Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Each and every one of you
hold a special place in my heart.
Collectively, you bring harmony
into the discord of my life.
I am truly blessed.
May the good times and treasures of the present
become the golden memories of  your tomorrows.
 I wish you lots of love, joy and happiness!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quick Post

Many of you know I'm traveling,
enroute to TX to spend the winter with my daughter.
I've just concluded a lovely week in Maine with
Little Sister, The Fern Lady.
Am now in Massachusetts visiting friends
and family until Thursday,
when I fly south for
my annual migration.
Before I left the island,
I finished and mailed this gift.
It has been rec'd, so I can share now.
I made this especially for my long time blogging friend,
Nola, of Just Ramblin'.
You know how sometimes you just click with someone right away?
Well, Nola is one of the very first blogging friends I made
and it was one of those special, instant connections!!
It is 18" x 18".  I used a vintage linen table napkin for the stitchery
and center border.  The snowman is from a Christmas Stitch-along
 that Lesley from SewHappy.Me hosted a few years back.
My time on the computer has been spotty.
It's difficult to keep up with blogs while traveling,
but I'm doing my best!  I hate to miss anything!
Have a great week.
Stay warm and stay safe,

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Upon My Soapbox

Christmas can be quite hectic and stressful for many.
Funny thing,
it is only one 24 hour day
and yet look at how consuming it has become.

I read a quote yesterday that struck a chord.
Simply said,
  "Christmas isn't a season, it's a feeling."

Perhaps if more people could embrace this philosophy,
there would be more goodwill, more tradition, less commercialism.
Gifts would come from the heart.
Expectations would be less, finances wouldn't be as compromised,
and people would all be a whole lot happier,
(with the exception, of course, of the big commercial retailers!).
We would be able to free ourselves from the clutches
of the modern day concept of 'Christmas' ,
and get down to the business of
building upon memories  from our past Christmases,
while at the same time,
 creating new ones..... it should be.
I have long held the philosophy
that a handmade Christmas is the best,
and my family and friends have come to expect gifts that have been
thoughtfully constructed with them in mind.
I do not always make the gifts.
But I always give handmade
in an attempt to support other artisans.
I know in my heart that many of you do the same.
I'm really only preaching to the choir.
I wish
that the non-crafties in this world
would free themselves from the department stores
and shop handmade, too.
I wonder if they stop at Walmart on their way home from
the crafts fair that they didn't purchase anything from
and do their shopping.
There, I feel better.
Hope you have a wonderful day,

P.S. As an afterthought, might I add, if you have to shop,
try to shop local.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Count Down Begins

I have exactly 3 weeks
until I begin my migration.
I have a list with exactly 12 things
I need to finish
while I reorganize and store my supplies
for the winter.
(Upon my return,
I won't be able to find a thing!)

Yesterday morning,
 I rose nice and early, ready to work.
And work I did!!

But I...
(Oh, my goodness, it's snowing!!)
...didn't do one thing on the list.
I started a new project instead!
And was obsessed with working on it ALL day!

Need a new 'take a-long' recipe for the holidays?
My daughter found this dip recipe on Pinterest.
It is out of this world.
(picture courtesy of
Although it's called "Skinny Poolside Dip",
I think it would be a delicious addition to any holiday get-together.
I don't like to cook,
but I'd make this and bring it along with me anywhere,
any time,
and I believe it would be a big hit!
It calls for chopped jalepeno peppers.  I don't think it's too hot,
as a matter of fact, I don't think it's hot at all,
but if that concerns you, I don't see why you can't substitute a can
of chopped green chilis.  This will give you that spicy taste
without the heat!

This little kitty rides back and forth to university with her mom.
Looks like she's ready to go!!
As am the cutting table!!
Have a wonderful day,

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Good Day

It's difficult to believe that after such a perfect autumn day
and a starry, starry night,
I could wake to such a storm!
The winds are gusting out of the south from across the water.
This house was built in the mid-1800's
and has withstood many a storm over the years.
I know it's not going anyplace,
but when it shudders,
so do I!!

It's a good day to play with scraps!
My obsession with Dresden Plates began when I purchased
Loft Creations' Lady Fingers and Sugarbaby Bag pattern.
I've been addicted ever since!!
It will also be a good day to layer and finish this:

Gail Pan Designs had a BOM in 2009
and I've finally finished all the blocks.
I think this is where I confess to taking a little spill
and doing nasties to my ankle.
Nothing like a little down time to work on stitcheries!!
I couldn't wait to sew them all together!

