Friday, July 28, 2017

Creative Instruction

Art 101  The grand kiddies are home schooled.  Their mother and I have a vision for the art program.  It is not about doing crafts which does not thrill me at all.  So I totally am on board with the art program including art history, nature studies/journaling, techniques and Understanding.  We all are learning as we go along.  A new year is approaching and the ideas are rolling in.  When I heard that Pablo Picasso was being featured at The Winnipeg Art Gallery,   The WAG , I did some research and thought we need to do this!  I have coveted a big gallery experience for them and kinda thought they might be a bit young.  The youngest, 5, did indeed think so as there wasn't a lot of colour in his palette and there were a lot of sketches which were hung at an adult's eye level.  :[  But we all enjoyed it so very much and learnt LOTS!

It is a very big experience for little art students and was totally kid friendly. 

 I am learning right along with my students.  We knew not to touch.   I was reading the questions specifically for kids  when Josh sat down on the platform.  Photos with no flash are okay.  A photo opportunity!!!   I 'felt' someone come to stand behind me as I talked about art to the kids and got my camera ready and the photo taken.  You now see a NO! NO!  The nice security man listened and smiled and then told me the platform is a buffer and not to be touched either!  oops.  But he was very nice as were all the staff.

Incidentally this is where understanding comes in.  Picasso was a master class artist and could do remarkably life like portraits by the time he was 14 years old.  But his intense passion was to do more than paint likenesses.  He wanted to paint what HE saw and what HE felt.  Above is a portrait of him, his wife, and his son.  Can you see three faces?   He spent most of his 91 years trying to unlearn the traditions and learn to paint like a child.  That resonates with me because if I want I can just use my camera to record images.  Portraying what I see and feel is an whole 'nother matter altogether.

The kids centre was wonderful.   In fact some adults tried things as well.   Framed glass was available to trace one's friends and make art.  Josh did Jolina and Eliana did me!

Then Josh got very busy.  We had spent time talking about lines and shape on a small painting we'd seen and he was replicating it from memory.  I was SO impressed.  He ran off to check and came back and confirmed it was the same!  ;^)

Picasso was very prolific and worked in many mediums. Jolina liked the pottery and plates best as they had more colour.   I had known that he also did collage, my and Eliana's favourite!

After a lovely roof top lunch and the sculpture garden we went to the permanent gallery.  Perhaps we should have gone there first at it portrays the history of art.  We will definitely be returning after we have studied that a bit more.

Eliana just lighted up when she saw the art supplies in the gift shop.  Jolina had a wish list as well.  Josh went for big works of art and surprisingly the jewelry!  He learned about big numbers! :/   But I wanted 'souvenirs' that would further our studies. These were for sharing but the 9 magnets are reminders but very easy for Jolina to copy.  The wee puzzle helps Eliana stop and see all the details.  The cards will provide details for Josh and also familiarize them all with artists and their works.  The book is a treat.  Very instructive and interactive, finishing with two sheets of collage parts.  I'll photocopy them for the young artists to practice with. ( and me ,too)   I just may have blown the art budget for the first trimester but...

Interestingly enough creativity overlaps into many areas of our life.  I am trying to find creative ways to clothe myself.  I bought some fashion books as well as art books.  I was amazed by Timeless Beauty which uses art as examples of how to create beautiful profiles and silhouettes!  It will spend as much time in the art room as it will my sewing room and closet!  And Mona Winks is a delightfully short but entertaining explanation of various museums which favour the certain eras. You kinda feel like you are there and  he is a hoot! 

I have learned  that grey is a good neutral for me and silver is such a great accessory.  I had thought glitter and  metallics were for the young girly girls. No!  It adds such highlights to our aging bodies.  I am a believer and I may not be a girly girl but I can sure be a senior with sparkle!   Now to find the perfect purse so I can spark some creativity!  The museum silk scarves were way beyond my budget, even with creative refiguring!  lol

Garden wise we have been trying to get everything lovely for next year and the new owners.  This year the blooms have been remarkable both on the trees and shrubs as well as the perennials.  This has been more practical instruction as I observe the length of time for the trees to reach maturity as well asthe  expansion tendencies of shrubs and perennials.  I'm taking note of favourites, (green /white variegation's) and pleasing groupings.  Maintenance levels are also dully noted!  And I don't think we'll be having any vines other than clematis.  The Rooster is right!  If they were once well behaved, they have left that stage far behind!  I am kinda excited to leave this one in good shape and turn to making another creation.

