Friday, July 29, 2005

Definition of Dooced.

Something about reading blogs always makes me feel like I'm coming to these things in an innocent state. I mean, whenever I think I have found a new site and I get all excited because I have found someone new to read about and get to know, I find out millions (OK I am embellishing a bit) have already been there and have been blogging about it for ages.

I am talking about Dooce. I have been reading her blog for a couple of weeks and I am already a fan. I love her openess and frank writing style not to mention her sense of humour. Then I happened to read this about her website. Now I am even more of a fan in a voyeuristic sort of way. Funny what reading about people in a semi-anonymous way does to you eh?

On the way to the weekend

I'm listening to Craftypod's 5th podcast. This one features an interview with bead artist Teresa Sullivan. Someday I'd like to call myself a bead artist.

Teresa has a project in the latest issue of Beadwork. It never ceases to amaze me how small the blog world is. I read that issue with interest, and now I am listening to Sister DG of Craftypod interview her. Amazing.

Today marks the beginning of North Bay's annual Heritage Festival. I'm not sure where the heritage part fits nowadays, however it is a pretty good party. North Bay has a population of 53,000 on a good day and during this weekend it swells to 150,000. People travel from all over to come. We even get Canadian Idol's Kalan Porter on Monday, yay (did that sound a little too sarcastic?).

Hundreds of Harley Davidson enthusiasts are expected to be here this weekend as well. They will be shutting down our downtown for their party. What an odd mix this weekend will be. Hard to envision hard core Harley owners hanging out with the radical bmx and motorcross crew, mix that with a little Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, a petting zoo and some alcohol and this should be a wild weekend. I wonder if anyone told them women can walk down our streets topless and it's perfectly legal? I think it's time I buy a digital camera.

On a crafty note, my first sock monkey went to live with McKenzie, a girl in Lina's daycamp. Lina was supposed to get her a gift for a Christmas in July gift exchange. With us being back so late last weekend, the sock monkey become the ideal gift. Lina has started one of her own and I have a cute green guy that I am working on. Will post pictures soon.

My Bead-it project is well under way but not well enough to be done yet. It has made me think creatively about beads again so that's a good thing. I think I may be able to present a tutorial on this one because I scanned some pretty good pictures along the way.

On a sore butt note, I am recouperating from a 55 km ride Hubby, Jody and I did on Wednesday. I rode 2/3rds of the way back off my seat because I was at the yee-ouch stage where my butt was concerned. My regular bike shorts have worn a little thin and I was tired of blushing at Jody's comments on what colour my underwear is when he was drafting me. So I wore a plain-old pare of spandex excercise shorts. They look similar but they have no diaper padding in the crotch. I don't know how Lance and the boys at the Tour do it. Hubby and I always half jokingly joke about needing to form that "callus" on our butts at the beginning of every season. I'm working on it. We took yesterday off. Today we are going to initiate one of our new found friends. Her and Jody have been hanging out. We are going to do a small 30km ride and so I am lending her my old road-bike and some shoes. The shoes seem to be a point of contention between her and Jody.

For those who may not be into biking, we ride with clipless pedals and the thing about clipless pedals is that you wear special hard soaled shoes which you clip and lock into small pedals. This makes riding great because you not only push down on the pedals but pull up as well. That makes it easier to go faster and to take on steep hills. However, everyone, at least once, forgets when they come to a stop to snap out of the pedals. Hence this warning from a clipless pedal tutorial:

It's almost a given that the first time you forget to twist your foot out of the pedal and fall over will be either at a busy intersection or in front of a group of veteran bicyclists. Try to ease the pain by realizing just about everyone else has experienced it, too. "

Yep. Been there. Done that.

So apparently Jenn is billed as a clutz. She wants to ride, after all she must be noticing how svelt and lean I am becoming with all my riding (yah right!). But her confidence at being able to keep up with us and to keep the bike upright is a little low. In fact she was wondering if I had knee and elbow pads to lend her as well. I hate to tell her that biking on the road is generally a non-contact sport. OK maybe we'll wait to introduce her to our other love, mountain biking.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Inspiration Wednesday

Don't ask me what I was looking for when I found these cute ornaments, I got lost linking somewhere along the line and stopped short when I passed by this site. O yah, that's right! I was looking for poncho pictures becuase I found some impossibly soft mill ends that I wanted to make into a poncho for me. Anyway, I digress. Looky at these cute ornaments. Do you think one could make a few of these a night? They would be really cute hostess gifts at Christmas don't you think? Find the rest the this line of ornaments here at RADKO.

Sweater Ornaments

Oh, and I had to include this for future reference. These look easy to make, I am filing them here for future reference. They are being sold through RADKO too.

Pipe Cleaner Ornaments

Looking for "coolest beading" I happened across Louise Elliott Design. This site sells preprinted fabric to be sewn into dolls of all kinds. They are so wonderfully colourful that I thought I had to save this link. Maybe one day I'll try fabric painting and make my own patterned animals.

