Monday, 24 December 2007

2007 -- in review

Where did 2007 go? Feels like a good but brief joke ... succinctly told and quickly forgotten (apparently I was laughing about the joke of it all was when this was taken Christmas morning 2006).

At the end of 2006, I was approaching my final semester as an undergrad student and still very much in student head-space. The day I turned in my last term-paper, around the end of March 2007, I felt like I'd just completed something BIG -- really B I G. When I made a comment to that effect and suggested applause or a party or something would be nice, my prof (facing, not very cheerily, the marking of a couple hundred term papers and exams at that point) snarled "that's what Convocation's for!"
Between handing in that final term paper and Convocation, I started pounding the pavement looking for full-time non-academic (as in "real world") work. And quickly discovered my academic success pretty much counted for SQUAT! My resumee got me lots of interviews, but onced interviewed, I either heard "you don't have any current work experience" ('scuse me, what the hell do you call accomplishing this 4.0 GPA and honour society membership? A vacation???) or "you're SO qualified, you'd intimidate our other employees if we hired you!" (WTF???)

As a result, I encountered Mr Deep Dark Depression. Fortunately, I had some good friends around, and they knew exactly how to cheer me up ... tickets to go see Willie Nelson! (Great concert ... great performer ... what more can I say?)

Not long after Willie, I found a new job with a local non-profit organization. One of my first duties was organizing a 2-day seniors' info fair. ("Why do something small when you can do it whole hog" should be my motto!) It went really well, and we're planning to do it again in 2008 (altho for one day, not two).

Next, I found myself organizing a concert by the Penticton Tune-Agers. (Great group of seniors ... if they ever do a concert in your part of the world, don't miss out!) Guess I was feeling a little too sure of myself after the success of the info fair, 'cuz I figured filling a small theatre (less than 300 seats) would be a piece of cake. Hah! Did you know PGers do things AT THE LAST MINUTE!?!?!? Three days before said concert, less than 60 tickets had sold, and yours truly figured SOMEONE (as in the ding-a-ling -- moi -- that came up with the whole Tune-Agers concert idea) was about to have some "'splainin' to do" ! Fortunately, we sold 200+ tickets in the final 3 days and the concert went over really well.

As 2007 draws to a close, I'm recovering from our Christmas hamper project. Once again, PGers came thru at the last minute (after keeping yours truly biting her nails and slightly sleepless for most of December!) and we were able to fill and deliver really substantial hampers to all the seniors who requested them, as well as the dozen or so requests that came in at the last minute. I still have enough food donations to make up some emergency baskets in January.

So I didn't totally leave studenthood behind. I've been working on some distance ed courses towards a Business Admin Certificate. The Business English and Economics weren't too difficult. Just don't ask me about Accounting! ICK! YUCK! GAG! Every word, every bloody debit and credit reminds me why I have a Social Sciences degree! And I've done the odd bit of tutoring and editing since leaving the university. Just enough to maintain that connection. I'm still planning on grad studies ... somewhere and some time down the road ("... on the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again ... " )

Craft and creative-wise, I haven't produced as much as I usually do. My GRYPHON cross-stitch project is still a work in progress, perhaps about two-thirds completed now. I took a bit of a break from knitting this fall and did some quilting, including one HARVEST MOON vest for myself that I'm quite pleased with. I have access to a lovely floor loom (it came with the new basement suite) and am looking forward to playing with that some time over the winter ... AFTER I finish the gold and purple trim currently on my inkle loom ... maybe ... one has to be careful about this finishing one project before starting another. That's a habit sure to stifle creativity!

Blog-wise, I've been a very BAD blogger during 2007. I've discovered Facebook. And Scrabulous on Facebook. I LOVE Scrabulous! Some days, the closest I get to blogging is playing a half dozen turns at Scrabulous on Facebook (without even signing onto Blogger). So my New Year's Resolution should be LESS FACEBOOK AND MORE BLOGGING.

However, this little redhaired gal has never been one for New Year's Resolutions (Thanks for the photo, Lester)! Good intentions seldom turn into reality.

Instead, I'll just wish you all ...

