Monday, December 13, 2010

a quick, free, holiday *spruce up yur shack* project

I linger on the twitter. I am never without inspiration that way, you see. Enter: this post. The other day Rene (aka @ffantastica and blogger http://fruityfantastica.tumblr.com/ ) mentioned on the twitter that she and her girl (her beloved 10 year old daughter) were cutting out paper snowflakes. BAM. True Morag Gunn *Memory Movie Bank* stuff. I remember sitting at the dining room table making snowflakes throughout my childhood. I remember the concentration and focus of making those mysterious folds, then the intricate cuts, the wonder and excitement leading up to the unfolding of each and every one. Awaiting to see what unique form I had created. Why did I stop? I loved that feeling. No reason. Adulthood, perhaps? No reason.
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The next day I started randomly checking through some of my fave online sites for inspiration. Not snowflake inspiration, just some sort of Project inspiration. Naturally I stumbled upon a post on how to make snowflakes and that got this going. I sent the link to Ms. Rene for her and her daughter to add to their inspiration file, and kept digging. Soon enough I had accumulated the instructions for a variety of patterns for 5 and 6 sided snowflakes. Then I gave in.

I gathered some magazines that I knew would have some pretty coloured pages and started folding and snipping away. Smallish, sharp scissors are best. The first few were a challenge, I must admit. But once I got the folding down I plopped myself on my dining room bench, threw a holiday movie on the laptop and away I went. I found the easiest way to keep it neat and not lose my mind in magazine cuttings was to first go through all the magazines and pull out the pages I wanted. Then I got rid of the magazines. I also made sure to have something to throw all the cutting and scraps into as I went. Theses accumulate quickly and the chaos soon makes me cranky so this works best for me. After completing many, I decided to attach them all in a grouping on the back of my front door with simple invisible tape. Ok, here are my results:


Please refer to these great links for step-by-step instructions and design ideas!
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How About Orange has a great five-sided snowflake blogpost here:
http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-make-5-pointed-paper-snowflakes.html

Allison Gryski blogged about the amazing options of six-sided snowflakes in two spots!:

http://allison.gryski.com/2010/11/tutorial-paper-snowflakes-with-6-sides.html
http://allison.gryski.com/2010/12/lacy-paper-snowflake-tutorial-and.html

Hope you are all well and getting through the dark days of the year. Only 8 more until the days get longer!

Keep on keepin' on,

leel

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the: holiday, book challenge, hero meeting, update