Instruction is always good, even constructive criticism.  It just helps us be that much more creative!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Complex Creativity

Summer should be spent in a comfy chair, on a deck by cool running water with some nice cold lemonade close at hand.

Not the case here by any means as we clock up the miles scouring the highways and byways and then returning to tackle the near and far corners of our current yard.

First up, the Rooster has fallen in love with 5 acres of meadow in a wee town.  Just houses, 2 churches (graveyards), a community hall and a post office in some one's porch.  But it is looking most promising!  The site is a lush wildflower meadow and the trees/bush are on the perimeter.  It has what us flatlanders call a hill!  lol  See those round bales on it!  That would be a good place for a house.  Which leads me to my first creative endeavour that doesn't involve any of my messy supplies.

As a young fiancee, my Rooster promised me a new house!  It just hasn't been something I have held him to but he can't help mentioning that it may take 50 years but...  We'll see.  Way too many options but I do know what we like and how we actually do life.  So from 3 plans to a few tweaks on the favourite and then will be the tally!

Since the actual house plan went fairly smoothly I began to think about the outside.  I did take a landscape course way back when.  I have managed to save the best resources and went to hunt them from the depths of the book closet!  Oh, FUN!!!   This will give us lots of things to talk about during those cold winter months.   The trick will be to contain our enthusiasm to match our energy and resources!

My very favourite book is Outside the Not so Big House.  I am putting all kinds of sticky notes on the page edges!  I do like the 'not so big' concept.  The Rooster is particularly interested in the maintenance aspect!  lol

While our house is sold we will maintain the yard until we have our own place secured.  So we have been making sure all the grass is cut and trimmed.  Sadly the young trees that were to protect the big barn roof didn't survive the winter/spring turn over, except one (?),  but everything else is lush and almost too bountiful.

Remember the blue coop?  That was from that landscape course brainstorming!  And it is off in a far corner!  :/

I am still thoroughly enjoying the 40+ style club.  This month is colour and we are encouraged to get creative with our neutrals and our colour combinations.  I am a cool winter, and a low to medium contrast.  I do have an odd pull to warm colours and since colour can be complicated I wondered if this gal, ColorBreeze,  might have something to add.  She bases her concept on Albert Munsell's colour tree which totally resonates with me as I like his colours.

 Wouldn't this make a great colouring page for the grand kiddies!

Another fascinating fashion tool is beauty bundles!  Since I adore making up vignettes, this totally captivates me.  Who knew one could make an whole outfit around choosing a few items from a beauty bundle.  Pick your favourite neutral and get creative!  I don't have a lot of red so scooped up some beads to make some creative accessories!

At the bridal shower we attended over the weekend  they had props for taking fun photos.  The girls picked their favourite beauty bundles!

And of course their mother is planning for next year's home school curriculum and wants a staff meeting with the art department!  moi!   Jolina (5) just had a birthday and wanted art supplies.  While I drove her home she was busy opening things and trying them out!  She has been my keenest art student and her official school start is this fall so I need to come up with lots of creative projects.

And one last photo to remind us all to stop and smell the roses even when summer is at its busiest and most creative!  pst!  Those are lilies and smell heavenly!  The white roses are way at the end and the very last ones beat the lilies hands down for fragrance!   :)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Embracing white and red

I have just had an amazing week.  No! No news on the housing front.  I am reconciling to another winter here.  But...

Before I reconciled that,  I consoled myself with playing around with OOTD's which are outfits of the day.  In my case that is pretty casual..  I wore a comfy outfit all day and when I went to post it to the 40+ style club  private FB page I realized I hadn't felt uplifted.  Hmm, why not?  My conclusion was that it was primarily a warm palette and I am a cool winter.   What we wear does affect how we feel.  You know the motto- Dress for Success!  Then I got to making my ootd's in neutrals.  Stone/beige is tricky.  All white is a stretch for this messy gal.   But greys ...

