Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Stacy!

A little golden bird told me that today is Stacy's special day, so go on over and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Neverending Dress and Other Tales of Woe

I finally finished that dress for the OnlyChild. At times, it felt like I was never going to get it done! It had buttons and a zipper and darts and a pleat in the back and a collar. And it was supposed to be an easy pattern. Ha! I say phooey on that!

But it's done... and in plenty of time for her to wear it to school on the first day. (Now watch her decide to wear something else.)

We still need to get her a little white belt. I just tied a ribbon around the waist for the photos.

I wouldn't have picked purple poppies on a white background, but then I'm not 17. She likes it, and that's all that matters.
Mr. P and I went to the garden this morning to find that it had been raided! Oh no! The thieves dug up half a row of carrots. That doesn't bother me nearly as much as the fact that they left the little carrots just lying on the ground. They were all rubbery and inedible from being out in the sun. I guess even thieves are fussy about what they eat... and these poor little carrots weren't quite ready to be harvested yet. Sigh.
I'm off to see a play tonight, "The Seven Lives of Louis Riel", with my friend Sandi and the OnlyChild. It will be a nice evening out, I'm sure! Hope your Saturday is happy too!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where, oh where, did August go?

I can't believe it's over... August, I mean. I'm so, so sad!

I was trying to figure out where it all went so I made a calendar and added in all the days where I had something happening. The blank spaces are probably the days I slaved over 1) my final paper 2) writing learning guides or 3) the sewing machine (which can hardly be considered 'slaving'). Or maybe I just lost that day in a haze of nothing. Who knows...? What I do know is that the beginning of school is only days away and I am so NOT ready to go back to work.

Yeah, yeah... I'm getting no sympathy from all of you. Teachers have it so easy, eh?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That's so twisted!

Look at what the OnlyChild dug out of the garden the other day...

Isn't that hilarious? Three carrots caught in an embrace.

I didn't bother to thin the row and this is the result. They're delicious, even when they're all twisted!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Captured in a Jar

I spent a few hours yesterday making Peach Salsa. It's a favourite in my family and the jars are closely guarded. I have been known to give away the odd sample to people I either really like or am trying to impress (haha), but it's very rare.

Want to make your own? Here's the recipe, given to me about 10 years ago by a good friend, who obviously didn't have problems with sharing.
Peach Salsa
6 cups prepared peaches (about 12 medium)
1 & 1/4 cups chopped red onion
4 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (with most of the seeds removed)
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp liquid honey
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Blanche, peel, pit and chop peaches. Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes. Ladle salsa into sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch room at top. Wipe jar rims and put on sterilized lids. Place jars in canner with boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and cool for 24 hours.
  • This makes 3-4 jars
  • I usually double or triple this recipe and this year ended up with 13 jars of various sizes
  • You can boil your jars or put them in the oven at 200 degrees - just put them on a cookie sheet and leave them in there while you prepare the salsa
  • Boil the lids and rounds for 5 minutes to sterilize them
  • Remember, the 'pop' is a sign of success because it means your jars sealed correctly
  • This will keep for about a year, unrefrigerated - beyond that, I don't know because we never have any left after a year

Just wanted to add:

Heather at Trends and Traditions is having a giveaway that you won't want to miss. She's giving away TWO beautiful quilts. It's definitely worth your time to go over and visit her!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sewing, sewing, in my sewing room...

My poor, fried brain is having trouble following the instructions while making this for the OnlyChild...
There's just one part I'm confused about and will have to let it 'stew' in my brain for a while before I figure it out.
So, I moved onto this... .

The Bunny Hill August BOM. I had it put together a few days ago and just got around to sewing it yesterday afternoon. Love it ~ there's those cupcakes again. They're everywhere!
I also finished the Seasons of the Heart August BOM about a week ago but wanted to wait until both were done before I posted it. The apples are cute but, really, with our northern growing season, there aren't too many varieties of apples that are ready in August so I probably could have saved this theme until September. Oh well, there will be another great block next month.

And then Mr. P and I went to see a movie last night.

