Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sheep, Gnomes, Needles, and Cake

It was a funny old week this week, full of strange circumstances and an explosion of creative projects. It didn't start out all the promising. In a strange flip of the universe, I got stuck at home on Monday due to the snow.

Let me be clear: I have not had a snow day since I was eight years old and living in Winnipeg. WINNIPEG. The land of snow and ice and occasional six foot snow drifts. And here? We got hit with a few inches of wet snow, and I am stuck in my friggin' parking lot, which has an exit that is sloped at a 45 degree angle. So. Irritating.

I did eventually manage to get the car out, but then I drove it down the road to the gas station, put some fuel in it, and then promptly charged back up the hill and parked it on the road. I walked back into the house, fired up my laptop, and worked from home that day.

That afternoon, I opened my freezer and nearly lost my toes to a package of bacon that fell out. Given my broken foot experience last summer, that was a hazard I was not willing to live with.. So I pulled out some stuff and made something with it to make room.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my oven made for me: a rhubarb cake to go with coffee. No, I'm not going to do the whole song. I don't think I have enough ingredients.

I think I overdid it with the cinnamon on top, but, as with most things, it's the inside the counts. It's full of all the nice flecks of cinnamon and brown sugar and good things that make a cake good. I reduced the sugar in it, and I'm wondering if that was a good idea because the rhubarb was still eye-squint tart, but with another mouthful of cake, it wasn't that bad.

All things are bearable with a mouthful of cake, I think.

That night, I sat down and taught myself how to needle felt. I used a kit that I bought a while back from this Etsy shop. There's nothing like poking yourself multiple times with a felting needle to improve your mood... or at least improve your productivity.

He started out kind of scraggly and scrawny.

And then he started to fill out.

And then I really got the hang of it and gave him some shape.

The hubby suggested ears. That made him adorable.

But it was the flower I put on his butt that just made him unbearably cute.

The next day, we had to help shovel and push our neighbour's car out. Oy... island winter.

The week carried on and filled itself with lots of challenging situations that inspired me to come home and comfort myself by crafting the heck out of each evening. I stitched and stuffed and felted and sewed. I finished this little gnome in a couple of evenings. I used this pattern to make him. His name is Olaf and he is awesome. His hat made him quite difficult to photograph (that is 90% hat in that photo), but he cheered me up immensely:

After such an upside-down week, I was looking forward to attending a local artisan Christmas market on Saturday. I had signed up for a couple of workshops that were taking place at the same venue, and I was so determined to get there that I made sure I parked the car in a spot where I knew I could for sure get out in case the snow came down again. I woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night and peered out the window to see what the roads looked like. I woke up two hours earlier than I had planned to and got up to get my things ready, eat breakfast, and watch the clock until it was time to leave.

It didn't disappoint. One of the workshops I attended was a freestyle embroidery class. I have been thinking about embroidering something with some of the leftover yarn scraps I've been gathering up, but I just haven't been able to get my thoughts in order for it. This class seemed like just the thing.

There were six of us in the class, and each and every one of us was excited to be there. We all had a paper bag placed in front of us and inside each of them was an embroidery hoop with some fabric and a pattern drawn on it:

It was a lovely class - truly freestyle, in that there were no steps to follow, just some inspiration and encouragement to try stitches and play with colours. And I was so happy to be with the others in the class: it was amazing to be around people who were all brave enough to dive in and give it a go. We were all smiling throughout the whole workshop, and at the end, we put all of our pieces together and the teacher went through each and talked about what she liked about each of them. We all beamed with the praise, and then we all skipped away with our unfinished works, feeling accomplished and happy. That is what I call a successful class:

I got home and carried on with it into the evening:

And here's what it looked like this afternoon. The green thread in the leaves and stems is some leftover laceweight from a shawl I made a couple of years ago. I love how the colours are coming up in this piece. What a neat way to see the possibilities in a ball of yarn:

My last day of work is tomorrow, and then we're off to Winnipeg to spend the holidays with my family. I am so looking forward to seeing them and getting some rest and relaxation. I feel grateful to be able to go home to them and enjoy their company. We've never been big on presents and shopping this time of year. It sounds corny, but the greatest gift I could have is to be with them right now.

I just have to make sure we can get the car to the airport. Better go move the car now...


Marsha said...

The entire sheep looks great, but the butt-flower is definitely the highlight!

AdrieneJ said...

Just think what the world would be like if we could put flowers on everyone's butt.