Wednesday, December 2, 2009

hey ryan

where do you lurk online? what do you think about, relate to enough, get reved up enough about that you leave a comment on a blog post? have you ever felt such a surge that you found your comment turning into its own blog post?

well my friends, im inviting you in.

i tend to leave personal comments to personal blog posts, which i guess is the point since the author has opened up, touched on the topic, so it fits. my personal ramblings can be found in the comments of blogs that include much better written blogs by BHJ and a Million Universes, for instance. as im sure many of you can relate, i consider some of these blogs and the actual humans behind them as my little online family. people i relate to that i only know online. people i have somehow found, in this world, that i seem to relate to. not in a creepy way, freaks. in a wow! cool! hey there (waves)! sorta way. in this particular instance i started to leave a comment on Pacing The Panic Room and his post entitled Grandpa. I encourage you to head over there and check out Ryan (<= link to previous post) and his awesome blog of photography. This post was timed for me. Im convinced. So as I wrote my short reply, it turned into a monster all about ME and not really at all to him, and so i decided just to cut and paste the whole thing here and avoid the embarrassment of hiding behind other peoples blogs.

here we go:

hey ryan,

this post hit a soft spot. i am also in the god-awful process of trying to navigate which connections to make, hold on to or reestablish in my own Family. at this point i am actually more estranged than connected. being adopted and then having parents divorce in my effing 30s has way spun my mind.

in my early 20s i met my birthmother, 1/2 sister, a houseful of relatives who all look exactly like me, talked like me, were artistic and creative - like me! My grandfather came from across the country to meet me one summer. He said he loved me and was so happy to meet me. It was nice really nice. And then I came home. And then I was sad, and then really angry for never having the chance to have that love and support my whole life. people that looked like me. guilt and anger brewed from having to hide it from my adopted family since my effing father & his family would not accept that reunion. so i stopped communicating with the biological side. the guilt was too much for me, in this case. it still is. now i feel bad for NOT talking to them, but guilty towards my other family for wanting and perhaps needing to know the blood side. oh life! damn catch 22.

then there is the father thing. i have never met my birthfather. he does not know i exist. i have his name, thats it. product of a one night stand. classic or what? its naturally totally effing complicated as well. my adoptive father (who i call dad)and i have not spoken in 11 months. there. i said it. he lives 5 minutes down the road. he sent me a letter telling me he was getting remarried to his mistress of 3 years (who he left my mother for 10 days after our wedding) a birthday card in May to say Enjoy Your Day, and not a single phone call. i so have no time for that BS. so, i have to figure out if i want to find out where i come from. i know 1/2, and that hasnt turned out so shit hot, but i have answers, right? dont we all want to know where we come from and how we fit into the long chain of evolution? i surely do. maybe that comes from feeling so disconnected my entire life, to now being 37 and saying eff the wondering, lets find this shit out and deal with it. you know, slay some of those dragons.

so to stay or to go? it does come down to what some others mentioned in the comments - regret. but dont look at it like that. look at it from 20 years from now and what THAT ryan would feel with either choices. think of the discussions and examples you want to set for LB and the Tangerine - and especially Cole. But most of all for YOU. Do you want to let your life be guided with love - as hokey as that is - or with hate. You can choose. You can tell your kids that you met your grandfather and gave that a chance. You can be different than your parents.

Holy Shit. I think I need to find my father.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the battleground

here is what i speak of. the worse side, the desk side, of my office/studio/the 3rd bedroom of our tiny house. i consider it both my battlefield and lovenest. i am currently trying to navigate it. i mean, really, its organized chaos at best. and yet way too organized in some areas. for my liking anyway. i am so my own worst enemy here. i see that.

so do you see it too, the monster i sit and stare at? no wonder i feel drained. being in this mess is draining. not fun. i need to get this place working again. this room contains all things art. it also includs piles of old paid bills, upcycling projects in their pre-up phase, both finished and very unfinished paintings, a few bulletin boards of memories and inspiration, supplies, supplies, supplies, 2 half-finished quilts for my nephews and assorted other crap that dominates my life and clutters my thoughts. oh and blankets and the evil hound herself, Frank. she hates it when i disrupt her lounging.

have i said phew yet? phew. there.

hey, here is a thought, anyone wanna come over and reorganize it and tell me what to do with all the finished artwork i do find when i pull out the 2 bottom bins of that clear plastic thing? good gawd. anyone? no really, i live right near a time hortons, or, if you prefer i can steep you a mean cup of tea or WINE. i will also promise to have lots of goodies.there. i will provide wine AND goodies. whatever kind you want.

to wrap this up, i am considering this my new *before* picture. a work in progress. i can feel some sharing coming! as i go through i will share some of what i find here. that feels kinda right, and a baby enough step that i dont lose my mind and suffer blogger paralysis. so, either way im attacking this mess (and yes, still working on the everlasting process award for most time needed in choosing a new blog/business identity.) there. i will provide wine AND goodies. did i say that yet?!

this might be fun.

enjoy your day, leel

Saturday, November 28, 2009


for some reason this afternoon i'm feeling reflective. maybe because december is just around the corner, leading to another year to reflect back on. maybe because i have been hanging out in my studio, and not the living room, so i continually face the reality of my not-so-creative fall. i don't know. i guess when you take a side road the bumps might be bigger than if you just had taken the freeway. the end desitination is the same, but the route was different, thats all. i feel like ive been taking the scenic route my whole life, so the fact that the long windy road actually has gotten me somewhere feels a little startling.

the disorganization of this place is making me nuts. squirreley. the process of choosing a business identity is not helping; decision making not being one of my strong points. a unique name that i wont loathe in 6 months, that hasnt already been thought of seven hundred times in seven hundred ways? yah. right. no pressure there.

so proof. i called this post proof. proof? yes, proof to myself, more than anything. proof that i am actually moving through this process of change that i so frequently resist. proof that i have created this year, and that yes, this next step has officially arrived.

the problem for me is that i create in phases. big pushes. i stew, and research, and gather and start and stop and re-evaluate, and stare, and obsess, and then and only then do i feel the push to finish. i know the outcome, when i create something out of nothing, will feel heavenly. the feeling of when the flow arrives. when shapes appear and a lone colour screams from the tube to canvas, sometimes skipping the palette all together. i know it will continue to come, but i keep forgetting. why? lack of faith in ability? fear of success and failure? general insecurity? well, i guess all of the above, at times.

another problem is organization. the process of renovating this place over the last few years has taken its toll on my ability to cope with clutter. in an effort to make my studio a more friendly creative environment i reorganized it in the spring. awesome. so neat. so clean. and so so neat. and so so clean. why mess it up? run! stay out! get away! was the result... so i have pretty much avoided it. not great. so not the point of reorganizing the studio.

