Boredom… and coffee

I’ve been a little sick with a little bug.  A stinky nasty dirty bug, and this time he got in my eye! And now, after three days of Dr visits, eye exams, and insanely bright lights flashed in my face I’ve been told that I need to rest these injured eyes. That is literally the hardest thing for me to do. Could you spend your day with even one eye shut? Try both. There’s so much to see, and watch, and draw, and make…

So, other than taking the medication, I have not been following Doctor’s orders to rest these eyes. I have been taking ten second naps though. That counts right?

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Got bored waiting for the doctor today. That’s where this pretty lady came from. Guess it’s pretty serious to get eye infections cuz, before I even got home, the office called me to make sure I was taking the medicine. Of course I am! That was new, but I figured maybe I need to follow ALL their instructions and rest the eyes.

And then I drank a coffee.

Ever have a coffee and be told to sit quietly. Doesn’t work. But It was the perfect time to test an idea I’ve been playing with for a while now.

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These monsters I draw… I like them to look real, with more detail than those of my past.  I’m a grownup, and it’s time to make grownup art. (Grown up art that comes from imaginary stories about invisible monsters living in the forest. Sure.)

But I can’t sew them like I used to, because woah, time consuming. All those those highly elaborate features…  And horns! Plus I’m not officially educated in the sewing so I can only assume it will take a week just to finish ONE doll. And who’s going to buy a $100 stuffed toy?! Not me. And I really don’t expect anyone else to either. (not yet at least when I’m famous perhaps)

I wondered then about sewing a basic body, and painting their faces on with whatever detail I wanted. But that still sounded like a lot of work. And possibly funny looking. So today I wondered… what if I painted only a head? Just the heads could be cool, and then it’s a big enough canvas that I could actually see to add any detail, instead of wearing a head lamp to paint their teeny tiny horns. Yes, sometimes the head lamp IS totally cool. But right now the light hurts, and I’m not even sure if that will go away. Ugh.

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So these are a test. A definite work in progress. If all turns out well, and they are easy to reproduce, then you are going to see a lot more painted fabric things here.

Winter blue-blahs 

Things have been slow around here, now that winter officially hit the forest (in February). I can’t go stick collecting, but that’s probably a good thing as I do have two large containers full. I can’t wander through the forest listening to the bird sing. I can’t smell the trees and foliage growing. Everything feels like it’s on hold under this frozen blanket. Like a pause button. Or maybe this just makes me a victim of the winter blue-blahs.

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And what  am I going to do about it?!

After I kick this flu crap, I’m going to get myself a pair of good winter boots and mitts, and get my butt out there! If my tiny imaginary friends do it, then so should I.

Next, I’ve got to zap that creativity wave back into action.

I’ve been following LU + ED blog for a little while now. I just love the simplicity of the monsters (kinda reminds me of something I used to know), and their no fear talk of these imaginary creatures little lives.  I was hoping to learn a thing or two about the business side through other Monster lovers, but today I found a cure for the blues!

Today I found a #creativedaily inspiration booster right there on that very blog. So, that my friend, will be step number two, to get out of these winter blue-blahs.

Please, join me if you wish. Use the hashtag #creativedaily to share on Facebook or instagram. But definitely keep watching here if you want to see how I interpret these simple words in monstrous ways. OK. Might not all be monster-like…. But I will try.

Source: February #creativedaily Prompt List

Things I hate to admit

Found this in my notes from February 2009
And… still mostly accurate
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RULES: write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.

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1. i make notes of “things to do”, then lose them (2016 update: nuts. Still true. But it’s not so much “lost” as it’s shoved into the bottomless pit of a purse and not found when needed.)

2. i have 12 books I’m currently sketching, planing and doodling in. (2016 update: still true.  Well, maybe only 5 now)

3. i have a giant container of glue on my desk at the office,  just in case (2016 update: woo hoo! not anymore. Now it’s that pile of sketch books)

4. i am addicted to buying markers (2016 update: yep. Still true. Going to markers anonymous)

5. i want my perfume to smell like baking ingredients (vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate) but i can not bake to save my life (2016 update: slightly better now. Not so many burnt muffins)

6. I choose to sit on the floor more than the nice soft couch. (2016 update: not so much anymore. The floor is a long way down, and it’s hard for grandma to get back up again. Ha)

7. i laugh a lot… even at random, not so funny stuff, and sometimes when my daughter is making her crying face. it really is funny. (2016 update: Half true. The the kid is all grown up now so NOW we laugh at random weird stuff TOGEGHER)

8. i am sarcastic. a lot. even to my 5yr old… and she doesnt get it. why?! (2016 update: still true – but now she’s old enough to understand AND give it back to me!)

