Friday, June 3, 2022


 Almost 2 weeks ago - on Saturday, May 21 - Ottawa was hit by a derecho (intense wind and thunderstorm). 

The power went out as the storm hit, and we all hung out in the basement. It didn't last long, and we came back upstairs to find a tree had blown over:

A distant look at a large spruce tree blown over by the storm.

A large spruce tree, blown over with its roots exposed

The tree was lying on the power lines, but didn't do a lot of damage on its way down.

Others weren't so lucky - one of my neighbours had 2 trees land on his house.

A house with 2 large trees lying on it.

A lot of trees were down in the neighbourhood.

And still we didn't have power. 

My cousin - who lives about 20 minutes away - got power back on Monday night, so Tuesday morning Wanda and I headed to her place to work. 

Her cat was not impressed. 
A cat with an annoyed expression wondering when we'd get power again.

They cut the tree off the power line on Friday, and Saturday night - a full week after the power went out - we got power back. 

The freezer had thawed but was still cold, which was impressive. Wanda cleaned out the freezer while I cooked the thawed meat. 

And then on Wednesday, the company I'd hired came to remove the tree. They pulled into a driveway with a crane and pulled it out over the house. Then they cut off the branches and left it there for the city to pick up. 

The tree with the wires still attached to the crane

The crane on the back of a truck. The truck has been lifted off the ground by the crane supports.

And then yesterday the city showed up to dispose of the tree

A machine loads the tree pieces into a dump truck

A tractor loading up the branches

Saturday, April 2, 2022

I'm too lazy to go buy a purse

 Today I decided to make a purse. 

I cut 4 sets of 2 pieces of fabric. The outer one pieces were 13"x19"; the inner ones were 13"x20", since there was a direction to that fabric. I then cut the inner ones in half, switched one half upside down, and sewed them back together. 

A piece of fabric that has been cut in half and then sewed back together

Next I cut batting to match the size of the outer fabric and pinned the inner fabric (good side down), the batting, and the outer fabric (good side up). 

A sandwich - inside fabric, batting, outside fabric

I then quilted the three pieces together with diagonal lines and repeated for the next 3 sets. 

The fabric, post-quilting.
Because I like pockets, I added a small pocket to the inside of one of the 4 sections.
The quilted fabric, with a small pocket added on the inside.

I sewed binding to the top and bottom of each section, then folded each section in half and pinned a zipper near the top. The zipper pull was down, and I sewed the side away from the binding.
A section, with the zipper in place to be sewn.

I then turned each section inside out and pinned the other side of the zipper to the other half of the section, being careful to keep it the same distance from the binding. I unzipped the zipper and sewed that side down. 
The second side of the zipper, pinned to sew.

When all 4 sections were done, I turned them right side out. Next, I cut a flap out of both the inside material and the outside material and sewed them together on 3 sides, then sewed it onto the section with the inside pocket. 

The flap to cover the purse, sewn to one of the 4 sections

I took a piece of cardboard and sewed a piece of the outside fabric to cover it. 

The cardboard, enclosed in fabric on 3 sides, before I sewed up the 4th side.

When it was fully covered, I  attached it to the bottom of the section with the flap. I then attached it to the bottom of another section (making sure that the zippers were going the same way). 

The cardboard section connecting 2 sections

Next, I used bias tape to cover the ends of each section so that they were  closed.
Bias tape pinned on the edge of one section.

I used a piece of cardboard to measure the same distance from each side. I then added the two sections that weren't connected to anything in between the other sections, and sewed each one to the next between the markings.
A piece of cardboard marking the distance to sew
I added a closure on the flap and attached the strap, and it's done!

Friday, April 1, 2022

Luggage tags

 Today I made 18 luggage tags for my Girl Guide travel group. 

I started by cutting out two pieces of fabric, 4.5 inches x 7 inches. I then ironed interfacing onto one piece - the one intended for the inside of the tag.

After that, I cut a piece of plastic 4.5 inches x 5 inches and folded it in half so that it was 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches. I then stitched along the fold.

A piece of plastic folded and sewn along the fold

I folded the inner piece of fabric in half, and lined up the stitching on the plastic with the middle of the tag. Next, I unfolded the fabric and stitched around the three sides of the plastic that hadn't already been stitched. 
The inner piece of fabric with the plastic pocket stitched onto it. 