This could be my look!  Now to add some colour, but not piles as too much colour seems to overwhelm me.

Here are the details I posted:

#ellenpukalo #hourglass
Ready or not! Momentous week. OOTD had me working with neutrals. Colour I have a handle on. Contrast I get, sort of. Value even in quilting is my struggle. So low value contrast causes me angst! Ditched all black. Not too smart because I just eliminated a lovely distinguishing line. edgy, Tracy? Light neutrals and a hint of soft femininity, Sally. ( 'member I wanna be sweet). Guess that means I load up on white cause beige is tricky for me since I am reconciled to not being a warm winter. lol So what cubby hole did I stash all the tints in? grey- silver and all the lovely other light to medium greys. duh!
My style as it continues to evolve: A- amiable, red is one of the colours that draws people in.(learned that in public speaking) Full out red and white is more contrast than I want/need. Therefore, A- is for accessories! A little dab will do you! And they don't have to scream like a scarlet letter. oye! red running shoes, Autumn ;) B- backgrounds, my light and going to be versatile and interesting neutrals! yay! C- creativity shown with accessories on my background canvas (note the c) and my soon to be revived sewing skills! (help Deborah)
Hope I am not unrealistically optimistic (tis my nature/style) but I have managed this month to somewhat gather and corral all the galloping and wildly plunging ponies in my personal style stable and head through the colour gate for July! whoo hoo Ruth Essex   Gosh, Canada has a birthday and EVERYTHING is red and white especially this weekend! ha, I'll be right in style.
I have included my neutrals in the comments. Note this isn't so much about styling- just figuring my backdrop. Get out your red pencils all you 40+ers!

And then these were the various options:
This is what I would hope is more stone than that common pink beige. Even with some accessorizing with colour it is pretty blah.

actually I'm a bit stumped to accessorize.

ivory? not so hot, how about we call it a tint of hopefully clear cool yellow. I was hoping anyway!

a little edge? A lot of creativity. I did make the tote.

So the 'best' ??? for last. white, black, grey This is where I learned black with white spots is very different from white with black spots!

Hitting my stride!

I had this fabric in my considerable stash and thought hmmm.  Not flowers.  I am not a floral person and turns out flowers/prints relate best on gals with lots of highlights (texture to their hair).  I am light and sleek.  I hadn't known that but I have never been much for prints, especially small prints.  This fabric shows lots of colour tint options and some edgy X's to bump things up from blah.

Then I went to have my shower and now the whole FB site knows I posted in my jammies!  lol 

I just LUV, LUV, LUV! my IKEA shower curtain.  Lots of white, some smooshy, watercoloury, tints that are a light/medium value, and that lovely black line!  BINGO!

 The topic for 40plusstyle club in July is colour and I must admit that Ruth Essex has so changed my perceptions with her insight into the looks we put up on the site.  She tells us why or why not it works.  So helpful and now she is doing the master class for this month.  Here is a video I snagged to show you why I think July is gonna be a red letter month!  If this link doesn't work it can be viewed on the public FB page-

S0...  OOTD and accessorizing. I need a red statement necklace.   Actually, I am pretty pumped.  Home decor, personal clothing style and a focus for my fibre arts and even my jewelry making justification (all those beads but no big red ones) is all starting to make sense.  I'm a little bit, well, maybe a lot, ADD when it comes to colours and style so all this understanding could be a good anchor.    Looks like I really have something to celebrate!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Long time, no see...


Sometimes it just marches along and other times there is a big missed step and...

My phone crashed.  It is my main communication device.  It is my phone, my camera, and my Internet connection for all things in the cyber world.  Not necessarily a complicated fix, or so I thought.  I just went in to get a new phone at the old office; different brand as this was twice in less than a year. They are the 'new' office and can't help me.   Our provincial telecommunications network was bought out by a bigger national network and they had to pass some of the customers on to a third network. So I had to go to a bigger centre where the old office still functioned.  Guess who got caught in the crack???  :/  You wouldn't think removing a red flag from my old and first choice  network would be too hard.  It took 5-7 working days to put me back where I had never wanted to leave!  grrrr!  But I have a new phone and the learning curve seems manageable.   I think!

