Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I have a story to tell you.  It is the story of a cross stitcher
and it demonstrates how much the love of a hobby can
draw people ... often complete strangers ... together to
create joy and happiness.                                       

I have a dear friend named Mary who works as a 
secretary for Knox Presbyterian Church here in 
Georgetown.   Often I pop into her office at the
church to say "hi", catch up on news and so forth.

A while ago, when I popped in for a short visit she showed
me a lovely little round cross stitch ornament that a lady
who sometimes goes to her church had made for her.  It
was a cardinal in the boughs of a tree and had been neatly
finished into a round ornament which Mary kept on her
desk to enjoy.

Knowing that I was a stitcher Mary showed it to me and
I expressed my delight with it.   How sweet the design,
how well stitched it was and how nicely it was finished.
Whenever I was in her office after that I would see the
piece and enjoy looking at it ... as one does when seeing
another stitcher's work.

Well,  in July I once again stopped in to see Mary and 
when she saw me she smiled broadly and said that she 
had something for me and she handed me a small
tissue wrapped item.   Curious I carefully opened the

tissue and revealed this .....  

Apparently Mary had told the lady about me and how much
I'd admired her stitching and then told her that I was a 
stitcher too and a few weeks later the lady had brought
this in for me .... even though we'd never met!!   Can you

I cried!  Yes, I did.   I was so moved and awed by the
lovely, generous thoughtfulness of someone I'd never met
who would take the time to make me something so
personal just for me.   Mary had also told her that I loved
cats and that my first cat had been a grey one which is how
she choose to stitch this particular design.

So now this sweet ornament has a home in my craft room
where I admire it every day and it reminds me of how 
wonderful cross stitchers (and people) can be.   

And speaking of the spirit of giving .....

We celebrated Christmas last weekend!!!

Hang on now .... don't get excited.   We haven't lost our
minds up here just yet!    It's just something that we've
been doing for quite some time now in early August.
We have a party ... a Christmas in August party .... and
invite as many of our friends as we can.

Here's Phil all enthusiastic and excited before the start
of the party.   He is wearing a t-shirt that had been a 
Christmas gift from friends of ours last year.

If you blow up the picture you'll see that the picture on
the shirt is of Phil singing in the Children's Christmas 
Pageant two years ago.  (they'd apparently needed someone
to play the role of an "old man" in the story - hehehe)
And the caption reads:   A Star Is Born

Me on the right and my dear friend Darlene on the left
just before things got busy ... and note Santa Claus
on my left.   Hohoho!!!

We decorate with some of our favourite Christmas 
decorations and put Christmas lights up around the
back deck.   I spent two days baking and cooking
and our friends all brought their own favourite pot
luck foods as well so we always eat (stuff ourselves
actually) very well.

A picture of our yard taken from our deck which
Googlephoto then randomly chose to turned into this 
lovely picture.

Close up of the flowers that we bought for the tables.
Love Gerbera daisies!

We lucked out on the day of the party because the 
horrendous heat that we've been having took a 
break that day and we just had normal tolerably
warm weather that allowed us to be outside all
day without worrying about anyone passing out
from the excessive heat.

The past month has not been a good stitching
month for me.   I guess that I needed a break.
Instead I was bitten by the doodling bug again
and have been working in my sketch book
filling the pages with floral patterns.

And a bit of Zentangling as well.

I haul all my markers and pencil crayons and
other drawing "stuff" out to the back deck and
sit there all day .... unless it gets too hot like it
is today.


And the rest.

We went to Stratford on July 13th which is something that
we try to do at least once a year.   We love it there because
it is such a lovely town, with neighbourhoods full of old
homes, beautiful gardens, a fabulous downtown area for
shopping,  a peaceful river to picnic by and ... of course 
... the plays and musicals that are performed there every

Above is the Festival Theatre where we saw A Chorus
Line this year.  It's the main theatre where most of the
Shakespearean plays are performed and it was the first
theatre built in the town.   There are many more now.

One of the lovely, gracious old homes ... many of which have
been turned into B&B's.  

Frustratingly the day we went was an absolute scorcher!
It was literally too hot to do much of anything because
to move was to sweat and to suffer.   We tried a bit of
walking but even on the tree shaded streets it was 
unbearable and left us feeling sick and light headed.

