Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Late afternoon, the clouds are breaking up, the sun is setting, the clouds are pink and it is Christmas day. Peace and good wishes to everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Still Snowing, cooking and knitting


Snow is continuing to fall, we have now accumulated 16 inches. That's way too much for Vancouver, the snow is supposed to stay on the ski hill.

The hosts of the Christmas dinner have postponed it until Sunday. I had bought a ham just in case we were snowed in and didn't want to face the streets and other drivers. So we will eat well.

Although, I have had my new stove for a few years, I've never had a big baking spree. I usually just do main courses in my oven, as a result, my baking has turned out a little dark on the bottom. Well, really some things have burnt around the edges, so I've just been eating out of the middle of the pan! We've both have had to test the baking to see if it is presentable.
I'll have another go at the stove later today. I'll pay a bit more attention this time and take stuff out earlier.

Knitting has been progressing. We are catching up on some old Battlestar Galactica and I have finished the sleeves for my Briggs and Little cardigan. I probably won't block it for a couple of weeks, so I have time to think about the collar and neckband and the buttons. I am thinking some Dorset buttons will be fun to do. It has been a few years since I have made any of them.

The last of my Web's skein of the month came on Monday, Fortissima Socka, in blues and it has bamboo in it. I will just be doing some plain socks. I did download the free sock patterns from Knitting Daily but they are more than I wish to bother with at this time. The Skein of the month club will not be continuing next year. I did enjoy last year and got some lovely yarns mostly in colours that I liked. I haven't used it all but what I did knit I am pleased with. I made 2 scarves, 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, and I pair of socks and have now started the second pair of socks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It sure is pretty.


The snowy wonderland is beautiful. While the snow was falling yesterday, I did my first round of baking, mincemeat tarts, brownies and mincemeat squares. I think there is another baking day in the next day or so, I think I'll be doing shortbread, using my mom's favorite recipe, Melting Shortbread, I am thinking a gooey square loaded with sugar. I had delicious pecan squares at a bridal shower on Friday and probably don't need any more but oh so good.
No more snow is expected today but there is more in the forecast before Christmas, thank goodness a neighbour has a showplow on his truck and is keeping our road in great condition.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finally a little sewing

This is the pattern I used and the jacket I started when on the road trip in the last post. It is a lot closer fitting than the hoodies of old and I like the princess lines better as well. The view, I used, called for fabric strips to be attached to the front, back and sleeves and I will blame the lack of a decent table and poor lighting in the motel, to the poor job I made of attaching them. This is really an at home garment. I had originally cut it longer but while up at the motel, I decided to cut it off at the line suggested for the view I was using. A few minutes later I discovered that the hem was left raw! The yoga pants are not done yet.
























My first online purchase with my new account. Lots of detail in this book on ties and totally different than how the big4 pattern companies put them together. My tie making will take place after Christmas. David Coffin covers custom length, details all the different ways of constructing the perfect point and lining. I pawed through all the old ties I had collected and to my delight even found some of the interfacing from inside. Unfortunately the ties were skinny in those days, so I can't really use them. I did wash them just in case. I may have to order some interfacing from California. The tie fabrics don't photograph all that well, the one on the left is great in real life. They are from Fabricmart.

Monday, December 1, 2008

road trip

We drove up to Williams Lake this weekend, a seven and a half hour trip. A much better drive coming home as the road was dry but there was still a fair bit of fog. Fog, rain, slush on the road going up made us glad we had 4wheel drive. This was a fair size group of Mountain sheep at the side of the road, about 16 animals, I didn't count.
















I have never been in the Cariboo when there was snow, just a skiff on the ground but living on the coast I have never seen sage brush, and golden grasses in the snow before. I was quite taken with a different colour scheme.

While my husband was out lecturing, I stayed in the hotel and sewed a jacket. It was just a track jacket made of sweatpant fabric but there was a few things new to me and I still have the zipper to put in.

