Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas one and all!

I couldn't let the Christmas Season pass without wishing everyone a warm and wonderful Christmas. I am afraid my little blog has been dreadfully neglected this past few weeks. I hope that soon I can get back to regular blogging again now that the Christmas "crazies" are almost over.

There has been lots going on, some good, some not so good. Our poor daughter had a couple of pipes burst in her house and had a major flood. So now they are in the middle of having walls ripped out and some major remodeling taking place. Will be back in the New Year to talk more and show some pic's.

All in all it was a very good year for our family. I hope that it was for yours too.

See you soon. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, October 30, 2009

It can't be that hard, can it?

I have seen on Etsy for a long time now those cute little acorns that are felted into real acorn caps. Well how hard can it be thought I! I already had the wool part and my lovely former neighbor Rose collected me some acorn caps from her garden. So this weekend, hopefully I will give them a try. I actually have my wish granted for getting a whole extra hour when the clocks go back this weekend. I always love it in the fall when we get to do that. So next week you may see some darling little acorn pictures posted on here. Or you could just see pictures of my poor bandaged fingers as those felting needles are pretty darn sharp.

Yippee, thank goodness it is almost Halloween and I am so happy as I have been nibbling on our Halloween candy stash for the last two weeks. I will be glad to get it out of the house. I so hope that our weather will be dry for all the little trick or treaters.

Well that's it for this week. I am of to go and make some more bath bombs. I did make such lovely ones a couple of days ago but I forgot to take pic's before I sent them to my daughter for the shop. I will try to get some pic's from her to show next week.

Have a wonderful Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I did yesterday

Yesterday was a soap making day. In less than two weeks is our (that would be my daughter and I) first Christmas market. So it was full steam ahead to make sure that we have plenty of products on hand for all the upcoming shows. First up were Peppermint Bars. Next came... ... Lavender Pumpkin Bars... then came...... Lavender Vanilla Bars. Of course you all know me well enough to know that I had to make something that smelled of chocolate. So I made Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bars! Last but not least I finished up with...... some Woodland Soap for men.

My garage smells wonderful (that's where I do my soap making). My hands are lovely and soft and we have quite a bit more product to take to the Christmas craft fairs.

I am hoping that I will still be able to blog on a somewhat regular basis as well as trying to do the craft shows and make more product as orders come in. So if I am gone for a few days I apologize ahead of time.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still making hexies

I am still plodding away with my little hexies. For a change of pace I have been sewing some together just to see what they will look like. So far I am quite pleased with the results. It really is a great carry along project so hopefully they won't take to long to finish. Still deciding on the centers though so I thought I would do those last when I find the right fabric. We had a lovely visit with our daughter over the weekend. Of course I couldn't go empty handed. So I made her a little bucket filled with all kinds of goodies. I even made an early Christmas ornament. A big thanks to Lisa at the lovely blog A Spoonful of Sugar for giving me the idea for that sweet ornament. Fall is well underway in my garden. This is my witch hazel. It really is a wonderful plant to have in the garden. It turns the most beautiful colors in fall and blooms beautifully in winter. It is so nice to look out in the garden and see wonderful flowers when nothing else is awake. Our Japanese maple once again has turned into it's great orange color. Unfortunately it won't stay that way for long as the rain and wind usually strip it of it's leaves pretty quickly. Not everything has changed color. This lovely plant is still nice and green. I thought it looked quite interesting all covered in water droplets.

Well I think it's time for me to go and make some more hexies. Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not straight, undo it!

I loved going to school on Fridays. Not because it was the last day of the week, but because it was the day when I had my very favorite class of all... sewing class.

I always knew that I was never going to be a great scholar, as reading, writing and arithmetic never really had my interest. I quite liked history and geography though. I found learning about the past and new places quite interesting. I also had a cooking and a gardening class which I really liked a lot too. But number one favorite was sewing.

At precisely 2.30pm the class started and ended sharply at 4. I remember the first day I walked into that classroom and saw all the wonderful sewing machines lined up around the room. My heart gave a little flutter of excitement as I envisioned myself sitting there creating wonderful garments, quilts etc.

The sewing classroom was one of the biggest in our school. Partially due to the fact that attached to the room was a very large storage area that held the most wonderful treasures. On seeing the storage area for the first time I thought I would faint dead away. There, on numerous shelves were stacks of the most incredible fabric. The smell of the new fabric almost made me giddy. There was spool after spool of every color thread imaginable. As well as binding, lace, sewing tools and whatever else a sewer could possibly want or need.

Class finally started and I was more than ready. In fact I impatiently and naively asked "What will we be making today, Miss Banks?".

