Thursday, December 31, 2009


Wow ... it's finally here ... the last day of the year!

I'm always glad when a new year arrives ... it gives me optimism ... that things will be better ... that we get to "start over".

I'm not much for the "New Years Resolution" thing...but it is a good time to get reorganized ... and that I will invest some time in ... as the state of my creative area has become somewhat deshelved.

I have had some great creative streaks of late ... beads are in focus here ... will share more about these later...but in brief... created some lovely 3-D ornaments with a new technique that had me postively thrilled!

I want to thank you all for visiting with me over this last year ... and look forward to sharing more with you in 2010.

January brings my Blogiversary ... and who knows ... there could be a Prize Draw!

All the best to you and yours ... wherever you are!

Big Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays to All !

Although I may seem a little late with this post ... it was not by my choosing!

We've been having hardware issues .... had to replace the box downstairs ... and at the same time this one was almost maxxed out and not operating properly. Had to wait for Paul to do his magic to get me back on-line ... then when I did try to post a blognote yesterday ... couldn't get in! Sheesh!

No matter ... hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season ... with lots of merryment and special moments ... we did here!

I'm so glad that I survived the week ... tho just barely ... it was exhausting!

I'm doing bead therapy now ... and sipping on brandy ... my fave Christmas treat!

Ohhh ... Santa brought Mel a new camera ... and she says it's so easy to use "even Mom could work it" ... cheeky ... but she's gonna give me a tutorial ... so I'll have stuff to show more often!

Since we've all been experiencing computer withdrawal ... I'll keep this short as I promised Mel I'd be less than 10 mins. ... so she can get back to meebo.

I hope you all have a very Healthy & Happy 2010 !

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Busy Little Elf I Am!

So ... getting down to the wire ... only two weeks till Christmas now and am running at a frantic pace. The store is fabulously busy (which is a good thing ... in light of the economy) but I drag my tired self home daily ... then try to squeeze in all the other stuff that needs doing.

Working away at two last minute gifts ... and finished off another ... a crocheted tailored vest & matching cloche for Mel (which was one of those vision things ... saw it in my mind's eye & then just had to make it).

Still working away at a hat for Tim ... who will need some warmth now that his hair is short ... and it's black ... so am sure he'll actually wear it. Also working on the second sock for Paul. This is my first attempt at socks ... and had to modify the pattern to accommodate the cotton yarn / smaller needles that I wanted to use ... all in all turned out okay ... but now can see where I should have modified further. If he likes them ... at least a subsequent pair would work out better.

Have some gifts bought ... and several more to get this week ... but haven't begun to wrap yet. We've decided to keep it lean ... and invest in food and merryment instead of useless frivolities. After all ... that new TV was an expensive early gift for us all! The kids will be happy with cash that they can use to aquire something they want.

This morning we had our first snow ... but it's more like our first slop ... started with rain then snow now more rain ... so it's now slush. It'll be a real mess if it then freezes. I invested in a new scoop-type shovel this year ... ergonomic design that will be easier on the back ... simply push then dump the load by standing it up!

Apologies for the lack of photos ... as I previously mentioned ... Mel's camera is not working ... so maybe will get my sis to take some pics when I can find time to get together with her.....tho I doubt it'll be anytime soon. Christmas ... probably!

So .... are you all ready for the holidays yet? ... or still busy like me?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

OMG ... It's Almost December!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... at the store!

Tomorrow begins our Biggest Best 3-Day Christmas Sale ... all the red & green balloons make the place look so festive!

I have tomorrow off ... and will be there at the crack of dawn Saturday to start the fun!

But tonight I am free and clear ... so thought I'd stop in to catch up & see what's going on.

Melanie's sweater did get done in time for her BD and turned out great ... but pics will be delayed as her camera is broken. It's not even a year old ... and when we took it in to see about getting it fixed ... were told that the damage was not a warrantied repair ... great! Another victim of planned obselecense!

Tim enjoyed turning "legal" on his BD and met his buds at a local pub for some darts, pool & beer ... and actually arrvied home relatively sober. He's also enjoying his new job ... which has afforded him some new video games ... and a new Nintendo Wii ... kids!

Now that birthdays are over ... time to focus on Christmas ... and have started picking up some small stuff. I don't think we're gonna get to crazy this year ... the TV kinda cut into the budget ... so maybe one big thing each ... traditional necessary clothing replenishment and a few surprises ... and that'll be the whole enchillada.

I don't know about you ... but I personally do not need or want for much in the way of gifts ... and am happy just to spend time with family & friends in lieu of stuff ... money wasting stuff. I'd much rather enjoy great food and company & merry-making! That's the best stuff!

Well ... I'll leave you with that ... am off to check out my fave blogs!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

On the 11th day ... of the 11th month ... at the 11th hour ... we pause to pay tribute to those who have fallen ... in the name of freedom.

Remembrance Day ... I've always considered it a form of respect ... to those countless young lives that perished during wars that happened so long ago ... but the truth is ... there are still lives being lost in current conflicts and while the numbers are significantly less ... they are no less painful for their families to endure.

We have always paused at the appropriate time ... at the store ... to give that minute of silence. It's a small thing ... but traditional. Today I was not there at that time, but in my car ... after dropping Mel off at school. I sat listening to "In Flanders Fields" being recited on the radio ... then paused for the minute of silence and thought of those who were there. I cannot fathom the horror of what they must have gone through.

This year though ... there was something new added.

A new song.

I live very close to Highway 401. Some of you may know ... but for those who don't ... it is also known as the Highway of Heroes. Every deceased Canadian soldier who comes home from the Afghanistan conflict takes their last ride in a funeral procession with their family along this highway before being sent to their city or town for burial.

It has become quite a grassroots phenomenon ... just ordinary citizens ... gather on the overpasses to pay their last respects to another fallen soldier. It is never organized ... but has become somewhat ritualistic ... and therein lies the awesome nature of the event. Total strangers honour the young lives cut short by the perils of war ... and the selfless duty that sent them to harm's way.

It is a simple show of support to the families who have lost a loved one ... and it really means a lot to them.

It has become so memorable ... that a group recently got together to commemorate it in song.

Highway of Heroes's called... so fitting. I cried when I heard it.

I thought it was so perfect ... and a glaring reminder that it wasn't just the heroes of the old wars that we remember ... but the ones of today who are still out there now ... perishing to help keep peace alive.

We have always (since I've been at the store) put out boxes of poppies at the cashes for the Royal Canadian Legion. We never have to ask ... people simply take one and drop in their donation. Tradition.

I was quite dismayed this year to hear that some places actually declined to have Legion staff on site to distribute them. To me that is just disrespectful. They should be ashamed!

I've always thought it odd too that some actually have this as a statutory holiday ... while most of us don't. How things change over the years. It should be a solumb day ... not just a solumb moment.

We were incredibly busy today ... as all those people who did have the day off ... decided to go shopping after the memorial services.

Life goes on ... in freeedom.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And Now To Finish It!

YAY ... I'm so near the end of the sweater! The knitting is done ... now just need to finish it off by inserting the sleeves and tucking in the joining ends!

I had Mel try on the body last night so I could see how the collar was working out ... the body is actually a bit larger than I'd originally planned ... but she is still growing so wanted to make sure it had that accommodation. Nothing worse than spending all that creative time on something that would be outgrown!

We still need to find one special button to cinch up the one collar spot ... but that's minimal.

Now it's on to more K2 P2 rib on those socks I mentioned ... which are not blue!

What a welcome change!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The End In Sight

I didn't realize that it's been over two weeks since I've been here ... so much on the go and so much on the horizon ... that I guess I've just been really absorbed in it all.

Mel's sweater is in the final stages...I'm on the big shawl collar now and pecking away at the last third of the second sleeve (at work) ... I'm getting pretty sick of blue right now ... even tho it is my fave ... just looking forward to getting it done and on to other things, I suppose. Glad to say that it is working out as planned ... just hoping at this point that there'll be enough yarn ... it'll be close!

Amidst everything else ... I'm contemplating trying to knit some socks ... something I haven't done before. Paul used to have a pair of great cotton knit ones that he loved ... and hoping I can replicate them ... for Christmas.

