Stitching, stitching and more stitching.

I had a goal over the Christmas break to try and complete three pieces that have been taking way too long to finish. One was started last spring (Rundle), one beginning of summer (grain elevator),and the revisiting of the fish idea goes back to November (only!).

I have definitely miscalculated how long these are going to take. It seems with stitching the saying should be “more is more”. Minimalism isn’t going to cut it.

A good question is “Do I have enough thread?” Chances are, probably not. But I guess the only way to find out is to get back to stitching and see how it goes.


Lighting Up Downtown – The Christmas Lights of Downtown Red Deer (Alberta, Canada)

We finally had a warm evening , well if you call -9C (-14C with wind chill) a warm evening. Due to the nice temperatures we decided to go downtown and check out the Christmas lights. Red Deer always has a beautiful light display during the Christmas season. They are lovely to drive past, but even better when you take the time to walk among the lights.

We started our evening walking through City Hall Park. The pictures above tell the story of sparkly winter wonderland the City of Red Deer creates for the holiday season.

We then decided to stroll down Ross Street that was beautifully lit.

From there we went to admire the dazzling light display that dressed up the Old Court House for Christmas-time.

Christmas lights of home sweet home

After such a nice evening we then returned to our cozy home dressed for the season.

Eight Tiny Reindeer?

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy Cane Reindeer

“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and
eight tiny reindeer”

…………………………………….or perhaps 200+! Our house has been a miniature reindeer factory over the past week. We have been making candy cane reindeer. We started a tradition a few years ago of making a Christmas craft or treat to send into school for our children’s classmates. When we first started this we had one child in school so it was an evening of crafting and very easy. Then a few years ago we decided to add our neighbours into the mini gift giving. In the beginning it was only our immediate neighbours, just a couple of houses, but over the last few years the scope has expanded. So now with four children in school, and our neighbourhood mailbox gift drop expanded to 2+ blocks, we now have to make over 200 of these little candy cane reindeer.candy cane reindeer

We managed to get a bit of a production line going, we being myself and the three-year old. I would glue on the eyes, then he would pop on the pink pompom nose, and I would then do the antlers. Our little one is quite proud of doing the noses.

candy cane reindeer

All the candy canes have now been delivered at school. This weekend we will do our door-to-door delivering our little festive reindeer to our neighborhood. The kids love running up to the mailboxes and leaving behind a Christmas surprise.

New Bracelets & Coffee Sweaters & Refreshed Website

coffee sweater page image 1Last night I worked until around 2:00 am updating my Hunter Photographics and Studio H website at . I have been wanting to get images of the Coffee Sweaters and the Driftwood Bracelets up on the site for ages. I have been dragging my heels for months as I had been debating over what to do with the whole “Shop” concept. In the end I have decided to go with a simple shop on my website and focus on selling local, word of mouth, markets, local sellers and if required I will ship within Canada.

As the products have a bit of “eco friendly” angle, it seemed silly to me to sell these items world wide as a lot of resources are used in shipping far distances. So for now I am taking the “grass roots”, close to home approach. I think it suits what I am doing.

I might have chatted about the Coffee Sweaters before. They are cool as I dye them in natural dyes by hand and then knit them by hand in the round. I have knit A LOT recently, but it is a good winter time activity. I have enough of my old wool stock left for about three Coffee Sweaters and then I will be on to my new wool supply of locally produced and locally milled wool. I am dying to knit up the new wool. I spent the weekend dyeing a range of colors, colors different to what I was achieving before. Different wool, different colors. Really interesting.

black box coffee sweaters pic

I have also added the Driftwood Bracelets to the site. The cotton threads I again dye naturally and tie by hand. I collect the teeny driftwood pieces when we are out on the beaches of the West Coast. Winter seems to be a good time to collect the pieces while the waves are smashing everything to bits. The bracelets are also embellished with glass beads. These bracelets have a very earthy feel. A great item for lovers of the outdoors.

dwb 2 website

I will add a few of the links here. As more items are completed I will share them either on this blog or on .

The new shop Coffee Sweater page can be found HERE.

The new Bracelet page can be found HERE.

The new Shop page can be found HERE.

Hopefully soon I will have more items to share with everyone!

Living In Red Deer, Alberta

blog window 1Today I was going to post a lovely post about snowshoeing, but it didn’t happen. What happened instead is what you see in the picture above. Enough said.

blog window 2

Then I was going to put up a ranting post, but I decided “Less is More”. So I have decided to present just a few concise facts.

blog window 3

Living in Red Deer – My Year in Review

– 1   incident when I walked into our garage to find two guys in the garage casing the place.

1   smashed window on our van (today).

– 2   garage break-ins and thefts.

3   separate bullying incidents, with three separate children (aged 5, 9 & 10) in the span of three months in the same school.
(Evidently I have exceeded my “bullying limit” and the school has stopped responding to my emails in attempt to find a resolution to the latest event.)

Now let me share an irony. We moved to Red Deer from a bedroom community across the River Mersey from Liverpool in the U.K., and worked in Liverpool. One of the reasons we moved was an improved lifestyle. No one takes a move like this lightly, immigration is a hassle, it’s costly, and it is darn hard work starting completely from scratch. Liverpool, when we lived there was the land of car break-ins; you took your radio with you when you parked your car, you put a club lock on your steering wheel when parked so no one would nick your car. You have alarms on EVERY house and car. You convert your interior door knobs to be locking ones just in case some one broke in, this made it harder for thieves to steal every single thing in your house. Shops are all metal shuttered when closed due to break-ins,the streets resembling a war torn country. But that only slowed down the thefts, then they just started driving vehicles into the buildings to get the job done.

Now here is the thing, we have had MORE criminal activity against our household and vehicle in the past year in Red Deer than we EVER faced in Liverpool. Ironic ? Depressing? Frustrating? Pathetic? You choose.

Is this an improved lifestyle?……………….No.

Is this a policing issue? ………………………No.

Is the a societal issue?………………………..Yep.

Quite honestly I could make my millions by developing a “jerk counter” and selling them in Red Deer, because there are an awful lot of jerks in this city anymore.

Anyways, enough said, well done Red Deer, you’ve outdone yourself. Liverpool, U.K. (and area) is now a safer place to be than Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. (And trust me, any Brit reading this is right now shaking their head and saying “HOLY CRAP”….well in Liverpool they are saying something else but I certainly can’t write that here! LOL!)