So we found a bench beneath a tree by the river Avon
and we parked ourselves there until it was time for dinner.
Then went back there after dinner to sit some more until
it was time for the 8:00 pm show.

We got home that night around 11:40 (Stratford is an
hour and a half drive from here) and about 20 minutes
later a tremendous thunderstorm roared through so our
timing was perfect.   I love a good thunderstorm but not
while out driving in the dark of night on unfamiliar

Not much reading going on either last month.
I did read the above fantasy and I am now 
reading it's sequel Froi of the Exiles and then
there is the third book to be read Quintana of

And that's about it from me.  C

Monday, June 27, 2016

End of June ...

Greetings blog friends ....

I've been neglecting my blog as I have been outside 
enjoying the beautiful summer that we've been having
since the middle of May.   Hot and sunny and little in 
the way of rain ... though we do need it desperately.   The
garden is parched and watering with the garden hose is
a poor substitute for actual rain from the sky.

I do stitch while I'm out on the deck, so long as the
wind isn't blowing up a gale that threatens to sweep
my threads off to somewhere over the rainbow.   I've
been concentrating on Pretty Little Toronto and making
fairly good progress on it.    So, top left is Casa Loma,
the middle part is St James Cathedral,  next to that is the
slim column which is the base of the C.N. Tower  (40
years old this week) but it needs the restaurant/observation
platform to be stitched on top, and to the right of the C.N.
tower is the St. Lawrence Market.   Oh, and a wee bit
of Toronto's city hall just over top of that.

I'm getting the itch to stitch a new project .... we'll see
if I stand firm with my current WIP or if I'll succumb
to temptation and start rummaging in my stash cup-
board.   Stay tuned .... 


Road trip.    A day spent visiting friends up near Lake
Simcoe which is an hour and a half drive from here 
and a glorious day it was.   Phil and I went up early 
so that we could spend time on the beach and have a 
picnic lunch before heading to the home of our

We found a park near the water,   parked our car in the 
lot there (and paid half a years salary for the privilege)
then found a nice tree and spread our picnic blanket in it's
shade.   It was a hot day, the shade was welcome.   We 
ate our sandwiches and then I left Phil snoozing on the
blanket and wandered along the lakeshore until I found
a quiet place and a nice rock out in the water where I 
could sit and dangle my feet in the water.  It was bliss!

Clear, cool water over a pebble and stone surface.
I sat there for over half an hour, watching the boaters
going by,  a muskrat or mink fishing in the water,  and
ignored the hopeful seagull that settled nearby in hopes
that I might have food to share.

I love being by the water.   It's restful and stimulating
at the same time.   Watching the waves is both mesmerizing
and hypnotic. 

I found it so very hard to tear myself away when it came
time for us to pack up our gear and head to our friend's

Close by our friend's home was a quilting store and this
beauty was hanging out front on display.   Isn't it 


Our front garden is looking pretty good even though it
gets the full sun all afternoon without any shade or
respite from the unrelenting heat.   The Peonies made
a nice display during the short time that they were at
their peak ... and then they dropped all their petals in
the garden and made a horrible mess.   Oh well.   That's
gardening for you.

One of my favourite flowers is Lantana.   These pretty,
colourful flowers last quite awhile and they come in
such wonderful, bright colours.  These are in one of the
pots on our deck.


Yesterday was the Georgetown Horticultural Society's
garden tour.   So Phil and I headed out and visited all
but one of the private gardens that were open for a few
hours to visitors to raise money for the Society.

Some of the gardens were in town and some were properties
in the country.   I guess that we spent about three hours 
wandering through each place and we got some great ideas
and tips for our own modest garden.

Unfortunately it was a terribly hot day and even
with a bottle of water to hydrate ourselves (which
soon became hot enough to make ourselves a cup
of tea with, unfortunately)  and hats on our heads to 
keep the sun off it was often very uncomfortable and 
draining as we walked.

Out in the countryside the temperature was a bit
lower and there was a breeze to help cool us off.


I've been reading .... lots!!!   As a matter of
fact I've been devouring books like there's no

The Imposter Bride takes place in Montreal in
the 1950's with flashbacks to the second world

The Raven Boys saga is Young Adult fantasy with a 
touch of ... um .... I don't want to say horror because
that is too strong a term I think .... but they are a bit
dark.   Loved them.

