Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I have a greenhouse!

I am so excited that my greenhouse arrived yesterday! Kurtis and I immediately put it together in the kitchen and then moved it outside. It is not very big, but it will be perfect for my little deck! I was so excited when it arrived that I put all my plants out in it right away. Unfortunately it is still too chilly at night for my precious buds, so I had to move everything back in later on!

On Sunday I went out to the commercial greenhouse with a bunch of friends/cousins and we cleaned out the place with our purchases! Well, not really, but it sure felt like it with plants crammed into every corner of the back of the vehicles... Jody even made a double decker out of her truck! The plants are so well kept and are ridiculously cheap, so I got a bunch of flowers for my non-existant pots that are going to be on my front and back decks. I can't wait for the next few weeks to fly by so that I can actually start planting outside!!! I love summer! Here are some of my lovely purchases... I bought an entire flat of strawberries and LOTS of fuscia!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yard Sale!!

Today is the day of our HUGE, MASSIVE, GIANT Yard Sale!! Kurt and I, our next door neighbours, and a bunch of friends and relatives are hosting a yard sale today. If you are looking for great deals and lots of fun, come on down! Friday, April 23 from 4pm to 8pm and Saturday, April 24 from 8am to... early afternoon. See you soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

One Night in Bangkok...

For the Winter months of 2006 (January to April), my sister Lydia and I took a vacation to South-East Asia. We spent the first month touring the sights of Northern Thailand, running from one attraction to another, taking all night busses, sleeping in shacks and walking several miles a day.

 We toured the King's Palace, went on a Boat Tour of Bangkok, explored countless markets both night and day. Saw every Wat (temple) we could find in every town, went to the Golden Triangle, Toured a "Long Neck" village, entered into Myanmar (Burma) for a day and went on a three day treck through the hills of Northern Thailand. White water rafting, elephant riding, Thai food, beautiful scenery and good friends filled every moment of every day.
The above pictures are from the first month of our three month adventure. This was the trip you take once in a lifetime, and neither of us would trade the experience for the world. I will post more pictures of the rest of the trip soon...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And The Beat Goes On

Don't forget to check out my Mom's new book, "And The Beat Goes On." It is the story of an archeaologist trying to make the truth known in a world full of conspiracy and unanswered questions. It is a great read, and I am not just saying that! My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed it and hope you will as well!
You can find the book at Amazon or click on the link below to view the author's blogs for more information:

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Quilt Evolves

 A few posts ago, I showed my material and plans for a new quilt... the material is the same, but the plans have changed. I remembered that a few years ago my Mum gave me a really nice quilting book. Once I saw it, I knew exactly what kind of quilt I was going to make. I just happened to have mostly "polka dotted" material, and low and behold, right on the front cover was the quilt I wanted to make: the Log Cabin Polka.
I began cutting, and here we have the beginnings of my beautiful, colourful quilt! I can hardly wait until it is done and I can snuggle up on the couch and read a good book!

The four medium sized square/rectangles will be sewn together with a black centre square to form one large "log cabin" square. Each material chosen has "polka dots" of one kind or another.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Quilting History

Through the years I have completed only a few quilts. When I was about 11 years old, I acquired an oval quilting frame from a friend (actually a large cross stitch frame, about 3 feet across). I had absolutely no idea where to begin, but I decided I wanted to make a baby quilt. Out came the thrift store material, scissors and sewing machine. I pieced on the sewing machine and then quilted the whole thing by hand...and here you have the result:
My second attempt at a quilt was much nicer, as my Mother and I took a quilting course when I was about 13 or 14. I had received this very bright coloured material as a Christmas gift from my Mom's best friend Sylvia the year before. We had a great time learning how to quilt and this first class inspired my Mom to go on to make many gorgeous full size quilts over the next few years. Both my sisters also became proficient quilters, especially my younger sister who started pumping out baby quilts for all of my cousins children.
I did not make any other quilts for several years, but mostly concentrated on scrapbooking and other crafts. Two or so years into University I began to quilt again during my summers at home. I designed and made this "People's of the World" quilt one summer....

