Monday, 28 November 2011


This past Sunday being the closed Sunday to November 25th, I did my annual Christmas decorating!  Yes, I have posted about my annual decorating routine before . . . and I have been teased about how . . . shall we say . . . MINIMALIST my efforts are.  I must be having a good year, or something, cuz this year . . . I WENT ALL OUT!!!

So, FIRST . . . I slipped into something comfy.
This year's decorating ensemble included
pine-green velour
lounging pants.
(hmmm . . . who needs a pedicure here?)
 SECOND . . . something suitably seasonal in the CD player:
This year's selection by Johnny Reid.

It is important for you to know
that I ventured out in THIS weather
to buy this CD
specifically for THIS occasion!
(That's REALLY going all out!)
 THIRD . . . a wee snort of something festive:
Peppermint Schnapps + Raspberry Liqueuer . . .
tres festive!
 I think it's also important for y'all to know that when I started my current Christmas decorating routine, my little Norfolk Pine Tree was 4 1/2 inches tall.  It lived in a teacup-sized pot in a shallow window ledge.
That same Norfolk Pine Tree is now 30 inches tall
from the top of its 2 gallon sized pot!
 Therefore, there is more room for decorations now than in previous years.
Here it is . . . decorated for
Christmas 2011.
I use VERY light-weight
attached with
plastic hangers,
and NO lights.

Why put lights INSIDE
when they're already OUTSIDE
on the balcony railing?

And . . . of course . . .
the crowning glory . . .
the little beaded snowflake
the only decoration
on the little Norfolk Pine Tree!

Look who else got "dressed up"
for the occasion!
 Naturally, Miss Boots was VERY interested in all the action . . . although she isn't allowed festive beverages . . .
"Hey!  That's MY Christmas stocking!"

How come YOUR Christmas stocking
and mine doesn't???
I thought I was the Diva around here!?!?!"

"Never mind!
I remember last year's routine . . .
it was all "NO NO!" and
"BAD KITTY!" . . .
so I'll just retire to my rocking chair already!"
 Besides all the decorating (Seriously HARD WORK!) this past weekend, I also managed to finish most of the applique and decorative stitching on my Winter Partridge place mats.
Except the gold ring.
I was thinking about stitching that in
metallic gold.
What do you think???
 Next weekend, I should get the actual quilting bit started.

Did I tell you my adopted grandaughter got me SLIPPERS for my recent birthday?  I LOVE them . . . perfect to keep at the office so I don't have to wear winter boots all day!
Oh oh!
Sensing a problem here . . .

A couple of hours into the first day of duty
and my new slippers
(note the toes peeping through)
I shall have to salvage the penquins and attach them to a sturdier pair of slippers.  Every serious office manager should have Penguin Slippers to wear at work, right???

Monday, 21 November 2011

Winter Partridge

So some of my coworkers and friends treated me to a "girls' night out" to celebrate my recent birthday.  I don't "do" birthdays generally, but it seemed a good excuse for a "girls' night out".  On the way to their chosen downtown pub / night spot, I walked past a downtown used book store that I didn't know about!  (YES!  General rejoicing here!  MORE BOOKS!)  As I dawdled to look in their windows ... although it was a quick "dawdle" considering it was minus 16 degrees at the time! ... I noticed this:

 It's a 1960s edition culled from a school library.  When I was growing up, my Dad had a copy of the original 1912 edition of "Rhymes of a Rolling Stone", along with "Ballads of a Cheechako" and "Songs of a Sourdough" ... all by Robert W. Service.  My Dad could also recite nearly every single poem from those three books by heart.  He could also recite a huge selection of William Henry Drummond's poetry ("Leetle Bateese, not much you care how busy you're keeping your poor grandpere ...").  He had a special spot in his heart for poets who wrote about REAL people, places and events.  In fact, he had a special spot in his heart for real people, the folks who had experienced some of life's nitty gritties and never forgotten that fact.  This was one of the poems he recited about that topic:

Reading this on Friday night brought tears to my eyes as I could hear my Dad's amused voice reciting the lines just as clearly as if he were standing right beside me!  I also thought it was an amusing piece of rhyme to find last Friday as Saturday was Municipal Elections Day here.  I wonder if our new mayor will remember her "junior" down-to-earth roots after she's been in office a few months?  Hmmm.

So this was the weekend craft project:
 Comes from a "100 Quilt Blocks" magazine (that usually gives me way too many ideas for possible projects!).  I envisioned place mats ... wintery theme but not necessarily Christmassy.
First bit of leaves
and golden ring.

More leaves
and golden pears.

Some of the little pieces were ironed on
using 'Heat Bond'
and some were temporarily stuck on
using fabric glue stick.
All necessary because Miss Boots
REALLY wanted to rearrange
all those little pieces of fabric!

Here's a partridge on the branch.

And here's the partridge
with beak and berries added.
 The next step is blanket-stitching down all the little pieces along with adding a few touches of embroidery.
After the decorative stitching is done, the partridges will get sandwiched with backing and batting, and then quilted.  I'm doing two sets of four placemats, so this should keep me out of mischief for a couple more weekends.

