Sunday, November 29, 2020

Christmas sewing and knitting

We were supposed to be on PEI for Ollie’s 4th birthday today but interprovincial travel has been shut down. The same thing happened for the birth of Gussie in March. So we’re a little sad to be missing it although we know we’ll get there again soon.

My daughter made such a cute cake with Ollie’s favourites- mine too.

I spent the day finishing up a few things to go in the Christmas box since I now have to mail it.

Merino wool socks (more that are already in the box), a mask for Ollie and one for mom, and a Christmas pillow case.

I only need to add the carrot nose to the snowmen. I’m not as happy with the snow man sock. With 3 colors of yarn to carry, I didn’t do as good a job, pulling it a bit too tight. As my friend said, it’ll only be used once a year. I may even try another one at sometime.

It was quite mild today, a lovely day for a walk on the trail where I gathered a few branches for an arrangement. These were cut from sone of the trees already down in an area recently logged. 

I think since we’ll be here by ourselves this year, that this will replace  the Christmas tree. A few little ornaments and tiny battery operated lights will make it festive. 
Perhaps I’ll pick up a poinsettia for the table and put up a few of my ceramic village.

Our house is very small so that will do it.

We still have the bathroom Reno going on too, so I can’t put much out yet. Everything is covered in dust and we’ll need to clean.

The shower is in and now needs trimming and caulking. The walls need paint and there is a counter top plus a floor to do. The floor is a click floor and should go quite quickly. I’m so anxious now to have it done so I can get into Christmas preparations.

I love the textures in this ground cover that I noticed along the trail. Those little circles were actually quite pink.

The fresh air and fir smell on the trail really made me feel great. Although I’m usually always wanting to get out, I realize that I must make it priority as the winter goes along. I get such a feeling of peace in the woods. It feeds my my spirit.

I hope this finds you all well and that you can find that which feeds your soul too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Felted soap, bathroom Reno, and birches

This is a very busy week here. I’m tired and it’s only the second Reno day,  lol. We are putting a walk in shower in our bathroom to replace the tub. I couldn’t bathe anymore and I’m having an increasingly hard time to climb over the side of the tub to shower due to my hip. So now, no more tub in the house, but it’s going to be so much better for me.

This is a bit of what it looked like before the tear apart.
This is being done more about necessity than a restyle. It’s definitely outdated and the tile around the tub had cracks. It was soon to be done but we moved it forward.
We purchased a shower base and surround. One wall with tile was torn out as my husband needed to get in to do wiring anyway for a heater hed bought for me last year. 

This was yesterday.

And today. The window is slightly smaller and centered to accommodate the surround.

We will do the right hand wall at another time although I think we’ll do the counter top and I’ll change the cabinet hardware.
If you’d like a closer look I put a short video on tube that shows the whole small bathroom. Just click on You Tube on the top right of this post.

I’ve been able to keep busy in my studio despite the noise right next to it. I’ve been hand stitching, sewing down the binding on a quilt. 
Also, I got a dupioni silk border on the birches and added all the textures in the foreground. It’s ready for the final free motion stitching.

A pattern that I’ve been interested in for a while is the drunkards path. There are a lot of modern variations out there; I’m thinking about it for a small art piece. Also, I want to do a baby quilt. I’ve settled on the 3” size in hand dyes and a 6” size for the baby quilt (on the bottom). I find it helpful to do a few test blocks to see how it might work and think about it.
I’ll soon get started on the baby quilt, cutting pieces when I need a change.

Last Saturday, I took a very small workshop at our local yarn shop, called Fresh Fibers Studio learning to make felted soap.

The handmade soap is wrapped in wool roving and put into a stocking.

There is a lot of squeezing and scrubbing involved - a good hand and finger workout.

These are the two that I did which are now drying. It becomes felted and very tight around the soap, perfect for scrubbing in the bath.

The class pieces.

I really enjoyed getting out for a couple hours to learn something new, especially as all pre auctions were observed and it’s still quite safe here. Presently, no cases in our area. It is in our province though and I thought to do it while I can before the winter settles in.

I finally got around to putting button eyes on Peter and giving him a slightly happier mouth. I plan to order the pattern for his knitted jacket. 

I’ve been knitting away on small socks for the boys and I’m currently sewing ends in on the Christmas stockings which I’ll show next time.

This is the Oaks cowl, a free pattern on Tin Can Knits. I’m going to make one child sized like the gold one for 4 yr old Ollie.

Wherever you are friends, I wish you good health. I hope you can take some time to relax in some way and have an outlet for the anxiety we are all feeling right now. 
Take care.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The birches and making rice paper rolls

First thing after breakfast, I chopped up veggies as a start to spaghetti sauce. Today is my husband’s birthday and we’ve decided to eat at home. Later after the veggies wer sautéed I cooked some Italian sausage and some lean hamburger before adding some of my roasted tomatoes from the freezer.

After that I passed a little time in the studio finishing the textural piece with free motion stippling.

Then I removed it from the hoop, trimmed the FabriSolvy and gave it a soak.

Here it is finished.

Then, it was back to the kitchen to start the rice paper rolls for lunch. I’d already  cut up the veggies earlier while doing the ones for the spaghetti. It was just a matter of putting them together and making a little peanut dipping sauce.

If you’d like to watch a short video of me making the rice paper rolls, you’ll find it on my You Tube channel. Follow the link on the top right of the blog.
I’m really such an amateur at making the movies; it’s kind of fun to learn something new though. I have a brand new I Pad and the sound on videos is terrible. I’ve been researching it and apparently it’s a ‘thing’. I think I’ll give Apple a call and look into it. The first little bit of the video has the  bad sound quality,  but then it switches to video from my camera which is good. 

