17 June 2008

Another moving annoucement...

hi all! I see there are still people visiting my new page from here, so just thought I would remind you of the direct link:


See you later!

07 May 2008

24 April 2008

I've moved...

Hi all: sorry to repost this but I notice there are still subscribers to this site.  I've migrated to wordpress and can be found here: http://bespokebybrouhaha.com!!!

Thanks to all who have been dropping in over here, and I hope to see you at the new and improved site!



16 April 2008

www.bespokebybrouhaha.com: MY NEW HOME!!

(and by now surely you're thinking, "She's taken complete leave of her senses. One day, she acquires four rubber duckies, the next she kidnaps a baby").

Don't worry, folks. No baby. Just a new webspace, hosted by Wordpress - and I now have my very own domain name, for the price of a skein of Super10!!):


I'll be posting from there starting tomorrow, Thursday 17 April 2008!

Had to leave Blogger because I was running out of webspace... too many pics! I'll warn you that the unpacking is still in progress and (judging by my last seven or eight apartment moves) may take some time.

However, you should already notice some fancy new features on the new blog... ! And I get to have some galleries for my stuff so I can really bore everyone.

So, I do hope to see you all at


I'm not taking this page down as my other stuff is still linked to it, and will check in occasionally in case anyone is lost :-). Thanks for hanging out with me and hope you like it in my fancier digs!



ANNOUNCEMENT - blog move coming up!

Hello faithful readers:

Please note that I've decided to move my blog. The move will take place sometime on the weekend and so I likely won't be posting on Saturday 19 April or Sunday 20 April.

(Haven't moved apartments in a while, but thought this might be easier!)

If any regular readers want me to include them in an Email providing them a link to (my new web home), please drop me a line at BespokeByBrouhaha at gmail dot com! I'll also put a goodbye post here, of course...

(If you comment here regularly, don't worry - I've got you covered already).

Thanks so much for continuing to stop by, and I do hope you like the new space.



... and then there were... SEVEN?!?!

Well, things have clearly gone out of control in the House of Brouhaha.

I only realised this when I got home from work yesterday, only to find JJ (who was off work) out on the balcony in a "right stushie" as he would call it (English translation: having a royal fit.)

At least, a "right stushie" as befits a calm, cool and collected Scotsman. That is to say, he was pacing up and down the grounds of his estate, muttering under his breath:

"That wee lassie has gone way oot of contrrrrol now. Ah'm starrtin to wonder aboot her, really ah am. This is just way over the top."

(Why is it that, as household Mediterranean, I always get blamed for irrational behaviour?! Sheesh).

I had no idea what he was talking about until I approached closer and saw this:

How strange. Apparently Daisy had gone and gotten herself pregnant again. I mean, she was complaining about some stomach problems... but triplets?!?

Er... make that quadruplets. I wonder what happened to this one? Must have been all the second hand smoke in the house. Sigh.

JJ then glared balefully at me and said "Would ye get that one to shurrup, already?!?"

You see, despite being less than eight hours old, this one was already talking loudly (QUACKQUACKQUACKQUACK - I guess that's why Daddy was looking after her - she knew daddy's name already! How cute), not to mention glowing:

Hmm. Not so sure that Daisy's the mother of this one, actually. Separated at birth, d'ya think?

Hmm... nah. I don't think even Susie, fabulous as she is, could manage this feat all the way from Australia.

I guess that the little one is just a second-hand smoked out mutant. Guid to know that Health Canada hasn't been lying to me all these years, I guess.

Anyway, in time honoured Brouhaha Lapsed Greek Orthodox tradition, I decided that a baptism must immediately take place. The last kid, after all, had been dunked immediately.

Father ... er, Sir John Eh?

was reluctant at first. His excuse was that that it is still Lent and the Greek priests are not supposed to conduct baptisms or weddings during that time.

However, judging by the rough state of him, I think that the actual truth was that he just wanted to get in all his drinking in before Holy Week starts next week. And as regular readers will know, I'm not too big on all that stuff.

So, I simply reminded him that, as he was not actually a Greek priest but was just playing one on the blog, the usual restrictions did not apply for him. He's a lawyer himself, but found it hard to argue with that indisputable logic.

And hence...

(The little one advised me just before the dunking that she is an atheist and that I would be offending her religious freedoms under the Charter if I forced her to go through with it. At least, I assume that's what all that irate quacking and light show was about. An excellent point. But she earned herself the name Quack Junior after her proud father for her troubles.

So, I have a little pagan mutant on my hands. This should be interesting. Hmm.)

And the names of the other three? That, in fact, is why they needed a quick baptism - it's bad luck in the Greek culture to use their names beforehand.

