Tag Archives: mom

knit two together

if it’s the second saturday in september, that can mean one thing and one thing only:

knitter’s fair!!!

i love how this is the third recap that i have in my blog records of my favourite annual outing with mom. (the 2010 report is here! the 2011 account can be viewed here!).

mom and i figured out that we have been attending the knitter’s fair every year since [we think] 1994. we have only missed ONE year (2002) when i was away on a vacation! we are very proud of our track record. this year was one of the wettest, weather-wise (the rain was BUCKETING down when i got up in the morning; happily, by early aft, the sun was shining!).

9:30 a.m. – we’re ready to go!

9:31 a.m. – we’re ready to go! [i couldn't decide which departure photo to use, we'll just throw both in - haha!]

upon arriving at bingeman’s, we discovered that next year there will be a change in venue:

2013: see you at the aud in kitchener – the knitter’s fair has outgrown bingeman’s!

and something else new this year…

i want to know what happened to prompt this discontinuation! were children poking each other with knitting needles??!

mom and i have a touring method that we use every year: we circle each ballroom to see what’s available – we look only, except if we see a deal of the century, then we purchase immediately. i kid you not, booth number FIVE, and mom found the first deal-i-o of the day!

mom’s first purchase: seventeen balls of astra for $10! now that’s a bargoon!

variegated yarn is my weakness, and these skeins had a silver thread running through – file these under “perhaps!”

koigu yarn remains my favouritest – no purchase made as i can pick it up any time at “shall we knit,” should i so desire.

knitting humour!

only the brother will find this name as funny as i do! cracks me up every year!

i did not have any specific missions in mind, this year. if i happened to find a blanket to make for the mcc relief sale next may, that would be great; if i found sweaters for little e and cutie c, that would be bonus, but i was not searching for anything in particular…

i loved this PATTERN as an option for an mcc donation, but the finished size – about two feet square – was way too small!! too bad…

sadly, e and c are too big for the sweater kits we saw – all geared to the sub-two year old age group.

mom’s second purchase: four skeins of briggs & little for $20!

[mom's intention for the day was to stock up on yarns for project linus blankets and prayer shawls...as you shall see, she should be set for the next twelve months!...]

a now-annual tradition! a photo with brenda (hi, brenda!) -> brenda made her sweater with leftover yarn – awesome creation, eh?!

mom’s third purchase! red heart – the orange (same as my sweater) for $2.50 a ball, the blue for $3.50 a ball – amazing! mom was on a real roll!

two more afghan possibilities???…

unfortunately, this design was for artistic purposes only – no pattern or kit available!…

i love LOVE loved this striking blanket/throw…but it was about 50% crochet…i do not crochet!

mom’s fourth purchase of the day! briggs & little, $4 a skein (NO TAX), any colour, any type!

whew, we needed a break at this point, as you can well imagine. a coffee/tea stop hit the spot! we also made a run back out to the rav to drop off the mega-bags we mom had accumulated. yarn is heavy!

regardless of the weather, i ALWAYS wear a handknit to the fair…my $4 sweater drew quite the compliments this year!

perfect strangers kept stopping me to comment on either the sweater colour or pattern – i proudly shared that the yarn cost me four bucks!

and the yarn of the year award goes to…this silk blend from zen yarn garden. oh my gosh, i have never felt yarn so soft, silky, luxurious…($35 a skein!!):

i wanted to curl up in this yarn and bury myself!

the “if-money-were-no-object” project…

i’d wear this bohemian sweater with my denim cut-off shorts and big loop earrings!

…but at ~$150 for the kit, i passed it by, boo hoo.

it took me a while to decide what i wanted to do…in the end, i concluded that the briggs & little deal was giving me the best vibe:

i will make two blankets! i’m envisioning lace creations…stay tuned!

mom’s fifth purchase! yet more briggs & little!

[the briggs & little vendor was absent last year. when we commented to the guy that we were so happy he was back, he said they will be returning EVERY year from now on as they are moving from quebec to ontario. yippee!].

the day’s celebrity moment: while we were lunching, featured guest speaker, the yarn harlot, passed within six feet of us! i totally chickened out of asking stephanie for a photo. i don’t know why??? i am not shy, but i couldn’t find the gumption to approach her! photo opp failure!

truly, all i want to do with my free time now is knit and read (i’m into jennifer weiner’s fly away home and sue grafton’s r is for ricochet) or knit and watch foodnetwork -> knitter’s fair always fires me up, creatively!

what a great, fun happy  saturday. our calendars are marked for next year (september 14th!).

