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Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Am A Winner!!

Hello my dear friends,

I don't often write more than one post a day and lately not more than one post a week (sad) but I just had to today. What a wonderful way to wake up by being told you won a giveaway!

Look what I won!!!

A most beautiful pouch and lace from sweet Rhonda at "A Little Bit French".

I had entered her "French Friday Giveaway" some time ago and had forgotten all about it because I have been so very busy with everthing and anything!

Thank you so much Rhonda for making my day!!!

I hope you are all well.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Not Quite There Yet

Hello my dear friends,

it has been so long again since I have been able to get some time to sit down and have a moment to spend on Todolwen and share things with you because I have been very busy with our outdoor project. I haven't even had time to read any of your lovely blogs again since I have spent most of the past 10 days either in the yard working or making sure things were getting done right without anything going wrong. Fortunately I did get a chance to get out on one day for a wee while some time last week and I of course I went to one of my favourite stores to go treasure hunting ...

and I found this!
 This is going to make a great base for a bird cage!!

It is so beautiful!

It is perfect and it doesn't even need gluing!! (Oh by the way I use E6000 when I need to glue anything like this.)

One little thing I did manage to do is to try and make paper clay birds in one of my coffee breaks.

I only got as far as making the plain birds but haven't had the time to do anything else with them so far. I'm still not too sure if they are the way I want them to be and I am still in two minds as to how I should finish them ~ maybe cover them with scraps of music sheets or dictionary pages? I will just wait and see I guess.

Our outdoor project is coming along but we are not quite there yet. So much work has been done by the company and my husband and I are working on the landscaping. We decided to change our riverbed and the bridge so it wouldn't be lost behind the pool which meant we had to move our "rocks" around the yards and we are talking very heavy rocks ~ 120 to170 pounds a piece!! So far we have done a lot but a few days ago our work had to stop when the tornado watch for our city turned into a tornado warning and it was safer inside. We were very lucky that it didn't turn nasty and we just had to put up with a very heavy thunderstorm with a lot of rain but I must admit that I was really glad in a way because the last stone I moved made an old injury to my back return which made it hard to breath and a rest was really needed. My hopes of being OK the next day didn't come so I spent most of my day laying down, not moving too much and resting.

The only time I did go outside to take a look ended with me sinking in to the mud about 10 inches deep and loosing my flip-flop which had to be dug out again (yuck) but it did make me laugh so much!

Our pool is almost done now and I must say I am really happy when this is all over. I was told by a friend that putting a pool in is like major heart surgery to your backyard and they were right!!

The biggest transformation is when the liner is put into the pool.

Add water and presto ~ one pool!!

Today the company is coming to set everything up so hopefully tomorrow we can take our first swim. As you can see all the new topsoil waiting to be spread out. My hubby moved more than 70 wheelbarrows from the front of the house to the backyard on his own ~ WOW!! I think we will still be needing about 3 or 4 weeks to finish everything off since we are doing a lot of the work ourselves.

Last but not least ...

...my last roses of the year.

I thought my little rose bush had decided that it was time to rest for this year but to my surprise I was wrong. Once more tiny buds are growing - only a few, not many but they are so pretty that I had to show you lovely bloggers.

I am hoping that soon everything will be back to normal and I will be able to spend a bit more time in blogland but until then please keep popping by from time to time.

I hope you are all well.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Homemade Tattered Bird Cage

Hello my dear friends,

I did manage to have some time over the weekend to create which made me really happy. I had a few ideas swimming around in my head and one of them was to make a little bird cage. I was inspired by the old Hendrix bird cages you see on eBay alot these days ~ they are so beautiful but costly too. Most of all I really wanted to create something.

I am so fortunate to have a craft room with all sorts of treasures hiding away just waiting to be found again, so early Saturday morning when everybody was still sleeping I gathered what I needed and sat at my dining room window ...

... trying to ignore the mountain of dirt and mess ...

... and created this...

... tattered bird cage!

I had the idea a few weeks ago and had noted it down in my "little book". I knew exactly how I wanted it to look like when it was finished.

I used a tattered metal plate and an old candle holder for the base.

I am so happy with the outcome of this project!! A few months ago I tried to make a bird cage and I totally failed trying to do so. Nothing worked at all then but this time it did!

I used a small piece of driftwood that I had found about 12 years ago on a beach on Vancouver Island for the swing.

The construction is very basic ~ 8 long pieces of wire and two shorter pieces and that was almost everything already.

The little tattered plate I chose was perfect since it had a punched out design ~ it couldn't have been better!

I used my small wire pliers to curl the ends giving it the final touch.

The cage was a bit tricky at one stage but in the end it all came together and worked out the way I wanted it to ~ mission completed and me ... very happy!

Now the only thing I need for this creation is a bird to call it home but that will be for a future post to share with you.

I hope you are all well.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Always Creating ... Mother Nature

Hello my dear friends,

it seems like forever! I have been so busy these past weeks doing all sorts except creating. But somebody else has been busy at it ... Mother Nature. I found these huge mushrooms in my backyard a few mornings ago close to an old tree stump. I was taken in by their beauty so out came the camera so I could share them with you.

I didn't think of putting my foot into the picture to show you how big this is ~ it is almost a big as a dinner plate!!

I can't believe it but the biggest one has even a frill ~ how neat!!

Do you think little fairies might gather here after dark? 

Unfortunately the mushrooms don't last very long after two days they turn brown and fade away.

We also have a new outdoor critter.
This is our newest little friend ~ a chipmunk!

