I'm trying to figure out a new me.

The new me
doesn't have to worry about
those breathless I have a late meeting at work
but it's also parent teacher conferences at school
and then there's basketball practice 
and darn it I forgot to get something out of the freezer
how many nights can I justify
feeding my kids fish sticks
or frozen lasagna
kind of days.

The new me
Doesn't drag home 
a bulging teacher bag 
knowing that the first thing on the agenda 
is 25 algebra problems
with a non-algebraic son 
and supervising/assisting/ok sometimes actually building
the diorama of a museum exhibit of a
famous African American poet
who my seventeen-year-old
could care less about
but the project is due in two days
and it's 80% of the English grade for this semester. 

The new me
doesn't have to keep track of practice schedules
driving in circles between home and gyms and fields 
like one of those little cars on a track
at the amusement park
doesn't have to sell
candy bars, coffee cakes,
or raffle tickets
and doesn't spend hours in gyms 
dodging bouncing balls
and engaging in small talk 
while wishing I could just go sit in a corner
with the book that is calling my name.

The new me
doesn't serve on parent boards 
instead of dating
doesn't plan family vacations 
around basketball tournaments
has time to take a Spanish class
or work out at a rec center
or foster dogs 
for the rescue league. 

I'm trying to figure out this new me.
But it's hard
I m not quite ready
to let go
of the life
that old me
has loved.

"Minerals" works

The deadline for the Minerals call-for-entry was in early December.


It is amazing to see so many different interpretations of "Minerals".


We received many wonderful pieces from Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and even one from a Canadian living in Umbria, Italy!!


The jury, made up of artists and scientists, has been discussing and choosing the top 10 works to be exhibited at the PDAC in March 2013 at the Convention Centre in Toronto. Six artists were invited to create a work to be added to these top ten selected for a total of 16 pieces.


There will be more posts about this exhibit in March, including pictures of the works.


This exhibit has also been invited to be part of Verona Tessile, the international fibre festival taking place in Verona, Italy, from April 16 to 21, 2013.

(all mineral images from google)

Vintage Wedding Cake

Oh ruffles, how I love you!!!  Marcia fell in love with a cake I had previously designed and we added some other elements and the beautiful rose on top to make it special for her wedding.  She absolutely loved it!

Celebration Cakes

Whether you are celebrating an engagement, birthday, baby shower or graduation, I will always create a cake that will be uniquely yours!!!

Jungle Themed First Birthday

Happy Birthday Nikko! Hope your birthday was fantastic!  I know these little fellows were happy to be at your party!

Lauren's Bridal Shower Cake

I desinged this cake for my friend Lauren who loves shoes, of course.  The shoe is made out of gumpaste and resembles the shoe on the bridal shower invitation.  Everyone absolutely loved the cake!

An update on what I am reading now

I remember Becky once told me she just felt better in every way when she had something to read.  I've been trying to up my game on the reading front lately, because I think the same holds true for me.  Here's a list of books I've finished in the last six weeks.  By way of disclaimer--some I read closely, others I just skimmed.

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson.  The newest title in her YA Shades of London series.  I like the voice in these books--Johnson is always a pleasure to read--but this book felt a little like the second movie in the Back to the Future movies, its primary purpose being to set up the next installment.  I kinda resent that as a reader.

(Which, btw, I could go on and on and on right now about how it feels like the stand-alone novel is a dying breed in the world of children's publishing.  Correct me if I'm wrong. I would, in fact, love to be wrong.)

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe.  I wanted to love this book, as it turned out I only liked it.  Not quite sure why.  For me the book was most interesting when he discussed the books he and his mother read together.  I liked that they had such a broad range of tastes, especially given the fact that both of them were/are so highly literate.

Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky.  I always feel obliged to say this--lots of language in this book, so if that's not your thing, be forewarned.  Read this book and you'll see the whole "hospitality industry" in a completely different light.  Brash and breezy.

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander.  Louise and Tom gave me this book for Christmas, and I read it pretty much in a single setting.  Not sure it would make a believer out of a non-believer, but I felt very comfortable with his experience and the way he described.  The fact that he's a brain doctor gives him some cred.

Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  The thing I love most about this book is that Geoffrey gave it to me for Christmas.  I always enjoy the books Geoff gives me.  I think I mentioned earlier that this is kind of a cross between The DaVinci Code and The Name of the Rose but funnier and more likable than either of those books.  I LOVED,LOVED, LOVED the first half but grew a little impatient with it the second half.  Sometimes I think this kind of book has a hard time bearing the weight of its own suspense.

