Thursday, 31 October 2013

Tangled Thursday - Coming up Daisies

Welcome to Tangled Thursday.  A few of my local and online friends have joined me in an occasional Zentangle challenge.  We'll take turns choosing a theme  and them post our drawings in about 2 weeks time.  All are welcome to join in the fun.  If you are new to Zentangles, then visit the website for a complete explanation and all sorts of online resources.  I'm also a big fan of
 This weeks challenge was 'Daisy'.  Any way you wanted to interpret it.  I drew a multi lobe flower with a large centre.  This first drawing is a page from my sketch book with several ideas of tangles I might want to use.  The border ideas were the hardest for me to decide upon.

The flower head measures about 4 inches per side.  Tangles used are : circfleur, papyrus, mixed signals, nipa, static, allium, lollipop variation.  I'm still undecided about whether I should out line petal. I kinda like that it's left 'open', though the ends of some of the petals do get lots at the border.

The second daisy, measuring 5x6 inches,  uses the same design for each petal, though I don't know it's name.  I saw it in a book and replicated it,  the centre is ammon and the stem is onamato.

Our next challenge has been designated by Marie at Daisy's Book Journal.  You are welcome to visit her site for the details and due date.  Then join use back here on that date and add your link.  If you tangled a daisy, please add your link below.  Feel free to grab the cute button that Tami from Just One More Thing designed for our use.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Needlework Tuesday - All Snug and Warm

This gorgeous quilt was shown last evening at my local quilt guild.  It was pieced by owner Sharon Agla, shown at left, and the blocks were made by the various members of the guild in appreciation of her year as our president.  My block is in the bottom right corner.
Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

My Aiming for Accuracy quilt top is finally finished and I am pleased with the results>  I decided to stick with one colour palette as there was already so much happening with all the different patterns>  I was concerned that having too many colours would look too busy with no where for the eye to rest>  (sorry about the weird arrows< computer difficulties)>

The water in a bucket outside frozen solid last night and is not melting. Good thing I started knitting the winter supplies.  Daughter selected this lovely green  Amazing wool blend yarn from Lion Brand for her new hat. 

I choose the teal/purple, but it doesn't work for me.  I thought it would be more of the teal which looks soft blue in this photo.  Oh well, it was a  easy hat to knit .  It s the free pattern called New Moon Hat from the Lion website.

I do love my new cowl.  It is knit with Joy Missoni in a kit from Black Sheep and Ewe.

Daughter didn't stop at a hat, she also needed a new scarf.  This is knit from one ball of Radiant from Loops & Threads.  It has a chenille edge which is so soft that she couldn't stop at one colour.  hopefully next week I'll have the other one finished.

It's been great working these one ball projects, it makes me feel like I have accomplished so much. 
Tami, at Just One More Thing, has two posts to share this week, first about her new sewing machine, and second, the cute little pumpkin she stitched.
Marie, at Daisy's Book Journal , has posted an update to her colourful temperature scarf. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I've been looking forward to this book since I first heard about, and I am happy to report, that I am not disappointed in any way.  I loved it and didn't want to put it down, but  I didn't race through it as I knew that I wouldn't want it to end.

Don Tillman is a professor of genetics at a university in Australia.  He has a very straight forward approach to life; he has a strict schedule and every thing he undertakes has a specific purpose or goal.  I became obvious to me almost immediately that Don has autism, more specifically Asperger Syndrome, though he doesn't realize  that.  At first, I felt that the narration was a bit stilted and uncomfortable, but quickly realised that it was the character of Don who was so rigid with no emotion to colour his words or activities. 

He has reached that point in his life where he wants a wife and is determined to launch a project to find the perfect candidate.  To further this goal, he enlists the aid of his two friends, husband and wife Gene and Claudia.  The project takes a twist when Gene sends Rosie to Don with a genetics question and he mistakes her for a 'wife' candidate.

From the point of their meeting, we get an inside view of the development of their friendship even though Don has dismissed Rosie as a potential mate.  If I were to interview Don and ask him how a person makes friends, he would undoubtedly give me a very specific list of activities and dialogues that would have to occur, but in reality, they seem to develop over time due to repeated associations.  I really can't look back at any of my friendships, and pick that one day where we went from acquaintances to friends.  That is essentially how his relationship with Rosie proceeds.

