Monday, 29 November 2010

Breastless in The City

Hi, one quick second post today.  Here on blogger I have made some lovely 'blogging' friends.  One of them, Cathy Bueti, is one very talented and brave person.  Not only has she survived breast cancer she has written a very frank and positive account of her journey to recovery.  This week she is hosting a blog giveaway, the prize a copy of her book, Breastless In The City. Do pay her a visit.  She also has another blog, Artsy Buttterfly, which is also well worth stopping by.  Cathy is a self taught artist and photographer and trust me, she's good!'re on camera!

This morning I got up real early.  Lovely Man had to go for blood tests, I thought at 8.30, so when I woke at six I got up so that we wouldn't oversleep.  As it was he didn't have to be there till after nine and at seven when I woke him he just turned over and went back to sleep!  So there I was wide awake and there was nothing for it.  I turned on the laptop.  One of my new friends in town was up too, she had taken some of our skiing photos and uploaded them to a thing called "SmileBox" which she e-mailed to me.  Impressed with this little application I eagerly clicked on the "Get your own SmileBox".  A new window opened.  More good news.  This clever little application is FREE!  Wow! Neat!  So I followed the instructions, click this button, click that button, wait a few seconds...there done. " We have installed SmileBox and put it in your application folder" it said.  So I opened up the folder and double clicked the SmileBox icon.  The program opened, so far so good.  The application, upon first opening, will automatically upload the last six pictures downloaded to you computer it said.  Great!  I can get started straight away on my Christmas news letter for back home with some of the pictures I took yesterday.  

You can only imagine, my friends, how I felt when, before my very eyes it uploaded the first six photos in my i-photo library.  I watched in horror as, one by one, photos of me riding my bicycle around the naturist camp uploaded!  Now another horror!  The program did this all by itself.  Oh Please God...Nooooo. Supposing it had automatically posted to Facebook, or to my friend who sent me the link?  Panic stricken I closed the program.  Then I opened it again.  What I thought this would achieve I'll never know, but I was panicking!  Nope, still there. I went to my I-Photo library and deleted them from there, hoping that the computer may forget they were ever there and they might disappear from the SmileBox.  Like that was gonna work?  I'll uninstall it thought I.  Trouble is until now I have always relied on my son or my little brother to do anything like that.  I didn't know HOW to uninstall a program.  I dragged it to the trash can and it disappeared.  I tried to empty the trash can but it said it couldn't because I had put an application in there!  "I know it's there.  I don't want it, please take it away.  Get rid!"  I pleaded.

In sheer desperation I mailed my friend who started all this and tried to explain what had happened.  Did she know how to delete them?  This caused her to panic too thinking she had somehow been responsible for my demise!  A few seconds later she mailed back "No it's ok, I still have just your skiing pics".  Feeling a little hot and sick I returned to the dreaded program.  Then I saw it.  A tiny button at the bottom of the window with the word 'delete' on it.  Thank goodness for that!  So, in the words of corporal Jones, in future..."Don't panic Mr Manwaring"  just look for a delete button.  Or maybe just don't keep anything you don't want published anywhere on your computer!!

Needless to say there are NO pictures for this post!!!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snow...a pleasure...Simples!

Oh how I love this wonderful white stuff!  Like the post title?  Snappy eh?  As I typed it I suddenly remembered there's a new book on Amazon by Aleksandr Orlov which I am desperate to get my hands on!  So anyhow, I took more pics of our back yard today, you can hardly see the deck and the stuff hanging off the roof looks a little precarious!

So this week I have made no bags at all...shame on me!  We spent the entire week playing in the snow!  And after all why not?  Soon enough Lovely Man will be back to work at the hospital, once that pesky Ontario College of Nursing sort themselves out!  And then there'll be none of this pleasing ourselves everyday!  I have to smile sometimes...friends said "what will you do up there? no shops, nothing for miles?"  LOL!  All I can say is...don't knock it till you try it!  I don't miss shopping at all...yes Jan, Deborah, Vicky et all heard me correctly. I DO NOT MISS SHOPPING!  Of course I like it when we do go to Thunder Bay, but generally I don't miss it!  Bored?  Hell No!  How can you get bored with a bush out back, wild life everywhere, lakes, snow....great neighbors.  Not to mention curling and ballroom dancing!  I do miss the kids, my mum, my brother and my friends, somedays that makes me real sad and I'd give anything to get on a plane and go visit, but only VISIT, but most days I just look forward to them coming here so they can share a little bit of this place.