Public Enemies was playing at the cheap threatre. We've wanted to see this since it was released but our plans always seemed to get pre-empted by something else. It was such a good movie. I love Johnny Depp and Mr. P loves gangster-type movies, so we were both happy!
Lots to do this weekend. I'm going to give that school work another crack and hope I can make some progress on it. I'm also going to make Peach Salsa today. It's so yummy!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Regena's Giveaway

Regena at Quilt and Quilt Things is having a 100th post giveaway.

You (or I) could win all the items in the above picture, including the sweet quilt!
She'll be picking the winner on August 28, so head on over and say hello.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Al Fresco

On a warm (but not hot) summer day, such as today, I like to dine al fresco. My family doesn't understand the fascination I have with this. But since Mr. P was at work and the OnlyChild not yet out of bed, I decided to take my lunch outdoors.

I try to make it a very pleasant experience, even if it is just for me. A placemat is a necessity (I made these little birdhouse mats a few years ago specifically for use outside). A napkin, silverware and a candle. A tall, cool glass of iced green tea. Lovely!

My favourite lunch of the summer has been the 'pizza' pictured above. Made from a whole wheat pita, tomato sauce, vegetables, and a bit of cheese and toasted in the oven, it's filling, delicious and healthy.

Of course, the dogs join me outside. They can't get enough of the back yard and I don't like them to be out there without a human companion. Abby sometimes tries to escape (not as much as she used to, since she's getting older) and Derby barks at anything that moves.

Derby had the sense to stay in the shade, sitting at my feet in hopes of being fed some scraps. (No way - I don't want to encourage begging!)

Abby prefers to sunbathe. She'll sit out there panting away and will neither drink the water I set out nor come and lie in the shade. Maybe she's trying to get a tan... I don't think it's working because she's still as white as can be!
Ahhhh... dining al fresco... one of the simple pleasures in life.
This week I received three cards from my ATC swap partners. Our August theme was 'Bird Nest'. From left to right, these cards are from Stacy, Cory, and Deb. I think they're fabulous!

All of these ladies have blogs that you can visit by clicking on their names above.
I've given up on writing learning materials... not permanently, of course, since the work still has to be done. But I was getting so stressed out about it which, added to the fact that I've been sick for three weeks with first an awful cold and now the residual cough keeping me up at night, I wasn't getting much done anyway. I've decided to take a day or two off and sew the OnlyChild's dress... you know, the one I promised her at the beginning of the summer. Here's hoping the spirit of that unfinished work doesn't haunt me throughout the next couple of days and ruin the fun.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fabulous Thimbleberries Giveaway!

Just a quick little note to let you know about Karen's giveaway on Sew Many Ways. She has 216 squares of Thimbleberries fabrics up for grabs.

You'll want to get in on this one!

Monday, August 17, 2009


= the number of years I have been married as of today. I was 11 when I got married; it must be so, since I'm only 29 now haha.

And some pics from the archives... Here I am with my friends Lyra and Cheryl at my wedding shower.

With my new husband right after the wedding ceremony. I remember that was a hot, hot day - and windy, too!

Mr. P doesn't like me posting his photo, even on Facebook. (I don't even think he knows I have a blog.) So don't tell him I did this, okay?
In other news, I was recently tagged by Dogwood. I have to share six random facts about myself. I've been thinking about this for a couple of days, so here goes...
1. As you can see from above, I have been married eighteen years. And, as you can see from the post below, I have a seventeen year old daughter. She was born 4 days before our first anniversary. We work fast.
2. Although I was born in England, I have always been fascinated with France and French things. I feel at home in cities that have a French influence ~ Montréal, New Orleans, and of course Paris.
3. My biggest fear isn't death; it's getting lost. My second biggest fear is making phone calls. I hate talking on the phone!
4. At one point I planned to go to law school; I got an education degree and became a teacher instead. What I really want to be is a published author.
5. I am quite shy and it takes a lot of effort for me to be sociable in group settings. However, in front of a classroom full of kids, I have almost no inhibitions.
6. My life to-do list is so long that I'm guaranteed never to check off everything on it... and that bothers me!
So now you know... and if you want to participate in this, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Where has the summer gone?

