Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Spot of Tea 1 - has been sadly neglected in the past month and a
half while I concentrated on other projects. And in the rush and
bustle of Christmas preparations I haven't had time to do a lot of
stitching. But this week I finished the final small motif and the
last big one just needs the date and initials filled in to be done.
Surely I'll be able to manage that small amount of stitching in the
coming week?

I mailed off my secret project to ???? yesterday. I've got
pictures but won't post them until it reaches it's destination. And
then I suspect that the recipient might well be able to take a
better picture then I have. We'll see. Stay tuned.

I'm expecting a shipment from Stitching Bits n Bobs this week and
am tingling with anticipation. This one will be mostly fabric and
thread, with just a few charts. I see that the website has another
sale going on now. Oh boy!! I'll wait a short while until all my
Christmas shopping is done, and then we'll see.

Meanwhile, I ordered some books from the Folio Society a while ago,
and most of them arrived this week.

1) The big one on the bottom is a replication of The First Folio of
Shakespeare, and is just that. All his works in one very, very large
book, reprinted exactly as it was first published hundreds of years ago.

2) The second book is Andrew Lang's The Pink Fairy Book. I'm sure many of you will have read these books at one time or another.

3) After that is Josephine Tey's A Daughter of Time, which is the book
which introduced me to the Richard III controversy. Do you believe
that he was the twisted, power mad monster of Shakespearean and
Tudor propaganda or did he get a bum rap??

4) A sweet children's tale is next. Frances Hodgson Burnett's
A Little Princess. I've never read this one before, but I've seen the
movie starring Shirley Temple many times and am curious to see
how they compare.
My book read of the week was Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the
Belly. I absolutely loved this story. I found myself totally
immersed in it, and at times lost touch with my surroundings
as I followed the narrative. Which was a problem since I read on
the buses going home from work mostly. Have to remember
to get off at the right stop or I'm liable to end up visiting
Guelph and calling DH for a rescue.

Lily's parents left the security of 1950's England to travel the
world. Lily was born during their travels and for a time the
family moved from place to place without setting down roots.
Their nomadic existence ends in Tangier when Lily's parents
are killed in a drug deal gone wrong, leaving a young Lily to
be raised by a sufi sheikh who teaches her the Qur'an. Lily
grows up a devout Muslim who accompanies a male
companion to the city of Harar in Ethiopia at the age of 16,
to escape the political unrest in her adopted city.

Lily becomes a helper to a widow in Harar with four small
children and eventual becomes a teacher to the impoverished
children of the neighbourhood, teaching them to read and
understand the Qur'an. She becomes a member of the
community, learning their customs and their beliefs and
finding a home in that rich, colourful culture. She meets a
young Doctor named Aziz and they fall in love. But
Ethiopia in the 70's is in turmoil as the aged monarch
Haile Selassie is deposed and a military dictatorship
takes over. Famine and persecution spread and Lily, as
a white woman, is in danger and forced to flee the country
for an England she has never known, leaving Aziz behind.

Trained as a nurse Lily makes a life for herself in England
living with the community of Ethiopian refugees and helping
to run a charitable organization to help reunite scattered
Ethiopian families who have fled the horrors of that
country to all corners of the world. And always looking
for word of Aziz's fate.

The narrative of the book switches from the 70's and Lily's
time living in Harar, to the 90's and her life in England. I
loved reading this book and learning about life in Ethiopia
and seeing that world from a different perspective. I highly
recommend this one. Camilla Gibb has a strong empathy
for her subject, and knowledge of the religion and culture
of the region. She was born in England but grew up here
in Ontario. This is her third book and she is a well
reviewed, award nominated author.

Some more Christmas decorations from around the house. Above
is a new setting, the main village piece being from Avon. It lights
up, which didn't show up in the photograph unfortunately, and
the lights change colour. The lights on the trees also light up, and
the whole thing is very sparkley. Of course it eats batteries like
candy, so I only turn it on once in awhile, but who cares.

This is the den again. The flower arrangement and the potpourri in
the round metal container are both from the craft show that my SIL
and I attended in November. The flower petals are apple slices.
Neat, huh?? And you should smell the aroma coming from both. Ah,
heaven. The enclosed container for the potpourri is great because it
keeps the cats from playing with the stuff. I'm sure that it wouldn't
be good for them to ingest. The little building lights up and is a
library. Well, what else would it be???

My Mom's birthday was great. We had a nice meal thanks to the
food put out for the wine and cheese party, although DH was the
only one who had wine. We gave her some sweaters from Northern
Reflections for her gift and she was so happy. My Mom loves
clothes and dressing up. And we had a nice visit. Since the residence
is only a seven minute drive from here we just kept an eye on
the weather to make sure that the roads weren't getting too bad.
We have to navigate a few steep hills between here and there
and didn't want to get stuck at the bottom of one. This isn't called
the region of Halton Hills for nothing.

