Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Double the Pleasure!

Hi everyone - I'm pleased to announce that I have a new name for my blog! In fact I now have 2 blogs. I've been blogging with both of my passions of writing and fibre art in what turned out to be a jack of all trades looking blog, so I've split them in two and now I'm having twice the fun. My fibre art blog is now called Fibre Works and my writing and poetry blog is called Write Hearted. So please grab a cup of tea and follow along with my writing and fibre art adventures.

Cheers! Brandy Lynn!

Gel monoprints

The holidays have been so nice this year as we have decided to spend as much time as possible relaxing at home. We've chosen just a few family dinners and events and nothing else. So yesterday after the rush of Christmas was over, the boys were totally involved with their new toys and games and I found myself perusing an invitation to play with paint and fabric. There are few things as healing and calming for me lately as spending few hours playing with my passion, especially in the company of a friend. So, I said yes and I had so much fun yesterday doing gel monoprints. Pat is such a good teacher because she gives you the tools you need and then the freedom to do your own thing. So here are 10 photos of my new monoprint stash. I can't wait to play with them over the next few months.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Artful Clay

I just went to the most fabulous ceramic art sale over the weekend. Crystal Nykoluk is a fresh new ceramic artist stretching the boundaries of functional clay. Her pieces are stunning, textured and one of a kind. They provoke thought and inspiration. It makes you want to use those good dishes for every day.

These first 2 mugs are wood fired in a kiln for 24 hrs. I love the gorgeous crème caramel colour and how they fit so nicely in my hand.

These next 2 mugs are a gorgeous dripping shade of blue. They make me think of washing away the day's worries with a soothing cup of tea. I love the natural wood grained wrap like they are being hugged by nature.

And last, we have this very classy spoon rest. I absolutely love this piece. It's just so gorgeous! The green plastic tupperware spoon rest is a thing of the past.

All of the mugs posted here are gifts for my mom's birthday and christmas, but don't worry that I'm spoiling the surprise. She was at the show and picked them out herself.

Now that's holiday shopping in style.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Studio Magazine

I think if you believe in yourself and you just try something new no matter how far fetched it may seem, you just might have your wish come true. So I responded to a magazine query about small spaces and unique storage solutions for your studio. They called me back and said they would love to see what I have to offer for a photo shoot. So I had some professional photos done and entered my submission. It's pretty exciting if you think about it because just that small space in a magazine with my website attached is more advertising than I could ever afford. Here's to hoping they like my ideas...


You can view their website here...Studio Magazine

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pinewood Show and Tell

Every year at the annual Pinewood Lodge Quilting Retreat, there is a wonderful show and tell and this year was no exception. Once I overcame my sudden camera battery issues for the first half of show and tell, I was still able to snap a few photos of quilts that I love to feature on the blog.

This first photo is of Kristy's quilts. The left one was her very first quilt she did last year and the right larger one she finished this year. This child is an amazing quilter for just the 2 weekends that she has joined us. She has a great attitude and spunky spirit that just keeps her going. She told us that she had gone to a fashion design camp since the last retreat and one evening she even stayed up with the ladies into the wee hours mastering her hand binding. She's a real trooper.

This next photo is Nesta. Although she sees herself as an emerging quilter, her color choices are brilliant and she pulled this beautiful wall hanging off in just one day. Way to go girl!

This fabulous quilt below was made by Pat. She challenged her fellow quilters to step outside the box with this round robin quilt asking them to mix and match with a sweet vintage style and a raw edge pattern. It turned out sooo nicely.

This great quilt was made by Joy who took, but likely could have taught, a class called "Buzz Saw" at our In Stitches fall luncheon. As an art quilter I'd rather cut my arm off with a buzz saw than try to make a buzz saw quilt, but Joy's corners are perfect and her colour choices are lovely.

This last quilt by Deb reminds us that Christmas is coming. It's a lovely snowflake modestly shown as her intricate buzz saw quilt is also hanging over her arm. These ladies are what quilt retreats are all about. Good friends and good times.

