Thursday, 10 January 2013

Haven't blogged for a month, the weeks raced by.  First I slipped and fell out walking the dogs. I felt okay at the time, just a twinge of pain, but next morning I couldn't walk properly.  I wound up spending almost two weeks either lying flat on the floor or mincing about the house carefully.

This made for rather slap-dash Christmas preparations but we managed.  A series of sad events put a blight on the holiday this year. On December 23rd a friend and neighbour died at the age of 40 while home with the flu. He could not stop coughing and choked to death.

Then late on Christmas Eve another friend had to be rushed to hospital with blood pressure off the charts.  This was also attributed to the flu. 

On the 26th a woman friend suffered a heart attack and has now undergone triple bypass surgery.  All in all we were was happy to see the end of December.

January came in with a blanket of snow. So we are tucked up indoors for awhile, knitting, reading, sitting by the fire. I am not a social creature in cold weather. You can get me out on a sunny day, but once the sun disappears the world seems just a little too cold and miserable out there. Apart from walking the dogs and feeding the goats and chickens my time outdoors is limited to a quick run down to the mailbox and back.

So with all this indoor time I have been working away on my website The Chocolate Gazette.  I had a computer crash and lost some photos, so I am still checking each page for typos, broken links, and those missing photos, but I hope that will be done in the next few days.  Then I can move on to writing more content, adding more recipes and start entering the site's information on assorted Internet directories. Have a peek at the website if you are curious and let me know what you think. All feedback is appreciated, the good, the bad and the ugly.  It's the only way we learn!

I cleaned up my studio space and have begun working on a series of necklaces that I sketched out before Christmas.  I have been making various components and then I wire those together and adding the finishing touches.  I'll post some photos of them once I have a few finished.

While working on the necklaces I found a spool of sterling silver wire I bought ages ago, and brought it downstairs to try an idea I had for a knitting bracelet with knitted silver wire and crystals.  Knitting with wire is a rather strange feeling, but it is working and the fabric is makes can be squished or spread out into different widths and shapes.  I like the effect so much I want to make a second one, using some semiprecious stones I have stashed away. 
 I've also been cleaning out the sewing room and found a stash of pretty fabrics that I'd like to make some use of.  I cut out circles with my pinking shears, but found the shears were not happy working with the soft cotton.  So I ironed the cotton onto some freezer paper and then cut out my flower shapes. This worked like a charm, no problem with the pinking shears, as now the soft fabric had a little 'body'.  I peeled off the freezer paper and sewed the bits together. If I like the effect I sew a simple brooch pin to the back of the corsage.

I usually make half a dozen of these at a time and stash them away in a box with assorted ribbons and other doodads that I use for wrapping birthday gifts all year round.  The recipient gets the gift and the brooch.

Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be 5C, and Saturday as high as 11C.  The famous "January thaw".  We'll enjoy clear roads and some warm afternoons, before Old Man Winter returns with a vengance for his long second act.  Snuggle up.

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