Thursday, January 30, 2014

Are We Done Yet?

First off, I am having a good January; I really am.  I have been getting things done around the house and lots of stitchy things too.  I'm really, really not complaining.  But...does it seem to anyone else that this month is taking its sweet time to pass?  I would have thought all the activity I have done would make it seem to zip by.  Apparently not so, and I'm getting bored. Bored of the cold; bored of cleaning the basement;  I'm bored of my projects - most especially the ripple blanket.  I have run out of some colours for it:  should I order more or just make it into a 'throw'?  It's lovely, and the dog has certainly been enjoying it:

I didn't want to start any other projects but I felt the need to switch things up and I started this infinity scarf:

The colours are gorgeous, but it's going to be too short for my liking I think.  My Favourite Girl is A-OK with getting another one of her own so it will all work out in the end.

I noticed that everything I am crocheting at the moment is some shade of blue, so perhaps that isn't helping things.  I just got this book in the mail today, and not only am I dreaming of camping again on the shores of Lake Erie, but I am desperate to make that blanket on the front.  I would use pinks, and purples and maybe a bit of aqua (which I will pretend belongs more in the green family than the blue).

I think I will try out Willow Burrow worsted and see how it works up.  I can't seem to find any real reviews of it so I hope it washes OK.

Only one more day to go:  out with the January blues and in with the sweetheart colours!

I'm linking up with:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Smalls SAL and Stitch From Stash Update

I don't think I will get anything else finished before tomorrow so here is my Stitch From Stash update.
I did not spend any money this month so I have $25 to carry over if I need to - yay!!! (I'll save it for Nashville Market!)

You have already seen most of it, but to recap:

1)  Fleur de Lys by JCW finished into a box top.  This is also my finish for the Smalls SAL:

2) A Stitch in Time by Lesley Teare finished in a shadow box:

I also got a good start on CCN's Bakery:

 This last one is from a JCN Ornaments magazine so I don't think it will count towards the challenge, but I wanted to show it anyway.  It's a design from Cathy Jean of Victoria Sampler.  I would have loved to finish it in one of those cute little tart moulds but I didn't want to spend any money!

For the challenge that makes three starts and two finishes.  It was a lovely way to while away the cold January evenings.  Now I can start some Valentine stitching:)

Thank you for stopping by and your sweet comments - they really make my day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Stitch In Time

On Friday night I pulled out a WIP that has been sitting around for a while.  I was a bit embarrassed to see how little I had left to complete it.  This is a chart I got from The Making Spot while it still existed, and the designer is Lucie Heaton.  I found the shadow box on clearance at Target a few months ago, and it is a perfect fit:  what luck!

This is sort of a keepsake piece.  The thimble on the right belonged to my Grammie, and the one on the left we think may have belonged to her step-grandmother:  the lady who taught her to quilt and knit. It was found among Grammie's sewing things so my Mum took it for me.  I don't use thimbles, but I thought it would be nice to have them out somewhere that I can see them.  Perhaps one day I will find a thimble I like using, and then later on it can join the others.

I am making good progress on my 'Bakery' piece by Country Cottage Needleworks.  This piece is part of my Stitch From Stash challenge.  I might be done in January, but I'm not going to say for sure.  I would still like to get an ornament stitched before the end of the month so this might take a back seat for a while.

On the organizing front (other than the basement!) I did a quickie make over to our front entry.  In the winter we need a space where the kids can access their hats, mitts and scarves without too much trouble.  There is no room in the closet and there is not really any spot for any kind of storage except beside the door.  Previously I had this iron record stand there and the kids used it for their shoes in the summer.  Since the snow started flying I had to temporarily put these hot pink bins on it.  Yes, I know it looks terrible!

 Thankfully January is a good time to buy shelving, so I picked up a small set of shelves at Canadian Tire for $20.  I used fabric drawers I already had for the kids things, and bought two smaller baskets at the dollar store for the dog's coat and towel.  While it isn't exactly the prettiest solution in the world, at least it looks a little better!

