Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scotty Bells

It looks like I got rosin on my bent needle nose pliers at the stained glass workshop! I washed these with soap, water, and a rough green scrubby, and all is well again. :)

Scotty has a bell now too:
Not bad... I'll keep him this way unless I think of something better.


I got this adorable little enamel and rhinestone scotty dog brooch yesterday at Sears:
(That's not a scratch, that's a bit of dust... this photo is really showing the dust!) Original price $16.99, marked down to $3.99. However, he's missing something that used to be dangling from his tummy. I'm creative, so I wasn't bothered by that... I could find something to dangle there, or, as a last resort, snip off the loop. One possible dangle is this little golden bell I happen to have on hand. It's not "perfect", but I think it works. What do you think? What do you suppose originally dangled there? I tried googling the information on the card it was on, to no avail.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Today I started applying paint to the sketch of Mylo from the art show demo:
(I liked the sketch, so even though I don't officially have a commission, I'm finishing him.)

Mylo has some interesting blue tones, so I roughed those in. (It may get covered, we'll see.) I also did the under-layer for the stucco, plus an approximation of the far background. I may warm up the tones after I get Mylo painted... they seemed way too bright at first, and so I toned them down. I also worked on Mylo's eye. (The printout I'm working from didn't have a good eye, so I want to have a look at the original photo on my computer to see if I'm getting it right.)

If you want to see the photo I'm working from, coopersita has it on Flickr.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Old laptop keeps re-bricking. Battery won't charge. (I suspect this is causing the re-bricking.) I've had to open up and remove the PRAM battery twice today. (~20 screws to remove and reinsert each time.) Trying various things found on the web. Archiving a few files I don't think I have, then am going to wipe it. I'm *really* hoping I can turn sad-mac into happy-but-old mac by tomorrow evening...

Stop the Violence

A local kid created this video in response to violence in his North End Winnipeg neighbourhood.

Let's give him some "views" to show our support.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I decorated

The back window is even less impressive. (I doubt the lights would even show in a photo.)

Privacy frost is currently privacy condensation... weather's been warm the past few days.

I am sooooo tired! I only got home a few minutes ago... my students had their exam tonight, and there was some work I *had* to do before I went home. Ugh.

Buses make good time after midnight. I even had a good connection. (Shockingly.)

The number of stroller-age children out and about at this hour of night was also shocking.


Dirigible In The Atrium

Dirigible is a funny word. This dirigible is a blimp. It appeared in the atrium of the building I work in. Now you know as much about it as I do.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I find this hilarious... it's from the work authorization form for my missing foot:
Issue: One rubber foot missing.
Steps to Reproduce: Visually, rubber foot has fallen off.
Proposed Resolution: Replace bottom cover.
Cosmetic Condition: Good condition minus missing foot.
(No shit, Sherlock. Well, I guess they're required to fill in a standard form.)

Oh, and that reminds me... when I went in to the Apple Store, I started off with the following conversation with a pair of store employees:
Me: I need a replacement foot for my laptop.
Them: (blank looks, look at each other for help)
One of them: Foot?
Me: You know, those things on the bottom of the laptop?
Them: (still blank)
Me: (pulls out laptop, showing the gaping spot where a nice black rubber foot normally resides.
One of them: Oh, that...

What do they call them these days, if not feet? Or am I the only one who has had one self-destruct on them?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sounds like a recipe for disaster...

...sounds like drunk guys (drunk enough to be singing) doing free weights in the apartment below me. Somehow I don't think that's a good idea...

Weird Stuff

Approximate e-mail conversation with my brother:
Me: Can I come over and borrow a teeny-tiny hex wrench? I need to take the PRAM battery out of my old laptop because it's not starting.
Brother: Sure, I have a T6 Torx.
Me: I don't need a Torx, I need a hex wrench.
Brother: The instructions say T6 Torx under "tools required".
Me: But the actual instructions say you need a hex wrench, but you can get by with a T6 Torx.

Since I was going in that direction anyway, I decide I'll just stop in at the hardware store and buy the correct hex wrench.

