On and Off

On and Off

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On and off can refer to a few things. It’s how I am right now with my website. I just can’t decide whether to be on or off with sharing new posts. It seems a bit sporadic right now. Many days I think I’ll just leave the site to be a resource site and then other days (especially when the weather is bad and I’m stuck inside) I think I’ll share some new ideas/posts.

On and off also refers to my knit and crochet projects. They are either on the needles/hook or off the needles/hook.

Before Christmas I finished a pair of black fingerless mitts. I had given away my black pair a year or so ago and while on the spring yarn crawl of 2019 I purchased some black yarn to replace them.

black fingerless mitts at craftygardener.ca

Some new scarves are on and off the needles. Some were gifts for Christmas and one was a gift for me! Sometimes you just have to make things for yourself.

knitted scarves at craftygardener.ca

Two of these scarves are off the needles and were gifts and the purple/pink one is still on the needles.

knitted scarves at craftygardener.ca

This cowl was knit with some Noro yarn purchased from the Beehive Wool store in Victoria, British Columbia last April 2019. It also included the free pattern and was a quick and simple knit.

scarf pattern from The Robbin's Nest

This lacy scarf is off the needles and was a gift at Christmas. The yarn was purchased during the spring yarn crawl of 2019.

crochet scarf at craftygardener.ca
airy shells crochet scarf

This airy shells crochet scarf started out being a gift but it was so soft and cozy it has stayed with me. It was crocheted with a lace weight yarn from the yarn crawl. The pattern called for the scarf to be crochet in two pieces and joined in the middle, perhaps so both the ends matched in pattern. I chose to crochet it all in one piece.

crochet scarf at craftygardener.ca

In varying shade from white, to greys to black, I added some tassels to finish it off, so both my ends do match. The colours are perfect for me and it goes with many outfits.

a crochet virus shawl at craftygardener.ca

The start of this shawl has been on the hook for ages. I just can’t decide if I want to use the virus shawl pattern again. I had used this yarn to make a shawl with the mystery pattern from the yarn crawl but I just didn’t like the finished project. So it was unravelled and I started the virus shawl. But it hasn’t gone much further than this in the past few months. I already have a shawl in the same pattern and similar colours, so until I find another pattern that I like it will stay on the hook!

knitting socks at craftygardener.ca

These socks have been on the needles for a couple of months. They started out on four dpns but I learned the technique of knitting socks on two circular needles, so they got unravelled and started again. The ribbing is just about finished but I don’t have an updated photo. I did get one pair of socks off the needles. It is slow going as the arthritis in my fingers will only let me knit for a little while at a time. I actually find crochet isn’t as hard on my fingers. Hm-m-m-m maybe I should look for a crochet sock pattern.

The off is winning, as that is 6 projects off the needles/hooks and 3 still on the needles/hooks. But I have a tendency to keep starting new projects, so perhaps whenever I get around to doing another knit/crochet update there will be more projects on the needle/hook. I t was just announced that there will be a spring yarn crawl for 2020, a fantastic time to visit lys and stock up on more yarn.

How about you? Do you have more than one project on the go? Silly question, of course you do!

Besides knit and crochet projects, I’ve got rock painting, doodling, photography projects, paper crafting and much more going on. Thank goodness for being retired.

I’m sharing with The Really Crafty Link Party, Handmade Monday, To Grandma’s House We Go, Creative Compulsions. and Little Cottage Link Party.

Fire, Fog and Water

Fire, Fog and Water

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I always eagerly await the next book in the Sgt Windflower series by Mike Martin. I’m never disappointed when I finally get my copy of it.

Fire, Fog and Water by Canadian author Mike Martin
the eighth book in the series

The latest book in the series is Fire, Fog and Water. There are now eight books about Sergeant Winston Windflower and his crew of RCMP officers at the Grand Bank Detachment in Newfoundland. I have followed the whole series and feel like the characters in the books are friends.

Newfoundland is a province in Canada we would love to visit for its rugged coasts, colourful houses, rich history and friendly people.

Fire, Fog and Water by Canadian author Mike Martin

Sgt Windflower starts off this book by not having a good day, in fact a series of not good days, which is most unusual for him. From arguing with loved ones, to being grumpy with staff and then discovering a body on his morning walk. And then of course there is the Newfoundland weather!!

Book Beginnings:  
Sergeant Winston Windflower was not happy. That was unusual. Anybody who knew Windflower would say he was almost always happy.
Today though, anyone who saw him could tell he was certainly not happy.

There are the drug problems, mental health issues, and the treatment of female offices by the higher ups in the RCMP. These are today’s relevant problems and they have been expertly woven into the story .

The Sgt. Windflower series by Canadian author Mike Martin
my collection of Sgt. Windflower books and short stories

More murders are uncovered along with a fire and they are all intertwined. Corporal Tizzard is going through his own crisis and there is a surprising decision at the end.

Friday 56:  
"Evanchuk is nothing ..." started Raymond, and the next thing Windflower knew, the acting inspector was on the floor and Tizzard was on top of him

Windflower always finds peace with his daughter Amelia Louise and once the crimes are solved he loves his time with her and his wife, Sheila, at home.

short stores by Canadian author Mike Martin

I prefer to read the books in order of publication, though each book can be read as a stand alone one. But, after you have read one you will want to go back and read the series from the beginning. You won’t be disappointed.

Sgt. Windflower Books:

This is a series I love and recommend to everyone to read.

book line by craftygardener.ca

Time to join Stacking the Shelves, Book Beginnings, Friday 56

The Village of Rockville

The Village of Rockville

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Several years ago before I started painting rocks to hide, I painted some rock houses for the garden. Over the years the paint has worn away and finally this year when it was time to put the garden to bed for the winter I brought the rock houses inside for some remodelling.

repairing the rocking' village at craftygardener.ca

Originally there were eight houses in this collection but the smallest one had cracked and had to be demolished!

Rockville Village at craftygardener.ca
original Rockville

First all the paint that could be peeled away was scraped off. Then they sat in the craft room from me to work on. In between other projects I started fixing them up.

repairing the rocking' village at craftygardener.ca
in desperate need of remodelling

I do have original photos but it was a challenge to match them exactly. Sometimes I didn’t have that particular colour of paint, so had to mix a few colours to come close to the original colour. I painted windows on the back of the rocks and made sure the underneath was painted and sealed too.

repairing the rocking' village at craftygardener.ca

Thank goodness these old houses didn’t have preservation orders on them so I could adjust paint colours, doors and windows as necessary.

Rockville Village at craftygardener.ca
remodelled and waiting for display in the garden

After scraping, repainting and adding some details the rocks were sealed in a glossy Mod Podge, then give a coat of dishwasher safe Mod Podge and they will be sealed with an outside sealant in the spring. Watch for where I display them in the garden in the spring.

Rockville displayed on the path garden at craftygardener.ca
the original Rockville displayed on the path garden

This is the original post about the Rockin’ Village. I had purchased this book by Lin Welford and it is full of fantastic tips for choosing and painting the rocks.

Painting Houses, Cottages and Towns on Rocks by Lin Wellford

I’ve been painting 4 little cottage rocks for hiding in the spring. These were fun to make and I hope the folks that find them will enjoy them.

painting cottage rocks at craftygardener.ca
little cottage rocks

The rocks fit into the palm of your hand, were quick and easy to paint and finish.

painting cottage rocks at craftygardener.ca
little cottage rocks

Steps in rock painting:

  • clean the rocks
  • paint each side of the rock, let dry thoroughly before turning over
  • add your details, let dry
  • add a Mod Podge layer, let dry before doing the other side
  • you can add a second Mod Podge layer if you wish, let dry
  • spray with a fixative, let dry before turning over
painting cottage rocks at craftygardener.ca

I’m looking forward to hiding these little cottage rocks.

More rock projects

spruce line at craftygardener.ca

I’m sharing with The Really Crafty Link Party, Handmade Monday, To Grandma’s House We Go, Creative Compulsions. and Little Cottage Link Party.

