Learning something new.

OK, so this post has absolutely nothing to do with anything literacy related. Franki is trying to teach me, technogoddness that I'm not, how to put a youtube video onto my blog. #26 is my oldest son. He's also doing the background rap.

And then here is Son #2, the Quarterback!

DDCC #119 - A sketch for you

Kelly has been havin blogger problems today and yesterday so our challenge over at DDCC has gone out a bit late guys !!!!!blogger is being such a pain at the mo and im thinking there is just too much traffic for it to cope with ??


Anyway onto our current challenge then i guess and we have a fabby sketch for you,

please remember though that you can only combine with upto 5 other challenges to be elligible to win our prize,


And we are being sponsored by the great stamping boutique why not pop over and have a look at the DT takes on the sketch and who won our last CAS challenge, you never know it could be you !!!


rainbow colours

In 1978, the rainbow flag came to mean diversity in the gay community. This weekend, Toronto will host its famous PRIDE parade.

ROM sporting the rainbow colours

thread in beautiful colours

"Map",  2006
my inspiration for this wall hanging was a geophysical map.
It was exhibited at the Oakwood Public Library
in Toronto in 2007.
It now hangs at my husband's office-he's a geophysicist.

a table runner from Guatemala- a gift from Grace

my purse

In Italy, these colours mean PEACE.

Beach Stuff

My nephew Adam just wandered into the room, his luxurious locks spilling down his back. (Be jealous, girls! Be very, very jealous!) He asked what I was doing and I said I'm writing a column. So then he said did you give me a shout out? And I said no. But I'll give you one in my blog.


woyww 108

You may wish to look away !!!!!!!! the mess that you are going to see you may never be able to forget lol, now im not lucky enought to have a craft room but i do possess a corner of our bedroom much to hubby's dismay,I thought id share this wityh you on WOYWW 108 there are lots of boxes/drawers etc but still i cant stay tidy lol

Here is the carnage of my latest crafting moments !!! I tend to leave drawers open so i can find my stuff easier lol, believe it or not im actually quite organised !!!!
Here is my work desk, ive been colouring in a fab some odd girl digi and popped my fave essential on there "glossy accents" ready to use on an ordered card,
if you can see it just in the corner there is an old spice rack which houses all my buttons in colour coordinated bottles

As you can see everything is all over the place at the mo, i have had few new bits an pieces of late and im still awaiting some new stamps and storage etc to be delivered form 3 or 4 different places lol, dont worry ive been ebaying to make some pennies to spend,
know i now my space isnt very inspiring but i thought id share as i havent done do for quite a while !!!

hugs xxx


No cracks about your age .......promise

Yep thats the name of this card lol

I got a massive deal on ebay a while ago, which consited of about 32 of these fabulous stamps and sentiments, for a mere £15, all the charachters and text as well !!!!!!

I love humourous cards dont you ???

I used glitter card on this which ive had for what seems an age and not used any of it for about 12 months !!!!!! I also ised my retro paper stack from papermania another thing ive not used much for a while,

i was in the mood to use up some old stuff aith my new stamps

Im not sure about colour combo though ?


Ces - anything but square

I love promarkers - anything goes


Baby Shower Cupcakes

Created this adorable cake and cupcakes for a baby shower this weekend over at the Dolphin Bar in Jensen Beach.  A perfect location for this kind of affair! 

Beach Themed Wedding Cake

Created this beautiful cake for Anne Marie's wedding this past weekend at the Marriott Hutchinson Island.  This is by far our most popular design for beach themed weddings!  Moist almond cake fillied with our signature vanilla buttercream, so creamy and not too sweet!


WARNING: This is probably another one of those everyone else has already read and blogged about this, so why is she just doing it now posts!

I am a dog lover to the nth degree. I wake up every morning with Jack and Star, my two black lab mixes, squished tight against me. I cover the couch, so the dogs can look out the window while I'm gone. When we moved in last summer, the backyard was beautiful. And now, well, let's just say now it's not (I'm open to ideas about how to have two big dogs and a backyard too, if anyone has any).

Interestingly, I don't always like animal stories. I especially don't like stories where the animals talk or act like people. Last week at the library, however, I picked up A DOG'S WAY HOME by Bobby Pyron. And I loved it.

