Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shut it! / look at me look at me!

Toddler art is drying on a random wall and will grace next weeks post. Instead I'm going to regale you all with the most charming two phrases my daughter has begun to use on me.

Now in the midst of the trying two's my daughter will now shout at me to "Mommy stop talking!" when she is angry with me for something, denying her ice cream when she hasn't had any of her dinner, say, or possibly when I insist on bedtime when it's actually her bedtime. If I persist in talking she repeats it over and over until I zip my lip (a phrase I am studiously avoiding the use of so that I won't be tempted to fasten a zipper to her mouth so she'll zip it herself) Where she got this oh so adorable phrase is beyond me. I've been wracking y brains to remember if I've asked her to stop talking at any given time and I'm not recalling anything.

My pleas for her to use her words and talk to me were apparently not totally ignored. Now, if I'm on the phone with my Mom or in the middle of a task that requires that she is not the center of attention; a place she knows is rightfully hers. I get the yelled demand to "talk to me Mommy! Talk to me!" This one's easy to deal with. All I have to do is acknowledge her, tell her I'm talking to Grandma, making dinner or sopping up the pee pee accident that she just had and she's mollified.

In some cases the Stop Talking's and the Talk to me's are demanded in the same sentence. On days like this I pray to all Gods that the well of patience that I've dug won't run dry, that the words I choose next time around will be better chosen and that I do better tomorrow

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Monday

and I'm thinking, in as few words as possible:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's funny

how traveling around your neighborhood on foot changes your perspective of the place. While driving I find I yearn to be able to see buildings, certain yards, parks, shops. they pass by so quickly that hints and questions linger and the neighborhood remains unknown.

I travel a lot on foot. running errands, shopping, going to parks and playgrounds and the library. There is time on foot to take in the surroundings. Time to notice the first green buds which will turn soon into crisp green leaves. Time to notice community eccentricities; like the strange penchant this new neighborhood of mine has for poured cement garden statuary and water features. Time to notice the sky and how the horizon lies above the maze of houses. Time to notice that the shops that intrigue you as you speed passed in a car are either more interesting, or more grungy than you would have thought. Time to notice the other places that don't stand out.

I'm finding myself at home here. Bit by bit I'm settling in and taking ownership of my community, if only to know that two doors farther on there is a stone garden featuring a forest green cement turtle and a sky blue cement heron.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Toddler Tuesday

Orca Whale and Ocean pictures

I draw a blue watery sun and clouds drifting off to sleep

More art from my refrigerator gallery

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My weekend

was a little more stressful than I'd like. Not that I didn't enjoy it. Anxiety crept in early Friday with the realization that I am going to need a new camera body soon. My beloved Canon 10D is starting to wear down. I get random error99 messages and the shutter release is slowing down so I get over exposed images or images that just aren't registering at all. Luckily the photography supplier I deal with, Beau Photo has a great used section, they have a Canon 20D body that I'm going to go look at today. Fingers crossed that the older lenses I'm taking in can be used towards the body.

Our car is sitting in it's parking spot and hasn't moved since Wednesday when it refused to move any further after a nice loud clunking sound. Fortunately there is a garage 4 blocks up from us and the problem is a simple one.

Since the fire in our building last month we've been gushing money in all directions. From replacing groceries, dry-cleaning and laundry service and the mountain of laundry detergent that we used ourselves it's been a little tight here. The camera and the car are just adding to that drain.

So with these things in mind I decided that we could forgo tickets to the Seattle Depeche Mode show this summer. This is a little disappointing for me, I love Depeche Mode and their live shows are always phenomenal. They haven't added a show in Vancouver this time around which means that if I want to see them I have to travel. TicketMaster's legalized scalping website makes going to see them insanely expensive and nearly impossible so I'm sucking it up and waiting for the box set for the new album to come out and possible the DVD of the concert from somewhere far far away from here say Berlin or somewhere in South America.

the first shots from my new camera body

Friday, March 20, 2009

I keep forgetting

my camera when I leave the house. There are about half a dozen things I want to photograph in the new neighborhood and so far I've left the camera at home each time I venture out. In my defense there are weather related issues at work, but still I'm feeling as though I need to give myself a pep talk about getting in the game and all that. We're still unpacking and getting organized, my studio area is still a little untamed. On the plus side I re-opened TMCPhoto and PeanutButterPie on Etsy. Things are getting back to normal slowly. with any luck the weather will cooperate and I'll remember my camera the next time I head outside.

In other news I found this incredible video and am now playing it over and over and over. So good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

f f f f f f f f f f freezing

It's been a long standing joke among my friends and some family members, that my hands are generally one or two degrees colder than those of a corpse.

I am fond of saying that I can cool down a lukewarm beverage just by swirling my finger in the glass for a moment.

My feet are also little blocks of ice on a regular basis.

