Review: Ten, 5 & Humanity – vvp26

Today I want to review a few restaurants we recently stopped into first one a tasty vegetarian eatery called Ten Foot Henry’s located at 1209 – 1 street SW opened from 11 – 11 (shouldn’t it be 10 – 10?) just sayin’ and the other one Trolley 5 located on 17 avenue Sw

First! Ten Foot Henry

When you walk into this place you are greeted with a personalized stamped carpet – the character they use looks like Herald from Herald and the Purple Crayon…an outline of a small animated boys head, bald, and curious expression on his face, shown from the side. But it’s actually named after a long time Calgary icon, Ten Foot Henry became a muse for Calgary’s creative community..it’s actually 37 years old – check out their website for more about their story and Henry’s life.

Once you’re inside, this gracious place is very earthy, you almost feel like you’re part of a garden party where live plants are stringed in hanging baskets in linear lines strategically placed above tables. Wooden tables (which are my favourite) are in abundance with the wood being just finished enough to not snag your clothing, nice and rustic. There’s low dining tables a high tables and one table is 10 feet long, situated just perfectly in the middle of the room. There’s long bars with chairs lined up around them so you can sit up and watch the drinks bar or the cooking bar. It’s a mix of fresh and earthy. It feels good inside. We were educated on the menu (pick your vegetable main then add your proteins) it’s family style so pick 3-4 plates for 3 people and you may have some left over to take in…we chose the jerk spiced cauliflower, the spaghetti with pistachio and pesto, pandano, and the tagliatelle pomodoro and the friend potatoes.

The food came out fast, and hot.

Great Stop

– would we be back likely except there’s so many others places to try out.

Check out their website:

http://www.tenfoothenry.com

Ten Foot Henry Menu
Ten Foot Henry Menu
Ten Foot Henry Menu
Ten Foot Henry Menu
Ten Foot Henry Menu Back
Ten Foot Henry
Second: Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewery

their vision, to bring the community together and are located at 728 – 17 Avenue SW their hours vary, when you walk in the ceilings are extremely high and large garage style doors open to the exterior and they were open on this night, very inviting. We decided to sit outside as their patio faces 17 avenue sw so there is always lots of people watching available.

t hey have your usual bar food but they do have some interesting choices that stood out. We had the Dim Sum dumplings (shrimp) these are traditional dumplings mixed with a light vegetable inside a rice paper wrap. These were served within the traditional bamboo container. They were very good. The other item we had was the Salt and Petter Squid, house breaded very lightly but covered, squid, served with julienned vegetables, very generous portion. London ordered some daily jerky, beef, which came out wrapped in white meat wrapping rope – delicious as well. They have a different flavour each day. We sat outside even though it was slightly cool, their exterior heaters were on and we enjoyed this very much. crisp fall air. the washrooms are located beneath the restaurant and to get to them you need to practically tour the entire facility. But once you find them, down two flights of stairs around the corner passed another giant bar with large screen TV’s everywhere, passed all the incredible aluminum casts, encased within glass walls – great

for watching their brew bring made – you finally come upon the washrooms. These are beautiful, along the wall where the sinks are, the lower half is glass and faces outside into an enclosed area just for this place, the top half is covered in mirrors, there’s a long banquette with a mustard yellow tapestry and exposed lighting coming out from over top of the high back – almost like you could lay down with a good book and chill out for hours – this is the ladies washroom.

http://trolley5.com

For my closing review

I want to share a story about humanity. Every Thursday morning I drop London off to school and then I head up 17 avenue SW toward Crowchild, there’s a small second Cup coffee house I stop into and work for approx 1 hour before I head to my meeting. I drive along and park, come into this coffee house, and low and behold there a person sleeping, while sitting up…in the exact spot I always sit at. hmm, I kind of take in the surroundings there’s not generally many people in this place a this time in the morning as most people are going through the drive through – todays is no exception. I order my tea and keep looking at this person sleeping…then I sit along the wall, same bench as he is but a few tables over, I can see him and continue to check on this situation.

