Saturday, December 27, 2008

Almost there....

I've got most of the items that need to be moved over from the condo - just a few more things to go. Most of what's left is cleaning supplies - I'll probably go over later today to finish cleaning and get the remaining things out. It's been a long haul, but I'm so enjoying the new place.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's moving weekend!

I've got movers coming first thing Monday to move most of my stuff over to the new house. I've been in an apartment style condo for many years, and it's finally time to get something without neighbors on all sides. I was woken up this morning before 8 am (on a Sunday) by the sound of my downstairs neighbor playing his bass (or the stereo). There's nothing like a rock band for an alarm clock to convince you that a move was the right thing to do!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TW Ornament #3

This is my Winter/Non Christian ornament for the TW Ornament exchange. The ornament is a net of Swarovski Crystals surrounding a larger (no-hole) crystal. The pictures on this one don't do it justice, as it really sparkles!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another TW Ornament Received

This is the border from one of the "Celtic Inspirations" designs from Teresa Wentzler. Needless to say, I took some artistic license with this - it was originally blackwork, and was intended to be the border of a larger border. I flipped the design to make the ornament into a square and changed the colours to white and silver. I was worried that I wouldn't finish this ornament in time, but everything worked out, and it's now safely in it's new owners hand.

Monday, December 15, 2008

too cool.....

It's darn cold here - a high of -23, a low of -30. At these temperatures, it doesn't really matter if it's Celsius or Fahrenheit. It's still cold.

And yet, while I was in the parking lot today, waiting for my own car to warm up, the car that had pulled in next to me had the sunroof partially open. I guess it's worth it to look cool, even when it's this cold.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This is my last ornament from the TWBB ornament exchange, from Anu. She was kind enough to include a chocolate treat for me as well.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ornament received - TW Ornament Exchange

I think I'd shown a picture of the stitching before, but I wanted to share the finishing on this ornament. I used the finishing instructions from Monique (my mark designs), that she's posted on her blog.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

TW Ornament Exchange

These two lovely ornaments are from Heather (Hlott) and Jo (puffthelacedragon). I've always received fantastic ornaments from this exchange, and this year is no exception.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is the first of my TW Christmas ornament exchanges to arrive - it's from Sara (RXLady) and she was kind enough to include some hot chocolate and floss along with the ornament.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a week!

I've had my condo on the market for a couple of months now, not expecting much. There's lots of condos on the market, and so I didn't want to get my hopes up. But against my expectations, it sold last weekend, and conditions came off yesterday. So it's really, really sold!

Which means in the next 30 days, I need to pack. And find a place to live. So I won't be blogging a lot. (Or unfortunatley, finishing the 12 days of blog candy - I'm sure you all understand). It's been an exciting week,but there's oh so much to do.

Before I pack, Christine and Abi both tagged me for the same blog game.

Here are the tag rules:

Rule #1 ~ Link to the person that tagged you.
Rule #2 ~ Post the rules on your Blog.
Rule #3 ~ Write 6 random things about yourself.
Rule #4 ~ Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
Rule #5 ~ Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Rule #6 ~ Let the tagger know your entry is up.

1) I was born in a hospital that's across the street from my current residence. It's no longer a hospital, but the building is still there.

2) I've never started a lawnmower - gas or electric. My family's always had a push mower, and for most of my adult life, the condo or strata has taken care of the gardening.

3) I can't stand either yogurt or bananas because of the texture.

4) My first real cross-stitch project was TW's "Spring Carousel Horse". On Aida. Apparently I like a challenge.

5) I completed the advanced PADI scuba diving course. The best part of the course was going on a night dive, where we got to play with phosphorescent plankton.

6) The most adventurous thing I've done is sky diving, which was done outside of Auckland, NZ.

I suspect that this game has been going around for a while, so I won't tag anyone else, but if you haven't completed it yet, feel free to consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Scissor Fob Winner

Is Redwitch! Congratulations!

There were 9 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1. Redwitch
2. Karoline
3. Christine
4. StitchinGranny
5. Kathy
6. Juls
7. Suz
8. Abi
9. Dani

Christmas Tree Earing Winner

Is Melissa M! Congrats!

There were 9 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1. Melissa M
2. Redwitch
3. Suz
4. Karen V
5. Dani
6. Kathy A
7. Heather
8. Faith Ann
9. Karen (No initial)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On the fourth day of Christmas....