Because of this I have always always always adored warm weather and hot beverages. Winter is not my friend; except that I love being a cozy warm building watching it snow outside. The best thing about being pregnant other than the fact that I was incubating another small life was that I was finally comfortable in the deep of winter.

Growing up, the best place to be at Grandma and Grandpa's was between her portable dishwasher (which she never ever used) and the gas stove. There was a 1.5 foot gap between these appliances where there was a large metal heating vent set into the wall. I remember huddling in that little space and the heat surrounding me in that kitchen with the scent of chocolate cake and baked ham in the air, or toasted crumpets and honey, or English muffins topped with tuna and cheddar smothered in chutney. OK some of those aren't really scents but they are the flavours I remember in that house. (I can also remember watching my Mom singe the hairs off her arms over the gas flames on the stove, that smell was not so enticing)

One of the downsides to living in an older house is that instead of sharing a wall with at least two neighbors and an inside hallway all the exterior walls are subject to what's going on outside and right now it's pissing down rain and windy cold. My hands are literally a pale shade of blue and my fingernails are showing a ghastly purple tone.

I'm wearing a brown t-shirt underneath a 100% wool tunic underneath a large zip up fleece jacket and I'm contemplating putting on the hand knit 8lb sweater my great aunt knit for me 14 years ago on top of it all. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that the house temperature is set to a normal range, that most other people would be very comfortable sitting in short sleeves and bare feet. I'm just lamenting my poor circulation and wishing I was either pregnant again or going through menopause in order to enjoy the hot flashes.

Grrrrrr argh or how my weekend went

So the plan was to hang shelves and get the bulk of the remaining boxes emptied and our place a little more livable. Not that it's not already livable, the bedrooms are sleep in ready, the kitchen and bathroom are fully functioning and the living room has couch and TV all set up. It's just the last few boxes of extra glassware (read: beer glasses and other bar ware) miscellaneous knick-knack, art pieces and all those things I had planned on purging before the fire happened so that I wouldn't have to deal with them on this side of the move.

Glitch #1:
Strange stud readings.
A few years ago we splurged and bought a fancy laser pointer/stud finder to help with hanging all the paintings and photographs we have accumulated over the course of my art career and our relationship. the problem is that the house we've moved into is over 50 years old. Where a reading tells us to drill for a stud no studs are found, or the studs are so far behind the plaster that instead of getting our shelves hung there was just frustration. Plan B was to use Drywall Anchors.

Glitch #2
Our fancy reader also tells us where electrical wires have been routed through the walls. All the places we wanted to hang our shelves have electricity readings from one end of the wall to the other and top to bottom too.

Glitch #3
Drill problems.
The stud readings we did get just didn't match up with our pre-drilled Ikea shelving holes. We thought about customizing the hanging units of our shelves by drilling new holes that would match up with our stud readings. Anchors would help if the studs were too far away from the wall and we'd be covered all around. The drill we own is not powerful enough to drill said holes into the steel supports.

Now, neither one of us are construction savvy. I'm sure we're going about things all ass backwards. We're just doing things the best way we know how to and or can figure out. In the meantime we have no shelves up and still have boxes and boxes to go through. Did mention that I don't like moving?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Toddler Tuesday

It's cute, creative and alliterative as all get out:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back at it

So I'm not really completely unpacked and I don't have everything organized. This weekend we set about getting shelves up and more boxes emptied. I'm not sure how far we'll get, (At the time of this part of the post I am waiting for the Husband to get up and drinking coffee [my second cup {caffeine jitters here I come} of coffee that is] and listening to the infernal sign language DDD in the next room.) I'm itching to get back into making things again. I have an urge to paint and I'm going to give it full reign to see where that goes.

In keeping with the urges. I've set my Etsy shops back to normal from Vacation Mode and I'll see if I can keep up the momentum that was brewing before the fire alarms went off or if I'm in for another grueling uphill battle for the next sale. Either way I want to be back, so I'm in. On the same note I'm heading back into doing the regular features previously a part of my posting schedule here. They won't all be returning at once but will be re-introduced over a period of time, starting with Toddler Tuesday.

I'm hoping that the shops and features will give me something else to dwell on other than reliving escape routes. I'm still dealing with the emotional trauma from the fire and finding it hard to get to sleep without my mind drifting back to each step of the events that led us out of our building that morning. We're getting some counselling to help with the stress but that hasn't started yet. The victims services liaison we met right after the fire told us to just let our emotions play out and not to push anything away else the stress comes out in other ways. So I'm going with the flow but also hoping that a return to normalcy will help things out too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I know I'm not alone in this

I really don't like kids music. OK for the most part I hate it H. A. T. E. It. There is one, maybe two exceptions to this and I'm not going to go into what they are right now. What I do want to talk about is all the non-children's music my daughter likes to listen to.

1 Weezer-Pork & Beans. This is her number one all time favourite song. If it comes on the radio she sings along, if it comes on the TV she stops what she's doing from 5 rooms away and listens. At least once a week (if not more) she requests it. Once it's been played she asks for it again and again and again.

