Saturday, June 30, 2012

fibre friday: brocade wire and fibre cuffs

fibre friday: brocade wire and fibre cuffs:
I will have a clutch of these new wire and fibre cuffs for sale at Coquitlam's Canada Day celebration at Lafarge Lake on Sunday. The artisan village is open from noon to 9pm so please drop by.
I'll be demo'ing some felting and a few other techniques I use (and probably finishing up the clasps on these cuffs too!).

Friday, June 29, 2012

friday forte: square abstract reflection summer vacation started

A whole day - the first day of the summer vacation - a whole day of parenting ... non-stop

What I did:
1. visited Family Place, played and picked up news items for the newsletter
2. paid in cheques, picked up prescriptions, shopped at Costco
3. swam, lots
4. took a few photographs and ran other errands
5. laundry
6. wrangled, negotiated, threatened, bribed and cajoled

What I didn't do:
1. write
2. read emails
3. prep for Sunday's craft fair

... and it continues next week too :o

Thursday, June 28, 2012

spt 28th jun: going home

spt 28th jun, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

At the end of the day and the start of the summer holidays for the Wee Guy and the end of the school year and more writing to pack in there somehow ... and how awesome it all is.

That's all!

wordless wednesday: treat time


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

terrific tuesday already? Pajo's

By gum!

So ... monetise or not?
My internal struggle (to put a grand and pretentious spin on it) about Brand Me and blogging for financial gain.

Well - it got us a slap up meal of fish and chips this weekend. Pajo's, a local legend, celebrated 25 years at its Port Moody location recently. It also sponsored that little shindig I went to a couple of weeks ago, slipping a cool gift certificate into my end-of-party gift bag alongside the diaper cream and fabric softener.

Pajo's 25y party - in fullswing, in the sunshine at Rocky Point #portmoody come on down!

More importantly, Mon who runs the Pajo's twitter introduced herself at the party, then thanked me for the retweets. She was the only "brand" who did say hi at the event.

It's a total pleasure! Pajo's is one of the reasons we ended up in PoMo. A day out from the city, sunny afternoon in Rocky Point park, fish and chip supper from Pajo's - we were sold on the location. And they've continued to be one of our summertime destinations ever since (and early/late season when we find them braving the elements). Queues can be a bit insane during the popular rush hour times but the quality is never compromised. Order early then play some frisbee while waiting to build up an appetite. Portions are generous, the lemonade thirst-quenching and don't forget the tartare sauce. My recommendation? get the three fish sampler and crunch through halibut, cod and salmon - an excellent share plate al fresco. Wee Guy gave the hot dog a thumbs up and reminded me that the fish nuggets between two make an excellent mid afternoon snack after swimming (Rocky Point pool is now open).

Pajo's - it's a pleasure to retweet you :)
Bon appetit!

Apart from the Top 30 Blogger gift certificate, no money has changed hands here. The words and views and fish pics are my own.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

the daily kitten: a week of Griz

Saturday, June 23, 2012

studio portrait thursday: clutch of clay close up

studio portrait thursday: clutch of clay close up:
I'm still drumming up the courage to fire these with my new über-hot torch (which appears to be hot enough to melt glass).
If they survive, they'll be fine silver charms for pendants.
Wish me luck!

Friday, June 22, 2012

friday forte: setting sail

It's nearly bedtime and I haven't a clue what to write about this Friday.
Friday's friday forte should be somewhat ranty perhaps with maybe a more positive pro-active midlife monday to follow ... but I'm afraid happiness has broken out with a side order of contentment.
Or maybe I'm just too mellow.
Anyway, enjoy the pic.
I've been making stuff.
I should be making more for next week's Canada Day fair at Evergreen.
And I've been writing my fingers off for my work experience term (and it gets published soon - expect lots of gratuitous hyperlinking) and getting paid for it too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

self portrait thursday: bella donna

The beautiful lady.
Woman are rated more beautiful with dilated pupils; wide-eyed, alluring, youthful. Belladonna, deadly nightshade contains atropine which acts on parasympathetic nerve endings, causing pupillary dilation ... and death in high concentrations,but not from looking cute.

