Wednesday, 18 November 2015


We went to Lunenburg this weekend. DH took a course in stone carving with Heather Lawson. It was perfect and he came away ready to get into it. We certainly have the backyard for it and we both like that sort of thing. He has that sense of space and proportion that should serve him well. He's aiming for a turtle some day. I'm betting on one enormous and beautiful turtle. We stayed over Saturday night in a local Inn. There are 10,000 little inns in Lunenburg.

It was interesting to visit another UNESCO heritage site after spending time in Bath. The two sites have a lot in common. Both adhere to a particular type of architecture. Both are on a hill overlooking water. They have obvious pride in their physical presence and an awareness of their role as a heritage site.

I've not walked above the waterfront in Lunenburg before. You can walk the whole place in a few hours and it's worth the time. In fact, I did it several times. There are nicely placed signposts telling you some of the details of different houses. It has the biggest bandstand I've ever seen! The town has free wifi! Great to help tourists get around, and you can buy more data if you need to. In Bath I was annoyed by being unable to access an online walking tour as I was walking. It wouldn't download either. In Lunenburg I could see if Kate's was open for breakfast, and it was!

Kate's Catering and Cafe was a highlight! Just go. I used it as my base for snack and warming. Centrally located in the shopping zone.

And OOOOOH! the shopping! First, they have a Lunenburg Makery! It was so much like the Bath Makery - just like twins! Lovely little shop for makers of all things. They have a series of their own kits - many wool felt stuffed animals, etc. They carry some modern fabric, sewing and craft supplies and have studio machines for rent as well as classes. Lovely!

But upstairs and next door there is a clothing shop that makes on site some/much of their stock. Well made, simple designs, lovely fabric and good prices. $99 for a sheath dress in a beautiful yummy fabric. I found all the clothing stores to have good, well curated stock. Quality, not overpriced and much of local or Canadian origin. The home dec stores were similar. It's worth the trip. I'd have to say I liked it better than Mahone Bay (My mother just rolled over and groaned. No worries. She's done that before!).

It could be that I had no rush. Nothing could be better than 2 days to just mosey and poke your nose into nooks and crannies. It was just what the soul needs at times. I also got to hear church bells in play and as I walked by some holy building I could hear hymns being sung. At Kate's later I got to hear about the minister and how the Sunday School activities were progressing. It was like eavesdropping on a community, but in a  nice way. It was a privilege I very much thank them for.

Ooops. I've dangled a participle. And I liked it!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Shedding a Tear of Joy

Sorry about that last post. I've been thinking about it all week. Takes me right back to adolescence and all the crazy things that go through your mind then. And university, and all the things that go on there. It's a wonder we ever come out of the bathroom. It's safer in there. Why do women take so long to get ready to go out? Avoidance tactic. We would rather avoid the possibilities.

Haters gonna hate. Shake it off.

AND..... my fabulous body image is back!!!!!! Missed you baby! So glad you're back!

DH and I have been working on a joint project in the man cave. We had an old footstool in front of the fire for the cats to warm up on. Now that we have said goodbye to the last of our little ones it was time to recover and reconstruct. We cut it down in width and used the extra fabric we purchased when we purchased our fireside chairs. Now we have a footstool built for 2! Ignore the lighting. The fabric matches perfectly. DH says it could fit 2, maybe 3 cats.

DH keeps reminiscing about our feline 5. I've always left the decision about future animal commitment up to him. That's his field. Currently, with the number of cat videos I am being shown (as I write!) I expect him to start building cat toys soon. (Listen. He's laughing at cute cats again!)

Currently DH can do no wrong anyway. Bring on those cats, I say! We went to the Forum Craft and Antique Show today. I didn't think we'd get past the antiques, but I didn't think it would be me not needing to look any further! I'm checking out trinkets and china when he pops over to say "Did you see the Wilcox and Gibbs?".

I know what you're thinking. How amazing is it to have a man who not only knows the history of the bustle, but can spot an amazing antique sewing machine find? I have that man. We scooped that puppy up for a reasonable price and brought her home. I still have heart palpitations when I think of it! I almost cried, right there on the floor. I did hug the seller. He was pleased with my enthusiasm. And as usual, I scored big and DH found squat. Poor man. He's still using my PayPal account for his eBay purchases, so life isn't all that bad for him. I understand I have a tire gauge for a ModelT arriving soon. So PayPal tells me.

We also bought Robertson candies. Christmas tradition. Made in Truro, and better chicken bones than Ganong by a mile! Mmmmm. A perfect day.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

What Would Grandma Say?

Yesterday we went to a few estate sales. As usual, I find things for me, DH - not so much.  I picked up a very nice Mi'kmaq sewing basket and a cutwork linen tablecloth with only 1 corner completed. The tablecloth was in a box. I took that with me.

When I get home and flip the box over (before trashing it) I behold the best buy ever! Just think, a dress shop named for me with a real sense of style! I think I may have it framed for my makery.

