Life Happens

Life Happens

People who have been reading my blog for a while know that my dad passed away the end of April.  I was totally immersed in dealing with “The Shirt Project” for the two months following his death. “The Shirt Project” was the remaking of about twenty of his old L.L. Bean shirts into mementos for his descendants.  That gave me time to think about Dad and to grieve. My projects received rave reviews from the recipients.  I am glad they like them.

We are still planning on moving to the Halifax area in the future.  But, added to that has been my own health problems.  My old ticker just ain’t what it used to be.  So I’ve been put on medication and had several medical tests.  I’ve joined a gym and am receiving classes on how to take care of my heart.  Hence I’ve decided to not teach rug hooking classes till after things have settled down a bit.

We’ve also been preparing for some interior painting and floor refinishing in our old house.  It’s been a long haul of decluttering, selling stuff, donating stuff, and packing stuff to go into storage.  And we aren’t near finished!  We’ll be working on it throughout the rest of August and beyond.

I’ve done absolutely no handwork to speak of…short of re-spinning some cotton yarn for a friend.  That was an experiment with mixed results.  She decided not to ask me to spin any more of the yarn.  It just was not designed for knitting. When knit up it made a hard surface on the finished project – both spun and unspun.  It was a yarn of six strands, about DK weight, originally intended for crochet, and will be donated to some crocheters.

I have been keeping up with my bullet journalling.  Now the doctors know it exists they are interested in all kinds of records I keep in it.  I’ve switched to using a Traveller’s Notebook style bullet journal, but not the authentic TN…it’s too pricy for me.  I picked up my look alike at Michaels one day while out shopping.  They also had refills for it, much to my delight!  I am finding this less time consuming than using the Lechtturm 1917 journal.  Also cheaper.  The TN style bullet journal allows you to slip four separate notebooks into one cover.  That means information that doesn’t change from month-to-month can go in one notebook, and my day-to-day planner can go in another. I also have a notebook for my trackers for sleep, habits, productivity, weight, water consumption, expenditures/earnings, gratitudes, and blood pressure.  And the final notebook is a food and exercise diary.  It is really convenient to have all that information in one place.  When I finish a notebook, I just slip it out of the cover, put in a new notebook, and continue on.  Not near as much wasted paper as in the Lechtturm, and better organization for me.

Well that’s my post for this week folks!  I’m afraid blog posts will be a bit sparse until I get back to my handwork.  Hope everyone is having a great summer!  Take care!

Motoring On

Motoring On

Hi everyone!  I’m back from our little trip.  The trip was a great time to engage other artists about their work.  I was able to attend the Okotoks, Alberta spinning drop in and take my knitting.  It was interesting talking to the ladies and I was able to wind my next ball of yarn there.

I was also able to visit a fantastic fibre artist – Deb Loosely – while in the area, and had a tour of her huge studio!  Deb quilts, spins, knits, and weaves.  Oh, and she sews as well.  Found a wonderful costume book on her bookshelves that I haven’t seen in years!

By the time we made our way to Edmonton, I was in need of another fibre fix.  I met up with an excellent intuitive painter.  She is just on the cusp of deciding whether to go professional or not.  I encouraged it as her work is very good.  When she is ready, and gives the go ahead, I will post some more about her and her work here.

While away I took some time to knit.  I finished the neck warmer to go with the hat I knit.  Next up are the wrist warmers.  They are knit from Fleece Artist’s Canada’s 150th National Parks yarn, in the Sable Island, NS colourway.  The pattern is a free one from DROPS.  I found it through Ravelry.

I’ve also been spinning a bit.  A friend had some very fine stranded yarn given to her.  It’s actually six fine strands laying together to form one strand.  However, because it’s not plied it will probably split easily when knit.  So I plied one ball and we processed it.  It’s hanging to dry.  Once it’s dry I’ll wind it into a ball and we’ll pass it off to our expert knitters to compare with the original yarn, to see which is easier to knit.  If they like the plied ball better, I’ll ply the rest of them. There are a lot of balls.

In-between all that Hubby and I have been packing stuff, selling stuff, and designating stuff for charity.  It’s a time consuming process. But we are managing to whittle things down slowly. We want to be done the process by the end of the month, when the painters come to move most of our stuff into storage before painting the interior of the house.

 

Weekly Review – Update

Weekly Review – Update

This past week I’ve been busy listing items for sale online, and selling them.  I spent too much time this week sorting LEGO for sale. LOL  Also listing furniture and selling it.  We’ll gradually get this house cleared out!  I had no idea we had so much stuff packed into it!  I guess after 24 years you collect a lot of junk.