Thursday, 16 August 2007

PGX 2007

Last weekend was our local annual exhibition / fall fair. As part of my job, I helped orchestrate a 2-day mini-exhibition there ... an interesting but exhausting adventure! (Concrete arena floors are REALLY hard on the feet and legs when you're on the go there from 8 am to 9 pm 2 days in a row.)

"My feet are tired ..."

"Seriously, my feet are REALLY tired ... I'm still smiling, but even THAT is starting to hurt!"

"I think I'll just sit here quietly and knit for a while ..."

"Knitting what? Socks, of course! Like it? This is sock number two ... something from Austermann's, but I don't recall the name of this particular line of sock yarn."

That pair of socks is finished, and I'm looking forward to the weekend so I can look for a new knitting project in the newest issues of my favourite magazines. Have you got them yet?

PS: Holy Hannah, I didn't realize how white my hair has become until I saw the above photos of myself!

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Summer's going fast ...

I haven't blogged for ages! I could list all kinds of excuses for my tardiness ... post-graduation blues, can't-find-a-job blues, busy with a new job, can't remember my blogger password (all true!) ... but you would probably just say 'yah, yah, yah, again with the long silence!' anyhow. So I won't. Won't list my excuses that is.

I haven't any new photos to put up. The last event that got photographed in my life was convocation, and y'all are probably tired of looking at my grad photo on my last post. (I'm not, but then I'm still busy patting myself on the back for actually finishing my degree!) I'll try to remedy the photo thing soon.

So where do I start to get y'all caught up? Hmm. I guess the biggest news is that I've found full-time work right here in PG (with a local non-profit organization), and will be sticking around here for awhile. (Ginny, we'll have to get together for a beer or a coffee or something!) The second biggest news is that I couldn't handle non-studenthood very long, and am now well into a semester of distance ed courses for a post-BA Business Admin certificate. I know, I'm a fool! I really MISSED assignments and due dates and all that academic stuff! However, one of my courses is Intro to Accounting, and -- for the record -- I REALLY HATE accounting! It's that whole numbers thing. Working with numbers is only good when counting knitting stitches or measuring ounces of chocolate! Fortunately, I only have to do one such course, so I'll mumble and grumble my way thru it.

On the creative and crafty front, I sewed like mad for the few weeks between grad and job. I was SO bored (and depressed)! I also crocheted an entire circular tablecloth (I was REALLY bored and depressed). Gryphon (the medieval cross-stitch project from forever ago) is coming along nicely. I think he's a bit over half finished now. My eyes get tired working on him. I need good light, but since it's summer, I tend to close my curtains to shut out the heat and end up shutting out good cross-stitching light in the process. Naturally, I turn to yet another project when I need a break from Gryphon, and that project is a knitted lace-weight shawl in some lovely merino and silk blend. The colour is called Aegean, and it reminds me of the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, ONE knitting project is never enough, and I've got knitted socks happening on my way to and from work. One needs an easy craft something to keep one entertained while waiting for and riding on the bus, dontcha know.

Have y'all been watching CORONATION STREET this summer? Well! I can hardly wait to get up early Sunday mornings and find out what crisis is going to happen next on the Street! If you're a regular Corrie fan like me, you're probably still in mourning for, I say still in mourning for Fred Elliot. And if you're a regular Corrie fan like me, you're probably wondering when Charlie Stubbs is going to meet an appropriate demise! (And if you're not a fan, you don't know and don't care what I'm talking about!)

Hope y'all are enjoying your summer!

Friday, 25 May 2007

May 25, 2007.

So it's official. I'm now LDF, BA (Anthropology Major, Human Geography Minor, 4.0 GPA!)

'Scuse me, I have to go do some partying now!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

April 2007

Well, one final exam done and one to go. Think about that statement. One final undergrad exam to go. Yes, that part of my life journey is pretty much over now. I'm finding this particular ending rather sad, and am not enjoying the goodbyes. Last week I endured a goodbye lunch, complete with gifts, certificates of recognition, and a soppy goodbye speech from my boss where I've been working on campus. I also endured my last Anthropology class (with a prof that I really admire and respect), complete with turning in my final undergrad term paper and more soppy goodbye speeches. (I was supposed to attend an Anth Club goodbye potluck dinner, but bailed out at the last minute ... enough of the bloody goodbyes already!) I'm having serious second thoughts about participating in Convocation now. I think I'll just move on to the next part of my life journey (whatever the heck that's going to be or wherever it's going to happen!) without further fanfare, and have the University mail my parchment to me. Then again, I've already purchased my mortorboard/cap ...

