French

I'm embarrassed by the state of my French language skills, so it's BACK TO SCHOOL for me! I took the placement test at UPEI, and am now register in Scott Lee's French 211 class. I paid my tuition and bought my textbook and some bus tickets this morning. My new best friend is a French/English dictionary. I use the 2 cd's for atmosphere in the studio.

My goal is to provide better service for the Francophone visitors to the studio. Merci pour votre patience, tout le monde!

All I need is a notebook and some courage.

lunch recommendation

My favourite  fish and chips is from Rick's Fish & Chips in St Peter's. I don't know if it was because I waited on their steps for them to open, or whether is was because it was the first batch of the day, or maybe because I salivated all the way from Charlottetown, but the fish was EVEN BETTER than usual. HOW is that possible?! Light, crispy, flavourful.

magical

Last evening, at Canoe Cove, was magical. The sunset was deeply rich with colour. The stars were twinkling in a clear sky and we launched 50 Sky Lanterns out over the Northumberland Strait.

We had whites ones and coloured ones. The consensus is that the red ones sailed the best.

I don't have any photos at the moment, but I think Lionel does. If he does, I'll add them soon.

birthday flowers

Gorgeous flowers from my dear friend, Brenda! I LOVE roses! Can you smell them?

I carry them around the studio with me. If I'm working at the table, they're on the table. If I'm at the counter, they're on the counter. I'll be at home tomorrow, working on Ruby's dress for the wedding, so they'll be moving around the sewing room with me.

THANK YOU Brenda!

Steph waiting for The Royals

This is our dear neighbour, Stephanie, waiting for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pass our corner. I learned a valuable lesson that evening. When you put a camer between you and what you want to see, it acts as a barricade. Catherine, smiled and waved to us, but all I got was a blur, and all she got was another camera pointed at her. VERY IMPERSONAL moment. Lesson learned!

les jamelles bubbly

I left some water and dish detergent in this wine bottle, overnight. To my delight, it was full a delicate bubbles, in the morning. I now call it "Les Jamelles bubbly".

reflecting, on my 50th birthday

I'm finding this one to be a more emotional birthday than usual. My brilliant, hilarious, courageous brother, Ron, died from Cancer when he was 36. I was 34 and pregnant with Morgan when he passed.

We gave Morgan, "Ron" as a middle name, and it bothered him to have the name of a dead uncle, until he was about 14 and saw this picture of Ron, dancing on his houseboat. Morgan asked "WHO's that?" I answered "Dead Uncle Ron." "Oh, cooool!" was his reaction. Now Morgan is proud to be named for this uncredibly spirited man.

Ron's photos sit on my torch bench. His spirit lives in the studio. I ask his opinion and I get it, usually what I want or need to hear.

The GREATEST gift Ron gave me, was The Beatles.

In Grade 7 I was crowned the "Second Runner Up Snow Princess" at Connaught Public School's Winter Carnival. Russ Jackson, the quarterback for the Ottawa Rough Riders, kissed my right cheek and presented me with a dozen, pink, sweetheart roses and a $10 gift certificate to" Treble Clef", the record store.

My reaction was "What do I do with this?" Ron said "Don't worry, I'll take you." Well, as good as his word. When we walked into "Treble Clef" I followed him directly to the back, lefthand corner of the shop. By the time I caught up with him he had pulled out a copy of "The Red Album" and he said "You should start with this one."

THANK YOU RONNIE!

I have had a lifelong love of, and enjoyment from The Beatles!!!

We listen to The Beatles a lot, in the studio. So much so that when Megan went to her first party she came home rather pleased with herself. She said, "The guys brought out some guitars and I knew 4 songs!" ALL BEATLES!

I'm paying it forward Ron. Thank you!

