Friday, December 31, 2010


It hasn't been all eating and computer play during my holiday. I've been skating! See my technique, above? I'm pretty sure that I'm just setting up for a triple axel.

I'm actually pretty proud of myself. I haven't really skated in years because skates hurt my feet (bunions) so much! But last year I got some new, wider skates that fit with my orthotics inside. They felt great! I live right across the street from an arena -- and there is free skating on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Anyone care to join me?
(yes, that's Lauren beside me in the lower photo. Mr B and I and his son went for a skate in London and guess who else was there> Lauren and her dad and her sisters! So I got to skate around a bit holding hands with my baby! Thanks mom for coming to photograph the event!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I can't work at home

aka -- why I haven't lost weight.

Here is my day:
7 am - Get up, watch the news on tv while drinking tea.
7:30 am - Eat cereal while reading Sunday's newspaper(I'm a bit behind)
8:00 am - Have a shower
8:30 am - check my email, google reader, yada yada yada....
10:00 - OMG, it's 10:00! Well, that's snack time.... eat clementine while reading list of things to do......
10:30 - get to work on some fabric collages....
11:00 - take a break, eat some ginger bread, sip a tea... while reading google reader...
11:45 -- OMG, it's almost noon! Better have lunch....
12:30 - where was I on those fabric collages???......
1:00 - I think that it's time for more gingerbread and a tea.....
1:30 - downstairs to sew.... wait I forgot something upstairs..... get distracted, read some email.... mmm.... gingerbread...... and some more blog catching up..... wait... wasn't I in the middle of something? Oh, right, sewing...... go downstairs and then remember what I went upstairs for, but I must stop to make a tea....
3:00 - sew for a few minutes, get bored, wander upstairs and remember that there are some chips in the cupboard...... pour some chips into a bowl, pour a glass of grapefruit juice and settle in front of the computer. So that's where I am now. In front of the computer with my grapefruit juice. Chips long gone. I think that I've done about 30 minutes of work. So if you are wondering what I do all day when I'm not at work, this shows a typical day. Computer and food. I be happy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My new favorite iPad app!

Flipboard! it makes Facebook look like a beautiful magazine! I am so hooked.....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On the go blogging....

I'm working on blogging from my iPad!
This is a picture of Ray on the beach, edited in some app that I have called Photopad....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas!

(this is my tree this year. It's about 4 feet tall and sits on top of bookshelves in the corner of my living room. It adds height to the room, and keeps the dog away from my favourite ornaments.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Making Christmas

I've been baking and sewing and wrapping and embellishing. I'm pooped! Time for a rest! Happy Christmas Eve!

Day 12 Hello Snowman!

This adorable snowman is from Cindy.
I LOVE jar snowmen!! Actually, I think that she is a woman!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 11 -- Merry Merry!

Day 11 is from Jennifer. I always covet her work! She lives in Vancouver so I don't get to go to any of the craft shows that she is at. But luckily she joined our exchange this year! I love my necklace and my pin! I won't be taking them off for the next few days, I'm sure!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 10

Day 10's gift is from Nicolette. What a wonderful ornament! I love vintage collage.......

Secret Santa Ornament

Natalie Kalbach organized a Secret Santa Ornament Exchange.

My partner, Sherry (in Australia) has received hers so I can show you what I sent!

(there is a fabric house ornament, a cd in that doily tree package, some little maple candies, some punched aluminum stars and a heart, and a "few of my favourite things" paper pack)

And I got mine from Sandra in Austria! (I think that it was Austria -- the envelope was a bit beat up so I couldn't read any of the return address info! I don't even have Sandra's last name -- but hopefully Natalie will send it to me and Sandra's email or blog shortly so I can thank her)
She sent me some yummy goodies from Austria -- including Kinder Chocolate, some Mozart Truffles, wafers, and 2 ornaments -- a cool tree made from brown paper (looks like gingerbread with the "icing" on it) and a beautiful ornament made from strips of transparencies. I've made these before from paper, but the transparency idea is brilliant! AND my mom's Christmas theme this year is "A Noteworthy Christmas" so she is using black and white with music notes and written notes, so this will be lent to her for her tree! (um... the kinder chocolate didn't make it to the photo.... it made it to my mouth though!!

Sandra also sent me a beautiful card.... um, I haven't made cards this year... bad martha!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 9

Day 9 was from Kim -- The Queen of Arts!

Under the glass bauble it says "be brave" . This is quite meaningful as I just created a journal page that says "you are braver than you think".

I'll be putting this heart on my bedside table!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 8

Day 8 in our 12 Days of Christmas Swap was Heather. I didn't want to open it because I LOVE the wrapping paper. And the tag was wonderful!

Inside was an altered composition book. This is perfect timing for me because my current one is full. I use composition books as my journal. It is great for listmaking and gluing things into. And that's what a journal is, for me......

I'm going to use the tag as a bookmark in the journal! Thank you so much, Heather!!!

