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Welcome


I am happy to share my thoughts, interests with you.
For all my other creative ideas please check the links to my other blogs.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

February 2009 Desktop Wallpaper

I always try to find the most interesting photo I took during the previous month.

This is the first year that the city opened the local lakes to ice fishing and the picture is of the head attached to the antenna of the truck of one of the ice fishermen.

Wallpaper with Calendarwp0902_1024x768_antennahead

Wallpaper without Calendar

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I made EFT cue cards

Since my discovery of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) in December, my attraction to the simplicity of the technique has only grown. I love to watch the different YouTube videos that show exactly how to do it and give your inspiration.

Then in the New Year David Childerley from myGenie.tv started a self empowerment series of short videos and that gave me the incentive to create cue cards for each episode. They are helpful quick reminders that I could print out and look at during the day and do some tapping. Well, why keep them just to myself? So, I posted them on my main website for others to enjoy. Please be patient for the page to load, the site is running slow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reading Online or Printed Version?

Yesterday, I heard about a new newspaper for Chicago that will reprint blogs and that got me thinking about reading the printed version of text versus reading it online.

My preference is to read information that I need to study in print and keep the online version for quick reference. I love to eat my breakfast while reading the newspaper. It is a comfortable early morning habit that gets me ready for the day. I don't watch any TV news. The reason for that is, that I consider it government/corporation propaganda. They show us the news they decide is newsworthy. So reading the news in the newspaper lets me easily scan over the headlines and then choose and pick the articles I want to read and learn more about.

my pdf print bookI also like ebooks and find PDF books quite handy. I sometimes read them online, but the ones I want to study more thoroughly and highlight sections that grab my attention, I print out and bind in book form, usually 2 pages per print page and I print on both sides of the paper. If in the future the I don't want the information any longer, I can always take the book apart again and recycle the paper.

I am really curious if I am the exception or if there are others who think like me? I would love the get your feedback.

Monday, January 26, 2009

February 09 Wallpaper with and without Calendar

This year the city allowed ice fishing on the lakes for the first time and there were many people taking advantage of it. One guy came with a truck that had this ball at the end of his antenna and I just had to take the picture.

Wallpaper with Calendar

Wallpaper without Calendar

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I am an Aquarius, a Dragon and an Otter, what are you?

Chinese Dragon SignIt seems that in our family most birthdays happen in the first 3 months of the year. With my own birthday just round the corner I had a lot fun exploring this birthday calculator.
I don't believe that information gathered by astrology or numerology is written in stone, but it is rather a road map that helps us navigate. The better the road map the faster we can get where we want to go without getting lost.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am a southpaw and so is Obama

me holding a penYesterday, I found out that Obama is also left handed and that got me wondering how many American presidents were left handed? A quick Google search revealed that since 1945, five of twelve presidents have been left-handed: Truman, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton.

After coming to Canada I quickly realized that being a southpaw was quite acceptable and not like in Switzerland frowned upon. Growing up a lefty in Switzerland wasn't easy, luckily things have changed greatly.

I inherited my left handedness from my mother and it got her into trouble growing up also. For her writing with her left hand never was a possibility. The teacher even gave her a hard time when she was sewing with her left hand. Does it really matter which direction the stitches of a handsewn seam go?

My trouble started when I started grade 1 in April of 1960. The teacher at first watched me write with my left hand and said that it looked like it was printed by a machine, but that did not seem to matter. The school system did not allow writing with the wrong hand. The teacher wrapped clear masking tape around my left hand, so that I could not use it to write, even though I somehow still managed at times. It took me 6 weeks to learn to write with my right hand and I was awarded a 100 g chocolate bar by the teacher.

So I wrote with my right hand. Yes it looked nice, but I was just so slow and awkward and hated it. Then about 3 months before I graduated from commercial school, after writing with my right hand for almost 12 years, I switched back to my left hand. I can't remember the reason any longer, but I vaguely recall that on my way to school in the train I found it easier to write with my left hand while balancing the notebook on my right hand.

