Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Little House

What did I do with this nice paper?

I'm trying to simplify things this year because I just don't want the stress. I think I have most of my shopping done... almost. I can't find the key that opens my storage locker, where all my Christmas decorations are, so....... I'm not having a tree this year! That simplifies things now doesn't it? I put off decorating for so long this year that it would be pointless to do it all now anyway. I do want it to be a little Christmas-y so that's why I did the garland and wreath, which really didn't take much time at all. The way I cope with the stress is to make sure I have time to be creative and make things... like cookies or this...

See, I do have a tree after all. This is the house before I added the little night light and vellum windows.

The paper mache houses came as a set of three (for $17 !!) at my new, favorite art supply store, Loomis. They opened another, bigger store on Broadway near Granville. (For the Vancouver readers, incase there are hundreds of you!)

Monday, December 18, 2006

And Now For Some Christmas Content

An early Christmas present I got for myself at Michaels (which I almost never go to!) I see all the craft stuff and it makes me NOT want to craft.

But this bag... it has a gazillion pockets. Perfect for craft crap that I might want to carry to a friends or the park in the summer...

So what I did with this, was rip a bunch of strips.....

and tied them to lengths of yarn to make these, a garland an a wreath. Hey who doesn't like making Christmas decorations using wire coat hangers!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Smooth Sailing

This is the smoothie I've been having most mornings, lately. Starting off with soy milk, I add some frozen chopped up bananas... or fresh, depending.

Then I add most of this crap. Some 3-6-9 oil blend (essential fatty acids) , Greens Plus, wheat germ and maybe almond butter. If I want to mix it up I add some ground hemp seed (protein powder) It's not tasty, I'll use it up some how. The baggy is ground psyllium husk (fiber). It's recommended you add this to a drink in the evening. I tried it in a smoothie and it wasn't pleasant. It soaked up all the liquid and I had to use a spoon.

There she goes, my beloved Cuisinart hand held. It's powerful and a damn sight easier to clean up than a blender! I highly recomend it. I used to blend up soups all the time when my kids were little. (in the blender back then)

Ooh yum, doesn't that look good? Actually, I really it. This, straight from the measuring/mixing cup while playing a few games of Spider Solitaire does it for me.

Snow Day

Now you finally get to see me! I have to mail this new hat off to a certain someone but I'd regret it if I didn't take a picture of it first. I think it's still a little big even though it's been through the wash twice. Ill leave it up to her to decide. See, you could wear it with the brim up too.

I did want to take pictures the very first day of snow but my batteries weren't charged. All the trees were lacey and everything looked pristine. It made the city look like the country side.
The snow is pretty much gone now, it's kind of drizzly again. We did get to go for a nice walk in the park though.

The river rocks here look like they're wearing hats.

Knitting Crazy

I had part of the day off, so this morning I finally decided I'd better update this place so people know I'm still alive.
I took a whole bunch of pictures and most of them looked too garish and overexposed. Do you think I know how to work my camera yet? Do you think I could find my manual? Anyway, I was busy trying to figure things out, changing settings, taking pictures, tidying up, looking for my manual and I think I went into some kind of time warp. I could have sworn it was four o'clock or so but it was only one pm! Anyway, I'm still not really happy with these pictures but I can't find the secret setting that makes all the pictures come out just right.

I bought this great book, Hip Knit Hats by Cathy Carron. When I first flipped through it I realized that I would make most of the hats in it. There are a few hats done with novelty yarns, which I'm not fond of, but otherwise, I love this book.

See, this purple hat is the one on the front cover and it looks great on. I drastically changed needle sizes for this one. I'm getting cleaver at mixing different yarns to create the proper gauge. This is a good reason to have a good variety in your stash!

Here is the same hat in a different mix. They each took one good evening of TV watching, speaking of which, my favorite show at the moment is The Office.

I've also been working on this beauty, a scarf in Drops alpaca, soooo soft. It's as adventurous as I'm going to get in lace, at the time being. Easy peasy Feather and Fan.

A real quickie scarf in the beautiful Noro. I can't tell you what it is because I've misplaced the tag. It's got these two nice fluffy angora patches at either end. I love this colour mix!

