Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Elections and Waste with a bit of Crochet thrown in

What do you do when the municipal election is coming up and you have problems with both candidates? Let's see: the current mayor, who is young, but seems a little too egotistical in my eyes. As homeowners, we also felt that a plan to sell town property adjacent to us was a done deal before citizens were asked for their comments. Especially when we offered to purchase part of it, and were totally ignored.
Then we have a former mayor back in the running. A little older, you'd think more mature, but I tell you, I really hate it when their campaign literature consists more of slamming their opponent than stating what they have planned for the town. And apparently, some of the points were a bit inaccurate.
I heard one neighbour girl who is 9 claiming that her uncle doesn't vote because it's a waste of time. I was quick to inform her that it is NEVER a waste of time. Even if your candidate doesn't win, if you vote, you have the right to complain about what happens after the election. Show me a person who did not vote, and then complains about the winner, and I'll slap their face. If you don't vote, if you don't get that tiny little have NO right to complain.

Which leads me to waste. Yard waste. A fair amount of it. Our town recycles. With yard waste pick ups a couple times a month through the summer, then again in the fall. Paper and regular recycleables picked up every two weeks. Brush pick up now and then.
Why do I have 5 bags of yard waste? Because that pick up stops June 28th and doesn't start again till October 11th. Funny, the town neglected to tell my weeds to stop growing for those few months. So, my 5 bags have sat. And sat (3 of them only since September 8th, my last post!). I made sure to get up early this morning to put the bags out. Three went out, I came back for the 4th, and the bottom had rotted. The 5th bag...the bottom had rotted too. Everything was wet from heavy rain last night, so that yard waste will sit there for a bit to dry before I rebag.

Now, to further make no sense: we've been told our area is the worse for recycling. Yes, I see it: people who don't feel like saving corrugated cardboard for a week or so for the recycling pickup stick piles out with their garbage. Or clear plastic bags full of leaves. Neither one is picked up with the trash, btw (or it's not supposed to be!), so I laugh my butt off. But (but, but, but) the town does not make it easy to recycle yard waste especially. Not only is there the 3 months with no pick up, but when it's a paid day (which is most of the season), you have to pay $1.50 per sticker at the town hall. Where is the town hall? Outside of town. Not really walking distance, unless you really like to walk a lot!

I'm just hoping the stickers stay put on my bags. If the stickers fall off and blow away because they're not sticking in the rain, and my bags are not picked up, the town hall will hear from me.

Now, for the bit of crochet! I've recently finished designing a wallet, which I'm rather proud of, for a woman who wanted a crocheted wallet. Now, I have to make me one, I am so happy with the way it turned out! Also this month, a hanging towel, which is in use on my oven door, a Candy Stripe bathroom set, and a baby burp cloth.
What's next? Currently, 3 stockings, two snowman toilet paper covers, an Angels Watch Over afghan, more squares for my Smilieghan crochet along (only $4.95 for 16 squares total). And patterns for November....and I'm still trying to find time to squeeze in a free crochet along for a group I belong to!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Of Crocs and Cinder Blocks

I was stunned (and I know I'm not alone) to hear of Steve Irwin's (aka Crocodile Hunter) death the other day. My prayers go out to his family. My family has learned a lot from his show.

On to cinder blocks.
When we bought our house, we inherited all the 'sh**' that came with it: a pile of whole and broken cinderblocks, bricks and cement pieces under our front porch. Not to mention the FULL septic tank in the back, that no one knew where it was until it started to spurt up through the ground when I flushed the toilet. But, that's a different subject.

Last year, I had a vision of removing all the cement and bricks from under my front porch, which runs the width of the house, getting rid of the weeds, and laying down landscape fabric with a topping of decorative stone. I tried listing the cement on Freecycle, but I couldn't even give the stuff away.
Yesterday, on Cheapcycle (think Freecycle, but just a little pricier) I noticed a listing looking for cinder blocks, whole and broken. Of COURSE I emailed, trying not to get excited. After all, the person is from the city, why would they want to come to my little ol' town just for cement? Imagine my joy when I heard they DO want to come and get the cement.
So...I've just spent a not-so-enjoyable hour hacking my way through the jungle that replaced my front garden, then removing the blocks. I tell you, didn't take too long before I needed a break. Crawling under the porch and lifting cinderblocks from a squatting position is kinda tricky. I know my muscles will ache later, but it will be a good ache, and my vision of a cleaner looking under-the-porch area is one step closer! A big step, btw!
Wish I had taken pictures of the jungle...I'll have to suffice with a pic (coming soon) of the two piles of vegetation that will be destined for yard waste pickup.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Just Stuff

Stormy's back! The little devil was found in a neighbour's garage. Neither of us can figure out why she stayed in there (and Stormy's not saying!), since the garage door has been open quite a bit. The only thing I can think of is that the construction next door to us spooked her, and then when it quieted down, the neighbour was working with a jackhammer breaking up cement.
She is a little thinner, but doesn't look dehydrated, leading me to believe she wasn't in there the full 2 weeks. Uh...just the fact that she's alive leads me to believe that!

I'm working on Hallowe'en stuff, and am on a roll. I've been working on more Pet Rock people: these ones sport Hallowe'en costumes. I'm on my third, and have a few more ideas, so think I may create some for October's patterns, they are fast and easy to make up. They'll be available (as well as a Hallowe'en tote, my Striped Tote, and a Witch toilet tissue cover) at introductory prices September 5th.

