Monday, December 27, 2010

There is nothing quite like a cold at Christmas

Colds are not nice any time of the year, but at Christmas they are even worse.  There is so much to do and people to visit and a head cold just doesn't fit into that scenario.  I woke up on Christmas day with a sore throat and an earache so I knew that something was up.  By the afternoon my nose decided that it didn't want to be left out, and then the sneezing and headache started.

There is so much delicious food around and I don't feel like eating it.  My sister is having a family get-together and I have to stay home from it or I will be infecting everyone there.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Simply Spooky Quilt

I finished my halloween quilt last week and have been debating how to take a picture of it.  I usually hang them on the deck so that I get the natural light but when there is snow on the deck and the temperature is hovering around -10C it isn't the best scenerio.  So I decided to use the living room couch.  Not the best place but I think it did the quilt justice. 

This is called Simply Spooky by Amy Barickman from Red Rooster Patterns.  The cats are pieced and the bats are appliqued.  I started this small quilt a few years ago and just got around to quilting it.  One of my UFO's done.

I know that it is a little out of season but that's okay because now it is finished.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Celebration on Ice

Last night I went to see Celebration on Ice at the Gardens with my daughter and granddaughter.  We were absolutely enthralled for the 2 hours of skating.  The show featured Kurt Browning, Jamie Sale & David Pelletier, Jeffrey Buttle, Joanne Rochette and Violetta Afanasieva and Pete Dack.

I think Joanne Rochette received the biggest applause.  She is Canada's sweetheart.

Jeffrey Buttle

Jamie Sale & David Pelletier

Violetta Afanasieva & Pete Dack

Kurt Browning

The Finale.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mail Delivery

The Purolator Truck stopped in front of our house today and had a delivery for me.  My friend Joyce had a really nice quilt book that I borrowed but really wanted my own copy so I ordered myself one.  It is "Patchwork Quilting" by Company's Coming . 

It has a lot of nice projects that I may make one day. 

I love quilting books.  They are so full of ideas when you are looking for something new to make.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Thursday Group

Four of us have decided to get together on Thursday afternoons to do some quilting.  It has been an interesting time.  We are all working on something different and everyone helps everyone else.  Some days it seems we get very little accomplished but that is alright because we eventually get things done.

We took a 5 week course in the fall so we are all still working on our quilts.  This past Thursday we spent some time looking out at the snow and wondering just how much we were going to get.  Not much fell, about 5 cm, but it sure was blowing.

This is Joyce and Maria wondering about the snow.

Joyce's quilt.  I love the beautiful colours in this quilt.  They are maple leaves.  It is called "Autumn Ridge Lap Quilt" from Company's Coming Crafts

Maria's table runner is the "Little Charmers III" pattern but she added a another square and triangles to the end so that it would be very long.  What beautiful gold colours and accented with black!!

Joyce and Pierina busy sewing.  Pierina's is a Buggy Barn pattern done in flannelette.

Pierina's quilt all finished.

Here's the four of us.  Me, Maria, Joyce and Pierina.  We are so lucky to be able to use Joyce's plant room ( as she calls it) with all the natural light coming in through the windows.  It makes for a great afternoon.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Vote for Me

I entered one of my tablerunner in a contest at the Quilting Gallery and would appreciate your vote.  It is called Christmas Star Runner.  So head on over and have a look at all the beautiful runners.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Star paper pieced block

This is a block I made for the local Quilter's Guild.  It is paper pieced and they will be put together into a charity quilt.  If you check out the other block I made for the guild I changed the placement of the quarters of the block.  It is a large block measuring 11 1/2 inches.

I used some fabric that I have had for a while now.  Some is Henry Glass and some is Moda Marbles. 

I also make my name tag to wear to the guild meetings.  I used some orphan blocks that I had.  It is reversible to the same block on the other side.

I was busy baking today also making chocolate chip cookies.   I made 11 dozen.  Some will go to my son and his family for Christmas, the rest will be eaten here by my local grandchildren (and my husband).

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Binding Tip

I saw this tip on the Internet but don't remember where I saw it.  If anyone knows, please let me know so that I can give the author proper acknowledgement for it.  It is a great tip. 