Ok... these socks ( the start of this sock) aren't quite so bright. It's weird, knitting bulky hats then moving back to this. It's like knitting on tooth picks.

So, that's it for now.

I do have some snow pictures and I also want to tell you about the morning smoothies I've been making and you can tell me if I'm getting carried away.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I finally finished a pair of socks that I started in May, and they're going to be mine! The first pair of socks that I've made for me!

I'm not posting a picture of them yet because it's dark now, even in the daytime! The grey, rainy west coast days have begun. I know I havn't posted lately and it's not that I've been too busy, but let's say it's not on my priority list right now. OK, I'm a slacker....

Oh, I found the best video demonstrating the infamous Kitchener stitch. She completely simplifies what could be a very frustrating experience, so check it out!

The photo above is the HMCS Saskatoon Flower Corvette. My Dad served in the Navy, on this ship. This is in honour of all the Navy men for Remembrance Day that just passed.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Natural Beauty

I was feeling pretty sick over the weekend. On Sunday I was feeling a little better and to test my stamina I decided to go for a little walk to my local thrift shop, five minutes from my apartment. (open Sundays, open evenings, good cheap entertainment). I did bring home a couple little goodies but my best find was this wasp's nest which I didn't notice laying on the ground on the way there, but did on the way home.

I think the colours are amazing, and remind me of Leslie's beautiful (wip) socks.

The call of the Socks posted Sep 15th is at the bottom of the page.

Can anyone tell me... When I link to someone's site, can I link directly to one of their postings? I know this probably isn't the place to ask. My daughter isn't around to help out and if I tried help on blogger it would take me about 10 hours to figure this one out. Honestly, it's not intuitive to me and using the computer is an extreme challenge. It's a real love hate relationship!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thank You

Thank you to everyone for such kind, heartfelt comments regarding my last post. I've been busy lately, working on fixing up my apartment, going through everything and trying to simplify and spruce it up. I bought a bunch of Ikea frames and have been finally putting up some artwork, something that was lacking here. I seem to have a lot of nick nacks, (too many) but not enough pictures. Anyway, that's been fun going through old calendars and such. Miro, Grandma Moses, Chagal, Diego Rivera all in similar colour schemes. Maybe one day if I ever get my place to a point that I'm really proud of, I'll post photos. I'm doing this on a real shoestring budget mind you. Anyway, for now I'll show this great knitty bike I saw while window shopping a few days ago. I should have noted the store, or be able to give the artist credit but I can say it was on south Granville St. in Vancouver.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Dad

To explain my absence for any of you that still visit me here.

This has always been one of my favorite pictures of my father.

I've always been very private about my life, when I write on my blog. Somehow I just wanted to keep it a simple, happy place, about crafts I've made or bargains found at the thrift store. It's a difficult thing to put myself out there in public, cause I'm never sure how much I want to share, even little things. Then there are the life altering experiences....and so I've decided I would share.

My Father died recently. It wasn't a shock. He was ill with emphysema and heart disease for several years. What was especially difficult was that it was on the anniversary of my son's death. He was fourteen years old at the time of his accident, which was just over three years ago. My grieving for him was especially tender this year. So there it is, a blast of reality on a simple little blog.

You see, when I read about someone sharing their struggle with an illness, or the death of a parent or the birth of a child, I feel as though I'm keeping a secret. Part of who I am is the fact that I'm a mother who has lost a child. And please, I don't mean to bring anyone down. Ultimately I find life extremely beautiful, even more so, knowing how fragile it is... and so...I go about my sometimes hum-drum life, trying to remember to keep an eye out for that beauty. (As I know many of you do)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The tail end of the yard sales...

I love yard sales when that special something jumps out at you. These crazy birds are great.

Here's another tin. I've had this a long time.

And here's a little bag that I finished off this morning, inspired by all the Japanese ones I've been seeing. My neighbor gave me this little lamb. I was admiring it on one of my visits. Wasn't that sweet? She's my little knitting mascot.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Trying to shake it off.

