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Hallowe’en! (Swipe and Click)

How to Cross-Stitch on Paper : A Video Tutorial and Autumn & Halloween Pieces

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Hello!

You may know that I quite enjoy cross-stitching on paper, considering I've written about it several times on these pages.

Well, now I have a video tutorial demonstrating how to do it!

https://youtu.be/HcUm-hbdspc

(Aside: If you found the video inspiring, it would be helpful to me if you’d go over to YouTube and search for Loulou Downtown, or by clicking here, and give it a thumbs up and/or leave a comment.  Also, it would be great if you’d subscribe to my new YouTube channel.  No pressure, though. Thank you, if you do!)

This fun-to-do quick craft involves transferring the pattern to paper as a first step, which can be done using two different methods, both of which are demonstrated in the video.

Also, in honour of the season, I've stitched up a couple of new pieces, one for Halloween and one for Autumn decorating.

Thrift Store Finds : Halloween and Autumn Themed

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Hello!

I've gathered up the items I found at the thrift store over the past few months, that suit a Halloween and Autumn theme. Everything was found at the Value Village at Lansdowne and Bloor (in Toronto, Canada).

And, for the first time, I've made a dedicated video in which I show and discuss each of the finds. It's a lot easier to do all my talking (and I can do plenty of talking about thrift store finds!) on video, rather than writing out all the details here. So, if you'd like to hear more about each item, including the cost of each piece, and to get a better look at things from different angles, please watch the video. It's twelve and a half minutes long.

https://youtu.be/9e7zwod0hUY

(Aside: If you liked the video, it would be helpful to me if you’d go over to YouTube by clicking here, and give it a thumbs up and/or leave a comment.  Also, it would be great if you’d subscribe to my new YouTube channel.  No pressure, though. Thank you, if you do!)

Whether you're into watching YouTube or not, I appreciate you, the reader of my blog, and don't plan to change up what I've been doing here for the past 9 years. So, as always with my "Thrift Store Finds", here are photos of everything I got.

How to Make a Fabric Pumpkin – V2, with a Video

autumn display with handmade pumpkins how to make with fabric fall diy

Hello online friends! Hope you're doing fine.

A couple of years ago, in this post, I described how to make a pumpkin using a piece of repurposed cotton. The idea was to use a tube of flannel cut from the leg or arm of some old pajamas or a shirt.

The one I made then is the larger grey one in these photos. It's been a fun piece to have out in the autumn for Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en decorating. I felt like making a few more in different sizes but had no worn out pjs or shirts in the right colours to use. However, I did have an old tea towel that would work nicely, with the extra step of turning the fabric into a tube first.

I made a video tutorial of this second version, demonstrating how to make pumpkins from any piece of soft repurposed fabric.

I hope you'll watch it, but if you prefer written instructions, they're on the post linked above.

https://youtu.be/PCF81OxzCyI

(Aside: If you liked the video, it would be helpful to me if you’d go over to YouTube by clicking here, and give it a thumbs up and/or leave a comment.  Also, it would be great if you’d subscribe to my new YouTube channel.  No pressure, though. Thank you, if you do!)

Road Trip : Downtown to the Countryside – with a Video

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Hello! I hope you're all doing ok. (I'd say "well" but I don't think anyone is doing particularly well these days, so I'll settle with a sincere wish for "ok").

Nick and I took a half day little road trip last week, to a place neither of us had been before. We drove about an hour north-east of Toronto, to an area called "Georgina".

There, we visited a cool antique and vintage market called "Antiques on Highway 48". It was two stories tall and packed with all kinds of cool old things.

We also found a charming roadside farm stand selling cobs of corn that had been just picked from the adjacent fields. They had chickens there, too, something we don't get to see very often.

I made a video of the afternoon, that I hope you'll enjoy watching.

https://youtu.be/-T8QQJ5cia4

(Aside: If you liked the video, it would be helpful to me if you'd go over to YouTube by clicking here, and give it a thumbs up and/or leave a comment.  Also, it would be great if you'd subscribe to my new YouTube channel.  No pressure, though. Thank you, if you do!)

These two images of us are stills from the video because we forgot to take photos of ourselves ...

Art During the Pandemic : A Look Around the AGO – Early Fall 2020

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Today we look around the AGO in Toronto (aka the Art Gallery of Ontario), as it is during this unusual time.

The many steps they've taken to make visiting the gallery a safe experience are well thought out and reassuring. For the first time in months, I actually forgot we were in the midst of a pandemic, as I lost myself within the beautiful building and wonderful art.

This visit I concentrated on their permanent collection, and within ten minutes of arriving, I'd seen works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Renoir, Modigliani and Warhol, amoung others, confirming once again, that we are very lucky to have the gift of this place in the middle of the city.

Since a picture paints a thousand words, these images will do some of the talking, but, for the first time, I made a short film of my time at the AGO. It's been said that videos are are worth 1.8 million words, so please have a look to see all that I simply can't say here ...

https://youtu.be/lrSxfEUM9hw

One of the changes they've made is asking everyone to arrive with a pre-arranged ticket or bar-code on your phone, which is scanned as you enter the gallery and again as you leave, so that they may maintain the maximum visitor limit of 80 people at a time.

To learn everything you need to know about going to the gallery, see their site here.

In addition to the extensive permanent collection, there are also two special temporary shows on at the moment, "Illusions: The Art of Magic" and "Diane Arbus Photographs", previously written about in this post. These both began just before coronavirus hit and then the gallery had to close down completely for a period. However, thankfully, these shows were extended and you can still see them until November 8th. They're included with regular admission.

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