Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beads Up!!!

One day only.

Toronto Bead Society

Looks like a busy weekend ahead. So much for cleaning!

Weekend Events

The Royal Ballet presents

LA BAYADÈRE (The Temple Dancer)
An exotic tale of love and revenge in legendary India!
in Canadian cinemas from Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House

On Saturday May 2, Montreal distributor DigiScreen presents London's exquisite Royal Ballet in cinemas throughout Canada in one of the ballet's most popular productions LA BAYADÈRE (The Temple Dancer). The Royal Ballet production appears on over 30 Canadian screens as part of The Royal Opera House's international Opus Arte Cinema series. It is sure to be a thrilling treat for audiences to enjoy three of ballet's biggest stars - Tamara Rojo, Marianela Nuñez and Cuban superstar Carlos Acosta.

Romantic India provides the setting for one of The Royal Ballet's favourite full-length works: La Bayadère, a tale of love, murder and vengeful judgment by the gods. At the centre of this showcase of classical dancing is the warrior Solor (Carlos Acosta) and his love Nikiya (Tamara Rojo), the beautiful temple dancer (bayadère) of the title. Nikiya provokes the murderous jealousy of her wicked rival, Gamzatti (Marianela Nuñez), encouraged by the High Brahmin, whose own designs on the bayadère are far from pure. Seeking solace in opium after the death of his love, Solor hallucinates an afterworld – the Kingdom of the Shades – filled with one of classical dance's most famous images as multiple spectral Nikiyas fill the stage. With the collapse of the temple, destroyed by the gods, Solor and Nikiyia are finally reunited as spirits in the next world.

Originally choreographed in 1877 by Marius Petipa, La Bayadère was later adapted by The Kirov Ballet and re-created in this three-act version by Natalia Makarova with naturalistic and detailed designs that create a rich setting for an exotic tale. Two star ballerina roles, the epitome of a 'White' ballet and a Bronze Idol, who comes briefly but spectacularly to life, are just some of the elements that make this a perennial favourite of The Royal Ballet repertory.

"Gorgeous Dancing! I do love this lavish production!" – Ballet Magazine

With music by Ludwig Minkus orchestrated by John Lanchbery, La Bayadère was captured live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in High Definition and Full Surround Sound on January 15 & 19th, 2008.

Montreal distributor DigiScreen Corporation, in partnership with Royal Opera House's Opus Arte releases 16-20 HD productions throughout the year.

Tickets will be available at $19.95 + tax per adult, $16.95 + tax per senior and $9.95 + tax per child. For cinema locations and to purchase advance tickets throughout Canada visit Empire For Landmark Cinemas in Alberta and BC, go to For independent theatres in Vancouver and Waterloo, please visit,

Photo Credit: © Igor Zakharkin

Travelin' Tunes

It is getting more and more difficult to find samples of music in order to give you an idea of what these selections sound like. You can, of course, always go into iTunes, sign on, and listen to the selections. This is my preferred method of previewing songs to add to my iPod. I hear songs reviewed on the radio, the t.v., and sometimes movie scores. Here is this week's selection of what I have purchased on iTunes. Gearing up for the road trip to New York!

The London Orchestral Symphony Orchestral Rock Songs of the Rolling Stones Rock (Orchestral Version)
H***y Tonk Woman
Not Fade Away
Beast of Burden
Get Off of My Cloud
Sympathy for the Devil
Street Fighting Man
Ruby Tuesday
Let's Spend the Night Together
Paint It Black
Jumping Jack Flash
Nervous Breakdown
Gimme Shelter
Fool to Cry

"Chasing Cars " - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open (Alternative)

"Berceuse" Stephen Hough & Steven Isserlis Children's Cello (Classical)

"Mad World" (American Idol Studio Version) Adam Lambert - Pop

"Like a Hurricane" Adam Sandler Covered, a Revolution In Sound: Warner Bros. Records (Pop)

"Little Serenade " Adrian Leaper & Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Best of British Light Music (Classical)

"The Wedding" listen
"The Cabinet of Curiosities"
"Doctor Merivel"
"Main Titles"listen
James Newton Howard Restoration (Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack)

I really like the idea that you can purchase just the one track that you want on an album. I know the artists are complaining about not selling the entire CD, but often there is only one track that I want, and I think of it as spreading the wealth amongst many as opposed to purchasing just one album at a time.