~*~*~*~*~

btw, this is blog post number 700!! so…if i blog three times a day starting now, i could hit one thousand by my birthday!

:)

theme week: 10 things my parents did right

happy monday, everyone, and welcome to theme week!

every day this week, i’m going to explore a topic/ideaover-used title that is common in the blogging world.

for the past few mondays, stacie has been participating in monday listicles:

(source)

last week’s subject totally grabbed my interest and i thought, as i read stacie’s blog entry, “hey! i want to write about 10 things my parents did right, too!” i love how the very nature of this list is positive and we are not slamming and bemoaning how our parents raised us.

as a refresher, my mom and dad and i live in side-by-side condo buildings. i count my parents as my closest friends, and they are awesome people [of course, when i was 12-18 years old, they frustrated me much more frequently than now - haha!].

so, looking back on my growing-up years, here are:

TEN THINGS MY PARENTS DID RIGHT

1. surprise us with mcdonalds for lunch on sundays. i wrote a blog post here about my memories of these special outings, and this is what i said:

our family was not rolling in money when the brother and i were little – my mom stayed at home and my dad worked for a local insurance company. we were very comfortable, but my parents had to watch the budget a bit. a real treat was when we would go to mcdonalds for lunch after church on sunday. we did not go every week. and we never knew if we were going to go until the drive home at noon – if dad took a certain road, we knew it was a mcdonalds day! the brother and i would clap and practically dance in the back seat of the car. i think this memory is so special because it was family time all together, i loved the fillet o’ fish/fries food, and the joyful surprise factor was just too much fun.

2. instill a love of reading: books were a part of our childhood from babyhood onwards. when we went to the library, we could choose the same number of books as our age, i recall. one other memory: mom would read to us after supper, before kitchen clean-up time: the story girl, robinson crusoe, the swiss family robinson, the five little peppers and how they grew…thanks to the importance placed on enjoying works of fiction, i still love reading to this day.

3. arrange to have a stay-at-home mom during our formative years: this situation was the right decision in this era for our family. mom went back to work as a supply teacher (which led to a permanent classroom position as a kindergarten teacher) when i was in grade six. [sidenote: i want to emphasize that i have full respect for, and totally support my friends who work outside the home and also are moms]. prominent memories: riding our bikes to go on picnics to parks with a lunchbox lunch; one-to-one time (making my own alphabet book at age four); homemade (sometimes fiddly and labour-intensive) suppers; a generally relaxed home environment.

4. encourage creative and imaginative play: tv time was limited to 30-60 minutes per day; most of our toys did not require batteries; we were allowed to spread out our villages and families all over the living room and rec room and leave them in place for days on end!

5. vacation in a variety of ways during the summers: we took long trips both to eastern and western canada; we rented cottages for a week or two at a time; we took day trips to southern ontario tourist spots while maintaining a home base.

at storybook gardens, london (ontario), 1975

6. limit tv time: see #4, above. we played outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs, in the garage a lot more frequently than we watched tv! however, we DID view the popular childrens’ shows of the time [my stance is that kids have to know who mickey mouse and big bird are in order to be *with it* members of society]. tv was a special treat rather than a major time-filler.

7. prioritize time with grandparents, family, family friends: my grandma and grandpa c lived just a five minute drive away, so it was nbd to pop over to visit, get together for birthdays, etc. we were also close with my aunt and uncle who lived locally. and, our family visited back and forth with other families a lot!

g’ma and g’pa c!

8. encourage laughter: cracking hardboiled eggs on our foreheads, burping and farting (not in public!!), making dad wear a bread basket on his head over dinner-hour, just being silly because it is fun to laugh…we had a pretty joyful household (most of the time!!).

9. teach manners and accepted etiquette: i remember being so peeved because mom made us write thank you notes after birthdays and christmas!! i wanted to play with new toys, not write about them! but it was the right life lesson to teach us. not to boast, but mom and dad used to get compliments from perfect strangers about how well-behaved and polite the brother and i were, so they taught us well!

