Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December has a lot of special days for me......

December 1st......the anniversary of my retirement.....6 years ago.
December husband's birthday....he's very old.....(he reads my blog...ha ha).
December birthday....I'm 65 years old this year so now I'm officially a senior citizen.
December 4th year blogoversary.
December 30th...the 11th anniversary of my mum's death....she was 90. 
December 31st...would have been the 76th wedding anniversary of my parents.

A month for reflection for sure but a whole brand new year is about to happen with all kinds of challenges and possibilities. I can't wait!

So..... I'd like to wish you all a Happy Hogmanay.....and a Very Happy New Year......all the best in the new year to come.

January 1st
Take care:)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone.......

To you and yours from me and mine....wishing you an extra special holiday time!!!!!!!!!!

Small Santa Claus and his helpers

Take care:)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

After all that......

Recently I've been reading the posts about the CQJP2015 project over at Block Talk With Gerry and she makes some very good points.

One thing she talks about is comfort zone as far as your pallette choice. While I'm crazy about colour and I did pull out a pile of  beautiful fabrics in the end I decided that my best choice would be neutrals.

I used to belong to the Monthly Far Quarter Club at Sew Sisters and every so often there would be a beige bit. I put them in one shoe box and there they have sat unloved.


I very rarely use beige in my sewing.

My rationale for my choice is that my aim in doing the CQJP project is to learn and become more proficient at seam treatments. That will be my ultimate focus and challenge.

So all my agonizng over palette choice is over and done with.....sigh of relief:)

Gerry said that she will talk about template selection in her next post....good.  I need all the help I can get.

I looked on Pintangle and there are 79 templates......79!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take care:) 

Friday, December 12, 2014


(go to the link on my left hand side bar for more info)

I'm having such an interesting time trying to decide what I will do for the Crazy Quilting Journal Project.

I have so many ideas that's it's very hard to just pick one:( 

Block shapes.....there are tons of possibilities......hexes, hearts, circles, diamonds, squares.

Do I want a theme to cover all 12 blocks or just do each one as a separate idea?

Should I use "silkies"? I spent all day yesterday looking at free images to print out.....arrggh...I just can't decide....LOL

Then there is the colour palette. Should I use pastels?....or my favourite forest colours?.... or should I go out of my comfort zone and pick colours I wouldn't normally use?


I did remember one site that I found last year called Pallette Builder.  It's very cool. You can upload an image and it will give a palette of Hex values, Kona cottons or Aurifil threads.

Play Crafts: Palette Builder

Here is what I did with one free image I found.

You can choose to go up to 10 values (I only used 6 here). However when you go to save the pic it cuts off part of your list on the right side if you use the full 10....bummer. 

If your interested here is another site where you can build a palette as well......

Big Huge Labs: Color Palette Generator

....and, one of my favourite places to search for colour ideas.

Design Seeds

You can waste a lot of time there just enjoying the pictures never mind the colours.

I love purples and blue greens.........this may be too dark for CQ though....but I love it:)

I better get my act together because I should at least be making block one very soon. January isn't all that far away.

Take care:)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers:)

I hope you and your families have the most wonderful day.

Victorian Thanksgiving Postcard
Source: Graphics Fairy

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian followers:)

I made my usual stuffing...sausage meat, celery leaves, onion, fresh sage and parsley from my garden, garlic, basil and oregano plus my all time necessary ingredient Paxo.  I stuffed and cooked my first turkey when I was 16 so I've been using Paxo for at least 50 years:) I've tried other stuffing products but they aren't the same at all. 

The original Paxo stuffing I first used was made in Great Britain but now it's made here under license to Campbell Soup Company by Pepperidge Farm.  I don't think there is much of a difference to be honest.

The recipe was originally created in 1901 by a butcher from Eccles (near Manchester) called John Crampton.

Mmmmm.....the turkey is in the oven and now I can smell it cooking......yum yum:)

Have a great day everyone. 

Take care.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting Class - Task #13 - Embellishing a "Silkie"

I think there are two more tasks left. I'll be very sad when the class is over as I'm enjoying it very much. The good news is that Kathy is working on some advanced classes for those of us who want to continue.

This task was to take our block with the "silkie" and embellish the picture using machine embroidery thread, beading thread or silk thread. I of course had none so I used a single strand of regular embroidery thread. I think silk thread would have been preferable but I didn't want to go out and buy more stuff.......I have TONS of embroidery thread.


