Thursday, July 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Greens

Greens have really been speaking to me lately.
This last collaged piece is very inspiring to me at the moment. I love the splattered colours and circle pattern. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My New Espresso Pot

One thing I miss the most about working is my weekly - ok, fine, near-daily - coffee shop americano or latte. There's just something about that extra richness espresso lends that turns a cup into a ritual.
I first heard about Bialetti espresso pots on Smitten Kitchen. Her dilemma of the daily expense for good coffee stuck with me and when I saw a display of the pots at the mall a month or so ago, I dragged Pat over to take a look. I told him I wanted one for my birthday; the 6-shot size should do. Two days later: there's my pot! Sneaky Pat ordered it for me on Amazon and had it delivered. (Romantic or tired of making early weekend morning Starbucks runs? I'll let you decide.) Now I get to enjoy delicious coffee from the comfort of my own kitchen!
It couldn't be easier: fill the bottom with water, fill the strainer with espresso grinds and let it percolate over a low flame. This size of pot - 6 shots - is perfect for 2 americanos. If I'm making one mug, I only fill the strainer halfway with grinds.
Add a bit of cream and there's really nothing better first thing in the morning... or late morning... or early afternoon...

Speaking of early afternoon coffee... I need to try making an iced americano immediately!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sketchbook Pages: Week 28

This week has been very prolific when it comes to art, all thanks to the inspiring creative retreat I blogged about last week. Every single one of these really speaks to me. Usually I don't say much about each page in these posts, but these make me so happy that I want to talk about how each one came about..

7/9 Spring Garden
I started out the week with a simple collage, still working towards my goal of using up my vast array of paper. The colours came together perfectly though - every time I look at this page I get a little jump of happiness.

7/10 Leave Space
This page was directly inspired by the creative retreat. I don't remember which artist talked about finding that inner space and just being there... I needed that reminder.

7/12 Shadow and Light
Here's where I started to work in more layers. I couldn't resist. I also incorporated more mark making, which is something I love to do and revisited during the retreat. This page started with some journaling, then a bit of collage (mostly in white) and gesso... then I experimented with orange ink and finished it all off with a heavy bit of pencil scribbles.

7/13+14 Golden Blush
Oooooh this spread. *heart eye emoji* I started with some journaling and a collage (in olive and cream) and then finger-painted with more creams and a bit of red, orange and gold. I actually wasn't too impressed when the paint was still wet, so I took a palette knife and scribbled through it. LOVE! It turned out amazing! A bit of gold and black doodles and some splatter finished it nicely. The photos do not do this page justice!

7/15 Summer Rain
I took a similar approach to the previous page, but ended up in a completely different place. Collage, paint, doodled texture (I played around a bit more with different doodles this time) and splatter. Bonus: using up old paint I haven't touched in a really long time. These pages are making me so dang happy! I'm so glad I'm back in the zone in my craft room!

Materials used:
  • various papers (scrapbooking paper, magazine pages, handmade paper, recycled papers, ephemera)
  • stickers
  • paint (various brands)
  • India ink
  • pencils
  • black pen
  • Sharpie paint pen (white, gold)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Creative Retreat

I found out early Saturday morning about a free online weekend art retreat hosted by Galia Alena. Of course I had to sign up! There were nine one-hour lesson each day, and the lessons were up for 24 hours. What a treat! I didn't have time to watch all the videos, but I was so inspired by what I did see that I registered for the ongoing retreat. Discovering new artists and their varied processes and techniques is so invigorating. I'm super excited to explore more through these lessons!

The very first class gave me an irresistible urge to get to my craft room and play. This video was about making marks: letting go and playing with any and all supplies. It was so much fun! Here are the resulting pages:

I played with some supplies I haven't used in a while. I doodled, finger painted, made prints when there were puddles of ink and generally just had fun making a mess. The texture and patterns make me smile. I'm really looking forward to tearing these up to use in collages and sketchbook pages.

Materials used:

  • paint and paint pens
  • India ink
  • black Plaka
  • oil pastels
  • Caran d'Ache Neocolor II
  • pencils
  • pens

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sketchbook Pages: Weeks 26 + 27

We were on vacation during weeks 26 and 27, so I don't have very many pages to show. I took a small toned tan sketchbook with me, but only pulled it out a few times. Now that we're back, I intend on getting right back into using up supplies in full-page collages.

6/24 On vacation
6/27 Green shapes

6/28 Transform yourself
6/29 Purple boxes

7/5 Be wild / be present

7/8 Heat / dust

Materials used:
  • various papers (scrapbooking paper, handmade paper, book pages, magazine pages, tissue paper, envelope, ephemera)
  • stickers
  • Pilot Precise V5 pens (various colours)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

5 Months Old

Marc is now 5 months old. These photos almost didn't happen (as it is, they were taken a few days late): we were on vacation at my parents' and that week was especially gloomy. With the strange setting and dim light, I had little hope of capturing anything worth posting. But - perhaps not so surprisingly given the subject - I ended up with a few keepers.
This month, Marc figured out how to roll over - front to back, back to front, he is rolling all over the place! He's also wiggling and stretching and lifting onto his toes... so it won't be long before he's really on the move! He absolutely mastered grabbing and grasping toys, so he's playing more than ever. We alternate between the two play mats, the crib and now the jumperoo. He isn't bouncing much in it yet, but loves to bang away on all the toy instruments.

Marc continues to sleep the night and is now a solid napper (we'll be transitioning to his crib in the coming week). He started eating some solids this month: homemade rice cereal to start. He eats two heaping tablespoons twice a day - such a good little eater! I'm really looking forward to exposing him to all sorts of new flavours.
Marc did very well on our vacation - we spent a week and a half alternating between our parents' homes. Although our schedule was a little off (Marc started waking for a 4AM feed again), he still slept well, ate well and greatly enjoyed all the attention. In fact, I think he's missing that interaction now that we're home alone again. So, starting next week, we're going to attend some drop-in sessions and mother/child classes in order to continue exposing Marc to new people, places and experiences. It is so much fun watching him learn and grow!