Hey, it's December! I'm back!
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Ok, not back-back. But pushing through this blogger anxiety for a moment to jump in and write a bit. I've been all over the map. not literally, but mentally for sure. fine then not, excited then comatose, busy busy busy then dead. this fall I've been working 3 totally unrelated jobs. this means gardening and building shrub covers one day, putting up christmas decorations in atriums all over downtown buildings the next, then running to a film festival to work the evening. again, a life of many many hats. Have I mentioned how I have an acute and lasting case of the Novembers? That *omg I can't believe I have to live through another Canadian winter and it's dark and every thing's dead and it's going to go one for MONTHS* feeling? Yah. Bigtime. Luckily I was so busy with the other 3 gigs that I didn't really have that much time to notice. It was a busy and exciting fall for me.
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So here we are, coming up to mid December. A mixed-bag of emotions for many, this time of year. I am no exception. My mother's house has been vomited upon by the bug of the Season for a month now. She loves her some decorating. After decorating buildings around town for a couple of weeks a girl can only resist the holiday season joy so long without jumping in hands waving, leading the conga line. An ornament exchange never hurts either. So, I got into It. I decided to unpack my tree and go through decorations and get this place looking at least semi-festive. I pulled out my great-grandmother's cardboard village houses for the first time in years. So delicate and simple. I love them. I found a small reminder of my past in there. my family. of Before. a trigger. a teenie tiny die cast miniature of a car we had, hand-painted white by my mom no doubt, to represent ours. a white convertible. i hated and loved that car. for many reasons. and there it was, in the bottom of 30 year old Laura Secord boxes. jabbing me in the chest and transporting me to the past. bam. so yah. that stuff still grabs. I imagine everyone has their stuff grabbed at by the past this time of year. so a fist bump to you. this too shall pass.
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The 52 books in 52 weeks challenge I inflicted upon myself in January is still in full swing. I have to read 8 books in 22 days to meet my goal, but I'm optimistic. It gets dark at 4pm right now. Reading, is like, number 2 on my preferred activities roster. Second only to napping. It could happen. I'm also debating on counting the two books that I read 150 pages of and tossed aside in anger in frustration. My tendency is to say they don't count, but then again, they do. Meh. Details. Still reading, still loving it.
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This past week I went to see my hero Rt. LGen Romeo Dallaire speak about his new initiative to abolish the use of child soldiers. My superfriend Kez and I scoped out the book signing area and seated ourselves in the 2nd row, closest to that table as possible. Success! When he walked into the room, 5 feet from where we were sitting, and I saw him with my own two eyes, I gasped. There he was. Witness of all witnesses. A man who wrestles with his demons daily and still will not stop. Not stop fighting for the rights of children, of people. People others announced to him were and are worthless. He continues. And I met him. I met him. I met him. I met him. I just had to keep typing that for some reason. To make it real. I was third in line to have my book signed. Yup, that girl. I hid under my baseball hat, books in hand. He looked up at me. He Looked AT Me. With those steel blue eyes that have seen so much. I gasped again. He commented on my wonderful taste in reading, and I mumbled something about how wonderful they, his words, are in reply, with a chuckle. Then, I took a breath and I said it: You are my hero. He chuckled a humble, Thank You, and asked me my name, I played with my scarf, and told him. I watched as he wrote my name out. Keeley. My name. With his hand. The same hand, I imagined, that held the phone to tell the world what was happening in Rwanda. Gasp. He signed my books while asking what brought me there, what I study. I told him I have a degree in Anthropology and am interested in studying Human Rights. He replied with a booming "Excellent! You need to USE that Anthropology degree!" THAT was a first. I had never had such an enthusiastic response to my education choice. Squints and Oh's aplenty, never an Excellent! My hero was excited by my choice. I am fueled. I am reconsidering my choices. I am empowered, you could say, by a few small words. So yah, I met my hero last week. And as Robert Frost would say, That has made all the difference.
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So that's what's up in crazytown. Shopping and cleaning and scheduling up the ying ying.
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I hope you are all kicking away the blahs and if you can't today, there is always tomorrow. Hugs for everyone.
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leel

Saturday, October 30, 2010

hiding

bear with me dear reader.
it's been a while.
and i'm sweating and shaking, something that started as i contemplated pressing Sign In.
why do i do this?
this here and gone pattern. that's what i've been trying to figure out, i guess.
what my deal is. who i've become.
so many identities. so many lives.
so little processing, just moving on, never stopping always moving.
i am that rolling stone.
i have no moss.
maybe a few hanging moss roots, straglers, fibrous strength of potential renewal, but no moss to touch and feel. the softness is so hard now to the touch.

in between the gaps of withdrawl, contraction, there are wonderful things happening.
things i've worked for.
and yet for some reason i need to keep those things to myself.
keep them inside the little embroydered coin purse of myself, there to clutch and click open to sneak a peek of the amazing wonderful hidden inside for my eyes only.
i need to keep those things for myself for a while.
not spoiled by another. the potential remarks, judgements i will always have in my imagination. not seen.
to be unseen seems to be the goal here.
man i'm a nutcase.

i've been hanging out with artists and film makers and animators.
can you tell?
i feel a film in me. potentially.
so there's that. scary stuff, all of it.

i keep imagining what it would be like to meet some of the people i have grown connected to online.
you know who you are.
we discuss it, the fun of being all together and so I wonder, what would you really think of me in real life, in comparison to this impression i have given you of myself here, on this blog or on twitter?

i don't know.
i guess that's the problem right now.
i need someone to jump into my brain and clear out the mess, organize my files, make all the decisions to stop the anxiety from taking over again.
you know.
my own worst enemy sort of stuff.

so, yah...

oh fall, see what you do to me?

love you longtime,
leel

Monday, October 4, 2010

the situation.

i'm not really feeling the point, the desire, the drive to blog.
i have nothing to say. nothing to share.
so that's why i'm not here.
i'm not elsewhere, i'm just not here.
i'm over here. and there. and nowhere.

i'll be back.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

we are muslim

Today Adam Avitable, an American blogger I follow/have grown to love like an imaginary sibling, has taken a sidestep from all his usual humourous rantings and sketches and given religion and peace center stage.
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I needed to share. Plus, it's September 11th today and some crazyass has just finally announced he's calling off his international book burning party of ignorant hatred and fear. Well, that's what I've come to think of it as. Anyway. Back to the point: Progress.

