Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Playing Internationally

The weather has not been delightful. We have had cold, and snow and all those things that January is famous for here.

However, I stepped into the dining room yesterday, and saw this.

The azalea that I was sure had died, due to neglect, has surprised me with some pink blooms. Such a change from the cold and white.

Back in November, I saw a swap posted. I haven't participated in many swaps. The results are often highly variable.  However, I decided to join the Holiday Hangover Pouch Swap. Make a zippered pouch, add some goodies, meet a new friend, somewhere else.

I was matched with Stacey of Two Terriers Studio. I was a bit intimidated at first. Stacy has made samples for Mister Domestic! He designs his own fabric lines. However, I could tell from our early email chats that we had some things in common. Little did we expect how much we had in common.

I send Stacey this pouch.

Because it was an international swap, I lined it with this.

Stacey sent me this.

I sent Laurel Burch scarps, she sent Tula Pink scraps. Brights all the way.

I sent her a lip balm key ring.

She sent me a key ring.

I sent a second zippered pouch, with cats on it.

She sent a second zippered pouch with cats on it.

I sent a zipper pull.

She sent buttons.

I sent sewing notions.

She sent a sewing notion.

I sent chocolate for self care. (chocolate made by Syrian refugees in Antigonish, Nova Scotia)

She sent skin products for self care.

Isn't that nail polish an awesome colour?

Google maps says we live 7 hours away, across an international border, from each other, but I can tell that Stacy is my new sew sister!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

January Fun

I've been doing some sewing, making a zippered pouch for a swap I participated in. I will show you my pouch and the one I received after my swap mate receives her parcel. However, I thought you might like to see my mailbox adventure, when I went to pick up my parcel from the swap.

We had 3 days or rain, freezing rain, snow, and frigid temperatures. This resulted in the door on my community mailbox freezing shut. When this happens, you can inform Canada Post, and they will send someone (eventually) or you can do a bit of DIY.

A zipper bag full of hot water, held to the door, will eventually thaw the ice, and allow the door to open. The ledges at the bottom of the doors on all the boxes had a buildup of ice. I will admit that after I got my door open, my neighbours were on their own. I also took a towel, and dried off the ledge and the door, so it wouldn't freeze again, after I closed it.

My friend Maggie reminded me that I haven't yet posted pictures of the fall retreat, so here are a few, from October.

We had the biggest laugh of the weekend over this.

It was suppose to be a flying geese block, but the quilter didn't even notice that she had sewn the second piece on the wrong corner. We decided this "new" block she created was called Downward Goose. things get pretty silly by the end of a long day sewing.

In other news, after 9 months in our care, our foster cat, Mystique, has found her forever family, and gone to live with them. We are so happy for her, though we keep looking for her in the house.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2019 Completions and Some 2020 Goals

Christmas and New Year have come and gone. Between family, and Cat Sitting for a friend, the time has flown. I did a tally of my completions but didn't manage to get it posted, so here it is.

In 2018, I only posted to the blog 35 times. I obviously need to work harder at that. I think I need to work on "building my brand" as well as trying to complete more projects.

Sewing Projects Completed

2 Purses
2 Totes
2 Bibs
2 Pillowcases
5 small zipped Pouches ( for the church Christmas Project)
3 pairs of Shorts
13 Lip Balm Holders
1 Receiving Blanket
1 Sewing Wallet
1 Apron
4 Dog Bandanas
9 Other Pouches or Cases

Knitting Projects Completed

3 Hats
3 pairs of Socks
1 Baby Blanket
1 Baby Sweater
2 Scarves
2 Shawls
1 pair of Gloves

I have some projects that were started but not completed. I will be trying to finish those in the next while.

We only fostered 3 cats this year. Mystique became a longer stay client than we expected. I hope to have some news about her soon.

I signed up for the Bag of the Month Club, again, so look for more purses and bags. I have an art quilt I am going to be working on. Hopefully, my concept will translate into reality. I will continue to knit everyday. It is good for my soul.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Preparing for Christmas

I have been busy getting some things ready for Christmas, this week. Parcels need to be packed and mailed to far away family. Goodies need to be baked. sewing and knitting needs to be finished.

I made an apron to go into one parcel. In celebration of a move to the north, I thought this was the suitable gift.