In a way, Convocation is going to be quite anticlimactic. The people to whom I'd most like to rub the fact that I've DONE IT --HA! YOU DIDN'T THINK I COULD AND I JUST PROVED YOU SO WRONG ! -- in their faces won't be there to hear me brag about my 4.0 GPA, and the people I'd most like to share the celebration with probably won't be there either. So why am I supposed to do the whole Convocation thing???

In retrospect, getting my BA has been quite a process. A LONG process -- I started high school upgrading back in 1995, and then progressed one college-level course at a time for ages. I've only been a full-time student since September of 2004. There's been a lot of tears (frustration, doubt, fear), amazing experiences (discovering my own capabilities, learning new things, making sense out of 'stuff', tutoring and thus watching others discover their capabilities), and incredible acquaintances. Some of those acquaintances finished their earthly journey ahead of schedule (You are missed so much, Sally!). Some acquaintances were brief but profound, and others have turned into amazing and comfortable friendships that will hopefully last distances and decades. I sure hope pursuing my MA will be equally as eventful. I've been accepted into grad programs at two different Universities in two different provinces at this point, and am still waiting to hear from two other programs. No, I haven't decided where to go yet. Stay tuned.

On the home front, I've started doing this weekly volunteer craft-teaching thing that's proving to be both challenging and fun. The first week, we made SLEEP MASKS. This proved a little too difficult (I tend to forget not everyone knows how to sew ...) for the participants, although the results were amazing. (Sorry, no photos this post ... I'll try to get them up soon). Since then, we've painted DOOHICKEY PEOPLE (people-shaped popsicle sticks), and made COLLAGE EASTER EGGS. Next week, we're going to do FOAMIE SUN VISORS. I saw an article about photo frames made from pop tins, and want to try that out over the weekend, as I noticed a big bin of used pop tins where I'm volunteering. Anyone have any other easy (and cheap!) craft ideas suitable for women and children to do together???
As for my own craft projects, I haven't done a darned thing lately! Gryphon and Tomato are both gathering dust, and my knitting has been relegated to a book shelf. Any down time this past month, I've flopped on the sofa and read. A friend gave me a Clive Cussler novel, ATLANTIS FOUND, and subsequently I've been on a Clive Cussler binge and read four more of his novels! If you like action and adventure, give him a read. He'll keep you turning pages! At the moment, I'm engrossed in an Agatha Christie mystery. I think this is totally called ESCAPE READING! It's not my usual fare at all.

Did you do anything special for Easter? I helped do a bit of yard work on the Saturday, as it was really warm and sunny here (for a change!) and made giant fruit and pasta salads for a BBQ. The first outdoor meal of 2007 ... I've been madly craving bbqed hotdogs ever since. I had good intentions for Sunday, late Mass and all that, but it turned into a Coronation Street catch-up and pyjama day instead! Monday meant back to the books in prep for today's exam.

Monday, 26 February 2007

26 Thoughts

The object of this exercise is to record one significant thought for each letter of the alphabet -- and you can't use words/thoughts someone else has already posted. If you're reading this, I invite you to try it! (Its not as easy as it looks . . . )
A APPLE Seems like a logical word to start with! I used to detest Golden Delicious apples (having grown, picked, sorted, juiced, etc them in the Okanagan), but I bought some the other day, and they tasted pretty darned good (to my surprise). Expensive here in PG, tho. Never thought I'd actually miss walking out the back door to pick one when I felt like it. Writing about Golden Delicious apples makes me think about a traumatic incident in grade one. Right at the beginning of the new school year, we were given mimeographed copies (remember mimeographs? Purple smelly ink -- predated photocopies) of a big letter A and an outline of an apple. We were supposed to practise tracing the letter A and colour the apple. I thought this quite a boring exercise, as I already knew how to write the entire alphabet, plus my full name, and quite a few words, so I poured my creative energies into colouring a perfect Golden Delicious apple. My teacher did not approve! She even held my perfect Golden Delicious apple up for everyone to see, and pointed out that ALL apples were RED. Naturally, I tried to argue that MY apple was a Golden Delicious, but she didn't approve of my argument either!

