Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's on your IPOD?

It's been since the end of June, that I haven't been able to run because of a bum knee... but I do go for a 45 minute walk almost every day. One thing I can say for sure, is that when you see me walking, I'll always be sporting my old Gen2 green IPOD nano. You might think I am listening to music, but more than likely I'm not. I have regular Podcasts that I listen to every week. Just keeping up with those podcasts keeps me walking, believe it or not.

I'll tell you about a couple podcasts that I listen to. I subscribed to all of them through itunes. The first the podcasts I subscribe to is TWIP. This Week In Photography. While I'm nowhere near a professional photographer, I love my camera and I can't tell you how much I enjoy the antics of these professional photographers. There are usually 2 or 3 in the podcast and they always have a topic of the week. Their podcast is usually 1 hour long, so I try to save that for my long walks so I can listen to it all and not have to stop listening, because I've arrived home after about 45 min. I'm one or 2 podcasts behind, but today, the topic on TWIP was shooting pictures of wildlife. So, after about 15 or 20 minutes of camera news, gadgets, copyright talk, they spend time talking about the subject of photographing in the wild. One of the things I learned, is that when you photograph big birds like eagles in flight.. - you know, sometimes, they are sitting in a tree.... sit and watch for the bird to poop. Apparently, it's common knowledge that just before a bird takes off in flight, they relieve themselves of any extra weight and when you see that... you know, the bird will be lifting off and you can be ready for your shot.. Well, they tee hee'd about that on the podcast today... I couldn't help laughing outloud with them. TWIP's major sponsor is and any twip listener gets to download a free audiobook so they always do a book review of a book that one of the hosts listen too. I didn't get to finish today's podcast so I'll listen to the rest tomorrow while on my walk over to the Fredericton Craft Council outdoor Craft show.

Another podcast that I listen to, is the Oprah soul series. These are short 20 or 25 minute podcasts and there's usually 2 or 3 parts, so it ends up being 1 to 1.5 hours of listening. In these podcasts Oprah interviews very spiritual or interesting people. The other week, I listened to Oprah interview Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. This gal, is a highly trained brain surgeon, with more degrees than you can shake a stick at. A lot of her practice was treating stroke victims. Well, you guessed it, one day, while getting ready to go to work, she had a stroke. She survived, but it was a long and hard recovery. So, this was what Oprah was interviewing her about. It was an amazing interview. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is an amazing person and has such energy and now I understand better about dealing with people in the hospital. Also, she had to learn everything, as if she was a baby. It made me think of how Baby Aurora learns things every day. Dr. Jill now has a book out to talk about her experiences. If you can, sign up for Oprah's podcast and download the 3 part interview. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stitching the Angel

Many of you know, that I love to sew. Some of you know that I have this great embroidery feature of my now 8 year old Pfaff sewing machine. I think it was one of the first machines to accept embroidery files from your computer to stitch. I did alot of stitching when I first got my machine, but not so much now. I'm taking a crazy quilting class in September and I've been pondering doing some free standing lace stitching to apply to my crazy quilted sock that I'm about to make. But I have been thinking of that for 2 months... not doing anything about it. Well, I did buy the proper water soluable backing when I went to Maine Quilts last month, but that was about it. This stuff is marvelous by the way.
Then yesterday there was a post on the Ace Points yahoo embroidery group that they were looking for a volunteer with a Pfaff who would test a design. So I sent a message and volunteered. The moderator of the group sent me the angel file from this collection. She is a sweet little angel and I think it was ment to be. She stitched out beautifully... the hair was a little dense, but the curls are so worth it. Here is a little pictorial of her creation. After I rinsed her in water, she held together beautifully. I laid her on the crazy quilted sock that will become her home. Funny how opportunities present themselves to you.

Some will ask, so I'll list the thread and colors I used. Marathon poly 2117, 2031, 2288, 2037 and 2282. I used a pre-wound white bobbin. I love this little combination. The Acepoint stitchout calls for blonde hair, but I didn't have the right color of yellow on hand, so she has light brown curls. I also used a standard embroidery needle by Oregon. I get most if not all of my supplies from Marathon Threads Canada.

