March, April, May . . . part Two (and a bit of June)

 

Hard to believe this was what we saw on 06 May this year, isn’t it? In 2014 the last snow was on the sixth of May.

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Below is the bus stop when I went out for groceries.

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And here are some pictures of my CAL (Crochet-A-Long) blanket. This is the second of three that I started back in early January. It’s finished now. I did try adding a single row of red along the border, and then I tried adding it just down from the edge, but in the end I decided it really was ‘gilding the lily’ and took it out again. You may notice that there is a band of light mossy green, white and a darker, more bluish green near each end. I thought the light moss colour would work, but then wasn’t happy with it. Rather than undo it, I simply turned the blanket around and began working from the beginning,, creating matching odd bands. I rather like it now, as the odd bit doesn’t stand out so much and looks as though it may have been planned. Oh, well, it will be warm anyway.

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When my CAL group were learning ripple stitch, I was still working on the CAL blankets, so instead of beginning a new blanket, I made a pillow cover for a pillow I already had. I rather like it! I made a fancy edge for the closing (it’s folded and stitched to form an envelope), then realized the dark burgundy wouldn’t stand out at all, so I added the white section. There’s always a solution, isn’t there?

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I love this tree so much! It stands just outside the patio doors and this is what I see from where I sit on the couch. I have now seen it bare of leaf, covered in snow, then covered in blossoms. I have no idea what this tree is, but it’s wonderful to look at. Below are photos of the flowers. They have a nice scent, not too strong and not really perfumed.

IMG_9339 IMG_9338 IMG_9369I chanced upon this photo while looking for something else (and isn’t that always the way?) Turns out these are called ‘lenticular’ clouds. I was particularly interested because I only ever saw them once in my life. It  was the day that we buried my Aunt A and Uncle P’s ashes (in the grave of my uncle’s father. He was my dad’s father, too. My dad and his brother married sisters, so their son is my closest cousin). Later that day, my cousin and his wife, one of my brothers, one of my sisters and her daughter plus myself went for supper at a local restaurant. When we came out, it was just sunset and the sky was full of these. None of us had seen them before and, of course, none of us had a camera along. (That was before smartphones and the like). I hurried to the pharmacy, but they were closed already; the usual thing in small towns. So we simply stood on the street corner and looked for as long as the light allowed. There were seven large ones and a bunch of smaller ones and to me it felt like a message from beyond the veil. One of the most beautiful moments of my life and one I will never forget. I was so pleased to find out there was a name for these clouds, after years of asking people and trying to look them up.

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Does anyone have any idea why a good friend would post this on her Facebook page?

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Lately I have felt that I was receiving messages from the Universe . . . I was so startled when these began appearing on our pancakes once I turned them over. Then, sadly, I figured it out . . . the pattern is caused by the way I pour the batter into the hot pan. They are lovely, though, aren’t they? I just had to share these with you . . .

The smiley one had an actual slit forming the mouth and a day later it looked like this:

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. . . and then I ate it! Mmmmm   these are a variation of the Norske egg pancakes that my sister in New Mexico sent me; we have them a couple of times most weeks. Of course, being me, I had to mess around with the (perfectly good and delicious) original recipe . . . but they are still yummy . . .

IMG_9459 IMG_9458Another sister, the one who lives on BC’s Wet Coast, recommended a book called “You are not your Brain” and I ordered it, and a few more in that vein, from our library. She gets an email called the Brain Bulletin and sent me one of them that had fascinating information about our brains; how if we hold negative thoughts we damage our brains physically and how the scientists think it’s related to some forms of dementia, memory loss, etc. I really needed to hear all that. These books had a cursory glance from me and look quite promising, but I showed them to a friend and now they are at her home for a while. I’ll let you know if I learn anything helpful from them. And if any of you are interested in the Brain Bulletin, let me know in your comment and I can give you a link to sign up for them. Another book that came in is for children with OCD. It’s called “What to do When Your Brain Gets Stuck”. I thought it might have some useful information in it.

IMG_9463I don’t know where this originated, but a good friend sent it to me. I’m working on the lists now because I thought this was good advice, especially for me, as I tend to put off doing the things that make me happy, then feel a bit ‘down’ or discouraged. Crazy, eh?

IMG_9471 IMG_9469I have now cooked up two pots of beans (one pound each of black and pinto) and they are in one-cup bags in the freezer waiting for inspiration to strike me . . . I did eat some cold, right out of the pot . . . It’s so nice to have an second refrigerator; I keep extra veggies in it, as well as extra bread.

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I am still working on the third CAL afghan that I began back in January, but two are finished now. While I’ve been working, I’ve been thinking about possible uses for the leftover yarn; there’s quite a bit of it (this is the yarn I bought so I could use up two balls that I already had; this was back last summer, when I first became excited about the Bavarian afghans). Nothing like downsizing, is there? So I decided to make myself a granny square afghan. Of course I began with what might have been a traditional square, but, as you can see, that didn’t last too long . . . This is what I have done so far. Turns out I’m going to have to make two afghans to use up that yarn; one with these colours and some grey that I think will go well with them, and another with the more vibrant reds and blues, purples and white. When I’m done I will have memory afghans from the times I sat working and chatting with my Aunty, whom I still miss every day.

I made three traditional squares so far from the reds and blues, but don’t have a picture handy to share. Next time , , , one of the squares was begun before my Aunty died and finished the following week, so it will be in the centre, along with one for my Mum and one for me. It may take a while, though.

On a completely different note: I’ve taken on some computer work, formatting pages for a huge contract that my sister here is working on. Her company does a lot of that sort of work and it’s good for me, as I can work from home and fit the time in around my Mum’s schedule. It’s a bit of a learning curve, as I’m using a new laptop and the latest Windows program, where my familiar icons and buttons, etc., are gone and I now have to hunt for much of what I used to use on automatic pilot. A glutton for punishment, I have taken two books out of the library that deal with writing apps for iPhones and iPads, but have only glanced at them so far. I have to say, in my defence, that I ordered them before I knew I’d be working again. Not sure if I’ll do anything in this line, but I was curious.

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Some days I feel like a child again; the sun comes in through our north-facing windows around five am every morning. Child-like, I was holding my hand in front of the light to keep it out of my eyes and I noticed how it made my fingers nearly translucent. Just had to get a photo , , ,IMG_7364[1]

My friends the Crafties have begun bringing me some of the projects I had stored in their attic, as well as a box of yarn from the container on their property north of the city. Yes, more yarn . . . Once I have all the Décor yarn here, I plan to catalogue it by colour and amount of each, then I’m thinking I may be making some of those Cosy blankets that Lucy from Attic 24 makes. She started this whole CAL craze, at least in my world.  Above is my not-quite-finished Bavarian afghan that I call “Violets in the Snow”. It’s here in the condo now and I’ll be back to working on it soon, I hope. The hot pink Barn Cardi will be coming soon, too. Now I just need to plant me a lot of thyme . . .

Have a wonderful week, everyone. the laptop is set up for internet now, so I should be able to catch up on comments soon. (I’m using Mum’s computer for this post, though; it’s easier to type on and I’d already done half this post over the last few days, so thought I’d just finish here). I’ll be dropping in on you in the Virtual Village again, too. I’ve been sort of ‘ghosting’ through, reading as much as I could, clicking ‘like’ to let you know I’d been by, but often not able to leave comments easily. one finger typing on a phone isn’t my favourite thing, really. I’ve been thinking of all of you; those in the midst of winter and those out working in your gardens; and especially everyone who’s been affected by the droughts, storms and flooding. I was speaking with my cousin this week (the one I mentioned above) and where he lives (and where I spent my last few years at home) the temperatures have been up to +35C . . . it wasn’t like that when I lived there, back in the early ’60s. Global warming, indeed . . . Big hugs to all of you.

