Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en!

We're ready for the festivities.

Pumpkins have been carved:

Candles are waiting to be lit:

Costumes are done:

Ian as Andy Warhol.

Gus Gus as a Patron of the Arts, or as work of art, you can decide. He's being encouraged to pose with a piece of Roquefort.

Elly went to a party on Saturday dressed as a witch, and Whimsy?

Elly's little white dog went as a little black cat.

Are you ready for tonight?

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Busy, Busy Week-end

On Sunday Nigel, Ian and I made a trip out to St. Andrew's-on-the-Red Church. It's a very old church, at least by prairie standards, at 150+ years. There is a fantastic old cemetery on the grounds, and almost every year we make a trip out to soak up a little atmosphere and history.

The sun was shining, but the wind was vicious, I thought the car door was going to blow right off it's hinges when I opened it. St. Andrew's is a lovely little hamlet built along the riverbank. The last time we were house-hunting, we looked at a place on River Road, but it wasn't for me. A bit too rural, and I think perhaps, the mention of how to care for the septic field put me off. I'm a city girl.

These tombstones look very friendly. I wonder if the people had known each other?

The dark, menacing looking creature sitting in the tree is Ian.

The day before, Saturday, we went to the Manitoba Comic Convention. I expected to see a lot of hard-core fans in costume (especially so close to Hallowe'en), but there weren't nearly as many as I would have guessed (only 4 or 5). I'll confess I was a bit disappointed by that, hmm... I wonder what that says about me. I really like the idea of dressing up in something outlandish, I suppose I'm a closet exhibitionist. We DID get to meet David Prowse (he's the fellow in the Darth Vader suit). Nigel is a big Star Wars fan and it was a huge thrill to meet this particular icon. Mr. Prowse was very pleasant and down-to-earth and let me take a photo of him with Nigel and Ian. Within minutes of being home Nigel had that photo uploaded to the computer and sent all over the world, did I mention he's a fan?

In news from the needles:

I finished the "My So Called Scarf" Scarf. It's posing beside a wee tam I made last spring. I can't remember which book the tam pattern is from at the moment, but if anyone is interested, just ask and I'll go look it up.

I've also reached a new stage in the Tangled Yoke Cardigan:

I've finally got all the sleeves (OK, both the sleeves) and the body all together on one needle and I'm knitting the yoke. I had been getting quite bored with this project, but it's a little more exciting now.

One last thing, on Sunday a big parcel full of all kinds of goodies arrived from my sister. She's sending me a button-of-the-month as a birthday present.

October's is a very beautiful rhinestone and pearl number, and she made the card too! Isn't it just fantastic!

Some fabrics, thread and stickers. The stickers were promptly claimed by the kids.

Thrift store found buttons, she knows me well.

And look at this. This skeleton was made by my niece (remember now, she's just ten) out of sculpey. The detail on this is amazing, it's about three and a half inches tall. Look at those little tiny fingers and toes! Another fabulous creation Thea!

Also in the parcel was a snowflake hand towel for the powder-room and a book by E.Nesbit. My sister, Jane, added the book because the parcel had an empty space at the top once she'd packed it all - that's so very like her, very generous. Thank you Jane!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Little Bit of Hallowe'en: Part Two

A few more images from around the house, plus another humiliating Hallowe'en story.

About five years back I found myself needing some extra Hallowe'en supplies and so decided first thing in the morning to pop out to the local mall to get a few items. As I came to the first stop sign, waiting to make a turn, a car drove past me along the road I was about to take to the shops. As the car drove by, I saw the profile of a young man driving, and was certain that I knew him from somewhere. I made my turn and found myself following this man's car all the way to the mall.

The entire drive there I could clearly see the outline of his head and hairstyle and was sure I knew him, but from where?

Did I go to high school with him? No, I'd seen him more recently then that.

Had I worked with him somewhere? No, that wasn't it.

Did I date him in the past? Surely I'd remember that!

As we both pulled into the Zellers parking lot and I watched him get out of his car I could see him wearing a Zellers smock. So, he worked there! Well that was some kind of explanation, though still, I felt I knew him better than that.