I met up with my cousin for a chat and on the way home stopped for a bite to eat at Bridal Falls and a nursing buddy was in the next booth. It was great to catch up with her as well.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

TV shows and knitting

I am plodding along with this sweater. I have adjusted the pattern to my gauge and love knitting with Briggs and Little Regal, if I screw up and have to take out the needle, the little stitches stand up at attention, so although I just added a few strange ribs to the sweater and it will be fairly short, I am enjoying this knit. I have started the second front and am just starting the third ball of yarn, it has super yardage.
I finished my Madtosh socks and I have taken a few pictures but I don't like the colour in them so will have to take some more.

As a tv addict, I watch a lot of shows and am always interested in what people are wearing. I have seen some really interesting sweaters on Doc Martin, usually worn by Pauline, Louisa's are practical. Pauline had a cute crocheted number on Sunday night, green in colour, the red shrug, that was knitted had interesting construction.

A couple of weeks ago on the Mentalist, the widow in the episode had on a sheath dress with a trim of yo-yos asymmetrically around the neck. Not cheesy cotton yo-yos but some fine fabric done with finesse.

I can't get into watching MadMen but a lot of people are liking the retro look of the clothes.

The hostess on So you think you can Dance Canada, had an interesting dress a couple of weeks back, hard to explain, black folds of net across a nude underlining and a bustier top with black pleats across the cups. If later you watch CSI, the same dress was worn on a lady of the evening.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Shopping with friends.

My friends and I went over to the Trade and Conventions Centre for the Creative Expo and although it wasn't as big as we had hoped we had a good time. A lot of our old favorite stores were there, I found a couple of new favorites. Valley Yarn Ltd. had a gorgeous collection of yarns and some I hadn't seen before, so it was nice to have a touch and feel of the fibers. Her business is online but is in the Fraser Valley. The other new to me store is in Port Moody, SS Studio, lots of selection of beads , findings. I was interested in the copper findings, sometimes I like a bit of a funky look in my jewelry and gold or silver doesn't seem to work quite right.

Regarding my last post, Style Statement, I am slowly answering the questions and eventually I'll analize my answers and compare them to a list of words in the book, to see what I come up withI also had no idea a person could be described with 2 words. I thought at least a paragraph, a poem or a song might be needed. LOL

I have been knitting with my madtosh yarn, just a pair of socks with one completed, I am varying my pattern a bit to make a pair I going to call sisters. It is really a very simple eyelet pattern. I'd like to get the heel completed on the second sock before I do a picture.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

DIY and Self help books

I have been busy clearing up bookcases, 5 are technically in my spaces of the house. It is very rare that I buy a fiction book and probably 90 % of my books fall into the do it your self, or are related to various crafts and whatever interests I have at the time. So naturally, I have lots to do with sewing, knitting, jewelery making, stitching and mixed media, book binding and paper crafts. There was also a fairly large section on gardening, house design and decoration.
My magazines reflect the same passions, although I have culled down my purchasing of magazines to Threads, Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors. I tend to only buy other magazines for a specific purpose or article. The first three I buy without even looking inside!

Around 30 years ago, a very popular book was "I'm OK, Your OK" and since then the books on discovering your bliss, the inner artist, the keys to good health, colouring your self beautiful, have all played apart in my reading. I particularly like books with lots of pictures, questions and approaches to the problem. I don't often get through all of the questions and then again I very seldom used the exercises, and the list of techniques.

So the latest book to cross my path is Style Statement, Live by your own design. This was mentioned on line in one of my sewing groups. Once again an interesting group of questions. I have typed them out and am starting to answer them. In this book, you are to come up with 2 words which describe you. I wonder what words are mine.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Memories of Nice

Nice is known for the colourful building with iron balconies, the beach and promenade walk and the big yachts. The Four Point Hotel we discovered on one of our walks and I was intrigued to find this statue of a woman, in the side of the building.


































The yacht basin is beautiful with colourful buildings surrounding the area and all types of boats in the harbour. The marina is in between the hills in the last picture.
Both days that we were there last April, were windy but very pleasant.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A pre trial of Olympic facilities.


