Monday, September 1, 2014

Ruckle Beach Anniversary Trip

Hello everyone!

It's Labour Day already! We are still negotiating with the government for a fair deal but it doesn't look promising that we will be back to work tomorrow.  My Nana called me this morning to inform me that the public is starting to side with the Premier!! Oi Vai! This labour dispute is at it's core a fight for public education.  Our provincial government wants a two-tiered system: private vs. public.  They already increased funding for private school last year and will continue to increase funding whereas decrease spending for public schools.  What a travesty for the future of BC children to not be given a fair and equal opportunity to be educated.  I could go on at length about this ideological educational warfare but I've come here today to show you some lovely photos of our anniversary bike trip to Ruckle Beach, Saltspring Island.  
Our anniversary kiss captured by a fellow cyclist
We started the trip from our doorstep and cycled 34 km to the ferry in back burning heat.  It took us about 2 1/2 hours to cycle there since I had to stop a lot to navigate with my map.  Little did we know, but my hubby was slowly being cooked! He forgot his sunscreen...silly man.  

Cycling over the Alex Fraser Bridge...frightening for me!
Once we arrived at the ferry terminal, we cooked a little more sitting in the sun for almost two hours waiting for our ferry.  There were no places for us to hide from the sun, and think this is where we got a bit of heat exhaustion from!

Our bikes with heavy gear
Finally the ferry arrived and with glee we boarded and were taken away to our destination.

One of the Gulf Islands, not sure which one

Excited hearts rapidly beating!!
When we arrived onto the island, little did we know we took the painfully LONG way to Ruckle Beach--Thanks Google Maps!!-- we noticed how many sharp and steep hills there were.  Great.  We were at this point exhausted from the sun and waiting so we took our time getting to the main town, Ganges.  After getting a few supplies, we decided to truck on and came across one of the steepest hills imaginable.  I walked my bike up.  No way I was riding it with all of our gear! At one point I felt as though I would die and looked to the idyllic places to the left and right of me for a good spot to wilt.  But we kept going on after many stops and checking the map a hundred times and many exclamations of "When will these hills stop? Are we there yet? I could die right now!!" we saw the Ruckle Park sign and we shouted at the top of our lungs with happiness.  It was downhill from there on!! Yahooooooo!!

Before the park is the Ruckle farm and here we stopped and took a few photos of the sheep and pastoral landscape. 

Tired us
We cycled into the park and was met with the most beautiful site of camps along the water.  What a perfect place to camp for a week! With renewed energy, we set up camp just before the sun went down.  That night we were given the light of the moon shining over the water, illuminating everything.  It was so bright it was as though the heavens were shining a spotlight on us all.

BC ferry crossing
My photos don't do it justice but you get the picture. 

The next day we languidly explored the area and pretty much lounged about.  

Our view from our campsite

Beautiful golden grass everywhere

We planned on going to a wee village the following day to sit down and eat a proper lunch and explore the island a bit.  We found out from the locals there that there is a ferry that takes you to Swartz Bay (on Vancouver Island) which then takes you back to Tsawwassen Ferry. Really? So we took the extra hard, break your back way to Ruckle? The trip from Ruckle to Fulford Village was an hour compared to the 4 hours of torture we endured the other way.  Well good.  Now we know a short cut!! I was enchanted with this little village and sat down to the most amazing, local around the bend, mussels I've ever ate! If you know me at all, I am a fiend when it comes to shellfish and have eaten a LOT in my lifetime.  So these were the best!!

Happy to drink real coffee and eat real food

Saved that large guy for last

When we got back to camp, we noticed that the weather had changed quite a bit and rain was on the horizon.  Uh oh.  So we put a tarp over our tent and went to bed.  In the middle of the night it began to pour and we realized we left our shoes outside!!!! URGGHHH Wet shoes are the worst things in the world! So the next day we stayed mostly in our tent then at some point, we needed to stretch our legs and we walked around the farm with wet feet.  Oh well.  It was neat visiting the Ruckle Farm house and reading the information about the family.  We also bought some yummy organic apples from the fruit/vegetable stand at the farm.  Oh, these fruit/vegetable stands are everywhere on the island.  Lots of people put their produce along the roadside to purchase and it's based on the honor system.  Cool isn't it?!!

Deer are EVERYWHERE on the island.  One even tried to get into our tent!!

Beautiful misty Arbutus trees

A foggy farmland

Ruckle farm apples

The original Ruckle Farm house

Love this bedframe!

An old singer in a sewing room

See that catnip sign? We bought some for Titus and he LOOOOVES it!! It's the best catnip ever!! Plus we bought some cookies and gobbled them up like the turkeys on the farm.  

With more rain forecast for the next few days, we decided to pack up and go home.  The fact that our shoes were still damp and stinky, made us both a wee bit grumpy.  So we left on a Thursday and took a "shortcut" trail to the farm.  That day, let me tell you, the fog had rolled in and we looked up and saw millions of tent spiderwebs all over the forest and the ground.  That and regular webs.  Pretty creepy let me tell you.  Well on the way through the path, my foot got caught on a branch sticking out and I lost balance and fell over, along with my bike falling on me.  I bashed both my knees VERY badly and my bike pedal smashed my left knee.  My hubby threw down his bike into the spider infested bush, and got my bike up.  It was a very painful return home.  Even the turkeys were curious about me and pecked my bike while I was given first aid.  

We decided to bus it to the skytrain since I could barely walk and today, my left knee is still in pain.  I probably should've gone to the doctor's. Oh well!

Total amount cycled on our way there: 100km!!

We enjoyed our adventure to Saltspring Island and we will be back, the shorter way of course!!

Thank you for bearing with me to this point.  I know it is a lengthy post.  Next post will be all about stitching and my upcoming blogaversary!

