Thursday, August 30, 2012


My new Hibiscus!  Swirly pink and white with a dark burgundy centre.  I have to plant this today.  I think it will become one of my favourites.

In my walkabout this morning I noticed these morning glories climbing all over the spent phlox.  This is a volunteer.  Such a pretty pink colour!  I am glad it choose to grow in my back garden.

And last but not least is a pink hexie that I managed to finish last evening.  It's fitting that I made a pink one.  Perfect for this pink week.

We have a long weekend coming our way.  Monday is Labour Day.  The last long weekend of the summer.  It's going to be a hot.  Then on Tuesday it's back to school.  Where did the summer go?

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Busy Week - Not Much Sewing

It's the last unofficial week of summer.  School starts on Tuesday.  I have been busy helping my DD set up her classroom.  Actually I didn't do much, but I did sort some books and assemble a couple of bookcases.

I also made another batch of Salsa - 7 jars.  Boy!  Is that stuff good!  And I canned 10 more jars of fruit cocktail.  This will be all for now.  I will make some apple sauce when the apples are ready in a few weeks.

Last Sunday I was 'talking' to Marilyn from Marilyn's Maze.  We both have been kind of slack in the finishing department.  So, we challenged each other to a UFO completion thing.  At least one quilt will be finished every month!  I'm already working on my first UFO.  Can't wait to show you when it is done.  I am sure Marilyn and I aren't the only ones having this finishing problem.  Anyone want to join us?  Let me know.

Last year I bought this beautiful perennial hibiscus.  I just love it!  At the moment it is rewarding me with lots of colour!

Yesterday we went over to the garden centre and I found another perennial hibiscus in a swirly pink and white with a dark pink centre.  It was on sale, so I bought it.  I will be planting it this afternoon.  There are not many new buds on it, but I am hoping that I can show you a photo of a blossom soon.

Now I am off to the library and then to an end-of-the-summer luncheon with my quilting friends.   We're having Thai food.  I can already taste the mango salad!  Yummy!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's Flowers

One hexie flower was finished this week.  Still working on the white background hexies.  They are so boring!

I was very busy.  Last Thursday my DD and I went to the AGO to see the Picasso Exhibit.  I enjoyed it very much!  Afterwards we went for lunch at a favourite Vietnamese restaurant.  It was a long day and it took me several more days to get over the exhaustion and pain in my legs.  But all is well now.

On Saturday we had a Birthday party for my brother at my DD's house.  He was 52 years old.  Good food, good company and good weather.  It is cooling down a bit.  I am enjoying it.

Today I am having the Tuesday Morning Quilters over to my house.  I know it's Wednesday, but it's summer and nothing is going according to schedule - not for me anyway.  One of our members is in a rehabilitation  facility right now.  She is learning to walk again.  Gosh!  I know what that's like!  I made her a get well postcard.

On the weekend I took a photo of a White Admiral butterfly.  He was sitting on an apple that the squirrels had picked (and chewed on).

I think it's a White Admiral, but I may be wrong.  His bottom wings aren't showing.  I think that was because he was enjoying the juice from that apple so much that he had his body all scrunched up.  If anyone recognizes him (or her) as another kind of butterfly, please let me know.

Well I guess I'd better go and shower and get ready for my guests.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday's This and That

Today is Wednesday and I have one hexagon block that I have finished this week.  I have prepped a lot of the white background hexies, but still need to sew them together.

And I must tell you about the pattern I won on Barb's blog.  It's an applique featuring bird feeders and houses and baths.  So cute.  I love it.  Thanks Barb!  Can't wait to make this, but it will have to wait until I get my machine adjusted.  It keeps skipping stitches when I try to machine applique.

Speaking of machines, I found mine!  Yup, it was under there somewhere.  The sewing room is still kind of messy, but at least I can find things again.

Mimi kept me on track.  She is such a helpful kitty.  She has totally tired herself out.

 '"Meow.  Shhhhhh!  Don't disturb me.  I am pressing your fabrics."

Oh, sorry Mimi!  You are such a good little helper.

I also have an update on the Salsa I made last week.  It turned out fantastic.  I was able to can 6 jars, but two of them have already been eaten.  I think I will make some more today.  

And in my garden I have some wonderful flowers.  The first one is the perennial hibiscus that I planted last year.  It looked dead in the spring, but then some tiny green buds appeared and now it is starting to bloom.  There are hundreds of buds on the plant, so I should have some fabulous colour in the coming weeks.  The flowers on this plant are the size of dinner plates.

