Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Seven

December has come and its pace is full speed ahead! Here's what I'm thankful for this week:

Sunday: shopping with my own money and buying some much needed jeans and boots
Monday: signing up for a fun Christmas ornament class
Tuesday: being able to take a sick day
Wednesday: busy work days passing by in a flash
Thursday: cookies and hot chocolate provided by the hospital (along with a raffle and holiday music and someone dressed as Santa)
Friday: my co-workers for putting on a great Christmas party
Saturday: finding the perfect bar stools at door-crasher prices

What are you thankful for this week? 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Creative Space

As I said earlier this week, I was able to break out some of my supplies last weekend and collage in my sketchbook. It had been so long, it was almost a relief to be able to glue those scraps of paper down! I was so starved for some creative time that this first page came together in a matter of minutes:
It really helps to have envelopes of collage material at the ready! I started with a page ripped from an old physics workbook of mine, layered my chosen papers on top and finished with a few circles in pencil crayon. Here are a few more close-ups:

This next page was inspired by a Christmas quilt I saw while flipping through a magazine. I had to immediately find some of my holiday papers and make my own patchwork:
I love all the sparkly papers!
December is such a fun month - the holidays are mixed in with five family birthdays (all between the 23rd and 31st) - so I really want to enjoy it while it's here. As my mom said in an email, I don't want December to fly by without me noticing it like November did! There are so many things I want to do - decorating my apartment and starting my Christmas baking are foremost on that list. We just need to finish unpacking and organizing the new place first...

Head on over here to see some more creative spaces.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

The view this morning from my desk:

The first thing I see in the morning (unless it's too foggy to see the CN tower or I'm turned away from the window):

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sketchbook Pages: Inspired by Jill K. Berry

I took advantage of Cyber Monday last week and ordered some books off Amazon. One of the books I chose is Personal Geographies (Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking) by Jill K. Berry. I love maps - making them and using them as collage material - so I thought this would be a good book for me.

I was right! I read through it quickly and was itching to get creative the whole time. Luckily, I unpacked some more of my supplies this weekend, so I was able to do just that. The prompts are easy and fun and don't require a lot of strange supplies that I'd need to go buy. I'll definitely be turning back to this book again and again.

Before breaking out my collage materials though, I doodled away in my sketchbook Friday night after finishing the book. I tried a quick and dirty variation of one of the prompts and then made a map of the work I do in the lab (a typical journal page for me but one I wouldn't have thought to do last week without the book's prompting).

Here are those pages:
A "map" of my hand and all that they have done for me through the years. I started in my pinky with imagery from my childhood, then progressed through high school (ring finger, where I met Pat), University (middle finger) and my first job (index). My thumb is left to bring me into the future and my palm holds all the things that I love doing with my hands (plus includes my unique identifiers: my scars from wrist surgery).

And here is my blood processing map for a typical blood sample. There are different methods we follow that all fall under that "centrifugation" umbrella but there are also a dozen or more other procedures we do depending on what the researchers are looking for in the blood (biomarkers, drug levels, cells, etc).

I have a few more sketchbook pages from this weekend that I have yet to show, but I think I'll keep them for my creative space on Thursday. I need to start getting ready now and make something for supper for Pat tonight (and for me to bring to work). Have a great day! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monthly Forecast

What happened to November? Am I the only one who missed it pass us by? I guess that's what happens when you're busy!

Last month brought a lot of changes - new job, new apartment, new commute, new city to explore. Plus a lot of boxes to unpack and garbage to throw out and stuff to donate. But I must say, despite all the go-go-go and busy-ness, the stress levels around here have been greatly reduced (mostly thanks to my paycheck and the shorter commute). It's been wonderful!

I expect this last month of 2012 to be just as jam-packed as November. Here's what I have planned for December:
  • work, work, work 
  • unpack the remaining boxes (mostly my supplies) and sort through those in our storage unit 
  • empty the storage unit in Hamilton 
  • organize the kitchen, living room and office
  • donate a bunch of stuff to GoodWill 
  • decorate for Christmas
  • Christmas baking!
  • work on my personal Sketchbook Project 
  • restart daily yoga and check out the gym downstairs  
  • go skating every weekend 
As for blogging, here are a few things you can look forward to:
  • more photos of my new apartment, city view and neighborhood
  • glimpses of my holiday decor and baking
  • pages from my many sketchbooks, including my commuting one and my Sketchbook Project 
  • recipes: comfort food that you can make in advance for work lunches
  • recommend: a few books I've read recently
Lastly, click on the Advertise tab for more information about sponsoring my blog.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and productive month!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Seven

I had such a great week - so many things to be thankful for!

