Monday, October 16, 2017

A NICE BREAK!

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

A BIG HAIR DAY!

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!








Thursday, October 12, 2017

WHEN PATHS CROSS.

Yesterday we took a bunch of things to the recycle store here in town.  As you know, I love to stop in there and see what's new from time to time.  But this time I was there to drop things off.

While I was there, an elderly woman walked in the door and asked if I worked there.  I told her that no one worked here really, there were volunteers who came in once a week to organize and clean through things, but the rest of the time the shop was just left open for anyone who wanted to bring or take items.  She told me she was from another town, but remembered that our town had a recycle place where anyone could drop off used items.

She told me she had lots of stuff to bring in from her car, and her voice sort of had a catch to it, when she said that.  I asked her if she would like me to help her, and she immediately brightened and said yes.

She wasn't kidding, she had many heavy large black garbage bags, two suitcases and two large duffle bags full of stuff.  As we unloaded her car, she told me that the bags and cases were full of her sister's clothes.  Her sister had passed away and she was left to clear out her home.

There is a very large table at the back of the store where most people put new items, so I opened the first case and started piling things on the table.  She told me she had washed and folded everything, so I made neat piles, and carefully stacked the almost new clothes on the table.  The items were so many that we soon ran out of room on the table.  There were tops, sweaters, pants, hoodies, jackets, socks, shoes, purses, bags, hats, even stockings still in packages.  I asked her if she wanted to take the suitcases and carry-on bags back with her, and she said no  - they too had belonged to her sister.

As we unpacked the clothes, she would stop, and say how she remembered her sister wearing an item.  The first one she held up was a pretty blouse, size 14.  Then a sweater, size 12.  Then a jacket, size small, and last a size 10 jean jacket brand new.  Tears came to the woman's eyes as she then reached for a soft wooly zippered sweater which was very tiny.  "She wore this a lot at the end, because she was always so cold,"  and then she burst in tears.

She had just told me the story of her sister, without saying the words.

So I told her one back.

There is a family who regularly comes to the recycle store - a mother, and three children ages approx 6-14  The mother gathers up items of clothing, then sits on the floor and examines every piece she has selected.  She neatly folds the items and makes piles. I have seen her and her children in the recycle store many many times over the summer months.   One day when I was in there, she was doing this.  She told me, she only takes things she thinks will fit herself or her children, so she sorts the piles out by size first.  I told her that was a good thing, and then she said, " and I bring back anything that doesn't fit, or I pass it along to someone else who can use it."

I told the elderly woman that I was very sure her sister's belongings would go to someone who needed them very much, and then I told her about the other woman and her young family.

She smiled, and thanked me for being so helpful, and so kind to her.

I said goodbye, wished her a good day and left the store.  As I drove away, I thought about her last words to me.  In my mind, I had done nothing special at all.  Surely anyone would have offered to help an elderly lady remove heavy bags from her car, carry them up a couple of steps and deposit them on a table.  I would certainly hope so anyway.

In the end, I was glad I had the chance to be the one to meet and help her.  I think she just needed someone to tell her that it was okay to say goodbye to her sister in yet another way - and she needed the reassurance that her sister's possessions would make someone else as happy as they had her Dear loved one, now gone.

She will never know that she touched me, as much as she said I did her - but she did.  I'm thankful God directed our paths to cross...






Wednesday, October 11, 2017

KEEP TRYING TILL YOU GET IT RIGHT!

I am such a fuss fart when it comes to making things.  If something I make isn't done right, or doesn't look right, I tear it apart and redo it - or I throw it out.  I can't tell you how many things I have chucked over the years because I just plain wasn't happy with it.

I was taught to be fussy, and to do it right, or don't do it at all.  Give it your all, or go home!

Harsh advice?  Not if you intend to sell your items or give them as a gift.  If you are a child, or you have a handicap that prevents you in some way of perfecting something - then fine; but if you are capable of doing better - then do better.

