Monday, December 31, 2012

happy new year

All best wishes for 2013 - may it bring you space, grace and balance in your life.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

i'll be back

Seattle, baby!, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Safely back home. Ready to start with the festivities mark II this week.

Seattle was great; while I usually whinge about needing time off from the family during enforced communal jollities, this holiday passed smoothly. Not sure if it was mr ebb being more on hand to steer the Wee Guy around so I could wander at my own pace, or whether (godammit) I actually enjoyed being with them both since I'm spending less time with them both in the normal day-to-day.

Is it because I'm less of the stay-at-home ma these days than I used to be, with college assignments and satisfying/engaging volunteer projects to keep me fulfilled?

Have I reached some kind of happy balance (oh the irony of that word in my present condition - again, more later) where gainful use of time satisfies my own personal needs and keeps me hungry for family togetherness?

Or maybe it was just feeling below par and needing them around?

Not sure.
But I enjoyed the family mini-break nonetheless :)

more mini break fun here

self portrait thursday: not on my own

Another mirror, a different room.
I've dragged the boys away from the new festive gadgetry to the home of The Oatmeal for some between holidays fun.
We finished the turkey. Ate all the pudding. Sat around a lot (more on that later).
Now we're going to something a little more active, but without the traditional crossborder dairy produce translocation.
Later :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Seattle, baby!

Seattle, baby!, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

As good and dutiful parents, it is our job to expose our son to the broadest education we can manage.

I can announce with pride that he managed the Nirvana gallery at the EMP in Seattle without announcing boredom, displeasure or ingratitude.

Moreover, he did indeed stand and listen to more than two songs from the Pixies and Butthole Surfers, and furthermore, did sit quietly engaged in a grunge multi-media timeline detailing Nirvana's rise to fame from the Pacific Northwest music scene of the late 80s', thus allowing his ageing parents to listen to even more Pixies, REM, Butthole Surfers, DOA and those of their ilk until they felt their youth had indeed been recaptured.

He also put up with a stroll through the horror exhibit, which included the scene where the alien splashes out of John Hurt's stomach, and occasionally shared our nostalgia as we sauntered through the Icons of SciFi gallery.

We try to raise him well.

Friday, December 28, 2012

friday forte: when in Rome ...

Not quite Rome ... but still doing the regionally appropriate thing. On holiday with my boys.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

self portrait thursday: not going it alone

Another mirror, a different room.
I've dragged the boys away from the new festive gadgetry to the home of The Oatmeal for some between holidays fun.
We finished the turkey. Ate all the pudding. Sat around a lot (more on that later).
Now we're going to something a little more active, but without the traditional cross border dairy produce translocation.
Later :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


from us to you xoxo

Monday, December 24, 2012

all I want ...

alliwant.wav Listen on Posterous

Take it away, Wee Guy and friends :-)

dear Santa - ready when you are


Dear Santa
Merry Christmas!
I hope you and your elves, and Reindeer have a merry Christmas too. So, the stuff in the glass, tall cup is Bailys (whisky and cream). I'm sorry, but we couldn't find any cookies so we got some Hershy bars. And the carrots and water are for the Reindeer. You can bring the plate and the cup on the roof, to give the carrots and water to the Reindeer. But as long as you bring them back down again.
Merry Christmas!
Wee Guy
PS. The grey marks at the top right is there because the table that I was writing this note on was kind of sticky.

1. Oxford comma
2. Two carrots per Reindeer.
3. The plate is a special one
4. Not his real name
5. Mummy hasn't done any housework.
6. He's really worried about Santa this year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The urge to search for a bottle of red in the basement vanished suddenly ...

The urge to search for a bottle of red in the basement vanished suddenly ...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday forte: the magic of (sharing a) Harry Potter (book) with friends


Last day of school for the Wee Guy. mr ebb and i joined him for pj reading morning with his class. A sweet moment.
Ahead, two weeks of a full house. Reading back over the last few years' posts from the festive season, I need to be prepared to carve out personal downtime and headspace. Sounds selfish? Sounds ungrateful? Sounds mature?
Well, you decide.
Just pause to reflect - it's not your Christmas I write about.

self-portrait Thursday: done?


