Winter grrs

I haven’t been very committed to this blog for the past few weeks because I’ve been hit with a dose of the winter blues or winter blahs or winter grrs. I’m quite fond of winter, but I’m always a bit bummed after the time change and this year it coincided with 2 weeks of overcast weather quickly followed by winter chills. Plus, I re-injured my knee, so I struggled with getting any for my normal outdoor time (I actually took the bus to work for a few days, despite living less than 2km away). I think it all just made me really grumpy and uninterested.

But, we had a lovely big snow just as my knee decided to be (mostly) healed. I haven’t been able to make it out for a long walk, which is something I *love* to do when Edmonton is a winter wonderland, but I’ve been out and about enough to cheer up quite a bit. I’ve been stopping to watch the chickadees and chipmunks as much as possible because they make me happy.

Pre-snow birds
Birds at the feeder

The morning after the snow
This morning's snowy walk.

Got any spare seeds?

Chipmunk and magpies (if the embedded version doesn’t work, see here)

Magpies trying to steal the chipmunk’s food. Chipmunk being cute, but having none of that nonsense.

A video posted by Anne Gregory (@beachedlibrarian) on Nov 25, 2015 at 5:32pm PST

And, I got most of my Christmas decorating done, including a string of lights that turn on automagically before I get home. I like coming home to a bit of cheer in my otherwise dark and gloomy apartment (the sun has set by the time I get home).

This is the top of my Christmas card tree I'm making a twinge Christmas tree to hand a few ornaments and cards. This is my star 🌟


Cross stitch pear tree ornament

I made a cross stitch pear tree ornament as a gift this year. I started it last winter (in February?), when I was still learning, so some of it is a bit rough, but it’s pretty. It’s based on the Little House Needleworks Pear Tree ornament from 2010 (I just took out all the extra stuff, because I thought the pear tree was prettier without the alphabet all around it).

This is the front:

Pear tree #cross #stitch based on a Little House Needlework pattern called All Dolled Up

Then, I did this on the back:

#cross #stitch #hearts

And, this is what it looked like when I finished it:



On a related note, Little House Needleworks has a sheep (virtues) series coming out this year. It looks like it might be really cute and I think Liz, of Dragonfly Lotus Handspun Threads, is planning to do them with her wonderful threads. I can’t wait to see the finished pieces. I was considering doing them, too, but I have a few other projects I want to do before adding anything new to my very long list (including 2 very awesome projects with Liz’s threads).

Christmas Tree

I decorated my tree this weekend.

I don’t have a tree topper, yet, because I haven’t found one that I liked enough. I might break down and make one for myself, if I ever decide on what I want. I usually put on all my ornaments (I have a lot!), but this year, I only put on the ornaments I love the best. I think I prefer the sparse look. As you can see, I have one of my favourite ornaments front and centre.


Another one of my favourite ornaments is this collection of whales shaped like a tree, which my brother gave me a few years ago. I used to keep it out all the time, but I’ve decided to leave it with my holiday decorations so it feels a little more special each time I pull it out.

Whale #Christmas tree #ornament - one of my favorites!

Last year, sometime between Boxing Day and New Year’s, I found a collection of small ornate ornaments (in green, red, gold, and blue) on sale. This is my favourite of them.

I bought a few new glass #ornaments after the holidays last year. This one's my favorite.

And, despite this being made of nothing more then a pill bottle and some cheap plastic beads, this is one of my favourites. It was bought at a craft fair for me when i was a kid.


And, of course, I added my Christmas cones. They’re actually a little bit big for the tree, but I love them and I don’t have anywhere else to put them. Ideally, I’d prefer to have them hanging from the ceiling in the corner, but that’s not easy to do in an apartment with a stippled ceiling.

My #Christmas cone needs something in it. I'm thinking large, pretty beads, because I'd just eat any candy I put in them.


Day 26: Something old

I’m doing a photo challenge for the month of November, despite it being from August 2011, I’ve decided to use this list for my daily prompts.

22 years doesn’t really count as old, at least not to someone who grew up in a city where houses where built before her grandpa was born. But, I pulled out my Christmas ornaments to try and foster a little holiday spirit (and remind myself that I have to figure out where to put the tree), and I had to check on some of my favourite ornaments. This Christmas train may be the oldest I have. I’m not really sure, but I know it’s from 1980, so I was just 4 years old when it was given to me.

Does 1980 count as old yet? #Xmas #ornament given to me when I was but a wee thing #photochallenge

And, this lovely embroidered cat was from 1984. The colours are a bit faded and she’d getting a bit dirty, but I love her. She is quite possibly my favourite ornaments, which is impressive considering how much I love all the ornaments I have.

One of my favorite #Xmas #ornaments. #embroidery #cat


I’m pretty indifferent about Valentine’s. It’s always seemed like a marketing effort more than a day to celebrate love. But, I did a bit of decorating at work, nonetheless.

HeartWe also had a pot luck, which was really fantastic because all but one dish was vegetarian (that never happens – usually I only have what I brought and a fruit or veggie tray to pick from).

Christmas 2011

Just thought I’d share a few pictures. I hope you had a lovely holiday season :)

Wreath shadows

I love interesting shadows.


My aunt has some very cute and sweet decorations, including this wreath.

Wee bird

Tweet, tweet, chirp.


I love the bright red colour (not easy to see in this picture) and simplicity of the design.


Their tree. My aunt (like me) prefers white lights, but it still looks really nice. Decorating the tree was one of the first things I did when I arrived – my cousin picked ornaments, my aunt supervised, and I did the labour.

Meow-y Christmas

This ornament was given to me in the early 80’s. When the whole family where still living under one roof (i.e., not all grown up and living in different provinces), there were a couple of these (each kid got their own) and the tree looked fabulous as it was covered in lovely hand crafted ornaments. No tree topper, but plenty of tropical birds Now there’s just my own ornaments and I realized this year that I’m in serious need of some more. I have a disproportionately large number of felt critters (most of which are birds or fish). I need a bit more variety. So, over the next year, I need to implement Operation More Ornaments. I started yesterday during lunch by buying two Gnomes (and lady and a gent, cuz I’m apparently boring and heteronormative at heart). This weekend I’m going to look for some typical shiny round glass ornaments and for ribbon or beads (can’t decide which I prefer) to add a bit of bling. Or, maybe I’ll make my own garland (idea, idea and idea). Than I need to start looking for ideas to make some nice non-felt ornaments through out the year.

I think that I may also retire a few of my ornaments. Though they all have sentimental value (someone close to the family made them or bought them for us), there are a few that just aren’t on par with the others. I’ll keep them, but I won’t put them on the tree.