Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The seas are very rough, the storms were around us all day yesterday with tornado warnings in the area.  It was beautiful to see the Gulf of Mexico in its glory! 

I went for a walk along the beach in the afternoon and this was washed up on the beach...a sea sponge.   I had not seen one in years so it was a surprise.  I presented it to the staff here to see if they had seen one before.   Nope.  A new thing in their life.   Very interesting day indeed.

I am buying fabrics here and there, doing the Daily Deal on the Missouri Star site is great fun.  Quilton reminded me to buy the quilting clips the other day which were on for .33 plus $5.00 shipping was a great price.  I know people use hair clips etc., but these are going to help with the sewing of the bindings.

I do wish I had brought my sewing machine now.  I know that knitting is easy to carry, but I miss my sewing time.

I have knit at least a half dozen pairs of socks, and even a prayer shawl...I do need the fringes on it though to make it look proper.   Not that I pray, but these days here in the US, we are all putting the people of Newtown in our hearts at least as they must put together a future without 20 children and six teachers in their community.

I am flying home for Christmas to cherish and hug my family.  My friend Mary is doing the dinner which is always a wonderful feast for all expecially the blending of our families.   Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Picasa Problems.

I have been having problems with Google and Picasa.  Normally, I  put my photos in Picasa for back up system.  ...Picasa uploads everything I put in my photos file. Then, when I try to post a photo on my blog, Picasa says.....sorry you've used up your space...what's with that?   Now I must cull and move and delete in order to be able to post on my blog.
The photo above is a bush blooming here
in Florida.  It is called Golden Rod Bush
for lack of a better name, so the lady who
owns it said.  She didn't know the proper name for it, but she had had no luck growing it in Atlanta which isn't too too far away from the Gulf coast.  It is absolutely beautiful and so yellow.
The problems with blogger is  that I cannot also post in paragraph...yuck.  Anyway the little critter on the beach is a shark egg casing.  Because of the surge of the sea this week, we saw hundreds of these on the beach.   I looked it up on the web and found that these little Ray looking things are the remains of shark eggs.  
Some shark species lay eggs, while others give live birth...the lessons we learn these days.
Today, since it is raining and fog surrounds our little abode here, it is Missouri Star Quilt shops free shipping within the US, so I think I shall spend some money.
Am still knitting socks, and also decided to do a "prayer shawl" to keep my shoulders warm on cool nights. 

Friday, November 30, 2012


 When in Canada, to order online from anywhere in the United States, the delivery charge is $15.00  in US funds of course. 

So, here we are in Florida, and I am having so much fun.  The deal of "The Sweet Scoop"  daily deal from Missouri  Star Quilt company, delivered to Florida is less than $9.00 and not only that, they
have a daily deal.

This is my third order from them, others will be arriving. 

You can only order one at a time, so I set up an account for my sweetie and I can now get two of each of the deals.

It is less than the buying at a store for me.  I cannot find this kind of a deal anywhere in Canada. 

Here at our winter home, people come and
go all the time, but some, well some people stick in your heart and hopefully one will see them again.  Such is the new friends from Ontario who have been here a month.  Tomorrow is their last day!

The Snowbirds are arriving tomorrow afternoon for winter stays here in Florida.  Life will change and the afternoons by the pool will be much busier.

I am still knitting socks.  I have made five pairs in the last month, read a few books and walked my dog daily.  How come he looks fit and I still look the same? 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Being in Florida, I am knitting not quilting, surfing the web a lot on days that I don't have much to do.  Oh, every day is a not much to do day it seems.

The photos are from the National
Geographic Magazine that I
came across.

 I cannot imagine a 3200 year old tree (called "the President) still standing and not chopped down. 

The splendid photos are breathtaking.  For those that want to see these in real life, these were taken in Nevada.  I cannot imagine the cutting out of a tree to make room for a car to go through, can you?

As we approach the Thanksgiving here in the US, we see all around us, Americans getting excited about the holiday...I think the Black Friday sales and the football games are all part of the excitement I fear.

We are having a pot luck Thanksgiving lunch here at the Villas, which should be great fun.  I am taking photos of the feast which is tomorrow at 1 pm.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I thought I'd see if I could sell a couple of quilts while in Florida. 

Well I am so surprised that they were sold as soon as the people saw them.   I had no idea what to charge as I suppose I view my work in a different light than others do.

