Thursday, September 16, 2010

Something For Me

While you could say the last few months have been all about me, they weren't about me doing what I wanted to do, but rather what I had to do. And who wouldn't make that choice? To focus on self and health short term to get that long term back?

When Kal Barteski proposed an online class for this Fall, I knew it was something I'd want to jump into, but I wasn't sure about the timing. I've done online challenges with her before and loved it! The first time was in February, a quiet week. So devoting time over those 5 days to art and creativity worked. But I wasn't sure about the beginning of September, the beginning of school and the end of chemo.

Kal's all about making it work for everyone's lifestyle, and she decided to offer two options nurture your creativity be bulletproof the online class  I figured twice a week for 5 weeks I could do. Tuesdays and Fridays. OK . Even though the class started on the Friday that the kids were off of school. Yes, two days on, two days off, that first week, due to the way Rosh Hoshanah fell this year. Sometimes these Jewish holidays work out well for our calendar, sometimes not.

The first Tuesday of those 5 weeks of Kal's class was scheduled to be my last day of chemo. And it was. But that's another story on another blog!

I was anxious to see what Kal had going on that first Friday, so I logged in bright and early. A video clip, downloads, links and challenges. I like that. And of course, a flickr group for sharing. My favourite part! I love everyone's shares. It's fascinating and inspiring to see how others jump off from the same starting point.

I try to stay away until after I complete my own contribution for each challenge, as I want it to be me and mine. But it's not easy, knowing there could be more goodness there waiting to be enjoyed!

First challenge/idea was to come up with our own definition of creativity, what it means to us. To put it in writing. To create something with that intepretation, 3 ways, 3 different ways, and post it in places in our enivronment, where we'll see it, everyday, all the time.


 My number 1. Just paint pens on a MM journaling paper. Taped in place c/o 7 gypsies (I think!)

In place in the bathroom. No problem seeing it there several times a day!

I like this picture cuz it's so right now, with that peek of my bald chemo head. Just when it should start growing back soon, perhaps a month or so, it's starting to grow on me! Ooh, bad pun there! But with the cooler fall weather in the near future, I'll welcome the warmth of hair on my head again, no doubt!

My number 2. I've been into freehand cutting letters lately, and thought I give that a whirl here. I also have been enjoying recycling as much as possible on my weekly lists and have a growing stash of packaging and scraps to choose from. This was built on Prima packaging from some of their embroidered embellishments. The label shape was leftover from the journals we did in January for our MLK Day of Service project, as were many of the patterned paper scraps. Also a bit of a woodgrained tissue box and a scrap of stamp advertising from the post office. If I could just keep myself away from online shops and scrapbook stores, oh, and of course all of the great publications that can be found in places like Barnes and Noble ( a favourite family hangout) I might be less tempted to add to a growing patterned paper collection that does just that. Grow. I believe I've gotten better in terms of saving money, but the scraps and bits that I save still take up space. A greener alternative though.

My number 2 hangs in the window where I plan to soon place my desk, when it arrives. For years, I've used the entire dining room for scrapbooking, cardmaking, painting, you name it. Ater all, we have a small table in the kitchen that seats the 4 who live here. And when it's necessary to use the dining room table, everything just gets shovelled into piles stacked in the basement, and Marc's office. No problem, right?! Not really, but things would get lost and misplaced. I also had no space for the business of the house. Bills, that sort of thing.

This window is in the space between the living room and dining room, somewhere you just walk through. There is still a giant 3 door IKEA armoire in the dining room, bulging with my stuff. But I've added some shelves in the space near my desk that would give me access to supplies that I will in turn use more if I have to dig less. And drawers in the desk. Lots of drawers for pens and paints and scissors and sticky stuff and brushes and stickles and inks and ink pads . And of course a couple of file drawers for fun stuff and house stuff. It won't solve everything, but the arrival of this desk should make dining easier!

When the desk gets here, I'm hoping to hang some of those pieces sitting on the window sill right now. Of course that's Kaz, a piece by Kal, peeking out on the left. A print, actually. The original was, I believe 30 X 40 and has since gone to a good home.

The piece in the middle was discovered during Kal's GoVenture challenge in February, for the word WHOLE. I fell in love with Krista's style that week, and after leaving a comment for her, she offered to email it. I was thrilled and grateful. Krista lives in Winnipeg, so her work especially hits home for me, no pun intended! It's all Winnipeg: the map, the images, the Provencher Bridge designed by a friend of Marc's.  I also love how she put it all together. I'm digitally challenged, so am completely in awe of works like this.

The piece on the left is from one of my favourite people whom I've yet to meet, the beautiful Jasmine Her son Isis, now 9, actually drew that when he was 4 and Jasmine added the colour.  It's called The Love of a Mother, and it's one of several she has in her etsy shop. I fell in love with it and can't wait to have it up on the wall. If I had more walls, I'd love to have more of their art.

This is my number 3. It was suggested that we use a medium we're not as comfortable with, or use that often. I grabbed another scrap of cardboard, gessoed it in black, used some bubble wrap with acrylic paint for the background. The most difficult for me was painting the words. Markers, pens, pencils, OK. But I don't 'write' with paint much. I realize now if I thinned the paint, which was also acrylic, I might have been happier with the results. A lesson learned for next time. It was still fun!

Sitting on the kitchen sink window, where I see it ALL the time! Even with a dishwasher, I'm at that sink a lot throughout the day. It's starting to grow on me.

Can't wait to get started on Challenge/Idea 2, which Kal posted on Tuesday. I viewed her video last night and jotted down my ideas. Hope to catch up soon. Loving this!


  1. Oh my gosh! That picture of you taking a picture in the mirror is AWESOME!!!!!