Introducing, from left to right (with photos of their namesakes beneath):


and Liz.

Where was the nouna (godmother) by the way?

Aphrodite was there OK, just standing by. She couldn't fit on the counter next to the sink. But check her out dressed in all her finery: not one but two Brouhaha lace creations. Obviously a woman with impeccable taste.

(There was an honourary godmother as well, unbeknownst to her: Clarabelle. This is because by happy coincidence the postman brought me a lovely week package from the UK this morning!

This is my first skein of cobweb weight [or "eye-strain weight", as Clarabelle put it] yarn - by Posh Yarns [I've posted a link although it's apparently hard to come by and Clarabelle will now most likely come over the pond to kill me in my sleep when she can't get hold of any because of the flood of orders from the millions of people who read this blog]. It's a 50-50 silk/cashmere blend.

The colourway is simply amazing: Mulberry. This photo does not do it justice, I can assure you.

Thanks, Clarabelle! And you even included your address, so I know where to send the bill for the trifocals that I will need to upgrade [downgrade?!] to when I get addicted to cobwebbing. Sigh.)
When the baptism was over, the festivities commenced...
... but I soon noticed Bubbles, back home from Queen's University for the occasion (man, they grow quickly, don't they? I don't know where the time flew. Sniff. Sob) pouting in the corner.

Now, as you know, I'm new at this parenthood thing (or is it grandparenthood? Hmm) but I've heard that kids can be jealous when a new arrival shows up.

(I do hope my mother doesn't take this opportunity to post a photo of the first photo of me with my squalling, screaming, ugly little brother. But maybe if she's reading this she could scan it in and Email it to me, just for a laugh. My mother, by the way, having just learned how to use a computer a few years ago, now has more tech gadgets than me, including a scanner. How embarrassing!)
I guess I should have picked up that something was wrong when I saw Bubbles glowering earlier at the babbies (as JJ would call them) earlier.

So, I asked what was wrong. Man, that Bubbles is a real drama queen, I must say. Hir issues:

(a) they got a bigger baptismal font than he did:

(KB's INSIDE VOICE: there were three of them, dammit!!! What the $#*@$&^@#*& do you expect?!)
(b) they got a bigger candle than he did. And it was silver coloured.
(KB's INSIDE VOICE: but you got my all time favourite purple candle. Bloody ingrate.)
I managed to explain this to Bubbles in a more or less rational way. But s/he still insisted on whining:

(c) they got hats and s/he didn't!!

Actually, good point - but easily solved.

I even threw in hir favourite fruit for good measure.

But this still wasn't good enough. Guess I caved too easily on the hat issue. S/he wheedled, begged and whined about the fact that hir little sibling got a gun too:

FINE. JJ, just to shut hir up, donated his pigeon-chasing implement:

Man, this grandparenting thing is difficult. But all is quiet this morning - I guess everyone's content, thank goddess. And I can just toss them in a drawer if they act up, I guess. Hmm.

Happy Wednesday!

15 April 2008

Beware the Ides of... April!!!

On the day before the Ides proper, the postman was guid to me yet again...

Hours of amusement! Oh, and for those who are enslaved by that wicked taskmistress, Lace - you would do very, very well to order the book to the right, Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller. There are already, I'm reluctant to tell you, some drool marks on it just from me perusing it on the tram on the way home. It looks an excellent instructions/ideas manual for every level (including my level, Idiot).

I got both books from the Needle Arts Book Shop, a mail order service located right here in the fair T.O. Close by though it is, I was still amazed by the service offered by Marsha. I mailed a money order on Wednesday (I'm not allowed to have a credit card, perhaps for obvious reasons!). She Emailed me Friday afternoon saying that she had received my order, and the books were with me by Monday morning! (And this via evil Canada Post. She is very clearly some kind of magician.)

In addition to the books, she enclosed all sorts of little extras:

Book plates! Such a nice touch. I haven't had book plates since I was a kid, and demanded some which read "Kristina's Library. Take this and DIE" or something along these lines.

(I won't tell you how many years ago that was. Suffice it to say that it was around the same time I conned my long-suffering mother into buying me a "Keep on Truckin' " bumper sticker at the Kingston Fair (on the sole basis that it was holographic)... then, much to her horror, affixed it to my closet door. I tried to take it off a few years later with no success.)

And stitch markers... goody. Now I don't have to clean underneath the chesterfield cushions for another...oh, month or so at least! Thanks, Marsha!!

Anyway, what with all this lace inspiration, it was inevitable I hit a yarn shop, really. This time, it was - the only yarn shop in Toronto that sells... (drumroll please)...

Blue Moon Designs Yarn!

