Monday, January 31, 2011

Goodies in the Mail!

Today felt like Christmas all over again.  Two parcels were waiting for me in our mail box…and no bills!  Woo hoo!

sew strip art

Mr. Painted Quilt and I were talking just the other day about our move to Nova Scotia and if I missed anything from our “other” life.  Without hesitation I said the one thing I missed the most was my monthly guild meetings and all the gals that I had become friends with over the last couple of years.  Well, lo and behold, look what arrived today…


A gorgeous, hand stitched penny rug made out of the most delightful selection of wool!  The picture simply does not do it justice.  I’ve put it on top of our new fireplace for now but I’m not sure whether that will be it’s final resting place.  I might find a better home for it once the renovations are done and everything is unpacked.


Enclosed was a card with a note from each of the guild members.  I know that quite a few a few of the members read my blog and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for thinking about me and for the kind and thoughtful wishes that you sent my way.  I am writing this with tears in my eyes and please know that I miss you.  Giant hugs to all of you!


I also received a package from Dianne.  Although Dianne doesn’t have an active blog, she does read them…the same way I did before I actually took the plunge and started blogging myself. 

As a way of saying thank you for my FFF’s and Raggedy & Friends BOM, Dianne sent me a gorgeous redwork Christmas ornie and a hand made, hand painted seam ripper in it’s own little case.  The seam ripper was purchased from Lynette Anderson Designs and it’s the cutest gadget ever!


Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, Dianne.  You too have touched my heart and I will cherish your gifts always.

sew strip art

And speaking of FFF’s (First Friday Freebies), this Friday is the First Friday of the month so be sure to come back then when I release a brand new design created just for you!  I like it and I hope that you will too!

Kaaren ♥

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bring On Spring!

We were hit with another nor’easter yesterday.  Snow and howling winds and more snow.  It started yesterday morning as snow pellets and then after about a half hour, it changed into a full blown blizzard and didn’t stop until 10 p.m.  The snow plow finally cleared our road at midnight and left a mountain of snow…literally…at both ends of our circular driveway.  Bring on Spring!

These photos were taken yesterday…just before dusk.

The snow is piled halfway up the workshop doors.


The backyard and barn.


The driveway where I park my van in front of the other barn.


Mr. Painted Quilt and Mac trying to shovel a pathway to the driveway.

Can you see the mail box to the right in the center of the picture?  That’s across the road…but the road has disappeared because it’s entirely filled in with snow!


I think a snow blower might find it’s way home in the next couple of days. 

Bring on Spring!


I received a nice surprise in the mail the other day from Stephanie.


My very own mug rug made in Stephanie’s unique style.


Thanks a million, Stephanie.  It’s already been put to use many times…and I haven’t even dribbled on it yet!


My newest purchase from the Moose River Rug Hooking Studio…a Snapdragon hooking frame.


I’m amazed at how much easier it is to hook on this frame and I’ve made more progress on my first rug.


All the carpet, underpad and endless trash has been removed and is now residing at the dump.  It was our intention to pick up more paint yesterday but that didn’t happen due to the storm so our painting projects are in the ‘pause’ mode until we can get to the store.  That might not happen for a couple of days because I’m sure that’s how long it’ll take before we’re dug out.

Bring on Spring!

Kaaren ♥

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Do You Do When…

It’s too cold outside and it’s snowing and blowing?

We rip out carpeting!


This is our hallway upstairs which had disgusting blue wall-to-wall carpeting covering random plank pine floors.  *sigh*

houses and hearts

We touched base with our contractor last Friday and he told us that he would be here in two weeks to start working on the preliminary renos and then the painting of our house.  Mr. Painted Quilt and I decided that we’d better get a move on and get our work done in anticipation of his arrival.

We were both anxious to get rid of the rest of the existing carpeting and there was no better time than yesterday to start because we were virtually housebound because of the weather.  By the time I remembered to take photos, we had already removed the carpeting and underpadding.

houses and hearts

We have lived in century homes before and know to expect the unexpected so we weren’t surprised when we found a layer of linoleum on top of the pine floors.  Thankfully, it wasn’t glued down but was laid on top of brown paper, then at some time was painted the red color that you see in the photos.  In places it was doubled and you can see the pattern on the linoleum in the photo below.


