Category Archives: random

Week 6 of my creativity project

Here we go, let’s hope I don’t slack off quite so much in week 6. Week five was pretty stressful and it really interfered with my creative process.

Day 1:
Had to finish the great book I got myself into. Shadow of night, by Deborah Harkness. I find trilogies very frustrating, having to wait around so long for the next installment. You finish the first book, and wait around so long for the second you forget the first and have to reread it, in order to get into the second. Then you finish the second and you know damn well that you are going to have a hell of a time getting into the third one a year from now when it’s finally released.
The books (discovery of witches and shadow of night) have been fantastic, it just sucks to have to turn off the story in your head and wait.

Day 2:
Needed some pen and colour in my life. Photo shows the image I was trying to draw, and my pen/watercolour rendition.

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Day 3:
Did some stamping with the kids, making bookmarks for Christmas gifts.

Day 4:
A splash of colour to go with a quote I like (couldn’t get the white balance quite right in the photo):

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Day 5:
Playing around with house designs from wit & whistle

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Day 6:
Not ready to let go of the house designs. They’re kind of fun 🙂
Inspired by “jpants4sale” on etsy and Amanda from witandwhistle.

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Day 7:
More tiny little buildings. Made the firehall up completely on my own.

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My kindergartener has decided to get on board with drawing cities. We collaborated on this one:

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Week 3 of right-brain project

Week 3 of my creation journal.
Keeping things versatile is keeping me strong. I like having such a broad range of creative activities I can count towards this project.

Day 1:
Spent the morning taking photos. Spent the afternoon editing them and a backlog of several more photo shoots as well that I was able to finish up.

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Day 2: I admit, I missed a day. I’ll make it up before the week is up though 🙂

Day 3: drew something. It sucked. Guess I wasn’t feeling it.

Day 4: mini photo session

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Day 5: fun with facepaint. Practicing a sugar skull for my friend who wants to dress up on Halloween. We did a run through just for kicks.

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Day 6: editing photos

Day 7: saw an image on a YouTube video (proof: the photographers on photography) and decided to paint it.

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Creation journal week 2

I’ve unofficially challenged myself to do one creative thing each day. The criteria is quite vague allowing the project to be versatile and encourage all forms of creativity. Last week was inundated with editing photos from a photography session last week. I did manage to sneak in a batch of cookies, paint a rock, draw and paint a card for my aunt, and take a few more photos for a friend of mine.

So here goes week 2!

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Days 3 & 4: shared my joy of painting rocks with the kids:

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Day 5:
Finally painted one myself:

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Day 6: back to cards. For one of my favourite little girls!

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Day 7: more editing:

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Daily dose of right-brain

I have to admit I get a fair amount of inspiration from Pinterest. I follow Amanda from Wit & Whistle for her sketches and typography. I recently stumbled upon the following quote:
Draw something every day, even if it sucks.

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I find myself curled up on the couch at the end of each crazy day, and these words repeat in my head. I can no longer idly watch a show without a pen and sketchbook in hand.

Or perhaps a rock and a sharpie marker.

Or maybe I won’t even let myself sit down until I’ve set the lights up in my makeshift studio (aka the living room) and taken a few photos.

I’m craving it like mad lately! I don’t know if I’m trying to balance the left brain or if I’m just scratching an itch, but I feel like there’s so much creativity in there that is wanting to pour out. I feel like I haven’t had a complete day if I haven’t created something.

So I’ve challenged myself to exactly that. Create something every day. Even if it sucks.

Thanks Amanda for the inspiration. http://witandwhistle.com/

If these walls could talk: moving on

It’s a really odd feeling spending our last night “home” before it’s “our old home.” These walls, that have been the backdrop of our lives for the past ten years, will no longer be ours. We will no longer climb 37 stairs to get from our kitchen to our bedroom. This quirky but awesome house will not be the place that welcomes us home each day. I know we’re off to somewhere new that we will consider home eventually. But right now we’re caught in “house-purgatory;” not quite here, not quite there.

With mixed emotions we move on to a new beginning. We are so thankful that we’ll be near enough all our people that they will remain a huge part of our lives.

I will post again in the future about all the wonderful things about the new house, but today I mourn the separation from our past. With a bittersweet heart, I reminisce about all the milestones and memories we’ve had in the last decade. Marriages, births and deaths. School, jobs and daycares. This is the house where the limo picked me up to bring me to where I married the most unbelievably fantastic man in the world. These were the steps I carried my newborn babies up when I brought them home from the hospital. These walls watched me transform from a young woman into a wife and a mother. They’ve radiated with the love of our friends and families. They’ve seen so much laughter and so many tears. We’ve had so many great times that I will treasure fondly until the end of my days. We love this home. It will always be a part of us.

So as we pass on the proverbial torch, I wish for the new owner that his life will unfold as incredibly as ours has while living here. I hope he has the same good fortune we had while living in an awesome area with really fricken cool neighbours.

Goodbye house. You will be missed.

Lucky Boots?

About a month ago, we brought the kids to the store to pick out their costumes for Halloween. My son wanted to be a Pilot, and my daughter chose a Cowgirl outfit. She was very excited about her costume, and has danced around saying “yeehaw” and “giddy up” all month long.

Something very strange happened the weekend before Halloween. During our renovations (which you can read about here, if you’re interested) we knocked down a few walls. Literally 5 days before Halloween, we stumbled across this inside a wall:

At first, it was just plain old funny. Boots inside the wall, what an odd thing to find. But then we realized, hmmm, that’s strange, our girl is going to be a cowgirl this week, that’s awfully coincidental. But it really blew our minds when we realized that these boots were EXACTLY the RIGHT SIZE! Seriously, what are the odds?!?

