Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taking Flight!

Have you checked on the Decorah Eagles lately?  If not, you really must, because as early as next week, they could be gone.

They are 8 weeks old now... and they are big.  Not quite as pretty and handsome as their parents, because they lack the white head and tail feathers, but still you can tell that they are eagles.  They are wingercizing (stretching their wings and flapping as if to fly) - accompanied by some hops now and again.  It is really quite comical to watch.  In another week they will be hovering (actually lifting off the nest) followed by branching (actual flight to nearby tree branches and back to the nest).  This is all preliminary to actual flight.

The parents are pretty much scarce now.  They arrive once in awhile to bring a kill for the eaglets to eat, but then they leave again.  At first I worried that the babies would fall out of the nest without the parents there to watch them - but apparently even though they go right to the edge of the nest, they know not to go over, and the parents don't actually prevent such a happening.  I would guess it's eagle instinct.

I have loved watching this whole process from egg laying to present.  What a beautiful opportunity to see nature at work without man's interruption.  Who ever thought that such an event was possible to view... it's awesome to be sure!

The plan is to capture one of the eaglet's about 2 weeks after they start to fly so they can attach a transmitter to monitor it's movements.  They have done this with one of the eagles from last year's hatch and they have been able to learn all kinds of things that man did not know about eagles before.

I wish to thank the person's of Raptorresource who have brought us this most wonderful gift. This is a perfect example of the Internet being used in an positive way.

http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles
 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rain song repeat~

We are still singing the rain rain go away song, and as I watched a couple of my own grown by seed perennials wash away last evening, there was even the odd minor cuss word mixed in with the song.  Not much we can do about the weather, except perhaps hope and pray that the sun comes out soon and stays awhile, but I don't think that is about to happen soon - in fact tonight they are calling for FROST!

I was reminded that last spring was this way too - we were wet and then the sun came out and in the end it was a dry summer.  Could be it might happen again?  Hope so.

In the meantime, things are heating up with Erndales Victorian Crochet, especially my wedding accessories.  I am very pleased to be getting quite a few orders for bridal garters, and wedding bear sets, but also flower-girl purses and shoe decorations.  I will try and post some pictures of these soon.

I have actually run out of wedding bear sets, so this weekend I will have to try and get ahead on those.  I am also amazed at the non-traditional garter colours that have been requested.  Brown with orange - for a fall wedding.  Black with red - just because... pink and white - because a family member has just passed from breast cancer.  It's not always traditional blue for the bride, so really not at all boring repeating the same item over and over.  Of course the big plus with my garters, as they are custom fit to size.  The larger brides really like being able to have a pretty garter, that they can wear above the knee.

So it's back to crocheting at lunch time at work, and in the evenings while watching or rather listening to TV.

Okay - so maybe the rain isn't so bad after all...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pull up them socks!

Rain, rain go away - don't come back for many a day!  That's the song we are singing here in Manitoba.  We have had more than enough rain and cool, if not downright cold weather to last us for awhile.

We started out our spring very dry, but I think we have more than made up for the lack of rain last summer and fall.  Now we need some serious heat.  I'm serious.  I'm sure I can see my plants shivering out there!

One good thing about rainy days, however, is that it makes one stay indoors and work... or maybe sleep... depending on the "One".  I will admit to taking several naps, but I did work too.

I got quite a few garters made, and also finished my garter order which will be picked up tomorrow.

Here are the two for the order.


Because most brides don't like to give my garters away, they usually order 2, one to wear and keep and one to toss to the single men in the crowd.


Do you know why this is done?

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:
There is a European wedding tradition for a bride to wear a garter to her wedding. As part of this tradition, towards the end of the reception, the groom will remove his new wife's garter, which he tosses to the unmarried male guests.  Historically, this tradition relates to the belief that taking an article of the bride's clothing would bring good luck.[1] In the middle ages, the groom's men would rush at the new bride to take her garters off her as a prize.[2] As this often resulted in the destruction of the bride's dress, the tradition arose for the bride to surrender articles of her clothing, which were tossed to the guests, including the garter.[1]Nowadays, the privilege of removing the bride's garter is reserved to the groom, while the bride will toss her bouquet.
Another superstition that has circulated is the male equivalent of the bride throwing her bouquet to the unmarried ladies. According to this superstition, the unmarried male wedding guest who successfully catches the garter will be the next man to be headed to the altar from the group of single men at that wedding. Traditionally, the man who caught the garter and the lady who caught the bouquet would share the next dance.[1]
Garters were popular in the 1930s and 40s, and were a convenient way for ladies to carry small valuables, in place of a small purse.




