Public Boat Docks in Seeley's Bay

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An At Home Day

We decided to have a nice day at home today, after the last few days of visiting the thrift shops and after shopping for fabrics once again yesterday it is time to unwind and use the whole day to relax with the most favorite of pastimes, piecing a quilt top or gabbing and drinking lots of cups of coffee.  Having already broken my resolution not to buy anymore fabrics I can only say I am enjoying this vacation even more because Els also bought but a few less pieces of fabric than I and like me and thousands of other quilters, she is the same as us, not really needy in the need for fabric and by all rights we should be pulling from our stash. Yeah, right, take a quilter to a local quilt shop and you know they won't leave without at the barest minimum at least a yard (or in my case a meter) of fabric!
Els also needs some of those terry towel hand towels I make with the crocheted tops so I think today is an excellent day to begin this project as well.  
Once again I bought more fabrics!  Yesterday while accompanying Els' daughter who needed more wool to make her second funky monkey (this one is the first she has ever knit) 
 and wouldn't you know it, this shop not only sells wool, but fabrics, and other forms of craft supplies.  Eeeek more fabric to carry home, this one fabric is absolutely a very interesting fabric for backing with bicycles all over it, yes!  Something I know for certain I could not purchase on the other side of the ocean and at $2.95 Euro's per meter it was an absolute steal! In imperial measure it is 114" wide and I bought 3 meters of it, good deal!

Needless to say Tijmen also accompanied us on our shopping expedition and in a super thrift shop we found a special truck just right for him.  After a few hours a drive to a camp ground facility where goats are the main attraction and anything goat related such as cheese, milk, yogurt and other products derived from goats Tijmen had to show me where they lived, (they had camped here this past summer) the spot which he and his mum and dad picked to set their caravan while on vacation.  He ran and played, rode the tiny peddle cars and showed me just how he used the slide a number of times.  He loves the idea of sliding from a place away  up high and plummeting down to earth again, we also had a nice drink of coffee and visits with the goats as well as a mummy goat and her little kids, finally convinced by rain we climbed back into the car and began making out way home.  On the road home we were met by this woman, isn't she great?  Again all designed and made using flowers, chrysanthemums actually and Tijmen made sure I took some photos of her for myself as well as for him.
Brewing up something distasteful I bet!  Another float left
The roads people used to use as the main avenues of getting from place to place are now not used as much as the larger highways which cut through The Netherlands, and these roads are very narrow, which sometimes (not always) but sometimes scares the bejiminnies out of me.  There are those moments when you must share the road with a much larger vehicle than the ordinary car and it never ceases to amaze me that drivers just make for the side of the road until the larger vehicle passes and onwards they proceed.  I took a few shots while the car was passing and this is the little windmill that Tijmen pointed out to me, see the tiny roads?

I think by now you get the picture, tiny roads canopied by tall trees which are very very old surrounded by centuries old woods, how simply fantastic is this?  I just had to take this picture before reaching home, poor little darling wore himself right out and just couldn't hold off the sandman any longer.
Thank you for stopping by and allowing me to share my vacation with you, here is hoping you will return again tomorrow.  Let us see how much Els and I might accomplish today without really pushing it? 
Why not visit with me again tomorrow to see just how we spent our day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stash Gathering

Now I know I promised myself to pull fabrics from my stash alone,  and not  buy any more fabrics!  Well that resolution isn't working too well, so help me, I really have been trying, but my addiction has got the better of me.  At any given moment Els and I can find ourselves on our way to a new and exciting adventure and that is exactly what we found ourselves doing last Friday and you know there has to be a quilt shop in that scenario.  After lunch we decided to leave the house behind and drive somewhere, that somewhere happened to be Rouveen, a Village in the eastern part of Holland and right next door to world famous Staphorst, and it is there in Rouveen where you will find the "World Famous" and possibly one of the oldest Dutch Textile shops in this part of the country. STEGMAN'S TEXTIEL is a magic place where old and new survive together very well. 
the Senior Owner

