Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome.  Hope you're
comfortably seated and have a nice cup of
tea or any other beverage which appeals to
you close to hand because there's lots here 
in this post to share.   

There's equal parts book news and stitching
news to report plus some reno updates so
I'd best get right into it.

I collect Folio Society books which is a
company in England who publishes
illustrated, beautifully bound editions
of classic books.   Modern classics as
well as those from the past.  Fiction,
history, poetry, short stories, biographies
and so on.   The Folio Society covers
it all.

Over the years I've collected a fair number
of these books but they are costly and so
it's not something I do often.  Perhaps 
once a year or so, especially when they
are offering good deals.

Last Tuesday I was walking home from the
train station on what turned out to be the
hottest day of the year ... thus far.  
It was brutal walking in that heat let me 
tell you!!   I got three quarters of the way
home and didn't think I was going to
make it any further.   So I popped into
a little thrift store that's a few blocks 
from my house to poke around in their
book section and to recover a little in
their air conditioning.

I wandered around and checked out the
main book section but didn't find anything
too earth shattering there.  So I headed 
back to the front of the shop to check a
couple of shelves where they keep the
more valuable or in demand books.

I was giving those two shelves a 
cursory look through when one
book caught my eye.  Life On The
Mississippi by Mark Twain ... a
Folio Society book!!  Then I 
realized that the book next to it 
was also a Folio book ... and so was
the one next to that!!

In all look what I found ....

The six books to the left of The Greek
Myths were in the thrift store.  All of 
them in mint condition in their boxes.
 for $10.00 each.   I started frantically
snatching books off that shelf, six of
them in all!!!   The total of those six 
books is what one of them would 
normally cost!!!  I had to haul 
them the rest of the way home in
the heat but somehow that didn't
seem like much of a hardship.

Friday night, on my way home from
working out at Curves I stopped at
The White Rabbit second hand book
store just to do a quick (yeah, right!!)
browse through to see what might 
be there.  Got chatting with the 
owner and mentioned my incredible
Folio haul from a few days previously.
Guess what!!   He mentioned that 
they had received a few Folio 
Society books to sell as well and would
I care to see them??   

They had three books or book sets
and I had a hard time deciding which
one to buy.   The folks at The White
Rabbit had a better idea of what the
books were worth so they'd priced 
theirs accordingly.   But still, the
Greek Myths by Robert Graves 
that I chose was still a third of the
price I would have paid from the
Folio Society themselves.  Plus
no shipping charges to add to that.
(Same for the books from the thrift
store for that matter!!)

I am a very happy camper today!!!!

I have bought a few newly published books 
recently too including the sequel to A
Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
which I am desperate to get into as soon as
I finish my currant read.  I've heard good
things about The Chaperone so am curious
to read that soon and Seraphina is a young
adult fantasy that sounds really, really good.

And then last Saturday I hit a couple of garage sales
during my morning walk and came home with this
lot.    I'm halfway through the Bob Hope book.
It's hilarious!!!

I have no idea where I'm going to put all these 
new books.   Well, the Folios will go on the
shelves of the new built in bookcase in the 
living room with the rest of my Folio collection
 but the others???    The library shelves 
downstairs are full to bursting ... again.   It 
might be time to do some culling ... again.

Last Sunday the last touch was added to our
main floor renovation.  The two area rugs
arrived.   We set them in place and were
then able to celebrate the official conclusion
to our reno!!    Started mid February and 
finished the beginning of July.   Not too bad.
And the best part???

Phil and I are still married!!

Above is a picture of the dining room all
decked out.

And here is the living room.  I think we'll
designate the single chair to the right of 
the photo (next to the book shelves) as
my downstairs stitching chair.

Speaking of stitching ... a few updates
are in order here.   Finished the square
and added a bit more border to my
P.S. Summer Sampler.

Close up!!!

I've put a few stitches into a project that
was abandoned for a year which I 
suppose makes it a UFO?   Drawn 
Thread's Game Sampler which I'm
suppose to be stitching with Maggie.