When binding a large quilt and you have many strips of binding sewn together one of the ways to keep track of it is to wind it up and put it under the foot of your sewing machine.  This really works.  I am applying the binding to my Halloween quilt which is 48 x 48 so I have 5 binding strips which can be unruly at times.  I took some photos to show you what I mean.  This tip would work even better for a queen size quilt.

I have a Babyloc Quilter's Choice which has an extension table with legs that I wrapped the binding around.  It worked really well.  I hope I remember to do this next time I am adding binding to a quilt.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Cards

I finished my Christmas letter last night, finally, and printed it this morning.  I think I changed it 6 times before I was happy with it.  Now my cards are all ready to go.  Some will have to be mailed soon as they go to California, Florida, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  Our relatives are scattered all over North America.  It seems that our mail takes forever to be delivered and if I want these to be received by Christmas then they have to be mailed next week.  The ones that go out closer to home and to our own province can go the end of the week or early next week. 

My friend Bridget who lives in New Zealand will receive my Christmas letter by email.  We have been doing it that way for a few years now and have no problems.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Four Dandy Bags

Today I finished my 4 Dandy bags that I was making for Christmas.  I changed the pattern a little by using only 2 fabrics instead of three and I added pockets and zippers.  My sister, daughter and I are going to New York City in March 2011 and I thought they would be good bags to carry our mitts and scarves in or anything else that we may need for a day out on the town.  We don't put valuables in them, they are in small bags that I make to wear under your coat. 

The black bag is a lot larger than the others, I just added a few inches to the main fabric to make it biggier.  Here is the link to the blog and the tutorial for these bags.  Dandelion Quilts.  Just click on the picture on the dandy bag on the front page and it will take you there.

I finished writing my Christmas letter today and bought some nice paper for half price at Michael's today.  You gotta love a sale.  Now all I have to do it get it printed and finish my Christmas cards and I am ready to go.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

One More Purse

This is a purse I made this week-end.  It is made in strips and only the bottom third is quilted and stitched in the ditch.  The casing for the draw string was a bit of a challenge but I think in the end it turned out okay.  The colours are bright for summer.  I always give gifts in homemade quilted or not quilted bags.  Stores today charge for bags so I hope that my bags come in handy for shopping or just having fun when used.  Stores in Canada charge 5 cents for a bag but this August when I was in Ireland they were charging 20 cents for a bag.  Lynda and I opted for no bag if we forgot to bring a bag with us if the parcel was small enough to fit  into another bag we already had.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All my Christmas table runners

I have decided that since I have finished all the runners and mats that I would post them all together.  I tried to make different patterns but that didn't always work out.  I found it hard to find free placemat patterns to showcase fabric so I ended up with just 2 patterns for the placemats but I did find different patterns for the runners.  All the patterns were free off the Internet.  It takes a lot of searching but it is possible to find them out there.  I don't sell any of my quilted items, I just give them away to family or friends.  Quilting keeps me busy and sane.  (I hope)

Each set has 4 placemats to match the table runner.  The placemats are approximately 12 x 18 inches and the table runners range from 32 to 60 inches in length.  I think I would make the shorter one longer next time.  It is the one with the Christmas ornaments on it.  I like that pattern and wish that I had realized that it wasn't very long before I finished it as I could have made it longer but now it is too late.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Snowmen

My last tablerunner and placemats finished.  Each set has 4 placemats with it.  I decided this time that I would finish the binding the Cotton Theory way, so I sewed the binding onto the back of the placemats and then folded it over to the front just to the seam line and then did my fancy CT stitch and finished them off.  No hand sewing this way and I think it made a nice decoration on the front of the runner and mats.

I am not a traditional quilter, I have a very hard time doing freehand quilting so I use my fancy stitches on my Babyloc sewing machine to quilt.  Here is a picture of the binding that was sewn onto the front of the placemat.

I chose the pale blue so that the stitches would show up in the picture. 

Now I have to make bags to go with these gifts.  Everyone needs bags for the stores these days and I also prefer not to buy wrapping paper so bags it is.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cotton Theory Tablerunner

When we were in Kenora I just had to visit the local quilt shop, Quilt Corner, to look at fabric.  I couldn't walk out with out buying some and I had the Cotton Theory in my mind.  Just look at the beautiful fabric I picked up.

