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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Marking a Special Five Year Anniversary

Ducks on Okanagan Lake
We're leaving if you have no food for us...
Recently took a (too) short jaunt to one of my favourite places: the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. The land of sunshine, vineyards, blue skies and blue water.

We really didn't know what to expect this year, since large swaths of BC were being scorched daily by raging forest fires all summer long. In Vernon, we heard that it hadn't rained in over ninety days, although it did manage to do so for almost the entire day that we were there.

Ultimately, we didn't mind too much since it did remove the problem with the horrendous smoke in the air that we had encountered from the beginning of our travels.

These regular excursions into the valley have been a long-standing tradition of ours, dating back over twenty years.

More recently, these trips have been a reminder of my current sewing hobby, that is now officially past the five year mark. Y'see, it was September of 2012 — while visiting friends who had moved into the Okanagan area the previous year — when I saw a beautiful handmade Professional Tote. Within days, I knew I had to take on the challenge and make one too... even though I hadn't sewn in almost three decades.

The rest of the story more or less culminates in the birth of this blog fourteen months later. Just one of those delightful, crazy turns in life that was totally unexpected.

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But as I sat on the beach with my other half (taking a break from a Yahtzee game), it was both amusing and amazing to contemplate how many things we had with us on this trip that were a direct result of that eye-opening day five years ago.

Yahtzee wallet crafted by eSheep Designs
My Yahtzee wallet gets its first use... hubby thought it was too small!

Most notably, there was this... my customized tote that has now been with me on three beach vacations. It has served its purpose well; I really like how versatile and usable it is (unlike — oddly enough — my Professional Totes, which now merely function as storage containers).

Customized Market Tote crafted by eSheep Designs
My customized beach tote based on a Sew4Home project...

As we wanted to listen to some music while on the beach, my hubby brought along his electronics, safely stowed away in his Gadget Grab 'n' Go. It's been well used, I must say. Speaking of well used, his original pair of kimono slippers gave up the ghost recently after having been on the job for ten weeks straight. Accompanying us on this trip were a brand new pair that I whipped up at the end of August. Speaking of footwear, it was also my first chance to use my new drawstring shoe bag.

While not exactly out on the beach with me, I also took along two new items that will be featured in upcoming posts: a new roll up toiletry case and a fabric envelope for carrying my vacation receipts that you'll probably see next week.

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Apart from enjoying the lakes and beaches, with my renewed interest in sewing, I've also used these trips to replenish some basic supplies at a bargain price. Take a look at what I scooped up this time.

Four zipper pulls, three zippers, some thread, a marking pencil, some fabric glue and some hemming tape...

The black separating zippers (60cm/24") were $1.29 each. Don't have plans for them at this point, but I couldn't pass on the deal.

Realized over the past year that I have significant amounts of darker fabric that I sometimes need to mark on, hence the white pencil. The Sew No More glue works well and replaces a tube from two years ago.

All of the above was under $14, taxes in. Everything except for the zipper pulls came from one of my favourite places to browse... a charming store called Scattered Goods in Vernon.

Scattered Goods, Vernon
Great discount store in Vernon, BC... (photo courtesy of Google Street View)

Isn't that a great name? (Sort of reminds me of Stephen King's Needful Things.) So much better than its former moniker of Welk Mart, don't you think?

Sewing anniversary or not, though, the area's charms are what keeps us coming back, year after year.

Skaha Beach
Skaha Beach...

Really, what's not to like about relaxing on this beach for several days? See how clear that sky is? Recall my mention of forest fires and smoke in the air? This (below) is what the sky looked like just beyond the Alberta/BC border when we started our travels.

Valemount Marina
A lighthouse to light the way through the smoke!

And it didn't just look the part; the air quality was toxic. That's why we didn't mind when the rain swooped in during one of those first days to clear it all out.

The rain enabled us to enjoy this sort of view for the rest of the trip. (Of course, if you stopped by last week, you saw what sort of weather madness we came home to for the last week of summer!)

Okanagan Lake
Okanagan Lake...

It's quite curious how one of my all-time favourite places ended up being where I would develop a renewed interest in sewing.

Do you have a favourite vacation spot that you return to on a regular basis?


  1. Looks like a beautiful spot. When the kids were at home, we holidayed at Port Stephens many, many times. We've recently returned there on two occasions, and like you, I took away several items I'd sewn. I love your beach bag!!!

  2. Looks like you had a great time. So fun that you were able to bring several of your sewn useful items with you. Looks like a beautiful place to visit.


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