Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Proud to be Canadian

In August 2007, 174 kilometers of the Highway 401, the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway, between CFB Trenton and Toronto was officially renamed the Highway of Heroes in remembrance of Canada's fallen soldiers. Since 2002, 134 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died during the Afghanistan mission.

On Wednesday, December 23, 2009, Lt. Andrew Nuttall, 30, of Prince Rupert, B.C., was killed in southern Afghanistan. He belonged to the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton. His body arrived at CFB Trenton on Monday, December 28, 2009 and began the journey to Toronto for the repatriation ceremony.

My husband and I had the unexpected honour of preceding the procession while we were on our way back from holiday festivities in Ottawa. Words cannot adequately express the profundity of this experience. We had seen videos and news reports over the (too) many years of the Afghanistan war but were not prepared for the flood of emotions evoked by this sobering trip.

Every one of the entrances, exits and overpasses was filled with fellow Canadians waiting in the extreme cold to honour one of our heroes and to support his family during their mourning. There were flags, banners, salutes and flashing lights everywhere. The lumps in our throat barely allowed speech. We were choking on a mixture of sadness and pride. The poignant outpouring of love was incredible.

I'm so proud to be Canadian.

I also salute and honor the thousands more who have returned as the walking wounded. Some are physically maimed but many more are emotionally scarred from their tours of duty; wracked with survivor guilt or unable to banish the horrific memories and trauma they have endured.

They are also our heroes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Forever Marked: A Dermatillomania Diary

My niece wrote this book. It's a heartbreaking 2006 diary of Angela's struggles with a disorder causing permanent mutilation.

Her purpose for sharing was to reach out to others suffering in silence because very little is known about Dermatillomania besides that it falls under the impulse control disorder umbrella. Unfortunately, those who practice this usually cannot find the proper help, if they seek it at all; their shame isolates them.

If you are interested in reading it, you can contact Angela through her book's Facebook page or email her at

Updated: March 9, 2013
20th Annual National Conference on Hair Pulling & Skin Picking Disorders - April 19-21, 2013 | Renaissance Newark Hotel, New Jersey

November 25, 2012
Niece officially launches Dermatillomania website

Updated: February 3, 2011
Scars of Shame

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pure, simple art

I received this truly delightful holiday card from from a friend of mine's daughter. The cards were made for raising funds for her primary school. This is her creation.

Children's art is so pure and affect free. Their offerings come straight from their imaginations with no filtering.

I love this card and intend to frame it and put it on permanent display in my dining room, where we can enjoy it at every meal.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A message from Santa

A friend of mine sent me this link today of a personalized video greeting to her little girl.

This Portable North Pole message from Santa is brilliant!

It does give me pause to wonder just exactly what Santa's secret ingredient is for enabling those reindeer to fly??!!

Just press on the button 'refer a friend' or use this link to personalize your own, free greeting to send to the special people in your life.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The great origami giveaway

The Paper Place Blog has put together the ultimate Origami prize package, one of each of the origami packs they offer online – practically a lifetime supply!

Here's the link so you can enter:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

20 years

This week, hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. It's the second time riding the marriage roller coaster for both of us.

How did we make it this time, when other marriages fell by the wayside? Commitment, pure and simple. We are just ordinary people, living our lives 'in the moment'.

Our life together is based on a simple concept. There are 3 living entities in our home: me, him and our relationship. We are individuals who have and embrace our own diverse interests but also respect that our individuality cannot be acted out in a way that compromises our relationship.

I don't claim that we always succeed but the wins far outweigh the fails. Every day brings a new, and happier, history.

I am grateful for the gift of our relationship and our blended family.

Our life:

My blended family:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


What fun! A friend dropped by this evening and, since we both enjoy playing board games, she brought the original, 1949, W.H. Schaper Mfg. Co. Inc., game of Cootie to play.

