Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm posting these pictures for Gina, who asked me about the
embroidered post cards from WWI that I have, and were
glimpsed in a picture on a previous post.
Above are the six cards which have been in my Mom's family
since the war. They were sent from France by my Grandfather
Fogden to his family and his girlfriend (who eventually became
his wife). Each one is for a different occasion, and there is
usually a note written on the back of each card.
In the first picture the cards say:
1) Happy Easter
2) I love You
3) Thoughts of You Bring Sunshine.
In the second picture the cards say:
1) To My Dear Sister
2) Allies de 1915
3) Forget Me Not

Each card is so delicate and with bright colours and fine
detail work. It's hard to believe that these could have survived
a trip in the mail, even in an envelope. Especially during a war
time setting.

A busy weekend for us. Yesterday we were suppose to take my
Mom to the dentist for a couple of fillings. She has four teeth
that require fillings and she was to make two visits to get them
done. The dentist is only in on Saturdays once a month, but it
means that DH doesn't have to take time off of work to take her
and I can go too. Unfortunately we got a call from the Dentist's
office at 9:30 yesterday morning to say that the appointment
would have to be rescheduled because the Doctor was sick.
So I called the residence to let my Mom know that she had a
reprieve for a month. She was quite relieved about that because
she doesn't like going to the dentist any more then the rest of us
do, but at the same time it means prolonging the anxiety for
another month.

In the afternoon I went to a friend's annual birthday party. Just
a bunch of girls getting together, sans male partners, to chat and
eat great food made by the birthday girl's older sister. This years
meal was a Chinese food theme. We had Sechuan soup to start,
then the main course of Chinese sweet and sour chicken wings,
fried rice, salad and spring rolls. Desert was sorbet and the most
amazing thing...a basket of flowers made out of fruit. See picture
below. There was cantaloupe, honeydew melon, red grapes,
plain strawberries, and chocolate covered strawberries, and
pineapple. We just plucked the skewers holding the fruit in
the basket out and ate them like popsicles.

After the party ended, around six, DH came and picked me up
and we drove to the pub, our usual place called the Copper
Kettle, for dinner. It was Robbie Burns day this week and we
always go to the pub for dinner to celebrate. However we walked
in the front door of the pub to be greeted by the owner with the
warning that we'd probably not want to stay. Turns out their
furnace had quit during the night and they had no heat. Well,
we kept our coats on and stayed anyways. We had a nice dinner
and a little visit with our friends who run the place, but we didn't
stay as long as we might have done under normal conditions.
All in all it was a busy day.
Gina, I've got more post cards to share pictures of in my next post.
This one is getting a bit long. Cheers.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I stitched these two pieces for my DH's parents soon after we got
married I think. They'd moved from their house to a new condo and
I stitched these to be hung there, possibly as a Christmas gift or for
some other special occasion. I just gave them the stitched pieces
and let them choose the frames to suit the place that they would
decide to hang them in. My Mom-in-law passed away from breast
cancer about 13 years ago now, and Dad-in-law followed her just
over a year later. When packing up the condo we took back these
pieces and they are now hanging in our bathroom.

They are from a Dimensions chart called Romantic Roses and the
designer is Linda Gillum. Publishing date of chart is around 1988.
Very pastel, delicate projects, trimmed with lace and framed in gold.
Cheerful, easy projects.

Last evening was a party for the church choir that DH belongs to.
Instead of having it at Christmas, which is always hectic and busy for
everyone, they started having it in January, when things have settled
down. It's an easy, pot luck affair with about 20 - 30 people attending.
The food is always delicious and every year I keep saying that they
should pool their recipes and print a cook book. The party is at a
different couples house every year too, which is only fair.

Not a late night though because DH had to be up in good time this
morning to attend the men's breakfast at the church. Every third
Saturday each month a group of the men from the church gather to
cook themselves a large, fancy breakfast and to enjoy some good food
and fellowship.

