27.11.08

tabs


What fun a tabby cat can be. This is Tabs (we think it's short for Tabitha.) Normally I'd have some sort of silly story to go with this but somehow my brain is mush and I'm at a loss for words. Let's just say I had a lot of fun making this one. And there just might be more tabby cats to come..

25.11.08

sipping memories


As I was getting ready to set to work this morning I came across something that made me sink into a memory. It was a bit strange how it started, but as I went to take a tea packet from the cupboard, I noticed that it was the last from the box. What was so significant about this little tea bag was that I quickly realized it was the last pack of tea that came with us, here, from our old apartment. It sounds so silly to get all sentimental about a packet of tea, since I can go to the store and get more, but somehow it took me back in time for a moment, which made me see that it was more than what it was. It was a piece of where we've come from.


Ian and I had some really colorful moments in our apartment, to say the least, and what I enjoyed most about it were the stages in which we grew together. We learned how to cope with the inconveniences of apartment life. What comes to mind most, was when we lost our heat in the dead chill of the winter season, every year, without fail. For weeks we went without any heat at all. Showers were long and hot, getting out of bed was murder and any room without a blanket was useless. Poor Tim hibernated in my lap, because in order to keep working on my homework for college, I had to wear the biggest blanket I could find. Unfortunately even with the biggest of blankets, a cold desk by a drafty window results in very cold fingers. And so, when defeat was announced, I'd throw on my coat, scarf, and layers, to set out to find ourselves a nice, hot, drink to bring home and share.


For Ian it was a hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie, and for me, a jasmine green and a ginger cookie. Just a heavenly combination. I'd come inside to throw back on my layers of clothing and with our hoods up and blankets to our chins, we'd sit curled up on our little red love seat and wait to feel our bodies come up to regular temperature. And though these moments at the time were so incredibly frustrating to have to endure, I enjoyed a part of it in that it literally brought us closer together. We'd wiggle our toes under each others' legs, put our cold noses on the others' cheeks to question "is it that cold, or is it wet?" We found great humor in our unfortunate situation and somehow at the same time I didn't want it to end.


I'll never forget our days in that apartment and the things that we went through to get where we are today. It's just kind of a funny feeling when you're taken back in time for a moment to realize how quickly we're all growing up in this world and how far we've come so far. I look forward to what random objects will bring back memories to me of today, in the future. Until then I'll be sipping my cup of delicious memory.

surgery

Of all of the toys I've been making these days, I couldn't help but feel badly for the one who wasn't rushing out the door with everyone else; Oscar. He has sort of sat with me funny since the day I put him together, so I put him on the floor with me and my assembly line, to study and figure out the problem as I worked on other things. In looking at what seemed to be the ugly factor, his face, I decided to do some surgery and give him a full facial transplant. And so... this is the new Oscar. Young again.


I almost felt kind of bad as I dismantled poor Oscar's face and I do quite miss his original character because he was so very ugly and awkward looking in comparison to the cutesy things I've been making. With a new freckled nose and smiling mouth, he's quite sweet. Maybe this new change will bring him better news while he sits on my shelf patiently waiting to be someone's new best friend. Good thing cats have nine lives.


23.11.08

toy store


It's up!

After quite some time of making promises, I'm glad to say that you have access to my toy catalog...or should I say...toy store (in the top right hand corner.) Thank you for your patience! Be aware that some items state they have been discontinued, but that certainly doesn't mean it is impossible to reach the goal at hand.

To my surprise, more than half of my toys sold within the first week of presenting them to the public. So on top of that, I'm trying my best to fill the gaps to have more available for the future. I have a ton that are ready to be assembled yet.

It warms my heart to get to do something that I enjoy for those who are welcoming my craft with open arms. I really can't thank you all enough for your support.

our tim


Things are keeping lively around here, as Tim seems to find a new place to climb into every day. He never used to be so adventurous so it is sometimes a shock to come into a room and see him peering over you curiously.


For an old cat, we never imagined he'd be able to jump higher than the couch, but he has sure proven us wrong. Lately his place of choice is up on the fire place mantle where he'll look outside from where he is, or lie down to groom his face and paws. He's a funny one, that's for sure. It is just so nice to see how curious he is.