November .... OMG ... that's next week! ... and it's a supremely busy month for me ... two birthdays ... Christmas parties for work and the Co-op Board ... and to cap it off ... our store's 10th Anniversary ... then the kick-off to Christmas with the Magic Weekend!

Ya so ... if I'm not around much ... that'll be why!

Tim turns 19 (legal) this year ... and just landed a job on the night crew at our local Zellers! He's always been a nighthawk ... so I'm guessing he'll love working nights. He's already planning what he's gonna buy with all that money! Kids!

It's going to be a great winter indoors ... DH decided not to wait until our old TV died ... (you know it's coming when the thing takes 30 seconds to show you anything) ... so dipped into the savings and scored a great deal on a new 42" Panasonic Viera Plasma Screen! Owwwww! Awesome picture! Been checking out a free trial offer on the HD channels ... and the difference is sooooo incredible! Bring on the movies!

I'll try to have some pics for you soon ... instead of all this boring text. Must request again for those blanket ones Mel took ... she's so forgetful sometimes.

Well must run ... it's getting late!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

It's been a busy weekend ... thankful first and formost that I was off ... to enjoy it!
Fall colours right now are really lovely ... we actually had a bit of frost last night ... and that's pretty much done in my impatience baskets.

Spent yesterday baking & cooking ... had my brother over for dinner ... ham & all the trimmings!

Have been knitting away on Melanies sweater ... I'm almost ready to start the armhole shaping ... so moving right along!

I have had a chance to play ... had decided to try out the pattern for that butterfly in the Summer Garden piece that I shared. It was tricky ... especially to work in one colour ... as I had to figure out where to carry on or when to break and restart the thread ... and I used # 30 thread and a larger hook than the original pattern ( # 70 ). I had a hard enough time with my thread ... and think the latter would almost be too fine of work for my hands!

So ... here's the one wing that I've finished!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Librans Rock!

I wanted to say a big Happy BD to Betty Pillsbury ... another fellow Libra !

I had a grand time at a stitching weekend back in '99 when Betty was the featured teacher ... and we became fast friends ... probably because of our shared sign ... artists to the core!

Her work is always awesome ... and has long been a source of inspiration to me. It is uncanny how we think alike.

So Happy BD Betty ... and any other fellow Librans out there!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

And The Winner Is . . .

Well ... as promised ... after dinner this evening I put all the names into the Lucky Tin ...

and the winner is ...

Linda H from NB!


Congrats Linda ... I have your info and will get your prize on the way soon!

Thanks everyone for participating in my 2nd Annual BD Draw! It's been fun!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thanks All ... Had a GREAT Day!

Thanks to all for the BD wishes! I suppose it is officially over ... but I'm drawing it out until bed.

I had a really great day! I did no housework ... and played with a couple of projects. Managed to finish off one sleeve of Mel's sweater and did a few more rounds on the body. I also did a section of a new special project that will eventually be a huge patterned piece (and won't be shared...sorry...until it is complete and ready for sale...yes it's that huge!). I love when things start to take the shape that I've mentally planned!

To cap off the day I'm plugged into "More '80s" ... Depeche Mode & Roxy Music ... they were two of my fave bands back then ... so awesome! ... and sipping a few BD beers!

Paul started a week of holidays today and had been planning a "fall colours"photographic / fishing trip up to Manitoulin Island (an annual event for him and a few buds) ... but when the weather forecast indicated rain ... rain ... & more rain ... well ... he just decided he wasn't up for camping in that instead will head up to Mark's cottage for a few days...just to clear his head.

So ... for the first time in years he was actually here for my birthday and we decided to go to this fabulous place in Ajax called "Imperial Buffet". All-you-can-eat ... and man ... they have an awesome spread! Alaskan Crab, shrimp, mussels, calamari, sushi, Escargot Deluxe, ribs, General Tao Chicken (Tim's fave), Teriyaki Salmon, Grilled Sea Bass, and tons more ... desserts to die for ... and a whole island of fresh fruit! On weekends they have an awesome 6' chocolate fountain ... glad they didn't have it today ... that would have just done me in!

The best part ... ya get a free meal when it's your birthday!

Ohhhh ... I was soooo stuffed when we left. Came home & had to have a wee laydown to digest it all. Two hours later ... after a nap ... got up & back into my special project and more knitting.

So ya all in all a really great birthday!

PS ... Happy Belated BD to Pat Winter ... who enjoyed several tea parties on her 50th!
Glad you had such fun on your big day!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy BD To Me!

I swear ... it was Labour Day last week ... and it just dawned on me that October begins this week ..... and the beginning of October ... yup October 1st ... is my birthday!

I decided last year that I would begin & carry on a tradition instituted by a dear old e-friend Nora Creeach ... who passed away last year.

It was a prize I won in her annual Birthday Draw that provided me with an instrument to my success ... a book that turned on my ability to pattern ..... which in turn has since yielded 5 published articles ..... and for that I am eternally grateful!

And so ..... here's the plan!

Simply leave a comment on this post to get in on the Birthday Giveaway Draw!

As I'm posting rather late ... I will wait until after dinner on Sunday October 4th to make the draw ... and announce the winner then.

Okay so ... the sweater for Mel is progressing ... and I am really pleased with how it looks!

Not only do I have about 18" of the finished 29" length done, I started a sleeve to take along to work ... and have 18" of the first one done ... so am sure I'll have it done for her birthday.

November 13th is the day ... yes a Friday ... the day she was born on! A lucky day for me regardless of superstition that some attach to it! Can't wait to see her in the finished creation ... I think it will have been worth the effort! There are very few people in the world I'd go to such lengths for ... she is one of them. The rest pay cash!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stitching ... But With Yarn

Madly off in all directions I'm afraid!

The Drag Bag has been shelved ( again ) & I find myself creating yet another baby blanket ... as our other niece is now expecting her second.

And ... while recently shopping for back-to-school stuff with Mel ... we saw a lovely sweater that she liked ... which was such a basic design that I suggested I could knit something similar for her no problem. In retrospect ... I just should have paid the $30 and saved myself all the time and aggrevation ... but Noooooo ... decided it could be a birthday gift too.

The yarn was free ... some that my sis had volunteered for the taking ... as she had it given to her and just couldn't seem to be inspired by ... a lovely blue called "Skipper" ... kind of a marine shade. Mel liked it!

So the designer in me modified the pattern ... and away we went. After some initial issues with the fact that I increased my stitch count ... then forgot to make note of this ... I came out with extra stitches at the end. Once I recalcululated ... and ripped back half a round ... it worked out just fine ... and now I'm well into the pattern.

Man ... 6" of K2 P2 ribbing is so tedious ... I was glad to get on to the cables ... which are all done on one round and only every sixth row.

I'm sure there'll be pics when it's done ... but that'll be a couple of months yet.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September Update

Yes ... Labour Day is gone and it's back to school today for Melanie and her cousins Emma & Becca! Becca was too excited this morning ... her first day of Grade 9!
Tim is finished now ... and after taking the summer off is focusing on employment prospects ... as he is still undecided on what avenue to persue. He has a various interests ... but nothing particular that he seems compelled by. Perhaps he just needs more time to find that one thing he'll be really ready to channel his efforts into.

To my delight ... he made one giant step in a positive direction last night ... he cut off his long hair & is now looking handsome in a short style! It's so good to see that face again!

His 10" tail will be submitted to the same place that mine & Mel's went ... to make wigs for cancer kids.

Our niece Courtney and her husband Paolo had their first baby on August 20th ... a little girl ... Gabriella Emelia ... sharing a pic of the happy family below. Will share pics of the baby blanket I made for her ... as soon as I can get Mel to send them to me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blast From The Past - Sophie Gelfi

Quilting Arts Magazine ... Spring/Summer 2001 ... the very issue that introduced the Melanie Rose to the world ... also did a feature article showcasing the work of an "avant garde" textile artist from France ... Sophie Gelfi.

Those of you who have been around since then ... and have seen the issue ... will know what I'm talking about! Her work is totally awesome ... her colour sense and stitching talent simply fascinate.