Looking me straight in the eye and bringing me down to earth with a bump she replied "Nothing". We all looked at her just dumbfounded as she went on to explain that for the first couple of weeks we would be learning all the correct sewing terms and the correct way to do hand sewing.

As the weeks went by we did indeed learn all the correct terms and sewed by hand until my poor fingers felt like they had been used as a pincushion. I am pretty sure that I muttered some nasty things about Miss Banks under my breath!

We were all given a very large binder to put our samples of hand sewn seams into. When we had perfected hand sewing the time came for a chance to move on to the sewing machines. Not just any old sewing machine mind you. But one that made you work out while you were sewing. Yes our first sewing machine lesson was on an old treadmill machine. It was awkward at first. Kind of like patting your tummy and rubbing your head at the same time. It didn't take me long before I had that thing whizzing along at break neck speed. Of course we had to do the same seam samples that we had previously hand sewn.

All our work was inspected by Miss Banks very detailed eye. It was then I heard for the first time her sewing battle cry. "Not straight, undo it"!. How I hated hearing that. For it meant that we couldn't move on to the next phase. And I was just aching to go into the storage room and pick out that wonderful fabric that I had been dreaming about.

For a few weeks the seam ripper and I became intimately acquainted. Listening over and over again to Miss Banks battle cry.

Then one day, miraculously she said "All complete, good work, time to learn to sew with a pattern!" Yippee, Yippee, Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The following week we could have our pick of three patterns. One was for a baby bib. I remember this because it was the one I picked to do.

So into the storage room we went and pondered over all the fabric. It was a lot harder choosing than I had thought it would be. I still have that problem today. Sometimes it takes me forever to make that choice. I finally settled on a pale pink colored fabric and binding to match. Binding I thought would be a lot of fun. It would really finish off the little baby bib quite nicely. Again naive me.

I don't know about you lot but I need a cup of tea about now. Be back in a minute. Wondering about the above pic? Well that's a new project I'll tell you about next week.

Anyway back to my story. New material chosen with matching binding I set to work. I nervously cut out the bib from the pattern under the watchful eye of Miss Banks... so far so good! I then proceed to the trusty treadmill sewing machine and settle down to attach the binding. Hmmm... this is a little harder than I thought it would be. I struggle along and finish the last of the attaching. Miss Banks comes by to inspect it. Well you've probably guessed it. She now uttered those famous words once again, "Not straight, undo it!". I did proceed to undo it many, many times before it was given her OK.

As the months went by I learned a lot from my sewing teacher. It finally culminated during my fourth and last year at Holywell School for Girls when we put on a fashion show proudly showing off the garments that we had constructed.

As frustrating as it was for me in the beginning I learned that you have to walk before you can run and I have Miss Banks to thank for that.

She is of course long gone now, probably sewing with the angels somewhere. I sure do wish I could thank her though. It is because of her that I just adore sewing and try still to be patient when completing a project.

So thank you my dear sewing teacher for all your hard work. And yes, sometimes I still don't get it straight and I do indeed have to undo it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bucket Crazy!

First on the agenda today is a very big thank you for all your get well wishes. I am still coughing and spluttering but I am hanging in there.

I just love these buckets! I found the pattern to make these on Etsy last week and have been making them ever since. They remind me of Jenn's little taskets only much bigger. This one has become my new knitting bucket. It is so handy to take along in the car when we are going on a trip as it stands perfectly on the floor without falling over.
This one I made from a colorful cherry motif tea towel. I was thinking when I was sewing this one that it would make a lovely gift to a new neighbor welcoming them to the neighborhood. It could be filled with all the fixings for a cherry pie, including the pie pan. Who wouldn't like that! My last bucket will be used in my bathroom to hold my brushes and combs. But right now it makes the perfect place for a little elephant playing hide and seek!

The possibilities are endless. The other nice thing is if they get a little grubby you can just toss them in the washing machine. Yes I sure do love my little buckets!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beautiful Tree and Yucky Me!

I am afraid that this beautiful tree is about all I can upload to my blog right now. As much as I love Autumn it seems that every year I come down with a stinker of a cold and some sort of viral thingy at the start of the season. So I am parked on the couch just generally feeling yucky. I do believe though that I am feeling a bit better today than I did yesterday. So with luck maybe I have rounded the corner on this monster.

