Saturday, December 31, 2016

Not so fast!

I thought the year would end with silly, but 2016 had one more surprise up its sleeve for me. As always, art is cheaper than therapy. Thank goodness.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A new direction

In November, I was asked to make some cookies for someone who wanted to give them as Christmas gifts. The challenge was to make the cookies resemble the recipients' very own cats. You all know, I'm usually all about the silly and the whimsical.  I've never tried to do actual portraits in Royal Icing before. However, I thought about it for about 10 seconds, and decided this challenge was just too good to pass up, Sometimes, we don't ask enough of ourselves, and it takes a gentle nudge from someone else to set us on a new path. In the end, I'm really happy with these cookies, and I hope the people whose cats these are enjoyed them, too.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Remember when I was baking those Festive Cat in Santa Hats cookies, and I asked you all to guess what the baked cookie shapes wanted to be? You all had really good ideas. However, when I saw the photo on the blog, even though I knew they were FCinSHs, this is what I saw.......

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Waiting for Santa

I've never tasted a Whoopie Pie. Have you? I was intrigued by a recipe on the Crosby Molasses site, so I gave them a try. Gingerbread Whoopie Pies. Wow. I don't know if they taste the way they're supposed to, but I'm sold. Hope Santa is, too, 'cuz these are for him.

Hangin' around

The 2016 Christmas tree ornament. Don't worry if you've forgotten what the 2015 one looked like. These are the first in the series. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Not a cookie

....but it's pretty sweet!

An ugly Christmas (dog) sweater for Cassie's friend Max. Cassie says she wouldn't be caught dead in it, but Max is a dog. What does he know?

I started with a pattern which I actually paid money for on Ravelry. I won't name it, because it was really, really badly written. The numbers just didn't work, and a newbie knitter would be crying now.

I used the CONCEPT and built my own sweater, subbing in my own colourwork designs.

I'm not exactly angry about paying money for the crappy pattern, because I did get the sweater I was shooting for. However, every crappy pattern that's up for sale undermines all the rest of us, who try to offer decent patterns for a fair return.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sorta grinchy

More Christmas cookies for the family who recently adopted not one, but two, bearded dragons. My vet has one in the waiting room, and I've actually had him sitting on my shoulder. Sort of a weird experience when you're used to dogs and cats (who actually seem to care about you). Bearded dragons are a little different. I found it really hard to make them even look friendly. However, if they could get out and buy their own little Santa hats, I'm sure they'd wear them with pride.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Now that Canada Post has succeeded spectacularly and delivered my Christmas gift cookies EARLY!, I can start showing them here. This is Sugar, a sweet pup.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gnomes Love Carbs

Spoonflower has a design challenge every couple of weeks. This this time, it's all about Gnomes!

Here's the challenge prompt:
No one appreciates getting cozy quite like gnomes, preferring to nestle into subterranean caves and nooks. Although we hear they DO love to travel.... Entries will be previewed on a 21" x 18" fat quarter and should repeat.

And here's the watercolour I based my design on. I added some more cupcakes for interest. Still learning about repeating surface designs.

You can vote, if you're inclined. Just go  here.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Ha!Ha! I don't know why it's already time to be thinking Christmas thoughts and cringing at cheesey Christmas songs, but my brain is in full Christmas mode. I finally got around to doing something I've been planning. I knit 2 pairs of thrummed mittens for 4 of my favourite hands on earth.

They are knit from Patons Classic Wool. Instead of wool roving for the thrums, I used some left-over Briggs and Little Country Roving which is 5 strands of un-spun wool. I separated 2 strands at a time to make each thrum. It works extremely well. These mittens will be very warm, and the wool Country Roving will felt down into a soft insulated layer over time. Right now, they just seem kind of bloated. :) They're the kind of mittens that should last a very long time.

In the name of science, I made one pair with a thumb gusset (the black ones on the right) and one pair with an after-thought thumb. Neither was any easier than the other, so I'll be curious to hear back from the recipients which style works best.

Now, on to the rest of my Christmas to-do list.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Festive Cats in Santa Hats

Sometimes the best ideas sneak up on you. At least, they sneak up on ME. Several months ago, I was doodlin' around with my watercolour pencils, and came up with this image:

I thought it would make a good greeting card. And then, because the universe works in strange and magical ways, I learned how to make a truly repeating image for fabric design. I took that image to Spoonflower, and ended up with Festive Cats in Santa Hats fabric. So, what should I do with THAT, I wondered?

