Wednesday, June 29, 2005

So on to the next step.

So, I finally got some results from the testing the school did on Lina. Believe it or not, I spent the last hour of school yesterday talking to the resource teacher. The last hour of the last day of school. hrrumph

Well I supposed better late than never. This last test was a language assessment. I was hoping it would go a little further, but alas it did not. I figured it out when I asked Lina if she had to do any writing and she said she hadn't. Anyway. The verbal results (I don't get to see a written report until September) indicate that:

1) receptive language (her comprehension): She scored 110 in the top 75 percentile. Apparently 90 - 100 points are considered average so she is a high average for her comprehension.
2) expressive language (ability to express herself verbally): she scored 122 in the top 93rd percentile, she is considered to have superior expressive abilities
3) phonological awareness (awareness of different sounds in words): I have no score for this but apparently, she has above average awareness of sounds within words.

The test also indicated that she has a strong memory but was very distracted during the testing.

OK. So tell me, why is it that she can't write, has difficulty reading and is performing below her grade level in all areas except anything having to do with Drama, art, gym and public speaking? This last test didn't tell me anything I hadn't figured out already. Having a talk with my 6 year old is like talking to someone 13 or 15. One of her first words was hippopotamus! The resource teacher at her school told me she is compensating for the areas where she is weak and is developing her strengths to a high level for her age. He also told me that as she continues to have difficulties she will continue to develop her expressive abilities. Oh yay, I will have to use a dictionary to keep up with her at that rate.

So now, the next step is to request a psychological assessment for her. Sounds scary but, apparently, those are the professionals who may be able to pinpoint why she is having so many problems. I wish I had my scanner at home, I could scan an image of some of her latest school work. It is almost unreadable, in fact when I was reviewing the folder she brought home with the schoolwork from her class (I guess they were cleaning out the classroom on the last day), I noticed time after time, the teacher writing a request for Lina to read her work to the teacher. I guess I am glad that the teacher was willing to hear her ideas and accept the verbal option rather than just marking her zeros for not being able to read her work. I can see that her ideas are there, but she cannot write.

Apparently, the testing could take place this summer, next fall or next winter. In any case, I am going to put together summer work for her, using strategies for teaching dyslexic children (at the start) to see if I can get her back on track again.

(sigh) I don't remember signing up for a parallel career when I got pregnant. I accepted the mother job as a given, but who would have thought, I'd also be a teacher, an advocate and a lobbiest as well.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Blogbinders - this is not an ad, this is a reminder.

Says Self "Insert reminder here... if I ever feel this blog is print worthy, I can just follow this link to Blog Binders. There they will take my blog (or anyone elses) and turn it into a bound book!"

Thanks to Hey Lucy for the link!

Johanna Wright

Thanks to Naive's Knitting for the link to Johanna Wright. I really like her style. One of these days, I should get myself a style.

Johanna Wright's ArtPosted by Hello

Update - The BIG MEAL

Ok, then there is this past weekend. See during the race weekend we had decided that it was about time we cooked one of the prime ribs in our freezer. OK, little explanation here. My husband in one of his former careers was a cook. He went to college for cullinary. And he is a very talented cook. Even though I am sure he had enough hours in to write his chef's papers he didn't and eventually moved on to other methods of earning a living. Hubby's food is wonderful. It is actually the only thing we had in common when we met. We both love to cook. We have grown to have more in common over the past 18 years, but cooking is at the heart of our household. Back to the primerib. When we cook a prime rib, we cook a WHOLE prime rib. That means we need to feed 12 people minimum. So this meal becomes an affair. When a local grocey announces that prime rib is on sale someone buys a whole rib (that's about 22 inches long with 7 ribs - this one was 26 lbs). It's not odd for a friend to knock on our front door, hand over a huge rib smile and leave - we cart the thing downstairs and throw it into our freezer until it's decided to have the BIG MEAL.