I spend hours on my projects... probably more hours than I should.  In actual fact I am most likely working for pennies an hour - but that's not why I craft.  I craft to make nice things, to use my skills, to make other's happy by sharing or gifting my talents.  Mostly I do it because I love to craft.  I love to create something from not much, I love to use my brain, my eyes and my hands creating something useful, or not useful; something cute, something pretty...

Last week I tried out a new pattern for a little soft-bodied angel.  My first mistake was using a very soft velour-like fabric to make the body, legs and hands.  The material was miserable to sew, it wandered all over as I sewed it, - not fun when one is sewing tiny pieces with curves.   After several hours of choice words and lots of seam ripping, I finally had completed one!  Yeah?

No Yeah!  It wasn't right.  I hated the puckery wings, the face looked stupid... definitely not a Yeah.  I gave up went to bed, and tossed and turned, my mind completely engaged on how to make the angel better.  I heard the clock strike 1, then 2, then 3...

By the time I had figured it out, morning had arrived, and so I headed back upstairs to make the changes.

Perfect... I was so pleased, so I quickly cut the second one and finished it in less than an hour, and it too was perfect.

Here's the before and after of the first angel... see what a night without sleep can do?

BEFORE:
What was wrong?   The wings looked like fingers, and the face and hair didn't seem right.


AFTER:
I threw away the first set of wings and
made a new pair with a different
material entirely.  I added more hair and I moved
her hand down to cover the mouth (like a polite yarn) and not the nose.





Why make one, when you can have two...

I named them Joe and Erna, after my parents!



As you can see, being fussy made all the difference in my angels.

I am satisfied with them now, and can sell them knowing they are the best they can be.

In the end it's very simple.

If you made it and don't like it - chances are no one else will either!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

GROWING OLDER

Long weekends don't have the same attraction as they used to.  When I was working full time, they were the most cherished weekends, but now, there is nothing exciting about them at all.  In fact weekends themselves have less meaning than they used to.  To retired folks, the weekend is just like any other days of the week. 

This past Thanksgiving weekend felt just the same as any other to us.  Other than make a larger meal than I usually do, it passed just as most weekends do.  We did have some family come to help us eat the turkey dinner and spend a nice evening with us - and certainly that was the high point of the weekend, but the rest of the weekend passed by just as the rest do.

Life certainly is a process of stages, and I suppose events in our lives happen the way they are meant to happen.  But in every stage of our lives, there are changes and we have to make those changes whether we want to or not.

Growing older is not an option, it happens to us all.  It is a stage that sneaks up on us when we are busy living our lives to the fullest.  If we are lucky, it can be a wonderful change, but it's not always and easy one.

When you become the oldest generation in your family, things happen in reverse.  You become the visited, not the visitor.  It takes very little to be "out of the loop".  Is that because others think because you are older and retired you no longer care about life?  Or maybe they think you no longer really have a life?

It seems that when you no longer have a "job" you no longer have an identity.  You are only leading a productive life when you are employed.

Have we always thought these things?  Maybe we have.

It's a misguided notion to believe that because someone has retired from the working world, that they are no longer productive or involved in life.  In many ways people who have quit working for an employer become more productive in their own personal lives.  instead of working for someone else - they work for themselves - and successfully too.

Some retired people take the knowledge they gained in the working world and use it to make something wonderful happen in their retired life.

The Patronizing words "We are so busy", that so many people use, don't only apply to the working world...

In fact, I can say very truthfully, that both Gary and I are busier people in retirement than we ever were when we were working.  We are involved in our community more, we are out more, we socialize more, and we are more physically active...  I guess you could say "We are so busy"!

And we are retired...

Friday, October 6, 2017

I AM THANKFUL!

While I was making cabbage rolls yesterday morning, Gary was busy cutting the grass, and generally cleaning up the yard.  I would glance out my kitchen window and wish I were outside with him, working maybe one last time in the yard before winter falls.  That was my thought - but my vision was constantly drawn to my little "shed garden".  Remember the shed fiasco of last spring?  I made a little flower bed to go around the shed, but then when the shed was moved again, I just made the garden a little larger and connected the two sides with a middle.

