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, July 31, 2010

Progress being made

Second front piece of my jacket pieced today.....
and the usual garden picture.....
As you can probably tell from this picture, our garden is a real 'country' garden with everything a complete hodge-podge of stuff!
-------------------------------------

and......

just so you can't say there is NEVER any knitting content on this blog...
here's a free pattern site I have discovered!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just hanging around....

Being somewhat housebound for the next while at least I should be able to manage to get something creative done (best laid plans/bound to run amuck notwithstanding).  With dad the way he is I think my days of going too far are pretty numbered for awhile.

SO.......

today I started on another black jacket.  This one will be mine (unless someone comes along and wants to give me $200 for it - in which case I'd be happy to let it go).  I can't go any further on the one I was working on yesterday until I am able to get the lining fabric so I figured I might as well carry on while I have denim 'bits' scattered about and keep sewing.  Here's what I did today.....
 And, just so you don't get too bored with denim, here's another flower from our garden!



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Got any used sewing machines??

It seems like I'm starting a collection of them!

This is the latest addition to what seems to be the beginnings of a collection of sorts.  I didn't intend to collect sewing machines, really I didn't!!  However, in my defense, this one was given to me by a very good friend so I couldn't very well turn it away.  AND....just lookit what it comes with...............
That box of 'stuff' on the left?  Well, that's a complete set of monograms.  And the box on the right?  A set of many different stitch cams!  Oh yeah and there's two more boxes of stuff too - the monogram attachment and a buttonhole attachment, along with what seems to be at least a dozen different feet that do weird and mysterious things that I will embark on another learning curve to figure out what to do with.  She hasn't used it for a number of years and it will require a good oiling before I can really play with it. Thank you Lois! 

Now, tell me something ....
.if we're planning
to downsize
into an apartment
in the near future,
how come I'm collecting sewing machines???

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Black denim jacket - beginnings

I spent parts of yesterday and today starting work on a recycled  jacket using black denim.  It's the first time I've used black and I have to admit I'm really liking it - enough that I intend to make another one for myself.  For now I'm at a screeching halt though because I need to make a trip to the fabric store to pick up lining and hopefully some off white jean thread.  The person this jacket is for likes black and off white so I'm trying to stick to those tones.

Here's a couple of photos of the pieces thus far...
I know the photos make the denim look blue, but it IS black and tones of grey!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flowers and shops

I went out with the camera this morning and took a few shots of the flowers that are currently on show in our garden.   There's no creativity going on at the moment and the flowers are more than happy to show off!

Diane and Holly Knott have opened their new etsy shop Cottage By The Pond and, to celebrate, they are having a giveaway on Dianes blog.  They are making some delightful things for their shop and it's well worth a visit to see what they have on offer.  To read about the giveaway and see what goodies are up for grabs, check is out here  and to explore the treasures in their shop, you can go here to see their artistry.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doll swaps and other interesting things

There are several things to tell you and show you today.  First, I received my little swap doll from Therese and she's wonderful (the doll AND Therese!!).  Here she is....
Unfortunately the sheer sparkle of this wee doll doesn't show up in the photo.  Therese has used Angelina fibre as a background and then built upon that with beads, coiled wire and a pretty face.  Thank you so much Therese!

Here is the wee doll I made for the swap.....
---------------------------------------------------
The next thing I would like to mention is that the new CQMagOnline is up and, as always, it's a great issue.  It's hard to believe that such a valuable crazy quilting resource  is free!  Please check it out here.
---------------------------------------------------
Koralee of Bluebird notes is having a fun giveaway on her blog and you can go here to check that out.  Koralee has a delightful blog and is well worth the visit.
---------------------------------------------------
Last, but not least is a very interesting series that my friend Pam Kellogg is posting on her blog concerning depression and methods of dealing with it.  Her experience is slightly different from mine as I'm sure all forms of depression are, but there are also a lot of commonalities.  I'm sure you will find her posts to be well worth reading, if only to gain a better understanding of the disease.  Go here and here for the first two installments of her series. I think Pam is incredibly brave to share her story publicly.  She hopes by doing so that she will help others and I think she will. 


Saturday, July 24, 2010

On birthdays, ambulances and sleep

I'll bet that particular blog post title made you wonder what turn my life has taken lately!