A big thank you goes out to Raquel and her team at the Pinewood Lodge for hosting us so well year after year. Cheers!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

5th Annual Pinewood Lodge Retreat 2010

Here I sit in front of my Bernina in a grand room of quilters on the second floor of Pinewood Lodge - my pile of cottons momentarily pushed aside. The breathtaking view of Dorothy Lake is surreal at this time of year because we are usually deep in snow by now. It's hard to believe this is the 5th annual retreat and I have been to every single one. I have done so well this weekend and have a wonderful tip for all of you avid quilt retreaters out there. Bring several exciting projects that are most prevalent on your list of things to do, but start with the most difficult the first day and move on in order of hardest to easiest as the retreat goes on. I can't tell you the countless sighs of disdain I've heard from quilters trying difficult seams and points in the wee hours. Those late evening hours are best saved for the mindless tasks of simple piecing or hand sewn binding while we chat into the night.
I have 2 projects complete so far and a few others in the works. The first was an extremely detailed landscape. It is a private commission of a photo of the clients lake from their dock and boat house. Here you see the original photo and then the finished art piece. Secondly I finally completely my tumbling blocks from a class I took months ago. It is so gratifying to complete the last few inches of binding. Now I'm off to muddle together a whole bunch of my favourite Amy Butler fabrics to make some altogether secret things. I'll never tell because Christmas is just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pass the sugar, Sugar!

Have you ever had one of those days where you seem to be working so hard, things are flowing just fine, and then suddenly it all comes tumbling down and all you can do is break into a fit of laughter? Well today was one of those days for me. I got up nice and early to make healthy lunches and even packaged up a snack of toast, peanut butter, jam and tea for my husband so he could bring his own and not pay for toast and tea at work every morning on his break. All good intentions. I even gave him a tiny container of sugar for his tea which I pinched from our camping supplies.

He phoned me after his coffee break and said, "Are you trying to kill your wonderful husband, or what?" I had no idea what I could have done. It turns out I gave him bread to make toast which was mouldy, and not just the white fuzzy beginnings of mould, but the green blue variety. This also meant his lunch sandwich could be mouldy, which also meant my son's sandwich at school would be suspect. So he tossed the bread and proceeded to make himself a nice cup of tea with his tea bag and sugar from home. Luckily he was sitting alone at the break this morning because he took one sip of his tea with 2 teaspoons of - wait for it - SALT and gagged. Not only was his morning less pleasant due to my irresponsible family care, but I broke into an unstoppable fit of laughter on the phone when he told me all of this. Then, realizing the time, I quickly snapped out of it and whipped together a bologna wrap for my son and slipped over to his school to make the switch before lunch time.

Sometimes I think I'm really putting 'for better or for worse' to the test!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Creative Child

I love how children can be so uninhibited and limitless. They just explore and have fun and try things without deciding that they "can't" or "shouldn't" try something new. I was sorting through some old photos of our summer holiday and realized that Gavin had grabbed our camera and taken a bunch of photos while we were golfing. The photos were fantastic including this interesting one of his shadow. Children can be very creative.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

O Happy Day!

We are having a very uncharacteristically gorgeous fall in Winnipeg. The temperature hit 12 degrees today and normally we have had our first snow by Halloween. I have vivid memories as a child donning my full snow suit and boots and being stuffed into a Halloween costume. Never very fairy-like in the end. The unnecessary kindness of Mother Nature has thrown me off kilter slightly because I already made the closet switch from summer to winter clothes.

So with this great weather today we embarked on a family bike ride. My notion of a great ride is a little jaunt around the block. My husband's notion of a great ride had us collapsing with exhaustion in the front yard 3 hours after we had set out. I have to admit it was one the best family days we've had in weeks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Art Opening Success

Everyone has a different definition for success. Mine has everything to do with family, friends and just surrounding myself with good good people. I was overwhelmed by the show of support last night at the Woodlands gallery for my very first Art Opening! I was thrilled to share my passion with so many people. Friends, family, classmates and even strangers made a special effort to attend and they expressed a genuine interest in my art. The owner, Jenny Tasker and her team, did a fabulous job with display, advertising and welcoming everyone to the gallery. Thank you to everyone involved for showing your support.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What is a typewriter?

Growing up with a love of writing, my first typewriter was really a big deal for me. I practically wore it out through university. The other day my son and I had a conversation that somehow led to the word typewriter. It dawned on me that he may have never even seen one. I asked him if he knew what a typewriter was. This was his answer...

"Yep, I know what that is. It's like a cash register mixed with a computer but it doesn't have a screen and it makes paper with letters all over it."

Being in this world with a child is so refreshing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote - Minister Theresa Oswald

I've come across many people in my life who aim to do the right things for the right reasons, but few have been so inspiring to me as the Honourable Minister Theresa Oswald. She has heart, she has vigour, she has compassion and she works hard. I admire her sense of family and community and her vision for a better tomorrow. Here is her quote for an 8 year old kid:

"There is no such thing as a dumb question. If you want to know something, dig down to find the courage to be the only one in the group that asks. Be polite, enthusiastic and interested and almost EVERYBODY will appreciate it and take the time to answer. Do this, and you'll be closer and closer to being as smart as you can be...but here's the trick: you'll never actually get to that destination. The journey just continues, as long as you have curiosity and wonder." - Minister Theresa Oswald

Lovely quote - I find when I am brave enough to ask what might seem a silly or obvious question, it was often on everyone's mind and it might even spark the best conversation of the day! Thank you Theresa!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Gavin!

