Sunday, 11 September 2011

It's Been Too Long......

I know, I know, it's been forever since I've updated. I'm so sorry for that. But without getting into anything at all, lets just say it was a horrific end to the summer and leave it at that. I'm just now getting things back on track somewhat. Hopefully a new normal will be coming and I can get used to things again.

But, in the meantime, there's no reason at all why I can't get back to some of the things I really love, one of them being blogging. I didn't realize how much I missed it, until I started thinking about it again. So, here I am!

A quick update, the kids are back in school and very, very happy to be. I've been trying to get some quilting done, but I haven't been able to finish anything. I do have all the material cut up for two full quilts and a table runner, so I'm working on those when I find the time.

I recently signed up for the real estate course here in Ontario which is very exciting. I did take it once before, back in 2005, but I wasn't able to get registered due to a family crisis similar to what is happening now. But, this time, I will be finishing it, and I will be going back to work. I'm not letting anyone tell me I can't do something anymore. I'm much stronger than that, and it's time that I took control of my life back into my own hands, don't you think? :)

Yesterday, I signed up for the Holiday Grand Plan to help me get organized for Christmas. Every year it's a big muddled mess with no clear focus. This year, it's going to be different. You can go to Organized Christmas and sign up for it yourself, if you're like me and need help getting things on track. There are a ton of printable sheets and lists to help you with your planning, plus there is an email group you can join to interact with others who are following the plan. Well worth it, if you ask me. :)_

So, that's really about all there is to tell for now. I'll be back tomorrow though with something new!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Our First Summer Trip

I am so sorry I haven't been posting as much lately. Things just tend to get busy sometimes, don't they?

We had such a fun time on Friday, though! We decided Thursday that we were going to take the kids to Canada's Wonderland. If you're not familiar, it's a huge amusment park with roller coasters and the like. Lot's of fun for everyone.

We got a bit of a late start, which meant that we didn't get to the park until around 2 pm, but since it doesn't close until 10 pm, we still had lots of time to play.

Our third ride in, we decided to go on the Bat. This is my son's second favourite roller coaster. Basically, you get on the train and a machine comes and attaches to the back car. It pulls you up the track, backwards to the top of the track then lets you go. Then you speed through the track until you reach the opposite side where you are grabbed, dragged frontwards up the track, let go and you repeat the coaster, only this time it's backwards.

This is an image I found online to give you a visual of what I mean


It's such a fun ride. We all love it so much.

So, we waited in line for about an hour (it's a very popular ride) until finally it was our turn. Yay! Hubby and our daughter got in the very front seat, my son and I chose the middle. It's safer there. LOL!

At about this point


at the very beginning of the ride, it stopped. There was some sort of malfunction and it wouldn't move. We hung there for about a half an hour before they were able to get us down. They had to shut the ride down, tell everyone in line to leave and then move us down, inch by agonizing inch. I'm not afraid to tell you that I'm terrified of heights and this was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced.

Everyone who was on the ride at the time it broke down was able to pick any ride in the park and jump to the front of the line.

Hubby and daughter chose the Behemoth.


This is Canada's biggest roller coaster. It climbs 270 feet straight up, then drops you down, 75 degrees. Hubby said it's terrifying. You're not even strapped in, really, just something across your lap. So, with no shoulder restraints, you feel like you're actually falling. Or flying as our daughter describes it. Either way, that's far too terrifying for me.

My son and I chose a much smaller, but just as much fun ride for us called the Fly.


Much more my speed. LOL!

And then my family dragged me onto the Windseeker. I swear, either I love them too much, or they hate me. Seriously!

You know those really fun swing rides that you see at every country fair you go to? You get on the swing and it rises slightly into the air and you enjoy a fun little swing around in circles? Well, this is just like that.

300 feet in the air.



Seriously. 300 feet. It was terrifying!!!! I had my eyes closed the entire time, white knuckled on the bar. Thanfully, I'll never have to do that one again. Myself and my son found it far too scary, hubby and daughter were bored. Bored!! At 300 feet in the air, they were bored.

I think there is something terribly wrong with them.

All in all, it was an amazing day. It was long (3 hour drive one way) and late (didn't get home until 2 am) but more than worth it. I can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A Yummy Mail Day!

I had an absolutely delicious mail delivery day yesterday!

First, there was my fabric of the month mailing from Clotilde.



I signed up for this for two reasons. 1. I need/want to build my stash of fabrics and patterns and 2. Well, there really isn't a #2. I just really, really wanted to do it! LOL!

The mailing came with the pattern (beginner too, which is great) as well as all the gorgeous fabric to complete it. I'm going to be cutting the pieces probably today and put them in a bag. That way, when I'm ready, everything will be done and all I'll need to do is start sewing.

