Saturday, December 2, 2017


How is it possible that it is December already?  The weather feels like spring, but all around me things are beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I am still working to fill orders for customers - once again this year Mug Rugs are the most popular item I make.  I have pretty much sold every one I had made for my sale in November, and now I am slowly working through the next batch.

But something is really bothering me.  Something I heard a few times as people passed my table at the sale, and I've heard it in general conversation a few times since.

It's about the word/s "Craft/ Crafts/ Crafter" and how it is used, and maybe more than that, it's about people who craft, and how they are looked upon by others.

If a person with talent paints a nostalgic picture of a vintage camper sitting under tree, they are considered an artist.  I agree - they certainly are.

If a person with talent creates that same picture using fabric as their medium, layering various colours and prints, tiny pieces of fabric, until they have a vintage camper sitting under a tree -  then they are a crafter.

Why is that?  They might have taken the same amount of time to achieve the same results - and realistically the fabric camper most likely took longer.  They both used a medium to achieve their results, they both used their talents to achieve their results - so why is only one an artist?

Taking it a bit further - if you asked the painter to create the fabric version, and the sewer to create the painted version - how do you think that would turn out?

Have you seen a Baltimore quilt?  Craft or art?

Have you watched someone make a picture appear on the back of a sweater they were knitting - craft, or art?

If you ask the talented people performing their crafts (whatever the medium) I know they will all consider themselves to be artists.

So what's the difference?

 Craft - is a skill, especially of the hand ( Winston Dictionary)

Art - a skill acquired by study or practice: natural aptitude: knack: as the art of sewing (Winston Dictionary)

Artist - a person who practises an art, such as painting, sculpture, music, literature, or the like.  In any field, a person who shows creative power in his work: as, your cook is an artist. (Winston Dictionary)

And according to the Winston Dictionary - if you are "Crafty" you are deceitful and wily.

I know what I have always believed about talented people who create with their hands in any medium,  I am so glad that the Winston Dictionary agrees with me.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Our first couple of days of reorganizing the antique shop have gone very well.  We managed to move a couple of large pieces and are on our way to creating our "county kitchen" complete with an operational wood stove, which in a few weeks is going to be called to duty to heat, and also to add the scent of Christmas to the shop.

But first, the kitchen area has a beautiful old early 1900's kitchen cupboard in original condition.  This piece is a rare find, and is as solid as it was the day it was built.

  We are adding a beautiful wooden country kitchen table, and loads of marvelous treasures to please any cook or baker, or collector, who just wants to add that special antique or vintage touch to their own decorating.

Nothing says vintage better than this Corning ware coffee percolator, or these Corning ware pie plates!
 And we have have 6 of them!

We have moulds, cake pans, a glass rolling pin, and we also have the glass and earthenware pitchers.  These are wonderful accents for any kitchen island.

We have a beautiful collection of vintage cookie jars, and antique and vintage cookie and cake tins...

And we are just getting started...

We haven't even started adding Christmas yet, and already I am way past excited!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Do you realize it's only 6 weeks until Christmas?  How did this happen, exactly?  I swear I feel like it was only weeks ago, I was still out working in the yard, and Christmas felt like it was a long way away.

Now W network has Christmas movies all day every day, stores are in full Christmas attire, and I am listening to and practicing Christmas Carols and music for our Nine Lessons and Carols service coming up in just 4 weeks.

I am participating with UNIQUES AND ANTIQUES (our local antique shop here in town) in a Christmas open house.  Louise, the shop owner and myself met this past weekend to plan our event and discuss things we want to do.

We are holding our Open house over 4 days - December 6th through the 9th, with extended hours on Friday evening.  In the next few weeks we will be busy rearranging the store and refitting it for our Christmas event.  I will be adding my handmade articles to her antiques and uniques, and as well we will be serving hot apple cider, cookies and sweets to our customers.  We also will be having daily draws for gift baskets through our event.

It's a big undertaking for both Louise and I.  It's going to be a lot of work, but I think, also a lot of fun.

I will be linking my blog to the shop's face book site for the time up to and maybe even past the sale.  Both places will have the same articles, stories, recipes and images for a little while.

