Friday, September 30, 2011

The Last Day of September

Just like that, it's the last day of September. Summer is officially over: the cool weather has set in, the leaves are starting to turn & darkness arrives much earlier in the evenings. The big bowl of apples on my table scents the air & I'm drawn to the kitchen to cook & bake all the hot comfort foods I haven't enjoyed in months.
This September has been particularly eventful for me. This month marks the end of an era & the beginning of a new one. The end of my school years & the beginning of adulthood. It's both exciting & terrifying! It will take some time to adjust - in my mind, I still feel like a student.

But I'm not. Not anymore. So as my responsibilities shift with my new role in life, I wanted to record the events of this month so that I might remember my last month as a student:
  • I spent over a week alone while Pat was up North painting the car & saving my dad & brother from a sinking boat. It sucked. But I studied.
  • I successfully defended my thesis. We celebrated with Mandarin. Yum!
  • I successfully submitted my thesis & all the supporting forms.
  • I signed up for convocation in November.
  • I passed on my TA duties to a new TA. Reluctantly. I'm really going to miss teaching the new BioPharm students.
  • I applied for a job at Cornerstone last Friday, as per Denis' referral (one of the partners at Cornerstone is a BioPharm graduate & contacts Denis regularly for recent grads to hire).
  • I got called Monday for an interview at Cornerstone.
  • I went for my interview at Cornerstone yesterday. It went really well. I felt really comfortable with all the questions. Now I just have to wait a week to hear if I go back for a second interview & writing test.
  • We went apple picking at Puddincombe Farms & Winery. We tried some wine while there & picked up a delicious apple wine & an award-winning vidal ice wine.
  • I acquired a taste for wine! Riesling is my favourite so far, whereas Pat has been all about the Chianti. Now I feel so much more convincing when pretending to be sophisticated!
  • We went to London to watch football with our friends, Manny & Sara, & their adorable daughter, Semiah. I tried & failed to ignore my baby fever. Lucky Pat!
  • I tried on an engagement ring (this one) I've been eyeing for a while now. It fit absolutely perfectly & looked amazing. Now if only someone could hire me so that we can start paying off some bills!
  • Pat ordered 2 things from Amazon (using points he earned at work) & both went missing. The amp was delivered by UPS to our building & was signed for ... but not by us. The Resistance 3 pack was somehow not scanned properly by Canada Post & was sent back to Amazon. *sigh* At least Amazon was good about reshipping & the last box came in today.
See? Pretty eventful if you ask me! Now here's hoping October brings a job offer & a bit of down time!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Angie's Art Class

My friend Angie, from jellybeans, has been blogging a Monday Art Class for the last few weeks. Last week's class had us drawing our chairs, from all sorts of different perspectives. We then used our sketches this week to make a painting using complementary colours.

So.... here's my coursework:
First, my sketches. I used one of the chairs that goes with our kitchen table & drew it from a few different angles. Since I did this today instead of last week, I had an idea of where I was going with this. As soon as I started, I knew what cropped perspective I was going to paint.

So I got right on it. Sketched out the chair on canvas, mixed some paint & got started. Here it is with the background & chair blocked in:
I chose yellow & purple as my complementary duo & mixed a gorgeous plum for the background & bright gold for the chair.

I next used a darker, bluer purple to add some depth to the background. Finally, an orange-gold & yellow-tan were used to add in some details & shading:
I'm actually really happy & a little surprised at how well this turned out. I think this may be my first painting without any added collage elements... and I think it looks pretty darn good!
I like using these wrapped canvasses - I always stretch my paintings around the sides to give it an interesting depth on the wall. I have another one in the same size as this one; I'm tempted to paint another chair in blue-orange to go with this one!
I laid the paint on thickly for extra texture.
I typically "finish" my paintings with charcoal outlines, but I don't think I'll do that with this one. I'm loving the loose, abstract-y feel. I definitely think I'll be making a second one.
Thanks for the fun class Angie! Looking forward to next week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a photo mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!
Make sure to include a link back to my blog so that everyone can participate. Then come back here & submit a link to your blog post (using the "add your link" button at the bottom). I'll be looking at & commenting on each one!

