Wednesday, 25 November 2020

A New Blue Bunny

I finished a New Blue Bunny last week. This bunny is similar to one I made for a friend in June. If you missed it, you can read all about that bunny, aptly named Dr. Bobbo Bunny, here

Just by changing the colour (robins egg blue instead of taupe) and the position of the ears (upright instead of floppy), I've created another one-of-a-kind Christmas gift for a special little two year old we know. I hope little B likes his New Blue Bunny. 

I rather like the look of this little bunny posing for frosty photos.

For the crocheters out there who might like to make their very own Blue Bunny, I followed my Boo Bear pattern for the legs, body, arms, head and hood. 

For the ears and tail, I loosely followed the rabbit ears and tail in Vanessa Mooncie's Crocheted Wild Animals book decreasing the size to fit this bunny. 
Tail - decreased by half. 
Ears - starting chain of 20 and 7 rows instead of 8 
Eyes - stitched using brown yarn

Yarn: 
Mary Maxim Ultra Mellowspun DK 50 gm, 1 3/4 oz
1 ball - Cotton (head, hands, tail, mask)
1 ball - Robins Egg Blue (body, outer ears, arms)

Unlabeled DK Yarn from stash
light pink (inner ears)
dark brown (eyes)

Hook sizes: 
3.0 mm 
2.5 mm (inner ear)

Mask Instructions:

Stitches:
ch - chain
ss - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet
blo - back loop only

Chain 20 (enough to cover width of face)
R1 - 2 ss, 2 sc, 12 hdc, 2 sc, 2 ss, turn
R2 - ch 1, blo (2 ss, 2 sc, 12 hdc, 2 sc, 2 ss) turn
Repeat R2 until mask is big enough to cover face
Chain 30 (to fit around ear), ss down side of mask and across bottom, chain 30 (to fit around other ear), ss across top of mask and finish off, weaving in ends

If you decide to make one too, please do send me a photo. I love to see crochet creations inspired by my patterns.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Introducing Miss Plum Poppy

Allow me to introduce Miss Plum Poppy. Plum Poppy was happy to pose wearing her fancy green top over her base layer white shirt and purple pants. I plan to make a few more tops before sending her off to her new home in Boulder, Colorado. 

With ongoing border closures, it could be many more months before we finally get to visit. Who knew a global pandemic would mess up our plans for 2020? It's been more than a year since our last visit. We miss seeing our grandchildren. Online photos and chats are great, but can't replace proper in-person visits.

Miss Plum Poppy is a gift for our granddaughter. I'm sure they will love each other. I have to say I'm a little envious that Miss Plum Poppy gets to see our granddaughter before we do. 

I started crocheting this doll a few years ago, but she sat half done in a basket until I felt an overwhelming urge to finish her this past weekend. All I had to do was complete her head, hair and clothes. The fun, fiddly bits which add flair and personality are truly my favourite part of the process. I'm not sure why I didn't finish sooner. Oh well, I'm happy I finally got round to it.

Introducing Miss Plum Poppy - another unique crochet creation.
If you would like to make a similar looking doll, I loosely followed this pattern by HJ-Handmade - translated by CrochetWawa. The pattern now costs $5.99 USD. It was free when I found it in 2016. 

Note: I used black pipe cleaners inside the legs and arms to make them bendable. 

The white top and hat are sewn in place. The purple pants are intentionally tight and difficult to change, while the fancy top and scarf are easily removed. I think a rainbow of colourful tops including a red one for Christmas would be lovely. Oh my, only four weeks till Christmas. I better get back to crocheting. Luckily these tops are quick and easy to make. 😊

For the fancy top, I followed this free pattern for a shell stitched dressThe purse was made using my mask pattern as the base. 

Use your imagination, be creative and you too could crochet a special one-of-a-kind doll for someone you love. 

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Friday, 10 July 2020

After the Rain

We enjoyed watching a thunderstorm blow through earlier this evening. It was a heavy downpour with thunder, lightning and winds. After the Rain, I wandered around snapping photos in our backyard. I love how everything looks dripping in water droplets. I also love using my 'new' camera. 

I got a Fujifilm X-E3 camera almost a year ago for my birthday. My recent obsession with our backyard owls has prompted me to finally figure out how to use the manual focus feature ... such fun.
Sadie followed me on my After the Rain backyard photo shoot ... such a sweet devoted little poodle.

