Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Month's Story: The True Meaning of Crumbfest

This month's story is one of my absolute favourite Christmas stories: The True Meaning of Crumbfest by David Weale.

The True Meaning of Crumbfest is the story of a curious little mouse named Eckhart, who sets off to discover the truth about that most abundant time of year called "Crumbfest," when bounteous crumbs miraculously appear in the old Prince Edward Island farmhouse in which he lives. This wonderful story for the young and the young at heart is a heartwarming tale of the magic that happens when the "Outside" and the "Inside" come together.

Dr. Weale is a retired professor of Canadian and Prince Edward Island history at the University of Prince Edward Island. He has written a number of books including works of history such as A Stream Out of Lebanon (Institute of Island Studies, 1988) but is best known for capturing Prince Edward Island folk history and tradition in popular books and stage shows. I wish to extend my most sincere thanks to Dr. Weale for his most gracious and kind permission to tell this most wonderful story.

If you wish to read or purchase this book, look in your local library for a copy. To own your own copy or for gift giving here are the particulars for your local bookseller:

Publisher: Acorn Press
ISBN 978-0-9698606-4-8
8 x 8
Number of Pages: 28
Price: $7.95 CDN

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's On the Christmas Tree?

This week I'll share with you some of the clay ornaments I sculpted for the craft fair, for ornament swaps I have participated in this season and for gift giving to some of my favourite people! I was pleasantly surprised to see how well they sold at the craft fair I mentioned last week. I was surprised at the interest in the steampunk ornaments... even though they are not every one's "cup of tea".

There's a little bit of eye candy for everyone today... from a snowman on skis to a bare naked (well, just about LOL) Santa in three different versions. I figured that if we could have a Canadian singing group called "The Barenaked Ladies", we could have Barenaked Santas!

Let's start with the tame ornies...

This cute "Frosty the Snowman" comes in a number of different versions. I just happened to choose this one... on skis... to photograph. They look really sweet hanging on the tree.

This little teapot was a real hit at the craft fair! The "body" of the teapot is a small, glass ball ornament. I was surprised at how long it took to make the rest of the components for the teapot! I thought it would go quickly... wrong... working with little pieces of clay can be tricky and time consuming!

I love the look of surprise on Mrs. Santa's face in this next ornament! This is a photo embedded in clay! I didn't think one could do that but it turns out you can. So far it has held up...even with the glaze on top. Most of my ornaments were glazed with Triple Thick... love that stuff... it's so easy to work with and a lot less expensive that some of the other glazes out there. A jar has 8 ounces in it. It is a diamond, none yellowing clear glaze and available at Michaels.

Here are some the steampunk Christmas bells I made. I textured the black clay, cut them out with a cookie cutter, rubbed on silver pearl ex and then embellished them with "gems".

Here's a closeup so that you can see more detail...

Here are some steampunk birds! I love these. Once again, I rolled out the black clay, cut them out with a bird cookie cutter (I cut the wing out with a teardrop cutter), dusted on silver pearl ex and added the embellishments... watch parts and "gems".

Here's a closeup... sorry it's a bit blurry but I didn't think you'd mind! This one has a small Swarovski crystal for the eye.

And now... the moment you have been waiting for LOL... the original version of the bare naked Santa! There is glitter on his beard and hat... although it doesn't show up too well in the photograph. He is tripled glazed so he "twinkles" on the Christmas tree.

I made a bunch of them and I do have a few left if you are interested in purchasing one. Just send me an email (email link is on the top of the blog, on the right). A fun "stocking stuffer" for the man in your life!

I was showing one of these to a female friend while we were both visiting with some friends. Her husband, who is an avid curler, addicted to that great Canadian sport of Curling, had a good laugh and said: "Can you make one with a curling rock?" "Sure", I said. "Well, if you can, here's my order..." said he. Oh Yippee....

When hubby, who is also an avid curler, saw it, he said: "Well don't I get one too?" Ah, poor baby he thought he was going to be left out! LOL

"What about one with a Scottish horsehair sporn?" said Ray.

What you need to know is that he plays the bagpipes in the same military pipe and drum band as hubby. What's a sporn you say... oh that little purse they wear in front of their uniforms. "Well, I can take a crack at it", said I. " Here he is...

Now hubby, who is the lead tenor drummer in the band, is sending broad hints to make one with a drum! At this rate, I'll be making Santas on Dec. 24th! They certainly are a big hit with the guys! BUT the gals seem to be getting in on the game too judging by the orders I have received and those who purchased some at the craft fair!