Printed toys

When I happened across this blog, I was fascinated by this picture. I have known how to make paper balloons since I was about 7 years old. I have made a garland for a christmas tree from origami paper and I have entertained countless children at restaurants with these balloons but I have never used clear plastic such as this. These make wonderful window ornaments. I think I will make them with Lina sometime.

See through origami

Ah, I love the illustrations on this blog. I really wish I could read japanese so I could credit these artists more appropriately. Spend some time looking around while you are there, these wonderfully whimsical illustrations are so peaceful and innocent.


And then, while searching for felted lace I happened across Felt Faction. WoW! These artists have taken felting to a higher level. There is a lot to see here, very inspiring stuff.

Felted Lace Posted by Picasa

I stopped by a few other places that might be of interest:

Some little felted purses
Read the Daily on Sayaka's Blog. Even if you can't read japanese, you'll love the daily illustrations. She also has some wonderful links you can check out for more goodness.

Side note:

While finishing up this post a man walked into the office and handed me a vase with 6 beautiful red roses. The card only read "Hi!". Thanks Hubby, you always make my day. We had an interesting weekend that caused a lot of discussion between the two of us. People who think that we have a wonderful relationship are right, but if they want to know the secret of our longevity, it is the fact that we work hard at it and are honest with each other. I mean the kind of honesty that is risky in its very nature. Telling someone what is at the core of your being and trusting that they want to hear what you have to say, value what you have to say and will not use what you say against you, is a risk. Finding someone who will not only listen to what you say but will share himself is a rare paring I think.

Hubby said he was thinking this afternoon how he used to always send me flowers. Hence the wonderful odour coming from my desktop.

Did I mention that I have a wonderful man? Passing by the Montreal Salsa club's outdoor dance event while walking back to our truck this weekend, he even admitted to me that he would be willing to take salsa lessons. Gosh, I am a lucky, lucky girl.

All Shiny and Bright... at a price

I've been sand-papered, emery'd, sand-blasted, scraped, rinsed and polished. And although I am sure my teeth look 10 times better than they did when I walked in the dentist's door this morning, I feel abused. I suffer from TMJ, I don't remember the technical words that go along with those letters but basically it means my jaw hurts, allot, at inconvenient times. So now I am sitting here at work and I have a headache, my jaw hurts and my teeth have those sharp little edges on them that cut at my tongue. And although I know better, I sadistically run my tongue back and forth over those newly sandblasted areas, just because it feels so naked and weird. I don't know why the dentist insists on removing the tartar build up behind my front teeth, I personally think my body lets it built up there on purpose for comfort reasons. Like an oyster makes a pearl because of those annoying grains of sand that rub against their innards. Now I have no choice but to get right to work on figuring out which food and substances cause the most tartar build up so I can get back to my normal topography.

Then to make matters worse, my daughter had been complaining about a molar the last few days so I asked if the dentist could do a quick check on that tooth and also to reassure me that the number of loose teeth she has is normal.

Lina, it turns out has EIGHT cavities (EIGHT!!!!) and FIVE loose teeth! Yikes, I am going to faint. She will have to be re-taught to brush her teeth. She has been brushing 2 - 3 times a day but not long enough, nor thoroughly enough. So much for letting her take responsibility for her hygiene, she has been insisting that she is a big girl and closes the bathroom door in order to brush her teeth herself and wash her face, etc. Not going to happen for a while now.

Today's appointment cost me $266.83 (I get 80% of it back from my insurance, but not before this weekend which is a paid holiday for me. Bad bad bad timing). So here is where the headache comes in. Her fillings will cost $1,192.00. Deep breath. And because my insurance has a maximum allowable coverage per family member I will probably be responsible for about $400 of that amount.

OK, no more.

Now I am going to have to help her prepare for two appointments where she will have 4 teeth filled at each. I already told her she has lost her first chance at taking good care of her teeth, now she will have to take conscientious care from here on in because she'll only have one more set. I think I was supposed to get a user's manual when I had a child, was mine lost in the mail?

Well I guess, if I am any example I should be somewhat mollified by the fact that I too, had all my teeth filled as a child and today I flushed with pleasure when the dentist informed me today that I have beautiful teeth (and only four of my adult teeth are filled, I have had only one cavity in the last 10 years). There's hope for Lina yet.

Then again maybe it’s our well water? I'd like to think there was some other excuse other than the real reason this happened. The time when she brushes her teeth usually coincides with me making her lunch, finding clothes for her to wear, feeding the dog, getting dressed, cleaning snow off the truck and warming it up so we don't freeze on the way to school, washing my hair, cleaning the dinner dishes, changing the sheets on the beds, answering the telephone, paying bills online, putting the dog outside, changing the cat litter, trying to find just one tampon so I can make it to the corner store, finding my husband's keys, finding my husband's socks, finding my husband's work book, writing payroll cheques for my husband's employee....

