hello from eganville

Eganville, Ontario is a com­mu­ni­ty about an hour and a half dri­ve west of Ottawa. It was also recent­ly fea­tured in an episode of CBC show, Still Stand­ing (of which we’re huge fans! :D) We were going to Ottawa to vis­it fam­i­ly and to see the Bon­nechere Caves near­by, and then we saw the Still Stand­ing episode so we decid­ed that we would stop in the town to explore.

But first, the Bon­nechere Caves! The fam­i­ly that main­tains the Caves offers dai­ly guid­ed tours in the sum­mer months into Octo­ber, and our tour guide was very friend­ly, knowl­edge­able, and quite ani­mat­ed :) He explained that the net­work of under­ground caves and tun­nels were carved out by the Bon­nechere riv­er. The walls of the cave were imprint­ed by the move­ment of the water.



See the sta­lac­tites near the ceil­ing of the cave?


Just across the road from the Bon­nechere Cave site there was a nice view of the Bon­nechere Riv­er, we stopped for pic­tures :D


We then head­ed to Engine House Cof­fee for lunch, because we saw it on Still Stand­ing :D It is a love­ly place indeed, roasts its beans onsite, stocks an excel­lent selec­tion of organ­ic teas, and has a sun­ny patio with cof­fee plants.


Since it was still ear­ly in the day, and if we drove back to Ottawa to wan­der around town we’d have to pay for park­ing, we thought we’d con­tin­ue explor­ing Eganville. We picked up a brochure at the Caves with infor­ma­tion about the geo-her­itage/­fos­sil hunt­ing trail at the Bon­nechere Muse­um, so we decid­ed to visit.


The friend­ly muse­um staff told us that the muse­um build­ing used to be the com­mu­ni­ty’s post office. It now hous­es a very well orga­nized dis­play of arti­facts from Eganville and area.


Admis­sion to the muse­um includes the geol­o­gy and fos­sil trail. Since Eganville is known as “the Ordovi­cian Fos­sil Cap­i­tal of Cana­da”, the muse­um staff let us know that fos­sils are rel­a­tive­ly easy to find on the trail (and we’re allowed to take one with us per per­son). She gave us a map and some direc­tions, and we set out on some unplanned wilder­ness explor­ing :D


There were signs along the trail direct­ing us to the “fos­sil pit”.


And we found the fos­sil pit! I think this was a hon­ey­comb coral.

We fol­lowed the trail to a cliff area where we could see caves from across the river.


There was also a trench that we could walk down into and look at the lay­ers of sed­i­men­ta­ry rocks.


All in all, we find Eganville to be a love­ly place for a day trip when one is vis­it­ing in the Ottawa area. We quite enjoyed it as city dwellers; it was away from busy urban cen­tres, with a love­ly cafe for a leisure­ly lunch or tea, and it’s got some relaxed (read: grav­el paths, board­walk and stur­dy stair­cas­es) wilder­ness exploring :)

Hope every­one’s hav­ing a good weekend!


be magical


Was feel­ing nos­tal­gic the oth­er day, and was in need of a new key­chain, so I decid­ed to make a Sailor Moon trans­for­ma­tion brooch. Luna (the cat) gave this to Usa­gi in the first ani­me series, so that she could trans­form into Sailor Moon. (pic from Pin­ter­est)

She wears it on her bow. (pic from Sailor Moon News)

Sailor Moon was huge­ly, HUGELY pop­u­lar when I was a kid in Hong Kong, so I had a plas­tic trans­for­ma­tion brooch that came with a box of cook­ies. It had since been lost :’(

So any­way, I cro­cheted one for my keys, and because it took me a cou­ple of tries, I end­ed up writ­ing down what I did, in case I want to remake it for friends who are also Sailor Moon fans, or maybe there are blog read­ers who want to make one too :)

I used:
Small amount of worsted weight yarn in yellow
3 mm hook
Tapes­try needle
Pink plas­tic pearl­ized shank but­ton about 3/8″ to 1/2″ in diam­e­ter (mine’s 3/8″, I think it’s a bit small, but it’s what I have)
Small translu­cent round or crys­tal shaped beads in red, green, yel­low and blue

(If you don’t have the but­ton and beads, you could also try using yarn and embroi­dery for a com­plete­ly tex­tile look, which I think would be quite nice also, and might end up swap­ping the beads for embroi­dery if they start com­ing off after the key­chain and keys get tossed around in my bag for a while…)


Pat­tern is worked in con­tin­u­ous rounds, all with right side fac­ing, no need to fas­ten off at any point. I’ve divid­ed the instruc­tion in sections.

