Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Crafty Post

It's been an interesting week. Canada has a new prime minister. He might be new to the job, but it won't be the first time he's resided at 24 Sussex Drive. This isn't a political blog, so please don't take this as an endorsement of a particular candidate, or a comment on the outgoing prime minister, but I have to say I'm relieved it's over with. The political ads, the candidates' signs sprouting up like dandelions on lawns, roadsides and billboards, the negativity that oozes out of the pores of social media...well, to be honest, I find it quite exhausting. But I am also very aware of what a privilege it is to live in a country where issues can be discussed, and every citizen is free to cast their vote for the candidate who best represents them.

I've finished two craft projects, one sewing and one knitting. I'm rubbish at sewing, but I think I might be improving slightly. I still haven't gotten brave enough to actually wear anything I've made, but once the weather gets colder I think I might actually put this on. It has the unlikely name Dress No. 2, and is from 100 Acts of Sewing.

I made this with some flannel I purchased at our local quilting store. I think it will be nice and cosy to wear this winter with leggings and a merino shirt.

Next up is my souvenir knitting from Ireland. Whenever I travel I like to buy some yarn to remind me of my trip. These are my Lambing Mitts, a free pattern from Tolt Yarn and Wool. I knit them with some Studio Donegal Aran Tweed yarn I bought in Cork at a shop called Vibes and Scribes.

This is a very simple pattern to knit, and a great introduction to mitten construction for beginner knitters. In fact, a friend of mine who is just getting started knitting is making a pair. I love how the cuff at the end of your fingers rolls down to completely cover your hand if it's super cold outside.

Finally, since I started out with something that had nothing to do with crafts, I might as well finish that way too. This past weekend I drove up to Kamloops to visit Alexandra and David. The weather was beautiful, and on the Saturday Alexandra and I hiked in Kenna Cartwright Park.

It's a terrific view from the top. You can just make out in the distance the point where the North and South Thompson Rivers join together. You can also see that my daughter's idea of what is appropriate footwear for a hike, especially given we were walking where there can be the occasional rattlesnake, is not the same as mine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Small Celebration

This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. I've decided this is my favourite holiday of the year. It has so many great things going for it - good food, family, and almost no hype. I'm almost afraid to add this final item to the attribute list. No gifts are exchanged. I realize that makes me sound like a total scrooge. The truth is I like giving and receiving gifts, but still...there's something really freeing about a holiday that doesn't require buying or making Stuff.

This year there were only five of us gathered together to celebrate. By Hammond standards that is a very small group! But I think it worked out really well. Alexandra and her partner Josh came down from Kamloops for the day, and Josh brought his three year old daughter Nevaeh to meet us. Had all of us been squeezed into this cottage I think she might have felt a bit overwhelmed.

You know how much I love fall. And I know I already showed you some fall pictures in my last post, but I just can't seem to stop myself from adding some more.

Empty parks after a very busy summer...

Fall reflections...

Fallen leaves...

Mashed neeps, tatties and carrots...

Pumpkin butter...

Roasted pumpkin seeds...

And pumpkin scones (I sub gluten free flour for the wheat flour)...

I promise my next blog post will be a crafty one, without even a hint of a fall theme to it. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Home Again

It's hard to believe that just a week ago I was still in Ireland. It was an unbelievable experience, and I'm so glad I had the chance to visit there for almost three weeks. But there's something to be said for coming home again. Soaking in my own bathtub, crawling into my own bed, and being able to put on clean clothes every day seems like such a treat! I guess that's one of the gifts of travel - you appreciate the creature comforts of home much more when you return than you did before you left.

There's usually a bit of a bumpy landing when I return. I'm happy to say that this return was a happy exception. Yes, Fergus desperately needed a bath, and so did my house, but other than that all was well. Jet lag has been my worst enemy, possibly made worse by the fact I caught a cold while I was away. Also, there was the bike accident I was in last weekend. My face is finally healing, but for awhile it looked like I had some ancient Celtic symbol imprinted on the side of it. I don't recommend landing with one's head into a rock wall.

It's been especially nice to return to a completely different season. Fall is my very favourite time of the year, and it appears to be in full swing here in my little corner of BC. I was so happy to see the squash and pumpkins for sale at the local market.

They are good for more than just eating. I needed weights while I traced out a pattern and realized they were perfect for the job.

The lake is quiet after a busy summer of campers and tourists.

The trail up Teapot Hill is covered in leaves.

And the autumn winds are blowing the needles off the cedar trees by our cottage, covering the streets in gold.

Thank you all for the wonderful comments you left on my blog while I was on my Irish adventure. I wasn't able to keep up with my blog reading while I was away, so please be sure to leave a link in the comment section here if you have a post or two from September that you would like for me to read. It's nice to be back!