Abby Whistler is a twelve-year-old girl, living with her mother, musician father, her grandmother, and her best friend, a sheltie named Tam, in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. Tam is an award-winning agility dog, and on the way back from a contest, four hundred miles away from home, the family is in a car accident. Abby and her mother are both hurt, and Tam's crate is thrown from the back of the truck, down the side of a mountain, and into a river. By the time Tam makes his way back to the spot of the accident, several days later, his girl is gone, and Tam is faced with a long journey home.

I had a lump in my throat from the beginning of this book to the end. The book is told in alternating chapters, one told from Abby's point of view, and the next from Tam's. Abby negotiates middle school and a mid-year move, all the while missing her dog and dreaming about him almost every night. Tam faces life in the wild- hunger, predators, bad weather, and animal traps- trying to get home to his girl.

A terrific read, sure to hold the attention of any dog lover…

Bird watching

So occasionally I do a little bird watching, thanks to Gigi who always gives me tickets to the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival in May. Right now I'm checking out the brown pelicans who make their home here. Love it when they glide low over breaking waves like surfers shooting the curl. And I especially love it when they go all kamikaze while fishing. They sweep through the air in wide circles, then wheel out and dive bomb--BOOM--headfirst into the glittering water.



I recently was interviewed by Laura D'Aprile from OMNI ONE, the local italian television station.

Laura D'Aprile at work at Side Space Gallery

It gave me an opportunity to speak about my artwork and my italian heritage...all in ITALIAN!

Laura filming my art piece, Many Moons

We had a really fun few hours together!

It will air July 1 between 8 and 9 pm on OMNI 1

If you cannot see it then, click here, from July 2nd onwards. It will be there for about six weeks.


A couple of weeks ago on Twitter, a new friend (@mimireads) told Patrick Allen and I that we should check out THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS by Erica Bauermeister. I did, and loved it (see post here) , so on Friday night, I online went looking for other books Bauermeister had written. Bauermeister's newest book, JOY FOR BEGINNERS, was just released a couple of weeks ago. Knowing that my boys had a football-a-thon (ok, really a 7 on 7 tournament, that lasts for twelve hours, which is divided approximately equally between watching football, fetching water and gatorade for grumpy, overheated children and just sitting around waiting for games to happen), I downloaded JOY FOR BEGINNERS onto my Kindle and threw that into my bag. I spent more time being water girl and less time waiting, so I didn't get much read during the tournament, but I read a good chunk yesterday, then finished JOY FOR BEGINNERS this morning.

The main character in JOY FOR BEGINNERS is Kate, a woman who has been through a mastectomy and subsequent treatment for breast cancer. In the opening chapter of JOY, Kate and six of her closest friends, women who have cared for her during treatment, are having a victory party, celebrating Kate's return to health. Shortly before the party, Kate's college-aged daughter, Robin, has asked her to consider a river rafting trip down the Grand Canyon and hung the pamphlet on the bulletin board in the kitchen. Kate's friends encourage her to go on the trip. Kate agrees that she will, but only if each of her friends will take on a challenge during the next year. The biggest twist is that Kate will decide what each challenge will be.

Bauermeister has come to be a new favorite author. She goes into a "category" with Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen. Those authors write simple clean stories that I can read at football practices or waiting rooms. Even though the stories are relatively straightforward, there are lots of big truths, great lines that I write down or mark to share with friends. I loved this story about women and friendship and taking on challenges. I want my book club to read it. I want us to think about challenges we might set for each other. Maybe even set a few…And like Quindlen and Berg, Bauermeister is a terrific writer, a master of specificity and sensory details, someone I revisit again and again as I attempt to become a better writer.

As I was reading JOY FOR BEGINNERS, I also thought a lot about my reading process. I got my Kindle for Valentine's Day, and I'm still trying to figure out what place it has in my reading life. I had wanted one for a long, long time, but if I am honest, I have not really used it all that much. Here are some initial observations:

Things I love about my Kindle:
  • The size.
  • I can get a new book within a couple of minutes (this might also be a dangerous feature, given my propensity for buying books instead of food or clothing).
  • I love that once I'm done with a book, it doesn't take up a lot of space in my life. I still have it on my Kindle, and I can go back to it any time I like, but I don't have to try to find room for it on my overflowing bookshelves.
  • That ebooks, even new books, are much less expensive than "regular" books (and yeah, I'm aware that I don't have the right language).
Things I'm still trying to figure out:
  • I can't pass on books I love, like JOY FOR BEGINNERS, to my friends. Last night, for example, I was telling my friend, Kathleen, how much I was enjoying Erica Bauermeister's books. She said she needed something new to read. Ordinarily, I would just pass the book on to her, but because it was on my Kindle, I couldn't. I don't like that, at all.
  • I'm also not sure I will buy many children's books on the Kindle, because if I like them, I want to be able to put them into kids' hands. That's not a possibility with the Kindle, unless I give them my Kindle to use.
  • I'm am thinking, though, about what place the Kindle might have in the lives of kids who struggle with reading. Would it make reading easier for those kids if they could adjust the type size or face, number of words on a line, or the orientation of the page? If so, why would we not give them that option?
  • I'm also trying to decide whether buying ereaders for my sons might encourage them to read more than they are reading now (not at all).
  • And then I'm still trying to figure out the "gadgetry"of the Kindle. I haven't figured out, for example, whether I can get the stuff I highlight from my Kindle to my laptop. And I haven't taken time yet to learn how to get stuff from my Netgalley account onto my Kindle, even though I am pretty sure I can do that.
OK, enough Joy (and Kindle) for beginners. Gotta go do some real life stuff, like laundry and housework!

And now . . .

. . . we're at the beach. And, once again, it's Reality TV show time. The family next door is all Jersey Shore with the fist-pumping and the chest muscles and the big hair and gold jewelry to match. Meanwhile, they look at our license plates and me crocheting an afghan in my little lawn chair and go, "Yep. Sister Wives."

Put our differences aside

I have to agree with Daphne Iking ... she has a point. Why do we need to learn to love our neighbours. I may not simply barge into my neighbour's house and asked what they're having for dinner, but at least I know who they are. I get invited for Raya, Deepavali, Chinese New Year, and actually we had an invitation from a neighbour who just moved. It was an invitation to their child's wedding, how surprising was that. Unfortunately, the wedding was near Christmas, and by the time, I left for kampung to join my family for the holidays.

The idea of the 1Malaysia concept is good, but it's funny at the same time. I mean, we keep harping about the issue and the leaders are always reminding us how to live as one big happy family but why are they preaching so hard, why can't they just act as though nothing is wrong, they are pinpointing our weaknesses in public, why? And, with all due respect, the advertisements on our national radio is totally ridiculous!

Honestly, I do not need to be reminded every now and then about how to love my neighbours, how to accept others from different ethnics, I totally think it's all about narrowing the gap between the rich and poor, the rich will have to experience for themselves how hard it is to get to a remote area via road connections,  not take the copper, I mean you want to save time because you're "too busy", who isn't? It doesn't seem fair when sometimes we have to travel in the wee hours to get to the event area, just so that we won't be late for a function, and the VIP just conveniently flies and leaves the same way, while we take the same route and rush to finish our stories.

So, please stop preaching things that you yourself may not be practising. Act, not just talk.

Retirement Cake

Black and Pink Elengance!

Black and Yellow Wedding Cake

I had this design in my mind for the longest time and finally, with the help of my wonderful assistant, brought it to life!

Coors Light Cake

This cake came out so awesome.  First time making a beer can cake and we had great fun!

Congratulations Bobbie!

We created this cake for one of our great customers who is having a baby girl!  The design was inspired by the party decor.  Wish you the best Bobbie!

Polk a Dots Wedding Cake

Tiffany & Co. Inspired Display

Sandra's Cakes recently participated at a bridal show at the Gardens Mall and we designed a beautiful table with new display cakes inspired by Tiffany and Co.  Our display was located inside of the store and it truly looked amazing!   The managment and staff of the store were very happy to have us there!  Show was great and we had a wonderful time.

Our display, totally classy!!!

This is the cake I designed, which got a lot of great reviews!

This amazing looking cake was designed by my assistant Sarah, it was stunning!

Cupcakes were a hit too!

Sarah and I at Tiffany & Co., Gardens Mall

Luau Birthday Cake

Fun and colorful luau birthday cake made to go along with the party theme and decor.  This cake was a surprise and everyone totally loved it!