Greetings from my incredibly messy 'sewing room', where no sewing is taking place at all this weekend.

I can feel the summer days slipping away and panic has begun to set in. As of August 25, I will no longer be on vacation. I have a meeting with a student at 9:00 that morning and, to me, that officially marks the end of summer, even though school doesn't really begin for us until September 1.

I'm scared.

My course is finished (although I'm still waiting on the final mark) but I've done very little of the real work I brought home with me. And it has to be done. Before school starts. Yikes!

I'm breakin' out the Nibs. And a bottle of wine.

But you all know I'd much rather be playing with this
and this
and the beloved Bernice.
Enough dreaming. Back to work.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quilt Shoppe Birthday Bash

It's a week of birthdays, it seems. The Quilt Shoppe is having a Second Birthday Bash.

And Rachel of p.s. i quilt is having a giveaway to help them celebrate. You could win a $50 gift certificate to the Quilt Shoppe!
Check it out...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy 17th Birthday to the OnlyChild!

My, how you've changed...
Love you! XOXO

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cupcakes and Aprons

Have you noticed... cupcakes and aprons seem to be so trendy right now. I'm not usually one to jump on bandwagons, but there's a birthday coming up in our house so...

I made this apron from Jona's pattern and, yes, it did take me less than an hour from start to finish.

I also bought this book as a gift to go with the apron.

Isn't it cute! I love the dogs...

And the garden vegetables...

And definitely the snowmen...

The OnlyChild turns 17 tomorrow. We already bought (and gave her) the BIG gift of a new lens for her camera, but she should have something to open on her day. She's taken an interest in cupcake baking lately. I think she'll like her gifts. Yes?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Unleash your inner weirdo (or views from the Folk Fest)

I've spent the better part of the last five days at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. It's been going on every summer for 30 years, but this was my first time.

It was a blast. The music was fantastic - so diverse! As someone put it, there was a great mixture of famous acts and ought-to-be-famous acts.

For the mainstage concerts, we sat on Gallagher Hill, overlooking the city centre. It has the best view of the skyline! I took a couple of photos at night with all the buildings lit up, but they didn't come out very clear. .

The OnlyChild met a new friend - a grasshopper that sat on her shoe for close to an hour, taking in the sights. She named him Harold.

In addition to mainstage shows, there are also 'workshops' where musicians hold mini concerts or get together with other artists and have a show. Steven Page was there yesterday. In case you're not familiar with him, he was the lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies. I love their music! He's pretty good solo, too, but I was really hoping to hear him do some of BNL's songs. Steven Page was the mainstage act last night, but I had already left by the time he took the stage. After 5 days, I was so tired and really needed to spend some time at home.

This is Johnny Flynn (and the Sussex Wit). What a cutie! He's 25 and looks about 17. All the young girls were crowded in the front row to watch him. That British accent would make a girl swoon!

One of the local radio stations set up a booth and they were interviewing musicians live on the air. Bela Fleck is an amazing banjo player who plays jazz and bluegrass. He has collaborated with artists from all over the world and his latest CD is a project recorded with African musicians. He travelled to African villages seeking out their best musicians. He was very interesting!

One of my new favourites is Jill Barber. She is a Canadian girl (yay!) whose songs sound like 1940s love songs. I bought one of her CDs and I'm really enjoying it. She was so sweet and beautiful. Look at her dress!

And her shoes...

I kind of fell in love with Danny Michel (don't tell Mr. P). I think I liked him best of all - he was cute (ya just wanna squeeze him), funny, great musician, very humble, and also Canadian (we have a lot of fabulous musicians!). When I went to buy his CD, there were none left. Boohoo.

There were so many great acts. Wednesday night's concert (an extra fundraiser) was headlined by Meaghan Smith, Tracy Chapman and Sarah McLachlan. I love Sarah McLachlan - her CD Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was the very first CD I ever bought and I'm still listening to it. Plus, we have the same birthday (but she's two years older than me). I couldn't get any good photos of her performing because we were too far up the hill. It was so wonderful to sit in the dark, candles lit all around us and just listen.