This thing is going to be huge (if I ever get
around to actually finishing it).  Every time
I work on it I wonder what the heck I'm
going to do with it when it's done.  It
would cost a fortune to frame and it's a
bit too big for a pin keep ....

I don't think that I've ever shared anything
about this project.   Another rather big design
which I pick up once in awhile to put a few
more stitches in.

Here's the chart.

Here's what it's suppose to look like when
(ever) it's done.   I love My Big Toe designs
and this one is gorgeous!!!   

Must not dwell on the guilt of not getting
these stitched up in a timely fashion.  Must
remember to just sit back and enjoy the 
process ... which is all that matters.

Another long post.   If Blogger ever puts
a limit on the size of the posts you can 
make I'll be in big trouble.

Thanks for dropping by.   

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Big news people!!!   I've been stitching!!!

I know ... it's hard to believe but it's true.
Last Monday was the Canada Day holiday
and I plunked myself down in a chair on our
deck in the afternoon and stitched away on
my PS Summer sampler.   The square is
almost done.  Just some blue sky and border
to stitch.  I'm quite pleased with my 
choice out of the four possibilities offered
which is a relief.   I dithered and fretted over
which of the squares would suit me before
committing to the butterfly square.

A close up of the square.   It was so nice
to just sit outside with the birds chirping,
the sun shining ... and our neighbour's
air conditioner roaring in the background.
I haven't concentrated on a stitching
project for that length of time (an entire
afternoon) in ages.   I need to do it more

This week was a tough one at work.  It was
first of the month which is our busiest time
but this month's first was the busiest that we've
been in a long time.  Both Wednesday and
Thursday we worked late, although I don't
work as late as the others in my department
because it takes me too long to get home from

And it was stinkin' hot this week too which
made any time spent out of doors a real
ordeal.   Walking home from the train 
station was not pleasant in that heat and
especially so when it included a pretty
steep hill to hike up.   

So when I arrived home one night and found
a package waiting for me it gave me such an
energy boost.   Last month  I was the lucky
winner of a gift certificate to 123 Stitch
curtesy of the delightful and generous 
Mary Ann of Just Stitching to celebrate 
her birthday.   Now usually when it's your
birthday you're suppose to receive gifts
not give them out.  However, as I said,
Mary Ann is a generous soul and she
gave the readers of her blog the opportunity
to win a shopping spree at a fabulous
online store.   I still can't believe that I

I decided on two charts from Silver Creek
Samplers, including Dandy Dreams which
I first saw on Maggie's blog a while ago.
Her's stitched up so beautifully and looked
so sweet when it was framed I just couldn't
get it out of my mind.   So now I can 
stitch my own pretty sampler whenever I
am ready to do so.   

I also ordered a few K&Co. scrap booking
embellishment packs since 123 Stitch also 
sells some scrap booking stuff.  So I
managed to cover my two crafting 
obsessions with one gift certificate!!  

Many thanks to Mary Ann for making
my week easier to bear!

I took a stroll around the deck and garden 
today and snapped some pictures of our
many pots to share with you.  And also
to keep as a record for reference when 
next Spring rolls around again and I'm
trying to remember what flowers worked
best in which pots or planters the previous

Martha Washington geraniums are so pretty, aren't

Chippy was hanging around last weekend when
DH and I sat out on the deck for dinner.  Guess
he was hoping for a handout or something.  Since
he's figured out how to   a) climb the pole to the
bird feeders to help himself to the seed there  plus
b) he's found a way to get into the shed where 
the seed bags are stored, even when the door is
shut and locked and he's helping himself to that
bounty as well.  Cheeky nuisance.   Good
thing he's cute!! 

More shots of the newly decorated living room.
The built in storage and display area with 
drawers for linens and cupboards for other
stuff plus nice deep shelves above for the
displaying of the nicer things.  

And of course there is now a built in bookcase
for my collection of Folio Society books and
my National Geographic books.  Storage 
below for CDs and photo albums.  I love
it so much!!   Note new hard wood floors.

