Monday, 20 November 2017

Window Painting

We were in the car at the gas station, waiting for my son to pump the gas and his wife in the attached Tim Horton's getting coffee. We could see the windows had been painted with bright holiday designs.

"How do they do that?" my grandson asked.

I told him it was painted on, but as we looked at the designs I thought I could see a faint clear edge around the design and wondered if it was actually a vinyl stick on.

Yesterday I was in a different Tim Horton's (yes, we drink a lot of tea and coffee) and I saw a woman on a ladder, outside, painting the festive holiday designs. I was wrong, it was painted after all. I watched and was amazed by how sure her stroke was, and was envious of her skill.

I paint, paintings, not windows, and I have never had that sure and easy of a stroke. For one, I need my hand supported and have never learned to do what some artists do and rest my hand on a bat sort of thing, when working on a easel or vertical surface.

I went outside to speak to her, and relate our conversation from earlier in the week about how these windows were done.

She was glad to talk about her work. Apparently she went to school to learn the lettering for sign painting, and for painting large scale murals, like what you see on the side of buildings. She said she used a non reflective paint, so the design was not lost in the refection of the sky that was obvious in the glass.

She also told me that when Tim Horton's redesigned their old coffee shops, they went with the double paned windows with special glass which distorts the designs if painted on the interior of the window. So all the designs are painted on the outside.

We had an interesting conversation, and I think she was pleased to talk about her work, and to know it was appreciated.

Funny, I was in a store after that and saw a man painting his holiday cheer, on the inside of the store window. It was an older building, and obviously did not have the more efficient double pained windows.

The things you learn when you ask questions and have a friendly chat.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Project Runway Finale

Project Runway is the only reality show I watch, and I watch because I love to see what these talented designers can come up with, week after week. This year has been a bit different as the models range from size 2 to 22, the first time plus size models have been used.

There was one designer that caught my eye from the beginning. Every look he put out on the runway was very distinctively his, where other designers did not have an established branding.

Last night was the final show, when the four finalists sent a 10 piece collection down the runway for their own show at New York Fashion week.

One woman, from Puerto Rico, sent a colorful collection, full of bold fabric designs and of course sparkle. I liked a few of the designs, but found it all too wild and full of pattern. I thought, as did one of the judges, that she could have used some solid pieces to offset the bold. She was the first designer eliminated.

The three designers left included a young man from Utah, my fave from the beginning. Next was a woman who designed for the modest market, namely those women of Muslin descent who followed their religious and cultural customs, who covered their head and did not expose skin. The last was a Japanese man who I felt was hit and miss throughout the competition. I think there may have been some language problems in his understanding and in making himself understood.

The woman put on an interesting show, including an absolutely beautiful wedding gown. Though she had some good designs, I think her collection might have been stronger if the show was 7 pieces instead of 10, as a few of her designs were not as strong as the others. She came in 2nd.

I was disappointed in my fave. He chose a colorful fabric as the basis of his collection and used it at full strength, and after he'd faded the colors to create a new look. He added a coordinating solid for variety. But here's the thing, the collection may have been full of fantastic designs, but it was lost in the repetition of color and fabric. There needed to be some pop of other color, some solids, to accentuate the design. He came in third, where I thought he would be a runaway winner. His disappointment was hard to watch. He is young and was very humble throughout, one of the only designers that did not get sidetracked with the drama between the group members.

The Japanese man won, and I can't quite figure out why. He felt he had nothing to lose and went with his own ideas, ignoring any advice, a basically black and white show with a few pops of red. He had some good designs, but I didn't think they were as exceptional as some of the others.

So, I'm disappointed in the outcome. I'm sure that all these finalists will have a future in fashion design and we'll hear about them in the future.
Apparently there is to be a reunion show, like what they do after the Survivor show's winner is announced. I'm sure it will be full of drama, as was this, the 16th season of Project Runway.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Goodbye Lily

It is with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to Lily, my daughter's family pet.

It was recently discovered that she had cancer and knowing allowed the family to prepare, but today her suffering was too much to bear.

