TRI to keep it WILD - Raising funds for Nature Conservancy of Canada

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Winds gusting to 90km/hr. Wet slushy snow... and...

And here it is in Fahrenheit for you us Americans...

I'd like to skip ahead to Friday, please!! I know there are lots of much colder places, but we just got back from Christmas in Virginia and we were paddling in the lake there on Christmas Day. I was hoping for a gentler transition, eek! High of 9? What the deuce!?!?!

At least Scott has the Decembeard going on to keep his face warm! Beer helps too. And a wolf puppet.

This was one of the nice sunsets we got this fall - a view from our back window. Halifax is over there.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Stuff

One new thing we got today was one of the new Canadian $20 bills. It's a crazy thing. I tried to capture it on film, but instead I'll just give you a blurry mangled sneak peek and then if you're actually interested you can just Google it. I kind of don't want to spend it, but I'm pretty sure that feeling will pass :)

 Look, Scott! You're on the new $20!!

Also today we got a 2-year-old! Eek! B is 2!!! She knew exactly what to do with the candles on her birthday cake, thanks completely to Elmo's World: Birthdays on YouTube. She saw those things and said "then you blow out the candles!" and then she did it. We have never talked to her about birthday candles and she's never seen them in real life anywhere. Thanks, Elmo.  This event was NOT captured on film, blurry or otherwise.

One more new thing: I decided to make a separate blog just for crafty things. They were taking over. I had to send them away. Really I just wanted to have a place that would show me which of my favorite quilting blogs had been updated recently - you know, to save time surfing. There's probably a smarter way to do that, but I like to think I'm old-fashioned. Anyway, there are only a couple of posts there, since holiday and birthday things have been more urgent lately. Oh yeah - here's the link. Halifax people like to call Dartmouth the "Dark Side" in case  you were wondering.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Four pies/basketballs done (I got another one done since taking this picture), and a sneak peek of a little something I'm whipping up for a Christmas gift...

The colors are SURF and PAPAYA (Kona Cotton). So tropical! If we ever get a sunny day I'll take a picture that shows the colors better. They make me want to sip a fruity drink on the beach. Ahhhhh.....

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Best activities with fall leaves: jumping, stomping, crunching, viewing.
Worst activity: raking and wrangling into yard waste bags :)

Remember Gorey Guy? Now he's a bag/purse for someone special.

Here's my second attempt (sorry for the bad photo - wish you could feel how soft it is!!!) at the Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh - free pattern found on Ravelry.  Also ready early for Christmas. I hope you're not reading this, recipient! I don't think you know about my blog.

sorry - just turn your head slightly!

Our little pirate already knows how to say "Yarrrrr, matey" and "trick-or-treat!" I made a little vest for her out of felt for Halloween. Oops, the iron was a bit hot for the felt, but no one will ever notice. I just used sticky-back fusible web and plain old felt!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


 Here are some shots from our quick trip "south" to Maine. We had to ENTER Canada at a land crossing, even though we were already IN Canada and there are seaports and airports much closer than 7 hours from where we live. That pesky Bay of Fundy makes it a long drive to the U.S. from Halifax! Anyway, we are now permanent residents of Canada, woo!

This lighthouse (above) is on Campobello Island, which is in New Brunswick, but you have to drive through Maine to get there this time of year. 

The lighthouse at West Quoddy Head is the easternmost point in the U.S.

 Artistic-looking kelp.

The tide was out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Groovy Details

Here's a post with more details about the Totally Groovy quilt, just to have something nice to link to the Quilt-Along (click there to see some really amazing Groovies).

I chose the colors from one of my daughter's favorite books: Leslie Patricilli's "Higher Higher." There's a girl in it with brown hair and a pink and red dress flying through space on a swing. We love all of Leslie Patricelli's books! I've never made an all solids quilt before so this was a fun chance to design my own color scheme. Kona Ice Peach, Windsor, Ruby, Camellia, and Mocha.

It was tough lining up all those seams. I agree with some of the other quilter-alongers that this can be avoided by doing the piecing differently than indicated by the pattern. I saw it coming, but in the end I decided to just follow the pattern because I was worried that my muddled mommy brain would screw it up and I didn't have time or fabric to spare. 

 I do have a darning foot for my sewing machine, but have never tried any free-motion quilting so I went for a walking-foot friendly design. I've only used my walking foot for perfectly straight lines, and only on one throw-sized quilt and one baby changing pad, so I learned a lot on this one. The curves were trickier than I anticipated, but I learned as I went - especially about starting and stopping in the middle of the quilt. The long curvy lines of the design were so cool and I like how the quilting accentuated them.

On the back, I made the brown-red seam match a seam on the front so the quilting wouldn't cross it. Though I matched the quilting thread color on the front to the piecing, I forgot about matching the colors on the back. I just wasn't thinking about it since I've never not used the same thread in the bobbin as on top. Drrrrr....

Here's my pieced binding: mostly brown with a section of red and a little piece of pink, just for fun. I love crinkly quilts, but I'm not sure if I want to wash this one if I'm going to hang it on a wall on my house. Gotta look at what some other people did.

This was so much fun - thanks to Alyssa for hosting the quilt-along. Wooo!!! I even learned how to use flickr :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Acorn People

Aunt Barb tucked these little guys in our bag for the trip home from Ontario after Thanksgiving at Gran and Gramps' house. Tee hee....

Wish I had some of those crazy long green California acorns to make a scary acorn monster family to go with these guys!

