Toiletries bags

For years I have made do with my toiletries case. A few yaars ago I replaced one with the best I could find but I hated the colour brown with a turquoise interior. It seemed to be fairly shoddily made with a dreaded velcro closing with only got caught on my clothes! That was soon removed.
A couple of years ago, in Hancocks fabrics I found the cotton print called chains and roses in orange, I loved it and then found a wild laminated print as well. I only had one toiletries kit in mind so just bought a third of a yard. A year later, I bought the Kwik Sew 3748 pattern and there it sat. I started with 3 of the orange zippers and in the end used 5. I debated with myself for a while on whether to make the pockets in clear vinyl, white net of blue and in the end chose the blue. I bought a couple of yards of the green knit binding. The first time putting it on was dreadful. So I took that off and started again and hand basted it first.
I used it on the trip to Toronto erlier this month. Most of my things fit in properly, and it fit better in my suitcase as well. Since another trip is starting this weekend, I made up a couple of box bags, I had to find some batik to line the cloth bag and vinyl one is vinyl inside as well. I put tissue over and under the seam as I sewed it.
Now, my toiletries bags will shout ” vacation”  when ever I open my suitcase. I kind of like that idea.IMG_1038


Summer Wrap up (September Sail trip)

We were out on the boat for 10 days. No rain. Warm days and nights. No wind, hubby would have liked to sail.  The water was like a mill pond.

We try to spend the first and last night of our trip at the marina, why rush when there is no need. The second day we went to Anacortes, and only planned on the one night at the marina but then 2 days sounded so much better. I went to the shops, I bought patterns and a Pletch and Palmer book on fitting pants.  Saturday was the farmer’s market, so we went looking for gluten free food. Didn’t find any baked goodies that fit the bill but did find a scissor and knife sharpening service while you waited. The other goodie was fresh mushrooms and some lovely veg, lemon cucumber and heirloom tomato. THe mushrooms were lion’s mane, shitake and oyster. I couldn’tmake up my mind, but they sold an indecision basket. There was receipes abailable. I learned a lot and my they were good.

Next we went to La Conner via the Sinonmish channel, which is dredged.  We were in the North Marina basin, it wan’t too far to get to town and since we stayed 2 nights, we had another good look around.The next picture is just the shallow water next to the dredged channel before we even went into the channel.

Then it was on to Oak Harbour, which was a little further than we thought it was. Too far to walk into town, but the air force base is there and the “noise is the sound of freedom”. Already, it is starting to get a little cooler in the evening. Mostly we read,  and I also knit.. We were very contented. The next photo is of the Indian reservation across from La Conner, I love the hat shape of these shelters.

Just left the Siniomish channel and saw two wonderul eagle statues next to this house, there is only one  in this photo but I was delighted to see the art work.

Then we went to Port Ludlow, really just a resort and a marina. but it was a lovely location. I can see why the Yarn Harlot has knitting retreats there.

The next day we went to Friday Harbour, just lovely to visit once again. The water was so still that day, ducks and birds just floating along, seals and lots of porpoises jumping. The next day we went to Sucia island again.  So much nicer when the weather is good. It was getting dark so hubby took this of Mt. Baker, it reminds me of a painting.

Hubby managed to sail for 3 hours on the last day.

Summer wrap 3 (August sail trip)

Thank goodness, August was good weatherwise. Nice and warm, no rain, lovely nights to sit on the boat.

YS, DiL, Dh and me, seven days on a boat. We had a lot  of fun. Don was thrilled to have someone interested in sailing and he explained a lot of the area and boating information to her.

YS visited some siling haunts of his youth. The gulf islands, Bedwell Harbour, Ganges, Genoa Bay, Telegraph Harbour, Montague Harbour, Sidney and Horten Bay. Lots of great memories, some good food. Neat sunsets. Dinghy rides( I was able to get into the dinghy, the first time since we had this boat, I guess the knees were feeling good and 20 pounds less helped as well.

The night sky app on the phone was great fun. Played crib. Knitted and Read.

Summer wrap Up 2 (July sail trips)

I was so fed up with our sailing experiences in July, I didn’t want to post at all. Thank goodness we had great sailing in August and September. Meanwhile, back to July-whenever we went out the weather was windy and often damp, if not rain, and quite chilly.

After being delayed with engine  troubles, we finally took off 2 days late, running out of time, we went to Blaine from Point Roberts. Not far, and we never stop in Blaine anymore comming back from the US. So we made the best  of our opportunity to look around and explore a few blocks of Blaine and the park next to the water.  I didn’t take many pictures but this shows the peace in the marina. Great dock by the way.

There are always birds. I took the picture of the Heron, thru one of the windows on the boat, and really cranked up the dial for a close up.

We did not fair much better the next time out and made it to Bellingham, it takes a few hours to get there by sailboat.   I had never been to Fairhaven, so this was my opportunity and the marina had a driver shuttle us there and back. Had a great time looking into stores, got some yarn and a lunch. Then back to the marina.

Big wide docks again and on shore  wonderful flower beds which I enjoyed.  I had a dead camera battery in Fairhaven, what a disappointment.  The weather was predicted to have a good rain for the next few days.  We opted for our own bed and the comforts of home as hubby wasn’t feeling that well.

The last time in July was Sushia Island.  A rough muddled  sea, getting there, I was sick  and we had  a tough time to get the mouring bouy  secured and we were there for the night. Grey, windy and everyone staying inside, Lots of waves. Morning it did not look better,  we went home.

