Thursday, December 31, 2015

Explore 2016

Where less will be more.


Last year I decided to continue with the theme of Explore. We finished renovating the house in Ashcroft, purged a lot of our belongings, sold the house without listing it, and moved to Kamloops on July 1. The Spousal Unit had to start chemotherapy for his cancer in the fall. Explore 2015 went out the window quite quickly due to all of this. It was quite the year and one we hope not to repeat for a few years.


I will continue to explore again this year with the theme of less is more. Though we purged, we still have too much in certain areas of the house. It needs to be dealt with as we redo each room in the house. Plans will be made and they can be broken or unplanned if necessary.


Lifestyle will be the forefront once again. As we age, we need to take care of ourselves.
  • Exercise - I walk a good distance most days at work and lift bolts of fabric on a daily basis. I want to get out and walk the River Trail three times a week and then begin my running program again.
  • Eating healthy with a once a week treat. Loose weight. I need to keep the stress levels down.
  • Support the Spousal Unit who continues undergoing chemo treatment. He should be done in February and will need time to regain his strength.
  • Update the upstairs of the house one room at a time. Take my time and not set a deadline.


It was a dry year for sewing in 2015. I was fine with that until late October. The closer I got to upgrading the sewing room, the more I wanted to sew. I allowed myself to sew some Christmas gifts to fill the void. Now, I want to:
  • Watch Craftsy classes and start building slopers for myself. I see this as the best way to get good fitting patterns.  
  • Sew the stash up either for myself or give away some of the fabric I don't want. I have a lot of fabric I love, some I don't and a few pieces that are iffy. I do know some of the fabric will be used when I make slopers and will more than likely be trashed.
  • Build a wardrobe of simple clothing items. This is beginning to look interesting. Working in a fabric store allows me to sew clothing to display and promote fabrics in the store once a month. As I look at what I want to make, I see a style emerging thanks to a few blogs I read and what other employees wear in the store. I see leggings/slim pants in Ponte and other stretch fabric so I can bend and move easier. I also am seeing longer tops in knits and crepes and maybe items in fleece, boiled wool and a lovely faux suede. Maybe I will get a 6 PAC made.
  • Make the Spousal Unit shirts. I have a lot of fabric on hand for him and he needs a lot more shirts in the closet.


  • Start a new course to stretch my knitting. Basics, Basics, Basics or Taming Your Tension from The Knitting Guild Association.
  • Finish knitting the yarn for charity.
  • Start knitting for myself - socks, hats, scarves, mittens and a sweater
  • Knit for Grandson, Daughter, Daughter-in-Law


  • Work on photo albums.
  • Use up the craft/quilting cotton. Begin Christmas Once A Month and make several of the same items out of cottons until that stash is used up. Sell those items at a craft bazaar.
This year I plan on continuing the purging to have the More Is Less theme in our house. It seems to get easier with time. What is left requires me to be more creative in my thought process but ideas do come to me on what to do.

Welcome 2016

Bring on What You Have In Store For Me

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Great Experiences

The weather has been cool but not cold. We are experiencing warmer than normal minimum temperatures and normal maximum temperatures. We are enjoying that a lot. It did snow up in the mountains but nothing down at our level.


I worked 7.5 hours on Dec. 28. I was asked to stay to close so I could help set up tables. We moved full tables and refilled other tables with bolts of fabric. It was tiring but fun.
While I was at work and the Spousal Unit was sleeping, family was skiing at Sun Peaks. They did enjoy their day up there.
The videos showed that Grandson did well on skis.
We headed out to Sun Peaks again yesterday for dog sledding. After getting the ticket to go and having lunch, we headed up to the parking area to wait. Grandson played in the 12 foot high snow banks from plowing the parking lot.
Then a lady came into the parking lot to pick up the six riders. She brought a sled puppy named King to socialize with people.

 We walked down to where the dogs are kept and got to meet the musher for the sled Grandson and Daughter-in-Law were riding in.

Chris, the musher was fabulous and took us to meet the dogs.
When the sleds were prepared for people to get in, the dogs started to bark and howl. They were ready to be hooked up and run. Usually they put 8 dogs on a sled but this sled got 10 dogs for this run. A very special treat.

And they were off.............
Grandson got to be a mini musher and had a ball according to him and mom.
He helped Chris mush most of the trail. What an experience to have.
At the end of the run, this dog said it all.
The dogs were fed chunks of fat and a thick chicken soup for a job well done. The comment made was by Grandson that when they come back someone wants to ski and dog sled again.


There is lots to do around to prepare for a family to head home the next morning. We are certainly going to miss them. We will be out for a hair cut, ship parcels, and get a few things. The afternoon is to start a memory book of this Christmas.

