Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Old Forge, New York

Last Monday we headed south to Old Forge New York to start our summer vacation. This little town has quaint shops and beautiful scenery, but it also has a gigantic water park - which was our main destination. The Enchanted Forest Water Safari has at least 12 large water slides, many littler water slides, a wave pool and two "lazy" rivers.
Our daredevil, Carson, went on every water slide but one. I drew the line at sending my 7 year old down a water slide called the "Killermanjaro". He was not happy with me, but since he went down every other one at least twice he definitely got his money's worth!!

Aidan was happy just to ride the lazy river - 16 times!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Baseball Fever

My husband LOVES baseball, and has coached baseball for over 20 years, since he helped his dad coach a team when he was just 16 years old. As a result, he just LOVES the fact that Carson is such a good little baseball player. As their season draws to a close, here are some pictures of the team:

Carson and his friend Ryan.

Watching from the dugout.

On the verge of a home run!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The battle continues

The actual battle that was re-enacted on Saturday afternoon was not the Battle of Chrysler farm, but instead a battle that was fought near Niagara Falls later that year. For the entire battle we had a very knowledgeable commentator from the Friends of Chrysler Farm group, give the "play-by-play". To start the battle, the British and Canadian army marched onto the field.

After many tense minutes of cannon and rifle fire, the air was thick with smoke.

After many casualties, the British commanding officer approaches the centre of the field to ask for a ceasefire.

We really enjoyed watching the battle and would like to thank all of the dedicated volunteers that made the day so exciting AND educational!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Battle begins

After the children's Military Muster, the field was cleared and all of the visitors took to lawn chairs on the side of the hill to await the arrival of the British soldiers. The Hill was covered with lots of trees, so we were well protected from the sun, but I felt sorry for the re-enactors in their full wool costumes. When Aidan was finished with his "tour" of duty, his little face was bright red, and he was only wearing the coat and hat and only for about 20 minutes!!
The first people onto the field were the teams manning the cannons.
Here come the Americans.
The Canadians reload their rifles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Battle of Chrysler Farm - Part 2

Before the official battle began, there was a children's "Military Muster". Red jackets, hats and wooden muskets were available for any children who wanted to participate, and much to our surprise Aidan was dying to try it out. First they learned to march:
Next, the new recruits had to stand at attention and load their rifles. For the grand finale, they had to charge!!! Aidan is the fourth "soldier" from the left.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The battle of Chrysler Farm

Last weekend we drove to Upper Canada Village which is in Morrisburg, Ontario, to watch the re-enactment of one of the battles form the War of 1812. My husband is a big history buff (that was his major in university) and although I never cared much for history in school, I now have a greater appreciation for it. Since our little visit to Gettysburg in March the boys have been more interested in learning about that period in history, so we all decided that the re-enactment sounded pretty interesting.
When we first arrived we walked through the tent city and visited some of the vendors and displays. The battle occurred after lunch.

Our first glimpse of some of the Canadian and British soldiers getting ready to take part in the battle.

Aidan and Carson listen attentively as one of the participants explains how to spin wool.

One of the tents in the tented city.

Some antique quilts hang in the breeze.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What to make with leftovers

I HATE to throw away my scraps of fabric, so I have started a system where I cut all of the leftovers from a project into either 2 1/2" squares, 3" squares, 4" squares or assorted widths of narrower strips. I keep each of these different sizes in their own Rubbermaid bin marked with the size on the end. Someday, when I don't have anything else to do, I will make these into scrap quilts! I have used the strips many times to make strip pieced table runners and place mats - I've taught this technique many times at Taylor Sewing Centre.

But, I recently made a bed sized quilt using fat quarters and when I was done I had a whole stack of little strips of fabric that were different widths and 6" long. Since these were all co-ordinating fabrics I knew that I should keep them aside and make something specific out of them. They sat on my cutting table for months until one day when I decided that I needed a new table runner for my living room coffee table. Here is what I came up with:

I pieced the strips together into blocks, assembled the blocks into the table runner, then appliqued wool flowers on top. It still needs to be quilted, but I will have it done soon.
I actually had enough strips to make two different versions - the second one, which has wool stars all over it, will be donated to my Guild's "Little Quilt Auction" in November.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Fun

While I was in Portland for Spring Quilt Market, my family bought a trampoline. The boys just LOVE it and when Monica, Nellie's daughter, came to babysit last week, the three of them spent hours jumping on it. Here is Carson in mid air:
Pugsley is not too sure of the trampoline - the boys have put him on it before, but he prefers to watch from outside the net.

