A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Creativity Unleashed!




Just take a look at all this mess! Would you believe I'm in the throes of creativity? One picture shows my pile (!) of assorted 'bits' made up mostly of broken jewellry. The other shows my pile of trims (or at least some of them). What is all this mess leading up to? Well, stay tuned and you will see!

Friday, December 29, 2006

More....




Today's pictures are of a couple more things I made for presents. The blue 'thing' is one of two prayer shawls I knitted for my sons' girlfriends...the other was in purple shades. The other picture is of a set of crocheted washcloths (and a bar of soap) which several people received from me.
Stumbled across something interesting whilst surfing recently: http://www.askthecrafter.blogspot.com If you have any crafting questions you would like to have answered or are just interested in learning about various aspects, go have a read. Several good artists are the 'brains' behind this site. Two of them are: http://www.artdolls.info and http://sherrygoshon.blogspot.com - both of which are wonderful sites in and of themselves. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Promised pictures of Christmas 'makings'




I mentioned before that I would show some pictures of some of the things I made for Christmas gifts. I made 27 of the domino ornaments to either give as presents or to use instead of a bow on other gifts. First I painted the back of the domino using green and gold paint and my finger to rub it in. The face was part of a rubber stamp image which I stamped onto tissue paper and then decoupaged onto the domino. 'Believe' was also stamped on..directly to the domino, and then was embossed in red. The little red flowers were just from some paper trim from the dollar store. The red beads at the top were from an old belt which belonged to my mother, so they are definitely vintage.
The other picture shows the mug totes I made from recycled denim and scraps I had in my stash. We have to take our coffee mugs to our quilt guild meetings, so it's nice to have a tote to carry them in.
Tomorrow I will show more and also maybe some pictures of some of the things I received for Christmas too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Groan...and happy news

Yep, we're groaning still after the huge meal last night. Why oh why do we think we have to eat so much? You think you're having just a little bit of everything and it ends up being a huge bit when it hits the stomach. The day after is for vegging out and that's precisely what we're doing!

The good news is that we're going to be parents-in-law!!! #1 son and his girlfriend are engaged! Woohoo! We are sooooo excited about it. He gave her a ring which they are calling a place-holder until he can afford to get a proper engagement ring. Right now he has to concentrate on his schooling and then getting a job before he can take it to the next level.

I got so many nice presents yesterday...a DIL-to be being the best one; books (always welcome); a new purse which I love; a wonderful piece of art from the One of A Kind Show; and we got a weekend away at a b&b. There was a lot more under the tree, but those are the highlights. Now I'm heading back upstairs to veg some more. Happy day after everyone!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas to all...and SNOW!!!

Yes, I found some snow this morning! In one of the mall parking lots there is a pile of it...covered in mud and yucky stuff, but nevertheless it's snow. I think maybe we'll all take lawn chairs on Christmas day and sit around it with some hot chocolate! All kidding aside, I'm sure Denver would love to send us some.

This is likely to be my last post until after Christmas so I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading my blog and to wish you and all you hold dear a happy and safe Christmas. Season's Greetings!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Eye candy....

If you want to see some interesting eye candy go to: http://dragonfragments.blogspot.com and look for the Dec. 16th entry. Make sure you scroll all the way through it!

Today we braved the grocery store and got the last minute food we need for the weekend. I hope we don't have to do any more shopping for at least a week (preferably more!). I really don't appreciate crowds and line-ups. The drivers in this town are nuts most of the year, but even worse when Christmas gets close. Goodwill to their fellow man simply does not exist.

It's raining too, which makes things thoroughly dismal. No snow to be seen and none in the forecast either. It doesn't seem right not to have a white Christmas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Take A Stitch Tuesdays!

I have been meaning to tell you about something that's going on in the stitching world and if you're interested in furthering your skills, you might want to check this out. SharonB of inaminuteago is starting a new challenge/teaching the first Tuesday in January called 'Take A Stitch Tuesdays' which will be running for 2007. Each week Sharon will be posting a different embroidery stitch and several variations of that stitch. Participants are encouranged to try the stitch and the variations, plus try some variations of their own. The results are then used as a sampler, a journal, or basically however you desire. If you are interested further details are here: http://inaminuteago.com/blog/index.php/take-a-stitch-tuesday-challenge/ I have signed up and hope to create a journal of reference stitches with mine.

