Saturday, November 26, 2005


Who? Me? A Magpie?

My friends Kyle and David make a bit of a production of trying to distract/steer me away from the windows of Blue Ruby, a Vancouver jewelry store... something about shiny/sparkly/colourful things just draws my attention, kinda like a kid with their nose pressed againt the windows of a candy store!

I thought I'd share some links for neato things to look at: is all about people who collect kaleidoscopes (hey, I can finally spell that on the first try!) and teleidoscopes (those thingys that turn your surroundings into a kaleidoscopic image). When I was in Sedona, AZ, last spring, I was REALLY tempted to buy a handmade kaleidoscope from this huge arts & fine crafts enclave (think Granville Island x10).. for about $80USD. Food? Kaleidoscope? Food? Kaleidoscope? Food won.

My collection is small, but growing steadily... the first 'scope I was given, after pronouncing that I wanted to start collecting, is a plastic kid's 'scope, from Diane Fraser (nee Nakada), a coworker from the North Van Rec Commission who is also from Williams Lake. Second and third are beautiful art pieces, from my parents and Paul and Rebecca, respectively, made with stained glass bodies. PnR's has a funky tube filled with gel, sparkles and stars that slooooowwwly drifts past the opening to make a cool pattern that looks kinda like an "8".. very narrow mirror angles. MomnDad's has two wheels attached to the end, made of stained glass and jewelry bits, that create really cool intricate mandala images (one bit is attached by jumpring so it dangles... when looking THROUGH the 'scope and turning the wheels, I'd hear this loud CLICK, and thought at first that I was somehow being shocked by static electricity. Not so....) .. and then I have a plastic bug-eye 'scope, dunno where it came from, and a lovely turned-wood teleidoscope that I picked up in Fort Lauderdale (after warning Wolf that I'd need at least an hour in the shop to look at everything....) I think I'll be looking for a wearable kaleidoscope next.... something plain on the outside, but when I get people to look through it, they'll go "OOOOOoooooooooohh!" is an online community of artists, working in a TON of different mediums, including glass. When I first discovered WC, I spent hours in the glass forums, looking at the daily Showcases of people's work, reading through the technical tips (particularly on which colours would create a cool chemical reaction with other colours) and enjoying the discussion ("*I* invented the sign language bead!" "No, *I* did! You copied ME!" ... third person: "Hey, lets all start posting the silly things that we thought we invented, until we found out the glass bead world was so huge that just about everything had been done before...") Whatever kind of art you like to create or to look at, you'll probably find it here. shows some beautiful work by Canadian craftspeople, in various media, and is also the place where EVENTUALLY something of mine should show up.. has all the links to videos and photos of hoopers hooping happily that you could ever want...

WHOOPS, and it is now 9:30am, time to go get on with my morning so I can hit the Womyn's Craft Faire on Main, and then ge back here to get my hoops for this afternoon's hooping playdate! Woohoo!

Weather: holy @#%&(*! I can see nothing but blue sky and sunshine!

Chai's so far: None. I'm actually kinda cutting back, and instead totally devouring the "Russian Tea" mix my sister made for me for Christmas (last year? two years ago?) Anyway... Heather, I'll need more ;)

Water: still on water exposure rationing, due to still being off work.. will update THAT story when something radically new happens. Hot tub yesterday, no swim... polo later today, though, which will load heavily on my bellydanced/hooped body..

Wardrobe: I'm at home, and haven't actually done the breakfast/shower thang, so I'm in my jammies: blue tribal print pants, a longsleeve green t, and a blue-with-white-pinstripes flannel robe. Oh So Glam.

Craft in Progress: nothing being agressively worked on at the moment... finished the sweater, was BEAUTIFUL and I started wearing it right away (first time THAT has ever happened, I think...), have knit a ton of things that need to be thrown in the washing machine and felted, and have made some cool beads at Joanne's studio that may or may not become jewelry sometime soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005


How I keep myself entertained...

.. or, how being off work this much is really bad for my budget!

It has now been a month and a half since nasty work incident, and as of this past Friday, my boss has stated that he will not reconsider keeping my abusers away from my shift, so I am still off on doctor-and-psychologist-supported stress leave. Still not relaxing into it, still trying to fight the good fight and keep my self-respect up, and that's going okay.. but to have this much free time is messing with my head!

Too much time to visit Starbucks, Pacific Centre mall, Circle Craft's Christmas Market of upscale craft, and my friendly co-workers at Urban Yarns... so, VISA is racing back up (I'm blaming some of that on covering my psychologist's fees, until I get reimbursed from my benifit provider) AND I have a lovely silk/wool sweater almost finished (started yesterday) .

Lots of time, though, to ponder how well I'll survive as a self-employed person, with my fingers in a whole bunch of buckets (don't think I have that idiom quite right..), no benefits, holidays or sick pay, and paycheques coming in from five or six sources... could be interesting.

Neat thing about wandering the Circle Craft market was seeing how many new vendors are there this year, who are young, hip, and SUCCEEDING! Very heartening to see... along with the number of folk who are sharing space with equally talented friends working in different media.. gives me hope for co-boothing with Phil and others!

In hoop life, I'm doing very little actual hooping, but have managed to set up some play dates. I also just received an email from the organizers of the Odd Ball.. I managed to make a decent "Super Hooper" costume, went to the event and was directed to go hoop up on the stage... and the crowd and the organizers loved me so much that they are booking me NOW to perform at their Pride Odd Ball next July... woo! Twas the highlight of the month, having a super-supportive crowd actually back away from the stage so they could see better (or was that the fear?).. and still cheering for me even after I managed to tear down some of the crepe streamers that were overhead... and going CRAZY for me when I put the streamers back up out of the way while still keeping the hoop going at my waist! So much fun...

What else? Polo? Polo is good, polo is fun.. gets kinda scary when I have nightmares about some of my teammates and then wind up being checked by them in the pool.. but otherwise its all lovely. Wish I was better, and wish I had more access to a pool for training (getting a bit of grief for coming into the pool to swim, while still on leave...)

Anyway, time to get on with the day.

Weather: wet, gray, traditional Rememberance Day weather.

Chai's so far: one. Actually took a carton of chai mix home a couple days ago, but haven't cracked it open yet, still hitting Starbucks.

Water: polo last night, in for a hot tub today while the pool was closed to the public.. was supposed to go swimming, but couldn't make myself get in...

Wardrobe: comfy-yet-I-feel-chic men's low-ride boot cut jeans in a solid dark wash, no sandblasting anymore... and a scoopneck 3/4 sleeve black Tshirt I picked up a couple weeks ago. Simple, chic... oh, and a little purple bead with a crystal, hanging off a silver chain. Weird being so understated!

Craft in progress: silk/wool sweater, Fleece Artist handdyed in misty blues/greens/purples... loose stitches, sleek fitting.. did the body-to-armpits yesterday while walking around Circle Craft, am on the sleeves now, and will hopefully get to the point of the raglan yoke by tomorrow.

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