Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What a great idea!

Please forgive the lack of an arty post. I have been having a great time at Dawn's ART at the Lyceum classes, just not a lot of time to post about it.
I have my sweet Ada and Liam here today. I called Ness and asked if I could borrow them because I missed them. Nialle dropeed them off early this morning, in the dark. Nessa had a day planned where she would get lots and lots accomplished, home all alone.

Well, that didn't work out. She got a call as soon as the kids left this morning for a subbing job at the High School. Which turned out to be a good thing as she didn't have to scramble for someone to take the kids (Pick Me!!) and she made some contacts there for future jobs. Good stuff. The students are nice to her there! Not like the nasty school we don't talk about where they scream and treat her hideously.

So here is something wonderful and interesting to consider while you go about your day. Carbon Info on Consumer Product? What a great idea! Check it out and let me know if you think it's as good an idea as I do. Thanks to The Thrifty Chicks for this!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Art at the Lyceum

The lovely Dawn of Art of Humungous Proportions started teaching a new class at the Lyceum yesterday, which Josh and I signed up for. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, full of light, colour, laughter and friends.

The subject was Van Gogh, and we talked abut his life, his struggles and his unwavering passion to create the beauty that he saw in the world.
We chose a painting and proceeded to try to recreate it. Recreating masterpieces is a time honoured tradition among artists. It really gave me a window into Vincent, and a chance to see the world through his eyes. His vision was vibrant.

I was thrilled with the medium of choice for the class. I had made a set of chalk pastels a couple of years ago at a class in Wetaskiwin. I haven't used them nearly enough, and it was amazing to see that saturated colour transferred to my page.

Everyone chose briliant colours, and each picture was so incredible! Sunflowers and Starry Nights are perfect subjects for playing on paper.

It is so satisfying to get dirty doing something so inspiring!

We were all happy to share our thoughts on what the process (and that was what it was about) taught us about colour or perspective or light.

The best thing? We get to do it again next week!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I may be behind in posting, but since I started posting again it doesn't worry me. No one will care that my pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner are so late. Or at least they won't say anything if they do. (will you?)

Thanksgiving weekend is usually a very laid back affair centered around turkey and gravy. And cranberries. Sometimes we go to Slave Lake and then it includes a big adventure on the Quads up into the hills through the autumn leaves. This year we had that adventure early, for my mom's birthday in September, and decided to stay home and celebrate with Nialle and Nessa and the kids. Since they had just returned from their first holiday without the kids, we opted to do a communal dinner at their house and skip the turkey altogether. (Scandalous, I know!)

It was a succulent feast with actual courses, each served independently and leisurely. So unlike the usual loud and rowdy buffet we do when the whole family is together with all my siblings and nieces and nephews. That is every man for himself, and is completely charming and exhilarating. Sometimes dangerous, but always fun!

We packed up our contributions to the meal and headed out to our kids house. We found some pretty flowers for our hostess.

Our first course was baked brie with fresh cranberry topping, roasted garlic and bread.
Gooey and yummy!

At our second course, Ada made sure her Mommy didn't go hungry. She fed Mommy the green salad with pears, caramelized walnuts and balsamic maple dressing.

The table was beautifully set, and with the low October light it was magical.

We all had big smiles!

Next up was a brilliant creamy carrot soup and fresh, hot bisquits with fresh herb butter and homemade raspberry jam. Be still my heart!

Oh Ada! You make me laugh, even if you won't hold still for a perfect photo op! You're such a happy girl, though you just cut your first two teeth!

Between courses, we had time for stories. Grandma read Curious George to Liam (with a lot of help), and we were both shocked to note that that silly little monkey has no tail! How can this be? I ought to complain to the proper authorities! I read these books to Nialle when he was little, but I had never noticed this until Liam asked me about it. Three year olds are so smart.

Liam checks to see if he has a tail.

Uncle Josh and Liam had time for a game of Rush Hour. It wasn't even rushed. Aaaah. I love slow, stress free holidays.

Miss Ada is always on the move. She is a blur passing by, and my shutter speed is no match for her. Darling girl!

