Friday, December 28, 2007

Pssst... remember me?

If you don't remember me, I understand completely.

I said I would try to write regularly. I said I would at least be a weekly blogger (I think I said that). I said I would tell you all about my trip to Japan and posted all those photos in my last entry and then... nothing.

So as this year comes to an end, I am making a resolution: I will NOT promise regular entries to my blog - how's that for a namby-pamby, cop-out of a resolution! I suppose a more worthwhile resolution would be to work on my self-discipline which has never been my forte, as you all know by my sporadic blogging.

I'll just make this one short, as a little intro to my return to the online journalling world. To recap the past months:

  • September: Yes, Japan was great; everyone we met there was lovely and my husband and I learned so much from the wonderful taiko teachers and masters we had the privelege of studying with. * FYI, tv documentaries are just as scripted as a tv dramas; more on this in a later entry!
  • October: A little blue returning home to Montreal from Japan. Intense production for holiday craft shows starts. Got custody of my mom's cat, Ebi, to the horror of Chibi, our resident cat; the feline warriors stake their claim to territory in our appartment... more on this another time, aren't you intrigued?
  • November: Taught a couple of craft workshops. Intense nail-biting, down-to-the-wire production continues. Craft shows season starts, yay! The "Wall" is up in our appartment, dividing Chibi-land and Ebi-land. Sheesh.
  • December: Craft shows season continues and ends, yay! My best season ever, very happy. Still taking orders, doing custom work, teaching. Cats declare truce; Chibi-land and Ebi-land now unified - well, sort of. Christmas, overeating, being with family, all that good stuff :)
    • Below are a couple of shots of the evolution of peace: first, the two cats are taken aback at see each other around every corner. In the second more recent photo, they "share" the sofa, while carefully keeping an eye on each other. The "Wall" is down.

      Monday, September 17, 2007

      What? I'M GOING TO JAPAN?

      Yes, I am. I'm going to Japan!

      Can you see me doing my little going-to-Japan-dance? It goes a little something like this:

      Ok, so that's Snoopy's version - a slightly bouncier version of my happy dance. And that was actually me a couple days ago. Now that it's Wednesday and I'm leaving in a day and a half, I am running around like a chicken with no head - don't think you want to see a picture of that.

      It all started when the taiko group that I am a member of, Arashi Daiko, was approached to be part of a documentary television series on world music. The group agreed to participate, and the filmmakers needed someone in the group to interview and follow around for a bit of a biography. Working from home I have a pretty flexible schedule and I am also comfortable in French, the language of this production, so long story short, it ended up being me and my husband who are both members of this taiko group. We were initially told it would involve filming our rehearsals, and a performance or two, as well as an in-studio recording/shoot. Sounded interesting for Arashi Daiko and like a fun project to be a part of, right?

      Last December came the news that this would also involve a trip to Japan, since a segment of the hour-long show will be about returning to the source of the music featured. Shocked, terrified, scared poopless ... and oh yeah, did I mention, thrilled? THRILLLLLED!

      The filming schedule is now taking shape, and it's a pretty jam-packed eight days of shooting footage of taiko players, festivals and Japanese shops, streets and everyday life. My husband, JF and I will stay another five days on our own, and likely go to visit friends in Kyoto.

      Here's just a brief run-down of some of what we will be seeing. I'll write all about it when we get back! Fukuro Matsuri is a week-long festival in Tokyo, with taiko, music, huge parades and thousands of dancers in costume. Here are a couple of photos from last year's edition:

      We will be taking a workshop with this group below, Miyake Taiko. Led by master player of this style, Akio Tsumura and his three sons, this is an intense and physically gruelling piece to study, - challenging, as you can see, for the legs and hips. Even more difficult is the mental focus it takes to overcome the pain in your legs, arms and hands, which become raw from the large sticks or bachi used to hit. And yes, although we are nervous about it, we are looking forward to it.

