Monday, November 11, 2019

A Suggestion Taken.....

I have mentioned before about a knitting retreat, I help plan with 7 other women. It's held every April at The Fern Resort in Orillia ON. We start working on it in September and try to have the classes up on the website by the end of November.

Everyone else has a pretty clear idea of what they want to teach or should teach based on the comments from about 75 attendees. Well, everyone except me. I'm usually somewhere out in the ether and have a few ideas, none of which bear any relation to what people want, what their capabilities are, or what can be achieved in 2.5 hours. (Sigh)

Blocking with a little help from a friend

So, when the group ruled out small decorated granny squares that could be worn as pendants or brooches, I was stuck. Someone suggested that I teach a beginner lace class, but teach it using thicker yarn, rather than lace weight. OK, yes I could maybe find some DK yarn at the bottom of my lace stash and since I needed a small neck warmer anyway, I could work a swatch in a small lace motif, which could then be extended into a scarf, table runner,  ....... you know, something long and thin and decorative.

At first I resisted the idea of doing lace in thick yarn - pedestrian to the point of being Philistine!! However, I did understand the logic of a beginner actually seeing how to create the necessary stitches. Even with glasses lace weight can be a challenge to see how the stitches are actually worked. I knit a sample. In fact I knit a whole neck warmer, with 10 repeats of the lace motif. I then knit a small square of just one repeat, thinking that, if a student wasn't up for knitting the entire scarf, they could at least complete one motif and frame it!!

However, I couldn't leave well enough alone - never have, never will. I had to decorate, adorn and expand the entire project into what I like to think is something a little closer to "Art." Here is what I did.

1. I used duplicate stitch and outlined the strong stitch border of the leaf in gold DK yarn.
2. I then used lace weight yarn in mauve and followed a stitch line between the knit stitches inside the leaf,
3. I added a gold bead to every other stitch in the bottom spine of the leaf. I then added flowers or bushes with an embroidered Lazy Daisy stitch on each side of the leaf.
4. I added more beads both large - #6 and small #10 to balance out the motif.
5. I added sun (or wind) depending on how you interpret it to the top left corner.

6. I knotted a small piece of I-cord in lace weight mauve to the right corner to suggest a bird.
7. I added beads to both these motifs.
8. Finally I decided to close the bottom of the leaf with duplicate stitch. Now it's a tree.
9. I will sew it to a backing of wool felt. In fact maybe two backings - gold and mauve and frame it.

This would never have happened, if I hadn't been forced out of my comfort zone and made to work in DK yarn rather than lace weight.

Listen to what you don't want to hear. It may lead you into another space.  I am now working on a second piece in chunky yarn and have been toying with the idea of using some very large yarn. This would be the yarn used for large arm knitting - no needles, just making the stitches with your hands and arms. I see a mammoth wall hanging with funky beads and maybe some tassels worked in decorative cloth...hmmmm.

Have a creative day!!

Friday, November 01, 2019

Working Through The List.....

I have a list of "things to do." These are long term projects, such as, writing a novel, creating some Art, finishing a fair isle sweater that I started a long time ago, etc, etc. There are, of course, always more important things to do before doing the really important things - like, tending to a sick cat, dealing with water in the basement, real work, housework, flu shots, etc, etc.

Knitted Leaf Pendant

Well, I do have to pat myself on the back every once in a while, as I work through my list and actually get a few of the major projects done!! Here they are -

1. I have built and launched a new website for Infiknit - I am very pleased to have been able to book the ".ca" ending and to have worked out most of the bugs, that haunt wordpress, myself. I did pay for some valuable advice from a knitter and webmaster. It's important to know what to do, when you don't know everything :)

Irish Crochet Pendant - beaded

2. I am almost fluent in "instagram." That is I am posting regularly to the Yoso (Yarnover Sleepover) page on FB and to the Yoso group on FB, as well as to the Yoso Instagram page. Now to post more for Infiknit on Instagram and also Felted Fibre.

3. I have deferred my slow clothing projects to the Spring. Both outfits "need something" and I haven't found the right pieces yet.

