Monthly Archives: January 2016

Art du Jour 89

Even though this is not my art, it is the product of my art class, so it qualifies for the art du jour category.  My two amazing students (granddaughters O and M) when given free rein in the art corner always come up with some creative, artistic and interesting results.

They have done a lot of stickers and stamps and drawing and painting on paper, but this weekend graduated to mixed media on canvas.  I think I’ve got them hooked.

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They had some help with the ink splashes (it’s pretty messy) and the addition of texture, but the rest – collage and colour choices – it’s all theirs.  I got to hang them on my wall for a day, but now the art and the artists are headed home.

I hope whenever they look at them they remember what fun we had putting them together.

Getting It Done in ’71

imageSet your time machines to November 20th, 1971 and let’s talk about going away outfits.  I’ve heard they’re supposed to be stylish and sophisticated and perfect, carefully chosen ensembles you wear for the last dance at your wedding reception before embarking on your romantic honeymoon and the beginning of your new life.

Does anyone even do those anymore?  I’m so out of touch with what goes on at weddings.  I was completely out of touch at my own.  It would have made me so happy to get married barefoot on the beach or to simply elope.  W was all for that too, but our  families were both big on tradition and we got swept up in the kerfluffle.  I’m pretty sure my mother and my mother-in-law did more sighing and eye rolling at my lack of interest than I noticed at the time.  They kept asking me questions even though they hardly ever liked my answers.

Things we didn’t get quite right –

  1. There was no engagement ring.  We couldn’t afford one and picked out inexpensive gold wedding bands instead.  I would have lost a diamond.  I lost my wedding band three times.
  2. There was no veil.  I made a hooded dress with braided silver trim.  It cost about twenty five dollars.  I wanted my sisters hooded dress to be deep purple, but they couldn’t find suitable material in that colour, so it was royal blue.  Close enough.
  3. There was no hairdresser.  By the time this picture was taken my self inflicted bouncy curls had bounced their last and I looked more or less back to normal.
  4. The best man (W’s brother) and the ushers (my brother and a friend) all had different coloured suits and shirts and ties and probably socks, for all I know, because we told them just to wear whatever they had.
  5. The flowers were artificial.  It was November.  There was freezing rain. We had a church ceremony, a church basement supper, and a get together at my family farm house after that.  The dance was a week later a thousand miles away with the grooms side of the family.
  6. We forgot to book a room somewhere, so spent our wedding night at my girlfriend and her husbands house after banging on their door and waking them up.  Good thing they both had a sense of humour.
  7.  We had no honeymoon, unless you count a two day drive from         my home town to his.

Oh, let’s just stop at lucky number seven, shall see? There’s lots more but this is getting depressing, and besides, I want you to look at those going away outfits!  I must have pulled some random thing out of my closet because my face is saying “I’m married!  I don’t care!”  And W is wearing his university blazer (that’s confetti, not dandruff) but it’s hard to focus on his clothes because of those sideburns!  I can’t even.  I’m sure you can’t either.  Proof that love is blind is all I can say about that.

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Weddings make me hungry.  Handbag under my arm, mouth full of cake, ready to blow this pop stand and set the world on fire.  Maybe starting with that brown and beige thing I’m wearing….

Girls on Trains

imageThe reading of this book went a lot faster than the previous one I ploughed my way through, and when I finished it I gave it four out of five stars.  Then I read some reviews and was surprised to see so many negative ones.  The biggest complaint was its comparison to “Gone Girl” with reviewers saying it either didn’t live up to expectations or that they didn’t like either one since the characters in both  were unlikable dysfunctional idiots.

Well, it was full of those, but I liked it anyway.  The story is told in bits and pieces by three women.  Rachel is an alcoholic who has blackouts and often a less than firm grasp of reality.  She has lost her home, her husband and her job and spends most of her time feeling bad about her situation, telling lies and making excuses and riding on the train.  She wallows and is unable (or unwilling) to change.

Anna (married to Tom, Rachel’s ex) lives in Rachel’s old house with Tom and their new baby.  She is exasperated by Rachel’s inability to let Tom go, her drunken phone calls at all hours and her lurking about, and she fears for the safety of her child.

Megan lives a few doors away with her husband, does not have the idyllic life that Rachel imagines as she observes the couple each day from the train, and has her own set of issues and secrets to deal with. For a short time she helps Anna out when the baby is small.  And gets herself up to even more shenanigans, but we don’t learn about that until later.

When Megan disappears, everyone left is a suspect, including Megan’s therapist who was seen by Rachel (from the train)  kissing Megan on her deck the morning of the day she went missing.

I can’t count how many times I sighed and thought OMG Rachel, what kind of asinine thing are you going to do next?  But hey, it kept me interested and reading right up to the end.  There’s a real art to giving out just enough information to get readers headed in a certain direction and then having them find out some new thing that changes their minds.

I stand by my four stars.  Even if you figure out the mystery well before the end, it’s still an enjoyable journey getting there.

Wet Wednesday

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Last night in a restaurant parking lot in the pouring rain.

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Our back door, snow shovel and broom on guard.  It’s hard to take pictures of falling rain, especially in the dark.  This morning there’s sheets of ice everywhere.

We slid along water reds and greens, the changing lights captured in the canvas of wet tar.”
― Ruth Reichl, Delicious!

The Little Red Hen

Another story from the 1920’s grade 2 Primer, written in cursive, so for that alone a true relic from the past.  I know that we had access when we were kids to these readers saved from my mothers childhood and although I don’t know who was responsible for all the underlining, I will plead guilty to the colouring.  That red hen was not red enough for me.