Don lived a very structured life before he met Rosie, and through out the novel, he had several talks/debates with himself about changing his plans/schedules.  This is very realistic as I have found that I also become set in my ways and that I need to kick start myself and try something new and different every so often.

This is a wonderful presentation of two very different people developing a relationship and how they accommodate each others uniqueness. 

I also want to congratulate Mr. Simsion for his use of humour.  This book was funny and had my laughing out loud at parts and credit to the author, that it was always the situations I was laughing and never at the person involved. 

Author Graeme Simsion is currently working on his next two novels, tentatively titled: Walk to the Stars and The Candle.  Publication dates have not yet been set.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Tangled Thursdays - A new occasional post

Back in May 2013, I posted about a Zentangle class that I took at a local quilt shop.  A few of my readers were more than interested.  They looked up the resources mentioned, picked up pen and paper and haven't looked back.  A comment from Marie, at Daisy's Book Journal, made me realize that I also was lacking in inspiration.  I suggested to her that we form and informal group and challenge each other with drawing ideas.  Then I asked Tami at Just one More Thing, and she is in for the fun.  Hopefully a few others tanglers will join in with us.  Come on back next week when every thing should be coming up daisies.

At my son's last hair cut, I was trying to describe Zentangles to his stylist.  I don't think I was successful and felt that it would be best if I drew a tile for him.  This is an image of the one I did for him.  I wanted to put together a bunch of different techniques.  I know that he was interested from the point of view of incorporating the style in his tattoos.  He was quite pleased and now has it displayed at his cutting station at the salon.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Needlework Tuesday : Photo Demo of the Gretchen Quilt Block

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

I thought my readers might be interested in seeing how easily this block goes together.  The free pattern is available at

Sew the two large blocks together to make half square triangles

Notice how you need to flip two of the seams so that they nestle together nicely.  After stitching, press the block open and you're done.  The finished blocks is shown at the top of this post.

And for the triangles that were trimmed off, they are a usable size. 
I used the #4 template from Marti Michell to trim.

Last week I introduced you to the assortment of yarn that I am going to use for my Temperature Scarf.  What fun to knit now that I have gotten started.  First I had to decide which colour of yarn to use with which temperature range.

I may have to add one more colour, navy, depending on how cold it is expected to get this winter. 

I started my scarf, the one on the left, and then decided that while I am at it, I might as well knit another location as well.  It's a secret where.  The draw back of knitting stripes, is working in the many ends.  I decided that I wouldn't change colours at the ends, rather, I would knit ten stitches and change colours there and leave the ends as a sort of internal fringe. I was inspired by the pattern for the "Bojangles Scarf" in the book Merino Knits from Morehouse Farm by Margrit Lohrer.  I also as knitting two rows of black to mark month to month. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Spirits Rising by Krista D. Ball

It's October, just two weeks from Halloween, and there is nothing like a good haunting to nudge me off balance.  That is exactly what Krista Ball did in her novella Spirits Rising.

Rachel has just returned from a month long visit to sunny Mexico, but sitting in her neighbour's kitchen in Northern Newfoundland, she feels ill at ease.  It's not 93 year old Mrs. Saunders, but the spirits from the other world beyond that call to her.  Ever since she was little, Rachel could hear these spirits , and today they are especially active.

Ms. Ball has everything needed in this short novella to get your heart pumping, and your imagination flowing: a handsome Mountie, Vikings, rampaging Indians and true believers.   The use of the east coast  vernacular had me feeling as though I really was sitting at the table listening to a bunch of newfies.  Well worth the read.

The second book in the series, Dark Whispers, is now available.

Thanks to author Krista Ball  for use of the cover image.

Spirits Rising is currently available free of charge at

ps. if you do go to to download a copy of the book, please click that my review was helpful (if you don't mind).  Thanks.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Needlework Tuesday - Brrr, it's getting chilly

Welcome to Needlework Tuesday.  I am changing my layout just a wee bit.  Instead of starting each post with the cute little mouse, I'm going to begin with a current project. On my side bar on my blog home page, I have a list of the ten most popular post for either the past week or past month, and many of them show the same little mouse.  That's not very descriptive.  In the future, it should show a photo that is more descriptive of that particular week's activities.  I'll save the mouse for the second photo.