I love the art of embroidery, mostly because it is done by hand. I know there are embroidery machines out there that create beautiful designs, but to me, hand work is the best. I am a collector of embroidery books and I think I will thoroughly enjoy Sharon's challenge. How about you?

Yet another Christmas tree


I know, all the blogs are posting pictures of their respective Christmas trees, so I can't be left out! However, behind the tree you can see the colour we painted the living room. Actually this picture is a pretty good representation of it.
Guess what I did today? Remember my saying how much I dislike wrapping presents? Well, I spent from 9 am til 1 pm doing exactly that at the local mall. My friend and I volunteer pretty much every year for a shift at the fundraiser booth for the Christian school (where her kids attend) instead of just having coffee together as we normally do. It's for a good cause...and... we got to wrap two diamond necklaces for a couple of lucky ladies. That was fun!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pictures!




I have a couple of pictures to show today. One is of my most-treasured Christmas items...my nativity set. When I was working as an Avon rep these were offered and I bought as many as I could afford at the time. I don't have all the pieces, but I do have the most meaningful ones. They are pure white porcelain. The creche itself is one Jack bought me for Christmas a few years ago. There are a few ornaments on the tree that are quite special to me, but my nativity is 'Christmas' to me.
The other picture shows a present I received yesterday, along with one of my Santas from my collection. The 'lump' is actually a lamp...made of salt (!) mined in the Himalayans. It is extremely heavy, but gives off the most wonderful glow. Jacquie said that it's supposed to be good for balancing ions in the room, which I don't know much about, but she promised me a pamphlet on it later on. I don't care about the ions...I love the lamp!
Here's another site for you to check out: http://chrysti.wordpress.com Some pretty interesting art work on there, plus she is the 'author' of 'Try It Tuesdays' which has been very good, but currently isn't running. She's hoping to have it return in the new year. Have fun!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just surfin'

Some sites for you to check out (you can tell I haven't much to do, can't you?)...

www.antiqueclipart.com (free clipart)
www.knittinghelp.com (free patterns)
www.knittingpatterncentral.com (free patterns)
www.crochetpatterncentral.com (free patterns)
www.aisling.net (art dolls, fabric arts, atc's)
www.art-e-zine.co.uk (wonderful site for artsy stuff!!)
www.marilynradzat.com (art dolls)
www.quilterscache.com (free quilt patterns)
www.bead_patterns.com (free patterns)
and www.ThatBeadLady.com (who has a bead shop in Newmarket I have yet to visit)

There, have fun!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

200 (!) and the very last present


Drum roll, please! In case you're the least bit interested, this is my 200th post (and they said it wouldn't last). Even I am impressed!
The picture shows the very last present for this year...a snow-blowing hat for Jack. Although, if we don't start getting some snow, it might be a wasted effort. The pattern came from the label on a ball of Bernat Denim Style yarn, using 5mm needles.
If you'd like to see some eye candy, please check out this: http://www.allisonaller.com/cblog/index.php Allison has done an absolutely mind-boggling CQ quilt which is well worth seeing. Her style is somewhat different, but gorgeous. She's one talented lady!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Boring...boring....


Who likes revamping old curtains to fit smaller windows when there's Christmas things to be done? That's exactly what I did this afternoon. These are our old living room curtains in mid-process of being shortened and the tops being redone so they don't have to use hooks. #2 son wants them to fit their windows, at least for now. It really wasn't such a difficult job, just unwieldy. These curtains also weigh a ton, which makes it even harder to work with. Hopefully they will fit when we hang them tomorrow!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Late nights and errands

We went to the city last night to pick up #2 son for a few days. Not a bad thing, in and of itself, but we didn't get home til nearly 2 am. My old bones aren't happy with such hours and as a result today I'm just spinning my wheels...and running errands that are not of the fun sort.

Having the cards done, the gifts made, the wrapping pretty much done and a late night makes for a very non-productive day. I have finally resorted to half-heartedly making some atc's for the swap just after Christmas.