20.11.08

trees

I have to say, that taking my camera for walks is the greatest thing in getting myself to explore more and search out new ideas. In taking a look around at the trees in our area, I actually found great inspiration in getting up close with the branches, forming silhouettes and graphic shapes. Which may just give me some ideas for paintings, for around the house.


I tend to gravitate to trees (as you can probably tell from my blog name) and simply love the intricacies and delicate forms that somehow seem to withstand the strongest breezes. My grandma once said, before she passed away, that she wanted to come back as a tree so that she could continue to provide for her family. She was an amazing woman and from that alone I see a lot of her in the trees around me. I guess it's a comfort in feeling her presence. I love those simple reminders.

elephants


I guess you can say I swallowed my pride when it comes to my strong dislike for pink and am adding more to my color selection. Darla sold in a matter of minutes! And so, now we have the addition of a pink elephant named Nancy. The elephant pattern was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be so expect to see more of these guys in the future. And not just pink ones. *shudders*


I promise I'll write more when the storm downs a little. I'm now off to take break with a tea and make some more toys to add to the list. The fun never ends, and neither do the Christmas movies that I watch for entertainment while I work. I still feel it's too early to get really gung-ho with the Christmas bug yet, but I have cracked open my movies because I can honestly watch them every day. When my brain isn't twirling with pink elephants, I'll explain this one more thoroughly.

19.11.08

working


Well the last few days have been far from relaxing but I must say that I'm enjoying every minute of it. The orders just keep rolling in. My fingers are growing callused and my neck and shoulders are stiff from sitting in the same position for hours. That must be a sign of working hard.. or old age? With a quick tea break and some stretching to ease the tension, I feel fit and ready to get back into it all. I grab my blanket, some pillows, put on a movie, dim the lights enough so I can still see, and set to work in a fashion that is so focused it almost amazes me when I snap out of it to see what I've accomplished. This is the stuff that makes me smile. Goodness knows that when Christmas rolls around, it will be nice to get to put my feet up in the end. For now, let's keep pushing on.

17.11.08

enjoying the fog


We had an amazing fog today, so I had to take my camera with me when I went for a walk to the post office. It was so beautiful outside, I was out there for nearly two hours just walking around admiring the scenery. It felt very Sleepy Hollow-ish, and was so still and silent it was just incredible. I love this time of year. I don't know how anyone could hate such a beautiful season.


Because I'm still waiting to find out what to do about posting my catalog, which doesn't seem to be progressing as of yet, Rebecca grew stubborn and created a facebook group to post my pieces up for grabs there. Enough of this hiding under the radar. It's under my name; Kendyl Lauzon - Artist. It's only been up for a few days and already I have about 80+ members! I can hardly believe it! I am forever grateful.


Because I don't want anyone to feel left out, for those who don't have access to facebook or choose to stay away from it (like I did), I will be posting a catalog very soon, I promise. I have to learn how to hound Ian more aggressively so he can show me what to do. In the meantime, I'll be working on some more illustrations for Christmas cards, to have posted by Friday this week.

16.11.08

expression

I haven't made a pig in a long time, but this one is particularly special. Because I found his face to be a little bit expressionless as I was piecing him together last night, I decided to add a personal touch by accenting his face with some fancy eyebrows. I'm so glad that I did.


One thing I particularly like about this piece is the vintage appeal in his coloring. His wool is very natural in appearance and texture, coming from Ian's parents' ranch, Verandah Veiw. It's the best wool I've worked with so far, no bias intended. It's soft and incredibly smooth, yet it has this wonderful texture, where on occasion, I'll find little flecks of straw in the blend.


And so with more toys yet to assemble, to keep the line rolling, I will be back to share more creations as I go. Lately, I almost feel like a Christmas elf...

darla

Well, the assembly line keeps moving along and I'm almost completely caught up, now that I've topped up on Polyfil. I managed to get three toys completed last night, one of which I have to both laugh and shudder at.


We all have that one color in particular which makes us cringe ever so slightly; whether it be that tangerine pink/orange of old lady lipstick, lavender hospital walls or that really tacky blue that takes us back to eyeshadow in the 1980s. My color of choice for this description is pink. Any shade, any tone, any hue. Bleck. I don't know what it is that makes me feel so icky about it, but all I can say is that I tend to keep it as far away as possible. To each their own, of course.


