Tuesday, November 30, 2010

{Virtual Coffee}

Yup, it's Tuesday and the coffee is cold from the fridge.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you I am feeling a lot better now although I found out the nasty news this morning that there is quite the gastro bug running rampant through Riley's school at the moment. That on top of this rather virulent and tenacious virus. Gotta love November. But honestly I don't. I am sorry to all my Scorpio friends but I am not unhappy to see November out the back door. Tomorrow kicks off the official count down to Christmas. To me, December means lights and wonder and magic. And a little last minute frantic shopping. My goal usually is to be out of the stores by the 10th, saving the last two weeks for wrapping and baking. I might make it this year with a few exceptions.

If we were meeting for coffee today I would say that despite being flattened by That Virus, I held to my promise to myself to take one photo a day, even if some days it was a macro of my red nose or my watering eyes. One night I dragged myself to the front door and got one of the full moon because who can't resist a full moon on a cold, clear night?

If we were meeting for coffee today I would tell you my hormones are rollercoastering me through the days and nights, dammit, which not only is affecting my body and my moods but has given me all kinds of thoughts about how I compare myself to others and how futile so many of my struggles are. I would take another sip and another cookie and qualify that by adding "and it's a good thing". I would ask you how your own Christmas shopping is going and if you have your snow tires on yet since we woke to our first "real" snow on Saturday morning.

And then I would segue into how my Saturday played out whilst I bang my head on the table, incredulous that I get myself into such pickles. And then I would gripe a little bit how this Thursday and Friday are pedagogical days which kind of blows any studio time I dreamed of having out of the water. And while I was venting I would say how one of my volunteer jobs has turned out to be everything it wasn't supposed to be and I feel a little duped. Which would bring me full circle to how much I have been thinking that I am slipping into a real negative rut and I need to pull myself out and start a different mantra running in my head. I would ask you for some suggestions and we would laugh and agree that sometimes faking it is harder than it sounds and being true to your inner self is important too. This goal for inner peace is an ancient one that, if I was seven-years old, I could sum up with a simple gesture.

And if you were looking for some light banter, you would be out of luck here today but you could always go and see who else turned up at Amy's for some more virtual coffee.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What I've Learned, Week 13


The front is collage, acrylic and rub-ons on scrapbook paper; the back is a photoshopped tag taken from scrapbook paper on dry pastels. My weeny words of wisdom this week are, "When you're really sick, use tissues instead of toilet paper."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Haiku

Freezing rain provides
myriads of photo opps.
Normally I would

follow my art-heart,
if I wasn't so busy
trying to stand up.

What I've Learned, Week 12

As simple as this turned out, I did many versions of it until I was satisfied. It was a week of line drawing after line drawing, watercolours, acrylics. This one is Pitts pens, inktense pencils and watercolour sticks. The back is black gesso with scrapbook stickers. Don't you think the little guy looks like Alfred E. Neuman from Mad Magazine?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

{Virtual Coffee}

If I was meeting you for coffee today I would probably be meeting you for some turkey as my southerly neighbour is celebrating Thanksgiving. So much to be thankful for. But if I was really meeting you for coffee I would call first and warn you that I have been really sick. Flat-on-my-back-sick for the last week so you might want to stay on the other side of the peep-hole today since I'm quite sure I'm still highly contagious. I am feeling better enough to sit up, walk around a bit although a designer coffee is kind of lost on me since I can't taste, or smell anything.

But if you decided to take your chances and come in for a brew, I would tell you that my favorite little person, this guy

is becoming a master at understating the obvious. The other day he looked at me and said, "Oh, Mom. Your nose is RED." I have been cheating and using toilet paper instead of tissues sometimes and with the amount of blowing I've been doing, well what I've been doing is d-a-m-a-g-e. At least it's festive.

He also informed me one morning I had some good hair going on.

He was right.

And two nights ago, in my delirium, I foolishly tried to broil some tofu I had started marinating LAST Thursday before this virus knocked me out. But I put it in the oven and got distracted. On my way to bed I passed through the kitchen and wondered why the oven was on. Not being able to smell can be dangerous. Can you spell "SMOKE DETECTOR"? So Mr. Understatement has a look and says, "I guess we won't be eating THAT."

Right, but it was so black, I couldn't resist taking a photo of it.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I managed to drag myself to work yesterday and stayed the whole day which usually heralds a little voddy shot when I get home. But the lime juice in the bottom of my shot glass looked a little too much like what I've been coughing up.

So I finished it off quickly so I wouldn't have to think about it any more.

I would also mention that just before I got sick, I had this eight-bite shrimp. I counted them. That guy was huge and tender and tasty. I documented this occasion as well.

I knew for sure I was getting better when my sense of humour surfaced last night, doing homework with this guy.

I dropped the dictionary open to this page and it just lay there. Again, a moment documented for posterity.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. Gratitude is the new attitude.

Visit Amy for more virtual coffees.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Haiku

Friday already.
WTF? Been hiding out...
reassessing stuff

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What I've Learned, Week 11

Has it really been 11 weeks since my 50th birthday? I guess it has been, because this is where I find myself now. And I've been true and diligent in my soul searching/navel gazing. This week it's all about my personal boundaries - how I have been trying to create and uphold them and learning that it's truly a life experience to have and not have them at all.


