This part of my blog is all about the things I collect or the things I make myself. I love so many things, I paint and draw and want to learn oils and pastels. I knit and crochet but want to learn tatting. I embroider and can turn my hand to most things given a chance. So much still to learn and do. I live in hope of some day reading all my books, learning all I want to learn and now I am learning to blog. You will often find my original poems, poor as they are I offer them here. I also appreciate other people art and will feature things I find that I have enjoyed. That includes pictures of fairies and fantasy or maybe just anything beautiful.
I try to use my own photo's as much as possible, sometimes I borrow from the web. If I inadvertently use your picture without giving credit, please do let me know and I will either credit or remove it, I hope you will do the same with mine.
If you wish to leave comments on my blog you can do that by joining google if you do not have a blog yourself, please comment if you can I appreciate that.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just a few today.............

On Saturday we took all four poodles to Brenda's Pet Parlour for haircuts. We had to do it in shifts.Two by two. They shake like its mid winter and they are outside or something. Funny how they know where they are going. The groomers or the vets. You would think they would love being groomed and relieved it's not the vets. Brenda always does a wonderful job and they always look so cute, they go in looking like strays and come out all beautified.
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Bijou is always cold after a hair cut. It has been almost a year since she had her last operation for stones. We keep her on antibiotics and special food. She still has her treats etc but so far is acting pretty normal. Thank goodness we said no when asked about putting her to sleep. She is active, happy and seems as though she has a few more years in her yet. We take it one day at a time and are thankful she is not in pain.
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Bella is looking sweet as always. I love them with long hair but it gets matted and their ears get mucky.
She was keeping warm on the heating pad and chewing a chewy
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Brea was hiding in her usual spot
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Brenda says Bodi is like a little bowling ball. She has bad hips and knees and so Brenda just rolls her around to get her done.
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Between picking up two and dropping two off I just had to stop in at the Goodwill store right there where Brenda's shop is. Could not help myself. Thankfully not much for me today. Some of their prices are too high for me for things I don't actually need. Still I found 3 treasures. This little pot for one
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A teapot. I like this one and may keep it inside. Not sure yet. I have a couple that have chips in that I will put outside and replace them with this one.
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Then this little candle house thingie. I pick these up when I see them and have a sort of collection in the house. I already have this one so it will go outside.
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I did find when looking through my garden stuff that a lot of things I made didn't survive the storing in the garage. What with Tristen moving his things in and out and my husbands idea of packing things away. Well, lots of broken things. I am saving that china stuff and maybe use for mosaics (like that will happen hehe)
So all for now.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

wash and brush up...........

Tristen's room was terrible, he had written on the walls and any surface he could manage it seemed. We could not keep up with it. The worst thing was when he got into the ice cream, it had to be chocolate naturally. He managed to sneak 3 ice cream sandwiches. The wrappers went under the bed and I think maybe some of the ice cream too. Anyway it would not come out of the carpet. I will have to try again another day. Meanwhile Gerry painted the room. We had some left over paint that he mixed with white. Didn't have enough. So he had to go get some more.
I won't post a before picture because I have some out on the blog somewhere. This is how it looks now.
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Tristen wanted his bed moved under the window again. We will bring up a headboard tomorrow. We made enough mess today. So we swapped things around after it was finished. I want the headboard to protect the glass. Or I should say, protect Tristen from the glass. I don't trust him not to jump on the bed.
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We put back the pictures and stuff and found a place for everything else. We need to downsize those dang stuffies again. I have a bag of them in the closet in the other room. It's so hard to throw them away or give them away. Who wants to hurt their feelings right.
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A picture of him and his mum.
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It's nothing fancy but for a 6 year old who won't take care of his things just yet, it's the best we can do.
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I spruced things up with a change of blankets, we had too many at first so I put some away for later. I am glad I did.
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We will see how long his room looks like this. He knows if he does well, on his birthday he can get a TV for his room. We have had so many behaviour problems with this ADHD. Sometimes it gets very frustrating. He broke the last tv by jamming a couple of cds in the tray and broke it. So we hold that out as a carrot on a stick in the hope of tempting him. We try to use rewards, bribes if you like to get him on track sometimes.
For now he likes his new look. We shall see how long it lasts.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Indoor Survivers......................