I'm uploading this video to show the creator of the little angel, how her hair stitched out.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm not a Snobby Pickler

Well, maybe I am a snobby Pickler. Today I mentioned to somebody that I was going to make pickles, like I do every year. They promply asked, "Do you use a food processor?". I politely said, "No.... I hand chop my pickles". Then I thought, eekkk... "Did I sound snobby?"

Anyway, later in the day, long after our conversation ended, I was preping the veg. I was thinking, about the pickles I make... Bread & Butters, and Mustard Veg pickles. I can't imagine running either of those through the food chopper. What a mushy mess that would be, even if it were a course chop. I guess, I love the uniformity of the hand-chopped pickles. Is that snobby?

Anyway, I have 11 bottles of Bread and Butter pickles made and in the morning, I'll put the Mustard Vegetables (pictured above) for the second brine and then prepare for cooking and bottling late in the afternoon.

Also, if I have given you pickles in the past, can I have my bottles back :). I'm off to Zellers to buy more bottles tomorrow. The darn things are about a buck a piece now and it seems I buy a box every year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


What is this?... Toast...
What do I do with it?... When in doubt, let's try eating it...Yummy...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Run for the Cure auction

This is Julie and I running in last year's CIBC Run for the cure. It was a beautiful day.

For the past few years, Julie and I have been hosting an online auction for the Aliant staff. The funds raised go toward the Run for the Cure team that we have participated in the past. The run is October 5th, but our auction will be from Sept 16, 17, and 18 so that we have time to collect the money before the auction. I thought last year would be my last year to help organize this Aliant team, due to my semi-retirement, but I'm still semi-retired so I've been asked to step and help organize this again.

I've known about this for a month or two now, but I haven't been in the right mood. Well, today, I got this big envelope from the Run for the Cure office. It was notes on what we had done last year... and who made donations. I had all this information, but it was nice that they sent it. It was half of a nudge that I needed to get started. The other half of a nudge was my sister Donna posted on her blog congratulations to her Sister in law Kim in Halifax for raising $2500 for Breast Cancer. So that has given me inspiration to get things moving on our auction.

So I am looking for items/services/ideas to auction off in an online auction. Last year, we raised over $2000.

Will you leave me a comment with your ideas ... What would you pay/donate money for... Juicebags, towels???... If you don't have a Google account, just click Anonymous ..

I have asked all my normal suppliers, but they only account for half the items we need. I need personal items such as home made items, pickles, wine, scrapbooking services... (just kidding Donna) etc.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Here is Aurora with her new little tutu that Auntie Donna bought her. She was dancing for us in it. She loves to have a bath in grammie's sink. It's the perfect size not to fall over. Brrrr, it was cold after my bath. Oh, and did you notice, Aurora got her first haircut. Mom trimmed the very top of her hair that was so long it was starting to almost drag in her eyes.... :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

PEI trip

It's Wednesday evening, and we're back from our short PEI trip. We picked up Jessica and Emily early Monday morning and drove to Cavendish. We had a short photo stop to take a picture of the bridge since the kids had not seen this great engineering marvel before. Then back into the van, crossed the 11km bridge and on to Green Gables Cottages. We met up with Michele and Wade and the triplets. Despite not seeing more than 30 minutes of sun for the time we were there, we had a great time with the kids. There was a nice little play area and a heated pool at the cottages. We spent a fun day at Sandspit in Cavindish and then we had another cloudy day so we went to the Haunted House. The kids were scared to death, but got into the spirit of things after the really scary part. Here are the kids showing their scared faces. There were some really nice gardens in bloom at the end of the haunted house tour.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quilted luggage tag tutorial

**A little update - click here. Mar 2012

I've been asked a few times for the pattern that Linda Hubbard and I developed for the Quilt Canada Luggage tags. Here it is in pdf so that you print it out to use it. It's a very slick pattern.
(If the previous link doesn't work for you, please try this link)

Also here is a pdf to print out that will print 10 Name and Address inserts on standard 8 x 11" card stock paper.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Well, I'm done sewing bibs and droolies and quilts for a while. I sent off a bunch of bibs and droolies to Patience and she's going to sell them at a village wide yard sale in Hampton on Saturday. We'll see how she makes out and then she can evaluate if this is a nice little project for her.

