We spent Christmas of 1998 visiting friends in Ontario, Canada. On Boxing Day (26 December) we ladies made a shopping trip into Ottawa. It was such a lovely day.
On of the shops we went to sold only products made in Canada. Many things were hand-crafted. That is where I found this darling figure of a First Nations girl with her husky puppy. As soon as I saw it, I knew it must come home with me!
Don't you love her sweet face? And the puppy is pretty cute too!
The beginning of the month, the local newspaper announced the city Street Department was having a workshop on how to build a rain barrel.
It sounded really good: "Anyone interested in building and using their
own rain barrel..." and "During the workshop, the CRC will go through the process
of building a rain barrel step by step. All necessary materials will be
provided and each registered attendee will be able to complete a rain barrel
and take it home the same day." The 'workshop' cost $40 "per barrel which will pay for all needed
materials." It was scheduled to be one and a half hours long.
I was excited. You see, I have FOUR barrels behind my shed and I'd like to make 3 of them into rain barrels. So I thought $40 for a class to learn and then take home a finished rain barrel was a pretty good deal. And since the cost was for materials, Himself and I could work together on one barrel.
Then we showed up to the site. There were a bunch of tables set up for 4 people per table... and not a rain barrel 'kit' in sight, just 2 finished ones at the front of the room. Hmmmmmm... Then some guy from a governmental agency starting talking about water sheds and all sorts of things besides rain barrels.
When he finally got to rain barrels, it was 'well, ummm, you drill here... shove in there...shouldn't leak but...and it's done!"
Excuse me?? Someone else asked, "Do you have written instructions?"
He said... (and I am serious...) "Oh, there are all sorts of instructions on the Internet you can look up."
Then he announced the completed rain barrels were out on a truck in the parking lot.
We went out with the rest of the crowd to get our crudely made rain barrel. They didn't even clean up the edges. No workshop what-so-ever, not even a hand-out! If they had even done a good demonstration that would have been worth something.
So I'm back to Square One -- look up rain barrel DIY on Pinterest. (Except I'm out $40... )
I did a quick restyle on my camera strap the other day. You see, I am sensitive to the rubbery/spongy side of a commercial strap. Contact dermatitis in just a few minutes that takes days to go away! Ugh.
So I decided it was past time to make a strap cover!
I had dug out some scarves for another project and this is one I really like. I'm so glad that it didn't work for my first project!
It is a square scarf. I started with a corner in the center of the camera strap and just started wrapping. After each loop you'll have to adjust it a bit so it lays nicely. Keep going until you have it completely wrapped.
I took some matching embroidery floss from my stash and made several wraps around the end to secure it. I like the corners showing but you can just as easily tuck them up for a more finished look.
Finally I did some wraps at the center. You could do wraps centered on each side but I like the looser flowing look that three tied areas give.
It is so very comfortable, plus you can change up the look quickly by wrapping another scarf right over the top for a fast change up.
My second trip outside the US was a day trip to Nuevo Larado, Mexico in 1995.
Himself had just graduated military paramedic school in San Antonio, TX and I decided to fly down for his graduation. Then we could ride home together. Sometime between deciding to go down and actually getting there, I decided that we needed to make a trip to Mexico.
So off we went!
You know, I don't really remember much about where we went in Nuevo Larado. God blessed us with a really cool taxi driver who took us to a 'mercado' area and after showing us around a bit, offered to be back to pick us up in a few hours.
We had a blast exploring and shopping. I did a lot of shopping.... a whole lot of shopping (Christmas was taken care of in that one trip!). It seemed that most of the vendors did not have bags to carry your purchases either. Poor Himself was having a tough time toting all of it for me.
So when I saw someone selling all sorts of baskets that his family was making right there, I quickly bargained for this one. I think I paid a couple of dollars for it. It's a nice size... about 12" high and about 15" wide at the top. Except for a couple blankets, all my trinkets and gifts fit easily inside this newest trinket.
True to his word, our taxi driver was at the designated place at the time, and dropped us off at the border control gate. A quick visit with the officers and we were on our way back to San Antonio.
I've used this basket for many things through the years. Currently it is my 'mending' basket.
When we visited Kenya in 2011, one of the plans was to visit our sponsor children there. I had a friend who also sponsored a Kenyan child. I ended up becoming 'co-sponsor' and therefore could officially visit Tyson.
And what a visit it was! My friend sent a stuff full backpack of gifts plus we bought food staples in-country. We went to the family's home... a one room apartment that housed Tyson, his brother (who is the head of the household), wife, and little niece.
The family was a bit overwhelmed with the gift we brought from my friend. As we prepared to leave, Tyson grabbed his one toy and handed it to me... asking that I take it back to my friend 'to remember him by'.
She said she laughed and cried when she opened the box I'd mailed it in.