Monday, 29 December 2014

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Handprint Reindeer

This craft might keep someone entertained for a few minutes ... or it might not. Especially if those few minutes are a delay while waiting to open presents. Good luck.
This picture is related to the 'Handprint Menagerie' I posted in October.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Gift Wrapping

It's a bit late for Hannukah and just barely in time for Christmas, but here it is.
Also, a funny note about the making of this blog post: I almost titled it 'Gift Warping'. That would have been something completely different!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Escher Exhibit

If I do many more posts about what's going on at the National Gallery of Canada, I've going to have to add a 'Gallery' label.
In tribute to Escher, I decided to do this comic in greyscale. I think the contrast with my usual colourful posts give it a lot of dramatic impact. What do you think?

Thursday, 18 December 2014


Don't worry - this post does not actually contain inflamed or inflammatory lanugage.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Getting Carded

I assume everyone who's ever heard of cards understands the basic principle of folding paper in half and writing on it, but here are a few more suggestions to help ... refine your technique.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Ragged Skirt

It's not just deceptively simple - it's actually simple! This pattern can make a fun and faux-elaborate party skirt, or you can use a drab, stained fabric to dress up as Cinderella while she was still a servant.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Puzzling Out Sociallization

Analogies are tricky things, but this is about as clear a metaphor as I've been able to come up with for this situation.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Rudolph's Extra Verse

The most beloved of secular Christmas carols now has an extra verse that totally changes its message.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Book Borrowing Etiquette

Of course there's also the usual 'return in a timely manner' rule, but that applies to all borrowing, not only books.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Hot Chocolate

A delightful beverage, and very accessible ... unless you're allergic, or diabetic ... or until over-demand for chocolate outstips the supply and it becomes prohibitively expensive.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Squirrel Strategy

Of course, if you don't want squirrels, you could try doing the opposite of these things ... or move to Antarctica.

Thursday, 27 November 2014


The long-awaited update! This took a lot longer than I expected it to take to compose and edit. Gloves are tricky, tricky things.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Poppy Pins

In case you've been living under a rock since prior to 1944, Rememberance Day is every year on November 11th. If you know any veterans or active military personel, do something nice for them.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Beading and Bedazzling

Everyone loves sparkly things! Well, most people do. Especially magpies. Magpies count as people, right?

Monday, 27 October 2014

Love & Belonging - Film Advertisment

L'Arche Canada doesn't want to have too much official involvment in this because the film isn't bilingual, but they are aware of the good advertising in being involved with a film premiere.

Asperger's Syndrome and Neurotypical Syndrome: A Behavioural Chart sample

I have discovered the labels feature, which is what I was going for with the Keywords. At some point I will go through my archives and switch the keywords for labels. Or maybe just add labels and leave the keywords alone.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Halloween Decoration Suggestion

Keywords: Halloween, window display, trick-or-treat, free candy, witch, broomstick, spider, cobweb, crescent moon, pumpkin, jack-o-lantern, angry black cat, ghost, streamers, tape, how-to.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Visual Tribute To My Tank of Guppies

Keywords: Guppy, fish tank, aquarium, platy, castle ruins, bubbles, not to scale, filters, plastic plants, algae-eating snails, 25 gallons, self portrait as a mermaid.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Super-Simple Shrek-Face Cross-Stitch Icons

Keywords: Shrek-based, Fiona, ogre, princess, true love, movie, film series, Donkey, Dragon, Puss in Boots, face, close-up, icons, pixel art translated into cross-stitch embroidery.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Pipe-Cleaner Masks

Keywords: pipe cleaner wire, mask support, glasses, framework, creative alternative, Halloween.
No, I am not planning to dress up as a vampire or a hawk this Halloween. I will probably be a dragon. If requested, I will include a tutorial on how that costume was constructed.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Handprint Turkey and Menagerie

Keywords: turkey, Thanksgiving (North American holiday Canada celebrates in October and U.S.A. in November), handprint, trace, outline, draw, colour, paint, peacock, elephant, jellyfish, tortoise commonly mistaken for turtle, running rabbit, bunny face, roaring lion, beehive (fun fact: also known as apiary), blue penguin, owl, arts and craft activity, for kids, those mature enough to appreciate childish activities, menagerie, zoo, animals.
You can also draw various flowers this way; I will probably share sketches of these at some point.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Banana Bread

Keywords: baking step-by-step tutorial; flour, sugar, egg beater, milk, butter, margarine, oven, cinnamon, blueberrry, peanut butter, chocolate chip, soda, powder, vinegar, sift, muffin, loaf, cup, applesauce, stages of mixing.
One of the great things about this recipe is that you can have it as a side dish, or as a dessert - it's thick enough and sweet enough to pass as a "healthy" alternative to cake.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Sign Spotting

Keywords: gun control; controversial; legality; restaurant signs; public domain versus original creation copyright; Applebee's; vacation; USA Canada culture shock; shirt, shoes, required for service; no pets - guide dogs and other service animals exempt; thank you for not smoking, stabbing anyone with utensils, or bringing firearms into our restaurant; where will it end?

