Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Monday, August 27, 2018

New Car and New Gaming Laptop

Wow, I am so glad to be back!  I've had such bad luck with my electronics but everything is better now.

First my camera broke.  Then my phone battery wore out and it went so slowly. Then my 20 year old truck broke down and I didn't want to put any more money into it. Then my laptop screen cracked open.

In the past month, I've had to get a new camera, upgrade my phone, shop for a new (to me) car, and after all that, I ended up ordering a new gaming laptop.  Is it wrong that I'm the most excited about the laptop, lol?  It arrived a few days ago, just in time, as the hinge on my old laptop broke and wires started showing.

So it's been a busy and stressful time, followed by an exciting time as I enjoy my new toys.  I'm on a fixed income but luckily had put money aside a long time ago for the new vehicle and laptop.

So here is my new, to me, car.  It's a 9 year old Nissan Versa and I love it!
My new car!
It's so nice to have a reliable vehicle. It drives like a dream and is super quiet.  It has Bluetooth for hands free calls and a sunroof too.  I've had lots of fun trips to the beach with this.

My new computer is an Acer Nitro 5, with intel i7.  It's a gaming laptop and works like a dream.  I've only had it for a few days.  Here's a photo
My new gaming laptop
That's just a stock photo, but it's exactly what my computer looks like, except for the red backlit keys are much redder than they appear in the photo; they're a bright deep red, not orangey at all.  That's the screensaver the computer came with, but I changed it to a pretty night camping photo, with a sky full of stars.

I've been doing a lot of bike riding, including my longest distance yet, a 42 km bike ride!  I am editing a video that I took with my new action camera (which I bought to replace my broken camera) and will post it when I'm done.   I also did a short bike ride video (25 km condensed into 5 minutes) and will post that once I upload it to youtube.

So that's what I've been up to.  I was stressed out over having to spend so much money so quickly and am a bit anxious about finances...if things break, there is no more money to replace them, lol.  I am blessed that I was able to put enough aside to replace these items; I've been saving that money since I sold my house 4 years ago.

Well, I hope you all are having a nice summer. Its still super hot here in the North, but at least we have been spared the awful fires that are blazing all around us.

Take care :-).

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wow, it's been so long!

Hi Guys,
OMG, I have been AWOL for quite some time.  I blame my bike, lol.  As soon as the snow melted I hopped on and so far have not stopped riding.

I'm having an amazing summer and get out whenever I can, weather permitting.  We've had a crazy hot summer...global warming is real when we have a heatwave in Northern Ontario, Canada!  We had an entire week of temps higher than 100 F, which we are totally not used to.  Some nights it was even hot at night.

I was having to wait until after 7 or 8 pm to ride my bike, which meant short rides as it gets dark at 9:30 PM here.

Thankfully we're back to our normal weather now, and yesterday I was able to leave the house earlier than usual. I spent the entire day on my bike and it was wonderful.

Here are some photos; I hope you'll like them.

This is an abandoned building near the bike trail.  I think it is cool looking.

 This portion of the hub trail is so pretty; it follows the river and I love seeing the blue sky over blue water.
I stopped and had a nice break on this bench.  The wind gusts were up to 40 km/hour so it got super windy, but it was a nice relief from the heat.  I was so hot my clothes were soaking wet and I drank my entire bottle of water and had to buy more. The wind was lovely and dried me off, lol.

The trail runs behind the Bushplane Museum, and it's fun to see the tiny water and bush planes. Some are still in use and it's amazing to watch them take off and land in the river.

On the way home I popped in to see the wildlife on Whitefish Island.  There were several beavers, ducks, geese, loons, squirrels, chipmunks, and redwinged blackbirds here.  The chipmunks were angry because I didn't bring seeds for them.  One tried to climb my bike, lol.

I stayed to watch the sun set and enjoyed watching the clouds and sky change colours.

 My favorite time of day is just before sunset, when the sun casts golden shadows over the treetops.
 Here's my bike on the walkway over the beaver pond.  I sat there for at least half an hour, watching beavers eat.  They float on top of the water and remain almost motionless, except for their little paws stuffing food into their mouths, lol.  It's so funny.

This shot, below is my favorite.  Geese on the pond under cotton candy clouds, which are reflected in the water.

 The geese swam over to see if perhaps I had some food for them.  I felt bad that I didn't, lol.
 I stayed until dark, although it's hard to tell in the photo below. My camera lightens everything up quite a bit.

I ordered a new camera, an inexpensive offbrand GoPro type of deal, and can't wait until it comes in.  I'm planning another bike camping trip for August, but in the meantime, I am thinking of riding out to the beach tomorrow, just for the day.  It will be almost 20 km one way, so a 40 km bike ride round trip.  I'll have to wake up early so I can ride in the morning, spend the afternoon at the beach, and ride home in the evening, before it gets dark.  Yesterday's ride was 25 km and exhausted me, but it was super hot.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, so we'll see.

