Monday, July 30, 2007

That saying about if you don't use it, you lose it? .... well, it is so true! Gone for only one week and today I can't even get into one of the forums to which I belong ... can't remember my password. Then... had to stand in line at the bank... because, for the life of me.. couldn't remember my PIN number to use the bank machine. Hmm.... what else? I know there was something ... I feel like this little guy...must get up to speed.... must get up to speed...........

Thought I would get something done on my last thing ( a poodle ) that I hope to complete before the Bear Show on Saturday...but... hardly touched it. Too much to do catching up on mail, phone stuff, appointments and restocking a 'frig and freezer...etc. All the un-fun but necessary stuff if you know what I mean.

Ain't it awful to come home from a small farm that I took to calling my Dude Ranch ...... with six cats to pet, chores to do... horses to feed and groom, etc.... and try to get back into my own routine; which is not a routine at all.

Here is beautiful Tiffany; and me below with Suzie ... a lovely Arab mare of 29 years and still pretty spunky!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I haz been away

Nope, ... did not fall off the blog wagon ... just took off for a week. Couldn't keep up with my mail or the blog either ( my sis has dial up and a mouse that absolutely wouldn't work for me) ...arrggh...

Took 114 pics too, so will have to go through them to see what is worth saving and posting ... delete the rest. Definitely keeping this one of Mickey.

The weather was hot. The very same as it was here all the time we were gone. Luckily my friend and neighbour watered my pots so the yard still looks good. The temperature was + 33C when we got home so the inside of the house was good and hot too.... +28 C..... the AC has been running steadily ever since.

Thought I would be able to stitch on a bear or two while away..but should have also thought to take along my Ott light. I absolutely cannot see the tiny stitches well enough without it. It almost seems to magnify things.... of course, it doesnt' really...but anybody who uses one probably knows what I mean. With it I can see every thread in the fabric and know exactly where I am stitching. Needless to say...I got little or nothing done on any bears or dogs.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Here are the great ATC's that I received in a recent swap in which I was involved. A lot of effort and care and attention went into each of them and it shows. Plus, pics of each of the artist's own bears .. which I love. Next best thing to having the bear ...!

There was going to be the group I received and the group I sent out. ..but .. somebody forgot to take pics of her own! Arrggghhh! Well, I think I forgot. I know I had out the appropriate colours of fabric to place them on ... know I was waiting till I got them totally finished .... know I had the camera at the ready ... but for some unknown reason...I obviously didn't take the pics. Either that ... or ... I uploaded them onto some obscure file in my computer and now.. ...for all intents and purposes.... they are lost... or at the very least, totally misfiled.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Be careful what you wish for!

Darn, darn, darn...or... well...maybe it is yipeeeee after all !!

Some of you regulars will remember the day we all thought up ways for Pauline to either repair, or use to advantage, a small tear in one of her bears. Check under label "bear repair". I remarked that I did not have a poodle or bichon in my collection and that perhaps I may even have to intentionally poke a hole in one so that I could keep one. Erm..... well...... this pink poodle will NOT be sold at the Bear Show.

I didn't even notice til after I had jointed head to body that there is some pulling apart of fabric at the seam under her nose. Must have stuffed her a bit too firmly. Oh, I say... it is either a "darnit" or a good thing. I am actually happy to be able to keep one for "show and tell".... although it could have been one not needed for an upcoming show couldn't it? It is difficult to explain any of the bears and dogs to folks if you have nothing to show except a picture. I like to see the real thing myself...and I am sure others do as well. So, today..... make up a new head and try again.

For the second year in a row, a silly robin made her nest in the Virginia Creeper that is all over our neighbour's wall. Well, I am guessing it must be the same bird anyway..... and yesterday...the whole vine fell off the wall...same as it did last year ... at or about this same time. It gets too dry..our neighbours have never heard or watering or plant care......and then the sheer weight of it when much of it dries out just brings it down....nest and all. They all fall out of the nest. Aha! "When the bough breaks" !! Finally, I remembered the nursery rhyme it reminded me of....Rock a bye Baby! .... couldn't think of it for luv nor money earlier... it took going out into the blistering sun and picking weeds for an hour. And, all of a came to me!