I was saddened to hear today that Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the
Pappas died after a short illness. He was born in Halifax, but was
living near Toronto at the time of his death. He was only 66. I love the
Mamas and the Pappas music, and the wonderful harmonies that they
made, and Denny was my favourite. A great voice, a great sense of
humour and a very Canadian view of fame and success. I wish him

Monday, January 15, 2007

This sampler was stitched by my Mom for DH and I when we got
married. Its from the same Better Homes and Gardens book that
I got my pink sampler, and my log cabin sampler from. So I've
really gotten my money's worth from that book.

This is a lovely piece, beautifully stitched by my Mom. Her main
craft things were needlepoint and plate painting, doing only a couple
of small cross stitch projects and two medium sized ones. She
doesn't do needlework any more because of her bad back, but she has
rediscovered knitting and loves to do that.

The second picture shows the piece framed and hanging in our
living room. This picture was taken last fall, which is why you can see
all the Halloween/Autumn decorations scattered around. The framed
pieces hanging on either side of the cross stitch are embroidered
postcards from the first world war. Six were from my family, and six
I picked up during one of my trips to England. They are so lovely and
delicate, and I've got a different one for each special occasion.

I'm taking a day off of work today because Winter has officially (finally)
arrived here and we're experiencing either snow, or freezing rain, or
snow pellets depending on where you live. Here, north west of Toronto,
we are getting a bit of freezing rain, but mainly snow pellets. Toronto
is getting mostly freezing rain, and east of the city they are getting snow.
I don't like to take time off work just because of the weather, but when
the trip to work, and the trip home are likely to take almost as long as
the time I spend actually working (5 1/2 hours) then it's just not worth it.

So I'm spending part of the day doing chores, and part of it on the
computer, and part will be spent cross stitching. I should finish either
my Prairie Schooler Prairie Garden, or the red snowflake sampler, but
I have the itch to start a new project. Should I resist or should I give in?
I've seen many stitchers noting in their blogs that they've allowed them-
selves a new start for New Years, regardless of how many WIP's they might
have in progress.

DH and I spent the weekend packing away Christmas, and giving the
living room a good clean. Every year, while packing away box after box
of decorations and ornaments, DH complains that we're running out of
storage space and there's no more room to put it all. And telling me
that I've got to quit bringing new stuff home. But every year he manages
to jam it all into the allotted space somehow.

Rupert has developed a taste for Listerine mouthwash! He keeps getting
into the linen cupboard where I store the big bottle, jumps onto the
shelf, arranges himself on the towels stacked behind the bottle, and
proceeds to sniff and then lick the outside of the bottle neck. I have to
keep chasing him away and then wash the bottle neck. I figure that it
must be the alcohol content, because when I use the non-alcohol type
of mouth wash he doesn't bother. He likes shampoo too. But for that
he prefers to wait until we're in bed, and then he gnaws on our heads/
hair. Does anybody else's cats do this sort of thing?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hmm. I'm going to have to work on learning how to take pictures
of my cross stitch projects so that they turn out fairly true to the
original colours of the threads used, and are also in focus. I was so
eager to type this post however that I couldn't wait for daylight to
take the pictures.

Anyways, here is my first finish of 2007. It's a Prairie Schooler
design from the 2005 issue of Just Cross Stitch Christmas
Ornaments. The top picture is blurry, but shows up the truer
colours. The bottom one is lighter in colour but is also sharper.
Well, relatively speaking. Just squint your eyes a bit, make 'em
go cross eyed, and keep looking at the two pictures until they
merge together into one clear picture. Yup. It works especially
well after a couple of glasses of boozy stuff.

Tomorrow DH and I start the job that everyone hates after the
Christmas season is over. Taking down, and packing away, the
Christmas ornaments. Ugh! It'll take one day to pack everything
up and store it away. Then another day to clean and get all the
normal nick nacks out of storage and restored to their original places.
That is, if I can remember where all of those original places were.

And then, over the next week or so, DH and I will probably keep
stumbling across Christmas ornaments that we missed in one room
or another, which then have to be "stored" somewhere until next Xmas
season. One year it took us about a month to notice an ornament that
was hanging on the door knob of the door that leads to the lower level
of the house. We passed it every day, multiple times a day, but never
noticed it. Doh!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Remember I warned you about pictures of the cats appearing on this
blog. Above is Rupert in the bathroom cupboard inspecting the
towels for suitable degrees of fluffiness and softness. Really.

