Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Journal 52 - Character

This week for Journal 52, the prompt was "Building Character"

I had seen many others on the facebook site sharing lovely portraits. Drawing faces and people has always been something I don't try very often.
Instead, I checked out quotes on character and the one by Abraham Lincoln really appealed to me.

The image of the tree and its shadow thus became the vehicle to express the quotes.

The 2 quotes to the left state:

"Choices determine character". by Brandon Mull

"Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking" . by H. Jackson Browne

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ABC Wednesday - C

This week at ABC Wednesday, C is our letter of the week.

C is for:

Nat King Cole

Loved this quote - it is so true.


Cesar Chavez

This quote immediately made me think of the terrible situation in Quebec, with the threat of their new charter that will ban the wearing of visible religious symbols by all public servants. No turbans or hijabs for example.
Where is the respect for others in this province?

Be sure to check out other posts for C here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

10 Writing Tools I Use

This is the second prompt for the "Blog Hop for Writers"

10 Writing Tools I Use

This was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Many things I use but take them for granted - dictionary and thesaurus  (whether online or text), challenges, courses, writing blogs.

But here are a few things I do rely on when I write:

1. Pen and paper.
 My first drafts are all writing, sometimes on whatever is handy at the time. I use a folder for each story or novel and a s I research or write, the info goes in there. I keep a pad of paper beside my bed so if I can't sleep and am trying to solve a problem, it can be written out. I take a pad of paper wherever I go as well, especially when I am travelling by bus.

2. Computer
Once I have my first draft, I then type it out, chapter by chapter.

3. Writer's Notebook
I use this to record ideas, write down great quotes and how to's from other writers.

4. Morning Papers
Several years ago I worked through "The Artist's Way" and still do the morning papers several times a week, especially when i can't seem to focus on a project. It gets the wheels working and stops me from further procrastination!

5. Books
Reading is a joy but also a necessity - to witness great writing first hand.

6. Goodreads/Quotes
I use the quotes section here quite a bit as well as keeping an eye on authors and new books.

I belong to both organizations and receive alot of info and inspiration.
(CANSCAIP is a National Arts Service Organization dedicated to the celebration and promotion of Canadian children's authors, illustrators)

8. The web
Unfortunately the web also is a time water, but there is also so much inspiration and help to be found there.

9. 12 x 12, PiBoIdMo, NaNoWriMo
These and other challenges/groups provide support and activities to keep you motivated.

10. Writing texts, style books, conferences, courses
So many different ways to improve one's skills as a writer.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

Year of Firsts - Week by Week

The inspiration of this "Year of Firsts".came from LuAnn Cahn and her book "I Dare Me" which chronicled her daily Year of Firsts. (Check here to my first post about this challenge).

This past week I decided to create a large canvas (16 x 20) using techniques I had learned in several courses. Although the result was not as I had envisioned, I enjoyed the process.

Putting on background papers

Adding Fluid acrylics

Then I used modeling paste, stencils, stamping and  glazing

I am not finished - but not sure where I want top take it. I will let it sit for awhile.

I completed one collage this week - for Journal 52.

Zen cards 
 I find these relaxing and fun to do. Here are just a few more I have done.


I created some red zen cards for a swap

I have completed a children's story and will be submitting it to Highlights for Children for their Holiday Fiction Contest. I continue to work on novellas - and work on different courses and challenges as well.

Have read a couple more books - see my growing list above.

Linking with

Creative Every Day

Inspire Me Monday

Friday, January 24, 2014

Journal 52

This week at Journal 52, the theme is "You make me Smile"

I had different responses - show what makes me smile, journal what makes me smile. But as I was looking at some magazines I was struck by all the smiles I found. One of the techniques shown was to make a border of objects. The smiles became my border. Then I had  the idea of  creating an acrostic.

Also linking with:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

30 Words Thursday /WOYWW

After several weeks of no gelli printing, I was able to indulge yesterday. There is something almost magical about creating gelli papers. Fingers covered in paint, beautiful patterned papers and my worktable covered in drying papers, ready for the next stage of creating.
The papers inspired this poem for 30 Words Thursday:

                                                 Painted Papers

                                                 Painted papers
                                                   Like magic
                                          They create themselves
                                             Patterns emerging        
                                             Colours blending    
                                        Flashes of blue and orange
                                      Green, yellow, pink and purple
                                         Covering the worktable
                                           Ready for more art.

