Thursday, February 28, 2013

Challenge #11 - Colour

Challenge #10 - Fonts

Challenge #9 - Sketch

Challenge #8 - Love

Challenge #7 - Sketch

Challenge #6 - White Space

I love creating layouts with lots of white space so this was a great challenge for me, hosted by Berry71bleu:

Here is my layout:

Challenge #5 - Stars

I have had such a great time scrapbooking today.  I did not get as many layouts done as I usually do but that is okay.  I enjoyed everyone that I did finish.  This fifth challenge came from Catered Crop:

Here is my layout:

Challenge #4 - Paper Doilies

I am scrapbooking slower than usual today but really enjoying each layout.  The fourth challenge comes from Child's Play Challenges:

Here is my layout:

Challenge #3 - Sketch

I really enjoyed this sketch: at the ScrapMuch? blog.

Here is my finished layout:

Challenge #2 - Love

I'm hosting some online challenges today here on my blog, on Facebook and through myYahoo group.  The second challenge is from Zeus and Zoe's blog:

Here's my Love layout:

Challenge #1 - Material Challenge

I'm hosting some online challenges today here on my blog, on Facebook and through my Yahoo group.  The first challenge comes from Scrap It Girl

I'm looking forward to seeing what all my buddies do with this challenge.  I took it literally and cut out a piece of canvas to serve as my background.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Quilt Raffle for Relay for Life

It is finally finished!!!  The top was created by my sister, Nancy, and she started the quilting process.  I finished this beauty off just the other day.  Nancy and I have decided to donate this quilt to the Pink Scrappers Relay for Life team to raffle off.  I'll be off to get the paperwork done and tickets printed this week and hopefully start selling tickets this weekend at the Crafters Market.  The winning ticket will be drawn during the Relay for Life in St. Thomas.

This has been a week for finishes and I hope you don't mind that I am going to share a few more over the coming days.

Lacy Vines Dishcloth

Love the way this mystery knit-along dishcloth turned out.  Glad it wasn't any bigger though because I had only a few inches of cotton left.  I think this pattern would make a great afghan.  I participate in this kal twice each month at Monthly Dishcloths at  You can also find most of the patterns (but not this one) at

Heart Bears


Friday, February 22, 2013

Sock Monkey cup cosy

My sister, the quilter, sent me the link for a pattern to make adorable sock monkey sock cozies with a broad hint that she really really liked them.  Her birthday and her hubby's birthday are both at the end of January so I made two up for them.  Nancy's has more hair than Dougie Dear's does . . . LOL . . . But they live in a different town.  I was in her town last weekend but she forgot all about me and didn't answer her phone when I called (she says it was shut off).  So the sock monkeys are sitting on a shelf here until the next time she comes home for a visit.  Just to tease her I'm sharing a photo of the little darlings here . . .

The Art House Studio

Last week I travelled with a group of my crazy crafty friends to visit the Art House Studio in Cambridge, ON.  What a great adventure!  The owner, Karen Ellis, greeted us all very enthusiastically.  We enjoyed a bit of time ooooooo'ing and aaaaaaaaah'ing over all the art work and supplies in her beautiful store before settling down for a class.  For all of us it was the first time working with Gelli Plates but we were all experts pretty quickly and tried all kinds of colour combinations and techniques.

We will definitely be going back again and again . . .

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Afghan Block of the Month: January

Because I don't have enough projects on my Dreaded To Do List Already (yes, I am being sarcastic . . . LOL) I decided to challenge myself to do the Afghan Block of the Month at  Here is the January block which I think is rather adorable.

It was quite simple to do and I think it is very pretty.  No idea what I'm going to do with the blocks when I'm done . . . perhaps make a throw or afghan or something crafty.  But you know I can't resist trying a new pattern.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Oddball Afghan: The Dance

Another block finished for my Oddball Afghan.  Some of the blocks have been very very challenging.  The Dance was nice and simple.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I bet I'm not the only person quilting today . . .

We are having a snow day . . . and Hal is on the road until sometime tomorrow.  The house to myself and no interruptions.  I am quilting.  And I know I'm not the only one.  My sister Nancy just posted on her blog .