9. im usually late for stuff, or exactly right on time, but likely by accident though. (2016 update: still true – so much that I convince myself the meeting time is 7am rather than the real time of 8am)

10. The only person who calls my cell phone is my boyfriend. so it a really good thing i have it. Ugh (2016 update: ooooh this one has changed. I now have about ten people who call/message me. Ha! )

11. i have so many random photos from my digital camera that i will never actually use, the snow banks, the tree in the yard, my sewing machine. (2016 update: nuts. Yes.)

12. i cant sit in a chair with my legs hanging down. cant be done. i tried. i sit with one leg up, or crossed under the other, or i literally squat on the chair. (2016 update: a woman I work with yells at us for doing this. I get that it’s really bad for your circulation, and she’s a lot taller than me, so I don’t want to disobey)

13. i sometimes eat cheddar cheese dipped in ketchup (2016 update: occasionally. But yes.  This is still known to happen)

14. on that note — i dip almost everything in ketchup (2016 update: no! I’m so much better with this one since I had to cut back on sugars. Really had to limit all sauces and dressings and it’s made a big difference. yeah me!)

15. i dream in colour, and sometimes in slow motion. Those slow motion ones are usually really bad dreams though. Black and white, like a bad reception, when your ghetto TV wouldn’t connect to the station, but you watched it anyways. Freaks me out. (2016 update: still in colour, or at least I remember it that way. But no more freaky black and white poltergeist like dreams)

16. i need a project to be done in 5 min or i lose interest (2016 update: if I’ve got my Netflix on, I’m good for a few hours)

17. i dont know what i would do without my computer’s spell checker!! (2016 update: woo! Totally don’t rely on it so much anymore)

18. i like red-orange-pink mixed/worn together. (2016 update: yes. Still. Maybe even more so. I like plaid with polka dots, Stripes with floral, and all the clashing colours mixed together!)

19. i collect things, classify them into similar item groups, and then put them in a box in the cupboard. And.. . then forget where I’ve put it. yes. its a problem for everyone that lives with me. (2016 update: I’m only allowed to compartmentalize things that belong to me. And since my memory is better thanks to cutting out my sugar, I can recall where I put things much faster now)

20. i love planning events –parties, get togethers, shows… hum. i love being the host. (2016 update: yep. Still true. But I don’t do it really anymore. Unless it’s a birthday. But even those have toned down)

21. i want my own tv show, and i want kate to be my co-host or ‘specialist’ (2016 update: woah. nope. I’ve since learned I’m not good on camera. Or it just can’t handle the power of all this awesome-ness.)

22. i really do want to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. hand in hand, getting along and stuff. (2016 update: or just teach)

23. i remember people mostly by their last name (2016 update: strange – definitely not now. Must be thanks to Facebook and cell phones, but I’m lucky to remember their name at all…. Just type in those first three letters and click on their picture. ha.)

24. i have a photographic memory, but it doesnt always help. i can see the shelf i put the remote on… but i cant see the cupboard it’s in. (2016 update: ooooh this one is better now too. Still picture the shelf, but I can see where that shelf is much much faster. My memory is finally getting better with age)

25. i already know my daughter will go further in life than i did. she will do what she wants for her career — and she will know right away. no soul searching needed for her. (2016 update: still true. She’s strong and determined when she’s passionate about something.)

Since so much time has passed since the first list, I think I need to increased this to the magical number of 38. No particular reason. Just a random number. (OK. Might be the number of years I’ve been out there learning stuff… Maybe)

26. My house is full of sticks, but if you’re reading this blog I’m sure you can figure out why – it’s a business thing.  Not an obsession. Not really.

27. I have a rack full of necklaces that I only wear once a month, if and when we have time for date night.

28. I am not the only one with a shoe obsession in my house, thus we’ve had to bring in lockers to store all our treasured possessions.

29. Even though I have a large collection of scarves that I don’t wear as much as I should, I still feel the need to purchase another when I find something pretty or soft or pretty.

30. Walking in the woods always makes me feel better.

31. I have the supplies for everything. Want to make beer bottles into glasses with string and lighter fluids – got that. Want to make sequin headband for your random 80’s outfit of the day – got that!

32. On the weekends I find I carry my coffee around the house rather than drinking it. Like a security blanket or something.

33. I can only do a really thorough cleaning job when I’m angry.

34. Our Tupperware has to be stacked from biggest to smallest. If it’s not, most days, I have to fix it. Cutlery needs to be placed in the same direction in the drawer and I have been know to “fix” this at other people’s houses. I might be ocd.

35. I have the driest skin on the planet. Even if I use those super moisturizing body washes my skin tightens up like a super high speed replay of a starfish as soon as you take it out of the water.

36. My child was shorter than me last year at this time, but grew like a foot every month since then, and is clearly the spawn of a giant.

37. Laundry is rarely put away after being folded in this house. Might be because we have a lot of clothes and there may not be room. Might also be that the person has reached their energy limit and can… no… longer… function.

38. I made my kid write this list too, and have now made it a “new year” tradition.

Well, Now you know a whole lot about me.
Oh dear.

** Originally I was supposed to tag people so they too can share their weird random habits, but Facebook had dominated our lives so much that I’m not sure who even writes in their blogs anymore. Therefore, Sarah, Molly, Melissa, Hilary…. It’s your choice to play.  But now, you must share based on the number of years you’ve been kicking around rather than a set 25 things…. AND GO!

Happy trails!! Gypsy Train

Keep it silly kids

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We had a wonderful time at the Guelph Vintage and Makers Market this past weekend. So many wonderful talented makers, we didn’t want the day to end. And it was here we received the best compliment of all… To my daughter and I she said “you two have such a great relationship” and it was here I realized we really do. And then my friend asked “how?”

But for that I’m not entirely sure.

Her dad and I have always used laughter to make the girl stronger, to get up when she had fallen or smile even though school bullies pushed her around. We encouraged her to keep trying and always, always to be her silly loud imaginative self, because she’s better that way. It’s her silly that makes us love her best.

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We made chores into games, and boring walks to the grocery store into grand adventures.

We let her have her own personal quiet time, and she let us have ours. She’s really always been independent so I guess that part was easy. But somewhere in between the games and the rules we found a mutual respect for each other. She gets physically sick if she tries to tell us a lie, she never fears to speak her mind and as of yet, she tells us everything from difficult friends to accidentally smashing her ipod. She feels genuine remorse when we tell her something is not right. I trust her to continue to make good decisions, and tell her this all the time. (does no good if you don’t tell them)

I had lost my silly a few years ago. Was stuck in the darkness and, for the first time ever, I actually closed the craft room door.  But the kid kept being silly. Kept being herself. I realized then that she’s my laughter; She’s my silly. She’s my strength. She saved me from the dark and, now that she’s older, we keep each other out of that scary place anytime it seems near. Whether it’s boredom, or sickness or sadness…  We have silly little things we do to help each other think beyond the dark gloomy thoughts. Hard to be in a grump when you crank the cheesy elevator music, sing badly really loud, and of course make up your own words.

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I know not every mother daughter team has this connection, but it’s not too late. All you have to do is let go, and see things the way a child would. Their wonder, their creativity, their silly games… They want to feel that you believe them when they speak, even if it’s about the unicorn living in the backyard. They want to know your listening and you make time for the imaginary game they’ve made. The more the child feels connected to you, the more respect and understanding they will have for the mommy/daddy rules of life. Plus, I think the moral is as a parent, don’t be afraid to look a little silly. Make your kids laugh.

Not going to lie, not everything is solved by jokes and fairytales alone. There will be hard times (oh, those terrible two’s felt like they lasted an eternity) but now, 12 years later, we have this forever great thing. So, Never give up. And never let the small ones in your life lose their wonder.

That being said, I’ve recorded a few “Words to live by” (or things we told the kid along the way)…

* Once your old enough, and you’ve learned all the appropriate rules, you’re allowed to make up your own words. Like magnifical! (this came about after she was old enough to correct my grammar and word use)

* Only you are in control of your feelings. You can let hurt and pain keep you in a dark place, or you can push past it and choose happiness and laughter.

* Magic exists. In day dreams and hopes and wishes. A little imagination can turn a boring car ride into the most magnifical adventure through a frozen concrete forest in search of the warm healing stone to free everyone from busy office life. And save the unicorn dragons of course.

* Laugh when things go wrong, like when you trip up the stairs and spill dinner. If you saw it in a movie it would be funny so imagine our lives as a movie.

* to the parents: Get excited about things like a kid would. Cuz we are Totally ready to rock the day. Right!?

* I make the rules because I am the supreme leader and I have the pin of power. When you are taller, and you’ve been a good rule follower, I might give it to you. (This one doesn’t work so much anymore because now she is about a foot taller than me)

To sum up…
Keep life fun. Even grownups can be silly.

Whistle while you work. A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down….. And all those other things they say in Disney movies to get the moral across.

Back to the sewing table

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Next weekend is the Make a Difference Market at the University in Waterloo.  It’s organized by an amazing group of college kids working through the peace society, raising money to help third world countries. I’ve been doing this show for at least 6 years, and like always, I can’t wait!

I’ve decided to bring the remaining UROCK collection plus my new upcycled project, Gypsy Train offering both preloved and upcycled clothing, as well as BIGoakCO‘s monsters and jewels. That being said, today my day will consist of a little cleaning, a little sewing and a lot of mythological superheroes…. Watched, of course, in chronological order thanks to the Internet movie database list!

The imagination needs a little inspiration every once in a while. Plus watching so many movies in succession helps me get the job done.

Ps. The snow finally hit the tall forest…. And it’s beautiful.

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From what I hear, the good fairies have been preparing for this snow for quite some time, as a protective shield against the evil rat Queen and her minion crows. So no fear, they are warm and cozy, and happy and safe.