I hope you all stay well and I will see you next week.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Enjoying Autumn

My little bench taking on the the colors of Autumn. It is so tempting to go out and sit for a bit, but I think it is just a bit to cool. Still never mind I can look at it from my kitchen window and still enjoy it. Even soap making has taken on the colors of Autumn. Warm Rum Nut Cake. Doesn't it make you want to go into the kitchen and whip up a real one. The smell of this one makes me want to bake a real one and eat the whole thing. I guess aromatherapy really does work. Some of the fragrances make me very relaxed and sleepy, and some make me very hungry!

Well that's it for the week. Enjoy your lovely Fall weekend!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shopping and a walk

I had a lovely leisurely week while hubby was off. We visited our daughter who just happens to work not to far away from this wonderful quilting shop called The Quilting Loft. How can you resist not buying some beautiful fabric while you are there. Of course I didn't..,.resist that is. I could have bought half the shop but I didn't. I was a pretty good girl I must say. As well as fabric they had numerous patterns and great quilting books. I was lucky to have been able to meet a wonderful lady that runs the quilt shop and also has her own published quilting book. How gracious she was to let me take a photo of her with her wonderful book. Thank you Laurie, it was so nice meeting you. We also took time out for a walk in the woods. The leaves are just starting to turn and fall here. It was a lovely walk listening to the wind rustle the leaves and watching a few of them swirl down to the ground. An unexpected surprise was seeing the otters again that we have photographed in the past. They were quite far off but you can just make out their little heads bobbing up in the distance.

Shopping and taking a walk, I highly recommend both as wonderful fall activities!
Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweet Things!

Our little Sammy who is now 4 months old and is as sweet as ever. Sound up when watching this video and you will see how happily and loudly he purrs. He was so sleepy after a fun play time with his new big brother. Sure do love this little man! How sweet are these! These little taskets are a purchase I made from the lovely Jenn at her Etsy shop. I had originally intended them as gifts for Christmas. I thought putting some soap and lotion etc. inside would make such a lovely gift for someone. Well that was before they turned up and I saw them. Now little piggy me can't bear to part with them! I have one on a small table by my bed to hold all those little bits and pieces that seem to somehow gather there. I have another one in my sewing room filled with, yes, candy. It helps me get through some difficult sewing days. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it! So sorry all those people that were going to receive them as gifts, I guess you will be getting something else instead!. I had to include some new soap in my sweet things post. This is Wild Mountain Raspberries and Cream soap. Hungry yet?. I think this scent is one of my new favorites, of course I think I say that with every new soap. Not a fruity person, well how about.......Moroccan Mocha! My kitchen smelled like a wonderful coffee shop on the day I made this. It was amazing and I don't even like coffee!.

Well that's it again. Hubby is off for a week but I will still be blogging. Hopefully I will see some interesting things on our fun day trips together. Of course you will all be the first to hear about them.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yummy Things!

Lots of yummy things to show in today's post. New fabric which of course you just have to get when you have a new craft book. That is true, right? Yep I thought so! Even though we are just turning the corner into Autumn I just couldn't resist these beautiful summer colors.
My next yummy thing is this wonderful Alpaca yarn which will soon be turned into some more cuddly neck warmers. I wish you could feel how incredibly soft this feels. I have been cuddling it all day. This yarn was an Etsy purchase from a little shop called Irish Meadows. I can highly recommend them, they have the most beautiful yarn in natural colors. One of the fun things that came with the yarn was......these little cards showing you which lovely Alpaca your yarn came from, complete with their name. What a fun little card to include with the scarf when giving it as a gift. Some more yummy handmade soap. This is a cranberry scented one and it makes me hungry every time I smell it!. My last yummy thing for today is an apple pie. Unfortunately it is just about gone now but it was so delicious! So there you have it a day filled with yummy things.

So tomorrow we start another season. I have to admit I think I like Autumn best of all. Maybe that's why I have been making things with cranberry scent and baking apple pies. Have a wonderful first day of Autumn!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Knitting, Soapmaking and soon some Sewing

I am feeling quite pleased with my old self this week. I am going full speed ahead with quite a few projects. I have already started on some small Christmas gifts....I know, I know, who wants to think about Christmas while you are still trying to hold on to summer. I have been knitting these little neck warmers for myself and family. They knit up so quickly and take very little yarn. It really is a great way to use up all those odd balls of yarn that I know we all have lying around. Buy of course that wasn't enough for me, I had to make a trip to the yarn store and pick up just a few more balls of this seasons wonderful new yarn. So I guess my yarn stash will be forever...huge! I also picked up this wonderful book which I am sure some of you have already. It is chock full of lovely ideas and sewing projects. These little birds look like such a fun project. Or how about these ones. Not into birds well how about...... these little cuties. It will be hard deciding which project to make first, but I am sure I will be able to pick one.
Soap making still continues on a daily basis. This is one of our newest soaps, it is Zucchini Flower soap. It really does smell wonderfully fresh and is such a lovely soap to shower with in the morning. Of course I couldn't forget the men in our life so I came up with......Grubby Hubby soap! Yes girls, it is just how you would want your man to smell... incredible!

