Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

I just got word that two of my ornaments were received, and I received one today. I made the entirely beaded one, and the bell-pull style, and received the "PEACE" ornament. For those of you who read the Wagon, the entirely beaded ornament was the one I wrote a post about a few months back, asking if people wanted/would appreciate a beaded ornament. I described the ornament as a hot-pink tie-fighter, and don't think the description is that far off.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Still Here...

It's been a busy month, but there's not a lot that's blogworthy. I finished three ornaments for the TWBB Ornament exchange, and will post pictures when I can. I also got a chance to make some beads, and will post pictures later.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I drew names early this morning, and the winner is Heather! Congrats to Heather, I know she'll come up with something fantastic to use the beads for.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Blogtoberfest has come to an end, and it's been a great way to remember to post often. Thanks to everyone for joining in, including those people who are new to following my blog.

I'll draw for the beads later tonight - thanks to everyone for entering. I can't wait to see what the winner makes!

I also have finished jewellery to share - this is two new bracelets and one new necklace out of mostly my own lampwork beads, plus some crystals and some purchased pearls and other beads. I wanted the pink necklace to be somewhat funky and un-matching, similar to a purple necklace I own.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Sitting with my iPhone, which contains my electronic boarding pass, with my baggage claim stub attached to the back. What a far cry from paper tickets. I remember the bundled of parr that it used to take to get there and back again. Last night's concert (U2) was awesome and I can't wait to see them next year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yyc -> yvr

Out of town again. I suspect I know why I'm so bad at blogging some days - I seem to be constantly on the road.

Monday, October 26, 2009


n These are the latest beads - they just make me feel happy, which is probably why I like making them so much. Most of the flat round ones have already been turned in to a bracelet.

The blog giveaway is open until Saturday (the end of the month).

Sunday, October 25, 2009


When I started Blogtoberfest, I had no idea how I was going to fill 31 posts. I haven't been the most active blogger this year, and some days I feel like I have absolutely nothing to post about. But here I am, a week short of the end, having posted on all except one day. With progress on at least 3 of my WIP's, and some new beads to boot. I have more progress to share this week on St. Petes and Cirque de Carreaux, and will have new beads to share tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Blogtoberfest is over at the end of the month, and to celebrate, I thought I'd offer up a second giveaway, which will run until the end of the month (October 31st)

This giveaway is for 10 glass beads handmade by yours truly - 5 gummy bear shaped beads, plus 5 large hole beads, which can be worn on a Pandora/Troll/European style bracelet. A couple of caveats - the gummy bears are actually glass, so should not be eaten. The large hole beads can be worn on a bracelet, but the Pandora people told me that wearing "non-Pandora" beads will revoke the warranty on the bracelets. You can also put the beads on chain or string, or anything else of your choice.

To enter, leave a comment on this post. Mentions of the contest on your blog will get you a second entry into the contest.


It's snowing hard today - much harder than I had imagined. It's supposed to warm up this afternoon, and possibly turn to rain, but I still think I'm going to get my errands done quickly, grab some food and stitch for the rest of the day.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Rainbow Child is the winner of the beads! Congratulations - I was looking through her blog, and think the beads will be going to the perfect home.

I'll likely do another giveaway starting over the weekend for the end of Blogtoberfest, so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Homemade spaghetti marinara for supper, with cucumber salad and a glass of wine. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I've received a package in the mail today - I now have tickets to something I'm very excited about (details later). I'm so shocked that the tickets came this fast - I bought them pre-sale last Wednesday, and they turned up via the DHL courier last night. I'm feeling a little cheeky, as I know my life affords me a lot of great things, and this is one of them.

Blog candy is open until Friday, details are on Sunday's post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


After 20 days, I haven't a clue what to write for today's entry for Blogtoberfest. Perhaps tomorrow will be more inspired.

Blog candy is open until Friday, see Sunday's post for details.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I've been taking dance lessons at two different studios for the past couple of years. I liked twice a week when it was Mondays and Thursdays, but one of the studios switched to Tuesday this year, so it's now Mondays and Tuesdays, which isn't ideal. Both of the studios have increased their rates, and while I understand why, I'm now at the point where I'm not sure I can justify both sets of lessons financially, and will likely only take one set of lessons in the winter. I'm kind of sad over deciding to drop one of the lessons - I like both classes, and it's hard to pick one over the other, but I'm not sure there's much more I can do.

