Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Few Finds

Completed slippers. Hurrah!

Before anyone lies and says, "beautiful...", we need to concede that they are, of course, hideous. However, they're felted slippers and aren't suppose to be good looking, merely practical, which they are. Super-cosy in fact.

Also in the "hurrah" department - the computer seems to be working fine at the moment - hence, the snapshots. I'm going to take advantage of this and share all the little happenings around here.

Last Sunday (the 18th) was the annual Doll Show and Sale here in Winnipeg. I'm not a true collector, but I've always had a few dolls in my possession; some I've had since childhood, some I've sewn through the years and some, on occasion, I've purchased. I'd never been to the doll show before, but was curious what others were collecting and selling.

I was tempted by a 1959 Lloyd's doll carriage (cream coloured metal, spring suspension), and though I thought to myself how fantastic it would be for displaying dolls, I just couldn't quite decide if it was "the one" (does anyone else understand?) and so walked away from it, all the while wondering if I was going to have regrets. I was also very tempted by one little bisque head baby doll from pre-1930's Germany, but wasn't quite sure if I was REALLY, REALLY willing to part with ALL that money for THAT particular doll. It was ALMOST exactly the sort of doll I'd like to own, but sadly, I'm just not that good at large-ticket impulse buys. I'm so, so much better at small-ticket impulse buys.

I found a vendor with buttons,

lovely, shiny buttons.

And another vendor with patterns,

I bought one reproduction pattern (uncut) and one original (cut). Well though, to be honest, I didn't buy that Winnie-the-Pooh pattern. I got to talking to the vendor and told her that my Mum had made Eeyore for my brother back in the sixties from that same pattern and it had been his favourite toy from childhood. She was so touched she gave me the pattern for free and told me to think of her when I sewed an Eeyore for my brother. Wasn't that sweet?

It was while I was driving home that I realised Eeyore was so very, very important to Ian that he'd kept it all these years (probably not requiring another one).

However, if I ever need to make an Eeyore, I'm ready.

A couple of days after the doll show I found this at a local shop,

I can't even speak.

I'm so glad I didn't buy the metal one from the fifties. This one was the same price.

There are no regrets, not one.

And the very same day, while trolling the local thrift stores, I made one of those rare "Finds of a Lifetime" - a stunning crocheted afghan.

The significance of something like this will be lost on some people (Nigel, I'm looking at you), but it is, I assure you, truly magnificent. It's made from scraps of fine sock-weight yarn in an enormous palette of colours. The time that would have gone into making this isn't lost on me and I feel fortunate to be the current "keeper" of this piece of 20th century folk art. Does anyone else see the colours of the Book of Kells?


Now, off to reno-land,

I did not order an orange floor, this is just the layer beneath the tile.


tiles with grout (that means this section of the floor is done).

And just in time for the cabinet delivery.

And this is what the cabinets will look like. Kind of, sort of antique white.

Cabinet installation is set for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Soon it will look like a real kitchen - it just won't have running water, appliances or lights.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Lettin' Ya Know

Hello to all!

Wanted to quickly let all know that we are all still here - coping - you know - with the reno.

We're nearing the end of phase one, unfortunately the computer is acting up and I can't load any photos at the moment.

So, don't think I'm holidaying anywhere swish.

I'm also knitting, but alas, no snaps yet.

Patience, I say to myself.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


It started to fall Saturday afternoon...

and things soon looked like this:

The snow isn't the only thing that's been piling up, I've finished lots of knitting projects too.

The second Noro Striped Scarf is all finished. The colours remind me quite a lot of my brother Ian, so it shall be winging it's way out to the west coast very shortly.

It's knit from one colourway of Noro Kureyon Sock and one colourway of Noro Silk Garden Sock, being sock yarn it's no problem to throw it in the washer and dryer, and in fact, gets softer and softer with washing and wearing.

Hope you like it Ian.******have I ever knit you anything before??? I'm not sure.******

Also finished is Gretel a lovely cabled tam designed by Ysolda Teague. She's very quickly becoming one of my favourite designers. I've tried a few of her patterns now and they are well written with no surprises.

Knit up in Mirasol Miski, this yarn is a beautifully soft worsted weight which knits up incredibly fast (being worsted weight).

And to match, in the same yarn is Celtic Cabled Neckwarmer. If you have a very good memory you'll recall I made one just like it for Elly last Christmas. It was so lovely I decided to make one for myself.

Don't let the photo fool you, it's all finished, though I'm not happy with the buttons I chose, so I need to rummage through my collection and see if I can find something better. I suppose that doesn't truly count as a finished project then, does it?

Also (almost) finished are a pair of Fuzzy Feet made using the yarn I won at the Knit Out in August.

Again, don't be fooled by the photo, I've finished the knitting part of this project...just have to run them through the washing machine to felt them. I'll take some before and after snaps, that's always amusing.

The reno, the reno...

There has been much painting going on this week.

I chose a beautiful shade called Calming Cream for the kitchen and craft room.

And for the bath, the palest of pale blues called Ocean Mist (both paints by Benjamin Moore).

***Update! Update! It's called Ocean Air, not Ocean Mist!***

Both colours are difficult to fully appreciate in snapshot form, you'll all have to just come on over and stare at it with me.

I chose well. Very well.

This week, the tile for the main floor will be installed and possibly the oak flooring on the second floor.

Soon, cabinets.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back from Chicago

It's shameful how rarely I've been posting to this blog lately.

And it's not like nothing interesting is happening. Just plain old lazy I suppose.

Nigel, Ian and I went for a brief visit to Chicago in the middle of September (to attend Nigel's second cousin's belated wedding reception). Chicago was quite stunning, it's a very large city, and very tightly packed with skyscrapers.

It's really, really tall. Apparently there's some sort of rule in Chicago that ensures that new buildings look good next to the old ones.

It was really very tall, but attractive. I'm not really sure why, but I'd imagined it being far more run down and shabby (like Winnipeg). It wasn't.

We weren't in town long enough to see much, but what we did see was well worth it - the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute...Oh yes, and the wedding reception, of course.

It's rare that a city makes it onto my "must-see-again" list, but Chicago is one. (Dublin and Inverness also make the cut). If anyone cares to know, I absolutely loathe Vancouver, but I'll leave that story for another time.

I have a few photos from the aquarium, but I'll save those for next time. More important, I had a chance to meet most of Nigel's family from England. It was great to finally put personalities to the names and faces.

Unfortunately, though I'm quite capable of taking good shots of hanks of yarn or sweaters, I'm useless at photos of living breathing creatures - so I don't have any good photos of anyone.

nice hat...

that's Rosie and Serenity and the very blurry man in the back is Jake...

every family holiday needs to record the recording of images...

that's me.

Enough of that, let's look at some reno shots.

A much better view of the chimney...

the insulation installed. This stage was very cool - like walking inside a ginat marshmallow...

drywall delivered...

and installed...

hmmm....must choose paint colours...

all the walls and ceilings primed for painting...

and this week the painting will begin.

Then floors (I hope).