The weather here is cooling down, and drizzly lately, but I love this kind of weather! Fall is my favourite time of year, although this year, it's not the same, now that they tore down most of the evergreens beside my house. Darned town. We offered to buy part of the land next door IF they were thinking of selling. Oh, yes, they were thinking of selling, but they ignored our letter voicing our concern over the loss of the trees, and sold the property to the Youth and Family Resource Network. I still think 4 duplexes on that lot will look crammed in, but that seems to be the way. Chop down trees, put up houses close together, stick a couple of twigs in the yard (preferably twigs that won't grow higher than 20 feet), and THEN complain about smog days in the summer.

Oooh, wanted to share this link:
I LOVE Dem Bones, and hope she finishes writing up the pattern, I would LOVE to wear that to work!! Did I mention...I LOVE this time of year???

(adding little more here...just visited Monster Crochet)

Sometimes, these 'name' things are kinda fun! Sorry, printing is kinda off, it's their code.

My pirate name is:
Captain Mary Flint
Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stormy times

We've lost our younger cat. Stormy is a tortoiseshell (black/orange mix), and app. 3 years old. SHE chose my daughter, not the other way around! And Stormy often slept in Delainey's bed, though occasionally she'd sleep in my other daughter's bed, guess she didn't want Allie feeling left out! And occasionally, Stormy would get out later at night and either come home in the middle of the night and wake us with her meowing...or she'd come waltzing in the next day when someone opened the door to go out.
Stormy liked watching the hamsters, and enjoyed perching on the desks to watch them in the respective cages. She also snuck into the guinea pig cages, which are left open.
To boot, she liked to play with the dogs. Which was a novelty for us, since our 15 year old cat wants nothing to do with animals. Please note, I did not say *other* animals. I don't think Smudge realizes she's a cat.
Stormy is sadly missed, it's going to be hard to find a cat with a similar personality.

Now, the really sad part: on Sunday, we visited the Humane Society in nearby Windsor, on the off-chance that someone had turned her in as a stray. I know there are always a lot of cats, since spaying and neutering both seem to be foreign terms to a lot of cat owners. So does responsibility. But I was still surprised. There were three rooms of cats/kittens that were not yet available for adoption: I am assuming these are the more recent strays that were being held (again, the word 'off-chance') in case their owners were looking for them. Those rooms were so loud! Almost every cat/kitten came to the front of their little cage and meowed loudly to get out. It just about broke my heart. That, and reading the labels on each cage: the majority of cages, under the term 'gender altered' had NO.
The fourth room of cats was considerably quieter. Most cats just laid there, like we were nothing special--not that we thought we were! But I'm thinking those were the cats that had been there long enough in those little cages that they were giving up hope of getting out. Unfortunately, none of them was Stormy.

I wanted so badly to rescue even two of them...but am still holding onto the hope that Stormy will be returned to us. At least there won't be little Stormy's running around in a few months. We adopted Stormy KNOWING we would be paying to have her spayed. Sure, it would have been wonderful letting my children see the miracle of birth (and some people use this as an excuse to have a litter of kittens), but I explained to my girls that the kittens might not find good homes. It was more responsible to prevent that.
As for the miracle of birth: if you REALLY want your children to witness that, breed mice or rats. Pet stores that sell supplies for reptiles and snakes would most likely take them off your hand. Sound cruel? It's life. And to me, a lot less cruel than someone abandoning a litter of kittens, or drowning them because that person didn't bother to spay their animal.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New tote

Just finished this tote, (pattern will be available on my site and probably also at my etsy store September 5th) and now am in the middle of a Hallowe'en tote which I'm having fun with, and I also started a smaller purse with sequins. So far I'm liking the look!

We're waiting (not) anxiously for the building to commence beside us. Step 1: the connection to the sewers is done. If ya saw this lot, you'd be wondering, too: how on earth are they going to fit 4 duplexes AND a small park side by side on this thing??? I swear, the map they gave us made it look they'd be building into our back yard. Hey, pay me enough, I'd sell in a minute. Give me a house where I can have my own craft room and I'd be happier than the proverbial pig in s***.
I've even got it roughly planned: ceiling high shelves on one wall with see-through bins for yarn and accessories. A nice long table with a computer at one end. A smaller table with a coffee maker. A comfy couch, a radio...maybe even a tv with a dvd player. I told this to my husband and he said "sure, then you'd NEVER come out!"

Monday, August 21, 2006

It's Coming!

It's coming! It's coming! Hallowe'en, one of my two favourite times of year! I do enjoy all of autumn, it's much more fun creating for Hallowe'en.
I've been thinking of Hallowe'en a little earlier this year, trying to get the seasonal patterns out a month early. In mind: a witch toilet tissue cover (similar to my bride, bunny, snow couple, leprechaun), some more macabre body parts (like my Dismembered Digits), and a Hallowe'en Tote.

I also would like to do another Hallowe'en afghan square. I had done a square some time ago, and it was suggested I call it Spider in the Barn, even though there were 16 legs instead of 8. Of course, if you're dead scared of spiders, all those legs...very well could seem like 16! Anyway, I was looking for seasonal squares for a crochet along in one group, and decided to adapt the 6" square to make a 12" square.

I've posted the pattern here (it is available, along with that year's crochet along at Needlecraftpals--but since it's a free site, and I've passed the link along to others, it very well could exceed its bandwidth.): **thanks to the Google Help groups, I switched to firefox and was able to upload my pic!

Spider in the Barn Square

This square was designed for a ‘masculine’ afghan. My two daughters named it: even though there are more than the 8 legs spiders have, they both felt it looked like a spider. Finished Size: app. 6". Your tension may differ from mine, and you may need to use a smaller/larger hook to get the 6".

