November 30, 2007

November comes to an end!

Well, the trip to Boston certainly threw me off course a bit and I have been trying to keep my head above water since our return. I left with 4 orders pending and arrived to find more orders waiting for me. I am not complaining at all, but keeping up with the sewing this month as well as juggling other things in my life has been pretty tricky! November has been my best month of sales so far since starting this little business, with over 100 tiny animals sewn and posted off to various parts of the world .
Tomorrow is officially Amber's 14th birthday. However, this year she has decided 'not' to celebrate on December 1st, instead she wants her presents and a party in the middle of next year. June 1st will be her 14 and a half day!! Every year she feels that everyone is caught up in the Christmas excitement by December, herself included, and she sometimes feels that her birthday is a little insignificant :( With Jemma's birthday being in the summer as well as our next door neighbours children also having birthdays in July and early August, she wanted to be a part of that and have something to look forward to along with them. We will give it a try and see :) I am sure that tomorrow will bring a few cards and a cake of course.
If I thought that the girls would be fed up with shopping after visiting Boston, I was wrong. Last weekend they asked to be dropped off at the New Minas mall while I had my winter highlights done. They had fun browsing and taking a few photos too!
A rather stylish Amber
Jemma heading for the changing rooms?
I finally managed to write and send off all my Christmas cards, I always forget how early they need to be posted to go to places as far away as S. Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I am usually very organised with hand written letters and photos in each and every one, but this year with my blog posts and facebook activity it seemed a little uneccesary and I didn't want to repeat myself with old news.
In the past we have always waited until a week after Amber's birthday to decorate our Christmas tree. This year we plan to do it on Sunday, which will be nice and early for us. The Canadians are into decorations in a big way with lots of lights, especially in their gardens, on bushes, trees as well as animated reindeer etc. Being quite a minimalistic person our tree has a Scandinavian theme with hearts, wooden figures, embroidered mini pillows etc. Every year the girls and I make a couple of new decorations and remember how young they were as we pull out the old ones from the boxes where they are carefully wrapped in tissue paper. They all seem pretty much intact apart from the occasional 'salt dough' figure which may have gotten a little damp and had to be bid farewell.
Decorating our tree on Sunday will be a time for reminiscing, laughing and donning our red Santa hats of course!
Decorating the tree in New Zealand a few years ago.
No doubt the camera will capture the moment once again :)

Hazel x

November 20, 2007


Yes, since my last blog post we have indeed been to Boston and back by car!
This little adventure came about after one of Craig's impulsive suggestions over dinner on Tuesday evening. Jemma and Amber were grinning from ear to ear whilst spewing out endless names of places they wanted to visit on a weekend trip. I, on the other hand adopted a jaw dropping expression whilst numerous thoughts came into my head of why this was a bad idea. When some of these thoughts were vocalised they were met with snide comments of me being far too sensible, negative and quite positively boring! The discussion continued the following evening by which time I had given in to defeat and decided to be excited instead, the majority vote was to go ahead....
That's when they all went off to school and work, leaving the packing, ironing, cleaning, sandwich making, camera charging, unplugging of electrical appliances, turning off heaters, posting parcels, sorting out a cattery for Archie and putting out the garbage to ME! As well as grabbing handfuls of felt, thread, scissors and patterns for my etsy orders to do en-route.
This of course all had to be done by noon when I attempted to bundle a non-complying Archie into his carrier while he scratched me frantically thinking he was off to the vet again. After picking up the girls at different schools we drove to Craig's office to swap cars for the long journey ahead. Fortunately I do manage to remain calm in these situations and my tick list got steadily 'ticked' and added to throughout the morning, whilst I was on a buzzy coffee high!
The 12 hour journey there went well with Craig doing most of the driving to our first stop at Bangor, an hour past the border post. After our first overnight stay in a Motel I started the early morning drive towards the city and we managed to navigate our way to an Ikea! We did an spot of shopping and had a lovely Scandinavian lunch too.The second overnight stay was on the outskirts of the city. Saturday was the 'big day' Watching two teenage girls getting ready to do some serious shopping is quite sweet, they were so excited and their saved pocket money was burning a hole in their purses. Taking the tube in we arrived at H&M as their doors were opening, that sorted out some clothes shopping. A quick stop at 'Wet Seal boutique' and it was on to the 'Oh so posh' Fairmont Copley Plaza, where the security guard wouldn't let us take a photo of the Jimmy Choo shop :( We walked the entire length of Newbury street doing some window shopping before finding 'Urban Outfitters' right at the very end. Jemma had some specific things she really wanted to buy for her bedroom and was in retail heaven.
I loved all the brownstone buildings and the sheer size of the downtown skyscrapers (remember I am now a country gal) There were to be no tourist visits this time, being such a short trip. But then we have done all the museums and historical buildings in London, scenery in New Zealand and wildlife in Africa. So this really was great for us rural Nova Scotian residents.
Our last morning in Boston sadly meant that it was time to head home. The roads were dry and practically empty as I took the wheel and drove to the border with the sun shining all the way, even though it was constantly minus temperatures outside. The drive home was long, actually very long. After collecting Archie and my car arrived home early evening to a roaring fire, kindly lit by Wayne our next door neighbour. It all went by so quickly like a dream.
On reflection it was a memorable weekend. The girls remained best friends throughout. We probably made too many stops for 'junk food' but then we haven't done that for a few years and I was impressed to find that they now all do a 'version' of a salad, with the dressing on the side :) The girls found it highly amusing that I carried my bag of apples, sunflower seeds, water and herb tea with me everywhere.
I would like to do a city trip again, but probably in warmer weather and preferably by plane not car. Definitely a longer stay, which would be less hectic (my feet are worn out). London would be great with all my favourite shops; M&S, Next, Laura Ashley, Whittards.... I could go on.
Until then we will have to make do with much smaller buildings, little local shops and e-bay!