      We will then go to Sado Island, where world famous Kodo drummers live, train and teach members -to-be. We will be able to observe and learn from their most senior member, Yoshikazu Fujimoto (see him below playing odaiko, or the big drum). We may even get to play if we can keep up! The whole Kodo organization has been so very generous with us - this is like a dream come true for JF and me!

      Than back to Tokyo and we will visit Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, official drum maker to the Emperor of Japan. We will be able to visit their store, their drum museum, as well as their taiko making studio - a true honour!

      I really have to get back to work on the omiyage (gifts) that we will be bringing with us, to give to all the wonderful people we will be visiting in Japan.

      Have to remember to breeeeathe.....

      Tuesday, September 11, 2007

      Too cute, my brain hurts...

      So you know I am a cat person.

      Well, last week we were at a friend's house, sitting in her backyard for a BBQ. A stray cat had adopted the neighbour's yard as a place to have her kittens, and they were starting to wander around. They wobbled into my friend's yard to come face to face with Pablo, my friend's boxer/lab mix; he is the friendliest, sweetest dog (he likes my cat - not reciprocal), but the wee kits were hissing and swatting at him. Not terribly threatening, but Pablo backed off anyway :)

      Can you stand it???? I was supposed to be eating my corn on the cob, which was getting cold on the table, but who wouldn't want to sit with these guys instead? Oh, the mind-numbing cuteness.

      Are your teeth aching yet? There were five kittens in total, but we only met the three bold ones who visited. They got used to Pable, but I think I whimpered throughout dinner while they were there.

      No, we will not be bringing any of these leeeetle kittens home. Instead, we are opting for this large, seasoned creature below, Ebi (in case you're wondering, I cropped out my sister's face since I think she'd slug me if I included it).
      When JF and I come back from Japan at the beginning of October, we will be doing a trial with Ebi, my mom's cat. When my mom passed away last year, my niece wanted to look after him, but after a little over a year now, that cat's lifestyle has taken a drastic change; my mom used to be home with him all the time (and would fret when she wasn't) and my sister and her family are always out. Poor Ebi is lonely and cranky. Not sure how he and my Chibi will take to each other, but we will do our best.

      I tossed in the Japan trip very casually, didn't I? We are going to film part of a documentary on Japanese drumming - very exciting, very stressful... I'll write about that another time.

      Thursday, September 6, 2007

      Woof, yeah, I said woof

      I am a cat person, not a dog person. I mean, I like dogs, and pretty much all animals, but I think I have an afinity for cats. Maybe this is because we had numerous family cats when I was growing up and I'm just used to their way of being.

      Visiting my brother on Vancouver Island was wonderful. Yoshi, their dog, is your quintessential happy hound. He is enthusiastic, energetic and has the perfect smile. Have a look for yourself.

      He's really grown on me! I used to laugh at him because I thought he was so odd looking, terrible auntie! Yoshi is a pugapoo, a pug and poodle mix. Cute, yes, but odd too (call me a meanie). Curly poodle coat on a barrel chested pug physique. And because his face is not as squashed as a pug's, his face shape and facial expressions make him look a bit like a man. Ok, a little man in a tight dog suit.

      This time he had just had a shave, so he was all fresh and spunky looking. We went for a walk and met up with this fluffy creature, who was just as cranky and stuck up as he looks in the picture. Poor Yoshi tried to sniff him out, and nearly got his nose snapped off (Fluffy's owner may have been just as uptight).

      Found Yoshi's favourite thing in the park, the slide!

      I had a nice visit with my other brother's guinea pigs too, but I didn't take any photos of them. Bad auntie! They have 5 guinea pigs that are very communicative and fun to watch. You can see them here, although they were much younger in this video.

      Since I am a cat person, I will end on a feline note. This is my baby, my Chibi. We adopted her from the SPCA last summer after she was given up for adoption because she was pregnant. Her kittens were snatched up quickly, but we chose her since she was the most adorable (and very much in need of a home). She is truly the best :)

      Wednesday, September 5, 2007

      More on the wild, wild west...

