Monday, December 30, 2013

A Few Leftovers from Christmas

There still seem to be Christmas leftovers, in the frig, spread across the living room (doesn't anybody ever clean up around here?) and on my camera.

I will save you the pictures of the mess, and share a couple of pictures I haven't posted.

I made one more pouch before Christmas, and I think this might be my favourite so far.
Laurel Burch, I just love her whimsical cast of characters.

The Pouch

And the Inside
It was gift wrap for a gift for someone special.

I have this nail polish addiction, that my (all male) family thinks is kind of charming. So, here are the Christmas Nails.
The polish is called "Merry Christmas" and is from a Toronto company called  "Beyond the Nail". You can find them on Etsy. I found this under the tree! Oddly, the tiny pink sparkles don't really show in normal light.

And the annual Kitten in the Tree Picture.
Note the laser eyes!
Ignore the mess behind her, we had just finished opening presents!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Hot Night in Christmasville

Daisy, my 16 week old foster kitten, didn't follow us up to bed last night. She didn't wake us up this morning. When I came downstairs I discovered this.

Closer to the tree, I discovered this.
It was reminiscent of the morning after a dorm party in university, with drunks passed out all over the floor! It must have been some party, and I slept right through it.

Or perhaps this has something to do with it.
Can you see the kitten in the picture?

Here is the culprit resting up for the big party tonight.
You will note that she has the tree skirt arranged for her comfort.

You can see the cats of Christmases Past here.

I am off to redecorate the tree, so I can have fun watching Daisy tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Preparations Continue

On Sunday, we put up the Christmas tree. Daisy was a big help, and continues to assess the placement of the ornaments.

Since we have a different kitten each Christmas, all the tree decorations are kitten friendly. I have large jingle bells around the bottom of the tree, so I can hear her when she climbs the tree. As you can see, she didn't like the tree skirt under the tree and has moved it to a spot she finds more comfortable.

Daisy has been helping me get my gifts finished.

We have been spending our evenings watching cheesy Christmas movies and knitting. The scarf is about 2 metres long and is in a merino/ alpaca blend, a lovely yarn. The socks are bamboo, because it is trendy and the yarn feels like silk. I will be interested to see how they wear.

I am still making pouches. I have made 8 so far.

These 6 were gifts to the members of my knitting group. I tried to pick fabric that suited each of them. They all went home from Knit Knight with their project tucked into their new bags. I finished the last one of this batch at 5:15, snapped the pictures quickly and ran out to Knit Knight, so the pictures aren't the greatest.

I think I will bake cookies, today.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Final Tinners Tuesday

Last January a group of twelve friends decided to each make one block for each member of the group, based on the fabric provided in the "tin" and theme suggested by the owner.

Eleven rotations have occurred and today, the "tins" were returned to their owners.

I had gotten a bit behind, so over the last few weeks I completed 3 blocks.

Garden Path, in Australian fabrics, for a "Down Under" theme.

A basket of posies, for the theme "Baskets". It is hand applique, something I seldom do.

A block with kittens, from a "tin" full of cat fabric. I have no idea if this block has a name, or if I made it up.

Now, for the big reveal of my blocks. My theme was "50 shades of Grey and Purple"

Aren't they all lovely? Now I will have to sew them together. The tops are to be finished by Easter. I think that is Easter 2014, although some of us were thinking 2015!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Some Christmas Sewing

I am trying to keep my list down to what I can reasonably finish before Christmas, without stressing out too much.
I found this pattern from Noodlehead, and thought it was a perfect way to use up some of my fat quarters and other odds and ends.

The medium one uses most of 2 fat quarters, and the little one can be made with 2 fat eighths. For the big one, I cut into some of my yardage.

I think this little one is just the right size to use as a place to store your hand sewing supplies, when you go to a guild meeting.

I think this one would hold a set of needles and a ball of wool, to carry a sock in progress.

This one came out quite large. I am sure that the recipient will have some ideas for it.

I think it is interesting that I used interfacing on the medium one and didn't bother on the small and large, but they all stand up nicely. I don't think I will be using any more interfacing.

Now for the kitten fans, I thought you might like to see my beloved, long suffering Dolly Dog, being brushed by her little friend Austin.
Austin returned to the shelter on the weekend and I am sure he will make a lovely Christmas kitten for someone. I see on the shelter website that his status is adoption pending! Have a wonderful life in your new family, Austin. I hope they have a dog for you to play with.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Good Day to Stay Home

I got up this morning to this.

Of course, one of the advantages to being a knitter in this weather is this.
You can have warm feet and they can be cute, too! I made these socks last spring, as the weather was getting warmer, so today was their first outing.

Good weather to stay in and sew.
Christmas is coming so I am working on more gifts.
Like all my projects for dear ones.
This is a camera case to match last week's tote bag.
I was going to sew a velcro dot on it to keep it closed, but the dots were too sticky to get a needle through. On to plan "B", I guess.

