Fly in Adventure!

This was our second trip up to Pickle Lake for some visiting and fishing.

We drove from Thunder Bay (which is along Lake Superior)  to Pickle Lake which is a 7 hour drive. Hwy 599 isn’t too bad though there are parts that are gravel and I’m not sure I’d want to be driving it late at night.

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After spending a night at the base camp visiting with our friends Dwight and Karen who own and run North of 51 Outposts

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We flew out in the morning to Bow Lake (Northstar Air)

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Thank you to Pam our great pilot (who is the same age as my eldest daughter..when did they start letting kids do all these jobs?)

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nice smooth landing! The gear on the dock belonged to the fellows who were leaving, ours was being unloaded. Our pilot Pam not only flies but loads and unloads the plane..though the guys pitched in.IMG_5435

then we were left on our own…..

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The second day we portaged through the bush to fish on the other side of the rapids, it was work carrying in everything we needed. (It made me think of some of the things you see on the Biggest Looser) But the fishing was great and well worth it, I think Erik would agree even after carrying our limit of walleye on a stringer through the bush! (thankfully there were no bears looking for easy pickings!)

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We had a great couple of days of fishing, and eating Pickerel aka Walleye.

well it finally arrived…..

Summer that is, even though August wasn’t much better than July we were able to make the most of it anyways.
I left off with fishing…
well August did see some quilting, some piecing this is the quilt in progress for a coworkers sister. Using the Clementine collection from Moda.
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I’ve also been working on my Block of the Months from Fat Quarter Shop, I do have to get busy with August’s block though before Septembers finds it’s way here.
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I’m really loving this quilt, though I have to admit it’s awfully hard for me to work inside during the summer. My day job is at a desk and when I can I much prefer to be outside in the summer.
One night we did a little target practice..a first for me and I somehow managed to hit 2 cans at once, twice!
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One weekend we drove down to the states and finally toured The Split Rock Lighthouse, it was spectacular. This picture is taken of Lake Superior from the Lighthouse.
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"Lighthouse Keeper"
a few shots in the Lighthouse keepers house:
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TGIF

Wouldn’t you think that since I only worked 3 days this week I wouldn’t have been so tired by Friday? It really felt like a full work week, anyways it it Friday!

So continuing on from my last post, this next shop has been my favorite ever since I discovered it about 5 or so years ago. She always carries many of my favorite fabrics and colours. Every time I’ve walked into this shop I truly feel like a kid in a candy shop. Erik new I’d be a while at this shop so he went for a walk and had a little rest in the van.

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It’s located in a little town called Castle Danger. I don’t know how many times we’ve driven by the State Park in Castle Danger, if you ever get the chance to drive the North Shore make sure you stop in to both the shop and the park.

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The cedar trees were amazing, the gnarled roots and twisted trunks fascinated me

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Moving along down the road we stopped in Grand Marais for some of Sven and Ollies Pizza
this is another little town that is well worth stopping by and visiting so many interesting little places to check out along with the beautiful scenery that surrounds Lake Superior
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We took our pizza and stopped on at a rest stop further down the road for a little picnic and stone skipping.

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Sunday

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I am not very good about labeling quilts but I’m trying to turn over a new leaf so for now on I won’t let a quilt leave me without a label. This one was very simple, I traced the circle portion of on of the BOM’s that I’m working on from Gail Pans site, that I showed in the previous posting to this one. But I really wish I would have had time to embroider it.

I meant to get more quilting done this weekend but between being really tired and having to get my taxes together and plans for today..well I might still get a couple of hours in tonight.

If there are any Canadians reading my blog you will know who Rick Mercier is. He’s a reported for the CBC and travels about and does “reports” pretty funny stuff. Anyways not very long ago he visited Thunder Bay to experience a few “local” things. Thunder Bay has a large Finnish population, so he visited The Hoito which has been one of my favorite places for years. The food is all homemade kinda old style and very yummy in the way only comfort foods can be. So he went there to learn the fine art of making Finnish Pancakes, we make our own here. And then he joined some fellows and went ice climbing which is something that I never ever plan to do myself and then finished that day off with a good old fashioned Sauna. I found the episode on you tube:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LydrNHC8a9E]

The weather was a bit chilly today with the wind but we still made it out for our hike, its a conservation area not far from Eriks and is a 4.5 km loop through the bush, so relaxing and a good workout as its very hilly. I took a few pictures to show that the snow is melting. There is another snow storm in the forcast for up to 10 cm, I ‘m really hoping thats wrong its supposed to be spring!!!

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A Sad Tale and My Quilting Update

We were going to take our usual Sunday afternoon hike today but first Erik wanted to show me something in the back of his property.