After the trip to the UK my sewing space is now "The Makery". The British  have a whole thing about makers being more than sewers or crafters, but just slightly less than artists. I think. It was a very confusing conversation at the time. New concept, heavy accent - there may have been too much sugar in my coffee as well. But I do like the name 'makery'. It suits.

At the second estate sale I got 2 lots of buttons. Nothing makes me happier than sorting buttons. If you have some to be sorted, please drop them by. You will be pleased with the results. It's my zen.

I also advised some nice ladies not to pay $350 for an older model White serger. I'm sure it was a great serger in its day and still works well. But you know the threading is going to be boggling and a tune up will break $100. Really. $50 would have been fine.

I admire arty quilts. The ones that someone loads onto a huge frame and spends hours and days and weeks getting the 'loft' and the 'thread' and the swoops and swirls just right. They look amazing! I am in awe of the art form they are. But are they quilts?And what about those gorgeous 'picture' quilts where you use your sewing machine and fabric like an artist uses a brush? I could never do that. No artistic talent at all. Again, is that a quilt?

What is a quilt to you? I want mine to be built to last a few tug of wars. I want colour and design that gives your eye lots to look over. I want it to be warm and cozy and supple. Too much stitching and that supple part is gone. I like scrappy quilts. I have never purchased all the fabric for a quilt in one go and without at least a few well aged stash fabrics I'm not sure it could be mine. I like to imagine my quilts many years from now, raggedy, well loved and just a few stains from breakfast in bed.

Some people define real food as a substance your grandparents would recognize and eat. Would grandma recognize the modern quilts of today? All, part or none of what we see today? Just what would grandma say?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Important Safety Tips

I grow kale in the garden. Even the deer don't eat it. That should tell me something.

I throw it in soups and stews. It's fine there but I needed another use for my fine crop. I heard about crispy kale from the oven. You are supposed to douse it with oil and salt and then pop it in the oven to crisp up. I left off the oil and salt as we don't do those things in this house.

OMG! You need the salt and oil. I may never get that taste out of my mouth! I am currently downing a lot of frozen yogurt to restore my taste buds to a semblance of normal. Tastes like slightly burnt cardboard. Really old burnt cardboard. From grandmother's attic.

Now think about that. Oil and salt. Kale is just a carrier and excuse for the oil and salt. Beware.

Well while in the garden I also plucked the last of the broccoli. I rinsed it well and cooked it up. Looked great! First bite was excellent!

OK. I have read that you should (and I have in the past) soak your broccoli in salted water for 20 minutes before cooking. Never saw a bug. Ever.

There, in my broccoli was one well cooked caterpillar. To be more accurate, there were several. I am really hoping I got to see them all. I had that first bite while watching TV. I am trying really hard to get the broccoli taste out of my mouth now as well.

There may not be enough frozen yogurt in the world. I'm going for the maple syrup. That may help.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Home Again

And we are home.

I no longer wake up at 3:30, hungry for breakfast. Thats a relief. My eating habits are somewhat back to normal and that's a good thing, as we no longer walk 20,000 km a day.

This week we went from summer to fall. All the leaves are busy tossing themselves to the left and to the right. My garden is more of a compost pile. The deer ate the tops off everything so it's a bit of a treasure hunt out there.

I have my 2 sewing machines back from their respective 'day at the spa'. It's too hard to let them out of the house so I try to do it when I am away. They came through the experience well, with a few worn parts now replaced. Don't you wish your body was that easy? I could use some new joints and some tightening of saggy parts.

I'm sewing up the latest bag from my Swoon Vintage Collection. It's a cute bag and I need a lunch bag. It seems wrong not to have one. I have some vintage looking laminated cotton and thought it would be just the thing for the inner and outer layers. My lovely Pfaff did something I've never seen (or rather heard) it do before. It farted!

There is no other better description. As each stitch progresses through the feed dogs the cloth squeaks on the machine bed. However, it sounds just like a row of perfect little old lady farts!I am using a teflon foot and the stitches are just fine. We just fart our way through each seam.

This is new for me. Very new. Makes it hard to concentrate.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


More train today! We love the train. We even have our fav ticket agent.

Off to Bristol. We got off the train and strolled down the walk a bit to the harbour. You catch the ferry there. Neither the harbour or the ferry are like home. The harbour looks like a big river. It had the second highest tides in the world (we have the first) but they dammed it all off to control that. If they let the water do its natural thing now the city would collapse. The water pressure holds it together.

The ferry is a little open boat that pulls up, you wave them in and jump on. A young man took our money and as the boat was almost empty he spent the 20 minute ride giving us a super tour and loads of tourist info and maps, etc. worth the day right there!

We did the aquarium and the M Shed. The M is a wonderful mish mash of local history and social history. Free and very well done.

The ferry and train home was equally fun. Dinner out at a local watering hole and my first taste of sticky toffee pudding.