The BIG MEAL consists of made from scratch ceasar salad (I'm talking, homemade croutons, bacon bits and sauce!), made from scratch french onion soup, awesome yorkshire pudding (my husband is anal about his yorkshire - he insists it stand up when it is served and it has taken him years to perfect his recipe), greek potatoes (potatoes roasted with chicken stock, oregano and lemon juice) some sort of vegetable (this meal had baby carrots marinated in orange and apple juice) and the prime rib. In the last year, homemade baked cheesecake has been added for dessert. New people at one of these meals get a horrible surprise. Hubby likes to inititate them by serving them a huge-r-than-normal slab of meat. I've seen him be a cruel and serve a 1 3/4 to 2 inch slab of meat to new people after having served both of those appitizers. People who are regulars get a sick and twisted satisaction from inviting someone new to eat and it is now routine that we have someone new join us for every one of these meals.

So Friday, we went out and bought an air conditioner in anticipation of cooking all day Saturday for the BIG MEAL (it was 28 degrees celcius on Saturday). Saturday we cooked all day and had a choatic but lovely meal. Adult table and kids table. Kids playing the piano during courses, people everywhere. Utter chaos. Hubby likens it to Christmas dinner only 4 or 5 times a year more than normal people do it.

Sunday, Hubby and Jody (yes we have several reveller's stay over) get up and ride up to the North Bay airport to enter their bike's in the annual Drag Bike competition. After purchasing a crap load of water, pop and fruit, I head up with the kids and we stay up at the airport for 5 hours in the heat (um at least 30 degrees with no shade). After that we head to the beach and let the kids play on the beach and in the water for another 4 hours. They managed well, we huddled in the shade. I, even though I lathered myself with sunscreen, I am quite burnt. Then we arrived home at 8:00 pm yesterday and found when I put Lina to bed that her goldfish had died. I think the heat did it. The algae must have taken over in an accelerate rate (it was fine only somewhat needing a clean the day before) and done them in. I must say I've never seen that happen before. Anyway, Lina after all she had experienced this weekend was ill-equipped to handle this blow and tonight, instead of being able to flush them down the tiolet, we are holding a funeral in the back yard.

An eventful weekend, I must say.

And tonight, as well, we have some of our guests returning to partake in the traditional leftover meal. We don't always have leftovers, but when we do, we love to make beef dip with au jus. My mouth waters when I think of it. Garlic toasted kaisers, shaved prime ribe with your own bowl of rich au jus (thin gravy) to dip it in. Ah, amazing. It's a wonder that I don't weigh 200 lbs. People talk about the "aftermeal" as much as the BIG MEAL.

In our house we watch the Food Network like most people watch reality TV.

Update - The first race

Wow, so much has happened since I last existed in this world. Nothing major, just action packed weekends in the last little while.

On the 17th (June) we headed down to Shannonville for the first Vintage race of our season. I wish I had taken pictures of the progression of bike building that took place for the month prior.

Hubby had gone up to the local cycle salvage (Lina and I call it the motorcycle graveyard) on or around May 18th. I wondered what he was up, yes, but I have faith in his ideas. Hubby however, kept shaking his head and saying things like "this is nuts" and "this is funny". See he had it in his mind that it was about time that he got off his butt and built his own bike. He has been borrowing Jody's bikes to race. Last year he bought an RD off a young kid and rebuilt that to race but he wasn't able to race it because he crashed and broke, dislocated and fractured his left wrist. Jody did race it and did well, but Hubby hates the unreliable-ness of 2-strokes, so the bike is sitting in our garage this year.

Anyway.... He chose two Honda CB350 frames. I say frames because other than having engines in the frames, there was little else on the bikes. He was able to peel the seat off of one which exploded in a puff of rotten sponge and only one of the bikes had the front end on it. To get them into the van he had to rock the frames back and to get them uprooted from the grass that was growing through them. So they came into the garage to join the pack of bikes. (We have about 12 motorcycles in the garage now - 3 of them are Linas). Over one month Hubby had an engine rebuilt, the frame sandblasted and repainted, found a front end, stole parts off the RD (tire, wiring, etc.) and voila Wednesday before we leave, they start it once in the rain. Thursday before they leave they get it running on all cylinders and then Friday we pack up and leave.

It was a great weekend, didn't sleep much on the Friday as a million mosquitos made they way into the trailer and the noise of their buzzing (and biting) drove up nuts!

