What Adult Children are Good For

So I went in for my second post-op visit, all AGOG at how well I can see. Dr. Miller told me that the lenses in my eyeballs are the same lenses used in the Hubble Telescope so then I said, "No wonder I can see Mars from my house."


I was so proud of myself for making this little joke that I relived the moment by telling it some more. Here. There. Here again. There again. It's like I was my own highlight film. Yay, me!

Anyhoo, when my dad called last night I did my "I can see Mars" shtick, to which Geoffrey, who was taking a bath in the next room, shouted, "DID YOU TELL YOUR DAD THAT'S THE TWENTIETH TIME YOU'VE TOLD THAT JOKE TODAY?"

Okay. Please refer to today's title. I assume you know the answer now.

How to Depress Yourself

. . . in case you need lessons.

Ken broke out the home movies over the weekend, and here's the thing I noticed most this time around: how badly I've dressed over the years. Of course we always think that about ourselves--look at the hair! look at those shoes!--but at least most of you can take comfort in the fact that everyone else looked the same way and that even though it was the 80's, you were actually pretty cute.

The same cannot be said about me. The unvarnished truth is that at best I was indifferently dressed. At worst, I was aggressively appalling. Part of it, I realized, is that I've always felt HUGE--like a Winnebago in an parking lot full of Mini Coopers. And my response to that was to dress myself in tents--big flow-y flappy shirts and jumpers--apparently in the hopes of camouflaging myself. Also, apparently I was color blind.

But looking back I realize I was never as big as I thought I was. And even if I had been, fitted (nay, even STRETCHY) clothes, would have looked so, so mUCH better than the camping gear I called clothing.

Watching the last 15 minutes of the first SEX AND THE CITY movie on TV yesterday while recovering from eye surgery didn't help. Why didn't I get that gene that made me want to wear expensive shoes and birds on my head, she laments. My mom had it in spades. Did she hog the shoe gene and not leave any of it for me?

A goal for 2012

I don't know why but I've already been making some goals for the New Year. One of my main goals? To stop overfeeding my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

When Holmes came to live with us, there's no denying he was already a little stout. But now he looks like a footstool. A footstool that also sheds.

I am solely to blame for this because when he starts begging, I always cave and go FINE! YOU CAN SHARE MY KFC MASH POTATO BOWL WITH ME. JUST PLEASE PLEAE PLEASE STOP GIVING ME THE BUG EYES.

I have to be strong like Jake and AnnMarie who are very firm with their Cav. That's because Jake and AnnMarie are grownups. And also, apparently, because they don't like to share mash potato bowls.

Words of Wisdom

I was never big on reading instructions and still I am not a fan.

That is why my studio smells of something toxic!  I was making photo transfers using my photos of Toronto.

I ironed a photo transfer that did not need to be ironed and instead I burnt it.

For this type of transfer, you need only to remove the paper backing.

I got rid of the iron-on sheets because I did not like the rubbery texture they gave when transfered onto cloth.

So now I have a head ache-got to get out of here and get some fresh air!

I should have read the 'words of wisdom', as my father-in-law always advised.

I used one of my photographs for the photo transfer below.

detail, Bougainvilla di Rossano, 2008


Did a little reading between sporting events this weekend…The three books I read range from easy to medium to pretty difficult.

LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE is a book I have been reading about for the past six months. Finally saw it during a trip to the library on Friday. It's an easy chapter book, told in verse, perfect for those kidlets who are just making their way into novels. Eleanor Kane, has had the same babysitter for eight years, actually since she was born. Now Bibi's father is very ill, however, and she must move to Florida to care for him. Eleanor misses Bibi horribly, but comes to love her new sitter, the mancala playing Natalie. A great little book about saying goodbye, about grieving, and about starting over again…

TROUBLEMAKER is Andrew Clements' newest, or maybe just one of his newest. Clayton is a sixth grade troublemaker, with a two inch thick behavior file to prove it. When the book opens, he is in art class, drawing a caricature of his principal, Mr. Kelling, disguised as a donkey (WARNING: the word in used the book is jack***, which some people may find offensive). He can't wait to show the picture to Mitch, his older brother and role model, newly released froma 30-day prison stay. Mitch, however, is not as excited about the picture as Clay thought he would be. It seems that Mitchell has learned some invaluable lessons in prison, and wants his brother to change. That weekend, he takes Clayton to the mall to reshape his image, then it's up to Clay to prove he really has changed. Clayton soon discovers, however, that change is hard and getting people believe you have changed is harder still…

BREADCRUMBS, by Anne Ursu, is the third book I read this weekend. I feel like I need to preface this review with a warning. I am not an allegory reader. I'm one of the few teachers I know who doesn't especially like MANIAC MAGEE. I think it's really well-written, I think it's got great life lessons, I know most people love it, but I just didn't much care for it. I have never read it aloud in a classroom, nor have I handed it to a kid to read. I'm also not a big fantasy lover. I only read 1.5 of the HARRY POTTER books and have only seen a couple of the movies.

