Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pics From Pants

Today I want to introduce some favourite photographs taken by one of my favourite photographers - Derek Pantling.

Traditionally, rock cairns are carefully designed rock monuments, that safely guide travelers on their journey. Today they are often seen as purely decorative rock monuments.
These photographs were taken by a friend - Derek Pantling - he has some lovely work on his website:
Take the time to check it out - besides photography, Derek also has music and poetry on his site.

This is another favourite of mine from Derek's work. Having bird dogs, Weimaraners, I gotta love game birds. And this is a great photo that shows a lot of detail.
I'm not much at critiquing photography. I simply know and understand what appeals to me, personally and I love this one.

Another day I'll post some more of Derek's work. Perhaps some abstracts??

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Handmade Rag Rugs

Here is another new item you'll find in my Etsy shop -
I have been making them for years but always for family, friends or myself.
They take yards of fabric, torn into strips then crocheted with a huge crochet hook, in a pattern designed to mimic a braided rug.

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Item for Etsy

Hm - topic for today. I've missed a couple of days looking after Nevada - I am happy to report she is doing well after her surgery. Otherwise I have been busy working on more items to list on Etsy. I've begun knitting totes/purses/bags, whatever you care to call them, out of recycled fabric and odd bits and pieces of yarn. I've added embellishments to them, such as beads, charms, bits of decorative charms etc. Things that I have in my seemingly never ending store of crafting supplies. Here is a picture of one of them.
These have been fun to make and a good use of otherwise defunct supplies. This one is actually made of strips of my younger sons flannel jammy bottoms. Some leftover pieces of yarn and some beads, twine, and purse handle left over from another project.

Look for this and other new items on my Etsy site soon -

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nevada's Day

Nevada did not have a very good day today. It started with no breaky and no drink. She raced back and forth between her crate and the kitchen a dozen times trying to tell us that we forgot her breaky! We ignored her. Today was the day that Nevada was spayed. No food or drink for this girl today. I tried to explain this to her, but her only concern was for her empty tummy.

About 8:15 I put Sophie in her crate and loaded Nevada into the van. Once at the vet clinic, they installed the two of us in the “green room”. My vet came in and did her thing

checking Nevada out and weighing her etc. Then came back and gave Nevada her pre-anesthetic. Within minutes Nevada was weaving and dipping. I convinced her to lie down and relax. Now Nevada is a very chilly girl and is always cold in the winter – she dreams of being a “South’rn Gal”. My vet, knowing Nevada is a bit of a wuss, came in with a pile of blankies and heat packs for between her paws. When under anesthetic dogs lose their ability to shiver, and although we know they get chilled under anesthetic, it is hard to determine just how cold they are. The best way of keeping a dog warm is to keep the tootsies toasty. So – Nevada had heat packs to keep her comfy.

A few minutes later we went in for her pre-op. She staggered down the hall and then allowed herself to be lifted onto the table. I helped prep her for surgery. Eventually she was ready to go. I saw her into surgery, watched them tuck hot packs around her chilly little body, put socks on her paws, cover her any parts of her that didn't need to be exposed and put a big cushy foam underneath her. She was ready for surgery. At this point I left. I didn’t want to see that first incision made and didn’t want to push my luck. I know it is unusual to be allowed even that far into the procedure. An hour later my vet called and Nevada was fine. An hour after that she was ready to come home. I enlisted Dale's help to sit with her in the back of the van and keep her quiet - he also came in handy for lifting her into and out of the van! She has since been on a big pile of blankies beside my computer chair, with a couple more blankies piled on top and tucked around her feet and head. She has a pillow under her weary little head and she is still a little anxious – whining if she opens her eyes and doesn’t see one of us in her immediate field of vision. After a couple of trips outside, into snow up to my knees, she showed me that all functions in the back end are in working order. All is well for tonight.

Tomorrow AM we head back to the clinic for another check of temp, the incision and another shot of pain meds. Then she should be good to go till her 7 day check up.

Nevada is a little perturbed though - why didn't she get pink sutures like her friend Spirit did?

Cold Sunny Winter's Day

Today is a very cold, but sunny, winter's day. I thought to get us in the mood for spring, I would post some warm weather photo's of our yard.

This is our side gate and the main entrance into our yard and home.
I can hardly wait till the ferns start to unfurl and the rock moss opens it's tiny buds.

This is a tiny House Wren trying to make the huge decision to leave home. He was the last to leave the nest and after a few trips in and out of the nest box, he finally made the dive and left the coop for good.


