Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer 2012 - Bring it on!

Vacation season is here!  School is out today, the first long weekend of the summer is this weekend, and thankfully - the weather has turned seasonably hot!  Summer 2012 - Bring it on!

Is anyone planning a special vacation this year? 

So far I know a couple of people who have planned special trips this summer.  One couple we know are heading to NYC for a week which will include July 4th!  Can you imagine how great that would be - to be in NYC on July 4th?  The celebrations, the fireworks, the sights, the sounds... awesome!

Another couple I know are heading to Corpus Christi, Texas - to the Gulf.  Now there is something really interesting and different.  This too would be an awesome adventure.

And yet another couple are taking a road trip in their new little roadster to Beautiful British Columbia.  Thier stops will include, Banff and Camrose Alberta (heaven on earth).  Radium Hot Springs in BC - and many places between here and there.  British Columbia is rich in tourist attractions of every kind imaginable, so this trip also will be awesome!

Oh it makes me want to get in my new little VW Golf and take to the road... VROOOM, VROOOM.... opps no - that's Mazda!  But still, you get my meaning!

We plan to take in the sights and sounds and tastes of Manitoba this summer.  Day trips to the lakes, beaches and wide open prarie call us to spend our time here at home.  We'll save our big journey for another year.

Whatever you do, or wherever you go this summer - have fun, be careful, be safe, take pictures, and think about starting a journal.  Jot those special moments down on paper so you can relive them in years to come.

Summer 2012 - Bring it on!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Popping good time!

Have you ever ripped the head off a 14" doll?  Me neither... until last evening.

I have my SIL's Chatty Cathy (yes that darn doll again)!  Her eyes are all weird  - one goes one way and the other - another, and both eyes are missing lashes.  She looks funny and I have always wanted to fix her.  My doll friends have been telling me to rip the head off and pop the eyes out for a very long time, and I - being the complete chicken I am, have resisted.

Last night after a frustrating conversation with one sibling about other siblings, I was in the perfect mood to try this task, so up I climbed to get Cathy off the shelf - I took her clothes off (not sure why I needed to do that) and off came her head... very easily, I might add.

Next to pop out the eyes.

The eyes of these dolls are encased in a heavy vinyl pockets inside the doll's head.  I pushed and pried but nothing "popped".  I read somewhere that if you submurge the head in boiling hot water for awhile, it softens the vinyl and the eyes pop easily.  I was always told never to get water into a dolls eyes - so what to do, what to do?

I plugged in the kettle, boiled some water, poured it in a nice big bowl and had the head in my hand to submerg it in the water - and couldn't do it.

What if the water is too hot?  What if it discolours her pretty face - after all the only thing that is wrong with her face is her eyes - the rest is beautiful.  Her eyes are a pretty deep blue - unlike most of the Cathy's I've seen who's eyes are duller - what if the hot water does cloud her eyes?  I would never forgive myself!

Oh my dilema's are many... such stress I cause myself.  I need to get some advice from my doll friends before I go any further with this project.  I really wish I had more confidence when it came to these things.  While I'm at it I think I'll ask how to re-root hair - she needs new hair (hers was cut years ago by the little girls that played with her).

So wish poor Cathy luck.  Forget that - wish ME luck -

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crochet Chair Socks

Yesterday I mentioned that I had to make some chair socks for the legs of my dinning room chairs so my hardwood floors wouldn't get scratched.  These are really simple to make and are much more durable and last longer than the felts you can buy to glue on the bottom of the chair legs.

I have made them from worsted weight yarn in the past - if using regular worsted weight I would recommend making the circle part that the chair rests upon in double thickness.  Make 2  circles, slip stitch them together and then continue with the rest of the pattern.

The ones I made on the weekend were made from leftover "Phentex" yarn - you know the stuff we used to make slippers from years and years ago.  This yarn never gives up - it will wear like iron.  I don't know if you can buy it anymore - I haven't seen it anywhere in a long time, but I picked up a few balls at a thrift store one time, so I still have some lying around.

Materials Needed:

Worsted weight yarn
Size H crochet hook

Ch 4, Sl stitch in beginning chain to join in a ring.

Row 1
Ch3, 14 dc in ring ( or however many you can squeeze in the ring).  I wanted mine very thick.  Join to top of first ch 3.

Row 2
Ch3, 1 dc in back loop of each dc around, join to top of beg ch 3.

Row 3
Ch3, 1 dc in each dc around.  Join to top of beg chain 3.

Leave a long tail for fastening sock to the chair.

You're done!

Put the socks on the bottom of your chair legs and with the length of yarn weave in and around the leg pulling tightly to secure the sock in place.

Once your chair is back on the floor there will be little chance of these socks coming off the bottom of the chair legs.

Your wood floors will thank you...

Monday, June 25, 2012

The sun has arrived!

Well - finally we got some nice warm sunny weather here in the Peg.  I have been moaning about being stuck indoors for so long due to the rain, that you'd think the minute we had some significant sun - I'd be outdoors.


But I did take advantage of the sunshine in a very productive way!  We washed windows!  Oh my they were so darn dirty - thanks to all that rain, and the wind and the tree sap - yuk! What a mess.  Hubby also washed the outside of the house and the eaves which also were very dirty.  Now our little "Peanut" shines brightly on our little corner of the world.