Hazel x

November 11, 2007


Seems like the most appropriate title this week! This pic was taken this morning looking over to our neighbour's house across the meadow. I never used to be one to talk about the weather, leaving that topic of conversation to my husband, who is well versed on the subject. His favourite TV station is the weather channel funnily enough :) However, the weather here in Nova Scotia is certainly varied with very defined seasons, with the recent hurricane and now this early snow there has certainly been interesting. In New Zealand the weather conversation would sometimes lead to the subject of the serious danger of skin cancer (hole in the ozone layer etc.). In South Africa, where the climate is enviably 'perfect' the conversation usually got followed by " if only there wasn't any crime". In England it was often just weather 'whinging', too hot, too wet, too many leaves.... (but quite honestly nothing that couldn't be cured by some excellent retail therapy! I still miss the shopping)
This morning we woke to 15 cm's of the pure white crisp stuff, lying silently on the ground and covering the branches of the trees, many of which still have some leaves on them and even apples up in parts of the orchards. The snow has arrived a few weeks earlier than normal so today we aren't going anywhere. It's hard to believe that just a couple of blog posts ago we took photos in the sunshine picking apples.
Craig collected a super new treadmill while we were out (which has been on my 'wish list' for the last two winters). This was after much debating on whether we should re-join the gym which is in the opposite direction to his place of work. It didn't make much sense, so the treadmill was a good compromise and we can all use it hopefully. He and I managed to assemble it yesterday afternoon, after it was removed from a box the size of a small house! It came flatpacked with a set of less than clear assembly instructions and we didn't swear once! We have all had a go on it and are very impressed, I am certainly not venturing up the hill anytime soon.
I deleted the bit on my last blog about the land in Gaspereau as it wasn't completely finalised. Now it is a done deal and we are quite excited to own a couple of acres in a lovely area just 3 minutes drive from the town of Wolfville, further down the Annapolis valley and much closer to the city of Halifax.
Just a quick mention of my etsy shop. I sold another elephant to a lady in Toronto. Posted off the 18 animals to Hawaii, made my first Panda bear and am currently working on Christmas orders.
Molly, the pink elephant and Gregory, a tiny Panda.
Facebook continues to be fun, I was so pleased to make contact with my brother Michael in Australia and Amber's old schoolfriend from nursery school in SA. At least I don't feel too isolated, as long as the computer works. It is my lifeline throughout the winter months.
So, as my good friends and family enjoy the summer sunshine I hope they think of us snowed in as we rapidly head towards the 'season to be jolly' I love Christmas.
Hazel xx

Happy birthday to my nephew Luc in Johannesburg (who sadly I have never met!) he will be 3 on Monday 12th. Also happy birthday to my other nephew Alec, in Adelaide (also never met ) who turned 6 on November 9th.