And did you know that men too wear garters?  I swear it's true... 

In Elizabethan fashions, men wore garters with their hose, and colorful garters were an object of display. 
In male fashion, a type of garter for holding up socks has continued as a part of male dress up to the present, although its use may be considered somewhat stodgy.

I'll Say!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hocus Focus

The week following the long weekend in May (This week) is usually sunny and hot and it is usually the weekend and week that most Manitoban's try to get their gardens planted, their annuals planted and generally get their yards and properties ready for the hot summer months ahead.  It is supposed to be hot - but this year it seems it is going to be cool and rainy.  I have readied the gardens for new plants both annuals and perennials; the patio pots are ready for new flowers, the patio furniture is washed and set up, Gary has the AC unit uncovered and cleaned and we are just waiting to flick the switch, so to speak.

But that's as far as we've gone.

Trouble is my mind is thinking about November and December.  I am currently on the hunt for some good Christmas Craft Sales.  I am on the waiting list for a big one in December, but I would like to do more than 1 this year.  I'm changing up my inventory just a bit for this year - sort of testing of the waters.  I will still sell my Victorian Crochet Tree ornaments, but I want to add some more items that are similar, but not Christmas. 

On the list will be Heirloom quality Christening gown sets.  I'm talking about the type that are made with fine thread and lined or have an under slip.  The kind that are passed down from generation to generation.  I'd also like to have some beautiful Christening Shawls - for people who don't want the gown, but still want something special to hand down.

Also on the list are a few wedding items.  I have been making bridal garters (Victorian crochet) for a couple of years now on a special order basis.  Think I'll make up a basket of several different styles and shapes and colors and see if they sell.  Bridal cloves and Bride's purses are another couple of items on the list.

I hope to have a few special baby outfits and perhaps some really cute baby shoes as well.  I have stocked up on thread and I have dusted off my steel hooks, I have even made a couple of blue garters for an order next week, but since ripping back the last gown, I have yet to start another.

I wish my head and my hands were on the same program!

What have I been working on?  Doll shoes for the long-haired beauty I cleaned up last weekend.  I have one adorable little green slipper done, and hope to get the other done sometime today.

Is there a course on focusing?   Focus 101 - that's what I need!

On a completely different note:
I see I have a new follower - Welcome Shari - and thank you for the nice comments.  I hope you enjoy your time here...

Okay - I hear some thread calling my name - I'd better ski-daddle -

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Welcome to my Dolly Spa!

Good Tuesday morning everyone.  It was a soggy long weekend here, so instead of being outside digging in my garden as I should have been (had the weather co-operated), I puttered around in the house.

Last Friday I picked up a couple of dolls that I had found locally on Kijji.  Both dolls are vintage.
The little one on the right side is a 1952 Suzie Walker, Canadian Made by Reliable.  She was in very rough shape.  Her hair was very matted, it too me over 4 hours to be able to get the comb through it, and 6 washes and rinses to get it clean.  Her dress was moth-eaten and dirty, but after I washed it I decided to repair it and use it again, as it is very pretty.  It is hand knit wit a fingering yarn, and actually very well done.

The larger doll has a stamp on her neck that says Made in Britain.  She also is a walker doll, and when she walks her head moves from side to side as do her eyes.  She was dirty but otherwise is beautiful shape.  She also is from the 1950's.

So I spent part of the rainy weekend running a dolly spa.



And I think both dolls turned out lovely.  The little one has a couple of spots on her cheeks that I haven't yet dealt with, but I am kind of getting used to her -  spots and all.
I also finished a dress for another of my dolls.  This doll was given to me by my oldest brother for my first Christmas, I was 2 months old.  I played with her as a child, and she has always been my most loved doll.  Susie has been with me for a long time and really needed a new dress.  

She is so adorable... is she not?

Now I need to tackle my craft room - it is a total disaster from playing with my dolls all weekend.  Have a great day everyone! 




Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Son

May 18th is one of my favorite days - one of the best days of my life occurred on this day, and I am reminded of that best day every year on this date.  24 yrs ago today, my only child, Jonathan was born - what a proud day for Gary and I and what a blessing he was and still is in our lives.

He has been the easiest person to be around from day one!  As a baby he was quiet, happy and terribly cute; as a child he was sweet and terribly cute; as a teenager he was cool calm and collected - and terribly cute; and as a young man he is strong, kind, loving - and terribly cute!  Did I mention he is terribly cute?  LOL!

