December 30, 2008

woopee!

Today I have THREE great pieces of news!

Firstly, the etsy treasury I created just last night made it to the front
page this afternoon and a couple of the artists' lovely items sold!
This warms me ole' heart.

Secondly, Jason also made a treasury and featured my art print in it,
and that made it to the front page also!
And thirdly, I have been featured on a fellow etsian's blog!

http://designspunk.blogspot.com/2008/12/pipodoll-wintery-wonders.html

A lovely bit of goodness to bless my Tuesday, which was spent at the movie theater watching Despereaux with Isabella and Jason, and then spent taking a wee bit of a walk in the woods way up in the Oakland hills (-:
The evening is calm, There is a hot pot of tea in the kitchen and
Isabella is tucked into her warm, cozy bed.
Life is good.

December 29, 2008

such a while..

I have felt bad about abandoning this poor blog over the busy holidays so I thought it best to post a little something (-: Being the long Christmas holiday from school, we have all been doing this and that (playing wit new Christmas toys, drawing, painting, playing at the park, visiting Starbucks with our sketchbooks, taking walks, watching movies, snuggling, being silly, reading lots of books, and unfortunately for me, working on legal documents in the evenings which must be attended to but are so very drab. Ah, well.
I do have pictures to post but darn it, they are still snoozing in the camera
so they shall have to wait..

I thought I would have less of a chance to draw and create with Isabella and Jason home all the time but interestingly enough, I have been so cheery at their presence that I am even more creative than ever and the ideas are flowing; I have made at least 10 new drawings! They aren't ready for posting to my shops yet but they certainly will be soon! Yippee!

You know, I am such a visual person, I simply cannot leave this blog where it is,
sad and picture-less, so I will take a moment to put in something...

I happened to notice this rock-fellow when I was sitting under a tree on the top of a California hill,, I didn't see him at all for quite a while, but when I did I was startled, so real he was! He said it was fine with him if I took a photo. I think wise nature spirits are all around us and we are blessed indeed if we have a chance to glimpse one of them! I happen to see them quite a lot these days, but rarely are they so agreeable as to sit for a portrait ^__^

December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice magic



I love this day, this magical first day of winter...
Yes, the holidays are indeed upon us (-: We have After Eights and Ferrero Rochers on the coffee table, a sparkling tree, presents happily piling up, Good smells and bursts of creativity ignitied by the coming of Christmas... Isabella has planned a concert for our Christmas eve; a lovely collection of holiday songs and poems for us to savour.

I am working on her main present; It is currently hiding in the closet, waiting for evening to emerge and take shape..I think it will only take one more night, or maybe two, to finish..

We did some local shopping yesterday, starting with our favourite shops along Grand Ave and Lakeshore Ave, all within walking distance. We stopped into Starbucks and made good use of the gift card my wonderful sister sent us, enjoying gingerbread men and delicious drinks, and then more shop perusing, and finally to end the rather jolly and productive run with chinese food on our walk back, and then cozily wrapping ourselves up in blankets to enjoy 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' before falling into bed..

My Mom tells me stories of the snowstorms they are having and the gleeful Christmas shoppers wearing huge smiles as they finish off their holiday preparations. I do miss it there, But we are finding our own way here, managing to carry the glorious spirit of winterness that will never leave me..

In a few moments, Isabella and I will stroll to the corner store to purchase many bags of candies with which to decorate our gingerbread house ^__^

December 13, 2008

neeeewwwwww artwork!

Yessirreeeee,, I just posted these lovelies to my etsy shop!

Newness abounds. Yes, it does indeed (-:

Oh Christmas Tree..

Our Christmas tree looks and smells wondrous

So much so that our sweet Mabel likes to spend her whole day under there..

~ We are so blessed to have a true Christmas angel for our tree ~

^__^

December 12, 2008

All about Isabella

Isabella's birthday went very well indeed!

We started the morning off by painting a snowflake on Bella's cheek,
to commemorate that wondrous morning, eight years ago, when she
was born in a midwives' clinic in Toronto amidst an immense snowstorm.


