Monday, October 31, 2011

midlife monday: breakthrough? not quite

I wish I could say that I had the answer to life, the universe and everything but, even though I am a mum, I don't. I'm not even any closer to a decision on what I want to be when I grow up in, around and in spite of my family, but when I chatted with my therapist (!) last week, I reported that I feel closer to knowing and seem calmer about it on the whole. I'm no closer to knowing what definitely but I feel bang on with the definitely what not, if you catch my drift.
Making space i.e., making time for decisions and thinking is key. Making space for friends and recharging is also key, though it has been very difficult leading up to this day of deadlines.
What deadlines, I hear you ask incredulously? What kind of deadlines is the batty and delusional SAHM possibly imagining? I'll ignore you for now - you're adding nothing to this conversation.
The definitely nots include any kind of future which doesn't involve taking part in the following:


pro D day worms at Granville Island


pro D day Museum of Vancouver visit


snow day at school


today's Halloween parade :)


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Christmas stars

Yes - there is no friday forte this week. I'm to bl**dy busy getting inventory ready for Christmas. Midlife is postponed for a week or so :)

... if only it was that easy!
Meanwhile, take a peek at the pretty stars (then go buy them).

Christmas stars:



Not sure what happened with yesterday's post - instead of the wire stars you got me slobbing on a sofa.
Here are the stars!













Friday, October 28, 2011

this was yesterday's

So yesterday' self portrait ended up on the work blog post about christmas stars - I guess I do sparkle a little but ??? Phone - what were you playing at?
I did have great plans to photograph all of yesterday's outfits (there were more?) but it got a little hectic. Suffice it to say that I glammed up considerably from my studio sweats for an evening out at a friend's gallery opening followed by the excellent Vancouver Opera performance of West Side Story. Heels, cleavge, posh dress ... and that was just me! Only downside was keeping the cleavage sufficiently tamed for an afternoon at college.

Dear Sochi - adaptive snowboarding should be in the 2014 paralympics



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

wordless wednesday: words from the den

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Louise and Wendy speaking at the momcafe tricity event about their brush with the dragons in the den.

Monday, October 24, 2011

midlife monday: Student 2.0 or Back To School

First time around was easy - only one schedule to juggle, study whenever, stay in the library till closing, catch up on lecture notes at will, and nurse the hangover uninterrupted.
Now, it’s College + 1.
And the Plus One needs feeding, after school care, entertainment and a sensible bedtime.
Welcome to Student 2.0

Student 2.0 feels like it’s on indefinite beta release, ironing out the bugs and the cripplingly slow processor speeds found during QA. Multi-tasking functionality is still in early development as there was no platform to build on in the original stand alone Student 1.0 release. Although Student 2.0 has been 23 years in production (mothballed for almost a decade), the New Student (NS) 1.0 has kept pace with technological advances in education and does not freeze when confronted with the MS Word Ribbon for the first time. NS1.0 can apparently seamlessly integrate coursework into daily life, whereas S2.0 has found lecture notes in the dishwasher or the Plus One unit’s backpack. Note: the Plus One unit is a modified mobile app running a stripped down 1.0 OS.

Student 2.0 is somewhat backward compatible with NS1.0 although communication errors are frequent. For example, 2.0 currently cannot process Pub Night, Evening Networking Event, and Working After Midnight. Student 2.0 also does not do Alcohol 1.0 unless Babysitter 3.0 is installed. Student 2.0 does not understand My Music ... unless it predates the original Apple. A compatibility pack is in production; meanwhile, please use the Humour plug-in downloadable from Microsoft.

Though developed from an older version of 1.0, Student 2.0 will not benefit from the modernised consoles which house NS1.0. Student 2.0 notes with envy that, due to the size of the old style motherboard and installation of the Plus One unit, slimline consoles are not feasible and anyway, they don’t have capacity to house the extra RAM upgrade required. Student 2.0 despairs of ever looking trendy again. S2.0 sadly realises that trendy is not supported in NS1.0 these days. Along with trendy, S2.0 needs to delete Duran Duran, 50210 (the original version), vinyl records, floppy discs, and the tape cassette from its OS. Student 2.0 also realises that the current Bond actor is younger than her.

Although capable of running many of the educational programs required in today’s higher education environment, Student 2.0 will continue to operate … really slowly.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

family sunday walk

video

Salmon Come Home

Salmon Come Home: salmon come home
stained glass by Margret Billings

This is the time of year when our brave salmon swim home, making their way up the rushing waters of the local streams. Energetically leaping up waterfalls and dodging hungry bears, these noble fish thrash their way to distantly remembered gravel beds

where they spawn and then die.

cough
Glad I'm not a salmon.

