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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy wishes!

"We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is
New Year's Day.
(Edith Lovejoy Pierce)

I want to extend my thanks to all of you for reading this blog, leaving comments, and being encouraging about my work.  It is a complete joy to interact with you all throughout the year and to pay visits to you as well.  It's an incredible feeling to be part of this creative community!

May your 2015 be filled with good things and wonderful gifts of friendship and love. 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hussif progress

I must begin by thanking all those who commented about my quilt sizing dilemma from yesterday, and a particularly warm thank you to Vicki Welsh who has a wonderful computer program that sized the quilt exactly AND even gave me the quantity of fabric to buy!  Vicki created several options and one of those has been given the green light.  Now I just have to buy fabric.  Thank you SO much Vicki.

Over the past few days I've been doing a little stitching on the rose hussif and have a few of the seam treatments to show you....

These were all cross-stitched using waste canvas.  

Today the quote is from Hugh Prather..."I am not interested so much in what I do with my hands or words as what I do with my heart.  I want to live from the inside out, not from the outside in"

Monday, December 29, 2014

A request for quilting help?

I have been asked to make a sane quilt.  Am I scared? Well, yes!  I'm not a sane quilter and really haven't had much experience with it in any form, particularly the mathematical aspect of it. 
Have I ever mentioned how dismal I am at math?

This project is a special request from our #2 son and daughter-in-love and this is the pattern they have chosen...

The pattern itself isn't a problem (and thankfully is a relatively easy one to stitch).  My huge problem arises with trying to get this pattern,which finishes at 56"x70", translated into one that will be useable on a king-sized bed.  I should (hah!!) be able to increase the number of blocks until it comes out to the right size.  BUT (and here's the kicker) I don't know how much fabric to even consider buying in order to make a quilt that large. (According to the pattern the blocks end up finishing about 10" square).

The other issue is that the pattern calls for purchasing a 'jelly roll' which I am unable to do (and wouldn't know how many I'd need to buy to increase the original pattern to a king size).  They don't sell jelly rolls in the colours that the kids want anyway, so it's not an issue.  That means I will have to buy the fabric in yardage and will need to buy a minimum of five different ones for the blocks alone (and, to be honest, I expect at least ten would be better).  Because I have to travel a considerable distance to get the fabric I need to be certain I buy enough.  If the kids wanted a scrappy look it would be much easier, but they have chosen  tone-on-tone white and trying to find enough variety in those 'colours' could be a tricky thing as well. 

This is where I throw it out to you and beg for any help you can provide.  Any suggestions, advice, knowledge you'd be willing to share?  I really am hoping someone will have this pattern already drawn up in the correct size so that it's easy to follow (read math!!!!!). 

Thank you, in advance!!!!

Today the quote is from John Lennon.... "I get by with a little help from my friends"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish you all
a very happy and blessed

In our house, we give the three
gifts of the Magi,
and so,
in that light, here are my
three gifts to you...

Go HERE for your second gift.

And for your third gift...

May you have the gladness of Christmas,
which is hope.
The spirit of Christmas, 
which is peace.
The heart of Christmas,
which is love.
(Ada V. Hendricks)

Monday, December 22, 2014

A new project - the beginning

Some of you may remember me mentioning that I was soon going to start on a rose-themed project - another hussif.  (You can go HERE to see my original post about it and see the background as it was pieced together).   Over the weekend I started stitching on it and here are the first two seams completed...

In the picture above you can see one of the rose hankies I
had in my collection, with the waste canvas cross-stitched
seam treatment.

Below is another treatment, also done using waste canvas,
and the pretty tatted edging of another hankie.

Today the quote is from Mary Ellen Chase.... "Christmas, children, is not a date.  It's a state of mind"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Nuttin', but silliness

Yep, I have nothing whatsoever to show you today, so instead I will give you a couple of things to laugh over...

 For the knitters...

For those of us who will be indulging in
a few too many bonbons over the holidays...

Today the quote is from Mother Theresa.... "It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you....Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another project done!

I usually spend my evenings in front of the tv (where there is nothing much worth paying attention to) with my knitting needles in hand.  Last night I finished making this little fellow...

The pattern is 'Knubbelchen' and can be found on Ravelry.  The original pattern calls for sock yarn but I chose to use 'Simply Soft' by Caron.  The pattern is very well written and great fun to knit.  Perfect for a little one to grab onto (and chew!!). 