This year when I put out the houseplants, (if it ever warms up) I think I will leave them out. I don't like all this stuff in the house. It looks pretty sad by the end of Winter. So........new ideas. The Spider plants do really well outside from Spring through Fall. They are big and lush when I bring them back in. Trouble is they get scrawny over the winter and I bring them inside because I hate to see them die, and also then have to buy more in the Spring.
The same for Cyclamen. They don't do well inside unless I never put them out. They are like my African Violets, they like a certain window and are not happy anywhere else.
My Christmas Cactus is blooming now. It's ever so pretty when it does. I think I may get a couple of nice ones this year and stick with just a few inside plants.
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I know they come in a variety of colours, they like the windows too.
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The Cactus does not need a lot of help either. I like that. I have a few plants inside that wont be coming back (shhhhhhhhh don't tell them)
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I don't know what this next one is called but it is also a sort of cactus. It does really well in the house and I have split this one from one original plant, into many.
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It is not fussy. It does well in light and more shady corners. I had one that a friend gave me many years ago and it is now in several pots. I should give some away.
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Once I can shift some of the others outside I will sort these all out, repot those who need it and give new soil and munchies (plant food) to them all.
One plant I brought inside is looking really nice and I will keep this one inside now. Its some kind of Begonia I think. I wonder if it will bloom. I don't really care because I love the foliage.
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I brought two inside because I loved the leaves. The other one is bigger and leggy, it just needs to be repotted. That will get attention as soon as I can get everyone sorted out for the Summer. I may just keep that one inside too if I can make it look a bit better.
The other house plants that do well for me are the Devils Ivy or Pothos (sounds like one of the Three Musketeers)
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This one I can split and just grow in water. They like shady corners and last forever. If you buy one, you will never run out. Almost impossible to kill. Well, some people can kill anything but these will give you a good run for your money. YOu can tell when it needs water but just dont overdo it. Even so you can grow them in water instead of dirt so........hmmmm.
I have a Peace Lilly that never blooms. I put that outside every year and it doesn't bloom out there either. So will that come inside next year? I don't know. I just hate to let things die. I just don't have room for them all. I have a small Snake Plant that is doing well and will repot that one and it can stay. I like those who do not need fussing.
My African Violets are the best, they have a window they like and bloom all the time. That table is full though.
So Spider Plants. You best behave or wont come in next year. I wish I could plant them outside but they wont survive the snow. I could put them in unused bedrooms but would forget to water them. So what will I do? I do wish I could keep Geraniums over winter too, lots of people do. They don't do well for me though and neither does Ivy. That I do plant in the ground for the next year.



Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bits and Pieces...................

My Pretty Things, awwww I have not had anything to post in awhile. Today though I did do some baking and got some bread ready to pop in the oven. So I will mix todays effort along with a few pictures from my sketchbook. I have not been out to thrift stores in awhile. I think I need to go soon. The kids have broken at least two of my large outdoor pots and as those are upwards of 60 dollars a piece to replace, I think I will check out thrift stores.
Meanwhile. Today I made bread sticks. Tristen loves breadsticks and I had been scouting things on Pinterest. I did find a recipe and so off we go. I already had some pizza dough and had taken it out of the freezer last night. Today I took it from the fridge to come to room temperature. I didn't want to make pizza but had left over spaggetti sause from last night. Seemed like a good lunch for the kids. Bread sticks and Marinara sauce.
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I rolled out the dough and melted some butter, to the butter I added some garlic and brushed it on the dough. I topped that with Parmesan cheese. Oven at 450 I baked for about 20 minutes. Keeping my eye on it browning.
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The kids loved it. Tristen ate one piece and I ate 6. Reina had 3. It was so tasty and crunchy.
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I will get more pizza dough and will do this again for sure to have with any Italian dish.

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I will just throw a few sketches in between. I had been trying coloured pencils and didnt like it. The paper is not water colour paper and so is wrinkled but I don't care. I had to go back and redo things best I could.
SO, the next thing I did was to make again my hot crackers. We love these. I used to do them without baking them. In that case you need a very large bin of some kind to mix everything and keep turning until they are all coated. Several days, and who wants to wait. So now I bake them and they are ready to eat right away. Goes really well with cheese.
I have posted the recipe before so will skip that. You can always leave a note if you want it but don't want to search.
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More pictures
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With the same box of Saltines I made one of our favourite snacks. Sweet and salty these go down well. The kids like them and so do the adults.
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Start with Saltines on a cooking tray lined with foil.Boil the butter and brown sugar.
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Pour that over the saltines and pop in the oven for 10 mins. Then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Spread when they melt.
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Refridgerate to set and then break them up. Soooooo good. These two things with Saltines I make all the time. Great snacks that are cheap and go a long way, plus everyone likes them.
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Another couple of pictures to finish up for today.
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Thats it folks, it's a wrap for today. I am going to have to get cracking and start some new projects or something, very soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bread and scones..................