Blog Candy draw is Friday - to enter, add a comment on Sunday's post.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I have new beads to share! To celebrate, its time for a little blog candy giveaway!

Draw closes on Friday, October 23rd, and I'll draw on Saturday for this set of beads - 4 spacers, 4 medium flat rounds, 1 medium flat round with dots and 1 large flat round. There's enough beads here for at least a bracelet, probably more if you want to add some extras, and perhaps even a necklace if you want to spread things out. To enter, leave a comment on this post. If you leave a link on your blog to this post (and leave me a comment saying you've done so), I'll enter you a second time.


Updates on "Cirque de Carreaux" and "White Nights in St. Petersburg"

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I thought I saw my first set of Christmas lights while driving home tonight. I looked closely, and noticed that they were actually Halloween lights, as one of the figures outlined was a ghost.

It's still too early for outside lights.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Forgot to blog yesterday for Blogtoberfest, so I'm posting early this morning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I won a giveaway from Erica a few weeks ago, and I received it in the mail tonight - it was a very welcome surprise! She packed the JCS Halloween issue, some uber-cute Halloween buttons and ribbon and a note pad in to an awesome Halloween tote! Thanks Erica!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Why did it have to snow on the first workday after the long weekend? Why couldn't it have snowed yesterday when few people had to bec

Monday, October 12, 2009


Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, and for me, that means baking! Today's offering is going to be a cranberry-pear pie. I've also ut a few hours in on St Petersburg, so part 4 is about a third done at the moment.

For anyone else who's celebrating this weekend - Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Updated Egyptian Garden and the start of Cirque de Carreaux, stitched with Dinky Dyes "Cowrie Shell". The instructions for Cirque tell you to pick a nice colour, and I'm glad I did, because even after 5 hours, I'm tired of purple and yellow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


This is the cat, Sabine, who always makes herself welcome in the most comfortable of spots.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


The ort jar and the latest bracelet.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I've started to use my gmail account a lot more in the last few weeks, as it hooks up with the iPhone quite nicely. I got my gmail account way back when it was still beta, and you had to know someone who could forward you an invitation to open an account. As a result, I have an account that's I know it's mine because I successfully use the password to get into the account, and most of the mail is something I want or have signed up for.

I've recently discovered that someone in Seattle has been giving out that address as their own - I get party invitations, messages from friends iPhones, school notifcations, etc. that belong to the other person. Most of the time, I'm nice and just send back a "this isn't the correct email" note, but after sending several of those, I asked the sender of today's email (a school notification) to let the person know that the email that they've been giving out isn't in fact their email.

I don't really understand this - gmail does require you to type in your email each time you log in, so hopefully over time, you become familiar with it. And if you give out an email that goes to someone else, you should realize that you're probably not going to get the party invites, school notices and friends emails that you actually want. I do hope the person figures out their actual email soon, and starts giving that out to friends and family.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


The new 2009 JCS Ornament Issue finally arrived in (Canadian) stores! I'm so excited. I have most of the issues from prior years, and always look forward to the new patterns each year.

Of course, that's not the only thing I bought this week. Along with the JCS issue, two beading magazines somehow managed to find their way into the cart, and I'm looking forward to new ideas. I've acquired quite a few new beads lately, and and need ideas of what to turn them into.

Monday, October 05, 2009


I forget that in all of the running around, the busyness and the errands of life that I am actually very blessed. This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I have lots to be thankful for:

- I am blessed with a job I like, and enough money to do the things that I want
- I am blessed with good friends, who celebrate with me, cry with me and comfort me
- I am blessed with a sane family, who have good values and support one another
- I am blessed with a furbaby, who shares her life with me
- I am blessed with mentors, who trust and support me
- I am blessed to have a life I want


I can't believe how fast winter hit. I only got 5 days of wear out of my fall coat before needing my winter one.

Sigh. Off to find the mittens and scarf.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Drove back today - there were a few flakes of snow, but nothing too bad. It was a nice wedding, and a good chance to catch up with friends whom I haven't seen in a while. I also got to see the new baby of some dear friends, who was of course adorable.