Approximate conversation with store employee:
Me: Where do I find teeny-tiny hex wrenches?
Him: (blank look)
Me: Allen key? A teeny-tiny one?
Him: I know. What size do you need?
Me: One that fits this. (Pulling out bricked laptop, pointing to screw.)
Him: Take it to the Apple Store.
Me: It's a *six* year old laptop that I want to fix for my sister. (Probably older now, and technically step-sister.) I just want to take out the PRAM battery to see if that fixes it.
Him: (Holding it close to his face to see better.) That's a security screw.
Me: No, it's not. Security ones have a post in the centre, this one doesn't.
Him: It's a security screw. We don't have screwdrivers for those.
Me: It's *not* a security screw, I just need a hex wrench.
(He takes me over to the right area.)
Him: We used to have security screw drivers, but we don't have them any more. (Starts looking at screwdrivers.)
Me: (Points to contraption with many hex wrenches.) Hey, that one has a teeny-tiny hex wrench! I bet that will work.
Him: No, you need a security one.
Me: *No*, I *don't*. Let me test this. (I pull out the laptop again, and insert the hex wrench.) Hey, it's the right size!
Him: You're sure? It looks like a security screw. (Still somewhat doubtful, but willing to let me buy a set of hex wrenches if that's really what I want.)
Me: It has six sides, and is convex. I'm pretty sure it's a hex wrench I want, and not a star.
Him: Convex?
Me: Well, since we're talking about the hole, technically it's concave.
(He wanders off, deciding I'm a lost cause. I look at the options for hex wrenches, and end up selecting a somewhat cheaper store-brand set that includes both metric, imperial *and* torx of various sizes... in case, one day, I want to open something that needs a torx.)

After the hardware store, I stop in at the big box bookstore next door, since it has free wireless (so that I can access the instructions) and decent places for me to sit and disassemble my laptop. (If taking the PRAM battery didn't work, the Apple Store was on my list of places to visit, and I was going to ask how much it would cost to de-brick.) Plus it has calendars, and I was looking for one for my grandma.

Shockingly, no one seemed to look at me funny for disassembling a laptop in the bookstore. (Or, if they did, they all did it from behind me, where I couldn't spot them.)

Happily, removing and reinstalling the PRAM battery fixed the problem. :) (Oddly the battery isn't just a battery, it's apparently permanently attached to a bit of circuitry... but the fact that I couldn't disassemble that didn't seem to be an issue.

Finding a calendar with both big numbers and pictures I thought my grandma would enjoy was *much* harder. (I suspect she will either enjoy or hate the one I finally got... but if she hates it, I'm willing to use it myself, and go back and buy the second choice, of which there were *many* copies.)

I did stop in at the Apple Store, but to get a replacement foot for my laptop. (I figured out where that black plastic was coming from... the part that went between the rubber foot and the laptop was disintegrating, and the other day it completely fell apart.) Apple used to supply free replacement feet. Apparently, for this model, they don't have them separate... but, since I'm under AppleCare, they're going to replace the *entire* bottom of the laptop for free. (WTF? The foot has a bit of double-sided tape, plus a snap-in bit. It really is possible to *just* replace the foot. Whatever... I want the foot, and if this is what it's going to take, I'll take it and be glad that it's free. *sigh*)

Also weird: The six-foot extension cord I bought came with a 7 3/4 inch warning label. Really? Are we really that stupid, that we need that many warnings on an extension cord?

Well, now I'm off to do my laundry after when I'm officially supposed to stop for the night. However, given the sounds of drunken revelry coming from Mr Party-Of-More-Than-One (He seems to have acquired friends), I don't think I'll be bothering him.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I keep thinking I'm good at math, and then I do something like this:
This is a second pair of "Double Mittens with Angora Lining". I'm not fond of after-thought thumbs (buttonhole thumbs? ...whatever they're called), so this time I decided to modify the pattern to have a thumb gusset. I looked up how many stitches wide the afterthought thumb was, then calculated how many increase rounds I'd need, and thus where I needed to start the gusset.

I reached the point you can see in the photo, when it dawned on me: I had calculated how to get enough increases for the width (13 stitches), not the full circumference (26 stitches).


