Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Old Squaw and Red Star

I spotted this awesome duck in the Thames River on my way to work last week! It dove under water for a bit and I grabbed my camera out of my knapsack (I always carry my camera with me) and waited for it to re-emerge. Unfortunately I don't have the strongest zoom and this was the best shot I got. I had never seen a duck like this before. I went home and tried to find it in my bird book (Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Birds), the closest that I could find was the Old Squaw Duck (re-named Long Tailed Duck) but this bird is in its winter plumage and the photo in the book was not, but the description was pretty accurate, but the range is Northern Canada and the Arctic tundra! Does this bird come this far south? I emailed the London Free Press wildlife columnist, who passed me on to someone at the McIlwraith Naturalist Society and he confirmed my identification and said it does come this far south in the winter, but not often spotted in London. Isn't that so cool? I feel so lucky that I saw such a rare sight.
And in quilting news... I finished my Red Star top. Welcome new UFO! May you be finished sometime this year!ha! I have also started handquilting 9 Lives and more piecing on my secret project.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Minus 20 Degrees Celcius! with a windchill of minus 30!

It is so cold outside!!!aaaaaaaaaagh! unfreakingbelieveable!
I feel like I am wearing 20 lbs of extra clothing!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cats will find the most inconvenient spot to take a nap, won't they?

(that's hubby trying to straighten his back) That Suske, she's a big girl, isn't she? Of course, hubby lost 20 lbs in the last year, I think Suske found them!

I finished my Dutch Cathedral Window Sampler pillow:

Here's a new project on my design wall, Red Star:

and a few more blocks on the way!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

And to think that it happened on Becher Street!

Photo by Derek Ruttan from Sun Media

The above photo was the front page photo of the London Free Press on December 24th. It is a stained glass made by Ted Gooden of a hill at the end of my street that we called Lawyer's Hill. We called it that because at the top of the hill there is an old apartment building with lawyers' offices on the main floor. In this piece you can see the footbridge I cross every day on my way to work. ( I wish I owned this piece but it is someone's private collection) My house on this street used to be a Montessori School, at which I taught for 5 years. One of my students was Ted's daughter. At lunch time, in the winter, we would take the children to the hill and they would slide down the hill in their snowpants; they didn't even need a toboggan. It was great fun for the kids! Ted is a renowned stained glass artist in London and still has a studio on an adjacent street.

Here is what Lawyer's Hill looked like this winter so far...from snowy to floody, to frozen but dry!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Christmas decorations

Above is a table runner I designed and made for my mom for Christmas a few years ago. I never had a photo of it until now.

Below is a Gift Card Stockings wallhanging I designed and made for my sister-in-law and her family this year. I knew I was sending gift cards but I needed to give it some oomph. I added some stuffing into the bottom of the stockings so that the gift cards don't fall too far down.