Dripped into the eye, effects take a while to peak. Vision blurs after the initial stinging and it's diffficult to focus short distance.then things get really bright. And with dilated pupils the optician has a better view into the eye.

Bella donna - manga heroine.
The Wee Guy was impressed.
mr ebb was impressed with my cute blurriness.

I have early-onset cataracts developing in each eye.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

fish and chips Port Moody celebration!

So ... what are you doing next Saturday?
Spread the love on Facebook :)

PS: a BIG thank you to Pajo's for being one of the sponsors for the Vancouver Mom Top Thirty Bloggers gala last week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ragout of mushroom and courgette

courgette and mushroom ragout on a bed of noodles
Not sure where I got this recipe from; it exists as a snippet in my scrapbook. It is a delicious creamy and decadent way to eat zucchini :)

10 oz button mushrooms, wiped and halved
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 medium courgettes
1oz butter
5 fl.oz double cream
5 fl.oz white wine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Cut the courgettes into quarters lengthways and then dice into 1cm chunks. Fry in olive oil for two minutes, remove and set aside.
  2. Melt butter, then fry onion, mushrooms and garlic for 7-8 minutes. 
  3. Add the wine and leave to reduce for 8-10 minutes. Add tarragon at this step if using dried herb.
  4. Add courgettes, stir and season. Heat through.
  5. Stir in cream and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add fresh tarragon and serve on bed of fettucine or similar pasta.
Serves 4. Bon appetit :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

midlife monday: just, because

So why not?

It's difficult to explain why I'm not heading back into practice, to use my training and first degree as a vet and scientist. Outwardly, it does seem crazy to throw it all away. Why want to write or make art or create stuff? Why not just re-qualify and go do the clinical stuff again? You've done it before - do it again.

Why choose to do the something that you've always enjoyed? Why try to distil the enjoyable feature in every single job you've had into a new way of life?

Why try to fit it around parenting? Why not go the easy route of nine-to-five with childcare on the side? Why not stay at home? Why strive for work/hours that fit in with the kid and the husband? Why try at all?

Why not do the predictable? Why try something new? Why try to change things? Why try to change you?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy father's day

To the five wonderful men in my life, Happy Father's Day (even though one of you isn't a dad yet - don't rush it!) and thank you.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

that was saturday


Soooo Saturday is almost done, a full day at Northern Voice held at Woodward's downtown learning about blogging and social media and Lean Publishing and Pinterest (am blogging from phone so sorry, no hyperlinks). As usual with NV, i'm inspired. Last year it was podcasting; this year it's Pinterest (where self-promotion is apparently de rigeur).

Tomorrow i'm switching it up to go knitting in the rain. I don't foresee the same levels of inspiration but I am looking forward to the company.

Friday, June 15, 2012

friday forte: just missed or almost there?

In a perfect world shutter release would be instantaneous and I'd have caught the Woodward's building W framed perfectly, neon red against a brilliant blue sky this morning.

The W rotates high above the heads of Vancouverites in the downtown eastside core. Another shot would show the W face on instead of sideways. But I chose to carry on along Hastings Street to get to my appointment.

Too much in a hurry?
Just missed the opportunity?
Almost nailed it?

Who knows, and who's to judge except me?
C'est la vie.
I get to decide.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

self portrait thursday: hunch



Finished assignment on data mining.
Now waiting for edits.

The big voice in my head tells me I am a totally crap writer and should give it up forthwith.

The little voice in my ear says, hang in there; everyone has to begin somewhere.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

wordless wednesday: rearview looker


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

having a clue

Got this on Facebook in response to my comment "so sad - one of the many reasons I will never move to the US" about the above image posted by a US friend.
xxx wrote: "We are also the first country to win 2 world wars, liberating millions of people from the Nazi's, land on the moon, provide the very last vestage of hope for people who come here from 3rd world countries run by dictators, allow people to practice freedom of religion, earn as much money as their talents will allow, be able to speak out against our government freely without fear of being executed or thrown in a gilag, invent and develop electricity, the light buld, the telephone, the personal computer, the transistor, the assembly line, and on and on... please don't move here Amanda, at least until you get a clue!"
Soooo ... where do I start?