Now I'm trying to figure out what my options are... besides ripping back half of what I've knit, of course. *sigh*

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Tree

Tonight I decorated Mom and B's tree:

While going through the ornaments, I checked the stained glass ones I made way back when I was a kid:
I'm thinking the reason I couldn't remember if there were two or three is because only two (the bird and the house) were still intact and able to hang. The sailboat needs some repair.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Raffi In Daylight

"Daylight" was pretty dim today (overcast), but I think this photo is a winner:
Now to figure out how to bend Photoshop to my will. (I miss GraphicConverter... but it seems silly to buy a new GraphicConverter licence when I have Photoshop. I may break down and purchase a new GraphicConverter licence one day anyway.)

Monday, December 12, 2011


Raffi is basically done now. I need to clean up the sides (I forgot to do that at the club tonight), take some decent (outdoor) photos for cards, and then apply the varnish. I really like how he's turned out.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Stained Glass Class

I've wanted to take a stained glass class for ages. I'm not sure why I didn't. Back around kindergarten I remember doing a bit as part of an art class I was in. It was in the copper foil method, and we assembled bits of broken glass into various things. I think I made a house, a seagull, and a sailboat. (I'm saying "I think" because I remember all three items, but I thought I had only made two... so one of these things is wrong.) I should find out in a week or two when I put up mom's Christmas tree. (They're a bit broken now, but they're still in with the rest of the ornaments.)

Recently I decided to look at what was available locally. I discovered there was a one-day, no-experience-necessary "Lead Came Christmas Ornaments" class. Count me in! Since a friend was half price, I checked with a friend who also likes crafts. Amazingly, there was still space in the class, and I signed the two of us up.

Today was the class, and I made six ornaments:
(I realize there are seven there, but the candle was made by my friend, and she gave it to me as an early Christmas present. Isn't it pretty?)

Of course, I had *intended* to make a bunch of ornaments for presents... but I'm rather attached to most of these. (I might be able to part with one or two... maybe.)

I still need to wash these to remove the flux. I figured I'd take a photo first, in case I somehow broke one.

Tag, I'm Back!

(...Opposite side is front!)

I've been having trouble determining front from back on my black, seamless bouclé sweater. So I added a tag.
Apparently not straight... but then who is going to see it? I took a straw poll of my knitting group, and we decided I didn't care that it was crooked.

The tag is a bit of cute grosgrain ribbon left over from making pattern magnets. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Waiting For The Bus

While waiting for the bus, I amused myself by reading the signs on the convenience store door:



"STORE NOT FOR USE FOR PEOPLE TO WAIT INSIDE FOR BUS. THIS STORE IS NOT A BUS SHELTER. PLEASE WAIT OUTSIDE FOR BUS. If you want a bus shelter here, call city of Winnipeg Transit at 311 and request one!"


"Fresh Popcorn"

I came to the realization that posting the answers to frequently asked questions like this makes one sound rather crabby. (Whether they are or not, I don't really know.) Would that be your impression too? (I'm trying to learn how to present myself better, and so insights like this help... but only if they're correct.)

Comment about the clock: when you're looking at the sign, it's actually to the left... and in the left hand corner of that window. It's small too, and so took me a while to find it. (Even though I remembered seeing it before, once I spotted it. It probably didn't help that I started looking in the wrong window.)

What I'll do for my grandma...

She wanted nail polish. "Pink, but not too pink." You can't really tell from the bottle how it will look on the nail, so I decided to test them.
Luckily I ran out of colours I thought might potentially work before I ran out of nails. (I even had one spare!) I did feel rather silly in the store, though.

(The ink you can see on the sides of my fingers were where I wrote down colour information for the better candidates.)


Last night I had some odd visitors for this time of year. One was this ladybug, which I think was imported with my spinach. (I don't think the ladybugs around here have red legs, although they do tend to come in the houses in the fall.)

The other was a mosquito. A *mosquito*!?!? At this time of year?! It was in my bedroom. It's been frozen for a while outside... I wonder how long it's been hanging out inside? Just how long do they live? (Off to google...)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Things I Love

Things I love:

1. My big "box of fasteners".

Today: I need one or two bolts (with matching nuts) about yea big. In a moment of inspiration, I held up my clear tub, and had a look at what was rattling around loose in the bottom. Voila! Two bolts the exact right size! And hey, what's that nearby? A baggie with some nuts that look the right size! (They were!)

