December 26, 2009

And to all a good night

I can't believe how quickly the special days came and went. It's always like that. I hope everyone celebrated in fine style. I can't remember if New Year is the end of something or the beginning of something. Last year's 10 pound pledge was the beginning of something and for my part was exceeded by a whole lot of extra pounds taken on rather than shed. What a disaster. And now I find myself addicted to hot chocolate. Sometimes I make it cold. It's great either way. Martha, got a leftover heart-shaped cookie?
I've just finished Andy's sweater and still am contemplating whether or not to make an actual sleeve. I didn't take that particular measurement and I don't want it to chafe his little armpit. I also have another sweater on hand to see if it might be a better fit.
My personal trainer has commissioned a sweater for her bunny. Now that's going to be a big challenge. I've never seen a bunny close-up but I know they come in many sizes. They are also bigger than chihuahuas. The bunny tried on one of my chi sweaters and apparently fell over, face first, out of sheer terror over wearing a garment. The trials of being a fashionista.
Can't decide if I should brave the rains to visit my Starbucks or continue watching the Sherlock Holmes marathon. Yesterday it was Underdog to Wonderdog on the Animal Planet and I cried the whole time. Basil Rathburn does not evoke that kind of emotion. If anything, he propels me towards Starbucks.

December 7, 2009

Holly Jolly 2009

Well, the annual Holly Jolly sale has come and gone.I was in panic mode at not having enough stuff to sell and anxious over having the wrong stuff to sell.I had 10 knitted dog sweaters and only one purchase. It was an apprehensive transaction since one rarely knows the actual measurements of the dog recipient. No problem. If it doesn't fit I'll do a made-to-measure sweater. Martha had her West Highland terrier come by at the end of the show to try on a sweater. It turns out that Andy is a mutant Westie - absolutely huge! And so sweet. So I grabbed my tape measure from my purse and proceded to take down his statistics for a custom garment.
The beaded hearts were also popular as were my fabric boxes.
It was disappointing that so few people dropped by. Perhaps we need a more intensive ad campaign. Or a more accessible venue. Things to evaluate for next year. Meanwhile, I shall have to be creative throughout the year and not the 6 weeks prior to the show.

October 28, 2009

Chain maille victory

I am so proud that I was able to finally complete my chain maille bracelet that was started in a class I took on September 20 at the Canadian Bead Oasis Show. My turmoil with this task centred on the fact that I have tremors and cannot control the tools. So half of my jump rings were flung like tiddly winks around the room. I was determined to do a link a night, even if it took me the whole night to achieve this often insurmountable task. It's hard to see the detail because of the reflection on the silver but I love it - it's so fluid on the wrist. Good thing I have a small wrist so there were plenty of extra jump rings in the kit and less overall work for me.

Then it's knit, purl, rip out, cast on again,...nothing but problems with these little dog sweaters. The commission I had for a chihuahua sweater was a failure since the dog is 3 sizes smaller than the smallest size I made. He's a mosquito. And he lives in Peru so the fellow who commissioned me is now back home visiting and will measure every square mm of him and I can work from that. I must get cracking since the Holly Jolly sale is in 4 weeks and I don't have enough stock. So much to do, so little time.

I love this time of year for all the horror films that are on tv. I just saw a 1968 film called "The Power" with a very young and handsome George Hamilton, Suzanne Pleshette, Earl Holiman and a bunch of other familiar faces. And now the original "The Haunting" with Julie Harris is on till 2:00am. I don't think I can stay up that late but the ending is terrific. I have to make it to Fairview Mall's Apple Store to attend a class on how to use the MobileMe feature on my ipod touch. I love this little device but don't know how to use half of it. The Apple store gives one on one tutoring on different aspects of any of their products.

October 8, 2009

Remember the Roller Babies?

Remember the commercial for Evian water starring the babies on rollerskates? Now there's a synchronized swimming version.

September 28, 2009


It was sort of a miserable day, starting off with an ambush of rain and me, on my way to Markham by TTC for a cardiac stress test. The first umbrella I took with me launched itself across the road, using the handle and main stem as a sling shot. Now, how does that happen...? So I stopped at Shoppers Drug Mart for a replacement. The prices make no sense at all - more expensive for a tiny, manual one.

For the past couple of years I've been passing an optical boutique in the underground concourse on my way to the subway. Last week I stopped to look at the frames and discovered the most unique, artistic designs, all from France. How come it's taken so long to come up with such delightful eyewear. So I now have a pair but it's hard to appreciate the 3-d structure from the picture. Even the case is snazzy. I feel compelled to get a second pair with the transition lenses so that I don't always have to change over to sunglasses.

When stocking up on catfood yesterday, I came across a laser light device for making the girls frisky and interested in some play. I don't even have to operate it - it moves the light around all by itself. Tayoh showed a bit of interest and tried to pick up the beam with her paw. Amber fell asleep on the sofa despite the beam landing on her forehead. Too old for play, I guess.

