Thursday, February 28, 2013

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

Just a sweet reminder to my many bloggy friends in warmer climates ...

 ... while you're all marveling at the first spring flowers in your gardens ...

 ... and tentatively cracking open your windows for a bit of fresh spring air ...
... while you check out your green lawns pondering on when it'll need its first cut ...
... and while you listen to the birds singing their spring songs to find their true loves ...
... while you watch the warm spring sun rising in the morning over budding trees ...
... please remember those of us who are still clearing heavy snow from our walkways and driveways ...
... and please pick a spring flower while thinking of those of us still locked in Winter's harsh grip ...
Here's to Spring ... wherever she may be hiding.


(all photos taken this morning as the pale sun whispered 'hello' and faded away)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March's Stash Buster Challenge

This is my next stash buster challenge for March.  I have one full and one partial ball of this Paton's pure wool in 'plum heather'.  It's a bit darker than shown here.  I'm thinking a hat for my big head.  I really do have a big head and never like hats because they're always too small.  They squish my head and give me a headache.  Okay, feeling slightly abnormal having admitted that! 
And that's it for today folks!
Thanks for stopping by ...
If you want to join up, just click on the picture here ...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stash Buster Challenge

Linking up with the Stash Buster Challenge of 2013 with Linda & Ana.  My challenge was this basket of cotton yarn.  I've made up four dishcloths following the 'Grandma's Fan Dishcloth' pattern in this book ...
The dishcloth pattern by Judy Becker was inspired by antique lace medallions, so it's ... you know ... purdy :)  ... especially for a dishcloth. 
And they're hard wearing and soft for your even your best china!  I love the earth-tone shades of this yarn.
I used some inexpensive cotton by Bernat purchased at my local craft store (about $2 a small skein), and it took just a little over one skein to do each dishcloth using size 3.25 mm needles.  These are knit in the round.  These dishcloths are huge (probably because I didn't use the recommended mercerized cotton) ... they're so big you could use them for place settings ...

(oh yes, do you like my last night's thrifty purchase?)
All in all I was happy with my stash buster achievement.  I'm not a speedy knitter, and these took up a lot of my spare moments. 
This is what remained of my original basket full of yarn.  Not sure what to do with this now ... I might make one more dishcloth, but I don't think I have quite enough of that green or red to complete it. 
I'll post my March challenge once I have a quick moment to have a look in my stash ...
Thanks for stopping by for yet another photo heavy post!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I've found a few little pretties in the thrift store over the last couple of months.  This delicate bird perched on a china heart dish was found just before Valentine's Day.

A small dessert bowl ... I liked the flower petals shaping the bowl, and the fact that it's periwinkle blue (a colour that will always remind me of my mom "You're my peri-weri winkle ...").  Too bad there was only one ...
The petals from the bottom ...

A 'salt' dish ... table salt? bath salts?  I won't be using it for either.  When my husband saw this and asked 'what's this for' I couldn't answer him, and he rolled his eyes muttering something about 'buying stuff she doesn't even know what it is'.  But I always need a handy dish or bowl around me when I sew and knit to catch the threads, buttons, needles, beads ... you know what I mean, don't you?  I know what I'll use it for, and that's all that matters.
Which brings me to my next find ... a very delicate leaf dish (another catcher of buttons & threads).  The colours in this dish are what caught my eye, brown and lavender, not your usual combination.  It was made in Germany ...
The roses were so pretty, and there's an overall slight mother-of-pearl glaze, I couldn't pass it up!
This next glass bowl was actually picked up by another shopper, but as she stood wondering about it, deciding about it, I hovered ... obviously she put it back (no, I didn't pry it from her!), and as soon as she was out of the aisle I popped it in my cart.  I love old-fashioned glass.  My mother had a couple of glass dishes this same shade of salmon pink (I have them now), which used to be her mother's.  My grandmother actually donated some of this same wear to the local museum.  I don't know if this particular dish is old or a reproduction ... I just liked it.
I've been admiring how glass domes are used in decorating.  I've been picking up these small domes when I see them to display some of my treasures.  I don't have a glass front china cabinet, so most of my special china etc is hidden away.  So here is my petite thimble collection from my trip last summer ... all under glass :)
And my Grandmother Violet's 'violet' sugar bowl ... under glass.  When I get more than two I might group them together on top of the china cabinet.

