Thursday, March 31, 2011

self portrait thursday: getting political

Today's proclamation from the liberals re: extra funding for the provinces for childcare, ECE educator training ...

My thoughts?
Nice, but what about spending the money supporting all families whether they wish to contract out their child care or not? Tax breaks, paying the at-home parent, incentives for business to establish family-friendly employment measures would all greatly assist families of school-age children.

And to the critics who whine about not wanting their tax dollars to subsidise someone else's child care? Fine, as long as you don't expect me to subsidise the early years and formal education of the gastroenterologist who will take care of your colon cancer in your old age.

BTW, I'm not a political animal, but my very first federal election as a Canadian citizen is coming up and I can vote.

wordless wednesday: spring break - the second wednesday

Lunchtime out with the Wee Guy

Monday, March 28, 2011

spring break round two

A day with the wee guy on snow :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

random sunday-at-a-craft-fair thoughts

Ok so we were meant to have access at 10am - what gives?
Quick trip to the loo to kill waiting time then go ask for the key - ah, someone else has. Let's go.
Table still here but drat, left the stool in the car (will ask mr ebb to bring it when he arrives with a coffee).
Set up - where will I put everything today? Mix it up or go with yesterday's winning layout (ho ho)?
Opening already? Waah!
So - must sell four cuffs to break even.
Slow start - where is everybody?
Ugh! Hay fever. Who wants to buy from a crafter with a bright red nose?
Did I pack tissues? Phew - yes I did.
Yay! A sale. Down to a two-and- half cuff sales pitch.
There are a lot of jewellers here - five of the eight tables in my block are selling jewelry, and seven out of the seventeen other tables I can see from where I sit. What is this? Fab Fair (which btw is a most excellent jewelry and bags fair at Heritage Hall on Main Street in June)?
The table next to me is so tempting (not chocolalate, but plants).
Still at two and a half cuffs ... or eight pairs of earrings ... or two necklaces ... or any combination ....
Yay for meeting friends, old and new. Sent a couple more artists in search of the Vancouver Indie Crafters group forum :)
Still stuck at two-and-half cuffs :(
Yay - more friends visiting!
Oh thank goodness for a wifi connection.
Black bra, flesh coloured top - no.
Hayfever season is here :(
Great chat with a lovely family out for a Sunday afternoon stroll :)
Another marketer trying to make money off an artisan - no thank you. Arts and crafts is a growth industry but sadly not for the artists themselves.
Tortured by having photograph taken ;)
Mission accomplished - officially broken even, two cuffs going to two new homes :)
PS: Handmade doesn't count as new for Lent (just sayin').
I seem to have stopped sneezing.
OMG in profit! Chatting with other vendors, it seems everyone found it hard work to break even. High table fees really take a cut.
Wow! Closing bell - pack and go home.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday shout out

.... for me and all the other vendors taking part in Portobello West at Creekside Rec Centre this weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2011

friday forte: it's not me, it's you

this morning
dawn over the Burrard Inlet (yes, another weirdly sloping horizon shot)

About a year ago, I came to conclusion about my life.
About a year ago, I came to a painful conclusion about my life.
(bear with me)
About a year ago I painfully came to a painful conclusion about my life.

I painfully "lost it", smashed a very heavy plate on the dining table during our evening meal. The day had not been a good one. At the start of the day it looked like I might be able to make headway on an issue which quite honestly had been  ripping me apart for almost two decades. By the end of the day it was back to square one.

I marked the table.
Splinters flew off the plate, gouging the veneer on the piano lid.
Food splattered the sideboard.
I painfully gashed my left thumb deeply near a joint.
It bled ... a lot.
Boy, was I mad.
I went to bed mad and disappointed.
I got up less mad, more disappointed and still bleeding. My thumb ached under layers of pressure dressings.
It was a really dumb thing to do to myself :( - the next week I was due to teach a crafting class. Damaged digits and wire crochet don't mix.

wire and fibre hair accessories
still making pretty stuff a year ago

The thumb healed slowly, and so did I, realising that being mad and taking it out on myself was not the healthiest of options. Each time I got mad, I was a little madder. More than making me mad, dwelling on this issue was making me sick and literally stealing the life out of me. I didn't like the person I was becoming because of it. Enough was enough.

