Friday, December 17, 2010

A Few Things I Have Been Working On

I must apologize for not blogging for a couple of weeks,  I started my new job this week and I am completely warn out by the time I get home.  

Here are a few items I have made in the last while.

Here are 2 hats that are going to be Christmas gifts.  The top hat in from the Lion Brand website. It's called First Fall Knit Hat.Link
The pattern is super easy to knit.  A great pattern for a new knitter.

The bottom hat is from Ravelry.  The hat is called Classic World War II Watchman's cap. Link

Both of the above scarves are from Ravelry as well.  The pattern is called Mustard Scarf
Also an easy and fast knit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ode to Grandpa & Merry Christmas to Me!

This past week I have been much to busy to blog.  My Grandpa past away so I went home to be with my family.  The event was not all tears since my aunt and cousins came up from the States for the funeral.  We don't get to see each other very much so it was good to see them and other family members.

It stopped snowing and the sun came out just in time for the funeral and all went well.  The service was beautiful and touching, and I know my Grandpa lived a full life without regrets.  He will be missed.

While I was home my parents took me to a little sewing shop to look at sewing machines since mine no longer works.  (it was a little cheep machine that I got for Christmas a few years ago.  My parents didn't think I would use it as much as I did!)  This was not a surprise since I knew they had been looking to buy me one for Christmas.  I figured it would be a nice heavy duty used one.  I love my dad's 1970 singer.  

The owner of the store set me down at this amazing computerized sewing machine and shows me all of the different things it can do.  I was just excited to see that it threaded the needle!  My dad asks me if I like it and I reply with an " of course I like it! But I know I'm not getting it!"  Then I hear "Merry Christmas!" In complete shock I practically started to cry in the store, my machine was in the back corner all nicely wrapped with a bow.  

To make everything even more amazing I got a lesson on how to use it and I get to use it now, I don't have to wait until Christmas!

  So here is my new sewing machine.  It's made by Baby Lock called the Quilter's Choice, and came with everything seen here ( not the fabric) about 10 different feet including a walking foot which I am very excited about, I also got a quilting table top. 

I spent the entire evening playing with it and making a sewing sampler of all of the different stitches.

This is not all of the stitches it can do, I started to run out of room.

This is the complete list.  It has three different font types.  
I'm so amazed at everything it can do since my last machine only did 3 types of stitches. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finished WIPs

With Christmas fast approaching I finally decided to finish some of the WIPs I started in the summer as they are all to be gifts.  I need them out of the way so I can focus on what is not done.  Which is unfortunately most everything!

The first being a hoodie for my nephew Thomas.  I purchased the pattern this past summer while I was visiting my brother in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

The shop is located in the Hydrostone Market which was built in 1920, to replace the area of Halifax that was destroyed in 1917, because of an explosion due to two ships colliding; one being an ammunition ship.

The area destroyed was rebuilt using large hydrostones so the buildings and houses would be livable faster than using regular sized bricks.  
Ok, so there is the little history lesson.  While we were exploring the market I discovered a yarn shop called LK Yarns  I instantly fell in love with all of the yarns and patterns available in this shop.  If you are ever in the Halifax area I strongly recommend going to this shop.  The pattern I purchased is called MinO by Purl Grey which is a local pattern maker.  

I still have to block the sweater but other than that this WIP is done!

Next on the list is this diamond patterned scarf.  A special thanks goes out to Colin and his Movember mustache for being my model.  I started this scarf LAST summer....not the summer that just passed, the summer before.  I got half way finished and became bored with it. I know it's bad to do that, but I found more exciting things to knit, so the scarf was abandoned.  But it's now finished and can be crossed off the unfinished list. 

 The next two items only needed buttons, so I found my button stash (pretty funny that I have a huge button collection since my last name is Button!) and sewed some on.

The neckie pattern if from Jimmy Beans Wool Link

The two-toned pocket scarf was given to me by a friend who wrote it out of a book that she got from the library, and she cannot remember what book it was.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields."

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae 1915

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mothers Always Know

Colin and I went back home last weekend to pick up some winter items and visit with family and friends.  The night we got to my parents house, I began to tell my mum that I thought I would like to spin my own wool and that I had done some research on spinning wheels.  Right in the middle of my story my mum pulls out a hand spinner and some cotton and wool!

