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.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A couple of things to see/do

(because you really don't want to see that the only thing I managed to do today was wrap a few presents!).

1.  The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that I have added a new button in my sidebar showcasing the 2015 Grow Your Blog party spearheaded by the incredible Vicki Boster.  I've mentioned this before and I finally got around to throwing my blog into the party hall.  This blog party is HUGE (over 600 bloggers took part last year) and it's a great way to both discover new blogs and also to get YOUR blog better known.  If you choose not to add your blog to the list and just want to go around and visit, that's fine too.  The party starts on January 25th and you have no time limit on how long you take to go visiting, nor is there any set number that you need to visit.  The button you see in my sidebar (if I did it right!!) should be a 'live' link to the sign up post on Vicki's blog where you can read the rules (there aren't many, so don't be scared).

2.  There's a tutorial for some sweet little crocheted snowflakes on Karen's Todolwen blog.  They would be perfect for tree decorations and/or package decorations.  Go HERE for the tute!

And, because I don't have any pictures of anything I'm doing to show you...


Cuteness is good!
(Image found on the 'net, source unknown)

Today the quote is from Marquise Du Deffand.... "The distance is nothing.  It's only the first step that is important"


Monday, November 24, 2014

Not much stitching, at least by me

Instead of showing you my minimal stitching efforts from over the weekend, I thought I'd send you off to check out a couple of things that might interest you.

Firstly, Mary Corbet has an excellent article on her blog about how to choose, and use,  the proper hand embroidery needles.  Mary always shares great information with her readers and this article is no exception.  Go HERE.

Secondly, Karen Ruane has a new online class on offer!   'Swathed In Stitch' is a 12 week learning experience you don't want to miss out on.  I have taken several classes with Karen and I have loved every single minute and have learned so much from one of the most talented needle artists around.  If you buy a Christmas present for yourself, or choose to put a request in to Santa Claus, I promise you won't regret it.  Go HERE for further information, and even if you don't plan to take the class, go anyway just to see the beautiful work Karen has been doing!! 

I spent the weekend knitting some more felted slippers and they're rather boring to see, so instead I found this...

  

Today the quote is from Epictetus.... "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has"


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Points, of the Prairie Kind

Because yesterday was such a wonderful day outside (not!!), it was a good day to stay at home and create these....





These are embellished prairie points which will be used around the outside of White Cloth #2.  





I thought this was particularly appropriate, considering our weather lately.







I found something colourful that has been created by a 'young' lady and if you go HERE you can see what I mean.  Be sure to scroll down to see them all.   I would love to learn to make these someday.  One more thing to add onto my ever-growing list of things to do!!

Today is another quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.... "Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own shadow" 




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A whole 'nother type of white

This is what we woke up to this morning...


This was what our balcony looked like early this morning.  
Above the birdfeeder, beneath about a foot of snow, is
actually a plastic dome that is supposed to discourage
squirrels.  We have never seen it covered in snow
to this depth before.
If you look down beneath the feeder, the second white
blob is our car.

Below is a picture, taken through the screen, of
only some of the mourning doves that were 
patiently waiting their turn at the feeder.
If you embiggen the picture, you should be
able to see Jack down in the parking lot
trying to shovel out at least 15" of snow from
around our car.
 
 


Yeah, have I mentioned before how much I hate winter????

Today the quote is from Kin Hubbard.... "Don't knock the weather;  nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while"




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

and more of the white cloth # 2


Above you can see some assorted hankies, along with a 
doily from a dresser scarf set (once belonging to
my daughter-in-love's grandmother); and along
the bottom is a section of a belt my mother 
crocheted using gimp while she was 
a patient in a tuberculosis sanitarium
in the mid-1930's.
 



To the left is another section filled with assorted vintage things harvested from the stash of my mother, grandmothers, and that of my daughter-in-law's side of the family.  All have been augmented with my own embroidery.



And here's another section.
At the bottom left you can see a crocheted flower that is encasing one of the last pennies to be minted here in Canada.  The peacock is part of a dresser scarf and that tiny little bit of bright blue on the mid-left is a piece from a dress that belonged to my daughter-in-law's grandmother. 


