Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Welcome to the end of the month already!!! Unbelievable. Where has this month gone at all????

Well I think I have an idea what I have spent my time doing... stitching and house building of course! I can't believe it's been just a little more than a month since we started building our house and all our hard work, sweat and even some tears (from pain) have produced this:

Coming right along. We're in the process of trying to get the garage up in the void you see on the left hand side of the house. Many thanks to my family for being such hard working people. Who would have thought you'd be working your day job AND moonlighting as construction personnel in the evening/weekends ;) We're also stillllll waiting for the town council on some critical decisions so we are trying to do what we can until those decisions have been made. But, I'm afraid if there isn't some kind of decision soon then it may well hold up construction!!!! Grrrrrr town council why do you have to do everything so slow!!! 

On the stitchy side of things, I wonder if it's possible to legitimately have a happy dance for getting long awaited stash in the mail??? Legitimately or not I was dancin away when I opened the mail box to find my order from 123stitch had arrived! 

You can probably remember my lamenting that I had run out of the floss I needed to finish off Nantucket. Well here is the lone skein of floss in all it's glory:

But wait there's more - you didn't really think I would order only one skein of floss did you???? Given that the shipping costs have gone up considerably recently I've been putting off purchasing stash (which is probably not a bad thing) until I absolutely need it and get many things at once to justify the extra shipping costs.

I decided to purchase the first part of Little House Needleworks Mystery sample + all the goodies.

Doesn't that over dyed floss look delicious???? I absolutely love the colours and cannot wait to dig into this sampler while waiting for the fabric for Santa's Magic (yes I decided on a fabric!!!! Thanks for the suggestions everyone!!!!)

I also purchased a couple more charts, floss and buttons from the Santa's Village Series by CCN.

I've been really enjoying stitching these little houses up and cannot wait to have all 12 completed :)

Speaking of the Santa's Village, I'm very near a finish with the North Pole Post Office. 

Unfortunately I neglected to order the floss to finish to roof as I thought I already had it... which I didn't. So once I finish the snow flakes and top boarder it's off to the WIP pile for this one until I get a chance to order that floss. I should mention that I was going to simply use the DMC conversion for the roof, but I simply could not resist the lovely variegated floss that is suppose to be used... I know I'm a sucker for specialty items haha. 

Until next time my dears!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Well after months of sparse stitching, I think I am finally FULLY back on the stitching train! All I can say it's about time. Between house building and constantly fighting the tendinitis in my wrist (which made stitching fairly painful after an extended stint in the stitching chair...) stitching has not really been a priority. Luckily, after a couple of months rest it seems that my wrist is finally getting back to normal... and the guys are currently roofing in the house - you will not see ME on that roof - so that means more time in the evenings than I've had in months!!!

I guess you could consider this as a mini-finish:

I've gone as far as I can until I get some more dark brown floss from 123stitch. I think I may have ran out of the required floss partly because I stitched on a higher count fabric than the model. Either way it was still agonizing to run out as I'm seriously one motif (a bird), the rest of the boarder around the word Nantucket, and a couple of finishing stitches away from putting this one in the 'Done' pile. 


So I moved onto my next (mini) project.

This is the 'North Pole Post Office' which is number three in the Santa's Village series by Country Cottage Needleworks. I'm stitching them all separately as I have vision of what I'm going to do with them in my new house... since there's 12 in the series that means I'm going to have to find 12 identical frames (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT haha). The best thing about this stitch is that it's fairly quick and you can see it come together in a flash. Very rewarding :)

I've also been thinking ahead to my next stitch... Santa's Magic. Not sure if I'll stitch this as a gift yet or keep it for myself. I guess it'll all depend on how easy the stitch is... however, since it's a Mirabilia I'm guessing it'll be fairly complicated. But I'm up for the challenge :)

There is one thing that is bothering me however with this chart - I've now sized it up several times... - and that is Santa's sleeve is empty of stitches for the most part, allowing you to tie in the colour of the linen with the overall design of the cross stitch. PROBLEM: the recommended fabric is called Desert Sand (which remarkable I have managed to find online) but it's yellow... very yellow. There are a few stitches you can see that complement the yellow fabric to shade in the said sleeve I was talking about earlier in the model picture. I don't like the fabric simply put. I can't imagine stitching on something so yellow and having it stand the test of time and still look good years from now. But how do I change the fabric colour so that I can alter the sleeve colours and still match Santa's hat????? What a conundrum! Please feel free to leave some suggestions because I don't think I can possibly decide what I can do without some input!

Model pic

Until next time!!!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Well I'm happy and very proud to announce that after months and months of waiting and planning, our house building has begun!!! 