Notions and more Notions

Wool, yarns, cross stitch, embroidery section

Any and all kinds of trim

Thread any color you might want or need
I had wanted to ask the owners about the date that the shop first opened and how had it evolved from its possible humble beginnings to the fame it now enjoys among the many who frequent the store.  The stock of very old fabrics with a cultural history to them to the latest designer fabrics for clothing and or for quilting can be found within these walls.  I asked if they would allow me to be locked in overnight but all I got as an answer was a thoughtful smile.  I am certain they thought me a bit weird.
Now you and I both know there is no way a quilter can enter a shop where bolts of quilters cotton can be found and not buy something!
Hanging in the middle of the store was a small quilt, a sample so to speak,  a Log Cabin with various red white and blue "old fashioned reproduction fabrics. This picture doesn't really do it justice because my batteries ran out of juice and I couldn't take anther. It was simple but striking.   I simply had to buy like fabrics so that I too can make a quilt like this for myself. 
Tiled novelty fabric with red white and blue repo's
I bought enough of a variety as well as the novelty dutch tile fabric to make myself a similar little quilt, and look at the bootie I came away with!

Hoping your enjoying my stay here at home in Holland as much as I am and tomorrow I am off to another quilt store, at this rate I may end up with quite the empty wallet before returning home to Canada, but there are a lot of SALES happening just now, and I am taking advantage to be sure.

Thank you so much for your visit today, do stop by again tomorrow to read about what mischief I get into.  Have a MARVELOUS  day today, and please remember your comments are welcome. If you have a question about anything Dutch please ask and if I don't know the answer I will gladly hunt for one.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet The New Man in My Life

His name is Tijmen (pronounced Tie Man), he is blonde, with big gorgeous brown eyes, he is very interesting to listen to, he is patient, conducts garden tours as well as Windmill tours with alot of energy and gusto.   I was invited to share his Birthday celebration last Saturday.  In Holland the Birthday person throws the party and family and friends are invited to share in the celebrations with great things to eat and drink. Seeing as it was Tijmens' birthday I was asked if I wished to go along to his house and join in with others and help him celebrate his special birth day. Tijmen  was waiting just outside the house when we drove up and we were introduced to one another.  This gentleman and I bonded immediately, and when he gave me a kiss, I knew immediately I was falling head over heels in love.  So, without further adieu, ladies, meet Tijmen!

Next to my own grandson, this is definitely the man of the hour. He has turned the BIG 4, an important birthday to be certain. Meaning he begins school next week, a huge step in a mans' life!  School and the beginning of many adventures as well as the trials and tribulations of life.  we bonded immediataely and not only did we celebrate this monumental event in his life, but he became my private tour guide around the Zaanse Schans not but a few moments ride from where Tijmen lives.  It was an absolutely fantastic weather day, intermittent rain, but after the rain the sun decided to come out and play with us.  This little man asked me many questions about some of those old windmills (which I had no answers for) and when I was not able to answer to his satisfaction he was able to provide the information. 
waiting for me to catch up!
His friends, the neighborhood ducks
This little boy dispenses patience for little old ladies such as myself far beyond his newly acquired 4 years that is simply amazing but he had so much to show me about his windmills and while he waited he decided to visit with his friends the neighborhood ducks..
My new friend is so interested in his surroundings and has the makings of an Archiologist.
Guess who came to dinner?
Tijmen and his mum came for a visit and here he is enjoying his dessert.  After the serious rain storm of yesterday Tijmen saw a special event, a wonderful very large Rainbow, which he decided needed documenting so here is Tijmens' Rainbow, isn't it beautiful?