Leaf Collage in progress

4. I have finally done some knitted Art and some knitted wearable Art. For sometime now I have wanted to "celebrate" needlework, by making collages with knitted and/or crocheted motifs. The pictures here are the beginning of what could be a long journey. The wearable Art are pendants with lace stitches, beaded and embroidered. The collage is more lace stitches embroidered with sparkly thread, found at the Dollar store. I'd also like to do a flower collage with lace motifs, knit in the round and embellished. The white flower pendant is actually some Irish crochet beaded and stitched - Oh the thrill of some cheap sparkly thread!!

Now where is that Fair isle sweater!!

Friday, October 04, 2019

Tone it down....

Our writing word for today is "tone." It might be one of the most understated words in the English language. Tone means everything, especially in language. The tone of a phrase, the tone of a meeting, something said one way, can mean the exact opposite said another way.

The tone of one's voice can turn people off, just as easily as it can turn people on. How many times have you left a speaker, because of a strident voice and how many times have we sought out a person, just to hear the rhythm and cadence of their voice. Evangelists, politicians, great speakers in general, win people to their way of thinking, not so much by what they say, but how they say it.

I'm reading a book now, Captain Corelli's Mandolin. I had trouble at first "getting into the book." It was a little dry. The setting - a greek island under Italian occupation during the second world war - was not actually what I had intended to read, but it was recommended. What hooked me on the book, though, was its tone. It is elevated. In fact, halfway through the novel, I have a list of 15 words that I have never even heard of (of which I have never heard). Here are some of them, with definitions -

opprobrium - harsh criticism or censure.
recondite - obscure
pellucid - easily understood
coruscating - brilliant or scathing
corybantic - wild, frenzied
caryatid - stone carving of a draped woman as a pillar or column

Many of the other words were related to trades or technical terms, but, since the book, uses a lot of metaphor - comparing a woman to a mandolin, for example - these would be appropriate. I have said before, I am a wordsmith. I love words either on their own or in combinations.

I can now say of the long suffering women I have met, "She was indeed caryatidic. Draped in a mantel of stony resistance, her face grey under the burden of duty, she continued to support the institution."

I'll leave - stygian - relating to the river Styx, for another day. I also love mythology!!

The picture? The best I could do for a caryatid.


Our writing word for today is "muse." It's my offering and it came to mind because my creative muse has been hiding somewhere and I can seem to find her. I thought that maybe, if I wrote a post about a creative muse, she'd come out and prove me wrong. She's an antagonistic sort of muse - go figure!!

Art whether it be writing, drawing, needlework, photography....the list goes on...has been eluding me these days. I know I have too many irons in the fire. Well, I can't write my book because I need to find a particular reference book, which is $40.00 on Amazon (down from $60.00) and I'm still too cheap to pay that amount. I've tried ordering it from the library, but, since it isn't in their collection, I had to fill out 2 request forms to retrieve it from someone else's system. I still haven't heard. And I missed the sale at the Toronto Reference Library because I was recovering from my shingles shot. Something, there is, that doesn't like "creativity."

I haven't been drawing either. It takes me a long time to complete a pencil drawing and in my agitated state, I don't seem to be able to sit long enough to get anything started let alone finished. Also, I often think, when I'm about to pick up pad and pencil, that I should be doing something more important, such as, cleaning the bathroom :(

Don't even get me started on needlework. I have a fair isle sweater on the go. Two dresses to finish. Several other dresses to start and I should be doing lots of needle felting, as well as, creating some crocheted jewellery for a class - sigh! Maybe, if I emptied out my project box, I'd find my muse weeping at the bottom of it!!

Actually, I have been cleaning. It's what I do when I can't create. I re-did the emergency phone number list on the fridge and tidied up the fridge magnets. I cleaned out the odds and ends drawer and sorted my spice cupboard.  I even went as far as deciding to get a new address book. Who has an address book these days, anyway? Well I do. Yes, I could lose my phone and then I would lose contact with all the people who keep me tethered to this earth.

I am now on a quest for paper refills for a leather address book I bought 40 years ago from Grand and Toy. It was made in Holland and it probably doesn't exist anymore. I may have to make those refills myself. Usually when I start cleaning, I get very bored and find a diversion - read creative project. I guess, I'm on the right track. I also read a post from BrainPickings, that has inspired me. And last night I posted to Instagram with this picture of a tomato from the garden. Something there is that likes a red-hot snowman to keep the iceman at bay!!