After having stared at this man for the entire drive to the mall, close to ten minutes, it hit me.

He was dressed as Wolverine from X-Men (it was Hallowe'en morning).

Adorable? Yes, but I never dated him.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Little Bit of Hallowe'en: Part One

I promised you a little something Hallowe'eny for this post, so here are a few images from around the house and an unrelated story.

I very rarely get dressed in costume for Hallowe'en, though every year I promise myself that the next year, for sure, I'll create and don something fantastic. When that next year rolls around, of course, I'm too busy, or not in the mood, or uninspired.

Well, a few years ago, while out thrifting I came across the most fantastic lime-green nylon quilted housecoat and matching nightgown. I was inspired! I was going to be a HOUSEWIFE! (note: the fact that I was living the housewife life everyday, in a nice little house, on a nice little street didn't occur to me at the time.)

To go with my lime extravaganza, I bought a pink shower cap, orange rubber gloves, large fuzzy leopard-print slippers and some knee-high stockings. When Hallowe'en night came I painted my face bright blue to look like a face mask. I was all set to hand out candy to the neighbourhood children.

Some of the little ones giggled, some were a little frightened, most of the parents smiled and waved. It all seemed to be going over well enough.

And then, a woman arrived at the door with two little fairy princesses and said to me,

with complete sincerity,

"Oh dear, did we catch you at a bad time?"

I've never dressed up since.

Though, I'm thinking... maybe... this year....

Monday, October 22, 2007

What Happened to Hallowe'en?

Over the week-end, I did a little preparation for Christmas and Easter (I think).

That's three hyacinths and five paperwhites. The paperwhites should be ready in time for Christmas, the hyacinths take longer, at least Valentine's, if not Easter. I always find in hard to judge just how fast bulbs will grow. Some years I've been exactly right, some years I'm way off. Curiously, I always start them the week after my birthday. I suppose there are other factors that I haven't accounted for.

In my massive bulb order from Vesey's this autumn, I also ordered lots and lots of tulips, lilies and daffodils for the garden. They were planted in early October (took me a full day) and assuming the squirrels don't eat them all, I should have some lovely photos to show you in the spring. I also bought a Seidei Japanese Tree Peony. Eventually it will grow to 5 feet and have beautiful pink blossoms. At the moment it looks like this:

I've planted it on the south side of the garden, and it should get full sun through the morning and filtered light in the afternoon. I'm not sure how long it's going to take to mature, at least three years I would think. I'll keep you posted on it's progress.

I'm beginning to panic at how little I've done for Hallowe'en (one of my favourite holidays). Only a little bit of decorating and almost no work put into costumes yet. Yikes! I'm going to have to get cracking. My next post, absolutely, will have to be about spookiness.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Birthday Loot

Thought I'd show you what I got for my birthday.

Inside that lovely big bag were gifts from my daughter Elly:

a new Donna Hay cookbook and a bottle of X-Rated liqueur. She brought the booze back from the States, you can't buy it here yet. It's very nice, blood orange, mango and passion fruit in a vodka base.

From Nigel and Ian:

two Blossom Dearie Cd's, The Fallen Idol DVD, Green Magic by Ann Mauro (Oooo, how to really work that wand!), and

also, the first three seasons of The X-Files, and The Complete Jeeves and Wooster .
It was a great day. After opening my gifts, Nigel slid Blossom Dearie into the CD player and I had a sip of my new liqueur.

If you're going to drink this early in the morning, you should always have your jammies match your booze (I'm sure that's a rule of Bertie Wooster's).

Then in the afternoon we raked all the leaves on the front lawn and afterwards went out to supper. We dined at Tavern in the Park. Very nice, I had the Blue Marlin. After supper we came home and watched two episodes of Jeeves and Wooster and had cake. A great day, all in all .

And then, today, what arrived in the post?

Well, that's a new knitting tote from Knitpicks. So fantastic, and I'm very picky about totes. This one has, not only lots of pockets, but really sensible ones. I'm very pleased. Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, today is the day. An auspicious event, my 43rd birthday. Another fine reason to love October.

