Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year from all of us to all of you :)

12 Days of Christmas!

I was busy like an elf in November, making ornaments for my 12 days of Christmas exchange! I was #6!

My wrapped gifts:

 

Everyone elses wrapped gifts -- I spread them under our classroom tree at school and we guessed what was inside each gift, each day! :



Already open and on the tree is gift #1 -- A button-embellished nest by Alice Early. The kids guesses were all over the place -- a bracelet, a necklace, a candle (they knew the gift was for me -- that's the only clue that they had... so they used their own knowledge to infer what was inside).
 


 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Blog posts have been few and far between this fall!
I am still working on a journal round robin (I'm that person who had slowed the RR to almost a halt -- sorry all!)

I made these pages for Jill's book -- the theme was "guilty pleasures"


  
 


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I'm a Mo Sista!

November is known in my parts as Movember.


So what is Movember?
During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in Canada and around the world. With their “Mo’s”, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives.
On Movember 1st, guys register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valour by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Part├ęs held around the world by Movember, for Movember.
 (above is from the Movember site)

The impact of Movember:




This year's theme is Movember and Sons 
Here is my mo sista page :)  I'm part of a team of mo bros who are growing some mighty fine 'staches!

I'll be sporting a 'stash at school for the month of Movember. Except during my parent - teacher interviews. I only have 15 minutes per interview and I don't want to be too distracting, lol. Mr. Drew can't avoid that with his, ahem, manly moustachio.

  (OMG I'm channeling my inner William H Macy, lol )

It's not too late to join. It's definitely not too late to donate. Please consider donating through me or my increasingly hairy team of MoBros. Just visit my page!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blissdom Wrap Up

I had 2 favourite parts of the Blissdom Weekend

1. The Costumes and Karaoke party.
If you know me, you will know that I don't really like costumes OR Karaoke. I don't like dressing up, and, well, I've never actually tried Karaoke. But considering that I HATE public speaking, and I've never spoken into a microphone, I didn't expect to even try. Oh, but try I did. Barbara Jones, one of the organizers of BlissDom, begged me to sing with her. Why all the fuss? Because I was the Queen of England. And she was the Queen of Hearts (Tarts). So, yes, I sang with her. And after that I enthusiastically danced the Cha Cha Slide -- and perhaps taught a few people how to do it? All that after only 2 Gin and Tonics :) And, yes, I kept my hand up in that wave the whole night!

Thanks you so much to my biggest fans :)
Shannon Sveda - Canadian ECE
Barb Fine -Little Footprints
Kelly Williams - Black Belt Mommy
Katja Wolfers- Jack Straw Lane
Jennifer Pinarski - blogger for Today's Parent

 
The best of the UK!

 
You won't believe what was inside that present :)

Barb was 50 Shades of Grey!

 The Queen and Steampunk Shannon -- my moral support

 Always with a G&T!
 
 Karaoke with the Queen of Tarts (Barbara Jones)
   (If you know the source of these 2 photos PLEASE let me know !)

 
Bohemian Rhapsody

2. Our Sunday Excursion to the Movember Headquarters. (There were lots of other Sunday Excursions -- see what was offered here)

I went more for the walk then for the Movember part of it, but I was blown away by the Movember presentation! We walked to the Movember (Canada) Head Offices and listened to a talke about what Movember does. I'll be blogging about this in the near future. I've embraced the whole MoSista thing :)
(yikes, can you say "bad hair"?)

Our Photo walk was brief, but this was the best "networking" I did the whole weekend! I wish that I had more time to talk to these people in depth:
Elan Morgan (she also ran the iphonography microsession)(aka Schmutzie)
Katie York- Motherbumper.com beautiful instagram photos!
Shannon Fisher = truthfully (she's my teaching kindred) (her words :)
Sew Tara - I wish that I had spoken so much more with Tara!!! (sew much more!)
Jenna Jacobson - working on her PhD about Movember! Seriously!
Caron Court - MoSista - 30 Days of Mo (last year she wore a different mustache each day - see them here)
Dana - A Cardinal Sin @radioredhead on twitter
Huh, someone here who's name I didn't get. Leave me a comment if you know who I forgot!



Sunday, October 28, 2012

48 Things

Today is my birthday.

Here are 48 random thoughts in honour of this fine day.

1. I am a morning person. I love to see the sun come up. I love to walk outside when it is very early and so quiet and peaceful.

2. Water makes me calm. Not the drinking kind. The outside-in-a-large-body kind.

 (Carters Beach, Nova Scotia)

3. Hoarding makes me feel safe. I don't know why. Well, that's not true. For a long time I didn't have much money, so I collected stuff to make into other stuff.
 4. I miss summer. Really. A whole lot.
 5. I love to be alone.
6. Olives, cheese and crackers are the best meal ever.
7. I hate the telephone. I am so grateful for email and texting.

