Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Phoebe Moment

Remember Phoebe's fire alarm episode on Friends? Well, I've recently experienced something similar with my fire detector alarm. One very early morning starting around 4:00 am, I woke up to a strange and very loud disembodied male sounding voice speaking gibberish and this was repeated every 15 minutes. When I called the apartment management folks they sent Ray, the gorgeous maintenance guy, over and it turned out the battery in my alarm needed replacing. Great, I figured, no more problem. Wrong! This morning a woman's disembodied voice came on at 4:30 am speaking gibberish yet again. I was anticipating that the voice would repeat and decided to stay up. It didn't repeat as it happens. I didn't go so far as pulling the stupid thing from the ceiling but I was tempted. The management people sent over a fellow (no, not the gorgeous Ray, sigh!) to change over to a non-voice alarm. Fingers crossed.

Here's the Phoebe episode - enjoy

Friday, March 25, 2011

Missing my wheels!


Have you ever had one of those days that things seem to feel a little off kelter? I had one of those today. Nothing I could put my finger on--the day was bright and sunny with just enough nip in the air--my favourite kind of day. And hey, I got to wear the cute little jacket I just bought and, look ma, no boots! But, still, a feeling of dis-ease dogged me as I ran a dozen errands all over town. I just couldn't shake it. And as I waited for buses that never seemed to come, I suddenly missed my bright red Honda Civic hatchback. I know, I know - bad for the environment, etc., etc. but it would have saved me a ton of time.

And then a friend showed up at my flat with a bottle of Freixenet Brut (my favourite) and the Sex in the City movie. I love the wine and the movie was better that I imagined it would be. Just what I needed to set my universe back into gear.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Salander, I need my umlaut.

I mentioned yesterday that we may be at the brink of a Swedish invasion and I think part of that may be  because of the success of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest). I've read all three books and enjoyed them. But the second book had me laughing out loud. Now, you have to realize that these are very high drama/crime stories with no intentional humour whatsoever (in fact, this particular book is especially brutal) but in the middle of Lisbeth Sanders' (aka Salander) trials and tribulations is a description of her need to furnish her new apartment and, as a good Swede, she opts for Ikea!!

"She drove to IKEA at Kungens Kurva and spent three hours browsing through the merchandise, writing down the item numbers she needed. She made a few quick decisions..."


Larsson devotes an entire section in the book to describing each and every piece Salander purchases. Apartment Therapy has a complete list plus an excerpt from that section of the book. If you want to read a hilarious sendup of the girl who went shopping at Ikea, read Nora Ephron's article The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut in the New Yorker.

Tomorrow, more about the invasion of the Swedes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A most romantic Paris tale ...


Okay, I'm still trawling through the boxes piled up in the kitchen of my second-floor basement flat and I came across this artist's box and remembered how and where I had found it. It's, like, the most romantic discovery, ever. There I was strolling along the Quai de Montebello, in the shadows of the Notre Dame Cathedral along the left side of the Seine when I spied something in the bushes behind a bench. I bent down to take a closer looked and to my surprise found an artist's box partially hidden among the leaves and debris. I pulled it out and took a look inside.


Everything was there - an easel, brushes, palette knives, paint tubes and all the other bits and bobs of an artist's tool kit. From the state of the materials inside the box, it was well used and the box itself was not harmed in any way. How long had it been there? Who was the artist and why had she or he tossed away this rather expensive piece of art equipment? Of course, the why was apparent by the awfulness of several completed watercolours that I found inside. Even for an amateur art critic like me, you could tell that whoever painted them had very little talent. During my stay in Paris that spring I often wondered about that would-be artist. I always hoped that she or he eventually found their true métier. Rediscovering the box among my other stored stuff just made it all come back. Ah, Paris, it is no doubt a glorious, mysterious, romantic city but with tough standards!

The first photo above, by the way, is a reenactment. I didn't have a camera with me that long ago day in Paris.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What I found in my storage locker


I think it's time I revealed the goodies that were hidden in cardboard boxes in my storage locker. Here's a tweeny’s fireplace cleaning box. In Victorian times, one of the chores of the lowest servant of the house, the scullery maid who cleaned between stairs (commonly known at the time as a tweeny), was to sweep up the ashes in the fireplaces and polish the brasses. The box held the ashes and the top insert held her brushes and rags for cleaning. 

What would you do with this box? I can see it filled with little gifts for Christmas or it would be a great storage box for holding paper, cards and envelopes in the bottom with pens, pencils, erasers, stamps, etc. in the to. Easy to take along whenever and wherever you want to jot a note or send a card. Or here's an original thought, use it for storing your cleaning stuff. By the way it's for sale at my Etsy store. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween workshop



Wow, the past week just flew by. My thoughts are with my fab friend Sean and his audition in Toronto for the Marilyn Dennis. I know that he'll blow away the Marilyn Dennis producers with his original ideas. He is so talented. Fingers crossed all went well. Later today I skyped my little K and discovered that he has got his first two teeth! Oooh, I could just smush that little face!

Since the Halloween workshop is coming soon and I have no materials, I found myself running around asking friends and strangers if they had anything I could use for recycling. Popped into the Cedar Closet, a clothing resale shop if they had any. No -- but Glenise, one of the owners, called their dry cleaners if they had some and Vern gave me over a dozen. Friends came through with garbage bags and paper.

My article on cheap and green Halloween decorating ideas will be published on Saturday, Oct. 23 in the Real Deal section of the Ottawa Citizen. Check it out as it has a lot of neat and easy projects you could do with the kids. Plus I also published more easy, peasy Halloween ideas online.  I'll be posting more ideas at my recycling site. The picture above shows one of them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Boo Brigade

For those of you unable to attend the 'Hallowgreen' workshop, here's a sample of what we'll be doing.


It's not my original - I found it at Country Living magazine. If you want the instructions and template for the beetle, go here. Our lady Martha also has oodles of templates you can download and use. Very simple, all you need is a printer, black construction paper and some scissors. For more info, visit my recycling site

Image Country Living magazine