Crafty Bird

Welcome to my nest of fibre, fabric, paper, and beads...

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for dropping by! I have a passion for all sorts of crafty goodness. Creating items with my hands and heart is a perfect complement to my working life.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Yeh! I managed to snag Amy's fabulous Kingpod mailorder #2 - can't wait to make a bonnet or two for the sweet little girls in my life!

I am off to Vancouver for the weekend to visit family (and go to IKEA!). Here is a picture of Oscar doing his kittyoga routine. It sure keeps him limber and very grounded! His mummy loves to do yoga too, but isn't nearly as flexible. Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Friends and memories

I have finally, I repeat, finally finished a little photo album to mail off to a dear friend of mine who has moved in the opposite direction of where I currently live. I have moved a fair bit in my life and the one thing I find difficult is not seeing those friends whom I have moved away from. Some friends are always a part of your life though, even if you don't talk all that often anymore. So, I am putting a little package in the mail today for a friend that I haven't seen in almost a year. I actually started this package well before Christmas and am just now getting it in the mail - so bad! I was a bridesmaid at her wedding, which was so lovely! Here are a few pictures of the simple little album I made that included a section for the bridal shower, the bachelorette, and getting ready for the wedding. Each section had it's own theme. The first used some wonderful origami paper given to me by another crafty friend.
Here is the invitation to the bridal shower, folded and tied with ribbon. I made the invitation and then colour copied the original, which creates a cool 3-D effect. The dragonfly stamp is from the original invitation.
Here is the next title page - simple, but nice:
Here's the last title page - the dress is a stamp first done in green and then overlayed in black, the silver are stickers, and the copper tag, which says "memories", is attached with brads:
Finally, this is the last page that shows a photo of her dress hanging in the hotel room:
Loved her dress - she looked so beautiful! It was a plain strapless dress with beading on the train (as shown) - very lovely - but what made it exquisite was the overdress, almost a jacket, that had long sleeves and and a train and was made of a deep ivory lace, beads, and sequins. It suited my dear friend perfectly. Even the bridesmaids' dresses were nice!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Back from the Nation's Capital

Just a quick post to say I am back from the conference in Ottawa, but have very little to show in the past week. I did cast on for Ene's Scarf from Scarf Style - all 375 stitches! It was to be my traveling knitting for the plane, but I ended up working on the way to Ottawa, and watched the last Harry Potter movie on the way back. The plane was full on both trips as well, so I didn't want to jab somebody with a knitting needle or, more likely, my elbows as I wrestled with the yarn. I am using some lovely Fiddlesticks Knitting Country Silk yarn in the Earth colourway, which I purchased at a while back. I love the colours in this yarn and the silk gives it a rustic feel and look. I will post a picture when I have actually made some progress.

Other than that, I knit a few rows on Orangina during a bit of the spare time I had at the conference, but didn't have time for much else but catching up on emails and decompressing with a little television. The conference was informative, my presentation went well, and I ate too much as most of the food was provided for the week. We had some fantastic entertainment as well with the headliner being Buffy Sainte-Marie who is a really prolific and talented song writer and musician. We were also entertained with Sierra Noble - wow! At 16, this young woman is professional, eloquent, and very talented. Her live performance was wonderful and she elaborated on how she discovered her passion for the music of her people, the Metis people of Canada, and how the songs she played were taught to her by the elder fiddle players. The music is just a part of Metis fiddle playing, with the story behind the song filling in the context and making each performance very rich and heartfelt. There is really no comparison with live music!

I have company and a bit of catching up to do at school so I hope to be back in a couple of days.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Blogging from Canada's Capital

Hello everyone! I am excited to be blogging from Ottawa, Ontario this evening. Yes, I have flown across our country and am currently enjoying the crisp air (compared to Victoria) of Ottawa. It's funny because I always think of Ontario as Eastern Canada when, in reality, it is Central Canada. You can tell I am a Western girl. I am here at a conference (presenting on Wednesday - wish me luck). It was a lovely day today and after I finished with a few things I went for a walk to take a few pictures of the parliament buildings - the official location of our federal parliament.
Here are some other shots - the one on the left of the centre tower, and the one on the right of a newly renovated tower in the back of the building (I think it is the library).

I have been to Ottawa before and peeked at the inside, which is lovely (was closed today). I also remembered that there is a little house in the back that is home to stray cats. So I went to see who was there today.
You can see three of them feeding and the guy in the front was just visiting with some onlookers. There is a iron fence between the people and the kitties so they have their privacy if they need it, but a few had come out to say hello to the people. I continued walking around the back of the parliament buildings and came aross this sweet guy who kept me company for part of my stroll.
Cats are so hard to take photos of, unless they are sleeping. After having a dog for 11 years who was so used to me taking pictures of her, I am not accustomed to these feline creatures who always move just as you take the picture!

Not to leave you without some crafty goodness. Here are some photos of some cards that I made a while back. The first one I made during a card class (using the store's stamps) and I love it so much I can't give it away (selfish, I know!). The big "D" stamp says "discover". And I love stamping part of the envelope so it matches the card.
Here's some cute cards that I made with stamps from my Aunt's collection. She has so many of these adorable mouse stamps. I love the one with the martini glass - and the other with the mouse that looks like a character from the children's book "Where the Wild Things Grow".

Well, I am in Ottawa until Friday so my next post will most likely be on the weekend. Until then!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fly away birdie!

I was so happy to receive an airmail package today that had flown all the way from Australia. Inside was the linocut print I ordered from Jackie of Littlest Flower! It is so beautiful and she even provided me with some tape for framing it properly. Now, I just need to get to an IKEA for a frame (or two). Unfortunately, the nearest store is a ferry ride away. But for now I can admire it sans frame!

The photo below is a bit blue - the background paper is white and the ink a bit more turquoise. I love it!

I've been working away on Orangina a bit - not much progress to show.

I will leave you with more gratuitous Oscar shots. Sleeping in the sun - nesting in some shredded paper - and guarding the front door (very sphinx-like).

Sunday, March 12, 2006


I know GTAS sounds like some acronym for a new kind of tax here in BC, but it's not! It is the Good Time Animal Swap, which is now up and running! Yah! My first swap...the pressure...the fun!

This means that my posts will be including more fun pics of Oscar the cat and some info about who this mysterious feline really is. Oscar is a character - first of all, he is desperately attached to his daddy A. You should hear how he chatters when A wakes up in the morning or comes home from work. Of course, he also loves to chatter at the birds and squirrels that frequent the trees just outside our balcony. He will have a full-on conversation with you, tell you about his day, or his opinion about the recent social commentary on the news, or about how much he misses you when you are away.
Most of all, Oscar (like many cats) likes to nap. He has his special blanket on the couch, near the window so he doesn't miss any of the exciting antics of the wildlife outside.

In knitting news, I've been knitting a bit on a project that has been in the works since last summer. I have noticed that I tend to work on a project in spurts, putting it down when I become tired of it, or run into a snag, or want to make an item for someone else. I have recently picked up my Orangina top (pattern by Glampyre) and have hopes that it will be done for me to wear this Spring/Summer.

I love the colour and pattern, but the cotton is a bit hard to knit and I cannot work on it for too long before my wrists start to ache. I have completed one side and am a few inches into the other side - the panels still need to be joined and ribbing knit for the waist.

Oh, and here's a pic of the snow!! Two days in a row we woke up to snow on the ground. It was lovely. Not today, however, it is sunshine and white fluffy clouds.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Yah, it's Friday! And, it snowed again this morning! Very exciting to see snow in Victoria - especially in March. Craziness.

This week was fun. First of all, it was my birthday and I had a lovely day. It was sunny and I spent the day having lunch with my sweetie and thrifting. I then had my favourite dinner of Thai food. Unfortunately, I had a bit of an allergic reaction that put me out for Wednesday, but all is well now. Here's a photo of the Solstice Cafe where I had lunch and a view from the back window out onto Market Square - I love the colours and the older buildings. This block of Pandora Street is a place where I often frequent - yoga studio MokSana, Solstice Cafe, and two great vintage clothing stores, among other shops.

I think one of the reasons I like my birthday week is because I get lots of happy mail - not bills and junk, but cards that contain best wishes and notes from friends and loved ones. One fun package I received in the mail all the way from England was the bird print from anna of Twelve22! Love it. And her wrapping is so perfect.

Can't wait to frame it and hang it on the wall.

I haven't done much crafting or knitting this week so no photos to share. Actually, my camera battery died this morning so I will have to wait to take photos of the goodies found thrifting this past week.

I'll leave you with a shot of my rocks. I love rocks, much to the chagrin of my partner who helps me carry them home from our excursions. Rocks look fantastic wet and I keep many of my collection in a pond on my deck in the summer. In the winter, however, I put my favourite larger rocks on the balcony railing and let the rain show off their colours. It's a nice visual to look at when everything is grey and gloomy.

