Monday, July 20, 2015

Another New Wave baby quilt

I'm getting my money's worth from the acrylic template I bought for this pattern.

Another oh fransson new wave baby quilt, for my cousin.

My cousin is pregnant with her first baby (a boy) and her mom (my aunt) hosted a shower this weekend. I didn't take a single picture at the shower, but I did have an interesting chat with a friend of my aunt's who referred to me as 'Mallory' the entire time. Perhaps she works for Starbucks?

Anyway, I didn't know anything about my cousin's colour scheme or nursery theme or anything so I built this quilt around the Heather Ross frog fabric in the middle, blues and greens with a pop of orange. I think it works, it's modern but still obviously for a baby.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Been a long time...

I kind of thought I was done with blogging, but then I realized that I missed having my pictures and stories together in one place. So, over the next little while, I'm going to try to backfill this blog, fill in the stories of the past year and a bit, then start writing about new stuff. We'll see if I stick with it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pink and Grey Heart Quilt

Ever since I saw this tutorial I have been looking for a project to make with it. C's coworker's pregnancy was the perfect excuse :) He gave me free reign, any design, any colours. Since baby-to-be is of the girl variety I chose a hot pink and silver colour scheme, then filled it in with softer pinks and greys.

It's backed with amazing hot pink minky dot and measures 40 inches square. I looooove it! Was hard to give away :) Definitely going to make this pattern again, next time in orange I think.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas quilting

So I managed to make and gift two quilts this Christmas, both are ones that I started eons ago and both started as Flickr quilting bee projects.

The first is an orange and grey free-form version of Chinese coins, which I called an Oscilloscope. Orange is James' favourite colour, this was always intended for him. I began it in 2011, sending packets of fabric out to a bunch of other Canadian quilters in the Maple Leaf Bee, then after I received blocks back from them I made a TON more, until, voilĂ , an oversized twin quilt (it's longer than a typical twin, something that he can snuggle with on his couch). I managed to get this done in October, and then had to hide it in my closet :)

The second finish is a standard twin, for Maya, with free-form and paper pieced houses. A neighbourhood quilt. I first requested these blocks from the Scrap-BEE-Looza group in November of 2010! Woah I didn't realize it was that long ago! Again I got a handful back and had to make a ton more, so the handful sat in my drawer a long time.

It's definitely weird, but I'd like to think she'll have fun with it. I finished it just days before Christmas, which is why the only photo I have is in my folk's living room on Boxing Day :)

Hoping to accomplish more than two in time for next Christmas, there's still a long list of people I'd like to gift a quilt...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A hockey icon retires

Daniel Alfredsson was the captain of the Ottawa Senators for 14 years, by all accounts a truly amazing guy. I'll never know what happened to make him leave Ottawa and play his last season in Detroit, the media says money but I imagine it had more to do with respect. Whatever the case may be, it appears that fences were mended between Alfie and the organization because he signed a 1 day contract with the Sens so that he could retire as a Senator.

As soon as we heard the news we bought tickets. We had to be there to see it. And it didn't disappoint.

He didn't actually play in the game, only skated in the warm up, but the atmosphere was electric. It was packed beyond capacity, everyone screaming and chanting, 'Alfie, Alfie, Alfie!' Then after the warm up there was a ceremony with him and his family at centre ice (his 4 little boys all wore Karlsson jerseys, which was a nice touch). It was a really great evening.

(Then the Sens lost the game that followed. Sigh.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Lights Across Canada

All across Canada government buildings turn on their Christmas lights for the first time each year together, at the same time. In Ottawa it's, of course, a big old ceremony (ANY excuse for a ceremony in Ottawa, I kid you not), and they call it Christmas Lights Across Canada. This year was particularly special because the Princess was performing along with her school choir at the ceremony on Parliament Hill. So, of course, we braved the cold to see it :)

(She's one of the red blobs, middle/right. My kit lens has decided it's unhappy with focussing in cold weather. Not that I blame it, but it makes for some strange looking zoom shots).

Even apart from enjoying her performance it was a fun night. There were candles for everyone in the audience, free hot chocolate and beavertails (we didn't get a beavertail, the line was absolutely obscene).

And of course Parliament itself was magnificent when they turned on the lights and projectors. I really do love living here.

Even if it's freezing 6+ months of the year...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Camping in the Adirondacks

A Canadian Thanksgiving getaway to Lake Eaton in the Adirondacks, all 5 of us.


It was phenomenally beautiful there, the fall leaves were at peak colour, the campground was mostly empty so it was super quiet.


