Sunday, July 06, 2014

Canada Day celebration space

I knew that I wanted to make a Canada Day space, but I honestly have to say that I didn't have my heart in it. With the recent passing of my Dad, it's been hard to be motivated to do anything. Having said that, this is what I came up with. Next time it will be a little more fun with perhaps images of fireworks and multiculturalism, because that is what it's all about after all!


So for my next space, I was thinking I may make a memorial space for my Dad, but that may be difficult and sad, so I'm not sure yet.

Rest In Peace Dad

My Dad died on June 25th. Even though he has had Alzheimer's disease for many years, it was unexpected.

Two nights before he died I had a dream about my mother. In the dream she had Alzheimer's (in life she didn't), and I was trying to get through to her. I had taken her a bag of cookies, and was telling her that I loved her. When I woke up, first I thought that it was great that I had remembered my dream, as I seldom do. Then I thought that it was like my Mum and Dad were squished together as one. As soon as the word 'together' was in my mind, I was sure my Mum and Dad were together, that my Dad had died to be with my Mum. I ran to my phone that I always turn off at night, to see if there were any messages from home. There were not.

On the morning of his death, I turned my phone on at 7 am and saw many attempts that family members had made to contact me. He had passed away at 6 am.

My sister told me that her daughter Sophie had also had a dream, she and I are very similar in many ways. I truly believe that my Mum had come to let me know that my Dad was going to meet her.

The funeral is in a few weeks, so to keep me busy in the meantime, I made this memorial card for the guests at the funeral.
He was a quiet man, but with a good heart. My family will miss him dearly.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

PAIN IN THE BUTT

Every morning when I first get up, I think I am okay to go to work. Then I start moving around, and it's obvious I'm not. I have been trying to make a quick meal for myself, and standing in the kitchen preparing it for 15 minutes always proves to be deadly. I can't remember the last hot meal I ate, as once I'm done making my food, I spend a good length of time trying to figure out how to sit down, or to relieve the pain. 

I went to the Dr. yesterday and practically begged for medication that helps with nerve pain. I finally got it. The last 2 visits I was told Tylenol would help. I was in so much pain that when they wanted to take my blood pressure and asked me to sit down, I couldn't. She told me she needed me to and when I tried I screamed out in pain and cried a little. 

Then she said, "Oh, it hurts that much? I guess that is why you were standing in the waiting room". 

The Dr. also sent me off for an x-ray, as now she thinks it's a herniated disc. That was a laugh! I had to ask the technician to unzip my boots, and I had worn skinny jeans that I had a hell of a time getting off! Try taking yours off without bending! Then I had to maneuver myself onto the table first on my back, then on the side, then on the other side. I came out of there shedding many tears. I feel like an old woman, no really, a very old woman.

I took one of the pills I was prescribed immediately at the pharmacy, and it kicked in once I got home after the x-ray. WOW! my head was swimming, my speech was slurry, I felt a little high. I just went to the couch, and to lie flat on my back! The very warm sensation on my back was very comforting. My fingers lost some of their sensitivity, and I felt lovely! But once I tied to move the pain was still there, so I decided to just stay on the couch, and not move, I had enough pain for the day. 

I slept well last night and am about to take another pill. I stood in the kitchen and washed a few dishes after breakfast, and I don't want to jinx it, but I had no pain!!

Fingers crossed everyone.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Celebration Space

I had one idea to make my celebration space using white, blue and silver. However, I didn't really have any much of those things that screamed WINTER!

So I was on the look out for things in the Boxing week sales. I found a package of white garland that was $2 at Walmart. While waiting for inspiration, I just spread it out on top of the space. Next I pulled out 3 candle sticks that I found at the Dollar Store and filled the bottom some white tulle ribbon.

While out shopping at Winners I found a white tree that is actually a battery operated lamp for only $4. On the same trip I also found a cute little white rope wrapped polar bear for $1.50.

I took my foam wreath that I've used on many of my spaces, and wrapped it with the white garland, and I LOVE the way it looks. For Christmas one of the kindergarten children at my school gave me a lovely paper mache bird, and a basket weave nest. I used the bird only to sit inside the wreath.

I used my Cricut machine to cut out a few giant blue snowflakes, and a couple of phrases about winter.
This is the final product.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year

My Celebration Space for New Year's Eve.
I spent the evening at home, watching movies on my computer which was hooked up to the t.v.  I celebrated with some sparkling grape juice, and popcorn!  Quiet and uncomplicated, just the way I like it.
Here is hoping all my family and friends find peace and happiness in 2014.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Annual Newsletter

Check out my annual newsletter.