During my third summer home from University, my family was all obsessed with the new quilting phenomenon... "raggy quilts." My Mom and sisters all made one (or more!), and of course I wanted one as well.  The quilt is done in all flannel and each piece is double sided. This type of quilt is very easy (and cheaper) to make as there is no batting or backing necessary. Once the pieces are all sewn together, the seam allowances are all "snipped" and then put in the dryer to "fluff," thus making a beautiful and "raggy" quilt.This is the first (and so far the only) full size quilt I have completed

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rich Black Earth Starts in the Kitchen

Over Easter Weekend we took a drive down to Grande Prairie to go shopping and visit my sister and brother-in-law. Of course our two main stops were Wholesale Sports (where Kurtis bought a new shotgun), and Costco, where I bought a large compost tumbler! Kurt assembled it for me and I already have lots of compost started! It is quite a large tumbler and will hold all of our kitchen waste as well as yard clippings and weeds.
I cannot wait for the next few months to pass so that I can begin my garden. I have several plans drawn up, and Kurt has said he will build me some raised beds to start my plot off this year. Because our home is so new, we do not even have a fence up yet, so I am hoping we can get started on that right away... or my garden might be a little late! I already have lots of lovely plants started, and herbs galore!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Splashes of Colour...

I decided that I needed to make a quilt. It has been several years now since I have made a quilt and I have a whole lot of material sitting around,...so why not! I wasn't sure what I wanted to make, but I had a bunch of really bright coloured material that I thought would be nice to use up. Hmm... what to make... a conventional pattern, or something of my own creation? Out came the graph paper and the markers and my mind started working. This is what I have come up with so far... not really sure yet what it will end up being, but the colours sure look nice together!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pioneering... just a dream?

My life long dream has been to live "in the bush" and be completely self sufficient...basically I have always wanted to be a "pioneer." Unfortunately, my husband is not of the same mind and the furthest he wants to be "out" is a farm... good enough for me!
Because money is always an issue when trying to buy land out of town (or any significant piece of land anywhere), we recently bought a house in town that we plan to live in for the next several years. It is a beautiful brand new home with Geo-Thermal heat and a decent size yard, and we really love it!

My dreams are still very much alive, however, and I have been trying to get my husband to let me have chickens since we first bought the place. I think I almost have him convinced... but unfortunately I will have to wait until our fence is completely finished before we can really decide. While living in town I would never dream of having more that 3 or 4 chickens... just enough for eggs and personal enjoyment! I would love to have a few Orpingtons (pictured above) as they are great layers and also wonderful meat birds. Well, I guess I will just have to keep hoping and praying... at least I know I will be able to have chickens once we move out of town, and I guess a few years wouldn't be so bad to wait...

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Seven Sins of Greenwashing

Green-wash (green’wash’, -wôsh’) – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

Sin of the Hidden Trade-off:

A claim suggesting that a product is ‘green’ based on a narrow set of attributes without attention to other important environmental issues. Paper, for example, is not necessarily environmentally-preferable just because it comes from a sustainably-harvested forest. Other important environmental issues in the paper-making process, such as greenhouse gas emissions, or chlorine use in bleaching may be equally important.

Sin of No Proof:

An environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification. Common examples are facial tissues or toilet tissue products that claim various percentages of post-consumer recycled content without providing evidence.

Sin of Vagueness:

A claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the consumer. ‘All-natural’ is an example. Arsenic, uranium, mercury, and formaldehyde are all naturally occurring, and poisonous. ‘All natural’ isn’t necessarily ‘green’.

Sin of Worshiping False Labels:

A product that, through either words or images, gives the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement exists; fake labels, in other words.

Sin of Irrelevance:

An environmental claim that may be truthful but is unimportant or unhelpful for consumers seeking environmentally preferable products. ‘CFC-free’ is a common example, since it is a frequent claim despite the fact that CFCs are banned by law.

Sin of Lesser of Two Evils:

A claim that may be true within the product category, but that risks distracting the consumer from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole. Organic cigarettes could be an example of this Sin, as might the fuel-efficient sport-utility vehicle.

Sin of Fibbing:

Environmental claims that are simply false. The most common examples were products falsely claiming to be Energy Star certified or registered.




Retreat Madness!

I went to a scrapbooking reatreat in March and, as usual, had a wonderful time! I completed 103 sides over the weekend...a new record for me, and I even caught an extra hour or two of sleep! (As opposed to my usual 3-4 hours per weekend!) I was really eager for this retreat because I was finally going to work on my sister's wedding album, which I completed from start to finish! I am really happy with the outcome and I already gave it to her! Unfortunately I was so excited to give it to her that I forgot to take any pictures of the finished product! Once she is back home from camp I will get her to take pictures of the entire thing so that I can show off her lovely dress, and my lovely work!
I am hoping to have lots of time to work on my blog and my albums now that I have (just about!) finished this years taxes and have written (and passed!) both of my licensing exams for work. Phew!