PS: Hyde Creek Hatchery is celebrating these demented creatures on Sunday, 23rd October. Get down to the streams and cheer them on.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

fibre friday: moss

fibre friday: moss:



It's a cuff.
Just in case you didn't recognise.
A moss cuff, to be precise (hence the tiny stems).
And asymmetric.













Friday, October 21, 2011

friday forte: youth full

This week I ran out of face primer. No panic - easily remedied by a quick trip to Sephora (how I love thy hallowed aisles). Why face primer? It's the only thing that evens out the blotchiness of rosacea but doesn't cover the freckles and leave me feeling like fake see-through woman. I am older. I have wrinkles. I have freckles and my skin isn't blemish-free or softly dewy. I no longer turn heads as I pass groups of handsome young men ... well, I never did but at least when I was younger it wasn't as ridiculous a concept as it is today. I am not young anymore, but neither am I old.
But young is what we're meant to be these days. Have you noticed how many prevailing images of mothers feature perfectly toned, streamlined early thirties or younger models? and this isn't just in advertising either; I noticed it in the crop of pics from a recent mum meet up I attended. Only the youthful and beautiful need apply? Is this the only model of motherhood available these days? I have absolutely nothing against younger mums - they were sensible to procreate at peak fertility and in their prime, but they're not the only version. And yes, I do think mature mums, i.e., those who first gave birth over the age of 35y/37y, are different. Slipping into peri-menopause at the same time as packing the school lunches gives a whole new outlook to family life.
What do mature mums crave in family life? Are they pursuing the same idyllic work/life balance as their younger sisters, or are they either more sanguine or career hungry? Do they race back to work, or do they savour stay-at-home motherhood? Was motherhood hard won, almost too late, or a happy accident? Are they as interested in mompreneurship or do they have a more jaded view of working life? Is there a sense of urgency to beat the biological clock, only this time it's ticking toward hormonal disruption and death. Do you wonder if you'll be around long enough to be a grandparent, or is it enough to make it to high school graduation?
So mums - mature mums - mature mums of young children - do you think you're included in the blueprint for the current model?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

self portrait thursday: looking ahead

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It's good to feel comfortable and settled. From this kind of peace, looking ahead is more productive, positive and less vulnerable to The Little Voice. You know which one I mean, the internal naysayer.
It's also a lot easier to brush off the external naysayers too when feeling positive. I'm pretty realistic in my goals and dreams so really, I don't need to be reminded of my feet of clay. I had one such conversation this weekend. Now I'm sure offence or doubt weren't meant by this person but their overall message, when are you going to stop sponging off your husband and get a real paying job, sent me into a minor tailspin of doubt. It didn't help I was already tired and felt 'trapped' at home all weekend doing homework/housework while my boys were out enjoying the sun. 
Dealing with my own inner critic takes enough energy; coping with another's negativity saps me even more. There are some people I've decided, it's worth while avoiding. Otherwise I risk exhausting myself dealing with them while the rest of my life stalls.
Sorry, but I'll have more time for you when I'm my kind of successful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

wordless wednesday: framed part II

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My submissions for the Port Moody Arts Centre 6x6 silent auction. Bidding starts on the opening night, Thursday November 3rd (6-8pm).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

early rise commute public transit walk interview commute exam home


Morning commute, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

My day, in a nutshell.
A different format compared with the usual, took me right out of my sweet comfort zone but with great awesome results - interview = ace! and passed my grammar test (wahoo!)

And then I find out that 14 of you fabulous mums have taken my Survey Monkey "Just For Mums" homework assignment survey!! Thank you :)
... and if you haven't, click here to take it

Morning commute

Monday, October 17, 2011

midlife monday: space and keeping it simple


McMillan Space Museum, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
The more I do, then the more I have to cram into my day, and the bigger workload means that I need to multi-task more to fit it all in, which results in less work finished by the end of the day with most of it not addressed properly which diminishes overall satisfaction thus increasing my workload and misery levels for the following day which cuts down on productivity and enjoyment and sense of achievement so I try to get more done to catch up ...

Sound familiar?

Make space.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

fibre friday: framed

fibre friday: framed:


flower panel, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.


