Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the studio

I've been working away here- carving a few pots- this one is an iris pot- I'm thinking of leaving the rough slab edge along the top- but I'm not sure. It's ready for it's refining now, a little smoothing here and there- and then I'll fire it.

I'm trying out some studio hours- from 9-12 daily I plan to spend the bulk of that time making art- not researching projects or thinking about stuff or doing anything on the business end of the deal- just making work, any kind of painting or clay work-period. I think it will help me to be productive if I have hours I need to hold myself to, it was one of the things I wanted to establish this winter, and I suppose as we still have snow on the ground, I'm not quite too late.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When The Cat's Away...

On Sunday I started a new course, it's about business plans for self employed artists, which is a bit of a revelation- as I'm sure most of us don't even have business plans. I had to come up with a vision statement- for myself and my art- which is something that I would never have done otherwise. It's amazing to clarify your purpose, dreams or goals in that way, for anyone, but I think we hold an aura around art making that makes it seem as though it should happen without goals, or in spite of them maybe.

At any rate, thinking about what I want to accomplish with my art in a broader sense- beyond just 'make the next piece of work- and hopefully make it good' is something I've never really done. I feel as though when it comes to art making I'm always plodding along staring at my feet trying so hard to just put one foot in front of the other, without really looking at a map. But now this course is making me chart the way, and I feel as though I'm looking up- stretching my back and shading my eyes to see where I'm actually going.

It's a revelation, but not an easy one, so much introspection takes work, and doing that much introspection with a room full of strangers is even tougher. Sunday I felt elated- Monday I felt drained, made worse by the stress of leaving N and K alone together for the longest time yet- 7:30 am to 6:00 pm with- no breast milk !!! I was super wound up about this- even though K assured me it would be fine, I was worried, and yet it was fine- despite the bout of tears and the tiny snow boots held up to me while I was leaving they were fine- great actually- I was greeted by a clean kitchen and supper on the stove, and while N was having a good long milk session, I was even brought a beer by my handsome husband.

The next morning I picked up the camera to take a few pictures, and I found these photos of N, taken by her Dada, and was struck by the extremes it is possible to experience in one day, and how lucky we are to have them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

40 Bags in 40 days- week 4

Alas no photos this week- I went into the scary parts of the house- the basement- the furnace room, the freezer, even the after photos would be of rooms I'd rather not let others see. But they needed to be done- and so far my bag count is up to 21, so yay! Some of that is garbage- but mostly it's things that I will not miss, but that hopefully someone else will be able to use. I'm going to have to tackle my upstairs verandah one of these weeks- and I'm scared to start it. It's just storage, and has been storage for a long time- since before I moved in here- I'm putting it off because, man, it's going to be scary, there's fabric, there's a desk, there's old yarn and toys, there's even some junk boxes that I plunked down there when we moved and have steadily tiptoed around since. It's time to clear it out- we have plans for that space- it's going to be a bathroom extension someday- and it's going to be gorgeous, but we need to empty it out or at least organize it first, so that's on my radar for this week, and possibly the next. How is your spring cleaning going?

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Scent of Spring

I started 'colding' these bulbs on December 21 and it has been really hard to wait the 11 weeks that was recommended, but finally it was time to take them out and now here they are blooming in time to usher forth spring. They smell fantastic, a little like lilacs actually, and they're certainly a nice reminder that spring will indeed penetrate the frozen north- at some point in the next couple of months.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The devotee

trying to get a handle on those toddler mood swings I suppose!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring table runner

Well my quest for spring colours has culminated in a table runner- I've been lusting after them for a while, and had the strips cut out for this one for a long while too- but it's finished now- my first attempt at quilting- and probably it looks a mess to an experienced quilter- but I'm happy with it, and it certainly brightens up the room, with it's orange and pink and blue and green pastel colours.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

40 bags in 40 days- week 3

This week we tackled the front hall closet, which was the scary mess that I am bravely showing 'before' photos of. We promptly turned it into this:

even the scarves got folded

Along the way we found a whole lot of treasures, some of which went upstairs to the 'dress up' bin, and some of which we figure we can sell or give away- I ended up with two bags from here.