I was ready with my tickets to the World Cup Short track Speed skating, when I spotted the PNE bear outside of the Colliseum. I wanted to show my support for an Olympic event without having to stand out in the cold.
We had some good seats in the end zone and they raced toward us and then turned the corner.











It was very exciting with lots of Canadians on the podium. Very hard to get photos, I got lots of empty ice, part of blurry skaters. I finally learned less telephoto, aim the camera, watch the action and press the button before the skaters get into the frame. There were several photo finishes, a couple of falls. We got handed Bambams at the door, they are inflatable plastic tubes you hit together to make noise and with less than 5000 people in the stands we needed them. My throat was sore from screaming. The bottom photo is of Apollo Anton Ono. There was a very vocal Korean crowd cheering on the world champions. It was great fun for the afternoon.
It was exciting with only four people racing but when the relays started, WOW. The rink was full, 27 laps for the women and 45 for the men.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The last look.















The first three pictures were from Vatican city. The mosaic was wonderful, the marble floors mind blowing and my head was bursting with all the details. Sculpture, paintings, altars, ceilings, incredible workmanship everywhere.
Dh and I in Harry's Bar having a lunch after wandering through the Villa Borgese. It isn't just a villa but a huge park with lakes, zoo, gardens, galleries and much more.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can you see her?

Your fairy is called Fire Rainbowdancer
She is a fortune bringer.
She lives where fireflies mate and breed.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
Her dresses glow with fiery colours. She has multicoloured wings like a butterfly.
Get your free fairy name here!

I can in my mind's eye. I have the perfect fabric, packed up off site, it has all the rainbow colours, a lovely batik with round spots in gentle curves through out the pattern and the fabric is a dobby style with little texture bits throughout. The wings, I'd love to use the watermelon textiva. a couple of layers together will make it look less pink. I'll have to experiment a bit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A day at the Colosseum













Rome was celebrating a birthday, #2761, the day we visited the Colosseum, lots of flags, people, vendors and a parade. Who could ask for anything more?

We posed in the plastic armor, thinking that was the only pictures we would get to take. The Roman Legions were out in full force, along with the women in their flowing gowns.
As usual click on pictures for more details.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rome, still day one

A group of people selling their knock-offs outside of the Vatican. Within minutes all was packed up and people were running to keep out of the clutches of the police.










It is best if you have a small car, we were glad to be walking and relying on bus transport. My husband would never have found a parking spot.











It is always fun to look at architecture and the size of the doors on the old buildings, my dh is over 6 feet and still look at the size of the door and how far up the door knockers are off the ground. We thought that if you were on horseback, you'd have no problem.














The Spanish steps in daytime, fabulous potted flowers, loads of people, a fountain, fabulous shops, Missoni, Just Cavali, Salvatore Ferragamo and MiuMiu grouped around the square. I had lots of fun window shopping.










Sculpture just amazes me, and all these figures. Lots of inspiration. The sky behind the most incredible blue.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First Impressions of Rome.

As soon as I saw this old wall, when we were entering the city. I was in love.











I realized that this was way back in April of this year, the first night we went out for dinner fairly close to the hotel. We ended up at the Spanish Steps. Absolutely full of people at 10pm, a grand meeting place and we went back later in the trip to see the stores which line the area.

This was a very organized parking lot for Scooters that were everywhere and usually parked in the middle of the sidewalks. The next few pictures are from the top of a tour bus, this day we were just getting our bearings in a new city.








One of the sights was all the shops, some shops just had ties or gloves. Lots of shirts and suits for men, only tourists were casually dressed in jeans and most men had on 2 or 3 piece suits. Women of all ages were smartly dressed, up to date styles of eyeglasses or sunglasses. good little belts, the scarf and the handbag.