Hubby and Jody raced in the P2 Light class (one up from the bikes abilities - Jody races a CB350 too). Jody finished first after starting from the back of the grid and Hubby finished 5th! Yay little bike. That was after Jody blew the engine the day before during practise and they had to borrow another engine from another racer and install it. Hubby had to continuously work bugs out of his bike too. They also raced the P1 Class (the class their bikes were meant for) and Jody finished 3rd and Hubby 4th. It was all great fun to watch. At one point they were side by side and afterward Hubby told us that he actually reached out his leg and pretended to kick Jody. It's great to see them able to race the same class together for once.

The next race is on July 23 and 24th in St. Estache, Quebec. We are unsure that we will be able to make it - due to the travel.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Amigurumi Mosquito

I like amigurumi just as much as anyone else, I happened accross this site today check out the adorable creatures including this one, an amigurumi mosquito.

mosquito Posted by Hello

Illustration Friday - Black & White

Again a time issue. I was stuck between using something I had already done or drawing something new with very little time to devote to drawing anything too detailed. I compromised by doodling a quick sketch at my desk yesterday.

Black & White Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Inspiration Wednesday

I'm back. I've been away for almost a week down to the first Vintage motorcycle race of the season for us. More on that in a bit. Here are some lucky finds for an Inspiring Wednesday.

Cher Foxes amazing Silver sculpture. I love this piece. Don't know if I would wear it, but it would definately be a conversation starter at a party.

Cher FoxSilver Scupture - Bug Chain

I happened accross this website quite by accident, while looking up handmade paper. I am in love with the illustration style. Very inspiring.

All Ten Thumbs - Illustration on Handmade Paper

Searching the term handmade yeilded two sites that I will have to spend more time exploring. The first is a blog where wonderful children's clothes and crafts are being made. Mostly sewn product. I love this little dress, so formal, yet so simple and elegant.

Home-Town Tea-Nifty Blog

And the last which I really need to look at since there is a wealth of craft ideas and wonderful photography of the items which range from ceramics to wirework gardening and cooking. These pipe cleaner rings were in the handmade section. Loads of ideas.

Awesome Japanese Craft Ideas Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Images are wonderful

Images can be so inspiring.

Life in type.

Crap! How do I happen to find these people. Wait! Don't answer that. I find them because every morning before I start work I peruse my ever growing list of blogs. AND I follow the links.

So here is my what I am pondering: My husband doesn't spend much time on the computer - unless he is researching motorcycle related stuff, my friends aren't all that interested in blogs (in fact most of them don't know what one is and the rest of the people around me don't tie up their time with computers either.

Now, since I joined I have become more aware of the existence of a whole world of people who actually communicate using computers. Now I am not talking about the flirty, mischievous underground world of "let's do something in here that we wouldn't normally do out there" but the world of meeting and exchanging tidbits of our lives type of communication.

But lately I have come to realize that this computer world, the one with the online journals that are there for anyone to read, anonymously or not, seems more real than the one out there. No, I am not getting lost in la-la land. I mean that there is so much less artifice, so much more creativity and support and so little "political correctness" and "careful consideration" of ones words. I like the naked truthfulness of reading about someone's daily life and getting to see the self criticism, the inner confidence, the self deprecation, the simple joys the hard earned triumphs and the confessions of guilt. It's amazing what people choose to remember about their day and it is utterly stellar that people choose the mundane things to share.

It makes you enjoy your life of the moment instead of waiting for something better to come along. This moment is great! This moment is worth recording and sharing. The funny thing is, the blogs I seem to enjoy the most, intimately share those "special" little moments of human nature that I can totally relate to.

Case in point: The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Person

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Inspiration Wednesay!

It's Wednesday, it's raining, I left work at lunch and drove downtown to the Nutty Chocolatier and got myself (actually my co-worker treated me) a blueberry/peach frozen yogurt. My body is a little happier but my brain wtill needs some inspiration. No craft related work done last night. I did get to witness, after many tries, my husband start the CB350 (vintage race bike) he has been rebuilding, for the very first time. The skies were dark with storm clouds and the wind was just picking up. There was the odd flash of lightening, ominous thunder and fireflies were flitting here and there. A very sureal scene. You can understand my remark when the thing finally fired up (they had to bum start it down the street) "It's alive!" Frankenbike lives!

