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

homemade things are the best

as you may have noticed, reader of 1, i've been stumbling my way through learning (the free opensource, downloadable, image software) gimp not so bad, huh? looking around...

i wanted to be able to pretty things up a bit and expand my design and editing skills. i'm lovin' this for now! i may go to a 3-column blog, just not sure yet. baby steps...

now, the question that keeps popping up in my mind, as i sit here, looking at my 1/2 hung shelves (ahem...more on that later...) is:

how am i ever going to translate all i actually do, make, and am, into a fair representation of myself in blogform?


has anyone else wondered this as they contemplate crossing the great digital divide into blogland? anyone like me out there who likes a really compartmentalized life of very seldom-overlapping spheres that divide neatly into work, play, home, friends, relationship/family?

how do you be all the yous you are to all the people out there, and still be just you? gawd. maybe it's not crossing the digital divide that's the issue, perhaps it's me and my way of living that needs a shakeup. nah. well maybe. i guess i've always been like that, so yes, i could use some work in that area. merging lives. i just shivered. i digress.
sitting in my 3/4 reorganized little office studio here, i keep looking at all the little bits of paper collecting around me, these things i needfully rip out of newspapers, magazines, or print & cut out, when inspiration makes me. what happens to them? those true little sources of what makes me tick and propels me to the next idea? where do they fit?

ok. i think i have it all figure out. here we go.

i have decided i will do some roughed up journal-style layouts; use a background from my journal for the pieces inspiring me, scan in and post them once a week. a little bulletin board type pieces from my life. i can also use up some little embellishments i seem to collect and never use. i am no scrapbooker.

so this will be cool, fun.

i get to organize all my little pieces from around the studio, journal some more pages, do some scanning fun, edit in gimp, and post the result as something uniquely representative of me each week, on this blog.

many birds, one stone, ftw!
so here is peek at how i envision this idea!
i really hope you like it. enjoy!
bottom left: sweet card (free to print off!) and winner of littlebrownpen's contest (inspired by the now famous "keep calm & carry on" posters issued by the monarchy during the depression); top left corner and right bottom corner: daily abstract index inspiration cards from jared knight's online abstract class i just finished top right: a fuzzy widdle chick from somewhere & 2 random flower stickers, all on a chalk pastel drawing in my journal

have a lovely day


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

my etsy cruise for ♥ circles ♥

etsy is one of my little luxuries.
a place to go to feed my soul with that which is created either by hands, or for hands.
textures. shapes. & colours. (oh my!)
here is just a small sample of circles that made me squeal this morning when i searched 'circle' in the tags and descriptions. oh the joy. so hard to narrow all the love down to 9.

ok. so sorry, try and follow along.
the font is not working the way i would like, however i'm not stressing about little junk like that. this is not rocket science.
the pretty pictures help.

can you feel the love? i can.
... off to put up the office shelves!


late night round up. with a cute dog who has some major homework

this is josie. josie is sleeping beside me as i type this. josie is always happy. she emits love. so much so that the hair has worn off the 'sides' of the tip of her tail. she's a close sitter. a lick sneaker. and the best cuddler in town. the truth hurts. sorry. we call her dodo.

unfortunately, dodo is not great at anything other than constant needy love seeking (really guys? can i not just be in the washroom alone?) and neither are her other pet siblings, frank the dog, and the cats iggie & harper. (we're a well rounded bunch.) so, i keep telling the pets they need to pick up some of the slack around here... pull their weight. giving them the 'these are tough times and we all need to make sacrifices etc' speech has done nothing.

case in point. my office. omg. i have to be honest so that i get off my ass and get this done. to be fair, i have done a tonne already, however the shelves have been on my list WAY too long for my comfort. it needs to get past phase deux already so i can get moving and make some of the damn art that's clogging my brain and what feels like every pore in my body these days. it appears i've been holding out for nightime shoemaker/studio shelf hanging elves, and boy has that not panned out.

or i'm procrastinating... one or the other.

so i'm posting this, the one side of my studio/office that still needs to be tackled. so i get it done. nice. i need to intentionally humiliate myself to get motived. well josie is no help, let me tell you. dodo likes to nap as much as i do.

damn elves.

updates, to end the humiliation, to come.
i assure you.

hug your pets & kids

Monday, April 6, 2009

a blog to share: pacing the panic room

quick - what the first blog you think of when you open your rss feeder?
which font do you hope to see bolded in the morning, or late at night when you feel like reading something witty, heart felt and usually pretty honest? with accompanying amazing photography?

pacing the panic room is that blog for me right now. has been for a few weeks. will be for quite a while, i suspect. as long as he keeps writing and posting his pictures, i'll be looking for that bolded font in my rss feed list each time i log on.

