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Archive for the ‘Girl Guides’ Category

I’m a Brownie Guider in Ontario and I will be attending a big camp in Nova Scotia this summer.  One of the things you apparently do as a camper is bring something to swap – in Guiding parlance, this is usually a small craft which you have made in mass quantities and which you intend to swap with your new friends.  On my Brownie site, I wrote about deciding what my swap would be.  I have settled on making a crochetted flower in the shape of a trillium (Ontario’s provincial flower). 

Crochetted Trillium pattern
Based on Akua’s Daisy pattern. 

You need:

  • White yarn (I used some leftover Bernat Satin)
  • Green yarn (mystery yarn – has some wool in it)
  • Yellow yarn (Bernat cotton)
  • A 4mm crochet hook (or whatever suits you)
  • Small scissors for clipping ends (you’ll note that I’ve looped a string through them – you’ll be clipping a lot of ends and handy scissors are very useful)
  • And a yarn needle for sewing in those ends.

Trillium Supplies

Flower pattern (make one green, and one white).
Row 1 Chain 5.
Row 2 (copied from Akua’s Daisy) *sl st, ch3, trc, (ch2, sl st: picot), trc, ch3, sl st* three times.  
Fasten off.  
NOTE: I try to crochet over the tail – kind of sewing in the ends as I go.  This also allows me to tighten the string so the center is smaller.

That’s all it is.  Two rows of crochet.  When you’re done, sew in your tails.  Sew a green leaf peice to the white petals piece with yellow yarn.  I make an X and tie it at the back. 

To complete the Swap, I’ll attach a small card with my name and e-mail on it (so my new friends know who I am) with a small safety pin.  Easy peasy. 

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The assessment took 15 minutes – and then we talked about knitting for another 30 minutes.  Brenda is a lovely person and it turns out we had a lot in common.  She made some suggestions and then blew me away with her estimate.  Although, I probably need to figure out how much of that I’d actually get – there is commission to pay.

More randomness

  • As much as I hate to say it, summer seems to be coming to an end.  We’re having a Brownie Barbecue – which is really an excuse to get started for next year.  I’ve also had a bunch of inquiries – some about our Unit, and a few from people confused about the process.  Ontario needs to make registration info a lot easier to access.  The forms are handy, but a Google map with meeting spaces and unit numbers would be really helpful!  I’m just saying. 
  • I started on the Wii again yesterday.  The darn thing keeps calling me Obese.  It is depressing (I know I’m not healthy) and it is a kick in the pants to get moving.  One step at a time.  That’s all I can do.  But I must do it.
  • I also registered for a Grammar for Writing Professionals at Algonquin College (distance learning).  Language has been interesting to me lately.  I’ve been reading Bill Bryson’s books on Writing and English Grammar – they’re both funny and useful!

Until Later…

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still here

I seem to be taking a break from blogging… the lead up to Christmas was pretty dramatic and the frantic deadline gave lots of fodder for posting.

Some highlights

  • Christmas was Awesome!  Everyone got finished knitted gifts mostly on time.
  • I’ve already started on next year (am into shawlettes like the Knitty Citron Shawl).
  • Bought a Wii.  Was going pretty well on EA Active.  Got derailed with an Asthma thing.  I get cold induced asthma.  That’s a hoot and a half (not!).
  • I figured out that people under 30 don’t wear watches.  I don’t get how picking up your phone and scrolling to the time is easier than looking at your wrist. 
  • Just finished Key to the Arts with Brownies.  Girls did Highland Dancing, made African Masks, sang Canadian Songs, did African Skits – and it all culminated in a Talent Show last night. So much fun.
  • House is a disaster.  My fault.  Dishes and clothes won’t wash themselves or put themselves away. 
  • Started Adult Surprise Jacket. Love the baby version. 

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1. The Felted bags are now morphing back into slippers using this Martha Stewart pattern but will likely add leather bottoms (recovered from old leather goods).

2. I have lots of the tea towel toppers – I’ve been selling them at work.  Excellent prezzie for my co-Guiders, some thank you gifts, hostess gifts, and any unexpected gift opportunities.

3. A&K have asked for Wine.  Easy peasy, and inexpensive.  It is nice to have someone ask for stuff.

4. J still wants Colonade (see previous post for link).  Have purchased yarn for it with her approval.  I figured the element of surprise is good, unless you end up spending HOURS on something they never wear.  So, as J is particular, I need to consult before giving.