8. Looking at pretty things makes me happy. That's why blogs and pinterest are a huge part of my life.


9. Children make me happy too. Even when they're misbehaving. That's why I'm a teacher.
10. I wish that I had more time to blog. To write. People always say "make time". When? I work full time! I have an hour long commute. I leave the house before 7 am and I come home around 7 pm.I have to eat and sleep sometime.
11. I do my pinterest repinning on my commute to/from work! I do my blog reading and original pinning on the weekend.
12. Poor Mr. B is awfully neglected :)
13. I like to eat poptarts on my birthday. Sadly, I don't think that there are poptarts in my cupboard today.
14. I'm going to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the AGO today. I love Frida. So talented. So strong.

Source: ago.net via Martha on Pinterest

15. I always thought that I was a cat person. Nope, I'm a dog person. I love how he follows me around, and then quietly lies beside me. Waiting.
16. I am so proud of my Lovely Miss L. I think that I did a pretty good job of raising her. She's currently looking into a career of making hand crafted furniture. The apple doesn't really fall far from the tree, does it?Well, yes it does, because she's currently into competitive weightlifting. That sounds like too much sweaty work to me. And I don't like to sweat. I even get off my bike to walk it up little hills. But she's into all of that sweaty, hard working, go team go stuff. Go Miss L!
17. Be sad, then carry on. That's how it goes.
18. I am very happy to do repetitive work. I would likely be a great factory worker. I see each task as a chance to get it better each time. I never feel that anything that I make is perfect. EVER.
19. I love to knit. I make socks. The same pattern every time. I just change up the colour of the wool. Maybe someday I'll become more ambitious and maybe add a cable.
20. Christmas is my favourite time of year. Last year I was too tired to decorate my tree. That's not going to happen this year.
21. I don't like to entertain. I do it, but I don't enjoy it. This year, I won't be having my annual Solstice party. Too stressful.
22. I'll still bake the cookies though. And give them away, lol. Because I don't really like cookies. Don't worry Mr. B. You can have as many as you want.
23. I resent the time that I have to spend at the gym. I'm happy that my gym has tvs to watch so I can multi task though....
24. I love to swim (real swimming, lengths, not paddling around in a pool or lake or ocean). But again, I resent the time that I spend doing it.
25. I got kicked out of yoga classes many years ago. Well, not really kicked out, but the instructor told me that "maybe yoga wasn't for me". He said this because I would stress over all of the things that I should be doing at home, while I was trying to unwind in yoga class. Yoga was giving me stress. Irony at its best.
26. I dream about having french doors from my kitchen leading to a deck. Really. Actual dreams.



27. I also dream about sparse, white, light-filled rooms. Hah!
28. I wish that ikea furniture was made better. Love the design. Hate the wobblies.
29. Making art is stressful for me. So why do I do it? Because having made something is completely fulfilling.
30. Just do it. Set a goal and go for it. Be unwavering. Have faith in yourself. I have set many "against all odds" kind of goals. And have achieved pretty much everything that I've ever wanted in life.
31. I LOVE Toronto -- I love living in the big city and being able to access everything that it offers.
32. I LOVE the subway -- my morning commute is fine. So many people ask if I hate it. Why would I hate it? I read a book a week. If I didn't have this commute, I wouldn't read.
33. My bike is sadly neglected. I prefer to walk. I used to ride my bike to work (8 miles each way) when I worked a bit closer than I do now.

34. Pink chrysanthemums make me happy. They always bloom for my birthday. I've been dragging this plant around from garden to garden for almost 20 years. It even stayed in my mom's garden for a few years while I was in between gardens. It didn't like my mom's garden. But it sure likes mine :)


35. One of my favourite things to do here in the city is to walk around the neighbourhoods. Seeing htat (those?) white squirrel in Trinity Bellwoods park is awesome. Hah. I said awesome. At lease I didn't say "eh"...

35. I love Starbucks :) I know that I should be visiting the independent cafes in my neighbourhood. But I love Starbucks! And I don't even drink coffee. It's tea all the way, baby. But hey, I'm not drinking anything at cafes lately.

Source: etsy.com via Martha on Pinterest


36. Because I'm still being frugal. I hit a bit of a stumbling point in the summer (it's hard to travel and be frugal)(well, all of the enablers were with me). But I'm saving up for something big. Really big. Can't talk about it now, or I'll jinx it.
37. Carpe diem. Don't sit around waiting for life to happen. Go out and enjoy what you have now, don't wait for what might happen tomorrow.

