May 31, 2008

One blustery day.......

.....we put up our lovely gazebo to protect us from the mosquitoes.
After writing such a chirpy post last week I can now tell you that our gazebo didn't get a lot of use this year! Craig and I spent over an hour assembling it and managed to sit inside for one cup of coffee before an unpredicted super strong wind blew in the following day, and did this!! It took us much longer to dismantle the tangled collapsed version, as all the screws and metal bits had buckled and jammed. There is also a huge tear in the canopy :(
However, on a more positive note, the building of our new deck is now in progress. The back wall of the house has been repaired after the wood was found to be rotten (hence a few leaks from driving rain in the Autumn last year) The pink and white blossoms look very pretty this week and opened up 'after' the strong wind, but just in time for the apple blossom festival in the village this 
weekend. Amber left this morning bright and early on her Duke of Edinburgh award hiking trip up in Kejimakujik National Park. I drove her to school to meet up with the other 

participants. She looked a little nervous, as did her friends. They didn't seem too excited about the 5 hour hike or spending the night in a tent with the predicted heavy rainfall. The biting insects are out in full force so she is armed with a strong repellent spray and a rather fetching mosquito head net! This weekend was supposed to be her 'official' birthday (postponed from Dec 1st) so actually she is 14 and a half tomorrow! But, because of the hike we will celebrate next weekend instead by taking a drive into Halifax and having lunch out.
I began my painting project (the Old Canadian Crate Company shelf unit) yesterday. This turned out to be a mistake, those sneaky little black flies were quietly landing on me and I am now sporting some huge and ever so itchy bites on my neck face and arms. I am told that I will gradually build up a tolerance to them and create my own antibodies? Not sure I am entirely convinced of this theory.
The HB's are still managing to feature in my posts after I sold two of my 'new design' this week ;) Hazel xx

May 25, 2008

First Summer BBQ

Feels like it really is Summertime this weekend! Saturday morning I took the girls for a little shopping and in the afternoon after washing all the bedding, storing the electric blankets in the attic (yay!) I did some ironing outside looking at this view, while sipping a mug of Tazo wild sweet orange tea with a lemon slice - bliss!

Craig busied himself in the garden planting more veggies and mowing with a contraption called an aerator attached to the tractor. I know that secretly he loves doing this ! This morning Craig and I were awake early enough to catch a few local yard sales and I spied another little wooden shelf unit for five dollars. A fun project to work on later in the week :) It most definitely needs a coat of paint and then the question is what shall I store in it? A BBQ of our own is something we haven't enjoyed for a long time, in fact not since leaving New Zealand in 2004, when we left behind a flashy red gas one. This weekend we unpacked a small, humble charcoal Weber BBQ! It worked a treat and after rustling up a quick salad and fresh bread to go with meat, it was a fun and memorable 'first' family BBQ of summer 2008.

Earlier in the day we assembled the gazebo, which has been stored in the barn during the winter. So nice to finally have a little haven outdoors where we will be protected from the black fly and mossies! Now I did promise myself that my hummingbird posts were finished, but after capturing a couple of feisty males today fighting over a drink! I thought I would share them with you....

They remind me of tiny fairies from a childhood storybook.

Hazel xx

Song: Balloons and Champagne by Ephemera

May 18, 2008

Blog Anniversary

Tomorrow, May 19th it will be exactly one year since I began writing my posts on blogspot. The topic of my first post was, wait for it......
HUMMINGBIRDS! Now there's a surprise :D
One of the precious birdies, feeding in our garden this morning
Couldn't resist snapping a quick photo of Archie this morning, the sun was streaming through the window, and of course being a cat he plonked himself in this warm spot.
"Does my bum look big on this?"

The morning was crisp and fresh after a few days of rain and my early morning walk (pre-blackfly waking up) was fun, especially stepping in time to my favourite Ipod songs. Gabriella C., Duffy, Leona, Madonna, Britney and Justin T. I returned a little muddy to a very quiet house. Craig was only slightly later waking up and spent an hour chopping wood with a couple of neighbours.
My special girls surprised me over coffee with cards and gifts for my postponed, but official 'Mummy's day'. Jemma amazed me with a very useful and pretty home made present. It's a special filing system designed for my tiny animal patterns! I am forever misplacing a guinea pig's ear or a squirrel's tail, as the pieces are so small and fiddly. They had been all bundled into a box in plastic envelopes, in no particular order. Normally I am really organized, but for some strange reason this particular element of my business had been overlooked. My daughter is obviously pretty observant.
My new super cute and oh so useful filing system!
Both Amber and Jemma made beautiful cards with very sweet words and I love them both so much.
As if I haven't shed enough 'happy' tears today, we are watching 'PS I love you' this evening, I have read the book so will have a box of kleenex at the ready.
Can't sign off without mentioning that I lugged this cabinet down the stairs from the landing to the kitchen this afternoon. I emptied out my patchwork quilts and linens to make way for some crockery instead. I think it gives the kitchen a more farmhouse country lived in feel.
Hazel xx

May 14, 2008

Our little birdie friends have arrived!

