Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thoughts on Music

Today I was listening to some music by a new (to me) young artist and was impressed with the way he spoke and sang.   This type of music for an 60's hippie type of girl is quite foreign to me and it takes listening to a few times in a row to get the feel of it.

I came across this young man, known as Pell because I was watching, (well sort of watching in the background while I was doing something else) a show on PBS and they had this little video on called Brief but Spectacular ( )  where Pell described his music and influences with a bit of his sound...  So I went to You Tube ( ) to relisten to his sound (tho I don't know why he has to swear) and the comment section is almost a different language, because of some of the slang that I guess I am much too old and too out of the loop to get!  The comments tho, are other peoples thoughts and I try to read them to see what others think, but ultimately, if it suits me, I don't care what others have to say about it!

It never ceases to amaze me how much there is to learn and open one's mind to.   I must say I do like this piece of music even tho I am too old to get the message that must be in it.  I just like the beat and the sound of it.  One of the things that I liked about what he said about music is his comments on an artist making an ALBUM, not just a single song.

I have always preferred to listen to an artist's ALBUM as I seem to find in it a complete message that lacks in one song.  I find it difficult even to this day to listen only to Whole Lotta Love on Led Zepplin 2 without the whole rest of the album.  Even tho it is sort of a reworking of other people's stuff, I enjoy the whole album and find that I need to set a block of time so I can immerse myself in it.  The same thing goes for alot of artists that I listen to.  It needs the whole album to get the whole message.

Now having said that about Pell, I must tell you about another young man that actually makes me shiver when I listen to him!   This time tho, this young man's sound could easily have fit in with the 60's sound, but I am so glad he is making music now.   I discovered George Ezra last year about this time.  The same thing with George Ezra's album as with other of my favourites the whole album completes the message, but check out some of his videos on you tube - Listen to the Man (with Ian McKellan) ( ) and from that one you can easily find a half dozen of his other songs which are all on one album (so far as I know at this point)

I am not sure whether my listening habits are usual or even expected for a mid 60's (in time and actual age) lady but I listen to an eclectic list of artists -- some of them include, Great Big Sea ( I have at least 10 of their albums) Kings of Leon (which I discovered while driving across the Canadian Prairies in the summer of 2009) The Proclaimers (which came to me via my sister) Chris Isaak (my little bit of country) Louis Armstrong, oh and I can't forget the three albums by T-Rex (they make me want to dance like Snoopy from Peanuts cartoons!)

Along with the wonderful sounds of Blues, Jazz, Rap and Rock and Roll, I stop and listen when on some documentary or special a bit of throat singing or the breathy sound of inuit women is being featured.  I love Canadian aboriginal sounds -- maybe because some of that is part of my genetic make-up?

And what music gives you Joy?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A few things to catch up on....

Not that anyone would much care what I have been doing, unless of course my name was one that was recognizable to the media for doing nothing but showing a nice rounded bum or saying dumb political things...

But I am writing them anyway, not dumb political things, tho.

Just my bit of life in my corner of this little green ball out in the middle of a galaxy or whatever you want to call where we are situated...

Of course in this family our pets are certainly an important part of sharing in our daily life.   Walter, who just turned 5 years is snuggled under some fleece blankets -- a cat that craves warmth even on a warm spring morning!

Did I say this blog was no longer about crafty stuff?  Well, sometimes it will be.  Here, on a whim, I used double strand of crochet cotton and made a shell stitch cover over a pint canning jar.   No particular reason to do so.  Just because I could...

We did a bit more reno work in our townhouse a couple of months ago.  When we bought this place it had a small dark room for a previous photo enthusiast, but we found that it became just a place to pile junk!  So we tore down the walls and took out the plywood floor and a sink and other stuff, laid the basement entryway bare, and took all the stuff away.  At a building recycle place we picked up a counter and a set of cabinates and placed them against the far wall.  Re-situated the washer and dryer and brought the chest freezer out of the dining room and into the basement....

I took a little trip a couple weeks ago.  I went to visit my son and other family members who live in Victoria, BC.  
When I lived in Victoria in the mid 1980's  I used to drive my mother to her favourite second hand stores (before my sister took over that job in the 90's).  One of our favourite stores was St. Vincent de Paul in Langford and now 25 years later visiting the same store, I was surprised to see that the shop was exactly as it had always been!

 I visited with my brother and his wonderful wife Rene'.   My brother's health is not good, but Rene' is an absolute gem!  She is so loving and attentive and Mike is a happy man.

And driving along Gorge Rd. near where we lived and worked in Victoria.  There used to be a popular 24 hours restaurant where you see the fence and a car now...  It was a nice drive around town and I guess Victoria is not a town that changes a great deal...

The only part of the trip I did not enjoy was travelling home via BC Ferries, from Victoria to the lower mainland.  I guess I forgot how people rush around and have a need to be first in any line.  It's not like the ship is going to leave the dock before everyone gets on or off!  I trundle along at my old lady pace, and they did not leave me behind -- I was the last person out the gate and once all those in a rush hurried past me, my walk to the arrival/depart building was peaceful and quiet.