Materials: Worsted weight yarn in two colours.
Aluminum crochet hook size G (4.25mm) for 6" square
crochet hook size H (5mm) for 12" square

Special Stitches:DTR=yo 3 times, insert hook in next st, draw up loop. (Yo, draw through 2 loops) 4 times.
FPDTR=as above, but worked around post of specified st.
FPTR= yo twice, insert hook around post of specified st. pull up loop. (Yo, draw through 2 loops) 3 times.
Blp=back loop of stitch

With Col A, ch 4, sl st in 1st ch to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch3, 15 dc in ring. (16 dc)
Rnd 2: Ch3, dc in same st. 2dc in each st around. FO A.(32)
Rnd 3: Join B in any st. Ch1, sc in same st. (ch2, sk 1 st, sc in next) around. Ch1, sc in first st to join.
Rnd 4: Ch3, dc in same space around post of sc. *2hdc in next ch2 space, 2sc in next space. 2hdc in next. (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in next space for corner. Repeat from * around, ending with 2dc, ch1 in same space as first 2dc. Join, FO B.
Rnd 5: Join A in any corner ch1 space. Ch3, dc in same sp. *dtr into unworked loop of rnd 2 (FPDTR). 2dc in same space as first 2dc. Dc in 3 sts, dtr into unworked loop of rnd 2. (Dc in 2 sts, dtr into next unworked loop of rnd 2) twice. Dc in 3 sts. 2dc in next corner space. Repeat from * around. Join, FO.
Rnd 6: Join B in top of any corner dtr. Ch3 (dc, ch1, 2dc) in same st. Dc around, working (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in each corner dtr. FO.
Rnd 7: Join A in blp of ch1 corner st. FPDTR around post of dtr below. Sl st in same corner st. Continue working in blps only: *sl st in 6 sts, FPTR, sk next st of rnd 6. Sl st in 3 sts, FPTR, sk 1 st, sl st in 4 sts, FPTR, sk next st, sl st in 5 sts. (Sl st, FPDTR, sl st) in corner st. Repeat from * around. Join, FO. Weave in ends. **************************************************************************************************************For a 12" square, I adapted as follows: Follow above pattern through rnd 6.
Puff st= leaving last loop of each st on hook, 3dc in same st, yo, draw through all loops.
Colours shown in 12" square=A=black, B=orange, C=white
Rnd 7: (replaces rnd 7 of 6" square) Join A in corner ch1 space. Ch1, * sc in corner space. [FPDTR around post of fptr below. Sc in same corner space. Sc in 6 sts, FPTR around fptr, sk 1 dc, sc in next 3, fptr around fptr, sk 1 dc, sc in 3, fptr around fptr. Sk 1 dc, sc in next 6. Repeat from * around. FO col A.
Rnd 8: Join B in any st. Dc around, working 5 dc in top of each corner fpdtr. FO.
Rnd 9: Join A in any center corner st. *3dc in centre corner st, ch1. Sk 1 st, (puff st in next st, ch3, skip 3 sts) 6 times. Ch1. Repeat from * around. FO.
Rnd 10: Join C in any center corner st. *5dc in corner st. Dc in next, tr in front of ch1 of rnd 9 into skipped st of rnd 8. (Dc in blp of puff st, tr in front of ch3 of rnd 9 into skipped sts of rnd 8) 6 times. Dc in blp of next puff, tr in front of ch into skipped st below. Dc in next st. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 11: Dc around, working 5dc in each corner st. FO C.
Rnd 12: Join A in any corner st. *3sc in corner st, sc in 5 sts, (tr into free loop of puff st, sk next sc, sc in next, tr in top of same puff st. Sk 1 sc, sc in next) 7 times. Sc in next 4 sts. Repeat from * around. FO, weave in all ends

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Something new

In June when I heard my 18yo niece would be going away to school, I got an idea to make an afghan with 'smilies'. She's on the computer alot, and a major part is messaging with her friends, so I thought the smilieghan would make a nice gift. Maybe a little fun while everyone figured out what smilie meant what!
She has since changed her mind and is no longer going to school--shame, she was going to study psychology, and I tell you, my family could use a shrink! But the smilieghan idea didn't go away. I started with three, and plan on adding 3 more every 2-3 weeks for a total of 15 12" smilie blocks and 1 plain block pattern to alternate with them. Rather than go and spend money on yarn, this one will use what I have. Plus some, I NEED some colours!
The crochetalong is available for sale on my site, click on the smilie block to check it out!

Vacation's Over

And time to relax! We usually go camping for a week as part of our vacation. The last two years we've also taken the dogs with us, and they seem to really enjoy it.
This year was a little tricky.
We arrived Sunday around noon and Mike and I put up the tent trailer so I could set stuff up in there while he returned home to bring our highly-carsick dog by himself. If he's gonna throw up, we didn't want anyone/thing in the way.
The weather called for possible rain...
Later in the afternoon, we listened to the distant thunder and watched the storm clouds creeping up on us. Now, they didn't take US by surprise, but apparently, they sneaked past the local radio station (CHYR--96.7 in southwestern Ontario) without being noticed. As we sat in the tent trailer, listening to the rain on the roof sounding like a stampede of buffalo and the thunder booming simultaneously with the lightning strikes...we could hear the woman on CHYR saying "a chance of showers tonight with a possibility of a severe thunderstorm".
Yup, just a possibility.
Anyway, the rain soon ended, as heavy rains oft do. Luckily, when my dh set up the tent that he and the dogs slept in, it was on a higher part of the site. The 'main' part, that around the firepit and the picnic table was flooded.
By Thursday, most of our site had dried, although around the picnic table it was still marshy. Dried just in be flooded again! I took pictures the second time around. I'm just glad that we had decided to take the dogs back a day early. It's awful enough the kids not being able to wander around the site, but how do you tell dogs to stay out of the water?