We found a perfect place to retire.  Lovely piece of land in a small town.  We found a plan for a modest home.  I got kinda excited and began planning my playroom!  Seems the 7 people on the title were not all aware of the sale and definitely not in agreement.  So while they squabble we have moved on.  vbsigh

The weather has actually been rather cold and miserable but the flowers seem to luv it.  Amazing blossoms this year.  The Rooster kept up with the grass but I think we'll be taking an hiatus from traveling the country to staying home this long weekend and weeding flower beds!

I had all my garments for the summer capsule ready to go and only posted one before the crash.  I was so behind.  Then I was busy catching up with all the gals and one comment got me thinking.  I have been learning LOTS with the challenges but not really identifying my own style.  So rather than catch up I'm going to finish the month with favourite OOTD, outfits of the day.  I'll start with ABC's- Approachable, Basic and a small c creative.  If home decor is a good base for identifying style I like a more neutral background and lots of vignettes.  So I'm thinking monochromatic clothes and make it personal and eye popping with contrasting accessories which  can show off my creativity.  I'm thinking sewing totes, and making jewelry.

The grand kiddies have been busy doing year end field trips so we haven't done too much art.   A visit to Lower Fort Garry was on the agenda.  All but one of our kids did volunteer work at the fort where they dressed in period costumes.  So the kiddies were right up to speed and interested.

They could chose an activity after the tour and they chose drill as a new North West Mounted Police recruit.  Hilarious!  I am waiting for DD's photos but these young kids hardly know their left from their right!  They had red jackets and wooden rifles and a stiff young Sergeant who kept yelling "chaos, chaos" !  Good thing this particular military stone fort never actually saw any battles!

The longest day of summer has slipped by.  Time to smell the roses while they are blooming.

I think I am also ready to get into formation. My playrooms haven't seen much of me. I know the drill but should settle down and quit fixating and fussing on where we'll be going and just march along however long it may take.  Right. Right. Right, Left, Right!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Sweet Spot

Time to go back and visit with DD#1.  I have eaten all my candied ginger!

But other sweet things are happening!

Hi, Ellen Pukalo!
Here are your stats for May.​ 29 - Jun.​ 4
Best Day! 10,188 Tue. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun.

61,993 total steps
22,631 more than last week

I did gain 2 pounds last month.  Might have been all the sweet things that I did/ate while away.  I have been using my Fitbit and one kind lady says muscle weighs more than fat but unfortunately I didn't walk that much.  But I have discovered that I can rotate around the dining room table as I think.  Way better than sitting in my comfy chair with a cup of coffee!
With the Rooster's retirement looming on the calendar, I have been trying to up my at home/chore/casual look.   The 40+ gals are wonderfully helpful but I don't see make up, hair up-do's, and accessorizing as part of my shuffle, yawn, and sip coffee morning routine even if there are classier chicks out there.  Ha!  I will perhaps give it some thought as I rotate around the table while my dearie enumerates the day's projects.

 But the club did have an eye opening video on using scarves.  Did you know that wetting a scarf and putting it around your neck instantly lowers your core temperature.  !!!

But it would be good to perk myself up with some colour at my face.  The small square silky scarf!  Easy Peasy!  Next will be to see if I actually dare to whip out for the mail dressed like this!  When is one the right age to not care what the neighbours think!  sheesh!   Well, no sooner said typed than one came knocking and apparently my new look made little impression on him.  He only had eyes for the Rooster's old tractor!  lol

But just think what the effect would be on my art!
uh. oh!  Now I have to find a beret for messy hair days!  lol

I'm still trying to find good cheap paper for the grandkiddies nature journals.  I did find finger painting paper at the dollar store but it is pretty shiney!  My grand students arrive tomorrow to spend  the weekend.  We'll have lots to study as they are available for hire on the yard!  They have a long Lego wish list!  lol 

We are going back to recheck the property we liked to see if it still has a sweet savour.  It will also be to count stones.  The yard area seemed to have a number of significant number of challenges for a lawnmower!

Looking forward to a sweet weekend!