Dear Santa

Dear Santa:

I've been very good this year. If you have any extra lying around, I'd really like a Cintiq 12WX for Christmas.

With thanks to Drawn.ca for the tip!


Potty training manual

For kids, by kids

The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Fresh drama during U.S. writers strike

Dark, homegrown miniseries worthy prime-time watching
Thriller delivers fresh drama during U.S. writers strike

So says the The Winnipeg Free Press review of "Across The River To Motor City," co-created and written by Denis McGrath.

It airs on CityTV in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton tomorrow night at 10pm.


Life lesson learned through making peanut brittle

This is what I recently learned while trying to make peanut brittle:

"If it's hot enough in the pot to melt sugar, chances are it's hot enough
in the pot to melt a plastic spoon."


So we started again and made a fresh batch:


and it was yummy!

I've published the Mixed Nut Brittle recipe here. [orginally from Dani]


Christmas crush

Is it just me, or did the Christmas decorations appear in the stores earlier than usual this year? I could have swore there was a time when Christmas-y things didn't appear until after American Thanksgiving!

The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Parallel parking


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


DIY: coat stand

[Edited to add: Welcome Parent Hackers! Have a look around, I hope you enoy your stay! And thanks for the link, Asha.]

stand_05_complete Tired of picking up your litte one's outer wear? Is your child too small to hang up their clothes in the closet? Are you unable to install coat pegs in your wall? Can't find a child-size coat-tree that isn't an eye-poking hazard, or with a non-tip base smaller than Newfoundland?

That's where I was was when I created this simple child-sized coat-stand. The parts cost me less than $30 Cdn (including tax) and it took me 10 minutes to assemble.

Now little hats and coats are off the floor and hung up with no effort (other than a little reminding) from me!


  1. Get a clothes horse. I used the HOPLAND Valet Stand from IKEA.


  2. Select some "hook" accessories. The top one in the photo below is a tie organizer designed to be screwed into a wall. The one in the bottom of the photo is a series of hooks designed to fit over a door.


  3. Add the hooks to the clothes horse as desired.


  4. I used the 'twist-tie' fasteners, annoyingly found fastening toys to their packaging, to add the tie organizer to the stand.


  5. Voila! A child-sized coat-stand! No power tools required!
    (If you're concerned about tipping, weight the feet down.)



Paper plate poppy


This was created at our local Ontario Early Years Centre.

Instructions for creating this Paper Plate Poppy can be found at Craft Day.


What makes a face, a face?

I love the work of Al Hirschfeld. I've never quite figured out how to do caricatures, but I want to learn. I'm starting with the baby-step of line drawings.

It's easy to make a face -- two eyes a nose and a mouth. But how do you make a face, THAT face, with just a few lines?

I'm experimenting by 'tracing' (via Photoshop) photos* to see what to add and subtract to make the face become the person.

[Edited to add a big "mahalo" to skeet for being supportive of my practice and providing the inspiration for the first two images below!]




If I get some free time, I'll post some line drawings of days gone by, for entertainment!

*If you think I'm using a photo of you and you're offended by the likeness (or lack thereof), let me know and I'll take the image down.


Lest we forget

Remembering our Veterans.

The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Lovely change from chocolate coated almonds

Spicy Almonds, yum!


Recipe published here. [originally seen here]


When writers strike

For a screenwriter's perspective on the WGA strike, have a read over at Dead Things On Sticks.


The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Advice to parents of 3 year olds

The quote below is taken from Ask Moxie's book review of Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy by Louise Bates Ames, PhD and Frances L. Ilg, MD.

I love her favourite quote from the book which apparently "comes from the section talking about how a three-year-old can be completely adversarial with the mother, because the mother is the one the child is most emotionally engaged with:"

"Recognizing this fact, you will if at all possible enlist the services of a good baby-sitter for as much of the time as possible...This advice may seem like the all-time cop-out. It remains our best advice."

The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


Mabel's Labels: coupon code for free Holiday Gift Tags

gift tags
Holiday Gift Tags

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Get these tags for free!

Buy three combo packs and holiday gift tags and use the online coupon code 2007GIFTTAGS to get the gift tags at no charge!