Tag Archives: granddaughter

Art du Beacoup Jours

IMG_2065Oh yeah, I forgot, I’m a self-declared artist, taking a long break from it all and then coming up with some very bad French.  The title is supposed to translate to “art of many days” because I’m pretty sure this creation could pass for art and it certainly was many days in the making.  But none of it can in any way be blamed on the French.  Just so that’s clear.

This is melted crayon on an old denuded clock face.  On an opposite wall the delightful mirror below, which survived the garage sale because I could not bring myself to part with it,  has been photographed to include the reflection of the above round shaped thing awaiting inspiration.  It hung there all white and boring for a very long time.  Weeks I guess, but eventually I got tired of looking at it and the reflection of it too.

IMG_2985Now I’m going to show you a photo of a big bucket/waste basket full of markers and crayons.  Only demented grandmas have such things, never mind the ones who pause to take pictures of them.

IMG_2982The plastic bag on top is one of those large freezer zip lock ones, (so a LOT of crayons in there) and when my granddaughters were here looking for something to do I suggested peeling the paper off some of them.  One of the girls wisely wandered off to watch tv, but the other one was wildly enthusiastic about the idea and stripped the paper off every last one of them. You never know with kids, so don’t be afraid to suggest totally bizarre and tedious activités to them which you don’t want to do yourself.

Then we messed around melting wax with an iron and a blow dryer.  This is my favourite result on paper.

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If you heat and mix the colours too much they just get muddy but we saved this one with a lot of white on top.

Okay! One more snapshot in the series “ways I have been messing about for months”.
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Another crayon creation on canvas, and below it three little, quite possibly completely useless, books I made.

You start off with a cereal box,  use the thin side for the spine of the book and cut out whatever book shape you want.  Then you cover them inside and out with glued on paper, complete with decor.  I had a couple of jewelry pieces left over from a failed jewelry making stage of my life and the playing cards are from a miniature deck which was a prize from one of our Christmas cracker snapper things.  I’m sure that’s not an accurate name.  Too bad I don’t know what they’re called in French.  The pages are arranged in bunches and sewn in using a needle and thread, after punching aligned holes with a push-pin in the paper and the spines .  It was pretty labour intensive especially once the novelty wore off and I was questioning my sanity for thinking three of the damned things was a good idea.  Probably won’t try that again.  So these should one day be ridiculously valuable because they are rare.  Remember that when you see them in a garage sale.

Enough sharing for one day.  Thanks for looking.  Now get back to whatever important thing you were up to on this beautiful sunny April Sunday.

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Guinness and Double D’s

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Infographic credit: Leo Kavanagh/Global News

Yes I am a day late for St. Patrick’s Day but I still would like to share what I learned yesterday so we can all get it right for next year.

Do not shorten the name Patrick to Patty.  If you do, some true Irish person will have a stroke.  Double D’s everyone.  It’s PADDY.  Keep the other one for hamburgers and peppermints.

And Green beer is sacrilegious.  Gotta be Guinness.

I feel qualified to school you on these points because I have at least one Irish ancestor.  My maternal grandfather was mostly Irish.  There’s also English, German and a lot of Scottish in my roots.  W’s roots are French, Swedish and although no one talks about it, possibly Iroquois.  So that makes our kids absolutely one hundred percent Canadian.  My son somehow inherited a love for the occasional Guinness.  Obviously from his great great grandfather who didn’t drink but I’m sure that’s just a minor detail.

During my little blogging hiatus I started many drafts but I have decided to delete most of them because they are turning out to be a lot like my “memories on Facebook” in which my eight year old status updates make absolutely no sense. I’m sure at the time they meant something profound but now all they’re good for is proof of possible insanity.

One such ‘draft’ here says only “illegal bowling pants” and nothing more.   That one I can still explain.  A kid in Newfoundland won a bowling tournament but was later disqualified because of the black pants rule.  His black jeans had faded so it was decided (probably to appease some disgruntled whining parent) that they no longer met the strict kids bowling tournament dress code.  All the shit going on in the world and in Canada this makes for big news.

Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day!  Happy Birthday today to our middle (of three) granddaughter who is twelve.  TWELVE!  She was three a couple of years ago wasn’t she?  Time for kids drags on and on and for us years disappear when we blink.  Or also when we consume too much Guinness our concept of time can go a little wonky. It’s not all about age.

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.

