Friday, May 27, 2016

I Quit


                                                                 Isabelle... frankly: No entry
 My job, that is!  My foray into the job market, such as it was, lasted only a few years and degenerated into making cute crafts.  I don't 'do' cute crafts with any kind of enthusiasm.  So I have retired.  That snort you hear is from the Rooster.  He says, no retirement for me!   ahem...   Seems I am back to being a 'kept' woman but I steadfastly refuse to clear a shelf for cook books.  (see below)   LOL

So I spent my last cheque on art supplies.  'Course I am going to have to quit spending money I no longer earn.  Rooster?  What kind of pie did you request?   Ha, I don't do pies either.  :(   But he is good to his old biddy but doesn't quite understand why I need more when he looks around at two full rooms.  :O  The wee paycheque did eliminate long discussions!  vbsigh

I also got two inspiring books.  E books, though cheaper, are not very satisfying for thumbing through and then propping open for reference.  ;^)   But I also need to quit looking for empty spaces in my bookcase.  There isn't any.

But the local library never seems to tire of my request for books.  The one gal is retiring but I'm sure she has trained her replacement to accept my various lists. My list never end. These will be for the grand kiddies and art 101 which I will endeavour to keep from becoming too cute!

And I must never quit learning myself.  So if a children's book works...

I do have lots to do so the rain could quit anytime.   Weeds never quit and  I have a few more flower beds to tidy up.  :) 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A memorable weekend

The Victoria Day weekend can be lots of things.  The Rooster and I, his chick, were discussing that it is likely THE holiday that is most looked forward to by Canadians.  The long winter/spring has lost its grip and summer is flinging her finery all about.  True, sometimes her snow white slip sometimes shows, but it is only a tease.  We know summer is on her way!

The bedding plants are ready to be designated as the next thing first.  Rain is on the radar.  My hope is to get the majority of mine in the ground.  The Rooster will do the veggie beds.

The dandelions have gotten away on us.  Again!   They will have our full attention come fall.  But the flowerbeds have the fewest weeds ever!!!  My pansies tend to over winter occasionally.  This fern leaf peony was a splurge last year and I'm delighted it is possibly as hardy as the old garden peony.

We made slow but encouraging progress on the kitchen.  The Rooster is muttering about giving up his contractor/handyman papers but when he gets the quotes he quits crowing and spreads his wings.  Thanks, dearie!

Before we cut the grass we donned our rubber boots and grabbed the pruners and headed off along both sides of the driveway and ditch that fronts our property.  Those gosh awful, nasty, disgusting forest tent caterpillars had a significant foothold on the trees.  So we cut off all we saw and burned them.  :(  None too soon as they were already beginning to travel away from their nests.  Then after we cut the grass we had to deal with the wood ticks.  sheesh!

I luv the smell of chokecherries as the smell of the blossoms wafts in the windows.  I like to hear the birds moving about in the branches.  Unfortunately black knot and  forest tent caterpillars have an affinity with the bushes, of which we have many.  But there is nothing like chokecherry jam (or wine)  if you can pick the berries before the birds all descend!

It is on my mind to make a garden journal.  I had set aside a kit with a fabric foam cover and rings for it and gathered some scrapbook paper.  Then I remembered the bulb book I'd gotten at the thrift store and  think it will serve better as a 'year in the garden' book.  So far I  have removed the inside pages and used black gesso on the cover.  I am taking lots of pictures.  I also discovered some flowers I'd dried and I may try some mono printing

 I just finished Queen Victoria's biography and watched the movie Victoria.  She was a very memorable and  creative lady!   Now if I can only be half as dedicated to journaling my memories as she was!  ;^)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Spring rush

The rain seems to have quit but the frost sure hasn't.  I'm still dragging the transplants in and out.

But in spite of lawn mower breakdowns and repairs we are up to date on the grass cutting.  Last year's trees are all looking good.  Now to keep my lawn mower away from them.  I do like to cut as close as I can!  eek!

The kitchen sink is back within the top 3 items of the list.  I saw a question on face book asking if anyone hand washed dishes anymore.  Yes, and now I am back to the old basin set up.  lol  Can't wait to hand wash in my new porcelain sink! 