Now to get my brain working again.

Thanks to Moopy and Me for the wonderous link to Corporate Pig. You HAVE to spend time looking through the gallery, that in itself inspired me to buy some fimo!

Corporate Pig Fimo Creations

This is a link from my Favourites list. I visit it everytime I need a smile. I am not a talented stuffy maker, but Finhold Gallery is!

Finhold Gallery

On the theme of stuffies, check out these miniature wonders at Fantiny Creations!

Fantiny Creations

This jewellery artist is a friend of one of my cousins. Very peaceful and sensous glass and wire jewellery.

Funky Pretty Jewellery

These leather purses have fascinated my for years. It's one of those things that inspire me as well as something that I have researched in order to get a handle on the technique in the hopes of attempting my own molded purse some day.

einbenderstudios Posted by Hello

I feel better now. Hmmmm. I need to make a needlecase for my backtack buddy now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Back Tack Update

Knitting role complete - I think.

This is horrible, terrible and it sucks! How am I supposed to take a picture of my creation? It is 17 inches long and the scanner bed is only 12 inches long. I feel cheated, I feel so unsatisfied. I can even show the inside of the roll because what I scanned only makes sense to me. Yuk. Know what? Blogs must be 85 percent of the dirving force behind people buying digital cameras. UG!

Knitting Roll Posted by Hello

I got this far last night and I think I am ready to call it complete. I don't want to do any surface embellishment on it now. I like how it looks. I'll manage to find a digital camera somewhere and post some better shots.

Apron Ideas

I don't know if I can contribute to Tie One On's inaugural month, but it sure has me thinking about aprons. Wearing one would probably save umpteenth pairs of pants from the odd handwipe. I don't do it often, it happens mostly when I am crafting and figure that the pants I am wearing could probably be sacraficed to the craft gods instead of me getting up and trying to find a rag.

Anyway, I included these links in a comment on Amy of Angry Chicken's site and am now posting them here. Click the photosto see the rest of the aprons on these sites.

Japanese Denim Aprons

Vintage Man's Handkerchief Apron

Vintage Apron Article

Vintage Crochet Apron Pattern

Vintage Bar-b-que Apron (more vintage aprons)

Reversable Half Apron Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Warning. I like critters.

I had another exciting thing happen this weekend.

We had a bunch of people over on Saturday night and while we were all out in the garage (oh come on, think about it, my Hubby lives for motorcycles so he also spends most of his time in the garage. We entertain in there too), one of the guys saw a frog. I went over to investigate because I thought it was weird that the thing wasn't jumping away. Sure enough, it was a treefrog. It was snuggled into a corner of the door. For warmth I guess, being cold blooded and all.

I picked him(her?) up and brought it over to where I was sitting. It crawled all over my hands and up my arm. Sarah (friend) was fascinated and I handed over the little critter to her for a while. She said it looked like the lichen that hangs off the trees in BC, it was the same colour. I told her about my niece who found one of these last year and raised it for about 8 weeks in a terrarium that my brother built for it. She fed it shadflies. It flourished and she would have kept it longer had it not got out and away one day.

So the little critter was a Tetraploid Gray Treefrog. They can change colours to match their environment from brownish gray to a silvery light blue green. These things keep me up at night in early summer with their constant chorus. Our backyard is the perfect environment.

Anyway. The thing snuggled into my hand. I mean, it actually folded it's feet beneath it's chin like two little fists and snuggled it's head on top of them and closed its eyes and rested. It would raise it's head every once in a while when something moved in front of it, but it seemed quite happy to just snuggle against the warmth of my hand. I was singing to it. Brrrrrrt. Brrrrrrrt. The guys thought I was nuts (I do the call quite well since I hear it for hours every night) You can hear the call here.