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My sweet Aunty, patiently modelling the Barn Cardi for me.

And, like Columbo, just ‘one more thing’ . . .

I was lucky to catch this on TV recently, in time to record it: I’d never heard of Brit Floyd,, but they were great! I haven’t listened to much Pink Floyd for many years; what a blast from the past:

Brit Floyd Live at Red Rocks

. . . and that’s all, folks . . .

 

 

 

Did you wonder where they went?

Well, after rwo weeks of silence, now you get two posts!

I’ve had less than three hours sleep but am restless (my knee, not an intended pun 😉 ), so have been on my phone. And guess what?

I checked Facebook and found that the other Grandmother, D, got over to SSIsland on Saturday . . .

Here’s my oldest granddaughter, T, now growing towards 16! She’s a beauty, like her Mother . . .

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and here’s the newest granddaughter, S, born just last September.

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Apoarently more photos will follow . . . and I’ll share . . .

1001 Bavarian delights . . .

Well, maybe not 1001, but it feels like it sometimes. Here’s where I am today:

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Well, that’s the one for the oldest granddaughter done and dusted! (as my friend from Tassie would say 🙂 )

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Remember this one? (Well, no, not likely, as here it’s all in a heap)

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As you can see, I’m on the final set of dark rows. It’s now taking nearly an hour to do one side, so I have just over four hours to go; good thing I’m off to visit the Crafties tomorrow, eh? And I’ll take the ones that still need ends working in, too. I’m not doing an edging for this one; I may add a few more rows if I ever get back to the coast for a visit.

It’s pretty big now, though, and two can sit comfortably and warmly under it as it is.

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This shows the rows from the white centre to about half-way out to the edge

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and this shows the rows from there out to the edge. Might be some overlapping here.

I’ve kept a record of the colours I’ve used (partly to avoid buying colours I already have); you likely can’t tell from the photos, but the dark rows are not all the same; some are a reddish plum colour and some are a bluish plum. In reality, this may be the loveliest.

Thanks again to Dani of Teddy and Tottie. Such a perfect gift for me!

Now you all probably know me well enough now to know I just can’t seem to resist playing around with recipes / patterns / whatevers . . .

Here’s a hint:

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So far, so good. Why did I start this when I’m not done with the gifts? Well, I had expected to be at Mum’s on Christmas Eve, so had taken most of my stuff up to her suite. Then I ended up at my Aunty’s until this morning. On Christmas Eve night, I finished the granddaughter’s afghan and had nothing to work on . . . oh, no! 🙂

So I began playing with an idea I’d had each time I made the first, central ‘flower’. And voila! something new that may actually work was begun . . .

Finally . . .

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When folded in thirds each way, the star shows at the centre. The five smaller ones measure 3’1″ wide each way; the one for the oldest granddaughter is 3’4″ each way and the dark multicoloured one for the parents is 4’4″ each way.

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Tomorrow, I tuck in a few yarn ends and then . . . ready to ship! 🙂 still a couple to make and the ‘Violets in the Snow’ one to finish . . . oh, yeah, the slippers to stitch up and felt . . . I think I’ll stitch those tonight. 🙂

That slippery slide . . .

Last week in weather . . . a lot of snow, but not nearly like the 6-7 feet they got in 3 or 4 days in Buffalo, New York . . .

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Last week in crafting:

Wednesday: Mr. and Mrs. Crafty very kindly drove me to the craft store to buy 100% wool yarns. Yes, I know, I have tonnes of yarns, but unfortunately, not many are real wool and besides, I have no idea of their exact location anymore. So I got these (the two balls of lovely indigo ‘roving’ weight yarn are out of sight at the bottom)

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Thursday: I finished number five of the Bavarians for the grandkidlets (and luckily was able to find the half-done one intended for the oldest girl. Here they are laid out by recipient: from the left – oldest grandson, youngest grandson, then the three littlest, all girls. Don’t they look nice? I still haven’t measured them, but if I put one on my lap cornerwise up, it stretches from under my chin to my ankles, so they will be just right for the littles. I hope they think of then as their own personal hug from Bestemor (the Norwegian for Grandmother, and what my Mum called her beloved Grandmother.)

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Then, on Thursday afternoon, I began this:

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I discovered I’d somehow been imaging the final work sideways in my head and had begun the decrease too soon, so I undid the short rows and knitted a longer piece before I re-did the decrease.  Isn’t that blue gorgeous? I really want a jumper made from that, with a bit of rose patterning and then the whole thing felted lightly. Maybe just a vest, eh? (that is my naughty wee crafter girlie, the devilish one who gets me into all sorts of trouble; I’ve had to be firm and remind her that until the ‘barn cardi’ is completed – it’s still at the Crafties’ house – there will be no more clothing projects begun if they are for me.) I don’t feel the photo does the colour justice; the lighting is very poor at my Aunty’s. Later I’ll take a proper picture, maybe outside against the snow . . .

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This is the yarn. I suppose it’s called roving because it’s very lightly spun . . .

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Sunday: I completed the second of the slippers; Now I need to sew them up from toe to ankle and also down the heel. Then comes the felting. This is the pattern I was so lucky to find on the Eclectic Home & Life blog. She’s also posting seven recipes for Scandinavian cookies, just in time if you are baking for Christmas.

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After completing the slippers in mid-morning, I began a pair of slippers in a lighter wool yarn:

Monday (today):

Here’s where I am tonight:

xx

Well, where I thought I was last night is not where I ended up . . . I put about four more hours into this post (including searching through the recent photos and taking a few new ones), but the last one and a half were done on my iPhone. When I hit ‘update’ (I was working on the draft, but was ready to save, then publish), instead of saving, the !@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&* thing ate the rest of the post. So, my friends, this is it for today. More soon. And you’re welcome; glad I saved you some time reading . . . now you have time to finish that novel, quilt, jumper, bucket of tea/coffee/wine . . . or maybe just have a wee nap . . .

Oh, yes, Narfie7 and Pauline – I had a brainwave yesterday and now know what I am making for the Sanctuary garland . . . Anticipation 301?  😉  Still musing on what to make for Marlene, though. I’m so glad there’s no deadline . . .

A couple of weeks ago . . . and more . . .

Well, I meant to publish this a week or so back, but here goes anyway . . .

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The first time the Crafties took me to see their new property, back when the weather was still balmy, we stopped by the home of their daughter, son-in-law and their family. Here are a few pictures from that part of the trip:

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Below, some photos along the way to the Crafties’ property and some of the property itself:

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Afterwards, we drove to Thorhild, which is where my Mum and Dad were living in 1999, when I came up to help out while Dad was ill. I wanted to see the house we lived in and see if anything remained of my parents’ work on it. The lovely window boxes are gone, but the stained glass window upstairs at the back is still there. Originally there was a door leading to a very rickety wee balcony with equally rickety stairs down to the ground. Dad removed the balcony and stairs, then made a stained glass window to fill up the opening instead of the door. Behind that window is the room I stayed in while we were there. After my Dad passed away in September, Mum and I stayed on, resting and recuperating, until she sold the house the following spring and we moved into Edmonton to live in a rented house for a year. It was good to see the place again. I wish it were in Edmonton and we could have stayed in it . . . it had enough room for both of us and our various supplies and room for crafting, too, which is what my parents did when they weren’t renovating.

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Well, that was then . . . and the weather was still warm and balmy;

The container was finally delivered on Monday, the 10th of November, but it wasn’t unloaded where we had planned. The driver and his helper told the Crafties that it was there (by the side of the driveway and only a few feet past the gate) or they would take it back to the yard and I would have to pay for that trip, too. Not much they could do. But, without telling me, Mrs. Crafty called her son and son-in-law (from the place with the donkey, etc.) and the two guys came out on Thursday with their four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and some military strapping. It apparently took a few hours and involved cutting logs to use as rollers under the container, but in the end, they got the job done. As my friends told me later, it didn’t hurt that the two young men are fairly competitive by nature and were determined to get the job done. Unfortunately, no one thought to take photos, so I can’t share the experience with you. Wish I had some, though . . .

