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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oops. Even the clock is tipsy! I just found out that the Vista program is different from what I'm used to and had to go through a lot of challenges to even get the picture on here that I did!
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Anyhoo....

Because today is the last day of 2009, I suppose I ought to be thinking about some resolutions for the new year, but I won't. There's no point in my making any, because I know by the 2nd of January they'd all be broken anyway!

My goals for the year are pretty much the same as they were last year - to reduce my stash and try very hard not to buy too much in the way of new 'stuff'. I particularly want to reduce my pile of recycled denim to something that will take up only one shelf. I know I could do that simply by getting rid of the excess, but I don't feel right about doing that.

- I am getting the urge to begin another crazy quilt project, but I don't know what it will be yet. I'm toying with several ideas but haven't settled on anything.

- I want to make more art dolls using mixed media and recycled components.

- The pile of UFO's needs to be dealt with, at least partially.

- The yarn I won last year is still waiting to be cast on and I hope to do that over the winter.

- There will have to be another round of felted slippers because the ones I made a couple of years ago are starting to wear out and noises are being made that new pairs are required. Never did make a pair for myself either!

- I hope to experiment more with mixed media, but in what form I don't know. I have this inward requirement that what I make needs to be useful in some way and it's not enough to just churn out pieces of art for the sake of doing it.

- I don't intend to sign up for any more challenges (yeah, yeah, you've heard that before and you know I won't stick to it), other than in the Art Doll group. I'm loving the collaboration and the challenges there so that is important for me to continue.

Beyond those things, I can't think of anything else. I want to expand my RAOK's over the next year and I also want to spend more time with my family and friends.
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Right now, I want to wish all my friends (both in-ternet and in-flesh) and family a very happy, healthy and creative 2010. May only good things happen in your world - for both you, and yours. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bliss!


Mitzy and Odin, dozing on the couch after Christmas. Too much turkey do you think?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another icicle doll & a rant

Here's the little icicle doll I made for Arlee for a wee giftie. She doesn't 'do' Christmas, so I can't really call it a Christmas gift! These are her colours, so I was pretty sure she'd like it.

Now for the rant part of this post. I know I've mentioned before just how lacking this area is in the ability to find supplies for art/crafting. Front page article in our local paper is that our one and only semi-decent source for anything is closing in March. Although Fabricland doesn't carry a whole lot beyond fabric and the necessary things to work with it, it will be sorely missed. The closest one is over thirty miles away.

We have over 200 members in our local quilt guild, many of whom are elderly and unable to travel any distance to get supplies. We have a very active Victoria's Quilts organization here too - where are they going to get materials to work with? Where are we going to get simple things like a decent spool of thread? Sewing machine needles?

I have never been in Fabricland but what it wasn't busy and, according to the paper, they have been doing quite well. So why would they be forced to close? According to the report, they want something bigger (and cheaper to rent) - which is impossible to find here.

We do have a tiny little fabric store downtown, but the fabric is old and moldy (well maybe not really, but it's been in the store forever so it SHOULD be moldy!). The man that runs it is a complete jerk, so not very many people darken the doorstep. His thread is the cheapest you can get and won't work in most machines.

Our town isn't THAT small and is growing but you'd certainly never know it by the services we have. There has been an ongoing battle over the possibility of getting a WalMart - it's been raging for almost ten years and still no progress. Our factories are pretty much gone. We blame the city council for most of it. They refuse to make decisions for fear of offending already existing businesses - and then they wonder why people go out of town to shop?

There are several smaller towns nearby that are doing quite well. They cater to the tourist trade and have shops that reflect that. We could have a vibrant downtown too, if there was a little thought put into it.

Fabricland closing is just another blow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another learning curve!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and peaceful Christmas. I, of course, ate too much but that's a normal occurrence at Christmas!! We finally resorted to putting some of the chocolate in the freezer for a later date. If it's out where I can see it, there's no possible way it's going to last.

I had a huge shock when I opened my gifts. Shawn, RJ, Shawns girlfriend, and Jack went together and got me a new computer! I was rather expecting a new flat screen monitor because I've been borrowing one from Shawn for a few months, so I wasn't overly surprised when it was the first gift I opened. It's not quite as big as the one Shawn had loaned me and fits my space much better. I was a happy camper................................

................and then...................................

Gift # 2 also came in heavy box. I had absolutely no clue what was inside and you can imagine my surprise when I realized it was a new computer! I was completely stunned.

It's beautiful, it's wonderful, it's FAST, it's waaaaay smaller than my old one and gives me a lot more desk room. Right now it has Vista, but Shawn has ordered the newest Windows program. Of course Vista is way beyond what I had before, so there's a big learning curve.

I've spent most of today fiddling about with 'the book' because I found that the font I was using on the old computer isn't available on the new one, so I've had to do some changing about. That's a minor detail though!

Now Jack will 'inherit' my old one (despite his protests that he really doesn't want to play around with a computer). Nobody wants it, so he might as well spend some time learning on it.Who knows, I might be creating a monster if he finds out how much fun it is!! He's NOT getting his hands on mine!

Thanks guys! You're the best!

Monday, December 21, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS!!

I don't expect to be on the computer too much until after Christmas, so I want to take this opportunity to wish you and everyone you hold dear a most happy, healthy and wonderful Christmas.

(The illustration is an advertisement from the December 1922 issue of Needlecraft Magazine).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Art dolls to see

If you are interested in seeing what our dolls from the Art Doll Coolaberation 2009 are looking like now, check them out at the blog here. Gail, our fearless leader, has done a great job of keeping the blog up to date and showing marvelous pictures of our dolls.

