Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Cookin' up a Storm..."

with Lisi! If you like to cook, you will enjoy this blog. I am basically inept in the kitchen, and getting even more so (I thought that one was supposed to improve with, wait a minute, that is wine!) but I so enjoy reading this blog and hearing of Lisi's adventures as a "foodie". Her photos are lovely, as well, and I have picked up some great recipes and product hints...."Bon appetit!"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Wishes...

from all of the "Sisters"....a day late! (originally started Dec.24th, continued Dec.26th!) A Christmas not to be forgotten, even though all of the presents did not get completed, purchased, delivered...(but hoping to accomplish that in the next few weeks...), the treats did not get made, the house was not decorated the way that it usually is, most of the decorations remaining in the many storage bins that house them...but nonetheless, the things that mattered were there. Great visits with family and friends, sharing the homemade gifts which did manage to get completed, and a wonderful holiday meal.
Most of the reason for the delay was not procrastination on my part. While at the show in Toronto, I managed to "take a great fall", and have been doctoring for this stupid walking accident ever since! I am sure that the invention of a "klutzy" sister will be in order for 2011!
Standing on the affected leg for three eleven hour days was likely not what a doctor would have ordered. However, on the "mend" now, and looking forward to a return to normalcy shortly. Hope that there were no similar accidents in your holiday adventures!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Handspun from Newfoundland!

Meet Shawn O'Hagan, of "Island Sweet" handspun yarns! Shawn was one of my lovely "neighbors" at the "One of a Kind" show. She dyes and spins her own yarn, plus at this show, had some great kits, complete with handmade knitting needles!

Beautiful handspun and hand-dyed yarn from Shawn's line. She had very little in her booth after just a few days of the show! Very popular artist, but sadly will not be returning to the show in the future...just too difficult to keep up with the demand! One can purchase her yarn and items in her "Etsy" shop, and there will be more items arriving after the holiday break. Every skein has a name! I have just knit a cowl as a gift for someone and it was called "whirling dirvish"!
One of Shawn's lovely cowls, all "made up", and now in the hands of some lucky buyer!

Although we will miss Shawn's presence at the show in the future, it is great to know that she will be able to keep up with the demand as she expands on her internet sales in the upcoming year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Neighbors at the show!

Meet Pamela artist! Pamela was our "neighbor" at the "One of a Kind" show this year. In addition to being intrigued by her lovely jewelry designs, done in gold and silver, we were thrilled to meet Pamela, her sister, her mother, and the rest of the family! So much fun to have working near us!
Pamela studied her craft after having a successful career in the corporate world. She left that to start her own business, and exhibited at this year's show for the entire eleven days! Visit Pamela's site to read and see more of this talented young lady's work! I am already starting to save up for a coveted piece of jewelry from her line when I see her at next year's show!amela’s designs are distinguished by stylized curves, dramatic angles, and captivating twists. All jewellery features a contrasting high-polish and textured finish to accentuate its striking f

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sisters, Sisters, everywhere!

As promised, photos of the show, and the pre-show preparations! Lots of "sisters" took up residence in the "home gym" part of the house. (they may as well go is the only action that room has seen in a long time! :)
"Project Nunway" as taken from the stairs showing a partial view of the "sisters" prepared for the show, before categorizing them and doing "nun-ventory" so that I would be able to find certain ones as the show progressed....
Set-up of the booth....featuring the "sisters" with a "side" of Christmas....for those wishing some of the items shown at other shows throughout the season....
Under supervision of the life-size "sister"..."Big Sister" is watching! Once again, a great show!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Return from the show...

and it was great! Photos to follow, but was very pleased with the experience of my second time at the "One of a Kind" show in Toronto. The show continues as this is being is an eleven day show, and I opted to exhibit for the first five day "stint". Most vendors are there for the whole eleven days...and my "hat" is off to them! The hours, except for Sunday, run from 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., so five days was plenty for me! My number one salesperson, Cathy, was ready to go home at the end of five days as well. Customers kept us busy for the entire time, and we met some fantastic people. Met Lisa from "Fairy Card Maker" and Meg from "Priscilla Mae" with whom I have had great email conversations in the past!
...more, with photos, to follow...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mission Accomplished...almost!

Just finished a fourteen-hour day in the workroom, preparing almost the last items for the show that starts this Thursday, and, for me, which continues for five days. Other brave artisans are there for eleven days, and these are long days...the show beginning at 10 a.m. each day and running until 9 p.m. However, it is a brisk, fun show, and it is great to see wonderful talent from across the country. If you are in the Toronto area, visit the "One of a Kind" show from November 25th-Dec. 5th! You will be glad that you did!
Will share pictures in the next post, but the camera can wait for today! Joining the "order" of "Sisters" for this show are "Sister Mary Melody", the piano enthusiast, "Sister Phyllis Driller", the dentist, and the chef, "Sister Amelia Love". These are literally "hot off the press"...just finished the last of "Amelia" a few moments ago. Pleased with the way that these concepts turned out...the ideas linger for a long time before realization!
Always like to have a number of each "Sister" for customers seeking a special gift. This did not seem to be a huge task until I realized that there about thirty more varieties in the group than there were a few years ago, these new ones often being a result of a request for a special order. I am full of ideas as to how to avoid the last minute "burn out" next year. However, although I do have a good memory, it is short. Already thinking of the personal projects I can now pursue, (after this show!) and no doubt, I will be writing a similar "burn out" article next year. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Weighty Problem...

