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Friday, May 30, 2014

Something New

Wow, I actually did this. I had to bring my mother to the dentist on Thursday. This dentist used to be mine before my years in Oregon and I know everyone quite well. I had been his subject for almost 30 years. While I was there this week, I was talking to Shelley, his office administrator, and she introduced me to Pinterest. So I am sitting here today trying to figure it out. Click and fail... And why is everything coming out in Italian?

I finally found this place and "Pinned" it. Then I had to figure out how to put it on my blog. I had to figure out where it went because it is linked to a different email address than my main one on Google. I need to figure out how to "Pinterest" on my main Google address. I love learning new things when it comes to fabrics and fibers. But I loathe learning new things when it comes to technology. The frustration and anxiety are just too overwhelming and I just want to give up. So this picture is from my first wall. I don't even know how to get back there.

I should be working on the quilt I am making for my nephew and his fiance who are getting married in October. Or finish the shawl I am making for "I don't know who". Instead I am spending hours just trying to figure out this new thing.

It makes me feel "less than....."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What is happening?

This is just a two step stool that my father built many years ago. It is pretty safe. I mean, look at it. A baby could play on this and not get hurt.

This is the ceiling fan I wanted to clean. But it is high up. I couldn't clean it by just standing there. It took me three tries.  The first time I fell off onto the bed. Then I just fell off. In her sitting room,  it was more complicated. There was a coffee table, a sofa, computer. I tried to figure it all out. I was a mess.

It was a two step ladder. I am in trouble.

Are these not beautiful?

A great day!

I have a blessed life, I suppose. Somehow, without knowing it, I broke a tile on Linda's living room coffee table. It had to be me as I am the only one who sits at this end of the table. So this morning, after giving mom her breakfast, I set out to look for a replacement.  I started out by going to Home Depot. Sometimes they actually know what they are about. But not today. They gave me instructions to get to Corriveau Routhier. But their directions did not get me there. I ended up driving around the neighborhood until I found them. A Mom and Pop store but very very big. Obviously they have been there for a long time. I had to wait for about fifteen minutes as the owner and a woman consultant were helping others. I don't mind. I love tiles and saw some awesome things. I saw tiles that would match the ones on Linda's table but not the right size. Instead of leaving, I decided to talk to the owner. What a total joy he was. Paul. His name was Paul. He took a large tile and cut it down to the size I needed. But tile was thinner than what I wanted so he got a piece of cardboard to place under it.
This is the tile underneath.  It looks pretty normal. It is a bit higher than the others so I will have to find thinner cardboard. But when I am through it will be perfect. 

Paul was such a delight that I even hugged him. It cost me only $2.00. Can you believe it!  I hope Linda likes it. Paul took one look at this tile I brought in and completely understood what I needed. I love working with private businesses. You just can't go wrong. You just can't.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Christmas Fair

Even though I began this season very early, I was creating still, the day before Christmas.

These were pieces of kimono silk I had framed a few years ago and managed to sell a few of them at a craft fair in Laconia this year.There were two fairs and I did pretty well.

I made a series of little bags too and they sold pretty well. All kimono silk.I will continue to make these for more selling.

Raw Santas

This year's ornament was an angel. All the fabrics wereabout a hundred years old. I used raw sheep's wool for hair which I braided.

I think I have more pictures somewhere. I will have to check my camera for more details on these. The faces were the most difficult part of making these. They were very popular with the family  and a friend who bought four. I will have to look and see if there are more pictures. Or else I will make a new one and photograph the process as it is fascinating. They will be a great seller along with the bags and the Santas this year. I also made a series of neck scarves which I know I took pictures of. So there will be another post on these soon.

I have a great idea for the next ornament but am having a difficult time finding red and white pin stripe fabric.

All in all it was a great Christmas. Linda moved her living room around to fit in a gorgeous tree and lots of presents. She made gorton (pork pie filling). Then mom and I assembled the pies. A tradition in the family. Everyone got to take them home. She makes a very good pork pie filling that did not have all the frills that you see in recipes today.

Everyone was happy, content.

Now we are dealing with the cold weather illnesses. Linda came down with bronchitis and now mom has a bad cold that we are hoping will not get too bad. The whole country is dealing with weather.


Christmas has come and gone.  Sydney actually managed to complete the family stockings. Her mother asked if perhaps we could make stockings this year. They have had only store bought ones and she was hoping to have something more personal. 

This summer I came up with the idea that it would be great to present them for Thanksgiving so that everyone could put them up and enjoy them in time for the whole holiday season.

 The first one she made was for her mother, my friend Robin.It was a challenge getting all the materials together. Lots and lots of glitter and glue. As any seamstress and crafter will attest to, we all have many different types of glue.  There is so much out there. I did take out everything I have and in the end, was still not satisfied. I don't know, I prefer to stitch everything rather than glue. But glitter was a challenge as I am not used to it and had no mentor.

This was her father's stocking. He is an avid skier and even raced somewhere in New England. Sydney gave me a picture of his boots and we duplicated it pretty much. Quite a bit of minute cutting but my tiny miniature Clover scissors got the job done. You can see how Sydney managed to duplicate snow which was wonderful.