Ereader Cover

For Christmas my son gave me a Kobo ereader so that I can read books on my way to school on the subway.
I wanted to make a cover to protect it, so I thought about how I could do that. I used a bubble envelope and some beautiful cotton material I found in the summer a couple of years ago.
Here is the result.
Kobo e-reader
Back of the case
The case with the e-reader inside
Front of the case

I think there might be a market for these. if you are interested contact me and let me know.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

57 Things You May Not Know About Me



1.       I had a recurring dream as a child. I am walking along a cobbled street pushing a doll’s pram, when Cinderella’s coach glided by me.
2.       I was once bitten by a deer at Marineland. I was getting food to feed the deer, but they couldn’t wait and bit me on the bum!
3.       I am scared of heights. I have tried on a number of occasions to beat my fear, but have only managed to face it instead.
4.       I had a crush on Tom Selleck. That is why my son’s name is Thomas.
5.       I got a scholarship for my ECE from the Canadian Mothercraft Society. Many years later I discovered they didn’t actually hand out scholarships, so I believe someone paid out of their own pocket for my education.  
6.       I gave up my religion in 1997 after George died. I have a very difficult time believing in something that takes away someone who means so much.
7.       I am a vegetarian. I have been my whole life. When I was 4 and still not eating meat my mum announced that I was vegetarian.
8.       I have an allergy to beer. I drank beer for many years, and suddenly one day I had a bad reaction. I now carry an Epi-pen just in case.
9.       I went to a boarding school for 5 years. I loved being away from home. Kennylands Boarding School no longer exists.
10.   I love Hallowe’en because I can dress up. The last few years I have used the same costume, because I’ve been to a new school every year. I made an iPod costume.
11.   I was responsible for a girl almost drowning when I was 9. When I was young my mother used to pick fruit with other mothers on local farms. All the kids played together. I tied a rope to the girl’s waist and told her to walk across an open well. She fell and I pulled her up, and was lauded as a hero. I told her never to tell anyone what really happened.
12.   I don’t know my youngest sister as well as I should. My sister was 4 when I went to boarding school. I came home 5 years later and lived at home for another year or so then left for Canada.
13.   I started watching Coronation Street last year. I never watched it while I lived in England, I had no interest!
14.   I love watching Ellen DeGeneres. She is a fantastic comedienne and a wonderful person.
15.   I dyed my hair blond when I was 17 but only for a few weeks. After dying it I got it cut short, and when I went into work after the weekend, one of the guys asked who the “new” girl was!
16.   I left England when I was 18. I was offered a job as a nanny to 4 and 6 year old boys.
17.   My favourite singer is Bryan Ferry. He has such a sexy voice.
18.   I’ve been to a psychic three times, one gave me money back! At a fair, the psychic couldn’t read me and gave me my money back!
19.   I read all ingredients of food products I buy. So many food allergies, I have to make sure what goes into my mouth is okay!
20.   My son is a photographer. He finished his course this spring, and now is a freelance photographer. http://tomhicken.tumblr.com
21.   I don’t remember my dreams. It has been many years since I remembered a dream. They say I have them, but I don’t remember.
22.   I practice meditation. Every Saturday morning I go to a class, and I try to practice a little every day.
23.   I hate exercise. It seems that every time I exercise I have problems with back and knee pain.
24.   I have a gluten sensitivity. A few years ago I went to a naturopath who put me on an elimination diet. I discovered my body doesn’t do well with wheat.
25.   The best gift I got as a child was a doll house. I know it was second hand, because I had played with it at a friend’s house, but it didn’t matter. I loved playing with it.
26.   My mother was South African. She was born in Cape Town, and moved to England in 1950
27.   My father was a mechanic. He learned his skill in the army.
28.   I used to volunteer a lot. I have sat on many boards. I also ran a kids club every Friday night in my apartment complex for 6 years.
29.   The love of my life died in 1997. George died suddenly of meningitis after only 3 years together.
30.   I am passionate about my work with special needs children. Even though this work can sometime be dangerous with violent children, I love to see the little successes they make.
31.   I love themed parties. Some of my themed parties have been: I Can’t Believe You Wore That To My Party; Pyjama Party; Will You Do It For A Dollar; Hallowe’en. The last themed party I went to was last month, it was a 1960’s party, I went as a “Mod” with go-go boots and all.
32.   I hate New Years Eve celebrations. I don’t like seeing everyone kissing their loved ones at the stroke of midnight, it makes me miss mine.
33.   I was born on a leap day. Yes, February 29th.
34.   I wish I was taller. I am 5’ 1” and wish I could add 5 or 6 inches more.
35.   I have a brother and 2 sisters. My brother is 2 years older and my sisters are 5 and 7 years younger.
36.   I once flew on a trapeze. When I turned 48 I decided to prove I was still young by trying out circus school. Flying on the trapeze also gave me the opportunity to face my fear of heights. I screamed so loud when I eventually let go and fell to the net, they had to pry my fingers from the harness!
37.   I have flown in a jet, in a helicopter, in a glider, in a hang glider, in a hot air balloon, and in a small engine plane. Jet to and from England, helicopter over Niagara Falls, glider with a social network group, hang glider with friends, hot air balloon that was owned by a boyfriend I once had, and a small engine plane into Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
38.   I love to make cards and paper albums. You can check them out at pastedpictures.blogspot.com
39.   I look younger than my years. I put it down to my English blood. Both my parents looked younger than their real ages.
40.   I’ve only had 14 real birthdays. Remember, I was a leap year baby.
41.   I don’t like camping. We camped a lot when I was a kid, we couldn’t afford to stay in hotels. I don’t think I’d ever choose to camp again, unless it is in a camper van.
42.   I once worked on a little cruise boat on the Rhine as a dishwasher. I was sent home after a week, as the others were concerned when the skipper had eyes for me, I was 16!
43.   I have had boudoir photos taken of me for my partner. These were a gift for Valentine’s Day. He loved them!
44.   I have been to Cuba 3 times. Twice with Thomas and once with a friend Beatriz. It is the cheapest All Inclusive destination there is.
45.   I will always help anyone being bullied. I was bullied as a child, and a few years ago I confronted one of the bullies, she had no recollection of it!
46.   I want to be in a relationship. I miss the intimacy and love of a relationship.
47.   I’ve never been married. I have been engaged twice though. Once to an Austrian and once to a Tennessean.
48.   My brother and sisters are grandparents, I am not. I guess I’m just too young!
49.   I don’t believe getting a degree from university will get you further than without one.
50.   I miss talking to my mum. We used to talk on the phone once a week, and write letters often. She was the person I could sort things out with.
51.   My dad has Alzheimer’s disease. He was diagnosed shortly after my mum died in 2004, we suspected it before then. He still lives alone in a 3 bedroom house with people coming in 3 times a day to make sure he’s had his meds and meals.
52.   I never liked fishing with my dad. I hated putting worms on the hook, the cold, the quiet. But it meant that I could spend time alone with him, that is why I did it.
53.   I came to Canada in 1974 as a nanny. I have never really looked back, Canada is my home now.
54.   I learned to ski and skate when I was 18. The first time I put on skates, I fell backwards and hit my head, and swore I’d never do that again, (hit my head, not skate). The first time I downhill skied I used cross-country skis because that is all they had!
55.   I love baseball and basketball. When I was 15 I was put on the girls’ basketball team, (remember I’m only 5’1” now, so imagine how short I was at 15). When I was 16 I was on the rounders team, (that is a game like baseball), I went to catch a high ball and didn’t see another girl running to catch it as well. I lost my 2 front teeth that day! Now I’m just a spectator, although I did get hit by a baseball a few years ago at a Blue Jays game!
56.   My life as a woman has been at risk on at least 2 occasions. As an English nanny, stories were always being swapped with other English nannies, about how we had to fend off the fathers of the children we cared for.
57.   I love my home and hope to retire in it in 8 years. A few years ago I moved to an apartment on the other side of the building I have lived in for the past 16 years. I love the cityscape view from my windows. I hope that I will be here for a very long time.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

