29 February 2008

Another month bites the dust

Can you believe it? It's already the end of February! Time really flies by!

Today was fun. It was a ped day which means more hours and fun activities for the kids. And today, we went to Fort Angrignon which is a really cool place for kids. They have all sorts of activities, mini challenges and more. The staff takes care of everything and we could follow the kids or sit in the main hall and relax. I usually follow the kids when I go there but this time, I sat and talked with my boss and coworkers. We're all still getting to know one another. One of my coworkers is really into The Secret and Law of Attraction so it's really nice to have someone to talk about that stuff with.

Lately, I've been feeling a little bit icky. Not really sick but not 100% well either. I've regained some of the weight I had lost but not all of it so that's positive.

To try and recenter myself, or whatever (:-p) I've decided to start meditating. And what better way to start a new habit than with Rhonna Farrer's 21 day challenge. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit so I've decided to give it a go. I'll keep you all updated on my progress. I've never really meditated before but I think I'm ready now. And there's no better time than the present, right?

27 February 2008

Musing about art

Some days, if it weren't for my Daily Art Card, the Deck of Me and Art Journal Challenges, I think I wouldn't create anything. Other days, I create so many things, I wonder where I find the time and energy for it.

Here are some of the above mentioned creations from the last few days.

The Deck of Me card. The theme was Someone or something you miss... Sometimes, I miss my beautiful long hair... You can't see it but on the upper left corner, there's an eyelet with lots of fibers hanging from it. Like a pony tail!

Monday's daily art card. Using up some rub-ons I have (and am tired of seeing!) Metallic gel pens are my new favourite pens to use lately. All around the border, I wrote Smell The Flowers.

Tuesday's daily art card. The background is layers of watercolour crayons, gel pens, coloured chalk and oil pastels. And then I searched through my stash and found the monkey picture. The other pieces of ephemera just followed. This one makes me smile.

Finally, a page for the Art Journal Challenge. The inspiration word was FLY. I had first done something on the page with lots of rub-ons and it didn't turn out the way I liked. So I gessoed everything lightly, re-wrote the words with indian ink and a dip pen, stamped the bird and nest with StazOn and then had fun with oil pastels, my white Poster Paint marker and a pencil. Now I like the result.

The landlord came to change my water heater this morning. Yay! I have hot water again! And now it's rust-free! Woohoo! Thank you Universe!

26 February 2008

What was in the mail today...

What's this? A present for me? After a full day of work, including extra tasks to help out my boss, I came home to find a padded envelop in my mailbox. Oh goody! And I need some goody in my life as I have no hot water since Sunday morning and the landlord has yet to change my water heater... can we say dirty dishes and hair??? *sigh* This too shall pass...

Anyway, back to the envelop. When I unwrapped this lovely package, this is what I found!

One of my OWOH gifts! Isn't it lovely? I haven't decided yet where I'll display it. Thank you Jeny! Be sure to visit her Etsy shop if you'd like one of her lovely canvases.

That's it for tonight. My mind's a bit quieter. I need to create something.

25 February 2008

Too often, like many people, I tell myself that "starting right now I'm going to take better care of myself." You know, exercise, healthy food and all that. And every time, like many people, it lasts a couple of weeks and then I fall back into my old habits. I've tried using visualization and positive thinking to reach my goal. But I guess I'm still not getting it, for this anyway. I don't know. Maybe I need to read The Secret again.

Doing my Daily Art Cards is really helping me in trying to step out of my comfort zone. I'm giving myself permission to try new things, new products (in moderation), to make mistakes and messes. Anything goes on these. My intention at first was to use a different size for every month but I don't know that I can find a total of 12 different card sizes. We'll see. For March, I want to do more of a postcard size.

Recently, I found that my little drawings speak to me. Like the girl below. She didn't like the dress I picked for her so she let me know with that little line. M'kay.

