Saturday, 30 June 2012

Weekend Cooking - Banana Nutella Crepes

Daughter decided that she would be chief breakfast cook for Father's Day.  She wanted to surprise daddy with crepes.   She had seen at the local mall where they make banana nutella crepes and sell them for a seeming huge amount of money.  She felt would could do better.

Crepe batter is very easy to prepare.Our recipe is from the 25th Anniversary edition of the Five Roses Flour Cookbook.

Thin French Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup milk (we used almond milk)
1 tbsp melted butter

Combine flour, sugar and salt, in a small bowl, combine eggs, milk and melted butter.  Pour all at once in dry ingredients  Beat until mixture is smooth.  Cover and let stand about 2 hours.  Brush frying pan with melted butter and heat.  Pour a small amount of batter in pan and turn pan quickly so that batter covers bottom of pan completely.  Cook until undersurface is golden brown, about 1 minutes.  Turn and brown other side, about 1 minute.  Serve immediately.  I used a 1/4 cup batter per crepe.

Note: if required, these pancakes may be prepared ahead of time  Pile cooled pancakes, separating pancakes with sheets of wax paper.  Wrap in aluminum foil and place in refrigerator or freezer.  Before using, thaw pancakes without unwarpping.

Spread with nutella

Top with thin banana slices

Fold in quarters and top with a good dollop of whipped cream.  Three is a bit much for one serving, two would have been quite sufficient.  Though being a good mother, I ate all three.

For more foodie fun, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking post.  You are invited to join in the fun by adding a link to your recent food related post.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Winner: The Last Romanov

Thank-you to everyone who attempted to guess my nieces names.  The Anastasia part was easy, I told you that, but the rest were all over the place.  My sister loved all your suggestions and wonders why she didn't think of them.  I don't have permission to tell you her full name, but I can say that there was a correct guess.

I made a random drawing to select a winner.


June 29, I heard back from Jenn; she had already won this book at another site and asked me to draw a new name.

The new winner is Shelley

I have sent her a private mailing.

Thanks to Sourcebooks which is supplying the prize.

Free Audiobooks from SYNC - 3

Two new audiobooks are available for free download:

June 28 – July 4, 2012The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones
(Listening Library)
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens
(Naxos AudioBooks)

For additional information about this program, read my introductory post.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Needlwork Tuesday - In the Home Stretch

Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers looking for inspiration, encouragement or who want to share their recent needlework project. Introduce yourself in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your current post. Feel free to grab the cute little mouse for your post.

I am definitely in the home stretch.  Three motifs completed  in row 14. This project has 15 rows, leaving 12 motifs to complete.

Have you heard of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project.  Hundreds of crocheters have created the most amazing replicas of coral.  Having been a scuba diver in my earlier years, I can attest that these are quite lifelike.

This second video shows very clearly how a piece grows from it's simple centre till completion.

I'll be back next weeks with my finishing photos of my mosaic afghan.

Sherrie at Just Books has been a busy bee.  Well, she has been hand quilting her 'Bee' quilt.  The hand quilting is a perfect fit for the them.
IN both Canada and the United States, we are moving quickly toward our National Holidays, July 1 for Canada and July 4 for the USA.  Visit at Lit and Laundry for some lovel Patriotic projects.

Please leave a comment wih a link to your Patriotic projects.

Friday, 22 June 2012

First Nations Friday: Canoe Way: The Sacred Journey

While wandering the internet, I came across the video, Canoe Way:the Sacred Journey.  I have copied the description below from their website.  I certainly could not have summed it up any better.

Canoe Way: The Sacred Journey documents the annual Tribal Journeys of Pacific Northwest Coast Tribes and First Nations as they follow their ancestral pathways through the waters of Puget Sound, Inside Passage and the Northwest Coast. Families and youth reconnect with the past and each other. Ancient songs, dances, regalia, ceremonies, and language were almost lost and are coming back.
Witness first hand, through the words and images of a proud people, as they share the story of the resurgence of the cedar canoe societies – and how it has opened a spiritual path of healing through tradition.

