Saturday, April 01, 2017

Good day and welcome to the bi-annual blog post
for 2017.

I know, I know .... I'm a bad blogger.   I seem to be
going at this in fits and starts, don't I?    Blame it on
retirement and being constantly tempted and 
distracted by my many, many interests and passions.

Or you can just say that I'm fickle and leave it at that.


I've been stitching again!!   And .... I have a finish!
I know .... amazing, eh?

Here we have Pretty Little Toronto by Satsuma Street.

I got a huge chunk of this piece done last year and then
somehow got sidetracked (stop me if you've heard this
one before) and left it.   All I needed to do was the final 
tree and bush, the top of the CN tower and the clouds
which wasn't much at all .... in the grand scheme of things.

But I left it ... and stitching in general ... until two weeks
ago when I picked it up on a whim and finished it!

I love this one and really did enjoy stitching it.  I love
bright, vibrant colours and boy do these designs have
colour in abundance.  

And since I was back in stitching mode I just had to
pick out another project to start and so I began working
on Jardin Prive's Sampler Aux Bouquet .... well,
one section of it anyways.   I've always loved this
design and decided that it was time I got cracking on

Hmmm.   Keep forgetting to put a beak on that blue
peacock motif.    Poor guy looks like he sneezed it off
or something!

And that's the extent of my cross stitching life.   The rest 
of this post will cover life in general.   If you bore easily
feel free to move on.

In February it was time once again for our annual Girls
Weekend in Toronto.   Friday morning until Sunday
afternoon spent with my friend Darlene down in the big
city seeing the sights and eating ... um .... and exploring
the cultural diversity of the downtown core.

One of our first stops was a cat cafe that had opened in
Toronto about a year ago.   Like other cafes of this
type that have sprung up around the world (beginning 
with the very first one in Taiwan and spreading to Japan 
where there are about 50 such establishments ) it featured 
a room separated from the main cafe with adoptable cats of 
all kinds there to be petted and fussed over while you drink 
your coffee or hot chocolate.

There were about a dozen cats lounging around the
space and we spent about half an hour indulging
ourselves with their company.   We were given 
kibble to entice them to us and show that we were
come in friendship.   All of these cats were strays
found living on the streets and many were still 
weary of strangers and unsure of their new 

The cafe has been able to see a good number of
their cats adopted since they opened which is 
good to know.

Another stop during our first day was Allen Gardens.
We go there every year to enjoy a break from the cold
and the snow and the bleakness of winter.

Wandering through the connected greenhouses,
drinking in the colours and the warmth and the
sounds of trickling water.

And the turtles!   Mustn't forget the turtles!
(see bottom of above photo)

The show that we went to see this year was Stomp!
Darlene had seen a production of this show a number
of years ago and had really enjoyed it so she got us
tickets to see it during our weekend.

It was an amazing show.  Very clever.   Who knew you 
could produce music from such innocuous items as 
barrels, knives, plastic bags, chop sticks and the kitchen

A physically demanding show (as you can see from the
picture above) that also featured slapstick humour .... not

We were very impressed and were blown away by the 
performer's talent ... and stamina!

Weather report for the winter of 2016 to 2017:


There were times when it felt like early Spring ....
in January .... and other times when ... well ..... we
almost had a white Christmas.   Two weeks before
Christmas we had two dumps of snow that seemed
to all but guarantee us the type of Christmas that
would have caused Bing Crosby to burst into song!

But alas, it rained like the dickens a week before
the holidays so all we ended up with was a soggy, grey 

HoHoHo!!!    Bah!!!!

And now, before I sign off ....

January did not start the year off well for us.  We had
to make the decision that all pet owners dread and say
goodbye to our dear, beloved beautiful boy Rupert.

We were and are devastated!

He was with us for around 14 years and we adored
every minute of it .... even when he broke things,
picked on Phoebe and hogged the bed.  He was a
tremendous character who made friends with everyone
and never met a food type that he didn't like.

We miss him every minute of every day.

Thanks for visiting.  Hopefully I'll be around with
stitching updates again before the end of the year.


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Hello to all who may still be checking my blog
for signs of life on occasion.   It's been a while 
since I last posted and I have no excuse except
perhaps laziness.

And it does seem that blogging is becoming 
something of a fading fad ... albeit a fad that
lasted for roughly 10 years or so.

So many bloggers have stopped posting or
have gone to private settings or have moved
to vlogging on Youtube instead.   Not to 
mention other forms of social media that I
may not be familiar with, dinosaur that I am
when it comes to things techie.

When it comes to Youtube I follow:  booktubers,
flosstubers, journal-tubers, art-tubers etc.  There
are "tubers" for every interest it seems.

(Hmmm .... wonder if there are such things as cat-
tubers???  Probably.  But I digress .... ).