On another note, the trees next door are all cut down with only the stumps remaining (for now). It's a complete and total shock to look out right now. The yard just doesn't look right!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Post # 2

OK...Sir Blogger. I give up. What have you done with the paragraph function? I know where I put them...and they're gone. Eaten. Blown away. Disappeared. I want 'em back.

463, and counting


Yep. I'm sure it's 463*. Or is it 464? Or 465? All I know is I hate wrapping presents and I'm sure that's how many I've wrapped today. What's worse is that I'm not done!!! To be fair, there's only two left, which isn't too bad.
The picture today is of the forest next door (sorry about the dark photo, but there's never any sunshine when you need it). Imagine if you can, eighteen trees, all nearly 50 ft. tall. All poised to come crashing down like bowling pins at some point in the not-too-distant future. Well, they're crashing down allright...by design. We're not sure if we should be sad or glad. We certainly won't miss the mess they leave after every wind storm or rain, or snow. We won't miss the roots taking the good out of the soil in our garden. We will miss the shade and the lovely sound they make when it's windy (but not TOO windy). Half of them are gone already and we think we're living in a whole 'nother neighbourhood!
*For those that think we're wealthy and go totally overboard, the above number is very much exageratted. It was really only 462.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Finished box and frustration


I've decided that there is one week before Christmas that I suffer from complete and total frustration. Everything has to come together all at once and it's just plain overwhelming. I'm down to the wrapping stage, which isn't my favourite thing to do at the best of times. I love the making of presents but once they're done I don't want to see them again and certainly don't want to have to wrap them. Too bad I couldn't just give them the way they are!
Anyway, here's a picture of the finished box I showed you in mid-go a couple of days ago. I'm not 100% pleased with it, but it will do. It's a first attempt and I've come to the conclusion I would have been further ahead to just purchase a box at the dollar store and recover it. This pattern (Vogue) used 'cardboard' of undetermined strength for the box sides, top & bottom. I used bristolboard because I felt it would bend into the oval shape easier and should be sturdy enough. Not so much. It's ok, but don't put any pressure on it or it will buckle. Yet another reason why I dislike Vogue patterns (other than the price). Their instructions assume you know much more about the project than you actually do and really don't spell things out thoroughly enough for most mortal people. I keep hoping they will change.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Just a movin' along


Today the picture is the finished paper doll. Sorry about the quality, but I ended up having to scan her rather than take a picture. Of course the camera needs to be recharged! I just hope my swap-mate likes these colors. If she doesn't, it's too late now. For anyone wondering...her face is glued into a bottle cap, her arms are wrapped with bits of wool (as is her hair). Her wings are made from a used dryer sheet dry brushed with paint.
We managed to get all the Christmas cards done yesterday and I finished making the last gift. Too tired to celebrate though. Now I have to get busy and get things wrapped because everything is piled on #2 son's bed and he tells us he's coming home for the weekend. I hope I don't have to resort to just moving it all from #2's bed to #1's!
Today was one of those days where there are too many things going on and it's hard to spread yourself around. I could have oinked out at two separate Christmas luncheons, but finally chose one. After a very excellent meal, I walked up to the other meeting. I must admit I'm liking not having to be 'responsible' for anything at the quilt guild and can just go and enjoy the meetings.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Decorating frenzy




The house is decorated for Christmas (pictures will follow at some point). It's done...hooray! What a huge chore and this is after we got rid of five boxes of stuff we don't use anymore. Before you ask, they were big boxes too! There's another box ready to go after today. Do you think maybe we have too many ornaments?
The pictures today are of my latest project I'm doing. The blue paper doll is one I did last month for the CQTeers challenge and the other is one I'm starting for a swap I'm in. My blue one has one shoe. Think Cosmo ate the other one. Rotten cat. The second doll is already painted in Twinkling H2O's and has her head ready to put in the bottle cap. I haven't decided on the clothing color yet, so her 'underwear' isn't painted. Maybe tomorrow sometime, but there is a lot going on and I'm not at all sure that there will be any time to craft.

Friday, December 08, 2006

More progress!