Hugs to all


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Prim Finish

Hello everyone!

There is finally a finish to share with all of you.  My very first Prim finish!! I had a freebie chart from Primitive Bettys from some time ago and finally stitched it up during our anniversary camping trip (more on that in another post!).  I am pleased with the finish and worked messy stitches around the border to give it that prim look.  

I stitched it on Old Salem linen with WDW threads charcoal and olive, which I used for the key and the "flowers" on the word Crow.  Stitching it made me feel like Autumn is around the corner, which it is! The days are still warm here but with that fall scent in the air.  

I have 3 other finishes I am still working on, adding trims and what not, so I will post photos of that shortly.  Here's a sneak peak to the backs.

As for stitching, Sarah Chapple has been a wonderful sampler to work on.  I probably have said this a lot! Well, she has been a pleasure to stitch so why do anything else right?! So I finished adding some fancy birds and am currently "painting" in the red on the house.  It's great to work on in the evenings when we watch a show as I don't have to count or concentrate that much.  

Before our anniversary trip, I met up with Melissa from Words and Blooms.  We had a lovely time together and she showed me the most wonderful sewing store, Spools of Thread, where I had to get a few pieces of the delicious fabrics just because! Melissa has been on a sewing kick and is making really beautiful tops and tunics.  She started another blog called A Closet Full of Posies, great name by the way Melissa!  Do check it out and see the fantastic clothing she is making!  I love meeting up with Melissa, having a good chat and poking about Vancouver. 

Spy the Titus fluff?

I managed to sneak in the same cat fabric but on white for Melissa as a little gift for her.  She gave me an OTT light as she had an extra lying around and I've been using it to stitch at night.  Wow does it make a difference in seeing what I'm doing!! Thank you so much my dear!!!

Who here remembers an old HAED pattern I started stitching a few years back? Tea Bath Fairy! Well, I dusted her off an added in a bunch more pink to the cup, leaving the metallic threads to fill in later.  

Since I'm on a buying fabric kick (for no apparent reason), I bought some fabric from Terri, Dixie Sampler.  She shipped it so quickly and sent a sweet little card along with the package. She has been dyeing some lovely linens to purchase too, although they are all sold out since many of the members from the facebook Prim Society group have been buying them up like hotcakes!! Hopefully next time I can get my hands on some of her linen!!

Watch for a post on our Ruckle Beach anniversary trip! I thought I'd devote a post to that instead of making this a super long post.  

Happy stitching, knitting, crocheting, making, sewing, everything!!


Friday, August 1, 2014

BBD SAL Finish and Stitching

Part Two of the August 1st posts.  

Onto stitching! On our last Porpoise Bay trip, I put in the last few stitches in the BBD SAL sampler.  I was pleased to finish it and proud that I stuck with the eyelets! It took me awhile, but I certainly have become quite the expert with eyelet stitching! Here's the original photo from the campsite.

Outdoor photo of my finish
Some ironed, close-up photos.

It was a wonderful SAL to be part of.  Thank you Barb and Alma for releasing this lovely SAL!!

I made some progress on Sarah Chapple.  She is such a pleasure to stitch.  I just can't believe how large she really is!! I always choose massive projects but I need to keep at them and make progress!!

Love the little satin stitched pot under the chained fence!

Little pots and birds still to be added!
I'm so glad to say that my little stitched box gift I made for the lovely Carol, from Stitching Dreams, arrived and she was happy to receive it.  It took me awhile to get it finished since for some reason, none of the stores I visited, had boxes that would fit the design I stitched for her.  Thankfully, one dollar store had a box the right size, so I was able to finish it off and mail it to her.  We have developed a lovely relationship over the years, like so many of you, and I was happy to make it for her.  I hope to make more little gifts for others in the next little while!! 

BBD design stitched on 36 ct. Abecedarian linen with GAST threads

I also made a bit of a belated birthday gift for dear Vickie.  It was a little tea cup cozy, some tea and a pink thread, since she loves pink so much! I had to laugh when she said that her daughter took the tea cozy and put it around little Henry's neck! I never thought of it like a dog collar, but that girl has got something there! Maybe I should make some crocheted dog collars instead of teaching!! Probably would do better than I am now! LOL!! I had to borrow Vickie's photo from her blog since I forgot to upload one of mine.

Stupidly, while we were on strike and not making money, I had ordered some stash....seriously stupid me.  Why I did this, I don't know.  Not sure if we will be working in September so I probably have to start looking for a new job.  Really not sure of what the outcome will be.  But look at what I got! Even though I can't afford it, it's really pretty.  I got a bunch of new cottons to make some new cozies and mats to possibly sell at a craft fair from Loveknitting.  Such great service and free shipping over $50 for Canada!! Can't beat that!

On our Porpoise Bay trip, we went to Carolanne's Quilt shop in Gibsons and I got a few little fat quarters for cheap.  Nice for finishing!

Then Needlecraft Corner had and anniversary sale..uh oh! So I ordered a bunch of threads for a sampler, some linens and some mystery NPI silks that I don't know what design they are for.  I can't remember why I got them.  I had copied and pasted the list from 123stitch so I know it was for a's a mystery for me. 

Two of those charts are from Brenda Gervais' With Thy Needle and Thread.  I might save these for next year once I'm done Sarah and JCS, but I need to devote more time to stitching every day, not once in awhile!! 

So I'm done for stash for a LONNNNNGGGG time! I don't need anymore at all, unless it's the odd thread or so, but it's so hard to resist those new charts that come out!! 

Here's a little photo of my dear stashaholic Titus, owning the threads.  He loves it when mom pulls out the stash!!

I've haven't caught up with blogs and feel uber guilty about I hope to spend some time tomorrow morning visiting people since I miss you all!! 

Hugs to you all!!