Have a great Friday!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


A little bit of housekeeping to start off with - you might notice I have started a Flikr account and have some photos displayed in the sidebar to the left. Go take a peak if you like! I'm also trying to get some links up to blogs and other sites that I visit on a regular basis and that others might find interesting.

The weekend has just flown by - as it usually does. I always plan to get so much done: school work not completed during the week (never is!); craft projects to finish and start; knitting-of course; and socializing with my sweetie and friends.

It's easy to flippantly say that I accomplished little, however, the truth is that I did managed to get some work/reading done, look at my favourite blogs, watch the Oscars with a friend, do the usual chores, and even cook a veggie lasagne! Not too shabby. The lasagne was yummy - email me if you want the recipe-it's a good one. I have to admit that I rarely cook. I am fortunate to have a partner who loves to mess about in the kitchen, even after a long day at work. I do get in the kitchen once in a while and manage to do a fair job. I am especially inspired by Nigella Lawson's cook books and am itching to bake one of her delicious cakes.

Another reason I am itching to bake a cake is because it is my birthday on Tuesday! And, although my sweet does the cooking in our abode, he doesn't make dessert (he is oddly missing his sweet tooth). I think a birthday is a great time to treat oneself. It is also the time of the year when I tend to think about where I am in life - sometimes this is a positive reflection and sometimes it can make me a bit melancholy. True to being a Pisces, I feel as if I am often swimming in two different directions. When my path is laid out in one direction, I fantasize about moving in the other direction. Even if I am feeling a bit down, I always think about how truly blessed I am to have the opportunities I have had. If you would like an inspiring, heart-wrenching, and touching read head on over to Posie gets Cozy - she is an amazing woman!

This past December I was feeling a need to make something whimsical and feminine. I ordered the pattern for the Giselle caplet by French Girl Knits as well as some Rowan Biggy Print in the Dull colourway (now discontinued) (all of which was on sale at the time at It was a very quick knit on size 20mm needles! Here's a few pictures.
I still have to get a ribbon that matches a bit better - possibly a navy or cream velvet ribbon. To be honest, I haven't had the opportunity to wear it out yet. I think it will work for those cooler Westcoast evenings during the Spring and Fall (even the Summer!). If I don't wear it much by the Winter it may get frogged and made in to a vest or long scarf.

I am very excited to say that I have signed up for my very first swap! It is called the Good Time Animal Swap hosted by the fantastic Anna at Twelve22 and will involve a purchased gift and a handmade craft for the pet of my swap partner. I can't wait to get started!

Finally, I want to thank those of you who have stopped by to read my blog and especially those who have taken the time to comment! Thank you!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Things that make you go Ahhhhh

When I was on my thrifting flurry a few weeks ago, I picked up a lovely necklace made of glass beads - clear with blue in them, and joined with metal pins. I love the clear colour and simple design and think I'll get lots of wear out of it.

And here's a bit of cuteness to look at (ahhhh).

I wanted to post about the first pair of socks I knit, which were a gift for my mum.

  • Mountain Colors yarn in Alpine colourway
  • 100 g / 350 yards 100% worsted wool
  • Ripple Socks pattern
  • 2.75mm needles
I really enjoyed learning how to knit socks. The pattern was easy enough and clearly written,and the yarn was wonderfully soft and beautifully dyed. I did find a spot were 2 of the 3 plies were broken, but otherwise I would purchase this yarn again. The colours alone made it wonderful to knit and I loved looking to see what colour would come up next!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Thrifting goodies

I found a few items during my recent trip to White Rock. If you don't know it, White Rock is a great seaside community with many long-time residents. This means there are wonderful finds to be made in the thrift stores! I managed to pick up some vintage buttons:

And some great napkins!
There are 2 of the one with the dark brown border. I think these would make very mod pillows.

Of course, back at home I have a number of thrift stores to haunt and have found some fantastic books lately. Here are some embroidery and needlepoint books: Crewel Embroidery by Erica Wilson; a Sunset Needlepoint book published in 1977; and Needlework Alphabets and Designs by Dover Publications that has wonderful designs in chart form.
And these:
Patterns for dolls and toys! Oh, and this one by Mildred Graves Ryan published in 1979. It's very comprehensive at 689 pages:
And, of course, a macrame book:
As you can see, I found lots of books! All very reasonably priced. the macrame one has lots of how to pictures and has a pattern for a dress, belts, necklaces, and other macramey goodness. It was published in 1971 and the author/designer is Lynn Paulin.

Book are hard for me to pass up! I can't wait to make some softies and practice some embroidery from these books.