Another good idea for a cold winter's day is a homemade soup.
Most of my recipes come from "whatever I have in the house" much as this one did.

Cheesy Cauliflower and Bacon Soup

I chopped head of cauliflower
1 chopped medium onion
6 strips of partially cooked chopped bacon
1 small sweet potato - finely cubed
a good handful of cut up baby carrots
Cover with water and add a bit. Bring to a simmer and simmer till veggies are tender. During the simmering process, add a couple of tsp. of Knorr veggie stock, any seasonings you wish and 1 envelope of Lipton Onion soup mix.
When veggies are tender add - a cup of crated cheddar cheese, or 2 to 3 Kraft Cheese slices, or a couple of spoonfuls of Cheez Whiz - I actually used a bit of all three ( just what I had in the house *S*)
Add the final mixture, a cup or two at a time to the blender with a splash of Table Cream and blend till creamy. Work your way through the pot of veggies till all is blended and creamy, and re-heat. Serve with a garnish of parsley on top.
Makes enough for about 6 bowls of soup.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Baby Blankets of Vintage Chenille

I love to work with vintage items - and many/most of those items to date are children's items. Probably due to the influx of 2 Grandbabies 4 years ago. I love to make unique and unusual baby blankets of vintage chenille &/or today's cotton fabrics - most often a combination of the two. Some are strictly today's lovely fabrics but the ones I would like to post today are a combination of vintage chenille and today's cottons. I use a cotton or chenille for the top of the blanket, line it with Warm and Natural batting and back it with either cotton flannel or broadcloth. Here are a few examples.

This one is a lovely new blue toile, but bordered with a great warm white vintage chenille.

This is made from a piece of a lovely vintage chenille bedspread - lovely warm white with soft pastel flowers over the pattern of it.

One more of a cotton cottage floral pattern, bordered by a lovely straight line vintage chenille.

These items and many others can be found at my Etsy shop ON Cottage, Way, unless they have been sold after this was posted.

The Story Behind ON Cottage Way

ON Cottage Way came about many years ago, because of my love of all art mediums. My hands just have to keep busy. I made so many things, we were going to pushed out of our home by the piles of completed projects. I began at that point to set up a retail space at craft shows. I needed a name for my vendor's space and after much debate,
ON Cottage Way was created.
Now, my husband and I live in a original Ontario Cottage, that as far as we can determine was built in the mid 1800's . This styleof home is often called an Ontario Cottage Style or Regency Cottage. So - ON is the abbreviation of Ontario, Cottage from the style of our beloved little home and Way - as a substitute for Style. Thus - ON Cottage Way.

Ours is a quaint little house in the midst of a lakeside town in Ontario. In this little house I have raised my sons and now enjoy my young Grandchildren, enjoyed my dogs, created a cottage garden that I love to pieces and is a forever ongoing project, and crafted to my hearts content.

Over the years I have drawn, painted, made anything and everything possible on a sewing machine, purchased and learned to use power tools for wood craft products, I knit and crochet, weave rag rugs, etc. etc. etc.

After my years of craft shows, I started on Ebay. Then graduated to Etsy. I love Etsy - so easy to use, so easy to shop and wonderful handmade products. I am just now trying to get my Etsy shop up and running.

My Etsy address is
Please drop around and visit sometime.

I also love to cook - sooner or later I will include recipes on this blog. Most that have come about as being created simply by whatever I happened to have in the house.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweet Pea

Sweet Peas - are either a wild, climbing, flowering vine - or my old Weimaraner Sadie, whose nickname was Sweet Pea.
A friend was visiting from Texas a few weeks ago. She very much admired the wild Sweet Peas that were growing and climbing in my yard. I picked some pods for her to take home to plant in her own garden. She forgot to take them and I keep forgetting to send them.
The other day I went out and picked a few more pods to add to the collection and planned to package them up and mail them today. I had them sitting on my desk beside the computer monitor. Last night, I guess they decided that enough was enough. All the pods burst within seconds of one another - pop, pop, pop. Well - that made me sit and pay attention. But when the seeds came bulleting out of the pods and pelleted everything in sight, I ducked. They were pinging off the walls, the TV, the computer and my forehead.
Were they just ready to pop - or was it a message from my Sadie?


