Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thrift Shopping

It was a long week, ending in a long day. I was going to go to a spinning group today, but decided I needed to sleep until I woke up, and not to an alarm. By the time I was up and dressed, it was too late to go spinning, but early enough I could go to the MCC thrift shop on Watt, and properly check it out.

Mom and I both think this category is funny:
(Especially since it's misspelled.)

Hey! I took that shops class too:
(Since my father is a pack rat, I somehow doubt that mine has ended up in a thrift shop, though.)

I was tempted by this folding rocker:
It's actually my height. :) It's good wood, although it could do with either reupholstering, or cleaning the existing upholstery, plus reattaching the braid. It was $75. I decided against it... I have no space, no time, and little money.

I thought some of my knitting friends might be interested in these sock blockers, so I took a photo to post on Ravelry:
I've never seen resizable ones before!

This rocker is just like some chairs we have up at the lake:
Except ours are regular chairs, and painted black. (With the paint chipped & worn.) This one is $125... I wonder how much ours are worth? (Priceless... they belong at the lake!)

My haul:
That's 17 assorted glass containers (tea light holders, shot glasses, etc.) for mixing paint (I'll still need more to run a workshop), two plates, 30" of fabric that felt like wool, a doily, a decorative plant watering thingy, and some garlic bulbils. All for $5.90. :)

When I took the price tag off the fabric and opened it up, I found an unused label in the folds that looked like it belonged with the fabric:
Googling, I found this kit, which comes with 30" of wool fabric. A good sign! I snipped off a bit of selvedge anyway, so that I could do a burn test. Set-up:
After holding a match to the narrow point:
It's self extinguishing! And the ash was brittle, not like melted plastic. :) I pronounced it wool.

I'm very happy with my haul!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Election Season

This political advertisement was *NOT* brought to you by the Green Party.

(The Green Party hand delivered (I think) packets of flower seeds.)

I passed a Liberal candidate in the hall today. I *thought* he invited passers-by in to his room that had couches, food, and *weed* (the guy next to me thought he said that too), but someone at lunch suggested it might have been *wii*. I think perhaps the Liberal should work on his diction/phrasing, to avoid confusion.

In the media, the NDP is attacking the Conservatives, the Conservatives are attacking the NDP, and the Liberals are attacking the fact that the NDP and Conservatives are attacking each other. (The Liberals only have one seat, which is why the other parties are ignoring him.) I oppose attack ads. I'm considering voting Green.

Other reasons to vote Green:
1. My riding, which has been NDP at all levels for as long as I've been alive (I think), went conservative in the last city and federal elections. (Oddly, the world has not come to an end, and I have yet to see pigs fly.) If my riding is going to do wacky things, I might as well too.
2. The Green Party is actually considering fare-free transit. An idea I proposed to my other representatives (as a way to cut carbon emissions and promote downtown), and no one was interested.
3. I like Elizabeth May, although she's federal, not provincial.

Reasons to *not* vote Green:
1. It puts the PC candidate one vote closer to getting the provincial seat.
2. The NDP candidate is a hard-working, honest guy who sends us flower seeds every year, plus reports on what he was doing in parliament until he got edged out by the Conservative in the last election. (I haven't heard a peep from the conservatives, and don't even remember the name of the federal conservative.)
3. The leader of the green party looks potentially younger than me, and that makes me feel old... and him not nearly old enough.
4. They misspelled "Flin Flon" on their website where they list the candidates.
5. The candidate in my riding isn't even committed enough to have a photo and short bio on the website.

Anyone want to say something to sway me one way or the other?

Friday, September 09, 2011

Home From The Chiro

Crunching better today, but still not 100% yet. Two more appointments scheduled for next week.

Spotted on the way home:
Yeppers. Although I used Transit's trip planner to find a bus schedule that would get me there 10 minutes early, or on time if the 2 minute transfer time was insufficient... I arrived 10 minutes late. Thanks, traffic. :P

(I like that the businesses at the corner near my place like to put up fun sayings on their boards!)

