Friday, December 23, 2011


WOW! What a difference a day makes! I should have lightened the photo as it isn't this dark outside, but its snowing and I don't care!! My apologies to all people who are travelling for my happy enthusiasm!!!!!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Tote, a few days before Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve is just a couple of days away! I was so excited when I woke up the other morning to 4 inches of snow, thinking that we might get a white Christmas after all but last nights rain took it all away.... :-(
I won't complain too much because it will be much safer for all the people who have to travel this time of year! Safe driving!

Well, this is part of our snowless yard. It would look much better with snow for sure! We have a few very large fields behind us. I have no idea how many acres a large field might be so I will guess that the fields behind us might be a few hundred acres. North, beyond the fields, a mile or two, is the Gulf of St. Lawrence not too far from the Atlantic Ocean. In the winter when the winds blow from the north, it is so cold and we can get hit with some whopper snow storms! This is what it looks like now.

And this is what our backyard can look like after just one storm. There was hardly any snow on the ground before this storm came blowing in a few years ago!!! This is the back of our house!

We had to get our snowshoes on and climb the mountain of snow and pull the clothesline out of the snow before it broke!

Anyways, I had another busy couple of days. I decided to make a tote for my next door neighbour! She's a lovely lady and a wonderful neighbour!

This is an Art to Heart project from their Easy Does it for Winter books. I love their stuff and have a few of their books. I tried to cover all seasons.

The one problem I had was that they suggested you use your sewing machine to do a blanket stitch around the edge of the snowman and the mittens, glove, birds, etc. but my machine does not do that stitch. I tried an alternate similar stitch but it looked horrible so I just stuck to a normal straight stitch and was pleased with the results.

I ironed a light fusible web to the back of all the fabric used in the making of the snowman, glove, etc., cut out the snowman, glove, bird, etc., and then ironed it all onto the plaid fabric. I then machine stitched it. I used black thread for everything except the scarf, which was done using red thread.

This is the back of the tote.

Plaid cottons are extremely hard to come by on the island for some reason so I used another fabric for the back that wasn't too Christmassy so the tote can be used at all winter.

It is only a few days before Christmas but my family also celebrates the January or "Old Christmas". I hope to make another gift or two in time to send them along before the big day. So I better go and get to work!

Merry Christmas everyone and Blessings in the New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Bag, Quaker Diamonds and a Week before Christmas!

A week today and Christmas is over! Where has time gone?

The tree is up, most gifts are wrapped and under the tree and we are just waiting for the big day! Some of us are a bit impatient! Skyler (the dog) can smell a new play ball on a rope and a new Mr. Squirrel and a bag of treats under the tree (DON'T TELL HER!!!) and has parked herself near her gifts so no one else gets them first!

Went for a walk the other day when it was a bit cloudy. A hazy sun came out once in a while, but it was a cold refreshing day and nevertheless, a good day to get out. This is a pond that is on the trails a few kms from the house.

And don't tell Mum but I made her a bag for shopping. She loves birds and I found a lovely fabric in the shop quite a long time ago and then found some upholstery fabric to go with it. I put sides on the bag but laid flat it is approx. 13 inches by 13 inches. Mum uses a walker so I made small handles that she can put onto the walker. I have only made a bag or two in my lifetime and I confess that I have not used my sewing machine too much in the last 15 or 20 years and I am wayyy out of practice so no close ups!! LOL

This is the inside of the bag. I tried to make it bright as there is nothing worse than trying to find something at the bottom of a dark purse or bag. You might be able to make out the little pocket on the inside. The fabric runs in a different direction from the rest of the inside.

And what am I stitching these days? Well, I am trying to get some UFO's finished up. And I won't tell you how many there are but to say there are lots would be a major understatement! I joined a SAL in Facebook's "Sampler World" so need to get my butt in gear and finish up some old projects! This is Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor. I am trying to finish up the little motifs in the sampler and have one more somewhat larger one to stitch in that vacant spot on the left. It is being stitched on Picture This Plus Cashel 28 Count Mello with Valdani threads. And yes, I am definitely NOT destined to be an award winning blogger as I couldn't even find the time to take the sampler off the stitching bars and iron it! LOL In the time it would take me to do that, I could do a whole lot more stitching!

