Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer's over

We're home from the cottage. Early. Joe got a phone call early yesterday morning asking that he get back to work to deal with some issues. We were devastated. He's a much better sport than I would be though. Oh well, at least this way I get a few days at home before I have to go back to school.

We did have fun while we were at the cottage. Joe bravely went down a natural waterslide. It was quite a sight...Joe, a 40+ year old man and about 20 kids playing in the water. It made me giggle to watch him.

We had a lot of fun taking photos that day. This is another one of my favourites.

While at the cottage, I managed to FINALLY finish up a knitting project that I've had on the go for months! It's a swatch that I had to knit so that Joe could find a geocache. The idea of the cache is that given a pattern you knit up a swatch which contains the co-ordinates for the cache. When Joe first asked me to do it I said no problem thinking I could just chart the pattern and tell him the co-ordinates. Sadly, that wouldn't work because in order to log the cache you have to have photo containing the cache container AND the knitted swatch. At least it's done now. Thank goodness.

I also had a little time while at the cottage to work on a pair of socks that I started knitting last year some time. It always seems that the last week of August marks the beginning of my knitting season. What fun.

And...I bought myself a new laptop. I can hardly afford it but my old one is three years old and was seriously starting to annoy me. I'm still in the process of setting up this new one but let me tell you, it rocks!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

I've been dropping in to Value Village a little more frequently lately. I often come out empty handed, but the last couple of visits have been slightly successful.

I've had pretty good luck in the fabric department lately. These pieces are all at least 3 yards long. My absolute favourite fabric is the floral one on the top of the heap. I've already made a pillow out of it.

I've also been visiting the shoe department. It has never been part of my regular Value Village routine but lately I've had some super luck there.

I love these simple black sandals. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo but that leather is so soft and comfy!

And how cute are these?? It's too bad that the summer is almost over but I tend to wear sandals until the snow falls so I'm sure to get lots of wear out of them yet.

The beautiful yarn in the photo is all ready to be packed to take with me to the cottage. It came from Felicia for my birthday and I think it's time I turn it into a felted bag.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A cheater pillow

I'm trying to clean up my sewing/craft room before I go on vacation (on Saturday) and have to go back to school (after Labour Day).

Buried beneath a pile of junk I found another pillowform. I quickly remembered that I had recently found a piece of fabric I had bought AGES ago at Joann's. It's a patchwork fabric. No, I did not have to sew all those teensy squares together, someone else did it for me!

I like the fabric that I used for the backing almost as much as the front. It's made of some recently thrifted fabric from Value Village.

Trust me, in real life it's not nearly as wonky as it looks in the photo.

Now I'm going back to keep cleaning. Who knows what else I'll end up making today.

Oh, and I'm creeping around as quietly as I can. Joe's having MAJOR computer issues at work. He finally came home from work about an hour ago. He had been there since 9:00 am YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!! That's about 27 hours straight. He's napping until 3:00 and then I have to wake him so he can go back. And get this...he's supposed to be on holidays this week. That's not happening!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a weekend!

So, on Thursday afternoon I went to the dentist for a cleaning. By Thursday night I had itchy thighs and feet. What's that about??? We had our friends Bob and Mary over to look at the photos we had taken the night before and the second they left I had Joe take me to the drug store to buy some Benadryl thinking I was having an allergic reaction to something (even though I have no known allergies).

The Benedryl helped a TEENSY bit and by Friday night I had Joe going back to the drug store to get me something to put on the huge welts so that they would stop itching. He brought me home some hydrocortisone cream as recommended by the pharmacist. That also seemed to help a teensy bit.

So, early on Saturday morning I had Joe take me to the walk-in clinic to get things checked out. I was diagnosed with an infection, NOT allergies, and was instructed to stop taking the Benadryl and was prescribed a cream to put on the welts.

Things were NOT improving. I had to miss my Mother's surprise birthday party on Saturday which totally bugged me AND I was stuck with a $27.00 birthday cake that I had ordered for the party (we're still eating the cake by the way).

So, by 2:00 am on Sunday morning I was laying in bed CRYING because I was still in agony (2 applications of the prescribed cream and 2 baking soda baths later). So...again first thing on Sunday morning I was BACK at the clinic looking for help. This time the doctor looked at the now VERY red rash on my legs and feet and said "this is an allergic reaction, stop using that useless cream, here's a prescription for prednisone and go back to taking the Benadryl". *sigh*

The only thing I can think of that may have caused this is something that happened at the dentist. I don't know what. I called the dental office this morning and asked if they used a different freezing. They had not. So the cause of this reaction is still a mystery although I still suspect it has something to do with the dentist.

So...for the first time since Thursday night I feel human again. I still need the Benadryl as my feet are still itchy, but all the hives are finally gone.

Thank goodness. This is NOT a good week to be sick. We are headed to the cottage on Saturday so I have all the pre-vacation cleaning and shopping to do. I also need to get my life organized because the day after we come home I have to go back to work!!!!!!!!!

Anyways, I did manage to sew another Simplicity 3835 this weekend. During the few moments that I wasn't in agony, sewing was a great distraction.

The whole time I was working on the top I could hear my mother's voice telling me that I was "not doing it right". She would have taken great care to match up the print. I did not. When I told her about the top this morning and that I KNOW she wouldn't approve of it, her reply was "well, you can wear it around the house at least". NO!! I do plan to wear it out, even though the stripes do NOT match up. Sorry Mom!

It's time for another dose of Benadryl which is sure to make me sleep for a good two hours and then it's time to do a little cleaning and packing.

