Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blue Bayou Sneak Peek

Well...its that time again...for the last couple of years in January I have held a Blog sale centered around the color Blue...cause January is kind of a feeling Blue month. I was hoping to have a Valentines day sale but I don't think I can get everything completed and shipped out by January 14th. Instead, there will be a variety of different pieces...all in shades of blue, cream, sepia, black and white. I will post the date of my blog sale shortly.

A little reminder that I will also be listing a piece/pieces on the TDIPT Mercantile Site January 15th...hope you can come by to peruse all the wonderful work created by the folks of TDIPT.
Happy New Year my Friends
 May the Blue Bird of Happiness alight on your side of the fence.
"Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. 
I challenge you to just be yourself."
Aisha Elderwyn

Have a Mice Day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snowshoe Hare

The snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), also called the varying hare, or snowshoe rabbit, is a species of hare found in North America. It has the name "snowshoe" because of the large size of its hind feet and the marks its tail leaves. The animal's feet prevent it from sinking into the snow when it hops and walks...but sometimes the snow is so deep that it has to wear extra foot apparatus...ironically, called prevent it from sinking even further. Its feet also have fur on the soles to protect it from freezing temperatures.

For camouflage, its fur turns to grey or white during the winter and rusty brown during the summer. Its flanks are white year-round. Its ears are shorter than those of most other hares. In rare cases it may also be seen wearing a black wool coat which adds an extra layer of warmth.

In summer, it feeds on plants such as, grass, ferns, leaves and carrots; in winter, it eats twigs, the bark from trees, and buds from flowers and plants and carrots, along with the Arctic Hare, it has been known to steal vegetables from gardens. This animal is mainly active at night and does not hibernate.

The snowshoe hare may have up to four litters in a year which average 3 to 8 young. Males compete for females and females may breed with several males(Naughty).

This particular Snowshoe Hare is of the miniature wool felt variety with a painted head, black glass bead eyes, embroidered nose and a needle felted sheep's wool tail. Braving winter conditions, and donning his cross stitch snowshoes, he has walked to his outdoor larder to retrieve a (wool-felt)carrot for his supper.
This little fellow is about 5.5 inches tall from the tip of his ears to his chenille stem feet. The entire piece is almost 8 inches tall by 6 inches wide. 
Just wanted to share my very latest creation with has been a long time since I've sat down and made something...feeling pretty rusty...trying to get my sewing mojo back again. Overall I am happy with how this pieces turned out...first time I have cross stitched snowshoes onto fabric and then placed a character on top of the snowshoes...I think it worked out as he does look like he's wearing them. 
Back to work...

 Merry Christmas my Friends!

PS...thank-you for your kind comments...I have really enjoyed hearing from you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas Cats

Wishing you all the joys of season...
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

News and Views...home renos

Kitchen before
Kitchen stove...2 burner hotplate cooking at its best...
The laying of 2 foot by 1 foot slate, each piece weighing in at about 10 pounds each...350 tiles.
Buttering the tile with mortar...laying tile is HEAVY, labor intensive and VERY time consuming work. First you have to remove the existing flooring. Mix the mortar, trowel mortar onto floor, lay orange plastic Ditra onto the mortar. Plastic Ditra provides stability for the tiles as well as tooth for the mortar to stick to. Then trowel on another layer of mortar, then lay buttered tile onto the mortared floor...I am getting tired just thinking about it. 
 Mixing grout
 After you finish laying the tile then have to seal it...TWICE...ugggg.
I was on my knees with a small sponge brush painting each tile with sealer. We then grouted all the tile seams(((can I say...HUGE MUCKY MESS)))...scrubbed the whole floor...TWICE. Then I again painted each tile with sealer...are you tired yet? I was! I didn't even mention all the tile cuts you have to make. All in all I am completely in love with my new slate floor...I have to say that I didn't take into consideration how much work it would be for hubby and I...would I do it again...maybe...a big maybe. But the best part is we saved about $5000.00 to $6000.00 by doing it ourselves. Professionals charge exorbitant amounts to lay this type of floor just because it is so labor and time intensive.
The finished floor...
I individually picked and placed and replaced each tile a dozen times till I was happy with where it was...colors and textures evenly placed throughout the floor...again...time consuming but worth every minute.

The photo above shows where our kitchen was...we actually have our new cupboard boxes installed but I haven't taken photos of them yet...that will be a later post. We are currently waiting on our painted cupboard doors, the meantime we are beginning the task of laying wide plank fir flooring. Whats that old adage..."No rest for wicked"!  
I have begun setting aside time so I can to create new pieces...I will have one or more listed on TDIPT January 15th. My studio space is all set up and I am very excited and happy to be working again. To celebrate my return I will be hosting a Give-Away which I plan to have in January or stay tuned. 
 Please feel free to join my email list(upper right of blog) to be notified of my up and coming sales.
In the News
Part two of TDIPT'S Stampington article will be in the January issue of Prim's will feature some of my work as well as other TDIPT artisans.