FINALLY

Spring is FINALLY here. This is the very first sunny day in weeks. Seriously, weeks. Egads! After 12 years in the Arctic, I know when I am on the edge of the abyss. Seasonal Affective Disorder was my constant companion in Iqaluit and Yellowknife. Phew!

pink

I've got a thing for pink this winter. What's up with that? I have a pink jacket, pink boots, and a pink iPod Shuffle. I'm wearing a pink apron and I'm making pink beads. Must be because pink is so darn uplifting on a grey day.

silver rings

My dear friend Jeanette is a master goldsmith. She is extremely generous with her skills and her time. Jeanette would like me to put more silver elements in my jewellery pieces. To encourage me on my way she has taught me how to clean castings. After a carved wax has been cast in metal it has a rough, dull finish. In order to give it a mirror finish, you need to remove the rough bits and make the surface as smooth as possible using a variety of hand and power tools. I started with a coarse file and worked down to a fine file, then coarse emery paper to fine emery paper, then I used a polishing compound and finally rouge, to give these 6 rings their mirror finish.

Can you see the thin ring in the fore ground reflected in the surface of the wavy ring? That means I did an excellent job. The ring in the front, on the left, and the 2 in the background are meant to have matt finishes. Their insides gleam though.

I am very, very pleased with what I've learned, and I have started thinking about ways to incorporate silver elements in the Artisan Collection. Stay tuned...

fresh snowfall

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a cold, crisp, clear day after a fresh snowfall, before the wind blows. This morning the flakes were so large and light that it looked like these crabapples were wearing feather caps.

A woman at the bus stop found me very amusing, because I was very intent on getting under the crabapples to get this photo. Made her smile!

Sir John insists that he's been using that new dandruff shampoo.

He's a true gentleman of leisure, and not a bit bothered by the cold.

Looks like someone had a pillow fight and the feathers got caught in the bushes.

last summer in the studio

I took a lot of photos of things and people that made me smile. I intended to post them here, but I was shy.  Well, now it's 2011, and I'm turning 50, and it's time to get on with it. RED Gerbera daisies. JOY! I kept these vibrant flowers on my window sill and then out on my window ledge for months. They were my most successful indoor plant experience ever. I kept trimming the faded blooms, and new ones would appear, like magic.

I can never buy "just one" bouquet from Vanco farms.

The view from inside.

Axel is a connoisseur of glass. His dad  is a hot glass blower.

New friends! Anne and Yvette were touring the Island in a RoadTrek (deluxe camper van). They stopped in, and stayed. The next day Yvette made me my first cappuccino ever and then I went touring with them. We checked out every room at Dulvay-by-the -Sea (a.k.a. The White Sands Hotel), made watercolour paintings and visited Avonlea Village. I had a wonderful day!

The Confederation Centre Gallery runs an art program for kids during the summer. This group of budding artists came up to the studio for a demo of glass bead making. They asked lots of questions and I enjoyed myself tremendously.

 

A beautiful bunch of handmade headpins.

This oriental blue, silver encased necklace was shipped to Burlington, Ontario. I was very, very pleased with it. The bead is built up in layers starting with the blue at the core, then clear, then the fine silver wire, then more clear the encase the whole bead. When you heat a wire encased bead beyond a certain temperature, the wire will melt and pull into balls, hence the "bubble effect".

This HURT! I dropped the hot rod of glass, and picked it up by the wrong end. It stuck to my fingers for a fraction of a second. I knew right away that they were going to hurt. Luckily for me, there's a restaurant downstairs and I just held out my cup and said "ICE! I burnt my fingers." They could tell by my face that I wasn't kidding.

Mark must have been laughing about something else, not my fingers.

Lily's first earrings, and they're Happy Glass!

Karin traveled from Wisconsin (please correct me if I'm wrong) to visit PEI, and look who's on her map!

What do I look like?

I got some feedback on my site yesterday, and the common thread was "Don't be shy, we want to see you." So, as soon as my husband, Mark has a few minutes to spare, he's going to take some photos of me, in the studio, doing what I do. In the meantime, these are the gals I figure skate with:

Back row: Coach Kim, Susan, Coach Martha, Reilly, Kyla, Me                                                Middle row: Rachel, Suzie, Savannah                                                                                   Front row: Nicole, Julie and Laura