Monday, October 31, 2011

Multitudes on Monday

Happy Hallowe'en everyone!

Time once to share blessings or gratitudes or just what we are thankful for. Be sure to check out "A Holy Experience" for many blessings!

I am so grateful for:

21. a visit with my youngest and his girlfriend

22. time to visit with my husband's brother on his own

23. our turkey dinner on Saturday and then leftovers on Sunday

24. the fun of Hallowe'en at school today

25. more gifts in the mail this past week

26. that our cat has been checked out and is healthy - even at 19

27. pumpkin pie with whipped cream

28. our jacuzzi that eases pain

29. new books to read (including the new Steve Jobs book)

30. lovely comments to my posts - thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Very varied this week, with rain and clouds and much cooler weather. Winter is on its way. But this morning the sun was shining and as I let our cat out the back, I saw shadows on our pumpkin. Perfect timing - for SSS and for Hallowe'en!

Be sure to visit Hey Harriet! home of SSS, that superfun, irresistible meme, created by Tracy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

GPP - Crusade 56: I Believe

Michelle Ward hosts a monthly crusade at GPP. This past month was "I'm a Believer". I have taken part in a number of crusades in the past and felt this one shouldn't be missed.

Michelle listed a number of questions about life as an artist. She asked that we journal about our beliefs about art and being an artist.

Most of my life I never called myself an artist or felt that I was creative. I could copy very well. I have fond memories of drawing cartoon characters.

But then I discovered Haliburton School of Fine Arts and for 7 summers, I spent a week or two with my children there and we all took courses. I took courses in basketry, silk screening, design, collage, watercolour. It made me realize that I loved to create and needed to create. I continue to take courses as I can.

Here are the questions from Michelle:

"Tell us about the artist you are. Tell us in your own way the importance of being an artist - do you have a philosophy or are you just happy to be spending time making cool stuff.?"

As I said above I have a need now to create. I know that I need to develop more technical skills.

As a teacher for 30 years at the elementary level, I know art is crucial for children, especially those who struggle with reading. They are definitely focused on the journey, the process. I really believe children (and adults as well for that matter) need to create, to make things, to draw, to make messes, to have fun.

"Are you a perpetual student and/or workshop attendee? Or are you mostly self-taught?"

I have taken a number of courses and I will continue to do so. I follow certain blogs and take part in certain challenges and lessons.

"Do you participate in swaps?"

I take part in the swaps at "ATCsforall. I really enjoy creating ATCs. I have tried different techniques and many different challenges. Creating art on a small scale isn't as intimidating and the community is very supportive.

I also take part in numerous art challenges: Shadow Shot Sunday, ABC Wednesday, Wishcasting Wednesday, Skywatch Fridays, to name a few.

"Do you find time to work daily or do you squeeze in a precious few moments whenever you can? "

I try to create several times a week. I know I should be drawing daily to improve my skills but haven't the time. For the month of November, I want to take part in AEDM at Creative Every Day. It is a great challenge every year.

" Do you have a studio space or do you work at the dining table? "

A little of both. I am slowly creating my studio, although I still do art at the dining room table.

Tell us about what you do, have done, and aspire toward. Do you paint canvases? Make books? Make jewelry...ATCs...Ceramics...Knit? Our need to be creative usually spills into several arenas - let us know more about you by spelling it out for us on a journal page.

These are the journal pages I created. I really believe that art needs to be a big part of our lives.

I have always been involved in crafts - I have crocheted afghans, made Christmas ornaments and decorations every year, tried new crafts.

I especially enjoy now creating:

Zentangles, Collage Tags and Cards

(My favourite subjects are skies, macro flowers, trees and water)

These next few pieces were done with a watercolour course and watercolour/collage course done at Haliburton. Following an instructor made the challenge a bit easier. I would definitely love to do more watercolour.

Mixed Media Collage

This piece was created at another week long course here in Cambridge. I learned new techniques and the instructor kept pushing me to go further. Loved the final result - a homage to my Mom and her roots. This is the direction I would like to explore more of.

As I get closer to retirement (1-3 years), my dreams of spending more time creating get more and more real. When I grow up (or enter the next chapter in my life!) , I want to create daily and teach art to children. They are such a joy to work with.

As I look back on my journey, I need to acknowledge that, yes I am an artist, one who is still growing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays

A time for giving thanks, for seeing the true gifts we have received. This past week, I have been thankful for:

11. calls and emails from my children

12. a good book ("Beach Girls" by Luanne Rice)

13. time to create

14. loving gifts from my husband and time with him

15. a day off from school to rest and recuperate

16. shared laughter - with children and adults

17. good music (just got a new CD and am loving Adele)

18. opening boxes and putting treasured items away finally (after our renovation)

19. for beautiful weather on Sunday

20. for gifts of cards in the mail today

Ann Voskamp, the author of "A Thousand Gifts"asks us to share our "list that never ends" and join "Multitude Mondays. Be sure to check out her blog.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up (getting back on track!)

