Friday, April 30, 2010
Did you get your taxes filed yet? Midnight tonight, that's the deadline. I filed mine early when I thought I was getting a refund, only to be rather surprised when I got an invoice from the government asking me to send them a cheque. Oops, it seems I had read the form incorrectly when I filled it out online and I owed them money, instead of the other way around. Less than $100, not the end of the world, but I was kind of bummed out about it, until I heard someone on TV saying that if you're getting a big refund, that's a bad thing. It means the government has had more of your money than they needed to get, they have had it to use all year and you didn't. It's like giving them an interest free loan, when you could have been spending that money or actually earning interest on it. Suddenly, I didn't feel so bad about writing that cheque.
And how about this dry April? We're breaking records for the least amount of rainfall. According to today's news reports, we've had 50% less rain than normal for this month. It's the driest April since 1881, and the second driest since they first started to write this stuff down. Depending on what part of Toronto you're talking about (they keep records for the weather at the airport as well as downtown), it is also the driest April we've ever had in recorded history. Amazing. Not sure what that means for those May flowers we're looking forward too, guess we'll just have to wait and see. So far, it doesn't seem to have hurt the daffodils or the dandelions - they've been springing up everywhere!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I've included a few photos of the pieces that I took myself. I have borrowed a page (if you'll pardon the pun) from Rachel Nelson Smith's modus operandi and used a book at the background for the jewellery. I quite like the finished effect. Although, having seen photos from the recent Kate McKinnon/Kyle Cassidy photo workshop, I think perhaps next time I shall have to try using a textured Tupperware lid instead!
However, you really need to check out Dwyn's photos on the Beadfx website, which you will find here: http://www.beadfx.com/inspirations/inspirations.php?id=327. As usual, they are stunning. They always make me say, "I made that????"
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I just spent the better part of 45 minutes stuck in an elevator in my apartment building. The good news was, I knew I was on the basement level, which was where I was headed to go out in the car to run some errands, so I wasn't worried that I was about to plummet to my death. Someone had gotten off one floor above but when the car went down to the next level, it just bounced to a stop and the door wouldn't open.
However, in case you've never tried it, I am here to tell you that 45 minutes is a very loooong time to be stuck alone in a small box, wondering how long you'll be stuck in there and whether anyone realizes you're there. Thank goodness I'm not claustrophobic or I would have been a total mess by the end of it!
I kept banging on the door and yelling "hello?" in between ringing the alarm bell, feeling quite foolish the entire time. I didn't want to sit down because I've seen all the dogs that go in and out of those elevators and I know some of them don't wait until they get outside. Even though this building is kept very clean, ick, no, I wasn't going to sit on that floor if I could help it. Luckily, I had eaten dinner and gone to the bathroom before I left my apartment, so I didn't have any worries in that regard.
The exhaust fan was very loud, which meant I couldn't hear much. I couldn't tell if anyone knew I was in the elevator or was doing anything to get me out. I could hear someone else banging and yelling too, which made me think someone else was stuck in another elevator but when a man (who turned out to be the elevator repair guy) finally let me out, there was no sign of anyone else. He was suddenly on the roof of the car I was in and slowly opened the door enough for me to step up the one foot to floor level and climb out, asked me if I was okay, then slowly closed the door again and disappeared. I stood there, alone again, newly released and wondering what to do next - should I take the stairs up 14 flights?
A young girl of about 12 came in alone from the parking lot (I kept waiting for her companion to show up, the one who was old enough to drive. What was she doing in the parking lot by herself? She had several bags in her hands, perhaps she had been sent down to unload the family car) and I told her there was something wrong with the elevator. She said she'd heard someone was stuck and then got very big eyes and said, "that was you???" incredulously when I told her someone had just let me out. Then the superintendent arrived in another elevator, ferried us up to the ground floor where he got off to talk to the elevator repair guy, and she and I continued on up. I was glad to have her company and was a little nervous when she got off 2 floors before me, but I arrived at my own floor without further incident.
So now I'm home safe, cuddling my cat, telling myself I will never go out without my cell phone again. It might not have worked in the elevator anyway but at least then I wouldn't have been cursing myself for not bringing it. The one time I figured I wouldn't need it and I did! If I'd had it and it did work, I would have been calling the superintendent to say "get me out of here!!!!!!!!!"
I'm not feeling too ambitious to do anything now. I can't even remember what I was supposed to be doing with this evening. Having this happen on the same day as the fire alarm going off at 1:20 in the morning, leaving me to toss and turn for another 2 hours before falling back to sleep, is not a good thing. I'm thinking I might just call it an early night and crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and hope that tomorrow gets here soon. Surely tomorrow will be a better day!
Monday, April 26, 2010
The basic premise is that for one week, you keep track of the everyday details of your life by writing down what happens and taking photos to record some of those moments. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to be extraordinary, it is just your life during that one particular week. The good, the bad and in some cases, like the picture I took of myself with bed head one morning, the really scary!