Here's mine for this week: autumn moments.

Here's the list of mosaics for this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Seven

Here are a few things I was grateful for this week:
  1. Sunday: hand-picked apples
  2. Monday: chatting with old friends over menial tasks
  3. Tuesday: lazy days with little to do
  4. Wednesday: volunteering in the biopharm lab
  5. Thursday: being able to order takeout when I don't feel like cooking
  6. Friday: applied for the job referral from Denis - fingers crossed!
  7. Saturday: a quiet moment with Michael cuddling into my hand
What were you thankful for this week?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Sketchbook Project (Update)

When I rebound my book for The Sketchbook Project 2012, I made it with 4 signatures of 4 pages each, giving me 16 single sheets of paper for each section. I want this sketchbook to have a more cohesive feel than my last one, so each of the 4 sections will adhere loosely to a theme. I haven't quite decided on all the themes yet & there's still quite a bit of work yet, but I'm pretty happy with how it's shaping up.

The first signature is almost complete - only the center spread on green cardstock left. The theme is an introduction to the topic, forks & spoons. I know I've already shown you some of these pages, but there aren't that many, so I'll show you again from the first page:
page 1: cover page

pages 2-3: definitions
pages 4-5: pattern & collage
pages 6-7: to be filled in

pages 8-9: collage & portrait of a spoon

pages 10-11: in many languages

I really like how these 2 pages turned out - just don't edit my Chinese, Japanese, Hindi & Russian characters, I doubt they're correct! And I really only know that the English, French & Latin versions are correct - the others come from an online translating site. If you recognize a language, let me know!

pages 12-13: portrait of a fork & "take a bite"

For the second section, I only have one page spread filled in, the middle one I've already shown:
So I'm not too sure where I want to go with this signature in terms of theme. We'll see.

There's only one other spread to show you, this one the middle of section 3:
I'm pretty sure the theme of this section will be "quotes & sayings" - I already have an idea for "fork in the road" and spooning. Should be fun! If you have any fork or spoon quotes, please leave them in the comments!

I have yet to decide on the final section as well. Maybe forks & spoons in unusual places? Utensils with food on them? Or maybe a combination of both: forks & spoons in use. Hmmmm...

Any suggestions, especially for the 2nd theme?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Michael

I don't think I ever properly introduced you to Michael, my pet finch. He's my second finch - the first was a white one, Elvis, & he had a short life. He actually died on my birthday, 10 years ago. That's when I got Michael.
Ten years is really old for a finch... and it's really starting to show lately. Just a month or two ago I would have said that yes, he's old, but the only way it's showing is in his feathers. He's a bit whiter than he used to be. But he was still active & vocal, chirping when I came home, splashing around in his bath & eyeing anyone who came close to his cage.
But lately... lately he's been a bit slower. He hasn't been on his swing in the longest time & doesn't jump around as much when you approach. And this last week he's been spending most of his time sleeping, curled up like this, next to his favourite toy & water bottle:
He just chirped now, as I was writing this - his "cash register," a signature tweet he picked up from the little shop I got him from, where he was sitting next to this old register. "Ching-ch-ch-ching-ch-ch-ching".... so cute. He doesn't make that sound very often anymore & it made me jump up. I don't know how many more times I'll hear it & I'm afraid I won't be able to reproduce it in my head anymore either. I went to talk to him for a few minutes. I changed his bath water & he didn't jump right in as usual. He hopped around 2 or 3 times, pecked at some gravel & then went back to sleep in the very spot he's sitting in the above photo.

I'm afraid he isn't going to be with us much longer. The very thought has made me shed a few tears already & I must admit the text is a little wobbly as I write this. He's been my constant companion, accompanying me from the country to the big city & providing a little brightness in my empty apartment. It makes me really sad that he won't be able to journey with me as I move onto the next step in my life. He'll forever be a part of my student years.

I love the little guy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Creative Space

With a bit more time on my hands, I've found myself sitting at my craft desk on more than one occasion each day. It's been wonderful!