Although Crazy Quilting had become her passion then ... prior to this she spent several years as a designer for a major yarn manufacturer ... and turned out over 150 knitted & crocheted patterns that were published by them! Stunning ... must see stuff ... and she has pics up on her blog!

A girl after my own heart .... as I too went through a period of time when I designed a line of one-of-a-kind pieces that I sold at a friend's shop down in Queen West Village in Toronto! Of course ... I didn't have the presence of mind to take pics of these back then ..... boy do I wish now that I had ... they were some of my best creations ever!

Recently on one of the lists ... someone posted a link to her blog ... where Sophie had a link to a spread done in Magic Patch magazine ... which featured several of her projects ... complete with block maps and details of the stitching. It is written in French ... and even if you don't understand the text ... the eye candy speaks for itself!

I'm not sure when the magazine was published but apparently it is difficult to find these days ... and due to high demand ... Sophie posted it to see!

Drop dead gorgeous pieces of art!

She is one of my absolute favourite artists ... and glad to have found her again!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Last Night ... Wierd Weather ... Scarey!

It's all after-the-fact as I tell this ... but that doesn't make the aftermath any less!

There was a very powerful ... albeit short-lived weather front that came through Southern Ontario last night ... here it started with ''blanket" lightening ... the kind created by heat and humidity ... but that was only the first of it ... as it head off east. In very short time ... the sky went almost black ... and then the rain hit ... white rain ... driving horizontally as it came down in sheets with winds blowing at over 80 K ... or 50 mph. We could barely see across the hydro field to the houses behind us. It carried on for about 20 minutes ... then just ended.

But what we found out later ... was that a funnel cloud had actually formed and touched down west of us ... in the Woodbridge area ... near Canada's Wonderland ... and several homes actually had the roofs ripped off ... several barns were destroyed & cars were flung like toys ... many ending upside down miles from where they were picked up!

Paul found a link to first-hand pics taken on camera-phones ... and it was scarey to see video of the funnel cloud and ensueing destruction ..... definitely a rare event in this region.

Afterward things went calm and there was a beautiful sunset ... but this morning the full impact of the strength of it was evident as the news featured footage of the destruction. Like scenes from some Hollywood movie ... so sureal.

I went out this morning to do some errands and noticed that one old tree at the far side of the hydro cut hat been ripped out by the roots and was laying down. Minimal to what I saw in those videos last night ... save for distance ... one wonders how much worse it could have been if that funnel had actually touched down here! Scarey!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Road Trip!

Found myself with time (holidays) and blessed with a perfect day to take a road trip!

Lindsay here we come! That's where Mary Anne lives.

I was bound and determined to deliver some things to her ... like her puchases from Amy's Ride and her Grand Prize from the event...which was the original artwork from the Melanie Rose article. She declined the magazine that was supposed to go with ... as she already had it.

It's always so much fun to hook up with MA ... and see her current projects first-hand ... and to share my current projects too ... something always gets lost in the pics! Nothing like having it in your hands to see up close!

For example ... the Exquisite Corpse project...awesome! Got to see the last one that she's working on too ... that will be sent on shortly....that has the previous work covered up so that no-one gets to see the full project until the end reveal! Cool idea....but tricky to add to!

She's also working on a "Doll Challenge" ... metal parts a must ... and a real work of art so far ... can't wait to see the finished piece! But ... ha ... you'll just all have to wait!

She in turn got to check out my Drag Bag up close.

Speaking of which ... what if I changed the Drag part of it to an acronym .....D.R.A.G. Bag ...

What would you think the letters should stand for???

Fun time ... post your acronym as a comment!

Can't wait to see what you all come up with! ... I have a version ... but your input is what I'm lookin' for!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Day of Stitching ... Drag Bag is Getting There !

And....I just scanned some of the newest additions!

I had created two small wrought iron trellises at the side seams ... one is now complete ... and the other is in Stage 2.

I love working with Vikki's silk!

#12 silk pearl for the vines & leaves and Rose Hip Tea 4mm Colonial Knot bud clusters.

This is a close-up of the leaves.

Each began with a Lazy Daisy stitch ... and then were "needlewoven" ... in and out like a Figure 8.
Yes ... time consuming ... but look so coool!

And obviously I am smitten with these because I did the same thing on the other vine with a different colour ... and then decided the flowers I would do a la Clematis ... again with the same stitch!

Call me crazy ... there's probably over 200 leaves between the two ... and each of these flowers have 5 petals each .... but the look was so worth the effort!

Do You Remember Spandau Ballet? Boy George?

My search for more 80's music has led me on a mad quest!

I remembered a title ... True ... but couldn't remember the band ... until I searched it ... and yes! ... found what I wanted ... it was Spandau Ballet! Awesome to find that they are still alive & well ... and touring in Britain / Ireland / Scotland this year!

They were a fabulous band back then! ... I forgot how good until I checked out all the songs listed and began to recall how many hits they had!

And in my travels stumbled across a great source for 80's stuff ... a blog called Lost in the 80's ... which gives great info and YouTube links to videos from that time period. Great stuff!

Discovered a whole list of bands that I will be searching (or have already searched) and am sure will find even more great tunes to add to the Playlist.

Like Boy George & Culture Club! How about Billy Idol? The Cars? Cindy Lauper?

Ahhh ..... to be 20 something again ..... these songs can do that for me!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

About These Old Patterns . . .

I'm thinking that these little gems I've posted about might be fine additions in the Antique Pattern Library .

That will require some work ... make that a lot of work ... scanning in and forwarding ... but at least they'd be saved for all to cherish. I'll get back to you about this.

The patterns are copywritten by Coats & Clark ... and I've sent a note to them inquiring as to whether they'd consider allowing me to submit them ... so will see what they say.

I expect I'd have to do the same with the other publications ... so this may take some time.

For those of you who have not discovered this library ... and love old stuff ... it is an awesome collection of great old publications ... worth the time investment to pour through ... but be warned ... you could spend hours there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

And Here's The Visuals!

These are the two pieces I mentioned in my last post ... the booklet is called Old and New Favorites ... Coats & Clark ... 1954.

See what I mean?

Isn't this elegant?

I'm trying to imagine this in the colours they indicated ... but love the design regardless.

This is so very '50s ... and while it's not the kind of thing that anyone would wear these days ... was an elegant set in it's day.

A Bag of Treasures !

I just got back from a visit with my sister Cate. Hadn't chatted in a while ... so went down the road to have tea with her and catch up.

I took my Drag Bag to show her ... she's had the priviledge of following my progress in person ... and wanted to share my recent additions.

As I was on my way out ... she told me to wait ... that she had presents for me. She proceeded to bring out some things that she was forwarding from my Mom and another sis Nadine.

First she gave me a tall narrow box ... and I was thrilled to see it was a Water Globe! You may have seen commercials on TV about these hand-blown glass balls that you fill with water and insert into a plant ... and it waters the plant for you. I've been wanting to get a few ... we have them at the store ... and it was a fabulous surprise that Mom sent me one!

However ... the other present is the one that just blew me away!

She proceeded to pulling out the contents of a plastic bag ... which contained a whole slew of pattern books! To my shock, amazement and sheer delight ..... they are oldies ..... and awesome! I'm not exactly sure where they came from ... but I think she must have gotten them from one of my grandmothers.

I checked out the publication dates ... the oldest two booklets were printed in 1946 ..... and the more recent were from the '70s !

Afghans ... doilies ... sweaters for all ages ... socks ... mitts ... tea cozies ... crocheted animals ... purses ... edgings (including filagree church patterns) ... all just so artistically awesome that I was entirely mesmorized!

I'm certainly going to have to scan in and share one that entirely took my breath away! It was by Coats & Clark ... published in 1954 (heck the book is older than me ... and cost a whole .10 cents!) ... called "Summer Garden".

With directions given for a dinner plate, luncheon plate, and coaster sizes ... it is a ring of butterflies framing an organdy fabric. The picture is in black & white ... but the threads called for are blue, a lemon/pink mix and shaded light yellows....on yellow organdy fabric.

I'm doubtful that I could even find those threads these days ... but am thinking even basic white or ecru would work ... with beautiful results. I'm so tempted to give it a shot!

