Tuesday, July 31, 2012

playground action hero

What do you think of, my wee guy, on your solo singleton way through the playground?
Are you like I was, dreaming your action hero from jump to slide, feet never touching the ground?

I was sidekick Billy the Cat's Fearless Katie. 
I was Marine Boy.
Swinging like Johnny Weissmuller into a void; avoiding blows like Scooby Doo; daring deeds to fuel the poor.
Parry and swish as D'Artagnon, disarm, advance, mutate.
Speed into slow mo acceleration, a one-girl sound effects lab for enhanced prosthetics. 
Visible invisible! In disguise, in cahoots.
I was another me. 
At play.
Invincible ageless genderless.

And you? What do you visualize? Is it the same? 
Do you dream alone or together, real or imaginary?
Where do you go to when I can't see?
Where do you go to inside your head?

Who are you? At play.

Monday, July 30, 2012

midlife monday: a month or so of eats

the best meals this time of year are al fresco and purchased IMO
Yes, it's mealplan monday again!
How it rolls around, leaving me totally in the lurch on Sunday evening when I realise that I am not as organised as I'd hoped.

This month, my monthly meal plan was prepared in advance, and (oh joy) we need to finish meals already prepped in the freezer!
Cue smugness!

Week One:
  • Monday = Shepherd's Pie (leftovers from roast)
  • Tuesday = ham and bocconcini, and veg kebabs (wrap spanish dry-cure ham around the cheese then grill or barbecue) served with whatevers! 
  • Wednesday = pizza and fries
  • Thursday = salads and more ham
  • Friday = macaroni cheese

Week Two:
  • Monday = kitchen closed!
  • Tuesday = chicken noodle soup with homemade bread and cheeses 
  • Wednesday = lentil and potato stuffed pancakes (still haven't blogged this one apparently)
  • Thursday = salmon and dill pasta bake
  • Friday = salad of some ilk

Week Three:

Week Four:
  • Monday = kitchen closed!
  • Tuesday = quiche
  • Wednesday = Kung Pao chicken stir fry (from Canadian Living - I didn't make it last month)
  • Thursday = sausage and ratatouille slow cook
  • Friday = beany lasagne

Bon appetit!
More month of eats plans and recipes on this page.

PS: I've started collecting recipes on Pinterest - check here for some ideas.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

wicked seahorse

Not a complete creative block then?  
"wicked seahorse:
wicked seahorse, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.Last night's sketch before bedtime - did this contribute ot a restless night?"
Sometimes one kind of creativity wanes but another surges (or at least is less waned than the other). While I'm not in the mood for making 3D stuff, my fingers still itch to create, anything.
Lately I've been playing around with digital art software but this week I've also put actual pen to actual paper. It's a much more tactile experience, feeling the gritty lead against grain and building smooth waves or washes building up layers. The process takes less preparation - open journal. open paints, sharpen pencil and GO - but more effort to 'show and tell'. I don't know how many takes on the scanner to capture the sea dragon above; auto-scan kept chopping off fringe elements until I drew a framing around the sketch.
Show-and-tell isn't the same with bits missing.

watercolour rings with wash and ink pen

Saturday, July 28, 2012

yesterday's fibre friday: floral T

fibre friday: floral T:

floral T, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
Creativity is slow work these days (possibly a symptom of yesterday's post?).

I should get down to some new projects, new 3D projects, but all I can muster right now are some digital doodles and a few watercolour sketches.

This is an old project; I've entered it for a gallery exhibition and, while I wait to hear yay or nay back from the curator, I need to have it framed properly. It's entered NFS which means Not For Sale as it's a gift for my son.

It's the latest flower initial I've embroidered for family. Only mr ebb and I are un-stitched.

Friday, July 27, 2012

friday forte: my mind, myself

I admit - I'm feeling pretty vulnerable right now. A little on the sensitive side.
Not sure if it's a lack of sleep or the constancy of solo parenting right now.
Maybe it's worry?
Not enough exercise? calories? sex? headspace? vitamin B12? kittens? sunshine?
Whatever - you scratch and I will bleed ... copiously.

I made The Mistake of sharing a triumph with someone else; someone who seems incapable of being unreservedly happy for me without injecting a few what ifs? doubt and whatever the complete opposite of unbridled joy is (bridled joy?).

Open the door to self-doubt, reptile brain, uncertainty and hello to feeling like I haven't a clue!

Oh bollocks

And then I remembered.
I actually do have a clue. It might not be your clue but it is a clue.