2. Fixing something broken.

Today: I have a dolly that was designed as a cheap folding dolly, and the gears sheared off making it useless. Using my el-cheapo drill, the two bolts, a hammer, screwdriver, and vice grips... I now have a completely functional dolly. (It can even be folded again if you're willing to remove the bolts.)

In a few minutes I shall be using the dolly to take my laundry over to my mom's to use her washer and dryer. (It's warmer at mom's house... it's been about 13 degrees lately here, which is kind of nippy.) We shall see if something else decides to break on the dolly. ;)

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down...

Minute Maid has shrunk its packaging for one of my favourite juice concentrates. (I like its taste, and it doesn't contain apple juice, or anything else I'm allergic to.) I actually bought this a while back. I noticed the packaging was more squat, but I thought that they had realized that they can use less packaging that way (shorter and wider = less surface area for the volume, yay environment!). It was only after I got home that I realized the diameter was still the same, and so they had shrunk the packaging *and* volume without shrinking the prices. Boo! First off, I hate that sort of dirty marketing, where they subtly increase prices not by changing the price, but by including less product. Second, now I have to wash the pitcher more often, because I get fewer glasses of juice per pitcher. *BIG* thumb DOWN!

I haven't bought this product since I made this discovery, I'm so peeved.

Turtles (real and fake) normally have 12 turtles per level. Sobeys brand has 10... so you end up four short of other packages. I feel this is another example of misleading packaging, making you think you're getting more than you are for the stated price. (Yes, there's a little number stating then umber of grams, but that's not as noticeable as the box size.) I will not be buying this brand of fake turtles again. Thumbs down!

Also disappointing: the package is now empty. (They were good while they lasted, though.)

Big thumbs UP:
Yum! So far I've just tried the chana masala, and it was great! No artificial colours, no preservatives, no MSG (MSG is a big NO THANKS for me), easy to prepare, and pretty healthy! I had it with rice, and so it ended up being a gluten-free meal too. (Mom wants me to try eating less gluten.) And, for those who look for such things, they're also vegetarian and Halal certified, and it looks like Kosher as well. :)

The package claims to have three servings, but I polished it off in one. Probably if I had other things besides it and rice, and wasn't quite so hungry, it would have been more than one serving. (Or maybe it was meant to serve one, but counts as three servings of protein? Those food guide servings are weird.)

Thumbs down: I bought a lovely mug at a craft sale yesterday, and managed to break it on the way home. I feel like a stupid clutz. It's only chipped and cracked, but still in one piece... so now I have another pencil holder. *sigh*

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Workshop Photos

I made more progress on my Adelie penguins Monday night at art class.
I really love how this is coming out.

This is also something I did at that workshop, but forgot to photograph before:
It's ink dripped on yupo paper, then spritzed with water.

Finally, on Sunday, I took a "painting with fiber" needle felting class.
I didn't get very far, but we got to keep the supplies, so I can finish later. I had brought some of my own photos to work from, but then decided the class was really designed for us to follow the instructor's provided pattern.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Art Update

Today I attended a pen and ink workshop. I spent the first part of the workshop getting used to dip pens:
(The bottom smears are so I can do a light-fastness test.)

Then I started a real picture:
I'm quite happy with how it's turning out. :)

Last weekend was a watercolour workshop on negative space. I painted two small practice pieces before feeling tuckered-out. The first one is a close up, cropped image of an aspen twig and leaf stems:
(Not that it's at all clear what it is.) The second is much more recognizable:
I rather like how this one turned out.

Finally, here's another photo of Raffi:
I haven't done any more on it since the last photo, but this one was taken in daylight, and so is a bit better.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Art Show Display

This is my display from the art show:
IMG_5195 copy

And my shrinkwrap area:


I took this photo of my garden on Saturday:
It's probably looking rather whiter and fluffier now.

The cardboard is where I stood while planting my garlic, so that I didn't sink (as much) into the mud. The area between the cardboard and railroad tie is planted with two rows of garlic and/or onions, plus one row of random perennials (next to the tie) from a neighbour. The part starting just past the cardboard still needs to be dug. Looks like that will be spring, now. ;)

Raffi In Progress

Sheesh, this is a *hard* painting to photograph! (Especially indoors at night.) I think this was the best of the four I took, but it was hard to tell. (Do I prefer this reflection or that, this under-exposure or that over-exposure?)