September 23, 2009

This and that

I just hate this sudden humidity. So I've shut all the windows and turned on the air conditioning. But I soon have to leave the apartment so my comfort is going to be short-lived. I'm getting irritable.
I am forcing myself each night to do at least one link of the chain maille bracelet. This is taking me 2 hours to actually add a link. At this rate...

The knitting is going much better. I finally finished the turtle neck sweater for the schnauzer. But I now realize that it can only be worn by a female since the underbelly is long enough to completely cover the male anatomy. Back to the drawing board. Every sweater in this one book can only accommodate the female anatomy.

He's a cute little guy, my mini schnauzer. A bit chunky too but the knitting will stretch. I'm now starting on a commission for a black, urban chic sweater for a chihuahua. Wonder if it's a boy dog...

September 20, 2009

Weekend of Classes

This weekend I attended some classes offered at the Canadian Bead Oasis Society. Carmi and I were together on Saturday for morning and afternoon sessions. Unfortunately, I just couldn't catch on to the Even and Odd peyote stitch. I was the only one in the class that was useless, much to my personal horror and I tried to cover up the mess I had made every time the teacher came by to help and she had a tremendous amount of patience. I wasn't much better in the afternoon for the Wire Wrap heart. The teacher had to help me a lot. But at least I finished the project and I'm keen to try more.
Today I went in for a chain maille class and it's been about 3 years since I last did this kind of a class. I quite enjoy the repetitive complex patterns - much like aran knit sweaters. But I now have terrible tremors because of my medication and for 2 hours I kept losing my grip of the smallest rings which are critical to making the links. Half my supply of silver rings was launched clear across the room. I should have finished the bracelet instead of making only 5 links. So I shall have to do a little each day before I forget the technique. It's called the 'vertebrae' and lies flat and fluid and is really gorgeous.
On the knitting front, I have completed the green ribbed sweater which Emily is modelling.

I've been commissioned to knit a black urban chic sweater for a chihuahua before the end of October so I must start that soon. I now seem to have several projects going on at the same time. It's fun and alleviates any boredom that may arise with one project or another. I could almost call myself a multitasker.

September 12, 2009

In days of yore

Last night while moving things around to search for accommodation for my growing stash of wool, I came across a collection of old magazines that had been bound in hard cover. My grandfather had done that and the magazines are in pristine condition. Liberty was a Canadian weekly publication sold for 5 cents and what I have is the collection for 1941. The ads are fascinating and amusing- lots of constipation complaints (politely called sluggishness, irritability, etc.). Lots of concern about body odours. War related stories, Hollywood news, fiction, and, at the beginning of each article, is a quote of how much time it should take to read the piece. One story was clocked at 28 minutes, 12 seconds. Anyway, I find it all makes me nostalgic for a time that wasn't mine at all but whose appeal makes me wish I had actually lived at that time.
If you click on the image, you can read the text.

September 8, 2009

Two pups rescued

Well today I did a good deed and rescued two pups from Science City. I've decided they would make perfect models for modelling the doggie sweaters. I took their measurements at the store and it turns out they're both a bit chunky. Most knitting will stretch though. I couldn't figure out how to dress the mini schnauzer as he is fixed in the seated position and it's hard to pull the legs into the sweater. I guess he'll be showcasing a different type of garment. Can you believe that Emily, the maltese, is shedding! She needs a good combing but now I'm reluctant. Maybe a bit of styling product would help. And Andy - I haven't forgotten you. I just need a few more samples before booking an appointment.

Emily is doing her first assignment in the princess sweater, complete with ruffles and sequins. It enhances her femininity, doesn't it?

August 23, 2009

Annual Garage Sale

Yesterday was Marissa's annual garage sale and I had decided to sell off as many rubberstamps as I could stuff into a suitcase. I don't know when I last used a rubberstamp. I thought that I could liberate some storage space but it turns out that I still have too much 'stuff' lurking about. I had priced everything beforehand which turned out to be a good thing since I was fifteen minutes late and Marissa had kindly accepted half the day's income in those 15 minutes. The weather was perfect, the company stellar and I got to reacquaint myself with little Aidan who is such a doll. He has an ease when interacting with new people.
For some reason, Aidan thought it would be better to be photographed behind the screened in window. And that's what we have here.

Here is Aidan in his 'Knights of the Round Table' costume.

It turned out to be a very profitable day for me and the money is already spent. Ha!

August 19, 2009

Do you believe in magic?

Many years ago I worked with a doctor who was also a card carrying magician. I don't really know what the card signifies - maybe to swear an oath not to reveal the secrets behind the tricks. He always performed card tricks for us and the final moment was so baffling and exciting that all I could do was laugh hysterically. I could have spent a whole day watching trick after trick. Then I forgot all about it. Until A&E started showing some magic shows. First it was David Blaine whose card tricks for the man in the street were completely captivating. People squeal in disbelief.