i have discussed this with a couple of friends and they all agree. i need to pull out the artwork. pull out what i have finished, scatter it around. photograph it and share it. not just sit and continually stare at the 1/2 finished pieces. enough. i need to provide myself the proof i need. that i do finish what i start. that i can create something from nothing. that i am where i need to be. to not be afraid, and actually take comfort in knowing that i am where i have always wanted to be.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

an i have no idea post

this spot will start to contain some more bloglike behaviour. not necessarily art or design related, but blog related. writing. talking a bit. time to see where it takes us!
so. no idea where this post is going. im sitting in the mancave. without an apostrophe or a quotation marks. its bad enough i dont capitalize. now im without punctuation too? the evil hounds quest for all things edible resulted in the great coffee spill of 2009 when i left the home for 10 minutes. on my keyboard. yah. still some glitches. no punctuation and bad spelling as a result. ok, the bad spelling and grammar and editing, still my fault.
im watching my man dave and the amazement of his band make magic on snl. in my basement. without a power cord and only half a battery left. and a sore back from hunching over said laptop in what the bub has dubbed my montgomery burns posture.
im stewing. thinking through possible attainable goals. craving something fattening and hoping toast might fill the hole so i can go back to thinking without interruption from the body. the body. mine feels tired. and old. is it the fall? is it my not so great eating habits? is it the fact that i am 36 and going into my 37th winter? is it all the job changes? who knows. all most likely. who am i kidding. all.
seth myers is on. i like seth myers.
what have i been up to? thinking about a lot of things. reading blogs. lurking around checking out my fave design sites. watching tv. fall stuff. oh, yah, working a couple of jobs. thinking about the upcoming holidays which i am both a) anticipating with joy, and b) loathing with complete disdain. fun stuff.
at the top of my distraction, overthinking and increase in anxiety is the process of nailing down a name and designs for a more pro-like-blog where i peddle my wares and talk upcycling and art exclusively. January 2010 is the goal. enough talking the talk - how many years (my entire life)have i been wanting to be right where i am, right now? seems its time to walk that walk. this little spot has been a trial run for creativity, a place for me to think about posting to, but not wanting to be too personal, or too art focused, or too... something. i havent felt like ive gelled with this spot, but im hoping to change that. by just writing.
so, creative blogs on hiatus for now. we will see what develops when the new excitement starts in 2010. i have got a bit of exciting news to share (well, to me anyway!) and no, not of the child sort so no, dont even. I will be sharing here first when i get closer to the new year!
so now my battery is almost dead. and im hungrier.
love and love,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Before & After: a vintage suitcase table? why yes, please meet bambi.

it's true. fly the flags, hang the banners. i've finished converting the grimy green vintage suitcase into a sleek entrance table. after months of tweeting about it, i say it's about time!

i found this suitcase on the side streets of my neighbourhood, all lonely and dejected, just sitting in the misty rain, awaiting someone with vision who could see all it's potential. i couldn't help but almost (almost) say out loud 'come in off the street old friend, i have an amazing idea and a home for you.' so in she came and the ideas began. given the large size and awesome shape i didn't want to just make a dog bed out of it (the next thing on my list), i wanted to see if i could make a cute table. as i got brainstorming and googling away, i was flooded with a whole host of colourful combinations and options. there were so many options that i soon found myself considering wacky combinations, none of which i would really like to have in my own home. after much deliberation and procrastinating i realized that while i love colour, i wanted classic, sleek and vintage for this piece. so i went with that.

after giving it a thorough cleaning, with trusty rust-oleum spray primer in hand, off i went, and 2 coats later i was ready to start painting. i chose a glossy black. i had taped off the hardware and the handle, thinking i was going to paint them a contrasting colour, but in the end, went with all black. i considered adhering fabric to the top as well, but decided to go back to basic black, knowing i can alter later. i think i did 3 or 4 coats of black, simply because there was stitching to do, various sides, and details that need to be filled in by multiple coats. so shiny! so smooth! easy peasie!

next, legs. home depot seemed to have some basic varieties, so i grabbed 4 legs, 4 angled brackets, and that was all i needed. once i checked out how some of the other angled-legged furniture was constructed around here i mapped out the base where i would attach the brackets. done and done.

the legs i chose are long, making her look a little like Bambi through the leg, so hence the name. i wanted a high table for my entrance way, so i decided the longer the better. i'm also a big fan of function and storage, so i started to check around and found a perfect piece of pine to use for a shelf.
knowing nothing, i decided to turn the table over , approximate where the shelf would sit, and figured how much of each corner of the shelf i would need to remove so it could sit on pegs, all comfy and snug like. i winged it, basically. I measured equal distances where the shelf would sit, and screwed in small screws on the inside of each leg, forming a peg ledge the shelf would fit on.
next, i took a jigsaw to remove the corners so they fit around the round curve of the leg. i then drilled a hole on the edge of each corner, making sure to break through the bottom of the shelf, making a perfect slot to slide over the nail on each leg. you get it, right? i should have taken photos of THAT! lol. a process, if i do say so myself. i then sanded the edges and primed and painted the shelf. then fit it in place by loosening legs, and tightening them once the shelf is in place.

so now, she sits in the entrance way. i threw this together for the picture, but think the mirror needs to be lowered etc., but for now, i love it. we've needed something like this inside our front door for a long time. yay! oh bambi. how i do love you.

so that's my vintage suitcase table b&a! i think there are more in my future. with stripes. stay tuned. so fun!

♥ leel ♥

Thursday, October 1, 2009

a repost: Life with 4 Seasons

this is a post i wrote in March of 2005, in the spring. here i sit, very far from the spring, but knowing patience will take me once again through the long winter. the winter.
I wonder a lot about whether people who live in a moderate climate really get to appreciate a true spring. Capital 'S' Spring. It's ability to almost transform me instantaneously - like how a phone call or a glance can make you feel hope - never ceases to amazes me, year in and year out. Like you're at home - finally, after a long arduous journey. Winter does that to people. Well, this girl anyway.

Here I sit, looking out at my neighbours house and how the flat icing stucco looks like something out of Tuscany right now. Just by looking at the house through the pines and adjusting your eyes to hide the snow on the garage roof, it can be summer for real out there - with the orange low glow of the sun changing the whites to peaches. This new chapter needs to be official. I'm wearing a long white linen skirt and a thin long sleeved t-shirt. Bare feet of course. And my longish blonde pony tail. Summer wear, summer me. Dogs sleeping at my feet. Live Dave playing. Cigarettes close by. And the watered down Coke. Spring. I'm in heaven.

So I wonder about how it must feel to have this lack of drama that we, the survivors of all 4 seasons, experience every 4 months. Some, from what I have been told, the "fortune" ones live where it's hot and only used to seeing 10 degrees (Celsius) of change in temperature, a couple times a year. Personally, I don't see this as being my choice. I have a friend who put off her birthday last year. It's March 12. She wanted a barbeque outside for her birthday party this year so decided to slide it down 4 months on the calendar. Only people who experience all 4 seasons can do that. And I'm not talking about people who live in Washington DC, I'm talking to those hot climate dwellers. None of those places are all that great in my humble opinion. What do you think when you think of those places? I think:
  • Iraq: War & Devestation;
  • Florida: Corrution and Hurricanes(again, multiple);
  • Mexico: Drug trafficking, flooding and a place to go for 2 weeks a year; Spain: well Spain would be good. They did play a large part in slavery though...;
  • Egypt: Terrorism & Oppression but still, amazing history;
  • Israel: Don't get me going.
What I am trying to convey is that we, the members of the human race who live in dramatic climate change area of the globe are generally peace-lovers with advanced social policies, stable economies, democratic, drug-loving, happy societies . I mean look at us - we're Canada, we have it made! We have:

  • A democratically elected government;
  • Access to Social Services;
  • Equality;
  • Opportunity; and
  • Freedom.
Look at the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland too - I think we can agree that they are a pretty calm bunch. (*1 ) Coupled with us, I think that the group of us hold the key to the future. We are the calm, rational, peace-lovers, remember. We believe in helping people help themselves and not literally forcing democracy on any other country. We're peacekeepers. Peace-Forcing, is not only an oxymoron, it's a physical and mental impossibility. (Here's hoping the forceful nations figure this one out soon.) In my opinion, people have to feel empowered enough to insist upon democracy. Demand it. Our role, (the soft, nicer group of humans we seem to be) offer assistance to those who desire change in their unfair world. To want access to education, like the Afghan women wanted for their girls under the Taliban, or just that little thing that we take for granted: physical safety. The women of the DRC need that today - to not have to hide themselves and their children from rape in the woods, each night, any longer.