It seemed logical that I could make Christmas gift bags with it. Right? And, of course, I needed beads for the ends of the drawstrings. I searched through my stash, and found the perfect beads. These came all the way from Kenya. My niece was there a couple of years ago, volunteering at an orphanage as part of her final college requirement. She brought me several strings of these lovely locally-made beads. Perfect for my bags!

But, what to put inside the gift bags? Festive Cats in Santa Hats cookies, of course!

So, now I have 6 (SIX!) and only 6 gift bags of cookies in my freezer, where they are safe and sound until Christmas. I've decided to offer them up for sale, to fundraise for the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project. $20. ea.  I think they'd make good Secret Santa gifts.

The gift bag is re-useable. It comes with a matching gift card, and is filled with 6 individually wrapped Festive Cats in Santa Hats cookies.

Oh, and by the time it took to type this, 2 of them are already spoken for. :( Please leave me a comment, if you'd like one. I could mail them, but unfortunately, they'd cost about $15. for postage. :(

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Raise a glass

More cookies for the event that the Gananoque & District Humane Society is hosting this Friday. Dressed to the Nines is their annual glitzy event with party clothes and jewelry and licensed bar. The cats on these cookies are raising a glass of champagne in celebration.

Cookie details:
First, I tried a traditional approach, piping and flooding the icing. I got a little nervous that they weren't going where I intended them to go (ie they were going sideways!), so I decided just to paint the rest (don't worry...I paint with food colouring) In the end, I like both cookies, and like any good mother, I couldn't possibly pick a favourite.

Event details:
Dressed to the Nines ..... Friday, November 18, 2016, from 4 to 7 pm at Christ Church Hall, 30 Church St., Gananoque, Ontario. All in support of the Gananoque & District Humane Society.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Feelin' Fine!

Right about now, I think we could all use a little calm and peace and love. As corny as that may sound. Maybe even a few more kitten videos. Or cat cookies.

For those days when you're all dressed up and and you know you're lookin' good, here is that feeling rolled out in a cookie.

These are the first of the cookies I'm making for the Dressed to the Nines Event the Gananoque & District Humane Society is holding on Friday, November 18, 2016.  From 4 to 7 pm at Christ Church Hall, 30 Church St., Gananoque. They're featuring glitzy party wear and jewelry, and there will be a licensed café. This is a fundraiser for this no-kill, all volunteer run shelter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The big reveal!

Finally, I can share the big, secret project I've been working on.

It's a quilt! It's a calendar! It'll be both! :)

Here are the 12 quilt blocks I made to illustrate the 2017 calendar that the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project is putting together to fundraise for the cats in our care.













The Year of the Cat!!  Calendars will be $16 and we are taking pre-orders with payment due upon delivery. There's no delivery charge if we can hand deliver them, but if you live too far away, they can be mailed for $2, maybe a little more if there are several calendars.

Edited November 8, 2016:  According to Canada Post's website, the current postage for a single calendar will  be $3.25. That includes the tax they insist on adding to the posted rate. :)
Please just leave a comment on this post. Let us know if you'll need it to be mailed or if it's likely that it could be hand delivered (if you work with/are related to/friends with an LFCP committee member or if you live in Lyndhurst). The deadline for ordering is November 18, 2016. 
We can accept cash, cheques or e-transfers sent to
All funds go toward food, surgeries, vet care and shelter for Lyndhurst and area cats. Thank you for your support! 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Baby boys can be difficult

Is it just me or does everything to do with babies just scream cute and sweet and.....feminine? I've been struggling with designs for baby boys. My good friend is awaiting the birth of her first grandchild, and the word is that it's a boy. I hope these little foxes are manly enough.

100% merino wool felt and merino wool (ribbed cuffs)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

So busy!

I've been so busy with the Big Project (which is almost ready to show!) that Cassie has jumped in to help out. She was up half the night knitting cuffs for some booties we promised. Poor kitty. There ought to be laws about feline forced labour, don't you think?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been working on a big (BIG!), top-secret project, so I haven't had anything I could actually show here. :(  However, my friend, Kate, reminded me I haven't shown any drawings in a while. I thought I'd resurrect one from the archive. This one's from 1997 when I was free-lancing editorial cartoons. The message is still good, and it's fun to see how much my style has changed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School!