Even so, I loved BREADCRUMBS. BREADCRUMBS is the story of Hazel and Jack, ten-year-olds who have been best friends for a long time. This year, however, things have changed . Hazel's mom and dad have split up. Hazel has been forced to leave a private school, where she was viewed as artsy and creative and wonderful, and attend a more traditional public school, where her dreaminess and creativity is viewed much less positively. The only good thing about the public school is that Jack also attends there, but then he stops talking to her…

It turns out that Jack has been hit in the eye by the shard of a mirror, broken by a goblin in a faraway world. Jack's heart is frozen and he becomes a very different person, eventually leaving all that he loves, including Hazel and his family, to follow the Snow Queen into the frozen woods. Hazel, being his best friend, decides she must go after him. On the way, she encounters any number of different friends and enemies, including some who appear to belong in one category, but then end up belonging in the other.

This novel, a takeoff on Han's Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen" is way, way, way too complicated to try to explain. In fact, I'm not even sure that I'm ready to talk about it, but I'm hoping that some other people will read it and be ready to talk about it. A story of grieving and friendship and oh so much more…

Painting Wednesday

This week I decided to paint paper instead of fabric.

It will be a base for a collage project.


Don Graves, my all-time favorite most important teacher ever, always said that poets and scientists have a lot in common, because both force us look at the world so closely, and through whole different eyes. I think of Don's comments often, and I was definitely thinking about them this week as I was reading Jane Yolen's book, BIRDS OF A FEATHER.

The book opens with a foreword by Dr. Donald Kroodsma, who says, "As an ornithologist obsessed with the details in the daily lives of birds, I know these eagles and chickadees and kingfishers…But after absorbing the poems and photographs here, I'll never see these birds again in the same way…"

BIRDS OF A FEATHER is a collection of 14 different two-page spreads, each about a different kind of bird, written by Jane and illustrated with Jason Stemple's gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, nature photography. Some of the poems, like "Haiku for a Cool Kingfisher" are playful. Listen:
Hey, girl, fish lover,
Sitting on the dead gray tree,
Love the blue mohawk.

Or how about Yolen's play on words in "Terns Galore"

"At the seaside, terns galore,
One tern, one tern, one tern more.
I tern. You tern…"

In each poem, Yolen captures the spirit of that particular bird. I love this description of from"Rufous-Sided Towhee."
"As if the painter had run out
Of ordinary brown,
Mixing what little was left
With a bit of orange…"

Each two-page spread also contains an inset box with interesting facts about that bird. Did you know, for instance, that "a black-capped chickadee is a hoarder that hides sides and other foods, each in a different place, and that days and weeks later the chickadee can remember all of these hiding places? Or that a "kingfisher kills or stuns a larger fish by thwacking it against a tree branch or perch?"

And did I mention that each two-page spread has an absolutely magnificent closeup photograph of that bird. The light and shadows and details and lines had me looking and looking and looking again. I'd love to hang the photos on this book in my living room!

Can't wait to share this one with my fourth graders- First, they will flove Yolen's poetry. Secondly, BIRDS will teach kids not only about the different species, but also about how to observe like scientists. Also, they will learn much about the writing of poetry. And then there is the whole realm of art and photography…

POETRY FRIDAY today is at Heidi Mordhort's my juicy little universe

The foreword

Exquisite Wedding Cakes

Cardmadfairy's digi days ~ winter wonderland

Crikey isnt it starting to get cold outside,im finding myself drinking more an more hot cups of tea lol just to keep warm, and in the evenings the slippers are coming out,

Any way im here to tell you about our new challenge at Cardmadfairy's digi days and our new theme this time is called winter wonderland, we are being sponsored by Meljens designs and i got to use one of there fabulous digital images, i love there whimsical design they are lovely,

I was feeling particularly red and festive when i put this together lol you would never know would you?? i used my new forever friends dp's i bought from the nec along with matching flowers and buttons, then popped on some yummy red pearl gems and stamping up elastic, finished with stickles and jobs a good un lol oooh not to forget that little swirly die that i havent used for yonks and the lovely crafty ribbons snowflake ribbon