B BOOKS I definately have too many of them. What a big fat pain moving is going to be. However, that realization will neither diminish the book supply nor my book-buying habits! I've always loved books. My love affair with books began at a young age. I remember the day I got my first library card. The deal at our local library was that as soon as I could write my full name, I could get my very own library card -- which I did on my 4th birthday. I was too short to reach the desk, so my Dad had to hold me up while I signed my name, and my letters were so big that I had to put the last 4 letters of my surname on a second line. I was so thrilled! However, the thrill didn't last long as the first book I wanted to borrow was a nice big art book with pictures of (Michaelangelo, etc) famous art works. The nice librarian tried to explain that I had mistakenly chosen an adult book and that the children's section was OVER THERE, but I wasn't having it. On my fourth birthday, I wanted to become a famous artist myself, and what better way to do it than studying the masters? I have no idea why or how I knew about the old masters at that age, but I did.

C CHURCH Yes, I do go fairly regularly. I still consider myself "religiously-confused" as I can't seem to settle and stay with either the RCs or the Anglicans (after having grown up Pentecostal). I like liturgical services where I know what's going to happen next (as opposed to spontaneous non-liturgical), and both RC and Anglican services provide that. I don't like the subordinate role women are stuck with in the RC Church, and do like the fact that women can be ordained as Anglicans. However, there is something about RC services that feel like home. I am confused.

D DAYLIGHT I really detest getting up and getting on the bus before daylight! I have early am classes this semester -- I normally plan my schedule for mid-day -- so am doing a lot of complaining about "getting up at the crack of stupid"! Or perhaps D is for DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME. In which case, I don't get why we need to mess with our clocks twice annually. Most of the time I DON'T change my watch -- just to be perverse! What the hell? It's the same time anyhow!

E EGGS They are GOOD for you! And they taste good! And they make a quick meal! Mmm eggs. Get cracking! Make mine a cheddar cheese and onion omelette ... Aside from food, this is the time of year that I miss the egg-layers, the chickens. There's simply nothing more miraculous than "cluckers" and "peepers". I used to love watching hens setting on their eggs, and especially loved the final week of the process when the baby chicks started making noises from inside the eggs. And watching them hatch! Oh wow! Anyone who hasn't witnessed that miracle just hasn't lived sufficiently in my opinion!

F FRIED SWEET POTATOES (Forgive me, its lunch time! I've got food on the brain just now ...) I have some leftover baked sweet potatoes in the fridge, so I think I'll slice them and fry them up for supper tonight. Have you ever had sweet potato french fries? YUMMY!

G GARBAGE We make too much of it. I would love to be able to buy more bulk things and less things in individual cello packages. At the same time, I know I would wonder about other people's hygiene if we were able to buy more bulk things. I'm not 100% sure that bulk shopping would work 'cuz somebody would do something icky and disgusting! I get really annoyed when I have to hunt down the scissors to get into a package of something or other. What is with the industrial-strength shrink-wrap stuff they put on vitamin bottles???

H HANDS Hands have been on my mind a lot these past few weeks. Hands are very important to musicians (even amateur musicians like me). I think most musicians would rather lose their legs or their eyesight than their hands. I've long had a major phobia about having my hands hurt. I made the mistake of reading a newspaper report on the Pickton trial one morning which described the crown's opening statements and also described specifically what remains were found of the six missing women the current trial is concerned with. One of the women, Georgina (a friend from the Lower Mainland), was a fine musician. In fact, my current 12-string guitar once belonged to her. I can picture her hands playing that guitar, writing lyrics, doing beadwork, and lifting an eagle feather up in prayer or song. That image was shattered by reading that her hand bones were found in Pickton's pig trough. I'm trying very hard to hang onto pleasant memories and not picture the horror of Georgina's final hours on this earth. And its hard.

I ICE CREAM Last weekend, I thought I was going to have a yummy treat of ice cream and raspberries. I had simmered some raspberries that were starting to get freezer-burned into a sort-of-syrup. Unfortunately, I also had a jar of homemade strawberry jam in the fridge -- a thoughtful (but unwanted) gift from a neighbour. I don't know what I was thinking about, but I POURED strawberry jam all over my ice cream! And I don't like strawberry jam. It was disgusting. In future, I shall stick to chocolate sauce or hot fudge sauce for my ice cream! (Mmm ... a peanut buster parfait ...)

