Sunday, December 30, 2007

A New Year Right Around The Corner

I'm hoping this post finds you thoroughly enjoying the holiday season. Now that Christmas is over I'm back at work. My family was up for the holidays and left on boxing day so by the 27th I began cleaning up my studio and happened to come across this 6"x6" canvas that I had stored away in the closet. I pulled out some paints, sketched a rough outline from a Toronto photo I had taken and started painting. It was such a departure for me from what I usually do that I had a great time just "fooling around" with paint on canvas. Sometimes it is so freeing to just do something for no other reason than that it is "fun". As you can see it is only "in progress" .... don't know when I'll get back to it but perhaps one day soon.
I have no plans for New Years as I am not a New Years "party person"...... funny but I never have been. Christmas has always been the biggy for me. But whatever your doing have fun, laugh a lot and appreciate the joys and challenges of another year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Generosity in a Cup of Coffee

Yesterday I heard this beautiful story that happened in a Starbucks in the U.S., maybe it was in Pennsylvania...not quite sure. Anyway this story really put me in the Christmas spirit and reaffirmed to me what the season is all about.
It happened in the drive through that a woman pulled up and said she not only wanted to pay for her coffee but for the coffee of the guy behind her. So when the guy behind her pulled up to the window the Starbucks employee explained that his coffee had been paid for by the woman in the car ahead of him. Well, he decided he would then pay for the coffee of the person behind him and so on and so on and so on. This chain continued for two hours at Starbucks where people were doing something simple but kind for another human being. I love this story because it brings home the fact that showing a bit of kindness to another means so very much even in just receiving a free coffee.
So in the vein of this generosity I too would like to do something kind for one of you. Anyone who leaves a comment on my blog today or tomorrow (Saturday or Sunday) will be entered into a draw for a piece of my art. It will probably be an older piece but a piece of my art just the same. I will put all of your names into a hat and have my daughter swish them around and pick one. I will announce the winner on Monday morning (December 24).
Thank you to each and everyone who reads my blog. I have received some wonderful comments about my work from people who don't even know me but it has meant so much. Have a wonderful weekend

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thanks Jane made my day

The other day I came across some new work by a textile artist I have always admired............ Jane Kenyon. It's funny how we see other artist's work, appreciate it, are inspired by it, but never take the time to let them know. So I decided I was going to email her for nothing other than to tell her that her artwork had always inspired me and that I had followed her career for quite some time.....I tried to keep in mind that I didn't want to gush too much or perhaps she would think I was some strange stalker woman. The following day I got the nicest email from her. She said she recognized my name (ok, that was definitely the highlight of my day that Jane Kenyon knew my name) so she checked out my website and told me that my work has beautiful and how each piece was like a tiny jewel. I think I'll save that email for the rest of my life.

This whole telling artists how much you love their work also spills over into just telling the people in your life how much they mean to you. I have done this my entire life and believe me.... it feels amazing. I think at times people are taken aback when I just come right out and tell them that I love them (I don't do this to complete strangers ok? I'm not that weird) or how much it means having them in my life, or even simple things such as telling them what a great cook they are, how they knew just the right thing to say in a difficult moment, etc. etc. You get the jist of it. I believe all we really have right now is this moment...........My intention is to always try and make the most of it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Even The Cat Is Confused

Poor Simba........he really loves the outdoors but unfortunately has been forced inside the last few weeks due to the weather. We have been experiencing a major winter storm since last night at midnight and as of this writing (3:46 in the afternoon) it hasn't stopped snowing. So this morning I think Simba had just about had enough of this winter wonderland. When I opened the back door he ran out into the snow and just sat there for a few minutes........obviously confused. ...he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but loveable all the same. It didn't take him long to realize there wasn't anyway out of this stuff so very gingerly he made his way back into the house....looking very depressed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Where's My Nursemaid???

Well I should have known...... it was inevitable but here I sit with a stuffed up nose, wads of kleenex and clogged sinuses. The kids are back to school, John has left for work so I'm wondering where is my nursemaid???
Everyone flew out the door this morning with a "hope you feel better soon" as I dragged my tired body to the kitchen. I yelled after them "is there any hot tea?" Nothing....just the sound of the door slamming shut. Oh well.........I'll survive.
I've been sketching quite a bit lately as I have some new ideas for a few abstract pieces that will be bigger than what I've been working on lately. Lots of primary colours and a lot of heavy machine embroidery with various threads in gold and silver.........perhaps even more texture as I may throw some batting in too. Depending on how I feel later today, I will try to spend some time in the studio.
Carol Currie and Stuart Leggett have their website up and running for the Carriage House Gallery. Beautiful job....amazing artists.
Here's wishing you a healthy day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Up Goes The Tree........The Season Begins

