Monday, February 28, 2005

So much for the weekend....

No actually, it wasn't all THAT bad. Cooked curry for a few friends on Saturday night. Our regular recipe which is very much like a stew. 2 whole chickens, without skin cut into pieces, cooked with an entire jar of vindaloo seasoning onions, red peppers and mushrooms. But I tried a couple of new recipes a tandoori chicken - not bad - made with skinless chicken drumsticks as well as a recipe called Potato Pathia. A good "sweet" recipe to go with the hot curry. The meal was finished off withh some basmati rice, naan bread and a huge platter of fruit. Yum!

L (my 6 year old). She developed a fever yesterday of 102.3 and today has reached 101.7. I've been home with her all day. She has a barking cough too. I have been playing nursemaid. Funny, I think she must watch to mouch TV. When I was a kid, the chance to lie in front of the TV all day was enough to send me into a ferocious fever. L was bored after the first program. We've been playing games in between her spending time on the computer. My husband has already gone through the house with the disinfectant. He doesn't want to get sick. To late for me. I can't help but deliver regular snuggles and kisses. I am doomed.

Hopefully her fever breaks and she is back to school tomorrow, I have my doubts.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Pathfinder's Turtle Mat Posted by Hello

These girls are 12 - 15 year's old. There are fewer of them, so I think they'll get a chance to finish this mat at a later date. They are off to a good start. One of the girls told me she though this carpet represented life. That the baby turtles were making their way to the sea (and pointed to the white path as being the marks in the sand as they pushed their way forward). She said the mother turtles had told them everything they needed to know and would meet up with them again in later in life in the sea. Wow! Callander has some pretty inspiring girls!

Guide's Fish Mat Posted by Hello

These girls are 9 - 11 years old. One girl thought that this mat represented a time when fish were beginning to walk on land and evolve into land creatures. She pointed to the blue dots representing water and the green representing land. The leaves around the edges meant land. This girl watches the discovery channel I think! Bravo!

Spark's Lizzards Mat Posted by Hello

These girls are 5 and 6 year's old. A great job, the pictures definately do not do these mats justice. They told me stories of the dots being little snails that the lizzards are eating.

Brownies Kangaroo Mat Posted by Hello
These girls are 7 and 8 years old. They told me stories about a fire on the grasslands and the kangaroos are running from it. They also said there was sun, water and grass on the mat, everything the Roos needed to live. Wonderful.

I think the weekend is mine!


I think I have pretty much caught up on most of my obligations. I think the weekend is mine. As of now we just have Jackrabbits for our daughter on Sunday.

So time to create, or at lease clean up my craft room. If I had a digital camera, I would take a picture of the tornado that I call my craftroom. I have a lot of materials and very little space.

I started a new LMAO on Nervessness on Wednesday. All in fun, it is another Google-Eyed Monster ATC Project. Hopefulartist has already posted hers. It looks like another wonderful group of artists. Can't wait to smile again when I open up all that mail. I am a brute for punishment though. I am allowing 30 participants. The return postage is going to be something else. Oh well, a small price to pay for the smiles I get out of this series. Not to mention, a small price to pay for the opportunity to choose 5 wonderful ATCs.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I NEED NEED NEED to make softies.


I have been drooling over Loobylu's Month of Softies for like... months.

This month's theme is a little to creative for my time constraints.. to many wonderful options. But I MUST contribute something this year!

Check out in love with the stars contribution (see the Feb. 22nd, 2005 entry) an awesome doormouse! Yay, it's all sleeping fantasticness!

I also love wee wonderful's contribution to last month's softies check out her February 23rd 2005 entry. Wow!

February's Art Doll Posted by Hello

As promised, her she is. I don't know what I was thinking, other than failure for not being able to create a stuffed beaded type doll like I wanted. I created the wire form first, then added the heart form. The zigzag purple and beads were added next. Then I just sat there and stared. It looked pretty empty. I decided to do a beaded edge around the doll in matcing purple beads. It still didn't look finished so I added a few tassels. The feathers made me think of native beadwork so I added some dreamcatcher netting inside in copper wire. A very hard thing to do. Working the netting can cause the wire to snap or to bend in places that you don't want them to. I had some french beaded petals on my worktable so I added them as well. It is kinda an earthy feeling doll. Not at all what I expected, but I think I will fool around with the idea a bit more.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

For the Love of Gardens LMAO Posted by Hello

I am putting the finishing touches on this project. The picture details a little folder I made to hold the 16 note cards created in this project. It is a natural fiber paper and is quite pretty. It'll be closed and tied with a ribbon for mailing.

Everything is almost ready to go out. Progress this weekend was delayed because my husband and I received the bad news that our dog Theo our beloved pet and friend of 11 years was full of a rapidly progressing cancer (there was no sign of it in x-rays taken just last month). We had to put him to sleep on Friday. Yuk. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I held him when he died. We have another dog at home and he is adjusting to a lonely house. He has never been alone. Today is the first day with the humans gone for a full day. I wonder if he will have torn the house apart in his grief. It is hard to know if he realises if Theo is gone, but his demeaner has changed. He refuses to leave our side. He will be 10 years old this year.