After a pleasant day at school she came home to a pile of wrapped
presents sitting on the table. She was very excited but we had to
wait
until Jason, too, arrived home before she could even consider
opening one of them! She bided the time with her first birthday gift
(an activity book from her teacher)...


She opened two gifts - three new pieces to add to her ever-expanding
rock collection, and a dress, made just that afternoon by yours truly
and which she immediately put on before we ventured out for dinner
at the sushi restaurant Nanayiro.


Back home with very full bellies, she opened the rest of her
presents (of which there were many, thanks to two sets of
grandparents!) and then we celebrated with ice cream cake.

Here Isabella is making a very important wish..

A lovely evening was had by all (-:

Here, by the way, is the big, squishy pillow I made for her
(and Blue, my own personal pillow-model)

^__^

December 10, 2008

many scattered thoughts

Ooh ooh oooh!! It's Isabella's birthday tomorrow! So exciting...Eight years old!
So, after I finish here I will be sewing up a storm,, Yes I have waited until the last minute but that seems to be the way of it for me. I think I inherited this trait from my own mother who would be gone the whole day of your birthday, shopping in town while you sat waiting at home, bored. Ha ha! But when she returned it was the greatest, and she meant well, so it was hard to be sore about it. She always went all out and created the most happiest birthdays, Christmas, Valentines, Easter etc..Me though, I do complete all tasks before the event itself, albeit in a rushed and superly-endorphined manner (-:

I am thinking I will sew a giant squishy pillow for her, a very pretty one of course. This is something she keeps asking me for. I made her one when we lived in Canada when she was three years old but we couldn't bring it here when we moved. Now it hangs out with her Grandma Jude and Grampa Joe in their cozy house in the snow (-:

Ahhhh *big sigh* I like sewing, It's very relaxing and a nice break from other creative endeavors. Especially at Christmas time! I always get the sewing itch at this lovely time of year, as well as the profound urge to knit, but it seems that one of the rascally cats has made off with my knitting needles. Naughty!

I should like to mention that we have found the most perfect Christmas tree. We ventured to Half Moon Bay and saw her standing in a Christmas tree field and loved her wild tree hair-do, There are enough little boughs up there to display a bunch of angels! But we only have one, so she is relaxing up there, taking in the scene..We named the tree "Blossom Betty Windy", each name chosen by one of us and put together (-: I want to post pictures right now but they're still in my camera. Oh well, soon enough.

Alright then, it's off to sewing for me! And then I must call my Mama. I miss her.

December 4, 2008

lovely lovely lovely

Today was absolutely lovely.

I needed to mail out some art prints (sold three this week!!) and so I caught a ride to the post office with Isabella's morning ride to school,, discovered that I was too early and the post wasn't yet open so I ventured further to Starbucks and ordered myself a green tea. Much time was spent there, as I needed to fill out an artist's application and write up a bio for a local showing. The sun was streaming in through the window and I chose a big squishy chair to sit in. Comfy. Feeling the itch to continue on, I mailed out the prints and then headed over to the grocery store and bought myself a box of blueberries, a box of blackberries and some fig bars,, then over to the pharmacy to pick up some last minute gifts for Isabella's birthday/Christmas, both of which are creeping up on me at alarming speed. Pleased with my purchases, I walked back towards home, stopping in to drop my artist application along the way..

Pleasant enough day, but here are the thoughts circulating around inmy head:

My stagnancy (or what I feel to be stagnancy in my life) is caused by none other than my inability to let go and realize that I am not stagnant at all. That creativity lives in me, It is not something I need to force, nor is it something that comes and goes (which is very much the way it seems at times) but that it is always there. I am just unaware, thinking and worrying so much. I realized that I have gotten so far from my center that I am spiraling in chaos of mind, and so I have been ever mindful today, focusing focusing focusing. 'Tis good.

December 2, 2008

cat on my arm

Kitty Blue is sleeping on my lap/arm/left hand so I am typing this with only one hand. A bit slower than usual! Cozy though, and well worth it. I think I shall get myself into the shower, perhaps whip up a blueberry smoothie and then settle in for some rather boring immigration work. I need to submit about a million forms and other various documents in order to get my US green card renewed, and then start on the Canadian immigration forms (again about a million of them) so that I can bring Jason back to Canada with me, hopefully within a year. And after all that...well, I have plans. They involve Christmas cards and ornaments, some sewing, painting, and meditation. I hope I get to them today.