The first picture shows our small pond...the centre one shows our tent trailer with the tent. The third picture shows just how close the people on the site behind us were. No, we had no idea who they were, but at least they were quiet!
The rain and the 'floods' didn't stop us. The extreme heat that week didn't even stop us. Slowed us down, but didn't stop us! The way I look at it, we weren't home to run the air conditioner, and we surely would have had we been home!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Summer Boredom Strikes

My girls are bored already! I wouldn't think they'd be bored, they've been visiting friends, having friends over, the oldest just about every day so far!
Me, I'm bored, too! Can't figure out what I want to do: I've started a Beach Fun for 11 1/2" dolls, a Banana Split, a cape that I am really not happy with and will frog...
The highlight of my week: we had new vinyl flooring installed in our bathroom. Now, this room is less than 6 feet x 5 1/2 feet floor space. Factor in a toilet and an average size shower stall, and picture the actual amount of flooring. $263 Canadian later. BUT, there is a new subfloor, so there is an extra bit of insulation between the cold basement and our barefeet coming out of the shower in the cold winter months! And it looks sooooo much better than the paper thin peel n stick tiles that had begun to migrate. The continental drift in my bathroom.

Today, I check my email, and it never fails to surprise me how many intelligent people get taken in by email scams. As in "please forward, so AOL will donate" or "Red Cross will donate", or even "Bill Gates will donate". With a sob story that has no truth to it. The creator has accomplished what he set out to do: let innocent people do the spamming.
Please, before you forward such messages (along with Canada/US post is going to start charging for emails), check with an urban legends site. My favourite is Snopes.

I had applied at Bella Online to become crochet editor (me and how many others???), but was not chosen. Only a little disappointed, partly because I'm not sure if I even have the time each week, and partly because, if I really wanted to, I could do the same thing here. I'm still trying to figure out how to find the patterns/pictures that the current editor is posting. I don't know if a link or picture was left out, or if my computer just isn't getting it.

Laundry calls, dishes are screaming...and I could really use a coffee!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Empty Nest Syndrome

The baby robins have long gone. Seems like one day, they were just starting to hop out on the branches of the Twig, the next they were gone. Actually, it was two days after. The tree swallows are still in their box, they're getting longer looking like miniscule plucked chickens...and will be soon leaving.
I think the parents scared our one cat! Swallows will dive at you trying to scare you away from the nest. Yesterday, they were swooping awfully close to our front door, so I suspected a cat was on the porch. Sure enough, it was the younger cat, Stormy, hiding under a folding lawn chair! When I opened the door, she certainly didn't hesitate about coming in.

With July's patterns posted (click on the sundae to go there!), I already have most of August's in mind. A banana split to follow the sundae, an 11 1/2" fashion doll beach fun set to follow the 4 1/2" on
e for July, and an afghan done in squares.

But, I still have a small exchange, a larger exchange, and a comfortghan to finish up and mail out before I can settle in with all my 'equipment' surrounding me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's Official!

Thank you, Tracy! Tracy, a friend in an online crochet group, had read my blog and when practising her Photo Shop Pro 9 lessons, came up with the above adorable tag for me! I am using it here with her permission.
So, it's official. You have your crazy catladies, and you have your crazy birdladies. Although I *could* very easily become one of the former, I think I am definitely one of the latter. Guess the two don't mix very well, do they??

I peeked in on the tree swallow's nest this morning. Didn't see any head poking out when I approached, so I got 'up close and personal' , two inches from the hole, and then realized the poor mommy-to-be was sitting in there! Poor thing, last thing I wanted to do was scare her by thrusting my big ugly face into the opening.
As for the robin--her eggs should be hatching very soon, if they haven't already. My husband and I were working in the backyard on the weekend, and had a visitor for about a half hour. One robin kept hopping around the yard, seemingly unafraid of us. He/she'd get about 4-5 feet from us now and then, and then would hop off to investigate something else. This is him/her by our one shed, I was about 5 feet from him. I guess someone doesn't mind having his picture taken.

So...the verdict? Crazy birdlady?? Yup. And a tree-hugger, too!

Friday, June 09, 2006

I'm a Birdlady! (And) My Bridelady

Not that it's official. I had told my sister about the two (yes, TWO, the tree swallows DID build a nest) nests in our tiny front yard, and I was so excited she warned me: "People are gonna start calling you the Birdlady. You've heard of Catladies? You'll be the Birdlady."

So be it. The robin has four eggs in her nest (unless she laid another after I checked for the last time last week), and the tree swallows have 4 tiny eggs in THEIR nest. Surprising, since it is so close to the neighbour's driveway, let alone our front door! Their nest is located in the blue birdhouse on the left of our front porch.

The tree swallow is shown on the right: this is the male that would sing while I watched out the front door. That tiny tree in the background? That is where the robin made her nest.

I've now done six different toilet tissue covers: My Snow Couple, Stretch the Snowman, E. Bunny, the Leprechaun and now, my June Bride. June Bride is on my site now at an introductory price. She's my favourite this month, followed by my Pet Rock People--the Chef. He can be seen on my sale page as well. Click on the bride...she'll take you there!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Update on my little mommy to be!

I've kept an eye on 'our' little robin friend and her nest. While she's been away, I have checked a couple of times, and as of last check, she has two eggs in her nest. I wait until she's nowhere around, and I know she will not 'smell' my scent on the eggs, I've done reading and know that's an old myth.