Now it's Criss Angel, Mindfreak, I really like this guy. Oh yeah, he's cute alright. But for many of his stunts, he first gives a detailed description of the preparation and dangers involved. You really start to worry. Of course, this is part of the 'game'. His illusions are on a very large scale. God, I'd love to see him live. You don't see a lot of travelling magicians. David Copperfield was here a few times. Enjoy the videos.

August 15, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe....

to make a small, simple, straightforward dog sweater, little road blocks appear at every turn. Firstly, Amber removed all the knitting from the needle the minute I got up from the sofa. She is determined not to share me with anything. I'm constantly pushing her aside as she inches closer and closer to my lap which is where all the knitting takes place. The next hurdle is huge!!! I'm supposed to steek. When I googled this word, the first suggestion was "how to make the perfect steak". And then, in visiting the knitting sites and YOUTUBE, I find that all the explanations are in a different orientation and I just don't get it. Steeking is a Norwegian term describing a method of knitting mainly fair isle projects which have hundreds of ends as the colour is changed. It involves casting off then casting on to form some kind of ridge and then cutting the knitting between the steeks. I don't think biggest fear is dropping a stitch or breaking the yarn. They say it doesn't unravel but I'm not taking chances. In the dog sweater, skeeting is used for the arm holes. I shall have to figure out how to do the sleeves the old-fashioned way and that will be a challenge since I seem to need a blow by blow description of everything to direct all my moves.I can't think for myself. Needless to say, I ripped out all of this sweater work so that I can start again on a larger size-makes it easier to work large. Meanwhile I am working on a coat with cable spine and so far it is going well. At least it's keeping me away from the fridge and my usual evening binge.

I wanted so much to add a few pictures here from the book but, in reading the copyright info, I decided I couldn't afford a lawsuit and a huge fine. I have a model lined up for a photo as soon as the coat is complete This is a dog dreaming of the perfect outfit.

August 9, 2009


I remember the day that Aidan was born. I was already in Vancouver for Artwerx and Marissa was lamenting her absence from her favourite workshop event. This picture was taken upon my return. Aidan was 10 days old.
This next photo is one of my favourites. Of course, now Aidan is all grown up at 4. He's a great little person and his life continues to be enriched by the love that surrounds him on all sides.

August 7, 2009

Fifteen Books

I decided to take on the challenge of finding 15 books that are memorable to me. This is hard for me since I have such a dreadful memory but I do recall the lasting emotional impressions. So here's my version for today:

1. The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough
2. Edgar Allan Poe short stories
3. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
4. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
5. Collage Discovery Workshop Beyond the Unexpected by Claudine Hellmuth
6. The Art of Annemieke Mein - Wildlife Artist in Textile
7. Material Visions Somerset Studio Publication
8. Awakenings by Oliver Sachs
9. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sachs
10. Birdman by Mo Hayder
11. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
13. Poetry by Leonard Cohen
14. The Petty Details of So and So's Life by Camilla Gibb
15. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
16. Mr. Sandman, The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy

So I've added another 2 books since it occured to me that I had forgotten Barbara Gowdy. Have you ever read a book more than once? I haven't and I'm afraid I would be disappointed if I recalled too much of the plot. Maybe I should try it at least once.

August 5, 2009

The knitting begins

Well I started knitting my first dog sweater and I've ripped it out twice. Doesn't look right. I now have switched to another colour. Amber is trying to encroach on my personal knitting space by lying on top of the needle despite its moving around. Wonder if she wants a sweater....

Lo and behold...someone is cat knitting.

August 4, 2009

New Projects

I'm lacking in the concentration department when it comes to my art projects. I can't seem to finish anything. I feel stuck. Since I'm now so organized (ha!), I have plenty of boxes that will house the supplies allotted to a particular work so it would be easy to get back to finishing up.

I haven't knit in about 15 years and I tried to make a baby outfit about 4 years ago with disastrous consequences. I couldn't interpret the pattern. Not sure if it was me or maybe the instructions were just lousy. Some knitting books were on display at Chapters last week and I picked up a few. I'm a hoarder so I can't be content with just one. I've decided to knit for dogs - sweaters, capes, balaclavas and leg warmers for those tall dogs with long, skinny legs that have virtually no fur for protection. I've ordered some supplies on-line because I knew I could only get a certain things in Toronto. And I'm no good at figuring out substitutions and even worse at asking for help. There's a mathematical aspect to these things and I useless at math. I took a trip down to Romni Wools on Queen West and made it through the door just in time. A major thunderstorm right overhead - you know the kind when the flash of lightning and boom of thunder occur simultaneously. Very cozy to be indoors surrounded by fabulous colours and textures. Well, Romni didn't have the brand names I was looking for so I decided to just start grabbing whatever was appealing. Everything appealed to me. I always have to choose those skeins that, in addition to the visual allure,also have a tactile component. Wow - nothing like cashmere - even fake cashmere feels like the real thing.

