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Friday, September 29, 2006

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THE BAD, THE GOOD, AND THE COMPETITION

The "Bad"...






The "middle of the road neither good nor bad, but FUN" ~ is the Opacity Photo Competition for this month. The theme is "Portraits" and as I really don't have anyone willing to have a portrait pic taken (not in this house anyway) I dug out a pic of sister Pammie's 2 little angels that I took a few years ago. Then I was thinking how about something different.... and I set up with a light and tripod and walla! A Shadow Portrait was born. Anyway the competition submissions started today and I've got my 2 in.

SITTING PRETTY

(Misty and Lady)


TABLE, CHAIR AND ME... IN SHADOW


As always the competition results are in on Monday/Tuesday (it's a time thing between here and the U.K.) so I will let you know how it goes!


And the best part of "Good" I'm seeing with my own two eyes right now is the time of year it is. I LOVE AUTUMN! There are still a lot of leafy trees but a lot of leaves on the ground too, which is wonderful. What is nicer than going for a stroll in the autumn sunshine with leaves crunching underfoot?

Today I'm running around getting laundry and stuff done in the house, and every time I look out my front and back windows I have to stop and take another moment to look at the pretty colours out there.

Making some lunch at the kitchen window, grabbed my camera:



Folding clothes in the bedroom, I couldn't resist this one either:


That little flaming bush we have is now starting to turn colour. Right now it's kind of orangeish, but soon it will be brilliant red.

Well chicks and dudes the laundry calls me once again. I hope you all have an excellent weekend, and remember to take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

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WEBSITE IS FINISHED




I just put up the most recent pics I took (Sunday), there are 60 of them and you will find them in the album called "St. Joachim's 3".

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed being there taking them!

Vision Quest

I'm sorry I've been so lax in the blog checking department, I really put all my free time into this new website. Now that it is up and running it won't be so much work from here on in. When I shoot anything new, it's only those pics I have to get in, not everything else like the first time.

Hope you're all having a decent week! Take good care of each other....

PEACE

Love Jude

Monday, September 25, 2006

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A NEW WEBSITE!

Sorry if I haven't been around so much lately folks, I have been furiously working on getting my website up and running before my vacation ends and I have to go back to work. Which is tomorrow! WAH!!!!

I have been accumulating far too many pictures with my new photography hobby, and can't keep posting all of them on here and forums. So I've got me a photography website.

Venture on over and have a look around, I still have my last 2 trips out with the camera to even get on there yet, but I'll always just let you know when there are new ones up.

The link is on my blog sidebar: VISION QUEST

And now I have to get my tired arse to bed so I can be of some use on my first day back to work tomorrow...... take good care of each other and PEACE be yours!

Love Jude

Saturday, September 23, 2006

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MY MOM'S KITCHEN TREASURES


After my Mom passed away (almost 3 years ago now) us 4 daughters had to go through her home and take all the memories we could with us. Each of us has in our possession things that mean a lot to us. I have many things, most of which I grew up with.

Let's backtrack just a bit first though. My Dad passed away a long time ago, in 1976. He was only 49 years old. When that happened we lived through heartache for quite some time, of course. But we could always still "go home" and Mom was there, and all of their things.... all the things we grew up with. All of those "things" that surrounded us while we were at Mom's still had their place, their home.

But after Mom passed away, suddenly all of those meaningful items didn't have a home anymore. They had to be cleared out, sorted through.... some kept and some given away. So we each sifted through everything and left with some memories that made new homes within the walls we live in.

As strange as it may sound, losing the "place" that housed all those goodies hurt almost as much as losing our parents. For me anyway, going to Mom's and laying my eyes on all the treasures from my childhood was a comfort, a sort of "going home" each time. After she passed away and her home was emptied, I also mourned the fact that all of those items were as displaced as we daughters were.

Not to make this post so sad, it wasn't meant to be that way... but just to give you an idea of what these little goodies mean to me. They are all things that I literally grew up with around me. They were my Mom's and Dad's, and they meant "home".

