I love spring. It is such a release after being couped up all winter and this year even more so. Winter went on and on and on and then we all went into lock down. I am very grateful that I live in the country with a nice property to get out into, but until it warmed up all I could do was look at my bare beds.
It is still early, but I have been in the greenhouse planting furiously. It is nice doing it without the frenzy that spring usually brings. So many things cancelled.....well actually everything is cancelled.
My chickens are still not laying. I think they are still protesting the long winter.
They have been getting out in the sun more so hopefully soon they will be so inclined to share.
Soon it will be warm enough to wear a summery halter dress. Too bad there will be nowhere to wear it. Well, there is always the deck.
My mom was the one who taught me to make cards, both Iris Folded and Paper Embroidery. This is one of her cards to me for my birthday. My birthday is always close to Mother's Day so we always got together to celebrate both. For many years we lived apart, but would come together and spend Saturday or Sunday going to garden centres filling up the car. We both share a love of gardening, another thing I learned from my mom. My husband and Dad would spend the day hanging out and making dinner, always with birthday cake or pie. The last few years, we live close together and have way too many plants but we still got together.
Enter 2020, the pandemic year. I haven't seen my mom for 5 weeks except from the porch when I drop off groceries. We talk on the phone and text, but when I do see her and can't even touch her I feel that I am missing something really important. She & my dad will be 90 this year and have always been physically and socially active, but they are staying home and doing surprisingly well. I will end with another card from my mom with flowers that we both love.
Happy Mother's Day Mom. Miss you.
Valentine's Day. The day for lovers and people who love. There is magic and anticipation and romance. I must tell you that I have much more fun making lovey dovey cards than all of the hoopla around the day. It's not that I don't like the concept of the day, but as our modern society has done with everything it has been blown all out of proportion.
I have been married for many, many years. While I am definitely a romantic Valentine's Day always seemed so prescripted to me. We never, ever went out for a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Both my husband and myself have way too much sense to subject ourselves to that. We usually did do a special dinner together as we enjoy cooking together. I don't think we ever got each other gifts, just cards and something sweet. Life got busier and busier and somewhere around the 25 year mark we were just running out of Valentines steam. We kind of neglectfully avoided any discussion of Valentine's Day as it approached. Finally it arrived and I suddenly felt like doing something for Valentine's Day as a surprise. I like surprises, well nice ones, so I stopped on my way home from work and picked up some lovely shrimp, some champagne & a perfect cake that was half dark and half milk chocolate which suited us to a tee. I wasn't sure what else I'd put together, but I was jazzed. I breezed in minutes ahead of my husband and he came in with steak, some baking potatoes and a lovely flowering orange tree in full bloom that smelled heavenly. It was absolutely perfect and we had a magical and fun evening. We agreed that nothing could top this and we could let Valentine's Day rest peacefully for us.
So now I get to make lots of my lovey dovey cards for those who have yet to experience the pinnacle of a perfect Valentine's Day.
Well, I guess I should not be surprised that I did not have this done before 2020 given that I didn't start it until December 31st. It has been over a year since I blogged so I am pretty much behind in every way.
Partly that is due to the ambitious year I had. I tried on the strategy of doing Craft Shows. I committed myself to it for a year and I stuck it out with the last one on November 29, 2019. What I discovered was that I don't like craft shows. It is a ton of work and not enough pay off, financially. I had lots of fun meeting, chatting and sharing with great people, both vendors and customers. I won't say I will never do another show because never is such a long time, but the chances are low. It would most likely be an event f0r a good cause.
So, that brings me around to this year. I will commit to more blog posts and social media activity. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest anyways, I might as well get more of my work out there. I am also developing more of my own patterns, so will try to figure out how to make those available in a way that other people can understand. I was going to try to design a new website with wordpress, but I decided that there is only so much one person can ask of herself for one year,
I can't go without posting a few of my cards.
For my husband's birthday.
For my girlfriend who loves all things cacti.
This was made for my girlfriend who was giving it to her daughter at the birth of her second child. A couple of years ago my girlfriend's mom passed and she gave me all of her mom's sewing stuff. In it was some gold thread which I used in this card so there was something from great grandma too.
For my girlfriend who loves to cycle.
For my dad for father's day.