(Side note and personal:  my own personal favorite of my books is THE LOSER'S GUIDE TO LIFE AND LOVE, a book that plenty of people have dismissed as being lightweight.  I don't see it that way at all--I see the tone and treatment as being light-hearted, which is a different thing.  After reading Penumbra, though, I sort of understood that criticism of my own book a little better.  So I FORGIVE ALL YOU CRITICS OF MY BOOK.  I GET IT NOW.)

Finnish Textiles

signature of Finnish creator, Armi Ratia

She and her husband established a printing workshop in Finland in 1951.

Her strong colours and designs became known all around the world.

Vesimelooni (watermelon) pattern
screen printed cotton
design by M. Isola for Marimekko

Marimekko's philosophy shaped a new approach to living through fashion and design.

Pienet Kivet pattern 1956
screen printed cotton
design by M. Isola

Everything I saw looked so NOW.

Her designs have transcended time.

my favourite -great angle 

Curator, Shauna McCabe, included some great ads throughout the exhibit.

Vesimelooni (left)
Silkkikuikka (great crested grebe) pattern (right)
screen printed cotton
design by M. Isola

I owned a Marimekko bag when I lived in Vienna in the early 80's....where did that bag go??

Basso pattern (left)1975
Oona (right) 1969
Both are screen printed cotton
Both designed by M. Isola
for Marimekko

It was wonderful to be surrounded by such large fabrics; large in size, large in importance, large in influence, LARGE

The retrospective is on till April 21 at the Textile Museum in Toronto.

Blogging every day, 2013

So far I've made it.  And I am enjoying it.  A LOT.

I was going to do a proper post tonight, but I've got The Sick again--a cold and cough thing this time.  Hoping it's not the influenza bug.

Anyway.  This is by way of explanation re today's shabby post.

Hope you're all well and warm.


For the Scrap the Boys January Challenge
thanks for stopping by

Column Alert!

I've been posting these on Sunday, but I'm going to take a little time tomorrow and do something Ken Baker tagged me on.  So here's this week's column.

Have a good weekend, all.


"Big Mean Mike was the biggest toughest dog in the whole neighborhood. He had a big mean bark. And big sharp teeth. He wore a big black collar with gleaming silver spikes and his claws were big and mean and very, very pointy."

"Best of all he had a big mean car that he liked to drive around the big mean streets. It made a big mean sound whenever he revved the engine."

One day, Big Mean Mike goes to buy new combat boots. When he opens the trunk of his car, intending to store his purchase, he discovers a tiny fuzzy bunny sitting there. He angrily places the bunny on the curb, revs his engine, and leaves the tiny fuzzy bunny sitting in a cloud of exhaust fumes.

The next day, he reaches into the glove compartment for his gym pass, and finds two tiny fuzzy bunnies. The day after that, there are three fuzzy bunnies sitting on the hood.

That weekend, Mike heads to the monster truck show. When he gets there, he discovers four fuzzy bunnies under the seat of his car.  Now Big Mean Mike faces a huge dilemma. He can't leave them in the car, because there are too many tough characters hanging around. At the same time, he doesn't want to ruin his tough guy image by being seen in public with a bunch of tiny fuzzy bunnies. How will Mike respond?

This is one of those pick it up in the bookstore, laugh out loud, and know right away that kids from 8 to 80 are going to enjoy it. Big Fun! At the same time, I can see a million different reading/writing/life lessons. It would be perfect in a mini- lesson on how an author uses actions to reveal character. It would be terrific for a lesson on how characters change. Or if I was teaching theme, I could use it with other books like THE RECESS QUEEN, EACH KINDNESS, and Patricia Polacco's BULLY to talk about life lessons.

Definitely one of those perfect, gotta-own-this-one picture books.

Prompt Journal

Son Numero Tres and his bonita esposa gave Ken and me a lovely gift this Christmas--journals in which we write our life stories using prompts.  This week the prompt was about our names and how we got them.

Of course I know where my middle name, Louise, came from.  It's a family name--TRQ and my grandmother share it, too.  And I've always liked that it means "warrior maiden."  YES!  WATCH ME TAKE OUT MY SWORD AND HEW OFF SOME ARMS!

When I was younger, however, I was massively disappointed in my first name.  Ann.  Ann without an "e."  So boring.  So vanilla.  So not memorable.  When I was in the sixth grade I used to pretend it was short for Angelique.  Not just Angelique.  Angelique Dawn.