As for tree swallows that were checking out one of the decorated birdhouses along our front porch: I'm not sure exactly what they're up to. First, they removed all the long grass bits and thin twigs that my husband had put in there. I thought they stole it. But, they're still hanging around, and I did see one of them bringing something INTO the bird house. They are absolutely beautiful tiny birds, and their 'warbling' is so sweet to the ear! I am hoping they do nest there.

On a crochet note: for all you crocheters who start early for Christmas, I have a limited time special: 6 of my more popular Christmas patterns for about 50% off the regular retail of $13.85. Sale price for all 6 is only $6.95. Printed version is available for $8.95, which includes postage fee. Interested? Here it is:

Friday, May 26, 2006

My little tree

Now, one of my major pet peeves is seeing all the big, air cleaning trees being cut down to make room for wider streets, MORE streets, MORE buildings, and (around here it's just awful) greenhouse complexes that blind you in the sunlight. But that's not all: then, people wonder why we have so many smog alert days in the summer?????

Two years ago, the town did an overhaul on our street, new sewers, new street, and most of the tall, existing trees were cut down. What did they replace them with? TWIGS. 8 foot tall TWIGS.

This year, I looked at our little, and thought that it really needed a bird nest. So, I starting playing around with a picture in my mind, figuring out what I was going to use, how I was going to use it. Now, I don't need to (although I still could), as a mother robin is building a nest in the tree. What surprises me is that the tree is so close to the street, not to mention so close to the ground and the people that pass by. Not that we're downtown, but people still do occasionally walk past, and children certainly do play.

I will be watching that nest, and hoping nothing bad happens to mother or babies. And if eggs are laid and hatched, I will watch as I've done before, and be amazed at how often the parent birds fly off and return with food for the babies.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Christening Gowns done

Yippeee! I am finally done the two christening/baptismal gowns for an order. I am quite happy with the way they turned out, I just hope the woman who ordered them is as happy! For the two gowns, it took 2 weeks, which could have been less if it weren't for: work, being forced by my 10yo to design something for her gameboy advance sp--watch my site for the pattern in June--AND that yucky 'H' word...housework.
This is NOT my own pattern, so I cannot share, but I can tell you where to purchase the pattern (and the seller has several other baby dresses listed):
I will say, although the pattern is very well written, there were a few discrepancies which might provide difficulty for a new crocheter. On a few rows/rounds, stitch counts were off. Decreasing on the booties was vague, but not a problem for a more advanced crocheter. Brackets showing repeats were in the wrong place, but again, if you're not new to crocheting, it would only take a few minutes to figure that one out. Overall: I would buy (and do plan on!) more patterns by Rebecca-Leigh!
Now, for the pics:

For the flowers, the pattern called for ribbon roses, but I could not find any. The solution? Small silk flowers. I dismantled them, removing all plastic parts of the individual flower, then sewed them on using a bead in the centre of the flower. The buttons on the back of the dress (not shown) are pearl shank buttons. I just couldn't imagine any other button on the gown!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Victoria Day

A beautiful day for a holiday, the sun is shining, birds are squawking warnings to my cat who is prowling outside...
I'm currently working on christening gowns for an order, and am quite happy with the way they are turning out. I had purchased the patterns on ebay, and for the most part, they are well written, but I don't think I would recommend this one to a beginner as it's written. Some stitch counts are off, brackets are in the wrong place in one or two places...but nothing too difficult to overcome.
I've realized it's May 22nd, and that of the 4 patterns I need designed and typed up by June 5th: I have 1/2 of one set done (gameboy advance sp covers), and about 1/3 of another pattern (bride toilet tissue cover). And I have two comfortghans to assemble quickly...which wouldn't bother me too much, except there's that ucky 'W' word: WORK.
One of these days, I WILL have enough time to design extra patterns to send to a magazine. Certainly, after spending a lot of money on advertising in Crochet World (with no noticeable increase in traffic!), it'd be nice to get money FROM them, lol!
And that's about it for today, not that I had much to say, but figured I should pop in now and then to post something!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Today is my daughter's 11th birthday, and to celebrate, she had 5 friends over last night from 5 till 9. 3 of whom spent the night. If we'd have had room, there'd have been all 5 staying. I can't remember what it was like to be 11, but got a taste of what it's like to be 11 now.
Young enough to do silly things and usually get away with it, but old enough to be embarrassed at being caught by certain people! Staying up all hours of the night (was I EVER able to do that??) with friends giggling and (probably) telling secrets.
The silly thing? Stuffing inflated balloons in their shirts and playing out front in clear view. But running to hide their 'breasts' in the mail box when the pizza guy came.
All hours of the night really was. Long after I'd fallen asleep, I woke up to what sounded like thumping outside at 3 am, so I got up to investigate. It was not outside, but in my daughter's bedroom. Thank goodness my other daughter in her own room slept through it all! After trying to get back to sleep myself, I gave up and watched tv for an hour or so, finally around 3:30 telling the girls it was time to get some sleep.

Geez, just sat here for several minutes trying to figure out an April Fool's joke. The thought of confessing I was thinking of giving up crochet crossed my mind, but I just couldn't do it. Guess I'll have to make do with 'fooling' my family.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Woohoo! Easter is on its way! These are my 'Egghead buddies', who, like most of my creations, tend to remain nameless. Duckie on the left has a tail at the back, as does Bunny on the right.
Just finished: an Easter egg small purse for little girls. Decorated with beads and eyelash yarn while I watched Corpse Bride (for the second time in two days). Warning, when this pattern is available, there are over 20 ends to weave in.
Still on the hook: what will most likely be a large twin-size afghan, constructed with strips of squares. Not too manly, not too feminine (well, it could be depending on colours you choose to make it in!), but again, lots of ends to weave in. You might get the idea I *like* weaving in all those tails. NOT. But, I take time throughout the afghan (I am not a weave-in-as-you-go person), to sigh, pick up a large-eyed sewing needle, and challenge myself to weave in the ends. When it's a challenge, it goes so much easier.