See?  I do, eventually, finish things!
It only took me 4 years!
But, it's not quite finished, yet.
Thank goodness for such talented ladies like Stephanie and Gail!
Their creative abilities make me shine.
It's also a good day to have a birthday!
Happy Birthday to Linda at Scrapmaster,
one of my Nova Scotia quilting blogger buddies,
(try to say that 3 times fast!).
If you have a second, stop by her blog and
help make her birthday that much more special!!
Have a great day full of quilty goodness!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taking Advantage of Island Time

Living on an island in the north Atlantic
certainly has it's perks.
You can't deny the quiet, peaceful beauty
Photo by Ranger Ron

and you can't get lost!
But there are drawbacks, too.
If you run out of thread or need a zipper,
it's over an hour to the nearest shopping opportunity.
RCMP presence is minimal and the ATVers and dirt bikers
sometimes take over the roads,
filling your airspace with obnoxious noise.
And then, there is 
Island Time.
Now, I'm all about slow, easy, and deliberate..
And I'm prone to procrastination myself, upon occasion,
but it is not my 'way of life'.
However, if you are a business here, you have a little monopoly,
and you 'get to it' whenever it suits you.
If you are told they'll be out your way on Wednesday or Thursday,
there's no telling what Wednesday or Thursday they are referring to.
Afterall, there are lots of them!!

In the meantime,
while I patiently wait and try to find the humor in Island Time,
I sew.

Am loving Valori Wells' creations.
Here are a couple of cell phone pocket purses.
The cell phone is kept in a back pocket,
snug against your body, but easily accessible;
and under the buttoned flap are little wallet pockets.

I've made several of these since last winter.
They are lots of fun to construct.
My daughter is a bag lady
and has a few in different colors,
some for fun, some for work.
They are also great for moms.  Sometimes,
you don't need to take that great big diaper bag or tote
into a store.  These bags are perfect to keep in the bigger bag
and just grab to run into the store for this or that.
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fabric Letters

Christmas Gift Idea
I've been having fun making my great-niece
a little Christmas gift of fabric letters
to manipulate on the floor.

They measure approximately 4.25" x 5.25".
She'll get the whole alphabet,
of course,
but thought I'd start with her name,
just in case.
Seems like it would be easy enough,
but 26 letters turned out to be A LOT!!
You can find the tutorial HERE.
Great stashbuster!
I plan to make a few extra b's and t's, m's and d's
so she can learn to spell words like
baby and kitty, mommy and daddy,
and I'll put them all in a simple
drawstring bag.

Hope this gives you an idea or two!
I see so many possibilities!
I have a few stragglers hanging out on my property.
A small flock of juvenile Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Also referred to as "Butter Butt"
Like me, they are reluctant to leave such a beautiful place.

Have a nice day,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

This is what I wake to most mornings,
esp. in the fall when the temperatures are changing.
The sun is just rising.
I wish I could make it a "scratch and sniff" picture,
so you could smell the salt air, too!
When I was a little girl, maybe 8 years old, I read a book
about a little girl who was obsessed with saving time.  The
story was about how she would do little things like wait
to tie her shoes until she was on the bus, saving those little
snippets of time to accomplish something else in the grander
scheme of daily life. 

I wish I could remember the name of the book. 
It's right on the tip of my tongue.  I think of her
all the time, because that is what my life has become now that
time is going by faster and faster.  This morning, I found myself
saying, "If I put my socks and shoes on while I wait for my toast
to pop up...."

I haven't been blogging, or birding, or backpacking.  But,
I have been busy, busy, busy....sewing. 
I'm negligent about taking pictures of my creations.
It's when they are gone that I remember.
But I remembered to snap a quick shot of this lovely table topper,
found in the Fall 2012 issue of BHG's Quilts and More, before sending it off to my
daughter for her birthday.
You know how it goes - "Mom, I liked the picture
on the cover, so I bought you the magazine."-
she so appreciates what I make for her
that she always gets what she asks for,
or in this case, insinuates!
It's time to make Christmas gifts, before my migration.
It usually takes me a month to find my way to Texas,
and then it's almost Christmas, so it has
to be done now, or not at all.
During every migration, I spend time
with the most delightful family of 12 children.
I've always wanted to make each one a little something,
but sewing for so many at once seemed like a daunting task.
Well, this year I bit the bullet.

