Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mia and the Spider

Back in the olden days I worked with Mia at the Store. The Store occupied the ground floor and the basement of a Victorian building, and we worked in the basement. The landlord wasn't big on building maintenance and the basement was damp and creaky. Spiders loved it. There were days when we had more spiders than customers!
I loved working with Mia. She was always upbeat, funny and chatty. "Wanna hear something wacky?" initiated many interesting conversations. She always brightened up the day.
Mia hated spiders, which was hard for her because the spiders were rather industrious and popped up overnight. Most were just the harmless "daddy long legs" house spiders, the most meek and inoffensive of spiders. I can recall hearing "Ew, ew, EW!" as Mia dusted or straightened and knew she'd encountered another spider.
One day Mia was cleaning out a cabinet, an old Victorian cabinet with drawers...and found a dead spider. "Ew, ew, EW!" I can't remember what I was doing but I suggested she just shake the drawer upside down and it would fall out and I would sweep it up, so that's what she did. The spider fell apart, as dried up daddy long legs tend to do! I'll never forget what happened next. Mia picked up one of the spider legs, held it up and looked at it and said "THIS?? THIS is what I've been afraid of???? Oh. My, God!!!".

May all your fears be spider legs.

My learners drivers license came in the mail yesterday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Still snowy and cold. The snow is so beautiful on a sunny day, but when it is grey out, it's a little dreary. We've had some amazing winds off of the lake, there are drifts of beach sand in the meadow, blown up the hill, and there is even sand on the driveway in front of the house. Now that's wind!

I'm still playing with pods and pods and pods, I just can't stop making them and trying different color combinations. Lovely Jean at Nortel sent me samples of a few new colors to try. The odd lots are so interesting but it's important not to fall too deeply in love with them, for sometimes they are never, ever made again and then I'm left pining hopelessly for some more of that weird olive green or obscure streaky brown! It's been stretchy and good to work with colors I don't usually play with. My Rubino d'Oro (beautiful cranberry pink glass) feels very neglected!

A box of juicy pods and one annoyed owl.

Gorgeous opal lavender glass with metallic black:
Silly fun with a popped hollow. When your hollow bead pops, slap eyes on it and play!
The silly Heimlich maneuver pendant, barfing beads.

So and I sorted through several long term collections last week. She decided to sell a lot of antiques and memorabilia that she had acquired over the last 15 years or so. It was a big job but fun, and left us with extra space and a nice bit of cash. I spent a bit of time going through the accumulated vintage postcards...sometimes to get one military card she would end up with a lot of others which just all ended up in a box. Many were just pretty Victorian pieces, but there were a few 50s and 60s ones too. I thought these were particularly interesting.
This is the "Charcoal Steak House" in Kingston, Ontario. The back of the postcard says it's famous for "Steaks-Barbecue Ribs and Pig Tails". Doesn't it look warm and welcoming?
"You come in, yes? You eat the pig tails, and your soul will belong to usssss....."
Here we have "Hedges Wigwam", in Royal Oak, Michigan. It's very, um, woody.
VERY woody. Everything is made of wood, wood chairs, wood tables, wood rugs, and yes, those teepee lamps are made of wood!
I get the feeling that the plates and cutlery were also probably made of wood. Heck, even the STEAKS might have been made of wood.
Now I wish I'd saved more of the hotel ones, because some of them were really funny. Taste in hotels has certainly changed over the years.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Behind The Wheel

Can you even believe it??? We went out on Sunday and I drove 50 kilometers. I'm not exactly relaxed yet while driving, but I'm doing it. The van is still wearing it's winter coat of road dust and salt.
The birds are starting to even though there is still a lot of snow, I know spring is approaching. The cardinals are starting to sing their courting songs, they are fairly silent all winter and I'm so happy to hear them! Though I won't be so happy in 2 months or so when they start singing in the pine tree outside the bedroom window at about 4:00am!

Test Face

Testing, 1...2... Test, test...
Murrine work is slooooow. I have finished a test face which is useful as I can see what changes I want to make before proceeding with another.

Sketches, hand blended color, component pieces:
Hand blended color:
A big kiss!
Face cane:
Work is needed! But I learned a LOT, SO glad I did a test run. I definately want the hair much lighter, and better shading on the side of the face. Nose needs to be re-done. (for the third time, noses give me a hard time). I want the eyes bigger and the eyebrows shorter.
Practice, practice, practice. And lots of learning each and every time!
On the "bright" side, I have a large quantity of a face I am really not so fussy for! Oh well, it's just glass, right?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Phobia Milestone

Yesterday I made a significant bit of progress in phobia-conquering. Those of you who know me well, know that it is indeed a milestone. It's such a little thing, but such a huge thing. I am cautiously proud of me. Now, on to the next step.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Insanely Delicious...

We made the yummiest dinner last night. So made lemon and garlic pork tenderloin. Marinated overnight in olive oil, lemon juice and zest, lots of garlic, fresh thyme and rosemary, salt and pepper. She browned them until they were nice and brown all around. The smell was delicious!
Ready to deglaze the pan with some stock and white wine:
Ready to go into a 325 oven for about an hour. I kept going out to the garage just to have the pleasure of coming back in and smelling how delicious this was!

She made whipped potatoes and thickened the stock and pan juices :
I made a salad of baby spinach, toasted pecans, Danish blue cheese and pears, drizzled with good balsamic vinegar:
It was insanely, immoderately good!

For dessert, gluten free apple crisp, with apples, raisins, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and brown sugar brought for us all the way from Fiji by Kyla! Topped with toasted pecans, walnuts and almonds tossed with butter and more brown sugar. The sugar has a slightly more delicate flavour than the brown sugar we're used to, and is more crystalline. If I do say so myself this was delicious too.
When we were done we were couch potatoes! Happy, full couch potatoes. And tonight....the wonderful lazy world of leftovers!