I have always wanted a copper tub because they look so luxurious. We lived in one house with an old fashioned tub but it wasn't that practical or luxurious. However my imaginary copper tub will remain in my dreams and on my cards. This is a great card for birthdays, girlfriends thinking of you and even retirement.
I had a great opportunity to be a craft vendor at the Home County Music & Arts Festival in London, Ontario this summer. I was visiting my friend in Winnipeg in May when I rather impulsively applied for a spot and got it right away. I can't say I hadn't thought about it much. A month or so prior I did consider it very seriously and decided that maybe my first go at this shouldn't be a 3 day outdoor affair. Sensible. Reasonable. Rational.
So what changed? Well, as I said, I was visiting one of my best girlfriends and there was wine, but there were also the fond memories of youth that old friends invariably get into. Memories of adventures, spontaneity and taking risks. Next thing I knew I was pressing send and I'd applied. I didn't really think I would get chosen. They were only accepting 10 people. One of them was me. There was great exhilaration and martinis then a slow steady terror until I got home a few days later when full blown panic set in.
What did I know about doing this? I vascilated between the confidence of being a professional for 40 plus years and the mind numbing newbie standing there not having a clue which way to start moving. I knew how to make cards, I loved making these lovely works of art. Start there.
So I started making cards. Along the way I came up with a number of cards that I needed to make. This was actually rather arbitrary, but I needed something to keep on target. Luckily, my husband was very supportive and mostly stayed out of my way, walked the dog, shopped, cooked the meals, cleaned and planted the garden . Ok, super hero supportive!
Then there is the practical and business aspect of this to figure out and manage. Displays, table set up, credit card machine thingy, bags, signs, and on and on. This went on for weeks and I still kept making cards.
One of the things that surprised me was I was still having fun. I had to design some cards because this was first and foremost a music festival.
This was definitely a grand adventure that I am thrilled I took with good friends and family. Will I do it again? I will not likely do an outdoor show. I might do a small indoor show, maybe, if there is lots of wine & martinis involved.
Home County Music & Art Festival
This is a grand Music & Art Festival in London, Ontario. It is spans 3 days at the height of summer. I have never done any kind of show ever before.
I was lucky enough to be chosen for their Creative Roots Program. This is a fabulous opportunity for newbies like me to try something new with excellent support. There were 10 crafters chosen and we were all in one great tent so we had the comradery of other newer crafters close by. There are hundreds of other amazing craft and food vendors and a stunning array of musicians.
There are thousands of people attending this festival on a daily basis.
It rained.....and rained.....then the sun came out and it was a sauna. This is how the whole weekend went.
My two best girlfriends came from far and wide, well Winnipeg & St. Catharines, to help me pull this off. They were absolutely the best help anyone could ask for. We had a gas!
The tent before anyone else got there. It was hot!
Mostly set up. The rain had not started at all but it would very soon. The tent was very waterproof, but the wind kept us hopping.
My friend, Leslie pointing at the display and myself. I think this was day 2, but it is all kind of blurring. I promised to take lots of pictures, but I only managed to take a few.
My friend Sheila keeping things organized. She was also the one to scope out the best food vendors and return with treats. She also made us healthy lunches.
This was such a big experience for me I will have to do another post on the preparation for this. I am so glad I had this experience. I have been retired for less than 2 years and it is nice to know I can try something totally new and enjoy it all.....well, maybe most of it.
I haven't had to do too many cards for youg men for graduation which is lucky because I love doing dresses. I will work on more ideas for those dashing young men. I've only really got one so far.
This is the time if year when I really would like to spend every hour in the garden. Unfortunately, life doesn't allow that, nor does my back.
So, I make flowers indoors when I can't always be outdoors. I used to bring lots of real flowers in, but Shadow, the cat, usually has more fun with them making a big mess frequently. I do bring some in but I have high places she cannot get to.
Mother's Day and spring birthdays always remind me of those elegant ladies walking along the great gardens in olden days. I really wouldn't want to live in those times, but they were pretty in some ways.
This is Mary.....a die from Tattlers Lace that I got from Ecstasy Crafts that I adapted for Iris Folding. This reminds me of Downton Abbey, one of my favourite series. I can never do just one card. .