Here are a few of the wonderful pieces that Stephen made.
When we left our home, it was sunny with brilliant blue skies and not a drop of snow in our yard. The further north we went, the more snow we saw, but we were blessed with the same blue sky all the way to our hotel in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Along the way, we saw gorgeous scenery - including groves of birch trees, many deer, and miles of evergreens. DH and I enjoy driving together and this was no exception. We played some of our favorite CD's, enjoyed the scenery and each other and this pretty site- majestic Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine. This photo is courtesy of website KatahdinCam where you can see a live webcam image of the mountain. If you are reading this at night, be sure to come back during the daylight hours EST. It looked JUST like this photo as we passed it on Friday. It was breathtaking! We had seen it last fall during our foliage trip to Maine, but this surpassed even that. What a gift!
This next photo is the Welcome to Canada sign just past customs. At first I was too far away and this is what you see, and then DH was driving so fast, I missed it totally. Bummer. But you can see how much snow was on the ground and the incredibly blue sky. What a pretty day to make the 7 1/2 hour drive. We arrived at our hotel and were pleasantly surprised to find this waiting for us as we walked into our room. Actually, before I even turned on the lights, I could tell Carolee had left us something. She was making me some scented dipped bulbs and a sting of lights and she also included some of her prim tapers and a prim chunky candle as well. They smelled yummy as we opened the door. But even more yummy than that was this HUGE slice of decadent chocolate cake and the chilled water she also left for us. What a wonderful welcome to Canada! After a light dinner out, DH and I enjoyed the cake before we settled down for the night.But Carolee's kindness didn't stop there. She knew that Kathy and Stephen would be very busy with a house full of people and she wanted to make sure we had something to nibble on during the day so we didn't have to stop for a full lunch. She baked several loaves of her delicious brown bread and cut up some cheese and brought it all prepared for us. It was a welcome treat! And to our delight, she also made 2 extra loaves for DH and I to take home. This is what we have enjoyed several times since returning home. YUMMO!! Thank you again Carolee! OOPS! Now I need to back up a bit. When we arrived at Kathy and Stephen's beautiful Home on the Hill on Saturday, a beautiful sunny morning, people we already lining up at the door to buy the goods. David and I knew how hard Stephen had worked for many weeks making things in his workshop, so it was a lot of fun seeing the excitement build. And there in the middle of the crowd was Kathy!! I was so eager to jump out of the car to greet her. It was only the second time since meeting over at Webshots in the fall of of 07 that we actually met in person. I was so happy to see her and then to introduce Kathy and Stephen to my DH. After our introductions and hugs and greetings, I caught my breath as I realized I was in the home I had seen literally hundreds and hundreds of times in pictures we exchanged via email (LOL almost daily sometimes!) and through Webshot albums. Oh I just about squealed!! I couldn't see enough fast enough. I knew that in moments the doors would open and people would come pouring in so I tried to soak it all in. And I have to say, as wonderful and well done as Kathy's photography is, her home is even better in person. Kathy has the skill to make it look so picture perfect but not feel like a museum. As I was looking around, I remembered back to when she first told me about the color paint she chose for all the walls. She said she wanted it to look cozy and soft and warm and 'candle lit' and indeed, it does. It is the perfect back drop for all of Kathy and Stephen's family treasures, hand made and hand stitched pieces and wonderful prims and colonial collections.
Pretty soon the doors opened and we were so busy with the Open House sale and meeting so many of Kathy and Stephen's friends, including Carolee and her charming son Jacob, that it was quite awhile before any of us thought to take out our camera's. To be honest, this day was about being with friends, not a photo opportunity, but I knew I would be roasted alive if I didn't come back with at least a few. So Carolee was long gone but Sandy and her sweet daughter Tabitha had arrived when I finally came to my senses. It was very sunny outside the dining room and DH doesn't know my camera like I do, but he managed this photo of me, Sandy, Tabitha and Kathy in the back.
