Wednesday, 30 October 2013

More on the Trunk, and a Scary Cat for Halloween

No, don't fall off your chair just because I'm posting again!  I know its only two days since my last post, but I have more to share with you.  It was very cold yesterday, but I managed to get outside to the shed.

Pete was also outside moving supplies from the woodpile to beside the basement door so that it is easily accessible when we want a fire.  All the wood in the shelter was culled from fallen trees from the ice storm back on April 12th, Pete has done a fabulous job of cutting and stacking it all.

Inside the shed the trunk was resting on Pete's workmate bench.


I know it looks pretty beaten up, but to me that gives it character.  I love it.  You may be able to see the at the bottom of the front in the middle there has been some damage.  The canvas has been compromised and the wood beneath is broken.  Once I've tidied up the interior I think we'll use some glue and a thin piece of wood to support the broken pieces of wood.  On the front where the canvas is torn we'll try glueing it, but if that is insufficient I have plenty of canvas and may replace the area.   

Here's a picture of the paper pasted to the inside.

Here is a close-up of the interior paper.  It is quite pretty, but it still has to go.

So I'm itching to get going with it, but I still need to make sure I'm stitching away as I have several Craft Fairs coming up.  Here is the latest addition to my menagerie.  I think with it being Halloween tomorrow it is quite appropriate to call him Scary Cat!  In the first picture you can see his fish skeleton tattoo.

The second picture shows his bitten ear and scarred face.

The final picture shows his broken tail, scarred back and again the tattoo.  What a character!

Have a happy day!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Wooden Boxes and Steamer trunks

I was passing by a local antique shop last week, when I noticed two lovely wooden boxes they had outside the shop.  I love wood,  and like to have lots of wooden things around me. This got me to thinking, how could I used a box in my life?  Our house is, for two people, quite large, but there is a lack of space for new objects.  But then it occurred to me, I had been thinking of getting a sewing box to organise my sewing area. I know you can't believe that I would be messy can you - however, below is the evidence. 

There is no space left beneath my chair due to the tins of lambswool thread, buttons and beads, and the roving which has sprawled out of the sewing box which cannot contain it all. Then you can see my pot of scissors, pens, pencils and filling prodders, a bag of filling, a maple leaf bag full to the brim of felt, and a bag of material.  There are also plastic boxes of embroidery thread, and a woven square basket containing sequins, ribbon and other sundries.  It is a mess, and any time someone comes to the house, I am scrabbling to tidy it up so that the room is presentable.

Anyway, back to those boxes I saw, they inspired me to look on Kijiji, an on-line selling forum which I have used previously.  There I espied an old steamer trunk.  It has a green canvas to with wood battens and metal end pieces on the lid.  It is in a sorry state, the interior stinks, so much so that it has been banished to the shed so that it doesn't pollute the air of the house.  So the first job, with a mask on, will be to vacuum the interior, then remove the remainder of the peeling paper.  Then a solution of bleach, dish soap and water will be used to sanitise the interior wood.  Then Pete will take over and he is going to refurbish the exterior so that it looks beautiful.  Pete would have taken over anyway, so getting him to say he will do it from the beginning is a bonus, it means I can sit back and enjoy the process rather than be frustrated because he is pushing me out of the way so that he can do it, so that it is done properly!  Said refurbishment together with the trunk will form part of my Christmas present.

I will take photos of the trunk to show its current state, and how it progresses, but it has gotten much colder and I'm not going out to the shed at the moment, so the photos will have to wait.

I have been busy sewing.  A raccoon:

A skunk: 

Also I bought some material which just spoke to me.  It said Yeti.  Here is the back view:

The front:

And his face, I shaved the material so that the features are more flush to the base:

He is soooo cute!

