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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bizarre December Holidays

December 1 is National Pie Day and Eat A Red Apple Day & World Aids Awareness Day

December 2 is National Fritters Day

December 3 is National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day

December 4 Santas' List Day - we hope you are on the "Nice" list OR Wear Brown Shoes Day

December 5 is Bathtub Party Day ( am I invited?.. Please?) OR National Sacher Torte Day (Can I have my piece in the bathtub?) AND Repeal Day - The 21st Amendment ends Prohibition. (I'll drink to that!)

December 6 is National Gazpacho Day and Mitten Tree Day OR St. Nicholas Day

December 7 is National Cotton Candy Day OR International Civil Aviation Day OR Pearl Harbor Day OR Letter Writing Day (I better take note of that or no-one will get Christmas cards this year!)

December 8 is Take It In The Ear Day OR National Brownie Day OR Eid-Ul-Adha - date varies ?

December 9 is National Pastry Day OR Christmas Card Day (Guess I have until the 9th to write my cards!)

December 10 is Festival For The Souls Of Dead Whales AND Human Rights Day

11 National Noodle Ring Day (what is a Noodle Ring?)

12 National Ding-a-Ling Day OR Poinsettia Day

13 Ice Cream Day OR Violin Day (Not sure what those have in common!)

14 International Children's Day - Second Sunday in December AND National Bouillabaisse Day

15 Bill of Rights Day OR National Lemon Cupcake Day

16 National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

17 National Maple Syrup Day

18 Bake Cookies Day OR National Roast Suckling Pig Day

19 Look for an Evergreen Day (Mine will be up as soon as they are for sale here!)

19 Oatmeal Muffin Day

20 Go Caroling Day

21 Forefather's Day OR Humbug Day OR National Flashlight Day OR Look on the Bright Side Day (somehow look on the bright side doesn’t seem to go with humbbug….)

22 National Date Nut Bread Day - or September 8!?

23 Roots Day

24 National Egg Nog Day OR National Chocolate Day (thought we already had a chocolate day….)

25 Christmas Day OR National Pumpkin Pie Day (Nope this is plum pudding day not pumpkin pie day!)

26 Boxing Day

27 Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day OR National Fruitcake Day

28 Card Playing Day (isn’t this the day you take everything back to the store and exchange it?)

29 Pepper Pot Day

30 National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

31 Make Up Your Mind Day AND New Year's Eve AND Unlucky Day (not sure why!)

This list of bizarre December 'holidays' was assembled using a number of different websites... I'm just glad that I now know that I have until Dec 9 to get my Christmas cards written and mailed! I will report on the 10th as to how successful I was ! And don't expect an update on the 5th I'll be too busy drinking and eating my Sacher Torte in the bath tub that day to update!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

black friday & cyber monday

Black Friday doesn't portend the gloom and doom that the name conjures up... It's actually a good day... It's suppose to mean the day that retailers in the US go into the black... after operating in the red all year up to that point.... I can not fathom being in the red for 92% of the year ... I better be in the green in my seasonal gallery after 60% of the summer is gone (ie by the August long weekend) or I'll be standing out in the middle of the road flagging down cars!

Now onto Cyber Monday... I guess I've heard this term before but I really didn't know what it meant... according to wikipedia Cyber Monday is the day that everyone has returned to work after eating too much on Thursday and shopping too much on Friday and Saturday! Monday everyone switches from mobing retailers to mobing online stores! (In my dreams!)

Yes here is my etsy link for all of you people who want to spend money online on Monday Islandgirl... I promise no mobs of people you can shop from your desk at work, your blackberry... your laptop... I will custom make you anything you want, and remember every purchase from me until Dec 21 puts another can of food into our local foodbank! So shop shop shop, help the economy, no point leaving money in the bank give it to me!

Or go browse through other stores on etsy; there really are a lot of very nice gifts that can be found at etsy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is primarily a North American holiday which has generally become a national secular holiday with religious origins.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members.

Canadian Thanksgiving occurs on the second Monday in October and Canadians give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although some people thank God for this bounty, the holiday is mainly considered secular.

Thanksging in the US, most people celebrate by gathering at home with family or friends for a holiday feast. Though the holiday's origins can be traced to harvest festivals which have been celebrated in many cultures since ancient times, the American holiday has religious undertones related to the deliverance of the English settlers by Native Americans after the brutal winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The period from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day often is called the holiday season.

