Artsy Happenings

Artsy Happenings

This week I reknit the Fleece Artist Fundy National Park yarn flat-topped hat in new modifications.  The top is no longer flat.

I also finished the Fleece Artist Greenwich Dunes National Park yarn neck warmer, and am halfway through knitting the wrist warmers.

Aside from knitting, I’ve been organizing and planning knitting projects.  I’ve been researching how to combine David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” and bullet journaling.  Some serious project planning happening.  Check out these videos…

Bullet Journal Set Up & Journaling for Creatives by HoneyRozes
Bullet Journals and GTD – Bohoberry
My Bullet Journal – 4 Months In – Kendra Bork
Boosted Journal by Ricardo has some good ideas on productivity bullet journaling as well.

Checked out Assiniboia Gallery’s “Trains” exhibit yesterday.  Great show!  Some lovely work in a wide variety of styles.  They also have a couple of small Rod Charlesworth pieces for sale as well, but they are not part of the exhibit.  I love Rod Charlesworth’s style.

Spent last Saturday at a music concert at the local university.  It was a modern and contemporary music concert by Barbara Pritchard and Rose Bolton.  It was really interesting.  I’ve never really been exposed to that type of music before.  It reminded me a bit of atonal music, but it was better.  (I’m not a fan of atonal music.)  It was very good, and I (and the people I went with) could see applications for it right away.  So funny.  Hubby is a movie buff and saw the applications for it in the movie industry.  My friend is a family therapist who saw therapy applications right away.  The 15-year-old who went with us confessed to being scared in the middle of one piece (!).  And I was just mesmerized.  The theme was “Fire” and all the pieces related to fire in one way or another.  I felt like I was by the campfire or a forest fire, and warm for the first time in ages!  It was a fascinating body of work.

This week we had our wedding anniversary.  We headed out for a drive in the nearby countryside and enjoyed the scenery.  We went for a short walk by a lake.  Stopped in a small town at the local bakery for drink, snack, and conversation with the locals.  Came back to town just in time to stop at a favorite restaurant for supper.  A lovely day.

Met someone in the grocery store the other day who was curious about my ‘craftwork’ and wanted to know if I would show it to him.  I assured him I would be here at least the winter, and would be delighted to share my work with him.  To all my readers, if you want to come talk crafts with me, I am available.  I haven’t gone anywhere and won’t be until next year sometime.  Just use the contact form on this site, or give me a call.

Knitting

Knitting

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  Hubby and I were on the road to Prince Albert to visit a friend.  We had a great time poking around town, visiting Shananigan’s Cafe, and hiking in nearby Little Red River Provincial Park. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at Smitty’s Restaurant, of all places!  Nice location by the fireplace on a cool windy day.

Lemon Meringue Pie, Shananigan’s, Prince Albert, SK.

I’ve been busy knitting up more hats.  I modified the instructions on the His and Hers Beanie to come out with a hat I like much better.  I wasn’t happy with the top of the hat using the instructions as written, which didn’t seem to match the photo of the top of the hat.  So I improvised and did a regular hat top of one row of decreases, followed by one row of knit stitch the whole way around.  The yarn used is Fleece Artist National Parks yarn – some of the Greenwich Dunes National Park colourway.  It turned out much better than the original pattern, which had you decreasing every single row at the top of the hat.  In fact, it turned out so well I’m knitting another hat from the remains of the Fundy National Park colourway to send down east to my niece instead of the flat topped one.

I had a fun week last week.  Some knitting, some sorting through boxes and culling more books, and a lot of time with friends and family.  I celebrated my birthday with a shrimp pig out at Red Lobster.  Actually, it was too much shrimp.  But that’s okay.  I have shrimp maybe once a year.  Dinner was good and the surprise “party” at a friend’s afterwards was nice too.  I put party in quotation marks because she literally did not find out it was my birthday until 3:30 PM on my birthday, and when we arrived three hours later to spend the evening playing games and watching a movie, she had decorated the place, her daughter had made a card, and they had a gift for me! I feel so blessed to have such friends.

Next up is a knit cowl out of the Greenwich Dunes National Park yarn.  That will go to another niece.  I’m about half finished it now.

I was able to get to the MacKenzie Art Gallery to see the hooked rug exhibit called “Home Economics”.  It was well done and interesting.  I loved the Grenfell rugs and the more modern ones that tell a story.  I was surprised the art gallery shop did not have any hooked wall hangings or rugs from local rug hookers available for sale.

