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, February 28, 2010

"Challenging Ourselves "

I just opened a new blog which will be used for our new group -
20 of us have joined together to do challenges four times a year. The
new site will show pictures of works in progress and every four months
we will show our final challenge. We are busy working on our first
Challenge "Hidden Treasure" which must be finished by May 15.

I am excited about this group as it is something I have wanted to do
for years.

WE WON!!!!

What a wonderful ending for our Olympics! Our hockey team is so
much a part of this country and there was so much pressure on them to bring back the
gold. I felt the sadness in the US team and I felt for them -
however, they really scared us! I feel the win
really was the icing on our cake! We won more gold medals than any
country ever has even though we didn't win the most medals. I believe
that everyone in Canada watched the game if they possibly could.

Congratulations to everyone involved! Yippeee!

Here is my latest project .........

I just finished making a 'quilt carrier' as a prize for
an upcoming retreat - It is a
pillow case that I hand dyed and then I added a
wall hanging that I made to the outside. I find these
are great quilt holders or carriers. I buy inexpensive
pillow cases, dye the background and then add a
quilted scene.

I used to paint something on the
actual pillow case but as I like doing the wall hangings,
I decided to do this one with a quilted rough edge landscape on it.

I plan on doing a couple more for prizes for different
things. I hope you like it.

We are sad up here in Canada that our Olympics are over tonight. I have
enjoyed them so much and our Canadian team did very well indeed. I believe we topped the number of Gold medals did very well in the overall medal count - We
are watching the Hockey game and as the whole country has awaited meeting the Americanswe are hoping that we can win a gold.

We are looking forward to the closing ceremonies tonight - Vancouver
has put their heart and sole into the games and all of Canada has been
l00% behind our olympians. I am very proud (as usual) to be a Canadian.I hope those who were able to visit during the Olympics will come back
as there is lots to see and do in this beautiful country.

I hope you all enjoyed the games as much as I did.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am working on my.........

Challenge for the new group we set up recently. 20 of us have started a challenge group and every four months we will draw the name of a theme and will
make a challenge - I am having such fun - and it sounds as if others are too.

Our Challenge isn't due until May and I plan on opening a blog so that we
can all show are challenges and show how we reached our finished challenge.
I will let everyone know when we are there!
What about those Olympics! I watched the skate dance finals last night and
was in awe of the beautiful dance our Canadians did. It reminded of some of
the wonderful skaters in the past - Their dance was so beautiful, and so
smooth and I think everyone lost themselves watching them. I have never
seen a more beautiful skating program and it seems even the judges saw that too. They train with the American Couple who came second and are
best friends with them. I have been so proud of our Olympians.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Is the chief ice maker for the
Olympic curling.

He had done many of the world's tournaments and
this is his first Olympics- as chief ice maker. He was chosen to carry the
torch and loved every minute of it.

What a wonderful time for him. Canada is starting out with wins for both men and women and hopefully they will bring home a medal in Curling.

The men's and women's teams are both from Alberta so we are watching the games whenever they are shown. My sister and her family are all very involved with curling and we are all so proud of Dave.

I loved watching the moguls and the snow boarding - they are so quick and so brave!

It is too bad we don't have some of the snow that is falling on the east coast.

Paul Brandt - who is singing the National Anthem at the awards ceremony tonight is the son of a family friend of ours and is very very popular here in Canada and I believe he is known in some of the States. He decided early on in
his career to stay up here rather than stay in Nashville where he spent a couple of years. Decided he didn't want to go that route and came back to Calgary and
is now the top Western Artist in Canada. Very nice young man.

I hope you are all enjoying the Olympics as much as I am.

I am pulling for Apollo OOno, as well as our speed skaters today as well.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Good day at the Olympics!

We won the first ever gold in a Canadian Olympics last night. The men's moguls were won by a Canadian so we are all quite happy now. Also won a silver and a gold and had lots of close finishes.

The US is doing very well as usual. I was sorry to see Apollo miss the gold in the speed skating. I watched him on Dancing with the stars and he seemed like
a very nice young man.

They have been showing some wonderful pictures of my beautiful country.

Tomorrow is Alberta Day so there will likely be lots of nice shots of this area.

I started teaching my 3rd series of thread painting - we started with a Robin perched on a pussywillow branch - the girls are doing a wonderful job. I am
really pleased with the results so far.

We will be learning how to do leaves, flowes, animals and then start getting information which will be used in doing landscapes. Trees, buildings, mountains, thread painting bushes -- Once we have that finished we will
do a wall hanging using the thread painted trees and buildings - the girls seem
very enthusiastic.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I hope you all have a lovely day. It is rather special for us as my husband (Bob aka Pat)and I
met 55 years ago tomorrow -- knew each other for 3 days -- decided to get married - shortly after I flew down to Camp Borden, Ontario where he was stationed
(Army) and 3 days later we were married. Needless to say, no one thought
we had a chance but it has gotten better every year.

I am so fortunate to have him - he is my best friend, my constant supporter and the love of my life!

I doubt if I would have made it through the past year without him being there
for me constantly -- He has 'loved' every art work I have ever done - and
I do so appreciate it. Shirley

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I am feeling so sorry for the luge team from Georgia for the dreadful
accident. I feel so bad for his family. He was only 21 years old I understand. I know that the organizers, and all of Canada are devastated.

However, they have not cancelled - I understand they added some height to the
fence - and made some other adjustments.

I have been watching the l000 meter speed skaters- my they do a good job!

I am also looking forward to the curling - as my nephew, Dave Merklinger
is in charge of the ice making. He is our top icemaker for curling .

