Monday, June 29, 2009

How to sew on a button

I finally got around to sewing on the vintage buttons I purchased in New York. Well, I got one jacket completed and have another to go, but the buttons are in motion. They are not the buttons pictured above, mine are yellow..but still vintage. To photograph them would require me getting out the camera. I am now in love with vintage buttons.

While I was rooting around in my "Pins and Needles" Iris case, I came across this article that I had cut out of the newspaper many years ago. It is particularly helpful when sewing buttons on jackets. Click on the image to read the fine print.

I wish I knew what the other 11 hints in the 12 part series were. Happy sewing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I HAD to do it!

This is a completely shameful photo op...but hey! It's news.

Click on the picture...just like the ads on t.v.! You have to admit he looks just like the little guy on the package :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 27, 2009

On a beach somewhat like this..Happy Wedding Day..
Congratulations Lesley Jane and Tom

Friday, June 26, 2009

Paint the sky with stars

Let's stay with Enya for a's too hot to move and I'm too uninspired today to think. It's a bit of a sad time right now, this is fitting.

Suddenly before my eyes
Hues of indigo arise
With them how my spirit sighs
Paint the sky with stars

Only night will ever know
Why the heavens never show
All the dreams there are to know
Paint the sky with stars

Who has paced the midnight sky?
So a spirit has to fly
As the heavens seem so far
Now who will paint the midnight star?
Night has brought to those who sleep
Only dreams they cannot keep
I have legends in the deep
Paint the sky with stars

Who has paced the midnight sky?
So a spirit has to fly
As the heavens seem so far
Now who will paint the midnight star?
Place a name upon the night
One to set your heart alight
And to make the darkness bright
Paint the sky with stars.

For my girl today who is so sad and missing MJ.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Marble Halls

Pre-Raphaelite art is one of my favourite genres. How amazing to see this slide show on this totally appropriate musical video. As you can see, this is a musical sort of week. This lilt by Enya captivates me.

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
with vassals and serfs at my side,
and of all who assembled within those walls
that I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches all too great to count
and a high ancestral name.
But I also dreamt which pleased me most
that you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same.

I dreamt that suitors sought my hand,
that knights upon bended knee
and with vows no maiden's heart could withstand,
they pledged their faith to me.
And I dreamt that one of that noble host
came forth my hand to claim.
But I also dreamt which charmed me most
that you loved me still the same
that you loved me
you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same.

The Professor's cousin has some of his prints on loan to this exhibit in London, England. How I wish I were there now.
Waterhouse Exhibit London

Musical Inspiration

This is an amazing group. I love the "simulated" storm. The title of the video is Stimulating a storm...hope not, I'm enjoying this wonderfully sunny day here! Make sure your speakers are up for the first starts out softly!

Those shining faces just make me so happy! What a glorious group. KABOOM!

Hat Tip: Many thanks Gigi!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mosaic Tile Class

Yesterday, Irenka and I returned to "Wise Daughters Craft Market" to grout our mosaic tile mirrors. This is our adorable teacher Karen Jones. She is such a great, patient and knowledgeable instructor and we all just loved this class. It's really mesmerizing!

Frances' hand working on her grouting

Trying to incorporate the shop sign in with our finished mirrors..mirror faces

Happy campers

On the Fire Escape


The Cutest Apron in the world!
Now I need to know how to make one!

The end.

Until we make cement birdbaths! Stay tuned. Wise Daughters Workshops

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good Reading

The Other Queen

I'm loving this book at the moment. It's written in narrative form. Easy to pick up and hard to put down. Just a suggestion for a good summer read. I'm loving getting back to Philippa Gregory and have quite a pile of her historical novels for the months ahead. Warning....highly addictive.

Photo Credit:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Artful Sheep

I suppose this is what happens when shepherds have too much time on their hands. This must have taken quite some time to pull off.

Artful sheep

Enjoy this wonderfully funny video.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Big News

Early in January, The Professor and I will be Grandparents! Congratulations to Jane and Michael, lest anyone think it's Gordon and Rach!!:) We've been sitting on this for quite a while, but the news broke today and we couldn't be more delighted.

