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, November 30, 2022

Bubble, bubble (literally!)

 Last night I turned my attention to soap making and these are the result. I now have to figure out how I'm going to package them for gifting.  Before you get too excited and think that I'm a soap maker I'm really not - these are the melt and pour type and SO easy!!  Measuring scary things like lye isn't on my radar and I far prefer all that technical stuff be done for me leaving me to play with colour and scent instead.

- THIS would make a great gift!

- If you use those Wonder Clips in your sewing endeavours perhaps making one of THESE might prove useful.  Barring that, how about making one  and adding Wonder Clips for gifting.  While you're at it, how about adding one of THESE to the gift?

- If you feel the urge to be a Santa's Helper this year and help him fill stockings, perhaps one of the ideas found HERE might be great.

- Another of those involuntary awww moments HERE.  And there's another one HERE.  

- The embroiderers among you might like to check into THIS for next year.

Today your quote is from Hans Christian Andersen..."The whole world is a series of miracles, but we're so used to them we call them ordinary things"

Monday, November 28, 2022

The efforts of the Resident Chef

 The weekend, at least on my part, involved uninspiring things like gift wrapping and writing Christmas cards and all sorts of busy work that really isn't worth photographing.  So, I thought I'd show you a couple of things Resident Chef was working on...

He is pretty happy with his new Kitchenaid as is evidenced by what's in his hand....both are sourdough buns, but the left version was kneaded using his new toy.  Much higher and fluffier than those kneaded by hand!

Heaven help the world if he didn't make his yearly allotment of butter tarts....

Recipe for his butter tarts can be found HERE.

And chocolate cookies whipped up guessed it...the new toy...

- THIS is an adorable project, maybe not quite doable in the entirety for this Christmas, but think of it in terms of individual designs for mug rugs?  Thanks to Jocelyn for this one!

- THIS one made me smile!  What to make for the person who has absolutely everything!!  You'll need to scroll down to the bottom for the full effect.

- I think small jars of THIS would make fun Christmas gifts!

- If you go HERE you can see a really nice fabric storage pod design (and the link for the PDF pattern is on the right)

- THIS is a rather nice drawstring bag design (even better if you were to gift it filled with fun goodies!)

- THIS takes you to a PDF pattern for a handy organizer that any person who sews would love to receive.

Here's your quote for today..."On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%"

Friday, November 25, 2022

From the Resident Chef

 I've been busy working on more cross stitched bookmarks (shhhh....I DO remember assuring you that there wouldn't be any more cross stitch for I lied).  They're not photo ready as yet though.  

Because I have nada to show you, how about a really good potato soup recipe from Resident Chef's kitchen instead...

8 c. potatoes, diced
2 onions, diced
3 large carrots, diced
1/2 c. chopped celery
16 oz. cubed cooked ham
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
Add all but flour, milk and sour cream to slow cooker.  Cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 4 - 5 hours.  Add flour, milk & sour cream and cook on high for 15-20 minutes.

- HERE is a really cute, and useful, thing you could make for Christmas giving.

- THIS caused another 'awwwww' when I saw it.  While you're there make sure you have a look through her other free patterns (HERE)

- If you've been thinking about making mug rugs this year, perhaps one found HERE might catch your eye (there are also printable labels you can add).

- HERE is another great little quick-to-make gift that could be tucked into a stocking

- THIS would be a great thing to make for a knitter or crocheter (or perhaps even To You, From You, With Love) 

Today's quote..."If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly, show it.  Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there one day, it might not be the next.  Never take that for granted.  Say what you need to say, then say a little more.  Say too much.  Show too much.  Love too much.  Everything is temporary but love"

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Completed set

 I had leftover yarn from making this hat that I showed you previously so thought I might as well use it up and made another of the scarves to go along with it...

If you want the scarf pattern, I posted it HERE.

And the latest thing to come out of Resident Chef's kitchen (he and his new Kitchenaid are very busy!)...

These are called Martha Washington candies and the recipe can be found HERE.

- There are lots of foodie-type gift ideas HERE

- And there's more HERE (scroll down) and HERE and check out THIS post for dozens of ideas for gift giving.

- If you're searching for ideas for ornaments to make, have a look through THESE.

- If herbs are of interest, perhaps something HERE would be fun to make.

- And HERE you will find lots of ideas for mason jar gifts.

- The knitters among you might find THIS of interest.