On Thursday morning, I found out that Mum and my sister were no longer looking at houses, as all the affordable ones needed quite a lot of work and in some cases had mould and other serious problems. So now it was to be a condo . . . which meant instant re-arranging of plans for me, as now I was going to be taking as much as possible from the apartment where we live, as well as emptying out the storage downtown. So Thursday passed in a blur of bringing in a few boxes from the balcony, removing the protective plastic bags, then quickly sorting through in case there was something I really wanted to keep in town. It had to be done in stages to keep the cold from freezing the apartment too much. But I got quite a lot of it done. Not as much as I would have liked. By the end of the day, my left knee was acting up again from stepping over the high threshold and packing heavy boxes, so I dug out the elastic knee brace and put it on again. It kept me awake until after midnight, but that was alright; it gave me time to unwind a bit and to just breathe . . .

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The last bud on the Happy Hibiscus; it never opened, though. When we were getting ready for the ceiling re-do that never happened, it just quit opening. By the time I had all the plants in the bathtub for over a week, this wee bud just dried up and withered away. Next year, though. Since then, I’ve pruned the Happy Hibiscus back quite a bit and re-potted all the plants except Mum’s newest bonsai, which didn’t need it yet.

On Friday the 14th, I woke at 4:30 a.m. to see a strange greyness outside; it looked as though it were snowing heavily, although no snow had been forecast. As it turned out, it was fog, amazingly lovely. The temperature was about -21C and felt like -29C with the wind chill. Not my preferred moving weather. I was picked up by the Crafties at 7:30 and we went straight to the U-Haul place to get the truck. From there, we drove to their son’s place, where the son-in-law met us. Then it was off to the storage place, where one unit was emptied and another one’s contents were reduced by a significant amount. That second one holds some of Mum’s things, too, so those as well as my clay  pots and collapsible tables, were left behind.

From the storage, we headed up 97th Street to Mum’s place, the Crafty son driving the truck and the Crafties and I in their car. The son-in-law drove his own car, as they had to leave as soon as the unloading was completed. Did I mention that he had his sweet son, Master Z, with him? All ready for the cold with his wee Carhartt jacket and mini work boots. He didn’t mind the cold (his jacket was open the whole time; he did have on a fleece and more underneath) and did his best to help the whole time. Very impressive.

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Above are a few of the photos I took on the drive north. It was very magical to see the fog-rime on the bare trees and snow still on many of the evergreens. I took so many pictures, my phone died while we were out there. Some of them will make good studies for pen and ink drawings with just a hint of watercolour to liven them up, should I ever have time and space for art again . . .

By the time the Crafties and I arrived at the property, the U-Haul was backed up to the container’s open doors, the ramp was out and the back wall was stacked with boxes. From there we switched to stacking the boxes one layer deep along each side of the container. Next summer, I will go out for a day or maybe two at a time and start the long process of going through everything and disposing of most of it. I so wish that I lived close enough to you who inhabit this Virtual Village with me, so that I could share with you all. But, postage being what it is, photographs will have to do . . .

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From the property, the son-in-law and his son left for home, and the rest of us returned to Edmonton. I rode along with the Crafty son in the truck, for old time’s sake. I always loved driving the big U-Hauls, but my eyesight isn’t what it once was and I’m reluctant to drive until that’s fixed one day. Without asking me, the Crafties stopped and picked up sandwiches for our lunch at their son’s place. That done, we took the truck to re-fill the gas tank. In well over two hours of driving, we only used a half tank of gas, so that was pretty good. Just over $100 with the discount from Mr. Crafty’s card. Then we took the truck back and from there drove back to the Crafty home, arriving about 3:30 p.m., well before dark. The whole task, from loading the truck to being done with the unloading, took only just over two hours, plus the hour or so drive north. I was pretty impressed. By myself, or even with only the Crafties and me, it would have been more than twice that. In that cold, it would have been pretty arduous.

Did I mention that before we were done moving the boxes, it had begun to snow? Yep. Luckily, it was that fine, grainy stuff that doesn’t stick to anything. But I had to brush  it off the items like paintings that were stacked at the front of the moving van waiting to be shifted. We were so, so lucky, in spite of the cold. and it made the hot Chinese food at the end of the day so delicious . . .

The following Friday, Mum placed an offer on a ground-floor condo and it was accepted. Much rejoicing around here! Then, a few days later, the owners changed their minds. So back to searching. Mum has an offer in on another condo now, so I’ll let you know how that goes. I liked the idea of the first place because it was about three blocks from a large mall, on the grocery store side and that mall has a small branch of the library. Also the bus stops at the back of the mall include ones for buses going downtown, which would have been pretty convenient for me. Oh, well, this or something better, as they say . . .

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That’s right, my friends! I have not been idle! These are the Bavarians for my grandkidlets . . . The dark rose for the eldest of the three youngest girls, the medium rose for the next youngest and the pale rose for the wee girl born this past September.

The lighter green-blue is for the younger of the two boys and the darker one (nearly finished; I have four rows and the edging still to do) is for the elder boy.

I have two others for that family still to finish; one more multi-coloured for the eldest grand-daughter, who is now 15 and a half and a large one, also multi-coloured, for their parents. Oh, yes, and the Violets in the Snow afghan still needs a few more rows . . . and then there are two young lads and a wee lassie that I have in mind . . .

These go surprisingly fast, at least when you have up to six hours a day to sit and do nothing but crochet 🙂  These child-size afghans take two balls each of Red Heart acrylic (more washable); one of white and one of a colour. I’m not sure how many balls I’ve used on the two large afghans. And the small ones I can do in two weeks, most of the work in the first week. I truly love this pattern and I can’t thank Dani of the Teddy and Tottie blog enough. If I ever get to meet her, Dani will be showered with hugs and chocolate and maybe wine . . . 🙂

Ok, there’s more, but I have to leave something for another day, don’t I?

Hugs to everyone in the Virtual Village . . . and comments will be replied to soon. I apologize for not keeping up, but it’s been a tad busy around here . . . and I haven’t dropped in on as many of you as I like to do, or left comments when I did come by.

I’m so looking forward to life just settling down and living in ‘Normal’ again . . . (thanks, Robbie, for letting me know there’s an actual town named Normal. I may have to emigrate . . .)

I nearly forgot . . . here’s a song for anyone who shares some of my musical tastes:

Grey, Foggy Day  Shanneygannock are a group from Newfoundland and I love their work. A co-worker who grew up with a couple of the members introduced me to their music. Folkie, but you know me . . .

And another Canadian group, sadly no longer recording together: Kashtin. I was lucky to see  them close up and for free when the Commonwealth Games came to Victoria (BC) back in 1994. They were playing on a stage set up in front of the Empress Hotel and I managed to work my way right up near the front. Unforgettable!

Kashtin Innu

One  of my all-time favourite groups. They were fantastic; playing everything from huge halls to small bush camps. I still listen to them often.

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There were performers from all over the world and I got to meet quite a few of them, including an Aborigine from Australia who showed me his didgeridoo and let me hold it. I was so in awe of all these talented people; since I was just an untalented volunteer.

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I’m under there, somewhere . . . this is a First Nation (Haida, I think) Double-Headed Serpent from the opening ceremony.

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I was in the closing ceremony, too, wearing a huge foam hand costume, performing a square dance. I can’t find a photo of that, but afterwards, we were lined up along the track and I got to see the Queen and Prince Philip a bit closer than this as they left. I was so lucky!

