Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What's next?

We had a great weekend away.  I was hoping the trees would be leafing out when we returned.  Not quite but  I did catch a splash of yellow as we drove in the yard.

I keep forgetting that once upon a time I wanted a woodland walk and I planted some miniature daffodils.   They are small but gosh, hardy.  They have survived.  Now the woodland walk is limited to keeping the path clear as the poison ivy is just awful.  :(

But the entrance arbor could use some of the Rooster's attention.  I don't need to actually wait for him to begin and  he does have our evenings set aside for yard work.  While the sun has been hiding lately we are called Sunny Manitoba and that means long days of sunlight so the evenings provide a lot of opportunity for my working man.

The kitchen is still on the to-do list and most of it comes from Ikea.  I have been looking with longing at this chair for years and when it hit the last chance list I convinced he who keeps the budget that all his frugality on the trip surely indicated we were meant to drive in and wrestle it home.  oooh!  It is so perfect.  Now I can settle on the paint colour for our bedroom and plan some quilts and pillows!  :)  And the curtain material I got  stole from the thrift shop looks just about perfect, too.

Same day my package from Paper Artsy popped into the mailbox.  Literally, as the wee package just fit into our rural mail box compartment.  But boy, it has lots of goodies.  Again I have been longing for the chalky effect that these paints produce.  It also seems that flowers are coming up in a big way!

The Rooster is learning we just can't drive by Michaels!  I got some beading twine for my budding jewellery maker.   The plastic envelopes I had for the grand kiddies to put their supplies in burst their zippers so now it'll be be this much and no more with the new plastic carry alls!  :(  We'll do a quick art journal technique with tags this week, hand out some inspiration pages for May,  and plan the summer to-do list as art goes all year.  While we were away our lunch came with printed deli paper.    I wiped all the Rooster's mustard and mayo off and folded them nicely into my purse!  

So I have lots of options and while I clean up and put away the suitcase I shall be deciding which project will be the first one to jump into spring with!  Whoo hoo!  The sun is smiling hugely and I have a great bouquet of ideas to lift up and sniff appreciatively!   :)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

KISSing the Finish

I've weathered the grey showers.  Sunshine and flowers are just ahead.

The grand kiddies art journals/planners are as done as an ongoing project can be.

The smash books are up to date except for one omission from Elaina's book.  Actually she is most excited by the zippered blank binder.  note to self- KISS!

I resisted bringing child #3 home because it would have meant scooping up all my half sorted piles and dumping them into baskets and onto chairs, tables, floor corners , etc.    PHEW!  Narrow escape but now I just have to deal with the scraps on the floor!

The unfortunate thing is that the first week of the month's art 101 class deals with these books.  eek!  But actually it is fresh in my mind to limit options and keep things simple.

Now to figure out the next thing.  hmmmm.   I do not feel that I wasted my money on the Unplanner class.  Lots of inspiration and tons of tutorials.  I like hard copies so I am printing out my favourites and putting them into an old binder which has all the old page protectors I saved when I 'edited' the magazine pages I had saved from all my old hobbies.  :)  When I need a project for those first of the month art 101  journal techniques I won't get sucked into the world wide web but let my fingers do the walking!  :)  I can also have the grand kiddies pick projects.  I may just need to round up some Gelli plate techniques and make another binder.  ;^)  I do luv the gelli plate and have small ones for the kiddies as they like them, too!

The yard is ready for its spring spruce up.  We did lots last fall but now it needs a bit of fine tuning to see what is what.  I'm beginning to sense the grey spring may have really passed.

But the wisdom of old age is to vary any activity so I do need inside studio projects.  ???  Shall I mess about with paints, stitching or...    Hopefully May 1st will have me gathering a bouquet of ideas that will have bloomed.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Chillaxing!

How great to see the spring flowers showing up.  The tiny crocus and squill bulbs are showing but the tulips are a long way away.

I see some stuff has disappeared like my snow drops.  I've since learned not to churn up the beds so much.  oops!

Which leads to my apology for stirring up angst in my attempt to do psycho ananlysis.  sheesh.  That isn't really like me but it has been a tough year.  I was asking the Rooster why I was so in the zone  lately.  He is an analyzer but no help.  I'd just thought I'd ask. But I am thinking  Me, you, we all need to just chillax.  What is- IS!  Note to self-  If it is working-  make happy noises and hum.  If it isn't put on some music to hum along with until the happy noises start.   

I'm reading a book.  The Paradox of Choice.  I like to limit mine.  But there are Maximizers and Satisificers.  I decide what standards and then first time it shows up, I grab it.  The Rooster is a maximizer and makes sure it is the right choice.  That involves lots of study.
Need I actually type the patience word?