After a full and happy day this little fellow was ready for bed as you can see 

so off to bed for this little man.  Surprise is, I will see him again next week when his mum escorts us to a quilt shop whose owner is selling off all of her quilt fabrics and notions and want only to have a wool shop instead of quilting related articles.  YAHOO, my wallet and I are so ready and already I have a request for something quilt related, seriously I have an order so I need more fabric than what I brought with me.
Thanks for stopping by today, remember no matter where you are in this wide and wonderful world have a wonderful day and remember comments are always welcomed.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 4 The Hives and Marin in Varsseveld

Morning all, I am so behind in my posts, no excuses really other than I seem to have developed some type of reaction to something.  At first we thought that these were mosquito bites, but every hour or so I come a cropper with more new skin eruptions.  Now the process of elimination begins.   I suspect that it may be the coffee, and I drink a lot of coffee here, which is much stronger than my normal instant coffee from back home.  Even though I drink a lot of coffee at home it isn't strong like this is (this coffee is yummy) but I really think it may be just too strong for my system.  Let us hope it is the coffee and not something else.  Anyway the process of eliminating anything remotely different that what I normally eat or drink in Canada begins. 
These hives are driving me absolutely around the bend and I haven't a moments rest from scratching.  Have you ever had such a reaction to food or drink?
Then there is the sheer pleasure of once again being in the company of my dearest friend which has left me little time for posting because if were aren't tearing up over something we are giggling like two unruly teens at just how very similar we are and the total pleasure of our memories. 
For instance the other night we were sitting in front of the television with the Wii and attempting to fly this tiny airplane through a tunnel, when my friend finally made it through that tunnel after untold attempts we were screaming with sheer abandon over her accomplishment, so much so that we brought Frank all the way from the other end of the house to see what might be making us scream so loudly.  Just one tiny event but oh so memorable and so very much  fun!
Els took me to a local quilt shop, and when I say little, I mean TINY!
This little quilt shop close to here in the small village of Varsseveld (not far from the house) is named MARIN, after the owner.  What a lovely little shop this is, of course I didn't have my camera with me, but I promise next trip to take my camera.
The shop is so tiny you just can't imagine from the outside of this house, the amount of notions, as well as a large variety of batting and 100's of bolts of fabric could be so neatly arranged and organized within just two tiny rooms of that house, with living quarters in back and upstairs. The  classes and workshops are conducted in a tiny outbuilding behind the shop.    
Needless to say that turning any quilter lose inside a very interesting and well stocked quilt shop will see that quilter finding something of interest to purchase.   I found an interesting panel and a tone on tone black fabric from Marcus Fabrics and when I left the shop I left as a happy quilter.  It is amazing how very much could be crammed into such a tiny space and still not make you feel claustrophobic. 
This is all for the moment, thanks for stopping by and putting up with my chatter, later we are off to visit a thrift shop, what I see there is anyones' guess, but I am looking forward to seeing what differences, if any, there are in the thrift stores here and the thrift stores I frequent at home.
Have yourselves a perfectly wonderful day no matter where you might be and please come back for more tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hello From Holland Days 2 and 3

It's good morning from me here in Holland, actually from Westendorp, in Gelderland!  Holland like Canada is sectioned into Provinces and "Gelderland" is a province and Westendorp is the town in which my girlfriend Els happens to be living.
I really thought I could just blog each and every day but until now as you all know this hasn't happened.  Why, well, first jet lag, then shopping for a pair of crocs!  Yes, shopping for a pair of crocs, because I foolishly left mine at home thinking that crocs could be found just about anywhere here, but not so! Nope, and crocs are what my feet crave for, my little fat feet crave comfort. 
There have been hours of talking, hours of tears and hours of silly loud laugher and lots of hugs beween Els and me.  We have 16 years to make up for and 54 years of memories stored up in our hearts.
So, what did I do on day 2, well, actually not very much, learned how to use the new fangled coffee maker (but it is just like having a cappuccino)  and how to make 2% non fat milk look like whipped cream.  I forgot to take a picture of this but will do so next post, then I allowed myself to shed that travel jet lag  feeling.Els told me about each year all of the villages in Holland have a Volks Daag (a type of village festival) or painted post billboards are made and decorate both sides of the street and certain sections of the town have a different type of decoration.  I took lots of pictures to share and here are but one or two showing you what it is I am attempting to describe for you.  This weekend there were several towns celebrating and in one there was a huge parade with all of the floats being constructed with flowers. Els and I had our supper and then took off to see some of the floats and here below you will see but a few of these floats which had not yet been dismantled.
I believe you get my meaning!
The following pictures are of those beautifully floral crafted floats.
There are a few other floats which I will share at another time.  Are these not amazing.  No doubt with fall approaching there will be many more such festivals and more floats which if I am lucky to see will also be shared with you.  
It is from this mill that the flour in the bread I am eating was ground.  This is a fully restored functioning flour mill.  It was closed at the time we were near it but I may have looked inside but no more can I climb its height as my arthritis simply won't allow me the physicality of climbing those tall slim ladder steps.  I am off to make a short bed inspection, seems my eyes want to continue closing and it really is best if i once again return my head to its pillow.
Tomorrow the quilt shop and more. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hello From Holland