In his introduction to We Are Muslim, the new movement and website Adam has started, he writes:
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What is “We Are Muslim”?

We are Making a United Stand to eLiminate Intolerance against Muslims.

Muslims are everywhere. They are our friends. Our neighbors. Our family. Our peers. Our colleagues. Our fellow Americans. Our fellow world citizens. And they are not terrorists. They are not dangerous or irrational or fanatics. They are peaceful and loving and kind. They are human.

We have a history of looking for scapegoats and of relying on stereotypes and rash assumptions to create a false sense of security. The Japanese Americans who were interred 60 years ago can tell you about that. The people who were branded “Communists” by the fear-mongering Joseph McCarthy can attest to this fact... (continue to read more)




So, to show my support, I am posting the widget in my sidebar. I hope you might be inspired enough to do so as well.

peace and kindness to you all,

leel

Sunday, August 29, 2010

amazing music monday :: DO FUN STUFF ::

Who loves music? EVERYONE. Kids, adults, all of us. SO you HAVE to check this out: An amazing album of music written for adults AND kids! Something that won't make you wanna poke your ears! I KNOW! HOORAY! Go no further than a click below.

Ryan of Pacing the Panic Room has lovingly pulled together an album of specially written tunes that both kids and adults can enjoy to help research Smith Magenis Syndrome (SMS), a genetic condition that affects his sweet son LB.

ALL of the money goes to help research SMS. I enourage you to download the album on iTunes and share it with any kid in your life - my nephews will soon have their own copy to groove to. I just know my brother and sister in law are going to approve!


Rabbit? Radical Face? Astronautalis? ALL on there. So, Just GO!





leel

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apartment Details: A Vintage Suitcase DIY


My *love of vintage suitcase tables* envelope is sealed with a big fat sloppy kiss. It's official. It only made sense then that I would include one in the apartment I recently designed.

I started off with a medium sized suitcase and decided to use a basic wooden stool that's roughly 30 inches tall for the base and legs. I found each piece at the Salvation Army Store for about $5 each. Once I made my design decisions I spray primed and painted each piece; the base white and the entire case a light green. To assemble them, I simply screwed the suitcase to the top of the stool.

I decided on a natural paper top for this one. I made sure to pick a sturdy paper, one with real grass and yellow flowers that suited to feel I was going for in the room. I laid out the paper on top, went around the edge with my finger to emboss the edges of the top into the paper, and cut it out with scissors. I podged the paper to the top, allowed it to dry and then add a super thick 2nd coat to protect and seal it all in. I love results! A prefect spot for plants and a perfect storage spot inside the case as well.

So there you have it. Another suitcase table is complete!

Stay tuned for more DIY's to come :)

leel

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Big Re-Design Reveal

It's here! The big reveal. The word on the street is: She Loves It! I am so happy she approves and feels comfortable in this new space to call her own. If you haven't any idea of what I am talking bout, past posts lay out the back story, check them out for more details, as well as the stories behind the living room and dining room chair projects.
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Onward!
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Existing furnishings/objects: a table, 2 uncovered dining room chairs, 2 dressers, 2 shelving units a double mattress & box spring, a duvet/cover and a futon, shoe rack and various other plants, housewares etc.

Items/Projects brought in: bed frame, living room chairs, futon cover, curtains, curtain over mirror, curtain and backboard/whiteboard for shelving unit, entrance mirror & hooks, painted the lamps + new shades, dining table lantern light, vintage suitcase table, DIY terrarium project, throw pillows, a bookstool table, 2 paintings, an entrance way mat & living room rug, 2 embroidery projects, a fish bowl, and various other kitchen and household accessories and plants.

Here are the pictures. Keep in mind the apartment was full with stuff that required shuffling and stacking when I took these. I know. I know. I could have done them before. I work well under pressure and am not a pro photographer. ANYWAY. Let's just look at some (of the awkward) pictures.
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BEFORE











And, AFTER!




