Monday, June 28, 2010

Selecting fruit...

So we were at the grocery store yesterday and the bins of watermelons were out again - it IS the season, after all. It used to take me awhile to pick my melon, but I try not to think about it too much anymore and go with my gut feeling. I spotted the one I wanted which was on the other end of the bin, closer to Jean-François. I pointed to it and said "that one," to which the lady standing next to him promptly scooped it up and put it in her cart, turned around and rolled her way into the store.

We were stunned. Did she see my special melon-picking talent, or was she just too lazy to make her own selection? Was it something in human nature that made her do that, i.e., I must have that which someone else covets? I settled for my second choice melon, and - HA! - look at this perfect specimen that we cut into just awhile ago. Deeeelish!

Take THAT, you melon-stealing-can't-make-your-own-fruit-selection person! (not a whole lot to blog about this quiet Monday, as you can see - will have some production photos this week!)

Friday, June 25, 2010


Hey everyone! I'll be here today, Friday June 25th, selling my jewellery and some cards (won't have everything with me - just ask if there's something in particular you're looking for), from noon to 9pm:
Impact Galerie, 209 St-Paul West, in Old Montreal just west of St.François-Xavier (street the Centaur Theatre is on), metro Place-d’Armes

There will be other talented artisans there too including fellow Etsians, Jackie of Petal Pop and Norma of CaraCarmina - definitely making it worth your while! The weather is going to be great (ie NO RAIN), perfect for dinner or just a coffee/beer down in the Old Port. Looking forward to seeing you later today.

And... drumroll please (perhaps a little dramatic)... the return of Friday Cat Blogging, with a quick and cozy photo. Jean-François now has an I-pad. Ebi doesn't mind if he uses it as long as there's room for him too.

Bonne fin de semaine tout le monde, et Bonne Fête St-Jean un jour en retard (^_^)
Have a good week-end everyone, and Happy St-Jean-Baptiste a day late (^_^)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Perfect day!

I rambled on about my bike a few posts ago. Well, yesterday Jean-François and I went for a 24 km ride! I am not often proud of myself but for this feat I am! The ride was mostly on Montreal's impressive system of bike paths, but we were also on the street and there I was pretending like I knew what I was doing. I guess I kinda know what I'm doing.

This first photo is on the path along Boulevard Gouin, so pretty! Quaint little clapboard houses alongside century old stone houses, with a smattering of pillared mansions (a tad tacky for my taste) and St-Leonard style (Montrealers will know what I mean) duplexes. An odd blend, but makes for great ride-by scenery. This is down by one of the dams, very low water level as you can see.

Riding back home we went through the Miron Quarry which is now home to Montreal's recycling plant. You can read more about the quarry and the bike path surrounding it at this blog who did a great job writing about it!

The path around the quarry also passes right around the Cirque du Soleil's headquarters, which is home to the org's administration, training centres and costume makers. It's almost like a little village. Arashi Daiko, the Japanese drum group I'm a member of, has been hired on several occasions by the Cirque, to perform at their parties, and even once in this building at the training centre, as a send-off performance for the troupe leaving to tour Japan. Very exciting for us!

This large circle of land in their "back yard" must be used for outdoor training and we've even seen their tents set up on it. Maybe it's for testing equipment too. An ideal spot for an inexperienced rider to practice!

After our ride we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. JF waited outside since he doesn't have a lock for his bike so I charged around Maxi grabbing a lot of heavy stuff since I had a knapsack and my bike basket. WELL...having never ridden with a full and heavy bike basket it was a pretty funny ride home. JF wore the very full knapsack, but my bike was rather difficult to steer with a watermelon, 2 litres of OJ, 2 tubs of yogurt, and a couple pounds each of apples, nectarines and grapes. I was laughing nervously all the way home, luckily only a few blocks away.

It was a perfect day! Great weather, the best company and my two wheels :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Earrings to make you feel summery...

New earrings in shop! Got some lovely new chiyogami (paper) - same simple but beautiful pattern in 5 colours. I'll be wearing these all summer!

Not sure about the background in these new photos. Was very excited when I found this placemat at Ikea, since I love the colour and thought the texture would be interesting, but it just looks...well... rubbery. What do you think?

Working on other designs for my upcoming summer shows in Vancouver and here in Montreal, so more to come!

Went for a bike ride this morning and even ventured out into the street in a residential area; I surprise myself with my boldness sometimes (partly tongue in cheek - if you're wondering why I have to muster up courage to ride my bike in the street, please read this post for clarity). Wanted to bring my camera but had to recharge the batteries. I'll go out again tomorrow if the weather holds up so I'll have photos then!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I have written a lot about my mom over my blogging years since her passing impacted me pretty hard, but I've never written much about my dad, who passed away in 1993. Here he is :)

He was born in Vancouver, BC in 1920. In this photo he must be around three years old. So bright-eyed!

Here are the four siblings (the fifth sibling, Robert, would arrive in the household several years later). My dad, Tad, was the eldest and I think he was already a smoker when this photo was taken! Mari is next, then Dan and then George.

Fast forward to our family in Montreal after WW2. Here are my parents with the first four of their six children. This must be around 1958 since my sister Nancy is just a wee thing.

Ten years later, 1968, here is my stunned self with my dad in our front yard. Like father, like daughter - both of us often had our mouths hanging open...

Here's our early 70's clan. I love my mom's funky orange dress (very thick textured polyester), my dad's too-cool purple shirt, my three brothers' side-swept bangs and my sisters' geometric mini-outifits. I am the youngest looking like a small cranky man in a red dress.