Valori Wells has a sweet little wallet pattern
that whips up quickly,
and is a great stash buster.

So,  one for each of the girls, ranging in age from 3 to 21,

and a lined, zippered boxy pouch
for the one boy, born right in the middle.
Nola, from Just Ramblin' had sent me an assortment
of fat quarters for Christmas last year,
and this basketball fabric was perfect!
These are just a few of the many projects
that have kept me off the computer of late,
but I wanted to show one more before I get back to the machine.
A few weeks ago, a friend showed up with this little brown paper bag
full of not quite 1" strips.  "Want these?" she asked.
Not to hurt her feelings, I said that I'd just love them,
but I wasn't quite sure what to do with them.

Here's a little peek showing what I've done with them so far.
It's kind of fun to do!
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving... all my Canadian friends.
I have been very blessed.
This wallhanging is one of the few pieces
that I've kept for myself.
The pattern and fabrics were sent to me as a home made kit
by a friend in Rhode Island a few years back.
The colors are richer than they appear in the photo,
and it's a lovely addition to my diningroom wall
during the autumn months.
When I see it, I will always think of her.
That's nice.
Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Fine Line

Now that summer has come to an abrupt end,
and I'm yet another year older,
it suddenly dawned on me
that with age, the fine line that separates
being considered unconventional
and being perceived as eccentric,
is becoming finer and finer.
That said, my dear friend and mentor,
The Ranger, has three, relatively new, female ranger colleagues.
I thought they needed something special.

How about a Tea Wallet in camo?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

I had the opportunity
to receive a lot of feedback from
the comfort quilts I make and gift others
in my community.
It warmed my heart.
But sometimes,
a picture (or three) says a thousand words.


My broken young friend
is doing very well.
Just the other day, she had all pins, screws, and the brace
holding her spine, hips, and pelvis together
and walked, with aid, for the first time
in over a month.

Although she faces grueling and intensive PT now,
she's young, strong, and determined.
Her boyfriend of 3 years did not survive the accident,
but I know he is watching over her
and her memories of the love they shared
will guide her through
the next few months of her recovery.
For me,
this is what making quilts
is all about.
Again, many thanks to Natalia
for casting her magic spell
over this quilt
and making this possible for me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Imagine My Surprise

It is worthwhile to pay attention to what's happening
right in your own backyard.
I find lots of interesting things lurking about.
Most recently, while  snapping some last of the season
photos of my young hummingbirds,

a flash of yellow landed in the tree nearby.
Assuming it was just another American Goldfinch
(I have lots of them)
I didn't even look.
But, I did automatically pan the camera up and click a few times
before getting back to the hummers.
Imagine my surprise 
when I imported the pictures into the computer
and discovered I'd taken a picture of a new yard bird!!

This is an immature Nashville Warbler,
(Vermivora ruficapilla),
just passing through,
and a first-time yard bird for me.
A locally common breeder here in Nova Scotia,
as well as north central North America,
and preferring second-growth mixed woodlands,

the Nashville Warbler was considered rare in the 1800s.
It is one of those few birds that has actually benefitted
from the clearing of old-growth forests
for timber, agriculture, developement,
and greed.
Since I go out of my way to avoid those areas,
I've only seen one once before!
On the sewing front,
an elderly friend was recently gifted with an IPad
so she could keep in touch with her growing family
across the U.S.
Because she walks with a cane,
I made her a special tote.
I found the pattern at the Henry Glass site,
as part of the PDQ (Pretty Darned Quick) series.
Not only was it pretty darned quick,
it was lots of fun to put together!
There are more in my future.
The fabric was a gift from the lovely Lesley
Expecting an envelope with a few pieces of tone-on-ton scraps
so I could finish a small project,
imagine my surprise
when THIS showed up in my post office box!

Glad I wasn't walking that day!!
I usually do.
Thank you, Lesley!
It is a scrap quilter's delight!
Have a nice day!!
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Natalia To The Rescue

A month ago,
a tragic car accident took the lives
of three young adults
from or near my community.
Among the survivors
is a very special young lady.
She is broken and battered,
but extremely lucky to be alive.
She has a very long recovery period
ahead of her. 
She'll be in the hospital for months.
As a quilter, my first reaction was,
"I've got to make her a quilt!."
I had the perfect flimsy already pieced.
But how do I finish it yesterday?
I put out feelers all through Nova Scotia
and Cape Breton.
No one up here seems to do
custom FMQ.
And then an angel,
disguised as 
Natalia Bonner at Piece N Quilt,
came to my rescue.

