Monday, December 18, 2006

Blogging Rut

I'm stuck in a rut. I'm a bad blogger. I was being so good and consistent with this blog and suddenly this last month I feel like I've run out of steam. I feel tired and uncreative. Every time I sit down to start an illustration or photograph a little project, I suddenly hit this mental wall. What happened? ...I'm not really sure.
I do know that the shorter days are exhausting and that after work I can hardly do more than get up from the couch and go to bed. Perhaps the problem is that work has been creatively draining for the last while and now it has sucked any energy left for my personal projects. Yes, shocking; I know. After all the complaints I had about work being boring and pointless and suddenly it is flipped completely; now I complain that I don't have any creative energy to work on personal things. Honestly, I'm impossible to please (hubby, don't say a word!)
At this point I really want to say to you all, please don't give up on my little blog! I will be back, I promise. I plan to recharge over the holidays and buckle down with new personal projects in the new year. Embroidery, book ideas, illustrations, these are all hovering in my mind. I just need a little more time to reflect. I hope you will come visit when I am myself again!
Until then, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and all that other jazz. I'll be seeing you soon!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Christmas Countdown

Is anyone else looking around and wondering how the holiday season just sort of snuck up on us? Geez...Already December and I can hardly believe another year is coming to a close. Yesterday Hubby convinced me we needed to get into the Christmas spirit, so we busted out the decorations and lights, popped in The Sound of Music DVD and away we went. Nothing like a little Julie Andrews doe ray me to get us into a festive mood. I'm really looking forward to the break - it has been a hectic fall. Although work has been pretty slow, everything else in our lives is bustling. This would explain the lack of posts on this here blog, but I do plan to get right back on the blog horse as soon as the New year rolls around.

So, until then, please bear with my sparatic check-ins and some rushed photos of mini projects that are going on around here. The 2 stuffy ornaments below are not quite finished - I still need to find some little bells to sew to the end of the sleeping toques. But aren't they cute?

Ok, my elementary sewing skills are not exactly working for me here, but the design is the best. I found a photo (can't remember where) of Hilary Lang's ornaments she had published in a magazine. Now, I have no idea where to find this magazine - perhaps someone out there knows of this magazine and where it is sold? But the photo was so amazing, I was inspired to try to make some myself. Yes, quite risky of me to attempt a sewing project without instructions...eeek!

Well folks, that's all for now. I'm so tired these days, it is defenitely the time of year for cocooning! Ug....bring on the holiday season!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Illustration Friday ~ Invention

"Eureka!" he exclaimed as he revelled in the invention. And the fish soared higher and higher - finally experiencing the wind against their gills.

Great topic this week! I really had a blast painting this one. Of course my flying fish had to make another appearance ;-)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Tiny Shiny Art

Hello blog friends! I'm so excited to give you a peek at one of the Christmas projects I've been lucky enough to work on this year. I have some very talented entrepreneur friends who invited me to create original illustrations for their latest endeavour called - drum roll please....

I met Kay and Jeff through work - we are all artists working under the same big corporate roof. They always have some creative project on the go and this time I'm so thrilled to be a part of it! A couple months ago, they ordered and recieved a button maker which magically presses cute little one inch buttons - and since it arrived, they have been unstoppable! This creative duo have made fabric buttons, limited edition illustration buttons and even some originals that they've painstakingly painted/drawn/collaged at the teeny weeny 1" scale.

I've contributed some illos for Christmas and here they are as a finished product - their packaging is so slick and professional! Unfortunately my camera is rubbish, so it does nothing to display what it looks like in person; but, fortunately, they will be updating a website and since Kay has a background in photography, there will be no lame photos!

Here are the scans of what the illustrations actually look like. The buttons are so cute and I'm totally pleased with how they turned out. The big debut of all the buttons will be at a local craft show here in Coquitlam, BC on Dec. 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Check out tiny shiny art for the details if you are in the area - you do not want to miss out! They also have big plans to build up a website so everyone can shop for these gems - and they even plan to expand with other shiny product lines. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

So, there you have it folks. My big excuse as to why I have been so inconsistent with Illustration Friday and creative posts in general. I'm knitting away for some xmas gifts and I'm even sewing some ornaments for family stocking stuffers. I just really hope I can finish everything in time - the countdown has officially begun. Tick tock!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Welcome November

Well, it finally hit me that winter has arrived. We just got back from a weekend at the in laws in Grand Forks and we were struck with a dump of snow there and back. The lower mainland is experiencing major downpours, but the interior of BC is definitely seeing the white stuff.

