Sunday, June 28, 2009

Q-Beach

My sister was brave enough to take Max, Xavier and Elisa to the beach yesterday. It was a gorgeous, sunny, beautiful day. They walked on the boardwalk, went to Licks for a burger, had slushies, went the humongeous playground (with a castle), and threw rocks into the lake. By the time they got home, she was miserable with exhaustion, Elisa was covered in sand and 'gunk', but Xavier the energized bunny, wanted to ride his bike!!!

Here are a couple of pics my sis took. Very cute:




Oh to have a slushie right now! I don't think one ever grows out of loving slushies.
Have a great day.
Francesca

Monday, June 22, 2009

Art Journaling

My new journal.

I spent a lot of time on this one. Well, more like ten minutes here, 15 minutes there, in between making dinner, and after the dishes, and some after bath time for the kids. If only I had two to three hours in a stretch at once. Maybe, one day...

This is my moleskine transformed. It's still not complete. It doesn't feel done yet. Not sure what needs to be added, but I'll know when I'm done. It's just a gut instinct.

I've used my usual favorites, and some new items:

Jenny Bowlen patterned papers and label; Sassafrass, Webster's Pages; old book pages; left over fabric; Scenic Route patterned papers; Making Memories borders; Prima ledger stamp; Heidi Swapp white alphas; Kelly Panacci black swirl stamps (on top and bottom of center cover); Melissa Frances epoxy sticker; K and Co green ribbon; 7 Gypsey's fabric tape; Momento stamping ink; Japanese specialty papers; pearls, clear rain dots; Tim Holtz Distress Stickles; silver/orange jell pen; Copic sketch markers; Liquitex clear gel medium.

Take a look at my cover:

And the inside cover:
And the back cover:

And the inside back cover (this is a flap cover where you can insert whatever), and yes, that's a Canadian quarter!!:


That's all she wrote folks, for now anyway.

Haven't scrapbooked in a while. I'm finding collaging and Copic markers, and gel medium are totally and completely addictive.


Oh yeah, I must get to the Copic markers, next post. I'm still experimenting with them. They're expensive but oh so worth the results. More on this to come.

ON THE NEWS TODAY:
Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett died today.
We had a hurricane today!
Got caught in the rain.
Kids played in the pool at Jakson's house, while the moms drank tea.
Garbage strike.
Took garbage to the 'garbage station' they've set up in the meantime.
Elisa has a cold.
I stayed home from work today.
Ate some realllly great cheese cake.
Am glad the day is winding down.

Have a wonderful night.

Francesca

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another Late Night...

....working. This time it was the Graduation Dinner for our senior residents.

It was actually a fun evening out.

Here's a pic of a co-worker who has retired and came back for the evening festivities as an 'honourary guest'. It was nice seeing here after a very long time. She retired before I came back from my maternity leave, so I didn't get to give her a proper farewell.

My pal, Val:

This is the group of people of I work with. Elizabeth, Wah-Ming, Maggie, Rosemary, and myself.

It was held at Heart House, of the University of Toronto. It's such a grand, old, beautiful location. This room is called the 'Great Room', and great it is indeed. Of course, this photo does not do it justice. It felt like being brought back in time, or literally jumping into a Harry Potter movie.

This is a closeup of the walls of the great room:

And little birdies often get in from outside and just hang around until they find their way out again.


Check out the architectural arches that lead to the courtyard outside and me trying to look all that...!!! Smile. :

I'm hoping to have a beautiful, relaxing weekend, after a very busy week. Let's just hope the weather cooperates and I can enjoy some gardening.

Have a great weekend.

Francesca

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peonies

Oh glorious Peonies!


Isn't this just the most beautifu flower ever. From bulb, to flower, to old age, it remains gorgeous. Take a look at these beauties. To add to my garden photo gallery..

Gorgeous white:

Pretty in pink:

Not to mention the beautiful scent they send wafting through the breeze:

A garden is not a garden without some peonies in it:

Have a beautiful day.

Francesca

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Puppy Samson

Ok, so maybe not so much a puppy anymore.

My Sammy is now 8 years old. That's what in human years.... ahhh 56 years old!

He's a white German Sheppherd that is the son of my cousins dog Bianco (means white in Italian..get it.. smile). We got him when he was a mere 8 weeks old, but met him when he was abuot 6 weeks old and waited till he was 8 weeks to take him home.

I've never met a smarter, more gentle dog ever. He has never, ever hurt either Elisa or Xavier. I'll never forget how portective he was of the kids when they were babies. He guarded over them, and hated for relatives or friends to pick them up. He kept such a watchful eye on them.

Now that he's older, he plays with the kids and they play ball. He never shows his teeth and lets Elisa and Xavier do anything they want to him. If he doesn't like being a 'horsie' as Elisa calls it, he just goes underneath the kitchen table and hides. He doesn't mind kids in his face, having his ears pulled, and the occasional game of 'horsie'.

He's a good 80 pounds, and a strong as a horse, and still very healthy (touch wood).

Funny, if even neighbours or friends we know come by, he barks to let us know someone is there. If it's a stranger or the mailman, and they're on our property, boy does he let them have it. I wouldn't come within ten feet of our house with the sound of his bark.

