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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years

Once again we are staying home! I do not like driving on New years... I think it is possibly the most dangerous day of the year to be out on the highways! Especially this year with all the storms everyone is getting! There is snow forecast for here but so far it hasn't hit.. I would not be upset at all if it doesn't snow tonight!

So to everyone I hope you have a Safe New Years in the company of friends and family!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I decided to stay home and celebrate Christmas on Deer Island this year rather than fly out west... I am so happy not to be spending my holidays sleeping on airport benches!

I'm actually cooking a Turkey for Christmas this year... this may be a first!

It really looks like Christmas outside here this year! Piles of snow everywhere ... unfortunately it is snowing once again.... Actually it's closer to freezing rain today than snow YUCK

But where ever you are I hope your holidays are happy and you're spending them with friends and family!

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

More on "My Brilliant Life"

My "title" is borrowed from the Miles Franklin Book My Brilliant Career .... How does an annual Christmas Dine around dinner become a 19 hour event... simple you live on an island... and the weather man is actually right for once! They forecast the blizzard to hit at 4 pm the snow started at 5 just as we drove off the ferry on the mainland... the winds were impressive way before 5! Not sure why they quit running the ferry at 8:30 last night but they did.... which left us on the wrong side of the water!

Diner was good G didn't think it was as good as previous years as his haddock almondine wasn't available.. but we did get the table in front of the fire at the Rossmount Inn for our hors-d'overes course... diner was at Europa Inn and desert was at the garden Cafe at Kingsbrae... they have the garden full of Christmas lights ... we did not walk around and admire the lights this year... we ran to the cafe past the 10 foot blow up Santa that was lyeing down on the job... fully inflated but flat on his back!

We spent the night in St George and got home at 11 am... G is still shovelling our driveway... This is looking like it may be a very long winter!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cards

Well you might have noticed that I was strangely silent on Dec 9th which was Christmas card day... No I did not have any cards written by then! I did write some last Saturday though... they might make it by Christmas even in Canada!

I only got about 1/3 of the cards done that I was going to write.. I realized I didn't have enough cards for everyone that I wanted to send one rather than have to pick who would get the last 5 cards I just quit writing them much fairer! (I did buy some more so maybe today I will write the rest!)

I was listening to the radio yesterday I actually listen to a Maine station as they play better music than the local Canadian stations and heard that you can mail a Christmas card in the US on Dec 23 and it will arrive by Christmas... think it was the equivalent of Express post... but I'm not even sure that Canada post delivers mail on the 24th... fliers and things that don't have to be sorted might end up in our mailbox but real mail.....

Here's a link to my favorite 'history of' link.... the first Christmas card was sent in 1843 you can find out anything else you would like to know about Christams cards on Wikpedia.

I will continue to write Chistmas cards as long as I can buy them... I like receiving real mail... there is something about opening the first Christmas Card ... somehow it makes the Christmas season seem real! I don't mind getting cards in January... so if there is anyone out there that would like to send me a card I'll send you my address!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Friday I was suppose to do a demo on making beads at the local high School "Fundy High". But there was freezing rain over night and even though it was in the mid 50's (+13 C) by 9am, they canceled school because of the possibility that the roads were slippery. I think they just wanted a 3 day weekend!

After I was asked I had to learn how to use a hot head…. My first bead took about 30 minutes as I was holding the glass where I would hold it in the flame on my minor… On a hot head the glass needs to be about an inch from the torch… I still have to catch myself as the bead drifts back into the flame. I also offered to give each of the kids a free bead… there was only suppose to be 12 kids… final count was 30, so I spent all my torch time last week making free beads! Now I have 35 unloved handformed disc beads....

Not sure when the demo will be rescheduled as Friday is the last day of school before the Christmas break and hardly any of the high school kids bother to go to school … I made my son go every day that the school was open (evil mother!)… and he was absolutely mortified when he got an attendance award at the grade 12 awards night!

Guess it’s time to move my bead making thoughts onto hearts as Valentines is just around the corner!

