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Welcome


I am happy to share my thoughts, interests with you.
For all my other creative ideas please check the links to my other blogs.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update on Baby Spiral Socks

While doing my research on the 'Wunderknäuel' in Google in German I saw my baby spiral socks and an explanation that in German hospitals they use them for preemies. They call them in German 'Regenwürmer' - 'earthworms'. As the socks have no heel they can be worn by any size baby and will keep the tiny ones nice and warm. Here is a link to the pattern and all kinds of other baby patterns in German.

Surprise Wool Ball - Wunderknäuel

Thanks to the Internet I am able to read German and English blogs and newsgroups. That's when I came across a post about knitting socks from a 'Wunderknäuel' - surprise wool ball in English. I remember those fondly from my childhood. It was a great incentive to get me knitting.

The picture above shows a Wunderknäuel with the knitting started and some of the content from the Wunderwolle blog, it is in German.

Now what on earth is a 'Wunderknäuel' - surprise wool ball? I asked at a local wool shop if they had ever heard of them and the answer was no, what is it. So it seems to be totally unheard of in the English speaking world, but quite common in the German speaking world.
content of a Wunderknäuel
A 'Wunderknäuel' - 'surprise wool ball' is a ball of wool that has been rewound around a bunch of 'goodies' or surprises.
For kids it was usally a toy or several that only became visible as you continued knitting. The surprises can be anything small enough that can be incorporated by winding it into the ball of wool. Most often is was enough wool to knit a pair of socks.

The picture above shows the content of a Wunderknäuel from Mandala's blog, it is in German.

I love the idea of the Wunderknäuel and exchanging them with friends. It is a great gift and for younger knitter or even crocheters a great incentive.

At Creadoo.com I came across the idea to make a Wunderknäuel for advent with 24 items in about 200 g of wool and each day you would knit to the next surprise until on December 24 you had finished your project.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My October Desktop Wallpaper

I just realized that it is almost October and so time to offer the new wallpaper. October's photo is a dragon fly. I saw it sitting motionless on a stone while I was gardening. I guess that dragon flies need warmer temperatures to fly around and as it was early morning it was still a little too cold. That proved to be perfect for me to take closeup pictures without having to worry that it will fly away.

Wallpaper with Calendar (North American format: Sun - Sat)

Wallpaper without Calendar

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Switching to a Label Cloud

My transformation of my blog is just about done for now. Most of it was easy and working with a test blog was really helpful.

After looking at my 3 column blog, I realized that I needed to make the content stand out more and searched through my hard drive to find a background that would add to the design. I think I fond it and like the leaves and blue sky, it gives it that 'dappled air' look. Also putting a thin dashed border around my 2 sidebars helped visually.

Now, the one thing I didn't really like was that long 'labels' list and I wanted a label cloud. I had bookmarked a site with instructions for a label cloud and decided to give it a try. It was very easy to follow them and adjust the colors to my website. I am pleased with the final result.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Going from 2 Columns to 3


When I first started this blog, I just took the template that I liked and adjusted the colors to suit my style. Now after a few months I realized that I would really prefer to have 3 columns, but how to change it took a lot of research and reading. I forgot to take a screenshot, so now that I have created a test blog I set it up with the 2 col template again and some test entries and took a screenshot for reference.

I tried yesterday to make the changes and it would just not work, so I switched back to the 2 column style. Then last evening I came across another site with instructions. I realized that the problem the first time around had to do with my initial template I used. I had started with the 'Minima lefty' template and following the new instructions I had found I had no problem converting to 3 columns. The only thing I had to change was the code for the original left column, to make it the right column.

Taking screenshot of the 3 column layout straight after conversion will remind me how it was once I have made some changes.

Now my next step is to fine tune the look of my blog. At Blogger Buster I came a cross a PDF ebook with instructions on how to make changes to the template, I just haven't had the time yet to read it all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pier 21, QE2 and a Wedding

After a very busy weekend I am finally getting around to write about it. My oldest daughter is visiting us and at the same time scouting places for her future wedding next year.

On Sunday we all attended a beautiful wedding of a relative at Pier 21, Canada's Immigration Museum. As you can see from the picture of the couple to the right our view was blocked by a ship. As it turned out just as the ceremony ended the ship was leaving. It was the Queen Elizabeth 2 on her last visit to Halifax, NS before leaving for Dubai where she will be converted to floating hotel.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Inspiring Article about Personal Growth

"Personal growth does not come from analyzing the past. It comes from releasing it."

I just read this inspiring article by Chris Walker about Personal Growth and I could not have said it better. "Letting go of ideas, people and judgment." Wow, can you imagine what this would do for the world? If we would not hold on to any grudges, forget about past wrongs and start each new day, no each minute with that in mind, there would not be any more need for fighting or wars and we would learn to live with each other in peace and work things out.

To end this post here is a link to www.worldpeace.org and their motto:

May peace prevail on earth

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pony Bead Star Oraments

I am still sorting and organizing my craft stash and came across these pony bead ornaments I made last year just a little too late for Christmas. So this year am ready and they are already available for sale.

