Saturday, 31 May 2008

Inspired by . . .

This is such a wonderful time of year . . . you can find me lurking in greenhouses and just inhaling that wonderful smell of things growing.

These cheerful little blooms (don't remember the name) were bought to plant at the front of our office. Trying to get the place all spruced up for the 125th Anniversary on June 28th - the countdown is on - less than a month. The thing about this little blossom was the edges of the petals . . . each one looks almost exactly alike - like little cookie cutter petals . . . PLUS . . . it is sooooooooo soft - not hard edges on this beauty.

Unlike the two top pictures that were taken in beautiful sunshine, this little lovely was trying to encourage the sunshine to come out. If you look closely you can see the little mud splatters on her petals - the rain was very much appreciated. I believe this perennial is called "anemone" or something like that - it self seeds all over and blooms in the spring as early as those little iris' I showed you a couple of posts ago. This little compact plant is absolutely covered with this happy little white blooms - love it! It really kills me to have to dig out all those little self seeded plantlings, but this one would really take over if you ignored it.

and, then, the inspiration to try drawing a pretty little bloomer of my own. The last few mornings before I head off to work, I've been doodlin' some little blooms. My tulips had a bad year for some reason so why not sketch one out to enjoy. The camera was set on sepia or some weird thing and this turned out just a bit dreary - but, really, can any bloom ever be completely dreary?

I'm still playing with this strange (for me) colored fabric. I have all the applique border laid out, ready to iron in place and then stitch down. My little yo yo's or "Suffolk puffs" are definitely going to be forming part of the finished quilt - great for hiding stitching that maybe could have been better - but you didn't hear that from me! All my joins met perfect . . .

'til next time,


Monday, 26 May 2008

Lovely weekend . . .

I hope everyone else had a great weekend too!

Finally got our rain on Sunday - the first one of the season that amounted to anything! Thank goodness our weather was much calmer than down in Minnesota and some of the other southern states - even eastern Manitoba had some interesting weather. There was a lot of tornado warnings on the TV last night - I hope everyone you know out there is doing fine.

I was able to get in some much needed housecleaning and a little doodlin'.

added in a bit of designing . . .

(also received my yardage for some of the jelly roll quilts I have planned).

and some appliqueing . . .

and then I found out that life is like a yo-yo . . . round and round we go . . .

and I hope next weekend let's me do everything I did this weekend all over again . . .

'til next time,


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Spring . . .

is finally here! Seems like we've waited for a long time for it to come.

Every spring we always say that the past winter was the coldest on record . . . as Manitobans we should be able to come up with a new comment. Personally if I didn't need to go out of the house, I'd love winter. Lots of time to quilt, draw, paint, quilt some more, and then start all over. Would be the perfect life! No meetings, no stray dogs, no dust control, no taxes . . . life would be grand!

This pretty little iris is from a batch of plants that my quilting friend Doreen gave me last year. These are miniature from the usual big iris . . . and I'm lovin' them - there is a huge patch of them in my perennial garden and they are the only thing in bloom so far. Quite pretty!

Of course I'd always have my best welcome sign hung out at the front door . . . just to let all my wonderful little visitors feel more welcome.

My son painted this little birdhouse many, many years ago. I think maybe he was nine or ten at the time. Just look at the evil little kitty grin painted next to the welcome! My welcome sign would look a bit different than this one. Every time I walk past this little birdhouse I have to smile to myself . . . are kids creative or evil? Different views on that one I bet!

The wire covering is to keep out the cats. Who'd have thought we'd have an issue with cats from almost the time the structure was hung? It solved the problem anyway.

This big bud was just so furry looking that I needed to take a picture of it. This was a gift from a my wonderful friend Joyce quite a few years ago. Seemed their dog kept sleeping on the plant and they were scared it would completely die out, so this piece was one of the ones broken off by the dog and was gifted to me. I don't know the exact name of it, other than that I think it is possibly a Japanese peony - anyone help me out with the name?

Cherry blossoms - must be almost Spring! (Had to take this photo carefully to avoid getting those beautiful yellow dandelions in the background - hate those things!).

And . . . this just seems to be reaching for the sun and basking in the warmth. Looks like two hands cupped together praying for more sunshine. How neat is that?

Now for the fun part of Spring . . . bright, colorful, cheerful FABRIC.

I couldn't choose a favorite photo - they were all so cheerful that I just had to include a few shots.

This collection is from Sandy Gervais (for Moda)(of course) and is called Fresh Squeezed.

I've even been inspired to do some doodlin'. Who knows where that will lead.

Waiting for another weekend so I can do some more creating with this beautiful fabric. Trouble is I'd have to cut into it . . . not sure if I'm ready for that yet. Maybe I'll just doodle some more . . .

'til next time,


Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Missing Out . . .

Yeah, that's me . . . always missing out!

I know that sounds a bit depressing, but sometimes that's how it feels . . . missing out . . .

Right here, in this very spot, marked with an X

. . . X . . .

is my wonderful, pretend photo of a MOOSE!

Yup, that's it . . . and here, at the other X

. . . X . . .

are the ELK, pretending to frolic in the field.

Now if I didn't forget to take my camera along with me everywhere I go, I would have had these wonderful pictures to share with you!