Until the next time.........................

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Plaid Meets Lace Infinity Scarf

Yesterday was warm but cloudy.  The high got to 6.7C or 44F. Though it was cloudy, we saw only a trace of precipitation. I do believe there was a skiff of snow up higher on the hills.


The Spousal Unit’s abscess is healing nicely. He now goes every three days to be checked. He is feeling so much better. Hungry and more energy. Just in time to have it kicked out of him again. He has chemo again this week.

We had two young ladies look at the suite yesterday morning. They commented it was the nicest one they had viewed. They will let us know if they will take it. I have let another person know it is available and she is looking on Wednesday.

After they left, we hauled items upstairs from the one bedroom and kitchen and I got them cleaned. Baseboards dusted and floors washed. The Spousal Unit levelled the fridge. We are moving forward to getting the unit cleaned and ourselves unpacked.

We changed the light bulb in the basement stair well as it burnt out. The bulb was black and we wonder if it was bought black or if it turned black as it aged. The stair well is really bright now. Hmmmmm, I see dirt I didn’t see before.


I made a scarf today. It is an easy sew. The pattern is Fifteen Minute Plaid and Lace Scarf and was quite easy to make. Thank you to the customer who told me about this scarf. It is a beauty.

Materials Required:

Half a meter of the two plaids (that is about 20” so you can cut on plaid lines) I used a 60” wide fabric that is a brushed cotton but you could use flannel that is 45” wide.

Half meter a of crochet look lace; one wide width and one narrow.



I took the time to cut the plaids 18” wide on the plaid lines. If using 60” wide fabric, cut the large plaid 45” and the small plaid 36” long. On 45” wide flannel, cut one the width of the fabric less the selvage edges and the other 36” long.

Pin the two pieces together at the short ends making sure the end are even.


Sew together with a half inch seam and press the seam to one side.


Pin the wide with lace onto the scarf making sure that the bottom end of the lace covers the seam. Stitch in place top and bottom.


Next fold the scarf in half so it is long and narrow. Take the time to match the plaids at the seam for a professional look. Pin in place and sew with a half inch seam. Press the seam open. Trim the excess lace away. Turn to the right side.

Turn under a good half inch on the small check end. Lining up the seams on both the open ends, put the folded end on top of the large plaid to make a seam. Pin it in place using a line on the large plaid as a guide.

Turn under one end of the narrow lace and place it on top of the seam. Slowly stitch down the center of the lace making sure you have a tube as you go around. Flip the lace up onto the sewing machine when you need to pin more of the tube in place. Work slowly until you are about 5” from the end (or is it the beginning).


When you have reached the spot where you can’t go any further, hand stitched the ends together and then hand stitch the lace down in place making sure to turn under the end and sew the ends together. Be careful not to sew the tube together. I did it in one place and had to pull it out.

It took me a bit of time to get the scarf looking great. I did make a figure 8 and then worked at it to look as nice as the picture of on the blog.


I was about an hour doing this scarf only because I fussy cut the plaid and took my time to get the plaids to match at the long seam. A great gift or craft bazaar item. It cost me $15.00 for the supplies and I think it is worth $30.00 - 35.00 at a bazaar. Note: the response I got on Facebook makes me wonder what those people would pay for this scarf.


I continue to knit on the scarf and am now knitting one pattern set of 11 rows every night. Last night I did 2 sets as I work late on Thursday night. I won’t get it finished before Christmas so will be finishing it up in January.


Today, we head out for the Spousal Unit to give blood for pre-chemo numbers. We will shop to get some basics and then home. I work from 12:00 to 5:00. Tonight I have to knit another 11 rows on the scarf. I doubt if anything will come up from the basement though I should unpack a box that is already upstairs. It is going to turn into a time thing.

Until tomorrow……………………….

Friday, October 09, 2015

Bag Ideas

Some ideas that I found include:
  1. Lunch Bag
    This lovely bag has a drawstring top added to a square bag. Perfect for putting yarn and needles into and taking along to classes or on a trip.
  2. Lined Drawstring Bag
    This is a basic drawstring bag which is delightful. The free tutorial is for one size only but you can buy the pattern in many sizes. And there is a free tutorial (download a pdf) to add pockets to the outside of the bag.
  3. Make Up Bag
    This cute little bag is great for holding knitting notions. I will probably make one and put a few notions in it. I am thinking of making it a bit bigger.
  4. Triple Zip Pouch
    One of these may appear and into it I will put some notions for her to use on a project. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ideas For The Sewing Room

 I did some pintrest searches and got a couple of ideas.
  1. LLadybird's Sewing Room has a unique layout and isn’t what I have but she has some neat ideas for storage. The one big ideas I got from her was the cart she rolls out from under the cutting table. Ideas are floating for this one. I will have to look around.
  2. Diary of a Renaissance Sewer's Studio is full of ideas. Very full where as I want the less is more idea. But……… she uses storage cubes to hold her supplies which is something I want to do. She built a great cutting/pressing table which I love but, at this time I will keep my cutting table. I love how she has a mix of red and green fabric boxes to hold items in. I will be doing that.

