Regular readers of this blog will remember how much fun Loopy and I have on Wacky Hair Day at school... it's like a national holiday for us. Today was our last Wacky Hair Day... do they have these events at high school? Will Loopy be too cool to participate any more? You can see last year's hair here. One of my favourites here.

I even let her wear extra eye makeup - in sparkly lime green, pink and turquoise. It was hideous, but the other girls loved it. "They were all, like, your makeup is awesome!"

And so, wacky hair is so, like, totally over. I'm just, like bummed, or whatever. It's so like the best day of the whole school year... you know, right?

an open letter to the fan

Dear Mother,

Whilst you are off cavorting in the British Isles, I have received your email messages implying that I have not written you. Indeed, this could not be further from the truth. My neatly manicured hands have typed several long-winded descriptions of our daily life here at home. I suspect that the Goddess of the Internet (or possibly Al Gore himself) is conspiring against us to keep us from communicating during your hiatus. That, or you have inadvertently blocked my email address to your hotmail account... and surely I will correct this matter if this is indeed the case as I do believe that I know all of your passwords and if all else fails, I will simply log into your very own hotmail and write you a letter from yourself. So there. Watch for that.

In the meantime, for Blog and everyone to read, let me fill you in quickly on the goings on here. Today I had my annual eye exam at the City Hospital, my pupils were dilated with those crazy drops rendering me a Wilma Flintstone lookalike for the better part of the day. Veto took the day off work to chauffeur me between eye appointments, also with an eye to chauffeuring Loopy to and fro school but she awoke "peaked" and was proclaimed by Veto to be unable to attend school at any rate since she was "warm-ish" and so she spent the better part of the day in bed... listening to music, reading, doing Kumon and generally lazing about drinking the Starbucks, ginger ales and bottled Evians that Veto brought for her. Being as blind as a bat and incredibly light sensitive, I lay in my darkened room for the afternoon. Duke spent the day at doggie daycare, giving all of us a respite from his manic depression of late. He is either bouncing off the walls or weeping melancholy for the absence of The Secret Weapon. We took him to your house on Saturday afternoon to visit Uncle Bug and Duke seemed to pine at the office door... until The Bug produced a fancy nylon chew toy and then, well, whatever. Grandpa who?

I invited The Bug over this evening to watch Heroes with us and indulge in a big 'ol mess of chicken wings that I cooked up when my eyesight returned in the late afternoon. He declined as his work for the CTV is due tomorrow. I also made two pear pies... one for now and I froze one for Thanksgiving... when was the last time you did that? If you weren't so busy globetrotting, you could be here with us right now listening to Buddy Budderson practice the drums. Wouldn't you like that? Wouldn't that be enjoyable? Perhaps you would enjoy being at home so The Secret Weapon could be parked squarely on his lounger in front of Keith Olbermann (my secret boyfriend) with arms outstretched crying, "why, why... oh the inhumanity of it all", but be pleased, Dear Mother, that you have him off of the continent when Joe Biden meets Sarah Palin at Thursday night's debate. It also pains me to inform you that with my newly cut bangs I set off for my appointments today with my hair pulled partly back only to be informed by the nice lady at the reading glasses store that "I would look exactly like Sarah Palin" in those frames... and in spite of my horror I managed to slap her. I am growing my bangs out immediately and am eschewing the spectacles indefinitely.

That will close my open letter to you until such time as I can hack into your personal account and send further instruction. You may continue shopping for me now.


Your loving daughter,

PS. Whatever you do, don't call me tomorrow evening between the hours of 8:00 - 9:00 CST. The Tudors will be on. I'll talk to you later.

martha martha martha

For your information, scroll down two posts to see my Friday porch tidy-up. Hmph!

screen saver

I whipped up a little screen saver for my computer using my digital scrapbooking elements from mo jackson. If you are a digital scrapper, it's pretty easy to make a custom screen saver.

Create a new file in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. It should be 1280 x 1024 pixels wide. Select a dpi resolution of 300 or higher. Build up your layers starting with your background (I used mo's novel paperbacks)... a fairly simple background is best so you can see your icons when you're done. Don't forget to leave space on the field for your icons!

