Friday, 29 September 2017

Long Point water spout

Today has been a day of occasional rain and impressive thunderclouds rolling Eastward down the lake, creating waves that make it look like an ocean. I looked up at one point and saw 3 people on the beach taking pictures and just beyond them, a water spout forming. I went outside to point it out to them. They were from Saskatchewan and awed by the lake, wind and waves.
I dark tendril came down from the clouds, gradually stretching towards the water. The water below started to swirl and send up spray (even before the tendril from above had reached it). Gradually both ends crept towards each other and then joined forces. At that point I went inside for my camera.
I have seen water spouts before but they are usually just dark pillars between the water and the cloud, off in the distance.
This one was about half way between the beach and the horizon and moving East at considerable speed. In a sailboat you would not be able to outrun it!
It kicked up a huge amount of spray at the base and I could hear it roar over the sound of the wind.
And then, faster than it had formed,
it withered away again
into nothing.
It was fast and powerful and scary and fascinating.

Almonte - Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

As I had to pick the girls up from school in Almonte, I went early and visited the Textile Museum.
It is located in the old administrative building and warehouse of the Rosamond Woolen Mill
The second floor of the warehouse houses the permanent exhibit, "Fabric of a small town" which traces the industrialization of knitting and weaving, wool material and the role of the textile industry in Almonte and Canada.
This is the permanent collection and has displays "from sheep to shawl"
Televisions scattered through the room provide commentary and show the machinery in operation.
A huge "carding" machine. The video made me realize how loud it would have been

Pictures on the wall depicted workers, many of them children and described the loud, oily, dangerous working conditions with wool fibres floating on the air causing lung conditions.
Example of machine woven wool.
The Ottawa valley was a good place to raise sheep and the rivers provided power for the mills. Wool for uniforms and clothing was produced here from the early 1800s until the mid 1900s and provided employment for a large percentage of Almonte's population.
The temporary exhibit space was being cleared out after Fibrefest but still had the 50 mile coat produced by an Etobicoke weaving group and
some magnificent woven pieces by William Hodge.
In another room, a quilt commemorating Canada's 125th.
Over 450 squares made by people from all over Canada
and their explanation
in an accompanying book.
The actual Rosamond Woolen Mill building has been converted into condominiums
next to the waterfall that powered the mill.
My own woolen piece from this week. Not quite finished, but destined for the Delhi Tobacco Museum, in November, when JJs will be hooking there.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Pakenham pets

Caesar sleeping in the sun. The dogs have just been clipped, usually he looks black.
Cloe sleeping on the dining room table. Guess there's no rules about flat surfaces here Chris.
Monty sleeping in the solarium. I don't let the dogs sleep on the bed with me, which has them a little annoyed, but they do have access to a fair number of couches and recliners.
They're not always sleeping. Monty "guarding" from the comfort of a couch.
Buddy also "guarding". The cats spend most of their time in the screened room, sort of outside, sort of inside.
What is it with cats and rug hooking?
It has to be rolled on,
rubbed against

and generously covered with cat hair.
Monty is puzzled by it too.

More Pakenham creativity - henna and braids

In the last post I highlighted Heather's baking creativity but Sarah and I have not just been lolling around in that department.
Sarah purchased some henna, looked at some pictures on the internet and then got to work on Heather's hand.
Completed. Maybe she was inspired by Skin Wars which we have been binge watching. Some amazing body painting!
Then she got to work on her own foot.
After the pattern was complete we periodically sprayed it with lemon juice (to stop it from cracking off) and then wrapped it in saran wrap (to keep it moist) overnight. Heather was even talking about tying her arm to a bedpost to prevent the henna from getting rubbed off in her sleep. We convinced her the saran wrap would suffice.
In the morning the saran came off, henna dried out and came off and the skin was temporarily dyed. These are Sarah's hands which she did herself.
I was her trial canvas and opted for something simple.
The "tattoos" fade and then disappear as the layers of skin die and shed. Occasionally oiling the site helps them last longer (lotion is not advised). Sweating makes them fade faster. Unfortunately it has been in the 30s and humid so we haven't been able to avoid sweating.
Our morning routine is for Sarah to wake me at around 6am (by telling me that the coffee is on). I get dressed, wash etc and emerge to pour my first cup and do the first braid. This is a routine established 2 years ago when I first took care of the girls for a week and sent them to school with a different braid every day. We are not doing as much internet research this year, just sort of making them up.
On Heather, lace braid with feathers, the start of her ladder braid.
Ladder braid across one side of her head and around the back
and lace braid on the opposite side (I cleaned up the elastic mess before she left for school)
Sarah with a french braid from the neck up and the forehead back. She then put the excess in a bun.
Working on the same style for Heather. It involved her sitting on a bar stool with her head down. A little dizzy when she got up. Personally I think your lucky dizzy is all you are at 6:30am.

Completed back
We bobby pinned Heather's excess into a roll.
Getting even more complicated on Sarah. 3 french braids, meeting at the top with one braid left in the pony tail.
Heather was my second braid BEFORE my second cup of coffee, so we went simple. French braid from above one ear to behind the opposite one.
OMG. Normally I am not downstairs much before 8am and here I have braided 2 heads, had 2 cups of coffee, walked 2 large dogs for 45 minutes and had my breakfast by then!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Creativity in Pakenham; the bicycle cake

Heather is a baker. For a while she had a business making and selling cupcakes but now just occasionally makes special order cakes. This one had been ordered for this week.
The request was for a cake to match the birthday present - a bicycle. First we had to find appropriately sized pans for the wheels and then Heather drew the rest of the design.

Although the order was not being picked up until Monday, she started on Saturday, making the fondant.
Melted marshmallows and icing sugar, kneaded together until
it could be rolled out. She also tested the icing and we discovered she needed more icing sugar (Uncle Neil came through) and red food dye as the ready made coloured icing looked more like pink than the required red, for the tires.
the chocolate cake was made,
baked, cooled
and the fondant rolled out again
Now the fun part could begin; the decorating. The rectangular cake was cut to accommodate the wheels, the whole thing was covered in a thin layer of icing
cut to shape and encased in fondant.
Heather drew the design on with an edible marker and then proceeded to ice the cake.
Ready to be slid into a cake box and wrapped in a bow.