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
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 (-:
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.
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!
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 ^__^
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!
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!!
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 ^__^
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!
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 (-:
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 ^__^