Summer Boy


Although we've been having the rainiest summer in the trackable history of this city, my big boy still loves his water squirter… hey, why bother with a water squirter that has to be "charged" when you can simply turn on the faucet and have an unlimited amount of ammunition? He's got it all figured out. 

It is such a pleasure to watch him in the back yard, a yard that is not huge, a mere 25' by about 50', but oh, it is so green and lush. I need to take a whole bunch of pictures so I can remember this state in the middle of winter. Since I don't have a lot of structural plants, it does most certainly all go back into the ground. 

This past weekend has been one of utter bus"y"ness. I had a real wrench thrown into it though, I was going to bake a cake on Friday for my neighbour, and discovered moths all over my loose foods in the pantry. Ended up trowing out about a hundred dollars worth of stuff. Jikkes…. but I took every single thing out of the pantry, scrubbed it down with bleach (something I didn't even have in the house), and then had to put it all back together. 

On Saturday I corralled Richard into fixing the back splash wall of the laundry room (something that's been a mess since we moved in), today I primed and painted the room. I've made it my challenge to not use anything that we didn't already have. I used the light blue paint that is also in Huxley's room and I think it looks great. I even primed the floor white, which makes me want to be in there and do laundry all day long (grin)…. but seriously, it's one of those seemingly low-priority things that makes everything look so much brighter. 

On Sunday after showering and on my way upstairs stopped at the sewing machine and finally (about a year after getting them), sewed pillow cases for the new couch pillows. Oh, yeah, another thing was that we actually got a new futon for our frame. So we won't be getting a new couch. I also sewed the cover for it Saturday. I'm just sharing all this stuff with you, because I was at a point where I really "hated" our house for not getting anything done towards it looking and more importantly feeling like a home. This is a start, and hopefully it will give me inertia to keep going.

Today I had my 7 1/2 year old niece with me and I sewed with her. She is a delight, although I have to say, my patience level when teaching is not the best. I find it very hard to teach a skill that is so second nature to me, breaking it down and remembering each of the individual little things that matter to make it a success. Hold on to your thread when starting to sew, always keep the needle in the fabric if you stop, only pull the wheel on the side towards you, hold the fabric just so… I think back of learning this all from Frau Brändli in needlework class and how easier it must be to just be at the front of the class, demonstrating and then expecting the kids to just "figure it out". Sitting right beside and not interfering is hard work. But we managed. Lena made two needle-pillows, out of fabric with stripes that she first had to sew along the lines and a little shoulder bag. Next time I want to make a skirt or something with her, but even though it is important to have the successful outcome of projects, I still think it is important to also be able to just practice. Strange, when people learn to play an instrument the parents don't expect them to play for the symphony after one day, or when the learn to ski, but when it involves creative endeavors, it's always the product that seems to matter. 

Okay.. gotta go and do some vacuuming now.. must find all those stray needles.

One of those days

It was today. I decided to not go to the studio to get things one around the house and to also get ahead with a commisison that I am working for a client. It was 10 am before I even started to create a list with the items that I wanted/needed to accomplish. It took 2 hours to get to that because the vortex called reading blogs from other people and wondering why I’m not accomplishing much, sucked me in. I also tried to make a cup of coffee. Knowing that I didn’t have milk in the house, I opted to use the cream that I purchased for the pretzels that I was also making for dinner. However, by the time the coffee had sat on my desk for two minutes the cream went off. The expiry date was August 9th. This is a strange thing that has been happening to us over the past few months. I bring stuff home that is bad, stuff goes bad way before the expiry date and I almost feel like not shopping anymore…. Can’t do that though.

So what did I get accomplished today? I made “Laugenbrötli” for the first time. That is pretzel with that nice deep brown covering on it and a nice amount of salt on top. When we where in Switzerland, we bought some of them just with butter inside and both Huxley and I loved them. So I tried to recreate that at home. They turned out quite nice. The next time though, I will use more “Natron” for the “Lauge”. Guess what I just figured out. Natron is Baking Soda… geesh, here I bought some of it in Switzerland, thinking that I just can’t find it here in Canada and meanwhile it is something that I’ve had in my cupboard all along….  I guess the next batch will be made with baking soda and I will see how they turn out. 

I also got the sketches for the client done, scanned and composed the e-mail. I contacted two of Huxley’s school friends and their parents for play dates, I reviewed the Waldorfschool papers for this coming term, I did knit a bit on the landscape Noro sweater I’ve been working on for about a year and a half, I just cleaned up the kitchen, I went to the doctor to have my elbow x-rayed and some other topics addressed, I got a present for my sister in law, who’s birthday it is tomorrow, I managed to have a nap, picked Huxley up early from daycare and accompanied daddy and him to the park for dinner (pretzel sandwiches, cucumbers and hummus dip). Now I’ve actually managed to compose another post. 