12 Days of Christmas

I am so far behind with everything right now. School ended on Friday and then I had a little winter solstice gathering on Sunday. Now I can relax for a week! And catch up on everything.

This year I'm participating in the Canadian Chickies 12 Days of Christmas swap. I'm a bit behind in the postings.
Here are Days 1-7!
Day 1: Arlene made us each leather cuffs with some hammered wire detail. I wore mine to school every day last week (after I opened it). Arlene! It is perfect!

Day 2: Brittni made us little books with a tiny turtle dove tucked inside!

Day 3: Mar made us each beautiful tree magnet and a personalized mini painting. The magnet totally coordinates with my fridge (how did you do that, Mar?).

I have the painting right beside my computer. See love birds on a branch -- aren't they so sweet?
Day 4: Kathryn made matchbox shrine necklaces for us. She knows that I love the water, so she made mine in watery colours with shells and fish on it. Inside there is a piece of net and a crystal for wishing.

Day 5 : me!
I sent my Joy banners! Have a joyful holiday!

Day 6: Sabina made little winter fairies in jars. She looks perfect with my winter display in my living room. (I cannot get a good picture of this -- my camera just WILL NOT focus on the inside of the jar....)
Day 7: Dawn made each of us personalized vintage hang -ups and crystalized key necklaces. I have the hanging in my entranceway already!!!!The necklace says "eclectic chickie" on it -- that really sums me up, doesn't it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I puttered around and played a bit today. Instead of writing (and mailing) some Holiday cards, we played with polymer clay. It's nice to put to use some of the knowledge that I learned in a class! (Laurie Mika's polymer clay class at ArtUnraveled in August).

I think that these will be nice additions to a wrapped gift -- or maybe as an embellishment on a cello bag full of cookies?
(the stamps are all from The Old Island Stamp Company except for the star -- that is Stampin Up, I think)

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Today I am at the Movies and Makers Show at the Fox Theatre in the Beach (2236 Queen Street East in Toronto)

I'm selling lots of ornaments!
Some are pretty:(sorry about the indoor shots -- it's cold and dark outside lately by the time I get home)

Some are cute:
Some are scary:(aren't these just the cutest little monsters ever?)

I'm selling some cuffs:
and I'm also selling my JOY banners!
See you there !
(I'll also be putting some of these in my etsy shop within the next few days)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sew Somerset

Published again!
A dress from my "Hundred Dresses" series is in here.The series fizzled a bit... but I'd like to carry on with it.....

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I was cleaning my studio (aka basement) and I swept the debris into a (smallish) pile. But in among the dust bunnies I found some pretty little bits. So I challenged myself to make cards out of the "flotsam and jetsam" of my floor. I layered it onto some blank cards that I picked up in the dollar section at Target... I think that they were 8 for a dollar.....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Inspired Ideas -- Christmas Edition

Have you read Amy Powers' online mag yet? It is beautiful! I was very lucky to spend a few days with Amy last year at our Niagara Girls little retreat. She is one of the nicest people I've ever met. Really. And I've met A LOT of people.
Go here to read it! (and the past issue too!)
(and if you haven't noticed -- I've put links to my favourite online magazines on the sidebar to the right)(please let me know if I have missed any, or if I have missed updating the issues)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Keeping busy with books

I've had to do a lot of resting and waiting lately. I've read A LOT. These are just some of my recent perusings...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows -- I was a little late to jump on this bandwagon -- but I LOVED it! To me it was about how books bring people together and make life more tolerable -- well, more interesting....

Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel-- odd, but so was Life of Pi....not for everyone

The Namesake by Juhmpa Lahiri. Oops -- I had no idea that there was a movie.... and it even opened here at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. The book was great!

The Birth House by Ami McKay -- set in Nova Scotia in the early twentieth century. I loved it. (mom, this one is coming to you next)

Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren-- I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did....
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (i find these books slightly annoying, but I still have a desire to read them)(plus, I am planning a trip to England in a year or two, and I'll need to know where to shop :) well, where to window-shop, really.....

Bet Me by Jennifer Cruisie -- not one of her best, but it entertained me on a gurney for a few hours.

and The Queen's Lady by Barbara Kyle (love those Tudor romances!) (annoyingly, the second book in the series isn't available at the Toronto Public Library -- yet they have just received the third...)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Inspiration and upcoming Shows!

