Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Counting Crows Chair

I spent my birthday money on a chair with hand-carved images created by a Celtic artist who runs Sidhe Ring shop at the Western Fair Market. It was the last in a series he had done using old chairs rescued from Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Temple Caterers in St. Thomas when they renovated. He added a small stylized white hare to each piece calling them "Hare Rescue Chairs". Functional artwork from old chairs ... love it.
I was drawn to the crows on this chair. Seven crows hold strings supporting a girl in flight to represent a nursery rhyme called "Counting Crows". Above that a crow skull depicts the crow spirit. There are crows on either side of the chair perched on pointing hands with three crows on the arm of the chair. I just love the whimsical nature of these carvings. 
Counting Crows
One for sorrow, Two for joy
Three for a girl, Four for a boy
Five for silver, Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told.

I love love love my Counting Crows Chair ... a perfect choice for me.

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Thursday, 28 June 2018

Heart Baby Blanket

I finished the Heart Baby Blanket just one week before our niece gave birth. Baby Boy Wheeler arrived three days ahead of schedule Monday afternoon. His birth announcement was posted on Facebook for all to see yesterday. Baby Boy Wheeler looks adorable in the photos, much like our niece when she was a baby. I can hardly wait to meet him. 

As promised I took a few photos to show how this blanket turned out. I love how the teal heart pops against the light grey. I also love the soft fluffy feel of all those rows upon rows of little puff stitches. This is a blanket full of crochet love made especially for Baby Boy Wheeler. 
Technical details are listed below for the crocheters out there who might like to make one too. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed if you do.

Heart Baby Blanket

Follow instructions for Heart Baby Blanket found here.

Lightweight fingering yarn
Four hanks of Berroco Ultra Alpacca in grey 
One hank of Gems 100% Merino Wool in teal
Hook size = 3.75 mm

Starting chain 156
Total number of rows 130 
Finished size - 30" x 35"
Gauge - 4x4 inches = 11 puff sts in a row and 18 rows

Each row on blanket ~12 mins
Each round on border ~40 mins
Plus time to weave in ends
Total Time to Complete ~40 hrs

Washing Instructions
Machine wash in cool water. Lay flat to dry.

Note: I used different yarn than the pattern suggested because I could not find Loops and Threads Cambria Big Lightweight Fingering Yarn in Canada. To make a baby size blanket, I started with a chain of 156 instead of 148. I also added 40 rows to the length. With these changes, I worried about running out of yarn. A valid concern as I ended up running out of yarn on the final round 8. Luckily I was able to finish with a small amount of yarn left over by ripping out 3 rounds and working only 4 instead of 5 rounds of single crochet on the border.

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Friday, 1 June 2018

Love My Morning Matcha

I have been making matcha tea lattes with hot frothed almond milk for a while now to replace decaf cappuccino which tastes good but leaves me feeling jittery and anxious. Matcha lattes are good for you and delicious too. I highly recommend making the switch.

Even though it is challenging to make a decent foam with almond milk, I like to make simple designs on my lattes. This one mirrors the teal heart on my current crochet project - a Heart Baby Blanket. I can hardly wait to share photos when I finish. It shouldn't be too much longer.

In the meantime ... Love My Morning Matcha 💙 

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Friday, 25 May 2018

Graduation Celebration

Last night my husband, Mom and I drove to Kitchener to attend a banquet at Conestoga Place to celebrate the Pre-Service Firefighting graduating class of 2018. Our son was graduating with this class.

He surprised us a couple years ago when he announced he wanted to train to be a Firefighter. We knew little about Firefighting except that it seemed like a lofty goal and potentially dangerous. 

