Friday, 30 August 2013

focus on life–week 35–growth and change

If you have a little person, like I do, it’s hard to miss.

Growth and Change – it’s a constant around here.  I’ve spent August watching her toes stretch and kiss the front edge of her sandals.  It’s quite possible that we may get s**w in the next month so I will not be buying another pair.

focus on life week 35

This week we visited the Valleyview Little Animal Farm and this climbing structure was new since our last visit, last year.  Averleigh was so excited to give it a try. I did hold her around the waist to make sure she could actually reach each bar since that gap is a little large for her size.  If she had gone any higher she would be out of my reach. 

She was pretty proud of herself…and for a change, I’m going to leave it just at that!

Thanks always to Sally of the Studio Sublime for these wonderful weekly prompts.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Focus on life–week 34–add something!

There is one person whom I’m sure has had to add a whole lot this last week rebuilding her website: the Studio Sublime.  It looks great Sally! I wonder if our weekly prompt was just a coincidence? Playing up a photograph was this weeks assignment.

focus on life week 34

Here it is!  It’s kind of an extreme edit, the filter “glowing edges”, but fitting for the debut of this metal trio.  Named? unnamed? I’m not sure.

Backtracking a bit, I have three brothers, all of whom play guitar.  One has had at least five bands over the years and toured Canada and the UK.  The other two have spent less time on public stages but plenty of time playing.  Growing up there was always more guitars than people in the house.  I’m realizing it’s a bit odd that I never had any interest in playing myself, oh well, it’s on to the next generation now.

Last Saturday we headed off to the “Taste of Manotick” knowing my oldest brother would be playing and as a special treat my nephew (his son) Jack, would be playing on stage for the first time with two other young men.  [I now feel really old referring to them as “young men”.  Thankfully they didn’t call me ma’am when we were introduced]  I believe Jack turns 15 next month, since becoming a mother myself I can’t seem to nail dates like before, but you get it, they’re mid teens lets say.

Jack, Avery and Jorge took the stage and played to much applause and the screaming of my nieces (Jacks three sisters) and a collection of friends.  While my music collection doesn’t have much metal, I could certainly appreciate that their timing was impeccable and they sounded damn good!  I saw proud parents taking photos and video, so I kept to the side stage myself.

Here is the original, a neat effect from the good ol’ iPhone itself


I’ll be interested to see who took a light touch, or an extreme like this, it’s fun, but without the original I think it’s a bit tricky to make out the details.  Except for the curls in Jack’s hair, those remind me of that old Maxell campaign.  I want to go make a mix tape now, but instead lets check out the rest of the gang

Friday, 16 August 2013

focus on life–week 33–in season

Kittens! Yes, the cats do enjoy the short summers in Ottawa and the Humane Society fills up with kittens.  It’s probably not the answer Sally Russick of the Studio Sublime would have guessed, but hey that’s why we do this!

Now in your best Bob Barker: “Remember to spay and neuter, do your part to control the pet population” well something to that effect, I can remember was his closing line on the Price is Right.

Really, I’m just doing my part, at 2 months old he even came neutered.

focus on life - rufus

Since he is now the third kitty in the house, I joked to a friend that I had already mailed in my crazy cat lady membership! I mean, just look at that face!  I have always wanted an orange cat.  After seeing his photo online, I went on my own to visit - see if he was family material.  I walked in to the enclosure that is about 5 x8’ with glass walls and spotted him in a pile of sleeping kittens (about 6  per enclosure).  He popped his head up and a few mews later he was on my shoulder head butting my cheek and purring like a freight train. 

rufus kisses

This is our Rufus.  He knows how to keep his people happy.

We also spent the week eating the most juicy and delicious Ontario peaches, so you could say it’s orange season around here.

Oh wait, I forgot this one. I'm not sure if the blue around the outside of his eyes will stay or if it's on its way out - but it is beautiful.

Now to travel around and see all sorts of seasons

If you ever wanted to get started with polymer

Now might be the time!

Kashmira Patel of  Sadafulee…always in bloom! has been bitten by the polymer bug big time.  So much so that she has embarked on an ambitious journey into polymer and she is taking has room for passengers.  That kind of enthusiasm is a powerful thing.  She asked if I could help with some of the nitty gritty, or when called upon, at least that’s what I think I’m hear for!
Here is her original post, outlining the plan, and here is today’s kickstart": Polymer clay – the essentials.

At this stage I feel like my list of essentials could be a mile long, so it’s great to see it through the eyes of a beginner again.  I can’t help myself though, I have a few additional mentions.  I grabbed a quick picture while my workspace already had all sorts of stuff in progress.


A few points. 