I'm working on the last present - I think. This will be a decorated box for my friends dresser. She always complains that there's too much stuff cluttering it up, so maybe she can put some of it in this. Such is the plan anyway! I'm doing my usual and putting several patterns together into one - plus some ingenuity on my part to make it blend together and somewhat look finished. I snagged a piece of her bedroom border print when I helped her put it up, so that has been my inspiration for colors. Can't say I'm not the debvious sort!!
The glue should be dry by now, so back to work!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pet grooming and shopping and TSO

Well, so much for my planned afternoon working at my last official Christmas present. Instead I spent my time clipping cat toenails...and not for my cat either. She was formerly our cat, but we gave her to friends who are too timid to do her nails.

We also did some shopping for stocking stuffers. Boy, they sure can be expensive! I save all our 'points' from Shoppers Drug Mart all year and then use them towards the stockings. It sure helps!

The reference to TSO is my all-time favourite Christmas music. Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I absolutely love their music. It's a combination of opera/rock/old-time music (only rocked up). There's nothing quite like putting their cd's on and cranking them up!! If you're interested their web site is www.trans-siberian.com . I've seen them live once and they are fantastic. I wanted desperately to go again this year when they appeared in Toronto, but it was not to be. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Doing a header...or two




Pictures! Hope you're excited about that. There haven't been many lately.
Today I spent finishing one Christmas present and doing the headers on the new curtains (hence the picture of the curtain!!) Actually this one is in the dining room...the light was wrong for taking pictures in the living room. Curtains are the same, but the walls aren't.
The other pile of 'stuff' is my santa makings, or at least some of them. I've been collecting things for my tall santa for years and I'm hoping this will be the year that all this becomes something. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

27....count 'em....done

Twenty seven Christmas ornaments are done. Sorry I can't show a picture just yet but rest assured that one has been taken and will be posted later.

I finished another Christmas project too and got another one well under way. I hope to have most of them done this week so I can start the cards and the decorating. I might (if I don't say it too loud and jinx myself) even have a chance to start making my large santa I have been hoping to do for about four years. Maybe.....

Monday, December 04, 2006

One of 'those' days

It's been one of those days when nothing I set out to do managed to get done. I had great plans of working this afternoon after my yoga class but it was not to be. Instead we took one dog out for her hair 'do' and then went for groceries. I hate grocery shopping. I really, really hate grocery shopping. Really!

However, on a bright note, our curtain rods are up and the new curtains are hung, thanks to #1son and DH's efforts yesterday afternoon. I have to revamp the curtains somewhat because the sleeve the rod goes through is a bit too small to operate smoothly. Don't anybody suggest we change rods because I happen to love these and they are staying...so there! Right now the furniture and carpet in the dining room are drying from being cleaned. It's all good.

Now I'm going to play around with my prototype for the Christmas ornaments. Keep your fingers crossed that it works!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Home safely...but son is cooking

By the time we got away to the city yesterday afternoon the freezing rain was over, which was a good thing. I hate travelling in either heavy fog or freezing rain.

Tonight #1 son is cooking. Of course he doesn't cook the way we would, using ingredients we have on hand. Nope, we have to spend a small fortune at the store to pick up such exotic things as lemongrass and goat cheese (can't be just any old goat cheese either). We're even having some sort of appetizers made from beets (??). Then we're left with a huge mess to clean up after him. Isn't it fun to have an aspiring cook in the family?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Travel, freezing rain, and painting done

We just finished the final coat of paint and only have a couple of little touch ups to do at some point over the weekend. Think we like it, but, until all the pictures etc. are up, we're never sure. Just very glad it's done!

Of course we have to make a trip to the city to pick up #1 son for the weekend...in the freezing rain. Lovely. We wouldn't go other than for the fact he has to go to the bank tomorrow to get his loan for going to college in January. We'll stick to the main roads and hope everybody else keeps their wits about them. The sanders will be out in full force so it should be ok. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Incognito dog




See my handsome dog? See the paint all over his butt? I think he has dreams of being all white (with a little warm taupe thrown in for good measure). He has paint in his tail and various and assorted other places on his body. You can't say he doesn't want to be helpful. Too bad I couldn't convince him how to dip his tail in the can and actually paint the walls!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stuffed (and trussed) turkey

Yep, that's me. A stuffed and trussed turkey. Spent today at Kyms for our CQTeer meeting which was also a potluck and her birthday celebration. We had two (count 'em...two) decadent chocolate desserts AND several chocolate truffles which found their way into my shouldn't-have-been-so-willing mouth. That was on top of several wonderful pasta and salads we partook of (far too much found it's way onto my plate and of course I was honour bound to eat it all!!). THEN, to complicate my already over-full state we went out for supper with our friends. Yep, I'm a stuffed turkey who is feeling trussed into pants that aren't meant to expand this much. All I want to do now is go to bed and sleep it off. Groan........