While at the art gallery we also saw an Indigenous Peoples art exhibit called “Boarder X”.  It was all about movement in the landscape.  There was a young lady from the Cree nation there to help with interpretation of the artwork.  I was very thankful for her guidance, as I know little about Indigenous symbolism.  Her explanations helped me greatly.  There were some very moving pieces of artwork in the exhibit.

I am seriously looking at cutting back some of my rug hooking supplies…wool fabric in particular.  Keep an eye on my website store to see if anything pops up that you’d like.  I have a lot of dark colored wool.  If you’re interested in doing background, it might be just the thing.  Let me know and I’ll see what I have.  I’m thinking $1 CAD for each 3″ x 12″ swatch.  My swatches are usually larger than that, but I still will only charge $1 CAD for them.  Shipping and handling will be extra.

If you’re interested, contact me using the form below and we can talk or arrange a visit.

 

Moving back upstairs!

Moving back upstairs!

The new finish is on our Red Oak floors!  Painting is almost finished.  Progress is slow, but we finally moved our possessions back into the house from storage today.  We are also moving from the basement to upstairs again.  Unfortunately the movers took off for lunch before moving the old dresser upstairs to the second floor, and didn’t come back afterwards!  Not sure how we’re going to get it upstairs.  Hubby was determined to be sleeping in our own bed tonight and dragged up the mattress toppers, pillows and bedding.  I helped, but truthfully, I’m not much help.  I just don’t have the energy and stamina to be moving furniture, etc. these days.  But I have been hauling up clothes and toiletries from the basement, and helping Hubby put the bed back together again.

I have all my sewing, rug hooking, knitting, spinning, stitching, quilting, and scrapbooking items on the main floor.  My winter goal is to sort through it and our artwork.  We have way too much artwork for a smaller house.  We both have some we’ve grown out of, or that have done their time, and it’s time to pass them onto someone else.  Hubby and I have decided it is another winter of decluttering.  Time to pull out the whiteboard and create a plan again!

In knitting, I finished the Fundy National Park Fleece Artist yarn projects.  I made a hat, a neck warmer, and fingerless mitts.  It’s the third time I’ve knit the neck warmer and fingerless mitts pattern.  I think I’m ready to go onto a different pattern for the neck warmer.  I have a few free patterns from Ravelry.com that I am auditioning.  One is the Sugar Plum Cowl by Leah Michelle Designs. Another is Asbraga cowl by Modish Knits.  The third is the Growing Leaves Cowl by Meghan Macko.   I won’t be knitting fingerless mitts from this last yarn – Fleece Artist’s Greenwich Dunes National Park yarn.  Instead I will do a nice hat and cowl.  If there’s any leftover yarn, as I’m sure there will be, I’ll knit another hat.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday Finale

Friday Finale

Hi everyone.  This week I cast on the wrist warmers and started to knit them.  I love the simplicity of the DROPS Design Extra 0-903 neck warmer and wrist warmer pattern.  The only challenging part are the short rows on the neck warmer.  I keep forgetting to wrap them as I do them!

As for the Fleece Artist Fundy National Park Chinook yarn? Let me just say, it is gorgeous to knit with!  Doesn’t catch on the needles.  Smooth and soft.  Nice and thick for warmth.  Also discontinued at this point in time…unfortunately.  However, Fleece Artist is renowned for its excellent yarns.  Check them out at FleeceArtist.com

I am knitting these using the needles recommended – 4.5 mm 16″ circulars for the neck warmer, 4.5 mm double pointed needles for the wrist warmers.  The hat, which was knit from the free Ravelry pattern, His and Hers Beanie, by Krityum, used 4.0 mm 16″ circulars on the ribbing, and 4.5 mm 16″ circular on the rest of the hat.

My current reading is “Conran on Color” by Terrance Conran.  I’ve had this book out of the library before. It’s an easy read for me.  I love the color inspiration it provides.

This week was busy with medical appointments and gym.  Things appear to be going okay.  Still have a ways to go to stabilize things here, but it’s happening.  Progress is slow, but noticeable.

I hope everyone had a good week and will have a great weekend!  Take care and talk to you next week.  Thanks for reading.

 

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…

…Often go awry!  I thought I had Anne Budd’s book “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Knitting Patterns” out and in my knitting bag, but apparently it has been packed into storage somewhere.  So instead of using one of her hat patterns, I downloaded a free pattern called “His and Her’s Beanie” from Krityum on Ravelry.com.  It knit up kind of square at the top, making for an interesting look.  I’ve also almost finished a neck warmer from the DROPS Design pattern – DROPS Extra 0-903.

