Archive for July, 2010

My Journey Through Art

When I gather with old friends, they are always amazed by the random memories I have of our childhoods. I suppose that the ones I remember made an impact on my life.

I cannot create abstract art. I do not even know how to start. I barely draw anymore and I used to have promise as an occasional drawing. Drawing was a hobby.

*flashback to grade 1*

It was art time and we all had our papers and crayons in front of us. My teacher put on some music and we were to draw to the music. Yes! I was so excited. This is what I am all about. Sure, it isn’t the Fred Penner that I usually listened to (it was classical music) but I had this in the bag. When the music went fast and heavy I coloured really fast and hard. When it was light violins or flutes I would colour really lightly and slowly. I would draw lines when I heard the brass instruments. Swirls when I felt the music was swirly. I was sure that my art piece was the BEST in the class. Perhaps the BEST my teacher had ever seen.

The music stopped and we all put our crayons down. I looked around and everyone else at my table just scribbled. They obviously didn’t hear the music like I did and translate it into shapes and lines and pressure of the crayons.

My teacher went around and looked at all of ours and she picked up one boy’s work to show the class. He drew a zebra and a tree. A ZEBRA AND A TREE?!?!? How could the teacher be praising him? He didn’t feel the music like I did!

*flashforward to junior high*

It was the greatest honour for those in art to have their art on the wall. What got me on the wall? Copying Disney pictures. My greatest aspiration at the time was to be an animator for Disney. All the other pieces I created for art class went into my folder but it seemed like almost every Disney picture I did went on the wall. And everyone would know that they were mine. I was so proud.

*flashforward to grade 10*

There is no place for Disney drawings in high school art. We must do pencil drawings for our homework of items in my house. I quickly discovered that the darker the pencil used and the more of it used, the higher mark I got. An intricate drawing of a plant in our house with the detailing on the leaves? Low mark. Maybe a 6 out of 10. A monopoly board with money spread around it with the background behind the board shaded in darkly? 9 out of 10. It was so disappointing for me that the quick drawings were the ones to get the high marks. I easily got a high mark on the drawing portion of my exam. When I got to grade 11 I could only choose french or art. I chose french because I got to on a trip to France.

*flashforward to present*

I am only now realizing the my knitting can be considered an art form. I can use my creative skills and create beautiful items. If I am feeling uninspired I only need to knit something based on a pattern to learn a new skill to apply to a later project. I am happy with this.

Maybe one day I will pick up my pastels again and draw or teach my daughter how to use them but until that time the click of my needles and the feel of the wool in my hands is enough.

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A Wink

Growing up I had all these glamorous notions of adopting an abused dog and making it fall in love with me. Let me tell you, it is not glamorous. I used to volunteer at a local animal shelter and while leaving one day I passed by a new dog in a cage and stopped to check it out. She was brown, medium sized. curled up into a tiny ball and she WINKED at me. I fell in love immediately.  My husband picked me up and I told him we were getting a dog.

We got her 2 days later and she was so shy but loving.

She has countless problems with anxiety, submissiveness, and just being a dog. We’ve gone for help and have called for more but it seems like every step forward we make is very tiny and is sometimes followed by a few back steps. It is so frustrating because we’ve had glimpses of the fun and loving sweetheart dog she can be and sometimes it seems we will never get there. It is such a production to get her outside to pee before we put her into her cage and leave the house that some days it is just easier to stay home. I feel like a prisoner in my own home sometimes.

She is part Border Collie and part Australian Shepherd so she is very smart. I can teach her tricks to perform very easily. Unfortunately since she is so smart, you can only trick her once and then she won’t fall for it. Sometimes I wish I got a less intelligent but equally cute breed. There are some days when I wish we could give her up. She escaped from her yard one days and I am ashamed to admit that a small part of me thought maybe someone would take her and keep her and I would have my freedom back.

But there are those days where she winks at me and my heart melts all over again and we are in love again.

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I Love Mat Leave But…

I love being on mat leave. I love being with my daughter and watching her grow and discover the world around her. I love being able to be at the cottage for more than just a weekend here and there around summer weddings.

But…

I miss having weekends to recharge and refresh. Something constant to look forward to. Yes, there are full days my husband is home but it doesn’t change much for me.

It used to be that I would go into work on Monday all tired and bleary eyed and jump into work and run all the weekend reports. Talk about the past weekend, upcoming weekend, how tired I am(I was known a not being a morning person), etc.

Tuesdays were very anticlimactic but I had few meetings so it was the one day to get a lot of work done.

Wednesday afternoon! Halfway done the work week! Yes!! It’s all downhill now!

Then Thursday rolls along and I usually had 3 meetings. Between that and breaks and getting into work and preparing for meetings and getting to the meetings early my day was usually done before it got started. And then! Only one day left of the work week! Yes! If I wanted to stay up late it was alright because I only had one day of work to suffer through.

Then after that was wonderful Friday! Pretty much the whole day was a countdown to the wonderful moment when I step out into the sunshine and drive home (in my memory winter or rainy days didn’t exist on Fridays).

Now I had 2 whole days where I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn, or if I did it is because I CHOSE to! I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! I could eat when I wanted! During the week I would obsess about my meals and what I would eat next, on the weekends I was rarely hungry!

Weekends really were magical!

Now I am always hungry. I always wake up at the crack of dawn. I don’t have any particular day of the week to look forward to.

But I wouldn’t give up this magical time for anything!

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my recipe for insanity

1 small cottage with 4 bedrooms

1 half deaf Grandma

1 skittish dog with separation anxiety

1 baby

1 cousin who always seems to have something wrong

1 hyper-emotional teenager

1 real estate agent man

1 kid who won’t say certain names or talk in front of certain people

1 aunt who likes to watch big brother and read big brother updates on my blackberry

1 husband with selective hearing

me

optional: crazy toddler & his pregnant mother

mix all in cottage for 1 week.

Please note, husband and I do not watch big brother. But, on the plus side there are so many hands I have time to knit…may not have a chair to sit in though!

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Safe Sunscreen

I dedicated today to finding a sunscreen that the EWS deems safe for my family to wear at this weekend’s Winnipeg Folk Fest. It will be the first time my nearly 7 month old will be exposed to excessive sunlight. We also bought a UV tent for her. Am I being paranoid?

Anyways, here’s how it went for all you Winnipeg mamas out there!

We bought a UV tent at A Child’s Place in Grant Park. It is one of those crazy folding contraptions that fits in a tiny disc like bag. Must practice folding it so we don’t look like complete idiots. I folded once 2 days ago and needed he diagrams on the box – I will have enough stuff going to folk fest for the first time with a baby and I don’t want to have to lug a box around with me for diagrams!

This morning I started looking up all the sunscreens that the EWG deems safe for my baby and I this year. It is long and boring job. Most of these companies either don’t sell the sunscreen in Winnipeg (or even Canada!) or they don’t list where you can buy it. Or the list is out of date.

I first tried Organza market – the website for thinkbaby and thinksport said that they sell product there. They don’t. They did have another brand I remembered being on the list but it was +$30! I want my baby to be safe but I also don’t want to be poor. They also had Badger but it was $20+. I would have bought it if I couldn’t find anything else on The List.

Next I went to The Baby Bin Boutique thinking a baby store would sell safe sunscreen and the website for thinkbaby and thinksport said that they sell product here. They don’t. They sell some other brand. I don’t remember what it is called so I can’t check it is in on the list because they are sold out.

Next I decided that Wolseley would have appropriate sunscreen since my list wasn’t working out and I wanted to go to Tall Grass Prairie. While there I went to Humboldt’s Legacy. They have a whole sunscreen section at the front of the store. There was a display of All Terrain sunscreen. I got Aqua Sport and Terra Sport.I think I meant to get the kids one but it says it is safe for 6 months +. They are all rated as a 2 on the scale (good!).  I don’t see what the difference is.

They also had Badger and a few other brands I don’t remember.

Next time I will listen to my gut that tried to tell me Humboldt’s was the place to go before I started on this long journey.

While in the neighbourhood I checked out Wolseley Wardrobe and Rams Wool. Rams is have a sale on Manos del Uruguay. Couldn’t resist. Got some green and some red. I LOVE how deep these colours are!

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