Tuesday, November 29, 2016

THE SNOW IS HERE!

Yesterday we finally got our first snowfall - and it hasn't stopped yet.  The temperatures are very mild so it fluctuates between snow, freezing rain, and rain - so it is heavy and very wet.

All evening yesterday I had to fight the desire to go outside and start a snowman.  Now that the wet snow is piling up, I really want to go out there and build one.  We don't often get this sticky snow, ours is usually more dry so the opportunity is here for great snowman making.

I was even considering going across the road to my neighbours who have four little boys ages 2 to 7.  The two older boys would be great help, I am sure.

Would the neighbours think me odd to be out there building a snowman?  Maybe I should go after supper when it's dark... oh the temptations!

So where did another week go, I ask myself.  Last week wasn't the best week.  I broke my toe on Thursday and threw my back out on Friday.  The weekend was spent trying to straighten out and ease the lower back pain.  I have had this so many times before, you'd think I would be used to it by now, but I don't do down time well.

I did work on my plastic canvas snowman - and no - I have not finished it yet - but I am more than half way done.

I worked on two baby dolls that I was asked to fix for a young woman with two small girls.  These dolls were the woman's dolls, and she is very sick and wants to give them to her daughters.
Both dolls needed new bodies, so I have done that, now I want to make each doll a couple of outfits so the girls can play with them.  If I have time, I would also like to make each doll a quilt.  Everything needs to be finished by December 10th, so I am sticking to this project until it is done - it is a very special pay -it- forward kind of project from one Cancer survivor( me) to a young woman who is battling a very rare form of cancer.

I finished a couple of Christmas gifts that are being mailed out to the US so these are ready to go too - so I guess I did do more than I thought.

I need to finish my Christmas decorating - so far all I have done is put snowmen out.  Every snowman I have is in the kitchen - it is the snowman zone.  I have a lot of snowmen - but they are somewhat lost in that big kitchen.

This weekend I will put our tree up and one in the family room in the basement as well.  Maybe then I will feel more like getting down to some Christmas baking.

So that's been my week in a nutshell.  Hope everyone is keeping well and warm.  I should have some pretty snow pictures for you, next post - until then - be safe everyone!




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

THE CLOSET OF SHAME!

Reading my title, may very well indeed fast forward your mind to a closet in your home.  I am pretty sure we all have one of these in our homes.  I can even think of a few for you.  I know a couple of people who's front hall closets would qualify, and I also know a couple of people who would not identify at all with my title.

I will set your minds at ease.  "The closet of shame" is a term that has been used by myself and many of my crafting friends over the years.  We have discussed this on our group sites, vowed to change, vowed to get rid of them, and yet, still they exist.

The closet of shame is the closet that contains a crafters unfinished projects... our UFO's!

In actual fact, I personally have never had one of these.  My UFO's are scattered all over... in drawers, on shelves - mainly because I have never been lucky enough to actually have a usable closet in my craft rooms over the years.  That would still hold true today - not a closet to be seen up in my attic work space.

But I do have plenty of UFO's!

Cross stitch pictures, quilts, afghans, small crochet projects, large crochet projects, knitting projects, dolls cut but not made, doll clothes cut by not made, card projects, repurposing projects, books started not finished, pictures taken not edited... on and on it could go.

I vowed that once I retired I would get to some of these and start knocking them off, one by one.

Yeah - right!

But I was looking for something the other day... in a real closet of shame... my closet in the spare bedroom.  This closet is the catch of all and everything close, in my house.  It has only one small door, but goes back a long way.  I have boxes still piled in there from when we moved, which are so hard to get to that they may well be there for a very long time.

I was looking for tissue paper to stuff around an angel I was taking to the antique shop to sell.  I was sure I had left a package or two close to the front by the door, but obviously they had somehow moved further back into the cavern of no return.  So I started removing things because I really needed that tissue paper.

Boxes some filled, some empty - you know you always need empty boxes - and then a whole lot of white plastic shopping bags filled with "things".