I got this great old hoe at an estate/yard sale not far from my place:
Old tools are the best... they're actually built to handle the Red River gumbo we have around here! Even better, when I asked how much, the guy said $1! I tested it in the front garden before coming up, and it uprooted a bunch of weed seedlings like a charm! (Once I have a place of my own, I really should have my own tools.)

I have no clue what the hole on the blade is for. It looks original, rather than added later. Perhaps for hanging?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Recipe

A friend asked me for my chocolate pudding recipe. I'm sure I got it off the web somewhere, but I didn't mark down the source. (Sorry. If someone finds this who knows the source, let me know and I'll put in an attribution.) I did make two small modifications (half the sugar, orange extract instead of vanilla). My version:

3 squares unsweetened chocolate (3 ounces)
3 cups milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp orange extract

In a saucepan, cook 2 2/3 cups of the milk with chocolate, stirring until chocolate is melted and milk is scalded. Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt; stir in remaining 1/3 cup milk. Add to scalded milk and chocolate mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes to thoroughly cook cornstarch. Cool slightly; stir in orange extract and pour into serving dishes. Chocolate pudding recipe serves 6. (Assuming the 6 have willpower.)

Note: if you're too impatient to let it cool, it's just like the thick hot chocolate they serve in Barcelona. :)

It's been a *long* time since I've made this... I need to remedy that!

Heron Silk Painting

I've finished. It's not perfect, but I think I'm happy. This photo was taken before I ironed, washed, and ironed (again) the painting, so the white resist lines aren't showing yet. Again, I've put some white paper behind the main part of the painting, but it's not right up against the painting in all places. I have done the ironing, washing, and ironing, but, of course, now it's not stretched. I'll take another photo after it's been stretched. (However, since it's now 2:30 am, and I don't have the backing board, stretching will wait for another time.)

Good night.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


Either I overdid it yesterday, or I slept wrong. I'm moving slower this morning than yesterday. :(


I put my back out on Wednesday morning, just as I was about to leave for the art club. The last few days of my vacation, that's really thrown a wrench into my to-do list progress. Oh well... it would have been even less convenient if it had happened when I needed to go in to work. (Except that then the chiropractor appointments might have had some coverage.)

Wednesday morning, I had to crawl to get back in the apartment, phone my mom (to say that I wouldn't be meeting her downstairs), then make it into bed. (All of those took plenty of time, with lots of pain.) Wednesday lunch time, mom came over and helped me to the bathroom. I had to get her to hold my upper body, because the weight of it pressing on the sore spot was too much. She also brought me some ice packs. By Wednesday evening, I was able to walk on my own, *very* carefully.

Thursday I went to the chiropractor, but that was it.

Friday I had another visit, followed by a few hours at the art club. That was too long to be vertical, and so more icing and lying flat followed. I did get the first coat done on several canvasses (for acrylics), and made progress on my heron:
Random Notes:
1. There are some white lines that will be visible once I wash the resist out.
2. The areas that looked too dark at the club, aren't. In fact, I need to darken them.
3. I was having trouble getting the colours I wanted. (I wish I had painted both herons at the same time!)
4. I had trouble getting the texture I wanted in most places.
5. I'm upset about a goof I made.
6. I don't think I should do silk painting with a sore back.
7. Hopefully I'll get this looking like I want it. I really hope it goes well with the night heron when it's done.
8. I like how I got the legs and lower belly. (Sadly, that's not a focal point... or, it's not supposed to be.)
9. I still need to paint part of the background.
10. I put some paper behind the painting, so that you can see the colours a bit better, but it wasn't staying tight against the back. The right hand side is a bit more accurate than the left.
11. I like the single-colour, tone-on-tone of the night heron background... I'm worried that the day heron might be too "busy" (colour-wise), once the trees/ground gets painted in.
12. Apparently I flipped the light/dark of the beak on the day heron, but I think that's okay.

At least my back is slowly getting better.

Well, it's well past time I ice my back again and go to bed. Good night.