Here are just a few of the things I've been working on:
I've been itching to make a batch of flat notecards, so I did early this week.
I especially like the pomegranate ones - the terracotta red contrasts nicely with the gold cardstock.
These snowflakes are stamped in sparkly silver and gold ink. I love how they turned out.
The intricate detail in this reindeer makes him one of my favourite stamps. His body is made up of whimsical cut-outs of ornaments, snowflakes, candy canes & other seasonal icons.
While I was cutting cardstock for these flat notecards, I cut some paper for mini notebooks too. I just need to sew them up now:

Lastly, I've been working away at a fun little project for myself. I'm making a funky little notebook & I'm not quite sure what I'm going to use it for yet... but it's been a lot of fun to put together so far!

I've based this notebook on a design I've seen online on several sites - basically, a stack of colourful pages, usually with lots of patterns, sizes, tabs & envelopes, is held together with a couple of rings or ribbons. I've seen them used as agendas, address or recipe books and sketchbooks.

Here's the start of mine:
My cover pages. I recycled cardboard for these and the following tabbed pages, cutting them to a convenient size & covering them with pages taken from old calendars. The zebras are from a Charley Harper calendar. A vintage maps one yielded quite a few pages.
My tabbed pages. There are some herbs, some wildlife, some scenery. I also chose 6 different patterned papers & used them to cover some of these. Two of my tabbed pages are covered in my assortment of washi tape, another craft I've caught floating around the internet lately.
I love how these look! So much so that I made their tabs slightly larger than the other ones:
I used some of the leftover patterned paper to serve as pages:
And envelopes too of course:
I've already cut up more pages in a variety of colours & patterns. Once I decide what I'm going to use it for, I'll label the tabs. Since I'm using binder rings to hold this all together (the gold ones you can see in some of the pictures), I don't have to worry too much about adding to it. I can add to it & shuffle things around continuously if I want!

What would you use this notebook for?

Head on over to Our Creative Spaces for more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So now what..?

And the verdict is.... I pass!

That's right. I successfully defended my thesis on Friday - what a relief! My presentation went smoothly & the question period wasn't as bad as I'd feared. All I have left to do is make a few small changes to my thesis & officially submit it before next Wednesday. My convocation will be mid-November.

Next step: job hunt!

But first, I wanted to take a little break, relax a bit & maybe finally catch up online. I've been wanting to get back into blogging, but I feel like there's so much to update on that I've just been avoiding it. It's a bit of a vicious cycle...

But really, there isn't that much to tell. I spent the last month studying, so nothing too exciting has happened. The only bit of real news is about the car. Pat took a week off & went home to paint our car with my brothers. A few months ago, Pat was in a small accident & the back bumper was quite scratched up. The guys tried to repaint that one section, but it didn't turn out nicely at all. So we just decided to go ahead & paint the whole thing in a darker, gunmetal grey. I think it turned out really nicely.

Before - typical silver:

After - nice gunmetal:
What do you think?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a photo mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!
Make sure to include a link back to my blog so that everyone can participate. Then come back here & submit a link to your blog post (using the "add your link" button at the bottom). I'll be looking at & commenting on each one!

Here's mine for this week: success, in celebration of my successful defense!

Here's the list of mosaics for this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a photo mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!
Make sure to include a link back to my blog so that everyone can participate. Then come back here & submit a link to your blog post (using the "add your link" button at the bottom). I'll be looking at & commenting on each one!

Here's mine for this week: study, since that's all I'm doing all week until my defense, Friday at 2!

Here's the list of mosaics for this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Creative Space

My sketchbook, what else?

I filled in that yellow page with a nice quote I found on a blog. Didn't like how I wrote it the first time, so I fixed it. It's my sketchbook, I can do what I want!
I used watercolour on this calendar page. I love the look without the hassle of the paint.
One of my favourite pages.
I've already filled those boxes with a "comic strip" of a Greek myth... well. Not a specific Greek myth, but themes found in many myths. I'm reading a book called "The Greek Myths" by Robert Graves, can you tell?
Still waiting for Pat to come home... hopefully tomorrow!

What's in your creative space this week?

Check out more on the Our Creative Spaces blog!