- see those two odd shaped red beads on a wire.  That’s not a wire it’s a sharp little bead piercing pin. I bought two bottles a long time ago and they are just the thing.  I did not bother with the metal rack you can get for them since you can use all manner of things to hold them in place.

- that big bottle of Isopropyl alcohol is perfect for clean up. Alcohol has no shelf life, so again this few dollar investment (first aid section any drug store) has lasted years.  Baby wipes are great. but they dry up. My little mister bottle in the foreground is full of alcohol and I can rewet any mostly clean baby wipe at any time. I spray all over actually.

-notice the tape on two of my blades there (bottom blade is stiff, top is flexible). You only make the mistake once before you learn it’s really important.  Use nailpolish if you prefer. I happen to like the little cushion the tape gives my fingers, however this will be in the way if you slice deep using the ends (not something I do)

There you have it, the nit-picky additions!

Oh and if you have a furbaby - keep a pair of tweezers handy for catching and removing stray hairs.

Friday, 9 August 2013

focus on life–week 32- from where I stand

This week Sally Russick of the Studio Sublime is standing in some no fun computer headaches, so I’ll start by wishing a nice tech cleansing for her. ugh. But the party goes on! We are focusing on where we stand this week, quite a big question, really.

focus on life week 32

My studio. You can see the floor!

I’ve been cleaning slowly but surely and it’s falling into place. This little spot is the tightest, I have to turn sideways to squeak through to my chair at the top of the frame.  I wrote about the ridiculousness of this oval table back in week 12.  I have taken those last twenty weeks to “organize”.  Seriously, it seems like I just take things out, look at them, and re-sort them into different containers in slightly different locations.  Or I decide if I move it I will never be able to find it again.

I shot a quick spin around the room with my iPhone, but honestly, I think that just showed me I should use a tripod to make sure I don’t actually make you sick with a spin around my room.  Instead, here are a few stills looking ahead from this spot.  Someday I will get to a proper studio tour.

focus on life view

The curtain on the far right is covering the closet that is, would you believe, even more full. It’s madness, but it’s all mine.  While it can be a little visually overwhelming to stand in this spot, it is the passageway to all kinds of great things, I’m one lucky girl!

Let’s see where everyone else is

Friday, 2 August 2013

Focus on life–week 31–hues of blue

I’m a dedicated blue girl, always have been! So when this weeks prompt came along it felt easy peasy, since I am surrounded by blue.  Miss Sally Russick also shared the prettiest little blue flower in sending the email prompt, not sure what it is but it’s lovely.  My whole top floor is blue, all the bedrooms and bathrooms, save the hallway.  I think there are 5 shade of paint, some custom painting, and a wee bit of wallpaper.  I have joked in the past that the colour scheme is “no blue left behind”.
I was going to challenge myself to count up the most blues I could get in one shot.  I even half tidied the busiest room the work office/studio.  Egads! I’m certain I am the only person that could be comfortable in that giant tidepool of this and that, every composition I put in frame was a little overwhelming. 
Then I was in the kitchen noticing my blue tile and recalling the huge issue that the install had ended up being.  At our pre-close inspection we walked into the kitchen and they were still installing tile, the day before we moved in.  One of the tradesman stopped, turned and proudly told me they were doing it just how I wanted with the border at the bottom…. only, my instructions had actually been for the “border” tile, to be installed upside down and on the bottom row so that more of it would be visible.  If they put it up in the regular way barely any of that pattern would show.  His frustration was quite apparent as they immediately started taking tile back off the wall.
week 31 focus on life
If you can imagine the rest of the kitchen, this border follows the line of the counter, almost the whole way around the room and makes far more sense than the standard position (the third row up) when half the kitchen only has tile one course up because it’s open to the other room. 

The real problem though was this whole wacky idea I had meant every time the ordered tile they were sent way more plain than border and they had broken a whole bunch making cuts for outlets.  They had had more than enough of my blue kitchen at that moment.  The general contractor who was giving us the walk through at that point had grabbed the phone and I felt sorry for the person at the other end.  He stepped away from us to yell my favourite all time Franglais (french-english) line of all time.  “t’sai la border tile la, y’on f**ké up la border tile!”…..and on and on

I could not hold back my giggles on that.  “F**ké up” has lived on in our home from time to time.  Indeed that is the unseen blue streak of my kitchen.

I can’t help but add a little more blue to this post as I was so excited to see emails and messages this morning from friends letting me know I was on Polymer Clay Daily! What a wonderful surprise!

pcd aug 2

I am equally thrilled that I am sharing the page with Claire Maunsell’s lovely daughter reading Claire’s awesome part of Cynthia Tinapple’s wonderful book.  What fun!

I can’t wait to see all the blue, I’m sure the gang will be as inspiring as ever! Head to the Studio Sublime, if you don’t see all the pretty boxes below.