      This is going to be yet another post about taiko, or Japanese drums. In case you didn't know, taiko is a huge part of my life; I spend as much time with my taiko group, Arashi Daiko, as I do with my family. Probably more. Yup, more. My husband is a member of the same group, which is great, otherwise I'd never see him in the summer since we are constantly rehearsing and performing. Last month was the biennial (this means every two years , and not twice a year, right?) North American Taiko Conference, this time taking place at the University of Washington, in beautiful Seattle.

      Backtrack a couple of days to Nanaimo where I had a great visit with my oldest brother and his family; this was after being in Vancouver and the great visit with my second brother and his family. And my sister had surprised me by showing up in Vancouver with her family as well. Nice, or what?

      Whenever I leave my siblings out west, I cry. I try to control it when I feel the good-bye is getting closer, but I cannot seem to keep my chin from wobbling and that durn lump in my throat from forming. With my sister there too, it was a veritable weep-fest. I'm just a weepin' fool - sounds like a country song.

      Took the ferry from West Vancouver to Vancouver Island, which is one of the loveliest places I have ever been. Nanaimo, where my brother, Ron, lives with his family, is a beautiful place to live, not too big or small, looking out onto the ocean.

      Take a look at these photos and say you don't agree. Below, walking with bro and niece, Emily.

      I once again had to summon some much-needed help from my family, preparing stock to be express-shipped to the taiko conference.

      Sigh. Will this girl ever learn? Here I am at 2am, making some last, last, last-minute mini-drums, that were made into cell phone charms and earrings.

      Took the ferry from Victoria on Vancouver Island to downtown Seattle. Highlight: seal on a buoy, sorry no photo. I'm easily amused/impressed/entertained whenever there are animals involved. Got this from my mom, I'm sure.

      So nice to see old friends at the taiko conference. Taiko people are warm, energetic, friendly, passionate and generous. That may sound like quite a generalization, but I challenge you to go to any North American city that has a taiko group(s), track down the group, let them know you love taiko, or you play taiko, and either they will invite you to their practice or invite you out to lunch after practice - a taiko player's favourite thing to do, second to playing taiko of course, is EATING.

      Proof, we take photos of our most gorgeous meals: this is JF's chirashi at a Seattle resto.

      I won't go into all the details of what happened but my shipment of handmade goodies prepared for this taiko crowd was held up at the border so on the first day of the two and a half day long conference I had an empty table, put on my best smile, and said "Pleeeeeeeze come back tomorrow, I swear I'll have something to sell." My back had cramped up from all the worry. Long story short, my shipment arrived in time for me to sell much of my stock on the remaining day and a half. If it were not for the help of my favourite conference volunteers, Keith and Tyler, the steady leak in my brain would likely have gushed and my helmet would have been full of grey matter muck (don't ask).

      Saw some inspiring taiko peformances, and even got to play a little, yay! Here we are on the last morning, and an outdoor jam session. That's me and Hisako, who was 6 months pregnant when this was taken; she is in incredible shape, wouldn't you say? Yumi is standing in the back in the orange top, looking thrilled.

      Taiko jam at 8:30 am Sunday morning, U. of Washington campus - wakey, wakey!

      And here is the unstoppable and unsinkable Molly K., who is truly an inspiration to us all. She is 80 years young and still playing taiko, so I really can't complain that I started playing too late in life, nine years ago at the age of 31.

      I want to be just like Molly when I grow up.

      Tuesday, August 21, 2007

      Back from the wild wild west...

      I'm back home from my working holiday, and it was great. Got to see my two brothers and their families in British Columbia; my sister who lives in Alberta (the province just east of BC) totally shocked me by showing up with her gang! So nice to be with my family.