Hasbro's Milton Bradley gave Cootie a makeover in 1986. You can see the redesigned game at the Hasbro web site.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

10 text & typography stumbles

Yesterday's posted graphic was concrete evidence that my typographic skills are weak.

Today, I came across an example of a book cover that made it past the editing stage (note the subtitle). I'm quite sure that publisher had not intended for that to happen. This example gave me pause to think about improving my text skills, too.

I found some stumbles that will help address that lack of expertise. Here's an open invitation to come learn along with me.

- proofreading and editing for spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization

I Love Typography: contrast, size, hierarchy and space
Pro Blog Design: improve readability

- free for personal use

Typetester: compare fonts for the screen
TypeNavigator: visual font search system

- text based, graphic creation
Webdesigner Depot: web typography rules
GraphicMania: Photoshop text effects tutorials

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

10 free pattern stumbles

Mailee Lor's Pinterest page: Oodles of paper craft, packaging templates.

Martha Stewart: a tutorial with a link to the free template for making cheery, little parasols to embellish beverages.

Papercraft Inspirations: free, downloadable, paper craft projects.

Free Your Soul - the free art project: lots of lovely, free art images for cards, framing, etc.

Moda Bake Shop: free quilt patterns

Sarah Jane Studios: 3 free templates to make framed, gallery prints.

Wee Folk Art: Free, downloadable, craft patterns.

Eat Drink Chic: make some authentic vintage paper labels with this tutorial and link to the free, downloadable herb labels.

Greetings with Patterns: a collection 21 free, paper cutting, greeting card patterns.

The Long Thread: a tutorial and 2 free, downloadable templates to make a felt, Little Red Riding Hood doll.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The petting guide

Found at:
Tastefully Offensive on Tumblr

Definition from Wikipedia: Meh is an interjection, often used as an expression of indifference or boredom. It can also be used as a verb, (rendering something uninteresting, boring or useless to the beholder) and an adjective, meaning mediocre, boring, or apathetic.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thought moments

I love the film maker's technique of slowing the motion so we see the facial manifestation of each person's thought process as they ponder their answers to each question given to them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The body snatchers

I received this in one of those viral emails so I can't quote the source. Both my husband and I laughed so hard when we read it that I wanted to share it online.

DIRE Warning to Women.


This is happening to women everywhere, every night. This has happened to me and it is very, very scary - so please be on your guard at all times!

You've heard about people who have been abducted and had their kidneys removed by black-market organ thieves.

My thighs were stolen from me during the night a few years ago. I went to sleep and woke up with someone else's thighs. It was just that quick. The replacements had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Whose thighs were these and what happened to mine? I spent the entire summer looking for my thighs. Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans.

And then the thieves struck again. My bum was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to match my new rear-end to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier. But my new bum was attached at least three inches lower than my original! I realized I'd have to give up my jeans in favour of long skirts.

Two years later, I realized my arms had been switched. One morning I was drying my hair and was horrified to see the flesh of my upper arm swing to & fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary - my body was being replaced one section at a time. What could they do to me next?

When my poor neck suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a turkey neck, I decided to tell my story.

BTW - These same thieves come in my closet and shrank my clothes! How do they do it????

Women of the world wake up! Smell the coffee! Those 'plastic' surgeons are using REAL replacement body parts -stolen from you and me! The next time someone you know has something 'lifted', look again - was it lifted from you?

P.S.: Last year I thought some one had stolen my boobs, too. I was lying in bed and they were gone! But when I jumped out of bed, I was relieved to see that they had just been hiding in my armpits as I slept. Now I keep them hidden in my waistband.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

10 detours to silly stumbles

Some stuff and nonsense to browse through on this rainy, Sunday evening.

Pets That Want to Kill Themselves: Totally self-explanatory.

Life Lesson #132 - Twitter: Status updates put into proper perspective.