 She said the week before she had gone to a spinning shop in Colborne called Spinning Wheel Repairs, Restoration and Sales with her Retired Teachers group.  While she was there she "had a feeling"  I would like to learn how to spin so she started asking questions about the different kinds of wheels, and pricing.  She even went as far a locating a wheel for me!  But she did not buy it since it had been damaged, and she also didn't know if I would want it.  How funny is that? 

After she gave me the hand spinner, my dad started to look on ebay for wheels! A wheel would be fantastic, but I don't have any money to buy one nor do I have a place to put one, so the hand spinner will be perfect.  Until I figure out how to use it that is.  I have read the instructions I'm just too scared to start! I looked on line for a video but I have not been able to find one so I think tomorrow I will spin some wool and cotton.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My First Hat

The other day while I was reading Mary Keenan's Blog Hugs for your Head, Link. I saw a hat that looked simple enough for me to make.  I have never knitted a hat before and was feeling ambitious about it.  I grabbed some yarn and began to knit.  I made some mistakes almost right off the bat hahaha, but since I was making the hat for myself I was not too concerned about fixing it.  The mistakes I made were that the cute rolled up flap ended up being on the wrong side, so it rolled in instead of rolling out.  That and the flap is in the complete wrong spot...I have no idea how I managed that!

The biggest mistake I made was getting too excited about knitting the hat, that I never measured my head.  I just assumed (and we all know what happens when we assume) that I would be a size small.  Well the hat is finished and well it turns out that my head is NOT a size small! 
My very tiny first hat!

I'm so disappointed! But I have to laugh at myself as it is my fault for not measuring.  My predicament is what to do with this hat? I can't really give it away since i messed up on the flap, and I don't want to take it apart since it is the very first hat I have ever made.....But I think that's what I will have to end up doing.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quilts from Christmas Past

Colin and I made a lap quilt for his mum last Christmas.  At the time my camera was broken so it was not until recently that I was able to take a picture of it. I had actually completely forgotten what it looked like it had been so long! 
We made the quilt out of scraps of fabric that I had laying around.  Colin chose what colours he liked and we both collaborated on the overall design and layout. 

Colin cut the squares, and sewed the blocks together. I sewed it all together.  Right after I had started sewing the three layers together Colin had a brilliant idea about sewing a treble clef on the back since his mum is a music teacher.  I didn't feel like like undoing what I had already sewn, so I told him to cut out another piece  of the backing and put the treble clef on that.
Colin traced and cut out a treble clef, hand sewed it to a piece of fabric and them sewed it on the back.
    It was not until after he was done that we realized it was not in the center, but I thought it was cute since Colin did all of the work for his mum.  It reminded me of when a child makes something for a parent, so much love and thought goes into it even thought it does not turn out perfect.  

Colin's mum loved it anyhow, which I was sure she would.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Apple Cheese Soup

On the Thanksgiving weekend my family went to the Hotel Kenny in Jones Falls for our dinner.  We have made this trip since my dad was a boy.  The Hotel Kenny is located on the Rideau canal, which is a canal that runs from Ottawa to Kingston.  The locks and canal have been kept in their original 1832 status.  All doors and pumps to lower and raise the water level in the locks are manual.  It is quite the beautiful site. 
The Hotel has recently changed hands, but is still being run as a family establishment, so the dinner this year was a little different than usual.  Our starters were a delicious fruit and nut salad and an apple cheddar cheese soup.  The was soup was the best part of the meal! I know apples and cheese have historically gone well together, but I would never have thought to put them in a soup together.  I asked the waitress if I would be able to have a copy of the recipe (only after hearing another guest ask hahaha).  
This past week I was able to make this soup. The recipe if from a book called The Chez Piggy Cookbook. by Rose Richardson

Ingredients are:
8 cups chicken stock
3 cups apple juice
4 garlic cloves - chopped
2 carrots - peeled and cut into chunks
1 celery stalk - cut into chunks
1 medium onion - cut into chunks
3 tart apples - unpeeled cut into chunks
1/2 red bell pepper - cut into chunks
1 tsp ground cardamom (i used half tsp cinnamon and a half tsp nutmeg as we could not find cardamom)
Coarse slat and ground pepper
3 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
5 cups 35% cream
5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup brandy (I did not use this)


Place stock and apple juice in pot and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and add garlic carrots, celery, onion, apples and red pepper.  Simmer until vegetables are soft, then add cardamom. Season with slat and pepper.