What a gift that was, I mean what kind of anphibian snuggles? They are such cold creatures. It had no fear at all. I actually considered bringing it into my bedroom for the night, just because it looked so compfy that I did not want to disturb it. Hubby made me let it go.


I am amazed. See, I had spoken outloud about how I thought the GS500 was too small for me. Hubby had looked through the Bike Trader and Triad (used item publications) and started looking for a another bike for me. The GS is a loaner. He had mentioned in passing that if I could ride a Hurricane 600 then he and Jody could modify it for racing vintage in the P4 class (allows up to the year 1985). I though that would be the best idea - the most pratical in ultimately an unpractical pursuit. Hubby told me he wouldn't consider buying me that bike unless I could drive his.

I have been feeling a little brave (or is it daring) and mentioned to him this week that I thought I might be confident enough to do it. Yesterday, while Lina was away at a friends, we went to the Waltonian Inn, a regular occurance for us in the summer, Three of us were on our bike weeding our way through the various vehicles in our driveway when Hubby yells to me and asks me if I'd like to try his bike. I stared at him (and the bike) over my shoulder. Dean, our friend, was watching. I wondered at this point if my daring statements before were just bravado. I hesitatingly got off my bike and onto his. Crap, I was almost tippy toeing it. The bike is so well cared for, it's intimidating even to look at it. Hubby even polishes the sprocket. But, I'll tell ya, when I got it out onto the highway and realized that I was doing 50 km over the speed limit and I was only in third gear, I started to grin. I didn't wipe the smile off my face until half hour after we were eating wings. In fact I have a goofy grin while I type this, 12 hours later. I even thoroughly enjoyed taking the corners, something that intimidated me on the GS.

What a goofy mixed up scene this is. I am not one of those crazy dudes that pull 2 km wheelies doing 240 km/h down the highway. But, strange ideas were welling up in my head as I drove down the highway on the 954, things like, "hmmmm, I wonder.... How DOES one DO a wheelie anyway? I wonder.... What would Hubby say if I did one? What am I thinking? I must be crazy! But, I really like the way this feels. Speed's not so bad if I am in control.... STOP! You are not acting like your normal, practical, responsible MOTHER self. Hmmmm.... I wonder how I look on this thing.

Boy, you can find out a lot of things you never knew about yourself when you are thrown into a situation where once you thought "I wish I could do that" but would never even consider pursuing it yourself and then the opportunity arrives and you actually are "stupid" enough to just go for it.

Honda 954 Posted by Hello

This is what I rode. wow.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Illustration Friday - Summer

An entry for Illustration Friday. It's a bit of a quick fix. I feel I need the accomplishment of turning something in for this week - just to keep up the momentum, but I know that I am too busy to design something new, so as this fits with the summer theme (to me) this is my subsmission.

Now.... This bug is probably better known as the May Fly. But in North Bay, it is known as a Shad Fly. In June, the appearance of the Shad Fly is an indication that summer has truly begun. However, just to tell you how much of a presence and mistique the shad fly has here every year, check this out and this. These are not North Bay photos, but they'll give you a little idea. The Shad fly season is short only two weeks or so, they don't bite, in fact they don't eat. But they cover the walls, windows, trees and ground anywhere near the lake and at night they swarm around lights. And they stink! They smell like fish. And they die! And after the initial appearance of the fly, the start to die in droves and soon you notice that the popping sound as you drive over live and dead shads. In fact, every few years (when the number of shads swells), you notice you have to be careful when driving up to stop lights where the ground is littered with shads because it can get slippery. When you walked down an alleyway sometimes the shads take off and you'll have them cling to you. In fact during the high point of the shad season, invariably, you'll walk into a store, or a restaurant, or someplace and some kind stranger will pick off a few shads and walk them outside. It's just a thing.

With all that, they are rather lovely looking creatures don't you think?

Shad Fly Posted by Hello


A while back I posted a comment about my frustrations with Lina and school. I am sure I must have mentioned that we home schooled her first year (Junior Kindergarten). For a few reasons, but mostly her real wish to make some true friends (she is and will always be an only child) we decided that we would try her in the public school system - oh yay (sarcasm) it's been so wonderful! I may have mentioned some of the difficulties we experienced last year and more importantly, this year.