38.My friend Meep looked at my "I'd Wear This" Pinterest board. She said " Well, it's a bit monochromatic". Yes it is. Black, grey, and brown and some burgundy. Earth tones. That's me! This outfit is so perfectly me. Swoon.


39. My perfect day? Curling up in bed, reading a book and eating chips (plain) while drinking ginger ale.
40. The rain takes away all of my strength. Like Superman and kryptonite. So let's just stay inside, curled up in bed eating chips all week, okay?
41. Since I have to suck it up and brave the rain sometimes, I made sure that I have a perfect raincoat (black, with a hood) and the perfect boots (pink + liberty print, from Target).
42. I don't listen to music as much as I want to. Currently I'm listening to Mumford and Sons... and also to Ingrid Michaelson, who my mom introduced to. Thanks mom! I tend to put one cd in the player, and it stays in there for weeks. I can listen to the same songs over and over and over.
43. I'll be putting on the Holiday (aka Christmas) CDs soon. I'd listen to them all year round if not for the strong protests from the people who I have lived with. So, why don't I just listen to them with the earphones and my ipod? Well, I never thought of that... maybe I will. Well, really I won't because I don't really like earphones, headphones, whatever.
44. I want to embrace twitter. I really do. I try... But it stresses me out. I miss so much! and I don't really get it. It's no feast for the eyes like Pinterest.
45. I *might* be persuaded into getting my drivers license. Maybe.
46. I love my iPhone. I LOVE my iPhone. I'm not sure what I did without it. But I love my peeps more. Mr. B. , the Lovely Miss L. Mom, Dad, Meep, Mrs. W. You rock my world :)
47. I promise that I won't make another blog post this long. Well, maybe when I turn 50. But you will have forgotten this one by then, won't you?
48. To thine own self be true. Follow your heart. Believe in yourself. I wear a ring that has To Thine Own Self Be True inscribed on it -- it reminds me to be true every single day. Live Brave, Live True.

That's all.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

More Bliss

Some people asked me what pillows have to do with a social media convention :).

BlissDom is " a gathering for women (and men!) developed to not only bring together Canadian bloggers, social media specialists, relevant brands and agency folks, but also to support and celebrate a burgeoning community who had not yet come together AS a community in one place to learn from each other.  With sessions, parties, round tables, brands and networking discussions, BlissDom Canada helped everyone in the Canadian social media community learn new ways to connect, to create, and up their game." (description from the Blissdom site).

Come talk to the best social media folks in the business about how  – and why – they do it.
Sit down with your blogging idols and creative muses and have an in-depth conversation about getting where you want to go.
Listen to accomplished authors, businesspeople and social media mavens as they inspire you with their stories of success.
Engage with some of the most relevant brands in Canada who will be there to get to know you and to figure out ways to work with you in the future.

So last weekend, that's what I did. I took sessions on iPhone photography; How to take better photographs for my Blog; and How to make Pinterest work for me. I learned so much!

 (I always look so serious when I'm concentrating)

The speakers were fabulous. Jian Ghomeshi, Susan Cain, Ami McKay, Amber MacArthur, and Bonnie Stewart.

 Jian Ghomeshi was so funny! I can't wait to read his book, 1982.

Amber Mac was so inspiring.

I have been on the waiting list (a the library) for Susan Cain's book " Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking".

and Bon Stewart is ALWAYS fascinating.

I have both of Ami McKay's books -- The Birth House is set in Nova Scotia -- a place I hold dear to my heart. (and for all of you lovers of  Moth, in The Virgin Cure -- she'll be back! in Ami's next novel :)

More on the Saturday night event and the Sunday Excursions in my next post...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blissdom

This weekend I'm at the social media conference, Blissdom ( here in Toronto) The sponsors are awesome. Sleep Country Canada was here giving away pillows! I got this one, because I sleep on my back. Cotton shell with silk lined fill, and it's hypoallergenic! It's fantastic, I'd definitely buy another.

I'm also working on blogging with my iPhone. I'm not happy with the Blogpress App ( for some reason it loads crappy photos) the blogger App is slightly better, but I can't add links and I can't figure out how to move photos around.If anyone has a better solution, please let me know! I've been whining about this for 2 years! I asked as many people as possible tonight, but they all use Wordpress and I'm not going to convert....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sailing with Walt and Paul

I couldn't resist this:

I

I visited the Lunenburg Cultural Centre while were were in Nova Scotia. I had read about Amy Rice's Mixed Media work on Poppytalk. 
Amy has a book on stencilling coming out in the spring. I've already preordered it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

August in Nova Scotia

The whirlwind of school caught up with me!
I'm a bit behind....

