Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Right now I am looking forward to 2009, with its many new adventures and unknowns!
Enjoy the New Year, however you plan to spend it. I look forward to hearing about your 2009, and sharing bits of mine with you.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Slowly growing. Slowly.
It was very rewarding to finally wear this scarf around my neck. I do have to say I'm not too happy with how the yarn knitted up though. It isn't too obvious from the photos, but it knitted into coloured sections of equal size. I was expecting it to be more random. I think I'm going to make a hat next!
Friday, December 26, 2008
We started with the Pasticci, making a simple dough out of flour and egg. My uncle made the chocolate chestnut filling earlier in the day, so all we had to do was prepare the dough and fill it.
They look a lot like pierogies, but pierogies taste much better!
For the Tortinetta we made up another batch of dough, and used the pasta maker to cut it into linguine sized strips. We then had to cut all the strips into tiny little squares. A very grueling task!
After an hour or so of cutting tiny squares, they were ready to fry up!
We had a quick break for some yummy brie pasta, and then it was back to work.
We underestimated the amount we'd end up with, oops! We could've used a much bigger pot.
Just five of the eight trays we made. Delicious, but not for those with tooth troubles!
I hope we make this into a yearly tradition. It was fun to cook up something new!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
The gift giving began last week with gifts given to friends at work. This year we went with simple homemade gifts. The recipients are teachers, so something practical was a must. What can every teacher use more of? Square bottom tote bags, of course! Tote bags with fabric carefully selected for each.
Lined with cute prints, as if I would have it any other way.
This wool fabric with pink embroidery was my favourite, and this bag went to someone very special to me. I wish I had made this bag a little smaller though so it fell better when held. The legnth was fine, but it was a little too wide. I still like how it came out, and I was told it got a wonderful response. I may have to use the leftover fabric to make a matching bag for the daughter of the person this one went to. She wanted to keep it for herself!
I wasn't crazy about this fabric to begin with, I only chose it because it fit the recipient perfectly (classic, with a touch of fun), but I'm very happy with the finished result. I was toying with the idea of placing buttons in the middle of the black and red ribbon flowers, but nothing fit quite right. After lots of playing around I decided it was best as it was.
I packaged them up in some homemade gift bags. Bags inside bags! I wasn't crazy about this fabric either, it reminds me of neck ties or grandpa pajamas, but my mom convinced me it would make cute gift bags. I guess it does.
I always worry if homemade gifts will be liked by those I make them for, but I think most people appreciate the sentiment if nothing else. I hope everyone is happy with their gifts this year!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I should start off by making a confession. I am a roller coaster nerd. That's right. My boyfriend and I go on road trips to several different amusement parks, to ride as many roller coasters as we can. The thing about riding roller coasters all day is that having a lot of stuff with you is a huge inconvenience. We usually only bring things that will fit into our pockets, or if I am brave enough to admit it, a fanny pack. EEK.
I leave my Canon at home and take my little point and shoot with me, but even though my camera is small, most cases for point and shoots are too large to fit into a pocket without creating a giant bulge. I started carrying my camera without a case, but I was constantly worried it would get too banged up, especially when being thrown around on rides. After the search for a smaller case proved fruitless, I decided to make up my own.
The fabric is from Super Buzzy and is a combination of my very favourite, pink elephants(!!!!!), and cute pink and white polka dots. I quilted a couple layers of fleece and used that as a lining to add a little padding. The closure is a simple draw string in coordinating pink and white ribbon and pink star beads. Simple, yet very effective, and small!
If you would like to see the extent of our nerdiness, feel free to visit this set on my flickr account!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The most recent to join our family is my one and a half year old West Highland Terrier Lola. She has spunk, she is full of personality, and she is the most loving ball of fluff you're likely to come across. She loves everyone and everything, especially that little girl up there who is her new best friend.
Then there is Rory, my four and a half year old black velvet chinchilla. She is my laid back girl, with the cutest little cheeks. She is sometimes very stubborn, but can't be bothered to care too much most of the time.
Lenore, Nor, or Nor-Nor, is my four year old mosaic white chinchilla. There is no word to describe her besides crazy. She bounces off the walls (quite literally), steals Rory's toys, and knows exactly what she wants and how she wants it. She is very grabby with those little hands, so we are careful not to leave anything near her.
To sneak a little crafting into this post, I made that hammock. You can get a better look here.
Last but certainly not least, we have my snow queen. She is my companion and friend. She is 17 years old, but absolutely refuses to give up on life. She is strong, stubborn, beautiful, and sweet.