Sunday evening is typically the time of the weekend that I spend on schoolwork - marking, preparing for the week, planning new units. Often, this time squeezes out time to reflect on the week that has passed for my "Weekly Wrap-Up". The result has been no blogging on Sundays lately. The past few weeks there has also been little art or even study of "The Artist's Way".

As I have been visiting blogs the last while, I have come across so much to think about. One has been that time is precious and we need to do what we love and to spend time each day doing something just for us.

I have missed creating and "The Artist's Way" community. So, I am re-committing myself to a daily practice of making art, taking care of my health and studying creativity.

The Artist's Way

I have been reading the chapters and am now working on Chap. 8.

I am still not doing the morning papers consistently. When they are done, I write at night to get ride of the chatter in my mind so that I can fall asleep. It works!

My artist's dates have been mostly exploring artists online. There is so much inspiration out there! (I know - I need to spend more time doing.)

Many of the tasks in Chapters 6-8 have proved interesting. I will probably go back later to do some of the ones I have not done. My little journal is filling up with notes and quotes and tasks done.

It has been a very worthwhile journey through the book this time. Mostly, it is knowing others are on the same journey and facing similar issues. I am also more accepting of not completing everything. I do what I am able, when I am able.


This past week Ii have finished a number of ATCs. I like this format, as the cards are small and manageable (4 usually on a theme).

(Thanks to Paula for the gorgeous backgrounds for both sets of Hallowe'en cards!)

Just a few photos I took this week:

What a life! I guess at 19, she deserves her naps.

The sky tonight:

Earlier in the week:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

A week of rain and clouds results in few outdoor opportunities for shadow seeking. Throw in not feeling 100% and the result is seeking indoor shadows this morning. But even here the shadows were muted - but still shadows!

(We have inherited this horse statue - one of the many items from my father-in-law - and I love the shadow it made)

Be sure to visit Hey Harriet for great shadows !

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday

Today Jamie Ridler asks another penetrating question:

What do you wish to make time for?

I think that, more than wish, I need to make time for:

creating daily

weekly dates with my hubby

taking care of me

getting together more regularly with family and friends

It is so easy to let life take over and let the excuse of being tired prevent me from doing so many things. I just need to do those things first and put me and my needs first on the calendar.

As Jamie says:
"You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog . Support wishes by visiting other participants. It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Multitude Monday - Giving Thanks

Giving thanks and showing gratitude regularly is a practice that has woven in and out of my life. I have kept gratitude journals many times and I have found that when I keep it up, I am more upbeat, more optimistic.

While visiting several blogs recently, I discovered Ann Voskamp, the author of "A Thousand Gifts". The idea of creating "a list that never ends" really spoke to me and I have decided to join "Multitude Mondays", starting my list of what I am thankful for this past week.

I am grateful for:

1. my husband, who shares everything and always supports me

2. my children, who are independent, loving and kind and my pride and joy

3. my extended family of step-children and grandchildren and in-laws

4. our cat Fluffy, who at 19, is still going strong and is so much more affectionate in her old age

5. having a teaching job and still loving teaching after 30 years

6. a finished renovation project, as of yesterday

7. the gal from work who drove me Friday because my car did not start at all and to the mechanic who was able to fix it so quickly yesterday without a huge cost

8. the beauty of the fall colours and the gorgeous weather we have had in October

9. having time for art and reading

10. music and dancing

Be sure to link up with others here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Last weekend the weather was gorgeous. I even heard of people having their Thanksgiving feast outside!

This week we are back to cloudy, rainy days. Fall is here to stay. The colours of the trees though are lovely.

Here are a few shadows I was able to capture with the sun.

Be sure to visit Hey Harriet - home of Shadow Shot Sunday, that super addictive meme created by Tracy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday

Wishcasting Wednesday is a special place to share our dreams and wishes in a very supportive community. I have missed it lately - not just the wishing, but the support.

This week Jamie Ridler asks us:

What do you wish to do one day?

If I could envision my perfect day it would be one where I am able to create in my own studio; I have time with my husband and friends; I read a bit and I volunteer my time somewhere. I would also be teaching art to children, which is really my biggest wish.

As Jamie says:

#You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog. Support wishes by visiting other participants. It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ABC Wednesday - L is For Doris Lessing

This week at ABC Wednesday it is L we focus on.

There were many people I could have chosen - Jack Layton was my first choice, but I have written on him lately and will again.)

I settled on Doris Lessing, the British writer who received the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 2007. One of her most famous books is "The Golden Notebook".

Here are several of her quotes, some you may recognize:

"A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer. "

"Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so. It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction."

"Small things amuse small minds."

"Some people obtain fame, others deserve it."

"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way."

"What is a hero without love for mankind."

"With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one - but no one at all - can tell you what to read and when and how. "

Be sure to visit ABC Wednesday for different takes on L.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Time for sharing shadows, a most enjoyable pursuit. With the beginning of fall and cooler temperatures, my garden is ending its cycle. Here are a few shots from the garden this week.

We were at a wedding last Saturday and I happened to notice this lone shoe and couldn't resist the picture (shadow and reflection ):

Be sure to visit Shadow Shot Sunday, that special place for shadow chasers, created by Tracy.