What do you think we should be called?? Tonight, the consensus was "Gamma" and undecided about "Professor" or "Sir" :)

Yes Irenka, this time it IS a stork! :) Perhaps that Heron WAS a sign. Spooky.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The morning solution?

I heard about these two alarm clocks on 96.3 FM. Mike Duncan is so hilarious when he tells stories, and I've been thinking about this concept since hearing his review.

Michael Kesterton

From Monday's Globe and Mail, Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2009 02:56AM EDT

Waking up ...

Rise and shine, lazybones. It's 9 a.m. on Monday and many Canadians have been out of bed for at least an hour.

... is hard to do

"Our first wake-up call usually comes with a sharp whack on the rump, followed by a yowl of protest." John Powers wrote in The Boston Globe in 1997. "Later, harried obstetricians are replaced by insistent parents, jangling alarm clocks, hysterical disc jockeys, honking horns, shrieking blue jays. The human race has figured out how to walk on the moon, split atoms and clone sheep. It has not yet devised an effective yet pleasant way to get out of bed. ... Everything we've invented, from the snooze alarm to the Shake Awake, a vibrating alarm clock, has been a desperate attempt to get around an eternal dilemma: We have to get up, but we don't want to."

Infernal devices

Two novelty alarm clocks described in the Nikkei Report last January:

Gun O'clock. "A round target mounted on top of a box-shaped clock stands up at the preset time with an alarm. The owner must shoot the target with a gun-like device equipped with an infrared red light to stop the alarm."

Helicopter Alarm Clock. "At the preset time, the helicopter-shaped clock launches a rotor into the air that flies around while the clock makes a blistering sound (a recording of actual engine noise at takeoff) until the rotor is returned to the clock base."

This might just work for me...I'd definitely have to have more than one clock. Can you just see it???

Monday, June 15, 2009

What a Nuisance

nui·sance (nōō'səns, nyōō'-)

1. One that is inconvenient, annoying, or vexatious; a bother: Having to stand in line was a nuisance. The disruptive child was a nuisance to the class.
2. Law A use of property or course of conduct that interferes with the legal rights of others by causing damage, annoyance, or inconvenience.

Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

(I find it a nuisance that I have to cite this source)

First thing this morning our beautiful upstairs toilet seat cracked in half. I was telling this to a friend on the phone and she said "What a nuisance"! That is such a perfect word. Nuisance. It's not a huge problem, it's just a nuisance having to go out and get the exact one for this unusual oval shaped bowl.

Last night I sliced into the index finger on my left hand. Better than on the right hand but in so very many ways a total Nuisance.

I had my annual physical last week and now I have to go through the NUISANCE of all the follow-up tests which take more appointments, and ruin my exercise schedule.

Today I won and prize on my radio show! I can't go to the movie because it's on the same evening as our final dance class. That's a Nuisance because I really wanted to go, and I WON!

Hung some drapes yesterday in the studio and now notice that they should be the other way around. Nuisance.

Tried to move some furniture around and can't do it due to my inability to grip...sore finger.... Nuisance.

Driveway people came around with a great deal on filling up and resurfacing asphalt...had to dig in the garage to find barricades to keep people off the fresh tar, and that was a HUGE NUISANCE...which the good of is ...saved the Professor a whole lot of angst and sweat and tears.

Had to do some kid counseling while all the garage-digging was going on...Nuisance.

Today just seems to be a Nuisance.

Think I'll get Jenny's Bakery to make me another sign.

Commit No Nuisance
Eat Cupcakes!

Nuisance Photo Credit:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mosaic Fun

Last weekend, Irenka and I did a Mosaic workshop at Wise Daughters Craft Market in Toronto.

Happily, and unbeknownst to us BilliJo (who incidentally has some of her wares for sale upstairs!) was one of the other women who attended. With our teacher Karen Jones and friend Frances, it was a really nice class size and great experience. This is a wonderful workspace. Bright and spacious. We loved it.
Good Karma

As our base, we used little wooden Ikea frames.

Good Girls wear Goggles

Some people actually finish

Other girls have trouble committing to actually gluing things down...

Come back after the grouting is added.