Confession:  If a vlog post lasts longer then 20
minutes I don't bother.   I can happily read a blog 
post as long as your arm but when it comes to the
newer fad of vlogging I usually get bored sooner
rather then later.

With the exception of a few vloggers that is.
(Hello Vonna!!)

I have been tempted to try my own hand at vlogging
though it would more likely be of the booktube 
variety rather then flosstubing.

But when it comes to vlogging there's something that
you need there that you don't need when blogging.
Blogging you should to be able to compose your
words into pleasant, interesting sentences.   You don't
even need to know how to spell as long as you have
spellcheck.   Thought I suppose having a grasp of the
sometimes discombobulating theories of grammar
might come in handy as well.

I don't worry about that sort of thing too much myself.



But there is something more you need when vlogging.
Personality.   Enthusiasm.   Charisma.    Stage presence.    

You can't just drone on, and on, and on .... not if 
you want to attract viewers and keep them as 

I don't know that I'd have that ... whatever it is.
It's easier for me to express in writing what I
want to say.   Well, usually.    And I would be
so self conscious on a vlog.   Does this camera
make me look fat?  Is my hair on straight?   Are
my eyebrows even?    What's that on my chin?

And then there's the lighting, camera, setting,
props, editing.   OMG!!!!

No, I'll stick to blogging.  Sporadic posts 
not withstanding it's more my thing.   

An important reason that I wanted to post today is a 
wonderful package that I received in the mail 
yesterday from Andrea at The Craftroom.

Talented stitcher,  amazing finisher and long time
blogging friend ... and a more generous soul you'd
be hard pressed to find anywhere.

Andrea gives away a number of her Christmas
ornaments every year to lucky followers of her
blog and has done so for many years.   I won one
of her ornaments way back in 2009 and it's a
cherished possession let me tell you.

This year Andrea sent me this beautiful ornament
along with the other treasures that you can see in
the previous pictures.   It's freaking gorgeous!!!
I am stunned.  I am speechless (well, I was when
I opened the package .... trust me).   It may be one of
the nicest memories that I'll have of this Christmas

Thank you Andrea.  Just ... ah .... thank you!

Other pastimes of note.   Journalling.  The days of 
writing in a little pink diary with a tiny lock and key
have evolved, as have so many other creative pursuits,
into so much more.

Not just writing but also adding photos,  magazine pictures,
ephemera from daily activities,  clip art and on an on.
Being a visual person it appeals to me a lot.   I have kept
written journals in the past but these "visual" journals please
me even more.

Part written journal,  part photo album,  part art journal,
part place to keep favourite images from magazines
like Victoria that I can't allow myself to hoard,  much as
I might want to.

And for someone with a short and often faulty memory
it's a great way to remember.

And I am using up a lot of those craft supplies that are
taking up space in my craft room.

Win, win.


Here are a few of the books that I have been
reading this Fall.

Ann Bishop's "Others" series.   I've been 
collecting these books for awhile but just 
picked up the first one in October to read.
Tore through all four in no time flat.  

Fantasy,  strong characters, good story lines
that evolve through each book.   Humor.  

Book five comes out in the new year.

I'm not at all religious but I do enjoy the
Mitford books.   I own and have read them all.   
This is a nice ... wouldn't it be great if the world
and the way religion was practised was
really like this ... series of stories.  Heart
warming, comfort reading.   

Also great character building, humor and
story weaving.

English humor.   Great characters.  Perhaps a bit of a 
satire?  Or a commentary on a way of life? Gentle
love story between two diverse characters ....
one set in his own ways and not inclined to
see any other way of living or thinking.
Oh, and the love story is between two people
who are, shall we say, of a more mature age?
Nice change from the 20 to 30 year olds we
usually see in books falling in love.

Wow!!   Loved this one.   A bit of a history story,  a bit of
a love story,  a bit of a time travel story.   Could not put it

Another historical novel,  based on true events.  Did you
ever read or hear about the apartment in a Paris building
opened for the first time 70 years after it's doors were locked
at the beginning of the second world war????

The author creates a history and a backstory about what might 
have been behind this fascinating event and the people 
who might have lived there.  How the contents of the apartment 
might have related to those people.  Why it was abandoned.

Very good read.

And finally ....

My latest obsession.

I got Netflix in November.    Started watching a few 
programs and movies.   Picked out the first episode of
Downton Abbey remembering all of the hype about it 
from a few years ago.   Started watching it.   Ohhh myyy!!
I'm doomed!!!

Crushing on Matthew and Mr Bates and Tom.

And the reason that I got Netflix in the first place.
The Crown. 

Devoured it!!  

Tried to space it out.   Watch one a night or every other
night.   Just to make it last.

Yeah,  that didn't work.

Soooo,  when's the next season coming????


And that's about all from me for this time around.  If you've
read this far I congratulate you.   And thank you.

Have a great day!


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!