I'll be sending a message to my librarian to determine whether there is a copy available that I can view.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Free Audiobooks from SYNC - 2

Two new books are available for download this week:

June 21 – June 27, 2012
by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media)

To learn more about this summer program, read my introductory post.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Color of Evil by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Hiding in plain sight.  In my opinion, that's what clowns do.  All that overt make-up and distracting clothing, but what are they hiding or hiding from.  Eight year old Tad really didn't care what was behind the make-up, he just knew he wasn't going anywhere near the clown that had been hired to entertain at his birthday party.  When Tad looked at the clown all he saw was a horrid gray-green aura, the worst possible color.  Every person that Tad looked at had an aura, most of them benign.

 After the birthday party, Tad started having gruesome dreams.  For the next few weeks, he dreamed of Pogo the Clown committing the most evil acts.  Once the clown is arrested, Tad's dreams stopped, but the young boy was left in an almost catatonic state.   We next meet Tad, eight years later, and he is a seemingly well adjusted young man, a junior in high school.  He has continued to see aura, but he doesn't tell anyone about them.  He has found ways to live with what he knows about people.  At least that is the case until he meets and befriends Jenny. 

When I read a horror story, I don't want to set it down until I turn the final page, and that is exactly what I did with this one.  By the time I reached the middle of the book, I knew I wouldn't sleep until I found out 'what happened'.  For the first few chapters I was distracted by the straight forward story telling and the repetition of some plot facts.  As the story continued and the story intensified, I found that those very same techniques kept me from getting too wound up.  The repetitions of the mundane parts of Tad's daily life were very reassuring that life was good and that he was safe from the guys with the 'bad' auras.  Each time I felt that I had a grip on the gruesome events, then author Connie Corcoran Wilson would throw in a twist which would put me on edge once again.  When I was one chapter from the end of the book, I thought everything was wound up and I would sleep fine, but then she used that final chapter to present those 'loose ends' that I had conveniently pushed to the side.  As I read those final paragraphs, I was once again forced to consider the evil and discomfort associated with those horrible colours.

Thanks to Virtual Author Book Tours for my review copy.  Visit  their website for more stops on the tour, including interviews and guest posts with author Connie Corcoran Wilson, and a several book give aways.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Needlework Tuesday - The Stitch Goes On

Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers who are interested in any of the various forms of needlework.  Leave a comment with a link to your recent post.  I love to see what you are working on and will visit and leave a comment in return.

This past week was good for stitching.  I worked on my mosaic afghan almost every day. Have the first three motifs for row 11 completed. Yippee  Looks like I will finish on time and not be darning in ends on the airplane.  I haven't decided whether to take a knitting project on vacation; I am taking several balls of specialty yarns for my niece and will be visiting at least one wool shop.  That should be enough.  Besides, I am going on vacation to visit with my friends and to see the sites.  I can knit at home any time.

I used my son's old SLR to take a photo this week.  Turned out much better.  Must be all the detail that it was too hard for the other camera to decide where to focus.

Do you knit or stitch when you are away?  Are you one of those people who keeps an 'on the go' project?  Last year I was working on an afghan that had small bits that were later worked together and it worked well to carry around, but a large project like this would be unmanagable.

While you are here, be sure to visit my post from yesterday to learn how to enter my contest to win a copy of The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Massanen

Monday, 18 June 2012

Contest: The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen

My niece's middle name is Anastasia.  Whether she was named for the late Great Duchess Anastasia is a matter for my sister to answer.  It is quite likely since one of my great grand father's was from Russia.  Sourcebooks has recently released The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen.  While this book might not answer what really happened to Anastasia, it does explore the 'What if's...." 

I haven't read this book yet, so have copied the overview from the author's website:

She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on the prayers of her majesty. Yet, decades later, her time spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she responsible for those murderous events that changed everything?
If only she can find the heir, maybe she can put together the broken pieces of her own past—maybe she can hold on to the love she found. Bursting to life with the rich and glorious marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale of second chances and royal blood.

 Had she been very long lived, Anastasia would have been 111 years old today.  In honour of this event Sourcebooks has kindly offered me a copy of this book to send to one of my Canadian or American readers. To be entered to win all you must do is leave a comment, guessing my niece's complete name: Z Anastasia M (you don't need to guess the last name. Guess the Z and the M. If you happen to know my niece, you can still enter, but don't give away her name, respect her privacy.   International entrants are welcome, though will be eligible for some other prize, yet to be determined and purchased by me. Contest closes June 24, 2012.  I will randomly select a winner(s) from all valid entries.  You don't have to guess my niece's name correctly but I am curious to find more Z and M names.

