Thursday, July 31, 2014

Some Quilty Sewing Between Other Things in My Busy Life

I am going to do some sewing today.  The Japanese students have gone to Niagara Falls for the day.  They won't be back until 6:30pm.  That gives me some time to sew.  I plan to put my 16-patch blocks together.  I laid them out on my design floor to see how they will look together.  I may rearrange them a bit more before I sew them.

I also want to prepare a few more elongated hexies for my POTC quilt.  The weather looks good today.  I may want to go out in the garden and do a few things out there too.  I have a whole fridge full of zucchinis and cucumbers.  I hope I will have some time to bake some zucchini muffins or a zucchini bread.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pizza Night

Another busy day yesterday!  The girls went to school in the morning and then to the Eaton Centre in the afternoon. They did some shopping for clothes and souvenirs. My DD picked them up from school and we had a do-it-yourself pizza night.

I made the pizza dough in my bread maker and divided it into 8 balls when it had risen.  The girls than took one ball each, flattened it and added the toppings they wanted.  Their favourite was ham and pineapple. Then we baked the pizzas on a stone in the oven.  It was possible to cook this last night because our weather has been more fall-like than summer-like and the kitchen remained cool even with the oven at over 400F.

Here is where I have to apologize for my forgetfulness.  We took the girls to Bluffers Park on Lake Ontario, for a short walk after dinner and I forgot my camera!   But it was getting dark and the photos would probably not have been the best anyway.  The girls had been to Bluffers Park on their first day in Toronto. They ate their lunch there before going to the CN Tower.  When I asked them how they liked the bluffs and the lake, they said, "What are bluffs? and What lake?."   I couldn't believe that they had been taken to one of the most beautiful parks in Toronto and not been shown around it.  I will show you a photo of one of the boat launching docks which I took a number of years ago.  It still looks the same.

I am off to my sewing room today.  I want to work on a couple of things.  A day just isn't complete without a bit of quilting going on!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Playing Through

My DS and DD took the girls to a Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Putt Centre last evening.

I stayed home because there are too many things to trip over at one of those places.  But the girls had a great time!  My DS did too.

The place is very dark and black lights are used.  It makes the area seem surreal.  Everything is very colourful.  Here is my student taking her turn.  They didn't keep score, but just had a fun time.

It was impossible to take photos inside because it was so dark, so here is one my DS took outside of the building.  Will the next Tiger Woods please stand up.

Only a couple more days before the girls leave for camp.  I wonder what we will do this evening.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Pink Scarf - Finally Something is Finished

I usually spend the summer months, knitting and crocheting mitts, hats and scarves.  The children at the school where my DD teaches often come to school in the winter without the proper accessories to keep them warm.  That is where I come in.  I make a lot of hats and mitts that they can wear.  Here is a scarf that I started a long time ago and just finished this weekend.  So glad to get it off my needles!  I think a cold, little girl will like this.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cooking Japanese Food for Us

We thought it was going to rain today, so we stayed home and the girls cooked a delicious meal for us.

Sorry, I can't tell you what the dishes were because I have forgotten already, but everything was fantastic! And not only did they cook the meal, they also cleaned up afterwards.

On our way home from my DD's house it started to rain and thunder and lightening.  The storm is growing increasingly intense and now I am fearful that our power will go off.  So I think I'll go to bed.  See you tomorrow.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

At the Beach

The weather man lied!  It was actually a wonderful day.  The air was warm and the water was too.  After we ate our lunch we went for a swim.  Just testing the water here, folks.

We played some games.

And sang some songs.  This was practice for Monday when the girls have to sing at a community centre.

All too soon it was time to go home.  But we had a fantastic day.

The Beaches Jazz Festival

We try to go to the jazz festival every year.  It's a lot of fun.  Lots of music, entertainment, food and people! I love to go 'people watching'.  Queen Street is closed to vehicular traffic for about a kilometre.  We walked and walked and were totally exhausted by the time we got home.

But this morning we can sleep in.  (Well, not me exactly. I always get up early.)  and today we will be able to relax on the Beach at Sibbald's Point Provincial Park.  (That will be me doing the relaxing!)  Maybe we'll play some ball, Frisbee or badminton.  If the lake is warm enough we can swim or just float around on air mattresses.  I think I will take my hexies along so I can do a little stitching while sitting on the beach.


Friday, July 25, 2014

This Year's Students Have Arrived!

