Tuesday, 23 April 2013

We're Sparkin'

Finally finished four mats, kind of mug rugs, that are for the Smidge's Sparks leaders. It's National Volunteer Week, and I wanted to acknowledge what they do and the time that they give to the program by giving them a small token.

What is Sparks, you ask? Sparks is the precursor to Brownies. So you go to Sparks when you're 5 and 6, then 'fly up' to Brownies.

You should know also that the leaders have a special name they use just for Sparks, so that they girls don't have to call them "Mrs. So and So" or call them by their first names.

So here are the mats all together.  

Here's the mat for Snowflake:

And for Daisy:

And this is Shortcake's, which I was most worried about:

And last, but certainly not least, for the Grand Puba of leaders, Firefly (unfortunately this is the one I'm least pleased with, probably because I tried to do too much detail in a small mat):

So now I'm trying to get back to my other UFOs (unfinished objects) and forge ahead. Stay tuned!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Dear Mother

Dear Mother Nature,

I know it’s April 1st, so the snow whirling around the house this morning was quite a side-splitter! Oh how I laughed….laughed until I cried, which was about a 2-second interval.
But all fun aside, it’s now afternoon, and if you have read about April Fools etiquette you know that all jokes are supposed to stop at noon. So, in the interest of keeping your friends you might want to consider laying off the white stuff.
Not to mention the wind, you could turn that down a notch or many notches, really. I’m beginning to think the roof of this building is going to take flight.
That is all. I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but I feel I must tell you that millions of Canadians are now doubting the true meaning of spring. It's sad really, how glum we are. Please feel free to pick up our spirits. Now.
Thank you.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Dear Mother,
I know you are master of all that is natural, it's in your name. But I implore you to take heed of your own calendar and observe the changing of the seasons.
Signed, one of your very meek and humble inhabitants

Friday, 15 March 2013

What I've been up to

I have too many rugs on the go.....not good. There were four, now there are five. But in self-defense one is done except for the finishing.

Here are some photos of a couple of them. So I actually have been doing something.....really!

Design and guidance from a distance by Wanda Kerr.
My design. Not sure about the sky.
Hence the close-up of the sky. Hhhhmmmm and hawwwwing about it.

Friday, 8 March 2013

I'm in Love

What I’m in Love with ......

1)      Hubby…..still. That’s good news.

2)      My girla… growing up and full of surprises every day. Most recent famous quote from the dearest one “I save all my badness for home”. My biggest concern with that statement is that ‘badness’ isn’t a word.

3)      My new RAV4. Hubby’s car was old, decrepit and starting to die. It couldn’t pass the Drive Clean test required of it this month. Found a used (but only 2,700 km on it) 2012 RAV4 available at our favourite dealer. Done. And the nifty rule around our place is that Mama gets to drive the new wheels. Nice for me, tee hee.

4)      My kitchen, now completely ‘fini’ after starting its major reno a year ago. No it didn’t take a year really, but we did just finish the backsplash and put the trim back in place last week. The major chunk of the project took three months, but in actuality it took a year to get the last piece of the puzzle in place.

5)      Our return to winter this year. I know I’m weird, but as a true Canadian I was glad that we had a serious winter this year, one that had to be reckoned with, one that was somewhat relentless. We still have big snow banks and hubby has spent part of today trying to beat them back because the aforementioned RAV4 is bigger than the Corolla was and we’re a little squeezed in the driveway which is not meant for two vehicles in the first place.

6)      The anticipation of spring, summer and adventures ahead. Yes I can be in love with anticipation, well, I can love the anticipation. Yes I can. It’s almost like I don’t want spring to come because then I won’t be able to anticipate it anymore….I said almost, easy there slugger.

7)      Blogs, and the crazy people who write some of them and the incredibly talented artists that write others. Good times on the internet, what can I say?

8)      Life. Sure, why not? What’s there to complain about? So much hurt, sadness and mayhem in the world that we have to appreciate how blessed we are.