Hmmm, ten kids with bows and arrows. Sounds like a recipe for eerie bloodshed fitting the night before Halloween. But it was a bunch of rambunctious boys with a great archery leader and they were safe and had loads of fun. Gavin turned 8 years old this week and the kids were quite impressive hitting the targets and balloons at the archery range for his birthday party. A real highlight of the party was the fabulous hockey cake. It was 24 cupcakes gathered together and iced as a cake with root beer icing. It was so delicious! The boys had 2 cupcakes each and were still asking for more. If you need a fabulous cake for your event check out Rhonda's Cakes. She does everything from fun delicious kids cakes to elaborate designs for any occasion.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quote - Heather Bishop

When I started thinking about famous Manitobans a few popped into my head immediately. The usual writers, actors, singers, athletes and politicians. Of course the mayoral candidates were first on my mind with the pending election and Mayor Sam Katz came through with the first quote. That was wonderful.

Most recently I started thinking about famous people who have made a difference in my life personally and Heather Bishop is one of those good, good people. She is an independent Canadian folk singer/songwriter based in Manitoba, as well as a feminist movement leader, an artist and a teacher. She is just a solid, grounded, nice person through and through. Here is her quote for an 8 year old kid.

"Always stop in life and listen to what's in your heart and then follow it. Never fear telling your own truth, for it is your truth and will be yours for your entire life. Remember that you are perfect just as you are. And when you grow up, keep that part of you that is still a little kid very close to you and let that kid out to play as often as you can. Love others but most importantly, love yourself - gently and fully." - Heather Bishop

Thanks Heather...you are pure sweetness.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Silk Giraffe for Baby Declan

This adorable baby quilt is one of my favourite private commissions that I have created to date. I made it for a good friend to give as a shower gift and it was such a fun idea. We focussed on the colour scheme and style of the layette that the couple had already purchased for the baby's room and made a quilt that would fit right in. Not only was it fun to make, but it turned out quite nicely and the couple have been giving me rave reviews. They immediately tucked it away to avoid damage or baby goo of any kind and soon decided they wanted it on display on the wall. I added a quick hanging sleeve and now they are all set. They sent me this adorable photo of baby Declan lying on the quilt. Congratulations to Daniel and Leslie and welcome to the world little one!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sock Puppet!

Ahhh, I love those wonderful ladies of the Fibre Art Network. I just returned from the most inspiring retreat. I'll be posting thoughts and a few photos over the next few days. When I come back from a wonderful Fibre Art retreat, I've missed my family so much that we often jump deep into a fun project together. Today it was a sock puppet. He is fun, silly and very talkative. Hmmm, sounds just like Gavin. So we had to name Gavin's new sock puppet! I suggested Stinker, but Gavin promised that he wouldn't be a stinky sock because he'd give him a shower every day. He named him Charlie Sock.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mayor Sam Katz!

Like a hot cup of my favourite mango tea from Organza Market my mind has been brewing with all kinds of fun ideas lately. So getting back to the famous Manitobans giving "Advice for An 8 Year Old Kid," I have received my first response!

I am thrilled to announce that Mayor Sam Katz has submitted his quote, so here it is:

"All of my life my mother showed me that no matter how good I was at something, there was always room for improvement. If I came home with a 90% grade on a test, she'd ask what happened to the other 10%?"
-Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz

I was hopeful, but wondering if I would get any response from famous Manitobans, so this just goes to show me and everyone out there....if you have the courage to put your idea out to the universe, it just may happen!

Thanks Sam!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Amazing Art Quilters for such a good cause

I just spent the evening at a wonderful quilt exhibition. The art quilts in this exhibit have been created by Canadian fibre artists on the theme of “Turning the Tide. . . One Ripple at a Time”. The art quilts will be auctioned in Victoria in March 2011 and, through the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the proceeds will assist in supporting grandmothers in Africa caring for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. The speaker Maria Box has a heartwarming story and some amazing talent. She uses second hand clothing to make everything from flowers to whales and people. She shared many of her interesting techniques and inspired us all. Here's a photo of one of the amazing pieces of art in the show.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Manitoban famous athletes

I just received 2 entries for famous Manitobans... Jonathan Toews and John Montgomery. Excellent choices!

