30.6.08

silhouette

I was going through some old files on my computer and came across my projects from college. Oh how I shudder at them all. I figured that since I haven't shared much of my illustrations on here, thanks to a bit of a creative lull, that I'd share some old embarrassing pieces while I get back into the swing of illustrating again.

This project, I remember, was one of my favorites. It was a silhouette project where we were told to pick a children's story to illustrate, only using black shapes to create the image. I am drawn to flat shapes to begin with, so this assignment wasn't too much of a problem with me. I guess if I'm really strapped for creative ideas that I could always make another one of these for fun. We'll see, it took me nearly forever to pick a story to begin with. Me, indecisive? Never.

29.6.08

published

I finally picked up a copy of the Work/Life book from Uppercase (above is my published piece) and I am so impressed. Such a nice little book, with tons of inspiring images from photographers and illustrators across Canada.

Thanks again Uppercase!

28.6.08

little bunny

So, we completed the run this morning and I have to admit that I surprised myself. 10 minutes? Really? Smiles everywhere. I made sure to prepare myself as best as I could before I left the house and when the time came to get it done, I focused on the road ahead and gave it all I had. Surprisingly I'm still alive! What a blast to feel so accomplished considering 10 weeks ago I was ready to pass out after running for 1 minute! Artists don't do cardio.

As a little thank-you to my instructor, I made her a quick little bunny, the night before the last run, while watching a movie with Ian. I hadn't made a bunny before so I wasn't sure how he was going to turn out. He's quite cute I must say, although I was a little stumped on what to do with his face. I kind of liked his blank expression so I kept it simple this time around, with an added button on his sweater for decoration. The pattern was pretty easy, although I was kind of surprised by how tiny he turned out. I like little, so that's fine by me.

Thanks again Gonda, it was a blast!

week 10

Well, it's the last day of my 10 week running class and today our goal is to run two 10 minute sets, as a total of 20 minutes. I'll admit that I've never been so nervous about it before, based off of the fact that it's been a bit of a slow start since I got over my cold. Chest colds are hard to get out of the system. Either way, I was able to run one 10 minute set on my own last Tuesday, so it's just a matter of feeling the burn through the second set to reach the finish line. Also, I've failed to admit to myself that I've experienced a bit of an athletic injury. Something I never thought I'd experience in my not-so-active, grown-up life.

I'm not even sure where the pain is located, as it feels like several different spots. My left shin was tender from the start, but went away as we started to reach the 6-7 minute markers. It was actually perfect during that time. I ran without much trouble at all. The solution was the purchase of some proper running shoes, but before long I started to feel a bit of a weird sensation in my right knee. I'm not sure if I rolled it, if it's just the muscles getting angry at me, or if I've done something rotten to it. It hurts to go up the stairs, sometimes sitting for an extended amount of time can be just as bad and sometimes the pain feels like it's in my entire lower leg instead of in just one spot.

With lots of ice and care, I'm making sure not to overdo it. I just know that for myself, I need to finish this class or else I'll be moping about it for days if I don't. It's just something I have to do, selfishly. If it was really bad I'd admit defeat, but because this is the last day and can take as much time as I need after it's over to recover, I'm going to tough it out and hope for the best on week 1o.

I just can't believe I've come this far! To think that at the start, 1 minute of running was tough!

25.6.08

swoon

Oh Mr. Peck, I had to laugh at myself the other day when a friend asked me who my celebrity crush was. I couldn't help it. In all honesty, I feel like the men of Hollywood are as pretty as the women these days.

Call me Grandma, but I think he's simply 'dashy.'

24.6.08

tub time

I just received my first ordered print in the mail the other day. I simply love it. It's called Ballena, by Riki Blanco and this is so going in my bathroom.

Print ordered at Thumbtack Press

22.6.08

random wish 2

I know I'd never be allowed to get one, since we live right beside a major highway ... but it's okay to dream.

photo from flickr

grandma's craft

In rearranging my room, I came across this little framed piece which was made by my grandma many years ago. This craft of layered cut-paper which she used is called paper tole, and it was quite clear that this was her media of comfort. She had many pieces like this around her house, where I remember getting right up close to them to explore the little details and ask "how did you do that gramma?" She did offer to teach me once, but because I was a teenager by the time she passed away, I simply didn't have the patience to listen at the time. Yes, I kick myself for that now. I'm actually quite petrified in handling this piece, as the frame is beginning to cave and the pins to bind the back are beginning to fall between the layers of paper and glass. It could probably be dissected in the right set of hands, but my goodness it's fragile. Because I haven't quite practiced holding my breath for extended amounts of time, I have decided that it will sit in its frame until I build up the courage to approach it confidently.
The tiny details within this piece really are amazing. From the little frames around the windows of the bakery to the tassels on the woman's shawl, I'm simply awestruck at my grandma's work. My photography doesn't really do it much justice in that respect, as within the little bakery windows are still layers upon delicate layers of more cut-paper. Patience in my family is sometimes hard to come by in certain situations, but clearly when it comes to craft, it's a totally different story.

