Joys of Unexpected Gifts

December 16, 2015

There are many gifts at this time of year-the scent of a real pine decorated with ornaments collected over the years, each one with a special memory; the neighbourhood houses lit up with colorful lights; the sounds of favourite carols heard year after year and the sense of peace that the perfect gift found for a loved one.

As I was getting ready to leave for the day Dolly began barking in a way that told me another delivery had arrived. When I went to the door, a package addressed to me was waiting. I didn’t order it. So I brought it in & began to open it, noting the sender’s address was in Victoria, BC.

I am so lucky to work with an amazing management team-they are always supportive and have (and USE) common sense in their dealings with team members and sponsors.

The box revealed some wonderful foodie treats from which is a company that provides yummy gourmet treats while choosing a different charity each month to receive 10% of their profits.

The photo shows what was in this amazing box: Green Peppercorn Dijon mustard, Cranberry Pear white balsamic vinegar, Tuscan Herb Infused olive oil, Vermont Maple dark balsamic vinegar, Spiced Cranberry jam, Caramel sauce & dark (very dark) chocolate. Wow. Just Wow. Can’t wait to make dinner tonight!


Knitting for Christmas

December 15, 2015

Less than 2 weeks to go & I’m knitting like crazy to be done in time. Happens every year, no matter how early I start. I keep thinking of new people who just <have> to have something I made for them!

First up is a sweet little striped hat for our neighbour’s newest grand daughter. This was a very fast knit, maybe 90 minutes, 2 hours tops. Pattern came from Ravelry (Simple Striped Baby Hat).

Next is another Ravelry pattern, this time for boot cuffs. These tuck down into the top of your boots. These are Feather Lace Boot Toppers and are intended for my niece.

Last up is another Ravelry boot cuff pattern called Hurricane, intended for my sister. Both boot cuff patterns worked up easily and quickly but are pretty and functional.

Fantasy Meets Reality

December 13, 2015

This year, I vowed, I would make it happen. I thought of how I’d use quilt batting & glitter to mimic snow & where I’d place the house on the dining room table. I even thought of adding little sugared gummy trees to the tableau.

the first attempt, at my father-in-laws house on the day after Thanksgiving, failed. The icing in the kit didn’t hold the pieces together so it wound up in the trash.

I researched online & found a recipe for caramel “glue” that seemed like it would work. So I started the caramel & laid everything out so I could work quickly before the caramel hardened up.

The pictures tell the story. Caramel didn’t work. Duct tape didn’t work. Nothing did…Reality is no gingerbread house again this year…

Fantasy versus Reality

December 13, 2015

This is the fantasy. I’ve long wanted a gingerbread house on my dining room table. You know, the one that appears in fairy tales, the one that makes me love winter. First, I had a dog that would eat anything, anytime, anywhere (RIP Bailey).image.jpg

31 Days of Blogging

December 3, 2015

Yep it’s all Cheryl Sleboda’s fault (again)! She issued the 31 Days of Blogging challenge & I couldn’t resist. I’ve been terribly neglectful of my poor blog so here goes.

Catch-up: we put up the Christmas decorations on Sunday afternoon-3 hours plus a trip to storage & a quick trip to Lowe’s for replacement light bulbs. All supervised by Miss Dolly…there goes the neighbourhood. We will never win the tasteful home decorating award-good thing we never wanted to!

Doggie Daycare-AWonderful Thing!

December 3, 2015

Dolly went to day care today-she had a ton of energy after 2days of rain. She HATES getting wet in the rain, even a necessary walk becomes a chore to her.

Thankfully, her best friend goes to the same day care so Dolly & RUDY will often be car pooled.  Rudy’s mom & I dropped off the dogs, hit the

Starbucks on the way home & sat down to work.

Best Friends Furever in Cockeysville is a great day care.  The staff has been instrumental in getting Dolly to trust humans outside of her immediate circle. Their web cam lets me check on what she’s doing during the day &  I know that she’s safe & happy. Well worth the money-thanks BFF!

Dolly is the yellow lab & her best friend Rudy is the black & white pup next to her.


Spring Studio Challenge

April 19, 2015

Thanks to Cheryl Skeboda who initiated this challenge. Yes, that was partly sarcastic but not all. It’s a job we all have to do occasionally, some more occasionally than others!

We’ve just completed a MASSIVE renovation of the entire first floor. Yes it was worth it but the process was like childbirth-long & painful interspersed with laughter & decisions to be made quickly. So what does this have to do with the studio? Guess where a lot of the “stuff” from the first floor landed? Yep. The studio.

So when I read Cheryl’s challenge on Facebook this morning, I knew it was time. Never mind that we spent all of yesterday cleaning due to the impending arrival of my wonderful sister, her husband (my amazing brother-in-law) & my equally fabulous brother-in-law Greg.

The Before pictures are below. I didn’t time the length of the cleanup. Truthfully I didn’t really care how long it took because it really had to be done, as you can see.

Dolly in the snow 13 Feb 2014

February 13, 2014

Dolly in the snow 13 Feb 2014

More Ice Dyeing

February 13, 2014

I had snow dyed fabric from 2 years ago that was just too pastel for my tastes & the initial results of this year’s ice dyeing were so spectacular that I decided to over dye them. Note to self: the heat is really necessary to help bring out the brilliance of the colors. I was very lax this round & the results are more muted than the initial round. Since these are planned for the large Fire piece, they will work but a good lesson anyway.

Here are the brown/blue/green results.

Top of the dye pot

Top of the dye pot

Closer to the bottom of the pot

Closer to the bottom of the pot


February 8, 2014
Dolly Dec 2013

Dolly Dec 2013

Dolly is our yellow Lab, whom we’ve had for 5 months. She’s funny, smart, great with the cats (read low prey drive) & loves her

Dolly waiting for a treat

Dolly waiting for a treat

walks. We completed basic obedience level 1 in late November & she was a star! (She was the only dog in the class but she was still a star…)