Friday, December 4, 2009

Just Another Day in December

Here it is December 4 and I have  decided that I am going to work on Christmas presents today. Although I have many other things to do, I am going to take advantage of the fact that I am alone and do not have to go anywhere. It snowed yesterday and I feel like it is a snuggle in day.

I am going to put on Christmas music and work on making  hand made journals for everyone in my family. I think I have a bout 30 to make and it will keep me very busy all day and I know I wil not get them all done. I want to look up old pictures of  everyone and put them on the individual covers.  I  will also cut up old leather coats to use as binding for the covers to make them look a little more rich looking.  

As I look through the old pictures, it leaves me sad for sure because I realize that nothing in life stays the same. Mom used to say " we are here today and gone tomorrow" and how true it is as I look at this picture of her standing in front of  her Christmas tree. She so loved Christmas and enjoyed  wrapping and making each person's presents special. She took pride in her tree and had all the family over on Christmas Eve after we all went to church.  We would all have a big lunch of meat pie and white sugar cookies. Of course there was her fruit cake but I never could understand why the others all liked it with all those raisens and peel fruit. 

 After eating, we would open the gifts which took forever because each family brought over their gifts for everyone else. We were about 20 when we were all together.Then Mom brought out the Christmas stockings for her own  children. She had 8 of us and went through alot of trouble... along with Santa of course to fill them with little treats and treasures.

The years  have passed and both Mommy and Daddy are gone as well as my two brothers Hurd and Royden. I guess all this is to say that we have to make the most of today in all of our lives because life is so fragile and tomorrow is promised to no one. I will try and make this Christmas special for my daughter who will be home for such a short time from University. Since I still live on Mommy and Daddy's land right next to where our house was, I will continue the tradition and have all my family over on Christmas Eve after mass.. and yes I will have meat pies and white sugar cookies.. but sorry  no fruit cake!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Thank You is Always Nice

 Like many of you, I have a shop on Etsy where I sell some of the things that I make. I started it last October and it has become a wonderful place which provides me with a reason to make things. I was blessed or maybe cursed with a very vivid imagination and as a child I was looked upon as being very different from the other 7 brothers and sisters.  I would spend my time drawing, writing  and sticking picture cutouts in a copy that I proudly carried around everywhere with me. I learned how to knit very young and used to sneak in the back kitchen to try and sew on an old Singer pedal sewing machine.  I was happy in my own little world of creativity.

 Today as a  very grown up girl (53), I am still happiest when I can find the time to  slip away into my craft area and knit, sew, paint, write and imagine all the things that I could make if I only had time ( see I work full time at a very stressful job). Sometimes I think I am a little crazy because I love making dolls, cats and little critters. Each one of them is special to me and I treat them as if they are a real little soul.

A few weeks ago, I sold one of my cats with her baby to an Etsy buyer and tonight I received a message from her that almost brought tears to my eyes.  Hey, maybe I am not crazy after all  if I can bring a smile to another  person so far away.


Hi, Maggie! We are going to have two extra guests at our dinner on Thanksgiving- along with myself, my husband Joe and our 10 cats at the "children's table", we are inviting our new mama and her baby kitten.They have brought such joy and laughter and reminders of rescues that they belong here in our home.I will never part from them-and since my beloved cats are getting old and their passing will be an unbelievable pain-but my mom and kitten will always be with us. I am getting emotional...I know that I will be adding another of your fuzzies to my gang.A few remind me of certain special kitties in my life...Happy Thanksgiving to a new and dear friend-from all of us here in Chicago.It's cold! Need some more warmth around me at night...we have to stay in touch....Luv, Donna and my cast and crew!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Girl

I couldn't help myself and so I  knitted another little doll. I guess I am like a bad kid  playing dressup with dolls that I make myself. I  love mixing the colours and the different yarns to see what she will turn out like.  Even though they are small, they still take about 5 to 6  hours to make and all the while I am imagining her completed.