"Awe... that's where I put this!"  - I might have said this a few times!

I opened one of the bags and was surprised to find this.



I bought this kit about 25 yrs ago from Mary Maxim.  I am not into plastic canvas work really, but I did like this project.  I am distressed to say in 25 years this is as far as I have gotten on this.

Okay - so this really is The Closet of Shame, after all!

This project s staying out, and I am finishing it this week for my kitchen door!  Don't believe me?  You have no idea how stubborn I can be about these things!  It's getting done.  This time next week I will be showing you a picture of it hanging on that door in my kitchen - I swear it!

So.... What's in your Closet of Shame?


Friday, November 18, 2016

UNIQUES AND ANTIQUES

Last weekend I delivered my Victorian Crochet ornaments to the Antique shop here in town.

This local business is owned by Louise Hoskins, who has been involved in antiques and collectibles for many years.

I met Louise in the spring, when she re-opened her shop in a down town location here in town.  Because her shop was right beside the library, I would often stop in and chat with her on my way to or from the library.

We got to know each other and I discovered that Louise and I have a lot in common.  We both love vintage, antiques, collectibles. We both love the same style of decorating, and we both treasure handmade and re purposed items.

Over the past few months, Louise has relocated her shop to a building on her property and has since re-opened there.  She has a lovely little spot filled with amazing finds.  It probably is not such a great place for me to spend time in, as I want it all  - but if I can curb my enthusiasm for every neat piece I come across, I find there is something for me there besides "things" after all.

Louise is having some health concerns, so I volunteered to give her a hand in the shop when and if she feels the need.  Today I am going to go down and help her decorate the shop for Christmas... I can't wait!

She has added me as an admin on her face book page, so I have been taking some pictures and doing some promotions on her page for Christmas gift giving.

Everywhere in that shop I see something that someone I know would love.

One of the things I fell in love with some time ago was a pretty little hutched cabinet.  I had my eye on if for quite awhile before I actually had the nerve to ask her how much it was.  Wednesday I bought it and brought it home, and I love how it fits into my big country kitchen.


I added a bit of Christmas to welcome it to it's new home, and now I have the urge to do some real decorating so maybe I will do some of that this weekend.

In the meantime, I have more mug rugs to complete, and 50 angels that I want to get done to give to the residents of the nursing home in time for Christmas just from me to them.

They are simple little angels that I will starch and add a hanger to, so they can hang them from their windows or on a tree if they have one in their rooms.  And if my ornaments at the shop sell well, I may have to make more of those as well - these are busy days indeed!


I want to leave you with a darling little Christmas video that was shared to me this morning.  This will make you smile - your Ahhhh  moment for the day.

Enjoy!


















































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Sunday, November 13, 2016

I HAVE MET THE REAL SANTA!

When I was a young child, there were no malls.  In the city I grew up in,  you did your grocery shopping at your local corner store, and everything else was either purchased at one of the Major stores in the city ( Eaton's, Hudson's Bay or Simpson Sears) or bought through their catalogues.

At Christmas time everyone went downtown to see the Christmas windows of the big stores. Before television or even in the early days of television, these windows were where children really developed their Christmas Wish Lists.

Yeah  - that's how it was done in the "Old Days"!

Santa Claus was nowhere to be found until after the Santa Claus Parade - which was never held the day after Remembrance Day.  The Santa Claus parade was in December.

When I was young, it was the Eaton's store that sponsored the Santa Claus Parade - and what a parade it was! I still can remember standing outside with my family in the cold weather, stamping my freezing feet and blowing on my hands through my hand made wool mittens ( usually two pairs doubled up on each hand)... waiting for that very last float of the parade.

You could hear Santa's Ho Ho Ho, long before you could see the float and so you strained your little body and craned your neck.  You tried to squeeze between your bigger brothers so you could see further... and then, there he was!  Santa Claus!

