Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cabbage Patch Kid.

In 1984, my mother moved us to Nova Scotia from Ontario. We were dirt poor, ate A LOT of bland home made stew, peanut butter and oatmeal. It was a lonely time for all of us, despite having moved near some relatives. Life had been shifting and changing for me since I was 6 and my mom and dad separated. We lived with mom, then we lived with dad and a new step mom and her kids, and just as we settled in there, we were back with mom... and then away from everything we knew to the east coast.

So, it's 1984. It's Christmas. I'm 9, my brother is 7, my sister is 5... and the big toy that year is the Cabbage Patch kid. We begged.
One day on the news, there was a newscast about a big oil tanker sinking. My mother told us that ALL the Cabbage Patch Kids were on that boat, and they sank. I held out for Santa. On Christmas morning, Our hopes were dashed. Our entire Christmas was saved by a care package that came from our step mother. I had seen it in the closet, although my mom didnt' know. That was also the year I figured out the Santa myth.

I'm sure the day after our mom told us about the boat, we went to school and told the few friends we had made about the big boat. No one ever argued with me about it. It was a small town. They probably understood where we were in life.

Now as an adult, I understand why she told the lie. We were SAD poor.

By the time Christmas 1985 rolled around, we were back in Ontario. And mom was working, and there was a new step-dad in the picture. A new new school, a new lot of friends. This year, though... there were 3 conspictuous boxes under the tree. A Cabbage Patch for each of us! My brother got a little light brown haired boy. My little sister got a blonde girl. I got a brunette boy with brunette eyes. In a 2 piece brown cord suit.

My mom pulled me aside after and said she hoped it was ok that I got the boy, because she thought my little sister would really want the girl. I was just so happy, I didn't care that it wasn't a girl. I liked him. Right down to his silly name on the adoption papers. Lionel Jessie. I sent out his registration papers ASAP.

I slept with him. I talked to him. I snuck him in my bag to school on days that were hard and I needed a friend. Another change of schools, and another move, another change of schools... life was always in upheaval - but I always had that doll. He didn't get packed in a box, he rode in the car with me on our moves.

I slept with that doll till I was 18.

when I was 18, I moved out of the house. With a boy. Who I barely knew. But when you think you're in love, especially at 18, you just KNOW you are. It didn't take long for me to figure out this was not the boy for me... I left the apartment, to come back 3 days later and get my things. He had had a party.
And ruined so many of my things. Some of my collectors dolls, clothing, things were broken.

And that's when I saw the doll. My Lionel Jessie. The one thing in my life that had ever been consistent. A doll that my mother worked so hard to get (from what I know, that year all the dolls were stocked on the shelves backward, and the associate handed them to you and you got what you got, there was such a demand for them.) That doll that I had actually talked to when there was no body else, that doll that knew all my secrets. I didn't care that I was "so old" at 18. That doll occasionally still got smuggled to school in my backpack on days were I was weak, or scared, or upset. ( I always had a plan if I had to make excuses, but during that time of my life I was going to yet again another school, and could count my good friends on one hand.)

This boy had ripped off the dolls head. He pulled out the fluff. And laughed. He laughed and was so hurtful. He knew the doll was important to me, beyond what the doll was physically. He knew exactly what he was doing when he targeted it. That moment confirmed how crazy he was. I was angry with him for not being what he said he was. I was angry at myself that I left my precious doll behind.

It's 18 years later. I'm going to be 36 this year. I'm surfing around a page on Facebook, and there he is. Lionel Jessie. The loopy, brown haired boy with brown eyes. In a diaper and nothing else. And he's used, and for sale. But I'm whelmed with the want for him.

The lady and I made a deal, and I've "adopted" the fellow. And then I wept. I cried like a baby, in front of my monitor at nearly 11pm at night last night.

I wish I had a nicely wrapped synopsis of this one, folks. I wish I knew what triggered it, I wish I knew what it meant. I guess it just sort of feels full circle. Life, after all these years, finally feels steady, stable, and kind. Is that what this means? Is that why this doll has found me now?

I dunno. I just wanted to share.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dawg Daze - Grand Opening TODAY!!