And, like Columbo, I have “One last thing” . . .

If you want something sweet to make for Christmas and don’t have much time, try these fabulous felted slippers from Eclectic Home & Life. I haven’t gotten far with the pair I want to make for my Aunty and now I know why . . . now to find some real wool yarn. ❤

Another Update

Hi, everyone! I started this a while back, then later did a lengthy update. When I tried to cancel adding a photo, WP froze and lost all the update. I gave up for a while after that. But no doubt you are wondering what’s up around here . . .

The original bit:
First, thanks so much for all your comments, support and thoughts in general. I’ve been super-stressed and feeling overwhemed for a while now. I think I’ve turned the corner now, though. It’s been challenging, but many have much larger challenges; I didn’t mean to sound quite so “poor-me” as I obviously did. So . . . back to ‘keeping on keeping on’ 🙂

Still haven’t found a container and flurries are forecast for later this week. Not likely to get snow that sticks, luckily.

In the meantime . . .

Mum has been given three months notice, which is not an eviction and requires no reason to be given. That’s good, as it means her perfect rental record will remain clean.

Also, she will be allowed to give one month’s notice so long as we are out by the end of January.

Mum is looking for a place to buy, as that will be cheaper than renting in the long run. But she’s keeping an open mind.

So . . . big changes coming up, eh? Good thing most of the packing has been done already. 😉 I’ll continue with that next week

That morning:

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It was gone a few hours later. Whew!

On Thursday the 6th of November four small towns in Alberta had record high temperatures; the highest was 19.6C.

On Friday, the evening news warned us of a big cold front coming down from the North.

On Saturday, we woke to:

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and by evening it looked like this (from my Aunty’s east-facing suite)

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and

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and this (from Mum’s west-facing suite):

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Meanwhile, progress continued in fits and starts; a shipping container was located and purchased, to be delivered (I thought) in the afternoon of Monday, 03 November. However, several failures of communication occurred (is Mercury retrograde or something? It seems to be speeding backwards lately . . .)

These will give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
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In the end, after several phone calls to/from Mr. and Mrs. Crafty, who were waiting to open the gate and direct the truck, we learned that it had been booked for the following day . . .

So . . . back they went the following day (a drive of an hour or so each way). Again, they waited outside, this time in steadily cooling weather. More phone calls . . . turned out the truck, making its first delivery of the day, had gotten stuck in deep mud somewhere near Lloydminster, way north of here. At first, there was hope that the driver would be able to get unstuck, return to the yard (south of the city), load my container and deliver before 5:00 pm. Didn’t happen that way, so we re-scheduled . . . to tomorrow, Monday the 10th, when the temperature is expected to be between -12 and -15C. But it will be the first load of the day, so is expected to arrive about 10:00 am.

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This morning, facing east.

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The eastern balcony . . .

On Friday, the 14th, with temps expected to be between -10 and -17C, the Crafties will pick me up at 8:00 am and we will go get the 26′ U-Haul truck, proceed to my storage units, load up anything I can live without ’til spring and then drive north to the property. We hope to be able to back up to the container, extend the ramp right into it, then hustle everything inside. If all goes smoothly, we will drive back to the city, return the truck and then spend the remainder of the day warming up, crafting and watching a movie or two while enjoying some take-out. No-one will want to be cooking by then!

Remember the wee Bavarian afghans I am making for my grandchildren? The first two are in a box on the balcony, but here are the latest two:

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Pretty, aren’t they? I haven’t finished the large ‘Violets in the Snow’ one, or the (meant to be equally large) multi-coloured one or the smaller multi-coloured one. I have one more white and blue afghan to make, then three more for related babies (related to me, I mean). 😉

By the way, I managed to re-pot all our houseplants and pruned the Happy Hibiscus, too.

AND . . . while I love the Golden Goddess chai that Wendy from Quarter Acre Lifestyle introduced us to a while back, making it is a bit fiddly for me. So here’s what I’ve been making:

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I start with some kefir, thanks to the most Diligent Dorcas. This goes into a Magic Bullet container, but you can use your blender, stick blender or what-have-you . . .

Throw in a banana, then a teaspoon or more of nutritional yeast, a shake or two each of ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. I use about a quarter teaspoonful of each, but you can adapt amounts to taste. Add some honey or your favourite sweetener and top up with kefir. Blend well and enjoy. If you like it quite cold, add a couple of ice cubes before blending. If you want it hot, I’d say pour it in a pan and leave it on the stove for a few minutes. I haven’t tried that yet myself . . .

Have a great week, my friends, and remember . . . “Choose Joy” as one of The Contented Crafter cards says.

Still keeping on . . .

Hi, everyone! No photos, sorry (no time); next time I should have some.

Still not done with the packing, but getting close. The team is coming tomorrow!! and they hope to be done in one day. I sure hope so, as I’m back at my Aunty’s the following day and I need to get things ready for that. Mum will go to my sister’s for the day, but will take a small suitcase in case she has to spend the night. I’m going to hover in the neighbourhood in case I am needed. I don’t really want anyone moving the large antique table or the many loom parts without my being there to supervise.

Once they are done and gone, we start the process of bringing things back in, sorting and arranging. No comment . . .

I did take Saturday off and spent it with Mr. and Mrs. Crafty, with a few hours at their daughter and son-in-law’s ‘farm’ near Westlock, north of here, then on to see their new property. It was slightly windy and the sun was warm; we walked all the way around the ten acre plot; fairly rough as we followed the new fence line. The back is against Crown land, which to me is ideal; it’s like having a park without the taxes and maintenance . . . We saw stumps scratched by a bear and a few deer tracks; a few other markings that I couldn’t identify. No wildlife, though, and only a few small birds. It was so good to not hear any sound of humans for so long!

They won’t move out there for probably four or five years, but they have a good neighbour who keeps an eye on the place for them. With the new fencing up, the ‘quadders’ can’t drive across the land anymore, which is good, but there’s always a chance of someone coming through the fence. I hate that such thoughts must even cross my mind. When I was young, we never locked the house and my Dad left the keys in the car while he and Mum did the weekly shopping. Better than now, I think.

I didn’t want to take the large Bavarian with me to work on after we got back (the Crafties smoke and the smell gets into fabric and yarn), so I took two balls of yarn and began another Bavarian that will be one of those slated for the grandkidlets. This one’s not as fancy as the large “Violets in the Snow” one; just the standard, simple two-colour work.

My Aunty was just up again to visit with Mum, so I had enough time to write a short post. Now she’s off home and I’m back to bagging and shifting . . . Dorcas the Dutiful (my kefir) will be going into the fridge tonight, so I hope she is ready for a cool rest, too.

I’ve not kept up with comments, but will likely catch up once things settle down again. I apologize for that. I do read them on my iPhone, so don’t feel you have cast your seeds to the wind . . . I’ve dropped in on a few blogs, too, but not as much as I’d like and have not left comments. In spite of the weather about to descend on us, I’m sorta looking forward to this winter and to staying in, knitting and crocheting, who knows??

Love to you all and thanks for hanging in during this time. I appreciate every one of you so much! Hope your autumns and springs are bringing you many blessings . . .  ~ Linne

The Voyage through the Virtual Village continues (part 1)

I’m back up at my Mum’s tonight and doing a bit of catchup; how delightful to see this post by one of my many favourite villagers, Mr. 23 Thorns! Three more to come . . .

If you haven’t read his post yet, you’re in for a treat . . .

The weather has warmed up and is now just right for the packing I have planned for tomorrow and Friday. I’m planning to be done by Sunday at the latest, so we can get this over with and then I can start moving things back indoors before the real snow arrives . . .