    I noticed that her room does not have a closet in it. My room does and that is where a lot of my fabric and pattern drafting items will be stored. She also has a computer area which I don’t think is going to happen in my room though I do have to house all the internet/TV modems. I want to have a TV and DVD in that room also. That will be housed in the cubes which will be 5 or 6 high. Plenty of storage.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Ashcroft Roses

The Spousal Unit’s roses are looking awesome this year. They love the heat we have been having. This bi-coloured rose was my Mother’s Day gift 5 years ago and it is looking lovely.

The others are gorgeous also. One rose we thought had died but it came back looking different this year. Its petals are ruffled rather looking like the typical hybrid flowers it produced last year.

The yellow rose is its usual beautiful self. There is really nothing more to say about it.

We do plan on having roses in the city and will be choosing which ones we want carefully. We tried not to have two of the same colour but it happened.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Flower Baskets

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Here is how I do my hanging baskets:
  • You will need hanging basket, potting soil, 3 to 4 plants per basket, starter fertilizer and slow release fertilizer. The Spousal Unit uses a trowel, I use my hands.
  • I use three different colours of Supertunias in the baskets. If I can get the ones that have Vista on the marker I am happy though the others work well also. My favourite combination is white, light pink, and bubble gum pink. This year I snuck red into a couple of baskets. For our baskets (11 – 12”) I use three plants per basket.
  • Use fresh potting soil each year for the hanging baskets. We put the old potting soil in the garden or flower beds. Wet the potting soil until it holds together and no water runs out (OK, I put in more water than the Spousal Unit but he is the pro here). As you put in the soil into the baskets, press it down to remove air spaces. We mix our soil in plastic tubs that Rubbermaid sells for doing dishes in.
  • Fill the baskets with soil to within a couple of inches from the top.
  • Prepare a solution of water and plant starter fertilizer. We use both fish fertilizer and chemical. Both work equally well. This will promote good root development in the plants.
  • While in the small pots, trim your plants to take off the top flowers/buds of each plant. This forces them to become thicker (stool out). I use scissors for this job. You don’t have to do a perfect job. Snip, snip, snip and your are done.
  • Dig three holes in the pot for the plants (I use my hands). Take the plants out of their little containers and play with the roots to spread them out. Don’t be afraid to mess with the roots. Put some starter fertilizer into the holes, put in the plants, and press dirt around them.
  • Add some slow release fertilizer to each pot. I sprinkle 2 scoops around the soil of each pot and don’t have to do it again for 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Water daily as these baskets will use a lot of water when the plants get big. Our irrigation system keeps ours wet but we water them daily until system is on.
  • We keep our hanging baskets in the greenhouse for 3 to 4 weeks as I do them early. I want them to be well established prior to going out but that is a personal choice. Also I do them when we still have a good chance of frost. Other people do their baskets after the chance of frost has passed and put them out right away. Either way is fine.
When I do the tubs, I dig up the soil in them and soak the dry dirt with a solution of water and starter fertilizer. We remove part of the soil every couple of years as these tubs take a lot of soil to refill. I remove all the flowers from the plants prior to planting them. I also play with the roots to get them spread out prior to planting them and use starter fertilizer for good root growth. Use the slow release fertilizer in your tubs also. I would use the slow release fertilizer on everything but that isn’t economical. The Spousal Unit waters the tubs that aren’t watered with our system daily and uses a weak solution (half the amount recommended) of 20-20-20 fertilizer daily.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Transformation

I had to take a picture of the front of the house yesterday afternoon. What a transformation. We have gone from this in June 2009:
to this in July 2012 after I had taken a course in doing hanging baskets and pots and we had ripped off some of the old siding:
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to this in April 2015:
The hanging baskets still need to go up and will look very similar to those I did in 2012. I do them like this every year as they are our mark in the neighbourhood.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A New Bind Off Method

I took a few minutes during mid morning break to cast off the seed stitch swatch. I bound it off in pattern as called for. It sat while I hunted for the post by Techknitter on binding off. She shows three different ways in which to bind off the last stitch. I chose b.
 I followed her directions carefully and it was a success.
No ugly last stitch. Here is the swatch prior to blocking it.
And after blocking.
My tension is better also as it is smaller than the first sample.
As I was blocking this swatch, I thought about how much I have enjoyed improving my knitting skills.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

