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    Handmade Valentine Decorations : Needlepoint Hearts

    loops and threads heart shaped plastic canvas needle point how to do them

    Hello! Here's a fun-to-do DIY that anyone with an urge to make something with yarn can enjoy. The craft is "needlepoint" but, rather than being done on a finely woven mesh with thin wool, as it usually is, these are made with heart-shaped pieces of plastic canvas and thick yarn, so they're easy, quick and suitable for new stitchers and experienced ones alike.

    With it being Valentine's Day, the hearts are timely, however, these shapes are available all year around, at Michaels (in packs of ten for $1.49) and probably other large craft supply shops. While I've made mine to use as Valentine decor, done in other colours, they could just as easily suit a baby-shower, birthday party or Mother's Day. Even in the Valentine colours, I plan to pull these out again at our anniversary, as I do with the other Vday things we have. Hearts are my favourite shape, so the more the better!

    Under the package label on the plastic canvas, you'll find general instructions for how to needlepoint (it's simple!), but they don't come with information on how to best fill the hearts in. The key thing, in my opinion, is to completely and totally hide all traces of the plastic base, because plastic and woolly handmade just don't go well together.

    After finishing six of them last weekend, I believe I've figured out a good plastic-covering strategy. I worked on them last weekend, while wicked winter weather was swirling around outside. I'd actually not originally intended to make so many, but they're rather addictive, so I just kept pulling out another one, to begin again, while drinking tea and watching movies. At one point, I experienced such a calm feeling of warmth and comfort, stitching away while hearing the sound of ice pellets tapping against the window.

    Each heart takes about 45 minutes to stitch, and then more time, depending on the further embellishments you choose to add.

    If you're looking to make this a real quick craft, the fastest way to finish them would be to create a simple loop for hanging from a piece of yarn or ribbon and gluing a piece of felt on the back (which you could even skip if the heart was going to hang against a wall, but note that the back side of them does not look very nice, no matter how careful you are with your stitching. That can be viewed as a good thing, in that it makes no difference what the back looks like so you can just forget about it and more fully enjoy the act of creating something.

    Before we get to the instructions, here are some pictures of other ways to finish your needlepoint hearts ...

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    Snow Day in Toronto: the Day After a Big Storm

    alley way in toronto after a snow storm

    A week ago Monday, it began snowing in Toronto in the early morning hours and continued to do so, without a letting up for a moment, for the entire day and night.

    When it was over, over 33 centimetres had fallen in the downtown part of the city in 24 hours. The last time there'd been this much in one day was over half a century ago, on January 23, 1966, when 37 centimetres fell in a single day.

    To put it into perspective, we usually get a average of 122 centimetres a year, spread over 41 days -- that's about 3 centimetres per snow day. On Monday, January 28, 2019, we go over 10 times the average!

    This is no big whoop for those living to the north, east and west of the city, as they always get more snow than we do ... I'm waving at my parents now, who live in Barrie, which one of Canada's 10 snowiest cities. Well, actually, we can't say the areas outside of the city "always" get more snow anymore, because on the 28th, Toronto was blessed with more than the surrounding areas, for the first time, in, maybe, ever.

    That is all to say, that we got a shockingly large amount of snow here one day last week. Schools were closed, public transportation was in chaos, and motorists were asked to stay off the roads so snow plows could do their thing.

    I bundled up the next day, and went for a walk to have a look at the aftermath, and to take some pictures ...

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    Lunch at the Home of Friends Niall and Leslie

    les and nick with the cake

    Hello! Nick and I had the pleasure of having a late lunch with our long-time friends Niall and Leslie on Sunday.

    They live in a beautiful apartment, high in the sky, facing westward. It was so bright and sunny in their place, that we quickly forgot the bitter cold and snowy winter weather we'd traveled through to get there.

    For those of you who, like me, enjoy a little glimpse at the everyday lives of strangers on the internet, here, in pictures, is how the afternoon and evening went down ...

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    Crocheting : Figuring Out a Very Particular BUT Quite Magical Yarn

    three examples of loops and threads pooling plaid yarn worked crochet instructions in post

    Hello, hello. I realize that today's post will only be of interest to the crochet enthusiasts out there, so I completely understand if those of you who don't partake in the craft, quietly click away!