We have friends who have known the dogs since they were pups. More than a few people can't understand why we are not getting another dog. No. We are not. Neither my husband nor myself feel at all compelled to fill this void. Neither one of us wish to subject Kramer (our other dog) to a snippity puppy. We are just going to take a deep breath, swallow down the sadness and deal with the new situation.

Kramer is getting much more attention as the sole dog than he did as part of a set. Now that we only have one dog, we are more apt to take him with us when we make day trips. Hopefully all the added attention will make the transition easier for him.

On a happier note, I finished my first Art Doll. It is a bead and wire affair. Not at all what I had envisioned when I signed up for this project . I have happily received 10 dolls so far. Only waiting on one. I'll get mine scanned in tomorrow and post it here.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

School work

So here I go. I am the recreation of my father. At least that is how last night made me feel. My 6 year old daughter has landed herself in the same position as last year. She has spent the beginning of the year fooling around and not listening and now has fallen behind in her schoolwork. To the point where she has stomach aches and throws fits when put in the position where she doesn't know the answer.

Last night we started on one of three sheets of homework she has to complete by tomorrow. Not a hard assignment really. It is dealing with physical characteristics. "Find something bumpy", "find something shiny". All she had to do was find something that matched that characteristic and write the name of it down on the paper.

She has already told herself she can't read. Lovely position to put herself in. She did the same last year. So she'll do the work if I read it to her. I read the first half to get her going. However, the farther we went, the more concerned she was about how comfortable she was or if her pencil was sharp enough or that she was thirsty. I told her we would finish with the page first and then deal with the rest. I asked her to read the next part. Now she needed a chair instead of sitting on the ground in front of the coffee table. I had already figured out that she was avoiding doing the task at hand. So now I wait patiently for her to read what I asked. I told her that it doesn't matter if she knows the word, I want her to tell me the sound the first letter makes. It was an 'S'. She knows that one. She said she didn't know. Her tummy hurts. We had that checked out last year. She had Xrays and tests and blah blah blah. They went away after I homeschooled her at night (after going to school) and got her caught up with the rest of her class.

I have to confess I lost it. I have Girl Guide work left undone, I had Nervousness work undone, I have bills to review and pay and I haven't had two minutes with my husband since we got back from our trip. After she mangled and half-a** tried to read the next few. I picked up her pencil and homework, folded it and chucked it onto the counter and told her if what she wanted to do was play then she could go ahead, she was done with her homework for the night. Then I got up, marched out of the living room and downstairs to watch TV with my husband. Lina just sat there with a shocked look on her face. You know, the one with the "But...." hanging on her lips?

Anyway it wasn't five minutes later she came downstairs in her PJs and innocently kissed me and my husband goodnight "Goodnight mom, night dad" and promptly went upstairs to bed. I hate games. As soon as she hit the top of the stairs she burst out in tears and marched off to her room. The kind of attitude that reaked of "well if you aren't going to help me, I'll just got to bed then" All to spite.

So as my husband looks at me with that "what was that all about?" look, I get up go to her room turn on the light and say to her. "OK what are we going to do to solve this?" I was very calm by that time. I know what's going on but I can't quite figure out how to explain to her that I can't make things better for her. I can help her but it's she who has to do the learning and the catching up AND it's going to be alot of work. She wanted to know why I walked away. I explained that I can't do this work for her and she isn't even trying to do the work and that it was a waste of my time and her time for her to sit there and not even make an effort. That I know very well that all of the "I need a chair" etc was just putting off her having to do the job at hand. That I have come to the realization that she far enough behind her other clasmates that it is starting to affect her (i.e. stomach aches). That it is extremely frustrating to me to watch all of this happen and not be able to explain to her what this means. That daddy had trouble in school and no one cared enough to help him and that to this day he feels so bad about himself that he doesn't do things he wants to do. That discussing this situation with her teacher is not a bad thing, that she and daddy and I will do what ever it is we can do to help her learn but that she has to make an effort to try.

So I try my best to explain that to her. I try not to make it flowery. I tell her she is just going to have to get used to the stomach aches. The only way I know that they are going to go away is for her to get caught up and be able to function with the rest of her class. That it is like her piano lessons. When she gets a new piece it is very frustrating. It first she can play it. We count it out, we play it through, we break it into little pieces, we master the pieces, we put it together, we play it through, I play it with her so she can hear how it flows. By the end of the week, sometimes she doesn't even have to look at the paper, she just knows it.

I hope the metaphor made sence to her. UGhh. Lina is 6 years old. And very bright. She is a joker and a clown. I don't want to take that away from her. I don't want to lecture a 6 year old. I don't want her to think of me later on and go "man, my mom was a bitch when it came to school". But she can't read at her level. It's going to effect her for the rest of her life and we have the opportunity to correct it now.