happens every time I visit the Post Office, and not just because it is right next door to the coffee shop. (although that can be a problem!) When shipping packages for delivery to customers in the U.S., it is a good idea to keep the packages to less than 250 grams...otherwise, the price of shipping "jumps" an extra $2.00...that has not been charged to the customer. A postage scale is a great thing to have...if you remember to use it before you head down to do the mailing. The "sisters" are almost down to a science, as far as keeping that weight down....unless one of them has munched on too much filling or is carrying something that is a little more weighted. However, today, two of the three items I shipped were faced with that 'over the 250 gram" problem, which I never would have considered because they contained ornaments and not the regular "sister" shipment. Shipping within Canada is even more expensive because it is based on the region to which you are shipping. The cost can vary quite a bit once an item leaves your own province. The problem is, of course, that the first item one ships is the most expensive. Adding items to an order does not double the cost, usually, and is the better "way to go", even when one is purchasing items.
Back to creating "Sisters" now....I have to pay my postage bill! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Looking for a 48 hour day!

It is becoming increasingly clear that I should have been spending a lot more time sewing through the long, lovely summer. While it is true that I manage best under pressure, I forget that I also tend to increase my personal quota for shows with each one that I, I am "drowning" in a sea of black and white at the moment. Forgive me if I "bloggeth" not....
Creating the "sisters" requires various "props", and one that I have been needing is something to represent a dentist. The name of the dentist at the moment is "Sister Phyllis Driller" while at my check up the other day, I proceeded to take out my phone to take a photo of a dental drill just as the dentist entered the room. Once I told him what and why I was doing this, he happily gave me my very own drill to take home in order to have a good example while sculpting the one that I actually need. (these were broken drills no longer in use) I will refrain from trying to do any dental fillings at home with this new item. Heaven knows, I have enough to do without adding this to the "mix"!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cookies for Santa!

"Guess who" will be here in two short months, and he will be expecting cookies! (or something more interesting!) Part of the show line is this little "Santa" plate which is personalized for the child, or children, to set out each season for "Santa" to know where his special snack is! Each one of these is hand-lettered, and illustrated, and I think that I can do them in my sleep now! The plates are currently available at the "Etsy" site.
As that date was typed, it makes one realize how much has to get done in the next two months...and that is not even the personal stuff! Preparing for the "One of a Kind" show in Toronto, which takes place from November 25th-December 5th. This year, "Nun of a Kind" will be exhibiting from November 25th-November 29th, the first five days of the show. The selection will feature all of the "Nun of a Kind" sisters, plus ornaments and a little "side" of Christmas characters. Back to work!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Kidlids" and some great models!

During the last two recent shows, the "Kidlids" have had the good fortune to be purchased by some fine looking little models. This little "pumpkin" is sporting a chenille "kidlid", and seemed very excited about it! :)
Wearing this lovely cotton "chapeau" is Samantha...and how cute is she! A perfect model who would make anything look good! Many new designs ready for the next show this weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Invasion of the Scarecrows!

One of my very favorite shows happens in a town which experiences a "Scarecrow Invasion" this time each year! The whole town decks itself out in these characters, and there is a parade, etc. to celebrate the fall season...and the scarecrows! In addition to this, there is a craft show called "The Apple Harvest Craft Show", run by volunteers who do a fantastic job of organizing the show, and manage to draw in thousands of people to visit the vendors...something that we all appreciate! A true testament to their efforts is that most vendors stay for years and years, as have I, and it is a great chance to meet up with customers and vendors from years past, and a good chance to "catch up". This show always sees a record number of the "Nun of a Kind" collection leaving the booth, and that is always a good sign for the season.
The first photo shows the approach to the town...beautiful Georgian Bay in full view! The sign in the next photo shows what will be greeting you in the town in terms of the scarecrows, and the following two show just a few of the creative ways that the scarecrows are staged throughout the town. A great weekend!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Required Reading...

Oprah tells me, yet again. My busiest time of year, when I should be abandoning any sort of reading except a quick magazine article, and I once again fall for the commandments from Oprah's book club. This new selection, which I just picked up, is "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen. I have no idea what it is about, but Oprah told me to read it, so that is what I will do. She has told me to read many other books along the way, and I have obeyed. I enjoyed many of them, and a few left me wondering why I was continuing to read when I had absolutely no understanding of said book. Not sure if it was the books or me, but a few of them were abandoned along the way...and I always finish a book, whether I like it or not, so this was breaking my own commandment. The jury is out on this "Oprah" selection...and I hope that I do not even think of starting it until a lot more of the "sisters" are ready for my upcoming shows. Think I will lend it to "Sister Paige Turner" first.....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shopping with....

"Sister Accumulata", the newest "sister" in the "order". She is the "sister" who loves to shop for various "nun-cessities", and carries her shopping bag, and her credit card from "Sister-bank". Her motto is "Let us pay"....and she is meant for all of the "sisters" in your life who enjoy retail therapy. Thanks to Jim from Wynnearts for the creation of her credit card....
At the shows at which the "sisters" are exhibited, there are often requests for those which would best suit a friend, relative, etc. and "Sister Accumulata" is a result of that request...a request that occurred many times before her actual creation. I once found little shopping bags which were part of a "Martha Stewart" line for her scrapbooking items. Although, for my purposes, they were somewhat pricey, I did purchase them. Of course, the next time that they were needed, this particular item was nowhere to be found! Again, it is the "findings" which I make myself that are easiest because I do not have to worry about other sources. "Sister's" shopping bag was created from a white envelope. A bit tricky, but I am sure with practice, this too will get easier!
I am sure that "Sister Accumulata" can be found frequenting major department stores looking for that "little black dress"....$$!
(Sister Accumulata is currently available in my "Etsy" shop....)