I'm always excited to see new shops open in Midland. So, when on my regular walk a few weeks ago, I saw a sign in a window on Dominion Ave, I kept an eye out, and the first time I saw the open sign on, I went strolling in. She and her husband have made it beautiful in there!

Dawg Daze. Do you just love the name, or what? Her Grand Opening is TODAY (Thursday, March 25, 2010) I'll be there, snapping pics, come on down and watch the mayor cut the ribbon! Dawg Daze is snuggled inbetween Union Taxi and the temp location of Liberty Tax on Dominion, number 513.

Angela has a whole lot of experience jammed into this cozy space on Dominion. Withover 11 years of experience as a professional dog groomer, she's a Certified Animal Care Aide and graduated with honours at Pampered paws Grooming Acadamy.

Angela's energy is light and lively, and I found her so easy to talk with. It seems like she's been everywhere, done everything, and here she is to do what she loves doing - making small dogs look beautiful, and giving advice on how to keep them healthy, from the inside out! She's got an amazing amount of information for the Canine Info Centre portion of her shop. A couple of comfy chairs in the window, a cup of coffee, and you can browse and ask Angela quesitons while you do your research.

This lady is organized! All of her tools, the tub, and grooming table, are all within arms reach, so your dog is never going to feel abandoned on the table. All her tools are disinfected between grooms, there's no cage drying, and she used environmentally safe products. And her prices are pretty incredible,for the care and pampering she gives your pet. Visiting doggies are treated just like beloved children here, under Angela's loving care ( That's what they are, aren't they??)

Angela only grooms small dogs, however, if you have a bigger dog, you can make an appointment to use the big safe tub to groom your own dog for $20! She provides the tub, shampoo, towels, brushes and the dryer. That way, you're not messing up your own bath tub, or chasing a 40+ pound, sopping wet dog around your yard with a hose, or around the house with a towel. (They'll like the pampering much better, here, I'll bet!)

In addition to ALL this, Angela gives grooming lessons! Although she currently teaches classes at Georgian College, you can do this instruction right here in Midland. She'll teach you according to your breed, so you could do this at home and save yourself big dollars in the long run.

Angela has a fan page on facebook where you can connect with Angela and other people who have taken her course, had their dogs groomed, or gotten advice at Dawg Daze, or in her courses.

If you are walking by (with our without your dog!) pop into 513 to grab a brochure and have a chat with Angela, and check out her clean and friendly shop. If you want to ask about specific grooming pricing, give her a quick call at (705)715-8635.

And, at the time of writing, Angela is only accepting cash payements for her services. Be sure to call and confirm with her when you book your appointment.

You should go meet her. She's a pretty amazing person.

Tell her Lori sent you ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wandering Midland Ontario - Bay Street Books

So, through the magic of Facebook, a girlfriend introduced me to a new bookstore. Bay Street Books is on Bay Street, tucked in behind "The School Bus Surf Shop" (which is on King). The first time I walked in I was under the impression that it was a tiny 8 x 8 meter room - Until Jim popped out from an almost hidden doorway to say "Hi!"

The place is HUGE, a big secret hideout full of literal goodness. Every corner in this place is just PACKED, and I suggest if you have some place you have to be at all the day you visit, that you bring a watch - because it's very easy to lose track of time in there.

Jim has the sections marked off by subject, so if there's a particular subject you're drawn towards, it's a little easier to find (and if you're having trouble locating what you're looking for, Jim can help you locate it.)

I tried to write down all the different sections they've marked down there, and the list is huge - Medical health, true crime, mystery detective, horror, suspense, spirit guides, ESP, psychic, conspiracy, dreams, angiques, poetry, naval, classics, history, Gardening, Cooking, First Nations, sports, philosophy, psychology... but it goes on and on! When I took my sweetheart in on the weekend, I turned to him and said:
"Look, Honey! We don't need Google anymore!!"

This kids section is varied - A great selection of classical kids books, and a good mixture of more modern books, on a shelf close to the floor for the little ones to browse!

An amazing art section, and racks full of comics. SO much inspiration!

The Wall of Vinyl!! Just when I was hyperventalating from the book-whelm, I turn to see the vinyl - I really didn't want to tell anyone about this, as I wanted it all to myself! My eyeballs rolled around in my head when I saw it. In MILK crates, no less. Does it get any yummier? While browsing, I noted he had The Dock FM playing, our local radio station, which was the PERFECT soundtrack for wandering around in the store!

