Thursday, December 31, 2009

A new obsession...

As you can see, I have invested NO time in weaving in the ends...but I will. It has been so much fun coming up with colour combinations from the selection of yarn that I treated myself to during my greedy post Christmas excursion (posted about here).

I have been obsessing a little bit over the idea of this afghan for quite some time now. A small search of the internet shows me that I am not alone in my obsession. There are quite a number of lovely and helpful tutorials for a beginner (like me!).
  1. yvestown blog
  2. 1/4 of an inch
  3. Posy (this is a lovely blog that I have followed for quite some time now - check it out!)
Don't you just love it when something is sooooo beautiful that it inspires you to try to master a new crafty skill??

I hope that you are all managing to carve out some peaceful, crafty time during the holiday. I must admit to many evenings in my pyjamas puttering through projects while watching TV. Truly enjoyable! Especially when you add in a glass of red wine and some Christmas treats.

Happy New Year one and all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Greedy girl treat herself

I travelled to the Boxing Day (week!) sales with restraint in mind. Truly not my forte if I'm honest. I had a 50% off coupon. It would have been wrong and wasteful not to use it, non?

Behold! The thing that I didn't know that I needed/wanted until I saw it:

Please don't misunderstand. I don't regret my purchase...just my lack of discipline! Please be was HALF price!

I immediately set to work cutting all of my Christmas cards into tags so that they will be ready for next year.

Here is what I started with:

My clever new cutter even lets you "preview" where the cuts will happen.

Don't forget that there is prime tag making material on the back of the cards too!

Here is the cute little stack that resulted:

What a marvellous, non-wasteful self-serving purchase!

I was quite please with my work until my son (who is 3 years old) came into the craft room and asked why I had cut up all of his "happy cards". "I am very angry with you Mommy!" he scolded. Whoops.

Should I be ashamed to confess that I'd do it all again???

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day surprise

We woke this morning to an incredible ice storm!

This was the view from the window (NO, the windows are not frosted...that is a lovely layer of ice):

We were meant to have an outdoor block party with street hockey and warm chili today. When we looked out the front door we were confronted with an empty street and ice laden trees and wires. Probably not the best day for venturing outdoors!

So instead, we stayed in and indulged in some of our favourite Christmas treats:

We spent a lot of time on the phone catching up with family. We enjoyed a glass of wine. We enjoyed racing games on the new Wii.

Most enjoyably, we spent a quiet day together in our pyjamas. Ahhh.

We will also enjoy leftover roast beef for dinner (perhaps with another glass of wine?).

Round 2 of MarioKart championships after the little one goes to bed. Bring it!

The roast...

At first I worried that there wouldn't be enough roast for everybody. We were planning for 8 people at our Christmas table. One dropped off because of family responsibilities a week ago and the rest fell off the list on Christmas Day because of illness.

We tried to make the best of it and nestled in with just the three of us for a cozy dinner.

It was a great meal (if I do say so myself!)....but I must confess that I found it a bit strange with such a quiet table.

I confess to finding it a bit lonely, since we had originally thought that family would be here for Christmas (and travel plans fell through) and then we thought that we would have a large crowd of friends (and that fell through).

I realize that in the greater scheme of things this is not a big really isn't. Perhaps just not what I was expecting?

All in all there are so many greater unhappinesses and disappointments, and I know that Christmas is a difficult time of year for many people. I am lucky that my Christmases have been quite happy, and I know that my disappointment this year is a small one (I really DO know that)...

Once again, I am using my blog to work out that my life is really pretty good...and as a reminder of all that I have to be grateful for! Thank you for indulging me...

Now. Off to enjoy some of the leftover roast for dinner (and there are LOTS!).

Hope that all had an enjoyable Christmas Day. AAAAaaand, for those of you who didn't - I hope that you will remember that it is only one day, and that you will enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Much Christmas-y love,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009's on it's way!

FINALLY! Finished.

Ladies and gentlemen....I present to you (drum roll please!)...the completed quilt!:

This lovely was very inspired by a quilt made by Ashley at Film in the Fridge.

I chose to straight line quilt mine. Originally I had intended to space the lines by only 1", but the Christmas deadline forced my hand and the quilting lines are 2" apart. I think that this is a happy turn of fate...I'm really happy with the quilting.

Another close up with lovely wrinkliness to enjoy:

For the hearty few that have been reading my blog since the start - you may remember that I started this quilt in JUNE. It was very held up by the back. First off, I needed some really big pieces of fabric (that is 2 yards of "Red Peonies" from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line), so I had to order. Then the top was bigger than I had anticipated (OK...truth - I hadn't actually measured. I just "guestimated"), so I needed more fabric (yummy Kona solids). Then I couldn't quite decide what design to use. This one was sort of improvised as I went along. I really like how it turned out!