I had sheers on the front windows in the living room and curtains on the dining room.  In total we have 8 windows across the front of our house, facing east.  I left the windows bare for now, so you can imagine the morning sun pouring into my living room and dinning room... it is wonderful - but all that light shows all the cleaning I have not done in those two rooms - so I had to get caught up on that.  I washed the hardwoods, dusted every surface I could find, and now when the sun shines brightly in my windows everything glows.

Such a nice feeling to have a clean house.

I had an area rug under my table in the dining room, which was in need of a cleaning so I decided to take a chance and wash it myself... I took it outside and hosed it down and then scrubbed it with a carpet soap rinsed it and let it hang on the fence all weekend to dry.  It did not shrink like I thought it would... in fact it looks and smells wonderful.  I decided to put it in the living room for the summer, so I needed to make some socks for my dining room chairs so they don't scratch the hardwoods.  That was my only "crafting" for the weekend.

I used up some old "Phentex" yarn I had and as frustrating as it is to crochet with that stuff, it sure made nice durable socks for my chair legs.  They will last a long time and my floors will be protected.

All the other projects I intended to work on are still waiting on my work table.  But now that the weather is nice I may just be tempted to spend more time not crafting...

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oh You Big Baby!

I am on a hunt for a model for my 3-6 month Christening gowns.  You'd think with all the dolls I have that one of them would do - but not so.  All my baby dolls are smaller than a 3-6 months size baby.  Of course I do have the crabby face baby doll  - yes it is in pieces and when it is put together it just might make it size-wise - but really - do I want that crabby face wearing something so pretty and delicate?  I don't think so!

Look at the effect crabby face had on the adorable bonnet!  I should retake a new picture on a happy face doll, and you will see what I mean.

So - back to my model hunt.  I  thought about getting a real baby - You know, borrowing one - but that would be pretty inconvenient (for me) and (the baby) to have to spend a day quietly at a sale.  Can you just see it?  Not me... even when my own son was small - I never dragged him to a sale unless his Dad was there to take him right back home again.

No - the model has to be a doll, and my friend Eva has just the right sized baby doll for sale on her website - so I contacted her with my intentions.   I think we have a deal and sometime in the next month or so I will have a model.   Is this just an excuse to buy another doll?  Well perhaps!!

Next question is - should I start a gown before, or after the model arrives?

Time-wise - I should start before.  Size-wise - I should start after... so many decisions! 

I should be making those decisions instead of playing around with crocheting baby shoes.  I love the flip-flop pattern that I used for the ones I posted yesterday - which is not my pattern BTW, but is one I stumbled upon on the net.  I'd really prefer the soles to be right or left-sided and be more fitted instead of just an oval - so I have drawn out a pattern of my own and I will try to work it out in yarn this weekend.  I would also like to make my pattern in multiple sizes (child) - so we will see how that goes.

The really good news is that the sun has come back - and according to the weather people is is supposed to stay well into next week and beyond.  Wow - this will help the mind and body rejuvenate themselves.  Maybe I won't be crocheting at all - Maybe I'll actually be outside enjoying the nice weather...

We'll see........


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baby this and that!

Here are some of the things I managed to get done this past weekend.

Baby flip-flops - which could also be doll flip-flops according to some of my doll collecting friends.

I finished the bonnet I mentioned last week.  It is adorable - I just have to string ribbon through the bottom and make a couple of ribbon rosettes for the sides.

Sorry about the crabby-faced model - I didn't want to
climb up and get the happy- faced doll off the shelf - but really I should have, because crabby face does very little for this cute bonnet.
I am going to try this pattern in thread - I think it will look very "Victorian" in thread.

I also worked on a couple of UFO's - the pink and lime green baby blanket which should have been finished 7 months ago - now I will have to make it larger as the little one that it is intended for has grown.  Good thing the colors lend themselves to a little girl as well as a baby...
Up next?
I'm going to try some baby Crocs...
Will let you know how that goes....

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Lot from a Little!

I can't believe another weekend has come and gone so quickly.  I won't even comment on the weather, as it is just too frustrating already, but I will say it wasn't the best for any outdoor activities.

So it was another weekend of working indoors.  I managed to finish a couple of small projects and I would have finished much more, but somewhere along the weekend I decided to change things up in my "studio" again.

I have 2 pianos - one a 85 yr old upright which sits in my living room, but which also has some issues that make it unplayable at the moment.  I love this old gal the best, when it is in tune, it has a rich mellow sound that heals everything within me.

The other piano is an electric piano - which is downstairs with the pipe organ.  This piano is rarely played because of it's location.  It interferes with my husband's TV time, and his time practicing time on the organ, so unless we are playing music together it sits idle.

This weekend I sat down at the old gal and played for over an hour, but gave up when everything sounded sour, then I went downstairs and played for an hour on the other piano and decided quite suddenly that I should bring it upstairs so I could play it without interrupting anyone else.

Where to put it?  The living room is full, the dining room - no - too small.  I know - the "studio" -   Surely I could squeeze one more object in a room that is already scary crowded!!