Today the quote is from Oren Arnold.... "Christmas Gift Suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness;    To an opponent, tolerance;   To a friend, your heart;   To a customer, service;   To all, charity;   To every child, a good example;  To yourself, respect"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Activity book - part 2

Here is the continuation from yesterday's post of the pages from the activity book I made for our grandson...

This page simply has a pair of pre-made mittens stitched down.  He can put his hands inside.

A felt barn, with animal finger puppets.  Pattern for the barn came from and the finger puppets was from

This page is a colour-matching game.  The balloons are removable and held in place with velcro.

This is a 'cause and effect' page.  He can pull on a ribbon and see it move somewhere else on the page.

This is the final page.  I had some dinosaur-printed fabric so I used some as an applique.  There is a zippered pocket on the page which holds the felt transportation pieces.  I just looked around on the internet for line drawings and used those for the designs.

There you have it - an activity book that I had a 
great deal of fun creating and hope my grandson has
fun playing with it.

Last night we watched my favourite Christmas program - the old original Boris Karloff version of 'The Grinch' and so today's quote is from the Grinch himself.... "Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas...perhaps....means a little bit more"    Wise words!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Busy activity book

Over the past few days I've been working on making a little activity/busy book for our grandson.  Didn't know it was possible to have so much fun making something so utterly silly!!  Hopefully he'll have some play time with it over the next while.

This is the cover.  I simply printed off a picture of Logan and his mommy and daddy onto iron-on t-shirt transfers.  Around the edge I added some ribbons for him to pull on (or chew!!)

Page one is a tool box, complete with felt tools.  Pattern for the tools came from

Page two is simply felt shapes.

Page three is a stop light.  The felt 'lights' are removable with velcro on the back of each piece.

The little boy has removable clothes and fits inside the bed.  Pattern for the boy also came from

This page is all about textures....
netting, fake fur, burlap, sandpaper, etc.

Tomorrow I will show you the remaining pages.

EDITED TO ADD:  if you're interested in activity books, be sure to
check out the link that Dolores provided in the comments!

Today the quote is from Julie Andrews.... "A miracle is the achievement of the impossible, and it is only when we put aside our greed, anger, pride and prejudices so that our minds are open and ready to accept it, that a miracle can occur"

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

White Cloth # 2 - Done, done AND done!!!

Here's the front - I used all sorts of vintage 'bits' that belonged to family members, both from our side and from my d-i-love's family too.  

The back used a lovely family heirloom that was 
embroidered by my d-i-love's grandmother
and was used in their family whenever anyone
was celebrating a birthday. 
I didn't have the heart to cut into it, so
decided that it would be a perfect backing.
The doily in the centre and the piece on the
right was also from that same grandmother.

And here's another view. 

It was delivered to our #1 son
and daughter-in-love on Monday, so
now they have the fun of trying to find
someplace to put it
(perhaps under the cat?)

Today the quote is from the ever-present 'Anonymous'.... "We all have within us a center of stillness surrounded by silence"

Friday, December 05, 2014

Things of the ornamental kind

Today is a red-letter day because I put the final stitch in my White Cloth #2 project.  Unfortunately there will be no pictures forthcoming in this post because it's just plain too dull and yucky to get anything even remotely decent.  If the lighting improves I will try to get you pictures tomorrow.  Now the decision I make another one?  I don't NEED another one.  I don't have a USE for another one.  However....I have enough fodder in my stash to make probably five more.

Many of you will remember that every year I make a series of Christmas ornaments for use either as little gifts or as the 'bow' on other gifts.  A couple of years ago I made the monumental mistake of mentioning that perhaps I should quit, thinking that people would be sick and tired of getting yet more ornaments.  Well - there was a huge hue and cry and great distress expressed at the idea that I would even consider such a thing.  So....

These?  Times 20!!

Tutorial and pattern is free HERE

Today the quote is from Henry David Thoreau... "The cost of a thing is the amount of life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run"

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pliers? They're my friend!!

Today I've been working at putting my White Cloth #2 together.  I used my machine to stitch the backing and front together, and now I'm proceeding to put a running stitch by hand around the outside edge.  In some places I'm stitching through up to twelve layers of fabric so the pliers are certainly useful!  Once this row of stitching is done I think I will also 'whip' it to give it a little more definition (and to disguise the fact that sometimes my running stitches tend to 'run' off in a slightly different direction than what I want them to!). 

Today the quote is from an unknown source... "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, gin & tonic in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming 'WOO HOO what a ride!"

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!).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!)

Friday, October 31, 2014

No pictures, at least from me

I don't suppose it would be of the least bit of interest to you that I have spent the better part of two days at the spa.  Getting a steam treatment.  I outta have the BEST complexion going!  Even better, it didn't cost me a thing. 