I certainly hope your weekend was better than mine!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bob and Mary

Our friends Bob and Mary are getting married in September.

Once I caught wind of the fact that they were not having a wedding photographer at their wedding I suggested that Joe and I could take some pictures for them as long as they remember we are NOT professional and really have no idea what we are doing.

Our offer was happily accepted. I did ask that we have a chance to take some photos before the wedding just to practice, so last night we went down to the lake and had a "trial run".

I took 660 photos, Joe took well over 700. It was a long couple of hours for everyone. I've done my first two sweeps through the photos and have deleted all the obviously bad ones. I still have about 400 to sift through.

I'm happy to have had a bit of practice. I feel a little more confident now about shooting at the wedding.

The previous photos are just cropped. I haven't even started editing yet but I know that Mary is eager to see some of the photos.

Yesterday, while doing a little internet surfing I discovered "overlays". I really wanted to figure out how to use them so once I sifted through all 660 photos I decided to have a little fun in Photoshop. I really like how it turned out.

So, I'll be sifting through photos today and trying to figure how on earth to use Photoshop (Elements). I hope that Bob & Mary are pleased with the photos.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I have had a migraine since Friday. It's not quite as bad as it sounds, once I take my medicine I feel almost okay.

As a result, I haven't done much the past few days and I hate that. I have a zillion blogs to read and e-mails to respond to so if you haven't heard from me lately, that is why!

Finally, yesterday, my friend who I took the photography class with asked if I wanted to go and and do a little shooting. I have a new circular polarizing filter that I have been waiting to play with so I said "yes", migraine and all.

The day was almost a total photographic bust. It was cloudy and threatening rain all day. As we were heading back to the car Jodi noticed a monarch butterfly fluttering around in a garden of flowers.

It was a surprisingly willing model. We were able to take quite a few photos before it fluttered away.

And once it did, I took photos of the flowers.

Unfortunately, I didn't remove the polarizing filter before taking the photos and I'm not too sure about the colours. I'm anxious to see Jodi's photos without the filter to see just how much of a difference there is.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Simple pillows

Last week I made a couple of new (extremely simple) pillow covers. The front is one piece of fabric and the back is two. The cover is removable for washing purposes.

I'm starting to do my annual "I can't believe I have to go back to school so soon" freak out! It's been a super summer, but way too short!! My sewing "to-do" list looks almost the same as it did at the beginning of the summer. I have two weeks to fix that although even they are filling up fast with other activities. AHH!!!

Friday, August 08, 2008


While I was at Value Village yesterday I was looking at pillowcases. Maybe it's time to buy some more I thought, but I didn't see any that caught my eye.

When I came home to sew I realized that before I could do anything I'd have to clean my sewing room (since I couldn't move in there!). I'm folding and organizing all my fabric I kept finding pillowcases. Lots of them. Huh???? How could I have forgotten about SO MANY pillowcases!!!!

I took that photo before I even found them all. There are more.

So, then it dawned on me. I could actually use them as pillowcases!!!! So I pulled out a few that I could actually use on my bed. I washed them and stuffed them with pillows. And guess what? They look great! Brilliant.

Now, what to do with the others? I really think they would make great "green" shopping bags but I LIKE getting plastic bags when I shop. That's what I use for garbage bags.

Any ideas?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

I've not had much luck AT ALL at Value Village of late. The few things recently that have tempted me have been way too expensive. Their sheets are now around $7.99 EACH and they have started to individually price their books (hardcover books used to be $3.99 each). The other day, I found an interesting sewing book and when I got to the cash I discovered it was $9.99. Forget that!

I was determined yesterday to find something and I wasn't disappointed.

I found these cute clothespins that I imagine hanging my cards/photos/whatever on to take photos for my blog (consider yourself warned).

I skimmed through the sheet section but none seemed to warrant the high price tags. Such a disappointment.

I headed over to the shoe section and I found these great (almost new) leather sandals for $4.99. A steal!

I have it in my mind that I need to fill our windowseat with cushions. This is NOT practical in any way with two cats and a huge dog who frequently wait in the window for us when we're out, but I'm still determined. I also don't feel like spending up to $10.00 per pillow form for this project so I took a quick peek in the pillow section and found an acceptable pillow to cover for $2.99.

I spent around $10.00 and left a happy camper. Could I be so lucky two days in a row??? We'll see.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Home again

My mother and I are back. We survived our girly road trip. We lost count of the number of disagreements so there is no grand total, unfortunately. Honestly though, we had a super trip and while talking to my mom last night on the phone she asked where we were going to go next summer and told me to start saving my money!

I have to thank Lera so much for being our tour guide while we were in Maryland and for all that she did for us. I'm sure that none of you will be surprised to hear that she is one of the kindest and funniest people I've ever met. I'm so happy to have had the chance to meet her and her beautiful family.

My only (slight) disappointment about the trip was the fact that I hardly took any photos. It wasn't that I didn't see a million great photo opportunities it was just that there was no place to safely stop to take the photos. The beautiful back roads of Maryland have NO shoulders and with all the hills it would have been very unsafe to pull over.

I did take a couple of photos at a viewing station on the way home while driving through Pennsylvania.

While we were in Maryland, Lera took us to a few of her favourite thrift stores. I managed to scoop up some sheets while we were there. The middle sheet is a gift from Lera, one of the sheets I bought is MIA. No doubt, it's still in the laundry.

On Sunday Joe and I want to Canal Days. It was a lot of fun seeing all the different vendors and walking along the canal.

We had hoped to go on a boat cruise but it was completely sold out.

I'm almost caught up on laundry and once I dig out my sewing room I hope to do a bit of sewing this week.