Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Muffins & Stuff!

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted three photos about my blueberry muffins. Since then, there have been quite a number of people making comments about them, especially the small amount of sugar used.

I used parchment paper liners which don't stick to the baked muffins. 

The recipe came from The Treasury of Newfoundland Dishes. My mom has several of her favourite recipes printed in this book. This is my second copy as the original one that mom gave me decades ago, is literally in tatters!

 Here's the recipe:


These muffins use little sugar. If your sweet tooth isn't satisfied, cut one in half and spread some jam!

The cookbook is still available at Chapters and Amazon.
  • Pinterest HERE has a few ideas for quilted muffins / cupcakes
  • Cupcake applique HERE
  • Template HERE
  • Free Cupcake / Muffin Oven Mitt HERE 

Enjoy!


 




Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Spring into a Project!

Today was a gorgeous, warm, spring day with the birds twittering in the trees and new growth in my garden. At least I hope spring is finally here as we woke up to an inch or so of snow on the ground yesterday. However, by lunch time it was all gone.

We have had more snow this year than the previous three winters since moving to Nova Scotia in 2017. The up side (if you can call it that), there was no wind to speak of. Of course, coming from St. John's, NL, that is no joke. According to a CBC report a number of years ago, St. John's takes 3rd place for having the most wind on the planet. In fact, I bought my first jacket without a hood when I moved here. 

Anyway, I'm a bit off topic but such is life! In February, I needed a spring like project and settled on Birds of a Feather from Kim Schaefer's book, Cool Cotton & Whimsical Wool Quilts. This book has 12 contemporary folk-art projects using colourful whimsical characters. The largest wall quilt in the book is only 20 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches, so very doable. Unless, of course, you decide to do your own thing! Which I did.

I don't have my Birds of a Feather finished yet and the next photos show why.  I decided to use this piece as an embroidery sampler. In other words, I'm hand stitching every leaf and critter with a different set of stitches. Instead of using felt for the branches, I embroidered them with pearl cotton. I still have a fair amount left to do but I'm pleased with the results so far. It keeps me out of trouble in the evenings.



 
Here is  the stitching so far.
 

This will eventually be quilted and hung on the wall for spring. However, at this time, I'm not sure which spring that will be. When it's completed, I'll post more about it.

Have a look at these links:

Enjoy!



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Napkins, Anyone?

If you have an extensive fabric stash, making a few napkins is one way to use up some of that fabric. Christmas before last, my daughter asked for a bunch of them which were quite well received. This year, I decided to add to my napkin stash. We try not to use paper towels as napkins. 

The other night, I rummaged through some boxes of fabric that haven't seen the light of day for awhile and made my selection. After washing and ironing, the cutting began. I have a small stack of ready cut pieces for napkins. It's my go to project for times when I don't need to use up any more brain cells!

I did all mitred corners, which I particularly like and are easy to do. To find out how to make these for yourself, check out my other blog for the tutorial

Here's four napkins that I just finished! They are sort of colour coordinated. In any case, they call for Spring! Aren't you tired of the snow and cold weather! I know I am.

I will try to post on both blogs. The new one is still a challenge as it requires quite a learning curve, but hopefully, before too long, I won't have to ask for assistance. In any case, the old brain is getting a good run for the money, which is a good thing as we get older.

Here's a few non-napkin links for your enjoyment pleasure!

 Enjoy!!

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

It's Been a Rollercoaster! Update - it's been awhile . . .

I've had to put most things on the back burner for the last few months. Nothing new was done to the new blog and nothing was written here. Plans were to have had the Christmas Shimmers photographed and put on the new website, other art pieces added to the Gallery and a shop designed. This was my husband's area of expertise but due to his health, all that was benched for the time been.

It all started about a year ago. My husband was having some health issues and attributing it to his asthma, which he's been living with for over thirty years. He finally decided to see our health care practitioner last May and had tests of various sorts scheduled for whenever. We were told it might take 6 to 8 months or more to get them. Luckily, he had them in July and August, which resulted in him needing heart bypass surgery. We were very concerned that he might have to wait for it due to COVID-19. However, after several trips to emergency, he was finally kept in on the last visit and taken by ambulance to Halifax. He was fast tracked for the heart bypass surgery on October 8/21. 

