Thursday, April 30, 2015

Day 25

I can't believe it has already been 25 days since #100dayproject began and I started my "draw and dump" project (see my original post by clicking here)!

Already, so many items have gone out the door of my apartment, most of them to be donated or gifted to others and only a few actually thrown out.

Here are five of my sketches from the past 25 days:

I admit, it has sometimes been a challenge to do this project  Actually, I enjoy the sketching part.  The hard part is the actual decluttering - forcing myself to do the work.  Some days, I'm just not motivated and it seems like a whole lot of effort to clean and sort when I'd rather just be a couch potato. But I've learned that it usually just takes a few minutes of time to find the five objects and even a 10 minute or half an hour session adds up when you are doing it several days in a row. In the end, it's definitely worth the time and effort to have a tidy bookcase or an organized set of drawers and kitchen cupboards and whole lot less stuff.
Bookcase - before

Bookcase - after!
To see all of my drawings, check out #100daysofdrawanddump on Instagram.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Paint Storage

I was fortunate to be able to pick up 8 of the 12 new Dylusions paints when I was in Florida in February (sadly, I didn't have room to carry any more home in my suitcase!) but I have been wondering how to store them.  Having them stacked on my art table wasn't really working for me.  I love the large, round containers and when I saw someone in one my Facebook art groups post about how she stuck velcro circles onto the lids to hold the sponge Dyan Revealey recommends we use to apply the paint, I thought that was a great idea (see bottom photo below).  Then I decided to take it one step further and make myself a container to hold the paints and the applicators all in one place.
I started with the box that my darlings' cat food comes in.  The circles on the cardboard are almost exactly the size of the paint containers.  I covered the box with gesso and then painted in the spots with the individual paints.
I added some swatches of colour on the side of the box and called it done!  Here's what the finished box looks like:
A quick, easy project that made me feel very DIY and crafty, and I was recycling at the same time - definitely a win-win! Now I'm just waiting for the paints to arrive in Canada so I can stock up on the 4 colours I'm missing. ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Slow Process

I am still slowing but surely downloading all my photos from my trips to Mexico City in March and Florida in February.  Hard to believe it is taking me this long but c'est la vie.  Someone asked me what I do with all my photos, why I take so many.  I'm not sure I have an exact answer. I enjoy taking them and looking at them afterwards.

How could I have resisted taking a picture of this fabulous example of stencil art, displayed on the wall of a restaurant near the hotel where we stayed in Mexico City? It's just so fabulous!
More fabulousness to follow, stay tuned!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Haiku My Heart: Nesting 2015

We all want a home
A place to be safe, to dream
and hatch a new life.

Spring is slowly making her presence felt here in Toronto and the geese have returned.  You may recall last year's posts (you can read them here and here) about the pair of Canada geese who made a nest in the parking lot of the building next door to my office and successfully hatched a gaggle of little goslings.  I am assuming this is the same pair.

This year, they have chosen a different location. I'm still not convinced they really know what they're doing when they pick a spot, although this one appears to be slightly more sheltered.  The new nest is tucked up against a curb at the top of small rise between two parking lots.
From the upper parking lot side, you can only see the male standing guard when the female is sitting on the nest.
However, the past two mornings when I've arrived at work, one or both geese have been standing in the parking lot in not overly visible locations, surprising drivers as they turn into a parking spot and find a goose standing there.  Hopefully, they don't get hit by a car one of these days.

Nevertheless, I for one am glad to see them back!

For more Haiku My Heart, visit Rebecca's blog and those of my fellow poets.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Visit to Frida's House - Part 2

In addition to the house in which Frida lived which I told you about in yesterday's post, there was another building on the grounds of the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, one where a number of her costumes and personal items are on display.
Most interesting are the items she wore to help with her various physical ailments - the corsets, crutches and even the artificial leg she wore after her leg was amputated in 1953 as the result of gangrene.

Photo by Judy Wise

Here's a picture of Frida wearing a plaster corset that she decorated.  It certainly doesn't look very comfortable, does it?
Her jewelry, headpieces and even a tube of her lipstick is also part of the exhibition.

In 2004, fifty years after her death, a bathroom in the house was opened for the first time.  Many of Frida's outfits were discovered inside, along with this drawing:

Visiting this museum really gave me an insight into Frida's life and a much greater appreciation of her life, her struggles and her talent.  A woman I met while touring through the house told me the audio guide was very informative, I'd like to listen to that next time I visit.  Hopefully, there will be another visit some day in my future!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Visit to Frida's House - Part 1

Jane Davenport is in Mexico City this week with Kathie Vezzani, teaching a workshop based on her love of all things Frida Kahlo.  A couple of people I know are also on the trip and seeing the photos they have all been posting is reminding me of the wonderful workshop week I experienced last month and our visit to the museum that used to be her home.
She was born is what is known as the Casa Azul (the Blue House) and lived most of her life there, some of it with her husband Diego Rivera.  It is quite a large property, with a central courtyard garden area.
The kitchen is cheerfully painted in blue and yellow and decorated with patterns made with tiny ceramic mugs on the walls.
There are two bedrooms, one described as the bedroom she used during the daytime, which includes the mirror her mother had installed above the bed after her accident and a death mask of Frida lying on the bedspread.
This pretty view of the courtyard is what she would have seen, lying on that bed.
The second, "night" bedroom contains a cabinet full of her toy collection (including a collection of dolls she designed) and features a picture of Diego.
Her ashes reside in the large urn on the left hand side of this dresser that also sits in that room.
There are many of her paintings on display throughout the various rooms, including her final painting, a still life of watermelon slices entitled "Viva la Vida".

A sketch from a trip to New York City

Many of the paintings are described as being full of "tortured images", dealing as they did with the chronic pain she suffered following a bus accident when she was just eighteen.
The sight of her wheelchair in front of her easel is particularly poignant.
For me, it was very special to be in what used to be her studio and see her art supplies on display.
I was quite surprised to see all these bottles of glitter!
I would have loved to had a look inside these journals!
All in all, it is a beautiful spot and yet, not surprisingly, it is permeated with a feeling of sadness.

Tomorrow, Part 2 of my visit to Frida's home.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Journal Junkies April

Here is the journal page I made just yesterday for this month's Journal Junkies meeting at Bizzy B.  The theme was "parade" and I found this image in a magazine I was throwing out as part of my #100daysofdrawanddump project (see blog post on that topic here or check out my hashtag on Instragram).

I decided to combine the JJ theme with last week's theme for the Documented Life Project, since I'm a bit behind on my pages for that year long project.

Here's my page:

Doesn't this poor puppy look like somebody rained on his parade?  Either that or it's too wet to go for his walk!

Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll be taking you to Frida's house in Mexico City!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Haiku My Heart Fridays: Frida

Talented artist
She suffered all her life but
Found beauty in pain.
Frida as a young girl,
photographed by her father, Guillermo Kahlo
I was so glad to have had a chance to visit the home where Frida Kahlo lived when I visited Mexico City last month.
Unfinished self-portrait
Her artwork is so interesting and even more so when you realize the kind of chronic pain she lived with all her adult life, after being involved in a serious accident as a teenager.  When she was eighteen, the bus she was riding in collided with a trolley car and she was left with a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. In addition, an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, leaving her unable to have children.  (Source:  Wikipedia)
Stay tuned, next week I'll be sharing more details and photos of my visit to the blue house known as La Casa Azul!