I’m interested in his story.

He’s kind-of slumped over, he has long black hair pulled back into a pony tale, some of the hair is fallen forward, there’s a pizza 73 pizza box on the table, a lighter, a beautiful orange rock or a stone, there a card of some sort laying on the seat beside his bum. He’s sleeping, not snoring but definitely catching up on some rest. The staff isn’t bothering him.

I’m there for a solid hour there’s several people coming in now to get coffee during this time and some, like me are taking this scene in – some with judgement and some not really any expression, no one says anything to the coffee house establishment, 

Just as I’m packing up to leave and I walk over, past my sleeping bench mate- to use the washroom, right beside me the female worker wakes this man with the slightest tap on his arm, calling him Sir…he’s completely aware of where he is, she’s asking him to pack up his things and that he must be on his way now or she may have to call the police. The man is very humble and reacts kindly to her. He begins to straighten up and he’s been drooling slightly, I grab a couple of napkins and hand them to him – he thanks me, she still there and proceeds to ask the man if he’s hungry and if she can get him something, he’s so relieved and grateful, he thanks me for the napkins and sits back down, the lady is grabbing him some food and he’ll be on his way. I leave heading to my meeting, feeling so good inside about this public display of humanity.

Check out ValerieMoss.ca for more information including, menu, pictures, and links to both restaurants.

Thanks for listening, if you’ve tried out either of these places, let me know your experience and if you have a restaurant you’d like me to try out please pass this on…we are all about food in my family, good food with a good experience around it!

 

Janome Sewing Machine Update (277)

As many of you know I went through quite a trying experience with Janome in May of 2010 and with sheer determination I worked really hard with my Horizon to make it the machine I would LOVE. Well I’m not sure I LOVE it yet but I’m really starting to like it:)

It’s a solid machine, my Husqvarna would shake when I was free motioning quilting and that would drive me crazy, this machine is super solid but it’s super heavy too! I have had more comments on this Janome Horizon post from May of 2010 then likely any other post on my site. I believe that’s because our sewing machines mean alot to us. We value them like our cars and computers – they are our machines, we rely on them everyday (like I do). We want them to work like they are advertised to work.

Recently I took a class (with baby London and she was fab btw) on machine quilting – this was part 2 to the one I took in January and one of the ladies – we’ll call her “Frustrated Sewer” in the class recently bought a new Phaff. Frustrated Sewer came from a Bernina that she’d had and sewed faithfully on for many years (like 20+). She was getting to know her Phaff and wasn’t happy with it AT ALL – oh how I can relate to her. It’s so hard to spend the money on this new shiny sewing machine, pull it out of the box, full of excitement and anticipation for amazing things to come but then be dissapointed with the initial results. Frustrated sewer has spent let’s be generous and say several weeks playing with this new machine compared to the several years with her Bernina – there has got to be a significant difference, right?

Well like any tool we buy and spend significant money on, it’s a learning curve getting use to it – whether it’s a new stove, computer, remote control – they are supposed to be better cause they are newer. They come sporting the best technology – or better then what you currently have – a new shinyer cover or shell and more importantly they are going to assist us with expertise and a handy dandy user guide. This is a learning curve ladies. Trust me when I say learning curve.

I wish I could have returned my machine as the above posts asks over and over. I still haven’t taken it in for a service because I’m not sure where to take it – to the local store who’s a bit annoyed that I didn’t spend my money there and who will charge me full price for the service OR to the store where I purchased it from that’s about 8 hours from me – who’s likely annoyed with me for blogging about my experience and asking Janome Canada for help (which they never did).  Stuck between a rock and a hard place I am. Good thing I can take apart and clean my machine with no problems….

What are your experiences with your brand of sewing machines – I’d love to hear about them.