J JAMMIE DAYS! I love jammie days -- spending the entire day in pyjamas and lounging around the house. Of course, jammie days also require eating breakfast for supper. EGGS! YES!

K The only K word that comes to mind at the moment is KRYPTONITE. Isn't that the stuff that was bad for Superman? Its been a lot of years since I read comic books, but I did read Superman when I was a little kid. (K for Kid -- why didn't I think of that?) My family used to separate me and my cuz Les by giving us each a stack of comic books and sending us to different ends of the house. (We fought a LITTLE BIT when together ... ) Peace would reign for about 3 comic books, and then one of us would yell "I've got more comic books than you've got" and war would resume! I can't really remember a favourite comic book, but I do remember gathering them all up in my little red wagon, selling them to other kids in our rural neighbourhood, and making enough money to buy chocolate bars!
L LENT Its that time again. I may be religiously confused, but this is one church "season" and time of personal sacrifice that actually means a lot to me. Go figure. I find "doing Stations" (Stations of the Cross) particularly profound.

M MEN In general, haven't got a lot of use for them. (I do have a few male friends who are exceptional exceptions, tho -- so don't get your knickers in a knot, Mister A!)

N NYLONS Like men, I haven't got a lot of use for them either! I might suffer stockings occasionally (get that naughty picture of me in a garter belt out of your mind!) for very special occasions, but pantyhose shall not adorn this body again in this lifetime! They are hot, uncomfortable, unpractical, and uneconomical as far as clothing is concerned. Pantyhose are torture devices invented by men. However, they are good for cutting into pieces to tie up your tomato vines. Also good for storing vegetables in and can be utilized as great soft-sculpture creations (remember kitchen witches?).

O OPRAH I used to enjoy Oprah, but not anymore. There's something really annoying about one person with their own magazine and their own mug on the cover every single month. I mean, seriously -- how do you define vanity?

P PETUNIAS They stink. I mean REALLY stink. I don't like them. I don't care for any highly-scented flowers, unless its jasmine or lavender.

Q QUEEN I'm not a royalist, but when I was a little girl, Queen Elizabeth was relatively new to the throne of England and playing Princess Elizabeth was a jolly good pastime. I had some lace curtains and an old fur critter (fox?) collar for my regal wardrobe. When I was four turning five, a friend of the family stayed with us during the final month of her pregnancy (as she lived more than an hour away from the hospital). She was a school teacher, expecting her fourth child after three boys, and an excellent member of my imaginary royal family. She told me that if her baby turned out to be a little girl, she would name her Elizabeth to remember all the fun we had playing Princess Elizabeth together. And when her daughter was born, she did!

R RINGLETS and RED HAIR. I used to have both. See:
Not the clearest photo, but it was taken about 1956 or so and buried in a suitcase for a couple decades before it was scanned and e-mailed to me. I still remember wearing those bib overalls! The "do" was accomplished by finger-curling my damp hair -- it had so much natural curl, it didn't require pins or rollers. I cursed it all the time I was growing up, but I'm sad to report it is no longer carrot-red and no longer that curly.

S SOCKS AND SHOES Rank right up there with men and pantyhose. My toes are SCREAMING for release after being in socks and snow boots since last October! My Dad used to threaten to paint my toes (not toenails ... TOES) BRIGHT PURPLE so I'd be too embarrassed to take my shoes off. It wouldn't have worked. I'd go barefoot year round -- or at least in sandals -- if I could! I bought these (below) last summer in Prince Rupert -- pink CROCS -- and absolutely love LOVE LOVE them! (The knitting in the photo is a wee little person's pullover sweater with a wave and fish design on it. The rest of that yarn turned into socks.) I think I'll buy another pair this year. Hmm, I wonder what colour I should get?

T TEA Earl Grey, caffeinated, and black, thank you. Seriously, what other kind of tea is there?

U UMBRELLA I used to own one. I think I left it on the Skytrain in Vancouver. Like most of my umbrellas. People don't seem to use brollies when it rains up here in PG. Why is that? My favourite brollie over the years was royal blue with yellow ducklings splashing in the rain on it. I actually managed to keep that one for a couple of years.

