Thursday, 21 December 2017

#18in2018: A Twist

I may hate myself for this...or at the very least, kick myself. 

#18in2018 is a thing. Officially. And I'm adding a twist. Not only will there be 18 fibre projects completed in 2018. That's do-able, that's only one more than this year, and frankly I did far more than 17 this year. So I figured I needed a challenge. Here's where the kick comes in, literally and figuratively. I will find, with no problem, 18 UFOs (unfinished objects/projects) to dig out, figure out, and finish. Yup, I'm making 2018 the year of extreme punishment. 

What led to this insanity? I finished my Christmas projects early. I blame that. So I decided to clean my studio (fancy word for the extra bedroom where I make stuff). In doing so, I discovered quite a number of projects that I had forgotten about, ahem. 

So this pile of old tshirts on the floor? A crocheted rug waiting to happen. I best get to that one soon, since it's literally a pile on the floor! 

A basket full of yarn with patterns that haven't been knitted. What you can't see is the applique quilt in the bottom (what was I thinking?). That will be a doozy. 

Two rugs to be whipped, including a Christmas rug which was finished, um, 4 or 5 years ago (?) and hasn't ever been out for Christmas because it's not whipped. One queen size quilt to hand quilt. Pillows to be made. Oh ya, it's going to be a busy year. 

And that's just what I left out in plain sight. 

So, who thinks I can do it? Anyone up to the challenge? If not, you can follow along with my angst right here. Before and after pics will hopefully be shared throughout this joyous journey. 

Is it a leap year? Dang, it's not. 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Making Merry

Well after months of making for shows and Christmas gifts.... I'm done. Now I have time available for all those other things that seem to come up when you're already at your busiest. Have you noticed that? In the last two weeks, every member of our family has had to go to the dentist, two needed haircuts, we ran out of cat food, library books needed to be dropped off and picked up multiple times, two of us had other medical appointments to make and attend. No worries, we have it handled. 

Speaking of making merry, I've started some new traditions in the last number of years. I find that giving is the most rewarding aspect of the season, so I try to come up with new ideas each year. My daughter will be taking gifts for not only teachers this year, and the school secretary, but also the oft-forgotten janitor. We've delivered several bags of food to our local food bank, contributed to the local toy drive, and delivered four boxes of stuff to the thrift store. I also reached out to some old friends that I haven't seen or spoken to in some time. Sent a small something to someone battling illness, and to someone in a new home.  We've enjoyed a Christmas concert and some festive TV watching. Baking many treats has been great fun, and now we get to share the fruits of our labour. And now that we've had some snow melt (grrrrrr), I can head outdoors and do some clean-up in the schoolyard or park.

Whatever you're doing to make the season festive for yourself and your loved ones, I hope that the season lifts your hearts with cherished memories of those that have past, and an opportunity to build new memories with those in your life now. 
Spread the love, and enter 2018 with a full heart! 

Monday, 11 December 2017

For that hard-to-buy-for kid!

I usually try to make a fair number of gifts each year, if I can think of something appropriate for each recipient. In the past, I used to knit for kids, and to this day every newborn gets an I Spy quilt for their first Christmas. It's a tradition, that I hope people enjoy. Sometimes though you just don't know what to get someone.... but this year I had what I like to think of as a brilliant idea, for two toddlers in our family. 

This isn't my usual "making" of a gift, because it was more assembly than construction, but nevertheless it was oodles of fun and easy. I hope that these gifts will be well received. I thought I'd share this here in case you're looking for ideas for kids - this one will work for any young child. 

Introducing the Build A Snowman Kit! 

I wanted to make as much as I could, so I found a fleece fabric with a penguin print and made scarves and hats. I looked for what I could use for noses, and bought styrofoam cones, which I turned orange using a crayon, and also got alternative noses, otherwise known as orange plastic gourds. 

For buttons, I found small clear plastic containers and hot glued the black buttons on them. This way the buttons won't be as likely to be lost, and you can push them into the front of the snowman to make them stay. I did a set of six for each kit.

 I also bought each child a fun hat (cowboy hat, fedora) to give them an option on what hat they wanted to use. Or who knows, maybe they'll have enough stuff to make two snowmen. Then with two snowflake covered containers, I assembled the kits!

Next, a fun label design, and the project was complete!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Feeling Festive?