I’m apologizing now for the lack of photos this week; I just haven’t taken many and some I took with the iPod, so they have to be transferred to the hard drive. No time yet.

I found seeds in a couple of Mandarin oranges a while back and now they have sprouted and been planted in with one of the houseplants. I know, we need more plants, especially trees . . .

I’ve been busy and not upstairs for long this past week, but I’ve been working on the Violets in the Snow Bavarian Afghan and here’s where it’s up to today:

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This couch is six feet between the arms; the afghan is now nearly six feet side to side. It’s a bit heavy and surprisingly warm. I had no idea they could grow so large . . . 😉

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As you can see, there are now seven rows of white motifs bordering the purple row. And it doesn’t show here, but I’ve made a good start on the eighth row; I’m planning on eleven rows of white motifs, then finishing up with a final row of the purple.

But, there may be a slight detour, as I’m about to begin a pair of slippers for my Aunty, whose old ones finally wore out. As well, a friend of mine from Victoria has requested six pairs for her and her room-mate. So I’ll get right on that, once the packing is finished. I’m going to use chunky yarn or else a combination of yarns, so they should go quite quickly. I found one pattern a few minutes ago, so  even if my book of patterns is packed,, I’ll manage. Of course, there are always patterns on Ravelry, too. I  know I bought at least one and it’s on the computer, so I can just print it out. Pictures will be posted, but not for a bit . . .

Your music for the week is the entire hourlong ‘unplugged‘ concert by Eric Clapton. If he’s not your thing, no worries . . .

I’m waiting now for the results from tomorrow’s vote on Independence for Scotland. I have mixed feelings about it, as it’s not a change I really want to see, but either way, I hope people find a way to make things work and for them to be content, if not satisfied, with the results. I’d hate to see Canada broken up, too, but I know there are a few who want it, including some idiot who wanted Vancouver Island to secede from the rest of the country. Not sure what he thought we’d do for an economy, but I think his eye was only on being the biggest frog in a shrinking pond. Other than that, on the one hand, I think smaller countries might work better, but only if no large ones are allowed to exist; otherwise, the small ones will continue to be at the mercy of the larger and, historically, that hasn’t worked out so well most times. Even now, when I heard that the EU is demanding that much of Ireland’s forests be cut, it makes me heartsick and worried. But changes come and go and we must just get stuck in, as my friends say, and make our bit of the earth a cheerful and loving place. No-one can take that from us. We shall ‘over-grow’ the powers that think they be . . . and I’m content with that . . .

Now, thanks for listening to me rant; go read Mr. 23 Thorns’ post and get your smile for the week . . .

p.s.  the Happy Hibiscus has one more bud burgeoning happily by the window, but I didn’t get a photo yet; this may be the last of the year and I can’t believe how many there have been, close to two dozen, I think. That plant brings me joy every day!

 

Voyage Through the Virtual Village (AKA “Blog Hop Around the World”) :-)


OK, friends, here it is! So fill up those buckets of tea, gather some food and prepare yourselves for a somewhat lengthy stay . . . and big hugs to anyone who makes it through to the end . . . I’ve not written for a while and this is what happens when all that energy is kept pent up . . . some of you may need to come back and read this in sections . . . consider yourselves duly warned . . .

I’m sure you all know by now that everyone in this Village holds their own special place in my heart, each for their own unique self, and it’s been a great privilege to share vicariously in the lives of so many diverse people: gardeners, crafters, artists, writers, parents, travellers, designers, and so on and on . . . we may never meet in person, but in some ways we meet so authentically here in the Village that it makes no never mind to me, as some would say. You are each a treasured part of my HeartFamily and no matter what the future might hold for any of us, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers, in my heart, my mind, my memories . . .  but put that aside for now . . .

Today I want to take you on a trip, a Voyage . . . here we go, off to meet a few of the others in my Village. I hope some  of them come to dwell in your Villages, too . . .

I’ve been following posts by several friends as they participated in this Blog Hop Around the World and now I’ve been invited to join in . . .by Jess, the Rabid Little Hippy. In the beginning of my blogging days, I saw a comment by Jess somewhere and was enchanted by her blogname, being a Rabid Larger (and Older) Hippie myself. Since then, she has become a great friend, supportive and encouraging, not to mention inspiring. In many ways she is the daughter of my heart, just the sort of daughter I might have wished for . . . and maybe more like me than a daughter of the blood would have been . . .

I love everything Jess and her family get up to, although some days I feel I need to lie down and rest after reading about all she accomplishes in a day or a week . . .  😉

. . . and then there all my other new friends that she has led me to . . . this Virtual Village is just what any extreme introvert needs . . .

a new waterlily bloom about to flower more water primrose and I still have my water hawthorn flowering too. I definitely need more plats in there to prevent evaporation and to cover the water surface more though.  Orik's personal race track. He loves doing laps around the garden bed! The area where the bench now sits has had its tyres ripped out, the soil moved into the garden bed and tiles are down now. Todays work with Jas and Eggra as assistants.

 The removed bed is now in the corner here. Once the chooks have done their work the wire will be removed and reo mesh upcycled into trellis for the grapes I'm planting here. They will in turn shade the rest of the bed from the early afternoon sun onwards, providing a micro-climate. Well, that's the plan.  Above are three photos of the Rabid Little Hippy’s backyard garden, where chooks, goats and other lifeforms also reside. Also out there you will often find Martin, her husband, as well as three of the cutest Pint Sized Permies, whose activities are occasionally posted in their own blog. Jess introduced me to hugelkultur and rocket stoves, not to mention a wagonload of information about various ecological issues and more. The Rabid Little Hippy and her entourage dwell in Ballan, Victoria, Australia.

And me attempting to do the same

Here is Jess sporting her Katniss braid . . .

creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, doesn’t it?

From comments on Rabid’s posts, I found myself often on The Road to Serendipity with Narfie and Stevie-boy and the two pups . . . and that led me to so many others that I can’t name them all.

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DSCF7039Above are two photos of the Sanctuary, a HUGE veggie garden completely encased and roofed with fishnetting to keep out various predators. The netting was completely installed  by Narf7 and Steve last year. The bottom photo was taken on a walk with the two ‘pups’, looking across part of the river Tamar to The Road to Serendipity (somewhere in the middle of all that lovely green). Serendipity Farm is in Tasmania, south of Australia. Go visit the Farm and you will learn, love and laugh ’til you fall off your chair . . .

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Creativity takes many forms at Serendipity Farm; music, cooking, renovating, etc. Still, I feel the most creative thing of all  is found in Narf7 and Stevie-boy’s approach to life, love, learning and all that good stuff . . .

My blog-following is most eclectic, like me, and so I decided to invite an eclectic batch of friends and see what happened. I can now tell you that I’m quite over the Super-Moon (which was happening as I typed the draft for this post):

But first . . . My answers to the questions:

  • Why do I create what I do? Wish I knew! I just can’t help it; it’s like reading . . . if I were locked up with only a cereal carton, I’d read every word on it (several times), then I’d write on it (in blood if necessary), then I’d see what I could fashion from it . . .  Honestly, I think creativity is a vital part of each of us, although in some people it’s farther down the list of strengths than it is for others. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t create and the very act of creating has healed me, entertained me, amused me, given me hope and strength, distracted me when I most needed it, oh, and so much more . . . kept people warm and fed, made a home of wherever I happened to be living at the time, filled a gap when the budget didn’t stretch to something I wanted or needed. I learned to be creative with sewing because I am tall, with long arms and legs, and women’s clothing rarely fits me. Many tops have sleeves a couple of inches too short; pants stop above my socks, and so on. In my slightly younger days, I hand-stitched long skirts and dresses and even a couple of pairs of pants. I still have most of them, but they are not available for a photo session. I fell in love with Folkwear Patterns and hand-stitched the Kinsale Cloak from a heathery green fabric of unknown components. I never finished the hood, but I loved that cloak a lot. Fully lined, with topstitching and it was so cosy! Somewhere along the way, it seems to have disappeared, but I still have the pattern and would like to make it again one day; this time from a woollen fabric. More recently I discovered the Sense & Sensibility patterns for days gone by . . . I own most of the Edwardian patterns and some of the crochet and Romantic Era patterns as well. And that’s only the sewing of clothes bit of my creative endeavours . . .