Bank Refuses $80K Loan; Annoyed Man Withdraws $190K From Bank!: Quote from the page, "Having decided to withdraw his money, he then decided to make it hard for the bank by requesting payment in $20 bills." Serves that stupid bank right.

The PSB Gallery of Thrift Store Art: Some bizarre pieces in this gallery.

Awful Library Books: Egads & gadzooks! There is no hyperbole involved in the name of this web site.

43 Weird Things Said in Job Interviews: What a bunch of dough heads.

NY Times Designer Lid: Some craft ideas should be left as that: ideas.

Girl Falls into Manhole While Texting: Parents Sue: I guess any other response would include responsibility, which I'm guessing is not a strong point for this child and her parents.

Tattoos: From the Eco-Themed to the Under-Skin Touch Screen: You MUST see the touch screen.

The Grizzly Bear Chair: Presented to Andrew Jackson in 1865.

Puhlease, People: Hello Kitty mansion. OK, OK, I confess...I put it in because I think it's cute. Sue me!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

YAHOO...I won this calendar

I'm so excited that I can hardly contain myself because I really wanted to win this calendar.

If you would like to take a closer look, there are pictures of all the illustrations at Ana Aceves blog. The title of that page is 'Thank You Giveaway' but really, it is me who is thanking her!

Ana also has web site that features her beautiful paintings and illustrations.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

10 vintage film stumbles

The thumbnails are screenshots from the respective animations at YouTube and GUBA. Along with the 10 vintage films, you might want to view the animation timeline compiled by Animazing at the following link: The History of Animation

Felix the Cat in Hollywood (1923)

Little Rascals - School's Out (1930)

Betty Boop - Jack and the Beanstalk (1931)

Mickey's Orphans (1931)

Piano Tooners (1932)

Popeye - I Yam What I Yam(1933)

A Fireman's Life(1933)

The Old Mill Pond (1936) - Cab Calloway, Ethel Waters, Fats Waller, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Mills Brothers, Stepin Fetchit, Louis Armstrong

A Ride for Cinderella(1937)

Mother Goose Goes to Hollywood (1938)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

40 years ago

Photograph: NASA

40 years ago I remember the excitement and joy of watching Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon.

Look at Mission Control Centre! The large screen monitors and the abundance of computers were the stuff of dreams 40 years ago and it's only in the past decade that these technologies are available to the ordinary citizen.

Free photography course

There is a free, 4-week, online webinar, photography course put on by creativetech tips. The 1st date was today but there are 3 more left. They are still accepting registrations.

Here is the info:

This special course is taught by photographer John Greengo from the PBS series Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge.

If you are interested, go to the following link to sign up for the remaining 3 sessions:

July 15: Week 1 - Overview. Life of a World Traveling Photographer.
July 22: Week 2 - Your Camera.
July 29: Week 3 - Your Technique.
Aug 5: Week 4 - Composition Secrets

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shapes & colours

Makoto Yabuki portrays bringing the artistic process to life with shapes and colours. He has 4 other videos online at Vimeo.

White Box from makoto yabuki on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Design by the book

A New York Library & design*sponge collaborative project following 5 artists telling how the library has been an inspiration for their art.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A good read

The Gargoyle, Canadian Andrew Davidson's debut novel, is a story of many stories. It intertwines cultures, history, medicine, mental illness, religion, love and life's struggles in a tremendously engaging way. It is difficult to put it down and, while occupied in other activities, I've found my attention often wandering back to this complex tale.

Davidson captures your attention immediately with overwhelming descriptions, that leave little to the imagination, of the horrendous car accident that leaves the main character barely alive and virtually burnt to a crisp.

He also uses a technique that I usually find quite irritating; injecting himself into the text. It's not overdone and, in this case, creates a feeling of collusion.

Burned by Love web page features an audio excerpt of Chapter 1.

Amazon features a 4-1/2 minute video of Andrew Davidson sharing one of his favourite love stories from his novel.

You can visit Andrew Davidson's personal blog at goodreads®.