Category Archives: Culture

Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival 2013

If you aren’t doing anything special this weekend, come to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for the annual Folk Harbour Music Festival.

Music on the Lunenburg Wharf.

Music on the Lunenburg Wharf.

The festival blends traditional and contemporary folk music in both indoor and outdoor venues, performed by artists famous in the Maritimes and around the World.  This year’s conference, Folk Steps,  focuses on music from Acadie, Louisiana and Quebec.

Music at the Bandstand, Lunenburg Town Hall.

Music at the Bandstand, Lunenburg Town Hall.

I feel the best part of this weekend is the wonderful atmosphere produced: the street cafes are full,  people are clearly enjoying life, and the music is AWESOME.

For more information, go to the Festival’s website http://www.folkharbour.com

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Lunenburg

Tall Ships

photo (34)

The Tall Ships were in Toronto this past weekend.  With light winds and a temperature of 34 degrees Celcius it was spectacular viewing on Sunday if you happened to be out on the water.

Tall ships

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Favourites, Sailing, Toronto

Friday, May 31st. 7:10 pm

Alternative transportation when it isn’t safe to fly due to weather conditions.

Saturday May 31

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Favourites, Toronto

A little Kaffe Fassett in the morning…

Yesterday I happened to be in London, Ontario with a little free time.  (Free time? What is that exactly? Like the Dowager Countess of Grantham Violet Crawley I state: “Weekend…what’s a weekend”).  Actually I had googled  “Who sells Liberty Fabrics in Canada” a few days before and a shop in London Ontario popped up….so I confess, I actually did have something on my ‘to do’ list.

I spent my morning blissfully overwhelmed at Hyggeligt Fabrics located in the Richmond Row District.  (515 Richmond Street, Unit 3, London, Ontario N6A 5N4   519-679-4907)

A view into the shop showing the Westminster Fabrics on the shelves, and two garments from the Amy Butler trunk show.The turquoise coat is actually cotton velvet which the shop also sells off the bolt. Beautiful!

A view into the shop showing the Westminster Fabrics on the shelves, and two garments from the Amy Butler trunk show.The turquoise coat is actually cotton velvet which the shop also sells off the bolt. Beautiful!

All of my favourites are here:  Liberty Art Fabrics, Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler (in velvet too!), Joel Dewberry, and Tula Pink.

Fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett Design Collection.

Fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett Design Collection.

I discovered Oakshott Handwovens which I fell in love with immediately.  These fabrics are made by master weavers of 100% mercerised vat dyed shot cottons creating a fabric that is incredibly soft but shimmering with colour.

Oakshott Handwovens.

Oakshott Handwovens.

Naturally, you can purchase any length off the bolt or the shop offers pre-cuts.  They will also cut into fat quarters or 1/2 yards any fabric of your choosing.

These are the Oakshott precuts, organized into size and colourway.  They were unbelievably lovely.

These are the Oakshott precuts, organized into size and colourway. They were unbelievably lovely.

Unfortunately for me  a number of the  Liberty Prints (as well as other desirables)  had travelled for the day to a quilting show elsewhere, but there were still enough options to satisfy me. Hyggeligt has a very large stock, including the William Morris prints in Tana Lawn which are fabulous for dressmaking.    In this picture you can see, just peeking around the shelves from the left, a stunning wall quilt made of the Oakshott solids.

shop view 2

I must conclude with a picture of the beautiful woven silk ribbons the shop has.  Most of these designs are by Kaffe Fassett – all are incredible.  They are great for trims around quilts,  pillows or  any sewing project – I plan to use them to decorate seams of knitted garments.

ribbons

The shop was founded by Chantal Lynch in 2008 – she felt there was a need to make these fabrics more accessible.  In Danish the word ‘hyggelig’ means a spirit of warmth and coziness with friends or at home, and implies warm blankets. I’m not sure if this is where Chantal derived the shop name, but it certainly fits!

Hyggeligt has a fantastic web site:  www.hyggeligt.ca.  You can watch a video interview with Chantal created by UWO students about the ‘Handmade’ revolution under the ‘about us’ tab. The video also has some fantastic shots of the shop wares.   Here is the link:  http://www.hyggeligt.ca/pages/About-Us.html

As for myself, I plan to visit often!

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Fabric, Favourites, Quilting, Textiles

Project Heart

A new book landed on my doorstep yesterday morning and I want to share it for two reasons:

1.   the 24+ projects inside are stunning, contributed by well known designers in the stitching world

2.   it is part of the Stitch Red campaign, an  initiative started by Laura Zander to raise awareness of women’s heart health

sew red

“Sew Red, Sewing & Quilting for Women’s Heart Health”, draws together inspiring but ‘make-able’ projects from big names in the stitching world:  Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Tula Pink, Sweetwater, and Denyse Schmidt to name only a handful.  Each contributor shares personal reasons why raising the issues about women’s heart health is important.

I love this dress by Amy Butler and it is first on my list of summer sewing projects. (tip: Thanks to conscientious Amy Butler,  an errata has been posted to her website, so don't cut before visiting it!)

I love this dress by Amy Butler and it is first on my list of summer sewing projects. (tip: Thanks to conscientious Amy Butler, an errata has been posted to her website, so don’t cut before visiting it!)

In addition to the projects there is a very informative ‘fact’ section about heart health including recipes, resources, and the importance of exercise.  I learned, from the foreward by Deborah Norville, that while 80 percent of women said they would call 911 if they suspected someone was having a heart attack, barely half would call 911 if they thought they themselves were having one.

This section is very informative about Exercise for your Heart and includes tips on how to add heart healthy activities such as yoga, reading, and dancing to your daily regime.

