pieces of cloth.

No matter. they loved them.  I then made a top.  And from there, my projects came to an end, almost.  I made pillows, and bags, had fun making them too.

How could I stay indoors when
this is my view in the daytime, so sitting on our balcony, or by the hot tub or pool just won the day.

I loved the sunsets from said balcony so you can understand why I didn't do much quilting.

Now, we are down to just a few days, I'm finishing my last pair of socks.  Did I tell you I knit this winter?  Oh yes, because I can take knitting to any of the sitting areas around here.  I think I've knit a dozen pairs of socks, as many hats, and even some cowls.  Yes, all have been enjoyed by the recipients too, with a few to spare for gifts.

Everyone loves homemade socks.  I tell you, it is one of the best gifts ever. 

We leave here Monday.  Yikes, I must pack!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


 This is a photo of our cottage taken a couple of weeks ago.  It is hard to believe that a year ago the ice was gone, and we were sitting on our deck having lunch.

It was chilly, but the sun was warm and the lake ice was gone.

Not this year.  Yesterday people were still snowmobiling on the lake.

It looks very cold, very, very cold, and that is why we are still in Florida.

I really have not done much this
winter.  A couple of baby quilts like the simple one were done for staff that were having boys.

I bought charm packs from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. along with a bolt of white from Joann's when they had a sale of 50% off.

Other than that, I knit socks, knit hats, and even made a couple of baby hats for my friend Mary to experiment with her designs.

The bougainvillea are in full bloom everywhere here now, a true sign of warm weather.

The winter was very cold here, and we had frost for a couple of days, which closed all the bridges here on the Beach.  The locals could not remember this cold of a winter for the passed 30 years.  The beach froze and there was ice everywhere for a few days.   Lots of 40 plus degree days and in Fahrenheit that's cold.

We are in Florida till the 14th, then head to Atlanta for a few days with grandson, then heading back to Canada and hopefully warm spring days.   We expect to bunk in with our friends for a week or so at least till the ice is out. 

What a winter it has been for everyone in North America and continues even today.  Seven inches of snow in some parts yesterday.   ?????????????

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 So, look at the hanging basket.  Unbelievable for this time of year at our cottage.  We have not had a frost and I am still watering these beauties!

This morning I saw the first junko bird.  That means it will get colder.  They are winter birds and the first has arrived.

Because my quilting days are over for this year, I have been knitting socks, thinking that they would be keeping some tootsies warm!  Not!  I am still without socks at the cottage.   That tells you something about the weather at the lake.

Today, the final windows are going up in the addition to our bedroom.  I will probably not post
anything till spring as it is a huge project for one person to undertake, so the interior walls will be a spring project.

This morning the first of the floating docks were taken to the winter bay where they will be safe from ice flows.  It was a calm day so the trip was uneventful, if one can call three men singing some kind of sailor song going by at 9:30 in the morning uneventful.

Now the wind has come up and it is not safe to be on our docks.  So much for calm seas.  But Derek's floating dock is secure, and hopefully tomorrow most of ours will be over in the little bay too.

Here is just a small sample of Helen's creative
table setting.  The wine glass (dollar store) is filled with legumes, and then a tea light was pressed down
to the brim of the legumes.  Awesome result.

This is what the table looked like in final results.  All for under $10.00 Canadian for a 13 place setting.

No wonder I ask that Helen and Andrea set it every year that we do something special...Thanksgiving is special!

This week, is the Junior Pan American Games in Puerto Rico.  Jeremy our grandson along with his bud and team mate Evan are competing in sprint canoe. (go fast stuff)   We wish them luck in their competition, but most of all wish them to have fun and enjoy the experience of meeting all other athletes.

Jeremy arrived yesterday and it did  not take him long to meet locals on the streets of San Juan.

He is a very gregarious young man and loves people and he says that Spanish speaking people love him for some reason!  It must be the blond hair and smiling face!