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Some dyeing I did for the Etsy store (closed for a while now)

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My favourite drawing, which is the cartoon for a couple of watercolour paintings.

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A casual drawing of a ‘hobbit home’, done while drawing with children.

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A ‘plain’ shawl that I somehow managed to complexify and bits for two of several knitted bears, something I love to work on when possible.

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A round shawl I made up as I went along . . .

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My favourite shawl; mossy green and also invented as I worked. It has a macramé fringe and a pattern of ‘holes’ worked in just for interest.

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Two of the double-sided crochet bits I’ve made. This is from an easy pattern shared by a bus driving friend and posted here a while back.

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The most creative time of all . . . loving someone small . . .

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A crochet doily with white and ecru-leaved violets; I made this several years ago, when I was still living on the west coast of BC.

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Hexagon flowers for an eventual ‘Bestemor’s Flower Garden’ piece. Bestemor means Grandmother in Norwegian and it is what my grandkidlets call me, in homage to my Mum’s mother, who died years before I was born. I wish I had known her . . .

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Three of the hand-sewn dolls for my grandkidlets . . . from a rough pattern.

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Above, one of my Dad’s stained glass lampshades and on the back of the couch, a quilt made by my Mum, with her quilted pillow in the centre front. They both did so much more . . . I love that creativity has been passed down in my family for many generations.

My parents, with me and the first two of my brothers, back when we lived in a small one-room shack with no power, no indoor plumbing and a wood cookstove that also kept us warm. My creativity began even before that, though . . .

  • How does my creative process work? Well it’s different when you’re not so skilled and also very eclectic. (Do you think there’s a relationship between those two?) If I stuck to one or two creative endeavours, I might have mastered them by now and life would no doubt be quite different. But no such luck. I am inspired by an idea, a photo, a pattern, whatever; I gather materials and I start a project . . . then, “oh, look, a blade of grass!” (that phrase is a family joke among my sisters, often used when we are talking about something and then digress and then digress again [but we always come back to the original topic] ) and I am off learning about something else. Or maybe I had to move and my projects are in storage and I can’t stand the emptiness that comes when I have nothing on the go . . . so I read a bit (if you think I’m being honest with ‘a bit’, think again! LOL) but it’s never enough; I have to make something . . . so off I go on another project and then, there it is, that ‘blade of grass’ and away I go again . . .  In a perfect life, I like to have several things on the go at once, set up and waiting for me. Then I can ‘feel’ what I want to do for the day and pick up where I left off. In reality, I do have several things on the go at once, but practical considerations often determine what I work on at any given time. So, when at my Aunty’s, I need a project that doesn’t require me to read a pattern so that I can pay attention to our chats. One of the major reasons I fell in love with Dani’s Bavarian crochet afghan. I have finished two, have a large one well under way and am in the middle of one I haven’t really mentioned yet. Photos at the bottom of this post, but no peeking!

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The large Bavarian afghan above; two for the grandkids below.

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  • And I have enough yarn now . . . sigh . . . the first Bavarian was meant to use up two oversized balls of acrylic; then I had to buy more so there would be enough afghans for each of the soon-to-be-six grandkidlets to have one of their own and the parents to have one large enough to cuddle under . . . and then there is my other son and his former girlfriend. Like Scarlett, I’ll think about that tomorrow . . . A major part of my creative process is that simple projects somehow become complex and, like objects in the mirror, much larger and nearer than they seem) One reason they become complex is that I am creative with practically everything, and in a rather slap-dash, ‘what-the-hey’ manner. “oh, well” is a mantra heard often in the inner regions . . . but I LOVE it so much!! Why? I ask you . . . I makes me happy and frustrated, often in equal parts, to be creative; to learn and do; to master; to design (a life-long love of mine, designing); to teach . . .

When I can, I love to make things that are more challenging; last year I started my first Fair Isle style ‘barn cardi’; some of you will remember it; not perfect, but it will be warm and cosy, and the lovely hot magenta background is very cheerful. Only the sleeves and buttonbands to go now (and maybe a hood), but it’s on hold at my friends’ place at present. I used traditional Fair Isle motifs, but the cardi itself and the arrangement of the motifs are all my own doing; the shape of the cardi evolved during the knitting . . .. as did the collar . . .

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A favourite quote . . . from Stephen Hunt.

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My Fair Isle style ‘barn cardi’ . . . and that’s my lovely, 94.5 year old, under-five foot Aunty helping out as my photographer’s model . . .

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A Fair Isle style bag I invented, also with traditional motifs.

  • How does my work differ from others of its genre? Well, my friends, if I had a genre, maybe I’d have an answer for you . . . The best I can say is that I am wildly eclectic, with a wide range of creative loves that encompasses language and languages, music, folk art, fine art, design, almost all the arts known to woman including fibre arts of all sorts, traditional skills and current ways, and more. Perhaps what is different at times is that I am a philosophical thinker by nature (my top strength), so things I make often have meaning for me that they don’t have for others. I like to make things by hand. I’ve done a little spinning, some weaving, some dyeing, and so on. I’d hoped to do stamping and free-hand painting on some of the silk scarves, but those plans are on the shelf for now. I designed a Cowichan sweater for my husband a few decades ago, with symbols that are meaningful to him and knitted from unspun yarn in cream with light and dark brown motifs. So far as I know, he still has it. I have a couple of photos of it and will post them here if and when I locate them . . .

I like to combine media, too. I’ve done a little printmaking and the idea of combining that with watercolour and then collaging on top of it all is very exciting to me. I have created a few masks and art dolls. One piece I especially like is a four-foot circle of thin plywood covered in canvas. I fastened three masks of my own face on the front, then painted the entire thing white; it looks like faces emerging from the background.

  • What am I presently working on? Well, the Bavarian crochet afghans, of course, and here is a series of photos of pieces of the latest one, which is my way of being creative with a lovely pattern:

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Does that seem confusing? The large piece is the centre; there will be twelve smaller pieces (below is the photo showing the centre and three of the smaller bits) surrounding it, then there will be several rows all around and all in white. I may throw a row of purple in there somewhere, too; that depends on having enough left to complete the work. I have only one ball of the purple, but have three balls of the white and a good chance of getting more if needed. No chance of more purple; the yarn is different from the same brand now; softer and finer spun. But I do want a purple edge, as it will show wear a bit less.

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Here you can see the centre piece. Each side of it will have two of the purple hearted squares and the four corners will be the white hearted squares. Hope that’s more clear.

Here are the latest photos of this piece, which is turning out even better than I dreamed:

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As you can see, this new piece is now wider than a single bed . . . and still growing . . .  I call it “Violets in the Snow” and it’s my favourite of the Bavarians I’ve made so far.        I think I’ll be keeping this one . . ..

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A detail of the corner as it is today . . .

OK, that’s enough about me . . . 🙂 Four people have been kind enough to allow me to twist their arms ever so gently and have agreed to take part in this Blog Hop Around the World, or, as I like to think of it, this Voyage through the Virtual Village:

(Please note: all photos from participant bloggers are used with permission)

First up is Sarah from the Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm
(pronounced: fruu-lings-cab-ee-na)

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Sarah and her lovely family live in an old California gold rush town. 20130228-195603.jpg

Backyard chickens and so much more . . . but I’ll let Sarah tell you about that . . .