We were coming home from "the City" on Saturday night and there he was, heading right towards the road . . . the MOOSE! We could have sat there with the camera zoomed in on him until he got close enough for that poster perfect shot - if I'd had the camera, of course.
Then on Sunday, Mother's Day, I went to visit my Mom (in the Ninette Cemetery), and came upon about eight or so Elk - right next to the road - would have been a perfect picture also.
In the area where I live, Moose and Elk are not frequently seen (at least by me), so it's a big deal to see them and an even bigger deal to miss taking their photo!
And, . . . speaking of Mother's Day, I hope all those Mom's out there had a good day. Once again, I'm feeling like I'm missing out . . . for the past nine years I go to the cemetery to say hello, have a cup of coffee and leave a few flowers. I miss her every day, but especially on Mother's Day.

So while I'm talking about cemeteries . . . and because I am on so many different committees for the 125th Anniversary of the R.M. of Oakland - we took a tour of some of the areas in the municipality yesterday and took pictures of the cemetery gates to use for the display boards.

The history that is being compiled, the maps that have been found and the stories that are being told . . . are fabulous! The interesting information that I have learned and have somehow mushed up in my brain somewhere is amazing.

These are two of the six cemetery gates that we will be needing for the June 28th celebrations. Still a few more miles to put on before I'm done . . . wish the price of gas was cheaper.

Thought I'd also include this little schoolhouse photo. What would the kids of today think about going to school in this? Imagine how much complaining there would be getting to this little school in the mode of transportation that was used back then.

And . . . because I am a quilter from the Prairies, I wanted to slip in this little quilt pattern that I made a few years ago. Elevators, barns and little houses with picket fences are getting harder and harder to find anywhere.

And, this little quilt is called Marean Lake - I have just booked our weekend there for July 18-21 . . . looking forward to lots of visiting with my brother and family, some R&R, a little night golfing (no one can see how bad I am at golfing if it's dark out!) and some peaceful, soothing lake views to soak up. Looking forward to it.
P.S. Marean Lake is located up in Northern Saskatchewan and is a little lake tucked way far away - very nice though!
I showed you these two quilts because, true to my subject line, I'm missing out on quilting too. This past weekend I didn't do anything creative because our deck needed two coats of stain I was told. Not my idea of a good weekend . . . didn't enjoy staining the deck and really didn't enjoy the Mother's Day thing.
But . . . I'm really looking forward to a better weekend coming up. A long weekend, plus a freshly stained deck to relax on, plus plans for some creativity that hopefully won't be interrupted. Here's hoping . . .
'til next time,

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


Who Me? Not likely . . . but it sure is fun to try something new!
Here is my newest little purchase - at 40% off, how could I pass it by. Look at all those tiny little colors . . . just waiting to be mucked up.

I'm lovin' these paints . . . the colors are so much clearer than my other brand I have. If you feel like a dabblin' in some watercolours, give the Cotman by Winsor Newton a try. Using a 40% off coupon from Micheals also helps out with the purchase.

Now don't laugh, but this is one of the "practice" pictures I toiled away on. Looks not bad from a distance . . . at least I think you can tell what kind of flower that is? Can't you?

This painting was done a month or so ago, with the old watercolours - still not too bad . . . parts I like, parts I'd like to redo. Don't think that is possible in watercolours so much - just a thought.
I'd love to find time to take actual lessons. My financial advisor says eight years to retirement (if I do everything he says!) . . . then maybe lessons will be in order. Maybe this Fall instead of quilt club I'll take up watercolour classes at the Art Gallery in Brandon . . . I can still quilt at home and go for workshops. I'll need to consider my options . . . come Fall, of course.
'til next time,


Thursday, 1 May 2008

Olympian Sighting . . .

When you attend a municipal convention you really don't know what kind of people are lined up for workshops and motivational sessions and how that presenter will be received.

This year we had the wonderful opportunity to meet and be inspired by Joan McCusker who played third on the Sandra Schmirler team that won the gold medal in women's curling at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Turns out that Joan's cousin was a municipal administrator and was able to put the convention committee in touch with Joan, who now does motivational speaking as well as a curling commentator for CBC Sports.

Joan presented a lively presentation entitled "Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things" and I wish everyone had the opportunity to listen to her message. She is a very bubbly and extremely funny presenter and the hour and a half just flew by. She very graciously passed her medal around the room and encouraged everyone to try it on or take pictures - what an interesting feeling to hold her gold medal. I know I'll never be winning an Olympic medal of any kind and it really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

After all that excitement, I got to drive two hours home by myself and decided to snap a few photos as I went. It was a cloudy kind of day so nothing is very bright, but this particular shot is very interesting in the wintertime, if your view point is just a little bit to the left. At that angle it really does appear that the snowmobiler is banking his machine off the roof. I imagine that there were a few brews being tipped back when the guy(s) thought of this.

This tree struck me as being a little deformed - probably due to the many windy, weird days that Manitoba has. Why would it grow so much different from one side to the other? Weird!

This is Wawanesa's newest restaurant - that we still haven't had the opportunity to visit . . . soon I hope. As you drive into the valley this is one stand-out building - I understand that he tried to name it "The Red Barn" but that name was already taken - too bad, I say. If the name fits . . .

'til next time,