I’ve also been following my rug hooking friends on Facebook and Instagram.  There’s some really cool stuff going on in the world of rug hooking.  Check out:  Val Galvin, Della Ackles, and Janine Broscious.  Della and Janine are on the road!  I love following along on their adventures!  Val is busy offering hook-ins and workshops out of Chemainus, BC, where she lives.  Wish I was there Val! 🙂

I’m busy planning upcoming projects and resting my wrist after a minor medical procedure.  Next week I start at a gym three days a week.  Hopefully it won’t tire me out for the rest of the week.  I’m planning to start some new projects.

Have a great week everyone! 🙂

The Shirt Project – DONE?!

The Shirt Project – DONE?!

Wednesday evening I finished off the fourth and final quilt of The Shirt Project.  Those who recall the origins of the project know that my goal was to make about 30 items from Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts for descendants of my father who wanted them.  To see the projects check out the slide show below this post.  Wednesday evening we packed like mad and we mailed most of the packages Thursday morning.

All told I made 29 items in 2 months.  That is record sewing for me!  I had a lot of fun doing it too.  One person hasn’t responded to texts related to his memento, so I haven’t been able to start it.  Another doesn’t want anything.  That’s fine.

Total cost of the project was just under $500CAD.  Most of that was for postage.  I had to mail fifteen parcels across Canada.  Other than that the costs were for the Moda fabric for the puppy quilt, thread, sewing machine needles, and some sewing machine pressure feet.

I made quite a dent in my supplies, but not as much as I thought I would.  I have less quilt batting and less muslin.  Also donated one sheet set to the cause for quilt backing.  It was an old set with holes near the edges from being caught in our hide-a-bed mechanism.  It was destined for the garbage anyways.

Next up is a major freezer cooking session.  I’m due at hospital for a procedure next week and am not sure how long I’ll be out of commission.  Will try to post next Friday again.  Have a great week everyone!

 

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The Shirt Project – Almost There!

The Shirt Project – Almost There!

I’ve been working off and on, between company, on Dad’s L.L. Bean shirt project.  I finished the third moose and flying geese quilt and am onto the fourth quilt – a puppy quilt.  The puppy fabric arrived in the mail Tuesday.  It is Woof-Woof-Meow from Moda.  I purchased through Dinkydoo Fabrics.

Third quilt finished.

Moda puppy fabric from DinkydooFabrics.com

Design for the puppy quilt.

I packaged up six of the thirteen batches of work to send to the recipients.  Had to confirm addresses before shipping.  Also notified them all their packages were in the mail.  So satisfying to see this project come to a close!  I have to finish the last quilt and a jackknife pouch, and that’s it!

 

The Shirt Project – Quilts

The Shirt Project – Quilts

I was lamenting I might have to buy cotton yardage for the binding for these L.L. Bean shirt quilts, and then thought about it and asked myself “Why?”.  Surely I or one of my friends would have something I could use!  Before going to my friends I decided I needed to check out my own stash first.

I thought it was a lost cause.  But Hubby had been up in my sewing room rearranging the packed boxes for our move so he could get at the walls to repair and prime them ready for painting.  I wandered through the room and spied a clear tote with some cotton yardage in it that I’d forgotten all about!  Out of sight, out of mind.  Sure enough, I found fabric to bind one of the quilts in the tote.

The fabric for the binding on the second quilt came from Dad’s old cotton housecoat. I hadn’t cut it up for blocks because it seemed a bit flimsy.  As the binding is doubled over before being stitched down, I figure it will be good enough for a toddler quilt.  I finished sewing the binding on the quilts Tuesday afternoon.

Then I started designing the third quilt, which is going to a little boy.  Unfortunately I am running out of shirts!  It went through several metamorphoses until I settled on these colors.

And by yesterday afternoon we have an almost pieced top…

It doesn’t look half bad!  Thank goodness Dad liked blue shirts for dress shirts!  Hoping to work more on it today. 🙂

Have a great weekend and upcoming week everyone!

Quilting Along

Quilting Along

The Shirt Project continues!  I’ve moved on to designing quilts from Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts and quilting this week. I started out trying to keep it simple, so it would go quickly and look good – a simple 4.5″ square quilt with stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. When I moved my design board downstairs to the dining room the plain quilt looked, well, a little plain. So I added some flying geese squares. Not too many because I’m starting to run out of fabric to make things match. It still looked plain. I decided to add appliqued moose to the centre blocks of the quilts. Still not totally happy with the design, but it has elements that reflect my dad’s interests. I’m sure the recipients will be happy with whatever they receive.