This is one of the two dogs I worked on at the demo I did at the art show. Tonight I painted the background, painted the lips and worked on the nose, and also made the eye bigger. I still need to do a bit more work on the mouth, and then add the rest of the fur highlighting. I didn't make any progress on the other dog tonight, so it's still just a chalk sketch.

I gave B my camera during the demo, and he took tons of photos of me. Here's one:
During the demo I sketched the second dog, and painted the eye, tongue, and did some fur highlighting (around the eye) on the first dog.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Evaluating the Freezer Contents

I have some meat that's been in the freezer for probably way too long. (It's been in the fridge freezer for a really long time... probably more than a year.) Is it just garbage now? Can it be rescued by using it in a stew? Can stock be made from it? Any ideas? It's a shame to just throw it out... although my dad's dog would probably take care of it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Art Show Prep

I'm now prepped for Sunday's demo. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Art Show

I'd like to invite you to an art show that I'm in next weekend:
Local Colour Art Group Fall 2011 Art Show
I'll be doing the pet portrait demo on Sunday, and will be there the whole time on Friday and Sunday if you want to say hi.

Gardening in Transylvania

Since I was behind on my sleep, I let myself sleep in this morning to catch up. Then I was slow getting moving... so it was rather late by the time I got moving to do some gardening.

This is the chunk of dad's old yard that I plan to devote to veggies:

A neighbour has been parking his truck in the back. Annoyingly, he parked such that I couldn't get the wheelbarrow through to the garden, and had to go around to the side gate. (There's a step at the side gate.)

Although this morning was dry, the clouds did open up shortly after I started. I decided that I didn't care, since I was going to get sweaty and dirty anyway.

Shortly before the sun set, I decided to take a progress photo:
I could tell that was going to be blurry from the low light, so I turned on the flash... and my camera decided it didn't have enough battery for that. (I had a spare, but didn't feel like digging it out, since it's one that has trouble holding a charge, and might have been flat anyway.)

Shortly after I took that photo, the rest of the light left. Then it started raining harder. With lightning. And there I was, planting onions and *garlic*, at night, in the rain and lightning. I felt like I was in Transylvania or something.

The motion-light didn't have it's sensor pointed in my direction, so I had to keep going over to turn the light back on. After I had some perennials in the ground (which will eventually be transplanted elsewhere), plus two rows that included three types of garlic and a winter onion, I decided that was enough. I got some of everything planted, so even if I don't get the rest in, I feel like I didn't waste what people gave me. (I had intended to do separate rows for the four varieties, but decided that the light and weather dictated otherwise.)

It was *really* pouring by the time I packed it up for the night. I was able to wash my hands by holding them in the drips from the eavestrough (where there shouldn't be drips). The garden tools were wet and muddy, but there wasn't much I could do about that. I put the box of weeds by the trash, took the tools back to my mom's, and then headed home.

Yeah, I'm glad I didn't bother having a shower before I headed out.

Looks like I brought some of the garden home with me:
I stripped on the entrance mat, then put everything I was wearing, plus the gardening gloves, in the shower for a pre-laundry rinse. Thankfully Red River gumbo comes out of clothes fairly easily. After doing laundry, there was still a green stain from some of the weeds, but all of the mud came out.

If I'm lucky, I'll get another chance to garden before winter hits, and can get the rest of the onions and garlic in. (I have more than I can possibly use... but it seems a shame to waste the baby bulbs.)

Stunned Junco

When I went over to my mom's to borrow the gardening supplies, I found a little junco who seemed a bit stunned.
I suspect he was recovering from an encounter with the kitchen window. I took the opportunity to take a bunch of reference photos, before he eventually decided he had enough and flew away.

Beret's Blocked

One for me:
One for my grandma:

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Sometimes when I pull my laptop (13" MacBook Pro) out of it's case in the morning, there's these little bits of plastic.
(Pen tip for scale.) I have no idea where they're coming from. Not from the case: the case is blue felted wool. They don't seem to match anything on the computer either. Anyone have any ideas?


My latest pet portrait:
Signed, but not yet sealed or delivered.