Monday, February 25, 2008

Being Present

I watched some of the Oscars last night but didn't stay up until the bitter end. It would be nice if one year I had actually seen a couple of the movies.

My parents were big film buffs. They especially loved older movies such as North by Northwest, Rear Window, Bridge on The River Kwai and on and on. I really think I could give up televison (but not "Lost") if I could watch more great movies.

So after I turned the tv off I laid in bed and could not get to sleep. I should never have had that chocolate chip cookie after dinner. I started writing this blog in my head which was flowing so beautifully I couldn't seem to stop it. It was as if it was writing itself. After five minutes I started thinking "wow....that is an amazing is just pouring out of me". Kind of like in Jerry Macguire when he has had too much bad pizza and gets that great idea to write a mission statement which then gets him fired. Before I got too carried away and reminded myself I wasn't Diablo Cody (won the Oscar for best screenplay for Juno) I was sure I could remember enough of it to write it all down the next morning. Well, the harsh, cold light of a Monday morning did remind me that I am not Diablo Cody and what I did recall of my "amazing blog" kind of sucked. But since I do remember bits and pieces here goes:

I had a wild and wacky weekend. Saturday morning I went into the office with John to help him out if you call "cleaning the office" helping out. Around 2pm we met our friends Joe (he is one of my most favourite people) and Anna at a local restaurant for a fundraiser of sorts for the Orillia Wind Ensemble. They served a great lunch, we shared a few laughs and were treated to a solo performance by the Ensemble's guest musician who was an extraordinary saxaphonist.....can't remember his name. We got home just in time to try and have a short nap before the next leg of our day but the cat wouldn't leave me alone and insisted on sleeping on my chest. Simba is fat ...there is no disputing I was quite uncomfortable and I gave up searching for a few moments of rest. Started getting dressed around 6:30 for our friends, Jason and Linda's "Bollywood Party". I could still kick myself for not bringing my camera as all of the women looked so beautiful in the original and handmade saris. Lots of colour and glitter. We dined on a smorgasboard of Indian food....butter chicken, curry, naan bread and lots of other yummy food.

Sunday I dropped off my artwork to the Zephyr Gallery for the annual International Women's Day Show. Kelly and I had spoke earlier and decided to go out for a walk because it was 10 degrees celcius without a cloud in the sky. We walked down to the dock laughing and talking about how much fun last night was and just generally rehashing all that had happened. We walked out onto the ice and I had the weirdest feeling come over me. I didn't tell Kelly this at the moment because I honestly couldn't find the words to describe what I was feeling. The best I can compare it to is like in the show "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" where they show his heart growing 10 sizes too big and bursting out of his chest. I wasn't thinking about what I had to do later that day nor was I thinking about what had happened that morning..... all the noise in my head just disappeared. I was totally Present and I mean totally. I really felt the warmth of the sun on my face, heard our feet shuffling through the snow and noticed with such clarity everything around me. As quick as that moment came it was gone but I was left with this all over warm and fuzzy feeling. This strange awareness that made me feel as if I had never been really present before.....hard to explain. Here I am on a beautiful sunny spring like day taking a walk with my close friend who loves me unconditionally with all my funky, wacky weird ways. It was such a small moment in time but oh so very memorable. Our lives are made up of all these wonderful "little moments" I guess the challenge is to try and experience them fully when they happen. Oh sure, the big things are always car, new house, job promotion...... but I believe it is the small moments that keep us human and instill a gratitude that reminds us daily of how very blessed we truly are.

Whew, that was a long post but it feels good to put it out there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


After days of snow the sun has finally decided to appear and it sure feels good. Spring is just around the corner.
Sunday our friends Les and Victoria (the newlyweds) came by for lunch which John prepared.........I just cleaned the house. Our neighbours Charlie and Joan dropped by around 3 for some dessert. They had wonderful stories to share about their trip to South Africa. All in all a good weekend

The exhibition announcement for "A Common Thread" is up at the Carriage House Gallery.....check it out under Exhibitions.

Must get back to the studio...........

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ain't Love Grand

I finished this piece a few days ago and I'm quite pleased with it. The tree and flowers are done in a variety of threads while the background and people are painted in acrylic.
When I was in Toronto in the fall we were driving through the Forest Hill area of the city and I spotted this couple out the window of the car. I immediately grabbed my camera when we were stopped at the light (no, I wasn't driving) and took their picture. The way in which they stood together and looked at each other inspired the title "Ain't Love Grand". Was hoping to post it yesterday for Valentine's Day but the day had other plans for me.
Here's to love and chocolate.....I love chocolate!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


SOLD Work In Acrylic Paint & Thread

Image Size 3"x3" Double Matted & Framed Under Glass 6"x6"
$100.00 plus $12.00 S&H

This piece is finally back from the framer. As always, all art looks better live and in person especially textile art as a jpeg can't capture the texture and three dimensionality of the artwork.

