I haven't blogged in a while. Mainly because I don't have time to shower most days, let alone blog. That fantasy world I once envisioned where I managed to get one child off to school in the mornings, find a fun, educational activity for the toddler and put the infant down for a nap while I grabbed a two minute shower - it just doesn't exist. Or if it does exist it's far far away and I don't have enough airmiles to get there. Heck I don't have enough airmiles to get to the end of the street. Because a five person family is expensive to feed so I cashed them all in for grocery coupons. But it's okay, I didn't really want to go to somewhere exotic and warm and relaxing anyway. I quite enjoy waking up to fog and rain nearly every morning and nearly losing all my hair by nine a.m. because NO ONE in this house is a morning person.
It's almost June. The school year is just about done but I was done about two months ago. Seriously. I was golden in September. I had my shit together. My child had a healthy homemade recess every day of the week, homework was done promptly and he was dressed in decent clothes. I've been sending money for recess for about a month now. I don't know what he's eating. I'm afraid to ask. And homework, well it's getting done. Mostly. Seriously, try doing homework with a child who is crying because allergies have caused his eyes to swell shut while bouncing a screaming three month old on one hip and dragging a cranky and tired three year old back to his bed every two minutes because he's decided that he doesn't want to go to bed, EVER. I attempted switching to homework in the mornings, but like I said, no one in this house is a morning person and that didn't end well at all. It kind of resembled what I imagine the zombie apocalypse might be like. Only I was the only one who turned into a brain eating zombie and everyone else just hid and waited it out.
The day before yesterday the oldest comes home from school and informs me that he needs new indoor sneakers for gym class. The teacher told him so. Because apparently the ones he's been wearing for the past eight months are falling off his feet when he runs. Are you freaking kidding me? So either my child has shrunk since the beginning of the school year or no one wants to touch his stinky feet to help him tie his shoes tighter. Three weeks left to the school year. I'm not buying new shoes for three weeks. I told him to lace 'em up tighter and try not to break his ankle.
I could almost see myself making it through the rest of the school year without going completely off the rails if spring concerts and all that jazz were done and over with. But no, that stuff gets left for the very last week of school so that you've built up so much anticipation that you just can't wait to attend. I heard the kid down the street tell my child the other day that the song his class is practicing for the spring concern is booooorrring. Awesomeness. If the five year old children think it's boring, I wonder how exciting the adults will find it? Don't get me wrong, I like watching my child perform and all that cuteness is not lost on me. But there's a matinee AND an evening show. And my motherly conscience will not allow me to miss either. Because even though it won't be relaxing, my eyes will still be filled with tears of pride when my boy gets on the stage to sing with his friends. But sitting through a two hour afternoon concert with a three year old and an infant is not exactly going to be fun. I'll probably do very little sitting actually, between corralling the toddler and walking laps around the gymnasium to keep the baby calm, I'm pretty sure I can mark workout off my to do list for that day. As if I have time to put a workout on my to do list. I don't even have a to do list anymore. It was just too stressful watching it sit there on the table for days and not being able to cross off one damn thing.
It's not as bad as it all sounds though. Life is just very, very interesting these days. Despite all my worst efforts, the oldest is still getting his spelling words all right almost every week. And I don't see any signs of serious malnutrition from eating junky canteen food yet. And he agrees with his mama that buying new shoes for the last three weeks of school would be ridiculous. Because he wants a skateboard or a scooter or something like that and shoes would cut into the fun fund and he's assured me that he's pretty certain he can manage gym class for three more weeks without breaking an ankle. He's going to wait until school ends and break his arm on the skateboard/scooter instead. I love this boy more than I could ever say. He's my practical pride and joy, that one :)
The toddler is slowly but surely getting accustomed to the no nap transition and can be reasoned with at bedtime to an extent. It's a small amount of reason, but you take what you can get right? And there is nothing that could make my day more worth living than the big bear hug I get at bedtime and the quiet "I love you mom" that is usually the last thing he says before falling asleep.
And the baby is becoming more pleasant. After spending three months with her pretty much crying whenever she wasn't sleeping, seeing her smiling back now when she notices someone smiling at her is the best thing in the world. Her smile has us all smitten. Just a couple days ago I overheard the biggest boy say "do you know that you'll always be the first girl I ever loved." And there you go... overhearing those simple words made me feel like none of the disorganization and chaos is a big deal - our little world is perfect after all.
So to all you moms out there who are struggling to make it through the rest of the school year, because I know I'm not alone... focus on those little moments and we'll all get through it. I'm not saying we will get through it gracefully (I found a few gray hairs just yesterday) but we will get through it and enjoy a glorious summer with our munchkins. So glorious that by the time August comes, we'll be counting down the days until school starts again, lol!