I really, really wish I'd never discovered this line of products. I mean, check out the name of the yarn!!

Not to mention the colourway - Motley Hue! It is a mohair/mulberry silk (whatever that might be - but sounds mighty guid to me!)/nylon blend and soft soft soft. 910 metres of lusciousness.

Oh, and then of course I felt guilty for cheating on the Handmaiden, so had to pick up some raspberry Sea Silk:


But as if these riches weren't enough, some stuff I'd ordered on interlibrary loan came in en masse:

Swoon. Colours galore. Kaffe rawks! Also, a lovely book by Candace Bathouth:

And before you ask, no, I'm not taking up needlepoint again any time in the near future. I just like all the pretty pictures as well.

However, I do actually know how to read... and I found some reading materials while at the library well suited to my Mensa-like brain:

Given my hatred of most things television these days, also couldn't resist picking up this one:

And I scored two DVDs of one of my all-time favourite TV shows!

"I am not a number, I am a free man." Gotta love Patrick McGoohan, although his judgement has arguably been impaired in past - Sean Connery has him to thank for the James Bond role, because he turned it down first. Seriously.

(Speaking of Bond James Bond:

That's me on the left. Really. I cut my hair just before putting up this blog.)

Phew. Where was I? Oh yeah.

And finally, I lucked out in the Treasures from Trash department when arriving at my building last evening.

A much needed addition to help organize the spare room. You can probably tell from the rest of the photo that it needs it. I thwarted Mario the superintendent

in this acquisition, by the way. He appeared quite miffed, really. Hey, whose fault is it that the person who's out of the building all day scores the treasures while the person who's purportedly working in and around the building every day loses out, I ask you?!

(Mario did, however, endear himself to me by engaging in a round of "Bash the capital L-landlord" for about 10 minutes. I think he thought I'd hand over the bookcase. Wrong... he should know better, really, as I'm both a tenant and a lawyer. However, I did give him a couple of smokes, so don't feel too sorry for him).

And... the sun even shone all day!! All in all, a better Monday than I've had in a long time.

Here's wishing you all an equally fabulous Tuesday!

Advocates' Corner - Spring Auction/Fundraiser!

PLEASE NOTE: the auction/fundraiser in this post is open only to my work colleagues (and their friends, if they should happen to have any extremely wealthy friends...). Apologies to anyone else for any inconvenience in having to slog through a second Brouhaha post - although who wouldn't pass up the opportunity to see my fabulous goodies a second time, really?!
Hello all:

Well, it's that time of year and I've been excavating the spare room and trying to adhere to our new Clean Desk policy at the office.

In this regard, I've come across some stuff I've made over the past couple of years that are not getting the use they so richly deserve. So, I thought I'd offer them to you, my biggest fans.

(At a price, of course - because nothing in life is free!)

So, welcome to the First Annual Brouhaha Spring Cleaning Auction/Fundraiser!!!

  • Mother's Day is right around the corner. Stuck for gift ideas? Doesn't your mom deserve a one-of-a-kind handmade original which will be worth thousands one day? Huh? Huh?
  • Any Jewish or Eastern Orthodox people on your gift list for Passover/Easter?
  • Skip all those May 2-4 Weekend/Week/Month sales at the Bay and Sears. Your one-stop shop is right here!!!
  • Oh, and let's not forget Father's Day coming up in June. It's never too early...
And two thirds of the money will go to the New Outlook program - right here in the building! So you can feel good about giving on so many levels...

Here's how it works!

  • The auction starts today, Tuesday 15 April 2008. (And yes, I know it's PayDay for most of us. There is a method to my madness.)
  • Check out the items below. Most of the items (aside from #2, #3 and # ) are available in my office for viewing, so if you're in the building, come on by!
  • If one or more tickle your fancy, Email me at the work Email address or (if you happen to be in the building) phone me on ext. 5411 with your bid. Each item is numbered below for your convenience.
  • Please note that I have put a minimum bid on some items. Those items are all originals, and I thought this fair.
  • Each day, I will post such bids as I should get underneath each item. The bids will be anonymised, rest assured. So, keep checking back!
  • Bids will close on St. George's Day (a big Greek National Drinking Day, although sadly not this year because it's during Holy Week): Wednesday 23 April 2008 at 5:00 p.m.
  • All items will be delivered on Thursday 24 April or during the week of 28 April. I'm flexible regarding payment terms.
  • What should you bid, you ask? Whatever your little heart desires - and whatever your conscience can live with considering that 2/3 of the money raised will go toward helping street youth at risk. The other 1/3 will go toward the support of the local artisan scene*!
* the Benevolent Association for Provision of Lace Yarn to KB

Oh, by the way, please do not feel any pressure because I've linked you to this site. I won't be offended if you sniff don't sob bid. Really, I won't.