I think Canada's kindness may come from the variety of seasons, the circle of life they represtent for us, and our responsible attitude make Canadians patient and concerned members of the global community. Those of us who experience dramatic climate change for 1/4 of the year have about 1/4 of the year filled with down time. We reflect. We give thanks. The world slows down after the intense, stifling, fun-filled spring and summer months. We go back indoors. So we have the advantage, we get a chance to wind down, learn patience and that nature nor time can be tampered with or rushed. I think that those who live in hot climates aren't necessarily the lucky ones. We hear about winning trips to Jamaica, and Cuba and Mexico. Yippee, you're sooooo lucky! Good for you! You deserve it! Of course we do - everyone needs to get away from their desk and lay on thier ass a couple weeks a year. Some choose to take a break from all the 'down time' of winter and sit on the beach with drinks in a tropical paradise of a resort. I love it. Who wouldn't? The difference is that outside the gates of that Garden of Eden lies the real Jamaica, the real Cuba, the real Mexico. I can guarantee you that there isn't a nation just lying around in lawn chairs all day with Pedro bringing them free vodkas day in and day out. And don't be thinking that they are nations filled with wonderful governments, social services, equality, opportunity and freedom. No-sirree-Bob. They be working in the factories, and fetching water, and slaving after our lazy asses all winter - god love anyone who will do that! And for most times pennies a day. See we can visit the Garden but, by god, don't venture out into the wild world outside the reinforced perimeter & guards. Sounds great? No thanks. We all hear the stories about the poverty and people tipping the equivalent of a month's salary to their sweet maid, the extra shoes to leave behind and the cute stickers for the kids. Doesn't sound like any Eden to me. I'll take 4 seasons any day!

I recall a segment CNN aired in the early days of 2005. January 3 or something. It's premise was to explain that the recent string of natural disasters was, in fact, quite normal and not a signal of the beginning of the Apocolypse. It did not mean the world was ending. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the phrase "the world is not ending" was said by a meteorologist. Ouch.

Warm places are great!

California is sliding into the ocean every season due to fires all summer and record rains during the winter. Mount Saint Helen's gurgled and threatened eruption again this year. Hurricanes - yes, plural - in Florida. Slip-slidin'-away. America in general has had too many natural disasters in recent years - sign o' the times I say. My friend would say "Thinning the herd."

Globally there were earthquakes, mudslides, and flooding this past year. And then there's the big-gun, the tsunami, of course. Havoc was being wrecked around the world, live 24/7 -365. Here in Ottawa: It got a bit cold and dark, we came in ready for the white stuff to come, for the hockey season to start (damn NHL) and a chilly fall day walking the dogs in the leaves. Then we got snow and spent time having holidays and festivities, still watching hockey and the dogs play in the snow. But thinking, hibernating, I call it. I do it every year. And, yes, it amazes me every year how reflective and inside myself I go every winter. I enjoy it. I enjoy hanging out at home when the days are short, with a warm dog, an old quilt, a great book, a remote, a coffee, and a cigarette all within reach. That is one of my heavens for sure. That picture. Who needs year round heat?

Then the snow went away, and it came time to start the other half of my reality. You know, the social, outgoing, tanned, barefoot, patio-drinking, wedding attending, TV-hating person I am the other 6 months of the year. Those 6 months are the most energetic of the year in my opinion. Not unlike Christmas, which is the only thing that makes January bearable. The energy we exert in December is recharged during our laziness of January. September and October weather is bearable because Ottawa summers are hot and humid and we are looking forward to those great sleep-nights that we get in those latter days of August and into September. Kids are ready to get back to a routine and their friends after a summer at the cottage or at camp, or if not sheer boredom of being at home every day with your siblings and parents - for 7 weeks straight. It symbolizes rebirth and a fresh start to many I'm sure, but I bet those nights in early fall are not loved anywhere else. I love those nights. I think most Canadians do.

So, basically my point is this: Remember, Canadians: We may have snow and cold but our rewards are vast. Think of the tulips and crocuses of the spring & the first drink on the patio; the hot summer night walks and cross-breezes we love; a Sunday walk with a sweater on, a coffee, and a running dog in the woods; a snowy Christmas. Simply put, it really as good as it gets. Most hot spots are in the midst of civil war, a revolution, an epidemic crisis, a famine, flood or fire, economic instability, and/or oppression. And many don't get spring flowers or snow at Christmas. We really are lucky.

*1(Ok, we all need to work on some issues and I'm not trying to imply that life is by any means perfect, but I think it's fair to say we are more advanced than the majority out there. Cool?)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


i have no idea why that's the title. let's just go with it.

getting caught up. seems to be a theme i've taken to heart. always running to catch up. to what? i have no idea. just always rushing. like now, for instance. the house is cleanish. i have 3 different clients and multiple projects lined up for the next couple of months. not so much on the art side, the creative side, but the garage is clean and the laundry is done. and it's 10am and i'm feeling like i need to rush. and i have no real reason to.

the switch on me does not shut off well. the problem of course being that once we shut the switch off and i come down a bit, i also tend to crash. highs and lows. one of the reasons i loved the job i used to do, the job i also loathed for more than a decade. the deadlines, the strategy, the hurry-up-and-wait work style. but i burned out. and i could care less about generating revenue anymore. unless it's for one of the artists and filmmakers i meet in my travels, no business writing here folks. since i've tasted working in the arts world and have the opportunity to work with them this fall, i have to be excited. i mean, that's the reason i wanted so badly to be a part of the festival last year, hoping it would just be a 1st stepping stone into something more one day. i love that world. this world. my new world. i think it's fair to say that the recent events in my professional life have been positive. it's just happened so fast. it's fair to say i'm very excited about the coming fall.

this summer has been a blur. i started a short contract holding down a proposal unit for a nice firm here in town, which was extended twice until they found 2 people for their unit, and ended last monday, the 21st of September. I wasn't sure if it was going to be extended again and was getting kinda nervous, unsure of what i was going to do next.