Today DH is taking Mom's Christmas tree over for her and
setting it up. It's a table top, fiber-optic tree which just requires
plugging in and fluffing out and it's good to go. He's also having lunch
with her and taking her some things that we picked up for her at the
store yesterday. She loves having her SIL to show off to the other

Meanwhile, once I've finished this post I'll be doing some cleaning
chores and then I have to make a start on my baking. We picked
up supplies yesterday so I have no excuses now. Is it possible to
slow down the clock for a while?? Time is flying by too fast and I
still have a lot that I want to do. It's the same every year.

Work was exhausting last week, being first of the month and all.
I'm hoping that this week will be calmer so that I can do some
baking, wrapping and bow making in the evenings. I'm off over
Christmas, as is DH and we're both so looking forward to it. I'm
planning another Christmas party this year, but forgot to buy
invitations while we were out yesterday. Drat!!

Have a good week everyone. Cheers!


Vonna said...

SOT is so beautiful! You should be proud! :)
Your decorations are beautiful...I love the Avon Scene!

Kathy A. said...

I love Spot of Tea. That is the first time I have seen it and I love the color. Our Christams decorations are beautiful and add to the Christmas spirit!

samplerlover said...

Hi Judy, your Spot of Tea is looking lovely. I don't think I have seen this one before. I can see why you liked The Token as it is in that line.

It's quite amazing that I can be sitting here in Australia and if you are on your computer at the same time as I send this you are able to read whatever I send you within moments in Canada. It's quite amazing.

My Margaret Gibson is coming along nicely. I am doing the saying at the moment. Over one on 40ct linen. I really need my magnifying glasses for this bit but I think in the end it will be worth it.

The weather here at the moment is quite YUK. All we keep getting is misty rain or rain or cloudy days. You wouldn't want to be a tourist coming up here at the moment because if you came to see the 3 Sisters you wouldn't see them. All you would see is white, white, white. By the way, the 3 Sisters are a very famous rock formation that tourist come from all over the world to see. It's about a 2 hour one way trip up here to see them.
Australia has been in drought for a few years and I think the dams are filling up nicely at the moment. The Blue Mountains are one of the feeder areas for one of the main Sydney dams.

With the storms that hit Sydney, a lot of them usually start in the Blue Mountains and then travel down towards Sydney. We might get a bang or two with thunder up here and then it has gone. A little while later we usually hear that somewhere down in Sydney has been struck with heavy rain, large hail, strong winds and a certain millions of dollars worth of damage.

Christmas is coming so fast. We are spending Christmas with my Dad and Sister so that will be lovely. Then a couple of weeks after Christmas one of my sons is getting married, so we have that to look forward to.

I don't know if you like Stacy Nash designs but if you type in Stacy Nash into your search engine and click onto www.patternmart and her designs should come up on this page. Then click onto the first pattern which is 2 crows double pinkeep and you should find that it is a free download. Thats an early Christmas Present from me. I think it is quite cute.

Sounds like Victoria is being a real pain. But in the end it will be worth it. The second issue is coming soon. If you are lucky you might receive before Christmas as it is supposed to me issued on Christmas Day. Don't subscribers get there copies before stores. I am looking forward to receiving my copy early next year. I just hope Karen keeps getting it in her store as I haven't seen it in any newsagents yet.

Anyway thats enough dribble for now. I enjoy receiving your comments and chatting with you. Have a lovely week and I will see you soon = Sandra.

stitcherw said...

Spot of Tea looks gorgeous, and I'm sure you'll have it done soon. You certainly do have a lot going on though, but then tis the season of hectic. Good luck getting everything done.

Sweetness in the Belly sounds like a really interesitng read. It also sounds like one my DD would enjoy so I'll pass it on to her as a suggestion too. My Christmas tree (when I put it up) is a fiberoptic one like your Mom's, although mine is full size not table size. I love it, it is so pretty with all the colors and I don't have to deal with stringing lights (which drive me nuts).

Beatrice said...

Spot of Tea is wonderful and the Christmas decor is pretty.
Have fun putting up the tree for you Mom and tell her Happy birthday as well.
Have a good week Don't work too had!

tkdchick said...

Hi Judy,

Wow! I'm just surprised! I had a mystery parcel in my mailbox this afternoon when I got home from work. Thank you for all the yummy goodies (the chocolate is already gone... mmmmm....), the ornament, and beautifully stitched mittens! What a wonderful Christmas surprise!

Jaimie said...

Spot of Tea is lovely! You have decorated beautifully as well!

Michelle said...

Oh I remember the fairy books! I'll have to look into those...what fun you found one! Spot of Tea is looking gorgeous - glad you will be getting some time in on it this week.