Anastacia - I'm Outta Love was the last dance that Julianne and Chuck did on Dancing with the Stars before they were eliminated. Great dance song. The video is terrible quality, so close your eyes and imagine what you will.

Enya's "Shepherd Moon" can be seen via Youtube in the previous post.

Keep on movin' !!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Jane

No matter how far away you are, we are always looking at the same moon. I love you my darling girl. Happiest of birthdays today.

Neat Blog post

Here's another site I've been steered to by those too shy to comment. At least they are feeding my habit :)

New York Times Artful Blog

Credit: Maira Kalman NYTimes

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Find

Every once in a while you get such a happy jolt to find something that you had never heard of before, but know you will just adore.

Carole with an "e" sent me to this blog and I'm very enthusiastic to share this with you. This is not only a beautiful find, but also a great read.

Willow Manor Blog

I always love it when I learn something I've not heard of. The best kind of gift.
Don't you want to see this movie now?

There is also a really neat 10 Favourite Movie Characters Meme

I'm thinking about this one. Not being spontaneous. This will take some work.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Knitting for chickens

As I was perusing various knitting sites, I came across an interesting phenomenon that I had not heard of and all of a sudden the flood gates burst.

Not only do I now know about it, but I also may end up knitting for chickens! As fate would have it, Miss Kate is now an urban farmer in London, England. She has two "rescued" battery chickens (yet to be named) and one egg has been produced.

Lady Number 1.

Lady Number 2.

This ought to fit!

Appropriately Fox-Proofed

The first EGG

The Girls frolicking in the garden

This is the good news. These two ladies will now be looked after and tended to. I suggested naming them after Canadian (Kate) or Australian (Mick) Suffragettes. My personal favourites are: Nellie , Millicent and Bessie

The following YouTube is the reason that this rescue is necessary.
This is very difficult to watch, but necessary to know. Now I understand why people are so insistent on "free range".

This is the blog where I first heard about the idea of knitting for these rescued featherless creatures. grrl+dog What an amazing project! Bravo to Kate and Mick for undertaking this new endeavor.

Credits: Kate Slater-Vance and Mick Vance

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Granny Square Update

You may remember that I took on a crocheting project in an effort to stay awake for the series of contest shows I watch. I used to hate the look of these blankets, but not unlike Brussels sprouts, it's one of those things that ameliorate as you age...I think.

This is what our living room floor looks like these days. When you click on the picture, you'll get the life size image of what the Professor is putting up with on a daily basis. He now has to use the far door to access his chair for t.v. watching. He also says that if it never gets sewn together we can always use it as a carpet, he's that accustomed to it. It's getting near the end. I decided on 15 rows of 9 the math, that's 135 squares. I'm on the last row, and my shows are not finished yet.

This of course does not take into account the sewing together of the finished blanket. The little black ends will all be sewn in and "VIOLA"

I listened to several others who had attempted this project, and I have crocheted the ends in as I go. Now all that has to happen is, that Adam wins American Idol, Gilles wins Dancing with the Stars, and Grey's Anatomy comes to a season's finale.

We've been staring at these for a very long time and think that there are no two squares alike. Then we play the "which one is your favourite game". Deciding on the final placement will be quite another thing.

Back in March when I posted about this idea, I linked to Fiddlesticks which is now showing just what to do with any little bits of yarn left over! Eureka! She has the cutest little dog too! That is definitely another project!:)

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Today I'm off to the Opera. "La Sonnambula" by Bellini. Another Metropolitan Opera performance. I don't have to go to New York, I don't have to get dressed up, and this time, since I'm going with ladies, I can pack my lunch and don't have to endure the movie food that The Professor insists upon as a condition of his attendance at such events. You'll recall that the last one we saw was the ballet, which I might add there is another of next week, but this is exam time and it's pretty frantic around here, so I won't push my luck at trying to inveigle him to accompany me. Some of the women from my gym are attending and I'll join them.
Come along or catch it in your area

You don't have to buy tickets in advance. Just like the movies, show up and take your seat. It's never terribly crowded, and this is an "encore" performance.

Met High Definition Performances

The Metropolitan Opera Movie Experience

Friday, April 24, 2009

Easter in Washington

It always takes me awhile to get the photos from the cameras. I'm just lazy about all the fiddling. For those of you who have been waiting...impatiently...