I love lots of things about October, my birthday, Hallowe'en, the cooler weather (before it becomes bitter cold), and the colours. Here in Winnipeg, there are an enormous number of elm trees, in fact, we have the largest urban elm tree forest in North America. Over 170,000 trees (you can check that out here). That's pretty impressive. On the downside of this, all the trees lose their leaves at the same time leaving the city looking bleak and tired (at least until the snow falls), on the upside, of course, they all turn together as well, and usually the leaves turn the week before my birthday. The whole city is ablaze with the most stunning shades of bright yellow leaves, brilliant blue sky, and the last month of green lawns. I can't remember a time when they haven't. Except this year, they decided to go a little early, and the weather opted for clouds and rain and now the green grass is covered in brown crunchy leaves.

I'm feeling just a little bit ripped off.

So instead of my plan earlier in the autumn to have a picturesque birthday blog celebrating the day, the season, the moment and the wonderful, spectacular light that arrives for my day, I'm opting instead to look forward to what's ahead. According to numerology I am entering a...

Personal Year Five:

This is a year of exploration and freedom. It's a time when exploration and reaching out to others brings opportunities. It's a good time to advertise and sell. Surprises are in store, and the routine is broken. This is a year when exciting relationships can be formed, or, if you are already in a partnership, new life is breathed into the relationship. Advice - explore, look for adventure, keep your eyes open for opportunities, mingle.

You can calculate your own year number here.

Well, I'm really not one for surprises (where's my technicolour Winnipeg!?!), but I'm all for freedom and exploration, and I'm going off in search of a little out-of-town adventure in a few weeks. I'll let you know more about that as the time approaches.

This week-end will be spent on me, me, me. I'll brew up a steaming mug of hot chocolate and read this:

I finally picked up the most recent Harry Potter book at the library. Looks like a fine day, and the sun has chosen to shine, so I guess I won't have to read by lamp-light today. Hooray!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Too Many Directions?

When I started to blog, I (foolishly) thought that having all my projects revealed to the world (not that I've revealed all yet) would help me to stay focused and, in a way, contained, or maybe constrained, I'm still not sure what I was thinking. As I continue through my Tangled Yoke and Asian Cross-stitch, I can't help but find myself a little bit bored and so dash off to start new projects...

Remember those pincushions, well you're allowed to enter three, so I thought that might be a good place to start. I'm working on a knitted one:

I found the yarn at a thrift store,

It's a gigantic ball of White Buffalo yarn, super-cheap at $1.99.

I'm also making two other pincushions, by way of quilting:

All in the colours green and black. My son, Ian, is particularly fond of these colours at the moment, and I think it's seeped up from my sub-conscious. In an unrelated thought, I'm thinking black and lime-green for Christmas this year too.

Now, I haven't any photos to show, but I've also painted the sun room (an enormous room) and the fireplace and built-in bookcases in the living-room. And... I'm working on the biggest of all organisational feats. Ian's Lego. He use to play with it ALL THE TIME, but over the years he has completely abandoned it. So, I've decided the time has come to organise it all, bag it, and decide if it's staying or going. It's a big job.

A very big job.
We decided to put one together:

I'm not sure what's possessing me to start so many gigantic projects this year. I truly do like to have mostly quick projects that leave me feeling accomplished, but not tied-down. In response to all these behemoths, I thought I'd quickly work up a little instant gratification. A scarf, My So Called Scarf by Sheep in the City. It's knitted up in Manos del Uruguay, I chose the colour Bramble.

Very pretty, and sophisticated, and an easy job too. Mindless knitting, sit-in-front-of-the-TV knitting, why you could even call it plan-out-another-direction knitting.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I Wonder Who Did All That Knitting?

Is it any wonder that a band from New Zealand would use a ton of wool in their video?

Check out Steriogram here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy October

My favourite month has begun:

I'm a pumpkin?

You Are Pumpkin

Realistic and practical, you see the world for how it is.
You know what it takes to succeed in life...
And you're happy to help others reach their goals.