Luckily our son loves the physical challenges and training required to become a Firefighter. He is motivated to keep working step-by-step towards his ultimate goal of a career in firefighting. We are proud of our son's courage to Dream Big and Work Hard to reach his goals. 
Our son posed beside the student helmets displayed at the front of the hall. We counted eighteen helmets ... one for each graduating student.
  He pointed out his helmet ... bottom row near the end.
My husband took a photo of us all at our table with bright sunshine in the background. He took another from across the table.  
And one more photo showing a close-up of the note on our table favours ... cookies shaped like fire hydrants we think.
A note for our son: We had a good time at your Graduation Celebration ... an accomplishment worth celebrating. Congratulations and best of wishes with all your next steps. We love that you are enjoying the journey. 

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Friday, 18 May 2018

Special Yarn

I bought yarn to make a baby blanket for our niece who is expecting her first baby this summer. Our niece mentioned the nursery is decorated in grey and white chevron and one of her favourite colours is teal.

I splurged and bought Special Yarn for this blanket - four hanks of Berroco Ultra Alpacca in grey and one of Gems 100% Merino Wool in teal. I love the look and feel of this fine super soft Special Yarn.
I am making a grey baby blanket with a teal heart in the centre all worked in puff stitch. To imagine how this might look I took a photo showing teal in between two skeins of grey. I love this combination.
Using Special Yarn which comes in skeins requires extra preparation. First I rolled all the skeins into balls by untwisting the skeins, draping them over the back of a chair then rolling each ball by hand taking care not to tangle. Next I wound the balls into 'cakes' using my handy-dandy yarn ball winder. I wrote about that gadget here if you missed it.
I have finished winding all but one of the balls and started working on the blanket. I practiced the puff stitch making an Infinity Scarf in March. You can read about that here if you missed it. 

Unfortunately, two months passed after finishing the scarf before starting the blanket. My first attempt was abandoned after four rows as it was too loose and sloppy. My second attempt was neater with tighter, smaller stitches, but too short. I started over yet again adding four extra puff stitches to the length. Thank goodness my third attempt was just right. 

I have since worked through one skein completing 34 rows so far. Since this baby is due June 29th, I need to get moving. The clock is ticking with only six weeks to go. Fingers crossed I get it done in time. 

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Our Mother's Day

While Mom was away visiting a friend last week, my husband and I bought a few bags of mulch and carried them down to her backyard. Some might consider mulch an odd gift, but I know my Mom and she was predictably pleased with such a practical present.

For the past few years I have taken Mom to Starbucks for our Mother's Day treat. This year after our lattes (coffee for Mom and matcha for me) we enjoyed a relaxing stroll to the Sifton Bog pond where we found four fluffy babies had hatched ... so sweet.
Our Mother's Day celebrations this year also included a trip to the beach. My husband's brother invited us to join them for dinner at their cottage aptly named Lasting Memories Cottage
We bundled up for our walk on the beach as the breeze was cool.
Looking for beach glass, fossils and stones ... such fun.
Yellow forsythia covering the banks ... so pretty.
Writing in sand "Happy Mother's Day 2018" ... so right.
After our walk, we sat soaking up more of the afternoon sunshine, sipping our drinks and enjoying the view.
The breeze was still chilly, so my Mum-In-Law layered on blankets making us all laugh with her 'ready-for-the-nursing-home' reference.
After a 'busy' afternoon at the beach, we enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by the Dads. Carrot cake professionally made and decorated by my talented sister-in-law was served for dessert ... so scrumptious.
I am so grateful for this special day spent with family and love that our Mother's Day was full of sunshine and smiles. 💕😊🦋

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Blue Boo Bear

Once I finished Another Little Lamb, I started right away making a Blue Boo Bear. It has been a while since I last made a Boo Bear. I chose a mix of blue and off-white chunky yarns from my stash altering my pattern as I worked to keep him properly proportioned. I also made a cutesy smiley face for his tummy ... simple and sweet without being too busy. 

Blue Boo Bear posed for photos showing his front, back and side views.  
Blue Boo Bear looks a little sad, yet totally adorable and huggable too.
Blue Boo Bear and Little Lamb both made from leftover yarn - how great is that? I hope it brightens your day seeing more cute and cuddly crochet.

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