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So those are the final results. I will be focusing in on some of the other projects I took on in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
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leel

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

pictures, pretty pictures.

welcome to a distraction post!
i finished the apartment re-design last night round 8pm.
i am photographing the results today.
i will be blogging some individual projects as well as the before & after.
for now, there are pretty pictures.
a few from around my garden, to be precise.
so there you have it.


leel

Friday, July 23, 2010

a quick After post. another set of chairs!

The next project I decided to tackle in my apartment make-over design challenge was the dining area chairs. Julz had two chairs from Ikea that simply needed covers made for them. These two chairs were from different years with one being older and one brand new, still in the box. Slightly different in scale, but the exact same shape chair. It was super easy to cover these. Less than 3 hours to do both from start to finish. The fabric I chose matches the main colour of the room and the main palette chosen. The wood legs are light, just like the flooring and living room chairs. kinda comme ├ža:

I made sure the chairs were both apart, not assembled, so I could cover the back and seat sections separately and then assemble the chairs afterward. It was much easier that way and allowed for tucking and stapling fabric along the inside much easier. The secret, for me, is pinning. I pinned the fabric (wrong side out) on the chair back, smoothing and pinning the entire way around the edges, essentially giving myself a row of pins to follow on the machine when sewing. I carefully pulled the fabric off, sewed the side seams and then put it back on the chair to check for fit and to pin the corners down to create a boxed top and a defined edge for the sides.
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Once I was happy with the corners at the top I again, slipped the cover off and sewed the flattened corners, making a neat tight boxed top thingy. (sorry, I'm not a pro. clearly.) I trimmed the edges, turned it right side out and put the cover on the chair. I then stapled the bottom edges to the underside of the chair with my super awesome electric stapler, and was done the back portion.

The seat portion was even easier. I KNOW. No sewing involved. Just me, a square piece of fabric and my stapler. I simply placed the fabric face down on the table, placed the seat face down on it, pulled the fabric up and over the bottom of the chair and stapled it to the inside edge. Making my way around, starting at the middle of each side, I continued with each side making sure to check for consistent tension and smoothness as I went. The corners were carefully trimmed, tucked and stapled and that was it, done. I re-assembled the chairs, and bam, that was it. SO EASY. In total I used about 2.5 meters of fabric. I purchased 3 meters, an still have lots left over for cushions and fun fabricy projects. yay!


So there you have it: A sneak peak of the dining area chairs. I just love how these have turned out and am anxious to see them in the final design!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful friday.

leel

p.s. wanna see what project i'm working on right now? Check this out... Blog @ ya' later!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a before & after post :: 2 chairs for julz ::



this is my life, right now. dining room office? why not.

So this is a superfun post for me to write! It's the first in a before & after series centering around a 1 room apartment (shared bath & kitchen) in a beautiful humongo brick house in downtown Ottawa. I am redesigning for a friend/client, Julz. She's a university student and wants to be able to have friends over to study and not have it so it feels like everyone is sitting in her bedroom. We sat down before she left and agreed it would be perfect for 3 distinct areas: an eating/meal prep area, a living/sitting area and a sleeping area. We also decided to create a bit of an entrance way.

This rented room is fairly straight forward, shape wise, it's a 14' x 21' rectangle. Think high ceilings, an entire wall of windows equipped with rods and new white blinds, 10" high baseboard mouldings... gorgeous. Two equal size closets are next to the entrance way, both with shelves and rods built in. Perfect for storage. The floors are light hardwood and the room is a soft warm creamy yellow. Very easy to work with, especially since they aren't keen on us painting, which I totally understand. I probably wouldn't let me paint either, if I were the landlord.

So at this point I've been at it for a week now and have managed to get a plan written/drawn out including 2 possible layouts for the 3 distinct areas, as well as most of my fabric purchased. I was matching fabric to a new duvet cover Julz wanted to use on her bed, so I needed 3 co-ordinating fabrics. We're going for a bohemian beach garden feel. yah. that. (I'll should wrangle up an inspiration post to show you the overall feel, with pics, to get that point across, I see. I'll get to that.)

ANYway, my first project was to recover 2 chairs for the living room. I have had these kicking around for a while, awaiting the perfect home and the perfect fabric. Once those decisions were out of the way *woohoo* I tore apart one of the fitted covers to use as a pattern and reserved the other for reference while sewing. I labeled the pieces so I could keep track. It was pretty straight forward, just a lot of pressing and pinning and sewing slow straight lines. I was so excited to see these chairs come to life, I can't wait to see the room together with the other fabrics chosen. Here's what I speak of:

before: in my backyard. p.s. i actually weed weekly.


after: in my own living room, not the final location. evil sweet dog not included.