November 29, 2008

Oh!

My goodness! I almost forgot to mention these guys:

The first two of a series of owl ornaments...I can't wait to decorate
with these little ones! (Also posted at my etsy shop)

Thanksgiving break!

We've had a rather mellow break this Thanksgiving; staying mostly local in comparison to other years where we were more inclined towards camping trips and traveling to various parts of California left yet unexplored. Yesterday was spent at the nearby bonsai garden, then the bird sanctuary where we marveled at the ducks, geese, cranes, pelicans and night herons. We dined at Los Cantaros and then spent the evening with Mabel and the kitties ^__^ Today was more constructive; Isabella and I never left the table for most of the day; She reading her geography textbook, practicing multiplication tables, writing/illustrating a book about Socrates (our cat) and playing 'Princess school'. I read and sewed and helped her with her studies. Jason had a great deal of studying to do for his upcoming test so he hung out on the patio reading his textbook and drinking green tea..

The great thing about staying home is that creative endeavours get accomplished! Here are some of our newest:
The top two onesies are printed with my original illustrations and the bottom two feature the artwork of my husband Jason. They are all posted on my etsy shop: www.pipodoll.etsy.com

November 22, 2008

dozey Saturday

Saturday has me at home with my lovely family; We are blessed to have the next nine days together uninterrupted because of the Thanksgiving holiday. ^__^ In Canada, we didn't celebrate to such a great extent; Christmas is the biggie there..
We have been busy rabbit-proofing the living room more effectively, and took down the cardboard barriers that sectioned off the corner of the room around Mabel's cage so that she can venture farther out. Yay! When we first brought her home we were much too eager to invite her into the main living space and didn't leave enough time for her to become bonded to her cage and litter box. Needless to say, a few accidents happened and we were forced to start over again, confining her first to her cage for a few weeks and then to the corner of the room. I think she will be much more refined now (-: Sweet little bun..

Jason is sketching on the couch beside me and Isabella is chatting to her Tashy (my sis) on the phone, so far away in Ontario where the snows fall and fall and fall. The very thought of it brings tears to my eyes, for indeed snow is my greatest love, especially during Christmas time, but I can find comfort in the knowledge that we will be there too, hopefully within a year, and can play in the snow and enjoy it's sparkley magical presence as the Christmas carols play and handmade gifts are lovingly made (-:

And with that I am off! Tea is calling methinks (-:

November 21, 2008

ooh, great quote!

"The Green Woman dances naked in the moonlight -- and in the sunlight and the shadows as well. She doesn't care what you think of her; she knows her own worth from her experience of life."

- Jessica Macbeth

Featured at Pikaland!!

I have been featured on a really cool blog dedicated to showcasing illustrators!

please click to see!
^__^

Yesterday, after a somewhat questionable birthday morning/early afternoon I welcomed Isabella home and then Jason, who built me a rather silly birthday chair, which really means that he fastened some long, worm-shaped balloons onto a wooden chair, attached one at the top of the other two and dangled an origami orb from the center.. We went to a sushi restaurant in Berkeley that we've never been to before and it was wonderful and delicious, Then drove back home for some homemade strawberry cheesecake and beautiful handmade gifts. After tucking Isabella into bed, I spent most of the evening on the phone, taking turns speaking with my Mom, Dad and sister.

Very jolly. (-:

November 20, 2008

Happy birthday to me..

So yes, it is indeed my birthday. It doesn't feel like my birthday though. I suppose this is because the day is so quiet and I am a solitary being until the school day comes to an end.

My first birthday present was a nose rub from Socrates (sweet kitty) when I first woke this morning as he snuggled on my chest in bed.

My second birthday present was discovering Isabella's legs and hands are covered in hives. No, not a good gift. I agree. Apparently she is allergic to something. Joy.

