Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bike Ride 7, 5.27 Mi / 8.48 Km

I had so much fun riding my bike this evening.  I went an hour before sunset, when it had cooled down a bit, and did my longest ride so far (8 and a half km!).

 I love meandering down the quiet side streets, and it thrills me to no end when I find little paths or bridges, lol.  It reminds me of being a kid again, exploring the area for the first time.  It's not the first time, of course, but it feels as though it is because I guess I just don't notice as much when I'm in my car. 

 This ride provided two meandering paths; a short one, and this windy longer one.  The bushes were filled with red berries.
 The path wound past a field and a wooded area.
 It ended at this cute little bridge.  My cousin Jeffrey and I used to play in the creek under this bridge, over 40 years ago.  It wasn't so overgrown then, and the creek was much wider.  The water was clean back then, and there was a sand bar in the middle of the creek that we used to pretend was an Island.
 I followed quite country-like roads for quite some time, enjoying every minute.

 I stopped when my quiet country-like road led me to busy Second Line.  The creek in the photo below runs under Second Line, at the corner of Brookfield.  This portion of Second Line wasn't too busy, and it has a paved shoulder, but I don't have a helmet so I decided to turn around.

 The grassy walkway that follows along the creek goes on and on; it would make a lovely walk.

 The grassy banks of the creek (flood runoff safety area).
 The sun was starting to set anyway, so it was time to go home.

 I don't know the name of these yellow flowers, but they are lovely and bright.  I took a photo so I could look them up later.

 As I rode home, I was entranced by the way the setting sun made the trees appear as though they're already changing colors (they're not). 

 I couldn't quite capture it in the photo, but those two dead coniferous trees were so red they looked like they were on fire...just from the sun.

I had to turn my bike lights on because it was starting to get dark.  I raced home and beat the setting sun.
Here's the view from my driveway, just before I went in the house.

I love my new bike!  I'm so glad I bought it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Honest Neighbors and Canada Post Inefficiency plus Miniature Bar Kit

This morning my dog barked again to announce another man at the door with a parcel.  This time it was my miniature DIY bar kit, which had been delivered to his house by mistake by a Canada Post Parcel delivery guy.
The man apologized as he handed me the parcel and said his daughter had opened it.
 He wasn't kidding.  She had opened it with a knife or a pair of scissors and cut right through both the exterior box and the interior one.  He was elderly, so I highly doubt that his daughter was young enough not to know better than to open someone else's parcel.

Maybe she didn't bother to look at the name and address on the parcel and just opened it?  I don't know, I didn't ask.  I just thanked the man profusely for being kind enough to go out of his way to deliver it for me. 

I did ask what address they delivered it to, and he said 328.  Mine is 379.  I could understand if the delivery guy had accidentally brought it to 397, reversing the last two numbers, but how could he mistake 328 for 379?  This parcel was ordered over 3 months ago and this was the second time the poor seller sent it out, after the first one was lost in the mail.  Had it not been for the kindness of the elderly man, this one would have been "lost" too.
 The interior box was damaged and also opened. 
 They had taped it shut again. 
 I opened it, very worried that the items had been damaged.
 I was also worried that items may have gone missing since the man's daughter had opened it.
 Thankfully, nothing was damaged and it looks like all of the bags and pieces are there.  Hopefully she didn't open any of the interior bags because it is easy to lose the tiny pieces.
 Like the parcel I received yesterday, it was in the smaller, cheaper box, but I don't care as long as the interior stuff is the same quality as the first kit I did (the pet shop kit).
Another weird thing, when I googled the address the parcel had been accidentally delivered to, I discovered it was the home my family lived in when I was a baby, up until I was almost 5 years old!  What a coincidence, lol. I"m going to buy a thank you card for the man and bring it by, if not later today, then tomorrrow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Miniature Cafe Kit Arrived from China Today!

This morning my dog Mac woke me up barking at the door.  Thank goodness he did because the delivery guy was there and I didn't hear him knock or ring the door bell.  He brought the mini cafe kit that I ordered from banggood.com on July 9th.  Today is August 27th so it took quite some time, but I knew it would, as it was coming from China.  I paid less than 2 dollars extra to insure the package and get a tracking number, which also allowed me to sign for the package as proof that it was delivered, which I think was so worth it.
Mini Cafe kit
 The box is covered with different kits that the company sells.  Mine is the one in the top right hand corner, weirdly named "Dense Feeling Moment" but referred to by me forever after as "Mini Cafe".  I'll probably come up with a different name for the place.
Unboxing kit
 The first thing I noticed was the box this kit came in was super flimsy compared to the box my Pet Shop kit came in.
 The next thing I noticed was the instructions were on very thin paper, and appeared to have been shrunk compared to the pet shot instructions.
Mini Cafe kit parts
 The kit itself seemed OK though, with three little bags of parts, some printables, the main wood pieces, and even glue (which I was told would not be sent).  Glue was also sent in the Pet Shop kit, so I don't know why they say they won't send it, lol.
 I pulled out the instructions from the Pet Shop to compare them, and the pet shop instructions (on the left, below) are much larger, with illustrations showing each part in each bag).  The whole page (on the left), showing the contents of a package, was shrunk to the little box midway down the page (on the right). This may be a problem, as I really found the package part descriptions with illustrations to be helpful because so many parts look similar.  Other than the package description shrinkage in the new kit, all else seems to b the same in the instructions. 
Comparing instructions from pet shop kit (on left) to mini cafe kit (on right)
 In the picture below, the Pet shop kit box is the blue one on the left; the new cafe kit box is the yellow one. The blue box is thick and lustrous and a real box with a lid.  The box holds it's shape when opened and it was very convenient for keeping the kit pieces together while i was working.  The new, flimsy yellow box on the right falls apart and lies flat when opened, losing it's box shape completely. It can be put back together again, but without the front lid down, it loses shape.  I guess the company was trying to cut corners and save money.  Hopefully the kit itself will be OK.
Comparing kit boxes
Despite the changes, I am looking forward to starting this kit. 