The work starts tomorrow in the shop... packing up some items, unpacking others.  Moving furniture around, and setting up "Christmas rooms" within the shop to better feature the items we want to promote.

I will have lots of photos of our progress as we go along, and hopefully a few of you will have the opportunity to come out and experience our event for yourselves.


Thursday, November 9, 2017


I guess the snow is here to stay.  It doesn't look like we are going to have a significant warm up to melt any or all of it, so that means one thing in Dale's home!

Snowmen can come out of the closets, or cupboards - wherever they were stashed at the end of the last winter!  The very first one to come out, usually with the first snowfall, is the snowman cookie jar that our son Jonathan gave me for Christmas when he was about 8 yrs old.  To this day it remains one of my most favourite and beloved Christmas gifts ever!

He was a bit tardy coming out of the cupboard this year - I think he waited until the third snowfall - but he's out now, and yesterday I baked cookies, so he's also full.  He will stay on the counter now until all the snow is gone in spring - it's Tradition!

Christmas crazy me, is just itching to start decorating, it is a bit early for Christmas decorations, even for me - but thanks to the snow - winter decorations are quite appropriate.

I'm not supposed to do anything strenuous because of my eye, but there were a few things I could do this morning just the same.

I dressed this little beauty who sits on my mantle in her winter coat and hat, and because she is so adorable, I also made her my profile picture on Face book.

Then I decided to make a wreath for the front door.  Every time I find a bag of Christmas greens or things at the recycle I haul it home.  Today was the day to make something pretty out of all the used things I found.

I started with a pair of skates I have had for a long time.  I took the laces out and replaced them with some red cord, and added some bells on the laces as well.  Next I crocheted some red cuffs for the top.  I found a little wreath in a bag of stuff that I had picked up, so I attached the skates to the wreath.

Then I added some greens to the wreath...

add some pine cones, glass balls and decorations...

and finally a bow.

The finished product:

a pretty door decoration made 100 % from recycled used materials. 

Who says you have to spend big bucks for pretty!

And now I will rest... for a little while!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Everything happens for a reason - do you really believe that?

I do, actually.  I have found that when things happen in my life that are not exactly planned or even wanted, my brain goes into overdrive thinking around the problem, and often times pointing me in an entirely different direction.

Something like that happened to me on Sunday.

I had worked so hard for months preparing for my craft sale here at the local community center.  I had no expectations, but I did have some hope that I might do well, or at least fairly well.

But that was not the case.  There were 40 tables at the sale, and many many wonderful crafters with well made, beautiful things to sell.  But there were also commercial vendors like Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Epicure, and more.  In fact I'd say there were more of those tables than crafters.  There was even a lady there doing nails!

It was a bitter pill to swallow.  It was more common to see people walk right by my table without even glancing at what I had to sell, than to make eye contact with me as they passed right by.  That told me that the buyers were there for specific tables, and not to shop the whole floor.

My table rental was 30.00, and I made 28.00 the whole day.

As if that wasn't punishment enough, after standing all day, the foot that I had been nursing along for the better part of the week was past painful, and I had a massive headache from the florescent lights.

I went home with my tail between my legs, put my feet up and fell asleep in my chair for a couple of hours.

When I awoke, it was to a light show happening in my left eye.  At first I thought it was just my eyes getting accustomed to being open from a deep sleep, but the bright flashes of light continued all evening and all day Monday.

Yesterday, in full panic mode, I went to the hospital to have both my eye and my foot checked out - my eye being my #1 priority.  The foot needs orthotics, and the eye will be seen by an eye doctor on Monday.  In the meantime, the flashing lights have pretty much stopped, to be replaced by a very large fuzzy floater in my eye.

I'm sidelined from just about everything - not something I do well at all.  About the only thing that can keep me sitting in one spot for a time is music - but even I can't do that for days!

So yes, I am sitting quietly, looking for all intents and purposes like I am resting - but oh, is the mind every moving.  I have been writing a new story.  Formulating a new novel.  It's been about 10 years since I wrote my last one, maybe its high time I returned to something I truly love doing.

I'd love to write my Aunt's story - the story of her life.  I already have the characters and a lot of the pieces of the puzzle, but there is research to be done, which is another aspect of writing that really pleases me.

