Friday, 14 December 2018

Friday finish

The Te Manawakura shawl by Francoise Danoy is finished.


It was supposed to be completed as part of a KAL started at the end of September and I was keeping up until the last section. Then other items and events required time and attention and I fell off the schedule, missing the group finish (by almost 2 months).

There were many, many bobbles to be made and as the shawl grew so did the number of bobbles. Happily, I didn't have too many difficulties with the pattern and once I put my heart into knitting on only the shawl, I got through the bobble making and was happily knitting the last garter stitch section.

Blocking was a challenge as only a portion of the shawl fit on the blocking mats.

The shawl is huge.

The colour is amazing.

And it is all done.

It might be a keeper.

Connie :)

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Secret Santa

We had a Secret Santa draw at work this year. Gifts started appearing on Wednesday. There was a beautiful one sitting on the counter when I arrived at noon with my name on it.

The giver knows me well. Not just wine, but wine with a raven label.

And macarons.

All these treats encased in a reusable strawberry bag.

Thanks Secret Santa!

Connie :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Neighbourhood nature

In the past, I have walked out the door and have had to pause to let a rabbit cross in front of me. There is a very healthy neighbourhood rabbit population.

The following photo is out our bedroom window after a recent snow. 

Once, some time ago, while walking home, I was startled to see a beaver lumbering along the edge of the creek. It had not occurred to me that they would live in the city.

Recently, I spotted this evidence that beavers are still working in the area.

We also often hear coyotes serenading nearby throughout the evening, but it has been some time since I have spotted one.

Connie :)

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Macaron workshop

Macarons have been on my list of items to try in my baking adventures. Watching The Great Canadian Baking Show galvanized my desire.

Somewhere along the line, I discovered Macaron 101 classes being held at Ollia Macarons and Tea, near Mount Royal Village. The first time I looked, the classes were being held in the evening which held no appeal to me. Once home from work, I have no motivation to travel into the city.

Then, I discovered they were offering the occasional Saturday afternoon class from 1500-1700. There was one class that still had one spot, so I signed up. (Later I would hear about $20.00 off class price for Black Friday, but too late...)

It was fun. Much of the work was done by David, one of the owners, but we did get to try our hands at mixing and then piping both the pastry and the filling.

Ready for class:

Drying(or resting):

Break time (also time for shopping and tasting macarons and tea).

Window display:

Baked and cooling:

Filling and sharing:

We each brought home around 37 macarons of various colours. There were two fillings: one chocolate and one vanilla cheesecake. Some of the fillers had held onto their chocolate far too long and the layers of cookie were slip sliding around on the ganache.

With a 10% discount on class night only, I brought home a few essential tools plus some of the professional macarons including one that was fig and balsamic flavoured.

I see some macaron baking in my future, but in the meantime, I'll research the use of natural colours. I just couldn't get behind the artificial colouring gels. And plain ones might just be a bit too boring!

Connie :)

Monday, 10 December 2018

Christmas markets

'Tis the season.

Friday I was supposed to make good on a wager I made with Jacelyn for lunch. Somehow, I still owe her lunch, but in the meantime, we attended two Christmas markets and did some urban hiking around Calgary.

Our first stop was the Make It Market, this year held at Deerfoot City. We both found some treasures, and, after making sure we had explored down each corridor, headed to our next stop.

My initial plan was to walk downtown from the top of the Centre Street Bridge and hop a C-Train to Stampede Park; however, after doing some research, I found out it was only 1.9 kilometres so just as easy to walk the distance and spend the transit fare at the sale!

So let me take you along for the walk:

Peek-a-boo tower:

Family of Man sculptures:

Juxtaposition of the old and the new:

These goofy gophers at Olympic Plaza:

We parked the car at the Benner's and headed out. It was lovely walking through downtown with all the festive lights, past Olympic Plaza with the skaters, and onto the BMO Centre for the 10th anniversary of Market Collective.

The beginnings of the HERE art installation:

Skateboarders at the market:

Finding some more treasures, I was a bit shocked to realize, as we were leaving, that Jacelyn had nothing in her possession! We walked back to her house taking much the same route and had her at her 1900 h rendezvous a few moments ahead of 1900 h.

The tower in blue:

Olympic Plaza on the way home, such a festive spot:

A great start to the weekend.

Connie :)

Friday, 7 December 2018

Another detour

Recently, a favourite seamstress has been posting photos of her dumpling bags on Instagram. Deciding that I couldn't justify the purchase of another bag, I searched for a dumpling bag pattern so I could make my own.

It didn't take long to find a pattern and a tutorial.

So many pins.

This didn't work so I pulled out the attempt, clipped the zipper and sewed on first the exterior, then the lining.

Much better.

Finished. It is pretty cute but very small. A larger size would probably be more useful.

Placed along side the triangular pouch, it does not seem much different in size.

I'd like to made a bigger one. Or perhaps just purchase one from the talented seamstress.

Connie :)

Thursday, 6 December 2018

New YYC library

The city of Calgary recently opened the doors to its new downtown library. We have yet to go inside; however, the exterior is quite amazing.

Recently having been on transit on route to an appointment, I had to transfer trains at the downtown City Hall station. It was time enough to take a photo or two.

My appointment was for 0815 so my first transfer was in the dark.

The sun had come up by the return trip and was reflecting off the side of the shiny new building.

The c-train tracks go underneath the new building.

It was standing room only on the trip to the appointment; however, I suddenly found myself all alone on one of the cars on the return trip which was rather fun, in a weird sort of way.

Connie :)