You hear about those horror stories where people have to fight with the town council... well yup that happened to me. After a month and a half of 'reasoning' with the town council we finally were able to get them on our side. That's a month and a half of building lost and agonizing over whether or not we'd have to change the plans of our house. BUT as the saying goes, if it ain't worth waiting for...

So the boyfriend and I and of course half the family (gotta love them right!) started in on the house a couple of weeks ago and I finally have some update pictures I can share with you. This past weekend was probably the hardest work yet. We were putting up walls on the first floor of house, this in fact is not the hard part... it was the mid 30 degree temps we were fighting with that made it so difficult. I had learned my lesson about wearing sun screen a couple of weeks ago after getting burnt to a crisp my first day on the job... but the brothers, the cousin, and the uncle didn't fair so well this time round with scorching sun. 

Footings down and ready for some walls!

First floor ready for some walls!!! What you see here is the product of
our Canada Day long weekend :)
The fam-jam doing their thing!!! PS: That wall was HEAVY!!! Felt like my
back was going to crack in half!
The bones of my dining room.
Father and Son and Son-in-Law bonding time???
First floor is up yeyeyeyeyeyey. Now for the second :)
Strangest thing about this all is that I'm actually having fun building my house. I remember building my brother's house a couple years ago was certainly not as entertaining to say the least. But then again, I'm not the one responsible for planning everything and making sure everything goes up right - that's my Dad's job and he's VERY good at it haha, no doubt that part of house building can be very stressful.  He's definitely the boss on site that's for sure. I would say I'm the catch all on site with people yelling commands at me like "Melissa, come hold this for me", "Melissa, go cut that piece of wood", "Melissa, I need more nails"... on and on and on it goes like this. But I'm happy with that because I think I'd be like a chicken with my head cut off if it weren't for the direction given to me from da boss. 

All in all so far so good - I'll be sure to update you as we make more progress :)

While I'm here I should mention that I actually have been stitching... albeit whilst half asleep at the end of construction days. I'm NEARLY done Nantucket but for one problem... I ran out of some of the hand dyed thread I was using... which means Nan is just going to have to stay unfinished for just a while longer while Mr.Mailman brings me more :)

Have a great weekend!!!!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Monday!

Welcome to my last post on my trip to the Bonavista Peninsula! HURRAY. It was never my intent to have 3 whole posts dedicated to this trip but what could I do?!?! There was so much to share that I felt all the little places I visited deserved their own post :) The scary part is that hopefully we'll be going back their before the end of the summer to see Trinity and the Trinity Pageant... one thing that was on our wishlist that we just did not get around to seeing.

On our final day, the boyfriend and I spent a good bit of the morning taking down the tent. By the time we were finished I was toast... luckily I was thinking that morning and had planned to take a shower AFTER all the hard work was done.

Our campsite was so beautiful, I was actually so sad to leave. But I'm committed to going back there at some point VERY soon. 

By mid morning we were all packed up and on our way to our last stop - Elliston. The road to Elliston, while beautiful... was barely that... a road. I felt like our car was in a slalom race as we swerved about the road to miss potholes and gaps in the road that I am sure could have swallowed our car whole. This is one of the pitfalls of having such a dispersed population, there are little tiny communities of just a couple hundred people scattered all along the coastline. Some communities have disappeared overtime, but plenty (some say more than 1000) little nooks and crannies still exist today and naturally all the roads are inland. This means tons of access roads stretching kilometres all to reach just a 100 people or so in most cases... needless to say the economics of patch and repair are severely challenged. So the road to Elliston remains as rough and rugged as the land of our province.

But in the end it was all worth it - as I truly feel I had probably the best experience of the whole trip. 

Elliston is known as the root cellar capital of the world. Settled in the early 1800's, it likely resembled the small fishing community that you saw in my last post about Cape Random. Today the town is littered with what is know as the Salt Box house, which was the typical house you can still see throughout Newfoundland today. 

Not quite a Salt Box house but still pretty typical of NL.
As I previously mentioned, Elliston is known as the root cellar capital of world! Now I realize you might not know what a root cellar is, although I'm sure some British readers or history buffs might know :) Root cellars are basically semi submerged ground cellars where food was stored. In the winter it would keep your roots (aka: veggies!) from freezing and spoiling and would keep the food cool in the summer time. While root cellars were used throughout Newfoundland for food preservation (I can still remember my Nan talking about her cellar), many of them have disappeared over time, replaced by the new-fangled contraption the Refrigerator  It just so happens that Elliston is like the root cellar graveyard. Well actually some are still in use today like the ones below! 

