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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Baking

I know, I know, I haven't posted on here since last year, and I've learned a lot over the past year that I just want to share :) I learned the art of cake decorating! Before I would have thought it was impossible but I did it, and anyone can! It's pretty simple once you get it right. I made my buttercream icing from 1 cup of butter, 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla, and 4 tbsp of milk! it tastes super creamy. I also made my cake mix from scratch using a recipe from my cake pop book but instead of using the cake pop maker, I made cupcakes and stuck them in the oven at 350 for 20 mins.        
These cookies I made using a generic sugar cookie recipe from one of my recipe books. Then I made marshmallow fondant from a recipe online, just google it! The ingredients are marshmallows and icing sugar. It works amazing and tastes so good but it is really sticky to work with so make sure you powder your board with lots of icing sugar to roll it out. Also, rub with a bit of canola oil before storing in a ziplock bag.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Camera Roll-56

This is the camera/phone case I felted the other day while waiting on a carpenter to arrive here.

I started out by laying out washed and carded wool on both sides of a corrugated cardboard relief. I then wetted it down with a mixture of handsoap and hot water. I rubbed pressed lightly down on the wool, then started to rub in gentle circles. When the wool felt like it was coming together, i started to increase the pressure on the wool. Then I flipped it over and did the same on the other side paying attention to the edges.

Camera Roll-49

I used a couple pieces of bubble wrap for either side then rolled in a towel. This was rolled back and forth for a few minutes changing the position of the piece periodically which is necessary to shrink or "full" the fabric.

I then dyed the fabric after in a red chemical dye bath for wool.

The trim is made out of yarn I spun chunky and dyed with walnut husks that I felted then braided together for the sides. These were sewn on.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Horseback Riding

Yesterday we were invited over to my cousins' place for dinner. When we got there we said hello to the horses and donkeys. My younger cousins put rope halters on them so we could ride them around.
I started on a tall black horse named Bill. He didn't like his rope halter. After riding a very little while on him, he began to put his head down and scratch at it. Since I'm inexperienced on horses and they weren't saddled I got scared that I was going to slide off. So they stuck me on the little horse named KC that my daughter was riding (the horse in the picture).
I still needed a boost to get on the horse because no matter how much I tried to jump on, it just wasn't working for me. I suspect that riding a horse with a saddle would be easier but I have yet to try it.

Today was a productive day. I spent all day inside. I finished reading Emma by Jane Austen, I created a dress pattern and sewed it for my daughter with matching scrunchies (picture coming soon), I made homemade powerbars, made a delicious pasta dinner with meat sauce, worked out on my slideboard (picture coming soon) while listening to stuff you missed in history class podcast.... my favorite podcast I love it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not much has changed

I am currently still waiting to get back into the trailer after the recent septic disaster. The restoration team ripped up the carpets and found a large wet patch spreading across the floor around the hot water tank. Oddly it is located behind the closet in our bedroom. This hot water tank needs to be replaced before anything else is done. Hopefully it gets done soon, but it is unlike our situation is all that bad because we are living in our landlords house that's right next to the trailer. The house is usually empty because they live in the city and come here for weekends and holidays. This weekend they came by with flowers for me and chocolate for the kids.

Recently the pipe band we joined had their Burns night. Paul has been encouraging me to get back into the tenor drumming because I enjoy it so much. It was my first performance with the band. I wasn't sure if I would be playing with them so soon but I learned the material quickly. I often surprise myself at how quickly I can learn something. I also have been secretly practicing the chanter (I guess it's not a secret anymore), but it's just for fun.

The performance went quite well. I have new drum sticks that I bought. They're good but the only thing about them is the laces wore out within a week. I bought hockey skate laces and attached them but they kept loosening no matter how much I tried to tighten them. I'm sure you can possibly guess what happened.

Everything was fine during the practice. As soon as we finally got to performing in front of everyone and got into the circle I started doing the flourishes. Boom! my stick flew off the lace, hit me in the face and landed next to the other tenor drummer's feet! I cursed silently then reached over to retrieve my naughty drum stick.
I re-attached it and pulled it extra tight. I absolutely dreaded a reoccurrence. Thank goodness it didn't happen again. I actually did really well and nobody cared that it happened because it didn't hit anyone in the crowd (that would have been a nightmare).

I'm going to check with all the other drummers what best to do about my laces, I am thinking I might use parachute cord. I tried some drum sticks with them and it actually felt better, but I'll see.

Overall, I'm happy with the performance. Pictures are coming soon, I'm just too lazy to climb over the pile of mattresses and dressers in the living room of the trailer to retrieve the cord for the camera to hook up to the computer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Okay! I am completely ashamed that I haven't been writing on my blog lately. It may have to do with my lack of pictures, it may have to do with all the hype at Christmas and New Year time, or it could be that I've had the cold twice since December and the flu. But then that doesn't mean that life has been boring and I haven't been doing stuff.
So, get ready because the story I'm about to tell you is 100% true and filled with horror, laughter and adventure...

Christmas 2011, we had decided that we were going to stay home for Christmas and we were invited over to the neighbors (who are also our landlords and our only neighbors for miles) instead of driving around visiting family. Which is something done ceremonially every year inevitably making it so we don't get to enjoy your presents from everyone on Christmas because we're only home to open everything until we get ready to leave.
So we took time and called our families, set up the kids toys, played outside in the snow and relaxed all day until dinner. After dinner, however, I started not feeling well (it wasn't the dinner I actually started not feeling well before we ate) but I really didn't feel good. Long story short Paul, our son, and I were up all night hugging the toilets with a really awful flu bug that was going around. Boxing day shopping was off this year, not that we wanted to go get anything specific anyway.

