Monday, April 21, 2014

Exciting News!

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great long weekend!

I can finally share with you some exciting news: A few weeks ago, I was invited by three amazing women, Jenna Drolet, Erin Miller and Christine Ha to join them in writing for their blog, NMO Diaries. The invitation came as a complete surprise and I was very pleased to humbly accept. The official announcement is on the blog today and my first post will be up next Monday. If you'd like to follow along, you can find us here

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Scenes From A Weekend

Thursday night, dinner with my husband at OSF. We love their BamBam Shrimp. So nice to not have to cook after a long commute to UBC. I had an interview with a doctor/professor who is here from the UK to learn about the Health Mentors program and see if it's something that can implement in their country to better the education of their health care professionals. It was a fascinating conversation and I'll be interested in hearing what the outcome is. Amazing to think Health Mentors here are potentially having an impact on the future of health care in the UK!

Friday: We were up and out early to Granville Island since this was the only day forcasted as sunny this weekend and we wanted to spend as much of it outdoors as possible. Indy got a good walk, I got to shoot some photographs, (Don'tcha just love this graffiti?) and we all got to lunch in the sunshine. It felt so good to soak up some vitamin D! The innumerable ornamental cherry trees that are so common here are thick with blooms. Their branches are hanging low they are so loaded.

Of course what's a trip to Granville Island without a wee bit of retail therapy? I discovered that The Cloth Shop has moved to the island-not sure why I hadn't noticed it there before...granted, it is tucked away on a back corner, so it's not entirely obvious. Anyway, they have evolved into a store that is carrying mostly modern style fabrics! I had to have this piece which seemed so collage-y to me. It kind of looks red in this photo, but it's actually a very vibrant orange. I even love the salvage! Really, I wanted to buy more, but I'll visit again next time I'm out there.

I've been looking for these stamps for awhile now and happened to spot it at Paper Ya yesterday. $14 for this charming set.

Too cute! I like that it reminds me of pictures from a 1950's reader.

I made granola from scratch yesterday afternoon. I had some for brekki this morning. It was delicious. 

Today I am taking my husband to this amazing Italian grocery I just found out about and then I am meeting a friend for coffee on Commercial Drive. (A trendy/funky part of town.) It's already been a busy weekend and it's only Saturday! I see a nap in my future!

P.S. Some exciting news is *almost* read to share...stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I managed to work on one of my paintings yesterday after all. It's by no means finished, but I am happy working on it as the spirits move me. I wish the light were better in the studio today so the photos would be truer, but it's pouring rain and dark out. 

It's interesting to see the progression. As you can see I added thins and then painted them out again. It's quite a forgiving process. I haven't moved on the first painting this week. I am not sure what I want to do with it yet. I have another blank canvass sitting here and I may just lay some paint down on that one later tonight.

I forgot to post this photo of all the 15 little quiltlets I stitched for a exchange I am in. It's for a Teesha Moore style project. It was a true labour of love making these, as it's really difficult to stitch with hands you can't feel. Imagine trying to thread a needle wearing oven mitts and you'll have some idea what it's like. 

Despite the challenge, it was fun to pick through my collections of vintage celluloid, Bakelite and mother of pearl buttons and to find that perfect scrap of lace for each one. I used mostly Aunt Gracie reproduction 1920 and 30's fabrics. I sent the whole lot off and am now awaiting the returns. I am sure they will be beautiful! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finding A Sweet Spot

This is the second canvass I worked on last week. I started by laying down some purples and greys and didn't like it at all. The good thing about painting is that if you don't like something, you can paint over it, again and again...and again and again if need be. Yes, that actually happens. As I was painting over the displeasing parts for the umpteenth time, this small section of yellow/orange was left and I decided I really liked it.

I had this old photo of a lifeguard which I love-just look at that bathing suit-what's not to love!?! I wanted to create a rough circle around the sweet spot where the photo would go, so I ran to our cupboard and stole the lid off an unopened tin of my husband's coffee. (Fortunately, he's used to me doing this sort of thing and didn't mind when I mentioned it later.) I mixed some red paint with a hint of black and then ran the rim of the lid around in it before using it to "stamp" the circle onto my canvass. I wanted it to look rough so I twisted the lid as I pressed and then added some circle lines afterwards with a stabillio pencil.

