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Vegetarian Party Food : Three Quick Crostini Toppings
Tying a Basic Macrame Knot : DIY Cat Toy

Winter Weather Food and Drinks (Swipe and click to see some seasonal ideas)

    Warm Mushroom and Goat Cheese Salad
    Food Friday : Making Mocha Coffee
    Baba's Cabbage Soup
    Old Fashioned Raisin Caramel Pudding

    How to Cross-Stitch on Paper : Revised Method

    how to make a birthday card initial cross stitched on paper

    Hello! Here's one for the crafty readers, particularly those who enjoy quick little stitching projects.

    A while back I wrote this post describing how to cross-stitch on paper. The method involved using graph-paper to transfer the patterns, with the suggestion to download and print up some if you didn't have it on hand. I was using the small supply I had left over from my old DayTimer Date Book.

    Well, I ran out of that and our printer called it quits and we decided not to replace it. I'm sure kids must still use graph-paper in math class but I haven't seen it for sale anywhere, so, basically I was out of a supply that was necessary to do the craft.

    But, that turned out to be no problem because I figured out a method that doesn't require it at all. Instead, it calls for a sheet of "Plastic Canvas" that's meant for needlepoint projects and is available at craft stores. It comes in different hole-sizes, so look for some that is "10 Mesh", meaning that there are 10 holes per inch. I found mine at Michael's for about $1. You only ever need to get one piece because you'll use it over and over again, whenever the urge to cross-stitch on paper strikes you.

    Art : Two New Exhibits at the AGO – Illusions: The Art of Magic and Diane Arbus Photography

    poster outside the ago in toronto illusions the art of magic exhibition

    Hello!

    Not only do we have a wonderful permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, but the organizers and curators also consistently impress with the variety and quality of the special temporary shows they present. These two new exhibitions, opening this Saturday, join the list of excellence.

    Illusions : The Art of Magic -- February 22 to May 18, 2020

    Our Valentine’s Decor 2020 : Thrifted and Handmade

    needle point heart plastic canvas and painted and glued diecut hearts valentine diys how to

    Hello and wishing you a happy Valentine's Day if you're into it. It’s also a three day weekend here, as Monday is "Family Day", so extra reason to celebrate.

    Here is a peek at our seasonal decorations this Valentine's.

    I'm making it a goal this year to encourage anyone who doesn't usually shop secondhand at thrift stores to get out there and give it a try. Those who are already familiar with the thrill of the thrifted treasure hunt, need no motivation, but I hope this type of posts will still be interesting to you. Personally, I love seeing how people incorporate thrift store items into their home decor and wardrobes.

    So, on that note, I previously posted a story (found here) about a selection of recent thrift store finds, that, although there was only a tiny hint of a heart print on one item, I thought would go well in Valentine decorating. Therefore you'll see every item from that story somewhere amoungst the decor.

    Here's a refresher of those "Valentine-esque" thrifted items ...

    Crafty Behaviour : Handmade Valentine Decorations 2020

    seven projects handmade for valentines

    Well, here I'd planned to show you our Valentine decor today, incorporating every piece of the recent thrift store finds written about here. I thought I'd also throw in some handmade things I'd made for the holiday this year. Then I began editing the photographs and realized that the urge to craft had really set in over the past few weeks and putting everything together in one story would make for an annoyingly long post. So, today I'll quickly share the handmade things and tomorrow I'll show you how they look in our decor, alongside the thrifted pieces.

    There's something about the colour scheme and the shape of hearts that really gets me in the mood to make things. I work at a table in our kitchen, so it's been covered in paper, paint and random supplies for about three weeks now. Nick is pretty laid back about things like that, but it had gotten to the point that I had to apologize to him more than once about the mess I'd made!

    These are all easy makes (except for the crocheted pieces if you're not a crocheter) and most pieces are a different take on things I've made before, so I'll link to tutorials in previous posts where appropriate.

    I realize I'm too late with this to inspire Valentine crafting this year, but it will be here to get you planning ahead for next year.

    Here are the pieces ...

    A "Needlepoint Plastic Canvas Heart" previously demonstrated in this post. I used yarn from my stash and had the plastic canvas heart leftover from when I made them before, which originally came from Michael's.

    Toronto Light Festival 2020 in The Distillery District, with Dinner, Drinks & Dessert

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    Hello! My friend Julie and I had an excellent Tuesday evening out this week, when we belatedly celebrated this fine lady's birthday.

    The annual Toronto Light Festival was on in The Distillery District, so we went there for dinner and a look around, followed by drinks and dessert.

    I love The Distillery District, with its beautiful historic buildings, which are gorgeous all the time but particularly at night, in this dimly lit part of the city. (I previously wrote about the area in detail in this post, including some great old photographs from the days, over a hundred years ago, when it was home of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, if you'd like to see.)

    The glow of the "TO Light Fest" sculptures, created by artists from around the world, really add to the ambiance, and, although an outdoor festival in the heart of winter in a Canadian city is, undoubtedly, a chilly experience, it makes so much sense to have at this time of year, when the early sunsets allow the sculptures to be seen at their best.

    And, there are plenty of wonderful restaurants, bars and shops to pop into, to warm up.

    We had a delicious dinner at Mill Street Brew Pub, where they offered a special extra menu of curries, perfect for a cold winter's night.