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!