Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ABC Wednesday - X

As we near the end of the alphabet, finding something for these last letters becomes a bit more of a challenge.

My first thought was xylophone. I have a wooden one I use at school (unfortunately was not able to access it this week and besides - I am still not able to download any new photos as my computer still awaits surgery!!)
Hence I found a picture as close to it as possible. I love the tone of it and it is fairly easy for my students to enjoy playing.

At least once a year we borrow a set of different types of xylophones and use them with our choir at Christmas time. What fun!

Here is Wikipedia's description:

"The xylophone (from the Greek words ξύλον - xylon, "wood" + φωνή - phone, "voice", meaning "wooden sound") is a musical instrument in the percussion family which probably originated in Slovakia.[1] It consists of wooden bars of various lengths that are struck by plastic, wooden, or rubber mallets".
Be sure to check out the other x-cellant X entries at ABC Wednesday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Most Lovely Award!

The generous and talented Mel of Creative Clutter has honoured me with this fabulous award! Thank you so much Mel - my first ever award, which I gratefully accept.

As is usually the way...there are certain rules which should be followed:

(as Mel said, she is not one for following rules so refers to them as guidelines! "..ie. do what you like, give it to whomever you feel is worthy of the accolade...")

The Guidelines:

1. Post picture of the award with a link back to person who honoured you

2. Pass along the award to deserving persons whose blogs you have just discovered.

3. Leave a *note* informing aforementioned recipients of your bloggy award-love.

So... here are some treasures I have found in my few short months blogging:

1. Lisa of Girl Can Create

2. Tamarak of Tamarak's Table

There are so many women I have met through different blogs and different challenges. At first I thought I was to give the award to a limited number. Then visiting Mel's other blog, Clutter to Shine, she said the original post asked that 15 (!) blogs be awarded. So I am adding to my original list!

3. Magpie

4. Barb

5. Snap

6. Judi

7. Kris

8. Rebecca

9. Grace

10. Leana May

Please check out these wonderful women and their blogs!

Thanks again to Mel. I wish everyone a most lovely week!

Spread the Joy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

School's Out - well almost!

I had the last day with children on Friday. The day went quickly and no tears! I was so tired by week's end I really can't say I was sad to see the day /week/year end!

We still have one PA Day Monday - but that is a stress-free day and a chance to start the wheels turning for next Sept.

The problem this week will be moving ALL of my stuff (25+ years accumulated stuff!) from the portable into the school! I have not been able to do much before now as there was another teacher who was moving out.

Being in the school will be a big change. Air conditioning, other teachers close by to name 2 big changes. But now I have to rethink what my room will be like.

Still no access at home for downloading photos from my camera. I was able to do a bit last week, but after Thursday I won't have access to the school computers. Any suggestions???

I am so looking forward to the time to create, take photos and write. July will be month to create a collage a day, a photo a day, and photographing the 50 things I like. I hope to start work on my Mom's recipe books I am making for my children. These are all part of my "101 Things to do in 1001 Days".

To end off, I want to share a video of a song Michael Jackson had a big part of - "We Are the World" . (I have tried to upload the video but with no success - computer whiz I am not!)
The 3 deaths last week were a shock.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

Here it is the last day of school and thinking about the summer ahead made me think of past summers with my children.

Each year for 7 years, my 3 children and myself went for a week to Haliburton School of the Arts. While there we each went to a different arts course during the day and then met at the end of the day to share our day, swim and enjoy cottage life.

One of the courses my daughter ( at age 9) took was a printmaking course and she produced some lovely postcards. She made stacks and I still have, and occasionally use, some of them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

W is for.... Water(falls) / "Sounds"

W is for ... Water/ waterfalls. There is something about water that draws me - and many people for that matter. Calm waters, waterfalls, pounding surf, flowing streams - no matter how it presents itself, water is hypnotizing.

These photos are from near Whistler, near Vancouver, B.C. .

Be sure to check out ABC Wednesday for many more great "W"s.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Elizabeth of " The Last Door Down the Hall" has written an eloquent testament to her father.

I lost my father at 20 and my mother would go on to raise 5 children on her own. She never remarried, never even dated. She became both father and mother.

Parents have such an impact on us, whether for good or not. To lead by example, to nurture, to love - we should all be blessed with parents like Elizabeth"s.

Many years ago I heard someone stating that children should be happy, carefree, well loved. As a teacher with over 25 years of teaching experience, I must say I do not see many children like that in our schools. Children have too many burdens and worries. Many come to school not knowing how to print their names, count, recognize colours or how to socialize with other children. Many have shorter attention spans and don't enjoy reading or even listening to stories. They are used to TV and video games entertaining them . In their short lives they may have experienced little praise, love, affection, bonding, fun activities with parents and siblings.
Parenting is a privilege. Children are precious souls. We should be ensuring that all children receive nurturing and care. Neglect, whether physical or emotional, should be a criminal charge.

Well. I will get off my soapbox now! (I feel very strongly about early childhood education and the need for good parenting skills.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday - Play it is!

