Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Yukon wild

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A day filled with boats

Today was definitely a boat day and I didn`t  even get to go in one!  In Whitehorse there is a yearly boating race - the Yukon River Quest - 444 miles on the Yukon River.  I haven`t ever done the race and probably never will.

But my hubby did the precursor to this race.  It was called Dyea to Dawson, and involved following the route of the Klondike gold rush from Skagway, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon.  The first part involved climbing over the mountains, the second part boating through the lake system, past Carcross to the Yukon River then on to Dawson.  They only ran the Dyea to Dawson race for two years.  I think logistics were pretty intense, crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada and getting boats to the place where the water part of the trip started - Bennett Station.  But the River Quest has been going on since 1999.

The start of the race was today and I went down to watch it on my lunch hour.  I know a couple of people who are racing - my God son, Wesley, and an old neighbour, Noreen.  They are both in voyageur canoes.  But with 95 teams in a mass start I didn`t see either of them but I did see Wes`canoe go by.  Here are a couple of photos.

Running to get the boats in the water when the gun goes off.

And they are off!


There were people lining both sides of the river watching the boats take off.  Lots of fun.  There is a tracker on the website too, so I can keep track of how my friends are doing. :)

After this excitement I wandered over to an exhibition that is happening a little further down the riverbank.  There, people are building boats.

This will be a caribou skin kayak.

Sewing the skins together.

This is a river boat.  It will be covered with moose skin.

And a birch bark canoe.

This one will be a dugout canoe.

I have been going by this exhibit every few days watching the progress.  Very fascinating!

That`s all for today.  The only sewing happening was on that caribou skin.  :)

Janet 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I am finally getting around to writing a little more about my trip to the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference.  The event took place at St. Peter's Abbey/college/press/farm.  This is an active place!  It is the oldest Benedictine monastery in Canada, established in 1903.  There are only 15 monks here and the average age is 72.  But they still manage to keep the place up and get lots done.  I only saw two of the monks during the time I was there.  Father Demetrius takes care of the guest wing and the Abbott came around occasionally.  Yes there is a college there in the winter months - we got to stay in the dorms/guest wing.  I had a tour of the main building and walked around a bit, but I would have liked to have learned more about the farming.  We did have delicious asparagus from their garden at several meals.  And take a gander at the root cellar in one of my photos below.  this was about 1/4 of it. The press puts out a newspaper called "The Prairie Messenger" but apparently they are going to discontinue it next year.


A very interesting place!  There are lots more pictures and info available on their website.

One of the classes I took was called Eco Dyeing.  We were dying silk scarves using vinegar and leaves.


First the leaves had to be soaked in vinegar water.  The scarves had been washed, dried and ironed and they had to be soaked as well.


Then the leaves get laid out on half of the scarf, in what ever way that is pleasing to you.  However, these scarves turn out the way they turn out, so one can take all the risks they want and may not achieve the results they think they will. :)


The scarf is folded in two so that the leaves are encased between layers of scarf.  Then the scarf is tightly rolled on a stick or a copper pipe and tied in place with string or cord.


Here are our scarves, ready to go in the pot, where they will boil for three hours in vinegar water.


Here are the scarves, all cooked up.  The pot has to be aluminium.


We each had a string with a certain number of knots in it so we would be able to tell the scarves apart.


And time for the big reveal!


Here are the results of my scarf.  Some of the leaves give more colour than others.  I experimented with some leaves that were "unknowns" as far as the amount of colour they would impart and I ended up with some areas with very little colour.  I might redo this scarf.  I need to look at it again with fresh eyes before I decide.


Here is another person's scarf.  She used a lot of oak leaves which give really dark colour.  Hers was on a stick.  Another person used oak leaves and a copper pipe and her oak leaves dyed light brown, rather than dark brown.

This class was a lot of fun and I will definitely be trying this technique at home.  I have already found a large aluminium pot and I am thinking about what leaves I can gather locally to try.  Apparently raspberry leaves give good colour.  Lots of raspberries here!

That's all for this post, but be forewarned, I may be back with more on my classes.  :)

Janet 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Friday Night Sew In for June

Since I got back from Saskatchewan I have had no time for sewing... until this weekend.  I did sign up for and sew on Friday.  I had high hopes that I would have lots of ambition, especially as I was home alone, so would have time and attention for sewing.  But alas, I was too tired to tackle anything major.  I did finish another hexie flower.


I think I am up to 21 or 22 of the 27 I need.  I have to get back on a roll with this quilt!

What have I been doing instead of sewing?  Well after 10 days at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference, I had a three day drive home.  Our route was a bit different than we had planned.  We left on Saturday afternoon and drove to Lloydminster where we planned to overnight, but there was "no room at the inn".  So we went on to Vegreville, Alberta, home of the world's largest Pysanka.


We checked into one hotel but it was so filthy that we promptly checked back out.  A few blocks up the road we found a lovely place to stay.  The next day we continued on to Ft. St. John, B.C.  Our hotel that night was connected to a casino.  This is irrelevant to me as I look at all the flashing lights and wonder what the attraction is, but my travel partner had fun there.  I went for a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub.