If you have been a reader of my blog for a long time, you will know that we try to host some Japanese students each summer.  This year is no different.  It is such a great experience!

The girls attend school during the day, to increase their knowledge of the English language and to see the sights in and around the Toronto area.   In the evening they stay with us, to experience what we do in our day-to-day lives here in Canada.  They arrived on Tuesday evening, but I have not posted anything until today because I kept forgetting to take photos.  And you know that I don't like to post anything without a picture.

But last night we took a walk along Lake Ontario out in Ajax and I remembered my camera!   It was already starting to get dark, so please excuse the poor quality of my photos.

We walked along the paved path that goes along the lake.  It's a wonderful area.  Lots of wildlife and birds. We even had a coyote cross our path.  The geese were talking to us from the lake below.  One of my DD's friends met us at the park.  She has a 1-year old daughter who just learned to walk by herself two weeks ago.  The girls loved looking after her.  I had trouble keeping up with them on the walk, so my HD (who came along) and I sat on a bench and enjoyed the nature all around us.  The others continued on the path.

Hopefully I can add some quilty stuff when I do my Japanese student blogs in the future.  But I have not had much time to sew lately.  I hope to find some time today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Some Works in Progress

Oops, I haven't posted anything for a week.  Not much sewing has been going on, but I have been working on a few things, a little each day.  First are my hexies from The Hexie Blog.  I have appliqued May and June onto a background fabric.  The basket for April is not finished.  I am also experimenting with the sashing.  I think I will do the HST that I sewed between May and June.  I kind of like them.  What do you think?

Then there are my POTC blocks.  I have been working on these when I need to unwind  I cut out the pieces during the day and sew them together while I watch television in the evenings.  

I put a round of white hexies around the first block.  And I discovered something!  The blocks are made up of 24 coloured hexies.  This part goes pretty fast.  But then there are the white hexies.  There are 24 of them too - for each block.  The white doesn't hold my attention as much as the colours do. So I am having to persevere in order to get them sewn on.  I am going to have to set a goal for myself.  Like 12 white hexies before I start a new block.  That way I may get them all done before I run out of steam.  I am also experimenting with the joining squares.  I was going to make them colourful, but I think I will make them all a dark blue in order to save my eyesight.  All those colours are just too much!  

So there you have it!  My summer projects for 2014.  Both are English Paper Pieced.  And I love them both! There will be lots of machine time when the cold weather comes back and I have to stay indoors.  

I am going to link up with Audrey at Glory Be Quilter, who is taking over for Angie this week.  She has a give-away too.  So go there to see some more hexie love and maybe win something.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Zucchini Bliss

My zucchinis are growing like mad.  I went out yesterday, after not seeing any baby zucchinis on my plants on Saturday, and found another 9 huge, fully ripe zucchinis!  My fridge isn't big enough for this!  So I started to look up zucchini recipes, especially ones that can be frozen and I found many.

It was cool and rainy this morning, so I made a batch of zucchini muffins.   They turned out fantastic!  I also grated several cups of additional zucchini to freeze for future muffins.  Right now I have a pot of zucchini soup on the stove and a zucchini bread in the oven.  I think that will be enough for today.  But tomorrow I will make more.

I was able to finish the centre part of the Rosewood Cottage quilt.  Yesterday, while at Walmart I found a piece of light blue fabric that will work for the inner border.  I have already started to applique the outer border, but there still is a lot to do.  This is what I have so far.

And here is another pretty lily from my garden.

It has stopped raining and my cooking is done, so I am going out into the garden.  These wonderful blooms don't look after themselves!  I noticed some red lily beetle larva on this plant and I want to take them off before they eat the whole thing.  The Red Lily Beetle is an interesting bug, but very detrimental to lily plants. I wrote about it here.

Have a good day!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Hexie Flower for June and Some Garden Produce

I put together another flower block for June from the Hexie Blog BOM.   Now it has a straight stem and I am happy with it.

I am going to start appliqueing these blocks onto background fabrics so that I don't get too far behind.  It was also suggested, by Julia, that we start making the sashing.  That way it won't be too overwhelming at the end, when all the blocks are done and it is time to put the quilt together.  So that is what I am working on now..

We had a few rainy days at the beginning of this week.  I did not go outside to work in the garden while it rained, but when the sun came out again, I went out to inspect my crops. That's when I discovered that many of my zucchinis were ready to pick.  I also picked a few cherry tomatoes. (Sorry no pics. I ate them straight off the vines.) They are so delicious!