Oh, yeah...
maybe I should mention that the
steam treatment was courtesy
of my very own steam iron?

Today the quote is from Bob Dylan.... "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A photo! Who knew?

Yes, I actually got something done today, believe it or not.  Our little grandson is going to have a new Christmas stocking. 

I thought this quote was rather interesting (it comes from an internal memo at the Western Union, dated 1876)..... "This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.  The device is inherently of no value to us"    Somebody at Western Union certainly had it wrong!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Still nada to show.....

I don't have anything to show you yet, but I do have something that I found that is utterly amazing for you to go and see.  A man, named Paul Smith, who was born with severe cerebral palsy, used an ordinary typewriter (yes, you read the correctly) to make the most beautiful pieces of art.  There's a video on you tube about him and his art as well.  I can't seem to get the direct link to work, but if you Google his name and/or typewriter art you will find him.  Such an inspirational man!!

Today the quote, which is very fitting I think, comes from William Ellery Channing.... "Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage.  The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

You will have gathered by that post title that I have nothing that's fit to show you.  There are a number of projects that are in various stages of completion that you will see eventually, but as of right now they are looking more like a colossal mess.  I could show you pictures of a couple of piles of cut-out fabrics (yawn).....I could show you a few balls of yarn, with perhaps a knitting needle or two thrown in for good measure (snore)....I could show you a pile of sewing notions that will be turned into various projects (b-o-r-ing)....


I could show you this...

Yep, you're welcome.

And the quote today is from Anonymous... "You watch the fellow who drives ahead - and the fellow who drives behind. You watch to the right, you watch to the left - You drive with a calm clear mind.  But the fellow you really have to watch is the fellow behind the fellow in front - and ahead of the fellow behind"

Friday, October 24, 2014

Gimping along

Hah - I'll bet you have a whole other meaning for gimping floating about in your head and will be totally surprised when I show you this...

.....and this.......

 I was reminded of the gimp pieces I have in my stash.  The story behind me having this in the first place revolves around my mother, who was born in 1916.  She, unfortunately, was one of the people who contacted tuberculosis and at the age of approximately eighteen was sent away to stay at a sanitarium that was devoted to nursing care for those affected with the disease.  She spent four years there and during that time she did a lot of creative things, including making purses and belts using gimp.  The piece you see here was meant to be a belt, but when I found it in her stash it hadn't been completed.  I have since cut off pieces to use in my first white wrapping cloth and now I'm contemplating trying to unravel this (or at least some of it) to re-purpose the gimp for embroidery applications.  I'm sure my mothers' thrifty soul would be pleased!

One little side note about having had TB back in those mother often said that the patients were made to sleep outside on open verandahs (there was mosquito netting in the summer) all year round.  She said she would wake up with a covering of snow on her blankets.  It's so hard to think of her having to go through that. 

Today the quote is an Irish blessing, from an unknown author.... "May the blessing of light be upon you, light without and light within.  May the blessed sunshine shine on you and warm your heart til it glows like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come and warm himself at it, and also a friend"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A marvelous gift - and extreme disgust

First of all - I've been meaning to post a picture of the exciting gift that our #2 son and daughter-in-love gave me when they were visiting a few weeks ago. 

The two red skeins of yarn are 'Golden Crown Suri' - an absolutely gorgeous lace weight yarn made from alpaca.  So soft and luxurious!  The single ball in the front of the photo is Qiviuk which is made from the fine inner insulating layer of the Canadian Arctic Muskox.  It's also lace weight and there's enough yarn in that single ball to make a beautiful scarf.  They included the pattern in the gift (for the Qiviuk) and I've since ordered a cowl pattern from the company who makes the alpaca yarn.  And yes, I'm definitely intimidated to even start knitting with such expensive and luxurious yarn!!    If you want to learn more about these yarns I'm sure you can google 'Qiviuk' and/or Heavenly Alpaca. 

- - - - - - - -

Many of us in Canada have been pretty much glued to the news reports today after a horrendous terrorist attack at our nation's capital, following closely on another attack earlier in the week that happened in Quebec.  We don't like to think that these sorts of things can happen here, in a largely peaceful nation.  Obviously they can.  The people who do these sorts of atrocities deserve nothing but our extreme disgust.  Our prayers go out to the families of the soldiers who have died, as well as to those who have been injured.  

Today I am giving you a quote from Napolean Hill.... "Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you; until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire; until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will be neither successful or happy"