Friday, May 21, 2010


Yay!!! It's picking winners time!!!

Here goes:

For the ePattern from Sense & Sensibility:

Congrats to Jennifer S!

For the fabric baskets via Sew Mama Sew:

Congrats to Amy!

For the 'Mr. Darcy's girl' scrabble tile:

Congrats to Simply Sarah!

For the tag book and collage papers:

Congrats to Gaye McCance

And finally, for the marble magnets:

Congrats to Christine!

Thanks everyone for playing in the giveaways, and for checking out my blog!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I hate it when I run into circumstances beyond my control!

We had a lovely windstorm last night. At least, there was a windstorm that blew through the town I live in. Our house is on the lee side of a hill, so we're relatively unaffected by most storms that come through the area. Sadly for us, though, our ISP is not located in an equally sheltered spot. So even though we barely noticed the storm last night, I was left without internet access all day today, while the power company fixed up whatever went wrong on the other side of the hill.

So, anyhow. I'm back now. Whew!

Previous giveaways can still be found here:
... and today's giveaway is  a set of seven marble magnets in the winner's choice of mustard yellow/grey or teal/white. Just leave me a comment and tell me something that made you smile today.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

happy wednesday!

It's been fun reading about everyone's plans for the summer... lots of swimming and picnics planned... many babies, and big moves too! I'll be joining in on the swimming and picnics - not so much with the babies or moving!!!

You can find the previous days' giveaways here:

 Today I'm giving away a small blank tag book and an envelope of collageable items to go with it.

For a chance to win, just tell me your favourite quick meal to make when you're in a hurry and everyone is starving to death right before your eyes. (Mine is Greek Red Lentil soup.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

a few notes

First... you still have a few days to enter the giveaways from Sew Mama Sew and Sense & Sensibility.

Second... I admit it. I'm northern-hemisphere-centric. I asked, in my SMS giveaway post, for a comment about something fun you're planning for this summer, and completely did not consider the fact that fully half of the planet is heading into winter right now. I apologize. Feel free, if you live in the southern hemisphere, to tell me something fun you're planning for this winter. Or something fun you did last summer. Or something.

Third... I love what being part of the SMS giveaway does to my blog stats... I laughed when I saw this - all of my normal visitor count ups-and-downs just flattened right out, and one big spike at the end. Of course, I'd have no problem if all y'all decided to keep on visiting :)

Fourth... I've decided to do a small giveaway each day this week. Just for fun, and because I can. Today's gift is a wee Pride & Prejudice themed scrabble tile.  Winner's choice of a pin back or pendant bail. If you want it, leave me a comment telling me something you wish you had done last week.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

The day you've all been waiting for is here at last!!!

I love giveaway day... so many new blogs to check out, so many great handcrafted items to ogle, the chance to win some of said items... does it get better than that?

Today I'm giving away a pair of coordinating fabric baskets. They're made of linen/cotton on the outside, and lined with cotton. They measure roughly 6" deep x 8" wide x 6" tall (unfolded). These baskets are great for corralling small projects, and fold down flat when not in use.

For a chance to win, leave me a comment and tell me one fun thing you're planning to do this summer. I'll choose a winner via the Random Number generator on the 20th.

Check out Sew Mama Sew for the full lists of handcrafted items, sewing and knitting supplies, and combination handcrafted item plus supplies that are being given away.

And you've still got a chance to win an ePattern from Sense & Sensibility Patterns too!

Good luck everybody!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sense & Sensibility giveaway!

As you may remember, I not only acted in a production of Pride and Prejudice last month, but I sewed a lot of costumes as well.

My favourite ones to sew were created by Jennie Chancey at I made dresses in several different styles, undergarments, and a couple of lovely little jackets.

And just for you, oh lovely reader, in honour of her new website redesign, she is giving away an ePattern from her site.

There are patterns from the Regency and Romantic eras... the Edwardian era (think Beatrix Potter)... the early 1900s (Titanic)... even a gorgeous 1940s Swing dress.

Many of the patterns are also sized for children.

I found the patterns to be very easy to use. The pieces went together easily, the instructions were very clear and easy to understand.

To enter, all you need to do is blog, tweet, or post something on Facebook about the "new", then come back here and post a comment with a link to your post. In a couple of days, I'll let the random number generator choose a winner :)

(Note: all photos in this post are used with permission from

Friday, May 14, 2010

busy week

So... a couple of weeks ago, I signed up for a kids clothes week challenge at elsie marley. Yeah, that was this week.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the point of view), I was stricken with a house-cleaning bug on Monday morning, and spent most of the week sorting and cleaning and organizing. I think I'll do my challenge next week. The weather is supposed to get wet again.

I've also taken advantage of the sunshine this week to do a bit of gardening. Mostly pulling weeds... it's amazing how fast they grow!

This is my one and so-far-only garden bed. Yes, if you look closely, you can see that it is indeed an old particle-board bookshelf. It's on its second year now, and still holding up well. I don't know for how long it will last... nor do I know what kind of chemicals are coming out of it from the wood...

I so much wish that there was a way for me to share with you the scent of this basil. Maybe if you scratched your monitor a little bit and then stuck your nose right up to the picture?? No? Oh well. Better go plant your own, then, and you can sniff it any time you like.

Anyhow... don't forget about the giveaway day happening on Monday... and I have a surprise in store for you tomorrow as well! Happy weekend!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

gone, gone away

This feels very strange indeed. My eldest child has left the family nest... flown the coop... headed off into the great unknown. Well, she's moved out to her Grandma's house, anyhow. I don't know what to think.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Giveaway Day coming up!

I love doing giveaway days!

It seems silly, but I take pleasure in giving away something that I've made.

Plus, it's a chance to pay-it-forward for all the things that I have won in the past.

So, make sure to come back here on May 17 to find out exactly what it is that I'm giving away. Are you excited???

Monday, May 3, 2010

chowder of awesome

There's no photo to go with this recipe... mostly because the soup is gone, but also because chowder doesn't necessarily photograph prettily. The important thing is that the soup was indeed awesomely tasty. Epically awesomely tasty.

I started from the Potato Leek Soup recipe in James Barber's Immodest But Honest Good Eating Cookbook... originally published in 1986, and the first cookbook I ever bought for myself.

6 slices of bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 (smallish) leeks, sliced
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
3 cups broth
3 cups water
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 can corn
1-2 cups leftover baked salmon (optional)
1 tsp dillweed
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook the bacon til crisp and browned. Remove from pan, and drain all but 1 Tbsp fat*. Add onions and leeks, and cook til softened. Stir in mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, then stir in potatoes and carrot, and add broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Stir in zucchini and corn, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or til all veggies are cooked. Stir in salmon, dill, reserved bacon pieces and milk; give it a few minutes to heat up again, and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with cheesy biscuits, and make about 10 people very happy :)

*I save my bacon fat in a little jar in the fridge (I can't help it... I'm a Mennonite!) and use it for making cornbread. Soooooo good!!!