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.

Monday, 14 January 2013

The birds and the butterflies and more!

Sunday was family excursion day, off to the Butterfly Conservatory we went. We'd been before and Smidgie had also been with her class a year or two ago, but it's a good activity for a winter weekend. 

Here's some of what we saw. I'm guessing you won't be upset that I didn't take a picture of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, and I also passed up the opportunity to 'pet' it. Silly me. 

This guy had just emerged from his chrysalis, his first flight landed on the Smidge!

First “Finito” of ‘13

I started this rug, designed by Carolyn Buttolph, in about November I believe, to fill in some gaps around other projects. Just finished it on the weekend, and it’s already steamed. It’s destined for my newly-conceived “wall of rugs”. I’ve been thinking for a while of having a wall of rugs in the hallway on our main floor because why else do I have all these rugs hanging around? Granted I have quite a number on the floors being used (5 or so) and some hanging elsewhere. But all of these “others” are destined to be hung together in my own personal gallery. Yup, it’s quite a gallery, the hallway leads to the bathroom and also to the door that leads to the garage. That’s one high class gallery.

So here it is in its non-finished state. When will it be finished? Yikes, now that’s a whole different topic. So much to do…

Friday, 11 January 2013

Round and round and round.....whawoohoo!

Circle update, still not sure if I'm liking it.....

Not the best picture, but this is what you get at 7 a.m. 

Snow family

We finally got wet packing the fun ensued!

Friday, 4 January 2013

I’m seeing circles…..

If you’re a member of TWM, then you probably know about the Circles of Life challenge running throughout January. I was intrigued by the idea of hooking a circle a day, so I signed up. I got a piece of Scottish burlap ready for backing. Why? Because it was my last bit of it so I thought I’d use it up and since the intended use of the finished rug is to be used and abused at the front door, I figured it didn’t need a linen backing. Counter-intuitive? Perhaps, but since it will be well muddied, I concluded that it won’t have a long life regardless of how durable its backing is. And just to clarify, I don’t intend to use it at the front door during winter. After all, this is Canada. It’ll be a summer-only rug for that location, and the not-cared-about throw away mat will be used there for the muckiest of seasons.
So I started out at 6 a.m. on January 1st with my first circle. Well, actually I did three that first day. It’s supposed to be a circle/day but there’s no way I’ll get a big rug done with only 31 circles, so I decided to conquer more than one/day. So by now I have several done and I am uninspired, not thrilled and feeling rather blah after my rug. Why? Because ideally I usually like to use bright colours, and truth be told I don’t like using textures. I own lots of them, always thinking that the right texture will get me to change my mind.

So these circles don’t have me doing a dance. But I’ve decided that I will soldier on and see what I think after a few more days. Each one doesn’t take long at all, so if I continue to do 2-3 per day then I’ll have something much more substantial to look at in the short term and then can make a decision from there. But as always, there’s another rug across the room pulling my attention away and since it’s half done, it really wants some time on the frame.

Fingers crossed that I get some time for each of them over the weekend……oh if it weren’t for having to change the blade on my Blissco cutter back and forth, back and forth. What was I thinking?
Not quite hooked on circles....yet.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


The Christmas season has come and gone. The calendar has turned a significant page. And those that tend to be triskaidekaphobic will be cringing for the next 363 ½ days (since 1 ½ days are in the history books).
We had a lovely Christmas, mostly because of the many things we took part in before the 24th. Family members, don’t dismay, we had a great time with you as well. But we truly enjoyed the entire season this year and didn’t get too wound up about a single day or two. It was heart-warming and fulfilling and I’m proud of my little girl and what she contributed to others’ Christmas enjoyment. She truly understands that Christmas is not just about what she receives.

Today marks the first day back to “reality” as I put it, as I’m back to work and begin the slow crawl through January. I’m peaceful about it this year, having done enough of everything I wanted to do while off work. Most importantly, I didn’t set goals for the time off, so I wasn’t disappointed when it came to an end. I enjoyed my time at home, I did a good amount of tidying, re-organizing, purging, craft time, game time, baking, smooching and cuddling with Smidgie….and Rocketman.

It feels good to start January with a positive outlook, and no resolutions. Well no ridiculous resolutions anyway. I’m always happy to stride ahead towards a better me; in fact I’ve already signed up for a course that begins in a few weeks. I just don’t want to make unrealistic stress-inducing resolutions.
I hope that each of you is feeling at peace with yourself and looking to the new year as an opportunity to grow, do some good and share.