Running low on fabric has its challenges. I was scouring YouTube looking for ways to make quilts from scraps. I discovered crumb quilting this week! A crumb quilt is a quilt made from pieces of fabric too small to make a piece for regular quilting – meaning usually less than 2 1/2″ in any direction. (This is my generic definition.) I watched all ten videos in one series by Darlene Michaud. I tried to make a 4.5″ x 4.5″ square. It took an hour to come up with a very poor looking one. I think I made my crumbs too small. Lesson learned. Having taken the time and thread to do that though, I think it will be easier on my time and thread to make a plain scrap quilt from leftover blocks 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ and larger. I’m going to try and design one that way first. If I don’t come up with enough blocks, then I’ll switch to doing a version of a crumb quilt…with larger pieces of fabric.

Other than that, not much exciting happening this week. I am debating the best and most affordable way to bind these toddler quilts, and the best and most affordable way to get all these mementos to their recipients. I think a trip to Alberta is in order as thirteen recipients live there. It’s cheaper in gas to drive there and back than it will be to mail to the thirteen different recipients. Plus we get to visit and stay with relatives.

The Shirt Project

The Shirt Project

I’ve now taken to referring to all this sewing and quilting of Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts to “The Shirt Project”.  I finished the moose wall hangings Sunday evening.  So far I am a week ahead of my overall schedule for sewing items.  That is good because the quilts may take longer than I expect.  I want to hand stitch those bindings to finish them.

Here are the finished “flying geese” pot holders.  I found a basic flying geese quilt pattern online (just google “flying geese pot holders”) and adapted it to my materials.  Each one of these has two layers of Radiantex (R) in the centre, facing outward on both sides.  That makes both sides suitable to use with hot pots and pans.  These are really designed as hot pads for the table as they have no hanging loop.  However they will serve as both pot holders and hot pads.  They are 8″ square.

And here is the table runner in various stages.  It is roughly three feet long by twelve inches wide.

Next up are four 40″ square toddler quilts.  I have designs drawn in my bullet journal and have cut out the pieces for two and a half of the quilts.  I am waiting for coordinating fabric to arrive in the mail for one of the quilts.  I had a special order for “a puppy quilt”.  Dad didn’t have any puppy shirts, so I am augmenting his shirts with some puppy fabric.  I don’t think I have enough shirt fabric for the final quilt to be similar block style to the others.  I may end up making a form of strip quilt, or something like it.  Something that will use up scraps and still look good.  But first I have to do an assessment tomorrow and see if I have enough fabric left for one hundred 4.5″ squares.

Having a great week and hope to have a better weekend.  Take care everyone!

Weekly Review – Let it Rain!

Weekly Review – Let it Rain!

Hi folks!  It’s been raining off and on this week.  We badly need it.  I am happy to see it.

I had a great time at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair this year.  Found some friends selling their wares and chatted them up a bit.  I hope they did well.

This weekend is our multicultural festival, Mosaic.  Hubby and I were out to the Korean pavilion last night. The food was good and so was the show!  Lots of good dancers there.  Not sure yet where we’re heading tonight for Mosaic.  The weather forecast is for thunderstorms, which can be an issue here on the prairies.

I’ve spent some time fussing over the moose wall hangings made from Dad’s shirts.  The binding proved more than I could handle alone, even with YouTube videos to watch!  I called in reinforcements.  A friend came over and showed me how to do it quickly and, well, almost effortlessly.  I have one more to fix and one more to go.  Then it’s onto attaching hanging sleeves.  I hope to be done the wall hangings by Sunday evening.

After that I have potholders, a table runner, and three baby quilts to sew.  I think I’ll be leaving the quilts till last.

 

Weekly Review – Inspiration and Progress

Weekly Review – Inspiration and Progress

Hi everyone!  I’ve been busy this week.  It is the annual Cathedral Village Arts Festival.  Hubby and I have enjoyed some of the performances and plan to go to more.  So far this week we’ve seen the Mandolin Orchestra, a jazz band, a ladies choral group (Sisters of Mercy), and a Baroque ensemble.  This is the first time in five years I have not been a vendor in the Saturday Street Fair.  That’s okay.  It was a great time  in the past, and I will enjoy it again tomorrow as a spectator.

I’ve also been working on tote bags and wall hangings from Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts.  The tote bags took a lot more fabric than I thought they would, but they are sturdy little 15″ square bags, complete with two pockets inside.

I am still figuring out the moose wall hangings.  I’m trying not to buy any fabric for this project.  I need to bind 40 linear feet of edge in something…I’m thinking I’ll need 2 meters of dark navy or black fabric.  I’ll be going through my stash I’ve already packed to see if I have anything suitable.

