Feb 10, 2022

Spending time

I was struck today by how meaningful the phrase "spending time" really is.  Yes, it alludes to the "root of all evil" (money) but there's meaning in that.  We all only have so much time, there is a limited amount, and how we choose to spend it, on what we devote it, shows what has meaning and value to us.

  "We noticed every minute we were with her, saying to ourselves "remember this time".  Now that she is gone, we rejoice in our wisdom and in our deliberate memories."  - Molly Fumia

We're so happy we made so many "deliberate memories" with Willow before she died.  

Dec 7, 2021

Willow is gone


Willow's obituary as it appeared in the local paper.

Nov 24, 2021

October's Magic

This year, our Hallowe'en was subdued due to Willow's declining health and I needed to keep it simple and easy and fun.  

We took part in a pumpkin carving contest, here's the coverage in the local paper:

and our two pumpkins:  

Hallowe'en night was pretty fair weather-wise and it only started to lightly rain around 7:30.  We had 69 Trick 'r Treaters in total, and saw some awesome costumes, great imagination!  

Here's our front yard:

We had some great pumpkins!  Love the one with all the spaghetti-like strings inside!

And once it got dark, everything was so much more spooky.

Sadly it was too windy to use real candles but the fake ones worked well enough.  And even though our display was "subdued" it was far more than anyone else on our crescent!  The neighbours around us did have some fun pieces, my favorite was the Great White Shark eating someone, ha!   I don't care for the inflatables, but that was a good one!  

The next night, we set up our altar to welcome back the dead with favorite treats and with our pumpkins to scare away the unwelcome.  

All in all, it was a good Hallowe'en.  Here are my two babies posing with our skellies by the "fire", which looked really good and is electric so it could be on all night. 

Nov 9, 2021

All the world should be slightly downhill

I wanted to share this little video when I made it back in March but somehow it never happened.  So here, belated but ever so close to my heart, is Willow using her Walkin Wheels on a trail near here.  Downhill is so much fun!  Zorro makes a fleeting appearance too.  

Oct 2, 2021

October comfort

 October is here!  And so are many seasonal harvest treats, like pumpkins!  

Here's one of my favorites, Soup in a Pumpkin.  Super easy, and you get to practice cleaning out a few pumpkins before you do your Hallowe'en Jack o Lanterns.

Bon appetit!

Aug 4, 2021

One hour and twenty minute beach

Regarding my post of July 20, once again what I hoped to do got pushed to the bottom of the list and didn't get done.  So today I'm following my own advice and doing it first!  And what I want to do is write about the second workshop we did:  the "twenty minute beach".

While my sister was here, she took the reins and guided us through the creation of a 2D needlefelted beach scene. 

This was inspired by a piece she gifted me for my birthday, a 3 3/4 x 6 1/2 inch beach image (along with a luscious fibre "Paradise Island" Living Felt sampler for making beach projects).  She said it was just a quickie, something she did in a twenty minute session.  Wow!  Just twenty minutes?  So she said we could all try it and see for ourselves!

The first thing we needed to do was choose an image for inspiration.  We easily found lovely examples online.

Sadly Mom backed out at the last minute (but after seeing the results she said she'd be willing to try if we do it again).


With pieces of backing felt cut to size (Kunin Felt made from recycled plastic bottles from String Theory) and fibre covering the table (from Fibrecraft, My Butterfly Green, Heidi Feathers and Dimensions Crafts), we jumped right in, the timer started!  

Choosing a dark color, we placed our horizon lines, then outlined other major features.  Doris advised that the sky should be dealt with next, and then the water.  This is where she showed the super easy way to blend fibres together, creating beautiful, unique two-tone lengths.  Lovely!  

This is where it also became obvious our session was going to be a one hour and twenty minute beach workshop!  With instruction and guidance, of course this was entirely expected but I think we were both surprised at our finished pieces.  Doris' little seagull and boat were a challenge and my stairs gave me a bit of trouble.  

Ta da!  
As you can see, my beach is very fluffy and loose, while Doris' is smooth, sleek and tight.  It's a very individualistic craft and allows for a lot of personalization.  

It was a really worthwhile workshop and I learned a lot of techniques and it's very different from doing a 3D object.  I think my fluffy image is me struggling to do something flat, I really want to try it again and pay more attention to my sister's technique.  But for a first try (and also a timed effort!), I'm very happy with my piece.  The goal for me is to get good enough to create "the" perfect beach with our dogs running on it, Willow's favorite place of all.  So next time we get together we'll hone our skills!  

Jul 22, 2021

Manufacturing creativity

Further to my last post, so how do you jump that hurdle to get started again?  I don't think collectively we've ever experienced anything like the COVID restrictions that have dragged on and on... and on and the damage they've done.  My sister even said that "creative despair" was a thing now, even with its own cartoon drawings!  To combat this, I thought about how can you manufacture creativity, how can you actively start the motions without the inspiration or passion?

So that's what we did!  My sister visited and we put aside time for a workshop I prepared.  All three of us (Mom joined in too) sat down and made needlefelted mushrooms.  Why mushrooms?  They're easy with a lovely shape and colors, can be used to create woodland scenes and none of us had ever made them so we were all beginners.  

I found some lovely pictures and printed them out and started the mushrooms' stems with a pipcleaner and some polyfill so we could start easily with the base in hand.

And we were off! 

It was really interesting to see how we all jumped in and

all with a different style of "poking".  Each mushroom materialized, and each was unique!  We all helped each other out, experimenting with how to make the white spots and different ways to make the annulus (the little skirt under the cap on the stem).

In about 2 hours, we had each finished a lovely fly agaric mushroom!  We felt great, we hadn't drawn any blood and had renewed our confidence.  Goodbye creative despair, hello magic mushroom!