My lovely husband stood out in the -30C temperatures so that I could indulge in a last minute photo session before it was shipped across the country.

The quilt is now in the hands of Canada Post (as well as $70 of my $$!!!).

Note for next year: Be more organized and send presents early to avoid very high shipping costs!

Extra note: Pay attention to this note next year! (I make myself this note every darn year...).

It feels really good to have everything shipped out. Now all there is to do is get through the next 2 days of work and sit back and enjoy the holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...which is good, because Christmas is only 1 week away!

It has most definitely snowed in Canada's Capital city (lots and lots)!:

We have trimmed our tree - and it has fallen over 3 times! Special thanks to Donna's lovely husband who came armed with equipment (a reciprocating saw and rope man!) to bail my lovely, but un-handy husband and myself out on a Saturday morning when the final collapse happened (oh the carnage!):

I have since added millions of crocheted snowflakes (ok a dozen or so - I tend to be prone to small exagerations). I am ever so obsessed with these lovelies!

I am meant to be finishing the quilt for my sister's Christmas gift, but since I am a professional time waster these days, I have taken to completing one snowflake (which I really don't need) every evening. Lovely.

I also decided that it was NECESSARY to paint most of the main floor of my house. Yes - NECESSARY! There were a few nights of painting until 2 am, but I am pleased with the results.


Now just imagine the room with lovely bursts of colour inserted from (yet-to-be-completed!) crochet and quilting projects. Ahhh...all of the exciting projects for the New Year! But to complete the projects that must be shipped (cross country!) this year!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Living life in FAST FORWARD

Life has been crazy busy as of late. Work, family, personal…all crazy.

The craft show was last weekend (very fun – more on that later). The week before was travelling for work and somewhere in the middle both husband and boy landed with the flu (not ME! I am a germ fighting MACHINE!).

Perhaps many of you could cope with all of these curve balls gracefully. Perhaps you would have made good on your give-away promise, sent your mothers birthday gift and still managed to stock the house with groceries??? NOT ME! I meant to…I wanted to - truly I did. I endeavoured to complete, but somehow my entire life is at WIP stage. EVERYTHING = WIP. That’s OK…it’s really alright. The people who know and love me are used to my life being a WIP. They are used to watching me flit here and there and stop thoroughly engrossed in the task at hand, forgetting all other tasks for a time. They have watched me drop whatever I was working on completely as I realize that I am behind in another task. Sometimes I come back to the original task, sometimes it seems less important, most days I invest a LOT of time feeling guilty about all of the things that I haven’t managed to accomplish (have I mentioned the give-away, my mothers b-day gift and the stacks of thank you notes that I compose daily in my head but never put to paper????).

Have you ever noticed that some people are time benders? They seem to be able to accomplish things in the 2.5 minutes that you have thrown away as insufficient to complete any useful task. Do you know some of these people? I want to dislike them…but mostly I admire them (and am quite frankly a touch jealous of their magical time bending talent!). I am starting to see time as an elastic…long and straight, but somehow the time benders have figured out a way to SSSTTTTTeeeEEEETTCH the elastic so that there are magic little pockets of time. I know that this is PROBABLY not true. People probably aren’t secretly hiding a time bending technique from me…but I must confess that I am starting to believe hard-core in time bending magic. I truly am!

I want to be a time bender!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween and a button winner

Congratulations Nicolemiko! I sent you an e-mail and will send on some buttons once I hear back from you...

I let my son pick a number and he selected three. I thought that this might be because he is about to turn three, but when I asked him he told me that he had selected three because it is the best truck number (???!!!). I have no clue what that means, but it made me laugh when I clicked over to Nicolemiko's blog and the most recent post is entitled "Three". Fate, I tell ya!

At any rate...thanks for playing along! Who knew that buttons are so universally loved? (I'm thinking: not by this grumpy jack!)

Oh joy! Oh bliss!

Look what was waiting for me when I got home from work today...A box full of surprises! (weeeell...not reeeeally surprises...more like impulsive Internet purchases).

Shall we take a look at all of the treasures inside?

Sorted and stacked and ready for inspection: had the Denyse Schmidt "Country Fair" line on sale for $2.99/yard people! I would have jumped on the blog to share the happy find, but I discovered the sale around 11:30 pm and it was over at midnight. If you haven't had the chance to hold this fabric in your hot little hands you might not know that it is a lovely thick weight. I'm not really sure if they would call it decor weight, probably more like a linen weight?