I can't say the weather has brought on any sort of Christmas spirit - I regret to disappoint anyone, but I'm really not the most festive person when it comes to this holiday season (I know... bah humbug). I love the time with family and friends - all the eating and drinking...and eating some more. But it is such an exhausting time. Already I am overwhelmed with lists of things to do before December 25th.

But here we are, suddenly it is November. And time is certainly not slowing down for anyone. Last week we got the shocking news that Hubby lost his job (it looks like his boss is selling the business). This was difficult information to process, but now that we've had the week to mull it over - I feel surprisingly calm and hopeful for his future; our future. Sometimes we need to be pushed out of old comfort zones in order to move ahead in life.

And on the subject of being pushed forward...tomorrow brings another birthday for yours truly. *Sigh*...where does the time go? Last year was the big 30, and I was so traumatized about falling into the next decade that I didn't really pay attention to any aging that was affecting my body or mind. But I have to say, I do feel the age this year. I'm pulling out a lot more grey hairs and I notice that I shop for eye cream that contains anti-aging remedies. Also, I don't seem to keep the brownies or chocolate off my hips the way I used to and I noticed a frightening sag in the skin just below my chin (am I getting jowls??). Yikes! Did you know that every 7 years our bodies regenerate all new tissues so that we are completely different persons? How bizarre!

But I shouldn't dwell on the negative changes. I do notice that my thought process has definitely matured, and I have become MUCH more patient than I ever used to be. I still feel like I'm trying to figure myself out, but I am trying to be more open when I'm faced with the ups and downs of life. What I learned in Europe was that I really want to experience each moment for what it is and not be so obsessed about what is going to happen next. That is a tricky one for me since I am probably the biggest worry wart out there. But, there it is and that's all I have to say on turning 31. Except that some new art supplies will be the most excellent b-day gift ever and I plan to hit the store this weekend. Yay!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Illustration Friday {Smoke}

I think one of the cornerstones of the Parisian diet is a fresh cafe au lait and a long cigarette. The French people are so glamorous and the air is so...hazy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Embroidery for Swap

I'm so frustrated with my camera...I can never get decent pictures when they have a lot of white. Alas, here is an embroidery that I sent off last weekend for this swap . I've never participated in any sort of online anything before, so this is all new territory. I started to click on the links of other people who have sent something away and I was so totally impressed by every blog...gulp. I hope they like my little patch. The photo also looks crooked, but actually it is completely square - I just don't have the time to doctor it up in photoshop.

We're having a bit of a rough week here in Sallyland, but I still want to finish an illo for's coming along, just not as well as I had hoped. Anyways, I'll try to post it tomorrow night.

One quick note: I just wanted to thank you all for your lovely comments on my travel posts. I had forgot to mention that I survived the flights pretty well - much better than expected. We all had our own personal tvs which was a huge help, especially on the way home when dealing with overwhelming impatience to get to my own bed. But thank-you for your concerned emails and comments! You guys are the best :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Europe - Part II

Warning! This is a very loooong post - I'll wake you up when it's over :)

Holland - where we found a sense of home...

What else can I say about Holland except that I think it could easily be my second home. I love this country. I know, we were only there for a brief period of time, but of all the places we travelled though, I found this country resonated the strongest for me. Bicycles, canals and rows upon rows of tall, teetering houses - seriously, I felt like I was in some sort of fairytale when we arrived in Amsterdam. I think the dutch people are fantastic, they keep gorgeous homes and obviously value family and community. Harry recieved an email from one of his writing mentors saying that the difference between Canadian cities and many European cities is that they are planned around people, rather than cars. This is so true about Amsterdam, but we felt this even more when we visited Harry's relatives, Ben and Nel, in Utrecht. They took us on a tour of the countryside, and made a stop in the tiny village of Cohten. This was a very special stop since it is the town where Harry's mother was born and where the Van Leur family originated. We toured a windmill and the church that his family attended.