Now, I am out there all day it seems; guarding baby robins case a cat or something shows up that could harm them. These are the second batch of the summer...and they are pretty big babies........ very big and plump in fact...and loud too when they are cheeeeeeeping for Mom. ..... but can't really fly much yet. They jump up off the ground and flutter a few feet if I walk too close to them by mistake as I did last night trying to nip off a few old peony blooms and tidy in the garden a bit while sort of watching out for the babies. I never know which bush they are hiding in when I go out there in the morning. It is soooo hot right now too and they must need water. Finally...this morning..... I see that a very patient Mom has managed to coax them around to the big shady spruce tree in our front yard and they are right next to the birdie bath which I always keep nice and full in this heat. I hope they can hop up there is not high so they probably can...just have not seen one in it...yet. But..I am keeping a beady eye on them and listening through my open windows for any ruckus if something dangerous shows up. Two years ago they would not have stood a chance with the killer cat that lived across the street. We do have city bylaws against cats roaming... but he was never kept home. This was a huge cat that even suckered in people out for walks...he would go to them..roll on his back..they would bend to pet him and he would launch himself at them! I can't even tell you how many people I saw jump straight in the air with a cat attached to their arm....... can't understand why nobody complained except me. Well, he finally got his comeuppance. We found his remains in a yard down the block when the snow melted that spring and since then... there have been no more horrible murders of baby bunnies and robins in MY yard! I am not sure the neighbours believe that Oliver was killed by a coyote.... seeing as I had made threats out loud....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm a bear making machine! HAH! Not!

But ... little Tuffy ....cousin of Scruffy is now complete. I was trying to make one as much like Scruffy as possible. I don't know if other needle felters have the same problem..but seeing as there are no patterns for them can be somewhat tricky to get the bits to look the same. However,....I am very happy with my results.

He is 1 3/4 " tall and made from a mix of 70% Alpaca and 30% Merino wool. His eyes are black onyx beads and he has an embroidered nose. My little guys are sort of medium to soft in the firmness department and I am partial to the fluffy look instead of the smooth finish. To finish him off I plucked out bits of mohair from a chunk that matched his colour...then, carefully needled them into the finished bear to make him softer and much more fluffy looking. The little bow is a strand of yarn.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Clover is finished .... 6.5 inches tall.. softest, fluffy, hand dyed sort of sparse, pinkish/purple mohair that I bought while in England a couple of summers ago. I gave her some black velvet footpads. For Catherine....this is her with foot pads turned......

It is definitely summer here now .... although we are not quite as sweltering hot as our neighbouring province. Today it is climbing to only +31C here .... poor old Victoria on "the island" as they refer to Vancouver Island ... was up to +36.3C yesterday! Broke all the old records. With the humidity? ... whoa !! ...can't even imagine how all of those seniors managed.

It is a beautiful island where many seniors choose to retire because of the mild climate ... a lot of them British and so it has become a small version of England in some areas. A lot of the seniors in the Oak Bay area are quite fit... and walk to the ocean and also up to the village daily.... I hope they waited 'til after sunset yesterday! Some days they just walk up to buy a little bouquet of flowers from the grocery and flower shop, sit for an ice cream... say hello to friends... It really is a wonderful place to live.
Can you tell I love Oak Bay?? ... Mom used to live there and I visited as often as I could. For a landlocked Albertan... it was paradise.
Here is me "flying in" as we used to say. You can see the bus driver thinks I am crazy .. although he is laughing ... so it is all good!
Mom had a little camera that she loved to take a million pics with .... so most of the pics are of me!

Me, having a conversation with John Bull ....

Here she is by her beloved ocean. She loved the sea. As a matter of fact... her fav poem was Sea Fever.

We spent countless hours just wandering along the oceanfront; checking out the boats ... looking for whales ... had lunch at the Marina ....wrote notes and tossed bottles in the ocean regularly ...... tea at the Blethering Place Tearoom ....supper at the ...well, you get the idea ...we were hardly ever indoors .... except to eat!