There is a big (big) difference between constructive criticism and bringing someone down a peg or two; I know where to go for both of these.

I am happy with what I've done - I'm not looking for cheerleaders; I just want to share the happiness.
I'm heading the right way but I'm allowed detours.

I know where to find my real fan club, and they're not just at the finish line.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SPT: date night in PoCo

Today's self portrait - date night = pizza with my Wee Guy, tired out after a day of camp and sweetly knackered company.

Me? also tired. Broken air con, commute, still wondering whether I can hack this writing lark, self doubts aplenty, coping with a solo parenting spell and worried about a sick family member.

A good evening out though, and here's my date.

date night in PoCo: coolest dude

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

wordless wednesday: it's not easy being green :(

sorry Kermit, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

tuesday's fibre friday: my stash

fibre friday: my stash: Wordless Wednesday: Ocean Tides:
tidal weave: handwoven scarf by Beryl Hickinbottom, $84

A re-post from another blog, but featuring the beautiful work of Beryl who is one of my fibre suppliers. Every so often I find a bag of weaving thrums, the leftovers from Beryl's loom projects, tucked away in my folder at the Blackberry Gift Shop. It's like being given a painter's palette of pre-mixed colours to play with.

It's usually a tangled mass, a riot of colours; with some patient detangling I'm left with workable lengths for embroidery, crochet and more. I usually work with more than one strand for the crochet work and select the thinner threads for embroidery.

But it's worth being patient :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

midlife monday: how?

How do you fit it all in during the holidays, the child care, nutrition, entertainment, exercise and work?
Well - this is how the Wee Guy and I tried over a weekend of solo-parenting.

PS: they're giggles, not tears :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Staycation: Local views

from the blog I write for the Blackberry Artist's Society
Staycation: Local views:
Inlet Trail views by Valerie Simons, $53

The Blackberry Artist's Society is an artist-run cooperative which supports local creative types in and around the Tri Cities of Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam. 

Indian Arm by Vicki Allesia, $100
Many of our members are inspired by what they see around them every day. Port Moody, at the head of the Burrard Inlet and only a half hour or so from Vancouver, has trails, forests, and ocean views in abundance. Only a short paddle, splash or drive away (depending on your mode of conveyance) is one of southern BC's most spectacular fjords, Indian Arm. 

herons by Cathy Rycroft, $50
Port Moody grew up around the railway and the ocean. We still have a railway station with commuter trains running to and from Vancouver during peak hours, but our oceanside is quieter now with picturesque sawmill ruins sitting out in the inlet the only reminders of an industrial past. No, we don't see orcas but herons are commonly spotted from the Inlet Trail.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

studio portrait thursday: even messier desk

studio portrait thursday: even messier desk:

Can it be so?
Of course!

Look at all those lovely goodies, just waiting to be consumed at the teens' jewelry design class I'm teaching at Place des Arts in August (it's fully booked).

I spent a lovely hour wandering round (purposefully) with the incredibly helpful Cyrena at Beazu's just-off-Main warehouse, selecting wire, jumprings and beads for the class, both of trying to think like a 12-to-14-year-old. I think we got a great selection!

I do have some other classes coming up. There's a whole string of Pro-d day classes for 12 to 16-year-olds at Port Moody Arts Centre this Fall where I'll be teaching wireworks and chainmaille jewelry design plus giving a wire crochet taster session. 

I also have an adult class for Thursday evenings starting Sept 27th at PMAC. It's grandly titled Jewelry Salon and will feature a different technique each week, with projects, suggestions, tips and advice from yours truly. Based around my teen's design classes and spinning off from the multi-strand necklace workshop, students will amass a number of basic jewelry-making skills from which they can create their own pieces.

Could be fun!

PS: the photography book bottom left is by my friend, Sarah Ronald, who is taking part in BC SPCA's Paws for a Cause event by donating her artistic skills in return for donations. You could get your image printed on a mouse mat or even have Sarah draw your pet's portrait. Check out her donations page here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

friday forte: bizy backson

a few fritterings

Life is busy.
Right now life is busy.
There is a lot on my To Do list and I've got a lot more in my in-tray this month.
For a variety of reasons, but one in particular.

So I find myself staying up late, frittering away time on nothings because I have so much to get on with and cannot settle, and end up tired in the morning. Rinse and repeat.

It's not in a bad way, this Having Lots To Do - it's just that there is a lot to do.
And there's only me to do it right now.
No - it's not being a martyr. It's just that it's up to me to get it done.