When you are done, save as a .jpeg and set it as your screen saver! Voila! Custom screen saver.

penny madness

Are you wondering what I found today for just a penny?

First, a recipe...

What shall we do with this batch of Loopy's famous chocolate chip cookies? They always bake up perfectly. Do you want the recipe?

1 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 generous tablespoon of the secret ingredient
(add when Loopy isn't looking)

1 cup milk chocolate chips

Roll into 1" balls and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Today after they cooled, we sandwiched them with vanilla ice cream and sprinkles.

Veto grudgingly went with me to one of my favourite haunts in town... Liquidation World. He hates that place. He thinks it smells. I think it smells like a bargain. Today it smelled like one cent faux flower stems... just in time to stuff my flower boxes for fall.

Friends, I stuffed these flower boxes for 96 cents. Even Veto approved of Liquidation World today.

The purple flowers at the back... they look a little dead and dried... I think that's why they were only a penny. But for a fall flower box, it's good to look a little dried out, don't you agree? This was the look I was going for. Did I get there? I think so. For a dollar.

Inside the porch, I straightened things out. The contractor comes next week to blow a hole in the kitchen to put in the new French doors... I can move the new fridge and stove inside the house and out of the porch! In the meantime, I just want to say that I put stones in my boot trays long before Martha sent that email out...

More bargains... that little obelisk I got for 75% off at my florist a while back. The potted mums I bought a couple of years ago after Thanksgiving for two dollars each at Wal Mart. That little sign is from the dollar store... another place Veto hates. Where do you go for a good bargain, my friend?

still available

Poor Lena... she still hasn't found a home. Someone mentioned that they wanted to adopt her... she thought it was a done deal. She might break out that lipgloss and use it just to make herself feel better.

Gigli is starting to wonder if she's been cursed by the movie of the same name. Oh, how she adores that ruffly Ben Affleck. She should have gone home with Matt Damon when she had the chance. At least there'd be an opportunity to see the Red Sox in action.

And Esther? She is just too sweet for her own good. She's not really into the new-fangled movie stars of the day, she prefers Cary Grant and Fred Astaire. She got an email from Elizabeth Taylor (yes, that Elizabeth Taylor) telling her to keep her chin up, so she will. Elizabeth Taylor has been through much worse than this.

Two cozy winter necklaces still available. Click here to see.

And still two ironing boards left! These are little replicas of the work I did for Club Little House last year... it did create a frenzy and I must say I had so many emails after that wondering if I would be selling any on etsy or filling special orders. Here is your chance.

And speaking of Club Little House, today is sign up day! Pop on over to Amy's blog to get in on the action... if you want one of what I am whipping up for 2008, that is.

brownie and peanut butter cup sundaes

Easy dessert whip-up: Brownie and peanut butter cup sundaes!

So easy these are self-explanatory. A crowd pleaser. Bake a tray of brownies, cut them into small squares and place in the bottom of ice cream bowls. Check out these stainless bowls that my great auntie gave to me years ago! I use them often.

Top with good quality vanilla ice cream, drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with chopped and broken peanut butter cups! Skor bars are also a hit.

Sorry friends, that's all I have for you today. I drove The Fan and The Secret Weapon to the airport as they embarked on their three week tour of the British Isles. My father will be teaching in Ireland. Many errands and bringing down the boxes filled with autumn decorations kept me busy today. I have a list a mile long for tomorrow, and the weekend.

I will be finishing my Zombie Jar, working on a jewelry swap that I'm excited about and general organization of the craft room. I hope to have lots to share with you on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

vera wang princess

The beautiful tiara Loopy is wearing? Saucy's father, The Secret Weapon made that for her years ago. It is one of his sought-after handmade pieces... you can't imagine the trouble he went to, tracking down those crystals. The time to craft such a treasure! Loopy adored wearing it.

Oh, and they did take a little inspiration from the Halloween season... pirate hats are pretty easy to find right now! Here is another inspiration photo from Vera Wang Princess.

What do you think of this pirate princess? Happily posing right after International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

The chandelier in the tree? Genius. But poor Saucy was unable to replicate it. Maybe some other time.

Yes friends Saucy is going to attempt to twist herself one of those nifty tiaras just like the artist Mary Buck. She knows just where to go to track down some gold wire and raw crystals, next time she and Loopy take a road trip to Calgary.