Today the quote is by Leo Buscaglia..."Don't spend your precious time asking "Why isn't the world a better place?"  It will only be time wasted.  The question to ask is "How can I make it better?".  To that there is an answer.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Hive of industriousness-sssss

 Over the weekend both Resident Chef and I were busy creating and baking.  He, of course, absolutely NEEDED to test out his new Kitchenaid and this loaf of bread was the result...

My efforts yielded two different jar gifts that are all ready for gifting...

Hot Cocoa Mix (recipe can be found HERE - but we found that using half the amount of powder per cup of liquid was ample)

Bean Soup Mix - (recipe can be found HERE).  I changed it somewhat by leaving out the kidney beans and replacing them with lentils.

- While you're exploring the links above, check out some of the other ideas they have HERE

- I knew some of THESE uses for vinegar but there were a couple I hadn't heard of.

- I was looking for ideas for filling a clear ball Christmas ornament and came across THESE and thought some of you might find them interesting.

- THESE are really sweet for either hanging on your tree or using as package decor.

Today the quote is paraphrased from Louise Hay...."Choose to make the rest of your life the best of your life"

Friday, November 18, 2022

Button, button AND beads

 Many of you have heard me talk of the huge button collection I have so it comes as no surprise that I'm always looking for ideas to use them.  So....I made a Christmas tree which serves the dual purpose of using lots of buttons but also lots of pearl beads too (win/win!!).  We won't mention the two trips I made to the dollar store in order to obtain enough straight pins to finish the project. the ongoing effort at downsizing my stash, I've been slowly working my way through my vast collection of beads (more than any sane woman would use in twenty lifetimes) and cutting them down by at least half.  Don't worry, I still have enough for ten lifetimes and then some!!  This shows just SOME of what I'm donating to the thrift store....

It's hard to get a decent picture of a grocery bag full of baggies of beads but you can get the general idea!

- THIS is an interesting type of bind off for your knitting projects.

- There are tons of great DIY gift ideas HERE - many I haven't seen before

- If you have an avid sewer on your gift list, I'm sure they would appreciate one of THESE filled with an assortment of needles.

- HERE are a number of ideas for giving.

Today's quote is from Joseph Chilton Pearce..."To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong"

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Another hat

 The ongoing 'using up odd balls of yarn' project is still underway and this hat is the result.  Another thing for the Christmas box.  Pattern is THIS one and I used Bernat Super Value yarn.

- I usually crochet and knit for others because it's not often I come across a pattern, particularly for a crocheted garment, that makes me sit up and take notice and want to make it for myself.  THIS got me excited (and Resident Chef, being an enabler, is telling me to order the yarn).  (UPDATED TO ADD:  Yarn is on order!)

- There are a number of interesting ideas HERE for Christmas DIY gifts.

- If you're looking to use up yarn stash and you want a really quick, but yet impressive, gift have a look HERE.

- I rather like THIS idea but I would be tempted to go to the dollar store and buy a pre-stretched painting canvas (sorry, don't know the name of it...but envision the canvas stretched over wooden 'bars' about half an inch thick...which would allow space on the back for the clock workings).  

Today's quote...

Monday, November 14, 2022

Small finish(s)

 Over the weekend I finished the bookmark I showed you the other day and also made another one.

Today's quote is from Fred Rogers..."Some days doing the best we can may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect - on any front - and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else"

Friday, November 11, 2022

Another little set done

 I just finished knitting another little hat and mitten set for the Christmas box...

Yarn is of who-knows origin - pattern is pretty generic.  The mittens are from THIS pattern and the hat from THIS one.

And, Resident Chef's Christmas present arrived early (it's actually for both of us) and he couldn't wait until Christmas to play with it.  Claims that he wants to make sure it's working properly (!!).  

- I think THIS would be a great way to use up yarn 'bits' from your stash.

- HERE's something that would make great Christmas gifts. And THIS one is a different take on it.

- If you have need to make a number of little ornies for any occasion over the upcoming season, perhaps THESE might catch your eye.

- I really like THIS pretty afghan design.

- If you're giving filled mason jars at Christmas, perhaps making pretty covers like THESE would add a touch of elegance to your gifts.

- And, finally, HERE is one of those projects that made me say 'awwww'.

Today's quote (of course it doesn't in the least bit apply to moi)...."No, my sewing room isn't messy.  I just have everything on display.  Like a museum"

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

In progress

 You know that old adage "Never say never" ,well...