Blend into a puree and set aside.
In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes, stir in cream and whisk until mixture thickens.(cream will foam up so use a large pot) Add in cheese, stirring until melted. Flame brandy in a ladle and pour into cheese sauce.  Mix thoroughly.

Bring pureed soup base to a boil, stir in cheese sauce.  Immediately remove from heat. Garnish with parsley or croutons.

And you have it! A delicious soup that is thick enough to fill any stomach.  My boyfriend, Colin, loves this soup and he does not like vegetables of any kind, so I think this soup will win over even the pickiest of eaters.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Decisions Decisions

Colin and I have been slowly, and I mean slowly, working on a quilt for ourselves.  We realized that we have pretty much made quilts for everyone we know, but we still don't have one. This is probably not shocking since people who make crafts always think of themselves last. Or at least that's the problem with the sewers and knitters I know.  
The quilt we are making is going to be a twin size, we thought about making a lap quilt but that only fits one person and we like to cuddle and watch T.V. so we thought a twin size would be good.

The quilt was stared in the summer and this is what it looked like when we had finished using the Moda Cafe jelly roll.  There were more colours to chose from but we liked the more neutral colours.  As you can see this is more of a lap size than a twin. I just happened to have 2 strips of brown fabric that would go well with it. 

One is almost tie dye like and the other is a solid brown.  Since Colin does not really like the idea, it's up to me to decide which brown to use and what colour the boarder will be.  Men, they can be so opinionated but never want to help solve the problem! haha.  

I'm thinking about using the brown tie dye fabric for the 2 bands in the middle, but I'm still unsure about the boarder.  I don't want the brown to be too over powering, so I don't think I will be using brown for it.  Right now I'm trying to decide between the light green and the blue.  I have asked a few people but they don't know either, so I'm open to any suggestions if anyone has any.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Apple Pumpkin Pie and Relocation

You might have noticed that I have not made a post in a few weeks.  About two weeks ago my boyfriend and I made a huge change and moved 220 Km away from our families to find employment.  I grew up in a city that runs on General Motors, and due to the shutdown of the truck plant last year the unemployment rate has skyrocketed and jobs are not being created.  

My best friend, Kathy, lives in London and has been wanting us to move out here for years, so we took her up on her offer!  I have had one interview so far, meaning things are already going better then back home.  I hope we both are able to obtain employment soon as we both do not want to outstay the welcome at my best friend's house, and it would be great to have money for our own place.

Colin (my boyfriend) and I have been making dinner almost every night so that Kathy and her fiance, Adam, can come home to a hot dinner instead of having to cook when they get home.  In doing so I have become less afraid to try new ideas.  The first one was, Pumpkin Apple Pie.  
You may think it is strange to mix apples and pumpkin together but it is so tasty!  For years my brother would say that someone should make a pumpkin apple pie, so a few years ago my aunt told him to do it.  He made his with canned pumpkin filling but it was still great.  For this pie everything was made from scratch, even the pie crust! But I can't take credit for the crust, Kathy made it.  I found the recipe at Whole Foods Pumpkin Apple Pie Recipe Link
I highly recommend this recipe. Everyone will love it even if they do not like regular pumpkin pie. 

To finish off the pie, Kathy and I free handed some leaves, pumpkins and apples out of the remaining crust for decoration.  I think I want some fall themed cookie cutters! Here is what the result looked like.

Try it out!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Christmas is around the corner!

Since Christmas is just around the corner I thought I would share with you a quilted Christmas table runner I made a few years ago.  I got the pattern from my friend's mum and I do not remember what book it was in.  But the pattern is simple enough to be recreated.  

I used sparkly fabric because I think everything about Christmas should shine.

I stitched the ditch since I am still fairly new with quilting and cannot do anything else as of yet.  

I am still very happy with the outcome and plan to make more in the future!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apple Picking

Not sure what kind of apples these are but the purple colour is nice!
Today I went apple picking at Cricklewood Farm in Brighton with my mum, boyfriend and nephew.  We had such a great time, I had never been apple picking before and was excited to go.  There are about 30 varieties of apples, you can find apples for just about any use.  We picked the Jonagold apple.  It is a similar taste to the Red Delicious, I'm going to make a pie out of a few of them.   
 The weather was fantastic for apple picking, the sun was shining and there was a slight cool breeze.  It felt more like a spring day instead of a fall day.  