Just think, they want me to floss her teeth every day too. If I had that much time to devote to my OWN hygiene I would think I’d won the lottery. Well it's got to be done; it's a parent's job. I just shudder to think what other task will go unfinished in order to ensure she has perfect teeth. Hmmmm. I guess I could go back to sporting a bushy uni-brow.

Monday, July 25, 2005

St. Eustache Quebec Race

I'm bach this morning from our latest race. This one was in St. Eustache, Quebec at the Autodromo. It's a 5-6 hour trip from home for us and the farthest race for us in our race year.

Hubby did very well. His first race he was running in 1st place and by all accounts would have won the race if he hadn't blown the points and his CB350. He went off the track on the far end and had to wait 3 races before the next schedule bike pick up. He and Jody really had to scramble to get the problem fixed before the last race. Jody bent a valve, again, and was out of racing for the weekend. I think Hubby and he have an idea of what's going on now though and I'm sure they'll both be in top form for Mosport in August.

Hubby finished 3rd in his last race and I'm so proud because that means he earned his first trophy.

One of the other gentlemen who travels down to these races from North Bay crashed in Hubby's first race and we spent much of the rest of the evening making sure his children were taken care of and ensuring he was OK. He doesn't speak or understand french so one of our group went with him in the ambulance to the hospital. His kids packed up his bike and we packed up our site. Then Jody drove his truck and kids to the hospital and we all stayed there for about 6 hours, watching his 7 year old son, 15 year old step-son and his step-son's friend. Billy (the injured racer) really crashed hard on his head and received a major concussion. He was very disoriented and was suffering with short term memory loss for a few hours. When it looked like they were going to release him, we set his kids up in a hotel room, ordered them pizza and headed out to Montreal. None of them spoke French and they had no family or friends in Montreal or Quebec. It was food for thought. I mean traveling to races is one thing, but what would he have done if there was no obvious person to make these arrangements for him and drive him and his children home if need be. He could have broken a leg or been unable to drive at all or even been forced to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. We were happy to help out. We checked on him and the kids on Sunday and he contacted us regularly on the way home so we knew he was OK.

We always have a back up driver when we go to the races. We've learned that lesson.

So Sunday the four of us headed to Montreal for a bit of a look-see. The last time I was in Montreal I was 18 so I'll admit I was basically a tourist. We ended up sitting in a local cafe and people watched while we sipped on beer (gin for me). The weather was beautiful and so were the people. We plan on going back. We didn't arrive home until 1:00 this morning. We all pretty worn out and I'm a burnt piece of toast.

Lina is very upset with us and consequently, we won't be travelling without her for some time. That's fine with me, I end up wishing she were there all the time anyway. I hate her to miss out on new experiences.

Next race is August 19 - 21 at Mosport. That is the biggest event for us this year. It is a vintage motorcycle festival and there are more racers there than at any other event. I am looking forward to it and so is Lina.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sock Monkey

This is a horrible picture (scanner) of my little sock monkey in progress. I ache for a digital camera. She's tiny and fits in my hand. I went out yesterday and picked up some socks that would fit my daughter. I wanted to see how small of a monkey they would make.

Sock Monkey Posted by Picasa

Tonight she gets eyes a mouth and a cute frock.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Inspiration Wednesday

Here are a few things I founf while surfing today that caught my eye. Damn! I am going to have to find the time to make one of those amigurumi dolls. They are so intriguing!

Here a couple of monkey friends I had to include in honour of LoobyLu's Month of Softies. Theses guys are found on this japanese site.

Amigurumi Monkeys

While looking up "handmade" on Japanese sites I found this blog which included what I think are zippered pouches. I love their simplicity and serenity.

Zipper Pouches

And again, on the same search I found these sweet embroidered wrist bands. I really like these.

Embroidered wristband

Here's a cute site called Pristine that I found today with lots of wonderfully simple baby items. These are wonderful eye soothers that I guess you heat somehow and then lie on the ground and put them over your eyes. At least that is what the lady in the photo was doing and I envied her so I guess they work well.

Stuffed eye soother

I've been eyeing pendants made using glass slides in the past couple of months and I was excited by these ones. There are a few more styles offered here.

Glass Pendants

Ususally I would name the site, however, although my laptop is equipped with Beta Japanese, I can search but translation is tricky sometimes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Back Tack Finale

Yay! It arrived, it arrived!

I've been getting quite worried because my back tack pal (whom I can now identify as Acechick) han't received my parcel. But now it has arrived! And I think she might even like it.

I was late in getting it off and so sent it air mail. It sure takes a long time for those darn planes to fly across the sea to England, a boat could have beat it!

Anyway. PHEW! is all I can say.

