Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The best present

The only thing on my wish list this holiday was a goat. My best friend donated one in my name from Plan Canada.

I watched a documentary in October called Where's My Goat? and it moved me deeply.

It features Christopher Richardson, who buys goats for third world families as thank-you gifts for clients. Some clients questioned the existence of their goat so Christopher decided to track down a client’s goat and discover for himself if ethical gifts are the positive, developing world, life-changers they are advertised to be.

I had no idea how a gift of a goat had such a profound impact on an impoverished family. I encourage everyone to watch the full documentary, if you get the opportunity. And...donate a goat.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The worst Noel

Henri must be tutoring my herd.

The 12 Awkward Days of Xmas

Henson Alternative's Miskreant Puppets give a saucy take on the 12 Days of Christmas.

The return of pantyhose

According to The Beheld, pantyhose is back.

I say 'YAY' but shoe companies will probably balk at its return. Hasn't anyone noticed, sans hosiery, that the insides of their shoes are chewed to bits after a very short time ?

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Yuletube from Nation on Vimeo.

Here's a video featuring a downloadable add-on that will clean up nasty YouTube comments.

Here's a better suggestion; instead of downloading software to alter your browser, simply stop reading comments. Works for me.

Victorian lace eggs

These are beautiful. I came across this video while visiting this Wave Avenue blog entry.

The artist is Beth Ann Magnuson of The Feathered Nest at Windy Corner Farm.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Separating the signal from the noise

Have you ever visited Brain Pickings? If not, get ready for a real treat.

It reeled me in with the pull-quote on the 'About' page, " Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are."

Make it so!

Friday, December 14, 2012

DIY Snowman ornament

Here's a cute way to recycle old, used light bulbs.

Materials & tools needed:
- used light bulb
- plaster
- white craft paint
- red craft paint
- wire, cord or ribbon
- orange polymer clay
- hot glue gun
- black marker
- dark pink marker
- strip of fabric

Mix up some plaster and cover the glass of the light bulb. Dab it so you have some soft, plaster peaks on it.

Use a glue gun to place your wire, cord or ribbon at the top part of the screw top and then plaster over it to embed it. Set aside to dry.

Once the plaster is dry, paint the plastered areas white. Set aside to dry.

Once the white is dry, paint the screw part of the light bulb red. Set aside to dry.

Take the orange polymer clay and make a thin, cone with a flat bottom. Use the directions on the clay package to harden the orange clay cone. This will be used as the 'carrot' nose for your snowman.

Use the glue gun to glue the orange nose on to the plastered & painted light bulb.

Use your black marker to draw little dots on the plaster to make eyes and buttons.

Use your dark pink marker to lightly draw rosy cheeks.

Tie a strip of material around the snowman's 'neck'

Tie the wire, cord or ribbon at the top of your ornament on to the tree.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday countdown

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Can musicians pave a road to world peace?

Can musicians pave a road to world peace? This question was posed as promotion of the Silk Road Project television program Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, which I had the pleasure of viewing last evening on HIFI music & art, a Canadian HDTV channel.

The show was not so much a performance as a thorough exploration of ancient instruments, culture, technical execution, composition, individual learning curves, and dynamics of musical collaboration.

I was transfixed by the concentration, raw mastery, and technical problem solving culminating in an effective, polygamous marriage of musical thought. The joy of discovery marked each musician's foray into uncharted musical territory. Their mental and physical flexibility spawned pure beauty.

If every facet of mankind embraced unfamiliarity with such non-judgement, commitment and mindfulness, life would be luxe.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Niece officially launches Dermatillomania website

I posted a couple blog entries over the years when my niece's book came out and when the documentary was being filmed. Here are those links:

December 2009 - Forever Marked: A Dermatillomania Diary

February 2011 - Scars of Shame

Today, I received an email from my niece today that she has officially launched a Dermatillomania website. Here is her email:

Hey everyone!

Who sends out mass emails anymore when we have social media to satisfy our self-promoting needs? Well, I'm giving it a shot because this is the most important project I've taken part in that brings together all of the work I've done to spread awareness about Dermatillomania.