Then we have Phoebe, reacting to the flash on my camera. She's
sitting on her cushion, on the desk, here in the computer room.

Two full days of work so far this week. I expect that tomorrow things
should simmer down and I'll be back to part time hours. Good thing
too because I have chores to do, and haven't been home in decent time
to do them.

It's gotten cold out today. Not Great White North cold, but cold
compared to what we've been having so far this weird winter season.
Might even see some snow flurries over night tonight. The one thing
that rain has going for it, that snow doesn't, is that it sounds so lovely
hearing it rain when you're in bed and settling in to sleep. A very
soothing sound. Snow, of course, doesn't make any sound. And yet,
having said that, there is a sort of "silence" that I recognize when
waking up some winter mornings, when I just know before even
looking out the window that it has snowed.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Yes, I know that Christmas is officially over for this season. But I
took these pictures myself with my new camera (which I may have
mentioned in previous posts) and I wanted to show them off. We
haven't taken our decorations down yet. We'll probably do that
next weekend. I find myself a bit reluctant to take the tree down
this year. I think it's because it is a new tree and looks so pretty. It's
a nice feature in the living room.

The top picture, assuming that the pictures remain in the same line up
when I post this entry, is of a family group that my talented friend Linda
made for me many years ago. It's a set of her "profile" bears, so called
because they are wider on their sides then across their fronts. I don't
remember where she got the pattern for these from, but she used photo-
copies to adjust the sizes for a Father, Mother and baby. They are very
beautifully stitched, and are stuffed perfectly. The arms and legs are
movable, with buttons providing the hinging mechanism. She covered
the buttons with the same fabric that the bears are made out of so that
they blend right in. The baby is in a little wicker cart, the father has a
guitar and the mother plays the drum. I put this set on this side table
in my living room every year and it's one of my most prized Christmas
decorations. I have other pieces that Linda made for Christmas as well.
The bottom picture shows a set that I bought a few years ago of a Grandpa
and Grandma bunny reading to their grandkids. This year I placed them
on the floor, in small chairs, in front of an antique table and I placed some
string between two of the legs of the table to hang small stockings that my
Mom knitted for me. It looks kind of cute. You can see the ledge of our
bay window behind the table, with some more of my Christmas stuffies on

Friday, January 05, 2007

I don't know which event I'm most excited about...getting stash in the
mail today.....or that I was able to program my new camera to link with
my computer. So now I can take my own pictures and put them on my
blog. How cool is that?? Okay, humour me here folks, I'm not at all a techie
person (just ask Darlene) so arranging it so that my new camera talks to
my old computer, and not blowing either up in the process is a MAJOR accomplishment for me.

So now I can have a visual blog, which is far more entertaining for the
people who visit here then reading my words, as I tend to blather away
without knowing when to stop. I'm still getting to know my camera,
and learning how to take the best pictures with it, but knowing I can
view thumbnails of each picture that I've taken, and can delete the ones
that I don't like or that don't turn out, gives me a great feeling of
confidence. It's not like I'm going to be wasting film or paying to have
lousy pictures developed.

I have many old back issues of "Cross Country Stitching" but none past
the year 1996. I have always like this magazine and have found some
great designs to stitch, in just about every issue. While browsing their
website I found the back issues area and decided to order some of the
special Alphabet issues. There is some really great stuff in here, and my
fingers are tingling in anticipation of stitching some of the designs.

To those who have included admiration and praise for Phoebe in the
comments section, Phee and I say thank you. You are most kind. I'm
afraid that many pictures of Rupert and Phoebe are likely to be posted
to this blog in the months to come. I tend to be quite the doting "parent"
when it comes to my fur babies. You've been warned.

I've been reading a book of short stories called "Cravings". The stories
are all of the "supernatural romance" genre and the writers who contrib-
uted to the book are: Laurell K Hamilton (who doesn't seem to concern
herself too much these days with the need to actually have anything happen
in her stories except to find excuses to get her heroines into bed (and out)
with as many men, at once, as possible!!). Maryjanice Davidson, Eileen
Wilks and Rebecca York. I've never read any of the above ladies before,
except for Laurell K Hamilton, and I enjoyed their stories very much.