- snowboarding, but just for today
- gift shopping, though if I see some stocking stuffers ...
- end of time? well, if you're reading this tomorrow over breakfast ...
- higher education? apparently not - I'm going back to university in January
- angsting about life? no - all my ruminating is bringing me closer to how I want life to be
- midlife? it's no reason to stop, give up, or settle for the status quo
- searching? I'll never stop
- shopping? ditto - hell no, ok then maybe just a temporary seasonal halt

Not done.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

wordless wednesday: spt

Watercolour sketch

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

tech tues: snow day

Thank heavens for an internet connection at home - no need to leave the 'hood today :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

midlife monday: gone boarding - all work & christmas prep postponed :)

as it says in the title :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas cheer


Another Saturday, another craft fair. In between customers and questions I usually catch up on inventory, occasional repairs and make-overs or custom orders. Today I decided to get ahead on my Christmas card list. This cute little rodent is heading off around the world on greetings cards from Touch note. I downloaded the app on my Nexus and have used it to send my photos as postcards. The Wee Guy was stunned to receive a postcard of himself. A really nice card too.
Now the app offers cards too - just in time for Christmas :-)

Check them out here

PS: this is not a sponsored post.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Meet your makers: Sunday artist - Amanda Maxwell

Yes - it's my turn this Sunday!
So, if you don't catch me at the New Westminster Farmer's Market on Saturday (11-3, River Market) why not drop into the arts centre in Port Moody the next afternoon?

Meet your makers: Sunday artist - Amanda Maxwell:
Christmas 2012

This Sunday, it's the turn of Yours Truly to take the artist's chair in the gallery for the Sunday artists series.
I'll be sitting at the table from 1pm to 3pm so please visit the gallery and have a chat.
As well as being a mixed media wearable art jewelry artist who works mainly in wire crochet, feltable fibres, textiles, and some traditional metalsmithing (what a mouthful), I also write the blog and maintain the Blackberry Artist's Society social media network.

christmas 2012
Yes - that's me tweeting away at @BlackberryArts, and penning the blog posts here. This year, a whole 12 months of Blackberry blog posts are available for you to read while in the Marketplace.
So, if you have any burning social media or blogging questions, I'm happy to answer them as well as demonstrate a few wire crochet techniques - you might even see me stab myself with an ultra-sharp felting needle (I promise not to cry).

artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)

Christmas Marketplace 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

self portrait Thursday: am thinking

Pure thrift - coat by Jacob; skirt from Mexx; boots = posh Italian leather; knitted top now vintage M&S - source, thrift

Head-to-toe recycled, pre-loved, discarded, selected, economised, repurposed, eclectic, renewed, revamped, uncompromising, unconventional, individual, unapologetic ... Me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

wordless wednesday: awesomethriftsauce

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

tech tuesday: singing their hearts out

nes gadol.wav Listen on Posterous

This post brought to you by the wonder of the Nexus 7, the Smart Voice Recorder app, Posterous, one talented music teacher supported by an enthusiastic bunch of her colleagues, and over a hundred eager young voices.
Merry Christmas  :-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

midlife monday: notice me

My last midlife monday was a pic of this little miss, the tiger at my feet most evenings. And since then (mid-November, if you're counting) midlife monday has quietly whimpered to a halt.
No midlife crises to blog about?
I wish - but, in truth, it hasn't been that bad. Midlife itself has found a new level and I'm sort of comfortable with the status quo. One semester of college's relaunch-me is over (waiting for grades) and a new venture is visible on the horizon, waiting for me to launch headfirst into it.
One part of the journey is over - I know what I can do now.
The next stage, showing other people that I can do what I say I can, is just about to start.
It irks me that for this to happen I need yet one more academic qualification - I feel qualified up to the eyeballs. But these days, a bachelor's is the new high school graduation certificate; a PhD no longer signifies intelligence and the competence to achieve.
Today needs more.
It's a bewildering time to come out of unemployment, attempt relaunch and a mid-life career-change.
But, I'm still here; notice me.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Meet Your Makers: Sunday artist - Cathy Rycroft

Meet Your Makers: Sunday artist - Cathy Rycroft:

This Sunday's maker to meet is artist and race horse trainer (oh yes!) Cathy Rycroft. Visitors to the giftshop instantly recognise her work showing horses at full gallop and other BC wildlife on a variety of unusual media such as polished stone and tree slabs. Cathy captures every hair and each tiny detail in her stunning portraits of animal life. From the single whisker to the glint in the grizzly's eye, you'd swear it was just waiting to pounce (we haven't lost a visitor yet, so you are quite safe).
Why not pay a visit to the Arts Centre this Sunday and find out what inspires Cathy's work and what nourishes her creative soul.

artist-made gifts nourish the soul

Artist demos every Sunday, 1-3pm, until December 16th.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

wordless wednesday: cake time

2012-12-05 16.25.47, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

2012-12-05 16.25.39
2012-12-05 16.25.26
2012-12-05 16.25.14

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

tech tuesday: windows in town

cute - the new Windows Surface tablet with Touch Cover bluetooth keyboard

As you know from last week's blog post, the Wee Guy and I attended our very first promo event together to steal a peek at the new MS Surface tablet and the all the gadgetry that goes with the RT OS and Windows 8. On show were the new tablet with its ultra swish, low profile touch type keyboard, a Rogers smartphone (Samsung, I think) running the new OS, and an Asus tablet running Windows 8.