Friday, December 12, 2008

More on Curling

Today you could curl on the mainland roads... and last night you certainly could have curled anywhere on Deer Island... We don't salt our roads so any ice sport was certainly an option on Island roads! Driving was ........... interesting?

When I first started curling I assumed (wrongly) that one swept behind the rock to create a draft to push the rock along actually what you are doing is sweeping in front of the rock to melt the ice to try and keep the rock moving in the direction that the skip (the person in charge of the 4 person team who thinks he knows whats going on) wants the rock to go. The skip stands in the house and holds his broom... so that the person throwing the rock has something to aim at. The skips flunkies sweep like mad while the skip stands there and screams at you to sweep harder..... If you are on the broom you threw it where you were suppose to.... however, to me this is what on the broom means...

Once again I will direct you to Wikpedia if you really want to know everything there is to know about the history and origins of the game

I am suppose to be doing a bead making demo at the mainland high school today... but since the roads are more suitable for curling than driving I have been postponed ... so much for the 30 beads I spent all week making to hand out...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It's that time of year again, indoor winter sports on ice... My husband has been curling forever... I curled for one year in high school... and then became a funspiel curler... That means really short games... often stupid costumesThis was a Hawaiian flavored spiel last winter... Note to would-be curlers ankle length dresses are not appropriate for sliding out of the hack! However shorter fuller 'skirts' are traditional curling attire for the Scottish male! It also appears as if he may be praying to the god of curling..... This was a Bonspiel... difference between a funspiel and a bonspiel People take Bonspiels seriously and there may be good prizes for the winners...

Somehow last winter I got talked into playing in a mixed curling league... I do not like being cold... I would happily spend all winter curled up in front a fire place or hunched over my torch ... so why do I spent 90 minutes a week sliding up and down an ice surface... playing shuffle board on ice... Who knows, however the season has started again... tonight is our third week ... After winning the big prize last year (a plastic tool kit!) so far this year we are win-less.. and yes that has a lot to do with the fact that I can't hit the broom and have no clue how hard to fling the 'rock' (a round chunk of highly polished granite) to get it to stop where the skip wants me to have it stop!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's my 20th Anniversary

Actually it will be my 20th Wedding Anniversary in February but this 20th anniversary is of the first Cheque $$$, that I received from a gallery sale... My first Gallery sale was in November of 1988 . The cheque was for a small fused dish! The gallery was The Hand Wave . The Handwave Gallery celebrated it's 25 year in operation in 2007. Like a lot of Saskatchewan Galleries it's in an old house in a small rural village. (Meacham SK)

June dedicates one room of the gallery to changing exhibits. At least one Exhibition per year is a group theme show... I think I've missed one group show in 21 years (and that was since I moved here... shipping costs in Canada are pretty high!) You can check out works from shows since 2005 on-line at the above link.

In the 20 years since I got that first cheque my work has changed quite dramatically... but I'm still working with glass! Go here to see some of the bigger pieces (more interesting?) that I've done! The picture below is of a fused shoe that I did for the Bata Shoe Museums Glass slipper exhibition (2003)... the heel is stacked Beads... and yes that is my foot...

Monday, December 8, 2008

I hate Snow... at least when I have to Drive in it!

I spent the weekend demonstrating Chain Maille at a small Hotel in St Andrew's NB. They have a town wide Christmas festival the first weekend in December every year. There is a small Craft sale at the high school and all the galleries and studios open up with goodies and demos. I've always been a shopper other years. This year I just made chain...

OK I shopped, I bought a hand turned Black Locust Salad Bowl... the tree came from the Loyalist Grave yard in St Andrews... The bowl has gorgeous grain! This is what Wikipedia has to say about Black Locust . I guess it is a very appropriately named tree as it spreads like locusts! The wood-turner was sitting across the dining room from me... I spent all day staring at the bowls.. listening to people oooing and awing over them. The business is Mascarene Woodworks but alas there is no website!