Realisation number two was that I couldn't change the issue itself. It wasn't something I had any control over. I couldn't 'make it better', I couldn't solve it. It was indeed out of my hands.

Realisation number three was that I could do something; I could change how I dealt with it. For the first time in many years I admitted to myself I had struggled enough, and gave myself permission to walk away from taking total responsibility. The issue was not mine anymore. My new focus was on minimising its impact on me and reclaiming my headspace.

wire and fibre flower ring: blue anemone
making pretty flowers to wear

And since then? Well, with a few hiccups/valleys/troughs/deep dark wells of despair, I've stuck to my new approach and feel more content. Though I'm still immensely sad that this issue still greatly affects my life, I don't live permanently under a cloud. Instead of dwelling on how unfixable the issue is, I now look for workarounds which will work for me. Once I was worried that melancholy was 'the new me'; without getting all Pollyanna, happiness is much more de rigueur these days. I no longer feel like a moody, ranty, whining bitch (seriously) and thus want to re-connect with friends because I feel like I do have something to offer in return. This in turn has very positive effects on my mood. I feel more creative, more efficient, a better parent (!), and have much more energy.

It is early days still. Dark days do come, but they go too (and faster). I'm gradually turning my thinking from what I cannot fix, what is out of my hands (negative) onto what I can actually do (positive).

I don't feel so helpless, and more importantly, there are no new scars on my digits (unless the saw slips).

cutting jumprings Crafting 365 2008/ day 53
they're my fingers and I love 'em

Thursday, March 24, 2011

self portrait thursday: stunningly bad at this (a blast from the past)

stunningly bad at this: "

As you have probably realised, I am stunningly bad at this marketing promo thing. I do have a kind of email list, and I do gather these addresses at craft fairs, etc. .... but then they just sit in my posh notebook until the ink fades.

embrace choker

I have been busy. Some of you may know (from my other blog, which is more ranty and personal in nature and hence not linked to from here) that not only am I taking a part-time college diploma (amazingly good fun but can I get me head round the issue of homework after a gap of a couple of decades?) as well as prepping for an upcoming solo show (more on that below).

So this weekend's upcoming Portobello West season opener in the former athletes' village, creekside in Vancouver, is in danger of passing me by! I will be there, 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday 26th/27th along with the amazing Buenostyle and a cagey bee, among other talented artisans.

While I'm 'on a roll' I probably also should remind you that I will be at New Westminster's Farmer's Market on Saturday, April 9th (you really should visit for lunch at the market -yum, yum! I recommend the hot dogs).

And I should also announce with glee that I've been accepted for the Spring Got Craft? show at the Legion Hall on Commercial, kicking off on Sunday, May 8th. If you're a goody bag aficionado make sure to mark this date in every diary you possess (and aim to get there 3 hours or so before the doors open! I'm not kidding.)

tanis alexis and ebbandflo -may17th
photocredit - Tanis Alexis (note: a self portrait from quite a few years ago)

Oh, and the opening night for my show at Port Moody Arts Centre is April 21st (6-8pm). I am soooo excited that my friend Tanis will be exhibiting her amazing work alongside my 'home is where the heart is' pieces. This is, for me, a dream come true :)