 The say that when you grow up, you  must put your childhood toys away. Well for me at this time in my life, I have taken my toys back down and am enjoying the playtime once again.  Life is serious for us grownups as we face many challenges and responsabilities. From the time we leave our parents house, we are confronted with a lot of choices and  then we settle down and bring up our own children.  That stage of life is fast paced and we juggle many different obstacles. There is little time for play except if it is with your children and then all of a sudden they are gone. You are left with the void of  their needing you for the everyday things. That's when you look around and find yourself  alone and you turn to your long forgotten toys.

 Don't get me wrong, my daughter is still my main focus even though she is away at University. I talk to her everyday and am always there for her no matter what her latest crises might be, like losing her bank card and not having any money on her.  Not much I can do with her ten hours away, but I am here and  I try to help her figure out how to get out of her  dilemena.

 But in the quiet hours at the end of the day, there is time to imagine and play a little before bed. There is still a time to be that little girl again and play with all the bright colours and imagine a world where life is about having fun. It is a chance to create a little time for me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween at my House

Well Halloween has come and gone and once again it was a lot of fun. It was also a lot of work. I like to tell stories and so I have been doing the story telling on Halloween night for many years now because I like to give more than just a bag of treats.

Willamina is the witch that comes to my house every year with her gang of goblins I suppose you could call them. Usually she is a bad witch but this year I wanted her to be a good witch so I made her out of a sheet of plywood and painted her. Her friends are made of pillows and broomsticks and odds and ends that I have collected over the years. My friend Pierre has been with me for three years now and although he helps me with all the decorating, I am sure that he thinks I am a little crazy.

One of the nicest visitors I had this year was a young woman who brought in her little girl. She had come to my house many times as a child herself and was now bringing her own child. That definitely made feel better about all the work that I put into it and the reason as to why I do it.

Children are the reason why we do so many things and although we are all grown up, I think that we all remain childlike inside. That is why we must take the time to do the little things and have as much innocent fun as possible. My Mom was 82 when she died and one of the nicest things that she left us was her openess and desire to do the little extra things to make people laugh and have fun. For many years she would dress up for Halloween and sneak over to my house pretending to be a bigger child; yes she was short and could get away with it. Many times I did not know her and we both would laughed at her fun. I still miss her as you can see.

So here are some of the highlights of Halloween 2009. Too bad that you missed the witches brew and muffins!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Little girls are made of Sugar and Spice

Tonight I am working on another little knitted doll. I don't have a pattern and that makes it even more fun. To tell you the truth, I hate patterns. It makes everything seem so complicated and it means that I have to watch every row and even sometimes every stitch that I am knitting.

Life is too short to be complicated. Also my day job provides me with enough stress , I do not need to add more to figure out how to knit three, purl two, yarn over, drop one stitch oh no , I wasn't suppose to drop a stitch and it goes from there.

So these little girls are knit instruction free and they even make me smile. I have baskets and baskets of yarn here in my office at home and it is fun to choose the colour her sweater should be and what hat will go with it. To tell you the truth, I think I have an addiction to yarn as I have it hidden everywhere. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever have the time to knit it all.
Oh well I plan on living until I am 95, so maybe. My great Aunt Mary just passed away last week and she was 98, so maybe I will follow her path. She was a seamstress and kept busy well up into her nineties. She was special and I always admired her.

So here are a few of my girls for you to look at. I find that they remind me of my daughter Erin when she was fourteen and had developed her teen age attitude.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Slippers made to make you feel good

I recently learned how to knit and felt wool and I am now addicted. At first I was buying wool from my local craft shop (I will definitely buy from her again because she is such a nice person) but I have found an online place that has the most beautiful selection of colours and blends. I know it is bad for my knitting addiction but what is a girl to do?

Now that fall is here and I have starting lighting my wood stove, well I am busy busy busy knitting and using all the many different colours together. What fun!