Being the concerned mom and the obsessive sleuth I am, I have been researching teaching methods, home schooling methods and different educational theories since I first considered home schooling her 3 years ago. There is a wonderful Yahoo group I belong to "Work and Homeschool". Although my participation and interest in this group waxes and wanes according to my needs at any one time, it has been a source of support for me, since my husband and I choose to both work outside the home.

Last year, to solve problems Lina was having at school, I began to home school her at night (after school). I was getting NO satisfaction from the school or her teachers as to why she wasn't learning and was in fact losing a lot of what she had learned. I made darn sure her teacher was well aware of the work we were doing at home. It was a good short term fix, as it turns out.

This year, at the same time of year, we started noticing that she was falling behind once again. I like this teacher's attitude better and she really has strived to maintain contact with me. However, back in January I started to think there was something a little more to these problems she was having. I won't go into to much detail (because I could fill volumes) but part of the problem is that she is quite gifted. She excels in creative pursuits and has now started to compose her own music on the piano. No Mozart here, but a quiet need to sit and play her own thing rather than what is put in front of her (I play in a similar manner so recognize what is going on) and her pieces are making musical sense. Lina is 6. She is also quite talented physically and last year enjoyed dance lessons and was able to keep up and enjoy 3 classes, Ballet, Jazz and Tap. She is also artistic; you see where I am going here. Her curiosity is voracious and she can tell you about cumulous, stratus, cirrus clouds and her vocabulary is very advanced and always has been. All of this makes it quite difficult to discuss possible problems with her teachers and our extended family. They just can't see her struggles. Hubby and I can. Her teacher chalks it up to her not paying attention. I know it is more than that. Thing is I teach her too and I see the way she functions.

Anyway.... I began to investigate learning differences (gotta love political correctness) last January and found a few LDs that seemed to fit. Enough so that I knew I might be barking up the right tree in figuring out that there may be an underlying impediment. I followed up with her teacher who at first was not receptive, however, insistence and good observation skills (I pointed out many things that she had to concede were true) have somewhat been productive. Enough so that Lina is next in line for a thorough assessment. The Work and Homeschool yahoo group pointed out that I may not what an assessment of this type if it goes on her permanent record. I beg to differ. I want a tool I can use to ensure she is getting what she needs to excel. She's too bright. I don't want her to get into the mindset that she is incapable of something. We have already gone through periods where she is convinced she can't read - she was reading at 3-4 years old. And we have gone through the stomach aches and doctor's visits because she didn't want to go to school.

So the other day, I was investigating another possibility - dyslexia. This possibility is too accurate to ignore. I think this may be it. Funny thing, when I was home schooling her, when she was 4, I had called a specialist regarding dyslexia because I had some suspicions then. Funny it has come around to this again. Lesson learned trust your mother's intuition!

I phoned Lina's teacher at school once again yesterday to ask when this assessment is going to take place. There are only 2 weeks left in the school year and I want some result of this investigation! I need to know the way she learns best so that my hubby and I can work together to get her caught up and confident once again!

For the time being, I am going to change my focus with our work with her at night and use methods associated with teaching a dyslexic child and see if anything clicks for her.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

1st Back Tack Reveal!

Now that the back tack guys have posted the first half of the back tack exchange information. I can post here where my lovely fabric came from.

(drum roll please!) It's Sauvage Blue! I figured it out actually so have already enjoyed feeling connected to this women I have never met. Yay!!

And even though, my fabric package that I sent is not up on flicker yet, it will be - so here is my fabric in Singapore with Shades of Pink n Purple.

grrrrr! Japanese Embroidery Book Info

I don't know. I just don't know. I am used to being able to figure things out! Zh. asked me to provide the ISBN# for the Japaneses embroidery book I posted about a few days back. Thing is there is no obvious signs of an ISBN# on this book!

What I can tell you is that the sticker from the store where it was purchased is still intact and a search on the net reveals that the store is still around and kicking (I gather it is a Japanese needlework store). Here is the info for the store.

