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.

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See the stalactites near the ceiling of the cave?

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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

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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

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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:

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?

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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!

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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…

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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…

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

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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

 

 

sweetheart

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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…

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

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

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Rise and shine in the children’s room.

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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.

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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.

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

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And on the staff room’s door :)

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

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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

 

september

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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