Thursday 30 November 2017

The English Home

It is a sign that the Christmas season will soon be here when I find The English Home in the shops.  This is the only British magazine that I've found on sale here and I only ever buy the Christmas issue.  

I like this magazine because it offers a bit of nostalgia and lots of lovely homes to admire, all decked out and ready to step into - so I can draw up close to the fireplace, enjoy some afternoon tea and listen to some Christmas carols on the wireless - if only in my dreams...

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Maritime Days

From misty mornings to torrential rain, we have seen more than our share of Atlantic weather in the last couple of weeks.

Yesterday, we awoke to the first dusting of snow, which resembled a sprinkling of icing sugar on the top of a cake.  It is the end of November, so we've been fortunate not to have had some of the winter storms which have affected the other maritime provinces.

Tuesday 28 November 2017


Lots of lovely yarn in my stash.  The Drops Lace is for the lace shawl, which I attempted during the summer, but is currently frogged.

This avocado shade of felted tweed is for a little Christmas project, if ever I have time to get it started.

Drops Karisma is also for a Christmas project (but it may end up as a project for Christmas 2018, if I run out of time).

Beautiful Titus yarn was purchased earlier in the summer with a glove project in mind, but I haven't had time to start them yet. 

I have many projects on my 'to do' list, but not enough time in the day to get to them all...knitting, sewing and cross stitch, as well as a little Christmas ornament project, which I was shocked to discover has been pending since I bought the book back in November 2012. Maybe I will be able to get that one done before this Christmas.

Monday 27 November 2017

My New Best Friend

Meet my new best friend.  She arrived during the summer and is currently adorned by the top half of a pair of pyjamas, though she was unadorned when I took the photo.

I've wanted one of these Adjustoform tailor's dummies for a long time and was looking for one with a long waist.  My model is fully adjustable and Mr Candytuft and I had fun a few weeks ago trying to tailor her so that she matches my dimensions.  The longer body was essential, as I find that many garments are just too short for me in the waist and I end up with belts under my rib cage.

I haven't had time to do any proper dressmaking yet, but even alterations will be a lot easier now that I don't have to tie myself in knots trying to fit garments to myself whilst wearing them.

I've been thinking of giving her a name and Rosie seems like a good choice, as she is covered in little rosebuds.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Thought For The Day - Part Four

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.  

Jane Austen

Saturday 25 November 2017

Counting Sheep

I thought that I would share my progress with the sheep scarf, which is a Christmas present for my nephew.  Many people have commented that this pattern must be driving me crazy and it is.  In an effort to make faster progress and retain my sanity, I have been forced to make some pattern modifications. 

Instead of working sheep for the entire length of the scarf, I chose a point in the pattern where I was going to stop knitting them and change to plain stocking stitch.  Although it is giving my eyesight a rest from trying to follow that chart, I still have to concentrate and not use the wrong colour, or I end up with errors.  

I had to silence the perfectionist in me after I spotted a  mistake (I've actually spotted two now, but I'm not commenting on the other) and decide to keep going.  I just can't face any more frogging...

Friday 24 November 2017

Home Comforts

I'm missing my home comforts at the moment.  When we were in Ontario, we were fortunate enough to have A Bit of Home close by.  This Irish shop had a great selection of British foods and we took the opportunity to stock up (this photo was taken months ago and we've since used all of these).

Since we have been here in Prince Edward Island, I have been unable to find more than a few British products, as there are no speciality shops offering such goods.  I can get Tunnock's tea cakes in a local big box shop, but not much else.  In fact, I've just had to order Atora Vegetable Suet via eBay, so that I can make our Christmas pudding. 

I do miss my home comforts and think it may be a long time before I have an opportunity to stock up again.  Maybe I should go and buy another box of tea cakes...

Thursday 23 November 2017

Red and White

I have a number of knitting projects in progress at present.  I've been trying to finish four Christmas gifts, each in a different stage of completion, which are held up for various reasons ~ mainly awaiting supplies (buttons etc).

The sheep scarf is testing my patience to the limits, so I took my needles and yarn to my weekly knitting group and started something simple.  This pretty seasonal colourway is going to turn into a decoration for Christmas, but I think that I will maintain the suspense until it is completed.  Now, I must get back to counting sheep...

Wednesday 22 November 2017

In The Kitchen

Yesterday definitely called for comfort food.  The sky was blue, the sun was shining, but it was absolutely freezing outdoors.  The morning temperature was -7 C, but factor in the wind chill and it felt like -14 C.  I had a short walk to our mailbox (about 20 minutes in total and quite long enough!) before I headed into the kitchen to get baking.

I made potato scones from a recipe in the Irish Countrywomen's Association Cook Book, which I borrowed from the library.  This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potato, which seems to hang about in the fridge and any attempts at reheating it result in a lumpy mess.    I also made their carrot soup, which put some rather woody carrots to good use.  The recipes were both a success in our house and the potato scones were light and delicious.  