My daughter and I lived in a sort of duplex arrangement when we got Lily, so as a pup she was my dog more than anyone else's as she spent all day, every day with me.

For rhe last few years, Lily was again my dog for one week a year when the family went to Florida. She was old like me, so easy to care for. I never had to worry about her running off, especially as it was cold weather. I did create a bit of a monster though, as I was heavy on the treats. After the first time she never saw me without looking for some sort of doggie biscuit.

Many times, after she had returned home, I'd find myself talking to her, to only remember she was gone.

Well now she's gone for real, the tears have flowed and we've all shared a hug.

Goodbye Lil, you will be missed.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Name Calling

So, a few years ago I named my van Velma. I thought if I was friendlier, maybe she would be friendly back and we could build a relationship of trust, in that she would run smoothly and not leave me stranded on the side of the road. In return, I would give her more frequent visits at the spa, namely Uncle Brad's garage, for routine maintenance.

So far, it's been a win win situation.

Everyone in the family calls the van Velma, as in can I borrow Velma on Saturday, or will we take Velma or my car. It's fun and has become a family joke. Especially the talk comparing Velma's rust status with my bad back, both of us showing our age.

Yesterday we, five of us, piled into Velma and drove to my granddaughter's indoor soccer game. There was my daughter-in-law, me and the three grandkids, my son working until 7 P.M. As it was his birthday we were going to meet at Dairy Queen to celebrate with ice cream instead of cake.

The smaller kids have a bit of trouble with Velma's side door, as it tends to stick. The adult of the three grandkids, a mature 19, pulled the door open and made a comment about my dear Velma.

I was a few feet away, but I was sure I heard her call Velma a whore. I mean she's old, and is showing signs of wear and tear, but to call her a whore was...just rude.

"Did you just call Velma a whore?" I asked, and was given a shocked look in response.

"No," she replied. "I said I'd get the five hundred pound DOOR."

It was a joke for the three adults, one that I presume went over the head of the younger kids, and became a source of much kidding for the rest of the evening.

It's a good life lesson though, because what you think you hear, may not actually be what was said. It's always good to clarify.

I love you Velma, we have a few more roads to travel.

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Need to Chat

I need a friend who has the same interests, so we can talk about the same things.

Like crochet. I find a new pattern, with some interesting new stitch or way of doing things and I want to share. I want to talk about it, but for those that don't crochet...boring.

The same can be said for my other creative efforts, like my art or other craft projects. For people who don't do those things, they find it hard to feign interest.

I need a friend who is as keen on the J. D. Robb series of books as I am. I absolutely love these books, how the characters have been developed over 45 books and still remain as interesting as they were in the beginning. I am fascinated, as a writer,  at how the author creates a mystery/murder story for each book and at the same time shows a new side to the main groups of characters.

I also like the minor secondary characters who come and go, like the young street peddler, the computer whiz. I like the closure you get as a reader when the author brings back, for a minor role, a character from a previous book.

But I have to wonder how the author does it How does she keep track of all these people she has created. Like the baker who was kidnapped and tortured, rescued by the star character, the homicide cop. Her last words, on being rescued, were about the special cake she was going to bake, in thanks. That cake was delivered a couple of books later, and was a crucial part in helping the detective solve her current case. How did the author plan that, or make that happen? I need someone who reads these books and wants to talk about it.

And then there's Project Runway, the only reality TV show I watch. I love the creativity of this show and often design outfits in my head as I watch. This year has been particularly interesting with the emotions in the sewing room. But I don't know anyone who watches this so I could talk about it.

Maybe I need to find some chat rooms, there must be one somewhere that has "like" discussions, but I'd prefer an animated discussion over coffee.

Oh well, at least I have my son-in-law to talk to about the recent sporting events. But he's more into hockey, or golf, and I need someone who also likes tennis.

Funny, but if I got out more I might find that person of "like" interests, but if I got too social, I wouldn't have time for all those interests.  Is that as confusing as I think it is? Have to go, my programs about to start. LOL