Also linking with:


Gelli Party for January at A Colorfyl Journey

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ABC Wednesday - A and B

The new round of ABC Wednesday - the 14th! - has already begun. I couldn't decide what I was going to do this round but then decided on creating small collages (4"x4 1/2") with used stamps and quotes.

This week it is B.

B is for:

Romare Beardon

Here are last week's collages.

A is for:

Abigail Adams:   


Marion Anderson:

Be sure to check here for how others around the world face this challenge.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

This past week started my "Year of Firsts". the inspiration came from LuAnn Cahn and her book "I Dare Me" which chronicled her daily Year of Firsts. (Check here to my first post about this challenge).

All week I was busy with a number of projects and then came down with a bout of food poisoning. Not a good time to be thinking of trying something new, let me tell you.

Yesterday though, I decided to finally try making and drinking my first green smoothie. Two of my children are vegans and have been encouraging me to go more natural.  The idea of a green smoothie just didn't excite me though. I had already bought a bullet and thought I'd try a fruit one.

But, as I was checking recipes yesterday, I discovered one for "Sunshine in a Jar" and it was a green smoothie!. Loved the name and I had 3 out of 4 of the main ingredients. Perfect.

I put 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 cup chopped pineapple and the juice of 2 oranges into my blender; whirled the ingredients and voila - my first smoothie.
I sampled it and although it took a while (okay a long while) to finish it, I found it a very different tast. It was more the texture than the taste - the pineapple came through. Yes, I will try it again.It just takes getting used to I think.

Zen Cards

I am continuing with creating the zen cards and learning some new zentangles. Next I ned to work on shaing - this really adds to the quality of the zens.

Journal 52
The theme this past week  for Journal 52 was "Somewhere, A Simple Place". For me, my home is my refuge a place to be safe.

I worked on several swaps this past week:

Butterflies on 9s (by the time I am finished I will have a whole deck of butterflies)

Collage PAT

Set of Twinchies

Books Read - check page above for progress on my 10 books - I've read 8 so far

Linking with

Creative Every Day

Inspire Me Monday

Thursday, January 16, 2014

30 Word Thursday

                                                            Wedding Day

                                                           Young love
                                                          Frozen in time
                                                      Their lives together
                                                         Ahead of them
                                             Children, moves, change, suffering.

                                                     My parents in 1950
                                                 United on their wedding day
                                                Smiling, hoping, dreaming
                                                    Of their marriage ahead.

This photo is one of my favourites of my parents. They look so young. My mom was 21 and my father 27. He was a widower with a young son and my mom would take him on as her won and then have 4 more children. She was only 43 when my dad died and raised her children on her own, never remarrying.

At Treasures Found, a new challenge has been issued:  30 Word Thursdays

The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...

Take an image.
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.

Post it each Thursday.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"I dare Me" - Recharging your Life by Trying something new

I just finished reading this book today - and loved it and am inspired by it.

LuAnn Cahn, at age 53, was feeling burnt out, stuck and frustrated. Her daughter encouraged her to start a blog and the idea of a year of firsts began. It recharged her and brought back fun and wonder and laughter.

At age 25, I can distinctly remember telling friends that I was afraid there weren't too many firsts left. Now, almost 40 years later, I am feeling that same fear. At 25 though, I had more energy and stamina and better health. I would experience many wonderful first over the next 30 + years - teaching in the high Arctic, marrying, having children, divorce, remarriage, trips to other countries, moving to new places, trying new foods, learning new skills.

But I need to do a reboot and recharge my life. So I am going to take LuAnn's idea and modify it a bit.
62 firsts for each year of my life. That works abut to about one a week, with a few extra added in.

I will record them each Sunday, hopefully with pictures. I am excited about this new challenge. I need to let go of the fear and have some fun.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Writing Goals for 2014

While traversing blogland, I discovered a blog hop for writers that offers a chance to write about different topics. The first is one that I should have already done but have just verbalized.

My Personal Writing Goals for 2014

After participating in Tara's "PiBoIdMo and NaNoWrMo in November, my desire to continue writing was sparked. During NaNoMoWri,  I completed 3 novellas and am now working on several more. I am also working on several picture book manuscripts.
So, my writing goals for 2014 are:

1. Complete ReVi Mo this week. (This is a chance to revise picture book manuscripts)

2. Participate in Start the Year Write 2014 - offering daily prompts in January

3. Complete "Editing and Revising with Cindy Myers" course from Feb.3-23, an online course.

4. Participate more fully in 12 x 12 -writing 12 picture books in 12 months (offered by Julie Hedlund)

5. Write daily, even if only morning papers.

6. Read and learn more about writing.

7. Submit at least one novella by September.

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up on Monday!

