Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Card Exchange - Feb - Red Raffia

Used this beautiful screen printed designer paper on this set of cards.

I used a Cherry Cobbler card base for card number 1. 

Cut the DSP to 4.00 x 5.25 inches and adhered to card front.

I chose 2 pieces of left over card stock in greens and used the SU Eyelet Border Punch on the bottom edge of both of them. 

Layered them together and punched 2 one eight inch holes evenly spaced from the center.

I pulled the Cherry Cobbler Raffia through and knotted it on the front.  This layer was adhered to the card front about 1.5 inches down from the top edge. 

It was adhered with 3D foam tape. I unraveled the raffia to have the ties spread out.


For this card I used a Chocolate Chip brown card base.

I added a decorative paper layer leaving a small border. 

I used the light green card stock and punched both edges with the Eyelet Border punch.  

I wrapped a length of Early Espresson Taffeta Ribbon across the front and taped the ends to the back. 

Place 2 one eight inch holes evenly spaced from the center, pulled the raffia through and knotted it to the front.   This layer was adhered to the card front with 3D foam tape.  White blank inserts and white A2 envelopes. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I brought these beautiful flowers home this week.  They are a sympathy bouquet with pink roses, freesia and lilies on the passing of our dear Mom on Sunday, January 22nd. Some of her girls were with during her final hours and she passed peacefully.

These flowers were given to my sister but she could not keep them due to lilies and the cats. 

I am blessed to receive them and enjoy them - it is a gorgeous arrangement.

I am glad Mom is now with Dad and no longer in pain.


I received this Anniversary Clock when things were cleared from Mom's room at the Lodge. We were blessed to have many hands to make light work of moving furniture, clothes, appliances, sewing machine and entertainment center.  She had been in the hospital since Dec 11th so we had some warning that she would not be returning to the Lodge.

I don't know the story of the clock and on my last visit with her she was not responsive so I did not get a chance to ask about it.  It must have been precious as she took it to the lodge with her.  Maybe Dad gave it to her for one of their over 60 wedding anniversaries.  I hope someone in the family will have the history.

It has been around for a long time I think.   It is battery operated and it chugging away keeping time on my shelf now.


I dropped some stuff at the ReUse Center this week and did pick up a few things.

There were some small glass ornaments - The Nutcracker on the left and mercury glass acorns on the right.

There was a good amount of the yellow pear fabric which came home with me.  Not sure what it may become - maybe a towel hanger for the oven door.

The Best Detective Stories of the Year - 1972 edited by Allen J. Hubin. 

There were several good stories in this collection.  They were short enough to finish in a half hour before going to bed.

Bizarre story about trying to photograph heaven as beings are being killed to achieve this goal.  Another about how man in a  large transport truck terrorizes a guy in a car on a lonely stretch of road. One story documents a number of financial deals which ends up with someone being hoodwink of lots of money in the end.  A turn of words makes the difference. 

Maybe it was not the best reading just before bed.



We are headed back into the cooler for the next few days.

I managed to get groceries and run a few errands before that arrived.



O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton was another great book in the Kinsey Millhome series. 

This central figure in this one is her ex-husband Mickey Magruder who now lays in a hospital bed in very bad shape. 

She learns that the circumstances under which she decided to end her marriage to Mickey may not be quite what they seemed.  Now, she must investigate the situation to clear up if and what she misunderstood.  Time is precious as Mickey is not long for this world.

Mickey was a cop and lost the job he loved and took a downward spiral - let's say not always on this side of the law.

It was interesting to see Kinsey have to look at her life and maybe see things and do things differently.   She usually is so sure of herself and generally a straight shooter.  A great read.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Sylvia's Simple Shots

My niece came up this week so we can take a trip to visit Mom in hospital.

My main nativity set is a White Matte Bisque Porcelain one by Avon.  I have a large stable to house them but of course all that is packed. She is always on the look out for additional pieces so she brought this 2nd Wiseman to me and the Angel Gabriel.  

Unfortunately, the did not come with their boxes so I will have to design a storage solution.  

I am still missing another wiseman, animals of every kind, and shepherds.