That's as far as I went because I wanted to wait and see what techniques we'd be learning this week. There are four new ones, so now I can move on. The only thing is that now I am in the middle of a miserable hay fever attack so I haven't felt up to painting yet this week. I hate losing momentum, but it is what it is. In the meantime, I'm couch surfing, drinking tea and watching documentaries on Nextflix. As soon as I feel better, I'll be diving right back in.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Laying It Down

The 6 week online class Daring Adventures in Paint started today. I spent the morning laying paint down on my first canvas. As I was doing it, I kept reminding myself not to get too invested to anything that was happening because I knew I was building layers and things could change. This was very freeing because if I did something I really didn't like (and yes, that really did happen!) I could simply paint over it. What you see above is where I called it good.

I kinda liked the weird little purple cloud that appeared so I wanted to keep that part and I added some raindrops. Unfortunately, I took this photo at night in my studio, so the colours look washed out, rather than vibrant like they are in real life, but you get the gist. I'll try and remember to get a better photo tomorrow before I continue working on it.  I also added the chevrons, which are actually quite textured. They built up from the surface of the painting. I like that too.

I decided to stop here for today because there is a lesson every day this week and I don't want to get so far ahead that I can't try things as they unfold. Sadly, my day tomorrow is taken up with medical stuff. (I am half temped to fashion a bumper sticker that says "I'd rather be painting." and plaster it across my forehead when I go to the neuro's...truth in advertising people!) 

Tomorrow my goal is to get back to the studio as fast as I can.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Playing With Paint

Last Sunday, my friend Penn hosted a Gelli printing party. There were 10 of us playing with paint and munching snacks and having a really good time.

I bought a whole bunch of new stencils for my birthday, so I got to test drive them. I also shared them around so others could play with them. They are all nice and painty now.

These are a few of my prints. The wonky circle has become my new favourite. 

I've just set up my studio for the 6 week online painting class I am taking with Mati Rose. It begins on Saturday and was my birthday gift to myself. I can't wait! I just need to run out and get 6 canvasses, since we'll be painting one a week. 

I am excited about this class because while I've taken a few layering classes, I've never actually worked on a large canvas before. I have no idea if I'll even be good at this, but I'm excited to find out. Every time I do something outside of my comfort zone, I love the part where I get to uncover things I didn't know about myself-talents I didn't know I had, personal insights or fresh creative ideas that just pop into my head. That for me is the thrill of learning. My goal is to create at least one painting that I would like to hang in my home. I'll let you know how that goes!

In other news, I am preparing to speak at the Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses conference in a couple of weeks. I'll be sharing my experience of NMO. I am also working with my Health Mentor students to prepare for the symposium that happens at the end of the month. It's a busy time!

This morning I had a conversation with someone about a very cool opportunity they wanted to offer me. I've accepted and will share more about that soon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Birthday Weekend

So...Saturday, the 22nd was my birthday. Unfortunately it didn't turn out quite like I'd planned. Friday night, our car's "Service Engine Soon" light came on. (What does "soon" mean, anyway?) We ran it in to the mechanic for a diagnostic first thing Saturday morning and the news was not good-we had to shell out over $660 in repairs. OUCH! Happy birthday to me.

In the afternoon, we met up with my son and his girlfriend and went to see Non-Stop with Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and the woman who plays Mary on Downton Abbey, Michelle Dockery. It was actually really good-we didn't know who the bad guys are until the very end. It kept all of us guessing.

Afterwards, we went out for dinner and then home for Tiramisu cake.

Sunday morning, I spent the morning shopping for art supplies with my birthday money. I love paper, so these were the three I had to have.

I am taking a 6 week painting course that begins soon, so I wanted to pick up a few new stencils. Here are the ones I chose: 

This one is by Stencil Girl, which is my friend Mary Beth Shaw. So wonderful to see her having success! I would have bought more from her line, but this was the only stencil they had of hers.

I also popped into a dollar store to get an charger adapter for my husband's iPod and came across this chipboard set. I bought it for the pencils.

I also popped by the fabric store and fell in love with the fabric on the left. This is going to make me a really nice journal!

I spent the afternoon with my best friend, seeing another movie. It was nice to get out for a bit-I've been feeling pretty bad since the beginning of the year  (which is why I've been a bit quiet) and am currently totally deaf in my good ear. I've got medicine and go back to see my doc tomorrow. If it's not resolved, then it will mean an emergency trip to an ENT. I'd like to avoid that.

My friend Andrea, who was guiding a visually impaired skier at the Sochi Paralympics said she's sent me something for my birthday. My bet's it's something from Russia! I can't wait to see what it is!

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes. xo