10. take us to church: let’s call a spade a spade – i no longer attend church, but i am grateful for the fact that we went to church every sunday (except in the summers) from birth to university-age. my feeling is that you don’t have to go to church to live ethically, practice kindness, and believe in God, and i am thankful for my mennonite church/faith upbringing.

what is something that YOUR parents did right, and something that you wish they had done differently? i wish that my parents had let me give up on piano lessons and let me take dance lessons instead. [please note that my parents are fully aware of my feelings, we have discussed the past, it is bygones, i DID learn valuable life lessons by achieving my grade eight in piano, and we have no hard feelings!].

stacie, i am glad you participated in this listicle as you inspired me, and i got to reflect on much happiness from many years ago!

tomorrow: we have another list of TEN!

a decadent drink + a marvelous movie

sunday was a fun day!

part i:

in the afternoon, i met up with mom and dad at starbucks. this was a momentous occasion because i had my first-ever iced beverage!!

mmmm!!

it’s true! i’ve never had a frappa-cappa-latta-mochi, ever, and sunday was the day to try one of s’bux specialty iced drinks. since it was 3 p.m., i did not want anything with coffee in it, so i ordered (after receiving info and clarification from the barista) a double chocolatey chip (don’t quote me, but i think that was the name). i loved it! this beverage becomes entry #2 in the wildly decadent and delicious desserts category for the 12 days of kiki project. here’s a fact: any time you add whipped cream and/or chocolate sauce to anything, said item automatically gets bumped into “decadent” status. [i'm calling it now: the remaining three desserts of the project are going to be ice-y cold, in some way, shape or form]. anyway, that chocolate drink gets a **** rating, and i highly recommend it.

the main reason for our get-together was to celebrate mom’s upcoming birthday!

a photo to mark the occasion!

as part of her gift, i made mom a pair of socks…

how many socks do you see???!…

…except due to technical difficulties, i only had one sock completed! so, mom received one sock on sunday and an IOU card for its partner. hopefully, by this weekend, mom will have TWO socks in her possession!

we had a lovely time visiting and raising a glass an iced drink in mom’s honour!

part ii:

sunday eve, we headed back over to the princess in order to attempt, once again, to catch the film the best exotic marigold hotel.

would we have better luck getting in on an overcast and humid sunday eve of a non-long weekend?

(source)

yes!…but barely! we got seats mid-theatre -> would not have wanted to be any closer to the screen!

we’ll go with inside-the-theatre photos, this week!

hello!

we all loved the movie. i give it a rock-solid ***+ star rating.

the storyline is captivating and quick-paced and filled with unexpected twists. my favourite characters were played by bill nighy and maggie smith, but the movie is chalk full of stellar performances. the dialogue is LOL funny in parts, but the film is also full of gentle life lessons such as:

everything will be all right in the end…if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.

that is brilliant!

if you get a chance to view this movie, go for it – you won’t be disappointed!

whose birthday will you next celebrate among your immediate family/close friends? we enter a drought period after mom’s birthday – nothing until cutie c turns three in august!

do you have any desire to travel to india (the setting for the best exotic marigold hotel)? i do not, i must admit. call me unadventurous, but i do think india is a little too exotic for me…although i would find my beloved hot weather!

going once, going twice…

last year, we nearly froze to death…

file photo: quilt auction preview, may 27.2012

…and this year, it was practically hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk a tractor!

with the catalogue of quilt offerings for 2012!

i’ll take this heat, thank you very much!

what a perfect evening:

here we are!

[i love and adore having a chronicle on this blog of social events! this is the third annual blog post about quilt auction preview night. here is the 2010 report, and here is the 2011 account!].

in looking back, i noticed that i followed the same format in my recap posts for each of the last two years. let’s stick with tradition – after all, that is what quilt auction preview eve is all about!

tradition #1: dad’s parking spot

what the what?? in other years, dad has chosen to manoeuvre his lexus into the most obscure and puny of parking *spots* imaginable. this year, we drove in, right away at least three empty spaces beckoned us over, and we had tons of room to fling open our doors!

look at all that s-p-a-c-e!!!

as we walked along, we were all laughing pretty hard as we played “eye spy” for spots that dad could have chosen:

this green triangle was my suggestion – dad could have nosed the lexus right alongside that blue bucket…

ah – we missed out! we would have been twenty paces closer had we only held out for this spot!

tradition #2: meat ‘n’ pie

dad made a beeline straight towards the burgers:

uh oh, check out the size of the line-up!

much too long of a wait for erv-man! second choice? french fries!

