okay, okay okay, so it’s been a while.

I know, but it can’t be helped!   There has been much to do, and no time to blog about it.

Let’s see, since last time I blogged, I have learned a few things about sewing.  Done a fair amount of beading. Signed up for 2 Christmas craft shows in Ottawa and started my Christmas crafting.  Oh, I also made and preserved chili sauce!

So first things first. My sewing machine has been getting a lot of exercise lately.  Remember the picture of all of those items I had cut out in my last post?  Well, I finished the blouse for me, the two tops for my niece.  I haven’t gotten to the 2 aprons, (M2947 and Simplicity 2161).  Of course, I have forgotten to take pictures of everything except a couple of items.

The most challenging item by far was the blouse I made for myself, M6649.


I have never constructed a tailored blouse like this before and it involved a lot of things, like lap bands (wha?), which it turns out are the little bit that goes around the opening in the cuff.  So everything was going along fairly well, although there was a fair amount of un-stitching and re-stitching, and don’t even get me started on getting the dang button holes in a straight line.  yeesh.  However, the real issue was the cuffs, I made two beautiful perfect cuffs…and when I attached my lovely sleeves to my shirt, tried it on and…oh *insert expletive*!!!.  I had made two lovely, perfect LEFT SLEEVES!!!  sigh.  So now I have a lovely shimmery plaid 3/4 length sleeved blouse.  problem solved, lesson learned!

I finished the skirt, and the jumper that I cut out for me, and the two tops for my niece came out really well, I made princess seams for the first time, and I was actually surprised and how easily they went together for the jumper.  What really helped was my early birthday present from my mum, a sewing ham and sleeve insert.  (pics to come).  These make pressing curves a million times easier!

I have also been hard at work on Christmas presents but I can’t talk about them just yet of course 😉

The other fun thing I tried was this great mason-jar pin cushion idea i got from Pinterest.

image_5 I also made one that has elastic attached and goes around my sewing machine, which means as I pull pins from my work as I stitch I end up with fewer pins flying around my desk and ending up on the floor.

Oh Pinterest, hours and hours of fun and inspiration!

Like this little wire wrapped birds nests with glass pearl “eggs”.


I have made quite a few of these and have been selling them as Christmas tree ornaments.  These and the chainmaille balls that I originally made as pendants.

Picture 568remember these?

Anyways, I made a whole bunch in green, red and gold combinations and I am almost totally out of them after my show last Sunday (hence, no pics) .  I have ordered more rings and will try to make a bunch more before my next show on the 30th.  It is at the RA Centre in Ottawa again, and I have the same table!

Oh yeah, and I decided I wanted to try canning, so I got a canning set, cooked up a batch of Grandma MacPhail’s Chili Sauce (YUM) and VOILA!

image_1  This was so fun, I did it again last weekend and made Cranberry Orange Jelly, which will be Christmas presents.

So that’s what I have been up to since last we chatted, or rather, I chatted at you.


Belly Dance Inspired

A few years ago when I was still living in Toronto, I took up belly dancing and immediately fell in love with it.  Not only the movement, and the music, but the costuming as well.  Vibrant colours and lots of sparkles.  I am still determined to one day create my own Cabaret style costume.  One of the things I miss the most about Toronto is my belly dance classes.  I was fortunate this spring to find another great teacher here in Ottawa, and started dancing again.  A couple of weeks ago we were chatting about costuming etc and I decided to make a few pairs of earrings that were inspired by belly dance.  So after a visit to my favourite bead shop, here is what I came up with.

sunshinerain dropsantique roses

I purchased the chandelier peices and then chose the chatons to glue into them, then I chose crystals I felt worked with them.  I love the ombre look, and so with the yellow pair, I chose Jonquil chaton for the brass chandelier piece and then a combination of Jonquil, Citrine and Sun, in 6mm bicones for the dangles.  With the blue, I chose sapphire chatons and then light sapphire, light sapphire AB, sapphire, and sapphire AB bicones.  The frosted glass bead in the centre, I chose, because the bicones didn’t fit in the opening , I needed something flatter.  I really like the effect, I am wearing them today actually.  The rose ones were a bit more of a challenge design-wise because they have three connecting loops at the top, so I could not do them in the same style.  I had some 4mm nickel colour jump rings, and I really like how they came out.

I have another pair to finish yet, and I am thinking pearls instead of crystals…hmmm….

I have also started another, much more ambitious cross-stitch kit, it is made by Dimensions Cross Stitch and I bought it online and a really neat site called Everything Cross Stitch, which is in the US.  So far, I have done a tiny section of tree under the gold finch and it’s foot.  I am trying to save it up for our trip to the cottage at the end of August.

birch tree birds

My next jewellry projects are a pair of earrings for a coworker, a bracelet for another coworker and I may begin to explore the colourful world of fascinators….


Crochet that is, and cross stitch apparently.  As I mentioned before, on my shopping spree at Michaels, I had picked up a book on how to crochet as well as a beginners cross stitch kit.

The results…


This is my Bernat Temperature Scarf knit/crochet along.  The pattern is created by assigning a colour to a range of temperatures (here in Ottawa that goes from bloody freezing, to hot, back to bloody freezing), then each day you take the average daily temperature and knit or crochet 1-2 rows of the appropriate colour.   So I had originally done 2 rows, but quickly realized my scarf would be about 12 feet long, so I started over with just one row per day.  What you are looking at above is January.  The grey stripe is the border, this appears between each month.  This is the colour scheme I am using,


We are in June now and so far the scarf will be mostly blue.

I was quite pleased to discover that I can actually crochet, I have also made a couple of cotton wash cloths as well and have plans for a baby blanket, (because they are smaller and therefore easier).

So I also finished my first cross stitch and I have to say I really enjoyed it, it came out well and was an enjoyable past time, so I have definite plans to do more!


Cute eh?

So that is what I have been up to lately.  My friend Meagan popped by today for cookies, gossip and beading.  I did chain maille for the first time in ages!