(In all seriousness, if you want to bid, great. If not, please don't feel you've got to or anything silly like that... but do feel free to pass along the link and my Email addy to any friends you think like this sort of thing!)

Please also note that everything below has been very, very gently used. Some items, only once or twice.

And now... (drumroll, please...):

The fabulous works of Brouhaha!

(I've added links to the titles of some of the pieces - click on those if you want some info about "the making of..."!)

1. Homage to a Gerbera

Mosaic with broken teacups and saucers and a gerbera. 9"x9" approx. Made in November 2007. Perfect for a little colour in the office, no?

Highest Bid to date: $50.00

2. Papillon Mini Birdbath

Mosaic with tile, stained glass and glass beads. Watersafe and good for outdoor use. Approximate size: 22" high, 12" water bowl diametre.

Birds love this! Great for your balcony or backyard.

And check out the pretty opal glass!

Made in Summer 2007.

Highest Bid to Date: $100.00

3. Crazy Melon Plate (vegan!)

Mosaic with mirror tile (clipped, NOT broken!), tile and glass beads on a glass base. Great for looking at on those days when you're feeling a bit wonky. Made in Summer 2006.

Highest Bid so far: $50

4. Crazy Paving Felted Bulletin Board

Repurposed sweater from Goodwill, felted and embroidered. Wouldn't this be a funky bulletin board for the office or for home?! Huh? Huh? 24" wide x 22" deep, roughly. Made in Summer 2007.

Minimum bid: $30.00

5. Fuzzy Plaid Bag

Repurposed sweater from Goodwill, felted and sewn. Great for trips to the market - and reusable ad infinitum! Forget those ones they sell at the grocery store. It's about the same size as those ones they're selling at the LCBO, combining strength and lightness. Snap it up as someone who shall remain nameless already has their eye on it... Made in Summer 2006.

Highest Bid to date: $25.00

6. Spring Has Sprung! purse

Repurposed sweater from Goodwill, crochet edging and handle, felted and embroidered with funky button applique. You must know some fashion queen who'd like this one! The colours make me happy... small handbag size. Made in Spring 2007.

Minimum bid: $25.00.

7. Memories of Cage Au Lait - A moebius scarf

Hey, if it works for Galen Weston...!! The scarf is lighter in colour than shown in the photo, hence the name. It is knitted in the form of a Moebius strip... remember those from math class? Can be worn as a headdress or a scarf - very versatile. Knitted by me over the Atlantic in December 2007!!! 50% wool, 50% silk blend.

Minimum bid: $40.00 (that's what the wool cost, plus three bucks for my labour. Not bad, eh?)

8. Silk Garden - Moebius scarf

Another Moebius scarf, like #7 above. Silk/wool blend. Knitted by me in jolly olde England! in December 2007. Silk/wool blend.

Minimum bid: $25.00 (that's what the wool cost, plus three bucks for my labour. Not bad, eh?)

9. No Mirrors in My House!

Mirror retrieved from the trash (cut, not broken!), sea glass, glass beads, broken crockery (OPA!). The link above in the title shows better close-ups and perhaps a bit more than you want to know about the artisan's thought process... don't say I didn't warn you!
Now, if I were a really deep and pretentious artiste-type person, I would tell you that the symbolism of this piece involves a deep sociocultural commentary on the fate of many young women who spend hours on end looking at themselves in department store mirrors, hating what they say, and feeling fractured and very blue as a result...
The link also explains the title. November 2007.

Highest Bid to date: $100.00

The following are not original patterns of mine. So, no minimum bid.

10. Santa Fe Felted Handbag

This is a smallish handbag - it can accommodate housekeys, a wallet and a pocket novel. Click on the photo to see the cool sun button!

11. Little Slip of a Thing Felted Handbag

Don't you love the periwinkle and espresso colour combo? This bag, with an i-cord strap, is a smallish purse size but surprisingly capacious.

Highest bid to date: $45.00

12. French Market Felted Bag

On the shallow side but holds quite a bit. Good for trips to the market.

13. Periwinkle Bag

Great fun for an afternoon garden party. I think the right brooch or pin would work wonders - if I find it at the Goodwill before the end of the auction, I'll throw it in. How about that!

14. Buttonhole Bag

This is the bag I've used the most, and some of you will probably recognize it. Very handy for schlepping stuff around - and funky!

Highest bid so far: $30.00

Anyway, I hope you've all enjoyed viewing the Brouhaha Auction Gallery. Now, what are you waiting for...!! Get onto that Outlook and start bidding, already!!!

Thanks in advance... and happy day!