Wednesday, October 22, 2014


The weather here has been cold, rainy, damp and grey, grey, grey. Not much fun for walking in the woods or raking leaves, but perfect for feathering my nest.  Probably my most favourite thing to do in the world!

I've been baking:

Mini cupcakes for our church coffee hour:  a great excuse to use up those fall sprinkles and pumpkin doilies I found while cleaning!

Black Bottom cupcakes from my Grammie's recipe box.  Apparently this recipe came from my Mum, but I don't ever remember having these growing up.

A bit of sewing to warm things up a bit.  These have been a big hit with the family:

I used sweaters from the charity shop.  I want to make one more and have the perfect sweater to use, but the only problem is that it's my flumpy sweater.  You know, the one that's one or two sizes two big for you that you grab when you're sick; or it's raining outside; or to go over your pyjamas on the weekends.  At this point it still looks decent enough to wear in front of non-family members, so really I shouldn't cut it up just yet.

Decorating for Halloween:

The mantle is where the bulk of my decorations are.  There are a few spots around the house with some other things, but it makes it easier to pack it all up later on when I have less things out.  Of course there are pumpkins on the front porch too:)

And lastly I have been stitching and finishing:

Pumpkin and Pins from my last post turned into a pinkeep with one of my Fimo pumpkin pins at the top.
The oak leaves design was a freebie, but I cannot find who the designer was.  I finished it as a biscournou last night and backed it with a mustard coloured fabric.  Love the look of the biscournou: do not like making biscournous!  I can never get them lined up just right so I think next time I will try the mattress pincushion finish.

The chilly weather also delivered me a nasty cold.  Yesterday I planned to do absolutely nothing and just rest.  What a tonic that was!  I watched a chick flick and Midsomer Murders on Netflix, and sorted through all my cross stitch magazines.  At the end of the day I felt so much better, and have my magazine collection culled by half.

Today the sun is shining and it's so nice to see it after all that grey.  Despite being productive during the dark days, it's nice to admire my things in the sunlight:)

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Time Fillers

I will  never understand the fact that when I have lots of time to work on the things I love to do, I don't.  Last week I was so busy with so many little things, and yet I managed to accomplish an insane amount of crafty nesting projects, decluttering, baking, and cross stitching in addition to my normal domestic bits and outside obligations.  So weird.  I think the lesson here is to just stay busy, and the creative bits will follow!

So first up, I made a new bed for Libby.  This was fun, mostly because I used a thrifted sheet and too small duvet.  The best part was I started and finished it in the same evening.

I love the fabric - I think if this sheet was on my bed I would be too happy to sleep.  So far no problems with the dog.  We keep this bed inside her crate where she sleeps at night.

On Thanksgiving weekend I stitched up this cute freebie from My Happy Memories blog.  I am still deciding how to finish it, but so far pin-keep is holding in at number one.

The lettering isn't really crooked, I just have to stretch the fabric out.

In other stitchy news I received my Halloween Ornament exchange from my swap partner.
This is what Julianne from California sent me:

Of course the treats are looong gone!  Actually she sent four lollipops and only two made it into the picture:O  Thanks so much Julianne!

Here is what I sent to her:

The lollipop isn't really Halloween themed, but is made from maple syrup and that's the Canadian component!
It was a really fun exchange and I want to thank Kim from Wisdom With Needle and Thread again for organizing it.

Someone gave us a box of miniature chocolate bars at Thanksgiving; I used most of them to make Candy Shortbread Bars from Martha Stewart and they are fantastic.  This time I put some peanuts on top to cut down on all the chocolate a bit:  I will definitely do that again!

I think what I'm most excited about is may latest Pinterest inspiration project.  I have been looking at all sorts of organizational ideas lately, and the idea to organize the console of my car seemed like genius.