We had to make a trip out to Tail of the Pup while we were in the area, and it didn't disappoint. Even with my ongoing stomach issues I was able to enjoy an amazing seafood meal (though I had to share the platter with James because I need to keep my fat intake to a bare minimum until the surgery).


Lake Saranac, on our return trip to the park after dinner.


I definitely want to come back here, such a beautiful place...


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Happiest Place on Earth

Disney - it's been on the bucket list for years, and this year we finally made it happen.

We drove out, road trip adventures are something we both enjoyed as kids and were excited to share with the bits, and it turned out wonderfully! They were perfect travellers. We took two days to drive down, arriving in Orlando in time for a late dinner and swim. We stayed at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort, and I can't recommend it enough, it was really special, not over the top 'themed' like many of the other Disney properties, focussing instead on just gorgeous grounds, perfect little pools dotted among the lodges which were set into wooded and landscaped areas with walking paths and bridges. Our plan was to spend two days in the parks, a day poking around Orlando, then two days with C's parents who have a condo in Fort Lauderdale before driving back home.

The next morning we boarded the shuttle for Magic Kingdom. C had been there as a kid, and we'd both been to Disneyland in California 12 years ago with big J, but this was the bits first experience. They were amazed, and overwhelmed (and frankly so was I!) The day flew by, and it was incredible to watch my almost teenager turn back into a little girl.

Day two was Epcot, and this was a first for all 4 of us. I loved Epcot! It really works for the older people, and the nerds, and I'm definitely both. Epcot was substantially larger than we thought, and we were substantially more tired than we anticipated, so we saw only about half of what the park had to offer. We did, however, enjoy two spectacular meals there, a buffet breakfast where princesses visited each child at the table (worth.every.penny) and an Oktoberfest-inspired German buffet dinner with communal seating and a polka band (the friendly people in our group had a wonderful time chatting!)

In retrospect, 2 days at Disney isn't enough. We tried so hard to see as much as possible that we were just exhausted, legs aching, brain fogged. But oh so worth it! If we do it again (and I hope we'll go back!) we'll spend 4. Plus C really wants to see Animal Kingdom, and the bits are sad to have missed Hollywood Studios.

Day 3 we had a leisurely breakfast, then hit the pool. It was the first hot non-rainy day of our trip (25C and full sun). The kids were in heaven.

We packed our things and loaded up the van, then took the water taxi from the resort to Downtown Disney, what a cool ride and a cool place. C started feeling unwell, so he went back to the resort while the kids and I shopped and explored.

Dinner back at the resort, then off to Ft Lauderdale. The rain, sadly, followed us, but we didn't let that deter us from a beach visit. It was the bits first experience with the ocean (they loved the waves, but didn't care for the saltiness of the water).

It was the perfect denouement to our trip, relaxing, comfortable, warm.

The drive home was fine, if quieter. We were compelled to take an extra day because of storms back home, but we had perfect driving weather.

I can't wait for our next adventure!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


2014? Wasn't it 1999 just yesterday?

One Little Word - concept that Ali Edwards has been promoting for years; one word that influences and guides your year. I wanted to play along this year, and I've been thinking about 'my word' for weeks. I knew right away what I wanted: let go. But, of course, 'let go' isn't one little word, it's two little words. And I spent weeks - WEEKS! wasting my precious mental resources trying to come up with an 'appropriate' word...

And that's why I need 'let go'. Let go of unrealistic expectations, let go of the little things, let go of the fear, of the disappointments, of regret. Live in the now.

Let go.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


C and little J and I spent about 4 hours raking leaves today (and that didn't cover half of our yard). 18 well compacted giant bags of leaves later, every part of my body hurts. Oh man am I out of shape! (Unless you count round as a shape).

But we got it done, and it was a glorious day to spent outside with two of my favourite guys.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In the big house...

The United Way was selling tours of the recently decommissioned Kingston Penitentiary. C lived down the street from KP briefly as a child and has been curious about it ever since. We were incredibly fortunate to get tickets, they sold out super fast.

We took the kids out of school so that they could experience the tour too. We were guided by a current corrections officer who worked at KP right up until the end (and has since transferred to another facility), he was a little light on the history of the amazing old place, but the picture he painted of life there just prior to the decommissioning was incredible, vivid and thought-provoking.

The 'main entrance' as viewed from the inside.

Little J in a standard general population cell, incredibly tiny!

Beautiful architecture in the 'shop dome', where inmates could learn a trade or complete an apprenticeship.

Razor wire. This stuff was EVERYWHERE. I never knew what razor wire was until this tour, it actually has double sided razors all along the coils. Creepy.