Another photo shoot for the history books. We are having more and more fun with this... the creative juices are bubbling and Loopy gets more comfortable in front of the camera every time.

Guess what? Saucy found a ratty old vintage wedding gown for twenty dollars at Goodwill. Even in its tattered state, it will make a wonderful piece for a photo shoot. She's thinking to let Loopy's roots get a little dark and go for a fairly edgy look... not pretty edgy, edgy pretty. What do you think?

Updated: if you would like to see more Vera Wang photo shoots by Saucy, click here and here.

lucky us!

Yesterday Loopy and I were the recipients of a lovely random act of kindness... the sweetest surprise was waiting for us on our front step! Look at these nifty little broom-style bundles! Whatever could they be? Whoever were they from? We didn't want to open them, they were so pretty!

Inside we found these pretty jars filled with pumpkin spice Hershey Kisses... but the best part was the packaging! Check out the embellished jar! Ooooh, hello craft room desk! The sweet treats were from Jerri-lea over at Girls Glitter 'n Giggles... she is a crafty gal! And kind, too kind. I will make a Thanksgiving cheesecake for Buddy Budderson, it's his favourite meal of the entire year... and he lurrves pumpkin and chocolate. Thanks, Jerri-lea!

Here they are! The photos that London Drugs had taken of Loopy by Branded Images Photography... can we all give a round of applause to our makeup artist from London Drugs, Lisa! Look at Loopy's eyes... they're huge! I need to go back there and get her to show me how she did this again. She had a tricky way of smudging the mascara on. It made a real mess on the edge of her finger but I have never seen mascara look like that in my life!

She gets her braces on soon... these are nice "before" photos to have! Those little chiclets will be soon covered with metal.

It was so much fun to work with our photographer, Robin. So nice for me to be out from behind the camera and let a professional loose on Loopy! I really worked hard at not being too stage-mothery.

One of my faves! With the hair in her face!

Oh, and we took some photos of Loopy over the weekend. We were inspired by Vera Wang. You should drop by and see them tomorrow.

sushi cupcakes

I have been dying to make sushi cupcakes forever. My Japanese sister Yoko spent last week with us... we took her to Elton John and we stuffed a moose with her at Build a Bear Workshop. Imagine coming all the way from Tokyo to Saskatoon and seeing Elton John! Of all places. We also made sushi out of brownies, angel food cake and assorted candies.

Rice bundles of Rice Krispie cake topped with a Swedish fish candy... check out the wasabi. It's a mini marshmallow painted with food colour.

Those funny green candies are actually Japanese sugar crystal candies that our friend Kai sent us.

Check it out! Red non pareils look like caviar!

Yoko was a genius making the candy sushi. Don't you love the gummy worms stacked inside the rolled up sour candy? She giggled and giggled because she pointed all of the worm's faces upwards!

These are The Fan's creation... the cut bits of angel food cake look like rice cakes, don't they? The "crab meat" are gummy lip candies with the red lips cut away... if you look closely, you can see where we used the lips...

My favourites! I sliced up candy sticks for these ones:

How cool do these look together? Too cute to eat. Loopy took all of it to school today. We bought enough chopsticks at the dollar store for everyone and then told them they would be trying sushi! They looked a little worried - then they smelled the brownies and it was all good. There wasn't a crumb left over.

Oh, and tonight Loopy and I were the recipients of a random act of kindness, but I can't show you until tomorrow because there wasn't enough daylight to photograph the great surprise we found on our front doorstep! I'll show you tomorrow. It is

miss loopy's therapeutic crafting

I just want to share with you one of the interesting stories behind our inspired friends collection. When our dear Loopy was born... at ten weeks early and weighing in at only three pounds... The Fan and I were horrified that she might not make it. In fact, she was not expected to make it through the night, even. They removed all of the machines that go "bing" and we braced ourselves for the worst. The little rascal held on... she even tried to pull one of the tubes out of the top of her soft little head and they fashioned her a hat made of a paper cup to prevent her from rearranging her IV. Thus, her first chapeau.