I know it doesn't really look like much, and I didn't take a 'before' photo (who would do that anyway?)  I will say how much nicer it is to retrieve my sunglasses or find the hand sanitizer than it was before.  I made the organizer out of an aluminum foil box and some black duct tape.  You can't get much more thrifty than that!  Putting the CD's in a fabric case freed up the most space, and it just happens to fit perfectly next to the organizer.  I love it when Pinterest works for me!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Apple a Day

This was so fun and quick to stitch up:

I used cotton from my stash and the free pattern is from here.  I wanted it to be a pot holder so I crocheted another apple all in red and used single crochet to stitch them together.  The instructions call for the seeds to be made with a bullion stitch, but as I was having some kind of brain block I used a lazy daisy stitch instead.  Next year I would love to make one in Granny Smith green!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Falling In

This year I felt like I came into autumn kicking and screaming.  I did not want summer to be over, and I was so resistant to getting back into any kind of routine.  I have been slap-dashing it ever since September, but I think I'm finally ready to get back into the hum of my everyday life.

When I get overwhelmed with this, that and the other I always find it therapeutic to clean.  Yes, I said clean.  When I can get a small corner of my world in order, I feel in order.  That one cleared out drawer or sparkly bathroom motivates me to take charge and organize my days.  Unfortunately I don't have an immaculate house yet, but at least I am feeling the urge to make a start!

Getting things in order and the turn of the weather have made me want to nest like crazy.  Anything with warm colours is my new favourite, so I have been adding little touches here and there when I can.  I made some new cushion covers for the couch and changed the stuff on my mantle.

I have been thinking about making a wooden box for my mantle to put seasonal frou-frous in.  Yesterday I just happened to notice the two French wine boxes we have in the basement.  So, voila, a wooden box for the mantle that has meaning to us (from our trips to St. Emilion) and did not cost me any time or money to make.  Now I can just fiddle faddle on a decision of whether or not to stain them.  The kids and Libby and I went for a walk in the woods yesterday to gather some maple branches, and I have them stuck in floral foam in little jars inside the boxes.  I was hoping for some orange or red ones, but those branches were too high.  I settled on little orange pumpkins instead.
I got the printer's tray this summer when we visited the McKenzie Printery museum.  Some cross stitching; my retro pheasant Avon bottle and burlap banner make it autumnal enough for me.

I have been baking too:  oatmeal cookies with orange and brown Smarties; caramel popcorn with pretzels and Reese's Pieces:

...and these little morsels of awesome-ness:

Mrs. Smythe posted a recipe for Cider Doughnut Muffins the other day.  I thought they sounded pretty tasty, even though I have never tried a Cider Doughnut.  I thought it would be cute to bake up a batch in my cake pop maker and have them be like fall flavoured Timbits.  Well, let me just tell you that this tin was full when I baked these last night, and this is what is left less than 24 hours later.

About two weeks ago I was thinking of the creative projects I want to complete this fall.  Of course there are many, but I was absolutely possessed to crochet something new with new yarn.  Off to my LYS I went and came home with these pretty colours from the clearance rack:

Five of the six skeins are a cotton-wool blend and feel so good to work with .  The light brown is the same, but with a bit of silk in it.  It is a rarity for me to bring home the materials for a project and start right away, but I felt driven to get this going.

I love how it matches my mug!

Not much longer and my shawl is finished!  This is the Nordic Shawl from Annette of My Rose Valley.  This pattern was so easy to follow and truly a delight to stitch.  My only problem was that I didn't have enough yarn so I had to fudge the coloured band a bit and I was not able to complete the gorgeous lace border.  Despite all that, I am in love with it and would love to stitch another one sometime.

The size is generous and will be perfect for our cooler early mornings. Of course Miss Libby has to get her photo taken too!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tutti Fruitti Swap; Stitch From Stash and August

I took part in the Tutti Fruitti Swap organized by Ingrid at the beginning of the summer.  I was so excited as I have not been in a craft swap for almost 20 years!  I had so much fun putting everything together, and now I can show you what I received and what I sent.