Sunday's blog candy, and the fourth installment in the Christmas giveaway, is for a scissor fob, plus 5 matching beads (not pictured). To enter, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll draw from all comments received on Wednesday. You can enter for both Saturday's and Sunday's blog candy if you'd like.

On the third day of Christmas.....

As a gift to my on-line friends this year, I decided to give away 12 items of blog candy on the 12 weekend days before Christmas. The rules are simple - just add your name to the comment section below, and I'll draw a name on Tuesday night from those comments, and then mail the item to the winner.

Saturday's draw is for a pair of Swarovski crystal Christmas tree earings. I'll have to admit that I didn't think up the design on these ones, but I saw them a couple of weeks ago at the local bead store's sale, I decided they'd be perfect for what I had in mind.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More baking...

Salty Nut Bars. I love the combination of salty and sweet, and these are perfect for that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Its arrived.

In all of its Harry Potter splendor. In colour way "Tonks".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And the winner .... (Christmas Blog Candy #2)

Is Lelia! Congrats! She wins Sunday's scissor pocket.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And the winner .... (Christmas Blog Candy #1)

Is Claire! Congrats!

For those of you who missed out - stay tuned! There's 1 more open blog candy, plus 10 new blog candy items to come.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've been baking

Bite-sized pecan pies. This one is only about an inch in diameter.

Just a reminder - Saturday's blog candy is open until tomorrow, Sundays until Wednesday - just leave a comment.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the second day of Christmas.....

Sunday's blog candy is for a beaded scissor pocket. Please leave a comment in this post if you'd like to be included in the drawing. I'll pick a name from the comments received on Wednesday at midnight Eastern time. Feel free to enter your name if you've also put your name in for Saturday's drawing or if you've won something previously from a blog draw.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On the first day of Christmas....

I decided to give away 12 gifts on the 12 weekend days before Christmas as blog candy. I love doing blog candy - it gives me a chance to send things out into the world and have other people appreciate them. I like the act of creating things for other people, and blog candy is a perfect way to do that.

So without further ado, here is the first of the 12 gifts - a hand beaded needlecase. It's a combination of blue, turquoise and lime green beads, which are more green in real life than the yellow tone showing up in the picture. If you'd like to enter your name for the needlecase, please leave a comment in this post, and I'll draw from all the comments on Tuesday night at midnight Eastern time. You don't have to be a regular reader, or have commented before, just leave a comment and I will enter you into the drawing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

10,000 hours ?

I was reading the New York Times this week, and ran across an article (which of course, I can no longer find) that suggested that to achieve "mastery" in any area, you needed to put in 10,000 hours, or about 10 years of practice at three hours a day, to become an expert at something. Which got me to thinking - how far am I into my 10,000 stitching hours? And does 10,000 hours just qualify me as a cross-stitch expert, or is it a general stitching or needlecraft expert?

Curious minds want to know.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've succumbed....

I've been knitting pretty much non-stop for two days. Except for a break for work and a few other things, I've just knit. And it's going pretty well - I have most of one sock, knit toe up, with an invisible cast on. I must say that I'm pretty impressed with myself. It's not a perfect sock by any means, but I've managed to shape a heel and a toe, which I think is an accomplishment in itself.

And during all of this, I've watched the first season of "Mad Men" on DVD. The DVD was on USA Today's list of perfect hostess gifts, and it was also recommended by the hostess at a restaurant last week, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's terrific - a great period show, set at a time when women managed the house, and men worked in the city. If you get a chance, its worth catching.

I learned over the weekend that one of the two bead studios in town is closing, or at least shutting the bead portion of their shop. They've had a substantial increase in rent, and can't justify the extra space it takes to have the torches available. The torches are mostly in use on Saturday, and even then, it's not usually that busy, so I can see why they're trying to rationalize. The other bead studio in town charges a lot more, so I'll have to see how often I get up there.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A new hobby..

Most people who read the blog know I stitch and bead. Both hobbies can be pretty expensive and time consuming, depending on what you're working on at the time. I also have a pretty full life elsewhere - a job, travel, friends and other stuff going on. I don't need a new hobby. I don't have time for a new hobby.

But I've now bought sock yarn. Opal, in the Harry Potter "Tonks" colourway, which I've fallen in love with. Which means I now need to brush off my very rusty knitting skills and attempt to make socks. Or convince/bribe/pay someone else to do it for me....

