Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best wishes for 2014

13Dec31chukar I couldn’t let the year slip by without wishing you all a happy and healthy 2014!

Each year is different for all of us. If I could sum up 2013 in one word, it would be Renovations! We’re still putting out house back in order!

Saw these lovely, silly birds Sunday morning. We’re always hearing the familiar “chuk chuk chuk” of these members of the partridge family, but we rarely see them. Sunday morning was a rare sight, and we had 8 chukars tromping around the hill behind our house. The roofline you see at the bottom of the picture is my greenhouse!

We have a New Moon tomorrow, Jan. 1! It turns “new” at 4:15 am Pacific Standard Time at 11 Capricorn. A New Moon is when the Moon siddles up to the Sun and blocks the light of the sun, making the night even darker. A New Moon inspires introspection, whereas a Full Moon invites action. This New Moon occurs in the Second House, which is the House of Resources – some people narrow it down to the House of Money. The Sun and Moon are joined by Pluto and Mercury, enhancing the effects of the New Moon. Pluto is dark and broody by nature, and is responsible for many resources found hidden or/and under the ground. Could be buried treasure, could be a mine, could be something you lost in the garden last Spring. Mercury implies business, and in the Second House that is likely to mean banks. Altogether, a very solid combination of planets.

And they are all in poor aspect to a Mars/Uranus opposition.Volatile, impulsive, money suddenly coming in and just as quickly disappearing. It’s going to be an interesting month, if not year. The planets in the Second House give us the opportunity to plan for the future. Sometimes bad things just happen and there’s nothing that can be done about it, but good planning often offsets the worst of it.

Good luck and Best Wishes for a happy, healthy – and prosperous – 2014! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


13Dec21mariner The craziness at work is done (for another year). Now I’m just coasting until after New Year. It feels good. This morning I spent three hours shovelling snow before I went into work.That also felt good and prepared me for spending a day sitting in front of a computer and using my brain.

It’s supposed to snow again tomorrow, and tomorrow is the annual Christmas Bird Count in our area. Snow usually means a smaller than usual turnout of counters. Which means those who do show up have a larger area to cover. Well, no matter, because it usually turns out to be fun regardless of who shows up or what the weather is like.

I’m still working on the Mariners Star that I started this Spring. Little by little. Piece by piece. I’ve missed several elf-imposed deadlines, but I’ll just keep plodding along until it’s done. I have the main stars finished – have to do the little “worlds” around the outside now, followed by a border. I have a few days slack time coming up – you never know what’ll happen.

Happy Solstice!

Until next time,

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Furball – The Frankster

13Dec20frankie What a gorgeous mancat Frankie has become. He was just a few months old when I first met him. Very difficult to understand how someone would abandon him. If he’s ever been inside a house, it was long before I met him. Just after I took this picture, I held the door open for him. He stuck his head inside and put one paw over the threshold, and that was enough. He hasn’t shown any interest since then in coming inside. Maybe someday.

So, anyway, I made him this house. It has wall to wall carpet inside and a cozy, round cat bed. He used it a few times, but there’s a lot of traffic around his food dishes – at least half a dozen neighbourhood freeloaders (cats with homes) and a few raccoons – and I haven’t seen him in there lately. There are a lot of post-reno scrap piles and plywood lean tos around the yard, so there’s lots of shelter for 13Dec20frankiehouse him if he wants it. He’s a free soul. Today it’s snowing and blowing and cold, and I hope he’s found a warm place to rest.

I made a couple of the to go with the bags I made for my co-workers. If Rusty and Ginger’s reaction were any indicators, I’m sure their cats will love them. As soon as I finished it, Ginger grabbed it by the tail and tried to run away with it, but Rusty stopped her so he could take it away. I trumped them both and put it safely in a 13Dec20mouse cupboard until I could get it out of the house. Guess I know what I’m making them for Christmas. I wonder if I could entice Frankie back into his house if I tossed one on his bed.

I’m leaving a link at Sarah Did It's Feline Friday.

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Still working on it

13Dec17wristlet1 I was going to go to bed half an hour ago, but then I got a phone call that had me working on our Christmas Concert that’s coming up on Thursday. Then I had something else to do. And then something else…

13Dec17wristlet2 I was going to spend tonight sewing, but I had a horrible night’s sleep last night, and I don’t think I can concentrate on it. This little wristlet is a Christmas gift for the owner of this bag that I made for her last Christmas, and is made from this really easy Cake Clutch tutorial. Except, I managed to get the zipper backwards. No big deal. I like to add an inside pocket for loose change or anything you want quick access to, and I add a tab with a D-ring to hook your keys onto, or anything else.

It’s just under 10 inches from side to side, so she can fill it up and toss it into her bag, or use it separately.

Until next time,

Sunday, December 15, 2013


13Dec15bag1 I’m not as far ahead as I was last year, but I have two Christmas presents finished – the two for my co-workers. I finished them last week, but I just haven’t had time since then to blog. In fact, this month has been its usual craziness and I haven’t had a chance in weeks. Every time I sit down to write a post, something comes up. Often it’s Rusty, who insists on cuddling whenever I’m sitting at the computer. He doesn’t sit on my lap – he crawls into my arms, making it really difficult to type. My Monkey used to do the same – it this a boy cat trait? – and I had to perfect the ability to type with one 13Dec15bagzip2 hand (I’ve been a touch typist for 40 years!), but it’s still a slow way of typing. Right now the door to the computer room is closed and there are no cats in here.

We’re still making bags for my co-workers. Last year I made a shoulder bag for my boss and a zipper pouch for our front desk gal. This year I did the reverse. They both love (and have) kitties almost as much as I do, so I made sure the felines were front and centre. I bought this lovely Timeless Treasures fabric while I was in Fort St. John this past summer. I love the muted grays and 13Dec15bagback3 oranges, and I think she will, too. The body of the hipster bag was a remnant I bought, and they didn’t identify what it was. It isn’t cotton, but I love the look and feel of it.

The pattern was a free one that I found on the internet by Vibrant Designs, from 2011, but it’s gone. Now that I’d like to share it with you, about four weeks after I’d found it, there’s just an annoying “placeholder” at the site where it used to be. But I have a PDF of it, if anyone would like a copy.

13Dec15baginside5 I’ve changed the strap attachment a bit, because I couldn’t quite understand how the pattern attached the strap, so that’s a tiny bit different (hence the metal rings), but the rest is the same. Well, except for the pocket on the back. I didn’t do a very good job of it, but it’s not bad. Better than I used to do. And I got the zipper in and working in one shot. I’m rather proud of myself.

13Dec15bagcorner4 The squared bottom was a bit of a problem because of the many layers of fabric caused by the pocket in front. I usually trim away the fusible fleece so I don’t sew over it, but I guess I got sort of lazy this time. One side refused to “square” so I had to unstitch it and then trim all of the excess fleece and fabric away and then restitch it. Thankfully, the offending corner wasn’t too far from where I had my seam opening, so I could access it relatively easily for repairs and didn’t have to unstitch the whole thing.

I would rather have had the zipper opening towards the other end, but that wasn’t a big enough deal to redo any part of it. And I think it I make another one of these, I would make the front pocket a little shorter. Next on my To Do List are a few catnip mice to include with my gifts – can’t ignore the kitties! If I have time later on this week, I’ll show you the other gift.

Until then,