I also got my bedroom closet cleaned out, and found out that I actually am back at my target weight- so yay! no need to get rid of my awesome white dress pants that were obscenely tight last time I tried them on (though it's debatable that I'll ever white pants again, with a toddler).
I also cleaned out the bathroom vanity, and I think this time it may stay clear because I bit more realistic about it all- that box of hair dye- I'm not going to use, the lotion I don't really like the smell of- but was given as a gift- the makeup I don't really wear- all to be given away. It's a lot better than sitting and rotting under the sink. So another week another seven bags in total.

We found some great treasures in that closet- lots of things went up to the 'dress up' bins, and were duly modeled by N, we also found a couple of framed posters that we can sell- so bonus.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Spring is finally here- though you wouldn't know it to look outside and more snow is on the way here tomorrow, we've had the official first day of spring, so it's got to be coming right?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Finally I've finished N's button pillow, I started it when I was pregnant, three hearts- one for each family member. I don't know why it took me so long to finish- it sat for a long time mostly done- I suppose until recently I couldn't trust N not to jam every button in her mouth while I was sewing it on, but now she just looks at it- and carries it around, and points to her favorites.
So sweet playing with the buttons in a sunbeam. - she was engrossed in it long enough not to notice me taking photos of her- and that never happens- she's very in tune to the sound of a camera clicking.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

40 bags in 40 days- week 2

No pictures this week- they would be boring anyways- just folded white towels- which while they thrill me because they're all stacked neatly, are not super exciting. Okay, I did my 7 bags this week- the shoe cupboard, the linen closet, and N's room. the linen closet was a big one- I've cleaned it lots- but I guess I had so many towels and sheets that it doesn't stay clean for long, or the stuff that's in the wash while I'm cleaning doesn't fit after it's all done- I hope I don't run into that now. That's part of what I'm loving about this- If I only keep stuff that I have room for -then It should always have a place to go right? in theory this seems to make sense, we'll see how it goes though.

On the agenda this week is my front hall closet- which should come with an avalanche warning, the furnace room- which is scary even when clean- and the freezers... which shouldn't be too bad- but have the potential to be frightening. I might even tackle the bathroom cabinet if I get on a roll.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Winter Wildlife

I think these guys are probably just as ready as I am for spring- or perhaps they're more ready. It's been a hard winter in these parts, and I'm slightly obsessed with the idea that it will be spring again, soon I hope. For now I'll just enjoy the view I guess, once things are growing we're not likely to see these guys so close to the house- they'll move off to eat tastier things than pine trees and bird seed.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Around the corner...

She tells her love while half asleep,
In the dark hours,
With half-words whispered low:
As Earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.

Robert Graves

The sun has changed a bit in the last week or so- it feels stronger, and despite the blizzard we're waiting for this evening, I can feel the change in the air that signals spring.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

40 Bags in 40 Days- week 1

I've decided to join Sarah Jane over at Beautiful Dawn for a little house purge this lent. The idea is to rid your house of 40 bags of stuff- one for each day of lent. I was a little nervous about it at first- thinking that it's a lot of stuff to get rid of- but after dividing the house it does seem more manageable, and I'm starting with smaller bags- the plan was to use grocery bags- but they were overflowing after I did the first area this morning- the front hall shoe cupboard. so it'll be more like some days a big bag and some days small, most days in between I think.
I really like this idea for lent- I'm not really religious, I just don't feel at home in organized religion, though I was raised catholic, and the Easter season is one that I really miss. I love the idea of starting fresh in the spring- of preparing yourself for this re-birth with a period of sacrifice or with drawl or active change. I think that purging the house of excess stuff is a great way to make space for new things- a simpler life- more focused on what is essential, or what you really want.
I'm more and more attracted to the idea of living simply, though it seems hard to do as both K and I have the 'collector gene'. But slowly I'm coming around to the idea that you don't need a lot of stuff, and that living simply doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything, it could just be that you focus your attention on things that have meaning for you, that you don't own anything 'just because'. Plus it seems like a great way to get the spring cleaning done, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

The girl is sick today, but that hasn't stopped her from carrying and stashing pumpkins all through the house. I don't know what her reasons for doing this are, but I do know that pumpkins strewn about the house gives a whole new appearance of untidiness to this place. Really, nothing says "Unkempt" like vegetables on the office floor.