I'm just itching to play on a big canvas but the next thing to do is a handmade book for a young graduate.  This a young man who is into hunting, fishing, golfing so that will be a bit different from my usual.  I shall enjoy the challenge.

The Next Thing First has some changeable aspects this week.  ;^) I also hope the magpie nest in the upper right has its building permit revoked and the pair change locations.  They are not nice birds.  Fast nest builders but not nice tenants!  The robin in the potting shed is hoping I don't arrive too soon as well.  ;^)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stick'n to it!

I have spent some time gathering a selection of monoprinting techniques into a binder.   I was ready for a bit of play time and it was also time to let the grand kiddies get messy in art 101.  With their planners still at the forefront of my mind, and a few Avery label sheets on hand, I decided that we'd make our own stickers.

I had the various circle labels which are an easy peel away sticker.  But I also had some plain sheets for customizing.  I got my samples prepared for class.

 Adding an extra student to the mix made it somewhat harder to stick to the plan.  sheesh!  This was the calm before the paint got on my good sweater!  :(  DD was hiding out in a quieter corner but to be fair, she had hinted at the new dynamics this young lady added to the mix.  We cleaned everything up.  Washing the gelli plates and supplies proved more fun than anything previous. :O

Once we were relatively dry we started cutting stamps.  Some of my punches are second hand buys and are not too very sharp which is challenging for the kids.   But it introduced them to future creative options. 

I did bring Jolina home with me and we stopped off to buy an art supply that I'd been contemplating.  ;^)  The Big Shot, which should help out future classes!  These two wee dies were extras and way too fiddly for me but they were definitely a hit with the youngest grand kiddie.   Now we can really roll out stickers!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Springing up the place.

I planted a grape vine years ago.  It was to fill a fence to separate the side lawn from the chicken coop area.  That darn vine did give wee glimpses of tiny fruit but I think it put ALL its energy into reaching for the tops of the tees.  I pruned.  And pruned!  It pulled one fence post over.  This year I began to rein it in one more time and got slightly over heated.  :(  "Rooster, bring that green machine of yours over here with a serious chain."  woosh!  Darn, wasn't that easy!  Shoulda done it before now.  Hmm, plant possibilities here!!!  But perhaps I/we should give this old potting shed some TLC first!
New gravel and a plan for the south wall garden bed.  I am delighted that this tree like shrub (dogwood) whose name escapes me, is looking like it is ready to take on feature plant status!

This year our summer plan and fall prep work has paid off.  We actually have a head start on the season's weeds.  whoo hoo!

The Rooster shouldn't even be looking at shrubs as we determined no watering new plantings this year.  The vision is projects like the aforementioned potting shed.  So we got some annuals which I'm thinking wasn't such a hot idea as I will be hauling them in and out every day till the frost warnings cease. :(  But it is hard to resist the optimism that spring brings!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Flower Delivery


It does look like spring.  It even smells like spring.  Robins are hopping around.  And what better  way to embrace spring than with an armful of inspiration!

I won  the Happy Easter Spring Giveaway that my good friend Leslie McNeil, of Montana hosted on her new and very inspiring website- MarveLes Art Studios where she is 'Born To Live Art'!  She very generously shares her expertise with tips, tutorials and classes.

 I could not resist playing with all the flowers and I can't wait to clear some space on my sewing table.  I had tried collage a number of years ago and really liked it.  I had not yet and possibly can't claim a complete victory even now,  over my compulsion to be always flitting away trying something new.   But my KISS motto, which is now updated to Keep It SUPER Simple is giving me hope.  I am sew ready to embrace collage as a series .  If not first, it will be high on my priority list for doing The Next Thing First. And it will be a series 'cause this is just sew very much fun.  And the ideas!  She has the cutest Love Bug pattern.  And really, you can fill most any container with blossoms!  That spring umbrella!!!

Thank you, Leslie!   You are such an encouragement and inspiration for me.  I'm hoping that someday we will get to sit down across the table, under that big sky, with a cup of coffee and sniff these bouquets that friendship brings and count our blessings.  Bless you!

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


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!