Silly thanksgiving quiz !

We will be having lobster for super tonight as it is lobster season here in New Brunswick... and in my search for information on Thanksgiving and Turkeys... I discovered the lobster was likely on the menu
in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians celebrated the first Thanksgiving.

(the above info came from a variety of sources on the www including wikpedia, 'that explains it' & "Aristotle's thanksgiving")

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Endless Possibilities

This is a really interesting shop that G and I tripped over in Manteo NC.... To quote their brochure they are
an inovative recycling project that utilizes castoff fabric from the hotline thrift stores to weave fabric that is then transformed into unique rugs, handbags , totes and clogs....
We actually parked in front of this store... you walk into a huge room full of looms... all warped to make rag 'rugs'

100% of the sales go to the outer banks hotline. I not only came home with one rug (probably would have got more than one as at $25 I thought they were a deal... but by mid October the selection was pretty lean!) but I also have a lime green and navy pair of clogs! There were only 3 pairs of clogs left but two of them fit me.... so how could I not get a pair!
If you're in the area stop in and check out their goodies... if you live in the area or are visiting they offer classes for beginning weavers, or if you have sheets or other potential rags contact them ... their Hotline Philosophy:
is that everything and everyone deserves a second chance.
Endless Possibilities

Monday, November 24, 2008


Well the weather gods listened... I was praying for the sun god.... and he showed up! The roads were almost all clear by 1:30.... I was wrong about the stop sign at the bottom of the hill it was merely a yield sign so not stopping wasn't an issue.... G went first the deal was he wouldn't go round the corner....until there was enough room (time) for me to come sailing down the hill, go across the intersection, and around the corner without hitting someone who thought they had the right of way! The next 8 miles were driven at a very sedate 40 - 45 mph I did have a tailgater but since I wasn't setting the pace the guy couldn't blame me.... I was just trying to keep far enough behind G to avoid rear ending him! .... (we forgot to check and see if my brake lights still worked... even though the brakes didn't do anything... indicating that I was slowing down might have been useful... I drive a standard you can actually get quite slow downshifting into first)

Now we get to town and the 3 way stop.... this one is more or less level .. we are going straight through here so that I don't have to try and stop at the stop sign at the bottom of the hill getting onto main street! G goes through and I drift slowly through after him.... About this time I decide that I don't want to drive the 4 miles on the highway that I want to go through town on the road that parallels the highway... so I phone him... (I made I big point of finding my cell phone before we left) He doesn't have his cell phone on! So the highway it is the shoulder is still covered in snow.... I'm not really sure where I'm, going as I've never used this mechanic before.... all I know is it's just past the western entrance to St. George and it's on my side of the highway... found the road I'm going slow enough to turn in.. instructions were to leave it with the key near the big building out behind the house... Car gets abandoned in the middle of the yard because all the parking spots point down hill....

Everyone keeps telling me that there are front and rear brakes in cars and you can't loose them both at the same time.... well they are WRONG I went from good brakes to no brakes!

And my cell phone is still somewhere in the car... not sure where it landed when I threw it away in disgust when I realized that G didn't have his on!

The good news is it's still sunny today and tomorrow is suppose to be way above freezing so the snow should be gone by tomorrow afternoon! Who knows when I'll get my car back!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Maybe once it quits snowing here I can go out and make a cute little family of snowpeople... But right now the fog horn is blaring and the snow is falling and it's much to cold to make snowballs! I'm wondering what someone did to offend the weather gods...* Since we got home on November 4... I have been opening the gallery on saturdays.... We haven't had great weather the other 6 days of the week but Saturdays have been awful! Today it is snowing... yesterday was sunny and crisp... last saturday it poured rain....

I escaped to the Mainland yesterday... coming home in the ferry lineup my car brakes quit... It's a very disconcerting feeling when you are parked nose down on a hill.... I started the car with my foot on the brake... that foot sort of caught then went straight to the floor fortunately I drive a standard and was well behind the car in front... Poor Lizzy (my '95 Mustang) got parked on the other side of the ferry and I went running down the ferry ramp. Should be an interesting 15 minute drive (normal rural highway speeds) to the car repair place tomorrow if it's quit snowing and the snow is cleared no brakes and ice could be way too exciting for me! And yes there are hills including one with a stop sign at the bottom!