No, I can't say that I'm feeling festive. I'm feeling cold. Damp and cold...because it's November and that's what November is. Simply damp and cold. But I have had to jump into some festive work, because I decided to vend at two craft shows this year. Yikes! I had no idea how much to make, so I just hooked a tad bit crazily for two months. Yup, that's all. 

Oh that's not all of it, nope. What will I do with all this if it doesn't sell? Hhhhmmmm, are you on my gift list? Some poor suckers are! 

p.s. I'll be vending at Handmade Hamilton at the Staircase Cafe Theatre on December 2nd and 3rd, if you happen to be in Hamilton. Looks like a really neat venue with an exclusive group of 32 vendors! 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Having sooooo much fun

Well, I can assure you with all certainty that I have finished #17in2017. In fact,  I've probably finished #117in2017 !! In other words, much more than 17 fibre projects in 2017. For sure! 

'Tis the season to get hooking, but before I get festive (and possibly far too soon for some of you), I want to share some of the extremely fun stuff that I've worked on lately. 

Meet my meeWow and Wooftastic friends; mug rugs that is:

One day I didn't feel like hooking what I was supposed to be hooking (nothing like setting silly expectations for yourself), so I started playing with these 4" diameter landscapes. So. Much. Fun. 

I don't think that's all of them, but certainly gives you an idea. And well, then the next idea hit me. Some of you may think I've gone off the deep end with this next group. 

Meet "The Hags". No, I'm not a cruel, horrible person. You see, you have to understand that my mom (miss ya every day, Flo-Flo) called everyone she loved "Hag". It was a term of endearment! Seriously. How that evolved, I can't recall. But needless to say, it stuck. And we're now the second generation calling our nearest and dearest "hag". So I introduce to you the first in the series of 4" diameter portraits: 

From top left going clockwise: Daphne, Shirley, Eunice, Bernadette, Norma, Betty.  They each have a full history, which I was thinking about as I hooked them. Just a silly thing that was oodles of fun to do. 

So, as begin this season of craziness and busyness, remember to spread a little love.....

p.s. for any of you in the area, I'll be vending at the All Handmade Marketplace at the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario on Saturday, November 18th. I think there are 120 vendors, so definitely should be a good show! 

Monday, 9 October 2017

Canada 150

I thought this year deserved a patriotic piece to recognize Canada 150. The piece I completed was sold during the summertime. 

As it turned out, the lady that bought it wanted some mug rugs to accompany it, for a relative that lives in the U.S. but is proud of their Canadian heritage. So a set of six mug rugs was completed in September. I was glad to have the work, and surprisingly enjoyed the sixth as much as the first! 


They've been delivered and now I'm in full holiday production mode!!

Monday, 28 August 2017

soooo much fun!!!

I stumbled on a site with a project using old t-shirts and since I have a lot of them, I decided to make a new kind of rug!

There are several places online where you can learn how to cut up t-shirts to get one continuous 'strand' of 'yarn'. You single crochet like crazy and then start with a new one when you run out of 'yarn'. 

I'm not done yet, but here's my progress to date. I can't begin to tell you how fun this is! And it's super comfy under-foot. Can't wait to have this as a throw rug on the bedroom floor at the cottage!

Friday, 25 August 2017

no biggie

I can't remember the last time i dyed wool. I needed a piece of dark red wool for a commission that I need to get started. So I dug out my dyeing gear; amazingly nothing needed dusting!  

I took the opportunity to show my daughter how to dye since she couldn't remember watching previously (has it really been that long?).   

I was only dyeing one colour, so we mixed up my super secret (no one has asked!) recipe for my fave dark red. My rule-following daughter was very concerned about the hazards of working with the dyes and kept her gloves and mask on long after she needed to. So sweet. 

I think this was the first use of the electric frying pan - a bit too much wool for its capacity, but by taking care when stirring it worked out okay. 

Our finished project is drying on the deck. Hooking begins on Monday!

Thursday, 8 June 2017


Whoops!!! Time she is a-flyin'!!!

I have been busy, needless to say. With what? A million and one little things and one big reno project. All those time-consuming things that you never quite know how they suck up your time. I have been productive but haven't much to show for it. 

I finished a beach bag for my daughter's friend in May. It was done in her fave colours of red and yellow. Do I have a pic? No, no I do not. Why? Ya got me!