THIS is the way to enjoy fries: hot from the fryer, with ketchup and salt!

very, very tasty! good choice, dad. but fries are not made from meat…

dad later found a shorter burger line, so don’t worry that the poor man missed out on getting his protein. then, just before we went home…

cherry pie and ice cream! for $2.50, only!

after the french fry munching, mom and i took off in search of…

tradition #3: mom buys apple butter and jams

success!

the prices are SO reasonable: mom got a huge jar of (straight from wellesley) apple butter for only $5!

jam, jam, where is the jam lady?

success!

mom does make jam herself, but it’s fun to pick up some types that are rather unusual:

i think mom bypassed the dandelion variety, though!

tradition #4: the viewing of the quilts

next, mom and i ventured over to the quilt display. we had 206 works of art to view!

follow the arrows!

this year, instead of trying to capture an entire blanket, i have only smidgeons of quilts to share with you:

my favourite of the entire evening…

…it’s shown in its entirety on the front of the auction program. spectacular!

this quilt featured flowers, each block unique from the rest. i loved the detailing!

we noticed a definite return to traditional quilting techniques this year

classic. i love symmetry and bright colours in a quilt.

and finally…

i know that blanket! (sorry for the blur – dad must have had salt jitters from the fries??!)

tradition #5: catching up

i swear we don’t walk ten feet without meeting someone we know, or seeing someone we recognize. this year, we connected with the usual mix of family (mom’s cousin bob, specifically, and joan and sandy), church friends, old neighbours, ex-classmates…and new this year, my friend vy from the store!

fun, fun, and more fun.

i know this is jumping the gun, but i am excited for next year’s outing, already!

what is one social outing that you attend every single year, if at all possible? the next written-in-stone event on the calendar is the september knitter’s fair!

~*~*~*~*~

update: my fb friend successfully completed his first 100 miler in 22:xx which is a fantastic time for a race of that distance (sub-24 is kind of the “gold standard” for non-elites). congrats to everyone who raced this weekend!

foiled at the movie theatre!

i am not doing very well with my attempts to be nice, lately.

as you have seen, mom and dad have been so very good about letting me steal food from their fridge and cupboards during the great may grocery challenge this month (an apple and a cheese slice here, a baggie of cereal there…it all adds up). yes, i have felt more than a weeee bit guilty over taking, taking, taking (i think the tipping point was having dad get that lettuce for me at the market!).

as a gesture of thanks, i invited mom and dad to join me as my guests for a night out at the movies this past sunday. we could walk over to the princess twin for the 6:30 pm showing of the best exotic marigold hotel.

(source)

i had seen the trailer for this movie [i forget exactly what i was at the theatre to see when i saw it], and it looked like an inoffensive, engaging story – one that you are not uncomfortable to see with your parents [or your daughter, for that matter, i imagine!].plus, we are all great fans of judi dench and maggie smith.

what a gorgeous evening for a quick walk up to the cinema!

we arrived before 6:25 pm…only to be greeted by patrons exiting the theatre – the movie was sold out!

disappointed!

[apart from giving me free groceries, i also owe mom and dad for letting me boss them around about how to pose for photos for the blog - such good sports, always!].

what a shame! all three of us were genuinely surprised that the movie would be sold out on such a lovely evening of a long weekend (isn’t everyone supposed to be camping or at the cottage??). ah, well. not meant to be, obviously.

at least we enjoyed a short stroll in the evening sunshine!

mom and dad, we will reschedule!

plan b was quickly devised: we settled in for a knitting party (ok, not dad) at mom and dad’s condo, and watched the latest (pvr’d) episode of top chef canada -> highly entertaining!

and – will wonders never cease – i went home without stealing a thing!

what is the last movie you saw, and please give it a rating out of **** stars. i would like to go see the five-year engagement and/or what to expect when you’re expecting. i have no desire to see the avengers.

maman et papa et la ville de montreal

bonjour, mes amis!

as a friday treat, we have a special guest post today. i asked my mom if she would please write about a new experience that she and dad recently enjoyed. take it away, mom!

~*~*~*~*~

Anglophones in Montreal

mom and dad, montreal, april 2012

We are not seasoned or savvy or readily disposed to travel.

We have escaped winter to sunny spots – Aruba and Caribbean cruises several times; once, a decade ago, we flew to Singapore and Malaysia for a month of heat and humidity.  But, I think that travel, generally – and enormous, over-crowded, noisy airports in particular – are vastly over-rated. Therefore, I have practised avoidance techniques for years: quickly re-cycling brochures, flipping through the pages of travel sections in the newspapers, smiling blandly and mumbling trite phrases when friends and family enthuse about ports-of-call seen and appreciated.

And then we opened our 2011 Christmas gift from our son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren: return flight and hotel accommodations for a holiday in Montreal in April.  My joy was genuine.

