ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Little Detour into a Week Long Escape

Last week I had another little "vacation". I had offered to look after my sister's dog while she went on vacation. This is my niece "Sunny". This gave me a quiet (more or less) week in Waterloo, spending time finding out how it would be to take care of a dog full-time.

One thing I'll say is that dogs sure are easier to give vitamins and pills to than cats! This dog eats ANYTHING, including her own poop, if I don't get to it fast enough. She's a bit of a nervous nelly. One day it got quite windy, and I had the windows open, and some papers blew off the cupboard. Well, that threw a monkey wrench in our week. While relaxed the first two days, she got quite jumpy. Dogs need routine I understand. I lead anything but a routine life. The first two nights she stayed up late with me. Eventually she said, "to hell with this" and headed upstairs to her own bed by 9 p.m.

During my "vacation" I spent a lot of time with my Dad (now 92) and took him off to his audiology appointment.

So I might add that I was in "home territory", the area I grew up in. I had not visited the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market in a long time, way too long, but I sure had a good time that week. Lots to see and do and buy. The best hummus comes from this market!

Did I mention here that I have been dreaming about a "She Shed" (garden shed) as a sort of refuge? I've fallen in love with the idea and especially the look of "shabby chic" furniture. Whether or not I ever end up with a "She Shed" as a retirement project in a few years, I started collecting a few items at flea/vintage/antique markets. During my week I got to be a "tourist" at times, and visited at least seven markets/shops, some of them twice.

What did I come home with? This wonderful shabby primitive bench! Isn't it a killer? This one made it back home to Ottawa, but some of my purchases are still in my sister's basement. I have a small car.

Had to have this "shabby" wash cupboard, which I realized my sister's white hydrangea would enhance nicely! I borrowed her antique "milk glass" vase (belonged to our grandmother) to give it a romantic look. Oh, and I bought this multi-tiered cake plate at a vintage market. This little scene makes me very happy :-)

This curved window, reclaimed from an old building I'm sure, is now sitting on the shelf in my studio. This was photographed in my sister's basement, with it sitting on top of the shabby table I scored.

And look at this adorable "chippy chair" I got for $25. It's a really old and strong plank chair.

Let me show you the one that got away! At one of my two favorite antique markets (this one Southworks Cambridge) I found this delightful cupboard with 36 drawers. Someone had taken the time to paint it in white with all the drawer fronts in turquoise, and every knob in white. The price was excellent. I bought it, and then learned it would not fit in my car. It broke my heart to have to take it back and ask for a refund. It shall ever be the one that got away ...

You may think I've lost my marbles, and maybe I have! But I sure had a great time, and am going to find a way to incorporate these pieces somewhere in my guest room or studio so I can enjoy them, even if the "She Shed" idea falls off the radar. It's just not a financial or time commitment I can make right now. Isn't the fun in most things the dreaming and planning anyway?

So all of this distracted me and pulled me from feeling inspired about my work. I realize I have way too many ideas and way too many things I want to do. IT IS TIME TO NARROW THINGS DOWN AND FOCUS. Stay tuned as I do this! And have a fantastic Labour Day Weekend wherever you are!


  1. Love that turquoise chest! Too bad that you couldn't fit it in.

  2. Well I guess it's time for you to buy a bigger car!

    1. That isn't going to happen Laura. I am starting to slow down a bit and if I purchase another car it will be even smaller. If I had had my husband's Honda Civic with me it has just a bit more room between the fold down seats and the trunk. Alas, I was 6 hours from home, so that beauty got away from me! And man the chest was heavy! But lovely with that turquoise and white :-))

  3. I love all the furniture you bought, including the chest that got away. It sounds like a wonderful week and spending time with your Father was also nice. I hope he's as happy as he looks. The dog is adorable and yes, they're much easier to give pills too.


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