So tonight I'm going to start an outfit that's been designated easy. A single thick cable right down the centre. I'd better not get into a screw-up situation. I need to boost my confidence. I shall have to locate a dog for modelling purposes. But I'm jumping ahead of myself. Geez, I hope the cats don't go after the yarn.

August 1, 2009

Birthday girl

My dear Amber turned 13 today. As usual, she is lounging on the sofa and will soon rotate to the armchair followed by the stroller. Then she will beg for treats and I will succumb, dragging out the Greenies dental treats (dental my eye...cats swallow these things whole. And puke them up whole which provides the evidence for this theory.). As she ages she gets freckles. Her lips are covered in black frecks. Also the rims of her eyes. My vet tells me that red heads are notorious for freckling as they age. All this freckling and no sun exposure. I was racking my brains to think of something special to present her with. Usually I forget about birthdays but this time I decided to get her favourite toy - a realistic looking mouse with leather tail and covered in rabbit fur or something like that. Amber eats the tail first - I find it in the litter box attached to other bodily refuse. So far, she hasn't touched the mouse at all despite my squealing like a pig and whirling the
mouse around in the air by the tail. I guess she's now old enough to not fall for my silly antics.

July 31, 2009


OMG, I seem to have done it. After days of toiling and I still have yet to figure out how I just did that. Maybe a change of colour is a good thing.


In a frantic attempt to restore the comment section under my posts, I've changed the template. I don't think this actually does anything except to offer a change of scene. I've printed off all kinds of instructions regarding the restoration of comments and nothing has worked so far. I'm frustrated beyond measure. Bordering on tears. So, there you go. Nothing to say except maybe a prayer.

I can now get emails from my father but they show up in the 'deleted' folder so I dare not empty it before checking. He is an 'approved sender' according to my designation but this seems to make no difference. I wonder if Windows Vista has become all powerful and is showing its dominance over me. I even manage to lose my last post without ever pressing a 'delete' button. How weird is that!

I think it's time to chow down over a bowl of organic white cherries. And then some black licorice.

July 4, 2009

I seem to be a flunkee

After much coaching by LJM, I continue to fail my million attempts at trying to have my blog links show their pictures. Why do I not have the same screen as she does when I move about behind the scenes. Remember when I wiped out my entire sidebar way back when...? I think this may be the same situation. Oh well...
What a glorious day it is. My very favourite kind of weather but my hair continues to be huge courtesy of yesterday's humidity. I was feeling so cooped up at home (self-imposed isolation to avoid temptation away from my clear fluid diet) that I thought I'd take a walk to Shoppers' Drug Mart. That should be safe enough. But, en route, I fell victim to the irresistible urge for a Starbuck's mocha frapuccino light and broke my resolve. So I said to myself 'how do I counteract this serious infraction' and, of course, the answer was right there at SDM. I picked up extra laxatives and an extra bottle of the purgative which I've just consumed. So I'm waiting and waiting for my punishment.
I finally put up my Sid Dickens tiles which I bought almost 2 years ago and they have been sitting in a bag ever since. In honour of the new sofa coming, I finally remembered them and how nice they would look against dark chocolate furniture. I have some more tiles coming in a couple of months. I actually saw them being sold on ebay for about 1.5 times what they are at the Sid Dickens website.

Meanwhile, Tayoh has started coughing and that means she will be going to the vet in a couple of weeks. In the new stroller. I can't believe how disinterested both cats have been around this new addition to their landscape. Last night I put a catnip pillow inside and picked up Amber, tossing her in the carriage. She stayed there for about 5 minutes. I guess that's ok. She also has just started coughing as well as sneezing and has a nasty sore on her chin. I think that she too will be making an excursion to the vet. Last night I tried the 'hiding-of-the-lysine-powder' in the pill pockets and by some miracle she's eaten 2 doses. I'm only putting a very small amount into the pocket so there isn't the leakage I had before. Also this is the veterinary version so maybe it has a different taste.
Time to sit on the balcony to enjoy the late afternoon sun with a tall glass of apple-peach juice.

June 30, 2009

A tribute to Michael Jackson

I hadn't thought about Michael's music in quite a while but 2 weeks ago I decided to download Thriller to my ipod. Then came the tragic news and it has shaken me somewhat. Whenever a celebrity dies I am suddenly reminded of my own mortality and it just feels disturbing. I came across this researcher who identifies a bird that actually does the moonwalk as part of the mating ritual. A tribute of sorts to Michael's amazing choreography.

