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Sunday, June 30, 2013

It Has Amost Happend .. Google Reader Is Almost Gone

Hello my dear friends,

just a very short note today.
As you all know Google reader is shutting down first thing July 1st ... early tomorrow morning ... for good.

If you wish to continue to follow me here at Todolwen you can to follow me via bloglovin' starting right now! Just look at my right side bar  (all the way down past my tutorials) there is the bloglovin' button you can click on to follow me. If you don't wish to use bloglovin', you can also follow me via facebook or e-mail and just as with bloglovin' ... my right side bar has my facebook and e-mail button so you can use it if you wish.

 Also don't forget to transfer all your other blogs that you love to read too so you won't lose them. I was worried I would forget to do it today and so I transferred all of mine last night already.

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Outdoor Project 2013

Hello my dear friends,

most of you have followed me through my outdoor project 2012 and went along with me on my journey of transforming our front and backyard. Weeks and weeks of backbreaking work of weeding, leveling the ground and not to forget shoveling huge amounts of crushed stone and moving over more than 200 wheelbarrows of it all on my own but also the joy at the end of that journey.

For this year I have a new project that I am going to be working on again.

At the back of our backyard we have a false riverbed which hides a draining system underneath it that leads to the storm drain. You see our property is the lowest on the block and all the water from the other properties ends up in ours and without this draining system we would be under water every time it rains a little heavier.

Anyway ...

... my project this year is to dig up about at least 2 tons of river rock, weed the riverbed and surrounding area and replace the landscapers cloth underneath the rock too and rebuild the riverbed.

 I don't think it looks like much really when you look at it but it is. I have neglected this area of the garden for a little while now and the weeds are high and there are many of them too. On top of that unfortunately my right arm still hasn't fully recovered from all the work from last year so I will do this project much slower that I did the one last year.

Here are a few before photos to share you how it look right now.
 I did little weeding this Spring and we have had lots of rain and hot sun and this is the result but I almost prefer it this way because I can grip all the weeds right and get them out of the ground easier.

Our riverbed is almost completely overgrown now with all sort of plants and weeds.

As you can see ... it is a mess!
Even our bridge is need to being rescued from branches that I have already gathered.
I am thinking this might take me 3 or 4 weeks but in the end it will so be worth all the hard work and
I am hoping to start some time next week if everything goes well. I will again take before and after photos so I can share them with you as I am going along.

I would love to have the same experience I had last year because then I can't wait to do this project.
What is your 'big' project this Summer? What ever it is, I hope it is something that will bring you lots of joy!

It was so nice for you to stop by and visit me again here at Todolwen and I would love for you to return some time again!

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sweet Decorative Baby Shoes ...

Hello my dear friends,

I am working on my full shelves in my studio, hoping to find new homes for some of my creations and so I have listed some more of my early creations in my Etsy shop.

And this is what they are ...

... sweet decorative baby shoes!


I enjoyed creating these little shoes so much and I have treasured them for some time too but it is time to part with them so they can hopefully bring joy to someone else and a little more room for new creations.
If you have a spare moment ... why not go and take a peek in my Etsy shop?!
And last but not least ...
... I am now working on I think 4 or 5 more little fabric pouches. Every time I embellish one I find another way to embellish another one and so one ~ that's why I am working on more than one or two. I am hoping they will be done soon so I can share them with all you lovely bloggers again.
So ... don't forget to visit me some time again!
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Little Something New ...

Hello my dear friends,

today I would love to share my finished creation that I told you a little about yesterday.

I am happy the way this creation worked out because I am not a sewing machine person and for this creation I had to use my sewing machine but as I said it worked out well.
And this is what I have created ...
... a lovely small fabric pouch.



Having completed this little pouch successfully I am now working on a few more of these fabric pretties ~ I have a few different styles in mind already. Of course once finished I will share them with you lovely bloggers again.

And until your next visit ...

... I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Working On Something New ...