Veronique from France had my name and sent me this lovely bag and some other goodies.  Those little fruit jellies did not last the day!  She mailed this to me on July 27 and I received it on July 31. How's that for good postal service!  Thank you so much Veronique!  I love everything!

I didn't have such great luck with my parcel to Italy.  I mailed it two weeks before the deadline and I have to tell you last night I was fretting.  I did a quick check this morning of my recipient's blog, and it had arrived on the deadline day!  Whew!  I didn't want to be named and shamed as a bad swap partner on my first swap in a long time!  This is what I sent Sonia:

Inside the needlebook I put some fimo pins I made of strawberries and strawberry blossoms:

I had so much fun putting everything together in a theme and I would love, love, love to do another swap sometime.  Perhaps a domestic one though, because postage to Europe was rather heart stopping!

Stitch from Stash:  I did pretty well last month; I just bought the JCS Halloween issue and some cute buttons from the dollar store so I am under the allotted budget.  It helped that I could buy stash for the swap - truthfully it helped tame the beast to buy something for someone else and not have it count in my totals.
I didn't do too much stitching either.  I am making good progress on my teacup peony picture, which I of course forgot to photograph; and I have the usual cards I stitch every year for the kids birthdays.

I did a bit of sewing too.  I thought we could use a new doorstop and made this little camper one.

I wanted to do something fun with some of my Liberty fabrics and try out some free motion embroidery as well.  I'm pretty happy with it, though it could be just a tad heavier on the bottom.

Miss Libby has not had a great August.  She suffers terrible allergies this month every year, and this year she had to wear the dreaded E Collar for a few days to let her skin heal up.

I don't know which she dislikes more:  the collar or the diaper shirt we have put on her in previous years.

Realizing we did not have much time left for summer we got a dog sitter and headed out for a quick, two day vacation.  We drove through some beautiful, rural countryside to get to one of our favourite destinations:  Port Burwell on Lake Erie.  We had a beautiful day there and got our fill of sun and sand for the next twelve months.

Today is the kids first day back at school.  They were very excited to go and see their friends again, but I think we all wished summer could have been just a little bit longer....and warmer!

Thanks for visiting:)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July Stitch from Stash Update

Casting a Spell is finished!!  I am so glad.

 I didn't really enjoy stitching this one to be honest.  It had nothing to do with the motifs, they were nice and simple and could easily be done in two or three episodes of whatever we were binge watching at the time.  It's the colours.  They are more rusty-gold and brown as opposed to orange and black.  It didn't make me feel all festive for Halloween.  A couple of times I thought I would just stop and make small pillows out of the motifs I had already stitched and use the box for something else.  Then I remembered how long it took me to find the box after I  bought the pattern and was so excited to make it.  I have put it away now, and am hoping that come October when I pull it out I will be excited again.

I have been stitching a few other things as well, but they are for the Tutti Fruity swap I am participating in so I can't show them just yet.

So, for my tallies:  I finished one WIP; started and finished three small pieces in July.  I did go over my $25 budget for July due to some long awaited cross border shopping, but it was worth it!  In total I spent $55 on things like floss, linen, buttons, charms and finishing fabrics.  No charts though, which I consider a good thing!  I believe I have around $80 in carry-over from previous months so I'm doing well.

In other crafty news I finished a crochet pot holder.

This may show up better:

I used a cotton yarn as opposed to a thread so it's thicker than what an original version would have been.  I used about three different patterns, two of them vintage ones.  I am getting more tempted to try some of these out using a cotton thread; I just worry about the frustration/eye strain factor!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stitch from Stash Update

I don't have a ton of stitching to show for May, but at least it's better than April when I did nothing!
This is a new start from my stash; I did not spend any money this month on cross stitching supplies.
I have been working away on 'Casting a Spell' and am about three quarters finished.

The linen is 32 count, but I swear the holes got smaller in the dyeing process and it feels more like a 40 count.  After five pm I have to put my magnifiers on!

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