A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life

Welcome

I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a 60ish wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter live in Alberta.
Comments are always welcome, always read - and answered if need be. Feel free to share, I love hearing from all my cyber-space friends.
Please do check out some of the links in my side-bar - you'll find other bloggers and fabulous people to visit.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oktoberfest

Once upon a time, a King married a princess and a horse race was organized to celebrate.  The people enjoyed it so much that it became an annual event, and a few years later they added food and beer booths.  The beer booths were so popular, they became large beer tents, and eventually the horse race disappeared but the fun and beer continued.

Once upon a time, a person had to go to Munich, Germany to participate in the fun and beer.  But not so any longer.  Now there are Oktoberfests held all over the world – now including our local tourist village.  Our first annual Beer Festival was held last weekend, and we had two opportunities to join in the festivities.

Friday evening was Cask Night, with an English Pub theme, complete with live entertainment, foosball and darts.  Three breweries broke open casks for a contest for the best beer – never did find out who won, but we know who we liked (well Grizz and the others – I was designated driver because I really don’t like beer).  They served British Pub Grub like Cornish Pasties, Beer Battered Cod, Bangers and Mash.

011

Saturday afternoon we were back for the Beer Festival itself.  Now there were 15 breweries – and no, we (they) didn’t taste all of them! – and just general fun and visiting.  We met old friends, and snacked on Chicken Wings and Sliders.  We chose to bypass the Deep Fried Pickles.

Some dressed for the occasion:

022

The best we could do was stand behind the poster and pretend:

018

But a good time was had by all.

The Oktoberfest dance was Saturday evening, but with our broken down bodies, we went home with our friends and had dinner of Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, fried potatoes, and German Apple pie.  Yummy!

And to round off our weekend of festivities, we joined our Italian friends Sunday evening to celebrate their 40th anniversary at a Greek restaurant in Vancouver, along with their family and other friends. 

002

After dinner we all headed back to their house for champagne and Italian-style desserts, including biscotti and almond torte.

It truly was an international weekend.

Happy celebrations!                  Blessings, Peg

Friday, October 26, 2012

A New Hobby

Not mine – but Grizz’.             Just look at what he made:

001002003

Isn’t it lovely – maple, and finished with a food-safe wax, so I can display or serve.   Seems almost a shame to put anything in it and cover up the beautiful grain.

Looking forward to more in upcoming days!

Happy hobbies!                 Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It’s a Quiet Life

we lead.  At least that’s certainly what it feels like since we arrived home from our months of travel.  But then I look back at the calendar, and we certainly don’t sit still much.

Over the last 2 weeks -

  • we’ve been to a Vinyl Café live show

If you don’t know about Stuart Maclean, or have never listened to his shows or read his books, you’re missing a great Canadian icon of humor.   He is an absolute must for every Canadian, and anybody who enjoys a good laugh.

  • brunch out with friends
  • cards evening with friends
  • dinner with our son (DIL studying for mid-terms)
  • a quilt show and stop at a farmer’s market (not sure why I didn’t take the camera with me)
  • a visit to a local manufacturer open house

001

where we learned how they make those great big rims for those great big off-road vehicles.  Their largest rims are 5 feet in diameter, and with inflated tires attached are 20 feet diameter.  It was an enlightening tour, especially seeing how computers drive most of their equipment

  • anniversary weekend, which included fall drives

002

- ocean side visits

003

- dinner at the Oyster Bar where we got an intimate corner all to ourselves

- stops at a few quilt shops

- seeing all the Halloween displays and watching families pick out their pumpkins

007

  • another brunch with friends
  • finishing up the give-away goodies, and starting on binding the quilts that I (almost) completed in the spring before our vacation
  • gatherings with quilting/crafty friends

 

On Monday morning I looked at a calendar that was essentially blank for the week ahead, but by the afternoon almost every day was marked with something to do.

Is retirement quiet?  Well, it is and it isn’t.  Time seems to just get filled up, and here I am wondering right along with everybody else I know who’s retired…………’when did I ever have time to go to work?’

This is the first time in my life that my time has been completely at MY disposal to do with what I will, when I will, how I will and with whom I will.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle this, but it certainly has been pleasant these last few weeks, and I look forward to enjoying this all even more as time goes on. 

And right now – time to enjoy the breakfast that Grizz has cooked up, then go for a walk and some exercise, and get ready for friends coming for lunch!