And how cool is this? ... on the opposite page there is a pattern for a Hat & Gloves set ... the description reads ... "Gay Butterflies with a Flair for Fashion". The butterflies adorn the wrist of the gloves ... and motifs are appliqued on the hat ... in your choice of white, ecru, or cream!

The pictures will save me a thousand words.

I may just have some time in the morning to scan these in to share ... but for now it's time to get horizontal. Just too much excitement for one night! Need my beauty sleep dontcha know!

Until then ...

Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Old Music & New Stitching

One of my favourite periods of music ... was the 80's ... new bands with fresh sound ... stuff you heard at clubs and loved! I sat down last night and composed a new Playlist with a whole bunch of songs from that time. Check it out and see if there's some stuff you remember from then.

I've been stitching again ... on my Drag Bag ... and after this last bit it'll be ready to complete. All I'll need to do is add the bottom and lining and then it'll be ready to use. It's been a "work in progress" for almost a year now and I'm looking forward to getting it finished and on to something new.

As to what exactly that will be is as yet not completely decided ... but have been thinking about a couple of different ideas ... will see where my creativity takes me ... sketches have given me some ideas and just waiting for the idea to form.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Grads

I've not had time to be on the box much of late ... and there is so much stuff that I was wanting to post about ... but as usual ... always too much to do and never enough time!

I do want to share a couple pics of our recent grads though ... Becca from Grade 8 (and now excited about going to High School) and Christopher (from the University of Western Ontario ... with honours from the Ivey School of Business ... Dean's List ... and moving ahead with life).

We are so very proud of both of them!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Amy's Ride ... Pics Are UP!

Finally ... I was able to post the pics from The Ride!

Pop on over and have a look!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Hi All .... yes that'd be me waving to you from up here on Cloud 9 !

I just picked up my copy & artwork from Carla at A Needle Pulling Thread ... and I know that when she handed the issue to me ... my jaw dropped & I gasped ... 'cause right there on the cover ... larger than life ... was my stitching!

The Summer 2009 issue is now up on their web site .... and you can see the cover ! The creative team did an incredible job taking parts of the finished ring pillow and turning it into what you'll see!

For the rest of the article ( it's a full 6-page spread ) ... you'll just have to pick up a copy of the magazine ... or better still to get that subscription now ... oh ... and incidentally ... this issue is also showing on the subscription card insert!

My thanks to John & Carla who did a simply awesome job ... I'm thrilled with it! Just tickled to bits!

Again my thanks goes out to Vikki Clayton of Hand-dyed Fibers ... creator of the fabulous ribbons & threads I used for this piece! I always find inspiration when working with them!

What next you ask??? Well ... there are plans afoot for another contribution in 2010 ... for the Festive Issue which will come out in September ... with all the "giftable" ideas for Christmas.
I promise to make it worth the wait!

Hugs ..... Marie

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pain = Nothing Much Accomplished

I woke up this morning with a very sore right shoulder. I was fine last night when I went to bed ... so all I can attribute it to is doing some weird in my sleep ... or that it was a complication of that and something that I did at work that I didn't realize. Bottom line ... could barely turn my head 90 degrees to the right without wincing in pain.

As usual on my day off ... I had many things planned to accomplish ... but the list was pared down drastically as the pain was just so distracting! Sucks to get old !

Fortunately for me I have a sister who lives very close who just happens to be a RMT ... that stands for Registered Massage Therapist.

Although the sorce of the pain was in my right shoulder ... she started by working on my right foot ... and damned if that didn't start fixing things right away! But after that she worked on the badness in my shoulder and now I am feeling a whole lot better! It still feels tender from all the manipulation but the knots are gone ... and that's a good thing!

Last night was my neice Becca's Grade 8 Graduation ... and as much as I wanted to be there ... I also had to be at a Co-op General Members meeting. Mel took her camera to capture the event ... and I got to see her and her lovely dress ... created by my sis ... before they all headed over. (There will be pics after Mel gets them loaded.)

There was an unforseen last minute crises ... a torn seam ... that Aunt Marie had to whip-stitch closed ... but aside from that she ended up having a wonderful time even though she was fighting a summer cold. Some things just have to be ignored.

Also had a call last night from Carla ... the editor of A Needle Pulling Thread to let me know that the issue is going to be in her hands before the weekend ... and that she wanted to share it with me first-hand.

Unfortunately this is my weekend to work ... so won't be able to hook up with her till Monday ... but that's just fine ... as I start a week of holidays then and will put that at the top of my "To Do" list! Can't wait to see it!

Ohhh ... I've also been presented with a Kreative Blogger award by my friend Debbie in Jerusalem ... which is awesome ... and will post about early next week!

Amy has some pics for me too ... documenting the Ride so will post those as soon as am able.

Okay ... time to get horizontal!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beads...Crochet & Other Stuff

I discovered that I had a lot more of those wooden beads ... a whole pickle jar full ... so felt compelled to play with them! I created a couple more "useful" objects ... a bread basket and a napkin holder with the "almonds & Macadamias". I'm happy with the results...and will see if Mel will snap some pics so I can show you all.

I'm progressing on the two baby blankets that I've been crocheting ... and also pleased with how they're coming along. Will share pics when done.

I was off on Friday (because I had to work today to cover for Cash Office staff who both had weddings to attend) and spent some time visiting with my brother. He got this idea in his head that he wanted to make a roaster full of cabbage rolls ... and I was going to help him out by supplying a roaster (which he didn't seem to find after the move) and the other ingredients he needed ... but was shocked when I went to get the cabbage! Seems this last seasons yield (due to bad weather) produced a smaller than usual crop and the price was outrageous! Needless to say he put plans on hold ... $2 a head for a softball-sized cabbage was just not conducive to making a batch just now.

Fathers Day today (officially) and the kids & I deliberated on what Dad might want (not that he specifically needs anything ) ... but we decided to enhance his (our) backyard experience by getting a new patio set ... a small table, umbrella and base.

The other option was a 16-space rod holder carousel ... which also would have been a great gift ... but would have meant a cross-town trip to Bass Pro Shop ... on a Friday afternoon ... dealing with weekend cottager traffic ...which I wasn't really up for ... so we'll plan on that for his BD in August instead.

Hope your "Dads" enjoy their special day !

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Big Weekend is Here!

Wow ... so much has been going on ... that it's hard to find time to post!

I haven't done any stitching or beading in the past month ... but did start to crochet a baby blanket! My neice Courtney is now expecting her first child the end of August ... and my neighbour's daughter Jahlide is due with her first next month ... so want to whip one up for her too!

Today Christopher graduates from the University of Western Ontario ... with honours ! I'd have loved to be there ... but unfortunately he's only permitted two guests ... so Amy and Chris's girlfriend Daniella will attend. We are all so very proud of him! Amy will take pics of the event & we'll get to see as soon as she can post them.

She'll have to race back from London after the graduation to get her gear together ... and be ready to start the Ride to Conquer Cancer first thing in the morning! She's so excited ... pumped up ... & has all her riggin' ready to go!

She'll be taking pics of the event and has promised to share ... so will post them as soon as I can.

I'm off today before having to work this weekend ... and as usual have a whole list of things to do!

Have a good one everybody! Chat more soon!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Last Chance to Get In On The Big Draw!

Just to let you all know .... if you've been contemplating the aquisition of Beady Bits or Embellishments ... this is your last chance to get them and get in for the draw!

I want to get the full donation together for Amy before the deadline ... so will be closing off sales as of tomorrow night ... and all paid donations will be eligible for the Big Draw!

Thanks to all who have supported this event! It is much appreciated!

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thank God It's Friday!

Well it isn't officially yet ... but close enough ... and I am off for a breather before the weekend.

Man ... I swear this has been a weird week ... still reeling from all of it ... just shakin' my head at and fluffing off all the strange humans I've had to contend with this week.

99% of people are relatively normal ... but that 1% ... really make me wonder. They're the ones who think that rules don't apply to them ... or that it is okay to verbally abuse retail staff ... and they seemed to be out in force this week. And it's not just me ... other managers I've shared experiences with told me the same ... we are all getting them.

Be a duck ... let it roll off like water! God knows there will be more next week!

So ... with a reprieve I will plan to plant some seeds and play in dirt on own kind of therapy.