... as well as the fully loaded magic of an Xbox 360 with Kinect!

the Touch Cover - just right for little (sticky?) fingers
has Microsoft invented the ultimate washable spillage-proof keyboard?
Smartphone tech
Amir from Rogers kindly showed me the new kid-safety feature on Windows 8 phones - there`s a nifty side-swipe which controls kid access, allowing them to use a special screen set up with personalized apps suitable for their age group, but without allowing them to delete your faves or place that long distance call.  This could be a winner if you like to hand over your phone to the kiddo to keep them entertained. The Wee Guy, at nine-and-a-half-years-old, was horrified - I`m pretty sure he could hack this in the blink of an eye. He`s pretty trustworthy with the ipods, tablets and so on anyway, but I`m sure the target market is harassed parents with much younger kids. It`s a neat idea! ... but I`m sticking with my (unlocked) android cell and ancient Fido plan for now cos it`s cheaper. And I really like android :)

Meanwhile, at the Kinect ... slice chop slice

Tablet wizardry
As for the tablets - wow! I do love gadgets, and the Surface did not disappoint. I should add, the tablet did not disappoint. Compared to my beloved Nexus 7, it`s bigger and twice as heavy but has expansion slots (USB and mini SD), plus not one but two cameras. Cost-wise it`s heavier too, but if you`re in the market for a new tablet this Christmas I`d take a look.

Keyboard portability, oh my!
The Windows OS is very responsive and, now that I`m used to the flick of the finger (or stylus), very well set up for a touchscreen. I like the tiles idea, and fairly quickly found how to get in and out of the home screen. I wasn't so sure however, about the why? of the Touch Cover keyboard (why not just use the onscreen keyboard instead of thin touch-sensitive keys?) ... but I did like the Type Cover. It`s a bluetooth mechanical keyboard which snaps on to the tablet as a protective case when not folded out for typing. I liked the size of and the travel on the keys - I`m sure the keys would be roomy enough to rattle off 800 words for an assignment on-the-go without feeling cramped. This, and the wedge touch mouse (cute, functional, very portable, also bluetooth), would make brilliant additions to my portable writing life (especially since I'm becoming a fulltime student again in the new year ... !).

waving, not connecting
Ah yes - the Kinect.
Out of the two of us, the Wee Guy is the Xbox expert. Me? I'm intrigued with a machine which recognises I'm waving at it .. and that's all. Wee Guy - fully into it in nanoseconds. Meanwhile, I had a lovely chat with one rep about the (hacked) functionality researchers are finding for the Kinect sensor bar as the Wee Guy manically sliced fruit into shards.

The Microsoft rep (and I'm sorry, I didn't get your name) described how the sensor bar is being used during surgery, allowing surgeons to access computers without compromising the sterile operating field. Wow! totally exciting (way more so than screen-based childminding, or virtual fruit slicing, IMO) though I'm not sure what the official MS position on this semi-hacking is ...? Good, I hope.

Back at the Kinect Xbox arena however, the excitement was waning. One of the big problems with having the magic set up in a crowded room, and being a diminutive operative of said magic, is that bigger bodies (muuuuum!) wandering within range of the sensor bar compete unfairly with your fruit-slicing prowess. Full.on.tears.

As I said last week, exit stage left, pronto.

Side notes - Wee Guy and I attended a promotional event as guests of Microsoft when the company visited Vancouver. We ate the nibbles, drank the Koolaid juice, and played with the pretty shiny things ... the words here are my own views, opinions and observations. I am not an Apple fan; my main desktop will be upgraded to Windows 8 so I can play with it on my large touchscreen (fnarr!),  but our next desktop will be a Mac Mini (just sayin').

Product pic, from MS (thank you); images of Wee Guy in action, from me xoxo

Monday, December 03, 2012

Fully loaded tree

Fully loaded tree:

christmas 2012, originally uploaded by Blackberry Artists.
All you need for a fully loaded tree this season. Our artists have been hard at work miniaturising their skills into bite-sized packages of festive goodness. Drop by the Arts Centre today to pick up some beautiful ornaments for your tree, and maybe something larger for underneath it?
We're open from noon to 4pm, with our artist demo taking place from 1pm till 3pm.

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