*****

We have never been to Montreal to stay.  Traversing the city with our eyes glued to the direction Ouest to and from holidays in Eastern Canada does not count. Navigating the bridges and French signage after we had driven to and from Chicoutimi some 20 years ago was a dim memory. Five years of high school French 50 years ago does not render me confident in communicating in a foreign language.  Did we manage in cosmopolitan Montreal?  Yes!

Throughout our entire 3-day visit we were respectfully greeted, given directions, and had questions answered and explanations provided graciously in English after it was established that anglais was our language preference.

*****

After a sleep-over in Toronto at our family’s home, we taxied to the ferry that glided across Lake Ontario for all of 3 minutes to Toronto Island Billy Bishop airport.  The airport was small and clean with a friendly feeling and extremely navigable procedures to get us on the plane.  The flight to Montreal’s Pierre Trudeau Airport took an hour.  The taxi ride to our hotel took about 25 minutes.  A huge black umbrella balanced adroitly by the hotel concierge protected me from the downpour.  The boutique Hotel Nelligan on Rue St. Paul Ouest/St. Paul Street West was elegant and beautiful.  Two of the red brick walls in our luxury suite had been preserved when the original old building was restored. In the tastefully appointed lobby area, we were served cups of complimentary and excellent coffee.  Later in the afternoon, we sipped a complimentary glass of wine and spent an entertaining hour surreptitiously people-watching and eavesdropping (although we did not comprehend any of the rapid-fire conversations en français.)

*****

During our 3-day stay, we did not stray far from the hotel, and walked along St. Paul Street east and west visiting a different lively and interesting café each day for lunch.  We visited a wide range of art galleries, clothing boutiques, shops with displays of sleek and modern tableware, an excellent stationery and paper goods store, and a large book store with all-in-French titles.  In one boutique, I admired a beguiling gown that had as a price point a jaw-dropping ¼ of what our first house cost. “Just browsing, thank you” was easily accepted by the staff.  We avoided the tourist trap t-shirts and coffee mugs and native dolls made-in-China a few blocks away.

The Centre des Sciences de Montreal/Montreal Science Centre located on the Quays of the old Port of Montreal was a delightful adventure.  The IMAX 3-D movie The Last Reef was enchanting.  I loved catching tiny sea creatures that seemed to float right into my hand.

We toured the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal/Notre Dame Basilica where Celine Dion was married in December 1994.  The Neo-Gothic exterior is imposing and the opulent interior is dramatic and colourful with brilliant blues and azure and gold hues.  I could not believe the size of the organ, 7000 pipes mounted to the highest of high ceilings.

inside the basilica

Partly because of the pouring rain, we stayed at the dining room, Verses, at Hotel Nelligan for dinner the first night.  For a 2-week period, the chef was experimenting with a tapas-style menu, and we devoured deconstructed duck with tasty sides and then finished with decadent batter-fried apples accompanied by warm, salted butterscotch sauce for dessert.

*****

The highlight was dinner at Garde Manger, the brainchild of Chef and Food Network Host Chuck Hughes. The restaurant is unobtrusively tucked into a side street, Rue St. Francois-Xavier. Our son had made the reservations for us a month in advance.  We arrived to a packed room with space for about 35 diners.  It was small and antique, but definitely not quaint and cozy.  The place was rockin’!  We were the oldest people in the restaurant by two decades, but did not feel estranged. Our helpful and charming waitress translated the all-in-French menu for us scrawled on a blackboard.  The younger couples at the tables to our left and right were friendly without being invasive and it was from them that we learned that Chuck was actually in house that night.  Usually he is not.  One couple had seen him roar up on his motorcycle!  I discreetly craned my neck, frequently, to view hunky Chuck who was highly visible and busy all evening.

The food was delicious.  We started with a clam amuse bouche, a great beginning.  Then the appetizer: I had a roasted beet salad, the beets in 2 vivid colours, and hubby chose lobster poutine.  Fantastic! For our mains I ate perfectly cooked scallops with accompanying potato gnocchi on a bed of carmelized carrots and hubby savoured slow-braised (for 36 hours according to our server) short ribs with rich gravy.  At the recommendation of our next-table neighbour, he drank Chinese beer with that.  Wow!  For dessert we shared a deep-fried Mars bar with vanilla ice cream.  Oh, my…it does not get better than this.

Chuck was friendly and approachable when we asked if I could have my photo taken with him.  I had that treasured souvenir posted on facebook shortly after our return to reality.  It was a marvelous evening, and as we strolled (well, more accurately, waddled) back the short distance to our hotel we murmured deep appreciation for family and superbly cooked food and new experiences.