This section is very informative about exercise for your heart and includes tips on how to add heart healthy activities such as yoga, reading, and dancing to your daily regime.

 Symptoms of heart attack in women can present quite differently than men, and most women don’t even know how to recognize the signs: discomfort in the upper body (including the jaw, shoulders or neck), sweating, nausea, and light-headedness.  Trouble sleeping, anxiety, indigestion, and unusual tiredness are also the most usual signs reported by women – sounds like the normal fallout from our busy lives, doesn’t it?  Clearly, raising awareness to the fact that these symptoms might not just be part of common stress, but could in fact  be a heart attack, might save someone’s life.

Quilt Design by one of the top designers in the fabric world, Tula Pink.

Quilt Design by one of the top designers in the fabric world, Tula Pink.

 This book  is the second in this series written by Laura Zander.   You might remember last year’s publication “Knit Red”.  Similarly, “Sew Red” draws on Laura’s considerable knowledge and passion for stitching – she is the co-founder and co-owner of Jimmy Beans Wool (named one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States).

This beautiful applique design, called Queen of Hearts, is by Marcia Harmening.  It is too challenging for me but I absolutely love it.

This beautiful applique design, called Queen of Hearts, is by Marcia Harmening. It is too challenging for me but I absolutely love it. Inspiring!

A percentage of the proceeds from this book is donated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health in support of The Heart Truth.  For more information on this campaign in Canada, visit  http://thehearttruth.ca/  .  You can watch Canada’s Live Fashion Show to celebrate the Red Dress, symbol of heart health, on March 21 at  http://thehearttruth.ca/livefashionshow/

Not all of the projects involve quilting or a lot of sewing - this corsage is the perfect way to use up favourite fabric scraps, old buttons, and ribbon in your stash. Wear it to remind yourself and others to maintain a healthy heart. .

Not all of the projects involve quilting or a lot of sewing – this corsage by Kaari  Meng is the perfect way to use up favourite fabric scraps, old buttons, and ribbon in your stash. Wear it to remind yourself and others to maintain a healthy heart. .

Happy Stitching!

2 Comments

Filed under Culture, Fabric, Favourites, Quilting, Textiles

A little train trip….

My father was born in the late 1920s of Scottish ancestry.  The youngest of three boys, he was a child of the depression and learned how to save a nickel and ‘make do’ at any early age.   He left school as a teenager, watched his two older brothers go to WW2 (where one was killed in action), and learned a trade as an electrical engineer.

Dad

My sisters and I can’t complain about our material childhood – between my father and my mother, who worked as a teacher, we lived well.  We always had a nice family holiday in the summers.  We traveled this country coast to coast several times.   We made lots of  memories together.

Being a household of ‘girls’, we exercised quite a lot of creative energy.  I always believed it was from my mother that the ‘making’ gene was embedded….especially since she was always encouraging us to cut, paste, draw, sew, knit or whatever.  She has a great stylish eye, and believed in investing in fashion.  She supported all our creative pursuits and allowed us to pursue our personal dreams – something she herself had to fight for.

My father worked hard, came home, read the paper, ate dinner, and drove us to our sporting events.  (When I think about it now, their participation and sacrifice for us in this regard was quite unusual in those days).  In spite of the fact that his mother was a working artist, and his father a writer, I NEVER EVER associated any kind of creativity with my father.

UNTIL HE RETIRED.

Both of my parents, who still live in the house and community where I grew up,  retired comfortably.  With his direct familial duties done, the newly  found hours in the day allowed my father to unleash his inner creative self.  He has always been a curious guy, probing relentlessly ‘how things work’.

LOOK AT WHAT HE BUILT…..

tunnel

trains 8

FROM SCRATCH…..

trains 3

USING HIS INNER CREATIVE FORCE….

trains 7

IN THE BASEMENT.

trains 1

trains 5

This project required: study, planning, collecting, drawing, making, constructing, and overall dedication.  It provided him with a new community of like-minded model train aficionados and he never misses those weekly meetings.  It inspired him to continue to travel – to visit historic train installations throughout Canada and the U.S.  He continues to read and study everything about the historic railway.   It keeps his mind active and focused.

Best of all, look at how much he impresses his youngest grandaughter:

Kyra

This post is dedicated to my father.  Now in his eighties, he amazingly continues to create everyday.

5 Comments

Filed under Culture, Favourites

Family Matters 2

I’ve been spending a little more time with the World War 1 letters this morning – a good activity for a snowy day.   There are three ‘voices’ in the group:  my great-aunt Emma who served as a field nurse, my grandfather Ridd, who served as a chaplain and stretcher bearer, and my great-uncle Joe who was sent immediately to Europe as a non-commissioned officer.

Joe lied about his age on his attestation papers.  When he enlisted in June 1915, he said he was born in 1896.  Someone of authority noted in the side margin that “…birth certificate shews date of birth 19 March 1899.”    He was sixteen years old, but no one prevented him from being shipped to active duty in France.

His letters are expressive, and retain a chatty innocence.

letter Christmas

This one, dated France, 25/12/17  is written to his older brother Ridd who was still based in England at that time.  He starts writing it Christmas Day, thanking his brother for the gift of a new pair of warm gloves, and continues on page 3:

“It is just 3:40 am now of the 26th and there is about five inches of snow up on top.  This is one of the best ‘holes’ in the ground I have struck, warm as toast and very roomy.  Someone with lots of time, made a large desk, pigeon holes and all, so it is very comfy for writing letters on shift.  Have to call it off for now.  Love from Joe.”

 

4 Comments

Filed under 1917, Culture, Favourites