I also have instructions on how to make them on my main website. They are easy to make as they are made with pony beads, thick thread and a big dull, wool darning needle, so it is pretty safe for children to make. I had lots of fun making them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Garden Soldier

As I was checking my garden this morning, I realized that the plants I had planted last year had grown nicely and that the little plastic toy soldier I had found looked really cool. So I have my own private soldier guarding my garden.

I wanted to take this picture because of the pictures I had seen online of a guy in England putting little figures all over London and then taking pictures. I thought that was so cute and too bad I could not do that as I did not have any figures. Well, so I thought, it turns out I had that same idea already a year ago.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Organizing my Crafts & Recycling at the Same Time

I just realized that now would be a great time to get organized with all my craft creations. I never really created a list of what I have. So this weekend I started to create a spreadsheet for all my items, wow there are a lot. I have also discovered a great way to store all the various items.

I discovered prewashed lettuce in seethrough plastic containers and never one to throw things out before I can figure out a use for an item, I quickly realized their usefulness. These containers are rectangular and stack very nicely. They are not too big, about 12,5 inches long and 8 inches wide. I can now readily see what is inside, which is much better than shoeboxes. I still label the containers to make it easier on me to figure out what's inside.

I also read someplace to use transparent labels and then write with a pencil on it, that way the text can be changed again. I also use this on file folders.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Freecycle

It is time again to start cleaning out things that I am not using any longer. I have found that freecycle is the best way to find a new home for those items. What is freecycle? Here is a quick summary from freecycle.org:
"Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,592 groups with 5,767,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. Have fun!"
I have a page on my website where I place pictures of the items I have to offer as it is not always easy to explain exactly what you have to offer. I also like that people come to pick the item up and I don't have to go chase after them.

freecycle

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Excitement in the Neighbourhood

Our neighbourhood is usually quiet, especially as we live on a dead-end street, nothing much happens. But since the end of August we knew that something was up. Workers raised the manhole covers, then the scraped the pavement at the edge of the road. The road really needed work, I think the last time it was paved was a long time ago according to neighbours who have lived here since the houses were built. Now paving the road is a once in lifetime experience here, so last night as I was watching TV the house started to shake and I heard a rumble, a quick glance out the kitchen window explained all. So I grabbed the camera and went outside as did a few other neighbours. I got some cool pictures and the light after 6 pm was perfect. They paved one half of the road and left.

Then this morning they were back. First came the guy that sprayed the liquid tar on the road from the back of a truck. Then came the paving machine with 6 guys on it. They setup the machine right next to last evening's job and waited for the truck with the asphalt to back up the length of the street and then they got going. It is amazing how fast this work progresses. The machine and the asphalt truck move in tandem at walking speed.

The huge steamroller compacts the newly laid pavement by rolling over it back and forth. The guy that drives the steamroller has a seat that can swivel in any direction, facing forward or backward or even sideways. I found the whole thing fascinating.

I also saw a guy measure the temperature of the asphalt after it had been compacted. I guess it has to cool down at a certain rate. I also heard that with the high cost of crude oil the cost of paving has also gone up like crazy.

Check out the full album here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Copyleft

While cleaning out my emails, I came across an article I had saved about the 'copyleft' symbol and decided that this was a great idea for us creative types. We all know about the copyright symbol and what it means, but what about when you want to encourage others to use your creation and it is more than ok to use it, that's when you can use the copyleft symbol to inform others that you encourage them using your stuff.

The “reversed c in a full circle” is the copyleft symbol. It is the copyright symbol mirrored. Unlike the copyright symbol, it has no legal meaning.

Here is the summary from Wikpedia:
Copyleft is a play on the word copyright and describes the practice of using copyright law to remove restrictions on distributing copies and modified versions of a work for others and requiring that the same freedoms be preserved in modified versions.

Copyleft is a form of licensing and may be used to modify copyrights for works such as computer software, documents, music, and art. In general, copyright law allows an author to prohibit others from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of the author's work. In contrast, an author may, through a copyleft licensing scheme, give every person who receives a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute the work as long as any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same copyleft licensing scheme. A widely used and originating copyleft license is the GNU General Public License. Similar licenses are available through Creative Commons — called Share-alike.

Copyleft may also be characterized as a copyright licensing scheme in which an author surrenders some but not all rights under copyright law. Instead of allowing a work to fall completely into the public domain (where no copyright restrictions are imposed), copyleft allows an author to impose some but not all copyright restrictions on those who want to engage in activities that would otherwise be considered copyright infringement. Under copyleft, copyright infringement may be avoided if the would-be infringer perpetuates the same copyleft scheme. For this reason copyleft licenses are also known as reciprocal licenses.