My "silkie"was very pale and hardly showed so I cheated a bit and coloured it very lightly with my water colour pencils. I use them for doll faces so I figured it couldn't hurt:)


I picked out my stitching several times as I was undecided  as to how much to do. I think it's possible to overdo it. She stands out much better now I think.

Take care:) 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting Class - Task #12 - Kathy's Rose

This rose is so beautiful if it's done right:)...take a look here.

I see now where I went wrong in laying down my petals. But time I'll do a better job.  The trouble with silk ribbon is that if you do a stitch wrong it's mega difficult to back it out.

Take care:)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Crazy Quilt Basic Class (CQBC)

Exciting news!!!!

Kathy Shaw is offering her free Crazy Quilt Basic Class once again. Registration will be open until midnight CST on 12 October 2014.

Here is the link to Kathy's blog post about her class......LINK

It is a fabulous class for anyone who has wanted to try CQ and needs that extra push and motivation to get started.  


On the personal front....I was summoned to attend for jury duty last Friday October 3rd. This was my first time and everyone told me what was to be expected....HA!!!

I got special treatment.

I was led into a huge courtroom There were so many of us selected that some had to be in another room to view the proceedings by camera. I sort of freaked out when I saw several policemen standing at alert. Having never been in a criminal court I wasn't sure if this was normal or not. The judge entered and started the proceedings. He then asked the accused to rise to be arraigned. I hadn't noticed that there had been a young man sitting between the policemen all that time. The counts were read and my heart sunk.

What a minute...what was going on! No one told me it would be like this!!!

It turned out I was one of 400 people selected for what will be a very sensational trial for us here in Toronto The Good. It involves gangs, shooting, two deaths and many injured. Lucky me:(

I so did not want to be there.

Random selection made me juror number 138/400. So Monday I went back for the next part of the process....the interviews. Each prospective juror was to be interviewed privately by the judge and counsel for the defense and the prosecution.

We all  sat there waiting to be selected in our own little islands of unhappiness. Many expressed dismay at being involved in such a sensational case. Time passed..... I was really starting to sweat it. They were just starting to prep juror number 126 to go in to be interviewed by the judge and counsel when the court clerk announced that the final selection had been made. We could all go home. Whew:)

So close. I can't tell you how happy I was to get out of there.

Take care.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting Class - Task #11 - Silk Ribbon Sunflowers and Violets

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted. I have no idea what I have been doing. Messing about with stuff I guess:)

I did finally get around to doing the next task in the CQ class I'm taking.  More silk ribbon embroidery but this time sunflowers and violets.

Here is what I produced.......sunflowers to the bottom left.  I quite like them myself. I did the middles in French knots and they are very soft to the touch.

The violets that Kathy teaches are very cute but I didn't have enough ribbon in the right size or colour. I did a few teeny tiny ones in the middle here and then filled in with some other flowers.  I must give them another try once I get more ribbon.

I put them on my fan shaped block in a little empty space. It turned out to be quite a good idea as the lace edging looks like a little fence. Purely accidental on my part:)

Someone in my class asked what kind of laying tool I used when I did my sunflowers.

I have this thing. I don't know where I got it or what it actually is. At first I thought it might be from an old manicure kit but now I think I got it as a freebie with some DAS paper clay.

Don't know but it seems to work for me.

Take care:)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting Class - Another Raised Applique

I thought I'd do another raised applique to add to one of my CQ blocks. I decided to do the little cat that was part of the class material.

It was not easy turning the little head and trying to get it through that little neck. There was a bit of swearing done:)  I used felt again which wasn't really a good choice. Next time I think I'll use a very thin knit...a t-shirt weight maybe.

The Intermediate CQ class is made up of several individual task units. At the end I hope that my three practice blocks will end up looking somewhat complete and with a certain amount of flow. Here is my "silkie" block so far. I still have a lot of touches to add.

I thought I'd join up with The Needle & Thread Network today.

The N&TN is a forum for Canadian textile artists and today is their 3rd year for weekly linkups. Please come over and visit and see what my fellow Canadians are up to.

Take care:)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilt Class - Task # 10 - Wisteria

I have never actually seen wisteria growing but from the pictures I found on Google I'd say it's pretty spectacular.

I was at a loss as to where to put my wisteria vine and in the end decided to do it in the middle of my fan block.