Someone asked me recently who my inspirations are (art wise). These are just some of them -- I'm sure that I've left a lot out...... This a list of my contemporaries, not historical inspirations:

Ruth Rae (fabric, layering, use of text, style)
Julie Arkell (mix of fabrics, embroidery, vintage, new)and Denise Litchfield too!
Colette Copeland (perfect simplicity)
Kelly Kilmer (ability to "just do it", journaling, paint, paper, tape, white pens)
Pam Garrison (colour, style, embroidery, vintage wallpaper)
Hope Wallace (journaling -- the way that she fills the page, black pens, white pens)
Nami Ogihara (layering, scraps, tape, mix of paper and fabric)
Corey Moortgat (gesso -- her "old style")
Tif Fussel (Dottie Angel)(vintage fabric, doilies)(and she has an Airstream!)
Mary Ann Moss (Remains of the day -- using up all of the "stuff", combining fabric and paper)
Line Juhl Hansen (encaustic -- layering of mixed media, composition, scale)

So, mix them all together and you get me :)

This is an example of on of my recent ornaments. I'll be selling these (and banners, cards and some scarves) at two shows/sales in the upcoming weeks in the Toronto area. The first is a smaller show in the Summerhill area on Saturday November 20. It's called the Handmade Holiday Sale and is at 76 Shaftsbury Avenue (1 block east of Summerhill Subway) 10am -4pm-ish.

The second the Movies and Makers Show on December 4 at the Fox Theatre in the Beach.
(the link above will take you to the blog where you will can "meet" many of the artists!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Work in Progress

This is an unfinished piece on masonite (8x10) that I started in Raina Gentry and Kris Kollash's class at ArtUnraveled. The horse is a (single use)stencil by Modelo. I've seen their stencils a lot lately in rooms featured in design blogs.... I have another WIP using a similar (larger) stencil from the same class..... . Someday I'll finish.... but I think that painting isn't my very favourite thing to do..... I need to ground the horse a bit and add some collage elements. I'm all about the mixed media.

Monday, November 08, 2010


I LOVE making banners!

I made this black and white one for my mom's "Noteworthy Christmas" . This year her theme is black and white with naturals and a touch of red. It's all about "notes" . This can be broadly interpreted -- musical notes, hand written notes, notebooks?

I made some other banners for my etsy shop -- keeping with more traditional Christmas colours of red and white. (If you would like a black and white one you can email me!) They are made from muslin and the letters are cut from quilting cottons.
(if anyone has any ideas on how to photograph these better -- please share -- I wanted to photograph them in a doorway, but if I use natural light -- i.e. no flash, then the background is VERY distracting, unless I skew them like this.... And if I use a flash, they are so blown out and not as pretty as they are in real life)

Really pretty fabric ornaments to come!!!! (and lots more for my etsy shop -- AND a preview of what will be in some upcoming shows -- more on that later in the week!!)

I've also put some of my punched aluminum stars in my shop....

Follow your dream

I finished this piece that I started in Cynthia Anderson's class called "Painting Faces" at Art Unraveled in August. I'm pretty happy with it. It is very "Kelly Rae". Thanks, Kelly for the inspiration! (I have it up in my kitchen).

Monday, November 01, 2010

A bit of after Halloween Voodoo

You have to watch this!

too creepy?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Click to scare yourself. Don't my teeth look just awful??? The really scary thing is that they are my real teeth...

Another (very) disappointing ipad issue

And this one is a biggie -- You can't upload pictures from your ipad straight to blogger. I hadn't tried blogging from my ipad yet because I hadn't uploaded pictures to my ipad yet. So I bought the camera adaptor for the ipad, and yesterday uploaded some pics onto the ipad. So far, so good. I downloaded a photoediting app and resized and edited the photos that I wanted (I hardly ever use camera RAW). Then I composed my new post -- but when I tried to add a photo, I hit a wall because there are content compatibility issues with blogger and ipad. You'd think that after 6 months this would be all worked out. But no. Wordpress has its own ipad app. But not blogger (perhaps that is because Google is coming out with their own tablet and wants us to buy one? not gonna happen here).

I'm experimenting with mail posting.

Blogpress has an app that will allow you do do it, but with extra steps -- you have to load your pics to Picassa, then grab them. And blogpress apparently won't let you use bold, italic or add links.... (I'm still researching Blogpress -- the app is only $2.99, but they all add up, you know? Having said that, I'll likely buy it and play with it this week....)

So, I'm a bit disappointed with my ipad. The 2 most important features for me -- reading ebooks from the library and blogging on the go, aren't supported. I'll still be traveling with my Kobo and my laptop.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dia De Los Muertos

Yesterday we traveled down College street to the ElMocambo. Upstairs was a super cool festival!
There was an escapist, a rockin DJ -- some burlesque dancers, a magician. And lots of cool shopping. I bought a hair clip made from a zipper, and some cool notecards and tags (did I really need these?) and I bought a Frida magnet from Carmi. If it wasn't for Carmi -- I never would have known about the event. Thanks Carmi! I hope that they do it again next year. I loved it. (In the evening there were bands. I'm too old for bands. They all happen after my bedtime)

left: dj misty (she has great playsits on her blog)

centre: red herring (fabulous burlesque)

right: magician gabriello pitman (So cute. So talented)

This picture is from Nancy's blog -- I was so overwhelmed,(and a bit tired) so I forgot to take out my camera!