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sew day with friends

Had a fun sew day with a couple of friends today. I didn't actually sew...I knitted on a toque for my DH for Christmas. Julie has been working on a quilt she has put together from thrift store finds and, oddly enough, she found a fully done quilt in the same pattern at another thrift store AND using pretty much the same colors. Jacquie is making place mats and using up some leftover material from making curtains. Can't say we don't use things up!

Tonight I've been madly trying to finish a paper doll I need to have done for the CQTeers meeting tomorrow. Since it was my challenge I had better get mine done!! Hopefully I will be able to scan her tomorrow so you can see what I came up with.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More painting and comfort

After my yoga class this morning I went back to painting and finished the second coat on the living room. Now we just have all the trim to do, which isn't likely to happen until at least Thursday.

The topic on Studio Friday this week was 'Comfort' (what brings you comfort in your studio or artistic work environment). For me, I would have to say there are two things. There's a certain black and white cat who sleeps high up on one of my shelving units and keeps an eye on whatever I'm doing. He occasionally takes a closer look and walks all over my projects. The other thing that gives me comfort is my husband bringing me down a cup of green tea in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes my dog spends some time laying at my feet too, and that's a nice thing when it happens.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Four hours of painting

Four hours spent painting today and have nothing to show for it, other than an unholy mess. Putting on primer just leaves things looking horrible. I got the first coat of paint on the kitchen though (it looks horrible too at the moment). Sure do wish I could wave a magic wand and have the whole thing done!! Hopefully I can finish the kitchen tomorrow and get at least the first coat on the living room. Did you ever notice that, once you start changing something, the rest of the house suddenly starts looking seedy? It's just like the galloping ick. I was perfectly happy with the cellarway until I see it against the new kitchen color...now it's yeeewww. However, it will wait til after Christmas.

When the dust settles we hope to have painted the kitchen, living room, cellarway, one of the bedrooms and all the trim in the house (which is going to be a colossol pain in the butt). I'm even going off the deep end and painting all the doors which are the old ('50's) style slab doors currently just finished in varnish. It would be nice to replace them, but there are just simply too many (11 to be exact).

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 24, 2006

More technology, sew day, and 3 done!

Had a sew day with Kym today and gave her the birthday presents I had for her...two sock monkeys, which I completely forgot to take pictures of. Sorry. While she was here I finished three more Christmas presents which I was happy about.

She also dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the new version of Blogger. It's supposed to do all sorts of exciting things, which I am sure I will totally ignore (out of pure and unadulterated fear of the unknown). Yep, look out technology....here I come!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy United States Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the United States and to any 'transplanted' citizens out there! Hope you all get your fill of turkey or whatever you enjoy.

I'm sorry to say that the chocolate theme has come to an end. This is the last one. I love all the funky fibres and the little girl on her tippy toes to get chocolate from the birds nest.

Now I'm off to clean. Yep, it's reached 'that' point again in my workroom and since I have Kym coming for a sew day tomorrow I guess I had better do something about it. I'd sure like to know where all the dust comes from!!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sorry, dear reader (s)

I realize I neglected to post yesterday and, to add insult to injury, I have no pictures for today either. Oh oh.

In my defense...yesterday I was busy working on presents and have three more reaching completion. Last night, when I should have been having my computer time, we ended up helping out at my brother-in-laws. Today, we went Christmas shopping and pretty much are done. Just have a few stocking stuffers to pick up and get it all wrapped. Now before you all go getting excited about 'how far ahead I am', calm down. If you could see my to-do list you would understand that there really isn't anything to be excited about. We might have the boughten stuff done, but I'm no-where near finishing the 'made' stuff. Plus which, I intend to paint two rooms sometime before the tree goes up. Yeah, go ahead - tell me I'm nuts. I can take it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Done!!


