Sunday, January 27, 2013

What are you up to this week?

Once again I have done something I swore not to do. I have too many projects on the go at the same time. You see, my bad habit is seeing something cool and wanting to start it right away. The only thing that seems to stop me is if I don't have the right materials to start and that doesn't happen too often. Only one project I wanted to do did not get started this week, just for that reason. I have a ton or worsted weight wool but this pattern calls for fingering wool. This is a good thing because I just can't start another project right now.

I am hoping this week will be a week of finishes. I am almost done the quilt. I am almost done another oddball square. I am almost done the first strip of an afghan kal. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Have a great week. What are you working on this week?

See ya

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Challenge at Zeus and Zoe's

A group of ladies got together last weekend, some in groups and some online, to crop together. I was happy to host this online event and had the greatest time. The hourly challenges were to create layouts for online contests. One of the challenges was at Zeus and Zoe's.

Here is my entry:

Grand Diva's Challenge

Here is Mom's entry for the Grand Diva's Creative Corner Challenge.

A group of ladies got together last weekend, some in groups and some online, to crop together. I was happy to host this online event and had the greatest time. The hourly challenges were to create layouts for online contests.   One of the challenges was a sketch challenge from GradDiva's Creative Corner.

This is my entry:

Mom's ScrapMuch? January Color Challenge

ScrapMuch? January Color Challenge

A group of ladies got together last weekend, some in groups and some online, to crop together. I was happy to host this online event and had the greatest time. The hourly challenges were to create layouts for online contests.   One of the challenges was the January color challenge at ScrapMuch?

This is my entry in the contest:

My entry in the January My Creative Sketches challenge

My Creative Sketches challenge

A group of ladies got together last weekend, some in groups and some online, to crop together. I was happy to host this online event and had the greatest time. The hourly challenges were to create layouts for online contests.

One of the challenges was to use the January sketch from My Creative Sketches.  

Here is my Mom's entry:

And this one is mine:

Colour Me Scrappy Challenge Layouts

A group of ladies got together last weekend, some in groups and some online, to crop together. I was happy to host this online event and had the greatest time. The hourly challenges were to create layouts for online contests.

The challenge from Color Me Scrappy was to use a set palette of colours and the word link.  We missed the entry date . . . shucks!

This would have been my entry:

And this is Mom's:

Mom's Bling Challenge

This is my mom's (Joyce's) layout for the Scrap It Girl Bling Challenge.  She doesn't have a blog so I'm posting it here.

Bling Challenge

A group of ladies got together last weekend, some in groups and some online, to crop together.  I was happy to host this online event and had the greatest time.  The hourly challenges were to create layouts for online contests.

This particular challenge was from the Scrap It Girl blog and challenged everyone to use bling on their layouts.

I went with metal pieces for my bling and of course some shiny ribbon.

Book Review: Madame Bovary

I wasn't far into reading Gustave Flaubert's masterpiece when I realized that at some point in my foggy past I've read it before.  It didn't stop me from reading it again.

I have to say the characters are annoying as hell . . . LOL . . . but the writing is like poetry, flowing and a pleasure to read.  Flaubert has an amazing ability to give dimension to all his characters.  There is a great deal of underlying humour and sarcasm as well.

The story is about Emma Bovary who grows up believing in a very romantic vision of how her life is going to be.  When life turns out to be mundane she searches through spending and infidelity to find the romantic love she craves.  Through all her selfish behaviour her boring country doctor husband sees her on a pedestal.  Only after her death does he find out who she really is.

Hockey Nuts

Hockey Nuts

Friday, January 25, 2013

Diamond on Lace Dishcloth

This is another online group mystery knit-along.  So pretty.  And isn't the colouring awesome?  I have got to get more of this cotton.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Product Review: Braxton's Tap & Grill, St. Thomas ON

You know me.  I calls 'em as I sees 'em.  We stopped going to Braxton's a while back which was really kind of sad because for years they were our go to restaurant.  But the food and service had gone down to unacceptable and the prices seemed to keep going up.


That appears to have changed!

Two weeks ago Hal and I were heading home after a very busy day and trying to think of something for supper.  As we were going over the Fairview Ave bridge Hal says "why don't we give them another try?"  Why not?  If I went home I was going to have to cook something and it would probably be a bowl of cereal or scrambled eggs or something equally exciting.  We were that TIRED.

Our server was training a new server and I think that was throwing her off a bit but there was only one mistake . . . which we didn't bother to correct.  They brought us ice water but forgot Hal's coffee.  The Sunday night special . . . roast beef dinner . . . was around $12.00.  The servings were quite substantial and hot and the green beans were the best vegetable I have ever eaten in a restaurant.  Hal had a caesar salad to start which he was very pleased with.  I had the chickpea and tomato soup which absolutely infuriated me . . . LOL . . . it is better than mine . . . how dare they!!
We decided to order dessert and coffee.  Mine was a disappointment but it also didn't make it on to our bill.  Hal was very happy with his dessert.  I shouldn't have been eating dessert anyway . . .