WITH CHUCK!! at garde manger

After an unaccustomed sleep-in and a leisurely light breakfast, we reversed our route and returned to Toronto, in the rain, where our daughter-in-law met us at the airport and patiently listened to our hyperbole as we talked and talked.  What a wonderful trip.

We may not have been savagely bitten by a travel bug nor been rhapsodized by wanderlust, but la Ville de Montreal à la Belle Province beckons.

~*~*~*~*~

thanks so much, mom! i want to meet chuck!!

have you ever visited montreal? me = no! despite going to school in québec for eight months, i have never spent time in montréal. now, québec city i have enjoyed on numerous occasions, but a tour de montréal has never materialized. maybe someone(s) will surprise aunti with a petit get-away trip to montreal?!

marshalls!

this past sunday aft, mom and i took a spin up to ira needles boulevard. the retail development called “the boardwalk” boggles the mind – it’s unfortunate amazing how farmland has been transformed into big box land in the past couple years. and they’re not done yet – new buildings keep popping up like dandelions in spring!

the weather on sunday was simply spectacular; but even a sunny, perfect day is not enough to deter us from a shopping date!

we left dear dad back in he condo casa, hard at work on project chocolate:

an action shot of dad painting (is that oxymoronic??) would have been more interesting; however, i didn’t think to take a photo. oops. so you get a pic of dad’s supplies.

mom and i bypassed all of the other shopping options (like walmart!) and headed straight to marshalls:

mom! marshalls! sunshine!

for those of you unfamiliar with this store, marshalls is like winner’s: discounted fashions – and more! -  for the whole family. in the states, i gather it would be akin to tjmaxx (??).

the marshalls philosophy!

right inside the entrance, we were welcomed by ballgowns. i ooh’d and aah’d over the fabrics!

love!

love more!

love the most!

next, was the shoe section:

not a bad price for a GUESS sandal – those charms make me smile! want!

sometimes, i just can’t leave my job behind…

i hope someone straightens up at end of day – my fingers were itching to align those boxes neatly…in style order…in descending size order…

my main beef with marshalls would be the general state of disarray of the entire store. i get that it was a busy sunday aft…but dustballs in the changeroom, for example, is not necessary, really.

sleepwear! this ensemble stole my heart:

check out the sequin bow…and the shorts are adorned with silver imprints – too fun!!!

so here’s the thing: you know how i love the hippie look. well, true confession, i genuinely enjoy certain jersey shore fashion influences. the two styles wage battle in my brain! i think i just have to build up my wardrobe with both types of clothing. on this day, the jersey shore vibe was super strong:

i need WHITE kiki-harharwoods to match my BLACK ones! we gulped upon seeing the price – $99!!! pass…

more sequins!!! love the lime!

the most tempting item of the day was this hoodie:

bcbg brand, $39.99

i tried it on three times, debated yes/no with mom…

embellishment on the back

…and finally decided to bypass making the purchase. the sleeves were just a tad short. i was GLAD for the not-ideal fit as that made my decision less sorrowful!

i left with new underwear (no photo as they are not cute like my tie-dyed ones). and one more thing…

i just could not leave the hello kitty set behind!

i only use the air con at night in the condo casa, so temps frequently hit a balmy 78-80 degrees from may-september. i am going to wear the hello kitty tank + shorts around the home over the next few months! plus, the little nieces will get a kick out of that top, no?!

all of a sudden, mom and i realized more than ninety minutes had flown by! we scooted back and picked up dad so we could all go for coffee:

it is not easy to do a three-person self-portrait! this was attempt #2!

while mom and i thoroughly enjoyed our visit to marshalls, we both agreed that we’re in no rush to get back. i still have not been to adventure guide‘s new(ish) location, just down from marshalls, and want to check that out some time…and, of course, there is always the beckoning walmart!

what’s your track record like at outlet stores/discount stores? mom and i actually are very poor bargain hunters – we lack the patience required to comb hanger-by-hanger through long racks of clothing. speaking of good deals: i have very fond memories of my day at the outlet stores during my florida vacation!

wheels used by potters make artful creations

wow, mom and i are on a roll! two weekends, two artsy outings…i could get used to this lifestyle!

last friday eve, mom and i met up in my lobby and headed over to the spring pottery sale held at the rec centre:

friday eve was the only available time this weekend that really meshed with schedules

for some unknown reason, dad passed on the opp to join us...maybe his ears needed a rest...mom and i tend to talk a lot!

despite the overcast skies, and prediction of evening rain showers, we marched the seven minutes walk over to the rec centre. upon arriving, we were greeted by a pottery demo:

there were tons of awestruck kids standing alongside, all staring in wonderment!