*BBC info on weather gods... I noticed that there are no weather gods for snow.. I wonder why?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Well I have Hives.... & CIM Cirrus....

I have similar thoughts on both of those.....

Fortunately the hives aren't terribly itchy, and they aren't on my face, but I really have no clue where they came from... this is what web MD has to say about hives...

"Urticaria, also known as hives, is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or plaques (wheals) on the skin that appear suddenly -- either as a result of the body's adverse reaction to certain allergens, or for unknown reasons.

Hives usually cause itching, but may also burn or sting. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat, or ears. Hives vary in size (from a pencil eraser to a dinner plate), and may join together to form larger areas known as plaques. They can last for hours, or up to one day before fading." (if you read farther they mention 6 weeks..... but since this isn't bikini season I don't really care!)

This was what happened when I encased with CIM Unique Cirrus glass... I thought that glass stayed transparent.. (I'm sure I've encased with it before???) Anyway ..I spent for ever encasing some copper ribbon only to pull this out of the kiln. The second bead was encase using lite aqua... much closer to what I was expecting!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What computers do ..... (or don't do!)

This was not the intended topic for my one week anniversary however as I was playing on google this morning trying to see if my etsy site came up at all if you typed in Islandgirl... short answer is NO it doesn't...
However if you type in Islandgirl.etsy you do get a hit.... I just about fell over I was laughing so hard when I read what the search engines coughed up for the featured item on that hit!
Actually there was a bit about my shipping policies to Canada first and then this !

... If I only had a bra... islandgirl, $48.00 ...*

That hit is reminiscent of the 'false advertising' on my point of sales terminal in the gallery when someone purchases something and pays using a 'card' the top of the sales slips read

"Fireball Gallery & Stud"...

I'm still waiting for the stud to show up!
(That was entered by a human... there is no excuse there!)

Whereas when your dealing with search engines it's all done by computers or some form of bot trolling through cyber space andthe little bots just take a snapshot of what they see, which only uses so many characters... but you think there would be some way of making sure that the chopped off words don't have a totally different meaning from what was intended!

Actual title "If I Only had a BRAIN!"

*note: (I really do have one or more of those!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hudson Oddities - Audrey Hudson

Audrey is one of the women who's work I carry in my gallery... Hudson Oddities unfortunately all you get with that link is a title page, promising that the site will be here soon....
Audrey makes beach glass jewellery or to quote her “Beach Glass Creations”out of REAL beach glass not out of tumbled art glass. When I first started carrying her work in 2002 in SK all she did was paint on beach glass...

Back in 2002 when you got your first order it came with a light house display stand… Since then she's come out with a line of one of a kind wire wrap sterling and gold fill jewellery.

According to rumour Audrey has always collected Beach glass, the story goes that sometime around 1998 she was told to do something with her 1000's of pieces of glass or throw it all away…. so she started painting the glass, then her father built her a 4 story light house to work in which looks a lot like her original light house displays! This fall her business became a economusee.
If you go visit her in her you will see a wonderful display of glass when you tour the upper floors of her lighthouse, you can browse through her boutique on the main floor or you can even create your own piece of beach glass art in one of her 1 hour workshops.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Evolution of a Gallery

The cute little building in the first picture was the first gallery it was actually on a beach at a small salt water resort Manitou Beach in the middle of Saskatchewan. I bought the building in Feb of 2000 and we spent hours turning a pink and lime green ice cream parlor into what you see in the picture. The Beach Hut or Beach Nut as it was so often erroneously called, was open for 5 summers... if it was cold I froze and if it was hot the temp was often over 40 C (104 F) as there was no insulation... but it was fun spending summers at the beach... my cabin was a 15 minute walk and on nice days I'd stop at the beach on the way home and go swimming.... However in 2001 we moved from SK to NB, so for the next three summers I commuted to work 3000 miles in June and home again in Sept... I sold the building in Sept of 2004 and moved my stock to Deer Island into an addition on our Deer Island home, and renamed it Fireball gallery & studio (If you look closely at the second picture you can see the awning rolled up over the window).
I actually preferred the gallery at arms length.... when I locked the door at 5:30 at Manitou Beach I walked away from everything... here people show up during supper, they show up in the morning before I'm dressed....., if I'm home I'm open....
What do I sell... work by Canadian women, including myself. Fireball Gallery