Ahhhh, happy retirement!                 Blessings, Peg

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And She’s a Winner!

In more ways than one, but the one I’m talking about here is the winner of my give-away. 

Eight of you dropped your name in the ‘hat’ by leaving a comment or sending an email,

so I plugged into a random number generator ( to keep it completely unbiased) and

 

 

TA DA!!!                      #6

 

 

That would be Jo – from Scene Through My Eyes.   Interesting that we had just met for lunch the day before – wish I had known, and I could have delivered in person.  Oh, well!             Jo, I’ll be sending you an email message, and I’ll need you to remind me of your mailing address, and this will go out in the next day or so.                    Congratulations!

 

And thanks to the rest who put their names in – for entering the contest, for being faithful followers, for your friendship and encouragement over the last few years.

 

Blessings to you all!                          Peg

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oops I Forgot

….to set a date for the Give-away draw.

Well, we’re going away for the weekend – celebrating our 40th anniversary

just one more cause for celebration just now, and another reason to share our good life with the rest of you.

 

So…………

Monday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m. Pacific Time will be the deadline

 

Don’t forget – leave a comment or two, or send an email.  Just follow the link above to the Give-away post.

 

Good luck!             Blessings, Peg

The Answer

Back again to give you the answer to the puzzle.  After my last post about this, I sat down with pen and paper, well actually an Excel workbook and the drawing tool, to try to figure out how this answer was discovered.

So, once again, here’s the gravestone:

60

Here’s the hint:

Start in the top left-hand corner, count over 7 letters, then down 7 letters. Read down, then around in a zig-zagging counter clockwise spiral that expands out from the center.

Here’s a portion of the grid that I worked out, with the starting block marked in RED:

W

M A B I
I R O M T
D I I E 1
T A N M E
S M E R T

From this point, start down then right then up.  Okay has that got you started?

 

Take your time – if you want – to see if you can get anywhere.

 

Okay, here’s the answer:

31.

 

And here’s the grid marked to show you how they got that answer:

002

Start with the yellow block and follow the arrows around.  Sometimes the zig-zag pattern was set aside, and then he had to skip to get the pattern going again.  It was interesting!

 

So, confession time again.  I got along a fair way, but got confused at the dates and ages (because I didn’t know what they were) so had to peak, and found that some of the letters/numbers I had copied incorrectly, and I and 1 were indistinguishable on the engraving. 

But, there it is!     Problem solved!      If only all of life’s problems could be solved as easily as working out a grid!

Happy answers!             Blessings, Peg       

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It’s Giveaway Time

I must say I’ve had a bit of a struggle with this.  I announced, while on vacation, that I would do a give-away when we arrived home, if I had 100 followers by the time I published my 500th post.

Well, according to Blogger dashboard, I had 100 followers just a day or so before post # 500!    Yay!!!  And I was happy to commit to doing a give-away, to thank all those faithful followers, new and not-so-recent.

But then, a few days later, my dashboard number dropped to 99.  Not sure who dropped off, but there it was.  Oh, well.

Just a day or so ago, I was making some changes to my blog page, and noticed that the follower number there was 96.  Hmmm….not sure what’s going on, but the discrepancy of 3 remains.

So the question arose – do I or don’t I?  Do the conditions still apply, if the numbers have changed?  Do I ignore the numbers based on the commitment made?

In the end, I’ve decided to go with it – those of you who have been following faithfully for the last nearly 4 years, those of you who kept up with our trip and all the boring trivia, those of you who are newer followers, those of you who comment and let me know that somebody is actually reading all this nonsense, those of you who have become my cyber friends – all of you deserve a chance to have your faithfulness acknowledged.

I’d like also to be able to include those who I know read this blog regularly, without being ‘official’ followers.  So that has been another struggle – how do I do that?

Another question – do I put conditions on the contest that would hopefully net a larger readership?        The answer – no – I don’t blog just to get numbers.  I blog to share with friends, and for my own personal satisfaction.

So here goes…………over the last 2 weeks, I’ve worked with some fabrics picked up on our travels to make the following:

This set of Christmas goodies

Giveaway collage

Starting top right and going clock-wise – a pan cozy for carrying that pan of squares to a Christmas do, a second picture of the cozy with a pan peaking out the top, a hot-mat, a beverage bag (sorry the wine can’t be sent with it), a goody bag for your own gifting, a set of 4 coasters, a Christmas bucket.