I just made another one in what we refer to around here as "Gracie blue". And yes, it's for Gracie's upcoming birthday. Shhhhh! Interestingly, my daughter has several close friends that either share her birthday exactly, or are a day or two off. Bizarre! 

So here's Gracie's bag. It will have a matching beach towel with it, and perhaps a gift card to pick up her beach reading material. Ah Gracie, I do so hope you like it!

Fibre finish #?? I've lost count. But this is actually two pieces, as Emily's red and yellow one is not available for a photo session. I did actually like how it turned out though, despite the challenge of making red and yellow work. 

Enjoy June!!!

p.s. I made some curtain panels too, but (insert yawn) they're a wee bit boring to bother showing you. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Egads, it's almost May!

Sorry folks, I truly didn't forget you! I've been in mass production mode... ha ha. As if one can actually do that. But I have been hooking my little heart out in preparation for vending at a show in early May. 

So in fact, I'm confident without even counting that I can claim 17 finishes in 2017, completing my #17in2017 challenge. 

Here are a few of them:

Happy Hooking, y'all!!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Marching On

As we march on through winter with glimpses of spring weather here and there, the days seem less gloomy and more hopeful. It was with a warm day at hand, and sun streaming in the window, that I made this over-the-shoulder bag for my daughter's friend. A summer beach bag, perhaps, for a March birthday party. A sign of hope and anticipation. 

#17in2017 continues.... 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Mea Culpa

Hi all. So sorry for my lengthy absence. I've thought of posting often, but alas haven't gotten around to it. On a happy note, I have been happily hooking and hooking more than usual. It's certainly a tonic for these cold, snowy days. A two week or more stint of fog in January was difficult, but made more enjoyable with hook in hand. 

Will you join me this year to complete #17in2017? As I did last year, I will endeavour to complete that many fibre projects in the calendar. I dare say I've already got a few to report. Let's see what I can share. 

Ah yes, first I must admit to thinking that I didn't have any blue wool in my stash. I decided that one of my storage spots was beyond embarrassing in its messiness, so I pulled everything out two days ago and re-organized. As you can see, I have some blue to use (gulp). Especially considering one of the drawers beneath this space is also full of blue. 

I certainly know people with far more than this, so I'm not thinking I have more than enough. Oh no, that thought never enters my mind. I have grand plans for dyeing in April!! 

I finished a piece to celebrate Canada's 150th bday:

I also finished this WIP in February, a design that I started a while back (brain won't tell me when!): 

And I've completed a bunch of wee little pieces, but I won't bother mentioning those. One other landscape piece is hooked, but requires whipping so I'll share that at a later time. Plus one other piece is almost finished being hooked. Yippee!

I'm hoping to be more diligent with my blogging, but feel free to follow me on Instagram, my handle is @burningthemidlifeoil. I'm also on Twitter at @hookdonlife, though admittedly I don't tweet as much as I post on IG. Finally, you can look at some of my past work at 
Chat soon!

Sunday, 15 January 2017


As I stepped into the shower at 10:39 a.m. this Sunday morning, my main thought was that I hadn't gotten anything done yet today. Imagine not getting into the shower until that time - ridiculous! No housework or other work done... so frustrating.

And then, as always happens in the shower, my brain went somewhere it doesn't go outside of that "box". The word "perspective" flashed through my mind. I realized that I had helped my 10-year-old with her Science Fair project and her homework this morning; fed, cuddled and scratched the feline; hugged and smooched the kid and hubby.. How could I say I hadn't gotten anything done? I had in fact done that which is most important.

In past years, I have sometimes taken part in the One Little Word movement. This year, nothing came to me and it felt forced so I hadn't embraced a word to guide and steer me through 2017. I think that my word found me today. Perspective. Something I desperately need. I'm always about the "getting things done".

As always happens in the depth of winter, we have had news of deaths from those in our lives. Thankfully for us this year it hasn't been anyone in our immediate family, but the heartbreak that others are suffering is no less significant. From 45 to 99, people we know have slipped the bonds of earthly life and headed to a new perspective that we know nothing of. These deaths remind me of more poignant (for me) losses from years past, renewing the pain and sorrow that accompanies each. I wonder if I'll still be counting how many chores I've completed on the day I die?

Yes, perspective is what I need. A goal for 2017. We'll see how I do.