Our sightseeing highlights in Amsterdam:

  • NightTrain to Amsterdam - talk about close quarters! VanGogh gallery and RihksMuseum (original Rembrandts, Vermeer and Hals as well as the history of Holland)
  • A visit to the Anne Frank house
  • A walk through the Red Light district - oh, how naughty!
  • Daytrip to Utrecht and Cohten
  • Bicycling through Utrecht - I really MUST get a bike. This was defenitely a highlight of the entire trip.

While in Holland, I learned that Gouda is defenitely a superior cheese and that a panekoek is best with apples and sugar - mmmm... I also found out that the government has made home mortgage tax deductable - how cool is that!
I had a wonderful time getting to know Harry's relatives, learning more about life in Holland. I have come back inspired to simplify my life and really focus on to the things that mean the most to us. Ben and Nel are both incredibly creative people - they keep a simple, beautiful home; filled with the warmth of home cooking, music and art projects. When I had a conversation with Nel about my life and work at home, she just said to me; "I hope you find something to do creatively in your daily work." She was so genuine and adament about this simple statement that I found ringing over in my head throughout our travels.

And onward to Brussels

We were NOT ready to leave Holland. The train ride to Brussels was quiet and reflective as Harry and I mentally prepared for a new unknown city. Our first impressions of the city were quite mixed. We both found this to be a strange contrast of rich history against fast emerging business and commerce. We both agreed that it felt like the city didn't feel comfortable with it's past; perhaps they were just impatient to get on with the here and now.

At any rate, here are the highlights:
-Walking through the Grand Place and area for shopping and eating
-Musee des Beaux-Arts
-Musee de la bande dessinee - comics! with lots of TinTin
-Antique browsing in Sablon and a visit to famous Belgian chocolatier
-Palais do Justice - impressive architecture!

We had a bit of a rough go with Brussels, but I have to say you cannot get a better gaufre chaude with whipping cream, strawberries and chocolate - delicious! Also, where else would you be able to find a cherry beer except in Belgium. I did appreciate all the treats that were offered here. Also, the architecture really was something to marvel at - particularly the palais de Justice. For a couple Canadian kids who consider an antique some item from the 50's this city was quite the eye opener. Wow!

Paris! Leaving Europe with a bang...or, was that more like a fizzle?

Oi, we were exhausted by the time we got to Paris. We were getting seriously worn out from the days and days of walking and we really needed to do some laundry and slow down to conserve energy. First day in this magnificent city we spent in our rented apartment doing laundry, watching bad french cable and eating a home cooked meal. Ah, the simple pleasures in life. The rest of our time was fairly typical of any tourist. We hit all the main attractions, enjoyed the shopping and holy cow, let's not forget about the unforgettable cafe au lait! Perfection!

The weather had turned a bit grey and cold shortly after we got there and this concrete city began to look quite melancholy. I had so many expectations of what Paris would be like, but somehow it fell short. Don't get me wrong - I was totally blown away by the art, architecture and style of everything around us. But, perhaps it was the overcrowded streets, the unending tourists, the overpriced everything - I don't know, but we had certainly had enough by the time the week was over. Also, it was unfortunate that Harry picked up some sort of virus while we were there which started out as flu symptoms and escalated to something much worse when we got home. So, I suppose our Paris experience is not the best in the world, but it certainly was memorable.

Overall this trip was worth every second and every cent! We discovered a lot about ourselves as travellers and how we relate to each other as a couple. I know I couldn't do this trip without Hubby - it was so unbelievable to share all those moments with him. I feel happy to be home, but even happier that we have so many memories between us. (Now I better stop before it gets too sappy!)