I was really excited to get back to the studio to pull apart the foreground textures and lay them out on the birch tree scene.

I think it’s ready for the final stitching although i like to leave it a bit and have a look with fresh eyes.

I’m also managed to get a lemon meringue pie made from scratch, my husbands favourite. It was a purchased crust though as I haven’t made any in a while.

I haven’t spent that much time in the kitchen in ages and I was pretty tired. It was a special day though and what else can one do these days? 

I’m wishing you all health and safety in the ever changing world. Take time to relax and escape doing what you love.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

A quiet Saturday afternoon in the studio, plus knitting and cooking

The Village Houses is finally done, wrapped, and on its way to the new baby girl in my family.

All those watercolour flowers and leaves I painted are coming in handy.

The next one up for finishing is the turquoise Woodland Animals which is about lap sized. I cut the binding strips for it this afternoon and I will sew them on when I’m in the mood for easy sewing. Since I gave my oldest grandson, Ollie, an I Spy quilt about this size, I though this could go to 7month old Gussie.

My husband put up another hanger for a plant in my studio window. It’s a bit high; I’ll need a stool to water it, but it’s out of the way at least and the ivy will trail down eventually.
There are 2 air plants in the glass globe.

It’s such a sunny room and with not much shelf space, I can’t resist hanging the some plants.  Do you know, the hangers actually came from at least 30 some years ago when we had that first macrame craze, lol.
I really don’t save a lot of stuff. I guess these were tucked away in spare plant pots.

Anyway, when you can’t garden outside anymore, it’s nice to have the indoor plants.

I barely got these out in time just now. Well I burned a few. It’s my newest addiction - roasted chick peas. I cooked the chick peas from scratch this morning and I made hummus at lunch. The flavour is so much better than canned and homemade hummus tastes so much better too. And it’s so simple. Today, I had crackers and veggies with hummus. One of my favourites though is a toasted lettuce, hummus and tomatoe on whole grain bread.

I finished the stitching on the birch trees piece and had time to start this hoop of various textured fibers which will be used in the foreground.

I’ve been having difficulty posted videos directly here. If you’d like to watch a short video of free motion stitching on this you can click on the You Tube icon above right and  watch it there.

Next up, I’m adding a few leaves to the tops of the birches and then getting started on foreground foliage below. The hooped  textures that I’m stitching above will be used for the very foreground below.

I’m past the heel in the second stocking having finished the snowmen and having just started trees. I’m not  super happy with the snowmen- they’re pulled a bit tight. It’s the only motif where I had to carry 3 colors. I will add the eyes, nose and buttons with duplicate stitch later.
As a friend said, it’s only being used by my grandsons once a year and I’m sure they’ll be too excited to notice anyway.
With all my You Tube watching lately though, I’ve since picked up a couple hints for stranded knitting. Arne and Carlos, knitters and designers in Norway is a good channel. They do a lot of knitting designs and design yarn patterns such as the color patterns on Regia yarn.

Yesterday, we took the 2 hr+ run to Moncton to Hone Depot looking at showers. We are going to remove the tub in our main bathroom and put a shower in it’s place. You see with my back and hip issues, I find it quite difficult to get my leg over the tub and I only ever shower now, as much as I once enjoyed my soaks it’s no longer comfortable. 

We are considering a shower surround kitchen on top of a shower base;  however, today, I also got an estimate from a local store to do tile above the shower base. With labour and a few other things, it’s not much more. You see, there’s a window that I don’t want to cover, do there’s sone extra things to consider. We’re thinking on it. It’s a very small room and I already bought flooring on sale. 2 boxes is all we’ll need.
I will do sone before and after picks once we get to it.

I made a quick stop at the Fabric Cupboard and only picked up a few little things, including a couple batik fat quarters that could work well in my artwork. The little pattern, Split Charms, is on a postcard. I thought it would make a fun little baby quilt.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday in the studio and the kitchen

I started my day after breakfast with making a veggie soup using leeks, carrots, celery, parsnip , tomatoes and garlic. I added some veggie broth and then, barley, white beans and rice and let it simmer. Here you can see it after I used the immersion blender on it. Before supper I’ll add more broth and some chopped spinach.

At the same time I made my min version of an apple crisp. I don’t follow a recipe. I make the butter, flour,  oatmeal, and sunflower seed crumble by eye and add a very small bit of cinnamon and coconut palm sugar. To the apples which came from our tree, I also add a scant bit of the sugar along with cinnamon and a bit of maple syrup. Bake at 350 C for about 30minutes. The house smells wonderful!

After lunch, I took the birches to the machine adding white stitching along one side and sone grey on the other and for texture. I had to take a break to rest my fingers and right arm.

If your interested, there is a short video posted on my You tube channel - link at the top of the sidebar on the right. I’m sorry the buttons are so large and in your face; it took me hours to figure out how to do the 2 icons there. I okayed with size a bit and finally gave up.

Later this afternoon, along with a snack and an almond milk hot chocolate, I’m stitching the binding on the Village House baby quilt while I’m watching You tube.

It couldn’t be a more perfect day.

This is where I am with the Christmas stockings. The motif I’m working on now, very slowly is going to be a snowman. It’s rather a tangle as there are 3 colors being carried. All the other motifs that I’ve used have only 2 colors to carry and is much easier.

When fingers get tired with that, I can pick up the little merino size 4 yrs socks that I’m making for the grandson, Gussie.

I hope you’re enjoying the weekend. Some of us are feeling more pleased and relaxed following the US elections. 💕