Finally, an update from me.

Home sweet home!

This is the heart of our home and where the sun shines the brightest. Over the years, and particularly these pandemic ones when we are home so very much, it has filled with all sorts of Banana Productions creations. These include the not very fancy, but functional re-upholstered couch cushions, the hot tub wall art and a few bits of quilty things and paper flowers. Shadow is still with us, thank goodness. she loves this sunny, warm area too.

I have a new toy

I think the new toy is, at least in part, to blame for my absence here. That and a slow computer which I have had fixed with and upgrade to my desktop Mac and the addition of a MacBook Air (bliss)

The New Toy is pictured below. Cricut maker 3. Santa brought it to me last Christmas (2021) and it has occupied a whole lot of my time. A considerable chunk was spent learning how to use it and I still feel I have a long way to go, but I can navigate the software quite comfortably now and feel confident in trying new things. My most favourite is working with paper and cardstock. I have a Cricut page which you can get to via the Menu at the top and if I learn this site a bit better, perhaps I can add a link right here. Yes!

My New Toy: the Maker 3. Here it is below set up in my room ready to go. I’ve had to do a significant re-org to allow for paper, card stock, glues, vinyl, HTV, sublimation paper, acrylics, mats, rollers, wires, crepe paper, hot glue gun and sticks, specialty markers and a fancy heat press. And that is just the short list. I can now make my own greeting cards at a cost of about $120.00 per card, not including my time… lol But all well worth it for the pleasure it all brings. I find I can combine Cricut functions with my sewing projects too, which adds to the creative possibilities. Take a look below at Mark’s new iPad case, for example.

Mark has his own iPad now and so needed a case for it. Heat Transfer vinyl cut by the Cricut and a foam lined case made by me with a velcro closing fit the bill.

I promise to post more often. Really. Meanwhile, go check things out. There are new additions in many of the pages.

The Rope Bowl

The rope bowl is one of my new favourite creative outlets. They are quite easy to create and a made so fast. I use only cotton clothesline rope, at least so far. And sometimes I wrap the rope in fabric and sometimes not. One of my favourites is this little one below that I made for Mark for Christmas. He loves the Bluenose and Lunenburg so much! We honeymooned there in 2004 and have been back twice since, most recently this past fall. In 2019 we were lucky enough to time our visit to be able to tour the Lunenburg Harbour on board the Bluenose. (Although the Bluenose was in Harbour in 2021, pandemic rules prevented boarding.) You can see Mark below as captain. It was a gorgeous, breezy day and a truly wonderful experience. In December 2021 I ordered a roll of the 100th birthday commemorative painted dimes from the Canadian Mint, created the bowl below and added one of the dimes with a little glue for embellishment. I think it turned out quite well. The bowl is small, about 4″ in diameter, just right to hold keys and some more dimes. He keeps it in his office near his Bluenose print. I’ve made a few more over the past year and you can see some of them on my rope bowl page here. If you’d like me to make you one, just leave me a note. If you want to make one, come on over.

Under Sail on Mark’s office wall

Breakfast is now being served (again)

I’ve made a few of these breakfast sets before and never get tired of them. They are almost life sized and I swear they smell good too. I get pretty hungry once the bacon get added. 🙂

If you’d like me to make you a set, just drop me a line. It’s too hot to play outside now anyway and my sewing room is lovely and cool.

Summer 2021 Update

I really have tried, but it is so hard to leave the projects to work on this blog. Lately I’ve been having fun with photography, my lens ball, and my telescopes. I have a Celestron Explorer 130 Reflector which is wonderful for the night sky, but too big for travel, hence the second smaller one. This little guy is pretty good for the night sky and very compact and light, so great for taking on trips. It’s a refractor type, and because the view is upside-right and lower magnification, it is great for watching my back yard birds… my Life List is growing by the day. How is this relevant to sewing? Well, it does relate, but you will have to wait for the fall to see a glimpse of a planned project involving these feathered friends. I have already collected all the supplies and can’t wait to get started.