Last year I plopped all kinds of things in that flower bed, mostly perennials.  And then last fall I planted the Canada 150 tulips.

The flowerbed has the worst soil - I have added nothing to it since I dug it out of the grass.  This spring it started with the most gorgeous tulips, then summer arrived, and even through the drought it gave me sweet peas, cone flowers, lilies, Iris, delphiniums, and more.  There was constant colour in that bed all summer long.  Because it was so dry all summer, and I watered so little I cut everything, except the Echinacea's down in early September.  Then we finally got some rain, and all of a sudden I started to see colour once again.

Now, once again, it is giving me a beautiful show of colour in fall plants.  The fall blue grass takes my breath away, as does the clump of fall blue daisies ( which actually are purple) in this soil.  I have a lovely little  Red Sedum, and the Delphiniums that I cut down in September have decided they are not yet ready to be pushed aside, and are blooming again.  Well done, my little garden!

I just had to take a break from the cabbage rolls and take my camera outside to capture my flowerbed's last hurrah!

For all the joy this bed has given me this year, I vow to give it some new soil and some wonderful manure come spring...


aren't theses daisies adorable?


and this gorgeous Red Sedum, just perfect for fall...


                                                     Even without their petals, the Echinacea's are still pretty






I was down on my knees taking pictures of the garden, and when I struggled to my feet and looked up, this is what I saw.  Oh My Gosh, could anything be so pretty and not get a camera pointed at it?




I am so Thankful that I live where I do - in this peaceful little country town, where everywhere I look, I see something that brings a smile to my lips and a comfort to my heart.



Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian family and friends.  Whatever you do this weekend, do it with Peace, Love and Joy!



Thursday, October 5, 2017

TIME TO MAKE CABBAGE ROLLS!

It's time to make cabbage rolls!  Thanksgiving is this weekend and I usually have them done a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

Things kind of snuck up on me this year... more because of the calendar than anything else.  I thought I had another week to go before Thanksgiving, based only on my birthday!  My birthday always falls on or around Thanksgiving, but not, it seems, this year.

But I get it now - so instead of being prepared, I am scrambling to catch up.

I don't know why I am fussing about it anyway, it's just the two of us this year, but even if that is the case, I still like to hold with tradition and make the nice big meal.  In actual fact, I am happy about cooking the big meal, even if we don't have help eating it, because it will mean lots of leftovers, so also lots of extra time in the studio getting ready for my sale.

The other day I finally sat down and started pricing and packing some of the things I have already made, and I am quite surprised at how much I have ready.  I haven't finished the 30 mug rugs yet, for some reason I think they will be the last thing I work on before the sale.  Instead I have been making a few different things to add to the table.

I re-purposed a jewelry stand I had picked up years ago.  It once was painted baby blue and had a cowboy hat on the top peg.  I cut that off, and created another space to hang a necklace or a bracelet, and I shabby'd it up a bit.  I like how it turned out...



I finished 2 plaques.  Welcome Friends and Flakes, is embroidered, and the one with the sheep is painted, and embellished with fabric and yarn.


and I finished up three Christmas door hangers...


Now I am working on a blue jean stocking, and a couple of adorable sleepy-headed angels...

But first it's to the kitchen I go, to make those cabbage rolls.

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, October 2, 2017

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...

I am in serious jeopardy of dating myself with this post - but I have been thinking about my words from my last post, reflecting on what went wrong with us as a society, and somehow it led to this...

Whatever happened to...

I am sure any one of us old enough to have lived over 50 years - okay - busted - over 60 yrs plus can finish that sentence in any number of ways.  In fact it would be a hoot, if you all could add to this list by making a comment here on my blog - wouldn't it  be awesome to see what we come up with?  And this is not limited to us old geezers either, the world changes so fast that even the young could contribute to this one.

