Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dusting off the Sewing Machine

Hiding in the spare room closet was my sewing machine. It was given to me by my sister-in-law when she graduated to a more sophisticated model. Also in the closet was an old slipcover for an Ikea couch; I have one bedroom of my house set up as a sitting room, with a television, bookcase and a stash of yarn.

The slipcover had some stains and other signs of wear, but I thought the big panel of pristine, pretty fabric that covered the back of the couch could be used for something. Maybe I would recycle it into kitchen curtains, an apron, or a runner for my pine cabinet.

Finally, last weekend, I set up the sewing machine and checked the manual to remind myself how to fill the bobbin. If you have been to my Facebook page lately, you'll already know that I resorted to a online video in order to figure out how to properly insert the bobbin case into the sewing machine. It seems the little arm needs to point upwards and gets a bit huffy in any other position.  It told me so, by tangling and mangling thread. Many times, before I discovered the correct method.

I opted to make two large, envelope style cushion covers with the fabric, to replace very worn ones. Straight seams, nothing fancy, not a button hole or zipper to be found; that's the sort of project I wanted.

While working away, my mind wandered.

I thought about being in school and learning to sew in grades 7 and 8. 

I thought about my mother and how she'd tell people that, when I was a child, she'd have to be very careful about tidying up her sewing because I'd once found a thread and hoped that she was making me a granny gown for Christmas (She did). 

I thought about how Mom took sewing lessons when I was a baby, in order to make clothing for herself and for me and how her teacher told her she did a good job.

I thought about the ruffle on the pink floral nightgown I made in Grade 7 and how my teacher chose it as one of  many items to show at the Frontenac Mall. I remember standing in front of the glass display cabinet with my parents.

I thought about, in my forties, asking my mom if she'd make me a granny gown. When getting the fabric, my father asked, "You're not going to make her just one, are you?" Two were under the tree.

My plans were to complete a simple sewing project. I hadn't anticipated the memories that would arise. Perhaps you find the same sort of thing occurs when you engage in a particular activity.

My fingers remembered how to ease the fabric along under the needle and I enjoyed playing with a little sewing. The quality of  the workmanship is far from perfect, but I like the feeling of accomplishment making two new covers gave me.

What next?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

☀Sunlit Sunday: Week 4

There was some sunshine this week and I liked tracking its route throughout my little house. In the afternoon, the bright rays pour into my living and dining room, just the perfect time for knitting a few rows or reading a good book. (Or contemplating the choices regarding replacements for an old water heater; the new tank arrives this Monday.)

For extra coziness, I can curl up under a soft, flannel rag quilt.

Sunshine came in a different form today. One neighbour cleared the fresh snow on the sidewalk in front of my house, so I popped out to thank him. I grabbed my shovel to do the driveway, and another neighbour came over to plow the base of it, where the city trucks deposit the snow as they clear the roads.

There may be grey cloudy skies overhead, but those two people were rays of sunshine to me.
Moving on . . .

*Please note that by adding your link you are indicating your willingness to initiate visits to some of the other blogs. Thank you.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

☀Sunlit Sunday: Season 3, Week 3

Welcome to Sunlit Sunday. Twenty-seven bloggers joined in last week; I hope you had the chance to visit many, or all, of them.

Sometimes, finding the bright side of a situation requires a bit of effort. The sun may be shining in the heavens, but grey clouds can mask the full power of its beams.

Even at midday, there wasn't a strong contrast between light and shadow. Everything appeared a bit more muted than usual.

With this exception. 

The local Boys and Girls Club brightens up the lives of many children and has been doing so, as you can see from the sign, for over fifty years.

What "sunlit" find can you share? Everyone is welcome to participate.

(Thank you to those who follow the "My Little Home and Garden" blog and  Facebook page.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Peace and Leftovers

It's a peaceful day. After a lovely evening with two girlfriends, I'm enjoying a day when the house is still pleasantly tidy, Inspector Gamache is waiting on the table, and leftovers will make for a tasty dinner.