It was so much fun meeting Sandy and Tabitha listening to their accent. I am sure they thought I had one too!! Sandy surprised Kathy and I each with a bag of goodies. In mine where this adorable crow stitchery, a stuffed chocolate bunny, some of the wonderful room spray that she makes, some Easter napkins (did you know I am cooking Easter dinner) and a prim candle holder. Thank you again Sandy for all of the delightful goodies and for making the drive to see Kathy and I!!After the crowd dissipated, Kathy's daughter and SIL, and adorable grand daughter Ava came for a visit. Poor Ava was teething so she wanted to be with mommy most of the time, but Kathy did manage to sneak in a few hugs. Is this not a great picture??!! Kathy's eyes light up when she looks at Ava.
So I know by now some of you are asking, what did you buy Linda?? Well, I was a good girl. I let the crowd make an initial dent in the shopping and then I grabbed the pig cutting board, the colonial peg rack and the cute pinkeep with a reindeer that Kathy stitched up.
I would have loved this beautiful black drawer if it wasn't already snatched up, but Bonnie got to it before me. But that's really OK. I am thrilled the sale was so successful for our friends. Kathy and I exchanged some gifts and lucky for me, she stitched up this wonderful sampler as part of my gift bag. I love the old design.
It looks wonderful in my dining room.
Also looking perfect in my dining room is the big candle Carolee made for me. And the chocolate bunny from Sandy.The tapers found their rightful place next to my candle holder in the living room. I still need to find homes for more of my things but some are waiting for a long awaited redo of my DH's office in the coming weeks so stay tuned.
After the Open House ended, Stephen, Kathy, David and I headed out to dinner and we enjoyed a delicious meal and some wonderful conversation before it time for us to head back to the hotel and our dear friends headed home. Yes it was short, but very sweet. Thank you to all our Canadian friends for making our first trip to NB so much fun. DH and I are making plans to head back this fall during foliage season for a more relaxing visit and I can't wait! Did I ever tell you how very much I love the fall??
Boy oh boy - the goodies didn't stop there this week. When we got home, we found our mail waiting inside for us (Thanks to our DD Jen!!) and in a box was another treat from my sweet friend Carol. Carol enjoys sewing collectibles as I do and she had this duplicate thimble keep she wanted me to have. I hung it on my jelly cupboard for the picture, but I think it will find a home in my bowl of Valdani thread. Thank you Carol! It makes me smile!!
And then if all that wasn't enough to make me let out a big sigh of contentment, this week I also received the Feather Basket I ordered from our blogging friend Pam from Primitive Basketcase. I have been watching her creations for some time now and eyeing her baskets especially. I knew when she posted just the right one, I would have to have it. Instead, when she posted this sweet bird pinkeep, I told Pam how much I loved him and wanted to order him but she wanted to send him for my birthday. I tried to get her to accept payment and she would not hear of it. I told her I would accept him but I would be ordering one of her baskets when the right one came along. Well didn't she go and post this beauty the next day! It is even nicer than I imagined. I love it Pam!! And my bird pinkeep looks so nice in here. And didn't she also include one of her really cool garlic baskets as well. It will look perfect in my kitchen with some fresh garlic displayed in it. Thanks again Pam, I love them all!
And my other favorite magazine, Country Sampler of course, is getting better and better too! I was so excited last week to get the latest issue to see the gorgeous home of our sweet friend Karen from My Colonial Home and KMPrimitives. It was so much fun to learn more about you and see more of your home. It is every bit as wonderful as I expected it to be. Karen, you and Doug did a marvelous job transforming your home. I love it!! I got it just in time to enoy on the long ride north.
And to add to my blogging fun, I recently rediscovered a home I loved before on RMS. Donna of Country Home 308, now has a blog over at My Country Nest. I love the style of her home - outside it is a quintessential NE Cape. And inside, it is so inviting and warm and cozy and her kitchen is just scrumptious! I could cook some fine meals in there. I am so looking forward to seeing more of your home once again Donna!
Until Next Time - Hugs, Linda