My third birthday present has come from Mabel for the last hour and a half while she digs furiously in the corner of her cage, giving me a rather large and annoying headache.

My fourth birthday present came in the form of an email. I sold an art print!

My fifth birthday present are all the happy birthday wishes that I have gotten from my friends.

So far...

November 18, 2008

More happy happy!

Oh my goodness! So many happy things happening ^__^

As I sometimes do, I created an etsy treasury featuring a bunch
of really cool & nicely coordinated items from other etsy sellers
in the hopes that it would make the front page, and it DID!!

This is my first treasury to make it to the front page,
and I have made three so far (-: And the best news of all is that
SIX of the items sold! Yaaaayyyyy! I am so happy for all the artists..


I have also received emails letting me know I've been
featured in TWO blogs! Please take a look here:

~~~~~~~

And now, for the time being, I am sipping my jasmine
green tea and dreaming up new things to make (-:

November 17, 2008

many things indeed ^__^



















This weekend, although relatively calm, was filled with surprises! Jason and I both sold two prints each on etsy, and I also sold a baby t-shirt! Yay! I have been featured in a couple etsy treasuries lately as well, which is always quite jolly.. I also finished making some happy plush pillow people and I do hope they find loving homes. They are already posted to my etsy shop so please see them there!

This morning I zipped down to the post office and mailed off the treasures and then visited my friend Lloyd the crossing guard. He's very silly and always lets me know how much he is in love with me (He also happens to be 73 years old). We had a lovely catch-up and I enjoyed a slow walk home, marveling at the singing birds and lovely smells of...autumn? For it seems more like spring here; It is warm and the sparrows are gleefully chirping as they do in the spring and summer. I will never get used to this bizarre, season-less place!

November 15, 2008

featured!

Oh boy! One of my owl prints has been featured on a fellow etsian's blog:

((helicopter studios))

Always a nice thing to see (-:

November 14, 2008

for the love of Mabel

Friday afternoon has found me to be quite exhausted indeed; After a sleep filled with nightmares, I am presuming due to the full moon, I am a wreck. I would gladly curl up on the couch and nap but I have things I want to do instead; sewing and creating,, although attempting to do so in such a state doesn't produce the best of results. Nevertheless, this is my choosing on this day and I will try and catch an earlier bedtime tonight. It will be lovely to sleep in tomorrow morning. I can hardly wait.

I have spent quite some time reading a blog about a family with 11 children, many of them adopted from Russia and the Ukraine, and a few of them with either physical deformities, mental disabilities, or both. Certain aspects of their story brought tears to my eyes. I have contemplated for years the fostering or adoption of a needy child(ren) and it always tugs at my heartstrings in a profound way. It isn't to be at this time I know, but still.

I can say with true joy that our four pets have all been rescued, especially in the case of Mabel who, as a rabbit had a very small chance of ever being adopted and a very large chance of being euthanized. Every day as I spend time with her, sitting on the floor and stroking her fluffy cheeks while she nestles against my leg and kisses my hands and arms, I am so grateful we could give her such a happy home. She is pure love. You know, when we went to the shelter to inquire about the rabbits there I was shocked to discover 40 rabbits, sad and confused, locked in tiny cages. I suppose dogs and cats have a better chance of finding a home in general because people naturally think of those two choices when considering a pet. Rabbits are so misunderstood but so delightful! We have had Mabel with us now for almost two months and she is fully litter-trained, loving as anything and very bonded with us. She is an angel. I cannot think of a better animal friend ^__^





November 13, 2008

oh me oh my

This past week has been rather different than the usual daily routine, on the occasion that Tuesday was Memorial day and so I had my loves home with me. Jason also took off Wednesday because he was feeling under the weather.. We completed many menial tasks that needed to get done; the mailing of art prints and paintings to their happy new owners, immigration/legal tasks, the purchasing of stuffing (oh how I have missed having stuffing to work with!!) and such.

I haven't had a chance to talk with my Mom and sister in over a week and I am itching to reconnect with them; to hear of newness and change and whether the snow is falling in beautiful Ontario...