My thoughts are all over the place tonight. Sometimes I wish my blogging were more profound or witty or something else. But it isn't because, well, it is me, my thoughts, my memories, my ideas. I have so many ideas brewing in my head that I don't always know how to get started. For instance, a few weeks ago, I suddenly had a flash that turned into a story which I want to turn into a book for kids à la Neil Gaiman, with grungy looking illustrations and dark humour. But I don't know how to get it all started. Not yet anyway.

March break is coming up next week. (Our version of Spring Break.) There are so many things I want to do but the week won't be long enough! I need to spend less time on the computer and more time in the world. Or at least in MY world. You know, the one where it's okay to talk to animals and imagine they talk back. Where it's okay to have paint splattered on your hands and arms and clothes and maybe in your hair too. Where it's okay to dance in the rain and chase snowflakes around.

I'm ending today's post with another image. A new layout for my scrapbook. It's completely different from anything I've done before. I love that cluster of vintage buttons at the top.

24 February 2008

Something different and yet another tag

Here are two cards I made last week in a workshop at Bonnidée. The stamps are reproductions of Thomas Kinkade artworks and the workshop was on colouring techniques to use with those kinds of stamps. It was an interesting workshop but more my mom's style than mine. The cards came out beautifully but I doubt I'll do more like this.

So I've been tagged yet again. This time by a new blogging friend (from OWOH), Pam Bennett. So here goes... Let's see if I can still find 7 things about myself I haven't revealed yet.

The rules:1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I used to have a piercing in one of my eyebrows. It hurt more than any tattoo I had done. I eventually had to remove it for a job.

2. The job for which I had to remove said piercing was in a private school.

3. 6 and a half years ago (August 2001) I went on the trip of my dreams: backpacking through England, Ireland and Scotland for a month.

4. I used to be allergic to buckwheat but now I'm not.

5. I used to be able to eat fresh mangoes but now I'm allergic to the skin (so I need to get pre-pealed mangoes or dried or frozen ones... fun.)

6. I still have all the CDs I have ever bought or received as gifts (my first CD being Ugly Kid Joe... don't ask.)

7. If I had to choose only one type of food for the rest of my life, it would be pasta. I love pasta. I really do. And the best pasta I ever had was in Rome, Italy. Seriously!

So that's that. I'm not tagging anyone cuz I think everyone I know has been tagged way too many times. If you want to play along, do so and let me know if you are so inclined.

Before I go, here is a little something I received in the mail from the talented Angela. Aren't they pretty?

22 February 2008

Of creatures (which are mostly of the bird variety) and other things

So I notice that some symbols keep coming back in my art. Of course, we're aware of the heart symbol which has already been discussed in a previous post but lately, I've also seen a variety of birds appear here in there in both my art AND my dreams. Anyone know what dreaming of birds mean? In the past weeks, I've had dreams of hawks (but friendly ones), owls and crows. In two dreams, the bird landed on my left arm. Strange. Anyway, I've decided to focus some pieces on those birds which explains the second art card you see here at the top and this painting below.

Now. About this painting. I've really been inspired by Kal Barteski's recent paintings (I've told you about them already) and thought I'd have my own take on this idea. I had all those old books of children stories which were missing a lot of pages (library books that were going to be thrown out.) So I decided to paint on the pages individually. Some have really nice illustrations on them so I might try to use those for something else but the pages with only text will be used in this fashion. They measure about 9" x 12". I started with a layer of gesso which had been mixed with some pink paint for another project (which is below) and had some left over. The tree came out of nowhere and wanted to be painted purple. So I did (more like lavender if you ask me.) Then the little bird appeared and wanted a swirly sun so I gave it to him. And before I knew it, he had me writing this little bit right in the middle of the painting! (It says: he just knew that one day he would fly to the sun.) This little guy really had a mind of his own. And now he wants siblings and friends to play with so I guess I'll have to do more paintings. This was a big change for me: painting on something other than canvas and out of my journals. So, tell me what you think of it. Would you pay for something like this? Would others? It would be so wonderful to actually make money from my art, you know what I mean? Others are doing it. Why not me?