I seem to have developed a fondness for toadstools. I believe that this fabric is from a line called "Shade Garden". It was also on a sale too amazing to pass up.

Finally, we have orange. Not on sale orange. Just orange. The fabric at the bottom is for the quilt that I am making my sister for Christmas. The other orange is going to be used for an iPod cover. There was a special request for orange...and who am I to pass up an opportunity to acquire some lovely cheerful orange for my stash?

Finally, thanks for all of the button comments. Glad to know that there are so many others out there who have such happy memories of sorting through button jars. I'll do a random draw at the end of this week. The lucky winner will get some random selection of buttons. That will be part of the fun...I'll just take a few mitt-fulls to provide some happy button sorting time for a fellow blogger.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Too many buttons and a give away

Finally! The new computer is all ready to go and I can show you far too many pictures of fabric and buttons. Good times. These are the promised pictures of my fabric sale loot.

Fabric scores. On the top of the pile are two pieces of vintage linen (what a find!). In looking at this picture I see that a red/turquoise and cream theme has emerged. Also, I am a bit obsessed with the idea that gingham is the ultimate Christmas print.

Some luscious threads:

Also, too many pictures of buttons. I spent a happy hour picking through to create colour/themed combinations and then taking snapshots of them:

Berry and green:

Creamy whites:

Lovely pinks:

Yellow and golds:

Greys and browns:

In deciding which button pictures to post (oh the agony of tough decisions!), I came to the realization that I may have been greedy with the buttons ( that even possible??? It's just so fun to sort through buttons!). I think that it might be a good time to try a little give away of button-y goodness. You know - share the joy and all. So if you would like some buttons please leave a comment about how you would use them, or why you love buttons, or prove that you are a bigger button geek than me (NOTE: I did have to edit down from 25 pictures of buttons. I am not healthy!).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is it too early to be excited about handmade Christmas ornaments?

I recently had the good fortune to partake in a fabulous "girls craft night in" with the lovely ladies from Kindred Crafters.

Donna and I became fast friends when I moved into her (now our!) neighbourhood. Not only do we have children the same age who love to play together, we discovered a common love of crafting! She has heavily influenced some of my new crafty pursuits and I am forever grateful for her friendship.

Donna's crafty-blog-o-sphere friend Sara has also become my crafty friend. We share a common hesitation to cut into our favourite fabric stash. It is good to know that I am not the only person who likes to fold up and admire fabric (and can do so for many happy hours each month). Donna and Sara are old friends who have been kind enough to fold me into their crafty friendship.

I had not met Sara (in person) until very recently when she travelled to Ontario. I wanted to offer her a crafty token of friendship and stitched up a Christmas-y toadstool (with holly, from Holly - so glad you got the reference Sara!!). The lovely Sara has posted some of her signature BEAUTIFUL photographs on the Kindred Crafters blog.

This gift was modeled on a tutorial found here (just in case you want to go make your own). They are good handstitching fun!

And need to be jealous. I have one at my house waiting for the Christmas season for you...

Monday, October 19, 2009

A FABRIC SHOW - without the show & tell

My friend Donna and I have gone to the local "Fabric Flea Market" every year since we discovered it 3 glorious years ago. We have both developed an unhealthy love of the fabric find. Vintage, new, sewn into something else. All fun!

This event is jam packed full of excited fabric shoppers. I didn't think to take a shot of the inside of the packed hall (I was too busy trying to stay on my feet in the throng of happy fabric hunters). The fact that this is a fund raiser for a local school and that there are mountains of fabric to be had makes it worth wading through the excited crowd.

The lovely Donna and I were seperated in the crowd, but managed to find each other and sneak off to compare our treasures over a coffee. Donna found a crochet doiley with either William Shakespeare or Sir Wilfrid Laurier (an early Canadian Prime Minister). Very funny! I'll have to ask Donna to take a picture so that we can take a poll, although I think that Donna might be right, I think that it is an image of a former Prime Minister. Can you picture this face in crochet???

What about this handsome mug in crochet form?

I would post all of my lovely finds and treasures for all to enjoy, but the computer went into "early stage system failure" last week. Don't really know exactly what this means...but essentially it turns off whenever it feels like it. Not ideal (especially for my lovely husband who works from home!). We were also running the risk of loosing everything from our hard drive, which as responsible and sensible people we have completely NOT backed up (why would I be organized about that area of my life when I am not about anything else???).

All this to say...I can't wait to show you some pictures of my lovely finds. I am MOST excited about the buttons. My husband was laughing at me this weekend...He could hear the "beep, click" of the camera over and over again as I took pictures of my treasured buttons (sorted by colour palettes, favourites, etc). Yup. I love buttons - A LOT. Laugh if you must.