Dana and I did a morning walk around Fort Ward, in Alexandria, VA with a quick peek at the little museum.

By Easter, most of the cherry blossoms had peaked, but a few remained and in excellent form for this picture. Click on the photos to see the full screen effect.

Dana's favourite tree. One of the civil war cannons.

A field of vinca in bloom.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cupcake sort of day

My neighbour came back from Florida and brought me this adorable gift. It's a little boxed "deck" of cupcake recipes. The best part is that they are all mouthwateringly pictured on each little "card". Presumably the intent is that you will make the cupcakes, but I will not be able to avoid swinging by "Swirls" today. This is a wonderful little gift. Thanks E.

This large format recipe deck adapts 25 recipes from Cupcakes. The recipes range from the delightful (birthday party-friendly Kid Simple Cupcakes) to the innovative (Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes) to the unexpected (Chocolate-covered Mint Meltaway Cupcakes).

About the Author
Elinor Klivans is a noted food writer, publishing articles for Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Fine Cooking, andthe Washington Post among others. She is the author of several cookbooks including our own Cupcakes! and Big Fat Cookies

Other edition by the same author

Of course I was browsing around and came across these two books...I know, I said I wasn't going to buy any more cookbooks....but the testimonials and reviews spoke about buying these books prior to visiting New York and the bakery. You know this is on my list of places to stop.

Now tell me, after all of these sumptuous pictures, don't you want a CUPCAKE???!!!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Science meets Music

A while back you'll remember that my family were complaining about a concert that they were made to "endure", I might add in an effort to civilize them all.
The Professor in one of his blog posts said:
"One year Ms. Sandwalk took the entire family to see a full performance of Handel's Messiah. It was agony, except for one brief part of the performance where we all got to stand up. Ms. Sandwalk thought it was wonderful but, remember, she also likes some country music.

My children still talk about it. I guess it's one of those "experiences" that contribute to character building, or something."

Well, I guess that now, they will all realize the importance of their education. That daughter who eventually went on to attain a Doctorate in Astrophysics said:

Jane said:
"The music was never the problem - the problem was that to see Handel's Messiah you had to sit in a hard, uncomfortable church pew for over 2 hours! And when you're 15 years old, sitting beside a 14-year-old brother, it's inevitable that after 15 minutes you're going to start playing the "how hard can I pinch you before you make enough noise to make mom angry" game."

This is where science and music collide. The ensemble we heard at that magnificent event was Tafelmusik. I think this is the best of both worlds.

New Tafelmusik honour is out of this world
Toronto's baroque Tafelmusik ensemble has hit a celestial high note. The International Astronomical Union has named an asteroid after the group as thanks for its involvement in the International Year of Astronomy 2009. In January, the ensemble premiered the music and multimedia work Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres. Astronomers involved with that performance and with the astronomical union (including Victoria astronomer David Balam, who discovered the space rock in 2004) proposed the naming of "Asteroid Tafelmusik." Among various celestial rocks orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, Tafelmusik's asteroid is thought to be unevenly shaped and only a few kilometres wide.

April 18, 2009

I could not be more delighted that I heard this news on Earth Day!

Photo Credit:
Toronto Globe and Mail

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I'm planning to go to the theatre to see this film, and in doing so, plant a tree.

The first film in the Disneynature series, earth, narrated by James Earl Jones, tells the remarkable story of three animal families and their amazing journeys across the planet we all call home. earth combines rare action, unimaginable scale and impossible locations by capturing the most intimate moments of our planet's wildest and most elusive creatures.

Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, the acclaimed creative team behind the Emmy Award®- winning "Planet Earth," combine forces again to bring this epic adventure to the big screen, beginning Earth Day, April 22, 2009.
Watch Trailer

Disney Studios promises to plant a tree for every ticket sold in the first week of the film's showing. How easy is that to support "EARTH" !!!

2:30 Square One. Anyone????


This is but one of the reasons why the chubby girl is still working on the challenge. These little Portuguese lovelies were introduced to me by a friend, and now that I know what they are, they bring them into Longo's!!! YIKES. If you love crème brûlée you are in for a treat with these little hummers. I can guarantee you will hum when you eat can't eat just one.........

“Flaky puff pastry shell with a special custard type crème brûlée filling”

Natas Pastries read all about it, but if you are not in California, then go to Longo's and enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Latest Gadget

Last week, The Professor and I did a road trip to Washington, DC.