Dave is also an excellent curler and won the world
championship in l985. His sister Anne is a wonderful curler who just
retired. She is head of our Summer Olympic "Own the Podium" program
which is a program to improve our resources, and training for the
Summer Olympics. I am very proud of them both.

The venues for the winter olympics are here in Calgary and
at the ski hills around here. The cross country skiing area is in Canmore
(Canmore Nordic Center). Most of the venues we built for the 88 olympics
have been used. We have our olympic oval for speed skaters - it isn't far from our place, here in Calgary.

We are usually glued to the television during all the olympics.

I hope you all enjoy them too. The weather is not cooperating. None of our
weather has followed the usual patterns here in Western Canada-- much
colder and snowier here this year but milder than usual in BC.

Friday, February 12, 2010


The winter olympics start today - Vancouver is a gorgeous city and will be a great
setting for the Olympics. The opening ceremony will be starting in a few hours.

We held the Winter Olympics here in the 80's and what a great time we all had!

I send all the Olympians congratulations and I hope the games go well.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My little artist

Hayley spent 3 hours painting a wonderful ceramic horse. She amazed me as
she decided to use the primary colors and mix her own. I was surprised she knew how! She is very focused and ended up with a very pretty horse.

She is so focused for a 6 year old and is showing a lot of talent. (not that I
am prejudiced!) I think we have an artist here - grin.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Aurora Borealis

I have been fortunate to see the northern lights quite a few times, especially when we lived in Edmonton. They are so unbelievable and so beautiful. I thought you might be interested in seeing some pictures that were sent to me - I am not sure who the photographer is - but they show the 'northern lights' so well.

I hope you enjoy them.
I am still working on my "coyotes" I have the bottom 1/3rd quilted and am
starting the sky right now. I should have it finished (the scene ) and will do the borders tomorrow.
My husband likes it - which is good as it is for him.
My mind is still on the new Challenge and I think I have decided on
what I am going to do. I promised myself I will finish my WIP's before I
start - that will give me more time to think about how I will accomplish
my goal which is to get out of my comfort zone -
It is a glorious day today -- it is bright and sunny (we are fortunate that even though it can be bitter cold we gets lots of sunlight) I do much better in the
sunshine and feel quite down if I am in an area where there are a lot of cloudy
days, even if the weather is warmer. The snow is melting and even though it
is early in this part of the world, I feel spring in the air. I think about the
West coast and that the blossoms are starting to show - I love the spring in
Vancouver and Victoria -- I just am not fond of the rain.

They are busy getting ready for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Shirley

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


is the name of our new Challenge group -- we have our own yahoo group and have chosen our first challenge --" Hidden treasures" - what a great choice. I think I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go with this. I had decided I wouldn't say much about what I hoped to accomplish, here. However I think I will post generally about my struggles -grin.

My goal is to branch out with my work. I have done so many landscapes of the Rockies, winter and places around where I live. I have decided not to go in that
direction - and hopefully do some of the things I have wanted to do over the years.
I am happy with my work, but it is time I forced myself to try new directions.
I have decided - especially for this first challenge that I don't want to change
completely - I prefer to use what I have learned over the years, but try new
ways to accomplish my goal or even change my goal still doing what I love to do.

We have such a variety of ladies signed up in this new group, that it will be fascinating to see what each of us ends up with. I think the subject is perfect for our first challenge - so many different directions we can go.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2010 My work Coyotes

I finally finished the top of my 'Coyotes' It is
45" x 35" and I am glad to get the top finished.

It is the first one I have made for ll months so it is nice to know the creative part is finished.

I will machine embroidery and quilt it quite
tightly, and will put a variegated thread on the border. I enjoy the quilting just as much
as the designing - I haven't got a name for it
yet -- This one will be in our living room.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It has been a very good week for me.

My grand daughter Hayley's 6th birthday! She had a wonderful time with her kindergarden friends at the Science Building for her birthday party. She is very aware of the universe and amazed my husband because she told him the name of all the planets! She is
such a joy for us!
We were talking on our Learningfa group about a wonderful challenge blog one of the girls had told me aboutArt quilts around the world . As the group was full, and as the idea appealed to me so much, I suggested that some of the girls on the learningfa group would like to start one of our own. Within about 30 minutes we had 20 people and after a lot of work, we have a yahoo group called "Challenging ourselves" and have chosen our first Challenge. We have Canadians, Australians, Americans and an Irish woman in the group - Some are traditional quilters, others have lots of Art quilt experience some have none and we really should have a variety of different challenges when we
finish them for May 15.

The first challenge is "hidden treasures' and there are no rules as to how we interpret the theme. I will post as I take this journey. I
have so many ideas of things I might want to do -- I want to try new things, but
to be honest - I think I will follow my own thoughts with this one - even if
I use tried and true techniques.

I hope to learn something about photo shop, but doubt I will ever really get
into doing abstracts as I love what I am already doing. I just hope I can come up with something that speaks to me - as that is what the new group is about.

We already have a waiting list but have decided to limit the group to 20 people.

Once we are near finishing our challenge I will open a blog so that we can show our pictures of each of the challenges and continue to do so for each new challenge.

Our weather has improved as we had a Chinook wind this morning which
causes the temperatures to rise very quickly. It makes a nice break and today a lot of the snow on the side roads melted. We have had a very large amount of
snow and the it will be great when the snow goes and the streets are cleaned. Oh well, this is Çanadian weather! It is hard to believe it is February already
and soon we will see our first robins. After this past year, I am looking forward
to a happy 2010 with no unexpected surprises.