For Mother's day Thomas gave me a card that had some very sweet words in it. Included were a couple of coupons for the local movie theatre.

I had asked him to take a few pictures of me a couple of weeks ago, so for Mother's Day he suggested having the pictures taken. I was a little concerned as the forecast was not a great one, cloudy, rain, perhaps even snow. But Thomas thought it would be fine.

I wore something light, as I didn't want winter wear in the pictures. I also had sandals on. We went to St. James park, I took off my jacket and cardigan and Thomas started shooting.

First there was a man with a dog behind me, when I turned around it was Christoper's partner, Roy. I said hello and waited for him to move.

After a few shots by the tree, Thomas wanted some shots by the fountain. I sat and waited for direction, but there was another man with a dog. Thomas had to wait because he said the dog pooped, and the man not only picked up the poop, but he also wiped the dog's butt!! EW!

Then the rain started to fall. We ran over to take cover at a nearby condo. Then the hail came! We went home to dry off and wait out the rain.

We went out a short while later, and took some photos undercover at the Novotel Hotel. Then more hail. We finally went back to the condo near the Sculpture Gardens, where Thomas only managed to get a couple of shots before there was more hail.

We decided to call it quits.

Here are a few of the shots. The close ups of my face have been photo shopped to get rid of the bags under my eyes, so they don't really look exactly like me, however, that is the beauty of having a photographer in the family.