... so, thanks to @Materfam, I'm playing around with PicMonkey making pretty collages and thinking how sensible it is to work on relaxing.

... and now, at 10.45pm I need to pull together some listings for a gallery exhibition!

bizy ... backson :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SPT 19th July: glam not glum

Nothing but style notes today; my head's spinning a little with everything it contains in terms of 'things to be done'.
I really need to establish some kind of work flow here as there is a lot on my plate.
All good though :)

Thrifted Old Navy blouse over new Old Navy tank; vintage M&S scarf; thrifted Gap jeans; thrifted Rocket Dog shoes (not seen).
Earrings purchased in Mojacar

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

wordless wednesday: a rose by any other etc etc etc

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

terrific tuesday: ChicoBags and Seventh Generation

trip downtown, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

I haven't written much about that little shindig I went to over a month ago, or described the enormous swag basket I went away with. In fact, there were two baskets of goodies so I left the party laden with the dread of having to blog about all the products ... which of course I haven't.

And I haven't felt at all guilty. Quite honestly, I didn't ask for any of it. Furthermore, I have a child older than 3y, don't live in Vancouver, don't use fabric softener and cannot send peanut products to school.

Neither have I blogged the promo stuff that's arriving in my inbox. Ditto the not feeling guilty - most of it is irrelevant to me and this is easily found out by actually reading my blog. I rarely do solicited reviews. I expect to be paid for my writing.

However, there were a few goodies in the baskets which I would like to share with you (eventually).

A couple of Fridays ago the Wee Guy and I had a lunch date with mr ebb in the big city. Wee Guy and I did the lunch run (at the amazing Meat and Bread on the corner of Hastings and Cambie no less) before dashing to meet our beloved at the CBC plaza for a musical nooner with sandwiches, pop, cans and napkins all safely stashed in a handyChicoBag thoughtfully provided by Seventh Generation (whose products I don't use but I have taken notice of their chlorine-free gusset substitutes - I guess I don't need my minge to smell like a rolling ocean, do I).


Once we'd demolished the picnic the bag stowed away neatly into it's (attached - very important feature) travel pouch then clipped onto my MEC satchel.

This one's a keeper.

Monday, July 16, 2012

midlife monday: three stages

cuff, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
digital watercolour of one of my new embroidered cuffs

Career triplets?

Two pieces in one gallery show.
Four pieces accepted for another (and the organisers want more!)
Two more pieces in submission.

One piece of (freelance) writing at large in the world.
One piece of (freelance) writing returned, unwanted but with some great and inspiring feedback.
One (freelance) article requested from me.

One internship almost over.
A week of teaching coming up shortly.
Another work experience perhaps in the pipeline.

How's your midlife shaping up?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marine Building, an art deco treasure - from yesterday's art deco walk with Heritage Vancouver

Saturday, July 14, 2012

fibre friday: con:text

fibre friday: con:text:
con:text - 419 collar

mixed media art collar in metal chain, gold copper wire crochet, glass,
resin, silk with text transfer, stainless steel

con:text - plain cuff

silver copper wire crochet with porcelain, blackstone, acrylic, paper

These are the two pieces currently on show in the Port Moody Arts Centre instructors' exhibition (on until mid-August).

con:text artist statement

The two con:text pieces are a visual representation of plain English.

plain English -  a generic term for communication in English that emphasizes clarity, brevity (definition from Wikipedia).

The collar is also a play-on-words as it uses text from a Nigerian 419 scam email.
Nigerian 419 con - a type of advanced fee fraud; the number "419" refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud (definition from Wikipedia).
Fraudulent emails are usually badly written in florid over-the-top language; they are great examples of not using plain English.

The simple black-and-white cuff with its four words is the plain English version of the 419 text; easy to understand the message here "give me your money".

419 text expanded:

Dearest friend.

I am in dire need of a Godly and trustworthy person to distribute my inheritance
in the sum of $20million to charities around the world.I am Mrs.Anita Brown,aged 70yrs,currently diagnosed with terminal cancer andundergoing medical treatment for stroke.
I have just about 2months left to live in this world.This is my last wish on earth as my death is imminent and its final.
Please,you should try distribute the funds to charities as instructed.I dontintend for my inheritance to be used in the wrong ways when am gone.
Indicate your interest by writing to my personal email :anitabrwn@myself.com and i will furnish you with further information and start the process of getting the the money transfered to you.
1. Your Full Name:..
2. Residential Address:..
3. Mobile Number:..
4. Direct Telephone Number:..
5. Occupation:
6. City of Residence:..
7. Country:.
Yours sincerely,

Friday, July 13, 2012

evening at camp

a successful sleepover :)

music is intro from Saor by Afro Celt Sound System (Sound Magic, vol 1)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

self portrait thursday: a day of four outfits

.. and here are two of them.