5. I don’t know how I’m going to fit this in, but it is so cute!  The first site has a better picture but the second one has a variety of poems that go with it.  (Snowman Soup1 Snowman Soup2 – beware the loud music though)

What’s left?  Parents need gifts – but they say they don’t need anything.  Erg.   The hat parade must start (lots of fish hats) and a few real ones.   Plus a few puppy prezzies.  First deadline is Dec 5 for a birthday.  Oh!  Mustn’t forget D on Nov 30.  I’ve got something in mind for him but it isn’t done.  Whoops.

Friday is the Science Centre sleepover for Brownies.  Of all the boneheaded ideas, why would I want to spend a night in a drafty museum with 30 kids?  (Answer – because I love these kids and they’ll have an absolute blast!  Also, if I want these kids to come camping, I need for them to try out being away from their parents).  And I can sleep on Saturday, right?

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To steal a theme from the Yarn Harlot (www.yarnharlot.ca) (she did this today).  She always makes me laugh.

1. Brownies was really good tonight.  It is another testament to planning and preparation. We did “Building Up” by making towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows.  Very fun.  It also couldn’t have happened without Snowy, Spotty, & Grey Owls and Mum J coming too.  Love them for all the support and planning they do.

2.  Next week is science experiment night.  We get to make Blue Goo.  I did remind the girls to wear play clothes.

3. I’m working at home for two days.  I could get used to this.

4. I drink way too much pop.  Diet Pepsi.

5. I need to go to the pool tomorrow.  I didn’t go today – or Saturday.  Thursday’s class is going to kill me if I don’t go tomorrow.

6. I love The Big Bang Theory.  Sheldon and Leonard make me happy.

7. I think I might sell dish cloths at work.  Is $2.50 for a crocheted dish cloth reasonable?

8. Weight Watchers is going ok, but I’m not following it as well as I should.  Chocolate cake on Monday was delicious but too many points.

9. Pictures are closer to being framed correctly.  Sigh.  Now must get guts to make holes in my walls.

10. Clothes fairy dropped off yesterday.  I love it when someone fashionable decides she doesn’t want some stuff and thinks of me.

11. Finally did the Guiding paperwork that got me the bank card.  Used it today for the first time.

12. Love the Ikea globe lights so much.  This is the little one but there is a bigger one.  I think I like the little one best.

13. Wireless isn’t working.  Works for a bit and cuts out.  Have wired the thing now, but wireless was way more convenient. Any ideas?

14. J likes Colonade for Christmas.  Must figure out colour though.  But have been wanting to give it a crack so am glad to have a giftee who will wear it.

15. Have to put a bunch of stuff in storage.

16. Am I going to the Lake on Friday?  Don’t know yet.

17. Holidays are sort of figured out.  Now if only the weather people could arrange for snow after I’m finished the drive to the lake for Christmas.  If the weather people are listening, I need a clear day on Dec 18 or 19.  That’s all.  Thanks.

Ok… that’s enough.  I’m pooped and ready for bed.  Goodnight all.

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  1. Construction is a pain. I love the result, but it is an everlasting pain in the butt. The new door went in September 17. Carpet went in September 30. Of course, in advance of that I had to shove EVERYTHING I own into the bathroom and kitchen. Camera by then was awol so I don’t have a photograph of the pile, but it sure was tall.
  2. New carpet is taller than old carpet.  Two of my doors are still leaning against the wall and one is dragging against my lovely new carpet.  Here’s hoping Dad can make a trip here with the saw.  (cross your fingers – there isn’t much that man can’t do as far as construction).
  3. T came by last week and brought her drill.  Hooks, mirrors, shelves and curtain rods are all hung and gorgeous.   What a relief.
  4. My parents are missing their neighbors at the lake.  L & J are dear people who had to return to their hometown in the States.  We all miss them – it was weird to see their place all wrapped up in plastic.  
    I enjoyed seeing my favourite place in the world through a new person’s eyes.  I enjoyed seeing my Dad show off his childhood home to new people and the pride that he has in the place.  Personally, I loved having someone next door who was reliable and normal.   It was nice to have someone to call to tell them that the phone is off the hook and if they don’t put it back on the hook in the next ten minutes I’m going to call the police  check on them.  It was nice that my parents had neighbours that they had so much in common with.  Friends are the family we choose – J&L became family (we’re going to miss them).   
  5. Brownies are going along swimmingly.  We have 13 girls and a fantastic group.  The energy they bring is pretty cool.  It is not often that you get a bunch that fits so well together (yes, I’m knocking on wood).  Enrollment on Tuesday. Then we’re off to a 100th Anniversary of Guiding campfire on Parliament Hill.  Such coolness.  Please don’t rain.