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Who Would Have Thought.....

Who would have thought that building a website could be that complicated? Well, certainly not me!! OK, I’ve had a website since 1996. In fact, I’ve had several websites over the years, when products were just listed for viewing and shopping carts weren’t a necessity. I actually built a few of these sites, myself, using basic HTML and other designers build a few more, to show them as examples of their work.
Thoughts on the complexity of life!
Things, as always, became more sophisticated (read complicated) and I needed a shopping cart. I found an inexpensive web designer who created a site, in something called, oscommerce. I loved it! Unfortunately this designer decided to go back home, sigh! I then went on-line to look for another designer – very scary. I found a woman with an Australian accent, who was born in Russia and lived in Brooklyn. What could possibly go wrong!!
Well, her initial quote was $2,000.00 to $3,000.00. The site ended up costing me $7,000.00 and I still had to load all the products back in, because – you guessed it – something went wrong. Sigh! Now, I have had this site for 11 years, so, in spite of some “quirks,” it has worked for the most part.
Enter Google. Google has decided to make the world, or a least the cyber world, a better place. It has demanded that all sites have a security certificate. I have always had a security certificate, but Google has decided it doesn’t like my oscommerce site for, what I am told is, “old code.” Time to build another site.
Fortunately I had been working on a WordPress site for sometime now and all I had to do was finish it. Sounds simple enough. “Simplicity, thy name is not code!” However, once mastered, code, as WordPress likes to say, can be poetry. In an earlier life, I taught English in High School. Poetry can come back to haunt you, as in a favourite line from e.e.cummings – “Pity this busy monster manunkind, not.”
And in case you wanted the entire poem – 
pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
                          A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

E. E. Cummings

Well, I’m not about to go next door, just yet. Here is our new site - - and I plan to add e-patterns from Queen Anne’s Lace, downloadable stencils for needle felting and some other “stuff,” as it becomes available.
Have an awesome day!!

Saturday, August 17, 2019


Our writing word for a while now has been "stripes." I don't know why it has taken me so long to get a post together. I think that even in gorgeous summer weather people struggle with priorities. What needs to be done, what one wants done, what one would like to be doing...the list goes on.

Actually, a good deal of my time has been spent propping up tomato plants in the garden, weeding and generally planning the garden for next year to minimize #gardenfails!! Yes, there is a twitter group (or maybe it's Instagram) where you can list your garden fails!! Roundup has come to mind a few times this season.

I think that I should list myself as an #instagramfail. I have not been able to find a "theme" for posting on Instagram that is both entertaining and promoting (my felting products.) It will come, I know, but it hasn't yet!!

I have spent too many evenings re-watching one whole series of Midsomer Murders. There's something to be said about "mild cognitive impairment." I didn't remember much from the first time I watched the series. Then, of course, there was the new series to watch and since I didn't manage to get out of Netficks fast enough, I watched the very first episode for the third time!!

Now, to list the positives!!
1. I did get two letters written to two very good friends in England, whom I lived with (with whom I lived) 50 years ago!!
2. I am 90% there with my dresses made from "Sally Ann" scarf finds. Now to make the last two dresses!!
3. 80% of my garden is weed free. I'm not sure that I'll get the other 20% done this year.
4. I have begun to think of the thorough cleaning of the house. (Please note that it's a "begun to think" and hasn't started yet.)
5. I have been working a bit more on Infiknit and sales have been maintaining themselves over last year.
6. Now that Midsomer Murders has been watched, I'm back to reading my book and adding to the list of books I want to read!!
7. Got my final Shingles shot and am finally better. I had a reaction with the first one and you guessed it, a reaction to the second one four months later.

Clearly, I'm measuring life in mini-steps these days. I'm not striding through with great swathes of great endeavours completed, partially worked on or even begun. Sigh!

Now where are the stripes?
Well, I sewed a lot of seams (stripes) and ironed out a lot of creases (stripes) with my dress adventure. I passed a significant birthday and have decided to accept wrinkles (stripes) at least for the moment, until I win the lottery and can get a facelift. I have been mentally planning to knit a cardigan in striped garter stitch from leftover yarn following a barcode design - lots of stripes.

