September 30, 2007

My little girl is off to camp

Amber is off to camp tonight, along with the other Grade 8 team leaders. Not a huge event for most 13 year olds, however neither Jemma or Amber have ever been great fans of sleepovers or school camp, so it is quite a big deal for her, so she has been feeling nervous all day. Craig has just come home after dropping her off, along with her huge overnight bag and hiking boots! Unfortunately when they arrived she and her friend Jennifer were told that there were no beds left in the cabins! I am not sure exactly what that means, but as an overprotective Mum I am a just a little worried :(
The grade 8 leaders are there tonight to set things up ready for all the grade 6, 7 and 8 students, who will be arriving bright and early tomorrow morning. They then return later in the week to prepare for a second lot of kids organising, games, hiking, campfires etc.
Craig has been a busy beaver this week, building a carport on the side of the garage to protect one of our cars from the snow during winter. I have to say I am very impressed with his carpentry skills, it looks pretty nifty and only has the shingles to go on and it will be finished.
Amber ready to leave, standing in front of Craig's handiwork
Today has been a glorious Autumn day, blue skies, warm sunshine and lots of golden and red colours as the trees continue to turn.
I got a bit of a fright earlier in the week when I was on my early morning walk up the hill. Listening to my I-pod (Mika, I think) striding along I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. A huge porcupine was standing just few feet away on his hind legs. I had no idea they were so big! At first I though it was a bear and continued to walk at the same brisk pace making sure it didn't decide to follow me. I am not sure if they are aggressive at all, but have heard nasty tales of pet dogs and cats coming across them before and being speared by their sharp quills. So far on my walks I have come across chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks and now a porcupine (I really DO NOT want to add a bear to this list).

This week I got two special order requests in my shop, one for 3 little embroidered doves and another for a mobile for a baby boy, due in late November. Five tiny animals sold last night, so I will need to replace those tomorrow.
Our friend Doris popped in for a cup of coffee yesterday, her family used to own our house, she was actually born in the front room! Now in her 70's she still likes to call in occasionally to see the changes we have made to her childhood home and tell us stories of when they used to breed chickens in the barn. She was happy to leave with a punnet of tomatoes from the garden.

I will be doing another paint project I have decided, even though the dressing table was going to be my last for the summer. A chest of drawers bought in South Africa about 8 or 9 years ago which is stained a rather garish orange colour, definitely needs a little face lift. At the moment it is sitting in the library empty, but I plan to move it to the study as storage once it has been painted and fixed up. Hopefully I will have a photo to show on my blog post next weekend if I finish it by then.
Other projects on the go this weekend have been drying more hydrangeas, making some new curtains for the kitchen and sewing a duvet cover in cream cotton for Amber.
Hazel x

September 22, 2007

Turning Leaves

Taken yesterday morning
The leaves are slowly turning orange and red and our wood is finally stacked under cover, mostly in the garage, but a few logs down in the basement in case we get snowed in or are just feeling extra lazy!
The blueberry season is almost finished, all four of us went for our last 'pick your own' earlier in the week and ate ourselves silly at the same time (a hazard or perk of picking your own, depending one how your tummy feels afterwards) I have frozen batches of them in plastic bags to use in home made muffins or to eat with cereal in the mornings. Today Craig and I decided to get out of the house early, being a Saturday we now appreciate our time together so much more. We left the girls sleeping and headed out to visit the pretty University town of Wolfville where we browsed around the Organic farmers market. The stalls are quite diverse and the atmosphere festive, as there was a live band playing. We bought a few bits and bobs and then called in at the Gaspereau Vineyards .
I am happy and relieved to hear this morning that my sister Heidi is back home safe and well, after holidaying in Malaysia for 3 weeks with her family. During their stay there was an earthquake, tidal wave and even a plane crash at the local airport!! She has been able to send messages to us on face-book, so we knew they were fine. Some new things in my Etsy Shop this week just to add a bit of variety, a little sewing tray and another bird mobile in pink and green. I am working on some new patterns for animals too, possibly a pony (as a special request).
I wanted to include this picture of my pantry. Craig brought some funny 'reject' shaped eggs from work, they range from perfectly round little golf ball shapes to double yoked ones the size of avocado's!
Tonight we are visiting our friends Greg and Tina up at the lake for dinner.
Quick Monday update: We had a lovely time at our friends on Saturday. Tina rustled up one of the best salads ever which included baby spinach leaves, peaches, grapes and toasted almonds, the dressing was a secret recipe, which I must try to get from her next time :) We also shared a bottle of 'Bend in the River' wine alternated with glasses of elderflower juice.
Craig is busy right now building a car-port for his Matrix to keep it protected when the rain and snow arrives. Better go and make him another cup of tea!


September 15, 2007

Last painting project of the summer

Another week comes to an end, It's hard to believe that we are past mid September and heading quickly into Autumn.