Keep warm!

Linking up with the Needle and Thread Network.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bow Tuck Tote Untucked

I found a kit for a Bow Tuck Tote in a clearance bin of a local quilt shop. I put it away, and found the kit in my stash, just before I went on retreat, last month. I put it in the bag, and discovered that it was just what I wanted to do at retreat (after the pillowcases and table toppers).

I decided that it really needed a zipper, and since I didn't have one in my retreat bag, I brought it home to finish. Since I wanted to give it as a Christmas gift, I figured I needed to finish it, this past weekend.

It is a very firm bag, with 2 layers of batting. I think if I ever made it again, I would use interfacing in the lining, instead of batting. It has 10 pockets on the inside, so there is lots of room to get organized. I think it will make a nice carry-on bag for traveling.

Meanwhile, for those who have been asking, here are Daisy and Austen, my current Fosters. They are 3 months old, and into everything.
I caught this picture while they were napping.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another Tinner Tuesday

I have a cold, which is the only reason I can think for deciding to make a block with this many bias edges!

I did manage to get all my points to match (at least from this distance). :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Retreat 2013

I went, with a group of friends, to the Nav Centre in Cornwall, ON, to spend 2 days of uninterrupted quilting and sewing.

We had a lovely time. It is wonderful not to have to worry about the cooking or even make your bed. We just sew and eat!

I got a few Christmas gifts finished (and one about 2/3 finished.) If you are on my Christmas list and read this, try to look surprised when you open the gift!

First I made some pillowcases.

I think they will suit the recipients. (See the kitty peeking over the hem of the red on?)

Then I made a couple of tabletoppers.

I love how different they look, even though they are made from the same fabric.  Although it doesn't look like it from a distance, this is Christmas fabric. It is Holiday Flourish by Kaufman. I love these tabletoppers, perfect for a round table.

I started another project, but I ran out of time (and needed a zipper).

Monday, October 28, 2013

QR Codes Kill Kittens

As you may be aware, the people at Arts and Socks are really quite fond of kittens. We have fostered 120 of them so far.

Here are my current babies.

So last week, when Chapters / Indigo was featuring this book, I figured I had to buy it.
This book is a delightful picture book about people using technology poorly. Like a QR code on a banana, which takes you to a site that can't be viewed on a mobile device. Or people who use QR codes when a link or a phone number would work just as well.

I must make the disclaimer that I don't even own a Smartphone, so QR codes are lost on me any way, but this book is laugh out loud funny in the examples that the author has found to illustrate his premise. A technology should not be used, just because you can.

If you get a chance, read this book. You can also watch a presentation by the author, on YouTube.

And, in case you are wondering, I bought the book, and the review is my own opinion.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

An Oriental Tinner

As our year of tinners nears completion, it is getting harder to make a block. Either somebody else already had the same idea as you did, or the pieces of fabric left in the "tin" won't work with your idea.
However, I think I pulled this one off.

I have no idea what this block is called. I saw it in a magazine I was looking at, while visiting a friend. I drew a picture of it in my book, and forgot to copy the name. However, it was a perfect match for the fabric, and I had the co-ordinating fabric in my stash.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Order from Chaos

I was given a lovely yarn that had had a terrible accident . It had turned into a snarled mess.

I forgot to take a picture before I started, but I think you get the general idea. I couldn't find the end, so I bravely picked through the worst of the snarled, pulled a thread, and cut it loose. It turned out pretty well, because when I was done, I ended up with this.

Ta Da!

Meanwhile, I finished another pair of socks (because I just can't stop knitting them).
I love the colour and the yarn is Bamboo and Nylon, lovely and soft.

Because I finished my socks, I cast on a new shawl.
This one is in a silk yarn from my stash. I think it followed me home one day. Although it is hard to tell in the picture, it has beads every 4th row. Lots of lovely silvery beads.

If you follow this blog, you will know that we foster cats for the local shelter. My buddy Finnegan came to stay in March, and has spent the summer enjoying the yard.
Finnegan moved to his new forever home, last Monday. He is now someone's special senior gentleman.

So Arts and Socks is pleased to welcome two new fosters.

Meet Jade.
And her sister, Jazz.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Maritime Touring

A few more pictures of the Maritimes.

A friendly alpaca at the Magnetic Hill Zoo. Isn't he adorable. I bet his fleece makes really interesting yarn.

The sign on the hill near Fort Howe (we were geocaching nearby).
The "reversing falls" (I was expecting more after geography class in elementary school).
The view of the harbour in St. John, from Fort Howe.
The view of the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island, from the New Brunswick end.

The beach in the nature preserve at the foot of the bridge. I would love to try a quilt of this, or at least part of this.