[Clap Clap!] OK, you can wake up now! The slide show is over :) Hope I didn't totally bore the pants off you, but if I did it's a good thing you can just stop reading! Ha! Now it's back to normal routines. I'm anxious to get going on Illustration Friday again as well as some Xmas projects. Stay tuned - I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Back to Familiarity

Sigh..big sigh...Yes, we are back at home. We were happy to be off the plane on Sunday night and into our own warm cozy bed. This was totally an adventure of a lifetime for us since neither Hubby nor I are world travellers and I honestly don't think either of us is cut out to do the long backpacking treks. We are still nursing individual levels of exhaustion and unfortunately Harry caught a horrendous virus in the last few days in Paris, so needless to say he was done with travelling and just wanted to go home. Done like dinner.
I like to think I could handle longer travels - perhaps an extended trip through Italy, then Greece and Turkey. Or maybe something more exotic like an African Safari or some sort of expedition through the Australian Outback. But really...who am I kidding? I can handle about 3 weeks and then I'm dreaming of being back home, cooking in my kitchen, watching tv, lazing on the couch with all my knitting projects.

But here we are...and today was my first day back at work. I had been dreading this since Monday - thinking it is going to be so awful to get back into the routine of being in an office. Blah, boring and completely uninspiring. This was all I thought after experiencing so much beauty in each new place we visited. I was in for a surprise though. I am happy to report I have been assigned to a new project which promises a lot more creativity than what I've been working on in the past. This industry changes all the time so I don't know if this will be permanent. But for now, I am hopeful and content.

As we settle in, I'm noticing that a lot of things about this trip are finally starting to sink in. Many travel days passed like a whirlwind and at dinner I'd think...what did we do yesterday? Then I'd draw a complete blank. Luckily I kept a travel journal. Somewhat cryptic; with doodles and thoughts randomly jotted all over the page. But it makes sense to me, so it's all good. I'd like to share some of my thoughts about each place we travelled to, along with some of my journal pages and perhaps more photos. But don't worry, it won't turn into one of those painful travel slide shows that you are convinced will never end. I'll be sure to break it up into a couple posts to keep you from nodding off ;) So, here goes...

Our first stop was Augsburg, Germany to visit our good friends Colin and Marlene. They moved here 5 years ago to start Colin's international career as a professional tenor singer.

Our sightseeing highlights:

  • Schloss Neuwanstein (the castle that Disney based his signature castle)

  • various cathedrals in Munich and Bavaria

  • an afternoon shopping and wandering around the MarienPlatz

  • a visit to the concentration Camp memorial in Dachau

Bavaria is so beautiful - it so reminds me of home with the green landscape and mountains in the distance. The weather was amazing the entire time we were there - we were even wearing shorts to accommodate the heat. This photo was taken from the castle window when we did the tour. I'm sure it could be found in some story book - it did feel quite magical to be there. Although it wasn't anything like Disneyland...

We had many wonderful times visiting with our friends. We caught up on lots and heard all the plans for the baby they are expecting. I learned that Germany has got a kick ass health care system and that it's worth paying to use a public WC. We also enjoyed excellent cooking by Miss Marlene. They are impeccable hosts and it is times like these that I am so very thankful for generous friends. We are incredibly lucky!

I'd have to say that the visit to Dachau was the experience that stuck with me most. This place is haunted by the atrocities that took place during the war. I was overwhelmed by the barren spaces, an open gravel field where the prisoner barracks once stood. There were so many of them. So many people who suffered. Honestly I don't know how respond - I am still speechless after having time to absorb it. In my journal I just called this a big open space of sadness.

Well, that was our short visit to Germany in a blur and a nutshell. We were only there for 3 days and then it was off to Amsterdam, Brussels and finally Paris! But I'll keep that for the post tomorrow!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The end is near

Greetings from the land of café au lait and high fashion. I am writing this from our quaint little Paris apartment - we have just finished breakfast and are about to head out for a day of shopping. Yes, this could be very dangereuse.
This has been a journey of a lifetime and as the day of departure draws near, our level of exhaustion has been nearly unbearable. With all the sights and experiences to absorb we are worried that we may not be appreciating everything the way we should. But I still can't believe that I've climbed the stairs of the Eiffel tower, visited a concentration camp, bicycled through the streets of Holland, and been in the same room as an original picasso. I am so grateful for every moment and we still have 2 more days in Paris so I better make this short so we can get going and paint the town red. Did I happen to mention that the coffee is amazing here? I may consider moving to Paris just for the café au lait.
Anyways, more on this adventure next week when we are back home. That is if I can get out of bed - I think we may sleep for a month when we get there.

