I am spending a few days in Montreal. I have many reasons to visit, but one is to roam the fabric district which is a few blocks from my son’s apartment. It is a great neighbourhood where it is easy to lose yourself for a day.
I am in a cyber cafe in Kisumu Kenya. This is the first chance I have had to connect–and I will not be able to attach any photos of this amazing country. That will have to wait until I am back in Canada–just a little over a week now. I just wanted to let you know that I am alive and well and learning TONS. The students, the teachers and the community people are amazing. I am working in the school primarily with Grade 6 and Grade 8. I also have the wonderful opportunity to spend time with the women at the Community Centre who are making bags from Kitenge fabric for sale on the web. This is a great chance for them to work together and to all benefit while staying in their community.
I’ll have many more details when I get home. Best to all of you, xine.
The other photos are taken in my favourite town just outside Hamilton. I was back for a dinner to honour one of my highschool classmates and it was a weekend of memories. The building in the background is the wonderful Detour café where we sat sketching and at left is their perfect latté.
This is the latest leather bag–a beautiful teal. It has a zipper closing and front zipper pocket as well as two open pockets, a zipper pocket and a key clip inside. It is 14.5″x 11″x 5.5″ with a 45″ strap so it is a good size for carrying all your gear, but not overwhelming. And, just for fun, the bird with attitude is peeking outside the interior pocket.
Last weekend I bought a half-bushel of tomatoes from our local market. In three batches, I turned it into tomato butter. I have been making this delicious sweet and spicy preserve every fall for ever. I first learned the recipe when we lived in rural Hastings County and had our own tomatoes in the garden. I still use our neighbour’s hand-written, tomato-spattered card for reference, even though I long ago memorized the simple list. The aroma, the hand-writing, the satisfying sound of the lids ‘snapping’ are all an essential part of September for us.
10 lbs tomatoes, 2 cups cider vinegar, 5 cups brown sugar
3 T salt, 2 T cinnamon, 1 T allspice, 1 T cloves
Scald tomatoes, remove skins and chop. Add vinegar, salt, sugar and spices and boil for 3 hours or until the mixture is quite thick. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Seal in sterilized jars.
The French have a wonderful relationship with coffee. There are no take-outs and certainly no drive-throughs. However, your coffee is often accompanied by a piece of chocolate–the idea is to savour and relax. Cafés abound and it is such a pleasure to sit on the terrace of one and watch the happenings around you. There is always time for a sketch!
Branac is a village filled with flowers. We spent the day painting–here is the turquoise bag I made for wallet, camera etc. and my favourite carry-all from Skinny Laminx.