As a reminder, mine is Shudayra (and I think she's looking absolutely wonderful)!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another tote

Are you sick of seeing these yet?

Monday, December 14, 2009

That ****** Plant


My white Christmas cactus is in full bloom right now and is exceeding itself with blossoms as you can see.

There is a story behind this plant (which I've told here before but, because I have some new readers, I will repeat it. My mother absolutely hated white flowers in any form and if one had the audacity to rear its' head in her garden, it would meet a rapid demise. My husband had formed the habit of buying my mother a plant or flower for Christmas each year, which was something she always loved.

UNTIL.......


....the year he found a pretty little cactus in her *favourite* colour and couldn't resist buying it for her, knowing full well she would hate it. He has a diabolical sense of humour. So, Christmas came and Mom opened the wrapping and, through gritted teeth, said 'Thank you, John".

She dutifully hung her gift in the living room window and, we know, hoped that it would die - sooner rather than later. It didn't oblige and happily bloomed at least twice a year at which point we would get a phone call to say "You know that damned plant? It's blooming...again".

This went on for a number of years until finally she announced that she was never going to water that thing again and surely it would die. Well, you guessed it....

"You know that damned plant? It's blooming....again!".

Needless to say, when my mother passed away, that damned plant was the only one I kept! It blooms every year and we laugh every time.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Denim tote+stash reduction

I reduced some of my recycled denim stash making this tote for a Christmas gift. The picture above is the front and the side view is below. There's a pocket on each side which might be handy to carry a cell phone.
The pattern is Simplicity 2597 and I know I'll be making more of these!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

More icicle dolls...and Peace

Here are three more little icicle dolls I just completed. I think these are addictive because they're so much fun to do. Thanks once again to Belinda Schneider for the pattern!

Lisa at Ivory Blush Roses is one of my favourite reads and she has an inspiring post about Christmas peace here. She does absolutely beautiful work too, so be sure to scroll through her blog and see what she's been doing!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Icicle swap doll!

Look what came in the mail today - my swap doll from Dolores! I love her and she's already in a place of honour on my tree. Isn't her face pretty - I think she looks so serene. It was really hard to get a decent picture of her, but hopefully clicking on her will give you more detail.

I can't show a picture quite yet of the one I made for my partner, because I was a day late mailing her and I don't want to spoil the surprise. Once she arrives, you will get to see her.

The Decidedly Different Doll group is doing the swap, using the original concept from Belinda Schneider and you can get the pattern and more information from her site here.

Thanks again Dolores!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Tabula Rosa is here!

How nice that the Queen of Hearts and Tabula Rosa (and her llama) have a couple of days to visit before the Queen heads off for her next adventure. I haven't heard the Queen screaming 'Off With Her Head' yet, so she must be happy with her new confidante. All the same, I think I'll keep them in separate boxes - just in case!

Be sure to click on the picture so you can see all the lovely details on Tabby. She has a wonderful felted llama along with her and be sure to check out her hands...gorgeous. She has a beautiful felted cape (serape?) too, and her hat is so stylish!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yuletide Prayer

The following poem is one of my favourites about this season of the year. It was originally published in the 12/20/88 issue of Woman's Day magazine and was written by Jo Carr. It sums up a lot of my feelings about Christmas....


YULETIDE PRAYER

Dear Lord,
'Tis the season to be merry and I'm not, really.
'Tis the season of goodwill, of general
and particular blessedness, of
worship and praise and warmth of heart...
And I, like the Grinch, have spiders in my spirit, and garlic in my soul.
And I come in confession and remorse,
asking You for.....for Christmas.
Is it the dither, Lord, that sets my day on edge?
Is it the too-muchness, the lavishness,
the extended list that gnaws at my
extended self? Hmmm I do believe I could trim
a thing or two off that list.
Is it that I am trying to make a Production out of
Christmas when what I really want is a Presence?
That I'm trying to guarantee, by my own
efforts, what can come only as a gift, by Thine?
Is it the begrudging, Lord? That I want to
do lovely things for my loved ones,
only I resent the time spent "doing" for
the one I am so irked at right now....
or that I want to do gracious helpful
things for nebulous "others," but I
certainly want to know that they will
appreciate my efforts adequately!
Forgive my begrudging, Father, and my
strings attached.
Forgive my Production, and my dither,
And fill me with carols of hope, and
hymns of praise.
And prayers of deep joy....
fill me with Christmas.
Amen.

by Jo Carr

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Just a sucker.....


....for a new book! I've been reading a few reviews online for this book and they all seem positive, so I bought myself an early Christmas present. I haven't really been able to dive into it like I would love to do, but it seems to be as interesting as I have been led to believe. I think it's going to be perfect bedtime reading! (ISBN-13:978-1-59253-531-6, copyright 2009, published by Quarry Books).

Some more 'stuff' on interest you might want to check out....

- One of my favourite magazines, "Where Women Create", is running a '12 Days of Christmas' giveaway which began yesterday. If you'd like to read more about it, go here.

- Yvonne has talked about the Erosion Bundle Project on her blog here. It sounds like a fun project and I really think I will take part. The idea is that you gather assorted items (fabric, paper, metals, whatever) and create a small bundle, which you then place outside in the elements from Jan. 1/10 until Apr.15/10. You then have until Aug./10 to create something using your eroded goodies. There's more info on Yvonne's blog and also on the Erosion Bundles blog. Check it out and see what the rest of the rules are.