Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My siblings and I are always having a "Who's most like Grandma" contest.  Don't get us wrong, we love her but she has some definite habits.  I think I've just won!
Almost a year ago I drove to my Mom's house and took along a pattern I was working on.  I was using a lovely hand dyed thread that inspired the pattern.  Some time during that weekend I lost the doily and have been looking for it ever since!  I looked in my house, in my mom's house and in my car.  No dice.  In fact, when my mom's basement flooded this fall I took the opportunity to look for it again. 
Well, I finally found it in a bag of flannel in a drawer.   I was going to use the flannel to make a receiving blanket but never did.  Grandma always bought material with the intention of making something and she always shoved things into bags.  When ever she sent something home it was in a bag, in a bag and in a bag (3 bags).  So there's the doily in a random bag, shoved into a bag. Hmmm.

missing doily pinned flat after a year spent rolled up in a ball.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

National Button Day

According to some this is National Button Day.  So in celebration of the thing that keeps our pants from falling off I'm posting this button snowflake pattern.  The link is on the right.

This fabulous blue button was purchased at the Baptist Church in Campbellford, Ontario.  Every Friday and Saturday in the summer they have a yard sale in the small barn at the corner of their parking lot.  I'm not ashamed to say that I've gotten quite a few neat things from there including this blue button.  Actually I got a box of several hundred blue buttons for $1.  A bag of 100 buttons went to my mom and 100 went to my 4 year old niece.  My brother claimed she didn't need them but really she did.  Buttons make everyone happy.  I still have LOTS of blue buttons.
I've been trying to make a blue button angel but things aren't quite working out.  The proportions are wonky.  The one on the left has wings that are too big and a skirt that's too small.  The one on the right has wings that are kinda stubby.  I think the head needs to be bigger as well.  I like the blue outline.  I worked on those in the summer then got a headache and set them aside.  It'll come to me eventually. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shoe stuff

Balloon Patch- makes room for toes that hit the top of the shoe.  I cut off the original material and sewed on a stretchier material using a special sewing machine.

I took off the outsole and cut a line through the shoe to stick in some extra material.  This widens the sole if you have feet that are different sizes or have a really wide foot in one area

The blue plug looking thing is called and excavation.  The blue material is really soft so you can cushion a sore area under the foot. 

We took off the outsole and added more height to the shoe which helps people who have one leg longer than the other.  Its pretty neat, we just glue EVA (rubber) to the shoe and then use a grinder to take off excess.  You always add more than you need and then grind off the extra.

Added Velcro straps.  I got to use another type of sewing machine.
I didn't share pictures from my shoe adventures yet.  Shoe modifications involve a few basic skills- cut and paste, sewing and finally grinding (sanding).   Its really important to make friends with the grinder.  This also helped me to understand why glue doesn't always stick.   Its really important to rough up a surface before gluing and to let the glue set a bit before adhering things together.
Good news, I passed the course. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I will never buy another...


I will never buy another pillow with tassels!  The picture on the left is the pillow full of tassels and the picture on the right is the pile of thread that came off that pillow this week alone.   It looks pretty but what a mess.  The tassels are getting shaved off!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween is done, now onto Christmas... unless you're American then its onto Thanksgiving


I had a great Halloween!  I love giving out the candy and my neighbours really get into it.  Mark and Melissa gave out whole chocolate bars and changed their backyard into a spooky witches haven.  I'm a little less imaginative and just gave lots of candy.  Everyone likes candy!

Well, onto the next season!  I was at the Dollarama and they are just getting their Christmas stock.  Every year there's some new and really neat stuff.  I found this star and silver snowflake.  I changed the crystal on the snowflake to pink and used pink organza for the loop hanger for my sister's Christmas tree.  She's been doing a pink and silver theme for the last few years.  It looks pretty cool.  The star I didn't alter but I was really happy on how nice it looked once I got it home.  You never know at the dollar store if something is junk or nice until you get it home.
My sister saw these tulle skirts at a craft booth and asked me to make a few.  It's a no-sew project which makes it really easy.  This one is for my friend's daughter.  I thought it needed to be super pretty so I added the crystals and pearls by hand.  If you are thinking about making a skirt, make your life easy by buying the tulle on the rolls.  That way you have the width you want.  I bought years of tulle and then had to spend time cutting.  Fortunately I have a rotary cutter and mat so I was able to cut 2 inch strips pretty quick... but it was still a pain in the butt.
Just a quick note that I've added the snail pattern from the Hector Tatting Seminar this sring to the side bar.  The butterfly still needs some corrections.  I also added a leaf pattern that I added to keep and share last fall but never linked to this blog?  Weird.   In case you were wondering the peep pattern by Karey Solomon I showed in the spring it is from the Tatting Times Volume 19, Issue 1, February.  Be careful- its very addictive.