Monday, August 25, 2008

Elk Lake

I was doing so well... 11 posts in July, 17 in June.... then life got in the way. It started with Spa Day at the winery -- certainly the most labor-intensive thing we do. That spun almost directly into vacation.

Well, I'm back and ready to report on What I Did on My Summer Vacation.

Because of our trip along Route 66 in 2006 and finances and various other things, we hadn't gotten to the family cabin in Elk Lake, Ontario since 2005. That's crazy for us -- Tommy had been there every summer of his life up until then.

When you have a family business, it's hard to get a lot of family members together for vacation. But we were able to pack our car with my sister Holly and her two girls, Bob, me, Winston, and Holly's new mixed-Beagle puppy, Snoopy. 5 people, 2 dogs, and all the luggage.... whew!

Normally a 10 to 12 hour trip, with dogs that needed to be walked, this turned into 14 hours each way.

Elk Lake is a tiny logging town in northern Ontario, about 45 minutes west of the Quebec border. My grandmother and her sisters and parents homesteaded there in the early 20th century. The family still has the land where their house stood near Wabun Creek along the Montreal River, land across the street where they found silver, and the tiny log cabin in town where my great aunt Hazel lived right after she was married.

We all stay at the cabin -- it's cozy and part of our family's tradition. My great aunt Isabelle purchased it in the 1960s and added a small back addition with bathroom, laundry, and another tiny bedroom/alcove.

What do you do while you're there? Other than watching the Montreal River go by, we swim at the little town beach just below our cabin, pick wild blueberries, canoe, and visit various local attractions.

One of our favorites is Kap-Kig-Iwan, a little Provincial Park along the Englehart River with two gorgeous falls. You can hike to see the lower and upper falls, and as beautiful as it is, there's rarely anyone else there.

It was a lovely week. Gorgeous weather. Yummy blueberries.

And now we're back.... and I'll try to do better posting to my blog.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I just realized that I missed my Blogaversary (I know it's not a real word, but is this how you spell the made-up-word?), July 31.

A smidge over a year ago I started this blog. Yes, I was forced to do so (it was a requirement to join Secret Pal 11), but I've had fun with it over the year.

Here's to Year Two!

(Gorgeous cake by PinkCakeBox)

Manic Monday (er, Tuesday)

I know -- it's not Monday. But I liked these questions and figured I'd post anyway.

Manic Monday #128

Using no more than 10 nouns, and ONLY nouns, describe yourself.
Mother, nurturer, artist, leader, female, cook, gardener, sister, friend...
(That was more difficult than I thought it would be -- I kept wanting to use adjectives.)

If you owned your own store, what would you sell?
I already do... I sell my sister's wonderful wine.

If you were to name the most comforting thing for you to hold in your hands, what would it be?
A hot cup of tea.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Knitting Dreams

My SP12 spoiler asked for my thoughts about what I'm dying to knit -- a specific pattern, technique, etc. It's really an interesting and complicated question.

I never get as much time to knit as I'd wish, what with working more than full time, compulsively signing up for swaps, and trying to make new things for the Etsy shop. Not to mention the other aspects of real life... I love knitting -- I find it stimulating and relaxing at the same time. So my wish list seems to just get longer and longer and I don't have much time to get to it.

I also tend to do much of my knitting for gifts so that clouds the dreams a bit. But my family is usually happy to get whatever I give them...

Also, because I'm so busy, I tend to gravitate to simpler projects. They're easier to pick up and put down, and I can finish them pretty quickly. (I like to finish things because I have so many UFOs lying around right now!) But that doesn't mean that I only want to do quick and easy projects -- I'd love to do some larger, more complicated pieces as well.

In terms of patterns and project ideas:

  • I want to knit a sweater for Tommy. The last one I made for him was quite a few years ago when he was a little guy. Now that he's moved out (wah!) I don't have to worry about keeping it secret. He's interested in a Mrs. Weasley Christmas sweater, but I'm thinking about one that would be a bit more classic (while still young) in styling.
  • I'm working on a diet right now, and would love to make myself some sort of special sweater/jacket as a reward when I reach my goal. Right now I'm thinking about a 1950s style vintage trapeze/swing jacket, but I'll wait until I get close before I make a decision.
  • I'd also like to make some sort of intricate felted bag (see photo above)


  • I've been thinking about learning to knit cables for a long time. I thought it would be easier to take a class, but have never been able to find one that fits my schedule. My Summer of Yarn Love spoiler just sent me cable needles and a how-to book. I'm hoping to take them on vacation with me in a few weeks (one of my favorite places to knit).


Every day it seems like there are more and more gorgeous yarns available. I very much enjoy working with wool, but the softer or more out-of-the-ordinary natural fibers are the ones that really speak to me. I keep hearing about certain luxury fibers and would love to try anything like that. Especially if someone has experience with them and recommends them...

A few yarns I've heard about that I'd like to try someday:

  • Great Big Sea Silk (50% silk, 30% wool, 20% seacell)
  • There's lots of gorgeous hand-dyed yarn available nowadays. I bought a skein of Yarn Love's Marianne Dashwood for a swap partner recently. The colors were rich and complex and lovely. I'd like to try anything similar.
  • Any natural blends with cashmere and/or silk
  • I love gorgeous combinations of color! And, as much as I always list reds, sophisticated greens and blues as my favorites, I really like most colors. I'm not as interested in neons and blah pastels, but like pretty much everything else. I'd love some knock-your-socks-off-gorgeous colors...


  • I very much prefer to work with circular needles. I'm hoping for a set of Knit Picks Harmony circulars for my birthday, but would love one or two of their singular circulars.

Does that help?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Time for the winner!

And the winner is.....

Random Sequence Generator
Here is your sequence:
  • 20
  • 7
  • 3
  • 15
  • 18
  • 13
  • 19
  • 5
  • 8
  • 2
  • 9
  • 22
  • 21
  • 4
  • 10
  • 16
  • 14
  • 11
  • 17
  • 6
  • 1
  • 12

Timestamp: 2008-08-02 02:37:38 UTC

#20 - annasand22
Thanks to everyone who visited The Vintage Jewelry Box and took the time to comment! Now go buy something from her fabulous shop! :)

Friday Fill-In (#83)

Friday Fill-In. I haven't done any in a few weeks...

*If I could travel back in time, I'd go to the "random" button on the time machine -- I love surprises.

*I am listening to "Morning Edition" on NPR.

*Somewhere, someone is thinking "Yay, I get a day off" (and it's me!).

*I'll always be someone who must produce artful things with my hands.

*And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to Tommie & Cortney visiting for dinner, tomorrow my plans include working and a birthday party in the evening for my parents and Sunday, I want to relax!