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Art in the Park"!

was a successful day for all involved, in that everyone had "their share" of the business, and the rain held out until the precise moment that the show was officially over. This meant that the packing up happened in the rain, but at least the show was a "draw" for many visitors. Many "sisters" left the "order", and need to be replaced for the upcoming shows. This is one of the shows at which I can bring other items in addition to the "Sisters" and Christmas, so there was quite a variety. The little hats that are at the "Sticks and Strings" shop on "Etsy" were a big hit...and I managed to give away many baby gifts to little ones with whom I have not had the time to connect! My attempt at having a selection of sock monkeys was successful, and the basket of those dwindled away as the day progressed as well. "Santa" plates were personalized for the little ones, and these will be a part of the first three shows to come.
Was great to see people that I haven't seen in quite a while...(Sue, Joan....we are still planning to have those luncheon dates!) plus students, friends, and co-workers. Did not get much of a chance to go and shop, nor did I get a chance to take pictures of the rest of the show, which I am sure would have been of interest. Thanks to Carol and Brenda for their help with the show...I would still be setting up if it were not for them!
The canopy is put away for another year, and I must say, I am glad that the worry of an outdoor show is over for another year. The organizers of this show did a great job, as usual, and I am sure that next year's plans are already underway!
The "sisters" will be off to visit Lisette and her friends this coming Saturday, and we are looking forward to our visit there. A little "home show"....should be interesting and fun!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First Show of the Season...

is fast approaching! It takes place this Saturday, September 11th, and is an outdoor show. A great event held by the Gallery in the Grove, and each year, seems to get a little better...if that is possible! The Gallery hosts about 100 vendors in our beautiful park. These days, the "spots" are assigned, and upon registration the morning of the show, or the evening before, one is able to partially or totally set up. I have done this particular show for years, and the signal that it was time to go and set up was when I looked out my diningroom window and saw flashlights in the park! A quick call to my friend who was the other "half" of our duo "back in the day", and we were on our way. We have been blessed with wonderful weather but for a few times...only one which required the show to close. It is a great event, and a one-day show, so after visiting with many customers, former students, and friends, the packing up begins, and the tent is put away for another year. I love this show, but I am very happy not to do other outdoor shows any longer. As it is, the "Weather Network" app on my ipod will be overworked this week as the forecast changes again and again. Those "Sisters" of mine are praying for great weather...and I think that they have some great connections! :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday....

on a Tuesday, and not wordless. Just a few shots of a hazy sunset at our local beach on a lovely August evening. Hard to believe that the summer is almost over, but weather-wise, a great one around here. Lots of beach-time, pool time, and reading on the deck. Now, reality is hitting....first show in a few weeks, so have been dedicating mornings to production, and still trying to get to a few of those special orders....
In the meantime, trying to find the balance between enjoying the days, and equally enjoying a rainy day (which has been very rare this summer) in order to justify not being outdoors, but rather, hard at work for the onslaught of the fall shows. Hoping that you all are enjoying these last days of summer!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shaken, not Stirred....

is the order of the day for "Sister Anita Martini"!
This "sister" is always at the mercy of finding just the right trim for the martini glass, and thankfully, these objects have been discovered!! Of course, this "sister" is enjoying cocktails/mocktails during this never-ending summer...(what a great summer it has been!!)
Curiously enough, this "sister" has found a great martini to share with guests, etc. Heaven forbid that a bottle of this be around without other people being present, because it is just too good!! There is a product available at our local liquor store called "Sinsations"...and it is a chocolate martini all ready to pour! Too easy, and delicious! A bottle of this goes a long way poured over ice in martini glasses, and saves buying all of the ingredients one would usually need to prepare a martini like that. Too delicious to have around, though, unless there are several people waiting for their own martini. Of course, it would be is chocolate!!
....and no, there is none in the house right now! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Little Sisters"...

added to the "Nun of a Kind" collection. Ornaments for the tree, or package toppers...
"Sister Holly Day", holding a wreath, the flying "Sister", "Spiritual Airlines", and "Sister Noel", the singing "sister"...soon to be added to the "Etsy" shop, sold individually, or as a group.
As usual, this item was the result of a special order, and prompted me to add to the ornament collection of my business. Coming soon...."O Brother"....monk ornaments, again, suggested by a special order...this one is still on the "drawing board"! :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sister Brigitte Bardough in the Kitchen....

and it isn't pretty! This recipe is likely very successful for some, but my effort has turned my kitchen into a sticky mess! Although the end result didn't quite turn out the way I planned, I am sure that the little people eating these "marshmallow treats" will enjoy them,..."nun" the less!
First saw this recipe done for a school bake sale I was having with my students. One of the parents brought these and they were a "hit". Of course, they were...they are practically all sugar...o.k., they are all sugar, when you consider the ingredients. However, every year my friend has a huge family reunion, and I usually contribute something to the event for the kids in the group. This year, I thought I would give that bake sale treat a try!
First problem....could not find the recipe anywhere! Typed the ingredients into "Google" and sure enough, several of that type of recipe appeared. Purchased the four ingredients...marshmallows, a bag of caramels, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. (rationalizing that this is a treat, not something that they would routinely eat!) The first step is to put the caramels, 1/2 cup butter, and the sweetened condensed milk in a double boiler....which I no longer have since I replaced my pots and pans! (found that out after I unwrapped all of the caramels.) Fashioned one out of two pots that I did have, and melted those ingredients together. Took a while, because it could so easily burn. Once this is done, marshmallows are dipped in the caramel mixture, and rolled in the rice krispies. For some reason, the ones that I saw at that bake sale looked a whole lot neater than the ones with which I ended up!
Placed the completed ones, such as they were, in a shallow dish, covered them, and put them in the fridge. Now, to deal with the kitchen and the caramel drippings from my efforts....and the rice krispie remnants that seem to be sticking all over the place....
Serves me right for giving sugar to other people's children....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New from the "Sis" List!