A Few Firsts

snowflake border

Happy New Year a few days late. We arrived home yesterday. It was an interesting trip. We woke up to 6” of fresh dry snow in Edmonton which affected many flights as this storm seemed to be everywhere. We got on our plane to come home and left an hour late waiting for the pilot and co-pilot. Their flight was 45 minutes late coming in from Toronto. Vancouver was rainy (so what is new?) and when we landed in Kamloops, we were in the midst of a snow storm. We grabbed our baggage and headed home as the roads were in wintery condition. Got home late afternoon and are now under a snow warning with freezing rain expected Monday afternoon.

Our trip to Edmonton was fabulous. We had a great time with Son, Daughter-In-Law, and Grandson. We did a few firsts………

  • Got all of the Lego Mini Series 13 figures by Dec. 30 (three trips) and that series wasn’t to come out until Jan. 1, 2015. Daughter-In-Law has them at their house.
  • Went to Lee Valley and looked at what they had. It was something we wanted to do and were happy that we did it.
  • Bought yarn in a beautiful yarn shop to make our Grandson socks. Got a new sock pattern that is very interesting. I also got the wool yarn for the first knitting course I am going to take.
  • Drank ice wine which is sweet.
  • Had Ukrainian food New Years Day of which we enjoyed.

Today we need to unpack, shovel snow (the Spousal Unit) and get back into the routine of renovations, decluttering, cleaning, and eating properly. Tackling lifestyle first though there will be a bit other parts thrown in to keep the mix interesting.

Until tomorrow……………………….

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Explore 2015

Where less will be more.


Last year I decided that I would Explore 2014. And explore I did for most of the year. Along with being a great start down a new path, it was exciting and fulfilling. During the year, the Spousal Unit and I realized that it is time for change. Was it to be Plan A or Plan B. What we knew regardless of the plan, less is becoming more in our lives.

In 2014, I explored with no strings attached. What ever hit my fancy I did in the areas of sewing, knitting, and crafts. Lifestyle was to remain constant, which it didn’t.


In 2015, I am adding a few guidelines (which can be broken). If less is to be more, I need to focus on that.


This is to become the forefront of our daily existence. With lifestyle, we will continue to:

  • Declutter and purge things in our house and lives. We want to do some traveling even if it is only day trips.
  • Enjoy our grandson. We love him to death, enjoy Skyping with him and want continue visiting with him.
  • Run – Yes, run. I want to build up (again) to running 5 km 3 times a week
  • Introduce some other form of exercise 3 times a week.
  • Eat healthy to keep my blood sugar under control. To embark on a journey of weight loss.


  • To make patterns for myself and slowly build a basic wardrobe. It won’t be a fancy wardrobe as my goal is to get TNT patterns. This means cutting into my stash and if it fits, all good and well, if not, donate it and try again.
  • To watch the Craftsy classes I have purchased and use the information for sewing the garments I plan on making.
  • To make the Spousal Unit more shirts. He loves his shirts to be made as they fit better and I make them exactly to his specifications. Two pockets, longer body, and XL sized cuffs to fit around his XL wrists.
  • To make 3 or 4 dresses for the little girls I sewed for last  year. These are fun items to make and greatly appreciated. I want to design sleeves for the next batch of dresses so they can be worn in the fall and spring.
  • Limit the hours in the sewing room again. Walk out when I want to and if I don’t go in on any given day, that is fine.


  • Purge, purge, purge. Limit the items I want to make and pair the fabric and patterns together.
  • To sew grocery bags for the food bank. I would love to commit to 4 bags per month but I feel uncomfortable doing that.
  • To sew some gift bags out of some of the Christmas fabric I own. It may or it may not happen.


  • To knit up all the yarn in my stash. That is a pretty broad statement but one I plan on doing. But I am creating a couple of sub categories.
    • Sort the yarn into acrylic and natural fibres.
    • Knit acrylic for donating to charities and natural fibres us. 
  • To learn continental knitting and to start taking courses which will critique my knitting and force me to be a better knitter.
  • To look at my knitting needles and decide on what I want to buy to complete my collection. Knit Picks or Turbo Addi?
  • To choose projects that begins to stretch me – advanced beginner to intermediate to master. 
  • To make a new knitting bag and to have a couple of small totes to carry small projects in.

What I love about knitting is being able to take my knitting with me. I keep a lot of patterns on the iPad and can tuck it and my projects into my knitting bag.

I have added a few specific things to do but my focus in each area is purging while working on techniques. If more is to be less, then this is the year to do it. 

Welcome to 2015!