Since that moment, hats have been an integral part of Loopy's life. We had the tiniest hats knit for her to keep her little head worn and even as she grew, if she was fussy, the mere placement of a cap on her head calmed her down. She is still that way... a closet full of hats!

As she struggled along, she amazed and shocked all of the doctors and nurses in the NICU. She was discharged home at a mere four pounds and began to thrive so nicely under our watchful eyes.

As time progressed, we noticed some things weren't quite as they should have been. Not supporting her head, not sitting up and rolling over at benchmark stages, The Fan and I both suspected something to be terribly wrong. Of course, premature babies develop a little slower than full term babes, but we were worried. She was diagnosed with all sorts of developmental delays... but basically we were told she would never walk, talk or thrive like other children.

This would simply not do. Being a wise and experienced mother, The Fan coached me along and we began our own methods of intense therapy to bring Loopy as far as we could... you should have seen it, dear friends.

First, we tied her into her high chair with a scarf. This enabled her to sit upright. When sitting on the floor, we propped her with pillows and stuffed animals to encourage sitting on her own. Gradually... we took them away.

Then, when we decided it was time for her to crawl and then to pull herself up, well, we just put styrofoam on every hard surface we could find and then we put everything - and I mean everything - just slightly out of her reach... including her bottles. We wouldn't get them for her. You want a bottle? It's right over there on the coffee table. You'll get there when you are hungry enough. It sounds harsh, but it had to be done. Even if she wanted to be with one of us, she had to make the effort... we waited patiently with outstretched arms for her to make her way to our embrace.

After she mastered pulling herself up, we moved things even further away, so she would have to take steps. This was the hardest part. She was much older than other babies who were already running about. We stuck to it... she started getting mobile. Her toys started going up on shelves. Her bottles were kept in the kitchen, if she found her way to the kitchen, she got her bottle. She was pooped, and so were we.

But by two years old, she was sitting up, moving around and starting to walk. It was a long two years.

Time progressed. Still, Loopy was physically challenged. Her fine motor skills were lacking. The simple act of picking up cheerios was frustrating and daunting for her. We didn't let up. The food went on the tray, it was up to her to poke it in if she could.

As she got older, her gross motor skills became almost normal (to the shock of her physicians!) but we still worried about her fine motor skills. Something had to be done. All of those kiddie games were boring her by the time she was in school and a girl can only string up so many plastic beads on a thread.

Thus, the hatpin was born. I went shopping for the fanciest of beads I could find... and I even raided my grandmother's stash of vintage jewelry from the 40's and 50's. I set out the matches of the beads in little piles and The Secret Weapon helped me prepare the proper gauge wire for the pin. We didn't sharpen the pins at that point - for obvious reasons. I wrapped them with masking tape on one end and on the other end we enlisted little Loopy to poke those tiny vintage beads onto the wire. I helped with the special glue provided by The Secret Weapon and little Loopy sat there for days poking beads onto wire. It was excellent therapy for her. We made dozens of the most lovely hatpins together... what was I to do with all those hatpins? I have a few vintage hats, but surely I didn't need that many hatpins.

And so, Loopy's therapy is your golden opportunity. If you have even one vintage hat in your collection, you should have a hatpin on it. They are available for the rest of the week at Inspire Company, sold in coordinating pairs so you don't have to make too difficult a choice!

Vintage love features one of my favourite beads - that giant drop bead is a classic hatpin style.

How Sweet features those retro beads snitched from my granny's necklace. Look at the hand-painted swirls on the red bead... how funky is that? Sometimes I wish I hadn't taken that necklace apart, but my loss is your gain.

Be mine... a lovely little set perfect for a Valentine decoration... all of these hatpins make lovely extras on gift parcels, you can stick them on your bulletin boards or inspiration boards, use them on scrapbooking pages as embellishment or really, I could list off a thousand uses for them. I have poked them into floral arrangements, corsages at weddings and showers... we even embellished one of the initials we made in Loopy's room with a coordinating hatpin. Skip on over to Amy's if you want to have a good look at the hatpins before they are gone.

Oh... many of the Thread Bears have been adopted. I must say, we are more than a little surprised that Lena (named for our dear Mrs. Staggs) is still in teddy orphanage... she, like her namesake is such a good listener. All of these items will be available for the remainder of the month of September.