Check out some of our photos here

Sunday, October 08, 2006

And we're off!

Ok peeps! Here we go into the wild blue yonder. It's kind of hectic around our house right now, but I thought I'd just leave a little farewell post before heading out. A million things going through my mind...passports - check, camera - check, socks&undies - check, chapstick - check, excellent music on my mp3 player - check, valium - check! ok. I'm good to go! We tend to be quite the procrastinators, so of course here I am the morning of our departure, stitching the flag onto our packs...must - sew - faster!

I'm looking forward to every minute of this vacation and I'm sure it will fly by so fast! Farewell to all - see you in November!!

Half in the Sun

And, introducing...Harry's first publication! His story "The End of Swinburne" is part of this anthology and can be found on page 83! I'm beaming with pride for Mr. Hubby.

I'm terrible at giving reviews about books and considering we just got the books last thursday, I have barely started reading it. So, here are some intelligent reviews that have been included on the back cover.

Here is the publishers write up: I'm not sure about the details of where this will be selling so if by chance this book appeals to you and you'd like to purchase a copy, please email me - I'm sure we can hook you up. When we get back from Europe, Harry will be doing a reading or two and I must admit he has quite a talent here. He has such conviction when he tells stories. He can get an entire audience on the edge of their seats - it is quite the treat!
Harry and I both grew up in Mennonite families and I'm sure many of you are wondering what the heck that means. I don't have a lot of time to go into it right now, but you can read more about here if you are interested. Ok, slight clarification here...I have pure Mennonite bloodlines where Harry actually has Doukabour blood in him, (I sort of just lumped it in with the Mennonite background which was wrong of me, I have now been set straight) - see Harry's comment for more info...

Ok, off we go to turkey dinner - did I mention it is Thanksgiving weekend for us Canadians? Well, gobble gobble.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Decaying Piano

2 more sleeps and we will be flying over the Atlantic Ocean - eeeeee. Here we go! I had my final day at work yesterday and let me tell you, it dragged on for-ever!

I don't really know what to blog about today because my mind is filled with a checklist of all we have to get done and I'm a big ball of nerves right now! Except, I did come across these photos I made when I was in art school many moons ago and thought I would share them. I was never much of a photographer - there were other students who just had the knack for finding amazing images and the magic voodoo with chemicals to make their prints even more beautiful. Every time I tried to develop my film, it would go grainy or I'd screw up getting it in the canister and lose half the roll of film. Photography was not my thing.

I lived on the East side of Vancouver for my first year at ECIAD - my neighbourhood was always filled with treasures. This dilapidated piano was in someone's front yard but unless you were walking by the house and happened to look beyond the overgrown garden, you'd never notice it. I wondered how it got there and how old it was - there are so many different stories in my head about the people who live here and their history. I really don't want to know the truth about them because I'm sure I'd be disappointed.
Oh, before I go - some other very exciting news - my very talented hubby has got his first story published!! I am so proud of him. Before we leave for our vacation I will blog about it and gush until he turns red in the cheeks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Illustration Friday {Quiet}

Well, it is pretty rough and I'm so late posting this, but I really wanted to try something different and I'm totally into redwork embroidery right now. So, here it is...This is the quick sketch I started with.
And, here is the embroidery - WIP as you can see.

It is no secret that I love the fibre arts - knitting and embroidery being my main obsessions as of late. We have this hand me down rocking chair that sits in the corner of our living room which my parents actually used to rocked me to sleep when I was a wee one. I don't ever sit in it because it is fairly uncomfortable, although I will probably always keep it in my house for the family sentiments. Somehow, all my knitting ends up living there when I'm not working on it. During my days at the office, I will sometimes think of my project just resting on the chair, all quiet and peaceful. And oh, how I wish I could be home working on it.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

No more apologies...I promise!

It has been a difficult week...and Hubby #1, the regular wonderful man that he always is, bought me a bunch of bee-utiful flowers to brighten my mood. Could the timing be more appropriate? I think not.

