April 2006

On Tuesday, I turned 40. I’ve been celebrating for a week. It’s been a whirlwind. Three days in a row I wore contact lenses and make-up. I even did my hair. There was celebratory food four times. Celebratory singing three times. There were gifts (I totally didn’t expect that. Cool :D) After celebrating on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I spent most of Monday afternoon sleeping on the couch, and the evening knitting. I was still in a daze on Wednesday and then tonight, we had my dad and his family over for dinner. I think we’re finished celebrating now :P

Last Friday night, I met my Godmother for the first time (that I remember). I love her already. She laughs a lot. And she acts all motherly toward me and she’s so cute and stuff. I totally love her. Someone took pictures of the two of us, but my camera freaks people out, so somehow, no actual pictures were taken. Instead, here is a picture of my mom (on the right) and my godmother:

When I look at that picture, I can hear her laughing.

Saturday was The Party. My brother and dad had been planning it for a long time, and Mark and my mom put a lot of work in too. There were FORTY-FOUR people here. Jordan said, “I didn’t know you knew this many people!” lol. It was crazy. And fun. I had the best time.
There was an interesting mixture of extended family, hockey people, homeschool people and friends. Lots of kids. Honestly, I just grinned the whole time. I had a wonderful time.

You know there is going to be a party when…

The photo collage. It was a big hit.

This was the “She used to be so cute – what happened?!” corner. :P

heeeeeeeee! And people were still arriving.

This was the expression on my face the whole night. That glass of wine was the only drink I got, and I only had a sip out of it before I lost it. lol.

They put 40 freaken candles on the cake. Mark was lighting them and all the kids were going, “oooh! ahhhhh!” like it was fireworks or something. :P The cake was this totally inhale-able white cake with strawberry cream filling. There were whole strawberries and chocolate on top. I want to get another one just like it so I can roll around in it.

But after a very, umm… interesting … round of the Happy Birthday Song, I made a wish and blew them ALL out in a single breath. … now my wish will come true for sure. Don’t worry, as ruler of the world, I will be fair and kind ;)

Then, this adorable little girl stood up on a chair and in front of all those people, sang the happy Birthday Song to me in CHINESE! She is the sweetest thing, honesttagawd.

I know this is a crappy picture. It’s my fault. I had someone using my camera to take pictures, but *I* had set it on the wrong setting. *loser* But anyway.. this is my cousin’s boy, S. He’s 4, I think. He was fascinated by the spinning wheel and asked me to show him how to use it. He has this sweet little boy voice and a wide grin – there is no resisting this boy :D So, he worked the treadles and helped draft and he was thrilled with the little ball of string he made. He kept it safely tucked in his pocket, except when he was showing it around, of course. :)

Sunday, my inlaws came over for a fancy dinner my mom made. My mil made me a Black Forest Cake. mmmmmmmmm :) We haven’t seen them in about three months because they’ve been in California so it was especially nice to see them again.

mmmmmmmmmmmmm :P One of the best things about being married to Mark is the delicious Black Forest cake made by a real live German lady. :D

So.. it’s been a wonderful week. One of the best I’ve ever had. My birthday has been fully and wonderfully fĂȘted.
Someone asked me if turning 40 frightened me. I answered without hesitation: No. If I had to be thirty again, that would frighten me, because my thirties, with a few exceptions, were truly awful.
I’m not being dragged to 40; I’m moving purposefully toward it. I embrace it. I’m glad it is finally here and I feel really, really good.

Everyone, meet Chris. Chris, …. Everyone.

Chris the Waiter

Tonight, my mom and I went out for dinner with my Long Lost Godmother and her daughter (my Long Lost Godsister?) and her (really wonderful) kids. I had a great time, laughed a lot and enjoyed myself immensely. And, I got to meet my Long Lost Godmother, who I haven’t seen since I was about two (so I hear) and I couldn’t have hand-picked a better Godmother to have.

Our waiter, Chris was great – even if he did have a problem with my general inability to go with the flow. ;) He tried to get my mom straighten me out, but she took full credit for my ornery ways and beamed with pride.
And then, he tried to kick us out (not really) because we were, you know, finished eating, but we didn’t go; we just kept on gabbing and laughing and he couldn’t resist our giggly ways and let us stay.
He teased me about being against everything (ok, so I am against a lot of stuff, he got that part right). I told him that if he kept it up, I’d photoshop makeup and a tutu onto his picture and put it on the internet for the whole world to see. He didn’t believe me. Which is ok, because I would never do that. Not really.
ok… maybe one. Just one…

Chris the Waiter
But that is so cliche, non?
How about this?
Chris the Waiter
Is it hot in here?

Ok. I’m done.
I think.
Well, no.
You see, there is also this:
Chris the Waiter
… because weren’t you wondering what it would mean if Chris was Christina? Oh, you were so!

I’m weak. I can’t help myself.
Note to Chris: I warned you. *grin*

And finally,

Chris the Waiter
… because he was such a prince and tolerated our giggly dawdling ways.