  • Won two world wars - all on your own? and which wars have you won since then?
  • Liberating from the Nazi's what? your use of the apostrophe here is incorrect unless you missed a word out. In this context the apostrophe denotes possession, as in the dog's bollocks i.e., the bollocks belonging to the dog. To denote plural just leave out the pesky apostrophe - one Nazi, many Nazis; one moron, many morons - simple!
  • Land on the moon - OK, you did (or maybe you didn't)
  • the last vestage of hope - so glad you're providing clothing for immigrants
  • ... 3rd world countries run by dictators - ah, you mean Mexico, the Philippines, India and China (the majority of whom arrive as family reconciliations)
  • freedom of religion - but same-sex marriage is a bit iffy?
  • earn as much money as their talents will allow - and talent varies according to ethnicity?
  • free speech? - against the government yes, but generally not if it involves science?
  • thrown in a gilag - do you mean gulag perhaps? or gilet?
  • invent and develop electricity - various; Michael Faraday (British) and Charles Parson (British) spring to mind, but you did give Nikola Tesla (Serbian) his big break
  • the light buld - damn iphone autocorrect? (Thomas Edison, US, did invent an incandescent light bulb however)
  • telephone - er, Alexander Graham Bell was a scot
  • the personal computer - you cannot just brush off the contribution of Sir Clive Sinclair (English) here! and don't forget the father of modern computing (English)
  • the transistor, the assembly line, and on and on - the former with input from Canada, Germany and France; the latter from a theory proposed by Adam Smith (Scottish) but yes, I admit that the rest of the world hasn't really invented anything of substance at all. 

America has indeed produced an explosion of innovation into the world but no, I won't be moving there.

Sir - as I fling down my ballpoint pen (Hungarian) onto the sheet of paper (Ancient Egyptian) in front of me and gaze blankly out of my window (Ancient Egypt again) in defeat, I remain curiously untouched by your boasted wealth of innovations, freedoms, riches and materialistic endeavour.

Coming from a country where socialised healthcare, though imperfect in design and execution, does not bankrupt its citizens, I do consider myself to have a clue.

Stay healthy!

PS: this comment was posted after xxx commented (and withdrew his comment - ha ha, the email notification does not get withdrawn, btw). Gasp! - maybe even your compatriots don't have a clue?
yyy wrote: "***y goes to school with a young woman from Iraq. She was horrified when he explained to her that we don't have government-sponsored medical insurance for everyone. I found it pretty poignant considering where she's from."

Monday, June 11, 2012

midlife monday: things that are true

Tom Nook's house

Way back, when I thought that mid-thirties was midlife (ha ha), I would never in a million years have thought I would be cruising through middle age in a country other than my birthland.

But I am, and about a decade later for the former and 8000km away for the latter.

I've conveniently postponed midlife to a more reasonable age and been happily settled here in Canada for the last decade. When I arrived here, I was full of youth, naivety and curiosity; now I'm just curious. In those early days as a new immigrant, the internet was definitely my friend. Answers I needed to the myriad of trailing-spouse-accompanying-skilled worker questions which dogged my attempts to obtain driving licences (no, an international licence is not valid longer than 3-months), sort out volunteer work (yes, i needed a work visa to volunteer) and learn about renters' rights were available ... but only if I found the right telephone number. Through a lot of trial-and-error I discovered that customer service here though friendly and prompt was essentially useless; it took a minimum of three calls on different days to different people to get all the advice needed.

Life would have been a lot better with a friendly online expat forum, such as the couple linked in the sidebar. Expats sign up from where they have landed and can ask questions or offer advice based on their hard-won experiences in situ. The personal touch always wins and it's a great resource for current residents, fresh expats or those thinking about relocation.