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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

COVID Careful Canada Day

My husband and I are celebrating a COVID Careful Canada Day this year. We spent the day together just the two of us. We enjoyed a mid-day bike ride together just the two of us driving our bikes to Hyde Park Road and 9 Mile Road to avoid city traffic. The wind and heat made for a challenging, but fun ride. I was happy to get back in the car after 50 km. My husband added more distance biking home on his own.

The rest of our day was spent recovering from our ride, eating, swimming, gardening and taking a few photos in our garden.

When I jumped in the pool this afternoon, I was pleased to find one of the young owls hanging out in our small maple tree down by the pool. I rushed to get my husband to take more photos of this adorable little owl posing so perfectly for Canada Day.
My husband also snapped a photo of Sadie keeping a close eye on me in the pool.
He caught me enjoying a refreshing dip in the pool on this hot and humid Canada Day.
Our Butterfly Weed is budding and almost ready to bloom.
My husband is doing a great job with our new vegetable garden inspired by our friend Fernando's garden in Cuba. He planted beans, carrots and tomatoes plus a few zucchini plants in pots. Thanks to our son for taking out the old overgrown juniper bushes last fall. It's a perfect spot for a garden.
I practiced taking a couple shots of our potted pink begonias using manual focus. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this new camera - my birthday gift from last year. 
Happy Canada Day to all our friends and family near and far. I hope you too are enjoying a COVID Careful Canada Day 2020 😊

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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Our Parliament of Owls

I wrote about Our Backyard Screech Owls earlier this month. This family loves to hang out in our backyard maple tree. Owls are shy plus it is difficult to get decent photos among the branches. 

Did you know that owls are generally solitary, but when seen together the group is called a “parliament” as they have long been thought to be of wise disposition?

Surprised to find all four owls together this afternoon, I rushed to get my camera and managed to capture a few decent shots of Our Parliament of Owls. 

Mom and Dad rest quietly in the background while their two babies keep a close eye on me with my camera. 
I am so happy with Our Parliament of Owls this summer ... such a fun distraction from all things COVID. 

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Thursday, 25 June 2020

Showcasing Our Paintings by Richard Thompson

Over the past year and a bit, we have bought four paintings from Richard Thompson. Before covid, we used to visit Richard at his studio in The Baker's Dozen (B13) on Dundas Street almost every Saturday. We would watch his progress week by week as he painted. We loved everything he made. 

His elaborate colourful costumes, crazy over-the-top hats, intricate detailed backgrounds meticulously executed, fun steam punk bits ... all of it appealed to us. We especially loved the Latin titles and corresponding themes he chose for his paintings. 

We first fell for Supercilium depicting "arrogance and pride in possessions". It was on display at B13 and caught our eye even before we met Richard. A fancily dressed man holding a floating steam punk fish on a chain is totally flamboyant and fun. We loved it, yet didn't buy it right away.

Our first purchase was actually the diptych or pair of paintings below: "Amor et Melle et Felle est Fecunddisssimus." meaning "Love is Rich with Both Honey and Venom." After almost 35 years of marriage, my husband and I both totally identified with the meaning behind this message.

Richard's next piece was also irresistible given the title and theme: "Vivamus ut si mori cras. Fusce ut si vivere in aeternum." meaning "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."  This message is one I aspire to follow. I loved this advice and this painting, so we bought it as well.

These three paintings fit in so perfectly in our living room, we decided to add one more to our collection. The biggest of the bunch: Supercilium was our last purchase. Too big to fit anywhere else, it takes pride of place in our front hallway. I love that it hangs front and centre where we pass by frequently. 

All these paintings make me smile every time I catch sight of them. I am showcasing Our Paintings by Richard Thompson because beauty in art should be shared. Enjoy 😊
"Supercilium" 
Depicting Arrogance and Pride in Possessions
Acrylic on board - 48" x 48"
"Vivamus ut si mori cras. Fusce ut si vivere in aeternum."
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Acrylic on canvas 48" x 24"
Acrylic on canvas 24" x 30" - Diptych (right panel [Honey])
Acrylic on canvas 24" x 30" - Diptych (left panel [Venom])
"Amor et Melle et Felle est Fecunddisssimus."
Love is Rich with Both Honey and Venom.
According to a CBC News London article published the beginning of May, "Tenants received a letter from founder William Older stating that B13 — as the space is known — will close permanently on May 29. "In light of recent events, most notably that of the COVID-19 pandemic, there's no options left that allow B13 to keep financially afloat," the letter says." 

Sadly B13 Baker's Dozen in London is closed. Richard tells us he moved his studio into his basement, but hopes B13 will re-open eventually under new ownership. We hope so too.

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