Saturday, December 26, 2009

Stockings - part 3

Here is the last stocking I made - on Christmas Eve and completed on Christmas morning.

The toe part is stuffed to retain the shape. Both the toe and the cuff are upholstery samples. Once again, the main fabric is that gorgeous purple non wale corduroy. Too bad the colour just does not come through too good.

The recipient this time is my eldest son Mark. The making of these stockings all came about because I wanted to make him a grown-up stocking. He is 30 and for years he would not allow me to make him a new stocking. His original one was made by him in red felt and glued together with his name in glued-on glitter. He had a Santa face on it and he had made it all himself. It did not have a loop to hang it up with but a hole in the middle and this year, the felt ripped away, leaving shredded felt. These stockings will all be embelleshed eventually - with bells and probably more gold accents.

Stockings - part 2

This is the second stocking I made using upholstery samples. The shoe part and cuff are made from a gorgeous piece of non wale purple corduroy. Unfortunately, the colour does not show up in the photo. The stocking is trimmed with gold ribbon in various widths.

This time the recipient was my daughter-in-las Kate. I have wanted to make this stocking for a long time and I am glad I finally got around to it.


Just before Christmas I made some new stockings. Santa needed to see something a bit more grown up - something fitting adults.

Here's the first one. Done crazy quilting style with upholstery samples.

And a photo of Casey, the recipient.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mail came

Only one piece came in today's regular mail and guess what? It was for me. A Christmas card all the way from Satu in Finland. It seems she has been busy making a few hand made Christmas cards and I was one of the lucky (actually, special) recipients.

A truly beautiful work of art and it will become one after the holidays. My daughter Maili told me that I should frame it and I told her I had already thought of it. Satu wrote that she imagined the trees in Canada when she sewed the card. There are pockets of Finns in various parts of Canada and especially here in Ontario, they are up north where there is mining and logging. When I was growing up I had heard that the Finns settled up north because the landscape reminded them so much of their homeland (trees and lakes). Lyn Cook wrote a children's book called "Bells on Finland Street" which takes place in Sudbury. A wonderful book. Thunder Bay is another northern city that has a lot of Finns. There is a famous restaurant called "Hoito" (which means care or caring.) The building is a heritage site and here's a little background info:

"Located at 314 Bay Street in Thunder Bay, Ontario, it is home to the world famous "Hoito Restaurant" as well as a dance hall, the offices of a national Finnish language newspaper, and The Finnish Museum on the upper floors. The building has been designated a Heritage Building due to its architectural and historic significance."

I have had the pleasure of eating there about three times so far. The portions are substantial and the price very reasonable.

This is my icicle doll from another swap that I was involved in. She came in the afternoon and delivered by a Canada Post truck. She is special. I love the colours of her. Black and grey/silver. She has pigtails in burgundy. Thank you Therese, she is now on my special tree - in the kitchen. I love her face and hope to get into making clay faces in the near future.

And here's Maili modelling one of her creations. It's a Christmas present. She made four aprons - two waist length and two full aprons. This one is a total Maili design. They are all for her boyfriend's family and I shipped them off to California today. I do hope they get them in time for Christmas. She spent a lot of time on the aprons. I was just the go-to person when there were questions. All the fabrics came from my stash so she helped me lower the volume.

That's it for today. I did no sewing at all today. The time went by with trying to mail packages to England and California (one place is no longer a post office I found out), dentist appointment (just a thorough cleaning), then mailing the packages at a real post office outlet (they are now privatized), and then going to the Christmas party at my mom's nursing home. After that, I wrapped gifts to pack in yet another package so that it could get shipped to BC tomorrow where my eldest daughter and her husband live.

I'm off to bed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Updates, Christmas tree and Momiji swap

Well, first of all, I just got off the phone with the little girl in London. All is well and she will be spending Christmas with a friend of her sister's in Scotland. Two trains and a ferry ride on Christmas Eve.

Once upon a time, I wanted my very own Christmas tree in my kitchen. Just a small one that could sit on a small table would be fine. One day a few years ago we were at one of those big box hardware stores that have a nursery department and I found this twig tree. It was love at first sight and of course, once again I heard the familiar "What do you want it for, we don't need it, where are you going to put it?" You know, the words you don't really care to hear. The twig tree was totally collapsible and did not cost very much at all. It came home and usually sits in a corner of the kitchen but this year someone put it in the basement and I could not find it. Well, it was finally located and here it is. Doesn't look like much but it doesn't take up mush space either.

This is the tree as I saw it in the store.

Here it is decorated. This is not the usual spot for it but it fits fine. There is even a small angel as a tree topper.

Of course, the lights don't do it justice in the middle of the day but I guess you get the picture. I have small red Christmas ball ornaments and tiny Santas on it too.

A while ago I was involved in a Momiji doll swap with a Yahoo group I belong to - Decidedly Different Dolls. My partner and I were the last two to join in (having had fun doing the Hallowe'en doll swap.) Anyway, we were each other's partner and sent off our dolls at the same time. She lives in Washington state and she received my doll within two weeks of me sending it off. This was last month and I had no word of hers. I kept checking the mail every day and today, finally, there it was. It seems that the postal code was not clearly written and I suppose it went to some office so they could mark it in big fat magic marker. Well, here she is. Gotta love that face, eh? Her feet are wire too, just like her hands.

