Apr 30, 2013

Scaredy cat

I don't mean to be a nag, but we're going past the point of no return, basically:

CO2 in atmosphere poised to blow past 400 ppm mark


(In case you didn't know, 350 ppm was considered the highest concentration that was still okay.)

I don't know how people continue to have children when we're leaving them this incredible mess...

Apr 28, 2013

Oakville doll show!

What a great day!  Mom and I spent our Sunday taking part in the Greater Toronto Doll Show in Oakville, ON, and everything went really well!  Okay, I could have had a few more sales (or at least one juicy big one) but we had a really nice time seeing a lot of friendly and familiar faces and enjoying the energy in the room.

I took this mini film just before the doors opened, so you can get a sense of the room and the impressive quantity of things in it, with over 40 vendors sharing their treats!
Here's my table!  The backdrop gives us a bit of privacy and the folding wooden tables made the perfect risers for my girls!  Mom made fitted cork-board plates so that under 4 of the tables another critter could comfortably sit, thanks Mom!
And then the room filled!  The corridors were a bit narrow but all in all the show was excellently organized and very comfortable. 

We got a lot of sincere complements and oohs and ahhhs!  Over-hearing other vendors, it sounds like it was a good show for many!  Three of my mini hedgehogs found new homes, so that was nice (thank you Elizabeth, Nancy and Sharrie!), and I brought home 3 new wigs and brown eyelashes to make more ladies!  

Apr 27, 2013

Always the Dead...

I took the day off yesterday to prepare for the big Oakville show tomorrow and enjoyed some time to relax, take care of myself and experiment (especially as I have to work today).  And I quilled!  I want to make Day of the Dead skulls that folks can hang in their Hallowe'en trees, in their windows, etc... and so I created three pin "molds" for three different skulls.  I like the medium one best!

And then I played with decorating the skulls!  It's trickery than you might think, because you want two of most things (more or less identical) so you have to measure your paper and then the folds make measuring/fitting things tricky!  My first flower was too big to fit into the yellow eye circle, but the nose is cool, as are the teeth. 
Pleae wish good luck for me tomorrow!  Hope to see you there if you're in the area!

Apr 25, 2013

All a flutter!

I'm ready for the big Greater Toronto Doll Show this Sunday!  And I made these for the rats Cere and Bella to catch and crunch on!  They're my first butterflies and moths and I think they're kinda cute!  LOVE the colored papers! 

Apr 18, 2013

April 22nd is Earth Day

What does the Earth mean to you? 
If nothing else, please inform yourself and protect yourself from the laziness, indifference and greed that is slowly killing us all.
Want a specific little thing to do?  Please read the information at the link below and consider signing the petition against the introduction of genetically modified salmon into our food system: 
And thank you!

Apr 15, 2013

Open doors

I think art is about storytelling.  When you fall in love with a piece of art, it's because it's part of your story.  Not necessarily part of your life-story, but perhaps what you want to be, dream about or how you see the world.  It resonates with your inner story. 

  I was smart enough to read the local free paper on Friday and spot an article about an art show hosted in a Bed and Breakfast and made a point to go.  Because it was in a B&B, I knew Mom would be willing since she loves to see older, century homes so I didn't have to worry about the contents of the show:  Mom would be pleased either way.  So on Sunday we went and WOW!!!  The Bed and Breakfast owner, Kim Hedge, turned her Grandville Manor into an art gallery and the arts could not be blessed with a more welcoming patron!!   Some people have a natural ease and although Kim professes that she is not an artist, she certainly makes an art of hosting such an event and making everyone feel welcome (and, as you know I'm an introvert, this is keenly felt and appreciated).
  And the art?  Diverse, unique, affordable, expensive, fun, strange, inspiring!  And for one piece, it was instant for me:  I wanted it the moment I saw it  (although I had to be sure I could give it a really good spot before saying an absolute yes).  "Patience" by Amy Roger is a beautiful painting, the photo here doesn't do it justice, and it's now on my wall! 

 And, if my sister likes the "Cookie Spa" by artist Tara Dickson as much as I think she will, I may have done some very early "Christmas" shopping!

And the icing on the cake?  Kim took the time to flip through my photo book of soft sculpture critters and a few may just be spending the summer at her B&B!!   I would be so honored!!!

Apr 11, 2013

Warm breakfast!

I made this on Sunday and it was excellent!  Easy, and there's nothing like a warm breakfast... well, pizza is the BEST but this was very nice.  Highly recommend skipping the lemon and using maple syrup.
Dodo, next time you visit, I'll make this!