Yo's Needlework
940 E. Dominguez, Suite O
(Next to the Ramada Inn)
Carson, CA 90746
(213) 515-6473

The only English information I can find about the publisher etc is this:

Printed in Japan (copyright) T. Seto 1981


I know that doesn't seem to help. If anyone is fluent in Japanese and let's me know, I'll scan the characters that appear to be publishing info and maybe it could be translated. I am more than happy to scan anything of interest and pass it along.

Knitter's Roll Up

After I had helped Lina finish her homework, made dinner, cleaned up and got her settled watching TV (which lasted exactly as long as it took for me to pull out the sewing machine and then she was up at the dining room table wanting to make something too!), I spread all of the back tack fabric out on the table and stared at it. I had printed out yesterday's inspiration samples but it didn't make the job any easier. Anyway, I did manage to use 3 of the fabrics together and made a cover for the knitting needle case that is about 16 inces square. It's a start. Now I have to figure out what to do with it.

I quite like how it looks when it is folded in random ways, I can start to imagine how it might look when it is completed. Now I need to decide on which side will be the front side and then figure out whether to quilt it and/or do surface embellishment. But, it is starting to develop its own character. I never quite plan anything out when I make it. I just have a generally idea of what it could be and then I start. Most often the end product looks very little like what I imagine it would when I started.

Posted by Hello

Well this is the "big" part of what I'll be sending to my back tack pal, so I guess after this is complete, it is a downhill run from here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Shark Wallet

Oh, and I HAD to post this. A beaded shark wallet. So cool! If I had the $170 to take the workshop which has already come and gone (May 18 in Florida), I think this guy would have looked perfect in my new fish purse, the kit for which is on its way!

Beaded Shark Wallet Posted by Hello

OK. New mission

OK. I can't completely commit myself here, but the intention is there. For the time being Wednesdays are now being tagged as the day to find something creatively inspirational to place here (and thereby storing it in a convenient place for my future reference).

So today I am looking for something to kick my but in gear for two projects I need to finish. The first is for the Birthday Art dolls LMAO (Land Mail Art Object) for a Nervousness exchange (I am so behind in this) and the second is my back tack project.

So, inspirational stuff for the art dolls.... The first two art dolls I completed (February and March) were made out of frustration for not being able to make a stuffed doll like the ones I received for my birthday (January). So I went with what I know: beads and wire. I figure that it would probably be smart on my part to continue in this manner and make these dolls somewhat of a series. So now I have to get April, May and June done. April needs to be "all about blue". This is what the recipient requested. And she has been such a good person to exchange with I would love to do justice to her character.

So hmmm. Inspiration. When I first typed in "wire bead" in Google "Images" I was presented with this. Imagine my chagrin in finding out I was not original in my wire doll idea. Oh well, I could at lease find some inspiration out there. This site actaully sells kits to make these dolls.

Search words "bead art" produced these wonderful beaded dolls. This is my inspiration for my next doll which I am sure will be full of blue!

So a bit of inspiration for my back tack project. Well I am intrigued by all the fabric I was sent by my other back tack buddy and would like to incorporate at least a selection. So naturally some sort of pieced work would be the best way. I would also like to do some surface embellishment as well. So here are a few things I found today. Of course anything at is inspiration and I go there often just to stare. I found this piece on a site which was detailing the book "Beaded Embellishment"

Beaded Quilt Square

This little piece of beading was on a site advertising workshops for the International Bead Expo.

Beaded Square

And this one I really like. I found it here. I love unidentifiable organic type art. It just has a feeling.

Surface Design Posted by Hello

Makes me laugh

I have wanted to make stuffed creatures so many times and I just can't get in the vibe to do it. Imagine my envy when happening accross this site today thanks to a link on boygirlparty. If you would like to know more about this crazy fellow go to his main site here. Now I know that I am the least motivated stuffy maker in the world, and this guy is like the most amzingly freely chaotic stuffy maker I've seen yet. Stuffies for the sake of stuffies. I like his attitude - read his frequently asked questions, the link is located at the bottom of his gallery.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


My Back Tack buddy has received her fabric. Whoo-hoo. I was beginning to worry. Now I get to settle in, lurk on her blog and see what she creates. It is too cool.

And on another front, a very special artist has finally received her package containing the "For the Love of Gardens" LMAO (through Nervousness). It has been about 4 MONTHS since I sent it to her. Snail mail for sure, I think that snail must have crawled its way on the bottom of the ocean to New Zealand. Yay.

On the creative front, my worst fears have been realized. I lost my spark. Yes I can still create I have been doing little things, but 2 months ago before the madness that is life, work and motherhood over took me (and beat me up a bit) I was exeriencing a glorious period of of being truly creatively alive. I mean.. I dreamt about creative things. I mentioned that I was worried what all this (life stuff) would do to me and last night when I finally had some time to sit down and create, I was stumped. I couldn't even blend coloured pencils correctly. A very unsatisfying experience.

But... all is not lost. I have managed to crawl back on my bike once again and I did finally manage to ride a "Centenial Crescent" - meaning I got a 30 km ride in at lunch today. Usually I manage this earlier in the year but this year has been nuts. But I feel so old and achy. It was an effort. And, yes I know there was a wicked headwind on the way back (Environment Canada says it is gusting to 40km/hr) but still it was soooo very hard. Next time will be easier right? Anyway, I figure the good part is that with all of this new blood flow to my brain (and lungs) that I must have a renewed body and spirit. And all those newly released endorphines must be the reason why I am still optimistic that tonight might be a more productive night than last night.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I have a smug little smile of satisfaction.

I like to surf. I mean I spend WAY to much time looking for things. Sometimes I just come up with a random word just to see what comes up. When you surf as much as I do about things, you exhaust many websites and are forced to get creative.

So, what is my smug smile for? I found my back-tack buddy! The one who sent me the wonderful fabric! You know who you are and now I do to! Now I get to lurk around your blog and find out little fascinating tid bit about you. Do you mind?

Illustration Friday - Digital

So I love Loobylu's June theme for the Month of Softies. June Bug. I might be able to create something for that one. But what do I do with Illustration Friday's theme Digital?
Digital Butterfly Posted by Hello

I went through my scans of drawings (cause I have too much on the go to draw a new one - I know, lazy me) and thought this one might do. It is from one of the first ATC swaps I hosted through Nervousness the theme of the swap being "Butterflies / Metamorphosis Themed ATCs"

Embroidery Book

I thought I'd scan an image of the Japanese (it is printed in Japan) embroidery book that I borrowed from my mom to help with the pincushion. I didn't end up using anything from the book but I like what is inside.

Japanese Embroidery Book Posted by Hello


embroidery motifs Posted by Hello

I love the colours and jacobean style of the work.

Embroidery motif Posted by Hello

Something about these flowered birdies makes me smile.

It's Finished.

Here it is, the finished pincushion. It looks so much better in person, much brighter. Now for notions, I am going to make some shrinkydink pins to put in it. Wee Wonderful's awesome pins are my inspiration. I've been meaning to find an excuse to make some, now I can make some to match the pincushion.

Finished Pincushion Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Second Back Tack Project

OK, So I know the next project has to be a knitting roll. This is because my back tack buddy (the one who gets this stuff) is a knitter. And NO I didn't just give her away. I am fast learning that 80 - 90% of back tackers are knitters! So it just seemed appropriate. So I found my inspiration for the knitting role. It's Sue Spargo's Folk-Art Quilts. I like the Elizabeth Large Embellishment Case and the Samantha Knitting Needle Roll for the fabric and visual appeal. I really like the Odd Cod pincushions. Funny thing is, I ran into them on another site and had already book marked them for future reference. Hopefully I can get started on that on the weekend.

And we're off!

Well, this is the pincushion after last night's work. I have more yellow fern leaves to add. I think it needs some beads. I am thinking about some simple burgundy beaded flowers. Maybe two per section?

Pincushion Posted by Hello

My back tack buddy who sent me the material (you know who you are!) is um... whining about wanting her fabric back. I am assuming she means that she want's it back in it's new state. Well, hmmm, maybe when this is all done we can come to some sort of exchange understanding? I am now getting very curious to see who my buddy is.

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