Saturday, March 28, 2015

Nora Ephron

The Guardian

I’m pretty sure that I’ve been living under a rock, because I’ve only recently discovered Nora Ephron. Gasp. I know. Well, to be fair, I have been a fan of her work for some years, but had no idea who she was or what work she created.

For those of you who have also been out of the loop, here are just a few of the things that Nora Ephron has done:

  • You’ve Got Mail (I know!)
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • When Harry Met Sally (again,…I know!)
  • Silkwood
  • Julie and Julia


  • Imaginary Friends


  • Heartburn
  • Crazy Salad
  • I Feel Bad About My Neck

Seriously, this list strikes me as just showing off (smile).

I recently read I Feel Bad About My Neck, and other thoughts on being a woman, a book of essays. She wrote the type of essay where you nod your head through the entire piece. Yes, you can relate to that, and to that, and of course to that. As a writer, reading her work mades me think that I could do that. I mean, all she was doing was recording everyday occurrences; easy as pie. Well, have you tried to make pie? Yeah, it isn’t easy (at all!) and neither is writing with such familiarity, such a connection.

What have I learned?

  • She died when she was 71 of pneumonia caused by myelodysplastic syndrome (a pre-leukemia condition) that she kept secret from all but her closest family and friends. Wikipedia
  • She was funny. Her stories made me want to sit down and have dinner with her, listening to all of the fascinating tales and lessons she had stored away.
  • She was a doer. She was an essayist, novelist, screenplay writer, blogger, playwright, director, and producer. Plus a wife, mother, friend, sibling, daughter. Holy crap, eh.
  • She was married three times. Yikes.
She has a fabulous collection of quotes attributed to her. Here are some of my favourites:

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” 

“The desire to get married is a basic and primal instinct in women. It's followed by another basic and primal instinct: the desire to be single again.” 

“When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” 

“I don't think any day is worth living without thinking about what you're going to eat next at all times.” 

And of course, the famous -- “I'll have what she's having.”

Were you already familiar with Nora Ephron? Or did this list of her accomplishments surprise you as well?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wine Route Gallery

I doubt it will shock any of you to know that the town where I live is filled with and surrounded by vineyards and wineries. There are many tours, guided and self-guided, that bop you from one winery to the next along the 'wine route'. 

There are also great restaurants, fruit stands (in season of course), heritage buildings, and art galleries. In Vineland (just up the street in country terms), there is a new gallery called Wine Route Gallery.

I stopped in there today to check it out. Unfortunately, I dropped my phone earlier this week, effectively killing it, so I didn't have a camera. I did bring home some goodies though, so I can share those.

These are all 5x7 cards.

Leaf Life
Maxine McLean

Medicine Wise Wings
Hugh McKenzie

Spirits of the Wolf
Judi Wild

Green Heron
Gloria Kingma

Yellow Flower Trio
Silva Talmassons

So glad I popped in today. I will definitely be a regular visitor.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Facebook Challenge - This and That

If you're getting tired of the facebook challenge, you're in luck - this is the final installment. No real theme today, just this and that.

This is a fun mixed media lady using collage and napkins.

A dreamcatcher inspired by Rachael Rice as a Lifebook 2015 lesson.

And finally, a practice piece I did while learning how to draw/paint fabric folds.

That's the end of my sharing for awhile, though I am still working diligently on the Lifebook 2015 lessons, so I will (hopefully) have other pieces to share. In the meantime, what have you been working on? Please do share in the comments or on the facebook page.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Facebook Challenge - Horses and a Cat

Facebook Challenge - Day 4

This first piece is my spirit horse. It was inspired by a tutorial created by Cinnamon Cooney.

This is a colourful piece exploring colours for shading.

And my cool blues cat.

What are you creating?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Facebook Challenge - Abstract Fun

Day 3 of the Challenge.

A fun abstract piece:

I believe the inspiration for this piece was a pinterest pin (sometimes I actually complete the pinterest pins, lol):

This was a Tamara Laporte exercise.