Hello From Holland!!

 -DAY 1

The bus was on time and let those passengers travelling from the various terminals out of Pearson International airport right at the front door leading into all of the departure terminals. 

My darling son managed a few hours and met with me at the airport between jobs, and he more than likely won't be too cross with me for showing you a picture of a working son who interrupted a job to see his mum off on her lengthy vacation.  He is a fine son and a fantastic husband and step dad to my daughter-in-laws children, did I tell you I just love my new family?
I made it!  How I survived a teensy tiny seating arrangement and a bulk head seat that isn't a bulk head seat and not being able to turn or leave my seat was beyond me!  I was imprisoned in a seat that was so tight (I weigh 179 and my hulk isn't a huge bulk"  yet that seat was tight!  Once I got me seat belt fastened there I remained until landing!  Mt seat mates were two long legged 6'+ men and I just couldn't find it in me to try climbing over them and so I remained in my seat!  Disappointment turned into anger for awhile but there was absolutely no way I could change my seat because the plane was totally filled to its capacity, cramped tight seats, stewardess' that ignored me until I pointed out the additional travel package I had purchased to give me better seating, a meal choice, and some additional extras!  She wasn't nice and unfortunately and left me with the feeling she didn't like me and I discovered I didn't like her all that much either. All part of my vacation adventure.
Hopefully I may make some changes before having to fly home under the same conditions, that simply will not do for me as the costs for the additional seat choice and meal package over and above the cost of my flight was not cheap!
I realize this image is an advertisement, but when you look at that person at the left this is exactly what I mean about the cramped seating arrangements, nothing near the picture on your right!
My country has changed and one of the first and major of those changes is the interconnected highway system.  When first my friends drove from the airport the change wasn't that noticeable, however not 20 minutes away from the airport and I began to mark those changes in the highways or as I call them spaghetti string highways and these you can just about find around any country in he western world now.  I remember the days when there were those small roadways, nothing is compared to what you can drive on today - if you have seen the 400 series in Ontario, then you have seen what it looks like here in Holland now.  
All in all this too has become a part of my vacation and will be added to the excitement of being back in my native land.  
I landed early morning in Holland and by supper time the obvious question arose, saying with a real smile and a twinkle in her eye, my girlfriend wanted to know what it was I might like to have for my supper?  My answer burst forth patat and a kroket.  Off we went to get my treat!  IT was so good!!  You can keep your gourmet food and plated beauties, just lead me to the place where I could get my taste buds treated and this is exactly what I had!  The following pictures really are true to what it was that I ordered and ate for my first nights supper in Holland. 
If you have never tried this food I am here to tell you to give it a try.Mmmmmmmmm Good!!!

 Enough for the first day, I promise to catch you up.
I am so very happy that you have come back for a visit and will be sharing my vacation with me.  If you have a question or a comment please leave it for me and I will answer as quickly as I can.
I am having such a wonderful day today and I wish the same for you and yours.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It's here, it's here, the final day of waiting until I leave very early in the morning!  MY wait is over, hurry up tomorrow and slow down the clock for the next 2 months...puleeeeese?
Picture this:
A van with two suitcases, two women, and a sketchy budget!!!  Back in the very early 1990's, my best friend and I journeyed from Ontario down through the United States heading for Pennsylvania, Amish Quilt Country (at least that is how it was referred to at that time). 
My friend traveled from Holland to Canada landing at Pearson International airport in Toronto    
two days later we were on the road, for us, this trip was a trip of out lifetime.  In those days, neither had a computer, so snail mail flew back and forth.  She had just become addicted to "patchwork" and scoured her library for books on the basics of quilting, which she did, but by hand.  Somehow she convinced me that I too needed a hobby and that is when and where my addiction to quilting began. 
We had six weeks of sheer pleasure, no office, no husbands, no children, really no responsibilities. 