I checked out Jonathan Toews on wikipedia and his hockey career is most impressive. I'd love to see what bit of advice he has for an 8 year old.

Jon Montgomery is of course the Manitoban skeleton racer winning gold at the 2010 Olympics. A hard-core Canadian for sure.

Send me more....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Famous Manitobans!

Well, I have sent out my first 2 queries to the top 2 mayoral candidates. I am very hopeful that they will consider this a positive, lighthearted challenge to come up with a great quote. I have received a "we got your message" reply from the Wasylycia-Leis team saying they have sent the message to her, so that sounds positive.

I have also received a few suggestions of famous Manitobans to try. Among them are Lynn Johnston the cartoonist (For Better or Worse) but it turns out she is from BC and then Ontario, so not a Manitoban. I've also decided to contact Theresa Oswald the Minister of Health because she is brilliant and wonderful, and Heather Bishop, the singer/songwriter and fabulous Manitoba artist.

I can't wait to hear all of your suggestions. Don't be shy! I want your vote for a famous Manitoban. It doesn't have to be all dignified and wonderful. I'm talking famous, not favourite. Perhaps someone who is infamous would contribute a very compelling quote.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I've been thinking again about that fun idea of accumulating advice for an 8 year old kid. I truly believe people should follow their dreams and live the life they've imagined and I think it would be fun to gather ideas and share them with my son. I gathered quotes from neighbors on my street and got a few good ones. And then I put it out to my friends and family and got a few more. But I'm just not satisfied. Maybe it's too personal for everyone. Maybe these people are feeling too known to me. I've surprised them into silence with my unusual request. Now is the time to go out on a limb and hit the people who have a voice in the community. So, here it is folks...I am now collecting quotes from famous Manitobans on "Advice For an 8 Year Old Kid."

So drop me a comment! I would love to know who is your favorite Manitoban. I have friends in the arts, in music, in education, in politics and more. So please let me know who you'd love to hear a quote from and I'll do my best to track them down and see what they have to say.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stuff my son says!

I always think I'm so young until my son reminds me otherwise. Today Gavin called his friend but had to leave a message. He told us his friend said he would be home. My husband said, "maybe he's playing outside and they can't hear the phone." Gavin said, "why don't they have the phone with them?" My husband said, "maybe they don't have a portable phone." My son said, "you mean they have the phone with the numbers and the circles that you spin around?" We laughed and explained that it probably wasn't a rotary phone, but that phones used to be attached to the walls and you couldn't walk around with them. He said, "you mean you just stood there?" He thought that was so funny.

Whoa, its been a while!

Once in a while you come across a person who just does what they love and does it well. Today I saw a hip young singer and pianist perform. Her name is Amber Epp. I only caught a few songs, but she was fabulous. Her voice was sweet and smoky and she really had a fresh new sound swinging from jazz to latin with ease. She has the attitude, the talent and and the happy demeanor that audiences love. If you love jazz, or even if you don't, you should check her out at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg on Oct. 24th. To find out more about Amber Epp check her out online.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

'Tis the season for Quilting!

Acck! Summer is over and its back to school time, but as the leaves fly and winter slowly settles in, there is a warm feeling in a quilter's heart. Quilting season is upon us. Although I've really branched out into the world of fibre art, I still consider myself a quilter at heart. Here's one of my latest creations.
This Damsel Fly is machine quilted over paint and foil. I loved the idea of the detailed wings and body against the out of focus background. It took me months to find the right background fabric, but it worked out perfectly. It is inspired by a beautiful photograph that I found online titled: Male Northern damselfly Coenagrion hastulatum © D.Goddard

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back in action

I finally have a chance to start blogging again. Summer can get so crazy. Lately, if I've had some extra time, I've been cleaning or organizing for a quiet weekend away with the family. I've been stuck at home (a bit under the weather) so I have done a bit of writing and, of course, played with some fibre arts techniques. I made this floral piece for a good friend's birthday. I tried to follow a store bought pattern, but the leaves and stems were so awkward and contrived looking that I did my own thing. She's just one of those really good people, so she deserved it. She always tells me that if someone dishes you out some SH*%! you just pretend its fluff on the end of your fingers and blow it right back in their face. Ha ha ha! Gotta love her because she is right.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Final quote for an 8 year old kid!

Well, I finally have to admit to myself that I was more interested in giving my son the gift of interesting quotes than anyone else. It was a fun little ride though. Thank you to the few who did stick their necks out and participate. Some very good quotes came out.

The last quote will be one from me. Good old Mom gets in the last word. I guess its fair since I do love him so!