I really wanted this exchange to be a satisfying one for me and I think it was. I have made a few good blogger friends through it. And made off like a bandit in back tack goodness! Thanks to Sauvage Blue who sent me the lovely fabrics and closures, thanks to Shades of Pink and Purple for liking the fabric and goodies I choose for her and for creating such beautiful items for her backtack pal, thanks to Acechick for being so patient and being appreciative of the little items I sent to her and finally, thanks to the back tack girls for spearheading all of this fun!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Leaves of Change - a start

I was at the North West Company in North Bay at lunch today and I bought 4 quare feet of tobacco coloured deer hide, it is beautiful and describes the feel of the colours that I was dreaming about for my Leaves of Change (Bead It!) project for this month. I am leaning towards a leather journal cover with beaded leaf embellishment. I have not worked through the complete design yet but I think this leather and these deep jewel tone beads will be the start of it.

Tabacco Deer Hide and Sead Beads Posted by Picasa

Loosetooth your sock monkey rules! And internal questions about copyright.

Have you been toying with sock monkey ideas for Loobylu's Month of Softies Challenge. Come on I know you have. I know I have. So while reading my daily's I happened accross this guy. You can to go to Brandy's site to see more pictures. He is just too cute!

Mr. Stripus McGreenley Posted by Picasa

A big thank you to Brandy for her kind permission to allow me to post a picture of Mr. Stripus here on my blog.

I have to insert a note here... When I first posted this picture on my blog I didn't stop to think about what it was I was doing. I mean I post pictures here all the time. I never post any pictures without direct links and credits to the individual websites those pictures belong too. AND I never post any pictures here that I claim to be mine if I have not created the item and taken the photo/scan of it. I have always thought that credit was an important aspect of blogging, after all I have found most of the wonderful links to amazing blogs in that very manner. Then, after posting Mr. Stripus I realized that this picture was from someone's blog. And not just anyone's blog but someone whose blog I read on a regular basis. I removed Mr. Stripus's picture and emailed Brandy and owned up to what I had done and asked her permission to post him here which she graciously gave me. I am greatful for her understanding. However, now I am at a loss. What is the ethical way to become a blog intended to be a resource to myself and possibly others? I wanted to start a blog in order to 1) keep a visual journal of my creative journeys, 2) record interesting finds from the internet and 3) meet other people from various other experience and interest levels. I would be saddened if I slighted someone through callous disregard for their rights but I would also hate to not be able to lead other people through the amazing maze of resources I travel through on the net. After all, if this was a paper journal of the same nature, I would be cutting and pasting pictures I cut from magazines into my journal along with notes about where the pictures came from, I might even share some of that journal with another person. Where is the ethical line here? Anyone? If you are writing a review in a magazine is credit enough or do you always ask permission before including quotes and pictures?

I do know that in the case of Mr. Stripus it felt right to ask Brandy for her permission to use her picture, even if I did give credit to her and provided links back to her site.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I heard an article on CBC Radio the other day regarding podcasts. I'm sure that I overheard something regarding craft podcasts. Today I figured I'd find one. There aren't too many that I've found yet, but I did find CraftyPod. The nice thing about it is the fact that instead of listening to the radio at work. I can listen to someone talk about craft techniques while working. It's kinda like DIY on tape. Check it out. CraftyPod has only four podcasts right now but they are fun to listen to.

She lists three other podcasts besides her own. I will be listening to them tomorrow.

Quilting Stash


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Kit Assembly

Here's what I have been up to these last few days. This fall (October 15th), I will be attending a Guiding retreat in North Bay. I volunteered to help out with the craft cupboard. The craft cupboard, from what I understand, is an informal store where Guiders can buy craft kits to make with their Girl Guide Units. So I had to put together about 5 different kits. I'm pretty proud of the last three because I pushed for them and they are a little different from the traditional GG kits.

The first one is a kit to make simple beaded flower bobby pins. There is an example below.

Beaded Hair Pin Kits

Beaded Hair Pin Example

The second one which is really fun is a kit to make a top. You can see an assembled top in the middle. They spin really well. I saw a top like this in a Martha Stewart magazine and although I couldn't find the picture, I figured out how to make them (not like its hard or anything) and put these kits together last night. I think I will be selling these little kits at my next craft show, you know, for the kids.

Toy Top Kits Posted by Picasa

The last kit is a kit to make metal bookmarks and I haven't assembled that kit yet.

Inspiration Wednesday

Oh its that day again. I missed last week. Mostly because I was working on launching the Bead it! challange. But I kept some links that I happened accross so I could record them here for future reference.

First off, I LOVE these little socklets. I happened accross this pattern through Knee Deep in Fibers. I don't wear flip flop style sandals just because I can't stand the blisters I get between my toes. And these socklets are so cute! You can find the pattern here.


I also love these shorebirds by Laura Balombini. If you go to the gallery page where I originally saw these guys you wont see this picture as I guess the page has been updated, however you can see some of her other work.


I happened accross these Book Bags last week. I forget what it was I was searching for but I found the idea intriguing.

Book Handbag

Searching for beaded boxes for ideas for the Bead it! challenge I found a few boxes like this one. The pictures are not the greatest, however, I really like the geometric designs and the colours. They remind me of asian work. They are called Mary Francis Jewelry boxes.


