Sunday, March 29, 2009

Music Video #2 - Sock Monkey goes WILD!

I present to you the SECOND MUSIC VIDEO. Right after I finished making it yesterday, I managed to erase it completely from iMovie while trying to export it. I was about to slit my wrists when Gordon reminded me of my new back-up hard-drive and Time Machine software! I managed to retrieve a copy and all is again right with the world. I'll never hit "export" again without making a copy of the movie first!

When I was a kid, I had a Super 8 movie camera (I am no spring chicken) and I adored making movies, but among other things there was no sound on my camera, and film was not cheap. I had a film splicer for creating more exciting edits,which is to say I didn't do much editing. It was all very labourious and of course you had to drag out the movie projector to watch your efforts on screen. And the lightbulb for the projector was expensive and always burning out. And who can forget the noxious smell of melting film that got stuck and stopped moving in the projector? "Turn off the light! Turn off the light before the movie catches fire!!"

Once I made a movie with my friend that involved a melted green plastic bedpan (my Dad had a medical supply business; I don't recall how the bedpan melted; perhaps some patient had really hot urine?) and my mother acting out the part of "Greenfoot", a giant monster covered in a flowery green bedspread. She came around the corner and attacked my friend, as directed. No children or bedpans were hurt in the making of that film.

For high school art class, I once made a cool stop-action plasticine-figure movie which sadly I don't have, because the teacher kept it. (Bastard!) I remember almost melting the plasticine with my mother's movie spotlights. I still love plasticine.

If I had had this video camera and iMovie when I was little, I would definitely have advanced beyond dialogue written on cards and filmed. Not to mention melted bedpans. Oh well, better late than never! Frank Capra I ain't.

Speaking of bedpans, who would make a plastic one? How would you ever get the odour out? This was clearly a 1970s idea that someone wisely thought better of!

And Sock Monkey is off to rehab this week!

PS: Is there a way to make the video appear in a larger box/window? The original video isn't that small. I am totally ignorant about this stuff!

Fun with ATCs

I have a new creative activity: art trading cards. For those not in the know, they are 3.5" x 2.5" (vertical or horizontal format) cards on which you do art, then you trade 'em like hockey cards. You needn't be some fantastic artist to do this; anyone can participate. Here's a helpful site run by on the creators of the group I joined, and she also produces the fabulous ATC Quarterly. And I really like her blog!

It's a ton of fun and a great creative outlet, plus you get to meet other creative types, which is good for those of us who generally work at home, alone.

My first set of cards was called "Fish Self-protection League", see above! I should have photographed them instead of scanning them, because my scanner blows chunks (but hey, it wasn't expensive so all in all, I can't complain!)

The group meets once a month. I'm looking foward to the next get-together but this time I won't leave my cards until two days before the meet. I underestimated the amount of time involved and actually had more elaborate things in mind, but that's fine. The fish were fun!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sock Monkey workshop in Ottawa tomorrow

I unfortunately can't go to this tomorrow, but the Raw Sugar Cafe in Ottawa (Chinatown) is hosting a sock monkey workshop tomorrow from 2 - 4pm. Check out their Facebook page.

Raw Sugar Cafe
692 Somerset West

This message has been approved by my own resident Sock Monkey, who is bugging me make a Sock Monkey music video!

Puppy therapy

My friend breeds Cairn terrier pups, and recently one of her Cairns had a litter of four. We've been watching them grow up. They're almost four weeks old now. Last weekend we went over for some puppy therapy.

Gordon and a fat, happy, snoozing little Cairn!

Do you think he's in love?

Look at that adorable little face! (The PUPPY, not me!)

And now for something completely different. Can you guess what these are? I was looking at them through my microscope:

I'll tell you in a minute.

Meanwhile, the LOVEBIRDS:

Naomi is a bit of a tart, though. She's been hanging around Julius a lot lately, and he's really warming up to her, despite appearances to the contrary in that music video of mine (I'm going to create another one soon!)

Okay, the microscope pic? Porcupine quills! As you might be able to see, they are barbed. They remind me a bit of a closed pine cone. The quill goes smoothly into the skin, but when you try to pull it out, the backwards-facing barbs open out and grab on. This is why the vet needed pliers to get the quills out of my dog's muzzle. In fact, the tip of one of these stuck into my finger as I was putting it under the microscope, but I yanked it out before it got very far!

Happy weekend!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My first music video

Give a girl a video camera for her birthday, and all the pets become video stars. If you have dial-up, it's gonna take a long time to load! (But well worth it, Dr. Sloth!)

Why yes, I apparently DO have too much time on my hands!

PS Wait for the credits!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The path of destruction...

...leads from my garden into my house.