Father's day

June 19th was Father's day over here in the Low Lands and since June 20th is Renz' birthday we had a double party.
Rune and I got up really early to bake Renz a cake. Rune made the decorations herself, with a little help from Mum of course.

For Father's day she made him this bookmark! I made Renz a silly kitchen apron and for his 43rd b-day we bought him some cologne. He's a happy camper as you can see!


I'm off to do the mom thing today. You know, one of those days when you get up super early, spend an hour organizing the cooler, packing lunches, etc., then wake up two sleepy, grumpy teenagers, fuss at them to help you lift the cooler into the car, drive ninety minutes, then sit for seven or eight or ten hours in the hot sun while they do something they love. Then, to top it off, someone will ask tonight why you are tired because you didn't do anything all day (and please don't send me any parenting suggestions-- I know there are lots of people that do it better and have teenagers who are much more pleasant and respectful).

Anyway, before I start the day's festivities, read a terrific book yesterday. I heard about THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS, by Erica Bauermeister, on Twitter, from Mimi (@mimreads), who is a friend of Patrick's (@coloreader). I couldn't put it down.

The main character in SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS is Lillian, who owns a restaurant. Once a month, she turns the restaurant into a cooking school. This book chronicles the life of that cooking class over the course of a year. Each month, as they cook, Bauermeister tells the story of a different character, there's Isabelle, an older woman who is in the early stages of what appears to be Alzheimer's, Claire- a new mom, Chloe- a teenager who has basically raised herself, Ian- a technogeek, Antonia- an Italian kitchen designer, Tom- a lawyer who has lost his wife to cancer, and Carl and Helen- a couple who have been married for fifty years. The stories are rich and wonderful and sensuous. And if you are someone who likes to cook, I think you will enjoy them even more…

I loved this book. I'm downloading Bauermeister's newest book, JOY FOR BEGINNERS, for today. But first, I gotta go load the cooler…

What We Did Today, Pt. 3

Rented bikes. Rode them over the Golden Gate Bridge. Swooned from the sheer awesomeness of it all.

Finished off the day with more Chinese food. Now watching the Indians beat the Giants. On TV this time--we definitely went to the better game in person.

Leaving our hearts in San Francisco tomorrow. On our way to the beach. Heaven!

art exercise

I am back to my art routine. I create a small piece every morning in 15 minutes! I put a timer and do finish it within the time span...well, sometimes I go over by a minute!

I do have the base pre-cut and ready to use. In that limited time, I just create. I may try something I have been thinking about or I may just go without any direction at all. I do not have time to question my art decisions.

I do this instead of sketching.

Today's mini work started with the new transfer paints I bought yesterday.

4"x6", morning exercise with past mini works behind

This is my inspiration for the quilt design.

window grate, Casa Mila, (also known as Casa Pedrera)
building designed by Gaudi
Barcelona, Spain

Dogs and Mimes

This is for Donna.

I've been looking for the dog with glasses but haven't found him. On the other hand, I've seen more mimes than is good for a person's mental health. They're all spray-painted silver and gold, and they perform robotic-like routines to funk. Technically I guess they're more like psuedo-mimes.

But still disturbing.

Poetry Friday Roundup

Before I start rounding up,
the Poetry Friday Organizing Goddess Extraordinaire,
wants me to remind you that we need people
to host Poetry Friday for the next six months.

Lots of summer-licious offerings today…

Jama Rattigan's post, "Vegetable Love," and the beautiful pictures that accompany it, are directly responsible for me spending way too much money at the grocery store this morning

Then Susan Taylor Brown chronicles her new eating journey at Susan Writes.

And, Carlie's watermelon poem is so delicious I feel like I need to head to the kitchen to cut the melon sitting on my counter right now.

At Year of Reading, MaryLee reminds us of the wonderment of fireflies and gratitude.

Heidi Mordhorst brings us Edward Lear's, "The Jumblies," which she swears is perfect for a beach vacation!

At Florian Cafe, Doug Florian shares an e.e. cummings poem that I thought might be funny, until I got to the last stanza. Wow, wow, wow! Also loved knowing that cummings filled twenty pages in his journal before he finished this poem!