Sharing My World 30

 

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The little faded drawing in the middle of this picture is at least ten years old, made by our oldest granddaughter, when she was maybe three or four.  The creation and the concept and the words are hers, and all this time later I’ve added a border hoping to preserve her little masterpiece from getting lost or destroyed.  Her initials are above her self-portrait, and GR is a short form for grandpa.  And I guess that day they were being silly.  Worth saving, worth sharing, right?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #22

Finish these four sentences. You can talk about yourself or be creative and write a piece of fiction. It’s up to you. Have some fun.

Never In My Life Have I….

needed so little sleep as I do now since settling into retirement and advanced years.  That sounds better than ‘old age’.  You know, slightly.   I read somewhere that old people need less sleep, probably in part because a lot of them don’t have anything much to do anymore and thus don’t get exhausted.  Or it’s simply part of healthy aging where reductions in the sleep duration and depth are fine, and less sleep is required to maintain daytime alertness.   I’m trying to remember if I ever had a lot of daytime alertness when I felt sleep deprived.  Anyway, 6 hours a night seems to be the norm now.  And no daytime naps.  It’s all very weird.

My neighbour wants me to help her…..

feel less embarrassed by my flower beds.  Really, I don’t even know much about my neighbors on either side of me.  Except that their names are Denise and Faye and they both have amazing things growing in their front yards.  I have dogwood and a little tree that needs constant trimming and rarely gets it, and some kind of thorny berry bush growing wild.  Hey, I make both of them look good simply by being lazy non-gardening me.  They should be happy about that.

When I was little I wanted…

to get out of going to church every Sunday.  My mother never let that happen, even though the place was incredibly boring and I hated getting dressed up.  She had some strange and very strict rules.  Church got a little more interesting when I was part of the junior choir and could play Snap…

(Each player has a pile of cards face down and together they turn the cards up one by one until they match.  Whoever says SNAP first wins the other’s turned over pile of cards.  The object of the game is to win all the cards.)

….with my church friend.  We used the left over hymn number cards that went on the  little board on the wall announcing the page numbers of the hymns that we would be singing during the service.  It’s good for a congregation to all be on the same page.  It took a lot of stealth to never get caught playing with these cards, along with sitting in the back row and as far away from the choir leader as possible.  And it made the sermon almost bearable.  Church is where I became a clock watcher, wishing time would speed up so I could go home and do ANYTHING else.   Although whispering and being sneaky was fun.

Will you come here to…

work on my flowerbeds?  Explain to me what I was supposed to get out of Sunday mornings besides mad Snap skills?  Or we could just have coffee and you could assure me that I do indeed appear to be alert and don’t have dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep.  We could play a rousing game of cards.  There might be cake.

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

Half the time I don’t know or care what day of the week it is.  I’m grateful for that.  It’s very freeing.  I’m also grateful for the time to be creative, now that there are 18 hours of being awake in my day.  So do I use all those hours productively?  Pffft.  No.

But I wrote this!  I preserved a memory!  I admitted my small bit of flower bed remorse.  The day isn’t a complete write-off.

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Mega Lopho What?

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Holy cow, I have been so incredibly busy with so much to do I just can’t tell you because I don’t even know where to start….

(So did that sound convincing?)

Maybe you’d prefer the truth.  I have done pretty much nothing for the last couple of days.

Except, my new printer arrived and is as hooked up as a smart wireless printer needs to be.  I have no idea how I survived for so many years with my monstrous old one which in comparison was not very smart at all. But it was a good scanner and it printed excellent photos.  I liked it just fine until the day it decided it could no longer recognize a new ink cartridge and refused to carry on no matter how hard I kicked it.  I’m kidding, I don’t kick inanimate objects.

On Saturday our brand new much-anticipated great-niece arrived! I saw her picture on Facebook before I got the message on my phone! She is in Ontario so I don’t know when we will get to meet her in person.  Why this wonderful news made it impossible for me to accomplish anything is a complete mystery, but I’m using her birth as an excuse anyway.

Then today my daughter cleaned my house and W took granddaughter K shopping for a new winter coat.  One of these years she will stop letting her arms and legs grow ever longer.  And yes, I know I could probably get off my ass and clean my own house now that I’m no longer working,  but I pay her well so I think she’s happy to have me as one of her clients,  plus we sometimes feed her.  I absolutely love how everything looks when she’s done.  And I like to talk to her constantly while she’s here (talk about a captive audience) so once again – no drawings or painting or writing.  I did cook supper though.   I’m not completely useless.