It's a day full of thunder and darkening skies. Rain too, of course. And a nice cool breeze . Think I'll go on the balcony with a coffee. After a day of fasting to no avail (the test was cancelled because I wasn't prepared enough) the idea of coffee is so appealing. Too bad I don't have a Coffee Crisp or KitKat to go with it. My balcony looks pathetic with planters overrun with last year's dead foliage. I hauled the 2 cacti out to make it look festive (ha!). And the one with the bent over 'leaves/stocks' is still bent over. I didn't cut them off as Leslie Jane insisted I do. I don't know what it is about that plant but it just scares me silly. I'm afraid it will bleed if I cut it. Or I will be cursed in some way.
I think this year I prefer to get the inside taken care of rather than the balcony. The new sofa and chair are supposed to be delivered next Tuesday.

June 25, 2009

Look at you- you're all wet!!! (Einstein)

  • Needless to say, the moment I left the apartment the sky turned as black as midnight, the lightening started flashing, the thunder grumbling and the rain angled at a 45 degrees. Guaranteed to soak the trousers despite a long raincoat. The umbrella was useless and the rain was falling so fast that nothing drained off the streets into the sewer. It was a deep lake at every corner and I was wearing sandals. This was the 4th foray through the rain for these sandals and they just gave out. I was sliding all around the soles that I vowed to hit the first shoe store at my subway destination stop. In 5 minutes I had tossed away the sandals and donned my new galoshes. I'm telling you, it'll never rain again this summer now that I have the boots.

  • The weather is always like this when I go to the hairdresser. Today it was the all-important covering of the gray. But no matter how many products are caked on over the hair to prevent frizz, it's just an exercise in futility. I have prickly hair. That's all there is to it and the older I get the intensity of the prickles increase.

So, on the way home I had to stop by the post office to pick up a package. Since I didn't know the size of the box, I had taken along one of those dolly thingies. I think originally they were meant to transport suitcases. Black rods that fold up and have 2 bungee cords attached. While waiting in line I started to unfold it and the bungees were getting all tangled up so I put a foot on the bottom platform to stabilize it and - you guessed it - the wheels started to roll and I fell. In front of 20 people. I told them all to stop staring at me. I've had enough of this embarrassing business. This time I spared my face and glasses and fell on my tailbone. I seemed to try to break the fall with my left wrist so now my entire left side is sore. And the package didn't even need to be transported on a carrier.

I came home to a message that a big box was waiting for me at the gatehouse. It was my pet stroller! OK. All of you have a good laugh. I think my maternal instinct is emerging at long last. I had to do some assembly and ended up putting the back wheels on backwards. But this is a real, big-time stroller with a carriage tray underneath, a big rain bonnet, faux sheepskin-lined bed inside, a tray for coffee cups, water bottles. Now I have to see if I can get one of the girls inside to pose for us.

June 23, 2009

Oh what a beautiful day

Just like that song from "Oklahoma"...oh what a beautiful morning....that's the thing about wearing an ipod. You can walk down the street starring in your own movie, complete with soundtrack. I love being in my own little world singing to myself. More like lip-syncing since I haven't much of a voice left these days.
Yesterday I decided to pick up some fresh flowers to try and make a Japanese arrangement. It didn't work. The container was close to 2 feet long and the flowers were sticking out every which-way enticing the cats. So I just transferred the flowers to a couple of vases. Now I have a role reversal in the house. It used to be Amber who was obsessed by the beckoning flora. Now it's Tayoh who is lured by the flowers and yet she is feigning indifference whenever I come into the room. I think a barf-fest may be looming on the horizon.

I'm still mulling over my beaded muse and in the interim I've put together a necklace made of lucite beads in shades of purple as well as Swarovski crystals and silver toggle clasp. I do love purple.
Also picked up a new cell phone. I was lusting after the latest smart phone (the 3G 1phone) and figured that I'm not smart enough to operate such a thing. Plus I don't do business so it would just be an expensive toy. I did get a less smart phone by LG with a slide out keyboard and I am already doomed. The box contains no instructions on how to set the various functions, how to even find the functions. There is only info on how to insert the SIM card. Well, anyone could figure that one out. But how to shut off the beeping every time you press on a key..... At least I figured out how to set up the voicemail. Now, if someone would please call me...or text me.... 416-616-4382. Is this foolish to give out my number? I shall soon find out. Not too many people read this blog anyway.

June 20, 2009

Gloomy day

It's raining, it's drizzling, it's foggy, it's an extremely bad hair day. Worse than Kramer on Seinfeld. I can barely get through the doorway. Yuck. But I did get my furniture delivered right on time and now I'm in a dither over what to put in the drawers. So far the cats have skirted around the new shapes but have not ventured onto the steps. I hauled out some of my Japanese flower containers with a view to making an arrangement or two.
(Don't look at the mess on the sofa...oh yeah, you just had to look...)