Some people found their bouquets in other authors' gardens…
  • At The Drift Record, Julie Larios gives us five riddle poems, everything from the Aztecs to Emily Dickinson. I'm hoping a book of "riddle poems" is in the works, because I know kids would love it.
  • Karen Edmisten brings us the work of Thomas McGrath (one of those poets I'm pretty sure that anyone who is semi-literate knows about, but that I don't remember ever reading!)
  • At Kurious Kitty Diane brings us "Bye and Bye" by Charles McGrath, another poet I am pretty sure I should know, but don't. And for those of you that collect quotes about poetry, like I do, Diane has one of Wright's quotes at Kurious K's Kwotes.
  • And yet another new to me poet, Sophie Hannah, from Tabatha Yeatts.

Lots of poems grown in people's own gardens this week…

  • Think the poetry thing must be genetic in Sara Lewis Holmes' family. This week, Sara's daughter has written a beautiful Father's Day tribute to her fighter pilot dad atReadWriteBelieve.
  • Another lump in the throat poem from Amy at Poem Farm. "Stay Close," is such perfect advice for the times when someone we love is going through something hard and we don't know what to do for them. Amy's poem was included in a collection of poems and essays that Patty Digh gathered when her daughter Emma graduated from high school. I have got to have this book!
  • Diane Mayr has a really interesting project on her newest blog, Kids of the Homefront Army. She's written a series of poems narrated by kids during World War II. I definitely want to read some more of these.
  • And while we are on a biographical bent, at Bald Ego, Charles Ghigna has been doing a fascinating series of poems connected to famous artists. Today's is about a piece by El Greco.
  • And since we have a social studies poem, it's also fortunate that we have one that's science related. Laurie Purdie Salas gives us a lighthearted look at the periodic table.

And a few animal poems…
  • Dori's family was visited by a turtle this week, which reminded her of a poem, "Tortoise or Hare," she wrote a couple of years ago.
  • Elaine Magliaro brings us Grizzly Bear, a poem which she actually cut from a manuscript about backyard animals. And then at Wild Rose Reader she has posted a poem she wrote for a music teacher that is retiring.
  • Gathering Books shares "Trick of Light." I'm fascinated by the way they have superimposed the poem on top of an image. I want to know how to do that!

Several poems that would be fun to use in mini-lessons about poetry…
  • Robyn Hood Black has a list poem written by first graders, then a couple of water haiku, all based on a photograph of the Salem Harbor.
  • At Teaching Authors, April invites us to try a trimeric and gives us four of her own as models. Hers are so fun I'm considering trying one of my own. Maybe that will be my Poetry Friday post next week (don't hold your breath!)
  • Speaking of April, Kate Coombs, who is moving out of state next week, shares a packing villanelle inspired by one of April's posts!
  • David Elzey has a semi found road sign poem (Don't miss the comments written by some of our very clever Poetry Friday friends!)
  • Rebecca shares a snow poem that would be really fun to use with kids in a lesson on poetry as a new way of seeing the world.

And a few wildflowers …
  • At Random Noodling, Diane shares her thoughts on Kenau Reeves' current writing project.
  • Irene Latham recently attended a writing workshop given by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Today she offers a few tips from that workshop.
  • Janet reviews ELLINGTON WAS NOT A STREET by Ntozake Shange and illustrated by one of my all time favorites- Kadir Nelson.
  • Kate shares two poems from Mary Ann Hoberman's YOU READ TO ME, I'LL READ TO YOU. I'm going to be in my own classroom for the first time in several years. I'll definitely going to build these two poems into the poetry we share in the first couple of weeks! Thanks for the reminder, Kate!

Think that's all for this week.
If I forgot anyone, it was purely accidental.
Shoot me an email and I will correct my mistake.

A special card for sis

Here is the card i made for my mum to give my sister, my mum has a big thing for easel cards, pretty much all the ones she asks for are easel lol,

For something a little different spin i chose to make the 21 out of buttons, so i gathered all my various sizes and shade blue buttons,

Frontal viewI added some prima flowers and some stickles along with swiss dots satin ribbon and that pretty much makes it,

Alphabet challenge - half a dozen (6 flowers)

Daring cardmakers - something old something new......(old labels nestie,new ribbon, blue is obvious lol and borrowed im afraid i couldnt manage,hope it still counts)

Charisma - white plus 1 (blue)

Creative belli - G for.....(glitter)

Southern girls - anything goes

CYDA - monochrome (shades of blue)