The pictures? Some surreal pictures of stripes. Yes, the iceman cometh!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Our writing word for today is "card." It's my suggestion, because last week was a week of "cards."

First my husband finally got a Presto card. Our local transit system, the TTC, is phasing out money and tokens in favour of electronic cards that you top-up on-line and then use to board trains and buses, Oh, yes, and streetcars. We are still one of the few cities in North America that has genuine electric powered streetcars!!

Secondly, I also, finally, got a library card. Well, over the years I have had one or two, but they were the old cardboard ones with no on-line access. My new card is electronic and lets me do self check-out and return of books. I also have an on-line account, which lets me order books that are not available at my library. When the books come in, I am sent an e-mail and given a week to pick them up!! This is so civilized!!

However, the system is not entirely flawless. I was notified a day or so after I had set up my account that a book I had ordered, "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist," was in. Well, it turns out it wasn't. Somehow, in my account was a request for a film on disc. I was so disappointed that it wasn't my book, that I didn't even take a look at the title of the film. Wait a minute, maybe I should have. Perhaps the cosmos was trying to tell me something? Now I will never know what it was.

Anyway, the librarian sorted it out, however, I'm still waiting for my book. I'm sure it will come in, eventually, because I have two other books in mind to order. One is old and maybe out of print - It's about $60.00 on Amazon and the other is very new and about $40.00 in Indigo.

The whole idea of using the library is not only to save money but also to stop stockpiling books!!

The pictures? I have used my library card. I have yet to use my presto card!!

Have an enriched day!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

I am committed...

Our writing word for today is "commit." It reminds me that I am committed to enhancing and enjoying whatever time I have left on this amazing planet. I work, for example, at keeping my mind active - I read, play the piano and write. I take on projects - I design and sew clothing, I keep a garden, and go on adventures with friends. I also keep physically active - I walk a lot and bike.

Sometimes, I think, I do too much. I reached a point the other day, when I realized that if I started a new sewing project, I wasn't working in the garden or out walking. Again, if I'm writing, I'm not reading or playing the piano. I think I might have reached an overload and the hot, humid weather wasn't helping. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I also run a small company!!

Time to slow down, be mindful and enjoy something simple! Enter the couscous salad!! I may have become addicted to couscous because it takes 5 minutes to make - boil water, add couscous, remove from heat, cover, wait 5 minutes and fluff!! In that 5 minutes, I went into the garden, snipped parsley, coriander, and mint, picked four small tomatoes and found a zucchini that was almost a foot long!! How did that happen!!

Yes, every once in a while, I have to remind myself that's it's not a race. I need to slow down and enjoy the process and/or the products. The salad was delicious. I have written 3 blog posts in two days. Started work on another piano piece - The Rose of Tralee and I am about to look up the meaning of two words I found in my latest novel - Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Here they are -

Plangent - loud, reverberating, melancholy.

Vertiginous - causing vertigo.

Now what can I commit to today!!

The pictures? Some of my commitments.

Have a dedicated day!!


Our writing word for today is "fantasy." I often say that I never read fantasy fiction. I will never read Lord of the Rings, for example, and I have never watched Game of Thrones or Outlander. For years, I never even read regular fiction. I only wanted to read true stories.

Somewhere along the road, however, I decided that I wanted to write a novel - now this may be the ultimate fantasy! I followed writers on Facebook and I joined an on-line "indie" publishing group. What I understood from all of this is that, if I wanted to write, I had to read what others had written. I had to learn the writing process by example.

Also, somewhere long the line, I came across a list of the 100 best books to read. Well, actually there are several lists. I decided to blend them together on an excel spreadsheet and keep track of the ones I had read. Yes, it was partly a contest and partly chagrin - most of my friends had read almost all the the 100 books. I was somewhere around 25.

I am now up to approximately 50 novels, having read an extra 15 or so books that are not on any list. I can honestly say that my life has been enriched by fiction. For me reading is partly about the story, partly about the characters, but mostly about how the author uses language. I am a "wordsmith." I love how people use words, how they construct sentences, and how they create imagery.

You see, for all those years I wasn't reading novels, I was reading poetry. Poems are pure fantasy!!

The pictures? Just a bit of fantasy in photographs.