I'm pondering over what to do for the Beaded Muse Contest. I've gathered much of my own stash in the same colourway looking for inspiration but I'm really stumped. Maybe I should just start moving the elements around on the bead tray. I've decided it will be a necklace with or without matching earrings.
Plus, I find myself stewing over the online bead class I'm taking through I already screwed up trying to access the forum. I read the 29 pages of step by step instructions and still I didn't get it. Some of the students have uploaded their work and I'm nowhere near that league. Boo hoo. Instead of whining I should just get to it. Now I'm distracted by my furniture. What other obstacles to creativity can I manufacture...?

June 16, 2009

Use the Muse Contest

My challenge kit for the Beader's Muse Contest arrived in the mail today and I love the colours. I have hidden the actual 'muse' because this aspect of the project is supposed to be a secret until the big reveal on July 18th. Of course, I'm stuck already trying to figure out what I will do. I think that I'm hung up on trying to use every piece in the kit and this isn't necessary. Once I pass on my entry I shall post my work and give a link to the gallery. Meanwhile, should you like to join in the challenge, go to

June 13, 2009


I started the day by going for a pedicure and manicure. It was the first pedicure of the season and there was a ton of work to be done on those big toes (post ingrown nail excision). So now the toenail is growing back with spurs that results in a nasty, jagged edge. I tried painting them myself which results in a bleeding look instead of a clean edge. Who am I kidding. I can't even reach my toes. So after much sanding around with a dremel, I have a nice set of painted toenails.

Afterwards I decided to check out Woofstock to satisfy my lust for all things canine. So many bulldogs. And a ton of yappy Yorkies. Many chihuahuas who also were warning off the masses with some fierce barking. Not a lot of goldens which surprised me given the popularity of the breed. This pic is of our girl, Goldoone, in the backyard of our Ottawa home. I couldn't wait to get out my camera and start photographing some of the dogs wearing tinted sun goggles. My camera battery needed recharging so I couldn't even turn on the thing. Waaaah! Can't I remember anything these days? And I never saw so many dog strollers in my life! I really should get one for taking the cats to the vet. So many things to buy these days....

Baby did a bad, bad, thang

This organizational exercise has taken on a life of it's own. I was up until 3:00 a.m. cleaning up my supply cupboards and only managed to get 2 shelves done. My main motivation is to find the plastic bag filled with suede, ultra suede and Lacy's Stiff Stuff for my beading projects. In 2 years it has not moved from it's place on the coffee table. So where is it now...? I need to find it now and then introduce some new storage space to this dump!!!!!!!

I get a newsletter regularly from Green Tea Design furniture on Carlaw (reproductions of Japanese, Korean and Chinese styles as well as some antiques). Tons of storage! And I've lusted after these pieces for many years. So I went to the showroom yesterday since there was a sale on the step chests and I felt I could justify making myself happy by purchasing non-edible objects. I bought 4 pieces all of which have some nice little storage areas. And I don't feel at all guilty although I know I should. I was stupid for not taking pictures ( even of Ruby, my feline escort throughout the showroom. She looks so much like Tayoh but is actually a main coone. Love the fur tufts in between the toes). I should get my stuff in about 2 weeks.
The model above is the CD step chest - meaning the drawer sizes will hold CDs but there are no dividers inside the drawers. The picture is deceptive as it is the size of an end table - I think 30" high. And since I collect Chinese and Japanese teapots which are tucked away in cupboards, I shall now be able to display them on the steps. YaY. I wonder if the cats will use this furniture as a ladder and knock off all those lovely doodads....

June 9, 2009

The art of organization

I can only imagine the pristine results of Carmi's efforts to reorganize her stash of supplies. She has a large storage space so I'm guessing that she has a place for everything. On the other hand, my accumulation of stuff exceeds my living space and threatens to oust me from my domicile. I have not been able to do anything creative lately and find that I am compelled to shop (always online) for artsy things. I don't know if this is a kind of looking for inspiration or if it's actually a replacement activity. Whatever the reason, I don't know what to do with all of my supplies.
I have a gigabyte-worth of seed beads. It boggles the mind just how many colours and sizes there are. I have made an attempt at organizing them by colour groupings using dollar store containers. This is my coffee table....I don't really need a table for coffee. And there's no where to hide the containers. Absolutely no space.