And second, (this is the one I'm really, really excited about!) was the delivery of a quilt kit, again from Clotilde.



Again, this came with the pattern as well as all the fabric to make the quilt. This was a clearance item, which I am going to make for my hubby's mom and dad. I'm planning on having a handmade, quilted Christmas for just about everyone on my list, to be perfectly honest. I know, I've just started and I'm not really that good at it yet, however, we're broke. Literally, broke. LOL! This was half the price of what we usually spend on their present and it's nicer than what we usually get them. So, this way, we're saving money and getting them something they'll really like.

I'm going to start cutting the piece for this one, probably today as well.

I have a few projects right now that I'm working on. I tend to bore easily, so it's good for me to have a few things that I can just pull out and putter away at for a while. Along with these two, I have the quilt top that I showed you the other day that just needs backing, quilting and binding (I'll post photo's of the completed quilt top, if the sun ever decides to shine here again!) the coupon organizer that I started, a bag/purse for my daughter and two quilts that I'm making, both the same pattern, one for my son and one for my daughter.

I'm really excited about these. I can't wait to start cutting!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

I Did It!!!

I decided yesterday that I was going to sew. And sew I did!

I started at 8 am by cutting my jelly roll strips into 8 1/2 inch strips


which were then sewn into squares



and arranged in alternating order



The squares were then made into a rail fence quilt top!


I completed this much of it in only about 5 hours of sewing. I've never ever done that before! I know, it's an easy pattern, but I'm still incredibly proud of myself. This is my very first completed top :)

Now, I just need to pick up some fabric for the border, then I can finish the quilt top, quilt it, bind it and it's done. Yay!!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Well, I Did It

I'm a chicken no longer! LOL!

I finally cut that fabric yesterday so I could start on my new coupon organizer.


(sorry for the poor quality. The sun was beaming and I couldn't find a better one)

So, there it is! An inner and outer piece, 6 dividers, one pocket and 2 sides. I did get a start on the pattern, but I quickly realized two things.

1. The pattern isn't all that well written (for instance, it shows sewing the pocket on, but the pocket in the picture is wider than the larger pieces, where the template that was provided is exactly the same size. Another spot, and I only got to step three, says to sew wrong sides together and then turn rightside out, which would result in the insides of the fabric showing, rather than the outside.) So, I've had to improvise and use some logic to get things right. Considering that this is the first time I've ever tried to make anything like this, it's a bit tricky!

2. I didn't have all the supplies I needed. I forgot about the elastic cording for the closure. And since that is added on step 3, I was kind of beat at that point. LOL!

So, since I had the sewing machine out for the first time in ages, and I was really, really enjoying myself, I decided to keep working on my scrappy quilt instead. I did manage to complete three more squares in between running for the kids.



That gives me 8 altogether, so just under 1/4 of the way complete. I'm using up my bits and pieces of material that I have laying around to do this one. I love the look of a scrappy quilt and this one is going to be as scrappy as they come!

I also have an idea for my little bits and pieces, the ones that are too small to really do anything with. I'm going to sew them all together, cut them into 5 or 4 inch squares, then put a black border around them. If it works out the way I'm seeing it in my head, they will look like little stained glass windows when I'm done. I'll try one later this week, just to see. I'll be sure to post photo's of them, regardless of how they turn out. :)

It's off for haircuts all around today (yay!) then home for hopefully more sewing. My daughter wants a bag for school, so I'm going to attempt making one for her. I have a pattern that uses coordinating fat quarters, so that will cut down on my having to match things up. LOL!

And on the sad side, we lost one of our babies sometime in the night last night.


R.I.P. JoeBob (named by my son. This was his kitten)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The First Cut

I'm such a chicken.

I have a new pattern, for a cute little coupon holder/organizer.

I have the perfect fabric for it. Gorgeous, bright and cheerful (like me! LOL!).



I have my sewing machine all set up and ready to go.

And I'm too afraid to make the first cut. Seriously. I'm afraid of cutting the material, making a mistake and feeling like a loser. Sigh...It's really not that big of a deal. It's only fabric for crying out loud and I'm not normally so wishy washy. I'm a take charge, feet first, think later kind of gal.

So, why is this fabric scaring me so much?

I need to just do it. Get out the pattern, grab my scissors and make that first cut. Then it will be started and I'll have no choice but to finish it. Right? Right. That's on my list for today. Mind you, it's been on my list since I picked up the fabric on Saturday, but there you have it. I'm going to do it today. You all need to keep me accountable. Demand photo's from me tomorrow of my progress. Threaten to beat me with wet noodles if I don't provide them. Something, anything to force me to get over this and get the organizer done. Ok? Ok.

Now that we're agreed on that, lets move on, shall we?