Mr. B and I traveled to Nova Scotia in August. The weather was FABULOUS!

This floating house is in Mahone Bay.... Could you live in a floating house?


My mom on the beach. Isn't she beautiful? I think that the beach is her favourite place to be. Other than at a bridge table, of course.....



 On the ocean front deck. does life get any better than this?


 Mr. B and I at sunrise, just before we left.....it was hard to leave. I wanted to stay longer....


Bye Nova Scotia.... see you next year!


Friday, September 21, 2012

a bit more ArtUnraveled

I took part in an inchie swap. Jane hosted it!

These were my inchies for the swap:

 I loved making these! and I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

There are the ones I got back!

I'm going to mount them on canvas and hang them as a memory of ArtUnraveled 2012. I''m not sure if I'm going to ArtUnraveled 2013. I would miss my friends terribly AND I need the creative outlet... but I'd also like to go to Nova Scotia for a greater amount of time. Decisions, decisions......

I also made some special gifts for some friends. Small purses -- inspiration via grrl+dog..




Thursday, September 20, 2012

Art Unraveled Wrap Up

Once again -- I had a GREAT time in Phoenix.Maija and Ruth were my roommates again this year -- and we added Earlene into the mix too ! (Earlene doesn't have a blog -- so many people are using facebook to connect now).

Maija has moved to Colorado from Phoenix -- and she took this opportunity to connect with some friends while she was there.  Michele Legler makes some awesome mosaic work. I wish that she had some with her for my to buy! Check out these Dia de Los Muertos cupcakes!



I wasn't so frugal in Phoenix though.... I bought some clothes there (supporting artists!) (oh, and to fully disclose... supporting independent stores :) and I bought some journals from Jane. (again -- supporting artists!)


You can buy one of Jane's Number notebooks here!

Source: etsy.com via Martha on Pinterest


JoAnna Pierotti has moved to Phoneix. She took Ruth and I to a favourite store -- Saints and Sirens, which also houses Frilly Frocks. thanks JoAnna! We all spent too much :) Joanne makes fabulous mixed media dolls. She brought us back to her home and we saw her workspace. Sigh. I really need to make mine more inspiring ...

JoAnna teaches around the country -- take a class from her if you can! If you can't get to where she is teaching, take an online class! I'm going to take this one:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bench Scraps (Richard Salley)

(Still posting about Art Unraveled in August)

I took this class from Richard because I thought that I should take some more classes from the big jewelry teachers :). You know, so my techniques could be better. I pretty much knew all of the basics... but Richard taught us how to set a bezel -- I haven't set either of mine yet (I'm a sloooooowww worker). I'm getting really good at sawing and setting rivets though!

We used our own scraps -- and also shared our scraps with others in the class. I liked the sharing part. I picked up a cool etched scrap that I used as a background in this piece (that, of course, isn't finished yet. But is close :) I want to "finish" the holes with tube rivets (after I drill them). I mde the resin element in Susan Lenart Kazmer's class 2 years ago, and the etched "truth" in Diane Cook's class last year. See! I eventually use everything I make :)



Richard is featured in the current "Art Jewelry" Magazine. I was lucky again in his class -- I won a copy! Don had previously given me a copy of it -- so Don and I conferred, and gave the copy to Geri -- who I see at AU every year, but I didn't know very well. I know her much better now -- she made some awesome jewelry this year!

I also made this heart pendant in Richard's class. I gave it to Maija at ArtUnraveled for her birthday. Her new tattoo says "hope" and I know that it is a word very close to her heart......






Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Coffee Tea and Onion Skins with Lorri Scott


I loved this class! I wish that I had take Lorri's day and a half class too!

I brought all of my leftover silk ribbon (from a class that I took last year), so I was able to dye a lot. I wish that the silk would hold the red of the onion skins though. When you unwrap the silk it is a beautiful burgundy -- but when you rinse and wash it the next day, it comes out a yellow/grey. I will still be using it all up on some embellished re-made clothing this year. I have been engrossed in India Flint's Eco Dye book this year, so taking this class from Lorri was just what I needed!

 




I also found out that Lorri used to live in Nova Scotia -- on the LaHave Islands. Such a small world. Her husband was a boat builder there (Covey Boatworks). When I traveled out to NS a few years ago, the Covey building burned down. So I knew exactly where she was..... (more on my most recent trip to NS later)

The Verdict
Would I take a class from Lorri again? Yes Please! (oh, I hope for an altered clothing class)
Will I dye using natural materials again? Yes!