I would eventually like to paint it white so it goes better with the rest of the furniture in the house, but for now it's just fine.

How do you corral all those winter bits?


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Friday Fun

Yesterday was a day off school for the kids, so Mr. Crafty World took the day off work and we had a family day out.  One of our favourite places to visit is Port Perry; a smaller town about an hour away from us.  We love to stroll Main Street, with it's charming buildings like these:

And these:

We have a routine for our visits.  After parking the car we head down toward the water and our first stop is usually here:

This is one of those charming candy stores that have been here forever, and are not part of any franchise.

My favourite part is the display of vintage candy moulds:

They make their chocolates right here in town too.

The kids get all excited like, well, kids in a candy store! They always want to buy things like Jelly Belly jelly beans and gummy candy.  We always have to give them a lecture about buying something special from a special place like this that you cannot buy at the convenience store.  Despite their grumblings we never leave there empty handed:  yesterday we bought two kinds of  fudge; pecan puddles in dark chocolate and milk chocolate covered marshmallows - all made in Port Perry and not the Wonka factory!

Our next stop is always Tribal Voices.  They sell lots of stone jewelry; Indonesian wood carvings and other fair trade goods.  We ooh and ahh over everything and sometimes come out with a bits of polished stones or incense.

After that we head across the street to The Wee Tartan Shop and get our fix of British goods.  We were hoping to find a bit of family tartan to put on the table for our first ever Robbie Burns dinner next week.
We didn't find the tartan, but we did come out with some more treats:

By this time Mr. Crafty World and My Favourite Boy have come to the end of their patience with shopping:  it's time to eat lunch and there must be no delay!
We always head to this little bakery where you can still get a grilled cheese sandwich or soup and a biscuit for under five dollars.

They sell lovely little squares, pies, buns and doughnuts; again, all made right here.  There are no super fancy cakes and pastries on gold foil doilies here.  It reminds me of the bakeries of my small town youth.

The main reason for eating lunch here is really this:

...the largest apple fritter you can imagine for dessert.  Mr. Crafty World always asks them to set one aside for him when he orders his lunch, just in case they sell out before he finishes.  You can even ask for it grilled should you feel like going completely over the top.

Tummies full, I take advantage of Mr. Crafty World's grilled apple fritter buzz and we do a bit more window shopping.  We check out the toy shop, the miniature shop and the big gift shop.  Our last stop is always this lovely place, where I usually buy some pretty bit of china or vintage linen.

For once I came out empty handed, but I still got an eye full of pretty things.  After this shop we get in the car and head back home - sampling our treats the whole way.

In the later part of the afternoon we saw The Hobbit.  I think this movie was at least an hour too long and not worth the price to see it.  I was not alone in my thinking either.  Why did they have to split one book onto three movies?
When we came home we all jumped on the couch and watched two episodes of Merlin, our new favourite Netflix show.  It's nice to have a series that we can all watch together, and that we all enjoy.  It made up for the Hobbit fiasco for sure.

I do have a creative finish to show you that I finished last night, but I'll save that for tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to comment on some of my posts;  I really enjoy hearing from like-minded souls!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Unexpected Residents

Like many of you I am cleaning and organizing.  I am often in a creative funk at this time of year, so instead of whining about it I decided I would tackle the basement storage area in the month of January.  As most of the days are gloomy, it is a good time to be down there and I don't feel like I am missing out on any significant vitamin D intake.  I gave myself the whole month to do the job, and I feel pretty optimistic that I can finish.  Thankfully all the purging I have done over the past year has made it much easier!
Not expecting much creative mojo to happen, imagine my surprise when I was able to browse through my books, pick a project without excessive agonizing about it, and complete not one but two things in as many days!  Meet Maisie and her baby, Sugar:

Sugar is from issue 11 of Mollie Makes magazine.  I wanted to make three baby mice, but the pattern  was so fiddly I stopped at one.  Since I didn't want Sugar to be an orphan I made her Mummy using the small rabbit pattern from Tone Finnanger's Crafting Springtime Gifts. I made the face a little longer and made mouse ears in place of rabbity ones.  I would love to crochet some little sweaters for them, but I don't think I could make up a pattern just yet. 

