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.