Today I have a quote from Leo Buscaglia... "A wonderful realization will be the day you realize that you are unique in all the world.  The world is an incredible unfulfilled tapestry and only you can fulfill that tiny space that is yours"

Monday, November 17, 2014

White Cloth # 2 - progress report

Today I put the last stitch into the front of my White Cloth #2 project.  I began work on it just about a year ago so it's been a long haul to get to this point.  I still have the backing and some further embellishment for the edges before I can call it complete, but at least this part is done.  Unless, of course, I decide to add anything else at the last minute!!  I'll show you a couple of pictures today and follow up with some more tomorrow.




For those of you who don't know, this cloth was created with the guidance of Karen Ruane's online class.   Thank you Karen for the inspiration and help along the way!



The 'fodder' for this cloth was mostly vintage family treasures from multi-generations of my family, as well as those of my daughter-in-love (this cloth is a gift for her and our #1 son). 







I recently succumbed  and ordered the new 'Man Against Machine' record by Garth Brooks, who has been one of my favourite performers over the years.  As always, he doesn't disappoint.   He's a story teller through his music and I'm not afraid to say that sometimes his songs have the ability to bring me to tears.  He did a song (and video) a number of years ago called 'Standing Outside The Fire' and every single time I saw the video I cried (still do).  Well, this new record did it to me again.  Twice.  Sigh.  I'm such a wuss!  

So, just because I can, today the quote is from one of the songs on the album (song is called 'People Loving People")...."People loving people, that's the enemy of everything that's evil"


Friday, November 14, 2014

Fun things to know about

Today I didn't get any time to take any photos because I was busily wielding my needle and threads working on my white cloth.

SO...

I will send you off to explore a couple
of things....

1.  For those of you who enjoy embroidery, Mary Corbet has a really interesting post about using stitches to add texture to your projects HERE.  She has listed a number of stitches, along with the links to the tutorials in order to do them.  Great fun!

2.  One of the 'funnest' things that happens around blog-land is when Vicki Boster hosts her annual  'Grow Your Blog' blog hop and she has just opened the registration up for that.  To quote a small segment of her post - "Do you want to "Grow Your Blog" - make new friends - increase your blog readership?  The opportunity to do all of those things is just around the corner!"  This is one of the absolute BEST ways to get your blog known and to get lots of visitors that just might decide to follow you.  Not only that you, in turn, can have a blast visiting all the other bloggers that have registered for the tour.  I can tell you already that this tour is HUGE!!!    The deadline for registering for the tour is January 17th and the tour itself happens on January 25th (but you can visit the blogs anytime after that date).  Vicki does a tremendous amount of work organizing this and it shows - kudos to her!  Go HERE to find out more and to register.

Today's quote is from Richard Carlson.... "Every day, tell at least one person something you like, admire, or appreciate about them"


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Eclecticism reigns supreme!

Today I have a post for you that has lots of 'things' all wrapped up into one.

First of all, I am back working on my second white cloth and have completed the final section that I will be including in it.  


This section has a piece from a blouse (bottom right) including the button band.  On the upper left is a couple of hankie corners, and the prairie points are also made from a hankie that belonged to my dad.  Upper right is another blouse front.

Now to put the whole thing together and finish embellishing it.


2.  Kathy Shaw (of Shawkl) has announced the signups for the 2015 CQJP (Crazy Quilt Journal Project) and you can find more information HERE.  Although I have yet to participate in this, it sounds like wonderful fun (and a great way to learn as well).  

3.  Pat Winter has just released the latest issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Gatherings' magazine.  It's both happy and sad for her I think - this is her last issue at the helm after a number of years of producing a most excellent resource for crazy quilters.  Pam Kellogg will be taking over (under a new name) the magazine in the new year.  You can go HERE to order a copy of the newest magazine.  For those of you who might like to submit any projects or articles to the new 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine, Pam has the submission guidelines available HERE

4.  For some pretty impressive eye candy, have a look at the incredible metal work of Elizabeth Goluch HERE.  Be sure to check out her galleries!

5.  One of the bloggers I read has just had a book published and it looks like it is a really good read!  Carole Brungar is the author of a brand new novel called 'A Tide Too High' and you can go HERE to read all about it.  If nothing else, go and have a look at the cover!! 