I always check out the tin aisle at the thrift store, and the last time I did, I found this cute little tin covered in various local song birds, all busy in their springtime nest building  ... I've put buttons in it.  I've had lots of luck with buttons lately in the thrift store too, but I don't think you want to see a bunch of buttons do you?  And I've been sorting them, which makes my son think I've completely gone round the bend!
and the lid ...
Busy birds take flight with straw, twigs and twine, to build their nests and hatch their chicks so fine.  (Just in case you didn't want to turn your computer upside down to read it)
And to satisfy the rustic side of me and my decorating ... a small plaque which I recognized immediately as a copy of petroglyphs.  I haven't seen this particular petroglyph in person (it's on the shores of Lake Superior), but I have seen amazing petroglyph's at Bon Echo Provincial Park just north east of us.  You have to wait for a calm day, paddle over to a sheer rock face, steady your canoe and enjoy the paintings on said sheer rock face.  It's quite an experience ... the day we paddled over was decidedly not calm, and caused a high level of anxiety being so close to the rocks in the rough waves.   Sadly the paintings are slowly washing away with time and waves from the lake ... there's no way to preserve them.
And lastly, I saw this miniature Windsor chair and scooped it up without even looking at the price tag.  I wish it were full size! 
I think it needs a handmade doll to sit upon it ... maybe that could be my next sewing project.  I've never made dolls before, but I have made lots of doll clothing!
I hope you enjoyed thrifting along with me ...
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Woods

We've just finished a long weekend here, what with a 'PA' Day on Friday and 'Family Day' on Monday.  Yesterday was sunny and bright, so my son and I decided to take the dog for a long walk in the woods.

Winter is still hanging on tightly in our region.
But I like walking in the woods in the winter.  The crunch and squeak of the snow under your boots.  The cold fresh air.  When we first started out the sun was actually warm when we got out from under the canopy of pines and firs.  But under the trees, there was a chill and stillness.


The creek is frozen over more now than it was in January.  Not frozen enough for walking on however.

Just a bit of open water where it's running fast.
The banks were heavy with icicles from a thaw a week ago ...
The dog and my son stopped long enough for me to take a shot of them ...

We prefer to hike on the less-used trail.

Didn't see another person back there, but there was evidence of another sort of life ...

... beaver live in this area, and I see they've been busy at these large trees.
Beautiful lighting through the cedar woods lining the creek ...

Then back into the pine forests, where you can feel the temperature drop and the cold creeps across your shoulders.

It was late in the afternoon as we finally made the turn to head back.  The sun was lowering, and the shadows were lengthening.

It's so quiet back here in the woods.

A very still day, with just an occasional brush of a breeze, setting the snow to flurry down off the higher branches and sparkle in the sun.

The sun cast great relief patterns on the bark of these old trees.  I love how the 'sepia' function highlights the texture of bark.

You'd think this tree had a disease, but no, this is it's natural state of flaky-looking bark.

The birch tree with its papery bark curling off in places.  I'm glad no one has marked up this tree.  Often people like to peel the birch bark off the tree ... because they can.  Do they know it will kill the tree eventually?
Another birch with a rough side.

Tiny fungus growing along the lines of the bark on this young tree.
This next one is an ancient maple ... huge!  I wouldn't be surprised if some small owl lives in this hollow left by a rotted out branch.
And maples, of course, bring us to this!
Yes, that's maple sap you see starting its early spring seeping.  The sap starts to run fully in March (usually).  We need sunny days which warm the trees and gets the sap moving, but cold nights.  My parents collected sap for many years on their property, and we always had our own maple syrup ... this was one of the hardest things to see go when they sold their country home.  It was a big family deal for us to all come out and help with the 'boiling down' which we did right there in the woods.

Well, we're almost back now, just a little bit longer.  Oh, just a couple more shots ... I can't resist these hollowed out ghosts of trees.

But someone has had enough of my picture taking.
And the light really is fading now ...

We've been hiking for three hours ... I think I heard someone's tummy grumble.

Goodbye craggy old trees ... till next time we visit.
Thanks for stopping by.
Wendy :)
Sometimes along the path I like to stop and imagine what it would be like there in the woods in the dark.  We used to hike through our own woods in the dark in the winter with the moon shining on the snow.  So magical.  So cold!  We took our toboggans to the village park on the other side of the woods for night tobogganing.  The woods were a different place at night ;)

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