Outdoor photo opportunities are not possible today,
and space is limited indoors.  Oh, well.  You get the picture!
I wrote to Natalia and told her my tale.

She said, "Send it to me!!  I'll squeeze you in!"

It took a week to travel to Utah.

And a week to make it's return trip to Nova Scotia.

It probably took me longer to attach the binding and label
than it did for Natalia to quilt it.

But now it's ready to go down to the hospital
in Halifax with her twin tonight!!

Thank you, Natalia,
from the bottom of my heart,
for casting your magic touch
upon this very special quilt!
I'm over-the-moon!!

Have a funderful day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We Have a Winner

Lisa, from In the Boon Docks,
is the lucky winner of my Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop
give away.
(Stop by Lisa's blog - she's needing a little "quilty love")
Congratulations, Lisa.
And thank you, everyone, for visiting my blog
and leaving such sweet comments.
It was tons of fun.
Thank you to Cherie for offering the give away prize.
(Her duffel bag pattern is next on my wish list!!)
And lastly, thank you to Madame Samm and
to Debby Kratovil for all their
hard work to make this hop such a success
and so much fun.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop Stop

Hello, my name is Karen,
and I'm a
Patron Saint of Hexies
Welcome to KaHolly if you are a new visitor,
and thank you for joining me
for my stop on this great blog hop!

I've never participated in a blog hop before,
so this is kind of special for me.
I am a little intimidated, however.
Hexies are my "to go" project.
There are three things I never leave the house without -
my camera, my binoculars and
my hexie to-go box -
- even just the 30 minute ride to, then from, the grocery store,
my little hands are busy making...
(And I look up every few minutes to make sure I don't miss any birds!)
You notice I said, "..a box".
It's just a recycled plastic food container.
Nothing fancy.
But that said, some of my hexie friends have
Hexie To-Go Bags,



inspired by a PDF pattern that I purchased from StudioCherie, and
combined with this great tutorial for a Hexagon Needle Wallet
that I attached to the inside with a short strap.
(Funny how we often make for others,
and not for ourselves!)
I recently needed to make some quick, easy, and fun prizes
for the little sewing group I belong to.
I headed straight to my hexie-to-go-box
and whipped up several of these.

I simply cut a square of coordinating felt,
used an edging stich to  attach the hexie flower,
cut away the excess felt,
then added a little more simple stitching.
Some I bundled up as sets, tied with a pretty ribbon.
Some I coupled with complimentary mugs.
 Here are a few other hexie projects I've made:

What better way to showcase my favorite bird fabric
than with twisted hexie coasters?!
Twisted Hexies tutorials:


More twisted hexies made into lavendar sachets
for friends,

using embroidered monograms designed
and so sweetly shared by Jenny of Elefantz.

A doll blanket,
inspired by Kathleen Tracy of Country Lane Quilts.
Her blog is A Sentimental Quilter.

A gussied-up shopping bag.

More needle wallets inspired by Jenny of Elefantz.
Many years ago,
I made this table topper for a little round marble table.

(I never actually finshed it.)
The use of hexies extends beyond
the sewing room.
I make cards with some of my nature photos
and, influenced by this hop,
thought I'd give the hexie shape a try.

I was rather pleased with the results.

if you've made it this far,
you deserve a little give-away!
Cherie, from StudioCherie
has graciously offered a free PDF of her

3 Zippered Pouches - with strap,
belt loop, and pocket options
for one lucky visitor.
This is the same pattern I used when I made the
Hexie To-Go Bags.

Simply visit StudioCherie ,
then come back here and tell me which one
of her fabulous creations
makes your heart sing the loudest.
Thanks, Cherie!

Be sure to pay a visit
to all of today's scheduled blogs.
Wednesday, August 21

Thanks for stopping by
and an extra big thank you to Madame Samm
and Debby for all their hard work to make this
a happening hop!

And, thank you to Connecting Threads for
being our sponsor.  I have been doing business
with them for years and years,
and have NEVER been disappointed!