Not looking for pats on the back here but
I wasn't prepared for the "how much" when
I brought them out.

So, I sold the green flip flop for less than the white one.  My friend Helen said that I had charged too little for the white flip flop, so I added when selling the green one.

The white quilt which is the little one on the right I sold for $50.00 now that was properly priced as it is about 36" square.

I think the flip flops is really popular here as everything about the property has some reflection of the shoes.  I can see myself having to make a few more for next year.

I looked in etsy this morning and the prices are from Gees Bend (!) pricing to what I consider good to sell prices. 

It is difficult to part with works of love, but I did it.  I still have my little Maine houses quilt which I didn't show, but I am sure that it will sell when the right people are here.

I am happy with the money as here in Florida, I can get free shipping for all US locations, and there is always Joann's sales.  I bought a large cutting mat there for $25.00 with a 60% off coupon.  The original mat is cracked.  Also bought a new cutter for half price.    The fabric prices are not too bad, but there is coupons available online for Joann's all the time and instore sales....I have some fun ahead of me!

Just a little story.  Yesterday there was a few of us by the pool, complaining of the weather but still hearty souls having cocktails, when a couple joined us who are from Illinois.  The woman was wearing a Notre Dame sweat shirt.  I asked how she got it and she said her granddaughter is in first year at ND. 

I sent an email to the neighbour's daughter who is there and now.....for the rest of the story.....they are dorm mates!  Got a picture and a lovely note from them!   Small world indeed.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


 Okay, I went to Gees Bend expecting what I had seen on TV, had read in the book, then researched online.  At the Alabama State welcome centre there was a brochure telling about the Gees Bend quilters.  I paid $55.00 US for this 12 x 12" square.  
 For those of you who hand quilt, particularly, Quilts etc's Karen, you will see that the hand work is in very simple form.  I thought that it would be so different than what I normally see.  My friend Helen, makes very intricate patterns in her hand quilting, as does Karen and many of you who read this blog. 
 This lady who is part of the co operative was sitting on quilt tops, just place hap hazardously on an old sofa.  All the blocks were fairly large, not any different than what a 5" patch work would be. But nice bright colours.
 Now this quilt above, was really neat.  Used up lots of fabric and the colours were really out there, so I loved it.  I thought that this was really individual works.  
 You can see that this wood panel need refurbishing, so many of the other panels that we were told would be there were probably being repainted.
I loved these works.  More like what one would expect from the ladies of Gees Bend.  All works were in cotton, and very individual thinking in these quilts.  Again, simple stitches which here, were really effective.
 So, here I am in the store at Gees Bend, showing my flip flop quilt which they thought was wonderful...so polite and gracious.  So there ends my trip to Gees Bend.  I think, personally that their pricing is too expensive, too ordinary in the sense that they are producing what we are lead to believe is so creative.  I don't know about that and history will judge if these ladies can produce what their mothers and grandmothers did.  Personally, I don't think so. I think that someone is influencing or managing them saying that they must mass produce rather than create...the end of Gees Bend visit.
We have settled into our little winter paradise.  So far the temperature is just like summer days.  The pool here is warm, the seas too as many people have come for the weekend to enjoy the sunshine and the gulf breezes.

The  bottom photo is what greeted us as we arrived here in Laguna Beach Florida.  Flowers are still in bloom, very very inviting.

We called Canada this morning only to be told that the first sprinkling of snow has happened.  The only white stuff we have seen is white sand.  How lucky are we?

Friday, November 2, 2012


 This quilt, which is signed by the quilters of Gees Bend is hanging on the wall of the community centre.  If you click to enlarge you will recognize some of the name of the original ladies of Gees Bend.   The new centre is beautiful, sunny and quite large.  Somehow though, I suspect that some of the ladies must miss the intimacy of the old building.  It is quite large, the new one that is, while the original building is small, and also closer to the centre of town.
 Here I am at the front of the store at the roadway with the old centre/store on my left.  The centre of the town is pretty much here.  Just around the corner from the store is a dirt road leading to residences.  Following the road we didn't see any more of the quilt signs, but did see that the one of the quilters had a road named after her.  Will post that at a later date. 
This is the mural of quilts from the stamps collection.  It is quite impressive to say the least.  It hangs in the store which has so many items for sale.  The quilts are very expensive just to tell you right from the start.  So if you go with the idea of buying a quilt, be forewarned.  I don't know who is in charge of the collective, but the prices are up there with mortgage payments!
The store or the Collective Center as it is called has room for a busload to view the video of Gees Bend on one side, and the sales centre on the other.  

