December 28, 2008

Winter's Over

It's hard to believe we had a major snowstorm just a few days ago. The city was covered with a thick blanket of pristine white that muffled the noise of traffic and hid the litter underneath. Yesterday was a day of not going out. A major fog that didn't lift until late afternoon and by then I had lost the urge to go out. I'm used to going out every day for a long walk but now it's so impossible with the ice under foot and the wicked wind above. I get stir crazy when I can't go out. Upon arising today I gazed out the window only to find no snow! I think that the fog had also brought a day of rain. The sun is out now and I predict that shall take my usual stroll to Baview Village subway stop en route to see my parents. Guess what I did while house bound....3 more heart necklaces. I battled the elements to go to Mokuba ribbon in search of some interesting ribbons for the necklaces. The store was closed for most of the holidays. I shall try to venture forth at the end of next week. I'm sure you are getting bored with the same image over and over. I'm working on my copper book necklace so hopefully that endeavor will take over.

December 22, 2008

Found Objects

Remember when I couldn't find the beads and findings less than a day after purchasing? After looking for hours I decided to just go to bed and was in the closet to hang up the clothes when what did I see but a shoebox sitting apart from the collection of shoeboxes on the shelf above the clothing rod. Wow, that was a long sentence. I picked up the box - the lid had written upon it "closures". Sure enough everything was there and I was able to finish off my 2 heart necklaces.

Thank heaven I didn't have to venture out to Arton today. It's unbearably cold - the wind a killer. I had to walk about a half hour for an appointment and I cursed the whole way. I'm still on the line trying to decide to walk the one block to Metro, alias Dominion. Doesn't sound far but this is condo alley where the winds form their own cyclonic activity.

Found Objects

I am happy to report that I found the lost beads and findings. I was hanging up my clothes in the cupboard when I saw a shoebox sitting apart from the actual shoe box collection on the shelf above the clothing rod. I had written 'closures' on the top of the box in an attempt to be organized. Oops! So much for organization. Each new attempt to classify my junk results in the 'where is it ?' factor. What a relief to have found everything since I didn't want to venture outside to Arton beads today. It's unbearable cold - a deadly wind. I feel conquered. I won't even walk one block to Metro, alias Dominion.

I proceded to finish off 2 more necklaces. Yes, Nancy, you are totally responsible for this heart addiction. When will it end....

December 21, 2008

Lost, Not Found

Firstly, I'd like to reassure everyone that the hundred odd margarine and other plastic tubs hoarded by my parents have gone directly into the recycling bin. The straws are back in the drawer.
I should at least acknowledge Friday's weather since I was outside struggling from one appointment to the next. The subway was running about 45 minutes behind going and coming. Going home had the added feature of kicking everybody off the train at Eglinton and then not being able to get on the subsequent trains since they were all packed up. I had the biscuit at this point and started muttering curses loudly under my breath. The woman in front of me was singing hymns. It seemed to work since she appeared calm and I felt guilty enough to shut up. The walk home was impossible. There was no distinguishing the road from the sidewalk. It was all drifting. And battling that insane wind. I vow not to leave the apartment until April. Maybe.

Last week I went to Arton beads specifically to get necklace closures. Of course I added beads to that order and a variety of closures as well. I can't find them. I've turned the place inside out to no avail. I checked all the obvious locations as well as the not so obvious. I'm going nuts. I can only surmise that I threw out the bag. This is always a possibility since one month I actually threw out my metro pass which is of much greater monetary value. So that means going out tomorrow to repurchase everything. I'm hoping there isn't a blizzard otherwise I will be stuck in that store buying what I don't need.

December 17, 2008

Winter Wonderland

It was a lovely day today after a clean, white snowfall overnight. Of course, crossing the streets at major intersections was like deep sea diving. It always melts and goes no where. For years I've been afraid of falling. I don't really know why... how bad could it be? I figure that it's the ultimate test of osteoporosis. A fall without a fracture means the bones are in good shape. I finally found those spikes that can be attached to the underside of the boots. I think it may be icy tomorrow since it will be below freezing overnight and that which has melted will freeze. I'll let you know how they work.