Cotton Floss Book Review (241)

This is our newest only book that we’re carrying…that’s because Natalie emailed me asking me if I’d be one of the few Canadian shoppes carrying it – I, with pleasure accepted the challenge…so far it hasn’t been to hard to accept this challenge as I sold out of the book from this post.

I love it!! It’s a true gem and would make a great addition to your sewing/quilting and embroidery books in your present stash.

Cinderberry Stitches, Natalie’s company has an amazing way of putting whimsy into everything…she makes you believe in fairies and the cuties in life and takes you back to being a little girl with dreams. All of these come through in the stitcheries she and her team design.

All 12 projects are in full colours and full sizes so no photocopying – thank YOU Natalie:)

Her photos throughout the book are sew inspiring and absolutely delightful…

 

 

Sew if you feel so inclined to purchase it for your stash…I have more copies on order so not to worry:) they are on their way…

Kindle Review (221)

For an early Christmas present my hubby surprised me with this amazing reading device, a Kindle by Amazon. I’m a “veracious reader” as he calls me I’m not a super fast reader (like my Aunt who reads a book in a night) but I LOVE to read. I read so many different styles of books from lite reading about nothing to heavy reading about slavery, to biographies and travel and everything in between. I’m not much of a magazine reader (unless it’s quilting related) but every night before bed I read, Period!

This device is so great – it’s sleek and fits into my messenger bag style of purse for when I’m on the go, the battery lasts a month or longer and you can adjust the text font, spacing and size, you can read it portrait or landscape as well as it’s perfect for both right hand and left handed people. It’s super lightweight so your hand doesn’t get tired when reading for long hours. I also really love the screen savers which are generally of some famous author or an interesting picture of birds or something you’d love.

It’s the perfect gift coming it at just around $150 it makes a great gift for anyone and yourself, of course. This little beauty also keeps track of how far along in your book you are, has highlighted quotes in the book that other people LOVE too as well as a dictionary setting if you’re not sure what a word means (how perfect is that!). You can search for books directly from this device to the Amazon.com (important cause Amazon.ca doesn’t sell Kindle books or the device) and they get emailed right to you wirelessly. You can subscribe to newspapers, blogs (USA only) and all of the books you could ask for, plus they are generally cheaper then paper backs – bonus!! Also, there are many free Kindle books available. I can’t compare between the different e-readers out there because I only know this one but I would definitely recommend it for the “reader” in your life or YOU:)

Do you have a Kindle or another e-reader brand, if so tell me about it as I’d love to hear about the other brands out there.

Until next time, stay happy and creative, Valerie

Me Mondays: HST Charges – with Regrets! (187)

Since July 1st those of you who live in Canada have heard the big debate about whether to charge the HST, GST and the combined tax with some of the Canadian provinces…

I’ve heard everything from “buy from HST free provinces” to “no Albertans don’t pay or charge HST” 

After many hours of research, and every time Pastimes Online ships to a HST province we get billed to ship to this province, I’m not doing business with the province I’m doing business with my local Post Office in Alberta a HST free province, am I not? The person living in Ontario who purchased from me doesn’t pay HST because I live in Alberta, and we aren’t a HST province, right?

Confused? I am!

So after much review of the tables, taxes and provinces, unfortunately Pastimes Online will now be charging HST (appropriate amount) to their customers from the applicable provinces – with much regret!

Valerie

Any advice or insight you can provide to me that’d be much appreciated!

Here’s the Tax Tips document I used to find out the appropriate rates…

Review: Press Open or to One Side? (133)

Welcome back to Vals Quilting, today I want to talk about pressing seams open or to one side. 

I was taught to press seams to one side generally to the dark and to nest the seams when connecting blocks together, this seems to be the proper way or the way most quilters sew.

A year or so ago I was reading about quilters starting to press seams open, then I was struggling with a complicated block and my friend Beth said to press my seams open and boy did that ever make a difference. Less bulk, it lays so much flatter especially when you have multiple pieces.