Then, I know that everybody can use a bag, so I looked up a pattern and used it for a template (Moda Bake Shop Gym Dandy Bag – you can get to MBS by clicking on the link on my side bar).  I didn’t exactly follow the pattern, but made some changes.  The fabric – some ‘sweets’ and some ‘coffee’:

018

This bag is a good size (about 14x15), and could be used for a gym bag, book bag, note-book or i-pad bag, or any other carry-around stuff!

 

Now, how do you win the give-away – and I’m sorry I can’t give each and every one of you a gift – well just leave a comment here.   If you want to share with other bloggers, then post on your blog, and leave a comment telling me that you did that as well, for a second chance.  Be sure that I can email you!!          If you’re not a blogger, but would like to get in on the fun, open my profile and send an email directly to me.    I’ll list the comments and emails in order as they arrive, and include everybody in the draw.

Good luck!    Happy Give-away!                  Blessings, Peg

Back At It

So, you may wonder, what HAS she been doing for the last three weeks, since getting home from vacation!  Sometimes I wonder that myself.

Well, the trailer and truck are all cleaned out, winterized, stored away.  All the ‘stuff’ from the trailer is sorted, cleaned, put back where it belongs.  In doing that, a couple of cupboards and drawers got some tidying out done, including the cupboard where all my fabrics are stored.  The yard got a fall clean-up, except for the grapevines which are still going strong.  The dog and the van both got a trip to their respective doctors – quick and easy fixes – and the fridge doctor paid a house visit – another quick and easy fix.  Got together with my quilting buddies and got caught up on all the news.  Thanksgiving dinner, times two, once at home and once elsewhere.  Got my sewing machine back after sending it out for servicing while we were away.  Dug through the project trunk, and discovered all the PHD’s waiting.  Started some wine.  Took in a Vinyl Café live show.  Sorted through all the pictures from the trip – still more work to do there.  Started a daily walk to add to my exercise routine.

Whew – I really have been doing things!

It took a week or so, but Betsy began to hum eventually, and humming she is after the servicing after all the hard work she did in the spring and it took no time before I was hooked again, and now am sewing for part of every day.

And here’s the results:

First this little bag – from the ‘book’ fabric that I picked up on our travels.  Just big enough to hold a CD player and audiobook jewel, with a strap long enough to put over my shoulder – and I’m entertained while walking (remember the daily walk I added to my exercise routine):

015017

 

Then this flimsy – the Quilting Canadians’ BOM for this year.  Only nine blocks used,  but it’s a nice 36” table topper.  It will be a thank you gift when it’s done:

013

Sorry, it’s so fuzzy!

And then, I’ve been working on the promised give-away.  Almost ready!

Happy sewing!                  Blessings, Peg

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Hint

A little bit ago, I posted about a unique gravestone in a cemetery in Ontario.   The gravestone was engraved with a puzzle, that wasn’t solved for about 80 years. 

60

 

I left the puzzle with you to mull over, if you were so inclined, and my sister asked for a few days.  I haven’t heard back from her, if she ever solved it, but I’m going to post today a hint for any body that wants to try to figure it out, and then the answer in a few days. 

I have to confess that I’ve read the answer – but do have to admit that I still can’t figure out how the solvers got to the answer even using this hint:

Start in the top left-hand corner, count over 7 letters, then down 7 letters.  Read down, then around in a zig-zagging counter clockwise spiral that expands out from the center.

I’m going to play with this for a while, and once again, in a few days, post the answer.        Ooh, but I do like puzzles!

Happy solving!               Blessings, Peg

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thankfulness

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, a special time to reflect on the things for which we are thankful.

So what am I thankful for?

  • a loving husband, who takes care of all of us, especially when the ceiling light bulbs burn out
  • 40 years (almost) of marriage
  • three fabulous children, who never fail to amaze and delight
  • three more wonderful children, married to our children, who just add to the joy in our lives
  • parents who are in reasonably good health, and who still live independently, and who love us no matter what
  • siblings (both mine and Grizz’s) who are a delight to share time with and who keep life interesting
  • good health for myself
  • a home that is comfie and warm and has enough space for me to quilt
  • friends who share and care and (some) who like to play cards
  • the trip we’ve just enjoyed
  • vehicles that break down before the warranty’s run out
  • neighbors who watch out for us and our house and make sure all is safe and secure
  • blogger-land friends who link me to the world outside, and who are interested and interesting
  • vets (including DDIL2) who take care of our pets
  • sunshine in October!
  • two turkey dinners coming up
  • and so much more, more than I can tell!