He or she runs back and forth in front of my dining room window gathering food for the hard winter months here in Ontario. What a cute little creature. Our cat Iris really loves this wee one. She sits for hours at the window waiting so she can try and pounce on the chipmunk when it appears. I am only too happy that there is a large piece of glass there to stop her.

And last but not least ...

... update on our outdoor project.

What once looked like this ...

... now looks like this!!!

What a mess!! ... but I was told it would only get better from here. Unfortunately we had something go wrong  ~ our underground sprinkler system was ripped out (hubby wasn't too happy about that) but were are hoping we can repair it ourselves.

One thing is certain for sure, there is always beauty where ever you look.
This pretty butterfly decided to have a little rest in the deepest part of our "hole" and I was lucky enough to be able to catch this picture of it.

I hope I will find some time to create over the weekend! Did it happen ~ find out in my next post.
 I wonder what all of you lovely bloggers have been up to this weekend? I can't wait until Monday to read all about it. (I am sorry for posting this so late but again I was very busy)

I hope you are all well.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Huge Outdoor Project ...Yard Work Is Hard Work!!

Hello me dear friends,

a few day ago I mentioned that we had big plans for our backyard and that is where I am spending a lot of my time these days ~ preparing the yard for it's transformation. I spent many hours these past days digging up plants and pulling up our stone paths and moving everything to one side of the yard. I can tell you it is hard work. The plants are older plants so they are really well in the ground so it took a lot of tugging and heaving to get them out and the stones for the paths were so heavy that I had to use a cart to get them over to one side without injuring my back.

Our backyard hasnt' been looking well for some time now because of last years work we had done. We used to have two huge Ash trees which both had the "beetle" and were dying and had to be taken out. That was really something!! Our lawn didn't really recover after that and since most of the shade was gone weeds started to go wild ~ so much actually that it was a challenge to keep up with them.

This is only the beginning of everything to come in our backyard.

Does this picture give you an idea of what is going to happen??

I must be crazy!!! We have thought long and decided to have a pool put in our backyard. I have been working since weeks and weeks on this now getting all my "ducks in a row" (organized) so everything will hopefully go OK without any hicoughs. I am so glad that my husband will be home from work when all this will take place. I am sure I will end up needing more than one box of hair dye to cover all the grey that will be a result of this project. I will take pictures along the way and share so any of you thinking of doing this will get an idea of what you are letting yourself in for.

Unfortunately creating will have to take a back seat for the time which I find a bit sad because when I feel stressed or down creating is the thing to take my mind off things. I am hoping to escape in between for a wee while and maybe get a chance to use one of my ideas that are tucked away in my little book and if I do I will try and share them with you but if I don't get a chance to I hope you won't forget me and take a peek to see when I am back and blogging.

I have added two images to share with you today ~ I thought you might like them.

I wonder if you might know who this is. She was born on August 4th 1900 and her name is Elizabeth. She was a very special lady and she was the mother of a very special lady (if that makes any sense to you).

I will let you know ~ this is the Queen Mother Elizabeth when she was approx. 3 years old.
I found this picture of her one day on the internet and thought it was just so precious.

This is a negative from the Victorian days. It was proof that fairies were real.
 (Well we bloggers all knew that one!!)
Can you see the tiny fairy clothes hanging on the wash line inside the flower?
This is way over 100 years old but hasn't lost any of its magic.

And last but not least ...

... I now have a fairy of my very own!!! Take a look!!

This is my wee tiny fairy. 

My daughter Ashleigh loves photography and used a new software she found to create this image of herself as a fairy standing on a daisy. She has her own blog http://everything-is-better-with-sprinkles.blogspot.com/ and if you ever feel like it why not fly over and take a peek!

I hope you are all well.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For The Love Of Nests

Hello my dear friends,

I can't believe that I almost forgot to share these with you! They have been tucked away on a shelf in my garage all summer and just now it popped into my mind that I haven't told you about them.

Last spring our city decided to have a big spring clean for all the trees. For weeks you would see workmen out with ladders and saws clipping all the avenue trees in our neighbourhood of overhanging branches making sure that trucks and large vehicles wouldn't damage them or be damaged. Unfortunately that also meant that branches with birds nests would have to be removed as well.

On one morning I was taking a walk and I spoke to one of the workers asking what they do with the nests to which he replied that the would be thrown away into the chipper just like all the other branches. I thought it was very sad that something so beautiful would just be destroyed so I asked if he would keep the nests he would have to remove.

Some days later I received these from him.

This nest had fallen out of the branches as they were being cut off. Even though it hit the ground it is in perfect condition! I find it amazing what a little feathered creature can do with it's beak.

These two both were cut down very carefully with the branches. One is a larger nest ...

and the other is a smaller one ..

 and it even still has a nut attached in the center of it!

I am so fortunate to have these wonderful creations of nature! I would have been such a shame for them just to been thrown into the trash. I still have to treat them before I can take them inside my house. My dear friend Dawn at the "Feathered Nest" has given me advice on what to do to make it possible. Thank you Hun!

These are my newest findings from a thrift store.

I found these "man-made" nests in a local thrift store a few days ago. They look almost real and the neat thing is that they can stand freely. I just have to find the right place for them now.

Last but not least ...

... I would like you to meet Patches. She is a small neighbourhood cat that we love so much. In the summer time she sleeps in our front yard a lot under the evergreens where it is nice and cool in the shade and in the winter - before the snow comes - she rests on our front door mat. She must like us very much too.

She is such a precious little cat, so gentle and affectionate. I think everybody should have such a lovely critter in their life. Don't you?

I hope you are all well.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.