Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Few Aquisitions

I didn't buy all these while I was gone. Some of them I bought online before I left. And a few of them were from my swap (see below). But I did aquire all of this lovely fabric in the last while. My fingers are itching just looking at it.

You Know What I Really Missed While I was Away?

My morning cup of tea.

Followed by my morning cup of perfect coffee. A coffee maker is just not the same.


I got this hand made wood fridge and stove at a yard sale yesterday. They need some paint, but other than that they are perfect. Hand made by some grandparent or parent somewhere. They are solid plywood, and really cool. The oven has a drawer below it for storage, and working knobs and a little rack inside. The fridge has veggie drawers and an icebox with two little ice cube trays in it. Its pretty fantastic. Now I just have to make some felt food to go in it.

Week in Regina

Our first week of vacation was a week in Regina, Saskatchewan. It is the capital city, and its about 100 years old. I don't have any touristy photos, because we've been there before, and we're kind of allergic to most tourist attractions. So I have no photos of the lovely mature trees along the road or the provincial parliment buildings, but I do have lots of photos of the parks. We went to lots of parks.

The highlight was the end of the week when we went to the folk festival. It takes place in Victoria park, which is nice and small. There were four stages during the day (which were free) and tons of variety on the mainstage at night. We saw everything from fusion / world music to Winnipeg folk/rock band the Weakerthans to Canadian soul singer Jully Black. It was a great weekend. I was especially excited to see Final Fantasy (AKA Owen Pallett) -- he composes these violin pieces where he loops himself singing tenor and playing keyboard as well as playing beautiful etherial violin. He was a bit quirky as a performer, even though he's a very talented musician. I would imagine he's a bit like Glenn Gould, though -- better to hear recorded than live. He kept making little side comments about things that weren't working while he was performing, which sort of ruined it. But later in the week, when he was just being Owen Pallett instead of Final Fantasy he was quite an interesting guy -- sort of like someone I would have hung out with in highschool, I think. I also really enjoyed Great Lake Swimmers. They have a really great sound. The boys really liked Old Man Luedecke (who is a year younger than me -- 31) and his banjo playing. I thought it was kind of ironic becuase he kept playing this song making fun of the company that created Round Up, not really realizing (or perhaps not really caring) that he was in the centre of Round up ready Canola land. He was really interesting, too. Again, the sort of person Dave and I usually end up hanging out with.

Strangely that was one of my epiphanies during this week. I realized that I've always tended to hang out with the odd, interesting people wherever I've been. The people who think a bit too much to be practical or see the world in a bit of a unique, creative way. There's nothing wrong with this, it just makes it a bit hard for me to find friends in a place that hails practicality and level headedness more than introspection and creativity.

We also got together with the Snooks, who used to work a few hours away. This was a great visit -- I hadn't really got to know them before this. We had some really great conversations and I really enjoyed our day with them.

Our biggest adventure was the rain storm. It seems we can't get through a Regina Folk Festival without a rain storm. The storm came on Sunday afternoon. It was the kind of storm where you could feel the pressure drop in your sinuses as it started to roll into Regina. If we had been out of town (its super flat in Regina) we would have seen the clouds blowing in. As it was, we could watch them slowly looming over the festival grounds. We packed everything up in the wagon and high tailed it out of there to our car just as the rain poured down. I seriously haven't seen rain like this since last year's folk festival. Before that, probably not since I left the West Coast. It poured. We took the boys to Chapters and out for supper to Wendys, then went back to our tent with every intention of putting the boys to sleep. There was one problem, however:

See that shadow all around the bottom of our tent? That would be the small lake our tent was swimmming in. Although it hadn't taken in much water, I was a bit nervous about putting the pressure of all our bodies in it -- I was worried that would cause the water to start to seep through. So we thought maybe we could afford one more hotel stay, and drove down the road to a seedy hotel on the edge of town. But after looking at the place, Dave decided against it and started driving across town. As we drove, hoping to put the boys to sleep or figure out what to do, we drove past the festival grounds. And do you know what we heard? Music. We rolled down our window and discovered that the festival was on. The musicians were playing! So in short order we made a plan: Dave ran out and set up our little two man tent we had bought for the boys to sleep in during the night at the folk festival. We rushed the boys and a few blankets into the festival grounds under a tarp and the boys and I snuck into the tent and listened to music. Dave went back to our tent, borrowed a shovel and dug a little drainage ditch (the woman at the desk at the campsite gave him a trowel instead of a shovel, so it was a very LITTLE ditch) to divert water away from our tent, and changed into dry clothes. Then he came back to the festival grounds, by which time the boys were asleep in the tent and we listened to the rest of the music! It was really magical. The park was dark and wet and half-empty. But people were there -- sitting in their chairs holding umberellas, walking around wearing garbage bags, wrapping tarps around their chairs to make little tents and basically doing what they could to stick around and listen to the music. And of course, the musicians loved this and so they played their hearts out. It was a great show. We only caught the last two acts -- Abigain Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet, who played fusion string quartet / asian inspired music, and Michael Franti and Spearhead who played Regae. It was a great time, and we were so glad we were creative and optimistic and found a happy solution instead of giving in to the circumstances that surrounded us. I was just thinking that this is the way I want to live my whole life -- overcoming the circumstances I find myself in rather than giving in to them in defeat.

