knitting Paradise

I belong to a wonderful knitting and crochet group called

Knitting Paradise.

I hope you will drop by and check us out. Shirley

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We take lots of drives around Alberta (usually into the Rocky Mountains) and I want to share some of our beautiful scenery with you.Some of these show
our Skies, and most are of the mountains.

These photos were all taken on our short trips in 2009.


"CHINOOK - "a warm dry wind that blows down the east side of the Rocky Mountains in
the winter -- Temperatures can change in a few hours up to 30 degrees."

The winds cause an arch in the sky and are seen in northern Montana and Southern Alberta.
We know that warm weather is coming if only for a short while.

I have seen hundreds of Chinook arches over the years and never tire of them as each one is different from the others. The wind pushes the clouds into an arch (often a perfect arch) and they are so welcome. Sometimes at sunset they are spectacular -see photo.

I am going to post some pictures of my part of the world for the next while. I live in
an interesting place -- on the west are the Beautiful Canadian Rockies, then the foothills and to the east are the prairies and ranch and farm land. I hope you enjoy my pictures of some of the beautiful 'arches'. Shirley

Friday, December 25, 2009


My six year old grand daughter just phoned -- it seems Santa brought her a set of drums and an
mouth organ ! (I am glad they are at her house rather than mine!). She 'played for us
on the phone and I promised I would help her play a tune on the mouth organ. We are having a quiet family get together tonight.

I am finding this Christmas difficult, but that is to be expected -I know it will be easier as
time goes by. I hope to get back to normal this next while - teach my classes which were
promised last summer and do another wall hanging.

Our weather is so much nicer today - we have had terrible weather this past month-but today it is bright and sunny, not bitter cold and a typical Alberta Christmas. I wish I could
share it with my friends in the warmer climes. (Maybe they could send a bit of their
warmth this way.

We spent 2 Christmas's in New Zealand and I remember having a 'barbie" on the beach
with our friends - wonderful sea food right out of the ocean- pipis, clams, etc. It is
one of my favorite memories of our two years there.

Once again, have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Shirley

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My dear friend Deb, who is

like a daughter to me is celebrating her birthday today - (a very special one) .

Deb -- has been a big part of my life for l0 years and
and has been such a wonderful friend, especially this
past few months when things were very dark in my life. I wish you good fortune,
good friends, and all good things dear Deb. Shirley

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here are some of my winter scenes,

made over the past two years. Looking out my window I think they are appropriate right now! I actually love to do winter scenes
but don't love the winter.

We have had
some really bad
weather this past 3 weeks.

I feel some enthusiasm
and will start working on my classes after Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It was a----

tiring day, but the celebration of Rob's life went very well. It was a gathering of his friends
and family - which was what he wanted.

I am going to take it easy for a few days and then decide what project I will start - and
what class I will get ready to teach on Learningfa.

This is the 'Emma's tree' I have up on my wall at home. Today I received some Christmas
decorations from the girls in a 'Decoration swap' on the Learningfa group. I was so pleased as I wondered what their decorations would be like. I decided to put them on my 'Tree"
and here they are. Thanks so much if any of them are reading this blog. The other tree I made for a gift was much appreciated and I have decided to make them for all my friends next year. I am very tired and will take a few days to get back to working on my 'stuff'.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Carma results -$985.00

Wendy just called me and told me that between the postcards and my wall hangings, $985
was given to Wellspring . Isn't that great? They also sold quite a lot of larger quilts and though they didn't make as much as last year, with the economy the way it has been this past year, they did very well. I am very proud to be part of the efforts to raise money for the
Wellspring projects. Especially right now and especially when the wonderful cards you
sent me in Rob's and My name did so well.

I am hoping to donate more of my quilts next year. Thanks to Wendy for doing such a
great job organizing the auction and sale.

Monday morning

I just thought I would drop by to say hello. Life is not too great right now,
but that is to be expected. I am doing okay.

I just heard from Wellspring and they did quite well with the auction of
the quilts. Our donations certainly were good. Over 300.00 for the post cards
and $550. for my wall hangings so I think we did make a difference. Wendy
was so appreciative of all the postcards -- and I wan't to thank you all again.

I hope to get back to normal in the next month or at the most 2 months-
Until then, I will have to 'play it by ear'

I found some pictures that I have taken over the years of Alberta --
I took this picture of one of our beautiful Alberta skies last year - It was spectacular .
I will post a few more pictures of my home Province in the next few days. Shirley

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wellspring -Carma House -sales - 2009

I just heard from Wendy -- they have made over $300.00 so far from the post cards and will sell the rest at the Christmas party on Saturday. I am so thankful for all your cards.