Needless to say, life had been a roller coaster ride up to that point. He just passed the third month since the surgery. Things have now settled down and we are getting back to our normal routines.  He is feeling great and can't wait to get back to working on his workshop and designing new products for the laser machine. He is also my business partner.

I did attend two craft fairs just before Christmas, one at White Point Beach and the other in Lunenburg. These were well attended and everyone obeyed the health protocols of wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. I don't know what this new year will bring but we all need to be vaccinated and hope life will start to get back to some form of normal.

Here is a closeup of a Reversible Fibre Lace Scarf  that was created last fall and was purchased at White Point Beach. I love how the colours are similar to the mossy rock in my back garden. A full version is shown in the next photo. You can just see a hint of the reverse side with turquoise and salmon showing.

My husband's newest venture: laser cut ornaments.

More laser cut ornaments. Most of these are taken from our Shimmer designs. 

 

Coasters were also a new item at both craft fairs. Again, Shimmer designs were used. Most of these were sold.





Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Notice!

Please Note

If you are a regular blog reader, you probably heard that Google is disabling features of Feed-burner. If you have signed up on this blog to receive emails via Feed-burner, you will no longer receive them after July 2021. If you would like to continue receiving emails, you can sign up on the right side of my blog using Bloglovin.

Not much has been happening in the studio lately! However, I have been busy outside in the garden - we have new landscaping on the front of the property. We put in a new lawn in June with lots of topsoil delivered. Little did we know but the soil had crabgrass seeds which produced lots of the stuff in no time. 75 feet of  weeds instead of a lawn, which, I am pleased to say, have finally been eliminated!  We dug up the last two feet of weeds last night and reseeding has been accomplished! Crabgrass was not an issue in St. John's, NL. In fact, I don't think it even grows there. Nova Scotia has lots of it.

This one is thriving! Lots of mulch to eliminate weeds.

Stay safe and get vaccinated!


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Get Vaccinated!!

We received our second vaccine shot of Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 last week. By July 7, the two week waiting period for immunity will be done! I can't tell you what a relief it was to get this second shot. For the next few months, masks will still be worn when shopping and when around a large group of people.  

My studio has been vacant for the last month or so. That means I haven't been doing any stitching, embroidery or quilting. Things just went down the rabbit hole. And on June 19, mom passed away peacefully, in her sleep. She had been in decline about two weeks before that happened. Due to COVID-19, travel was not possible but my brother and sister-in-law were there for her. Her funeral was live streamed so the family, near and far, could be part of saying good bye to mom, granny, Aunt Deb, Mrs. Eady . . . Mom was five months away from her 100th birthday.

This is a photo of her (Deborah Emberley) that my cousin had. I've never seen this one of her. She was in her early 20's.


 You will be missed, MOM!

Stay safe everyone and please get vaccinated.

 


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Finished - Squash Squad

I have finished my Squash Squad Instastitch with Sue Spargo. YAH!!! My vine border sort of got away from me but it was enjoyable to stitch. 

To read more about this piece, please hop over HERE where you can see a couple of close-ups. I've also added some links about the various squash / pumpkins used in this piece.

 Enjoy!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

One of Twelve!!

I've been slowly working on Mary Corbet's Twelve Trees for Christmas, a collection of twelve 3" Christmas tree designs for hand embroidery. Seven of the twelve are done. This is the latest one.

Five more to go!!

The weather here in Pine Grove has been varied which has been great for landscaping. We have lots of deer resistant bushes and ground cover planted out front. At least, the deer have stayed away so far. Time will tell if they fill up on them or not! Mulch has been put around all the new plants and yesterday, lawn seed was sprinkled in place. It's slowly getting in shape.

Enjoy!

Stay safe and get vaccinated

 


 


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother's Day

 

A delightful drawing from my granddaughter, Gale.  The humming bird is the focus as I get them visiting the deck garden all summer. The pinkish lilly, shown below the blue flower, is the plant she just gave me for my garden.

Enjoy & Stay Safe!!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Spring!