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

One of a Kind Show in Maynooth

What a lovely Sunday.  We drove up to Maynooth for the One of a Kind Show.  Both Pete and I took our cameras, fall colours in Ontario are spectacular, unfortunately the deciduous trees decided against us, they had, for the most part, already shed.  There were plenty of lovely firs and pines and cedars, stu nning rocky outcrops, and darkly reflective lakes.  Just no autumnal spread of colourful leaves.  Ho hum.  It was still a lovely drive, straight up Highway 62 through Madoc, via Bancroft (where we are determined to spend return and have a prolonged look around).

The gym at the Maynooth Library is a lovely big room, and we found ourselves sited at the door - a perfect situation given that if people did no more than glance on their way in, on the way out they are forced to pass by again, and can't miss the display.

In the left of the picture you will find the newest "staging" addition.  It is an iron "plant" stand which is perfect for showing my mobiles.  After Pete had taken this picture my friend Diane suggested that we put the plant stand onto the table so that it would be really visible to people - wow did that ever work.  The monkey mobile became the thing people zeroed in on, and it was the most touched and caressed item.  I'm happy to say it sold!  I'll have to make another, it won't be exactly the same and for me that is part of the fun of my creations they are all one of a kind.  

Just behind my table you can see some of the work of my newest friend Shelley.  At the top of the display door you can see a gorgeous wooden hanging which has tiny lights highlighting the central painted panel.  Shelley had samples of her maple butter.

Is it ever good.   I had to get some, sorry the pic is blurry.  Also a really cute tea light holder.

I popped tea lights in last night and it looked really great.

I also bought a ring from my friend Diane of At Sebastien's Silver Wear.  She uses silver cutlery to make rings pendants and bracelets - gorgeous stuff.  At Sebastien's Silver Wear is on facebook.

I like to wear my ring with the little rose design facing up.

But I always have he option to turn it around so that the end is visible.  Given the size I think this was a teaspoon.  I absolutely love it.

I also bought some scented shea butter.

And some yummy roving.

It was the first craft fair that Pete had attended with me.  After 10 minutes he was wondering if my prices were too high, and if there is a market for my softies.  At the end of the four hour fair he had long since retracted those thoughts and was doing a little happy dance every time along with me every time I made a sale.  It was a good day.

I have several fairs coming up, so I need to work on my inventory.  The latest addition is this little lady:

She even stands en-pointe!

Have a happy day!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

I missed the last open day at Amazing Graze Alpacas as it was my birthday weekend, so knowing that they were open to the public on Saturday October 10th I was determined to go.  I had been feeling rather poorly for a couple of days, nothing mega or tangible, but I have MS and sometimes I become overly fatigued, so it was with money in my pocket and appreciation for the sunny, 20 degree weather that I headed out.

I drove over to Stirling then headed up Highway 14.  I glanced to my left at a farm and thought that the cows looked a bit strange.  They were very grey and I haven't come across any breeds with that colouration.  Then I looked again.

... and then I saw the name of the farm.  Ontario Water Buffalo Company.  Duh!  Water Buffalo!  I should have whipped my camera out, but this is a photo from the website of the Ontario Water Buffalo Company.  The area I live in really is wonderfully diverse.  There is an annual Water Buffalo Food Fest in Stirling-Rawdon, this year it was in early September and next year I'm definitely going. 

So I drove a short way on and came to Sine Road, and fell in love.

They are soooo gorgeous.

I love this face, and his colouring which owner Marj calls pralines and cream.

Steven the other owner of this wonderful enterprise told me that alpacas grow to about 180lbs about half the size of llamas.  Alpacas were not used as pack animals because of their small size, and their fibre, being so much finer than that of llamas was reserved for the Incan royalty.  The babies are called crias until they are weaned at 6 months. and their fibre is even softer.

My money was burning a hole in my pocket, so I had a great time cruising the produce displayed in the barn.  I wish I were a better knitter because they have some fabulous spun yarn, maybe another time when I've had a chance to work on my knitting.  In the meantime there were plenty of other things more relevant to my current work and below is my stash.