I just finished my lunch, consisting of vegetarian lasagna and now I will treat myself to some honeydew melon slices and get busy sewing. I have a bunch of new plushies to complete and then they will be posted on my shops. Yay!
I also made some adorable baby t-shirts and onesies printed with a few of my original illustrations! Fun! Fun! Fun!














November 10, 2008

mooky pooky Monday musings

I sold this art print over the weekend (0: Woopee!


Other than that, nothing too exciting to report. I have been soooo sleepy lately, I just want to stay in and be peaceful, I don't even have the desire to go out for dinner and I usually LOVE going out for dinner. Saturday was peaceful indeed...We did go out in the morning to complete the weekends' tasks: the purchasing of both food and litter for the four furries, as well as sustenance for our own human bellies. Jason and Isabella made some delicious three-berry frozen yogurt dessert and I whipped up a vegetable stir-fry for dinner,, I also did lots of sewing and playing and such. Sunday found a somewhat restless Jason and so he endeavoured to go rock hounding at Agate beach. He found lots of petrified whalebone (very cool!) and various coloured agates. Isabella and I, I am ashamed to admit, do not enjoy the beach at this time of year. We have tried to like going there, but the intense wind gives me some nasty earaches (not fun) and I would rather be drawing or sewing or drinking tea by the window in our cozy apartment (-: Same with Bella. So we stayed home and acted really girly; playing with dolls, folding laundry, cleaning her bedroom, closet n' such. We watched one of my favourite movies too, The Polar Express. Brilliant. It stirred up lots of Christmas spirit in me and so we dug out the Christmas CD's as well ^__^
This season seems to zoom up even faster than Autumn and Halloween! I'd best get busy and make make make make make make!!

November 7, 2008

AAArrghBlarghhhRAWR!!


I have been printing out form after form on this darned computer! chug chug chug chug bleep...I think I have been doing this for 1.5 hours already and I'm not even done!! Ahhhh!! I'm amazed my printer has enough ink; It's a good thing it does..

Immigration processes are SO not fun. But it will be so nice for Jason to live in Canada.. I have spent two years in his country and now it's time to trade! I can hardly wait ^__^

November 6, 2008

Popsicles!

I'm really proud and tickled pink, I made two-colour popsicles with orange juice, lemonade and a few blueberries for a nice surprise (-: Yay!

Tribal mothering


I started my day by cleaning the patio. It has been neglected for some time, which is a shame as I tend not to go out there if it's not welcoming. So, I tidied up around the potted plants where the silly squirrels dig so furiously, throwing dirt around like it's confetti, Then swept the whole floor, organized the rock hounding tools Jason has out there, and finally (sadly) threw our squishy, stinky, rotting - but still delightful - jack o' lanterns into a garbage bag. They never do last long after you carve them, do they? I have the best memories of shrinking pumpkins on the edge of the back deck at home, where Mom would light them up every night, as many days after Halloween as was possible. They would sit there, gradually eating their own scary faces until the snows came, until one day we would look out there and the poor things were gone; they had jumped to the ground below, ready to go back to the earth from whence they came.

I next endeavored to take a shower but instead began an impromptu cleaning frenzy, which spanned from the living room to the kitchen to the bathroom. Then I had my shower. Then I made myself a much deserved lunch of a fried egg, crumpet and blueberry smoothie.

Isabella is at school, having been driven there by the mother of one of her friends. This is new. Overall I am a pretty devout do-it-yourselfer, which applies to such things as home decor, homemade pizza, sewing clothes and toys, and the transportation of my child to her school. Here's the thing: In our little family we share one little car which Jason requires to take him to his teaching job on the other side of Oakland. That means I am left to find adequate wheels in which to get Isabella to school, which happens to be two miles from our home.

The logical answer to this dilemma was to buy a tandem (two seater) bike so that Isabella and I could bicycle to and from school each day. It seemed like such a beautiful, idealistic thing to do and so we did so. For about 2 1/2 months we rode to school and back, each and every day. The trip there took roughly half an hour, with me hiking another half hour back home, only to pick up and do that again five hours later. I can honestly say that my lungs and thigh muscles thank me for the experience but something happened on Monday that changed everything: California winter rain. My Bella and I biked to school in the miserable, pouring rain! We were so wet, it was most comical. And once I finally returned home, the sun came out shining it's happy face on the world, but then as soon as I readied to pick her up again, down came the rains again.

