Woman in the Window

I don’t drive the kids to school often, but on the mornings that I do, I’ve noticed an elderly woman who sits in a big window overlooking one of the intersections near the school. She’s usually knitting or just sitting there watching. And I like to see her there. I feel like the kids crossing the street there are that bit safer having someone watch that they get across.

A couple of months ago, after dropping the kids off and getting to the end of the block, I saw that the blinds of the window she sits at were closed. It crushed me. I feared the worst. I know she’s quite elderly and that I’ve never spoken to her and I know nothing about her (other than that one routine), but it made me feel so sad to think that she’d passed on and that there was no longer a ‘guardian’ watching the intersection. The next time I dropped the kids off, the blinds were closed.

It was a while before I wound up driving the kids to school again. When I came to that intersection I was expecting the closed blinds again but this time, they were open. And there she was, knitting and looking out the window. I have no idea if she was ill and remained in bed later, if she was away visiting family.. none of that matter, really, but I was so happy to see her again that I was crying as I drove the rest of the way home.

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Seasons Greetings

Lake of apostrophe intentional, I mean greetings across several seasons, not this festivish one in particular. If you enjoy This Is That, I offer a hearty, “It’s Winter!”

I feel like I have stuff to say and I’m kind of tired of saying it on Facebook &c, so I’ve reactivated this fickle little blog, amused to see that my last post was just after the Yuletide (Winter!) of last year. Hello, goodbye, hello.

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Get On The Pot

Some of my (very generous!) gifts this Christmas came in the forms of money. I hemmed and hawed about what I wanted to spend it on. I would really love some tall brown boots, several books, maybe some yarn (I’ve been practicing a lot of knitting this winter)… but on a whim I checked out the Winter Activity Guide put out by the City. Put together, the money was enough to cover the tuition for an introductory pottery class. And there was ONE spot left. It was clearly meant to be.

Not my image, click through for original.

I’ve always loved it always wanted to try it for myself. I love the stuff you can buy in the local, hand-made shops but it’s never quite what I would want in my own home -the finicky, critical artsy side of me wasn’t satisfied. Now I get to fiddle around with yet another medium and Oh.My.Gourd. It’s so, SO damn awesome. I’ve only had one class but I spent the entire time absolutely beaming, trying to not exclaim, “THIS IS SO FUCKING COOL!!” the whole time. (Not even kidding, I stifled my outbursts with even bigger grins.)

I turned the first exercise (a pinch-pot) into what looks like a small cauldron (with feet and handles), perfect for salsa or a single serving of soup. The second exercise was to make a mug using slab-building. I had a hard time deciding what fun to add to it, so I gave it an oval base, circular mouth, narrowed the neck, drew a tree-shape into it with some tools and made the handle look like elf-ears. We’ll see if my technical can hold up to my creative, they haven’t been fired yet.

This week we start throwing. I may have to tape my mouth shut to keep the glee in check!

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Feathered Friends

I cannot tell you how happy it makes to me to have my own wee flock of chickens.

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Thank You, Lisa Gerrard

I cannot stop playing this song over, and over, and over, and…

It’s lovely to hear MsGerrard singing in English. I love the soul. I love the more typical DCDish vocal backing melodies. I love the shooka-shooka modernish beat. Goodness.

Crazy people moment. Yes, one of those. When seeing DCD live this summer in Vancouver, I felt it. THAT. That sense of something beyond all of us. That the world truly is a magical place and some have been given, sent a GIFT for creating beauty barely discernible amidst the noise and movement. MsGerrad has said in interviews that she feels herself a conduit. I felt god. God. It was there. I wept. I felt full. I felt (still do) grateful.

Thank you, Lisa Gerrard.

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I prefer not to be thought of as a cheap drunk, but more of an effective imbiber.

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Adventures In Art

I should probably write a post about my first solo gallery art show (said with enthusiasm and confidence that there will be others). While it’s still fresh. Haha. Fresh is relative, no?

It was wonderful. Not only are the staff at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre incredibly helpful and supportive, they’re easy going -just what an over-thinking yet naive artist like me needs. Kathryn showed me what she had learned from previous shows about hanging pieces, forming groupings, height, all that stuff that I hadn’t even thought to research for myself. It took me all day to get it hung; fortunately, L was in preschool in the morning and piggy-backing with a friend’s nanny for the afternoon; fortunately I live pretty close to the KWNC so running home for lunch, hardware and extra frames when I dropped a picture and broke the glass; fortunately I didn’t have a lot of pieces.

North Wall

It looked… good! Like a real art show! I know, I shouldn’t be so shocked. Maybe not shocked, just… proud of myself for pulling it off, humbled by the offer by the KWNC, excited about what could happen.

I sold 6 pieces! And not all to friends!! Granted, 4 of the sales were to friends but I had one complete stranger contact me via the info on my card and she bought 2 pieces. Not that purchases by friends don’t count, purchases from strangers that don’t necessarily feel like they are obligated to support me (you know what I mean)(right?) are somewhat more.. encouraging. As though, “Hey, maybe my work IS appealing!” Yeah, I could work on my confidence a bit.

The comments in the guest book were also very encouraging. I suppose a part of me wasn’t sure how an exhibit of 90% insect portraits was going to go over. Of course, I think insects are fascinating, beautiful and worth putting into art. I just don’t know how appealing it would or could be to the general public. I’m starting to think that it’s better than I’d hoped.

As for What Is Happening Now? Well, little. L is in Kindergarten 5 days a week now and.. well, that time doesn’t seem as big as you’d think. Granted, it’s been kind of insane around here with the gardening/produce/chickens season(s) this year -and once that was over I had a lot of catching up to do around the house plus, dammit, I need (and deserve!) a bit of Down Time. I’m just now really feeling like I can put the Art Shoes back on and work on projects that have been on my To Do list since.. oh, July. Then again, Yule/Christmas is only 6 weeks away, so I should probably start working on all those projects….

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What A Life

So, yeah. This is what it is and I am what I am. Life is good. Very good. I don’t get as much ‘work’ done as I’d like, not even close. I have good days, I have mostly bad days (as far as ‘work’ is concerned) but as far as Life goes? Fuck yeah. I am happy. Marvelously happy.

And I have a metric assload of pumpkins (and other squash) from the 2012 garden season.


I also have chickens. 4 of them. It’s the ‘off’ season and they’re pullets (teenagers) but I’ve got 4 eggs (after a couple of months having them) so things are looking up!

I won’t make any promises about posts but I will say that I miss the regular posts. I find the less I expect myself and pressure myself to commit, the better I do. So we’ll leave it at that.

(It’s nice to be back.)

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Hi Hey

Carpenter Ant

Queen Carpenter Ant (Camponotus herculeanus) post wing-drop. 11x12 inches, acrylic, watercolour pencil and charcoal on wood.

5 weeks until my Solo Gallery show. EEEEEEEEE!!

Plus, it’s Get The Garden Going Season. EEEEEEE!!

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Sad Beautiful Respectful True

I’ve recently been introduced to Kevin Kossowan’s blog, as his banner claims: cellar, wild, garden, local -his blog is all about food. He’s in Edmonton which is fantastic, it’s been rare to find people taking the local self-sustenance thing so seriously and doing it so well locally. I’m just beginning, he’s got it down to a science and artform.

I just finished watching The Kill Floor video, along the lines of my own recent education and at first I tried to write down some quotes from the butcher, but decided it was all too good, and am just posting the video itself.

From this post:

Episode 27 – The Kill Floor from Kevin Kossowan on Vimeo.

The ‘hard’ parts are near the very end.

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