Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beads for boobs

My local Curves does a monthly draw. Everyone who completes a workout puts their name into the draw for a product or service that is usually donated by members. I usually do something in October because it is breast cancer month. Here's why I did this beaded necklace:
My mom had breast cancer in 1987. Her sister was diagnosed a year later.
My mom's was caught early and a lumpectomy and radiation has had perfect check ups for 22 years.
My aunt's cancer was picked up later and she died about eight years after initial diagnosis.
Not surprisingly, my sister and I are big fans of mammograms, and since we both hit 40, we have never missed a year.
Mammograms aren't perfect, and yeah, they hurt. However, the "speck of dust" found on my mother's initial mammogram turned out to be a pinhead sized malignancy. It was an aggressive form of cancer that would have been untreatable by the time it had become a lump.
The necklace is offered to my fellow Curves members who are trying to live better, and in thanksgiving in a way, for all the moments my mom has been given because she got that mammogram. I am going to display the necklace on this "bust" while it is on display at my gym. I kind of like the irony! I made her little flower halo in honour of all the women who have passed on from breast cancer. They are missed, every single one of them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My aunts are amazing cooks. This recipe is from my Aunt Alma in Newfoundland, and it is pretty special -- not unlike Aunt Alma herself. Not only does she have a wicked sense of humour, she is also an amazing knitter. This is a company sort of dessert which showcases Ontario apples.

Aunt Alma's Apple Torte

1/2 cup margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 450.
Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla together until fluffy. Add flour slowly. Press soft dough into 9-inch spring form or torte pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Decrease oven temp. to 400.

8 oz (250 g.) package of cream cheese (light works fine)
1/4 cup sugar
Cream together, spread evenly over cooled crust.

4 cups peeled and sliced apples.
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
Toss apples together with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Arrange over cream cheese topping. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before removing sides from the pan. Serve cold.

I like to drizzle a bit of butterscotch topping as a garnish on top, but that's really just gilding the lily. Enjoy!

Found this touch lamp at Value Village. The shade is covered with left over fabric from some curtain ties. The trim was recovered from my daughter's stash (mommy was so proud). The original shade was sad looking. This one is quite swish and matches elements in the new room at university. We had a blast looking for all this stuff to re-do.

Some art I did for my daughter's new place. It has a little ledge where her cell phone can sit while it is charging. It is a refurbished monkey from Value Village with some artists's paper from Somerset Studio's summer issue.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Of all the lovely things I've made...there is little evidence

I made a really cool present for someone recently, and I was in such a hurry to make sure it got there on time, I forgot to pose it for a photo. Sad, huh? I am still working on the whole photo thing. I just can't seem to get it right.
Photography is kind of an illusive thing for me. I studied it during my journalism training, I practiced it daily when I worked on two small town papers, and I even knew how to develop and print photos. One would think that pointing and shooting in their digital age would be sort of easy. Not so, my friends. Now, I have work out artful shots. Therein lies the challenge.
If you have moment, stop by this site:
This is a wonderful CANADIAN on-line shop, that sells the most amazing array of little bits and bobs. Janice is a great photographer to boot. (She also has a wicked sounding chocolate cake recipe in one of her posts.) However, let us not concern ourselves about chocolate cake -- yet.
My awesome pal Suddenly dropped off some of the sweetest little zippered bags the other evening. I shared some fabric from my stash and it came back to me all dressed up. We have plans to go to Fabricland's 50 per cent off for members sale tomorrow. We might also work on making some zipper pulls from Fimo -- and yeah -- maybe even post some photos.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I fought the weeds and the weeds won...

The boy child and I spent the day pulling up the remains of our vegetable garden that never quite caught on, and then putting a thick layer of newspaper over the so-called soil. Then we covered it with some more cedar mulch. The whole garden smells like Muskoka now.
Before we did all that, I transferred my lavender plants from their summer containers to the garden. They produced well over the summer, so I have quite a lot of dried lavender for sachets and the like this year.
When I transfer lavender to the garden, it is in the hope that the plants will have time to get used to the new space before the frost arrives. I always seem to lose at least one plant per year. Our nights have been dipping down into the low double digits. Soon, the leaves will be turning.
I really love the fall, the colours are so amazing -- like a quilt that is pieced together perfectly.
It is pretty sad to see the garden die back, but then again, I really look forward to that first snowfall.
Here in the Great White North winter is old about two weeks after Christmas -- sadly, it doesn't actually end until long past Easter.
No matter. As long as you have a full work bin full of projects to finish, or even start, the whole thing seems to speed by in the blink of an eye.
School starts again next week! I can't believe how quickly the time goes. I am looking forward to some piece of quiet (a phrase made famous in our family by a young cousin), so I can get involved in some sewing.
Never mind all this woolgathering about the seasons, there's still a billion things to do until supper lands on the table.
I've got to take/and post some photos. Next week (fingers crossed).
Until then, may all your weeds be wildflowers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggity, jig

Well, that was a few busy days in a row! Moving isn't fun. It does not matter if you are doing the moving or if you are just the helper.
I took a few minutes for myself not long ago and went treasure hunting at my favourite thrift shops. I found some vintage patterns. I love that artwork! Everyone looks so chic and carefree -- even the kids. I will be using these images soon and I will post what I do with them. Also in the mix was a pattern to make a shoe organizer. I know, how easy is that? Well, one of my weaknesses is never quite measuring enough, so I prefer to follow the pattern for the basics and then have fun with the fabric and trims.
I also picked up a bargain magazine bin at HomeSense last week. It was marked down to $7 because it was missing its legs. Well, that's just a challenge waiting to happen, isn't it? I have replaced the legs with some wooden thread spools. When it is all done, I will post a picture.
Today, the returned forest ranger and I tidied the side garden. After pulling a bag of weeds, we layed down some landscape fabric, and spread six bags of cedar mulch. I am hoping this keeps the weeds at bay until next year. Fingers crossed. Well, time to get covered in glue -- the better to refurbish my magazine bin. Cheers!