Looking for a pattern for a round knitted ball I happened accross these cute catnip cat toys and had to keep the link. I don't know if my cat will appreciate playing with knitted peas in the pod, but I think they would be quite the conversation piece.

Cat Toys

Knitting as art? Yes I know, I really think it is an art form. But Felieke van der Leest does it with humour. Check our her site. There is a LOT of knitting humour to see here.

Asking Sweater

These knitted chickens are also by Felieke van der Leest. I had to include them here just in case anyone had ever wondered if knitting a rubber chicken was possible.


Leeza Silverman is an Australian beadwear designer. I appreciate her work but I love the colours she used in this piece.

Leeza Silverman Posted by Picasa

And if you are into browsing through sites to find little tidbits, check out the site Art for Housewives. A good jumping point for a lot of different crafty things.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

100 things about me.

Well, I've seen these posts on other blogs and kinda dismissed them. But, you know, Lowly Scribe says that "I think I read in the fine print somewhere that the blog Gods come and shut you down if you don't do one yourself eventually". So I am bowing to the powers that be. Plus, the last few that I read made me wonder what I'd have to say about myself. In fact I wonder if there are 100 things to say about me. It may be a stretch. Here goes.

1. Riarug - what is it? Well my middle name is Moria (pronounced Mariah) and I had very shaggy hair as a kid. The kind that matched the rya rug that used to lie on my parents living room (I grew up in the 70s). My dad used to call me ria rug and I was never sure whether it started because of my middle name or whether it was because of my hair. I like to think its both - My “Ria rug”.

2. My name. I was named for an old girlfriend of my dad's. She was never billed as such, but I have my suspicions that if she wasn't - he wanted her to be. He says he just liked the name. Hmmm. Really. My middle name. I was named for the song "They Call the Winds Moria". I looked it up on an atlas once. There is actually a wind called Moria in Mexico. In Manitoba, they actually call the ugly fish, known here as Ling or burbot, Mariah. Lucky me.

3. I was born in Whitehorse, Yukon and prefer cold weather to hot.

4. I have a half brother, whom I have never met, that my mom was forced to give up when she was 18.

5. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship and despite the trend that prevails today, I can honestly see us growing old together.

6. My husband is the only man I have ever slept with.

7. I went to University for Photography but didn't complete it due to a creative depression.

8. I went back to college months later and graduated with a 4.0 grad average in Small Business Management.

9. I once owned a Cockatoo. Phew - It was a hard to choice to make, boyfriend (at the time) or parrot. Boyfriend won, but yuk it was a horrible feeling to give the parrot away.

10. I used to have pet rats and have passed to love on to my niece who just got her first rat a week ago.

11. I always wanted to be an architect.

12. I secretly wish to be one of those girls people stop and stare at when you walk by. Don't we all?

13. I think constantly, I lie awake at night and think about creating - to the point of seeing each bead being sewn onto a piece.

14. I hardly ever say what I am thinking for fear that I'll be misunderstood or that what I say will somehow be inappropriate. Hence, I laugh a lot inside at the oddness of people and the irony of existence.

15. I have suffered from severe panic attacks in the past. My husband has suffered through them with me and supported me. I haven't had one since I stopped taking The Pill. Hmmm.

16. I worked for my father for 5 years and had a better relationship, although it was very stressful, with him during that time than I had most of my life.

17. As a child, I spent summers at a family cottage and lived like a wild child most days, swimming, canoeing, building forts, playing with leeches, crayfish, frogs, minnows and snakes, all with little or no adult supervision.

18. I wish I could give my daughter that same opportunity but am saddened that I take my parental responsibilities WAY to seriously and because of that she will have a lessor appreciation of nature and of herself.

19. I love to eat bananas dipped in Miracle Whip.

20. I have not been able to drink milk since my daughter was born. No ice cream either.

21. My husband and I considered moving to the Dominican Republic and opening up our own restaurant. In fact, I will be surprised if at some point in our life we don’t attempt a operate a restaurant at least once.

22. I have read Piers Anthony's Xanth novels so many times I practically have them memorized.

23. I spent my teenage years mostly in my bedroom drawing and playing classical guitar.

24. I don't like playing my guitar when other people are around because it is for me. I prefer to play guitar at 5:0o in the morning on the dock at the cottage when the loons are crying out on the water and the mist is rising from the lake.

25. I spend time on the internet when I should be working.

26. I don't like working with other women. I hate gossip and I dislike how women cut each other down. Women should support each other in their endeavours.

27. "Piecework" is my favourite magazine because I covet historical textile research.

28. I miss photography and I haven't photographed anything other than children since I left university, because it hurts too much.

29. I doodle trees and rocks all the time and can sketch a northern Ontario landscape from memory.

30. I study genealogy and have found and visited the grave of my first paternal ancestor in Canada.

31. If I won a lot of money I would go back to school and learn to blow glass, weave and make jewellery. Just for the love of creating.

