March 28, 2008

WWF Earth Hour

An important message today ...
WWF Earth hour which is tomorrow, Saturday 29th for us here in Canada. My friend Kathy in Australia sent me a message and video on facebook earlier this week telling me about it. The concept first came about in Sydney, this time last year and was hugely successful. This year it's going Global. Although we don't live in a big city, Halifax being the closest and participating a little, I believe. We will be switching off 'our' lights for the hour 8pm until 9pm on March 29th, probably not the heaters as it will be below zero!
A parcel arrived in my mail box two days ago, another birthday present. This time from my dear friend Keriann in New Zealand. Posted a few weeks ago by airmail, I suspect it ended up travelling by sea instead. It's a beautiful hand made lavender heart sachet, the perfect colours for my bedroom and it's the 'shabby chic' print that I love. Keriann has recently opened a NZ craft webpage Sweetmary where she can sell her items. I am hoping that she will join me on Etsy soon as I am sure her little hearts will sell really well on the International market.
This week I posted another batch of felt tinies off to a Pediatric Doctor in North Carolina for her young patients. She has a heart of gold and loves animals.
My Mum surprised me a few weeks ago by starting her own blog! Living in South Africa many of her relatives are dotted around the world. We used to write long letters to each other, with the internet, skype, facebook, blogs etc. communication methods have certainly changed. Even the humble telephone seems a little old fashioned.
Today I have Amber at home with me feeling poorly. The downside to travelling on an aircraft is that a nasty little bug often gets picked up and this time it was Amber who was unlucky and has a temperature and sore throat. Hopefully by Monday she will have shaken it off (Umm, she was the only one of us to NOT take the Echinacea tablet - but maybe that's just a coincidence!)
Better go and put my nurses hat on and heat some chicken soup!!

Hazel xx

March 24, 2008


We're back home again after a wonderful week away in Cuba. Having had just 3 hours sleep in my own bed following the return flight arriving at 3.30am in Halifax. I opened my eyes at 9am and for a split second thought it had all been a very pleasant dream :) I feel relaxed, very lucky and am already planning/dreaming/saving for a return trip next winter!

This unexpected break really was the perfect tonic, towards the end of a long cold Canadian winter. No housework or cooking for me, cold beer for Craig. Freedom to explore the resort grounds for Jemma and Amber, while being independent 'roomies' in their own space and do some sisterly bonding!
Warm air, a quiet clean white sandy beach, refreshing swimming pools, tropical flowers and plants, attentive friendly staff..... well I could go on but you might never read my blog again!!
The flights were both fine and only 4 hours long, a breeze compared to previous travels to NZ and Africa. The movies shown were Juno (brilliant, but I had already seen it) the return flight showed a film called 'August Rush' very enjoyable and sweet.
Now we are back to reality again (adjusting back to life in a fridge) Just kidding. Our little resident chipmunk 'Oscar' poked his head above ground briefly today to make sure that the grass was indeed still there. Craig found evidence in the barn that the raccoon has returned from wherever she spends the winter. The air is crisp and clear and we have the exciting anticipation that Spring is not too far away now. Archie has rubbed up against all the doorways, jumped on the beds briefly and seems satisfied that it is 'his' home again after spending a week confined to a small (but safe) room in the cattery.
I couldn't resist taking a few supplies of felt and thread along to catch up on orders whilst sitting under the shade of a tree (possibly a little sad to a non-sewing person reading this!)
My huge pile of holiday laundry is washed, dried and ironed, grocery shopping duly packed away in the pantry, so I can catch up on my computer work/play this evening without feeling too guilty.
(I think 3 photos on this post is probably sufficient, otherwise my facebook friends will accuse me of repeating myself)

Hazel xx
(a very happy bunny this Easter)

March 14, 2008


I was absolutely 'gob-smacked' (to quote a delightful Northern expression) when Craig announced earlier this week that we were going on a trip to Cuba!
Thanks to his boss giving him a much deserved week of paid leave, Craig decided to 'really' get away from the office (and below freezing temperatures). With just a few days to get ready amidst the utter chaos of teenage excitement, the time has flown and we leave tomorrow!!!
Frantically digging out my forgotten cotton dresses and shorts from the summertime (a somewhat distant memory now) I have been carefully filling a suitcase with necessities; sunblock, insect repellent, aloe vera gel, medical supplies etc etc... I usually like to have a few weeks of planning and a few months of anticipation, but not this time :)
Of course I am soooooo excited myself, but as any busy woman will know, you can't just lock the door and head for the airport. Juggling a couple of large orders, library, dentist, grocery shopping and all the other boring housewifey stuff I have been run off my feet. Archie will be getting dropped off en-route at his friendly cat hotel and our next door neighbours will be keeping an eye on our house, particularly in the event of a storm hitting whilst we are away, don't want to come home to any flooded basement or frozen pipes!
I received a very appropriate and much appreciated birthday gift a couple of days ago. A book entitled 'The Princess Bitchface Syndrome - surviving adolescent girls' Need I say more ? Very informative and a must-read for anyone with daughters in the 13 to 17 age group. Sent to me by my friend Kathy, all the way over in Australia. It had been opened by customs (hence the delay) but was still in the birthday wrapping. The accompanying card is hysterical and bears a significant resemblance to Archie :DWell I had better keep this post short and report back to the keyboard on my return :)
Hazel xx

March 06, 2008

Is Skype really for me I wonder?

