Monday, February 28, 2011

OMG! monday followed by too much? tuesday

going back to my roots tomorrow

As with the start of any overwhelmingly busy week, I spent today muttering OMG a lot while trying to whip myself into action. I did manage eventually to focus my thoughts into getting some productive and purposeful work done (homework, editing and layout, business admin, even started on a new necklace for "home is where the heart is").

A good thing cos tomorrow is one heck of a busy day, and the day after isn' much better, and lo! Thursday looks jam-packed too.

how many dragonflies?

Tomorrow the Roots exhibition comes down so I need to unstring about thirty wire dragonflies. It's also a college day (via transit), and a Safeway customer appreciation day (10% off or 10x airmiles so a good time to do that big grocery shop for the month). Then in the evening I have to frame the thirty odd dragonflies plus the thirteen or so acorns cos their next destination doesn't have much 3D space for display (allez oops! up on the wall they go!).

a plethora of acorns

On Wednesday the Roots show relocates to the Whistler Scotia Creek Gallery (pray for good road conditions on the Sea-to-Sky). The opening reception is on Thursday - I'll probably miss it (college day) but I haven't finally decided.

I don't think I've scheduled anything for Friday so far.
Let's keep it that way ;)

skiving off

Sunday, February 27, 2011

sunday shout out: two sisters stringworks

portable crafting then and now
fingerless mittens - my first experience with Two Sisters Stringworks fibre (and it was good)

In my somewhat occasional 'shout out' series may I introduce my next victim - Two Sisters Stringworks.

Two Sisters is the local business of artisan, Kirsten aka Yummy Yarn as you may already know her. She is a passionate handcrafter, producing the most adorable hand dyed and spun yarns from her 'in, around and in spite of the family' home business.

Her work is available online thru her Etsy store, as well as locally at Black Sheep Yarns and Baaad Anna's (where she also teaches). Students in my wire and fibre classes will know how good her product is first hand, as will visitors to the Roots exhibitions. A lot of my wire and fibre oddities contain Kirsten's hand dyed fibre as felted roving embroidery amidst the beads and eyelash.

wire and fibre dragonfly
wire dragonflies with felted wings for the Roots exhibition

Recently I've started working with her felting packs, small tufts of unspun fibre for crafting, in preparation for my upcoming exhibition. I'm using a technique called needlefelting to anchor the wool to a wire crochet framework before wet felting to set the project. It's a bit tricky but the results are quite beautiful - it's like watercolour painting with fibre.

My acorn!
yes, the iconic acorn is stuffed with Kirsten's fibre

wire and fibre hearts
wire and fibre hearts for "home is where the heart is"

Friday, February 25, 2011

friday forte: crime and punishment

new Fluevogs, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
no, it's not that kind of post

crime: overloaded with work
punishment: feeling somewhat overwhelmed (but coping), concentration vanishing, creativity approaching zero

crime: working at something every single minute
punishment: no treats, no exercise

crime: too busy
punishment: losing track of friends

crime: working right up till bedtime
punishment: flaky skin from lack of face maintenance, difficult switching brain off and going to sleep

crime: tiredness
punishment: being crabby with the Wee Guy :(

peak to peak excitement

summary: neglecting self - feeling lousy, frittering time away - feeling guilty, decreased productivity - more stress

solution: take matters into own hands and be grown up about making things happen for self, schedule rejuvenating breaks, develop realistic game plan, meet up with friends, plan some inspiring and enjoyable evenings out for myself, "softer" approach to going to bed - a good book, face scrubs and retinol night cream!

result: chatty Wee Guy, less aged looking skin, back at the bench with renewed vigour :)

off guising

Thursday, February 24, 2011

self portrait thursday 24th february

Today in pictures, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Each Thursday, for a great number of years, a bunch of Etsy sellers have been taking self portraits and posting them on flickr. It started as a way of staying in contact, and has continued with Etsy Self Portrait Thursday.

Each Thursday I try to take a self portrait. It seems quite vain and I do feel uncomfortable doing the deed in public. Over the years it's been a great snapshot (pun, groan) of my life. Hairstyles have come and gone, parenting stresses have changed, sometimes it's just a hand or a reflection in view, and other times it's a no holds barred look at me.

Recently it's morphed into a semi-regular blog post, where I indulge in some introspection (what else is new?). Today is no different, except that what I've been thinking about was neatly encapsulated in the awesome Amber's most recent post too

... and since I'm a good little blog visitor, I left a comment.

... and since I'm an efficient (?) little blogger, I'm recycling and adding the post below! Happy reading :)

in answer to finding support and community
"I realised that I do place an incredible amount of importance on feeling that someone ‘has my back’ while completing a Mama Renew workshop series almost a year ago. Niggling thoughts crystallised as we talked about setting up community and network – for those two evenings my journal page sat almost empty as I realised how vacant or far-flung my support network actually was. I literally had no one who would catch me if I fell (not even my husband).

