Thursday, January 31, 2008
As soon as I unwrapped it, there she was.... ready to dive right on it ... roll around ...... trying to decide which suited her fancy. She is a woman, and therefore ... has not yet made up her mind.
So, ............on with some stuffing while we wait for the decision.
As many bears and dolls as I have made.. (although in reality it is not that many) ... I still can't get over how much stuffing goes into even the smallest one before it begins to take shape. And..how sore my hands get.. I use hemostats to stuff and my thumb feels totally bruised after awhile... I really need to figure out something different. A stuffing stick or something. We are such silly creatures of habit sometimes. The first thing you try works..so you stick with it. Regardless of how painful. @#$%
Trying to keep the wire inside the body straight was a bit tricky. It kept turning over in my hand as I was stuffing and attempting to keep it centered....twisting her body.. then she really did look like a fish. .. a bit sideways... but.. finally I got it.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
There is some warming happening in the next few days; by the weekend they are saying -7C for the high...and only -20C for the lows....much more acceptable but it would still be brutal to be on the streets.
..... the second "Overlooked"................
or, is it??
Is anybody playing along with this? I saw the site on somebody's blog; might have been Susan's....she features a blog of the week and I like to check them out. The woman who dreamed up the idea seemed pretty stunned to find that so many have played along.....
She calls it "Overlooked". It will eventually be a series of photos and journal or scrap book pages. Not that I scrap, but have decided to make some pages... in a small book I use for "notes to self" about bears, dolls, etc. Things that are not so much overlooked as they are just not really thought about or considered... and only then, because we use or see them daily. Right up my alley. Not that I overlook much..... as a matter of fact, it is the little things and small happenings that I love. Little things amaze me. Always have. Often have I said...I am cheap to keep and easy to entertain. Honestly, I just entertain myself so easily with little things that it becomes ridiculous. Probably why I always have so much to gab about or to show pics of..... the minute things entertain me. Might also be why I make miniature or small crafty things.... do like small...what can I say?
First object for challenge....our coffee mug. ... then she gives hints etc. on how to do a page.. and we each made our own LO (I have discovered that means layout) ...see ??..no matter where you go or what you do... you always learn some "little thing"........ we have posted them to Flickr and sent them to the group. Hundreds are playing along.
She has just posted the second challenge.... "collections".
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Oh, help ! Who ordered that? plus wind... seems the windchill will be -50C ... my brother the mountain man is even sending e-mail saying he is worried about me. Hahahha.... okay..I won't go outside. But... oh, yes...just remembered...silly me volunteered to shovel for the little old lady across the street for the next 6 weeks while her son in law is on holiday in sunny Vegas. The clever old weatherman is also saying there is big probably of snow as well. Great. Get out the balaclava, the long down coat, the Sorels, and ..oh, yeh..scarves, toques and earmuffs all at the same time. Nobody cares if you waddle around looking like a Stay Puffed marshmallow in this weather.
Did manage to get in a bit of sewing today... the FME took me much longer than I though it should...and I was actually sweating by the time I finished her tail. How silly is that? It is not as expertly done as Judi's...but for my first go round...I am pretty happy with it. I practiced for a bit and then figured I was wasting thread.. better just get on it. So I did. It seemed to be going along just fine 'til almost the last 4 rows of scales; then the thread really was causing problems. I did buy something called Sewer's Aid and had put a few drops onto the spool of metallic thread as suggested on the package ...and also a special needle... perhaps it helped. Near the end perhaps I should have applied some more... but just wanted to see it finished. I clipped off some of the bundled thread of the last tiny row...if it loosens I will just redo them..if not... good.
Also got sleeves and the parka hood done.. ... am awaiting some lovely fur from Alaska .... but in the meantime .. I still have to place some wire, then do a bit of stuffing...attach her head... and, oh, yes...hair..so plenty to occupy me for a bit yet.