Are'nt those flowers so pretty? i bought 3 boxes of them as they are really nice PLease pop over to digi days to see the other folks Dt creations and see if your our last winner or in our top 3


Review : Count to Ten by Karen Rose

Judul : Count to Ten
Pengarang : Karen Rose
Penerbit : Dastanbooks Indonesia
Tebal : 636 halaman
Diterbitkan pertama kali : 2009
Format : Paperback
Target : Dewasa
Genre : Romantic Thriller Suspense
Bahasa : Indonesia
Status : Pinjam teman

Web Pengarang
Order di : Dastanbooks

Sinopsis :

Sebuah kebakaran besar di Chicago menghanguskan rumah keluarga Dougherty hingga rata dengan tanah. Kebakaran itu menewaskan Caitlin Burnette, putri seorang polisi. Hari berikutnya, kebakaran besar juga menewaskan Penny Hill, pensiunan pekerja layanan sosial. Kedua korban sama-sama diperkosa, disiksa, dan dipatahkan kakinya sebelum dibakar hidup-hidup!

Satu demi satu korban lain dengan penyiksaan yang lebih parah pun mulai berjatuhan. Letnan Reed Solliday, petugas Departemen Penyelidik Kebakaran, harus bekerja sama dengan Detektif Mia Mitchell dari Divisi Pembunuhan untuk mengungkap identitas si pembunuh dan misteri angka sepuluhnya. Penyelidikan mereka mengarah ke sebuah kasus lama penyiksaan dan pelecehan seksual. Di samping itu, kebersamaan Reed yang lembut dan Mia yang kasar selama penyelidikan juga memunculkan benih-benih cinta di antara keduanya. Namun, mereka harus berusaha keras untuk segera menangkap si pembunuh, karena ternyata Mia-lah yang menjadi sasaran si pembunuh selanjutnya..

Review :

Menceritakan tentang kasus pembunuhan yang digabung dengan pembakaran rumah yang dihuni korban. Dengan clue dari salah satu korban : " Hitung sampai sepuluh, dan pergilah ke neraka"

Letnan Reed Solliday adalah seorang penyelidik kasus kebakaran dari unit OFI, unit pemadam kebakaran Amerika. Suatu hari dalam suatu tugas, dia menemukan adanya mayat yang terbunuh dalam rumah yang telah terbakar. Belakangan diketahui, korban adalah seorang putri polisi. Karena itu Reed harus bekerja sama dengan kepolisian, dan dia berpartner dengan Detektif Mia Mitchell.

Mia Mitchell sendiri baru saja aktif bertugas setelah sebelumnya tertembak oleh genk punk. Mia merasa bersalah karena selain tertembak, dia juga menyebabkan rekannya Abe Reagan tertembak. Rasa bersalah itulah yang membuat Mia awalnya enggan berpartner dengan Reed. Namun the case still go on, the identification must be done, karena jumlah korban bertambah. Kasus yang awalnya terlihat acak, mulai terlihat titik terangnya setelah beberapa korban berjatuhan. Modus operandinya sendiri, si pelaku mengikat korban, memperkosa mereka (yang kebanyakan adalah wanita), mematahkan kakinya, lalu menyiram korban dengan semacam pemicu kebakaran. Terakhir dia membakar rumah korban, setelah hitungan ke sepuluh.

Mia dan Reed lalu menemukan kaitan dari kasus ini dengan pusat rehabilitasi anak2 nakal Hope Center. Apalagi setelah ada staf disana dan seorang anak yang terbunuh Juga kaitannya dengan sistem Layanan Sosial, yang bertugas mengambil anak2 terlantar dan memberikan mereka orang tua asuh. Sang pembunuh pun terungkap identitasnya, namun dia masih belum berhenti. Mia dan Reed harus berpacu dengan waktu untuk mencegah korban selanjutnya, sebelum akhirnya Mia sadar, bahwa korban terakhir bisa jadi adalah dirinya sendiri....

Agak sulit memberi rating buku ini karena, selain bukunya tebal (lebih dari 600 halaman!), ceritanya juga berpindah - pindah setting. Di awal cerita, saya masih harus menerka2 - nerka plotnya seperti apa, dan kasusnya yang seperti benang ruwet. Bikin saya hampir bosan bacanya. Tapi cerita mulai menarik setelah pertengahan cerita.Dan walaupun si pembunuh sudah terungkap, bukan berarti ceritanya sudah selesai. Karena Mia dan Reed masih harus menangkap si pelaku yang ternyata sangat cerdik ini...