Well, it finally moved from early spring to mid spring - I think! The spring weather here in Nova Scotia hasn't been as warm as last year and there have been lots of gray days. However, when the sun did shine, it was warm. On one of those sunny days, we made a trip to a couple of plant nurserys. 

Last fall, all the grass was stripped off the lawn between our two driveways  -  75' by 40' (and that doesn't include about another 40 feet on the other side of the driveways)! All the sod and a foot of clay was taken out and replaced with new topsoil and compost. There was also a layer of rocks put in front of the 'lawn' to keep the soil from running down the slope.

This year, the soil and compost were rotor-tilled together. We now have a two foot wide strip filled with ground cover plants across the front. I'm hoping these plants will spread down over the rocks. Of course, we get visits from deer and bunnies, so that determined the types of plants we used!

The next warm day, black ground cloth covered with mulch, will be installed around these plants. At the moment, we have no plans to replace any of the grass. I believe this endeavour will be a work in progress for the next couple of years. 

Four Gold Star Juniper - 3' x 6'

Five Blue Rug Juniper - Genevrier Wiltonii - 8" x 6'

Four 'Wiltonii' Juniper - 10 cm x 2.5 m

Twelve Periwinkle

Embroider a Garden:

Enjoy!!
Stay Safe 
 
Don't forget to check out my new website https://judycooper.ca  I've been adding photos, blog posts, etc. Take a look around!
 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Sunny Saturday and Stuff!!!!

It's a sunny Saturday! What will you do today? Me - that's another question. Yesterday I participated in an hour long zoom 'Tea / Coffee Break" with a group from the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was great to see and speak with this small group. A couple of new faces but the rest were familiar from craft fairs and elsewhere. This type of get together is hoping to continue on a monthly basis.

This weekend will be taken up with getting more things up on my website - especially the Shimmer Decorations. I'm registering to participate in the on-line Wholesale Show in Newfoundland & Labrador so items in that category will be shown on the NEW web site. We have been photographing Shimmers and hoping to get them posted this weekend.The Christmas ones will come later. Here's a sample of what will be posted.







Thursday, March 25, 2021

Which Did I Choose?

Starting a new website has been a challenge! Thank goodness for a techie husband who did all the designing and building the site. However, blogging on the new site is still a learning experience. I do one thing and a dozen (well not exactly a dozen) things go on behind the scenes. I'm slowly getting up to speed.   

Well, enough of that. I have been busy (besides getting the business books ready for taxes) working on a quilted wall hanging. Here's the pattern. This was a zoom class sponsored by the Mahone Bay Quilt Guild.


My version is ready for quilting! YAH!! I don't often finish projects designed by someone else this quickly. This is an exception to the rule. One of the things that I had to decide before finishing, was the round circle in the middle of the grouping of houses. I tried several colours and finally decided which to use.



Which did I choose? To find out, hop on over to my new blog post to find out  or click on the My Web Site button at the top of this page. I did show how I made some of the windows.

Stay safe 

Enjoy!


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Monday, March 15, 2021

New Website and Blog just Launched!

I just launched my new website. It will be easy to remember the new address as it's my name, judy cooper dot ca  https://judycooper.ca. You will see a whole new look, thanks to my husband, who has spent many hours creating it. Needless to say, it has been a bit of a learning curve for me as I will be managing it. However, I can hear myself mumbling away and singing out for help now and then! 

My web site has a Home page with a photo of my Garden Sewing Box and a tiny bit about me; The Blog; Galleries with lots of photos of my 'Stuff' (photos of Shimmers aren't there yet); and Instagram Gallery. For those of my friends, who stay away from Instagram and Facebook, the Instagram Gallery shows the most recent 33 images posted. You aren't on Instagram, just looking from my website, so it's perfectly safe. 

The website has just been created and lots of other features will be added over the next few weeks.

The photo has nothing to do with this post but it needed a picture!!

The sheep, which I love and has had for ages, was from Dollarama. The little old lady was made by me, years ago, for my mother. Her hair is just like that and she wears glasses. Mom will be 100 in November. She's sitting in my studio (not the real mom HA!).

Enjoy!





 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Two Wins in February!!

My husband keeps telling me to buy a lottery ticket!! Yep, I won twice in February. Both items came in the last two days.