And here is a sunflower that the squirrels have not found yet.  I love the brown and orange colours in this one.  I thought I had better take a photo because by this afternoon they will probably notice it and cut it down.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Left Over Triangle Scraps

I have been working on the 'Scrappy Stars Sew-Along' with Terry.  Here is another block.  I want to make about 4 per month instead of 2.  That way I will have a larger quilt in the end.

After making the flying geese units for Terry's block, I found that I have a lot of triangles left over.  And well, you know me, I can never see anything go to waste.  So I made this block this morning using the triangle units.  I saw it somewhere on the web.  Can't remember where.  Sorry.  Here is a photo of it.

This block has another row between the blocks to give the impression of a 9-patch in between the stars.  I rather like it, but it took me 2 hours to put the block together.  Hopefully they will go faster now that I know what I am doing.  This one is only 8 inches finished.

Monday, August 13, 2012

More Tomatoes in the Tomato Series

These little cherry tomatoes are called, 'Black Pearl Hybrid'.  I bought the plant because the photo on the tag showed a very dark burgundy, almost black cherry tomato.  But they have not lived up to their colour promise.  Although they are darker than other cherry tomatoes, they are not as dark as I would have liked them to be.  They are more burgundy at the top.

But what they lack in colour, they make up in flavour.  These are so sweet!  I love them in salads.  They are not as prolific as the tag promised.  Unless we get some nice cool, sunny weather, this plant is just about finished.

This is my smallest tomato plant.  Even though they we supposed to grow to into large sprawling plants, bearing lots of fruit in large clusters, this is what I actually have ended up with.  But if it sounds like I am complaining, I am not.  I love these little tomatoes.  They are the sweetest cherry tomatoes I have ever tasted.  And I love them.

It seems that my resident squirrels also like them.  Here is evidence that someone was snacking on one.  Those squirrels are so cheeky.  And notice, they didn't want to eat the skins.

Mimi is looking very mangy lately.  She does not want to clean herself and she hates me to brush her.  But I still love my baby.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Future Salsa

More tomatoes in my 'Tomato Series'.  These are ordinary red tomatoes - like the kind you find in the stores.  They are a variety called 'Early Girl'.  I always plant one of these because they produce ripe fruit about 2-3 weeks earlier than other varieties.  But this year it has been hot, so everything matured at about the same time.  And many of my Early Girls got cracks in them.  They are good-tasting tomatoes - don't get me wrong, but with all the other varieties, I just can't eat them all.  So these are going into a pot later today, to be made into Salsa.

Another variety that I have lots of is called 'Sweet 100'.  I love these for snacking and salads.  Another way I like to serve them is grilled with a bit of olive oil.  I put them on pasta, rice and salads or mix them with some garlic, basil and little mozzarella cheese cubes and make them into Bruschetta.  Yum!  This photo shows only a fraction of these little tomatoes that I have.  The vines are still loaded with them.  I think I will add them to my Salsa, just to use them up.

The only thing I am out of to make my salsa is some coriander and a hot pepper or two.  I am not sure when I can get out to buy some.  You see, it is raining here today.  Yes!  I said rain!  I took a photo out the front door because I had forgotten what a day of soft rain looks like.  It is cooler too!  My grass is very nice and green again.  And my Black-Eyed-Susans.  Aren't they nice and bright on this dark day?

Well, I think I am off to my sewing room.  I want to work on some UFOs.  But first I have to clean up in there.  You see, I can't find my sewing machine!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Scrappy Star Blocks for August

I completed 2 Scrappy Star Blocks for August.  This quilt along is so easy.  Go on over to Terry's blog and take a look.   You may want to join in.  I'm not kidding.  There is still lots of time.  It only takes 2 blocks per month to stay on top of things.  But I warn you.  They are addictive.

To continue with my 'tomato series', I planted some pear-shaped tomatoes this year.  I thought they were going to be regular sized tomatoes, but they are more like cherry tomatoes - maybe a bit bigger.  The plant I have is very prolific!  I have been snacking on these little, golden delicacies nonstop since they started to ripen and I still have lots, both in a bowl and on the vine.  Last night I grilled them as a side dish to have with our rice and salmon fillets.  Delicious!

I think I will have these in a salad for lunch.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

It's Wednesday!

Hard to believe it is already Wednesday.  We had a holiday on Monday (Simcoe Day) so the week seems to have gotten away from me.  Here is the only flower I made this week.  There were just too many other things to do.

I also made a few white hexies for the background, but I still have about a hundred to do, so I will not bore you with those.

Instead I will bore you with my 'tomato series'.  I will be posting the different tomatoes I am growing this year as the summer goes on.  This one is a large, beefsteak type called 'Brandy Wine" and is an heirloom variety and is a pinkish colour. One slice was enough to cover my entire piece of toast.  I love this kind of tomato - lots of meat with only a few seeds.  They are also very sweet.