On Thursday last week I finished the Cotton Theory Tablerunner but didn't have time to post a picture so I will do it now.  I hope you can see how it is constructed - in pieces and then sown together.  The pieces are attached using a folding method called One Way Streets and The Highway.  It isn't perfect but it is my first one so I'll get better with the next and subsequent pieces.

The green side is the back of the runner.  This way of quilting makes the runner reversible. 

And you work with small pieces rather than with one large piece that is hard to handle.  Each pieces is quilted and then sown together.  A lot of thought has to go into how you are designing it and what colours you want to put together on each side.  It is was fun to make.


Home from Kenora

We arrived home from Kenora, ON today.  We left home on Friday morning to go to a funeral at 2pm.  It is a 6 hour drive, 458 K, but it is something that had to be done.   Sharon's mom passed away on Sunday so we wanted to go and support Ray and Sharon and also Norm.  Norm & Ollie had been married 70 years so it was really hard on him, but he made it through just fine.  We left Kenora at 9 am this morning and arrived home at 3pm.  Not bad for travelling through a snowstorm on the way.  We stopped at Upsala and there was at least 6 inches of snow on the ground and about 2 inches here when we got home.  Tired and weary but safe.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Tablerunner and placemats

I finished another tablerunner and placemats today.  This one is really large measuring 20 x 58 inches.  To put it in perspective I put 3 placemats beside it so that you can see the full size of it.  I also went over the poinsettias with gold laminated thread.  They don't show up too much in the picture but the gold thread really makes them pop. 

Here is a picture of the poinsettia even though the gold doesn't show up too much.

I have also been making mug rugs.  It is something I saw on a blog and thought that I would like to try it.  It was Pleasant Home .  They are really cute and fun to make.  I'm afraid that I copied hers because I needed the inspiration but next time I will try to come up with my own idea.  They are a nice extra Christmas gift or stocking stuffer.  Thanks Jodi.

I just have to put the binding onto my Cotton Theory Tablerunner and it will be finished.  Maria is coming over tomorrow and we should get them finished up then.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cotton Theory Workshop

Wow, what a fabulous workshop.   We came home totally exhausted but full of knowledge.  Nancy was a wonderful instructor and took all our mistakes in stride, ripping out seams and ironing pieces for us all.  More than once I goofed and sewed the seams wrong but she just got me doing something else while she did the ripping. 

I didn't get the tablerunner finished, no one did, but the last few steps were explained and Maria and I will get together this week and finish it up.  I will post some pictures then to show you the difference between the Cotton Theory and regular quilting.

I was so enthused with this new way of quilting that I bought a book to make another tablerunner and the scissors used when doing this type of quilting.  They are very sharp so that they can cut through multiple layers of fabric.  (Like 12) You will understand that more when you see the pictures of the finished tablerunner.
What a great day.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cotton Theory

Last night I went to a Trunk show put on by Nancy Eichel .  She is a Cotton Theory Certified Instructor. 

Cotton Theory is a very different way of quilting. 
Cotton Theory quilting is a new and different way to construct your quilt. It's backward!

Unlike traditional quilts, which are pieced together, layered with batting and then quilted, Cotton Theory projects are quilted first, one segment at a time, and then assembled using Betty Cotton's fold-and-finish procedures.

Most quilters enjoy piecing together the top of a traditional quilt because they can see the design as it takes shape, and the results are rewarding. The actual quilting, however, can be a challenge, especially if your traditional quilt is large. Often, quilting becomes the least favorite part of constructing a quilt.

The Cotton Theory method makes quilting easy, no matter the size of your quilt. You quilt each piece individually before you construct your project, so quilting becomes just as enjoyable as piecing together the design.

You can quilt pieces creatively and accurately to produce completely reversible quilts with decorative stitches and optional machine embroidery.

During Cotton Theory assembly, you sew the raw edges of your quilted pieces together, leaving seam allowances that are folded on the outside of your quilt and then stitched in place using one or more Cotton Theory techniques. This adds an extra dimension to the surface. The result is a reversible quilt that combines sewing, quilting and embroidery, if you choose. You end up with two quilts - one on each side - by constructing one project.

All work is done with a sewing machine; there's no need to do handwork.