32. I hate useless things and would rather embroider a beautiful pot holder than a sculpture that collects dust.

33. I sing when I am in the car and encourage my daughter to sing at all times and not to be ashamed to express herself with her body or voice.

34. I don't who god is or what roll he plays in my life.

35. I believe there must be other life somewhere out there and that it has figured out how to be better at living in harmony with each other than we have.

36. I have toyed with the idea in the past of joining the army. You know - to see the world.

37. I wish I could speak many languages.

38. I like math. I really like math.

39. I can compose my own music on the piano, but have never taken lessons.

40. I like medieval music, clothing, and art.

41. I love riding my bicycle.

42. I love that my husband knows just what to buy me for Christmas and that every present has been so important to me.

43. I want to design and sew my own clothes.

44. I can't whistle. People usually laugh at me when I try.

45. I prefer to paint with acrylics over water colour and oil. I prefer to draw using pen and ink than any other medium.

46. I love black and white photography.

47. I love antiques and history.

48. I believe in faeries and encourage my daughter to believe too.

49. I used to have a velour sweater I snuggled with as a child and I called it my suvvy.

50. From time to time I have dreams of all of my teeth falling out.

51. I love to travel.

52. I think I am truly blessed to have my daughter.

53. I have way too much craft stuff but can't bear to part with any of it.

54. I am in constant pain from Fibromyalgia and am pleased with the fact that I didn't think of writing it on the list until more than halfway down.

55. I am nervous about my daughter growing up as an only child.

56. I love being nude. If people wouldn't stare or wonder at my sanity, I would be nude as often as possible.

57. I once saw a ghost of a little girl.

58. I like old coins.

59. I once let an albino python curl all around me and I petted her head and enjoyed that I wasn't afraid of it at all.

60. I love the smell of hay and the sounds of creaking wood in old barns.

61. I prefer large dogs such as Irish Wolfhounds and Great Danes.

62. I prefer sun rises to sun sets.

63. I am a morning person and love getting up and working when no one else is awake.

64. I love that people love to visit us and that they like to eat the food we make.

65. I wish I could be a green thumb like my mom.

66. One day I would like to publish a "How-To" book.

67. The part of my job I like best is formatting. I take people's reports and publications and make them look good!

68. I hate accounting, which is mostly what my job is all about.

69. I never wanted to be the disciplinarian in my household because my father was severe and I hated it, but that is the role I am stuck playing. Hence my husband and daughter half jokingly nicknamed me "the warden".

70. I am covered with freckles, I used to hate it but now I love it!

71. I like being strange.

72. I love to swim and would spend the day in water if I could.

73. I've been dying my hair red.

74. I listen to CBC radio every day, grew up listening to it and can't take listening to garbage radio stations which play music mindlessly.

75. I love the old Doctor Who.

76. I once took a political science class in university and didn't understand any of it. And that fact makes me feel good.

77. When I was a teenager, I used to hang out at the local Indian Friendship Centre, where I played badminton, went to Pow Wows and learned to do and love beadwork.

78. I used to have a serious addiction to chocolate and would go through all my cupboards looking for anything chocolate including unsweetened chocolate baking squares. I have given up chocolate and rarely eat it because I realized that it caused mood swings.

79. I want to learn to weld.

80. I love wind chimes.

81. I never thought I could teach but now I consider taking on that role.

82. I think heaven is skipping rocks across the water with my daughter.

83. I use to hide behind my mother's legs when I was a child, but now I can address a crowd of hundreds.

84. I honestly feel that looking good in a bikini has less to do with your body than your confidence.

85. I think confidence has less to do with feeling self-assured and able to perform than it does with the realization that everyone else is feeling just as self-conscience and worried about their abilities as you are. Once you get that knowledge into your head it's easier to dismiss your anxiety and get on to enjoying the rewards that confidence brings.

86. I love fires.

87. I like my hands even though they are not beautiful. I hate my feet because they are not beautiful.

88. My brother and I used to fight horribly. In fact I once stuck a fork in his back. We lived in a pretty mixed up household. Its polar emotions could be illustrated in this example: Once while we were fighting - meaning me trying to scratch his eyes out in angry frustration, tears rolling down my cheeks. He, being 3 1/2 years older, would normally put his hand on my head or chest so I couldn't reach him. He once stopped fighting and stared at me saying quietly "do you ever have beautiful eyes when you cry" and then resumed bugging the crap out of me.

89. When I snuggle with my daughter, it makes me feel closer to my mother.

90. I went to school in French for 5 years and don't feel comfortable speaking French even though I made good grades.

91. I am proud that I was able to buy our home myself, with my own income.

92. I am not happy in my job.

93. I have green eyes.

94. I have a bad temper, but I haven't lost it in years.

95. I don't like the colour red or yellow.

96. I wish I could speak Latin and used to love making and breaking codes as a child.

97. My dream life would be to be completely self sufficient. Not connected to the grid, make our own energy, clothing, grow our own food. I envy the Amish and Mennonites and if my husband was amendable, I could be convinced to convert.