I've had some crap happen in my life recently, and suffice to say, I've been left feeling unmotivated and uninspired, so my sincere apologies to anyone coming to visit and finding no explanation for my absence. My blog felt unimportant in the big picture. This is the place I go when I want to share my inspiration, and I didn't have any.

I did get to go to Ontario for a week at the end of June, and be with four of my five brothers and sisters. That felt really good! It was a trip to visit my father, who's health is failing. That's a hard one. I love my Dad.

We grew up on a one hundred acre farm. What a rich childhood. This little swampy area, at the end of our driveway was still there. We sat here a little while and were drenched in birdsong.

There was a bit of the foundation of the barn left standing. Our barn was torn down long ago, but I recently found out that some Mennonite farmers had salvaged the wood. I felt good about that because, our barn... It was so huge, it was a big giant friend, it had presence and history.

The silo was the only structure still standing. The lay of the land had been changed so much, the pond ploughed over, hills moved, that if it weren't for the silo, it would have been difficult to judge where our house would have stood. It wasn't heartbreaking. The grassy fields had been replaced with dark green, undulating rows of corn. Hey, it easily could have been a suburb!

We were also able to visit my beautiful mother on Manitoulin Island. We took the Chi-cheeman ferry through the mist...

Hey! Don't be feeding those seagulls... even if they fake having one leg and make you feel completely sorry for them!

A few minutes from my Moms doorstep and you have this!

The visit to Ontario was too short. I loved my time there... my family, the country side, all the stories and memories and especially all the good laughs.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Shop, then shop some more.

Have I mentioned how I've been having crummy luck in the thrift stores lately? I just have to admit that it will never be the same as it was back in the hey day.

Any way, I like to think up projects with items that I can still find for a steal while thrifting (for that treasure) and that's why I bought the shells and cigar box. It's to make these!

I've been on a little collecting kick for these shell boxes lately and I have three of them now. It's probably because I have fond memories of looking at my mothers shell box when I was very young. It was a beautiful one and made with care and I thought of it as a treasure box because it contained old, mysterious sewing paraphernalia. Anyway, I like my corny box with its corny Acapulco postcard glued onto the inside lid.

Over the weekend I was able to find some fabric that got me excited. Some of it from an expensive quilting shop and some from a great discount store. It's all washed and ironed, and ready to use. Does the thought of cutting into fabric pain anyone else?

OK, one last shot. I found this little pillow today. (so I lied about not finding anything good any more) Since it's tiny, I'm going to add some sort of trim, turquoise and red? and give it some proper stuffing. I love when my daughter likes something that I get a kick out of, so, this one's for her.

Friday Night

An artistic shot on the way to Chinese dinner. OK, no, that was the margarita talking. This was the fortune I got.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Yo-Yo Tutorial

First off, trace and cut a whole lot of circles. I used a CD as my template. Blue Trail of Sorrow, (16 top bluegrass gems) was just dandy. How could anyone resist a song with a title like Cotton Eyed Joe or Cruel Willie or Owl Feather or Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven? I'm figurin old timey music suites this project, after all, making yo-yo's was all the rage in the 20's and 30's. It was (and is) a great way to make use of those scraps. Anyway, your CD will make a finished yo-yo just a little over two inches. Obviously any reasonably sized template will do. I think I may try some teeny tiny ones sometime.

OK, on to the next step. Just go right ahead and start stitchin! The hem in this photo is a little wide, but hey, as long as you're consistent, they'll be the same size in the end. Because you're folding the edge of a circle you'll need to ease in a few ripples here and there, but you certainly don't have to snip the edges or iron. Well, at least I don't.

Ok, now we've gone round the circle, so before you pull it tight, turn it right side out.

Don't pull the gathers too tightly or they won't have room to lay flat in the end.

And there we have it! Simply stitch your yo-yo's together in your desired pattern. You're going to start finding them very addictive, because they're fast and I should mention, very portable! Before you know it, you've got a great pile of cute little buttons to play with. It's a wonderful way of trying out different colour combinations. Oh, I should mention, there is no backing involved when you create a bed cover. I'm just working on small projects at the moment, pillows and such, so of course they will lay atop other fabric. Have fun and let me know if you give it a try.