Thursday, January 29, 2009


I've been quiet this week, busy remembering and thinking. This week has hit me hard. Walks through the snow in the quiet hours help clear my head. The snow is soft and it sparkles under the light of the lamp posts, and the cold air stings my cheeks. It is oddly comforting. My knitting sits in a pile beside me, and the new fabric I ordered still sits in its packaging. I will get back to my crafting, but it doesn't feel right just yet. Right now I just need to be. I will post again once things settle down a bit.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Westie Get Together.

Last summer I attended the Toronto Westie Walk, put on by the Westie Rescue of Canada, for the first time. 148 Westies in one park, yes please! The event has grown so much and has done so well that they decided to add a winter event at an indoor dog park. Of course I had to take Lola.

This is just a small fraction of the Westies that were there. We got there a little early.

There were some honourary Westies too. This sweet bulldog was going around to say 'hello' to everyone and get some pets.

We got a quicky lesson in training and agility, and a question and answer session. Lola wasn't too impressed with the equipment at first, but she became a pro at the ramp by day's end. Lola also learned two new to bow and play dead.

This was our 'teacher' in our training session. He demonstrated everything for us, and what a wonderful dog he was! The most well behaved dog there, even when he had to put up with masses of little Westies. Of course Lola was much more interested in him than the other Westies. She has a thing for big dogs.

This event was great fun! It's too bad the next isn't until September.

I've already marked my calendar.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Touch of Green in a Sea of White.

Do you remember the Amaryllis plant I began growing at the end of December?

It has been especially comforting to watch this plant grow in these cold winter months. And grow it did! The longest stalk is over a meter(or a yard) tall now. The little pot can no longer take the weight of it, and I keep finding it toppled over on its side. I think I'm going to have to replant it!

The table is from my grandmother's home. It's the same table she kept her plants on. The taller plant is from her as well. My mom calls them mother in law tongues, but I'm not sure what the actual name for them is. The Christmas Cactus is from an ex girlfriend of my brother's, and the wooden statue is from our dear friends in Germany. It used to have its own corner, but we were worried Lola would chew on it if she could reach it.

The flowers are beginning to open now! It has been great fun to check on this plant each morning to see the changes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shop Update.

I used the last of the antique keys I've collected over the last little while and have listed the results in my shop.

I had a lot of fun making these. Each has taken on its own unique personality and style. One of a kind!

Monday, January 19, 2009

You can!

I like to explore and think outside of the box. I think a lot of great crafting has been created in this way. Several of my craft projects involve repurposing or using materials in unconventional ways, and I find great satisfaction in that. Some of the best art I’ve seen follows this line of thinking (and no, I’m not talking about my own creations here!). More and more I find myself being told this is not okay. This even happens in craft shops, where one might expect to find an abundance of creativity.

”You can't use that fabric to make a blanket, it's supposed to be for a coat.”

“You can’t use that yarn to make a hat, it's supposed to be for socks.”

“ You can’t use that fabric to make gift bags, it's supposed to be sewn into a book.”

“You can’t use that paper to make cards, it’s for scrapbooking.”
Are just some of the things I have heard recently (thank goodness there is a huge craft community online that does not follow this way of thinking!).

Well, why can’t I?

Don’t get me wrong, patterns can be wonderful and very rewarding to make, but sometimes I need to channel that creative energy into something that is just me. I know I am not the only one who feels this way, I have seen it and I have read it many times over. Even with patterns, most often each one turns out a little differently. It's a good thing!

It scares me that my children will be born into a society where creativity and personal expression is not as valued as it should be. Where exploration and discovery is discouraged. I want my children to be able to explore and create in their own way, especially if that means using materials unconventionally. What greater learning experience? I remember during my very first field placement when I first began my courses for Early Childhood Education, we would fill the creative art center with many interesting materials and see what the children would come up with. The thought and creativity the children put into their work was incredible. Each had a very individual product with its own story, and specific reasons for each thing they did. It may not have made sense to us, but it did to them. They were so excited and proud of their work, much more so than if we had told them exactly what to make.

There is a time and a place for instruction. It can be wonderful to take an art class, or to teach children skills and techniques, which they can later apply to their own creative work, and it can be great to sit down and do a craft together. I just don't see why we should lose our own sense of creativity in the process.

A child can take a plain rectangular block and turn it into a myriad of things using just their imagination. How cool is that? I think more of us need to take our cue from this. We can!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


A forecasted few centimeters has turned into a foot of snow. Fluffy, powdery, white covering everything.

I've been doing a lot of hiding under a warm blanket, under a warm dog and cat, under a warm roof, dreaming about the fireplace I do not own. But sometimes it's nice to get out and trudge through the piles of snow. The best part about snow like this is that it's always quiet. The normally busy streets are completely empty, everyone afraid to leave the comfort of their front door, and there's a calm that is rarely otherwise experienced. I like that.

And sometimes it's nice just to play in the snow when nobody is watching, even if you're supposed to be too old.

You never really are.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I couldn't help posting a picture of this almost half finished sock. I was very excited to start this project, and it has proven to be wonderful and relaxing. I forced myself to avoid knitting so tight with this project, and I think that's the key. There is no struggling and pulling, only smooth, fluid and repetitive motions, listening to the needles click clack, and clearing my head. I think the soft, pretty yarn helps too.