So - Whatever happened to neighbourhood corner grocery stores?  Remember those?  Where the store owner was the butcher, who knew every kid's name in the community.  He charmed the Mom's when they stopped in to get some fresh meat for the supper meal, he joked with the Dad's when they went to pay the tab once a month, and he slipped the odd free candy in the neighbourhood child's tiny little paper candy sac, with a pat on the head, and the words " You be good now".  This was the favourite "hangout" for neighbourhood kids.  Any day of the week ( except Sunday) you could see a pile of bikes lying on the ground in front of the door while the children were inside, going up and down the candy isle, trying to choose how to spend the 5 cents they clutched in their small hands.

Whatever happened to school uniforms?  When I was a child, even public school children wore a school uniform.  Girls wore black tunics with the school crest sewn to the front.  Every August we took a trip downtown to Eaton's Department store to order a new school uniform before school started in September.  It wasn't always a brand new uniform that we got though - Eaton's encouraged patrons to trade in a uniform that any child had outgrown, so if your parents were tight for money, you still got a uniform that fit you, for a much reduced price... What genius!  Every child wore the same uniform, regardless of their parents social status... one less stress taken away from a child on the school playground!

Whatever happened to elevator operators?  Speaking of Eaton's and every other very large department store with more than one floor ... when you stepped on an elevator to go up or down, there was a woman or a man standing there with a uniform, hat and white gloves by the control panel of the elevator.  "Going UP" or "Going down" were the first words you heard.  You would tell the operator what floor you wanted and away you would go.  Every floor was announced and a patron's request was never forgotten.

Whatever happened to games ? like  Evey, Ivy, Over....  Knock on Ginger;  Jacks;  Pin the tail on the donkey; Musical chairs; The Hokey Poky; Marbles in the snow?  Every childhood game - these and many many more, required a group of children to play them.  There was no solitary game playing, children played in groups.  They socialized in groups.  Children "Called On" each other, and if that child was not yet ready to come outside and play, his friends were allowed to wait quietly in the living room or on the front steps.

Whatever happened to Sunday family dinners?  Make plans for Sunday?  Not likely, first you went to church in the morning, you could play outside in the afternoon, but then everyone got dressed back up in their Sunday best and met at Grandma's house, or an aunt or uncle's house.  It was a rotation that went on year round, someone in the family always had Sunday dinner, and everyone else always attended.  Family get togethers were not left to "Special Occasions" like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter... every Sunday was a special occasion and family was what made every Sunday special.

Whatever happened to clotheslines?  Remember those barbaric looking structures that stood in every woman's back yard, and was filled and refilled for days at a time?  You could look across the fences all across the street and see clothes flapping in the breeze.  The best part of those structures was presented to you when you tucked into bed at night.  You could close your eyes and smell the sun.  Try as they have, no company has ever produced that scent yet - the scents keep getting stronger and stronger making our clothes smell worse every time we dry them... perhaps they need to wash some clothes and hang them outside to dry - then crawl in bed and go to sleep... to get it!

Whatever happened to walking to school every day with your friends?  There were creeps lurking when I was a child, just as there are today.  But all the kids met on a corner and walked in a group to school, and the same back home again.  Along the way we talked, we laughed, we even sang songs... and definitely in the spring, out came the marbles and we played all the way home, sometimes for hours.

Whatever happened to CGIT?  Those of you who are not from Canada will maybe not know what this is.  Canadian Girls In Training was an organization. much like Brownies and Girl Guides, geared towards pre-teens.  I couldn't wait to wear their signature white blouse with the sailor collar, and blue silk scarf tie.

Whatever happened to TV Variety shows?   Do you remember them?  Good clean entertainment for everyone in the family.  Shows that families looked forward to watching together every week.  The Ed Sullivan Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Red Skelton Show, The Carol Burnet Show.  Surely there are entertainers today who are talented enough to pull off a show like this?  Music, dance, comedy...well maybe not, thats a tall order indeed... and I'll bet it just wouldn't pay enough...

The absence of some of these things may seem trivial - but small things are not always small things.  When you take away the corner grocery store, you take away the opportunity for the community to  be a community.