A LOT Star Trek books and memorabilia - again. Drooool.

Right now, they accept cash for payment, however Jim is up for trades or barter, so check your shelves for any old books you're don't need anymore. Fairly soon, will be set up with PayPal, and will have titles available online for purchase. In the mean time, if there's a title you're looking for, you can send him an email request to :

Jim only has half of his stock in the store, and new titles are coming in every week. If he doesn't have it this week, it might show up the next. He let me know his collection is approximately 50,000... although there may be more.

Bay Street Books is open every day from 11am to 4, although you might catch them by chance before or after those hours. When the weather warms up more, their patio is going to be open for people to sit and read and enjoy the sun, too!

Be sure to pop in on lunch break, or when you have a spare moment. There's a map on their website if you're unsure about the location.

Bring Cash.

Tell them Lori sent you ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

I love Miniatures

This Is the book that may have started it all... I mean, I was already a little crazy for miniatures. Then my sweetie got me this one from Amazon. It's REALLY great, and goes over SO many different miniature doll aspects.

The New Dolls' House Do-It-Yourself Book
This is the book that started it all :)

I have this one - and I"ve done a few projects from it. It's simple to follow :)

Needlepoint Rugs! Drooool

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Muses Love Ostara

This weekend was the first day of spring - and that's the day our family traditionally does an "egg" hunt. It confuses the heck out of my Facebook buddies. :) This year, the piece de resistance was our triple muse ceramic sculpture (also lovingly referred to as my triple goddesses) held some candy eggs. It looks as if my muses need a bit of dusting, though. They are ceramic, painted brown, and were a thrift store score about 5 years ago. I've been considering painting them white, but I'm still waiting to see what THEY think about that.

Spring almost always falls on March Break - which is also a bonus for us. This week was EXCEPTIONALLY warm, which was a lovely way to welcome and celebrate spring.

Although I did a bit of sewing, I was REALLY pleased to see my Watkins business working even when I WASN'T. Just tickled :)

We walked all over town, had tea and treats and breakfasts and the diner and the cafe. A visit to the toy store got me a Calico Critter family (I've been waiting since Yule for them to come in stock at our local small town toy store, Minds Alive!)

I haven't worked on the doll house much, but there are a pile of new Market Bags to show for the week, and a happy couple of little pixies.

Working from home ROCKS. Tomorrow is Monday, and back to getting up at 6am.

Life is Good :)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Market Bags - I "Owned" That Pattern!

Well, After THREE attempts at doing this bag RIGHT, I finally GOT IT! I "Owned" that baby!

I'm using upcycled jeans, and scraps of material I've gotten either from thrift stores or old clothes or just scrappy bits. They are nice and big, and nice and sturdy!

This was my first attempt at a LINED bag... It feels awesome to have mastered it, even though I spend 3 days swearing at my sewing machine, ripping stitches, and scratching my head.

OWNED, baby!

I'm still stockpiling for Market, but if you see anything you'd like, that isn't listed on either of my etsy stores, drop me a line :)


Monday, March 15, 2010

ADVENTURE!!! and, Help me Name a Painting!

The pixies were off today, so the teenager and I walked all over town on adventure! He applied for a job, we had breakfast where my mom waitresses (and talked to all SORTS of strangers! It's a wee little restaurant, and everyone knows everyone, it seems!)

I got paid for some consignment items, and we found a NEW FANTASTIC book store (which led to some convo about me helping them out a bit - more on that next week!) And we popped into a pile of different places I've developed networking relationships with.

Between each place, I explained to my son about networking in a small town, and how it's a good thing to talk and keep your face "out there."

In other news, I've taken photos of the pieces I'm entering into the Juried Art Show. The prizes are nominal (and there are artists in this town who make me look like a kindergarten finger painter) but, again, it's a great place to meet like-minded people and be social. A commission or two from it wouldn't hurt either.

Spring has SPRUNG! It was a gorgeous day for walking, and it was really nice to hang out with the teenager (even though he was completely bribed with a burger and fries. hehe.)