Last night we went out with friends to Braxton's.  Wednesday night is ribs & fries for $9.99 night.  We all ordered the 1/2 rack of ribs.  Once again the serving was substantial, hot and fresh.  Hal and I each brought some ribs home to snack on later.  The service was very good.

I don't know what has changed there in the past year but I'm glad and I definitely will be going again.

I wonder what night is Steak night?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nanna, the basketball fan

Nothing makes me crazier than crooked letters

I wanted to share a quick little scrapbooking tip with you.  I hate crooked sticker letters so this is how I keep them straight.

Line up you stickers on the edge of your ruler

Place the letters where you want them to be on your layout

Tip the ruler and press down on the tops of the stickers to hold them in place
when you remove the ruler

Press down the bottom edges of the stickers and you are done . . .
nice and straight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crustless Spinach, Onion and Feta Quiche

I found this recipe at and it sounded so good I just had to try it.

1 medium onion, diced
6 oz fresh baby spinach
2 large eggs
1/2 cup egg beaters (I didn't have any so added 3 more eggs.  Why 3?  Because there were 5 in the carton . . . LOL)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1-1/3 cups non fat milk
1/2 cup feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.
Lightly great a 10 inch quiche/tart pan  or pie plate.
In a medium frying pan, cook diced onion with a bit of vegetable oil or cooking spray over medium-high heat until translucent and tender.  Add in fresh spinach and cook until just wilted.  Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour and baking powder.  Whisk in milk, then stir in spinach-onion mixture.
Pour quiche base into prepared pan.  Top with feta cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until centre is set and outside edge is golden brown.
Let it set for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

Getting ready for Christmas 2013 . . .

I was scrambling until the last minute making Christmas gifts again this past year.  In fact, I was short one hat and I need to remake a scarf that turned out too long.

Never again I say.

I recently joined a Yahoo! group called Holiday Mystery Gifts which posts some really amazing gift ideas to the group each month.  The patterns are only up for the one month because they are often freebies offered by published designers for a limited amount of time.

When the January patterns were posted I printed off nearly all of them.  So many interesting and adorable ideas.  I just finished the first pattern today.  It is called a doors and windows dishcloth.  I really like the way it turned out and I may make some more.  It is now in my closet with a few other gifts I've collected already for Christmas 2013.

On to the next . . .

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What are you working on this week?

It has been a crazy busy week. My youngest son and girlfriend were here for a week and just headed for home on Saturday. I am still in the process of putting the house back in shape. Planning for our fundraising for Relay for Life is started. And I'm hosting some friends for a crop at my place on Wednesday. In the middle of all this Hal decides to get blood poisoning. Wow, do you get in to see a doctor fast when you have blood poisoning. The good news is that thanks to IV antibiotics Hal is already starting to get better and his employer has put him on light duty. The bad news is that we have to go sit in the ER every night for more antibiotics until he is well enough to switch to pills. That could be 3-7 days. If we both don't get sick this week it will be an absolute miracle.

What am I up to this week, other than all that? I'm making great progress on several manuscripts on the go.

I finished 2 dishcloths.

I finished the angry birds paper piecings I had been working on. I'm making My Little Pony ones now.

I've been using the prompts from the Crafting Made Simple Yahoo! group to focus what I write in my journal. I've heard privately from a couple of group members that they are also enjoying the prompts. I'm glad.

I finished reading I'm Lying by Sam Harris. Very interesting and quick read. I also read The Young Male's Marriage Primer by Larry Danby. Absolutely hysterically funny. My third read this past week was 20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith, a very thought provoking and uplifting book.I'll be doing a review for these books on my blog later this week.

I finished 2 layouts this week and I've been playing with some new techniques this week, using manilla tags to practice on.

My plans for this week are just to keep working away at my Dreaded To Do List. What are you working on this week?

See ya

Saturday, January 5, 2013

December scrapbooking

That's it.  Everything else I did in December was for one of the two sketch books I'll be publishing in the next couple of weeks.  If you want to see them you will just have to wait . . . LOL

I think this may be the first time I've finished a kal on the same day the last clue was posted!!

I just finished the January 1st mystery knit-along dishcloth from the Monthly Dishcloths Yahoo! Group.  There was a little boo boo in the pattern.  The cloth went:


2 knit rows


2 knit rows


1/2 of pattern

The 2 knit rows were missing from between the third and fourth pattern repeats and the fourth pattern was not completed.  Or else the cloth should have ended after the third patter repeat.  Or they could have just not used the 2 knit rows at all.  That's okay . . . it is still a cute dishcloth and my first knitting finish for 2013!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter Wonderland Crop

Click on this photo to full size it

Where else can you go, support a great cause AND have a great time??!!

