Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Best-Laid Plans…

My intentions this week were indeed noble and that was to finish my BBD needle case from their book, “Thank You, Sarah Tobias”…


But alas, it didn’t happen.  So, to quote from the 1937 novel “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck who paraphrased a verse from Robert Burns’ 1785 Scots poem,

The best-laid plans of mice and men go oft awry”, and that’s what indeed happened…but in a good way.


As planned, my friend Lucie and I drove to the small town of Oxford Mills, Ontario to meet up with our other friend Pat for a girl’s day out.  Lucie and I started out about 8:00 a.m. because it’s about an hour and a half drive from our place, not including a stop at Timmy’s ( a Canadian donut chain) for a tea and a goodie.  *wink*

We arrived in Oxford Mills, just as Pat was already making her way into the Olde Porch Primitives shop.  If you recall, I had already been there with Pat about a week and half ago but it was near closing and I didn’t have enough time to really browse.  However, I knew what I wanted and Debbie, the owner, said that she had some extras in her store room and that they’d be there when I returned.


When we were there previously, I didn’t have my camera with me because it was an impromptu visit and this time I remembered to bring it…but not until we were inside.  I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to what the outside of the shop looks like,  because it’s just as wonderful as the inside.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Lucie, checking out a rabbit pull toy…


Debbie, the owner behind the counter…


Lucie and Pat posing patiently for me while I take their picture…


And Yvonne, Debbie’s friend and assistant, helping her to display new merchandise that they just brought back from a buying trip to the states…


Debbie also told us that lots of ‘new’ primitive furniture pieces were being delivered this week , so you know that I’ll be going back sometime soon.


As soon as I can find the ‘right’ sofa and wing chair, we are going to make some changes to our living room…even if we decide to stay in our current house.

At the risk of boring you with the details, we are second in line with an offer on an 1840 stone house, contingent upon the sale of the first-in-line’s house which will expire on the 30th of April, after which, if they don’t firm up, we can then purchase it.  Que sera, sera.  If it’s meant to be…well you know the rest. 

So with this in mind, I purchased three new paintings which my dear friend Lucie refers to as, “the big head kids”.  Ya gotta love her.


And the third one…


Yesterday was a boring day spent running around shopping for groceries and new tires for the car and by the time we got back home, I was too tired to even think of stitching. 


I don’t know whether to blame it on the mice or the men but my stitching plans went ‘oft awry’…but there’s always this week.  I hope that yours is both good and productive.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Surprise in My Mailbox

I hadn’t been to the post office to check our mail since Thursday of last week so when I went yesterday, there was a card in our box indicating that there was a parcel inside waiting to be picked up.  I couldn’t remember having ordered anything so whatever was there was going to be a surprise.


And surprised I was!

I very seldom enter giveaways but when Ranette offered a punch needle kit, I just couldn’t resist.


I have only done one punch needle project and I loved it, probably because it looked like a mini hooked rug.   The punch needle project that Ranette was giving away was an all inclusive kit…the pattern, floss and fabric, so it was ‘good to go’.

I would have been happy with just that but Ranette really spoiled me by including a few extras…like  the punch needle stand, a French General scissor case (Ranette too is addicted to collecting scissors), a set of four Fons and Porter chalk pencils and an antique reproduction silver thimble.  Yikes!

Thank you sooooo much again, Ranette.  I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot.  No, let me change that…I know  I’ve hit the jackpot!


I think that’s going to be my next project after I finish this…


The third pocket of my BBD needle case is now completed which leaves only one more.  Barring any distractions, it is my goal is to have the entire project done by the end of the weekend.  It’s slow going for me because I’m a real newbie when it comes to x-stitching and this project was my inspiration to learn.


Samplers and anything with a vintage look just capture my ♥  and this design incorporates both.  What I also♥ about this design is the fact that it is not totally symmetrical, making it so much more pleasing to the naked eye.

Having said that, time’s a-wasting and there’s work to be done.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Goodies…the Eating and Non-Eating Kind

I needed a break from all the house-related stress so Mr. Painted Quilt and I took to the roads again on Friday to check out a ‘new-to-me’ country/prim shop.  Some people buy a new hat or go to the beauty shop  to relieve stress but what works for me is a good old shopping spree.   My friend Pat told me about Gunns Country Corner (no website) located near Watertown, NY, telephone number (315)658-2828.


What a shop! 

I’m sorry that I never thought to bring my camera because for any of you who are into this type of decorating and are within a reasonable distance, it’s worth the drive.     The shop is located in the ‘middle of nowhere’ but only 9 miles from Watertown.  If you intend on making the trip, I would call the shop for directions and to check on their hours because they are currently on a winter schedule.


I spent about 45 minutes browsing through the shop while Mr. PQ took Mac for a walk.  I could have bought one of everything but here’s what I took home with me.

A woolen Easter table runner, marked down at 25% off. 


A closer look…


An antique  reproduction hanging scale, something I’ve wanted for eons.


A closer look…


A new shower curtain…


And a closer look at the pieced blocks along the bottom edge…


I just ♥ the way it ties in with everything else in our bathroom.


After my mini shopping spree, we decided to drive the 9 miles to Watertown and do some grocery shopping at the Walmart Super Center.  I specifically wanted to pick up some King Arthur flour after reading about a recipe for soda bread on Candace’s blog.  A few days ago she wrote about a recipe for Irish American soda bread that she found on the King Arthur website and it looked so good that I knew I just had to make some.


So, while watching/listening to the Montreal vs Toronto hockey game last night, I decided to give it a whirl.

The aroma that wafted through the house while it was baking was devine.


Much to his chagrin, I told Mr. PQ that we’d have to wait until morning for it to cool and set before we could do the taste test.