Monday, January 28, 2008
If the curtains or blinds keep the warm air of the house from getting to it...this happens on a night like last night. A pretty bit of frost.
Yesterday the temperature plummeted and it is now -31C with a pretty stiff breeze. Very cold. The planes make the loudest ssssssing noise as they go by... they fly by regularly as we are on the flight path to the airport. However, at least today the sky is a brilliant blue and the sun is making things sparkle. The snow was fairly light but the drifting is the problem. If you don't shovel it off fairly soon after it lands it does crust over on the surface and then it is a much tougher job to clear the sidewalks.
Sunday, while driving around, it seemed like we were in the true frozen north.... even further north than us... like, say, the frozen tundra regions. Swirling wisps of new blowing snow was snaking along above dry pavement that looked just like dark, frozen water ... those wisps grew thicker quite quickly and visibility suddenly dropped to about 500 yards. At least traffic slowed to a crawl and not even one idiot zipped past pretending his 4X 4 was equipped with super duper x-ray vision or could stop on a dime on ice. There were plenty of accidents but, luckily, traffic that we were involved with was behaving and ...we made it home safely. Can you believe "somebody" wanted to search for the perfect plant to stand behind Studley? Today??A real plant probably wouldn't have survived the trip from store to house anyway... could have been frozen to death just getting it to the vehicle. Good thing "somebody" has heated seats too... or my derriere might have frozen..to death! Good thing too that we found a silk bamboo that was not expensive and looks pretty darn great.
Saturday, a friend came to "play dolls" and we got a bit done on our mermaids. We laughed a lot and probably had more fun that we did actual sewing... ..but, we did practice FME(free motion embroidery); didn't wound any fingers, and I got my body stitched up...
Her tail is a fabric called liquid silver; very thin and very stretcy.. I ironed on some stabilizer which will help to maintain the shape when I stuff her. Next I will use silver metallic thread on the outside of the tail fins to outline, flatten and finish them a bit... then...... FME to achieve the look of scales. I do want to practice a bit more yet though. I want to do it justice and at least try to get some as nice as Judi did on hers.
Finally........ I feel guilty. MightMom awarded me this. I arrived at her blog awhile back, by a circuitous route involving some very funny submarine stories. .. just kept going back for some more fun. ..... but, ... lately, I have not been very "daily" in my musings. Funny how it goes sometimes. They just zip by at warp speed. The days that is. I am sure I have mentioned it in the past and I say it again.... there are just not enough hours in most days. I am actually working on how to find some more time in each day and I do have a few suggestions...mostly for myself...but may find some to share.
The first of course, we all know. The computer is a right royal time waster. (but such fun, entertainment and quite honestly a perfect way to exchange information; to make some special friends, and for for others, it is even a good way to showcase themselves and their crafts/craft even further).
There is plain old blogging.... and then there is also blog hopping, and, further, commenting and even reading backwards a bit ... keeping up if things are interesting ... or if there are tips or new things to see. Say, in the crafting or artistic area... (yeh...like I need any more new things to try!) Linda was mentioning that very thing on her own blog today when I stopped by to check things out. It all takes a lot of time and some commitment if you want to "play the game" so to speak. And... it also boils down to a bit of blog etiquette as well.
It is a common problem; I hear about it regularly..... especially from crafting people. Where to find as many hours to play as we would like. Honestly!! so much "other" stuff just seems to get in the way. You know the stuff I mean.... annoying stuff ... ... like, trying to work out or exercise, making meals, turning on the vacuum cleaner once in a while to scare off the dust buffaloes ...swish an occasional toilet, banking or other run-around errands that can't be handled by phone, then mail... phone calls... occasional visits... snow shovelling, and that is all before we even get a chance to look into our "playroom", or wherever it is we keep the fun stuff. Oh, and if you have kids...wow...I don't know how those women do it at all!