Kristin is Sydney's father's daughter. A lovely lovely woman who loves heels. She is a holistic chiropractor  who works all day in heels. I wear a pair of heels for two hours and I fall off of them and bruise my face. Sydney even put gold chain on this one.

Sydney's brother is also Tom's son  from his first marriage. He is currently living in Florida at a golf college and aspires to be a master golfer. She designed a golf club using silver leather from an old bag and pieces of brown leather that I had. And now she is creating grass as I don't imagine that anyone golfs in the snow.

I can't believe that I did not get a picture of Sydney's stocking. I think it was the most complicated. She has a guitar that she loves and so that is what we created. I even took gold thread and found a way to glue it to the neck of the instrument. It was spectacular. I am hoping to go over and take it out to see if it held up well. Sydney got a sewing machine for Christmas and I am sure we will be going to work with it at her house. She just loves all the creativity. Then I can see how the stockings look.

 Look at all the glitter. I found it all at TJMaxx, believe it or not. And the stockings were all tied together in that they all have the same cuff. We had to tie it all together somehow. And you can see the M&Ms. We always have a dish of these to inspire us.

Sydney is flour-sensitive and making her dinner is a challenge. I did find corn tortilla (or are they quesadilla shells). What we do is we put on pasta sauce and cheese and she makes these wonderful little pizzas. She is a very difficult eater. And it shows - her leg is smaller than the smallest part of my ankle. I love her dearly and M&Ms always work.

Then I bought large boxes for them all. Sydney made a big deal getting these into the house. Robin had forgotten about the Christmas stockings. And certainly Robin had no idea that her little girl was going to present them at Thanksgiving. It was a genius idea catching everyone off guard. So life was sweet for the Pratt family that day. And little Sydney saw first had the value of creating gifts rather than shopping  The true joy it brings to people the concept of creating from the heart.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Santa in Spring

 I am working on creating pieces for a craft  fair being held by a garden club that my sister Suzanne belongs to. It will be in July and is geared to somewhat of a  Christmas theme. My Santas were a big hit this past Christmas so I thought I might make a series of them in many colors.

 They look absolutely lovely as a grouping. I will be making a sign that will say that, after Christmas, Santa wears many colors. He also lets his beard grow long. It is softest beard in the whole wide world. When an Elf gets sick, he or she will sit on his lap and nestle into his beard to feel better. Mrs. Clause suspects that they are often faking it....

 This is how they begin and each one is different as I do not record exactly where the face will be nor the arms. This way, they each take on a character of their own.

 Last weekend, the Saturday before Mother's Day, George and I went to the NH Sheep and Wool festival to get the mohair locks that I use for the beards. I had bought some last year in small packages without knowing what I would do with them. Then Santa came along and it all came together. But you can't get them year 'round. And when you do find it, they are expensive. So we made our way to the festival hoping to buy whole shearings of it not even knowing what it was called.

 These women who clean, card, spin and convert the wool to fibers are wonderful. They knew exactly what I was talking about. They directed me to the right Sheppard. Not everyone raises Cotswold Sheep.

 I ended up buying two bags of raw mohair that I will be cleaning myself. They told me exactly how to do this and I don't mind doing this work if it means saving a few pennies. I have a feeling I will need it all when these Santas hit the market. I may have enough wool to make at least a couple of hundred.

 Once cleaned, I separate the locks into small manageable hanks.

 From there I separate this into really small hanks which is what I stitch onto Santa's face.

 After that, I paint on the eyes and cheeks. Then I give him a rough haircut. The curls are everything so I don't over cut.
I insert a round package made of batting filled with soft river rocks into the base of the body so you can play with him and have him lean in any direction. You can also curl the hat as well. Just a darling creature.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Spring at the Pond

This was the first tree to bloom out in the yard. It is not a tall tree. My height I think. Every day when I would go to my car, this is what greeted me. 

This is a view of the pond across from my back door. To the left is a swing that hangs from a tree. My mother will be thrilled to come out here and sit on it. She constantly talks about owning a swing. She always had one at our house next door. One morning last week as I was leaving for my mother's, there was a row boat out there on the pond with two people fishing. My heart was was rendered.

I have taken several views from the hill that we came down then jump into the pond to swim.

It is a very peaceful place. 

This is the dam that we would cross very carefully to get to the other side. I think it has been re-built as the walls surrounding it are different from when we were kids. I don't remember walls. And of course, the water is pretty strong because of the run-off from the spring thaw. As a child the boys would be on the other side goading us to come across telling us that if we slipped it would be all over. We were gonna die!! And we believed them but we would not give in. And we crossed it all the time knowing we might die but hey - it was all about the thrill.

This is the bottom of the dam. My memories are so different. As a child it looked more slimey. 

Across the way used to be a clearer beach I think. People could drive there from the road to swim. It was not a popular beach so it was not a crowded place. It was very small. And I remember there being leeches. You really had to be careful. One time, my sister Denise came running to get me to show me something she had found. So off we went across the dam, over to the far end of the beach. She up turned a rock and there it was. An orange salamander. We had never seen one before. She was always finding new things to show me. Usually creatures. Once, it was a cow....

I have wanted to take pictures of this pond for quite some time but I am lazy. Then I took these two weeks ago and had some difficulty loading them onto the blog. Come to find out that I just needed to put them up and walk away and give them time to come up. I need more patience.