I signed up for an all day workshop tomorrow.  It will be interesting to see the results.  I will post a picture of what I make. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quilter's Guild Block

At the last guild meeting everyone was asked to make a paper pieced block that would be put into a quilt or placemat to be given away.  We were given the pattern to use.  Our guild gives placemats to the clients of Meals-on-Wheels and they also participate in a fund raiser for a local charity where they sell placemats.  Here is my block that I made.

It was made in 4 sections and sewn together to make one large 11 1/2 inch block.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dresden plate square

I went to class on Saturday and discussed with the instructors how I was going to sew my Dresden Plate  to my square and we/I decided to use a blanket stitch with invisible thread.  I have decided to make a small lap quilt out of the squares.  I chose 6 squares the same and put them on to the gold background that I purchased at Beaver Bay, MN.  I am going to make sashing the same colour as the centre circle and then try to find a border print that will bring it all together.

I think the gold really compliments the blues.  I hope I don't have too much of a problem finding a border to go with it all.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Home from Duluth

We came home from Duluth, Minn yesterday in a driving rainstorm but with not mishaps along the way so everything is fine.  I made some fabric purchases for some things I will be working on.  I already have 2 quilts that have to be quilted and a tablerunner to finish and now I am working on a Dresden plate.  I haven't decided yet what I am going to do with the finished squares, maybe I will make a quilt, but still undecided.

The Dresden Plate called for 20 blades but when I sewed them together there were too many to lie flat so I took out 8 and then I had to add 4 more colours and I ended up with 2 different plates.  NowI will just make more plates the same as these two and figure out what I will make in the end.

I started this for the class that I am taking.  You can work on any project and the instructors will help you.  This is something I have seen before but never attempted so I thought it was a good opportunity to try my hand at it and get some help along the way.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Dandy Bag

I made a new Dandy Bag today but I forgot to take a picture so I will have to ask Christine to take one when she gets it.  The fabric is Black & White & Current by Color Principle for Henry Glass.  It is black on white and white on black.  I do this all the time.... I got the parcel all put together and then remembered that I wanted to take a picture.  I am not taking the parcel apart so I will have to rely on Christine.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Work in progress

I have 2 quilts that are going to be finished this fall for sure.  The halloween one has been sitting there for a few years and it is still not quilted.  As soon as Mike gets home I will have him help me spray it and sandwich it.  It goes so much easier with 2 people.  The other one is the one I have been working on for the quilt classes.  It is finished but I need to purchase the backing for it.  We are heading to Duluth in a week so I expect to pick it up at one of my favourite quilt shops along the way.  The border doesn't show up very good in the picture but if you click on it and enlarge it, the colours come through.

This quilt is pieced and appliqued.  The cats, and the apples are pieced and the bats are appliqued.  I want to get this finished so badly.  It has been sitting there for ever calling out to me so this is the time.  The binding is the same as the small first border.  I will post a final pictue when it is done.  Maybe this is the incentive I need to get going on it.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Water Bottle Holders

I finished 2 more water bottle holders today.  These are so easy to make and really neat to have so that you are not carrying your water in your hand all the time.  These were made for my nephews wife and for my daughter-in-law's sister.  The fabric for the purple one is called "river rock" and it looks like a rock bed at the side of a river.  It was a fat quarter that I picked up at the local quilt shop.  If you spend over $20 and belong to the "Stash Club" then you get a free fat quarter of your choice.  Charlene likes purple so I thought that was a great choice for her and Beth likes green.  The green one is a Batik fabric that looks like leaves.

I always make the shoulder strap adjustable so that who ever wears it can make it the length that feels good on them. 


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Angel of Joy

I started working on some Christmas projects this week.  I was starting to feel the pressure since Christmas creeps up on us so fast.  I finished the Angel of Joy today.  The pattern is from Patch Abilities .  It was in the monthly mini's group but with new patterns coming all the time it is under Christmas.  This is the third one I have made from this pattern.  I was able to use fabric from my stash and I am really pleased with the way it turned out.  It is for my daughter-in-laws mother.  I sure hope she will like it, I think she will.  I used blanket stitch for the applique with gold and silver thread and the fabric is gold and silver. Too bad the dress isn't showing up in the photo as it is silver swirls on the white background.


