Friday, November 30, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
So, the blog's name is in, around, etc so I suppose I'm entitled to run with this theme. If I'm writing about achieving balance despite and in addition to the family I suppose I should throw them into the mix every so often - right?
The evening babysitting fell through. mr ebb is in the orient. An invite to play with some Windows 8 goodies landed. I took the Wee Guy with me to a swanky promo party (checked with the PR person first). Food, drinks, gadgets - here we come.
All went well for the first ten or so minutes when the Wee Guy latched on to the Kinect. I found out about the Windows 8 os for the Rogers smart phones (it has a very useful and customisable child lock screen so you can hand junior the phone to play with without worrying about scrambled apps or toddler-dialling mishaps), and then had a play with a sleek tablet.
Then the Wee Guy got this crazed blood lust look in his eye as he realised the awesome computing power available on some very shaky tables. Mr Grabber was at home despite cautions I hissed in his ear. He wasn't so amazed by the new Windows - I think this is because this slide and swipe stuff is all he's known. He settled into exploring very quickly before being lured back to Fruit Ninja on the Kinect.
I had a few personal moments with the new Microsoft portable keyboards (loved them) and the new Bluetooth wedge mouse (cute and it works nicely) before the great Kinect meltdown.
Exit stage left.
Sometimes it's the 'in spite of my family' descriptor which prevails.
... and Windows 8?
I like it. I will be upgrading my desktop soon and am looking forward to running it on my touchscreen monitor. However, I'll be sticking to android for the phone, and probably for the tablet too. I'm not sure if I can load windows on the nexus 7. I did have a play with the Asus tablet on display and was impressed with how the new interface works. I love how the tiles 'work' on the screen though I think it might function better on a larger 10" tablet for maximal effect. It will be interesting to see how the art and drawing apps develop.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Oh horrors! everything is now under wraps until November 15th when the gallery and gift shop will be unwrapped by one special and intrepid Arts Centre member at 5pm. Arts Centre members get first dibs on the christmas offerings on show in a special shopping event before the main opening at 6pm.
But shhh! don't tell.Here's a sneak peek at what's under the wrapping (more in our Flickr gallery ... can you see your heart's desire?
Artist-made gifts nourish the soul
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Friday, November 09, 2012
Thursday, November 08, 2012
This is me, marginalised in my own study amidst piles of craft fair prep for the weekend. Still in the picture but only just. After another week of job search this is how I feel re: employment. Haven't quite given up but feeling not exactly hot stuff employment-wise. I've tweaked my résumé, made a plain text version and tested out with multiple emailings to myself, prettied up my Monster profile, etc., etc., etc.
Please just don't ask me to write another cover letter - I'm running out of variations of my crowning moments for the past decade.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
I don't often write product reviews. There are very few which fit easily into my depression-laden diatribes about career change as the midlife, stay-at-home, trailing spouse third of an expat family. KLM doesn't wave air tickets in my inbox, I failed to snag a Motorola Xoom tablet to review while travelling last summer, and even Pfizer hasn't called. Offers I do receive are either wildly age-inappropriate (hello diapers!), not something I can endorse or just plain fugly ... until now that is.
Dear readers - I bring you the Palladium boot.
Well, actually I bring you four Palladium boots, more commonly known as two pairs.
As the mum of a son, there are a few things I miss out on - pink, Barbie, Bieber-fever, and eco-friendly nail polish. There are also some things I'm sad to miss out on, including stepping out in matchy matchy outfits that don't have the word Canucks emblazoned on them. Yes, life is grey when surrounded by testosterone ;)
Last month though, a PR release arrived in my inbox. I clicked and lo! boot mecca. Even more importantly, the boys’ boots were awesome - no strange bug eyes, creepily babyish toothy grins or slippers masquerading as outdoor wear - just plain, honest sturdy boots in which a little dude could hang out with his friends rather than have to wear mirrored aviators and pretend he’d just stepped off the private tour jet.
Within a week of initiating my mum-and-son fashion pitch, a parcel of boots arrived - the new Pampa Hi leather waterproofs in gold, sizes US3 and Eur38. Wee Guy picked the colour, and I went along, although dark or red is my usual preference. Then we embarked on an enthusiastic test drive just as the heavens opened and Vancouver lived up to its wet coast Fall self.
I’ll cut to the chase - both pairs passed with flying colours. We wore them hiking, we wore them cycling. Wee Guy has worn them to school Every Single Day, replacing his sneakers as go-to footwear. I’ve worn them with jeans, short skirts, long skirts, socks, leggings and woolly tights, with lots of compliments. We were both extremely comfortable, even wearing for an entire day. And they are most definitely waterproof - Halloween night confirmed that for us.
