Tuesday, 26 April 2011

My Easter Weekend

It was pretty lazy.  I decided to treat my 4 days off like a mini (and much needed) vacation, so basically alternated between knitting, napping, reading, napping, playing with the cat, napping some more, etc.  I feel much rejuvenated today!

I accomplished one quick and simple little craft project after noticing this ...

... in my latest "Irish Quilting" magazine.  The Saint Brigid's Cross pictured is quilted fabrics, but I thought to myself:  "Self, why couldn't a Saint Brigid's cross be made with pretty paper?"  (Traditionally, these crosses are made with straw on February 1st, and are believed to protect one's home from fire and evil.)  Since I happened to have some pretty scrapbooking paper on hand ... no, I don't scrapbook, I just happened to come across some scrapbooking paper at 5 cents per sheet ...

... I got busy creating.  First, I tore some strips about 1 inch wide ...

... then folded the outer edges of each strip inward like you would bias strips of fabric ...
... and once I had a bunch of folded strips, started weaving my cross:

Do you remember the Mexican / Latin American "Ojo di Dios" made of colourful yarns wrapped around crossed sticks back in the 60s and 70s?  A Saint Brigid's cross is more or less the same kind of thing.  When I had at least 4 "straws" in every arm, I "tied" each arm together with another strip ...

... then trimmed the arms:

Finally, I glued a small strip of ribbon on the back for a hanger, and VOILA!
Yes, I do realize it is 2011 and not 2087!  Apparently, one is supposed to reset the date after the battery in one's digital camera dies.  Oops!

Saint Brigid's Cross took less than an hour from start to finish, and since I still had 3 more days of long weekend in which to entertain myself, I did a little knitting too.  One of my blogging friends is expecting baby number SIX ... and with 5 boys already, hoping for a daughter.  Since I love baby knitting more than any other kind of knitting (except maybe socks), this sounded like a perfect excuse to start a little girl sweater ...

... using my favourite neck-down method.  The coolest part of baby knitting is the speed ... here I am with the arms divided off already, and only a couple of hours into the project!  It's quite pretty yarn and makes its own pattern as you knit.  Want to see a close up?

Miss Boots was feeling left out ...
First you play with paper, then you play with yarn and you tell me "PAWS OFF!"
When is it Bootsy time already???

... so I had to call it quits for the day and spend some quality time playing "fetch the ping pong ball" with her.  (That would be with the cat swatting and the human fetching the ping ping ball, naturally!)  Despite multiple breaks for cats, naps and meals, this is how far I had knit by last night ...
Does this make you think of sunshine and peaches?

... body complete, one side of the button band sewn on, and with button placement marked.  I'll have to dig through "Stanley the Button Jar" for 6 pretty buttons!

So that was my Easter weekend.  What did y'all do???

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Happy Easter!

Bridget's finally enjoying spring sunshine ... no more snow!  Actually, it's been trying to snow off and on all week, but I refuse to acknowledge it!

Someone asked WHO IS THE STATUE LADY?  Bridget was a well-known and well-loved social worker / rabble rouser / writer up here, and someone commemorated in statue form her and her generous habit of taking the time to really listen to people.  Her statue, which is a very good replica of Bridget, sits on a bench right in the area of downtown where she met many of her clients.  Bridget was special to me for encouraging my interest in writing at a particularly low point in my life, so I always take the time to stop by her bench and say hello when I'm in that part of downtown.

Another sure sign of spring ...
... election campaign signs are sprouting!  We are facing a federal election in 10 days or so, and probably a provincial election shortly after that.  I'm NOT a very political person.  I grew up in a household with a man who was extremely "modern" in many ways, but who believed women should not vote, and if they did vote, they should only be allowed to vote as instructed by the man of the household.  Then I lived with a "Union Man" with VERY specific political beliefs and who expected the woman in HIS household to share those beliefs (I didn't).  Consequently, it has been easier for me to be "non-political" over the years, and that turned into a comfy slide into political apathy.  

One of the things that I REALLY DETEST about current Canadian politics is the mud-slinging and bad-mouthing that goes on.  We had a local candidate come into our office this past week, and all that came out of his mouth was negative stuff ... everything that our current MP, his party, and all the other candidates have done wrong, continues to do wrong at present, and will undoubtedly do wrong in future.  That crap seriously makes my eyes glaze over!  Finally the dude complained about apathetic voters, and then I felt obligated to "share" with him why I'm an apathetic voter ... I want a little square on the ballot for "none of the above 'cuz they are ALL NEGATIVE MUD-SLINGING BAD-MOUTHING STUPID IDIOTS who should never be trusted to run my country in a positive and civilized manner!"  Okay, I MIGHT HAVE said a little more than that ... in a much less polite manner ... 'cuz he decided to terminate his visit here rather quickly!  I don't "talk politics" often, but when I do ...