I did learn something wonderfully happy tho,   The sons that I made so very long ago, have become all that I worked so hard to make them.  Attentive and thoughtful, good citizens of the world, working and caring to make the world, at least our little world, a very fine place to spend our time here on earth...  I like the sons that came from me.   I am proud of them, and proud of myself for doing a mighty fine job of helping them find their place.

- Men are, that they might have joy.  2 Nephi 2:25

Monday, May 2, 2016

Life Continues to Change

Well, I thought I would give this blog another try....

Its not about sewing, its not about quiltmaking, and its not about crochet anymore.

Its just about life and progress and just about things as they come along.

I have been working a bit more on Family History and have got alot of help with my husband's family from one of his cousins from Winnipeg.

The above photo is my husbands grandfather (in uniform, just before going to serve in europe in WW1) John Frederick, and Wife Elizabeth Jane, with their 6 children, the boy with his hand on his father's knee is my husbands father, John Richard.

I have been doing family history research for quite a few years now and with so many records coming online and being digitized research is becoming easier to find and follow.

I have also discovered much more on my own father's family history and am in regular contact with a cousin who is the son of one of my Dad's half brothers -- you see my Dad was born out of wedlock, and in 1920 that was quite a terrible thing.   Now in today's more enlightened world, we are able to acknowledge and have even proved through DNA testing who my Dad's father truely was and his family history has opened up like a time lapse flower blooming!

It is so interesting to discover the people who populated my past and the world they came from!

More long ago family on my Dad's side (John Merry).  The young man in the centre of the photo with suit and tie on, is my father's father.  And by the stories I have heard recently, he was quite the rascal!

Planning more blog posts hopefully on at least a weekly basis, but if you followed me because of my quiltmaking, I think those subjects will be few and very far between...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Driving to the Okanogan

Just for a change of pace with no crafty stuff involved...

I went with my cousin on a working adventure into the Rocky Mountains from the snowless Coastal Fraser Valley, not far from Vancouver...

It has been awhile since I was outside my "comfort zone" and even though it was quite a bit colder and very different than at home, I totally enjoyed the 2 days in the Mountains.

We travelled first to Kamloops via the Number One Highway...  I guess this Highway isn't used as much as it used to be, because there are alot of abandoned or rundown buildings just off the highway-- gas stations, stores, even motels, that don't get enough traffic to stay in business.   We had a very nice drive tho along the Thompson River which was right along side the highway for a long ways...

After a day and some work in Kamloops we headed out the next morning to  Merritt, BC - a short stop, gas and a snack -- and then onto Peachland in the Okanogan Valley where we had some more work...

My cousin did all the driving and I did the talking and picture taking...
The highway to Merritt was rather snowpacked and the driving was slower than expected -- about 80 kmh most of the way, but it sure was Pretty!

I am very thankful that we were in a nice warm car, because this part of the country is not very populated and there was not much traffic on the road -- a breakdown or a slip off the road could me a fairly long wait for rescue -- maybe...

Then just about lunchtime we came down off the Mountain Passes and into the Okanogan Valley on highway 97 with a short hop into Peachland where we had a meeting and a bit of work, then dinner and with just a bit of trepidation, and my cousin doing all the driving, we headed back to the Coast -- almost 4 hours - on what is called the Connector, and then the Coquihalla or highway 5...
No photos of the sights along the road home tho as most of the drive was in the dark and thankfully the high mountain highway was mostly clear and dry.   But amazing to me was how many semi trailer units were roaring along the highway!  There were probably 7 or 8 big trucks to every car!  I guess nighttime is when the merchanise and store products move across our country!

Just a nice change of pace....

Monday, November 2, 2015

Little Words that Inspire...

Yesterday when I went to Church, my friend said that she had meant to get a Poppy for her husband to wear and she had not seen any being sold yet around the area.

Funny how Christmas starts in August, in stores, and even Halloween right after School starts in the fall,  Valentines right after the new year; but Rememberence Day Poppies are not seen by November 1st, only 10 days before the day here in Canada that we set aside to Remember those who served in Canada's wars...

 That little remark during church, dug its way into the back of my mind and whirled about for a few hours while I was sleeping...

When I woke up this morning, (Monday) I went into my yarn stash and found a glorious Poppy Red yarn and by the time I had finished up my breakfast I had a first poppy crocheted!

This poppy is my own design, though it is such a little thing I am quite sure someone other than me has created others that are similar...

This is what I did to create a Crochet Rememberence Day Poppy

make a Magic Ring  
(Google "crochet magic ring" to learn how to make this really easy way to start a circle)to begin,
Chain 3, and double crochet 9 times for a total of 10 stitches which includes the chain 3.  pull the magic ring tight and slip stitch in the top of the chain 3 to join.
Row 2, 2 dc in each stitch around - you should have 20 dc.
Row 3 (every two stitches will form each petal)* sc, 2dc in first stitch, 2dc, sc in next stitch* repeat this around so that you have 10 'petals'
fasten off and hide tail.