Prior to leaving there is always the flurry of packing and rounding up all the cords that go along with the now de rigueur, "techy" bits we carry. You have to have all your chargers for cameras, cell phones, lap tops, iPods, Palm Pilots. I had been considering one more piece of equipment to enhance our journey and I'm really glad I did. A while back, on a trip into the city one evening, a friend demonstrated his Belkin TuneCast and I was smitten.

Belkin TuneCast Auto

This is the new TuneCast Auto from Belkin that transmits audio wirelessly on multiple FM stations from 88.1 to 107.9 MHz. This new accessory is compatible with the iPod, iPhone, and the new iPhone 3G. It has been labeled with Apple’s “Works with iPhone” certification for compatibility purposes. The Belkin TuneCast Auto retails for $80. [Belkin]
You ram and I mean ram the round connector into your whatever they call the old cigarette lighter now....auxillary outlet? You connect your iPod to the other connector, tune to the station that reads out on the display, and *"VIOLA" [sic]..
"Bob's your Uncle"! We managed to make it all the way to and from DC without ever hearing the same song twice, unless I wished to. Luckily for me, The Professor doesn't whine about my musical selections. He actually learns something every outing :) Now that he considers himself a "dancer" he will be needing to keep up with the latest and greatest, hence the rationale for yet another bunch of cord.

I love Katie Melua (her upcoming Toronto performance is sold out, except for obstructed view seats, but she will be at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA in May...perhaps I should go back!!) and was delighted to see that Karen had it on her blog as well in accompaniment to her tulip slide show. This is a nice thing to look at today. It is pouring with rain, but look what we'll be enjoying soon...March winds, April showers, bring forth MAY flowers.......

I highly recommend this gadget. It works best on the highway in remote parts, away from highly transmitting areas. These days it's hard to find a clear FM station to tune in to. I'm not sure that The Professor really, totally got the entire ramification of my purchase. The latest, updated version of this device is also
compatible with the new iPhone!!! Hint Hint.

*VIOLA......... This was printed in a painting instruction book. When our group discovered the unique interpretation we all started to use it. It made us laugh every time, and I can't stop using it.

for those of you who are still saying..."What is that [sic] thing"?

Compliments of Wikipedia
Sic is a Latin word meaning "thus", "so", "as such", or "in such a manner". In writing, it is placed within square brackets and usually italicized – [sic] – to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, punctuation, and/or other preceding quoted material has been reproduced verbatim from the quoted original and is not a transcription error.[1]

It had a long vowel in Latin (sīc), meaning that it was pronounced like the English word "seek" (IPA /'sik/); however, it is normally anglicised to /'sɪk/ (like the English word "sick").

It will be most interesting to have three different iPods on the next road trip. My guess is there will be a lot of jockeying for the front seat!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Not only did I watch the Drew Barrymore, Jessica Lange movie about "The Beales", but I also hung on and watched the entire documentary by the Maysles. After seeing the real players, I don't think you could ever 'over act' the roles. It truly is a bittersweet portrayal of the descent into madness. It also has moments of total hilarity, just because it is so honest. This is truly an intriguing study, if only because of the connection to the Kennedy's...that royal family of the USA.

I came across this illuminating article from W Magazine which gives yet another view on "Grey Gardens" This is an interview of the woman who bought the property.

Sally Quinn on life in Grey Gardens

Ever since the release of the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens, the ramshackle East Hampton estate and its reclusive inhabitants have exerted a mysterious pull. What many don't know, however, is that the grey-shingled house is still standing and owned by Ben Bradlee, former Washington Post executive editor, and his wife, Sally Quinn, an author and journalist (above). The pair bought the 14-room manse in 1979 directly from Little Edie, who answered the door herself the day Quinn came to take a look. When Quinn vowed not to tear it down, Little Edie, then 61, agreed to sell it to her. We talked to Quinn about the afternoon she first stepped inside the house—and what led her to stay.

How did the house first come to your attention?
We had a little tiny house in Amagansett that we weren't in love with, so we decided one summer to try to find something a little bigger. I had this killer real-estate agent and she took me everywhere from Bellport to Montauk but there was nothing that was right. Finally, I said, "There's just got to be something else!" And she said, "Well, there's always Grey Gardens!" [Quinn had read about the Beales in a 1972 New York magazine piece by Gail Sheehy.] And I said, "You're kidding? It's for sale? Well, I'd love to go see it." I thought, just for curiosity. And of course the place was completely falling down. I mean everything.