...these lovely handmade glass beads by "Lush Lampwork" on "Etsy". The green shades of beads are designed to fit "Pandora" bracelet systems. The Pandora bracelets are very popular at the moment, and offer a wide selection of silver, gold, and glass beads as well. However, this work by "Lush Lampwork" would be a lovely addition to any bracelet. They are available in purple, blue, and amber tones as well, and featured silver accents on each bead. I am promising myself the blue collection.....and the purple, amber and green as well! :) I can imagine these beads strung together on a silver chain as a necklace as well. Just beautiful!
Also featured is a brighter collection of beads with the silver accents. These are all handmade in her own little studio in Malvern, Worchestershire, U.K. and are shipped very reasonably to destinations in the U.S. and Canada.
Looking forward to placing my first order for these! Such a nice addition to the "Pandora" bracelets, but so nice on their own as well. Hope that she can make them fast enough for the "onslaught" of holiday sales!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nuns on the Run!

Just a quick entry to direct you to Priscilla Mae's blog posted recently. Briefly, it tells the tale of two nuns who were going to be sent away to a "retirement" residence of sorts, much to their dismay. These feisty ladies were having "nun" of that! Have a look at the article and the great picture to hear the whole story!
....and while you are visiting the blog, do have a look at the two new designs that Meg has been creating, posted in her latest entry. Love the new pillows, and the addition of the Eiffel tower prop gets me every time!

Friday, July 23, 2010


from "Bonunza"! This is the newest "Sister" added recently to the "order".
She wears her special hat, bandana, and carries her "lasso" for wrangling in lost souls!
Other "sisters" are waiting in the wings to be added to the group. However, somehow that summer weather, special events, and good books seem to be getting in the way!
....a special order is on the way for a great client, though....special ornaments for "brothers" instead of "sisters", Diane, if you are reading this, just know they are right by the machine, and should be ready for their "photo op" next week! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gardener Extraordinaire...

like "Sister Virginia Creeper", I am not. However, since many plants were planted back when I thought that I might have a desire (what was I thinking??) to be a gardener, all of those garden beds now need "keeping up". Getting rid of the "bindweed" is a daily event, and thanks to some recent rain, the plants that really needed water will survive. There is just one other issue with which to deal...another plant which must be banished from the yard. Instead, of banishing it, however, it has been "trained" to climb a little trellis in the yard against the fence. This "clematis" has, oddly enough, never bloomed this year, even though the other ones have. The vine grows and grows, and it is manipulated into the lattice for support, and there is anticipation for the blooms which will surely occur. However, this has proven to be a "rash" decision on my part. This lovely vine, as it turns out, appears now to be poison ivy! The upside is the lessons one learns from such a mistake...all of the ways that one might remedy the dreaded "itch" of the contact with the plant, and all of the "google" images that now tell me how to recognize poison ivy. (who knew that it grew as a vine??? ...well, I do now!)
Now, where did I put that calamine lotion....??

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lessons from the Nuns....

are easily found in this presentation of "Late Night Catechism". Thanks to Meg who sent along this link and reminded me about this great show, which I have yet to see! I believe that it is basically a "one-woman" show, and the idea is that "Sister" presents her lessons, all the while interacting with the audience, just as a Catholic Nun would have done "back in the day" (or perhaps even today???), chiding them for wearing skirts too short, taking away cellphones (all in good fun!) and having someone face the blackboard as punishment...perhaps for chewing gum. In addition to having some fun with this premise, there are lessons in catechism along the way, and in this clip, you will hear that questions are asked of "Sister", and she answers them in a factual, but humorous, way. This show has never been performed around my town, but I would love to see it someday. The "Nun of a Kind" figures, however, have made it into the hands of some of the people involved in this show as gifts for producers, etc.
Enjoy the video! (I have yet to master actually being able to have a "screen" ready to go on a blog like many others do. (like Sue, from "Barton Originals") Technically, I am inept. Pray for me!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Garden of "Weedin"

A quick post about the weed mentioned in a gardening post earlier on....the one that I have been "chasing" all through all of the gardens in the back yard. Mentioned it to people at the nursery, and they assured me that it was, in fact, morning glory, and that it seeds very easily. Wish it were that! Upon further research, and reading of many "posts" about this, have found out that this is "bind weed"....and it does just that! Wraps itself around plants, and if allowed to flower (and yes, it does look like morning glory!) then goes to seed, and spreads...everywhere! Various suggestions....spray, pull, don't pull, take out all of the plants and start again (are they kidding me??) and finally, this last bit of advice, which I am taking to heart.
quoted from a gardening post by someone named "Michelle"...however, I might change out the "beer" part of the method to "wine".

