Friday, October 28, 2005

Family Friday

Here is the heart of our little family, Lina. A few years ago when Lina was leaving the daycare where she had been taken care of since she was 8 months, I made a card for the girls featuring Lina since she was 1 day old. The first 12 of these pictures were on the card. I added a few to bring it closer to what she looks like now. It's a wonderful thing for a mother to see a series of images like this, it make my heart melt and makes me think of all the wonderful times my husband and I had have for the past 7 years. (click the photo to check out some cuteness close up)

In order from top to bottom left to right. Lina, 1 day old; Lina at 3 months wearing a smocked gown that I made for her; Lina at a year on the rocking horse she received from Santa; lina at 14 months, examing her belly button; Lina around 24 months eating corn "on the cob" for the first time; Lina all dolled up as a clown at her 3rd birthday party; Lina at 3.5 trying out her cousins skateboard; Lina holding a worn out frog at a family reunion 3.5 years old; Lina's first fish at 3.5 years; Lina on the carousel at 4 years, Lina at the Toronto Metro Zoo in a crazy cat short set I made her; Lina at 4 with her first dirtbike; Lina at 4.5 on the bus back from Santa's Village with her daycare friends, Lina at 4 getting ready for her ballet recital; Lina at 5 after another ballet recital talking to her daddy on the cell phone; Lina in her PJs just before her 6th birthday.

And here is Lina more recently (6 months ago), she stuck her head in front of a borrowed digital camera while I was taking pictures of some products for a craft show. One of these days I'll get around to posting for Self Portrait Tuesday and you all can see how much we look alike.
Posted by Picasa

Blissful week off, here we come.

Oh yah great news! Nervousness is back! Albeit, the forums only for now, but the Board of Director's are working hard to get everything going. Now I'll be able to send out items that have been missing addresses and names. More relief and stress off my already burdened shoulders.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Inspiration Wednesday

Only a few things today, but I had to record a link to Tatiana Michniewicz's beautiful wearable art. They remind me of the art dolls I've been working on and inspire me to try some pendant like versions myself.

Wearable art

These Christmas icicles are sweet and funky and I think pretty easy to make, I made some similar onse last year but these guys are a little funkier.

Cute Ornaments

And finally, for the princess in all of us (you really have to check out Cooper-Stratton Designs, with her eye popping colours and "jewelry that jumps" its worth the time to check out the whimsical and quirky items Cathy Cooper makes). And yes Sauvageblue (Cindy), I did think of you when I perused the tiara section. Check out the scepters as well! Lina wants to be a princess for Halloween, she might just have to make a Cooper inspired scepter and tiara!

Colourful Tiara Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Break.

I'm tired. And I don't think it is just the lack of sunlight at this time of year. I'm tired. Yes, I woke up late this morning and dragged my ass into work but it's not just that. I am uninspired. I have been getting to this point for the last few months. So, before it manifests physically - it always does (I have fribomyalgia which is controlled through diet and exercise), I've decided to take a break, a pre-emptive break so to speak. My boss just OK'd me taking next week off work. That means that including the weekends, I'll have 9 days where I don't have to think about work.

I am hoping in that time that I get reinspired to complete my backtack project and get into making Christmas gifts. I hope.. I hope...

I hate feeling blah, blah usually means that I am heading into yuck and sometimes yuck means a creative depression is on it's way.

So, I'm not going awol. But I am telling myself it is OK not to post regularly while I take a break. I'm trying to take all the selfheaped pressure from off of my back. I'll be back, renewed, I promise.

Monday, October 24, 2005

It was a horrible experience!

What can I say, this weekend's experience sucked! Let me set the scene for you.

I left the office at noon, went home, packed up and picked up Lina at school. After buying a sub for each of us for dinner, we headed out to Camp Caritou where our Brownie camp was being held. Lina and I swept up, set up our bunks, brought in groceries, set up the Christmas tree and lights (theme of our camp), organized our craft stuff, set up tables and chairs and when we were done all that we sat down and made an angel for the top of the tree. It was really cute too, it was a Brownie angel, complete with brownie uniform and sash along with wings and a halo.

Then we waited. The other leaders arrived first we got them set up and then the girls started arriving. They were so excited! 15 girls aged 7 and 8. They immediately ran to the rooms to choose their bunk and get set up. I stood their smiling, my cheeks hurt I smiled so much. You could here squeals of excitement pouring out of the rooms. Parents were hugging their girls goodbye, siblings were exclaiming how happy they were that their sisters were going to be out of their hair for the weekend. Leaders were reassuring parents that all would be OK.