Outfit one was vintage -summer khakis from way back, with a thrifted men's linen shirt.
Purpose? to and from a swim

Outfit two, sporty - swimsuit, goggles and a new silicone cap to replace the last one which disintegrated abruptly after eight years of service.
Purpose? skinny dip avoidance

Outfit three, casual everyday - thrift Forever 21 jeans, thrift T shirt, vintage sandals and new (!) Monica jacket from MEC.
Purpose? Higgs Boson lecture attendance!

Outfit four, poshed up - vintage linen White Stuff maxi, vintage lace shawl, daisy collar (by yours truly of course), Aldo Kunert sandals from two years ago.
Purpose? gallery opening (PoMo arts centre instructor show), 21st anniversary date night with mr ebb

New stuff?
Date night?
Vintage as well as thrift?
Higgs Boson?
21 years???

multi-facetted ;) 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

wordless wednesday: out to lunch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Port Moody Arts Centre instructors' exhibition

The annual exhibition by instructors at Port Moody Arts Centre opens this Thursday night, so not only can you come down to adore the couple of con:text pieces I hope will be accepted for the display but you'll also see where the house I tracked down St. John's Street in the wee small hours ended up :)

Don't be late!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

fibre friday: powered up

fibre friday: powered up:

Progress on the power station is inching along. I've filled in some of the voids between the struts in the structure using a mixture of cross stitch, short stitch and random fillers I invent on the spur of the moment.
I foretell this will be a very boring endeavour - there is a lot of pipework and a lot of void. 
Ho hum ...

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Moving house #portmoody style

 Aha! 4am this morning - yes, that is a house in the middle of St. John's Street.

Friday, July 06, 2012

friday forte: not much cop

apple ... eye ... er

This week, the very first full week of summer vacation, I've discovered that I'm not much cop at this full time mummy-thing. I'd love to separate the two sides of me, so I could parent uninterrupted by fretting about when I will next be able to get on with stuff. I'd love to be (the totally annoying and vapid), present for my child but my mind just drifts off. 
I find I haven't been listening to a word (sorry Wee Guy).

were you even listening to me?

On Tuesday we shopped for groceries and then swam; on Wednesday we visited Science World (Da Vinci); today we met mr ebb for lunch at the CBC musical nooner (with the divine Be Good Tanyas no less) and then ambled round the Art Gallery (Matisse).

you damn well notice me now!
So I've entertained, cooked, catered and educated. It's been fun but I drift off into daydreams about what I would do if I had the time to myself. And it's worse with projects on the go but no idea when I'm going to get time for them.

I managed only two hours of work at home on Tuesday and nothing since then. My one day 'in the office' was matched by the Wee Guy's drop in at Koko's; he loved it, I loved it more. 
My one weekday of being an unencumbered adult - whee! and oh boy was I productive.

I know it seems worse since we're without a schedule. It's only for a short time; since I'm in the middle of an internship I have booked summer camps to keep the Wee Guy occupied. So I do get back my headspace, but with a long spell of solo parenting looming ... bye bye evenings! 

I'd love a good long chunk of solo me-time - no household to attend to, no somebody else's needs to be met, no domestic demands on my time or attention - not forever (I'm not wishing it all away - mums are allowed to yearn for their pre-mummy state sometimes) but just forsometime. Just for one bloody week with no meals to cook, toys/books to find, piles to tidy, beings to organise, and so on. It sounds harsh, but I'm not the only one thinking this way. Valerie has blogged about the release of an entire summer over on Mothering in the Middle. Even a recent study showed that intense mothering isn't necessarily best.
(Betty Friedan covers the subject more than adequately in that book.)
Parenting shouldn't be so all-consuming. 
I need some balance ... oh, and I think I'm finally getting somewhere.
not now - i'm eating

But despite the mini-rant, this week has been fun. We had a fun swim, settled on some new summer chores and enjoyed the sun (at last). The Wee Guy is great company for the mundane and a surprisingly erudite companion for the academic/arty. We were both thoroughly immersed in the two exhibitions (Da Vinci at Science World and Matisse at the Art Gallery) and chattered on about them for ages afterwards. 

Education is good but it's much more fun with a buddy :)

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