We drove through the town which, on the brochure of Gees Bend that we picked up at the Alabama border said that there would be many of the original quilts displayed as I posted yesterday, but we only saw a few.  I think that they must have removed some because of the weather wear on them.

We are at the our "winter home" having lovely lovely Florida weather.  This morning the temperature is 54 degrees Fahrenheit but at 7:00 a,m there were three kids with their dad in the pool.  The father was still yawning as he got in the water!

Everything here is in tip top shape and so clean.  We are happy! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


 This is the sign that met us as we arrived in the Gees Bend area.  To say that it is in the boonies is putting it mildly, but having said that, I am so glad that we went.  It was, for me looking at history of black women in Alabama who became world famous.  Little did they know when they started selling their quilts, what lay ahead of them.
 As we arrived in the little community, of which at the best of times there is only about 200 people, we started seeing these painted signs of some of the quilts that were on 2006 US stamps.  We drove along some dirt roads, then some paved roads till we arrived at the ferry crossing.  I went in to find out where to go to see the quilters, and the woman at the reception asked how many people we were.  I said that it was just me!  She said she rarely if ever remembered anyone coming by themselves.  Usually bus tours of quilters come to tour the site.  She told me that the Gees Bend Quilters were just about to have lunch and to come across the hall to visit. And she said that she didn't ever remember a Canadian visiting!
The lady on the left in red is Nancy Pettaway, the next lady is Lola Pettaway, and the other lady is also a Pettaway, but by that point I was so overcome to meeting them that I teared up and Nancy hugged me.  When I told them that I was by myself, other than my husband and dog, they couldn't have been nicer and called to tell the manager of the store to open it up as there was a lady here from Canada.  Can you imagine?  I asked about taking photos of them and said that they were probably used to having their pics taken, but Lola said not many people ask them about that....so, my next blog will feature the humble studio where the ladies sell their wares and what they thought of me bringing my quilts for them to see!

Yeah, I showed them a few quilts....that is a story for another day!

Friday, October 19, 2012


 We, being alone on our little island paradise this week have had the best of the best weather!

Shining sun makes for popping the hugest mum pot ever that I received from my darling daughter.  

We haven't even had the heat on in the day time.  Now that is something for this time of year.

Ok, it was so warm that we had drinks on the dock, what little there is of it.  I had to remove my coat after this photo was taken.  The red dog thinks I have beer!  It's wine, but he prefers the amber stuff from the can.  Too funny about that dog...

The lake levels continue to drop so much
that the little dock is almost on the bottom
of the lake.  Oh well only a few days to go.  Lake levels have dropped almost four feet!

Speaking of feet...  I tell you, I've been making socks for everyone but me so when I tried on a pair a few weeks ago, I could not believe how comfy they were.  I made this pair just recently, from a ball and a half.  Now what were the chances that when I attached the remaining wool that it would end up matching.  Unbelievable!  But the socks match, not that I care about this much, but it happened by magic!

The leaves continue to be so colourful, although no reds anymore from the maples as they are gone, but golds, pale greens, and rusts abound.  We took our docks over to little bay behind that boathouse in the photo.   

We are here for the last Friday of this year.  We expect to leave by Monday.  I wish it wasn't so, but the weather will change to the point that we will curse not having left sooner.

It has been the best of the best of years.  The weather was fabulous, I quilted to my heart's content. Blog land continues to make my life interesting.  Who could ask for anything more?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


 Putting a photo on a blog is so important, but I am down to just a few days here, and other than taking photos of the wind on the lake, which doesn't show up well, I saw this one on the web and thought that it would be a perfect quilt!

That is if I could do applique with any sense of accomplishment.  It is my struggle with hand work that continues to evade me.  But the lady bug in the photo is quietly reflecting on her

Me too.  This summer has been glorious for us here at the cottage.  The weather was fabulous, the water warmed early and stayed warm till the middle of September for those hardy souls who wake up and go jump in the lake as their morning constitutional.  Not me as I love a warm shower, but do admire those that don't feel the chill of jumping in the water.