Nevada is the most exasperating, but endearing dog you could ever meet. You can't help but love her, but she can, single handedly, drive me around the bend. To watch her, anyone would think she got a daily beating. And she doesn't - honest!
Our day went like this.
I start packing for the show this weekend.
I start with the dog stuff. Sophie and Nevada sit side by side watching my activities intently - occasionally glancing at each other. You can almost hear the conversation - "are you going? am I going? are we both going? where are we going? what are we doing?"
I scurry around tripping over both of them constantly.
Once the dog gear is packed I pick up the nail clippers and dremel. Suddenly neither dog is to be found.Sophie has a wonderful recall. I try that and she appears, slinking out of the living room, flops over on her side and sticks her feet up to get her nails done. I spy Nevada peeking at me around the dining room door. I can see one eye and one leg out of my peripheral vision. I look up and meet her eyes and she jerks back out of sight. Except for that one leg. " I still see you Nevada" I say. Immediately the leg jerks back out of sight and I hear her scuttling backwards. A few seconds later she is peeking around the doorway again. This little activity continues through Sophies nail clipping. I call Nevada. No response. I call again. No response. I finally say " Nevada, I know you are right around the corner, now come on." She scuttles into the kitchen on her belly, tail tucked and scrabbling on all fours. She absolutely hates to have her nails done. She squirms over and goes down on her side, curls into the tightest ball you can imagine, with all 4 paws tucked into the centre of this ball. Can you say rigor mortis? I try to untangle a foot and her whole body comes with it. A rather undignified tug of war ensues. I pull and tug and her entire body whips around without once unfurling. I finally win. I eyeball her and she melts slightly. Enough so that I can uncurl that first paw. One I start, the body uncurls at an amazing rate and I suddenly have the other 3 legs braced against various parts of my anatomy holding me off as far as possible. OK - I can manage with this.
Finally Dale gets home. We each grab an end of Nevada's "Canadian Giant" sized Furarri dog crate and heft it out the door, over the fence ( it won't fit through the gate ) and into the back of the van. Well - now we've done it. The girls have figured out who is going and who is staying. We come back in and find Sophie in her crate, snoozing happily but taking up enough room so that Nevada can't join her. Nevada is sitting forlornly in the spot where her crate used to be! The worlds saddest look on her face.
After supper, I head into the bathroom with the dog shampoo and dog towels. Nevada is watching this with great trepidation. After I leave the room, she creeps in and investigates, finds to her horror that it is "dog stuff" sitting beside the tub and shoots back out of the room like a bullet, sliding and skidding on the wood floors. 15 minutes later, Dale ( my dog bather ) grabs Nevada's collar and heads into the living room to get her. She is no where to be found. We search the house, upstairs and down, inside and out. Finally we notice that Sophie is sitting outside her crate looking very disgruntled. We dig a little deeper and find Nevada cowering underneath the dog bed at the back of the crate. We coax her out, put on her collar and she is lured into the tub. 10 minutes later she is back, shuddering and rolling, and scivvying along the floor on her side - her normal antics after a bath!
I spend the next hour itemizing all her idiosyncrasies for the handler I have hired. If not handled exactly right she will wrap herself around his legs and cling like a leach.
Not conducive to showing off her lovely side gait!
Finally - we are settled down for the evening - she is relaxing - for now - but keeping a very close eye on me.
She actually loves to get away, just one on one. She loves the girl we are sharing a motel room with and adores the dog that will be with us - a lovely little Pointer bitch. They are great friends. She loves to walk around the show grounds, meeting and greeting everyone like they are old friends. But she hates the prep work involved!
I am worried a bit about Sophie though. This will be her first time being left behind all alone. I have not left her alone since we lost Sadie. I have Dale talked into coming home to do some bookwork to keep her company. And I have my son talked into doing his computer "stuff" at our place on my computer - to keep her company. Am I a worrier? You betcha! But maybe that makes Nevada and I a good pair

ON Cottage Way

Well now - this is my second attempt at a blog and hopefully this time I'll succeed with it. Primarily I intend for this blog to be a stepping stone of photos and descriptions of my handmade items in my online Etsy shop. These items include children's clothing, infant blankets, totes and bags and so on. Whatever takes my fancy on any given day is what I turn my hand to. Many of my handmade items are constructed with vintage and/or antique fabrics, chenille and quilts. I hope you check out my shop and let me know what you think. The address is
It will also include the "goings on" of my day to day life and will include chit chat, photos and stories of my family and friends and "the girls".
The girls being our Weimaraners, Sophie and Nevada.
I hope to move some stories from my last blog over to this one - just to get things rolling!
I hope to add something pretty much daily and hope you check back often to see any updates.