Coming home yesterday was way more fun than I had anticipated! I left 50 minutes before the 'event' was officially over as I noticed that the golf ball sized snow flakes were starting to stick to the road ... Lizzy my 1995 Mustang doesn't like snow! The road from St Andrews to the highway is a secondary road that winds up and down along the coast very scenic in the summer... Sucks big time in a blizzard! I had only been driving for 5 minutes when the guy in front of me went into the ditch... since he had just passed me 60 seconds earlier I left him there... everyone has a cell phone these years anyway and there was a driveway 20 feet from him.... It took me 70 minutes to get to the ferry landing normal time is 32 minutes.... Here's a link to a blog on Snow Goddesses don't see anywhere in the article on who we are suppose to pray to, to avoid snow!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mitten Trees

Well today is December 6th which makes it Mitten Tree Day.... I'd never heard of a Mitten tree until I moved here in 2001. The local church has had a Mitten tree for ever... The woman that organizes it is in her 80's and started it when she moved here. (married here!)

She is like me from AWAY... it doesn't matter how long you live here you will always be from AWAY... even if you have children who marry locals... their "mother" will still be from AWAY...

Our Mitten Tree is a tree that is decorated in 'hand' knit mittens that are collected and donated to a local charity just before Christmas so that everyone has mittens for Christmas. 50 years ago I'm sure all of the mittens actually were hand-knit... now I'm sure some aren't as it's now cheaper to buy mitts than it is to buy the wool/yarn to make the mitts!

This isn't our mitten tree but check this link for a Mitten Tree in Ottawa ON

So knit some mitts from scrap or buy a pair of mitts and add them to your local mitten tree... I'm sure there is some little pair of hands out there somewhere that is cold!

I knit but, most of my knitting now is down with wool which I then felt on the driveway (that's another BLOG!) ... This is a hat pre felting.... My husband would say this is one of my better angles and yes the picture is sideways................... But you get the idea!
(Darth Vader in Red?)

I think most everyday knitting these years is done from love, or boredom... there is no way with the cost of modern day yarns that knitting is an economical way to put sweaters into your closet!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ooops I blew it!

Today is wear brown shoes day & I walked to the mail box in Cobalt Blue Holy Soles.... (oops!) Actually in spite of owning a pair of shoes for almost every day of the year... I don't have very many pairs of brown ones.... I do have brown boots... wonder if that would have satisfied the brown shoe faeries that are checking to make sure we get onto Saint Nicks "Nice List" ?

Actually I should be remaking my Biscotti for this weekend! I made a batch on Monday night... it tastes great but I think I would give it a -2 out of 10 on presentation! I'm demonstrating Chain Maille in a restaurant in St Andrews all weekend, and we were all asked to bring nibblies... the woman's husband is a European trained Chef... soI think I need to get my presentation mark up above ZERO!

Here's the Wikpedia definition of Biscotti ... mine actually has chocolate chips, dried cranberries, dried apricots, slivered almonds, orange zest and instant coffee... I bought a zester yesterday too as all I managed to do to the orange peal on Monday night was mutilate it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Google rejected ME!

I went to log on this morning and Google has reformated and my old password was to short so I just kept getting kicked out.... but I figured it out.. so I'm BACK!

Today you are getting a link to a Sacher Torte recipe ... nope I'm not typing it here. We have one but it's way to long for me to type so I hope this one is good. If you start cooking today you might have in done in time to eat at your bathtub party on Friday! I met my first Sacher Torte at a small Hotel in a ski resort in Austria when I was 12... Not sure how close it was to the famous original recipe (sounds like KFC!) but it was definitely a memorable cake!

I lived in Switzerland when I was 12 this was sort of a spring break... however if you didn't go skiing someplace you were expected to go to school!

The history of the cake can be found here (You can actually order one from there too!) Thought about borrowing a picture from their site too.. but you can go look for yourself!

Enjoy! Let me know if anyone makes this.. I tried to make biscotti last night but discvoered half way through that the only flour we had in the house was Whole Wheat... doesn't work quite the same as pastry flour! I will be making a secohnd batch tomorrow!