Other than that, not much creative happening here.  I did manage to go to a knitting group yesterday at my local library.  There were few people there and I had a good time.  I knit on the neck warmer from Fleece Artist Fundy National Park yarn.

I’m keeping up with my bullet journal.  I have to.  I’m trying to keep track of various issues relating to my health.  I’ve had a lot of medical related appointments, classes, and gym time this past week.  Plus I’ve been out walking more.  I’ve also been using a productivity tracker to track how I’m using my time.  It’s been helpful as well.  It’s interesting to see how I am filling my days with everything in storage!

Hubby and I have spent a lot of time eating out.  The painters are on the main floor of the house now and we have window treatments on our kitchen floor.  Not a good situation for cooking.  The floor refinishers are coming tomorrow morning.  We’ll need them!  The floors are a mess after the painting.  That will, however, mean more eating out, as they have said they need the stove outlet for their big sanding machine.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time the last three days watching videos from The Canadian Financial Summit, trying to familiarize myself with exactly what our financial planner and broker might be up to and thinking.  It’s mostly aimed at Millennials, but there was a fair bit on retirement as well…albeit wealthy retirements.  Some people simply have a lot more money to play with than others.  I did a search for one income retirement in Canada and turned up a bunch of newspaper articles with platitudes and general advice any one income family already knows.  In the process I found some Canadian financial calculators at: Canada.ca .  I also did a search for calculators that take inflation into account.  There’s fewer of them out there.  But there’s one by Sheffar Potter Muchan Inc. out of London, Ontario.  Just type in “retirement planner” and the page should pop up.  The short answer to it is that a one income family can survive retirement, depending on their lifestyle expectations and how much they’ve managed to save.  Not everyone wants to golf, sail, and travel in retirement.

Well, if you’ve been reading, thanks!  Have a great week everyone!

Prepping for Knitting

Prepping for Knitting

Hi everyone!  I’ve been busy winding skeins of yarn into balls.  This is Fleece Artist’s Canada’s 150th Birthday National Parks yarn in DK weight.  Great for hats, neck warmers, and fingerless mitts.  I plan to make more hats from Anne Budd’s book “The Handy Book of Knitting Patterns” and the DROPS neck warmer and wrist warmers pattern on Ravelry.  We have a nice little setup in the basement now.  I was able to clamp the ball winder to the table we moved down here.  I don’t own a swift.  Instead I used the back of a chair.  Worked well.  Next up is to find the right sized needles and cast on!

This is a bit more challenging than usual.  We have no sofa down here.  Instead we have three lawn chairs with cushions on them for a bit of padding.  My knitting is in bags underneath the lawn chairs.  I’m going to have to sort through the various bags to see where I managed to put my knit needles.  I don’t think they made it back to their proper place after the last project.

Meanwhile…painters are busy painting the upstairs or second floor of the house.  Hopefully they’ll be done soon and onto the main floor.  I think it’s going to be a tight schedule to finish before the floor refinishers come later this month!  Must check in with the floor refinishers soon.

As for my health, recent tests show I am improving.  However I’ve been told I’m on this medication for the rest of my life.  Sigh.  What a pain.  Still, it’s better than the alternative!!!

Take care everyone, wherever you are.  Talk at you later.  Have a great week!

Hi All – Update

Hi All – Update

Still packing, packing, packing.  Moved most of the stuff downstairs that we need for the month.  Still have to get a small table, 4 chairs, a small cupboard, and the dresser downstairs.  Might not happen tonight.  We’ll see.  I’m waiting for Hubby to finish his packing.  Right now he’s having a well deserved rest.

I haven’t done any handwork this week, but I am thinking about it!  I have some yarn I want to wind into balls for knitting.

One of the things Hubby and I realized today is that, at 170 moving boxes packed, we are too heavy and still have too much stuff for a 2 bedroom apartment!  We talked about some of the changes we’d have to make.  Things such as culling artwork and books further, making tough decisions on hobbies, and getting rid of DVDs and using Netflix instead. Hubby commented it would be a major lifestyle change, and I agree.  But it is one that is long overdue.

Hope everyone had a great Labour Day weekend, and has a great week!

Moving Along

Moving Along

I decided to do some knitting to fill in pockets of time between packing and medical appointments.  To that end I finished knitting a hat, neck warmer, and pair of wrist warmers from Fleece Artist’s Canada’s 150 Birthday yarn in the Sable Island colourway.  The hat is from Anne Budd’s book “The Handy Book of Knitting Patterns”.  The neck warmer and wrist warmers are a free pattern off Ravelry by DROPS design (pattern 0-903).