They have also sold 2 of my wall hangings and I will have a table At Carma house on
Saturday, so I hope to sell a few more. It comforts me to be able to help Carma House
right now, and I am looking forward to being at the Christmas party on Saturday.

I haven't been out much, due to being sick, and no energy -so it will be great to get a day out.

There was the most beautiful Chinook Arch over the Rockies yesterday, so today is
very warm and feels like spring! grin.

I hope you are all happy and content and have eaten lots of turkey!

I won't guarantee how much I will be around in the next while, but will try to drop in.
Things are not getting better here, and I know they won't be. I hope you will continue to
keep my son and I in your prayers. Shirley

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


to my American friends! We spent 9 winters in Arizona and I miss your Thanksgiving
celebrations. I hope all my American friends have a wonderful day, and don't get too
crushed on Black Friday - grin.

(For those who are
not familiar with Black Friday -- it is the busiest shopping day of the year - the day after Thanksgiving.
People line up for hours and there are some wonderful bargains.)

I have so many happy memories of Celebrating
Thanksgiving at the park where we spent our winters.

Have a lovely day, with Turkey and all the trimmings!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I just got a phone call from Wendy at Carma house and she just got home from
working at the display in Gulf Canada Square -- she says that people are so
intrigued with all your cards and they are selling quickly - for between 5.00 and
l0.00 per card. She says that just about everyone who walks by is so impressed, and awestruck at all your work. She is going to try and get a photo taken of
the table with the cards on it.

I am so pleased that all of beautiful cards I received from all over the world are
raising funds, and introducing the wonderful work to strangers who are
so very impressed. I hope to be at the auction next Thursday at the display,
and then I will be at the "Christmas for Carma house party" on the 28th where
I hope to sell any cards that are left over, as well as 3 or 4 of my wall hangings .

I will keep you all informed . Shirley

Another artist in the family! My grand daughter Hayley

This beautiful child is my grand daughter- she is nearly 6. She is an excellent artist
and has an wonderful imagination. I am so proud of her. Here are l0 cats she
drew for us. What a joy she is!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tutorial - Christmas projects, 2009 Nov/09

I found some of my drawings that I did when I designed the table topper that is on the header. There are two or three different 'patterns' Please forgive me as these are
just rough drafts, but I think you might find them useful.

The first photo shows my drawing of the table topper - You
can make your blocks whatever size you wish.
Mine are approx. 6".

In all these cases I made the log cabins first and then used the size of the blocks to
make the center block.

I thread painted a candle on a pieceLARGER than the blocK would
be and then cut it to the size of the other blocks. Then I stitched the 3 rows side by
side with the motif I chose, satin stitched to the center block. You can either
use the timtex or a good stabilizer - cut it out, then satin stitch it to the white
block, making sure it is small enough so that when it is cut to size the motif fits
nicely in the block. I then sandwiched the whole table topper and quilted it -
following the straight lines in the log cabins and used a quilting pattern
(you can choose which one). It is important that the quilting over all the
table topper is even - you don't want some close quilting and some larger quilting.
I then found a pretty Christmas fabric, backed it (you can put a sleeve on in in
case whoever receives this gift might want to hang it - or neglect the sleeve and
use it just as a table topper. I then bound it in Christmas fabrics -- it is an easy gift.
You could also use other christmas blocks if you want. Voila! you have a table topper.

-I did this table topper exactly the same way using smaller blocks
I made three of these, One with a pointsettia and holly - the second
with a fairly tall pine cone pattern, the other with a candle on the
top and holly on the bottom square. Very pretty and much
appreciated gift - easy, fast and fun.


here are two different table runners - the third 'pattern'
uses quite a few motifs and another pattern for the pieced blocks - one I did with rows of Christmas fabric, - Any 4 or 5" block will do.
I then did small motifs - One I did with holly on all the open
blocks and the other I did with Pointsettials and little candles
placed in the white blocks.

You can vary the blocks in the first one with one of your
table runner patterns and incorporate two blocks which
show thread painting motifs - The possibilities are endless.

Forgive my poor drawings. I just found these old work sheets and they do give
you some ideas as to how to do the projects. I can't take a picture of any of the
finished table runners as they were given away as gifts and I can't find the pictures
of the finised projects.
You can also do coasters and hot plates using the motifs - I use heat resistant fabric
underneath the top layer, and then thin batting. I usually change my ironing board
top once a year and cut them up for these projects. You can cut the blocks
individually, or quilt a whole piece of the cover to fit the project - then quilt it.