Once my mother found out about my switch, she got very angry. The reason to understand why eluded me. The only thing I lost by switching hands to write was my shorthand skills as they were totally based on the right slanted, right handed way of writing. As a lefty I found writing straight up or even slightly slanted to the left made more sense. The other thing I changed was that all the loops of letters that have upper loops like: h, m, n, I turned into lower loops, so that an n looked like an u.

The other observation about being left-handed is that I can do a lot more with my right hand than a right-handed person can do with their left hand. Things I can't do with my right hand are spreading butter or jam or using scissors. I can use a spoon, but it is very awkward.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's Inauguration Speech Wordle

I love to create graphics with Wordle. I wanted to use Obama's inauguration speech and found the whole text at CNN online. First I added just different single paragraphs, the outcome was ok, but not what I was looking for. Then in the end I used the whole speech, changed the colors to blue and red and this is the result.



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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I watched Obama's Inauguration online

Obama's swearing in cermonyI just could not resist to watch Obama's inauguration online. I really liked the way CNN linked with Facebook, so that you could read all your friends comments.

I took the screenshot to the right before I realized that I should change to full screen and then take the screenshots.

Being so much into photography, watching an event like that on TV was frustrating. Then I got the idea that I have the 'print screen' button to capture screenshots, yes I know I lost a lot of clarity. So as I was watching things unfold, I was also waiting for that one special picture to capture. Once Obama started his speech I realized quite quickly that he looked to the left and then to the right, but never quite straight on into the camera. Also when he looked to the left there was a glint of the lapel pin of the American flag on his suit that looked like a star. So, I patiently waited for the moment to capture that glint and I think I succeeded.

Obama Inauguration

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Can you see clearly?

I came across this short story today and am greatful for the reminder that sometimes it is better to take care of our own cleaning.
A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The first morning as they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

"That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap". Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?" The husband replied: "I got up this morning and cleaned our windows."

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others, depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

Author ... Unknown

Friday, January 16, 2009

Going Shampoo free

my daughter's natural curlsLast October I came across an article talking about going shampoo free. I wondered what were they talking about, how would you wash your hair without shampoo? So, I read the article and it made sense, especially since I was getting frustrated the way my hair felt after washing it. It seemed to be coated in something and just did not feel natural.

Then today I came across another blog taking about going shampoo free. That gave me the idea to now talk about my experience with going shampoo free for the last 3 months.

my shower with the vinegar and bottle for the baking soda mixI really like it. I like the way my hair and scalp feels. My tendency towards greasy hair is greatly reduced. The biggest bonus I found is that in winter I have hardly any or non static hair. That never happened when I used shampoo and was very annoying.

This is the way I use the baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash my hair.
I have a one cup plastic peanut butter jar, baking soda in a jar and a plastic spoon in the bathroom as you can see from the picture to the left.

Before I jump into the shower I add 2 spoons of baking soda to the jar and fill it with warm water. Preferably warmer than I take the shower.

I wet my hair and pour half of the jar mix over my head rubbing the whole time I am pouring. This way of washing your hair does not make any suds which is quite strange at first. Now, massage your scalp and hair and rinse. Repeat. Your hair will feel kind of different, kind of coarse.

Rinse out the jar and fill it half full with water. Add 2 spoons of apple cider vinegar and pour over your hair. Make sure to close your eyes and tilt your head up, vinegar stings and you don't want it in your eyes. Now I usually soap myself and then rinse the vinegar off. The hair will now feel nice and soft again.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The alien on the ceiling

Inspiration for my graphic creations can come from the strangest places. I do my daily exercises on the living room floor as the DVD player is in that room. After looking up at my textured ceiling for many months, I have discovered shapes in it. One looks like a heart and the other one like an alien figure.

So I lay down on the floor and took a picture of the ceiling. Then I opened it the photo in Photoshop and started to bring out the figure I saw. Well, here is the design I came up with. I love including png icons for little things in my graphics and it adds to my geekiness. I don't even have twitter account, but I liked the blue bird and the Microsoft butterfly gives away that I am a Windows person.

The plain ceiling picture is here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My low tech shopping list system

Once upon a time I had a white board to write down my shopping items, but as white boards go eventually I could no longer erase the writing. So I had a choice, either buy a new board or come up with a different system. I came up with a different system.

