Mar 29, 2012

Nosey Nostrils

I adopted a bat! (Well, actually, it was a birthday gift but my idea.) Here is Nosey Nostrils, framed and hanging in my bedroom.

Nosey is a Evening Bat, found under attack by a bird and rescued by a farmer (thank you!). The amazing folks at Bat World were able to help him recover, although his nostril on the left is permanently deformed and sometimes he has to breathe through his mouth.

You can see a better image of him on the Bat World website. And you can adopt your own favorite! (The adoption package and presentation is excellent, a great gift!)

(Yes, my bedroom walls are Classic Winnie-the-Pooh yellow!)

Willow the Wonder Pup, Part 2

On Tuesday it was once again time to cut Willow's nails. And once again I prepared her for the event, telling her in advance that on Tuesday we would cut her nails. I reminded her every 2nd day or so for a week, although I didn't do as much visualizing.
On the day, after our walk, I didn't remove the leash and led her into the house instead. She had to wait a few minutes for me and when I told her we would be cutting her nails she did not run and hide under the coffee table! Wow, I thought, is this magic really going to work again?
Well, I took out the clippers and showed her her reward for cooperating and then started to do the back legs. Not so good, she fought me by trying to escape. Mom stepped in and took hold of her front end and this way I was able to do the back paws. Once the first leg was 1/2 done it went much smoother, she let me cut from that point on. In fact, once we switched to the front legs it was smooth sailing (okay, as smooth as possible, Mom still had to hold her firmly). The front paws were done in no time flat with no panic or flaying limbs! What a joy!

And what was her reward? A super huge, yummy, yogurt-dipped and decorated, all natural Barkery, "cannoli"! Yes, it is as big as a saucer! And she enjoyed it the way only a dog can!

Mar 28, 2012

Rat therapy!

Rats! Yeah!

Did you know they are being used to help autistic children, not in a lab but in a playroom? Yes, rats are now therapists, read more about it here:

Mar 25, 2012

Lady Teah is ready and waiting for her dragon friend!

Her strawberry blond mohair is perfectly paired with the multi-green silky fabric and shimmery gold fabric, embellished with beads, jewelry findings and ribbon leaves. The dress includes a small leather waist cincher, with multi-colored ribbon ties in the front and back. She has an arm brace for her dragon friend to rest upon, and in her other hand she carries blue faery dust in a glass vial. Of course she wears two pairs of earrings, golden loops and green crystal studs.

The pair will debut at the London Doll Show on April 29th.


I've had a cold all week, so it was nice to sit outside in the unseasonal +27C sunshine and cut out mini hedgehogs. This is a pretty brainless activity at this point, I've made so many of them. But here's a shot of my studio desk... ugh. There are 7 projects on-going in that clutter, not to mention the mending hanging on the chair, and the lady cat that's pinned and ready to be cut on the floor.

No wonder I run away to sit outside!
This photo was taken a few days ago, the Willow tree in our backyard already had pussys March 17th!! This is far too early! The clematis also has leaves, and the roses have leaves opening, as well as the trees and everything else. Normally, we should still have snow on the ground and maybe the crocuses could be showing their heads, nothing else. It's been so warm and sunny that the grass has been growing and Mom already mowed the lawn! And now we could very well pay for the +20C temperatures we've been having: it's supposed to drop to -4C tonight, which will kill a lot of this new growth (especially the Magnolia trees which are so delicate.
In our yard, we attempted to cover as many plants as possible, at least from the strong winds which would make -4C more like -8C. Is this enough, will we save them? I'll let your know!

Mar 23, 2012

Don't let the fairies eat you

That's actually the title of a new book! Too funny, and it sounds like a good read, too, a tip-of-the-hat to the old stories where fairies had teeth, LOTS of them. (It's on if you're interested.)

But what I really wanted to write about to you was that I'm working with Willow to learn some new tricks! She learned "crawl" in one session! This book is awesome, great instructions and lots of helpful photos.

Mar 19, 2012

Resolutions... in progress

I can't believe a 1/4 of 2012 is already gone!!!
So, time to revisit my resolutions, I'm doing pretty well! I bellydance 2 times a week for 30 minutes. I have been creative at least every weekend in one way or another. I've taken the time to cook new creations with Mom and we're thoroughly enjoying watching "Dead Zone" together, along with doing small home reno projects. The only resolution I'm slipping on is doing new things with Willow. We do a lot together, but nothing new that improves our relationship.