These are the pieces I'm going to enter:

Acrylic on Denim, sewn into a pillow. "Cinderelly, Cinderelly" $60

Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped canvas. "A Duel!" $200 16 x 16"

Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas. "Cameo" $200 16 x 16"

This is the one I need help naming. It's 30 x 30". What do you think of this celtic design?? What would you call it???

Friday, March 12, 2010


I'm working on sewing this BAG. ugh.

I have about 25 pairs of jeans that are either holey, broken zippered, or just plain UGLY that I have intended to re-purpose. With the idea for a collaboration with a friend of mine who does wonderful work, my idea was to make bags out of them. I've never sewn a bag with a liner before, so purposely picked out a pattern with one.

I've never sworn so much behind my sewing machine as I did yesterday. (luckily, I sew while the children are at school...)

I know learning a new skill takes time. But I tend to think of hours in terms of hourly wage.. and so far, fumbling along with this bag, I've spent 5 hours. And it's only half finished. I know, I know, it's a learning curve, and once I do it a few times, it'll be as fast as I do my dolls. But right now it's PAINFUL.

Checking and double checking the pattern and instructions, swearing, making sure everything is lined up right, pinning myself, swearing... you get the picture. When I'm finished, It'll be equivalent to a $120 purse. hehe. But, I'm thinking the most I'll be able to put on it, WITH my friends art work, is maybe $50.

Also, can anyone recommend some VERY GOOD fabric markers in colours? Ones that will be colourfast and brilliant?


On another note, there's a weird second wave of illness going around - not to mention the "oh my goodness, it's spring so let's not wear as many layers" sneeze fest. Yeah, every year.

Watkins has a suppliment called Rezist Plus - a natural blend you can take ALL YEAR ROUND unlike echinacia (did you know, it's not good to take that all the time?) I've been taking it and my allergies have been a WHOLE lot less, which means less itchy watery eyes and NO allergy induced asthma.

If you are in food service, customer service, work with many people, or work with children, I'd recommend this! Watkins offers a money back guarantee (our company was the first to ever offer that - We're 142 years old this year!)

Canadian Rezist Plus

United States Rezist

If you have any questions, or are interested in wholesale, email me :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can You Help Me in a Contest???

It's going to be the warmest day it's been all winter today... I"m hoping to get out a bit in it. But, I gotta take care of getting this contest wrapped up!

Ok, so, I'm a part of this team, and we're having a contest. Basically, in the next week, I'm trying to get the most people to click through my link and take the tour... My hits are counted, and my team leader checks every week to see how we're doing... I'm looking to get 50 people to take the tour.

Can you help?

It's my business intro page, that explains how Watkins can be worked without door to door or selling of product at all - I just need people to take the tour to win this group contest! I'm the only one who sees or uses any info you put in here, so you can leave me a note saying you came from this post ;)

Help Me in a Contest! Click Here!

Thanks everyone! Let me know if I can help you in any of your blog adventures :)

Have a wonderful day!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Taxes and Corn Pop Tea.

All day I've been heating and reheating my Corn Pop tea. What-what? You say... Well.

When I stepped into the livingroom this morning, all groggy eyed and messed up fringe, the pixies were already on the couch consuming Corn Pops (what-what? I said... they know they are not to eat on the couch.) and before I can get THAT out, the littlest says "Just so you know, there's no more milk for your tea, because I put the rest in my Corn Pops. " This results in a cranky moan from mummy, and I shuffle into the kitchen and put on the pot of water anyway - because even though I know I'm not getting my morning required-to-function tea, there's something to be said for routine.

I wished at this point that I could drink herbal tea for enjoyment rather than using them as herbal medicinals. Bleck.

Some minutes later, the pixies are upstairs changing for school - and I see the littlest pixie has not only left her bowl in the livingroom (what is going ON in her head???) but, she's left about TWO tea's worth of milk in the bottom of her bowl. ARGLE BARGLE.

I used it. Yes, I did. I brewed a tea up, and poured yellowy milk out of the bowl, and tasted it... a little less sugar than usual, and I'm drinking Corn-Pop tea all day. It's not horrible. But I'm not sure I'd recommend it in anything other than the direst circumstances. On a normal day, I would have put that bowl into the fridge, and had her consume it the next time she asked for a drink. At the kitchen table, where these things are SUPPOSED TO happen. (Waste not-want not, yes?) Orange Pekoe with a hint of Corn Popp-y ness.