One of these excellent resources is Expat Blog which covers thirteen destinations in Canada, ranging from  Alberta to Winnipeg. It's recently launched another couple of useful services for expats in Canada, Jobs and Housing, both of which can be localised to specific cities. Here you can search the listings and even post your own classifieds. In Jobs, you can also post your resume for potential employers to see. Although they're a little quiet and I'm not a frequent visitor to expat advice websites these days (been there, done that though I will probably post my CV on the Jobs site to see if I can find some freelance writing contracts though), they are definitely worth pinning to your Favourites just in case.

Adjusting to my expat life would have been a whole lot easier with these resources at my fingertips.

PS: Expat Blog approached me to write about their new Jobs and Housing sections, to publicise their release. I haven't used any of the services offered but I do check out the site from time-to-time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the daily griz test story

Saturday, June 09, 2012

shout-out saturday: poetry and tears, Save the Skinny Girls

future heartbreaker?
It's still all about me, but maybe it's happened to someone else too?

So ... I was sitting quietly in Starbucks last Sunday, savouring the peace over my decaf and resigned to mr ebb returning with the Wee Guy Any Moment Now. I looked down at my netbook, surprised to find sploshy wet stuff covering the keys as I read the beautiful Save the Skinny Girls by Print Futures classmate Sharon Miki (congrats on the recent graduation).

Hands up. I'm first to admit to being no poetry buff, but her poem, Love Song for Costco Merchandisers, took me right back to 15, 19, 23, 26 years old - pulling me back into the desolation of everyone-but-me being happy in love, and wanting it so bad I'd put up with any old shit (and I did, even the fractures).

And then I remembered, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Courage grasshopper :)

Go buy her book (Kindle edition available here) - you will love it.

Friday, June 08, 2012

friday forte: dear mr ghomeshi

OK - straight up.
I have difficulty listening for the first couple of minutes of Q. After your sultry, well hi there! (be still my fluttering heart) I focus on your opening monologue.
Once, I pulled the car over to the side of the road.

After that I listen. Sure, to learn about celebs, movers and shakers, news makers and people I've never heard of. But also to learn about style, the how-to of interviewing, teasing out the formula from your seamless flow of eloquent questions. How to craft the story, and engage both interviewee and the listener. It's a skill - you make it seem effortless.

I have a question.
But first here's some background.
This summer is my summer of work experience towards college diploma, when I get back in the saddle of paid work outside the home after an absence of over a decade. I'm loving it, totally stoked to find out I can still 'do stuff', get paid, and am still functional/not obsolete. insert big smiley here

Part of my duties is content management wrangling, getting to grips with Adobe CQ5 and wrestling old website pages into a shiny new format. Me and my mouse and my laptop are coping just fine.

The rest revolves around profiles and features, reporting on actual news (rather than the All About Me witterings populating this blog). This requires writing, editing (lots of editing) the fruits of my interviewing ... listening to the audio file, cringeing at (too much of) my voice and what I'm asking ... This last is the worst; I sound like a complete twit.

How long, and I sincerely hope I'm not a forever-twit, till I stop thinking all my interview questions are the dumbest things ever heard?

PS: loved the Philip Glass interview this morning
PPS: happy birthday

Thursday, June 07, 2012

self portrait thursday: sit for you? no way!

self portrait thursday

Being in celebration of the Etsy Self Portrait Thursday challenge where a bunch of Etsy sellers indulge in online vanity by taking pics of themselves

You may have noticed by now that I am not shy about taking photographs of myself every Thursday. Sometimes it's a body part, other times reflection, but always me. No holds are barred. You've seen me prepping for a colonoscopy, looking incredibly frumpy (this one is truly blech), in the air, on the piste, and on the move. I've shown you my shaddocks, my scar, my wrinkles and my arse. I've taken pics at work, at domesticity, on reflectionin disguise and in despair.

Yesterday at momcafe I listened to adorable Vancouver photographer Jenn di Spirito talk about her mission to ensure that every mum realises they deserve a beautiful portrait of themselves in recognition of the truly wonderful work they do. She's right! A picture of yourself looking radiant with your kids - not you looking puffed and sweaty from chasing round corralling them for the photoshoot ...