I also had the privilege recently to take a lecture or two and a workshop by Fun Quilts, Bill Kerr and they press their seams open and always have. They do this to relieve bulk. If they have no concerns about pressing their seams open and commissioning their quilts in upwards of $5000K they must be onto something….

There was some debate recently at a quilt guild meeting regarding this. One lady mentioned that pressing the seams open may make the seam vulnerable, another person agreed but if you think about it, Seamstresses and Sewers press their seams open all of the time to relieve bulk. Some sewers will finish their seams in  “french” style or zigzag over the seam allowances to ensure they are secure or even use a serger so the seam allowance doesn’t become frayed. You likely wouldn’t use a serger when quilting because this will definitely add bulk to the seam and plus you will be quilting through all 3 layers to finish the quilt and secure the blocks in place at the end.

I was taught to sew pressing the seams open, thanks Susan.

I was taught to press my seams to one side when quilting, thanks to all of you quilting experts and teachers out there 🙂

I’ve decided to press seams open and or to press in the direction that will make my block sit flat and to reduce bulk, if that means to press to one side, I will do that, if that means to press the seam open, I will do that.

Since I’ve started teaching with Chinook Learning Services, I’ve decided to teach my students to press their seams open, so far 🙂

What do you do? Press Open or to one side and Why?

Until next time, have a happy and creative day!

 

 

Janome Horizon 7700 Review (entry 122)

Hi all, so the last couple of weeks I’ve been consumed with my new machine.  Grab a cappu and get ready for a good story….

So it all started May long weekend when Jeff and I went to Kelowna on a spur of the moment camping weekend.  One of my favourite shops in Kelowna is Linda’s Quilt Shop/Jims Vacuum Shop and as we were driving by they were having a huge tent sale on sewing machines…do we dare stop 🙂

So after stopping and spending over 3 hours questioning and trying the Janome Horizon 7700, I decided to take the plunge and buy it.  Thanks so much to Jim for all of his time and such a great deal.

Fast forward a week…. The machine arrived in the mail and I spent the next several days working with it and figuring out all the stuff I like and dislike.  As many of you know, I’ve always been a Husqvarna girl (Lily 555 was my 1st and Platinum 770 my 2nd) and so far I have to say there are quite a few differences between the machines.

I’ll start with the likes between this machine and my Husqy. 

  • Thread cutter – love it.
  • Stitch memory and recall the last stitch – you can set the stitch length and width and save it for next time you turn on your machine, in my case the 1/4″ needle position and length of stitch – love it!! Also, because this is the most popular stitch I use everytime I turn my machine on it goes to that stitch automatically.
  • So much quieter which is great for those long night watching TV and sewing.
  • The throat area is almost 11″ it’s amazing.
  • All the feet that I need came with it including the Accufeed Walking foot system – awesome as you don’t have to attached a walking foot contraption to the machine, you just add the special foot and connect the lever to the foot.

Dislikes:

  • 1/4″ foot guide came bent.
  • The precision of the sewing isn’t what I’m used to, I cannot control the foot pedal to sew nice and slow and continuous, the foot control isn’t as responsive as my Husqy. 
  • The feet when connected to the shaft are a very wiggly, this was something that truly bothered me ALOT so my hubby sat with me and added a piece of tape to the side of the shaft to add some padding now the feet fit nice and snug, phew.
  • My needle threader came broken, the needle in the machine was also bent.
  • Don’t like the tension on the presser foot, it’s so tight even on the lightest setting.
  • Dealing with Janome Canada Ltd. has been a nightmare !!!!!