Be sure that I have a means of contacting you and that you clearly indicate where you reside: Canada, USA or International.  commenter's with 'no reply' will not be entered.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Weekend Cooking - Healthy Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of those dishes that is different every time I order it in a restaurant.  I have had sauce that tasted just like Franks Red Hot Sauce, and others that were more like curry.  No two recipes that I have compared have been similar much beyond the rice noodles.  One thing I have found, is that most of the recipes and restaurant dishes are heavy on the amount of noodles and light on the portion of vegetables.  My favourite recipe that I find myself going back to time and again is "Spicy Thai Noodles with Vegetables" from Anne Lindsay's Lighthearted Everyday Cooking.

 When making this dish, I find it easiest to complete all the measuring, chopping and sauce making ahead of time.  I like to add shrimp at the same time as I add the sauce and the noodles.  Thawed, uncooked shrimp that has been shelled and with tails removed works best.  Often I end up using pieces from a shrimp ring as that's what I find in my freezer.  Feel free to play around with vegetables and add what you like and/or have on hand.

Spicy Thai Noodles with Vegetables (Pad Thai)

8 oz flat rice noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage (savoy works very well)
1 medium carrot, cut in julienne strips (coarsely shred is faster)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
1 cup julienned green onions (I like to slice them in little rings then cut the rings in half)
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/4 chopped peanuts/raw cashews

Seasoning Sauce:
3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla or Thai fish sauce) or 2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes

  • Cover and soak rice noodles according to package instructions.  Drain well.
  • Seasoning Sauce: In small bowl, combine fish sauce, ketchup, water, molasses, soy sauce, sugar and hot pepper flakes; set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; stir in garlic, then cabbage and carrot.  Stir- fry for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.  Push vegetables to side of pan; pour in eggs and stir to scramble. (I remove  vegetables to a large glass bowl, cook eggs omelet style, cut eggs up with spatula, then return veggies to the pan)
  • Add drained noodles and sauce; reduce heat to medium and stir-fry until noodles soften, about 4 minutes.  Add 2 cups of the bean sprouts and green onions; stir until mixed and heated through. (I add all the bean sprouts but not the green onions, which I use as a garnish) Transfer to serving platter or individual plates.  Sprinkle with coriander, peanuts and remaining bean sprouts.
Before adding eggs, add 1 cup chopped raw chicken or pork and/or 1 cup cooked or raw shrimp to pan; stir-fry until cooked.  Then add eggs and continue as in above recipe.

Do you make Pad Thai?  In the comments section, please leave a link to your favourite recipe.

For more foodie fun and tasty recipes, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking post.  You are invited to add a link to your recent food related post.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Free Audiobooks from SYNC all summer long

All summer long, SYNC is offering free MP3 versions of audiobooks.  A new pairing, one current release and one classic, will be available each week. Some books have limited availability, you will have to check to verify whether the title is available in your country.  Following is a listing of the schedual of releases:

SYNC Titles
Summer 2012
June14 – June 20, 2012
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan, and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)
June 21 – June 27, 2012
by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media)
June 28 – July 4, 2012
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones
(Listening Library)
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens
(Naxos AudioBooks)
July 5 – July 11, 2012
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Read by August Ross (AudioGO)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Read by Ian Holm (AudioGO)
July 12 – July 18, 2012
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka [Ed.] et al., Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot (Harper Audio)
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories by Mark Twain, Read by Norman Dietz (Recorded Books)
July 19 – July 25, 2012
Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter, Read by Kirsten Potter (Oasis Audio)
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, Read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)
July 26 – August 1, 2012
Pinned by Alfred C. Martino, Read by Mark Shanahan (Listen & Live Audio)
TBA (Brilliance Audio)
August 2 – August 8, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Read by Khristine Hvam (Hachette Audio)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Read by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio)
August 9 – August 15, 2012
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast
(Galaxy Press)
August 16 – August 22, 2012
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga’aia (Bolinda Audio)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks)

This weeks books are now available:


The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch - read my recent review
The Grapes of Wrath  by John Steinbeck

Be sure to check the right side bar of the SYNC page to sign-up for weekly messages (text or email) to be notified when the next title is available for download.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Needlework Tuesday - Can't stop Knitting

Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers looking for inspiration, encouragement or who want to share their recent needlework project. Introduce yourself in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your current post. Feel free to grab the cute little mouse for your post.