I made a trellis out of some very narrow white ribbon and used some variegated embroidery thread as the  woody vine.

Take care:) 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting Class - Task #9 - Spring Garden

I really enjoyed doing these sweet little flowers.

The tulips were a bit difficult and may look a bit for my first effort I think I did pretty good:)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting - Task #8 - Dimensional or Raised Applique

This was really a fun task. We had a choice of three appliques to do. I decided to do the white bunny.

I made it with some white craft felt that I bought at Michael's. Originally I had just put it on the block with some bits of grass embroidery but it didn't look right. It looked lost and lonely.

I had some pale green fuzzy fibre that I had also bought at Michael's in their scrapbook section.

I couched it down and when I placed the bunny there it looked much better. After appliqueing him/her down I added some greenery and a wee bit of colour.

Much better.....

The next task is more silk ribbon embroidery that is so pretty. I just have to decide what block to put it on. Stay tuned.

Take care:)

Monday, September 8, 2014

TAST Status......

So far I have done 24 out of the 123 stitches on the list.....only 99 more to go!!!!!

Since Deva's stay at the vets she has decided to spend more time with me lately. I have a short set of storage drawers on wheels that I have to put beside the window. She's quite insistent about it.

She snoozes there.

She has gotten a bit chubby too.

If there is any action outside she can go behind the curtain and sit on the window sill. Very convenient:)

Take care.

Intermediat Crazy Quilting - Task # 7 - Silk Ribbon Embroideried Frame and Cluster.

Oh how I dreaded this part. I can't go to the next task until I do this one. I procrastinated as much as I could...but.

I find silk ribbon so hard to use. It hates me!!

Here is my block before......

Here is my "silkie" framed with silk ribbon embroidery. The colours in this block seem to be tending towards green, rose and pick so I think I will continue with that in my seam treatments as well.

Here is my grape block before.....

...and, my silk ribbon cluster in the corner of the fan.

Take care.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

TAST Challenge Blog

Just for the heck of it I have created a blog to track my TAST challenge. I am by no means an expert. In fact I'm quite the opposite. I can do basic embroidery stitches but I have never done anything out of the ordinary.

So far I have posted about the first 15 stitches in the challenge. Some have been easy and some not. But, I will say I'm enjoying it a lot and will keep plugging along:)

I don't know if it's me but I have found some of the instructions a bit confusing. So I'm very grateful to Mary Corbet and her How-To Videos. They have been so helpful.

I was also very happy to find a great stitchery resource at Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials. 

I've made little swatches with the stitches on them. Nothing too fancy or complicated. I will eventually put them into my stitch diary as a future reference. 

Anyway I'm determined to finish all 123 stitches on the TAST list.

Take care:)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting Class - Task #6 - Monogram

Man it is hot, hot, hot outside. It is about 34C on my back porch with a humidex of over 40. Canada is the only country that uses humidex. If your interested in what it means you can

We are not used to this heat as we have had the worst summer and wet. Today is the type of weather we should get in August. Go figure. It's almost September and now we're getting summer? Better late than never I guess. But as I type this the sun has disappeared and clouds are moving in....again:(

I'm speeding along with my CQ class with Kathy Shaw and am almost caught up with the assigned tasks so far.. I have just done my very first monogram. At one time it was very common to monogram various personal items but I guess the fashion gradually died out. For CQ work though, monograms are perfect for filling up an empty space.

I found some free alphabets on Mary Corbet's site and used a simple script for what I planned to do. Nothing complicated as my embroidery skills don't go there.

Yes I know I said back when that I was going to do TAST on Pintangle but I got side tracked. I am definitely going to do it so I can use more that four stitches....or is that five?

I decided to do my monogram on my "Grape" block....I'm calling it that for obvious reasons:)

I had some fibre that I bought at Michael's in the scrapbook section. I tacked it down using matching embroidery thread. I then added some pearls which I may or may not keep.

There you go...."M" for Mary Ann or Mum or whatever:)

I'm joining up today with The Needle & Thread Network where my fellow Canadians show their current projects. I haven't done so in ages so I thought I'd go over and see what's up....see you there:)

Take care:)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Intermediate Crazy Quilting Class - Task 3: Trees, Task 4: Spider's Web With Vine and Task 5: Spider - Completed

I decided to do my twisted tree on the "verging on ugly" block. I used chenille for the trunk which I twisted and then couched down. Chenille is not the easiest material to work with but I persevered. I chose it because I thought this block needed substance....nothing too lacey:) I then tacked down my silk leaves. 