Hello my dear friends,

it feels like I haven't tried to create something new in what is seems some time now so when I found two pieces of tea stained fabric I was on the hunt for a new idea to use them in.
I love the embroidered edge and the fraying of these.

I had used this fabric in my primitive creations some years ago and must have placed the last two pieces ( I think these are the last two? ..) in my linen chest and forgot about them.

 I was thinking about a new creation using this fabric and it had to be something where I didn't cut the pieces in any way but used them as they were. I think I have managed to do so in the end using a combination of drop cloth, a vintage bits and pieces and of course not to forget crinkled seam binding.


I am not quite finished just yet but I should be very soon and then I will share my newest creation with you. So ... if you would like to see what I have made, do come back and visit me here at Todolwen very soon again.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Alberta Flooding ...

Hello my dear friends,

I don't know if you have seen what is happening in Alberta right now ...

... so much rain has fallen this past week that several communities are flooded so intense and raging water is destroying homes and businesses. Over a dozen towns are entirely flooded including Camore and  downtown Calgary and it's zoo and a state of emergency has been declared.
Unfortunately 3 people have lost their lives in the waters already and the flooding is not over yet.

Please, keep all those that have been or will be effected in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you!

Many hugs,

Karen B.

Friday, June 21, 2013

At Our Local Walmart

Hello my dear friends,

this is something I have wanted to share with you since a little while already but never got to doing so and it is something very neat too.

Since about 3 years now a pair of mallard ducks have chosen out of all places a batch of  tall grass that has been cut short the previous fall to make their nest and lay their eggs. And where is this batch of grass?! ...In the parking lot of our local Walmart!

The Walmart employees have taken to it and now every year there is a little fence placed around the nest to protect it and food and water dishes are placed close to the nest too for Mama duck.
I took a few photos very carefully not to disturb her and scare her away.

The Walmart employees took to the ducks nesting right away and placed a small fence around the nest to protect it and ...

... also gave Mama duck food and water ...
... so she wouldn't have to do without or leave the nest.
After about several of nesting by rain or shine ...

... all the sudden the nest was empty ~ not even pieces of eggshells were there ...

... only the soft feathers that Mama duck had pulled from herself to soften the nest. 

I know that mallard ducks have nested next to my neighbours fishpond twice now and to protect the nest, eggs and future baby ducklings from cats and raccoons he call the wildlife protection services which then came and took Mama duck and the eggs to a safe place. Maybe that is what has happened here too!? Next time I am at Walmart I will try and find out if anybody knows and then I will let you know too.

Last but not least ...

... here is a photo of 'my' ducks that are not so happy anymore since I took the winter cover off the pool and placed the solar blanket on it, but hopefully they will find a nicer place to swim for the summer other than our pool and hopefully they will be back next spring again.

It is always nice when you stop by and visit me and it would be so nice for you to visit me soon again here at Todolwen.

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

As Promised ... My Union Jack Quilt Pattern

Hello my dear friends,

as promised here is the pattern I made for my daughters Caylagh's Union Jack quilt. In this post I am sharing the pattern with you along with a few instructions and tips. Please note that this is not a step~by~step tutorial though.

My Union Jack quilt design ..

The overall size of the quilt is 76 inches by 60 inches and I used 5 different fabrics.
And this is my basic pattern ...
... and also some ~ I hope ~ useful tips for you ...

(I am very old fashioned when it comes to quilting and therefore I only use cardboard templates, a pencil and a ruler to cut my quilt pieces.)

For this quilt I used bristle board to cut the large templates for the quarter section of the quilt which are without a seam allowance, so when you draw around these large templates you will have to ADD a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around. To make your templates use the chart and measurements and enlarge it onto your card and then cut the template pieces out.
The template for the square that makes up the center cross can be made including the seam allowance ~ this way your drawing of the pieces will go faster. The small square measures 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches including seam allowance which leaves you with a sewn 4 inch square.
  Last but not least ...
... I love to frame my quilt tops in a strip of white cotton that is 2 inches wide ~ it just makes the pattern stand out more.

And finally my last tip for you is ...