Have a fantastic day!

Monday, July 15, 2019


Our writing word for today is "rich." I've never felt the need to be rich in the sense of monetary wealth. My idea of a rich life is having many varied experiences, embellishing and adorning what I have and finding a motherlode of wealth in the freedoms many have fought so hard to protect.

We are very fortunate in Canada. We still have a working democracy. We have freedom of speech, free (for the most part) healthcare, free use of a good deal of public lands, free education to a point, the list goes on. I notice that I have had to qualify some of the "freedoms" on my list. The wolf is always somewhere waiting to take away what he can, as soon as he can.

We have seen public lands go to developers. Public education decline, healthcare compromised and journalists silenced. The middle class is disappearing, rapidly, soon there will be just the very rich and the very poor.

Maybe our enrichment should be to ask ourselves - what we can do to keep and expand the "freedoms" we still have. Certainly we should read more, particularly responsible newspapers, that keep us up to date and put events into perspective - now + then = the future.

We should also write. Write to our government representatives, send letters to the editor, keep a personal weblog. We need to voice our "educated" opinions and the opinions of experts in their fields. I share a lot of posts on Facebook. These posts are from people who are part of a dedicated resistance to current conservative governments' people and policies.

Yes, I believe in levelling the playing field. I believe in taxing the rich and spreading those dollars around to enrich the general public. Let us all be able to have many rich and varied experiences. Let us all be able to embellish and adorn what we have and let us all enjoy the freedoms, we still have.

The pictures? Some things that make my life rich!!

Have a "free" day

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Our writing word for today is "key." It's a word I gave to the writing challenge and it came to mind because I am "key" challenged. I have more keys than locks. I have little tubs of keys, scattered throughout the house, which belonged to locks at one time - but damned if I can remember which ones.

I even carry several keys on my current key chain that are orphans. I couldn't tell you which doors they open and yes, why do I still carry them around with me. I wonder, in more wistful times, if they opened doors to a Narnia somewhere. Maybe I secretly dream of escapes, so I keep keys to open those doors, should the opportunity ever arise. I do not, however, horde maps - my husband does, hmmm.

Actually we both had a "key day" last week. My husband was looking for a key to the front door, which we never use - both the door and the key. Somehow opening the front door or at least finding the key to the front door became the challenge of the day. None of the keys worked. We threw them out. Then in the middle of the night, of course, nothing sane ever happens during the day, I remembered that the reason the keys didn't fit was because the lock gets "bunged up" with dirt. I didn't bother to ask how or why.

I then remembered that on another "key day" I had cleaned out the dirt with a paper clip and Voila! the key worked. I wish I had remembered this earlier, I could have saved us a few bucks, well maybe quite a few, because the lock is an antique and the door is not a standard size and so to replace the lock is a custom job!!

Mundane matters like, saving money, aside, I can see the plot of a story, unfolding - You just happen to have the key to open a mysterious door and an adventure begins - Alice in Wonderland comes to mind.

Have an awesome day!!

Tuesday, July 02, 2019


Our writing word for today is "implications" - a word that covers so many different areas that I feel I have to narrow it a little. For years I have been fascinated with the implications of body language. There are so many subtle signs we make daily that send so many different messages. We all know the implications of a weak hand shake, a rolled eye or a quick wink.

There are, however, many more unconscious gestures we make that may mean even more than our words. A quick Google search lists a number of sites that will tell you arms folded in front of you suggests you are wary of the speaker. Or a head turned slightly away indicates some disinterest in the person or topic and fidgeting with jewellery or clothing anytime suggests, anxiety.

Actually, I spend a good deal of time looking at what people wear, rather than what they do, and what their outfit says about them. Obviously a person that's neatly dressed in clothes appropriate for the season, especially if the colours and fabrics are co-ordinated, suggests a person with attention to detail, who is pleased with him/herself and is ready to believe in an harmonious world. However, I often think that these people, although, beautifully turned out, might be a little too meticulous. Does their world have to fit together perfectly? Do they reject anything that doesn't fit into their view of life?

On the other hand, I wonder about the person who appears in a chaos of mis-matched garments, fabrics, and colours. What were they thinking? Or were they even thinking at all. Perhaps, they were thinking too much about non-material (no pun intended) "things." Were they trying to incorporate all the divergent philosophies out there into some sort of meaningful whole, rather than just rejecting what doesn't fit?