Thanks for popping in. I hope you're having a nice summer too!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Chunkers' New Treats

I just wanted to share this adorable video of my hamster Chunkers checking out her new toy, bowl, food, and treats.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

1 Year Surgiversary, 134 Lbs Lost

Today is my 1 year Surgiversary!  I had RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery, which is a weight loss surgery, 1 year ago today.
Before and After, 134 Lbs lost
I weighed 304 Lbs at the start of this journey, and today I weigh 170 Lbs. I've lost 134 Lbs and 103 inches so far, including 12 inches from my chest, 15 inches from my waist, and 17 inches from my hips.

I was wearing a size 4X or 24W pants, and size 3-5X tops.  Now I am wearing size 12 or medium pants, and they're loose, and medium tops.

My health has improved dramatically.  I have an entire cupboard of meds that I no longer need. Instead of taking 6-8 asthma meds per day, I am down to only 1 rescue inhaler.  I used to need my rescue inhaler 4-6 times per day, and now I can go months without needing it at all. I only need it when my asthma is triggered by a cold or flu, allergens, or super cold weather. That is a life changing to me.

I couldn't walk for 10 minutes before and now I can walk for hours, swim laps for 1-2 hours, and ride my bike all day long.  I so miss bike riding, but there is about 5 feet of snow on the ground right now, lol.

I used to have to shop at Pennington's, and now I can shop anywhere, and the clothes are much cheaper. I'm wearing a top that cost $7.00 and pants that cost $12.00 right now...before the weight loss I could never find deals on clothes like this. 

I am happier and feel hopeful about the future. 

Me fitting into 1 leg of my old pants
 I was thrilled that I could finally do the "fitting in 1 pant leg" thing today, lol.  I am half of the woman I was, and couldn't be happier about that.
Me in one of my old tops
 The black hoodie below was and still is my favorite. Sam and Dean Winchester from the TV series Supernatural (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) sold it to raise money for mental health awareness. I was very depressed at the time, and the words "Love Yourself First, Always Keep Fighting" spoke to me. I knew I had to learn how to love and fight for myself. I knew I had to lose weight because I was living in constant pain, both physical and mental.
My old favorite hoodie
Side view of my old favorite hoodie

I'll keep this hoodie forever, even though it's so big on my now. I still even wear it around the house at night; it's super warm and cozy. 

I had a great year, and I'm not done yet. I still want to lose more, so I can reach my goal weight.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Plastic Canvas Super Hero Coasters

Plastic canvas super hero coasters
 My friend Albert just bought his first home and he loves super heros, so I searched for super hero patterns and found these online, for free, courtesy of blogger, Kimberly Elliot:
super hero coaster patterns in plastic canvas

They're wonderful patterns, and will make a perfect house warming gift.  I found the cutest little windowed gift box at the dollar store to put them in, too!

I think my friend will like these.  I was so excited I couldn't wait to show him and shared a photo on his facebook page, lol.

Plastic Canvas Coffee Shop Bag Holder

I made this cute coffee shop bag holder to give to my Mom as one of her Christmas presents.
It's from the pattern book Village Bag Holders.

I've had this pattern book for YEARS and am so glad I finally tried it!  I absolutely love it, and might even make the bake shop and florist shop for my aunt and neighbor, if I have time. 

Here are a few more photos:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Plastic Canvas Hamster, with Real Hamster, lol

Chunkers checking out plastic canvas hamster
I couldn't resist making a plastic canvas version of my cute chubby hamster, Chunkers.  He immediately came to check it out.

Chunkers the hamster with plastic canvas version of self, lol.
Then looked at me as thought to say, "What the heck, I'm not THAT fat!" LOL.  The look on his face in the above photo cracks me up.

As you can see from the above photo, he really is that big, lol.  He's a very large Syrian hamster, and when he stretches out he's exactly as wide as the cage he came with when I adopted him, which is why I thought it was necessary to make him the bin cage playground addition, to give him plenty of room to play.

I really love my furry little guy, and think the plastic canvas version of him came out nicely, although when I quickly glance over now I see it and think Chunkers has gotten out of his cage, lol.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hamster Bin Cage Tour

Hamster's new bin cage
 Chunkers is really loving his new bin cage playground.  I attached it to the cage he came with when I adopted him last week, via hamster tubes, and he zips up and down the tube constantly to explore the place. 
Chunkers the hamster and his new bin cage play ground
 I was able to get some good photos with the lid off when I was cleaning the cages the other day.  He has an edible hamster hut, a bendy log bridge, the puzzle play ground, half of a wooden box, which he likes a lot, both the upper and lower level of the box, lol, a silent spinner wheel, and a giant flying saucer toy, which is 12 inches and made for Chinchillas.  It's a bit too big for him so it doesn't work if he goes into the centre of the thing, but he's learned how to make it work.  I would have liked a bigger hamster wheel too, but they didn't have any in town.