I read an article by a friend of mine, Kassie, yesterday and it made me think.  Yes I miss my family, but I talk to them all the time, then I look forward to the days we'll be together.  But this is my opportunity to experience many things that I only ever dreamed of.  I remembered my dad, always saying what he would do when he retired.  Sadly he never saw his retirement, not in a healthy state at any rate, he suffered many strokes and needed 24 hr nursing care before he was old enough 'to retire'.  So here we are taking life by the horns and living each day as if it's our last.  I wear my best perfume even if I'm not going out, I light my best candles even though it's only us two here watching TV, and I wear my best undies even just to go skiing!!

The U.S. have just celebrated Thanksgiving, we celebrated it last month, and so I am thankful for my health and my life and my Lovely Man, my family and my friends.  And I say to all of you don't dwell on the things you don't have, or the things that you think you should have.  Focus on what you want and then be brave and go for it, things always have a habit of working out if you do, and then when you get there be thankful and live it!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sold out!

Well almost!  Yesterday I did my first ever craft fair.  I sold 8 of my twelve bags and had four enquiries for my silk keepsake books!  For some reason my red velvet xmas stockings and gift bags didn't tempt anyone at all.  I made these last minute to make things look a bit christmassy as it was a christmas craft fair, perhaps people are not so keen on this sort of stuff anymore?  Never mind! 

Earlier in the week we did Thunder Bay one last time before the winter really set in.  The road was really pretty this time! Last time we passed through Schreiber I was intrigued by a number of trees bent over, almost in a perfect arc, at the side of the road.  Our friends, who have lived here for years, explained that there was an ice storm a few years ago and this was the result!  Fascinating! The frozen 'waterfalls' on the rocks at the side of the road are pretty impressive too!

So this week really saw the arrival of winter with our first real snow of the season, although I guess by local standards this still isn't anything to get too excited about!  It dropped to about -18 yesterday then rose back up to about -10!  After the craft fair Lovely Man and I decided to take a walk in the snow.  Having been shut indoors for two days sewing I was eager to get out there.  So eager I did the usual 'grab your boots and coat and out the door' thing.  Note to self - choose something you think will be warm enough and add another layer underneath!  Although I am told we will acclimatize eventually.  It was a strange experience.  Wearing only thin brushed cotton jeans my thighs got real cold even though I was walking quite quickly.  Within minutes of being back indoors they were suddenly on fire!  At one point they were SO hot I considered taking a cold shower!  I did, however, manage to get some nice shots of the beach and lake - all frozen of course!

So today is lazy Sunday.  Cooked breakfast, a little tidying up and then a whole day just painting and maybe another little walk in the bush!  Have a great week all!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Nearly There!

Ok, so today has been VERY productive after all!  Not only did I manage to get next week's column written I also managed to get two childrens bags, one evening purse and a christmas stocking finished!  Off to bed now!!!

First Snow

Woke up this morning to our first real snow.  Umm actually I'm not really sure that statement is correct!  You see, so far, we've had four separate days this month where it has snowed ALL day...but it didn't settle.  Therefore it wasn't, in my book anyhow, real snow.  Last night it snowed whilst I was asleep and it settled just to show me when I woke up this morning that it had done it's best.  So I declare it to be 'real' snow although I guess the locals here won't even notice it!  If it doesn't come up to the windows around here it doesn't count! Apparently it's only a lot if you can walk from roof top to roof top.