Although he's not mine, I had to sneak this picture in. This is Max, my cousin's dog. I'm checking in on him each day this week, and we played out in the snow yesterday!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
These were a quick job. I didn't bother with lining or worrying too much about making things perfect. I'm still really happy with how they came out.
I didn't have any appropriate ribbon on hand, so I used old shoe laces for the drawstrings. I can always change them out later, but I don't think they look too bad.
I'm going to have to make some more gift bags in larger sizes. There are a few gifts these little bags don't fit!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
There were so many interesting and one of a kind things. My favourites - recycled newspaper trivets, star basket, Nursery Tales, hummingbird ornament, wooden squirrel toy - okay, I will stop there.
Just for fun, here's a little peek at the holiday decorating going on in our home this weekend.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I'll never fail to find a dog or cat enjoying a patch of sun on the rug.
And another on the back of a chair.
I'm sure my little eggling is glad to bask in the sun. One of the cacti died, either due to overcrowding or lack of light. I love the way the cacti glow in the sun.
And I am very grateful to have had a little extra light today.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I'm one of those people who would start putting up decorations in October if I had my way. Alas, I am forbidden from unleashing the holidays on the house until the first weekend in December. Sort of a yearly tradition (more like a limitation!). This year December first fell on a Monday, so I am impatiently waiting until then.
It seems that the rest of the world began decorating weeks ago, and I just couldn't stand it any longer, so I began a 'Christmas Shelf'. The favourites can be found on one little shelf, hidden away from everyone but me. My little piece of the holidays, just a little bit early. My favourite part of holiday decorating is pulling each item out of the box and reminiscing. This is why it takes us an entire day to put up the tree. We like to remember where each thing came from and why it's so special to us. I thought it would be fun to share a little with you.
A good mix of old and new, gifted and handmade, found and thrifted, and some store bought. There has never been a theme, just a mish mash of things that make us happy.
There are some old favourites that the holidays cannot be without. This little wooden nativity scene is probably the most important of those. I am a spiritual person, not religious, so to some it would seem a little strange that my favourite decoration would be one with such religious symbolism, but we've had this one since I was a small girl and it has always been my favourite. It just would not be the same without it.
The stories are a little dumbed down because they need to fit in only a few lines on five little pages, but the illustrations and pop-ups are beautiful. I'm sure we had more of these, but I don't know what happened to them.
Then there are the new favourites. I added this Erzgebirge arch ornament this year. We usually add at least one each year, although that probably is not the smartest idea as our tree is already overcrowded as it is. I would love to eventually add an Erzgebirge pyramid. We could definitely find room for that!
I've been keeping an eye out for Holiday decorating posts in the blogs I frequent. I love getting a little peak into the traditions of others. Everyone has their own style and their own favourites.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A beautiful handmade crocheted blanket for my sweet Lola. I just love it! Of course Lola thinks her beautiful gift is much better chewed, so she'll only be napping on it under supervision.
Speaking of friends, I have a few projects in the works for the holiday season, but I can't share them here because of certain people who may be reading. Maybe I will post a few after the holidays!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
After my grandmother passed away, I put the key she carried with her on a ribbon, and wore it around my neck. It was something of hers I could always keep with me, and it made me remember her. Maybe a strange artifact to remember someone by, but it had meaning to me.
Although it was a simple necklace, if you could even call it that, I got a lot of compliments on it, and many requests for one. I could never part with my own of course, but when I'd come across interesting old keys at flea markets or antique shows I'd purchase them to give to friends.
There is something very special about these old keys.
Available in my shop.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I like the knit Ikea baskets for this project because of their flexibility. They can also be stored easily when not in use. The fabric I used for the larger basket is from Erin McMorris' Park Slope collection, and the fabric on the smaller is a corduroy print from good-ness.
I made up the larger basket a while ago, and it has worked out great. It's the perfect size for my knitting and supplies! I added some handles for easy toting, and they have been very useful for when I've wanted to take my knitting out and about with me.
I decided to line the smaller basket since I didn't bother with the larger one. I used a pink and white stripe cotton, although it really just looks white in the picture. It was a huge pain to get the lining to match up with the outer fabric, and to get the hand-sewn stitches to look half decent on both sides. I'm not sure I'd bother lining one of these again. I think that double sided fabric I love so much might be a good choice for next time.
I finished up another project earlier today. This one being a tote bag for my mom to use for the extra books and reports she lugs to school. She's a grade one teacher, and I wanted something fun that was still appropriate for work.
The lining is made from some fabric I found at one of the Church Bazaars I went to earlier this month. It's a darker pink so it isn't too bright, but it adds some colour to it. The polka-dots are still my favourite part though!
It was definitely a busy day for crafting.