There have been a few things on my mind that attribute to my blues, but I don't really want to go into it here because it's personal and I don't think many would be interested in hearing me ramble on about it anyways.
But I will say that work has a huge part of it. Kay and I talk often about our day jobs or I should say "careers", even though in many ways it has become a job. We are both unhappy and looking for a new path. We just need to encourage each other enough to take the next big step! I know we can do it.

I'm so inspired by everything I read on the blogs out there - creative folks living the lives they were meant to lead. Also, listening to Jennifer's podcast this week was just so wonderful - exactly what I needed to hear. And so much encouragement in her final words as she read a snippet of Dr. Suess' "Oh the places you'll go". Yes, change is difficult and always necessary. What a cliche...I'm sure Hubby Hubberson will love to tear into that one!

I've also got a lot of nervous energy welling up in me. I'm acting a little erratic lately; somewhat obsessive about blogging and commenting, and blogging some more. I think I'm just wound up about our vacation coming up in 8 days! Gosh, I'm so unbelievably nervous and excited all at the same time. Hubby and I were discussing my blog over a pint and some pizza last night - and we had this conversation...

Hubby: you have to stop apologizing on your blog
Sally: But I don't want to offend anyone! Otherwise they won't come back...
Hubby: Stop apologizing - you are cluttering up your space
Sally: Sigh...but -
Hubby: Stop apologizing. It is your space and your voice. No need to apologize.
Sally: ...

He so has a point here. Where would I be without Mr. Hubby? He makes me a stronger person and helps me maintain my true self. All that and he can make me bust a gut laughing for hours with a wickedly dry sense of humour. Some days I wonder... how did I ever get so lucky!

So, there you have it folks. No more apologies and for this next week I'm going to focus on knitting more of these swatches to take my mind off my blogging OCD. I'm going to start knitting a tea cozy for my mom when I get back from Europe and I need to brush up on colour knitting skills.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Illustration Friday {Phobia}

Social Phobia (as stated here): the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.

I'm not saying I feel this extreme in every social setting, but in the worst situations it is pretty close. Does anyone else look for the closest exit when they are at a big party?

This is the first time I've used Photoshop to "doctor" my illustration. I sort of feel like I've cheated...not my best work, but here it is!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dad wins the Prize for Best Kitchen Storage

There is so much going on here, but I just couldn't contain myself. I am sitting here early on a Sunday morning so I can get this post up before everyone comes over for brunch. All because I must share this object of beauty with everyone. I am the luckiest girl in the world right now and I am overwhelmed!
Here she stands in all her glory!

The idea of this project surfaced over a year ago as my Dad was settling into retirement and taking up a long awaiting hobbie in woodworking. Of course, I had to get my nose in there and see if he would build us something. And since he was more than willing, I drafted up some ideas from designs I found in magazines and websites. The main idea of this design was hidden storage and clean lines. I love organized spaces, and even though my own home is usually cluttered with miscellaneous piles of stuff all over, I still have the goal to one day have a perfect place for everything. I know this may be a bit unrealistic since my personality has the tendancy to chaos, but that doesn't mean I won't try!

Look at this interior, I have a liquor cabinet! How very grown up :)

I must say that I am completely blown away by how close the final product is to my original concept. Here are my original designs that I did from home on some lame educational version of Maya (please try to ignore the awful watermarks!).

Dad has really outdone himself with this project. You should see the drawers! No more Ikea crap drawers that fall apart after 2 months - oh no, these are high quality, smooth as silk, hardwood drawers. Yes, I am gushing, I know...but I can't help it, I'm totally overwhelmed.

Thank-you Dad!! Thank-you a million times!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Catching up with Cupcakes

Well, another week has almost gone by and things just don't seem to get any less busy around here. The parental units have been visiting since last week, so most of our time has been spent visiting and catching up. Every night my mom has been making the most amazing dinners - I'm so glad she has happily taken over in the kitchen. I've forgotten what it is like to come home to dinner already made. What a treat! And they have been keeping busy busy around our place - painting rooms, fixing shelves, installing pot racks, and the list just keeps on growing! I can't believe how lucky I am! Oh, and how could I forget the highlight of this visit: my most talented father has built us a *beautiful* kitchen armoir that I am still in awe of every day I come down the stairs. This is defenitely an heirloom! It is truly spectacular and I will post more about it next week, complete with pictures and more on our collaboration.