Use your imagination! I hope you will send me pictures of your projects to

Have Fun everyone , Shirley

Christmas CANDLE - other alternative

I just realized that the example I showed of the candle was not done in straight lines.
I used a zig zag and covered the candle without following any pattern, and THEN, did the darker edges and the wax drips. There are so many ways to thread paint. I have had
the example picture for some time. Just make sure you fill in the candle but make sure you don't go over and over it. That is why it is a good idea to use the basic candle color
underneath so you don't have to pile your stitches up. You might go over it twice, but
no more. Shirley


One motif I often use is the little pine cones and needles -- It is so useful for
Autumn or Christmas gifts. here are some examples. You can draw an
egg shaped oval, then color each egg with a medium brown, (use a coppery
brown). Once you have the cone covered, then take a dark brown or black thread
and put in the layers - click on the photos so you can see what I mean.

I usually draw a fairly wide branch, and put the cones on it. then cut it out
as mentioned previously, then satin stitch around the trunk and the cones.

very fine satin stitch, or zig zag or even a straight stitch in dark green- go up
and down from the trunk, behind and beside the pine cones - make your
needles quite long. go over and over changing the spot of the needles so that
it appears to have many many needles. Then change to a satin medium to
dark thread and put a few needles on top. This is a great little project to
decorate any Christmas project - you can make them as large or small as you

I HOPE YOU have enjoyed these three little projects and that you do use them.

Tutorial - Christmas Projects - CANDLE

Here are two different patterns for the candle.
You can click and pull the pattern over to your desk top and put it into your image program then
make it the size you wish. My candles are usually no larger than 5-6 inches tall and 3/4" wide.

I would not put the holly in until you are putting the
design together. Note: I used a blue fabric and attached it with 505 spray to a piece of timtex,
(a heavy web for making bowls). I then draw the design on the blue fabric and we are ready to thread paint. You can also use, other
colors for your candle -this candle can be used for other projects too.

You will need a medium to dark thread for the outside of the candle on both sides and a lighter color for the center, with a very light color for the drips. Here is how it will look.

Remember, we are just doing the candle. Using a narrow zig zag, with the dark thread, stitch up and down each side as well as behind the flame. Change your thread to medium blue and zig zag with a slightly larger stitch, up and down, working towards the center (you do not have the holly on the bottom, we will add it later. Once your candle is thread painted, take your light thread and fill in the little drips (grin) following the shape of the wax-
You will now do your flame. -- I usually use two colors, a yellow and an orange yellow. You can do the center with the orange and if it is too orange you can do a medium zig zag over the orange in yellow, and carry it out to the edge of the flame with a tighter zig zag-- doing it this way BLENDS
the two colors---
You don' t want to stitch ACROSS any part -- follow the shape. You will find that
it doesn't pucker at all when you are doing it on the timtex - that is why I do most of
my thread painted objects on the timtex. IF YOU can't find the timtex, you can
use fabric the color of your fabric and use a good stabilizer.

Once you have finished your candle (without the holly) do a medium zig zag all around the candle. Cut it out - and put it in a baggy (You will satin stitch it on your project later ) - once again, I make two or three or more -sometimes I take a day and make 4 or 5 candles and 4 or 5 pointsettiasso that I have them for my Christmas projects.

HOLLY - Holly is very easy to do -- here is a good example of a holly branch - you can make individual leaves if you wish (I often do) -I make a small branch with lots of leaves for
the bottom of my candle on a good stabilizer -- I use green fabric for the leaves - It makes it easier to use the basic color of the project. - you thread paint the leaves very much like you thread painted the pointsettia - either fill the leaves in - making sure there are sharp points along the leaf with a vein up the center. Once you have your leaves done, take a red thread and thread paint small circles as shown in the first picture if you are doing a branch-
If you are doing holly for the base of the candle or with a pointsettia, you can either do the leaves or 3 or 4 leaves and berries together in groups and then cut them out, after doing a small zig zag around the leaves - when you are putting the candle and holly together, you use a medium satin stitch and attach the candle to the background -THEN add the holly at the base and satin stitch with a narrow zig zag after you have cut them out.
OR -do individual leaves - place them and once they are added to your project you then put your berries directly on the piece (this is easier I believe). This is a very easy project and so effective. Give it a try. I will be doing the 3rd part today or tomorrow which will cover the
pine cones and pine needles - see center of header table runner.

I also plan on showing you my working sketches for a table runner or table top showing two different ways of making the table runner. The possibilities are endless! Have fun ladies! Shirley