Then I used a piece of felt on front and back just so my stitches would hold and not go through the crochet yarn without grabbing onto something.   I used a 3/4 inch dark colored button from my stash as the poppy centre and a large safety pin on the back to attach to someone's lapel.  Button and pin were hand sewn and the ends hidden.

Took me about 20 minutes to make one...
I haven't quite got to it yet, but I am hoping to make a half dozen or so by tomorrow afternoon to give as little gifts to some friends I will be visiting with.

oh yeah, almost forgot, I used a worsted weight yarn and a size 4mm crochet hook -- which made the stitches quite tight -- the whole flower measures about 3 inches across.  If you use a finer yarn your poppy will be much smaller...

The only drawback to making your own poppy is that the Royal Canadian Legion will not make the money that you might have given to buy their Poppies, so perhaps take the time to put a couple of bucks into their box even if you don't need another Poppy...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Back on Line after Electronic Failure! or How to make Capelet 1743

Aw yes, the dreaded dying computer screen...
This happened on September 24 and took a week to resolve -- my computer guy saved all my documents and files and then took apart the computer, gave me the harddrive, and sent the rest of it to the recycle depot!

Cost me just under $100 to recover many of my saved documents including photos, that were not completely backed up and 9 years of Miss Snips Notebook columns that I had written for The Canadian Quilter Magazine -- tho most had been backed up on USB thingys, I wasn't sure what wasn't backed up so the guy at IFIXCOMPUTERS in Abbotsford, BC made me very happy with the save!

I did not have to buy a new computer tho, because a few years ago (I am always thinking ahead) I had a few extra bucks and at the time I bought a laptop computer that I didn't need but it was a good price -- so every now and then I would turn it on and let it do its updates, and put it back in the closet....   

So even tho my excuse is that my computer died and I couldn't update my blog, that wasn't quite true, except it has taken me a bit to get used to Windows 10, and to transfer some files from old to less old but new condition computer!

So, I have kept fairly busy lately with various projects and finding time to write has been on the bottom of my to do list...

Recent projects include a couple of scarfs made using 'given to me' yarns that are a few years old and not labeled.  They were, a fine yarn, with a very fuzzy look, not like the modern chunky yarns or the less modern eyelash type yarns, but these have proven to be very easy to work with and feel very nice when made into scarfs...

this first one is a 60" round mobius scarf that is about 8" wide -- it currently is in the mail on its way to be part of an online auction to benefit
along with a few other scarfs, mitts and leg warmers.

This scarf is the same sort of yarn, probably 20 years old, but in good condition and has a very nice cosy feel to it, it is wide at 12 inches and very long -- might as well use up all the yarn I have -- at 82 inches... wrap it around a few times!

And my most recent project.   

I am very happy with this little shawl, or capelet you might call it.   I am calling it Capelet 1743...
It is my own pattern, but I did see a similar project on the TV show Outlander and liked the looks of it, then sometime after I had seen the one on Outlander, I got one of those advert emails from Lion Brand Yarns selling patterns and yarns for the shawls seen on Outlander.   Well the one I liked was $7.49 for a ball of yarn and a emailed pattern....
I am frugal.
Can't help it.
Thought about it.
Then Michaels stores had a yarn sale.

This yarn.
I wasn't at all sure about it because it was 85% polyester, but it was only $2.49 a ball!   I bought 6 balls, way too much -- I used not quite 3 balls and a 6mm crochet hook with single crochet throughout.

Simple instructions for Capelet 1743 by Susan Being Snippy...
If you make this, I would appreciate it if you either leave a comment here, or comment or link to my post on Ravelry, where you will find a link to these instructions... Thanks.

This project is based on measurements rather than number of stitches, so you should be able to make this using any yarn and any hook you want, I can't guarrantee that it will be as drapey as using the Loops and Threads Mirage yarn with a 6mm hook tho...

Chain 32.
Single crochet in second chain from hook and then single crochet to end of chain, turn.
chain one, single crochet in base of chain, single crochet to the end of row.
Repeat until the piece measures 26 inches long.
Do not cut yarn.
Chain one.
Single crochet along the row edge so that you make one single crochet per row until you have 30 single crochet stitches.
Chain one, single crochet in base of chain, single crochet to the end of the row.  This will form a L shaped piece.
Continue to add single crochet rows at the right angle to the first long piece, for 13 inches.
Finish at an inside corner, but do not cut yarn. 
Carefully single crochet around the piece until you get to the corner before going along the 'inner' edge which will form your collar.
Turn, single crochet in single crochet in previous row, chain one,  and missing the single crochet in the previous row.   Work your way around to the opposite side, without going around the neck edge.
Make two rows in this fashion.
To form the 'collar, fold over.  and it will lay as if you had made a separate collar.
On the one I have made, I chose a large, 2 inch coat button from my stash and sewed it at the point where the 'collar' neck line joined up so that the neckline remains closed.  If you don't want to do that you can use a brooch or decorative pin to hold the collar neckline in place.

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