... measure very carefully when you cut your larger pieces and cut them the same. I had to re~cut 7 large pieces because I did not pay enough attention.

I hope that I have explained everything well enough. If you have any questions drop me a line and I will try and answer them for you.

If you end up making this quilt, please send me pictures of the finished quilt! I would love to see what you have created!

It would be so nice for to visit me soon again and until then ...

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Wool For Nests ..

Hello my dear friends,

I love having a basket or two full of beautiful wool and yarn in my studio and once in a while, maybe once or twice a year, I love to shop for yarn and that is exactly what I did recently.

 The reason for this purchase was mainly that my daughter Ashleigh came up with a new theme for a new nest creation for me but I didn't shop just for that. I am not going to give away just yet which theme it is because I haven't got all my yarn together yet and I am not sure if it will turn out but I can tell you that I love the idea the way I see it in my mind. I can also give you a little sneak peek of the yarn I have gathered already.

This is some of my new wool I have bought for more Spring nests and maybe Winter nests ...

... so many lovely textures and colors too.

And this is the wool for my new themed nest ...

... so many beautiful shades of blues and so many different textures as well. I can't wait to start creating my newest nest to see if it will work out the way I can see it in my mind. Some of this wool actually just arrived from Turkey yesterday!
The only question now is when I will have time to start working on these new creations since I have so many things on my to~do list already for the rest of this year. Well, I don't really know but as soon as I do I will make sure to share it with all you lovely bloggers.
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

23 Days Later And 3 Days Late..

Hello my dear friends,

after a lot of cutting, sewing and quilting and some very sore fingers my gift for my daughter Caylagh is finally finished and with that said I can finally share the Union Jack quilt I made for her with you today.

From start to finish it took me 23 days to complete this single quilt and after some setbacks I was finally getting to the completion of it and one of my favourite moments whilst making this quilt was this one ...

... cutting the excess backing fabric and batting off because ...

 (sorry about the bad photo)
... that's when I know I am almost done with my work.
I had found this lovely purple fabric for the edging at Fabric-Land  and ...

... with a little help from my husband's large level I was almost there ...

... and then there they were ... the final few stitches and then ... at last ... finished!!

And here it is ...

Unfortunately my writing faded with washing, so I will have to rewrite her label.

... my finished gift ~ I think it turn out so lovely!

When I have a little spare time, which will hopefully be soon, I am going to draw up the basic pattern for this quilt and a few little tips on how I made it and share it here on Todolwen for all you lovely bloggers.

That's all for now. I still need to rest my fingers a little more but it would be so nice if you would stop by soon again and visit me here at Todolwen again.

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day,

Karen B.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Baby Girls 13th Birthday ..

Hello my dear friends,

life has been so busy again and because of it I didn't have the time to share my daughter Caylagh's birthday with all of your lovely bloggers. She is now 13 and so grown up already and does not like a lot of fuss around her right now (that includes taking photos) so her birthday was very small but very nice.

 As I told you already I wasn't able to finish my gift to her in time unfortunately but she received other gifts and loved them so much.
My older daughter Ashleigh baked the cake and ...

...because of Caylagh's love of unicorns that is what we chose to decorate her cake with.

The cake was golden pecan with a layer of brownies in between and covered in cream cheese icing ... needless to say it was yummy?!
Mail was opened and ...
... yes, there was a unicorn card there too.
 Caylagh received this beautiful antique locket from her sister and  ...

... this tiny critter from me.
She had found it on Etsy and fell in love with it so Mama knew it would make her happy.
It is so tiny it fits on a penny!
... and her Dad and other lovely relatives sent her on a shopping spree which we girls went on right after breakfast. Our final gift to her was that we surprized her with a day off of school. The day was great but very tiring and we were all happy to be in our bed at the end of it.
As I am writing this post my fingers are resting for a little while longer before I take to quilting again. I am so close to finishing my gift for my daughter and I am hoping to share it with you very soon.
It would be nice to see you here again some time and until then ...
I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.
Have a peaceful and creative day,
Karen B.