Friday, 30 March 2012


I am learning a new skill...spinning.  I have mentioned before that I absolutely love it.  It is on hold now until my package arrives as I have used up every single bit of roving that I had already purchased.
 I want to thank the lovely ladies from Fiber Arts Friday who left me all those helpful tips when I posted pictures of my first attempt.  All those little spirals from the overspun fiber are gone.  Yippee!

I even have a project in mind for this yarn.
Not exactly consistent, but good enough for me to have ordered roving to make yarn for a specific project.  I can't wait until it arrives...I will share when I get started...and for those who stopped by is blue and green!  Gasp!  I ordered colour all. by. myself!  (disclaimer:  the project is for N, ha ha ha).

Now I'm off to get some more inspiration from the uber talented ladies joining Fiber Arts Fridays at wisdom begins in wonder.

Thursday, 29 March 2012


I finally finished my legwarmers last night after 2 1/2 years on the needles...well, sort of...just need to weave in the ends.  A fair bit of ends.  Just in time to join over with Crunchy Catholic Momma for Stash Bash.  One project (nearly) done from my stack of unfinished works.  They are for the inside of my rainboots. 

And...they are blue...if you joined me last week, you will know that I am on a search for colour.  My house (and wardrobe) is predominantly beige/brown, grey, cream, or otherwise "non-colours".  I love it that way.  But I also need to add some colour to brighten things up a bit.  So, here we
This little sits on my windowsill.  It used to sit on my husband's grandmother's kitchen table and was there every single time we visited before she passed away.  I like to keep it where I can see it.
Leftover cotton yarn from a pair of socks I made...
Disclaimer:  I did not even buy this yarn...the boys bought it for my birthday when I told my husband that the only way I would ever come out of the yarn store with something colourful would be if someone else picked it out for me.  I love it, and I love the socks, and I never would have bought it myself.
This is the brightest clothing I own...a t-shirt (from the goodwill...interestingly...I never would have even looked at it in a regular "big box" store) that I pair up with this hand me down skirt.  Cooky.
This is the colour of S's room.  He picked it (the black is chalkboard paint).  I thought I could live with it.  It grates on my nerves.  It is too jarring, but it is last on the list of rooms to be painted so I avert my eyes.  It is the only room in the house that has a bright colour.
Interestingly enough, one place I have no problem with colour is tissue boxes.  I re-use them for gift tags and a million other things (see the second half of this post) and I always choose bright colourful ones.  One step at a time, step at a time.

This is a good challenge for me.  What colour should I look for next week?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Using it up...

Tuesday is usually using what I have to make what I need, as my "regulars" know.  This Wednesday will be the last day I can leave pottery at the college to have the pieces fired in the kiln this term.  So...I thought it would be best to use up most of my clay in order to not waste it as the next session doesn't start until September.

So, this weekend...I "used it up" (except for the clay I will need for Wednesday itself of course)...
One of the things I love about working with clay is that you can use just about anything to put a design into the finished piece.  I have used branches, leaves, stamps, and all kinds of things...this weekend, I used:
a bamboo mat for rolling sushi...N thinks it is quite clever for a sushi plate to be patterned like a sushi mat.
and rubber stamps for papercrafts...this is my first time using a large repeating pattern over the whole surface...
 ...and I have to say, I am in love! with the way the pattern comes out.  I will definitely do this again (in another term, as I am out of studio time for a while).

PS: for those of you who have been waiting for it, the fabric peg doll pattern is available on
 my etsy shop.

I'll be linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On...won't you come join us...there is always plenty of inspiration to be found!


I am posting later than usual today...but...better late than never.

I do have a lot to share today.
First...a shop update...the fabric peg doll sewing pattern is now available over on my etsy shop.
They came out to join me for my walkabout tour of the garden this weekend.

The winners for the peg doll pattern give-away are:
1.  Rachel Proffitt (I am unable to leave a comment, or even get to your site from your comment so I hope you see this...I know I have seen your picture several times before...maybe from yarn along?? - I am sure I will find you somehow).
2.  Steph @ HCC (Honor Crowned Crafts).
Please be sure to "conversation me" with your email address so that I can get the pattern to you...and thanks for participating.  The winners were chosen by rolling a 20-sided die, in case you are wondering :)

And a garden update:
 The rhubarb did decide to come back!
 Wild blackberries that I dug up from the overgrowth behind where I work and transplanted in my yard last year...coming back beautifully...much farther ahead than the domestic blackberries I have in my yard.
 Radish sprouts,
 Lettuce sprouts,
 Pea sprouts,
 ...even the pussy willow branches I stuck in the ground as a divider between different kinds of peas have sprouted leaves!  I wonder if I will be able to get them to set roots?
Peach blossoms.