Friday, October 8, 2010

The last 6 squares

I finished the last 6 squares so I thought I would post them side by side.  Now the 'fun' part is arranging them so that I can put the sashing between them and then the borders.  I think they turned out pretty nice.  My young sister says I should call it a Kakabeka Falls quilt because the colour remind her of clean stones you would find near a waterfall.  Kakabeka Falls is a very large waterfall we have near here.  It is almost as high as Niagara Falls. I wish I had that kind of imagination.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Squares for my Class

I have been working on my squares for my quilting class.  I have 7 done but I took a picture of 6 of them.  Just because it was easier to lay them out and arrange them.  There seems to be a lot of burgundy in these 6 but I am sure the other 6 will complement them with the browns.  Each square is different, and there are only 2 actual squares and a centre square, it depends on how you lay out the pieces when you finish them.  I have tried to use all the 8 fabrics equally so that there is a good mix of colours when I am finished.  I would like to get the last 5 done before next weeks class but I think that I might be a bit optimistic.  We will see.  I also have to go and buy more fabric this week for the sashing as I don't have enough.  I haven't decided my borders yet either as I want to see the final result before choosing more colours or some of the same for the borders.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Another set of Placemats

I finished the 4 placemats with the poinsettia and the Christmas balls on them and the tablerunner.  The tablerunner is a new pattern.  It is a little different but I think real cute.  I think if I make the same tablerunner again I would make it longer.

I sit at night and sew the binding on by hand so it always takes me a while to finish things up.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

My sister's birthday.

The place mats were finished a while ago but I just completed the tablerunner and sent it to my sister Carole for her birthday.  The placemats were a kit so I had to purchase more fabric for the table runner.  She wanted something with flowers and I think this really did the trick.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Taking a Quilting Class

I started a new Quilting Class today put on by two ladies who are prominent in the local Quilt Guild.  We were to choose any pattern that we wanted to make for this course.  I thought it was odd that we weren't all working on the same thing but it worked out really well.  The instructors came around to see what we were doing and helped out with selection of fabric and cutting.  Some of the ladies are new to quilting, they have only made one other quilt so they needed a lot of help.

I bought a book by Atkinson Design called "Confetti in the Corner".  I am finding it quite challenging as they give you the general idea and then you have to decide how to lay out the blocks.  The main block is made up of three blocks:  Chip and Dip, Confetti and a centre square.  Because I am make a sampler block lap quilt it was suggested that you purchase 8 fat quarters and then have a background colour and make the squares out of these colours.  It is up to you how you set the blocks up once they are made. 

I sat down tonight and did some colouring and decided how I would use my 8 different fabrics along with my background to come up with some sort of design. 

Here are the fabrics I have chosen.

 The background fabric above looks yellow but it is really a motled beige.  I wanted a masculine quilt when I was finished.  Hopefully I will post some squares as they are done.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I was wondering if anyone reads my blog.

I can't keep it a secret any longer.  I have been busy quilting even though I have not posted anything here.  I am busy making placemats and tablerunners for Christmas.  If any of my followers, friends or relatives who read my blog would like a set for Christmas just let me know.   I have 3 complete sets made, one half made, and 2 still to be cut and sewn.  Each set has 4 placemats and a tablerunner to match. So lets see who actually reads my blog.  Leave me a comment.  I am anxious to see which ones people like.

This one is red cardinals.

These are cute little blue birds.  If you click on the picture it will enlarge for you to see it in full view.

Aren't they cute polar bears?

Each set has 4 placemats and a tablerunner.

This next set is almost finished.  As you can see I just need to sew the binding on around each one.  The table runner is half done and I will post a picture later.

I also have really pretty fabric with poinsettias on it and some playful snowmen.  I guess most of the fabric is wintry rather than real Christmas fabric.

Don't forget to leave a comment.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At home

I finally arrived home on Saturday night at 11pm, that meant that I had been up for 22 hours.  After a nice cup of tea it was into bed without emptying the suitcase.  Things are back to "normal" whatever that is but I am still suffering from jet lag.  I am awake in the middle of the night and can't seem to get enough sleep.  By 8pm I am so tired that I fall asleep watching TV.  I am hoping that this only lasts a few more days.

It is very cool here at home, a lot cooler than it was in Ireland.  In fact it is cold here.  Mike has picked his garden and I processed dozens of tomatoes today.