One more Christmas present done this afternoon. I honestly thought this one would take a lot longer so I was pleasantly surprised.

For those who are wondering it's a pattern from 'Seams Like Glass Designs' by Lise Merchant (who happens to come from Whitehorse, Yukon) called 'Chickadee Dee...Dee...' (obviously). Reverse Applique and machine quilted. Size is approximately 27" square.

We were in Toronto yesterday 'having Christmas' with #2 son and his girlfriend. She might be leaving for France in a couple of weeks and won't be here for Christmas, so we thought we should give her the presents early. They gave us a two day trip to a B&B, which we can use anytime in the next year. That was really nice because anyone who knows us knows that we never get away. This will be a real treat!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Two days!


Two days and look what I accomplished! I really like reverse applique. The great experiment with freezer paper was a success. I did have to re-iron a couple of places, but it worked great. Glue sticks and freezer paper are marvelous things!

Now it's on to putting it together and quilting it, which will be a 'TV watching' activity.

Tomorrow we're off to the city to have a little Christmas party for #2 son's girlfriend who is leaving for France in a couple of weeks and won't be here for Christmas. We will miss her, but she hasn't been with her family for a couple of years so we certainly can understand her going.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Progress being made


Take a look at this! I can't believe it is coming along so well. Reverse applique isn't so hard after all. I'm even surprised at how well the freezer paper is adhering too. Of course I'm treating it with extreme TLC. I've always loved the stained glass look in quilts but was always afraid to try it.

Now I have an idea that I might try combining the stained glass with CQ. I'm sure it's been done already, but not by me!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

oops!

I don't know what just happened....blogger didn't look as if it took the first post and now I have two. At least I hope all I have is two!! It was acting really weird...so maybe there's a dozen. My apologies if there is!!

Chewing nails....



Two more of the chocolate swap cards.

I'm chewing my nails over a pattern I'm about to attempt which requires reverse applique, which I've never done. My friend (who doesn't read the blog) would love it...provided I can do it! It just might be another velcro episode in my life and will be scuttled in favour of something easier. I've used freezer paper before, but I'm not sure as to how it will 'stick' (and stay stuck long enough!) for this technique. Stay tuned!

Trying something different!



Two more in the chocolate swap series.

You can't say I'm not adverturous going into Christmas! I'm attempting to do a 27" wallhanging using reverse applique, which I have never tried to do before. I know my friend (who doesn't read this blog) will love it, but I'm not sure about the technique. It looks like a lot of work and it might just get scuttled before it gets off the ground. I've used freezer paper before but I have some trepidation about how well it will stick and if it will hold it's place long enough. Stay tuned! This might be another 'velcro' episode!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Two more (in more ways than one)



Here are two more of the chocolate swap cards. I love the wee girl on the 'chocolates' card!

The other 'two' is that I finished two more presents today. Now things will slow down because the next ones I have to make are much more involved and will require several days (weeks?) to do. I think, looking at my to-do list, that I am right to be pushing the panic button at this point. I know I'm not alone in my panic-mode though (www.yarnharlot.ca).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More and more



More chocolate cards. The nude is wearing a lovely organza bow and the candy in the bottom left corner is dimensional on the other one. The recipe on the back of the nude is called 'Death By Chocolate'. Sounds good and can't wait to try it.

The other 'more' relates to Christmas presents. I finished three more today and have another one well on the way. Don't worry...I am taking pictures of everything!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Studio Indulgence(s)


Studio Indulgences is the topic for Studio Friday this week. "What can't you live without in your studio?". I have two things I would be lost without...my Janome sewing machine that I absolutely love and use practically on a daily basis, and my computer (which I didn't bother to take a picture of because you all know what they look like!). This sewing machine is by no means a fancy machine - more of a work horse actually. I bought it because it sews denim (many layers!) beautifully. It also has a small series of fancier stitches, which is all I need because I prefer hand embroidery anyway.