A few people mentioned that perhaps they were haunted. I’ve chosen to believe that they will be her lucky boots.

Haunted House

When we moved in 9 years ago, we were excited that it would be our first Halloween with our very own front door. As the night unfolded, we learned quickly that our neighbours were big into Halloween too. Their daughter’s birthday fell on that day, so it was a great excuse to make a big thing out of it. R would get the biggest pumpkin he could find, and hook up a microphone and amp. The tradition was “the talking pumpkin.” It always got all the kids in the neighbourhood excited!

My husband and R got into reminiscing about past Halloweens. When my husband was a kid, his dad used to make this big, long tunnel through the front yard to the front door. Little did I know, this conversation was going to map out the Halloween tradition that we’ve held ever since.

For the last 8 years, there has in fact been a haunted tunnel at our house. Some years it’s been really long, and snaked around corners. Other years, a little more modest. But nevertheless, it has happened every year. I have to say, it really makes for a fun night!

This year, amidst a huge downpour, and despite the renovations we’ve been working through all week, we kept the tradition alive.

I’m really proud of my husband, and his ability to map the whole thing out. He put a lot of work into this one-day-set-up-and-take-down haunted house. He puts the walls up, and anyone else who has time to spare jumps in and decorates it. (On which note I send out a huge thank you to my awesome neighbours!)

The tunnel is filled with smoke and black lights, and random halloween props. I have to say, the biggest disappointment of the whole thing is the fact that you can’t really get a good picture of the thing. The whole scary factor of it relies on the fact that it’s dark in there.

On the outside, we’ve got a graveyard, and a crypt and our pumpkins and such.

And of course, Halloween sound effects loud enough for the whole neighbourhood to hear. Whether your celebrate Halloween or not, you just can’t ignore it around here!

In the past, we’ve had some scary-costumed grown-ups “haunting” the tunnel. I dressed up scary this year, but after seeing the absolutely horrified reaction of my own young children, I opted out of the make-up… we kept it pretty PG this year. I can’t wait for the kids to be teenagers, so we can scare the heck out of them on purpose!

Oh yeah, and it wouldn’t be Halloween without a few carved pumpkins! Here’s a couple of them close-up…

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

Grown-up Christmas lists

I just had a very funny conversation with my four-year-old neighbour. His bell for his bicycle was broken so I suggested he put a new one on his Christmas list.
He got into an elaborate story about what he really wants for Christmas, which included pretty much an entire city made out of remote controlled devices. Remote controlled car carriers, planes that really fly, etc.
I told him that sounded so awesome that I wanted to put that on my Christmas list too.
He said “you can’t do that. You’re a grown up.”
I said “oh. Well, what are grown-ups allowed to ask for for Christmas?”
He replied “maybe a toilet……… [pause] for Z” (my toilet training two year old.)

Great. The Christmas countdown is on! Can’t wait for a brand new potty under the tree!

But seriously, if you’re reading this honey, I still think my “stocking filled with art supplies” idea is pretty cool. Just saying.

blog discovery: Wit & Whistle

Okay, let’s try a low-key blog post today, just to get those words flowing again…

I’ve discovered a cool website called Wit & Whistle (www.witandwhistle.com). I found it while scrolling through Pinterest for examples of my latest diversion: typography. I like to draw, I like to write… why not draw fancy words. Simple thing to play around with while watching TV, non?

So this website has links to a community on Pinterest that basically practices just that: hand lettering. Fun.

But while perusing this website, I’ve found so much more than that! It’s fantastic. The blog contains photography, recipes that look “to-die-for”, and sketches, illustration, design, art projects, paintings… you name it. It’s truly wonderful, and for the sake of my hobby interests I find it rather inspiring.

I found some sketches amongst the pages that I decided to play around with. I drew my own version of a few, and uploaded one I particularly like that I made into a card last week. So the design credit goes to Amanda Wright, from Wit & Whistle. I just made a few changes and added some words of my own.

That’s all, have a good day 🙂

Ps: if anyone tries out the recipe for the velvet cake balls coated in chocolate chips, or the s’mores, you’ve got to give me props for recommending the site and send some my way!

Bike ride

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We’re going to head out for a family bike ride today. My husband is convinced that he’ll be able to get our 4 year old son to cross this bridge. My son absolutely freaks out when he has to cross a train track. I have to stop my bike and practically hold him to get him across.
I can’t blame the kid. He did, in fact, have a near death experience crossing the train tracks on our usual bike route a few months ago. His tire caught the track and he veered right off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic.
Thank goodness my husband was standing on the other side waiting for us. He swooped in like a damn superhero and lifted him back onto the curb before the four cars speeding towards him managed to flatten him. Watching the whole scene was surreal. I singularly screamed his name, and it all happened so fast after that. I ran over and held him for a good long time while he sobbed into my shoulder.
Once we got moving again, he continued to sob the whole way home (we walked our bikes home that day.)
Parenting tips are often learned by really stupid things we do that we learn huge lessons from. My parenting tip of the day happens to be something that was drilled repeatedly into me as a child. Always get off your bike and walk it across the crosswalk/intersection/etc. Yep, now I get it.
Tip number two: as much as your kid is rocking at riding their first pedal bike, you can’t get overconfident on their behalf. That job belongs to them. It’s a mothers job to internally be neurotic about every move they make while outwardly putting on a proud “you can do anything” facade. Be ready for the crash. Just don’t let them know that’s what you’re thinking.
Well, that’s about all my poor little thumbs can take while blogging from my tiny phone. Wish us luck on the trestles!

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