I found a pattern for slippers and have made some minor changes to the pattern because it is important to be creative as well in this line of work!!! This is a few of the many pairs that I have knit. They are so thick and cozy and I know that they will last a long time because the fibres are matted tightly together after their hot water washing.
I plan on knitting other things as well but I will tell you about that on another day. You can find my items on my Etsy shop at
Hope that life will bring you many creative pursuits,

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Rainy Fall Day

Hi everyone,

A million sorries for not keeping this blog alive, but I have been unbelievably busy with my day job. Here it is fall again and I plan on slowly getting back into it. I finally got high speed so it will make a big difference in keeping it up to date.

Over the summer I did some house renovations which meant I was in a total mess and my craft room was emptied. I am still trying to find my things as I get back into making stuff. I will post pictures next time. I plan on renovating and insulating a small outside shed for the winter as I need space. Don't we all!!!

I am waiting on a big order from KnitPicks. I am hooked on felting wool. I made several pair of slippers over the summer using 100% wool and love how they turn out when washed in hot water and soap. I am going to list a few pair in my Etsy shop. If anyone wants the pattern, just contact me and I will be happy to send it to you.

Okay back to work and I will be in touch again soon. Have a great day,


Thursday, May 14, 2009

For the Pleasure of Knitting

As a small child, I watched my sisters knit handbags. There were the style back then and I remember they had nice wooden buttons to keep them closed. I was maybe ten years old and I knew that I wanted to make one as well. I do not remember anyone showing me, but someone must have because I found a ball of beige yarn , probably a left over of my mother's socks or mitts, and began to knit a bag just like my older sisters. I would be in fashion too. I was so happy and I think it turned out alright. I knit a long strap and sewed it on and proudly showed everyone.

But I lived with my great auntie and she was not going to have me wasting good yarn. Without me knowing , she unraveled my bag and knit a pair of the ugliest mitts I ever saw. When she gave them to me she said nothing but I knew what she had done. I was so hurt and went to see my mother. But she was always the peace maker and although she agreed that it was wrong , it was too late , and for me not to say anything. I hated those mitts and don't think I ever wore them much. I probably made my younger sister wear them.

Today, I have so much yarn and I am always buying more. I love the colours and the possibilities of making so many things. These days I am making barn cats.. why... I do not know. Except they remind me of the barn cats I grew up with and they give me the possibility of knitting all kinds using different colours and sizes. Then I can give them each a bit of character. This creative outlet helps me deal with that loss from so long ago.... maybe? Okay maybe that is just an excuse to deal with my knitting addiction.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Etsy - A Little Piece of Heaven

Today I just want to say a few words about one of the best places to visit if you are a creative little soul or if you want to find an original handmade treasure. I found this place last fall as I searched for raggedy dolls. More and more websites were mentioning their Etsy site as well as their web site and so I checked it out.

Well now I am a faithful follower and have even started my own Etsy shop. It is an amazing place filled with all kinds of handmade items, from dolls, knitted clothing, mixed media prints to wooden items and everything in between . I consider this a place filled with original works of art and everyone is so nice. The first person I received a heart from has become a friend and I always look forward to hearing from her. She has a wonderful shop on Etsy called yoyocottage and her site is a treat for the eyes. She is also a very wise business lady and knows how to make a living doing what she loves, therefore she is an inspiration.
There are many other people on here who have helped me and I so appreciate it. Check out WanderingWhimsies and BellaBubblesShop. Then there are shops that just make me happy to visit over and over again, like fellow Quebecer ptitebaloue. I love her knitted bears, and then there is Danita whose art is unbelievable, Fuzzymittens has such a nice shop and Primgal and CupcakeDolls just make me smile. Cocoondesigns are truly different and NovaScotiaBeachGlass makes beautiful and unique pieces of jewelery.
I could go on and on, but I just wanted you to take the time to join Etsy and see for yourself what it is all about. It is a little piece of heaven for all of us who want to find something original that has been created by a real person. Join the forums and spread the word so that we can help this community grow. It is inspiring, creative and encourages us to pick up a paint brush, knitting needles or a needle and thread. We can all be a part of this and believe me it is good for the soul.
Have a great day....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Maggie's Knitted Cats