Here are a few shots to help explain that the large one allows me to see space objects and the small one is great for terrestrial things.

Ok, that out of the way, here is what I am working on: a Garden Quilt for my hubby. He bought me the 2nd Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage for Christmas this year… adorable quilt blocks and the book is a dream to use and follow directions for 6″ and 12″ blocks. I am at the quilt sandwich stage of pinning on the floor, which is why I am sitting at my computer with a coffee, chatting to you instead. LOL

I’ve put together a little slide show of most of my sewing projects for the 1st half of 2021. A couple of Mark’s quilt blocks are in there along with other creations, if you’d like to see. If you’d like me to make you somenthing, give me a shout.

Sewing projects January to July 2021

Here is Mark’s quilt in the prep stage. Mark’s quilt tells this story: He likes to garden when not designing houses and this year is growing yummy this to eat like tomatoes, peas, beans, zucchini and swiss chard.. He has 2 apple trees, devoured by caterpillars this year, and is constantly battling bugs and the shade of the oak trees to get his garden to grow while thinking of Buddy, sniff, (though he is now quite fond of Shadow, too.) Zoom in on the bird to get a hint for one of the types of birds that visits at our feeder. (humour me)

Spring make-over in the sewing room.

If you look beyond the sewing machine to the TV in the background you might see I am watching COVID numbers rise as another lockdown is announced. Thank goodness for my sewing room. Today, my favourite machine gets a new cover as well as pockets for keeping all those vital things like scissors, tiny rulers and little oil bottles. Because Mark created a recessed area on the table to help accommodate my sorevleft shoulder, the old cover was just too tall.
And too brown. The fabric came in a sewers club box, a gift from Meg. I love it. What do you think?

Everyone needs a ‘Needle Pillow’

I’m in love with this little thing already. I am forever changing needles on my machine to suit the project and re-using many of them when the project has been small or sewing time very brief. I generally try to remember to return gently used needle to its little packages; I put them inside backwards to try to help identify older vs brand new. But this seems like a vastly easier method, tho time will tell.

In any case, I did not invent this, but saw one like it advertised on FB, and thought why not make my own? So I simply created the grid and text on my computer, added my logo and some clipart then printed it onto white cotton. If you’ve never done this, don’t be afraid. You can use printable fabric sheets (Amazon has a variety tho they are a bit pricey.) You can also iron freezer paper to the back of your fabric, cut to a reasonable size to fit into your printer and print away. I’ve had good success with this method.

I just happened to have the perfect accent fabric – covered in sewing pins. I wanted the fabric to be visible on the front so made some 1′ borders, then stuffed it with fibre-fill. Crushed walnuts are recommended, but I think we will be ok.

I’ve attached the template (minus my logo) here if you’d like to use it. Once you have it you can resize it to what ever suits. My needle pillow looks huge in this photo, but finished its dimensions are about 6″ x 7″. Say hi to Shadow guarding things in the background.

A sewing room must-have addition: the Wool Pressing Mat

This is a wool pressing mat and I must tell you, it is awesome. Santa brought it and I must send him a thank you note. I love it not only because of the great press is gives under a hot iron, but I can move it anywhere in my sewing room. And no, it doesn’t not get hot underneath, so no need for any extra padding. I can have it right beside me as I sew which is so handy for doing a lot of strip piecing or tiny blocks for quilting projects. All I need now are a few more outlets to plug in my iron. I could take a pic of the mess of cords under my table, but you would be horrified. Here is a pic of the wool pressing met… it’s nice and big… 24 x 20

Here is the mat sitting just behind my sewing table on my desk. I need only swivel my chair to access it, so no exercise now whatsoever. 🙂
In the centre above you'll see my awesome filing system... the file boxes on the floor.They are filled to capacity. I hate filing but it is so necessary. Say hi to my banana elf while you are here. He is just hanging around.