Hoping you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (Columbia Day) weekend with family and friends, and lots of turkey!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Quilt Shopping Along the Road

As a quilter, and at the beginning of our trip traveling with a quilter, quilt shops and shows were a highlight of course.

The first quilt shop I visited was in Vanderhoof, BC, where I’d purchased fabric for our son’s wedding quilt.  I just had to show them the result, after the help they’d been in first providing me with inspiration and a pattern to get me started, and then choosing those first few fabrics.  You’ve all seen this quilt before, but here it is again:

41

The next quilts I spotted were these, hanging on a rack at the Information Center at McBride, BC, all locally made:

11.McBride gift shop

Every shop we stopped at had its own unique flavor, and some in interesting buildings – just a few highlights:

In Harlotown MT, this unassuming building was hard to find, but when we got inside discovered not only quilts and quilting supplies, but antiques and other handcrafted treasures as well:

01.Handmade in Harlo MT02

In New Ulm MN, one quilt shop had a little patio outside just for husbands to wait, decorated with quilts:

2220

In PEI, this huge building yielded some great bargains just like the sign said:

32.PEI

And also in PEI, there was a real gem tucked down underneath a drugstore:

34.PEI35

At Antigonish, NS the shop was closing for apparently personal reasons:

38.Antigonish

In Mabou, NS (home of the Rankins), I got a real education on the struggles of quilt shops in Canada from the owner there.  The name of the shop reflects the character of the area, the Rankins being famous fiddlers:

46.Mabou

At St. Jacobs ON, the quilt shops were of course run by Amish ladies, whose quilts are to die for.  This shop did not accept credit or debit cards, cash only, a sign of the owner’s lifestyle:

49

In Illinois, this old church had been converted:

51

And had fabulous displays of antique and toy sewing machines. 54

At Panguitch UT, I found the quilt shop tucked in the corner of the Tru Valu hardware store.  Apparently when the local quilt shop closed, the hardware store owner decided to try to continue to meet some of the quilters’ needs, and actually had quite a decent display of wonderful fabrics:

57.Panguitch - hardware store

I found as I traveled that most quilt shops didn’t care for photos taken inside their shops, so after the first couple I contained my enthusiasm to outdoor shots only.

 

Quilt shows – well, we seemed to be either too early or too late for most of them.  But at Walnut Grove, MN at the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum, the quilts abounded:

1809.At LI Wilder Museum, Walnut Grove, MN10111213141517

And at Hawkesbury, NS the Quilt Show sign drew me in.  It turned out they were just setting up, but the ladies kindly let me look around because I couldn’t be back the next day.  The quilts were draped over the back of the pews, later to be hung from the lines strung up near the ceiling:

39.Quilt show Pt Hawkesbury NS4243454041

 

I didn’t purchase at every shop, but here’s what I did net:

This tote bag pattern:

011

And these two sets of fabric that I thought would make fantastic bags for someday:

002003

This table topper that I’ve long admired and wanted to make:

007

An idea for Christmas gifts:

008

An book of inspiration to make memories of our trip:

012

At Harbor Quilts in Antigonish, the owner is also a designer, so I picked up a couple of her designs, each 3-in-1.  She’s closing up shop, but said she’ll be continuing to design:

009

A sample quilt caught my eye, and I couldn’t resist the pattern with a started piece of fabric:

010

These ‘books’ were also irresistible, and I thought how great it would be to have a REAL Book-bag for those trips to the library:

001

A couple more pieces that I just had to have – not sure what I’ll do with them yet, but……:

004005

And all these bits and pieces as possibilities…..

006

for the Big Sky pattern I had picked up in the spring:

003

So that’s the sum total (almost – a couple of pieces are being kept for surprises) of my quilt shopping along the road.  It’s so much fun to see the uniqueness of each shop, the differences in fabrics and styles, the inspiration everywhere.  And, speaking of inspiration, at a Pioneer Village in Jamestown ND, I spotted this sign, and immediately thought of using the design for a quilt someday:

08

Along with doing something with all those church pictures I took…..

I think I have lots to keep me busy in the days ahead.

Happy quilt shopping!                 Blessings, Peg