Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tub Cats

Almost two years ago, I posted about how my then foster kittens liked to play in the bathtub - you can read it again here.  Fosters no more and luckily for me, they have grown out of the stage where they would try to climb the shower curtain.  They still like to play in there though.  Sometimes I'll be in another room and I'll hear this noise, the sound of something softer than a bowling ball banging around against the sides of the tub.  That means at least two of them are chasing each other around and rolling about in there.  I often wonder if my neighbours can hear the same sounds and what it is they think I'm up to?! ;)
All I have to do is turn on the tap just a little bit and there's at least one cat in the tub, checking out the stream of water.  It seems to fascinate them.  This was the scene yesterday morning:

Hard to believe Matisse is small enough to fit in that corner spot but she does.

Almost two years later, these 2 munchkins are still weaving their loving spell around my heart.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blue Monday 2015

As I was driving home tonight, the radio station I was listening to advised that today was "Blue Monday". I see I have written about this topic before, back in 2009 and 2011, so you can read about what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure why the radio said it was today instead of last week, since Blue Monday is commonly proclaimed to be the 3rd Monday in January and if you check your calendar (as I did!), you'll see that today is actually the 4th Monday this month.  Then again, I suppose it doesn't matter, since others such as Dean Burnett, a neuroscientist and current Cardiff lecturer, describes it as "a PR stunt based on pseudoscience" (according to this article).

If you do have the winter blahs (I must admit, I am definitely darned tired of this super cold weather. They say we're not having a polar vortex this year but minus 20+ windchills on a regular basis are not fun no matter what you do or don't call them!), I do hope you don't live in the Northeastern states of the U.S., who are currently hunkered down facing a doozy of a snowstorm tonight that could dump 1 to 3 feet of snow on their real estate.  That would definitely add insult to injury any day of the week but especially on Blue Monday.

Here's a little something blue for you.  It's a card I made yesterday.  It's simple and sweet (if I do say so myself) and can you tell I am dreaming of spring?
Stay warm, everyone!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Haiku My Heart Friday: We Are All Charlie

It is not just Paris
It could happen anywhere
We are all Charlie.

I needed to paint this journal page to get thoughts of the tragic events in Paris two weeks ago out of my head, but the pain and the fear lingers on in my heart.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An Overdue Haiku

I've recently gotten out of the habit of participating in Rebecca's Haiku My Heart Fridays group, for no particular reason other than I've been busy doing other things and I've been generally neglecting this blog.  I thought I should remedy that this week but I don't want to wait until this Friday.

Here's one I wrote the other day, after taking this picture as the sun was coming up:

The morning sky
The promise of a new day
What will today bring?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January Journal Junkies

This past Monday night was our monthly Journal Junkies meeting at Bizzy B.  This month's theme was "lifestyles", with the alternate choice being "relations".  The product of the month was paint.

I wasn't too excited about either theme but I found this quote by Mehmet Oz and decided to use it.  I had fun playing with paint for my background.  I started with a page onto which I had already glued down some bits of paper and images and I just started layering from there.  Here is the result:
Marissa's lifestyles page was focused on healthy choices:
Newcomer Jane collaged a number of images to illustratre a healthy lifestyle:
Louise created a page based on her new activity, aquafit:
Donna was inspired by the "relations" theme to do this journal spread about famous sisters:
Marilyn used the ATC group's theme of "frozen" for her journal page and why not? The themes are just a suggestion, we can do what we like in our own journals, it's all fun!
We're off to a good start for this year!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Cold Winter's Morning

These cold winter mornings (minus 30 Celsius with the windchill, so they say on the radio) make for pretty views as the sun comes up over the city of Toronto.
There is just something about these creamy monotone views of the downtown skyline that I find totally appealing!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jumping Into 2015

This January, for the third year in a row, I am taking part in Nathalie Kalbach's "Creative Jumpstart".

It's a month long series of videos by various artists gathered together by Nathalie to give our creativity a boost to start the year.  This session is sponsored by Liquitex, the makers of many fine art supplies of a liquid nature, such as paints, gel mediums, gesso, and my current personal favourite, matte varnish.  There are also prize giveaways of Liquitex products, very exciting!

Notwithstanding my successful participation in #CarveDecember (more on that in a later post), where I carved a rubber stamp every single day for the entire month of December, I have to admit that usually I'm not very good about doing things every day, in spite of my good intentions (I'm slowly learning to accept this about myself).  CJS is a good example of this. The first year I took part (January 2013), I started a journal to keep track of the daily lessons.  I only did the first three.  :(  Last year (January 2014), I did better - I watched the first 10 days' worth of videos.  Trust me, this was not at all the fault of the instructors.  It was all down to me getting busy with other stuff, forgetting to tune in, that sort of thing.

So far this year, I'm up to date on all 8 days.  I haven't actually made anything yet using any of the techniques shown by the various instructors - a different teacher each day demonstrates the making of something in a ten minute video - but I have enjoyed watching the videos over breakfast.  All I need is a little free time and I will be happily playing along.

If you think you might be interested in CJS, don't worry that January is already 1/4 of the way complete. The great thing is, the video lessons are available to watch over and over again until the end of November.  It's not too late to sign up.  25 videos for just $25US.  If you are interested, you can sign up here.

Plus, there is going to a CJS event at Bizzy B in Toronto on Sunday, February 8th where a bunch of us are going to get together and work on some of the projects together, so mark your calendar for that!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Noun vs. Verb?

This notice appeared in the elevators of my building yesterday. Sadly, the author was not aware that the word "recycle" is a verb, not a noun. 
The grammar police have been duly notified. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

You Are My Sunshine

About a month ago, my friend Laura sent me a picture of a painting she had found online made by an artist names Shelley Levis of (you can see a picture of it here).  She asked me if I could make something similar for her not-yet-decorated nursery (she is due in April).  I told her I would be glad to but that if she wanted, I could also show her how to make it herself.

This past Saturday, we got together to do just that.  My sister came too.  We were a bit worried about the weather as the news reports were warning of a major winter storm on the way.  The morning sunrise looked like this:
and you know what they say about "red in the morning"!

They arrived about 9 a.m. and the snow didn't start until noon.  Here's how it looked outside while we were playing inside.
We broke for lunch around 1 and drove a few blocks along snow-covered streets for a quick bite at a nearby Subway.  Once we came back, we worked right through until about 6 p.m. and by then, the snow had turned to rain and the roads were less risky.  Luckily, both ladies made it home with no issues.

Here are some of the work-in-progress photos:
Neither of them had worked in mixed media before so I had fun introducing them to a bunch of new products and techniques.  I have a feeling this won't be the last project either of them works on!
Laura and I worked on her big canvas while Janine worked on a small canvas of her own.  I showed them both how to add a background layer of papers, then how to start painting over it and adding textural elements.  By the end, all 3 of us had contributed to Laura's canvas in one way or another - a true collaborative piece of art!  Here's Laura holding our finished masterpiece:
As she was leaving, Laura said to me, "you're going to blog about this, aren't you?"  My answer? "Of course!!"

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Wishing us all a happy and healthy 2015!