I am passing on this award to some folks whose blogs I visit regularly. Some of them are not daily either...but they are pretty regular (uhm... that didn't sound quite right did it? .. sounds a bit like potty humour) sorry guys and gals...don't mean it to sound quite like it did and I am sure you know full well what I meant.
Susan ... who lives at 29 Black Street.... and who recently lost her senior Golden Retriever, best friend and companion, Jake. (Jake was 13!) It has been the saddest week ever. If you don't feel up to this Susan... don't even bother... wait for a sunny day...whenever. You are my window to the east coast of Canada (something about which I know nothing) and a special look at the world of furry companions and best friends. I am unashamedly living vicariously through your beautiful words and right now crying right along with you at the unfolding of events at 29 Black Street.
Darly at Pearls n' Peapods ... she makes me laugh out loud just sitting all by myself at the computer. My sense of humour is as warped as hers??... who cares... I think she is hilarious and from what I know of her... a very generous, caring human being. Another site of fun with furry friends.... . and so much more....
Lewis at Table Bread ... great recipes .. really well documented efforts for his Daring Bakers challenge (which I want to join too) always up to something... and just seems like an all 'round fun guy...
Linda at Window of My Life ... a beautiful site; amazing pictures and wonderful art on a very regular basis. Often a mini holiday on the Gulf Coast of Florida .... with dogs... hey a recurring theme here. Maybe I need a dog... although I would prefer a cat... but... "somebody" else around here doesn't really care for cats. Probably cuz he never had one as a kid. My theory anyway.
Judi of Art Dolls ... chock full of info relating to crafts and especially dolls..... a fun read from Alaska .... if you need help with anything crafty...ask Judi! If she doesn't know...she has friends who do! Oh, oh...she too has dogs...her dog Zach even had his own website.... I think he gave it up .....
Okay...this is about the longest post I have ever done.. ... your poor eyes!!!! I must stop... so if I have not yet gotten around to giving you this award...and I comment on your sites...please consider yourself awarded also....I can't go on.... must get offffff here....!! my own poor eyes! Blabby ol' me as per usual.....sigh.......
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Brilliant blue sky day..
Tiny whorls of breeze ...
Veils of shimmery glitter dust snow blowing off the roof. …
They look like a million little diamonds ....
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I do... here is one of them.
It is a sweet little vase brought by my aunt from England in 1972 when she immigrated to Canada. She claimed her Mom (my grandmother) had it and that it was well over 150 years old (in '72)... difficult to say .... my aunt was a bit of a queer duck and sometimes we were just not sure if she really knew for certain ..or if she made up stories ...or ..well, you could never really pin her down, no matter how hard we tried ... I'm sure you get it. However, it is old, that's for sure ... where is an Antique Road Show appraiser when you need one eh?
It is a lovely, soft, yellowish green, very clear glass with little bumps on it....a milky, bluish white around the rim...
You can see that one of the little toes on the stand is broken off if you look closely. After all the traveling that thing did ... and it even managed to survive WW II in Britain, unscathed ..... look what happened while in my care! However, in my own defense, let me tell you how that happened.
A dog appeared in my garden out of nowhere one day ... madly dashing about, trampling flowers with every step; seemingly happy and healthy..but racing around like a wild thing. I made a couple of grabs for her and finally managed to catch her by the collar. Thank goodness she was wearing one ... I had hopes there would also be a traceable tag. I half dragged her into the garage and shut the door... but she didn't like that and set up some unhappy yowling..so I brought her into the house. By now you have already surmised part of it I am sure. She actually banged into a few things in the kitchen, so I tried to hold her still and calm her a bit... it was then that I got a better look at her... and noticed the poor thing had only one eye. She settled down and I made some phone calls...it was Friday afternoon near closing time for city offices and I had to get busy trying to find some help to track down her owner.
She sniffed around and explored a bit while I was phoning and with her big, fluffy, wagging tail.... eventually sent a few things sailing off a corner unit. My little English vase. Yikes! Luckily only one toe broke... and I sure couldn't get upset with a poor blind doggie. My house is not kid or dog proof.