I have them in a box that is not quite full, to send to the recipient.  I may knit more accessories for other people who live in that household.  We’ll see.  I’ve been trying to get a hold of the Mom with little success.  Our time zone difference and schedules are wacky and not well synced.

We’ve been busy packing the last few days in particular.  We emptied out most of the basement.  We’ll be moving some items and furniture down there for us to use for the month of September.  I’m still not sure how we’ll fit everything we need down there.  My rug hooking store inventory is all there right now though.  That’s a start.  Thankfully that’s not as much as it could be!

In the last two weeks we’ve taken three carloads of stuff to drop off at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.  Online selling has slowed down this month.  I’m thinking we have one piece of furniture we might have picked up by the Salvation Army for their thrift store.  That’s not bad actually.

We also made a stab at cleaning the bathroom since the boarder moved out the end of July.  It was a disaster!  Hubby had to take the pea trap apart and clean it out so the sink would drain properly.  I had to shop for a specific cleaning implement (Mr. Pumie) from Home Hardware to clean out the toilet.  Let me tell you, that product is great!  I’m using Zep to clean the shower stall.  Before long the bathroom will be good as new!  Next up is to work on the funky odor coming from the room the boarder stayed in.  I think we’ll need some serious air freshener there.  Would love to clean the carpet, but we’re just ripping it out in a couple month’s time, so why bother?

I’ve been keeping up-to-date and organized in my bullet journal.  I prepared all the pages I need for September in under an hour.  I’m not one of these people who do fancy spreads.  I am bullet journaling for functionality, not artistic expression.  The fanciest I get is colour coding my productivity chart or my sleep quality chart, and those happen on a day-to-day basis, not all upfront prior to the beginning of the month.  It’s almost time to sit down and transfer all my September appointments to my cell phone though.

Well that’s about it.  I continue to attend the gym.  I’m having issues finding a blood pressure monitor that actually works like it’s supposed to.  Even the top sellers are off when compared to the doctor’s office or gym monitors.  They read really high (and I mean like 20-30 points above where my blood pressure is really at!), which is a problem when you’re trying to keep track of how low your blood pressure is!  We bought a new one that was not up to specs, so we will be returning it and buying something different.  Our current one is two years old and won’t read my blood pressure at all.  Gives me nothing but error messages.  I’ve contacted the company and just got a regurgitation of the instruction manual.  I am very frustrated with them.  Unfortunately that is the company the gym nurse wants me to buy another monitor from.  She is suggesting I pick it up at Costco, so I have a year in which I can return it if it stops working the way it should.  We’ll see.  I wouldn’t buy one at all except the doctor wants me to track my blood pressure every day.

Well, that’s it.  I have to go organize my clothing and decide what to put into storage and what to keep out.  I may just move it lock, stock and barrel to the basement.  September in Regina could mean heat, cold, or even snow.  I just don’t trust the weather here at all.

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

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.

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!

 

 

On The Road Again

On The Road Again

Hi everyone!  I’m back on the road again!  Hubby and I are heading to the west coast to Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  I’m hoping to check in with Val Galvin in Chemainus for a fibre fix.  Possibly I’ll be able to check in with a rug hooking retreat at Yellow Point on the Island too.  We’ll see about our timeline.  We are visiting friends for the most part.

In Vancouver I hope to check in with a fibre gallery I discovered. Hopefully we’ll get to Granville Island to check out the Craft Council of BC’s gallery and a few other galleries there.  I would like to check Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio out on Nov. 4th as well.  Once again, family comes first.

We’ve spent the last week in Edmonton reconnecting with family and friends.  Had a good visit with an artist friend from long ago.  I brought my sketchbook and laptop so I could sketch some rug designs from our South Korea trip.  I managed about four drawings so far.  These are going to be much larger wall hangings than I’m used to doing.

I’ve also been knitting on the Baby Cardi from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.  I’m almost done the second sleeve.

I also took part in the Facebook Black & White Photography Challenge.  I didn’t do as well as I’d wished to, but considering my distractions, I did well.

I’m off to enjoy a breakfast here at the hotel.  Hoping to make Vancouver by nightfall.  Take care everyone and have a great weekend!

 

A New Look!

A New Look!

Welcome to my new website everyone!  Take a look around and tell me how you’re liking the new look by posting a comment below.  I welcome feedback.  🙂

The last month’s posts are missing on this blog, but that’s okay.  I’ll update you here.

Since the middle of September I’ve finished “Escapees”.

I’ve also been out plein air hooking at Echo Lake Provincial Park here in Saskatchewan.  It’s beautiful in the fall with golden yellow leaves on the trees against the bright blue prairie sky.  Here’s what I was hooking in.