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Zoom Zoom

Zoomies is ONE today! He came from the Charlotte county SPCA like all my cats! He was one of 7 kittens & was officially named Jonathon!
More on the CCSPCA.....The Charlotte County SPCA officially opened its very own shelter last weekend after renting space from a St Stephen vet clinic for 10 years.
It is a small volunteer non-profit, that runs solely on fundraising and donations... (no government funding!) The fundraising for the animal shelter began in 2003, construction of the shelter began in the spring of 2008 on donated land, and with the help of volunteers it was opened last weekend underbudget!
(During August I donated 50% of my etsy sales to the CCSPCA....)
Thursday we went to the CCSPCA annual fundraising auction.. I bought a big basket of coffee... (my family will tell you that I live on coffee... I leave cups scattered all over the house... You wouldn't believe the places that we find coffee cups!) The kittties will get the basket as a kitty bed.... (will they actually use it????)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beads for Food

Beads for Food... I am a member of a street team* (LEST Team) on Etsy**. For the month of November all participating artists will be donating one can of food or equivalent $ to a local food bank for every sale. So if you want to help us help the unfortunate this Christmas season type 'Beads for Food" into the search box when you log onto Etsy.( my etsy ) Then read the artists info to find out if all of their beads are included or just the ones tagged.... &... to find out what they are donating and where the donation is going... I only tagged about half of my beads because I know I'm probably going to have to untag them in December . I have already bought two cans of food... Make me buy more! Buy some of my beads!!

Vana Cat is helping me by showing off my donation.... (Actually he's quite pissed off because I'm invading his photo cube with a can of soup that isn't even open!)

defn: Street Team*: A group of people with a similar values/products that have banded together to help promote sales on etsy.

Etsy**: a internet selling venue that was started to help promote sales of handmade items... they now also sell supplies and vintage..... ( etsy)

LEST : stands for Lampwork etc. Street Team

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beads & More Beads

I started making beads in 1994 when I tripped over a hot head in my Wholesale flat glass catalogue… In ’94 in the middle of nowhere Canada no-one was making beads… there were no books no Internet no nothing… I credit the fact that my beads even vaguely looked like beads in those days to Kate Fowle… as she did have a video which I bought after about 7 months of wonky window glass beads…. I was a full time stained glass artist then, so had lots of glass available but most ‘art glass’ smoked horribly on a hot head and looked blechy! I can’t say that my beads become wonderful over night, after I got the video… but at least I had a vague idea what a glass bead was suppose to look like! Moving rapidly ahead 6 months I bought a Nortel Minor torch (I am still using this torch 13 years later and it works just fine!)… I had to buy it from a Neon supplier in the US as Nortel wasn’t selling them in Canada other than through Scientific supply houses. My torch arrived got all set up and I broke my left hand…. How do you make beads with a broken hand… stuff the glass rods down inside the cast… I’m sure they were awful but I still work left handed.

Tried to stick an image in here... didn't work....
Much later... not the image I had in mind... but it's progress! That bracelet is circa 2003 that was my first bead press and I called those beads finger paint tabs.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rants vs Insights

I'm coming up on the 4th anniversary of my website fireballbeeds ... My web site has a daily (it used to be close to daily) BLOG or in my case a RANT... For some reason it is no longer politically correct to Rant/Blog on a 'personal' website so Islandgirl's Insights is being born! Some of my Insights that I feel fit into my "rant' format will be copied over there.

Why Fireballbeeds? , because I'm a glass bead artists and some of the early photographs that we took for promo material looked like little balls of fire... Why Islandgirl? 8 years ago we packed our bags and moved from a small prairie village in Saskatchewan to an Island (Deer Island) in the middle of the Bay of Fundy in NB (NB stands for New Brunswick, Not Nebraska).

For anyone who hasn't followed my 'rant' I'm a full time glass artist, that also runs a small seasonal gallery featuring Canadian Women.... Over the next weeks I will feature my artists, picked randomly!