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He’s had a stand of Pine trees that he’s been really proud  of, they really are beautiful trees.

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Last week when he went back there he notice that almost all of them had been stripped of the bark which means they will all die.

While we were looking at the trees……look what else we saw

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Yep, thats the culprit. This porcupine has been a very busy critter. Its amazing how much damage such a small animal can do and so thourough too check out these branches:

even-the-branches-smallSome of the branches are so small you’d think it would have fallen out of the tree.

On a brighter note heres a shot I took from the back looking towards the house. I love the little playhouse.

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The wind was really bitter today so we skipped the long hike. I sure hope spring is planning to come soon.

On the quilting front I accomplished quite abit on the custom job on my machine, I still need a full day or so to complete it but its coming along. I’ve been spending alot more time piecing these days, I need to remember not to let life get so busy that I don’t make time for my domestic machine and making quilts.

rosy-checks-trimmed-blocksAll trimmed and ready to be sewn into a top

hello-betty1And my Hello Betty Quilt I have 44 half square triangles trimmed and another 44 to trim and another 88 to make…

This week will be a full one so hopefully I’ll still be able to tuck in some sewing for me time and get the customer quilt done and delivered.  I want to be able to do it all but with a full time day job its pretty challenging.

My oldest daughter will be home from Texas tomorrow night….and with her my order from Fat Quarter Shop, I’m very excited to see both of them.

Monday

I love the Christmas Wish BOM that I found at Gail Pan Designs I am going to make another block for the quilt but decided to make this one as a little valentines hanging for my little cubicle that I spend so much time in. It is bound and hanging, I used the pink version of the border fabric to bind it but didn’t get a picture of it before I took it to work.

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I thought it looked abit lonely so I also did this one. I have done any embroidery in years and I’d forgotten how relaxing I find it.

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This weekend I started cutting out My Rosie Checks Quilt kit that I picked up last weekend. I just love the colours and I’m itching to just get at this one and get it done but I’ll have to settle for a bit at a time a savor the journey. I have quilt jobs to do and that day job of mine really takes up alot of precious quilting hours. I am thankful for my job really I am I just wish I had a clone that I could sent there and put in the hours for me.

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We celebrated my daughters birthday at my parents over the weekend

img_2559-smallhmm is this really what 23 looks like?

img_2548-smallI’ve been meaning to share some pictures of some of my Dads work, he started carving when Sarah was born or shortly afterward and is incredibly talented, if I do say so myself 🙂 My mom has painted many of his pieces and one day I’ll share some pictures of her many talents.

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img_2564-small-2last year my Dad started carving whimsical houses. They are so cool and each one is different. His gift to the girls and I were our own collection each. 3 smaller ones to hang on our Christmas trees and one bigger one for display. These are some of the ones he as at their house.

He’s also carved many Father Christmas’ using trunks from Christmas trees waiting for the chipper. Great recycling eh?

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One more picture, from the hike Erik and I went on yesterday. We came across a couple of partriges sitting on tree branches just above the trail. They are really funny birds, usually when I’ve seen them they are standing on a country road and they don’t move out of the way, they’ll stand just like statues and I’ve seen cars go over them and they’re still standing where they were unfazed.

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One more thing I’d like to share is another blog that I’ve been visiting. It belongs to Nicole and even though I’ve never met her she’s been (being) a bad influence on me 🙂  I love her quilts and her fabric  and pattern choices…she is partly to “blame” for some of my recent shopping trips at fatquartershop.com.  There are of course many more blogs that I love and spend far too much time visiting and getting so many ideas that I may need another lifetime to try.

January

This week was the coldest so far this winter with Windchills in the -38 to -41C range. If you haven’t experienced those kind of temps  and you don’t have to I don’t recommend it 🙂 Around here life just continues on, you make sure to plug in your block heater at night so your car in my case van will start and you adjust your driving to the conditions. Oh and you make sure you’re dressed for the weather and keep extra things like blankets, winter gear and safety kit in your vehicle. The Coldsnap started on Monday, also the day my daughters boyfriend came up from Texas. He flew into Minneapolis and rented a SUV and drove up here I think at first he was pretty suprised at how cold it really does get up here but the kids sure made the most of their visit. They took some pretty cool pictures in the city and area so I thought I’d share some:

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Go0d Northerner Hat! These hats are superwarm and this one came from Egli’s Sheep Farm about 3 1/2 hours west of here.

Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant

This was taken right at the water front, there are summer shots of the Sleeping Giant as well as the Falls in earlier posts, I think the ice really makes the Falls look interesting.

