Friday, January 30, 2015

Taking risks and O Canada


Today's Writing Prompt: Risky Business

Do you prefer taking risks, or having a safety net?

It depends on what I'm doing.  In my arts and crafts world I love to take risks.  In the really world, I tend to freak if I have to take risks.  I have become braver in my world and more conservative and nervous in the real world as I age.  I wonder if this is normal?

Of course, what really is normal?

March 15, 1967 - Symbols - Special joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons unanimously recommends that the government be authorized to adopt forthwith the music for O Canada composed by Calixa Lavallée as the music of the National Anthem of Canada with the following notation added to the sheet music: With dignity, not too slowly. God Save The Queen was found to be in the public domain as the Royal Anthem of Canada, but for O Canada the committee deemed it essential to take such steps as necessary to appropriate the copyright to the music providing that it shall belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada for all time. This provision would also include that no other person shall be entitled to copyright in the music or any arrangements or adaptations thereof. The committee recommended further study of the lyrics. It suggested keeping the original French version and using the Weir English version with minor changes - that is replacing two of the Stand on guard phrases with From far and wide and God keep our land. Ottawa, Ontario


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Organizing your stickers, die cuts and rub-ons is the challenge for Week 5

Week 5

Stickers, diecuts, and rub-ons are some of the hardest things to organize because the different sizes and shapes pose many challenges.  Rub-ons present their own challenges because if they aren't stored properly, they stick to each other, damaging precious supplies.

SORT: time to be ruthless.  Consider if you are really going to use these items.  If you bought a whole sheet of die cut just to use one or two tags, why are you hanging on to the whole sheet?  Those stickers you bought in 1999 were adorable then, but definitely not your style now, are they?  So, sort into piles: TRASH, SELL, DONATE, TO KEEP

PURGE: Throw out the TRASH pile.  Bag up, and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile and put them directly into the garage sale box.  Make immediate arrangements to rid yourself of the DONATE items. 

ASSIGN: The KEEP items need to be divided into categories that make sense to you: by colour, by manufacturer, theme, size, or type.

CONTAINERIZE: Here is an article about storing stickers, diecuts and rub-ons:

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrap session, and whenever you return from a crop or a shopping trip to put your stickers, rub-ons and diecuts where they belong.  

The first Canadian in space . . .

March 14, 1984 - Marc Garneau named First Canadian to go into space; member of the Canadian Space Agency's Canadian Astronaut Program. Ottawa, Ontario

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Favourite clothes and the first licensed woman pilot in Canada . . .


Today's Writing Prompt: Favorite Clothes

Describe your favorite article of clothing.

My favourite clothing is anything comfy and about a size too big. Right now my outfit of choice is a pair of charcoal grey yoga-style pants and a wine coloured v-neck long-sleeve t-shirt. I know there is nothing sexy or exciting about my choice of outfit but I dress for comfort and for the life I lead.

March 13, 1928 - Eileen Vollick passes her test to get a pilot's licence; issued Private Pilot Certificate No. 77 on March 22; first Canadian woman to be a licensed pilot. Hamilton, Ontario


Eileen Vollick, aviator, born August 2, 1908, in Wiarton, Ontario; died in New York City, September 27, 1968. After Vollick's father died in a mining accident, her mother remarried and moved the family to Hamilton, Ontario; worked at the Hamilton Cotton Co. next to Jack V. Elliot’s Air Service; started flying lessons when she turned 19; while waiting for her 19th birthday, she became the first Canadian woman to parachute into water, walking the wings of a Curtiss Jenny and parachuting 2,800 feet into Burlington Bay. Vollick weighed only 89 pounds and was 5 feet 1 inch tall, so she used pillows to take her lessons. On March 13, 1928, she passed the test along with ten other male cadets, and was issued Private Pilot Certificate No. 77 on March 22, 1928.

On August 2, 2008 (what would have been her 100th birthday) the Eileen Vollick Terminal was named in her honor at the Wiarton-Keppel International Airport.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Who did I admire as a child?


Today's Writing Prompt: Admiration

Who did you look up to / admire as a child?