Over the last year I’ve set out to ‘find’ my network, my support and happily realised that a lot of it was already there, I just wasn’t nurturing it. As a natural hermit, nurturing and maintaining friendships doesn’t come easy and I’ve held back from offering support because frequently I feel totally inadequate when depressed. I wouldn’t reach out for help as I felt I couldn’t reliably offer it in return. Overcoming the one has helped the other, and in no particular order. It has been hard work, and slightly alien to my natural personality. I’m usually very independent and self-reliant, preferring to keep myself to myself, but now there’s my son to think about.

Following intensive household re-training (!), I now know that the domestic stuff won’t fall completely to pieces if I’m out of the picture. And with taking care of my own personal network, I know that friends have my emotional back, so to speak, as much as I am comfortable with.

I’m supported and offering support in baby steps – it’s taken a year, it’s still a work in progress."

PS: if you'd like to see what's going on in my business life alter ego, check out studio portrait thursday's post here

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

wordless wednesday: would rather be at the beach

at the beach ACEO, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

friday forte: not sure where it went

Somewhere in the ether between email and posterous my Friday forte post is lurking; it hasn't made it to posterous and it sure as hell hasn't made it to the blog. Wassup?

So, this is friday' post (well as much as I can remember) coming at you now.

I think I whiffled on about having 'to do' list a mile long, and having deadlines to be met pronto.

I might have mentioned that I seem to be working on something Every Single Minute of consciousness (and unconsciousness too if my dreams are any reflection).

I might even have spluttered about having homework to throw into the mix.

.... and to cap it all, there was a Pro D day too!

Then I spoiled it all by saying I had thrown in the towel and gone skiing for the day with the Wee Guy!


Wearable arts catwalk show

An amazing night out in Port Moody

Thursday, February 17, 2011

self portrait thursday: myth busting

SPT Feb 17th, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

mrs pig and Grizzy snuggle up for an evening cuddle

It never rains but pours, although today it was freezing hail, snow, a blizzard and gnarly driving conditions.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks; absolutely not - I managed to get a very decent mark for my technical writing assignment this time.

There's no use crying over spilled milk - we use soya.

A problem shared is a problem halved only if the listener is willing to do something about it.

The wisdom of age - I question this constantly. I don't feel any wiser year on year, and those around me don't offer any external justification either.

You can't be too rich or too thin, but money won't buy your bone strength back.

You can't please all of the people all of the time .... but it is possible to make two pets happy at once.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

wordless wednesday: the tuneful version

from the wee guy, who was director, camera man, performer and author (music from Alfred's Basic Piano Library)

Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine's day: no child left behind

valentine bah humbug! cookies
blood, sweat and tears went into te making of these valentines treats

O, the lunacy continues.
Our local school's mantra for tomorrow is "No Child Left Behind" - in translation; none of our kids is going home without a valentine's card. I believe there is some worry that going card-less will leave a huge and deep scar.
Oh really?

What it does mean though is that tomorrow will be one long sugar-fest of commercial candies, and the neat "reduce, re-use, recycle" brainwashing that has been instilled into little brains over the past two years is temporarily suspended under a deluge of Disney/Pixar promotional paper trash.

I suppose that SD43 is operating under "do as I say, not do as I do" for February 14th.

I'm with Kerry over at Crunchy Carpets for this Valentines palavar - this year, a pink slip of twenty two names came home in the wee guys "save the earth" school planner. No note attached but the implication "send stuff to school for the whole class" clear. It's a huge waste of paper, a massive waste of time, an unneccessary and over-the-top exercise in friendship, and falls completely into the clutches of the commercial festive days market. Busy parents grab a convenient box of merchandised crap from the mall for the kid to label; others groan and wrack their brains for a craft to complete at home with the minimum of fuss. Substandard chocolate and tacky treats "save" the day.

Enough is definitely enough. I totally resent either propping up big businesses and exploiting children as consumers. Come to think about it, I'm not that happy about spending my time making enough valentine treats and cards to stock a gift shop either.

Come on teachers! Inject a bit of realism and imagination into the classroom at this time of year. Limit the cards to handmade bundles for a few classmates. Don't send home the blackmail lists. If everyone has to have a card why not get the kids to make enough to distribute fairly? Does it really have to turn into a "how many licensed characters with a not very healthy candy attached" did you get today? day.

Oh, and happy valentine's day to you (bah humbug).