      Embarassingly enough with my family as witness, this was the most badly organized I have ever been for any craft sales event, and I realize now it was my own fear that made me procrastinate so ridiculously. And although it was shameful to be so ill-prepared with them all watching, thank goodness I had so many helpers at my disposal! I had people gluing and glazing and cutting and punching holes and making knots. I wouldn't blame them if they combined forces to be my main competitor at a future craft show.

      Surprisingly, my poor organization was rewarded with surpassed expectations in sales, contacts and positive feedback. Vancouver's Powell Street Festival is the largest Japanese Canadian festival in Canada, and I was absoultely amazed at the number of people who attended. And the food - the food was soooo good! I think it's the super-fresh salmon that really did it for me; I ate sockeye every chance I had! No salmon photos, but here's one of the takoyaki stand; takoyaki is a popular snack at Japanese festivals, or matsuri: little dough balls with chunks of octopus inside - delish! This was particularly impressive for numbers of takoyaki they were churning out!

      Here is the omikoshi - a portable shrine that is hoisted above the shoulders of gutsy festival goers, who are encouraged and yelled at to keep going by the crowd and by the people standing on the shrine, making it even heavier...
      We were kept pretty busy at my table, in a high-traffic area with lots of shoppers. Can you see me back there at my table ?
      Here I am! I think I went to washroom once on the first day. My display was a little flat with everything laid out on one level on the table. I couldn't bring my display stands with me in my luggage, so I had to make do. Turned out alright though, and sales were great ☺
      And here I am with my ichiban and most patient craft assistant, Jean-François.

      I'll stop here and pick up again where I left off. From Vancouver, we went onto Nanaimo and then to Seattle....

      Monday, July 30, 2007

      Sad blog, bad blogger....

      So my sister across the country emails me this morning and calls me negligent for ignoring my blog for over a month. Baaad blogger... I concur, this is pretty pathetic, especially since I had such high hopes for myself. Sistah, this is for you!

      I am on autopilot right now since I am in serious production mode for two events I'll be selling at in the next couple weeks. As usual, I am thrashing around the appartment in a last-minute frenzy of clay and paper, shaking my finger at my poor husband for not going fast enough; he is my most excellent craft assistant and he has been at my beck and call in these last days before I leave for Vancouver. I cannot believe that I actually asked him earlier, "Do you think watching that show while you work could possibly be slowing you down?" I'd better be careful or he's going to join the craft assistant husband's union.

      I am also required to wear a helmet these days since the slow leak in my brain acts up at stressful times like this. Gotta keep that grey matter where it's supposed to be. I have lists all over the place since I'm so forgetful under pressure. You'd think I would have learned by now, but I guess I'm a true last-minute gal. Was always like this throughout school, and have kep that nasty habit in my work. Just got off the phone with my brother, and he said "I guess it's working for you since you keep doing it." Hmmm, he could be onto something.

      I really do have to get back to work now. My coffee is ready, and I've got some clay drums waiting to be checked and popped into the oven. Who knows when my next entry will be; I for one, will not say!

      Tuesday, June 26, 2007

      Summer solstice already?

      Summer is here, and I didn't even see it coming. Time seems to shimmy past me without me even noticing until it's too late - a day goes by, then a week, and lo and behold, we are already beyond the summer solstice.

      This past week-end was lovely; Arashi Daiko performed a full show on Saturday night in Notre Dame du Laus, a small town in the Upper Laurentians. It was for the Fête St-Jean, a celebration of Québec's patron saint and of its national (or provincial, depending on your political colours, but that's a whole other story) pride. Here we are setting up the stage earlier in the day.

      We were spoiled. Such warm and welcoming people, so enthusiastic and expressive in their appreciation; it was very touching for all of our members. Many people tell us they are amazed at our energy and endurance, but it is truly an exchange that happens with the public. We give our all in every piece we play, and the audience responds and in turn shares their energy with us. Give and take.