So yeah.  Apparently I was a frilly girl in the sixth grade.

Anyway, I asked TRQ last night why she selected that name and she couldn't remember other than the fact that it wasn't a "cutesy" name.  She didn't want me to be named "Tiffany" like all the other girls my age.

Okay.  I can totally promise you there were hardly any girls in the 50's being named "Tiffany."  We had to wait until the 70's for that particular crop of babies.  But I got her point.  And the older I've gotten the more I've appreciated the simplicity, the directness of the name she chose for me.

Well done, TRQ!

Shabby Christmas Table Mat

It's absolutely pelting down with rain, so I spent some time in the sewing room listening to it falling on the tin roof, putting this little beauty together.  It's made from a handful of 4-patches in Christmas fabrics I found in a box.  Teamed with some pretty pink Christmas fabric, it took on a shabby look.  Measures 17.5" x 25.5".  Chalk up another finish, albeit a small one, for January.

Friday's Recommendation #17

Minggu ini saya jarang update blog. Lebih karena ada urusan personal yang cukup mempengaruhi mood untuk ngeblog sih. Tapi mana mungkin meme Friday's Recommendation ini bakal saya abaikan? :) Kebetulan pagi ini saya bangun kesiangan, lalu kehujanan dan pas masuk kantor ternyata ada pak boss. Hiks, mau nangis rasanya X). Cuma, yah tetep dong disempatin nulis meme sebentar, hehehe. Bagi kalian yang ingin ikutan meme ini, ini rules meme Friday's Recommendation :

1. Pilih jenis rekomendasi buku. Ada dua jenis rekomendasi, yang pertama dan sifatnya mutlak adalah Rekomendasi Buku untuk Diterjemahkan . Jika tidak ada buku yang direkomendasikan untuk diterjemahkan, maka bisa memilih pilihan kedua, Rekomendasi Buku Pilihan. Disini rekomendasikan buku yang paling kamu suka baca dalam minggu ini.

2. Pilih hanya 1 (satu) buku untuk direkomendasikan. Tidak boleh lebih.

3. Beri sinopsis, genre buku dan alasan kenapa kamu merekomendasikan buku itu.

4. Posting button meme di bawah ini :

5. Blogger yang sudah membuat memenya, jangan lupa menaruh link ke blog di daftar linky di bagian paling bawah post ini, sehingga pembaca bisa blog walking.

6. Untuk pembaca blog yang tidak punya blog, bisa menulis rekomendasinya di kolom komen.

7. Bahasa yang dipergunakan terserah. Jika memang khusus blog yang menggunakan bahasa Inggris, dipersilakan menulis dengan bahasa Inggris. Begitu juga sebaliknya.

Untuk Friday's Recommendation kali ini, saya akan merekomendasikan buku ini untuk diterjemahkan :

Genre :Paranormal Romance
Sinopsis :

Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire—unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.
A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire..

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

Saya masih bingung kenapa sampai sekarang serial Kresley Cole yang terkenal ini, yaitu Immortals After Dark belum juga dilirik sama penerbit di Indonesia. Kalau boleh jujur, serial ini selain sudah banyak penggemarnya di Amrik, juga masih lebih bagus dari buku - buku genre paranormal romance yang terbit di Indonesia. Katakanlah seri Guardian of Eternitynya Alexandra Ivy atau Harlequin Nocturne. Saya dulu punya harapan, ketika tahu Gagas nerbitin serial historicalnya, mereka juga akan nerbitin ini. Sayang, kayaknya Gagas lebih fokus di genre historical romance. Yah, saya selalu merasa genre favorit saya, paranormal romance dan urban fantasy akan selalu jadi anak tiri :))

Immortals After Dark adalah serial dengan dunia yang unik, disebut The Lore, dimana sang pengarang menggabungkan banyak mitos dan makhluk supernatural seperti valkyrie, lycan, vampir, hantu, berserker, dan lain - lain. Yang menjadi fokus utama serial ini adalah Ascension, suatu kejadian yang terjadi selama 500 tahun sekali dan akan menentukan nasib The Lore. Serial ini yang dimulai dengan A Hunger Like No Other sudah mendapat banyak sekali penghargaan. Jadi, sayang rasanya kalau dilewatkan :)
Bagi blogger yang sudah mengikuti meme Friday's Recommendation bisa membagi linknya di daftar linky di bawah ini. Jadi saya dan pembaca lain bisa blogwalking. Ditunggu partisipasinya dan semoga buku yang kita rekomendasikan suatu saat bisa diterjemahkan di Indonesia ya. :)