As I gaze to the left out my window at the glorious sunny but cold day (-4C with a windchill of -10C) I am thinking what I really need right now is a walk in the great outdoors!
My wish to everyone:

The light of the Christmas star to you,
The warmth of home and hearth to you,
The cheer and good will of friends to you,
The hope of a childlike heart to you,
The joy of a thousand angels to you,
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas filled with love, joy and happiness and Blessings in the New Year!

Talk to you again soon.....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Encrusted Crazy Quilting finished!

I probably shouldn't make a post right now as I have a gazillion things that need doing this afternoon and it's 2 pm now! YIKES!

In any case, I had to put my quilting block away for a couple of weeks. The mind went blank and I think it had to do with just being too frustrated at not being able to get the beads, thread colours, buttons, etc that I wanted to use on the block. In fact, I was so upset with it, I actually packed up all the supplies I had and put everything on the shelf. I packed it so well that when I went to work on the block, I couldn't find it as I packed it away with the supplies!

Two things happened in the meantime. I made a trip into the big city, Charlottetown, and visited Fabricville. They just got in a wonderful display of Gutermann glass and bugle beads and sequins in the most amazing colours. Prices start at about $5 though and go up past $8 for one item. OUCH! Anyways, I bought a container of glass beads and when I went to pay for it was told there was a buy one get two free sale on that day so I ran to pick up two more items. Of course, all the way home, and I had a long drive to think about it, I kept asking myself why I didn't run and pick up 5 or 8 or 11 more????? DRATS!!!!!!!!! I was not thrilled with the price of silk being $29 a metre so will have to wait for a REALLY good sale and see if I can pick up quarter metres of it.

Anyways, some time away from the block and 3 new beads seemed to awaken my creative juices. Saturday I dug out my block and started working on it. I can't believe it but between Saturday, Sunday and today, I probably spent an additional 10 to 15 MORE hours on the block. Amazing. In any case, I did relax a tremendous amount from when I worked on the block during the course. When I relaxed, the mind went silly and the stitching began. I expanded some areas that were too tight and just went wiggly niggly adding things here and there and not worrying too much about "Matching", just having some fun. I did reread Tahlia's and Sharon's and classmates messages to me a number of times and used their suggestions as a starting point. Thank you very much ladies!

This is the completed block with some close ups of various parts of the block. I went outside to photograph it which is why the colour is a bit weird I guess. Hope it shows up.

I had alot of fun doing these flowers. Another first for me. The ribbon I used for it was way too wide and I had take out the spider wheel a number of times before it actually started to come together. I have searched in town and in the big city for very thin ribbon and there really isn't any so that will have to go on my shopping list for my next visit to Ontario. And yes, that is a spider web and spider on the block!
I tried to do a bit of overlapping, as was suggested. I'm not sure how well the photographs show it, but its there to a small degree. Again, in hindsite, I might have done things different if I had to do it all again, but I certainly learned lots and that is what it is all about. I also thought of adding some creative stitching here and there, but I am a little pressed for time and really needed to finish the block, plain and simple.

This last picture below was sort of my biggest frustration the last day or two. I wanted to make some red Buttonhole loop flowers on that dark green vine and I did not have a #12 perle cotton in a colour that was bright enough for the vine so I used DMC floss instead and was not thrilled with the results as all the loops twisted and only 2 or 3 stayed open as they were supposed to. Nothing in life is perfect, so I will use the imperfect loops as just being a part of life. They sort of look like rose buds so I am happy with that, but, (with a great big sigh!) I can see I need to add some bright coloured perle cottons to my shopping list! The buttonhole loops are the bright red flowers (blobbettes) in the two photos below.

Well, that's it for me. I have a whole slew of veggies to chop up for a dish I am making for our Stitching Guilds Christmas pot luck this evening and just got a call from someone saying I need to be there with the key a whole lot earlier and I am soooooo behind!

This course has been a real joy and if you are interested in stretching your creative self or exciting yourself, take a look here for a list of Sharon's courses!