I can do this - with my eyes closed!

Well, you know what I mean...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


I love to use the first good snowfall of the season for an opportunity to take my camera for a walk.

I know a lot of you don't love the snow - but I really do.  There is something so quiet and peaceful about snow.  It says Shhhh.... no talking - just look.

After Gary and I dug our driveway out on Saturday, I decided to spend a little more time outside taking some pictures.  I had plenty of great subject matter, and I went no further than the edge of my property.

Here are some of the beautiful images I was able to catch...

In my garden

Heavy Laden

The Colours of Winter

One Last Sing


In The Dark

None of these images would have looked quite the same, without snow.  One good wind, and all the snow that is clinging will be gone - and so will my beautiful subject matter - but I was lucky - I went for a walk before the wind blew.

I decided to send one of my photos to our local TV station on the weekend, and yesterday the photo that is on the top of my blog was featured on the 6 o'clock news.  My 3 seconds of fame come and gone so quickly, but I was happy to share the snow with the rest of Manitoba, and maybe even some of Canada.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I don't usually post on a Saturday, but today is a perfect day to be sitting at my computer writing, so here I am.

Did you see my cover picture?  Well that explains, why I am sitting at my computer writing.  We are getting snow - a LOT of snow.  It started overnight and is supposed to leave us 20-25 cm by the time it is through.

It's a very gentle falling snow - not the type we usually get here in Manitoba, I suspect it is filled with water and if the temperatures warmed enough it would be gone, but I can't see that happening, so I guess it is ours until spring.

It's been a slow day.  I finished the last of my projects for my sale on Thursday evening, yesterday I finished pricing and packing everything up, so today is sort of a rest day for me.

Even though my sale hasn't come and gone yet - my mind is already on my next major project.  This one occurs Dec 10th.  I am playing my first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.  I am not stranger to this service, I have sung it many times in the choir, and have heard it many years when our Son was a boy chorister.  It is one of my favourite events of Christmas.  It is a simple service of the nine lessons ( readings) of Christmas, and the singing of many many carols.

Our little church doesn't have a choir to sing some of the music, so I decided I would play selections where a choir would normally sing - so I will be playing 17 carols - some to be sung, and some just me and the organ.

It's quite the undertaking for me the non-organist, but the organ and I are starting to really get to know one another, so I think we will do fine!

Today I decided that perhaps I should get out some popular Christmas music and start practicing that for the nursing home.  I have a huge Christmas book with nice arrangements so this morning I started practicing.

At the back of this book there are some more challenging Christmas and New Years songs.  One I forgot was in there, is one I really love.


The music for this piece was written by Georg Christoph Strattner - an Austrian born composer from the 1600's.  It is a beautiful piece of music that always tears me up when I play it... and I'm not sure why.

Same thing happened this morning when I played it, and I was so moved that when I finished playing the song I bent over and kissed the keys of my piano.

I have no idea why - I have never done that before, but just at that moment I was so very thankful for the gift of music, and for my ability to play it.

Right on the heels of that kiss came another thought - I am so very thankful that my parents gave me the opportunity to learn to play the piano.  Even though they had little money for frivolous things back then, they somehow found a way to buy a piano and pay for lessons with a Registered  Conservatory teacher.  Their actions have given me a lifetime of pleasure, comfort and purpose, because of everything I do - I love to play the piano the most.

So many times in my life, I have turned to my instrument -  whether it be a keyboard,  upright, or spinet, whether it be electronic, hammer, or air.  I have turned to it for that which nothing else can give me...  Comfort, peace, or pure enjoyment.  My life just would not be the same without it.

So on this snowy day, once more - one song has taken me here - to share this experience with you.

My oh My - how lucky I am.

(Words by  Rev. Henry Downton 1843)

For thy mercy and thy grace,
Constant through another year,
Hear our song of thankfulness,
Father, our Redeemer, hear.

Lo! our sins on thee we cast,
Thee, our perfect sacrifice,
And, forgetting all the past,
Press towards our glorious prize.

Dark the future; let thy light
Guide us, bright and morning star;
Fierce our Foes, and hard the fight,
Arm us, Saviour for the war.

In our weakness and distress,
Rock of strength , be thou our stay;
In the pathless wilderness
Be our true and living way.

