Sunday, September 28, 2014

Love and Ceramics

Autumn has arrived and brought with it rain and cooler nights, although we had the sun come for a visit this weekend which I am thankful for.  This past week has been quite an adjustment to waking up in darkness at 5:30 and coming home as the sun fades. It's great to see the kids again and the staff although all of us feel overwhelmed with the amount of work to do.  At times I need to remind myself to breath and prioritize my work.  

The other weekend, I went to see my old high school friend, Niki Holmes, at a neighbourhood artisan fair.  Niki went to Emily Carr for design and specializes in ceramics.  She makes the most beautiful cups, pots, plates and the sweetest buttons!! I love her design aesthetic and colour choices, which are right up my alley.  Her signature is a little turtle which she whimsically adds to the inside of her cups. Take a look at her lovely works that I had to get for myself.

Spy the turtle?

Beautiful colour that reminds me of the sea on a stormy night

Turtle buttons!

I have a few ideas for these buttons already!
I love to collect my artistic friends' creations and wish I had more capital to buy more! Niki was a sweetie and threw in the beautiful brown flower buttons for me! Thanks Niki!!

Onto some stitching.  I finished Love for the Sheep SAL with Sarah, Kaye and Lija.  I'm not sure how I will finish these Sheep Virtues but most likely it will be a pillow finish.  I have a few ideas floating around in my head.  I might try to use some burlap string for a border like in the photos, or something entirely different.  The lovely Ann from Beadlework sent me the whole collection! Thank you so much Ann for your generosity!!

I picked Kindness as my next virtue in memory of Cathey who passed away a year ago yesterday.  Thinking of her dear Junior and husband and sending them prayers and hugs.  Still miss her kindness and her emails.  She touched so many of our hearts and won't be forgotten.  

Signing off with my fall display and a picture of me and my new haircut.  I felt I needed something easy to work with in the mornings.

Cheers and hope to catch up a bit with all of you.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Good News!

The strike has ended and we are back to work!!


The deal is a bit crappy but it's a step in the right direction.  I won't go into details, but the government still can't seem to fund public education but can find the funds for ridiculous projects and roofs that cost 500 million dollars.  Sigh.  Oh well.  

Back to work I go....feeling happy yet stressed too.  The new position I have is a bit daunting and there are a million and one things to do.  So I need to prioritize.  There are only so many hours in the day and I can only do what I can do! 

Stitching will now be taking a bit more of a back seat.  I will try to find the time to stitch in the evenings and weekends.  

I did manage to get some stitches into the Sheep virtue "Love".  I should be able to finish it tonight.  Kaye from Kitten Stitching is also joining us in stitching the virtues.  She was so sweet to offer the charts to me but Ann already did! Dear Mouse too offered charts, bits and bobs, and Mel from Wooley Thoughts offered to help me out in the stash department.  I sincerely thank you all for offering me all sorts of things during that most stressful time and to all of my readers who have supported me too.  I'm very blessed to have such lovely stitching friends from around the world.  Once I get my feet steady on the ground and my head wrapped around my new part of the job, I will be hosting a giveaway, but most likely in the form of gift cards....takes me less time!! 

Oh pictures...almost forgot!

Silly Titus "hiding" under my dresser....playing hide and go seek but I found him!! Such a silly furball.

Hugs to you all!!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Feeling the Love

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my last post.  It means a lot to me to have your support. Still no news on going back to work.  The union and the government have been negotiating all weekend but nothing has been reported yet.  So I continue to keep busy and am trying to be positive.  I finally put some trim on the last pillow I sewed up when I thought to myself, wow, I take a long time to finish my stitches.  I should get more into the habit of finishing my projects right away instead of taking a long time to get them done! 

I hand sewing the cording to the pillow since I wouldn't have the first clue how to sew it with the machine.  I like how I finished a February stitch in! Yes, I do take my time! 

Now I really need to work on my Christmas gifts instead of starting new projects, but hey, that's what stitching ADHD is all about.  I decided to join Sarah and Lija in a Sheep Virtues SAL.  Sunday is the post date but Mondays should be fine as well.  The girls have all the charts, but I just have Love! So I began that on the weekend and managed to work on the border. The goal is to put in about 100 stitches in which I think I surpassed. I'm stitching it on 40 ct. Natural linen with DMC threads.

Made some more progress on Bitter Flower Sampler although somewhere along the way, the count is off on the top alphabet but I can't seem to find where I messed up.  It doesn't make that big of a difference so I'm not worrying about it.  

Sarah Chapple's house is nearly completed.  I have a bit more filling in to do then I'll be finishing the birds on the left tree and working more on the border. 

I was thinking back to when I last posted about my granny stripe blanket, and I think it was in May or June.  Well, summer feels like it is still here, hot yet cool in the evenings.  So I have been working away again on the stripes.  I've also crocheted a little gift for my mom-in-law but I think she looks at my blog, so I can't post anything yet until she receives the package.  Anywho, here's Granny!

Those bright colours are going to be perfect to work with when the rain comes.  Nothing like a bit of cheer inside when it's miserable outside!

The other day we went down by the river and decided to try to fly our kites.  With a lot of fiddling with string and sticks, we managed to get one of our kites up.  You know the best kites are the dollar stores ones.  The kites we've bought from shops tend to not fly very well and often break.  Best to spend a dollar and not worry about loosing or breaking the kite.  

It looks so pretty against the azure sky.

Speaking of blue, here's a winky photo of Titus blue eyes.

Really not much else to report other than I am crossing my fingers and toes for a work resolution soon.  Please pray for that!



Friday, September 5, 2014

Purely About Stitching

Hello everyone!

I promised a post dedicated to stitching, so here it is.  With the world as it is, in turmoil, and our provincial government piercing the hearts of teachers, I try to find a bit of solace in stitching. Although I have enough BAP's to work on, I started a new design I had kitted up some time ago.  Also, I added some finishing touches to my pillow finishes and worked on JCS 1707 since it was calling to be stitched.  Funny how some projects are like that...calling from my WIP pile: "Work on me! Work on me!!" So without further ado, enjoy a smattering of stitchy photos.

La-D-Da's O Birdy finished with chenille trim

Primitive Hare's Litha freebie as a prim finish
JCS 1707 Progress

Birds of a Feather's Bitter Flower Sampler started

Tea Bath Fairy cup...kreinik filling in...a little each day!
Did I title the post "Purely About Stitching?" Yes I did, but forgive me for I just have to show you these lovely photos of some late summer flowers, two of my favourite people (my mom, dad, sister and brother are too!), and my fluffball.

Gorgeous pink dahlias

Sunflower ripe with seeds

My two favourite people, Nana and Hubby

Furball Titus giving me morning love eyes although they are a bit googly
Some things are on my mind that I feel I need to say.  My blogoversary is coming up September 12th and I wanted to do a giveaway.  However, with the strike as it is, I cannot afford to send anything right now.  All of my husband's pay chq is going to rent, food and bills.  That's it.  Nothing left for anything else.  When the strike has ended, and we get a contract, I thought about celebrating with a giveaway then.  How about that? I've so enjoyed blogging over the past 4 years and getting to know so many of you.  Our little blogging community provides us the opportunity to stitch together worldwide, share our passion for crafts, and best of all, supporting each other through the good and bad times in our lives.  I thank each and everyone of you who have sent me an encouraging word, prayer, good thought through everything in my life, whether it be stitching related or not.  It's a great solace to know people care and have big hearts, particularly when the world looks so bleak.  Please accept my deepest gratitude for you, especially those who take time out of their day to comment and to those who enjoy reading my posts.

Hug to you all


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