A new home for a felted flower panel - a tiny cube frame.
voila! a garden which never needs watering. Perfect for that tiny bijou condo :)

flower panel












Friday, October 14, 2011

friday forte: date night and organising fun

This time, date night was for the whole family, not just me and the Wee Guy. We took mr ebb bowling with us to our favourite lanes (yes, the ones that serve pizza and wings while you bowl) for a fun night out.
We all had a great time and each scored over 100, at least once (cough).
Date night with the boys :)

Date nights started last year as a way of getting out of the house and having fun with the Wee Guy, without constant reminders of work staring me in the face. I did also wonder if they might spur my partner on to setting up some date nights himself, but alas, no.
The Wee Guy and I have had some great times and I've found going out makes it easier to concentrate on him and not constantly running through my to do list. As a result, I've felt much more present for my son. The Wee Guy seems to have enjoyed this too; he even reminds me about dates if I forget one month.

I love going on these date nights - long may they continue (at least until it's no longer cool to hang out with your mum). I've learned that I can switch off for a while and just enjoy the moment with my son. And I hope I've taught the Wee Guy that it is good to make someone feel special by making time for them. Perhaps one day he'll do the organising!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

self portrait thursday: biggest one evah!

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This week's SPT is a group affair: never have I had so much support for my solo vanity project!
I spent the evening with these amazing ladies as we were guided through a personal journey of skills discovery by Karen of Work Matters Consulting.

Wordle: meMy personal skill set (see image right) includes really bad facial expressions in self portraiture.
I am also able to pull together an entire outfit of thrifted clothes for the day :)

Big thanks to Suzanne of Lunapads for the office space for the evening, and to Christine of momcafe Vancouver and North Shore for getting it all together.

.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

wordless wednesday: happiness is a speedier laptop :)

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

homework can be fun :)



Yes, you heard it right! Homework can be fun.

I have a number of assignments on the go at any one time - this morning I combined two with a little bit of tinkering around on the blog.
Yesterday's post included an audio clip of the boys and their latest garage band offering from the new all-singing, all-dancing iPad in the house. I posted it via Posterous, a sweetie of a blogging site which automatically makes your multi-media blog-ready. However, autposting it to Blogger still means a trip back to Posterous to listen to the track.
Back to the homework. One assignment to be completed next week is a face-to-face interview with A Writer (a bona fide freelancer too) and I am terrified. I am terrified of many things, including shyness, but mostly of equipment failure. So this morning I recorded myself reading out another assignment, a memoir snippet.
And then I tootled around on the web to find podcast embed stuff for Blogger.
And, voila! (please excuse the clunky start).

Monday, October 10, 2011

midlife monday: being thankful

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I admit, sometimes my blog touches on the dark side of my life. I make no apology; contrary to what has been suggested, there is no obligation to read the posts - it is purely voluntary on the part of the reader.

I'm a big believer in blogging as therapy and it has helped me through quite a lot of change in the last few years. I'm quite sure that sometimes the posts seem unrelentingly dark, as if I'm not thankful for anything in my life. This is hardly further from the truth.

 Since it's Thanksgiving today, I'll share some of the many gratitudes I have in my life.
Happy Thanksgiving :)

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travel and a new travel buddy
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a sense of humour

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family :)

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friends (good friends)

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beauty in the natural world

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creativity

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good food

... and finally, my boys and their new iPad (hallelujah GarageBand 

Happy Thanksgiving from the Blackberry Artists

Happy Thanksgiving from the Blackberry Artists:



Hope you've made it safely home.


Happy Thanksgiving.











Sunday, October 09, 2011

fibre friday: garland of flowers

fibre friday: garland of flowers:

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Over the last year I’ve moved into a slightly different technique for combining feltable fibre with wire crochet. Previously, my designs were embroidered into the wire mesh then felted. Now I’m experimenting with adding the fibre by needle felting. This technique uses a sharp, barbed needle to push the individual fibres through the mesh to bind with each other. I’m pleased that it works; I’ve seen fibre-on-fibre needle felting and envied the precision of design resulting from it. Now I can recreate this kind of effect in my wire crochet pieces.

2011-09-25_13-38-38_305One of my first cuff designs using this method features a garland of flowers. First I placed and felted the stems in place, then created the individual flowers on the felting mat before attaching them to the greenery. Once happy with the placement, the whole cuff was wet felted to ‘set’ the design.

I’ll be making more of these for the christmas market (see my Events tab for details), and also teaching this method during the upcoming Wire and Fibre II class at Place des Arts (starts Saturday, October 21st – 1.30pm to 4pm: phone Place des Arts to register).

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