The same yukky carpeting was on the stairs, held in place with a gazillion carpet staples.  Mr. PQ does the ripping out and then removes the thin wooden strips with nails that holds the carpeting in place.  I remove all the staples and nails and of course, take care of the cleaning up.


Under the carpeting we found painted stairs that have a strip of painted rubber treading nailed down the center.   It was my intention to paint the stairs in any event, so I wasn’t too disappointed.   I’m going to stencil the stair risers with a colonial design but not until the contracting work in completed.


All the carpeting and underpadding has been removed, bagged and bundled, ready to be taken to the dump.  Today we will finish removing the rubber treading and then I will wash and scrub the floors and stairs.  Tomorrow we will do the priming, then apply the first coat of paint.  With any luck, by Thursday we’ll be able to strike another job from our “To Do” list.

Stay tuned for more photos of our ‘work in progress’.

Kaaren ♥

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Raggedy & Friends Blocks 7, 8 and 9–Corrections

It has been brought to my attention that there are two errors in my instructions for Blocks 7, 8 and 9.  Horrors!  That’s what happens when you don’t have anyone to proofread your patterns. 

raggedy ann photo

The corrections are as follows…

The squares for the hst’s (half square triangles) for Blocks 7 and 8 should be cut at 4 7/8”…not 2 7/8” as was written in the original instructions.

Also, the red rectangle in Block 7 should be cut at 8 1/2” x 4 1/2”…not 8 1/2” x 2 1/2”.

I will be correcting the PDF file to reflect these changes as soon as I can.

Edit:  The corrections have been made to the PDF file which you can access HERE as well as in the original post.

Please accept my sincere and humble apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.  If you have already cut out the pieces, perhaps you can incorporate them into a label when you have finished the quilt.

I’m now going to hide and sulk in a corner…but not until I finish the last step on next month’s FFF (First Friday Freebie).

Kaaren ♥


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Raggedy & Friends–Blocks 7, 8 and 9

Here we are again…the 20th of January.  It seems like I just posted Block 6 and said that we’re half way there!

This month, I will be releasing Blocks 7, 8 and 9 at one time because they are smaller than the others and each block has only one stitchery each.  I know you won’t have any problems completing the three blocks before the 20th of next month.

Block 7 will look like this…


Block 8 like this…


And Block 9 like this…


To download the PDF file which includes the photos, instructions and line drawings, please click HERE.  Remember to click on the blue download button, allow the file to load and follow the instructions. 

We are now three quarters there with only three blocks remaining after today.  If you haven’t already, you might want to start piecing the blocks together in rows.  Once you have completed piecing the individual rows, you can create the row of sashing that separates each row, adding a 2 1/2” cornerstone of a coordinating piece of fabric in order to frame the individual blocks.  Remember to also make one for the top and at the same time you can make one for the bottom of your quilt and set it aside because the measurements will be the same as for the top.

Have fun, enjoy and we’ll see you on the 20th of February with Block 10.

Kaaren ♥

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Few New Things



And after.  This new addition arrived today to cozy up our den/sitting room.


It actually throws off a mean heat and I know we’ll be spending a lot more time in this room, especially in the evenings.  I’m certain that once all our boxes are unpacked, the surrounding decor will undergo some tweaking but that won’t happen until after the first stage of renovations.

The cabinet in the first photo has now taken up residence in my studio and will be used for storage.

houses and hearts

Because we live in a rural area, our water is supplied by two wells on our property.  We quickly learned that our ‘traditional’ top loading washer used a tremendous amount of water for each load of laundry and decided to explore our options.  What we learned is that most of the newer front loaders use as much as 75% less water, so here’s what we purchased.


We are quite amazed at how much less water is used for each load.  The final spin cycle is quite intense and the clothes come out much ‘drier’ as well and as a result, what used to take my 2 year old dryer 60 minutes to dry now takes only 30 minutes to accomplish the same thing.  The dryer also senses when the clothes are dry and stops immediately, even though it might not have reached the end of the cycle.  I love my new toys. 

houses and hearts

Back in December, I took part in Chookyblue’s Secret Santa Christmas Swap which I posted about HERE.  It was a two part swap in that one gift we were allowed to open upon receipt of the package and the main gift we were to place under our Christmas tree.  Although I thanked Toni on two occasions for her wonderful gifts, I had forgotten to post a photo of my main gift that I opened on Christmas day. 