Deep down I had been wondering if I should suck it up and take a perm possition, the rediculous salary, all the while knowing i would be committable within days of signing any perm offer back in that world. i left it for a reason; a short contract at a great hourly rate was awesome for the summer. i saved a tonne, payed off a tonne, and spent little. i'm extremely lucky, lucky enough to be able to 'wing it' kd style for a little longer, and not have to take that job. 10 days before my contract (unknowingly) ended, i received an e-mail from an old co-worker/now friend inviting me to work with the animation festival again. i love the festival! she has put aside a position for me managing one of the main venues. it's going to be awesome. more on that to come, for sure! so that worked out perfectly.

The last week of my contract, the day before it ends in fact, i get an e-mail from another client i have worked with that is the mother ship of the animation festival, and in turn runs many other film festivals throughout the year. in the past i have worked the box office and helped prep for a few festivals, as well as assisted the executive director with some documents and scanning in photos for his latest book (follow the tweets to come!) which is being launched next weekend. it was a blast, all of it, but i was afraid that i would move on, they would move on, and my time there was over. oh, how wrong i was! the executive director of the mothership needed help with 2 upcoming film festivals, so in a nutshell, my contract ended last monday, i worked with the mothership on tuesday, wednesday, friday and this previous monday! whirlwind? whirlwind.

so i have a few days off i think. not so bad. i'll be working with the Animation Festival in october, the Latin American Film Festival and the European Union Film Festival next, working with my neighbours decorating for halloween and christmas as well, with who knows what in between.

so that's what i mean by whattup, i guess. huh.

Friday, September 18, 2009

photo taggage

so, i got tagged.
the lovely laura from The Forgotten Brush was tagged, wrote, shared and posted her pic in the post What's in Your Photo Album, and tagged me. so i thought i would partake and see what i stumbled upon. yay fun!

Here's the gist. The idea is to:

1. Open your first photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo on your blog and tell the story behind it.
4. Tag people to do the same.

so. the story behind #10 in the first folder. these are my hounds. frank, the evil jack russell terrier that i swear can speak english, and josie, her sweet 'santa's little helper' like sidekick. that day was oops, ran outta dogfood day, and so we got creative. the dogs love carrots and lettuce. i have no idea why. well, the carrots started out as toys for the crazy fatdog (frank) and quickly turned into treats. the lettuce, well, why not. it would do with the chicken and other good stuff underneath, and would fill them for the day until i could get to the store. for some reason i decided to take a snap of the anticipation brewing beneath the bowls. i love how out of focus it is too. awesome.

so there you have it: the evil hound sisters, and their sad lunch.

now, who do i tag? I tag:
can't wait to see what they post!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

repost of an old post: festivals and festivities: the OIAF 2008

below is a summary of my experiences from the 2008 Ottawa International Animation Festival that i had posted on another blog on September 28. again, spacing issues are not helping. grrr.

today is the day i get caught up. caught up on my life, my blog, my laundry, my friends, my art, my housework. all have been backshelved for the past 4 weeks or so due to my obsession & involvement in the animation festival and television animation conference that took place from September 17th to the 21st here in my lovely city.
by most accounts it was a hit; emergencies and catastrophies remained unknown to guests, minor crises were solved and apologized for in a professional manner. All left happy.That's all one can ask from a non-profit festival running the largest animation festival/conference in North America on literally threads of funding that are being cut more and more in our conservative times.
i have an appreciation for anyone involved in festivals at any level. the dedication required from the core workings must parallel anyone who has been in the warroom in a political campaign, or been involved in events management at the management level. 10 days of 15 to 18 hour days. i'm sure others endure worse, but for some reason this event had a life of it's own and it had a joke to tell. SO many things happened that were out of the ordinary crazy that the artistic director himself noted so in his Closing Ceremonies address to the audience, something i was relieved to hear. I was proud of us - pulling off so many close calls. You'd have to have truly been there, for it was a pure roller coaster, to really get how nuts it was. As the managing director said the day after it ended "we should have taped the festival - it would have made an excellent reality show!" and it would have. Let's see how I can outline the events. I'm still decompressing and unwinding about them - SO many great and awful things happened consecutively - it's hard to really get across well. Hmmm. Have patience...
Ok, so my role in all of this, which might be important to the reader, was the coordinator of guest services. I coordinated flights, sending out letters of invitation for Visas, booking hotels and festival drivers for anyone invited to the festival (speakers, filmmakers in competition, sponsors, jury members, vips etc.... everyone.) in addition to dealing with the travel agent, hotels, pr folks, assistants, spouses and parents of anyone attending, i was responsible for managing the drivers (gawd love them) as well as that schedule for the week of the conference and festival. I also included in my schedule the print traffic (films literally moving from venue to venue) for the amazing programmers and volunteers who needed to get to venues offsite. My role required i be in the office - something i was totally fine with. The office manager would be around, and so would our newish receptionist, so that would be fine.
I was totally excited by September 1 - the office had taken on a true festival tone; we were coming in on weekends to get stuff done, cool cartoon related sponsor trinkets arriving daily that would eventually be divvied up in delegate bags, people were sending in flight details for my database, people were excited to be coming to Canada, coming to compete in what is deemed the hardest (and best) festival to get accepted into in the animation world. the energy was contagious. luckily. if it weren't for the adrenaline i never would have made it. by the end of the 22nd when my last guests were leaving for the airport I was super cranky. I took off most of this week and we're shutting down on monday (yay!) to try and get this old 35 year old body to bounce back. I actually have been feeling pangs of sadness that it's all done. All over. But wow - what a ride!
In the midst of general office madness (picture 1 open room with 10 people working, desks facing walls, a couch with a coffee table, a semi kitchen (no water) in the corner and 2 small offices that house multiple people tucked on the end). we had just weirdness, as i mentioned above. i realize some of the madness was my own creation, since my excel spreadsheet for the 16th (the day when all the jury members and people taking part in the first day would be arriving) sorted without expanding at some point and my flight numbers did NOT match and some people who were arriving on the 17th were on the 16th schedule... yah. awesome. next time - in pencil. So that was a disaster for me, since i had this amazing process etc. Hmm. The database had an error from time to time that led me to believe that some updates may have been lost over the summer... again, wish i'd done it in pencil instead! The walkie talkie style phones we'd been given by our sponsor were making the office that much more hectic - beep beep - anyone there? - every five minutes on top of the ringing phones (where is that receptionist anyway?) was making me nuts 20 minutes into the 16th - the day before the festival officially began!
(Crisis 1) Our Executive Director, fearless leader, amazing boss and one tired mom/wife/woman, crashes her car on the way back from driving the drivers to pick up the rental vans they will use all week long. Totals it. When I heard the news I truly panicked. OMG> is she ok?? Ok... she's fine. Scared and freaking, but ok. Off to the dealership - Where is the receptionist??? - By the time our fearless leader makes it back to the office the adrenaline is officially pumping and we roll with the punches. She checks the voicemail for the office (we have one voicemail box for the entire office) and announces our receptionist has decided the festival would be too much stress and pressure and therefore is quitting. Awesome.
(Enter Crisis 2) Thanks to one of our highschool interns, the amazing "david A++" the office did not crumble to bits. Close, but my gawd, this KID held down the fort when a 50 year old woman said it was too stressful. He worked 120 hours that week. I was so glad his highschool teacher came in to chat and see how mr A++ was doing. He was my savior answering phones and fielding calls for me - essentially doing dispatch for me at the same time as dealing with people coming in to see the office, see the artistic director etc. He ran films and bottles of water between venues, something far beyond his actual call of duty, and calmed me down far more than i should have allowed. Especially when the security breech happened at the airport. I had a couple people calling from the planes sitting on the runway saying "we have been told their was a security breech and they aren't letting anyone off the planes - it could be hours. they won't tell us what is going on." Then the reports from the airport Greeters representing the festival of streams of ambulances and fire trucks racing to the airport. Awesome. Car crash, quitting receptionist, security breech at the airport. What next?? Oh yah, one of my 3 (three) drivers quit halfway through his 3rd day... that was a meltdown for me. Turns out he hurt his back or something, but he literally walked in and dropped his keys, said I'm done, and walked out.
(Crisis 3) Wow. 1/3 of my workforce just walked out. My workforce, and friends as it turns out, were the only thing helping me out this whole time. They were pros, knew what they were doing, and calmed ME down. What NOW??? Ok, so luckily one guy was a super fast thinker and got someone we know well, mr marc bighouse, to take over that job. Wow - talk about step up to the plate - crisis once again avoided.
What a community: most old friends and co-workers, some new friendships forming, and yet from all over the entire globe. A real community this animation world. The energy was amazing in that place. So many amazing minds. I was sad I didn't get to see much of the actual festival, but i had my own perks - mostly meeting all these people. I loved how i'd sneak down to reception from time to time (to put additional tickets in someone's pass order envelope, or because one of the drivers told me someone was going to get their passes and then being dropped at their hotel) and get to meet all these amazing (and mostly jetlagged!) artists I'd been liaising with for months. At one particular moment I can remember meeting a great guy from Paris who had never been to North America before, standing smiling at me was another great guy from Paris, and then another filmmaker from Australia was standing there a grin as well! I then realized how FUN guest services can be. For those that have a good experience, I am their friend and perhaps only contact in the city/country/continent! Awesome! Hello - welcome - how was your flight??!! Luckily I didn't have too many sour faces - and not one irate irrational person.
And the people I met. OMG. There are a few that stand out for me, like Mr Karl Cohen, a man whose e-mails i will forever cherish, a man who wrote a book on propaganda in animation (hello?!), is an art historian & has a great wife Denise who i wish i had gotten to spend more time with, and whom i hope to remain in contact with (I may even take them up on the invitation to stay with them if ever in SF!) Duscha Kistler from Switzerland (and Fantosche sp??), Noreen from the South Beach Animation Festival, Jonas Odell, Marco deBlois, Heather Harkins, Christopher Mills, Amica Kubo, were all regulars in the festival office, and I loved the conversations I got to have, and listen in on, however brief. I mostly asked what people thought of YouTube.
John Canemaker was a highlight of my experience as well as Karl Cohen, who I talked about. He and Richard Williams and his wife Mo Sutton were a pure joy to meet in person. The second day, when John Canemaker gave me a little half armhug when i ran into him, i glowed for hours. The warmth of some people is undeniable. The folks from pixar were great, Seth Green and Matt Seinreich were great both as guest speakers and as people. I was too tired, but apparently they had a blast at that night's party in the Jail Hostel next to the festival office. I ran (literally) to the hotel they were staying at to say hi to them before their flight left, and I was glad I did. The office was buzzing for weeks about them coming, I had been dealing with their PR person for months, and I was going to at least meet them and say hi. That was one of my geekier moments, but you would have done it too! The other moment was when I told Michael Sporn how his earliest animated work for Sesame Street were some of my earliest memories of animation and how I loved them. GEEK!!! I had to. He was really nice about it. And Candy Kugel - she was super nice too..... so many great folks.
I loved having a staff pass. I have to admit it. It was cool. It was fun.
OH - Can I brag a bit? I did get a great Theodore Ushev multimedia piece that were part of an exhibition at the SAW gallery downstairs, that has a sketch of Ryan Larkin on it! The Artistic Director was launching a book on Larkin at the same time, so I plan on reading that soon. I had no idea the extent of his involvement with Larkin over the last years of his life. (You may remember this animated short won the academy award a few years ago). So that is something I will forever treasure, as well as remember the festival by. It was very cool to get it signed when Ushev came in to pick up the remainders of the prints! So fun...
Just typing this out in some sort of cohesive fashion is making me tired. I'm glad I got some of it down here, but I still think there is so much I left out that is can't even touch on the actual experience itself. It was a ride, that's all I can say, a crazy rollercoaster ride.
If you actually read all this, wow. I'm impressed.
peace, k

