December 30, 2014

On the Cusp of a New Year

I've been loving the sunshine that ripples through the prisms in the morning, creating fiery displays on the floors and walls. The colours are gorgeous. It really brightens up the day!
And outside my window it looks like spring. Over the holidays, we had temps in the teens, and that has made short work of the two feet of snow we had. What a welcome reprieve!


My sketchbooks are getting fuller and I have a few items ready to paint. One 9 x 12 sketch that I am hoping with turn out well with the help of some new paints that arrived the other day. 

 


On the needles...




With the stash dwindling drastically,  I couldn't find enough contrasting yarn to work the stripes in this shawl in another colour, so I've opted for the monochrome look, but I think I have enough navy blue to work the lace edging. If, that is, it doesn't look too stark without the stripes to balance it.

Thank you for reading along this year.


    Happy New Year!  



December 18, 2014

Good Tidings

After I posted my last post, a foot and a half of snow fluttered down overnight from a heavy sky.  I think that means we will have a white Christmas. 

As you can see in two of the pictures below, besides baking, decorating, caroling, etc., I've been drawing and painting as well.



Lady Slippers ~ a favourite of mine.

So today, with the holidays a little over a week away, I'm just popping in to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. And for those of you who celebrate, do have a wonderful Christmas!

Make merry!

P.S.

If you are as fond of birds as I am, and you do not have a bird feeder, or are curious to see what's happening at other feeders you might want to check out these webcams.
I've been keeping a watchful eye on this one lately.

December 09, 2014

Still Green


Although I thought the snow was here to stay it disappeared. Great. Why? Because if the snow stays on the ground late in December, spring generally comes early. Predictive? No.  Just an observation, but I've been wrong before. Time will tell. 


I finally toured this old house. It looks bleak/spooky with the black roof and front door.  If you look closely, you will notice a rocking chair in the upstairs window, which adds another layer of spookiness to the place. But the only spooky thing I found in the house was a well in the middle of the kitchen floor. (That's enough, I reckon.) In the late 1800's, I'm sure, an inside well was convenient because no one ( generally the lady of the house) had to brave the elements to haul water from the well, but I couldn't help but think how dangerous a convenience it must have been, especially with a house full of curious children.


My Christmas preparations are coming along. I have a few items out, but only a few and they all seem to be green..
I'm searching for a container for my frosty fern.
Never one to frequent Boxing Day sales, last year I finally went shopping and bought  this cute linen tea towel for a song.
Enjoy...

December 03, 2014

Enjoying the Moments

Ahead of Schedule ~ Stocking made by me. I bought the cute cinnamon stick Santas.
 
Behind schedule. But I'm certain this eager Amaryllis will catch up almost as soon as its planted.


As you can see, I'm getting into the spirit of things.  Like most people, I have plans for Christmas, and somethings are ahead of schedule and somethings are behind. ( I'll leave my knitting projects for another post.)  These days I've less to do, so I try not to worry too much. If it's not "in the bag" by December 23th, I say who needs it!

I haven't always been this enlightened. I used to get up early on Christmas morning, not only to stuff and cook the biggest turkey in the kingdom, but also to bake rolls, make a fresh sweet potato puff while peeling a mountain of different vegetables, and sometimes I even baked a hot pie or two. In those days, I was a wee bit hidebound and everything and I mean everything (including a spit spot house) had to be "fresh."

Thankfully, I've changed and I try and do things with a bit more ease. I could put it down to laziness, apathy, or age, but I think it's more about enjoying the moments and savoring the good.

Thanks for reading...

November 17, 2014

Retrospective

Hummingbird moth wings beat over 30 beats a second. My camera couldn't keep up.
Looking back through my pictures, I happened upon a pic of a hummingbird moth that I took this summer, so I thought I'd share it.  Actually, as luck would have it, I saw two hummingbird moths this year. The other one was white and red.
To get this pic I hung out at this butterfly bush for awhile before the moth arrived, but while I waited,  two monarch butterflies swept in for a few sups.