      And what a beautiful place we stayed in! I was up and in the lake at 6:30am on Saturday morning. It was around 12 degrees celcius outside, so on the chilly side, the water was cool and refreshing. I always say I'm a city girl, but being in a place that clean and wonderful makes me reconsider. Well, sort of! This photo is at around 7am, you can just barely see my head poking out of the water on the far left; my "lifeguard", Hisako, is sitting on the dock, although she said she wasn't jumping into that cold water to save me :)

      Friday June 22nd was a year since my mom passed away. I had a tough and weepy week, but the past week-end was good for me. I was thinking about her alot before our show, but it helped me get through the long performance. Spring was not easy, since that was when she had her stroke last year. Just the weather getting warmer, the smell of the Spring air, and the sunlight shining a certain way at a certain time of the day brought back all the memories of that time last year. Gotta keep taking steps forward, right?

      I have to get back to work on production for two big events I'll be selling at in August. And I have a custom order to do this week, and another big order for next week.

      News: Some of my polymer clay jewellery has been selected for a craft book which I think will be coming out next year some time! So exciting! I have to send in my items to be photographed for that as well.

      Am also planning another super sale in my Etsy shop for the end of next week. These are some of the things you can purchase.

      Wise man earrings...

      Makizushi cell phone/camera charm (not yet listed)

      Ume (plum) blossom pendant.

      Lots more coming too!

      Wednesday, June 6, 2007

      Making ideas reality

      Yeah, making ideas reality. Just do it. Easier said than done. I have all these ideas for new designs for pendants, sushi stuff, taiko stuff. Now I just have to make them instead of thinking of them all the time. I think I may sabotage myself by overthinking things. I'll stop thinking about that now.

      Played taiko last night for a Kyoto Protocol Awareness event in downtown Montreal. Good crowd, which always makes it fun. We've got lots of performances coming up! Our group, Arashi Daiko, is also giving a workshop this week-end, a fundraiser for the upcoming North American Taiko Conference. Hey, there's something I didn't overthink (no time to!) and it's now a reality!

      I made some pendants last week; these girls in their yukata turned out fine and I'm pleased.

      I just listed these earrings in my Etsy shop, which remind me of caterpillars, but I had to wipe that out of my mind because I have a serious caterpillar phobia, which I am not ready to deal with yet! So they are called a very un-caterpillary, "Pomegranate Stacks." They do look juicy, don't they? (you can click on the images to the right to see what else is currently for sale)

      I'll be having another sale in my Etsy shop in a couple of weeks, or sooner. Have to get cracking on making more ideas reality :) Would you believe me if I said I would write again soon, like in less than a week?

      Wednesday, May 30, 2007

      Some of us need deadlines

      I am one of them.

      In school, I was a last-minute, hammer-out-the-term-paper, cram-everything-into-my-head, stay-up-all-night-prepping-oral-presentations. The residual of these bad habits has now transferred itself onto my work. Less so with production and creation, since I am making a conscious effort to pace my production of my wares; I will admit this is often a challenge, but doing bigger shows has forced me to follow my schedule. Thank goodness for that.

      With any kind of written text or "assignment" though, I am still a true procrastinator. A professional procrastinator. It's almost like I'm subconsciously rebelling against a deadline, and yet, I know I have to cave and conform if I want to be considered again. The community newspaper I work on, consistently receives my very late submissions. At this moment, I am thinking about a course description that I am supposed to be writing for a new workshop I'll be giving next winter; deadline is this Friday and they will get it on Friday afternoon before I rush out to taiko practice. Sigh... I suppose I wouldn't still be functioning this way if it didn't work for me in some way. And no matter how prepared I am, I always stay up almost the entire night before a craft show; I've done around 25 shows now, and I don't know if this will ever change.