And this is my little work table with the all- important TV remotes and hand cream. Sometimes these items overshadow the work at hand. Ha! I see Tayoh's tail and legs in the upper left corner.
I've signed up for a bead class online that starts tomorrow. Must download the first lesson. I think there are samples to be done to illustrates different techniques and I'll post them. The final project is a biggish deal (for me) which will incorporate all the techniques learned. It's a 6 week course through

June 8, 2009

National Ballet of Canada

Yesterday marked the end of the 2008-2009 ballet season for subscription ticket holders. The performances are spaced in a most unusual fashion throughout the year - every 3-4 months, 2 ballets are shown on consecutive weeks. The previous weekend I saw Giselle and I liked it not at all. The best part was the bow-taking at the end which celebrated Chan Hon Goh in her final performance with the company after a career of 20 years. She's a fabulous dancer and the company must be mourning her departure. Like the leaving of Rex Harrington. I never got over his going - his presence on stage was so powerful and charismatic and no one has yet been able to fill that gap. He returned to the company this year as artist in residence and I had the pleasure of sitting right in front of him for a mini lecture that he gave prior to one of the other ballets. God, he's gorgeous. And rather slight in stature which somehow surprised me.

In my old age, I've turned off of traditional ballet and look forward to new pieces or modernization of the classics. Yesterday's bill featured 2 distinct pieces. The first - Skin Divers - had its North American premiere. It featured the poetry of Toronto poet, Anne Michaels, whose beautiful voice read both Skin Divers and Last Night's Moon. A string quartet blended the rhythm of the spoken word to music as the foundation for the dance.

I can't say enough about Carmen. Absolutely passionate, erotic, every scene cuts to the bone without any of that silly miming business designed to drive the story forward. The choreographer is Italian genius, Davide Bombana. .

May 29, 2009

What ever happened to Chris Isaak?

Out of the blue I happened to be thinking about Chris Isaak and wondering what he's doing these days. I suppose I first became a fan back in 2001 when he had his own tv show late at night - 11:00 pm or later. He played himself along with the other members of his band. Inevitably they would play a concert (written into the plot) or rehearsed. Such a great musician. His song, "Wicked Game", was a huge hit and featured a music video with supermodel Helena Christiansen. I couldn't get enough of it. Nowadays you never hear of him. So I decided to google him only to find that he's coming to Casino Rama the end of July. What a coincidence! The decent tickets seem to go for $148 up to $440. This must be some sort of mistake or am I just no longer in the concert loop know how...

May 27, 2009

Rainy day

Just sometimes losing the harsh sunlight for awhile can be a comfort. Today was the first rainy day in quite a spell and, since the the rain took the form of a soft drizzle and a gentle pit-a-patting on the umbrella, there was none of that urgency to run for cover. Instead, every footstep brought forth a collision with yet another fresh scent - the heady aroma of lilacs, the sharp snap of juniper needles, the earthiness of moist cedar decks... The greenery is so lush right now and robins are busy plucking the lawns for worms. It's also peak time for the spirea to cascade under the weight of their heavy white flowers. The waning tulips are giving way to the tall straight stalks of purple alium, the stands of irises, and the emergence of budding peonies complete with swarming ants, What's their job anyway. the ants?

The next few days seems to have the same forecast as today. I don't mind it one bit except that I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow and this humidity turns my mop into a frizz bomb. I guess it's a small sacrifice compared to enjoying nature's bounty. Maybe if I wear my dark glasses no one will know me and I won't feel so ashamed of the hair.

May 22, 2009

The original

For those who enjoyed the advanced cat yodeling, this is the original.

Cat Yodeling

Just when you think there's no relief from the dark cloud floating above you, along comes Paul Klusman, engineer, whose knowledge of cat behaviour is daunting.

May 17, 2009

Everything in 4444s marked down to 333s

I think it's Marissa's invitation to do the list thing that has brought me back to posting. Some health issues have been getting in the way. Well, let's see how much of the questionnaire I can complete. I seem to be stuck at 3s for this list.

Three places that I go to over and over: Starbucks, parents' place, GoodLife fitness

Three people who email me regularly: Chris, Susan, newsletter,

Three favorite smells: coffee, baking bread, Votivo candle - Moroccan Fig,

Other places I would rather be right now: San Francisco, New Zealand, Vancouver,

Three people I think will respond: (am I supposed to email them? or do I just name them?) Leslie, Susan, Chris

April 18, 2009

Neurological mysteries

Today I found myself strolling around Chapters with my tall,mocha frappucino light in hand and I came upon a book that I must have read almost 30 years, that can't be right. Forget the time lapse. This must have been around the time (1990) of the release of the movie, "Awakenings" starring Robert deNiro and Robin Williams. It's based on a true story written by neurologist Oliver Sacks and Robin Williams' character is based on Sacks. If you haven't seen this movie, you should rent it. It is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking. It makes me cry every time I see an excerpt from the movie. OK, so I'm a big baby but I'll bet the majority of you out there will do the same.
Anyway, the book I picked up is a collection of short stories - actual cases - that are strange and mystifying. It is entitled "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat". Now, that should grab your attention.