I lined it, because, as the older ladies from my youth would say, it keeps the gravy from soaking through. Of course, the instructions that come with the panel say to turn all the edges under with a narrow hem. I tried that once and it takes forever, so now, I just line them. Much quicker and easier.

I took pictures of the process, so if anyone is interested, I'll post pictures of how to make a lined apron.

This is the lining.

The fabric is called Canadian Capers. I bought some extra for other silly projects.

The tree is up, and my grandson helped me decorate.

He got a stool, so he could put the stuffies up high, then never moved the stool, so they are all on the same side.  Who am I to argue with his creative vision?

Meanwhile, Mystique has set up residence under the tree.

She reaches up and knocks the stuffies off the tree, so my grandson gets to redecorate every time he is over.

I have a whole box of beautiful, fragile ornaments, packed away. Maybe, someday, when there are no cats, dogs or preschoolers, I might put them on the tree, again. Then, again, I kind of like the current collection.

Thursday, December 12, 2019


I was born near Christmas. We lived with my grandmother, and every year she told the story of how, when my parents brought me home from hospital, I raised my head off my grandmother's shoulder, to look at the lights on the Christmas tree.

My grandmother was a hard working single mother of 5, who cared for her parents in their old age, while looking after her 5 kids. After her parents died, she went to work as a practical nurse, in a long term care facility. She always volunteered to work on Christmas Eve, so the younger staff could be home with their families. On Christmas Eve, she wore a Christmas brooch on her uniform, and carried jingle bells in her pocket, to the delight of her patients, I'm sure.

This is Nanny's brooch. I received it for my 18th birthday. I love it, and people always notice it when I wear it.

My research leads me to believe it is late 1940's costume jewelry, gilded white metal with rhinestones as the candle flames. It has no marks on it, so I have no idea where it might have come from.

I can't wear it without thinking about Nanny. She lived to 88, and enjoyed herself the whole time. I have pictures of her with my kids, and I cherish those. She was a special lady in my life and I loved spending time with her (even if she did cheat at cards).

I am not sure who I will pass the brooch onto, but I hope she understands the value of family.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Little Gifts

Our church has a Christmas project that will provide backpacks full of essentials to women living on the streets in our city. The quilting group decided that an essential would be a pouch to keep small things in to make them easier to find in the backpack.

Last week, we started making them, and I brought the finished ones, and some that needed finishing home with me. They are simple but big enough to hold a toothbrush, paste, lip balm, and things that size.

I think they look great. Some of the ladies plan to make some for giving with gift cards to teachers and friends.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine asked for some Sweetpea Pods for Christmas stockings.

I made two at retreat that I had already given her. They are in this picture along with the bibs for the baby shower, and some lip balm holders.

This week, I made 4 more.

These are for grandsons, with police cars on two and vintage computer fabric on two. 

I  still have some mitten clips to make in the next while, as well as a couple of other sewing projects.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Making Things

When talking to people, I am more likely to call myself a maker, than an artist. While artist is the goal, I'm still striving towards that. this week, I got a bit of a boost.

My quilt group had a challenge last month. We received a roughly six inch square of fabric and asked to create a sewing accessory from it. We could add more fabric from our stashes, but we were suppose to keep it small. It was suppose to be a quick and easy challenge.

This was the fabric.

It came with a clip and my brain wanted to do something with the clip as well.

After a couple of false starts, I ended up with this.

It is a hand sewing wallet. The stash fabric was a birthday gift from a friend, last year.

The challenge fabric became a zippered pocket, to hold the scissors, thimble, and other little notions.

There is a piece of wool felt for the needles and pins and a strap of fabric to hold the clips. The lining fabric is straight pins.

Entries were due last Monday. A total of 13 accessories returned, and there was a viewer's choice balloting. Everyone got to choose their 3 favourites. Sadly, nobody thought to take a picture of the whole group.

Surprise! I got the most votes! Not sure what the attraction was, but I did hear a lot of comments about the clip strap.

The prize...

Some fabric, and a needle threader. I needed  a needle threader for my wallet.

The threader is really cute, with a tiny cutter and a hook to grab the thread.

In the sock area, I finished the socks I started in May.

They have been my knitting project for appointments, meetings, anytime I need some easy mindless knitting. I have lost the ball band, so I have no idea what yarn it is, but someone will like them for Christmas.