It's been a tough week with the kids. DS has had his braces for a full week now, and his mouth is one big sore. Cankers everywhere. The poor kid still can barely eat, although he says he does feel somewhat better. I think his mouth is starting to form calluses, which is great. Soon, hopefully, he'll be able to eat and speak properly. (I swear, you can only make out about every third word right now. )

DD is healing wonderfully. I was pretty sure she would, she's a tough kid. She had her wisdom teeth out Thursday and she's healed enough now that she could even leave the house if she wanted to. The swelling is down and she didn't bruise a bit. Not even a bit of discolouration. Nothing. She looks as beautiful now as she did before she went in.

But, since everyone is still a bit sore, I'm cooking soft foods all week. Tonight is Inside Out Ravioli's. I did mention this recipe last week, but I never did get the recipe posted. So, finally, here it is!


Inside Out Ravioli's

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
Garlic salt to taste
10 package spinach
1 quart spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups small shells cooked and drained
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 well beaten eggs
1/4 cup oil

Brown beef, onion and garlic salt. Add salt and simmer. Cook spinach, drain. Combine spinach, shells, cheeses, bread crumbs, eggs and oil in a seperate bowl. 

Spread above mixture in a 9x12x2" pan. Top with sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 

I like to serve this with homemade bread in the winter. It makes a nice, filling and comforting meal. For the summer, a nice light salad is a great choice for a side dish. However you decide to make it though, be prepared to add it to your permanent list of recipes. It will become a family favourite in no time!

Enjoy!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Free Crochet Pattern 6" Promise Square

6" Promise Afghan Square
Copyright Chasing Chickens 2011


Materials: Small amount of worsted weight yarn
Hook Size 5(H)
Finished Size: 6"
 
Instructions:

Row 1: ch 4, slip st to form ring. Ch4 (counts as first dc and ch 1) dc ch 1 7 times in ring.
Join with sl st to 3rd ch in beg ch 4.

Row 2. Sc, hdc, dc, hdc sc in each ch 1 space around. Join with sl st to beg sc.

Row 3: Ch 5 (counts as dc and ch 2 space), dc in same sp (beg. V-stitch made). *ch 3,
dc ch2, dc (V-stitch made) in sc between petals. Repeat from * around. Join with sl st in
3rd ch of beg ch 5.

Row 4. Sl st in next 2 dc and ch 2 sp. Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc (corner made) in same sp. *ch
2, dc in next sc, ch 1 [dc ch 1, dc] (V stitch made) ch 1, dc in next sc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 2, 3
dc, (corner made). Repeat from * around. Join with sl st in beg ch 3.

Row 5: Ch 3, dc in next 2 dc (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch 2 sp, dec in next 3 dc. * dc in each dp
and dc across to corner, working 2 dc in each ch 2 sp. In corner sp, work dc, ch 1, dc.
Repeat from * around. Join with sl st to beg ch 3. Finish off and weave in all ends.

Enjoy!

You're Kidding, Right?

It can't be true, it just can't!

After such a busy two to three weeks, after getting up super early every day and either being on the road going somewhere, or taking care of an 18 month old, after not getting any sleep or any time to actually do what I want, you're not telling me that I actually have a day to relax?

It can't be!

But it is.

I'm so happy!! I don't have anywhere I need to go, anyone I need to watch, or anything I need to do today. I can't believe it! I haven't had a chance to do anything I want for weeks. Literally weeks!

The possibilities open to me today are endless! There are so many things I want to do, I can't decide which one to do first.

I have an afghan I'm crocheting that I would like to work on (I'm thinking that I'll do this while watching Big Brother tonight)

I have a pattern for a coupon organizer (and the fabric too!) that I want to make. If it works as nicely as I think it will, I plan on making more to sell locally.

I have a quilt I want to work on.

My garden needs to be weeded.

I want to do some more work on my blog.

I want to watch movies and play board games with the kids.

What do I do? How can I fit all of that into one day? Help!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

First Harvest and A New Toy!

I am so excited to share this with you.

I went out this morning and lookie what I found!


It's the very first tomato from my garden. Isn't it pretty?

:)


When we were at Upper Canada Village on Tuesday, I purchased a new toy.

We were in the tinsmith house, and he was working on these little rings. Of course, I asked him what he was doing, and he told us he was making muffin rings, like what would have been used in the 1860's. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you`ll see a stack of rings on the table behind him.


They are individual tin rings that you simply fill with muffin or cupcake batter and cook them as usual. The nice thing is, unlike the muffin tins that we use nowadays, these are very easy to clean. All you do is pop out the muffin when you're done, drop them in the sink and voila! Nice clean muffin rings, ready to use the next time.

So, yesterday, I tried them out. I`ve been really looking forward to doing this!

I didn`t think to get a photo of them on the ring, sorry! I didn't think of it until after I had them filled and placed on the cookie sheet.