I grew up on a farm and there were always a lot of cats everywhere. I remember exploring our big barn and finding them in special places. One time I opened a tiny door that had a purpose I am sure, but I never did figure it out.. anyway there lying snuggled up in the hay were four tiny kittens. I was really young and never had I seen such little things with their tiny eyes hardly opened. I ran back to the house to tell my mother and she told me to stay away from them because they had just been born and if I went near them, their mother would take them away and hide them elsewhere to protect them. And so I listened and never went back because I did not want to give the mother cat more work. I knew how hard my Mom worked, so I guess I did not want to make her carry all those kittens one at a time to some other mysterious place in the barn.

And so my love of cats has always been a part of my life. At one time I had five of them and would actually take them for walks up in the woods with my dog. As I climbed the hills, I would look back to see the five of them following each other in a straight row , one behind the other with their tails straight up in the air. The dog of course never followed the line and I am sure the cats thought she was a silly misbehaved creature.

Everyone has an opinion about cats... you either love them or you don`t. Many people have their own reasons for disliking them which includes..... they were sccratched by one when they were young or, or they leave their fur everywhere, or they scratch the furniture. I can understand their reasons and yet I feel sorry for them missing out on the chance to enjoy this wise and sensible pet who brings a special comfort to a home. They are also fun to watch because each has their own character. Yes they can be stubborn and yes they can even be unpredictable but they are worth the effort. And so because of my love for cats, I have decided to knit a few and add them to my Etsy shop.

I promise they will not scratch the furniture, won't shed and will have you purring as you share your space with them...

And remember animals have feeling too..... so pass on a little kindness to a these creatures that share our world. Thanks

Monday, January 19, 2009

A New Year to take a step in the right direction

Yes here it is 2009 and with it a chance to begin again. If I look back on my life at the ripe old age of 52, I can see that the one thing that always brought me happiness, was when I was making something. It didn`t matter whether it was knitting, crocheting, sewing, drawing, painting, carving, needlepoint, embroidery, collages, felting, writing etc, I was using my creativity.

Mind you it was not always successful, but I was happy trying. Unfortunately I never took the time to perfect my skills because I always had to put it aside. I had to be realistic. I needed to get up everyday and go to my real job and take on the real responsabilities of turning a house into a home, bring up a child and so forth. I always told myself that there would be time to play with my crafts someday. But the days passed into weeks, months and years and still to this day I do not have time. I am still trying to turn a house into a home, as I seperated and had to begin all over again, this time on my own and it was an old mobile home. But I did learn how to make furniture, tear down walls and renovate on a small budget. It would have been a great television series.

So as this year begins, I find myself in a somewhat stressful situation. I am at a crossroad in life trying to find directions to the best place for me to be. Life is passing and I can feel the wear and tear on my body. Little things like being really tired ( of course I am up at 5:00 a.m. most mornings), a little extra weight ( ten pounds) that creeped up on me and my eyes are kinda saying maybe I need glasses.

When I look at my carreer, I know that despite how much I want the museum to succeed, I cannot do it all alone anymore and without funding I am left with major stress trying to find ways to keep the doors open. I have been there since it opened nine years ago, and I have devoted my life to it which was okay for then but what about now? Is that all there is? Will there ever be a time for me to do what I want to do? I have no benefits and my job requires me to volunteer my time for eights months of the year since there is no money to pay me year round. I do need to work, but is there an easier way?

I do have to earn a living for myself and for my daughter who will finish her three year college program this spring and intends to go on to Unviersity for four more years to become an early childhood educator.But is there a way to find a balance. Can`t I work and have time for myself as well to pursue my creative activties?

Yes 2009 is in front of me and before the year is out I will be faced with many decisions because the only way to make changes in life is to take action and move forward despite the fear that change brings.