And this morning…


Toasted…with butter and a cup of tea…heaven!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Monday, March 15, 2010


Last week was busy and this week promises to be even busier.  So where do I start?  Why not with this wonderful and unexpected RAK?


A little while back when I showed the socks I was knitting for my friend Lucie’s son in one of my posts, Julie had commented that she wished she could knit a pair for herself but didn’t know how to knit.  To make a long story short, I sent Julie a pair of socks that I had made and she in turn sent me this incredible mini quilt that she had made.  I was speechless when I opened Julie’s parcel because I had just promised myself that I was going to start making some mini quilts for myself.  Thanks a million, Julie.  Yours will always be number one in my collection!


I’ve been making some progress on my BBD needle case as well, but because of all the running around we’ve been doing, things aren’t moving along as quickly as I would like…but I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey.


We managed to squeeze in a day trip to Fibre Junction, a quilt shop in Rouses Point, NY.   Of course I couldn’t leave empty-handed and managed to stimulate the state’s economy ‘just a little’ while I was there.


I bought some Kansas Troubles fabric that was on sale,  along with some Civil War fabric that was calling my name.  Two books managed to find their way to the check out as well, one of them featuring only mini quilts.


On another day while we were out running the roads and visiting friends, my girlfriend Pat asked me if I would be interested in taking a short drive to visit a country/prim shop.  Well of course I didn’t want to disappoint her by saying no…cough, cough, sputter, sputter…so off we went, leaving our husbands behind, of course.  Because we arrived shortly before closing and time was of the essence, I only managed to buy this hand hooked wool rug with a penny design which now sits happily in front of my kitchen sink.


We will be returning to Olde Porch Primitives on Friday of next week to pick up the items that I had the owner put aside for me.


In the interim, we found another stone house.  This particular house was built in 1840 and is situated in a rural setting on three gorgeous acres.  The house has been professionally restored yet retains all of it’s original charm.  I am trying to not get my hopes up but we have been back to see it three times and are waiting to have our  current house appraised before making an offer.  It promises to be a ‘sitting on pins and needles’ kinda week.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Monday, March 8, 2010

She Did It Again!

I met up with Nancy, my friend and longarm quilter extraordinaire on Wednesday of last week, at which time she returned my string quilt.  What a job she did on this one, folks!


I finished the binding on Friday and here it is…


The free motion quilting is both amazing and stunning.


It looked so good on our kitchen table early yesterday morning with the sun shining in.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it,  look out the patio doors and you can see Mac, our Westie, sunning himself on the desk, watching the world go by.


A closer look…


Thanks again, Nancy.  You are the greatest!


And we haven’t spilled anything on it yet because yesterday was our 29th anniversary and we went out for a wonderful brunch to celebrate.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Friday, March 5, 2010

First Friday Freebie #7 – March

Last Sunday morning, while doing a bit of housework trying to fill in time until the start of the gold medal hockey game between Canada and the United States, an idea for a new design popped into my head.  After some quick sketching and even speedier stitching, a new design was born, just in time for this month’s First Friday Freebie.


I had actually completed another design that was designated for this month and it was all ready to go but when I realized that Easter is early this year and if I waited until next month to come up with something for Easter, it would be too late for this year.  So the design that was originally slated for this month has been set aside until next month.  

I hope you enjoy my Easter Sampler.


To upload the photo, line drawing and instructions, please click HERE.


If you’d like,  please grab the First Friday Freebie button (by right clicking and saving) from my sidebar and place it on your sidebar with a link  back here in order for us to share it with those who might not otherwise find their way here.  The button will also serve as a reminder that on the First Friday of each month there will be another new Freebie design available for you to enjoy.


Enjoy and as always…

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Interrupted Progress

I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying my newest x-stitch project.  I think what excites me the most is the fact that I’m able to do it.  Never in my widest dreams did I think I’d ever be able to even attempt something like this and the fact that it’s actually taking shape before my eyes is a triumph in itself.


The first of the four designs that make up the needle case is done.  I started on the second design on Sunday morning, filling in time while waiting for the Canada/USA Olympic gold medal game when…


An idea popped into my head for  another FFF (First Friday Freebie) design.  Although the design that was intended for this month’s FFF is complete and ready to go, I grabbed my sketch pad and came up with a new design.  I finalized the design yesterday and started stitching it last night.  Hopefully I’ll be able to complete it today, write up the instructions, PDF it and have it ready for this Friday which is the First Friday of the month.  Needless to say my x-stitching has been put on hold for a couple of days.


Did you all watch the Canada/USA hockey game on Sunday?  I think that even non-hockey fans tuned in, at least for a portion of the game.  I have been a hockey fan for most of my life.  Being the middle child sandwiched between two brothers, I had no choice but to grow up loving sports.  My older brother was a professional football player and my younger brother’s son is a professional hockey player and his younger brother is following in his footsteps, playing NCAA college hockey at the present time.


Although I was born in Canada, due to my father’s job, we spent half our lives living in the United States.  I wasn’t two weeks old when we moved to Michigan and didn’t return to Canada until I was ten years old.   Four years later my Dad’s job took us back to the US.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I was cheering for both teams and the game was so close, it could have gone either way.  One team had to be declared a winner and in this instance, it was Canada and by doing so, they set a record for the most gold medals ever won by one country at the winter Olympic games.  Woo hoo!


That in a nutshell explains why when you walk into my Canadian home, you will be greeted with a lot of red, white and blue memorabilia.

The den…


The foyer/hallway leading into my studio…


A close up of the sampler style hooked rug that I designed and was hooked by a gal in Berlin, Ohio as a tribute to9/11.   This is one of my most favorite things.


Continuing down the hall…


And on the opposite side…



Thanks for joining me on my stroll down memory lane today.  I’d better get back to my stitching because time’s a-wasting and Friday will be here before we know it.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