It feels wonderful to have this first project complete and delivered to the apartment and project 2 soon underway. I'll be sure to share bits as they come together, but I also want to make sure to save some details for the grand finale. I'll be sure to get some formal Before pictures of the room as well for a final comparison post in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for all that craziness!

leel

Sunday, July 18, 2010

1 blog award received, 5 given & a lot about *me*


Check this shit out! Yup, it's true. Not only was I awarded with a very cool blogging badge of honour, I'm actually sitting down and writing a post about it. AND following the rules of acceptance. I KNOW! I'm slow, but I get there. Something that was holding me back was the Rules, you see. Having to write about myself feels hard. And the Rules clearly state one must write five things about one's self that reader's wouldn't know. See? Just throwing that out there.

Let's just start.

One person I have gotten to know online and frequently wish my neighbour IRL is Katy from Torpid Trifling. I love her. As soon as her rss feed bolds in my faves list, I run to check out the latest post. So, I wander over one day and Yay! Lazybones (her ironic screen name) had received a Beautiful Blogger Award! Yay Katy! I'm reading her always-amazingly-written post explaining the amazingness bestowed on her blog and BAM! she has to pass the award on to five others, including yours truly, moi! Flattery blushing on it's own is odd for me, but that's what I did, sitting in front of my laptop, alone, I blushed. And smiled.

Let's get this show on the road. Here come the rules:

Rule 1: Thank the person who gave you the award.

That's so easy! Thank You Thank You Thank You Katy! I found Katy's blog, Torpid Trifling, through the comments section of one of my favourite other blogs I frequent and replied that "Katy, you and I could be friends IRL" due to that one comment she wrote that day.

So, dear Katy I say to you: Your frequent posts detailing many areas of your life never bore, always inspire, forever challenge my own ideas and you simply awe me with all you do and how you love. I love your outlook, your observations, tales of life, love, education, settling down vs. travel, motherhood and I admire it all. I secretly hope you write a book one day, it would be amazing. I also actually do hope to meet you IRL one day! She's also having another baby who's sex she pre-dreamt. I know! GO read her blog. now. we'll wait.

Rule 2: List 7 things about yourself your readers do not know.

I decided to just go for it kids. Zioks!

1. My career has some fuzziness to it on this blog, so let's tackle that here. In five points. To start, I have had 25 jobs in my lifetime with my first starting back when I was 13. I was a horse-girl, owned horses and worked and lived on a horse farm taking care of barns, animals and day campers for a few summers. I was a member of Pony Club and have judged a pony club show. I also worked in the barns on weekends for free riding lessons. I got ribbons at shows. I can do dirty and sweaty just fine. When it comes to farm life I have seen it all and cleaned it all. I can also throw a bail of hay higher than myself and show no fear & take control of large animals freaking out. These skills have actually come in quite handy, like when dealing with random raging drunken people, for example.

2. Once I found cars and boys and made the hard decision to bid my love and hobby of 8 years goodbye I sold my beautiful thoroughbred boy and got a 'real job' making hard cash. At this point I entered the ever character building line of work known as Food Services. My first out-of-barn experience was working for a small crappy donut store in my small town. The manager was 19 and continually fighting with her baby daddy. I was left to pretty much run the place, worked double shifts all summer long and provided everyone I knew with free donuts. I made a mint. I also encountered mean girls. And owners who don't care that you are deathly allergic to bees and wasps because it is YOUR new job to clean out the industrial garbage bins. In the summer. Yah. I left there when school started again. I worked a multitude of clothing retail jobs all through high school (including a bathing suit store for 2 years; that's a post of it's own) until I entered my second year of university in 1993. At that point I got a job with an art supply store, downtown where I was then living, where I worked and played with supplies until I graduated 3 years later. (there was even a plaster cast of my entire body hanging in the ceiling for years.) By far, the best experience I have had job-wise. Working with artists and supplies (and the discount!) was amazing. Think art camp + work. I learned so. much. there.

3. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences in Art History & Anthropology in 1996 my career prospects were, um, limited. I took a few months off and worked at a video store, at a cosmetics counter at a department store and then I found a Real Job. It was not my desired field, but I had an opportunity from a distant family member to join the wonderful world of Technical Recruiting. I was a recruiter for 5 years. Some of it was fun. I mean, it wasn't ALL bad. I worked at the first place for 3 years. I got to learn the ins and outs out a corporate job, my role, business, procurement and the government. I had cool things to work on (read: recruited real! astronauts!) and it fed my quest to learn. I hated it though. H.A.T.E.D it. So I left to pursue the world of International Headhunting. Yup. Me. I had clients in Santa Barbara and Maryland. I went to physics conferences to woo pH.D's to join in on the .com bubble. I hated it. I hated the long hours, the time-zones, the shitty ultra-right wing nutbar guys who started this company and I was fired. It was the best thing to happen to me, actually. I hated it. So, I took those skills and went back to regular recruiting for government clients locally and joined a family owned and run consulting firm. I was with them for a year and a half and took that opportunity to really learn the ins and outs of procurement and proposal writing instead of just body-hunting all day long. I hated my boss, the big bosses son and what I deemed racist actions at times . Yah. So I moved on. I finally had some new experience to market and landed an awesome position in the world of national business development and proposal writing. After doing that for a couple of years I grew bored and worked with a start-up company from home full time and thereby found myself entering the world of Management and contracting. I moved around to a couple of different firms managing the proposal team, working on contract. Contracting suited me. More freedom, more flexibility, I liked it. But after 10 years and many changes in the industry I had had it. I couldn't do it any more. My guilty conscience had gotten the better of me and I could no longer handle the stress of generating multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts for the corporate world. I mean, I'm a frickin artist, who was I kidding? Waking up in the middle of the night with tension headaches for weeks on end took it's toll. I felt like I was losing it. I was, in fact losing it.

4. 2006: The Before and After. Soon after we got married my contract was to end and I wasn't sure what would come after. I wasn't too concerned since finding other people jobs WAS my job for 8 years. What I couldn't predict was the announcement made 10 days after our honeymoon. My father was leaving my mother after 34 years of marriage for a woman who lived in the US. They had been an affair with for over 2 years. My mother had found out the year previous, but my brother was getting married in December 2005 so they had decided to keep it a secret until after his wedding. Then we got engaged in December 2005, and my parents decided to extend the plan out until I was married. I was now married. My mother broke the news. My life that day changed. I somehow managed to get through the final two months of my contract, but I was a mess. A literal mess. My adoption and abandonment issues broke through to the surface. I was I weepy heap of non-identity all of a sudden. I couldn't even function in a meeting without getting angry and lashing out. I cried every bus ride home. My contract ended in September. My depression got dark and gooey and I turtled in the dark at home through the fall and winter of 2007. My husband was scared and confused. Who was this nutbar he had married? Couples counseling began on the morning of New Year's Eve. Trust in anyone was fading. I start to separate myself from my broad network, even my closest friends and all acquaintances. I was officially unemployed and to me, unemployable. I was my career's own worst enemy.

5. New Normal. After landing a very cool contract with the federal government in March of 2007, a sweet Communications role, I was finally feeling functional again. This was a first for me since the federal government had always been a client, so I started to see the light a little. I was still fragile, but functional. Therapy had helped. I was enjoying the role I had, but not enlightened by the system that ran the country. The bureaucracy was foreign to me. I was clearly from the cut throat, revenue-generating, Private Sector. A stranger in a strange land. I wanted accountability and strategy and extension of service offerings and communicating within the unit, while the reply was pretty much " (blank stare) huh? I have a french exam to study for so I can get my next Level/promotion" Weirdos. Luckily we had decided that when my contract ended in the fall I would take on the task of managing the renovation of our 1950's house. Bathroom and kitchen were gutted and replaced. Walls moved. New appliances researched and purchased. An entire Ikea kitchen assembled, by yours truly, with a lone allen key and a phillips head screwdriver. We did a lot of it ourselves. Did you know that 60% of couples renovating separate? SIXTY percent. We fought. A lot. The renovations took OVER our lives, my depression was still deep. But we pulled through and I found a new contract in a new world, the non-profit world of festivals and film and art. I started working with them in the spring of 2008 and today, still, I'm working with them in some capacity. I worked back in the proposal world last summer and fall, but really hated it. The pointlessness of so many hours of MY day being spent wasting time for the paycheque. Sitting around makes me crazy, I've found. Enter today. Today? Well, today I'm still struggling a bit. I'm dealing with the past a lot. Quietly. It's not so hard, now in the new normal that comes from four years of time passing by. But it's still there. I have made a commitment to keep moving forward in the art and design and film world. To be where I am comfortable in my own skin. I started blogging in multiple arenas in 2005. This blog as a testing ground last year. Now, I want to start my own business and work with other creative people. Not many people get this about me. Why I can't go back there. Take another McJob. So I'm relying on my own instincts and love of art and Making Things to get me through the next 40 or 50 years of my life. I want this next career to be It. My life's passion. So I'm starting it. And it's all happening so fast.