There is so much to do between now and Christmas! I hope to get back in here before Christmas, but, if I don't, Merry Christmas and all the best that the world offers in the New Year!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

First Snowfall

Just a very short note... We had our first snow storm yesterday and last night. Left us with about a foot of snow on the ground. We had an exceptionally warm and sunny fall so the snow is actually quite welcome as it will help get us into that Christmas spirit. Up till now, it just didn't seem right thinking of putting up lights and a tree and doing shopping and baking with it being so wonderfully warm outside! The house feel so much warmer with all that snow!
Its just the beginning folks of many more storms to come, I'm sure!
Take care!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Encrusted Crazy Quilting almost finished!

WOW! What a course! I think I have been eating and sleeping this course! It's wonderful! It certainly stretches your creative juices. At times, I found it almost profoundly difficult to get going in a particular area, and yet, once I started stitching, the ideas would pour out of my mind like a raging water falls...
In any case, this is what we were sort of aiming for on this site. (click on the word site) IE, what our blocks sort of should have looked like! LOL

I have never "Crazy Quilted" before so I had no idea what to expect. I thought my supply of fabrics was varied enough to be suitable for the class and there was an ample supply of ribbons, lace and embellishments on my shelves in containers, but I was wrong! LOL.. hence, this is what my "almost finished" block looks like:

I did some of the smaller areas of the block first, not really following instructions or understanding what the weeks instructions were, so, if I had to do the block over again, it would not look like it does, but hey, isn't that what a course is all about! LEARNING!!!

And I felt I did that. I learned lots! It was a totally enjoyable course; the notes we received in PDF format were so detailed with lots of photos or computer links to go to. I am guessing that the notes were either just shy of or just over 200 pages, one side printed only. There was an incredible amount of feedback from the instructor Sharon as well as each other, on the group site that we posted our comments/questions to and we were able to share our photos with the other class members as well. It was a lovely class and experience and I hope to be able to make many more of these wonderful blocks!

Something I will be looking forward to after Christmas is joining Sharon's "Stitchin Fingers" group. I am sadly lacking in my knowledge of the enormous varieties of stitches that are out there. Joining the group will help me commit to practicing the stitches and learning more than just the few stitches I am able to do now.

Enough for now. Later!
ps- first real snow storm of the season is due tomorrow! YIPPPYY!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Encrusted Crazy Quilting

Yes, twice in one day.
I am taking another class from Sharon B. Wow! What an amazing woman and talent she is! The course is wonderful, the notes are so well thought out and detailed. I am so glad I took the course!

This is Sharon's web site for the class, Encrusted Crazy Quilting. (click on the words to the left!)
I admit that crazy quilting was not something I was ever too fond of. Just never appealed to me. What I fell in love with though, when I took Sharon's Sumptuous Surfaces Course, is the stitching. Oh my...... I could do that forever! That is what encouraged me to take the Crazy Quilting course, the stitching. And now that I have put my first block together, I just love the whole process tho I have really just begun (tho if I had to do it again, I would not have used the colours I did for my first block).

There is a saying that goes "When the going gets tough, the weak eat!" I expect to gain alot of weight in this class! So many new stitches to learn. So many ways to embellish, add ribbon, add buttons and decorations. But, I can't explain the overwhelming emotion that comes from digging deep into your soul and finding imagination and inspiration that moves you to put certain colours and threads and ribbons and buttons on a piece of fabric that becomes a beautiful piece of art. What an amazing process. Again, I am finding this to be an excellent class!

I am going to attach a photo of what I have done so far. Keep in mind that I am about 4 weeks behind (surgery and cottage trip) and am a total newby to this art. You can click on Sharon's link above to see how Encrusted Crazy Quilting is REALLY done! Her work is beautiful!
In case you are interested, Sharon has another place where she details various embroidery stitches. (again, click on the words on the left)
I have a long way to go to finish this piece but it is so much fun to work on it!
Enjoy your day.


Went out yesterday evening to take some photos. Felt I needed to celebrate the fact that it was Nov. 4th, the weather was warmer, drier and nicer than we have had in a long time. Tho we had had some good overnight frosts, we didn't have anyt really hard frost and there were still plants alive outside!