The problem is...these were taken on the weekend after several (unusually) warm days. I'm talking 25 degrees (Celsius).  Today, we are back down to 0 degrees (Celsius) and I forgot to put the row covers on when the temperature dropped...learning's my first time planting this early.   We will see what happens!  All of the herbs are coming along nicely, though.  Some are ready to harvest.

In fact...we were able to harvest some green onions to put in our dinner the other night.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


A little while back, I asked for some feedback on my etsy shop.  The general consensus was that I needed to add some colour to the photos.  So the other day, I was trying to take some photos and I was looking all around my house for something colourful I could use as a backdrop.  I-could-not-find-a-thing!

So, I am challenging myself.  Thursdays will (hopefully) now be a colour post instead of Three things on Thursdays, in an effort to find colour in our every day lives.  This week I am starting off with yellow (because the flowers are in bloom - kinda cheating, but there you go).

Note: I accidentally forgot my camera at work, so I had to borrow my son's.  I had no idea how to change the settings, so the indoor shots are quite terrible...please excuse, but at least I found some colour.

 The flowers are almost exactly one month ahead of schedule from the last 2 years.  Last year and the year before, I had to force the forsythia indoors to have blooms for the art show at the children's school on Earth Day (April 22) and the tulips and daffodils were just starting.  This year, I found the first daffodil on the 17th.
 Lucky for me that bee's wax is yellow!
 A little left over bit of yellow cotton yarn.  The funny thing is, I don't know what I made with the missing part.
 Woo woo, lemons are yellow...
 ...and so is this pepper I got at the market yesterday.  One of the farmers at the market has multiple greenhouses so we get fresh produce all winter long.  I close my eyes to how much energy it would require to keep the greenhouses running all winter, but one does get tired of root vegetables.

I wonder...what colour should I look for next week?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Yarn along...more or less.

It's Tuesday night, so I am writing my yarn along post to join up with Ginny at small things for Wednesday's yarn along.

These are the reasons that I have not gotten much knitting done.
1.   I have been making yarn instead of knitting with it.
2.   The other distraction is the little (and not so little) fabric peg doll gnomes that I introduced on yesterday's post (sneak peak pattern give-away for the peg dolls over here).  I may have gotten carried away with them.  Please excuse the I said, it is Tuesday night.  There are much better photos of the peg dolls on the link above.

On the reading front...the Upper Canadian Furniture book is out because I think my husband needs to make me this:
...the swift on the right.  I could make it myself but it is gardening season so if I make it, it will be in the fall, and he is looking for a project, and Mother's day will be here before you know it, and I wonder if any of this will convince him :)

The fiction book is "The Outlaws of Ennor" set in the early 1300's.  When I was a few pages in, I realized I have read this book before, but for the life of me I cannot remember much else about it, other than the fact that I have read it before.  It is a very weird feeling.
Plus, not much reading was going on lately because I had a serious problem my brother introduced me to "Jericho" on Netflix and in 2 weeks I watched the entire 30 episodes and may or may not have watched 4 (43 minute) episodes in one sitting.  Yikes!  I loved it, but it totally took over my mind.  I was thinking about it all the time, and I just couldn't wait until evening to watch the next episode (and I have to admit that once I actually went up and watched an episode before making dinner).  I was completely obsessed with it and that has never happened to me before.  I'm almost glad it is all over so I can move on.

Now the kids are off to bed, so I am going to settle in with my book.  And hopefully, for next week's yarn along, I will have something more to share since I now have SIX "current" knitting projects on the go...a new maximum for me, which is leaving me completely overwhelmed...and is probably the reason I am doing everything BUT knitting.

Monday, 19 March 2012

An introduction - Gnome people

I would like you to meet the new family on the block...

From left to right, we have:  Spring Blossom, Stormy Skies (my favourite - although S thinks it is Gandalf), Winter, Poppy, and Sprout (my other favourite).  Poppy needs a new hat but I accidentally used up the last of the red making her a medium sized hat and it doesn't fit her head, since her head is size large.

Avert your eyes, children, I am going to show you what is under their clothes...
I made some "peg dolls" using an old skirt (the same skirt I used to make my lunch bag).  I thought it would be cute to have a whole bunch of spring gnomes coming up with the flowers, but then I ended up making them in strange colours.  I guess I will have to make some more.  They are about 7", just under 6" and 3.5" tall without their hats on.
They are fun to make, kind of addictive actually.  I am going to have the pattern up on my etsy shop by the end of the weekend, but I thought that a lucky winner or two could win a sneak peak.  If you would like to win a pattern, just leave a comment and I will draw some winners on Monday, March 26.  I'm not sure how many yet, but at least 2.

Incidentally, the winner of last week's give-away was Debbie from no spring chicken.  (Debbie, I left a comment on your blog yesterday, but in case it slipped by...can you "conversation me" at my etsy shop with your email address so that I can get the pattern to you).