Things have settled a bit here so I'm taking this window of opportunity to blog. John is working tirelessly in his office, my youngest is resting and rehydrating and my oldest says she is feeling nauseous and feels like throwing up ( oh no). I've posted a picture of John and his brother putting up the tree on Sunday. Luckily I wasn't helping out as it looked to be a frustrating experience but I am getting ahead of myself.
On Saturday our entire group converged at our house around 9:00am for a cup of coffee and a few pastries before heading out to find "a great" Christmas Tree. The snow began early and by the time we arrived at Ayers Tree Farm the flakes were huge and plentiful. Perfect!!
It seemed to take us Maddens forever to find a tree we all agreed upon. Near the end I was willing to take a Charlie Brown tree for all the walking back and forth we did. Finally John counted to 5 and cut down one we all "kinda" liked. Unfortunately we had an ice storm about 4 or 5 days ago so every tree there was frozen solid. We usually put it up that night but the poor tree would have to spend the night in the garage thawing out until Sunday. Got back to our place around 1:00pm, heated up the chili, put out some cheese and crackers, rolls and butter, opened a bottle of wine and let the fun begin. Many of the people who were there on Saturday had met on the shores of Lake Superior for our 20th anniversary so it was so wonderful to see them all connect again...........just like old friends should. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I did take that moment to stand back and appreciate all that was going on. This experience will probably take place again next year(hopefully) but it will never be exactly what is was in that moment and that was the moment I was taking the time to enjoy. I believe life is just that......small moments all strung together that create memories that last a lifetime. Now before you think that is soooooo cheesy, let me tell you that is the way I am.........I will always find the sentimentality in everything and I like it that way.

Playing Nursemaid Today

Lots to blog about but perhaps not today. I was up with my youngest daughter all night as she has come down with the flu. My job as of this morning will not be artist but nursemaid. As most mothers know, we would rather it be us who are sick then our kids. That may come to be though as I have a really sore throat all morning. Yikes!! The weekend was memorable and I will blog about it soon but not right now as I have to go and make some soup and take my daugher's temperature.
Hope you are all healthy and well

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Looks Like A White Christmas

The weather has been crazy here these last few days. I don't remember seeing this much snow fall consistently in a very long time. Both of my kids have had two snow days in a row.......lucky me. Although my oldest made thimble cookies yesterday so that was a wonderful treat. Today is the first day in which there have been no "weather warnings". The snow is definitely here to stay.
We have a big weekend planned. Friday night our oldest daughter takes part in the school play "High School Musical" at the Orillia Opera House. All of the kids have been working so very hard to make it all come together so we are looking forward to taking in the performance. On Saturday we will be joined by many of our friends on what I am calling "The Hunt for a Great Christmas Tree" (not very original but all that I could come up with this early in the a.m.). We have done this for years with the girls and it has become quite the tradition. Every year we usually head out with another family or two but lately it seems to have grown which is just fine with me. I think we have about twenty this year which includes kids of all ages. We sit on a tractor(it used to be a wagon pulled by horses but I haven't seen a horse around the last few years.....maybe they've retired) filled with hay bales and they proceed to take us out past reindeer and snow covered trees to a spot in which there seem to be thousands of Christmas Trees. It doesn't generally take us long to find a lovely one since they all seem to be perfect but it all comes down to a vote in the end. Everyone will come back here afterward for chili and refreshments. I will find a moment in which to look around the room and really see all the people that I care about.....together......enjoying themselves. Those moments of realization are so important in my life. Material things come and go and what we once thought we couldn't live without we now find at the back of our closet....forgotten...but how empty would our lives be without our friends and family who love us as much as we love them. When I think of it that way the little hairs on my arms stick up and I feel so very blessed.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's Here.....Get Out The Toboggan

Well it finally arrived last night........15cm of the cold white stuff. My oldest daugher is beside herself as she has been waiting for this moment since November. I could have waited a bit longer but now that it is here I will admit.... it sure is beautiful. The view from my bedroom window this morning was picture postcard perfect.

Tomorrow I am off to "A Spa Day in The Village".........that is not what it is called but it is what I've been calling it. Our friends Bob and Marilyn who are moving to Africa in January to begin another chapter of their lives are having a "spa day" as a fundraiser for their Livingstone Theatre Project. They will be offering everything from a manicure to a pedicure to even something called an Indian Head Massage. A light lunch is provided and then on to the treatments. Can't wait............I'll let you know what that Indian Head Massage entails...............