Well, that's the post for today. I've got to get back to some sewing...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Reading, writing and photos

Here's the next installment in my journey of making icicle dolls. She is hanging from a twig tree that I use in my kitchen. It is expandable and collapsible. I have not yet decorated it since I haven't found the little lights and balls for it.
This morning I was reading the local newspaper online. It's my homepage and I keep up-to-date with what's going on. It's quick and I can just skim the headlines. I decided to check the latest additions to a section they have called "Acts of Kindness." It's truly uplifting and I always enjoy reading what little things my fellow Torontonians and Canadians are doing to bring a little joy into the life of a stranger. Well, today, as I was reading, there was a letter (a note really because they are all small entries) from a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. It seems he wanted to publicly thank a lady who wrote to him. Through doing a little research (I am a librarian after all), I found out that anyone can write a letter to a soldier. I found a discussion group and there was an address where you send your letter and the letters are then distributed randomly to the troops. The letter can go anywhere a Canadian soldier is stationed. Since my son Eric is now teaching as a long term occasional (the regular teacher is on maternity leave), I thought it would be a wonderful thing for his grade 8 students to do. It is probably too late for a Christmas card but a letter would be nice to receive at anytime. Apparently, you can even send them a Tim Hortons gift card since there is a Timmy's in Kandahar. (don't know how that would work if the letter went elsewhere.) The postage is free until at least January 2010!
Here's the address: "Any Canadian Forces Member"
                               Op Athena
                               P.O. Box 5058 Stn Forces
                               Belleville, Ontario K8N 5W6

This is a wonderful thing to do and takes so little time. I will be getting down to some writing later today. While reading some of the other entries, I found that there were some really wonderful Acts of Kindness stories - especially done by the youth.

And now another photo. Since it is my daughter-in-law's 30th birthday today, there was a party to celebrate on Saturday to which my husband and I got invited to - along with all the young folk. She is the last of the group who was born in the 70s to turn the BIG 30 and so she had to wear a banner that said OLD. What a great sport!
This had been worn for one whole day by the person whose 30th birthday it was. It has now been retired (as you can see, it has been around the block) and there will be something else for the people born in the 80s to wear when they turn the BIG 30.
This is the cake that she picked out. Multi-coloured meringue - delicious. Happy Birthday Kate!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Update on London and Emma's Tree

So now that I have sent my goodies to London and the little girl has received them, I can show you what I have been working on. Some friends of Ayla's went to London to visit relatives and they were kind enough to offer to bring her whatever we wanted. I hurried up to finish these so that she could do a bit of decorating for Christmas - a little bit of home. She is doing well BTW, and both she and Allie have found jobs. February is the month that she and her oldest sister plan on coming home so we will be having a family get-together then.

Here is the completed Emma's Tree. I found some fabric snowflakes and sewed them on with a bead in the middle of each. It is just lightly quilted to hold the batting and backing in place. Ayla called it a piece of art.

Since Ayla will not be home this year for Christmas, and since her stocking is at home, I made her this Santa Mitt to take the place of a stocking. I bought the kit way back in October when Judy and I went to the creative Sewing and Needlework Festival. This kit was put together by my favourite Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan quilt store, The Quilt Patch. I wasn't too keen on the fabrics but was persuaded to sew it with all the fabrics in the kit. I hoped Ayla would like it.

It does have a thin batting and I machine quilted it just to hold it together. The lining is a thin fleece-type material. I am happy to report that Ayla opened these yesterday morning and she loved them. Now, I have to make a few more grown-up stockings for a few of the other family members. The ones that we have used for years and years are a bit childish but this is the first year I was given permission to make new ones. A new tradition I suppose.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas goodies

Isn't  this little guy just the cutest? I picked him up at Pet Smart a couple of months ago when we were there getting Baxter his senior dog food. This little guy was just $5.00 and I ask you, how could I not get him (should have picked up a couple more really.) He has squeeky noise-makers in both paws and both feet. My husband said I did not need another stuffed toy and wondered what I was going to do with him. He was quite persisitent and adamant that this little guy was not coming home with us. Then I said that this little, adorable, soft, stuffed doggy was going to to be given to Toy Mountain at Christmas. I have yet to make it to a mall that has Toy Mountain but I know that if there is another place (like Salvation Army) where I could drop him off, I will. He is sitting on a really bright quilt. More on that below.

Here's a full shot of this quilt. I did not make it. I bought it.
About three weeks ago, my husband and I went to some Christmas craft fairs. Two were in churches and one was in a nursing home. That's where I picked this up. I browsed the crafts that they had and nothing really got my attention. I did buy some baked goods (got to keep up your strength when shopping.) Anyway, there was table with used items manned by a woman sitting in a chair. I spied this quilt because of the bright colours but I did not pick it up to look at it. I went over to check out the silent auction stuff and then I noticed that the lady had picked up the quilt and started re-folding it. I asked my husband to go find out how much she wanted for it (I didn't want to seem too eager - you know how it is.) He said--------are you ready, here it comes---------"What are you going to do with it? We don't need it." I said just go find out. Well, he came back and said she wanted $5.00. Yes, you read right ---------$5.00!!!!!! I said to go and buy it. He did and it wasn't until I got home that I really took a good look at it. It is brand new, big for a baby quilt, made from scraps and leftover blocks sewn together to make a bigger block and machine quilted with a flannel backing. There was even a tag on the back from the maker stating that it was a baby quilt and was to go for the Christmas Holiday Bazaar. Even my husband said that there was more than $5.00 worth of fabric that went into the making of it (he knows the cost of fabric since I have so much.) I will save it for a special little one.

Here's what I received a couple of weeks ago from Carrie. I would have blogged about it earlier but I was without a camera and then, when I got my new camera, I had to figure out how to work it and how to download. Anyway, this is from the Quick Christmas Swap that Vicki and  Jenny hosted. No sewing or making necessary. You were to send two fat quarters, one yard (or metre) of ribbon and two Christmas themed buttons or something that you could sew on. She even tied it up in mini rick rack. Thank you Carrie. If you go to her blog, you will see what I sent her.

Now, I am off to go and sew some more Christmas things. I will post more of what I have already made but it is on its way to the little girl in London and I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise. More on her later too.