I have another one on the way, that I ordered 3 months ago, from Ebay (Green's Bar).  That one got lost in the mail and the seller had to resend it. He begged me to choose another kit (one that was in a tin can) and was very unhappy that I wanted the kit I had originally ordered.  He said he had lots of the other kit in his warehouse, but that is not my problem; I wanted the one I ordered, or to get reimbursed so I could order it elsewhere.  I ordered my Pet shop kit from the same seller with no problems so hopefully Green's Bar will arrive without any more problems.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Bike Ride 6 to Garson Pond, 1.5 miles, almost 7 km

I went for my longest bike ride yet today; woohoo!  I did 4.23 miles, or 6.81 km! Almost 7 km!

My best friend, Laurie and my new bike.
 Yesterday I had a nice surprise....my friend Laurie stopped by to see the bike.  She couldn't stay long, but it was nice to see her.
Dad in the yard
 Here's my Dad in the yard.  I was on my way to get the bike out of the garage when I took this today.
Prentice Ave.
 I rode my bike to Prentice, and then followed it up, across Second Line, and past Our Lady of Lourdes School.  I haven't been down this part of the street in years...if ever, lol.
Gravel and sand path
 Prentice ended at a gravel path, and I biked across it.  The bike was OK on packed gravel and grass but I felt uncomfortable, like I might fall, on the loose gravel and sand parts. Thankfully it was a short path.
 The path led to Sydenham.  My friend Nancy used to live on the other end of this street. She just informed me that this was the path that she took to go to school when she was a kid!  Cool!
Bike path/paved shoulder
 When I got onto Korah Road (this portion of it) I was happy to see a paved shoulder/bike path.  I thought I'd feel safer but I didn't because cars stopped moving over at all when I was on this path, and some came close to clipping me, they rode so close to the line.
 This barn is where I remembered Garson's Pond to be.  I was worried that maybe they had filled the pond to build this barn, but the pond was further up, past the barn.

Garson's Pond
 Garson's pond is still pretty, but far smaller than I remember.  I was just a kid the last time I stopped here.
Garson's pond
 It was very peaceful by the pond so I hopped off my bike to get some more photos. 
My bike by the pond

 There were lots of pretty wild flowers swaying in the wind.
Ducks and geese on the pond
 All of the ducks and geese swam across the pond to me, thinking I might have food, I imagine.
 I have always envied the people who own this property.  How lovely, to have a pond full of geese and ducks in the back yard!  When I was little there were also big turtles in this pond...snapping turtles!  I don't know if they are still there.  There were also horses and cows in a field when I was a kid.
 For some reason, some of the ducks decided to walk across the street to get to the pond (rather than fly). The two closest ducks here had just crossed the street.  I had to wave at cars to get them to slow down, lol.
Close up of ducks on pond

Crazy duck walking across street instead of flying.
 Several ducks walked across while I was there, causing cars to stop.  The city should put a duck crossing sign up, lol.

 I had a nice photo break at the pond, but decided to get moving.
 I didn't get far before i saw this pretty patch of moss, near the intersection of Moss Road and Korah Road. I couldn't resist stopping for a quick photo.
 The bike path/paved shoulder continued past the turn at this end of Korah Road. It was nice and quiet, with hardly any cars.
 I passed lots of short dead end streets.
 Then I discovered a cool abandoned property, complete with falling down structures and a weedy, overgrown dirt driveway. Of course, I had to explore!
 I found chokecherry trees with bright red chokecherries.  I don't like them though; they suck all of the moisture out of your mouth.  I hear they make a nice wine, however.
 Part way down the driveway, on the left, there was this old shed structure.  Only the roof shows through the overgrowth.

Abandoned house or barn
 At the end of the driveway there is a falling down house or barn structure, with another structure next door to it.
 Raspberry bushes line the left side of the driveway.  They were delish, lol!
 If you like, you can click on the photo above to make it bigger so you can see the two structures at the end of the road.  The shed in the photo we already talked about is to the right of where I was standing to take this shot.
 The above and below photos were taken from the driveway.  I would have explored further but I was getting worried about leaving my bike alone.
 When I got to the end of the driveway, I noticed the clouds were breaking up and blue sky was showing, a bit to the East.
 To the west, it was still grey and overcast.  I just about killed myself cycling up the hill at the end of Korah Road, near the intersection of Korah and Goulais Ave.  It doesn't look like much, but combined with the heat and the wind, wow!  I had to take a break at the top because I felt dizzy and nauseated. 
 A look back down Korah Road from Goulais Ave.  You can't really tell it's a hill, but it sure did me in, lol.
 Looking back from the top of the hill. I crossed the street and headed back down Korah Road and it was downhill all the way to the turn at the end of this stretch!  I didn't even have to pedal, lol.  Fun!
Intersection of Korah Rd. and Second Line W.
 Korah Road brought me almost all the way home. It gets busy again, surrounded by houses and at this intersection, grocery stores, a pizza place, a donut shop, etc. 
The traffic picked up so I hopped on to the sidewalk for a few blocks until it thinned out again.  I went very slow and checked for pedestrians, but there weren't any.  I made it home so exhausted I could barely walk from the garage to the house.  My Dad gave me shit for biking in the heat and going for so long. When I went inside and saw that I'd been gone for an hour and a half, I couldn't believe it.  I washed my face in ice cold water and drank a bottle of ice cold water and sat by the fan to cool off.  I had a great time, and burned 671 calories to boot!   The best part...no butt (or other) pain! I LOVE my new bike.