When we got home, we took a drive to do some apple picking on the coldest day we've had out here so far. Brrrrr!!!!!!!!! Do you like our technique?

We ended up with a peck of apples. That's about 40% of an almost-two-year-old, weight-wise.

I also finally finished off the binding on my Totally Groovy quilt. Yay!!! Now, where to hang it (if at all) and should I wash it? I like the crinkly look, but I don't know if it would be cool with this design. And Scott said it already looks wrinkly. As long as he doesn't say I look wrinkly!!!! :)

And finally, for a good time, may I recommend scraping the popcorn off your 80's basement ceiling? It actually comes off easily, but makes a lot of dust and mess. Quite satisfying overall, though. There's just a bit more to do. When the weather gets cold for real, we can focus on getting this room in the basement in shape. Scott does the work, I have to admit, and I just make myself anxious about it.

Get a load o' those awesome track lights. They are rad.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Home Improvement and Quilting

Hooray!!! Our new windows and front door were installed on Tuesday! Here's the big window in our family room. The sill and some of the siding was a bit rotten so now it's all primed and ready for paint if it ever stops raining!

And I'm glad that none of you out there has to look at what WAS the front door since I don't have a picture. It had a crazy plastic dog door and the ugliest handle/knob known to man. Plus it leaked when it rained and it was totally flat and plain (except for above mentioned dog accessory) which made all kinds of scratches and marks very obvious. Here's the new one, yay! Luckily the sidelights/frame/brick molding were all fine so we just had to get the door itself.

We've made some progress painting the outside of the house, but we're thinking if any more painting needs to be done, we're going to hire someone. Painting sucks.

Here's my Totally Groovy quilt all quilted and ready for binding. I've trimmed it and attached the binding to the front now, so I'm in the process of hand sewing the binding to the back. I was all ready to try my first bias binding, but I was worried I didn't have enough fabric, so it's a straight-of-grain binding. Here's a link to some others' work on FLICKR. I'm thinking of hanging it up on the wall in our house. This was such a fun project.

The Ambassador Poster

And a few weeks ago, Scott and I got out for a night (thank you awesome neighbor for babysitting!!!!!!!) and got to see a film at the Atlantic Film Festival here in Halifax. We saw The Ambassador, which I quite enjoyed - very controversial. After seeing it, we rented another of Mads Bruegger's documentaries, The Red Chapel, which I didn't like as much. It was a bit baffling, really. I especially liked Mads' boots in The Ambassador :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Groovy Top

It's a dreary rainy day here, so sorry for the indoor flash photo. I've finished the top, so now I just have to put something together for the back and quilt 'er up! The size is manageable enough for me to try to quilt it on my machine with the walking  foot.

Next I'll get back to my flying basketballs. Maybe some more bibs and an attempt at making a new bag for our sad old IKEA laundry basket too.

I'm secretly celebrating this torrential downpour - it means I get a break from paint scraping. Ew.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cape Breton

The girl can sleep for HOURS in the backpack when we go for a hike. She always wakes up for the most scenic parts, though.

At Louisbourg Fortress. The dancing kids had to move inside because of the rain, but we had fun anyway. You have to visit this place. It's AMAZING! The largest historical reconstruction in Canada (I want to say North America, but I'm not positive).

Sheep! We fed them some grass. They were cute.

We would like to perpetuate the idea of a Cape Breton "Big Five:" moose, coyote, bald eagle, bear, and whale. Yep, we got 'em all.

The money shot, north of Cheticamp on the "Skyline Trail." Possibly the only hike walk EVERYONE has to do when driving around the Cabot Trail. 

Flying kites at the Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck. The most toys ever assembled in one room to keep the little ones out of trouble while you learn about telephones, tetrahedra, and hydrofoils.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I ATTACKED curved piecing for the first time today with my Denyse Schmidt Pie in the Sky quilt. I spent a lot of time pinning carefully so the actual sewing didn't take too long and came out very well, yay! Here's my pie just lying on a crumpled piece of the background, so it looks more wobbly than it is. The machine sewing of the white "crust" onto the orange and blue "pie" is what I did today. Next I'll hand applique the whole thing to a piece of blue. I can fix any non-round bits of the outside of the crust when I sew it down to the background.

I'd call the sewing part a success, though Scott says the design of it is not his favorite. 
I think I like it - it's kind of arty. 

Groovy Colours

DUDE, I won the giveaway for the Totally Groovy Quilt Along. Since I am just doing the crib size for my first quilt-along, the gift certificate covered the cost of all the fabric including shipping from the U.S. SWEET!

For home maintenance news, today we have steam cleaning of the carpeting in part of the basement and carpet removal in the back room of the basement. Super groovy linoleum was underneath. We're having that small window on the left replaced, with the same thing, but vinyl. The seal is shot and the sill and siding all round it on the outside are all rotten. Scott had to cut out a little piece of the subfloor that had water damage. Fun. Also more obliteration of weeds and small trees.

In the fun with toddlers category: Yesterday we went to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. It was farther away than I had thought, but cheap and worth the drive! Even though it was mostly just common creatures like moose, skunk, and raccoons, they also had some awesome birds, reindeer, a lynx (so cool!!) and other cool animals. It was a pretty big place and luckily there was lots of shade; it's been pretty hot and sticky here lately. This is a long weekend  for us (Natal Day - I don't know what that means, but I like three-day weekends so it doesn't matter). Hooray for watching track and field live at a not-too-scary hour of the day with the whole fam :)