No more carpet.   Which means the 
fur from our two cats has free range and 
tumbles across the floor like tumbleweeds
in the desert ...followed by an annoyed me 
 with the vacum cleaner hose!!!   

All that fur rolling across my floors.  I
keep checking the cats to see if they're 
cold because they surely must have lost all 
their fur and are lying around the house 
Nope,  just lying there ... growing 
more fur!!!!

Another view of the corner next to the
window.   Looky ... we have crown
molding!!!!    Nifty!!    

Hope all you folks down in the States
where the temperatures are much 
worse then they were here are keeping
cool as you can under the circumstances.
Take care!!

Thanks for visiting!!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Greetings everyone!   I've been sitting around here for
the past week since my last post waiting for something 
exciting to happen around here so that I might have 
something interesting to blog about ... but so far ...
nothing!!!  Nadda!!   Zilch!!   

So I went through my picture files to find something
pretty to feature at the beginning of my post and I
came across this lovely little lady.  I'd found her 
during one of my walks last summer, perched on 
her rock in someone's front garden and she was 
nice enough to pose for me while I took her 
picture ... and her little dog too!!

Ok, that takes care of my intro.  Now what??  

Well, how about another chapter of Wildlife in
Georgetown???   Specifically this tiny fellow
hiding in our garden underneath the flowering
dog wood bushes.   DH spotted him in the
yard from an upstairs window and I immediately
grabbed my camera and rushed out to take a 

Bunny was camera shy and as soon as he 
heard me clomping down the stairs of the
deck he ducked into the bushes and froze.
I went in after him ... well, kind of.

Didn't want to scare him any more then
he already was so I just knelt outside of
the bushes and put my hand holding the
camera in for a few quick pictures.  

I have no idea how one goes about judging
a rabbits age but this guy was pretty darn
small ... and stinkin' cute to boot.  Didn't
see any other bunnies around so he must 
be old enough to be on his own.   Hope so

 A sure sign that summer is here is the opening of
the local Farmer's Market.   Everything from 
locally grown produce to incredible baked 
goods and hand made crafts plus booths 
selling real maple syrup, soap, cheese, pottery
and kittens (!). 

Okay, the kittens were in the window of
the pet supply store Creature Comforts and
were from Cats Anonymous, a no kill shelter
but still ... there were kittens!  

Whenever I go out for my 10k walk on Saturday 
mornings while the market is running I 
always stop there on my way back home for
whatever tickles my fancy ... or for a treat
for DH to have with his morning tea.

Since last February we've been in renovation 
mode here in our humble little home.   It had
been many, many moons since we'd last done
any decorating or updating of the main floor
of our house,  and most of our furniture was
at least 25 years old and/or hand-me-downs.

We've been in this house for 20 years and 
my taste has changed in those years ... quite
a bit.   We've been dithering around for the 
past few years about doing some reno work
for this area and this year turned out to be the
year.   Finally!!!

Above is the living room as it was.  Ignore
the floor stand in the middle of the picture
please.    Flipping through my iPhotos this
was the best "before" picture of that section
of the living room that I could find.

And after ... everything new (or in the case of the
pictures on the walls ... reframed to suit the decor).
More pictures to come in future posts.  

P.S.  the picture over the couch is of my 
grandmother.  It was made in Belgium and is
 done in pastels.   My grandfather had it drawn 
from a picture that he had with him of my 
grandmother while he served there during 
the first world war.   A week after he picked
 up the finished picture the shop was bombed 


Let's see ... what else to write about??
DH was kind enough to take me to 
Michaels on Saturday to let me do a 
bit of shopping.  I had a gift certificate
from my birthday that I wanted to use.

I didn't buy any stitching supplies though.
Instead I bought stuff for my journaling
and paper crafting hobby ... my other

I gathered up a jumble of paints,
papers, embellishments, glue gun,
ink pad etc, etc.  while DH patiently
sat on a bench out side the store and
waited for me.  

My free time these days is split 
(not often evenly) between stitching
and scraping.  I've been making
Junk Journals / Junque Journals /
Scrapbooks / Smash books out of
all kinds of things.  And having a
blast doing it.