We had to drop her off at a clinic downtown and they did know her as well as her owner .. apparently she has run off before.... .. I sure hope she stays home now... only one eye and busy streets..... I can hardly bear to think about it. .
oh, look .... it has a buddy. Yep. This little one came with it. I have always called them Mutt and Jeff... rather appropriate....
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Winter showed up yesterday. About 7 inches of snow... and it got colder. Today when the sun set it dropped from -14C to -22C .... A perfect time for indoor games.
Several weeks ago, I left my comment on Lewis’s blog. He is going to be sending me some little thing that has to do with bread baking...because, well, that's what his blog is about. Actually he is baking all sorts of things these days.
Finally, here I am, fulfilling my promise to Pay it Forward to 3 recipients. .. these are not big things..nor expensive things...but just some fun little thing to make somebody’s day when the mailman shows up..
Here’s how it works: I will send a handmade gift to 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, which is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
So, if you have a blog and you like the idea of giving away stuff you’ve made, or stuff you use, or whatever interesting little thing you would like to send... to folks who read your blog, then leave me a comment and I’ll start dreaming up what to make you.
All comments received between now and Friday will be entered into the draw for this exchange. 3 of you will receive a gift from me...and then each of you will send 3 gifts to someone and so on....
Come on...it’ll be fun.....on Saturday I will draw the 3 names.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Usually I begin with a head.... I figure if I can get a head and face I am happy with, I can always manage a body to follow. But, this time I just had to try the hands first.
Here are the basics of her face... beside Judi's "covergirl"... lovely lady of the cold northern waters. She includes needle sculpting instructions with the pattern. So far in my doll making I haven't done much with needle sculpting; preferring a flat face and the painting to give it the 3 dimensional look. Or sculpting a face of clay and overlaying fabric to paint the face on. But... this is perfect to give her some nice definition.. .. I wish I had managed to get her eyes a bit closer together....not with the sculpting, but in the drawing stage. I think in my mind's eye that was the problem...I was thinking that when I did the needle sculpting the eyes would move closer to each other .... but, in reality, with it only being enough to slightly indent the corners... they did not. Live and learn...that is what this doll and bear making is all about. I still love her little face. Perhaps I will try a second mermaid another time just to see if I can manage to make myself draw them closer together..... .
Because I have given her green eyes, I'm going to use lighter hair ....this is cushion fringe..... .... so far so good..... onward! Parka material.....
... and in the same breath..... get my own parka and get out there to shovel some snow. Yep... had about 2 inches overnight.... must be winter.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
But, at least I did something about it.
Actually, I did not realize that is what it was called....( I mean the "compote", not the envy ) ... I rarely have envy. I am cheap to keep...little things make me pretty happy. Treasure hunts and special finds make me even happier. Found this in the jumble that was the apres Christmas hodge podge table at the Bay... now I am on the look out for another just like it. 40% off and it was only $ 29 to begin with. There were several different shapes..but I like this one. I will try to find a second, different size if they have one, at another Bay in a day or so. Too busy today.
Before Christmas I kept seeing these beautiful glass containers filled with ornaments, or fresh cranberries, pine cones and all sorts of other decorative things. Some of the women referred to them as "compotes". Compote just didn't compute to me. I always thought a compote was a special little dish of fruit with some liqueur or other fruity liquid poured over.... okay...just a minute... in the midst of writing I must find one of those posts.... be right back. Darn it... couldn't find one. I know some of the ladies with the decorating, vintage and crafty blogs had them..I can SO see the one with the pink and silver baubles in it in my mind's eye! 'fess up if you see this post...so I can link to it okay? then the others can see what I am talking about....... please? It could be great for Valentine's Day too.... with some pink, red and silver or gold thingies in it....
And speaking of Cupid's day... here is my start on something with his colours.