Or, at least it will soon be time to start thinking about going back.

Yesterday, I had such a fun afternoon in my sewing room. I started playing with Hungry Cat Pencil Cases, and I lost all track of time. I'm making things to fundraise with for the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project. We'll have a table at the annual Turkey Fair again this year. (September 17, 2016.) Before I knew it, I had 8 pencil cases all ready to go. They'll hold a lot of pencils 'cuz they're about 9 inches tall.

I was thinking I'd give you all a chance to grab one ahead of the Fair. They're $20 each, and I can take cash, personal cheque or Paypal. If I have to mail it to you, it will only be $2. extra, because they're flat and light. Email me or just leave a comment if you need one.

All money will go to the cats. It's so much fun when I can raise money for a good cause using stuff I already have on hand.

Friday, August 5, 2016

One Purrfect Day

I'm not sure where the time goes, but I just realized I never showed you the photo of One Purrfect Day, otherwise known as A Day in the Life of a Cat. It's all finished. It's been beautifully photographed by Stephanie of Stephanie Etherington Photography.  And it's even been sold, with the money going to Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project. I'm not entirely sure what I'll get up to next, but I think it will be fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

It`s all Kate`s fault

My friend Kate suggested that I knit along with her on this beautiful shawl designed by Anne-Lise Maigaard. It`s called Alberta. The designer released it for free for one day during the fire in Fort McMurray. All she asked was that we make a donation to the effort to fight the fire. Mr. Coco and I chose the Edmonton Humane Society and the Red Cross.

Here`s a close-up that shows off my copper wire cat shawl pin. Kate`s written up all the details on her blog. You can see, for example, how many beads are worked into the knitting. (Kate did the large
size, and I wimped out with the smaller version.) Hers is beautiful.

Just for fun, this is what the shawl looked like straight off the needles, before blocking, under Cassie`s watchful eye.

The yarn is laceweight merino and silk, from Twice Sheared Sheep. More coral than orange. I knit it with 3mm needles.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


I bought this cookie cutter months ago. Seems like a good time to try it out.

Monday, July 4, 2016

More birds?

After all the cookie-ing and hostessing, we're back to our regular programming. Yesterday, I showed you the shawl and today, I'm figuring out if the quilt needs more birds. I think it does! So, here we are auditioning birds.

I know it must seem as if I have Attention Deficit Disorder, and maybe I do. I'm always happiest when I have several projects on-the-go at the same time. Work on the quilt continues.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


My good friend Kate challenged me to knit along with her on this little shawl. It's Alberta by Anne-Lise Maigaard. And it is exquisite. A little tricky, but not bad. Kate's doing the large size, but I'm cheating, and only doing the smaller size. Still, Kate has mostly been keeping ahead of me. We keep telling each other it's not a race, but who're we fooling?

We're in the home stretch now, and once we're finished, and both Albertas are blocked, we're going to wear them and meet at our favourite mid-way-between-her-house-and-my-house wool shop. They won't know what hit 'em.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!!

Get out, and wave your flag!!

(I'll have a limited number of these cookies available for sale today at 
the Seeleys Bay Canada Day celebration. $2. ea. Every penny goes to the cats.)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

More Canadian cookies :)

Canada Day cookies with a feline feel.

2 for 1 cookies. Each maple leaf has its own cat's face cookie on top. I just realized this might seem strange to anyone dropping by for the first time. Cookies plus cats? What upp with that??? Well, the scoop is that I'm making cookies for a Canada Day event (at Seeleys Bay, ON) where the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project (a group I belong to) will be having an info and fundraising table. These are some of the cookies I made to raise money for the cats. There. Everything explained. Carry on.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Getting ready for Canada Day

I'm making cookies again. All by myself again. Sniff. These are for the annual Canada Day celebration in Seeleys Bay. I'll be there with the rest of the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project, and we'll be fundraising for the cats and answering questions about T/N/R. Come get a cookie if you're around. This is the first bunch of cookies.

Friday, June 17, 2016


As we fast approach the end of the visit, I think we've saved the best for last. Fondant piggies to top raspberry-filled chocolate cupcakes for a very important birthday. :) And, yes. Everyone has a birthday once a year.