The mums in the photo are mine.  A gift from my daughter when she came for Thanksgiving.  It is huge beyond belief.  It hasn't completely opened up yet, as we have had so much rain, so little sun, and howling winds.  

Only about a week or so to go and we will be off the island.  Our docks are mostly put away in the cove to protect from harsh winter ice, one is being repaired and that will be that.

We are the only people here that I can see.  We do have neighbours on the island just next to us who are still here, but they are also leaving next week.

The mornings are quite nippy, and a wood stove warms the cottage each day.  It means a lot of wood fetching I tell you, but when the sun is out, we feel the warmth in the cottage.  

I am starting to pack up, so much to do till we head to Panama City Beach area for the winter.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


It was Thanksgiving at the lake this passed weekend.  

Here cottagers must take their floating docks to sheltered bays for the winter to protect them from ice formations.  There are about three such places around our island on the north shore.  

 One of our neighbours was moving his docks while a rower was taking advantage of a calm morning to have his final row of the season.

We had a pot luck turkey dinner for our neighbours who were here to close their cottages.

 It was the easiest Thanksgiving ever.  I did the turkey, Kent and Kathleen  did the veggies and Helen and Andrea made desserts and set the dinner table for 12.

We had champagne with pomegranate liqueurs before dinner.  That was Kent's idea and they were so yummy.  The colour of the champagne was burnt orange because of the liqueur colour. 

We played a few games to end the evening which everyone said that this was now the first annual dinner Thanksgiving pot luck.

I took this photo of the neighbours leaving the lake for the last time this season.  Click on the photo and you can see a ninety pound golden retriever become a lap dog!  He really does not like boat rides.  He did not want to leave the island.  I suspect he doesn't like car rides either.

We had a wood pile that went pulpy, was bug infested so could not be used for kindling, so the men of the lake "bonded" yesterday.  The chair that my sweetie is sitting on was supposed to go to the fire also, but they decided to share the chair, so it didn't get burned. 

All is quiet this morning, chilly, a bit windy but they boys are taking a dock to shelter even though.  

We only have a couple of weeks to go here at the lake.  Today we will be the last of the islanders on our little island paradise.  The lake had no lights that we could see last night, a sharp contrast to Saturday night when the lake seemed to be lit up.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


 October days at the cottage surely means the season is coming to a close.  All the little projects that have been put off a bit this summer since the weather was so lovely, are now in full gear.

Next door, the weekend project went like this...three guys getting
together to make an extension to
a dock to enable ample sitting space to watch lake activities.

Then there were five...and the women and dogs doing what they do best...supervise, that is except for the daughter who carried boards, to the saw and back to the decking area.  She
worked along side the men, impressing all with her energy...Ah the young!

The little boats are up on winter cribs, awaiting winterizing and covers.  Another little job done!

Mary, my dear friend who has taken up this knitting thing, made six hats in as many days.  She said that we shouldn't bother
her as she had "orders" for seven hats!

She has made a pair for twin boys born premature  a week ago, so the little yellow tops are for them...so tiny, but made to order by an aunt of the babies.

I have one of them for a new baby girl born this week to a very happy grandmother that I know.  I am sending it to her, hopefully I shall get a photo.  I know that it will be so enjoyed and she will take a photo to send to me so that I can see that it is truly loved as a handmade  gift.  It's the least anyone can do isn't it?  I mean everyone had digital cameras these days...

My baby blanket is done.  Thanks again Bev.  I am done with thirty type prints...I had Shay send me enough to do a king quilt, then Bev kept sending me her leftover little squares...what is a girl to do but get making!  So Quilton and Quilting in my Pyjamas..thanks for collecting these extras which came to me...

This should be the last quilt of the season....yeah I know I said that last week or so, but it is hard to stop.

  One of my favourite blogs that I followed because it was just a great spot to stop by, view excellent photography, see the western US, and enjoy her quilts, is giving it up.  She says she is done with quilting!  What?  I am sorry to see Pieceful Afternoon leave the quilting world, for photo ops and other things like making dolls...fiddly things are not in my realm, but Jo says she is loving it.  Good bye to a blogging friend I sadly say.

OMG!  today, the windows are open, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing lightly and we are supposed to be in a rain storm!  How good is that to have the weatherman wrong?   I even put laundry out!  It is October people!