 After the pocket is attached, fold 12" of the strap in half and put the open end in the middle of the opposite side of the fabric. Add the fabric for the back of the tag, face down. Sew around 3 sides, leaving the side at the bottom of the pocket unsewn. 

The inner piece of fabric with the plastic pocket sewn on. On the other end of the fabric, there is a loop of the strap.

Clip the corners and turn the luggage tag right side out. 

The turned luggage tag with an open end at the bottom of the pocket.

Take a 3" piece of bias tape (or strapping). Fold in both sides of the unsewn end. Pin the bias tape into the opening so that the two ends have a small gap between them. 

Sew around the luggage tag, starting with the open side, and then end by sewing the open side a second time. Make sure you are catching both ends of the bias tape.

Fold the luggage tag in half and push the strap through the bias tape look. That's it!
Two luggage tags, one open and one closed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

It's spring!

 This past weekend, I woke up to the birds chattering outside my window. I never notice when they leave, but I always notice when they return. 

My Pathfinders meet in the back yard, and I left a metal pail on the fire table. Last week, it was almost entirely covered in snow. This week, there's snow under it but none around it. 

Spring is here.

Next week is March Break. I was supposed to take a group of Pathfinders and Rangers to Yellowknife, but we can't travel yet. Instead, I'm going to Quebec City for the weekend and then working as usual. It'll be my first trip since COVID (if you don't count last summer's cottage visit). It'll be different - we'll probably buy food and eat in our hotel rooms, and spend most of our time outdoors. I think it'll be fun, nonetheless.

Our Yellowknife trip is now scheduled for the summer, and we're starting to talk about another trip with a different group of kids in 2024. 

All of the events that were supposed to happen in 2020 or 2021 seem to be landing this summer, so it will be a busy one. 

And since the gazebo wasn't finished until November, I also have a lot of gardening/rearranging to do. 

It'll be a busy year. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

A belated welcome to 2022

 So I've been meaning to update since the beginning of the year. Maybe even the end of last year.

I had planned to go visit the family for Christmas, but omicron convinced me to cancel my trip, so it was a quiet holiday here. Lots of video games and relaxing. I'd been needing a vacation, and I really enjoyed that one. We did go to a drive-through light show here, which was enjoyable. 

Once January hit, life got back to the new normal. We'd stopped our Saturday hikes at the end of November, and finally restarted them this past Saturday.

Last week, we got a lot of snow (48 cm, followed by another 5 or so a couple of days later). My Girl Guide travel group persists, although we don't know when - or even where - we will be able to travel. Our current travel date is in March, and that's looking pretty risky.

A very snowy view of a house

But 2022 has begun, and only time will tell what it brings.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Not quite Thanksgiving, but thankful none the less

In my last post, I hoped the gazebo/shed would be done by Thanksgiving. That did not happen.

We got the excavation dirt picked up the last Friday in October - which was also the absolute last day for it to be picked up. 10 1-metre-cubed bags on the driveway was not something I wanted to have around all winter! That weekend, the patio went in. 

The following weekend, we got the cupboard doors on. On November 9, we got the siding, and it went on the following weekend. The final inspection was last Tuesday.

A picture of the gazebo with the shed under the room. There is a table and chairs and two loveseats on the stone patio

The left side of the shed is a typical shed. There's one shelf, and storage for a few other things. The double doors on the right cover three shelves, also for storage. Below that compartment is a section you can reach from the right side of the shed; it's made to fit the lawnmower. 

I'm very glad it's done.

And this past Saturday, my Girl Guide travel group ran a day camp for other units. It was a really good experience, and I was really tired when it was done.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

End of summer

 The new walkway is done. They sloped the walk so that we were able to get rid of the stairs near the driveway, and covered the steps in the same stone. There is also a small patio beside the stairs now. 

Mom and Miss B. came to visit. We went to Baxter conservation area, and enjoyed the trains and the ice cream boat. We mostly stayed outside for obvious reasons. Ms. A moved in and starts university today. 

The work in the back yard continues. It will hopefully be done by Thanksgiving.

And Pathfinders starts tomorrow. I guess summer is really over.