After that Dave had to spend most of the next day moving out tent and drying out our stuff so that we didn't appear at our friends' house in Regina and take their house over by hanging up sleeping bags and tents everywhere. While Dave was doing that, the boys and I were doing this:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

July fabric and chocolate swap

This was my swap package from Lil in Luxembourg. I had so much fun getting to know her through this swap, and she sent such a wonderful package. The batiks are so pretty, and the candle is sitting next to the little quilt (see below) making my dining room smell nice. We've been using the soap for bath time for the boys and its nice and mild on their skin. The buttons are going into my button collection that will go into the playmat quilt I'm going to make.

Maybe I just need to keep participating in swaps until my whole house is decorated . . .

July mini quilt from VanniBC

July mini quilt from VanniBC
Originally uploaded by davenjilly
This was the lovely little quilt I received from VanniBC for the mini quilt swap. I have it sitting on my little shelf in the dining room right now cheering up my wall. Its the brightest thing in the space . . . probably a sign I need to decorate, eh?

Anyway, thanks, Vanni!


I seem to be having trouble summing up the last month in a few posts. So much happened both externally and internally during the last month that I'm not sure where to start. The beginning? The end? The middle? I was going to make a start on it last night, but I found myself so exausted by just catching up on house work and chasing the boys that I fell asleep with Aaron. It is really hard for me to get back into the routine of domestic work. I really don't enjoy it, and it takes a lot of discipline and concentration for me to get back into housekeeping mode. Plus I'm just so overwhelmed by the things I would like to do to make out house happier and more livable this winter. I just can't seem to fathom another winter with these empty walls, and cluttered, unorganized rooms. But where to start? How to start? And how to find the time amidst youth group and playgroup and the boys and just life in general? Ug. I don't know. Eventually I'll have an answer. In the mean time, here's a great shot I found of me when I was 16 outside the Canadian War Museum:

And this one is classic teenage Jill. This is the doghouse Lisa and I painted for my mom's new puppy. The little black guy on the left is called a Tibetan Monk. I used to draw them eveywhere. On the side of the doghouse there's one dancing in a pool of blood, and also a frog with bloodshot eyes . . . I don't remember what else we painted on it. I don't think the dog ever used it. My parents waited until I moved away to repaint it, though. Now that's love for you.

Friday, August 29, 2008


One of the best things for me about going on vacation is seeing friends. It reminds me that I have friends, and that some people somewhere like me a lot, and would love to hang out with me regularly. One of the worst things about coming back is the absence of that mutual affection. I long to have someone live here that I can just call up and meet at the park, or spontaneously invite over for an impromptu dinner. My little coffee mugs make me long for Lisa with her Finnish sensibilities about tiny cups of coffee. My big yellow mug reminds me of Kris and her West Coast sensiblities about giant mugs of tea. I open my drawer and see my jioza maker and long for the old days as the "White Girl"who doesn't know what she's doing while making jioza with Nonie and Rita. The bag of fair trade coffee in my cupboard reminds me of thoughtful, reflective Kym who considers the implications of every purchase, every word so carefully. The apples littering my lawn remind me of many Christmases and Easters happily ended with Jill's famous apple pie (the secret was really just the wonderful old baking apple trees on my rental house property -- shh, don't tell anyone, they think I"m magic). I'm longing for those days of friends, parties, coffees, teas, movies, vino, and just the practicalities of living with and around others you love dearly.

Above is Kym, Jeff and Sam. We usually stay with them, but things are a bit crazy around their place these days, so we didn't. But we sorely missed our morning coffees and outings to the park and late night chats once the lads are asleep because of it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hello all!

Well, its been an eventful month! From my week at home with the boys when I decided that the most important thing I needed to do was make a new quilt, to listening to an asian string quartet fusion group in the pouring rain during the folk music festival to getting my window smashed to visiting my mom after lung surgery to family reunions (always precarious in my family) to getting lost on the way back (you know its late when you accidentally turn off of the incredibly straight highway 16 -- yes, it was my fault) . . . its been eventful to say the least.

So I have stories to tell, photos to show you, and resolutions to share. But for now, I just have fabric to fold (ahem -- did I mention I managed to procure some fabric on my trip?) and then off to bed! Goodnight. Missed you.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

swap quilt july 2008 (triangles)

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be offline! But I just wanted to show you what I decided to do with this quiltie. I sent my swap partner the triangle by itself plus the tree, in case she could find a use for it somehow. I think it turned out pretty cute, and the blue binding suits the block better than the green I had on the outside of it when it was in the bigger mini quilt.

I think the real issue was just that this block was a diva -- it wanted all the love to itself. Also, it was having no part of that no name brand non-designer green fabric I had on it.

Also, the corners of the binding look lovely . .. on the back.