While copyright protects the rights of the creator by providing control of distribution and modification, the idea of copyleft is to grant Gratis freedom to all others. In this way, seemingly using copyrighted works as if there were no copyright law on them, with one exception: copyleft also grants the open access to information useful in supporting modification (e.g. source code) by enforcing its publication, and allows the original author to be acknowledged.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Beaded Keys

After experimenting with beading wooden beads and plastic tubes I remembered that I had a container full of old keys that I just could not throw out, but never quite knew how to use. Well, that day has arrived and I had my bright idea that I might cover the key with beads and make a pendant.

The orange key to the right is my first attempt and remains still unfinished. I had to figure out how to start the beadwork and what kind of stitch to use.

Then I found this old car key in the mix of keys and realized that it is thicker than house keys and used small tube beads for the edge and bright red seed beads for the outline and larger seed beads for the center. I call it the 'heart key'.

The latest beaded key is my 'dancing key'. I covered the key with green seed beads and wasn't too impressed with it. Then after looking through my beads I came across a tube of assorted beige beads that would look wonderful as a fringe. But how to attach the fringe? So I circled the key body with some purple seed beads and attached the fringe to them. To attach the pendant to a necklace I beaded a hanger with the same purple seed beads. I really like the look of it.

The key pendants are for sale. If you are interested email me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Killing Horsetails Update

2 weeks ago I experimented with boiling water to kill the 'horsetail' weeds in my garden. I have now discovered that the boiling water works great on the horsetails that grow inbetween the stones in my paths between flower beds. They really don't seem to like the boiling water. As to other weeds, it is not so effective. They just come back again. So I will have to experiment some more with the vinegar salt mix, I saw online.

The only problem with the boiling water is, in the flower beds, I have to pull out the horsetails by hand or the boiling water will hurt the good plants.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Does Astrology help us understand what's happening?

I have always been interested in Astrology, Numerology and other so called 'New Age' means to help us understand our world. I don't see the information as written in stone, that it has to happen a certain, predicted way, but more as a road map pointing out the obstacles and the different routes.

This morning I came across an interesting article by Barbara Hand Clow, scroll down to the Virgo New Moon: August 30, 2008 section. Here one part of the article that really caught my attention:
"I realize that it might look like I am biased about these events, yet I am simply tracking things that show significant diminishment of global respect for America. I am watching this building anti-Americanism (like in the 1960s) because we are moving closer to the first Saturn/ Uranus opposition since 1965-67, when the US was in turmoil over the Vietnam War and racism. Back in the mid-1960s, Saturn was in Pisces opposing Neptune in Virgo, and now Saturn is in Virgo moving to an opposition to Uranus in Pisces. In the coming months, I will have much to say about this opposition, which will be close all the way through 2010. I will address the fact that the Saturn/Uranus oppositions in the 1960s and the ones coming in 2008-2010 significantly aspect the USA Neptune in Virgo, which squares Mars in Gemini. For now, let us note that the first Saturn/Uranus opposition, which will create significant tensions between authority and freedom, will occur on November 4, 2008, the day of the US Presidential election! What are the chances this is just a coincidence? Considering this building opposition and the great shift in world power during July and August 2008, let us examine this New Moon Virgo to imagine how it might sculpt these changes that have already started."
I can't explain why, but I have always had that feeling that we were about to repeat what happened in the late 60s and this article put everything in perspective for me. Saturn and Uranus are in the same alignment they were in then, the only difference is that they have switched signs. So it is a repeat performance, but as we all know, you can't really repeat something and get the same result as time has passed. Time moves in circles, no it moves in spirals and we think we are back where we started, but that is not the case. It might look that we are back at the same spot, but we are now a level higher and have experienced things that have colored our point of view. And so, I view that alignment of Saturn and Uranus as such. It might feel like it is a repeat performance, but with the planets in opposite signs this time around, the influences have changed and so the outcome will also be different. I am looking forward to see how this all will unfold.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Desktop Wallpaper

I love to take pictures and until now I have never really used them as desktop wall paper. For some reason I just feel it is the right thing to do to use my best pictures for my desktop wallpaper calendar. After a little bit of experimenting, I realized that a photo that isn't too busy is better suited as a desktop wallpaper than a busy photo.

I am happy to present my September desktop wallpaper calendar. I have create 3 different sizes that should fit a lot of monitor definitions. My LCD monitor is set to 1680 x 1050 pixels and I am currently using the 1920 x 1200 pixels wallpaper stretched and it works great. There is also one wallpaper without a calendar on it.

Wallpaper with September 08 Calendar (North American format Sunday to Saturday)Wallpaper without Calendar

Monday, September 1, 2008

Button Pendant

Playing around with my beads and eye pins, I suddenly had the realization that I could make a stacked button pendant by using the eye pins to hold everything together.

I had some buttons with only 2 holes that I gotten at the dollar store. First I stacked the button one on top of the other but it did not look right. So I took it apart again and added some glass beads before, between and after the buttons. It worked and I think it looks quite nice.

Now for the necklace part, what was I going to use. Then I remembered that I had some green ribbon. Well, I might as well use a button as a closure also to keep with the theme. The necklace is about 21 inches long and the pendant about 1.5 inches. It is for sale here.