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!

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.  

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I Adopted a Hamster

Meet Chunkers, my new Syrian hamster.  He was up for adoption at our local humane society and I fell in love with the cute little guy.
Chunkers, adopted Oct. 26, 2017
Isn't he sweet?

I've only had him for a few hours and I already love him.

I miss having a dog so very much but am not able to get another dog where I live.  I saw this guy was available and decided to give him a home.

I am not sure if I'll keep the name Chunkers; it's cute, and it fits him as he's chubby, but I'm not sure how long he's had it.  He was brought in to the Humane Society on Oct. 18th, by a family who said they were moving.  What that has to do with giving up an animal, I'll never know.

He's very friendly and curious and I was told they think he's male, but aren't really sure. 

I have been watching loads of youtube videos about hamster care and plan to make him a big bin cage in the next week or so. I don't want to move him out of his familiar cage yet because hamsters can get sick if they're too stressed, and he just had some big changes, what with leaving his original family, spending a week at the humane society, and then moving here. 

He's watching me right now.  He's absolutely adorable.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

8 Month Post Op RNY Surgiversary, Size 12 pants!!! OMG!!!

Today is my 8 month post op weight loss surgery anniversary, or surgiversary, as we weight loss patients like to say. 

I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled, with the progress I've made over the past 8 months.  I've lost 117 Lbs so far, and have gone from a very tight size 24 pants to a size 12!  ME!  I am now half the size that I was on January 11th, when I started my 3 week Optifiast liquid protein diet to ready myself for surgery on Feb. 1st, 2017. It's like a miracle. I mean, I know I've worked hard to get here, but it still seems like a miracle to me.

OK, so earlier today, I went to Sears because it is closing and today was their last day.  I was there on their first day back in the 70's when I was 10 years old so wanted to be there for the last day.  I knew most of the items had already been sold but wanted to go anyway, to get some photos.

Well, there were maybe 4 racks of ladies clothing left, 2 racks of mens, and none at all for children.  Most of the ladies wear that were left were plus sized, and I am not plus sized any more.

I was looking for size 14 pants because that is what I thought I needed.  I have one pair of size 14's that are a bit big, but they are the pull on type pants so I thought for sure I'd need at least a 14, possibly a 16, in jeans and dress pants.  But there were none left.  I found two pairs of pants in size 12 and decided to get them and shrink into them, maybe in the next two months or so, hopefully by Christmas.  That was my goal. One was a pair of navy dress pants with shape wear built in to flatten the tummy and lift the bum.  Regular $70.00, but now on for 95% off, so I grabbed them.  I also grabbed a pair of burgundy skinny jeans, also size 12, also regular $70.00 but on for 95% off .  Neither pair of pants were things I'd normally get; I basically just buy black, usually, but for 95% off I was willing to buy ANYTHING even remotely close to my size, lol.

So I bought them ($7.50 for both pairs of pants, including tax!), then went to Walmart and just for the heck of it, decided to try on the same pants I was already wearing in a  loose size 14,  in a size 12.  And they fit.  I immediately started jumping up and down, clapping my hands, yelling "woohoo!".

Seriously, size 12 seemed like a dream that I couldn't attain.  I was happy to be size 14.  I have never been less than a 14 since I was 24 years old, and I only hit size 14 twice between the ages of 24 and 40-something, and have been size 20 or bigger for years.  Size 12?  A nice dream, something nice to think about but I didn't think it would happen.  I hoped it would happen but didn't believe it.

So after I got home I tried on the sale pants from Sears, and even though the Walmart size 12's fit, I didn't expect the Sears size 12's to fit...but they do!  Not only do they fit, they fit nicely, not tight at all!  I didn't have to force the zipper up or anything.  I am a size 12.  Me.  Size 12. I'm feeling euphoric!

I hope this isn't a dream. I hope I am not sleeping right now, dreaming I'm size 12.

I need to update this blog in a major way. I've been crocheting, walking, bike riding, taking lots of photos...then I'm too tired to blog, lol.  I will try to do better in the future.  In the meantime, here are some cool photos of Sears on their last day.  Goodbye Sears, I'll miss you.  Thank you for the amazing size 12 pants for 95% off, lol.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

First Bike Camping Trip!

Last Friday I went on my first bike camping trip.  It's been crazy busy and I was away at our family cottage for a few days shortly after, so haven't had time to get on here until now.