Other musicians that I particularly enjoyed included Joel Plaskett, Kathleen Edwards, Neko Case, Alex Cuba, the Wailers (without Bob Marley of course), Great Lake Swimmers, Patty Griffin, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Ashley MacIsaac, Niamh Parsons, Ben Sures, and the Wooden Sky.

Steve Earle was there, plus Boz Scaggs and Rodney Crowell. Oh, there were so many. Too many to list, so if you want to know more, go to the Folk Fest website.

You can click on any of the red names and you'll be taken to their webpages!

I've also noticed that the Folk Fest brings out the weirdo in people. I'm sure most of the people who attended are normal people with normal lives, but for five days in August they become old hippies or young hippy-wannabes. It's kind of fun to see.

Like this fella below with the fur cape. He was a real attention seeker! So obnoxious.

And these girls - they actually get paid to walk around like this all day. It was pretty neat. They had other costumes - birds, mermaids - but I didn't manage to get more photos of them.

And this chick, who was grooving away to the music.

I wish I'd taken more photos of the people watching the concerts. You would have enjoyed the sights!

A great time at the Folk Fest. I went with my friend Patt, who's been many times before. It was good to have someone to show me the ropes and guide me through the throngs of people (easily 15-20,000 a day). I ate delicious chicken bhoona, got a terrible sunburn, ran into a few students and former students, went barefoot all day, stayed out past midnight for four nights in a row, and thoroughly enjoyed myself!
Now I have to make up for lost time and get to work.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Giveaways X 2

My bloggy friend, Stacy of golden bird knits is celebrating her 100th post with a fantastic giveaway. You could win these ELEVEN gorgeous fat quarters...

Or three wonderful skeins of wool...

Go and visit Stacy... and tell her I said Hello!

And then, head over to see Marlene at Sipiweske Quilts who is celebrating 200 posts. She has a beautiful wall hanging, made from Moda fabrics, to give away.

There are always good things happening in Blogville!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Show and Tell

I'm soooo happy to be finished my project, and finished with the course I was taking. I rewarded myself today by taking some time off 'work' and doing some fun stuff. I didn't get much accomplished, but I'll show you what I did.

First I'd like to give you the full view of the block I made for the Bumble Beans Pixiedust Gather. I showed you a peek here a couple of weeks ago, but Victoria said it was just fine to reveal the whole block. This block pattern is called 'Lily' and I think it made good use of the three fabrics Victoria sent out. I would have liked to create something original, but there were time constraints ~ the fabric took 2 1/2 weeks to get to me and I was worried that it would take just as long (or longer) for the finished block to reach New York, plus I had my own time issues, so I got to it right away.

I joined an ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap. Our first theme ~ for July ~ was 'Hearts'. I received these gorgeous cards in the mail when I returned from San Francisco. From left to right, they are from Deb, Cory, and Stacy. I am so impressed with their creativity! Thank you, ladies!

Yesterday, I was out of bed by 4:45 am. Sounds painful, doesn't it? In fact, just as I was getting up, the OnlyChild was heading to bed after a long, hard night of yapping on the phone and playing Sims on the computer. Oh the life of an unemployed teenager during summer vacation! Anyway, I did some reading and after Mr. P had gone to work, I went upstairs to spend some time with Bernice. We've missed each other.
The first activity of the day was to finish my July Bunny Hill A Tisket a Tasket block. I had started this a while ago, but it just wasn't sitting right with me. I had three different stars up top and it looked too busy. I like this version. Of course I had to Canadianize it...

Then I made my Seasons of the Heart July block from A Legacy of Stitches. I love this watermelon design and the little ant is so cute! I had to make it a tiny bit smaller because my blocks are only 8" instead of 8.5" (I was using fat eighths for the background).

I'm ready to get going on the blocks for August... but I think I might have to go fabric shopping first. ☺ I need another 'red' for my basket. I have the perfect design in mind, which means I probably won't be able to find anything suitable.
Derby sure is glad that I'm finished my course. He's been waiting patiently by my feet as I've been reading, writing, typing, swearing.

And Abby... well, we couldn't leave her out, could we?

Have a great day!