Yin Yang Kittens

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I love this photo I took of two of my snuggling fur babies; Arthur (grey tabby) and Noah (ginger with long hair, and reminds me of a small maine coon). I adopted these two brothers at the end of July 2016 and they are a perfect edition to the family. They make me laugh every day and that is a very good thing! 

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Thoughts from my mom…

I can’t concentrate
I can’t concentrate on our argument
with this hard pain in my chest
this other hand closing on my heart
saying give in, give in –
I insist I must make myself
attend to you both, you both have your
right, your hands filled with me, the
mess of me.
I will come to you
                                in time
& you when I can. You
outside me, trying to get in,
& you inside me, trying
to get me out.

So, it’s been a long while since I posted anything on here. I’ve ‘been busy’. But not really. I’ve been plugging along, wishing things were different but doing little to make it so.

It’s been spring break for me the last couple of weeks and I did make myself a plan, to do list, goals…whatever you’d like to call it. I’m happy to say I probably completed over half of it!

One of the things I wanted to do was go through ‘the blue room’. It’s a room that houses all the art supplies, ephemera, and memorabilia from my parents lives etc, etc.

As I was moving and shuffling and sorting I came across the above written note. My mom struggled with mental health issues – probably through  her whole life. All the while I knew her anyway.

I have no idea what was happening for her when she wrote it but my first thought was it had something to do with dad and I. I wish she were here to ask! Mom and I had a tumultuous relationship for most of my life – thankfully at the end we were  both able to put it behind us and were very close.

When I found this in a box filled with pictures, cards, obituaries, old bills and who knows what else I was kind of excited! Even though I have no idea what the story is behind it, it is a part of my mom and how she was feeling. I like that I can still get glimpse into who she was.

Then I looked around at all the boxes and became a little sad. Where will all this go when I’m gone? My kids won’t have the same attachment to it that I do because they didn’t get a chance to see it as they were growing up like I did. There are no real stories for them to try and draw conclusions from.

I brought the paper upstairs after I finished clearing and stacking to make space and then this morning I came up with the idea to just start sharing some of my finds on here. I don’t fee right just shipping it off to a thrift store or recycling it…it’s my parent lives, a whole other era. I think it deserves to be shared.

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Wedding Converse has to be DIY in Canada

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When my daughter started planning her wedding one thing she knew right away was comfort was key. No high heels for her!

Converse for the wedding party was decided on and she wanted The Bride and Groom’s to be personalized. ( I’m agonizing over the apostrophe placement!)

No problem, you can special order them straight from Converse.com…so she thought.

Turns out Canada doesn’t count for Converse! We aren’t even on their location list!

She tried to have them sent to a shipping/receiving business just across the border but because she was using a Canadian credit card that was a no go too!

She was pretty disappointed but we decided I’d give it a go…I used a black Sharpie fabric pen and a white DecoFabric pen. I would have liked to be a little fancier but she’s happy with them 🙂

I do find it frustrating we aren’t able to get certain things here in Canada though…personalized Converse and clips from American TV for example…

 

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Ideas…

elizabeth-gilbert-big-magic1I’m reading “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and I’m really enjoying it. She has a very refreshing take on the creative process…polar opposite to the tortured artist, more of a love affair with creativity. An actual relationship with it.

She suggests that ‘Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form.’ They come into our lives, try to get our attention, can be with with us for moments, or years but when it eventually realizes you aren’t going to pay attention and do something to bring it into the world it will move on to someone else.

I have some experience with this and will share one with you. Years ago before we became crazy pet people who dressed and babied and spent a gazillion dollars on our fur babies I had the idea of a ‘dog wash’.

We had a big German Shepherd at the time who was a real pain in the butt to wash in the tub when the weather was too cold to do it outside. We were driving by a car wash one day and I said to my (now ex) husband, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was such a thing as a dog wash!”

Now, I could have ran with it…if we’d had the money or the know how of getting it but I’m not sure it would have caught on back then. This was the mid 90’s and I don’t remember people being as willing to part with their cash on behalf of their pets. But still, I had the idea and then years later they started popping up. So the idea went to someone else who actually helped it become something real.

I’m also a bit of a hoarder…because I see something, have a niggle of what I could create with it – buy it, pick it up from a back alley, accept it from a friend…however else it falls into my lap – bring it home – then do nothing with it.  Because I’m also a procrastinator.

EG shares an experience with a book she was going to write. It was a great idea, she had done research and started writing when life got into the way and she had to close up shop on it for a couple of years. When she went back it was gone…the ideas, not the work she’d done.

There is another story she tells about this idea that is pretty awesome, I suggest you pick up her book and give it a read because it gave me shivers when she explains where her idea for the book went.

