Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Crazy Quilt International Christmas Exchange

Besides beading and photography, one of my other passions is Crazy Quilting...I haven't done a lot in the last few years, but I rejoined Crazy Quilt International earlier this year, in the hope it would inspire me to get going on it again. The tie-in with beading is huge, and many of the other members are beaders and sane quilters as well as CQ'ers. 
Here is their blog for a bit of inspiration, and some illustration of what we do. 

They do quite a lot of very organized group projects and exchanges, and I was fortunate to be involved in the latest...a Christmas exchange of a baggie or cracker filled with CQ goodies. They're very organized with this, and there was a defined list of what was suitable to include; members were polled for their likes and dislikes as well, all of which helped greatly. 

I was fortunate to be paired up with Donna Abrams, who lives in Montana. Here is what I sent Donna:

Donna's preferences were for autumn-y shades, laces, unique charms and plain fabrics. 

Donna, in return, spoiled me rotten! 

I had asked for goodies in my fave colours of teal, green and purple. Here's what she sent!

I didn't notice until after I had created and saved this collage, that it cut off the totally cute little necklace she made and sent me....so here's its picture again, because it's adorable!

She also made me the prettiest needlebook, in felted wool, with a beautiful flower-headed pin inside...and a gorgeous pair of needlework scissors with curved blades to get reeeeeeal close to those threads!

Thank you so much again, Donna...what riches!! I will enjoy using them in projects I hope to get started in the New Year. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ice Storm 2013

The ice storm of 2013, which took place on the weekend of Dec 20/21/22nd will remain in our memories for a while! I won't forget spending 45 minutes+ chipping my car out of the parking lot where I work, at 10:30 PM. 

Luckily, we did not have a power outage and our roads were in good enough shape to drive with care...but it did make for some unique pictures over the next few days:

Frozen trees:

A double rainbow created by ice in the air, rather than water.....

Several days following the storm, grass still encased in about 1/4" of solid ice:

At this point, 9 days out from the storm, there are still a few people without power in the GTA, but all should be well tomorrow. 

Ready for the next big storm to arrive.....tomorrow!

As Promised~Alicia's Ornament

Good old Canada Post delivered Alicia's ornament for Sally's Ornament Blog Hop on Dec. 18th...just in time for Christmas, but not really in time for our blog hop on Dec 14th! (Alicia mailed it in good time, it just did not get shipped)

As promised then, I wanted to be sure to post a photo of Alicia's beautiful gift for me...

She put such a lot of work into this...I'm so glad it didn't get lost!

Thanks so much, Alicia! I will treasure it!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Focus on Life Wk 52~Saying Goodbye

Sorry for my lateness this week! Christmas in retail...what can I say!!?

Saying goodbye....

In Week 2 of our journey this year, Sally asked us to think of a word to shape our year in advance. Mine was:

And, indeed, it HAS been a year of explorations that I didn't expect at the beginning of it...I definitely have to try that "word of the year" thing again!

So, a year in review....here are some of my favourite explorations this year:

1. Ogunquit, Maine....

2. Chainmaille

3. Charlotte, NC

4. And, of course....Sally's Focus on Life adventure! Thanks, Sally, for helping me to focus on a wonderful year in 2013....and thanks to all the rest of the friends I've made in the journey...hope to see you all in 2014!

Happy New Year from Toronto!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Focus on Life Week 51 ~ Togetherness

Sally's prompt for our second-to-last week:

"Togetherness...a small act that brings us in, lifts up our spirits and brings us together. This week, focus on wrapping yourself in the warmth of togetherness..."

The stockings are hung, by the chimney, with care...

In hopes that the family, soon will be there...

Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sally's Holiday Ornament Swap

I am so looking forward to seeing all the ornaments exchanged in this swap of Sally's today. It is a day of work for me, but I hope to visit all of the other participants when I finally get a day off...on Monday...so please excuse the late visits to your blogs! 

Sadly, I have not received my ornament from my partner, so I have nothing to show you today, but I will definitely post when Canada Post decides to deliver...and she will hopefully post the one I sent to her. 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Here are the other participants:

Sally Russick and Beth and Evie McCord

Erin Prais-Hintz and Melissa Trudinger

Friday, December 13, 2013

Focus on Life~Week 50

This is such an odd Christmas season for me...my family has made a decision NOT to do Christmas gifts for one another this year. We are spread 3400 km apart across the nation, and the postage/courier costs of sending actual goods are, literally, out of this world. So~we are hopefully going to be taking a family vacation together in February 2014 instead...I say hopefully because our designated travel planner has not come up with a thing yet! Keep your fingers crossed for us. 

With everyone else running around finding the perfect tchotchke, I feel a little left out...consequently, I am doing a secret Santa thing (shhhhh!!! it's really a secret!) with a couple of people at work who I think will enjoy it. Having a bit of fun with that. 

Sally's prompt for us this week was:

"Red is such a visually striking colour. Pops of red grab your attention and add such interest to a photo. This week, focus on your surroundings and keep an eye out for pops of red."

I couldn't believe it when I came down for breakfast this morning, looked out into the backyard, and saw this! 

The bunnies seem to have left me a little gift! (not their usual gift.....)


I also noticed these while I was out chasing that leaf in the wind....

Be sure to check out the other "pops"! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Week 49~Focus on Life~Add a little Sparkle!

Our prompt from Sally for this week was:

"....to keep things cheery we sometimes have to add our own dash of sparkle to brighten our inner glow"

In the mayhem that is working in retail at Christmastime, my sparkle has done got up and went ...but as always, her prompt made me think, and of course she is right..we need to make our own sparkle! 

So....on my day off this week....this happened:

Yes, I am wearing them to work...and so far, they seem to have put a smile on a few faces besides mine. 

Thanks, Sally!

See what's sparkling in others' lives here: