betty's flowers

While going through some things on my computer, I came across an old folder of photographs of some projects I did back in college, with mixed media. I didn't prefer to tamper with paints when time was to be used sparingly like it was in college, but there were times where I chose to experiment and get my hands dirty for the sake of something new.

This piece was painted with acrylics on masonite board, for a project based on character development. I did some digging for this one, as it is based off of a story I once heard about my grandmother. Her appearance, I based off of an old photo I remember of her when she was young, with wavy, black, hair. Her expression was intense, her features delicate.

My grandma kept a massive garden in her backyard which she loved more than most things in this world. I remember when I was little, she used to get me or my sister to hold a flashlightfor her, so she could search for slugs outside and blast them with vinegar. She was hardcore and tedious, inspiring, a perfectionist.

When she sold her old house, she was devastated to hear that the new owners had torn up her garden. She cried for a very long time about it. She wasn't an openly emotional woman, so that really kept an image in my mind. How heartbreaking. Instead of focusing on the sadness involved, I decided to create my own part of the story by presenting her, vengeful. As a result, I kind of like this painting because it reminds me of what is most important and seeking what is yours no matter what it takes.


mixed messages

Hmn. Sitting in a Canada Post box, stubbornly avoiding eye contact ... Think he might be trying to tell me something?

Once again, I have to apologize for this dull silence, as it goes, sometimes no news is good news. I promise I'll return when I'm in better focus to elaborate on my days. A lot of fun stuff is taking shape and a lot of tea is being guzzled in between.

Back to it!



I have to apologize for slacking off in the blogging department but sometimes a bit of silence is a good thing. I've been busy with multiple projects, which I've finally given up on fearing. I'm really bored of my lack of self belief and so I'm stepping out of my comfort zone of hiding and am challenging myself in ways I hadn't thought to try before. Certainly not every day is easy but it can become more so as I go.

There are just some things in my life that I really want to change and last year I took the step by challenging myself more physically, to seek the rewards of determination. It taught me a lot about myself and I wish to continue to do so this year, focusing as well on my emotional health. Emotionally, I feel I need a tune up. And so, instead of fearing the changes that lie ahead of me, I'm learning how to face them. Most importantly, on my own terms. It's frightening, but I'm ready for a change.

Ah the joys of self discovery.


writing robot

Things are picking up and I've been writing like a madwoman. I'd elaborate but I'm kind of glazed over from the massive amounts of brainstorming I've been doing. I'm a little rusty and it's taken me ages to even begin the first paragraph. Gack!

Will return when the storm subsides and when things are computing more smoothly.


pond hockey

Ian signed up for a 3 on 3 tournament this weekend, so I came along to take in the sights.

I love winter.


the truth about monkeys

We have a pair of monkeys in our kitchen, Chester and Esther. They are both off to good homes, thank goodness, or else our kitchen may just be destroyed before too long.

They decided to make a rock band together

...but things got carried away when Chester cut Esther from the band.

If you don't watch monkeys closely, they can get into things quite easily. They broke a couple of our dishes and pooped in a few...

and they swung from the chandelier while I tried to make them lunch.

It's when you try to ask them who is responsible for the mess that they play the quiet game. Frustrating.

The truth is, regardless of their hyperactive and destructive nature, they are pretty cute.

I just might miss them when they leave.


Aside from tampering in the kitchen, I've been spending a lot of time in my drawing room, stirring up ideas for future projects. It's amazing how much things have changed since I've become more aware of when I'm overthinking things, and so if I find that the process is starting to feel forced, I simply leave the space and return with a fresher mind. It's like a breath of fresh air, this learning how to stop my mind from overheating with thought. I don't feel as tired and more solid ideas are settling on my sketchbook pages.

Speaking of fresh air, we opened the window yesterday afternoon. Tim enjoyed.


dinner time

Last night I made the best lasagna, ever.

I have been experimenting with new dishes lately, as I mentioned in my last post, and so far we've added two new yummy items to our cookbook. Impressive for two totally opposite eaters. This recipe can easily be altered into a vegetarian option, though I found the meat version to be just fine.. since I couldn't taste it.

The lasagna was baked in a bechamel sauce which contained cream and spices, including a pinch of nutmeg. Yes, nutmeg. For the inside, the noodles are stuffed and rolled with a layer of ricotta, parmesan, spinach and pruscuitto. And to top it all off, a nice sprinkling of mozzarella, some marinara sauce and more parmesan for that crunchy surface that is so delcious. They baked beautifully and didn't stick together or fall apart in a soupy mess like most of my lasagnas do. I got a great sense of achievement from it.

Though I wouldn't choose this recipe for just any regular night, as it was very time consuming and created a masterful mess in the kitchen at one point, I would definitely recommend it as something to make for a special evening for two. Seriously, yummy.

"It tastes like restaurant quality." ~ Ian

Lasagna Roll recipe from Everyday Italian


the path to comfort

Shaking off the Christmas treats has been a little wonky on my system. I'm glad they're gone, but my sweet tooth throbs with temptation, still. To fulfill that need for comfort, I am venturing into the world of soups. So far we've had a Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup and it was so delicious, and quick! We have a few yet to test out this winter, so I will share the winners with you when they come along. mmmm. Comfort at its best.


a wintery outing

I decided to take my camera out for a little spin this afternoon, to get out and enjoy the scenery for simple pleasures and inspiration. We'd gotten a fresh layer of snow over night, and so, Madame Winter was calling my name to come outside.

These moments to myself, I find, so rewarding. The silence in the air, the challenge of the cold, the aching fingertips behind each shot. I just enjoy the challenges that winter brings. And of course the greatest joy is the treat that awaits indoors, to rose the cheeks and warm the soul.

I love this time of year.



I decided to make a little mosaic of some photos that I felt summed up our 2008. Of course it's hard to roll the year into 24 photos, but it was fun putting it together.


treats for the mind

This was my view about a week or so ago when I got a chance to have the place to myself and finally sit down and unwind, with some post-Christmas snacks. Ah yes, the guilt that surely follows the season is almost quite entertaining since we all know it's coming eventually. Either way, I'm taking the time to write because, incredibly, my mind is constantly racing with thought that I need to remind myself that evenings such as these, solo dates, are totally allowed and need to be put into better focus. I never allow myself to truly enjoy them (with or without the tasty indulgences.) What I really need to treat, is my mind. Shut it down and let it rest.

I got a book for Christmas called Mental Traps:The Overthinker's Guide to a Happier Life and since starting it (and trying my best to read more than four lines without allowing my mind to wander) I've been taught a valuable lesson in why it is that I continue to struggle constantly with myself. There are so many expectations I place on my shoulders that I hardly allow myself to move forward freely; I hesitate, I wonder, I wander, I question, I pace, I clean the bathroom for the sake of something to do. Sitting still is honestly the biggest challenge I face, yet with a racing mind it's what I need in order to gain the focus it is that I'm forever seeking in my life.

So, tonight for the sake of trying I'm going to attempt to give myself another one of these quiet moments and do my absolute best to allow myself to enjoy it. It's amazing when you have a mind that won't rest, and in many cases it puts up a road block that can only make it worse. There are so many goals I have for this year I don't want to fall back on regret before I even give it a shot. To all of you overthinkers out there, take a break, it's allowed. Kick back and shut down for a moment. I will try my best to do so, as well.


rabbits! rabbits! rabbits!

Rabbits! It's a new year.

When I was little, my Papa (Grandpa) used to make a habit on the first day of every month to say "Rabbits" three times, as his ode to good luck. To keep to tradition, I decided to give it a shot this morning. I may not have said it at the stroke of midnight, last night, but it's always the thought that counts is it not?

We're finally settling into that quiet lull that says that the holidays have officially passed. It's amazing how even despite the many nights of relaxation we've enjoyed, we're both pretty zonked. With stuffy heads and achy bodies from a lingering cold we've been tossing around, it might just be okay to hibernate a few days more to be set for the start of this new year ahead of us.

I hope to all of you (and myself) that 2009 is filled with much luck, joy and much deserved laziness.
Happy New Year.