The next day was another Walt Disney day with many animals frolicking along the road - black bears galore, sheep with babies, grizzly bears with babies, bison with babies, moose, etc..  We stayed that night in Watson Lake, B.C. in an old air force barracks with bathrooms down the hall.  It was very clean and pleasnat though and other than getting a mosquito bite on my nose in the night, it was a great stay.  From there it was a short (5 hour) drive home the next day.  Then promptly back to work for me, and out to Fox Lake at night where my hubby was doing some work on my sister's cabin.  She was also there visiting from New Brunswick.

Last weekend was a family get together at the cabin.



I came home on Tuesday night with a list of things to do, including unpacking, but found my husband's cousin and her friend had stopped by to visit from Powell River, B.C.  So that took priority!

When I finally got home this past Friday after work it was all I could do to lie on the couch and sew one hexie!

Yesterday the bike relay race that takes place between Haines Junction and Haines, Alaska was cancelled due to snow.  But today it is sunny and beautiful and I hear they ran the race today.  Hubby is cutting our hay field and I am going to go and plant a few plants in the garden.

I hope you had a productive FNSI.  You can check out what everyone got up to on Wendy's blog.

I will be back in the near future to tell you more about Saskatchewan.  What a trip that was!

Janet 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Well I'm here at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference and I have to say "WOW".  I have never been to anything like this before.  There is constant motion, talking, sewing, knitting, garment making action and conversation.  I don't know how many people there are here but we had to set up 180 chairs for last night's fashion show.  One of the instructors here is Ron Collins, who teaches clothes fitting and making.  He happens to be a local boy who has made it big in the world of clothes making and is now creating patterns for Vogue.  I wish I was taking his classes, but then I wish I was taking the classes from Jan Bones, who teaches lingerie and sports/lounge wear, and from Lucy Neatby, who teaches knitting and from Liz Thompson who teaches quilting techniques... oh yes I did take one class from her.  It was a free motion class.  I really enjoyed Liz' style of teaching which was to give a bunch of lecture type instruction and then tell us to practice away.  Here are a couple of my practice pieces.



 
The other class I have taken so far is a two day class with Dianne Jannson.  She is teaching the Gypsy Wife quilt by Jen Kingwell. She is well known in Australia and beyond for here bright eclectic patterns.  I haven't made one before.  What I have learned about her patterns so far is that you get to try many different blocks and to learn about cutting different shapes for those blocks.  And that you can spend a lot of time agonizing over colours.  Here are the blocks that I managed to make in two days.  Yes I am very slow! They are sort of laid out the way they go in the quilt.  I have a lot more blocks to do.
 
 

Dianne is a lovely instructor.  She owns a quilt store in Pritchard, British Columbia called Di-Versity Quilting Supplies.  She says she has about 200 bolts of Kaffe Fassett fabric in her store right now.  I wish I could go there!

In addition to the daytime classes there is something going on here every evening.  The other evening Jan Bones taught her Secret Bag as a free class. 


She is a lovely woman, very elegant and very kind.  She designed these boxes when her kids asked her for square blocks for their juggling class.  She had the pieces all cut and serged for us.  What a lot of work for her with over 20 people in the class!  Here is my magic box, filled with my socks.  The boxes fold down flat when not in use.


I tried to add a link to Jan Bones website but... I am at a monastery and her site is called Lingerie Secrets and the computer policy of the monastery won't let me open the site.... :)  I think it is progressive that they have wifi available! 

I have to tell you about the monastery.  Such an interesting place.  But I'll keep that for another post, maybe later today.  I have a free day today, doing laundry and phoning home and the like, and of course keeping in touch with my blogging buddies!  Interestingly although the internet works fine in the building, one has to walk around the grounds to find a spot where the cell phone will work. 

Janet

Monday, May 22, 2017

Travelling

Two days and 1784 kilometres down.  The next two days will be a piece of cake.  Day one we travelled from Carcross to Fort Nelson, British Columbia. This highway is two lane, it has some rough and windy sections, but traffic is light so it was fairly easy driving.  It took us eleven hours to travel through this wooded area with beautiful lakes and several provincial parks.  There was ice on the river in Tagish...



and on Muncho Lake...



The outside temperature was 14 to 17 C and the day was grey as you can see.

We saw a little black bear and a porcupine within a kilometre of my house and then no animals for the next 400 kilometres.  But after we passed Watson Lake it became a Disneyland of animal viewing. Ten or more black bears, a small grizzly, a deer, four or five moose, including a beautiful new calf, about five porcupines and about thirty bison, with babies (so cute), sheep and two birds that I think were juvenile Sandhill cranes.

 
 
 
 
 
Today we travelled from Fort Nelson to Whitecourt, crossing into Alberta and into a new time zone. It took us 9 1/2 hours but we lost an hour because of the time change.  We only saw one wild animal - we're in ranch country now, with lots of horses, cattle, llamas, donkeys, sheep etc.  But the one wild animal we saw was this gorgeous boy...
 
 
Or is it a girl?? 
 
The temperature today hovered around 25 C.  This would be a very hot summer day at home and it felt pretty warm here too.  I feel like I'm on holiday!
 