Thursday, August 27, 2009

today is the day

i talk about my love of being an aunt, rant about healthcare, maternity leave and the state of the world in general. k? k.

let's start this off nice. first off, i love being an aunt. yay!
i have one nephew (plus another on the bub's side, in Portugal), my brother's little guy who just turned three (see previous post!) and another little guy due today. today. TODAY! i'm not sure what's going on over at their house right now, so who knows when the little man will actually make his grand entrance. i'm just so excited! so naturally i'm feeling a bit reminiscent and sappy about my first nephew. 'cause i'm a total sap when it comes to him. i cannot say no. "auntie keeleeee come to da basement to play hockey wit' me puleaseeeee?" i mean, the fact that he knows me and wants to hang with me and can say my name like that is enough alone. forget the cuteness of his little face. forget the fun we have playing hockey in nanny's open unfinished basement. he brings me back to a place of comfort and ease. joy and happiness. we play with my old toys, my old puzzles, the thick wooden ones my own nanny bought me. we play with his new toys, his new favorites, that nany has bought him. it's nice. it's the sweetness of life. i love it.
which is why i'm increasingly bubbling over with anticipation over the impending arrival of newest member of the d. family. we know (or so the ultrasounds have shown) that it's a boy, and we know from the 1 hint we get that the name is associated with water. from what language, who knows. my nephew has a cool name, so i assume whatever they choose will be equally unique yet not freaky-bad. they are cool like that, my brother and SIL. they are having a birth in a childbirth unit at a great hospital close by, with a midwife and doula, and if all goes well they should be snuggled in at home within 6 hours of his arrival. (touch wood. do it!)
now THAT's great healthcare. free. shared care with a midwife and an obgyn. new hospital facilities available in a childbirth unit, the midwife comes home with you, and all except the doula (that may have changed, doula's might be covered under your employee benefits or the gov't) are covered by the gov't. you walk in, have your baby, you walk out. no bills. nothing. ok, some paperwork, but it's all covered. tell me our health care isn't pretty good here. i'll take it over the US system any day.
So, i read the blogs of so many awesome bloggers who are moms. and some amazing guy bloggers too. (sorry, the term mom & dad bloggers for some reason bugs me, no offense.) I read the struggles the ones in the US sometimes face to get untrasounds for their high-risk pregnancies covered. i read about the fights they have with their insurance over procedures for their premies. i read how they scrimp and save in a crappy economy to pay for a midwife, even though it is the last thing they should be worring about paying for. Yet, these are the same people who pay something like $1300 for insurance - per MONTH.
THAT is criminal. THAT's a nice mortgage payment, friends. And even if they have all that covered and an easy, happy birth, they only get what, 6 or 8 weeks maternity leave? OMG. THAT is ludicrous. How are you suppose to provide that bonding time, impress your values & love upon and teach your growing baby all it needs in that first important year when society your doesn't give you the time or value that enough to do so? So yes, I'll live here and take my year long maternity leave, thanks. I know, we all know, but i have to say that it is no wonder our neighbour friends are in debt up the ying-yang. I feel bad for them. We all deserve access to healthcare and it shouldn't bankrupt anyone.
can we go back to my being an aunt now?
here was the little man when he was only 10 days old. ca-ute or what?

