Friday, April 12, 2013

Crystal Clear, Winter is Still Here

It's Friday once again, that last day of the working week when many look forward to a weekend.  Fifty-two (52) years ago today, the day was hot and sunny!  How do I know this, because it was on this day I met my DH!  Oh my, that was so very long ago!

As you know, I have been longing for Spring to arrive bringing with her warmth and sunshine, but, as many of you can attest, Spring remains in hiding.  For your information.......
"Important Features of Spring according to Maps of The World states in part that........
Extreme weather conditions characterize the spring season. This is due to the fact that during this season the warm winds coming from the lower regions are accompanied by the cold air which originates from the Polar Regions. During the spring season, days are longer and the weather is severe. The seas and rivers are full because the snow begins to melt. Rainfall is also heavy often leading to serious flood situations. Floods are most common in the hilly areas. In addition to all this, tornado, hailstorms and heavy downpour are also common features during the spring season. "

According to meteorologists at the Weather Network,  this storm isn't over yet, and has created much havoc throughout the mid-west United States and is making its mark throughout Canada.  Here in eastern Ontario, while no snow, it is the ice we are battling!  
Now enough is enough, but thankfully this is all my tiny corner of the area received overnight!  Absolutely a crystallized wonderland around here and while no sunshine, these trees sheathed in ice are so beautiful. 

Compared to the news coverage my area was supposed to have been hit much harder than this by Ole Man Winter, but it is what it is!  Seeing news reports of other areas in the path of this latest storm     North America, others have not fared well, heavy blizzards and snow, even some tornado's were spawned.  So winter seems to be having a difficult time releasing its' grip on us!

In describing the beauty of the ice on the landscape here, I also remembered seeing a very beautiful quilt, one of the Bloggers as well as Esty Shop owner, Tami Levin,  created this stunning quilt for a Winter Quilt Swap.  I really love this quilter, she is so diversified and neat.  Her Blog, Lemon Tree Tales, is a very interesting place, you just have to visit, I am sure you'll enjoy your visits there as much as I do.  Her swap quilt, "The Four Seasons"  has a tree that really quilt depicts the ice swathed trees outside my door so beautifully. 

Oh my goodness!!  Just now a very loud clattering noise from my roof!!!! - after getting my heart to settle I went to inspect what had made such a sound,  at first I thought it was ice sliding from the roof, but, no, it was a beautiful section of the tree at the back of my house, some of its beautiful limbs broke from the main trunk and fell to the ground!!!!  Ahhhhhhhh, bet it isn't the only tree to be broken today!  While the ice has made the trees looking beautiful crystal, it can be devastating to the trees and here is proof  of that.  Darn, I dislike seeing damage done to Mother Nature's children.
This is enough for now, the electricity is flickering so shutting down now would be best for my computer.  

I am so hoping none of you are experiencing winter, but if you are, then I pray your safe, warm and comfortable and that nothing untoward is happening to you, your family or friends and neighbors.  

Thank you for visiting with me today, I certainly so appreciate your visits.
 When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure. 
Alice Hoffman

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Someone called me a Cheapskate the other day and after thinking about it, I conclude their so right!

Just about everything in my house is second even third hand and I love my possessions, I am so fortunate as to have good friends who deemed me worthy enough to ask if I would use or could make use of certain furnishings and objects.  Needless to say, I said YES and cannot express my thanks enough for my treasures.  My closet is testament to my good fortune and when I dress up for an event I look just as stylish as those in the room having paid more than I can afford, even my new winter boots were actually brand new and possibly only worn once or twice were a fantastic find for me with a price tag of FREE....I love that price!!!!

TODAY is Wednesday, the day the sales papers are delivered in my neighborhood to all homes in my area!  So I will invest the hour to sit and go over all of the savings offered in those advertisements.  Mostly because, this year more than ever before in my lifetime I find that my budget is being stretched to its limit.  To this end I have been surfing the internet to see what others are doing to stretch their budgets. 

I have come across some very wonderful sites, but one in particular called  Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing - the cheapskates way to living the good life!   I visit this site so often and love it there.   The ideas and solutions expressed make such good common sense and I have really learned from Cath's Blog how to save even more money than I had thought possible. 
The laundry detergent (washing powder) recipe alone will save so very much money, just this one item and you'll be amazed.   Mind you it takes a bit of doing to find some of those ingredients in Ontario where I live, but, it can be accomplished.   I am now aiming to try out the Miracle Spray and the MOO stain removing soap.  These are just for starters for me. 