Last weekend when I was off ... I split up some Hostas & planted them in my brother's front box bed ... and then the rain came and helped them get vibrant! He appreciated my efforts in beautifying his front it was worth the effort.

I also spruced up my next-door neighbours bed with some dirt and a few Impatience. She's not been well this past year ... battling cancer ... so I thought I'd put in the effort that she isn't up to & add my left over plants to her flower bed.

Well ... I'm pluggin' into tunes and enjoying a few beers tonight to unwind. Plan to post more until then.

Later! Marie

Monday, May 18, 2009

Time Sure Flies!

OMG ... has it been a whole week?

That's how it goes for me in the spring ... work is busier ... and then there's all these gardens here that I have to deal with ... only managed to get to my own and two of the ten co-op beds so far ... I'm leary to do more than I feel I can manage ... 'cause this time last year I put my back out trying to do too much ... and lately even with the little I've done it is not feeling that great. Last thing I want to do is spend two days flat on it because I thought I was Superwoman!

It was a pleasant surprise to see that someone beat me to the spring cleanup in the big corner bed ... all the winter kill was removed ... so all I had to do was turn the soil a bit ... which was still a two-hour job ... but much easier than I was prepared for.

Another pleasant surprise was the bed by the office ... there the yellow tulips have been multiplying and were very prolific this year. Last season some miserable children snapped off all the flower heads ... I was so upset!
Glad to see that they came up so lovely this year.

My backyard is awash with blue ... Forget-me-nots everywhere! They are mixed with those yellow dandelions ... which I am slowly digging out. Always feels like a losing battle ... because even tho I rid my yard ... the back field is overwhelmed with them ... so they're bound to reseed quickly.

Ahhh ... finally ... Victoria Day weekend ... two days off to catch up. It typically tends to be cold and rainy on the Holiday Monday...for a change this year it is expected to be sunny but cool! That to me is great gardening weather!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day Weekend ... to All Moms!

Enjoy your special weekend all you Moms out there!

I've posted an update on Amy's Ride ... with a special messasge for click on Amy to check it out!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Have New Neighbours!

My brother just aquired a spot here in the co-op! (The why of it is a whole story that I won't get into here.)

It's been a busy week for my neice (Amy)& nephew (Chris) getting their Dad relocated....which is no small feat to accomplish for someone who has been in the same place for eons! ... and add to that one kid coming home from college ... then having to prep said old residence to accommodate a new tenant!

This "rental" option for the old place actually made a lot of it will be an easier task for the comes with well as less for both parties to deal with.

It'll be cool having more family around ... my Dad always encouraged us keeping close...I'm sure he's smilin' in that better place...and I know my Mom will be able to come out more often shaving three hours off the travel time !

Speaking of Mom ... I don't think that I had mentioned anywhere in the Amy's Ride blog ... that my dear Mom is a cancer survivor ... 15 years ... and that's another reason my dedication to support Amy is so strong ... it can be beaten sometimes ... and I'm so glad that it can.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Better Sooner Than Later!

Okay ... so I decided it'd be better to post these all now than making you all wait till later ... not to mention I have found in past that when I procrastinate ... life always manages to throw those unexpected curve balls to mess up my plans.

So ... pop on over to Amy's Ride and scroll away ... and claim your pieces!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Whole Pillow

Mel took pics of this a week ago ... and finally got her to upload them for me.

I've been playing some more ... Freda B used her butterfly Beady Bits for the block she's currently working on ... so didn't need the key rings ... and I had a spare one from another thing, so made 3 more Beady Bits for Amy's Ride.

I've also been going through my Free Form Embellishments and chosen a bunch that will go up for donations as well ... so look for those later this week ... by Friday at the latest! A few of them I've shared previously on my blog ... and many of them are the originals from the pattern sets!

So ... all you CQers out there ... I hope you'll be enticed with these special goodies! They'd be perfect additions to special blocks & at the same time you can share in this awesome cause!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sofa Throw Jackets Fund Raiser

Okay so Cathy has re-posted her blog on her Sofa Throw Jacket event ... so check it out!

My sis is a wizard with a machine ... and believe me when I tell you the jacket shown is so much more awesome in real life!

There's still lots of Beady Bits to be claimed on Amy's Ride too ... and each donation enters you in the special draw to be held June 1st ... for an original published piece & a copy of the mag it was featured in!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ohhhh ... & CQ Mag is Up!

There's so much way cool stuff in this issue!

I noticed many comments asking Allie to share her curved process recently ... and guess what?
Yup ... there it is ... a detailed account of how she does those awesome curved seams!

Maureen Greeson did a fabulous article about easy seams ... using templates! I've made templates before...but her method was so incredibly easy I don't know why I never thought of it myself! Thanks Reen!

Dakotah ... your Paisley article is wonderful! Love the results!

Sharon B. also shares a fabulous technique to unify a block ... she has always been one of my stitching heroes...this kind of article is why!

Well don't just take my word for it ... GO SEE! It's awesome!

Sneak Peek

While I was at the mall on the weekend I picked up the new Spring edition of A Needle Pulling Thread ... as Carla had told me that she wanted to include a snippet from my piece on the Sneak Peek page.

And there it is ... she picked just the section that I would have!

Those of you who subscribe ... check it out ... it's on the last page before the cover ... and I'm sure if you know my stitching ... you'll know which one it is!

Incidentally ... the art quilt on the cover was created by another gal from Pickering ... Elizabeth Dillinger ... who owns the Art of Fabric store ... the very same store where I get my YLI threads!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here's Them Berries & Nuts!

As mentioned ... I did get the trivet scanned ... oh make that two of them ... that's how many beads were in there enough for two ... then did toss the rest.

Sofa Throw Jacket Fundraiser

My sis Cathy has been inspired to share her awesome talent to raise funds for Amy's ride too!

She's offering up her Designer Originals on her blog!

(((Monday... I think she may have pulled it to edit ... or is switching it to other blog ... will post link again when I know it's up.)))

Highest bid gets this one-of-a-kind creation & she plans to have 3 more to add to the cause! Check it out!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blueberries, Cranberries, Almonds & Macadamias?

Well ... that's kinda what it reminded me of!

I can see that without visuals that this will require some explanation.

I rediscovered some things during my clean-up that I totally forgot about ... like a bunch of wooden beads left over from way old macrame projects.

I was almost gonna pitch them out when a wee voice said "Nooo .... you can make something with these!" There's that damned pack rat talking again!

So any way ... I decided to play with them to see just what they could become.....and damned if they didn't turn into a trivet!

Okay ..... pop quiz .....who knows what a trivet is???

Yup ... it's a thing you put under hot plates/bowls so that the heat doesn't damage the surface beneath. While a good old pot holder or oven mitt would suffice...trivets are special ... decorative.

It took some big wire ... 20 gauge ... and a pair of pliers to manage it , but the finished piece turned out way cool ...and will share when I get it scanned in.....likely tomorrow!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Amy's Ride ... Update & Grand Prize Draw

I had a short visit with Amy this past weekend & she plans to do a "warm up" ride the weekend before the big event ... the Ride for Heart ... and has opted to do a 50K ride! Awesome! What a trooper!

The first 30 are now posted ... & I have finished another 20 pieces which I'll get scanned in and posted soon ... thus bringing the total number of "Beady Bits" to 50!

I'm hoping that all of these will be claimed ... which would mean around $250 from the event and would equal my personal donation ... bringing the total to $500.

I see we're off to a slow start ... so here's more incentive!

On June 1st ... I'll be doing a draw!

Each Beady Bit purchase will gain you one entry to the Lucky Tin ... so your odds increase when you claim multiples!

The Grand Prize will be one of my original creations ... & a copy of the magazine it was published in!

Yup ... that's right ... you heard me ... the original & the mag!

This is a rare opportunity ... a once in a lifetime thing ... so don't miss out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I've Been Spring Cleaning!

I actually got a lot accomplished today ... in my quest to declutter!
My goal was to make my ironing board flat ... and tuck it away neatly.

If I had taken before and after pics ... it would be quite obvious why this was no small task ... and why it took me the better part of two days to do! It had become stacked with so much stuff that I couldn't use it for it's intended purpose ... as an ironing board. Not to menion all the other stuff that was cluttered around it.