But we did share an amazing experience on Tuesday, March 6th. Ever since her thorn/paw injury in January 2011, it's been incredibly hard and dangerous to trim her nails; she has always struggled, always hated it but since that time she goes crazy, kicking and flaying about even with both of us holding her. I even wear safety goggles as once she scratched my cheek with a freshly cut nail right below my eye... a wee bit higher and things would have been very bad. Since November we've been taking her to a groomer to trim her nails, which is also very stressful.
When I was reading "Wesley the Owl" by Stacey O'Brien (have you read it?) I was in disbelief at how Stacey managed to trim Wesley's beak and claws towards the end of his years when this became a necessity. She set up an appointment with him, so to speak, a month in advance, and reminded him often. When she talked about it to him, she visualized what she would do and how Wesley could co-operate. She used the file in his presence on all sorts of things to get him used to it (and the sound, I imagine). Over and over for a month she would do these things, and when the appointed day arrived he let her file his beak!!! I couldn't believe it either, but I thought I'd give it a try. So I made an appointment with Willow, "Next Tuesday I'm going to cut your nails." She knows the words "cut your nails", as well as "clean your ears", "brush your teeth", etc... and I pictured in my mind her standing more or less still and letting me do her nails. After a few times, I handled her foot when I did this visualizing... and she didn't resist! That was odd already, usually she pulls her foot away. And that Tuesday after our walk I said "Now we're going to cut your nails" and holding her collar I was able to lead her to the kitchen without pulling or panic (as she usually tries to bolt under the coffee table). In the kitchen, I was able to open the drawer where the clipper lives (and her treats, by the way) and put them on the floor without her freaking out, although her tail was now between her legs and her ears had disappeared. And then I started clipping the back legs... with some wiggling and an attempt to escape but only once and not with a great deal of intensity and I held my ground talking calmly to her and saying, "We're going to do this today because it's time and we talked about it..." ... and then I started clipping and the back legs were done! I was in shock!

So I moved to the front, and here Mom had to step in to hold her back end, but only restraining her a little, not the full-out wrestler-type body hold normally necessary. She just held one leg in each hand, with very little force. And one front paw was done, and the second was done!!!! All 4 were done!!!! We both then bathed her in praise and wows!!! and you're amazing!!!, were thoroughly pounced on and then Willow went outside with the biggest, best cookie in the house! And I sat in wonder...
So what was it that actually worked? My calm, this-is-how-it-is attitude? My saying the dreaded words so many times to her over the week? Handling her feet? The visualizing? I'm at a loss to explain it, but I can hardly wait for her nails to grow long enough to try it again!!
I love my dog!!!!
PS I went to the Barkery and bought 4 huge cookies in anticipation of many more happy nail trimmings! Think positive!

Mar 17, 2012

Bear Couture

Lady Teah has been named (thank you everyone) and her dress is well on the way to being finished.  It wasn't easy:  the fabric is more fragile than I thought it would be and easily runs so I had to scratch my first design and try something different. It's more a classical faerytale gown now, still elegant.  Here it is in progress:
There's still work to be done, obviously, but you get a feel for it. And yes, I remove the bear's wig while working on the dress to best preserve it. 

And this is the tattoo on her back.  It's kinda hard to see in this photo, but the tattoo is a pair of stylized dragon wings in various shades of green embroidery floss with bead accents.

Mar 16, 2012

Our One and Only

Earth Hour is March 31st at 8:30 to 9:30.  Please take part and show you care!  Posters are available here along with more information: 

Mar 14, 2012

Fall in light, fall in light...

I was going through a pile of old correspondence that I had (before email changed our lives) with a number of Teddy artists and I was then looking them up online to see if they were still into soft sculpture and... they're dead. Mary Bures and Jean P. Armes (although I'm not completely certain about Jean, are you out there?) are, according to the web, dead from cancer. Not to forget Millie Gage and Charleen Kinser, probably the artist I admired most of all. Lorna Dee Johnson and Janice Comito are also nowhere to be found. Then I'm looking for a piece of music, the theme from the TV series "Dead Zone" and the musician, Jeff Buckley, is also dead. I'm feeling a little lost, alone and left behind.
March 2nd:  snowdrops erupting through the snow.  All the snow is gone now, far too early... I predict a wild Spring.

Mar 11, 2012


Yes, I'm on Facebook, and I'm scared! YICKS!!! It's like being at a HUUUGGGGEEEE party and EVERYONE is talking at the same time and you don't knowwhichconversationtolistentoand yougetconfusedandtalkgibberish and hopenoonenoticeswhenyougooutsideto vomit up your frustration because frankly your brain just can't do it. Just can't. After 15 minutes I had to log out with tears in my eyes. Yuck!

I'm really a one-on-one person. Let me give you my undivided attention, I'm a great listener.

Mar 8, 2012


I received in the mail a catalog from the Victorian Trading Company, I don't know how. But there's this boot! Wow! Can you just see a nasty critter or two pulling this Hell on Wheels, with some Hallowe'en Queen inside?! Oh yeah!! Loving this shoe!
And it looks like the Twilight Zoo will be happening again this year in Elora, Ontario, thanks again to Tim and Julie and all their minions (I hope to be an active minion!). So perhaps useful attire is required, like these gloves! Not the warmest, but definitely better than bare!

Mar 2, 2012

One up on Dexter

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a large fortune of black market human organs shall soon be in want of a pickling recipe. Why this hasn't been addressed by the publishing industry is beyond me." Sometimes someone you know says the nicest sort of thing when you're having a hard day. Thank you, Shauna. I promise not to pickle you.