My sister called over the holidays as she had found some pieces but she thought they were Mary and Joseph so we let those go.

Another gift from my niece.  She bought a couple of these a long while ago when I was anticipating moving into a new place.  That did not happen and since I have gotten rid of the sofa (which I miss a lot!) she brought one of the chairs up.

Beautiful mid century lounge chair in a great yellow color.  It is vinyl upholstery in superb condition.  Dark wood frame in excellent shape. Comfortable.

It offers me a change from my glider chair so I am grateful she had room to bring it with her.





I finished this book - Katheryn's Secret by Linda Hall.  The story is set in Maine about a family cottage willed by Katheryn to her niece Sharon. 

Sharon is a writer facing a book deadline and taking time to visit Maine and the cottage is more important. Right?  She takes a couple of weeks with her teenage daughter tagging along. Her husband will join them a bit later.

Her aunt Katheryn Sullivan had not married and lived in this cottage with her sisters for many years.  She was eccentric, a dreamer, romantic and a storyteller.   Sharon finds a mysterious disappearance of a child and through the search for her resting place uncovers deep secrets. 

She finds folks who knew and did not tell but fortunately she was able to uncover the family history and bring closure to the events. 

I made a visit to the local ReUse Center as well.  I am working another version of essential oil diffusers/tree scent ornaments which features sewing thread spools. 

I was hoping to use wooden ones but only found a few.  Of course, the plastic ones are everywhere.  I will have to see whether I can achieve a look I am happy with using the plastic ones.

There were bits of velvet which should work wonderfully. Some colorful yarn and some wool skeins.

I will post when I have made a version I am happy with.


Another book completed - Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas.  This is my second book by this author and it was wonderful story based in Cairo Egypt this time.  The other was the Kashmir Shawl.

Her granddaughter Ruby from England appears on Iris's doorstep unannounced. She has run away and needs a place to stay. Can she?

Her quiet household with the houseman Mamdooh and Auntie the house keeper is disrupted by this young person and the friends she is making in the area. 

The novel moves between the years Iris was a young woman living in Cairo during the Second World War and her now at 82 years of age still living in Cairo but starting to lose her memories.  Ruby wants to help her grandmother preserve her beloved history so they start to set time aside to reminisce and capture the past.

It is a wonderful story which reunites 3 generations of women and helps Iris, Lesley her estranged daughter and Ruby the willful granddaughter see each other's point of view and life history.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Sylvia Simple Shots

I booked my 4th COVID Booster shot with health services and was given a pharmacy I had not been to before. I needed it done so I agreed.  I carefully walked the block and entered into a space with no one else in there.  Different for sure. I was quickly given my shot and waited my fifteen minutes. 

I limped home and all I had was a sore arm for a day.

I had been limping since the 6th of January but managing but not getting any better. 

After a urgent care doctor visit on January 12th, I headed for an ultrasound on my right knee/leg to check for blood clots the next day.

At home, on my way up the stairs I felt a pop in the back of my knee and the pain got 10X worse.

I spent the day waiting for ultrasound results, having a nurse assessment, a Zoom Medical Doctor visit and at last a call from my own doctor.  She confirmed no blood clots! Wonderful but what is wrong. After answering another ton of questions she had an idea what it might be. She did not a feel a visit to emergency was necessary and suggested icing and elevating and she would see me Monday, Jan 16th. 

In the meantime, I borrowed a walker and a cane from my sister who delivered it that afternoon. After icing the knee felt a lot better.

I have kept the cane, as physiotherapy has been prescribed but more about that later.


With some down time I finished this book - Sutton by J.R. Moehringer.

This story is centered around a real figure of Willie "The Actor" Sutton who was an American bank robber. So named for the disguises he used while committing his crimes.  During his forty-year robbery career he stole an estimated $2 million, and he eventually spent more than half of his adult life in prison and escaped three times. He did not kill a single person during these many robberies. 

He is pardoned Christmas Eve 1969 and he spends Christmas Day with a reporter and a photographer while they revisit the scenes of his crimes and other key events/crossroads of his life. I believe there were 17 marks on the map and they would have to be visited in chronological order.  

