November 29, 2013


I've always loved the old samplers, so several years ago I decided to make my own. I'll admit that this sampler has been languishing in the depths of the closet, but I've been working on it in the past few weeks. 100% linen thread and cloth. 

 Mid to late 18th century reproduction. Currently working on the tree above the Shepherdess' head, so there's a lot of work left to do. For the scene, I must conquer a few stitches, but my greatest challenge will be the placement. Wish me luck! Yes, that's a tea stain.

Here's  a great site for kits, classes etc.
My first sampler.

November 26, 2013


 A little snow on the ground and that's okay, but I can wait a little longer for a heavy crop of snow. And I would not be disappointed if it completely disappeared.  As you may have guessed by now, winter is not my favourite time of year, but I do appreciate the beauty of a heavy snowfall.  What I miss most in the winter is colour, especially the bloomin' flowers so when it's cold outside, I try and create small islands of beauty inside.

For me, the aroma of something freshly baked adds to that beauty. My idea of a great afternoon, knitting, reading, and watching the amaryllis grow with promise before my eyes. On a sunny day, if I move these plants around so they can track the sun, they sometimes, depending on what type of bulb, grow a few inches a day. It's amazing!

Usually the Amaryllis bloom by Christmas, but they will be early this year, so I might plant another, and perhaps another when they go on sale after Christmas. I'm still looking for paperwhites; they are fun to grow too.
Banana bread. My mother's recipe.

Because the yarn is not very stretchy, I don't think that this cast on edge will even out after blocking.
 Did someone say frog?
( For non-knitters...  In knitting, frog parlance it means to rip it. In this case, all of it and begin again.)

Winter's winds whistle in
And snow banks the trees
Who huddle and rest 
And dream of spring

November 21, 2013

River Run ...continued

Cobscooch. A Micmac name meaning "bad, rough water." 
Pronounced  Cubscooch.
An old sentinel overlooking Cobscooch.
 The long shadows of a late afternoon.
Detail--old house on the above property; it is currently being rebuilt. ☺
An incognito tree hugger.
 I had to add this old character-driven house.
The old Post Office.

 A special thank you to Lorraine, my sister, for indulging my whims on my trip home.

And to Sheren who lit up the world with her presence and who I travel with everyday in spirit...

November 19, 2013

River Run

The weather was beautiful while I was in Nova Scotia, so that made it easy to revisit a few of my old haunts.

 When I was a child, I spent a lot of time on the river exploring, swimming, and making great discoveries, including finding in the shallows hundreds of baby eels, which I used to sift through my fingers. (Tomboy? I reckon.) Back then I wanted to know everything about the eels. I've had to wait a long time for information, but, in case you are interested, here are a few facts that have recently come to light.

 ~  Different from salmon, adult eels migrate from the rivers in N.A. and Europe to the Sargasso Sea south of Bermuda to spawn.  A few years later, the offspring return to the estuaries to acclimatize before they swim up the rivers. Sometimes they will even travel overland to the lakes where they will stay until something tells them it's time to return to the spawning grounds--that may take ten or twenty years.

Unfortunately, the baby eels, that piqued my curiosity so long ago, are now commercially fished.

 High tide has pushed into the estuary.

Another river in the same county. I spent a few glorious summers on a farm in this area, and it is still my favourite place. To the right, if I remember correctly, a fine place for a swim

Fresh air filled with the scent of the pines.

Cranberries... hmmm...maybe.
A hint of the miraculous? Sand in the woods.

November 12, 2013

In the Meantime...

After my trip, I decided to finish a few things that I've been thinking about completing for awhile.The scarf I wanted to knit as soon as I saw it, so once I got back, I whipped it up rather quickly.

On the other hand, the pie has been languishing on my want to do list since early July. I've come up with a few reasons for not making it. 1.)  In the past, pastry has  rated high on my misery index.
2.) That, in July, August, and Sept., it was just too hot to heat up the oven. But sometimes wisdom creeps on you...I must have been waiting for the apple harvest.

Old Shale Scarf
The wheat is grown in the village and carted to the mill to be ground and bagged.

Finished product.
One for me
The "trick" for great pastry: make sure everything is cold, including the bowl. Put a cup of cold water filled with ice cubes in the freezer until it's time to mix the required amount of water with the flour and shortening. It really does work! A great tip from a master pie maker and baker, my sister.

"Resistance is futile."

Onward to a little revision.
And for the bright spot. I'm still deciding on what to make, but I'm leaning towards the Longfellow Shawl.

November 07, 2013

Farther Along the Shore

Farther along the shore, we stopped for a visit in Shelburne, N.S. The town was settled by the United Empire Loyalists in 1783. Bustling with 10,000 souls, it was, at the time, the fourth largest city in North America. Unfortunately, the population dwindled rapidly and by 1791 most of the people had moved on. Because of the decline, many of the old house were torn down. It grieves me to think about it.

If you watched the Scarlet Letter, you may remember this building--the steeple was added for the movie. Fortunately, this old warehouse has been saved from demolition and will soon be re-roofed and used for business.

 In 1983, when Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited the town, this old dory shop received the "royal treatment."
A smart looking Loyalist solider standing guard over Thomas Courtney's house build in 1783.
George Gracie house circa 1785. Now Cooper's Inn. With great food, and a fine bed, and a front room with a view of the harbour, I'm certain, it would prove to be a perfect place to spend the night.
Thankfully, The Ross-Thompson house was also saved from the wrecker's ball and is now a museum. Inside there's a 1785's store that did, no doubt, a booming business. (The store was built in one of the side lanes just up from the waterfront.) I can picture the barrels/hogsheads of rum, tobacco, molasses, flour, and other "necessities" that stocked the shelves, along with a bustling waterfront that teemed with sailing ships.
~Notice the old cellar doors. ~
A side view of The Ross-Thompson house. There's a summer kitchen in the basement and a 1780's garden by the side of the house.
A view of some of those buildings on the waterfront. (Shelburne also has the 3rd largest natural harbour in the world.)
An abrupt diversion...on the design. After many twists and turns I am finally knitting from my complete pattern.
Enjoy the weekend!

November 05, 2013

* By the Sea

* An earlier post that somehow reverted to draft form so re-posting...
Finally, by the sea...ahhhh
Words were not necessary, looking and breathing in the sea air was enough. My last evening by the sea. I felt sad to leave but was so happy I was there.
Nova Scotia tartan scarf and sea glass compliments of my sister, although, along the shore, I did find one or two pieces of sea glass which I've added to the mix. I wanted to buy sea glass earrings and a pendant, but the ones I found were beyond expensive...maybe next time.

My footprints will disappear with the coming tide.

In bound.
 Not the sea, but these "fall guys" seem fitting. I found this motley crew off the beaten track, but in an area that I love.

I had a great time in Nova Scotia. The weather was beautiful. It rained one day and after that at night, so the days were clear and mostly sunny. The time flew by and we were on the go, so my blogging plans vanished like the morning mist. Over the next while, I will post pics of my trip which, I've noticed, are mostly of the places that I love: the sea, woods, rivers and, of course, old houses. I am looking forward to catching up with all of you. I hope you all had a great month!
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