Can you paint a picture of your first experience of the house?
We got to the house and my real-estate agent said, "I will do anything to sell the house, but I will not go inside." So she waited outside. Well, you had to have flea collars on for one thing. There were 30 cats in there and the stench was beyond belief. And Little Edie opened the door—her mother had died two years earlier—and apparently everyone had made offers because she was asking $220,000 for the house.

At that time, 1979, was that considered a good price?
That was considered nothing, even then! I mean $220,00 on Lily Pond Lane? But everybody else wanted to tear the house down, which was the obvious thing to do. So I walked in and I said, "This is the most beautiful house I've ever seen." You can't believe what shambles it was in. And she said, "It's yours." Up to then, she'd refused to sell it to anybody else. But she said, "I know that this house belongs to you. You're the person who should have this house." And then she did this little pirouette in the hall and said, "You see? All it needs is a coat of paint!" So I bought it on the spot. It was one of these magical experiences where everything went right. We had a great contractor, a great architect, and we moved in the following summer.

In the documentary and HBO film, Little Edie and Big Edie spent most of their time in a shared bedroom. What has become of that room?
That's now the main guest room. The biggest guest room. There was also a smaller room that Edie lived in toward the end, when she was by herself and you can't believe it: there was one mattress pad on the floor and a birdcage hanging over the bed with a naked lightbulb.

A lightbulb in the birdcage?
Yes, in the birdcage.

That's pretty great.
Oh, you should have seen it. And there was a little rickety table with a hot plate and that was it. There were cats everywhere and raccoons wandering around. And raccoon skulls. Filthy beyond belief.

Sally Quinn in 1979.

What was the stench like?
You can imagine. 20-30 years of cats. There was no kitty litter in that house.

What do you recall of Little Edie that day?
Well, I thought she was nuts. I thought she had serious psychological and emotional problems. There was no question about it. She had just escaped into her own fantasy world. I didn't know the story that much and so honestly, I feel bad about Edie. Your reaction was just to laugh at her because she was such a character and so crazy, dancing in the hall, saying isn't it beautiful and this incredible outfit she had with safety pins and a turban and all that—and later when I saw the Maysles documentary and then the Broadway play and now the HBO movie, it's so heartbreaking. I wanted to rewind and go back to that moment and just put my arms around her. I wanted to help her, do something for her.

Did you have a sense that she was reluctant or sad about leaving?
My sense was that she was happy to sell the house. That she was locked in that place as long as her mother lived and it was her liberation. The problem was, it was too late. She had no place to go.

Did she talk about where she was going?
No, she didn't. I said to her, you have a choice. You can leave the house broom clean, which was laughable, that means you take everything out of the house, everything, everything, everything and leave it broom clean OR you leave it exactly the way it is and you leave everything in the house. And she said "I'm just walking out the door." And she walked out the door. And when we closed on the house in November I went upstairs to the attic and it was a treasure trove. I was in such a state of ecstasy and exhilaration I was hyperventilating. I started smoking again. I found a trunk of letters which I just recently had an archivist go through and do a lot of the history of the time and get the letters in order.

It's a collection of letters from both of them?
They were written during the 30s when they were living the high life.

The Beales in a still from the documentary

What were some of the discoveries you made in the letters?
Just what their life was like. The country club in the 30s, the white, upper class culture that we don't have in this country anymore. There was no smoking gun or anything. There was a lot of asking for money but nothing extraordinary. At some point I probably will write about it but I'm just not there yet. I don't have time to do it right now.

Did Michael Sucsy [the writer and director of the HBO film] see those letters?
No! Because I couldn't find them and I kept telling him I was going to show them to him and then I kept looking for them. I knew they were in a trunk somewhere and I looked in every closet in the house. And then I realized that about five or six years ago, thinking that they were valuable, I had brought them back to Washington and put them in the basement there—I forgot I brought them back for safekeeping —and then I thought as long I've got them I might as well do something with them in case they get lost. So I only told him recently and he said, 'Oh no. I can't stand it." I felt so bad.

What do you plan to do with the letters?
I don't know. I've got about 4 or 5 large scrapbook type things with all the letters and the archivist's interpretation.