I'm reasonably shattered at the moment, but have no food in the house, so am making macaroni & cheese (homemade) and turkey tortilla soup, which is lovely and spicy for the cold weather that`s just arrived.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


I'm headed out of town again for a quick trip to attend a friends wedding. I'm quite looking forward to it, as it means I'll get to see old colleagues and friends that don't live in the same city. I think it will be quite a nice event, and hopefully the snow (yes, snow) will hold off long enough for me to travel safely there and back.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Into the 2010 Bead Journal Project! It means completing 12 bead embroidery pieces over the 12 months in 2010. I got excited about the next round of this because someone in either 2008 or 2009 decided to bead button covers, and I figured that was perfect. At just under 2" in diameter, I decided beading buttons was something I could do - small enough to use whatever I wanted, large enough to convey an idea. I'm hoping to also have a complete colour wheel contained within the project, but we'll see how well that goes.

Only 3 months to practice my bead embroidery!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


I've been in a good mood lately - a good mail day, some good luck, and very good friends have contributed to that, so I thought I'd try my hand at blogging every day in October. You all may be sick of me by the end of the month, but I will try. Melanie linked to TinnieGirl, who's got people signed up for Blogtober, so I thought I should give it a go....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seen and heard

I bought tickets to the U2 concert in New York months ago, and last week the wait was finally over! The concert itself was amazing - they played for over two hours, and included most if their hits. The new stage set up, suspended from 4 legs, supported a giant round video screen. Of course, the best part of the concert wasn't the songs, or the screen, but the electricity that 80,000 fans and one band can create. We met other fans from Mexico, Australia, Ireland, other parts of Canada and of course the US. What other band could convince people to travel that far for "just a concert". The rest of the trip was good, but perhaps somewhat uneventful - Phantom, many glasses of wine, some shopping, and some great food.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I think I've figured this out..

I'm safely in Manhattan, waiting for a friend to show up and hoping
that everything goes acording to plan.

More soon.

I successfully mobile blogged

Consider yourself warned :-).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Updates

I've finished one Christmas ornament during the week, and started on another. I can't share them here yet, as they'll both (likely) be for the TWCOE. One is entirely beaded, and I'm not sure whether I should enter it into the exchange or not. I put the question to the Wagon, and most people liked the idea of getting a beaded ornament, but there were one or two who didn't, so I'll have to decide closer to when I actually have to let the organizer know about everything. I usually put in 4 ornaments, and so I'll have to get cracking on the other two before the deadline.

I also got a brand new iPhone this week. I needed a new cell phone, and a new mp3 player, and wanted a pocket camera, so the iPhone fit the bill. I'm really liking it so far, although my opinion of it might change once the first bill comes in! Cell phone bills in Canada are generally more expensive than in other countries, and iPhone services don't come cheap up here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Socks

I guess when you take a break from blogging for as long as I have, you end up with quite a bit done when you return! I usually knit on the bus in the mornings and evenings, and these socks are the result. I have three other pairs on the go - one that just needs some minor repairs, one that's about 3/4 done and a new lace pair that I can only knit a few rows in before becoming frustrated. All are coming along well, and I should have toasty toes this winter.

Monday, September 14, 2009

More updates - purse decoration

I found a group a few years ago that makes purses and hats to raise money to benefit African grandmothers. Often the hats are beautifully knitted, but just need a little something to make them stand out. I made an arrangement with the organizers that I would decorate the bags and other items that needed a little embelishment, and wanted to post a picture of the latest batch. Sometimes just one button or a few beads can take something from quite plain to very marketable. I'm actually very enamoured with the grey bag with the red button, and may try and nab it at the sale.


Mary of M Designs is offering a drawing in celebration of her ornament being published in the JCS 2009 issue. Details are here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What I've been up to....

I started a bracelet recently that I'm quite excited about. I included the pattern picture, as it's mostly just a dark blob that doesn't photograph well. I'm using two different shades of dark blue oilslick beads - a shiny one for the dark colour and a matte one for the light colour, but it all just mostly looks black when photographed.

I also am working on my first non-sock knitted project - a baby sweater for some friends who just had a little girl. I still need to add the other front and to knit the raglan yoke on the sweater.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Popping in.....