I do admire people who can dress well in black, with some amazing adornment to set it all off. These people are canvasses or stages for some artistic "action." They are content within themselves and open to engaging with any idea that comes their way. "Let's see how things play out" may be their by-line.

My favourite people, however, may be those who dress "insanely" on purpose. They wear wild, almost, but not quite, co-ordinated colours. They may seem to be out-of-fashion, but in fact have set their own fashion. They wear bow ties, mis-matched earrings, something hand-painted or handmade..... They are unique and I feel that they are open to accepting the many unique aspects of this world - overt or implied!

Have a meaningful day!!

Saturday, June 22, 2019


Our writing word for a while now has been "willow." I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to find time to write up a short post on a tree with long leaves and longer branches, especially since it was my word.

I offered "willow" as a word because of the concept of the "weeping willow." The various political parties controlling and destroying much of the peaceful existence we once knew has thrown many of us into an emotional turmoil, much like a savage wind that wrecks havoc with the landscape. Now is a time of weeping and gnashing of teeth for many.

Our institutions are being ripped apart - healthcare, education, diversity support groups, the list goes on. Soon there will be nothing left of the rich forest that sheltered and protected us. We will live in a wasteland scrabbling to survive.

And then there is the willow tree...weeping, yes, but still standing. Her deep roots anchored to the ground, her dishevelled branches, bruised but not broken. She has survived because of her ability to be flexible, to roll with the punches, so to speak and to come back!

The willow is the image of survival in difficult times. Yes, we must resist these political onslaughts, but we must also survive. We must find a way to stay optimistic, in spite of the oppression. We must weather the storm until peace and tranquility are restored.

The pictures? Trees for all seasons. Must take a picture of a willow.

Have a peaceful day.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Power of Wisps!

Our writing word for today is "wisp." To me much of what makes life enjoyable are small "wisps" of "things." I am sitting here beside two pink peonies that are very fragrant. I inhale a wisp of their perfume, from time to time. It is subtle, like the spray of lilac that nods across my window or its scent that infuses my walk up the driveway.

Mundane activities can be raised to the sublime, I think, by wisps. The flash of a red Cardinal across the lawn, while weeding, exalts the moment. A few notes of a song, while shopping, transports the soul, and a wisp of lace or silk, anywhere, enshrines the moment.

Just a shot of sun on an unsettled day raises the spirit, too. Also, a sip of coffee, warm and fragrant, calms a frenzied moment and silence, the complete absence of sound and its companion, stillness, is magical.

These interludes do not happen often, especially in the city. I plant a garden to give me some wisps of Peace. In a crazy world of plastic, concrete, construction and mind screaming noise, I find solace in a fringe of ferns, a cluster of columbines and a patch of primrose, to ease the bleeding heart.

The pictures - my flowers and my lace.

Have a peaceful day.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Say not the struggle naught availeth.....

I think I must have done, today, the most complex Wordpress/Woocommerce configuration in my life. OK maybe the last 5 years, because I've only been working with these two applications for a few years, so far. Now, I have been working with HTML since 1995.

Oh and btw my younger my sister is a great-grandmother, just to put things in perspective.

Here's what happened.

1. I got my first retail order on my new Wordpress site - today! However my shipping system didn't recognize her address in Alberta. Got the order sorted out and now I had to get the site sorted out!

2. Did my usual Google inquiry. Got lots of suggestions - nothing worked except I did pick up what I thought were "peripheral data." You now something that could be used in a rain storm maybe.

3. Spent two hours reading rather useless - non-rainstorm data.

4. Finally saw in a forum a note from a Canadian struggling with the Canadapost template in Woo Commerce. I had been too - between taking a break from reading google useless data and trying to work "things out on the site." Her magnificent phrase was, "I finally realized, I had to download the Canada Post plug-in." Who would have thought!

No where, believe me, no where was there any information that said: First download and install the plugin!

5. The revelation, although miraculously sent, (these are the days I believe in God) did not prepare me for the even more obscure information offered by the Canadapost plugin.