Really Crafty Featured button
Zen-doodles

Zen-doodles

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I was recently introduced to the term zentangles at the Friday Creative Crafting sessions. I have always been a doodler, especially while on hold on the phone and when young I used to use a pencil and compass to make designs, so guess I’ve always been a sort of zentangle artist, just never knew the term.

creating rock zendoodles at craftygardener.ca
zendoodle rocks

Zentangles is a way to create designs by using patterns over and over. A basic zentangle is a tile and repeating the tiles, like a mosaic creates a zentangle picture. Doodles are a bit more spontaneous where zentangles are repetitive.

creating rock zendoodles at craftygardener.ca
Easter egg zendoodles

I’ve been combining doodles and zentangles so guess they could be called zen-doodles. Lots of patience and focus are needed to create one.

Zentangles are originally done on paper/card/sketch pad with a fine tip pen or marker, but I’ve taken it a bit further and created some zen-doodling on rocks.

creating rock zendoodles at craftygardener.ca
a zendoodle bird

As with all my rock projects I start with a simple sketch. I used to have bits of paper all over the place but one of my winter projects was to put all the sketches into a note book. I’ve also added some zentangle patterns as well. It is so much easier to just flip through the book instead of searching for bits of paper.

I love birds. Have you seen Flossie Bird? or the little felt birds.

Sometimes the finished item looks nothing like the sketch, but it was used as a starting point. Frequently the pens/markers determine the size of the shape and the doodle.

creating rock zendoodles at craftygardener.ca
a zendoodle pattern

The quilt style rock pattern started out as oval, but when I chose the rock to use, it was a round one, so I just adjusted the pattern by tracing around the outside of the rock onto the pattern, and then added the grid lines to the rock before adding all the detail.

creating rock zendoodles at craftygardener.ca
a quilt style zendoodle rock

More of my doodles, zentangles, zendoodles

The majority of the rocks I zendoodled had a white background but I did try a couple of the more simple patterns with a black background. The choice is up to you and you are only limited by your own imagination.

Steps in rock painting:

  • clean the rocks
  • paint each side of the rock, let dry thoroughly before turning over
  • add your details, let dry
  • add a Mod Podge layer, let dry before doing the other side
  • you can add a second Mod Podge layer if you wish, let dry
  • spray with a fixative, let dry before turning over
creating rock zendoodles at craftygardener.ca
a zendoodle rock

A search of zentangle or zendoodle will give you lots of ideas and more information. I did find the idea /pattern for bird in a search and changed it up a bit to suit me. Borrow an idea and make it your own!

Other rock projects:

a doodle line from craftygardener.ca

It is time to share with The Really Crafty Link Party, Handmade Monday, To Grandma’s House We Go, Creative Compulsions.

Knitting Socks

Knitting Socks

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Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, how about teaching an older person a new knitting method? You sure can!

I recently mastered knitting socks on two circular needles. I know others have been making this way for ages but I really don’t knit a lot of socks and have always used the 4 dpns. In fact it was 2012 when I knit the last pair!

I went to my favourite local yarn store, Grey Heron, for some advice. They suggested that as my other socks had turned out a bit big and stretched easily I go down a size or two in the circular needles. So I chose two 2.5 mm ones and a package of uneek sock yarn.

making socks at craftygardener.ca

This yarn has two balls exactly the same and it is self striping and both socks turn out exactly the same.

making socks at craftygardener.ca

Casting on and knitting the ribbing was never a favourite thing to do with the dpns and working carefully I managed to get it done fairly easily.

making socks at craftygardener.ca

I knit away over a few weeks, with Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, and just general every day life slowing me down. I wasn’t in a hurry to get these finished as they were for me.

making socks at craftygardener.ca

I knit tube socks, not because I can’t do the heels (I learned that too), but because I just like the comfy feel of them. I don’t wear socks when I wear shoes or boots, just nylons. But I love to wear socks around the house and when I get changed into my pjs.

making socks at craftygardener.ca
knitting socks at craftygardener.ca
my knitted socks

Some of my completed socks:

It is time to share with The Really Crafty Link Party, Handmade Monday, To Grandma’s House We Go, Creative Compulsions.