I was going to do more but thought about the calories. I tried some Soda bread yesterday. It tasted really good but was very dense, Gerry wasn't to keen on it. He said it was OK. That usually means not good. I liked it so thought I would try a different recipe. I didn't have buttermilk and most recipes for Soda Bread calls for it.I was looking for a recipe that used milk. The one I did yesterday had me add vinegar to the milk to curdle it. Now my friend Donna's husband Kim is a good cook, so Donna gave me the one he made that she liked. I figure if Kim liked it, it must be good. LOL. So after I spent the morning cleaning the house I got down to it.
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Soda bread is very easy to make, it does not use yeast and so does not rise like regular bread. It's very basic
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The basic recipe is flour, baking soda, salt and milk. Not a lot different to the scones really. The difference with this one was its put on a greased baking sheet and covered. The one I did was in a cast iron skillet and not covered. Plus mine was not cooked as long and so didn't go the lovely golden brown that this one did. We live and learn and I am still learning to bake bread. All kinds of bread. I am all for this quick stuff. No waiting hours for it the rise. Its great with soup or spaghetti. It would be great toasted with garlic butter.
Next I did the scones.
Last time I did the scones they did not turn out like Donna's did. They were good enough to try again though.
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I used 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream. Butter, flour sugar and salt. This time I put in some sultanas, cherries and cranberries. I cooked them 2 minutes longer and I must say they were perfect this time.
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They were very tasty.
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The frosting was simply butter and powdered sugar and I thinned it with cream. Whipping cream that is. Whipped it up and it tasted very good.
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I had some left over. Not enough to do anything with and I resisted the temptation to just eat it. Honest, I did not eat it. What a waste of good creamy butter.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Quilts............

Quilts that I make and quilts that I find at garage sales. Well, there was a time I didn't like quilts. I thought they were ugly. Yup..........sure did. Then I went with friends and took a class. A Nine Patch. My first quilt and my introduction to FABRIC. Oooooh boy!!!!
It is addicting. The need to collect. I am a collector of many things and fabric became #1.
I also began looking for quilts at garage sales. I found a few nice ones that were shop bought but that I liked. I decorated with those to begin with. In fact the quilts on my beds at this time are all shop bought. The idea of something that took me so long to make, being wrecked by kids, well that's not going to happen. The Poodles have a pretty one to lay on and I didn't make that one either.
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My bed has a pretty quilt, didn't make that one either.
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This one I did make and it sits on the back of the sofa in the other room. I really enjoyed that one, a log cabin quilt. One of my first.
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I found the next one at a garage sale. Its old fashioned. It's sewn my machine but quilted by hand
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A lot of work to end in a garage sale. The next one, a yellow one, is all hand done. Its not too pretty but it's all sewn and embroidered by hand. I could not leave it there.
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Tiny stitches too.
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This old one is all hand tied. Whoever made it used one fabric that did not hold up. I bought her with the idea of mending and replacing the worn pieces.
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Bessie thought she would help
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I have collected quite a few old quilts over the years. I am sure they were all well loved and should not end up in someones sale. I will treasure them and when I find a use for them I will use them. I do put some out on the front porch in summer.
I made this next one in a class.............I do not really enjoy the more complicated ones, I have no patience. Now it's hard to see to cut the small pieces. Well that's my excuse.
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There are several things I would never attempt again. My friend Barb who does the long arm quilting will thank me.This Star one is one I will never do again. Oh my..........well I was only just learning and it was a bit much. I could not square it up and Barb had to hammer it down with rows of stitching haha.
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I hide that one, the edges look Ok though.
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The next one turned out quite well actually and I didn't mind doing it. Trouble is one can only use so many quilts and it was a very odd size when done. So it pretty much useless except as a wall hanging.

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I keep all my found and made quilts tucked away on shelves as decoration. Every room has some in that we use.I have one from my friend Nancy on that shelf and will bring that out when I need a change.
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I made this wedding ring wall hanging for Laura, in a class. Won't do that one again either.
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This is a knitted blanket my mum made. Not my colours any more. It stretched over the years and will now fit a queen size bed haha.
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Talking of knitting I rescued this knitted lap rug from a garage sale. Goodness, how can people get rid of stuff like that. I have another more intricate one that is not shown today.
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All the old ones are tucked away and not forgotten.
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They sit on the backs of chairs or under tables or on the benches, somewhere, still loved and displayed. The ladies who made them thought of now and then who ever they were. Me, well I am still plodding on trying to use up my stash. I can't go in a quilt shop and not buy something so I have to make the effort to use up what I have while I can still see. Right now the garden will be priority until the weather gets warm again and its too hot out there. My sewing machine is on the table in the dining room and the fabric is in boxes on the floor. I just have to get back to it.