This photo might give you a better idea of colour.

Now I just need to remember to keep it up high each time I put it down. These two have already swiped it and unravelled the ball of yarn several times.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Knit Knit.

It's cold and icy outside, and the holidays are packed away in a box in a cupboard in the basement. I am ready for Spring! It's a little late to be putting away holiday things, but sometimes I have trouble letting go. I am a sentimental fool and the holidays hold so many memories for me. Until next year!

In exciting news, I finished my hat! Okay, maybe it's only exciting for me. This was my second knitting project and it has taken less than two weeks as opposed to the year+ my first took.

Now I'm going to cast on those socks I'm making out of this yarn..

I love this yarn. It's so soft and the colours are amazing. If you're interested, the yarn is Manos Silk Blend. 30% silk, and 70% fine merino wool. It's kettle dyed, so I'm hoping the colours are a little more random than the yarn I've worked with in the past. I cannot wait to see how it knits up!

Hiding inside and knitting socks on a freezing cold Winter's day. That sounds just perfect, but it'll have to wait until after Lola's walk. Into the snow I go!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What I Did Tonight.

Hat knitting and a cup of tea, with Gilmore Girls DVDs playing on the computer. The perfect quiet night.

That's the hat I posted about a few entries ago. It's the Slouchy Copy Cat Hat by Terra Jamieson. I knitted it up much too tight, so I'm not sure how slouchy mine will end up. It's a great pattern for a first time hat knitter, interesting but not too complicated. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Just One More.

Okay, so I didn't finish the table runner or the hat, but I had to sneak this one in. I had been wanting to do this project for a while, but I couldn't find just the right paper for it. I finally came across something I really liked this past weekend, and at 50% off too!

I purchased this mini chest of drawers at Ikea months ago. I thought it would make perfect storage for little sewing notions, and help keep the craft room organized. I have to say that I will never buy one of these again unless it comes assembled. Normally I love putting furniture together (I really do! I'm always to first to offer my help to friends with new Ikea purchases), but there was just so much nailing with this. 72 nails! 72 nails that were slightly too big and didn't want to be nailed in. Let me tell you how glad I am that they included extra nails! Never again. It is the perfect storage for little odds and ends though. When I bought it I knew I was going to eventually cover it. I like the look of wood, but this was just plain and boring. It looked very unfinished.

I used a pad of scrapbooking paper, Urban Prairie by BasicGrey, to cover the little drawers. I plan to eventually cover the outside of the chest, but I will have to get some different paper for the top if I don't want a break in the sheets. These ones are too small.

Much better!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year, New Projects.

I had seen this project on the Purl Bee and knew I had to make one. I immediately knew the perfect spot for it, though it's not a Thanksgiving table, or a table at all. This project has popped on the blogs of fellow crafters, and that has just made me love it even more. Everyone has done something different with it and has made it their own.

I started with the mock-quilt fabric I purchased from Superbuzzy, and pulled my inspiration for the rest of the fabric from there- sweet little flowers, pinks, polka-dots, and gingham. The pink elephants..well, how could I not include the pink elephants?

It's still coming together, but it has been a lot of fun to play with. I refuse to admit the amount of time I spent rearranging the fabric squares. A lot of sewing still needs to be done, but I will post again about this one soon.

Along with some new sewing, this year has brought some mother/daughter knitting. This weekend my mom was inspired to pick up her needles after a 15 year hiatus!

I have greatly enjoyed her company, all the chatting and catching up, as we knit up our projects. It was very nice.

Today we paid a visit to a local knitting shop, Knit-o-matic, to stock up on supplies. I found the most wonderful yarn I'm going to use for my first socks. I'll have to take some photos tomorrow! I can see myself making several trips back to that shop in the near future. They have a wall full of wonderful yarns, a shelf full of beautiful knitting books, friendly and knowledgeable staff (including a little bird!), and lots of knitting groups and classes. Yes, I will definitely find myself back there soon!

Mom was quite the knitter, and hasn't lost her touch. She made quick work of this scarf and headband set knit from royal blue fuzzy eyelash yarn. She had found scarves similar to this at the craft fairs we visited in the fall, but never thick enough or in the colours she likes. Finally, she decided to make her own. I think that was a good decision!

In the time it took her to knit up her projects, I made this..

The beginnings of a hat. Her gauge was much larger, but I still say I'm a very slow knitter. I'm not allowing myself to start any more projects until this hat is finished. Hopefully that will get me through it quicker. That is my goal for this new projects until the previous are through!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've been documenting the growth of the Eggling I started in August, and I have really enjoyed seeing the changes, albeit slow changes, over time. This has been especially comforting in the winter months when there is little green outside. I received an Amaryllis plant kit from my cousin this Christmas. The kits were being sold to raise money for Charity, so for a good cause as well as being fun to put together. I've decided to document its growth too. I will try to update about it from time to time so you can see how it's doing.

The kit comes with a pot, a soil pellet, and the Amaryllis bulb. Water must be added to the soil pellet for it to 'grow', much like a charcoal snake.

All planted and ready.

Jumping ahead six days, it's already growing! Much faster than the eggling that took a month to sprout.

Since I am updating about growth, I will share a recent photo of the Eggling. Things are still going very slowly, but the cacti are getting a little more prickly.