Who of us death's awful road
In the coming year shall tread,
With thy rod and staff, O God,
Comfort thou his dying bed.

Keep us faithful, keep us pure,
Keep us evermore thine own.
Help, O help us to endure;
Fit us for the promised crown.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Did you have a close look at the picture on my Blog header.? The beautiful egg with the crystal tree in it, was made by my Aunt Margaret.

Aunt Margaret started "making" eggs in the early 1970's, starting with simple designs drawn or decoupaged onto chicken eggs. Her inspiration was the gorgeous Faberge eggs, known the world over. 
 She brought a couple of her early eggs up to show my Mom, and our friend Dianne and I, and the "Winnip"Eggers" (as we called ourselves) were born!

We all started our hobby working with chicken eggs, but soon we were sourcing duck, and goose eggs to make larger egg creations.  Aunt Margaret went even further - working with Rhea and Ostrich eggs.

Here are some of her beautiful creations from her work over the years.  She had many display cabinets full of her eggs, I wish I had taken more pictures.

This shows a variety of chicken and goose eggs...

The teapot on the left, with the scene built inside of it is made from and Ostrich Egg.  The one on the far right is made from a double yolked goose egg.  Note that she has cut away( with a Dremel) both eggs at the front and built scenes inside each egg - the one on the right holds a miniature set of china tea cups.

My Wedding Cake top was an egg that Aunt Margaret made for us, with a Bride and Groom inside it.  It broke in transit when we moved back to Canada from the USA.   I haven't been able to find a picture of it yet, unfortunately.

Most of the eggs that Mom and I made were for the Christmas tree.  Eggs that she and I made together over 40 years ago, still decorate my Christmas tree every year.  

I did make a few novelty eggs however, and as you can see mine took a slightly different twist than My Aunt Margaret's.

Outhouse, Snowmobile and a 10 Commandments egg, made from a goose egg, with each opening segment decorated with a charm from my Childhood bracelet.

A wood stove, and coach and a ballerina  - all made from goose eggs.

An Iron Lung made from a goose egg 
( I was working as a RN in a post-polio ward at the time I made this)

My Mom and a few of her eggs...

Mom's egg "Wedgwood" set, and her hanging egg "Mugs"

Mom cleaning goose eggs with a hose at Aunt Margaret's

One thing I have noticed is the difference in the quality of photos.  All the pictures of my and my Mom's eggs were taken in the 1970's  - all with film cameras - no digital yet in those days.

Aunt Margaret's eggs were taken about 7 yrs ago, with a digital camera.  So much better.

Most of my Mom's eggs and mine are long gone, except the Christmas tree eggs.  I do have a few of her other eggs still in a cabinet, but I don't take them out much any more as with age they become more and more fragile.

Even the eggs I hang on my tree every year require some repair each year.  Every year that I hang them on the tree I tell myself it will be the last, because if they fall there will be nothing left to salvage - but then I think of my tree without them, and I just can't imagine how horrible that would be.

It was a hobby enjoyed by Dianne, Mom, Aunt Margaret and myself - we did it together, often times sitting long into the evening and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.   Together -  cutting, painting, gluing, trimming, decorating and creating in the most wonderful environment of friendship, family, fun, and creativity. 

I miss those days - 

I miss those women.... 

Monday, October 30, 2017


I want to say a very heart-felt Thank You to everyone who read my tribute blog to my Aunt Margaret.  So far 148 people have read her story, and it makes me so proud and happy to know that her tribute was read by so many people.   All who have known her, loved her - and all who loved her, feel her loss just as I do.  

She would be the first to say - "Okay - now get back to finishing up the stuff for your sale this week!"

And that is exactly what I am trying to do.  My sale is this Sunday November 5th and although I am all but done  - there are a few last things that I am dragging my heals on.  But I will get them done, and most likely it will be on the last day before the sale.

Winter has come to our little neck of the woods.  We got some snow overnight on Friday, and then yesterday we got more, along with a significant wind.  Today it's snowing with freezing rain mixed in there, and the wind is blowing from the north.   I fear the white stuff is here to stay now, as our forecast calls for snow all week long.

