Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My journey into miniatures

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I've always loved miniatures done in crochet and knitting. The movie Coraline really brought the making of miniatures to the foreground with the gorgeous sweaters hand made with tiny needles.

Since I do not have tiny needles like the ones seen in the video, I opted to do my first miniature using a 00 crochet hook. For "yarn" I used embroidery thread and depending what I was working on, I would use anywhere from 2 strands at a time to 8 strands. And since I couldn't even see the tip of the crochet hook I was using, I borrowed my husbands magnification lamp. Following are photos of my very first miniature I made of my own design.

OoOOoo look at the pretty little pannier with a tiny red heart top! 
And such a tiny one too!

I wonder what is in there!
Now who is this peeking out?

Well well well, look who came to play!

Just look at that tail! 
Don't you just love his pretty blue vest?
If little monkey is too warm, he can take his vest off.
Don't forget to tickle his wee belly button!

And he's no bigger than a thumb!

My little monkey in his pannier fits on a toonie!

I hope you enjoyed the photos of little monkey as much as I had making him. It took me 2 days from the construction of his pannier to adding the ball (button) to help stabilize him since I did not want to glue him to any kind of base.

And now little monkey has gone to live with mousie. I know he will be very happy there with all his new friends. Happy Birthday to my soulsister Samm!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A rare sight

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We've lived here for 6 years now and this is the first time ever I've seen a chipmunk in Hamilton!

He was such a cute trusting little fellow. I spotted him shuffling through the gravel at a nearby house and just stood, watching him busily looking for food. He was quite inquisitive and came all the way to the edge of the sidewalk, sat back on his haunches and looked up at me expectantly. That tells me this little fellow's been hand fed.

Considering we are surrounded by squirrels with the park nearby, I hope this little fellow survives since squirrels normally do not like chipmunks and will kill them.

I'll try to see if he's there again tomorrow and try to snap a few photos of him. He is quite the cutie.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Changed perceptions, or how my safe world is no more.

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Late this afternoon my husband and I headed out to go have a meal somewhere, just so we could escape the heat in our apartment. The joys of not having air conditioning...

We had just made it to the bus stop when my husband realised he'd forgotten to take his medication, so back home we hoofed to get it. Stupid fibro pain slowed me down so he went ahead of me. As I was making my way back, I started hearing loud popping sounds that reminded me of the gunshot sounds you hear when you watch war reports. I kept thinking to myself, can't be, must be fireworks, but it was only 6 pm!! Who would have fireworks in daylight?! The popping sounds varied in speed and loudness and I started worrying that it might be something bad since the sounds were coming from the downtown area. I could also see a blue haze rising from the downtown area which really frightened me.

I got back to the apartment as my husband was coming out and I asked him if he'd heard the popping sounds to which he said yes. But he couldn't tell what they were caused by and my mention of gunshot sounds didn't inspire us to go anywhere near the downtown area. So we opted for a cab ride to Mandarin which is a good distance away from that area. 

On the cab ride there, I asked the cabbie (who else would know better) if he knew of anything going on downtown and he said there was a Portuguese festival just ending. I mentioned hearing fairly loud popping sounds and he said something about firecrackers. That was the best thing I'd heard since hearing those sounds.

Amazing how your perspective changes once you've seen how horribly things can go wrong even here in Canada! in what we think of as a safe place to live. It also saddens me that the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the above sounds as that of guns being fired. If the anarchists wanted to instill a sense of fear into us, I think that part got across really well, sadly enough.

A day in the life of a police officer during this weekend past.


They may be trained to do this, but they are not trained to not feel fear and apprehension as this video shows. 

As my daughter put it so simply. "This is why we spent $1 billion on protection!"

Shame on you!

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Shame on those who wilfully destroy public & private property.
Shame on those who disregard our country, Canada.
Shame on those who think they will be heard by these acts.
Shame on those who turned Toronto into a war zone.
Shame on you, shame on us.

Until today, I was proud to call myself a Canadian.
Today, I hang my head and cry.

My sincerest apologies to all who see these horrible demonstrations of violence and to what end....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My birthday present

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What is to follow is my darling daughter's birthday present to me this year. Through circumstances out of everyone's control, her husband was laid off so the only income was coming from her work. Knowing how expensive living in Mississauga can be, there was no extra money to buy presents. But honestly, I love this more than anything else she could have bought for me since this is from her heart through her eyes and was done with much love. So here is it, in all it's beauty; my daughter's birthday present to me.

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday, Happy Birthdaaayyyy....  Happy Birthday to Yoouuuuu!!!  :D

I love you so very very very much mom....

I wanted to send you flowers... however, this is the best I can do right now  :(  I' m sorry   :(

I took all these pictures myself, thinking about you.

She knows just how much I love lilacs and what they mean to me. Just look how beautiful these are!

 I can almost smell them!

And then, she wrote a poem just for me!

