Friday, June 29, 2012

jarup or syram?

Well whatever it's called (this not quite jam, yet not exactly syrup I made), one thing is for certain: it's delicious!  :-D  Especially on fresh bread with a little smidge of butter.  Yum!  I'm sure it will also be tasty on ice cream, angel food cake, pancakes, waffles, crepes, yogurt, toast, croissants, and scones....oh my!   I took my part jar into work today – and heard not a single complaint! 

Thanks for all of your ideas and suggestions.  I was really flying by the seat of my pants last night...but I've come to the conclusion that I just didn't boil it hard enough.  It definitely boiled long enough, but I think I shouldn't have turned down the heat at all.  The Certo would have been a good fix, but I was too chicken to add it (I had some) because it wasn't in the recipe....and by the time I called my Mum, it was already in the jars - and I was pooped!

Pretty good for my first, un-tutored attempt - plus all of my jars sealed!  I'm looking forward to more jam-making this summer, and I'm determined to pick enough wild blueberries for a batch, and crossing my fingers raspberries are a bumper crop, too. 

Hope you have a great weekend - and Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!  It's not a long weekend for me, but I'm looking forward to relaxing at the lake tomorrow and trying out my new deluxe cot and fancy mattress that my family got for my birthday this Spring.  It's as big as a twin bed - and perfect for Glamping!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I think I just made 7 jars of strawberry syrup....

...when I was trying to make jam!

I've never made jam before (and probably still haven't yet, either! LOL!), but I've been wanting to make some since last Fall.  So today I trotted off to the farmer's market to buy a couple of 2L baskets of strawberries, quickly followed by a stop at Canadian Tire for jars.  A last-minute reminder to pick up sugar, and I was all set to get started.

The recipe I used came from here and though I added a few extra strawberries (I didn't pack them in when I measured and was a bit afraid it was too syrupy early on, so I added a generous extra cup)....I still find it's incredibly sweet. I tried to crush half of the berries and left the other half sliced for some chunks in the this might explain some of the extra syrup. 

I am keen to see if it sets overnight and if all of my jars seal properly.   In the meantime, I am already on the hunt for a new recipe to try out next Thursday (market day!).  Any suggestions for idiot-proof strawberry jam?  So far I'm liking the sounds of this one...but I would love to get some other ideas...

Monday, June 25, 2012


EDITED July 9th - These rugs have now been recovered - more details here.....

Receiving this message today, about two rugs recently stolen from a classroom, made me feel sick.   The story and pictures are making the rounds on line today, but just in case you haven't yet heard, here is the background in Norma's own words.....

Dear Rug Hookers,
Last week I was teaching a workshop in Ohio for a small group in a local church.  Two rugs were stolen from the church sometime after class on Tuesday and before class began Wednesday morning.  The room was filled with wool, hooking equipment including frames and cutters, other rugs and a digital projector.  None of those items were touched.  Please forward this email on to your rug hooking guilds and groups.  If you are a frequent follower of Ebay, Craigslist or any other internet site that sells things I would appreciate it if you would be on the look out for the rugs.  I am offering a reward for information leading to the return of the rugs.

Rug #1 is my Crocodile Mola design.  It was featured in the November/December 2011 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine.  It was exhibited at the ATHA Biennial exhibit in Lancaster, PA in October 2011 and at the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild exhibit at the Shelburne Museum in November 2011.  The rug is 36 x 48.

Rug #2 is my Pumpkins and Leaves design.  It was hooked by Linda Woodbury and has been exhibited at many local shows in New Jersey.  The rug is 28 x 40.

I have attached photos below.
If you have any info please contact me or Linda.

Thank you,
Norma Batastini

Please keep your eyes out for these rugs.....if you have anything to share and need contact information for Norma, just send me a quick e-mail (fisheyerugs AT hotmail DOT com).


My favourite artist, R.W. Haviland, had an open house on Saturday, at her studio.  I've mentioned Bobbi on the blog a couple of times before.  She lives about 30 minutes north of Huntsville, just outside Burk's Falls, and less than 2 minutes off of the highway (directions and some more photos here).

Sandra and the kids and I went up for a little visit.  We've know Bobbi for years (and years!) and it's always so wonderful to see her newest works, and follow along as her work progresses and changes.  Sandra said "it's a good thing I don't have to pick one....because there are too many that I like...."  And I definitely echo that thought.  I'd also like to have some open wall space....LOL!

In my mind, her work over the last 4-5 years is so transferable to rug hooking.  It will definitely be influencing and inspiring me this Fall, when I hope to embark on a series of landscapes. 

The big canvases will form an exhibit called "Songlines" at the Algonquin Theatre - Partner's Hall (in downtown Huntsville) from July 2nd to 30th.  We were able to preview these new works....and I snapped some quick photos with my iPhone....

It's always fun to get a few behind the scenes glimpses of the process.  Here are the little sketches that began the bigger works....

...and the pastels - so many little pellets of colour....

Monday, June 18, 2012


I am still here....just been super crazy busy.  And my internet has been out at home all weekend, so I couldn't even get caught up on posting, reading, emails, etc.  Fingers crossed all is back to normal when I get home from work tonight.....and I will get back to everyone waiting for a response.  Thank you for your patience!  xxoo

In the meantime, here is a little snap that I received last weekend from my niece Hannah.  Just a few days after her little lesson with me, this is what she'd accomplished....

I'm so proud!  ;-)  And just looking at it again now puts a (much needed) smile on my face.

Monday, June 11, 2012

this and that

yes!  I am still breathing.  I've just been in a bit of a reading daze.  About 10 books in as many days.  Some good, some trashy, some really good, some bad.  A real mix, but a great escape none-the-less.  In between, I've been away for an extra-long weekend of training for work. 

I've squeezed in a quick lesson for the fifth generation (....and silently wished that I'd been clever enough to start rug hooking in the weeks before my 20th birthday).

I've been amazed that little 'Miracle' is still on the right side of of the grass.  He was under 30lbs at birth a couple of weeks ago.  

I've also been thinking about the long list of projects I want to start....but it hasn't really progressed beyond the list stage.  Yet.

It's a new week.  A fresh start.  Happy Monday!