Yep. 40. Next week.
If I make it to next week.
There is too much to do. Too much running around. Too much other stuff.
I’m often confused about my age. Not because of old age (honest!) but because I always feel much younger than my chronological age. But this week? Yeah. This week I feel 40 and then some.

Easter was great.
The weather has been beautiful.
I got a wonderful new camera (and you will be vicitimized by photo posts. Count on it.).
And this weekend there will be two, count em, TWO parties for li’l ol me.

Right now, I’m late for my third appointment of the day so I have to zooooooooom.
I’m going to cross off everything in my date book for next week and write in “SLEEP” for the entire week. Oh yes I am.

Recently, I did a workshop at the Burlington Art Centre called Spinning Up Colour.
First of all, the instructor was the magnificent Maxine – the woman who taught me to spin. Besides being wise and all-round knowledgeable, she is amazingly well-prepared and she brings cookies. Cookies are important. Her hand-outs are great and we got other goodies: colour wheels, transparent colour sample things, dye samples…
The workshop ran over two Saturdays and let me tell you, I was exhausted at the end of each day.

The first day we did some colour theory and learned about preparing and mixing dyes and then we set to work making sample sets of dyed roving. I have no pictures from the that day because I was too wrapped up in demonstrating that I am felony stupid about colour and colour theory. When we got our assignments, my first was to produce shades of brown. *ahem* Brown is hard, ok? It took me forever, and then I still didn’t have brown. Not even close. I sucked it up and moved on. In the end, we had over 30 25g lengths of roving all dyed in different colour schemes.

When we came back for Day 2, Maxine had rinsed and dried them all and some of them looked like this:

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

and this…

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

Did you see the brown? Didn’t think so. The wool that is masquerading as brown is there, but I’m not going to tell where. Just know that if I did show you which one it was, you would point and laugh and you’d be justified.
Now, I’m going to apologise right here about the photos. My camera, it seems, is not feeling well. It has trouble focusing and the photos come out way too bright. I also apologise for blinding you with the yellows in the pictures. ouch.
We spent the first half of the second day, each of us dyeing a 100g length of roving for ourselves. We were supposed to bring a photograph or something for inspiration. I brought, or rather, I wore mine. My inspiration was one of my favourite jackets: a lightweight sewn-of-strips-of-tie-dyed cotton with the seams on the outside jacket. heheh.. did you follow that? Anyway… I love the colours and that was my inspiration. When we had finished painting our roving, we stripped up the roving we dyed on Day 1 and then began spinning.

Sitting at my wheel and looking to my right, I saw this:

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

And there were a bunch more on the other side of the room.
I’d like to take a moment to point out that the women nearest my camera, S, who seems to be lacking facial features and to posess some kind of very white, luminescent skin, does in fact have normal facial features and skin and is actually quite pretty. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to make brown again that I forgot myself and washed her out with the flash.
At the end of the day, I stumbled home with my wheel and my loot and my dyed roving samples and my wet roving (dyed like my jacket) and collapsed.

I wasn’t down long though, because I just had to get up to play with this:

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

This makes me very happy.

The next day, I unwrapped my roving-dyed-like-my-jacket and prepared to wash and dry it. This is what it looked like:

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

Well.. not really, because my camera is unwell. It was actually two shades of blue (ultramarine-ish), turquoise and blue-violet with about 15% white. Nothing like you see here.
There was a problem… the turquoise was washing out. I was aware of this problem before I used it, as it was discovered when Maxine was washing all the roving we dyed the first day. But, it hadn’t been mordanted the first day and I added stuff to it, plus, I was ok with some washing-out because I wanted some variation in the shade and lots of white anyway.

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

The problem was that it kept washing out. I changed the water over and over. I washed it – all of this very, very carefully. But it wasn’t enough… as it dried, I realised that the roving had felted. *sad*

We also had some mohair to dye. I used more of the turquoise, a wee bit of the ultramarine-ish and a red-violet. Almost none of the turquoise washed out of the mohair. hmmm….

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

I left my sad, felted roving for about week before I came back to it. It wasn’t felted solid so I decided to give it a shot. I began splitting it and got it down to very narrow strips. I found that with careful (and very slow) drafting, I can spin it. It is definitely difficult to spin and the result is not as even as I had hoped… but it is coming out much better than I thought…

Spinning Up Colour Workshop

I only have singles so far – I’ve spun up about a quarter of the roving. I love the colours and the amount of each colour. So.. success after all. :)

Vegetable-Dyed Easter Eggs

It must be that time of year again… the hits on my webpage about dyeing Eater Eggs with vegetable dyes are going through the roof. I had forgotten about the page and don’t even it link it from anywhere on my site. But thanks to a listing on Yahoo and other sites, lots of people are finding it.
This morning, I moved it over here so that it is listed in the side bar and the formatting doesn’t clash with everything else (oh no! We can’t have THAT!).

Look here: Vegetable-Dyed Easter Eggs.