I doubled up on square gold plates under my cactus (which, sadly, has no blooms now) Why couldn't they have lasted another month or so? I set the pot on some scrunched red cellophane basket wrap, a few sprigs of springy raffia and laid in a few heart shaped cookie cutters.
Darly is having a give away on her blog, Pearls 'n Peapods in return for a recipe.. a huge chunk of vintage fabric.... Off you go to check that out. While you are at it, read a few of her entries.... your laugh for the day awaits...she makes me laugh right out loud, just sitting here at my computer all by myself.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Thanks to the new commenters during de-lurking week...that was fun. Saw those little signs on plenty of blogs.
Even though the bathroom is functional and pretty much finished, there are just a few little things that need doing...so... final grout cleansing and sealing in a few areas... some paint touch ups... we won't build the side cabinet for awhile either... other things on the go.
But, we are certainly enjoying the fruits of our labours...... ahhhhhhhh ...........
Finally took down the Christmas tree on Saturday.... always a bit of a disappointment for me... I love looking at my tree....and it does leave such a barren looking area.
Well, in reality, we have always had a fairly large bit of space on that side of the living room. We had planned to put another chair or even perhaps two in the area. We have looked at everything from a beautiful fabric chair to leathers.. to an upholstered bench... just were not serious enough about size, style etc. ..so left the area and kept moving an extra coffee table in and out of that space .... and filling it with many beautifully framed photos. Til now...
"Somebody" decided the gaping space needed to be filled.
He took me shopping. My back was killing me after about the 7th store.. ...oh, forgot to say, but I am sure you knew....furniture store.
Back to the first...which was Lazy Boy....and we bought something. Of course, even though he was not trying to be a furniture snob this time.... it was still the most expensive one there....on sale...and I asked for more off as well...which the guy obliged...to the tune of another $175 off.... Greg said he was kind of disappointed that I did not even play devil’s advocate this time. I didn’t balk or anything. Why bother? It is a nice thing.... we did need one.... or two smaller ones..... and it will fill up our front room now....with a plant behind it and a new floor lamp and a little table beside it..
Oh, yeah..the thing? A recliner. Something I said I would never have in my house. I have always pretty much hated them. But..I have to agree...this one is nice and it fits with our scheme pretty well......
We are picking it up in the van as delivery charge is $50!!!!! Forget that. It would negate my dickering for a better deal.! They can hoist it into the van...and I ....or somebody.... can help lift it into the house. Apparently the backs come off to make that easier.
our new "old" looking guy..... he fits in beautifully with our other furnishings. Ours is a more or less eclectic style..with what I like to call a nod in the direction of British East Indian influence...
I am now shopping for a much larger palm type plant ... the one in the pic is just for "imagine-eering".
And... some interesting piece for balancing the left side of the chair....
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I don't really worry or wonder if my comments match my counter... as I have discovered that even I make it hop up each time I go back and forth editing a post...or if I go to a post on another page on my blog..or ..well, anything makes it stack up more numbers really. So... a really busy day of visitors could actually be just one new person.. perusing several old posts...and all of a sudden, up goes the counter a 5 or 8 count. What needs to happen is a better method of counting... however, if you are new to the blog... please say a hello on this day of de-lurking won't you?
Some bloggers are just curious... some are a combination between frogs and explorers... love to visit all over the world while blog hopping. I can't tell you how much info I have discovered in my travels through the various blogs. Plenty of us would like to hop on over to your blog too...but, we won't know where to hop if you don't leave a clue. But...if you are still shy... no problem... thanks for stopping by anyway...and I am still very glad to have you visiting. Perhaps some day you will see something comment worthy; that something special for which you have been waiting...... I hope so.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
which began as a pile of rubble in the garage after we tore it totally apart.
There was insulation hanging at half mast when we took off the ceiling ... so we had to keep going ... right up to the roof .. and even outside into the ridge vent ... (the roof was being re-done by roofers working above us while we ripped out the whole bathroom.)
and dry rot under the shower curb ....