I use the organic and coffee approach.
In the morning, drink coffee, pull bind weed.
In the evening, drink beer, pull bind weed.
The means justify the end. :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stylin' Angels....

complete with lips, and toenails, and cleavage...oh my! Proves that even fancy angels, with their makeup, and daring clothing, can be admitted through the "pearly gates".
This little angel is completely soft-sculpted, and features a taffeta gown, ruby red lips, and painted toenails.
This little angel does not make it to many shows, simply because of the time involved to create each one. The angels that have been exhibited have been called "Cheeky Cherubs", "Floosie Fairies", and "Heavenly Hotties". I am sure that there are several other names that could be applied! They fly off at each show because they are great as an ornament, or hanging from light fixtures, etc. to add that little conversation piece for friends who might appreciate having a non-traditional angel in their collection! Currently available in my "Etsy" shop in a "duo pack"....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reverend Mother of Purl recommends....

this great "yarn bowl" from StudioElan for those wandering balls of yarn! Great gift for the knitter in your family, to prevent chasing balls of wool that have traveled under the sofa, chair, etc. while you work! ( I speak from experience!) Just discovered this great item on IndieNorth which showcases Canadian artisans.
Quoting from the site....."Thread the yarn through the hole if you are committed to the project or use the hook slot if you might want to change yarn without cutting. The hook and hole are very smooth to avoid snagging on precious fibers. The top of the bowl tapers in to prevent the ball from hopping out. The bowl is bottom heavy to keep it from wandering. And last but not least, the bottom is very smooth to protect your floors. What more could you ask for?"
Indeed! A great item for that knitter on your list....that is why it has made it to the "Sis" list of great things to buy! I am seeing this as a great choice for some of my friends..and I never buy one of anything for them without buying one for me! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Whether to weather the weather....

Part of being in this business is doing art/craft shows, where you have a chance to meet customers "face to face", and enjoy this interaction. This time of year, many of the successful shows are outdoors....and cause the exhibitor to constantly refer to the "Weather Channel" the week of the show, praying for a favorable forecast.
I have attended a wonderful show as an exhibitor for many years, but the last few years, I have not applied, simply because of the weather "drama" that might occur. We have had wonderful weather, and sunny skies for most of the years. Occasionally, there have been big deal....and at times, there has been horrific weather that causes a huge "mess" in terms of mud, puddles, keeping wares from harm's way, but still manages to draw those people who enjoy the show. This year was one of those years...but worse. Thankfully, Saturday was a great day for my friends who were exhibiting....big crowds, great weather, and good sales. As I worked on my yard chores here at home, I was wishing that I had been there, too, at least as a buyer. However, Saturday night proved to be an evening of warnings of extreme weather. Nobody would have been in the park at that time, and vendors had been warned about the possibility of severe weather. The result that this weather caused the show to be cancelled the next day, and organizers and vendors struggled with the problems that remained, mostly the damage caused by wind and rain. A difficult situation for everyone...but thankfully, they had had record crowds the day before, and a successful show. Still, a shame for vendors and organizers alike.
Follow this link to see the aftermath of the storm....also, readers of this particular newspaper have sent in photos as well, so be sure to have a look at those. Hoping that vendors did not suffer too much damage, and that the remaining summer events remain "weather-drama" free!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


are keeping me away from creating lately....beautiful weather, the gardening, reading good books on the deck...just too nice to be working in my workroom!
The unusually warm weather has forced everything to bloom at once, it seems. By the time the trimming, etc. is finished in one area of the yard, it seems that it is ready to start all over again at the beginning! "Chasing" a particular weed right now, which grows like a vine, and looks like a morning glory, if it is allowed to remain in the garden that long. It has climbed every type of flower, flowering shrub, structure, in the gardens, and could be the source of every morning "workout" in itself! Right now, this "gardener" is determined to exhile this weed, but likely by the end of July, it is the weed that will win!
As for I dare say that I need a rainy day? :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Special" angel....

In an effort to be ready for the fall shows, I have been trying to make up items that are part of the "line". This little angel ornament is one of the many ornaments that are made each year, but has a very special connection. The proceeds from the sale of these angels is directed to the "Victorian Order of Nurses" for their special projects. It was created for quite another reason. A client/co-worker was stricken with a terminal disease, and was being cared for in her home. This little angel was created for her, just to place in a little card with "thinking of you" wishes, because this lady collected angels, and had collected many of ours through the years. I was told that she hung the angel from her I.V. "drip" pole, and that this angel was with her during her illness. When she passed away, there was a note in the local paper from the family about all of the special floral bouquets, gifts, etc. that had been sent to her. Wishing that we had sent something more substantial than the ornament and our little "Fullabean" angel (from my friend and former partner in this work), it was not until my friend went to the visitation that we realized the significance of this little angel. This little ornament was in Evelyn's hands, and it with her still. Never underestimate the worth of whatever gift is given...we did not realize how important this was to Evelyn.
That year, at our annual open house, we filled a Christmas tree with one hundred ornaments, and raised $500.00 for the organization that had helped Evelyn in her time of need. Her name is on a special plaque because, although we had no idea, it was a year that the V.O.N. was trying to raise $500.00 from various businesses in the area for the 100th anniversary of the V.O.N.
So, along with all of these business names, Evelyn's name stands with them, for her unintended part in helping to raise the needed funds. We went on to sell angels for several years after that, in memory of Evelyn, and donations were made to two different branches of the nursing organization.
Getting this new "host" of angels ready for the season will hopefully help once again!
"Evelyn's Angel" is available at shows throughout the fall season, as well at the "Etsy" site, and at the "Nun of a Kind" site.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sister Holy Matrimony...