Just wanted to remind everyone that the Christmas Ornament Exchange is on again at the Teresa Wentzler BB. I know a lot of people migrated from the board when the board stopped having a general discussion topic, but the exchange is back and still going strong.

The ornaments I sent and received for the last few years can be seen here.

I guess I better start stitching!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Germany and the Wedding

The real reason for the trip was a family wedding in Germany. The couple tried to combine the best of Canadian and German traditions, and had most of the ceremony translated to save those of us with very poor German skills.

It was a beautiful wedding, followed by a reception in a castle, the outline of which I captured at sunset the night before. And to follow, were fireworks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Strasbourg and Zurich

I spent a couple of lovely days in Strasbourg - I was going to try and make it to London, but it was going to be too crazy and too much stress. I hadn't had a holiday off work in a year, and really needed some time, so I spent a couple of very relaxing days in Strasbourg. The hotel that I booked was right next to the Galaries Lafayette food store, so I picked up some bread and cheese for dinner one night - so yummy!

After that, I went on to Zurich, where I met up with friends. I picked a mid-morning train, and much to my surprise, the promotional train for the latest Harry Potter film was at the train station. There were a surprising number of people dressed up
(especially for 10am on a Sunday morning) and they had the owls out in full force. They surprised me by taking me to the mountains. It was beautiful there, but like the rest of Europe, it was wet and cold. So much so that it actually snowed. Snow - in June! Not what I had expected!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The gardens of Giverny

I hopped on yet another train to Vernon, and from there, headed out to Giverny by tourist bus. The busses meet the train, and also timed to get back to the train just in time so that everyone can board. Where I live does't have trains, so I think it's a bit stressful to catch trains - in larger centres, the track that the train is on often isn't posted until just a few minutes before the train leaves, and I'm always afraid that I'm going to get on the wrong track or catch a train going in the wrong direction.

Giverny is home to the house where Monet painted, and his house and back garden are open to the public. The house was beautiful, but the gardens were spectacular - just what you think of when you imagine a Monet painting. Giverny is also home to the Impressionist Museum which had a Monet exhibition open for the summer. I didn't manage to make it to many of the museums which had Monet paintings in Paris, so I was glad that someone had arranged to transport them to Giverny for me.

When I got back, I spent the next day visiting two of the smaller museums in Paris - the Marmottan, which houses a huge collection of Monet paintings, as well as other impressionist painters, and the Cluny Museum, also known as the Museum of the Middle Age, themes of Cluny. The Cluny Museum has the famous Cluny tapestries of the "Lady and the Unicorn" displayed. I'd visited both museums on recommendations, and would definitley go back again - the museums were smaller than some of the better known museums, but without the line-ups and the crowds of other places.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ah.... Paris!

After visting Vimy Ridge, I spent the next day (and one of the only nice days on my trip) doing some sight seeing. I also took a break for a coffee and some macarons, which are small almond/merangue cookies, filled with icing or jam. There was a bakery a few blocks from my hotel which had the most wonderful flavours - the one's pictured are pistachio, salted caramel and rose, but they also had passion fruit, cassis, and chocolate. Dinner in Paris is usually served late, and many restaurants don't even open until 7:30. I'd usually finish my sightseeing day in the early evening, and then pick up some of these delicious treats to hold me over to dinner.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pictures - Vimy Ridge

I'm back, and have finally found a few moments to write about the trip!

I arrived in Paris, and spent the first day exploring the flea markets. I had printed off some instructions on where to find good places to buy beads in Paris, and managed to scoop up some gorgeous vintage glass, buttons and other treasures.

The next day, I was up very early, and climbed the hill near my hotel to the Sacre Cour. It was so nice to be up before everyone else, and snap off some pictures when everything was dead quiet.

I then headed for the train station to catch my train to go out to the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge. This is a particularly significant monument for Canadians, as it was one of the first times that Canadian troups fought together, and they were able to capture a particularly difficult position held by the Germans. The monument contains the names of all of the Canadian soldiers who died during the first world war.