  Cheerio for now..Susan

Friday, October 21, 2011

Home Renos - Part One

Hello strangers...remember me? A couple of months ago my husband and myself sold our home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan...we than drove cross country to our new home in Gibsons British Columbia. Well...we had full intentions to NOT pick up a hammer or a paint brush for at least a year. We had firm intentions to take some time to enjoy our new home, relax...spend leisurely mornings sipping lattes and reading the local paper...NOT...THIS WINTER ITS GONNA BE A 2 ELEMENT HOTPLATE TO COOK ON AND A LAUNDRY SINK TO DO DISHES...YIPPEEE!!! 
 Dino mixing mortar to lay slate tiles

This morning I am stiff as *#!#$%#, tired and feeling like Cinderella after having spent all day yesterday on my knees washing, rinsing, scrubbing and sealing slate tiles. I love them, but there is a tremendous amount of work to do when laying slate. They look incredible...each tile is like a miniature work of art with no two being the same.
A selection of slate tile

First step, mortaring down plastic sheets in preparation for laying slate tile.

Beginning to lay tile.

 What once was our kitchen.

Our little home reno project has exploded into one big construction zone which will include...
1. slate tile 
2. wide plank fir flooring
3. new kitchen cabinets & island
4. upgraded lighting
5. two upstairs bathrooms made into one large bathroom
6. upgraded bathroom downstairs
7. new moldings and trimwork
8. New stair railings
etc. etc. etc.

 Slate tile scrubbed, cleaned,sealed and ready to grout.

My plan is to begin listing again on the TDIPT Mercantile site come January...hopefully by then the bulk of the home renos will be done and I can again get into my studio to work.
In other news TDIPT has a wonderful ten page (Part One) spread in the fall issue of Prims magazine with a Part Two article to be placed in the January issue.
Congrats to all...I really enjoyed perusing your articles.

Last but not least TDIPT Mercantile is having their fall open house with lots of wonderful prizes created by TDIPT artists...hope to can stop by to peruse their Unique and one of kind fall and Christmas inspired goodies.

Although I feel a bit rusty it seems I can still produce a blog post...I will be back to write about our ongoing home renos...hope I haven't bored you to death.It will be nice to have an online diary of the blood sweat and tears we are putting into home. I leave you with a parting shot of a deer who has taken a liking our gooseberry bush.


Thursday, July 28, 2011


Yippee...I am finally moving!
Will be back to work and in my new studio sometime in September.
See you then...Susan

Monday, May 2, 2011

Adaptation of French Canadian Hooked Rug

Hey strangers...been a while since I have posted...thought I better get in here before you all think I have gone for good.
Life has kept us busy with a vacation to Sedona and Tucson which turned out wonderful...those big red rocks, canyons and chasms always manage to enthrall us and after enduring our long dreary Canadian skies and sunshine were badly needed and much appreciated. 
On returning home we continue to have a good number of people popping by to view our condo (it has been up for sale for a while now) plus we are still having an open house every weekend. We have had some luck in this department but I am leery of sharing any news until all matters have been officially looked after and conditions have been met. So my friends and future wee furry will have to wait a while longer...sorry, I am just not able to get into my studio to create. I did however manage to complete another hooked rug as this is the only pastime I can clean up and put away in a hurry. It is an adaptation of a late 18th to early 19th century French Canadian hooked rug that is housed in the Mussee des Maitres et Artisans du Quebec 

You can adapt many of the historical/antique rugs in this booklet as they are old enough to be in the public domain. You can order this booklet from the Craft Journal.

Hooked Rugs : Tapis crochetés

This booklet is full of inspiration as well as articles about well known rug hookers such as Doris Eaton, Deanne Fitzpatrick and others.
Below is a photo of the original pattern which was adapted for my own use. I tried to hook a similar background but failed to succeed. I just decided to loosen up, have some fun and just hook intuitively...each strip being hooked by feel without any planning...definitely my preferred way to work.
I did email the Craft Journal and the Museum to get information regarding this rug and to ask if this rug was in the public domain. They graciously replied right away so if you have any questions I am sure they would be more then happy to assist you.

I love the naive way in which the three white rodents & cat are depicted in the original pattern, no ears on the mice and no real nose to speak of on the those round unrealistic eyes just add to it's Primitive personality.

As for other news...I want to thank everyone who sent their congrats to me about being published in the Spring issue of Prims...much appreciated...your kind comments make my heart sing!!!

I was also much aggrieved to hear of the passing of some dearly beloved pets that have been spotlighted numerous times on a couple of my favorite heart goes out to you & and please know you are in my thoughts.

My friends I hope you are enjoying the reemergence of spring...lets hope the sun keeps shining and that the bluebird of happiness will alight on our side of the fence.
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