This book is very well written and a joy to read. 

Flickr Macro Mondays challenge was "shadows" this week. 

I took quite a few shots of several different things.  I was not able to decide and ran out of energy to actually post an image.

Here's one of the shots.

A glass bowl vase with a ripple edge. 



I am having trouble keeping track of all the stuff that has happened, no wonder I am exhausted.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Small Gifts - Car Cup Holders Coasters - Bunch 3

Another set of bespoke Car Cup Holder Coasters for nieces and nephews.

Top row - A new house for a niece who is moving in the new year.  A daisy for the wife of a nephew. An "D" initial for a nephew.

Middle row:   Yellow stars of a compass on navy with navy cotton and navy tabs.  I'm not sure I succeeded with my representation of a tire on the middle one. Red background, black tire and 2 tone grosgrain tabs. Black maple leaf on red for a niece with white tabs.

Bottom Row:   Airplane for the pilot nephew - ivory on black with grey cotton and ivory tabs. "T" initial for a nephew in orange and brown background, grey cotton and orange tabs.

Small Gifts - Car Cup Holders Coasters - Bunch 2

I made another set of Car Cup Holder Coasters.

These are for the guys in the family.

The first is J for the car he drives. A grey felt "J" on black fleece with black cotton on the back with two tone grey black grosgrain ribbon tabs.

The set on the right features the ocean and sunset in felt on teal fleece with teal cotton on the back. Yellow grosgrain ribbon tabs. 

Left again are 3 leaves in yellow, green and orange felt on green felt with orange grosgrain tabs.

Bottom right features an acorn designed with felt on black felt with black cotton on the back and brown grosgrain tabs.

Bottom left is the evergreen tree with sun and hills with yellow denim cotton on back with black grosgrain ribbon tabs.


Saturday, January 7, 2023

Family Christmas

We celebrated our family Christmas on January 6-7-8 2023.

We rented a ranch house so most of the out of town folks could stay for the weekend.  

The weather was great for driving - the sun shone and the highways were dry.  The place was still decorated for Christmas.  There was a large tree and fire place mantel had seasonal decor.  The house has 6 rooms with their own bathrooms.  We visited, played outside, prepared and ate food, enjoyed our potluck supper on Saturday evening. There was enough time to touch base with my siblings that were there.

I believe we were just about 30 for supper which was wonderful. 

Mom was not able to leave hospital to be with us. She was close so with the use of Face Time and 2 Ipads we were able to each have a bit of a visit with her a few at a time so she could recognize those she was seeing.  Thanks to those who made that possible.

There was turkey, brocolli salad, pyrophy (perogies), holopchi (cabbage rolls), tourtiere (meat pie), brussels sprouts and asparagus. Homemade buns made by nephew.  Wild cranberry sauce which is what we grew up with.  Baked and mashed potatoes. Yummy gravy!

A chocolate torte, fruit salad and much more.

I brought my famous Caramel Popcorn for snacks.

It was a great weekend and the first with out Dad who passed in May 2022.

We have been so blessed to have our parents for so long and be so constant in our lives.





I received food gifts for Christmas which are always appreciated.  I  have come to appreciate linen tea towels so those will be great.  Watercolor paper will be used in my family cards this year.

The yellow sunflower bowl will live on the dining room table for a while.  The silver trivet fits in really well with  my silver tea pot and accessories. This beautiful teapot ornament was part of my gift with the sunflower bowl.
I was limping around that weekend because on my way to wash my car on Friday, Jan 6th something happened to my right knee but more about that later.

Set of Cards and Greetings

I made a set of cards for my niece as a gift.  I chose designer paper and coordinating card bases.

The first 2 are the paisley paper with Kiwi Kiss, Soft Sky and Chocolate Chip bases with strips of Early Espresso and Choc Chip.

The bottom left and right are Basic Gray card bases with a coordinating designer papers. Featuring punched white card stock panels.  The punch is the Martha Steward Arche Lattice.







The top right is Old Olive card base with a coordinating designer paper with a ripped white card stock panel.  

The right is Groovy Guava card base with designer paper in soft warm blues and a ripped panel matching the card.

The bottom left took a while to figure out but found the card base needed to be Summer Starfruit. The designer paper is the same with the left strip turned to the other side. 

Middle right is a burgundy card base with a coordinating designer paper with a ripped white card stock panel.

The bottom right is Old Olive card base with striped designer paper with a ripped navy card stock panel.

The greetings included birthday, thinking of you in the colors of the cards I had made.

I added a pack of 3D foam tape to adhere them where ever on the card front she decided to use them.

The shapes included tags, circles and banners.

I hope she and her family will enjoy giving these cards throughout the year when special occasions arise and time is short.

This allows for a handmade card on a quick turn around.


Thursday, January 5, 2023

Sylvia's Simple Shots

I went for a walk on January 01 2023 with my aunt who needed to get out of her house for a bit.

The sun was shining and the temperature was decent.

We met at the Grey Nun's White Spruce Park which has undergone a renovation which has included improvements such as a outdoor classroom, a wetland overlook and more.

We were out for an hour at about 1pm. There were quite a few folks with the same idea but I think we were just ahead of the warmest part of the day.



 
My aunt hosted a brunch on Jan 2nd for her sisters and husbands.  I was one of two nieces included which was really lovely.

We had traditional meat pies (tourtieres) and her delicious onion pie which were gobbled up very quickly.

It was nice to catch up with my aunts. I picked up some art from one of my aunts to be delivered to family at our Family Christmas Celebration next week. 

The day was nice and the drive over was good.  

I stayed after the others left and helped her out with a few things and then we sat and had tea.

It was dark when I was headed home.

I put up my Sunrise Stained Glass Window which has been stored since early spring.

It was great that the sun actually shone and I could enjoy it's color on the walls.

I have missed these passed several months.

Made my day!




Sunday, January 1, 2023

Card Exchange - Jan - Silver Snowflakes

Some snow flake cards for January exchange.

I started with Not Quite Navy card base.

I added a blue snowflake designer paper which coordinated well but I purchased from Michaels years ago.  Cut it down to 4.00 x 5.25 inches.

I pulled out some old Satin Stitched Ribbon in the color Midnight Muse which was an in color at the time.  Works well with the warm dark blue. Wrapped around the designer paper and taped the ends to the back.

I created the accent with a silver fabric snowflake from the dollar store, then a white plastic snowflake sequin held together with a warm navy star tiny brad. Pushed through the DSP.  

The whole layer was adhered to the card front with double sided tape.

The card is in the tall or portrait orientation and the next is in the wide or landscape orientation.

This card is identical to the first one except the orientation is changed.

I added a quarter sheet white insert to the inside and a white A2 card.

These will be out to my partners very soon.




Saturday, December 31, 2022

New Year's Eve

I planned Crustless Mini Quiches and Baked Potato Stacks for supper and a decadent hot chocolate for dessert.

I baked both of those in a 6 cup muffin tin which worked out really well.  

The 4 quiches were placed in the remaining wells. I used my silicone muffin liners for easy removal and clean up.

I added some halved cherry tomatoes, some biscuits I had made earlier this week and a bit of grated Parmesan Cheese. 

This was very yummy!


This is the potato stack which was baked in the muffin tin.

I sliced the potatoes on my mandolin set on thin. I added a bit of olive oil and seasoning.  Some Parmesan Cheese on top.

The slices were placed directly in the metal muffin tin wells.  I filled 2 of them because I had reserved 4 for the quiches. The total baking time was 45 minutes so they went into the oven earlier.





The hot chocolate was prepared in one of my beautiful vintage crystal mugs.

I made the hot chocolate with hot milk and hot chocolate powder and then added a bit of table cream.

I made whipped cream just before supper and added a couple of dollops on the top then grated some dark chocolate to finish it off.

It was very delicious! 


I turned on my wax warmer with the Cinnamon Vanilla scent.  My favorite.

I placed a small tea light on the end table beside me with the great hot chocolate.

I did have to turn off the Christmas tree because it was reflected directly onto the TV screen.

I turned out most of the lights and enjoyed a quite evening.

