I'm back home and as the rain continues to pour down outside on this June evening here in the UK, the lovely few weeks I have just spent in Toronto are all but a very fond memory.
Just a matter of days ago I was walking along the harbour front admiring this iconic view in temperatures of 29 degrees!
I have been so many times now that I don't do the usual touristy things, but I always make time to visit this wonderful place - the Art Gallery of Toronto
I particularly like viewing the Henry Moore sculptures and this year there was a special exhibition of his work. And that unusual looking addition to the building on the right hand side?
This is what it looks like from the inside.
An amazing piece of architecture and a wonderful place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea, surrounded by all that warm and textural wood.
I also went to the Textile Museum of Canada - a very small but well presented museum, where the very first exhibit I laid eyes on was this huge Sashiko quilt.
Here is a close up of a few of the blocks.
I have never tried Sashiko embroidery, but seeing this certainly made me think that I might give it a go some time in the future - not on this scale though !!
One of my priorities was to pay a visit my favourite park, High Park, and in particular the beaver dams that are always there. See what they have done to this tree?
A few more nibbles and it will come crashing down I'm sure!
Food featured highly on my agenda too, and I sampled a great many world cuisines from Vietnamese to Mexican.
A first for me though was these Canadian fiddleheads.
They are always in season when I go in May, but I've never eaten them before. They are young ferns before the fronds have unravelled. We had to research how to cook them, as they are poisonous if not cooked properly. They did take quite a bit of preparing, but it was worth the effort, they were delicious!
Of course no trip would be complete without a visit to the yarn and fabric stores on Queen Street West (well, more than one trip actually) but I was very restrained in my purchases.
Romni Wools is in the heart of this fabric district and is a knitters, crocheters or weavers dream. It is HUGE!! So huge in fact that I had to take a break part way through my visit, go and have lunch and then return when I had had time to process all that I had seen and coveted. I was like a kid in a candy shop who just can't make up their mind! In the end my purchases were very modest - a book about top down knitted sweaters and some high quality needles. It's just so hard to know what to buy when you don't have a plan of what you want to knit!
My forays into the fabric shops were more productive however and I came away with some lovely aqua coloured raw silk with plans to make another dress for myself. I've never sewn silk before, but compared to prices in the UK, this was a real bargain. If it doesn't work out as well as I want it to, then it's not too costly a mistake.
So, back to the real world - rain, a garden where the slugs ate virtually every veg I planted before I went away, masses of sewing to do for the next family wedding of the year and a head filled with loads of plans for things I want to create in the next few weeks. Happy times :-)