What I’ve taken away from this is maybe it’s time for me to let go of some of the things I’ve collected over the years that came with ideas I never did anything with. Maybe it’s time to let someone else use these things for their ideas.

There’s also the possibility it would make room for new ideas, ones I may have more initiative to actually bring into the world.

It’s time to clear the clutter!

After the wedding…priorities!  😉

 

 

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Wedding Planning Tip…

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Wow, time has flown by and now we’re less than a month away from my daughters wedding! Everything is going quite smoothly and we are all getting excited for the big day!

I am feeling a little heartache over one decision that was made months ago regarding the guest list that I wanted to share here.

When the kids first started planning the guest list they were super excited and wanted to invite everyone they knew to come help them celebrate their day. Family, friends, co-workers and of course, as parents of the bride and groom we through our thoughts in as well. It’s exciting!!

But then – the moment of truth when you realize you have to have a venue big enough and then feed all these people on a limited budget. When the numbers were crunched we realized guest list would have to be greatly reduced.

The research began on how to cut costs and decide who to invite. We saw the same advice repeatedly – look at the guest list and cross off people you hadn’t spoken to or been in touch with in the last six months to a year.

So that’s what was decided and of course it brought the list down and the dollar figure became something much more feasible; a breath of relief was taken.

This was months ago and once the invitations were ordered and mailed not much thought went into it until the date started looming ever closer, with prep work almost done we began imagining what the day will be like.

We started thinking about certain people we haven’t kept in touch with but who are still important to us that didn’t get an invite. How it would have been nice to have them there to celebrate and catch up – a little reunion of sorts….

But they were cut from the list…

So my advice is to not to get so caught up in the financial aspect of your big day and just cut everyone you haven’t been in touch with…take the time to imagine each guest you are thinking of cutting and what it will mean to have them there…or not. If it will make your day more special, invite them…if not cross away.

 

 

 

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June 4

It dawned on me last week that I had missed a very important date.  My dad died three years ago on June 4th. I remember thinking it was coming up back in May but then totally spaced on the actual day. 😦

I felt bad that the day passed me by but thinking about it realistically and changing my perspective I decided not to be too hard on myself. Mom and dad are on my mind quite regularly – I tend to look at the clock on repeating digits – usually daily, sometimes a few times a day and when I do mom or dad or both pop into my head and pay me a little visit.

That’s not to say I didn’t wonder what I’d been doing on June 4th that would keep me so busy to forget. Technology is a wonderful thing – I looked through the pics on my phone and  saw on the morning of the fourth I went up to Kelowna to spend the day with my daughter.

We were supposed to go look at veils for her upcoming wedding (!) but my pup Finn decided he didn’t want to be left in the apartment…we could hear him in the elevator two floors down! I didn’t want him teaching Robin’s dog Baxter to be noisy…

So, change of plans, we decided to take the dogs down to McKinley Lake and have a picnic. It was a beautiful sunny day and the water was warm(ish).

When I got home that night I went into the back yard and saw an angel wing cloud (at the beginning of this post).

The next day I saw this angelic cloudimag0573.jpg

I felt compelled to play with the angel and dock pictures, add some filters, mix a couple of them together and came up with these, (not awesome but it was fun).

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Looking back it seems like Mom and Dad were watching over me and even though I was self absorbed and didn’t notice at the time, it feels nice now.

I’m glad I remember them on a more daily basis; thinking about the life we shared when they were healthy and happy. Maybe it’s a good thing to be able to let go of the sadness of our last day together.

 

 

 

 

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Mega Mandala Mural

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Mega might be a bit of an exaggeration…but not to me right now. It took about 70 hours from start to finish.

Large mandala is approximately 7ft x 4ft, small is approx 2ft x 1ft.

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The design is mostly freehand. I used a compass and ruler for making the grid and a compass and french curve for a bit of the design.

I thought it would be fairly easy to paint since it was pretty big but I didn’t take into consideration all the points! The biggest brush I used was about an inch wide and because I used house paint it needed a minimum of two coats.

I started the small one after the large had it’s first coat on. I would fill in the color on the small one then go and do the second coat on the large. By the time I had that done the small was dry enough for the second coat.

I had a deadline of the June 23 which gave me three weeks in total to get it done. Whew! It was a whirlwind three weeks since I was still working Monday to Friday and was helping my daughter with wedding preparations on Saturdays.

It was a learning curve to say the least but I had a lot of fun creating it and since I was doing it for a friend I got to hang out with her while I was working on it! I’m not sure I’d take on such a big project with such a short deadline while working full time again though!

 

 

 

 

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