When you take away a school uniform, you leave opportunity for freedom of expression - yes - but you also leave opportunity for superiority, jealousy, you divide the classes into another form of class... one that is not desirable unless you are at the top.

When children no longer play as friends on their streets and playgrounds, they no longer have confidants, buddies, the opportunity to choose a best friend, one they very well may know for the rest of their lives.

When you take away clotheslines, you lose the sun in your laundry, but you might also lose a short neighbourly chat with the woman next door in between loads, a chat that might lead to a cup of tea and a restful few moments talking with someone like yourself with concerns such as yourself.

When you lose organizations like the CGIT, and Girl Guides, you lose the opportunity for children to learn values that are common to all mankind, some which might not be taught in the home.  You take away experiences that some children might never get to experience anywhere else,  like singing Christmas carols to patients in a hospital, delivering hampers to the needy...

When you lose TV shows for the whole family - you get what we have now.  Shows filled with violence, profanity, greed, challenge, unkindness, unfairness, selfishness, and more...

Whatever happened to... Our World?

Discuss...






Friday, September 29, 2017

IN MY CORNER!

Well that's it - another week wrapped up and committed to memory.  Hope it was a good one for everyone - or at least I hope we all had some good moments along with the not so good.

I refuse to blog about politics and all the other things we all see and hear every day on the news and on the internet.  You can get all you want of that stuff anywhere else you go - I have always intended Erndales to be a place where you are guaranteed to get away from the pressures of everyday life.  And I hope it is.  But I do want to say that our world is a mess, so much misery and horrible things happening the world over.   Sometimes it is very hard to shut all that out, and write only about my own little corner of the world.

Maybe some say, " What's with this woman - the world is falling apart, bad things going on everywhere, and all she cares about it crafts and gardening, and photography, music!"

I care, I worry, sometimes I wonder how we will ever survive this world of ours.  I don't live in a dream world  - I just choose to not write about it here.

I have had bad things done to me and to my family, I have hurt, and I do hurt.  I have fought cancer, I have seen much pain and agony in others and have experienced it myself.

But I have also seen the most incredible sunsets, the beautiful change of seasons, the wonders of nature.  I have seen the kindness of people I know and people I don't know.  I have felt the comfort of arms wrapped around my shoulders when I cry,  and I have heard the words of encouragement spoken to me, when I have needed them most.  I have felt the love of my family, and of people that I have yet to meet face to face.

I look for the good, I look for the beauty, I look for the happy. It's how I choose to live my life.  If that's living in a dream world - then so be it.

One of my brothers made a comment about my Heroes blog.  His words "That was very special, right from the heart, the way we were brought up."  I wondered about his choice of words when I read them, but after I thought about it for awhile, I had to agree that he was completely right.

"From the Heart", was how we were raised, and for some of us, it has been how we lived our entire lives.  I can't tell you how many times I have been accused of being "To soft"!  My heart is involved in everything I do, which hasn't always given me the outcome I want, but that has less to do with my heart, than someone else's.

The world is beautiful, it's the people in it who mess it up.  It's our choice how we decide to move through it.

Have a safe and happy weekend everyone - and if you need me.... I'll be in my own beloved corner of the world!

Much Love to you all!


Thursday, September 28, 2017

IN LOVE WITH AN ANGEL!

A quick note on yesterday's post.
I apologize for the errors in my poem - auto correct is so frustrating, and it's really hard to catch things when your emotions are swept away with your words to the point you can't see clearly through your very own tears.

But everything is corrected now, including the totally inaccurate description of Batman as the Black Knight.  He is in fact the Dark Knight - and if anyone should know this, it should be the Mother of a son who has loved everything to do with Batman all his life.  I am so proud that I actually caught that mistake all on my own, before Jonathan did.  He would have never let me live it down, for sure!



Back to today's post...

I had set this week aside to complete items for my sale that I have started and not quite finished.