My grandmother was an avid reader, but I never saw her read a book without a pencil or a pen in her hand, underlining what seemed to me to be completely random words and phrases.  She would have loved hi-lighters.  Mom gave me one of grandmas “doctored” books as a keepsake.  It’s full of squiggly pencil underlining from beginning to end.  Maybe she passed this habit on to one of her kids when they were learning to read.

Anyway, here’s the story, underlining, bad colouring and all.  Sorry some of it is hard to see, but the pages have been around for almost a hundred years.  We should all look as good when we’re this ancient.

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Sharing My World 47

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Sunrise this morning in the neighbors back yard, from my back door.

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 4

What one thing are you really glad you did yesterday?

I am glad I actually did more than one thing yesterday so I have a choice to make here.  I finished a piece of art, I replied to comments (both in the virtual and the real world), finished a book (more on that another day) and watched a few more episodes of Midsomer Murders.  That’s not all I did, but I guess the other things were relatively insignificant. Yes, my life is exactly that wild.  W considers all my Netflix watching to be a colossal waste of time when I could be doing more productive things like baking banana bread and using up some of the 500 bananas socked away in our freezer.  If I had somehow persuaded him to stop buying so many bananas and letting them go brown and shown him how to bake his own damned banana bread, that would have been my greatest accomplishment yesterday.  I’m sure the opportunity will come up again sometime.

I do have an answer for this question.  Sorry for the banana rant.  I choose to be really glad I watched another murder mystery get solved and learned a couple of brilliant insults in the process.   “You’ve got a few of your pages stuck together”  and “You are three tomatoes short of a salad”.  Waste of time?  I think not.

Are you generally focused on today or tomorrow?

There really is no point being focussed on tomorrow if it means you’re going to miss today.  While we ate breakfast Carole King was singing “Will you still love me tomorrow?” Does she really want an answer to that?  Because nobody knows.  The power of NOW, people!  Don’t miss today’s pleasure worrying that it might not last.  Of course it won’t.  That’s why you make the most of it now.

Wow, I am rather preachy today.  Maybe some of my pages are stuck together.

Would you want to have a guardian angel/mentor? What would they tell you right now?

I have spirit guides.  They are invisible, and possibly imaginary. They tell me to calm the F down.  Mostly I listen to them and take deep breaths and accept what is.  Then I determine what changes I might be able to make if I don’t like what is.  Then I watch Netflix.

Would you rather live in a cave house or a dome house made of glass? 

Can you imagine the nightmare of trying to hang curtains in a dome-shaped glass house?  Can’t exactly nail rods up, can you?  I think I would feel too exposed for comfort surrounded by glass.  And just think of the endless ‘window’ cleaning.  A cave house sounds more cozy and snug.  Plus you could do cave drawings on the walls.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Since I cannot change the past or predict the future I will simply tell you how ecstatically happy and grateful I am that today is the 25th of January!  Might be the one a day posts which have made this month fly by, or simply the fact that I am a year older than I was last January and time in general keeps speeding up at an alarming rate.

The weather outside is gorgeous, sunny, plus 1 C.  The washing machine is churning away, the dishwasher is humming, the light is streaming in to my little art nook and my spirit guides are gently suggesting I get off my iPad and my ass and do something creative before I’m arthritic and blind and three tomatoes short.

Life is good.

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Art du Jour 87

imageThis canvas sat on my easel for weeks, faceless lady in monster hat, making me sad and wanting to watch murder mysteries rather than finish what I started.  Then I chucked her in with a stack of other stuff I still don’t know what to do with, except to keep it all in a stack under my paint shelves.

Yesterday I decided to at least fill in her face, and the rest just flowed from there.  This no longer makes me sad and I don’t hate it.  Yay!  Mission accomplished.  I love the purple and the turquoise but I have no idea what that hat is supposed to be made of.  Let’s just chalk this one up to January boredom and blues, waiting for the sunshine.

Happy Sunday!

The Other Three Bears

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Cousin “Baby Elaine”, Little Sister Ann, and me… Child of the Three Bears Skirt

I may not remember this moment (circa 1954) or why we called our cousin Baby but never referred to the littler sister that way, or posing with them all dressed up in skirts with straps, holding hands and no doubt being cajoled into saying cheese…but I will never forget that three-bears skirt of mine.

Just by looking at us you will understand how hard it was to compete for attention with these two gorgeous little Shirley Temples in my life, but I wonder if that day it didn’t bother me so much.  Because I was wearing the best skirt in the universe.  It was red corduroy with brown and white fuzzy appliquéd teddy bears, a birthday gift from a maiden aunt who always gave us birthday gifts to remember. Then she got married and had kids of her own and after that didn’t spoil us quite so much. She’s the one who cemented my love of all things red. There was also a shiny red faux leather purse another year.  But that fabulous skirt was still the best.  It was brand new, not a hand-me-down, mine first!  I put it on and wanted never to take it off again.

It was probably a very sad day when I outgrew it.  I expect it got passed  on several times to other little girls who loved it too.  That’s what we did with clothes, there was always someone else who could use them and when they were worn beyond repair the good bits got cut up for quilt blocks.  A favourite game was to sit with a quilt over your legs and  find grandmas Sunday dress or your brothers old plaid shirt.

Just so no one gets an overdose of nostalgia or cute I am going to try to limit my maudlin flashbacks to Fridays.  Once a week seems about right.

Here’s to a great weekend, and patchwork quilts full of memories,  and teddy bears,  and all things red.