Honeysuckle was actually blooming, bleeding hearts were still around, and flower pots were still alive! Oak leaves were still on the trees and bright red.

This morning, well, it's a different story.... you will see...

It appears we will be blessed with more good weather for another week, starting tomorrow...
Keep smiling!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Vacation, Surgery and Fall Colour

Hello again!
Well, as usual, its been a very long time since my last post. And as usual I have many reasons as to why! LOL

Two days after my last post, I had gall bladder surgery. That was so much fun!! NOT! Along with it came a bit of a recovery period. We then took a week and went to our favorite cottage in Nova Scotia! And what a week it was! WOW!!!! We were originally going to go in September but put it off because of my surgery. It turned out to be such a blessing because while we were there, the fall colours were at their peak and they were spectacular, to say the least. I took almost 1,500 photographs that week. Thank God for digital is all I have to say!!!

I will only be posting the photos from this trip today and will let you in on what I am working on now in the very near future, but I make no promises!! LOL How do I chose a handful oh photos out of 1500?

I am going to post the photos without commentary. No need for it. Some of the cliffs in the photos are a few hundred feet high.
Others are almost 600 feet high. All the photos were taken along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia around Economy and Parrsboro. An interesting fact is that the Bay of Fundy is in the running for one of the NEW 7 Wonders of the World and I sure would appreciate you voting for it! Apparently, there is so much water that flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy, that if I have this right, in one 12 hour tide change, there is enough water coming into the Bay of Fundy to fill the Grand Canyon 6 times! Imagine that! It is one of the most beautiful places on earth to me.

I should add too that I have this real fascination for light and dark shadows. When I walk in the forest, I try to catch scenes in the shade with a bit of sun poking thru the trees and lighting up just one small leaf or bush. I think it will be evident in some of the photos.

These are the photos. Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Needle Minder and Soup

I think I figured out why I don't post more often! This past Sunday, after 2 1/2 hours of typing, editing, correcting, and fiddling with photos, I was doing my final proof reading when "POOF", it was all gone! Boy was the air blue around here!!!!

It was supposed to be another post on another birthday, this time mine! My kitchen is lime green and sort of a purple colour with white cupboards and yes, as putrid as that may sound, I am just so gifted in the decorating department!!! Flowers were given and received in love from the better half, a wonderful lime green and bright pink!

So on to the Needle Minder part of this post. I finished the Sumptuous Surfaces course and needed a new project to work on that was just a little bit different but quick to finish. Our local stitching guild is having their stitching retreat in October and I had an idea that maybe we could get the members at the retreat to stitch up a little needle minder. If you aren't sure what a needle minder or keeper is, you can check out this web site. (click on the word "this" and then scroll down to the bottom of the page)

The pattern I was using for the needle minder came from the September 2011 issue of Cross-Stitch and Needlework Magazine. The article was called "Autumn Thumbtacks" and since I had no need for thumbtacks, I thought I would make the button but instead of gluing a thumbtack to the back of the button, I would glue one half of a pair of magnet on the back. I did buy the 3/4 of an inch make your own button kit called for though I am thinking there might be various qualities of such kits and there might be kits out there that are better than the one I was able to find here.

The article in the magazine offers 3 patterns and a selection of DMC floss to use. I used one of the stitch patterns and the colour choices offered.

This is the "Make your own Button" kit that I purchased at the local fabric shop.

Your fabric goes into the white piece, right side down into the white piece, you then push in the actual button face onto the back of the fabric and then attach the button back and you use that blue thing above to push the back of the button onto the front. I have shown the white and blue piece above, and then both sides of the front and then the back below them.

The completed needle minder is shown here:

I honestly give a standing ovation to those women who can write blogs almost every day and post photos in the most pretty settings with artfully arranged flowers and embellishments. Unfortunately, that is NOT me as I am finding out. I admit I had more fun taking the actual photo above than I did making the button!! As I said, I am not good at what I call "froo froo", all the frilly background decorations to enhance the beauty of what I am trying to show, for your viewing pleasure. I have two placemats. One is blue and the other is a Christmas theme. LOL I picked the blue to showcase my needle minder! So, camera in hand, and needle minder, and placemat, I go outside on a gorgeously sunny day, with monsoon winds blowing. So, just as I get everything set up, a gust of wind blows it all away. As I got things set up again, the dog would make off with the placemat, or try to eat one of the flowers. So, I set it up and shoot quickly!