And from what I heard on Breakfast Television this morning, it's National Cat Day.  So Mimi, here's to you!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

A Day in Minden

The Haliburton Quilt Guild held a quilt show in Minden on Friday and Saturday.  Since my mother is in a nursing home in Minden, we decided to go up and make it a dual day, with a visit to Mom and a trip to the quilt show.

My brother did the driving.  He picked me up at 8:00am and we drove to Pickering to pick my DD and DS. Then we headed to highway 12 and started our trip up north.  It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there because we stopped for a bathroom break. some coffee and a bit of sightseeing.

On our way we drove through Kirkfield.  It's a little town with a restaurant, a few stores and a lift lock, just to the north.  It is part of the Trent Waterway.  Since only my brother had ever seen it, we went up and discovered a very interesting part of our waterway past.  I took a few photos, but it is difficult to really get the feeling of this gigantic hydraulic lift.
This shows the south 'bathtub'.  The boats come from the higher lake and enter the locks (bathtub).  Three large boats went in at the same time.  Then a boat entered the lower bathtub from the west, lower lake.   When everything was in position.  They lowered the south holding tank and raised the north one.  Here you can see one of the boats heading out into the west lake.  The metal structure at the top of the photo is where the lower tank was and is now at the upper lake.  DD and DS are standing by the railing.
The boats started their engines and proceeded on their journeys.  It was good to have seen this lift lock because I had never seen one like it before.

Then we were off to the quilt show.  I didn't take my wheelchair, which was kind of a aggressive, but unthinking thing to do.  I had to walk around the show on my own steam.  I was held in the town's curling centre.  I did not realize it was going to be so big!  There were quilts displayed down the centre and vendors and instructors all around the perimeter of the rink.  I sat down a few times, but I was exhausted.  It was very hot and humid yesterday, even in Minden.  I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, but I did take one that I thought would make a terrific scrap quilt.
And I took a couple of wall hangings depicting the Haliburton Highlands, a place in Ontario that is dear to my heart because we always went camping there and even had a cottage business at one time.
 I plan to make myself a quilt of this type.  These are inspirations for me.

The final quilt I want to show you was done in Japanese stitches.  I have always loves this type of quilt and would love to do one of my own.
Those Haliburton quilters are very talented.  I bought a few fat quarters of light background fabrics and really enjoyed myself.  My son, daughter and brother enjoyed the show too.  For my brother and son it was the first quilt show they had been to.

We then stopped for a delicious lunch at a restaurant called 'The Grill on the Gull'.  Minden has the Gull River flowing through it.  We could have sat outside on the patio, but it was too hot, so we just stayed inside where it was air conditioned.  From there it was off to see my mother.  She looked a bit sleepy when we got there and she didn't really get any more animated as the afternoon went on.  I think she only said a couple of words, but she did love the hugs and kisses we gave her and she was totally enamored with her grandson!  She couldn't stop smiling or take her eyes off him.

We left the nursing home when they started to serve dinner.  Then a quick trip to the ice cream shop for the largest 'small' ice cream cone I have ever had.  It was so hot, most of it dripped down my hands and arms.  I needed a quick 'shower' before my brother would let me back into his truck for the drive home.

We took it easy, enjoying the sights of Haliburton on our way home.  A gorgeous sky greeted us as we got to Pickering.

It was a great day!  Thank you to my brother for doing all of the driving.  And thank you to my kids for making the trip so enjoyable.  This is a long weekend for us.  It is supposed to rain this afternoon and evening.  Bring it on, I say.  My plants are literally dying for a drink.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Scrappy Star Sew Along

OMG!  I love this block!  Terry from Terry's Treasures is hosting this Sew Along.  I have joined because I love anything scrappy and I love, love, love stars!  Isn't this block amazing?  And we only have to do two per month.  That's doable even for me.  This is my first block.  I am going to be able to use up all sorts of scraps.  Thank you Terry!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wednesday's Flowers

I have a couple of hexie blocks to show you today.  I am still working on the white background hexagons.  Will show you soon.

I took this photo with the blocks on the perennial hibiscus.  I thought I had killed this plant last winter.  It looked dead for many weeks in the spring, but finally a few tiny green buds appeared and it started to grow. I have a lot of buds on it now, so it will bloom very soon.

Want more flowers?  Here are my Black-Eyed-Susans  (Rudbeckia).  These are the perennial ones.  The flowers you see in the above photo with my hexagons are annual Black-Eyed-Susans.

I have been busy and we had torrential rains yesterday, so I was not able to go out in my garden.  This morning, upon inspection, I noticed that I have a lot of tomatoes, especially some big, yellow ones.  These are really tasty.