Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I was on TV....

Am I famous now? A short clip that the tv station put on YouTube. I wave my hands around a lot!

Box of Yum

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Drivers Licence Test...

The Ontario Driving Testers have been on strike since August. There is a possibility that the strike may be over soon. There is a tentative agreement and there will be a vote on December 31st.
There are 200,000 people waiting for tests.
More time to practice, I guess.
Just keep driving....

"Hey Mr Grumpy Gills
You know what you gotta do when life gets you down?
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming swimming swimming
What do we do? we swim, swim, swim
OH HO HO How I love to swim
When you WAAAAAANNTTT to swim you want to swim..."

Shared Abundance

Monday, December 21, 2009


My favorite picture of our backyard meadow, taken several years ago.

Happy Solstice!

I am indeed alive and kickin'.

I have been selective about sharing aspects of my life, out of concern for privacy, concern for the tedium of reading about the illnesses or difficulties of others. I long to present an untroubled facade, so when that seems impossible, I retreat. Yet "troubles shared are troubles halved", isn't that how the old saying goes?

I bless our health care system, flawed though it may be, that allowed So to have some very complex tests done. We don't have all the answers but she is 1/ out of the hospital and 2/ able to work, for which we are very grateful.

The search for the right medication to correct my brain chemistry imbalance continues...the latest one makes my hands shake, whenever I am at the torch and working on super precise placement of a dot or stringer...The more precise I tried to be the worse the tremor would become. My Dr called it an "intention tremor". Incredibly frustrating! Since it wasn't particularly helping anyhow, we are phasing that one out.

I deeply admire Heather B. Armstrong's openness in discussing her depression and how she handled it. She's a role model for positive thinking, great blogging, and most important, creative use of swearing.

We had a lovely vacation on Fhloston Paradise. It went something like this:
Breakfast, rest, lunch, nap, snacks, hot tub, dinner, sleep. With the odd onshore excursion and swim thrown in, it was very restful. We met some really nice women from Florida and had dinner with them a few times, which was really quite fun.
And before I could turn around, it's the solstice. I'm amazed that the turn of the year is here so quickly. It doesn't feel wintery yet, probably because we've had very little snow yet (unlike in these pictures). We had roses and pansies and stocks blooming until well into December.
Tonight we will put out figs and hazlenuts and apples for the animals, and light candles, and celebrate light. Love to you all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Veronicas Happy Feet

Because beautiful socks can make your entire day brighter!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dream Of A Vintage Clothing Lover

I have recurring dreams of finding an amazing yard sale or a great thrift store with so much good stuff I can't carry it all, and I keep finding more, and more and there's no one else shopping, and it's such a great and vivid dream. But then I wake up.
(Sometimes my unconscious mind gets mixed up and I'm on the beach finding really great stuff, and once I dreamed that I fell into an attic full of vintage clothing which was somehow under a path in the park(?)
On Friday I decided on a whim to go to a thrift I hadn't been to in a while. I had some time to kill. In the lingerie aisle I found the most exquisite, glorious 1930's FRENCH lingerie...first a slip, then a bedjacket, and another slip, and another bedjacket, then a nightgown, and then two MORE nightgowns each with a matching bedjacket.

The softest, glossiest bias-cut silk.
Peach, aqua, pale blue, candlelight ivory.
Most of the seams hand sewn.
Incredible, lush, lavish cream and ecru lace, with the raised cordonnets so popular in the 30's.
Amazing little details, like appliqued flowers, and monograms, and tiny hand sewn pintucks and shirring.
Most of the pieces look as though they were never worn.

There was squealing, and grinning! Not quite as much stuff as I find in those dreams, but real stuff is definitely more fun than dream stuff!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Still Life With Thrift Store Owls

Selected and arranged by Mom and I, at the thrift, this afternoon. Photo courtesy of my phone. I particularly like the gargoyle-owl at the bottom left. A fine collection, preserved here for posterity.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Carrying On

I'm finding that even in times of stress I'm managing to carry on with the little things. Today I cleared out my web storage (1600 files pared down to just over 200), and added new items to my ebay and etsy stores, and organized linens and hankies, and sorted the studio tour signs, and put beads away in their little storage boxes. Answered emails, sorted a few papers, listened to the CBC all day to distract the chatter in my mind.

My patient is sleeping well, and taking her meds, and resting and eating, though I am always going "Mangia, mangia!" She lost 10 pounds in about 10 days. She needs steaks and avacados and ice cream and home made soup.

Tomorrow, I'll water the plants and do laundry and sweep the studio and marvel at the gradual, wonderful possibility of normalcy.

Simple comfort: Valentine cuddles up to a disgusting but much loved catnip toy, affectionately known as "Purple Sausage".

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beads of Courage

I'm sending off these beads to Beads of Courage, a great organization and a great concept.
This is making me happy at this moment!