Stay tuned.

In other news, may favourite LBS (Local Bead Store) was having a sale today. Crystals are definitely my weakness, and I bought too many of those. I also bought supplies for the 12 Days of Christmas blog candy - so stay tuned for that.

There are a couple of bead stores in town, and I've had reason to not like most of them, except the one that had the sale today. One sells mostly plastic, which is OK sometimes, but mostly not what I want. Another seems like it hasn't cleaned since I was in high school, which was many years ago. And another has great beads, but also has the highest prices in town too. The store with today's sale sells mostly what I want, has reasonable prices, and has a very sweet owner, who mostly remembers the customers. What else do you want in a store?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This is the PIF/Blog Candy that I created for Heather. She'd signed up for a gift at the start of the year, and I'm terribly embarrassed to say that it's taken me this long to finish her gift. I hope it's been worth the wait.

The peyote stitch needle case pattern is from "Threaded Needle Designs" and is the same pattern as I'd used for Barbara's gift earlier in the year. The pattern is originally came as a kit with the purple beads, and I re-used the pattern to create a second needlecase with some plain black and white beads that I had on hand. The beads are all Bullseye art glass, handmade by me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A sneak peak

I was making beads this weekend, and nothing seemed to be going right - my beads were all collecting soot or I was melting the glass wrong and getting funny colours, neither one of which was very attractive. So I switched gears, and made this little bead. It's only about 3/4 of an inch wide, and I think it would look great on a necklace or something with dangles.

I decided to show this, because I'm going to try and run a "12 Days of Christmas" blog candy event on the 12 weekend days prior to Christmas. That means that there will be blog candy offered November 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 30th, as well as December 6,7, 13, 14, 20 and 21st. Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

If you're going celebrity spotting....

it would be best not to take me along. I was at the airport today, in the security line, and only realized Stephen Ames was in front of me because he had his name and the words "PGA" written on to a label on his laptop. Otherwise, I'd still be clueless....

Saturday, November 01, 2008

St Petersburg Progress.

I'm stuck in the middle of what seems to be a thousand algerian eyelets on this one - There are 15 pink eyelets on each corner, plus 24 dark purple ones on each of the corners for a grand total of 156 eyelets. I'm about 2/3 the way through, and it seems like all of those little eyelets will go on forever....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Baby Biscornu

Here's another little design from "Floss Box". There's one of my hand-made glass buttons in the middle, which seemed to fit perfectly...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And the winner is - Ranae

Ranae's name was selected by the "Random.Org" randomizer. Congrats!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Key Lime Squares

This week's adventure in baking was inspired by a challenge on "The Wagon" BB. One of the members there has challenged all of the members to make a lemon square recipe. I'd found a couple of recipes I'd wanted to try that were close to the lemon square recipe that the member shared - one for Pink Grapefruit Squares, and one for Key Lime Squares. I have a meeting tonight for which I'm bringing treats, so I thought I'd try the Key Lime Squares. The original recipe called for white chocolate whipped cream, but I was running out of time tonight, and I only had time to make regular whipped cream. I thought the little slices of lime were a great addition to the top of the lime bars.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ornament #3

This is "Be Merry" from My Mark Designs. I stitched it using the recommended DMC on white fabric I'm planning to finish it using the tutorial that Monique, who designed the ornament, has on her blog.

Thanks for all of your good wishes on feeling better - I think my neck has almost completely healed, but I've missed a few exercise classes, and want to catch up this week.

Blog candy is on until Wednesday - please comment on Saturday's post to enter.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christmas Ornament 2

This is a mini-biscornu, stitched from a freebie at the "Floss Box" blog. It's on the same red mystery fabric as the ornament I stitched earlier in the week. I stitched a simple border on the biscornu, as I thought it would be too hard to stitch into a biscornu if it wasn't a little bigger. The small button in the middle is vintage from a collection I got at a craft sale.

Don't forget that the blog candy draw is open until Wednesday!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blog Candy - At Long Last

I've finished the last of the Pay-It-Forward/Blog Candy gifts that I offered out back January, and thought I'd celebrate with a little blog candy. The blog candy is for 12 handmade glass flowers, plus 6 glass beads. The glass is all Bullseye odd-lots, which is handmade in the US. These glass colours are outside of their normal range, so there are not that many of these beads running around.