Her creativity is evident not only in her approach to sustainable living, but also in her artwork:

2 Nordic Animal Prints of Hand Drawn Illustration Designs with Rune Poems - Goat, Chicken, Horse, Sheep, Duck

One of Sarah’s Celtic mandala drawings, perfect for using as is or for colouring in.

On the blog are a page for Printables, with excellent resources for small-holding farmers, as well as another page with a variety of DIY projects. Check them out!

Sarah has an Etsy store, the Little Farm Shop, and it was there that I purchased my lovely raven amulet necklace:

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. . . as well as her beautiful ‘Backyard Farm Coloring Book’ for my grandkidlets and for a friend’s children, too. These are a perfect gift, as you can email them to whomever and they can print out as many copies as they like. Children can colour the pictures, then send them to Grandma or . . . all while learning a bit about backyard farming.


23 Thorns tea-towel

The Official Tea Towel of the 23 Thorns household . . .

Next up is . . . Mr. 23 Thorns! I first discovered him via The Road to Serendipity, and he makes me laugh and sometimes cry, often at the same time . . . Writing is one of my favourite forms of creativity, or I should say, reading other people’s writings.

Mr. 23 Thorns  Mrs. 23 Thorns

Mr. and Mrs. 23 Thorns (she has her own blogs: Tracy  Loves History and The Rubbish Collection Day Collection. This woman has the most inspired approach to taking out the trash that I’ve ever heard of; she, too, makes me laugh and sometimes cry. They deserve each other (and I mean that in the nicest of all possible ways)!

Master 23 Thorns  Miss Carmen Miranda

Mrs and Miss 23 Thorns

As you can see, the 23 Thorns children are as creative as their parents . . .

Here are links to a couple of my favourite 23 Thorns posts . . .

  • Jesus died. But now he lives. In Detroit, sort of. This post introduced me to the work of Jesus Rodriguez, a man whose music and approach to life continues to inspire me. If you are intrigued, check it out . . .
  • Parenting for Dummies.  As my parents, and later myself, had quite ‘relaxed’ approaches to parenting, at least when it came to letting kids roam free, climb trees, take risks, etc., I found this post both refreshing and amusing. Don’t let the first line fool you; Mr. 23 Thorns loves his kids as much as any of us; he just doesn’t subscribe to the “wrap ’em in cotton wool ’til they grow up” philosophy.

23 Thorns kids n elephant  23 Thorns kids road trip

As you may have guessed from the photo on the left above, the 23 Thorns do not live in Canada . . . nope, they live in South Africa . . . I hope, if I ever get there, to camp somewhere nearby . . . I dream of hearing the birds, maybe even elephants, at night.

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Fierce Protector of the 23 Thorns household . . .

Mr. 23 Thorns also writes Why Books. That is a link to a wonderful post about WWI.


Getting Stitched on the Farm

Third brave participant is Kristin Nicholas, of Getting Stitched on the Farm. Kristin has her own shop, where you can browse for patterns (I’ve bought a couple), books, kits and more, even wallpaper!

  

Kristin has books of knitting and embroidery patterns in her shop.

One of the wallpaper patterns she painted by hand and which can be purchased.

Color by Kristin is her own brand of yarn. Half wool, a quarter each alpaca and mohair.

You can find these in the Embroidery Supplies section.

Kristin began sewing at age nine and, like me, learned to knit, crochet and much more soon after that. She was lucky to have a German Gran who taught her embroidery.

She sells her own notecards and postcards, too, in sets of assorted or single image.

  

Kristin has written several books, too, including these. I bought the centre one and love it! I will take it along the next time I visit my grandkidlets. My eldest granddaughter taught herself to stitch by age 5 and is still interested at 15.

Kristin lives a couple  of hours from Boston, Massachusetts. If you are going to be in the neighbourhood, you may be able to take in a class or two. This one interests me . . .

See her post on Fabric Printing if it interests you, too . . .

As you can see, Kristin’s creativity has many outlets. I have found her blog more than inspiring. Now if I only had more time . . . note to self, plant thyme next spring . . .


City House Studio

Fourth and final participant will be Michelle of the City House Studio blog. I found her through a couple of sewing and quilting blogs that I follow and was instantly smitten with her work and with her fresh approach to quilt design.

One of Michelle’s gorgeous quilts.

. . . and this is her Farmer’s Wife Quilt, completed in 2011. 90 blocks, to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday! More than impressive, isn’t it? There is a great story behind this quilt; you can read it here. It covers from the 1890s to the 1930s. I love the tradition that is carried on through the stories and by people still making this quilt.

here she is with her Gran and the quilt.

And here’s the back of it . . . equally lovely.

I love her Scrappy Asterisk Block tutorial and it’s on my ever-lengthening list . . . this is the first of Michelle’s quilts that I read about and it caught both my eye and my imagination. I simply adore anything not ‘in-the-box’ when it comes to design.

Michelle has an Etsy store and it should be open again soon. I happen to know she’s extremely busy getting some quilts ready for several fall fairs. Which explains why Michelle’s Blog Hop post will see the light of day in September – watch for it!

You can buy patterns from Michelle’s Craftsy store, too.

See her “Read” Library Tote pattern here or her Bionic Gear Bag Notions tote here.

Now, if you’re into free motion quilting, be sure to visit Michelle’s FMQ Challenge blog. That’s one example in the photo above. And then there is this:

Don’t know if I’ll ever have time for trapunto quilting, but I hope so. At least one piece, maybe a pillow . . . Project lists certainly give us reasons to live, don’t they?

 

Two of Michelle’s ‘Sticks’ quilts. I. Want. More. Time. !!!  🙂

I’m not sure where this Blog Hop began, but I have traced it back a ways for you, in case you, too, are afflicted with terminal curiosity . . .

Rabid Little Hippy

The Road to Serendipity

The Contented Crafter

Boomdeeadda 

One Spoiled Cat

These Days of Mine

A New Day Dawns

Simply Trece

I’m assuming the Hop goes back much further, but have run out of time; if you are interested, I’m sure you can do what I’ve done so far; go to the last blog listed and go back through posts to around June (or earlier, as you go on), then look for the specific post. It’s been lots of fun, just seeing all the different types of blogs that are linked through this Hop. If you read the posts, you will see that there are branches to this hop; as many bloggers have twisted the arms of found three others to ‘volunteer’ to join in.

It wouldn’t be a “post accompli” without a bit of music, would it? Much of it is folky, so if that’s not your thing, no worries. None of us have enough thyme for everything, do we?

Heiland Harry by The Corries, in honour of all the young men who never returned from the various wars they were sent to fight.

Like Janis by Jesus Rodriguez (Sixto Diaz)

Asimbonanga by Johnny Clegg (with Nelson Mandela!)

Hobo’s Lullaby by Arlo Guthrie (written by Woody Guthrie), in honour of all those out of work and homeless . . .

Two songs that link to my childhood now:

The Log Driver’s Waltz by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. My Dad used a peavey like these when managing logs in a boom im a holding pond. I don’t think he ever rode a log through whitewater, though.

The Frozen Logger by The Weavers. My Dad used to sing this all the time. I learned it as a young child and I still love it.

A half hour of Stompin’ Tom Connors, a Canadian icon. I don’t listen to a lot of country, but I still love Stompin’ Tom, who passed away not that long ago. A true, true Canadian!

His The Hockey Song will always be one of my favourites.

and, of course, Runrig, singing The Water is Wide and Steppin’ Down the Glory Road.

. . . performing An Sabhal Aig Neill, followed by the Drums . . . should make you dance!