why, you ask?
hmmm. many reasons. let's see...

a) the weekly photography of his beautifully pregnant wife Cole each week, coupled with the tidbit of text beside each amazing photo series summarizing the weeks events and the growing belly, is breathtaking. i can't help but imagine what it would be like to have access to that type of intimacy over ones development and birth, now as an adult.

wow. more men should pay attention like this.

b) the weekly photography of his beautiful son* LB (referred to as the Littlest Buddy) each week, coupled with the thoughts that consume this couple and what the future holds for LB, who has had some hurdles along the developmental path they are trying to understand each day.

wow. more fathers should pay this much attention to their kids

c) the amazing writing. it's great. witty. writes like he talks. i like that. i hope to write as well some day. i also like to eavesdrop on the content, don't get me wrong. to see even a semi-functioning unconventional (or, now is it conventional?) family working through the valleys of co-parenting and co-loving a child is amazing to me. needless to say, i wish my parents could be so mature. and they are 30 years older. that might explain my interest here. yah.

wow. more people really should take the time to record their 'stuff'.

d) good content overall. check it out. you, my reader of one, will love it. i just know it.

wow. there are people out there who post cool stuff i like? nice.

so, if you haven't checked it out, here are the goods:

and a cool screenshot to lure you there

oh, and HE is Ryan Marshall. He is an amazing photographer IRL, so book him here:
he has a baby coming.

peace and love

Saturday, April 4, 2009

gimp: fun tool, funny word, and i admit, i'm new to it. hmm.

anyone who knows me well can tell you a couple of things that i am especially geeky about. 1 being words, the other being art and photography.

i love all things art and image, with my fondest memories reaching back to summers with my grandmother, on the shores of shediac beach outside of moncton new brunswick, painting rocks. cameras too have always a fascination of mine. i collect them now, surprise, surprise.

as i think back i remember polaroids as a constant (i have three to this day), flashbulbs, round disk film for flat index card sized cameras in the 80's and then my original nikon slr 35mm i got for christmas when I was 16 for my highschool photography class. learning to develop and print my own film was a dream and those classroom skills i learned invaluable, something i'm so glad i got the chance to learn before technology invented dollar store digital cameras. not to knock digital - that's the whole reason i started this post in the first place - yay gimp! - in fact, i have 3 digital cameras that i love and keep around, to choose between depending on what i'm up to. my little pocketsize sony has been too many places to list and has taken some of the best pictures i have ever taken, my canon takes great quality + little videos, so the bub uses it when he feel the urge to shoot a pic or two. then there is my nikon, my digital slr, i love it. love love love it. my husband (the bub) got it for me 2 christmases ago, and needless to say it's a gem. so that is why i'm giving in and taking the time to learn gimp. so i can take this whole thing to a new, prettier level!

gimp, for those who are not sure what i am rambling about, is a free, opensource application that is essentially the same thing as photoshop. you know, that wonderful expensive graphic and photo application that you pretty much need to know these days.

i have been using picassa, a free google photo editing application, for all my edits for years now. it's been great. push button editing at your fingertips. love it. but now i need to be able to do more. i need to create digital images, not just edit them. so i decided to learn gimp. i'm confident that with the power of the internet, in particular youtube at my fingertips, i can figure out pretty much anything. so far so good.

the added bonus? and i get to type and say gimp a lot. hahaha. the bub is going to love that. he says i get all ocd and say specific words just because i like them. i agree. some words are just fun to say! and make me giggle. gimp. hahaha.
i'm so 12.

the moral of this post is to let the reader of one know that the layout will be much prettier soon. with some sort of branding and style, i assure you. as i get some more gimp under my belt i'll be creating a logo, banner etc. for the blog(s), so stay tuned! technology is good. if this blog continues to be a bland unedited template for much longer you will know it is not going well. fingers crossed.

with that little tidbit out, i will now leave you with a photo taken last week out on the ottawa river. hopefully it will be the last to be edited in picasse. what a rabbit hole this will be. wish me luck!

have a great sunday


Friday, April 3, 2009

♥ an artistic ethical debate: artist vs old books ♥

i keep flip flopping back and forth on this one
this little debate i keep having with myself
to use old books as art, cut and used in art, as a part of my statement as an artist
to hold and covet and love the books as they are
perfect and beautiful and wonderful to fondle, escape and nap with?