He's VERY protective of his family and his territory, aka our home. We have an alarm system as well, but who needs an alarm system when you have a German Sheppherd. Smile.

All I know is, I'm gonna some day really miss this big 'ol galoot when he's no longer around. What I'll miss most are:

kisses on his wet, cold nose
his obsession with our stinky feet
licks and kisses when I come home from work
the way he follows me throughout the day
having him rest his chin on my knee when we're watching tv
his companionship
the way he clumsily knocks everyone out of his way when turning around
his great big beautiful eyes

What I won't miss:
picking up his poop!
incessant shedding and vacuuming!
stinky wet dog smell
begging at dinner time
vacuuming!
picking up poo!
having to wake up early, even on a Saturday/Sunday to take him out to poo!
did I mention I won't miss picking up poo!!

Have a great day!
Francesca

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What do Moleskines, Pill Boxes, Recylce Bags and Art Journaling Have in Common?

Why, me, of course! These were my grand finds from my excursion to our local bookstore.

Today I visited the university bookstore. I had this craving to buy books. Books on art really, or to be more specific, on art history. There were so many gorgeous books that I couldn't pick just one, and at the prices they were selling for I couldn't afford more than just one. So, I put them all back and continued to look around. It's such an awesome bookstore. All kinds of nifty stuff to buy.

This nifty bag caught my eye immediately. Made by Lela Lee of Angry Little Girls. Even if it weren't so cute, I would have bought it just cause I love the brand name! You have to check out her site:

Then, this nifty little pill box caught my eye! Vintage cover - Soooo adorable. I'm going to have to take some meds, so I can actually fill 'er up and use it. Laugh. Mother's little helper indeed!


My next find made my heart pitter, patter. What I managed to find, to my sweet surprise, were Moleskine journals. I bought three black, and three plaine journals, 7 1/2" x 10", 120 plain pages each.












I'm so excited, I'd been meaning to purchase these at our local art supply store, so when I saw them at the bookstore, I nearly jumped for joy!

As per the leaflet, "The history of the Moleskine notebook is a legendary one. It is the notebook used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. This trusty, pocket-size travel companion held sketches, notes, stories and ideas before they were turned into famous images or pages of beloved books.

They were originally produced by small French book-binders. They then stopped producing them in 1986, "le vrai voleskine n'est plus". In 1998, a small Milanese publisher brought Moleskine back again."

I'm certainly not a 'real' artist, in the true sense of the word, but I love to write, I love to draw, I love colour, and I love paper. In addition, give me some patterned paper, and some glue, and boy, I become the artist that is 'me'.

Next I bought, a book called, "What It Is", by Lynda Barry. A book on creative methods that are playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write and remember. She incorporates colour drawings, comics, collages, and autobiographical sections and gentle creative guidance.












A great source of inspiration for work that I'll be enjoying in my new Moleskines..

Funny, how things just come together. Love when that happens.

Have a great night. I'm off to bed. Yawnnnnnn.

Francesca

p.s. I'm taking a course on How to Use Copic Markers, 101. Laugh. No really, I am. More on this later. Thanks to Pam Garrison, and her gorgeous journals!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Busy As A Bee


We've been busy. With all the nice weather we've been having we haven't been inside much. Hence, no blogging and no scrapping for me. We've been riding bikes, trying to learn how to ride on two wheels for Xavier, and getting Elisa learning how to pedal. She's insisting on doing it the Flintstones way, with her little feet hitting the pavement.


I've been weeding and watering and gazing lovingly at all the flowers and trees blooming and growing in our neighbourhood. I so love this time of year. I'm loving watching all the kids on our street riding, laughing, running, reaking havoc. Such a nice escape for our winter hibernation.



My ultimate favorite flower is the peone. Such a gorgeous flower. Check this out...





They're just starting to bloom and I'm sooo excited. Love love love 'em.

Today I took a Family day to volunteer at Xavier's school trip to High Park. What a fun time.
First we went to his classroom to take attendance... and sing O Canada.. so cute.

Xavier and Nathaniel

Then off we went on the bus to High Park. We visited the Children's Gardens, where the kids plant and grow both the vegetables and plants. Xavier planted ocra, first he dug, then he planted, then he watered.

Then it was off to the butterfly station where they learned about butterflies. Here's Xavier's group testing out their wings.



Delon; Julian; Emma; Jenna; Xavier

Next it was off to the composting section to learn about how to compost and get to play with worms!!!! Mommy's least favorite part of the day. But the kids got such a kick out of this. Good thing my allergies were acting up cause I didn't get to sniff any of that nasty stuff.. Here are the kiddos enjoying some wet slime..




Julian and Xavier's hands



Next, it was time to pot a flowering plant to bring home with them to care for. Xavier loved this part. Then they had to write their names on the tape on their pot. How exciting...






This is a REALLY cute video of the kids singing the caring song, actions and all. Xavier was all about it until he noticed I was video taping him and he got all shy and nervous. Look, so funny!




video


And here are some pics of Elisa helping Quinn and Maria water their plants.. she's such a good little helper!!!



And another of her just posing by the apple tree!!!! Actually, she was really looking for June bugs that live in the hosta beside the tree!! Creeeeeepy looking things, but she loves 'em.


She's such a little ham-ster! Love her..


Have a great day one and all.


Francesca