Mike's uncle, Ken Baker, is a Shrine Clown and we always seem to run into him at community events like the Lyn Summer Festival last weekend. I was joking with the boys saying that they would probably not even recognize him without his clown suit on.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mosaics with Aidan

As every Mom knows, once summer vacation starts, you need to have some "activities" planned to prevent the "Mom, I'm bored" from starting. So, when we were in Kingston last week, we visited Michael's for some supplies. Aidan and I decided that we would like to try our hand at making a mosaic, so we found kit to make mosaic coasters - here are the finished product - Aidan's is the left, mine is the right:

Now, we are hooked! We've decided that we are going to buy some tile nippers, some more grout and find a supply of broken tiles - we just have to decide what to make next! Perhaps a serving tray would be good, or a picture frame, or a wall plaque, or .... the possiblities are endless.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Allie and the scrapbook

Not only does my cat LOVE my quilting machine, she also LOVES to jump up on anything you don't want her too. Such as my scrapbook supplies which are strewn all over my cutting table. Well, at least she's dainty about it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Scrapbooking again - finally!!!

I, like many other quilters, also have a second uncontrolled crafting passion - scrapbooking. I think I was having a temporary moment of insanity when I decided to try it out. I already had WAY too much fabric and WAY too little time to use it, so why-oh-why did I want to start something else?? I guess it is my kids' fault. If they weren't so darn cute, I wouldn't take so many pictures of them!! That's my story anyway!

So, like many other scrapbookers, I have WAY too many scrapbooking supplies and WAY too little time to use them. Especially during the winter months when I am so busy designing and getting ready for Quilt Market. So in the summer, when things on the quilting front are a bit slower, I finally get time to scrapbook. Last week I finally reorganized my supplies (I haven't used any of them since moving my studio in the winter) and laid everything out on my cutting table. Now, whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I can go in and work on a page. I've done ten - two page spreads so far! Currently I am working on Aidan's book - here are some of the pages I've done:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Free Pattern Download

Our newest free pattern is ready to download from our website: . You can access it from any of the home pages for our four different companies. As you can see from my post on July 9th, it is a very cuddly quilt - start it now and it will be ready for snuggling in the fall.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Aidan's first riding lesson

Tuesday, Aidan finally got his chance to try riding Kit at his first lesson at Granite Ridge Stables. Although I had to work that day, Mike took the boys down to the barn and took lots of pictures and videos for me to see when I got home. Sherri, the instructor, and Mike both said that Aidan looked a bit timid, but Aidan says that he had a great time and can't wait to go again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New use for the quilting machine

I guess it is safe to say that I'm not using my quilting machine enough when my cat decides that is is a hammock. I guess I shouldn't put the nice fuzzy rag quilt on top anymore, as that makes it even more inviting, but at least it keeps the cat fur off of the quilt in progress!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

World's most un-photogenic dog

Our new dog, Pugsley, is very cute, but you would never know it if you didn't see him in person. He is the most un-photogenic dog in the world. Ever since he came to live with us I have been trying to take a picture of him that does him justice, but it is impossible. As soon as he sees the camera he puts back his ears and either jumps towards the camera or runs out of the shot. I have lots of blurry pictures of his nose and some great pics of his bum, but not one with his head cocked to the side, ears perked up looking cute-as-a-button. Here are some pictures of our
"beautiful" boy.
These ones are a bit better, but still not the shot I want.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More photos from Ottawa

All of the kids thought that the giant spider sculpture outside of the Art gallery was awesome! Ottawa is a great place to visit - we're lucky that we are so close!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Carson's first riding lesson

Last month, a new riding stables opened just down the road from our house. Sherri McFaul and her husband Murray, bought the house last year and have spent almost all of that time fixing up the house and building a Mega-dome barn. Last month the barn was finally ready, so the horses moved in.

Last Wednesday, on the first day of summer holidays, the boys and I took a walk down the road to see the horses and enquire about riding lessons. Neither of my children have ever ridden a horse, or even petted one, so I wasn't surprised when Aidan announced that he wasn't sure if he wanted to take lessons. Aidan always has to survey the situation before he commits to anything new. Carson on the other hand, true to form, was all for the idea. Every day since then he has woken up and asked if today was the day to go horseback riding. So today we headed down the road for Carson's first lesson.

Sherri's horse, Kit, who is 26 years old and very gentle, was Carson's horse for the morning. For the first half hour he learned how to brush her and put on the saddle etc., then for the rest of the hour he got to ride - very slowly thank heavens!! It only took him a few minutes to get the idea and then they were off and - walking. Next week he gets to go a bit faster - and wouldn't you know it, halfway through the lesson Aidan wanted to know when he would get to try.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Our trip to Ottawa

During the last week of school I boarded a school bus to be a chaperone on Aidan's class trip to Ottawa. We left at 8:30 in the morning and headed to Ottawa to the Aviation Museum. My group was all boys (of course) and they just loved it. During the morning, they had a session experimenting with different objects to study how sound is created.

In the afternoon we got to wander through the museum to check out the different aircraft. The boys all loved the helicopters and the fighter planes best (of course).

Here is a photo of the ceiling in the soundproof Hall of Remembrance at the museum - this is Aidan's favourite photo from the trip.

After the museum we had a short visit at the Royal Canadian Mint. Much to Aidan's dismay we did not get to make any money and there were no free samples (he's trying to save up for his next Lego set, you know)! Here is Aidan's buddy, David.

We got back to the school at 6:00 pm. All of the parents were exhausted but the kids were going strong! I've decided that school buses are no place for "thirty-somethings".