..... then we had to take up all of the floor to get at plumbing, electrical wiring, heating ducts, etc... and most of the basement is finished..so had to be careful not to touch the top portion of the basement ceiling drywall... ..it was a huge undertaking. Not without mishaps, frustrations, injuries, and tears aplenty let me tell you.
more of the renovation .... just click.
So, finally after a year and a half... all plumbing is now functional. We had a few leaks in the faucets and connections so very near the end of it all .. ... but finally got everything working perfectly. Strangely we had no leaks in all the other major plumbing we did way back at the rough-in stage. Damn connectors! Why couldn't they all work properly. And..had to send the tub faucet all the way back to Germany and wait 6 weeks for the second one to show up. A small flaw in the chrome and another dribble....sigh...
There is still a cabinet to build beside the sink, that also will house a laundry chute.. ... and work to do between the sconce lights... and a few other small things... but for the main part it is finished. What a relief!
our European spa look
A job of this magnitude is not for the faint of heart, as we did it all ourselves. The only thing we did not do was install the shower glass. Sometimes I wish we had been filming some of the antics ..... but then .. maybe not. Although two smallish people hoisting a 10 foot sheet of drywall for the ceiling can be pretty amusing ..... I think I probably shrunk another inch under the weight of that one... ..
We did it!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
(update) ... the instructions are kind of weird in that at the end of the first line they go to the next line...but go from right to left, and then from left to right on the third line and so on. Strange.
This is a picture of her sample. Now, I have to try one with the proper directions right away! hahaha....... and let me see if I can make it happen.
I have not been folding mine quite the way her instructions show ... ... but I only figured mine out from one I bought .... so I was trying to copy folds, but did somehow manage to make it work in the end. The part at the end of her instructions about sticking it into the other pieces...still is not altogether clear...and that is the tough part for me. Good luck.
And.....I wanna see some samples please!!!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Hey, what day is it? I am still in sparkly stuff mode! Ahhhh...who cares? I am not putting it all away yet anyway. Nope...not me. I am playing with papers, cards... walnuts and hazelnuts... all the little fun things I like to do for a few days prior to boxing it all up for another year.
While everybody is making their New year promises...I am just enjoying some gifts of perfect paper from a neighbour...and a bunch of new cards to sort through. Wheeeeee!
Oh, look... chocolate box wrappers.... all foil-y and shiny and so perfect.
I bought my first little origami ornament several years ago.
Actually, I bought 3 because I didn't know if I would ruin them all trying to figure out how they were constructed. I still have all 3. That number must mean something... because they are made with 3 pieces of 3 inch square paper. I took one apart and it took me 3 days to figure out how to put it back together again. Each year when I try to make another...it takes me 3 tries to get it right. I don't know if I could explain in less than about 33 pictures and plenty of uhm-ing... how to do it. And, I have searched for a tutorial on it...but have not been successful. Have never seen a picture of one quite like it. Anybody know what it is called?
Look at all the beautiful colours I've made... hahah...then I got really silly...and made some half the size ...ohhh, was that fiddly!
(update Jan 6, 2008) Hey..I just saw that tiny ones can be used for earrings!
This is my favourite that I have made so far. A beautiful patterned tissue paper combined with chocolate box foils. String a golden thread, add a bead or two and look how beautiful they are. They are such fun to make.
...... and, this.... this will be my first doll of the new year. A beautiful Northern Star Mermaid by Judi Wellnitz and cover girl for December issue of Doll Crafter and Costuming.
She is a tiny thing .. and I began by sewing up the hands just to see how tricky they would be to turn ... ..not bad. So, then on with the face.. I always like to do the head first.. then the body. I am in the process of drawing and colouring her face now, but as we all know.. real life seems to interfere with fun stuff. Plumbing fiasco yesterday.