Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

What a peaceful, happy, merry day we had today. Lots of laughter and surprises, great food and nice music, with family and loved ones. I hope yours was the same.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I was telling Cris yesterday about the really neat little bug who seems to be happily wintering on the geraniums, a meek and inoffensive sort of fellow, no annoying flying about the head or bumping into the lamps, sort of shield shaped and brown, and she said, "Hmmmmn, that sounds like a stinkbug". I didn't even know there was such a thing as a stinkbug, but that is in fact what it is, and not just any kind of stinkbug but possibly a brown marmorated stinkbug.
Apparently they can do their stinky thing when disturbed or even jostled, but so far it hasn't, and yes, it's alive, it moves it antennae, and has been observed enjoying a change of scenery on the curtains. I am a tiny bit concerned as I don't really want an entire stinky family establishing itself in here, we are plenty stinky enough already. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stuff of the Day

I saw a flock of wild turkeys in a field today on my way into town. Sadly both cameras were here on my desk.

There are promotional signs at our local mall saying "The's where the shopping is!". Now, as an enthusiasm builder, this seems like a non-starter to me. Kind of like "The Lungs...they're where the breathing is!". Thanks for pointing this out. Exciting stuff.
Santa was not yet at the Mall. College students in pajama pants and parkas were at the mall. Kids, this is not a good look.

I had to buy some lampshades at Walmart. I suppose I didn't HAVE to buy them at Walmart, but I needed 6 inexpensive shades for a hanging fixture. The old ones were refusing to stay in place due to the weird plastic Ikea adaptors, which have begun to break into bits, meaning that at any time a lampshade could plop down over a light bulb and a piece of plastic land in your plate. Despite my efforts to repair them, and reinforce them with carefully cut pieces of cream cheese container lids, wait, they're still good, I can fix em again, oh God, I'm turning into my Grandma...the time had come for a nice new set of cheap crappy shades.

So I got my cheap shades and kept a close eye out in case I saw any People of Walmart people but there were only normal people, and 1,247 different kinds of Christmas candy. It was mesmerising, and no, I didn't buy any because I would just eat it! I'll wait until closer to Christmas when we can all snack ourselves into a sugar-and-fat induced coma without feeling guilty.

The shades look great.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Wish Bottles

Today I spent some time playing with glitter and glue, and made fourteen Christmas Wish bottles. I had been given a box of antique bottles, old patent medicine and other bottles in interesting shapes, dug from the ground, and I've been itching to do something crafty with them. I got out my box of antique postcards, a shaker jar of tarnished silver German glass glitter from an auction sale, old silver lametta tinsel and some Victorian faded red chenille cord. Glazed paper holly leaves and berries, check! Finally some WONDERFUL antique key woodcuts from theporkchopshow on etsy, and some vintage green crystal rosemontes.

What do you put in a Christmas wish bottle? Well, wishes, of course, or letters to Santa? A sprig of pine, a peppermint stick, snow? Icicles! Whatever your heart desires.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shipping and Handling

I spent the entire day packaging all the lovely linens and laces which sold on Sunday night. I dashed off to the post office and forgot to take a picture of PeeWee full of packages. It was a satisfying sight, everything nicely wrapped.
I shipped to:
New Zealand
The post office total made the line behind me go "oooooohhh"! But my customers pay for their shipping so it's not really an issue, just momentarily impressive to the folks who are purchasing $5.00 worth of stamps!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Roasted Three Ways

The cold weather makes me want to cook hot tasty dinners that smell deliciously for hours while they simmer away in the oven. Tonight we had a roast of beef, cooked with mushrooms and onions and a bit of stock and white wine. An hour before the beef was done we put in vegetables to roast: carrots with orange juice and zest, fresh ginger and a bit of sugar, and potatoes tossed in olive oil, Dijon mustard and freshly ground black pepper.
Yummy! The house smells wonderful, we are warm and well fed and so very blessed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Just caught the cat slurping the leftover Greek salad dressing from my dinner plate. I did not know that she had developed a taste for lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and feta. With a little black pepper.
We'll have to see if she fancies tandoori....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I got a funky package in the mail, from my dear Sam in San Francisco!

When Sam and I worked at the Store, we had an entire language of silly catchwords and inside jokes and also a sign language-very handy as we could communicate customer related difficulties to each other quite easily. One subtle tap of the forehead with a closed fist meant "Bonehead Alert, please help me, this person is kind of an idiot and I'm getting nowhere!" Once a nice young dad came in with a toddler on his shoulders. The toddler spied the silly Hallowe'en skeleton earrings on display, pointed towards us and piped "Look Daddy, Boneheads!". In our overworked, underpaid, unfed, Hallowe'en-candy-fueled state we thought that was the funniest thing we'd heard in a long time.

I remember the giggles, clearly Sam does too!

I would love to use these sooner than next Hallowe'en but I'll have to tuck them away and enjoy them then.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Hello from the Vintage Linen Control Center, where I have been diligently working on the the Vintage Linens. A nice big batch went up on ebay tonight. Practically every piece was carefully laundered, and everything was inspected for flaws, pressed, photographed, measured, weighed and described.