I've been struggling with the inability to plan with any certainty, with sudden shifts in situations, with priorities in constant flux.
The uncertainty is stressful and best summed up by "I just wish I knew what's going to happen, then I wouldn't be so anxious".
And I realized that we never know what's going to happen, that's a constant of our lives and that any assumptions we have to the contrary are simply illusions. This was the best lesson on staying in the moment I've ever had.
I can handle the next five minutes, I think.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grouchy Old Lady

Yes, I admit it, I have become that grumpy old lady. Hummph. I don't care. In my defense, I offer the following points:

  1. If you say "Trick or Treat" in a baritone voice, you should not be trick or treating.
  2. If you had to shave before you put your costume on, you should not be trick or treating.
  3. If you have your drivers license, you should not be trick or treating.
  4. If you are an average of 8" taller than I am, you should get a job and buy your own goddamned candy.
  5. If my lights are out and I don't answer the door, go home already and let me eat the leftover treats in peace. Big dumb boobs.

    Ahh, that feels better. To refresh you after that rantlette, here are some new marble pictures. First plunged floral marble:

And another vortex. I CAN'T get these to look as cool in my photos as they really are, such a cool optical illusion of depth.

Blessed Samhain and All Souls Eve, Happy Dia de los Muertos tomorrow! I think the souls of all our loved ones gather close on these short days and long nights, to protect us with their love, and to be reminded that they are not forgotten.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I am a little brain challenged today, so here is a picture of an Egyptian faience critter. Craptacular photo taken by me, in great stealth, at the Ashmolean Museum in Bath, 2005.
Don't you just want to feel it? I do.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where I Want To Go To School

I mean really, who wouldn't want to go here!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Valentine and the Toy Tiger

"Why hello, darling, I have not seen you here before. Can I perhaps buy you a Catnip Cocktail??"
"How about if I nibble slightly on your tail?"
" Or whisper a naughty something in your ear?"
"Can't even get a purr out of him, I am really not accustomed to being ignored this way, Hmmmph!"
* No toy tigers were harmed during the making of this documentary*

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


"Bird poop"is what I thought as I went to move a chair on the deck...but I took a closer look ...

Not a rare moth but the first time I've ever seen one, that I"m aware of, for it's such a clever disguise that I could have overlooked many over the years. It's Wood Nymph moth, or Pearly Wood Nymph (thanks to Bug Guide). The little woolly legs were quite endearing, like little mothy legwarmers. What amazing camouflage!
There's a lesson here, perhaps, all too often human stuff actually is poop, disguised as something pretty.
I amazes me that most moths and many butterflies are fine with being examined, if I move slowly, they are quite content. Fortunately I don't have any desire to examine bees, or wasps, or spiders...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Tired but hopeful, I won't attempt a detailed update, I know you understand.

Last month I made these vessels, and I love how they turned out. There's something so tranquil and serene about them, especially the winged vessels. To me they symbolize that we can "rise above", that at any moment we can choose to lift ourselves up and look at things from another perspective. It sounds so easy but it's very, very difficult to put into practice. Perhaps wearing one of these will help! And remember you can always shout "Serenity now!"

I've been playing a bit with marble making in the last few days. I've been making miniature paperweights which are really just marbles minus the final step of breaking off the punty and firepolishing. They are quite fun to make though that final firepolishing always has the extra excitement of knowing that the marble can roll out of the marble mold and roll merrily around the table, onto my lap, or across the floor. No major disasters so far. There are "marble holding fingers" which would eliminate this excitement, but they're pricey for what is essentially a glorified pickle grabber!

Bubbly pokey marble:

Aquariums and a Voodoo Fossil marble:
Some flowers too:
I was blessed with a very pleasant birthday and was quite spoiled with surprises, including Japanese lessons! This wonderful package arrived from my friend Carol who always incorporates such whimsy and imagination into everything she does. Thank you Carol!

Inside was an amazing steel cat with purple stripes!
Thanksgiving was great too, though the turkey went into the oven late, and our crotchety oven is unpredictable to begin with. The table looked lovely and the food was yum!
It's truly fall, though there are still roses and dahlias blooming, the light and air and the texture of the days are changing into a moodier atmosphere. The veils between the worlds become thin at this time of year. Echoes of our pagan past.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The 401

As part of today's driving lesson I drove for the first time on the 401, our busiest freeway. Frankly, as busy as it is, I prefer it to driving in the city, where there are bicycles and dogs and entire preschools full of preschoolers tied to strings for their walk and grandmas, and manic squirrels, and people stopped for no reason in the middle of the road.
The freeway was a breeze compared to all that!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finding The Calm