With my birthday festivities over it was time to get back to business again and familiarise myself with the new computer. It even has a web-cam, a very exciting addition, enabling me to actually see my family and friends overseas live - Yay!
Having had my first attempt at using skype with my sister Heidi in South Africa it was a little disappointing because I couldn't hear her. However, I was really geared up for my first chat with my Mum on Tuesday morning this week. Having remembered all necessary steps (being a novice) Wearing a little mascara and lippy, with a pot of tea at the ready I was prepared to 'enjoy' my first conversation and see my Mum's face.
Voila! up she popped, looking radiant and relaxed. She was pleased to be able to see me too and we waved at each other like a couple of kids! Then, I started to speak.... trying not to laugh too much, my Mum, looking a little puzzled informed me that I sounded like a chipmunk! Well, do you think I could work out how to change the 'special effect' settings? No. I had a 15 minute conversation sounding like I had 

inhaled a tank of helium gas!! Of course once I signed off and fiddled with a few more buttons I saw that my sweet daughter had in fact forgotten to change the voice control from 'Munchkin' This high pitched synthesised voice sounds hilarious when she is talking to her friends!! Ahh well, we won't forget our first Skype conversation in a hurry that's for sure. I suppose it can only get better - I hope ?*!
This week has been hectic with my biggest sewing order yet, a request for 30 animals from just one customer. That, along with another two smaller repeat customer orders has meant that I have been sewing like a mad woman. 

My paint projects have been put on hold for a while, in fact so has the housework for that matter, today is usually my thorough blitz of every room, but I think not today! Since moving some furniture around last week I have been looking (perhaps glaring) at a chest of drawers I want to attack with a paint brush so badly. You may be aware of my addiction to painting furniture in shades of white, cream and sometimes even robins egg blue! This particular piece is screaming for a makeover. Just as these projects were a while ago:
Wardrobe before.... 

... and after! Fireplace before .......and after :)
There is so much dark panelling in our home, as well as doors, window frames and dark hardwood floors that it's nice to paint the odd piece here and there. I know that it is not every ones cup of tea, but it is the decor style I love.
I have been banned from touching the banister by my dear hubby, I feel it is a tad too 'orange' myself :D
Today is the start of the Canadian March break. Jemma and Amber will be home for a week and then Easter is just around the corner! Time sure is flying by fast.
Hope you all have a great weekend and week.
Hazel xx

March 02, 2008

I'm a Leapling!!

Birthday treats.

Pretty cards, Gypsophelia , tea light lanterns, a bracelet watch (present to myself) and an Asian pear!!
My friend Keriann in New Zealand heard the term 'Leapling' on her local radio station, referring to people born on 29th February. I had to agree with her that it does sound rather cute. I had a lovely birthday this year. A big thank you to my friends, family and fellow bloggers for the well wishes on the day. Although a mostly normal day, grocery shopping, housework etc. My hubby came home from work earlier than usual and took me out to dinner at a restaurant called Rosie's, where the food was excellent. He also knows that I love white flowers and presented me with a bunch of Gypsophelia and an Asian pear! (because they are my favourite fruit at the moment) crisp and delicious sliced in salad or for breakfast) Some pretty cards arrived by hand and in the mail along with a generous book gift voucher from Sandra my friend in England, which I will use on the Amazon on-line site, once I decide which books to buy. Think I will have to look at some recommendations on my favourite blog sites :) Rhonda my neighbour gave me some cream tea light lanterns, great to use outdoors in the summer evenings.
My Mum and Dad sent a beautiful calendar by our photographer friend Richard du Toit, who really does take the most incredible wild life photographs. Craig would like to put it up in his office I suspect. Even my latest copy of Canadian Home and Country arrived on the 29th. The April issue is always one of my favourites as it makes me really look forward to Spring. Hard to imagine right now as I look at the snowy covered landscape. The article on Daffodils made me smile and I loved the French country decor images.

Craig informed me that it is only about 10 weeks until our first hummingbird is due to arrive. Always a special day which calls for the hanging baskets filled with beautiful blue trailing Lobelia and to start planting containers with lilac coloured pansies.
Possibly the most exciting thing this week for us all was the arrival of our new computer! The current one was well travelled and has had it's fair share of viruses over the years and has been working on super slow speed for some time as well as being highly temperamental. The new Dell machine is terrific with a wide screen and a built in web cam and speakers. I love it! I had my first go at 'skyping' with my little sister Heidi earlier today. We both seemed to struggle to get our act together with regards the sound, mind you she had consumed a few glasses of wine I believe :) Lip reading is not one of my talents, so we ended up typing to each other instead! It was nice to see her face though, it is over 7 years since I have seen her in person :( and I haven't even met my nephew Luc.
The arrival of the computer meant a furniture move around was called for. This is something I strangely really enjoy doing (being a neat freak). Our study now has a spare bed in it (for watching dvd's on the screen) and we have kept the old computer as a spare for school projects and photo downloads. My sewing room had a change around too while I was re-arranging things, so I get to look at the other side of the room for a change while sewing. Here is my latest little one:
Little Frankie the Daschund :)

I hope you all have a great week!
Hazel xx