i keep collecting books as i scour junk shops
always with the intent to use them in my art
but with most of them, i can't bare to alter their wonderful perfection
so, this morning i have considered the options and have come up with this plan:
  • keep collecting: use a couple of not-so-rare gems in some multi-media pieces
  • sell the treasures i don't so much love, because someone will
  • and keep everything that i find that makes me squeal outloud (sounds reasonable). this method is similar to the dream/shoe test. dream/shoe test you ask? well.... if you dream about a pair of shoes after seeing them, and they are there the next time you go - they are yours to buy. guilt free.

totally reasonable system. there we have it. done and done.

so, onto the funstuff!
i found this little bag of 3 old books all packaged and stapled together for $2.99
i had no idea what was inside, but knew they were old and little: faves!
i was delighted when i opened the bag up...

the dark embossed cover one is an old french catholic prayer book
by Hugo H. Hoeverfrom from1948 (approx. value $20?)
i included a scan of the inside as well; amazing iconography, in particular, of this page**

the other 2 beige ones are from the 'blue book' series. (go figure) sorta the coles notes of the 30's aimed at the uneducated. i love how the 'history of sculpture' is imageless.(again, go figure) interesting methods.
#67 is dated 1924 inside
#466 not dated, but must have been in the 30's
so on the conservative side, $40 worth of beautiful old books for $2.99

what treasures!
now, do you see my dilemma?

** if you would like a scan of this, in better quality for your own use, let me know and i'll be happy to e-mail it to you. drop me a line!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

for the ♥ of beards, get printing!

just had to run over to share the love of the build a beard workshop
i mean, just check out this random screenshot - awesome?! me thinks YES!

how can you NOT want to participate?
how fun would it be to get your whole office to do this!
i think that would be a great team building exercise! if i worked in an office, that is. luckily i have some friends who do.

all you need to do is:

download/print one of the many beards available

cut out said beard (me, i think che...)

wear said beard while posing for a picture, then

send that pic to the build a beard workshop and voila - $1 donated to

...promise to post mine. promise. i do!
hmmm... wonder if dogs count. i'm gonna give it a shot.
...husbands do for sure.
and yes, those pics will be added too


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

♥ etsyporn, videolove: Little Brown Pen ♥

Craftynest, a blog I JUST found in the last 30 seconds, just led me to this awesome little etsy shop Little Brown Pen.

not only is the name adorable, their page is so cute it makes me squeal like i'm 4, AND their printable product line is both amazing and affordable!

a little screenshot of their etsy page

as well - they put together one sweet little stop motion animation last november, just in time to help promote their etsy shop for the upcoming holidays

for a shop that only opened in August of 2008 (that's 8 full months, today) they have had more than 2500 sales. i so applaud them. what great marketing and promo. nice.

(note to self: use time wisely. make stop motion animation in 'spare' time for upcoming etsy shop. HA!)

and am now off to place my 1st order ♥
honestly. my family will love their little easter gifts this year!

the cherry on top?
free stationary to print! you can get the link to the pdf on the etsy site, or their blog

i know? does the love ever end?
apparently NOT!

loves it.

♥ lovely link: potato stamping: so easy! ♥

just had to post a post with some creative substance to get the blog wheel a rollin'! here we go!

a great little site I stalk , craft tutorials, posted a nice little gem i thought might be a first little post! i just stumbled upon this site a couple of days ago, and i urge you to check it out! (what did I ever do before rss feeds?!) anyway:

author jenni posted this fantastic little tutorial for stamping shirts that serves as a nice reminder of all the things we can do with simple household items: my fave? potatoes, natch! to eat (my hub, the bub, he makes great homemade fries... yum!) to carve, with lino cutting tools or exactos and make monoprints with... all of it. (OH - just watch the fingers if you choose to embellish your spud with a knife. trust me on this one - ouch! I loved how they used cookie cutters in the example above.)

check out the blogpost here: and get stamping - i did and let me tell you it was fast, easy, creative and very fullfilling! I have sent a couple of these litte babies onto friends inside cards and with gifts. I love them! Think original gift tag, framed artwork, multi-media material... the sky is the limit, as usual!

Here are the things I used:

♥ 1 potato - cut in half
♥ 8x10 piece of glass for ink (that's about the size you'll need to work the ink)
♥ speedball lino cutter handle and various cutting nib things - use to cut out design
♥ speedball printing ink,- i used purple
♥ speedball brayer/roller, to add the ink to the potato surface
♥ some leftover pieces of paper: this is a creamy tan canson pastel paper i believe ?!

simply follow the instructions the ms lovely jenni lays out so well, and you too will be on your way to creating something super simple and fun to share with all the lovies of your life. t-shirt OR little print!

loves it, kids!
♥ leel

and yes, next time i will add in more pics and details... i had no idea when i did these i would actuall blog about them!


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