this is the third spring pottery sale we have attended (2010 report is here, 2011 recap is here!). for this outing, neither mom nor i really had anything specific in mind that we wanted to purchase; our goal was more or less to chitchat extensively check out the pottery and see if something grabbed us.

here’s a petite tour:

i liked the spring flower pattern on this set of dishes!

i took this picture mainly for the sign, "wee bowls," but the little bowls themselves were super cute, too!

i was trying to imagine how you would create each of these shapes on the potter's wheel...what a remarkable artform.

a unique toothbrush holder! but the practical side in me thought, 1) how would you clean it? 2) i am sure i would knock it over and break it!

of course, i appreciated seeing my favourite birdie!

this bowl was my favourite item of the evening: i love the texture and the bright colours of the glazes.

what a cute bowl! it would make a fine addition to my eclectic dishes collection. it's not big enough to hold my salads, however!

an example of the symmetry achieved with a potter's wheel....simple beauty.

unfortunately, mom and i left the sale empty-handed this year. mom did debate purchasing two of these little knives…

mom currently has eight little spreaders that she has collected over the years from this sale...

…but the vibe was not 100% correct.

[we had to laugh because mom deviated from our usual system, and took a basket as soon as we entered the sale. murphy's law, of course we found nothing. had we not had a basket with us, we would have been fumbling with numerous items, i am sure!].

mom, you will not be allowed to pick up a basket again!

as we exited the rec centre, we noticed the ground was wet with rain – oh no! would we be soaked by the time we got home again?? luckily, we had a window of clear conditions, and made it home safe and sound dry and warm. by the time i arrived in my unit, it was bucketing again! that cardinal sighting did bring us good luck!

it’s fascinating to see the variety of shapes and colour combos on exhibit at the pottery sale. i appreciate the work involved, and the talent of the potters. the pottery sale is as much an art gallery outing as a chance to purchase items!

the weekend also featured a used book sale in uptown waterloo – too bad it was not scheduled for this coming weekend so that we could attend yet another sale!

~*~*~*~*~

just as pottery can range from the simple to the complex, our discussion questions today will follow suit!

easy question: have you ever used a potter’s wheel? me = i think once, or maybe not? (?? i am fuzzy on the memory). the pros make it look so easy!

challenging question: in one sentence, write an analogy comparing how using a potter’s wheel is like life. the minister at the church i grew up in was a skilled amateur potter. he used to give a sermon where he used his potter’s wheel to demonstrate life lessons. i was fortunate to see it a few times, and it was a really powerful presentation filled with a-ha moments.

“printemps” stitch n kitsch

my transformation into becoming a hippie is progressing nicely, thanks to saturday’s outing to the spring stitch n kitsch sale:

yahoo!

this was my THIRD visit to my most favourite show/sale on the entire planet. (you can read about my stitch n kitsch discovery here and about the second trip – a new experience with mom! – here).

we lucked out that i happened to finish work on saturday at 3 pm instead of the usual 4 pm, so mom and i had some extra time together (never a bad thing).

our afternoon started on a sour note. you will not believe this tale of woe: remember my new peacock feather earrings? well, i wore them FOR THE FIRST TIME on friday eve to knitting club, and before i even got to shall we knit, i had lost one:

one lonely earring is all i have left

mom and i popped into earthwinds so that i could purchase another pair…and they had none in exactly that style. wah. happily, we managed to turn our luck around at stitch n kitsch.

as per usual, right inside the front entrance was studioloo, home to gorgeous yarn. the first skein to catch my eye:

look at the skein on the right: "indigo tie dye" - love! and how cool is it to name a colour "hipster?" that's right: cool kids knit!

we made our first purchase (ok, mom bought me a treat) 46 seconds later when i spotted this magnet:

"hippie van driving in the mountains," i am calling it

artist kym posed graciously for the blog!

you should see the colour and whimsy in each of her creations!

i loved the message on this piece of art:

i would hang this in the kitchen!

just like last time, mom and i did a tour of the room to see everything, then we went around again to do some buying [we deviate from this plan when we see something like the magnet that we adore too much to pass by on the inital go-'round].

we admired how this jewellery artist displayed her necklaces, draped over the huge glass jars!

now THAT'S a pair of moccasins! item for the christmas list

love that fabric! unfortunately, the dress was a child's size 5-6! i would totally wear a *something* made from that material.

wouldn't it be great to sport 5-6 of these colourful bracelets, all at once?!

we’ll pause here for a philosophical intermission:

this vendor also prints meaningful expressions on her display cards

so, back in december, mom bought me a pair of tie-dye undies. i wear them every single week, and they are always in the wash when i do laundry. in december, i said to mom that i would buy a tie-dyed cami at the spring sale. well, we were seriously worried for a moment, because we did not see the tie-dye booth! but then we did find it, so all was good. meet julia of green cocoon!

that's my new cami!

we had the best time chatting with julia. then mom said i needed another pair of undies (you don’t argue with your mom when it comes to underwear):

thanks, mom! (posing with undies -> it's all about the blog!!!!)

