Monday, August 31, 2009

A change of view

meant my family and I enjoyed scenes like this for the past few days. I brought along my knitting and spent some time thinking, knitting and relaxing.
Here's one sock complete in my Riverside/Fireside pair.

We had a lovely family getaway. The weather was perfect for the whole trip. A lovely treat was finding the campground empty when we arrived and less than 6 other campsites taken when we left. It felt like this slice of back country was our own. ;o)
We did encounter a variety of wildlife during our adventures. Most species we see often enough to enjoy but not be surprised at seeing. There was one exception on this trip. This black bear was a rare sighting for us. Especially given the close proximity. I just wasn't fast enough with my camera to get a great shot. We met this fellow on the road on the way into the wilderness to our campground. Then on our last morning, we had another up close visit while we were having breakfast in our campsite. Our sons were still asleep in the tent when the bear passed us by.
Thankfully, this black bear seemed happy to go on his way each time we crossed paths. I stayed in the vehicle to take these shots of him. I really wished I had clearer photos to share, but I have a healthy respect for wild creatures and wasn't about to push limits to get a National Geographic worthy photo. ;o)

The hardest part about having a wonderful time is returning home, but I'm feeling more rested and recharged after our little break in the woods. Time spent in Nature leaves me inspired and so joyful to have been there with my family. A change of view was exactly what I needed!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

She's gone

and I knew that it was going to happen, but it still seems surreal. Edith has been torn down along with her "sister", Edwina (the old house next door). We lived in Edith for nearly a year and spent our last night in her, July 1st. Now all that remains of either old house is a quickly disappearing pile of rubble.

This is the front of Edith, as you walk towards the front door (which is just past the brick archway - hidden by tree branches in this photo). The window on the top right is where I had my sewing space and the spot where those annoying pigeons had nested.

Heavy equipment loading up the remains of those two houses, Edith & Edwina.

Edwina - the beautiful old house that Edith was a neighbour to.
Above is a shot of Edwina, the house that stood to the left of Edith. Both houses were about one hundred years old and I liked to think of them as sisters. ;o) The craftsmanship that went into these grand old girls was impressive and makes me wish I had seen them in the better days of their youth.

View of downtown Calgary, as seen from the second floor of Edith.

This is a view of downtown from the second story window of Edith. It was from this window that I watched fireworks on July 1st. Somehow, watching the fireworks display on our last night in Edith, seemed fitting.

Here's the east side of Edith. My favourite windows were located on this side of her. The windows on the landing of the second floor staircase were my favourite windows because they opened inwards to let in fresh air and marvelous light throughout the day. I used to sit on the stairs just to look out these lovely old windows.
Right next to this side of the house, is a strip of city owned land, with a paved path and many trees. Even though there is a city sidewalk running alongside this small "park", many people chose to use the paved pathway through the trees. I would see children use it on their way home from school. Business types on their way home from work would also pass by on this path. The path through the trees was also a favourite with dog walkers and joggers.

The paved path is still there, along with the trees as you can see in the bottom right corner of this recent photo.

This photo shows the view of that sidewalk and the paved path through the trees from inside Edith on her second story.

It seems strange to see those trees without Edith in the background. Stranger yet to comprehend that I once lived in that old house and now there's no evidence of her existence, except rubble.

I realize I'm waxing a bit nostalgic. Edith was by no means a perfect house and I'm not trying to idealize her. My memories of her will always be a bit mixed because of all that happened in our lives during our time living in her. It was a challenging year for my family and Edith did add to some of the challenges. Yet, she was also a haven for us, a place where we learned more about strength, character and love. She sheltered us, the best she could, and despite some of the inconveniences she provided, I'm glad we had the experience of living in her. I knew that the day I left her, I would not see her standing again. I walked through each room and said my good-byes and told her that I was grateful for my time in her. She's gone, but the lessons I learned while living in Edith remain and are shaping my future.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Closer to quilting

this new favourite of mine. The quilt top went together so quickly - the pattern is from the book the Modern Quilt Workshop - the slowdown in finishing began with finding a backing fabric. I decided to use an all white sheet for the backing. Then I discovered a flaw in the fabric that I couldn't work around. My solution? Take some inspiration from Amandajean's quilting expertise and add a pieced strip into the solid backing. Problem solved!
I just need to decide on my machine quilting. The tried and true stippling? That would be easy. Yet, I'm leaning towards trying some long, curvy lines instead. I'm becoming too predictable by using stippling as my quilting style default. The next hurdle? Coming up with something to use for the binding! ;o)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Birthday Bliss

Thanks so much for all your lovely birthday wishes. I had a wonderful day celebrating. Chocolate was consumed (aren't you shocked! ;o) and I actually spent the afternoon sewing (another surprise!). For the sheer fun of it, I brought out these scraps and just started sewing them randomly together. At this point, I had dwindled down most of the tiny scraps and was incorporating larger ones into my freestyle project.
Here's what I accomplished: yardage made entirely from that pile of wonderful scraps.

My intention was to use the scraps as is, as much as possible, which meant I wasn't making a certain block style or pattern. I wanted to make a piece of patchwork yardage. Sewing freestyle patchwork is like magic. You just keeping adding on pieces and seeing something unique take shape.
Today, I've been measuring my "yardage" to see if my piece is large enough or if I need to add some more scraps to it. You see, I do have a project in mind - despite the random way I went about my patchwork.
I just love all these happy colours together! What a lovely way to enjoy my birthday.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Thirty-nine years ago today, I celebrated my very first birthday.

Today, marks another birthday milestone. I am now officially a member of the 30:10 club. (Here's my initiation photo... two way mirror to the rescue in this self portrait).

One year ago today, my family and I arrived at dawn, in a new city, after driving through the night. This was the I first time I laid eyes on Edith, the one hundred year old house, that was to be my home for the next 10 1/2 months. I cried. (I was so overtired from the move, the drive and then to discover how dirty and smelly our new "digs" were. It didn't make for a very happy birthday. )
Note to self: Don't move on your birthday.

Today, I'm still getting settled into Woodrow, the upgrade from Edith, and I'm happy, well-rested and looking forward to enjoying my birthday. ;o)

Today, I finally have some sewing to share! Check out my new lounge pants, made from a vintage sheet. Oh, how I love 100% cotton - especially the softness that comes from vintage goodness.

Today, I'm going to skip all housework, eat some chocolate, do some quilting, drink some tea, relax and enjoy being home with my family. Here's hoping your 'today' is filled with wonderfulness too!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I accept rejects.

That is, I've accepted the plants rejected as "unsaleable" by the garden shop where I've been working. ;o) It started with this one damaged dahlia plant. The poor, sad, thing had been knocked around and was in miserable shape. I volunteered to take it home and look at my reward...

This is the first bloom of what promises to be many more on this now healthy beauty. Keeping with my waste not, want not tendencies, I salvaged this ceramic pot from a house slated for demolition (not Edith, in this case, but another house). The dahlia and pot were a great addition to the deck of our new digs. This is the only plant I had with me during our time living in Edith.
The next couple of photos show the little bit of garden I have in our new yard. It's just two small strips along the deck in the backyard. There wasn't much already planted, so I brought home more "rejects" from the garden shop to fill the areas in.
I brought home worn out looking annuals and some not-so-pretty perennials. All for free. Yes, the plants were a motley and raggedy looking bunch with a varied colour scheme, but I don't mind one bit.

The "rejects" seem to be thriving and I couldn't be happier. I'm keeping an eye out for any more candidates that are deemed too ugly to sell. ;o)

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