Dear Red Squirrels, (the fast ones still flourishing after Tristan-dog removed the slow ones out from the gene pool -- mmm, tasty!)

Yes, I know that Gordon got a new squirrel-proof birdfeeder, and a big squirrel baffle for the other birdfeeder, and now you can't sit and gorge yourselves all day long on gourmet birdseed. Don't take it too personally; really these measures were aimed at the Norway rats who thought they'd found themselves a new rural restaurant chez nous. Squirrels, we do not want rats in the walls of our house now that we have successfully evicted YOU from the wall of our house. Hence the changes to the birdfeeding stations.

Yes, I know these draconian measures have put a serious cramp in your high-livin', peanut-and-sunflower-seed-filled lifestyle (who knew red squirrels could have the rodent equivalent of a beer belly?) I do apologize for the harsh measures we have taken. However, what's done is done, you have six black walnut trees here to keep you going through hard times, AND we put out a specialized squirrel feeder for you.

I would now like to address your complete and utter LACK OF GRATITUDE:

(Nice Sophie-butt! She's not as skilled or motivated as Tristan when it comes to squirrel annihilation.)

When someone puts expensive shelled peanuts in a special squirrel feeder, just for you ungrateful rodents, and a freezing rain storm comes along and effectively glues the lid shut, it is simply NOT ON to gnaw an enormous hole through the cedar lid, leaving a large pile of sawdust on the ground.

How many years to you think I am going to have to wait for my husband to craft me a new lid, HMMMM??! They don't call Gordon "Procrastination Man" for nothing, you know. And I liked this feeder. I got it at my favourite birding store in BC, and brought it all the way across Canada with me. Now it is no longer waterproof. On the bright side, the blue jays are pleased since unlike you, they weren't capable of lifting the lid to get at the peanuts inside. Now they can just stick their heads through the hole and chow down.

Squirrels, you suck. You are making me seriously reconsider the peanut purchases. Go sit in your corners and think on that for awhile. And watch out for the Tristanator! He hasn't had a nice squirrel snack in ages.

Irritatedly yours,


And if you think it's better INSIDE the house...

Oh! Gee! I wonder who knocked the pot of tulips on the floor while Naomi was JUST PASSING BY? Does anyone know? If anyone finds the culprit, drop me a line.


"Who, me?"

And after a hard day of knocking dirt all over the place, Naomi curls up on some wool fabric inside my hooking frame. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. Must have been that nasty three-legged cat Alex who knocked down the tulips. Never mind that he can't jump more than three inches off the ground. It had to have been him.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Naomi, our tiny perfect kitten, is gradually becoming a tiny perfect cat.

She weighs a shade over five pounds. She's the prettiest cat I have ever had, with the nicest temperament of any cat I've ever known. She's a ray of sunshine every single day.

Here she is in the classic "cat brick" pose.

She looooves to hang on your shoulder. Good thing she doesn't weigh much! She purrs in my ear the whole time.

(Oh my God, every time I see that damn wallpaper book-border in my photos, I want to scream. We are hoping to get going with the redecorating for real this spring. Wallpaper MUST DIE. I. hate. it!!!!)

Off to take the large, imperfect dogs for a walk. Yesterday they decided to go swimming in the creek, even though it was below freezing and snowing outside. Then they refused to come when I called them (rare) because GOSH DARN IT! there are so many good things to smell after a thaw and HEY! is that a muskrat in the creek? I bet we could catch it and kill it and WOAH! coyote poop, let's ROLL in it and WOW! Do I catch a whiff of skunk on the air? and HELL YEAH! ...meadow voles under the snow!! Let's try to dig them out until Sophie's nose is raw.

Sigh. Mud season has begun.

Tristan still smells from his most recent skunking. I think he refreshes himself by rolling where the skunk sprayed in the barn.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Lace scarf

Aaaages ago, Dephal sent me a lovely beaded scarf pattern and some alpaca yarn and beads with which to make it. I had to keep putting this project down to do other things, but I have finally finished it. I haven't blocked it yet, but you get the idea:

The free pattern is here:

This was my first time using beads in knitting and it was great fun. I really like knitting lace, too.

I am bad about not blocking knitting projects, but I need to do it for this to really show the lace, no? I will post more pics afterwards.

Thank you, Dephal! This was a really fun project, and I love the yarn.

Monday, March 02, 2009

And the Oscar goes to... friend Spongegurl, for her magnificent Milk Boner Cookies! Allow me to explain.

Every year, Spongegurl goes to an Oscars potluck party, where everyone has to bring something created in honour of an Oscar-nominated movie. Spongegurl created these cream-filled cookies in honour of the film Milk. Do I have to explain the rest???

Got a recipe, Spongegurl?