Dec 30, 2011
Dec 29, 2011
1.) Do something creative/artistic every week. On purpose. Plan it. Schedule it. Do something to make it happen or it won't. It doesn't have to be sewing/soft sculpture, it can be pop-up cards or paper mache or photography or anything that makes something and uses my imagination and problem solving.
2.) Bellydance twice a week. It only takes 30 minutes/session, do it! Feels good in many ways (the stretching feels pretty amazing), good for me, uses those co-ordination body movement brain cells that are stuck in a "Huh?" rut.
3.) Do new things with Willow. Her brain cells are also falling asleep and the dis-connectedness I feel will be greatly reduced if we do stuff together. Again, 15 minutes means a lot. Do it.
4.) Take time to sit and relax with Mom. I don't have to list all the reasons why this is important.
SO, my goals are not lofty. I think it's all a matter of S-T-O-P-P-I-N-G and asking, "Okay, what's important here? What will make this day a good one?"
By the way, we did get a sugar dusting of snow for Christmas Eve and Monday we got a decent amount! Yeah! It was wet and sticky and made everything look beautiful!
Dec 22, 2011
But I can still dream! Next year I'll write to Santa!
Dec 19, 2011
Happy Solstice everyone! Take a moment to light a candle and spare a thought for the wind and the wolves, the trees and the fishes, the soil and the water. And of course, welcome back the sun!
So, here's everyone's favorite: Chocolate Carmel Thumbprints! Wow... you squish in a piece of Caramilk into each cookie and the result is awesome! All they need now is a dusting of icing sugar. (If you want it, just email me for the recipe.)
Then I made Chrusciki for the first time ever! It's quite a process, and since we don't have a deep frier I used the fondu pot, setting it into the sink for safety. Roll, cut, fry, dry... it went well and luckily I decided to 1/2 the recipe because it takes a while and I made 92 cookies (also awaiting icing sugar in this photo)! (Just look up "chrusciki" on www.allrecipes.com)
These are supposed to look like "angel wings" but try as I might they turned out looking like... deep fried squid? Ah, Hallowe'en... Only 318 days away and I already have a new recipe!
Dec 14, 2011
I found this most unusual Krampus in a book, "The World Encyclopedia of Christmas" by Gerry Bowler. He's almost a pet here, not as humanoid as other images. Still, he's definitely a demon, definitely creepy and definitely dangerous! Look at that tongue!
(Sorry for the not-so-great scan, I didn't want to snap the book's spine.)
Dec 10, 2011
When will this be resolved? WHO KNOWS?!!! Sorry for the inconvenience and, yes, I'm looking for a new provider!
UPDATE, December 19: While I don't have a new provider yet, I have a new home for my websites! They now live in BC, on Glidehosting's server. Thank you Dave for making this migration nearly effortless! You guys and gals are amazing!! So my new email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Dec 7, 2011
Dec 6, 2011
Dec 2, 2011
I want magic!
I'll be happier when December is over...
In the meantime, I did receive a most amazing gift today. (Rose, thank you!) In an envelope from Rose there was an envelope from Hungary and in the envelope was a Krampus postcard! WOW! I'm just thrilled! (If you want to read about Krampus, try http://www.krampus.com/.)
This is a scan of the postcard.
So, perhaps I'll skip the Christmas mumbo-jumbo, focus on a Krampus and Solstice celebration (far more sincere) and take great, honest pleasure in real friendships.
Nov 29, 2011
My single pumpkin sprout was joined by two new babies, that's rather wonder-full! So cute!
We did bake 3 kinds of cookies on the weekend, they turned out pretty great, but I think I need snow. Lots.
In more exciting and happy news, I just sent in my submission to Teddy Bear Review, as Stephanie Finnegan requested material for an article about "What are you doing in 2012?" It just so happened that I was discussing a collaboration with Tammi Beaulieu and so I was able to send Stephanie our plans to create something together! I really do need to re-focus and get back to making things, I've gone stale and need to find my passion again... Working with Tammi is definitely going to help as my lady bear will need to be awesome enough to be paired with one of her dragons!!!
And by the way: 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, and, according to the Chinese Calendar, rats play nicely with dragons...
Nov 26, 2011
Nov 21, 2011
Nov 18, 2011
But only after a hearty breakfast!
Nov 16, 2011
Here they are on their big night, pretty cute I think!
Also, visiting Elora during "Monster Month" was a highlight. At the Twilight Zoo during Scare Fair (love these names!), we met Tim Murton and Julie and I very much want to be part of this amazing Hallowe'en event in 2012. There are lots of possibilities, from helping set up to having a booth to perhaps supplying treats for an opening or closing party?? They need volunteers, so if you can help, scream it out! Visit http://www.twilightzoo.ca/ to see some of the amazingly beautiful and spooky paper and fiber mache creatures.