Oh the places you will post from!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

hearts on a monday


Voila! My latest distraction on my smartphone - Sketchbook Mobile.
I'm still crazy busy with college assignment deadlines looming, exhibition deadlines looming, tax return looming, and Spring Break already loomed so to speak. But at least now with this nifty little app I can do some spur of the moment doodling.
The app itself is the free version (Android) but I shelled out just over 16CAD for a capacitive stylus (after trying a vague attempt at making my own). It's been worth it so far. Sketching is much better than trying to keep to a straight line, and you have the choice of two brushes, a pen, a pencil and airbrush to draw with. Colour options are quite versatile. There's an undo feature as well as an eraser. Saving is a bit hit and miss with the free version though - these hearts took a few days and a few attempts to load into my Media Gallery, and then suddenly I've got several copies!
I'll persevere though - it's fun, and my ultimate goal as a reward for getting thru this last six month's silly season is Art Rage loaded onto my netbook for kicks.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

the real shout-out Sunday post: the Crafting my Life Course

This is the real shout out for the weekend, a plug for the marvellous Amber's "Crafting my Life" course which will be running again at the beginning of May.
Since it's the weekend (and a day of rest cough cough) I'll let Amber do the talking for herself (yes, I did ask permission) cos she does it so much better than I can.
Please read on, follow the links, and most importantly sign up.
Dragon slaying is the new black (and it suits you so well).

An Update on the Crafting my Life Course: "

It’s Thursday, so I’m Crafting my Life! For 2011, I have ditched the themes and link-ups. Instead, I am just going to write what I’m thinking about this week. And if you would like to chime in and contribute a guest post about your own journey, please drop me a line – I’d love to have you!

As you may know, I am running an online class for moms all about living with intention. It got its name, Crafting my Life, from this blog series, in fact. The first session began in mid-January, and we are about two thirds of the way through right now. We’ve just finished talking about slaying our dragons, and we’ll be talking about managing our money next week. It’s big, important stuff.

I have to say that I’m enjoying the class immensely. 26 students registered, and we’ve been connecting in our online community. Having a front-row seat as other people make big changes in their lives is probably the most inspiring thing I’ve ever done. I was really nervous that no one would sign up, the class would be a total flop and I would face humiliation and ridicule. The pesky voice inside my head promised me that’s exactly what would happen, in fact. Thankfully, it was wrong. Life just isn’t as all-or-nothing as the pesky voice believes.

It’s been a little surreal to take on a teaching role, but I kind of love it. It really is an excellent fit with my Type A, oldest child, always-has-to-be-in-control personality. But it’s so much better because I’m not just teaching, I’m learning, too. I really feel like we are all on a journey together, and it’s pretty great. I am enjoying it so much that I have decided to do it all again. Crafting my Life 2.0 will launch on May 9.

Just like the first run, the second run will include weekly emails, play sheets, videos and audio interviews, and missions for you to accomplish. You will work at home, at your own pace, and in your own time. You can do it with children hanging off of you, or in that most precious of time after your children go to sleep or before they wake up. You can do it all by yourself, or you can enlist your family and friends to help you out. It’s up to you, because this is your life that you’re creating, not anyone else’s.

If this sounds like your thing, drop by Crafting my Life to see what’s happening. To really stay in the loop, though, you should subscribe to the Crafting my Life email list. Not only will you be the first to hear what’s happening, but you’ll get access to special, advanced pricing and more.

Thank you for allowing me to engage in some shameless self-promotion (which, incidentally, is something else we’ll be talking about in the class). Now that I’ve let you know what’s up with me, I’d like to hear what’s up with you. What are you working on right now? What’s on your mind, what are you learning about, and what are you dreaming about? Whatever you’ve got cooking, I hope you’ll share in the comments!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

saturday shout at: not very sociable media

 No, it's not a typo.
This is an awful example of why it's best not to automate certain features in social media.

Yesterday morning, my guinea pig died.
This morning, 'piggybacking' on the back of one of my anguished tweets yesterday, @EcoMentor sends me a link to the website of a certain Candia Lea Cole promoting eco-intelligent eating.

Somehow, tweeting about the death of my guinea pig is a good promotional opportunity for Ms Lea Cole so she can spam me with her advertising materials.

Might I humbly suggest reigning in your twitter autobot (and practicing some elementary proofreading*) to avoid offending any more people first before tackling greater nutritional issues?