These two books are by one of the most popular
Young Adult authors around.   But they are
definitely not Young Adult stories because the
characters are quite ... er ... sexually active.

Book one was good but book two was fabulous!!!
I could not put it down!!!

Perhaps it's obvious that these are also 
fantasy stories .... and there will be another
in this series ... and the wait is going to be

And finally, for those of you who might be like me and
adore a good vampire romance novel or two ... you know
who you are .... this series I bought on Kindle and could
not put down until I had read all four of them.   Great
stories,  lots of interesting history and a new take on the
vampire genre.   

I don't go into plot synopsis when I list my reads because
I figure you guys can easily check that out if you're 
interested.   Just know that for me I love a story with
strong characters ... which includes the secondary characters
.... a really good myth building or history relating tale ... and
snappy, crisp and lively banter in the dialogue is a definite plus.


Rupert wanted to join us whenever we headed out on one
of our adventures but sadly we could not oblige him.

Thanks for stopping by.   Hope your summer is a 
good one so far.

Happy stitching,  happy gardening and happy reading!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's Spring! No, Winter! No, Spring ....

Greetings and welcome.

I am delighted to be able to share a finish with you today!
Here is Little House Needleworks design with a few little
changes here and there to make it my own.   A cute design
that is perfect for this warm and green growing time of year.

Um .... yeah!

These pictures were taken on Sunday, May 15th.   Phil
went out to mow the lawn even though the sky was heavy
with clouds and it was obvious that we were in for some
sort of precipitation.    When the lawn requires mowing
there is just no stopping Phil.

Clicking on the pictures will allow you to see and fully
appreciate the irony.

I looked out the window and there was my husband pushing
the lawn mower up and down the yard with grim determination
while the snow came down in a steady, fierce curtain.   At one
point I could barely see him through the snow!   I opened the
back door and suggested that perhaps he might consider taking
a break until the worst of it had passed but ... oh, no! ... he
motored on through it all.   

We had several periods of this throughout that afternoon and
since I'm much more pragmatic and sensible about these things
I just locked myself in my craft room with the heater humming
at my feet and refused to look out the window. 

One week later and it was the Victoria Day long weekend.   The
sun shone for all three days and the temperatures soared into the
mid 70's Fahrenheit and we relished every second of it.

Our cherry trees bloomed at the beginning of the week and put
on their usual glorious display of blossoms.   One day of 
strong winds has pretty much finished off the display unfortunately
and the driveway now looks like it's still snowing out there.

We painted our three year old red bench ... which was
peeling and shedding it's red coat alarmingly ... a cheery
yellow colour last week and have been accenting it with
matching flower baskets to enhance the results.   We
still have to get more flowers and stuff but this is a nice

Martha Washington geraniums are one of my favourites.
Pretty, frilly flowers in a wide range of colours including
this sweet little plant.   The garden centre where I found
this had just the one like this and as soon as I saw it I
had to grab it.    It's in the pink watering can .... see
the previous picture.

I'm a fantasy geek.   Did you know that?   Fantasy books, TV shows,
movies and graphic novels are all things that make me very happy.
This week's book order (yeah,  I order books every week ... why?)  
included the above two Elfquest graphic novels and they are 
as gorgeous as ever.   Not familiar?    This series was created by
Wendy Pini who writes the stories and does the art work.   Her husband
Richard also writes the stories with her.    First published in 1978 the
story has continued until present day and is the longest running, 
independent fantasy series published.

I found the series way back in 1978 and have been a fan ever since.
The art work is breathtakingly gorgeous and the story is exciting,
captivating and engrossing.

A few other books arrived as well,  and of course as soon as
I'd removed the books from their box Rupert took over.  It's
an agreement that we have.

I'm also a Trekker.   

Whilst at the post office this week I found these specially issued 
collector's packs which are to commemorate the 50th (!!!) anniversary 
of Star Trek.   I thought that they were pretty cool and decided to 
add them to my collection.   I can't believe that it's been 50 years
since the series began.     

We've been having rain and thunderstorms off and on today
which also makes me happy since I love the rain and a good
thunderstorm.    We've managed to do some planting of our
pots between each performance of inclement weather and then
we take refuge in the house again until the next wave blows over.

