Monday, August 26, 2013

Smuggler's Cove and Porpoise Bay

Finally I am posting the photos of my camping/cycling trip.  It seems so long ago that I was staring out at a crystal clear blue, green ocean with starfish clinging to rocks.  The heat of the day with the soft moss under our feet is now a fleeting memory as the days get cooler.  Such is summer; that glorious time of year which vanishes swiftly, vapor-like as it wafts by mingling with fresh smells of Autumn.

We spent two days at Porpoise Bay enjoying the estuary, the town of Sechelt and the sun.

A jelly fish reflecting the sun

A view of the Bay  at the estuary early in the morning

Beautiful water-smoothed rocks in Sechelt
After a few days at Porpoise Bay, where we felt the peace disturbed by a city that had followed us there with its noise and boisterous crowds, we decided to leave for a more remote location.  So we stocked up on water, since Smuggler's Cove did not have any running water, and began our journey starting with a killer hill.  We conquered the hill with shaky legs and coasted all the way down to the Cove in under 2 1/2 hours. 

Beware the bears!!
To get to the campsites, we hiked about 1.5kms in.  There was no way we could ride our bikes there as the trail was full of people and rough terrain.  There were a few black swamps with boardwalks to get across and at one point, we tried riding across.  The boardwalks are narrow and only had railings on one side. So as I was riding across, my handlebar touched the side railing and my bike ricocheted off the railing and I nearly fell into the swamp...gear and all! After that, I walked my bike across those boardwalks.

When we reached came to the campsite area, of which consisted of three spots, we saw the cove where all the smuggling of rum happened over 100 years ago.

Smuggler's Cove has a seedy past. Now it's a marine park and enjoyed by day hikers and campers like us. 

Larry Kelly charged Chinese labourers $100 to smuggle them in the US.
Excited about our adventure we pitched our tent in the furthest campsite from the trail. 

Our little home away from home
Once set up, we followed a trail behind our campsite and saw hundreds of tent-like webs cradled in the trees. 

At the end of the trail, it opened up to an azure paradise, replete with starfish, moss and arbutus trees.  Stunned, we sat in silence, soaking up the glory of the cove.

Coming up to Paradise
Rocky crags
Hundreds of starfish huddling together waiting for the tide to come in
Our mossy seats for two days

Arbutus tree
The only deciduous tree that sheds it's bark and keeps it's leaves
Ignore me...look at that water!!

Beautiful forest moss

Close up of the moss
Oh how I wish I was there again!!

Onto the animals at night part.  So our first day there we heard some loud sounds coming from the bushes.  My heart literally stopped as I thought a bear would come crashing through the bush.  It wasn't a bear, it was some squirrel dropping it's nuts from the treetops.  Or so we thought.  The squirrels there are really tiny, and these sounds were quite loud and too large for a tiny squirrel to make.  Throughout the day, we heard more odd something was gnawing on skulls and making weird wheezing, gurgle sounds.  That night, I slept like a log.  The advils helped with that.  My husband, however, didn't.  He told me in the wee hours of the morning that something was circling our tent! EEK! What the heck could it be?  That night, after being bitten to pieces by the bloody mosquitoes...they ate me but not him! BAST***S is what I called them, I was lying down with my book when I heard a thump jump from the log near our tent close to our tent.  It definitely WAS NOT a squirrel.  I stopped breathing.  Literally.  I wanted to hear what it was.  We heard something pitter-patter over our tarp beside the tent.  Then it went to our kitchen area and our pots rattled a bit.  Hmmm.  My hubby pulled out his harmonica and started playing it frantically.  Our thoughts were that the noise would scare whatever it was away.  Well, a few minutes later, something touched my foot.  I SCREAMED!! So loudly I swear people in Vancouver could hear.  My hubby said "Talk to me! Talk to me!!" I said quietly "Something touched my foot!"  Out came the harmonica again and our axe and knife.  LOL! Like that would help us win a fight with a bear! It definitely wasn't a bear because bears don't touch feet lightly or pitter patter over tarps.  All night this animal circled our tent and my hubby said that it touched his head at times.  EEK! Luckily, it was our last night there since we ran out of water.  So not to leave you all in suspense, we figured out about a week ago that the animal was.....wait for it............