My Sewing Room : organization 101

These photos show a little more about how I organize things... it was the trickiest part of setting up. Where to put everything in a sensible way. If you have questions, give me a shout.

You’d think I’d have time for this

It is after all, a pandemic we are in and I have been more or less housebound for almost a full year. And I love my computer and various devices sooo very much. And photography. I’m snapping away every day. So it would make sense that I’d have been on here typing away and posting pics. But no. I rush through my must-do jobs here at home everyday (Mark takes a lot of care, especially during this pandemic because every day I cook delicious meal for him and now I even cut his hair!!) and as soon as ‘free time’ is declared, I head downstairs to my place of bliss… the sewing room… play room. When I was small, growing up in Minden, in the days before colour, my school had no Kindergarten and I had to wait in agony in black and white until grade 1 to start. So I like to believe I am having Kindergarten now in my retirement. How lucky am I??? And you should know that some days I declare ‘free time’ the moment my feet hit the floor. After coffee of course.

So right now I am working on a very fun project, but can’t post a pic because its a surprise for a friend. You will have to wait. Meanwhile, here I am in my favourite place with a few friends. I will really try to do better in the future. But right now, I must go sew.

Banana Garden?

How does our garden grow?… not very well as it turned out last summer. But much better now.

We had little luck last summer with our veggie garden, though the rabbits would argue this point since they remained well nourished throughout the growing season.  We are happy for them.
So for this reason, I decided to do some gardening of a different nature. The kind that would last all year long too… and I did it! Though this garden serves to nourish only the imagination. Just as important as fresh vegetables to eat, I am quite certain.
So as with all gardens, one must start with fertile soil. This one is all ready for seeding into nice neat rows. Then it is watered generously.



garden watering can.jpg

We harvested onions, beets, strawberries, carrots and peas all at the the same time! It was a miraculous harvest.

garden growing.jpg

garden harvested.jpg

And at Thanksgiving, we feasted!


I am gifting the garden to sweet Ava, my great niece… I hope she has many years for happy gardening with it. And I finally did yesterday… and I think she likes it.

Finally updating my site

And I owe it all to this little guy who appeared in my Christmas Sock. I do love Santa. Very, very much.


And my sewing has improved as well…. again, I give credit to Santa. Look at the beauty of these scissors!


So because I have a new speedy Mac, I can now have computing fun again, not that I don’t enjoy my iPhone, I do, but I can do so much more on my big machine. Like Photoshop. There is not enough time in the day now for all that lies before me in the fun department. I do feel that retirement is like having a chance at Kindergarten… yes, you read that right. A chance. Not “another chance” because I did not go to Kindergarten. It wasn’t invented yet in my town.  That’s how old I am.  So I’m doing it now and loving it. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been ‘mousing around’ and updating my pages with photos of new creations. I see I need to do lots more editing, but all in good time. I can’t be out of my sewing room for too long without withdrawal symptoms developing.

Please look around to see if there is something you would like for someone you love, or like a few of my dear friends, get some inspiration of your own.

(2 of my friends have in the past year purchased sewing machines, have learned the basics and are making awesome treasures… Kudos! )

Here is a smattering of treasures created in my home home in just the past couple of months… I never tire of toys. Luckily, I have a large group of friends who like toys as much as me; a few of them are actually children too. Everything here is on their related pages (likely)… just look at the menu for the list of pages. I promise to make things look better soon.

Soft friends

A bit of upholstery here and there

Baskets made of cloth.

Quilty things and new learning…free motion flowers, dresden plates and paper piecing.

I made this boxy pouch yesterday… I’ve made hundreds of zipped pouches, but wanted to learn a new technique and style. This one matches may carry-on bag… it is going to get a workout next month.


And a few dill pickles and olives, because snacks are good in Kindergarten

See all the Felt foods here

Random projects… kid reading pillows… garden flags, lots of curtains and a memory pillow that made me cry


That’s all for now…. next blog will be to show you my sewing room where I am going right now!