Still verging on ugly.
The embroidered tree was a piece of cake after wrestling with the twisted tree and the chenille. I used two strands of embroidery thread and some seed beads.

There will be other stuff added later:) I might also add more leaves.
Task 4 and 5 were done together as they are a unit....a spider's web with vine and the spider to go in it:)

I'm going to add a few flowers to the vine but I thought I'd wait to see what else I'm going to put on this block. I had originally chosen the beads you see as my spider's body but in the end I decided to use a much smaller bead for the head. It suits the scale much better.

I wasn't enthused about putting a spider on my CQ block but it's a traditional motif.  I absolutely hate spiders with a passion ever since I had a run in with a Tarantula. A friend had one as a pet and as a joke put it on my arm when I wasn't looking. I think everyone in the neighbourhood must have heard me scream. I cringe every time I think about it. Yuck!!!!!

So I'm off to do Task #6 which is a monogram.We've been given lots of choices and we have free rein on method and materials.

Take care:)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Intermediate Class Crazy Quilting.....Tasks 1 and 2 completed and Task 3 in progress

I'm SO behind in my CQ class. I have a lot to catch up on so I better get my act together....eeeek!!!

Task #1 Colour and how to use it

Kathy gave us a mini course on colour. Very very interesting. Here is what I showed the class after reading the material she provided.

Photo 1: Using  A Focal/Focus Fabric
I often use this method when choosing fabrics in my doll making. The selection below is for a doll I'm making at the moment. The focus fabric in the middle is her body and I've gathered fabrics and trims to compliment that fabric. I won't use all of them of course:)

Photo 2: Using Colour Schemes
I chose the Monochromatic Scheme. The colour and texture of the fabrics appealed to me.

 Photo 3: My Personal Choice
I love autumn colours...shades of the forest:) I tend to use lots of rusts, greens, browns and such in my creations.

Task #2 Piecing:

Here are my three blocks that I'll be working on.

The first one is just random pieces of fabric......

I'm not in love with this block. It verges on ugly but I will stick with it:)

The second has a "silkie" in the middle. I really had some trouble getting the picture that we were given to print dark enough. I have a new cartridge so that wasn't the problem. Not to worry. This is really only a practice block to learn new skills.

 The third is a bit more formal in style. A traditional Fan block.

Task #3  Trees: 

So next I have to do two types of trees. A twisted tree that I have decided to put up the side of block one. I'm going to use rusty brown chenille for the tree trunk.

What an artiste...hee get the idea I hope:)
I also have some silk leaves to use on my tree...

and.....I will be doing an embroidered tree on block two.

Kathy suggested that I do my tree in the upper right hand corner in whites, pinks and silver. As soon as I finish both of them I'll post pictures so you can see how I did.

Did I say I was behind in this class?......eeeek.......LOL

Take care.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Personal Note......

I don't often talk about personal stuff on here because it isn't my thing but a recent occurrence really made want to share something that happened to me.

I don't know why or what triggered a sudden influx of letters addressed to me directly about Endometrial or Uterine cancer. It might be my age and the fact that effective January 1st, 2015 I officially become a senior citizen...according to the government that is:) I sort of ignored the letters and tossed them out.

After about the sixth one I did a wee bit of research and discovered that the most common age for this type of cancer to occur was between 60 and 70 years of age.

I asked my family doctor to send me to a specialist. That was in June.

You've guessed it......I had a problem. The doctor told me that he was very happy that I went to see him when I did. A biopsy was done and then the real hard part. I had to wait three weeks to find out the results.

The tests came back negative.....sigh of relief. I was very very lucky.

It wasn't over for me yet though. There was a benign polyp that needed to be removed. I had that surgery yesterday. So from now on my condition will have to be monitored. That's okay. I don't mind a bit.

So what I want to say to you all is go and get tested for cancer no matter what age you are. I was very blase about the whole issue but not anymore. It really came home to me about how very fragile we are.

Take care:)

Saturday, August 9, 2014


We brought Deva home yesterday as really there wasn't much sense in leaving her in the pet hospital. They did everything they could for her and she wasn't very happy there. We are giving her the medication they gave us so we'll wait and see.

Personally I see a huge improvement in her already. She's eating and drinking water which is good. Plus she gave us heck...LOL

Oh boy did she ever....sheesh.