April 11, 2009

I did it again

Sure enough, it's April so I must be due to have a fall. Right on my face. The fellow walking towards me was so worried because I was gushing blood from somewhere and he wanted me to go straight to the hospital. He called upon the two women coming up behind me to pronounce their opinion concerning the forehead gash. One of them called her husband to come and drive me home. See, all the nice people are on Sheppard. To hell with the Yonge St. crowd.

At home, when I had a look at myself, I realized that these people were right. So I hopped a cab to the Urgent Care Centre at Branson Hospital. Several hours later, the doctor came in and revealed that there were areas in the wound that reached down to the frontal bone. OOOOOOh. This is somewhat significant, I think. So I now have an ugly forehead gash and a nose that is misshapen from the swelling and scraped up as well. Woe is me.

I have been trying to work on some fabric boxes but I'm having problems with motivation and concentration. I find myself doing bits on one and then putting it away and starting another. I think I'm creatively blocked.

April 2, 2009

Not another technological fiasco

I've just been bumming around on the computer and felt like listening to some itunes. Well, the program wouldn't open and the Task Manager didn't work. Probably at the One of a Kind Show checking out Carmi's cards. I couldn't turn off the computer, not even by pushing the button a hundred times. I finally unplugged it. I had the ipod connected to recharge it and I noticed the the screen was frozen on an image. It wouldn't budge. This is the exact same thing my last nano did before I declared it dead which was at least 2 and a half years after the purchase. This is only two months old and at least I had the foresight into buying a replacement warranty but I think it kicks in only after you send it off to Apple for an assessment. What am I going to do without it......

When I plugged in the tower, I had a message that Windows wouldn't start up but whoever is talking to me said it would find a way. Bless him. And so the startup was completed. Except that it won't recognize some of my programs. And I'm ignorant when it comes to analyzing anything on the computer. Might have to call Dell.

Thank god Amber seems much better. The virus clearly has been spreading around the apartment.

March 28, 2009

Quiet day

Here we see little Amber resting up between meals. She has a voracious appetite and is eating like never before. She must be trying to regain her original weight thereby sending the 10 lb pledge into a tizzy. The vet called this afternoon to tell me the tests for feline leukemia and immunodeficiency viruses were negative. No surprise here and cost a fortune. So now we're thinking toxoplasmosis since many of her symptoms are classic. The only thing is that she's an indoor cat and would not be exposed to the parasite. Geez, maybe I gave it to her. Since Amber loves the anorexic food, I'm going to run over to the vet tomorrow to pick up some cans. The vet is both shocked and pleased by Amber's quick recovery.

This morning I was savouring my coffee while listening to CBC Radio 2. Or rather, the radio was on in the background. I have been reluctant to accept the change in programming from strictly classical to...something else. Much of it I can't stand but I suppose it's time to get with the program and open my musical mind to the new and interesting. As I am thinking this, a beautiful song is being played - Sometymes Why is a group made up of 3 women whose beautiful heartfelt harmonies grace each song. There seems to be some difficulty in categorizing their music - contemperary folk, folk noir, and who knows what else.

The song played this morning :Your Heart is a Glorious Machine is from the album of the same name

On the myspace page there is a short list of songs from this new album to the right side which can be played .

Of course I've tried 300 times to create a link to the myspace page. Nothing is working so this is the manual version:

March 27, 2009

Amber needs a nursemaid

A get well orchid for Amber

After failing to develop a successful 'medicating'plan for Amber with that L-Lysine ,the 3 month old upper respiratory tract infection continued to flourish. And then there appeared to be an additional problem. . She stopped eating entirely on Monday night and did not move from the sofa at all. She had this look on her face...depressed, uncomfortable. She dropped a lot of weight - 2 lbs in 2 months. This is like a person losing 30 lbs in the same period of time. So she actually met Carmi's 10 lb Weight Loss Challenge whereas I'm still struggling. Her entire head is so much smaller. She looks great at this weight but illness is not the way to lose. The blood work offered no indication of something systemic. But I had noticed that her pupils were not equal and apparently this can be indicative of one of 4 different problems, most notably being FIV or FLV (aids virus, leukemia virus). It's very unlikely that she has either since she's 12 years old and these are young cats'disorders but I'm having the testing done anyway since the lab has enough blood left to do it.

During the exam the vet opened a can of 'anorexic diet' food, placed it on the table in front of Amber and she ate like she had been starving for days (very funny). So I have 2 cans at home and I am following Amber around the apartment like a stalker. As soon as Amber is finished with her bowl, Tayoh comes running to clean up the leftovers but so far I've been very quick. I'm running into the bathroom whenever Amber goes inside to use the litter box and I'm monitoring her activities there to make sure everything in that department is working. She's been so much better today - maybe from the injections of an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.
There's nothing that solidifies and bonds a relationship like an animal suffering. I feel so badly for her. But tonight she asked for her Greenies treats and that's encouraging.
I should hear about the viral testing at the beginning of next week. So for now, it's a lot of TLC.