Ali's suggestion was to use an 8.5 x 11 inch 3 ring binder and I liked that idea. It's simple and easy to put together. I'm pretty new to the whole journaling/scrapbooking game so my pages are pretty simply put together and not too complex. I used regular lined 3 hole punched paper to do my writing on. I carried the paper to work with me and left it out on my desk to remind me to add things from time to time. At home, I left it on top of the bookcase in my front hall and wrote things down when I was walking by that spot (which is pretty often, the way my apartment is laid out). On Monday, I wrote 4 pages, both sides of 2 pieces of paper. Every other day, I only wrote one page but usually covered both sides. Sunday, my quietest day, I only wrote on one side of the page. I think I wrote more on Monday because it was the first day, as I was describing things for the first time. For example, my morning routine is pretty much the same most days, so I only wrote it out in detail on Monday.
I carried my camera with me everywhere I went and took lots of photos. It was interesting to see that some days I took more pictures than others. 65 on Monday, only 13 on Tuesday (I really don't know why so few this day), 34 on Wed, 53 on Thursday, 32 on Friday, 51 on Saturday and 24 on Sunday. Some of the shots felt kind of goofy - did I really need to take a picture of what I ate for breakfast that day? Then again, why not? Not every picture will make it into the final album but it's fun to look through them all on my computer.
For now, here's a look at a couple of the pages I put together from last Monday:
For each day of the week, I will have one 8.5 x 11 inch photo as the "cover page". For Monday, I used a photo that I took in the cemetery I visited that day, the anniversary of my dad's death. I really love the look of this page - it's a beautiful headstone and I glued on some funky pre-cut letters in a haphazard fashion.
Every day will also have two pages (one insert, front and back) consisting of what is in reality a page typically used for displaying a baseball card collection. It has 9 pockets on each side which hold either wallet-sized photos or whatever else you want to put in them - in my case, things like receipts and tags I made out of file cards cut in half (= the exact size of the pocket) describing the photos or showing my horoscope for the day, the current price of gas, the date from a calendar, that sort of thing.
Some examples of other things I collected for each day are copies of various emails I received, items I picked up or found on my daily travels, like the "inventory required" tag I found on the floor when I went grocery shopping (it's the perfect size for one of the pockets!) or the flattened button I found in a parking lot, business cards, that sort of thing. I also kept the front section of the newspaper one day as a historical record. I'll tuck that into a large page protector or a envelope with holes punched in the side.
A year from now, when I do this again, it will be interesting to see what has changed in my life and what hasn't. It was a lot of fun doing this project, paying attention to my every day surroundings more closely, trying not to take things for granted. It will be great to have this record to show what this week was like in 2010 and compare it to life in 2011 and beyond.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Alas, my joy was short-lived. This morning, the printer didn't want to print. Maybe it was worn out from everything I put it through yesterday, I'm not sure. So when it wouldn't work this morning, I left it alone while I went to watch Coronation Street.
Maybe if I'd gotten out of my pyjamas today, things might have run a little more smoothly or I might have been more productive. But you know what? Sometimes, you just need that little bit of downtime to recharge or reconfigure. Maybe my printer was feeling the same way.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I don't remember the tunnel between Eaton's and Simpsons from back then to which Sharon refers (only the one that links what is now the Eaton Centre to what is now The Bay department store). What I do remember most fondly about that old store is that they used to have THE BEST toy department at Christmas time. We used to drive down from Lindsay to spend the day and my mom used to leave us kids in the toy section while she went to shop in the rest of the store. Was she gone one hour or two or more? We didn't care. We could be occupied in that toy department for hours, they always had oodles of toys on display that you could play with, and we would just wander around checking everything out. It never occurred to us to wander off either. Of course, that was back in the days when you didn't have to worry about someone snatching your child if you left them somewhere unattended.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Although that's not where the generosity ends. Stephanie very kindly made bird's nest rings using a big honking Swarovski crystal for each of Debra and myself as a thank you for coming out, isn't that wonderful? Thanks, Stephanie!!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I have completely ignored the timer button on my camera for the 2 years that I've owned it but as soon as I went looking for it, there it was. A quick glance at the instruction book and I gave it a whirl. Guess what? It worked! Easy Peasy!! Here's the result, a picture of me and Max:
Then I thought I would take a picture of myself brushing my teeth. Except that I thought of it after I started brushing and figured I would just keep going and work the camera with one hand. Then I forgot I had to push the timer button first, so I got a few pictures of myself doing what I thought was setting the camera but what was in reality taking pictures of myself looking rather goofy. Finally I figured it out and took the shot I thought I wanted, which was me brushing my teeth from behind. In the end, it was the 2nd shot that I liked the best! :)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
You can read all about the Corsage Project in my post from last year on the subject: http://cynfulcreationscanada.blogspot.com/2009/05/corsage-project.html
The Beadfx blog featured a very helpful post the other day about what sort of jewellery the Corsage Project organizers are hoping to collect for the young ladies. You can read it here: http://beadfx.blogspot.com/2010/04/corsage-project-what-jewellery-to-make.html
It's a very worthwhile cause. Why not bring your beads and come play along with us?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Just as I was leaving, I found this marker with my dad's name on it:
Monday, April 19, 2010
I found this photo last week when I was looking for pictures of my uncle to send to my cousins for a DVD they were putting together to play on the TV at the funeral home. My mom and dad and sister and I were on a trip out West, driving from Calgary to Vancouver for the wedding of a family friend. One of the places we stayed at was a bed and breakfast in Revelstoke, BC that had horses available to ride. At least, I think that's where this photo was taken. Anyway, it's a great picture of my dad looking happy and like he was having fun. He didn't get up on a horse too often but always seemed to enjoy it when he did.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
This Hoosier cabinet was in perfect condition, complete with sugar drawer, flour sifter, glass spice bottles, a pull out bread board and a pull out stainless steel work surface. If I had a spare $1500 and somewhere to put it, I would have snatched it up myself, it was that lovely. By the time we circled around the arena to see the other booths and came back to this location, the cupboard was gone and rightly so.