Feeling Blue

Not literally lol!!!
but my offering for today is very blue lol,
I thought that id make something with a colour i havent used alot of lately, mind you i havent crafted properley for ages and here i am going like a trouper lol,
i made another card in blue today too but thats a girly one and i will share with you later if i get time,
Anyway here is todays card for you, i hope you like it? im going ot make more time to craft so i would love it if you stayed a follower, it would also be lovely to get more followers too (wink wink)
I made this card using a fab lotv stamp which i then coloured in with my promarkers, i bought the star buttons the other week but forgotten where from lol,
I really need to remember the location as i think i need more of them lol, here is a close up of them,
I am going to enter this card into the folllowing challenges
Lillis little fairies - Anything goes
I love promarkers - Anything goes
Here come the boys - Bingo board (4 corners)
I hope you enjoy popping by? its my 4th blogoversary soon so keep popping by as im hoping to celbrate it with a giveaway soon.
hugs sandra xx

Unicorn haiku!

My friend Anne Holman gave me a magnetic unicorn poetry kit for Christmas, and yesterday I was in the mood for some unicorn haiku.  You know how it is.  Some days you just wake up and say to yourself, "Damn, I'm in the mood for some good unicorn haikus.  And also a slice of key lime pie, which I neglected to buy yesterday at Niche."

Anyway.  I'm pleased with this.  I like virgin moons a lot.  I also think that last line is moving.  High five, me!


 I'm always fascinated by how books can help people see the world in different ways. That definitely happened to me this week.  On Saturday, I blogged about Charles R. Smith's new book, BRICK BY BRICK. Monday, I found THE HOUSE THAT GEORGE BUILT, by Suzanne Slade. Slade adapted the old folk tale, "The House that Jack Built," into a fun, multi-genre picture book that recaps the building of the White House. The left half of each two-page spread is factual, a paragraph or two, and the right half includes the rhyme. In one of the early pages, for example, we learn that there was a contest to draw the plan for the President's House. The winner, James Hoban, received $500. On the right side, there's a portion of the cumulative rhyme.
This is the design,
that would stand for all time
That was drawn for the lot,
that grand scenic spot,
for the President's House that George built.
Throughout the book, the spotlight is on Washington. He's a hands-on, problem solving hero. When builders discover that there is not going to be enough stone, Washington decides that the White House will be two stories, rather than three. Money is tight so Washington suggests that they use wood instead of marble for the floors. And then, after all of his hard work, George Washington never even got to live in the White House! (Oh, and in case you are wondering, for seventy years, it was the largest house in the U(nited states. The cost was $272,000 or 4.9 million today). 

Having just read BRICK BY BRICK, I kept looking for a discussion of the slaves who did the actual building of the house. I was surprised when they were mentioned in only a very cursory way.  I am thinking that it would be really interesting to pair the two books to help kids explore author's perspective. I'm planning on trying it in a fourth grade classroom next week.

A (spoken) word of advice

I've said this before and I'll say it again--one of the most important things you can do to improve your writing is to read ALOUD what you've written.  Better yet, get someone else to read what you've written ALOUD to you.  It's just amazing the things you'll pick up--repetition, diction issues, pacing problems, all manner of howlers.

I just read this aloud, and I think it's good to go!

Now I am going to give some serious thought to buying a piece of key lime pie from Niche this afternoon.  Take out, of course.  I don't feel like dressing up today.  Not even for key lime pie.

Creative craft challenge dt card

Gosh im soo late this week with my posts lol, here is my dt card for our new challenge over at Creative craft challenges which went live yesterday, our new challenge is all about
So get out all that shiny stuff and bling up those creations,
here is my card for the challenge.
Im entering this challenge into a few challenges whish are below
Allsorts - Flower power
Cute card thursday - Diamonds are forever
we would love to see you join us at CCC
hugs xxx

Scrappy Trip Around the World

There's an epidemic in Blogland and practically everyone is catching Scrappy Trip Fever.  I caught it and loved every minute putting this gigantic top together.

A backing will be pieced tomorrow out of half metre pieces from the stash.  Bonnie's pattern is very easy and depending on the fabrics you use can be totally scrappy or more controlled, they will all look great!

My patches are 3" squares and I made it using individual squares, not strips.  Mad?  Yep!  However, I LOVE it.  It isn't going to have any borders as it's already 90" square - yikes!