What are you working on?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Facebook Challenge - Lovely Ladies

Day 2 of the facebook challenge:

These are my Lovely Ladies. Again, all 3 ladies are inspired by Tamara Laporte lessons (what would I do without her lessons?):

Monday, February 23, 2015

Facebook Challenge - Angels We Have Seen on High

I was challenged by my dear friend, Sandy, to post 15 pieces of my art on my own personal facebook page. Of course, I threw up a little in my mouth at the thought. I haven't had the most prolific year and what I have made, has not been compatible with my vision. Disappointing.

However, I am all about the challenge and being stubborn and all that, so here goes:

Day 1 - 3 pieces of my art

Angels We Have Seen on High

This is my Beacon of Light from a Lifebook 2015 lesson created by Tamara Laporte.

This is another more coppery version of her.

And my Angel of Grace

Stay tuned for the next 4 challenge days. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ira Glass on the Creative Process

I did not know that everyone went through a process like this. When I first started painting in July 2014, everything I did was ugly. Ugly ugly. I'm not even kidding. It was so frustrating to know what I saw in my head and then not be able to get the stuff on the paper to look anything like the vision.

Even now, I know that each piece has a fugly stage and I just have to keep on going through to get to the nicer piece. Well most of the time. Sometimes it just stays fugly and that's okay too.

Brilliant advice here in less than 2 minutes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Too Much?

I probably already know the answer to this question, but I'm going to ask it anyway, this too much food for dinner?

I tried this recipe for sweet potatoes and beets, roasted. I had a huge (seriously, it was freakishly huge) sweet potato and 3 beets that I roasted.

Then,.....I ate it all. I pretended at first that I wasn't going to eat it all. I started with a normal person's serving, a couple spoonfuls. But then I went back for more. And then one more time, went back for more. And then there was none.

So, is that a lot for a person for dinner? A huge-ass sweet potato and 3 beets?

It is isn't it?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Little Miss Libby

I'm sure that most of you are familiar with my Little Miss Libby. My sweet girlie who has filled my days with fun and adventure since we brought her home in December 2012. She could fit in your hand.

Libby loved to hike:



wear her Bruins colours:

 and celebrate Christmas:

In what was a big surprise to us and completely heartbreaking, Little Miss Libby passed away on Saturday, January 31st. She suffered from complications after her second knee surgery, and she just wasn't able to overcome them.

She was a solid friend and a wonderful gal, sassy and spirited and beautiful, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to spend these two years with her. She has taught me so much. Rest in peace my sweet girl. Momma loves you so much.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let Me Help

Earlier this week our Little Miss Libby had her second knee-repair surgery. She came home doing so well that we were calling her a little miracle. Then the next day she vomited up everything we gave her to eat, barely drank anything all day, and capped it off by having three seizures. She hadn't had a seizure for 235 days (but who was counting), and didn't respond to the valium we gave her so we had to book it to the emergency vet clinic.

She did not have any further seizures, they gave her IV fluids, antibiotics and an anti-nauseant, and we picked her up this morning. The staff was amazing, Libby was a trooper, and we seem to be on the other side of the whole situation.

But that's not my story.

My story is more of a puzzle. Maybe you can help me solve it,...

While waiting to pick up Libby, I got talking to a lady who was there with her 9-year-old mastiff, Georgia. I didn't catch the lady's name, but we chatted for a bit and shared our concerns over our fur-babies. Then Libby came out, I wished her well with her pup, and said goodbye.

Lib was in a bit of a state, not herself, pacing in a circle. I tried to stuff the medications and paperwork into my pockets while also holding onto Libby's harness to keep her supported. It was a little crazy.

Georgia's mom came over and offered to help me bring Libby to the car. I smiled, thanked her, and said I appreciate it, but I've got this. And Libby continued to circle. She asked again, "Are you sure?" Again, I smiled and thanked her heartily, but refused.

I then struggled to get Libby moving, going round in circles, weaving and bobbing, until we got to the car. Then I lifted all of her 80 pounds, grunting and groaning (me not her) into the back seat.

It struck me as I plopped into the driver's seat, panting: why in the world did I not accept that woman's offer of help? I certainly could have used it, and I'm sure my back would have been happier if I had. Never mind how it would have made her feel good to be able to help. I know how fabulous I feel when someone else allows me to help them out.

I stewed and struggled with it all the way home (and beyond as this little note shows).  Why didn't I accept her help? The best reason I came up with was that it was my habit not to ask for help and not to accept help. That, without thinking, I refuse an offer and choose to fend for myself.