I had such a great time!  (There are loads of photos, and each can be clicked on to make them bigger.)

It wasn't a long trip, only about 20 km there, 20 back, but they were hilly kilometers and I was carrying about 50 Lbs of gear on my 30 Lb bike....very different feel from my normal bike rides; much more difficult.

Loaded bike
 Here's my bike, all loaded and propped against the house because it was so heavy my kickstand wouldn't support the weight.
Getting ready to head out for my first bike camping trip
 Here I am with my trusty steed, Corabelle, getting ready to head out.  My Mom is in the background, telling me I'm totally crazy, lol.
Me and my loaded bike
 I'd never ridden a loaded bike before, and it took some getting used to.  I can't imagine how much harder front racks and panniers must be for steering.  I'm ordering some in the winter so I'll be all set for next spring, lol.
Creek along the route
 About half of my ride was along a quiet country road called Base Line. There were lots of pretty creeks and a few narrow bridges.  The above photo is one of them.  I was going so slowly that I was passed by a farm tractor towing a trailer, lol.
The turn from Base Line to Airport Road
 The turn from Base Line to Airport Road is tricky because the fist thing I had to do once I turned was climb a hill.  I made it up every single hill on this trip, and there were lots of them.  Thankfully not too big, but last year I wouldn't have made it up a single one, never mind carrying so much stuff.
Airport Road
 My bike is a hybrid bike, a comfort bike crossed with a beach bike, and it's very comfortable.  I love the upright position and I love my bike,  but in all honesty a mountain bike would be easier for carrying stuff, and for giving me alternate hand positions.  My hands grew numb quickly from the single handle bars, and I had to keep shaking them out.
Arriving at the campground
 This shot is "before the collapse" taken just as I arrived at the campground.  I felt fine until I stopped, got off the bike, and immediately became so dizzy I could barely stand up.

I went in to register and almost collapsed. The couple who run the place brought me to a shady spot behind the building and let me sit in a lawn chair in the shade until I recovered.  They said I had a touch of heat stroke and needed to just sit still and drink water.  I'd been drinking G2 on the ride but I guess I didn't drink enough of it for such a hard ride on such a hot day.  I had a sunburn on my face, neck, shoulders, and even the part in my hair was beet red.

As I sat, relaxing, I could feel eyes on my.  I looked up to see the cutest little red squirrel peering over the roof, looking at me.  We sat staring at one another for quite some time.  It's probably just me, but the squirrel looked concerned, lol
My camp site
 When the world finally stopped spinning, I went to find my camp spot, which was not easy, lol.  I parked my bike and decided I'd better eat something.
 This snack sized tuna kit was perfect; a tiny can of tuna, 6 crackers, a napkin and spoon.  It was yummy and I felt even better after getting some protein and carbs in me.
Close up of lunch (yum!)
 After lunch I set up my tent.  I was still super hot so I decided to change into my bathing suit and ride over to the beach.
Going for a swim
 The water was lovely; warm, for once.  Lake Superior is usually frigid. I swam for about an hour and a half, but leisurely.  I did laps then let the waves carry me away for some distance, then swam back, over and over again.
Pointe Des Chenes beach
 It was really gorgeous out there.  I love the beach.

My tent and bike
 My camp site was  rocky but OK.  My tent was a tad too small for me and I am considering getting a bigger one. THis is fine if it stays dry but if it rains I'd be in trouble because when I lay down, my head and feet touch either end.
Sunset at the beach
 I went back to the beach to watch the sunset over the water.  It was spectacular.

Wood was too wet to start a fire
 I tried to start a fire, but the wood was too wet.
 I gave up on the fire and cooked supper on my little cat can alcohol stove.  It's just a Friskie's can with holes drilled along the upper edge to let the fire out the sides so that the fire won't go out when a pot or pan is placed upon it.  It worked perfectly to reheat my burger, which I cooked ahead and then froze.  It was mostly thawed by the time I cooked it.  I then melted the cheese when it was done. It was yummy.
Supper cooked on cat can alcohol stove
I had a great time and am looking forward to doing it again.  The only downfall of the trip was a group of noisy people set up next to me and let their kids scream until about 1 AM.  I was exhausted and every time I fell asleep, the kids would wake me up.  The park is supposed to be quiet after 10 PM and that family was really inconsiderate. The adults were super loud too.  Other than that, I had a great time.