... which is what might happen to Jessica Rae, my local Tri Cities photographer, trying to corrall me for my photo shoot. I won a portrait session with the gorgeous and talented Jessica a month ago. Yesterday I had to 'fess up that I was extremely nervous about the whole thing. I hate it when someone points a camera at me and yells, smile! or I have to wait with a cheesier grin growing across my face until I hear the click. I can take endless portraits of myself, publish them on the web, but sit me down in front of a camera I'm not in charge of and I feel so very self-concious.

But I think that if anyone can put me at ease, it will be Jessica so stay tuned for the results.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

wordless wednesday: sci fi?

sci fi, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Monday, June 04, 2012

midlife monday: a month of eats

ducks and ducklings at Helmer's Organic farm
quack today; left-overs tomorrow

So why have a meal plan for a month as part of midlife monday?
Why indeed!

This month I've culled a couple of en papillote recipes from the latest All You Need Is Cheese magazine which landed on my doorstep. They will be a refreshing change from the vast amounts of frozen left-overs the boys will be eating over the next four weeks.

Bon appetit :)

Week One:

Week Two:
  • Monday = pork and olive casserole with rice (say it with me - frozen left-overs)
  • Tuesday = pizza (frozen Panago left-overs!!)
  • Wednesday = out :)
  • Thursday = nachos with prawns
  • Friday = beany lasagne (made with my never-ending stock of baked beans in the freezer)
Week Three:

Week Four:
  • Monday = salade nicoise (similar recipe from Canadian Living)
  • Tuesday = yogurt spiced chicken with veg bocconcini kebabs
  • Wednesday = tofu stirfry
  • Thursday =  final appearance by the squash and lamb stew left-overs!
  • Friday =  Thai fish curry with udon noodles and coconut milk (in other words, fish and cilantro boiled in coconut milk with Thai curry paste, red, green or yellow)
No risotto?

PS: Nicole Avery aka. @planningqueen of Planning With Kids has released an app for her weekly meal plans. Download her menus and generate your own shopping lists.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

oops! wordless wednesday: embroidered fibre cuff in progress

oops! wordless wednesday: embroidered fibre cuff in progress:

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Fab Fair Saturday and Sunday June 2nd and 3rd

Fab Fair Saturday and Sunday June 2nd and 3rd:

Friday, June 01, 2012

friday forte: ages and stages part II

fine silver and freshwater pearl necklace
fine silver wire beads - patina added & aged to perfection to give a golden glow
Having great fun describing my work internship for the summer. I'm loving it, will talk enthusiastically about it to all and sundry then realise I've lost the majority after the word 'intern' falls from my lips.

  1. Yes - an intern can be older than 30.
  2. Career change is allowed after 30 too.

The world revolves around youthfulness, apparently.

I am in danger of turning into a female curmudgeon with the onslaught of youthful media messages hitting me daily; 36 years old is the ideal age for a woman (???) and heavens, we should dress young no matter how old (but not mutton-as-lamb) according to most clothes shops. According to my local rec centre, students are younger than 25-years-old (so I cannot get a discount rate with my college card anymore) and please don't get me started on the youthfulness of yummy mummies as portrayed on That Recent TIME cover.

Maybe it's just that I am in the second half of my life, where everything is theoretically a downhill slide to the grave, that makes me acutely aware of how youth-obsessed and - oriented society is. At the risk of sounding like said curmudgeon, why do we need to stay young? Why do we need to look slim and obsess about the normal weight-gain of ageing? What's so bad about wrinkles, or grey hairs? Should I care about not wearing Spanx and revealing contours? It's because it's not youthful, we're told.

Even our genitals are meant to look forever young. Thanks to the cultural promotion of porn as the norm, we should all aspire to a pre-pubescent look down below, shaved bald and untouched by gravity, childbirth, intercourse, or cotton gussets. Luckily (?) help is at hand, with cosmetic creams to zap back that youthful glow and a plethora of surgical manoeuvres to nip/tuck a floppy vulva back into line and take in the slack of ageing vaginal walls.

Is there nothing that I can leave to age or look natural these days, even if I promise not to take it out at parties?

ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!