Just an update on my last post. First of all a big thank you for all the great name suggestions for our wonderful new little kitty. He is now officially going to be called Samson, Sammy for short. He is such a strong, tough little boy that we thought that was the perfect name for him. So welcome little Sammy to our family, we are so lucky that you belong to us now.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Little Garage Kitty

About three weeks ago our daughter was woken in the middle of the night by a big commotion outside her bedroom window. She said it sounded like the most awful blood curdling sound that she had ever heard. She immediately flew downstairs and opened up her garage door and this little fellow came scampering in. She thinks he was being attacked by an older, larger cat that roams the neighborhood. Where he came from and how he got to her house is a complete mystery. She of course took him in and set about the next morning trying to find out if he belonged to anyone in the neighborhood. She even posted on the Internet to see if she could find his owners. When no one came forward to claim him she did the only thing that she could possibly do, and that was add him to her brood of critters that live in her home.

First up was a trip to the vet where he checked out just great. The little guy didn't even have one flea on him. Some blood was drawn and everything came back negative. The vet said he is about 13 weeks old, and as you can see as cute as could possibly be.

I think he stole her heart the minute she laid eyes on him. So he has quite happily settled down in her home, where he is well loved, well fed, (his little pink belly is getting quite round) and is safe and warm.

The dilemma now is to come up with a name for this little sweetheart. We have been calling him Little Garage Kitty, but of course that won't do. So if anyone can come up with a great name for our newest little angel please leave a comment and let us know.

This little guy had not been outside long, so we are wondering if someone just dumped him and then drove away. How can someone abandon such a precious little life is beyond me. Anyway he is ours now and we are so blessed to have him.

Have a great Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lazy afternoon

What more could a girl want? A wonderful cup of tea, some yummy cookies, warm sunshine and my newest crochet project. Apart from trying to find a clean spot on the garden bench, (it was a little bird poopy) it was a perfectly lovely afternoon.

I decided sometime in the summer to make myself a crochet blanket to snuggle up with this coming winter. I had no trouble finding yarn for this project as there are balls of yarn galore all over my house. Normally I am a pastel color type of person. But with this blanket I decided to go a little more wild and colorful. The winters here in my little corner of the world can be so dark and dreary that I thought these bright colors would cheer my up a bit. Because I took the summer off from blogging this year I never got to show you all the wonderful goings on in the garden. So here are a few of my little garden friends that kept me company. Once again our wonderful little hummingbirds entertained us all summer long. I am always so sad to see them go. The dragonflies were about, not only in blue but...... in this incredible bright red color. This sweet little bird made us giggle with his punk hairdo. Sometimes mine looks just like that when I wake up in the morning!

Anyway that's it for today. I hope you are all taking time out for a bit of laziness too.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer is slippping away

Well I have goofed off long enough and am ready to get back into the swing of blogging again. I really have missed it and all you lovely people. I can't imagine what you have all been up to while I have been away.

It was a wonderful summer and I am still enjoying it before it quietly slips away. Our little garden beds provided us with all kinds of great things to eat. It is so lovely being able to walk out the back door and go pick what you need for a meal. Yesterday hubby and I harvested over 10 lbs of carrots, already washed, cut up and put in the freezer for those cold winter months when soup and stews are on the menu. The onions were also lifted and are drying in the shed. It is quite amazing how much you can grow in just two tiny garden beds.

I know that you were all expecting to see tons of sewing projects here on this post, well surprise, surprise, I am afraid there aren't any. I don't think I was in my sewing room but a handful of times this whole summer. That's not to say that I haven't been doing anything. On the contrary I have been doing lot's of fun stuff. Take a look at these wonderful Pumpkin Cheesecake bars that I made......or how about this lovely Chocolate Coconut cream cake......just kidding, they are all made of soap!

I am so enjoying becoming a soaper, at least I think that is what we are called. It is funny how you seem to stumble into different interests as you go through life. I never thought I would ever be making soap. I think I am well and truly hooked!

I still will be doing sewing and knitting though, I cannot imagine never doing these again. In fact I am working on a brightly colorful crochet blanket for those cold dreary months that will soon be upon us.

But that will have to wait until my next post.

I am so glad to be back!