I conned my son and hubby to struggle the piano up the back staircase, and amid much muttering and complaint about my passion for moving furniture around the house, the deed was done.

I lost some work space (my son's drafting table) but I was loosing that soon anyway, as he wants it back in his room.

So now if I want to play - I can anytime... or I can craft, or sew, or sit on the computer.  Talk about getting the most from a room!

See it's still a craft room... LOL!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A project and a Clean Room!

If you tried to read my last post yesterday you might have found it looked a bit weird.  It didn't look that way on my computer when I posted it yesterday - but it sure did today.  Sometimes technology throws us curve balls - that was one of them.  Hopefully I have corrected the problem - but I think I might have deleted some text...

Oh well, not to worry.

Yesterday I started the cutest baby bonnet ever.  I bought the pattern from Karp Styles on the net.  I would love to do this in thread for one of my old baby dolls - I'll see if I can make it work with some ecru or ivory thread.

I'll try to remember to get a picture of the finished product when I'm done.

I did take some pictures of my totally wasted craft room on the weekend - before I got in there and did some major cleaning.  It was hideous...

Because it was raining I decided it was a great opportunity to get in there and clean and so it is looking much better now.

of course it won't stay clean very long - one cannot be creative in an orderly studio...

Today is a special friend's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Denise!  Love you!  And another Happy Birthday to another member  - Michelle - hope you have a great day!

Oops forgot to add a picture of a couple of the gals that share my work space with me.  I have dolls all over my house, but these are my confidante's and critics.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Garden Tour #1

I finally got around to taking a couple of pictures of a few of the plants in my garden that are actually coming to life.  We have had yet more rain, so everything really is lush and green... and believe it or not the gardens are looking pretty nice considering we have had more rain than sun.

So here are the red and white Diannthis (annual) I planted along my sidewalk last year.  I usually pull all the annuals out in fall but these were still blooming well into late fall  so  I left them in the ground.  Imagine my surprise when the snow melted and there they were just like they had never been covered for the winter.  I think they are even nicer this year than they were last year.

There was a small clump of them in this other area that also came back.  Beside them is a little Jacob's Ladder that I moved from another bed into this one.  The intention was for this small bed to be all blue and white - and then the RED annuals came back - so I guess it will be red white and blue - eventually!  There are several more blue plants in here - I have a blue sea holly, a delphinium, some white trumpet lilies and a blue clematis, and along the front where some small iris that will probably bloom next year are I added some blue border type plants (by seed) which are slow in growing and for the life I me I can't remember the name!  Sorry!

New to my garden this year is this beautiful red Poppy.  I have always wanted one of these in my garden and now I have one.

And then the old fashioned favorite Peony.  No garden should be without at least one of these plants - I have several, and they are always such a welcome sight in late spring and early summer.

 I have many many more varieties of plants growing in my tiny little garden. Hopefully I can catch them all in pictures as they show their beauty this summer.

Hope you have enjoyed this short garden tour - there is more to come soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

All Things Garden!

Oh boy - it's been about a week since I last posted.  Shucks, it's hard to keep up with things when the weather is nice! 

I have been spending most of my time outdoors planting, and getting my gardens and yard up to snuff.  I am pleased to say it is really starting to look lovely.  We had all that rain (which we really did need) and now we have had a good amount of heat - so things are really start to grown and spread.

Last night I spent about an hour watering everything and because it was such a beautiful evening, and there were no mosquitoes around, I took some time to really take note of my plants.

I discovered that my climbing rose, which has tripled in size in the past month is covered with buds.  It is about  3 yrs old now and really has been slow to grow, and never had much in the way of blossoms.  I think this year will be much different.

My 2 peonies are not going to be as nice as usual.  They both don't have many flower buds at all, and usually they are so heavy with blossoms that even the cages can't hold them.  Wonder if this is just a peony thing, or if something is different with my plants.... hummmm???

I have discovered the bright red Lilly Beetle eating my lilies.  My neighbour pointed them out to me last year in her garden, and at that time they had yet to appear in mine - but theyare there now, and they are really doing a number on my plants.  They appear early morning and evening, and are neon red (if there is such a thing), but if they turn upside down they disappear on the plant... they really are clever little devils.  Best to remove them when you see them, and like my neighbour suggests - take a rock to them, or they will eventually wipe out your lily bed.

I added some different things to my perennials this year.  Bee Balm - which is gorgeous red when it blooms... not a colour that is easy to get in the garden.  I also have a small area where I have planted only blue and white varieties of plants (mostly blue).  This year I added a Sea-Holly which is very different in that it doesn't really bloom, but the whole plant is silver-dark blue all season long.  I am excited to see what it will look like in a month or so.

I also added some Herchera  - these come in so many colors but are nice as a border plant.

I have a sizable herb garden started on my patio (all in pots).  I hope to be able to harvest my own herbs for cooking and teas all summer long.

So now that you know what I have been up to, I hope you forgive me for not being here much.  The weather is just too lovely outdoors to spend much time indoors on the computer... but there are always rainy days - hopefully I can make better use of those too!

Enjoy the beautiful sunny days...