Through the day,
Morning till night
these guys will play
with all their might

So, on this day in May
the little ones with the light
will sing aloud for your day
for your long life hike

I love you

Yours forever, I am

I love how she captured these lovely songbirds in full throated voice. I can almost hear them singing. Can you?

 This one made me laugh. What a silly goose sitting up on a roof!

I love this photo of the mallard swimming along and the ripples on the river.

Oh for a piece of bread! Doesn't he look like he's having a fabulous time of it?

More beautiful flowers for me to enjoy!

And last but not least, another of my favorites! I've always known these as bleeding hearts. They used to grow on the farm where I was born and raised. Every May, they would come up, have these beautiful pink and with flowers until the end of June and go again, getting ready for next year.

I hope you've enjoyed these beautiful photos as much as I do.

And just to remind my daughter just how much I appreciate and love her...

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

(excerpt from Love you Forever by Robert Munsch)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

And what have I been up to?

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The temp placement is coming to an end this Tuesday. I wish it were longer, maybe good things will come of it since my supervisor is thrilled beyond words with my work. Time will tell.

I'm still making motifs for the footstool, also started something else using an adapted version of the motif as a 5-sided and 6-sided piece to make a toy. Not saying more since I plan on publishing this pattern.

So in between making several different sized motifs, I decided I needed something else to do that didn't involve motifs. Today, I was at the local Hart store in the downtown mall to check for some bright colored yarns, no luck for those but I did come across a real find. They added a whole "new" line of Bernat yarns to their display. I know once I say what it is, you'll likely go "so?" For me it's a big deal since I have to watch my pennies with the temp placement coming to an end. I had the 20$ I made staying late last week at work squirrelled away and spent part of it today. The "new" yarn is acrylic and the balls are larger than Bernat's Super Value balls. They weigh in at 225 grams (8 ozs) compared to 195 grams for the Super Value. They are packaged under the name Bernat Big Deal and cost less than the Super Value which for me is a very good thing. Means for the same money I'd spend buying a ball of the Super Value, I can buy 2 of the Big Deal. The colors are lovely, rich purple, cerise/pink and more. I couldn't resist getting a ball of the cerise/pink since I knew who would love it and what I would make with it. As I was bending down to get the cerise/pink I spied a gorgeous ball of deep teal colored yarn shoved all the way back in the display. I pulled it out and it ended up being a 1 lb ball and it was priced at 4.95! That definitely had to come home with me! I spotted more 1lb factory ends bags but they were priced at 15$. A bit too much for my wallet considering most of it was acrylic. And I doubt they'll get anyone to buy the 1 lb bags of eyelash yarn for 15$ a bag. What's really nice is I still have some of my 20$ left!

I said I knew what I wanted to make with the cerise/pink ball (means I'll have to get 1 more to finish it though). My BFF showed me a gorgeous wrap she was working on earlier this year. Worsted weight yarn on US17 needles means fast work. The pattern is ridiculously simple but the end result is quite pleasing and makes it look a lot harder than it really is. She directed me to her Blog Confessions of a Craftaholic for the pattern and thank goodness I kept it bookmarked! Her blog is very pretty, she does a variety of paper crafts and her designs are quite lovely.

I had never knit on size US17 (12mm) needles before and wow, what a shocker! I thought to myself it would be pretty easy, but holding the needles feels like I'm trying to knit with 2 fence posts LOL The first few repeats were pretty frustrating for me, but I soon developed a way to manhandle those big boys. I knit left handed and needles this size (short too) do not tuck well under one's armpit. So I stand one needle up on my thigh, knit or purl or knit together each stitch with a lot less grief. I love how the yarn color I chose looks in this pattern. The big stitches actually look very nice.

And this is a photo of the Peonies just outside our apartment window. I love these flowers so much. They remind me of my grandmother as do Lilies of the Valley and Lilacs. Speaking of which, I must do a post about my daughter's birthday present to me! She is such a sweet girl and I'm very proud of her. Not today though, must go to bed.

Enjoy the lovely flower for now and there will be more to come :)

TTFN, Angel

Thursday, June 17, 2010

100 years old and still crocheting!

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This lady is amazing. She turned 100 in March of this year and she is still crocheting. What's even more incredible, she's blind and has been for the past 15 years.
In the photo, she is working on a baby blanket for the next great great grand child. She doesn't know if it will be a boy or a girl so she plans on making a blue one as well, just in case.

I sure hope I can still crochet and knit if I make it to 100 or my eyes fail me before then. All I know is kudos to this amazing lady for not giving up on herself!

You can read the full article here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Unforgetable memories

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I found this first video a while back and had it saved so I could watch it again. It is such a happy from the heart way of getting married. Certainly makes their wedding day unforgettable with friends and family participating in the walk down the aisle.

The second video which I came across today is supposedly 6 months later. Do not despair though, just enjoy and laugh along with the audience.