We started out by going over the house rules and talking about fire drills and the schedule for the weekend. Girls were giggling with each other, picking safety buddies, making up cheers for their duty teams. It was a blast, I was tired just watching all of it. We had cheese and crackers and juice for snacks. And then it happened. The water stopped working. We called the contacts on the camp emergency list and 3 people ending up coming out to try to get things going. The camp committee had worked so hard to raise the money to get a $10,000 UV system for the water so we'd have safe drinking water. Apparently the system had undergone maintenance last Monday and was checked again on Wednesday in anticipation of our camp. The girls were told they couldn't drink the water (it worked intermitantly) and were told not to flush the toilets. We had a large container of bottled water but with 15 girls the toilets started to fill quickly and using the lattrines outside about 150 feet away in the dark and cold was out of the question.

With the announcement that a part was missing from the pump, we had to make a call and we decided it was not safe to keep the girls overnight or for the weekend. We wouldn't have been able to cook the food, wash the dishes or drink the water. We had planned our food and activities around the fact that we were staying in a lodge with drinkable water. We didn't have the equipment or enough bottled water to deal with this development. So the other two leaders started calling parents and asking them to come back and pick up their girls. When we had reached the last parent and they were on their way, we sat the girls down and I told them that their parents were on their way to pick them up and that we would not be able to camp this weekend. The girls were in their PJs. They had moments before been running between rooms, singing songs and playing with their stuffed animals. Girls had been coming to us asking to call their parents before bed and we had put them off until we made our decision because we couldn't have them talk to their parents and then turn around and phone them and ask them to come pick them up.

Right around the part where I said "....we have had to call your parents and their on there way to get you....." I choked up. I started crying, they started crying. We were all in shock. The hurt and disappointment on their faces was excruciating to look at. We love these girls, this is what we do. And we made them cry. It SUCKED! So right after I told them, parents started arriving. We told them all to get packed up and one by one, sad faced, tear stained, quiet little girls started leaving camp. The last of them went home around 10:30pm. I don't ever want to go through that again.

By the time we cleaned up the place and packed up our stuff it was about midnight. Four cars driving out of camp stopping to lock up the gate in the middle of a cold dark night. To make matters even more sucky, I lambasted a racoon on the way home. After I hit it, Lina asked what had happened. I sat there with my head in my hands feeling like I was going to throw up. Lina even with being devasted about the camp tried to comfort me and tell me it was not my fault.

Her friend Chloe stayed with us overnight, I think I finally got them to sleep around 2:30am. Rebecca (one of our leader's girls) came over to play on Saturday. Lina kept asking me, what would we be doing at camp now mom?

It's Monday, it's a new week. The girls have a Halloween party to look forward to this Thursday, but I am sure that we'll have to have a talk with them and let them express their feelings about the camp and what happened.

Yuck and double YUCK!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Brownie Camp and Brownie Crafts

Did I every say how much I hate not having a digital camera? Well here is a SCANNED image of a sock snowman I made last night. The girls will be making these this weekend (our camp theme is Christmas) so I needed an example to show them. Scanning doesn't do anything for this cut little guy. He is stuffed with rice so he sits so well and is wonderful to squeeze and form into weird expressions. I found the instructions here. (check our a picture of ones completed by her kids here)

Sock Snowman

I just joined a Girl Scout Swap Board to get ideas for those little crafts that the girls and Leaders cover their hats with (man, I've seen some women with so many that you can barely see their hat colour underneath!). A few girls on te SWAP board were talking about a SWAP idea to represent a frazzled leader. Here is my take on one. It is made using a recyled pop can tab, some pipe cleaners, google eyes and a safety pin. Oh and if you really want to know about swaps you can start here (but don't get addicted - don't say I didn't warned you - but they are cute little crafts that kids LOVE to do!)

Oh and just so you know SWAPS are Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere or to SWAP - Share With A Pal

Frazzled Leader Swap Posted by Picasa

From the looks of her, my frazzled leader (brownie colours are blue and orange) could be a good start for a halloween pin too!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Inspiration Wednesday - addition

Lina loves cats. I have to note this site too which has quite a few kitties I think she'd love. Posted by Picasa
I finally got around to doing a little snooping on the net last night and tonight. I have been trying to recover from a weekend spent with 150 -180 Girl Guide Leaders in North Bay. It was hard to get a good measure of how many women were there because we were not all in the same room except at dinner. There's something about women when they are away from there husbands and children. Whew! Let's just say I went to bed at 3:00 am Sunday morning and had to get up at 6:30 am for breakfast and festivities. I will be yawning all week.