The last courses, Walnut crusted pork loin with apple stuffing, homemade crab-apple sauce on the side (made by my mom...it was a four generation meal!), autumn veggies roasted in balsamic vinegar...(mmmm...like candy), and sweet garden peas with bacon, didn't get photographed. We were beginning to moan. By the time Vanessa served her homemade pumpkin pie we were almost comatose. Considering our meal took two hours to eat, I think we did pretty well.

I give thanks and thanks and thanks again for my wonderful family. I am blessed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Change the World

Go ahead.... I know you can do it!

Check here to see how easy it really is.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Under the tree.

Grandma must want a close up!

The tomatoes are a huge draw.


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More to share

Giant, happy faces in Mom's garden.

A view of what a burned out forest looks like 5 years later.

September sky.

He likes to help with the projects.

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Some of my favorite photos from this fall...

The beach at Slave Lake at the end of September. Deserted and peaceful.

Miles and miles of it...

The water was still warm and inviting to bare feet.

Mine weren't the only bear feet on the beach that day.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Colour of Friendship

This is my amazing journal! It's custom made and prepped for me by an amazing artist friend who lives a very long way from me.

This is a small hand trying my wonderful art journal on for size.

The journal, a work of art and a labour of LOvE, was created by Kim, The Queen of Arts, for our Canadian Chicks Journal Swap.

There are pockets full of treasure...

beautiful pages prepped and ready for me to journal...
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And colour sweet colour! I love my journal, and can't wait to play in it. Kim, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and the joy of life that comes through loud and clear in this treasure. It has the reflection of it's creator in every single page!

Monday, October 05, 2009

On Being

It's almost as great to witness something really exciting as it is to do something really exciting. And I don't mean witness as in seeing a lady get mugged in the Walmart parking lot, because that happened this summer and it wasn't great at all. I mean seeing a transforming life process that happens before your eyes.

Let me explain.

Over the last year, in my home, I've seen two amazing young men spill over with gifts and talents and joy. I've always believed that childhood is special because a child IS important; IS a real person who contributes and has value. I don't buy into the "children are important because they are our future" idea. No. Children are important because they are human beings, created and gifted and important because they are whole human beings.

So seeing my boys BE-ing has always been a very sweet gift. I feel blessed to be a witness to their life and growth. They are so much fun to be around! They are so interesting and thoughtful and full of life. Spending time with them is energizing. I love it!

The young adult (known in some circles as "teenage") years are when all the time you've spent with them, building memories and trust and values and love begins to come back in abundance. It is a time when they just seem to get it. Life is what you put into it. They become responsible around the house and grasp the fact that they are here to contribute, not consume. They see, and understand this connection. I think these years are some of the best for parents. We've sown, and now we reap.

My baby is a natural athlete who is loving his sport, and is just as comfortable with a guitar in his hand or reciting Shakespeare in front of a crowd.
My eldest is a very gifted musician who loves what he does, loves people, does useful work in his job and is a wonderful husband and father to two of the most beautiful babes in the world. He has many, many creative gifts that serve him well in making the world a much more beautiful and interesting place.
My middle child (who has never suffered from the stigma of that label) is a designer who creates and makes things as naturally as he breathes. He is always looking at the beauty of the world, at the possibility of a material, at the way that we use and manipulate the physical to become...more.
He is not "going to be" a designer.
He IS a designer, and always has been.
He makes things, and music, for himself, and with complete generosity for others.

They all have deep interest in the world, curiosity and contentment, and a wicked sense of humour. They are all good, good people who bring joy to their families and strength to their communities. They are all intelligent and capable and brave. They had these gifts from birth, I've no doubt about that. I take credit only in allowing these gifts to germinate, and providing what I could to the mix, and staying out of their way.

I look out the window and see the season changing. I look at my garden that produced a lovely harvest. It's good to recognize that potential in all creation for such abundance. It's so sweet to recognize this in our own lives. We don't manufacture the seeds. We just plant, water and get out of the way till the day the harvest comes in. And may I say...the fruit is very sweet.