*note to self: a little bit of proofreading here wouldn't go amiss either :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

yesterday's self portrait tomorrow


You didn't think you'd escape the self-indulgence, did you?
Well, you're getting Thursday' self portrait anyway but not the post.
Thanks to everyone for the messages of support on twitter, facebook and in comments. mrs pig was a really special guin and we're missing her already. There's an empty space in the living room where her floor cage stood, and her fleece blankets hang drying. She will not be replaced though we have talked about maybe fostering via our local SPCA. Will keep you posted.
Right now, I'm posting yesterday's for tomorrow to try keep up. I'm an hour post migraine - it's great the pain has stopped and I can see properly again, but oh boy am I exhausted. Sweet dreams tonight I hope.

friday forte: RIP mrs pig

RIP mrs pig, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Sorry but there won't be a witty, self-obsessed whine about my life today (neither was there yesterday for self portrait thursday).

mrs pig died during breakfast this morning, after a very short illness. She was warm, as comfortable as I could make her, and had spent most of the night snuggled in my arms.

Her kidney cysts were growing massively and I suspect that renal function packed in quite dramatically. Yesterday afternoon she went blind, and then worsened through the night. She stopped eating and eventually couldn't even raise her head. She enjoyed her snuggling for as long as she remained aware. I'm not sure by morning if she even knew we were around but she was still warm and seemed comfortable.

The next step was a visit to the vet for a final injection, but instead she quietly fell asleep.

We will miss her little scuttling presence in the corner of the living room, and her merry but slightly hysterical 'wheek' as the fridge door opened. She was a Freecycle pig who, along with her mate mr pig, came into our lives 2 and a half years ago. They've been great housemates, great recyclers of green matter and good company. mr pig was euthanased early January this year and I've been worried about mrs pig ever since. Guinea pigs are social creatures and they've always lived in the heart of the household with us. She and Grizz our cat became strange best mates after mr pig died.

Her kidney cysts were enlarging dramatically and we knew the end was close. It was and it happened very quickly, thank goodness.
RIP mrs pig.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

wordless wednesday: momcafe in tri cities

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday is runday in Port Moody

Thanks to Runners Den and all the wonderful volunteers at the St. Patrick's Day Dash :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

friday forte: so ..... what happens now?

So, what happens now that I'm a mum?

Well apparently I cannot complain about anything ever again. I cannot voice frustration. I should not explain that I would like to make changes in my domestic lot. I'm forbidden to make public any whinges, gripes or grouses. Voicing my own opinion is a bit iffy too.

I should count my blessings, be content with my lot, put up, shut up, stay silent, not seek change.


Well, for fear of offending single women, "working" mothers*, childless women, ..... there is allegedly an endless list of women I can offend just by being western, married, a stay-at-home mum, sponging living off my partner, unsalaried, not using my education, allergic to full time childcare, and so on. I'm so glad I'm not an older mother too ... oh wait! I am at least 10 years older than most of the mums at my son's school. Damn!

For the record (and again I refer you to Monday's post) this blog is about me trying to trying to stay sane in, around and in spite of my family. The tag line should tip you off - it's where I come to think through my life. It's where I come to write it out, how I'm going to do the best with what's happening around me at the time. Currently I'm making this up as I go along since there's no road map. My life, domestic or otherwise, is a WIP.

If you'd like to share, then please read.
If you'd like to cheer me on, or offer advice, please comment.
If you'd like to disagree, please comment.
However, if you come here to tell me not to feel the way I do, then please tell me exactly how you (aka my target audience), a not-entirely-confident, unemployed outside the home for almost 10 years, semi-deaf, mid-forties, immigrant mother with zero extended family nearby, scarce childcare resources, a (randomly-traveling) partner of almost 20 years, plus an "unrecognised in Canada" University qualification** would go about it all.

I'm all ears and could do with some clues.

*IMO all mothers are working mothers, whether they leave the house or not
**gah! this sounds so pathetic. substitute with "mid-life translocated diva entrepreneur who prefers quiet meetings locations, and is trying to make a go of finding balance in the face of no salary without abandoning her child to full time daycare even if she could find it"

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