Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My Birthday in Review

Yesterday was my 31st birthday. I celebrated all weekend long: Saturday we went to Springridge Farms where I picked up a few things for myself; Sunday we went swimming and shopping at an art store and the market; yesterday Pat took the day off and we went out for dinner for the first time as a family. A lovely birthday long weekend, I must say!
Here is my new market bag, handmade in Madagascar using natural fibres. I grabbed a few of these for gifts (along with a selection of items to go inside) before I started browsing for me. Pat expressed his surprise that I hadn't chosen one of the bags for myself. I did want one, but there weren't any colours I really loved left. Before we could finish looking around the upstairs rooms, Marc started fussing for food. So we paid for what we had and ordered meals to enjoy at the picnic tables outside. Once our hunger was satisfied, I went back in to find something for myself and was pleased when Pat pointed out that the bags had been restocked. This gorgeous purple/green/grey one had Amanda written all over it!

I also couldn't resist adding this tiny bowl to my collection:
I'll demonstrate all my new art supplies over the next few days and I'm sure photos of my birthday flowers will make it up at some point too.

The only thing really missing was a traditional birthday cake... we had delicious gelato last night instead (Marc approved of the raspberry sorbet!). I was so excited when Pat suggested we go out to Papa Giuseppe's; we hadn't been since the weekend before I delivered Marc. I devoured my spaghetti and meatballs - so good! Marc was the perfect baby while we were there: looking around, charming the ladies and just barely fussing for food and once he was tired near the end. Slowly but surely, we're getting back to our old favourites; places made even more special as we introduce them to our son. I'm so looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Word of the Day

Here's an idea for a daily sketchbook practice: use an online dictionary's "word of the day" as a prompt.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Simple Collage

Not sure what it is about these two simple collages, but they just speak to me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sketchbook Pages: Week 31

I only have a couple of pages to show for week 31 - partly because we were away for the weekend. I only have 3 more pages left in this sketchbook and then it is on to a new one (and by new I don't necessarily mean completely empty). I haven't decided just yet which one, I have a few to choose from... I think that anticipation in choosing is all part of the fun!

8/1 Soft Breeze

8/2-3 Fiery Tempest

Materials used:
  • assorted papers (scrapbooking, recycled, magazine, tissue, handmade, ephemera)
  • paint
  • pencil crayon
  • pencil

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sketchbook Pages: Creative Journey

I typically have quite a few sketchbooks on the go at any one time. Some have specific themes or purposes (daily pages, simple collages, etc) and there are different sizes that I might grab depending on my mood. Recently, I started a new altered book. This one isn't quite the same as my Amber book, where I took a vintage book, ripped out some pages and have been altering the rest with many layers of mixed-media. This one is a small book that Pat received as an itinerary for a three-day tech conference. The pages are full of ads, schedules and course descriptions:
What drew me to this book was the design: the page numbers, the grid background, the graphics, the good quality paper. Oh, and there was a pretty good quote on the front cover - here it is after I used gesso to white out most of the text:
At first, I was going to use this book for more "complete" pages, similar to my Amber book, and so I did for the first spread:
I kept this page simple with the following layers: gesso, gelato spray and drip, draw circles with pencil, paint, and India ink doodles (black) and splatter (orange). Happy!

After this page though, I decided I wanted to make these pages even looser and simpler and more free. I didn't want to think about "finishing" a page - I just wanted to slap down a layer or two and move on. I wanted a place to use leftover paint and paper scraps. An uncomplicated place to turn to while other pages dry. Here are the next few pages that have resulted:
Layers: gesso, pencil crayon scribble, collage words, paint
Layers: paint, Sharpie journaling, collage
Layers: paint, collage
Layers: collage, washi tape
Layers: collage, gesso, pencil crayon flowers
Layers: paint, collage, black pen scribbles

I find myself turning to this book immediately after finishing my daily sketchbook page. I bang up a quick page with any scraps or techniques I want to play with a bit more. I'm looking forward to seeing where the rest of the book takes me!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Groceries

Drawing out lists - in this case, a grocery list - is a great journal prompt.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

2017 Goals: July

And so we are one month into the second half of the year.

17 GOALS FOR 2017:

  1. Read 30 books. (11/30)
  2. Finish 2 cross-stitch patterns. (1/2)
  3. Finish Amber art book and start a new one. (6 pages to go)
  4. Take monthly baby and family photos. (7/12)
  5. Journal or sketchbook daily. (30/31)
  6. Set a schedule for blogging (weekly) (4/4), crafting (daily) (18/31) and getting out of the house (3-4x weekly) (4/4).
  7. Make and freeze meals for post-partum. 
  8. Gather 10 good crockpot recipes. (4/10)
  9. Set a routine for exercising (3-4x weekly). (0/4)
  10. Catalogue library. (no progress)
  11. Organize, declutter, minimize, purge. (decluttered my craft desk some more)
  12. Figure out cloth-diapering (still need to practice with these before deciding if I want to continue with it), nursing/pumping and making baby food (so much fun!)
  13. Stay in touch with friends while on maternity leave. (yes)
  14. Be intentional deepening relationship with Pat. Set weekly date nights. (4/4 - still nothing too fancy, but spending time together is what counts)
  15. Go to a weekly drop-in session or mother/baby class. (1/3)
  16. Make a fabric book and a colour sorting game for Marc. (0/2 - although I did sort some of his toys into 3 coloured Tupperware bowls recently)
  17. Use fresh herbs and tomatoes from the garden as much as possible and preserve them come the fall. (used some herbs in pasta bakes and salads this month)
Some more decent progress - looking forward to another intentional month!