I thought I’d tell you about and show you a great little bilingual coloring book on Alberta, Canada.  It is by Doris Charest, an artist operating out of St. Albert, Alberta.  The coloring pages in this 8″ x 11″ book are moderately detailed, and include cityscapes as well as natural landscapes and wild animals…even insects!  If you’re Albertan, or making a trip to Alberta soon, this would be a handy little book to pass away some pleasant hours coloring.  It could be colored by children over ten, I’d say, up to adults.  It could also be used as a tool by teachers to teach their students about Alberta.   The coloring book is available on Amazon.ca for under $12 CAD + shipping.  Ms. Charest’s main art website is www.dorischarest.ca   She also offers online art classes.

L.L. Bean fabric rocks!

L.L. Bean fabric rocks!

Okay, so mostly I’ve been sick with a cold this week.  But I did get some serious sewing done using Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts.  I have to say the fabric quality is excellent.  Some of it is very fine cotton, but it still looks good and, backed with leftover quilt batting, an old sheet, and lined with leftover muslin, it should hold up just fine in the tote bags I’m making.

This tote is stitched in the ditch to quilt the fabrics to leftover quilt batting and an old sheet for stability.  The lining, pockets, and straps are a tight muslin that was leftover from another project. I confess I had to buy thread, because I couldn’t find mine.  I may have to buy a seam ripper too.  I have a seam that needs to be partially ripped on the tote bag yet.

Dad had interesting taste in colors and patterns.  Once his hair turned white he determined he would wear any color he wanted, and did!  All the colors of the rainbow are here except purple.  And I notice there is no black or white either.

This week I sewed eight cushion covers and one tote bag.  I have three more tote bags ready to go.  Unfortunately company is sick and sleeping in my living room, which is open to my sewing area in the dining room, so no sewing today.  I decided I will sort through boxes looking for my fusible webs for the moose wall hangings that are coming up next.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I have been absent for some time online.  My father passed away recently.  He was known for his bright and lively L.L. Bean shirts.  I was given (at my request) nineteen of them.  My goal is to make something for each descendant who wants something.  Right now that adds up to 23 people who want small items like cushion covers, tote bags, wall hangings, potholders, baby quilts, a table runner, and a pocketknife pouch.  Currently I am working on the cushion covers.  Eight people have requested these.  I finished four today and will do another four tomorrow.  I’ve set everything up to operate an assembly line for sewing and pressing.  I’ve had to borrow an ironing board.  I sold my big one in preparation for the move (which has been postponed), and cannot find the small one I packed…somewhere…

Aside from the sewing, I’ve been busy knitting.  I found Fleece Artist’s National Parks 150 yarn on sale at Unwind Wools in Okotoks, Alberta in mid-April and bought up as much as I thought I’d need, as it is being discontinued.  I have one taker for the hat I finished on the subsequent trip to Dad’s funeral.  The yarn is the Sable Island, N.S. colour way.  The pattern is out of an Ann Budd’s “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”.

Other than that, we’ve made two trips to Alberta since mid-April.  We’ve met many new people and visited with family and friends.  I thank all of them for their love and support at this difficult time.  While Dad was quite sick this past year, it was still with sadness that I heard the news he had died.  He lived a long and full life.  I am sad he is gone, but glad he is no longer suffering.  Peace be with all my readers.  Take care and have a great week! 🙂

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi all!  We’re back from Alberta.  We stopped in at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer to see Alberta artist Doris Charest’s exhibit.  It was lovely work!  While visiting Ms. Charest later I found out she has published an adult coloring book on a nature theme.  I looked at some of the coloring pages and commented she needed to find a rug hooking pattern maker to turn some into patterns.  For anyone interested, her website is dorischarest .

We spent time visiting family and friends for most of the week.  Not much artsy going on.  I did finish knitting my Garter Stitch Scarf from Shannon Okey’s book “Spin to Knit”.

I also purchased some of the Canada 150th Birthday National Park yarn by Fleece Artist from Unwind Wools in Okotoks.  Thanks ladies!

Now I’m home it’s time to catch up and decide what project to work on next.

Banff, Alberta 2018

Banff, Alberta 2018

We really enjoyed our time in Banff this past weekend.  We took time to check out the local cuisine, go for walks, check out the Luxton Buffalo Nation Museum, and we even checked out the nearby town of Canmore.

Moving on to Red Deer and Edmonton.  Saw a gorgeous art exhibit in Red Deer by Doris Charest.  It’s upstairs in the Sunworks Home and Garden store, in the Harris Warke Gallery.  There’s a cafe right there for a snack before or after viewing her artwork.

Made it to Edmonton tonight.  Just chilling out and having a good time.