Okay ... so I'm a self-confessed pack rat. But sometimes ya just gotta purge! Funny thing is you feel so good after you get rid of all that stuff that has been sucking up space with no purpose ... clothes that kids had outgrown years ago ... useless stuff that you wonder now why you even kept. The bonus is that now you know where everything is again.

I"m proud to say that out of all the stuff that I disposed of ... most of it has been recycled ... including an old printer and two old scanners. I only put one bag out as actual trash.

So now I have a flat ironing board ... and am pretty well tuckered out.

Tomorrow I tackle the other half of the basement...which will prove to be more of a challenge....'cause that's where all the fishing tackle lives ... and I don't think my purging will be so successful....but the other crap around it will be my goal.

Some vacation! Oh well ... I know I'll feel good when it's done...and will be pleased that I've gottten my stash straight. Whether that inspires DH to clean up his act ... remains to be seen.

'Nite all!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Know...I Know ... They're Coming!

Bear with me ... while I had planned to have them all up by now ... I had a small laundry emergency to deal with ... the hose to the outside vent for the dryer came off ... and don't even ask what I had to do just to get to it ... and get it back on!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

Hope you enjoy your day!

The Easter Bunny arrived early this morning ... and those chocolate Mini-Eggs he left were great with my coffee!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Amy's Ride

So ... I know you've all been patiently waiting to find out what I've been planning ... and I'm finally ready to share.

I mentioned recently about my deliberations regarding my artistic direction ... and while playing around with some marketable ideas ... a greater purpose came to mind ... and I have decided to commit my creative energies to a specific event ... The Ride to Conquer Cancer!

My dear neice Amy is participating with a team this year ... they call themselves Angels Watching Over Us ... and they will be riding 200K ... from Toronto to Niagara Falls!

I felt it was a big enough event to warrant a whole new blog ... so I've got it all set up ... and shared a background story ... and some pics.

But before you go racing over there expecting to see my creations I want to say:

I'll post them on Easter Monday.

For now what I'd like to do ... is share the inspiration that led me to this commitment.

I'm hoping that by Monday many of you regular visitors will have seen it ... before it gets buried in the barrage of 30 posts which will show the creations.

There is strength in numbers ... and I want to add that you may feel free to mention/link to Amy's Ride in your own blogs!

Thank you all ... in advance for your support!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Where Is This Coming From?

I am so excited about my latest bout of creativity that I could just burst!

Beads have consumed me again and I just can't believe all of these ideas that have popped out of my head! Inspiration & focus ... hard to sleep at night it's so consuming!

The source of this inspiration ... comes from the past & present ... worlds collide!

I've pumped out nearly 30 little bits this past week that you are so gonna be amazed by ... 'cause that is what I'm feeling about them (and I've always been my harshest critic) ... I will be so totally tickled when I get to share them with you!

Good Friday is when I hope to have it all together ... so make sure to check back then!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quiet But Busy ... Tinkering With Beads!

My mind has been racing lately with ideas ... not of the stitching sort ... but was thinking and then started playing with beads...and wire. While it's been very productive ... it will also be with a purpose ... which I will reveal soon.

That's all I'm gonna say for the moment. I'm sure your curiosity has been peaked, but I'll share it soon. I cannot explain it in a Reader's Digest version ... I'm actually planning a new blog for it!

So...just bear with me till I get all my ducks in a row...and then it'll all be up & there to share.

I've had a scathingly brilliant idea ... and it'll be interactive!

And ... I can finally take a breather ... I'm taking a week off ... well it'll actually work out to more as I have Easter weekend off too ... so a whole 9 days. Woo hoooooo!

Hey ... MA ... thinking of a road trip to Lindsay ... you game? (We'll chat!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Maureen Has a New Site & Blog!

Maureen Greeson & I have been Net friends for years ... I used to love her newsletter ... often volunteered articles ... and gained inspiration from other contributors submissions.

I give her full credit for being the one who inspired me to try CQ in the first place ... her style showed me that CQ can be elegant without being encrusted....that it's perfectly all right to show your seams and let them stand out on their own while blending them with beautiful fabrics & embellishments to create a stunning piece. Her work is awesome!

You can find Maureen's blog here .... and check out her new web site ... Maureen's Vintage Acquisitions here.

I'll be adding these to my Faves!

Glad you're back Reen!

Denim Pillow - Left

Here's the rest of it ... as mentioned before ... that PCR yellow cross-stitch flower row can be seen here in the 3rd & 4th pics ... as well as a tatted piece that worked out pretty neat ... the white/red/green variegated thread repeated over sections so that the same colours came together opposite each other. On the last pic bottom left corner I had fun with a "string art" technique ... remember those kits that used to be available ... where you formed a pattern by stringing thread around nails??? This reminded me of that ... only I simply anchored the thread through the fabric in the geometric design.
Will try to get Mel to do the full pillow shot for me today ... both of them are excused from classes because the Grade 10s have their EQAO Literacy Test today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So ... I've Been Playing ...

Here's what I've been up to : got some plastic rings to try those Dorset Butttons ... wished I had got some a bit bigger...noticed afterward that the ones used were 1" ... mine were half that. Oh well ... I also used #12 silk ... and ended up with more spokes...but it turned out okay. I also used the same to crochet over the ring & then did some mesh around. The Happiness Green PCR one was started the same way ... crocheting over the ring ... then did a round of Vs topped with fans.

Then I decided to add some beads ... on the Blue Iris one ... I did a ring around first & worked the pattern from it ... the Ivory one was free hand ... turned out not bad but tricky to gauge spacing.

This is the equivalent of doodling for me ... playing with ideas ... distracting myself for a while.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

UWO Gave Their All ... But UNB Victorious!

Wow ... it was such an exciting game! Western came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it ... and with only a few minutes left ... UNB went ahead by one. Western pulled their goalie for a man advantage hoping to tie it up & go into overtime ... but it backfired and UNB scored on the empty net ... and that was the game!

Chris took a bad hit on the boards early in the third ... and we thought he was going to be done as he twisted his right knee ... but he managed to get off the ice under his own power & after being checked out was back in the game a few minutes later.

We were so hoping that they'd win ... which would have been awesome ... as this is his final year. It would have been an amazing feat ... as their team has more freshmen than seasoned players. UNB just had a bit more something ... perhaps the experience of being in the last 3 finals ... and the sting of losing out last year made them want it badly ... whatever it was it was enough to be victorious.

We are so proud of Chris and his team making it to the finals ... they played an awesome game.

CQ Swirl - Before & After

Okay so you've all suffered through all my recent text ... and about time you got some visuals.

A while back I shared the CQ Swirls that I had been playing with ... one was a BD gift ... and this one you saw as a blank ... so here's the before & after pics to show how it finished up.

While I'm entirely certain that I have enough thread to stitch for years ... I stopped into The Art of Fabric shop here recently ... and decided that I needed some new colours of PCR ... and used two of them here...the turquoise shade is called Happiness Green (tho it doesn't look green at all it is an awesomely lovely colour) and Seafoam ... that lighter green ... another happy colour! The other one I got was Black ... thinking wrought iron work there!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

UWO Mustangs Advance to National Finals!

No ladies & gentlemen ... I have not lost my mind (tho this is a bit off my beaten path).

My nephew Chris Petrow plays defence for the University of Western Ontario Mustangs ... and this afternoon ... as I visited with my brother (his Dad) and my neice Amy (his sis) at my sister's place ... we watched Chris and his team beat out the St. Mary's Huskies to advance to the final!
(The link above has the whole story about the game today.)

While I don't usually watch hockey ... it's awesome to watch when family is on TV ... in such a high profile tournament!

Chris scored the goal that insured the point spread they needed to make the final ... and assisted in two more that put them out of reach of the Huskies.

It was a really proud family moment ... and after the game we called & left a congrats message on his phone ... all whoopin' & hollerin'& cheering & clapping ... all the way to Thunder Bay!

If any of you out there are following the series ... and you happen to catch the game on TV tomorrow ... watch for No. 25 ... for that'd be my nephew!