We have decided to downsize.  That means moving and I think I found the place.  Top floor is ALL studio.  And the bottom needs work.  ;{  Mine was after our first month of looking.  The Rooster will be touring a quarter of our province.  :(  So I'm a tad frustrated.   LOL  I just want it all to happen asap and it'll likely take a year.  okay,  time to put on some music and make with the humming! 


My job is also frustrating.  I have discovered I am not a crafty person who likes all those kitschy/cute  things. I have dollar geraniums  and dollar store pots lined up for May but I'm not feeling the luv to paint up the pots!   I may be taking a long summer vacation.  ;^)

As soon as the Rooster's gout calms down we'll be back on the kitchen and then the yard work.  Two returns but I hope we have the right faucet.

I didn't have the separate package of ephemera and supplies for the grand kiddies so we made key chains.  They turned out really well and they were so focused.  It was a good day.

Now I'll chillax with a bit of cleaning in the studio and putting supplies in appropriate baggies!

Happy weekend and thanks for sticking with me!  


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Would you happen to know...

I have been delighted at discovering things about myself through blogland.  Identifying the good stuff and then tackling changes on the not so good makes for a happier and more productive art gal.   Keeping it simple, limiting my choices and sticking with a theme have been huge helps.   But an important key is alluding me.

I get that life is busy and while the viewing seems to be pretty consistent, comments are fewer.  That's okay.  I'm doing less commenting myself.  But I was wondering if any of my 'regular' visitors are seeing something that I am missing.  You know, the elephant in the room that no one talks about!  ;^)

The  grand kids were here for a short visit.   We talked about their books and making them simpler.  Then I spent a good ten days working on their school journals and their personal journals.  Absolutely enjoying myself and making big messes.

Josh just turned 8.  He is a techy/detail kind of guy and has a world view.  His travel method of choice is boats at this point.  Here he is making cabin doors.  :) H is more into pen drawings, cutting and gluing.  I'm keeping the list of ten for favourites.  (and their handwriting)

I hope his planner/journal reflects all that he likes. There will be less photos and more art. The circle punches, maps, and green will tie his binder together.

Eliana is 6 and is a girly girl who is comfortable with rough competitive sports.  She documents her interests with free wheeling art techniques.  She is no planner- 'let me at it'! LOL

Her drawing of a house helped confirm that houses could be her theme.  She likes turquoise, dimensional embellishments and all the messy art supplies.   .

I have concluded her art journal will fill with pages all too quickly so I gessoed all the pages of a zippered  thrift shop binder for her extras.  I hope she can release her creativity in her books.

Jolina's fourth birthday is coming up.  She likes pictures and stories.   She is also a quick study and is already grasping the concepts that I have been teaching her brother and sister in art 101.  She'll be ready to do her own thing in the near future.

I have a great theme/plan for her binder.  A nursery rhyme scrapbook packet.  I'll supplement with some colouring pages and she can make stories about all her favourite animals. 

I have solid colours, the theme papers and lots of animal stickers.   I can always add blank pages.

I, myself, am not doing the unplanner  but I will use the weekly videos and tutorials for ideas.  Once a month we will learn a technique to use in these art journals though.

I LUVED doing all the sorting, planning, gluing.  I felt like I was in the creative zone and didn't want to stop.   So why can I not translate that momentum, that commitment, that  joy into my own finished products???  I try to do as good work in these binders as I do in my own.   Is mine work and theirs fun? :\

oh, dear.  If you can see the elephant that I am dancing around please do tell! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stirring music

It was a musical field trip on Monday as we joined throngs of kids for some musical movements at the concert hall.  Stirring performances from the junior and then the intermediate orchestras.  The senior youth orchestra was scheduled for the evening.

That meant a bit more updating on the smash books which are really chronicling the school year.
I do enjoy prepping these for the kids.  These  have more of my handiwork as I layout and glue in the pages, keeping in mind we need to end up on the last page at the end of year celebration.  I do leave sticker room and some blank pages for them.


Because I want them to journal on their own,  I gave Joshua a planner for himself which morphed into a fancy binder .   What can I say; it was the perfect cover for him!   Well, now the sisters need planners.  :O   But there were no more 3 ring binders like their brother's anywhere.  Not online but  I did look high and low. 