The very next weekend you were standing in a long line, on one of the top floors of the Eaton's store downtown, waiting to see Santa.  First you walked through Santa's village, which was a large collection of Christmas scenes, each in their own case.  Most were animated - all were awe-inspiring to a young child.  You forgot you were in line as you moved along to the main event ( Santa) because you were so entertained by the scenes coming alive in the little wooden boxes all along the route.

And then you were there...

And it was HIM!  You had seen him before -  yes it was the very same Santa you witnessed riding into town behind his eight reindeer just the week before.  You had memorized everything there was about him.  His suit, his beard, even the shape of his nose - and you knew there sitting before you on the big chair waiting for you to walk up close - was the REAL Santa.

I have a picture of myself taken on the REAL SANTA'S knee.  Here's my proof!


I must admit - I was terribly cute - wish I still had those little white boots - my walking doll would fit them perfectly!



Okay back to the story!


Then one evening in late November roughly 56 years later, you are sitting in your sun room, it's early evening, maybe a Sunday evening and you are watching a rather corny Christmas movie about a family lodge that needs to be saved in time for Christmas.  The family members in the movie are working to restore this lodge so they can have a grand re-opening at Christmas time.  If they can't get the lodge ready by Christmas, somehow all will be lost.  

Christmas at the lodge has always been the special time for the lodge family as well as regular patrons to gather and share special traditions in this place they all love.

The family have been working hard, and one evening they take some time to sit and share their memories.  They pull out a picture of two children sitting on Santa's knee - and all of a sudden the movie becomes utterly fascinating to me!



I pause the movie, start to whoop and holler, until my own family comes racing up from the basement, I am sure by now convinced I am dying or something.

I can't even speak - I am pointing to the screen with tears streaming down my face.  My son Jonathan sees it immediately, and then so does Gary - and we all sit dumbfounded  staring at the TV screen.

Do you see it?

IT'S THE REAL SANTA.  The same Santa sitting in the same chair in the same room!  The REAL SANTA!

I know this - I myself saw him arrive in town all those years ago, I sat on his knee, and here he is in a movie 56 years later -looking just as he had when I was little.

If I have a point to this story it's this...

I know that this story is something perhaps only I was lucky enough to experience - I know this because things like this happen to me more and more in my adult life... but I wish children of today could experience this feeling. 

Santa is everywhere starting November 12th.  In every mall, store, party, celebration, some hockey games, children's birthday parties...  It's too much - is there any wonder left to it at all?

Maybe I'm just getting old - but more and more, I believe the simpler life was the better life.

And I do know that somehow those two children sitting on the real Santa's knee were doing so in 1957, not 2013 .  Maybe they were in the same line waiting to see the real Santa the same day I was. 

 What are the odds of a picture from that era, taken in my home town, showing up on a movie on a television screen 56 years later, viewed by someone who was at that very location, who sat on that very same knee - 

However you look at it - it's quite the story...



Friday, November 11, 2016

LET'S NEVER FORGET!

It's Remembrance Day, the day we are supposed to stop and remember those that went to war to fight for our country and the freedoms and liberties we all enjoy every day of our lives.

We celebrate the Veterans of the Great World Wars, and my generation thinks of them first because it was our Father's and Uncles who fought in these wars, but there are new generations of Military men and women who still are out there fighting for the same freedoms we think about when we remember our fallen soldiers today... we must never forget any of them.

Just yesterday I was reminded of this day as we sat visiting an elderly aunt.  Her husband, my Uncle Scott fought in WW2.  As I sat in her living room visiting yesterday a picture of him as a young man in full uniform faced me on the wall across from me.  I glanced at it many times during that visit, and I thought about this day, and all that we have because of his efforts.  Then when we went to the table to have coffee with my aunt, there on the wall beside where I sat was yet another reminder... his medals beautifully framed and displayed proudly, for all to see.

And yes - I had forgotten about these as well.

There is a story that surfaced this week on the news about a family from our little town of McCreary!  We don't get into the news very often, but this story truly is something to be proud about.  The former home of the family in this story is a 2 minute walk from my home.  As a newcomer to this community I would have missed this great piece of local history, had it not been for this day.