V VIRGINIA I don't know why she comes to mind. Perhaps its looking at that photo of me with ringlets! V. was a neighbour when I was a "wee little girl back on the farm". She was also a redhead -- in fact, her entire family consisted of redheads! I thought they were amazing because their mom let them play all sorts of rough and tumble outdoor games and never harped at them to be careful (in reality, the poor woman just couldn't keep track of them all)! V. and her brothers were allowed to go down to the river, and play on the big sawdust pile (they must have had a sawdust-burning furnace), and build go-karts with real motors to drive around the farm. I wasn't allowed to play with them because they were "too rough". Once, however, I managed to sneak over to V.'s house, and we built a fabulous fort out of canned foods (after peeling off all the labels), then got her little brother to crash it! We have kept in touch sporadically as adults, but I've lost track of V. again. Where are you, V.?

W WINE I do enjoy a good glass of wine with dinner now and then. I've been meaning to hunt down some of the new Nk'Mip Cellars wines but haven't done so yet. My best friend and I used to play on the hillside where the Nk'Mip Cellars winery is located today, so I figure its bound to be pleasantly nostalgic drinking that wine. I prefer dry-ish wines, such as a nice Pinot Noir, over sweet.

X XRAY Good grief, I can't think of another X word, and I KNOW there are some good ones out there. I know this because my favourite scrabble partners, M. & K., used to use all kinds of great short X words -- and usually won the game as a result! (They always swore those words existed in the SCRABBLE dictionary!) Let's see, the last xray I had was of my broken arm last fall, and the last Scrabble game was also last fall some time. Oh my gosh, could there be a connection???

Y YELLOW I like the colour yellow. I've always coveted yellow kitchens. Yellow in the kitchen makes me happy. I wear yellow, but people tend to ask "aren't you feeling well?" when I do. They don't ask that when I wear pink! I used to like yellow roses, but I've decided I don't like any kind of roses anymore.

Z ZERO An important number. Without it, we'd have to go from 9 to 11, and 19 to 21, and so on! Okay, YOU think of a better way to wrap up this "26 Thoughts" exercise! I DARE YOU!

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

On the crafty front, Gryphon is progressing a bit. I have his head and one front leg done, as well most of his wing and a few leaves around his upper right corner. Gryphon has pretty much won out over Tomato this past month. I have seven aprons all cut out, but haven't sat myself down to do the sewing yet, and my braided cable, bell-sleeved V-neck cardi is currently buried in a plastic bag in one of the pockets of my back pack. I'm still disgusted with it for having to frog the first attempt. (I'll get over it eventually.) I guess it hasn't been a very crafty month. I've had bronchitis, and found it difficult to concentrate on much of anything when coughing until the eyebrows hurt! Hopefully the month of March will be healthier and happier!

Monday, 29 January 2007

Reminiscing ... Dreamgirls and Dad

Last Friday, I treated myself to a movie. I do that quite often, and I've decided I really enjoy my Friday nights out at the movies! (Maybe I've turned into a popcorn junkie?) I saw DREAMGIRLS and thoroughly enjoyed a nice walk down memory lane. I was a big fan of Diana Ross and the Supremes back in the 1960s. My Dad and I both used to enjoy watching them on the Ed Sullivan Show, and I'm sure I owned every single "45" they ever put out. (Remember "Love Child"? "I Hear a Symphony"? Remember portable record players and "45s"?) Although Beyonce and friends didn't sing any of those tunes, the musical style, wardrobes, and their evolving hairstyles were enough to bring back pleasant memories. And for the record, Beyonce Knowles sounded pretty darned good, and young Jennifer Hudson has a real powerhouse voice!

That movie made me think ... once when Diana Ross and the Supremes were on Ed Sullivan, Diana's false eyelashes started coming unglued over one eye. Being the 1960s, they were some considerably long and thick false eyelashes -- not at all 'natural' looking. She never misses a note or a choreographed move during the song, and even managed to have a conversation with the host of that "really really big show" then walk confidently off the stage without letting on a single thing was amiss. I remember thinking to myself, NOW THAT'S A REAL LADY! My God! Why on earth would I equate false eyelashes falling off with being a real lady????? (Okay, I was maybe 11 years old ...)