I just took these photos from my upstairs studio window a few minutes ago  You can see the blowing snow on this first one...

If it continues at this rate all week - I will have to take another picture!

I finally have better sample pictures of some of the mug rugs and a few other things that I will have for sale this weekend.

New designs for the mug rugs designs added this year are Barns, Grain Elevator, and Teacher.  As well I will have vintage campers, Christmas, 

a couple of plaques

Door hangers...


Jewelry Hanger

I will also have angels, bears, some angel kits, tree ornaments, and a few other surprises.

So that's a wrap for today.

Please stay safe everyone, especially if you are out walking or driving in this stormy weather.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


I lost a very important person in my life last week.  My Aunt Margaret passed away on October 19th, at the age of 99yrs and eight months.  While I rejoice in her long and mostly healthy life, I also mourn her very deeply.

This post is dedicated to her memory.

My Aunt Margaret was the eldest child born to my Paternal Grandparents, Charles and Mable Fischer. When she was just 16 yrs old, her Mother passed away, shortly after giving birth to her 11th child, leaving Margaret to care for her 10 siblings ranging in ages from newborn to 15 yrs.  Margaret had help from her 15 yr old brother John, and her 14 yr old brother Joe (my Dad), but for the next couple of years of her young life she was devoted to caring for her large family.

She married a couple of years later, and had her first child in 1937.  Her second child arrived in 1942.  Her first marriage ended in divorce, as did her second.  She married Tom, the love of her life, in 1964; but that marriage ended after only 11 yrs, when her beloved Tom suddenly passed away.

By this time, Aunt Margaret was only 46 yrs old!

My memories of Aunt Margaret go back to early childhood.  She was the Aunt from the "States", that we picked up from the bus station every year.  She was the Aunt that always carried a suitcase filled with Chocolate bars or some other treats for every one of her Canadian nieces and nephews when she visited.  She was the Aunt that always looked like a fashion model, always smiled, and always made me cry when she had to get back on that bus to return home after her visits.

As the years moved forward and I grew up, we continued to see each other every year.  But now I visited her just like she had always visited us.

When I married, we lived within a couple of hours from each other.  We spent many weekends together, and often times she took the bus into Chicago and stayed for a week.

She taught me so much.  She taught me how to make things, she taught me about my family history.  She listened when I was the one who needed to talk, and she never judged.  She refused to take sides, and if she did - you never found out which side won.  She showed me nothing but love, kindness, goodness, humour.  She was my Aunt, but she was also my Mom, when I needed one, My sister, when I needed one, and my best friend, whether I needed one or not!

Most people will remember her first by the creations she made.  Everyone who knew her, has those creations in their homes.  I remember her first for her love, her strength and her goodness.   She was a woman who had experienced much by the time she was 50, and yet she was never cross, bitter or angry.

Life  gave Aunt Margaret plenty of lemons, and yes she made some lemonade, but she also made lemon pie and lemon butter.  She would have squeezed that lemon over her fish and salads until there was no juice left.  She would have scooped out the seeds, used the pulp to polish her copper, dried the rind to make potpourri, and then she would have put the seeds in a pot and grown a lemon tree! That was my Auntie Margaret!  She wasted nothing - not the lemons... not her life!

I see young women today getting all excited about attending  presentations about the Empowerment of Women, given by key note speakers, and I think about my Aunt Margaret.  She was from a generation of women, who were empowered without the aid of rallies, conferences and well paid speakers.

Her empowerment came from circumstances in her life that led her no options but to use her will to survive.  And survive she did.  She became a professional floral designer, a seamstress.  She worked out of the home and in it.  She raised her children, and forged her own destiny, with little to help her but her own determination fuelled by her knowledge of human compassion, and her faith.

She was quite frankly, the best person I have ever known.

This past week has been filled with memories she left with me, memories I have always treasured, and will treasure for the rest of my days.

She signed every letter she sent  -   Love and God Bless, Aunt Margaret.

She was so right - God surely Blessed me by giving me the Love of my Auntie Margaret -  it will never fade in my heart.

And so I say Goodbye to one I loved so very much - We will meet again, of that I am sure!