If you look at the picture two above, of the front and back of the various button parts, you will see that the button back has a bit of a hook in it that you use to sew it to whatever you are sewing the button to. You have to remove that hook before you put the button together. The hook has to be removed so that you can glue the one piece of the magnet to the back.

If you are thinking of making the button, some heavy weight training is needed before putting the button together if you are using the button kit I purchased. I used 28 count Lugana for the fabric and then 2 threads for the stitching and it made for a little bit of bulk. Before making the button, you have to trim down the fabric to about 1/4 to less than 1/2 an inch outside your stitching area. It still leaves a bit of bulk so its a bit of a bugger trying to get the back of the button attached to the button front. I just about dislocated a shoulder pressing down on that blue thing that came in the package. I eventually used a wooden clothes peg and a hammer! LOL So if you give it a try, good luck! Then, another problem. It took three trials of various glues that I had in the house to finally get it to set and the magnet to adhere to the button back. At least the glue matches the lighter green of one of the flosses used.

As you can see, I just glued a piece of ribbon between the back of the button and one of the magnets and at the end of the ribbon I attached a needle threader.

Which brings us to the soup part of this post. It was taking so long for the glue on the button back to dry that I decided to make a pot of soup. When my husband saw the vegetables I had lined up for the soup, he volunteered to go into town to get a 45 gallon drum to put on the stove that would be big enough to hold all the vegetables!

This is the soup.

2 pork tenderloin roasts, cut into cubes
3 onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 whole celery chopped
1 whole turnip, chopped
1 whole butternut squash, chopped
1 whole cabbage, chopped
1 pound of various mushrooms, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large handful of snow peas, chopped
2 pounds of new potatoes, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 cans of "no salt" chopped tomatoes
1 can of black beans, no salt
1 can of white kidney beans, no salt
1 can of red kidney beans, no salt
a large handful of various herbs
approx. 10 or so cups of water

Of course there is peeling and dredging meat in flour and sauteing going on and the results were stupendous and the freezer is full!

Well, that's it for today. I'm going to "save now" and then take a chance on proof reading and then posting it. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Part 2 of Sumptuous Surfaces Finished!


Another post, another birthday. Best wishes to my older brother on his 63rd birthday today! WOW! Do I ever feel old! I'm only 5 years behind him! His wife's birthday is the same day as mine I think and is coming up so Happy Birthday to her as well!

It's September and fall has come to PEI. The sea grass is turning its bronzy gold colour and the sea is just a bit darker and colder looking. But, it is all quite spectacular!

Went out for a drive the other day and couldn't believe that we saw 3 eagles that day and me without a good telescopic lens!!! Double drats and crap!
I finished part 2 of the Sumptuous Surfaces course and am quite pleased with the results. I had a bit of a vision of what I wanted when I started the piece but not really knowing very many stitches or too much about where certain stitches would look best, I just sort of plugged along until it felt right. There were alot of stitches taken out, almost as many as those remaining, but again, it very much resembles what I had in mind.
A bit of a close up below.

One small thing though, is that I'm not sure how I want to frame it but it will be nice to try different things until I find something that feels right. I might ask Sharon when I take her next class which starts mid October.

Next project? It's just a small one. In the September 2011 issue of Cross-Stitch and Needlework Magazine, they have an article on making "Autumn Thumbtacks". The thumbtack idea wasn't too appealing to me but I liked the idea of stitching up a small pattern and making it into a button and instead of gluing a thumbtack to the back, I would glue one of a pair of magnets to the back to use on my fabric when stitching as a needle minder. It is complete and I have also attached a piece of ribbon to it to hold a needle threader. I'm not sure the glue I used is strong enough but it is taking longer to dry than I thought so hopefully I will have pictures to put on here real soon!

Enjoy the wonderful cool weather!