Cookie Recipe 
225g plain flour
110g butter
85g fine sugar
1 small egg
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. Gradually mix in flour. Knead mixture into a smooth ball.
  3. Roll out on floured surface to 3mm thick.
  4. Cut out shapes and place on greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Cool on wire rack and ice as desired.
  7. Store in an airtight tin.

Bon appetit!

Friday, February 11, 2011

friday forte: mortality and silence

Roots exhibition
one result of all that busy-ness

Today I'm pondering two absolutes; silence and mortality.
On my way in to Vancouver this morning I listened to Jian Ghomeshi's broadcast, Q. I can't listen to him while I'm working (too distracting as he's usually got something worth stopping to listen to and digest which is no good for the creative process "in the moment" - sorry Jian, but it's CBC R2 all the way for bench-time). He usually starts with a monologue - his take on what's happening in the world, news, life and so on. I'm not often presented with someone else's opinion these days so I listen (and learn). This morning was about the demise of the tape player as standard in cars, plus some nostaligia for mixed tapes, musical autonomy, and growing up. All pretty standard, but then he commented on the loss of the silent periods during rewinds.

Hmm, silence. Not a lot of that around these days.

Number 2.
My appointment this morning was at the very swish Pacific Dermaesthetics centre on West Georgia; home to laser, botox, rejuvenation, and peels. Me? I'm just happy to be here full stop. My skin rebelled on me over two decades ago and I'm now the frequently scrutinised survivor of malignant melanoma. Every year I'm reminded how lucky I am to be around, and that mortality is not to be taken for granted.

I've had twenty five or more years which, in a parallel universe, were maybe not mine for the taking. And what have I done with my gift? On a good day, I'm not doing too badly - gorgeous son, rewarding career, motherhood and new life as an artist. On a bad day ... well, if you're a regular reader of the blog you will already know what the bad days are like.

Right now I'm trying hard to make my life "work" around family and immigrancy. I'm trying, maybe a little too hard, to make my days meaningful and productive. Recently it feels like every spare minute is crammed with at least two priority tasks competing to be finished. I have commitments to my business, my family, my community volunteer projects ... and lastly, to me. There is no time to stop, no time for any kind of silence in which to reflect. It's just go, go, go.

Is this really the best way forwards?

Disappearing silence, dwindling life expectancy ... time to make the most of right now.

... and here's a reminder of what cassette tapes could do (Maxell, not memorex, Jian!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SPT: self portrait thursday catch-a-glimpse edition

A little glimpse of the Roots exhibition at Leigh Square in port Coquitlam (the official opening takes place this Saturday at 2pm).

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

wordless wednesday: a few of my W'sIP

QA testing my tech writing assignment

portable memories
my first claw setting - sea glass in a copper mount

custom design
an enjoyable custom project in wire and fibre

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

yet more verse

yet more verse: yes, it's a cross posting from The Other Side

yet more verse, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

In the beginning .... I dabbled.
I dabbled in a lot of strange things when I first opened my Etsy shop.
I also played around with a variety of different crafts and explored what I could do with my computer.
One of the results was A Series of Questionable Greetings Cards. Yes, there was a series.
The two runaway best sellers were Appalling Fridge Poetry featuring awesome, rude or plain unintelligible poetry culled from my fridge (from the fevered minds of myself and my sister), and the I Tried But It Died series which were simply a set of photographs of houseplants I had killed (all in colour).

Questionable greetings cards - the I tried but it died series

I also 'published' a series of 'sentiments' cards 'Thinking Of You' which were illustrated with images of cat poo, a mouldy dead fish, and a withered flower.
All cards were very simple cardstock with my photographs stuck to the front, plus a plain white envelope. They were way back in the beginning of my crafting time ... until a few weeks ago when I got a request to remake the fridge poetry set again ... so here they are!

PS: I do requests :) "

PPS: I'm still killing off houseplants too!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

friday forte: there are always blue skies above

Yes, it's Sunday.
I had good intentions to post a late ff on Friday but a nap on the couch with mrs pig turned into a 2 hour marathon session followed by bedtime.

Last week I discovered that

- self doubt is not kept at bay by merely being occupied 25 hours a day. There is still space for anxious thoughts and crap moments.

- I can get really down on myself when I think I'm not achieving as much as I should be. But I found out that my yardstick is not always correct. I was comparing my self to the wrong thing.

- some apparently good opportunities are not the right fit for me, and may in fact be detrimental for my long term goals

- puddles of sunshine boost me up when I'm feeling low, and recharges my self-belief energy. Last week's sunshine puddles included coffee and chat with a good friend, a phone call with my sister, chatting with a friend who is starting her own business (and who is awesome and stocks my stuff! thanks Karen), and calling in to visit Christine at Family Place.

- blogging about it helps.

There is always blue sky above the grey.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

wordless wednesday: with words

yet more verse, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!