…and i selected the item i will get at the next show:

building my tie-dye collection slowly but surely. (this is the same tee that julia is wearing in the photo, above).

i had worn my pin-up girl hair barrette (picked up back in december) specifically today…

it gets a lot of wear!

one-of-a-kind!

…but sadly, the vendor was not at the show this time.

however, i DID find more hair clips!

guess which one i chose!

guess which pair i chose? (turquoise vs baby blue!)

it was two for $10 (a steal or what) and i went with the GINGHAM RED with YELLOW BUTTON clip and the BABY BLUE flowered bobby pins. they will be fun for summer. the artist is vanessa from this little bird.

we finished up back at the yarns. check out a few more names of colour shades – they crack me up:

L to R, that would be "less is more," "valentine lingerie," and "sweet transvestite" - this is not your g'ma's yarn stash!

i got a flash of inspiration for a future knitting project…but for some reason, my camera conked out right at the moment i was trying to capture the yarn, so you’ll have to wait for the explanation/description for eight months! i thoroughly enjoyed the in-depth knitting conversation i had with mat from manspun as my brainwave came together!

mom and i convened to s’bux, right next door since we still had not chatted ourselves out, and we desperately needed a drink fizzy water and a blueberry bar:

the camera miraculously revived itself!

what a great afternoon. and you can bet that our calendars are already marked for stitch n kitsch’s winter sale!

i can't believe there is a cardinal on that "save the date" card - that is my karmically-correct bird!

if you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be? it is only fitting to end with a hippie-dippy question, today!

pick your holiday!

yesterday, it was…

  • family day in ontario [the fact that we have this holiday slays me as it is a day off made up by the provincial government a few years ago. so, stores, schools, banks, private industry, and municipal/provincial employees are all off...but federal services are still running (so, i can't go grocery shopping, but my mail is delivered!). makes no sense! and there is no real reason for the holiday except to break up the span of time between christmas and easter!].
  • louis riel day in manitoba [thanks, gina, for that fyi!]
  • islander day on prince edward island [thanks, mom, for that tip!]
  • presidents’ day in the states [i was ignorant about the very existence of president's day until going to aruba. my american friends warned never EVER to travel to aruba for president's week because paradise the island is jam-packed with families. the only GOOD thing about all the swarms of people is that is the bingo pots are sky high - haha!].
  • also, did you know that february is: national grapefruit month; national snack food month, national sweet potato month, national cherry month, and national canned food month? ’tis true. i found out here! [would it not make more sense to declare february national chocolate month, thanks to ♥ lovey-dovey day ♥ on the 14th??].

anyway, to get back to yesterday – all i did the whole entire day was be social and drink hot beverages! it was fantastic!

in the morning, i went out to sarah’s house. sarah gave me a tour around their lovely, new home…

notice zoe the kittie peaking out from upstairs?!

…and then we went out for coffee to tim hortons. it is now roll up the rim season…and, surprise, surprise, i won a coffee!

i will be cashing that rim in for the LARGEST size possible!

in the afternoon, i met mom and dad at our uptown starbucks:

what's one more coffee in a day??!

i had to see family on family day, for sure!

in the evening, i got together with my neighbourhood + blog friend, tricia! third coffee shop of the day ->we met up at coffee culture:

tricia and i realized we have the exact same cameras!!

i was actually feeling a bit “coffee’d out,” (what a surprise, eh?!) and switched to decaf tea. it was wonderful to chat with tricia – our schedules are such that they conflict completely, normally, so it was really fun to be able to meet up – all thanks to family day!

~*~*~*~*~

which national food would you be most likely to celebrate? me = canned food – yes! i love all manner of tinned seafood; mushrooms; and many varieties of beans!

what was the theme of your day, yesterday? ummm, coffee?! :)

and sunshine! check out the spectacular day we enjoyed!

...and no wind, temps above zero

the rink in the uptown square was packed!

today it is back to reality…and less coffee!

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