Monday, February 28, 2011


Any form of recycling is good.  Collecting old woolies and making quilts or appliqued projects is a craft that I find really fun.  Pictured above is an assembly of woolie flowers for a sunny yellow blanket.

This pillow (a gift from an acquaintance)  is a great example of a simple style made from recycled woolies.  The stitching is a primitive applique stitch which looks like a blanket stitch, but goes much quicker.

Here is that happy sunny yellow blanket with the flowers sewn on and some vines and leaves added.  A project like this done in winter is such an uplifting sight!  Lovely, lovely color.

This blanket was a project I made for use out in my garage when the cool nights set in.  Come spring, I spend alot of time out there.   It really is cheerful isn't it?  Needlework like this is so relaxing.  I need to do more of it really.

Just imagine this pillow in the colors of your choice.... you could choose just a couple of your faves and use different textures of wool.  Or even cottons.  But wool is don't have to turn under the edges. I think a pillow like this would look great on a white sofa!  Perhaps Miss Molly needs a large one for a dog bed/lounger.  hmmmm......

Here is a WIP (work in progress).  Actually I am playing with colors here for a pillow.  The color combinations make my blood rush!  Nearly all the wool is recycled.  I have a particular fondness for wool scarves from the GAP.  Some things just give me endorphins! lol...

In other news, my first interview for the VIP feature of this blog went extremely well but I have to postpone publishing it.  The lady who is the subject needs to ok it, but has flown to the Barbados for a little holiday.

Friday, February 25, 2011


PAH!!!  This dad-blasted cupboard is really starting to get on my last nerve! 

Remember, I DID warn you that it could take a while.  I just gave up and loaded it with my craftstuff.  I am not remembering those beautiful Haflinger horses right now (see "My First Love" post)..... *#@**#!  All I can remember right now is that I have this half-done thing which I CANNOT LIVE WITH IN THIS STATE!!!  "What is the problem", you may be asking?

If you look at the window beside the cupboard, you will notice a very bright light coming in...THE SUN!  I want to go outside and enjoy it.... Molly wants to play ball and I am getting CABIN FEVER!!!  Out we time for painting right now!

I mean, how can I resist this face?  Or her plaintive telepathic whining..."Mommy please can we play ball..please, please .... forget that stupid won't lick your hand or give you kisses."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I love mosaics.  Any art/craft which can become something beautiful from the shattered remnants of a broken dish for example, is pretty dern good in my books.
I am fond of blue willow china.  Especially when it becomes a "broken h'art" like this one that I made for our fence.   Don't worry, I used chippy china for this project!

In fact, when I painted the garage I took a piece of the pretty china to the paint store and had some paint mixed up which matched the vivid blue in it.  Navy purple by BM was the color.  Oooooooooohhhhh  Mama likey.

A few years back,  I set about the task of making stepping stones for a garden path which are becoming visible as the snow melts here.

I have done birdhouses, house numbers, planters, birdbaths, picture name it....  It is a wonderfully creative pastime.  Sort of like doing a jigsaw puzzle except it is permanent.  Mosaics puts me in mind of what healing our hurts is like.  Taking something broken and putting it back together to create beauty from the pieces.

I believe this is what God does when we ask.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Hello Friends.  I went on another little jaunt around the city today.  Cold and beautiful outside.  These pretty houses are some of my favourites.

This darling cream dream abode is still decked out for Christmas!  So cute.  Gack!  Excuse the reflection!

Looks like we have some American friends living in our fair city.  Nice job on the house.

How about this lovely wrap-around porch?  I love the grey color!  Sorry about my arm in the way.  I am still learning about taking proper photos!

I like this house because of the effort the owner puts into decorating it.  She loves her home and it shows!

So there you have it.... another post about some of the pretty houses in our city.  I should add that while I prefer smaller homes, I do like large ones too!  Believe me, there are some beauties here. 

"Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest,
Is surely home and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~Henry Van Dyke

Monday, February 21, 2011


I wanted to add a wee bit of pizazz to our bed so I took an Ikea lumbar pillow and added some fabric letters which I embroidered on it. (the fabric is from an old Ikea duvet cover)

It is easy to "pimp" your linens.  Just print off a font you like or as in this case, I simply traced some wood letters I had right onto the paper backed fusible web.  I then cut it out and ironed it in place.  Pink embroidery thread is what I used to sew it on using a primitive applique stitch.  Sewing by hand is such a lovely quiet way to spend an hour or two.  I think I will do some more... hmmmm.... maybe another pillow.

"Patches and buttons and the cold wind blowing
The time passes quickly when I am sewing."
~author unknown

Friday, February 18, 2011


It's raining here in Northern Ontario.  Pah!  Oh well, might as well roll with it.  So, today I jumped in my jalopy and took a little tour around town to take some pics of pretty houses.  I thought that you might enjoy them, so here you go.....
I love this sweet little bungalow... looks so fabulous in the summer too.  Note the interesting angle of the porch roof.  The flower bed in front has the same lines.  Of course you cannot see it with all the snow, but it's there!

Here is my little dream home.  My most favorite of all.  An adorable dwelling made of stone.  It has an interesting salmon colored addition.  Not a color I would have chosen, but it somehow works with the stone.  And that picket fence....oooooohhh... I love it.  This place just sings.

This tiny place is situated on the most beautiful lot.  The owners have landscaped the surrounding area to the nth degree!  A creek runs through it in back, there is a fabulous view of the lake and the gardens are just breathtaking.  The owner was kind enough to let me get this shot as I sat in my truck pointing the camara at her home like some sort of weirdo. (which I am!)

This last picture is not a house but rather a "hideaway" as the owner calls it.  "Harry's Hideaway" actually.  So cute, I just had to include it.  It doesn't hurt that it is located on our beautiful lake!

So there you have it... a mini tour of some pretty houses.  Wouldn't you know they would be bungalows?  I love little houses.  Always have.  I would have taken more shots of other homes, but my brake fluid was alarmingly low on the truck.  So, home I went at a snail's pace.

"A house is made of bricks and mortar but home is made by the people who live there."
~ M K Sorie

"Home is where you can scratch where it itches."

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I was looking at this nice blog when I came across a wood window valance which matched my headboard that hubby and I made...
I ♥ naptime: Tutorial: How to make a wood valance window treatm...:

I thought wow, let's get at this!  So, off to the buildit centre I went.  In the back by the saw, I found some pieces of mdf board which were perfect for this project.  I got several boards for 5.00!!!! Woot!  I am always scavaging the scraps at these lumber places for cheap materials.
I am so in love with this project, that I want to make these valances for every window in the bungalow!  I have a simple white roller shade on my bedroom window at the moment.  This valance includes a place to accept a curtain rod as you can see in the pics at the above link.  I have some sand colored linen drapery fabric to sew up some curtains which should be nice with the blue walls.  Very beachy.
In case you are wondering about the cupboard makeover saga......stay tuned... it could take a while.. a ..very... long....while.  It's just how I roll sometimes.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present." 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hoo Boy!  This cupboard is taking a while.  The shelf supports have been added and painted.

The shelves are just melamine pieces cut to size.  I have some fabulous fabric choices for the door curtains and the inside back of the cupboard.  It seems I am as slow as molasses in getting at this dern project!
I am afraid it may become cupboard makeover parts one, deux, trois, etc,....
There are slim little handles on the doors which I sort of like.  I was going to put glass knobs on there, but I think I may paint these little handles green.  The exterior will be painted my go-to color Simply White by BM.   
I just love to fiddlefart with these little projects, even if it is slow-going.  I always feel such a sense of satisfaction when they are done.  Of course, there are a zillion of these "little projects" on the go around the bungalow!  They await my hand in their various stages of completion.  Ahh yes.

In closing, I would like to share with you a beautiful quote from the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.....

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness
For lovely eyes seek out the good in people
For a slim figure share your food with the hungry
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you will never walk alone
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed
Never throw out anybody
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands
One for helping yourself and one for helping others.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Valentine's Day..... how do I love thee, let me count the ways.  I have always loved Valentine's Day.  I mean, how can you not enjoy a day devoted to such a wonderful and powerful emotion?
I fell in love with this guy on Valentine's Day 1974.... I was 16 and he was 21.