So phoned the dealership in Kelowna where I purchased it from (Jims Sewing Centre) and discussed the questions with my machine with Jim Findlay like I’ve listed above as well as the broken threader. He said for me to take it to Sewing World here in Calgary and talk to them as they are a certified dealer. The warranty did I mention is for 17 years!! Amazing right? Well according to Steve Rice of Sewing World in Calgary the warranty is with the shop not the machine. So called Jim back in Kelowna and he says…no no the warranty is with the machine he said he would cover any costs that might be incurred with Sewing World in Calgary and people move all the time, bla, bla, bla so I decide to call Janome directly to find out exactly – BIG MISTAKE!!

“Oh, by the way, I did take my machine to Steve at Sewing World here in Calgary and he did check out and adjust the needle threader for me at no charge so thanks to Steve for that. He did explain again to me that the warranty is with the shop as Janome doesn’t reimburse for labour costs to the dealer even though the warranty card states that all parts and warrant are covered for the 1st 2 years.”

Anyway, it’s the end of the day last Friday and Lynn from Janome answers the phone, I kind of give her a run down of my situation and ask about the warranty card.  She preceded to tell me that she would be mad if she was Sewing World in Calgary and that she wouldn’t help me since I bought the machine from somewhere else! As you can imagine I was quite surprise by her response.  I said that people move all the time and need to get their machines serviced.  She told me that was not that type of situation… I told her that the warranty card says that I can go to any authorized dealer for warranty issues and questions.  She was so rude, and said that this was not the case and she didn’t have a warranty card in front of he, so she can’t comment.  I was so surprised by her lack of professionalism and rudeness… and because it was the end of the day there wasn’t anyone else there for me to speak to.  She said she couldn’t help me and that she would have someone contact me this week.  I also called the warranty number (assuming it went to the same office as Lynn’s) and left a message asking for someone to contact me from their warranty dept… it’s now Thursday and I haven’t heard a thing as of yet.

When I talked to Jim in Kelowna I was feeling so discouraged.  It has been such a bad experiance with Janome Canada Ltd (particularly Lynn) I’m considering sending my machine back just because of all of the discrepancies and contradictions with the warranty…they have a no return policy, of course!

I’ve been sewing on it a bit more this week and getting used to it – I do like it BUT I haven’t heard from anyone at Janome regarding either message about my questions and concerns… so frustrating!!

Have any of you purchased the Horizon 7700, do you like it?  Did you switch from another machine like Bernina or Husqvarna I’m curious to know what you think, likes and dislikes. I would also like to know if any of you out there has had a similar problem with warranty?

Thank so much for taking the time to read through this and leaving any advice or comments!!

Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club (entry 40)

Hi Everyone, today I thought I would review a book called “The Friday Night Knitting Club” I know it isn’t quilting per se but this book applies to so many quilting relatable ideas, friendships, clubs, families and many more things that bring quilters together.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the sisterhood throughout the book. It brings you into each perspective lady’s life, the Mom who owns the store, her daughter (who loves to bake for the club), the reporter who doesn’t knit but loves to be with the ladies, the rich friend who wants everything and who willingly pays for it, the helper at the store that doesn’t need to work but can’t stay away and has a secret liking for the gentleman who owns the deli downstairs, the ex-boyfriend who is coming back into his daughter’s life after 10+ years and so on…

I’m just about 1/3rd of the way and I’m now familiar with the backgrounds of each character’s life, when they were married, when they had kids, got divorced, fell in love…again. I’m loving it. It’s a pretty good read, if anyone has read it and would be interested in “blogging” together about this book as a sort of on-line book club that would be great as it’s so nice to share in a “good read” with likeminded individuals 🙂

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I couldn’t resist sharing the latest photos of Tig, I had moved over to the love-seat to do some un-sewing and Tig hopped up on my machine and starting watching her “TV”.

Maybe she gets a better view from here lol.

She looks pretty comfortable, you would think I was gone for hours but it only took her a couple of minutes to get into this position…now only if I could get her to do some sewing 🙂 

Apparently, I was gone far too long (only long enough to un-sew a few seams and take plenty of photos of her) as she became bored and tired 🙂

Until next time…have a great day!

Valerie