the wedding planner, has been attending wedding showers as "'tis the season!" A few weddings coming up, so June weddings mean May showers...
One of the showers recently attended had a unique theme. All of the guests were asked to bring items to suit a particular month. We were given lots of "notice" because the invitations to the shower were sent out a few months early. My month was October, and because of my fall craft show line, I was able to incorporate some of the items I create. This new bride hosts a Hallowe'en party each year, so that was the theme I chose, rather than "fall" or "Thanksgiving" (Canadian Thanksgiving is in October....) It was fun trying to find items to "go" with the items I knew that I was going to make for the oval ceramicware casserole (the base for the gift), some matching mini-bakers for small loaves, condiments, etc., black and white tea towels, some "Hallowe'en" plates, and the handcrafted items, soft-sculptured pumpkins (one has a face!), a "Fullabean" witch, and some "candy corn" diva dishcloths in the typical colors. All wrapped up in my favorite way to wrap....cellophane wrap, with "Hallowe'en" cookie cutters tied to the raffia ribbon!
Even though it was fun to put the gift together, it was even more fun to see what people came up with for the other months...the favorite being "June"...this was a group gift and they chose stainless mixing bowls, (nested), a strawberry dish that somehow was a huller, slicer, etc. all in one, martini glasses, strawberry vodka, and recipes for strawberry martinis. The "summer" months gifted a variety of items...coolers for the patio, dishes, chairs, etc. and the people who managed to have a "holiday" month had fun with their choices as well. It was as much fun to watch the presents being opened as being the one who received them! (well, almost...come to think of it, all my stuff needs anniversary shower might be in order!:)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

No personal thoughts to add, other than wishing all "Mother Superiors" everywhere a great day and wanting to share some thoughts that came my way by email this past week....

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back
to normal after you've had a baby..... somebody
doesn't know that once you're a mother,

'normal' is history.
* * *
Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by
instinct ... somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

* * *
Somebody said being a mother is boring .....
somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.
Somebody said if you're a'good' mother,

your child will 'turn out good'....

somebody thinks a child comes with
directions and a guarantee.
* * *
Somebody said you don't need an education to be a
mother.... somebody never helped a fourth grader
with his math.
* * *
Somebody said you can't love the second child as
much as you love the first ... somebody doesn't
have two
or three children.
* * *
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother
is labor and delivery....

somebody never watched her 'baby' get on the bus

for the first day of kindergarten ...
or on a plane headed for military 'boot camp.'
* * *
Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her
child gets married....somebody doesn't know that
marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a
mother's heartstrings.
* * *
Somebody said a mother's job is done when
her last child leaves home.....

somebody never had grandchildren.
* * *
Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so
you don't need to tell her....
somebody isn't a mother.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Some Very "Punny" Sisters!

Janet and Greta Podleski are two very talented, funny, and creative sisters...they wrote a cookbook quite a few years ago which "started it all" for them..."Looneyspoons". They went on to create another called "Crazy Plates", and their latest effort is called "Eat, Shrink and Be Merry". I have enjoyed their cookbooks, not only because the recipes are great, but because they are so entertaining! Full of puns in their titles, and humor aside, each page also has great nutritional information as to how to change one's habits for more nutritional ones. Because of our common "love" of puns, I have been in contact with these great sisters a few times now, and have their permission to share a recipe with you!
Chapter titles such as "Beyond Beleaf" (salads), "Poultry in Motion", "A Chorus Loin", etc. , indicate an idea of what you are "in for" with the individual recipes names! The whole idea, though, that you can make something very tasty, and leave out, lessen, or substitute ingredients which are more health-beneficial, is the real beauty of the books. For a summer barbeque last year, I made a salad from the book, and it was a real "hit" because it reminded one of the more calorie-laden version from a while ago, and yet was every bit as flavorful! Plus, this particular one looked so nice because it was layered. (when it comes to my own cooking, it is all "smoke and mirrors"...I try to make anything look better than it might taste...but won on both counts with this recipe!)

"Titanic Salad with Iceberg Lettuce"
Dressing....1 1/2 cups light mayonnaise (not fat free)
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Salad.... 1 large head iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups very thinly sliced baby carrots
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup packed shredded light medium or old (sharp) cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

* to make the dressing, whisk together all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
* To assemble salad, tear (don't chop) the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and spread evenly in serving dish. (use a dish that is about 9x12 inches in size and at least 3 1/2 inches deep. A standard glass lasagna dish is too shallow) Top lettuce with carrots, celery, red pepper peans, bacon, and chicken , in that order.
*Spread dressing evenly over chicken layer and spread to edges, like you are icing a cake. Sprinkle cheese over dressing and top with green onions.
*Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.

Greta and Janet add that iceberg lettuce, although not as nutritional as other types, is the one needed here for this type of salad. Also, they suggest that a rotisserie chicken cut up works well for the chicken needed.
Personal note: I had a large deep salad bowl which I used for this salad, and added a few extra lettuce layers to make the salad a little bit deeper. Also, since my version was for a barbeque, I left out the chicken so that this would be more of a sidedish salad than a meal salad.