98. I prefer to save rather than spend.

99. I will have fulfilled a lifetime goal when I am a self employed artist.

100. I don't know who I am, but I see little kernels of someone who might be me when I re-read this journal.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Beating the Heat

So its hot, very hot. Today Environment Canada figures that we will see temperatures of 34 degrees Celcius. That's without the Humidex reading. Right now (at 10:35am) it is 28 degrees and the Humidex says it is 36 degrees. It's going to be murder out there at the peak of the day. And if you think that's hot. Its going to be 37 in Moosonee. Moosonee! That's 98.6 degrees F for those in th US. If you are not from Canada, check it out on a map. It's going to be bad. I mean Moosonee sometimes see snow in June. Their average temperature for June is 21 degrees, these guys are so remote that you have to fly into their community, there are no roads into there.

And yesterday it was 31 degrees. And at 1:30 p.m. at the height of it, my husband, our friend Jody and I got on our bikes (pedal bikes - not motorcycles) and rode about 42 km from Callander to Nipissing. MAN WAS IT HOT! Jody and I were noticing that even with it so hot you could feel the temperature rise a few degrees more when you neared the new asphalt on the highway. I think the temperature in the air might have been 31 but the temperature on the highway had to be 40. Needless to say I was quite happy to get home and stand underneath the hose for a good soak.

And tonight, we plan to go out again. What's up with that? Well Jody and I both want to lose a few pounds (nothing like sweating it out eh?) and hubby and I have not ridden together for years, it's just time. Be nice if the weather could cooperate though. With temperatures expected to be this hot all week, this would be the perfect week to rent a cottage on a lake somewhere and just melt on a dock and eat watermelon.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

French Beaded Flower Candle Screen Project

I scanned in a work in progress to kick my butt in gear. I really need to finish this. Especially since it is for my mother. It is a candle screen and a pillar candle fits inside of it. I put paper inside of it to scan it here but it is quite striking when a candle is burning inside. Not the greatest engineering feat for me though. I realized after I had spent so much time on it that if you don't burn a waxless candle then the melted wax will pool up in the screen and will be a bitch to get out. My mom will have to be careful with it. It's still pretty enough and may be the inspiration for future work.

Candle Screen Detail

Here is the whole unfinished screen. I need to figure out how the finish the top and fill in a few flowers on the bottom.

Candle Screen Posted by Picasa

Shrink Art Pins

I'm late with sending out my Back-Tack items due to financial constraints. So, I rolled change last night. I hate that these last few months have been pay to pay. But at least the debt is slowly receding into the background. Apparently at this age we are supposed to be in debt. Who the hell comes up with those statistics? If there is one piece of advice I could give to a new couple starting out I would say PAY CASH and if you don't have the cash YOU DON'T NEED IT!

Oh well after 18 years together, a 6 year old daughter, a house, 2 cars, 8 motorcycles (3 are Lina's), 2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 fish, a business and a career we really aren't doing that bad. That's one thing that being together with someone that long does, it teaches you patience.

So, grrr, I'm over it. Here are a few shrink art bumblebees I am sending out with my backtack parcel. I am picking up the notions today at lunch and will try to get a picture somehow to post here and send to the gals at back-tack.

Shrink art pins Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

And the Carrier Comes Again!

And! The mail carrier brought me the pattern and purse frame for the fish purse I ordered too! Now I know how everyone else feels about mail goodness! And the frame is huge. This fish purse is supposed to have a 10 inch mouth! Holy crap! (juju said... You mean "Holy Carp", don't you? - ha ha very funny juju!!) It could swallow my arm. Lina and I figure we have to make a cute minnow themed change purse. Wouldn't people gawk to see a prudish women walking down the street with a huge fish purse stop to pull out a minnow from its gullet?

Fish Purse Posted by Picasa

Now if I can wait til payday (no choice there!) I can start browsing for fabric for this funny guy.

The Mail Carrier Cometh!

My husband phoned me at work yesterday to tell me I had received a parcel. When he describe the contents to me I just knew it was from my Back-Tack pal. Somehow creating for my other pal I had never quite realised that I too would be receiving something. And what a wonderful pacakge it was. Lots of goodness. Including the remaining back-tack fabric that my pal didn't use. How thoughtful! First off, a pattern for a cute day dress and some transfers for owls-of-the-week! Oooooo. Not to mention Kindersurprise which is a family favourite. Lina saw the box first when we got home and she went straight for it. "Mom did you know someone sent you a Kindersurprise?" Didn't even glance at the other stuff. Sheeesh - I might have to share.


This guy (Sunday) is my favourite I think. He looks as frazzled as I feel half the time. I think he would suit some tea towels, or a cute skirt for Lina or maybe a T-shirt for me?


Then a lovely pouch filled with more goodness. Embroidery flosses and threads and beautiful ribbons!