Play - Dance - Create

Jamie at Starshyne Productions has posed the question "Who or what do you wish to play with?"

Last night I was not ready to think play. Tonight I see the need to bring more play into my life.

Genie Sea's play list was awesome. I could just imagine letting go and letting my inner child play along with her.

But it was BlissChick whose Dancing Queen post touched me deeply. I used to dance and dance with joy. Now it is rare that I dance on my own. My hubby and I go out several times a year and dance together and I do enjoy that. But it is the 30 min or more when I used to put on my dancing tape and just dance, that I miss. My kids used to laugh when they heard the music being notched up. I wanted to fill myself with the music and just feel free and then move.

Right now pain in knees and hips, a few extra pounds and just tiredness are excuses to keep me from dancing. But I need to just let go and put that music on and DANCE, DANCE, DANCE.

Wishcast Wednesday is an opportunity to share our wishes. As Jamie says: "There is great power in wishing together."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wreck That Journal

Another week and more wrecking.

I think I had just as much fun visiting all the other blogs and discovering what a wonderful wrecking crew we have as I did playing.

The problem with visiting is that too often it led to detours to other places which led to more detours!There is so much creativity -one person's responses to a page inspires you to try something new and different.

Collage is my favourite form of creation. So the first page I tackled this week was the "white" page. As I looked in a magazine for white things, I kept seeing 4 letter words. A light went off! Okay - I would collage words.

Next I traced my open hand. When I looked at it I realized the opposite is a closed fist, so I did that as well and brainstormed words for both.

I also added business items and added the magazine page.

There were other pages started -1 coninuous line; adding stamps and fruit stickers, making circles.

I'm still having difficulty truly defacing the book - taking it for a walk, slinging food at it, taking it into the shower, or adding dirt.

At least I haven't given it a name!

I will try to get more destructive and "down and dirty" in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ABC Wednesday - Violin / "Sound"

V is for violin. This week's letter via ABC Wednesday made me think of violins. Not only is the instrument my favourite, but my grandfather made them and played them.

Last summer while in Victoria on Vancouver Island, B.C., (more V's!!!) I discovered a tiny art gallery and was drawn to the intricate miniature violins on sale. The photo above is that tiny violin ((6" in length) that I carried carefully home on the plane.

One of the best shows I have ever seen was "Bowfire" - 12 violinists, fiddlers and other bowed instruments. We happened to be at the performance when their DVD was being taped. It took us a while but we did find ourselves! It was an amazing show!

Tied for amazing performances would be the family "Leahy" - a Canadian group that puts on a fantastic fiddling, stepping, energetic show.

Both are must- sees.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wreck This Journal / Postcard Friendship Friday

This week I did not get too adventurous with the journal until this morning. I was making tea and the thought came to me that a tea bag would work wonderfully instead of coffee. (I am NOT a coffee drinker. ) So I enclosed the other pages in plastic (oh so carefully!) and then played with the wet teabag on the page.

Since I add milk to my tea, I wanted to see what would be the colour of the page with milk added to the tea. So I then spooned some tea onto the left side.

Once I got into the mood of "wrecking", I turned the page back to see what was there and I saw "FIRE". Being the careful person I am I figured this would be the perfect time to light up that page - while it was still damp!!!
So I took the book to the sink and lit up a long match and set fire to the page in several spots.

There are a few holes and rippled edges.

What fun!
Then I realized I had to head to work asap but was nervous about leaving the book in the house!
I dumped it into the recycling tub on the porch, threw a bit more water on for good measure (should have taken it into the shower!! lol) and scooted off to work.
Here I am on planning time - having to use the computer at school to upload pictures. Still no access at home!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ABC Wednesday - "Up There"

It was difficult to choose this week. I had been planning on "unicorn" for ABC Wednesday as my daughter has collected unicorns for a long time (ok - I bought them for her - one for each birthday and in stockings!). But I am unable to upload any new photos right now, so I had to use what I had already uploaded.

So next would have been "underwater" as I had some great underwater shots when we were in the Bahamas last March Break. Alas, they weren't where I could access them (of course!)

Sooo - I decided on "up". I have a love of photographing skies - so have many to choose from. Please enjoy a few views of "Up There".

I had to finish with a few fireworks from July 1st last year - way "UP" there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sisterhood of the Purple Bicycle!

Mel of From Clutter to Shine is inaugurating a fantastic new Sisterhood - the Sisterhood of the Purple Bicycle! What a concept. Her idea is that we are all on a journey together and are there to support each other. As Mel says "we take strength from each other as we move forward, as beautiful works-in-progress. "

You must check out her manifesto and read how it all came into being. Join in this new Sisterhood by leaving a message with Mel.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wreck This Journal!/ Postcard Friendship Friday

Today begins a new adventure - "Wreck This Journal" (by Keri Smith), the Next Chapter blogging group, headed by Jamie Ridler.

It promises to be fun, creative, and take us places we may not want to go! I hope I am up to the challenge. Not matter - let the adventure begin!