She was so happy to be home. Now we have to keep her away from her brother Smokey for 7 to 10 days. He is not amused just in case she's getting something to eat he's not.

Talk about drama....sigh.

Take care:)

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Sick Little Cat....

My little cat Deva is in the pet hospital. She wasn't eating and was very listless so we took her in on Wednesday. So far they haven't found anything wrong with her so they think it might be viral. They are giving her antibiotics. She is also being fed by syringe because she still won't eat.

They sent this picture to us last night.......:(

She was a feral kitten so this whole experience is very stressful for her. She's not fond of people except for us and doesn't really tolerate any changes in her environment too well.

Please send her some positive thoughts because she is only little. Despite her being a total diva we love her:)

Take care:)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Very weird:(

Has this happened to anyone?

I had lost my blog list on my sidebar months ago. No idea why or how. One day day gone???

I still have a blog list I can follow on the Blogger dashboard but some days it won't appear and it gives me stupid error messages which is annoying.

Today I decided to start a new one on my blog sidebar so I added a blog on to the new list and suddenly a whole list of other blogs appeared. Freaked me out which isn't hard...ha ha.

Now some of these blogs are ones that I follow......but here is the weird bit......there are some I've never heard of and have never followed.

Hmmm...some of the blogs I follow are missing!

Eeeek.....cue Twilight Zone music......LOL

Bizarre or what.

I'll leave it for a bit and see what happens.

Take care:) 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Intermediate CQ Class with Kathy Shaw....

So I have started my class and now we are really getting into the main lessons.

First off I had to buy some supplies.

I live in the north part of the City of Toronto, part of the GTA, which is a fairly large cosmopolitan centre (* see below)...... but sadly stores that sell CQ supplies...any needlework supplies...seem to be few and far between. I ended up going to a store in Mississauga called Gitta's. Granted Mississauga is part of Greater Toronto but still it's a bit far to go.

I could have seriously spent a fortune there but I was very good as my husband was parked outside in a "pay for" parking zone. I managed to get some size 8 perle cotton that I needed and a few packs of silk ribbon. They had very little selection of silk ribbon as they cater mainly for cross stitch, tapestry and petite point work. It's really a lovely store. I think I may be going back :)  

I did luck out on Etsy. I found a vintage seller that had a small selection of Bucilla silk embroidery ribbon and as I bought what she had in her shop she threw in some extras...bonus. I'd say that I'm all set now to do some serious stitching:)

In this class we are to complete three blocks this time around as opposed to the one block we did in the Beginner Class. What I'm really excited about is all the stuff we are going to do with each block.

1. a spiderweb, tree, monogram, silk ribbon daisies and sunflowers and other stuff
2. ribbon roses, violets, leaves.....buillion roses and other stuff.
3. making a dimensional something, beading and other stuff

Ha'll have to what a see what the other stuff is but first I have get my blocks assembled.

Take care:)

p.s. If any of my readers live in T.O. and know of some other stores please share. Thanks:)


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rainy days.....

So far this summer has been rather wet weather wise and the garden is flourishing because of it. More than's going nuts...LOL

I thought I'd show you some pictures. 

We have a fairly long growing season here but we don't usually see this many tomatoes so early. 



They look like bunches of grapes.
Beefsteak...they are all on one branch
This cherry tomato plant is as tall as me!! I'm 5 foot 5 inches.
Herbs...all newly planted this year from itty bitty plants.

Parsley and chives

Lemon basil and oregano. I thought for sure the oregano wouldn't survive. There is sage there too.
Lettuce and Swiss chard
The two stonecrop plants are enormous and are giving our green pepper plants a bit of a crowding but not to worry. I checked and there are peppers already:)

The poor St John's Wort is also huge this year and sadly took quite a beating from a heavy storm we had a few weeks ago. It's blooming profusely though. There are so many bees on it that you can't go near it. They are very possessive those bees.

The hanging baskets were put out overnight because it was raining yet again....I see I need to do a bit of dead heading. can't see them but they are in there:)
There used to be coneflowers in the space shown in the pic below but this weed...sorry native wild flower... has taken over. I'm not sure what it's called. You see it everywhere in established gardens. I call it a bluebell...not to be confused with English bluebells....but it probably has some fancy Latin name:)

I'm not the gardener by the way. That's my husband who is retired and loves his garden. His motto is a little bit here and a little bit there every day..... when it's not raining of course.

Take care:)