What else was in the attic?
There were little lace baby pillows and incredible books, fabulous old books and chaise longues with wicker furniture and beautiful antique tables and silver. It's all in the house.

How long after Little Edie sold you the house did she leave it?
Fairly soon after. She was not there for the closing. We bought it in August and closed in November and she was not there for the closing. She moved to New York City and then somehow ended up in Florida [Bal Harbour] where she died years later.

Given Grey Gardens' potent history and personality, do you still have a sense of the Beales in the house, even now?
Oh yeah. I feel them there. In the movie, Big Edie says, "I could never leave Grey Gardens. This is a magical place." It *is* a magical place so I don't feel the sadness there. I feel the magic they felt that kept them there. There's something that makes you feel good being in the house.

I've heard that when it rains, you can still smell cat pee.
About ten years ago, we got up there the first of August and it had been raining for 10 days. We walked in the house and Ben, who can't smell anything cause he's got sinus problems, said, "Oh my god." He's allergic to cats and his eyes started to water. He could smell the cat pee.

Quinn and Bradlee in 2007 (Paul Morigi/WireImage); Quinn in 1979: Guy Delrot/WWD Archive; film stills courtesy of the Criterion Collection.
By Diane Solway

Want to see more? This is a fabulous website for just about any information you could ever want on Grey Gardens and all the documentation that surrounds it. Grey Gardens News blog Make sure to read about:
Gail Sheehy's article on Grey Gardens from the 1970s
Drew Barrymore on her preparations to play Little Edie Beale

Editor's Blog April 8, 2009


Friday, April 17, 2009

Off the Wall and Under the Covers 2009

Mississauga Quilters Guild
Burnhamthorpe Community Centre
1500 Gulleden Drive

They've been sewing up a storm at the Mississauga Quilters Guild in preparation for an upcoming show and sale. "'Off the Wall & Under the Covers" opens Friday April 17, at the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre and runs all weekend. Showing the craftwork of some of their members are, from left, Heather Black, president of the Mississauga Quilters Guild and show convener along with show committee members Maxine Stubbert and Nancy Rogers.

Friday, April 17th: 10 - 6
Saturday, April 18th: 10-5
Sunday, April 19th: 10-4.

Mississauga resident Heather Black says every quilt she has ever created has a story that intersects with her life in some way — places she visited, people she met and events that have shaped her life.

“A quilt is not just an utilitarian blanket, it's an art,” said Black, president of the Mississauga Quilters Guild.

“An important part of quilting is the camaraderie and friendship you share with fellow quilters, all of whom want to share their knowledge and pay back to the community in some way,” she added.

And that's what the 30-year-old Mississauga Quilters Guild aims to do at its annual show, Off the Wall and Under the Covers 2009. It runs April 17-19 at the Burnhamthrope Community Centre, 1500 Gulleden Dr.

Part of the show's proceeds will go towards equipping hundreds of Mississauga children and adults from various non-profit groups with their own quilts to snuggle into.

Black reckons in the last four years the guild has presented more than 400 quilts and 600 place mats to hospitals and organizations catering to children, women, adults with Alzheimer's disease and others.
The guild's 175 members are a motley lot. Some use embellishments such as satin ribbons and beads to accessorize their work, while traditional quilters such as Black prefer the no-nonsense approach of sewing squares and patterns with hand or machine.

Often a piece or pattern of fabric will spark ideas. For instance, Black researched and painstakingly crafted a moss-green and crimson quilt featuring more than a dozen interpretations of Santa Claus from countries around the world.

“A fabric for a quilter is like paint for an artist,” Black said. “Like artists, we draw our inspiration from nature, events, people.”
Guild members will exhibit their latest work at the show.

By: Radhika Panjwani

Go to Mississauga Quilters Guild for more information.

Staff photo by Rob Beintema

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dare to Dream

Some of you will have seen this woman. I think it is pretty well all over the media at this point, but for those of you who may not follow Idol shows or their ilk, I thought you might enjoy this fantastic feel good story. As I've been working on this post, I've been so happily smiling and cheering her on. I just want everyone to feel the joy today, wherever you are.

At the outset of this video, I was as skeptical as everyone else was. When she hits the high note, I too JUMPED from my chair. I feel so much happiness for this woman, and this just makes me beam.

Have you ever seen Simon Cowell smile like this??????