My first step was to write my name - in many different ways. Had no white - made block letters - then the letters are white inside! As I worked down the page I realized I was placing my name in the wrong sections - but wait - Jamie said there was no wrong, no mistakes. This definitely is my kind of project!

I thought I would peek in the book. I had kept it in the bag since I bought it. I was very good about not looking too soon!
The first page I opened to said "break the spine". How could I do that?? Books are my friends, they are to be treated with respect. So, I closed the book and visited a few blogs. Jennifer set hers on fire! If she could do that, surely I could bend the book back a little.

So I gingerly took the book and snapped it. "Ouch!" I then apologized to the book.

I have a feeling that this won't be the worst I do to it!

As I am into report card writing mod now, just taking a few minutes free time a day to play with this book and visit the blogs of a wonderful group of women, will be a very welcome break.

And I may not be able to post pictures for a while until I get the upload terminal (have no idea what it is really called) fixed. In my rush to upload some pictures tonight, I pushed the plug into the computer. Ughhhh!

I have many more wonderful blogs to visit and fellow adventurers to meet! Looking forward to this very different adventure!

Postcard Friendship Friday

Once again it is Postcard Friendship Friday. Trying to decide what postcard to share was difficult. Do I chose one from a favourite trip or one sent by others? Then today at school I noticed our album of postcards and thought it would be a perfect choice.

Our class did an international postcard exchange this year and we received over 90 postcards - mostly from the U.S., but some from Britain and Australia. The children loved receiveing them and we had fun finding where each originated. We sent out 90 as well - a bit costly but worth the effort.

Here are 3 of my favourites.
Here I was ready to post them and what did I do - but push the terminal into the computer! I had taken photos and was ready to upload. But in my zeal, I pushed too hard, the wrong way! My son-in-law may be able to fix it but not until Sunday.
So - my dilemma - do I wait to post til Sunday (but will also be doing report cards!) or post first the words today and the pix later (part 1 and 2)? As you can see I decided on the second!

You could use your imagination and try and guess where they are from:

1. 4 koalas sitting in a tree
2.Durham Cathedral where the Harry Potter films were made
3.Smith Falls/Chimney Rock/Toadstool Park

Stay tuned for part 2 - coming soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

ABC Wednesday

Maybe it is the teacher in me, but this new challenge I just discovered appeals greatly to me.
(Better late than never!)
The challenge is to use the Letter of the week in some way - whether photo, idea, poem, or art.

This week's letter is T.
T is for:

Totem poles. During our trip to BC last summer, I saw several totems - many in Stanley Park. when I saw the letter for the week, I immediately thought totem.

There is something about the history and art of these unique totems that always affects me.
IF this challenge appeals to you check out ABC Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sounds to Wake UpTo

It's funny how many things stay at the edge of consciousness until something makes you notice them. Then you frequently see or hear them - whether it is a phrase, a song or object.
When Leah at Creative Every Day intoduced June's theme "Sound", I was not sure how I would use it this month.

This morning I was awakened at 5 and as I lay in bed, I could hear a virtual symphony of birds outside. First one bird would start and then another would pick up the refrain. As I listened, I could pick out so many different bird calls. I could just imagine them calling to each other, sharing news and gossip.

Normally I am not an early riser - 7 am is early enough! By the time I am awake, the regular noises of the street drown out the birds. Yet this morning I did not go back to sleep as I usually would and instead listened to the music.

It was such a pleasant start to the day. I might not have focused on them if I hadn't been nudged by the "Sound" theme. Thanks Leah!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1st - The Challenge Begins

Day 1 of 100 Days - have almost made it through the first day and so far so good!

I am joining Rowena's (Warrior Girl) challenge: 100 _ in 100 Days. Check out her blog for a pledge and more info on where it could take you.

My goal is to spend at least 30 minutes a day being creative - it could be collage, ATCs, journalling, photography, writing.

As well, I want to use these 100 days to be kind to myself - to eat better, to exercise or dance, to meditate and to be more positive. (Nothing like putting it out there for all to take note of! and yes, losing weight, is I hope, part of the taking care of myself!)

Three months is generally thought of as the time needed to change a bad habit or develop a new one. These are my goals then - to develop the habit of creating daily and being active and positive.
As Rowena suggested I am keeping a journal of my journey.
I finished my ATCs for the "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" Exchange today and mailed them off. (Once the exchange as been made I will share the results.)
As well I have been working on a watercolour collage - using pieces from previous works as a background. It has been fun.

I found the perect symbol for it - the heron.

I have been drawn to this graceful bird for a long time. In most places where I have lived, there have been herons. Recently one has nested at a large pond near us and I have seen it several times. Last summer I was only metres away from one while in a park in Victoria. I took a lot of photos.

Ever since reading about the symbolism of the heron on Collage Diva's blog, I have wanted to use it in my art. The symbolism of this bird is well known in Chinese, native and Egyptian cultures.

It is a symbol of going with the flow and of working with the elements.

For Native people it represents inquisitiveness, determination, curiosity.
For the Chinese, it represents patience, strength,purity, long life.
II am not sure where I want to go with this but I have definitely enjoyed the process.