I have to get some quilting done soon.  I tidied up my sewing room yesterday and then spent about an hour trying to decide what to make next.  I am making some small things for Christmas and I have a few things to make for birthdays.  I will post some pictures when they are finished.

Yoga starts tomorrow for the fall session and I am looking forward to see all the 'girls' again.  We are like a small family unit and it is nice to get back into the swing of things.  I have to get back to walking also.  I have been too tired since I first got home and today it was raining very hard.  Not a day to go out walking.

I am so glad that I took this bag with me to Ireland.  I carried it everyday with my umbrella, camera, water bottle and scarf.  It was small enough to carry and big enough to hold all the things I wanted to take with me for the day.  It was quite windy some day so I was glad to have my scarf to wrap around me.  Ireland weather is very unpredicable.

I hope to get some sewing done in the next few days and will post pictures when I finish something.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Today we are in Malahide

On Thursday we took the local bus to Blarney and kissed the blarney stone.  After climbing more than over 120 stairs on a stone spiral staircase with only a rope handrail to hold onto we couldn't chicken out.

On Wednesday we took the train to Cobh which is the main emigration port following the great Famine of 1846-48.  Maritime history at the Queenstown Story - the major heritage centre in the town.  It is also the last port of call for the Titanic before it set sail for America and hit the iceberg.

The spire of St. Colman's cathedral dominates the sky.  The spire is 100 m high and it's tower houses a carillon of 47 bells- the largest in Ireland.  It is a huge magestic church on a hillside overlooking the town.  Again we had to climb up the hill to get to it, but it was worth it. 

We travelled by train to Malahide.  It was an all day trip but a nice train ride.  Today we are in Malahide and staying at the Grand Hotel.  It is a massive hotel with lots of corridors but a nice pub where we had dinner last night.  Our room wasn't ready when we arrived so she booked us in another and it has air conditioning.  The temperature today is 22 C.  The Irish keep saying that they can't believe the beautiful weather they are having.  We had rain one day out of the 2 weeks that we have been here and one shower.  It lasted long enough for us get our umbrellas up and it stopped. 

We toured Malahide castle today.  It is over 800 years old and has been inhabited by the Talbot family for the entire 800 years.  Rose Talbot moved out in 1975 and gave the castle to the town when she left.

We head for home and Canada tomorrow morning.  By the time I get home I will have been up for 24 hours because of the time change.  The worst jetlag is going back to Canada so I may not blog for a few days.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cork City

We took the bus to Cork city today and have been walking around the city.  The bus ride was only 2 hours long through beautiful countryside dotted with sheep and cattle grazing.  Some of the roads were very narrow, hardly enough room for the bus and car to pass each other.  Then we drove on an super highway, so you never know what kind of a road you will be travelling on. There are areas here in Cork where there is a pedestrian walkway where no cars go so you can stroll the street without a care.

Tomorrow we hope to go to Blarney Castle, we are only here for one and a half days so we have to get in all we can.  We walked through an open market on our way here to the Internet.  Very interesting, as they sold meats, vegetables, baked goods, and fish and there was even a small cafe.

 Me at Ross Castle in Killarney and my feet in the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland.


The Cliffs of Moher

When we were in Galway we took a tour of the Cliffs of Moher. Des our driver kept us entertained with his jokes and commentary as he drove the bus. We stopped at the Poulnabrone Dolman and ancient burial place on the Burren. The Burren is a vast waterless plateau of limestone hills and countless colourful flowers.

We stopped at a sheep dog demonstration where the border collie herded the sheep. We had lunch at Doolin with a lady named Peggy who is from St John, NL and lives on the same street as Joanne. She also knows Doris.

The cliffs were gorgeous and very windy. There is an area where people walk along the top of the cliffs which is very treacherous and they are trespassing on private property. Nine people have fallen to their death this year from this area, and yet there are still people walking up there.

Yesterday we went to the Ring of Kerry. Our bus driver was not as talkative as Des was but the trip was great.

In Killarney you see regular cars, jaunting cars (horse driven carriages) and tour buses.

One spot we stopped at - The Valley of the hidden treasure- was so windy it was like we were in a hurricane, but we were high up in the mountain and looked down on the valley.

I will shorten this as my session is almost up. The day was intermitten rain and sun with low lying clouds over the mtns. We finished the day walking around the town centre looking at stores and pubs. We had dinner at a pub and returned to the B&B around 8:30.