Then there is the getting of almost free fabric, by simply visiting some decent second hand stores.  I haven't done any of this type of shopping since leaving New Brunswick  all I have to do is to find a good source around here to take advantage of gently used cotton shirts or sheets, this would aid and abet my quilting habit, a good source for nearly free fabrics.    You do have to be vigilant in what you find at the thrift stores though you really have to take your time and look at the labels to make certain it is a cotton shirt or sheet..  Another great site with lots of good ideas and solutions is Make It and Mend It.   Up-cycling is really not a new idea, pioneer women up-cycled much of their fabrics all of the time.  Some sites even advocate dumpster diving, but that is one method I would not attempt, with my good fortune I might fall into the dumpster and not be able to get out..oh my, that would not do!  LOL

In New Brunswick we had second hand shops called Frenchies, here in Ontario, it's Value Village, the Salvation Army Thrift shop and the Mission For Bibles and there are so many more, many I haven't discovered just yet, but I will..  These stores provide those who practice being frugal a good supply of items needing a new purpose or a continued use in someone's home.   

Making headway in Cyberspace are 100's of sites that advise, inform and assist in finding uses for unwanted items, even assist you in finding sites in your area of the world.  One such effective site is Earth 911 -  a huge and very informative and interesting site, look one such topic alone is Staying Green in 2013  and crazy DIY project ideas.   
What you can make from old floppy disks..
Then, if your seeking to purchase something recycled or upcycled, go to Etsy and search for such shops and you will find a varied amount of vendors who are really cutting down on the carbon imprints by recycling and reselling these new products made from unwanted items or materials, clothing.. hand bags, totes, shoes, art works you name it, I tell you it can be found.   You and I know that Etsy is just one such place to find these sort of finds.  So much fun searching around the internet for motivation and ideas.  There are so many very clever people out and about in our world. 

What is it like for you in your area, do you have outlets which provide you with a way to really stretch your budget?  Do you enjoy visiting these shops, do you enjoy paying a little to gain back so much more? I sure do!  

If your still reading, I'm so happy you stopped to share some of your time with me today.  I hope you stop in again. 

"In the old days a man who saved money was a miser; nowadays he's a wonder." --Author Unknown

Friday, April 5, 2013

Where is Spring?

I realize I have been missing for several days, and here it is, already another Friday!  So, I am shouting out a Howdy to you all!  
As I said it is Friday once again and ole man winter is still hanging on, just cannot bring himself to leave!!!  He continues to leave his mark!

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

 There have been sightings of Ms. Spring, and I have even witnessed several of her attempts to return and stay, 
Image courtesy of Maggie Smith at

but, this year ole man winter stubbornly refuses to budge!  Not fifteen moments ago the sky clouded over and snow began to fall, aided and abetted by strong winds and not at all warm.

Not sure about you, but, I am becoming rather impatient waiting out winter and spring cannot come soon enough for my liking. 

Meanwhile, I have been keeping myself busy, attending to my lazy streak and making the huge effort to make myself get up from my reclining posture and do something useful.  I haven't managed much, just some hand written letters and cards to friends who are celebrating birthdays this month, a trip to the Library for DVD's and more books, a trip into the city to pick up a free bed, some much needed groceries, and some actual time behind the sewing machine to make a tiny baby quilt. 

On March 22nd, Sam was welcomed into the world by his parents and to my way of thinking his entry into our large and loud world makes it necessary for him to have a quilt of his own, something special from me to welcome him.  So Sam, here is hoping your bonding with mama and papa and that you'll enjoy this little gift I have been creating just for you and you alone.  

From my scraps
Image courtesy of Keerati at

I found a remnant of pooh and friends print which I fussy cut squares from and randomly set these into a tiny quilt which will make a nice little play mat for him. 
So far this is the top.   As you can see I put those blocks together randomly without a tight control as to the colors, hopefully with the embroidery it will look more complete.  Normally I cannot help trying to control everything, but this time I just enjoyed the process nd surprised myself. 

See, no real conformity to the setting of the blocks.  I am rather pleased with it even though it wasn't a controlled piece of work.  

One of the quilters sites I subscribe to is Rose Smith of Ludlow Quilts in the U.K..  Rose gives such wonderful and easy to follow tutorials of the projects she is working on at any given time.  Todays' project/tutorial is no exception, it is the COG QUILT pattern, I am sure you'll enjoy this project.   Rose makes her free pattern projects quite easy to follow along and I have learned much from her over the past several years.

Now to play with the embroidery and see how that will turn out.  My cousin who is coming out from Holland in May will take this home with her in June, so hopefully it will not look too shabby. 

Thank you for joining me today, I hope Rose inspires you to make the cog star block, it really is a nice looking quilt she has put together with this block.
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.  ~Irish Proverb