I must say, I was flattered to find so many people interested in my Easter Marshmallow chick and bunny. That in response to my posting my Easter page when someone was looking for a crocheted marshmallow peep pattern. I have to try some of these in thread, for a project I'm working on. Must say, I do prefer the real marshmallow edible form. I've seen people use them as jewellery, and, well, I'll take mine without shellac.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Great Tim Horton's Unroll the Rim

Such hooplah this year over a simple unroll the rim to win contest. First, some unionized workers in this area (BIG automotive industry here) are steamed that TH's is offering a Toyota as their big prize. Okay, it maybe could be one of the 'Big Three', but considering Toyota employs people in Canada, and they plan on building another plant in Ontario. Okay, one argument is the vehicle offered isn't even built in Canada...but I was told the PT Cruiser that was offered a couple of years ago wasn't built here either. Built in Mexico. Funny, don't remember hearing a thing about that.
Yes, we're big on the automotive industry here, but how about the rest of Canada that is offering the same unroll the rim prize? How many Big Three plants are in Alberta? BC? PEI???
Many are thinking that TH's is a Canadian franchise. Used to be, but not no more. Ohio-based Wendy's purchased it in 1995.
Some die-hard CAW guys are claiming that if they win the vehicle, they'll just throw the cup away. Yup. Sure. Let me see you unroll the big winner and watch you stick to your moral high-horse. I be thinking you'll take a tumble.
Besides, if you throw the cup out, a couple of kids might find it and their families would argue over just who gets the vehicle. (Smart thing...SELL the darned thing, split the money.)
Similar thing happened in Quebec with a 10yo finding a cup that hadn't been unrolled. He/she had difficulty opening it, so asked a 12yo. What are the odds??? The cup won the vehicle! And of course, the families are arguing. I say, grow up, compromise.
BUT (isn't there always one of those) now the guy who thinks he threw the cup out has hired a lawyer. The Guy is remaining nameless, although wouldn't you want to be nameless if you had stupidly thrown the cup out and then, even more stupidly, try to lay claim with DNA testing???
A judge should laugh in his face (boy, do I wish I could!!!) and tell him it's his tough luck. Yes, stupid mistake, and yes, he'll be kicking himself in the keister for some time to come, but HE THREW THE CUP OUT. No longer his.
This is taking "I'm not responsible for my own actions, so I'll sue" to a different level. choose to drink too much, you choose to drive, but the bartender and bar can be held liable. You choose to smoke, develop a related illness, and blame the tobacco companies, who must have held a gun to your head to get you to start in the first place. You spill hot coffee on your lap while driving, it's not your fault. The restaurant made you put that cup between your legs while trying to drive. (Which led some take-out restaurants to put a ridiculous: 'Caution, contents are hot' on their cups)
Speaking of coffee, reallly think it's time for my own. Am curious, does anyone side with the lunatic who wants the garbage back that he threw out???

Monday, March 13, 2006

Everything Green!

I'd been debating sometime in the future doing themes for each month's patterns. Some are obvious: Christmas, Hallowe'en, St. Patrick's Day...but I had also thought of picking a colour, or room, or maybe even a mood.
This month, besides having St. Patrick's Day, wound up being GREEN. Crochet-wise!
A leprechaun toilet roll cover (I thought he was cute, my husband and daughters thought he looked evil--I know leprechaun's can be tricky, but evil???), a green and white outfit for 4 1/2" dolls, a clover doily and a spring green dress for those 36" tall walking dolls. That dress and story is a previous entry.
I've started Easter stuff now, working on some Eggheads. Crochet and computer time might be a little tricky this week with March break. Not that we're doing much, but between work and having kids home, my week's out of whack.
I am hoping some day to make enough money from my patterns/crochet to cut back my hours at work. And dreaming of the day when I could have a room just for hobbies. I'd share it, of course! Computer could be in it, coffee pot, shelves with baskets of yarn and supplies...I'd even settle for an over-the-garage room. Ahhhh...
Nuts. Time to wake up. And return to my small living room to work on my Eggheads and have some coffee.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Another Project Done!!

I've just finished designing a doll dress for a 36" walking doll. My 8yo got this a year and a half ago for her birthday, and after less than a year, we had to move it out of her room, she said it gave her nightmares. My daughters then dubbed her: "Bride of Chucky", or BOC for short.
Their thought was to get rid of her, but I put my foot down, seeing crocheted outfits in the future for this poor unwanted doll.
We did have fun with her last year! Dressing her up, putting her where no one would suspect and would be startled by finding her there. I think the best spot was a joint effort on the "girls" side (we outnumber my husband 3-1). We dressed BOC in jeans, my youngest's coat, and a baseball hat and snuck her out to place her behind the wheel of the car. Wish I could have seen my husband's face when he went out and found her, but he did get a laugh!!

Anyway, this dress gets a thumbs-up from my husband, who says she looks less "Bride of Chucky-ish". Wonder if the girls will think so? Amazing what a new outfit can do for someone.

