Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sorry I haven't been around......

Been busy with one thing and another, and to be honest I haven't had anything exciting to report.

There was 14 of us for Easter Sunday lunch and I think everyone had a good time there was plenty of food and the Easter Bunny even came for a visit and everyone went home with either bars of Cadbury or Lindt chocolate.  The Easter bunny though gave Our little Princess  an Easter Bunny book.  I forgot to take a photo of her cute little outfit it was pink and white with bunnies on it.

I also forgot to take photos of the food, but we had ham and turkey.  Stuffed baked potatoes, broccoli and cheese quiche, ham, mushroom, onion and cheese quiche.  Vegetable samosas, made by Our little Princess  Granny.  Potato salad, coleslaw, Cesar salad and bread rolls.

For dessert there was Hot Milk Cake, fresh strawberries and ice cream.  Dd brought carrot cake cupcakes, ds girlfriend brought ginger cookies and some sort of bar made with Mars Bars.  I need to get the recipe from her as they were so good.  Bought a huge box of Cadbury's chocolate fingers as they are ds favourite and it was a sort of birthday party for him as he is 29 on Thursday.  I know I am much too young to have a child that old!!!!

Some of you were asking about my feet.  I have good days and bad days.  After being on my feet the last couple of days, my feet are sore.  However it was worthwhile as it was good to see everyone and some of the "kids" that came I haven't seen in an awful long time.....probably when dd got married. Ds and dd friends all inter connect and they all get along well. 

I plan on resting up for a couple of days as I am tired, and that should help out my feet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finally got one job crossed off my list.......

Now the only problem I encountered recovering these chairs, was there was no distinct central pattern that I could use to centre on the seat.  Regardless they look so much better than before and I hopefully have enough fabric left to cover the footstool I bought.

I would love a new kitchen but it's not in the budget.  One thing I had thought about doing was painting all the kitchen cabinets.  From what I have read the prep is very, very important.  I was concerned about durability though.  Has anyone done this and if you have do you regret doing it?  Also did you use latex paint?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is Spring around the corner where you live?

We still have a lot of snow, but there are bare patches also finally!!  I was able to go out without a coat on just my sweatshirt which was good.

I am hobbling around again with very, very sore feet.  My right foot is really bad.  Bought a pair of Birkenstocks to see if that will help yesterday.  I guess time will tell.  Gosh they are really sore though.  If it doesn't get any better I think a trip to the doctors will be in order.  I am going to try freezing a bottle of water and rolling my foot over it a few times a day to see if that helps, plus doing some calf exercises.

I wrote another book review about the book "Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse," by Jennifer Worth.  If you watched the series this is well worth the read.  Even if you didn't this book is very interesting and makes you appreciate what you have!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My latest treasures.........

I put a bid in at charity shop for a group of seven jugs.  Now I was only interested in three of them and when I won the bid I donated the other four vases back to the store.  It was funny as when I went in she had the three picked out that I wanted to take home.  I told her she was good, she told me she knows exactly what I like!!!

Here are the three jugs I brought home:

It was the one on the right that caught my eye and it is a Hancock's Ivory Ware jug probably for the 1930's, if my research is correct and the back stamp is right:

I would love to know what 794 1 A means, it's probably something to do with the pattern number and who painted it???

The middle one also has a back mark on it:
It's not worth much but it's pretty.  The one on the left has no mark at all, and will now be called the bramble jug, as it has brambles/blackberries on it.

All in all they are a deal to my mind at $18 for all three, so I am happy.

By the way I have a feeling dd will be wanting the Hancock's Jug as she has just bought an orange accent chair to go in her living room, and her other colours are green and brown in there, so this jug would fit in perfectly!!!  Remind me to hide it when she comes over!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Finished Quilt top, Home of the Week & Drawing for Art

I finished the brown, cream and pink quilt top on Thursday.  It's around 6 feet by 4 feet, bigger than I thought or had planned, never mind.  I like it though; mind you the more I looked at it the more I saw problems!!!
I put the smaller cream border on as I thought the blocks were busy enough.  I am a pretty organized person until it comes to quilting and then I never plan ahead!!  I am putting this away to quilt later on as I have two other projects I want to finish first.

This week's "Home of the Week," is the grand prize for the Princess Margaret Lottery and I'll take it PLEASE!!!!  I don't think I would change a thing, other than put in more comfy chairs to sit on.  Not sure what I would do with the yoga room..........guess I could prance around pretending to be a dancer or something?  If I had the money I would buy a ticket to the lottery, but I don't so I can only dream..........mind you I don't think I could afford to run a house that big?