I am trying hard to be focused and work on the Mosaic afghan every day.  I am aiming to complete three squares a day in order to have it finished in time to pack it and take it as a gift for my friend.  I don't want to arrive at the destination with squares yet to knit or with hundreds of yarn ends yet to be darned.  Last week I did quite well and am not starting row 9 of 15. 

Unfortunately I have done something to my camera and the pictures don't look quite right. I am hoping that it is a dirty lens and that I can clean it.   In the meantime, I keep knitting and knitting and knitting.  I will have to take a bit of a break and sew up a few pillowcases to be used as father's day gifts.

I finally installed the EQ6 (Electric Quilt) software on my laptop.  It's been so long since I used it last, that I have mostly forgotten how to use it.  After vacation I will have to go through the lessons in the book and refresh.  Then will decide whether to upgrade to EQ7.  It's good and useful software, but I didn't really miss it for the last two years when it wasn't installed on my desktop computer.  Do you EQ?  Do you use this software often enough for purchase the upgrades or do you make do.

To view two lovely cross stitch projects, pop in for a visit at Lit and Laundry.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

I love Sweet Potatoes

A week ago, daughter and I spent the day with a friend making paper.  The details are found in my post titled: "Making Paper - a foil to the Ereader".  What I forgot to write about was the wonderful lunch we had during our break.  New Dundee is not a large place, but it does have at least two good places to eat.  Wanting to keep it quickish, we decided to visit the Dundee Diner on Queen Street.

Daughter selected the huge dish of poutine.  What, you don't know what poutine is.  It's a French Canadian dish that starts with a layer of fresh french fries, generously sprinkled with curd cheese and then smothered in a thick gravy.  This one had a secret bottom layer of a thick slice of bread topped by a giant, grilled hamburger patty.  Daughter made a valiant attempt, but only was able to finish about 2/3 of the dish.

I opted for the souvlaki in a pita dish with Greek salad, fries and rice.  I would have been fine with just the souvlaki, but I really did want to include salad in my lunch.

The Dundee Diner is definitely on my "re-visit" list.  They are have a cooler featuring the most amazing looking desserts.  We were far too stuffed to even consider sweets.  Next time, we are starting with dessert.
On Monday evening was potluck dinner at my local quilt guild.  One of the desserts was this wonderful tea bag cookie.  It was not a sweet sugar cookie as we all suspected.  I don't have the recipe for this one, as the baker would not own up to making them.  They were a huge hit.  A quick search of the Internet turned up many recipes.  I have included the link to a gluten and dairy free version that I found at  I happen to have all the ingredients and think they will be perfect for the Bridal tea party that I am planning for my neighbour's eldest daughter.  I will be adding some sprinkles after dipping in chocolate.

I wanted to take a dish to the pot luck that was dairy free, but I also wanted to be considerate of a friend who must refrain from gluten.  A friend gave me several copies of 'healthy' recipes and one of them would be perfect. 

Vegan Sweet Potato Picnic Salad.

2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into about 1 inch pieces
2 medium apples, diced into 1 inch pieces
2 ribs of celery, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
1/3 cup golden raisin
1/4 cup chopped flat leaved parsley
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard (I used course Dijon)
Pinch of curry powder
Pinch of smoked paprika (I used regular paprika)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and  cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender about 7 minutes.  Drain and allow to cool.

Add apples, celery, scallions, raisins and parsley. 

In a separate small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard and spices.  Pour over
sweet potatoes and toss gently.

* I didn't have any scallions nor parsley.  If I were making this for at home, I would have added half of a diced Vidella (sweet) onion.  I did sprinkle some bits of pecan on top when I had a dish the next day.  To mix the oil, vinegar, and spices, I put them in a cup with tight fitting lid and shake until well mixed. This tastes best when allowed to sit for a few hours before serving so the flavours can mingle.