When I was growing up I remember reading biographies of women who became nurses or doctors. Among the ones I admired most were Florence Nightingale and Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. I was fairly certain I was going to enter the medical field when I grew up. Unfortunately I discovered I didn't have the stomach for it. The sight of wounds or vomit just make me ill.

March 12, 2014 - Military - The Canadian flag is lowered in Kabul, marking the end of the longest-running combat mission in Canadian history. Kabul, Afghanistan

Monday, January 26, 2015

What would you grab? and Thank you James Naismith!

Today's Writing Prompt: Salvage

If your house was on fire, what would you grab and save before you escaped?

Funny enough, I have given this question a great deal of thought. It started the day someone took down all the signs in our apartment building that would have warned us that there was going to be testing of the fire alarm system. So the next day when the alarms kept going off I know I wasn't the only one a little "concerned" by them. We quickly found out is was a test, but it made me start to think about what I would grab in the case of a fire or other emergency.

On the lucky side, I am in a main floor apartment so I knew, unless the fire was in my own unit, I would have a few minutes to prepare my departure. I decided the things I would grab would be medications, coat and boots or shoes, a change of clothes, house and van keys, purse, a box of memories that could not be replaced and the external hard drive of my lap top which contains copies of all my documents and files.

Hubby wondered why I wouldn't take the laptop but my thought process was that it was easier to unplug one thing (the external hard drive) than to unplug everything that is attached to the laptop.

Anyway . . . a little while back there was some trouble with my hydro panel and Hal wasn't home. Although I was reassured that there wasn't any risk of fire I didn't really believe them (Hal and the superintendent). So I put my coat and shoes, purse with my keys and medications, a change of clothes, my memory box and the hard drive right beside the patio door figuring if the smoke detectors went off I could grab them on the way out the door.

Fortunately, nothing happened during the night . . . so I guess Hal and the superintendent were right . . . and the fuse thingie was fixed the day.

March 11, 1892 - James Naismith, from Almonte, Ontario, organizes the world's First public game of his new invention - basketball; at the YMCA training college. Springfield, Massachusetts


Thanks, James!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Morning Routines and Some Interesting Canadian History

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

Today's Writing Prompt: Mornings

Curse you, Daylight Savings Time!

What's the first thing you do when you wake up every morning?

I am a creature of habit, especially in the morning. In fact, I get cranky if my morning routine is tampered with in any way. Don't worry, I will skip the parts you really don't need to know about.

When I wake up in the morning I go to my studio and turn on the light and my laptop. Next step is to make coffee and throw bread into the toaster. Third, back to the studio to enter my password in my laptop. I then return to the kitchen where I put peanut butter on my toast, collect any other food items I plan to include with my breakfast such as fruit or cereal, pick up my fresh hot cup of coffee . . . and return to the studio where I leisurely read my emails and catch up with everyone on Facebook while enjoying my breakfast.

Only when these things are accomplished can I shower and get dressed and start my day.

March 7, 1878 - Education - University of Western Ontario chartered. London, Ontario
I attended Western University, as it is now called, as a mature student and loved every minute of it.

March 8, 1945 - Women - International Women's Day first celebrated on this day in Canada and around the world. Canada

March 9, 1977 - Terry Fox 1958-1981 loses right leg above the knee to cancer; fitted with artificial leg; learns to walk, drive a car, play golf. Vancouver, BC

March 10, 1876 - Technology - Alexander Graham Bell 1847-1922 makes the first successful test of his new invention, the telephone, a month after patenting the device. He transmits the First intelligible speech, room to room, telling his assistant, 'Come here, Watson. I need you.' Back at his father's house in Brantford Ontario on August 3, he makes the First building-to-building call with his uncle David Bell, and a year later sets up the world's first telephone service in Hamilton, with four customers. Boston, Massachusetts

It's Week 4 of the Get Organized Challenge . . . Tools & Adhesives

Week 4

The next task in the Get Organized Challenge is TOOLS and ADHESIVES!

Gather together all of your tools and adhesives into the Big Box, and let's start them!

Sort: one by one, put each item into piles: FAVOURITES, TRASH, TO SELL, STORE, DONATE. 