All is well here. Nice sunny day today. I should have left my coat at the B&B but the weather is very unpredicable so it is hard to say what the day will be like.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

To-day we are in Galway

 Yesterday we were at the Marian Shrine at Knock.  It is a beautiful shrine set on 4 acres of land.  There are 5 churches.  There are 5 churches on the site.  The Church of Reconciliation, The Church of the Apparition, The Old Church, The New Cathedral and the Church of the Blessed Sacrament.  There is also a museum which tells the story of the people who saw the Apparition.  We spent 2-3 hours there and received 3 sacraments.  The town is very small so it didn't take long to see everything.  

Our B&B was quite close, about a 10 minute walk.  We had dinner on the main street at a small cafe and then went to the pub beside the B&B.  It turns out it was owned by the same people who own the B&B and their son was the barman.  His name was Iarla which was Gallic for Gerald.  

We check out this morning and when Kathleen found out that we had no car she drove us to the bus stop.  We were on the bus for 2 hours travelling to Galway.  We are in a hotel right downtown.  Everything is very close and there is a pedestrian walk way around to all we wanted to see.  We saw the bust of JFK in Eyre square, Nora Barnacles house (the wife of James Joyce), and St Patrick's Cathedral.  We walked along the bank of the River Corribe back to the city centre.  

We have booked a tour for tomorrow of the Cliffs of Moher.  I might have time to blog tomorrow if we don't get back too late.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Donegal the pride of Gaul

We found the Catholic Cathedral of St Patrick yesterday and made a visit to the church.
We walked to the Donegal Abbey in Ruins.  The Abby dates back to around the time of the Vikings and is also a graveyard with graves dating back to the 1700's.  After walking around the town centre we had lunch at Magee's and enquired about a weaving demonstation.  Magee's is the largest weavers of tweed in the world.  A young salesman told us to return at "half 4".  We returned at the appointed time and Stephen took us to the demo room and showed us how the tweed was loomed, using a hand loom.  After he did a few rows Lynda gave it a try.  On the way out we saw a basket of peat and he asked us if we would like some so we each have a small piece to burn when we get home. 

There is a small cemetery on the outskirts of town dedicated to those who died during the potato famine.  We only got rained on once. 

Dinner was at Dom's.  I had a caesar salad with warm chicken and ham.  It was very good but the lettuce wasn't romaine but iceberg and leaf lettuce. 

We are travelling today to Knock to see the Marion Shrine where Our Lady, St. John & St Joseph appeared in 1879. 

Tomorrow we leave bright and early for Galway.  Will post more from there.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hello from Donegal

Yesterday was a travel day.  We took the train from Dublin to Sligo and then the bus to Donegal.  The weather is strange as it rains and then a few minutes later the sun shines.  Just enough time to get the umbrella out and the it is time to put it away again. 

The second picture is of the Donegal Waterbus.  We took a tour of the harbour yesterday when we arrived.  What a beautiful place.  The hills are all green and you can watch the tide come in and go out everyday.  Our B&B is a new place but quite a distance from the town.  We walked the first time but took a taxi after that.  We wondered around the town looking for a place to have dinner and finally decided on the Abbey hotel.  It was quite a posh place but decent prices for a meal.  She offered us a choice of two vegetables, carrots and cabbage.  We said we would have carrots only.  I had roast beef which came with mashed potatoes.  She brought the meal and then 2 side dishes of vegetables.  The carrots and more potatoes.  Lynda and I had a hard time trying not to laugh.  We didn't want to make a scene in such a posh place.

We visited Donegal Castle this morning.  It is very impressive and we were allowed to take pictures anywhere we wanted.  It is hard to see behind the trees.  One of the trees looked like a tamarak tree but I hightly doubt that it was one.

There is an old viking graveyard here which we hope to visit later today.  It is quite a touristy town here with many shoppes that sell souvenirs.  The town centre is situated around 3 streets that they call the diamond.  Most towns would have a square but this one is a diamond.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Top of the Morning from Dublin

Day 2 in Dublin we spent going on the Hop-on-hop-off bus.  Walked through St Stephen's green and The Temple Bar area.  There was a large outdoor market in Temple Bar where we stopped for lunch.  Visited St Patrick's Cathedral and Grafton Street.  We did a lot of walking, and on the way back to downtown we stopped at a display put on by "Vickings"  We were tired and wanted to get back to Duke Street so we took an "Eco Cab".  It is a small carriage that is propelled like a bicycle and run by University Students.  He chatted away while he rode the bike and asked us where we were from and how long we would be staying.  When we stopped he took our picture in the carriage.  I will post a picture later.  