And even though I said the hexies were on hold, I managed to complete one between yesterday evening and this evening.
 
 
Tomorrow we only have to travel about 650 kilometres so it will be a more relaxed day.  See you soon.
 
Janet
 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friday Night Sew in for May

Guess what I did for Friday Night Sew In this month.... I completed another hexie flower!  The centre flower for this one was made by my friend Alberta from Georgia.  Oh how I would love to meet her one day.



Only nine more flowers to complete and then I can start to put the whole quilt together again.

But the hexies flower quilt will be on the back burner for a few weeks.  I leave tomorrow morning to go to the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference  with my friend Linda.  Why are we driving 2600 km to quilt and stitch?  Well we have a friend, Lori, who moved to Saskatchewan years ago.  Lori went to the conference three years ago and she told Linda that the conference was a spiritual quilting experience.  Linda and Lori both went last year and this year they have convinced me to come as well.

I have signed up for six classes and I am sure they will all be very exciting and interesting.  Right now I am exhausted from working lots of overtime in the last couple of weeks and having to get things finished up prior to going away.  But I have my camera ready to take photos of our drive and the fun at the conference.  The only problem is that it is at a monastery and I understand there is no internet access.  But I'll figure out a way to put up a post or two about our adventures!

Head on over to Sugarlane Designs to check out what others accomplished for Friday Night Sew In.

Janet 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

I know it isn't mother's day everywhere in the world but it is here in North America.  So happy mother's day to anyone who has been a mother, stepmother, adoptive mother, pseudo mother, or any other kind of mother.  It is a tough but rewarding occupation in life!

I am still having a very busy time at work and don't seem to get much done all week besides working.  But the weekends are a different matter.  Yesterday was my great nephew's third birthday so I whipped him up a place mat.

It is just a panel that I added borders too.  I think it is pretty cute.  I had made my grandson a place mat using this same fabric a few years ago, so now the little guy can be just like his older cousin.

I did a minimal amount of quilting on this and you can't see it really from this side.  It shows up a bit on the back.


I also managed to get another hexie flower finished this weekend.  I have seventeen made - just ten more to go before I can start putting the whole thing together again.


Spring is progressing here.  The ice is almost gone from the lake and the water is starting to rise.


We have a few more wildflowers in bloom and the barest beginning of buds on the trees.  The shrubby cinqe foil  is the only flower I could get a photo of.  The others are tiny and delicate and the wind was blowing them all about.  


That has been my weekend.  I hope yours was lovely.

Janet 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Friday Night with Friends report for May

It was quite the week last week.  It started with two 6.2 magnitude earthquakes at 5:30 and 7:15 Monday morning.  The epicentres were about 100 km from my town.  We were really moving and shaking but no one was hurt.  There were a few building issues, but nothing huge.  In my house a pair of already not functioning well binoculars fell off a shelf and one of the eyepieces broke off.  In the bigger picture there was an Argentinian climber trying to solo climb Mount Logan, which is the tallest mountain in Canada and the quakes caused avalanches that left her unable to go up or down.   The weather wasn't conducive to a rescue right away but they managed to get in with a helicopter and get her out on Thursday.  She was fine but says she won't attempt another summit of the mountain. I wonder why! :)  Here's more on her story if you're interested.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/climber-rescued-mount-logan-natalia-martinez-1.4100727

I had a super busy work week and had to work some overtime, but I took Friday off to attend another quilting retreat.  Exciting!!

Although I sewed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I didn't get a lot accomplished.  I think I must have been socializing too much.  And on Sunday one of our quilters learned her son had passed away overnight which put a real damper on my day.  My heart aches for her.

But there were a few good things on the sewing front.  I did get the straight line quilting finished on my postage stamp quilt and cut the excess batting off.


I still have to do the binding.  I'll do a post about this quilt sometime with all the details.

I cut a bunch more purple 2 inch squares for En Provence - still have about 175 to go.  But I made up a second block.



And I did work on one hexie flower but didn't get it finished.  Pitiful output.

And I won the door prize - a ruler and rotary cutter - and received a retreat gift of three fat quarters and an awl.  Pretty nice haul!


I hope you had a great Friday Night with Friends.  I sure enjoyed quilting with my friends and seeing all the quilts they were working on.  Now I am going to go and check out my on-line quilting friends at Cheryl's blog.

Janet 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday report

I did not do any sewing during the week, this week.  I was very busy at work and tired all week.  But on Saturday I decided I had to do something.  So I cut some more pieces for En Provence and then I put together one block, because I was so itchy to see what it is going to look like.


My verdict - this is going to be an interesting looking quilt.  Most of my yellows are darker than these ones.  And gee, I didn't realize how purple it is going to be.  But I think once the neutral borders go on that will be toned down a lot.

No hexies to show this week.  I didn't work on them at all :(

Spring is definitely coming, even though it was grey and windy today.  I saw my first crocuses earlier this week.  These are the very first spring flowers that we get here.


The ice is melting off the lake and the creeks and rivers are opening up.



There are birds everywhere, calling and hooting.


Today we watched about six eagles.  One had caught a fish and the others chased it around and around, trying to snatch it from him.


I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Janet