Last Saturday I again headed to the basement with my big mug of tea and made a few more cards and some gift tags.  I had just received some new stamps and an embossing folder the day before and was anxious to use them:

I really enjoyed making the gift tags and will probably make more of those.

Today I get a chance to try something new:  I am going to install a new kitchen faucet.  Ours started leaking before Christmas and now it's so bad we have to shut the hot water off under the sink each time we are finished using it.  Silly me thought I could just replace the washer in the handle:  I didn't know they don't use washers anymore, it's all ceramic cartridges - which, incidentally, they don't make a replacement for our discontinued Ikea faucet.  So, brand new faucet it is.  This time I made sure to buy one that I can replace the cartridge if it breaks in seven years.  Slowly but surely I'm learning!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Finish

Here is the first chart I stitched for the Stitch from Stash challenge:  JBW's Fleur de Lys.  I found this box while putting away the wrapping paper and decided to mount the stitching on the lid. Cut, shape, glue and in fifteen minutes I have a finished finish, that's not a pillow!  I stitched this over one thread on 28 count linen:  brutal on my eyes but it does make for a better size.

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to implement 'Card Making Saturdays'.  I have been wanting to do this for years.  Basically it involves me going down to the basement in my pyjamas with an enormous mug of tea and cutting and pasting away: ending up with a nice variety of home made cards for sending.  This past Saturday I finally did it and made five cards which I quite like:

Today was the kids first day back at school.  It snowed so much last night we were sure the buses would be cancelled.  Much to their disappointment they weren't, so I had the house all to myself for the first time in three weeks.  I didn't do too much other than putter around and drink tea, but it was nice.  In a few minutes they will be back and the house will be noisy and full of life once more.

Thanks for visiting!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

I think the time between Christmas and just after New Year's Day is my favourite of the season.  Now I love, love, love Christmas, but there is something so lovely about the slow period after the big hustle and bustle is over.  We hang out in our pj's a lot; take advantage of post holiday sales, and generally just take it easy.  I even learned to make those picture mosaics, so I can join the fun of the year end blog review too!  You will have to bear with me as I include the Ice Storm one:

It was so pretty afterwards I took tons of photos.  It was awfully dangerous to be walking around though!

I created a Crafty Makes mosaic:

And of course a crochet one:

I didn't create one for cross stitch because of the few projects I had, the photos weren't that terrific.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to stitch more!

I was having so much fun I made a pretty skies mosaic:

And one for flowers too!

You're probably grateful I ran out of time, but I do have plans for a France mosaic and possibly one for all the great chateaux we saw there.

I have also been having fun setting crafty goals for the year.  More than likely I won't succeed in meeting them all, but it's so much fun to think I can right?
I am very excited to have joined the 'Stitch from Stash' group.  The object is to stitch from the charts we already have, using the threads and fabrics we already have.  You can spend up to $25 per month, but my goal is to keep the costs as low as I can.  I do confess to having bought some charts late on New Year's Eve before the challenge started though!  Funny how a spending deadline makes you question whether your stash is big enough, when the day before you realized you would never stitch all your charts in one year!

I would like to extend the challenge to include the lovely free charts I have downloaded from all sorts of talented designers.  I keep finding them and stashing them, but not stitching them!  Let's hope this year I can make a dent in those computer files.

Last night I started on two cross stitch projects from my stash, and am sad to report that one of them already has to be frogged.  Ugh!  Better luck tonight I'm hoping.
I also started a new crochet project with some yarn Mr. Crafty World got me for Christmas.  It's a little slow going, but it's going to be pretty I think.

Well that's it for today.  It is so cold outside so it's a perfect day for stitching.  I don't even mind if the dog sits on my lap because she keeps me warm!

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