Yesterday I pulled out some things to make some squares for some company I had coming over. I always use my Mom's old baking pan for those. I got very nostalgic and thought I'd post about this.


There are some others, but here are some of the items that were from my Mom's kitchen. They are all old and well used. And they are sitting atop a kitchen tablecloth that she embroidered and made for me 24 years ago.



This sugar canister is part of a set my Mom had from the 50's. The set always sat out on the kitchen counter... sugar, flour, tea/coffee, and cookie canisters. They were so beautiful and bright, none of the paint was chipped off then, and there were no dents. Bright red lids. How many times did I open the lid to the cookie canister during all those years! How many dinner times did I open the tea canister to make a pot of tea for us? (that was something I did nightly after I was old enough)

I can't remember just how many pieces of this set survived, but I know the cookie canister did and one of my sisters has the pleasure of owning that now, just as I have the sugar canister. I keep my sugar in it faithfully, up in my cupboard.



These cookie cutters remind me entirely of Christmas. The top ones Mom always used to cut out the dough for her butter tarts. The flower shaped on under those she used to cut out her shortbread cookies, my favourites. That's the shape of shortbread cookies in my mind!! The bunny I honestly don't remember what she used it for, but it sure looks well used!



And of course there is an assortment of Mom's measuring spoons.



Ah yes, now here is the baking pan for squares. I can't even begin to fathom how many batches of brownies she made for us in this thing! What gets me are all the cutting lines you can see in the pan.... this is SO old and well used, and I simply adore using it.



And what do I cut the squares with? This knife. Mom and Dad had a set of these, I don't know what they are but I always assumed they were like an ivory handle. Back when I was a young teen, this one knife had a hole in the handle. For some silly reason I always liked to use that knife, it kinda became "mine". I made sure I got that after Mom passed away. And the only time I use it is like a ritual, for cutting squares out of her old pan.




I grew up eating off of this set of dishes. These are SO full of memories! My older sister Linda and I always had dish duty, so I can tell you we washed this set of dishes WAY too many times! (Back then there was no such thing as an automatic dishwasher!) This pattern is Royal Swan's "Blossomtime", made in the U.K. Some time after I grew up and left home, Mom got new dishes, but still kept these. By the time she passed away, there were only a very few pieces left. We each made sure we kept a couple or few pieces. These were the only remaining fruit nappies.



Sort of off the topic of "kitchen".... but see this lunch box? This was MY lunchbox in elementary school. There used to be a matching little wide-mouth thermos for soup. Mom packed me more lunches in this thing than I bet she'd care to think about. Back then there was no "plastic wrap", sandwiches were always wrapped in wax paper. I tell you in all honesty, I can bring to mind right this minute the smell of lunch when I opened this box up at school..... I can smell peanut butter, apple, and tomato soup. No kidding!!!



I remember very well this lunchbox had a black plastic handle. Somewhere along the way the handle broke, and my dad made this new nylon one for it. My dad could fix ANYTHING! Apparently after I left home, at least one of my two younger sisters used this lunchbox as well.



Now at Christmas if I make any Christmas cookies, they will be shortbreads. Mom's recipe. Using her shortbread cookie cutter shown above. And where do I store them once baked?

Inside my old lunch box.

Yes it's rusty inside, but I line it with good old wax paper, the very same thing that used to keep my sandwiches fresh in there. I line it and then store the cookies in it. How nostaligic.

And how comforting!

I love using my Mom's things. It makes me feel better inside knowing her "things" that are my "treasures", are still useful. And when I am holding these things in my hands I imagine Mom's hands doing the same thing before me. I love that.

"Things" aren't as important as people, of course not. But it sure makes me feel good having these in my kitchen.

Maybe I'll dream of Mom and Dad tonight..... my heart is so full of them right now!

Take good care of each other, and until next time PEACE be yours....

Love Jude

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

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WINDOW DRESSINGS


You may recall that when we bought the new dining room furniture I immediately went out and bought some material to recover the white seat cushions with.