This is my latest art journal page. This journal is almost full. Three more pages and I'm done with it. Yikes! Whatever will I do next? Well, I guess I'll just have to use one of my many other journals patiently waiting on my bookshelf in my bedroom. Maybe go smaller? I don't know. I have another big spiral journal that I could use but do I want to work this size again? So many questions tonight!

Anyway, like most of my journal pages and art cards lately, this one has lots of layers. And I just noticed that I didn't use oil pastels on this one which is surprising. I guess I didn't want the "dirty" or "muddy" look it would bring to the page. This one almost looks clean to me. The drawings are supposed to represent my cat Diesel and myself. My auto-portrait is ok but Diesel is much darker in real life. She's a big furry purring ball of colours all mixed in together. I also did this page as a response to iHanna's prompt to use hearts in our journal. So here's to you Hanna!

This weekend I'll show you another small painting and something I received in the mail.

20 February 2008

Of collages, paintings and a prize in the mail

As promised, here are my latest paper spool collages. I made these last Friday while spending an evening of fun and crafts with two of my favourite people in the world: my mom and Catherine. I also worked on another little project which I won't show until it has arrived to its final destination.

My hands are feeling a lot better. I don't know if it's arthritis or carpal tunnel and as long as it doesn't bother me too much, I don't want to know. Now, no lectures please.

Anyway, yesterday, I finally decided to take some Tylenols and it helped relieve the pain so I was able to create. Of course I did my Daily Art Card which is the following picture, but I also finished an art journal page and two paintings. I'll show them later this week.

I've always considered myself an artist. There was a time when I thought I was only a painter but now I know I'm much more than that. I guess that if I have to label myself it would be Multimedia Artist and Recycle Crafter. Ye like? I like! But I had forgotten how much I love to just paint. So I've prepared a few backgrounds to work on when the mood strikes. It was fun to work on something other than a canvas. My plan is to do enough of these types of paintings to eventually sell them.

And finally, I received my first OWOH prize today! What joy to find a parcel addressed to me coming from Hawaii! And when I opened it, I was presented with this beautiful doll made by Lilla... look at her. Isn't she pretty? She shimmers in the light.

Right now, she's hanging on my fake wreath which is still on my bedroom door (and might stay there all year long to display various hanging goodies I receive and/or make.)

Now, I'll go paint some more me thinks. No blogging tomorrow as I'm having dinner with my parents and watching LOST with mom. Have a good Thursday!

19 February 2008

Send me some cheese

I have to whine! Ok, not really but I do need to get this out.

I'm only 30 years old and I occasionally get really sharp pain in my fingers. I don't know if it's the beginnings of arthritis or something else but when it starts to hurts, there's not much I can do. I don't like taking medications so I try to just breathe through the pain. Even typing this post is a bit difficult as I have to stop after a few words because of the pain. Sometimes it feels like needles stabbing through my fingers (sorry for the imagery this may create for some.) It's hard to describe really. Well, anyway, yesterday's Art Card shows you a little bit how it feels. I was okay all day at work today but the pain came back after dinner and now my left hand is pretty much useless because of this. So I'm making this post short. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow. Goodnight!

18 February 2008

Of hearts and art

Back when I was a teenager, I hated Valentine's day because I always ended up spending it alone and all my friends had boyfriends to go to the movies with. Even in my twenties, I wasn't really fond of that "holiday." I started warming up to it when I started working with kids. That was when I realized it wasn't only about "true love" but about friendship and "all around" love. But this year, with the OWOH event, I've had my best Valentine's Day to date! (PS I learned yesterday that I won a 5th giveaway! Awesome!) And inspired by iHanna, I rediscovered the powerful symbol that is "heart." It has shown up in my art journals, on my Daily Art Cards, in ATCs. I've even sent out valentine cards (ATCs) to friends that I met online! A first for me! At work, I celebrated by wearing pink and red. Made this little red heart brooch out of glittered felt. The necklace I received a few years ago from a kid where I worked. I opted for my favourite pink t-shirt (made in Canada from organic cotton!) I love what is written on it (loosely translated: The Black Sheep - Life is colourful even when you're stubborn enough to think it's only black and white.) Cool, huh?