Which brings me to introducing the latest addition. This is Darla, and boy does she have a certain personality that is so far off from my own. Among my pile of earth-toned stuffies, she stands out quite prominently in the crowd, but that's what makes her so unique. She's interesting, and I am glad I decided to take a step outside of my comfort zone and experiment with a different approach to making my toys. Though I doubt I'll make too much of a habit of this, since I did have a hard time staring at the color for such an extended amount of time, it makes me kind of giddy when I look at her. And surely, there's a little princess out there who will love her.

This
is what makes my work so enjoyable.

13.11.08

cards coming


After having received a pep talk or two from my wonderfully adamant friends (in just one day) I've decided it's time to come out of the box so to speak, as per their request, and make my work more readily available. It's true when they say that I have a lot of stuff to put out there, since my computer is filled to the brim with random images. My biggest problem just lies in my own apprehension. I'm ridiculously practical and so if I can't find use for something it can easily be pushed aside and ignored. It's a vicious cycle that needs to be broken because I am the master of all excuses, which prevents me from even moving forward. As Ian would say to me on my days of doubt (which is more than often) "Your opinion just doesn't matter." I used to take insult to it but from listening more and more to the meaning behind it, I so understand what he's getting at.

To get the wheel turning, I started to take down notes and poke around my shelves (computer files) for ideas. Upon searching, I came across an old set of spots (art talk for little illustrations) based off of The Sound of Music's 'Do-Rae Me.' The picture posted above is "Doe a Deer" and yes, I have all of the characters from Do and back to Do. As well, I found my little Sami woody folk among many many other little things and thought... Hmn, card sets anyone? Eureka! Another catalog is in order. Perhaps it's time to construct myself a shop of sorts. I'll have to ask my computer superhero, Ian, what to do. Will keep you posted, as per usual.

Thanks to encouraging (and stubborn) friends!

11.11.08

remembrance day


Because it's a day to remember, I thought I'd share a picture of my Papa, Thomas Brown Lauzon. His middle name Brown comes from Arthur Roy Brown who was the first Canadian World War Ace credited to shoot down the Red Baron.

My Papa was a very quiet man. And though we never asked him much about the war, I do remember him telling my sister and I various stories focused on the challenges he faced and how he overcame them. He taught us tricks on how to hold our breath under water for extended amounts of time, he told us about flying (he was a pilot) and he shared all that he knew about the night sky and the constellations. It was like his second home, up in the sky, and I enjoyed listening to what he had to say about it. I miss my times with him, and wish I would have asked him more about his times in the war. I think in many ways he hid his thoughts deep inside of him to avoid the possibility of scaring anyone who wasn't ready to listen. He covered up a lot of his pain with the drink, but I'll always see him for how he was when we were together.

He had a loving sense of humor behind his tough exterior and I remember days when I shared with him the story of James and the Giant Peach, when I was reading it in school. This book was really special to us because we played a sort of game where Papa would pick which kind of bug I was for the day. If I was being polite and quiet, I was a lady bug. If I was being loud and obnoxious, I was a cricket. If I was grouchy, I was a bee. It was a fun little game and I loved his child-like sense of humor in how we had so many secret games like this that were kept between the two of us.

I'm so glad I got the opportunity to know such a strong, noble and caring man, who is also a part of my blood. I see a lot of his qualities in me and how I sort of sit back and observe things from afar. I still think of him when I look up into the night skies. Maybe tonight I'll head outside to see if I can find any constellations, in remembrance of him. His favorite was the 7 Sisters of Pleiades because he said it reminded him of his granddaughters.

It's a good day to remember.

9.11.08

mini-ted project

Though I am still in the process of readying my toy catalog for online access, I thought I'd take the time to mention my next project approaching.


I may have mentioned before in another post that I'm quite the (silent) animal activist when it comes to protecting the habitat of animals, due to our expanding population that blindly and carelessly effects them on a daily basis. I get really upset when I hear about shootings of animals from "invading" the space that was once theirs, and so to put in my efforts, I'm doing what I can to help them gain voice.

In doing my research, to find out how to help, I came across the ESGBP: Eastern Slopes Grizzly Bear Project. The ESGBP was initiated in 1994 to address the urgent need for scientific information about the cumulative effect of human development and activities on grizzly bears in the Banff National Park area and Alberta's Kananaskis Country. And because grizzly bears should actually be on the endangered species list (haven't been registered yet), part of the ESGBP's mission is to make sure the information they collect about these bears- their status, the challenges they face, and what can be done to help them- is widely available.