Getting to Pennsylvania was such fun, along the smaller highways and byways whenever I passed a farmer I would shout and wave a HELLO.  The first two hello's she asked me "who was that? "  I would say, "a farmer"!  "Yes" she said, "but what is his name?" I replied, "I don't know" "I just wanted to say hello".  
Poor farmer, he must have thought we were someone he should have known. 
We had a ball, we ate too much at the Amish eating houses, visited as many quilt shops and farm quilters homes as we could, searched all of the byways for those out of the way Amish quilters who allowed the public to visit and shop at their farms and bought way too much fabric.  This is where we were introduced to Miller's
wow, our eyeballs bulged the whole time we were in there and our piggy banks took a good beating..
Miller's was and I bet still is a place to visit, especially if your so very new to the quilting hobby and you want to experience some of the Amish style eating places which Miller's clerks can direct you to!!  It was through Miller's we got reservations to many eating establishments, the one we remember the most was the one called "Good and Plenty"
 what sheer eating pleasure that was.  Mmmm  Visit Miller's web site, you will find everything you can want in AMISH QUILT COUNTRY.
We bought far too many pieces of fabrics, so much so that her fabrics could not all be taken home with her as it would put her into major overweight and boy was overweight ever expensive in those days!  Luckily friends and family were traveling to Holland that year and the fabrics were farmed out to the various travelers and eventually found their way to Holland and my friends stash.
We laughed and laughed that whole journey and the memories we made together on that trip are all alive and well today!
Now at that time we'd both been married 25 years by the time we took that trip, but we let loose the responsibilities of family and work and just had a fantastic great time.
Here I am in 2011 and I am so ready for this journey to begin and come 4:30 tomorrow morning I will be up, have had my first cup of coffee, washed, dressed and sitting on my suitcase on the veranda waiting for my brother to pick me up and get my vacation started, after all, I only have two months!!!!  LOL
I have lived with my lists for so long that everything that made it into my case was supposed to be included and well, everything else will remain left behind.  No shampoos,conditions,moisturizers,hand creams or hair equipment of any kind is included among the things in my case, anything I need, I can buy there..  What my case is crammed with are things my friend cannot get there.  Local quilt shops are not as plentiful as in North America and I decided to take a whole ream of things for her to have. 
Thank goodness I bought a special package with my airlines to allow me some extra weight allowances.  This suitcase of mine is so close to my allowance weight and if I had to carry it, I simply wouldn't have the strength to do it. (I just know the look my brother is going to throw my way when he tries to pick up that suitcase and place it into the trunk of his car)!!!!  He is going to lecture me big time, I just know it!!!  LOL 
I have my quilted luggage tags securely attached, strips of the brightest and prettiest blue fabric I could find in my stash neatly tied to the handle of my red suitcase, to make it stand out when it rolls around on the luggage carousel at Schipol Airport.   I locked it using only those interlocking twist ties that you have to cut to get off (better than a lock needing a key to open it) and it is already down stairs. Thank goodness it had wheels or I'd have killed myself getting it down a flight of stairs for sure.
Like I said, I am so ready for this, and hope I will not bore you as I post throughout my time away from my home here in Canada.  
I realize I have written an even longer post today than on some other occasions, but, as stated somewhere in another post, I love to share and who better than you to share it all with.
Thank you for allowing me to share some good memories with you and to begin making new memories this year, and no matter where in this wonderful world we live in, have a simply marvelous day and remember, if you feel like passing a comment, please do, I would love to get to know you  better.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Busy But Getting There