Thanks to Anita for sharing the recipe, sorry but I don't know which publication it is from.

For lots more foodie fun, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking post.  You are invited to add a link to your recent foodie post.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Making Paper - a foil to the ereader

Paper versus ereader?  Last week I took a stand.   A friend invited me to her shop and we spent the day making paper.  Daughter took an enlightenment day from school and joined in the fun.

The Papertrail is located in the rural community of New Dundee, Ontario, and is a wonderful source for all your paper making supplies.  Audrey runs the paper making side of the business while her husband handles the typesetting.

What a surprise when she contacted me last week to ask whether I wanted to make paper.  I had only done it once before when my kids attended a crafting summer camp.  This first photo shows the basic setup of a work station.  On the left is the tub of pulp. I believe we were using cotton.  Beside it to the right is the mould and deckle, contains the screen, that you use to scoop out the pulp and form the sheet.  Under daughter's hand are the papers she has formed already.  Each sheet is separated by a cooch.  This is essentially a piece of interfacing and is used to support the newly formed paper and separate it from the next.  This is a very wet process .
This photo shows a newly formed sheet of paper sitting on the top of the pile.  Yes, daughter has mixed a lot of sparkly stuff into her multi-coloured pulp.

Audrey is making larger sheets of paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  Notice that in the middle of that sheep to orange paper, there is a large air bubble.  Not a desirable thing as it leaves thicker areas in the finished sheet.  Oh well, I have more than a few of those.

 I'm all finished and ready for the next step.  Unfortunately I forgot to take more photos. It was such an exciting step.  Each of us took our stacked papers and cooches to the press.  Audrey then squished them with lots of pressure, about 1000 psi, to remove as much water as possible.  It looked as though gallons of water was forced out. 

Next we separated the paper from the cooches and put them on large sheets, which went into a forced air dryer overnight.

These are the three sizes that I made,   5 x 7 9 inches, 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches and business card.

A great alternate to a photo frame and these sheet.  They get tri folded and then you can insert your photo so it shows threw the opening.  I tried adding some long shiny embroidery threads to the pulp after the page was formed.  However, they are peeling off.  I did cut some into inch long pieces and mixed them into the pulp before making the sheets, and they worked much better.
I had fun playing around with my papers.  There are few that I layered.  Second from the left at the top and the one on the left in the second row.  I made the green sheet and then before I put the cooch over it, I added a smaller sheet.  Nice effect.  The swirled one at the right of the top row is made using a technique called 'pulp painting'.  You put some pulp in a squeeze bottle and then draw on top of your newly formed sheet.  The one on the bottom left reminds me of a pop tart after I put the frosting on it.  There are a few more ingredients that go into the squeeze bottle.

I can't imagine all the work that early book makers went through to make a book.  All that paper to be made, wow. 

My next step is to have fun creating with these pages.  I'm thinking shiny threads, sewing machine, collage type thing, or maybe some hole punching and hand embroidery....

Any mistakes I have made in describing the paper making process are mine and I'm sure Audrey will send me corrections.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Embassytown by China Mieville

Avice Brenner Cho is a member of the small human population that lives on a remote planet which is home to the Ariekei.  For years, the humans and the Ariekei have had  difficulties communicating with each other. Avice can understand some of what they say, but has not ability to speak their language.  When she is young, she is invited to provide the material for the development of a simile that is of great importance to the Ariekei.  This is her closest contact with her 'neighbours', though it brings her no closer to understanding them.  After years away, working as flight crew on a space going ship, she returns home with her linguist husband Scile.  While the two of them are drifting further apart in their relationship, he draws closer to an understanding of the unique language.

From the Trade Paperback editionI read this book, or rather I read half of it, as it was a selection for my local book club.  I found it very un-readable.  There were far too many words that were not defined, but rather their meanings obliquely implied.   There were also lines and paragraphs from which I could discern no meaning, such as the following, "Immerse, into the immer, where the translations of their ungainly lines have purpose, and they're gestalts of which we're parts, each of us a function." 