And that recollection made me recall how my Dad never missed the Ed Sullivan Show (or the Red Skelton Show, or the Carol Burnett Show ... we moved into town in 1963 and got our very first television set that winter). Sometimes Dad and I had serious disagreements over which acts Ed Sullivan booked were really talented and which acts were duds. Although I adored the Supremes, that was the decade I was seriously discovering "Country & Western" music (Buck Owens, Sonny James, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Skeeter Davis ...) thanks to Radio KGA from Spokane, Washington -- 1510 on the AM dial -- and my new portable transistor radio in its green vinyl case. That obviously affected my judgment some. When the four British lads (shown on the left) appeared on Ed Sullivan for the first time in 1964, my elderly Dad watched and listened to them very intently, and proclaimed "THOSE FOUR BOYS WILL GO FAR -- MARK MY WORDS!" At the time, I laughed right out loud and replied they sounded like totally untalented amateurs and WHAT WAS WITH THAT ANNOYING "YAH YAH YAH" crap every second line in their lyrics??? Well! I didn't have to turn 30 before learning dear old Dad was indeed a wise man!

And that recollection reminds me that my Dad had amazingly eclectic tastes when it came to music. Or perhaps he was just amazingly tolerant. It's something that always amused me, considering he was born in the 1890s. He happily listened to everyone from Wilf Carter yodelling to Bessie Smith belting out the blues, and don't forget the weekly Canadian Tommy Hunter Show -- especially the closing gospel song -- as well as that Canadian Pig and Whistle (a musical variety show set in an English/Irish-style Pub), and he always enjoyed scoping out new musicians. He even had the patience to listen to the likes of Gary Pucket and the Union Gap, Janis Joplin, and Tiny Tim tip-toeing through the tulip beds with his irritating ukelele without bellowing "turn that gawdawful crap down!"! I think the only musician I ever heard him say anything seriously negative about was Frank Sinatra ... and that was directed at the man ("bloody mafia hoodlum!") and not at his musical talent. I consider myself to have fairly eclectic tastes in music today, but I am not as open to new musical experiences as my Dad was. If I don't really like it, I'm not listening to it, and you can't make me!

Dad and I did agree Burton Cummings and the Guess Who were "great stars-in-the-making" when they played on Let's Go on CBC TV (but we disagreed on Anne Murray -- I wanted to strangle that frickin' SnowBird!). Every Saturday evening these days when I listen to Randy Bachman's VINYL TAP on CBC Radio, I recall coming home from school and sitting down in front of the TV with my Dad to watch Let's Go before Dad started cooking supper. I wonder how many teenagers were that lucky?

Okay, now y'all know what an exciting life I lead ... I take myself to a movie on Fridays, I listen to CBC Radio on Saturdays ... I might as well confess CBC Radio is usually the highlight of my Sundays as well. (Don't you listen to Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe on Sunday afternoons???)

So last Sunday afternoon -- after the Vinyl Cafe --I wondered down to my favourite local book store + coffee shop for a wee break, and discovered a bargain books table. Yes! Books on sale! The only thing more exciting is yarn or fabric on sale! I picked up Timothy Taylor's "Stanley Park" for $7.99. I'm only a few pages into it (as I'm trying to write two seperate term paper proposals / outlines this week), but so far its quite fascinating. It starts with a trendy young Vancouver chef cooking and eating (illegally) a wild duck with his eccentric anthropologist father who happens to be living in Vancouver's famous Stanley Park in order to study homeless people, then nips back in time to the young chef's European training. I can't wait to see where its going to go from there!

What's that? Knitting, you ask? I finished both of the sleeves of my braided cable, bell-sleeved V-neck cardi ... and promptly discovered they were TOO SMALL! How annoying! Yes, I did a swatch and checked my tension before beginning, but I must have been more relaxed swatching than actually knitting the sleeves. So FROG IT! (I'll start the sleeves again when I quit growling at myself.) And Gryphon? Tomato? No significant progress to report this week. No aprons to report yet either. Maybe next time.