This was an existing book with lined
pages that I stuck fancy papers and
cards and stuff into.  I used glitter,
stickers and gems on the cover
which already had the flowers on it.

The pages fanned out (actually the book
won't close flat ... it stands by itself like
this all the time) so you can kind of
see inside.  It's very three dimensional
which I love!

A few of the pages.  I've put everything from
photos to movie tickets to magazine clippings
and all kinds of other stuff inside these books.  
Sometimes I put cards in whole, sometimes I 
just use pieces of the cards.  We've got lots of
cards for all kinds of occasions that we've
received over the years that have been 
sitting in boxes neglected and, well, 
forgotten.  So I decided to use them in my
paper crafting ... sort of recycling them.

Another page spread.  The book mark is a
treasure that I received from Barbara (Mainely 
Stitching).  The note that she sent with it is on
the next page over.

This is a page spread from a much larger scrap
book that I'm working on now.  My godson
Ian played Richard the Lion Heart in this
production last winter.  I stole the poster
on the left from my Curves workout centre
when the production was over.  Sshhhhh.
Don't tell!

I've got a huge .... no make that HUGE
.... bin full of all kinds of stuff that I've 
saved over the years and I'm now working
to put as much of it as I can into these 
large and small journals/scrapbooks. 
Long way to go ... but I'm having so 
much fun doing it.   I love making a 
mess in my craft room!!

And will you look at that!  I full blog post
after all.  Not bad for someone who had
little or nothing to say, eh?

Thanks for dropping by.  


P.S.   evidently Blogger made some
changes to their site and the way that
posts are created during the year
that I was away.   I don't like it!!
Now I've got to try and figure things
out again!!    

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Once again ....

I'm always excited to have the opportunity to snap a few pictures
of the cardinals that hang around our neighbourhood.  They are
one of my most favourite of birds.  The males are quite vain and  
like to perch themselves somewhere conspicuous such as 
the top of a tree or a telephone pole or a TV antenna where
they proceed to sing their distinctive song to announce their
presence.   Fortunately Mrs Cardinal is usually somewhere
close by to keep an eye on her flamboyant mate and keep
him in line.

This guy was in our birch tree and was gracious enough
to stay there long enough for me to take a few pictures.

I took a picture of my currant stitching project
this evening so you can see where it stands
at the moment.   I am working on the square
in the upper right corner and have chosen to
stitch the butterfly ... after much dithering and
mind changing.

The blue bird on a pedestal had to be frogged
and restitched when I discovered that I'd 
stitched it in the wrong spot by one square.
I was tempted to leave it but it was causing
a chain reaction train wreck with the rest of
the design that would have been too 
noticeable ... and it would have bugged me
... so out it came!!

I've been sitting out in front of the house 
the past few nights stitching.  The 
portable magnifying glass (the kind that
loops around your neck) doesn't work
so well for me any longer so I just 
held my stitching frame up to my nose,
peered over my glasses and stitched ...
all whilst trying not to jab a needle 
into my nose!!!

Some recent book finishes to share with you ...
beginning with the first book in the Lady 
Emily series by Tasha Alexander.  

  The story: 

From gifted new writer Tasha Alexander comes a 
stunning novel of historical suspense set in Victorian 
England, meticulously researched and with a twisty 
plot that involves  stolen antiquities, betrayal, and 
murder. For Emily, accepting the proposal  of 
Philip, the Viscount Ashton, was an easy way to 
escape her overbearing mother, who was set on a 
grand society match. So when Emily's dashing 
husband died on safari soon after their wedding, 
she felt little grief. After all, she barely knew him.