 

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Weekly Review – Just Traveling On

We made the trip to Calgary area one day later than planned.  There was a snowstorm in Calgary Monday and we decided to avoid it.  Or so we thought.  We headed out on the road Tuesday and found the snowstorm between Moose Jaw and Swift Current.  But it was okay.  Only an hour long drive at 80 kph behind a semi-truck before we drove out of it.  Otherwise our trip over was smooth sailing.  Stopped at the Swift Current and Medicine Hat malls to do some shopping and to stretch our legs.  Arrived in Calgary area by suppertime.  Our hosts fed us a wonderful supper and we chatted the evening away, while knitting.

Hubby and I have been busy visiting IKEA in Calgary, checking out their furniture.  When we move we want to leave most of our furniture behind.  We’re checking out what we might replace it with and how much it will cost us.  In case you’re wondering, it works out to about $1500-2000 per room to furnish an entire room. We decided to keep our old Billy bookcases because they are 1.5″ deeper and more stable than the new ones.

We also visited Okotoks and stopped in at the Heartland Cafe for tea and dessert.  I had the best Carrot Cake with Pecans there.  And huge slices!  After snack I headed to Unwind Wool, while Hubby headed to the bike shop.  I found some of the 150th Birthday yarn from Fleece Artist there and purchased enough to make quite a few hats and neck warmers.  I have plans to gift these ones.

Since being here I have finished another homespun hat and started a homespun garter stitch scarf.  Hope to finish it by the time I go home.

I hope everyone has had a good week and will continue to have a great weekend!  Take care and God bless.

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi everyone!  Finished my slouch tam hat from the free pattern, Three Way Chunky Hat, on Ravelry.  Had to take off the ribbed edging and reknit it on needles two sizes smaller.  It worked!  Fits like a charm now.  Though one lady did comment the hat was too big for me.

Not much happening here…well…not rug hooking related, unless you count ‘liking’ various rugs on Facebook and Instagram!  I’m loving what I’m seeing from other rug hookers these days.  Lots of variety, and excellent quality work.

I’ve been focused on knitting.  I started the blue Corriedale/BFL (Blue-Faced Leicester) wool hat from handspun yarn.  It is a pattern from Ann Budd’s book “A Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”, modified of course. I’ve knit the pattern once before for someone, slightly different yet again.  This will take a while to knit as it’s on 4 mm circular needles.  However, it will be a nice, warm, comfy hat.

Aside from that we’ve been busy with friends.  Last night I was out with a friend to a movie called “I Can Only Imagine”.  It was a stunning movie of forgiveness.  A great theme song too.

We’ve had friends in several times for meals and games.  I thoroughly enjoy those times too.

I took a friend out to an art gallery opening reception.  The art was gorgeous.  The people were a bit of a disappointment.  No one greeted us or talked to us the entire time.  Really weird.  Usually gallery staff are right there to answer questions.

We had a gentleman come look at the house, but I suspect no sale yet.  No problem.  We actually were going to hold off putting the house up for sale till next year, due to extenuating circumstances in the extended family.  The only way this man made it through the door to look is because he knew someone who knew Hubby, and well, one thing led to another.  Right now there is far too much work to be done on the house to make it desirable to a buyer.  It’s in a great location, but it definitely is a fixer-upper!  Solid house, just we haven’t been able to keep on top of things over the years, what with everything else going on in our lives.

I’m off to visit relatives the next couple of weeks.  I’ll try to post, but can’t make any promises.  My iPad Mini and iPhone don’t like the Word Press app for posting to blogs.  Frustrating.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep posting to my Facebook page – JLT Studios though.

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

Friday Finale – Weekly Review…

Friday Finale – Weekly Review…

Hi everyone!  It’s been a busy week. It started with Easter and all our company.  We had great food (see photo above) and a great time.  Reports back from company indicated they all had a great time too.  We finally called a halt to festivities at midnight and everyone either went home or to bed by 1 AM.

We’ve been dealing with taxes and our accountant this week.  It’s tax season here in Canada!

We’ve also been dealing with our health insurance provider.  Some funny doings happening there that need a little explanation!

We’ve had company twice this week for games nights.  The life of leisure we lead!

I continue to sell excess stuff online…downsizing for our eventual move.

I’ve been preparing a Traveller’s Notebook style bullet journal for the second half of this year.  It’s a bit early, but I have a feeling it could get busy, especially if we sell the house.

I finished knitting my wrist warmers to match the neck warmer and hat.  I loved spinning and knitting the silk/Merino blend.  It is so soft!

I started knitting a slouch tam hat out of some homespun Corriedale wool.  It, too, is soft, but it has more body than the silk/Merino.  We’ll have to see how it turns out.

I’m eyeing up my next homespun wool to knit up.  I’m not sure what I’ll knit with it.  It’s finer than the other two yarns I’ve knit.  I have a lot of hats now, but I do love the blue color.  I think it would make a lovely hat!