Kakabeka Falls:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrtuqc8bNLA]

Kakabeka Falls winter 09
Kakabeka Falls winter 09

The Forestry industry has taken a big hit in the last few years leaving thousands unemployed in Northern Ontario. This picture is of Bowater which is still running but after considerable downsizing.

Paper Mill
Paper Mill

These next pictures are of what we all call the Cheese farm. Its always so worth visiting for the Gouda Cheese they make and I always add some “squeeky cheese” aka Cheese Curds to my purchase. They also carry Dutch Licorice which is one of my favorite candies. The kids did bring me some home but I can’t take a picture of it now 🙂

Thunder Oak Cheese Farm
Thunder Oak Cheese Farm

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I used to walk by this place alot its about a mile from here down an old country road. I like to think that many years ago a young couple built this place and raised their family and lived out their years. Its been deserted for I don’t know how long now, in the summer the lilac bush in the front is always in full bloom, the lady probably planted it and at one time took great pride in how her place looked.

Old homestead
Old homestead

The barn I’m sure has seen much better days, It sure has character now. The oil tank is still by the house, at one time it would have been heated with oil.

homesteads barn
homesteads Barn

On the quilting front, its been a busy month at work and trying to keep up with quilt jobs. I finished up this blue quilt, its a king size that the piecer wanted free hand quilted with an overall pattern and her embroidered blocks SID’d and simple quilting to tack the blocks down.

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This one was very fun to quilt with lots of free hand.

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Sunday’s Backyard Safari

Backyard Safari
Backyard Safari

No hike this weekend, the flu bug that’s going around has really been zapping energy, hopefully next weekend it will have taken a hike 🙂

I finished the borders on the baby quilt I worked on last week and hopefully I’ll squeeze this little quilt in soon and send it off to its new owner. I’m still trying to decide how I want to secure the eyes and mouth on the bugs, the pattern used buttons but I want it safe for a child so I fused fabric on but it will need to be secured.

I’m looking for a book that I used to read to my girls to send off with it. The ladybugs in the border reminded me of a story my girls used to have me read over and over, each page had a ladybug hiding and the last line would say ladybug lady bug where are you and the girls would all race to find it 🙂 sometimes I sure miss those cuddly fun days.

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I also have fabric leftover so I think I’ll put a little bookbag together too.

I also put put the binding on a valentines quilt thats been waiting, I knew I’d have it ready for Feb 14th eventually and looks like this years the year!

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I’ll share a picture of the whole quilt when its finished.  This quilt was one of the Moda University quilts that I did for a while when I first had my longarm and before I went back to work full time. I wanted quilts that I could practice my quilting on and my plan was that I would try to sell them after I used them as sample of my work. But with 4 daughters who all love quilts they have all found loving owners. I’m thinking I’ll keep this one though.

One of the Moda kits that I haven’t done yet (I have 2) used Aunt Purdy’s Parlor collection. I just didn’t care for the pattern and I’ve been trying to decide how to use it. I really like the collection, any ideas? It will have to be a scrappy quilt but those are my favorites. The fabric reminds me of aprons.

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Although I didn’t make any New Years Resolutions, I have set a few goals for myself. One is that I work harder on my fitness goals, so far so good I’ve been using my eliptical trainer all month only missing two days because I was ill. Another goal is to finish up some of my UFO’s (true quilter goal I know) I also want to make a few new quilts as gifts this year along with keeping up with my customer quilting so……another of my goals is to oraganize my time more efficiently since I really can’t give up sleep or my day job.

Oh and one last goal, I’m hoping to stay on top of my blogging entries 🙂

Happy New Year

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Perfect day for a hike!

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

breaking trail
breaking trail

I’m not sure what happened to fall but it sure sped by and got away on us and suddenly it was Christmas.  Two of our girls came home for the holidays and it sure was great to have all the girls together.

We have tons of snow this winter and have a beautiful snowfall yesterday and overnight we ventured out to do one of my favorite hikes. We were first on the trail today and in most places the snow was up to or close to the top of our boots. (great workout) it was so pretty in the woods and for a good part of the hike we followed the path of some kind of wildlife we never did decide what it might have been though Erik suspected a wolf, I’m just glad we didn’t meet it on the trail.

Erik checking out the tracks, where the animal turned around.
Erik checking out the tracks, where the animal turned around.
the bench is always a much welcome site, its about half way.
the bench is always a much welcome site, its about half way.

While having a little rest a group of 10 on show shoes came and passed by. Before long though we passed them and once again were in our winter wonderland. What a peaceful hike!

Oh and guess what I got for Christmas!!!!

ugly-stickI can’t wait to try it out, but wait I will