      A couple months ago, I enthusiastically volunteered to be a part of this really cool project on Etsy. Jenn, a printmaker who has an Etsy shop called Azure Grackle, put out a call to printmakers for prints representing all the elements on a periodic table. Now I'm not a printmaker, per se, but since I do some carving, I thought this would be a neat project to work on. And even though there was a deadline, it was not so looming (Jenn is much more forgiving than a university prof or a newspaper editor!), and I managed to get these done, but JUST IN TIME! The first here is Argon (18), printed on washi (my favourite green!), and with a bit of collage.

      This second one, I am particularly pleased about because it came about kind of by accident due to desperation! It was bound to turn out ok since spinach, cashews and almonds make me happy.

      You can see the evolving project here:

      Can't wait to see the entire thing when it's completed!

      Did a bit of sorting and cleaning in my studio/office yesterday (was procrastinating on that too!), so I will tear myself away from the computer now and to get to work! I'll just show you the earrings I listed yesterday:

      And the koi pendant I listed this morning. I'm going to have to make one for myself for the summer, I love this little guy !

      Wednesday, May 23, 2007

      I never did like the circus but...

      I went to the circus last night.

      The Cirque du Soleil's new show, Kooza, opened here in Montreal at the beginning of May. My sister took me to last night's show as a belated birthday gift. I went without expectations, since this was my first time seeing them live - yes, I admit to being a born and bred Montrealer who has NEVER see the Cirque LIVE even though all their shows are premiered here.

      I loved it. All the acts were wonderful, although my two favourites were the contortionists, three rubbery girls who are as strong as they are bendable. Here they are in one of their more reserved poses: (photo: Jacques Grenier)

      And the wheel of death, which featured two crazy men with red belly-buttons on a contraption similar to what you'd see in a hamster's cage - only a little more dangerous: (photo: Olivier Samson Arcand)

      My palms were clammy throughout.

      There were lots of clowns in this show, interacting with the audience, and they were actually funny in a very slapsticky, in-your-face, scratch-your-butt kinda way. The only other circus I've seen is the Shriners' Circus when I was around 6 and those clowns made me cry. Too much scary make-up.

      What I found truly impressive was the "in-betweens." The minute one act is over something else immediately starts to distract the audience from the set-up for the next act. Everything is beautiful to watch, every moment and and movement is a show.

      I'm sure everyone who see le Cirque feels this way, but I was inspired, I really was! By the physical beauty of the set and the characters. By the strength, grace and humour of the performers. By the non-stop rhythm and pace of the show. It gave me hope; makes me want to be a better taiko performer, makes me want to create more original pieces, makes me want to push my limits and better myself. Lofty goals.

      If Kooza comes to your city, do your best to go and see it.

      Friday, May 18, 2007

      Are we there yet?

      Summer hasn't even started yet and I know it's going to whiz by.

      Arashi Daiko, the taiko group I'm a member of, has performances booked for most week-ends in June,July and August. Many of us in the group have flexible work schedules so we also have several shows to do on weekdays as well. August 9-12th is the North American Taiko Conference, taking place this year in Seattle, WA, and many of us are attending. My husband and I will be there, yay! What could be better than 600 enthusiastic taiko drummers getting together ?

      I've also started dragon boating again. Originating in China, a dragon boat is a long canoe-shaped boat which seats 22 people who paddle in unison using all their power and guts. We have a tough coach, but he's good. It feels surprisingly good to be paddling again; I've actually missed it. Our team is great; I know many of us are there in the original spirit of the team: to work hard and push our limits, all in loving memory of a friend and team founder, who passed away last year. We will do our absolute best to honour him at the races at the end of July :)

      Before going to the taiko conference in August, I'll be in Vancouver for the Powell Street Festival, Canada's largest Japanese-Canadian festival. I've been wanting to go for years, and this time around I will be an artisan vendor. I'm so excited! My parents were both from Vancouver (well, in and around Vancouver), where many Japanese Canadians lived before World War Two, so it's always a special place to be. I'll also visit two of my brothers and their families while in British Columbia. Can't wait!