Missing theses beauties; they provided inspiration for this early coloured pencil drawing.



on the needles...
With snow on the ground and roofs for the second time, (it might stay this time) I decided to  knit something warm:  a cowl from alpaca and I have added mohair for extra warmth. Since alpaca stretches a lot, I'm hoping the mohair will help it retain it's shape. 
Recently, while I was reading, I discovered that mohair is the warmest fiber. Who knew?


Thank you so much for your emails with kind comments about my last post.

Enjoy the week...


October 27, 2014

So Soon

The Fall Guys ~ A motley crew of cuteness.



Pumpkin anyone?  (Pumpkin pics taken last fall at the village.)

Halloween is just around the corner, (so soon) so I thought I'd pop in to say have a safe and Happy Halloween! And because they are so cute, I couldn't resist putting up the picture of the "Fall Guys" again this year. I took the picture in Nova Scotia last fall.


Finished...



On the needles...

I know. It's blue.  I only have two balls of blue yarn left in my stash. (Panic!)

My knitting has been chewed on twice and stuffed under the coffee table once, but it looks fine. See the "fetching" guilty house guest below.





October 20, 2014

This and That

When I wasn't looking the picture snatchers tiptoed in and ran off with several of my blog pictures. I have no idea how that happened. Unfortunately, pages of pictures are missing; I've re-added a few posts worth but it's time consuming and tedious.

As you can see from the pictures, I've been painting. I haven't made a lot of progress on my knitting because I'm cat sitting, and Sadie can't resist pouncing on squiggly yarn. If I try and hide my knitting, she climbs up on the arm or the back of the chair and pounces effectively from there. Sadie does have her own yarn but she prefers mine. She is fun to have around, and she can be as busy as a two year old!




Enjoy the week!




October 07, 2014

Great Shape



Edging ends are so well shaped in this pattern.

I finally finished the Camellia Scarf. I made the largest size so I think it can be defined as a small shawl, but this versatile pattern can be made even larger.  However, I think this size is perfect ~ not too large and not too small.

As an added bonus, the bind off edging for the two ties worked beautifully.  As a matter of fact, it's the best edging I've seen and is part of the charted pattern. That edge, coupled with the Icelandic bind off for the middle section that another Rav knitter recommended, lends this shawl stability, and since I do not own blocking wires, I was thrilled when I started to block the shawl because the edging kept its shape and only required a few pins.


* * *
Drawing board...finis...
Watercolour pencils and ink.



Known as a living fossil a Natalius is a curious creature. Unfortunately after living for millions of years, they are  now on the endangered species list because of their beautiful shells, so I settled for an ammonite fossil and drew another Natalius that I painted the customary red/rusty colour.




And last but by no means least... A very Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

September 30, 2014

Treasures



About a month ago I wandered through a few old houses in the village. Even though I've visited several times, I always find something "new."  In order to keep a record, I've decided on a random post here and there to document what I have admired.
To begin with, I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of this beauty. The guide said that it was built in Montreal in the 1700s. I wish I could have jumped the rope to inspect it, but even from a distance it's evident it was treasured. And look at the dishes in the cupboard and the bird prints to the left! 
 ( Yes, I did want to straighten the pictures and whip off the tablecloth so that I could see the table.)
 A beautiful old print. I think it's German. The Roman numerals read 77 ~ likely 1877.

I've ironed with old irons like these.  In case you are a youngster, or haven't seen one of these irons, they are heated on a wood stove and before you begin you run the iron over an old cloth to make sure it won't scorch. The lady that I visited tested the iron by wetting her finger on her tongue and then touching it to the iron. Her name was, Annie. She lived to be a 100 years old! I'm so happy I had the opportunity to spend time with her and her husband, Clinton on their farm (without power) in the woods. I learned a lot from her. She made her own lye soap, churned  butter, etc. Their big house was beautiful and filled to the rafters with antiques and treasures. A perfect paradise inside and out for a curious child. The irons Annie owned, and I was lucky enough to use, had interchangeable handles, so I always had several "irons in the fire."
 