Ooh, and another thing about the current federal election campaign that's really annoying me?  One of the federal party leaders has started shouting "Rise up!  Rise up, Canada!  Rise up!"  He sounds like a Southern Baptist Minister (sorry, y'all down South ... no offense intended!) instead of a potential Prime Minister, and that's just wrong.  I always rush to turn off the radio when I hear that line starting up.  ICK!

Enough with the politics already.

Last summer, I adopted a badly neglected Christmas cactus.  The poor thing was so thirsty that it was shrivelled.  Took several months to get it looking happy, and this past week, it rewarded me with flowers.  The interesting thing is, there are red, pink and white flowers all at the same time on it!  Must be three different cacti in one pot.  It's sitting on the castle of my floor loom and gets morning sun throught the balcony door.

Last month, I did some "emergency" curtain sewing for some friends, and was recently rewarded for my efforts with ...
... a Moroccan recipe book, and ...

... a set of Moroccan tea glasses (they are really big on green tea with fresh mint leaves and sugar)!  I haven't figured out how to drink hot tea OUT OF GLASSES without burning the heck out of my fingers, but have tried several yummy recipes.  I'll try to record and blog about creating something from this new recipe book over the long weekend. 

Mm mmm!  Four days off!  I can hardly wait!  I have no major plans other than coming downtown to see Strauss's "Capriccio" LIVE AT THE MET at our local movie theatre on Saturday morning.  Have a great weekend, y'all ... may you be up to your jelly button in belly beans!

Monday, 4 April 2011

One Year Anniversary!

I was looking back through journal entries over the weekend, and realized that Miss Boots and I have been together over one year now.  She came to live with me on March 3, 2010. 
Miss Boots was scared of everybody and everything at first.
Her previous human was hospitalized and kitty was locked up alone for a couple of months.  Consequently, she had some "digestive issues" in the early days, which have generally been cured with patience (feeding her one small spoon of food, waiting half an hour, then another small spoon full, and so on) and a no-grain kibble.  Unfortunately, she still vomits when she panics.  Ick.
She was too scared to go out onto the balcony at first.
Although she loved looking out the windows and "supervising" our back yard, there was NO WAY she would step onto the balcony.  Fortunately, our friend L. invited her out there one sunny May afternoon ... and since L. is superhero and deity and royalty rolled into mere mortal form (according to Boots), she has been undisputed Queen Of The Balcony ever since!
Keeping a sharp eye out for those pesky "helicopters" (hummingbirds) ... they have NO RIGHT buzzing MY balcony!

 Miss Boots is pretty much a "fair weather" kitty when it comes to the great outdoors.  She will brave the cold only if she can rush inside and immediately warm her paws on the unsuspecting hu-mom!

Not so fond of wet white stuff ... wait!  Is that a moose out there?  MOOSE MUST LEAVE MY BACK YARD!  GET OUTTA HERE MOOSE!!
Miss Boots is the BEST HELPER a quilter could ever ask for (but not so great in the knitting assistance department).

Nap testing for softness and comfort.

Is your bobbin threaded correctly?  Are you sewing that seam straight?  Can I chase thread now?

However, she is a bit of a kleptomaniac.  I think she has a thing about bling!
Typical morning "collection" under the dining room table ... pine cone, ball of wool, pen, earring, package of bias tape, assorted kitty toys ... What?  You expected me to SLEEP all night???

Nice Necklace!  MINE!  Necklace for kitty!
She has been known to "escape" our apartment in order to go hiss and yowl at the kitty in the apartment at the end of the hall ...
I'm coming to get you, Cookie The Cat!  I is the Boss Feline around here!
... and is clearly the world's messiest eater!

The remains of one kibble break ... almost as much on the placemat as in the bowl ... or the cat!
She can be playful ...
I is furry groceries ...

... and she can be grumpy ...
Keep pointing that camera at me and I'll demonstrate mad kitty bites hu-mom!

... and she can be curious ...

What doing?  Hmm?  Can I join in?  Is it Bootsy time now?
... and she can still surprise me when I'm least expecting it!

Oh hi.  I'm just up here inventorying your cow collection for you ... two cows ... two more cows ...
The vet figured Miss Boots to be about 3 or 4 years old when she came to live with me.  Since she's a rescue kitty, we have no idea when her actual birthday is.  What I can say FOR SURE is that my life is much richer for The Boots, and I hope she's part of my world for many more years!