Last week saw extreme cold, my birthday, writing daily and lots of art.

365 Project
I started my 365 project-art on my hubby'sold business cards, Each month I will choose a different  theme or medium for these cards.
For January I am creating zen cards on scrap gelli papers. I am working through  "One Zentangle A Day" by Beckah Krahula, so that I can expand the number of zentanles I use and to learn more about shading and creating designs.
Here are some of the cards so far:

Journal 52
I am participating in Journal 52. i am looking forward to the prompts each week. last week's was "Up, up and away"

I created one set of ATCs for a swap on "Year of the Horse"

Books Read - 6 books so far - towards my 100. (See separate section at the top, under the heading for a list of the books.

Linking to:

Creative Every Day

Create With Joy

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadows in the snow, earlier this week.
Today we have plus weather and rain! Strange winter indeed.

Be sue to check out shadows around the world HERE.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mixed Media Challenges

This week I started Journal 52 and the first prompt was "Up, Up and Away".

First I looked for suitable quotes and found two I liked.
I had already gessoed and painted the backgrounds, then added stars with modeling paste and the quote.

The second quote called for a butterfly and I used the paint blot technique to create it.

I am also participating in Daisy Yellow's Creative Experiments Challenge.
I used the journal pages above to:
1. use a technique I am learning (using modeling paste)
2. create something to use in my journal (the butterfly)

Calendar Challenge
I have also decided to take part in the Calendar Challenge at the Kathryn Wheel. I have tried this challenge but did not complete it. I hope to this year.
I stamped snowflakes over the blue background and used handmade pink and lt. blue rectangles for the days.

I also completed some ATCs today for a swap and they fit the challenge at Collage Obsession:

2014 -Year of the Horse

(These horses are the Canadian stamps for Year of the Horse.)

30 Word Thursdays

At Treasures Found, a new challenge has been issued:  30 Word Thursdays

The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...

Take an image.
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.

Post it each Thursday.

I am committed this year to writing more and I loved the idea of this challenge - to combine my love of photography and writing. As I was looking at my recent photos, the one of the bird tracks really appealed to me. They are going any which way and made me think of a party. Here is my 30 word poem:

                                                Dancing in the Snow

Snow sparkling in the bright cold,  sun
Prints in the whiteness
Coming and going
Hither and there
Could they be dancing?
Party time for birds
To celebrate the New Year.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Challenges

This is just one small book shelf I have  - there are 6 full size bookcases throughout our house, plus at least 10 boxes of books in a closet (I have listed the books in the boxes now so that i at least know what's there!)

Now that I am starting my first full year of retirement, I decided that I will definitely read more. I wasn't planning on joining any book challenges, other than at Goodreads (100 books for the year). But the lure to tackle challenges was too great and I am signing on again to a number of book challenges. I did not do well last year - I fell a few short of my 50 books, but I put that down to not reading much through the first 6 months of the year while I was teaching.

I am hoping to read a fiction and a non-fiction each week through 2014. Many of these books are already on a list through the "Read the House Down Challenge" I began before Christmas. I will continue with this,  as well as :

100 Books in a Year

The challenge here, through"Book Chick City, is to read 100 fiction books a year.
Info from her blog:
Challenge Info
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2014
  • Rules: Read 100 books in 2014 (any genre)
  • You don’t have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join at anytime. All books read in 2014 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.
  • Audiobooks are accepted.
  • Only fiction, no non-fiction.
  • This challenge can crossover with other challenges.

I will be reading at least 25 YA books this year and will add these to the total.

My goal is read at least 50 non-fiction books this year.(Master level!) Many of these are art books i want to work through (or finish)

Challenge info:
The Challenge:  Read any non-fiction book(s), adult or young adult. That's it. You can choose anything. Memoirs? Yes. History? Yes. Travel? Yes. You get the idea? Absolutely anything that is classified as non-fiction counts for this challenge.

I always like levels in my challenges, so here are mine:

Dilettante--Read 1-5 non-fiction books

Explorer--Read 6-10

Seeker--Read 11-15

Master--Read 16-20

This challenge will last from January 1 to December 31, 2014. You can sign up anytime throughout the year.

Crossovers with other challenges are acceptable, and feel free to read your books in any format you like.