Cen­tre cir­cle: In mag­ic ring (how per­fect!), ch 3, dc 11, sl st in top of begin­ning ch 3.

Moon sec­tion: Work­ing in back loop only, sl st in next dc, sl st and sc in next dc, 2 sc in next dc, 2 hdc in next dc, 2 sc in next dc, sc and sl st in next dc, sl st in next dc, work­ing in both loop sl st in next dc.

Out­side ring: ch 1, con­tin­ue work­ing in both loops, sc in same dc as last sl st worked, 2 sc in each of next 3 dc, now work in back loop only, 2 sc in next sl st, con­tin­ue work­ing in back loop only, [sc in next st, 2 sc in next sc] until you reach the first sc of this sec­tion, sl st into first sc of section.

Edg­ing: turn, work­ing in front loop only, sl st in next st and each st around, use invis­i­ble join to com­plete round, fas­ten off.

Per­haps this pic­ture will give you a bet­ter idea of the dif­fer­ent sec­tions (this was before the last round of edg­ing)… see the out­line of the cres­cent moon?


We will now attach yarn to this stitch on the out­line of the cres­cent moon, made by the front loops of the stitch­es, where the cro­chet hook is pointing.


Join by mak­ing a slip knot on the hook, insert hook under the stitch where you’re join­ing, pull up a loop through the stitch and pull through the loop on the hook.

Then, work­ing in the front loops that make up the top out­line of the moon, sc in next st, sc and hdc in next st, hdc and sc in next st, sc in next st, sl st in next st, fas­ten off, leav­ing a 6″ tail.

Using a tapes­try nee­dle, pull the yarn through the piece at the top left cor­ner of the moon, like so…


Then pull the nee­dle and yarn back to the front and sew the part just made to the front loops that make up the bot­tom out­line of the moon, like so…


Fas­ten off and weave in ends, and we’re done the cro­chet­ing part! It’s real­ly much eas­i­er than it looks, it will all make sense when you start mak­ing it, but if you need any clar­i­fi­ca­tions please feel free to drop me a note!

Then we fin­ish the trans­for­ma­tion brooch by sewing on the but­ton and beads…


And we make a back piece:

In mag­ic ring, ch 3, 11 dc, sl st in top of begin­ning ch 3.

ch 3, dc in same dc, 2 dc in each dc around, sl st in top of begin­ning ch 3.

If you’re not mak­ing a key­chain, you can just fas­ten off with a long tail, then sew the front and back pieces togeth­er, and maybe sew a pin back on and wear it as a brooch!


If you’re mak­ing a key­chain, then don’t fas­ten off at the end of round 2 in the back piece, and con­tin­ue like so…

[ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each of the next 4 st, turn] repeat 5 times, fas­ten off and leave a long tail for sewing. So that you end up with this…


Wrap the rec­tan­gu­lar part around a key ring (prefer­ably not with the keys on it, much eas­i­er that way, but I was too lazy to take mine off), and sew the edge to the top of the cir­cle, like so…


Then put the front and back piece togeth­er and sew all the way around. Fas­ten off and weave in ends.


Car­ry around and be magical.

(I real­ized that I sewed the front piece on a bit off, that was bug­ging me a bit, but it’s too much work to undo it so I left it. Being mag­i­cal does not mean being perfect.)

Have a hap­py day! :D





We were vis­it­ing my cousin in Ottawa, who had a baby a while ago. So, a week before we were about to leave on the trip, I was remind­ed of this adorable cup­cake granny square by Sewrel­la and I thought, I could make my cousin and her baby a blan­ket with this square!

I have nev­er made a granny square blan­ket before and have no idea how long it would take. But I thought if I use every spare moment to cro­chet I could def­i­nite­ly get it done in a week :D

And I thought I’d incor­po­rate oth­er squares that are less com­pli­cat­ed. I found this heart square pat­tern and thought it goes pret­ty well with the cupcakes.


Most of the squares were made while tak­ing the sub­way, which made my com­mute a lot more enjoyable :)

And it was done in time for our trip! :D


I joined the squares with the granny square join method also used by Sewrel­la for her awe­some bake shop blan­ket (check out her oth­er bake shop squares too! They’re very cute). I for­got to take a good mea­sure of the blan­ket before wrap­ping it up, but here’s rough­ly how big it is.