The largest zucchini is about 8 inches long.  I ate the smallest one raw dipped in a spinach dip. That was the best lunch I have had in a long time!

I am linking to A Quilting Reader's Garden.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

A Busy Weekend in my Garden!

We had lots of visitors this weekend.  And then last night we had a barbeque with my DS, DD and her fiance.  The weather has been perfect - real summer-time temps and sunshine.  Love it!!!

In keeping with the 4th of July weekend, I am posting my July hexie block.  (Happy Belated 4th of July to all of my friends south of the border.)  It's a cherry ice cream cone. Anybody want a lick?  I know that this block was only just posted on The Hexie Blog less than a week ago, but I fell in love with it and wanted to make it right away.

For years I have been seeing the POTC blocks on blogs and other places on the internet.  I wanted to make some.  I finally found the template for it serveral weeks ago and started to cut it out.  Then I put it in a 'safe' place where even I couldn't find it.  But yesterday it was just sitting there in a plastic container.  How did I miss that?  A few of the pieces had already been sewn together, so I finished it last night.  I know the colours are kind of loud, but I guess those are the fabrics that were beside my machine at the time.  I think I will keep the colourful theme going.  I love colour!

I will leave you with a shot of my colourful lily.  Told you I love colour!  I planted this a few of years ago and it keeps surprising me with its beauty.

Hoping everyone is having a great weekend!

I am linking up with Angie at The Quilting Reader's Garden.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness Create Sunshine

I picked up a parcel from the post office yesterday.  I had no idea who it was from or what it was.  Imagine my happy excitement to discover that the package was soft.  It had to contain fabric, that much I was sure of.  Then I realized this package had come from Amy at The Calico Cat.   I could hardly wait to get home and open it!

I sent her an email last night because I was puzzled.  Why did she send me this wonderful fabric?  She said it was just a random act of kindness.  A Random Act of Kindness?  OMG!!!  It was much more than that!  It lifted my spirits.  It brought me joy.  Just to think that someone was thinking about me made me happy.  It was like a ray of sunshine!  If you are reading this, Amy, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I know this fabric will go to good use.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And in keeping with this jungle and sunshine theme, let me show you some of my garden.  It is like a jungle out there.  We had a very late spring and I was not able to plant anything until the first of June.  My little plants looked so pathetic.  But then it rained and rained and rained some more.  My plants grew quickly and now they look like this.

The plants in front, growing on that trellis-like thing are cucumbers.  You can tell by the bird feeder that they are at least 3 to 4 feet tall.

These are my tomato plants with some bean poles in the back.  I have never had such tall tomato plants at the beginning of July.  There are lots of flowers and even some tiny green tomatoes on these vines.  Can't wait for them to ripen so I can take a huge bite of this delicious fruit!

Sorry, this post is getting longer and longer, but I want to show you some of my sunshine.  These are the yellow flowers that are blooming in my garden at the moment.

Yellow Day Lilies

True Lilies grown from bulbs.  The yellow colour means gaiety.

And these are Rudbeckia in my back garden.

I bought this plant at the beginning of our planting season.  It was sitting on a table with the Echinacea or cone flowers and I thought it was one of those.  I lost several Echinacea plants in our cold winter and I wanted to replace them.  I was very disappointed when I got home and read the tag.  They were Rudbeckia and I had lots of those already.

But this variety is called Iris Eyes and the centre is not black, but green.  The bright yellow flowers really light up that dark spot in my garden.  I am really happy that I made the mistake of picking this plant up and planting it.  It has turned out to be gorgeous!  It is one of my favourite plants at the moment.

There are many more yellow flowers in my garden, but this post is getting too big, so I will stop for today.  Thanks again Amy!  You are terrific!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

I'm In a Jam

My DD went strawberry picking and she brought me a whole basket of berries to make into jam.

That is more jam than I need, so I froze half of the berries.  I will make strawberry milkshakes and other yummy things with them.  Here is the jam I made.  It is low sugar jam.  The only kind my Mom lets me eat.

I also bought some cherries at the market on the weekend.  I made a batch of low sugar cherry jam with them.  Yum!

So guess what I had for lunch yesterday?  Did you guess a peanut butter and jam sandwich?  Well if you did, you are right.  Haven't had one of those in a long time.  It was delicious.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Happy Birthday Canada!

Canada is 147 years old today!  Happy Birthday, Canada.

Wishing all my Canadian friends a Happy Canada Day!