Now, nearly two years later, she discovers that 
Philip was a far different man from the one 
she had married so cavalierly.  His journals reveal 
him to have been a gentleman scholar and antiquities 
collector who, to her surprise, was deeply in love with 
his wife. Emily becomes fascinated with this new 
image of her dead husband and she immerses 
herself in all things ancient and begins to study 
Greek. Emily's intellectual pursuits and her desire 
to learn more about Philip take her to the quiet 
corridors of the British Museum, one of her husband's 
favorite places. There, amid priceless ancient statues, 
she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret involving stolen 
artifacts from the Greco-Roman galleries. And to 
complicate matters, she's juggling two very prominent 
and wealthy suitors, one of whose intentions may go 
beyond the marrying kind. As she sets out to solve 
the crime, her search leads to more surprises about 
Philip and causes her to question the role in Victorian 
society to which she, as a woman, is relegated.

I love mysteries but don't care for the kind that
goes into gory, creepy detail.   And I love when
the mystery takes place in  time periods other
then  modern day.   Hence my love for authors
such as Tasha Alexander, Charles Todd and
Jacqueline Winspear.   I have the first four 
books in this series on my bookshelf and as
soon as I finished this one I picked up the
second book to read.  

Lady Emily is a wonderful character who
really begins to enjoy the freedom that
being a widow allows her in the restrictive
society of Victorian England.   It's quite
an eye opener to read about the confined,
suffocating lives genteel women were
relegated to during that time when 
England was ruled by a formidable 
woman.  A paradox indeed.

Adding at the last minute:  finished book
two and now into book three!!   Book two
(A Poisoned Season) was even better then 
the first.

Ellen Airgood and her husband own and run a diner in a small
Michigan town south of Superior.   Sounds like the beginning of
a book doesn't it??   But it's true.   The author and her DH run a
diner by day and whenever she has some spare time between 
shifts Ellen writes.   South of Superior is her first book and I quite
enjoyed it.   Saw it in the book section of our grocery store as I
was browsing through their tables of new releases and liked the
synopsis of the story on the cover ... so I bought it.

The story: 

When Madeline Stone walks away from Chicago 
and moves five hundred miles north to the
 coast of Lake Superior, in Michigan's Upper 
Peninsula, she isn't prepared for how much her 
life will change.

Charged with caring for an aging family friend, 
Madeline finds herself in the middle of beautiful 
nowhere with Gladys and Arbutus, two 
octogenarian sisters-one sharp and stubborn, 
the other sweeter  than sunshine. As Madeline 
begins to experience the ways of the small, 

tight-knit town, she is drawn into the lives and 
dramas of its residents.  

It's a place where times are tough and debts run 
deep, but friendship, community, and compassion 
run deeper. As the story hurtles along-
featuring a lost child, a dashed love, a car accident,
 a wedding, a fire, and a romantic reunion-Gladys, 
Arbutus,  and the rest of the town teach Madeline more 
about life, love, and goodwill than she's learned 
in a lifetime.

Had no trouble getting caught up in the story and 
read this book  pretty quickly.   I enjoy books with quirky 
characters and characters who are finding their way, their 
niche in the world and someone to share their lives with.   
This book has all of that in abundance.   I hope that 
there will be a sequel because I would like to hang out 
with these characters again and find out how things work 
out for them in the future.

Thanks to Goodreads for the above two book descriptions.

We get strange birds around here!!!
Phil couldn't figure out why one of our bird 
feeders was running out of bird seed so 
quickly these past few weeks.  It's one of
those feeders whose perch will only allow
the smaller birds to feed.  If a larger bird
lands on the perch it's weight pushes
the perch down and causes the holes where
the seed is to close.   Well, that's the
theory anyways.

Last weekend I happened to be looking
out the back door when I saw Chippy
literally running up the pole to the 
feeder and helping himself to the
contents, stuffing his cheeks with seed
before scurrying back down the pole
and heading off to home with his
ill gotten booty.   

Cheeky little devil!!!  It would appear
that Chippy's weight is slight enough
that it doesn't cause the perch to 
sag down and close the feeding holes.
Phil's going to try and adjust the 
thing (again) to try and fix this.

Spent much of Sunday working on a
new Smash journal ... my craft room
looked like a Michael's exploded in
it.   I'm a messy crafter.  Anybody
else out there do Smash journaling??

Have a great week and thanks for