Wednesday, June 30, 2010


After my three week journey, I have returned home.  I am glad to be back in my house and yard, even though it is filled with an absurd number of mosquitos.
Last night was a big rainstorm, with lots of thunder and lightning and hailstones.  It was good because the day had been quite warm and a bit muggy.  Now I needn't water the yard or garden.  The yard was looking pretty good, although the weeds had made great leaps.  Also, along the back edge of the yard there is another big pile of branches to take to the dump that are from the last storm.
I went to the shop yesterday and was very happy to see Deb and Jackie, who along with the others (Nancy, Jenn, Val, Patti and Wendy) keep things marching along so beautifully.
Did a big notions order, which seemed to take 3 hours.  well. it did take 3hours.
However, I also met a couple of construction fellows who were quite agreeable to the idea of taking out one of the walls to the "classroom".  I have been thinking for some time about making a few cosmetic changes to the store, to sort of give it a different look to keep things fresh.  So, the idea is to make it more open, and put another cutting counter/worktable back there so that people can have more room to spread out their stuff when they're thinking about their fabrics and possibilities, or to sit down at while leafing through books, that sort of thing.  I also thought that we'd paint it a lighter color to brighten things up back there, since there are no windows in that area.
Let me know what you think, or if you have any ideas you'd like to see us do!!!
This morning I've been back in my sewing room.  It's funny when you get back from a trip, when you've inevitably collect various "things" which need to find a place to put.  They are good things, but it takes a bit of unpacking and putting away.  And of course, I didn't leave it in a very neat state when I left (not messy, but..)
So, this morning has been spent tidying.  Now, I need to put all my thinking toward my SEWING projects, especially in terms of samples for the shop.  I had started working on 2 new patterns before i left, so I should try to tie those up,... and quilt one of the tops, and look closely at this new Atkinson pattern-- you get the idea!  Guess I'd better get to work!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Farmer's Market

 This morning we got up Pretty Early and walked over to the Farmer's market downtown, which was getting pretty busy even at 9 o'clock,
 I was pretty impressed by the volume and the range of products: bread, bakery, sausages, seafood, chinese food, crafts, yarn, plants, cut flowers, eggs, fruit, vegetables, cheese, beeswax candles, and probably other stuff too.

 The walk over there was interesting too, going through a cemetary, and the public gardens, and down a pretty busy street, and I even saw some random knitting:
 quite a nifty idea for hanging posters, I thought.
I hope to go over to the public gardens again when it isn't raining.  It was okay walking, because the rain was quite light, but not so nice that I wanted to loiter around with my camera.
Hope you're having a great weekend!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Peggy's Cove

I thought it was high time that I put in some quilt-related stuff for all of us quilters,
this was taken in a quilt store in Mahone Bay this morning, where they sold a lot of commercially made rugs as well as quilting fabrics,
I also visited a quilt gallery in Lunenberg, of Laurie Swim, who does beautiful landscape quilts that depict scenes in the area, her website is, and she offers 3 day workshops there as well.

As you can tell, it was a beautiful day to be out and about.  we left Halifax at about 11:30 a.m., and got home at about 9:30 p.m. after driving to Lunenberg, and stopping in Mahone Bay, Chester, and ending up at Peggy's Cove for supper.
 this was lunch-- treasures of the sea salad!
the following photos were all in Peggy's Cove, a very strange and unusual landscape, which sort of reminded me of Iceland.

 I kept trying to get photos of the waves crashing against the rocks and exploding into showers of droplets,

 the rocks were some sort of glacial deposit
 still a community of working fishermen

Thursday, June 24, 2010

in Halifax

Yesterday was interesting, spent in the downtown Halifax area, which does have a nice waterfront to walk along. 
After my Latte, I was ready!
 There were boats, -- navy boats, barges, cruise ships,  and I think this is a tall ship that they use to take people on tours:
 there were restaurants and cafes and hot dog stands,
 there were lots of small galleries, focusing on paintings, ceramics, other crafts, and photography,
 and there was a light dusting of rain that made the view look misty:
There was also a used book store, and a yarn store,
So I walked around for several hours, and watched two craft demos: one where they blow glass crystal, then cut and polish it, the other was on how they make little pewter things by forcing the liquid tin mixture into molds at high speeds.  Quite interesting. 
I have noticed that a lot of knitters seem to be getting interested into lace knitting-like shawls or small blankets. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Glass at the Corning Museum