I had enough material left over to make drapery "side panels", meaning they aren't meant to close, only to frame the windows. Much more up to date with that and the new black metal rods!

Okay let's go on a little journey of drapery making:

It didn't all go smoothly, of course. That would be asking too much of the gods! I got my sewing area all set up: sewing machine and ironing board:





I always take a piece of the fabric as a "test piece" first and try out different tensions and stitch lengths. When I sat down to do that, the bobbin thread jammed so badly that the machine "thunked" loudly, and then wouldn't move. I opened up the bobbin area, took it out and voila, the whole bobbin assembly is bent!



See the little rod the bobbin sits on in there, it is supposed to be straight, it's all bent to the right and down. DAMN!!!!



Okay..... on to Plan B. I have a really old Singer machine from 1974, it was working all along but just sewed funny as it had some thread tension issues. (That's why hubby bought me the new one 5 yrs. ago.) Anyway I decided to pull the old one out and try to to the job with it, just being careful with the tension.



When I plugged it in, no juice. None. No power at all! DOUBLE DAMMIT!!




This set me back a couple of days as it was the weekend and I had to get the new one in for fixing. I'm thinking quite an expense too. However when I was out on Sunday at the cemetary getting pics, hubby came home and decided to check to see if this new machine was getting power. He plugged it back in, and it was working!! I couldn't believe my eyes, the whole bobbin assembly was straight again! So....... did I get some divine intervention here or was this magic?

Anyway it was working again, so Monday I got started.

I took each panel (four in all, 2 each for 2 windows; dining room and living room) and ironed one fold over, then another to double it so the material doesn't fray in the wash. Ironing the hems means you don't have to pin them, MUUUUCH easier!

First fold:




Second fold:




Now to sew each side hem:




Now it's time to make the pockets at the top to slide onto the rods. Measuring carefully and ironing the folds:



After sewing the rod pockets at the tops, I hang each panel up to sit on the floor and this time use pins to determine the length:




Then back to the ironing board to press these folds in:


Now to sew the pockets:



And they're up, finials attached, all done!! The whole process from beginning to end all together took me about 9 hours, including measuring and cutting the material to hanging the new curtains and attaching the rod finials. Not too shabby huh?



The before and afters:

BEFORE:



AFTER!

And here in the dining room you can see the colours better:

BEFORE:



AFTER!



It is so nice to FINALLY have my drapery project done! I've had this vision of what I wanted the windows to look like for a very long time now, so it's lovely to actually see it in the rooms when I walk into them!

I didn't hate the old curtains, but this look is so much more "me", and as I mentioned already it's more up-to-date. It also goes much nicer with the new furniture colours as the 2 shades of brown in the new side panels brings it all together. I also think it looks a lot "richer", in colour I mean.


Now the only thing left to do in these rooms is to tear up that ugho carpet and put in wood floors....... anybody have a few thousand bucks they don't need?? Hee Hee

Only a few days left now on my vacation, and I'm all bummed out about having to go back to work. :-( Happens to most of us I know. Now I have a thousand things to do, as I've got company coming over tonight. Have a good day everyone, and take good care of each other!

PEACE
Love Jude
*************************

ST. JOACHIM'S CEMETARY

Sister Pammie and I grabbed our gear and headed back out to St. Joachim's on Sunday afternoon. It was the first day it had stopped raining and although cloudy and chilly, the conditions were perfect for a shoot.


Flowery Grave




Petrified Wood



Asleep Under The Boughs



Sacred Memories



Sweet Little Babe



Glowing Green



Beneath The Branches



Old Cross To Bear



Lean On Me



Serenity



Fringes



Life After Death



Weathered



Broken Glass


The rest of my photos from this trip are posted HERE.


As we were just leaving the spot we parked in the cemetary, we noticed there was a flock of robins splashing and playing in a puddle on the road. I had to try to get it...... yes that's my best evil voice and laugh at the end:


(OR CLICK HERE)

I hope you enjoyed the photos here as well as the other ones I linked for you. It was a peaceful walk through that place, it's lovely there.

Take good care of each other, PEACE!

Love Jude