The finished dress is listed at . The pattern will be available March 5th on my sale page: either alone, or as part of the $3.95 membership for the month.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Tamagotchi Fever

Seems like it's spread rapidly, with side effects of greed. How so? Reminiscent of the Tickle Me Elmo dolls that people bought for the sole purpose of selling for twice as much as they paid for it.
The Tamagotchi version 3, just come out, is selling like the proverbial hotcakes. Toys R Us in Windsor got 300 in on Friday, were sold out by Saturday.
Stunned? Not me. Disgusted maybe, knowing that some of those sales were for people who hadn't the remotest interest in the child's toy. Their interest lay in the almighty dollar they could make by paying $16.99 plux tax, then trying to sell it for over $30 on ebay.
One example: check out item # 6039051756 on ebay. Starting bid $34.42 Candian (Buy it now for only $37.65). Plus a meagre $11.99 US shipping within Canada. Includes insurance. Wanna know a secret? Ship expedited, under $7 Canadian for that small of an item, even with stuffing!, and insurance is INCLUDED. So the seller is making a profit if anyone is gullible or desparate enough to buy from him/her.
Can we say SCALPER??? I strongly believe toy scalping should be illegal. Toys are for kids. If you don't have a child, don't know one, won't use the toy and don't need it for a gift, hands off and let some parent buy it for THEIR child. After all, that's what toys are made for. Taking advantage of parents wanting to buy the toy for their child is immoral. Not that the ebay re-sellers give a crap. As long as someone will pay over $50 for a $17 item (maybe $24 with shipping), they're happy.

If you're interested in a Tamagotchi, and don't want to be ripped off, check out legitimate online sites. We found some available at Toys R Us online (Canada) for $16.99 each. I bought one for each daughter (that's two), for less than I could buy item #6039051756 on ebay. Or, wait till they stopped selling out at Wal-Mart and Toys R Us!

Please note, not ALL ebayers are immoral like that! And I'm sure that's not the only online site where you can get ripped off: check out Only $27.99 US. Plus shipping.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

February blahs

Well, I've heard of the January blahs, but I seem to have the February blahs. Was unable to come up with ideas for designs for two weeks! I kept getting fuzzy pictures, but it was like trying to adjust an old television set with no cable or satellite!
Fortunately, the 'blahs' seem to have gone, I'm almost done a St. Patrick's Day/spring outfit for Kelly dolls, and have started a doily with a unique shape. Well, I hope it's unique.
The arm warmers previously mentioned (the ones I made for my 10yo who 'demanded' them--she never wore them!) at least did see some sunlight. My 8yo decided SHE liked them, and has worn them twice to school, and received compliments from some of her friends.
I recently purchased two sets of Space Bags from the Shopping Channel, and after trying one out, the only problem I had was that it developed a small tear near the zipper in the plastic. I stuffed a large one with 4 pillows, impressed my husband by compacting them down to the height of about 1 pillow, and tried again. Then my daughter decided to use it for stuffed animals and discovered the tear. I'm thinking the zipper had somehow gotten caught when I tried to seal it.
Next step: trying these bags for yarn storage. If I can compact all my yarn into two bins, that would be great. Specially since then, it would be hard for my husband to see just how much yarn I do have...and how much I don't *really* need. And since he quit smoking over 2 years ago (hurray!), I can't really say my hobby costs a lot less. Don't get me wrong, I really do prefer it this way!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What a week!

My week actually started on the weekend with my 8yo complaining of her neck hurting. She was unable to move her head much, and the pain was enough to make her cry, when she has a pretty good threshold for pain at her age! A chiropractor's visit on Monday confirmed she had locked up the back of her neck. After adjustment, exercises and ice, her neck is almost back to normal. At least...pain free!!
At her dental appointment today, I found out that when she brushes her teeth, she is not spending as much time on the back teeth. Permanent teeth have cavities, which is scary (didn't need the dentist to tell me that!). So, we are cutting wayyyy back on fruit snacks, and having fresh fruit instead.
Now, that upset my 10yo, who seems to be like her father. Why eat fresh when you can have something loaded with chemicals and preservatives?? She'll get over it...soon I hope! And this is from the one who wanted to become vegetarian.

While I waited in the dentist office...what did I do??? I CROCHETED. And chatted a bit with one woman who had come in to wait for her husband. My 10yo sat about 3 seats away from me. Guess if she'd have waited to write her speech for school (subject: How Parents can be Embarrassing), she would have had more ammo...I mean...material.
I did read her speech, which she refused ANY help for, and was impressed with her writing. What a sense of humour. And, best of all, no particulars as to just how embarrassing we can be: nothing like breaking wind when she has company over...or making her try a bra on over her clothes in the middle of a department store (my mother did THAT was embarrassing! but at least it was OVER the shirt!!). I'm sure if I sit and think hard enough (one of these days, I may just try the thinking thing), I can come up with a really good way to embarrass her.

Maybe at her grade 8 graduation in a few years....

Friday, January 27, 2006

eBay ramblings

Or maybe rants?? I thought I was alone thinking eBay did not do enough to prevent copyright infringement. Some time ago I reported a woman who was selling print-outs of free online patterns, and photocopies of patterns from magazines (yes, they were copies, not real pages), and I *think* ebay warned her. The patterns disappeared, then a few months later, she was back again. I complained again, nothing happened. So...I decided to send an email to someone who might be able to kick eBay in the keister and get some action. DRG network. THAT seemed to have done something, because since then, although the woman IS infringing on copyright by selling graphs of Disney pictures (without their permission), I haven't seen any photocopies.