I'm one of those people who can get a bit agitated if too many things are scheduled on the calendar. I need quiet time in my own nest; call me an introvert.

As for the company I had, it's a treat to have guests who enjoy food and are willing to have me test out new recipes on them. A free copy of Chatelaine magazine landed in my mailbox this week and the cover featured tomato soup with red peppers, onions and carrots in it. Surely all these vitamins and nutrients will turn me into a tower of good health.

Along with stuffed zuchinni ("zuccanoes": with brown rice, mushrooms, almonds and more), a green salad, fresh rolls and some baking, the dinner went well.

Should you be at all interested in trying a new recipe, the tomato soup is here and the zuccanoes here, as well as in the book and magazine pictured.

Back to my novel; Inspector Gamache has a murder to solve.

Enjoy your day; thank you for visiting.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

☀Sunlit Sunday: Season 3, Week 2

First of all, I want to thank the twenty-two bloggers who participated in Sunlit Sunday last week. I was delighted with the turnout and interested to find that we had (in alphabetical order) Canada, England, Greece, New Zealand, and the United States represented. There are plenty of people willing to celebrate the sunshine found in our current season.
Secondly, I appreciate the time readers took to visit and comment on the linking blog posts. If anyone who linked last week has any feedback, feel free to share it in the comments or on Facebook.

Let's press on and see who comes to this gathering for Week 2.  

(My plans to be out of town this weekend, as mentioned in yesterday's post, had to be cancelled; therefore, I'll be able to visit you soon.)

*To all newcomers, a warm welcome. This is how we do it:

Friday, January 10, 2014


Hmmm . . .the incomplete sweater. That's the first sleeve you see in the basket, the front and back are finished and if I plan to wear it before July, I need to pick it up today. As for the poinsettia in this photo, it seems to be happily hanging in past the Christmas season.

At the other end of the room is an amaryllis that is slowing growing. I think it will get a growth spurt soon. After having been tucked away in a cool place, it now seems aware of the warmer, more hospitable surroundings.

Outdoors, it had been too cold to snow earlier in the month, but that's changed. Some fresh snow has fallen and there's a bit of shoveling and ice chipping to do before the rising temperature takes care of the rest of it tomorrow.
Shovel. Knit. Pack.

That will be my Friday. How about yours?
 (I'll be away for the weekend, but Sunlit Sunday will carry on as usual.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

☀Sunlit Sunday is Back for Season 3

Welcome to Season 3 of Sunlit Sunday. This link-up gathering was started in 2011 to help add a little sunshine to what can be, in this part of the world, a rather grey period from January through March.

Let's find those rays of light and share them here. If the sun doesn't cooperate, please remember that that you can contribute other things or ideas that brighten your week.

Whether you're snuggled up in a northern country or sunning yourself in a southern one, everyone is welcome to participate.

Please read the guidelines found below for further details. 

I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar participants as well as brand new ones this year.

Let's get rolling!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reminder: ☀ Sunlit Sunday Returns Soon

Let's find some sunshine during the winter months!

Each week in the winter, from January until early April, I host a meme entitled "Sunlit Sunday".
I hope you'll join in the fun!
Links may be added to my post each Saturday evening at 8 pm (EST).
Season 3 begins this coming weekend, Jan. 4-5th. 

 Here's what you need to know:
You are invited to participate in this week's "Sunlit Sunday". Let's brighten up the beginning of a new week!
 Here's how:
  1. Create a post on the following theme: "sunlit". You may choose to include photos and/or words that illustrate a sunlit place or thing, a "sunny disposition", a sunny thought, or any other sunlit-related idea. Have fun with this! Be literal or figurative; be you!
  2. All photos must be your own or used with the express permission of the photographer.
  3. Copy my URL for this week's "Sunlit Sunday" and create a link on your post that will lead back here.
  4. Copy the URL for your specific post and add it to the amazing linking tool, below.
  5. Testing the links would be a great idea!
  6. The more links you visit and comment on, the more fun you'll have. Let's spread a little sunshine!
Everyone is invited to participate!
If you would like to see a sample link-up from 2013, click here.


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