My parents seemed to have developed a silverfish problem around the same time I did. Only their 'fish' are bold and obnoxious. They start zooming around in the kitchen and we're all barefoot and can't kill them. Yesterday I ran for my boots and started squishing. The apartment is being fumigated tomorrow and they are still moving stuff from the cupboards to other parts of the apartment. My parents are hoarders and this became evident as they removed stuff from the kitchen. For instance, about 50 plastic containers from margarine, coleslaw, etc. Plus a jar of used batteries. A lot of the batteries have the date that they conked out to be used in the future when one is hard up for energy. What, are they crazy? About a 100 straws from Swiss Chalet which accompanies the water they serve. Aluminum pie plates. And my mother tries to pawn this stuff off on me. She can't throw out a thing but it's OK if I do it.

I am working on some bezels - some that I did in Jane Wynn's class. This means there is resin to be poured. This is my next challenge. I wonder what could go wrong....

December 14, 2008


Last night, while sitting in front of the TV and trying to make jewellery, I came upon this ad for Snuggies. This was developed as a result of people going nuts when they're cold, sitting on a sofa with a blanket pulled up to the chin only to have it slip off when using the hands/arms (i.e. reaching for the phone). So the Snuggie is a blanket with long sleeves. It comes in many colours and the older men modelling the burgundy version looked like monks. Seriously. It was wierd.

Well, having advanced from the blow torch and toxic chemicals, I last night decided on making the dreaded holes in the copper plates. I have a screw hole maker but the holes are too small - I want to insert an eyelet in the hole. So I took out my dremel to widen the holes. This is a big deal for me since I'm terrified of the dremel. I had attached a flex shaft - incorrectly I might add since there was no action in the extension handle. Next I tried my new used low rpm drill from the Toronto Police auction. It has only screwdriver bits but it moves at a nice slow speed that doesn't spook me. I guess I should go to Canadian Tire to find a proper drill bit. Then I hauled out my clamp like hole maker. Seriously, I can barely lift it. I used it to enlarge the holes to 1/8 of an inch and a miracle was realized. Why didn't I use this thing in the first place. And there are close to 10 sizes of hole-makers. Of course changing the bit requires disassembly of the entire gizmo. Next I have to try and set the eyelets. Then I will be all set to make a copper book necklace.

December 13, 2008


So this afternoon I decided to pick out a few copper plates and torch them. There are 2 plates that have an embossed pattern and these react to the heat by turning white. On the back they have turned orange. The flat plate has a more interesting pattern - lots of reds- but it is definitely in no way similar to using liver of sulphur. The LoS has a real vintage look. And the torching can be dangerous. While trying to remember not to touch the hot item and use my tongs, I nevertheless picked it up with my fingers. Eek! My index finger and thumb are blistered.

December 12, 2008

Beading version number 10 - or less

I decided to work at another heart necklace (a la Nancy Donaldson). OK. I know you don't want to hear any more of my whining so all I will say is that I strung on too many rows. Yuck. Well, here it is.
I decided that I was going to do one as a birthday gift and because I wanted to use purples, I had to go to Arton to get some more beads. And necklace ribbon, and faux silver beads, and copper and chain, and I don't know what else but it came to $100. How did that happen? Then one of the owners told me to check out the store next door. It's another version of Arton except that the beads are semi-precious, freshwater pearls, sterling silver etc. What did I buy that totaled $90. Honestly, I don't know how I do it. It's scary. I'm not even going to make jewellery and so I'm guessing that I will use these supplies in mixed media stuff. I think I'm a sucker for coloured and sparkley things.
I decided to get back to making some copper book necklaces which requires the copper be vintaged using liver of sulphur. I opened up the jar of solution and immediately I knew there was something wrong. Firstly it had no aroma (it should have smelled like stinky rotten eggs). Plus the solution was clear, not yellow. I left the copper plates in the solution for 4 hours with no reaction. I guess even caustic solutions have a best was 2 years that it was last opened. So today I zoomed down to Lacy's and picked up a new bottle. I tried it out and it was too strong and the copper plates turned black. Must figure out a new recipe. It's always something...

December 7, 2008

Annual Holly Jolly Sale

Well, the annual Holly Jolly Christmas sale has come and gone and Karen Arts did a wonderful job of organizing the event. For the last 6 weeks I've been trying to increase my inventory of fabric boxes. It's such a labour intensive project and I was so bummed out by the time frame that the boxes I created were 'to die from'. I ended up throwing out 4. I had decided that the 11 I had already made would have to suffice. It turned out that my boxes generated more interest than I could have imagined. So I have to admit that I was so pleasantly surprised and it was a boost to my self confidence.

Here are some of the boxes sold: