to brighten the day

It’s another dark and dreary snow storm day.  Everywhere you go people are talking about brighter days ahead.   I thought these pictures would brighten your day.

My great niece Brouke asked for a quilt like her baby’s sister.  But it had to made of bright greens and bright blues and bright purples………and pinks, any pinks.

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Luckily I had purchased a Moda scrap bag recently which contained strips of  Me & My Sister fabric line aptly titled Giggles.

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My generous daughter paid me in scraps for baby sitting lately, so I was able to add more bright greens and bright blues to the quilt.

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The backing will be scrappy with Brouke’s spelled out in the blocks.

I’m sure I’ll be rewarded with a giggle or two from Bourke.

 

 
Posted in Family Tree, Quilts, Sew Mam Sew | 3 Comments

Sunday morning snow coming down

It’s Sunday.  It ‘s snowing, Himself and the kitty are watching Squirrel t.v. and I’m hoping to settle down to a day of sewing.   The Maritimes are digging out from yet another day of snow.  Living at the Point we are blessed with a snow removal road crew who do the best job in the world.

On Friday I left the house at 6:30 a.m. anticipating a nerve racking drive to work in Saint John.  The roads in Springhill and Hatfield Point were snow packed but widely plowed and salted.  Dickie Mountain had one lane bared and at that hour of the morning there was very little traffic.   Once I hit the city, however it was another story.  The roads were snow packed, slippery and difficult to maneuver due to the high snow banks.  The main roads were bad and the secondary roads down to one lane.

Yesterday I drove to Sussex on the old highways, the roads were wide and bare.  Winter has been just a tad too long this year but it won’t last forever.  So make the most of your Sunday, whether you’re squirrel watching, sewing, snow shoeing or swearing at the falling snow.

I’m preparing the perfect lazy snowy Sunday dinner, Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken with Potatoes and Rhubarb Crisp for dessert.

Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken with Potatoes

* 3 1/4 – 3 3/4 pound chicken, cut into quarters ( I used 4 thighs, and 2 bone in breasts)
* 3 1/2 pounds of potatoes (Yukon Gold potatoes are best)
* juice from 2-3 medium lemons (Bottled juice can be substituted)
* 2 teaspoons of salt
* 1 heaping tablespoon of oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
* 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup of olive oil
* 1/2 cups of water OR chicken broth

Preparation:  Preheat  oven to 355°F (180°C).
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters,
lengthwise. Salt and pepper the chicken and potatoes. Transfer chicken
to a roasting pan, and add potatoes, on and around the chicken. Add
oregano, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, distributing evenly across
the pan. Add water and roast uncovered at 355°F (180°C) for a total of 1
hour and 40 minutes. Half way through (50 minutes), turn the chicken.

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Posted in Home Sweet Home, Recipes | 1 Comment

Keeping warm in a nor’easter

Another week, another storm.  The weather outside is frightful, but inside the smells are delightful.    On a storm day I usually cook up a huge pot of soup, like my Nanny taught me.    We’ve had so many storm days since January my freezer is now full of soup containers.

Today I tried a recipe I  had tucked away in the cooking binder years ago.  The whole house smelled terrific while the braised chicken legs in carrot juice and dates simmered in the oven.   I purchased the carrot juice a couple of weeks back and placed it in the freezer for just such a day.  Brown rice cooked on the residual heat from the back burner.  The meal was topped off with a side dish of squash.

My attempt did not look as picture perfect as this one from Fine Cooking issue 82 but the taste was incredible.

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With a full belly and a wonderful smelling  house I plan to spend the rest of this storm day quilting.   Not a bad way to spend a miserable day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home Sweet Home, Recipes | 1 Comment

Bird T.V.

Like little fluffs of snow balls,  a drift of snow buntings graced our feeder on Sunday.  As a faithful follower of Birding NB Oiseau on Facebook  I  had been telling Himself about the cute little birds that seem to be everywhere in the province except the Point.

Early Sunday morning while enjoying his usual pastime of watching Bird T.V. (i.e. the feeders in the apple tree) he exclaimed, “I think your little white birds are visiting!”

Sure enough, there they were. Swooping in a drift of 16 or so, they were difficult to count, they move so quickly. These cute little birds are sometimes called a “snowflake”. They spend their summers breeding in the high Arctic  traveling south in the winter like many other snowbirds.

Snow bunting Hatfield Point Feb 8, 2015
We enjoy many hours watching bird T.V.   The usual suspects are 3 blue jays, 4 gray squirrels, 2 dozen mourning doves, a male and female Hairy woodpecker, a single warbler, one large raven, a family of four crows and untold numbers of European starlings and chickadees.

Himself is the keeper of the birds. He braves the element twice a day to top off the feeders and put out scraps for the crows. In the winter I make suet for the feeders and we treat the crows to the occasionally can of dog food.

We both joke that the only reason we are still working is to feed the flock, but it’s a small price to pay for the hours of enjoyment they provide.

Posted in Garden, My long suffering husband | 2 Comments

Winter fun

Hello again, poor neglected little blog.   Life has been busy, that’s the only excuse I have.    This weekend however Himself and I made time for an us weekend.

Yesterday we visited the Winter market at Cedar crest Gardens.  What a great place to wile away a couple of hours on a cold Saturday morning.  The variety of vendors is impressive, anything from re-purposed furniture to original works of art.

Of course there are food vendors, including Thai, Vietnamese and fresh salmon cooked and served with a variety of toppings.  For breakfast Himself and I shared orders of vegetarian pancakes, pork dumplings and mini spring rolls.  We chatted with friends and acquaintances we haven’t seen in years.

A quick stop at the Scout shop to purchase new snow shoes,  followed by the usual trip to Halifax Seeds and the Restore finished our trip to town.   The rest of the afternoon was spent reading the Globe & Mail while enjoying hot cross buns from the market.

When we lived in the Miramichi I enjoyed snow shoeing especially during lunch hour.  Three of us would go out every chance we got.  A walk in the snowy woods for half an hour made the craziest of work days tolerable. Occasionally on a weekend we would venture into the woods with our family, build a small fire to warm tea and enjoy a picnic lunch in the wild.

Today Himself and I braved the minus 10 temperature and strapped on the new snow shoes.   As it has been a few years since our last excursion today we limited ourselves to 40 minutes.   The new shoes are narrower and  so much easier to use.   Maybe it’s not too late to enjoy this snowy winter.

Posted in My long suffering husband | 2 Comments

Another first

Ladies and gentlemen may I present, for the first time ever, home made cinnamon rolls!

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Making any type of dough has always been a problem for me.   Whether it is pie dough, bread dough or pizza dough, I just could not master the technique.  That was until this week, when I stumbled across this recipe.

It is super easy, providing you read the entire recipe before mixing the ingredients.  I didn’t, otherwise I would have halved the recipe to make our luncheon pizza.  One thin crust pizza is enough for Himself and me.

Not one to waste food I placed the rest of the dough in a plastic bag and stored it in the refrigerator.   This morning I made cinnamon buns for the first time ever with the remaining dough, from this recipe.

Himself volunteered to be the official tester.  My long suffering husband had to eat two buns before declaring they were the perfect sugar hit.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in My long suffering husband, Recipes, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

19 and counting

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For the past 3 years, Himself and I have marked the beginning of the holiday season by spending a day in Gagetown enjoying Christmas in the village. For the past 19 years the local artisans, craftsmen, churches and villagers have opened their shops and homes to the public for two days of good food, incredible crafts and a great deal of fun. A map provides directions and a short description of the wares offered. There is something for everyone from toddlers to day trippers.

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My favourite activity is visiting the local homes “inside yard sales” looking for vintage Christmas ornaments and china.

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Himself enjoys chatting with the owner of the local hostel, visiting with the local wood turner and checking out the wreath stand.
I always pack a thermos of tea and a picnic lunch. We sit in our vehicle resting our feet watching the river flow by. Dessert is purchased from the local W.I. or from one of the many fine cooks who sell their wares at the Legion bake and craft sale.
Himself and I met on a blind date 19 years ago this past weekend. Like Christmas in the Village it just gets better each year.

Posted in My long suffering husband, Shop Mam Shop | 1 Comment

More coloured strings

15560304911_5e1c0dc2c2_oThe rainbow quilt I finished last month was so much fun I’ve decided to expand the colour choices to include more pastel shades.   I used the tutorial from Film in the Fridge but instead of paper, I used cotton squares for the foundation.   This way the foundation becomes part of the quilt and I don’t have to worry about ripping away stitches when I remove the paper.

Once the center strip is glued into place, the rest of the sewing is relatively peaceful, or should I say pieceful.  If you can sew a straight line, then you can sew this quilt.  It is just a matter of sew, flip, press, sew, flip, press, then trim the block.

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These are the blocks I’ve completed so far.

colour blocks

I’ll probably finish the quilt with white sashing between each set of blocks.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Quilts, Sew Mam Sew | 3 Comments

There’s a method to my madness

Sewing scrap string quilts has become my favourite quilt obsession lately.  I love the frugality of working with these bits of leftover fabric.   I’ve been known to purchase Moda scrap bags to satisfy my cravings for a quick scrap fix.  These are bags of the end of the roll material, usually all in the same fabric line.  Quilt shows,  craft sales and thrift stores are another great source of scrap materials.  My daughter feeds into my addiction by saving scraps from her completed projects.  Mind you I often supply my daughter with fabric that I’ve purchased but don’t get around to using before she “borrows” it.

bag of scraps

The first thing I do with a new bag of quilting possibilities is to sort the scraps by colour.

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Once sorted, the scraps are placed in a photo box designated for that particular colour.   The boxes are purchased at Michael’s, when they are on sale for the  princely sum of 6 for  $10.00.   These boxes pile neatly upon each other allowing me to  hoard save even more scraps.

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When trimming blocks I save all the small left over scraps in a plastic zip lock bag.   These tiny pieces are returned to my daughter who loves to sew ticker tape quilts.

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This scrap madness is never ending.  But it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful a quilt can  be made entirely from scraps of fabric.

Ayla quilt

 

 

Posted in Quilts, Sew Mam Sew | 10 Comments

Alivia

Meet my great niece Alivia Dawn Marie, born April 26th.

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She is one happy baby now that her quilt is finally completed.   To force myself to complete the quilt before she was old enough to wed,  I held back from meeting her.    Yesterday her parents and the beautiful Alivia came to visit.

The quilt is a simple framed charm square pattern in various shades of pink.   As yellow is my niece Katherine’s (Alivia’s Mom) favourite colour, I added a few yellow squares as well.

My daughter finished each block with a different free motion pattern to give the quilt extra texture.

I think Alivia approves.

Happy Alivia

 

 

Posted in Family Tree, Quilts, Sew Mam Sew | 5 Comments