Isn’t it wonderful?  I have it hanging in my studio along with my other special gifts from blogging friends.  Thanks again Toni for my wonderful prezzies and to Donna for hosting the swap.

Aust Toni for Can Kaaren-766010

Life is good!

Kaaren ♥

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It’s Finished!

Around noon yesterday, the predicted snow storm arrived.  We have been very fortunate this winter in that this was our first major accumulation and it’s almost the middle of January.  Up until now we have had a few light dustings but yesterday’s storm was a gentle reminder that this is Canada and the “S” word is always lurking around the next corner at this time of year.  On the plus side, the temperature is around 30 F which is indicative of Nova Scotia’s moderate climate…at least where we live by the ocean.


Knowing that we were going to be house bound for the rest of the day, we went into town early in the morning to pick up some groceries and a few things that I needed to finished my hooked purse.  I worked on it yesterday afternoon and finished it this morning.


It’s not perfect and considering that it was a learning experience, I’m pleased with the way it turned out.  Of course if I had to make another one, there are things that I would do differently.  Kathy was a tremendous teacher and I’m looking forward to taking her finishing a rug class at the end of the month.  Now I just have to work hard at completing my rug so that I have something to finish in class.  *wink*


We didn’t get as much snow or  high winds as was predicted.  Mr. Painted Quilt was out at 6:30 this morning clearing the walks and circular driveway. 


It’s huge…just ask him.


Admiring his work…


And Mac is sitting patiently at the kitchen door waiting to go out and help.


Everything looks so clean and pristine under a fresh blanket of snow.

The workshop…


And to the right of the workshop, one of the barns…


And the view of the Annapolis Basin across the way…brrrrrr.


While Mr. Painted Quilt was outside shovelling, I stayed indoors and stripped the wallpaper from the inside back wall of the built in china cupboard and gave it a good cleaning.  I’m going to allow it to dry overnight and start the painting tomorrow.  Slowly but surely…

P.S.    One last thing…a note to Debra and Pat regarding your email advising me of the broken link to my FFF #15.  The link is now fixed.  Thanks for letting me know.  However,  you both came up as “no-reply” bloggers which meant that I had no way to contact you to tell you this.   *sigh*  Here’s hoping that you read this and not think that I didn’t take the time to reply to you.

Kaaren ♥

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My First Hooking Class

With much apprehension, I attended my first rug hooking class on Friday evening and all day Saturday at the Moose River Rug Hooking Studio in the tiny community near to where we live. 

The class was designed to teach several different hooking stitches and techniques and the project that we worked on will eventually be transformed into a little hooked purse like the one below.  Regrettably, I cannot claim this little beauty to be mine as it belongs to Kathy Leblanc who was our teacher for this class.


Each little ‘block’ displays a different stitch that can be used when hooking on different elements in a rug to achieve interest, dimension and texture.  Some of the stitches were a little tricky but with Kathy’s help, we were all able to execute each one…including a raw beginner like me.  Even the seasoned hookers learned a lot from this workshop.

We were each given a piece of burlap with the pattern already on so we could start right in.  Kathy would demonstrate each stitch and then visit each of us to critique and offer assistance as needed.


We all worked like busy little beavers.


Kathy insisted that we take a break around mid morning…


to stretch our legs and partake of the tea, coffee and goodies provided by the gracious shop owners.


We hooked, chatted and laughed our way through the morning session where by this time we had attempted about half of the stitches.  I decided to go with bold colors, kinda crazy quilt style.


Hooking is very strenuous work you know…*wink*… so we recharged our batteries by being treated to a delicious home made lunch which was made and provided by the shop owners.


With one short break in the afternoon, we worked until 4 p.m. at which time we called it a day and had show-and-tell.  No two projects looked the same and a few of the gals chose to hook theirs using yarn instead of wool.


I’m hoping to have the hooking finished by Tuesday so I can bring it to our weekly hook-in at the shop. 


What an incredibly fun day we all had, complimented by a great teacher, incredibly hospitable hosts and a great group of gals.

I think it goes without saying…


Kaaren ♥