That’s it for now.  Will try to post more often, but we’ll see.

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be prepared: travel

The words Be Prepared are powerful ones.  To me, they immediately bring to mind my days as a Girl Guide.  Preparedness is a good thing and a bad thing. 

  • On the good, I’m a forward thinking person who can see the big picture, anticipate problems and plan for them.  I am generally organized and have set myself up as the go-to and in-charge person.  I get a kick out of that.
  • On the bad, I’m not comfortable in situations where I don’t know what’s coming, I’m less able to be spontaneous, and I REALLY hate surprises.  I am a control freak in the best and worst of ways. 

There are so many things to be prepared for – especially now with the H1N1 Pandemic hype/reality all around us.  Today I’m going to talk about travel, but will likely get to other preparedness topics as I get further into this.

Be Prepared and Travel First of all, get a passport.  How in the world will you fly to Paris on a whim (or even to the U.S.) without this most important of documents? 

Second, pack the right stuff.  I started out travelling by carrying a huge bag, bursting with every stitch of clothing, gadget and medicine that I might need later.  It didn’t take me long to find sites about packing – my favourite is One Bag – which showed me that if you think about where you’re going and preparing for that situation only, you’ll really cut down on the things you’ll have to carry. 

  • Layers are your friend.  If you’re going someplace sort of cold, it is more efficient to pack a sweater, a windbreaker, gloves and a hat (all of which can be used together to make a warm coat, or separately with other things) than it is to pack a heavy coat that can only be used in cold weather.
  • Bring things that match.  The packing sites suggest picking one or two colours as your palette and make sure that everything goes with everything.  I remember being at a meeting with plaid pants (they were cool, really!) and a striped sweater.  I couldn’t wear the two things together and, of course, the meeting rooms were FREEZING.  Monochromatic dressing also means fewer shoes are necessary.
  • Wash stuff in the sink as you go and be ready to wear things over and over.  But also take something colourful to cheer you up… one former favourite grey sweater got demoted after being worn three weeks straight on a trip through a chillier than expected Europe.   Colourful accessories saved my sanity.
  • Look at your itinerary.  One Bag wonders if it is REALLY worth it to drag your diving gear along on the off-chance that you’ll go diving (especially if you could rent the equipment there)? Are you REALLY going to go to a fancy dress party whilst on vacation (especially when black dress pants and a clean t-shirt with a  pretty wrap will do for most situations)? 

Third, learn about where you’re going.  I’m embarrassed to say that I ended up in Brussels with no idea what I should see and what was interesting there.  I spent too much time wandering and likely missed a lot.  Shameful.

Planning your travel is almost as fun as actually going.  Anticipating, researching and planning your trip thoroughly will prevent you walking aimlessly and will give you a measure of familiarity that allows you to find the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam and know the intricacies of  The Night Watch .  One of my favourite “discoveries” came as I walked up the steps of the the Louvre and saw the Winged Victory of Samothrace.  I knew she was in the building but didn’t know exactly where. 

Me in London - 2001 in front of Buckingham Palace

 

I will admit that planning too much can limit the spontaneity of your trip.  Remember that there is great value in wandering around and getting lost.  Especially in Venice .  Take some time to watch people. 

In the interest of honesty…my suggestions here refer to airplane travel.  I CAN get everything I want to carry into a 52L backpack and be happy for three weeks BUT I am not so good at containing myself for car trips.  If my family reads that I’m suggesting that people follow my example by packing light, there will be mocking … and incriminating photos of my car fully loaded from last Christmas may surface.

As I said, half the fun of travel is preparing for it. Financialy, planning (and dreaming) are the most I can afford at the moment, but some day I’ll go back to Paris, London, and Rome.   In the words of Nike … Just do it!

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