Last week I shared with you the cowl I had started.  That's it on the right of the photo.  I am really pleased with how it turned out and immediately started a second.  this is for son's girlfriend who happens to love pink.  It is made from 2 balls of Pinguin Atoll, 100 stitches on 5 mm needles and I added a twist before completing the circle.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

My Saturday morning class is coming to a close.  We now have all the block patterns and I have finished the final 4 large blocks that I need.  The next two months we'll be talking about how to set these blocks into a quilt.  I have already selected my layout and am now focusing my piecing toward finishing my top by the November meeting.  The purple and mauve block is not for the quilt, but I though of that colouration after I have finished cutting all the pieces I needed for the two blocks and needed to see how it would look.  I'm sure I'll find a home for it in a future project.

The final two large blocks.  Yippee, now to sew 40 small 4 1/2 inch blocks.

Last week I mentioned I was cutting batiks, lots of batiks.  I have the first 21 blocks stitched and they worked out perfectly.  I used the Gretchen block pattern from Debby Kratovil and is free from Craftsy.  Any readers wanting to make this block and would like to trade batik fabrics to make it, send me a private email.  I'd like to increase my variety as I would like to piece a second quilt to keep, this one is for my niece.

Don't these look lovely.  These are for my next knitting project.  It's the weather scarf knit along from  Bernat.  I am going to start with October 1s high and work forward from there.  Should have photos and a better explanation next week.  I decided to knit  with a worst weight yarn so it will be really long and acrylic because it's easy to wash.  Marie at Daisy's Book Journal is also working on her scarf, though she started much earlier in the year.  Click the link to see how her's is looking.

Who else is working on this scarf?

Until next week, keep on stitching.

Sarah at Lit and Laundry has an update to her Santa's Village cross stitch and a wee peek at her Halloween project.

Over at Just One More Thing, Tami has a wonderful Christmas project that would bring a smile to Charles Schulz (creator of Charlie Brown comics) face.

Monday, 14 October 2013

A visit to the farm, or the Turkey who didn't get invited to Dinner.

A visit to my friend's farm yesterday, revealed more than a few who missed being part of Thanksgiving dinner.  Such a fun bunch, they were so free roaming that they didn't want to move so that I could leave.

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A Stealthy Visitor

 My neighbour took this series of photos a few days ago and gave me permission to post them.  It's a blue (?) heron, but that's all the details I know.

Such a majestic post.  We guess that he is scouting for fish in the neighbours ponds.


yep, that's him, having a great visit on my roof early one morning. 
Julie spied him there after she returned from her morning run. 
Thanks for the awesome photos.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Needlework Tuesday - Love those Sparkles

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.
Every now and then I find that I need to spend some concentrated time on a particular project.  Last weekend it was the Aiming for Accuracy Quilt Along.  I had three lessons to get caught up on. 

Since all the main blocks were complete, it was time to move on to the filler strips.

Nothing difficult in these pieces, lots of colour and cutting.

Then attaching them to neighbouring blocks. 
I'm not going to show you any more of my progress.  Still have the border to piece and then I get to show you the finished top.  You'll have to wait a week or two for that, all I can tell you is that it is very seasonal with all the oranges.
My leaders an enders project is moving along at an accelerated pace.  The units have gotten larger.  The step of adding a blue square to each of the yellow and white four patches is complete.  On to the next.

 Now to some knitting.  Approaching changes to cooler weather always seem to urge me to knit.  I just started this cowl.  It is being done on 6.5 mm needles with Bamboo Bloom Handpaints from Universal Yarn in the colour Pagoda.  Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but it's a short Mobius strip.
I finished the shawl for my sister-in-law.  It turned out so lovely, that both daughter and I have decided that we need at least one each, though in brighter colours.  It was supposed to have a bit of a ruffle along the outer edge, but that would have required me reading through the entire pattern (all 4 lines) before I started.  I wasn't about to unknit and I don't really consider my sil a ruffle kind of person.

The last two days have been spent playing with batik fabrics.  I've cut what seems like a million 6 7/8 inch squares and and equal number of 3 7/8 inch squares.  I'll have photos of some of the blocks next week.

I am curious of what you have been stitching this past week.