Rule 3: Award 5 bloggers who you've recently discovered.

* E of A Million Universes: I've known E online since the early days of 2008, if my memory serves me correctly. She's one of my Gerds. Girl Nerds from Nerdfighteria, the ning site where all things Nerdfighters and Vlogbrothers happen on the internet. I've been following E's blog for a while and I always love to catch sight of her wonderful art journal filled blog. She shares her art and writes gloriously written posts about the joys of motherhood to two twin boys with sensory issues and anxiety battles to fight. She writes like the best of them and sometimes shares tales and pictures of adventures of these amazingly brilliant beautiful boys. Check her OUT!

* Suzie of Suzie the Foodie: Suzie's blog about yes, food, is one of my go-to blogs for anything food related. She is adventurous, reviews very cool products, hosts giveaways of cool kitchen stuff and in general, she blogs beautifully. She also is happy to share and encourage. I love her recipe posts and scroll through the categories whenever I need ideas. She even inspired me to bake bread more than once this winter! A miracle I say. I love that. Get you kitchens ready because you WILL want to cook after reading this blog. The next time I'm in Halifax I am scheduling a date to meet with her IRL. I can't wait. GO!

* Sarah of Toodles shares her life: Sarah's blog always inspires me with her colourful posts on design and her natural eye for all things awesome. She's a graphic designer by day, writer and editor of great blog posts by night. It's one that you'll love to wander through. Visually, is screams to me. I love her visions and themed posts bringing together collections of items she's found in the big bright web. Beautiful!

* Emily & Serena of The D.A.D. Project. I met Emily on Twitter & am lucky enough to have met the wonderful mchen in real life. She is easily someone I would call a beautiful artist, person and blogger. (I guess this really is two awards!) When I heard she and her sister Serena were launching a project to raise awareness and funds for cancer research I was really excited for them and inspired by their energy. Their dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last year and this is their ode to him. Each day one piece is posted for sale with the proceeds donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. They also have featured artists who have donated pieces for sale, so there really is something for everyone. I encourage you to check this beautiful blog out. Their artwork is bright and vivid and would be a great pop of colour in any room. All the best to your dad, beautiful E&S.

* Heather of Fumbling For Words. I met Heather on Twitter and have loved getting to know her there and via her blog. Her posts of life, art, work, leadership, travel, family, motherhood, wifehood and womanhood enrich my life. The photos alone are worth checking her out for. There is no other way to put it. When I grow up, in my next life, I want to be like Heather. Heather writes like the professional she is. She expresses and shares her journeys and the wisdom of her experiences. Her life has taught her some hard lessons along the way and I appreciate her honesty and openness in such a forum. I feel like I know myself better just by reading through her blog. I can't wait to someday meet her too. How beautiful is that?

So there you go. The beautiful blogger torch has been passed. I hope you check out some of my fave's, they really are awesome spots to explore, each one of them.

Happy Day!

leel

p.s. if you made it to the end of this post? wow. hi!

Friday, July 16, 2010

it's ♥ I Forgot This Friday ♥ Again.

You know, I have to be honest. This second of the I Forgot This Friday posts is not something I forgot at all. Neither was the first. In fact, they are quite the opposite. They are the most exciting things going on in my little virtual world, and they are so sacred that I fear jinxing them with even an inaudible whisper. I hold them dear and close. I would package them up and put them in little lockets to have around my neck, within clutching distance, if I could. These are the things coming back to me as a result of my work. These are symbols and road signs to the place i call 'progress', I had hoped for, silently, fearfully, as i laid awake nights wondering what the future would hold for Me. And here we are. Where I have always dreamt of someday being, professionally and personally. Shhh. The shy artist in me is still bashful, and history tells me to be wary of unhatched foul. Baby steps. Shhh.
ANYway.