For instance, when I make mug rugs, I cut out and applique many at at time, that way I am not always having to change settings on my sewing machine, or switch my iron ( I have one that is very gucked up that I use for applique).

So I end up with 30 mug rugs, that are really not yet mug rugs, they are the top half of the mug rug.  I still have to cut backs and batting, sew them together and then quilt them.

Monday I sewed all the backs and put the batting in all the mug rugs I have been designing, and all that is left to do is to quilt them.  I had intended on doing that on Tuesday, and getting them out of my way.
But in the morning I didn't feel like mug rugs, so instead I worked on a very large angel - my denim angel.  I started her over a month ago, making her body, legs and arms and I cut out her wings.

After I gathered up all her pieces I got an idea... Because she is made almost entirely of denim, I decided to make a lace cover for the front of her wings, so I crazy quilted scraps of laces and trims until I had pieces large enough to cover the denim.  Her wings turned out better than I imagined.  I am so happy with them.

I put her legs and arms on her body and started to dress her.  Her body forms her shirt, so I didn't have to sew a dress, just a piece for her skirt.  I added some more lace to her body, and around her waist. and made a denim flower for her waist.

She needed hair - and I wanted long hair that I could braid.  I remember watching my mother make doll wigs for my cloth dolls when I was small, so I thought - why not try it and see if it works.

I had a ball of reddish mohair, so I cut many long lengths and sewed them together down the middle with the sewing machine, it was so easy I did two sections so she could have lovely thick hair.  I glued her wig onto her head and then braided it - it too, turned out better than I imagined!

Her wings went on next, some accessories, like a tiny little vintage butterfly barrette on one of her pigtails, a little braid around her wrists, some laces for her boots, and she was almost done.

All that is left is to give her a face.  Because a face can either make or break a cloth doll, I am leaving that until I am in the mood to paint...

I am going to sell her - but she's not going cheap.  This is a one of a kind angel.  I am in fact rather in love with her myself.  She is an item I would love to give as a special gift to someone I love, and I might change my mind and do that in the end.

Here is she - still without expression on her face - but really cute in every other way.









Wednesday, September 27, 2017

HEROES


Yesterday was a very special little boy's 11th birthday.  He started his day in bed vomiting and with a severe headache, much like he starts every day.  Without being told, I know his Mom gave him some Gravol to ease the nausea, and probably some pain medication as well.  He ended up sleeping until the mid afternoon, when he woke up asking for his Birthday supper and his cake.

His mother spent her day being angry and upset, having to see her little boy spend a second birthday in such condition, knowing that perhaps he may spend yet a couple more this way as well.

This little boy, is our beloved Thomas, who is now in his 14th month fighting childhood leukemia.  He's had a cruel and heartbreaking journey so far, and  the longer he travels this road, the harder it seems to become for him and his family.

He should have been at school, he should have been playing soccer at recess with his friends, he should have been able to come home from school with rosy cheeks from a day of suppressed excitement to an evening of birthday celebrations with his family.

Instead he got frequent worried kisses to his brow from his family throughout the day as he slept off his medications.

It's heartbreaking for us who watch this family travel this journey together, this family who are our family, our loved ones, our kin.  It's heartbreaking, and it's frustrating because we want to do something to help - but there is nothing we can do, but pray, and watch and listen, and be there for our loved ones.

I am frustrated because I live so far away - too far to be able to offer my care, to give my niece a day off, to put my own kiss on Thomas' precious brow.

As I worked in my studio yesterday, my thoughts were constantly on this family, on Thomas.  I didn't even realize that I had begin to put together thoughts and words in my head until I went to bed and those thoughts and words fell in line and made perfect sense.

So Thomas, I am a day late, but this is for you, my sweet sweet HERO.

Auntie loves you so very much... I hope today is a better day for you....

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!




HEROES
A poem for Thomas


I don’t believe in Heroes,
I once heard someone say:
They’re fake, they’re fads, myths and more,
They don’t exist today.

Maybe they thought of caped crusaders.
Whose powers have no end.
Face mask wearing, flying wonders,
Shooting webs from their arms like pens.