I do understand that language was a major barrier between the two dominant societies living on the planet, and I could certainly imagine their frustration of not being able to understand each other, but by making it so difficult for the reader to understand, Mr. Mieville totally lost me.  I did enjoy the story that was unfolding, but it was far to difficult to decode to be enjoyable.  I will admit that I was brought to tears by my frustration.  I have two honors degrees from a leading university, have read thousands of books, however, this book will not be among those that I have finished. 

We had a lively discussion at our book club meeting and the language was a challenge to most of us.  I was told that it did become easier to understand once you got past the middle of the book (which is where I stopped reading).  I did enjoy the plot line that dealt with the impact of the humans and their ability to utter lies.

This book brought to mind a Star Trek Next Generation episode, "Darmok", where Picard was transported to a planet along with the captain of another ship.  The two species had been unable to understand each others' languages, and were forced to learn to communicate so that they could survive the challenges of the planet.

While I did not finish the book and found the language un-readable, there is a good story hidden inside.  If you have more patience than I, and you aren't bothered by loosely defined words, then give this book a chance, it shows a good understanding of developing communications and the impact of one society on another.

Thanks to Random House Inc. for the use of the cover image.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Needlework Tuesday- Keep on Stitching

Needlework Tuesday is open to all readers looking for inspiration, encouragement or who want to share their recent needlework project. Introduce yourself in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your current post. Feel free to grab the cute little mouse for your post.

It's been dreary weather for the past few days.  Lots of rain, but don't get me wrong, we really needed the rain.  Our grass had turned into a brown, crunchy mass a few weeks back.  I can almost imagine it turning green already.  Up side is that it gives me more time inside working on my stitching.

Last evening was the end of year meeting at my local quilt guild.  For the past few years we have been making blocks for the outgoing president.  This year she wanted black, white and red (same red as in our flag).  We could select any pattern though it needed to measure 12 inches.  The goal I set myself, if to find a block that no one else will make.  This year, I selected "Paul Revere's Ride" designed by Judy Martin from her book Knockout Blocks and Sampler Quilts. Click the link for my review and some additional photos.  In July, during my vacation,  I will have a post showing the rest of red, black and white blocks.  They are stunning.  I'll write a second post and include photos of the quilts that our guild past presidents have made with their blocks.

Yippee, I finished the quilting and binding on my mini sampler.  The light was really weird today, so I had to go out on the deck to get this photo.  I used a 3 inch wide template to mark an over all quilting pattern.  I offset and spaced the rows about 1/2 an inch  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  I have asked my mother to machine and embroider the label and after I attach that, will give it to my dad.  It's just a wee quilt, so dad can take it around the house to enjoy.  We're waiting to see if this new treatment is effective with his multiple myeloma.  Thanks to Joanne at Thread Head for the pattern.
One project finishes and another begins.  A few weeks ago I signed up for an ugly fabric swap.  Called In the Bag - Ugly Fabric Quilt Challenge, several dozen participants were paired with other quilters and they exchanged two yards of fabric.

These are the fabrics that my partner Melissa sent to me.  I love the snails.  It's the florals that will be a challenge to me.  I generally don't set out to buy florals; they are much too traditional for me.
I was easily able to find some fabrics in my stash to work with those snails.  In the fashion of the turtle and the hare, which will win the race, the snail or the bee?
These are the fabrics that I sent to Melissa.  I wanted to make them challenging without being too difficult.  A bit of colour co-ordination but contrasting patterns.  And of course, I had to send some of the florals that I wasn't planning on using.   stay tuned for continuing updates on this project.  I have till October to complete my project.

One more square to go and I'll be finished row 6.  There are to be 15 rows in total.  I do think it is going to need a round or two of crochet afterward.  I've momentarily mis-placed the pattern, but I don't recall it including any instructions for finishing the edges.

How did you do with your projects this past week?  Finishes or did you start something new.  Please leave a comment and share your stitching.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jane Austen Visits Halifax

Jane had a wonderful time in Halifax with her gracious host Linda, from the blog  Scrapmaster.  Linda has posted all sorts of photos of the two of them visiting Quilt Canada and photos of the numerous quilters that she was introduced to. 

Jane is ready to continue with her travels, but is in need  of a host.  Let me know if you would like to host Jane for a few days and show her around your part of the world.