In summary, they worked well for any style, any occasion, everywhere (and we’ll be testing them in the snow once the mountains open too) and stayed comfortable. Although they haven’t worked their magic on getting me a job interview, and the Wee Guy still has his homework/piano practice to finish, they are great practical and stylish wardrobe additions.
Check out our fashion shoot here and read on below for the details :)
Palladium started out making tires for the aviation industry before realising they could apply the same canvas-and-rubber technology to making lightweight and durable footwear. Yes, they were the official footwear suppliers to the French Foreign Legion, with the Pampa boot. Now with leather and suede styles too, waterproof models were introduced this Fall.
According to the website, Palladium insist all their supplying factories adhere to a global standard set to ensure worker safety, decent conditions and pay, with a ban on child labour.
- Fit - I asked for a larger size for growth for the Wee Guy and his pair were roomy, but with no chafing. The kids`boots come with zippers either side of the laces so they are easy to put on or take off, and can be made to fit simply by tying the laces a little tighter. I asked for my standard European sizing - they were snug but my wide feet felt comfortable and well supported with room for thicker tights or socks.
- Style - I liked the gold even though it wasn`t my first choice but the Wee Guy`s. The boots were amazingly lightweight but felt completely sturdy. The ridged soles helped with traction and weren`t too fussy - I only had to pick larger stones out. My style laced up easily and the Wee Guy loved his double zippers.
- In wear - waterproof 100%. Apart from some dampness around the cuff during the Halloween deluge, our feet stayed dry. Even with a day of wear, the cambrelle linings made sure we didn't get soggy socks.
The nine-year-old boy wore his with nine-year-old boy stuff - long shorts, full-length cargos, Harry Potter-style school trousers - and they looked awesome. I think he’s turning into a fashionista! I gave mine a full try-out, with skirts, trousers and cycling gear; they passed with flying colours though personally, a darker colour would have been more comfortable with the short skirts and tights combos.
I loved the high tops for ankle warmth, and the non-sweaty lining at the end of the day. They were, as I said earlier, snug but without chafing. The first day I wore them, my heels were recovering from some nasty blisters which were not at all aggravated in the comfy heel cup. The ridged soles don’t trap gravel but do pick up some larger rocks which can be annoying.
:( no stockists in Vancouver but you can order online, choosing from canvas and leather styles, including the new thermal range for cosy toes and a very tempting sale section. Prices are in US dollars and ship from the US via Fed Ex. Palladium Boots are available in Quebec and Ontario, and worldwide.
Notes: Palladium Boots' PR company sent me details, to which I replied with a pitch for review on the blog. They then sent me the boots - the words and images here are my own. No bribery was used to get the Wee Guy to wear his pair, though he wasn't always cooperative as a photographic model.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Today I got my first job application rejection letter!
Awesome? How so?
Well - of the umpteen jobs I have applied for (and it's well into double figures now - I've stopped keeping track because it's just too depressing watching competition statuses change to 'filled' or seeing the deadlines come and go) this is the first one to reply back saying, no.
So now I know - I am not wanted. Instead of wondering, did the application arrive? did anyone read it? or searching the junk mail folder for missing invites, at least I have firm proof that I`m not employable.
I`m whooping it up here tonight.
Tomorrow I`ll send off another batch of my courage into the interwebs.
Friday, November 02, 2012
"This is an interesting idea, but to really make it work, the felt work needs to be better and more integrated."
"The materials are so different that it is difficult to get them to merge into a whole."
"a more interesting, hand-crafted pin on the back would elevate the quality."
"Butterfly pin: Not good design or use of felting" - this about the dragonfly pins above
referring to this moss cuff
"The wires sticking up are interesting, but tend to bend down easily – try firmer wire here?" i may have a couple of whimsical pieces entitled, you'll have someone's eye out with that, m'dear, but i really don't want to enucleate with a piece of jewelry
remarks about the clasp on a tinned copper embroidered cuff "it doesn’t appear to be silver, so it is not integrated with the silver wire, which cheapens the piece." the clasp is nickel silver to tone with the tinned copper
and this gem - "Many of the fibres appear to be synthetic (?) so they won’t felt together " - well, duh! my materials section stated synthetic fibres are used in my designs, not that they are felted.
It's always uplifting to be rejected so intelligently.
FWIW - my work doesn't fit in with the aesthetic of the gallery shop I juried for (note to self: research your submissions!), so I'm not that surprised at being turned down. However, my pieces were returned well picked apart (as in threads hanging loose), and the ignorance of some of the jurying comments left me open-mouthed in amazement.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
amidst mild chaos
amidst a deficit of housework
amidst a relaxed attitude towards domestic matters
amidst relaxing musculature
amidst mild anxiety
wardrobe notes: thrift, thrift and thrift