Today we were inspired to do a 'clean sweep' of Christmas decorations we no longer love/need/use and have managed to put aside 5 boxes of 'stuff' heading toward the thrift store. You know, the idea that you see on the TV show (Clean Sweep) works! Pick something up and immediately make a decision as to keep, toss, or donate...do not take time to think about it too much. I got rid of things I know I would have kept had I given too much thought to (most would have been kept out of guilt). Ahhh. It feels good! Not only that, but there might be some room in the storage cupboard...woohoo!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Chocolate Chubbies



Yep, chubby is what I'll be if I eat all the wonderful chocolate recipes! Actually the recipe on the back of the 'Party On' card is called Chocolate Chubbies (cookies).

Are you getting bored yet with the series on Chocolate? Hope not, because anything I've been working on can't be shown and otherwise I don't have any pictures. Once Christmas is over I'll have tons of things to share. You'll just have to be patient.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mystery solved and more chocolate


The mystery as to why the scanner did two separate scans one day, and did both together yesterday has been solved! If the images I am scanning are perfectly flat they will scan separately...if they have dimensional objects on them, they scan together. Another lesson learned!

These are more from my wonderful chocolate swap. If I eat my way through all the recipes, I will be VERY rotund (but I want to!!).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More chocolate!


Life is so full of mysterious happenings. Like what just happened when I scanned two more of my pieces from the chocolate swap. Yesterday (and the day before) when I scanned two cards at the same time the scanner did two scans...one for each card, and only the cards themselves showed up and not the background of the scanner. The mystery now is why didn't it do the same thing this time? I didn't change anything (other than the cards, obviously). Gremlins??

I don't know if you can tell from the pictures here but the bottom one has a bottle cap in the upper corner with the image inside. I have a whole bunch of bottle caps, so guess what I'm going to be doing? The other card has a button and a really nice piece of ribbon down the right hand side.

I'm liking these cards - a lot.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Two more....



These are two more of the wonderful chocolate cards I got in the swap. I'm loving them and each time I look through I find something else I've missed before. I can't wait to take part in another of the swaps sometime because it's such a learning curve.

Spent the afternoon sewing with my friend Jacquie. We have gotten together pretty much every week since we met about 20 years ago. Our projects have certainly varied over the years, beginning with folk art and then morphing into quilting and all the variations thereof. We have each made 'going away' quilts for our kids (she has 4, I have 2) when they left for college. She has one more to do for her youngest son who will be leaving next September. Then we will both have the empty-nest syndrome (unless you count our having my dad here...he's like having a kid around!). Wonder how many gallons of coffee we've consumed over the years?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Chocolate Swap received!



All I can say is wow! These are two of the wonderful pieces of art I received in the chocolate recipe card swap in today's mail. Each of the cards has the creators favourite chocolate recipe on the back and, let me tell you, after I've tried them all I'm gonna need a whole new wardrobe! As the card above says...I'm going to slow down my aging process and gorge myself on chocolate in all it's glory. More pictures tomorrow...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Painting...at long last

Today we got the primer coat of paint on the kitchen. Yes, it's a big deal. We've only been trying to figure out what colour to do it for over two years and, once we had a colour, it's taken months to muster the courage to start. Our kitchen is very cut up and there is very little area where you can use a roller which makes it hugely time-consuming.

Painting is like the galloping ick though because one part leads to something else and pretty soon you've had to re-do the entire house! As it is, we have to do the living room too and all the woodwork in the house. You can't change the colour in one place and not carry it through. I heartily dislike doing woodwork because the ratio of crawling on the floor/my back isn't always a pretty picture. Oh well, it can't last forever...can it?

On another note, I crossed off another Christmas present this afternoon.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Another gift done!

One more off the list. There would have been two except I forgot to take an essential part of it when I went to Kyms for a sew day today. Duh. I was able to work on something else though, so it wasn't a complete loss (despite the fact that her cat insisted he needed to play with my yarn, much to the detriment of what I was trying to do!).

Any of you who are interested in knitting might want to check out these two sites: www.lionbrand.com and www.elann.com Kym and I spent some time today going through the patterns available and there are some pretty nice ones on both sites...and for free, too! There are also some free patterns available on www.garnstudio.com I haven't been to the garnstudio one for a bit, but hopefully the patterns are still there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'm on a roll!