Some days are just days for sorting buttons, and today was the perfect sort buttons. This task permits my mind to wander peacefully, requires little effort or concentration, yet allows the virtuous knowledge that I am accomplishing something I would hate doing if it wasn't quite the right sort of day.
The Oasis show was rather quiet. Bead buyers are feeling the pinch of the economy just like everyone else and are being very cautious about what they are buying. I know I am! I resisted several temptations myself, and bought only a bit of glass and a new small masher to replace the one I melted. So rested all weekend and is feeling better, which really is one of the most important things in my world. It was quiet enough at the show that I really didn't need extra help, so that worked out quite well.
I really have no idea why I didn't think to take picture of the show this year. Brain fart?
We had drinks on Saturday night with Terri and Anne at the Library Bar at the Royal York Hotel. I think there must be a law that all older hotels have at least one cozy, dark and comfortable bar with deep cushy chairs and was the perfect place to visit and get caught up. We were not staying there (I wish!) but what a beautiful, grand old hotel.
I am also most grateful to Terri and Anne for some great advice...about display and self-promotion and marketing and about being proud of my work. Thank you both, love you!
On Monday I popped into a leather shop on King Street West...holy leather lover's heaven! I love the scent of leather and walking into this shop had me inhaling the scent of soft leather coats and garments and piles of skins. I wanted a larger piece of stingray leather to texture PMC, but found it to be beyond my current budget. However the staff showed me a lot of wonderful things and I bought a piece of ostrich leather which will be a pleasure to work with. It has a lot of different textures within the one piece.
So was too tired for our planned trip to the Apple Store, but we did go to Anthropologie. Somehow I just wasn't in the mood to shop, which has probably never happened before in the history of my life. They were sold out of the scarf I liked online, and didn't have my size in the one pair of pants I was interested in, so I wandered out empty handed, which is certainly more economical, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Hello! I haven't posted much lately, I know. I have been working hard though, making beads and vessels and playing with enamel, and ebaying, and taking driving lessons.
It's always hard to know how "personal" a blog should be. How much of my thoughts and feelings should I share? Should I blog about difficulties in my life, as well as about good things? It's a difficult balance to achieve.
We've both had a difficult summer health-wise. We are doing our very best to remain optimistic, and love each other deeply, and to enjoy, and to live in the moment.
And in the meantime there are jobs to be done, and all the everyday details of life. The trivia, the little crap that I worry about needlessly. Everything is thrown into it's proper perspective when faced with the prospect of loss.

Last weekend was the local "Art in the Park" show. I have never done this show before though we have attended it to look around a few times. It has a nice mix of artists and artisans. The day was a beautiful, warm, sunny Ontario late-summer day, and there is nothing more pleasant than a late-summer day here! People were out in full force to enjoy it! Sales were okay, not spectacular, but in these days every sale is an appreciated sale. Plus, we handed out a huge number of flyers for the upcoming artist's studio tour. I wasn't told until almost the end of the show that "advertising" was a no-no. Oops. I honestly had no idea. I was sorry to have broken a rule but glad I wasn't told until late in the day!!
We had lots of nice people stop by and lots of little ones who designed their own bracelets from the kidbeads bowl. It's quite fun to watch them choose. Some take forever, some pick the first three they see. Some of the color combos are...innovative!
I'm still loving our little tent. Here is my little set-up:

This weekend (if the gods are willing) I'll be selling at the Bead Oasis show in Toronto. I am so glad we are back in the regular space...last years space was such a bad choice for both the sellers and the buyers. This year we are again just steps from outside and nice and easy for our beloved customers to find us. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and eating some delicious Indian food.
Another thing I'm looking forward to is the day when all the earth-moving machines go away! Yes, there is a constant rumble, thump and beep-beep-beep right outside. Not only are our neighbours expanding their garage into a 3-bay extravaganza, the sewer pipes on our street are being replaced. I long for a bubble of silence! When they shut down for the day even the trees breath a sigh of relief.

Friday, August 28, 2009


We are back to the lake tonight, THANK GOODNESS, as this week has been filled with doctor appointments and driving lessons and organizing details and phone calls and emails and papers, and being puzzled about things, and waiting for long periods of valuable time. Thank goodness for knitting, which keeps me sane in such situations.
I do appreciate our health care system for it's many good qualities, but waiting over 2 (TWO) hours for a 15 minute appointment (albeit valued and helpful) is fecking ridiculous.
On the bright side, we went to see Julie and Julia last night, and enjoyed it, though the Julie character is a pill. We couldn't decide if it was a badly written character or if it was the annoying mannerisms of the actor...either way I frequently wished I could give her a good smack. Streep, however, was enchanting as always. Now So wants to get out her M.T.A.O.F.C and make Bouef Bourguinon. Bring it on and Bon Appetit, I say!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great Blue Heron

On the riverbank today, just behind my apartment in town:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mixed Media Egg Pendants

Lampwork glass eggs, enamel on fine silver, freshwater pearls, sterling and fine silver: