Come a long way, baby

Me that is. Today this is all about me and the realization that I am finally proud of how far I’ve come. Proud, for this moment.

Back in 2007 I created a clothing line with monsters sewn from odd fabric scraps. People seemed to like them, so I kept going. Gradually the sewing got better, the designs cuter and the screenprinting looked far more professional than when I started. I took this as “practice makes perfect” (or maybe just “better than before”) and kept going because I could. I didn’t really feel a sense of pride or accomplishment for the sewing. And actually still got down because I figured I really needed to do much much better.

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After a while, as the demand for the tees tapered off, I decided to try something new. I’ve sinc developed a line of jewelry that encompassed my love of nature and my collection of vintage jewelry. I’ve also started to record the little imaginary adventures that we encounter while on our stick finding adventures.

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The stories came easily, as did most of the jewelry. But Illustrating the stories was something new. I had never really done that before, and in my opinion, I really didn’t do it well. I drew for fun, but never to show anyone. This was when I realized I should have paid more attention in art class. (Note to highschool me: just cuz you want to be an astronaut doesn’t mean you should ignore them when they talk about dirt. All of it really will be important one day.)

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At this point my daughter’s art had progressed drastically, and was truly incredible to me. I definitely shared it more than my friends cared to see. I was proud, but possibly also a little jealous. It frustrated me that she had no formal training and it was only her dedication to keep trying that she was able to improve. I finally asked her what exactly she did to get do good, and the smarty-farty just said “practice”.

We’ve told her this for years, back when she didn’t think she was good enough, so I really should have expected this response. And there’s that pride again. Proud that the kid actually listened, stuck to it, and accomplished something so great.

Whether it was that pride, jealously, or mad determination, I started sketching whenever I could. I drew whoever was sitting in front of me, sorry for that Guelph office mates… I Doodled faces onto monsters in magazines, while on my break… I even googled other drawings and attempted to recreate them. That being said, I actually think this is the best method of learning. Copying teaches me drawing techniques I never learned in school. And this got my hand eye used to converting what my eye was seeing.

After months and months…. And months of this, I think I am finally where I hoped to be.

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More improvement is always a goal….
But for today, for this moment, I’m kinda proud of how much better these drawings are looking. Note to anyone out there: Practice Everyday!

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November sun!

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I don’t know about you but this week has me all turned around. We just pulled out the winter hats and scarves before Halloween, and I had contemplated shopping for a new winter jacket. But now, we are getting some abnormally warm weather here in Ontario. Today started at 10 degrees in the early morning (OK… 7 am) and by lunch we were all in our tshirts, workin on our fall tan. Last week, just to give you and idea, it was 3 degrees at 7 am, and if we were lucky, it hit 6 degrees by noon. But there’s always a reason….

Some guy, who goes by the name of a meteorologist, says it’s the aftermath of a storm in some place called Mexico…. But remember how I said that there was a magic forest stone, and it reflects the emotions of it’s keeper? Well gosh darn it, the safe keeper, Bopperstien, has caught himself a bit of a fall flu and is burning up. So his fever is heating up everything around the tall forest, and it’s so strong it’s reaching all across Ontario! Thankfully this means a super warm November for all of us, but poor little guy.

I have to say he’s a definitely a dedicated keeper, unless it’s just that his fever has stared to get the better of him. Mercidian, his tiny mouse friend, has been trying to help him get well and pass the stone onto another, but Bopperstien’s holding onto it so tight, fighting with vigorous force anyone who tries to remove it from his side as if he’s defending the Queen from evil bats. Poor Mercidian just doesn’t have the ninja skills to rescue the stone.

Be well tiny keeper. And his poor little nurse.

The morning after all hallows eve

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The sky is grey. The streets are wet. But the sun is there, trying to come out.  The temperature is finally in the double digits and this here is my idea of the perfect fall day.  A little dismal, but great colours for the eye. 

It’s the day after Halloween AND daylights savings has allowed me to sleep a whole extra hour.  Makes up for all the planning and running around in preparation for last night.

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Shame there weren’t a lot of candy hunters out last night, but we made the best of it.

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Some people did their duty – tried to scare the wee ones. But my kid wasn’t at all worried.  Funny, cuz at her age I probably would have been. I was curious, which made me think I was brave. But as my family likes to remind me, I am not. 

On a particular family vacation we went to Salem, Massachusetts which I thought was the most interesting place.  We saw the homes of the seven gables (with their tiny doors and living spaces that were just my size!), historic buildings turned to pubs, and the catacombs under almost every building. At least that’s how I remember it. 

The one catacombs museum I remember best was dimly lit and smelled like wet straw.  Probably to keep myself sane, I kept pointing out the movie setup like quality.  These were basically a jail where they kept witches. The cells had big wooden doors with thick steel bars in the windows. thank goodness, they were sealed and locked, so you could only look in through the window. Some were just pictures painted in the window space. So obviously fake, that when I came to the one window that was not sealed, I felt super brave. I had to grab the bars and pull myself up onto my extreme tip toes to look in this time, and there sat a person in a pile of hay in the center of the room.  She looked so real compared to the other painted things, but she couldn’t be.  Cuz now why would they fake allllll the other things and make this one thing real? Silly. They wouldn’t. She’s wax!

Then she looked up at me….  And whispered “help me! ”

Not going to lie, I lost my shit right there.  Twelve year old me ran out of there so fast I don’t remember anything else from that moment on.

My initial reaction to everything is freak out first, who cares what happens next. And that, my friends, is why my family teases me when I say I’m not scared. But also why I’m so proud of my kid. Somewhere, somehow, this didn’t rub off on her, and she’s so brave and so level headed in moments that would have other kids freaking out. (sigh. Yes. like her dad)

But now the scary season is over.
And I survived.

Onto sweet candy canes and silly elves!

Happy trails!! Gypsy Train

Mad rush before the holiday (Halloween that is)

This past weekend, Value village was both beautiful and annoying all at once.

Such a rush of emotions flowing through me. Joy and happiness watching everyone run about, searching for articles of their ingenious costumes. Then intense panic cuz what if someone else already grabbed what I needed! And then anger as every isle was blocked with so many Gosh darn people stuck in LA LA land, trying to picture their outfit and certainly not paying attention to the multitude of people building up behind them. Plus the more I detoured from my route, the more I found to purchase that was NOT part of the Halloween costumes.

Ahhhhh the joy +pain of Halloween.

Today’s visit was originally costume related. I needed a few more purple things, and of course, found a ton. The skirt I had originally designed wad too thick and bulky. I felt like the abominal snowman/hatter so I needed something lighter, But still funky weird. And what luck, I found this gold + purple plaid nylon that’s perfect! Well in my head it is. Still have to sew it into the skirt.

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I’m undecided still on weather I should wear a blouse or a frilly corset tank. But I’m hoping with the skirt complete it will be easier to decide.

Peek into my life: Halloween prep

I love creating. It’s the ONE thing I think I bring to the game. Not strength. Not strategic wit. Definitely not ninja skills. But if you need something made out of nothing, I got you covered….. Like a female magiver, minus the bomb making.

So my favourite time of year is Halloween because there are so very many things I could be creating.

Every year I do my thing, and create costumes for my family and friends…

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The kid as a viking warrior girl, and myself as the tooth fairy. (yes. Last year I was taller!)

This year the kid’s costume was toooooo easy – darn chorus line dancer. All that took was a trip to value village and some sequins! The husband, of course, is undecided like usual so he’s going to leave it another week or so… Which means more time for my costume!

The goal:

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The process:

Made a base out of cardboard using this tutorial, and decided to cover it with paper mache instead of fabric.

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Decided I also needed a teacup bracelet!

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And then i painted the hat with purple and gold acrylic paint to match my skirt. Or, one of the skirts.  I like layers, and baby, this is the time of year to pile them on. Plus… Once a ballerina, always a ballerina where every skirt should be a tutu!!

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Next I will be doing the sewing of these skirt layers. But here’s a seek peek….

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