He gave me a valentine with the beautiful poem "How do I Love Thee" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  I was smitten. 

I had lost my father the previous year and I felt like a rudderless ship.  Lost and lonely.  And there he was.  Quiet, strong and gentle. (and it didn't hurt that he was incredibly handsome as well)  I knew the minute I saw him that he was special.

Yup, he is my valentine.  And his little dog too....

I wish you, dear reader, a love-filled and happy Valentine's Day. 
Now take it away Liz.....

How Do I Love Thee
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need by sun and candlelight
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right
I love thee purely as they turn from Praise
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs and my childhood's faith
I love thee with a love I seem to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and if God choose
I shall love thee better after death.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Our sweet girl Miss K made this outstanding piece of art....

Yes, we are ready for spring!!!  I cannot wait for the sun's rays to grow stronger and all this snow to melt away revealing the ground beneath. 
Yesterday, I went thrifting.  I had to get out of the house for a bit despite the attack of gout I am enduring at the moment.  YAOOOOWZA... does it hurt!  Anyways, I didn't get much at the thrift store, but I did run into some very interesting people.  We discussed depression and it never ceases to amaze me that there are so many people who suffer from it.  One in five Canadians have it and I suspect the number could be higher.  It is not talked about enough.  We must remove the stigma attached to the words "mental illness".  Anyways, the discussion I had with one lovely lady regarding her struggle and that of her family members, was a memorable one.  And it meant so much to me that she felt comfortable enough to share.  She too had one thing in the forefront of her mind and that was SPRING!  It seems everyone I met yesterday is thinking about the same thing.... they are ready for the snow to go!
But I will say this, and that is I love the seasons we have here.  The anticipation of the coming season is a big part of that love.  I have to say that spring is my favorite with fall running a close second.  Extreme temps are not my cup of tea. 
Anyways, there you have it... a mixed bag for today's post.  I hope your day is a beautiful one dear readers.

"If we had no winter, the spring wouldn't be so pleasant:  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity wouldn't be so welcome."  ~ Anne Bradstreet

"Winter is on my head but eternal spring is in my heart."  ~ Victor Hugo

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Remember the wardrobe we purchased from the "horse lady" in the post "My First Love"?  Well, it is time to get started on the makeover on it.

It is in need of some shelving if it is to become a craft cupboard.

And a lick of paint..... some new curtains.... and hey presto!  A serviceable and functional addition to my craft room/office.  And when I look at it, I shall always remember our wonderful day with those haflinger horses and their lovely owner.

Stay tuned for part two....

"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


What is shiny, black and sleeps on my legs every night?

Why it's Molly of course.  Our sweet black lab is more like our baby than a "pet".  She means the world to my hubby and I.  When we chose her 7 years ago in a barn out in the country, we didn't realize how important she was to become in our lives.
She makes us laugh at least once a day if not more.  And she is like an ambassador in our neighborhood.  Everyone seems to love her.
Like most labs, she adores children.  Molly is a "balanced" dog meaning that she is calm and happy most of the time.  However she tends to get a little cuckoo when she sees certain people.  She does have favorites.  One is a man named Barry that my husband walks Molly with.  Barry gets a kiss hello and a kiss goodbye from Molly.  Barry walks his next door neighbor's dog "Duquette" every day and she and Molly are best friends.
Now, this kissing thing does have a down side in that Molly tries to kiss everyone on the lips like she does to Barry.   And of course, this means she jumps up to do it.  Sigh.  I don't think we will ever be able to break this jumping up habit of hers.
Our little bungalow on Bank wouldn't be the same without our girl.  Molly makes it a home where there is love and laughter even on the dark days like I had yesterday.

"She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.  You are her life, her love, her leader.  She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart.  You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion."
~Author Unknown

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I am thinking about the lake today.  Beautiful Trout Lake.  Spring-fed, cold, clean.  I have always loved the lake.  Even in winter.