I am not an extremely daft person and I got the message; even though I
HATE to ask for help, it was time. Isabella and I couldn't spend the winter being poured upon, and so I sent out an email to the other perents of her class, emploring one of them to assist us with a carpool miracle. Three mothers have driven Isabella to and from school this week, and two of them will continue on for the whole school year. It's so easy! I have this ingrained need to do everything myself, even if it clearly isn't inviting flow into my life, and I suppose I haveto admit that I am humbled, and so grateful, for the help. I often reflect on that saying "It takes a whole village to raise a child" and the truth is, I crave that sense of close tribal community. It's just that things seem to work differently in this modern age, and especially living in the city.....or do they? I am learning. learning to let go a little.

When Isabella drove off to school with that lovely, kind mother I felt very sad at having to let go; of my own sense of safety I suppose, being solely in control of the goings on of my family, But I am also aware that this help frees me up to find vibrant parts of myself, left silent and dormant for so long, being so busy~busy and preoccupied. This is a gift, I know it. Talulah (our bike) is sad too; That's what Isabella has proclaimed anyways, but I assured both of them that we will partake of joyous weekend rides together. I'm sure that will be much nicer than a furious ride to school through insane traffic and up bewildering California hills!


^)^

November 4, 2008

Hooray for Jason!!

He sold this original oil painting today!!!!!!!!


I'm so darned proud of my darlin'... Not only does he sell this painting,
He also gets to vote in the most important US presidential election ever!
Go OBAMA!! I would so vote for him if only I weren't Canadian...
Jason's vote will just have to be twice as power-packed.


More news to report: I have created a lovely etsy treasury!
This is my second treasury; Those things are hard to get a hold of!!
Here are some shots of it:



As well, my work was featured in two other treasuries! Yay!
So I took pictures of those beauties as well. Jason made this one
;
and my
"The Land Of Snow Bunnies" print is included:


And here's the second one! What's great about this is that the curator included
both my "Thoughtful Purple Octopus" print, as well as Jason's "David", an original
oil painting! I don't know if he realized that we were married, funny that!

Thank you InvisibleFountain!


Anyways, yes, many good things are taking place.

Many good things (-:

November 1, 2008

1970/80's Canadian childhood

Yay!!! I get to be a child again!!!!!!!!! Do you remember these??





Halloween

Halloween came and went so quickly; All is but a mere blur at this point. I do recall the dressing up, the goofiness, the camaraderie of traversing great obstacles (rain, giant staircases, huge groups of rowdy teenagers) on the candy hunt...

Yes, it's true. Jason and I collect candy too. We are the only parents we ever see doing this! But why?! It is SO much fun! We go to great lengths to costume ourselves so I think we very much deserve it.

I have been contemplating this certain thought a great deal lately; about one's childhood, and how we can decide when it truly, finally, completely comes to an end. For me, I am not ready yet. I don't know that I ever will be.

Here she is ~ my beautiful gypsy fortune~telling daughter..

And me, painted by Jason as a Goddess with many, many eyes..

And Jason, whom I painted to be the spirit of Autumn.

My absolute favourites are the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups..yum yum yum ^__^

October 30, 2008

oat bran cereal

Sometimes I have the urge to make a new post on this here ole' blog when I don't have much to say whatsoever! That is the condition of things today. I shall mention that when I returned home from dropping Isabella at school this morning I was famished and had a wicked craving for oat bran cereal with apples, honey and soymilk. This is not something I normally crave, but I thought it best to just go with it. So I cooked some up and it was absolutely delicious! Even the bubbly cooking oatmeal sounds brought me joy. Yay! I wish I had taken a picture.

October 29, 2008

Pre - Halloween Frivolity

Ohhhhh yes yes yes! The time is getting nearer and nearer and I looooooove it ^__^ We have been busy here in our cozy home creatively preparing...




YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

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