      Since I'll be selling away from home at Powell Street, I'll have to figure out what kind of a display to set up. My usual display is not terribly complicated, but I can't drag everything along with me, especially since I'm going to the taiko conference afterwards. I have time to think of something on a smaller scale - gotta get to work on that!

      For this festival I'll be bringing along my Japanese inspired pieces, like my sushi jewellery and these: *** Hmmm, Blogger is not allowing me to upload any photos for some reason, so I'll do that another time. Be sure to check back :)

      Have a good week-end!

      Friday, May 11, 2007

      The week-end is already here...

      This week just flew by. Completed an order that I'll send out on Monday, made some new earrings that you'll see samples of below. Got some exciting news about a project scheduled for September... but I'll tell you about that another time :)

      I haven't posted this particular card in my Etsy shop, but I really like the way it turned out; maybe that's why I didn't post it! It's my favourite pudgy cat stamp, inspired by my late great old friend, Jerzy the cat, who was 19 when he died last year.

      I've been making chiyogami paper pendants and pins for awhile now, and decided to make some earrings too. I'll be making more next week, since I am quite pleased with how they turned out. Here's just a couple of samples:

      The upcoming week-end will be really busy... tomorrow is our Spring Bazaar, a major fundraiser for our community center (where we practice our Japanese drumming and our second home!), so we will be there all day, and then our taiko group has a performance in the evening.

      I volunteered to make six apple pies for the bazaar tomorrow, so I've got to go and get my apples now and start on that. My mom used to make a dozen pies for this annual event, so I've now taken over the pie-maker's role... can't make a dozen though. I think the last ones would turn out totally ugly since I'd be so sick of rolling out the dough.

      Sunday, of course, is Mother's Day, my first without my mom. My sister and I will go to the cemetary in the morning and then she'll come over for brunch with my in-laws. I've had a bit of a tough week thinking about this, and remembering this time last year when Mom was in hospital. I have to also remember that she is now with my Dad and all her family, so I can imagine she will probably have a drink (so to speak) on Sunday, and we will drink an earthly toast to her :)

      Have a good week-end everyone, and Happy Mother's Day !

      Tuesday, May 8, 2007

      First pick from my list of favourites!

      I've been wanting to feature some of my favourite items and artisans from Etsy, but of course, haven't gotten around to it until now...

      This morning I had a peek among my list of favourites and checked to see what's new in their shops. I had to come here right away to post these little guys, because every single one makes me smile and actually slap my hand across my mouth to muffle a too-loud, delighted squeal.

      These little creatures are by, from Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I'll now introduce you to:




      and Earl

      Walter only sees the good in life. Eli is wondering what flavour jell-o to make for his supper dessert. Sally is dreaming of what's over the rainbow. And I just feel bad for Earl. Have a look at for more needle-felted cuteness and other goodies!I feel better now that I've shared that. Gotta get to work now.

      Monday, May 7, 2007

      Had a good week-end. (^_^)

      The taiko group that my husband and I are members of, had two performances to do on Saturday (this photo of us was taken a couple years ago at Montreal's Botanical Gardens). We were loading the drums into the truck at 6:30 am, on the road by 7am and returned to Montreal for lunch at 1pm. We only had to meet for our next show at 7pm so I thought I'd have enough time to do some work at home. I had plans to list some new things on my website, take some photos, maybe even make something...


      We took a nap, and I ended up just relaxing before heading out for our second performance at night. And that's ok, right?

      Yesterday I did some errands in the morning and afternoon and went to a friend's house for a bbq dinner. Ate too much. But that's ok once in awhile, right?

      It's a beautiful day here in Montreal, a warm 18 degrees right now (55 degrees farenheit or so). I mailed out some card orders this morning and have to get back to work on a custom order. And I listed these lovelies this morning:

      This is the first of several posts this week. Yes, several, I did say several :)