The Receipt

A couple of months ago my youngest great-nephew (age 6) decided to start a business – he loves sparkly paper, saw a business opportunity, and decided he should sell some. His father and grandfather are businessmen, so with dad’s help he built a website with images of different kinds of sparkly paper, information about the “founder” himself, statements about “100% satisfaction guaranteed”, “Committed To Quality” – but the bit of information that makes me chuckle every time I see it are the hours of operation:

Open after school Monday – Friday (except closed on Wednesday – he has dinner with his maternal grandmother), after swimming class on Saturday and all day Sunday! He provides a phone number and email address as well as a contact form so you can place an order. The website has been dynamic – becoming more and more focused (I noticed two small typos when I looked today) as he figures out how a business website needs to function.

I think I was his first (maybe his only) customer. I began an email conversation about types of sparkly paper, cost of each sheet, how to send payment… I got succinct answers to my questions. I finally placed an order and received in the mail two pieces of letter-size sparkly paper. I sent a cheque to the house with a thank you note. This all happened about a month ago.

Today I get a receipt in the mail:

Receipt for $12

My academic career focused on literacy learning in children and adults, helping teachers understand the ways children figure out how reading and writing work and what instructional situations support rather than hinder their literacy development. The receipt is a wonderful artifact of a six year old negotiating an adult literacy form – confirmation of a transaction.

He’s got the company name and the quantity of paper I purchased, and the amount I paid him. What leaps off the page for me are his attempts at writing the numeral “2” – his sense of direction is still ambiguous and we see in both instances where he wants to write a “2”, he starts from the right instead of the left, crosses it out and changes direction. He’s got all the letters in “received” and his guess at the “ee” vowel is a common writing error (remember the “rule” – “i” before “e” except after “c”? However, there are quite a few English words that actually use an “ie” spelling after a “c” (science, conscience, sufficient…) and vice versa that use “ei” after other letters (protein, forfeit…)). He’ll sort that confusing spelling situation out in the same way the rest of us have – through reading and writing, trial and error, along with a bit of memorization.

It continues to amaze me just how much we can discern about a child’s literacy strategies from such a succinct sample of writing.

Ironing A Shirt

I’ve posted this before but it’s worth posting again. The topic came up yesterday with a sewing friend visiting from Toronto. I had to do some looking around to find the video. Once found, I mailed myself the URL so I could find it once again. Click here to watch this guy iron a shirt in three minutes flat!

Ironing A Shirt (in 3 minutes)

Not kidding – he makes the whole process understandable and very easy to do. Pay particular attention to how he does the collar/collar stand. The way he does it eliminates the ends of the collar sticking out.

Seriously, check out the video then try it out. I have lots of shirts I’ve made for myself. I’m about to make another couple using some wonderful Liberty cotton I bought at Britex in San Francisco a couple of years ago. I no longer avoid wearing and washing my shirts because I know how to iron them easily.

Do You See It?

The Honda Accord “Bear” Face

I was watching TV last evening while knitting socks – I caught this image of the interior of a Honda Accord as it flashed by. The “face” of a “bear” (or some other animal) was so strong I actually paused the program, rewound it until I was able to see the image clearly. I captured it with my phone.

Think about it – how many people were involved in the interior design of this vehicle – a lot, I’d say. I can’t believe nobody picked up on this “face”. It’s so strong – I’d never be able to sit behind this steering wheel without feeling uncomfortable.

What about you? Do you see it? The phenomenon is called pareidolia. I have a strong propensity to see faces in inanimate objects – I’ve mentioned it before. But I have to say, this is one of the strongest “faces” I’ve come across and I find it uncomfortable.

A friend of mine also sees “faces” – here’s a photo she sent me last week:

Bathroom “Face”

Here’s what she had to say about it: “A little unnerving having this guy staring up next to me in the hotel bathroom in Montreal today!
A bidet with a personality!”

I bet she was aware of that face every time she used that bathroom.

 

In The Midst Of Winter

In The Midst Of Winter is actually the title of a recent book by Isabel Allende, but it’s apropos for today – snowing quite heavily right now, has been snowing all day. Expected to turn to rain during the night – the roads tomorrow will be horrendous, I’m sure. And I just checked – I have nothing on my calendar for the day so I can stay home and work on the quilt.

“In The Midst Of Winter”

18 blocks embroidered/quilted yesterday, 25 completed this afternoon. That leaves 20 for tomorrow. Then I will need to stitch the narrow border and embroider the wide border – who knows, I might get all of that done by afternoon.

I tested a number of decorative stitches for the narrow border – I’ve decided to use # 8.4.29 on my Pfaff Creative Icon – modified to 20mm width, 55mm length – that should complement the overall embroidery design – because the narrow border is pale I think I will use a variegated light grey thread (Aurifil 4060) which won’t show much. The pink variegated thread I’m using for the quilting would stand out too obviously.

Stitch for Narrow Border

Yesterday, I dropped into one of my local sewing/quilting shops. At the counter there was a clay magnetic tool holder in the shape of a flower – I thought about buying one, but I knew I had a number of rare earth magnets on my fridge at home so I decided to see what I could create.

Wearable Magnetic Tool Holder

Wearable Magnetic Tool Holder – II

When I’m quilting I use three tools – small scissors, fine tweezers, and a self-threading needle (for burying thread ends at the start and finish of each embroidery). While I’ve always kept them close at hand on the sewing table – actually having them on my person means not having to look/feel for them at beside the machine. I’ve been wearing my improvised tool holder today while I worked – definitely useful. The holder isn’t large, but an adequate size and strong enough to hold my tweezers and small scissors. The padding allows me to store the needle while I’m working so I don’t have to hunt for it among the other stuff beside the machine!

Construction: I started by cutting out a 6″ square of fabric and batting, a circle from the lid of a plastic kitchen container. I taped one rare-earth magnet to one side of the plastic disc, then cut the fabric out in a circle (3/4″ larger than the plastic disc), stitched a running thread around the edge, pulled it taught and finished off with another smaller covering circle tacked over the back of the padded one. Then I embedded the second magnet between two pieces of clear plastic, taped it in place, cut out a circle of fabric and stitched the edge together. The second magnet is slipped under whatever I’m wearing to connect with the magnet on the larger, padded disc which gets worn on the outside.

So back to work on the quilt tomorrow.

Stuff!


These are my mother’s fine china dishes. She passed them on to me in 1993 when I moved to Winnipeg. I used them reasonably often while I was there, but since returning to Halifax in 1997 they’ve been used only infrequently – I just don’t do the kind of entertaining that would warrant tableware as elegant as this.

I’ve just sent this picture to my niece asking if she’d be interested for sentimental reasons in having her grandmother’s dishes – she doesn’t, I know, particularly like the china she got when she was married.

If she declines the offer, and I’m expecting she will, I may just put them in my kitchen and use them for everyday dishes and wash them in the dishwasher. 

Nobody really wants fine tableware like this these days. There is little point in having the set stored in my buffet unused. So if the gold edges wear off in the dishwasher, or pieces break, what does it matter – it’s just “stuff”.

Then the question is what to do with my reliable, unbreakable Midwinter white stoneware dishes which I’ve used faithfully for 35 years! More stuff I have to decide what to do with!

George Carlin had it right in his hilarious monologue about “Stuff”. Never seen it, don’t know it – watch it! We all have too much STUFF!

Downtown Halifax


The face of Halifax is changing – another new building under construction. Love the prow shape at this end of the building.

Couldn’t resist taking the photo as I was going into Neptune Theatre this afternoon to see 2 Pianos 4 Hands. The play was well done particularly the Bach duo at the end. Really enjoyed it.