So, to the point. You remember my little creation (and current laptop table - I mean that, I'm sitting in my office using him, Blue Footed Bobby, right now!) I blogged about here? Well, technically, since his base is an Ikea table base he qualifies as an "Ikea-hack." Ikea Hacker is a blog about all the other things you can do with Ikea stuff. People from all over the world submit their projects to the blog and if they are accepted are then posted to the blog. After posting Bobby here it popped into my mind that I should take a chance and submit to them.

I did.

A few days later it popped up online and omg, the reaction has been incredible. I am still in shock at the response to my tables. Here is what I speak of. In a screen shot story time style.

The original Ikea Hack:

Which led to re-nest, a division of Apartment Therapy picking it up:

Which led to Life Hacker in Australia (affiliated with Pop Sugar)

Then Pianeta Donna in Italy featured both suitcase tables, Bambi & Bobby. (note translated text makes for weirdness.)

and then, finally, it also popped up on another more general site:

Can you stand it?!?!? WHO KNEW? And still, the excitement keeps building. I received a pretty cool e-mail yesterday about one of my posts. I'm super excited about it.I will be sure to forget about it and update you later. :)

So that's what I had forgotten to update. Never fear, there are more fun projects to come and of course more styles and designs of suitcase tables. They are really exciting to pull together. Any colour combo ideas? I need some fresh eyes kids, what colour combos would YOU personally like?

Thanks for all the patience. I am sucking at blogging these days.

leel

ps: love you long time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

look! pretty flowers! a quick distracted update post



this is a distraction post. plain and simple. (bad capitalization to follow)
new projects are like tiny new baby chicks in my world.
I'm spending lots of time with my baby chicks.

dets? fair enough i suppose. I'm being weird and vague here.
some of you might want to sit down. I'm actually-for-real-this-time/finally starting a teenie tiny art & design business.* I KNOW! So much more on this later.

in addition to the excitement around that circus, I've had two different projects come my way.

1) I'll be in the credits of a short independent film! for set-design! over three weekends this summer I'll be working behind the scenes. In addition, one of my paintings is going to be IN the FILM. let me stop so you can think about that coolness for a second and feel my excitement. Ready, breathe: I. KNOW. RIGHT? I'm heading to the set for the first day of shooting after i press 'publish' on this bad-boy. i feel like i did the first day of summer school. That to me means good things, new things, new doors, and kinda awesome.

2) I've been hired by a new friend to design and execute her 1 - room apartment while she's away for 5 weeks volunteering in an eco-village and backpacking around Costa Rica. She has no time to do it herself and doesn't want to worry about it while she's gone so abracadabra do we have a plan! she's leaving me with her budget, some ideas and her keys. she wants a unique home to return to and entrusts that I will be able to deliver her that. I so can. I'm so excited. Blog away I will! DIY funtimes FTW!

That's it for now. Sorry 'bout that. I got a blog award and everything (!!!!) and I still have to find the time to get that big awesome post up. *slacker*

Enjoy your Saturday. If it's sucking, I'm sorry. Look at the blue sky and watch the trees for a minute to distract your brain. Helps me.

love you long time,

leel

* teenie tiny now, watch out though, my plan includes world domination inside of two years. Don't say I didn't warn you. Just ask my cheerleader, Kristal. She's helping me get all my ducks in a row. (they wander)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

short, sweet & sketchy

The summer has landed! The summer has landed! And, yo, am I lovin it. Less blogging and more gardening, cleaning and organizing it seems. Woo hoo! Never fear, there are a tonne of new projects in the works to share. DIY funtimes, in fact.

For now I'll share some index card sketches. I use the back of a simple recipe card, a black marker and draw quick little sketches. They come from whatever I happen to be cycling through in my mind and serve as reference points for future work. I try and do at least one daily, but if I'm working on something else they often get tossed aside. Most are dated on the bottom and some have corresponding words on the back. Over the last couple of years I've collected quite a few of them. Hundreds. Wanna see?

ok then.
below are 2 sets of 4 individual sketches, for a total of 8. they wer picked at random and tossed on the scanner. fun!

(click image to enlarge)


So yah, that's a little tidbit to tide you over until I get to what's REALLY going on around here these days. Fun stuff.

More to come this week!

leel

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