Angry Birds Paper Piecings

Pink Bird $3.00

Red Bird $3.00

King Pig $2.50

Moustache Pig $3.00

Green Bird $2.50

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Quilting Update

You may have heard this story before . . . LOL . . . My sister, Nancy, makes fabulous quilt tops and then she gets bored (I guess) . . . So for the past couple of years I've had lots of quilts to stitch.  This is the one I just started working on in September . . . a little bit every day . . . Nancy had sandwiched it and stitched about 1/4 of it.  I figure I'll have it done at this rate by the end of the month.  I heard I may be getting a new collection to stitch on soon since Nancy is doing some purging . . . yeah!!

Bloggers Wanted ~ It’s a MPM Birthday Celebration Event

Mom Powered Media is looking for bloggers for their Celebration Event coming up in February that runs until March. 


It's a MPM Birthday Celebration Event

Hosted by Mom Powered Media
Prizes: iPad 2 with Wi-Fi 16GB in Black
Event dates: 2/4 - 3/4
Open to USA and Canada

Free Blog Event! Sign-up here, BLOGGERS WANTED

If you sign up please let her know I sent you!

Edible Flowers Update

Hi Everyone. I hope you are having a crafty New Year. I just posted an update on a BAP project I've been working on for quite a while now. It is called Edible Flowers and the chart is in Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine from June 1998. Thanks for taking a peek.

Lying -- An essay by Sam Harris

A short time ago offered a copy of Lying for free and, as you know, I do love things that are free.  But there was never a chance to actually read Dr. Harris' essay until now.  Well to be perfectly honest I probably could have made the time but there were so many other things I wanted to do in December that did not include reading an essay called Lying.

Today I read the essay.  At the end I felt that Harris had taken all the thoughts I'd every had about truth and untruth and found a way to connect them all in a coherent manner.  It did not take long to read.  It was written in a comfortable, conversational way.

Most helpful was his definition of truth:  The intent to communicate honestly is the measure of truthfulness.

This essay is available for Kindle for $2.99 if you would like to read it.  I think it is worth the time and money.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Organization Challenge Week 1

Week 1


I know everyone is anxious to get their scrap zones in order, and as a result get more accomplished and get more enjoyment out of their scrapbooking goodies. If you aren' t a scrapper but enjoy other crafts, many of the suggestions in this challenge will be helpful to you as well.

So - what I want you to do, right NOW is take a photo of your scrap zone - no, leave the dirty coffee cup where it is....yes, I know you let your cat sleep on your not touch ANYTHING - go take a photo.  If you are brave post it and share the link to your photo in the comments here.

No shame here - just hope. If I can get MY MESS fixed, ANYONE can follow the ten challenges to organization.

The first challenge of the GET ORGANIZED CHALLENGE is to clear off your scrapping workspace. Before you get started, take a "before" photo, and post it to the group, we wanna see just how bad it is

Maybe you have a desk committed as your scrapping space, or maybe you have taken over the dining room table. Wherever you scrap, completely clear off the entire surface, dumping everything into a big box. Give your surface a good scrub and polish, removing every spec of paint, adhesive, and uh.... is that chocolate????

Okay, now let's get to work on that big box of stuff. Now is the time to learn that you need S.P.A.C.E. to scrapbook: 
* Sort * Purge * Assign * Containerize * Equalize *

We're going to use this very same method for each and every challenge of the Organization Challenge. So, let's go over this method:

Going object by object, divide everything in the big box into categories that make sense to you. You may want to have some baskets laid out and labelled: SELL, DONATE, TRASH, STORAGE (for stuff you want to keep, but doesn't belong on or in your desk/word surface) NOT IN HERE (for items that sneak their way into your scrap studio, but belong elsewhere in the house) and ACTION (for items that you want to keep in or on your desk)

This is a no-brainer. 
1) Throw out everything in the TRASH pile - all the ripped, broken, dried up, crumpled STUFF. 
2) Bag up and assign a price and your initials to everything in the SELL pile, and put in your sale box.
3) Call the person who could use the DONATE pile, and immediately set up a time to drop off, bag it up, and hang on the door knob so it doesn't sneak back into your studio area. 
4) Put the NOT IN HERE stuff where it belongs (I'd make the kids do it, it's probably their junk anyway)

You have a couple of options here for your STORAGE pile: put the stuff aside to be organized when we work on other areas, or (and I strongly suggest this alternative) put the items away where they belong using your current organization system.

Sort all of your ACTION items into the appropriate drawer, container, boxes. Containerizing gives you a chance to make everything pretty and inspirational to you. You may need to make a shopping trip to make new purchases of containers that you love, love to look at, and are sturdy enough to withstand repeated openings and closings, and are the right size. Make a list and take measurements. Label everything.

I forgot to take a photo of my before table but it really was fairly clear.  I did need to give it a good scrub though.