16.6.08

tim's step

He seems to have gravitated to the third step, when the sun is going down.
He'll spend hours there, sunning his toes, at most.
It didn't take long for him to notice my nosy camera in his face. So the cuteness factor had to be turned up a bit by unintentional posing/stretching.
With a fierce yawn...
He was right back to sleep.He loves those stairs.

sprung

It is so nice to see that the sun is finally shining, after so many weeks of incessant rain. And even though I'm still feeling sick and gross, it's nice to see some blue skies outside the window. We haven't really seen much of the sky since we went to San Francisco, which brings me to these sunshiney pictures that I took while we were there. The memories of it make me wish we could go back there for just another day.

15.6.08

my handy man

Of course we knew that stepping into a new house would bring along a pile of new expenses and chores to make the place officially our own. It's rather endless, so we're coming to discover. With yard work, building a shed and the joys of getting a new lawnmower only to find that the old one we thought was done for actually works, it's no wonder my boy is not so thrilled with being outside handling the dirty work. He's the not-so-handy handyman, he'll even admit himself. With more patience than he'll give himself credit for, he is doing well in assisting his Dad with the stuff that seems so foreign. It's quite entertaining to see a computer guy get his hands on some power tools. Thank goodness his Dad knows more about this stuff, or else we'd really be lost. We'll be forever grateful for the help we've received. Believe me!

Ian is a usability type of guy, being a web designer, so if instructions don't communicate clearly, he's left feeling more than frustrated; clenched jaw, tight shoulders, I can see it while he's working. Patience is a virtue. The real fun I'm sure will begin when we start plotting the basement and getting that ready for building. We both bite our tongues on that subject. Either way, I admire his determination to get things done, even if he may not like it. As I watch him set to work for the day, I just can't help but love him even more as we move into this world of homeownership with the responsibilities that never seem to end. It may not be as fun as some may say it is, but I do know that I wouldn't want to share it with anyone else.

dad

I never quite know what to say when I am asked what my plans are for Father's Day. In a plain reality, my experiences with Father's Day or anything to do with Father figures in my life have been quite far off from Hallmark.

In this photo of my Dad sitting on the back porch of my Grandmother's house, comforting my Sister, I can't help but wonder what that feeling must be like; to be held by your Father. I can't say I recall even seeing a photo of my Dad holding me. It's not really a touchy subject, although it may sound like it, it's just how things have been in my family. And although the reality of the situation may not sound too cheery, I am beyond grateful for the relationship that I've developed with him, now that I'm an adult and am able to confront the truth in our family situation.

He was a young father. Quite clueless in many ways, but he did try to some extent. Because one of the major defenses within my family is to flee from the situation to avoid hurting others, the outcome wasn't much of a pretty one. It hurt that my dad wasn't in the picture for most of our lives, but that was his own way of coping with the situation. The pressures of society have definitely kept us in a cycle of wondering why things couldn't be the way we wanted to. It's taken many years for my sister and I to accept that our family circumstances had nothing to do with us, but of course it's hard not to fall back into that pattern of expectations.

I've always adored my dad, from as far back as I can remember. I tried my best to gain his approval in hopes that he'd want to be in our lives more frequently, which is a lot of responsibility for a little girl to put on her shoulders. The fact that I just couldn't reach him the way I wanted to has left many internal scars in my life, which can be hard to ignore when society flashes the wrong images and standards into one's face. I may never be 'daddy's little princess' and he won't be sitting on the front porch to chase boys away, but he is how he is and I couldn't love him any other way.

14.6.08

hello and farewell

Hello illness. After three years of bragging about never getting sick, I have finally been plagued.