And, last but not least, the quote for today, which is from Cynthia Varnado.... "It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens"  



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

a day - like no other

Today, as we all know, is Remembrance Day.  A day to pause and reflect on those who fought, and continue to fight, for the freedoms we enjoy.  I have spent much of the day thinking about what I could write in a post on my blog that would be meaningful and appropriate.  I finally decided that I would write about what happened to my father and my father-in-law.

Neither of them saw active service, but serve their country they did.  My father was the youngest (and only son) and a farmer.  His role was to stay at home and contribute to the war effort through the raising of crops and providing meat.  I remember him telling of how often he went and gave blood.  There was such a great demand that the current rules of being able to give only once a month was unheard of.  He gave as often as he could and was quite often weakened and found it difficult to work on the farm.  My father-in-law worked at an arsenal here and was the only man left in charge of a work force that consisted entirely of women.  They made bombs which, of course, were important to the war effort but dangerous work.  Many of the men they grew up with and were friends with went to war and didn't come back or if they did, they were scarred in body or in mind. 

Most of the men and women who served in the last world war are gone now and more pass on every year.  We can't forget them, nor can we forget the sacrifices they made.  We also can't forget the current veterans who are equally as important but sometimes taken for granted.  They, and their families, have given their all to this country and are so deserving of our help and our utmost respect. 

If you are so inclined, perhaps you might consider investigating organizations like the Quilts of Valour who give quilts to veterans.  The link I give you here is for the Canadian branch, but I know there are similar organizations in the United States and Australia (and probably elsewhere too). 




Friday, November 07, 2014

Another gift

Yesterday I finished another gift that is just a tad outside my normal range of projects.  I have been admiring the gorgeous bird nests that Vicki Boster makes and knew that a friend of mine would love one.  Unfortunately the waiting list for a nest by Vicki is long and a bit more than I would normally spend on a gift.  While I was poking about on Ravelry one day I stumbled across a pattern and began to think that perhaps I could make one.  Of course mine is nowhere near the beauty that Vicki creates (go HERE to see her gorgeous creations!).
Pattern is the 'Knitted & Felted Bird's Nests' by Shirle Bedient, with several modifications by me.

On another subject, I don't know if you have noticed the current trend towards creating jackets/coats/sweaters/wraps (difficult to know how to classify them) using woolen blankets.  I found an excellent (and easy) tutorial HERE on how to make your own. 

I also found a really interesting (and free!) online magazine about fibre arts called 'Through Our Hands'.  The latest issue is now available and you can find it at THIS link.  Be sure to pour yourself a cuppa because there is lots to see and read about.

Today's quote is from an anonymous source.... "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow"


Thursday, November 06, 2014

One x Five

Another series of completed projects to be marked off my list!


One purse, done five times in
slightly different ways.

The basic pattern is the 'Two Zip Hipster' 
by Erin Erickson and can be found
HERE

I, of course, have changed the pattern somewhat, along with including a cell phone holder (which is what you can see peeking out of the front pocket in the photo).  

Doing these purses has made me realize that the pain in my arthritic fingers is just not worth suffering through when working with heavy fabrics like denim.  So....denim has now been scratched off my list of raw materials and I will stick to lovely soft fabrics that don't hurt.  Hmmmm.....this getting older certainly isn't for the weak!! 

Today the quote is from Confuscius.... "He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own"


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

More knitting


Pattern is 'Jeff's Mitts' by Lorraine Ehrlinger Designs and was found on Ravelry. I used Paton's Classic Wool yarn.

Today the quote is from Robert Louis Stevenson.... "Everyone who got where he is, had to begin where he was" 




Monday, November 03, 2014

Sweater for baby

Over the weekend I finished this little sweater for a baby shower gift...



The pattern is 'Little Coffee Bean', 
knitted top down, and is
by Elizabeth Smith.
Available on Ravelry.

Over the weekend I was totally upset to realize that I had lost the sapphire from my 25th anniversary ring - it's somewhere in the apartment I'm sure but hasn't surfaced, unfortunately.  DH did a very thorough vacuuming in hopes that it would be found but nothing showed up.  I know it can be replaced but I'm sentimental and it just won't be the same.

Today the quote is from anonymous.... "The easiest way to find something around the house is to buy a replacement"   (who knows, that might just happen!)