The "Condo of the Week," is different and pricey at $2.6 million.  Those stone floors makes the place look so cold and sterile.  I do like the terrace and the views, but I will pass with the rest of it.  As for the art work, interesting, and that artistic display of the boots with the "seat" in the front hall, please lets hope they didn't pay much for that!!!!

Now talking about art it's coming up to our annual excursion to the Drawing For Art at the Station Gallery in Whitby.  We have been going for the past three years, this will be our fourth.  The art work is up online now.  For those of you not familiar with this.  We buy a pair of tickets, this year it was $170 for the pair.  We go to a gala and our ticket is thrown into a barrel and drawn and we get to choose an original piece of art work per pair of tickets.  The art work is donated and all profits go to children's art programmes.

Now here is a link to this year's art work.  I see there are 117 pieces to choose from so far.  Now last year dd and I both wanted the same piece!!  She had her name drawn first so she got it and lo and behold the same artist has submitted a companion piece this year, so she is going for that.  It's the Poppies painting by Sarah Shaw.  I am undecided as yet, but have to draw up a short list, as dd does not live too far from the gallery so she was going to preview them for me to see what is nice and what isn't as you can't really see very well online.  So far here are a few of my favourites:

This one by Leif Peterson, I love the colours.

This one by Dale Wheeler, very appropriate for a farmhouse, don't you think?

This one by Carolyn Joore, love this type of painting.

This one by Chrystal Niemuller, I got one of hers last year.

This one by Marion Stevenson, love the colours again.

This one by Shelley Beach is also very nice.

As with every year there are some very strange pieces of "art."  However it would be a very dull world if we all liked the same thing!!  I would ask you to look for the painting with the woman walking out of a lake with a head in one hand!!!  That is one you will never forget that's for sure.  No doubt it will be one of the first to go, all the weird and wonderful ones do!!!

I need to pick out four more paintings as I like to have ten choices in case we are picked near the end.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Patience Corners.......

That's the name of a quilt block, the instructions are here.

Back in October of 2009 I joined a block of the month club at a quilt store which has now closed.  I am in a sewing mood at the moment and decided to complete the last block of the month from that club.  I just never got around to doing the last block for some reason.

This block has turned out to be one of my favourite blocks I have ever done.  I had done two colours of blocks over the prior eleven months, so did both again on Wednesday.  I ran out of red material and remember having to plead with everyone at the club to see if they had any scraps at home and one lady came up with a tiny piece.  

Both photos have been turned around by photobucket, so sorry about that.  However I wanted to show you both blocks as although they are the same pattern they look so different, don't you think?

The black and white block I had made a start on quilting each block as I go.  I have of course forgotten how to do that now, so will have to hunt out the instructions on that, if I can find them!!!

The weather is just plain bloody miserable with the snow and the cold weather, so it's a good time to hibernate and sew if you ask me!!

Love this song reminds me of Dirty Dancing and Patrick!!!  Great way to start the day!!

By the way, every morning I sit down and think today is the day I am going to catch up with blogs,........then something happens.........hoping to catch up with everyone today!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Money Challenges.....

At the beginning of the year I started the 52 Week Savings Challenge, this is my sheet so far:

Hopefully you can see; if not I have been concentrating on the lower amount weeks.  I also seem to be ahead of the game for some reason?  I have crossed off 16 weeks and from what I can see we have only gone through 11 weeks of the year so far?  So I may use the next three weeks to put together the $52 and cross that week off.  Once we have paid off the mortgage it will be easier to pay off the larger weeks.  We are down to week 23 this coming Friday until we pay off the mortgage.

I am still doing the sealed pot challenge.  I only put 5, 10 and 25 cents in my pot, but it's feeling a bit heavier than it was at the beginning of the year.  I am dying to open it to count the money; don't worry I won't spend it if I do!!

My Christmas pot is looking healthy; if you remember I put $20 in there a week and already have $260 saved up.  My birthday pot fluctuates but have $140 in there and my "other" pot has $400 in there.  I am currently saving up that money for the wood for the Fall/Winter of 2013/14.  I did just take $150 out of there to pay for the tickets to the Art Gallery Fund raiser we always go to, and I took $20 out of the birthday pot as well to go towards paying for them.

All in all though I am keeping up with the challenges which is a blessing.

I have also brought in $1,100 for the bringing in an extra $2,013 into the household this year.  That includes working and earning money from surveys etc.  So well on my way to completing that challenge as well.