Apr 10, 2013

Stand up! Speak out!

I was at my first ever protest rally on Tuesday, to oppose the release of Genetically Modified alfalfa. There are lots of reasons why GM alfalfa is a threat to our farmers and our health and I felt strongly enough to be part of the protest and show my support. If you'd like to read about this issue, please see the material above, and if you'd like to add your support please click here and send in the letter. In particular, I want legislation that ensures that before any GMO is introduced that it can be safely and effectively controlled to prevent the contamination of non-GMOs.

Apr 9, 2013

Poetry Month continued

How's this for poetry?  Create a poem using book titles!  This is our challenge at work, and while I am currently stumped I am chewing on it and hope to think of something!
Any ideas!?
(Thank you, Krista!  Great idea!)

Apr 8, 2013

Trying something new!

A few years ago I created Tairo the Unicorn and I've never been happy with the way his thighs looked, they seemed very "stuck on".  Last year I came across a book, Passion for Ribbonry by Camela Nitschke about creating flowers from ribbons and I always imagined a carousel horse with a Clematis growing up his/her leg, and so the two projects came together, to finish Tairo with a beautiful Clematis climbing his leg with gorgeous blooms concealing his joints.
So here's Tairo with the instructions from the book and the ribbons I collected.  I could not find a ribbon with dark edges and a lighter center but I did buy a mauvy pink that faded to a dark mauvy green across the width of the ribbon.  So instead of folding the ribbon in half (as per the instructions) I folded a double length and sewed 1 flower petal and 1 bud petal from each piece.

First, however, I created a vine growing up his leg, for this I used brown pipe cleaners:


After trying out a few petals, I cut as many as I would need and started sewing, 1 petal and 1 bud petal per piece.  Each folded piece is 1 3/4 inches long: 

Here you can see what the sewn pieces look like, then after cutting them apart, fraychecking the edges and then unfolding them.
Once I had a full set of 11 petals ready, I strung them together and used a fuzzy brown pipe cleaner for the center, creating this:


I used the green ribbon the same way, creating a full mature leaf and a young pale green leaf from each folded 2 1/2 inch piece.  The leaves were not sewn on the machine but rather a draw string was hand-sewn along the bottom edge (after fraychecking) and then pulled for the desired wrinkles.  Here you can also see the bud petals used to make small, developing flowers.

Looking good!!!  Each element is sewn in place with small, hidden stitches. 
 After a few adjustments and additions, Tairo was fully decorated with 3 flowers, 3 buds and lots of leaves!

And here is the "show side", as in a carousel horse.  I think it turned out really beautiful and it was fun! 
Please note that Tairo is adoptable, will be appearing at the Greater Toronto Doll Show on April 28th and he's sturdy enough to support the weight of a small doll, so a gentle faery would be a perfect companion! 
(If you would like scans of the 2 pages from the book emailed to you, email me!) 

Apr 7, 2013

Colors of Spring!

I bought my first quilling paper!  Look at those colors!!!  Since I can cut my own white and black, I went with there options, I think the red-orange-yellow pack will be great for Day of the Dead skulls!  (I got these from Gramma B's.) 

And while I have your ear, here are two recipes that I thought you'd enjoy. 
We haven't tried this yet but since Mom loves cauliflower and the spices sound great, we'll do it soon.  Beautiful colors...

And this one is VERY yummy and quite easy; if there's only 2-3 of you, follow my alterations to the amounts unless you love lots of leftovers.  (Speaking of which, great recipe for leftover turkey.)  Gorgeous yellow!  If you add some turmeric, you'll get an even sharper yellow, and nice flavour.

Apr 5, 2013

A poem begins...

A lovely quote... if you've ever written poetry, you know how true this is...

Woven words

It's National Poetry Month!  So here are a few hand-picked poems to enjoy!  What, you don't like poetry!?  Give these a try!  You might change your mind:  there is a poem for everyone.

These are all from the gorgeous book Poems to Learn by Heart by Caroline Kennedy, with beautiful watercolor images by Jon J. Muth. 

Apr 3, 2013

Reclaiming stolen property

I found this while researching Krampus and Yule and had to laugh.  Then I had to check to see if it was true... and it is!!!!  Here's a scan from the Bible:
So it seems that taking a tree from the forest and decorating it was akin to creating and worshipping an idol and therefore against god!!  HA!  Krampus would just be shaking his head in wonder...