Not to mention now I am getting ready for the upcoming weekend. Our three Leaders will be taking 16 Brownies (7 and 8 year old girls) to camp for two nights. I am in charge of crafts so I have been planning, shopping and gathering supplies for the past two days.

Most of my surfing has been about finding some cool ideas for Christmas gifts. This last batch was mostly cute felt ideas.

This felt pillow is a creation of Liz Alpert Fay. I really like some of the pillows on her site, no to mention her hooked rugs. I think felt pillow covers would make very nice gifts for the women relatives this year but I don't know if I'll get that ambitious.

Felt Pillow

If you are looking for Christmas Ornament Ideas go no further than Christmas Traditions. There are so many pictures here and so many styles that something is sure to inspire. I liked these quirky chenille santas. Yo've got to click on them to see them close up, there so gangly and weird.

Chenille Santas

I saw these felt ornaments and thought I'd record them here to remind me to think outside the box! I never would have thought of doing that. The ornaments are from

Felt Ornaments

I found this little felt fishing game this morning and it is so cute that I would consider making it for Lina. And maybe even her two little cousins.

Fishing Game

And these cute little guys are supposed to be dog toys, but I think they are cute enough to put into a crib for a little one.

Cat and Dog Toys

Again I wish there was a store nearby that sold Japanese books. There are quite a few of these "Sweet Felt Collection 05" scanned into this site which have many cute pictures of felt toys and decorations.

Sweet Felt Collection Pages

And finally, go check out this site to see the minature needle felted cats and dogs. They are so cute- they break my heart.

Felted Mew Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 14, 2005

Rumaging around

The Raven Posted by Picasa

I love looking back at images of older drawings I have done. It serves to remind me that I can draw if I put my mind to it. I'm in a drawing funk right now. It goes in spurts and farts. I draw intensely for about 6 months or so and then I can't pick up a pencil for a long while. The ideas don't stop, but the will to draw seems to. But with the wonders of technology, I can look back and try to kick start myself again.

The last spurt was pencil crayon. The time before was strictly HB pencil. And then there was the pen and ink period. Before that I was into acrylic. Now what?

Family Friday

This is the side of my family that I have been working on for the past few years. It is my father's paternal line.

From what I can gather, my father's line came to Canada in 1835 from Rathkeale Parish, Limerick, Ireland. I have connected with distant cousins by chance through my research and one of them related a story to me about our shared ancestor having to leave Ireland due to a duel. Sounds romantic eh?

You know how families often name the first born son after the father? Well in my family, my brother would be Joseph the 6th (it may be more but I have not started research back farther in Ireland. OK not strange? Well try this one on for size. A few years ago, I took off and had a weekend to myself travelling around southern Ontario searching for more information about this side of my family that had settled in and around Woodstock, ON. I visited gravestones, found the original family homestead, you know the drill. Anyway, I also lucked out and managed to locate my ancestor's last will and testament. In it I found the most curious fact. Here's a snipit...

"I give and devise to my grandson's named as follows that is to say Joseph son of Connell Evans, Joseph the son of my daughter Jane, Joseph the son of my daughter Charlotte and Joseph the son my daughter Hannah the sum of two hundred dollars each to be paid to them without interest as they severally become the age of twenty one years by my executor hereinafter named but should any of my said grandson's die before receiving his or their portion then his or their portion is to be divided in equal portions between his or their brothers and sisters as they severally become the age of twenty one and all without interest."

Just in case you aren't getting the weird part... Joseph, this first ancestor already had a son named Joseph to whom he left his estate. BUT, every child of his also named one of their sons Joseph! AND he only left money to those grandchildren who were named after HIM! Talk about vain, or something I don't know but bleh! Could you imagine having 5 first cousins with the same name?

So the family in the picture is the son Joseph (the 2nd) who inherited the estate from that first ancestor. Meet Joseph Evans, born 1841 and his wife Elizabeth Cook, born 1842 and their children Joseph James (moustache), Jonathon Vericar, Elizabeth Jane, Ida Matilda, Andrew Irwin, William Blake, Mary Annette and Edna Lorena. Edna would be the little one leaning on her father's knee. This picture would more than likely been taken around 1891. One of the boys is missing, I'm not sure who, I would have to take a look at the census information to see who was living in the household at this time.