 ~ A neat cornucopia pattern and look at those tin items. The candlestick is pewter.
 


And before I exit stage left, on the needles and nearly finished..
.


September 27, 2014

Keep the Oil in the Ground in the Amazon - Amazon Watch

Keep the Oil in the Ground in the Amazon - Amazon Watch

My 100th post...to breath, to life!

 Please take a moment to sign. Click on the above link.
Thank you!


Sadly, our Prime Minster didn't show up for the climate talks. Because of the tar sands there was, no doubt, the possibility of protests, but he should have been there. Maybe his appearance would have been viewed as hypocritical, but problems must be owned before solutions can germinate.  In the interest of our own and future generations, what could be more important?

On the other hand, it is encouraging to note that billions of dollars are being removed from fossil fuel investment, starting with the Rockfellers.

September 23, 2014

Times Flies


Crisp red, yellow, and orange splashed on the trees... so gorgeous and sudden. I'll admit that Jack Frost's finger painting has squashed some of my best laid summer plans.  But since I can't wave a magic wan, on my next outing, I'll pull on a jacket, kick through the leaves and enjoy the beauty.

To offset an early sunset and to invigorate the * "little grey cells," I've enrolled in a class called Modern and Contemporary American Poetry.  First up, Whitman and Dickinson.

 If you are interested in taking a course this fall or anytime check out Coursera. Taught by dynamic professors via live webcast with interaction from students in the discussion forums, or via ModPo, the classes include students on campus and from all over the world; the atmosphere, despite such a large enrollment, is one of inclusion and best of all the courses are free.

And if you wish, you can knit while you participate.

Enjoy the week and thanks for reading.

* Hercule [ fastidious] Poriot

September 11, 2014

Serendipity


Sometimes things just work out and it makes you smile ~ okay laugh and this project did just that. After a rocky start--I didn't like the yarn I was using--I changed yarn and started stitching. More than halfway though, I noticed that  my calculations were off, so I had to order more yarn. They didn't have the colour I wanted, so ( to recap for any new readers) I took a chance and ordered a colour close to the one I was knitting with.  Amazing as it sounds it worked. Viola! 


Project notes and more pics here.

I hope you are all having a great week!

September 07, 2014

Flower Power

Sunflowers teeter near the sky.
Even if I am late, when I see a garden or wildflowers I have to stop, if I can, and sneak a peek. There are not always roses to smell, but even little snatches of time spent looking at striking colours, unusual textures and prolific blossoms can lift the mood and add a splash of dazzle to the day. 
I hope these  pictures add a little dazzle to your day.


Love-lies-bleeding. Talk about a dramatic common name.
Added texture compliments of the bugs.
I love these fresh stripes. I am not sure what they are yet, but you can bet your buttons I will find out.

                                              Pink wildflower ~ Hairy Herb Willow



                     An old Greek Revival house in the village with a formal garden.
Enjoy...










August 27, 2014

One Down



 The Scrollwork   

It was hot in the park today ~ temperature of 28C/82.4F.  Needless to say, as soon as the picture was taken, I doffed the hat. With it on, I look a lot like Kermit. And as we all know "it ain't easy being green." 
 I'll be sending the hat off to someone soon.


Still on the needles...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I put out an APB on Raverly for The Verdant Gryphon's yarn in colourway Sunset at Briere because I ran short on this "Hap for Harriett" shawl. Unfortunately, I didn't receive an answer. I've ordered a hank that looks close to this colour ~ a long shot, I know.  If that doesn't work, I will frog to the middle, or, if necessary, frog to the beginning section then cry revamp and finish.  

I didn't knit much this summer.  But with a hint of fall in the air, I want to search out patterns and stash yarn.

I've been busy with other crafts though. Last night, I finished this small decoupage box.


 Also, my birthday crept up on me last week. Where did a year go? I received wonderful gifts, and good wishes with gratitude and  thanks.
 Hopefully, these watercolour pencils will soon freshen up some paper. I've been interested in a set of 24 watercolour pencils for sometime. What a bonus!


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