...and since I am introducing people...I thought you might like to finally meet my minions:
We were finally able to get the last of the files off our old computer (and I use the term we loosely, because I don't think my repeated requests for the files was actually considered "helpful").  This was labelled 2005-2006, so they don't look like this any more, but it is a picture I am willing to share.  N is on the left, S on the right.  I love little ones straight from the tub in their nice comfy pyjamas.

You are welcome to pin anything from my blog except this photo.  I am neurotic enough as it is, so this is a huge leap of faith on my part.  If you know me well...I hope someone will help you back up since you probably just fell off your chair.
Have a lovely day!

I'll be joining frontier dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On.  Won't you come join us?
And...since all the "stuff" was in my stash, I will be linking up with Crunchy Catholic Momma for the Stash Bash again this week.  Are you Stash-bashing?

Oh, I almost forgot...for those "crafting on-ers" who asked me to show the Green Man mug when it was done...fresh from the kiln:

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Garden Progress Already

March is not gardening season in my neck of the woods...usually.  We had very little winter to speak of this year, though, and things are in bloom, and the weather is warm, and predicted to stay that way, so I thought I would take a chance.  With the winter we had last year, I don't think I was this far ahead until the end of May.  I know I didn't plant potatoes until June (I'm still a ways away from potatoes this year, but still, I am excited).
 I planted a row of peas next to the strawberry patch.  The strawberries actually need to be dug up and moved around a bit, but I don't dare start that yet just in case we still get some winter.  Usually, I just fill the whole pea area with branches and let the peas climb, but we didn't have very many around this year, and there was a package of these tiny bamboo stakes in my shed from when my in-laws moved, so I am trying that out.
 I have several rows of the vegetable garden raked up and mounded, with last years leaves in the spaces in between.  I don't ever remember having this many rows done in March before.  That baby tree on the right is an apple tree, grafted with 5 kinds of apples growing off the trunk.  I got it last year for Mother's day.  In front of that, I planted Swiss chard and celeriac because the packages said I could plant as soon as the ground can be worked.  I also planted a small patch of heirloom radishes that said "as soon as the ground can be worked".  I am using as many heirlooms as possible this year.  I found more than ever before at our local nursery and I'm pretty happy about that.
 I am trying out these new row covers I bought at our local nursery.  I am hoping they will extend the season by a month or two on each end.  Under this one, there are two kinds of heirloom lettuce.  I have another one that has pak choy planted underneath it.
 These are last spring's onions.  They didn't grow last year because we were so short of rain.  In fact, I didn't even think there was anything there, but in the fall, they started to grow again, and I left them, and now I have onions well under way.  Two rows of them I think.
A few things are just starting to come up in the herb bed.  Some, I lost, but I am pretty sure they were annuals anyways but even the parsley is usable already.  Score!

There is nothing to speak of yet in the fruit garden, so I am not including a picture.

Hop on over to small things to see how other people are progressing in their garden.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Yarn along and some other stuff.

There is a new give-away at the end of this post...don't miss it.

 A few weeks ago I shared the beginning of these slippers that I was going to turn into boy slippers.  Ta-la!  The first one is almost done, and the second one is well on its way.  (The symbol is from a Canadian football team - well, sort of - it's the best I could do with the felt I have).
They stretch like crazy mad, so even though they look tiny, they will fit my twelve year old (they kinda fit me, see).  I am sort of reading my mom's Canadian Living Magazine.  I am leafing through it when I have a minute here and there.  After all, the sun is out, the weather is nice, and the kids are out playing...which means, it's garden time again!

OK...For those of you who participated in last week's give-away - Thank you very much.  All of your suggestions were very good.  Some changes have been made, and I will be working on some other changes (like the banner) over the next little while...
And the winner is....

I think your shop looks great. Personally, I'd probably try to add more splashes of color in your listing photographs (like the flowers and fruits you have in some) - just to draw the eye a bit more. I'm not sure how I feel about your banner - maybe have your shop name or something on it? Though with the current picture it may be too busy. Hmm. I'm not the best to give advice, my Etsy shop is pretty sad looking.

And, as a thank you to all of you who participated but didn't win the necklace:
I have a second give-away for you...
Through the feedback, I have determined that the most viewed item, and the item most often "favourited" is the reversible knitting bag tote.
And who needs a new knitting bag more than yarn-alongers, right?  So, I have added the pattern to my shop, and am giving away a pdf copy of the pattern to one lucky person.  You can see all of the pictures and the inside and all that in my shop as well.  Leave a comment below if you are interested. I'll draw the winner on Monday, March 14th.

I'll be linking up with Ginny at small things for Yarn along.  Can't wait to see what you are all up to.  I'll have to start at the end this week, and work my way backwards, because I didn't have time to get to everybody last week.  I made it 2/3 of the way through.