My Heroes capes are blankets,
And their face masks help them breathe,
Their veins shoot plastic tubing,
Filled with drugs they really need.

Some of my Heroes have no hair,
And some of them can’t walk.
Some of them are so very sick,
They can barely even talk.

My Heroes are just children,
Fighting evil with all their might.
Their courage and strength far outweigh
Some fictional, magic, Dark Knight.

My Hero is a boy named Thomas.
Who just turned 11 today.
He’s the one I believe in,
He’s for which I pray.

Heroes really do exist,
You see that one was wrong,
They’re out there fighting every day,
And they are millions strong.

Dale Graumann
2017

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

IM UNBALANCED!

How did it get to be Tuesday of next week already?  I swear the days fly by so quickly for me, and here I was under the impression that once fall came, I could slow down.

The balance act is on - and guess what?  I am totally unbalanced - but you already knew that, didn't you?

The balance I can't quite seem to manage is work outside, or work inside.  The weather has helped in my decision making somewhat, in that we have had some rainy days, which I am totally thankful for.  Things are greening up so nicely now, and Gary has even had to get the lawn tractor out to mow the grass - something he has not done since the beginning of August.

To tell the truth, I feel some pressure from both side of this balancing act.  Outside work waits - things that have to get done before winter.  Inside work waits - things that have to get made before November 5th - and it just could be that winter arrives around that time as well.  How do I choose?

Mostly I don't, and that seems to be the problem.  I start the day off inside, then wander outside, then wander back inside.  Somehow things are getting done, but I really do feel so unbalanced!

Maybe I am being too hard on myself.  I do know that this is one of the reasons I stopped doing craft sales when I was working full time.  I pushed myself and forced myself to the point that my efforts no longer gave me any pleasure at all.

These days should be different - and they are.  I don't have to push myself, I am more than willing to work inside or outside and I am getting much pleasure out of my work - but I have totally forgotten how to pace myself.

Well - look at that!  I've figured it out!  My problem is not balancing - it's pacing!  Ha!  Who Knew!

I'm so glad I sat down to write this post today.  I've solved one of my own dilemmas.

I'm going to get to work now.

Thanks for dropping by...

Now.... where was I?


Thursday, September 21, 2017

A GREAT WAY TO SPEND A DAY!

Yesterday was a long day.  Gary had to attend a seminar in Brandon, 90 minutes away from our home, so we were up early (before 7) and on the road at 8 am.  After 2 years of retirement we have well adjusted to the concept of not rising before 8am.  In spring when the sun is up early it is easy to get up earlier than 8, but at this time of the year, when the mornings are darker, and cooler, our bodies seem to say - sleep on...

So on the highway we went at 8 am.  It was a cool, cloudy morning, the sun was trying to break up the clouds, and it seemed like no one else was venturing out so early, as for once we pretty much had the highway to ourselves.  By the time we were half way to Brandon, the sun was shining brightly.  We got to Brandon in good time, found the Cathedral where Gary's seminar was being held, and settled in.

After the seminar we hit the stores.  I find it quite amusing, how we have changed in two years.  When you live in a large city, you so take for granted having every convenience at your beck and call.  Rural life, is a bit different.  When I make a shopping list now, it looks something like this -

window blinds - small kitchen window - 22.5 w
New jeans
Tarp - for covering the AC
Those 7W chandelier bulbs ( get lots )
Stock up on hand soap, shampoo, deodorant
New stove

In actual fact - we did get everything on this list - and more.

Did you catch that last item?  Can I shout... YEAH?  You bet I can!   I am so happy to be seeing the end of the ancient stove we acquired with the purchase of this home.  It's been a burr in my butt since we moved here.  It's replacement will arrive early in October - right in time for Thanksgiving dinner preparations!  I can't wait!

We stopped in Neepawa for supper on the way home, and arrived home tired but very satisfied with a day well spent - in every sense of the word.

And this morning - we gladly returned to sleeping in until 8 am.