Le Boyfriend :)


Looks can be deceiving can't they. Some are very small and others a little bigger. But they all look like they would be dirty holes in the ground. NOT SO! Inside the walls and ceiling are all rocked in and the ground has been walked on so many times that is now hard packed. Looking at these pictures does however make me wonder how and where they got all those huge rocks!!!

The other thing Elliston is famous for is their Puffin Colony. Now if you know anything about Newfoundland you know we love our provincial symbols. We have the Newfoundland Dog as our Provincial Dog, we have the Pitcher Plant as our Provincial Plant and we have the Puffin as our Provincial Bird. Puffins are sea birds and for the longest time I thought they were what you'd call a bigger bird... partly because our hockey team's mascot was Buddy the Puffin and in my eyes he was HUGE... ahhh thank you childhood for the misconception. In fact Puffins are the sweetest, cutest, tiniest little bird ever. The white of their breast looks like it's made of marshmallows and their beaks look as if they must be a relative if Toucan Sam except on an idity-biddy scale. 

The boyfriend and I sat and watched these birds for probably an hour... and a few of them were even brave enough to get within 10ft of us!!! Life long dream REALIZED!

Mom or Dad Puffin watching his nest (hole under the tree root to the left
 of the picture).


Cute attack!

A Puffin Par-tay!

Mr. Puffin with the head of dandelion seed!!!

Well I think I'll leave it at that folks!

I hope you've all enjoyed my last few posts!!!!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Friday Everyone!

I'm so excited to continue with the story of my weekend adventure to the Bonavista Peninsula lovingly known as the Discovery Trail.

After having poked around Bonavista, myself, the boyfriend and the parents (who stayed in the hotel the evening while Phil and I battled the moths and flies out camping... lucky ducks) decided it was time to broaden our horizons a bit. LOTS TO SEE!
One of our first stops on Sunday was 'Cape Random'. A number of years back a TV mini series called Random Passage was filmed just on the outskirts of New Bonaventure (and by outskirts I mean a 10 minute walk through the woods). The series was based off a fairly famous Newfoundland book which took on the task of describing the day to day life and hardships of a particularly courageous set of people living in Newfoundland back in the 1800s.
While the location is not actually called 'Cape Random', it was the site of an old fishing outpost. The buildings you see below represent perfectly the types of buildings people lived in 200 years back on this fair island of mine. Which is really what makes this site gem for me. It's not that a national TV series was filmed here... its that this preserves a history not many get to see anymore.
As a child every Newfoundlander learns about the fisherman's life past and present, we learn about the seal hunt and how many Newfoundland women were left widows when their men simply did not come back from fishing/hunting on the Atlantic ocean. But the people who actually did the hard labour, well their buildings, their lives were never quite preserved. Sure their are traditions that still exist because of their way of life, but I've never been able to really get a feel for how these people lived and survived here. Newfoundland was not the most hospitable climate 200 years ago... and in some cases still isn't hospitable now when the snow starts falling. So when you're looking at the pictures below... think living there in the dead of winter, with snow piled up as far up the walls of the houses just to keep the wind coming through the cracks in the 'walls'. Imagine that... piling snow up the side of your house to keep the warm in... WHO KNEW?!?

View of the Village
The house in the background is the 'rich' house.

Apparently these houses wouldn't have actually had glass
windows... just shutters. 

A poorer house. The floor would have been covered
with straw to keep the dirt down.

Up to 17 people could have stayed in this 6 bed shack. Lets
just say lots of bunk buddies for body warmth on those
chilly nights.

The crevices between the logs that make up these houses would
often be stuffed with moss... which continuously needed

A small school house built on the side of a home. The numbers and
 letters you see are actually written on birch bark. They also would use
 individual slate pieces to practice their writing and math. My lovely
boyfriend - a teacher - loved this clearly :)

A view of the fishing wharf and traditional fish flake. Salt cod was the bread
and butter and was essentially currency 200 years ago. Everyone in
the community would have been part of the fishing/fish processing, right
from the oldest adult to the youngest child. Another interesting factoid is
that they would use evergreen bows as a layer between the filleted cod and
the wooden boards of the fish flake to allow air circulation and promote the
curing process.

The fishing wharf... also the wharf of death... soooo rickety!!! 

Our lovable true blue Newfoundlander tour guide showing us how
  the cod was processed.
See what I mean by rickety!?! These logs were more like sticks and
only 3 to 4 inchs on the round. That's the ocean and rock you see in the cracks!!!

This was a calm day in the bay... just imagine what it must have been like
 working  in that building when the seas were rough...
which they typically are.

Not much to say here... just LOVE this picture. 
 Well folks look like this is leading in a Part 3. Wayyyyy too much to share :)

I hope you've enjoyed your little virtual travel experience to Cape Random, Newfoundland!

Have a great weekend,


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