In the meantime, here is a little of the craftiness going on around here. Not much time to draw (hence the lack of participation in illustration friday), but since we visit every evening, it has been great opportunity to work on more crafty goods. Yes, here is one of the cupcakes I've been working on. Aren't they sweet? Zero calories, zero fat, zero perservatives and they'll never go bad :)

Now off I go to watch Survivor with the family!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Aviatophobia: the fear of flying

22 days until our big vacation and I'm becoming overwhelmed by my fear of flying. It's not like I haven't flown before - we usually get on a plane at least twice a year to go out east and visit the family. But that doesn't stop me from losing sleep over my paranoia of a plane crash or a laptop explosion (have you heard about those sony batteries?) or even worse a terrorist threat. The flight from Vancouver to Heathrow is 9 hours, then we have to make a connection to Munich. stomach is in knots already just thinking about how long I will have to endure sitting in a tin can thousands of feet above land. So, to help me prepare, I thought I would try some art therapy.
Here are my major fears: crashing into the ocean or exploding in the sky. Both are equally horrifying to me - although falling from the plane without a parachute sometimes takes the cake. I am a nervous mess when we land and I'm even worse when we take off. There is something just completely unnatural about humans wanting to fly in the air. So why do I put myself through this??

And the new restrictions do nothing but feed my anxiety. To top it off, I am clausterphobic and during our trip to the Dominican last year I had a bit of a breakdown halfway through the flight. I felt like the walls were closing in and everyone was breathing in my face. That was horrible - imagine everyone in the cabin asleep while I was locked in the teeny tiny bathroom trying to catch my breath. What a nightmare!! But now there is no extra comforts to soothe me... no water, no chapstick, no knitting?? Well, ok, the knitting has been banned for a long time - but it would do wonders for my nervous energy. The only solution here is to knock myself out completely - unconscious. Seriously. I don't know how else I'm going to last!
I wish with all my might that Europe was only a lazy afternoon river boat ride away. Please note the calm water, the blue sky, and the narrow river where green grass is just a hop and skip away from the boat. This is the proper way for humans to travel...if only travel were this easy.
Well, it would be way cool if someone would hurry up and invent the star trek transporter. That would solve all my problems with travel. Sigh...
Until then, I will just breathe and pray...breathe and pray. I can do this, people fly every day! Just breathe. Think about Oktoberfest, castles, French pastries and Van is so totally worth it!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Sweater for Kale

This is such a rare occurance in my knitting experiences that I had to post these pictures with just a tiny bit of pride - a sweater made by yours truly that actually looks wearable! I am so pleasantly surprised with the way this one turned out - a little cable cardi for my nephew in Alberta. He turned 2 years old over Labour Day weekend (yes, we are late sending this to him...fortunately this has become the norm for us and the family now expects us to send stuff fashionably belated.) But I'm just about to send it off to him and I hope that it keeps him cozy all winter - it sure does get cold in Alberta! And look at this perfect hoodie - complete with cute little tassel which I'm sure will be ripped off within a week of wearing it.

In other Sally updates, our European Adventure is only 23 days away now! I've been dreaming of Oktoberfest beer and Parisian pastries - we can hardly contain ourselves! Today we headed out to Vancouver to seek out durable backpacks and happened to pass by a huge rummage sale at the United Church down the street. Of course I had to make hubby hubberson stop so I could nose around. And what did I find among tables of old typewriters, glassware and knick knacks? 2 full bages of yarn for a loonie each! What a steal. I know they are all little leftovers from some grandmas stash - not really enough to make a sweater or pair of socks, but I love the variety of colours and weight. I can make many many cupcakes with all the colours (more on cupcakes later...they are in progress right now!). I must say, I cannot pass up yarn of any kind. It is a hopeless addiction!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Issues with Blogger Comments?