My father was a tyrant when it came to school. I won't go into details, but let's just say I learned very early on how to excel. It was not because I was smart it was because I didn't want to get into the same trouble my older brother was getting into with my dad. It taught me something about the value of school. If I could get good grades without being so incredibly smart, then the system was falible. I figured that the most important thing to get out of it was to know how to learn. I also learned to teach myself. This has been my livelihood to this day. If I need a new skill I know how to go about finding how to learn about it. That is the only real skill that I want for Lina too. Good grades do not mean too much to me. However, she is missing out on basic skills and that means that her self esteem will suffer along with the inability to teach herself when she needs to. She deserves to know what it is like to loose herself in a good book and have it carry her to another place and time.

That's my rant for today. Now to add to my long list of things to do, I have to research where she is supposed to be in school, discuss the issue with her teacher, help her with her homework and get her caught up with her reading, writing and math. I should have just kept homeschooling her from day one. She did so well being homeschooled. I wonder whether I made things hard for her by starting her at home? She learns best when she has some say in directing her learning and she learns best one on one. At last count I think there are 32 students in her class.

When we homeschooled it wasn't perfect but she excelled. She wanted more and more. She asked me again, like last year to start again to help her at night. I don't mind. I like to be involved; but again I start to wonder. Isn't this what we pay for for her to go to school? The other thing I wonder about is, if anyone else has trouble, do their parents get involved? What about those who don't?


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Envelope Book

Envelope Book Posted by Hello
Now that I am back in the swing of things, I have been creating.

This past weekend, I made 6 envelope books for my "For The Love of Gardens" LMAO for Each one is different, but each one contains the same elements. They are intended for holding stamps for Nervous LMAOs. They have 6 envelopes each. The covers were a surprise to me. I had purchased some wonderful fabric before Christmas that I intended to use to make the journals for the project. I found that they contained a little too much orange for my liking. I scrapped that idea and went with the mulburry paper shown in my Tuesday, January 04, 2005 post.

I am very happy to actually make use of this fabric as I really liked it when I saw it. I used my mother's sewing machine and pretty much radomly stitched items onto the cover with olive green thread using a zigzag stitch. Hurray for Cloth Paper Scissors, a really inspiring new magazine, for having such wonderful artist's work included in their magazine. I have a lot to learn. So much for swearing off magazine subscriptions. I might have to splurge.

I have some regrets already this year. Already it is February and I have done nothing to bring my dream of opening my business any closer. I have, however, started to nail down some of the products. It is still in my mind though. Not as far as I had hoped to be.

I also have some Nervousness projects to complete before I can really feel my time is my own. I will be done everything by the end of this month! - (that is me promising myself).

I also promise not to take anything new on. That means anything! (Except business ideas)

I have one set of cards, bookmarks and envelopes to complete before I can send out the Garden LMAO package. I am very happy with the package so far.

Back to work

I took a long awaited vacation with my husband recently. I mean it has only been 7 years since the last time we traveled together. 7 Years ago we traveled to the Dominican Republic for a 2 week honeymoon. At that point we had been together for 10 years, and we finally married. It is very funny because after being together that long and then going away for a honeymoon, I came back pregnant. A honeymoon baby. So much for our resolve to get away once a year for a vacation.

So for four of the last four years, we have had the money to travel once to Spain, once to Cuba for 2 weeks and twice to take a week's vacation somewhere warm. The vacations have been cancelled each time because of my husband's busy schedule. Being self employed is not always as good as people make it out to be (I wonder why I want to be self employed so much?).

So this year, even thought he promised me we'd go away, I didn't tell him I believed him until we were on the plane.

We didn't bring our daughter, but we did travel with a friend. Last time we flew our mountain bikes down with us and rode around Puerto Plata and the North Coast quite a bit. We fell in love with the Country. We talked about moving there, we'd sell the house, pay off the bills and just go and get non-stressful jobs in the tourist industry there and enjoy the heat. I'd enjoy the different culture and the challenges that would present more than the weather. I'm not one to love hot waether much.

This time we were a little more savvy about our traveling and our wishes to move there some day. It's not so much that t he country had changed, it's more that we realized moving their for the nice weather and different environment would mean that we would be giving up alot. Peace of mind, safety, health care, education and the list goes on. The country is VERY poor and very corrupt. As I am not employed in the relief and aid sector, I am sure moving there would fast change our lives to one of rescuing and aiding people in need.

We talked to a lot of people, x-pats, residents and citizens. We asked a lot of questions. We learned alot and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. For the time being, our plans to start our own restaurant there will have to be shelved.

So, next year, our plan is to try out Cuba. I love the music. I'll have to start researching the country now. I am such a research junky.


Leather craft
Modelling & Pottery
Paper Mache


Knot work
Lace making
Finger knitting

Cross stitch

French Beading
Loom work
Bead embroidery

paper craft

Cultural Handicrafts
Native Crafts


Dramatic Arts
Puppets (Finger puppets, marionettes)

Visual Arts
Pen & Ink





Letter Writing

Toys (Games, Puzzles)


Travel / vacations

Pen Pals





Homeschooling Resources
Science (Earth Science, Astronomy, Physics, Geography)

World Culture


Father’s Day
Mother’s Day

New Year’s Day
Canada Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Remembrance Day
Hair Accessories

Girl Guides