I realize I didn't post yesterday but I was busy!  The first thing I did though was to go and have a pedicure and a manicure.  Ohhhhhhhh the luxury of it, two hours of sheer bliss and relaxation.  How very good my feet and hands felt after coming away from there.  
Where I live there is no pick up for garbage.  Meaning we take it to the dump ourselves, together with the recycling.  That is what I did this morning, and this afternoon I drove to my fellow Lions Club members trailer and we sat and wrote out the envelopes for 100 special Invitations to all of the various clubs and dignitaries of our District. 
This year marks the 30th anniversary of our Lions Club and we decided to celebrate in a rather BIG way.  Since the mission statement of the International Lions Foundation is "PLANT A TREE" this is what we will be using as our main theme as well as how we will be gifting our guests and asking them to please plant a tree.   My friend and fellow club member Marg offered to help put the plans I drew up into action while I am away enjoying myself these next two months.  THIS lady is phenomenal!   She arranged for the printing of the invitations, she printed out the menu, she printed off the mission statement with all of the stickers to go with that statement and even found some one to donate the trees.  How special is that?  Our club is so lucky to have this lady as a member.   Thank you Marg. 
The least I can do before I leave is to at least help address and stuff those envelopes, so, that is what I did this afternoon.  Look, here is Marg hard at work writing. 100 Invitations addressed and ready to be mailed this coming Monday morning.  It was so pleasant sitting outside and it really made our job not too bad at all.
Lists and more lists
 After arriving back home from Margs' I decided to make another set of seat belt covers.  This makes 4 completed sets so far with another three planned and then each adult at home with a car has a set for their vehicles.   These really make a nice little quilted gift to give and take hardly any fabric to make up and little or no space taken up in my suitcase either. 
What do you think of these???

Seeing as I haven't been home in over 16 years I am loaded with quilted things for everyone.  This makes me happy.
Only 4 more sleeps and then I leave here very early in the morning and head out making my way to Toronto and the airport.  
Tonight I believe it is time to give my tired and excited self a rest so a good book should help me get into the sleepy-eye state.
Thank you for stopping by to share whatever it is I had to share with you and no matter where in this wonderful world you are living in, may you have a wonderful weekend no matter what it is your working at. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Last Minute Quilted Gifts

Good Morning Everyone

6 days left and I will officially be on vacation!  WHOOPPEE
Since everything I wished to make in the quilt line has been finished and is already packed into my baggage, I confess on reflection I discovered I need a few more pieces of quilted items to take along, I thought of the babies, the toddlers and my two friends, but forgot about the spouses.  No way under the stars will I have time for another quilt, nor do I have room to take another thing, but, if I make quilted seat belt covers for their vehicles I could squeeze those in somewhere.  Sew seatbelt covers is what I will make.
Have you ever made them?  These are so easy to make and can be done in no time at all.  This morning I began digging through my stash to find "male" type novelty fabrics, found some with soccer balls and some with ice hockey type graphics on them, so these will do. Thank heavens the additional plan I purchased with my ticket allows me extra weight but then these little items don't take up any room at all nor do they weigh anything much.  
I am off to get my hair cut this morning, pedicure and manicure tomorrow and eye specialists on Monday, other than that I am so ready to fly the coop. 
My youngest brother surprised our mother with a trip while I am away.  He and my sweet sister-in-law are taking my mother and her mother on a Scenic Train trip across Canada heading for Vancouver. 

 This is a once in a lifetime journey as the scenery is such splendor.  

They will once arriving in Vancouver drive from there to Banff National Park where they will hook up with my nephew who will give them a wonderful tour of Lake Louise and experience the wonderous Rockies and the night sky

 and then they will drive into Calgary and fly home here to Ottawa.  What a neat surprise for the two mothers.
\i would say my mother won't be missing me too much what with this trip ahead to look forward to.  They will each have their own little room which is comfortable and get themselves a good night sleep being gently rocked into slumber and it sounds quite like a jewel of a trip. 
Thank you for stopping by this morning, I sincerely wish you a wonderful day today and hope you will stop by tomorrow, then I will have pictures of my seat belt covers to share with you.  A comment is always welcome, so if you have something to say, please leave a comment.