A Life size doll waiting by the"wait to be seated "sign... had to ask how long the poor old gent had been waiting didn't I? some of the pics look a bit horizontally stretched because they are digi pics of snapshots, but they still look decent.

Sure do miss those days.... guess nobody ever found our bottles. No letters of reply...yet... and it has now been almost 10 years ....

I often say I should go back to visit...but without Mum it just wouldn't be the same and somehow I just never get around to it.

See, I told you we were crazy ...... she used to get such a kick out of so many silly signs and then we had to take a pic with a pose!

Indiginous people's totems near the Victoria museum.

Look at this ... House of Verona ... all that is missing is the "ic"... oh... sorry.....

Anne Hathaway's cottage.

whoops! went too far.... or something....

Well, that was lovely... just had a mini vacation in Victoria myself! I can almost smell the ocean!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For a day that began so well...yesterday ended sadly. We had to totally cut back our young Hawthorn tree. It is only about 6 years old...just beginning to get bushed out and this summer had the greatest crop of beautiful pink flowers ever. It seems to have contracted a bacterial infection known as "fire blight"..highly contagious and usually fatal. ..and apparently the only way to try...that is just "try", to stop it ... is prune, prune, prune. it is just a small trunk with stubs protruding...and then I was reading even more on it and some experts say leave about 12 inches so that the infection does not spread to the trunk...hmmm... maybe we went too far on some stubs...not good.

This morning I was out there before 7:00 a.m., trying to beat the sun to the hedge leaves. Last night I sprayed it with Trounce for a major infestation of aphids (worst I have ever seen). I have not been out in the yard much this summer with this cast. Walking on the uneven surface of the lawn is almost throws me over if I step into a real dip. I am sure I would have noticed that the last 6 feet of the hedge was suffering terribly if I had been out as much as I usually am in the good weather. Perhaps we could have done something sooner on both plants.... So, that too, is looking more than a little peak-ed if you know what I mean. Sigh.... it is always some darn thing or another isn't it? Now, all we can do is wait and see what happens with both. I don't know.... can a person kill Cotoneaster? Probably.
Ohhhhhhh today began so perfectly! Coffee on the patio ... sunny and warm ... no breeze to speak of and all of a sudden a busy whirring sound .... huh? .....

I looked up just in time to see the humming bird that was right beside that tall frond of my Pink Ribbon Grass!! Long gone by the time this pic was taken. He hovered for only a few seconds ... it seemed he was trying to figure out if it was something worthwhile to investigate. he flew! We don't see too many here , but usually a few times a summer I do spot one. I plant some special types of flowers that they say attract them... maybe it works. Of course, that would not be the ribbon grass.

Checked the bird book and he was definitely a Rufous. I just love little hummers!

Anybody know what this is?

Well, it is what happens after this....

Look how pale they are near the end of the full blooming stage... and then.... the wind blows off all the pretty petals and the centre is the only thing remaining.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

All my eyes will do tonight.... put up the picci of "the pink guy".....

Yikes!! Yorkie with a bad hair day!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Calgary Stampede begins today

Here is my latest little guy. His name is Lucky. His fur is a flattened, matted type of mohair. Inner ears, paw and foot pads are cashmere. He is 7 inches. His little fabric scrap scarf may be changed at a later date ... but for now ... he likes it.

Tomorrow is parade day for the Calgary Stampede. It is gonna be a scorcher too...ick... poor animals and people too... +35 C is the forcast! Definitely not going this year with the cast to drag around. It is too tiring to hobble for very long. Throws my gait off totally and my other hip takes a beating. If you want to read more info..just Google Calgary Stampede and you will see plenty!
....... 10 days of silliness, rodeos, pancake breakfasts on every street corner downtown and also at every single mall parking lot.... everybody dresses like cowboys or their version of one.. (places of business expect staff to dress the part) Plenty of free entertainment outside the stampede grounds... and then there is also paid admission to the huge fair grounds. That does not include the rodeo or grandstand shows..those are extra... but usually well worth the price. I like to watch the chuckwagon races on tv each night and also cheer on the bulls in the bull riding competitions... we laugh at the way the announcers call it as the rides continue.. Bulls 6...Cowboys 0!! Always lots of edge of the seat stuff in that arena!