Last, my favourite rendition of “We Will Rock You!” This one’s for the more rockin’ of my followers.If you want a lot more more rock and a lot less folk, here’s one of my favourites from Woodstock . . . Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this voyage . . . I sure did. Hope it was worth the wait.

Here we are, home again . . . someone has the kettle on and there are treats ready for our tea . . . too busy now? Come by another time; the door is always on the latch . . .

BTW, the Happy Hibiscus says ‘hello’ to all of you; this is the most recent of an amazing summer of flowering. I think it’s thirteen or fourteen so far and there are another two or three buds coming along. The most I ever had in one year, ever, was three and that was once. Most years there has only been one and occasionally there were none.

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Link

It’s been very hot here this afternoon, so I spent some time at the computer listening to music; then realized I could have done a proper post . . . oh, well, a short one isn’t so bad, is it?

We’ve also had a fair bit of smoke coming down from fires in the Northwest Territories; enough to make the sky hazy and I can feel it when walking or hauling stuff up and down stairs. Not too bad, though. Apart from my weight, I’m pretty healthy still.

I have written in my organizer from Pauline! It’s so lovely and she was so kind to make it for me, I can’t bear not to write in it; this is a first for me. I hate to think of how many lovely blank books I have bought and then simply stored, afraid I would ruin them with my handwriting. It’s not too bad, actually, but my Mum’s is still gorgeous; she went to school when you had handwriting practise weekly right through grade 12. In my time, it only went to grade 4. sigh . . .

Too hot to cook and I have resorted to bought cole slaw . . . cold and fast, at least. Also iced bought blended coffee drinks. I know; I swore off coffee a while back, but have not been sleeping so well and found myself dozing off right after breakfast . . . I had a lovely stroke of luck after my PhiloFriend and I (see below) walked around the lake; we went to a fast food outlet for iced drinks; I ordered the coffee one, but the girl got it wrong (darn speakers at the drive-through) and gave me hot coffee with mocha and milk added (no sugar, though). When my friend pointed out the error, they suggested I keep the hot drink rather than them tossing it out, then hurried and made me the cold drink I’d wanted, insisted on not letting me pay for it – I was quite willing, as I’m fairly forgiving of people making errors. And I WAS keeping the hot drink! I put the hot one in the fridge later on and enjoyed it this morning, with, alas, some sugar tossed in. Kept me awake and going all day!

Mr. and Mrs. Crafty took a car load of yarn and ‘boxes’ of projects to their cottage last Friday morning. I’d spent all Thursday getting ready for that. Thursday was lovely and very cool, so I had plenty of energy. I planned to spend the rest of Friday packing, but had no boxes with lids . . . grrrrrrrr  So  after I got back from the bi-Friday library run I kept on sorting and discarding and did get stuff done. Then yesterday (Saturday), my Philosophical friend took me to a liquor store and we filled her trunk and backseat with nested boxes. To thank her and to let us catch up (haven’t had a visit for well over a month), we went for pizza. Not my usual choice, but this was amazingly good! A thin, whole wheat crust and a veggie topping that included artichoke hearts. Mmmmm! And afterwards, we went for a walk around the man-made lake where I walked with another friend year before last. I haven’t been there since and was a bit dismayed to find I wanted to sit four times, just to catch my breath. Of course, it WAS quite hot still . . . but lovely just to be outdoors, hearing birds instead of traffic.

Today I’ve done lots, too. And now that I can see that it isn’t as bad as I’d feared, it’s a bit easier.

There have been other stresses, though; some I can’t post about. One very sad thing for me is that a very dear friend is dying in BC and it’s hard to think that I won’t see him again in this life. I think it’s been six years since I was back and I have always tried to get to Abbotsford to visit him and his wife (they have moved since I was last there). She is my age and he is 20 years older, so this is not exactly unexpected. Still, we always expect these things to happen another day, not today, don’t we? I have known this family for almost 40 years and they are the sort of friends where we don’t email or phone, but when I show up at their door, it’s as though no time has passed . . . we share so many basic beliefs and the whole family is very dear to me. Their four daughters are the sweetest ever; one of them was the first Mum I was ever a doula for. (I think that’s a badly worded sentence, but can’t figure out what I did wrong . . . oh, well, as Churchill famously said: “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put”  . . . but you may have to . . .  🙂  )

So today I got through most of what I have had stored in the long hall storage area and have several boxes nearly full and ready to tape; those will go in the storage unit that Mum and I share. My PhiloFriend will haul them for me once I have a load ready. So I’m making progress. Since I’ve already moved so much into storage, it doesn’t look quite as bad as I first envisioned. I’m learning to take a break when I find myself tossing things into the box without making a decision as to whether I will actually need/use it. That’s helping. So is cold water.

The best thing about going through stuff is finding the things that I knew were ‘somewhere’ . . . including the instructions for the reversible crochet that a few people asked for back when I posted photos of it.

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Ok, I lied about no photos, but these are re-runs, so really they don’t count 🙂

No time to type it out tonight, but soon, I promise. I have it sitting out to remind me . . . It’s very, very easy, so after you have done a couple of Bavarian afghans, you might want to try one of these, too. This is very good for a pram or cot blanket for a wee one. And it looks gorgeous! I was given the pattern by a bus driver back when I was manager for a Lewiscraft store in Sherwood Park (a neighbouring town, about an hour and a half to two hours each way on the bus). I haven’t finished any of these (nothing like ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is there?), but they will go to the Crafty house and be dealt with in due course. After the Bavarian bevy is done. I did find some smaller skeins of white that I think will do, so I can see at least one more child-size afghan in the near future.

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More double-sided crochet pieces. It works best (or so I think) when the two yarns are a good contrast, either in shade or in colour.

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I also found the knitted hood/cowl/whatever thingy that I was free-forming a year or two ago (no photo, sorry) . . . and this shawl that I began when I was first going to my Aunty’s, remember? Those are also going to the Crafty cottage . . .

. . . and a-whey we go . . . (nope, I’m not apologizing for that one  🙂  )

I made a huge amount of kefir cheese, thanks to Christi‘s Diligent Dorcas, who just keeps cranking out the kefir (about a cup a day or so) and gave away four jam jars of whey; two to the Crafty’s for soaking their feet after a long day of whipper-smipping grass on the new acreage; they are clearing where the driveway and the home will go. They are buying a simple garage package, then will do the finishing work themselves, as they are both so handy with finishing carpentry, tiling, whatever needs doing, really. The other two jars went to my PhiloFriend to use in her bath. Once this is done, I’m planning on a long, cool bath myself, with some of that whey; it softens the skin amazingly; I use about a half cup in a tub of water and sit and read for an hour or so. I shower before I fill the tub, so my hair is clean; then I put some of the whey on my hair, pin it up and leave it to dry. Usually by the time I’m out again it’s stopped dripping. The whey acts like a very soft hair gel.(read about it on one of the kefir sites) and I like the bit of extra body it gives.

‘fraid I’ve been pretty lazy of late . . . instead of figuring out what to add to the kefir cheese to make it more appealing, I’ve been buying light cream cheese (I like the garlic and herbs one, also the smoked salmon . . . yum!); I add it to the kefir cheese at about 2 parts kefir cheese, 1 part bought cream cheese. It tastes pretty good on my toasted bagel, but I’m going to try it on steamed veggies and pasta, too, once it’s cool enough to stand cooking again. I add a fair bit of garlic powder to the garlic and herbs variety; nothing extra for the salmon, though. I love smoked salmon . . .

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print, as they used to say . . . hope all of you are getting the weather and temperatures you enjoy most, along with some downtime for crafting, reading and general relaxing . . . summer or winter, it’s good to have that . . .

And now for something a wee bit different:

Joan Baez, singing  “Diamonds and Rust

and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

and “Birmingham Sunday

. . . on a lighter note: The Corries singing “The Food Blues