Read this amazing story about one family from this little village I so proudly call home.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/cantin-family-mccreary-1.3841995

Let's Never Forget these men and women who gave so much for our country - and for us all!

LET'S NEVER FORGET!




Monday, November 7, 2016

LETS ENJOY THIS NEW WEEK!

It's Monday again, the first day of the week that might be just as interesting as last week was.

In our house, the talk continues about the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years!  It's a big deal  -  my husband being a Chicago kid, and a Cubs fan all his life, as his Father was before him.  Gary grew up attending games at Wriggly Field with his Dad, and his Uncle, so last weeks win will be celebrated in this house for years to come, I'm sure!

And now the American Election looms - I'm sure we are all waiting for the outcome of this very painful process that has been front and center for the whole world to see for what seems like way too long!  The world watches, and waits for the outcome of this election, more than it ever has before.  I am sure whatever outcome tomorrow will bring, it will affect many of us as well as the American people who so anxiously await the results.

Here in my little bubble, things are happening as well.  We have had incredibly warm weather for this time of year, in fact Friday our little Municipality was the hot spot of Manitoba at 20.2 C.  That trend continued all weekend giving us such warm weather, that I have new lettuce growing in my garden and perennials that have been dormant for at least 6 weeks have awakened and seem to think it's time to bloom again!

I am hard at work finishing up a collection of my Victorian Christmas Ornaments that I am going to sell at the Antique shop here in town.  I will have an assortment of my ornaments, some I am making for the first time in about 20 years.  My bears always have been my best sellers, and this time I will have hockey players, cowboys, ballerina's, brides and grooms, babies, angel bears, baker bears, to name a few.

I am delighted to say that I also have 4 dolls coming in that need restoring.  It's been a few years since I last worked on a doll, and I am excited to start working on them.  My mind is doing a quick switch to spa days and pretty doll clothes - how fun will that be?

Gary and I walked the perimeter of our town and up and down some areas that I have not been to before.  I have found a new spot right on the outskirts of town where I will be taking my camera.  It's a lovely spot, where there are open fields with the Riding Mountains as a perfect backdrop.  I wish I had taken that walk earlier - before the leaves had left the trees... but now I know it's there, I will be going back again.

So here's to the new week ahead... lets make it a good one!  Be active, be inspired, be happy!  It's ours to experience, it's ours to enjoy!






Tuesday, November 1, 2016

LONGER MAY HE LIVE!

How did we get to Tuesday already!  I had firm plans to have a post ready for Monday morning!

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween.  It was so much fun to see all the decorations, costumes and party pictures on Face book.

Sometimes I really despise Face book - and sometimes I love it.

I love being able to stay in touch with loved ones in real time.  But the rest of it - the politics, the fighting the ignorance that sometimes appears just really bothers me.



It was my Dad's 96th birthday on Sunday.  My niece had been to see him on Saturday and took this picture and sent it to me on Face book - now there is a good thing!


I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Dad is 96!  You know when you are young and still living at home, and your Dad is everything to you, you never think about the day when you will be 61 and your Dad will be 96.  How can you think that far ahead?  Old to you is 60!
Life is pretty wonderful to give us this opportunity to catch up with our future at the same time as connecting us by memories to our past.

Dad is holding a rug mug I made him for his birthday.  When I called him on Sunday he was so happy with the gift - BUT - did I know that really this animal was not a ELK ( I called it an elk in the letter that went with the gift)!  No, you see and elk's head is different as is his rack.  No, this is a MOOSE!

We laughed about it, - and really he should know - he's the one who hunted big game all his life!

He marvelled at the tiny stitches and wanted to know what type of sewing machine I use - to be honest, most people would not even take the time to look, I am sure.

He is sharp  - and apparently there is nothing wrong with his eyesight!

That's my Dad.  We have had our differences over the years, but now at his age, these things don't matter any more.

Every day is a gift -  at my age I am still learning this - at his age,  he already has.

Longer may he live...