To be continued .......after June 21st.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Keep Calm

I've always loved this poster, especially because of it's fascinating history

This is the story

I love this take on the poster even more......

Which is why I purchased it from Jenny's Bakeshop. Jenny and Aaron have a sweet little Etsy business going and must be the cutest couple ever.

Jenny's Blog "Every Day is a Holiday", for more sweetness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Official

I have just returned from my annual physical and I can now officially say the challenge has been met. As our fearless leader comments on her the challenge will be to keep it off!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

No Beets....M&M's

No beets in the White House....

Not sure if you saw the recent NBC documentary "Inside the Obama White House"

This is the you tube video. It is of special interest to our family that the White House is now into M&M's as opposed to jelly beans. Our daughter works for "Mars Inc." and this is quite an endorsement.

This is a really cute blog where you can read all about the culinary preferences of the President and his staff. Obama Foodorama

The photo of the silver dishes full of M&M's as well as the little boxes the staff get to take home on Friday nights is priceless. Peanut M&M's are served on Fridays.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Unexpected Visitor

This morning as I was coming down the stairs, out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a HUGE pair of wings descending towards our yard. Luckily, the back patio door was open and as I headed through the dining room to ascertain what all the bird commotion was, I was truly startled to see this enormous visitor on our fence. You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

After a few frantic expletives, I was racing for my little camera, still in my purse from yesterday's outing. The first photo I was able to snap was through the screen at quite a distance, as I didn't want to scare my elegant gentleman? caller away.

My dumb little camera takes what seems like waaaay tooo loooong to recuperate and allow the next shot. But I managed to use the zoom and stay as still as one can whilst holding one's breath!

The next shot was the jinx. The flash went off and the jig was up. After landing on the roof of the garden shed, Mr. Heron flew off through the yards. I was the only person out there!

I excitedly phoned the professor to tell him of my luck at capturing this event. He may have thought to question my sanity had I not had this pictorial record of the landing, and subsequent departure. I think it must be a sign. I'm not sure what sign, just a sign.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Are you eating your Vegetables?

From the New York it must be reliable....

The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating

Swiss Chard
Pomegranate Juice
Pumpkin Seeds
Frozen Blueberries
Canned Pumpkin

I'll add maybe not eating or possibly not eating, because I know that I eat even some of them, so likely you are too. If you like beets (Close your eyes Lauren A.), here is a recipe that you will adore.

Beet Tartare

5 Medium beets - scrubbed, and roasted
1 small shallot chopped
4 Tbsp. Capers chopped
4 Tbsp. Cornichons chopped (dills)
1 Tbsp. Mayo
3 Tbsp. Parsley
1/4 tsp. Hot sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Wrap beets in aluminum foil and bake one hour (or until tender) at 400º.
Peel and quarter beets. Combine all ingredients in blender. Serve on toast.

This is the article from the Times that tells you how to enjoy these 11 foods, and to eat the beets raw. I'm doing my part eating them cooked, it's a bit like cream in the coffee - non negotiable. I am also rather dubious about the canned pumpkin bit.

New York Times Article

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where is the size 13?

It all started with this, Oprah's quote of the day:
"A woman is never sexier than when she's comfortable in her clothes. That's it. End of story."
—Vera Wang

This gal sure looks comfortable in Vera's line :)

As the new lifestyle (read: dieting) continues, one inevitably gets between sizes. If you were a 14 and after some time, still not quite a size 12, any reasonable person would think that one could find a size 13 to tide one over 'til the next 5 pound drop. Men just don't understand the official "US Standard Clothing Size Pronouncement", by which we are all pigeonholed.

No wonder! If you look at the chart, there are SEVEN different classifications for women's sizes. They range from Misses' to Women's and Half Sizes.

The men get ONE. It would seem that all their problems can be solved by a belt! It also makes me really mad that in reality they only ever need two pairs of black, one brown...and Bob's your uncle, that's them - ready for any occasion.

By the standard criteria, I do not qualify for the "Junior" or "Junior Miss" category. It plainly states that despite your height you will have a higher bust and a shorter back. Guess this leaves a few of us 'SOL'.

For now, I'll borrow a belt from The Professor and be comfortable in my clothes.