I know I said I wasn't going to be doing any more cross stitch anytime soon but as it turns out I lied.  I admit it.  This will be a bookmark for one of my friends and will be part of an advent 'calendar' I'm making for her for Christmas.  I thought it was a good idea when I thought of doing it but now that I'm trying to come up with 24 'things' to include I'm finding it might not be as easy as I'd originally thought.

- If you're like me and math-challenged, perhaps one of THESE charts will help with your knitting projects.  

- THIS looks like a fun project.

- THIS could be the inspiration for using up that button collection (or old jewelry too).

- And, further on using up buttons, how about making THESE for Christmas decor? And HERE is another version.

Today the quote is from Tupac Shakur..."You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened...or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move on"

Monday, November 07, 2022

Another tutorial...who knew?

 Yes, who knew?  Two tutorials in such short order!!  Or maybe, to be technical, this one is more of a pattern than a tutorial.  At any rate...over the weekend I finished this scarf to accompany the hat I already made...

A close up...

And, in case you feel urged to make a scarf of your own (or for THAT gift occasion that's rapidly approaching!), here's the pattern I developed....

1 ball of Patons Canadiana yarn (or any #4 weight yarn of your choice)
8.5 mm knitting needles (either circular or DPN's)

Loosely cast on 23 (or 29 for a wider scarf).  23 stitches gives you a scarf approx. 6"x56".

Knit two rows.

Pattern Row 1:  Knit 3, *YO, K2 tog, repeat from * to last 2 sts., Knit 2
Pattern Row 2:  Knit 2; Purl to last 2 sts.; Knit 2
NOTE:  Mark Row 1 with a safety pin and keep moving it up as you go along in order to keep track of which row you're doing.  Ask me how I know!

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until ball of yarn is nearly done.

Knit 2 rows.

Cast off:  Knit 1, *Knit 1, insert left needle into front of  the two stitches on right needle, K2 tog.  Repeat from * until 1 stitch remaining.  Break yarn and pull through.

- Some of you might find THIS stitch-a-long (minimal cost/month) to be fun.

- I really like THESE and they would make great gifts.

- THESE would be so fun for your Christmas decor.

- If you want to see some amazing eye candy, have a stroll through THIS blog (thanks for the head's up on this one Liz!)

- Sometimes someone writes something on a blog that opens up an entirely new thought process and THIS post is just one of those.  Please go and read the article she wrote HERE as well.  I've never done this (unless it's via a commission) and now I'm hoping I can change my mindset and insisting on the element of surprise and instead open myself to accepting input from the recipients of my efforts.  Food for much contemplation for sure!

Today's quote from William Feather..."Conditions are never just right.  People who delay action until all factors are favourable do nothing"

Friday, November 04, 2022

Another addition to THAT box

 All of our grandies are getting sweaters, hats and mittens this year and this is the final sweater/hat/mitten combo that I've completed (still have two hats and two pairs of mittens to create)...

Patterns were three different ones adjusted to suit myself and the yarn is unknown from my stash.

I'm somewhat basking in a glow of self righteousness at the moment after I spent an hour or so culling my collection of needlework books that I never look at.  23 books are being delivered to the local library for their Friends book sales.  Am I going to wish I'd kept some of them, perhaps, but please let me feel virtuous for a little while.  

- Some of you might find THIS intriguing enough to want to give it a try.

- You can read a little bit about THIS artist and then go and explore her galleries of very impressive creations.

- Although you have to sign up to receive their newsletters in order to get THIS great pattern for lovely warm fleece mittens, you can always unsubscribe afterwards.

- I rather wish I possessed the skills (and the patience!) to make THESE.  

Today's quote..."You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands.  For instance, if they're placed around your throat, she's probably slightly upset"

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Finally finished!

 This sweater has been sitting in the unfinished pile for too long and all it needed was buttons.  Finally found enough in my stash to complete it.  Another item for the Christmas box!  No pattern notes to speak of other than it was stash yarn and a generic sweater pattern.  

- Some of you might like to get lost at THIS site.  I was searching for slow cooker recipes and this popped up but if you check her labels at the top there are tons of other things to explore.  

- THIS little fellow caused another awwwww moment.

- I've seen snowflake as well as heart ornaments for Christmas but haven't seen any that combine the two as THIS one does.

- THIS is a great way to use some of those buttons we all seem to collect.

- I thought THIS might be of interest to some of you.

Today's quote..."My superpower is holding onto stuff for years and throwing it away exactly one week before I need it"