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Preserving Autumn

I saved some of the last leaves of autumn and decided to try preserving them in vegetable glycerin.

I tried some berries too, but they were not successful.

I didn't have a suitable container in which to soak them, so ended up using our roasting pan as a glycerin bath.  I found a method online, which stated that the leaves needed to be weighed down to prevent curling, but I just pressed them down into the solution.  After a few days, I turned them over to ensure that they were completely saturated in the solution.

I also tried doing some stems in a vase, though this was not a huge success.  Relying on the stems absorbing the solution is a long process.

The photo doesn't really do them justice, as they have actually turned out quite well.  Considering that I've had them indoors for about three or four weeks now, they are not all shrivelled up.  I had hoped to wire them and display in our kitchen, but time got the better of me and they ended up in this vase.  Maybe next year, I can be better prepared and actually display some properly.

Monday 20 November 2017

In The Kitchen

I had good intentions of not baking until closer to Christmas but, after a week of bad weather and cabin-fever from being unable to get outdoors for fresh air, my good intentions wavered and I baked some biscuits.  These are toffee biscuits from The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell and very good they were too.  

Not to feel too guilty about indulging in a sweet treat, I doubled the recipe and put two packages of dough in the freezer for future use. 

Anyone care to join me for tea and toffee biscuits?

Sunday 19 November 2017

Thought For The Day - Part Three

Look forward with hope, not backward with regret.


Saturday 18 November 2017

New Additions

There were some recent additions to the bird boxes along the boardwalk.  These cheerful red and white boxes appeared.

Here’s a close-up of the larger one.  It looks cosy, doesn’t it?

I took these photos a couple of weeks ago when there were still a few remaining leaves on the trees.  The windy, rainy conditions that we have been having mean that they are all gone now.  We were on the boardwalk yesterday and managed to avoid getting wet, but it was very windy - it certainly put some colour in my cheeks!

Friday 17 November 2017

Cottage Life

I dream of a country cottage close to the sea.  It may not be thatched, but it would be perfect in a village location.  It would have a pretty garden filled with cottage garden plants ~ hollyhocks and roses amongst them.  

I may not have achieved my dream yet, but I can enjoy my English cottage in miniature.  There is a handy postbox just outside the gate too, so I will be able to post my letters and sit in the garden and watch the world go by.  

Thursday 16 November 2017


English Robins are a favourite of mine.  I make the distinction between them and their North American cousins (though I'm not sure that they are even related) because, to me, they are the essence of Christmas.  I have several (as yet unopened) cross stitch kits which feature robins, but I decided to make this small bookmark first.

I actually stitched it during the summer, but I thought that I would wait and share it at a more appropriate time.  Just perfect for my Christmas reading.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Seeing Double

My latest knitting project is severely testing my patience.  I’m knitting a sheep scarf which is worked in the double knitting technique.

I won’t go into the technical details of working the chart, but will tell you that I’m working both sides together and I have to try to remember which colours go where.  This is supposed to be a Christmas gift for my nephew, but there is a long way to go and not much time...

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Air Force Heritage Park

I have passed this park many times, but it took me a while to actually go down with the camera on a recent sunny day and take some photos.  It is on the site of the former RCAF Base Summerside.

This base was constructed during the Second World War, between 1940-1941and became a training school for pilots and later, for navigators.

The base was renamed in 1968 and called Canadian Forces Base Summerside.  The Voodoo CF-101 was an all-weather interceptor aircraft, which was based in Atlantic Canada between 1962 and 1984.

In 1968, CFB Summerside became the base of 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron, with responsibility for the east coast of Canada.

The 880 Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron and the 420 Air Reserve Squadron moved to Summerside in 1981.  The Canadair Argus CP-107 was a reconnaissance anti-submarine bomber, which operated from 1957 to 1981.

The Grumann CP-121 Tracker was another anti-submarine aircraft which was based at Summerside.  In the history of this base, many other aircraft operated from here, including Lancasters.

 The flag of the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

The memorial to the bravery of the Search and Rescue Squadron. 

 It is an interesting park, which is beautifully maintained, and a fitting tribute to all who have served.

Monday 13 November 2017

Dawn's Early Light

I must say that the sunrises have been fairly spectacular recently.  The change in the weather to these first days of winter has resulted in magnificent colours.

I was mesmerized by the dawn last week and paused to enjoy the display.

The sun slowly appeared in the east and the sky underwent a transformation.

I wasn’t feeling brave enough to venture outdoors in order to capture the moment, as it was -3 C at the time.

So my apologies about the reflection on some of these photos, which were taken through our living room window.  I think that a little bit of glare isn’t too high a price to pay for the beauty of the surroundings.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Thought For The Day - Part Two

Photo: CBC News
When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today.

John Maxwell Edmonds

Saturday 11 November 2017

For The Fallen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.  
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning;
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon
For The Fallen

Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele, in which 16,000 Canadian troops were killed or wounded.
We carry the torch and honour their sacrifice.