Sun At Last

There was an item in the Newfoundland paper a few days ago:

Wanted! Summer has failed to appear. Anyone knowing its whereabouts should contact the Newfoundland Constabulary!

It’s been as bad in NS these past few weeks as well but this afternoon the sun has shown its face at last! It’s even warm. No idea how long good weather will continue but it’s joyful outside at the moment.

Trinity NL – Art Quilt


I woke this morning thinking about a new art quilt – initially I thought I’d do one of Trinity NL showing the village, but the photos I took weren’t interesting enough to warrant the amount of work an art piece like this involves. Stupid me, I didn’t even think of taking a panorama photo of the ocean side of the lighthouse ridge although, fortunately I had three photos that overlapped (or nearly did) at the location where we stopped to watch humpback whales leisurely feeding.

I got up and looked at the photos, tweaked them a bit, printed them out, taped them together to create a composite image – the finished art quilt will end up about 34″ wide and about 8″ high – it’ll make a nice wall hanging. The focal point of the image will be a whale blowing at the surface. Right now I’ve got the whale centered – it’ll have to be moved to one side or the other and probably scaled down about 25%. Although humpback whales are large, what I have right now is a bit out of proportion with the panorama.

Next step, I pulled fabrics from my landscape stash in blues, greys (light, and dark, and with beige), greens (lots of different greens), and some black.

The challenge is the sky and sea – I briefly thought about printing the photos on fabric but my fabric sheets are 11″ x 8 1/2″ and there’s no way to make the joins invisible so I have to come up with a way of getting a continuous expanse of sky and water in the same colour family but distinct shades – the sky a pale blue at the horizon to darker at top of image, the sea with a dark foreground and lighter at the horizon. I’m thinking I will have to use some poly-cotton fabric which I paint with some kind of ink to get the effect I want. Once I have that problem worked out, the rest is relatively straightforward – although getting the vegetation to look real will be a challenge – I may actually print those elements on fabric then fuse and appliqué them in position. I’ll try piecing it, first.

So now I’m off to the fabric store for some poly-cotton to see what I can do to create sky/sea. It’ll be interesting to see how close I come to what I imagine.



Finished this pair on the weekend – turns out I made this pattern in blue a month or so ago. The pattern seemed familiar and then I looked in the pile of socks and there it was in blue.


I still haven’t sent those two pair of socks off – must do it soon!

Right now, I’m finishing a pair of socks a friend started and hasn’t been able to finish. I completed one sock which only needed to be toed off; the second one she’d only got as far as the heel – I’m now 2/3 of the way along the foot and hope to finish the pair in the next couple of evenings.

For Carrying Stuff

I don’t carry a traditional wallet – several years ago I pared down what I carried with me – wanted it to fit in a pocket so I made a small wallet from some ripstop scraps I have. The corners were becoming quite worn so I decided to make a new one.

The side zipper allows my various pieces of ID to fit in easily (drivers license, car ownership, health card…); the top zipper opens for cash, second zipper for change, third zipper has nothing there yet (in case I need it), fourth zipper for an extra house key and my universal screw driver.

I keep my credit cards separate (although I could rearrange stuff and put the credit cards in the top zippered compartment of the orange wallet and have everything in one).

I use this second small bag for the credit cards (cards in RFID envelopes). It’s not likely both wallets will get stolen since they are in different pockets! 

Together they weigh almost nothing and I can go without a purse. That’s a “good thing”!

Kitchen Renovation

If you’ve ever had a kitchen renovation done you know what Andrea is living through!

A wall taken down, a patio door repositioned, new cupboards and appliances, and a much larger island installed – except at the moment only half of the old double kitchen sink is hooked up, the new counter tops still a couple of weeks away so there’s nowhere to lay stuff.

The hardest job – finding the “right” place to put all the kitchen STUFF you boxed up before the renovation began.

Yesterday we went to Kent to pick up a 4 x 8 piece of plywood for a temporary cover for the island – finally a place to lay things. This is the second go at finding the best place for dishes – they were in a corner cupboard before and while the dishwasher isn’t yet hooked up, Andrea thinks above the dishwasher is a more convenient location for glasses and dishes.

The kitchen is slowly coming together – in the last two days Charles has painted the ceiling (one coat), and put the bathroom and closet doors back up. There’s still work needed on the deck – a day’s work perhaps. The hardwood floor in the family room still needs to be selected (the plant that makes the flooring is closed for the next two weeks for summer holidays), ordered, delivered, and installed. The walls need painting, mouldings restored, new light fixtures put up, and the last of the electrical outlets hooked up and the kitchen will be done.

I think I need to book a return flight to see the finished kitchen – sometime in November?

The “Ugly Stick”

Have you ever heard of an ugly stick? I hadn’t until Andrea opened a closet door in her basement and hauled theirs out.

Wikipedia describes an ugly stick as follows:

The instrument’s main body is a mop or broom handle cut to approximately four feet. An old rubber boot is attached to the bottom and a cymbal attached at the very top. At strategic intervals along the length of the shaft, nails affixed with bottle caps, felt tins and other noise makers can be nailed into the shaft.

In other words it’s a one person percussion section! This one had an apple juice can affixed to the top as the “cymbal”, the obligatory boot with mop and beer bottle caps, and a piece of foam part way down covered with masking tape. A notched broomstick as bow creates yet another percussion accompaniment.

She and Charles both play guitars and sing for their own entertainment as well as for friends. So adding in an ugly stick was just a natural extension of a long-standing Newfoundland tradition. This stick (which Charles built 25 years or more ago) has travelled with them to many location across Canada.

Charles played it for me:

I tried playing it! The bloody thing is damned heavy – you are raising the stick and beating the boot on the floor, at the same time drawing the bow across the stick (making the bottle caps jungle like a tambourine), and hitting the juice can (cymbal) for emphasis all in time to the music. It is hard work.

You can see how an ugly stick livens up a good party!


Andrea and Charles are bikers. Charles spent a good part of the day today trying out his new bike in anticipation of a two week bike trip he’s planning with friends to mainland Canada and into the US northeast.

When he got back from his local jaunt this afternoon Charles asked if I was interested in a ride. Why not! Andrea outfitted me with jacket, gloves, and helmet and off the three of us went, Andrea on her bike, Charles and I on his, avoiding supper time traffic by sticking to roads in the neighbourhood.

Several things I discovered – you have very little view as passenger. Although the passenger seat is a bit higher than the driver’s, I’m too short to see much straight ahead. Also, if you’re older and have any hint of hip degeneration (which fortunately I don’t have), the passenger position with hips well turned out could be quite painful. I didn’t experience any discomfort but I know I’d be more than a little stiff after an hour or so.

Still I enjoyed the ride. All part of my Newfoundland experience.

Logy Bay

OK – I watched whales from the ocean-facing hillside on the headland beyond Trinity, encountered moose on the highway in the vicinity of Clarenville. Finally an iceberg in the distance at Logy Bay.

The iceberg was reflecting a bright sunshine when we arrived at the bay, but before I could get my phone out of my pocket and walk nearer the water’s edge, a passing cloud cast its shadow. That iceberg was a long way out…

Quidi Vidi

Said “Kitti – Viddi” – The harbour is an old fishing village within the precincts of St. John’s. Still an active fishing community (if small), with quite a bit of recent housing construction on the hillside and a busy pub at the waters edge.


The harbour itself is long and narrow and once inside boats are sheltered from the ocean swells.

The early evening sun gave the harbour a golden glow. And what’s a Newfoundland harbour without dorys!