All of the above, including the picture which illustrates some of W’s Christmas decorating skills, has very little to do with the incredible word I discovered and would like to share with you.

megalophonous

Having a loud voice; vociferous; clamorous.

Of grand or imposing sound.

The word ‘megalophonous’ comes from Greek roots meaning ‘big’ and ‘sound’.

The reason I like this word so much is because it so perfectly describes the one and only W.  He isn’t always loud, but when he is,  it’s definitely mega.  He uses his megalophonous talents when greeting people in public places, talking to a group of people, or to just one person in a room full of people so that all other conversations are effectively drowned out, AND when he is talking on the phone.  This is the one that drives me crazy.  He has a friend he talks to who also has a super loud telephone voice.  When the two of them get on the phone I can hear their entire conversation from the other end of the house.

He will tell you that he does this because he is used to talking to his hearing impaired dad, but his dad wasn’t always deaf, whereas W has always been loud.  Perhaps he is partly to blame for his dad’s hearing loss.

My head hurts and my ears pound and ring when people are too loud.  I don’t like music turned up or concerts or crowds of people making a big racket.  Sometimes I think my own hearing loss is a form of self-defence.

So yeah.  That’s all I wanted to say about that.  Because if I say any more and W reads it I’ll be in for a loud lecture on all his virtues.  The entire time I’ve been writing this, W has been sitting across the room as quiet as a mouse.

Okay I take that back because he just made a long and loud speech about the pros and cons of dishwasher liquid versus powder detergents and how he prefers laundry detergent in liquid form.  I agree with everything he said, so there was no reason to shout.

Gawd, we will end up as two little old half deaf shouting people having random conversations about nothing.  Unless that’s happened already.  If so, I really don’t want to hear about it.

Still Waters Run Deep

still water and treeline
still water and treeline (Photo credit: the|G|™)

What a week.  I am out of practice in the ‘mom’ role, that’s for sure, the proof being that one preteen and one small dog seem to have taken over the entire household which now revolves around them. Not that that’s a bad thing.  God knows we could use some shaking up around here once in a while.

There have been daily rides to and from her school, which is all the way across the city.  W took care of that.  Our granddaughter made her own lunches, studied for her own tests, did her own homework, took her own showers, got herself dressed and ready every morning.  All I did really was make breakfast for her and then get myself off to work.  So it’s kind of a giant mystery why I think I’m tired.

I bought one of the little books in Anne Morelands 1001 Ways to series.  The choices are Confidence, Success, Happiness, Tranquility, Wisdom, Patience – all things I could see no reason to want to improve upon in myself (hahaha – see, I’m so tired I can’t even think straight), so I chose Enlightenment.  Because we could all use some of that, right?

There are no magic recipes, but the book is filled with lots of inspiring quotes.  Probably a thousand and one of them.  Still Waters Run Deep has no source credited, but it’s something one of my teachers said to me once in high school when I was zoned out and daydreaming in class.  Thinking deep thoughts.  Or something like that.  Being quiet on the outside but a very interesting and complicated person on the inside. That’s my story of what he meant by it, and I’m sticking to that interpretation.  Because somehow acting brain-dead doesn’t have as nice a ring to it.

Flower Still Water
Flower Still Water (Photo credit: DeusXFlorida (2,006,995 views) – thanks guys!)

The still waters phrase is a good one to describe my granddaughter too.  She’s a very thoughtful girl who doesn’t say a lot unless it’s something of some importance that needs to be said.  She reads, she writes, she looks things up and she figures things out.  She is already giving dating and relationship advice to her grade six friends.  I sincerely hope it’s not coming from personal experience just yet.

And that she’s not in too great a hurry to grow up.  That will happen fast enough all on its own.

 

Just Jazzy 92

D and J have gone to Cuba for a week so I get to enjoy the delightful company of my granddaughter until they return.  We’ve done some shopping that wasn’t necessary and eaten a lot of stuff that isn’t good for us and read our books long into the night.  There are many ways to have a holiday.

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It’s not a real day off unless you spend it doing things that are completely pointless.

Wabi-sabi Rainbow

Wabi-sabi is the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is the beauty of things unconventional and modest.  It’s not just a style of art, it’s a world view.

“Wabi-sabi is a way of seeing the world that is at the heart of Japanese culture. It finds beauty and harmony in what is simple, imperfect, modest, natural, and mysterious. It can be a little dark, but it is also warm and comfortable. It may be best understood as a feeling, rather than as an idea.” – Mark Reibstein and Ed Young

Thanks Rarasaur for this excellent prompt for the promptless.