Selain menceritakan tentang kasus yang mereka tangani, buku ini juga menceritakan tentang hubungan Mia dan Reed. Mia yang ternyata mememiliki masa lalu yang pahit, mengetahui rahasia kelam keluarganya dan berseteru dengan media massa, harus melawan perasaannya sendiri yang mulai peduli pada Reed. Reed sendiri juga masih belum mengakui bahwa dia membutuhkan Mia, karena masih merindukan almarhumah istrinya. Ada juga saat dia tidak setuju dengan ahli psikologi kepolisian, tentang psikologi manusia, lalu juga masalahnya dengan Beth, putri semata wayangnya yang beranjak remaja. Namun Mia dan Reed sama2 peduli dan sama2 membutuhkan, dan akhirnya sama2 mengerti kalau mereka sebenarnya saling mencintai...

Buku ini cukup emosional, dan kasusnya sendiri cukup unik, mengungkap kebobrokan sistem di Amerika dan penyimpangan perilaku manusia. Bagi penggemar thriller suspense pada umumnya dan penggemar Karen Rose, Count to Ten wajib masuk dalam daftar baca.

Rating Cerita:

Sensualitas :

Buku yang Baru Datang

Setelah sebulan mengalami masa "paceklik" dengan tidak adanya buku - buku baru, seengganya bulan ini saya sudah bisa bernafas lega, karena beberapa buku mulai "mengalir" ke lemari buku saya (yang sebenarnya belum ada karena saya baru saja pindah ke Jakarta dan masih cari kos - kosan)

Without further ado, ini adalah buku - buku yang barusan datang untuk periode bulan November (saya ingin ke Pekan Buku Jakarta minggu depan, tanggal 27 November, tapi memutuskan untuk memposting buku - buku yang mungkin nanti saya beli di bulan Desember)

Menang dari Blog/Website/Author


Buku Bahasa Inggris yang Dibeli


Buku Terjemahan yang Dibeli

13 REASON WHY by JAY ASHER (terjemahannya Mery nih ;) )

Dari Penerbit untuk Direview

(Thanks to Penerbit MATAHATI)

Bulan ini saya akhirnya bahagia juga karena dapat buku banyak :)).
Jadi, buku baru apa yang sekarang ada di lemarimu?

Collage Class at Toronto School of Art

The collage class is going well. Funny how I got more confident when fabric was introduced to the mix!

I finally produced something that I like.

paper, photo transfers, painted and hand-dyed fabric,
machine stitched, 14" x 21", 35.5cm x 53cm.

Next week is our last class. Each student will have a piece exhibited at the school's open house- December 15, 16, 17 from 12 to 5pm, 410 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, 3rd floor. Everyone is welcome.

DDCC ~ A recipe

Hello everyone i do hope your having a lovely week? its busy here in derbyshire my 2 little lads are hyper at the moment lol.....something to do with christmas i would bet lol.

Any way over at Dutch dare card challenges we have a new theme for you and its a Recipe

Please use 3 of the following items on your creation




designer paper

rhinestones/brads etc

I chose layers/rhinestone gems/image for my card and of course a stamping boutique image called emo alice as they are our sponsors and i love emo/goth images an papers lol To give this a little bit of shine as i didnt choose dp's as my 3 i used mirror card to matt an layer up, and the purple linen paper was embossed with my new stars embossing folder i bought from the nec,
I hope to see you over at Dutch dare, you ought to see what the other ddcc girls have made and of course why not have a look at our sponsors website The stamping boutique, it costs nothing to have a nosey around.



Not sure if I'm just incredibly ignorant, but for as many times as I have been to California, I had never heard of the Watts Towers. Am I the only one? In case you are as clueless as I am, this National Landmark is a series of 17 sculptures, including 3 towers ranging from 55 to 95 feet tall. The sculptures were built by Italian immigrant, Simon Roddia, who spent thirty-four years bending and molding construction rebar, slathering it with mortar, and then embedding broken bits of glass, pottery, and other "junk" he found laying around his neighborhood. Roddia's story is told through the voice of Marguerite, a neighborhood child who was paid a penny per bag for helping Roddia gather the materials for his towers, then later grew up to introduce her children to her neighbor and his artwork.

Two pages of author notes give factual information and photographs about the towers; then another two page spread invites children to create their own "Watts Tower" sculptures out of pipe cleaners, beads, buttons, foam shapes, and magazine clippings. Sounds like big fun to me!