If you want a copy of my 'thank you for not stabbing restaurant staff or fellow patrons with your utensils' sign, I request that you use the following JPEG image and include a link back to this site:

Monday, 29 September 2014


Keywords: delicate, pleat, cotton, chiffon, technique, sewing tutorial, do not backstitch, historical, dainty, iron, pretty, fine, thin, step-by-step guide, reference.
The link mentioned in the comic does not consistantly transcribe here, so here it is in longhand:
http [colon slash slash] historicalsewing [dot] com [slash] pintucks-the-old-fashioned-way
Remove the spaces and insert the noted punctuation. Jennifer Rosbrugh, the owner of the other site, has some lovely photos and explains for how pintuck can be used for structural support of a garment as well as a purly aesthetic addition.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Dragonfly Sceen-Saver

Keywords: not what you think, home decoration, yarn, needle, thread, screen door, prevent accidental walk-through, big, bold, noticable, long anchor stitch, do not add beads.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Keywords: ladder weaving, rows, intricate chain, bracelet, necklace, clasp, seed bead, metallic, glassy, shiny, matte, pattern, colourful, diamond, rectangular, thread, small scale, diminuitive, tie knot, style, accessory.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Chocolate or Vanilla? Cake or Cupcakes?

Keywords: versitile cake recipe, bake, importance of cooling, pretty icing melt, flour, sugar, egg beater, baking soda powder, milk, cocoa, artificial vanilla extract, butter, margarine, pans, mixing bowls, decorative paper cupcake wrappers, sift, oven, delicious batter, knife toothpick check, easy.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Venn Diagram

Keywords: Circle, oval, overlap, conversation, presumably well-intentioned, family, single, married, divorced, with or without kids, parenting, possible xkcd reference, too much information, opinion, occurance, popular media portrayal, analysis.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Chilli Pasta Sauce

Keywords: pasta sauce, chilli, ground beef, crushed tomato paste, garlic, curry powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, stove top, spatula, button mushroom, refried red black kidney beans, canned, sliced, chopped, bulb onion, sweet orange yellow green bell pepper, fry, stew, marinate, spicy, hot.
If you want a meatless, vegetarian option, sauté the vegetables in canola oil. In the recipe shown, the natural juices of the meat keep the vegetable chunks from sticking to the sides of the cooking pot.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Lemon Squares

Keywords: recipe, cook, bake, lemon squares, crust, filling, topping, pan, bowl, flour, powdered icing sugar, butter, margarine, eggs, juice, zest, goopy, messy, napkins.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Green Dress

Keywords: dress, ballgown, make, sew by hand, stitch, pleated skirt, corset bodice, historical, Victorian Elizabethan inspired, design, create, flair, elegant, formal, backless, plunging back, green, reverse-angle raglan sleeve.
External inks mentioned in the blog post don't seem to be transcribable here, so here they are in longhand:
http [colon slash slash] elizabethancostume [dot] net [slash] custompat
http [colon slash slash] historicalsewing [dot] com [slash] figure-out-how-to-do-pleats-on-back-of-a-bustle-bodice
Remove the spaces and insert the necessary punctuation.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Purple Dress

Keywords: purple dress, design, make, sew by hand, pattern drafting, stretchy cloth, improvisation, needle and thread, thirty-five 35 hours, semi-formal, tapered waist, circle flutter butterfly sleeves, knit weave fray comparison, whole cloth, cape, mantle, cloak, classy jacket substitute, safety pin, semi-ballgown.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Happy Accident Barbie Dress

Keywords: Barbie doll dress, cellphone bag, pouch, sleeve, ribbon, halter, sewing machine, measure, happy accident, green, snap closure, stitch, reconsider.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Error notice

While trying to correct a typographic error in earlier posts, they were accidentally switched and republished in the wrong order, and I can't figure out how it happened or how to fix it. For the record, the order is supposed to be: necklace fitting, pants making, pants fitting; not, as it is, pants fitting, pants making, necklace fitting. The original publication dates, over the course of a three day period, have also been lost, suggesting they were all published in the same day. I will continue to try to correct this without deleting them, and in the meanwhile, anyone following this blog may recieve multiple updates from the same post. Maybe it's the tiny perfectionist in me, but this is really, really aggravating, since there was a reason I published them in the order I did and now they are all scambled up!
[Edit] I've decided - fairly quickly, I admit - to give up on fixing this, because it doesn't seem I can correct the order without outright deleting the posts and I don't want to loose my stats.
[Secondary edit] While arranging the schedule for future updates, so they would appear on a timer, it occured to me to check if such a thing existed on the posts that were already published. The error has been corrected, but this notice will stay up to explain if someone comes looking for why they got a bunch of update notices when there were only five posts on the whole blog.

Pants Fitting

Keywords: pants making, sewing machine, cuffs, pattern drafting, adjustment, fit, legs, jeans, raise lower waistband, customization, side stripe, tuxedo, pockets, purple, inseam reinforcement.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Pants Making

Keywords: pants, jeans, denim, making, sewing machine, pattern drafting, leggings, tights, pockets, zipper cover, side-seam, three 3 pages, ambitious, challenge, green.