Rest Well, most precious one -

Monday, October 16, 2017


I haven't knit anything in awhile.  The last thing I needed to do right now is start yet another project, but somehow I found myself looking for a pr of size 9 needles on Saturday afternoon to start the hat pattern that I posted here on Friday.

I had been busy appliqueing my vintage camper mug rugs all morning and my intentions were to keep at it until I had finished the pile that needed to be done, but my mind was on the hat pattern.   I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee, and didn't make it back upstairs to my mug rugs for the rest of the day.

Instead I knit a hat.  It is one of the easiest hat patterns I have ever made, and now that I see it done - one of the nicest when done.  For the moment the flowers are just pinned on - I like both, so I might just have to knit another hat!

I used some of my leftover stash yarn.  This was just Bernat Supervalue worsted weight acrylic yarn.  I used 5.5 mm straight needles.

Here is the Hat pattern for you.  I am adding some simple instructions in case this is your first time making a hat.

Adult knit hat.
Cast on 70 sts.
Beginning with a Purl row, knit 4" in stocking stitch, ending with a purl row... this is your brim.

Continue knitting stocking stitch  for 26 more rows.

Next Row begins Decrease for top.

Decrease Row 1:     * knit 3, knit 2 together; repeat from * across.
Purl next row
Decrease Row 2:   *knit 2, knit 2 together; repeat from * across.
Purl next row
Decrease Row 3 :     *knit 1, knit 2 together; repeat from * across.
Purl next row.
Decrease Row 4:    *Knit 2 together; repeat from * across.

Bind off, leaving a long tail.

With right sides together sew together along the top and down the sides until you reach 4" from the bottom of the brim.  Turn hat right side out, and starting at the bottom sew the bottom 4" closed. ( you won't see the brim seam)
 Roll brim up over the hat, and add flower if you so desire.

This is a nice warm winter hat, anyone would be happy to wear.  Make a few and gift them for Christmas.

I am going to work up a pattern for a child size one of these as well, will share it when I get it done.

Now back to my vintage campers!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, October 13, 2017


I told you the story yesterday about the sweet elderly woman I ran into at the recycle store, and I also told you I was there to drop off some things myself.

What I didn't tell you, was that when the little elderly lady first walked into the store, she caught me bent over  and rooting through a very large box of old patterns and magazines.

Like bees to honey, I had zoned into that box like it was Christmas.  Most of the Magazines were McCall's Needlework and Crafts from the 1980's, but there also was a few old knitting pattern books.

I have a large collection of old knitting books from the 30's 40's 50's 60's... and beyond.  But I didn't have the one I put aside on the floor to take home.

So call me crazy, but I love these old magazines.  You just never know what you will find.

Like for instance:

Hats and Scarves by Beehive.  No publication date on it - most of the old books don't have one, and neither did this one.

But if any of you are wishing for patterns for any of these intriguing hats - I now have them, and would be happy to share!


30's or 40's for sure... and aren't they, well stylish?

I have a lot of old McCall's magazines, so I didn't cart home too many, but the ones I did take home are packed with some neat stuff.

The first thing that hit me when I opened them was Big Hair.  Remember the 80's and the big hair?  Oh how I loved big hair... and on some subconscious level, I must admit, I still do.

Take a look at how we wore our hair back then...


I actually think I had every one of these styles... my favourite would have been the first one, for sure.  I wore that particular style for many years, thanks to grey rods and frequent perms.  A perm was only 35.00 back in the 80's.

Some things about the 80's

Geese were in - in particular, geese with blue ribbons around their necks!

One of the major crafting pastimes of the 80's was soft cloth doll making... hmmm...

There was something that looked suspiciously like mug rugs  - but they called them quilted pot holders...

Doilies were still being made - and used!

I sifted through the patterns and found a couple that would be worn even today...


The patterns are in the magazines, if you are interested, let me know...

I did find a winter hat that I really liked.  I love the shape of it, and I think I have some yarn in my stash to make one.   Winter is just around the corner for us - and it just might come in handy.  I am just going to make mine in a single colour, however.

Here's the pattern in case you want to try one for yourself.  Needles listed were size 7 and 9. (US)

Hope you enjoyed the 80's remembrance, it's always good to go back once in awhile, is it not?

Have Great Weekend everyone - please stay safe!