There is a very large craft and photography building.... I like to see the photographs that are sent from all over the world. They are absolutely amazing. The number and types of crafts are so varied...almost too many, but I am sure everybody loves to see their goodies displayed as do the doll and bear makers. I have entered bears and dolls in various categories in the past and won a few ribbons... but this year opted out. Quilters would be amazed to see some of the quilts that are on display ... a huge array.

This is Leonard...he managed a third place rosette ribbon a couple of years ago.....

But, I have to show you this. Scruffy was my entry for the needlefelt category the first year I entered anything. He is barely 2.5 inches tall...not even as big as the centre of the rosette he got...for first place! That was funny.

Somebody had a real sense of humour in the display too.... if you look reallllllyyyyy hard... down on the bottom shelf...between that big ol' horse and that doll in white???? See that little brown bump on a green bump? The bump with a blue ribbon in front of it?.........yup... Scruffy!! on his very own teensy weensy pedestal. Oh, did I laugh when I saw him! He looked so cute.,,well okay, I sort of thought he looked a bit frightened too...

That Santa above and to the left of him...mine too...

:::::::weather update...... it is now only supposed to hit a high of +29C with thunderstorms

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Today was a great day. First thing this a.m. I managed to catch the garbage guys on their route and ran out... hahaha (I mean hopped out there).... with some muffins for them. It feels great to begin the day with ... "tx so much... that's awesome!" They usually sneak by before I ever get up, but today they were doing the route in reverse . Unsung heroes. They are pretty great. They take much more than they are supposed to do for us in this city. Although we are very lucky compared to the next province over... my sister who lives there has to pay for anything over two cans. Some days we have 5 bags of grass clippings and yard stuff as well as our can. A lot of people complain ...but I am always so thankful because they take everything I ever put out. Last week I duct taped and strung a pile of juniper branches that Greg pruned... it was a pile about 2.5 feet high and 2 feet wide... the gal was doing it that day and she grabbed it... and swung it right into the truck... most of it made it. The little fronds that didn't?... she even gathered them up too!

Worked on a new bear... cute design.... oh, I wish I had doubles of all of them! I love them all....don't want to part with any of them unless I have a second one that is just like the prototype or maybe even better in the "cute" or "endearing" department.... silly me. Maybe once I get a huge collection of my own stuff I will feel more like parting with them. Maybe when they over run the place... maybe.... maybe not.....

Tomorrow I am going to meet my "old guys" as I call them to tease them. I usually golf with them every Wednesday of our summer. They have been calling weekly to see if I am ready to get out there. I'll cheer them on at the last hole and then have coffee with them when they finish the round; they can chide me about my foot and have a good laugh at my expense ... the least I can do for the gang. I have known these guys for years ... and used to do massage for one of them .. the eldest of our group at 90 (on the right side of the pic) and still loves to get out there. He is giving me a bad time cuz I am much younger than they are but am failing the group. The one on the left of pic is 80 ..the one taking the pic is 78... "My guys" I always call them. We have such a great time out there and I sure do miss them this summer.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

My peonies have bloomed ....... well, actually they bloomed while I wasn't watching. I have been so busy with "the foot" and related matters ... that I forgot to look out that side of the house. Today I hobbled right out when I did notice .. to take a pic. They are ancient plants and still put out great flowers.

I finally managed to get Cedrick II finished as well. I am so pitifully slow with bears it seems. Actually when the Bear Show is over ...I am going to pick a few brains and get me a few lessons on a couple of things.

But... then just being slow with all the other stuff sort of leaves less time to work on the bears too. I am sure the rest of you have days ....or weeks that... it is a bit annoying when life gets in the way of the fun stuff isn't it??