Monday, 22 January 2007

January update

Long time, no blog! Sometimes life just takes up too much time to sit at the computer. I still don't have a PC at home (being a poor starving student and all), and must find the time to sit in the public library or computer lab on campus in order to update the blog.

Well! As promised AGES ago, here are some photos of me "in persona" as SCA/medieval Emma of Oterburn:

(a) the plain linen underdress -- basic T-tunic pattern; white-on-white linen embroidery at neckline & cuffs, but you can't see it (TOO BAD! Its a nice wee decorative touch!) It's amazing how comfortable this is to wear, and how much easier it makes walking in the long gown.
(b) lacing up the purple gown -- OOPS! Methinks there's been a bit too much feasting at ye olde castle of late! (Now we know why medieval gowns LACED instead of buttoned . . . )

I'm not sure what that spot is on my purple gown. It's clearly visible in the photo, but I can't see anything on the gown itself. Weird light maybe?

(c) laced and belted; hair respectably contained by metallic gold snood under an ivory silk hat (it's a bit crumpled) held in place with a barbette. The red leather pouch on my leather belt looks rather deflated -- it is -- Emma certainly needs to save her coins for the next SCA event!
(d) warm wool cloak (such a delicious deep eggplant colour!); notice the basket and drop spindle -- one properly attired Northumbrian gal all ready to go out the door one 1306/7 winter day! (Or is that 2006/7?)

And in ye medieval crafty area of my life:

(a) Inkle Loom with purple & blue braid. One piece already finished, and second one on the loom. This braid will probably be sewn on the front straight edges of my wool cloak. Maybe -- if I don't think of something else I want to use it for. (What do you think?)
(b) Merino fleece -- carded / separated into skinnier rovings; spindle with a bit of spun stuff; my first (quite sad) plied yarn -- too much twist, not enough twist, lumpy, bumpy and uneven! You'll notice by the centre spindle that my technique improved heaps with practice! (Spinning with a drop spindle really isn't that difficult, much to my surprise. I've got a half dozen sizable skeins of decent 2-ply completed -- now what shall I do with them?)

See the fabulous olive/gold taffeta in the background of the last photo on the right? This will eventually become my next period gown. Also notice the rosary Emma will be wearing on her belt the next time she's out and about -- coral Ave beads and red Italian glass Paternoster/Gloria beads, completed with a red silk tassle instead of a crucifix -- not perfectly authentic (fake coral), but certainly looks the part.

And in the non-medieval crafty area -- since I certainly don't spend all my time as Emma:
Cotton fabrics for aprons. (Yes, I'm old-fashioned enough to enjoy wearing aprons. Get over it!) Actually, there are two more cotton prints -- blue hens and roosters, and red apples. For some reason they didn't show up in the photo, so I cropped them off. You know how you look in the drawer one day and think "Yuk, I don't wanna wear ANY of those faded, stained old aprons"? That's what I did early this month, and quickly took myself off to Fabricland. However, I haven't had time for a good weekend sewing binge yet, so I'm stuck wearing faded, stained old aprons for the moment.

I've got two counted cross-stitch projects on the go at the moment. On the left is a gryphon who will eventually become a cushion-cover. On the bottom/right is a tomato who will probably become a kitchen wall-hanging of some sort. (Okay, this isn't the greatest photo. We've already established I'm not the world's best photographer!) Both are worked on 22-count aida cloth, so they're hard on my eyes. When I get tired of gryphon, I work on tomato for a while, and when I get tired of tomato, I work on something else. (What? Isn't that how all crafters do things? Musical projects?)

Knitting? Knitting, you ask? Of course! I felt so incomplete while my right arm was in a cast last fall and wasn't able to knit! (It's healed fine now, thanks for asking . . . ) I don't have a photo to share of my latest project, but you can see it on page 86 of the Winter 2006/7 Vogue Knitting magazine . . . a braided cable, bell-sleeved V-neck cardi. I'm knitting it in basic white. (What? White, you exclaim!) Yes, white. I'm picturing it over over a plain tee or possibly a colourful sleeveless summer dress. I'm thinking VERSATILE.

Okay, this is a bit of a quick post as I want to do some "fiddling and tweaking" with the blog while I'm here today, and since I'm still a student, there's a paper and presentation due on Weds that also requires immediate attention.

Happy 2007 blogging everyone!