They do gnaw on bones and sound like a kazoo!! Thankfully that's all it was.

Okay, back to the Cove.  We left bright and early in the morning.  As we passed the swamp, beautiful kingfishers swooped and chased each other in the morning sunlight.  It was magical.  No photo could capture that beauty. 

The morning sun
This photo was taken the night before. 
Blinding sun
the dead trees
The coolest bright green algae in the black swamp waters

It was heavenly and quite the adventure.  I don't know if I will camp over night there again.  My mom forbids it! My hubby thinks that he can save us from a silly.  Anyways, we ventured back to Porpoise Bay for our final few days.  The weekend was noisy and more crowded than before.  The 200 cyclists came and took over the campground.  Thankfully Sunday they left and we had a peaceful anniversary floating in the Bay and eating clams.  I've never had fresh clams before and I have to say there were the yummiest shellfish I have eaten yet!!

Thank you for getting this far.  It actually was nice taking the time to write about our trip as it transported me back there for a time.  Tomorrow I'm off to school to set up my classroom and get things organized.  I have a lot of crafty photos to show you all but I may leave that for another day.  I noticed that my 3rd Blogoversary is coming up September 12th but that's a bad time for me as it's a hectic time for teachers.  I'm really not sure what I want to do.  I know that I will have 3 prizes, but what those will be...who knows.  

Hugs to you all and thank you for visiting!!


Monday, August 19, 2013

IHSW That Was All About Sewing

I'm back!!! There are a ton of photos I want to share with you all from my trip but I will hold off and keep this post all about the crafty frenzy I had this weekend.  I am slowly going through posts and hope to be caught up this week if I'm lucky, since this is the last week before I head back to school...sigh.  Summer's end always makes me a wee bit sad.  But this weekend, I tried to forget all about the onset of school and cooler temps and got crafting.  I went on a fabric shopping trip with my cousin-in-law gf and we spent about 3 hours at Dress Sew. A fabric lover's heaven.  While she picked out funky and fun fabrics with chickens and horses for her child to be, I found some wonderfully soft yarns on sale for $1.99! There were only three colours so I scooped them up.  I also found two pretty fabrics that I know I will use at some point.  

The packaged fat quarters are from the Quilting Shop on the Sunshine Coast
Let me back up a bit on my two big projects I have started.  While we were on our vacation on the Sunshine Coast, there is this marvelous quilting shop that we have cycled by a number of times and I always exclaim while cycling by, rather loudly since we are on bikes, "I really want to go there baby!!!" To which my baby replies (for the past 4 years) "Next time!! Let's just get to the ferry!" So this time, as we had a bunch of time to kill waiting for the ferry, I finally got a positive response to my query..."Let's go to that quilting store you've always wanted to go to." YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! So off we went and I was giddy with delight at the selection of fabrics.  Let me back up yet again.  Before my vacation, I read Nicola's post about her jelly roll quilts that she made and linked a video about the jelly roll races.  I was hooked; line and sinker.  I wanted to make one!! So I started researching jelly rolls and found that Vancouver, as massive as it is, doesn't have quilting stores.  SERIOUSLY VANCOUVER... GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!!!!! Anywho, I was going to order a pretty jelly roll online from Moda, but with shipping it would've cost a lot.  Back to my trip....while I was browsing the amazing quilting store, where there were machines on "sale" for $8000!!, I asked the lady "Do you have any jelly rolls?" To which she replied, "Why yes we do!" And showed me...GASP...the Moda jelly roll I was yearning for online!! Yahoo! It was on sale too.  So I looked to my hubby and said "Pretty please!! I will make us a fabulous quilt!" And he said "Yes!" Wow...I should've gone for more if he was in such a carefree mood. 
Pretty Moda strips laid out - Double Chocolat
Back to present time, IHSW it began with a sewing Saturday with my cousin. I unraveled the jelly roll and started sewing the pieces together.  It takes a lot longer than an hour to do since I'm not even finished sewing all the parts together.  