Since yesterday was Lynda's 65th birthday we celebrated it in style by having a few brews in Davey Bynes pub. Then we took the bus back to the area of our guesthouse and dinner at a nearby hotel.  We even had fish and chips.

Today we went to Trinity College and had a tour given by a young University student studying History.  He took us around the campus and pointed out the different buildings to us.  The tour was well worth while as the  buildings are just brick and mortar to the normal eye but he made it very interesting and informative.  After the tour we went to see "The book of Kells" an old manuscript from the 800's.  

Hopefully we will get to Dublin castle this afternoon.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Molly Malone

Me with Molly Malone.

She wheels her wheelbarrow
Thru streest wide and narrow
it's there that I met sweet
Molly Malone.


We arrived in Ireland on Friday around 10am to beautiful sunshine.  It wasn't hard to find the bus into the city just had to look around a bit.  We got off downtown and had to get a second bus, within minutes it started to rain and came down like gangbusters.  We walked to the hotel in drizzle and then the rain stopped.  We checked in and the nice young lady at the desk asked if we would like some tea and a scone.  I have never tasted anything so delicious.  It was spread with whipped butter and raspberry jam and it melted in your mouth.  After a short nap and freshening up we went out for the afternoon and evening.

There was no more rain just a cool breeze.  We had decided earlier to go on "The Literary Pub Crawl", so glad that we did not miss it.  Two actors did skits about the Irish authors and playwrights and then toured us around a 6 block area stopping at 4 pubs and Trinity College.  Very interesting and lots of fun.  There were about 35 people in the group, young and old.  At the end there was a quiz and Lynda won a t-shirt for getting the most correct answers.  I gave her the answer to the last question:  Which Irish author also won an Oscar?  It was Shaw.

We are doing the hop-on-hop off today and stopped at the internet cafe so that we could let everyone know that we are fine and having a great time.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We leave tomorrow for Ireland

Well, my suitcase and carry-on purse are packed and ready to go.  I think I have everything that I will need for the trip.  I probably have more than I need,  I always seem to pack too much.  The suitcase is the size of a carry-on but I will check it so that I don't have to be responsible for it during the trip.  I don't want to take anything larger then that as I have to haul it around Ireland with me.

I made a new small purse, the green one above, and am still deciding if I will take it or not.  I like the brown one that I made earlier  because it has 2 zippers, one under the flap and one on the back.  The little green one has a back pocket but I wish I had made a solid back and put a zipper on the back.  Next time!!  Hindsight is 20/20.  I guess that is what happens when you use a pattern but change it half way through and then incorporate your own design then you end up thinking that you should have done things just a little differently.  I should probably write down what I do and then come up with a pattern and hopefully be happy with it.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Getting ready for Ireland

We are back from camp and now I have to get ready to go to Ireland on Thursday.  We finished the new shed except for some trim around it and the roof has to be shingled.  I forgot to take a picture of it, but it looks really good.  (You have to take my word for it, I guess.)  We made the door and hung it so it looks like a shed now.

I have to seriously start to get ready for our trip as we only have 4 days till we leave.  I will put everything I am taking in the spare room and then decide if I am taking it or not before the final pack of the suitcase.

The weather here has turned nice and cool.  The high today was 20C but very windy.  The temperature in Ireland is only 16-18C so I will be packing some warm clothes and gloves.  My hands always seem to be cold so gloves will come in handy.  I am also taking a long scarf to wrap around my neck and head if I need to keep warm.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This has been quite a building year at the cabin.  We are building a new shed for the generator.  The weather has been unbearably hot these last few days but I only have a week before I leave for Ireland so we had to work on this new shed despite the weather. 

 We didn't get it finished as the grandchildren want to come for a visit so we came home to get supplies, do some laundry and pay some bills.  I don't know how much more we will get done as I like to spend some time with them and then there is also swimming and just having fun.