Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Toronto National Exhibition 2011

CNE poster for Canada's Victory Celebration, 1919

Toronto National Exhibition 2011
what an incredibly fun evening we had again this year.  this is our 2nd year that we've taken the kids.  here's my post from our visit to the ex last year

Toronto National Exhibition 2010

see, nothing much ever changes.  it's loud, it's noisy, it's crowded, it's greasy, and wild, and full of characters, but you know, i still love it and look forward to it every summer.  i went as a kid every year and i'll continue to go as long as it keeps coming back to Toronto.  i wish that my mom had taken pictures of us at the ex.  i would soooo love to see them.  i hope to add these to my 'project life' album (inspired by Ali Edwards). 

another ex bites the dust...

see you next year candied apples, princess gates, ferris wheels, rows and rows of games and stuffed dolls (mainly smurfs this year), and fun house.  oh, the fun house.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

new family member

meet swimmey.  he's our newest addition to our family.  elisa picked him, picked out his new home, including the pink stones and castle.   he's been with us almost three weeks now, and so far so good.  he's made himself at home.  and i swear he gets excited when i open up the blinds and say good morning to him.  he comes right up to the tank and flutters his little fins like crazy as if her were waving to me. 

samson, on the other hand, is a little forlorn.  he's feeling a little left out with all the attention swimmey has been getting.  the big galoot.

happy thursday everyone.


p.s.  IT'S JERSDAY....   talk about fish out of water.. 


1. Honeymooners, 2. Pure Sunshine, 3. Together, 4. magical moments, 5. magical moments paper doily, 6. be happy, 7. be happy - detail, 8. wind beneath your wings, 9. self portrait, 10. remember1, 11. remember2, 12. adventure1, 13. adventure2, 14. Xavier - October Afternoon, 15. Elisa - Hambly

i was just looking at some of my scrpabook pages and i think i need to get back to my documenting.  i don't want to forget all the beautiful little moments that i managed to caputre in my scrap pages.  scrapping has changed through the years and it's no longer about stickers and frames. it's evolved into a craft that is more of something that i like to call  'scrap-art'.  above is a mosaic of some of the pages i created througout the years (just click on the links to view each individually). i could easily pick up anyone of these pages, put it in a frame and hand it around the house. Hmm, that's actually not a bad idea. 

i'm itching to start making more 'scrap-art'.

but to do this i need to start picking up  my camera more often.  i must go home, take it out of the cupboard, and blow the dust off it first..!!

what are you itching to do?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a year of confronting my one little word: risks

collection of works 2010 - 2011
click on the link below to see larger version of each photo
1. wondering#1, 2. wondering#3, 3. i am courage, 4. beatrice #2, 5. the only way through is through, 6. untitled, 7. untitled, 8. work in progress, 9. icon, 10. a crown of feathers, 11. work in progress, 12. finally, i am, 13. Santa Lucia, 14. you fit, 15. seeing, 16. diva (collage #1), 17. i am courage, 18. untitled, 19. Art Journal: Lady Blue, 20. me, 21. faces101, 22. faces101, 23. faces 101 - Part 2, 24. shy, 25. modesta, 26. mosaic3, 27. hope, 28. bert, 29. faces 101, 30. do you see it?, 31. little angelita, 32. mosaic2, 33. molly, 34. faces101 , 35. faces 101 - Part 1, 36. modesta

remember my post on, my one little word for 2011: risks.  it's my year for taking risks, doing the unexpected, plunging into things i've always wanted to do but held back out of fear.  well, this year is my year of walking through my fear, and taking that plunge.  what better way to encourage growth, and learning, and expanding, and believing in yourself.  the only way through, is through.  so here are some of the ways i've met my own little challenge:

when i heard misty mawn was teaching, i signed up even without talking to my husband first.  eventhough i hadn't a clue where it was.  eventhough i don't know a soul who's going.  it was automatic.  the fear settled in afterwards.  but i'm past the fear of not knowing anyone, and of being in the middle of nowhere at Squam Lake. it turns out i actually do know people going, ie misty and i'll get to know my house mates rather quickly, and guess who's going to be a vendor, the awesome emily falconbridge, whom i've connected with already.  so three you go.  the only way through is through.  one past squamee attendee said this:

"you have to bring an open mind and heart, choose the classes that scare you the most, and push yourself. You have to put yourself out there, meet new people, have creative conversations you never realized were possible."