Well, on another note, I just finished putting my tax numbers together. I haven't actually filed them yet, as I'm POSITIVE I'm missing reciepts. How does this happen? Every year I have the best of intentions, every year all the receipts end up in 3 different "safe" places... and at some point, I forget where one of those are... yeah, good times.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ninja Versus Hockey Fan?

In a battle between Vacationing Ninja and Toqued Hockey Fan, who would win?
These are my first babies with the Safety Eyes! Yah! I'm REALLY loving them. Check out Vacationing Ninja's posture... He's totally relaxed.

Toqued Hockey Fan sports a lovely white toque, and has big hopeful blue eyes. He's also got a little white fang - as I'm pretty sure he's some sort of pretzel eating monster.

I doubt there would ever be a battle. They'd end up in a pub together, eating pretzels and watching the day go by.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tattoo'd Puppy, Shiny Happy Monkey

Worked on finishing details of some babies that needed some attention (and were patiently waiting for the filling!)

This little one is a child friendly version - no buttons! Eyes, nose, mouth, and ear details are embroidered on in coloured floss. I love the expression.

This is Tattoo'd Puppy! I loved the look on her face, all innocent and pure - meanwhile, tattoo'd from head to toe!!

I think tattoo'd puppy is going to get a little dress, though.

There's 2.5 months until first market day. My sweet heart says the "doll jail" is really filling up, and someone will have to come and spring 'em soon! (I have a glass doored Ikea cabinet. It is getting stuffy in there...nyuk nyuk.)

I sort of want to put one or two on etsy - because, I can always make more :) However, there's still jewellery boxes to finish up, necklaces and charms to get to, and I really really REALLY want to do a few aprons before market... So for now, I'm showing them off on Facebook, taking commissions from there, and letting them wait patiently until May.

More Sewing!

I love my "job."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Art Dolls! Hand Painted, Hand Sewn, Hand Stuffed!

Some of the new art doll pillows are done! I"m really excited, I love the way they've turned out.

I hand painted all of them - every bit. So, in my heart and opinion, they are like works of art, but on a stuffy canvas. They are painted on a light creamy natural denim, with cotton on the back. All have the Little Scotia tag on the back.

These are intended for the Farmers and Aritsans market this spring and summer, but I may put them on etsy. I'll need to get better pics, though, as these ones don't show all the detail and layers of colour.

Life is Good.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Brain Hurts - Actually Printing Photos

This is a piece of work in progress - I'm calling it "A Duel!" after the title got a smile from my beloved.

He also suggested that I take pictures of my work and create an album to bring with us during our farmers markets this summer, after I voiced how much I'd like to take them but that it was so inconvienient to try and display them. He is brilliant!

Tomorrow, hopefully there will be some nice natural lighting through the windows, I'm going to get photos of all my finished works, and begin the process. I'm also going to get good photos of the jewellery boxes when they are finished, of some of the dolls I'm making, and of the miniature furniture, and create a large artist album. It can sit on the table and it could be a great source for commissions as well as selling the work itself.

I figure I'll probably just email the finished photos to Walmart, get them printed there. (Printing photos seems so ARCANE, doesn't it??) and, I'll ofcourse have to embellish a photo album - which leads me to want to also include some of my hand made cards and samples of my calligraphy and writing...

My brain hurts sometimes.

Ah, the artists life.

Monday, March 1, 2010

21 in one Go!

I counted up the projects I currently have on the go. 21. that's TWENTY ONE.

8 jewellery boxes
3 stuffy bears&bunnies
2 princess art dolls
1 lonely lady art doll
6 "odd" art dolls (as the little one in the pic.)
1 16 x 16" canvas painting.

The kitchen is a mess. It started with waiting for jewellery boxes to dry. This led to me sewing some bunnies and bears - and realizing I was nearly out of polyester fiberfill. In one of my magazines, there were some examples of dolls with acrylic painted faces - so I dug out some white denim, and started playing with it. (knowing I had the acrylic textile additive.) Then, while waiting for those to dry, I dug out a new canvas I bought... I found myself standing on a chair hanging a new spice rack today and surveyed the kitchen from "above."

Where in the world are we going to eat dinner?