The first win was two fat quarters, compliments of Northcott, from Brandy Maslowski, Quilter on Fire. The Mahone Bay Quilt guild sponsored a zoom workshop, Fibre Art Frenzy, with Brandy in February. It was an enjoyable workshop and everyone had a good time.

Thanks, Brandy

The second win was a hooked rug mounted on a wooden frame from Deanne Fitzpartick Studio, in Amherst, Nova Scotia. This is called Little Cove and is 6" x 6". Deanne sells the kit for this on her web site.

Thanks, Deanne.

Please check out the work of both these artists!

Enjoy and stay safe
 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Squash Squad Border / Studio Clean-up

There's lots going on here in the studio but not a lot to blog about. I did a major clean-up and disposed of 'stuff' that I've carried here from St. John's and still haven't used after years of looking at it. Of course, next week I'll be searching for the very thing I gave away! Typical!!!

See - this section of back wall is clean and tidy! Until the next project clutters it up again.

I have been slowly working on the border for Squash Squad. I was determined that it would be finished this year. I haven't stitched on the ribbon separating the nine blocks yet. That will probably be one of the last things I do before putting on the backing and binding. I have also been considering placing this on a canvas board. 

I'm hoping to start the vines this weekend.


I found some interesting Textile Artists over the last few days. Sit back, relax and have a look at these artists' work.

Enjoy and Stay Safe

Monday, February 15, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day

 A day late as I forgot to publish it! Darn!!!!

My granddaughter loves 'stuffies' as she calls all stuffed animals. She's never been one for dolls but has lots of stuffed creatures. Here's her Valentine stuffie bear. (we had a sleepover so she got this when she woke up)!


Tonight I also uploaded Lesson Two of Four, Garden Sewing Box, to the Virtual Threads group (Embroiderers' Association of Canada). They will have a busy two weeks.

 

Enjoy and stay safe!


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Scrap Bucket

Last night, I took part in a two part zoom class with Canadian Quilter on Fire, Brandy Maslowski. This class was sponsored by the Mahone Bay Quilt Guild. Of course, I selected the fabrics needed for the first part of the class. Wouldn't you know it! Brandy decided to reverse the order and jumped to part two. Was I prepared? NOPE! I was going to rummage through my stash on Thursday to get ready for the class that night.

Since I was in my own space, I had access to all my fabrics. I wasn't interested in making a wine tote that was been demonstrated. Several others also decided to do their own thing. I made a scrap bucket, which is a free pattern from Heather Valentine, The Sewing Loft


My base fabric is a dyed piece with raw edge strips stitched onto it. I left some of the base fabric visible. The strips were stitched in place using black Superior invisible thread. Black invisible thread does not shine like the clear thread does. Free-motion stitching is randomly stitched over the strips of batik fabrics. I opted to not add decorative yarns, buttons, ribbons or charms.

Base fabric (actually has greens but photo shows up as greys and black)

 Strips stitched onto the base

 
Close-up of stitching

Different views of the bucket



Scrap Bucket from last year


Enjoy!

Stay Safe



Monday, February 8, 2021

Squash Squad Wool Embroidery: On the Road to a Finish

In Early December 2020, I finished the embroidery for the Squash Squad nine week challenge with Sue Spargo.  Now, I'm on the road to finishing it. I have all the blocks on a black wool background with a three inch border around them. My first step is to stitch them onto the black background. Then a narrow braid / ribbon might be stitched along the seams to hide the edges. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing! The blocks were cut at 5 1/2 inches. If I was doing this again, the blocks would have been at least six - six 1/2 inches square, to give enough for trimming them all to the same size. I didn't think about the fact that stitching sometimes distorts the shape just enough to skew some of the blocks. At least that's what happened to mine. In any case, there isn't enough fabric to stitch them together with a seam.

Have a look. I'm using what I have on hand. Which one to use . . .

The first one has silver lines on the ribbon so has a bit of sparkle.

This one has white dots on black.

Maybe I'll even do something else as I haven't considered a final binding yet. (I just thought about the binding).

Decisions!!!!!!

Stay Safe

Enjoy!!