And now my blogging time is over. Because the toddler is sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor shoveling coconut cream pie into his mouth with both hands. And the baby is crying to be fed for the hundredth time this morning. And it will probably take me an hour to get to either of them without breaking my neck because yesterday the toddler trailed baby oil right through the house and my floors are like a skating rink. But it's all good fun and I wouldn't change it for all the calmness and organization in the world. Because this is us.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I tried to snap photos of this art journal page in progress, but realized after the fact that I really missed a few steps. That's what happens when you get into a creative groove and just go with it :)
Started with a generous coat of gesso and used emboss folders to imprint patterns in it before it was dry.
Decided I wanted to do vibrant sunset like colors with acrylic paints. A combination of Golden Fluid Acrylics and Liquitex Soft Body. Also decided that I wanted to a sunshine with rays extending out from the upper left corner so I sketched a rough outline of where it would be.
This is where I forgot to take photos. There was a whole lot of misting, stippling, stenciling and painting in between the last photo and this one. I outlined the sunshine a little more and added some text to the page using some small letter stickers. I have a seriously large horde of these that I'm trying to use up in my art journal since I very rarely use them on paper scrap layouts.
The text is layered on top of tissue tape that has been lightly covered with yellow tinted gesso. I sealed it with Mod Podge because those dang stickers never want to stick permanently.
When I thought I was almost done, I decided it needed a little something in the center so I decided add a touch of purple and some floral rub-ons. Also have a huge stash of those that I'm whittling :)
I am so in love with the colors on this spread. And the text is a good reminder to look at once in awhile when I need it :)
Monday, April 22, 2013
I thought it was about time I started posting Monday Muse boards again... I created this inspiration board a while back and never got around to posting it. I even have a project in progress that was inspired by this board. Maybe I'll try to give myself a kick in the butt to get it finished and post it tomorrow :)
Seriously though, aren't peacocks one of the most amazing animals on this planet?
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I'm trying to get back into the swing of things now that baby is here and my six weeks recovery time is over. So back to creating and blogging is at the top of my priority list. Because that's what keeps mama happy and sane, right?!
So wow. All those people who said that having a third child really made no difference to how busy they are - were lying. Or else they are far more capable than I am. Or maybe they have a fantastic support system of people who actually live somewhere in their vicinity.
I'm not going to lie to you, my life is barely organized chaos at the moment.
On February 25th, we welcomed sweet little Arya into our family. Like the pregnancy, the delivery (a c-section, 4 weeks early) was complicated and we were very, very lucky that everything turned out well. We have our fantastic doctor to thank for that, without him, I wouldn't be here.
Anyway, because I had not one, but two major surgeries in less than 24 hours, my road to recovery was a little rocky. I came home from the hospital after having several blood transfusions with my red blood cell count still only about half what it should be. Which meant I was tired from the start, even before we got into the routine of middle of the night feedings and being up all night with a fussy baby every three or four nights.
About three weeks ago, I felt like I was going to crash and burn. But I couldn't, because hubby was having back surgery that week and I was going to be on my own with all three kiddos for a while. So I put on my big girl panties and sucked it up and somehow made it through.
Now we are struggling through the recovery phase after hubby's surgery. He's not even allowed to lift Arya for the next six weeks, so it's all me at the moment. And somehow I'm managing. I don't even feel like pulling my hair out. Yet.
The house is clean. Most of the time anyway. Not right now, because I'm choosing to ignore that pile of dirty dishes and blog instead :) The kids are fed. Not the whole, natural foods they usually eat though, which is the next thing on my list of things to do, I need to get back on our food prep schedule. Because several days last week, my kids had store bought boxed waffles for breakfast. Normal for lots of people, horrifying for me. But I'm trying not to sweat the small stuff right now. I've been reminded by a couple of my good friends at the magazine that this is just a blip in time and before I know, things will be back to normal and the kids won't even remember that they had to eat boxed waffles, lol. Truthfully, I don't think they mind too much.
But the biggest struggle for me has been sacrificing a lot of my creative time. That has been painful. So slowly but surely, I'm trying hard to carve out a little bit of time here and there for me. I'm trying to reorganize things and find ways to get into the studio during the day because quite honestly, I'm too exhausted by the time the kids are bed to even open a jar of paint. I've vegetated on the couch and watched more television in the evenings in the past seven weeks than I have in my life.
It's a struggle, but I'm determined and you can be sure that I'll be posting loads of creative goodness in the near future.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Earlier this week, over at the SNR blog, we had an inspiration piece that featured a beautiful pink patchwork armchair. With a baby girl on the way and Valentine's Day right around the corner, I'm on pink overload these days and it happens to be my least favourite colour. So I decided to take inspiration from the patchwork in the photo and designed this first card for the blog post over at the magazine. And then I loved the way it turned out and the colours so much that I decided to make it part of a set to go in my etsy shop.