I have watched the Harry Potter Movies several times and I have the full set on DVD. 

I had watched Part 1 the night before and decided to settle down and watch Part 2 on New Year's Eve.

They are always a great watch.

I enjoyed parts I had not remembered from previous viewings.

A feel good story to start the new year. 






Monday, December 26, 2022

Small Gifts - Car Cup Holders Coasters - Bunch 1

A bunch of 3" car cup holder coasters - V2. 

I chose thicker felt or fleece scraps for this bunch of car coasters.

For the top left hand set I resized a bird post it  note I have used on cards before. I cut the wing by hand. The background is a very textured caramel colored fleece.  I chose light blue felt for the bird, a dark blue for the wing and a light blue grosgrain ribbon. I chose a yellow denim fabric for the cotton piece on the back.  

The top right hand is a thick teal fleece with a yellow start felt accent. Yellow grosgrain ribbon and a teal cotton flannelette on the back. 

The middle right hand is the same caramel fleece as the first set.  I cut small mushrooms from orange and brown felt. This set has orange grosgrain and the same yellow cotton denim on the back. 

Back to the left center. This set feature red fleece with grey tuques. The tuques were cut by hand with a hand drawn pattern.  I sewed the ribs on the body and the rim. A grey grosgrain ribbon and a cotton tshirt fabric on the back. Bottom right set. I loved this scrap of plaid fleece. The colors are great so I just matched the colors with grosgrain ribbon. I chose Stampin Up colors More Mustard and Rich Razzleberry and stuck to the plaid geometric pattern.  More Mustard grosgrain ribbon tabs and black cotton backer fabric. Bottom left features royal blue fleece for the background and die cut hearts in white and grey felt. The back is jean denim. These are Christmas gifts for my sisters and niece. 


Small Gifts - Car Cup Holder Coasters - V2

I decided to make a few Car Cup Holder Coasters as Christmas gifts.

This time I chose to put a piece of cotton fabric on the bottom which will be better at absorbing moisture than the acrylic felt used in the original ones.

For this set I chose to make snowcapped mountains on a deep purple background. The purple felt is beautifully thick. Grey fleece for the mountains with white felt for the snow on top and bottom of the mountains.

I added a piece of grey cotton corduroy on the back side.  All outlined with straight stitch onto the background piece.

The sandwich was then cotton on the back, the grosgrain ribbon in between and the felt art design on the front.  The final circle to hold all these layers together was a tight zigzag stitch leaving a wide border. This allows the recipient to trim the 3 inch coaster to a bit smaller if their cup holders are on the smaller size.  I found on line that most vehicles have holders measuring 3" in diameter so that is what I went with. 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.   

I wish all a warm and safe season where ever you are.  

Friday, December 23, 2022

Sylvia's Simple Shots


The fourth Sunday of Advent. 

When things start to mount, health issues, the economy, sick loved ones, the loss of one who will not be here for Christmas, traveling in less than ideal conditions, the grey days and the very cold nights.

Struggling and rejoicing are not chronological steps but concurrent movements, one fluid with the other.

Even now I will be joyful in the God of  my salvation. All far is but the notion that God ends. When does He ever end?

Fear not!

The very cold temperatures are back again.  I am wearing layers and I have ever been so cold in my place.  Not sure why but the heating system struggles to maintain the 72F I am used to. 

This level of coolness indoors has be hugging my wheat bag warmed in the microwave and hunkering down with cozy blankets.

I have not ventured outside in these crazy temperatures and I am grateful that I don't need to go to work.

I have groceries enough.

I spend time on the internet and reading books.  Thank goodness I have a few I can choose from.





Graceline O'Malley by Ann Moore is one of the books I finished recently.  I was lucky that this is the first book in a trilogy. 

Set in the mid 1800s when the potato blight destroyed crops and left tenant farmers with no income. Gracelin only fifteen, is married off to a land owner to keep her family in the cottage they lived in for years.  She has compassion on neighbors who have been evicted from their homes due to their inability to pay the rent due to the landowner. 

I found the famine in Ireland so described in this book very hard to read about. It was devastating. Gracelin does what she must to keep her family alive.  