9)      My home; not to be mistaken for love for my house. The house is okay and greatly improved in the last four years, but it’s still not my dream house. But as a home, it contains everything a gal can ask for: a cat that’s by no means a scholar; a very snuggly family; a humble but workable craft room that’s all mine; a working roof, windows and furnace that provide comfort and safety; plenty of food, love and a place to wear ugly pyjamas with no judgement.

And yes that’s nine things because ten is so predictable. J

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Circling Around

I thought I should give you an update on my Circles rug. Here it is in its present state. Trudging along with this one.....

Finally finished this rug which was designed by Carolyn Buttolph. It's in #6 cut, 11.5 x 19.5". Nothing but fun!

And wool that I ordered last week arrived today.....nice treat at the end of a long day and snowy drive home.

Love shopping for wool online!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Colour by Numbers

I had to share this, after seeing it on a website from Stockholm. Check out the link to this building in Stockholm which is lit up in different colours at night, based on the whimsy of passersby. Yup, anyone can change the colours lighting up the building. Make sure you click on the Live photo screen (depending on the time of day you're reading and adjust for time zones).


Tuesday, 12 February 2013


It’s not a new concept to seek something as a focal point for one’s life. Artists have been looking to other artists’ work for inspiration for centuries, perhaps millennia.  In 2012, I chose a phrase to focus on and printed it out multiple times in my favourite fonts to pin it to my wall of inspiration. It’s still there as a reminder…..just because the calendar has turned its page to 2013 doesn’t mean that I turn my back on the lessons and reminders of last year. So in 2012, it was “do more of what makes you happy”.
Inspired by Susan at 29 Black Street, I’ve been noodling ideas for a while now for my own “word of 2013”. I was interested in this concept of theming a year of my life around a single word. How different this might be than seeking ideas from others’ work or drawing focus from a catch phrase. How to choose a word that will drive me, shape my days, mold my attitude and be a checklist all at the same time. Susan had some great words to contemplate and I was charmed by many of them. To be honest, I’m not even sure if my chosen word was on her list, it just came to me today.


  • cherish my time here on earth ( I know this sounds hokey, but I do try to take a few moments each day to acknowledge how blessed I am);
  • cherish my family and the moments we create together because goodness knows in a blink of time the Smidge will be a teenager wanting to do anything but cuddle on the couch with mommom;
  • cherish what I have around me: solid roof, pretty belongings, full pantry, decent clothes;
  • cherish time that I get to spend on my projects, what little there may seem to be at times;
  • cherish my friends and acquaintances.

Ah I could go on, but I get the jist, so likely you do as well.
Thanks Susan.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Neige neige blanche

Wow, I was actually smart this time. Asked to take a vacation day to avoid trying to get to work through this:


And no, it's not too much, maybe 6 inches, but it's Southern Ontario where there are millions of people usually scurrying to work regardless of the weather, causing pile-ups and traffic jams miles long. Plus, it's still snowing....heavily. Lots more expected.

Call came from the school board at 6:35 a.m........Snow Day. First one in two years. So kidlet can sleep in now.

So now the big question is, do we try to drive to Muskoka to our friends' cottage that we're supposed to be at this weekend for fun in the snow? Hmmmm, perhaps we take the day one step at a time. That drive might wait until this stops and gets cleaned up. We'll see. Either way, I should have more photos to share soon.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My Barn

I signed up to be part of the Simcoe County Museum's Barn Project. The hooked rug I'm doing is due in their hands by early October. So it was high time I get started.

I took a photo of a barn many years ago, and had always wanted to do a rug of it. So this was the perfect time. I enlarged the photo, transferred it to red dot, and got it onto my linen backing.

Wools were selected, as a starting point. Though a few changes have been made since then. And then I got started with the hooking. I had a couple of good hooking sessions, which really got me rolling.