After our tour we spent some time in the penitentiary museum, across the street in the original warden's house, then lunch together at 5 Guys. Such an interesting, educational but still cool day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving camping

A return trip to Cedar Point Park in New York state to camp for Thanksgiving weekend. In contrast to last year, the weather was absolutely spectacular, warm and sunny (except for a little rain overnight Sunday and early Monday morning).

The park had tons of programming for the kids, costumes, hay rides, trick or treating around the campground to name a few.

We also took a little trip into Watertown for shopping and Olive Garden, but mostly we just enjoyed being together in the beautiful surroundings.

I love Thanksgiving camping!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hello Fall

A quiet stroll through Mer Bleue, all by myself, to enjoy the peace and quiet, and spectacular fall colours.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Extreme Makeover: J-man's room edition

A very very very very very long awaited redecoration of J-man's room commences. He's chosen a brilliant smurf blue (officially called 'Wind Tick', who names these things???) for the bottom, white for the top (with a strong arm twist from mama) and bright orange for the dividing strip. Should be, uh, interesting?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First day of school

Woah summer went by fast!

They look so old! My babies!

Monday, August 26, 2013

NYSF 2013

In what has become an annual tradition, we again spent a week of summer vacation in the Syracuse area, camping, shopping and visiting the New York State Fair.

As always the trip wasn't without its, uh, challenges (our car getting hit in the mall parking lot by a woman driving her new car for the first time, a kid singing the most forlorn version of 'Crazy Train' over and over at an ungodly hour right outside our tent, heatstroke and torrential rain on the same day...) but it was a great trip and we all enjoy camping together and poking around the fair too. Just being together.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Opening Night

A rather large part of our summer has been occupied by twice weekly (plus) rehearsals for the Dundas County Players' youth summer workshop production of Alice in Wonderland. Tonight, finally, was opening night. It wasn't without issues, there were a few forgotten lines (though none by either bit), but it was surprisingly good, and really, really funny. Most importantly of all, the bits were just thrilled with themselves.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Camping on the beach

We enjoyed a quick weekend getaway in our new-to-us tent trailer, staying at Golden Lake campground, in a site right on the water.

The weather was decent, the lake was lovely, the campground was, well, a bit close and a bit crowded, but it was fun.

We took a day trip to Bonnechere caves. It wasn't really what I was expecting, the caves were neat, but you couldn't explore or even walk through without a tour guide who talked incessantly, mostly about the 'adventures' of the caves' owner, and who really rather rushed the process (plus our tour group was around 25 people, which is a lot for tight subterranean caves). That said, Katie LOVED it. And Jonah HATED it. LOL, on the plus side, helping Jonah deal with his abject terror kept my mind away from any claustrophobic thoughts!

(Don't let that smile fool you - he was miserable).

All too soon it was time to bid the beach good bye. Can't wait for our next adventure!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

In a jam

For once we managed to get a couple of buckets of cherries from our sour cherry tree before the birds got to them (is it all the rain that delayed their cherry feast?)

I decided to make cherry jam. I've never made sour cherry jam before, and I don't know why, it's AMAZING! The contrast between the tartness of the cherry bits and the sugary jelly. I hope the birds leave me a few pounds next year because these jars probably won't even last until fall...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day?

We attempted to do Canada Day on the Hill (not the whole day, just the early part, there was a concert by Carly Rae Jepsen (who the kids love) and an appearance by Commander Hadfield (who I love!). It was awful (not Carly Rae, or Cmdr Hadfield, they were awesome, what little of them we saw). The hill was crowded beyond even my wildest dreams, and security was ridiculous, a queue over a kilometre long to get to a security checkpoint manned by 3 police officers searching bags, etc, then 150 or so cops all along the perimeter of the hill who's sole job it appears was barking at little kids who wanted to climb up on the walls that hold the fencing so that they could see what was going on.

I understand the 'need' for security (I don't, but I'm trying to be magnanimous) but my tax dollars, and the tax dollars of the thousands of other people who simply didn't want to queue up for 2 hours in the heat to see a 15 minute show, pay for every aspect of this, the building, the 'security', the entertainment. And we're denied enjoyment of what we've funded. The bad guys have won.

(here's a cute picture, so that the entire post isn't a complete downer)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Double digits

His birthday fell during a sleepaway Cub camp. His birthday cake was delayed, which lead to sad boy, which lead to sad mama. This sweet, oh so sensitive boy, he's so much like me, that makes it awfully tough sometimes.

My last baby. He isn't a baby anymore...