Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cocktail time!

We sat out on the deck last night, enjoying Mojitos that Pete had made.  The view of our back garden is lovely.  I should explain, to give you a sense of perspective, that we live in a raised bungalow, which means that the deck is not quite a full storey high, but it is possible for Pete who is 6' to stand underneath it.

We have 3 acres, approximately 2 acres of which are woods, there is even a stream which I'll show you another day.  With the huge trees opening to a large area it reminds me of a watering hole I saw in Kenya (1st marriage honeymoon 29 years ago - shudder.  For no other reason than it was 29 years ago!)  However, the way my mind works, its not sufficient that a deer or coyote might appear, because they have, we have had bear sightings on our road too!  No, my expectation is that dinosaurs will crash through the woods into the clearing.  The Quaking Aspen trees look like lollipop trees to me, and are ginormous, so I can just imagine a Brontosaurus grazing those delicate top leaves.  I wish I knew how to photoshop because I'd love to insert a photo here to illustrate that!

Pete made the Mojitos from a recipe in the LCBOs Food and Drink Summer 2013 magazine. 
4 lime wedges (1/2 a lime) in a highball glass.  Add 1/2oz sugar syrup and 10 torn mint leaves.  Use the end of a wooden spoon to muddle (bruise not mash).  Fill the glass with ice and add 1 1/2oz white Rum.  Add  more ice and stir to mix.  Top with a splash of soda then retire to your happy place to enjoy.
For the sugar syrup combine equal parts boiling water and white sugar.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Cover and refrigerate until required.
There is a cocktail called a Grasshopper, but in this instance I managed to snap a picture of a real grasshopper when it leapt onto the window in front of my stitchy chair.  Isn't he cute!

Last time I mentioned I was going to work on a Siamese cat.  Here she is in progress.  I haven't done the facial features or fur shading yet, but on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd I shall be at the Bloomfield Town Hall (Prince Edward County, ON)  for an Artists Showcase.  10am to 4pm both days, so I think beautifying this lady will be a good project to be able to demonstrate, so much more interesting than sewing seams.

Have a happy day!

Monday, 29 July 2013

I'd like to introduce my latest felt softie creation: Tyrone the T-Rex.
Isn't he cute!
I love his teeth, they are a pale green colour.  I had to tweak him a couple of times to make him stand erect and to make sure his handsome features looked right, I'm really pleased with how he has turned out.
It is my intention to set up a shop on Etsy, but until that is established, if anyone is interested in Tyrone or any of my other creations please let me know. 
A friend has asked me to make a Siamese cat for her so that is my next project.
When I sit and stitch I listen to audio books, how's that for multi-tasking?  I have decided that I should really add some classics into my listening list.  Don't get me wrong I can't quote The Illiad or Chekov, but as a captive audience it seems appropriate to expand beyond romantic suspense, mystery and historical genres.  So, I've just  finished Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens.  One thing I found particularly interesting is that his audience had to wait 19 months to finish the book as it was published in parts.  Our modern society with it's need for instant gratification would find this incomprehensible.
The book is enjoyable to listen to, however I could not accept the docility with which Bella accepted that her husband and friends had perpetuated a myth because they felt she was spoilt.
 I love words and am fascinated by their derivation.   Last night we were watching a documentary about Althorp, the home of the Spencer family (English aristocracy).  In the old hall Earl Spencer pointed out the sculpted heads amongst the ceiling beams.  He said that it was because of them that the term "eavesdropper" came into being, as it was felt that they could overhear conversation perched in the eaves as they are.
Well my friends, have a happy day!

Friday, 26 July 2013

I love Ontario Strawberries!

I had a lovely day yesterday.  I went with my friends Miss Bev and Brenda to visit Kingston.  We had a pleasurable stroll up Princess Street poking into numerous shops, followed by lunch at the Golden Penny.  Then tottered back down the other side of the street.  We then purchased some of the fresh produce available at the outdoor market.  There was plenty to choose from; fingerling potatoes, French beans, peaches, raspberries, blueberries both cultivated and wild, zucchini the size of marrows, and some beautiful strawberries.  It is late for Ontario strawberries, the local ones have such a glorious intensity of flavour, and I couldn't resist getting a punnet to enjoy.  Yum yum.  Baked goods including huge butter tarts and chocolate brownies were also available, I'd like to show you a photo of them, but unfortunately not a crumb remains.  My final purchase:
some lovely hand-spun Shetland yarn.  I'm not sure the photo does it credit.  Now, the next question is what to make with it?  I'm working on a new pattern at the moment so it may be a couple of days before I move on to the next project.  In the meantime, the yarn will go into my office with my roving for needlefelting projects, for now I'll use any quiet moments to mull over how best to utilise it.
I completed another hippo.  Not sure this one is quite as happy as the first hippo.
Have a happy day!


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What is in a name?

As my blog and the new baby Prince were born on the same day, I got to thinking about names. 

When my sister was in labour with her first child "True Grit" was on the TV.  She and her husband debated calling the baby, if he were a boy, after John Wayne's character.  I was always a little disappointed that he has gone through his life with the name of Michael not Rooster.

My blog is named after my grandmothers.
On the left is my Nanny Johnson, Letitia, who was know as Hetty and Letty, also Het, Let and Johnnie.
On the right is my Nanny Gunning, Jean, whose actual Christian name was Jane.
So, in naming my blog I wanted to pay tribute to these two wonderful ladies who actually had the patience to try to teach my to knit, and let me create stitches with brightly coloured wool on dishcloths.
The beautiful lady on my Dad's arm is my Mum. She worked for Norman Hartnell, designer to the Queen (as opposed to William who played Doctor Who - I had to check because I always get them mixed up), and has been a talented seamstress, knitter and crafter.  She made porcelain dolls and embroidered and painted.  Sadly she has macular degeneration and is unable to craft any more,  but she still knits squares for blankets.  She is my inspiration.  Her name is Jean, so the name I chose seemed doubly significant.
I'd also like to introduce you to lovely Shih Tzu.  We got her from the OSPCA.  Her name was Scambles Bee, which apparently means little dog that looks like a mop - I have no idea what language.  Anyway, it seemed a bit of a mouthful to me, so she was renamed Bea, and she is a delight. 
She is sometimes referred to as the "6 thousand dollar dog".  Two and a half years ago she had to have back surgery, which thankfully was very successful, and that was the cost.  As she recovered it was necessary to cover her scar, the area around which had been shaved.  It was December after all.  So I started to re-work some little girl's sweaters I bought from the local thrift shops.

I do think she should have leather with this sweater.

We may be in Ontario, but it still rains here, it's not just sun and snow.

Well, she is named Bea after all.

"I'm ready for my close-up."
Have a happy day.  

Monday, 22 July 2013

Happy Hippos

Hello Blogworld. 

My name is Lisa, and I thought it about time I started to share some of my life in Hetty Jean world.

I had a lovely day in Bloomfield on Saturday, at the Quinte Educational Museum & Archives' Treats, Treasures & Crafts Show.
My table was groaning with Hetty Jean wares, and in between speaking with the lovely folk in town that day, I was working on a new pattern for a happy hippo.


Here's  my first felt hippo.  She has embroidered blue eyes, with needle-felted eye lids and nostrils.

I love the hippo ballerinas in Disney's Fantasia.  So I embroidered this last year, because I sometimes feel like a hippo, and I just love these girls.

Have a Hippolicious day!