i know i'll be tweeting when the new guy arrives. damn twitter, how i hate to love you so.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


i feel scattered. not centered. little bits of me here, little bits of me there.
i know i am not unique. i see it all around me, people struggling to keep it all together, stay focused, stay on course, on path, pointed in the right direction. and that gives me comfort.
but I feel scattered.

for instance, online. it mirrors my life IRL perfectly. little bits of me here, little bits of me there. i have this blog, 2 other blogger blogs, my nerdfighter blog, my old 43 things spot, my old facebook profile, my flickr photos, my picasa albums, my rss feeds. my gawd. i'm scattered.
i want to pull ALL those little pieces of me together. here, and irl, but i have a feeling that if i take the steps to pull all the online parts of me together, maybe the in real life me will feel more patched back together. i'm ok with being patched. i like patchwork.

anyone heard of armybrat syndrome? not sure it's officially called that, but you get my point. in one discussion with a therapist we discussed this theory that children who move around a lot and change schools, make new friends (easily or not), continually being uprooted and part of a moving family often continue to pattern that as adults. few roots, the rolling stone gathers no moss types. the entire time the family just keeps moving, the kids are learning what it is to be a nuclear family (if they stayed together), but never learning what it is to have long term relationships outside of that. to generalize, some then tend to move freely and easily from situation to situation needing constant change yet craving stability. some need to keep moving, changing. duh. we do what we know. but it's bigger than that. we feel disconnected. connections, friends, get lost with each move. and so as adults, we mimic this. i mimic this. in most areas of my life. and so i feel like i just can't Be. can't sit still. and i so want to.

in an effort to consolidate and obliterate the many loose ends that are making my mind cluttered and scattered all at once, i am going to start to repost some of my other blog pieces here. as a way of doing some web housecleaning like. it'll be interesting to see all my web personalities come together, i think. it'll be cleansing, at the very least, with more posts!

ok, enough of the deep crap. i'm 1/2 through making a vintage suitcase a table! i'm super excited to share, but not much to share yet! i still need legs for it and to finish the top but luckily live within walking distance to Ikea and Lee Valley Tools, so slap my ass and call me judy, i am one lucky gal.

stay tuned!
+ have a wonderful sunday

♥ leel ♥

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Before & After: Jennifer, the kidlet rocking chair, rocks on!

This kidlet sized rocker became a before & after project when I was out scouring the side streets of my neighbourhood late into the night on the eve of garbage collection a few months ago. Hey, I can admit, I have been known to scour side streets from time to time. How can any honest upcycler not, really? I don't know about where you live, but in my little 1950's neighbourhood there is some AMAZING stuff just waiting for a new life. So, I spotted this little broken rocking chair sitting at the end of one driveway, peeking around someone’s weekly stack of recycling and trashcans and it was perfection; I could not resist. It met all my criteria (fixable within a couple of hours, wooden furniture, and no one was around. Oh, plus I had squealed when i saw it => very key.) So home she came! I must say, it was love at first site.

I had originally named this little piece Dan, but once i turned it over and saw Jennifer scrawled underneath the seat, i knew her name had to be Jennifer.

So please, meet Jennifer, Before:

& Jennifer, After:

Like everyone, my inspiration comes from everywhere, including the piles of magazines strewn around as well as the internet, naturally. This idea, as some of you may recognize, was from an April article in Better Homes & Gardens: 100 Decoration Ideas, and was inspired by the Alphabet Chair. I love the sleek simplicity of the warm white and the subtle letters arranged to fit each smooth side. I loved the size of the kidlet rocker for my sweet nephew who was turning 3 soon! Naturally, I had to give it a try. (See end of post for additional images!)

I first needed my husband, the Bub, and his handy skills to fix a couple of missing dowels and reglue the unglued portions that were making the rocking chair unusable when i found it. Once that was completed and the little chair was ready to rock (sorry, I couldn’t resist) I set to giving it a thorough sanding with my hand sander, and used pieces of sandpaper wrapped around each dowel to sand them.

Since I wasn’t sure how the chipboard and foam stickers I purchased were going to work on primer, I decided to adhere them directly to the sanded wood. Since this was such a small piece with few surfaces that weren’t rounded I decided to only do the back and front of the backrest. Less to pick at for little fingers, was my line of thinking as well. (That’s just what I need. A choking nephew. Thanks Auntie for the choking hazard!) I was also trying to make sure the backrest took on a seamless look, with few edges of the letters sticking up and peeling away as possible. Before attempting the front, I completed and primed the back to see what would happen to the letters. If the foam shrivelled and resisted the primer or the chipboard got soggy and lost all shape I needed to know! Especially before starting the front, the side I imagine most visible.

After 2 coats of spray primer and few signs of peeling I continued to apply the letters to the front portion of the backrest. I had imagined needing to peel off the letters and reapply them with the glue I had bought in preparation for such event, but to my delight the adhesive on the back of chipboard and foam letters seems amazingly substantial. Once I had all the letters adhered, I finished priming the front. Finally, onto my favourite part - the paint part! Heirloom White was what I chose since I really was going for a re-creation of the adult alphabet chair. 2 coats over top (maybe more on the letters themselves) and a perfect membrane had formed over the letters – the foam hardened somewhat and the cardboard fastened strong. Perfect!

I decided to make a little removable cushion with ties from some scrap flannel fabric and polyfill I had stored away, for little bums get sore on wooden chairs, I imagine. I found as I attached this little 9x9” cushion that it might double as a nice little lumbar support cushion as well. Who knows. Removable is key, so I just went with it.

(click to enlarge)

I have to admit when my nephew pointed to it and said “what’s that” and I said “it’s a chair. Guess who made it for you?” and he replied, smiling “auntie?! it’s a ROCKING chair!!! ” and moved the other gift bags in his way so he could have a little sit and a rock, I knew it was perfection. Sweet perfection.

Happy 3rd Birthday buddy!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

my sense of humor and an upcycling sob story

i tend to think i have a pretty good sense of humour. ok, when i'm cranky not much is funny to me. that i admit. or when i'm hungry. or when i have just awoken from any sort of sleep.
so i have a sense of humour about 50% of the time. i digress.

my sense of humour: when in need of a pick me up, i have a few websites i go to for a guaranteed laugh. one that i have been frequenting for a while is
It's totally my kinda thing. hilarious actual pictures of people in weird outfits and/or rediculous poses. what's not to love?

i have another one as well. it just so happens i met my first tweet friend mchen IRL (I KNOW! she's superawesome coolio) to pick up the t-shirts i got from her sicksweet etsy shop last evening. It was via her blog, i was recently introduced me to this cool site The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks. i know. the titles pretty much speak for themselves. i love anything public that is misspelled or oddly hand written. so, obviously i love Love LOVE that site too. lots of lolz. days of lolz in fact. back on track.

i remember tweeting a few days ago that one of the local free/upcycling newsletter i receive has some pretty funny stuff offered and/or taken by, who i like to think, are multi-media artists or the like. taking weird stuff and using weird stuff to make cool stuff. yup. i can relate. I also think about all the potential serial killers lurking behind every retro 60's teak dining set or old box of jars. but i'm a little imaginative like that. or i read the news too much. one or the other. you decide later.

ok, so. tonight. i open one of the many newsletters i get on upcycling, and inserted somewhere between nana's basement couch and a need for cottage windows there is this little jem of lolness (yes, that is SO a word.) I have removed any reference to any actual organization by way of the X below. I have left it as is. cut and pasted as the moderator intended...