The other side of the lake looked a bit barren though.  The leaves had already fallen and the golden brown of the grassy hills was showing through the bare dark branches.

The end result was a small approximately 5″ x 9″ piece I call simply “Echo Lake”.

I attended Art Now! in Regina this fall.  It was an inspiring event for me.  I was able to spend Saturday listening to presentations, and enjoy the artwork in-between sessions.

I’ve also been spelling off my hooking with knitting.  I’ve finished my Painted Desert Shawl by Karen Klein (available free on Ravelry) from Sea Turtle yarn.

I’ve been knitting some baby items… a hat and some mitts with an i-cord string attaching them.  I am currently working on this baby sweater, which requires I pick up stitches around the neck and down the front to knit a collar and button band.  I am knitting to learn new techniques.  I’m finding baby items ideal for this.  They are small and quick to knit…when I’m not distracted by other things… The patterns for these come from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.

I’ve also been spinning.  It’s come to my attention that I have a lot of fibre that needs to be spun.  I just had my wheel serviced and will be working, when I have time, to spin it up.  Here’s a couple of small skeins of old singles that I plied together to make yarn.  I will overdye these to make them usable.

And, now that Canadian Thanksgiving is over, my eye is turned towards the upcoming Christmas season.  To that end I diverted myself to scrapbooking last week.  My daughter was married about twelve years ago and I promised her a wedding scrapbook.  I think twelve years is a long enough wait!  I had the tools, the time, and the money to finish it off.  Traditional scrapbooking is not cheap! It is my daughter’s Christmas gift this year.

On September 23rd I took part in Sunrise Library’s Old Fashioned Fair.  Sunrise Library is a branch of the local Regina Public Library.  I had a blast!  So much so I forgot to have photos taken of me there!  I was with a group of weavers and spinners and we had a great time chatting and demonstrating to the public.  Definitely on my repeat list if asked next year.

As a result of the Old Fashioned Fair I ended up at the local Weavers and Spinners Guild one evening.  Had a blast spinning away while listening to the meeting.  Lots of people doing interesting things there.

I’ve also been approached for information to include on myself and my hooking in a book to possibly be published in 2019.  Writing everything down about my en plein air hooking was a bit of a novelty.  I didn’t realize it was such a process, or that I knew as much as I did.  It was good for me.

And in-between all that I’ve been helping my web designer with the new website, including the new videos for my classes that help explain what they are about. Please feel free to provide constructive feedback.

 

 

 

Week in Review

I’ve been having difficulties with my website this past week and weekend.  Please bear with me till we figure out what is going on.  Until then there will be no photos on the blog.

I have, however, managed to finish knitting my Painted Desert Shawl.  I need to weave in ends and block it.  Then it will be ready for a photo.

I have also worked a bit on “Escapees”.  Not as much as I’d like, but quite a bit none-the-less.

Plus we’ve had painters come and paint the exterior of the house.  They will have to come back and do some touch ups in a couple of weeks, but basically it’s done.

Next week there will be no blog posts.  I’ll be off in Winnipeg watching my niece swim in the Canada Games.  It will be a fun family time.  I hope everyone has a great week! 🙂

In My Studio…

Sorry for the late post this week folks.  Managed a few things last couple of weeks.  I finished re-reading “Vacations for the Spirit” by Alan Walker.  Also designed another poetry wall hanging based on a poem my youngest daughter wrote when she was sixteen.

I am currently hooking “Escapees”, my nasturtium wall hanging.  I will be working on it more this coming week.

I am also knitting a shawl from Sea Turtle Lagoon DK yarn,  I only had one skein of bright blue and bright green to work with, so it will be a very bright and interesting striped shawl.  But I love bright colors.

Mostly I am getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine.  Hubby has been re-laying our front walkway after it was torn up for a sewer and water line replacement a couple years ago.  I’ve been helping and cheering him on.  We’ve been resetting field stone borders and back filling with dirt.  Also spending time getting quotes on work to be done on the house.

I am also culling through our belongings and selling them or giving them away.  We have lived here over 20 years and it shows when you walk through the house!  There is more stuff here than we reasonably need or want.  In the process of culling through things I am also reorganizing things to take up less space.  Hubby and I are wanting to downsize from our big old house in a year or so.  It’s a good time to be getting rid of things.

And…in the news…I am in the Top 60 Rug Hooking Blogs worldwide according to Feedspot!  Pretty cool, eh?!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Painted Desert Shawl pattern by Karen Klein. Sea Turtle Lagoon DK yarn.