Look at the joy in these dancing demons! Who would not want to join in?!
Nov 14, 2011
I really wanted to use these for a meal for Hallowe'en... very cool veggie pasta.
And I really wanted to make something like this for the Online Hallowe'en Studio Tour.
So now the green grass pasta will become something Solstice-y and the ghost... well, it's a long winter.
I think I have to come to a full stop, enough running around with 1/2 a chicken head and decide what I really want. Especially for next Hallowe'en.
Nov 12, 2011
and please email me if you have any questions...
Nov 11, 2011
Anyway, can't stop a train wreck, can you? So, what do I like about Christmas? I like baking, and last year we made Krampus cookies!!! Yesterday I hunted for a cookie cutter, but the only one I could find isn't very good, but I did find instructions on how to make your own cutters, and amazon.ca sells a cookie cutter making kit, or even just the metal refills for the kit. Hmmm... I'm thinking maybe to create some Christmas joy I need to Hallowe'en it, with a little devilish mirth!
Here's a close-up of last year's creations, chocolate cookies with red sugar glitter horns, yellow mini-Smartie eyes and dried cranberry tongues. I used two shapes, a crescent moon and a heart, but it was slow going.
How magical! We planted these sweetlings and one survived the shock, and here he is, being unimpressed today with another shock: snow!!!
So, what am I going to do with this baby? Can I keep him alive all winter, until I can plant him outside? How do you slow down a pumpkin's growth?
Nov 9, 2011
I've been rather depressed (where have all the ghosties gone?) and then I got this lovely package in the mail!
When you receive something this creative, you know you're blessed. Real leaves are taped onto the box, so simple yet so elegant! I received this from Sally J. Smith of Green Spirit Arts, one of my Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Trick or Treat artists, and inside I found the 2012 calendar and greeting cards I purchased, along with many special thank you treats. These are some of the cards:
To see more of Sally's amazing work, please visit
Oct 24, 2011
http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/community/photo.aspx?plckPhotoID=30144f37-7de2-4d03-8968-98b1c8086781&plckGalleryID=c5adadb0-af9c-4a39-a972-2f835af5903d If you want more details on how to recreate this cake, just email me.
I hope you're having fun with your Hallowe'en preparations. Here's a picture of my conjoined twins and partially eaten gingerbread men!
I'm so happy I found these cookie cutters!
Oct 15, 2011
Oct 6, 2011
(Click on the thumbnails to see full-sized images.)
Sadly, I don't know any Russian at all, do you? If you do, are you willing to translate these 3 pages? I'd very much appreciate it!! Please email me!
Oct 3, 2011
I didn't finish my demon, he's still just an unfinished head... But there's still lots of time to create some of the Hallowe'en decorations I planned on making LAST year!!!
Sep 12, 2011
It was a great place to meet with fellow artists and friends (thanks April for stopping by!) and meet new, incredibly talented folks! Deborah Downey of Altered Ego Artwerx became rather fond of Ceres the Rat and invited him over to her table. Before you could blink, he was cozying up to the Grandma'am Gnome and trying to get her peanut! She's a tough cookie, though, and even though she wasn't going to hand it over, they still became buddies and posed for a photo.
Aug 25, 2011
Aug 19, 2011
Aug 7, 2011
The main reason why we picked the long weekend was to be able to take part in the 9th annual Lantern Festival on July 31st at dusk around Fairy Lake. It was a very warm and sticky night and we were completely exhausted by our wanderings that day in the heat... believe it or not, we sat in the air conditioned car to refresh ourselves! How desperate is that!
Luckily by the time we reached Southampton (a 8-10 minute drive) we were revived enough to take part in the magical event.
Look at all the people who came out! In this photo children of all ages prepared their lanterns for the parade.
This "Wishing Wall" let you write a wish on an origami crane for the faeries to read, and perhaps grant!
Here's the path, lit with strings of lights, to guide the lantern bearers along...
It was truly wonderful, we were all very happy to take part, although poor Willow was dragging her feet as we paraded around the lake.
Here's a cool tidbit: Fairy Lake is a natural lake and one that has always been a source of danger. Parents keep their children away for although the water is only 1.5 m deep, the muck is 3.5 m deep! A natural location, obviously, for faeries and other water folk, like kelpies who'd love to drag you under...
While enjoying our deck and hiding from the sun, I worked on 5 mini hedgehogs, who will all find themselves beachy names, I think.
The only down-side, besides the heat, was that both Port Elgin and Southampton are very dog un-friendly: no dogs on the beach, or even on the boardwalk in Southampton! The trail to Gobles Grove at least let us discover a beach that we used discreetly in the early mornings so Willow could enjoy playing fetch in the water and rolling in the wet sand.
And on our last evening, this incredible sunset featuring a flying horse or dragon filled the sky!