Sunday: finding a bathroom set while the store was closing
Monday: taking advantage of cyber Monday sales (because I can!)
Tuesday: getting samples in the evening
Wednesday: sleeping in with Pat when he works from home
Thursday: GREAT day! Picked up a package of makeup from mom in the morning (Pat even drove me as he was working from home - love these wintery neutrals!):
And then when Pat picked me up in the evening at the station, a bouquet of flowers was waiting for me on the seat! He did some groceries and was thinking of me. So sweet! (Especially since he thinks cut flowers are a waste of money but knows I love them.) (OH and another bonus, my Amazon order was waiting for me too!)
Friday: trying new places to order in dinner
Saturday: organizing the apartment

What are you thankful for this week? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

(Photos taken with my phone on my last ride on the GO train from Hamilton to Toronto.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Last Visitor

Pat and I spent Friday night and most of Saturday finishing up in Hamilton. It took much longer than expected - we cleaned and scrubbed and threw out a lot of garbage and brought home another two car-loads. Our walk-through / hand-in-the-keys was at 1PM and luckily the rental agent checked off everything as okay even though we weren't quite done. But finally, at 4PM, we finished everything we were going to finish.

Just before that though, we had out last visitor in Hamilton.
Pat uncovered this cute little bat while clearing the balcony. When he called me outside, I thought the little guy was dead at first - his back looks a little flattened. Pat assured me he wasn't, and sure enough, he shifted a bit and seemed to feel how suddenly exposed he was. Poor little guy started shivering and couldn't seem to get warm. I wanted to leave him a box or something for shelter, but we really had to clear away everything.
When I went out later, just before we left, he was on the move. I can't help but giggle at this blurry photo of him scrambling for the corner.
Even in the corner, he was awfully exposed.. I hope he's alright.

Good bye Hamilton. We will be back (we still have storage to empty!).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Sketchbook Project: Part 3.2

As promised, here is one last page I finished before sending our Sketchbook collaboration back to Angie.

You can see my previous updates here: Part 1Part 2.1Part 2.2 and Part 3.1 - and Angie's updates here: Part 1 and Part Two

I based my collaged lady on Angie's lilies:

But these serene still-lifes are hiding something...
Black and white doodled chaos! I absolutely love it!

I can't wait to see what Angie does with her remaining pages... and I need to start thinking about finishing the rest of mine up too. Deadline is looming!

Which reminds me... I have my own, personal Sketchbook Project to finish up too. It's about 1/3 of the way there. Not bad for my typical procrastinating style! But still, projects to complete!

Speaking of which - we're doing the final walk-through in Hamilton today and giving back our keys. What a strange feeling that will be! I'm going to miss that little place, much as I love this one.Still, it will be nice to be done with so that we can settle in here more fully. Onto a new chapter in my life! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Sketchbook Project Collaboration: Part 3.1

Angie received our sketchbook a while ago, so it's about time I get these photos posted. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to this go round - our move and starting my new job sort of got in the way. Still, the project is coming along quite nicely and we should definitely be able to finish on time.

You can see my previous updates here: Part 1Part 2.1 and Part 2.2  - and Angie's updates here: Part 1 and Part Two

[warning: picture heavy post coming up!]

Let's start with the pages I prepared for Angie to work on. The first is a double spread:
I started by striping the pages with masking tape and covering it with gesso and an assortment of torn blues and tan tissue paper. Next I went a little crazy with rub-ons, adding a bunch of A, G & V letters (our initials) and lots of symbols and images. A light white wash and "tea-stained" edges (using a Distress Ink stamp pad in tea-stained) finished my background for Angie's finishing touches.

I also started a left-right spread for Angie to work on:
For this one, I knew I wanted to make a gradient / ombré with a collage covered with paint (as you can see, I also added a bit of washi tape on top). Trying to decide on a colour scheme, I flipped through the sketchbook. It is LOADED with colour... so I decided to go with a grey page for a little break. Plus, Angie can go crazy with colour on her page if she likes!

Next are a couple of spreads that I finished after Angie's input.
For this page, I transformed the lovely textured background into a fall-toned garden. I used drippy India ink in brown, violet and orange and collaged the flower petals and leaves in bright pinks and purples. A familiar (if slightly wonky) phrase finished the page.

Following along nicely is this left-right spread:
The collaged flowers are a mix of torn "circles" and cut-outs from patterned paper. I finished by painting in stems and a yellow background and used black India ink to highlight a few of the flowers.

I have one final page to show but this post is getting long enough - plus, it's good enough to deserve its own post.

What do you think of our sketchbook collaboration so far?