That was last week. I haven't had much time to do more since then. And I think even though this was the second version of the vine wrapping around the silo, it will probably be removed again and I'll see if I can improve on it. So here's where I am today.

Need to do some dyeing to get my barn wool "shadowed" for the other side of the silo. Also have some wool selection to do for the remaining green areas, to distinguish them from the already existing green sections. Fairly happy with the progress though.

Need more time!!!

Winter Carnival

We haven't had much of a winter this year, but certainly more snow than last year. Fortunately though, our town's Winter Carnival came along at the perfect time. After a week of cold temperatures perfect for making outdoor rinks, we had a gorgeous sunny day at -3C to enjoy the actual carnival.

There were quite a few dogs there to give the kids rides in sleds.

Smidgie got a ride from Sookie.
The outdoor hockey rink was busy with a house league tournament. Later it was turned over to recreational skating for families.

Lots of fun to be had. Didn't get any pictures of the ice sculptures, the mini putt or the heavy horse wagon rides. Shoot me, the battery was running out!
The park in town where the carnival was held is surrounded by Fairy Lake. So there was lots of activity out on the lake, homemade hockey rinks and even figure skating rinks had been made by those living near by.
And there was lots of ice fishing taking place. We saw several 16" pike that a couple of guys had caught, and were planning on eating for dinner.
A great day was had by all!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Things I Learned from my Sister

It's a beautiful day outside today, one we enjoyed together as a family at our town's Winter Carnival. We snapped a few photos, but mostly just soaked up the beauty of winter and the fun activities available. Some cherished memories will no doubt stay with us from the day. It's difficult to be sad on such a fantastic day, but my heart is definitely thinking about my sister as well.

Things I Learned from my Sister, one for each year she's been gone.
  • You don't have to be someone's mom to be a mother figure in her life.
  • It's easy to be your own worst critic.
  • Expressing your creativity is key to keeping yourself whole and feeding your soul.
  • Find a home that fills your heart.
  • Look after yourself and your loved is short.

RIP Lori Ann Lovrics (January 31, 1960 - January 27, 2008)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

10 Things I’d Like My Daughter to Listen To

1. Remind yourself constantly of the difference between need and want.

2. Believe in yourself first and foremost.

3. Believe in your spouse and believe in your kids.

4. Make yourself happy, you have the most at stake in that regard.

5. Be all that you can be (but I’m not saying to join the army).

6. Don’t go into debt for something you want, make sure that it’s at least a need.

7. Give out hugs and kisses generously.

8. Send handwritten notes to say Thank You and Hello – don’t forget the niceties of the old days.

9. Everyone has endured pain; nobody’s life has been perfect.

10. There’s always a silver lining, so look for it.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

GF DF Carrot Muffins

Because of food sensitivities discovered in August (through testing), I've cut a number of foods out of my diet, including all dairy and gluten. I've been modifying a few of my own recipes and trying new ones that I've found online or in cookbooks. Here's my newly crafted gluten-free*, dairy-free, oil-free carrot muffins. 

Whisk together:
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour(s) (use whatever you like best; I used a combination of rice flour and all-purpose gluten-free flour; I'll likely experiment with different flours each time I make them)
1/2 cup sugar (this is the next ingredient I'll be experimenting with, but for now I just cut it down)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Grate 1 cup of carrot.

Then add the following to the dry ingredients:
2 eggs (beaten slightly)
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup grated carrot
1 tsp vanilla
Mix until blended. Spoon into 12-muffin pan, lined with muffin cups. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

Okay, I don't know how to rotate these pictures, so you'll have to just admire with a tilted head. Now, don't get me wrong, these aren't TO DIE FOR muffins, but they are tasty and you know that you'll feel good after eating them - that's what's important to me these days. The muffins you buy at grocery stores or doughnut shops may be TO DIE FOR, but what's in them??

*indicating this recipe as gluten-free assumes that you will ensure that all your own ingredients are gluten-free; always read the labels of any product you buy to ensure there are no hidden ingredients.