This is my last painting project for the summer. I have never had a dressing table before, so when I spotted this at a yard sale about 3 weeks ago, my eyes lit up. It was a shiny dark wood with quite a few scuff marks and scratches. I liked the shape of the legs and the fact that it is not very deep, perfect for our bedroom. Some sanding, washing, three coats of paint and voila! A doddle after painting two whole rooms. The Lloyd loom laundry box/stool is also a thrift find all the way from Hampshire in England a few years ago
Little Archie, with Amber.
I came home from the post office on Monday to find Archie, our cat in a bit of a bedraggled state. He emerged from under the front veranda looking sad and very dirty, having had a bit of a scuffle I suspect. After washing him with warm soapy water and an old towel it seemed that the only visible injuries were a few scratches on his ears and one on his nose. He looked pretty sorry for himself and quite ashamed for a few hours until he had cleaned himself up properly in the laundry room. At least it wasn't as bad as previous encounters he has had with raccoons and even a skunk! No trip to the vet was required this time and he is now as right as rain.
Jemma is really enjoying her days at school so far this year. Especially as our next door neighbour Laura is now at the same school and in the same grade. They travel together on the bus, have their lunch and recess time with some other friends and take 3 of the same classes over the two semesters in Grade 11. On Friday they were both over at Laura's house, where Jemma got a fun 'make over'. She came home looking very glamorous indeed. She doesn't wear much make up, just a little mascara and lip gloss, so it was quite a dramatic change for her. She also got her first pair of heels this week, I have been hunting high and low to find a small pair of size 5's (UK 3) and found some peep toe 2.5" wedges in black. She loves them and is looking forward to wearing them soon.
It's that time of year again when we collect the wood for our winter heating. Craig and I have been up the the wood pile with the trailer several times, stacking it in the garage ready for the first cold snap. The girls even got involved over the weekend forming a chain from trailer to wood pile, which meant things moved along at a rapid pace.
The apples in the orchards are ripening up nicely. The pickers' caravans are in place at the apple warehouse next to our property and soon there will be a hive of activity. I did pick some myself last year, but only 'drops' from under the trees, which are used to feed the deer, I think this year I will leave it to the experts with strong backs and plenty of experience!
We have a whole forest of cherry tomato plants that have appeared late this summer, having re-seeded themselves, we didn't have to lift a finger! They are tiny, sweet and very tasty, perfect for salads. I have been experimenting with drying trays of them in the oven at a low temp for a few hours. They are now safely stored in the freezer to be eaten during the winter months when they are not available in the shops. There are pumpkins everywhere at the moment too, leading up to halloween they can be seen on doorsteps, in gardens and even 'pumpkin people' which stand at the side of the road really funny and a little strange. Quite different to anything I have ever seen in England.
Thank you for your comments and I hope you have a great week.

Hazel xx

September 08, 2007

Back to Normality :)

My goodness, so many days have gone by since I last posted on my blog! We have been 'without computer' for over a week after a nasty virus attacked our home computer, destroying all the USB ports and eating up quite a bit of information stored on the hard drive. I was able to borrow a laptop from Craig's office, but with four of us sharing it and without my etsy photos etc. it was not ideal, so my sites have been neglected. However I am now back on line and appreciating it so much more having not had access for what seems like a very long time! The final days of the school holidays had us all running around doing last minute preparations and also trying to cram in more fun stuff while the sun was shining and the days still pretty long.
School started last Wednesday for both Jemma and Amber and the first three days went well, both are familiar with the schools, teachers, students and general routines, so not too stressfull for them. I have tried to keep very busy so I don't miss them 'too' much, so before I know it Jemma is home at 2.30pm, we have a drink and snack while she tells me all about her day. Amber comes home later at 4pm, usually quite tired but always manages to perk up at around 7pm (a real night owl!)
During the holidays Amber developed a keen interest in cooking! (no complaints from me), in fact lots of encouragement as she whipped up various tasty pasta dishes and salads for us all!
Jemma sent in her first 5 page assignment last week over the internet for the AP biology course she is taking this semester and is looking forward to meeting her teacher and other students from different schools in person. She has already got together with the other student at her school who is doing the same course and they have been given some nice privileges during their study time.

The home decorating projects finally came to an end. Once the study was decorated we continued into the adjoining filing room and both rooms became Jemma's new bedroom/study. Cream painted floorboards and oatmeal walls for Jem.
Anyone who has two daughters (especially teenagers quite close in age) will know that as parents you have to be fair (well most of the time if possible) So, when Amber saw how lovely and stylish Jemma's new bedroom was.... Alas the pretty sorbet pink is no more! Replaced instead with a soft creamy coffee colour, much more suited to a 13 year old.
Cafe au lait walls for Amber
The Inspiron Notebook finally arrived yesterday, after several delays it actually turned up sooner than the final date Dell had predicted after all! It is a wonderful piece of technology that Jemma will no doubt find very useful over the next few years.
Jemma's stylish new Inspiron Notebook in 'Spring Green'
Etsy has been fairly hectic for me this week and my poor fingers have taken strain with all the hand sewing of tiny animals, an order of 15 for one lady which needed to be done in a couple of days for a birthday party! Then another 11 animal order at the same time, but with less urgency.
The animals came in two by two!
I am so grateful for my little online shop, which is now almost empty again, so I know what I will be doing to keep myself out of mischief over the coming weeks :D
Hazel xx