Contemplation...Inspiration...& Cool Stuff

I've spent some time this week contemplating what direction I want to go ... artistically speaking.
I've done the retailing of original works, and patterns, and offered free stuff ... not to mention the four (soon to be five) articles ... and been blogging for over a year ... a lot accompished ... but still not nearly as far as I intend to go ... it's a perpetual journey that is always leading me off madly in all directions ... as I discover new techniques or creative forms.

Lately with my lack of inspiration & ability to get excited about current projects ... I've allowed myself to get distracted ... and been playing with smaller creations ... trying out this & that.

The Paisley adventure has continued ... and I've actually finished four ... but see ... this is my current dilemma. I'd like to share everything with you all ... but am thinking that some of these new creations will take me back to where I started ... offering originals up for sale. I love how the idea came together for a finished project ... and eventually when you do see it you'll understand what I meant.

So ... what forum ? I thought about doing an Etsy site ... but now giving that a second thought. I like the Artfire concept ... but don't think that I'd have enough volume to warrant a shop that would allow me so much space....and so may give their freebie thing a try ... 10 items at any given time ... that's about what I would have ... and then there's the sredeluxe2U venture that has been idle for a while ... hmmm ... what to do???!!!

Well ... I don't have to decide today ... so let's just let that simmer on the back burner for a while.

Feel free to voice your opinions.

So ... during all this down time ... I've poked around here & there for fun ... and found some inspiration in what others have shared.

Here's something that I thought was way cool. Rose Anne B did an awesome Coffee Cup Sleeve in CQ ... and it became a swap over on CQ - CA .

I also found a link on Mary Corbet's site for a tutorial about Dorset Buttons over on Craftystylish and have played with them ... made one small one & also did my own personal spin-off .... did the first part of it by covering a ring & then decide to use that as a centre for a beaded motif. (Pics will follow when I get around to scanning....possibly later today.)

I actually did finish off the stitching on the second CQ Swirl piece that I shared earlier this month ... and quite pleased with it. I've been getting some great brain waves about my Jar Topper idea ... the beading thing particularly as a finish ... and want to persue this soon.

I also discovered ... that while I intened this Topper to fit recycled candle jars (of which I have a whole bunch) that it will also exactly fit a standard Mason jar! I was thinking how risky ... not to mention how expensive it'd be to mail a glass jar ... so knowing that I wouldn't have to ... it's easier to consider as a viable saleable piece.

If you've read along this far ... thanks for listening to me ramble on ... and stay tuned for the pics to follow later!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Denim Pillow - Middle

I had to work this past weekend & it was nice to see it quite busy ... but the busier it gets ... the more exhausted I end up ... so sporadic posting may result. I'm finally off today so here's the next section.
Looking at the pics brings to mind that a lot of what I stitched was experimental ... things I hadn't tried before and things that were new to me ... like needle tatting. I spent several months focused on that alone ... and ended up with lots of medallions & edging bits in a variety of threads to see how each performed ... I see silk & variegated cotton here ... and I think I used some Jeans Stitch on a few.
One effect that I liked was the lacy-looking seam on the upper left corner of the fourth was simply an arrangement of long Lazy Daisy & straight stitches that formed a half wheel then detached buttonhole over the top row.
I tend to forget about adding lace into seams when I'm composing the block so add things on in the embellishment process to compensate.
I reposted the Paisley pic in it's position on the pillow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Denim Pillow (Right)

Starting at the top right ... lots of travelling vines, some tatted bits and floral baskets. On the last two pics at the right ... the royal blue bit was something new that I had tried out...a line of woven cross stitch flowers ... in Ribbon Floss. There's another one on the left side done in yellow PCR which shows up much better...but I really like the definition of the Floss.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Show & Share - Denim Pillow

I've been meaning to do this for a while ... to get this piece scanned. I knew it was going to take some time ... as it's big ... and 16 scans later I managed to get most of it.

I know I mentioned it some time ago ... this pillow. I wanted to make a floor accommodate one of the many gamers who frequent our place & crowd around the TV...often there are so many of them that one body ends up on the all of the seats are odd one out at least doesn't end up with a "numb butt"... and can play in comfort.

What I didn't think about when I began it ... is how long it'd take & challenging a project it would be to stitch ... but I loved it once it was done ... and it's a fabulously functional piece. It probably could use a wash ... as it's getting a bit dingy ... but oh well ... I'll add that to my Spring Cleaning list of things to do!

As I've done in past ... I'll share this in bits & then show a pic of the whole at the end ... only I won't show just one section at a time...but consecutive sections....right...middle and left.

I wanted to start with this one as an intro ... because it follows with what I've been stitching lately ... Paisleys! When I look at them now ... they seem really wonky ... or they have character ... you decide!

Either way ... I stitched them on the centre patch.....all in Pearl Crown Rayon.


Here's Something Different ... Selvage Art!

I was clicking around my fave blogs recently and Debbie in Jerusalem had a bit about collecting selvages ... and a link to a site featuring work using I went to have a look.

I was quite intrigued by these pieces ... all created by working the selvage sections into the whole and this artform seems to have quite a following. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patties!

I personally dont have an Irish bone in my body ... but as they say ... "Today the whole world is Irish!" ... and I was reminded of that today by a sweet elderly gal with a genuine Irish lilt!

I was on cash today for the morning ... and she and her husband came through my line just before lunch ... and she very directly said to me "Happy St. Patties to you!" "Oh yes" I said ... it is St. Pat's isn't it...but I'm not Irish!" "Well you are today my girl" she said ... so I just smiled & wished her a Happy St. Patties too!

Truth be told ... my kids have some Irish blood ... Paul's Mom was a Flynn ... so I guess that makes them 1/4 Irish. Tonight they were more Ukrainian though ... we had Perogies for dinner!

Happy Birthday to my BIL Patrick ... who was born on this day.

I've finished up another Paisley tonight ... and not really motivated to start something new so decided I'd partake in a traditional Irish pastime...and have a beer! It ain't Guiness ... but give me a good ol' Canadian any day!

So ... here's to all my Irish friends out there ... Happy St. Patties!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Paisley # 2

I finished up my second paisley yesterday ... and am now on to a third ... but this time I'm downsizing a bit. These first two measure 2-3/4" long ... the next one will be 2-1/4" and have another that is 2" . I am also toying with a butterfly idea ... and a few other shapes for these beaded / stitched embellishments...because I still don't have any projects beckoning me!

For this one I started with YLI Silk 30 and did a chain stitch outline ... whip stitched that ... then used PCR to do the Cast-on Stitch scallops around the perimeter. Next I added a row of ivory seed beads and worked loops into the base row & added a green rochaille in the centre ... stitched bullion curves around these followed by a row of the same green beads around them. In the centre space I added loops of the ivory seed beads enhanced with some gold colonial knots for a bit of depth...I wasn't completely thrilled with how it turned out ... but it looks all right.
Must run ... all that playing yesterday has left me with a list of things that still need to get done.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Signs of Spring!

It is common practice to rely on the predictions of the Groundhog ... whether it be Wiarton Willy or Puxatauny (?sp) Phil ... as indicators as to when spring will arrive ... but I have a more reliable source ... the robin!

I know ... that when the robins come back ... that spring is almost here. We still may endure another blast of wintery snow ... but for the most part it is over. I heard one today!

Robins are a most tenacious creature. They are opportunists and will build a nest in a protected spot.

A few years back, I had a cedar wreath hung on the wall just to the right of our front door. Easter was early ( in March) that particular year ... and Easter Sunday was a glorious warm & sunny day. I decided to have my morning coffee out front ... and soak up some of that warmth ... it was about 20 celcius. All of a sudden I saw a robin flying straight at me!...or so I thought. It was actually flying to a nest it had constructed (seemingly overnight) atop the forgotten cedar wreath...which was under the front porch & protected from the elements.

Needless to say we decided to let nature take it's course...and leave the wreath and the nest intact. A few weeks later ... was the first signs of hatchlings...Mom & Dad were flying back and forth constantly bringing food to three waiting beaks. A few more weeks passed and the babies had grown ... and began their test flights. It wasn't long before they all found their wings and were gone from the nest.