To give away the beads, I'll make a drawing from all of the people who comment on this post. It doesn't matter if this is your first visit or you are a regular reader - just leave a comment and I'll throw your name into the hat.

The Blog Candy closes Wednesday, October 29th - so please comment before then.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Ornament

I've been trying to complete an ornament for the longest time. I finally got my hands on the JCS Ornament issue for the year and found quite a few that I wanted to do. This is the Cat's Whisker's Design Studio ornament - in the issue, it's quite colourful, but I stitched it on red fabric with white DMC and Delica silky rainbow beads. It's quite sparkly with all of the beads on it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

St Pete's Progress

This is about half way through the second section of St. Petersburg.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I woke up this morning with the *worst* neckache. I thought I'd pulled a muscle in my shoulder last night, but I thought it would get better with a little bit of rest. I woke up this morning and everything in my neck and shoulders hurt. Pulling my head up and off the pillow was just terrible, and yawning wasn't fun either. It's a bit better this evening, or I would have been off to the doctors to make sure nothing was wrong.

Its also hard to stitch or to clean (which is what I really should be doing instead of stitching). I'll try and get a little bit of both stitching and cleaning in tonight though.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dessert - Week 2

This is croissant-banana bread pudding with southern comfort sauce,again from "Cuisine at Home" magazine. This will be tonight's dessert.

Egyptian Garden Progress

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I got my order of Bullseye odd-lots today - Peach Glaze, Wild Mulburry, Sand Dune, Neo-Berry Shift, Dark Blue Adventurine (sparkly), and Pebble. Glass colours are almost as much fun as hand-dyed fabric and threads.

Friday, October 17, 2008

St. Petersburg Update

Here's the cross stitching in Part 1 of St. Petersburg.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Catching Up....

Questions and comments:

To MissyAnn - thanks for letting me know you bought your first peyote stitch kit - hope you enjoy it!

To Trixie - I think making beads is pretty easy, but I have to admit that I wasn't thrilled with the beads from my first attempt. I was lucky that I had some good resources and teachers when I first started out. Beads like the bracelet beads, which are pretty much just small even beads are actually pretty easy to make.

The Recipe:

Apple Pie a la Easy

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 T. Corn Syrup
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 T. Dark Rum
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 t. vanilla extract

Pie Crust:

1 round purchased pie dough
1 T. butter, melted
2 T. coarse sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw

Apple Filling:
1 T. unsalted butter
2 Braeburn Apples, peeled, cored, thin sliced
1 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of apple juice or cider

To assemble:
Vanilla Ice Cream

For Caramel Sauce:

Boil sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally. Cook until caramel is the colour of iced tea, 10 minutes. Add cream and rum, whisking to combine. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer sauce to a bowl to cool.

For Pie Crust:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll pie dough onto prepared baking sheet, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Using a pastry wheel, cut dough into 12 wedges and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

For Apple filling:
Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add apples, raisins, cinnamon, salt and saute until apples begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add juice, simmer until nearly evapourated, then add 3/4 cup caramel. Reduce heat to low and keep apple mixture warm.

To Assemble:
Arrange 1 crust wedge on each of 6 plates, then top with 2 small scoops of ice cream and a spoonful of apples and caramel sauce. Place a second wedge on top with more ice cream and apple mixture. Serve immediatley.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanksgiving Dessert

This is Cuisine at Home's "Apple Pie a la Easy", which I made for Thanksgiving dinner on Monday. The pie crust is cut into wedges and baked, and the apples are pan-fried with apple juice, raisins and caramel sauce. All in all, it was easy - I only had to peel 3 apples, and I didn't have to fuss with trying to make sure that the pie crust wasn't soggy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

St. Petersburg progress

This is about 2/3 the way through the first of 12 sections. It doesn't show up much in the pictures, but it's going to be really sparkly.

The Weekend

Its been nice to be home for 4 whole days. Today is a public holiday in Canada, and I took Friday off from work. And I've pretty much done nothing this weekend except stitch, cook, eat and go to the gym. It's been a busy year - I feel like I've continually been in an airport or in a meeting since about January, and it's nice to have a couple of days to get the tightly wound springs in my life unwound a bit.