Disorganized mess makes me panic!

The strips sewn together in a jumble.  I can't stand jumbles and even though the ladies on the video say "Don't worry, this is not a fussy quilt" I had to iron them all out and organized the strips....I'm too particular with details as my cousin and husband say!

So nice and organized!

Much  better!! Here's where I'm at now.

So far I have 4 panels sewn and I'm going to make it into 8 panels tonight.  Maybe16 if my back doesn't give me too much pain.  The red and brown beneath the panels are going to be my backing and front panels to frame the quilt.  We picked that out today and the lady at Fabricland was AMAZING.  She helped me with the dimensions, the colour choices and even drew me a design.  I love her!! 

After researching quilting online, I have decided once all the parts are together, I will hand quilt it.  Since I cross think the rocking hand motion will be fine for me.  I like stitching in hand at times and I want this quilt to be really special. 

Guess what I never knew what this object is for and feel silly admitting it to all of you... a THIMBLE! It's for quilting!! AHAHAHA!! I always thought it was for embroidery or darning or something.....never for quilting...silly me. The rubber thimble is for your index finger!! My Nana has one that I used to play with as a child. 

To all you quilters...if you have any tips or tricks for me that have helped you quilt please pass them along to me! I will collect them all and print a copy to refer to.  

Onto the second big project.  Remember way back when I talked about granny squares and attempted to make one? Well, I've been wanting a decent selection of yarns that are of the same weight? consistency? to make one really large granny blanket.  I'm not making several little squares but one massive one.  Check out Bunny Mummy's large granny. I spent quite late last night trying different methods and was getting frustrated with the differences in patterns.  My eyes were hurting so I put it down to work on it another day.  

I think it looks okay.  The lady's pattern I'm following reverses the square and I'm not sure if I like that method as the chain stitch gets a bit wonky.  Again...I'm toooooo picky and precise!

Stitching? Yes, I did some of that too! I finished BBD's Bluebird as a Redbird and stitched a Hannah motif.

Stitched on 32 ct. Platinum Belfast with CC's Cupid

I don't think I'll have Hannah done by the end of summer...possibly September.  That's my new goal.  I am also stitching a little RAK for someone and picking out three more to make.  If only I had more time!! 

Last but not least, before we bought the quilting fabric, we browsed through the Salvation Army and found this great hardcover book for $2.99 on Traditional Samplers! Great book at a great price!

I love this sampler and hope to make it one day.

I miss everyone and am looking forward to reading your posts and catching up.  Thank you all for your lovely comments on my last few posts.  I haven't been very diligent with responding but I mean to!!  I'm always inspired, uplifted and grateful for each and every one of you!!

For my next post as a little teaser....Clams, nocturnal animals circling our tent, and bears....


edited to add details for Margaret and Missy Tannebaum :D

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hannah's Crosses

Thank you all for your supportive comments on my tutorials.  No tutorial today, just a quick Hannah update before we head off on our camping/cycling trip tomorrow.  I plan on taking a couple of little smalls for me to work on as I really enjoy stitching outside while I hear the birds sing!  I've been working on Hannah pretty steadily and had one whole day of stitching...but then I had bad tension headaches afterwards.  Anyone else get those from a long bought of stitching? I really enjoyed stitching Hannah's crosses and the little bird motifs but now that I am close to the finishing line, I'm already thinking about my next sampler.  I have about 9 more blooms, a couple of motifs and the 1 over 1 stitching to do.  I hope to finish it by the end of summer. 

I had to post a photo of Titus because I forgot to the past couple of posts.  We are going to miss our big baby but he will be in good hands of our neighbour.  

Take care everyone!