Well what do you expect - I'm his Mom!  Guess you can tell how proud I am of my son - and so it shall always be.









Happy Birthday Son -

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Bitter Pill Swallowed!

I seem to have an abundance of UFO's piling up in my craft space once again.  I get so disgusted with myself when this happens - but usually that disgust actually gets me moving and helps me finish up some of the unfinished items.

One of the items that is in that pile, is a Christening gown I started last year sometime.  It is a fairly time consuming project, as it's crochet in size 10 Ivory thread, but when completed it will be an Heirloom quality piece, which I had intended to sell at one of my sales.

I had started on the skirt first which really is just a rectangle piece of double crochet mesh with a lovely spider motif across the bottom.  I had completed more than half of this piece, and stopped for some reason, and recently I picked it up again with the aim of actually finishing the garment.

The skirt is 148 rows of pattern... I have been working on it at lunch break and noticed that the beginning and where I was working did not seem even.

Here's a hard lesson to have to learn... after working all that fine crochet for all those rows, I discovered that my tension on my second go at this piece is much tighter than when I had worked on it before - so - yeah - the one side is much shorter than the other - even though the same amount of stitches are there.  Great time to discover something like this is NOT when you are about 3 rows from finishing the piece.


What to do, what to do?

I would never be happy with a piece that was not 100% perfect.  Firstly I probably would never finish it, and secondly I would never display it, let alone sell it.

What did I do?

Right  - I ripped it out right down to the original slip knot.  WAAAAAAAAAAA!  So much work, so much time wasted... but a really good lesson that I should have already learned.  Don't start a project of this magnitude and then set it aside unfinished for over a year...

I realy want to make this piece - maybe I'll change it up and make it in white thread instead of ivory - will be like starting something brand new - instead of starting something, AGAIN!  In the meantime, I'll move on to the next thing in that UFO pile!





Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MY PAL ROBOT!

One Christmas many years ago, when Jonathan was about 3 or 4 yrs old, Santa brought him a MY PAL ROBOT for Christmas.

It was the cutest toy.  It talked, walked, played ball, giggled, and best of all - Jon loved it.  He carried it everywhere he went, but sadly about the third day - it started to self-destruct.  It wasn't super expensive, but the child loved it so much that we packaged it up and hurried to the department store to exchange it.  We managed to get the last one the store had, and after a few days that one too broke down.  Again we tried to get him a different one, but there were no more.

He was heart broken, and so were we.  Over the years we kept our eyes open for another, but we never saw one again.

A couple of years ago, I was on Ebay - and low and behold I came across one for sale.  I was so tempted to buy it for Jon - I didn't even care about the price.  All I could remember was seeing my cute little boy with huge tears running down his face, so sad because his PAL was gone.

I didn't buy it - after all that little boy had grown up, and my romantic idea that he would still cherish PAL was after all - my idea.

We never talked about PAL again...

Our church had a rummage sale a couple of weekends ago and Jon went over to check it out.  He called me to say he couldn't find anything interesting so was heading over to a flea market near by.  He never tells us where he's off too - he doesn't have too - he's all growed up - but it was nice that he did, just the same.

He called again a short time later.  He was so excited he was breathless.  "Mom, I bought something from my childhood, and it still works!  Were his exact words.  I asked him what it was and he said "It's a surprise... you'll never guess what it is!"

Sometimes a mother just knows these things!  I said "It's a Pal Robot!".

Turns out Mom was right!  He had found an bought his PAL.  He was like a 4 yr old boy again, and I realized that ifa childhood memory is that strong it should be kept and nurtured.

He is so like me - he is nostalgic, sensitive, and he loves to collect things that make him happy.  Okay so maybe some would call it something else - but those that do don't have emotional connection to things the way we do.

PAL is lovingly displayed in Jon's adult bedroom... among football jersey's, classic band posters, and Winnipeg Jets hockey banners there sits Jon's favorite toy of his childhood.  MY PAL ROBOT...

I did manage to find a picture of the original Robot and Jon that Christmas morning so long ago.  If I can get the scanner to work, I'll post it here sometime this week, while I'm at it maybe I get get a shot of the new Pal and his friend Jon - stay tuned!




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Weekend Gone!

I hope all Mothers had a fun day on Sunday.  My son treated me to a lovely dinner out which was so nice.  We walked to a nice restaurant near home, I had really really good lasagna and a sinful three chocolate cheesecake for dessert - and then I was uncomfortable for the whole evening... serves me right!