Another wall with trees in the background, I think they were umbrella pines.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spool Art

Spools of thread, they just seem to multiply in my sewing room and long ago, I gave up on a sewing box to keep them in one place. At one time there were several thread holders along an eight foot window sill. Now I try to keep them in zip locks, in different colour groups. Machine embroidery threads have their own box, as does the buttonhole twist, likewise with the rayon thread. So now the spools are in a fairly good sized rubber maid container and the serger threads are in a couple of drawers in plastic organizer. I came across a blog where the artist, Devorah Sperber, creates using spools of thread to do paintings, imagine over 5000 spools in a piece. I love how they look on the blog and I sure would like to see them in person one day.

Knitting is at a standstill, I haven't ripped out everything on the new cardigan, but I have done the last few rows way too many times. I am thinking that I don't want to think about every stitch.

I feel like the last person on earth to see Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia. Oh my I wish I had that kind of energy. There were 14 of us at the 12:40 matinee. The songs have been in my head ever since.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Decluttered space and a restless mind

About every 2 months I start a journal entry with I must get organized. I usually have this revelation when I can't settle on any one craft or any one project. The house is now decluttered but now I am scared to start anything, in case I make a mess.
Our home for 28 years is up for sale and we have bought a townhouse. We are very excited about the whole thing. More details to come later.
So my craft area in the rec room is unrecognizable and my sewing room has never looked so spacious, we didn't go in for the whole styling of the place but a few pieces of furniture were moved into storage along with many boxes.
I have one banker box with some sock yarn and the Briggs and Little aran cream yarn and I have a fairly complicated sweater pattern that I am working on, I don't think I have done six inches yet but when the back is done I'll take pictures and post.
In the meantime, I haven't been happy with the buttons on Hey Teach. So I searched out Fabricland and Wallmart today with no luck. I searched for plain plastic rings to make Dorset buttons, no luck there either. I have now decided to stitch the button hole closed a wee bit, that will work.
My coat for the GreatCoat Sewalong, has been packed up as well. I have managed some of the thread basting but I hope it is not in hiatus too long.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fairy shoes and striped socks.


I was excited last week to see my friend Robin's work in the gallery at Treenway silk. Her art dolls are beautiful and the fairy shoes are amazing. She hand dyes her fabrics and makes silk fusion for the shoes.
Finally, my husband's socks are finished, I used the Regia from Webs and I really like how they knitted up.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fall colours

Although we still have the occasional warm day where sandals and no coat are in order, most days are definitely cooler and soon socks and sweaters will be needed when I go outside. The little child in me, still delights in picking up coloured leaves. These colours excite me and it is probably because the sky is often gray.
This is the yarn I received this month from Webs, lovely and soft. I don't know what I will make from it.















This is my jewel-tone wrap that I finished knitting at least 2 years ago. I finally blocked it and wove in the ends. I washed it in Eucalan first and I was surprised that the colour ran, the water looked like grape juice. I have nothing to wear with this stole and that was why is sat in a drawer collecting dust.































Here is my finished Hey Teach, yarn Mission Falls and Noro Silk Garden. My guage is a bit off, so it is too large, especially in the back and I have used the old trick of using a clip in the front, when I am posing for the back view. I added an inch and a half to the overall length and need to replace my buttons.

Friday, September 19, 2008

they followed me home

First, a photo of socks that I knitted on my vacation in Europe, and for awhile after getting home. Although this colourway is Vancouver, to me it will always be Provence.

















Heather and I traded a skein of yarn with each other, I got some Regia. When we were at the event in Kitchener-Waterloo on the weekend.
One company had a good price on Briggs and Little and we decided on the cream with ideas that we would kettle dye our skeins, I have 8 skeins and now just have to decide on a pattern and it will probably be Tweedy Aran Cardigan by Norah Gaughan. Of course, now that it has been in my hands for a few days, I am loving the yarn the way it is and no longer wish to dye it.






I have a few new balls of yarn, Home by Madeline Tosh. It is the first time I have seen yarn by this artist and this ball of yarn was calling my name.




Here are the sleeves of my Hey Teach.

Today, I went to the Album of Quilts by the Lions Gate Quilters Guild with a friend, great variety of quilts, some fabulous art quilts and I was particularly interested in the overlays of coloured organza.