Sunday, June 28, 2015

Getting ready

Canada Day is only a few days away. The Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project is going to take part in the big Canada Day event in Seeleys Bay (Ontario) this year. We'll have an information table with photos of all the cats in the Lyndhurst colony, and we'll have some crafts and baking to sell to try to raise money for the cause.

I'm busy making cookies and cupcakes. My friend Kate reminded me I needed Canada flags for the day, so here are some flags I'm making for the tops of cupcakes.

It's a little scary trying to pipe red maple leaves on white backgrounds, so I piped them on parchment paper. Once they were dry, I was able to place them on wet white icing. That allowed me to pipe a LOT of leaves and use the best ones on my flags. Oh, and FYI, these flags are tiny. Those are toothpicks!

To give you an idea of what we do, here's Jeff:

He was rescued by someone who saw him trying to cross the main street in Lyndhurst. Stephanie (the woman who heads up the group) took little Jeff to the vet and got him medicine for an eye infection, and the vet removed a tick (!) and treated him for fleas. All that costs money, and that is one of the reasons we are trying to raise funds. If you're in the area on Wednesday, please drop by and say, "Hello!"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Resistance is futile

So, ok, after my recent taste of over-dyeing wool, I gave in and bought a huge hank of plain off-white laceweight merino. I think I may be hooked.

It's so hard to find nice colours in laceweight, and they embroider so well. I feel some strange compulsion to name them now......Raspberry ripple for the one on top? Not sure about the 2nd one. Any ideas?

I am not alone

Isn't that the greatest feeling? when you figure out that you're not all alone in the world? when your friends have your back?

My friend Kate of Arts and Socks has donated some lovely bags she made for the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project to sell at our Canada Day sale table in Seeleys Bay. Have a look, and while you're there, read about her history fostering cats for the Ottawa Humane Society.

Mowgli (Photo stolen from Kate's blog)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

When one dessert is just not enough

Cookies on sticks. Stuck in cupcakes. With dark chocolate shavings.

And peonies. Dessert for the eyes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

There's a mouse in my house!

The Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project is going to have a table at the Seeleys Bay Canada Day event this year. I thought I'd like to make some catnip mice to sell. I thought I'd just grab a pattern off the internet and make some down and dirty mice. Unfortunately (or maybe, fortunately) I couldn't find one I liked. So, I set out to draft my own.

Well, about half-way through, I was so overcome by the cuteness factor, that I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to write this one up. So, now, if you can't be in Seeleys Bay on July 1st, you can still download your own copy of the Catnip Mouse Pattern from Craftsy and make your own.

Your cat (or somebody you love who loves a cat) will thank you!

All proceeds from the sale of the mice and the Catnip Mouse Pattern go directly to The Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project, for the health and happiness of homeless and feral cats in Lyndhurst, Ontario, Canada.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The rain has stopped

And that means I was able to move out onto the deck and take some better photos. Here's the Smiley Sweater with the happy worm. You can see (I think) some of the lyrics from the song. Any guesses as to which song it is exactly?

And here's something I've been resisting for some time. Yes, it's come to this. I'm dyeing my own wool to get the colours I want. This is because it's nice to embroider with laceweight wool, and that wool comes in very few colours, in VERY big hanks. I thought it would be hard. I thought it would be messy and.....dangerous, because I thought I'd have to buy special toxic dyes. Imagine how excited I was to realize I could dye wool with vinegar and regular food dyes??!!!

The example on the left is wool/nylon sock yarn in fingering weight. The bit that I dyed didn't have any red in it. I think the red might not have over-dyed so well. On the right, is some pale pink Alpaca which cooperated amazingly well. More experiments must follow!

Friday, June 12, 2015

A very small peek

For some reason this little addition to the Smiley Sweater is proving to be very hard to photograph. I'd take the whole shebang out on the deck to try there, but it's pouring rain. Suffice it to say, the words of the World War 1 song lyric are warbling their way around the right armhole, and for some reason, a soon-to-be smiley worm has found a little home there, too.

I'm linking up to a friend's stitchery link party. If you've found your way here from that link, let me say, "Welcome!".  A little bit of explanation might be in order, since the Smiley Sweater is a little bit out of the ordinary, I think. It all started way back last year when I got interested in embroidering with wool on woolen knitwear (mittens), and then I added wool felt appliqué. I started to look for other 'canvases' to embroider, and decided I'd embroider on a wool sweater, but rather than take the time to knit a full-size wool sweater, I shopped my local Goodwill store. This sweater/jacket is now in the process of being embellished in a rather haphazard way. Whatever takes my fancy at the moment goes into it, and the biggest rule is that there is no wrong way to go about it. Sez me. So, if you're so inclined, please feel free to scroll back through the first installments of the Smiley Sweater. Here is a composite picture to show what's been going on.

You can see there's still lots of room for more additions. And I have lots of drawings ready in my sketchbook. 

If you'd like to see more embroiderers at work, please check out Super Mom - No Cape!'s link party. You can find it here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The doughnut pan arrived!

I saw these doughnuts (donuts?) on Facebook, and found more all over the internet. They seem to be especially popular in Japan. I also saw frog doughnuts and other animals immortalized in doughnut form. Of course, mine had to be calicoes, even though my resident calico is not much interested in her sugary kin.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

She's just a girl who can't 'just say no'

It's come to my attention that there are people out there who don't like cats. Hard to imagine, but I'm assured these people exist. If you are one of those people (although I doubt any cat dis-likers follow this blog, for obvious reasons) you'll want to avert your eyes.

Now, with that little public service announcement out of the way, he-e-e-e-re's Cassie!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Just for you, Kate

I told Kate I had made some mouse cookies, but wasn't going to show them here because they didn't turn out perfectly.  I'm getting better at the fine motor skills that piping the icing requires, but the VERY LAST part of these cookies required piping the dark detail line....and, well, you know how that goes. In fairness, I guess I ought to show my failures, since I'm quick to show my successes. ya go, Kate!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A smiley cat and a cheery song

And some song lyrics for the armhole/shoulder. Just started on that, so you'll have to wait a bit to see which song it is unless you have really good eyesight.

I've decided why this is so much fun. It's because there's no wrong way to do it.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lessons learned

Some things are best learned by watching someone else. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me before this that there might be such a thing as cookie decorating videos on YouTube.  I made these cookies this afternoon after seeing Julia M. Usher demonstrate them in a video. A free video. If you're interested in cookie decorating, I highly recommend checking her out. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Work continues (or should I say 'play'?) on the Smiley Sweater.

In this one, you can see where I intend to place pockets, because in my humble opinion, pockets are non-negotiable. And, for once, the pockets are going to be in the right place!