And then this. Well, I have to say, I receive very few handmade gifts, even though 80 percent of the gifts I give are handmade. And, well I am quite speachless. I only hope that people who receive handmade gifts from me, could only appreciate them as much as I do this. It is truly a gift. Thank you so much back-tack pal (who I now know is Hannah from Huffmania) for you did a beautiful job- it will blissfully store my crochet hooks, cable holders and knitting needles.

Back-Tack4 Posted by Picasa

And coincidentally, the knitting roll that I made used the same fabric in pink. Wonderful!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bead It!

I have a problem. I can't be satisfied with not only attempting to complete everyone else's monthly challanges, but I have to start my own as well. As if I am not busy enough.

So, this is a challenge for me, but I would welcome anyone else who would like to contribute.


Make a bead, or something from beads, something incorporating beads, maybe something with bead embellishment which uses a monthly theme as its inspiration. It could be jewellery, surface design, a purse, a stuffy, a beaded object. Whatever. The object itself is your choice.

Use any technique: french beading, embroidery, stringing, loomwork, bead crochet/knitting, wirework... anything.

Use sequins, wooden beads, glass beads, paper beads. Apparently..."A bead is a small, decorative object that is pierced for threading or stringing. (" So the possibilities are endless.

Anyone who would like to submit their creations, email me at with a link to your project and I'll post the links under the Bead-it button.

If I am at all unclear, please, ask away!

The monthly theme will be located above the Bead-it Button. Feel free to copy the button on your blog and link back here if you wish.

Image hosted by

July's theme is "Leaves of Change" - interpret it how you wish.

(The background for the Bead-It button is part of a french beaded wreath I completed for a craftshow last year.)

Garbage Can Turkey

Heard of it? No? Well I can honestly say, I wonder whether I will ever, I mean EVER, cook turkey in an oven again.

We had company all weekend. People from town. Meaning friends came over who live in town and basically minus a few moments here and there, stayed over for the weekend. Hubby and I figure we should just start a resort. I love company - makes life interesting.

So Friday, which is Canada Day and a national holiday, we were all sitting around having a few drinks and someone brought up the idea of having garbage can turkey (here are instructions and pictures to give you an idea - these are not mine, I still need to get a digital camera). I'd heard of it and a few of the guys had had it over at another friends house. So Saturday, Hubby goes and buys a steel garbage can and pulled a frozen 14 lb turkey out of our freezer and threw it into the sink with some water to start the thaw. We have a fire ban here and I had issues with starting a fire in our pit. Especially since the grass all around the fire pit is tender dry and crunches under foot. Garbage wood has been seasoning in the fire pit litterally for years, since we haven't ever really made use of it. So to clean it out for the turkey I had to burn it. Only took one piece of newspaper to get it lit. I had the hose out and sprayed down the grass very thoroughly. It was a bit amusing since my husband is a volunteer fire fighter and I had visions of a neighbour calling the department on us and Hubby having to answer to him why he was burning. Although, we were technically cooking and that is allowed. Anyway...

First we put the turkey into our smoker with some mesquite wood chips while we were starting the charcoal. You use the lid of the can (and we also used an ash bucket from the fireplace to start more) to start the charcoal. You spread about 3 feet square of heavy duty tinfoil onto the ground and hammer a 3 to 4 foot stake in the middle of the foil into the ground. Then you wrap the stake in tin foil. If the stake is thin people suggest that you put a pop can or a ball of foil on top so the turkey doesn't slid down the spike when it is cooked. Then we took the turkey out of the smoker and wrapped the legs in tin foil so they wouldn't burn. Then we tied up the wings and slid the turkey through the cavity, where you normally put the stuffing, down onto the stake. It actually comes to rest on the breast bone. Then we put a can of already smoking mesquite wood chips onto the ground underneath the turkey breast. The turkey was about 8 inches above the tinfoil covered ground.

Next we lowered the garbage can (which we had already burnt the interior and exterior to get rid of the galvanizing) onto the turkey. We had already punched a few holes in the top with a nail to let some of the heat escape. Then we piled up the charcoal around the sides as high as possible (about 6 inches) and that was it. 1 1/2 hours later (yes I said it 1 and 1/2 hours later) we lifted the can up and there was an amazingly perfectly browned turkey there. We lifted it off and it came easily, and I put in into a roasting pan and set it aside for about 20 minutes to let it rest. It was extremely hot. We served it with wonderful french fries and creamy coleslaw and we were blown away by the flavour, the juiciness and the fact that it was the most perfectly done turkey I had ever seen. And the flavour! My mouth is watering still. We fed 10 on Saturday and another 6 people on Sunday morning (I told you we had guests all weekend). Sunday morning we served toasted turkey and tomato sandwiches. Yum. One fourteen pound turkey, 10 pounds of potatoes, 1 head of cabbage, 1 tomato and 1 entire loaf of bread fed 16 people to the point of exploding. Pure heaven.

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