I don't know what's happened but I've had a good couple of days! Last night I finished six Christmas presents AND today I made two more!! Be still my beating heart. Sorry I can't post pictures but be assured I'm taking them as I go along and after Christmas I will post them so you can see what I'm up to.

Every year I do upwards of 25 ornaments both for 'little token' gifts and for toppers for bigger gifts and I'm so excited that I've come up with my plan for this year. Don't you wish you could see them? Sorry, you'll just have to wait. Aren't I an awful tease?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Interesting article

Sorry, no pictures today. However, there is an interesting article entitled 'Creative Health For Life' at www.CoachCreative.com/blog today. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I've been struggling somewhat with the creative process. I stumbled across Dan's site a month or so ago and find him to be one of the best (at least he helps me). I've been slowly reading through his archives and am quite enjoying the process.

You all will be relieved to know that my stuggles with velcro installation are now over, at least for the moment. I really wish the powers that be would come up with some sort of adhesive on the back that would hold without any sewing required. The adhesive that is on them at the present time just manages to gum up the sewing machine, my handsewing needles and my thimble...to say nothing about my fingers. All I can say is (since I can't show pictures of Christmas 'stuff') people better appreciate my efforts!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Studio Friday - My Collections - Part two



This is part two of yesterday's post, as promised.

I collect ATCs and this picture shows the album I keep them in with some of the cards. For those who don't know, they are mostly made of paper in a 2.5 x 3.5 inch size and are traded, not sold. Much in the way that kids have trading cards for hockey, etc., only these are handmade art. Most often they are done in themes (you can see some Oriental ones and some Halloween themed ones in the picture). The artist generally makes a few in a 'series' and numbers them accordingly (#1/4, #2/4, etc.). I usually keep one and then trade the rest of the series so I can add to my collection. It's a cheap, fast way to make (and collect!) art.

The bear is the very first one I ever got. I never had a bear as a child (plenty of other stuffed critters, but no bears) and decided I loved this one and needed to have it. As a result I became a 'collector' through no fault of my own. People noticed my lonely bear and decided that I was collecting them and therefore needed every bear they came across to live at my house. I became inundated with bears...and I don't collect them!!! I like them, but they aren't a thing I set out to collect. A couple of years ago I fell in love with a rabbit at a craft sale and almost brought him home and then thought better of it. All I need it to have a ton of them running around too! Btw, fyi - a 'bunch' of bears is called a 'hug'.

There are a couple more things I guess I should say I collect...recycled denim, as an entire shelving unit in my workroom will attest. Further to that, I also save up the old labels and design elements from denim for use in my jackets.

I love collecting old world santas too, but only ones that actually 'talk' to me. And books - craft books mainly, especially anything to do with embroidery.

There, I think that pretty much does it! The house won't hold anything else!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Studio Friday...My Collections...part one

The topic on Studio Friday was 'My Collections' and, I guess, these are mine. I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any at the moment.

Buttons. I love buttons. This shows only part of my collection! Some were from my grandmother, my mother and who knows where else. Jack bought me huge bag from a yard sale once and they are in amongst this lot somewhere. I won't mention that there are at least as many more containers lurking about my workroom. I cut them off old clothes and have even been known to buy an item of clothing from the thift store, just so I could get the buttons!

Blogger is being rather obtuse about publishing pictures tonight, so...part two will follow tomorrow...hopefully!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pictures and a rant



The pictures today show the work I've just completed on another round robin piece I'm working on. The threads and buttons that look purple here are actually pink!

As for the promised rant...I have a love/hate relationship with velcro. I love it when it's commercially installed and all I have to do is USE it, however when I have to INSTALL it is when I get upset. Royally P'd if you want to know the truth! After many unsuccessful attempts in the past I thought I finally had the problem solved. They make velcro now so it has some sort of adhesive on the back. Ah Ha! That solves the problem of trying to pin the darn stuff in place and make it stay put until the sewing machine can do it's thing. NOT!! Now the afore-mentioned glue just manages to gum up the sewing machine. To say nothing about breaking the thread every chance it gets.

Now I look forward to having to hand stitch the opposite half of the pieces, because said sewing machine can't get in to do it. I remember all too well what hand sewing is like with that stuff. Oh well, I don't need that pint of blood anyway....