    While writing about a specific type of yarn is a very narrow topic, I'm going ahead with it because this is information that I really wish I'd been able to find before wasting a lot of time trying to figure this fascinating stuff out.

    The yarn is "Pooling Plaid" by Loops and Threads. I found it at Michaels but I imagine it's available wherever the Loops and Threads brand is stocked.

    For the past few years, I've started a personal tradition of crocheting a new scarf for myself over the Thanksgiving weekend, so, back in the fall, I picked up a couple of skeins of the Red, Black and Grey colourway of this yarn, when I saw it priced two-for-one. To be honest, I quickly grabbed it based on the soft cushy texture and the colour combo, which is a favourite, thinking that it was a regular variegated yarn.

    It wasn't until I got it home and looked at the label more carefully, that I realized that the colours were arranged along the yarn so that, if done properly, they would work up into an attractive tartan pattern. That was an added bonus and I became quite keen to begin my first "planned colour pooling" project.

    So, on the Friday evening of the long weekend, I poured myself a glass of wine, selected the right-sized crochet hook and sat myself down. I opened up the label to reveal the instructions printed on the underside and got to work.

    A couple of hours later, I was still at it, but rather than have a good foot or so of the scarf completed, as would normally be expected after that much time, I was retying the beginning slipknot and starting the whole thing over again, after ripping out my work several times over. I just could not get the tartan pattern to work out!

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    A Birthday Dinner at Rosalinda


    Hello and Happy New Year! Here's hoping that 2019 is a good year for all.

    The holiday season is extra special for us because there are, not one, but, two birthdays to celebrate in there, in addition to all the other good stuff.

    (My man Nick's birthday came first. Unfortunately, he was sick on the day, so we kept it quiet with gifts and cake at home and a promise to go out for a nice dinner once he was feeling better. It was one of those lingering colds that's just clearing up now, so we still haven't made it out for that, but we will.)

    The second important birthday person in our lives is our dear friend Julie. She and I went to a restaurant that neither of us had been to before, where we had a delicious meal accompanied by a nice relaxed stretch of time to talk. It was great!

    Rosalinda is a Mexican restaurant in Toronto, located at 133 Richmond Street near University Avenue, which comes with a "not easily noticed from appearance" surprise ... it is completely vegan.

    Before you have a chance to think, "Well, I'll just stop reading now because I'm not vegan", please hold on, because neither are we! That didn't stop us from enjoying every bit of our experience at this beautiful place. And now, I'm glad to have a place to recommend and go to with our vegetarian friends.

    We began with cocktails, a Margarita for Julie and a Polo Loco for me, which was reminiscent of Rum and Eggnog with the eggnog replaced with horchata which is a Mexican drink made from rice.

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    Recent Stories

    Handmade Valentine Decorations : Needlepoint Hearts Snow Day in Toronto: the Day After a Big Storm Lunch at the Home of Friends Niall and Leslie Crocheting : Figuring Out a Very Particular BUT Quite Magical Yarn A Birthday Dinner at Rosalinda Holiday Crochet : How to Make a Wreath A Holiday Art Date with Andrea : Hand Lettering Live Music : Peter Bjorn and John at The Velvet Underground Gift Wrapping : How to Make a Crocheted Flower and Button Topper Our Anniversary Dinner : Nineteen Years! How to Make Tassel Earrings with Embroidery Thread and a Comb A Beautiful Brunch with Fine Friends Dinner in a Building With a History and a Personal Mystery Solved Easy Handmade : How to Make a Felted Wool Ball Garland Thrift Store Finds A Crocheted Baby Girl Cardigan Sweater Great Art, Food and Friends : The Paintings of Sue Tupy at C9 Gallery Party Food : Pizza Mini Muffins with Dipping Sauce A Celebration of Friendship : Six Years with Julie In the Garden : A New Bunch of Bulbs Autumn Crochet : A Cute Owl Adorns a Renewable Everlasting Sachet How to Make a Fabric Pumpkin Using Worn Flannel Pear and Cardamom Cake Recipe At Home : Autumn and Thanksgiving 2018
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