My Amazon account is also up to $125 all due to Swagbucks, so that too is looking healthy.  My goal for the year was $250 in there, so already half way there with that.

Are you participating in any money  saving challenges?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A couple photos........

I was lucky enough to have two birthday cakes on the weekend.  This one our little Princess' mother made for me.  It's a Hot Milk Cake and the recipe is from here.

This one dd made and is a carrot cake with cream cheese icing and it was really, really good.
Our little Princess was all in black on Friday(one of her Indian grannies is in the corner of the photo):

Here she is all bundled up ready to go home:

One of the things I did on Monday was stitch my latest block for the Quilting Club, it's called Indiana Puzzle.  I have never done a square in a square block before:

Finally we have a starling with a broken/damaged foot hanging around.  If I am supposed to do something please let me know?

This is the daughter of one of the guys at work singing. She is still in High School I think, so around 15 or 16 years of age. She is really good. I was singing along to this one, for some strange reason I didn't sound the same???

Monday, March 18, 2013

Birthday weekend over with thank goodness...

was treat very well by my loved ones, but overall glad it's all over with.  I'd be quite happy if it was just forgotten about.  I don't think it has anything to do with age it's just that I think there are more important things in life than me.

Or maybe the older I am getting the more set in my ways and crotchety I am getting?

crotch·et·y (krch-t)
Capriciously stubborn or eccentric; perverse
Anyhow today is the start of a new week, so onwards and upwards as they say.
By the way I love celebrating other people's birthday's, just not my own!

I have just published a book review here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Another year old, but not wiser!!

It's that time of year again, another birthday, another year added.  Not sure if it's just me, but birthday's don't really excite me like they used to?  It's just another day in my books.  Granted today should be good as I have Our little Princess  and her family coming over for lunch.  Then on Saturday we are down at dd with son-in-law, ds and his girlfriend for lunch, so that should be good.  The presents I have received so far is a magazine subscription to Easy Cook from my mam which is a perfect gift as far as I am concerned.  Though granted the April issue wasn't made with me in mind, as if the recipes don't include dried fruit they are spicy and I don't like either.

From dh, I got new underwear and a pair of yoga pants.  Don't panic I haven't taken up exercising, I just like wearing the yoga pants!!  I of course had to go and pick those out as underwear is a personal thing and every brand fits differently I find.

This week's "Home of the Week," is on the market for $3.5 million.  For that you get a TWO bedroom house in someones back yard!  Yes it's advertised as a "Coach House," but it is still stuck in someones back yard and you have to pay over $700 a month in maintenance fees on top of that.........I'll pass!!

The "Condo of the Week," isn't bad at $795,000 compared to the home of the week.  I don't mind the way it's decorated and I love the kitchen.  I can see why you need a chair to sit down in, in the closet in the master bedroom, I too would be tired if I had to go through all those clothes!!!  Don't see the point of those busts sitting on those plinth's especially in the second bedroom, that's an accident waiting to happen when you get up in the middle of the night to go pee...........yes I'm old I need to go pee in the middle of the night!!!  I don't think the photos do this place justice,  I would also like to see outside of the building as well.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Not enough time in the day.....

to do everything I am wanting done at the moment it seems.  I was just talking to my friend Jane about this the other day, about the fact that just because we don't have kids at home doesn't make things easier.  We are still busy bees most of the time and some days we never stop.

I am so behind visiting everyone's blogs I am so surprised anyone visits mine anymore.  Part of blogging etiquette is to visit and comment on other peoples blogs.  Its something I love to do, but I am so behind in doing that, so I do apologise for not visiting your blog.

One of the jobs to do this week was to finish the baby quilt.  I completed it on Wednesday morning and as I had used my blue washable marker on it, I had to wash it. It is meant to be washed and used so no problems there.  The photos I took of it are when it is still wet though.  So it will be lighter in colour when dry.

I don't know the sex of the baby, the mother-to-be is not finding out.  I do think this is more of a boy quilt than a girl quilt though.  The quilting lines are straight in "real life," it just the way the quilt was laying.

I always like to see the back of the quilt.  As you can see it's a diamond pattern.  It was super simple to do and didn't take a long time to do.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More sewing done and a problem

Managed to get three pairs of trousers mended, finally!!  All the machine stitching is done on the quilt, just the hand sewing to complete, will show you a photo of it on Thursday, very pleased with it.  I also got my block of the month sewn.  Left it to last minute this month, as the meeting is on Thursday.