Ever the hipsters, here are my dad and my oldest brother Ron in their fine leather duds, at Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC, likely around 1977 or so.

Dad was pretty serious, but he did have his goofy moments. We put those plastic glasses on him with the fake nose attached but it really matches his skin tone and seems to kind of blend in with his face!

My dad was a very hard-working, honest and caring man. When I think back on it now, he was way ahead of his time and an involved father even with everyday stuff - I have clear memories of him bathing me and taking me shopping; my sister even remembers him hemming her new coat because she was so excited to wear it and my mom was in hospital giving birth to me! He took us camping and taught me how to fish - how to put the worm on the hook, how to grab a fish without getting cut by the fins and how to take it off without harming it to put it back in the water. He really enjoyed all the holiday food preparations - he was the kamaboko (fish cakes or patties made from freshly ground fish) king! We could never get it quite right once he was gone...

At his happiest, with his love, my mom.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'll be here...

Saturday, June 19th, from noon to 9pm-ish
Galerie Impact
209 rue St-Paul W., in Old Montreal
Metro Place d'Armes (walk south on St-François Xavier, turn right on St-Paul)
I'm one of several local artisans selling in the lovely courtyard of the gallery. In the case of rain, we're not sure what will happen, so if it DOES rain later today like the forecast says, it might be safer to wait for another day to come by to see me. Thanks for understanding and I look forward to seeing you soon (^_^) More dates at this gallery to be announced soon!

Samedi, 19 juin, de midi à 21h (à peu près)
Galerie Impact
209 rue St-Paul W., au Vieux-Montréal
Métro Place d'Armes (vers le sud sur St-François Xavier, à droite sur St-Paul)
Je suis un parmi quelques artisans qui vendent dans l'arriere-cours de la boutique. Dans le cas de pluie, nous ne sommes pas certains qu'est ce qui va arriver, alors s'il pleut plus tard aujourd'hui comme l'annonce la météo, il serait peut-être mieux d'attendre à une autre date pour venir me voir. Merci de votre compréhension, et au plaisir (^_^) D'autres dates à cette galerie seront bientôt annoncées!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Family BBQ!

Here are some pics from a barbecue my nephew hosted earlier this week when my nieces drove into town from Ontario. Thanks for hosting and cooking, Phil, Janice and Allison- it was delish! Oh yeah, and Granny and Granpa for the yummy dessert!

Phil bbq-ing the chicken that Allison and Janice marinated.

Chowing down on the balcony...

... moved inside for dessert.

Phil, Janice and Allison with Granny and Granpa. Sierra the Boston terrier is Allison's little girl. Thank you Granpa, for the excellent photos!

Now for some older pics of three "kids" above, taken around 20 years ago. Here's Allison dancing with her Bachan (grandma in Japanese), my mom.
And here are Janice and Phil playing with Bachan... or Janice and Phil watching Bachan play (^_^).
Happy week-end everyone!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yikes, almost half the year is gone!

Seems like I'm always going on about how quickly time goes by and how badly I am at optimizing my use of it. I guess we're all a little guilty at wasting time, but I believe myself to be a specialist. My husband would say (bless his big heart) that I'm too hard on myself, as he always says. But I've told you before that I'm the queen of procrastination and I'm telling you now, I'm a the real thing, a pro.

The first half of 2010 was not stellar, I can tell you that. Avoiding this, putting off that. However I DID do something that I have not done for 29 years.

Get on a bike (and ride it).

When I was around 6 years old our tenants upstairs gave me their son's bike that he had outgrown. My mom and sister came out to the backyard with me and I got on, and of course promptly fell off as I tried to pedal. I didn't know that the mom and aunt living upstairs were on the back balcony, but then I heard the laughter - to which I got up and stomped off into the house. Even as a kindergartner's I was self-conscious, my pride was crushed and I would not get on that bike again and ended up giving it to my cousin Kevin.

Six years later I wanted to ride a bike since all my friends did. My parents got me a bike from the Bay, and I got up early on a Saturday morning, walked it to the nearest park and learned how to ride it myself. For two summers I warily rode with my sister and my friends, although I stayed on the sidewalk while they were on the street. I'm not quite sure why I stopped riding but I did.

Sorry this is so long, but getting back on a bike after almost three decades has been a bit of a revelation to me. I spent much of my adult life figuring I would never ride a bike, although every spring as people would be taking out their bikes and riding along Montreal's extensive bike path network I would think of how great it would be if I could do that too...

I never even told Jean-François that I wished I could try bike riding again, since I knew he'd be too enthusiastic and probably run out and get me a bike and then I'd be forced to try it. Which would then lead to me being cranky and nasty. Enter the Bixi bike system here in Montreal, which allowed me to spontaneously try out being on a bike again and happily realize that - although still rather spastic - I could still ride.

Which leads to my giddy expression above, with my NEW bike!!! I got a Trek Pure , and even with my super short legs, I can keep my toes on the ground because of the where the pedals are positioned. Verrry happy with it. Here she is:
Jean-François just had his bike refurbished, so we can now ride together. So much fun to be on wheels. Kinda silly, but I get great joy in saying the words "my bike" and knowing that I have joined the ranks of those-who-ride-bikes. It's new for me and it's a good feeling.

And on an unrelated note, here's a recent sibling photo, when my sister Nancy & her family, and my brother Doug were in town. Sadly, it was for a funeral, but it was at the same cemetary where our parents are buried and so we got to go for a little family visit :) Thanks to my niece, Naomi, for the photo, which I nabbed from facebook.