Anyway, I'm sure the heart symbol will keep popping up in my art. You've been warned! (And to think that a few years ago I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing pink or drawing hearts... Believe it or not, I used to be goth... quite a change, huh?)

If you look closely, you can see one of my paintings in the background of that first photo. It was done in 2004 and measures 20" x 24". It contains two of my favourite things: a crow and tim-burton-esque mountains! One day I'll have it framed and hanging properly. Right now, it is resting on a sort of display molding my father made for me back when I was still living at home.

Looking at that painting, I feel a greater need to have a decent studio space where I can create bigger pieces. Seriously, my living room seems to be shrinking! And it doesn't help that Diesel, though I love her dearly, gets into every open drawer, box, bag and onto every available surface (top of desk, top of table whether full or not, chair, table-top easel... you get my drift.) So until I get my studio, I'm focusing more on small artworks. Like my Daily Art Cards, paper spool collages (I'll have 4 new ones to show you once I get them photographed properly), ATCs, art journals, etc... After seeing Kal's latest creations, I've been inspired to do small paintings that I will one day be able to sell at a reasonable price. Some are started but nothing finished yet. So stay tuned!

And on that note, I say to you goodnight. And think good thoughts! The Universe is listening! (I asked for more money and I keep working extra hours every week so that's good!)

17 February 2008

And now, back to our regular program

Staying out of blogging for 2 weeks has been... well... different. Neither bad nor good. Just different. Of course, I kept myself busy visiting all those amazing blogs in the One World One Heart event, entering giveaways (I've won 4!), replying to some comments. And of course, creating stuff. The picture for today is of my Daily Art Cards for February so far (today not included.) I've made journal pages for Emily Falconbridge's challenge and my cards for the Deck Of Me challenge. I've started other projects that aren't quite finished yet. But soon...

The weather has been... crazy. Snow, icy rain, more snow, sunshine, still more snow... We've never received this much snow for as long as I can remember. A few weeks ago, I bought myself some Light Duty Traction Devices for walking on ice and snow and I certainly do not regret it! I've been using them every day when going to work since buying them.

In other news, I've been doing really well when it comes to food. Yes, I admit, I've been indulging in a few sweets but in moderation. Which is a big improvement for me. I noticed that my waist measurement has changed. Lost a total of 1.5 inches since the holidays! Yay for me! My clothes aren't as tight as they used to be so I'm happy.

I've been trying really hard not to buy any more stuff. It's not easy. There are so many nice things out there and I wish I could support all my talented friends by buying their creations. But alas, I, too, am one of those starving artists! Okay, not starving but certainly nowhere near being rich... yet. Actually, I'm toying with the idea of eventually opening up my own Etsy Shop. But don't hold your breath as I'll need to create a lot more stuff to be able to apply that plan. I hope everyone's having a nice weekend.

14 February 2008


Wow! So I'm amazed at how many people came to comment on my giveaway. 204 bloggers! (One couldn't comment and emailed me so I included her.) I wanted to see what it would look like, on paper. So I numbered all the comments (after deleting double posts) and printed them before proceeding to cut them and fold them in half. I didn't have a hat big enough so this empty chocolate tin box made due.

Alright, alright. I'm getting to it.

Drum roll please!

And the winners are:


Thanks to everyone who commented and took the time (or will take the time) to visit the rest of my blog. I so enjoyed this little event that I'll probably do more giveaways in the future. Be sure to come visit again!

Regular blogging will return this weekend. In the meantime, you can go look at my Flickr account where all my Daily Art Cards have been posted and a few other creations too. Much love to the blogging community and especially to LisaOceanDreamer for hosting this wonderful event.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!