I was surprised to learn that different types of apples can grow at all times of the year.  Some apples are ready in January!  I had no idea, I thought apples were a late summer and fall fruit.  But I was wrong.  I will be going back in the winter for some fresh apples.

Thomas, my nephew was helping us pick the lower apples (he was even checking for worm holes!) and throwing them in the basket.  After awhile he understood that apples are not thrown they are placed gently in the basket.

Action shot of Thomas throwing an apple in the basket.

All in all today was a great outing, and I would recommend apple picking to everyone, it was great exercise and a good way to promote local farmers and eating healthy in general.  My family leans on the environmentally friendly side, so we love fresh produce.  My boyfriend and I would like to build a greenhouse at some point so we can grow fresh fruit and veggies all year long, but that will be when we have money to spend and our own house to build it at!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tennis Racket Cover

My boyfriend and I started playing tennis this past summer, the first rackets we bought were very cheep since we did not know if we would like tennis.  As we are both enjoying the sport we splurged and purchased mid-raged tennis rackets.  Nothing too fancy, I'm not going to Wimbledon any time soon, it's a racket that I don't mind using but at the same time I don't want it ruined.  My racket did not come with a protective cover for when I'm not using it, so I made one!

I had looked online for any free patterns, but I could not find any so I just made my own, since the racket is not a hard shape.
 I started by outlining the shape of the racket on the wrong side of the fabric I wanted to use and some fleece for a little cushioning around the racket. I then cut a strip of fabric about 1.5 inches for the sides.  I also added some piping and a zipper around the top and I was ready to go play tennis in style!  

The next time I make a tennis racket cover I am going to put a shoulder strap on it for easy carrying. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

My new Purse

 I finally had the time finish cutting out the fabric 

for my purse without anymore hassle from the cats,  and sewed it together.  I customized the inside pockets for my needs, and added velcro dots to the larger pocket so everything says inside.  Once I had sewn the purse together I decided it looked a little plain so I glued a few buttons on in a flower design.  Next time I will sew on any embellishments before I put the bag together.     

I made a flower broach that can be pinned to the purse if I want a different look.

I have been using the purse for about a week now and It works great for me.  I always carry my life in my purse so the size of the purse is perfect.  I also scotch guarded the purse so it is stain resistant and I can also put it in the wash to keep it clean. 


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Books of the Month

I enjoy reading quite a bit, so I thought I would write about what books I am currently reading and maybe spread the joy of reading along to someone else.  At the beginning of the summer I borrowed a novel from my mum titled Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs. It is the first novel in the Lakeshore Chronicles which is about a small town called Avalon, New York and a summer camp called Camp Kioga which is located just outside of Avalon. 
 After reading Summer at Willow Lake, I was hooked on Susan's books and needed to read more. I enjoyed how Susan takes you back into the past of each character and makes you feel more of their pains and joys.  There are currently 7 books in the Lakeshore Chronicles with more to come.
I highly recommend Susan Wiggs novels to anyone how likes a light romance with a little of mystery.   

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sewing with Cats

So I'm making a purse to go with my new wallet, and since I do not have a nice sewing room with a large table, I'm cutting out the fabric on the floor.  Apparently my being on the floor is an open invitation for the cats to help me out by laying down on my pattern and sticking their faces in the scissors while I'm trying to cut! As cute as Miss Eleanore is she would not get out of my way, so the purse was not finished tonight. But at least I got some entertainment since it was funny watching Pip and Miss E rolling around and trying to figure out what I was doing by putting their faces next to mine and looking at the scissors in deep thought....well maybe not deep thought, they probably just wanted to know what made them move or" wow! those moving things are shiny! ".  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Purses and Wallets

I am currently looking for Christmas gift ideas for my family and friends.  I know it's too early to think about winter and Christmas, but making things by hand takes time, so I wanted to make sure that I had the time to make everything.  I did however, get sidetracked when I saw a pattern for a cute little wallet on Lola Nova's (blog  After I saw it I had to make it and now I'm currently making a purse from a Butterick pattern.
I am going to use these for my winter wallet and purse as I need new ones.  My current winter purse is falling apart and I can't wait to finish the purse.