I'm updating my sewing list... Before I start back into the quilting, the next few items on my list is Halloween costumes for the triplets. I bought patterns some time ago, but never had the time to collect all the specialty fabric that is needed. If costumes were made out of quilt fabric, I'd be all set.

So the first on my costume list is Grace. She wants to be Ariel from the Disney movies. I have been picking up fancy shiny and sheer fabrics here and there, and I have all that I need for Grace's Ariel costume. I'm cutting it out now and I'll probably sew it at the cottage on Sunday. (Depends on the weather). Grace said her mother was going to buy her a Red Wig. I wonder if Michele knows that?

Then I'll be making a Dracula costume for Caitlin or a Pirate costume for Mitchell. I have some fabrics for both, but not all. I guess I'll have to make a list of what I'm missing.

I'll take a picture of Grace when we have her fitting... She'll make a lovely Ariel.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pizzelle Pizzazz

Earlier this week, friends of ours, who we don't see very often, came for supper. They were asking us about our Greece trip from 5 years ago. So I asked them over for supper and we went over our trip itinery, what we liked, what we didn't like etc. So Mert BBQ'd I made dessert. I thought about doing a cheesecake or a pie or creme brulle, or creme caramel, (I've always wanted to make creme brulle or creme caramel, but havn't done it yet) but I decided on making the simple little pizzelles that we fill with ice cream... and then put strawberries with chocolate sauce on the side. I was telling this to a couple of my quilting friends while we were driving back from Minto earlier in the week, and they didn't know what a pizzelle was, so here is a few pictures to see what it is. My recipe makes 10... but the first one went limp as I opened the pizzeller prematurely... and the second one, was a little to dark.... so that means for my dinner I got to pick the best 4 from the 8. I think I'll save the other 4 in the freezer for another day.

Want the recipe for Pizzelles. This is the one I use from Martha Stewart's website. I make the chocolate ones sometimes too.

Note Added: To get the right form, I draped the warm pizzelle over a small dish to get the rounded effect. My guests loved the desserts, in fact, they were scraping up the drips of chocolate syrup with their spoons... I was thinking, they better not pick up the dish and lick it.. like on the tv commercial... that would be so bad!!

Macho Nacho Dip

At our little baptism reception for baby Aurora, my sister helped me make Macho Nacho Dip. It's a lower calorie version of a nacho dip. It was yummy, but beware, it serves 15 people. Do not make this if you are alone. you will eat the whole thing, and then the effect of the low-calorie version of nacho's will be lost. :) With all the hub-bub of getting ready for church, I completely forgot to take a picture. But here is the recipe. It was delicious and there were even left overs for supper.

Monday, August 4, 2008


This first picture says it all. Love surrounded the font as Aurora Patience MacLean received her Sacrament of Baptism. The triplets are looking on, as Scott and Michele, the Godparents, tenderly hold baby Aurora. Patience lovingly looks on as Rev. Monte Peters pours the water over her precious baby's head.

Here is Grammie and Grampie Mitchell with Aurora and Patience.

We loved having all our family come to be with us on this day. Aurora was an angel. She took everything in stride and loved being held by everyone.

Here she is trying to give my sister Donna a kiss. Isn't that precious?

My sister surprised Michele and Wade and the triplets with a scrapbook of the Triplets first year. That was awesome. I didn't get any pictures but wait a day for my sister to go through her pictures and she'll have a picture on her blog of the triples pouring through the scrapbook. It was beautiful and the timing was perfect Donna.

This is a picture of Donna and the triplets, that will go in the back of the scrapbook.

Everyone brought gifts to celebrate Baby Aurora's Baptism. Here is Uncle Scottie with Aurora. He gave her this amazing little elephant rocking horse. It's sweet and I'm sure she'll have lots of fun on it. How did Scott know that purple is grammie's favorite color?

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Dress

This was such fun. Aurora's Baptism dress is done. I used my twin needle for criss cross detail on the bodice and I did a tripple hem detail around the bottom. I put a little cross over her heart just like I did with Caitlin's and Grace's dresses. I had totally forgot that I did that until Caitlin reminded me earlier this week.

This will be a fun celebration. Michelle, my sister's daughter, and her fiance Scott are going to be Aurora's Godparents. They are coming up from Antigonish for the weekend. Watch for pictures on Monday.