He also has a hamster litter box, a carrot chew, and a willow ball chew (under the bridge).  I had to take the littler box lid off because it was too small for him.  Once i buy some play sand, I think I"ll just use a small tupperware bowl as a litter box.

 The lid of the bin has plenty of ventilation, and i use a raised tray from the dollar store to set the Katy Cage on top of the bin.  The raised tray sits right across the plastic lid, above the mesh, and allows for plenty of ventilation below the tray.

The Minecraft Plastic Canvas items are only there for this picture; I have them on an end table now.

Chunkers loves his new bin cage play ground, and I have a lot of fun watching him.

Minecraft in Plastic Canvas

Minecraft characters and objects in plastic canvas
 I made these cute little Minecraft items in plastic canvas.  From left to right, the chest, the craft table, chicken, grass block, baby cow, Alex with stone sword, and furnace.

I love Minecraft and thought they'd look perfect in plastic canvas.  I googled for patterns and found most of them for free at yarn games.

I made up the baby cow and chicken myself, without any patterns.  I like the way the baby cow came out but the chicken is kind of wonky, and too big, lol.  Oh well. 

Minecraft in Plastic Canvas

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Bin Cage for Chunkers the Hamster!

New Bin Cage Playground for Chunkers

Hi guys!

So, a few days ago I adopted a cute little hamster from our local Humane Society.  He came with a double decker cage, which is nice, but too small for a Syrian Hamster.  He didn't have much room at all, and I felt bad for him so went to the Home Depot and bought their biggest clear bin (100L size), and some wire mesh. 

Shopping for bin cage supplies at Home Depot

I asked the nice men at Home Depot, Rocco and Steve,  to cut a big rectangular shape in the bin's lid, and said I'd be happy to pay for the service.  They used a jigsaw to cut the rectangle, and did a great job, and were kind enough to do it for free!

The bin cost $16.00, and the wire mesh was $13.00.  I stopped at the dollar store on the way home and bought some zip ties for a dollar. Total cost of the bin cage play ground: $30.00.  It would have cost more than triple the price to get an aquarium or terrarium as big as the bin, plus it would have been a lot heavier to lift for cleaning.

I don't have pictures of the next steps, but once home, I cut out a rectangle of wire mesh to fit over the hole in the lid with some room to spare. I also cut an opening for the tunnel tube things through the mesh, so that I could connect the playpen bin with the cage, using tubes. 

  Then my Dad drilled holes around the rectangular opening and I secured the mesh onto the lid with zip ties.  There are loads of great Youtube videos that show how to do this.

 If the drill wasn't so big and heavy, I could have done it myself, but I am not strong enough to hold my Dad's big drill with one hand so he did it for me.  I have a a smaller rotary tool that I could have used but don't have a drill bit for it.  I forgot to buy one.

Before I attached the bin cage to the wire cage, I put the entire wire cage in the bin and opened one of the tunnel holes to allow Chunkers to explore yet still have a way to retreat back into his cage if he was scared.  I introduced him to his new wheel, which he loved.  It was a shame that he didn't have one, as hamsters really love them.

Chunkers' new wheel

Chunkers' new hamster house
 I also introduced him to a new hamster house, in the shape of a tree stump.

Chunkers' new puzzle playground

 I also bought him this puzzle playground.  I wondered why it was called a puzzle playground...well, it's because the puzzle is for us, not the hamsters. It came in a zillion pieces and was super hard to put together.  He loves it though; it's his favourite new thing, so totally worth it.
Chunkers loves his puzzle playground

Peekaboo hamster
I let him have 2 days to get used to the bin before I set it all up.  I needn't have bothered, as he's not shy at all, and is super curious.  So curious that he went down the connecting tunnel tube to the his new playground even before it was connected; I was just holding it in place, lol. 
Chunkers and the walnut, lol
 He explored everything, and had a grand old time. 
Bin Cage Playground
I added a huge 12" flying saucer wheel, which he loves, an edible hut, a carrot chew toy, a willow twig ball, and a wooden box.  I wedged the puzzle plaground into the box to give it more stability, and hid a hamster litter box inside the box. 
Chunkers in his new flying saucer spinner
Chunkers is a very happy hamster, and he totally investigated each and every item in his new playground.