Sunday, January 24, 2010


One of the worst things about this disease is that it undermines one's willpower. It makes it incredibly hard for me to focus and concentrate and plow through the work I have assigned myself, and when I fail to accomplish what I need or want to do, it's difficult not to berate myself...which of course only makes me feel worse. It's discouraging to recall how much I used to be able to accomplish in one day, and to be grateful that I can do what I am actually doing now. Sometimes I have to just force myself to carry on and push through, five minutes at a time. One minute at a time, if that's what it takes. When my mind wanders I have to pull it back like an unruly puppy.
I did, just now, complete the work I had lined up for this weekend and I'm really pleased. It means that this evening I can spend more time working on the jewelry that is bouncing around in my head. I was doing a little research earlier and was surprised to find that the images that are influencing it are actually more Tibetan than Byzantine. The research also reminded me that jewellers two thousand years ago already thought up most of the ideas I've had!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


There simply aren't words when such huge disasters happen, are there? The only way I can begin to manage to think about it is to go small, and picture my own neighbourhood, the people I see daily, the trees, buildings, cars, pets, everything, smashed flat. And that would have to be layered onto a daily situation so tenuous that I wonder how I would even come up with the will to go on.

I was "in" Haiti in November. I put "in" into quotation marks because the tiny, exquisite area we enjoyed bears no resemblance to the real Haiti. It was a private compound, quiet, unspoiled, safe and beautiful, made especially for the enjoyment of the privileged tourist. We swam in a warm, jewel-like bay and napped under palms, listening to the waves. Last night we both teared up, remembering a young Haitian worker who shyly asked us if we'd buy a little bracelet as a souvenir of Haiti. Because the compound required no money for anything we wanted we hadn't brought a cent ashore with us and apologized when we told him so. I wish we could have.

There is a certain guilt for me wound up in the process of being a tourist in a poor country. I know/hope the money I spend is getting into the economy, somehow, but I always do have a little niggling feeling of guilt.

In Miami we had a cab driver who was Haitian , and knew we were Canadian from our accents. He had grown up in a Canadian-run mission, and a Canadian organization had arranged for his infant son to be flown to Montreal to have a cleft palate repaired. Perhaps this meant he vented to us a bit, he was quite angry and frustrated at the amount of corruption in his home country. "The money comes in", he said "but it doesn't go where it should. A person will have a job and he makes sure some money goes to his friend, his family, his other friend. It is rotten at the top".

Maybe if one good thing could possibly come out of this disaster, it would be to see that aid and money goes to the people who need it. Perhaps with the eyes of the world turned on Haiti things will change.

Red Cross
Medecins Sans Frontiers

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I just discovered a feature on my wonderful auction management software Auctionsage which is going to save me a lot of time. Doing a dance of delight.

Because I had a driving lesson at the magic hour, I wasn't able to register on the dot of Noon, EST, and missed out on getting into Michael Barley's beadmaking class at Bead and Button this year. They don't keep a waitlist for regular classes, when I called to ask the very nice lady I talked to just chuckled, and said the first time they had done so had been a bit...stressful. I can imagine. Over 600 classes and thousands of frenzied bead lovers, I don't blame them.

I did get into other classes though. I'm going to take "Uncommon Objects in Glass Casting", and "Bezel Setting" , and Kristina Logan's "Dot Clinic".

I will be carefully saving my pennies, that's for sure. I really, really hope that classes will sell well, so that the instructors can keep on doing this.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Broken Thermostats

One or both of our bodily integrated thermostats is broken, here in our snug house. This morning one of us was wearing a t-shirt and a cotton shirt, and then a cashmere sweater, and then a cotton sweater over that, and cuddling a hot water bottle under a blanket. And the other one of us was taking pictures for ebay, wearing pajama bottoms, and earrings.
Then there's the cat who happily wears her furry pajamas, every day!

A Bit of New Work

Some new work:
Tentacle vessels, waiting for silver collars and stoppers:

Pod bead ring and bracelet, with fine silver and sapphires:

Pod bead necklace with fine silver, freshwater pearls and sapphires:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Twilight, A Review

If this hadn't been an online audiobook from the library, I'd have cheerfully pitched it out the window.
I tried, honestly I did. I listen to a lot of audiobooks (A LOT, sometimes 3 or 4 a week), and thought I would give this a listen. It's almost impossible to go to any retail space, of almost any kind, without seeing some sort of Twilight merchandise. Was I missing out on something?
No, I was not.
It wasn't the reading, which is by Ilyana Kadushin. It's the prose itself. Any author who describes her hero as having an "alabaster brow" needs a good swift kick in the butt. And nothing...ever...really... happens, Bella just drones on and on and on...
I've listened to just over half of it and I just can't take any more. Gag. And don't tell me, "Oh, it gets better later in the book" because I just don't care. Even the Most Exciting Moments are just...meh.
In the words of Dorothy Parker: "Constant reader throwed up".

Rude Awakening

I was asked if I qualified for the seniors discount.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I've noticed that some of the bloggers I read regularly have chosen a word for 2010, a word to symbolize their goals, wishes or ideals, and the idea appeals to me. After a bit of thought, the word for me is Actualize.
To bring the ideas into reality.
To actually create what I envision in my mind.
To turn the thought into an action, or a tangible object.
To persuade the dreams to unfold.

What can I actualize each day?

Vintage Earrings

Little pieces of art for the ears

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Numbers

Number of people needing driving tests ahead of me, now that the Provincial Driving testers have finished their strike: 300,000.

Number of shortbread cookies I've eaten in the last three weeks or so: 479 (broken ones don't count, right?)

Number of catnip eyeballs purchased for Valentine's Christmas present: 2

Number of catnip eyeballs Valentine has played with: 0

Number of fine silver 28g jump rings I have melted when fusing them: approximately 150

Number of curses cursed while fusing 28g jump rings: 150

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here's hoping we will all have a year filled with happy moments, goals achieved and tranquility throughout.

Yesterday I saw a quintessentially Canadian scene... A group of guys and kids playing hockey on the frozen water hazard of the local golf course. It made me smile. WAY better than road hockey!!

The squirrels have been enjoying our Solstice offering. Each hazelnut has been hidden in one of the big flowerpots, found by a different squirrel and moved to another flowerpot, and then the process repeated. We have grey and black squirrels, and they are bouncing like dolphins from flowerpot to flowerpot. Very entertaining! They are fat and sassy which explains why they aren't just eating the nuts. The figs and apples have completely disappeared, except for one lonely apple placed carefully at the very corner of the deck, on the top rail, like a beacon to say "Hey, Treats Here"!!

Ice is building up on the beach...the lake is turning to slush and eventually makes mountains of ice, right now they look like igloos. We had so fierce a wind a few nights ago that the 1940s metal deck chairs were pushed around the deck an inch at a looked as though they were trying to creep towards the door to come inside. Perhaps they were!