Vimy Ridge isn't particularly easy to get to - an hour by train to Arras, and then a taxi ride up to the memorial itself. Fortunatley, most of the taxi drivers know what tourists (particularly Canadian tourists) want when they indicate that they'd like to go to Vimy Ridge. There is direct service between Paris and Arras several times a day.

The female figure in the last picture represents Canada, as she mourns for those who were lost in battle.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I'm in Strasbourg for a couple of days - my original itinerary called for a quick trip to London, and I realized when I sat down to make final arrangements that a trip over the channel would either see me spend way too much time on a train, or be very expensive. The alternative was a stop in the charming city of Strasbourg, which is about half way between Paris and Zurich.

My university offered an exchange year here, which I didn't use or apply for, and this trip is a nice chance to see what life would have been like if I'd gone away for the year. Strasbourg is charming and lovely - everything you'd expect from a small European town. It's also much different than Paris - less English is spoken or available, still touristy, but in a more French/German way.

I'm off to Switzerland tomorrow to catch up with some friends for a few days. They've promised to show me the "real" Switzerland, and if their past tour guide skills are any indication, I'm in for quite a treat.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The beauty.....

I travelled up to Giverny yesterday to see Monet's house, garden and studio. The museum in Giverny was also hosting an exhibition of his work, so I got to see examples of all the paintings they were referring to. Friends had recomended Giverny - they'd really liked it, and now I can see why - it was a beautiful place, and so peaceful.

I will definitley be posting pictures when I get back - at the moment I don't have a way of transferring pictures from my camera to the computer, but I will post lots when I return.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On the road

After navigating several airports, a few train stations and several other modes of transport, I've finally arrived! I learned to navigate the french keyboard system while in Morocco, and it's proven to be a challenge yet again as I learn to type over again. I discovered a charming bakery near the hotel that makes gourmet macaroons, and have devoured far too many of the sweets. So far my favourite is proving to be the salted caramel, but the pistachio is also fantastic.

I managed to navigate the french train system to get to Vimy Ridge yesterday. Vimy is the site of one of the largest Canadian First World War monuments. The farmland that surrounds the monument is so lush and green that it was hard to imagine the fighting that occurred almost a hundred years ago. Surrounding the monument were the soldiers cemetaries - not only for Canadian troups, but also for British and Japonese soldiers.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I forget what it's like to get ready to go away on vacation - I spent a good portion of last year travelling for work, but it was always just a couple of days here, and a few other days there. This trip is bigger - connections between cities, hotels in different places, all of those good things. Of course, with the economy not doing well, it's nice to be able to book most things last minute and still be able to get good prices and good availability.

On the other hand, it will be nice to have a week or so to decompress - my last holiday was a year ago, and even then, it was only 4 days. I'm really looking forward to the two weeks, even if it will be slightly mad.....

Monday, June 08, 2009


I was looking through my blog yesterday to try and find something I knew I'd written, and in searching through all of the posts, it occured to me that somewhere along the way, I'd stopped writing. I used to actually write about "stuff" in my life, the social things, special people, trips, things that were everything and nothing at the same time. I'm not sure where, or how it stopped, but it did, and I'm hoping to bring it back a little at a time.

I'm feeling guilty today, as it looks like I won't be able to meet up with some friends in London later in the month. I hate making plans and then having to back out of them later, but it just doesn't look like the logistics on this one are going to work.

I'm travelling to Paris as part of a trip to attend a family wedding. I'm also scheduled to meet up with some good friends in Zurich, and then head on to southern Germany for the wedding, before flying out of Frankfurt. The whole thing is only scheduled to last two weeks, but I thought I might be able to spend a couple of days over in London as well. Of course, I planned this whole thing in my head, without ever consulting a map or a train schedule. I could go to London, but it would mean spending 11 hours on trains to get there and then travel on to Zurich. It would also mean spending a small fortune on train tickets, in addition to hotels and whatever other transport costs I'd have to pay. I'm now seriously considering spending the two days in either Strasbourg, Basel or Dijon, all of which are considerably closer on the route between Paris and Zurich.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I have been stitching...

and I have ORTs as evidence. This is the extras from Egyptian Garden, one sock and the start of a new bracelet.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Bracelet

All I can say is that the bracelets are addictive, and a great way to use up extra items I have in the beading stash. This one's for sale on Etsy.