 These are photos of some of the glass i liked in Corning.  I uploaded the files in large sizes so that you should be able to enlarge to see detail, just double click on the photo, and it should open in a page of it's own, -- on my comuter, if i then click once on it, it makes a zoom in, so that you can really see closely,-- then use the back arrow to get back to the page.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Specs on stepping stones

First of all, I must say that I am very happy to be staying in a place where the internet is good.  I love where we were staying, but it's location is in a strange spot where the internet provider cuts in and out, so to prevent frustration I didn't try to do too much online while I was there. 
Secondly, I have some info for you if you'd like to do some stepping stones in the style I mentioned a couple of days ago.
Because the base is cement, I use a thinset mortar.  I've tried different kinds, which all worked fine.  Basically grey in colour.  The last one I used cost a bit more than the basic kind, but was a quick setting one, which you can grout after only a couple of hours.  I have grouted between tiles on stepping stones in the past, which makes them look really lovely, but it is a lot of work if you are doing 10 or 15 for yourself.  Plus, I would then recommend that you store them inside over the winter.  If you want to just leave them down in a path or in your garden, I have done stepping stones where I don't grout them at all.  --But! I used tiles that did not have sharp edges on them.  If you are going to use broken tiles or china, you would have some sharp edges that you will need to consider, so you would probably need to add grout, but do it carefully so that you don't cut yourself.  Maybe it is possible to use some sort of mortar that could be applied in a thick enough layer so that it would well up around the shard as you press it in, thus sealing off the broken edges. 
I was thinking of doing some mosaic type tiling on some larger sized plant pots I have that have lost their finish from being outside for the last few years... I'll let you know how That goes, but it might be a while....
Good luck with any tiling projects you do!

Farewell, Lake Cayuga

This was taken a few evenings ago, just as you drive north out of Ithaca, on Lake Cayuga, one of the Finger Lakes in New York. 
There are lots of people who live beside the lake, which is beautiful.  The bed and breakfast we stayed at was between King Ferry and Aurora, about 20 minutes drive from Ithaca, so we had lots of opportunities to appreciate the countryside views and old houses that lined the road.
This peaceful patio is at the back of the house where we ended up staying one more night than we had originally planned, because I wasn't quite ready to leave there.  Perfect place to read a book as the sun goes down, or to start the day with coffee, gazing over the meadows.
Yesterday we drove up to Syracuse in the humid, 90 degree F heat.  Quite unexpectedly, we stopped in at a great French restaurant, where i found the best Caprese salad I've had outside of Italy--  plus the warm pear and almond tart was pretty good.  We continued on to the Everson Museum of Art, the entry of which is pictured below: it's a building designed by I.M.Pei.  It had a very nice show on Maxfield Parrish, an artist who worked extensively in commercial art and children's book illustration from about 1890 to 1930's, perhaps, altho those dates could be out a bit.
 They also have an extensive collection of ceramics at the museum.  I do like clay work, and found myself gazing hungrily at tiles from here and there.  these are American art tiles from the 1880's, relief carving with transparent glazes in wonderful glassy colors;

 I also found this rather interesting creature near the education area of the museum:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Before I left for this trip

Before I left for this trip, i had started this post, but forgot about it. 
I have had a container of leaf-shaped tiles around that I had made several years ago.  They are stoneware and glazed in different colors, and they were left over from some other projects that I had done.  I decided it was time to put them to use.  So, the 5 others in my coffee/sewng group came over for a bit of a craft session.  Everyone brought a couple of cement "blanks" -- simple stepping stones that you find at a home building supply store.  We mixed up some mortar, spread it on the cement bases, and then pressed the tiles into the mortar to dry.
You can see that everyone's are a bit different depentding on what sort of leaves they picked out to use:
Later on, I noticed that one of the trees had lots of these really tine pine cones forming on the ends of the branches that are low to the ground.  I wonder why they don't grow on the higher up branches...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

taking a break,...

taking a break from going out driving and doing stuff all day, that is. 
 Yesterday was quite pleasant, spent in Ithaca.  I went to the Plantations at Cornell for a couple of hours, to the gardens that are set out in a formal way, with gorgeous hard landscaping, and of course amazing plants. I enjoy reading the little explanations about certain plants.

 Altho I didn't take any sweeping photos of what the whole place looks like, since I've done that so much in the past, I found myself focussing on some details of what materials they used for building, and how they combined them.