I used some scrap worsted weight yarn I already have, and Lion Brand Pound of Love, with a 5mm hook. Acrylic yarn tends to be stiff so I washed and dried it with some fab­ric soft­en­er, which real­ly helped make it feel more snuggle-able.

I hope my cousin and her sweet baby will enjoy it :)

Have a hap­py week­end, everyone!



adventure at the inn

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 40 44 PM

Last time I men­tioned that I had to pick up what I made at a work­shop that’s pret­ty far from where I live. So I was look­ing for some­thing else in the neigh­bour­hood at the same time. The Mont­gomery’s Inn muse­um was just one sub­way sta­tion away from the work­shop, so I thought I’d stop by. AND it hap­pened to be a Wednes­day, there’s farmer’s mar­ket going on every Wednes­day until Octo­ber, and the entrance to the muse­um is free dur­ing mar­ket hours! Lucky me :D

The muse­um docent was busy lead­ing anoth­er group when I went in, so anoth­er friend­ly staff gave me a self-guid­ed tour pam­phlet and sug­gest­ed that I walked around on my own. I’ve always had trou­ble with maps and direc­tions… so I found myself pret­ty much just wan­der­ing around in a huge house with no one else in it, which gave me the chance to take as many pic­tures as I want­ed, and to take as much time as I need­ed, wait­ing for the right light­ing and so on.

The one tak­en above is of the din­ing par­lour, viewed behind the door from the kitchen. I’m quite hap­py with it because it actu­al­ly looks like an old pho­to­graph with a fil­ter from the Cam­era+ app on my phone.

The Mont­gomery’s Inn was built about 1830 for Thomas and Mar­garet Mont­gomery, and it served many trav­el­ers, new­ly arrived immi­grants and labour­ers until about 1855. The cou­ple’s descen­dants sold most of the inn’s con­tent after they passed away, so the muse­um is restored with col­lect­ed fur­nish­ing to the peri­od of 1840s-50s. I sup­pose some of the only things in the house that were orig­i­nal to the house would be the bricks around the fireplaces…

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 31 49 PM

… and this sign for the inn and appar­ent­ly the grand­fa­ther clock :)

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 26 26 PM

Tea set, and sewing box by the win­dow in the sit­ting room :D

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 24 27 PM

Rise and shine in the chil­dren’s room.

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 30 12 PM

One of the things that’s very dif­fer­ent from oth­er his­toric house muse­ums I’ve vis­it­ed is that the inn has guest rooms! It looks quite cozy.

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 34 47 PM

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 38 08 PM

If you haven’t noticed already, I par­tic­u­lar­ly like how light comes through the win­dows in his­toric hous­es. Because the hous­es usu­al­ly don’t have arti­fi­cial light in them, and sun­light looks par­tic­u­lar­ly warm on old wood­en floors, hand­made cur­tains and linens, weath­ered furniture.

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 46 42 PM

There were these love­ly hand­writ­ten labels on the bot­tles in the pantry.

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 42 51 PM

And on the staff room’s door :)

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 39 50 PM

Water­ing hole. Not so dif­fer­ent from a bar today, minus the cage I guess.

Photo 2016-08-24, 2 45 12 PM

If you’re ever in the neigh­bour­hood, it’s quite an inter­est­ing place to vis­it! Like I men­tioned before, there’s a farm­ers mar­ket on Wednes­day after­noons until Octo­ber, and it’s got live music, BBQ and food truck, plus of course local pro­duce, baked goods and sweets, and free entry to the muse­um. Then on Sun­day the muse­um’s tea room serves after­noon tea, which I hope to catch one day. And there are lots of oth­er arts and cul­tur­al events too.

Some­times, I won­der why I don’t work in a muse­um. Hmm.

Hope every­one’s hav­ing a won­der­ful week! :D




Say­ing good­bye to August, and hel­lo to Sep­tem­ber with this fall colour seat cover :)

I’m actu­al­ly a tad sad about sum­mer being over soon, the days get­ting short­er, the leaves start­ing to fall. It felt like not too long ago that the trees were bud­ding. I guess we’ve had a late spring. I’ve always been more of a fan of spring than of fall. And the only way of mak­ing the best of the sit­u­a­tion is to start craft­ing for cool­er weath­er and the holidays.

I’ve been want­i­ng to try this “In Tre­ble” square pat­tern for a while. I love that it looks like flower petals or leaves scat­tered all over. I added two long chains on the top left and right cor­ners after tak­ing this pic­ture, so I could tie it to the back of the chair. Quite hap­py with how it turned out :)

Hap­py Fri­day! :D