Wednesday, December 31, 2008

News from the front.......

I think Bear is getting over being afraid of my mother's dog Elmo. This is where Elmo sits when he has been sort of mean to Bear and Bear has taken some action against him. Bear doesn't bark or growl at him- he simply "corrals" Elmo until Elmo takes refuge behind the entertainment stand. And when he is behind there, he kind of reminds me of the "Puss in Boots" on Shrek- with those "sad eyes". Then, after a while, Bear lets him back out (after patrolling the front of the entertainment stand for 20 minutes or so). It is quite funny.
Bear keeps a pretty good eye on him. Note the paw on the floor. He's just letting Elmo know how quickly he can move.

But let's talk creative processes-here is the backdrop I designed and painted for the school concert.

It is a huge snow globe with a scene in it. I was asked if it was a real scene (as in-"Is it a real place?") It isn't, but I would like to believe that it would be my gazebo at my cottage, on the lake. You see, I would spend summers and Christmases there, after I win the lottery. (my other home would be somewhere warmer, but I do like snow at Christmas. Otherwise, snow should be something one can order in when wanted.)(which isn't bloody often).(Okay, heavily into dreamland here).

I also have been working on my "February Lady Sweater" (I get such a kick when it says it is sized for a "big assed lady") (which, of course, I am). See the progress?
On the sweater please. Not on my ass.
The blue is actually daker than in these pics- I played around a bit with the colour to get some stitches showing.
We had a wonderful visit with my sister-in-law and family. Annie gets along extremely well with the two kids. They play games that require imagination, not electricity. Love it.
Christmas was wonderful- I got a new chaise lounge, and 5 new knitting books. Tonight, we go to a neighbour's house for a wee party. All is well in my world.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Oh what a wonderful time we had!!!! Annie was a bit worried about Santa Claus- whether or not he was going to make it. But her faith in the big guy has been restored. What she really wanted for Xmas was a Nintendo DS ("Aw Mom-all the other kids have them- even their little sisters!!!!") And, since we don't particularly care for the electronic game mania, she was really surprised when one appeared under the tree!!!! And her comment? "Now I know there really is a Santa, because you guys would NEVER have bought one of these!"
Bear also had a fine Christmas- he got a large stuffed Santa- which he loves dearly, sleeps with and spends some "special quiet time" (umm-that's what we call it, but it just is quiet snuggle time when we want him to settle down after a wild play)(although it does sound somewhat naughty, but it isn't. Poor Bear does not understand "naughty").

I got some knitting done- I made an angora hat for the neighbour's little one. I will get a pic of her with it on-and describe it then as well.

Right now I am working on "Loppem" a Norah Gaughan design. I have some cherry red Lavold Angora- luscious stuff! And had planned on making one of her own designs with it. But to tell you the truth, I looked it up on Ravelry, and the various projects that were made showed quite a range of disastrous fitting errors. So I rethought my ideas.
I have more yarn than needed for this one, so I may rework the sleeves- go for a longer, 3/4 sleeve? We'll see. I also have 4 skeins of the yarn in a cranberry, so I may put the two together for a hat/mitt/accessory something.
Tomorrow, I am expecting Sean's family-so now I have to go and think about what I am serving for lunch.
Hope all of your celebrations have been happy-

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I'm pretty sure I have bought all I needed to buy, and am in the process of wrapping everything up. The house is starting to look like civilized people live here and the tree is up. I even made the tortieres! The knitted things I wanted to finish by Xmas are all done. And so, what could go wrong?
Picture this- I have a series of shopping bags on my bed. They hold unwrapped gifts. I also have a great big white dog on my bed. He starts sniffing around the bags. In one bag, full of clothing for gifts, he stops and pauses for a moment.

Just long enough to puke in it.

EEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUWWWWWWWWWW. (let's say it all together now....)

I just hope everything fits, because I won't be able to take anything back after it has been washed. Right?

Merry Christmas, and I hope nobody pukes in your bags.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Teacher presents.......

As in "cadeaux", not as in the teacher is presenting something........

By the time kids get to about Grade 6 or 7, the notion of "teacher gifts" is moot-the kids don't usually want to show that they like their teachers (egad! a fate worse than death!), and that they (the kids) are sooooooo grown up that they don't do these babyish things. And, in times like these, that works fine for me (being a teacher of Grade 6/7). Until this school. This is a school with a very strong family feel- everyone has known everyone else since they were babies and their mothers took the same pre-natal yoga classes, or the kids went to the same ballet classes and sailing school in the summers. The families are generally "old" families- have been in the area for years-and many of the mothers do not work (or, if they do, they are doctors who share practices with other mom/doctors, or else they teach piano in their homes). Don't get me wrong- there are other families with two working parents, or families who have split up, or families that look a fair bit like mine. There just seem to be more of the first kind. As well, all of the teachers with school aged children who work in this school have registered their own children as students in this school. The place is almost magical-the families support the place and work hard to ensure their children have the best education.

So-the first year I worked in this school, the kids didn't know me very well, and I was only teaching half time-and I was teaching Grade 7- so I was not all that surprised that I received only a few modest gifts. That was about 5 years ago. Since then, and since I have gone back to working full time, I have to say I have been almost embarrassed by the gift giving. It has been , well lavish. And many of the gifts come with hand made cards telling me why they wanted to give me something (worth their weight in gold). The gifts are usually useful, thoughtful, interesting, and unusual. And I always feel a bit guilty- after all- I work, I receive a salary, is a gift really necessary? And I do so appreciate how the kids are trying to pump me for info about my favourite things- like, " Oh, Mrs. W., what do you think of such and such a store? I hear it has many art supplies-is that where you like to buy your art supplies?" Or....."I see you like coffee-my mother says that such and such has the best coffee. Do you agree?" They are really quite sweet.

But here is my dilemma. My child goes to this school. And I, of course, am responsible for the teacher gifts for them. And this year, she has 3 teachers- the homeroom, the teacher who teaches 3 afternoons every week, and the french teacher. I work with these ladies. So this year, here is what I did-

The hat that Annie is modelling is a French beret for the-yes, you guessed it- the French teacher. Made out of Rowan Polar (so sad it is discontinued-LOVE that yarn).

The second gift is for her homeroom teacher- a lovely lady whose favourite colour is blue. I used Noro Silk Garden (another favourite)-I really like the wavy edge of this scarf and the colours- certainly not really caught in my blurry photo.

The third is another Noro scarf-Kureyon this time- for the third teacher. She is a kind of outdoor/sporty girl, who wears a fair bit of brown and olive green.
I plan on putting some candy in with the gifts and a note. But I hope this is enough? I went with the theme of "yard duty" for each of them (we have a large flat schoolyard just a couple of blocks up from Lake Ontario)(and the wind really blows hard up there). But none of the ladies are "crafty". They appreciate what I knit- all have made comments on my projects, but...?
I just don't know. I find selecting teacher gifts really quite difficult.
Onto other news- at school today, the floor was a slick- wet with melted snow, and I had a fall. I hurt my knee and my hip. So I am going to go and put said leg up and see if I can get it back in working order.
On that note- good night!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Nope- I haven't died, or run away (tempting, but...) I have been doing REPORT CARDS! And for some reason or other, I had more difficulty writing them this year. I second guessed myself. I fought with them, and then I fought again. But...


More later.........................