Yesterday, we went all, even the dog to get badly needed haircuts. Mine was so unruly that I forgot how to care for an easy cut!  The dog looks white again, and my sweetie hasn't got the need of a ponytail as his was really long.

On closing, just a note to say that the leaves are turning glorious colours of autumn,  cloudy days are wonderful to view the colours which was yesterday for us.  Beautiful country drive to get all our shopping done for Thanksgiving this coming weekend.

Monday, October 1, 2012


 This is an aerial photo of our lake.  Our island is the one in the main photo, and if you peek, you can see a jut of white sticking out on the left side.  That is our docks!

To get to mainland, we must go passed the top left of the photo as the lake is large.  

My blog friend Quilton, sent me
some very very cute 30s prints.

I made this crazy variation of nine patch yesterday.  I got the idea from watching a video on Missouri Quilt shop tutorial.

I put two nine patch squares together, right sides facing and sewed completely around them, then cut them all on the diagonal and voila! An easy but wow factor quilt.

I hate starting projects at this time of year as we are now only about 3 1/2 weeks from leaving the island.

I didn't see much of my man this weekend.  Nothing like a dock project to entice a work group.  The neighbours were building  a new seating area at their dock.  They have so much company, so large a family, so many people, so little room to all sit at the dock on weekends.

So a plan was devised, tools collected from our workshop, lumber purchased, and what was three guys, ended up with five and sometimes six putting it together.  I tell you, that the project is almost finished, and it will be a fabulous place for sitting. Photos to follow.

Now, this coming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.  I hope that this dreadful cold is gone, that the potluck turkey dinner has great weather, that all are able to attend.  Should be fun for the last feast of the season as everyone but us is closing up.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


 My mother had a beach bar in the Virgin Islands, the British Virgins to be exact, from the mid 70s to the mid 80s.  During that time she entertained many celebrities during her time running her little beach bar.

She was known for her lobster sandwiches, her pina coladas and of course her banana bread which were part of her foods at her little beach bar.

She had a motto that she must be notified well in advance for dinner reservations, which she basically decided the menus.

This, being in the days before cells etc, reservations from yachts were made by ship to shore calls.   Ok, here is the Andy story.

A yacht known as "The Eagle" wasn't large, large, but for its time, it was THE way to travel for many celebrities.  So, it arrives in Cane Garden Bay, (see photo above) and the captain comes ashore to ask my mother if there could be reservations for dinner that night. He explains that they had problems with their ship to shore phone....

My mother tells him that he hasn't reserved in time and no it cannot happen tonight.  He tells my mother that Andy Williams is aboard with a small party.   My mother tells the captain that she doesn't care if he comes ashore singing Moon River, dinner is not going to happen.

About 15 minutes or so later, the captain again comes ashore with Andy W and he enters the bar, walks up to my mother and begins singing Moon River.  My mother, with a bar full of people goes all shy and says Ok, ok, you can come to dinner.

He had a party of eight including himself, brought his own music, stayed about two hours and tipped my mother, her staff of two  $800.00.   The biggest tip for dinner she ever received.

RIP Andy Williams, a true gentleman. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


 September begins with days such as this photo on the right, calm mornings with loons sending their song over the lake.

Our lake has amazing echos.  It used to be called Hollow Lake by the natives who inhabited the surrounding areas.  The name denoted the echos of the area.

On autumn nights, we can here
the wolves howling across the Highlands that surround us.

We get fierce storms from our southern neighbours, which sometimes result in beautiful 
rainbows.  We also often get double rainbows, but they cannot be seen by my camera.

On warm morning of September we sit on our deck and enjoy the simple sounds that surround us here.  It is why we love being here.

Of course September means thinking of closing up too.  So here is the sweetie, bringing the kid's boat to our winter storage, which is up on a small crib on the rocks at the shore.  Keep in mind that this boat is about 10 
feet by five feet, so not an easy task for my big guy to drive.

But, this morning, on my birthday no less, it is warm and balmy, just a light wind and coffee on the dock was the order of the day.  The mid season warmth continues, which we hope will still be here in two weeks when we have our Thanksgiving dinner.  There will be neighbours and friends, along with family for a pot luck supper of turkey and fixings.

That weekend will mean that most of our neighbours will have their closing of their cottages too.  Lack of water for boat docking is what really is a problem for cottagers here as the damn at the end of the lake is opened to allow fish spawning.

It will certainly be quiet.