I bought a clip board at the dollar store and hung it on the hook where the old white board was. The I dug up a few sheets of loose leaf paper and stuck them in the clip board.

Now every time I run out of an item, it write it on the paper. Also when I want to remember something I will eventually have to buy I write it on the list. The same goes for hubby and when the kids were still at home, if it was not written on the list, I could not be held responsible for buying the item.

The system really works. Before I go grocery shopping I copy the items for the stores I plan to go to on a small piece of paper. Then when I return from the store I mark off the items I bought.

Once the sheet is full, I turn it over and then when both sides are used up, it goes in the recycle bin.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How do you put your garbage out?

garbage cansToday is garbage day in our neighbourhood and it is quite windy. So as we went for our daily walk there were a lot of cans that were lying on their side or even in the middle of the road and the lids if not attached with a string where some place else. Every time this happens. I ask my husband why people put up with this and why they don't take their black garbage bags out of the cans and only put those at the side of the road?

We have a garbage can with a black bag inside just outside the kitchen door, that we fill from collection day to collection day. Today's bag was just barely full after 4 weeks. Then once garbage day arrives we take out the bag, tie it up and put it on the curb. That way our garbage can lasts a long time and we don't loose the lid. I don't think it is extra work to handle the garbage this way.

I took the picture of the garbage cans on my walk.

I am just curious to know if my idea is so strange and would love to know what my readers think. I am looking forward to reading your comments.

As I often call myself the recycle queen. Here is what I did with orphan garbage can lids:

garbage can lid maskgarbage can lid mask











Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I am a grandma!

My grandson made his grand entrance yesterday at 3.54 pm in Mississauga Ontario at 7 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches. He will be called Samuel (Sammy) Buckley Cohen.

Samuel Buckley Cohen

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 - The year of the phoenix?

Over that last few days I have been coming across all kinds of articles about what 2009 will have in store for us. Listening to the media one would think that 2009 will be a terrible year, but then again I don't follow the media too closely any more. I have stopped watching the news on TV as it is only government propaganda. The news we are presented with is what "they" want us to hear and that is not necessarily what is truly happening.

On Friday my son wrote a blog article he titled "fear, uncertainty and doubt in 2009", then today I came across an article called "post-apocalyptic utopia". Both articles state that all this turmoil and upheaval might not be all bad, but offer us an opportunity to make changes that otherwise we would not have made. Sometimes we know that we have to make changes, but just don't want to. Then the universe makes us an offer we can't refuse and we have to make the changes anyways.

I believe that by year's end we will look back with wonder on the changes and positive events that have happened. Out of the ashes of the old a phoenix will have risen.

So I am looking forward to the year 2009 as an exciting adventure.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Make a Necklace Display Stand

I love beading and making necklaces, but have trouble finding a way to display them to take great pictures. Then one day while looking for something totally different I came across instructions on how to make your own display stand from cardboard. Now I just had to check this out.

After running into a few problems I figured out my own way of making it and I am quite pleased with the end result. You can find the instructions here.

The necklace on display is called 'Belle of the Ball' and is beaded over an old key. It is for sale for $30.--. Email me if you are interested.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Recycle Calendars - Make Envelopes

For the last 10 years I have been making my own envelopes from last year's calendar pages. I also use magazine pages to make envelopes. Over the years I have developed a variety of envelope templates.
->
last year's Maritime pictures calendar is now a dozen envelopes. The envelopes are for sale for $9.00 for the 12. Email me if you are interested.

The envelopes in the picture are made on the diagonal from a piece of paper that is 8.5 inches square. You can find the instructions here.

Sometimes magazine pages are not quite 8.5 inches wide after tearing them out and this diagonal template does not really work too well, so I created a straight down template. As both the top flap and the side flaps are wide, placing the template on a piece of paper that is shorter and narrower is no problem as long as the bottom is aligned with the paper. So even an 8x10.5 inch piece of paper works. You can get the template and instructions here.

Another version of envelope needs no glue. I based it on a folded CD cover I saw online. Once I understood the dynamics of the design, I made variations for different sizes and one of them is for an envelope.