Imperfect, impermanent and incomplete describes so many things in my life, I found myself wandering around pointing them out to myself for such a long time that it got a bit ridiculous.  At last I have come to the conclusion that wabi-sabi is just an over all general description for everything we hold personally dear.  Might as well find and appreciate the beauty in our imperfect lives,  because imperfection is all any of us is likely ever going to get.   I suppose my cluttered mess of a house is a reflection of my scattered life, because it’s full of things I love, not for their perfection or their value (as potentially lucrative yard sale items)  but for the way they make me feel whenever I look at them.

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My granddaughter Omayja (pronounced by combining the meditation mantra Oohhmmm with the continent Asia) sat down at my kitchen table a few months ago and drew me a rainbow.  It has been on my fridge ever since.  It isn’t perfect as far as rainbow shapes and colors normally go, but to me it is a beautiful work of art.  Normally I clear my fridge of all the coloring and pictures after a couple of weeks of opening and closing the door and having various pieces fly off in the breeze and flutter to the floor.  That way there’s a clean slate for the next creative frenzie.

But this particular piece has survived a number of clean sweeps.  I can’t seem to take it down.  It gives me the most peaceful happy feeling whenever I look at it.  And now it has a name, as every great work of art should.  Omayjas Wabi-sabi Rainbow.

The next time she’s here I’ll ask her to sign it, and then I’m going to frame it and hang it up somewhere in the place of some perfectly aesthetically beautiful framed thing that pleases the eye but means nothing to my soul and has never touched my heart.

Duct Tape Sunday

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Sunday is not always a day of rest.  It can also be a day of unbelievable boredom.  Our little shop of horrors should not be open on a day when there is nothing to do except check the clock every ten minutes to calculate how many more minutes are left before we can close the doors and go home.  It’s amazing what some people get paid to do isn’t it?  But come on, do you know how HARD it is to look busy when there’s nothing to do?  Sorry, I’m not giving away my secrets. Besides I think it’s a natural talent that can’t be taught to just anybody.

Our granddaughter Kenzie has been here this weekend with her dog and her duct tape.  She makes Barbie furniture and accessories, wallets, purses, flowers, picture frames, hair bows, bookmarks and a big mess with bits and pieces of duct tape everywhere. Amazing stuff.  She looks on YouTube, finds something she likes and sits down and makes it.

While she does this, I make little boxes out of old Christmas cards.  These are the worlds smallest gift boxes, and I’m not making them merely because I’m nuts. There are some very small gifts that are hard to wrap and this makes it all easier.  Plus incredibly more fun.  I hope that sounded convincing.

Here’s some great music to craft by.  Play it loud enough and no one will hear you crying about your paper cuts.

Astute Observations on Goddamn and Crap

English: Overlooking Inuvik with the fall colo...
English: Overlooking Inuvik with the fall colors in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we lived in Inuvik (circa 1980) W thought it would be a lot of fun to put together a dog team, so he did.  The frustration and hard work involved in raising and training the dogs far outweighed the fun I’m afraid .  And the dozen or so dogs didn’t just disappear with the snow.  They required care throughout the long summers,  when the town became a sweltering dust bowl in the heat, and a slippery filthy mud hole in the rain.

 

One muddy Inuvik afternoon my daughter and I had this conversation:

Mommy, goddamn is a really bad word.

(Yes it is, and telling me that is not an acceptable way to get away with saying it.)

Little kids should NEVER say goddamn. right mom?

(No, they shouldn’t, so now would you please stop saying it?)

But mom, its okay for dads to say goddamn.

(Really? Why do you think it’s okay for dads?)

Because there’s GODDAMN DOGS and GODDAMN MUD!

She sounded just like him.

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Fast forward about twenty-five years to a conversation I had with my granddaughter when she was three or four.

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crap (Photo credit: matiasjajaja)

Crap is not a nice word, grandma.

(Nope, it isn’t.  So let’s not say it, okay?)

But sometimes you can say crap and its okay.

(Really?)

Yep.  Like when you’re feeling sick, you can say “Mommy, I feel like crap.”

(Ah.  I see.)

But if your mom looks at you when you’re sick and she says you look like crap, THEN its a bad word.

(Huh. You are your mother’s daughter, and I totally get your point.)