I have many great memories of being in the lake, on the lake, beside the lake.  In fact, I have even been swimming in the lake with my horse!  He and I used to go down to the lake across the street from the stable where he was boarded, and in we'd go.  Ahhhhh yes.  Lovely.
There is a really cool gift store/ice cream shop/ boat rental/bait store/etc...etc... on the lake.  I love to go there and enjoy an ice cream and just stare out at the sparkling water or ice depending on the season.  I was born under the "water sign" in hot July, so I guess it is natural that I would love the lake so.
Hollywood even came calling in the 1940's when "Captain of the Clouds" was shot here.  The lake is prominently featured in the movie and you can see it in it's blue perfection.
Yes, our lake is the jewel of our community here.  We must do all we can to protect it and keep it clean.  After all, it is the giver of life and if it dies, we do too.

"In wonderous nature do I see, the handiwork of God."

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Now that I have told you a bit about my darling Nanny, I will be happy to share with you a little background about my delightful Nanna.
My Nanna was a tiny little gal.  Short legs, short arms with the face of an angel.  And I cannot mention Nanna without also mentioning her husband Jim...that is.... "Daddy Jim".  That is what we grandchildren called him.  Theirs was a love story.  And I will save that for a future post.
Now Nanna was an extrodinary home keeper.  She could cook like Julia Child, she could clean like the dickens and she had a heart of gold.  There were often people sitting in her bright kitchen for a delicious meal because "they were down on their luck dear". 
I remember very little about Nanna really.  I was quite young when she passed away.  But, I do remember her love for all things Elvis.  She would be ironing Daddy Jim's shirts while Elvis crooned.  It was unusual for a lady of her age and in those times, to love Elvis so openly.  We all thought Nanna was waaaayyyy cool for her taste in music. 
I think Nanna really demonstrated her love for her family by taking such good care of everyone and the home they lived in.  The skill she put forth in her cooking and  keeping things clean and organized spoke volumes about this.  It seemed everything she put her hand to was done meticulously and with great care.  And above all, she delighted in her grandchildren, taking each of us in her short little arms for warm hugs. 
She was a sweetheart was Nanna.  And everyone loved her.  I am sure she is with Daddy Jim now and my father and all of those who have gone on before us.  And who knows, maybe she is still listening to Elvis and swooning.  Or perhaps she is dancing in the arms of the man she loved all her life... Daddy Jim.
Until we meet again sweet Nanna.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Yesterday's post about my grand-daughter got me to thinking about my own grandmothers.  I had two and they were nearly polar opposites in some ways.  They were both lovely.  One was called "Nanny" and the other was "Nanna".  My darling little Nanny was poor.  Dirt poor.  But whenever I think of her, I remember her million dollar smile.  She lit up the room when she smiled.  And she smiled often.
Despite eeking out a living on her hands and knees scrubbing the floors in the homes of the wealthy, she was a cheerful woman.  Strong, capable, get things done person.
When we visited her apartment, you could smell the homemade soup that seemed to always be on the stove.  A warm, delicious and inviting smell wafting down the dingy halls of her building.  The door would open and there she would be...all gummy smiles and giggles and "Come in, come in!"  And soft kisses.  She had lost her teeth and refused to wear dentures.  ("they hurt my gums!")
As a young person, when I would be shopping downtown with my friends, I would on occasion, see my Nanny walking and when she spotted me, there was the smile and a hearty wave.  So, over I would go to get my soft kisses.  She would open her purse and give me all of her change.  And she had so little money, I didn't want to take it, but she would insist.   "Here Cheryl, go buy yourself a treat". 
I can feel a lump in my throat now.  And it is because I miss those soft kisses.  My beautiful Grandmother,  has long since passed into the next world.   She was a deeply religious woman who relied on her God every day of her life.  The beautiful poetry she wrote was a testament to this faith.  And that sweet, sweet smile...despite some real hardships.
I love you Nanny.  Until we are together again....and I can feel those soft kisses.

"It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace."
~Christopher Morley

Tell me dear reader, do you have a grandmother story or comment you would like to share?