6. In attempting to configure the settings, I was told I had to join Canadapost - well at least it was FREE. I already had a Canadapost acct. My usual username & password did not work in these settings, however, I clicked a link and used the same username and password to get yet another user name and password, which I wasn't told were the ones I should be using in the plugin settings.

No where does anyone say - "Use these." In fact in desperation I entered the first set of numbers. Yes, I was given 2 usernames and 2 passwords, with no instructions. You got it! The first pair didn't work. I didn't immediately use the second set, because I was convinced I was barking up the wrong tree - not exactly the right metaphor, but after 3 hours of confusion, I could have used worse analogies!

Finally, with nowhere else to go, I entered the second set of numbers - Behold!! they worked. Well, sort of. I could now order from my site, get a connection with Canadapost and ship a 1 pound box to myself for $1.00. Hmmm...more work.

7. I deleted the snail mail option. That worked. I could now ship to Ontario, sensibly! But, I couldn't ship to Alberta. However, in all the useless information I took in today, I remembered that one of the problems could be that I hadn't set up a weight for this product. I checked. Sure enough there was no weight listed. I entered .01 of a kilo and Voila! I got an updated shipping option to Alberta.

Computer programming is not about logic. It's about intuition and my ESP was working overtime today!!

It availeth-ed!!

Have an applied day!!

Friday, May 10, 2019


I haven't given up the idea of exploring Art more fully. I did take a few Art classes, as I mentioned in an earlier post and did some sketches. Here they are -

I love leaves - even dead ones have life.

A live plant on the subject of death - Crown of Thorns.

Nature is such a wonderful study......

With or without colour

Seeing through the glass

Finally a study of childhood - my son when he was 7.

Photos are great, but sketches let you get inside the subject. These are photos of sketches - what can I say.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

The Luck of the Draw...

Our writing word today is "draw." Again a word with so many meanings. All my life I have wanted to draw real-life pictures. I particularly like pencil drawings with shading. I like the fact that you can create 3-dimensional pictures on a flat piece of paper.

I admire people who can sit outside and draw the landscape or sketch people as they sit on a park bench. I marvel at their talent. I am so envious. Yes, I do work at getting closer to my goal of being a better artist. I have taken courses and I make time, occasionally to draw.

However, I am not driven. I don't carry a sketch book with me all the time. In quiet times, when an artist would draw, I read or do needlework. Drawing for me is not relaxing. I have to concentrate, focus, and erase too often, to consider it restful.

Maybe that is what separates an artist from a "wanna-be" artist. Drawing for an artist is an escape. It's their restorative time. Drawing is their raison d'ĂȘtre. They live through their Art. Whereas, I live through a list of various activities - gardening, family, knitting, needlework, reading, writing, cooking and even cleaning.

In the luck of the "draw," I did not come up with a pencil. I drew a needle or maybe several different kinds of needles...and a lens. I forgot to mention photography.

Have a creative day!

Friday, May 03, 2019


Our word for today is "specialty." Everyone has a specialty. You're a great speaker, a fabulous artist, a  wonderful cook....the list goes on. We seek out people and places to enjoy their specialties. We go to restaurants to savour certain dishes that are unique to them. We read authors that are particularly good a writing in certain genres. We travel to places because of a special way of life they have preserved. Again the list goes on.

What is your specialty? Ironically people spend most of their lives discounting their specialties. Yes, I'm a good cook, but I would never open a restaurant. OK, I paint really well, but I could never earn a living as an artist. I'm a great storyteller, but only family wants to listen to me, Sigh! So many specialties that rarely rise to their full potential because of other demands, other situations.

What does it take to have a specialty "flourish?" Money? Time? Desire? Stability? These are often commodities beyond our control. If we live in a politically unstable country, how do we chose between art and survival? If we have no money or little time, how do we begin something? If we don't have the desire or the belief in ourselves, where do we even start?

So many questions and so few answers. Perhaps only the very special specialties are given a chance to thrive. People with overwhelming desires push everything else aside to create. They manage to "rise to the top" with very few resources. It is a fixation, a madness, perhaps.

Does this mean that sane, pragmatic people will never glory in their specialty? Maybe we need support groups. Others to say that we can be "special" from time to time.

The pictures? Some special "stuff."

Have a special day!!