It finally dawned on me that keeping up their three journals doesn't leave a lot of incentive for my own which had just happened to come  with TWO three ring binders.  So what is a grand Gramelle to do???  lol

I spent another whole day and a half dividing up my 'stuff' and organizing everything.  What fun!  The Rooster had to drag me off to bed where I lay for a bit shuffling stickers in my mind instead of sheep.  awk!  Reality check.  They are gonna do these.  Not me! So today I focused.  Josh likes charts, details and the travel theme.   I even found some vintage plan pages! 

 Eliana is NO planner and wants to show case her art.   So she will have one calendar page for each month and LOTS of white mixed media paper. The binders for the unplanner project aren't quite as wide but they work.  The covers are heavy  craft coloured cardboard for personalizing.  I have two stencils to differentiate between the girls.  They can 'art' them up themselves now.

 Jolina, I suspect just wants story pages and pictures.  I found a pad of nursery rhyme papers from her aunt's stash!  She is all about dollies and animals but really likes drawing and colouring.  I have a colouring book I can photocopy come to think about it!   'scuse me while I add that to the pile. ;^) 

 Now today I need to march to the beat of their music! 

They are coming tomorrow and are bringing their stuff.  We shall upgrade and I'll send them each home with a package of papers and stickers and stuff.  I'm deciding about holding back the coming months and just giving them out as each month begins.   Might be less overwhelming and I can oogle what they have done. 


What did I get out of this?  A great cymbal  smash!   I hardly stopped for breaks.  So much fun.  Now how can I translate this happy sorting,  planning,  and making into my own art/collage works?

hmmm:

There is no waiting for stuff to dry, possible because I am working on three.  Series work?

 There is the challenge of unity and variety as I pull from the materials at hand.  Challenge baskets?

There is a purpose, a flow.   Story telling?

All I know is I'm mojoing right along.  A few coughs but they are last gasps.  I slipped out to do the chickens in my light sweater.  :)  The sun is Shining!   April showers are forecast but...

I do believe it is pretty much brass band marches that I'm a hearing and marching with.  Three cheers for SPRING!

Bing. Bang.  BOOM!!!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Time lost


Getting the grand kiddies Smash books up to date made me realize how far behind I really am.  Somehow I lost an whole month.  gee!

Everything seems to be yes, no or maybe so.  This applies to Spring, health and energy levels.  But it is definitely time to embellish and move on.

 Josh spent an eventful week and I had to add pages.

Eliana packed in a lot of good stuff during her stay.

Jolina was a part of some important decisions.

We have pages for all the important holidays.

And some of the everyday life stuff!

They have some room for personal reflections.  But it is time to move on because the swimming suits are replacing the skates and the calendar pages are a flipping.   Now what is next???

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Whatever your hand finds to do



March's malady seems to be convinced finally that we are in a new era and is beginning to let go.   My energy level is rising.  :)

My KISS motto is working so well I'm adding a second principle-  The Next Thing First.   |No more grandiose plans just whatever my hand finds in the pile is what will happen next!

Friday, April 1, 2016

April- No Fooling!

  Here we go again with the white stuff.  I'm not sure how March came in but whether it was a lamb or a lion it still hasn't decided what the ending will be.  The joke seems to be on us! :)  But then maybe a nice clean slate is a good idea! 


In reviewing my failed attempts for my first ambitious quarter, I am taking my KISS motto back to basics.  Fabric is my first luv and collage is a close second.  Stitch it all together with words and maybe I might have a story to tell.  And here I go again, no fooling!   8^)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Keep It Simple Spring



Luving my word/motto for the year.  It keeps pulling me back to basics.

I get three balls in the air and then I think okay, here is another and...  Balls start dropping.  We really do arrive to the level of our incompetence!  Mine seems to be only those few balls and then problems arise.

So...

Unplanner-  I have tried about 3 times and all have short term success.  Time to quit daily/weekly journals.

Classes are okay as long as I'm not expected to actually do anything.  Are they worth the info???

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hopping

Spring rushed in all green and early.  Then it hopped back out and hasn't settled down yet.  That's okay.  We aren't quite ready to start up the lawnmowers! 

The Rooster and I were all set to make real progress on the kitchen sink wall last weekend.  Then the grand kiddie's mother got sick so I brought home two kids.   Turns out they weren't too perky and we never got  a lot done.   Mind you man handling that farm sink about did us in!  lol

The easiest thing was to keep adjusting the cupboard on top of the sink and I think we got it.  But we were pooped!

We did take the kiddies back but forgot to send the germs with them.  :(  So putting everything right side up and lining up the two side cupboards will wait till the energy level rises.  I'm kinda glad to see March marching/hopping and I'm hoping for showers of good stuff in April.  :^)