Well that’s it for this week!  I hope everyone is enjoying spring, wherever they may be.  We are currently in a deep freeze of -20 C weather.  Sunny, but cold.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Easter Week Post

Easter Week Post

Hi everyone.  You probably won’t hear from me on Friday, so I’m posting mid-week.

  • I’ve spent time working on my new bullet journal, preparing it for the next few months starting Easter Sunday – April 1st.
  • I’ve finished the first fingerless mitt and am about the start the second one.
  • My friend came back from the other city in time to help her daughter at the craft and bake sale Saturday.  I think they had a good time and made some money.  Time will tell if they do it again.
  • I finished reading “Six Hours One Friday” by Max Lucado.

It’s a busy rest of the week and weekend ahead.  We have company coming for Easter.  We have five at the dinner table Saturday evening and ten for an Easter buffet Sunday evening.

Our company is of Ukrainian heritage, so there will be a lot of Ukrainian food.  I hear we will be making perogies (pyrohy) Saturday afternoon. There will also be a traditional Ukrainian Easter basket. Plus some Baked Cottage Cheese.  Company is also bringing fiddleheads and asparagus!!!  We are going to dine well.

As Hubby is of Danish descent we will also make a nod to Danish tradition by having a salmon dish with rodgrod (a raspberry jello/pudding) for dessert on Saturday evening.  And, as some of our guests are Chinese and some Korean, we will incorporate whatever they bring to the feast as well.  I’ve tried to make sure there are some familiar food items available for them.  So it’s roast pork, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.  Everything else will be new I think.

I’ve had a request for my cinnamon buns for Sunday morning breakfast, but need to wait for company to arrive with some frozen pumpkin puree Saturday morning to make them.

Hubby and I spent today finishing packing some boxes that were in the living room, and rearranging things to make room for ten people to sit.  Just general tidying up.  We brought our round drop leaf table and chairs upstairs to help hold the desserts or drinks.  We’ll have to see how it works out.

I’ve packed my iron and sold my ironing board, so the tablecloth will be a bit bedraggled and in need of an ironing job.  But it will be covered with food anyways, so hopefully no one will notice.

This week I have to bake bread yet, and bake a carrot cake birthday cake with cream cheese frosting.  We are celebrating three March birthdays on Sunday too.

Plus there’s the usual Easter services to partake in.  It’s going to be an interesting holiday!

Easter Menus…company arrives before noon Saturday…

Saturday Lunch: leftovers from the previous night and fresh cinnamon buns
Saturday Supper: Salad, asparagus, salmon custard, perogies (pyrohy), brown and wild rice, rodgrod (a raspberry pudding made with cornstarch) and whipping cream.
Sunday Breakfast: Cinnamon buns and fruit.  This is open to adjustment if we feel the need.
Sunday Lunch: contents of the Ukrainian Easter basket – cottage cheese, kobasa (Ukranian sausage), krysanky (dyed hard boiled eggs), beet and horseradish relish (or horseradish), green onions, babka (a bread), paska (another bread), parsley, butter, and any other Ukrainian meat products company can find to bring.
Sunday Supper: Salad, roast pork, sweet potatoes, broccoli, fiddleheads, sauerkraut, baked cottage cheese, perogies (pyrohy), carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and ice-cream.

 

Weekly Review…a little late

Weekly Review…a little late

Hi everyone.  We’ve been feeling better this week.  I managed to finish knitting the hat to match my neck warmer.  The hat pattern is the Benefaction Hat, a free pattern by Knit Picks.  I modified it, as always.  No stripes for me.  I’ve started on the fingerless mitts now.

It’s been a busy week with lots of people.  We’ve had a lot of company coming and going.  I spent Tuesday baking and hosting a games night for our young friends.

I’ve been mentoring a young lady who is going to be a vendor in a craft and bake sale this weekend.  She is quite excited.  We spent yesterday here baking…she baked, and I coached her.  Truth be told, she knew how to do it.  She just needed the recipes!  She spent today baking at her home.  We are ready to go.  Due to bad weather her mother is stuck in another city.  We offered to help out in this case.  Should be a fun, but long, day tomorrow.  Hopefully her mom will be home before the end of the sale to see her daughter in action.

I sold a couple of big furniture items this past week, which has made for a busy time here.  We’re taking furniture apart, moving it between floors, and then reassembling it.  Slowly, but surely, we’re whittling down the mess in this house.  Suddenly I realize how crowded this house has been.  I don’t know what I’m going to do in the next home.  I simply have to decrease the amount of hobby stuff I have!

We had an in-depth conversation today about how heavy certain items are and whether to sell them or move them.  The old IKEA bookcases came up.  They are heavy and cost a lot to move.  But the new IKEA bookshelves aren’t as sturdy.  This is a tough call, because sometimes the older ones aren’t strong enough for my needs!  If we had to put them in storage as well as move them, well, it just wouldn’t be worth it.  On the other hand, what would we replace them with?