So. How has my week been?  For the most part I have been working like a girl possessed on my two sewing machines having decided, at the eleventh hour, to have a table at the craft fair next Saturday.  Notice i said two sewing machines?  I bought one, when I arrived, in Walmart.  The other one I purchased from a lovely guy,  Ron, when he moved out of town.  It is a Singer Denim Deluxe machine which will sew denim and even leather.  I tried it out for the first time when I was trying to stitch some thick handles on one of my bags.  What a dream, it sews beautifully, and it's the first sewing machine I've ever had that simple hums along instead of making that awful clattering!  So far ten bags complete and ready for sale, one silk keepsake book, one red velvet Christmas gift bag, one red velvet Christmas stocking ready as examples for custom orders.  So today I aim to get two evening bags ready for sale and a childs novelty bag.

Thursday night I did take some time out to pursue a new sport.  Lovely Man wanted to try curling.  Stick curling to be precise.  So at 7pm we arrived at the curling club.  I should point out at this point I have NEVER been anywhere near an ice-skating rink, nor have I ever had any inclination to.  In-fact I absolutely hate that feeling of sliding along.  I tried roller skating, skateboarding and even snow boarding and I'm sorry to say I hated it!  So it didn't do anything to inspire me when we arrived to watch the first games from the viewing gallery only to witness two people slip up on the ice, one of them having to be taken to the local hospital to have stitches in the back of her head!  By the time it was our turn to have a go I was unable to speak to anyone, and feeling somewhat sick!  At the last minute every inch of me wanted to turn and run, however with the help of a lovely local lady, Priscilla, I actually managed not only to walk on the ice but to push a few rocks down the lane!  AND, excuse me, I got two of them in the target zone, very close to the centre!  So we joined!  Watch this space!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

New Items

As most of you guys know it has been my intention to work from home, making bags and other pretty things to sell locally and online.  So far I have finished 5 bags and a silk keepsake 'book'.  They are all handmade by me.  Each bag has a small logo label, individually hand embroidered.  They are fully lined, the tote bags have extra stitching on the handles for strength and also a hidden vinyl panel to re-inforce the bottom.  The Fabric Tote bags will retail at $30 CAD, the bambo effect handled purses at $40CAD (+ shipping).

Chocolate Burlap Tote with Rose Embellishment

Floral Tote

Cream Rose Tote
Lime & Blue Purse

Cream Rose Purse
The keepsake books are custom made to order, the one shown was made for a dear friend.  The pictures, 8 or 12 of your choice, are printed onto Habotai Silk, and are permanent. The photos supplied by you will be suitably cropped and sized by me.  I can include other materials, such as a poem or message but nothing that is copyright protected.  The 'pages' will be embellished with beads, lace and ribbons and then sewn into a book.  The cover can be made from various fabrics, with or without embellishments.  Apart from the top stitching around the cover which is machine stitched, everything else is stitched by hand.  Each one has a sewn in ribbon and bead bookmark.  The books can be made to suit many occasions: Anniversary, new baby, friendship.  These will retail at $50 CAD (8 pics) $65 CAD (12 pics) + shipping.  

Keepsake Friendship Book
Inside Pages
Close-up Book Page

I will be setting up a shop on in the very near future, but in the meantime please feel free to contact me via e-mail if you would like to place an order.  

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Walking with Coyotes

This morning we walked up to the Ski Club, which turned out to be much nearer the back yard than we realised!  Only about the length of a football pitch away from our place!  It was really sunny and crisp and we found a walking trail!  Having checked out the skis and stuff in the clubhouse we decided to take a walk and found a lake almost straight away which we didn't know was so near either!  Where have we been for the last four months?  Anyhow the lake is partially frozen already and looked really pretty in the sunshine.  A little further along the trail we found another!

After this we carried on around the other side of town and explored the road to the old mine.  We were feeling brave assuming that the bears were all hibernating.  We didn't see any, but to be honest we weren't really looking.  Our neighbor passed us in the car, she stopped to ask if we saw any bears!  apparently they are still about!  And there was us tromping through the bush without so much as a whistle let alone a bear banger!  Oh well!  To top it all we came along the old bush road which leads to the back of our house only to see a coyote run out from our yard and into the bush!  I was so surprised I didn't even get chance to switch the camera on!  They are SO pretty!