Susan Boyle- Britain's Got Talent 2009

The Professor has been taken in by 'American Idol'. I hoot and holler for Adam Lambert, and we are fascinated by Simon Cowell. This is just a total smile for you today. There is so much bad news lately, that I think we could all use a little hopefulness. Dream big!

Credit: Toronto Star

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, as soon as the snow had melted from the street, we had a wonderfully warm day. My junior girlfriends arrived at the door and I proclaimed..."You should be out skipping today! It's a jump rope sort of day!"

"But we don't have jump ropes".

"Get in the car. We're going to find skipping ropes. What do you mean you don't have skipping ropes???"

"Just don't do that anymore."

"Oh YES you do!"

Do you think we could find skipping ropes...the good "plasticy" kind that we used for 'double dutch' when we were kids??? You need a 14 foot good quality 'rope' to jump. After several fruitless attempts, we got two seven foot ropes in a party packagers shop and tied them together. The knot in the middle is awful, but it works...sort of. The ropes were so cheap the handles flew off in the first five minutes, but I didn't let that stop the game.

Plastic wound around our hands, we jumped to a variety of 'songs' that have been massively changed since I did this activity every day, but it was still fun and might I say pretty exhausting. I was begging to be an "ever-ender" in the first five minutes.

I truly believe that we can solve the problem of child inactivity if they just had a skipping rope. Take a look at these marvelous girls. Don't you think that the half time show at all sporting events should be like this? The Navy obviously does.

Hopefully you have time and patience to watch this clip until the end. It gets pretty darn amazing. Next time you try out a rope yourself, you'll so appreciate the athleticism required for this activity.

It's a sad commentary when you can't go to a local shop and buy a skipping rope! Now of course it's all on-line, but hey, good for them!


Hat Tip: Helen B.
Photo credit:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Question we'll be going here!

Pentagon City Mall.......

The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, located just moments from the nation's capital, and on the Washington DC Metro system, offers a world-class shopping experience where avenues of fashions and boulevards of style await. A scenic glass elevator ride to the Third Level reveals more than 170 fascinating stores and restaurants including Macy's, Nordstrom, The Ritz-Carlton, Ann Taylor, Apple, Armani Exchange, Bailey Banks & Biddle, Banana Republic, BCBG, bebe, Club Monaco, Coach, Cole Haan, Guess, J. Crew, J.Jill, Kenneth Cole, Movado, Sephora, Starbucks, Sony Style, Steve Madden, Swarovski Crystal Gallery, Tourneau, Talbots and Victoria's Secret. The skylit Food Court features international specialties from the familiar to the exotic.

Photo Credit:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Maybe We'll have Brunch in Georgetown

There are so many great places to poke around in, in Georgetown. Lovely tea rooms and Dean and DeLuca purveyors....they will be specially festive for Easter.

Photo Credit:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Maybe we'll see the White House Easter Egg Roll

White House Easter Egg Roll, 1898. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Black children in Washington, D.C. participated in the annual Easter egg hunt at the White House, one of the public events that blacks were allowed to attend in that segregated city.

My how things have changed since 1898 !!!

We are actually going to try to attend a splendid free concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Denyce Graves, the Chicago Children's Choir and the Marine Band will perform in honour of Marian Anderson, who sang at the Easter concert 70 years ago, some say setting the stage for the civil rights era. Colin Powell will read from Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Maybe we'll see Cherry Blossoms

Perhaps we can walk around the tidal basin

The Jefferson monument may be one of my favourites and there is a great walkway...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Maybe we'll go to Alexandria....Old Town

We might stroll along the old brick streets and peek in the shops and stop for a tea, or a coffee, or a lunch....who knows.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Maybe we'll be invited to the ball

Four elaborate costumes, created for Marjorie Merriweather Post (then Mrs. E.F. Hutton) for the legendary costume balls of the 1920s, will be on view together for the first time in the exhibition An Invitation to the Ball: Marjorie Merriweather Post's Fancy Dress Costumes of the 1920s. Part of the extraordinary collection of apparel and accessories once belonging to Post, this assemblage of costumes marks the first exhibition at Hillwood to focus on the personal items that Post acquired and maintained with the hope that they be shared with the public. Including archival and reproduction images and documents, including newspaper clippings, invitations, and correspondence, An Invitation to the Ball will reveal a personal side of Hillwood's founder and offer visitors an escape to a storied time of opulence and exuberance.

Marjorie Merriweather Post

Hillwood Museum