A quick sidenote...

Last weekend I went to Vancouver for the Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild's Christmas party. They always have an ornament swap. Well I couldn't help myself. My quirky sense of humour said "Give one of your Santas". It certainly did engender some good laughs and even got a mention on Cindy Leitz's wonderful blog, The Polymer Clay Tutor. (Dec. 7). If you are interested in polymer clay and learning how, visit her site filled with tutorials!

Next week, I'll share with you the ornament I received at the party from Deb Groom! It is absolutely stunning. I was just thrilled to bits. Deb is a very talented multi media artist. Her pine needle baskets are beautiful. Her doll figures are just plain fun, Her hooked rugs are splendid, playful works of art. Drop by her site and take a look at her slideshows. I promise you, you'll drool!

I had such a good time at the party. It was wonderful to meet all the folks who belong to this guild... what a talented group of people and so helpful with their advice! I just drool at what they can make from a hunk of clay. Maybe, one day, if I keep at it, I'll nudge closer to being as good as they are.

So there you have it for this week! Next week, I'll show you all the "jewelry" bits and pieces that you can assemble to wear or use in four different ways. Find out what those four ways are in next week's "show and tell".

Enjoy your week...

Ho! Ho! Ho! to one and all,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's Under the Christmas Tree?


Sorry that it has been awhile since I posted. Unfortunately my darn leg and the sciatica has been giving me LOTS OF grief. I had two spinal injections two weeks ago and it helped but at the end of last week, it was all back again! I was not amused! But last night I had a funny thing happen in the middle of the night....

I was sound asleep and the sound of a large crack in my knee as I rolled over woke me up! This morning when I got up, the horrible pain I have been experiencing since last week was GONE! The message couldn't have been clearer. Something in my knee was pinching the sciatic nerve. So, I have a call into the pain specialist and we'll see what he has to say about THAT!

Enough ... on to a FUN SUBJECT!

This past weekend, I participated in a small craft fair that our community complex puts on every year. Our crowds aren't huge .. we don't sell tons of stuff ...SO it's a great opportunity to visit with my neighbours. I enjoy the social part of the fair a lot!! It was fun catching up with some folks I don't see all that often and getting to know some of the new people who have moved in since last year.
So what's under the Christmas Tree this year? Lots of goodies!!
This week, I'll share with you a sweet project I did not only for the craft fair (I sold a number of them... if you aren't a sewer but are interested I have a few sets left I'd be willing to sell) but also as a gift for the "gals" in our family this Christmas.

Little Dresses with Britches...

Now aren't those just the cutest little dresses and britches you've ever seen???

So where do you hang them? On your oven door handle!

Made out of left over material from my "stash", lace and velour kitchen hand towels I purchased, these double sided dress towels are reversible. When one side is looking grungy, just flip it over and you have a clean towel. Here's a photo of one hanging on my kitchen stove....

But what about those britches? Well they are made out of two dishcloths to match the towels. Here is the poem that is attached to them:

Now don’t get excited. Don’t be misled.
These aren’t for you, but your dishes instead.
Just pull on the bow, take out the stitches,
You’ve gained two dishcloths, but lost your britches.

Isn't that priceless? I love it!!!

Now, you might recognize the material in the last photo as the same material in the dress I made my granddaughter last summer. She calls it the ice cream dress and is absolutely in love with it. Little monkey... she figured out she could wear leggings and a long sleeved blouse with it so she could wear it all winter! Well you can probably guess who gave me the idea of hanging these dress towels in the bathroom.... YEP....Gramma already has one that matches her dress wrapped to go under the tree!

So here's a "little taste" of the next lot of wonderful "stuff" that will be under and on the tree this Christmas season... a lovely little pendant just waiting for a nice chain to dangle from...

Drop by next week to see some of the fun pendants, earrings, charms and Christmas ornaments (including some steampunk pieces) I made from clay...


Have a listen to a wonderful Christmas story I will be loading up to the MP3 player probably next week. You won't want to miss this one!

Have a great week! I'm off to Vancouver this weekend for a Christmas party with my "claying" group there. I am really looking forward to it... should be a fun time! I'm also looking forward to the ferry ride to get there. I love riding the ferry from Vancouver Island to Vancouver. The scenery is spectacular on a sunny day... I never tire of seeing it... and it reminds me of just how lucky we are to have the privilege of living in such a beautiful place in the world.

Thanks for stopping by today for a visit. See you next week.