Purge: For the SELL pile: bag up and assign a price and your initials to tools/adhesives that you don't love/use anymore and put them in your garage sale box.  Throw out the TRASH pile. Arrange pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.

Assign: Store your most used items in a basket or box or other system ring on your desk, within easy reach.  Divide the STORE items into categories that make sense to you: cutting tools, pens, punches, templates, etc.

Containerize: This is the time to tidy up your tools.  Tools need regular maintenance to keep them efficiently working.  As you put your tools away in whatever container (drawers, shelves, boxes, baskets - always ensuring the container is clearly labelled) give them a little maintenance.

scissors - sharpen your scissors using a small scissor sharpener, or have them professionally done. Carefully clean the blades (I like alcohol swabs to remove sticky adhesive)

pens - test pens and throw out the ones that are dry or don't work well.

craft knives - change the blades

trimmers - clean the deck of your trimmers with a damp cloth, and a little cleanser if necessary. Replace dull blades, or cut through fine sandpaper or aluminium foil.

work surface - clean ink, adhesive and paint from the mat.

punches - to prevent punches from sticking, punch through wax paper. Problem punches may need a little lubricating oil such as sewing machine oil, then punch through scrap paper several times to remove oily residue. Dull punches can be sharpened by punching through aluminium foil or fine grade sandpaper (both right side up and upside down)

rubber stamps - stamps should be cleaned after each use, but if there is a build up of ink on your stamps, you should clean them with an alcohol free baby wipe, or paper towels moistened with a mild cleanser (ammonia free/bleach free) Use a soft toothbrush to remove ink stuck in the crevices of a design. Store stamps flat, rubber side down.

EQUALIZE: Once you have a system in place for you tools, putting them back in the same place every time will become a reflex, and you will never have to hunt for you scissors again!  Take a couple of minutes at the end of each scrap session to put your tools away.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness and Happy birthday Toronto


Today's Writing Prompt: Random Act of Kindness

Have you ever been on the receiving end of kindness from a stranger?

I've been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness many times.  The time that touched me the most was 10 or 12 years ago.  I can't remember the exact date.  I used to run a bunch of craft related Yahoo! groups and the women I met on these groups were my company every day.  A couple of times we had made afghans to send to a group member who was expecting a baby or going through tough health issues.  It was during this time that I was having trouble with allergies.  You know the whole sinus pain, itching, runny nose misery.  And this went on for months and months.  I was so sick.  And one of the fun side effects was an eye infection that totally went out of control to the point I had to keep wet wash cloths handy because if I closed my eyes they would seal shut.  My eyes hurt like they were full of glass.  I'm sure I whined online once in a while about how lousy I was feeling and how much I appreciated my online friends since I wasn't able to get out anymore.  They were able to keep their plans top secret until the day my beautiful comfortghan arrived in the mail.  I still have that blanket and use it whenever I don't feel well and I'm curled up in my chair.  

March 6, 1834 - City of Toronto, formerly the unincorporated town of York, incorporated under its original name, from "Le Passage de Toronto," a portage route to the "Lac de Toronto" - today's Lake Simcoe. "Toronto" in Huron referred to the fishing weirs at the narrows in Lake Couchiching. The city's population is now 10,000; the city is divided into five wards - St. George, St. Andrew, St. David, St. Patrick and St. Lawrence - and the first municipal election will be held March 27; William Lyon Mackenzie will be elected Toronto's first mayor. Toronto, Ontario

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Failure, sketch challenge and Mary Margaret O'Hara


Today's Writing Prompt: Failure

What have you ever failed at in life?

Wow . . . do I have a long list.  I think the failure that bothers me the most though is that I never finished high school.  Looking back I realize how much growing up time I missed out on.  I made myself a "grown up" at 16.  Not one of my brightest decisions.  I do have a college degree and a university degree though.

In the mood for a little scrapbooking today.  Have a little fun with this simple sketch:

March 5, 1989 - Toronto blues singer and songwriter Mary Margaret O'Hara makes her British debut at the Duke of York Theatre. London, England