I went back on Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago, and a had lost 2 lbs - but sad to say as of this morning - I have gained those 2 back... shoot!

So now I'm back to writing down everything I eat.  That really is the best method for me to loose weight.  I find when I do this it is easy to eat within my points for the day, and most times I actually finish under my points, which I know you are not supposed to do, but some days I just can't eat all that food.  Fruits and vegs are very filling and now with the new WW points plus - they are free  - how easy is that!

We had a very hot weekend - I was outside in the yard for most of it, and I even managed to get quite a sunburn in the process.  I also managed to get one flower bed completely cleaned out  except for a few well-established perennials.  I have a clean palette and hope to introduce some new plant varieties in my garden.  I am chiseling away at the mess I left last fall.  Hopefully in a month or so, I'll see a much prettier garden.

Gary was in the patio area getting things cleaned up there.  It was "free" weekend here  - our city started this a couple of years ago.  Two weekends a year you are allowed to place items out for anyone to take free of charge.  It's a recycling tactic meant to encourage people to give away unwanted items instead of throwing them in the landfill.  It has become very popular.  We got rid of some plastic lawn furniture, some unwanted lawn and garden equipment and even some house hold items.

The trouble is one just can't help but wander down the street to see what goodies one's neighbours have placed out.  I came home with  huge pots which I will use on the patio, some baskets that I can use as displays in my craft sales, and a outside mat for Molly... all free.  So basically the space we gained from getting rid of stuff, was lost in the stuff we picked up... 

I met many nice people as I worked outside and watched our stuff disappear.  Everyone was appreciative of our offerings, and everyone said ThankYou as they walked away with their free items...  and that was the nicest part of all -

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Yummy Muffin!

This week seems to be speeding along maybe a little too quickly for me.  It's Wednesday, and already I am feeling stressed because things I should be getting done for this weekend are still on my work table - un-done!

I have several orders for my little angel/fairies for Mother's Day.  I have been working on them, and it really won't take a ton of time to finish them, but so far I haven't done that.  Maybe today will be a better day to get that done.

I seem to be in a baking and cooking zone at the moment.  It is nurses week this week, and every year my co-workers who are nurses, clerks, secretaries and physicians do this extravagant celebration - twice.  On Secretaries week (which we have re-named Paraprofessional week) the nurses and physicians bring us breakfast every morning and give us a luncheon, and usually a gift of something as well.  On nurses week we do the same for the nurses.

Yesterday was my day to bring breakfast, so I made 2 doz muffins ( a dozen Cranberry- Orange muffins, and a dozen Rhubarb-Strawberry).  The Cranberry-Orange were amazing so I thought I would share the link with you.  Try them - they will become a favorite very quickly!

http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/1222/cranberry-orange-muffins150198.shtml

Today is the luncheon in honor of the nurses so I made enough potato salad for 30.  Of course I had to make enough for supper tonight as well, as potato salad is a favorite of my guys too.

I should have been working in my craft room, but instead I finished a book while I waited for the potatoes and eggs to cook. 

Oh well today is another day - an open slate - maybe I'll get motivated ???





Friday, May 4, 2012

Planting season is here!

Can you believe it is Friday again, and what happened to the week between last Friday and today?  Seems like I have lost some time while I was off being sick again.  No matter, I am back (somewhat) and I just needed to come and check in and say howdy.

It's been an off and on rainy cool week here.  BUT things are greening up outside - the elm trees are showing bright new green leaves - love the colour of new leaves.  Things are really starting to grow in the gardens now that we have had a bit of moisture, and I am really getting the itch to get out and start digging in the dirt and plant some seeds and new plants.

Remember last fall I moved a bunch of plants around?  Once again I moved things without marking it down, and so now I am wandering around my yard looking lost.  I have no idea what I did last fall, and of course I am extremely frustrated with myself because of it.  There are several variety of plants that I had growing in my garden last year - that have not yet appeared.  I guess time will tell if they will be showing up, or if they will need to be replaced.

I decided to try planting a few new things.  Bee Balm, Hydrangea's for sure, and perhaps a couple of different types of lilies, which still are my favorite flower.  This year I am also going to plant some vegetable's in the beds with my flowers.  I have no room for a true vegetable garden, but I think I can manage to squeeze a few here and there around, just the same.

So off to the weekend we go.  Hope everyone has an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the lovely spring air this weekend. 

See you next week!