As political unrest sweeps across the countryside, she harbors Irish rebels -- her own brilliant brother among them -- keeping hidden, as well, the deepest secret of her heart. 

This was a great book and I will look for the next 2 books.

It is so cold that I am again taking photos through the windows.  

The sun continues to shine which is a blessing.

The snow as well makes things tricky for those who have to venture out.

I enjoyed another Patrick Taylor novel this week - An Irish Country Courtship.  This one set in the 1960s in County Down in Northern Ireland. 

Nice to revisit the family medical practice with elder Dr. Fingal Flatherie O'Reilly and the young Dr. Barry Laverty.  Barry has 6 months to go to become a full partner. He is going out with Patricia Spence an architectural student.  Dr. Fingal, a widower has recently been reacquainted with Kitty O'Hallorhan a nurse he met while at medical school. 

The courtship in this case is between the senior partner and a nurse. Barry and Patricia are struggling to maintain a long distance relationship when she goes to Cambridge to study. Barry becomes acquainted with a local teacher, Sue Nolan during a ringworm outbreak at school. 

A delightful books and I enjoyed it immensely. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Sylvia's Simple Shots

As we wait in the dark through the long night things can feel lonely, sad and discouraging.

We must remember that dawn does come.

Christmas can only be found.  

Christmas can not be bought.

Fill your heart with the hope an light that is coming.


I put up the tree this week as I was going to be hosting some teas for Christmas visits.

This is my wall tree that I made last year.  I still love it!

This year I decided to put some narrow green garland around the edge which nicely defines it.

I placed a couple of TV tables below it to allow me to hide the cord and put any other seasonal decorations I wanted.  Nice lacy tablecloth and one of my several Nativity sets as the main one is packed.  

I did not put all the ornaments I have on this year as I was up against a deadline.

It provides beautiful light to the living room.


Thank goodness the temperature warmed up a little this week and having friends over was possible.

I pulled out the red table cloth and the plaid Christmas place mats. 

A bit of healthy veggies and brie cheese with whole grain crackers were prepared.

Some clementines as there were not Mandarin oranges when I was shopping.  Supply chain issues.  I was grateful to get most of the food I was looking forward to.

I used my white Ikea dishes and mugs on the first tea and my White Regency for the second tea. 

A bit porcelain teapot of tea and a couple of hours of catching up and visiting with friends.

The Christmas Candle I received from my sister when she was in Germany.  It comes out every year. I have added a flameless candle to it in recent years.
I spent a day with my aunt making our traditional tourtieres (meat pies).  

We made a few small ones and a big one.  She is the one who makes the pastry so she decided that she was not making another batch so we just froze the meat in containers to eat in the next months.

The frozen filling may become pies or just eaten with pea and carrots which is my traditional way of eating tourtiere.



This tea with my friend featured just a few snacks.  Chocolate almonds, Ferrero Rocher and some cranberry and almond cookies.

Still a bit big pot of herbal tea and clementines.

I so enjoyed having a few people over this year for Christmas.




I set up one of several of my fireplace DVDs and just had the crackling fire for sound.  

It makes the whole living room feel very warm and cozy and festive.

The fireplace DVDs allow me the option of just fire, fire and crackle, or fire, crackle and music.  Some feature traditional Christmas carols and hymns.

I have one that features Christmas songs by Boney M. and another with nature sounds that I use after the Christmas season.

It works well for me.




I was given this book by a friend who enjoyed and thought that I would enjoy it too.

Miracles from Heaven by Christy Wilson Beam is a true story of the miraculous healing.  Christy and Kevin Beam traveled a journey of faith by putting one foot in front of the other. Their daughter Anna was diagnosed with an incurable, life threatening disorder.  The family endured through years with Anna suffering pain, invasive testing and treatments. Travelling many hours for specialized care, managing the care of their other children, the cost of treatments were part of their lives during this time.

When Anna suffered an accident that nearly took her life they thought it would makes Anna's life even worse.  In the days that followed her rescue she shared her stunning experience of heaven.

Anna was well following this experience. God is good!