On the way home on July 23.


Our last day in the Ukraine, the morning was spent at churches, a museum and caves.

The view from the river, the city and a very large statue .

The monastery of the caves

The sphere of good and spiritual renaissance, was wonderful.  half a sphere really with birch eggs painted by school children, light to dark, light pastels to bright vibrant colours. I quite loved it.

The afternoon, we had free time and went back to main shopping area. THere was a big celebration and the streets blocked off and large areas for the dignitaries to watch the performers on the main stage.

It was interesting to see nowhere to cross the streets  but then realized that the staircases led down under the street, it was a bit like a warren down there and we weren’t always sure which tunnel to go down. But each tunnel was filled with shops and food stands.  I went into the large department store, very dark, wooden counters, etc., managed a couple of floors but I was getting tired and really had no interest in further shopping and was ready to head back to the boat.

WordPress has added a different way to add pictures. You can click on them to see a larger sideshow.

The next morning we had to catch the bus at 2:30 am to head back home.


Finally, we got to see the Cossacks, and we were driven to a small performance area to view their horsemanship skills. We were close to all the action and taking a picture of a horse and rider, less than a hundred feet away leads to blurry pictures. There was also a demonstration of their bull whip skills. It was great fun to see.

After this we were given a plate of meat pilaf, and a small glass of vodka. Then on to the souviniers again.

The museum  was also great, and I especially enjoyed all the textiles and armour. It was wonderful to see all the handwork and original sources and inspiration, instead of depending  on drawings in books. It was hard to shoot the photos with all the glass and lights.

The largest lock on the river  was here, with a vertical rise of 126 feet.  It was quite incredible.

The Dneiper

Having been raised on the banks of the Fraser River, I was excited to see the Dneiper. (silent D)

After the hub-bub of the cities, a peaceful river was just what I needed. It is incredibly wide in some sections with just a narrow channel , (100 feet approx)  for the boats to travel. The mouth of the river is very grassy, a series of low islands and there are also several locks to travel up the river as well.  Fishermen were out with their rods and little boats all along the river, there were beaches. Small houses along the shore  and farms in the back ground.

The Crimea

It is taking me awhile to get back into the habit of writing a blog.

We left Odessa and went over to the Crimean peninsula. Sevastopol and Yalta, I first learned that I had to pronounce Sevastopol differently. More SevesToepol than SeVastopole. We heard all about the Defence of Sevastopol and also the Charge of the Light Brigade.  We also went to Balaklava, yes, the knit wear came from there.Inside the tunnel, the opening of the tunnel is not visible from the Black Sea.

This is a less run down area because it is the French Rivera of the Ukraine, so more money and resorts(spas).

We went to the diorama of the Defense of Sevastopol and it was a tremendous piece of art 179 meters long,  with 4000 soldiers painted on it, it was like viewing the battle from a mountain top.

The charge of the Light brigade location  is now grape vines.  l is the site of a submarine repair cave from the cold war. It was quite incredible to see.

We visited a Khan’s palace  in Bakhchisaral, wonderful rooms, textiles  and lovely enclosed gardens.

Carpets covered the floor, and the seating benches around the room, cushions were covered with carpets as well.

In Yalta we visited the White palace, the summer home of the last Csar of Russia.

A wonderful building with incredible carpets on the floors for all the tourists to walk on day after day. They weren’t originals from the Csar’s time but still all those shoes. There were enclosed gardens and wonderful chandeliers.

This is the building where Roosevelt met with Churchill and Stalin to sign the treaty.

We drove out to see a building called the Swallow’s nest. We saw it from a distance.  But a stunning location.

There was always souvenirs at each stop, and sometimes food and we tried a confection. I was going to call it candy but really it wasn’t sweet.  Small groups of nuts encased in a gelatin substance and strung together on a string.  It tasted better than it sounds.

As a side note, last month in Halifax, in an old cemetery, we found a monument to a couple of fallen officers who fought at Sevestopol.  That was the last thing we expected to see.

We started in Odessa

We arrived in Odessa, and arrived at the boat in mid afternoon. We are taking a Viking River Cruise on the Lomonosov. We travelled with the group of 16 from Istanbul, so already felt we  knew a few people. We are docked within sight of the Potemkin Steps.

Our boat.

Potemkin Steps.

Lots of history in this old city and everything is starting to blur. A lot of battles, memorial statues, interesting architecture.  So much to see. We went to the opera house, it has only been restored for a few years and is just beautiful.

That was a lovely evening, we saw La Boheme,  we sat in the fourth row, it was wonderful and then we got in the bus and went back to the boat. A late dinner was waiting for us.

Just a taste

I am home from a trip to Istanbul and the Ukraine. We had booked the trip over a year ago and were taken with the idea of a River boat cruise. We booked with our regular travelling friends.

We were disappointed with missing a day in Istanbul as our plane was delayed over 30 hours. What we saw there is a bit of a blur, as we arrived at 5am and we did managed 3 hours sleep before the tour. We bought a carpet, still to arrive, for the living room. We saw the Blue Mosque and the Haghia  Sofia and a 10 minute look into the bazaar, too tired to do more. We had a dinner, after a nap, at the roof top resturant at hotel over looking the Bosphorus.

Some photos of our short stay.



Overlooking the Bosphorus.

A glass of tea at the end of the day.

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