Thanks to Greta and Janet for allowing me to share this recipe! Others you might want to "check out" from this book are "Oinkers Away", a great navy bean and turkey bacon soup, "Spud Light", a potato dish, and "Feast from the East", an Asian beef noodle salad. Actually, like me, you may want to try all of them. (and remember, this comes from someone who thinks that kitchens are for resale purposes only!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010


shows....not really a fan! However, one type of show has me "hooked", and that is the type of show which showcases businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors, new ideas, etc. I live vicariously through these people who may find/not find success with their given idea. Absolutely love our Canadian show, "The Dragon's Den", on our CBC network, and the U.S. show, "Shark Tank", which has the same type of format....people "pitching" their ideas to hugely successful business people, in hopes of developing the "next big thing". Sadly, all that is available now are re-runs of these shows (which I still watch!!).
"Cupcake Girls" to the rescue! Just when I thought that there would be nothing in this "genre" to watch while I work away at my own "stuff", we are able to view the business ventures of two young ladies who went into business together, and "broke" many business "rules" to do so. They own a very successful cupcake company (are they bakers? No! They hire people who are bakers....) selling the coolest looking cupcakes...and that is it! That is the concept, and judging by the number of stores that they now run in the Vancouver area, that is all they need! If you are not able to view this show in your area, there are episodes available on line. Very inspirational, and thankfully, they are successful in their efforts.
Just like "velcro", "google", "Mrs. Fields", etc., it makes me wonder once again....why didn't I think of that?? :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baseball Season...

and "Sister Runnata" is ready! As a matter of fact, she has been running out of the "Nun of a Kind" shops lately, probably due to the beginning of the baseball season, and is serving as a source of "hope" for given teams.
Interestingly enough, there was an excerpt on "Sunday Morning" today about a special Sister who, along with the members of her convent, "The Sisters of the Holy Spirit", bake cookies for their favorite team, "The Cleveland Indians", as a way to help cheer them on. This began in 1984, and has developed into an online business for the nuns, with the profits going to the support of a home for older adults. Sister Assumpta is well known at the games, and even had her own baseball card! You can find the cookies, called "Nun Better", at the Monastery Greetings site.
I am thinking that "Sister Runnata" might have to grace the cookie-baking kitchen of these sisters to help them cheer for their favorite team!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Flying high...

like "Sister Skye Rider" is not something that this "sister" used to like to do....would avoid any voyage that involved travel by air with any excuse possible. This had to change when travel across the country to visit a family member made it necessary...or travel by car for weeks.
...and like a miracle, the whole experience became not so scary, manageable and dare I Other than being cramped with two other people in the seats that I can afford (will I ever travel business class? Likely not...), the whole miracle of being able to get across the country or from one to another in such a short time is amazing to me now!
Lessons in air travel learned this past trip were *travel light and you won't have to pay for baggage (although that is changing on some airlines)
*If you can't travel with carry-on, at least try to get it down to one suitcase. (we didn't....)
* try not to sit near people with babies (you can't predict this, and even though babies are crying, they are still this really isn't an issue for some of us!)
....and here is my big philosophical/meteorological statement....every day is sunny if you can just get past the clouds! (and if that appears as a title for a self-help book someday, remember where you heard it first!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday with Martha

Have not watched "Martha Stewart" in quite a while....not enough time, or total feelings of inadequacy while watching her many talents...not sure what my excuse would be! However, while tidying up my sewing room/studio today, I managed to see a few segments. Today, Martha was making crepes. Of course, her creation using these crepes was just usual.
I was reminded of one of my "bright" ideas to have my students host a "cafe" and serve crepes to the entire school population. They would bring in the fillings, etc. and I, along with some "volunteers", would make the required crepes....about three hundred. I talked my book club friends into helping me make these. Actually, one of my friends in the book club told me that she would teach me how to make them. (forgot to tell you that I didn't really know how to make them!) In any case, we did manage to make one hundred that evening. (note to self: do not allow your volunteers to have wine before a given task is completed.) I spent the following weekend making the other two hundred crepes myself for that event....and have never made them again!
The event, however, was a great success. It would not matter how good the crepes are...whenever food is served at school, it is always a success!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Great Shopping....

at the "One of a Kind" Spring Show and Sale....being held right now at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. A great opportunity to see artisans from across Canada, exhibiting clothing, furniture, jewelry, accessories, gourmet food products, etc.
Had a wonderful time at this show last year, and hope to get there again this year. It is great to be able to see all of the vendors that one doesn't have the time to see when exhibiting at the same show....just isn't time to see everyone and all of the fine work represented.
While there, do stop by "Rootham's Gourmet" to pick up treats for entertaining, and hostess gifts. Lots of fine sampling going on there!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baby Gaga....

worn by this little "darling"! It is so nice to have a "model" to sport these creations. This photo was sent to me by Miss Molly's grandmother, and I was so happy to have such a "top model" wearing a "Baby Gaga" design!
I see a wardrobe of hats coming her way, in hopes that each one is photographed for the site.
I wonder how this model would look in a habit for the "Nun of a Kind" site?? :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Cleaning...

with "Sister Immaculata"! That is what I should be doing, when in fact, the most spring-cleaning being accomplished is that on my computer! How did the mail file get over 300 messages that need to be deleted? (and that is just one mailbox?) The photo file could be stripped of all of the blurry photos, photos of sidewalks, (how did that happen?), and duplicated of every file I have ever saved. The "documents" file could lose the report card comments filed through the years, the jokes I thought were just too good not to save, etc. The "Bookmarks" file is just ridiculous! So, you see, there is far too much cleaning right here at my desktop to possibly consider cleaning closets, ovens, cupboards, cabinets, etc. Besides, "Sister Immaculata" is here...I will leave all of that in her capable hands!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wish I were...

a photographer, like "Sister Filmore". I have purchased a light box, a number of "natural light" lamps, set up a little studio in my office, watched several tutorials online, and still do not like to have to take new pictures. However, today it is overcast, and I am outside, trying to re-take some photos for my "Etsy" shop, and for a digital photo frame for shows. Somehow, I found my way to the office again to type a blog entry....coincidence? I think not. I will do anything to avoid this task....
Now, back to the "Sisters"...they are freezing outside waiting for me!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sister Patty O'Lantern....

wishing everyone out there a "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" ....
The weather is wonderful here, and the pubs and patios will likely be busy with all of the Irish (and who isn't Irish on St. Patrick's day??) celebrations. Lots of green beverages in the future of many....but "Sister" here will be sipping on her green tea!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Sister" shop....