In some ways being sick doesn't bother me too much considering it's been so long since I've had a cold or flu, other than the 24 hour illnesses I get with weather migraines. It almost makes me feel normal in a sense, since Ian has had a million colds in between the amount of time it's taken for me to get this one. I will admit it makes me a tad grouchy to see that the sun is finally shining on a day where I am well below the weather. I guess that's what little life curve balls are all about.
Despite my attractive wheeze, stubbornly, I was determined to get outside for my running class this morning. We're up to 8 minutes now. But with an itchy throat, throbbing head and slightly runny nose, I figured after a few minutes of hacking, that it's probably best that I take my body to bed instead. Phooey. It's very hard to get myself to sit still for an extended amount of time so this afternoon might prove to be interesting. With the help of NeoCitran, I'm sure that will change. zzzz.In some sad news, my Mom informed me yesterday that after 14 long years, her beloved cats Booey and Bean were laid to rest. To record, they are the longest living pets I have ever had in my life, so it's really quite strange to think that they will no longer be with us. It's too bad that pets can't live forever, although Mom did admit how nice it was to be able to put a plant back on the floor without having to worry about Bean and his mischief. Bean (the grey one) was a terror as a kitten and amazed us all that he managed to survive for so long. He once ate the entire strap of a watch, buckle included, which made us really believe that his time was up. Instead, he'd carry on getting into whatever he could, keeping us all on our toes in the process. Booey on the other hand (the amber one) was the biggest softy going. Quite interesting to see the night and day personalities between the two, considering they were brothers of the same litter. They were buried side by side, face to face, in the same fashion of which they'd bathe in the sunlight together. Sad. I will miss them dearly.

13.6.08

fin

Yes, it's finally done. And I mean finally. Did it really take over a week? Doesn't matter, it's finished and I am very happy with the outcome. I'll bite my tongue in the regard where I can see my little mistakes and imperfections but that's just what being an OCD perfectionist does to your vision. I'm sure if I hadn't finally caved to ask Ian for help in the end, this would have carried on for weeks. Seriously.
The initial approach to painting was actually quite intimidating for me, especially since this is the first room I have painted almost entirely on my own. I had no idea what I was doing, to be honest. And although it may sound funny to hear someone so insecure towards something so simple as throwing a coat of paint on a wall, I can't help but shrug in response. I'm sure if someone had handed me a pencil sized paintbrush to get the room completed, I'd have felt more comfortable with that in hand. Attention to detail, order, control, I live and breathe it.

The disorganization of paper and drop cloths and tape and stir sticks all over the place was enough to keep me awake at night, almost literally. And because I knew that things were going to take much too long for me to ever say the space was complete, I finally asked Ian to help me finish up the last bits where I had trouble reaching. I'll admit that I nearly cringed to myself as he quickly slathered the sopping roller across the walls with the sloppy slathering noise a soppy roller will make. How else would you do it? you might ask... You'd probably laugh if you saw how I had worked with it.. but that was my comfort level.

From both of my parents I learned how to be organized and particular with the things that I do. Mom was very orderly in how she ran the house, and like clockwork we'd clean things from top to bottom every Sunday. I didn't understand the philosophy at first, but I find that if things are kept in order, the clean-up at the end of the week isn't so bad. Less elbow grease. I like it that way.

From Dad I learned a lot about patience and attention to detail. As an artist with pen and ink, he would sit at his desk for hours, coloring massive graphic shapes with a tiny pointed pen. Kind of baffling to consider how quick it would be if he used something like acrylic ink or guache to speed up the process. It's that need for control I suppose, which is how painting my room was similarly handled. Funny to reflect on the makeup of what makes me tick. It will probably be a long time before I even think about painting another room in this house. At least from the process of getting it finished, I learned a lot of my work ethic and where my fundamentals have come from. And now that I can finally breathe and move around without knocking into something covered in paint, let's sit back and enjoy the green. Ah, things are finally back in order.

11.6.08

one down..

My first bear has been completed!

Although I found humor in seeing his headless body sit on the shelf for a little while, I figured it was time to put him together. What fun. His giant head makes me smile.

With an assembly line of several multicolored bears in order and more rain to come, this place could start to get a little crowded.

10.6.08

nippy

With the rain still coming down outside, I've been taking much advantage of the indoor pajama time while we have it. I have managed to get out as much as I can, to keep up with my running. And despite the icky, coldyness, it makes the hot bath reward in the end so much more worth it. Dry socks, Ian's sweaters, movies, crocheting, a snuggly kitty and some more movies, there is a bright side to this gloomy spell.

6.6.08

in the meantime...

Coming to you from Ian's laptop this week, I am still in the process of painting my drawing room. Looking good, but taking a lot of time. I suppose when you're a bit of an obsessive compulsive with keeping things organized and tidy, it slows things down quite completely. I amuse myself although at the same time I just want to get it finished. Because I don't have much for imagery this week, from painting, I thought I'd share this little photo I found from an old project I did in college. I believe it was for a character design class, where I decided to make a little Sculpey figure of a character from one of my favorite books, The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily. This character is a little bear named Tony who gets abducted in the story, to become a circus bear. I eventually added a parasol to his hand and drew in a little tightrope for him to be walking on, but I don't have the finished product on hand. Instead, since paint fumes are involved in my present day, I though it would be appropriate to leave you with a floating bear until I get back into my drawing room.