Just as predicted our very first tiny hummingbird arrived on schedule this week. Mother's day to be precise and in an incredibly strong wind too! Although both hanging baskets and the strawberry feeder were up, the poor little mite found it an impossible task to land, so her visit was brief. Luckily we all saw her whilst we were having our lunch in the kitchen. I will try to capture her on camera soon.
Yesterday my books arrived from Amazon and I love them!

I have only allowed myself the luxury of a quick flick through them so far, taking a couple of photos . I'm not sure when I will actually get to have a go at some of the many lovely projects in the two sewing books, but I will most certainly some time in the future. So much eye candy, here is a page inside 'sew pretty homestyle'

I usually read novels and only just before bed, my latest from the library is called 'My sister's keeper' which I am enjoying, but seem to be taking forever to finish it!
As I didn't write a post on Mother's day here is a vintage ad from a magazine, framed and hanging in the laundry. It reminds me of my Mum and I back in the 70's. Funny thing is I still love to iron :)
This year for the first time ever on Mother's day both my daughters' were snowed under with school work and sporting activities. So it was decided (my suggestion I admit) to postpone any fun stuff til next Sunday. I have really enjoyed reading about other blogger's fun days with their children.
As I wasn't blogging this time last year, or at least not on blogspot, I want to show you my home made gifts from last Mothers day (little proud moment). I use them both on a regular basis in my sewing room.
A cute business card holder made by Amber at school
Some covered wooden pegs in a decorated tin from Jemma, these I use to hold my embroidery thread, receipts, squares of tissue etc.

 Hopefully this weekend I can squeeze in another post, we are hoping to be able to get outside without being blown away :)

Hazel xx

May 07, 2008

It's trailing blue lobelia time of year :)

It was such a lovely weekend that my blog post was once again put 'on hold' for a few days. Craig kindly brought home two hanging baskets with pretty blue trailing Lobelia flowers. They have become a summer tradition and are to be hung on the side veranda, along with the white pots full of purple and lilac pansies. The flowers seem to flourish all summer long and we enjoy them almost as much as the humming birds do. Incidentally, the little ruby throated hummingbirds are due to arrive next week. We are prepared and have even bought another feeder in anticipation of their hunger after such a long flight all the way from Mexico!
I diverged a little from my usual painting of furniture this week (OK I did give a small side table the robin's egg blue treatment). This time instead of painting I 'covered' a couple of old wing back chairs. They had been left behind when we bought the house. No longer wanting to look at (in my opinion) ugly blue velour fabric I had moved them into the basement (much to Craig's horror when he came home from work) a few months ago. This gave the parlour a 'spacious airy feel'. Perhaps 'sparse' was a better description? But, after finding some new cream cotton slip covers on 'e-bay' they have now had a facelift and the chairs are back where they belong. They are very comfy and make excellent reading chairs. After trying out my newly acquired 100% wool felt, by sewing a couple of animals, I found it wonderful to work with. Quite pricey compared to my wool-mix felt and not such a large selection of colours. I ordered some small squares in brown, cream and honey. I will be sewing a selection to list in my shop when the demand is higher during the Autumn months. Here is a tiny honey bear!
Amber had a tiring day last Sunday when she took part, along with a few friends, in her 'trial' Duke of Edinburgh Award - hiking trip. This was to prepare them for the real thing in June. She was loaded up with a 35lb back pack, plenty of water, medical supplies, granola bars, sleeping bag etc. The day was hot and even though they were in forest for a good part of the 5 hour walk, it was exhausting. She seemed pretty good once home and only a tiny bit cranky and tired. She was even able to take part in track and field events the next day (oh to have such stamina!)
You may remember that I received an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday back in February from my friend Sandra. I have known Sandra since I stayed in her London home as a lodger, back in 1988! Well, ever the procrastinator when it comes to buying stuff for myself I have hemmed and hawed over what to treat myself to. Not wanting to buy a novel, that I could just borrow from the library, I decided on some carefully chosen home and craft books :) I am awaiting their arrival, but here they are: I spotted a couple of them on other peoples blogs where they got good reviews.
Easy Cottage Style A nice coffee table book to browse through!
Sew Pretty Homestyle Eager to get my mitts on this one for inspiration :)
Sublime Stitching Something I haven't really tried before, but always fancied having a go at some contemporary embroidery designs. Today is cooler, after a string of warm pleasant days, there are so many things I have been able to do 'outside' my imagination has been running on overtime (no lewd comments please) Ironing, cutting out felt, recycling old tee shirts with pinking shears to make great cleaning cloths, scrubbing sneakers, washing the car inside and out, painting (of course). I could go on ....
This weekend Craig and I plan on doing a spot of yard sale hunting, always on the look out for a piece of furniture that needs some TLC.
Hazel xx