This will work with "Read Down the House Challenge". I have already listed 26 books to read and will add more as I am able. I am aiming for the 41-50 level: Could This be Love

Challenge Info:
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2014 - Dec 31, 2014.
  2. Anyone can enter! You don't have to be a blogger, as long as you review the book you've read! (On your blog, Amazon, Random Buzzers or Goodreads/Shelfari!)
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Short stories and novellas are OK, too! Only books released in 2013 and earlier! NO  2014 ARCs and 2014 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 TBRPILE Reading Challenge. (If you don't have a blog, post about it on Facebook or Tweet!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2014, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. On the 20th of each month we will post a wrap-up post, here, on BOOKISH. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this monthFor each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. The giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up! (i.e. the entire month)
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;) 
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a GRAND PRIZE giveaway
  11. You don't have to follow Bookish Blog to join the challenge, but you do have to follow us to be entered in giveaways!       

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - First Kiss
31-40 - Sweet Summer Fling
41-50Could this be love?
50+Married With Children

This one sounds like a lot of fun. I will try to read from  between 8-10 categories.

Here are the Categories 

Classics are the new black – read a classic novel
It’s a serial thing – you’ve read the first in a series (or even three of them), it’s time to read another!
Lost in translation – time to read a book that was first written in another language and then translated.
It’s about time! – read a book that has been sitting on your shelf for at least two years! (and haven’t read it yet!)
By the numbers – read a book with a Number in the title
Weird Science! – read a book that features some form of science – and maybe discover an untapped passion.
I just love a good Duet – a book written by more than one author.
New Guy in Town – read a Debut book written by a new author.
Almost Human – read a book from the perspective of an animal – or an alien – or a robot! (at least feature an ‘almost human’)
Chunkster-time! – read a book that is longer 500 pages. (Time to dust off War and Peace)
Random Rescue – go to a used book store and RANDOMLY pick a book! (could even be from a grab-bag)
Under-Aged Writer – read a book by an author who is not yet 21. Here's a little help.
Time for exercise – read a book that is set in or around a sport or exercise activity (like yoga or baseball). This can be fiction or nonfiction!
Make-Believe - This category is just for YOU! (and anyone who wants to try it!) Here is your chance to let others know what would get you outside of your Comfort Zone!

Here are the levels

Choose your level – just how far out of the box do you want to go?

I’m a little Scared: 3-4 categories
It’s not so bad out here!:  5-7 categories
Look at me, outside my comfort zone!:  8-10 categories
Outside In!: 11-13 categories
No Box can Contain Me!: I did ALL 14!

This challenge will run from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014.    

1. Sign up any time.  However, sign-ups will close 1 December 2014
2. You cannot use any books or reading material that was read before 1 January 2014.
3. This year you can post at any time under the Category found below, but you must post a link to your review for it to count! If you don’t have a blog, be sure to link up the review you did in GoodReads, Amazon, Library Thing, etc. We need to read your review! 
4. Share the Love (PLEASE!?!) – Write your intentions on your blog, link back to this post, have the button on a side bar, so others will know what fun you are having, and they can have it too!
5.  You cannot use one book for multiple categories.  You can, however, read a book for this challenge and use it for another challenge.
6. Comment below with how comfortable you are of climbing out of your literary box!  BUT, don’t feel you have to be tied to that level! You are shy and want to start slowly but love the feeling of the air outside of where you are…go for it!  You thought you wouldn't be contained and think that the box is warm and comfy, that’s okay too!

I will continue to read YA fiction as i believe the writing is so good. i am aiming for 25 YA books this year.
(at least 2 a month) 

 Challenge Details
How long will the challenge run?
The Challenge will run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 :)
Who can participate? 
Anyone can participate! As long as you can provide a link to an online shelf or blog page of where you will list the books you have read :) 
What are the rules to the challenge?
  • Participants must create a shelf or a page to where they can list the books that they have read for the year. 
  • Book must meet any of the sub- genres of the young adult category, whether it’s paranormal, romance, drama, contemporary, horror, etc. 
  • Must be longer than 100 pages.
  • The year of when the book was published does not matter. As long as you have read the book in 2014, it will be accepted. 
  • TO THOSE WHO HAVE A BLOG, feel free to post up a review of each book that you have read for the challenge and provide a link please?? I would love to read it :) 
  • All formats are acceptable (paperback, ARC, ebook, etc.)

Here's to an enjoyable and busy year of reading!