Saturday, May 31, 2008


No garage sales today...still running on last weeks adrenalin rush with this amazing find. Just an old play kitchen you say?
Sometimes, we get requests from those who know we are chronic shoppers. Last week's was a play kitchen - if we could find one. Nothing fancy as it was to stay outdoors anyway.
I must have had that image burned onto my inner eye. As we were drifting in and out of the many garage sales there were last Saturday morning, I was always looking for toys. No luck, though, as it was a particularly toy-less day. Maybe they're all in use over the summer and we'll see lots more in the fall?
Rushing from one to another - we had to be all done by 9.30 to get on to the next activity - we were driving down a back lane with our eyes on the prize. We could see the cars all stopping ahead which usually kicks up the excitement a notch. When I saw, from the corner of my eye, a sign that said FREE STUFF and a pile of junk beneath it. Just leaning against a garage and all dirty with road dust and rainwater. My unconscious brain registered a play kitchen and just flipped onto it's own path. Stomping on brakes, flinging open the door and running to grab this thing. Maybe the owner will step out from behind the garage and yell at ya. A. was still struggling with the idea that I'd stopped way before I had to and what the heck was I doing anyway? When we had hauled the thing into the car and started up again, I realized that I had managed to turn off the engine and pull the e-brake but I was still in gear with the keys inside!
But, here is our trophy - scrubbed up real good, didn't it? We added some dishes, a pot and a doll to sit in the highchair and it was good to go. Hours of play have already been enjoyed and dgs seems to like pizza-making for the dolly.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jacket research

I usually do this first but was so taken with my own imagination, I did the story part before getting any facts.

Claymore Clothes has been around in Vancouver since 1963 and has relocated to a new address on Hastings St. They became a limited company in 1982. At least I assume so since that date now appears in their name. What was really interesting is that their stock in trade is now uniforms. They make all sorts of police and fire fighter uniforms as well as the Governor General's House Guard. And they made the uniforms and costumes for Battlestar Galactica. Now you know, too.

Oh, and they have strong union work standards. No sweatshop here.

Jacket story

I've been taking apart recycled wool clothing today. I don't usually get such strong emotional reactions to a piece as I had this morning. Some of the clothing came from Nelson and this man's jacket was one of those. It was a well-worn sports jacket made from an open-weave wool that my mother used to call hop-sacking. The background color is heathery moss green with gold and dark green tones. The tweed is a large (about 2 in) window-pane check of dark red. Given the colors and construction, I would estimate that it's over 35 years old. And it was prized and loved by someone.
I can imagine the fabric being woven in the mill; the bolts of cloth shipped off to tailoring establishments and finally someone buying the jacket. I don't think it was a very expensive jacket as the construction is not high quality. But, it was before the fusible interfacings and hair canvas were used. There is a lot of hand padding on the fronts. This jacket would have been available to be altered to fit several sizes and body types as the seams have very generous allowances. It was sold by Claymore Clothes on Hastings St in Vancouver.

As the jacket aged, a button fell off and a different one sewn on. Sort of the same color but nowhere near the same style, crudely sewn with brown thread. Hard to say when. The lining stitching had been repaired on the left shoulder - with bright blue thread! The stitching is smaller and neater here. I was imagining a wife sewing this part back together but due to aging eyes had misjusdged the color. or maybe had nothing but blue on hand? I think the gentleman of a certain age repaired his own button even though the coat was well past it's prime. He must have enjoyed it's lively striping.

This is my story for a jacket that will one day be part of a beautiful rug.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Play day

This play day turned into an 'odd job' day. I had plans but they evaporated yesterday when my play buddy had to go to Ontario. Then a quickly hatched plan B was a bust, too. So I just took care of a bunch of things that had to be done like laundry and shopping. I spent a big chunk of time trying to memorize my Mandarin words and practice writing the characters. That was fun even though I'm pretty bad at it. My teacher is not so very strict so I'm sure my efforts will be appreciated. My goal is to be able to write as quickly as she does. Aim high, right? Right now speaking is better than reading and writing. Which isn't saying a whole heck of a lot.

I was doing my version of calligraphy outside today under the scented rhododendron with big fluffy pink flowers. They always remind me of those tissue flowers we used to make to decorate the wedding cars. The downside to this rhody is the sticky bits that drop off the tree when the flowers fall . Walking over them gives you an extra sole on your shoe. But once the clump of sticky stuff has been pulled off your foot they're not sticky at all. Weird.

I'll post some pictures when the camera comes home.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The house has been so quiet that I've been spending a lot of time reading. I'm trying to whittle down that pile by the bed. And reading and rug-hooking are not very compatible. But, I took these pictures last week of my current project.
This is the second Upper Canada stone house rug. I sold the first but A liked it so much I promised to make another. It's a copy of one we saw in Upper Canada Village a couple of summers ago. The docent at the farmhouse let me in to the roped off area to take photos of the only two hand hooked rugs that I saw in the whole place.
This one is quite different from the first and the house is on it's second version. I just couldn't get the stone walls to match my vision so I pulled the first one out and reworked it with different wool. I'm sort of OK with it but it's still not perfect. I like the blue sky which also reminds me of the St Lawrence River. I like the ambiguity.

Friday, May 9, 2008

So quiet

The mermaid and her happy pink suitcase flew out about an hour ago. Already it seems too quiet.

Only two pink suitcases actually made it to the airport. While packing, we discovered that our great luggage bargain had some problems. The three weren't a matched set which didn't matter at all, really. Except that the largest piece was not of the same quality and we failed to notice a damaged wheel part. Oh well, we had another two cases and didn't need the largest anyway. Out to the road with a 'free' sign and it was gone in 5 minutes!

So, A., the mermaid (and two sister mermaids), a bunch of clothes and lots of interesting stuff we've been collecting for months are on their way. I'm looking forward to the ballast of recycled garments for hooking wool strips that will come back in the empty(ish) cases.

And, by then, I may be used to all this quiet in the house.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ready to go!

This West Coast citizen is all ready to travel to Nelson and Lethbridge. Her bag is nearly packed. And, she needs a lot of room for all the necessities that travel with her. Her happy pink luggage set was bought just for this trip. Only 3 more sleeps!


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