Also, they were busy putting out some new annuals, and this gigantic magnolia was blooming!!!

Later I ended up at the Yarnstore again!  Yay..  I got the wool for 2 projects and a couple of quite interesting looking books, one by a Norwegian knitter, and another on a Swedish knitting tradition, the cottage industry of Bohus.  More on all that later!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Yarn Tasting...

The fabric tasting was pretty good!  I arrived at the yarn shop yesterday morning at about 10, armed with a double shot latte, and found my place at the table.  There were about 11 participants.  The owner of the shop had made up trays of "goodies"

They were little balls of various yarns, all sorts of fiber content and thicknesses- 25 of them.  She had also prepared a handout that listed each type of yarn sample and all known info about it.  Then, we went through and identified each yarn and taped a sample of each to the handout.  As we did this, she handed around sample objects made with each type of the yarns so that we could see how each of them felt and looked when they were knit up.  This was quite interesting.  Then we had some type to knit up some swatches, each little  sample was about 10 yards in length.  It was all quite a lot of fun.  I happened to be sitting amidst a bunch of quilters, so they also instructed me as to where to find the local quilt shops within driving distance! 
After wards, I spent some time looking around the shop, and appreciating the amazing variety of yarns that they have in stock.  I have some more swatching to do, but later this week I hope to get the yarn for my second run at the sweater I started at the lake, but was unable to get the right amount of yarn to complete...

I'll have to try loading more images again tomorrow, because right now I can't seem to get that to work, possibly the wifi connection here is too weak.. However, I have so much to tell you about the last couple of days, that I'll post this anyway right now ,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

sigh of relief

well, we can all rest a bit easier now that I have a new keyboard. It's  much less challenging to type on, and to read too!  It is not a plastic roll-up one, but it is very small, and only about half an inch thick at it's tallest point. 
plus, it's wireless,
We had a pretty full day today, and there was no rain! hooray!  we went up to Aurora to look around, and came upon the most amazing rose bushes all in bloom, and some of them smelled divine!  I took some photos, but have left my camera out in the car tonight. 
Later, I happened to drop in to the yarn store, and noticed that they were winding these teensy little balls of yarn in many colors and textures.  In conversation, it turned out that they were preparing for a "yarn tasting" on Saturday morning from 10 to 12!   What,, you  may ask is a yarn tasting? well, who knows and who cares, I signed up for it.  I will tell you on Saturday night or Sunday!
(maybe some time we'll have a "fabric tasting" at the shop-- but first I'll need to find out what it is)
Plus, they had so many beautiful yarns... I came somewhat prepared this time, as you might remember I made copies of some of the projects I thought it might be nice to make, so I'll take them along then too, I might be there for several hours....
I am looking forward to chatting with my friend Linda when I get home, because she was going to the workshop in Muenster last weekend for some knitting sessions,.. and it sounded really interesting, did any other of you knitters go?

home again

a little joke, we're not at home, but staing at a B&B called Home Again, just north of Ithaca.  yesterday we drove over from Buffalo, and the least said about that, the better, since it was quite drear.
But, this b&b is like nothing you've seen before, so I will be posting lots of little details
 our room is wa up in the attic, and from the front window ou can see the road in....
and because toad begged to come along on the trip,  I brought him, and here he is on the ladder that leads up to the widow's peak (I think that's what the called those little look-outs on the top of the houses with little windows that face all directions.. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Buffalo, Da- 1

yesterday we flew to Toronto and then drove down to Buffalo.  It all went fine, although the highwa was prett slow at times... had some time in the evening to drive around a bit and look at some of the fine buildings here.
Our first dae in Buffalo was great!  Started the da with a late breakfast  and then we went to the Allbright art museum, -- the have some nice Impressionist stuff, albeit more minor works, but unusual to see.
 like this Van Gogh,
and some nice contemporar stuff too... can't remember who did this one of o-o's.
interesting mirror room:
and a cafe with latte!then we went to some Japanese garden....
this is a house I liked:

We drove over to Hertel Avenue-- Little Ital  and also home to the knitting shop! where I picked up a book b Debbie Bliss called design it, knit it
We went back up to Niagra falls, and appreciated the fine weather, and then rounded off the da with a good Italian restaurant for dinner!  I reall hope to get this keeboard fixed sometime soon!!!

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