Madam was quite PUSSED OFF AT ME!!! cuz I wouldn't let her play with all the little pieces of fabrics.  She sat across the room and hissed and spit at me everytime I glanced her way for the longest while, then retired to the rocking chair in a huff!
It snowed all weekend.  When the first week of snow (the picture below was taken last Thursday, I think) is up to the top of my suede boots ...
... I'm thinking it's going to be a very snowy winter ahead!  I brought out the tall boots this morning.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

time to go shopping

So the other night, as I struggled into my apartment building and out of my jacket and wrap whilst juggling six bags of groceries at the same time as my purse and lunch bag, a resident from the second floor stopped to chat.

Okay, I KNOW you're wondering why I was struggling out of my jacket and wrap at the same time as struggling into the building, right?  It's cuz every bloody building is TOO DAMNED HOT!  Especially in entrance foyers.  And I live on the third floor.  Heat rises.  That means if it's already too hot for me at ground level, I'm going to be overheated to the passing out point by the time I haul me and my baggage up three flights of stairs.

But I digress.

That's NOT the story.  The story is about chatting with the fella from the second floor.  Sort of.

All the time we were chatting, he kept darting glances at my ... er ... chest.  I was wearing a white teeshirt.  Respectable enough to wear to work under a jacket (blazer), but white.  White as in somewhat see-through.  No matter, I thought to myself as said fella kept looking, I was respectable UNDER the teeshirt with both "girls" appropriately "lifted and separated".  Besides, I'm not really all that well endowed, or at least not to the point of having male conversation aimed at my chest instead of my face.  But he KEPT glancing in THAT direction, and his face and ears turned more and more PINK

I didn't want to look down to see what the heck he was staring at as my chest was already getting quite enough attention thank you, so I concluded our conversation and went upstairs to my own apartment.  Once divested of grocery bags and so on, I had a look in the mirror in my living room.

Oh oh!

Seems I had a bad case of ... er ... "mis-aligned headlights"!  My left "headlight" was indeed appropriately lifted and separated, but my right "headlight" had escaped its "foundation" and was "heading south" like the free spirit that it truly wants to be!  And remember, it's below zero up here, and even free spirits "stand at attention" at that temperature ... clearly evident under a white teeshirt!

Damn!  There was me thinking my bras had gone through enough wash cycles to finally get comfortable!  Apparently it's time to go bra shopping ...

Monday, 14 November 2011

More snow!!

We've got snow!
 I is HAPPY about snow!  Well, maybe NOT ecstatic about being trapped inside winter boots for the next six months ... but snow is sure purty!  This is what greeted us on the morning of Saturday November 5th:
 One of the first things I do in the morning is open the balcony door and breathe in some outdoor air while I check out the day's weather conditions.  Miss Boots generally uses this time to check out our back yard.
"Holy Crap!  That's a LOT of white stuff!"
 That particular morning, it didn't take more than a minute for Miss Boots to decide a nice cozy warm up under a blankie was preferable to bossing around the neighbour's dog!
"GO AWAY!  I iz warming my toez under here!"
 Funny thing ... she forgot all about her cold toes as soon as I mentioned MY breakfast menu!
"BACON?  Did you say BACON???"
 November 8th ... still snowing!
 November 11th ... a brief warm pause that started a bit of melting ...
Ice crystals! 
Oh oh!
Pretty on the shrubs ...
Not so pretty on the sidewalks!
... then more snow (on top of the icy layer)!   Am I boring you with my weather report?  How about the promised report on my trip to our newly opened Fabricland?

THESE buttons = necessary trip to Fabricland

Buttons for THIS sweater ...
now complete except for sleeves.
 HOLD EVERYTHING!!!  My adopted grandaughter announced her dolly 'Patty Matty' couldn't POSSIBLY face another single moment without an appropriate winter sweater!
Life in general on pause
while I crocheted this little number ...
complete with head band!
 There!  The child momentarily satisfied.  Now ... where was I?

Oh yes!  Fabricland!  While buying buttons, I just HAPPENED to buy a little bit of fabric ...
Not sure what I'm going to create with this.
Couldn't pass up these lifelike
veggie prints, could I?
 My friend Marianne entered a draw while we were at Fabricland (did I mention I took along an accomplice?), although I was so busy fondling fabrics that I didn't even notice the draw box and entry forms!  Marianne won this ...
A colourful tote
 Marianne doesn't quilt, so she gave the prize to me!  (Am I spoiled or what!?!?!?)
The goodies in the tote included
THIS bunch of fabrics
with a quilt pattern.

And THIS bunch of fabrics
with yet another quilt pattern.
 And a whole bunch of other little goodies.  I can't say that I care for either quilt pattern ... but LOOK AT ALL THOSE FABRIC PIECES!  The mind truly boggles!  There's enough fabric pieces there for a dozen or more creative ideas ...
My adopted grandaughter claimed this piece
for a dress for 'Patty Matty'
cuz 'Patty Matty' has aqua shoes
and 'you know it's next to impossible
to match aqua shoes, Nana!'
 Hmm.  That child isn't related to me genetically, but we sure have one thing in common ... buy those cute shoes first and THEN try to find a dress to wear with them!