I found DREAM SOMETHING BIG at Tattered Cover. I have to admit, this book caught my eye because of the art. Susan L. Roth has illustrated more than 40 children's books, but is probably best known for LISTEN TO THE WIND. Roth works in collage (one of my favorite mediums) and her illustrations are absolutely gorgeous- intricate, colorful, eye catching, perfect for capturing the story of Roddia's sculptures. A few pages at the end of the book, as well the end pages, contain actual photographs of the Watts Towers.

Happy Thanksgiving

The last time I remember seeing stars so bright they burned your eyes was the night we drove home across the Mojave Desert after a disastrous bowl game against Texas A & M. It was a glum little trip, saved only by the vision of a low-slung pearly-pink moon roosting over a nest of brilliant stars (good extended metaphor there, Ann). It was a stunning sight.

That's what I've missed the most, I think. Not being able to see the stars first thing in the morning when I walk with Kathy. And I wondered if after I had the Dread Cataract Surgery, the stars would reappear.

This morning was the first morning I've been out since having my left eye done and guess what. They were there. This is a cause for celebration, people. I HAVE SEEN THE STARS AGAIN and now I can die happy. Although hopefully not soon.

I have the other eye done on Monday. Dr. Miller says Tuesday will be the best day of my life, and I am almost inclined to believe him now. Meanwhile, it's hard to do much reading or writing with just one good eye, so I'm taking off the rest of the week. I'll reappear on Tuesday or so. Until then, be well and well-fed.

all my fave things

Here is a christening card i have made for someone, they wanted a easel card with lots of pink and a charm, this is what i came up with, i used a lovely ickle maggie stamp isnt she super cute, and the sentiment stamp is a papermakup stamp, i used one of my best bargain buys from the nec as well lol, that deep edge martha punch was only £9 I put stickles on her wings in 2 layers so they are especially glittery, and of course used my promarkers on her
Id love to enter this card into
I love promarkers - anything goes
Crafty sentiments - metal
Lollypop - anything goes
Just magnolia - ribbons

I hope they will like this, its taken a while to get it right and im still not sure about it,


Free for all

Yikes its time for another challenge at creative craft challenges already!!!! my how fast these weeks are flying by and i dont even want to say how close we are to the big C!!!!

Our theme at CCC this time is........


so pretty much anything you like, our sponsor is meljens designs so it would be fab to use thier images but not required to be eligible. I kept my card pretty basic as ive made a few heavy cards and fancied something different, i used a lovely pearly purple card and these fab flowers were given by a good friend of mine, i believe they were done with the cricut,

Im going to enter this one inta the creative card crew challenge which is monochromatic,



We are finishing a science unit on "Our Changing Earth." In case anyone doubts my ability to teach science (or spelling!), here is something one of my students wrote on Friday…
The earth is changing all the time. Some changes are slow, but some, like earthquakes are fast. An earthquake is a subject of the earth that happens under the earth's crust and under the ocean. Earthquakes mostly happened in California because thier was a big crack in thier. The thing that causes the earthquakes is the plates under the earth's surface. that can make a earthquake or a tsunami. People say the famous crack is on the Liberty Bell, but that wasen't an earthquake, the real famous crack was in Californa.
How's that for scientific thinking??????

Nellie Fi

A layout I did for a class at  Scrapworkz.
My gorgeous niece Nellie Fi. :-)
Using Twiddleybitz and the new Prima Pixie Glen papers.

Thanks for stopping by.

The Gladstone Hotel

The Gladstone on Queen Street in Toronto is an art hotel. I was there last week to see Amanda McCavour's installation in their cafe. (my pictures are not as nice as the real thing-go see it if you can)

I love her thread work.

I hope she can participate in the France exhibit that I am curating of Canadian quilts and textile art in September 2012.

Fancy folds

I cant believe im on my second Dt card for Cards for men already, i still am a little shell shocked to have been chosen, We have a fab challenge for you this time and we are looking for............ fancy folds

And our sponsor is whimsy doodles, Cards for men fans will recieve a discount but for details pop over to our challenge blog have a nosey round and get the code,

We used whimsy digi's on most of our cards and they are fabulous,

here is my fancy folds card i do hope you like it??? I also folded my satin ribbon fancy lol

Tha tag stamp is a new one i bought from the little claire tag set you get loads in a pack and really versatile,
I would like to enter a few challenges for this card too.
Stampatcular - Boy oh boy
One stop - Colour challenge (blue)
Paperplay - Shaped cards
Liastampz - For boys
Cupcake craft challenges - Teenage boys