I started with a piece of watercolour paper that I used as a blotter for extra ink, I believe mostly Tim Holz distress inks. That piece of paper sat on my table for weeks. Recently I picked it up and scribbled on it with Caran d'Ache Neocolor IIs, creating a horizon. From there I used some Tim Holz masks and Pitt pens and a white gel pen. The back is a Kim Klassen scratch background texture with simple text on top. "These last two weeks the question of my personal boundaries has been forefront. Sometimes I can't escape the lesson coming down the pike and that's true here. I see my boundaries constructed through choice, specifically what I choose to do with my time. Goals take commitment. Lately I have been challenged to take a stronger stand while staying flexible, to remember the root reasons for my choices and to not pitch a hissy fit when my boundaries have been breached." I do love the blues and greens and how they sit together on this card. Yum!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Picasso Dog

I did this in response to the Drawing Lab group's week number 5, based on Carla Sonheim's book. Sharpie marker and watercolours on 5 x 7 watercolour paper.

It's not too late to join, all you need is the book, I've been having a lot of fun with the exercises so far, it's helping me to step out of my normal box of tools and way of looking at things. There is plenty more to see in the Flickr group too. Lots of inspiration!

Friday Haiku

My boundries don't count.
Or so it seems. Why is that?
I'm a push-over.

Even when I say
"No. I couldn't possibly."
What is heard is, "yes".

I draw my lines yet
others are high masters at

And because I don't
play those games, I fall for them
and get sucker-punched.

I think about it;
truly, I have me to blame.
I sound resentful.

And really I am.
It's an ongoing lesson.
I'm tired of it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

{Virtual Coffee}

Well, hello there. Did you notice that it's Tuesday again which means...drum roll...some virtual coffee.

If I was meeting you for coffee today I would say I'm drinking yesterday's coffee since when I got to work I was so darned cold I had to go downstairs and buy one of those hot-hot-hot designer coffees to warm me up. Some people are writing about their indian summers but there's been none of that nonsense here. It's been cold, damp and largely rainy. We squeezed out a little sunshine on Sunday but that's about it. We took an early morning walk by the water and we actually saw something trying to grow.

It boggles my mind how resilient nature is. Today I'm trying to take a page from this flower's book.

Last week I saw my old boots in the back of the cupboard, the ones I haven't worn for a few years because the heels wore down and I was too lazy to get them re-heeled. I thought it would be nice to have an almost new pair of fall boots to wear so I got them done and don't they look fine?

They can be worn up or down, it's almost like having two pairs of boots.

But honestly it's been an emotional week with way too many screaming pitches than I like to ride out in an ordinary week. Today I am feeling saturated by some attempts at honesty and not very happy about the outcome. I am listening to this David Gray CD I picked up at Chapters on the weekend and it's fitting for my maudlin mood. Lucky me, I get to wallow through the material on TWO CDs with this one.

Even though I have a huge list of things to do and places to go I am lying low today and just trying to take gentle care of myself. So if you're still thirsty, you can totter on over to Amy's Lucky Thirteen and see who else showed up for coffee.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What I've Learned, Week 10


This week my technique is Photoshop and that's it. I learned so much in Kim Klassen's skinny-mini ecourse I tried to apply some of it to ideas I had. And of course, while I was stretching my brain on the technical side, I was learning all kinds of things about myself.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Haiku

Last Tuesday's field trip
damn near killed me. No kidding.
Swear words needed here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

{Virtual Coffee}

If I was meeting you for coffee today, I would tell you I am rushed off my feet and running late. Tuesday mornings I go in to read with Riley's class and usually there are three parents there but I was flying solo today which meant I had the whole class for two hours instead of 45 minutes. Phew! I am exhausted and didn't have my coffee before I left. Yesterday in the mail I received a lovely gift of a handmade prayer shawl from Gail (whose link I don't have). I won this over at Kim Klassen's site awhile back but since Kim was looking for the Bodhi Chicken, it was delayed.

Isn't it lovely? I'm showing a detail of one of the shell-like beads on the edge. And it arrives at the perfect time of year as the mornings are much cooler at 5:00 a.m. without the sun yet up (who am I kidding, the sun isn't even up at 7:00 a.m. right now) and I felt quite cozy wrapped up in it while I sat on my zafu this morning.

I would tell you as I rush around trying to get done in an hour and a half what would normally take 3 or 4 hours, that the colors have been magnificent lately as the sun rises and sets, when it deigns to show it's face that is.

And Halloween was one crazy-ass day/night here with my mad scientist and I am not ashamed to say I am glad that THAT is done with for another 363 days.

One of the brilliant things Riley received in his trick or treat bag (no toothbrushes from our neighbor the dentist this year) was a tiny bottle of bubbles. It was great fun filling the living room with them last night even if it made for some slippery footwork this morning. It kind of made me think of summer.

Which is a good thing because the night BEFORE Halloween I opened the door and saw....

the dreaded four letter "s" word....

I gotta run but I wanted to share my pumpkin from this year, I sort of identify with it metaphorically and literally.

Can you believe I volunteered to go on the class field trip with 48 7-year olds? I really should have my head examined. If I don't surface again for a long time it's because I've been arrested after parents of my son's class have complained about me manhandling their kids (likely the parents that hoped their kids would get lost downtown).

Addendum: I almost forgot to link to Amy's site for more Virtual Coffee (although she might not be too happy being linked to in the same post as a reference to manhandling children and potential arrest).