Dear Group,

X is not a charity, nor should any of its members expect it to be one. X exists solely to keep items out of the landfill. We want everybody --- rich or poor --- to feel comfortable requesting an item, no questions asked. So please do not include a sob story with your request. (I've been editing them out of any messages if I get the chance.)"What is a sob story?" I hear you ask. Here's an example:


I have 27 kids all under the age of 11, and I don't get any child support because their fathers are either dead or in prison. We are desperate for a plasma TV. Of course it should be at least 60 inches wide because we all have to crowd in front of it at the same time. If you have a plasma TV that is at least 60 inches wide, give it to us, because we need it more than you do but we can't afford it because of all those dead and/or deadbeat fathers.

Old Lady Who Lives in a Shoe

If any members of X really do live in a shoe, I apologize ... I didn't mean you.
Moderator, Local X

personally, i think that moderator should have their own blog; i can only imagine the things she must edit out. i'll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for any new jems that might suit a follow-up post. so, on that note: upcycle!

& never, ever believe the hype


Friday, July 31, 2009

the winds of change and blogging, a new approach. Part 1.

so, there have been many changes in my life.
in case you haven't noticed, from my not so subtle posts. or lack there of.
my anxiety has been winning the battle it seems. i suffered my first panic attack at age 4 and have suffered ever since. the last 10 years i have taken paxil, made amazing "oh my god I can travel and eat in restaurants" improvements, and am in the process of weaning off of effexor. i am enjoying feeling actual emotions these days, but battling my anxiety has taken it's tole on my life. i'm functioning, but not thriving. i'm looking for answers still.

the last 3 years of my life have been the hardest. and if i look back to the previous few, they weren't so shit hot either. on the flipside, there have been some of the most exciting and amazing events interspersed within the shitstorm. so many, and so close to so many other events, that i kinda lost it. not kinda. totally. identity crisis 101. right here.

i wrote a lot about this when it was happening, on a couple of other sites, but nothing where my new friends would see. to those new to the shitstorm, as i will lovingly refer to the past 5 years, i'll give you a little summary. math style, like.

a) 2003 purchase house with (now local celebrity) boyfriend + get (unhappily) knocked up + job change + engagement ring + miscarriage night before friends wedding i'm in + breakup + i keep house + trips to NYC + dating long distance + new contract = end of 2004
deep breath

b) 2005 = change jobs + end LD relationship + paternal grandmother dies + meet husband (The Bub)+ fall in love + my younger brother gets married & pregnant 1 month later + we travel to meet The Bub's entire family in Portugal + we get engaged December 30, 2005 in the the Algarve. YAY!

c) 2006 = wedding + honeymoon to my old hometowns, The Bub meets my birthmother + 10 days after our honeymoon my (adoptive) mother announces my father's affair (after 37 years of marriage) of 3 years with a woman in the US he met while travelling + her knowing for 1.5 years and hiding it from the family for our weddings + nephew's birth exactly 1 month later + renovations + end of contract = end of 2006 = meltdown begins

d) 2007 = my amazing maternal grandmother dies (my poor mom) + councilling + therapy + The Bub gets laid off + lose benefits + The Bub finds a job 6 months later + lots of fighting and unfinished renos + crazy mother + little contact with father

e) 2008 = I worked with an animation festival for 6 months and loved it + the bub and i finish up the renovations + lots of fighting

f) 2009 = complete isolation from everyone outside a select 5 person circle. husband forgets 3rd anniversary + my uncle moves here and in with my mother while he awaits back surgery + find new contract in my old consulting field (managing and writing proposals communications) + meltdown, breakdown, acceptance, looking for answers to my crazy + job turns out to be good thing + fear + moving forward + needing to talk to my family and friends + baby steps = today.

so yah.
that's it. some of it anyway. but enough.
so, about absences and change. i'm finally feeling like i'm coming out the other side. i've finally had some of the conversations i've needed to have with the few people who are closest to me that matter, and now ready to stop looking back, and look forward. i'm ready to talk about it. cause that's what i do. here. online. cause it's my home.

♥ leel ♥

ps. feel free to unfollow me or simply ignore these personal ranty posts. but i can't promise you it won't stay this way - personal and ranty. i'm sick of trying to be so many people. this is who i am. when i create something and feel like sharing it, i will. when i feel like blurting out my shitstorm, i'll write it here too.

pss. some(most)times i hate editing my posts. I edit all day long most days at work, so sometimes i just don't here. k? k.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

before & after ♥ betty ♥

welcome to my first official before & after post!
i've been gathering pieces from *around* for what seems like forever.
working simultaneously on multiple pieces, stripping, sanding, priming, and making choices seems to have all been for naught for such a long time that i think i might actually be in shock from this first completion.

:: let's keep it simple ::
meet betty below. plus, see a breakdown of betty's makeover, below in pictures!

yay! for completion of projects

yay! for pretty robin's egg blue bedside tables!
yay! for betty !
(i knew she was under there all along)
:: oh! + stay tuned :: *dan* the kids rocker is now repaired and about to be primed!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

this post is not a post, or an update

we like to talk about how transforming change is.
compare growth to the change a caterpillar endures to become a butterfly.
like it's all beautiful. magic. poetry.
but some parts of growth and change are really hard.
sure, the final stages, when that beautiful butterfly stretches its wings out to the sky for the first time, are beautiful.
but what we get to see is only the end.
what happens inside that cocoon is a mystery.
what must happen to that caterpillars body to change into something so amazingly intricate, delicate and wonderous?
whatever it is, i imagine it must involve some sort of pain.
it has to.
i mean, all change has painful parts, doesn't it?
that little marching caterpillar, does it have an idea of what is to come?
and if it does, does it go into that little world, willingly, so it can transform into what it is to be - a newly winged beauty?
or does it fight and kick and resist this change, knowing it will leave behind its little legged world?
i have a feeling it goes willingly.
to fly.

i like to think these cocoon days i find myself in are just that.
days of cocooning, changing, growing, and awaiting with patience the day when the growing pains of change are over, and my new wings are strong, and colourful, and ready to stretch for a new world.
i know i just have to be patient.
you cannot rush change.
i can't.
this time anyway.