I listed:
25 hankies
209 napkins
37 towels
1 sheet and pillowcase set
20 pillowcases (10 pairs)
29 tablecloths
4 tablecloth sets (with 20 more napkins)
3 lace bedspreads
2 lace doily sets totaling 30 pieces
19 runners
50 doilies and centerpieces
2 washstand covers
5 pillowshams
1 cushion cover
and a crocheted alter cloth.
And I guess I should mention that before any of this can happen, I need to go out and find the stuff! I tend to like that part best, which is why I have so much of it.

So if you enjoy antique linens, and are doing a little holiday shopping, just click on my ebay link to the left!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Alive, alive Oh!

Yes, I am alive. Sluggish but alive. don't even know quite where to begin to catch you up, so here is a good picture.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beads at Sunset

A few pictures of the past week's beads, taken just as the sun was going down. Lovely light, soft and pearly.

Viking beads.
I particularly like the crusty olive green one. The ivory ones remind me of ancient game pieces.
Fat juicy pods, long skinny pods.
Hello, colours!

This one broke when I was cleaning it, almost perfectly in half. This is a thermal crack, which means I let it get too cold before I put it into the kiln. I was probably admiring it and calling myself a genius. Ha. It's etched and still pretty cool, it looks like a spider sucked all the juice out of it.
The core was purple dichroic glass.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Etsy Treasury

Look at this great Etsy Treasury called Night on the Town by Etsy seller TartDeco. It features one of the vintage compacts from my shop.
I've had the honor to be featured in several Etsy treasuries and from now on I'm going to toot my own horn and post them here!
Here is another really nice one called Canadian Sellers by Alisonsyer, featuring work by Canadian artisans.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"In A Garden" Show

This past weekend I sold at the 20th annual "In A Garden" show and sale, organized and hosted by Kathryn McHolm. It's the fifth time I've participated and it was a pleasure to see so many lovely repeat visitors out enjoying the beautiful gardens and the artisan offerings. Here's our host, Kathryn.
My little corner was shady and cool.
I've never seen a fox before. This adolescent was glowing with health and as alert and interested as could be.
One of the adobe ovens, out of which came a procession of cinnamon rolls, pies and fruit cobblers.
Garden decor.

Guinea fowl chicks. Did you know they have blue eyes??
Lambs, they liked to have their noses tickled.

A fuzzy unripe peach.
And a marvelously alien-looking quince!
Poppies, so delicate, with their endearingly rumpled petals.
A wine dark lily.There is a honey bee in this poppy!
Flowers everywhere.
A smiling dragonfly.
Fabulous rosehips.
And a dainty and decorative spider.

The weather was July-In-Ontario hot (which can suck the energy out of even the most ambitious!), but we had lovely customers and a great visit. Of course it was heavenly to be spoiled by Veronica, and to enjoy Lemon Buttermilk Pie at the Buttermilk Cafe, for breakfast on Monday.

It was great to be able to share the driving for the first time, though driving on the 401 (our busiest freeway) is certainly interesting. Wow. I want a De-Materializer which will annihilate people who don't signal before darting neatly in front of me and then whisking off into some other direction. A click of a button could send them promptly into another dimension, where they can randomly change lanes as often as they like without bothering anyone else.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sweet Clover, Freshly Cut Hay and Rain

Close your eyes, and take a deep breath.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Bluest Blue

Morning glories so blue that the eye almost can't register the saturation of color.

Moth on the deck. Birch bark or a leaf? Sand? She would blend with any of those.
Summer progresses gently. I have a show this weekend and am assembling all the goodies into some sort of order. And relishing that I can distance myself from drama. It's helpful to remind myself that a lot of people seem to have trouble understanding that not everyone wants or needs to be just like them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Further Experiments in Glass Casting

Molds made of jewellers investment. The fluted ones were poured into silicone muffin cups, reusable and easy to remove. I used fresh leaves, and hand molded sacred hearts made of polymer clay.

The molds look so pure and smooth and lovely! As an experiment, I tried lampworking some glass into approximately the correct shape and size. Some leaves are filled with green and clear frit.
Ready to go into the kiln:
And out of the kiln. Note that one mold broke as I took it out of the kiln, they are very fragile after they've been fired and can be used only once. Some glass flowed well, some didn't seem to get quite enough heat to make it flow flat, and it bunched up on itself instead.

With the molds removed:
Unfortunately the white sacred heart reminds me of a chicken,
Scrubbed clean:

I am liking how these look very much, continued experimentation will follow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Viking Beads

Weathered and etched and aged, as close to the originals as I've been able to manage. Inspired by beads found as grave goods throughout the Viking world. Viking men and women treasured their beads of jet and amber rock, crystal and agate, carved bone and ivory, gold, silver, and especially glass. Women's graves have been found with hundreds and hundreds of beads. These replicas feature gold foil, enamel, layered cane and hand made starburst and checkerboard murrini.
Available in my Etsy Store, $45 for sets of 7 to 9 beads.