I'm really pleased with how this piece turned out. The reds show brilliantly against the black bark of the maple tree and the creamy white of the birch.

I'm currently working on a fairly large piece for the "Carriage House Gallery" show. It is a landscape with plenty of trees in the foreground as well as the background surrounded by a field of lavendar. It is just in the beginning stages but I'm working on it fairly steadily now so I'm hoping to be done in a couple weeks.

I saw the optomitrist this morning for an eye test and new glasses. I chose a pair I really liked which the guy who was helping me called "edgey"....yeah, that's me....edgey. No, wish it were but can't say that is the word that best describes me.

Still snowing here.........................

Monday, February 11, 2008

Safe Cosmetics

Last week on the CBC radio show "The Current" there was an interesting discussion on the personal products we use on our face and bodies. Everything from body washes, shampoos, cosmetics etc. etc. Stacy Malkan who wrote "Not Just Another Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry" was the guest. Now I have from time to time thought about what I was using when it comes to these products but like others just didn't take the time to make any sort of change........ although I must say it is quite frightening to read the back of your shampoo bottle. I can't pronounce half of those ingredients never mind know what they mean. After this eye opening half hour I seriously did decide to slowly begin weeding out what I consider to be "toxic" products. For the past few years I have been using good old fashioned baking soda and vinegar with a bit of soap for cleaning. My mom's generation can't be wrong on that. It works great!! I've also discovered the "Method" cleaning products which I highly recommend also.
Checkout Safe Cosmetics to get a detailed list of what actually IS in the products you buy.

Shortly after all this happened, a friend of mine mentioned a line of body soaps and creams available on Etsy from a small home business just outside of Edmonton, Alberta. I checked it out and bought a few and "wow" they were great. I ordered a couple of the body butters, soaps and lip balms My kids say it is the best lip balm they have ever used. Krysta makes all the products herself with NO harsh chemicals. Check her out at Simple Pleasures Soapworks.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Snow Days, New Work, New Show

Work in Paint & Thread

I have decided to begin selling some of my small pieces online starting with my blog. This decision was something I had been playing around with for quite some time. The artwork entitled "Stillness" is not finished as of yet. The grass as well as some of the trees are yet to be completed but when it is I will post it here. My midsize and larger pieces will still be reserved for my representing galleries and shows but these small ones are great fun and give me a general idea on whether I want to invest my time in attempting a larger piece based on this composition. More to come....

I received the final contract from Carol Currie yesterday regarding the three person show I will be a part of at the Carriage House Gallery in June. Both Pamela Allen and Alice Vander Vennen are on board.....yeah. I have long admired their talent and been inspired by their beautiful artwork.

Today is another snow day here..........the kids are loving it

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super All The Way Around

I found this "super" ball underneath my sofa yesterday. There are other things under there that we won't discuss but nothing that brought a smile to my face like this did. I can only imagine it is because it brought me back to memories of when I was a kid. I just loved these things and think I even had a collection of them. During spelling bees or tests at school I would always bring one with me to bounce on the floor, the wall...wherever. I found it helped me focus and relax......most importantly it took my mind off the endless worrying we all do over things that we can't change. So as of today this "super" ball sits on top of the desk in my studio just waiting to work it's magic.
Speaking of "super", today is Super Tuesday in the United States. Another weird thing you probably don't know about me is how much of a U.S. political junkie I am. Have been for the past ten years. Although I'm not one to discuss politics here on my blog.... today I am bursting with joy as the Democratic ticket holds such promise for all of us....two brilliant candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.........I'm singin'.... "oh happy days".

Monday, February 4, 2008

Catching Up With Family and More Great Skiing

John's brother, wife and little one arrived here on Saturday afternoon. It was good to see them as we hadn't since our 20th celebration on Lake Superior in the summer. They live in Iqaluit, Nunavut which is on Baffin Island. We had a great dinner and caught up on all their news. I made tiramisu for dessert which was yummy but still not as good as the one Kelly made for the "Eat, Pray, Love" dinner party. I find food just tastes so much better when someone else has made it. Anyway, I'm digressing......Sunday at lunch the rest of the family arrived and we enjoyed another large meal at lunch. Around 4 in the afternoon I bid my good byes and headed out to meet Kelly for what was another great ski. The weather is supposed to turn warmer by mid week so we really wanted to enjoy the snow while it was here. I don't think we saw anyone other than a couple of snowmobilers during our entire ski. It was great!
The schedule I set for myself (see my last post) is still working well. I am rather enjoying it and feel at the end of the day I've really accomplished quite a bit.
I've found a new artist whose work I like.........Robin Cheers....she works in oils and sells her work on her blog. This concept is something I've been interested in for quite some time. I may even consider giving it a go with some of my smaller pieces. I'll have to give it some more thought.
Hope your weekend was a good one