I have a whole bunch of crafty things to take pictures off and to share. I also have 21 new abstract pieces of work on the go at the studio. My solo show at the Magic Door Gallery has been confirmed with the opening taking place on October 25th between 2 pm and 5 pm. Gotta get to work! I’ve actually got a selection of pieces already on the go for the show, and I’m very excited about them. Oh, another thing I just remembered that I did today; I chose images for my promotional flyer that Richard is updating with new work. I need it for this weekend when I’m showing a few of my pieces at the Swiss National Holiday celebration. 

Here is a picture of Huxley with his hair newly shortened. He let me cut it last week and he just looks so cute. I only wanted to give him a trim, but he wanted it all short. Oh, my big boy….


A blink in time

March 30 was my last posting? That can not possibly be the case! However, it is what happens when we don’t have a real reason to do something. I get excited, want to do it, then wosh, time passes and out of all my good intentions is nothing, but a swish of energy that flits through my mind when I wake up or fall asleep. Guilty feelings for not living up to what I want to do.

April: A month to work on the next series of work. Booked our trip to Switzerland.
May: A cold month. Days spent in the studio. Working on the next series of work. At the end of the month, finally getting the garden in plantable shape. Sewed seeds, planted the tomatoes. Made Quilt/Blanket for Rachel.
June: A mad rush to get all kinds of things done before Huxley and I leave for Switzerland. Gardening, sewing clothes for myself. Getting goodies to bring to the old home country. Spending 2 weeks in Switzerland, reconnecting with a lot of my all-time favourite people. The first week we had only rain and cold, the second week it got sweltering hot. Huxley hurt his baby toe the day before we got back home – had to carry him, yet also got frontline service at the airport. Got back home and spend a week just getting back into the swing of Canadian time. Oh, yeah, brought back a lot of stuff, including a whole lot of felting wool. Richard turned 40, Huxley 4.Huxley-Oberhaltberg
July: Weeding, weeding, weeding. The garden looks great, the lawn looks a lot better this year than last year. Have a renegade zucchiniplant growing in the garden. This might be the year that I have plants. We haven’t seen any raccons this year, and in the past years we always saw a mother with at least 4 babies. So there is hope. Now we are back in the regular swing of things and although each week is not as regular as during the school year, we are doing good. 

The Brain is on it’s way back from being blurred

Today it is one week post the big art show and I am starting to feel like I can catch my breath again.

First a bit of a recap of the show, as it is always good to review what happened.

Unfortunately there is hardly a usable image of my booth set-up. I didn’t lug the tripod to the show and it was simply too dark to make a sharp image. This corner however shows some of my new blue work. I am very excited about it, as the large piece on the right is a totally new colour group for me and it took me some time to work it out. It still does not flow of the brushes as easily as the red grouping does, but that is natural, as I have been working in the reds for about 5 years not. It wouldn’t be right for it to be so easy.

The set-up went without much hitches, except for the fact that I was originally supposed to set up at 3:30 pm and it really does take me 6 hours to get the booth up, and then another about 4 hours to hang the paintings. After liasioning with the organizer, I was able to move in at 9:30 am and with the help of Richard, James and Sonya it went smoothly. I left at 8pm feeling exhausted, but very pleased on how it all looked.

I had managed to finish 42 pieces of work for the show and also managed to fit them all into the car along with the booth. Thirty-two of the pieces where 24 x 24 inches and smaller, with a large number of works 16″ x 16″. Because there where so many different sizes of works, it made the hanging very challenging. One of my fellow exhibitors told me that she made print-outs of all her pieces, constructed a little model of the booth and test-hung her pieces. Her husband then was given this model and she went for a walk-about at the show during set-up. I should try this on for size (grin)… means I’ve gotta be more organized though.

The show itself was very successful. I sold 19 pieces during the show days and another 2 pieces for follow-up. I had three leads for commissions, of which I now know that one won’t be a go, one looks very promising, the other one I don’t know yet at all.

The first two weeks after the show I spend cleaning up the studio and getting back into the swing of things. I’ve ordered new paints, planned a new bunch of work and am finishing off some touch-ups on older pieces that have found their way back to the studio.

Blessed girl I am! I’m so thankful for the success that I’ve been given again at this show. However, I’ve decided, that next year I will take a break from the show and do the New York Art Fair instead. Gotta go and get myself some US&A representation, i.e. galleries.



Foggy lens over a hot steaming cup of tea at the studio, the lens about as foggy as my brain currently…

With the big show Toronto Art Expo on this week, my brain and the state of my affairs is all a blur. A week from today I will know how well the fruits of my labours have paid out. Not only am I trying to get all my new art pieces finished, I am also trying to use the curtain call of the show to sew some new outfits, a task very, very long overdue! I’ve been acquiring fabrics for about a year now and my mind has very definite ideas of the styles that I want. I’ll post some pictures when I’ve got something to show for.