I changed my Instagram account from private to a business account this week.  If you’re looking for more information on my rug hooked items you can check over there.  Also on my Facebook account.  Search for JLT Studios in both places.

Taking a Sick Week

Taking a Sick Week

Sorry folks.  Not much to report here.  Hubby and I have both been sick with colds.  We had company last weekend, company this weekend, and company in-between.  We’re still sick, but slowly getting over it.

My sole creative activity has been setting up my bullet journal for the next three to six months.  I’m starting a new book.  I wish I could afford the Traveller’s Notebook.  I suppose I could, but if push comes to shove, I’d rather spend my money on fibre!

I’ve also been half-heartedly looking for my short lace 4mm knit needle tips for my Addi Clicks.  I cannot remember what project I used them on last.  So frustrating.  I need them to knit the fingerless mitts I want to knit next.  I don’t want to unpack boxes and I don’t want to buy a new needle if I can help it.

I’m hoping I’m better by Monday, so I can do a more thorough search of the house for those needle tips.  If I can’t find them I’ll move onto another pattern.  I still have lots of yarn to knit!

Into a New Week

Into a New Week

I was busy this weekend and knit up a neck warmer, using short rows and an elastic/stretchy bind off – both new techniques to me.  Though I did take a course on Craftsy a long time ago on short rows.  I discovered I couldn’t access my Craftsy courses, which is very discouraging.  I cannot only not remember my password, but I can’t remember which email I had my account under!  Sigh… I’m debating buying the year membership through my new email address…so I have access to everything all year.

In other news…Friday we went to a friend’s place for food and games.  Saturday we had company over all day and overnight.  I made low fat cinnamon buns in the afternoon.  We had a very tough stewing hen for supper, courtesy of me not reading the label.  Had I realized it was a stewing hen I would have cooked it longer and slower in the crockpot.  Ah well.  I cooked it for another four hours after supper, stored it in the fridge overnight, and made a lovely chicken noodle soup for supper Sunday.  Company also brought us some cooked farm fresh bacon.  Sunday morning we feasted on it, scrambled eggs, and toast/cinnamon buns.

Sunday, after company left, we went to a nearby mini multicultural festival in the city.  It’s called Community Connections and happens one afternoon every March.  They give away ethnic food and the kids perform (and some adults too).  Plus there are tables for different organizations and cultural groups to advertise themselves.  It’s all people from that one area of the city.  They also have a lot of really cool door prizes, including two kids bikes.  This year I won a gift basket of beauty products.

We had a slow evening last evening as Hubby is coming down with a cold.  I was plotting my next knitting adventure.  I have to measure my circular needles to make sure I have a 9″ one.  If I do, then it’s on to fingerless mitts to match my neck warmer.  I have lots of yarn left! 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

Jean’s Cinnamon Buns (modified from “The Best of Cooking Light 3”)
Serving Size : 18 large buns

5 teaspoons instant quick rise yeast
1/2 cup hot water
7 cups flour — divided
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree, or fresh
1 cup skim milk, hot
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter — chilled, cut in small pieces
1/2 c. raisins, soaked for 20 minutes

Mix yeast, 6 c. of flour, 2 tbsp. white sugar, and nutmeg.

In separate bowl mix 1/2 c. hot water, pumpkin puree, warm milk, oil, and salt. Mix well to dissolve salt.

Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir. Let sit 10 minutes. Knead approximately 10 minutes till smooth and elastic. Add flour as needed.

Divide dough in half. Roll out to 12″x10″ rectangle.

Combine streusel ingredients: 6 tbsp. white sugar, 6 tbsp. brown sugar, 4 tbsp. flour, 3 tsp. cinnamon and chilled butter pieces. Cut butter in with pastry blender. Sprinkle half of mixture on each rectangle. Sprinkle on the raisins.

Roll tightly, starting with long edge. Press firmly to eliminate air pockets. Cut roll in 1″ slices. Place on greased cooking pan. I line my pans with parchment paper or wax paper to make for easier removal of the buns after cooking.

Let rise till double in size (approximately 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 20 minutes until golden.

Cool in pan 15 minutes on wire rack.  Remove carefully and enjoy!

Opt.: Mix 1 ½ c. icing sugar, 2 tbsp. hot water and ½ tsp. vanilla extract to make a glaze to drizzle over buns.