On a present note. When my brother's girlfriend had their second child and it was a boy, I begged my brother not to give him the name Joseph. "Enough with the Joseph's - give this poor child his own identity!" I am happy to say he did. Posted by Picasa

Illustration Friday - Cold

Not to be too litteral, but this is coldest picture I have ever drawn. I don't think drawing snow is my forte.

This was the view from a cabin I visited the last time I was up to Whitehorse, Yukon to visit family. Yah, I know, pretty smart to visit a cold climate in the winter eh? Silly Canadian. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2005

Family Friday

Back when my little family consisted of my husband (then we'd been living common-law for 9 years at that point), myself and our three pets, my creative Aunt Pat, known to me as Pantie At (she has a thing for mixing up letters so that my brother became known as Juncle O, instead of Uncle Joe) had a family Christmas tree made for all of our various families. What a wonderfully thoughtful little gift it was. I love that it made me feel all warm and fuzzy to be included in this gift giving even though we were not married at the time and did not have children. Come on now, back then we did get more than a few frowns from our older relatives because we were not married. It is a precious little gift that I have kept all these years.

Family Christmas Tree Posted by Picasa

I have digitaly removed our names from our hats, however as you can see below us are are kids at the time, Theo and Kramer the dogs and Fester the cat in the middle. Their little hats even have little paw prints drawn on them. Such attention to detail. The tree base, heads and hats are made from Fimo and the little stockings are made from felt with glitter glue embellishment. Fester and Kramer are still with us, but Theo died this spring. I think that if we did this again, we'd have to have theo at the top of the tree with a little halo and wings or something. And of course we'd need to add cute little Lina.

I came across the tree last night when I was rumaging around in my craft room for Christmas basket ideas and decided it would be a perfect fit for family Friday. Lina's homework last night was to work on a simple family tree, talk about a coincidence. Easy enough to do considering I can spew out names and dates ad nausium. It might be cool for her to work on something along the family tree line as part of our baskets this year. Hmmm. I'll have to look for some good ideas on that.

Ohh ohh. It just hit me, maybe our Christmas cards to everyone could be little thumbprint family trees. We could draw a Christmas tree and then Lina could put a thumbprint for each family member on a card and draw little hats and decorations and name each person. I like that. As this is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I'll have to see if maybe we could work a little on this.

Yay, crafty long weekend here we come!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It's Going Around...

Something attacked my poor little Lina and she has been down for the last couple of days with bronchitis. I had heard this bout of illness going around was going straight to the lungs as pneumonia or bronchitis, but man does it move fast. She had no other symptoms than the cough and being tired and WHAM!

So I have been home with Lina these last few days letting her rest. We played lots of PS2 (something we hardly ever do) and watched a few movies. She hasn't even complained about being on the couch. Normally when she is sick I get about an hour of her on the couch before she complains she is bored. This time she lay on the couch snuggled up and only emerged for lunch and her doctor's appointment.

So, I have not been paying much attention to my blog, but I did manage to have a pretty good work day (worked at home) yesterday. Today, Lina is back at school (as long as she doesn't develop a fever) and I am back at work.

On the creative side, 2 attempts at my backtack II ideas have been flops. I have this super soft fashion yarn that I tried using with tablet weaving - no go! It got very tangled and I spent most of my time restringing and tying. Then I thought I would crochet a knapsack type of bag. First off I was blown away by how much of that yarn it took to make just the base of the bag, and then I decided that it was too small to carry much. I'll finish it but it'll be a personal project instead of a backtack project. So now I am starting over and considering some piecing/applique work. I don't mind, but I was really excited about the backpack idea.

I have managed to finish up some really long overdue ufo's and I am starting to feel a little weight lifted from my shoulder's. I am working really hard towards getting into my Christmas gifts so that I can get them all done by November 30th. That's my deadline for this year. Oh my, I better get cracking.

What Lina and I have in mind is to make up baskets for all of our female relatives. We are looking for ideas to fill them right now, but a few ideas are: Embroidered tea towels (using the transfers sent to me with my backtack I knitting roll), homemade chilli sauce, homemade cookies, an ornament, crocheted dish clothes, a scarf, handdrawn bookmarks, handmade stationary, cards, tags etc...

Lina has been making her gifts for her relatives since she was one year old (ornaments made from her handprints) so she expects to make her gifts every year. Now all we have to do is write up our list, buy our baskets and decide on how much we can handle with our self imposed deadline. Maybe, if I luck out with my next backtack bag and find a style I like, I can make bags instead of baskets.

Better slow down on the ideas now or I'll still be working on theses gifts next Christmas. Hmmm... this sounds familiar.

Confessions of a craftaholic and a perfectionsit.

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