Today, I visited my favourite writer's site: BIG Harry Potter fan! I was getting teased by my husband because I would watch the Harry Potter movies over and over and over (and did I say 'over'??) again. Sometimes, I wasn't paying full attention, they were background, inspiration, when I was designing. Anyway, I stray. Apparently, some sellers on eBay were selling items autographed by JK. Uh...that is...items she hadn't even touched, let alone signed. And from the sounds of it, eBay wasn't too willing to uphold their policies of copyright infringement and FRAUD.

Why not?? Have you seen the eBay fees??? It costs 10 cents more to list an item starting at $1.00 (only up to 9.99...then it's higher), than it does to list an item under a dollar. So...if the item sells for that ninety-nine cents, let's see how much the seller gets: subtract 25 cents for listing, that's down to 74...less 5.25 percent of the selling price...that's down to 69 cents...minus paypal fees (if you use paypal) which would be 33 cents...

SO, you get a whopping 36 cents out of the 99 cents.

And if you start the item at $1.25, you pay an extra 10 cents insertion fee. Over $10? SIXTY CENTS. Because it's more difficult and time consuming for the ebay program to list them. Please, note the heavy sarcasm.

The fees, and the unwillingness to uphold their own policies, has really turned me off ebay. That, and the fact that I can list something for $1.75 that someone else sells (with 5 or 6 bidders) for almost $10, but no one bids on mine, lol!!

So, besides being wary of eBay, you must be wary of sellers abusing the system that eBay allows them to abuse. If you're looking at a single crochet pattern, if it's not stated whether it's a photocopy, a page ripped from a magazine (HUH???? but people actually will buy it!), or the seller's own design, ASK them. And if you don't get a satisfactory answer, don't get ripped off. Avoid the seller. If the auction says 'photocopy of a vintage pattern', it's probably not. I just saw one seller listing a so-called vintage/public domain pattern, photocopies (10 of each pattern available), that are found free on the internet via the copyright owner.

And for pete's sake, if you do get ripped off and receive a copy when you thought it was the original pattern, PLEASE leave negative feedback, so others are warned. And don't be bribed by the seller to take it back.

Remember, just because it's free on the internet, does not mean there's no copyright.

If you've read this, thank you for reading and apologies for ranting. I PROMISE next post will be more upbeat. Guess you have to let the bad out before you can proceed with the good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Valentine Bear

It's not too often that I make up a 'repeat' of a pattern I've designed. But I was rather happy with my teddy bear, and felt the urge to 'jazz' him up a bit. I followed the same pattern (available on my site on my salepage: , but used a larger hook and one strand of worsted weight with one strand of eyelash held together. I had a couple of plastic animal noses on hand that, quite by accident, wound up being the perfect size.

The finished bear at right, the original at left:

The Valentine Teddy Bear I have listed at She is $15.99 US for the finished bear, and includes shipping. I will also take orders for other colours.

As for the arm warmers my daughter sooooo wanted me to make? They were finished Sunday, and have yet to see the light of day. Um...have yet to see the light of the camera flash now that I think about it!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Shirtless Sleeves

So many things, so little time. Don't we all feel that way? And then, my 10 yo decides she wants some 'fingerless arm warmers'. Loooooong fingerless gloves that reach past her elbows. She talked me into working on them. (Can we say 'sucker'?? But sometimes it's hard to refuse!)
So yesterday, I did start. As I crocheted, I wrote the instructions down. My daughter noticed this and commented. Wondered why I was writing down after I had crocheted that round. That's just the way I work.
I kept trying the piece on, trying it on, trying it on. She didn't complain. Which is good. For her. Or she might not have gotten them when they're done! I got to the shaping of the finger holes, and she asked me if I knew how to do it. "No" I answered calmly, not even pausing in my crochet. She looked a bit concerned. I laughed. Possibly a bit maniacally.
I finished the first one, just have to sew a couple small seams together and weave in ends. Ugh. My favourite past-time. NOT. I looked at her and said, "You know, they do have sleeveless shirts. How about we call these 'Shirtless sleeves'? " And the name will stick.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

January blahs

I used to love the winter, and all the snow we used to get. Playing outside, building snowmen and snow castles. Making snow angels and playing fox and goose. I still love the winter, and the snow! but have to admit that now that I pay bills, it is rather nice to see mild temps in January! Today we're due to hit 50!!!
I've been working on de-cluttering bit by bit. Assembled some squares from one group into a comfortghan to go out soon. Assembled some squares from my private stash to start a second comfortghan. Then on to more fun stuff.
Like the Valentine's Day air freshener doll. And a towel that I have in mind. And a purse (one of these days...saw the handles I want at the hardware store!)
I've been playing with the idea of selling some patterns on Free to list, so it may be worth a shot. I have to pay for my yarn addiction (and the time I don't work outside the home!) somehow.

I have to say, I was utterly stunned when my 10yo came home yesterday. Some girls around 6 or 7 had asked my daughter's boy friend to 'strip', and even offered him a skipping rope if he would kiss my daughter. Which he didn't, thank goodness! Then the girls proceeded to tell my daughter she should get naked and go to bed with the boy. At SIX and SEVEN?? Yes, my 10 yo knows about that 'stuff', but she certainly knows better than to talk about that subject, especially at school. Heck, even my 8yo. Then I got to thinking: maybe these girls parents don't tell them anything. I suppose it's highly possible that they've heard something like that on tv, or even at school from older kids, and because they haven't learned anything from their parents, that they assume it's all right to talk that way??
Is it possible that parents, thinking they are protecting their child, are dooming them to a life of detention/suspensions and hanging around the wrong crowd? I am not suggesting a lengthy, graphic discussion about the 'S' word. Just enough to get them by, and to satisfy questions they may have. And believe me, if they don't find the answers at home, they'll certainly find them at school...just maybe not the right ones.