When I saw this month's pattern I must admit to being very intimidated as it looks complicated.  Anyway turned out to be pretty simple as long as you followed the instructions.  It's called Whirlwind, and I think that an appropriate name as there is a lot of movement in the block I think.
I am slightly off on one of my main points, otherwise I am very happy with it.  Colour a bit *itty though this month!!

Now my problem.  We have a tiled counter top in our kitchen and in my personal opinion I think they tend not to be hygienic especially in the grout area.  As I want a new kitchen eventually I thought I'd look into seeing how much a piece of granite would be for the island.  It's around 27 inches by around 58 inches, or around 13 square feet.

We popped into a granite place on the weekend, and looked at samples and the lady said she had a piece of this nice granite that should could do a deal with us and it had a lot of "flow" in it, so when we eventually redo the rest of the kitchen this would be a feature piece of counter top.  I get the quote on Tuesday and it's for the piece of granite with all the edges rounded (very basic), we will pick up and install ourselves, with taxes around $1000.

I makes sense to get a nice piece of granite as we can redo the rest of the kitchen in a plainer piece of granite, or quartz or Corian, but $1000 for just the island?  I was thinking about getting a piece of laminate made, as I know a place that would do that, but had my heart set on something more durable.  

So does anyone know if there are any places in the Toronto, Mississauga, Newmarket, Barrie area where I can source out some cheaper granite.  Should say she was charging us $65 a square foot.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gosh I'm tired amd a photo of our little Princess

Monday was another busy day.  I need to get a lot done this week.  I put the first coat of varnish on the stairs.  Yes it's stinky but it's not as bad as the stain.  My goal is to get three coats on this week.  I did a little bit of tidying up, as the place is still covered in dust (SIGH).  I got the baby quilt all quilted, so now have only the binding to do.  However I remembered I still have to sew together the block for my quilt club on Thursday.

I wanted to show you my newest "toy" 

Its that time of year when the cluster flies all wake up from their hibernation.  I find it hard work hauling my regular vacuum up the stairs every day, so I figured a hand held vacuum would do the trick.  This one is both an upright one and a handheld on and is quite compact.  And best of all cost a whopping $17!!!!

So far so good with it, just wish we didn't have to deal with the cluster flies period.

Our little Princess is two months old today.  I will be seeing her in person on Friday, so looking forward to that.  Doesn't she suit yellow?

Her face is really changing and she is more active as per her mother.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finally got around to cleaning the oven on Sunday

and it looks good.  I have been going to do it for a while now, but because it takes three hours to clean I need to do it on a weekend when the hydro is cheap.  

I also made a half hearted attempt to clean out the toaster oven but ran out of Easy Off Oven Cleaner.  i can't scrub with vigor anymore as it kills my wrists.

This week's "win" at the silent auction is a W.H. Grindley dish in the Mersey pattern.  Dated some where between 1891 and 1914 as per the marking on the back.  I over paid at $20 but love the piece.  Though because of the lead content I will have to be careful what I use it for.

I thought I'd share a couple more photos from Saturday's Home Show.  The photo below shows some of the art work from a lovely lady called Margo from Bramblewood Studios in Muskoka.  Her work is gorgeous and can be hung outside.  Here is a link to her website which showcases some of her work.

I was fascinated with the next company and the work they do.  I entered a draw to win the fountain below, and if you like the company on Facebook, you can win the fountain in a bucket which is directly above the fountain.  The company is Atlas Landscape Inc and they are in Newmarket.  They have lots of photos on their site.
I fell in love with these mushrooms, they were stunning.

The mushrooms were part of this water feature, which we were assured by one guy is super easy to do yourself..........

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lots of photos to share with you.

We went to a Home and Garden Show in Barrie at the Garden Gallery garden centre.  It was free admission and is always a pleasant couple of hours.

The store was decorated beautifully as always and I thought I share some photos.

Do you have a favourite of the photos above?  Mine is the first one.

It was a lovely day on Saturday with temperatures above freezing.  Although it is starting to melt the snow, as you can see from the photos below it has a ways to go to look like Spring!

I will share a couple more photos from the Home Show tomorrow as well.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'm still alive.......

and I am down to my last day of work on Friday.  It's surprising how you get into a routine, but I am still tired and other than making supper and keeping up with laundry that's about all that's getting done.

Work wise things have come back to me and it's been nice to catch up with everyone.  Oh and it turns out if you're in a grumpy mood you can collect more money...LOL  I have been busy chasing up people to pay their invoices and have enjoyed every bit of it despite my feet!