                                                                                  ----BJ Lantz, Florida
and that's exactly what i plan to do.  amen.

hello people.  this is the fests of all fests in the mixed media art world.  and i'm flying to washington on my own.  on. my. own.  peeps,  this is big for me.  makes me wanna throw up when i think about it but i'm doing it none-the-less.  the only way through this one is with ATIVAN.  and lots of it.  if you have any flying solo tips (for those of us of the white knuckle brigade), please let me know in the comments section.

i'm taking every course i can, even on-line.  trying new techniques, new styles, new adventures.  it keeps me motivated and learning and stretching.  here are some thus far:

1.     Misty Mawn, Stretching Within
misty is an absolute treasure.  she is the ultimate teacher, artist, mother, photographer, blogger, on the planet.  she's super generous with sharing her talents via on line classes where she creates an encouraging, super supportive environment for you to grow, and make mistakes, and learn, and share as an artist.  i thank her for that.  also for creating a group of gals from stretching within that i still keep in touch with and plan to go to artfest 2012 with.  she's helped me to create my own tribe of supporters and i love her for that.

2.     Carla Sonheim's Faces101
this online class was fast, short and choc-a-bloc full of techniques.  i didn't know what to expect from this class and i walked away AMAZED.  i had all the tools, but learned to use them in an entirely new way.  i'm still playing around with her techniques, making them my own, and i'm finding i just can't stop myself.  best $35 i ever spent. 

3.     Katie Kendrick's Layered Impressions 
i've been an admirer of Katie's work for a long time and so excited that she's sharing an online class in september. 

and there will be more to come, much much more, i'm sure.

earth shaking news

so i finally filled up my beloved journal.  it's a moleskine that i covered with all kinds of stuff: 
patterned paper by Pam Garrison
Melissa Frances white vintage fram
Heidi Swapp felt butterflies
my own hand stitched butterfly
and other odds and ends:  ribbon, brads, buttons, hat pins

and here's my last page:  little angelita

and i'm so excited cause i now get to create and start another one.  i absolutely love starting a new journal.  creating the covers are my most favorite.  if i could just create journals all day, i'd be a happy camper.  the pages are fresh and crips, and ready to fill. 

in other news, it was an earth shaking day yesterday here in good ol toronto.  there was a 5.9 earthquake in Virginia which made it's shake known all the way to us.  this is the 2nd time we've felt this.  the last time it happened was last year, and i believe it was august too.  us torontonians don't get earthquakes or tornadoes or any kind of real natural disaster, so when something like a little shaking happens, well, it's BIG news.  facebook was a-flutter with where everyone was when they felt it. crazy, eh?

Monday, August 22, 2011

feeding my addiction

more of my current addiction,  faces using oil sticks in my moleskine.  here are my latest additions:

top left to right:  shy and hope
bottom left to right:  bert and molly

have a beautiful monday!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

more faces

this is yet another new technique i learned from carla sonheim on how to create faces.  i thought the watercolour technique i used to create my 'blob families' was my favorite.  well, errr, this one is by far my most favorite. 

for these faces i used shiva oil sticks, my finger, and a kneaded eraser.  easy peasey.

the image below, is one i have in progress.  can you see the face emerging from the shadows?  man, i love this.

by the way, i just found out that emily falconbridge will be a vendor at squam art workshops.  i sooooo can't wait to meet her.  and hopefully purchase one of her funk-a-tized refurbished items, that she also sells in her etsy shop.  if you haven't yet visited her blog, you must go now.  she's an incredible artist, and mother. 

happy wednesday friends

Monday, August 15, 2011

mondo beyondo dreams

woot.  woot.  can you believe it, cause i can't.  i'm all signed up for artfest 2012.  fort worden, in port townsend, washington, i'll see you in march.  it's the old military base where they filmed 'officer and a gentleman', you know the one, with richard gere and debra winger..  yup.  my all time favorite movie too , no joke.

i'm going as part of a group of ladies i met during mistys online classes.  and boy, let me tell you, it's going to be a hoot.  There's 11 of us from this group going, and we've reserved one of the officers houses (which are haunted by the way.  yes.  ghosts.  have.  been.  seen. eeeeeeeks). 