Ah summer.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spring is Everywhere

Greetings and welcome blog friends.

In the past few weeks the weather has settled down and
warmed up a bit, the snow has left us for good (well, until 
next November or December or whatever anyways)  and 
things are greening up nicely.

Phil has been out in the garden raking, mowing, mulching
and digging, getting muddy and wet and grass stained
 and basically enjoying himself thoroughly.   And as goes
the season so goes my stitching mindset.   A theme of
green growing things and gardening outside inspires the same
indoors with my stitching.

Or I could be honest and admit that I just wanted to have a
new start.   Whatever.

So here is Little House Needleworks design "Garden Pleasures".
I have been working on this since my last blog post and as is 
always the case with LHN designs I've been enjoying it so much!

While I've been stitching I put on Flosstube vlogs and listen to
the stitchers chat away and so many of them have multiple projects
on the go all at once .... and by multiple I mean LOTS!!!!   The idea
has a certain appeal to it, and I can be a chronic starter if I don't 
watch myself anyways sooooo .... away we go!

As long as I have a finish once in awhile I can handle that.

We've been making plans on how to enhance the enjoyment
of our backyard during those precious, short months when
the weather is kind and warm and welcoming.   Our old
gazebo's awning shredded itself last Fall so we have to get
a new gazebo this year for the deck.    We've been looking
at other garden furniture and stuff and decided that we 
really, really just had to have a garden swing!

So we went out this week and picked one up and Phil spent
yesterday afternoon setting it up.    And we're thrilled and
delighted with it!    That corner of the yard is sheltered from
the wind and gets the afternoon sun and has a great view of
the bird feeders and the rest of the garden looking toward
the house so it's a perfect fit.

And it's just the thing for any book lover!!   I took it out
for a test run with my latest book and it works beautifully!
It also suits napping and chatting and the consuming of
beverages and meditation (another form of napping for me)
and bird watching.    I love how versatile it is.

And speaking of books (as I often do) above is my latest
finish.   I devoured this book in two days and could not
put it down.

Jennifer Robson is a new to me author who has three books
published, all of which take place during the early part of
the 20th century.   A favourite time period for me.   I'd
seen her books around, had read the descriptions for them
and knew they'd be right up my ally so I got all of them at
once and I'm so glad that I did.   

Jennifer Robson manages to write a fascinating story with
emotional impact,  she presents well researched historical facts
woven expertly into the narrative and her characters are 
so real and clearly imagined .... no matter how big or small
their roles are in the story.

I did not realize that Jennifer Robson lives in Toronto until
after I got the books but that's pretty cool too .... being able
to support a local author who so clearly deserves it.

I can confidently say that Jennifer Robson has been added to
the list of my most favourite authors and any new publications
from her will be automatic gotta-haves ... right-NOW!!!! 

Walking around Georgetown, camera in hand, enjoying the
sight of everyones gardens bursting into colour.   It's  mostly
tulip time now and we're slowly easing into tree and bush
blossoming season as well.

We're nearing the end of the daffodil season but there
are a few still popping out here and there.   Not as 
colourful as tulips perhaps but when it comes to their
shapes it's amazing how diverse they can be.

The summer movie season has begun and my movie
viewing partner Darlene and I began it on the weekend
by going to see two highly anticipated movies that
headed our list of must sees.

I'm a Marvel geek and love to see whatever might be
released from that stable of super heros.   The Avengers
are a great favourite and the Captain America movies 
have always been fabulous!    We could not wait to see
"Civil War" and it did not disappoint.   WOW!   Great
story and lots of action both of which were well balanced
with great performances.    I'm team Captain America by
the way.

And then there is the magic of this newest production of The
Jungle Book.     Again the story and the performances were
spot on but it's the seamless blend of real and CGI that is 
jaw dropping amazing.   You can't even tell what is live and
what was created in a computer lab.   And the young boy who
plays Mowgli was wonderful.   And Bill Murray providing
the voice of Baloo is just perfect casting.   I mean ... who else?

Did you know that over on Flosstube the one and only Vonna
of The Twisted Stitcher fame has just posted her very
first vlog post?   You must go and watch it.   

And as always we finish off with a picture of the cats.
Rupert with his face buried in Phoebe's fur.   I have no
idea how he's breathing in there.