I'm longing for spring and summer... can you tell? I'm tired of having to be cautious of every step because of slippery conditions. And well, I know that by the time spring is here, I won't be in this constant pain that I'm now experiencing in this pregnancy. We are down to six weeks and counting until a scheduled C-Section - believe me I'd do anything to be able to give birth naturally but it isn't a possibility for me so we are waiting anxiously for March and hoping that everything stays stable until then. Anyway... creating with bright, cheerful colours has definitely been picking up my spirit!
This was card number two of the set... a different twist on the patchwork theme. Let me just say - this is not actually stitched. I am great with stamps and paintbrushes but the sewing machine is my arch enemy and my mom wasn't around to bail me out. So a black Sharpie and some faux stitching happened on these cards :)
And here's card number three of the set. And I just finished loading two of these sets into my etsy shop. I haven't been listing too many new products these days, but I do have a whole lot of items to list that I'm trying to get done before baby arrives. I have a lot to get done before baby arrives. And not nearly enough energy and I'm not really supposed to be doing anything much. It's a bit of a pickle, but I'm confident I can get it all done. Really. Now I'm off to work on a custom canvas order that's at the top of my list to finish this week :)
Monday, January 28, 2013
Just a quickie post this morning with some artsy inspiration to share. We had our internet gone all weekend - from about noon on Friday until about four pm yesterday afternoon. And while I panicked a little at first about not being able to blog, update my FB fan page, check emails, check in on my shop, etc., after the first little bit I realized it was nice to unplug. I spent more time with my boys, spent some time working on some new sets of greeting cards to go in my shop, worked on some magazine subs and hung out with hubby since he was off work. It was wonderful.
However, this morning it was time to plug back in for a bit and blog and check in with my online life, so here I am. But the littlest munchkin is still sitting right next to me... he's playing a Diego game on his leapster and we are enjoying a smoothie - strawberry, banana, coconut milk, chia seeds and oats = yummy!
I also logged on this morning to grab a new digi kit... still working my way through my project 365 digi scrapping personal challenge and found myself in need of a doggy themed kit. I found one that I can work with, but if anyone knows of a really awesome one, shoot me a message please :)
Anyway, about the card that is accompanying this post. Most of the time, my papercrafting and mixed media art stay in separate corners of my brain and studio, but once in a while they mingle a little bit and this card is a result of that. I drew a rough pen sketch of the birdcage and bird inside on a piece of a watercolor background I'd had lying around for a long time. Then I decided to use a background stamp over the whole thing and topped it off with some Distress Crackle Paint (vintage photo I think) randomly smeared across the main image piece. Stamped the sentiment and added it and it's actually a pretty simple card to make :)
I'll be back again tomorrow with another post...artsy and food related... what could be better?
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
So as promised yesterday, I'm posting some photos of the 24x24" canvas I've been working on while in progress. I mentioned that it was a long time sitting waiting to be finished... the evidence of that is in the bright sunshine in the first two photos - I started this canvas back in July!
A couple beautiful coats of gesso - nothing thrills me more than a fresh coat of gesso just waiting to have colour thrown at it :)
Worked on the background that same day (gesso dries quickly in the sunshine). At this point, the background still needs some blending but I'm loving the the colours :) Since I'm constantly documenting what's happening in our life, I often take screen captures of my Facebook statuses so that I can print them and add them to my scrap layouts...check it out:
After this, the canvas sat for about a month and then I took it on holidays with us when we went to my parents to work on the house we're building. Yep, I packed a 2 foot square canvas and all my paints along with me on holidays. During our holidays I blocked out the rough images of the poppies in white gesso and it sat like that until this past weekend.
I was trying to decide between white, red or orange poppies and finally decided that since the white gesso on the background hadn't done it for me, white poppies were out and a paint swatch told me that orange wasn't going to do it for me either. So red it was. I got up with the munchkins one morning at five am and was surprisingly a ball of energy so I laid on a layer of red and a little bit of the green in the stems before hubby was even out of bed!
Several layers of paint later... started in on some basic shading and details. But... eventually decided I didn't like the shading in brown so I actually went back in and took it all out and redid it in black. Yeah. Cause I'm crazy like that :)
Details, details, details. And added some texture. Because it just wouldn't be me if it wasn't a little bit messy :) Almost finished, I've got a little bit more do do with it, but it's nearly there.
In the meantime, I've got six more canvas (small ones, thankfully) in various stages of progress that I'm going to work my way through before I start anything new.
I've also been working on some digi layouts... because of course I'm a little behind in my Project 365. Of course I am. I wouldn't be me if I wasn't.