It never ceases to amaze me ... how creatures with brains so small ... can be so in tune with the seasons ... and let us know by their presence that the seasons have changed.

Let spring begin!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Are you superstitious!? Do Friday the 13ths freak you out? Not me!

I think 13 a lucky number myself ... Melanie was born on Friday November 13 / 92 ... and I think of it as a blessing! She'll have her BD this year on the actual day she was born.

Linda H wrote about this day in her last post ... and I know there are lots of folks who get weird about this day. It's true many buildings don't have 13th floors or units...because of the fear that people won't dwell in them ...'s just a number!

One of our two parking spots is 13. Our Phone # ends in 13 ... we're okay with that!

The mind is a strange thing ... invokes strange perceptions about a date. To each their own!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First Paisley Done

So here's the first of the Paisley bits that I have been working on. This is close to actual size...but if you click on'll enlarge for more detail.

Starting from the outside edge ... I did the outline in chain stitch and then did the outer border with detatched buttonhole with Pearl Crown Rayon in Light Fuchsia. Inside the border I added a row of pink bugles alternated with gold metallic seed beads...then picked up more of same to do the points. Next to these I worked a row of straight stitches (PCR - Lavender) then worked detatched buttonhole over them. The next row has more of the pink bugles alternated with purple 8/0 metallic beads.

I was almost going to stop the black centre kinda looked cool...but then decided to enhance it with a bit of Kreinik gold I formed a web of sorts ... ending up with an odd number of spokes ... then wove over/under (a la Spider Web Rose) and formed the eye.

Not too pleased with how it turned out. Next one I'm going to do is on ivory duppioni in shades of green and something...will see where it takes me!
I've also been taking my Drag Bag to work and adding to it during the spare time I usually have over my dinner it's coming along slowly. Nothing to show on it yet.
Have a great day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Well ... It Worked for Jo ... So...

I thought with having a weekend off that I'd get a lot accomplished ... stitching wise anyways ... but the inspiration just didn't seem to be there for me. I did try and I did stitch but just seemed to fall short...stuff just didn't seem to work out like it was supposed to.

Jo had the same problem recently ... she's been missing her mojo...and turned to other distractions to help in the creative process. She's been playing with Paisleys ... beading up a storm ... and creating some pretty cool stuff. So I thought I'd try this distraction too ... and followed suit by playing with some Paisleys of my own.

I've done a few of them before ... but they were mostly stitchery ... this time I added some bead work to one ... just to see how it'd work out...and damned if it didn't start looking pretty cool.

I was disappointed that the projects I wanted to do came up short ... but a non-project did help to distract me from the missing something...and came up with a different focus that turned out.

I haven't quite finished to the point of being able to share ... but soon I'm sure.

Thanks Jo for the inspiration!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Do You Ever Feel Life is a Challenge?

It seemed like a long week to me...and I was looking forward to I am off for the weekend and some R&R. Spent from a busy day I had a power nap ... which refreshed me ... but stretched past midnight ... so here I am ... fully awake in the wee hours of the morning!

I was hopping around my fave blogs to see what everyone else has been up to ... when I stumbled across an intriguing post on Mary Corbet's site. She posted a You Tube video of a woman who has to do everything with her feet ... because she has no arms. The amazing thing is ... what she can do!

I will never complain again ... about what I cannnot do .. because this is absolutely awesome ... how she has overcome the lack of having hands ... and accomplishes amazing things using only her feet!

The fact that it is all in a foriegn language is of no consequense...the video will speak for itself!

So...check it out... I'm sure you'll find inspiration in what you see!

Birthday Gifts

Finally ... some pics to share of the birthday gifts that I told about recently!

Cathy wanted a new pin cushion ... the CQ one that I had made her works fine but she needed something bigger ... with more pins to be at the ready for large projects... so after putting on my thinking cap... I came up with a Pin Tower. I inserted plastic pin wheels between stacks of fabric-covered juice lids & topped it with a beaded motif in metallic beads. I also added a leather insert between the padding and the metal lid so the pins wouldn't hit the metal. Cathy just loved it ... and is looking forward to using it.

I showed the flat scan of the Jar Topper that I made for Madhu ... the gal whose daughter stole her Christmas present... but here is the finished piece. I was very pleased with how it turned out and she loved it! .... the best thanks for any creation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Need Some Spring ?

We know it will get here ... but when the ground is still frozen solid ... and dirty remnant piles of snow just keep hanging around ... it is depressing.

I stumbled onto a very cool blog recently when I clicked on a link on Gwen''s called Fairy Shoes and Other Things ... and while the fairy shoes on her header pic are worth the trip alone ... Annette has posted some awesome pics of an entire forest bed of Snowdrops! These are one of my very fave spring flowers! So delicate but so hardy...and early!

So cheer up and know that it is spring somewhere...and it will be spring here soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy BD To You!

Today is my sister Cathy's birthday ... Happy BD dear sis!

Some of you may have seen her blog ... Cate Ross ... but for those who haven't it's worth checking out.

My sis has done some very interesting things in her life ... and that's part of what she blogs about. Her last post details the days when she & her ex owned their own Big Rig ... no kidding ... pictures and everything.

But ... she is also a Registered Massage Therapist ... and for a time was an instructor at Apollo College in Phoenix. She's the one who put my website together and often helps me with photos of my stuff. She is also a Seamstress Extrordinaire...awesome with alterations and new creations alike!

After 9-11 their life kind of fell apart there...both she and her husband lost their jobs and their landlord at the time decided to sell the house they were living in ... so they made the huge decision to leave it all behind and move to Canada. This was a huge adjustment ... leaving the dry warmth of the desert ... to relocate to the Haliburton Highlands to stay with my brother.

Haliburton ... for those who are not familiar ... is a small town in the heart of Cottage Country ... a bustling place in the summer ...a home away from home for all the cottagers and a favourite resort destination. In the winter it caters to more activity ... snowmobilers, skiers, dog sled racers, and fishermen (ice fishing) all find it a fabulous place to play.

Once situated ... Cathy used the talents she had to get them by ... & set up a small business sewing. She never had to do any advertising, as word of mouth from satisfied clients always seemed to get her lots of business...and one of the local newspapers did a feature article about her as part of a promotion for a fashion show that included some of her creations & was being hosted by a local salon / spa.

The unfortunate side to her life has been deteriorating health. She's been the victim of several car accidents that have done some serious damage and left her facing life in a wheel chair...which she already has aquired...but uses only when she has to.

The up side to this scenario ... is that it did qualify her to occupy a unit here at the Co-op designed to accommodate life in a chair ... and it is wonderful to have her so close.

She's one of my biggest fans ... and I'm one of hers!

So again Happy Birthday Cathy ... love you!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

200 ... And The Winner Is ... !

This is it ... the official 200th post ... and I'm amazed ... it seems like so many but it wasn't really that hard to get to it ... and you know there'll be more ... for sure!

Well ... before getting on to the rest of the post ... let me say that Melanie helped me with the draw this time and the name she drew from the Lucky Tin tonight is ...

Michelle Mermaid ... aka Dakotah ... you won! Congratulations!

Please e-mail me with your snail address so I can get your prize on the way!

Thanks to all of you who left comments this month ... they are what makes this so much fun!

******* ******* *******

Crazy how fast this year is flying by... wow ... March already! Two birthdays coming up over the next two days...and gifts are ready. Mel took some pics for me and I'll share them after she uploads them.

I didn't find enough time or energy to do that bead trim I contemplated for the jar ... but I will keep in mind for future creations ... the idea hit some snags that I'd like to think through a bit more.

Apologies for all this text stuff..will get some pics for you soon!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

199 ... Okay I'm Cheating ... So Sue Me!

Yeah ... I'm stretching it here ... but I wanted to make the Draw the official 200th Blog.

So...I wanted to say that I hope to have some pics of these current projects for you tomorrow.

I really do need to learn how to use Mel's camera ... and snap pics bymyself ... but hoping she will get some tomorrow for me ... as the projects I want her to photograph are destined to be BD gifts on March 2nd & 3rd.

Okay ... so ... Face Off is on now ... great flick ... off to put my feet up & relax.

A demain (which is French for "until tomorrow" (I think) !

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