i just registered and paid.  now to look up and book my flight.  oh yeah.  flying solo, did i mention that?  the girls are laughing and calling me, 'the white knuckle brigade'.  at first i was, 'what the hell is that', until i looked it up on wikipedia.  too funny.  but ooh so true.  yes, you'll find me grabbing my armrests so tight, my knuckles go beyond white.  i'll probably need a barf bucket and some ativan to accompany me.  and a nice looking steward holding my hand wouldn't be so bad either.  lol.

this is me.  walking through my fear of travelling, and travelling alone at that.  if i end up in saudi arabia, i wouldn't be surprised.  i'm a dunce when it comes to directions.  lol.  but i'm excited none-the-less. 

squam, artfest.  what next.  life sure is getting mighty interesting when you decide to take some risks, and do things that you didn't think that you'd ever do.  shaking things up some, and it feels right. 

HUGE THANKS to jen lemen, and andrea scher, the masterminds behind mondo beyondo.  i had put going to squam, artfest, journal fest, and all kinds of fests, on my mondo beyondo dream list.  see what happens when you put your intentions out into the universe.  the universe actually listens and makes things possible.  it makes it possible.  this was a huge revelation peoples. 

so what dreams are coming true for you.  i'd love to hear. 

will you be going to artfest?  which classes?  if you have any pics of the officers house Madrona #277, i'd love to see them.

here's to more dreams coming true,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

today's affirmation

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
                                                                                     --George Bernard Shaw

reminding myself to not take everything so seriously. 
reminding myself not to put playing off until the dishes are done, the laundry put away, and the floors swept.

like leo buscaglia says, i want to“.. still get wildly enthusiastic about little things... play with leaves, skip down the street and run against the wind.”

and i'll send you an original of one of my blob family members to the first one to leave a comment on my blog, of who said the following:

"today was good, today was fun, tomorrow will be another one"

any guesses? ready, set, go!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

meet the blob families

carla taught me how to use watercolours in a way that i'd not used them before.  and let me tell you, it was so much fun.

this is blob family one:

uncle charlie on the bottom right, his mustache went awry, happened at birth.  aunt lucy, bottom middle, well, she forgets to put her teeth in hence the no upper lip.  and aunt maude, top right, well she was born miserable. and her daughter to the immediate left, miss filomena the harlot.  

geesh, these guys are just about as crazy as my real family.  

and blob family number 2:

these guys are cuter and quieter.  except for elizabeth, top left who's heavy on the rouge, according to good art friend livvie (if she had a blog i'd have linked you up).

you should try creating some blob families of your own.  they're very entertaining, and reveal all kinds of interesting stories.

Monday, August 8, 2011

just breathe

these days i need reminders to just slow down and breathe.  just.  breathe. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

stretching artistically

i love the fall.  i love everything about it.  the cool breezy days, the sun shining, darker nights that come earlier, thick warm socks, a great sweater, jeans, cacaphony of colour, the start of a new school year for the kiddos, the hibernation that ensues.

this year, i have the added anticipation of the following activities:

Faces! 101, Carla Sonheim

carla is such a fun and fabulous artist.  so damn spontaneous in her creativity.  love that.  how she creates the cutest creatures and faces from just a blob of paint.  she makes it look so easy.


here is a map of the site.  i'll be in the sommers cottage.  beauty abounds.  this four day retreat could not have come at a better time in my life.  i'm looking forward to some time alone (meaning away from my husband and kids).  some time away to ground myself.  to get invigorated by some time spent away from the usual grind of life, and fully immersing myself in pure creative intoxication.  being around like minded creatives, meeting new friends, discovering new surroundings, and making connections with myself and with others that i didn't think possible.  all so very exciting.

i'm signed up for the following:

Painted Icon, Misty Mawn - Thurs

Pages and Paint, Sarah Ahearn - Fri

Hand Lettering, Penelope Dulligan - Sat

and last but not least, here' the latest i've just signed up to:

Layered Impressions: a poetic approch to mixed media painting, Katie Kendrick

how exciting is it.  and it doesn't end here.  i've got one more post about ARTFEST 2012.  yup folks.  this is my year of all things art.  my next post will be about ARTFEST.  are you going? what classes will you sign up for?  all i can say is woot woot!!

travelling.  meeting new artists.  stretching artistically.  finally meeting online friends IRL.  and meeting my all time favorite mixed media artist, misty mawn.  how cool is my life right now?  so so cool.