I did manage to:
- Get my hair cut
- Have 2 Thanksgiving Dinners
- Watch an entire season (Season 4) of Grey's Anatomy
- Go to 3 spinning classes, which will go a little way into making sure that some of the calories from the dinners get burnt off
- Stitch on Egyptian Garden and St. Petersburg
- Re-arrange the blog layout

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Updates and Turkey Day

Here's where I'm at with Egyptian Garden and Le Epoche Nouveau. I'm quite enjoying both, and am glad that the long weekend has provided some stitching time. To everyone celebrating this weekend - Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, October 09, 2008

There and back again....

It's been quite a couple of weeks! Along with everything else that's going on in my life - I decided to take the jewellery class again, and I finished up a bracelet that I was working on last year. It still needs to be polished, but I'm happy with the way that it turned out. I made all of the small beads, plus the 4 metal charms and the chain on the bracelet, so it ended up being quite a bit of work. On the other hand, I like the fact that I know how to make chain and clasps now.

Thanks for all of your kind comments on my blog - it's nice to know that I have some readers around, even if I post less than I would like too!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Has it really been 3 weeks?

It's been quite a couple of weeks - and it doesn't feel like it's been that long since I last blogged. I sent Barbara a Pay-It-Forward gift earlier in the month - I'd put out the offer ages ago, and it's taken me some time to finish everything, but I'm fortunate that she liked the gift.

I also managed to get up to the glass studio for some beading time. I wanted to make a blue and silver bracelet, so many of the small beads will find their way into that. I also finished a couple of buttons - I think the Christmas themed one will be nice in the centre of a biscornu, so I'll have to get busy with my Christmas stitching!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Awards and Progress

Glenda was kind enough to nominate me for the "Brillante Blogger Award", which I appreciate. I do love reading lots of other blogs, and I think most of those that I read have already been nominated, so I won't name any additional blogs at this time. I received this award from another reader as well, but can't for the life of me find their comment to acknowledge them. I do appreciate all of the readers and comments though!

In other news, I finished one Pay it Forward gift last night, and am hoping to have the other one done by the weekend. I also finished decorating one additional bag for the Purses for Africa group. It's slow progress some days, but at least there's progress!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Egyptian Garden Update

This weekend was the annual fruit and vegetable sale at the local historical park, and I have to admit that I went a bit overboard. I picked up some pears, peaches, oranges, strawberries, green beans, chard, watermelon and red and yellow peppers! It was a welcome treat, as I was away last week and hadn't had a chance to get many vegetables.

I managed to get a bit more time in on Egyptian Garden - its coming along well, and I'm really enjoying working on it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And the winner is .....

Congratulations Susan! You're the winner of the buttons - send me your address (caycay at shaw dot ca) and I will send the buttons out to you!

I also received the Candy Exchange back from the lampworking website I read. The exchange was to create beads that were inspired by candy. I sent 5 little gummy bears, plus gummy beard candy and received the following in exchange:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I love great hotels....

The one I'm at this week has glasses of wine and beer after work and cookies and milk before bedtime.....

I'll draw for blog candy on Friday, so please add your comments to the previous post if you'd like to be considered.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Progress and Blog Candy

I was busy this week finishing up two purses for a charity project. They have people to knit and crochet, but often get items that need a bit of help to make them special. I put beads on two bags this week - the blue one has little glass buttons that I made and the purple/brown one has a couple of things from my bead stash on it.

I ended up with a few of the green and blue buttons left over and thought I'd offer them up as blog candy this week. I haven't done much blog candy this year because I've been behind on gifts that I promised, and need to get them caught up. But since the buttons are finished, and aren't really much of a gift until they're put on something, I thought I'd offer them as blog candy.

If you'd like to receive the buttons, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll draw from all of the comments on Friday night. It doesn't matter if you're a regular visitor or this is your first viewing of my blog, all comments will be entered.

On the buttons - they are 100% glass, and would prefer to kept away from kids and pets. The do have quite a large shank on them, and so are perfect for attaching to something with some depth - a biscornu or knitted/felted bag, for example.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

China 2005 - Part 5 - Conclusion

Here's the last lot - thanks to everyone who's left comments saying that they enjoyed the pictures - it was a great trip - and I enjoyed taking them.

I'm planning on putting blog candy up tomorrow, so stay tuned. I haven't this year, largely because I've been busy, and I should have been working on a couple of gift that I haven't yet got done. But I have something (super-cute) that isn't really gift worthy on it's own, so I thought I'd put it up for blog candy......