Still snowing out there.  I'll leave you with one last snowy picture ...
... cuz there's something about dry rosehips
against white snow
that tickles my fancy!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy All Hallows Eve!

Look what the weather did here last Saturday ...
... "fluffy" rain!  It didn't stick though.  However, I'm sure the real thing won't be long now.

Look what we have back in our part of the world ...

... very exciting for us fabriholics!  Fortunately, it's a 2 bus expedition for me to get there, so that cuts down on that spontaneous indulging thing considerably.  I bought some crafty cottons (will post pix later this week) to do some Christmassy gifts with, although my INTENT was to purchase buttons for the sweater I'm knitting at the moment.

So I got into the Halloween spirit today ...

When I climbed onto the bus this morning, the bus driver said something about me not having my broom.  So I replied "Oh, my broom didn't pass this year's emission standards test, so I decided to park it and opt for a more ecologically efficient means of transportion ... public transit."  He just stared at me, looking stunned, and finally replied "I can't think of a single response to that!"

Sorry, short post.  Gotta go do "witchy" things ... like dip into the candy bowl!  Happy Halloween!

Monday, 24 October 2011

I Might Be The World's Weirdest Knitter Because . . .

. . . well, because I have a few quirks.  Knitting quirks that is.  (Okay, I have a few personal quirks too, but I'm only posting about knitting quirks at the moment!)

This is the wool I bought at my newest favourite LYS (that means Local Yarn Store for folks what didn't know ... like L.!):
It's a beautiful stormy turquois-ish rustic kinda wool (which my photos just don't do justice to ... cuz I have a point and click cheap digital camera cuz I don't know nothing about/can't be bothered with light settings, etc!)
 In the above photo, I have a chunk of knitting already done (it's a cardigan worked from the neck down) on my Denise cable knit needles.  Do you know about Denise cable knit needles?  They are short plastic needles that come with various lengths of plastic cord so you can create cable needles of varying sizes according to your project.  Problem:  they are plastic.  I don't like plastic.  Yes, plastic knit needles are allowed on airplanes and don't make the person sitting next to you in the conference or meeting nervous in the way pointy metal/wood/bamboo needles do.  (and here's the first of my knitting quirks ...)  But wool just doesn't SLIDE the same on plastic!  And plastic just doesn't CLICK the way metal/wood/bamboo clicks!  However, I wanted to carry this project back and forth to work with me on the city bus, so plastic Denise knit needles it is.

Here's another of my weird knitting quirks ... I like large solid stitch markers.  I like something substantial that I can really feel ... like this "end of a silver spoon" stitch marker:

It's almost the size of a dog tag.  Prettier though.  I have another knitting quirk connected to stitch markers ... I like to imagine that each stitch marker I use in a project bears a wish for the recipient or wearer of the garment.  For example, with this particular set of (randomly chosen) four stitch markers, I am wishing myself (as the cardigan recipient and eventual wearer):

The right to be a bit of a DIVA at times!

Carefree-ness and Spiritual awakening!
 I always choose my stitch markers by closing my eyes and sticking my hand into the little leather bag I keep them in and gathering the number needed at random.  That way I know the right "wishes" will come together.  (I know ... quirky!)

Here's another knitting quirk ... I can't knit random patterns.  No matter how hard I try to be RANDOM, my mind insists on getting mathematical and resorting to patterns of numbers.  For example, I wanted to add some RANDOM splashes of purl stitches in the otherwise ho-hum landscape of my cardigan.  My mind instantly started working out 'alrightee!  that would be a series of knit 4, purl 3 followed by 5 rows of plain stockinette stitch followed by a row of knit 6 purl 2 followed by ...'  Exactly what I DID NOT WANT.  So I got out a pair of dice.
 And that, y'all, is yet another of my weird knitting quirks .. I roll the dice to get random pattern variations.  (Sometimes I roll the dice to get random colour/print variations when quilting too.)

I'm just about finished the body of this cardigan ... then sleeves and button/buttonhole bands to go.

Remember these?
Red 'Poet's Rib' socks
While I'm in knitting confession mode, here's one last knitting quirk ... I sing silly rhymes to remember patterns.  Here's  my 'Poet's Rib' ditty:

Suki fetch the sea salt ...
Salt the soup for flavour.
Polly fetch the pepper pot ...
Pepper for digestion -- Papa's got the gout!

Believe it or not, that translates to:

Row 1:  purl 1 (knit 3, purl 2) to end.
Row 2:  purl 1 (knit 1, yarn over, SSK, purl 2) to end.
Row 3:  purl 1 (knit 3, purl 2) to end.
Row 4:  purl 1 (knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, purl 2) to end.

I know ... QUIRKY AND WEIRD!  I've been knitting 'Poet's Rib' for many years, and have no idea when or where this particular rhyme developed, but it's rythmn fits what my hands are doing perfectly.  Even if I just hum it, I know at any given moment exactly where I am in the pattern.

So what kind of quirks do you have????