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Pumpkin Puree

To cut the costs of this, I make my own pumpkin puree every fall at Halloween, when pumpkin is cheap.  I cut up the pumpkins – two large ones will give the equivalent of about 20 cans of pumpkin.  I cut them up, clean them out, and put them skin side up on a baking sheet with sides in the oven.  I bake them in a 325 F oven for up to an hour, maybe more.  I scrape the pulp into the food processor and puree it.  Then measure it out in can size amounts into ziploc freezer bags and freeze it till needed.  Instructions courtesy of “Joy of Cooking” (1980 edition).

Another way to make pumpkin puree is to simply poke the outside of an entire pumpkin with a sharp knife or fork, so that steam can escape, and bake in the oven for half an hour to an hour at 325 F.   Take out and let cool.  Cut and scrap strings away, saving seeds to make a pumpkin seed snack.   Then scrape the flesh off the pumpkin, puree, and freeze like above.

A Late Weekly Review

A Late Weekly Review

After sitting around directionless for about a week, I decided to grab what was handy and work on it.  That would be my yarn and knit needles.  I have most of my yarn still accessible in a plastic tote bin.

So this week I knit two hats, or toques, as we Canadians like to call them – one for Hubby and one for myself.  I used the Emergency Rolled Brim Hat pattern in the back of “Knit: a Personal Notebook”.  It’s by Melanie Falick and it’s a quick knit.  Plus the instructions are varied enough to use with my homespun Romney wool yarn.  Hubby and I are both pleased as punch with the results.

I’ve started knitting a neck warmer from an unnamed free pattern off Ravelry.  It’s by Garnstudio DROPS.  There are fingerless mitts to go with it, but I think I’ll use a different pattern for those.  I’m knitting these from some 2 ply silk/Merino wool blend I spun many moons ago.

In fact, I have quite a bit of homespun that needs to be knit up.  I am going to focus on that for now.

Another thing that caught my interest was an email from Craftsy saying classes were under $20USD.  I checked out their site and found several for sale for that, and some for sale for $25USD.  What really got me though was the unlimited access for a year for $150CAD.  I might bite.  We’ll see.  There’s no rug hooking there, but there are some mighty fine short courses.  I’ve taken a few before. I’m just not sure what happens to your classes if you don’t renew your membership after a year or two.  Must ask…

Aside from the knitting I’ve been preparing a new bullet journal for April.  I’ve whizzed through my first official one in three months.  I’m hoping the second one lasts a bit longer.  I’m trying to stick to using it primarily as a planner and place to record health data for the medical profession.  Still, I’m having difficulties keeping it under control.  There are so many things you can do with a bullet journal!  All this free time, now I’m not hooking, is driving me crazy!  I’m thinking once I get my yarn stash under control I just might crack into my rug hooking again…

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Changes happen. All my rug hooking is packed. I am not ruling out unpacking it, seeing as we have postponed the move for a year.  But in the meantime I am finishing up some projects I started last year.  This baby cardigan is one of them.  It still needs buttons, but that can wait. I gave away all my buttons.  I started this cardigan last fall to match a hat and baby mitts.   I made so many mistakes I did not finish it.  Finally I decided to plow on through and add the band. It is done, short of the buttons.

Knitting is not my forte, or strong suit.  But I do like home knit products, especially those from hand spun yarn.  My next knitting project is a winter hat for myself from yarn I’ve spun

It’s been an interesting week   Aside from making the decision to postpone the move, I have been busy organizing trips to visit sick relatives and coordinating visits with and around my siblings.  I am waiting for spring to come and roads to clear up to make a few road trips.  Right now we are waiting for a severe winter storm to pass through Regina this weekend.

I’ve also been dealing with my own health issues  No worries  Just keeping on top of things can take time sometimes.

I finished watching “Art 21”.  Most of it was interesting. I think it depends on your taste in art.  It was primarily about installation art and performance art, neither of which really excites me.  But I have learned a new appreciation as to what goes into those works of art.

I am currently watching the DVD “Understanding Art: the Baroque and Rococo.  I’m on the Baroque.  The narrator is entertaining, even if I don’t appreciate his taste or viewpoint all of the time.  Most of the time he is very good and, really, the worst is I am left with lots of questions and wishing he didn’t have to move so fast through the material.  I wish I could snag him and take him on a trip to Europe with me!  His insight into what I would be seeing would add a whole new dimension to the trip!  As for the Baroque period.  As far as I can tell, it started out good, but degenerated into a sad state.  I’m glad something came along to replace it!

 

 

Move Update

Big news…we have temporarily put off the move.  Why?  We have issues in the extended family that need dealing with first.  We will continue to pack for an eventual move.  Plus we want to be able to empty out the house to refinish floors.  But we are probably not going anywhere this year.  This is a bit frustrating, but my heart is at peace with this decision.  It’s the right one for right now.  Take care everyone, and “talk” to you at the end of the week. 🙂