They are simply rings, with no bottom, so you have to be careful not to move them. If you look closely in the upper right hand corner, you'll see that's a lesson I learned the hard way! LOL!

I filled each ring about 1/2 way


And then cooked them until they were nice and golden brown.





Once the rings cooled a bit, I slid a knife along the inside of the ring, and popped out the muffins.



I have two children with very sore mouths right now thanks to new braces and wisdom teeth surgery, so these nice fluffy muffins were the perfect afternoon treat!

The rings were super easy to use and clean, plus I have something that I find very interesting and unique having been made by hand using the same technique they would have in 1860.

Friday, 29 July 2011

A Few Photo's For You.

As I mentioned in my last post, on Tuesday my daughter, my mother and I all went to Upper Canada Village. It was a wonderful day at a place the my family really loves to visit. You are able to walk around a 60 acre site filled with houses, businesses and farms depicted as they would have been in the 1860's in Canada. There are people in costume that speak to you in character to complete the feel of stepping back in time.

And of course we took lots of pictures! I'm only going to share a few with you, otherwise my blog would never open if I shared all the one's we took! LOL!

This is the grain mill. They grow, harvest and then mill all their own grain for bread that is made and sold right on site. 

 Also from the grain mill. These two boys are there on a summer camp. I couldn't resist snapping a photo, they looked so bored! LOL

 The grain is then sent to the bakery where it is made into dough, then into fresh loaves of bread. This amount of dough will make a small batch, approximately 50 loaves.

 I loved the way the people who work here act like they would in the 1860's. This bike is amazing!




A closer photo of the bike




The gardens were incredible. This was the largest one there, by the home of a prosperous farmer. 




It was so big, I had to take two shots to get the whole thing in. I photoshopped them together so you could see how big it really was. You'll have to click on this photo to get the full effect.




One of my favourite parts of the day was a show that was put on by three members of the staff, called the Travelling Tiltons.

 This is the advertisement that was made for the Travelling Tiltons, right on premises in the printing press.


 The Travelling Tiltons, singing a song.

 My daughter loved this guy. I loved his facial expressions.



Here are a few random shots that we took, that I just love. 

 A gravestone beside the church, with a hand pointing to heaven. 

A really interesting looking hatrack.

 A groundhog that came out to say hi. 

 A barrel of flour.

 A 150 year old bible.

 A stool in the restaurant.

 Storm clouds from a wicked thunderstorm that moved through and drenched us all.


And finally (thank goodness, right? LOL!) a couple of the quilts that I loved. 

 This was a little girls bedroom in the (I think) pastors house

This quilt was being made by a couple of ladies that you can't see in the photo. Each block represents one of the 50 quilts that can be found in the different houses.
  

I hope you enjoyed (and weren't too overwhelmed by) the photo's of our day. I tried to choose just a few that represented out day well. It was a fantastic day and I'm happy I have a chance to share them with you. :) 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

What A Wonderful Surprise!

Yesterday was our trip to Upper Canada Village. It was an amazing trip and later today I will be back to show some photo's of it.

But, before that, I just have to say thank you and welcome to all my wonderful new followers! I came home to quite a few new friends! Isn't that fantastic? So, a hearty welcome to all of you! I hope you find my blog interesting and somewhere you would like to visit often. :)

There was another surprist waiting for us when we got home yesterday.

Chasing Chickens

There are six adorable little grey kittens. I just knew she was waiting for all of us to leave for a few hours to have them.

Some of you already know, but for those that don't, Mama cat, Lucy, showed up on our doorstep about a month and a half ago. I was feeding her outside while I looked for her owner, as she was obviously a pet. Eventually, I realized she was pregnant, so in her best interests and the kittens, I brought her inside earlier this week, since her real owner didn't show up. I couldn't have the kittens outside in danger of predation and disease. Not to mention that I didn't want an entire litter of kittens turning feral on me, I'd never find homes for all of them! So, in Lucy came.

Now we have a litter of gorgeous little grey babies. I can't believe their all grey! I thought for sure there would be a variety of colours, but no, they all look like Mama.

Here are a couple of pics we took last night when we got home and found them. Behind my washing machine of all places!!

Chasing Chickens


Chasing Chickens


Chasing Chickens


Chasing Chickens


Aren't they just the cutest?? I just love the little guy with the white nose. He looks like one of our other cats, Oscar. If I didn't know better, I'd say that Oscar was the daddy, but that's not possible.

Oh, and before I go, one last photo. I haven't had a chance to get online to post photo's of my son's new braces! He's so happy and proud, although very sore. :)

Before....

Chasing Chickens


And after....

Chasing Chickens


As I said, I'll be back later today to share photo's from our journey back in time. See you then!