Tuesday, March 6, 2018


We spent the past week in Varadero, Cuba.  We have had the opportunity to visit Cuba several times, but have generally vacationed on the Caribbean side of the island.  This time, we tried the more populous Varadero resort area.  The beaches are beautiful.

 The city of Havana is approximately 2 hours west of Varadero.  Havana is designated as a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the oldest cities in the Americas and is undergoing a restoration.  The city reminded me of  Cartagena, Colombia another walled coastal city.  We booked a day trip through our hotel. I believe it would be preferable to spend a few days in Havana in order to properly explore and see the museums, but we did not have the luxury of time on this time so our focus was a walking tour of old Havana.

About 15 years ago, I purchased a copy of Patricia Schultz's "1000 Places to see before you Die", I wouldn't consider the guide my authoritative road map, but I do check off the places I have been and those I hope to visit.  I have always enjoyed the literary wanderlust destinations.  She has included "Hemingway's Hangouts" in her list. We popped into the Floridita, one of Hemingway's favourite spots. There is a bronze statue of Ernest by the bar (next to a framed photo of  Fidel and Hemingway).  About 20 years ago, I had the chance to visit Hemingway's home in Key West, Florida - about 90 miles away.  I would have loved to explore more of Hemingway's Cuba, but time did not permit.  PBS has also aired a number of specials about his connections to Cuba.
Vintage cars can be seen throughout Cuba and are especially plentiful in Havana.   Imports of American vehicles ceased in about 1960.  Our guide advised that Cuban machinists have acquired expertise to improvise the parts for these vehicles and to keep them running. 

I have posted from our vacation in my flickr album should you care to peek. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Walk in the Woods Receiving Blanket

For those celebrating, I hope you had a happy Christmas. Despite the frigid temperatures, we are very much enjoying the slow pace of this holiday week after such a hectic December (Lily was in five performances in three weeks plus extra rehearsals and then three family dinners over Christmas weekend).

Santa brought be an instant pot and I have already made three meals (chili, mac & cheese, and a ham). I am going to try applesauce today.

On Boxing Day, we stopped by the Allan Gardens Flower Show.  The greenhouse is a great way to beat the cold.

My sister gave me this amazing 1000 piece Nancy Drew puzzle (Cobblehill Puzzle Company). Apart from walking the dog (who couldn't walk more than 500 metres due to cold paws), we stayed in all day yesterday and finished it. It took over 9 hours! I was a huge Nancy Drew fan in my youth and still have all my yellow hardbacks.

Finally, this was my last make for 2017. 

My niece is expecting a baby girl in mid-January, so I made a receiving blanket . The fabric is predominately from Aneela Hoey's Walk in the Wood collection for Moda.  The backing is a soft flannel which says Bonne Nuit.

I used the Fat Quarter Shop's Bloom & Bliss blanket tutorial.

Due to recovering from the skating accident, I did not sew as much as I would have liked in 2017.  I worked on other personal goals (fitness and pleasure  reading). I do plan to sew more in 2018 and hopefully even a garment for myself.

Wishing you a safe New Years and a crafty 2018! 

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Crown

I loved the first season of the Crown and making my way through season 2.  

Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers followed the Royals.  My paternal grandmother was an avid collector of Royal memorabilia.   I inherited a bankers box full of newspapers and magazines from the Coronation.  I thought I would share some of the covers here. Enjoy!