A pair of Canadian alpaca fibre socks.  My feet were feeling chilly this morning so I had to put them on.

The official line is that Alpaca fibre is truly elite - finer, softer, warmer and lighter than wool.  What I can tell you is that it is toasty warm.  My feet feel very comfortable - I am a convert. 

I also bought some roving.

How gorgeous is that!  Pralines and cream on the left and a dyed mix of blue, purple and green on the right.  Don't ask me what I'm going to make with them - I haven't a clue, but, I can tell you I am going to make an alpaca.  Its on the list now.  I'm not sure when I'll get around to it as I have a few things I want to have for the upcoming Christmas season.
Something I am enjoying making at the moment is mobiles.  I'm off to a One of a Kind show next Sunday in Maynooth Ontario so it will be interesting to see how well they are received, and then I have the Mama Market in Belleville on November 23rd.
The latest mobile is Weather, it has the sun in the middle, and a rainbow, snow cloud, rain cloud and thunder cloud spinning around it.

Have a happy day!



Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Monkeying Around

So, the evenings are starting to draw in.  First of all it was slowly, slowly, but now each evening it is getting dark earlier.  Some of the trees have a fine colour, but there is still a lot more to come for which I am very glad as I'm going to a One of a Kind Show in Maynooth Ontario on Sunday October 20, and we are anticipating a fine colour show on the drive up. 
This picture is across our road.  It doesn't capture the reds in the maple as much as the oranges.

The flowers on my wheelbarrow were past any pretension of beauty, so when Farmer Francis came to the door carrying a pumpkin for me I was presumptuous enough to ask for an additional three (he had a poor crop this year, only 200 - next year he plans to beat the birds who got many seedlings and I am promised a white pumpkin).  Fortunately Farmer Francis (Murray to his friends) has a partiality for carrot cake, and I took full advantage of this by offering him a cake in exchange for the pumpkins. 

Looking at the face of Miss Bea(have) you wouldn't believe butter could melt in her mouth.  However, we have been have issues!  She has been refusing to eat her dinner of chicken, carrots and rice, preferring to hold out in the hopes of getting more treats.  She is now on a treat-restricted diet whereby she's not allowed any until she eats her dinner.  I don't count the Snausages I halve and throw for her at breakfast time as I include them as part of her exercise regime.

I have been invited to participate in the Holiday Mama Market on Saturday, November 23rd : 900am - 300pm and  Sunday, November 24th : 900am - 300pm, at 301 Macdonald Ave, Belleville.  You can see more information on my Hetty Jean facebook page if this is local for you and you wish to attend.  So, with the Holiday Mama Market in my mind I started to think of what might be suitable products for me to show, and I am very happy with what the design I came up with.


A Monkey Mobile.  I'm thrilled with it.  There are five monkeys in different poses.  Leaves in different hues of green create a jungle feel, and there is a bird perched on the canopy top.

I researched mobiles, and found that very often the objects on mobiles are oriented for adult enjoyment.  So I have tried to orient my monkeys so they are looking down and their heads are oriented for viewing from below rather than on a level.

Pete took me out for my birthday to a lovely east-coast style restaurant in Belleville, Kalays, where we had a scrumptious lunch.  I had a Blackened Shrimp Po-Boy with crisp sweet potato fries (these have to be kept on ice and then dipped into a thin tempura batter to create crispness when they are fried), it was totally scrummy.  Pete had halibut and chips - the best fish and chips he's had in a long time.  Pete doesn't eat desserts, so I ordered a sampler plate of cheesecakes and two forks.  There was a New York style with berry coulis, Chocolate and lastly Lemon and White chocolate.  The last was my favourite and Pete (who doesn't eat desserts but always eats half of mine when we go out) liked the chocolate.  A nice cup of coffee rounded off the meal.  I took my camera with me but didn't think to take photos of the food, however I did get Pete to take a photo of me, just in case anyone was wondering what I look like.

Oh for a proficiency in air-brushing!
Have a happy day!