2 Snow Patrol- just about all of their discography. Her daddy plays bass in a group that covers a few of their songs and she likes to dance to them.

3 Muse- Starlight. She wiggles in her seat and bops her head to this song whenever it gets played.

4 The Clash-London Calling and Train in Vain. We were once listening to this band and she spontaneously started running around and stopping to bounce to the beat. It's especially cute when she nods her head to the music too.

5 Fear Factory- my baby likes it heavy

6 Talking Heads- Psycho Killer. We changed the words to Psycho Kitty meow meow meow hiss hiss hiss hiss hiss hiss hiss hiss

7 Depeche Mode- all of it. I could be biased here but she was in the womb at the last live show I went to see with her. I distinctly felt her moving in there during the opening riffs of John the Revelator. and she likes to sing along to Dave Gahan when he chants "Wrong" in the new single. Also she seems to know most of the words already and when I play the video she runs into the room and gets mad when I take the video off the screen to listen to the song (it's a little to graphic for her to watch).

8 Cold Play-The Scientist. Again in the womb, it was the only song that she would stop kicking me when it was played.

She's also been seen bopping her head to Tool and Keane.

I have to admit that it's a little gratifying to see her enjoying music that goes a little further than Raffi and Sharon Lois and Bram

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ilka's Attic -- Mixed-Media Artist Susan Tuttle: Another Book Giveaway Contest!

Ilka's Attic -- Mixed-Media Artist Susan Tuttle: Another Book Giveaway Contest!

One of Miranda's favourite books (and one of mine too if I'm going to tell the truth, and I am because that's just how I roll) is Mo Willems' The Pigeon Wants A Puppy. We love Mo here, he's funny, colourful and fun. Not only do we love the pigeon, but we also love the duck, the puppy and the pig and the Elephant. We love Knuffle Bunny and Trixie too.

But that's not why I'm writing this post. I mean sure you should definitely check them out, I can read them over and over and never tire of them. What I'm writing about is my want for another book entirely. Exhibition 36: Mixed-Media Demonstrations + Explorations
Susan Tuttle, the books author is holding a giveaway on her wonderfully colourful and artistic Blog Ilka's Attic and I desperately want to win it. Yeah, I know my chances are pretty slim, but I'm feeling lucky.

So in this post I'm the pigeon, I want something and to quote the pigeon, I want it right here right now! Only I'm really not that a demanding kind of person. I'm just following directions and crossing my fingers. Why do I want the book? Susan's Blog is beautifully written and illustrated with some of the most amazing photo groupings. Also, I'm a book junkie and I think Exhibition 36 will be the perfect addition to my library.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's been two weeks

since the fire and a little over one week since we moved into our new place. The new surroundings are helping with the anxiety plus it's a whole different way of existing for us.

Gone are the days of the ten minute run to get a few groceries, or nipping around the corner to pick up a quick curry, greek, sushi, burger, pizza for dinner. I am now the wife who calls the husband at work to remind him to pick up some milk on the way home. I am in the burbs and I'm still not 100% sure where everything is.

I'm happy in the new place though. We have a yard and I was able to quickly run inside and get a dry pair of mitts for the snow sculptress, and again to bring out a carrot and two small pebbles from our fountain for the snow man, and one more time to get the camera to take a few pictures.

Snow? you ask. Yup, we had snow yesterday and through the night. It's almost gone now but Miranda was pleased to head outside for a few hours and repeat her favourite Charlie & Lola line: Snow is my favourite and my best!

Miranda is happy too. She likes to go into her room and close the door and she likes the pink tub and to look out the window in the living room. She also likes to watch the laundry go around and around in the front loading washer that came with the place too.

We're still settling and unpacking. I'm hoping that it'll all be completely back to normal before long. In the meantime I'm hoping to get back to more regular postings again. Watch this space for returning features soon

Friday, March 6, 2009

what can I say?

what a crazy few weeks. packing, fire, cleaning, moving, insurance dealings, unpacking, cleaning... it's still going on. I don't think I have to say that this is not the way I wanted to leave our old apartment. I had envisioned a teary leave taking of the first place my daughter called home. Instead it's all in a haze of panic and shock with a little disorientation thrown in for good measure.

So we've been living in a state of constant clothes laundering for the last week and we hadn't even begun to make a dent in the big green garbage bag collection. The insurance adjuster advised us to take it to a cleaning service so 6 bags went to a little place in our old neighborhood and one bag went to a dry cleaner's. Unfortunately the bulk of my clothes are in those bags and I have a ladies night out with some art school friends tonight. I guess my hopes of looking somewhat put together are dashed against the rocky post fire shores. I had also planned on having my hair cut and nails done but that, as they say was laughable. Perhaps in the next week or so. A full body massage would be nice too.....
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