(My turkey going into the oven... it fits!)

So on New Year we all felt a whole lot better. I made a beautiful turkey dinner (my first turkey I've cooked ever!) it tasted delicious. I ordered it fresh from Ravenwood Meats in Caroline, they're amazing and sell ethically raised meat from local farms. That night it was clear and the stars were beautiful. Paul went out and played his bagpipes. The sound was amazing echoing across the fields, he only knows how to play two tunes so far but that night has inspired him like nothing else to practice everyday and get better.
One of the days in January we decided to go into Calgary and try out the olympic oval for public skating. It is on the University of Calgary campus so we met up with my friend Robyn who is studying Archaeology there and her boyfriend who is visiting Canada from Wales. We all skated for about 3 hours, the kids took turns skating with all of us and didn't want to leave even after all that ice time.
A week later was the coldest it has been this winter in Alberta. Here it got down to -38 Celsius for about three days. Paul was off work and the school buses weren't running because it was too cold. On the third day of the freeze Paul decided to go out back and get the yard ready for an ice rink. I was inside having a cup of tea and a cookie when I heard water rushing from both bathrooms. My thoughts were that Paul was filling up the rink in the back, but the ice rink kit was still on the floor. When I went to investigate, raw sewage was pumping out of the toilets like Niagara Falls and filling up the bathtubs. It was all over the floor and seeping into the carpets in the bedrooms. I was running frantic pulling our things out of the way and yelling for Paul.
In the meantime Paul thought I spotted a mouse and took his sweet time coming into the house. The smell was intense, the kids were running around scared yelling "poo water, poo water aaaaaahhh". My daughter slipped in the hallway and fell in it. I picked them up, hauled them outside and promptly vomited in the snow. That was a week ago, we're now staying at the landlords house awaiting the disaster crew fixing everything but recent information tells us that it will be a month before it will all be done.
So we're stuck in limbo as far as our trailer is concerned. But at least right now we still have a roof over our heads, that is important. Day by day things are changing around here and I only hope that our landlords insurance will cover the expense of the repairs to the trailer, because if not I don't know what we'll do.
Keep us in your prayers guys, we're needing it.
What have I been doing since all this mess you may wonder? I've been sick with a fever and sore throat and occupying my time trying to rest and reading a bunch of books. There's satellite TV here also and I've found I can watch BBC Kids Horrible Histories on it which is very entertaining.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Early Surprise in the Field

My son and I take a walk everyday in the field outside the trailer we rent on a ranch in Alberta. One day we decided to walk all three fields with me pulling him on a sleigh. I went out to try identifying the various animal tracks in the snow. One other thing I did was check the animal poop to see how big these animals were. I seen many from deer and some from quite a large moose. Near some of the deer tracks I noticed a bit of what looked like a small bit of blood in the snow and I went to investigate. At first I thought that it was possibly a dead rabbit buried in the snow but it wasn't. I started kicking away the snow from around it and found a fresh antler shed. The part that looked like blood was from where it was attached to the head of the deer. Then my son found the other antler in the snow beside him.
The antlers are fairly thick which indicates that it's from an older deer. The shape of it shows us that it's from a white tail deer. They normally don't shed their antlers this early in the season but obviously is does happen. They shed them to grow back new ones that are thicker and bigger than the ones before.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ugly Christmas Sweater (Grinch inspired)

I had to give away a Christmas present early so this one could be worn to all the Christmas events this year. This sweater has got it all. It's inspired by Jim Carey in "The Grinch". You know, the sweater intended to completely humiliate him?
If your looking a this and wondering, "How did she do it?"... let me break it down for you.

"The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" allows you to make a custom design sweater in any gauge and any size. It may look incredibly intimidating to begin with but trust me, it's so easy! I went to the Raglan (adult) sweater pattern. I created my swatch to check what my gauge was, found out the chest size I needed and cast on.

The "HO HO HO" around the bottom edge was done afterwards so I didn't have to worry about it, I just followed the pattern until it came time to do the sleeves. The sleeves I simply made in red and white stripes with equal rows of each colour. I attached the sleeves and continued following the pattern to shape the raglan. This was all done on a circular needle so every row that had red on the sleeves was started new and cut every time I changed to white.

When the knitting was done I took the red thread and stitched the "HO HO HO" on the bottom (making sure I was giving equal spacing)

I bought a durable felted material from Value Village, washed it and cut it into the shape of the tree and three small trees for the back. I bought stiff felt from Michaels as well as 50 silver jingle bells and small battery powered LED lights.

I sewed silver beads all over the big tree and cut out "I (heart) X MAS" as well as the star for the top and "HO HO HO" for the back. Then I sewed on the felt pieces in the correct places.

to attach to the sweater I got a sharp darning needle and threaded it with the red yarn and sewed the trees and star on using hand sewing applique methods.

For the lights! I simply poked the lights through the knitting around the tree. For the battery pack, I created a pocket and sewed it on the inside of the sweater with a button loop and button so there's no way the battery pack could fall out

All loose ends get woven in.

Last is attaching the bells, these are sewn on around the red and white stripes of the arms.
This is last because it's much better on the ears than if it was one of the first things.