One of the items on my to do list is to finish blind stitching the binding on this quilt.  My sister made the top, sandwiched it, started the hand-quilting . . . and then passed it on to me to finish.  I'm okay with that.  Hand sewing is a favourite pastime of mine.  When I finished trimming the edges of this quilt I had just enough leftover material to make matching binding.  Yeah!!  Now I just have lots of stitching to do . . . and blind stitching is sooooooo slow.  But I am so thrilled about how good this quilt is looking.

I don't have a recipient in mind for this quilt yet.  I was thinking about donating it to The Pink Scrappers Relay for Life team to raffle off.  Would you buy a ticket if I did?

Design Strategies for Scrapbookers

Many years ago I taught a 10 class program called Brain Freeze Rescue Kit by Jenna LaRose.  The idea of the program was to introduce design strategies and fixes for less-than-optimal scrapbooking layouts.  I actually taught this program several times and I don't think I am exaggerating to say that some of the most talented scrapbookers I know took these classes.  Each class was a new design concept, fun and games to reinforce the new concept and then a two-page layout to actually use the new concept.

Well it has been a FEW years since that time and I am starting to get hints that some of the locals would like to take these classes.  I pulled out the manual and quickly realized that the program is very dated now.  New ideas and new techniques and new products have popped onto the scene.  The basic program is still very good but it really needs an upgrade.

So now I am doing research . . . lots and lots of research.  And organizing my research.  And designing new layouts and games.  It is beginning to look like something brand new rather than a quick makeover of the original ideas.  In the original program we would talk about choosing a focal point photo.  In the extreme makeover edition we will be discussing using elements other than photos as focal points as well.  I am beginning to get very excited.

It will be a little while longer before this is a teachable class but I think it is going to be very exciting and I hope lots of you will be interested in signing up.  As I teach the classes and fine tune the information my hope is that at the end of the program I will have a publishable workbook.

This is just one of the many projects I am working on today . . . snow day . . .

Crafter's Market on March 2nd

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Winter Title

Winter Title

Book Review: The Journal of Helene Berr . . . stunning . . .

As I finished the final pages of this book I was struck by the hidden courage of this young woman. Helene Berr was a young Jewish woman living in Paris with her family, a graduate of the Sorbonne. Her family was well-to-do and her father was in an industry that offered his family some protection from the Final Solution, at least for a while. She begins to write her journal about day-to-day life in Nazi-occupied France when she began noticing her friends disappearing, never to be seen again. Stories began to trickle into Paris about the concentration camps and she feared that without her journal there would soon be nothing left to show she had ever been alive. She gave the pages to the family's non-Jewish cook for safe keeping.

Her writing seems very superficial as she talks about the university, visiting friends and doing volunteer work. Although she is speaking about the restrictions and fears and brutality of the times it is easy sometimes to overlook and I actually found myself a little irritated with her, thinking she was not taking things seriously enough or she didn't seem afraid enough. Of course, I have the fortune (?) of knowing how the war and the Final Solution went. She couldn't possibly know a fact which I believe is why her concerns are tempered with the day-to-day of life. And something that I wouldn't be able to understand perhaps is that even in the worst of times one still needs to eat, sleep and keep occupied. Life continues.

And then she stops writing for almost a year:

I am resuming this diary tonight, after a year's interruption. Why?

Today, on my way home from the Georges and Robert's apartment, I was abruptly assailed by the feeling that I had to describe reality. Just the walk back from rue Margueritte was a whole world of facts and thoughts, images and reflections. Enough for a book.

The chatty writing of the young girl has been replaced by a woman afraid of the unknown, of all the rumours, of dying, of not really mattering. But still her words are educated and beautiful even as they try to grasp and understand the ugliness that is Paris under Hitler's heel.

Her final entry on February 15, 1944 ended with Horror! Horror! Horror! Three weeks later, the Gestapo came during the night. They were arrested and deported to Auschwitz on Helene's 23rd birthday, March 27. Her mother, Antoinette, was gassed and her father, Raymond, was poisoned.  Hélène survived the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen where, sick with typhus, she was beaten to death because she was too weak to get up from her bunk for reveille.

Five days later, the camp was liberated by the British Army.

This book is a must read for the prose, for the history and for the chance to learn about a very young woman who made a difference. She was always very vague about her volunteer work, probably to protect the other volunteers, but I discovered that Helene and her mother worked for a group that rescued 600 Jewish children and found them homes outside the occupied zone.