With the help of my better half, Jason, I have launched an official website to promote awareness about this disorder with the main goal of having it become a vital source of information about the disorder while having a platform to invite people to look at the work I've done for the cause.

Please visit to see the hard work Jay and I have put into this website! If there was ever a time I needed you to share a link, THIS is it! Please share this site through email, social media sites you are associated with, forums, blogs, anything! Any type of share means the world to me!

If you want to subscribe to my website blog to be updated about upcoming changes/ additions to the website, please click

Thank you all so much!


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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Worst holiday special ever

Here is a segment from the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special featuring Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia singing an ode to "Life Day" - the Star Wars Universe's answer to Christmas.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Friday, November 17th 1978.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Child labour?

I'm not sure what this says about the drywall trade, but our daughter reports that Moss actually did a pretty decent job mudding. Mina was a bit sloppy in the corners, but nothing some on-the-job training couldn't fix.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Use genetic research to improve help for mistreated children, study says | CTV News

Use genetic research to improve help for mistreated children, study says | CTV News

The researchers said abuse in the early years is tied to long-term changes in brain circuitry, problems in the nervous and hormonal systems and other changes that "influence health and quality of life across the lifespan."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A dark ages Halloween

Princess Mina and her gallant protector, Sir Mosselot on his trusty steed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Novice quilter

Last summer, a friend of mine was kind enough to show me the basics of machine quilting. I started out with a simple table runner pattern and, in the fall, I tried a different pattern for a table topper. My most recent one is pictured above. The binding is pinned and ready for hand sewing. My first attempt, below, is pictured while in process.

The pattern is called Ozark Star and you can acquire a free copy of the pattern at Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting by registering on their site.

The fat quarters are beginning to accumulate and I'm hoping to translate them into this year's Christmas gifts.

I've already cut out the pieces for my next project, which is a table cloth. It is called Crossroads Table Set by Brenda Miller and you can acquire the pattern at Quilt Craft Distributors. The pattern includes a table cloth, placemats and table topper.

I'm using the following fabrics to make it:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Some art class drawings

Here are some drawings from the SpeakArt Class I've been taking. The Art Psychotherapist, Eva-Marie Stern, has written a feature 'Trauma therapy: helping survivors of abuse and violence rebuild their lives'

Stop by to view the online gallery for The Art Not Violence Project.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Lurch

The 1960's television show, The Addams Family, was a favourite of mine when I was growing up. This evening I found a 'blast from the past' on YouTube. It's 6-foot, 9-inch Ted Cassidy (Lurch) dancing The Lurch on the TV variety show Shivaree, October 30, 1965.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Be nice

A Lemon Squeezy Home blog posting for February 12, 2012 features words to live by. Christie has made four, free printables of the following quote available.

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.

― Marvin J. Ashton

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Freedom of expression

When my husband and I watched this last Friday, we howled with laughter at the graphic and effective demonstration of the disgusting and horrific practice of posthumous baptism.

I can barely wrap my head around the fact that this clip is generating such hue and cry.

How can this religious organization unilaterally nullify everything this man believed in and then, when satirized, climb on the high horse of the right to freedom of religion/thought? Clearly, there is an inability to adhere to their own arguments.

The doctrine of eternal life based on individual, corporeal existence was conveniently bypassed when faced with the core tenets of Edward Davies' life. Based on this so-called 'truth', shouldn't unbelievers experience the same permanence based on their lifetime choices?

This religious organization crossed the line of human decency in the most cowardly way possible; exerting their will when Davies could not possibly exercise his rights and freedoms. This posthumous baptism demonstrated complete and utter megalomania. Fully aware that Edward Davies would have been repulsed by the ritual, they performed it anyway.

Freedom of religion/thought? I'm left to conclude that their strident argument applies only to those chosen ones who believe exactly the same way they do.

Update: February 18, 2012 on Wired: Can I Get on the Mormon “Do Not Baptize” List? How to avoid being baptized after you’re dead. Looks like Bill Maher might be busy with his unbaptisms.