The ESGBP does take donations and so to help the cause, I'm making mini-teds. Which is where you get to be involved. I'll be posting a mini-ted catalog at the start of 2009. For anyone who is interested in helping, you can place an order through my Libby Mail and 50% of the proceeds will go towards supporting the ESGBP. I hope to raise funds throughout the year, and thankfully the teds are cinch to make, and are also totally ridiculously cute. I do have a few mini-teds ready and set to go out already so when my catalog is up and running you will be able to get first dibs on supporting the grizzlies. Sometimes, it's the little things that help most.

To read more about the ESGBP you can check out their website here.

6.11.08

it came with the snow


Not only did we just receive our first snowfall yesterday morning, I also got my felt ornament package, which I ordered from Posie Gets Cozy. I'd had my eye on this set for quite some time in that our Christmas tree, so far, is totally bare and has very little personality. This is like a blank canvas for me and so I find great joy in creating things to keep for years to come. The set is called Ice Skating Afternoon, and to me it was perfect. A little ice skate, a cup of hot cocoa, and a little gingerbread girl; that pretty much sums up the sights, tastes and smells that I enjoy so dearly over the holidays.


I'm looking forward to this year, our first Christmas in the house, and creating Christmas traditions that define both of us. For so long, I had kind of pushed aside my own Christmas traditions in order to adjust to change, distance and being away from my family over the holidays. It almost left a bit of a void in that my Christmases haven't felt like Christmas to me in a long time. Feeling disconnected is not something I adapt to well especially during a time of year when nostalgia is free to run loose. So far, looking for these things to bring back into my life is like a bit of a scavenger hunt for the memory.


One tradition, in my family, that I always enjoyed over the holidays, was when Mom, Tawni, my Aunt (on occasion), and I used to paint Christmas ornaments together. In many ways it was a great way of bonding, for someone like myself, because not only did I enjoy the (rare) silence and simplicity of the winter season, but I enjoyed getting to be creative with my family. Creativity is something I live for, and so to me, this is what made my Christmases particularly special. We were able to slow down and relax, enjoy each other, and be grateful for our times together. We'd sip our hot chocolates with marshmallows and chat and laugh about the Christmases past, brain storm color ideas for our ornaments, while listening to carols quietly on the radio. It's been a long time since I've shared moments like this with my family and one day I hope to do it again, and also share with my own one day. At least by bringing these elements back, and into my own home, I won't feel so disconnected from the holidays this year. It's great to be reminded of these things.

Thanks, Alicia!

2.11.08

coming soon


Crocheting for Christmas is still on a roll. It'll be coming to a halt very soon in that I need to put together a catalog and ordering information, so that things can be set to go to new homes in time for the holidays. I love mailing gifts.

I also have some plans involving these (ridiculously cute) mini bears, to go towards a good cause, come 2009. I'll provide further details when things are in proper order.

1.11.08

boo who?


It came, it went and it was short and sweet like a Tootsie Roll. I wouldn't say that it was as eventful as I thought it was going to be, with only 30 kids to count for our tally, but at least it was great to get to experience our first Halloween in our new home.


With all of the kids we normally see playing outside in our neighbourhood, it was almost shocking to find how much leftover candy we had at the end of the night. I kept a record of costumes for curiosity and entertainment, while I waited for our next group of visitors, and we had four witches and plenty of Disney princesses. I asked a Cinderella if she could clean our house, but she replied politely "I'm not the real one." Darn.


30 kids is not a lot for the span of an evening. It was quiet, dreadfully quiet, and I almost paced around the living room while we waited for the next call. We had some funny characters, which included a boy dressed as Mini Me. I had assumed he was Dr.Evil, without thinking, but when he stated in his cute, little, voice who he was, I handed him his candy to receive a witty "thank you" with the added pinky to the lip. He, by far, was the highlight of the evening.


As the sky grew darker and I began to finally lean on blowing out the candles, a little girl came to our door (one of our many witches.) She said behind her face painted smile "it's sad, there are hardly any kids out today" which altogether made my heart crumble. Yes, it was sad and we both stood in disbelief at the dull silence around us. To help the situation, and put a smile back on her face, I replied "I guess that means you get more candy" and threw fists full of treats into her bag. I think it made us both feel better about the evening, as her eyes lit up in surprise. That's what it's supposed to be about.

Trick or treat.