It had to happen! I was spending so much time with yarn that it became necessary to open a new shop at "Etsy" to feature items from these efforts. (there are only so many babies in my life to "gift"!) It was also an attempt to keep the "Nun of a Kind" site at "Etsy" free of too much clutter. The "sisters" were feeling a little territorial of their space!
The new shop, currently not very well "stocked", simply because of the photo-taking, uploading, etc. that has yet to take place, is "Sticks and Strings" because....well, everything in it will be made with some sort of "stick" or "string"! The shop will carry the little "chapeaux" that are currently being made out of cotton yarn, and other various items that are knit or crocheted.
Orders for special "sisters" are also being created at the machine. New photos await for this shop as well!
.....and I have plans to have my little nephew model all of the hats for me before he gets too old and realizes that most of them are for girls!

Monday, March 8, 2010

"The Sisterhood of the Winter Coats"....

I was sent a great photo of some lovely ladies who live in Walker, Minnesota. Unfortunately, I am not able to share this with you because, for some reason, the scanned picture that they sent me is not able to be "uploaded" at the moment. Will modify this if I am able to figure it out! In any case, Ruth, from Minnesota, called me to add another "Sister Mary Christmas", the ornament, to a previous order, and told me her story....Ruth is a para-professional at an elementary school in Minnesota, and often has to spend time supervising students out on the schoolyard. (brrrr! I am thinking it must be very cold in Minnesota!) Ruth and her co-worker decided that, because they both happened to all be wearing long black coats, they looked as though they were wearing habits like nuns! They proceeded to come up with names for each other, and Ruth, because she had the most experience, was named "Mother Superior". Two more co-workers joined them the following fall season, and also happened to be wearing long, dark coats. The ladies decided that they would join the "order", and each took their special names...."Sister Mary Margaret", "Mother Superior", "Sister Virginia", and "Sister Bertrille"...(this woman had loved "The Flying Nun" as a child....)
Ruth, consequently, found the "Nun of a Kind" website, and ordered ornaments for all of the honorary "sisters", added pin-backs to each of them, and fashioned them into decorative pins for the ladies to wear on their coats. A friend of hers also embroidered the "nun names" on the ornaments for her.
Always fun to hear the stories behind the purchases, and whenever I am making more ornaments, I will be thinking of these ladies "on duty" with their long dark coats, and their special pins. I just hope that the wind doesn't "catch" "Sister Bertrille"! It could be a "nun stop" flight! :)

Friday, March 5, 2010


is a fabulous musical which features....of course....the lovely "sisters" in black and white. I have had the great good fortune to see many of the versions of these plays, as the Sisters work their way from one disaster at their convent to another. These plays, whether locally produced by community theatre, or by professional players, feature comedic antics performed by the "sister" actors. As a bonus, along with the comedy, there are some great songs included in each play, and strong voices. I think that the spirit of "Lucy Ricardo" lives on in these performances by the "sisters" must be great fun to be involved!
Happily, although not acting or singing in those plays, I have to say that I have been "involved" in several productions along the way because there have been requests for the "sisters" of "Nun of a Kind" to be gifts for the actors at the end of the performances. Usually, when four or five of the "sisters" are to be shipped off, it is because someone found these "on line" and wished to purchase little momentos for the actors. A nice way for me to be involved...and I don't even have to "break a leg"!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The "Sisterhood" is featured.....

in a great blog entry by Meg of "Priscilla Mae et al", the creator of those great handpainted accents mentioned earlier this year. I love seeing "Sister Gaye Paree", created for Meg as a special order, in her new "abode" by the "Eiffel Tower" in her home. (strange coincidence...I have the same Eiffel tower in my home! I KNEW that we must be "sisters" of some sort!)
While you are visiting Meg's blog, look back at some of her photos of her recent trip to Paris. It will make you want to call your travel agency!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Update on video mentioned...

in my last post. As amazing as it was, it has been removed from "YouTube" by NBC. Hope that you had the chance to see it before it was removed! Thanks to Sue for the "heads up" on its removal!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Lesson about Canada....

Wanted to share with you a video, which was shown at the beginning of the Olympic games, in which Tom Brokaw explains Canada to the American public. The perception often is that you have to wear a parka, boots, and hats the minute you arrive in Canada...any time of year. This video teaches some of the true facts about "The Great White North" and even a seasoned Canadian is able to learn a lot from this presentation. Enjoy!

NOTE: As mentioned in the next post, this video has been removed from "YouTube" by NBC. Hopefully, it will reappear (perhaps on the NBC site?) so that you will be able to view it....)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympic Event....with a hook....

I have been drawn to watching these Olympic events this year like no other. Watched the opening ceremonies from beginning to end, skating competitions, hockey games, ski competitions, etc. and like most others, am cheering for our national athletes. However, not one to just watch something without doing something as well, I have been crocheting these darling little hats...first for some gifts, and then, look what happened!! It got away on me! I have little beanies, hairbands, visor caps, and have enjoyed seeing all of the colors "work up".
The photo on the left (and one never knows how this is going to end up "published"....this "blogger" format sometimes changes what I view to be the finished product as far as the blog is concerned) shows the stack of hats that have been completed. All of the little people I know will be getting these!....and perhaps, a few will end up on the "Etsy" website, just to keep me in yarn! Wonder what medal I will be receiving.... likely the "carpal tunnel award"....:)