Christmas crap

I’m a bit Grinchy about Christmas.  This attitude comes from my line of work which involves decorating my work space so that my seniors get into the spirit of the season.  By the time I’ve put 3-5 trees (with varying degrees of functioning lights) and a crap load other things, I am not in the mood to do my tree at home.  But the hubby insists.

Once it is up, though, I’m glad I did it.


Most of my ornaments have a little sentimental story attached so I enjoy the walk down memory lane.

This year, I took some of my birthday gift cards for Micheal’s Craft store and bought new garland for the tree.  I was tired of the ancient tinsel garland that I have used for decades.


It wasn’t exactly cheap so I wouldn’t have actually paid for it myself.  But with gift cards, I could afford to splurge. Better the garland than spending the cards on more wool to add to the hoard.

Pageant winning bathing beauty

Okay, that title is a bit exaggerated! We had a costume contest for Halloween at work and I won “best individual costume for staff”.  Unfortunately everyone thought I was either a baker or Little Bo Peep.  But I’m not complaining.  It got me a gift card for free food at the cafeteria and another costume got out of the closet.


New toy

This is another non-Victorian post.  Sorry ’bout that!  But, I bought a new toy and thought it would be fun to share it with you.  It is called an Embellish Knit.


It is basically a mechanized spool knitter.

I bought it with two intensions…one is to take cheap crochet thread and use it to make cording for decorative trims on Victorian gowns.  Cording and soutache is NOT cheap.

The other intension is to take all the cheap wool I have been hoarding for years and turn it into chunky yarn.


My first project used up 3 balls of this synthetic wool.

The Embellish knit turned those three balls of wool into one massive ball of chunky wool.


The beauty of chunky wool , of course is that it knits up quickly.  The heavy neck cowls seems to be popular these days so I may try knitting up one of those with this stuff and see what it looks like.

Once I have knitted it up I have no idea what I will do with it.  Donate it to charity?  I have no idea.  Another idea is to just make balls of chunky wool with my machine and old wool and see if I can sell that at my friend’s craft sale table.  One thing I know is craft sales don’t just attract people who can’t craft; they attract people who can craft who are looking for ideas.  A knitter may be attracted to an unusual looking wool.

Hopefully my next post is a completed project post-either a neck cowl or a corset cover!  Have a good Thanksgiving Day Canada!

That was a good Canada Day!

Saturday was Canada Day and it was a good one.  Plenty of lounging.  Time with family and a great fireworks display!  There are plenty of good videos out there about the celebration and about why we should celebrate 150 as the country we know today (though it has been peopled much longer, starting with the original peoples who have been here for thousands of years.)

Here is one of my favorites.

Happy Easter

I hope your holiday was a pleasant time, and for those of us who enjoy the Easter Monday off of work as well, I wish you a good rest.

I haven’t been doing much.  Either cooking, eating, or playing Sims.  But I did so some knitting and watching Netflix.  I’m really into Dickensian these days.  Nice costumes…the hats are the BEST.  p03cgmrr

For those of you who don’t know, Dickensian takes various characters from Dickens novels and puts them all together in one town and lets them interact.  It is much like the concept of Once Upon a Time, which puts various fairy tale characters and lets them interact.  The trick is, the characters still have to remain true to what happens to them in their repective stories.  I recommend it highly.

Christmas ruminations

Tomorrow is December 1rst.  I don’t really like to do much about Christmas before December arrives.  Sure, I send out and request Christmas wish lists for folks that require mail service to give and receive gifts.  I start amassing stocking stuffers during my weekly grocery shop.  But I refuse to put up decorations.  (I do let hubby put outdoor lights up because it is easier in snowless November than in the waist deep snow of December).  If the radio starts with the Christmas tunes I turn the station.  One of my favorite stations has been playing only Christmas tunes since November 1 (grumble grumble!)

But tomorrow I will start thinking in earnest.  I have to pick a day to put up the tree.


This photo is several years old but I still have that shirt. I wear it every time I put up a tree…including at work. I secretly love the Grinch.

It is best to do that before the decorating insanity starts at work.  In my old job, I had to help stand 7 trees-one was close to 20 feet tall.  I had decorate 3-4.  By the time I got to mine I had no desire left!  (Damn lights).  untitled

This year, in my new job, it seems I only have to stand 3 and decorate 1.  And none of them are over 6 feet.  Sweet.

I also have to get my butt in gear for the shopping.  We have no children in our clan now so some of the fun has gone out of it.  And we have all reached the state of life where we just run out and buy the little things we need and want so there is nothing to put on our lists except big-ticket items that no one person would reasonably buy for another.  So we are moving towards the gift card option.  This gives the person the option to hoard cards from one store to “save up” for something they want/need or hold onto several different store cards until they think of something they want or need.  Shopping will be a snap…just stand in front of a wall of cards and start selecting.  img_6568The Santa in me wants to have at least one or two well thought out gifts that the person may like but not think of buying themselves.  But lots of times it is simply walking by something in a store or craft sale and having an item cause me to stop and think of someone.  I can tell you this because my brother and sister-in-law don’t read my blog…They have two wiener dogs,  Jenny and Leonard.  Jenny is brown and Leonard is black.  I was walking in the store and I saw these.img_20161130_081036236.jpg

And they dance!

Completely useless but funny!

An added joy this year is my older boy will be home for Christmas.  He missed the last three.  The first year he was in Australia.  I found a tree ornament that year of a kangaroo.  I cried when I hung it on the tree.  The next two years he was in Germany and I cried when I hung the stupid kangaroo on the tree.  I also cried (messy, need to leave the room cried) every time I heard “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “Blue Christmas”. Really inconvenient in stores and a bit scary in the car.  No crying this year!

Wishing you all Merry Christmas prep!

Turn the page: okay I lied

I didn’t really lie, I just fudged the truth for ease of explanation.  In the last Turn the page post, I said that there were no more cabinet card pictures because the back of the book features carte de visites.   As you can see this was not the complete truth.5a

There is one more cabinet card of a very pretty girl.5b

What great eyes!  And she has some very nice jewelry and the embroidery(?) on her bodice is wonderful!  I like that it is asymmetrical.   I wonder what the bottom half looked like.5c

Her photograph was taken in Sudbury Ontario by AJ Lothian, who we see and find out about  earlier on in the album.

This is the fellow who had his photograph done by the same fellow in the same town.SAM_3344

If these two are not related I would be totally surprised!

The next time we do this “turn the page” stuff, we will look at the carte de visites on the next page.5d


Look what I found!

My kid is moving back home.  This means that I am spending my Easter Holidays converting my sewing room to a bedroom again. (Happy Easter, by the way!) I’ve been packing things up and moving them around and finding new homes for everything.  And as is usually the case in such projects, I needed to tidy up other areas to make room!

I was tidying up the Halloween/work costume boxes and discovered something I forgot I had.  My grandmother made it somewhere around the 1970’s.  IMG_20160326_163438387

1970’s does 1870’s?  It is rumpled from being in a box for some 40 years (only seeing the light of day a handful of times and never actually worn as a Little House on the Prairie bonnet).  But being stored means it is in pretty good shape.

If you know me, you know that I view my Grandmother as a kindred spirit.  The fact that she made this bonnet is more proof that she would totally “get” my Victorian costuming hobby if she was still here and that she’d be totally willing to play along. I have piece of kindred spirit evidence…sam_0386

Anyway, back to the bonnet…. I think it is finally going to get a turn at being what it was intended for-be a costume piece.  I have some cotton fabric that is destined to become a dress this summer and I think they go together reasonably well.IMG_20160326_164025666

Bonus? That is one less piece I have to come up with!