"friday favourites"

Friday Favourites - Family Recipe Book

Way back when, in the months leading up to our wedding, I was blessed to have friends and family throw me many bridal showers. It was a lot of fun and amazing to feel so much love. One of the showers was food/cooking themed. We had a cooking class by a great local chef, drank wine and laughed, and they all shared with me a booklet of favourites recipes.

My recipe book is simple. Handwritten recipes on seemingly old fashioned recipe cards. Each one tucked into it's own slot in a photo album. No graphic design, no fear of getting things dirty. Handwriting to treasure (and decipher) and favourite recipes from their family or secrets that no one would share before then. Still, when I ask my Mom or my Mother In Law for a recipe they give it to me on a card to insert. Or I tuck their hand written notes into a sleeve.

When I'm bored with my own cooking, looking for a little extra comfort from the kitchen, or a memory overcomes my tastebuds, this is the book I pull from the shelf. I have almost 100 cookbooks, but this is my go to resource.

This morning I pulled it out to make cupcakes. Grandma Arkison's Wacky Cake was waiting for me. I should know this recipe by heart, and probably do, but I love to see my sister-in-law's writing and smile at the thought that this was a secret family recipe. (It's not, it is a standard, Depression era recipe.) And that day, at my bridal shower, I was let into the family when this recipe passed over to me.

Do you have a family recipe book?

Friday Favourites - Beaches

After reading all your comments about beaches I started thinking about the beaches in my life. In the past year alone I've had the opportunity to hit all three coasts of Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Not to mention a few lakes along the way. Most of these trips have been for teaching, so I am very thankful for quilting taking me so many places. Just had to share pics from all these beaches!

Lake Superior. Sleeping Giant in the distance.

Lake Edith. Camping with family and friends.

Three Valley Lake. On the way to Vancouver to teach with the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Modern Quilt Guilds.

Long Beach in British Columbia. Camping and surfing with the kids.

Pictou Lodge, on the Northumberland Straight. Morning walks before a day of teaching at the Mayflower Quilting Retreat.

Ixtapa, Mexico. Morning cartwheels with my girl on a great vacation with half of my in-laws.

Turks and Caicos, a private beach for the day. First vacation Hubby and I took (alone) since our honeymoon twelve years ago.

Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. On the top of Canada. Technically I am indeed standing on the edge of the Arctic Ocean.

Hmm... no wonder I've had all the blues in my head lately...

Friday Favourites - Brayer

When I was finishing that Hot, Awesome Mess I had the chance to use one of my favourite sewing room tools. It is called, as far as I know, a brayer.

Typically, a brayer is used in the print making process. It is a flat roller designed to apply consistent pressure across the surface - perfect when applying ink. But thanks to the awesomeness of my friend Jules, I am now obsessed with using a brayer when I improv piece.Jules was a volunteer in the Denyse Schmidt Improv class. Having already bonded over motherhood and BBQ she happily shared with me this handy tool as we went through the day.

It works as a mini iron, pressing short seams right at the table. Now, it isn't as good as an iron, but it is infinitely better than finger pressing. It provides a crisp edge and allows you to continue to sit and sew for a while before getting to the hot iron.

And, because Jules is pretty great, she sent me one all the way from Australia because I couldn't find one here. If you ever see one I strongly recommend picking up one, or two.

Friday Favourites - Inuvik Thimble

With the smell of campfire wafting through each stitch I sit and bind this vintage quilt. My thimble is made of moose hide tanned by the Inuvialuit near Inuvik. And beaded so preciously. It is my new favourite thing.

 - It is pretty and dainty and tough at the same time.

- It reminds me of the people in Inuvik, namely my students, who were awesome and listened to my enthusiasm.

- It works really, really well.

Let's bind all the quilts.