It has made my heart hurt the entire evening. What a powerful, wonderful connection I probably missed. I had visions later on, playing out how it might have happened. I would accept gratefully. She would smile widely. I would hand her my keys and the medications. She would hold open the door while I had both hands to guide Libby in a straight line to the car. I'd make a crack about my car being the dirtiest one in the parking lot, she would admit that hers was awful too.  We would laugh and then wish each other well. I would feel good from being showered with compassion and consideration; she would feel good at being permitted to help us out. Win-win.

What short-coming of mine prevented that exchange? A lack of mindfulness? Succumbing to a habit? Thankfully, mindfulness and habits are something that I can work on. I can put some effort into taking a pause, and then accepting help when it's offered.

Do you accept help easily? Or is it a struggle for you also?

Friday, January 16, 2015

What I Love This Week

So many fabulous things happening this week. I have been buried with snail mail, yay. A stack of books from amazon, earrings, more earrings, and an apron. How lucky do I feel? Oh yeah. :)

So, here's what I love this week:

The sweetest puppy dog nose.

Just found this site with a super quick 5-Minute Guided Meditation at The Guided Meditation Site. This will help me to fulfill my resolution and her accent is adoooooorable.

I have wanted everyday-type earrings for-ever. Finally I found a couple of cute ones on etsy. One gold pair, one silver pair. Now I am all set.

Gold hoop earrings from Elamese (who also included a gift of a super lovely, dainty bracelet).


Silver hoop earrings from Moodichic

I also love a creatinine level of 127 (down from 131 and getting closer to the normal range of 124) that Little Miss Libby brought home. Woop woop. (no pics of the blood, thought that might be a little too gross).

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Books in the Mail

Don't you love getting books in the mail? Well, anything in the mail really. I just received an order from Amazon today so I'm feeling all new-book giddy. Here are the most recent goodies:

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
Austin Kleon

He has also written "Steal Like An Artist" which apparently gives readers the key to unlock creativity. This second book (I guess I should have gotten the first one, first) shows how to get known.

The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path through Depression
Eric Maisel

This is an author that I discovered through the Tranquility du Jour podcast. He has written a crazy number of books on depression, creativity, finding your life missions. This is my first of his.

Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden
Karen Maezen Miller

This is another author that I discovered through an interview on Tranquility du Jour and I really enjoyed listening to her. This book promises to provide "Zen lessons in fearlessness, forgiveness, presence, acceptance, and contentment." I could stand to learn more about all of them.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Brene Brown

I am in the middle of another one of her books, The Gifts of Imperfection, and I really like her writing style. She uses a lot of personal examples and is quick to show you her vulnerability which makes her all the more interesting and compelling. I am using my highlighter a lot, lol.

My theme word for this year is "Happiness" and with these books, I am striving to bring more happiness into my day-to-day life. I will certainly keep you posted on how I feel about them. (hopefully happy, ha ha)

Have you read any of them? Maybe on your to-read list?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Life Book 2015

Have you heard of Life Book? It is a brilliant, year-long art class program put on by the lovely Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts. I signed up this year to give my non-existent art practice a jump start.

Boy oh boy, has it ever.

The first main lesson was on creating a Beacon of Light. Here is how my piece turned out:

This coming week we are working on whimsical lettering. Should be interesting. What have you taken on for this new year?

Monday, January 12, 2015

What is that?

Does this ever happen to you?

I just noticed after a short 5 years (yes, 5 years) that there were two pieces of foam packing tape cushioning the glass shelf above the crispers in our fridge. Five years friends. Just noticed them today.

So in the process of getting these sticky buggers out, I upended the glass shelf and discovered to my horror: a disgusting moldy vegetable grunge layer between the crispers and the shelf. Holy terror, I nearly vomited.

Needless to say, that has been all cleaned up and sterilized and sanitized. Phew. I had no idea that there was a layer in between there and wouldn't have cleaned it EVER without accidentally shifting that glass shelf.

Do you ever find a corner or a layer or a hidden little section (or not so hidden, that also happens to me), where you suddenly realize it is slick with dirt or dust and you have never cleaned it before? Please tell me I'm not alone.