Since I've upgraded to the new beta Blogger template, I've noticed errors with giving and receiving comments. These are known issues with blogger; unfortunately, I didn't do much homework on the subject before upgrading. My normal reaction of getting really excited about something and jumping right in before researching was inevitable with switching to beta blogger. Now, I must deal with it. So, here are some work arounds that they have posted on the "Outstanding Issues" beta blogger page:

For those with current blogger accounts:

Users are seeing errors when posting comments with current Blogger accounts to blogs on the new version of Blogger in beta. Until we fix this, the workaround is to preview the comment before publishing. (You only need to preview once per account.)

For those who have switched to the beta blogger account:

Users who have switched to Blogger in beta will not be able to login to comment on blogs that have not switched. Commenting using the “anonymous” or “other” options will still work.

If I hear of any updates I'll post them, but it sounds like this will be a work around for the next while.


Until then, I'll leave you with this colour exploration that I did in my first year of art school many moons ago. The season is just beginning to change over here and I am looking forward to seeing the leaves change colour. (Oil and pressed leaves on Rag paper).
Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Illustration Friday {Farm}

At the time it seemed like a genius idea for the farm animals to run away and join the circus - the fame, the fortune, the glamour! Somehow, it just didn't turn out the way they planned and they aren't so sure anymore. Although, it looks like the barn mice have finally found their true calling :)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My Newest Friends

Got my camera back and I'm absolutely trigger happy! I'd like to introduce you to my new friends, Wee Bunny and Pointy Kitty! I found the patterns at Wee Wonderfuls and finally had time to make them. They are both meant to be gifts, but the pointy kitty is a bit wobbly and not so well made since it was my first go at it, so I think he will stay with me. I can't quite figure out how to attach the head properly. Any advice?

Here's the cushion cover I finished ages ago...and the little rascals just couldn't stay out of the picture!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm a Happy Blogger

I just discovered the latest beta blogger and *yay*, I can now change up my template simply by clicking some nice GUI windows and adding stuff. Finally, the solution to those of us who lack the computer language brain cells. I am totally pathetic when it comes to any HTML. I think my brain just goes to mush when I look at the text and I'm sure that my eyes completely glaze over. I've gone to my happy place and hopefully I don't start to drool.

Anyways, the other day I came across this helpful article about starting a craft blog and found it mighty useful. One of the author's suggestions was to have a profile and post an "about" page. So, with the happy new blog options, I've finally added one! There is a link in the right margin, but you can also click here to learn more about me :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Illustration Friday {Safe}

Babies always look safest when they are in their mother's arms.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Crafty Week

Phew! It has been a busy August. I can hardly believe that all the kiddies will be back at school next week - this summer seems to have barely begun and already I'm having to think about the fall. Funny how time just creeps up on me now - I remember being a kid and the summer months seemed to last an eternity. Days upon days of endless adventures; riding bicycles through the subdivision and camping in the backyard. Ah yes...where have those days gone? The time passing quicker and quicker is a sure sign that I'm getting older - my Dad has warned me that this only increases as we get older.

These days I'm lucky to get a couple hours of drawing or crafting in after I come home from work...make dinner, clean up, chores, piles and piles of boring crap. Some days I feel like time is just falling in on me. I feel incredibly protective of the tiny space of each day where I can do exactly what I want to do. Time is so precious to me and lately it has been forcing me to re-evaluate our current situation as members of the rat race.

And on that note, I must mention that I will have no illustration to share for IF this week. Alas, I have run out of time to do everything. This week is all about crafting because I really need to focus on getting some of these gifts done for all the babies that keep popping up everywhere. And I do love to make bitty baby things - it brings me so much joy to give people a little bit of handmade goodness and I hope I can always shield enough time in my life to do that.

Last week I made these bitty booties from a pattern on Heather Bailey's blog and I have 2 more pairs on the go. They are a hoot to make and I think I have become an addict.

Other works in progress include a cushion cover, a softie, and a little sweater I am knitting up for my nephew. He turns 2 in September. Again, I am overcome with how quickly time flies.

Ok, off to bed now. There is a nice heavy rainfall to put me to sleep (I think I hear thunder!), I'm looking forward to these cooler nights - but not the shorter days. I hear mr. hubby complaining again... G'night all :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Illustration Friday {Match}

It seemed as though everyone had a perfect match...except for her.