First, Jack and I 'celebrated' our respective birthdays this week.  I hesitate to use the word 'celebrate' because we really don't do too much.  We went out for supper on his birthday (Wednesday) so he wouldn't have to cook  and he decided that he would treat me to a movie on my birthday (Thursday).  We had intended to drive to Peterborough to see it, but left the house a bit later than we wanted to.  We would have *just* gotten there in time, however we got behind a very slow moving tractor which had caused a huge lineup of cars.  So, we turned around and headed for our theatre here where we managed to see the movie we wanted.  

Proving that things quite often happen for a reason, we arrived home from the movie an hour earlier than we would have, to discover my Dad was in a great deal of distress and needed to go to emerg.  An ambulance was called and he was ushered off, leaving us to follow.  Most of you regular readers will remember that he has a cancerous tumour in his esophagus and has a metal stent in his throat to allow him to swallow liquid foods.  He, being of a stubborn nature, refuses to eat slowly and ends up with the stent not being able to cope.  So...several hours of sitting on very uncomfortable chairs in the waiting room later, we were able to bring him home.

Fast forward to last night (Friday)....we had friends here for supper who decided, because we were tired, that they should go home earlier than they would normally.  Remember how I said things happen for a reason?  Well, guess what - Dad was in dire straights again (having NOT listened to any advice concerning eating  SLOWLY from the medical people the night before).  So - another ambulance - and a MUCH longer wait at the hospital.  

We didn't get home until 3:45 a.m., which brings me to the 'sleep' portion of this post  - mainly lack thereof.  I don't do well on less than eight hours of sleep!

Anybody want to hazard a guess on the odds of the same thing happening tonight?



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

House guests

Here are a few pictures of our grandkittie houseguests.

This is Stewie, who belongs to #2 son and his fiance.  

And this is Ella, who belongs to #1 son and his fiance. Sorry about the poor colour in the picture!

And here are a few pictures of the two of them having a grand time playing together...



Stewie is here for two weeks having his own holiday while his 'people' are away on holidays and Ella was just here for the weekend. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Whew!

It's been a busy few days and there was no time for the computer so hence no blog posts.  First, we went down to the city to pick up Stewie (cat that belongs to #2 son and his fiance) for two weeks while they take their holidays out west.  Lucky kids!!  Then, we went back to the city two days later to pick up #1 son, his fiance, and their cat for the weekend.  Sunday was a family reunion, held here (approx. 30 people were here).   Then it was back to the city yesterday to take RJ & Julia & Ella (cat) home.  Whew!

Today the car went in to be repaired and we have been given a really nice Nissan Altima to drive.  Nice car, but rather scary to drive because it's a bit bigger than our Toyota Matrix.  It's one of those fancy keyless cars, which completely feels so weird.  No keys - you just push a button to start it.  Very odd!!

Needless to say there has been nothing creative done over the past few days, so I will leave you with some more garden pictures.....


Friday, July 16, 2010

Final journal pages and more summer cooking

Here is another of our favourite recipes - this is excellent as a dressing over a green salad or as a cold pasta salad dressing.  It keeps quite awhile in the fridge too.  We usually make a full recipe which does make quite a bit, but we use it on everything so it doesn't last long!

ONION DRESSING
1 small onion
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. white vinegar
2 cups olive oil
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Place onion in blender and chop.
Add sugar, mustard, salt, and vinegar and blend.
Add oil to blender (while running) a small amount at a time.
Add poppy seeds & refrigerate.
Enjoy!!
-------------------------------------------
These are the final journal pages from my collaboration doll Shudayra.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing the details that were created for this doll and her journal.  The members of the collaboration did a superb job!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer cooking and more journal pages

If you're anything like us you don't like to cook when the weather is hot.  Jack (the resident cook) cobbled this together using our favourite lasagna recipie and the slow cooker.  It turned out really good so I thought some of you might like to try it too.
Jack's Slow Cooker Lasagna
2 lbs. ground beef, browned & drained
3 cups diced onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms (canned or fresh)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 can pasta sauce
1 c. red wine or beef stock
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 3/4 c. cottage cheese
1 3/4 c. either mozzarella or tex-mex mix cheese
2 T. parsley (he used dried)
1 egg
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked
3 T. parmesan cheese
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
Saute onions, mushrooms & garlic and combine with ground beef, pasta sauce, red wine.  Add spices and set aside.  Combine cottage cheese, 1 3/4 c. mozz. or tex-mex cheese, beaten egg and parsley.  Set aside.
Spoon 2 c. meat sauce into slow cooker.  Top with a layer of noodles (broken to fit), layer of cheese mixture, and then meat sauce.  Repeat layers, ending with meat sauce.  Cover & cook on LOW for 4/12 hours.  Turn off slow cooker about 20 mins. before serving.  Sprinkle with 3 T. parmesan and 1/2 c. mozz. about 10 mins. before serving.  Enjoy!
----------------------------------------------------
More of the pages the girls did in the journal for Shudayra....





Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's a strange world

I know, TWO posts in one day? Surprise, surprise!!

However, this is one of those rant/vent/mumble moments and if you don't care to 'listen' you'd better just scroll on down to the first post I did today and don't pay any attention to me whilst I vent.

Can someone tell me why, when someone else hits YOUR car, inflicts considerable damage and then leaves the scene that YOU are punished for it?  The ditz that caused all the ruckus didn't have insurance so, because of that, we have to pay the deductible (in this case $500).  Doesn't seem fair, does it.

At least we can console ourselves with the fact that no-one was hurt (other than our poor car that really didn't deserve it).  And the ditz has been charged with careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, so at least that's some consolation I suppose.  
On the bright side of all this mess - we had six people come to us that were quite willing to be witnesses and gave us their names & phone numbers.  Another man stood guard (well, actually sat - on the bench) over our car and put money in the meter & told the bylaw officer not to ticket us.  Just goes to prove that there ARE nice people in this world.  The car is driveable which is good - just a pretty massive dent and a very creaky door.

Wonder if they make car-size bandaids?


Journal pages - part four

Here are some more pages the girls did for Shudayra's journal.....
Don't forget you can click on them to enlarge the photos!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Journal pages - part the three

We're back into the heat again so there won't be much actual working done around here.  The raspberries need to be picked and I'm dreading going out to do it.
Here are some more pages from the art doll collaboration journal for Shudayra...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Journal pics - part the two & fun contest

First, I must point you to a fun contest drawing that my friend Pam is having on her blog.  She has posted the details here.  I'm sure you'd love to win her art quilt so be sure to check it out, read the rules, and enter!  Pam is a very talented girl and if you're the least bit interested in crazy quilting and all sorts of pretty things her blog is a great place to visit.  Plus which, she's darned nice!

Now, on to more pictures of Shudayra's journal...

Friday, July 09, 2010

$1.99 - really??? Shudayra's journal

Today was grocery shopping day and we also managed to 'hit' the Value Village second-hand store.
Nothing exciting about that - except for I spent ONLY $1.99 for all this:


Initially I noticed the package of 4 colours of DMC Jewel Effects and promptly grabbed the bag off the shelf. It wasn't until I got it home that I realized what I thought was ordinary embroidery floss was really
Lavender & Lace needlepaints Egyptian 100% Cotton!!
I scored with that one!!
----------------------------------------
As promised, here are some photos of the pages in Shudayra's journal.

The Front Cover


Don't forget you can click on the pictures to make them larger!
--------------------
We've had rain and a break in the extreme heat - YES!!




Thursday, July 08, 2010

We have winners - and Shudayra, continued

Here are more of the details of my collaboration art doll Shudayra.  Hope you're enjoying seeing these!
Tomorrow I will start showing you the journal pages in more detail.
-----------------------------------------
AND,
Drumroll please.....
using totally scientific means 
(namely assigning everyone who entered a number and having my dad pick two numbers - VERY scientific!!)

here are the two winners of the ephemera envies....

Gail V
and
Luluslovlies!!!!

I have your snail addy Gail and will be contacting Luluslovlies for yours.  Thanks for playing and answering my flower question!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

More Shudayra - and - winning!

Above are some more pictures of the details on my doll.
There are more to come tomorrow!

A few weeks ago I won a giveaway on the Craft Gossip site and my prize came in the mail yesterday.  There are some great patterns in this book - ones that I think any man (or woman, for that matter) would like to have knitted for them.  I think Jack is going to receive a pair of socks from the pattern in this book (which is something he would NEVER expect after the last sock fiasco).  These are made using worsted which means they wouldn't take a lifetime to knit.  Sizes in this book range from small to 3 XL.  There are ten basic patterns in the book along with some witty writing describing how men are different from women in their clothing likes and dislikes (who knew???).  

Thank you Craft Gossip!

Specs on the book:  'Knits Men Want - The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting For a Man' by Bruce Weinstein.  Published by STC Craft.  ISBN #: 978-1584798408