And, thanks to Vera Wang, apparently, I'll never be sexier than I am now! These two pictures are honestly from Vera's website - Lavender Label Clothing. No wonder the woman talks about being comfortable. I could SO do this look with these socks!

Is it me or has the fashion industry gone berserk??!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

For Becky

This is so sweet! My darling Becky taught me this many years ago, and I can't believe my luck at finding this version..........

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
"A soldier's life is terrible hard,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We saw a guard in a sentry-box.
"One of the sergeants looks after their socks,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the King, but he never came.
"Well, God take care of him, all the same,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
They've great big parties inside the grounds.
"I wouldn't be King for a hundred pounds,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
A face looked out, but it wasn't the King's.
"He's much too busy a-signing things,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
"Do you think the King knows all about me?"
"Sure to, dear, but it's time for tea,"
Says Alice.

Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956

Photo Credit:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Everything in 44444's

I promised Marissa I'd do this upon my here it is

Here are Marissa's answers:

* Four places that I go to over and over: work, bookstore, park, gym
* Four people who email me regular: Andy, Julie, Wallace, John
* Four favorite smells: Aidan, coffee, Jasmine flowers, cookies baking.
* Other places I would rather be right now: Italy, Australia; Caribbean cruise, Florida
* Four people I think will respond: Andy, Irene, Leslie, Sharon

Here are mine:

* Four places that I go to over and over: Gym, Tim Horton's, Longo's,Costco
* Four people who email me regular: Marcia,Irene,Helen,Linda
* Four favorite smells: Roses,Coffee,Laundry dried outdoors,Lilacs
* Other places I would rather be right now: Barcelona,Paris,Brussels,Vancouver
* Four people I think will respond: Irene,Nancy,Marcia,Linda

But I hope more will respond because it's fun!

Practice Inspiration

My favourite Wednesday workout instructor is known for choosing the most amazing music. We all love to sing and move to her well thought out selections. The other day she used this music for our cool down.

I immediately knew I had to find out what it was. I need to play this on the piano. Not sure how difficult it will be, but I love the melody and that makes the process so enjoyable.

The instructor was kind enough to search out the name of the piece and the performer. That's going beyond a class...Yanni - In the Morning Light

Now I have to locate the sheet music and practice, practice, practice.

Thanks Dev.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Remaking some great kid's classics

Yesterday my daughter alerted me to the release of the remastered DVD for THE RED BALLOON. I had some trouble connecting with the site in which she originally found the entire movie embedded. For whatever reason, the Google movie totally rearranged my blog so I had to quickly remove it all this morning. I remember Sharon having this problem, so now I know what to look for. Yes, yes, to answer all those did see it and then I had to go to my workout class...but if you want to watch the entire 38 minute film...

Vintage Kid's Books My Kid Loves

Below is a shorter version that might pique your interest, and jog your memory of this film.

I will definitely purchase the DVD. When I checked, it was $9.99 on and $16.99 on
I hate that. Even with the exchange....what in the world is THAT all about?!

At one time, I was aware that they came out with a revised version of the film. We have trouble getting foreign films in our local Rogers video shop, but I will bug them till the get me this one.

Jane was inquiring as to whether or not, as a child, she had seen the original Red Balloon film. Bien sur ma petite. I used to regularly rent the large reeled projectors from the library and there were some amazing films for kids. Ever the steel-trap-minded Jane reminded me of the time we had Hansel and Gretel much to the horror of one child's mother. I wonder what happened to him? He's probably authoring horror novels :)

I especially loved "The Electric Grandmother", and see that it has also been remastered. Looks like a special purchase.

Hat tip: Jane Moran

Monday, June 1, 2009

The New Car Dilemma

It's that time car is coming off it's lease and now I have to make another decision.

Think I'm going to go with the Nissan Altima again, but come down in power and gas.

It's always humorous to me how this happens. I'm obsessing about it and listening to the radio today........

Flash from the past Billy Ocean has it right.

You can see what I'll look like going through Denny's car wash to prepare to meet the dealer :)

P.S. I had to purchase this song. Now I want to go to a drive in.

Another great Billy Ocean rendition...I love Danny on the sax!