You will be surprised to learn that all I bought was some vintage lace and eyelet trim. This was rather a fancy, high priced antique sort of sale, not the cheap and cheerful, one step up from a yard sale sort of sale I prefer. Lots of beautiful stuff but wayyyyy out of my price range for most items.
I resisted the urge to buy this vintage children's bagpipe set, even though I've always wanted to learn to play. I also wanted this antique typewriter but couldn't lift the darned thing.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Some of you may have read Karen Elmquist's post last week about her new car purchase - which is pretty exciting, as she just got her drivers licence and this is her very first car. She got herself one of those very cool PT Cruisers, you can read her post here: http://karenelizabethelmquist.blogspot.com/2010/04/meet-peewee.html.
Like Karen, I too have a new car. It's not my first but I'm pretty darned excited anyway. It's a 2010 Nissan Versa and I had so much fun picking it up today in Lindsay (an hour and a half's drive away, where I had picked it out on Easter weekend), having lunch with my mom and then driving it back to Toronto. Even driving through snow showers did not discourage me - I focused on how pretty the white clouds looked with the dark grey snow clouds behind them.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Nevertheless, the first few lines of the poem:
"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
have always rung true for me, and more so since my dad died in April 5 years ago. Last week, his only sibling, his younger brother Ron, also passed away.
Thank you to all for your kinds words and hugs over the past few days and today at the funeral, it is much appreciated.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
From my apartment window, I can see the weeping willows across the street showing their spring colours. They were the last to lose their leaves last fall and now they are the first to show green. The buds on all the other trees are starting to open up into leaves as well.
The magnolia trees are in bloom, as are the forsythia bushes.
I have always thought forsythias should have an "n" in their name, don't you think? Forsynthia. Get it? :)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
This morning, I emptied out the cupboards under both sinks (since their note hadn't specified which one was being replaced) but as I was leaving for work, I thought I should just pop in to the management office and have a word with the superintendent to see what was what. I had been worrying over the time and expense they were about to spend installing a new sink to replace one that essentially had nothing wrong with it. Would they at least donate the old one to Habitat for Humanity or somewhere equivalent so it could be reused?
It was a good thing I asked! Turns out, it was a different apartment two floors above mine that was supposed to get the new sink. Someone had misread the numbers!
Which is just as well, because like the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!!
Monday, April 12, 2010
As most of us who around at that time can recall, he never made it to British Columbia to dip his foot into the Pacific. After running for 143 days, completing approximately 40 km per day - which is like running the Boston Marathon every day for 143 days, can you imagine? heck no!! - Terry was forced to stop in Thunder Bay, Ontario when the cancer that had caused him to lose his leg spread into his lungs.
As CTV News reported online: "Today, it's clear that Fox's legacy lives on. His name adorns more than a dozen schools across the country, more than 30 streets, one icebreaker, and a provincial park in the B.C. Rockies. There are also a number of cancer research facilities and research grants that honour his name, as well as the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, which recognizes young Canadians whose humanitarian work reflects the ideals that Fox embodied.
People from 40 different countries run in his name every year and the Terry Fox Foundation is constantly funding research for new cures for cancer."
(Many thanks to the unidentified photographer who took this image of Terry that I got off the Internet.)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Here are a couple more of Amy's samples. I can't decide which one I like better. Sadly, these ones and the purple one above are all destined for the scrap heap, just like the demo beads from yesterday that didn't make it into the kiln. Such a pity, they were so pretty!