However I am hobbling around like an old woman as my poor feet are killing me especially my right one.  I have a case of plantar fasciitis and it bloody well hurts.  My feet have been bothering me for a couple of weeks and I have been wearing my crocs in work; but today it took a turn for the worse and it is very, very painful.  

It must be sore as I have a full day planned of being out and about on Saturday and am thinking of cancelling that and putting my feet up to rest yes for me to turn down a day out it has to be bad.

I am continuing to drive like Miss Daisy and haven't had any more incidents with my friends the police!!  The weather has been nice all week which has made the commute a lot easier.  It turns out it is costing me around $10 a day in gas for the car.  I get gas down the road from us as it is around 3 cents cheaper a litre than in the city.

I am seeing signs of Spring in the city with lots of Canada Geese flying around.  Meanwhile here at home there is still lots of snow and the driveway is still like a skating rink!!!

Got a couple of busy weeks ahead of me, with a number of things planned to do around the house, including finishing the baby quilt.  The top is sewn just have to sandwich it together and quilt it.  Have a couple of chairs to recover, and I would like to get the stairs varnished this month also.

Hoping to get back into routine of blogging and visiting everyone's blogs again next week.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My latest treasure........

and it is a little beauty and quiet different.  I was lucky to "win" this tea/coffee and dessert set for twelve this week.  It's Korosten Porcelain from Ukraine and the pattern is Symphonia  I have sent an email to the person at the link to see if I have dated it correctly, as mine is stamped with either I 50 C or I 53 C.  It's in great condition, with no chips and just a little wear and tear on the gilt and lustre.  I paid $35 for the set.

They are demitasse cups, are so very small and as I am not keen on espresso, we'll just serve regular coffee in them.

These will make lovely little dessert bowls, for a chocolate mousse.
The handled bowl is a flower bowl/vase and there doesn't seem to be a top for the sugar bowl either?

I have four books review posts published today if anyone is interested, click on this link.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

As promised more our little Princess photos......

Our little Princess thinking about being a Ballerina.....
Our little Princess thinking about the upcoming tennis season...
Our little Princess laying on the kitchen table just relaxing!!
Our little Princess saying good morning, I just had the best dream ever........
She is now out of newborn clothes and into the 3 month ones.  She will be two months old on March 12th.

For those of you who asked, I am covering for someones vacation at work, so it's a temporary thing me working.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

One week down......

Been at work all week, well except on Wednesday when we had the latest snow storm (SIGH)

It was an interesting week with one thing and another.  On Monday on the way home I was caught speeding, and ended up with a $52.50 speeding ticket, with no points. ((SIGH))  Lucked out though as I was doing 99.9 km an hour in a 60 km zone, in the middle of no where I may add, so I got off lightly.  Probably because despite me having a lead foot, this is the only second  speeding ticket I have had in Canada.  So for the rest of the week I have been driving like "Miss Daisy."

Work got easier as the week progressed.  I will admit to being really tired on Monday and Tuesday.  Probably because I was having to make parts of my brain work that hasn't been used for a while...LOL  The work I do is everything and anything in the office.  It mainly consists of answering the phone; 4 lines, accounts payable, accounts receivable, invoicing, collections (which I enjoy) and anything else that has to be done.

It's nice to talk to customers I have known for years, as this was my job before I "retired," so I know it well.  Of course lots have changed over the years, so there is always something new to learn or remember.  It's a full hour of travelling there and a full hour back, which sucks.  The place is so close to the airport that the planes fly over the building regularly.  You actually don't really notice the planes after a while...LOL  I work from 9 am until 3 pm which is great hours.  I find the time goes by so fast and I barely have time to eat, which may be a good thing.

My treat though is I have a hot chocolate in my travel mug on the way home from work everyday.  It satisfies my craving for chocolate, so that's good.

I am missing being at home.  The only thing I am keeping up with is the laundry.  With doing that batch cooking last weekend, it means that supper is a quick fix, but I have found once supper is over I sit down for the night and that's it.  So this weekend is going to be busy and will no doubt fly by.

Things should get back to normal after next week.  Our little Princess  mom has sent me some lovely photos of her, so I will hopefully share them with you over the weekend, as she is growing so fast.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The day after another snow storm...

I had a snow day on Wednesday so no work.  I took these photos on Thursday morning and thought I'd share with you.  I will do a blog post for tomorrow morning to let you know how things have been going.

I am bloody well sick of this weather now!!

Vertebrates, , invertebrates and Egyptian burial tombs

Those are just some of the subjects I discussed with my soon to be 6 year old grandson the other night. Back story; I babysat the boys while...