Friday, May 1, 2009

freaky friday

it may come as a shocker, but i embrace my freakdom. i was flipping through images saved, and came across some that were interesting enough. i thought they might be fun to post here for later reference. i'll try and keep it to things that actual people other than I myself would find interesting. k? k. deal.
ok, random screen captures

do you ever love an image on your screen so much you need to keep a little piece of it as a reminder later? for inspiration, like? i have taken to this lately. so i'll share a couple.

here's one from good ol' youtube. the Hip remind me of high school, cottage fires and drinks, annual outdoor parties under the skies, and as always, summer love. so yah. and i just loved this image from one of the Hip's videos, from a great song that will always take me back to those summers 15 years ago. sweet. if we remember the music, we remember the times.

another couple. youtube as well. I have, and always will love great eye teeth. Corgan, Bowie, Jack Nicholson. All faves. I was walking down memory lane listening to some Smashing Pumpkins, thinking about university days of the mid-90's and BAM - there were some sweet pearlies flashing right in front of me.

loves it.
function+printscreen =inspiration captured foreva.
freaky friday man. sooo not my fault.

love your day

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

creativity clog; if only that was a new shoe

i have so many expectations, plans, goals, interests, projects on the go that i sorta spun myself into a little frenzy up in here (points to head).

my creativity is clogged. there's a bottleneck somewhere between my brain and my hands in the creative process. i suspect this little brainstorming session (what i like to think this just might be) may result in some steady waves of posts from this point out.
when I'm not creating, I'm not posting to my creative blog either, now am I? so, i apologize to my faithful reader of one for not posting for a while - seems there is some cloggage in the bloggage as well. oh my, i so kill me. no really, i'm laughing.

what i have been up to is the usual spring routine cleaning out the yard (its 62x140... ya) garage, and all the gardens, gathering old rugged furniture together and starting to refinishing them, contemplating the path to enlightenment, and reorganizing this ever effing evolving office/studio space. oh, and a little tornado that went by our house. i was in the backyard, ironically enough taking pictures of the crazy stormy sky JUST before the rain, and apparently a tornado went by 2 streets over. I was taking pictures of the sky over the other side of the neighbourhood, naturally. yikes. not one of my more intelligent moments considering the trees around our yard. i did catch a couple of cool sky and windy day picks, however. art geeks ftw!

some the pics of our tornado-y sky - not b&w: colour. windy!
and then there is my stormy family crap. which seems amplified by my upcoming this year has felt rough, and i'm dreading one inevitable emotional conversation that will likely come with that day. like, i wanna barf just thinking about it. maybe I'll just get a card in the mail, the usual format these days. the angst is heavvvvvy. so i suspect that has added to my absense and turtling too. apparently i may have needed to spill that too.

some great news is the i have finished the process for a government job. i'll be a researcher/ project assistant on actual projects with the feds. i'm excited about the changeup from procurement, writing proposals, communications crap etc. and a steady job with the feds and all its benefits, 92% of full pay for your entire maternity leave - a year - and a 5 year job guarantee with it as well, "summer hours", room to move all around different departments after a year, pension, salary, the whole kit n kaboodle.
except i wanna be a full time artsy funtime me girl. so - that little dream is on hold. we need to pay some stuff down, think about kids, and THEN the full time thing can happen. all the while i'll be experimenting with a few different mediums, trying to really narrow down a series idea, get my photos back in check, relearn gimp, and get blogging all the stuff i've been researching on and planning about... oh, plans plans plans...

now that i have some stuff in order, and this little post almost done, i feel better already.

funny how that works - sometimes you just need to start to remember how great it feels to DO something you love, have been putting off and avoiding. and putting it into words for any one person to read. man being human is weird. weird, but interesting at least.
can you tell i really am a maniac some days? can you guess what type of day today is?
it's a great day, actually. regardless of everything else, every day is really amazing.

love to the lovebugs,


ps. colourful artlove to come. girl guide swear.

Monday, April 13, 2009

quick quick, a new office pic

here we go - improvement, no?!

i realize yes, this has taken a long time. i've had a tonne of stuff to go through, as anyone who has reorganized an office or studio can surely relate to, as well as the garden and yard to temp me away from said going-throughs. you can relate, right? right? ya.

the sense of fulfillment, even at this last little push i don't feel like doing, is amazing. i still have a lot to do, but having THIS set up alone is pure joy. i am lucky. to have the luxury of space, half spent giftcards from home depot, ikea and homesense that will be used to pretty up the remaining yuck i can see, and a lot of room to work and play in.

on the list to do - still need to sift through some of the stuff on the top shelf, and also another shelf inside the closet. go through the little white dresser on the other side of the room into a sort of horizontal filing cabinet and rearrange all the papers that i have collected and don't want crumpled. fingers crossed.

still deciding what to do with the pegboard. i. hate. pegboard. i feel like i'm in a basement workshop. even if it's painted a colour i love? nope. still pegboard. i was saying to my mom last night that i found it remarkable that i had to go to the garage section of the depot to find the hardware for it. they come individually or in little sets, and they are not at all conducive to hanging really anything other than garage stuff and tools. i managed to macgyver some to suit my purpose, but there really could be so much more that these little guys could do - and attractively. that someone hasn't grabbed that little cash cow and run with it all the way to the bank amazes me. why hasn't martha or someone ( i might at this point) reinvented the pegboard for other things? i mean really... in the works, i'm considering getting some sort of cheapo stretch knit fabric that will cover the entire surface of each board, but still allow the pegs to easily fit the holes without leaving a rip in it. some sort of repurposed sweater quilt would also work well. hmmm. the hamster wheel is beginning to spin! that tends to happen when i am irritated by something illogical, that in my mind should seem very straight forward.

so, that's where we stand now. i'll be back with updates (and some real content, other than my office) will come. i pulled out that sewing machine this weekend.
i. know.
i must be feeling the groove of the new space to feel like doing THAT!

hope you are enjoying this great easter monday!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy easter!

hope your day was full of spring fun, love and laughter. ours was great, relaxing and reading all day, and dinner with family tonight. pretty fun! not that you can tell any fun was had by the look on josie's face. her tail was wagging the entire time, really, it was!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

no, my shelves are not up yet.

i found something way more fun than that, over at poppytalk if my memory serves me correctly. so now i have to share: a great artist who you will love to check out. so many people i know will love this amazing colour palette and style. her name is Stephanie Levy.

here's a supersleuth screenshot of her etsy shop

she is an american artist based in munich germany, and her etsy shop and blog are celebrating their one year anniversay. so, you know, you might want wander through her etsy shop of amazingly affordable prints and see some really great, accessable, art. check out her blog and see what cool artist she has interviewed as of late. wish her a little congrats on her anniversary. very nice indeedie. cool stuff, huh? oh, and to top it off, for every item sold through Earth Day, April 22nd, she will be donating $1 to Greenpeace International. As Stephanie says "every bit helps!"

so cool.
but wait. there's more.
there is a free draw for one of her amazing prints!
i know...

simply check out her amazing artwork on her etsy shop and then scoot over to her beautiful blog and tell her which one you love the most. her daughters will be picking a name on Easter morning, so you have until Saturday night (April 11) to get your name in on the fun.

can it be that simple?
ok, it might sound simple, yes.

i dare you to pick only one you love. triple dog dare, in fact.
myself, i wandered through the pages at least 3 times. i favorited about 10 pieces. that's a tonne for me. I think my mom might love one of these little gems for mothers day in may.

now you see why the shelves are still in the same spot as last night?

enjoy, kidlets


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