"If you ever find yourself saying those ever so common words - I'M BORED! just clean up your toys. You'll find you suddenly have oodles to do!" - Mom

I'm serious! When the toy mountain gets out of control in our house we have a giant clean up day. First we set the ground rules:

1. We need a full day because we have to have time to play. You want cleaning up to be fun so leave time to play and give gentle reminders for another round of sorting.
2. Anything that is broken gets tossed.
3. Baby toys are set aside for little cousins.
4. If we can fill a full rubbermaid bin with "no longer my favorite" toys for charity, then we can go to the store to buy one new toy of $25 value.

If you have all of the storage bins labelled "balls, lego, puzzles, cars etc," then you can encourage your child to put one toy away before taking out others. Another fool proof method is our dog who thinks every toy is his chew toy so no toys can ever be left on the floor.

This clean up day ends up being a fun challenge to get rid of the old, clear the clutter and have fun playing with toys that have been buried unseen for ages! My son has learned to deal with broken toys with no tears and he doesn't cling to oldies (except Boomer the gigantic frog of course!) He can let go of a full bin of old toys because it is his choice and it opens the door to one new cool toy. Give it a try. Your kids will love it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A fibre artist's dream store

I have taken so many great art classes in surface design, painting and most recently, dyeing fabric. At every class I seem to find some new product that I learn to use and love so I am constantly asking teachers, "where did you order that?" They tell me it's from this distributor, or that website, but one name that stuck out in my head was MAIWA. This was a website that I was going to visit to order some Setacolor paints, some cottons, and some natural dyes.
Today, I was wandering through the shops of Granville Island and came across their shop! I stopped in my tracks. I didn't even know it was a physical store and I had no idea it was there! I was thrilled. I spent an hour perusing through the paints, dyes, wools and fabric and left with my arms full and my pockets empty. I even found some wax to try my hand at batiking. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the store was gorgeously colorful as you can see. If you are ever in the Vancouver area, this store is a must see!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Take a moment

Here's a quote submitted by my dad. It sounds like a famous quote but it may just be because my dad feels famous to me. Or it may be an unknown quote. If you know who wrote it, send me a comment to post. Here it is...
"Don't measure life by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away."
It's nice to write this while sitting on a lounge chair on a cool sunny morning looking at the lake and the mountains.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The "SEND" button is so final!

Here's a great quote for me as a quilter, fibre artist and writer. I use this often in my every day life.

"Always check twice before clicking on the SEND button." - Jocelyn

I love this quote because it means so many things to me. If I have a high importance email I may choose to leave it in my drafts overnight. The next day when I reread it, I can tone it down or clear up mistakes before sending. This is sooo important if you are trying to get published.

I also use the similar "measure twice, cut once" adage in quilting. Fabric can be so expensive nowadays, you just can't take a chance. If you do screw up, there are times when you've had the fabric in your stash for so long you can no longer find it.

This quote is also a good reminder for youth lost in the world of spell check and instant messaging. There is almost no need for full words anymore. Once you get into homework assignments and even resumés, you have to be sure your spelling and grammar are spot on. First impressions can get a resumé tossed in the pile.

The cookies in the picture I measured once and cut 120 last year for our Quilting Guild's June Picnic. I didn't have to measure twice because if I made a mistake I could just put it back into a lump of dough and start again. I actually used my long omnigrid quilting ruler to measure before cutting. It worked like a charm!

Thanks Jocé

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quotes, quotes, quotes

The quotes are coming in! This is such a fun experiment. I love to see which quotes come from which friends or family members and how they relate to our lives. The closest person possible to my life and my son's life of course is my husband Bob. How fitting and caring that he instantly submitted the first quote.

“Dads are always right......unless Mom is around.” – Robert

Thanks handsome! So true. Love that guy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guidelines - Advice for An 8 Year Old Kid

Submission guidelines:

1. Please write and send me an original quote of your own that you feel would be useful advice for an 8 year old boy. Here are some samples:

- When it comes to garbage, just take it out. In Haiti volunteers can come in, clear the garbage, build a house for a widow and the next day her tiny yard is filled with garbage again. There isn’t even a garbage service there, or even a single garbage can. – Mom

- Take responsibility for every single toot and say “excuse me!” Moms can tell the difference between a Dad toot, a dog toot and your toot. And it’s not OK to blame a toot on a baby cousin. Trust me on that one. – Mom

2. Please make it your own words. I am not looking for famous quotes or quotes from scripture. And we must be very careful about plagiarism, even if it is accidental. Be sure it is your own words.

3. Your quote can be humorous, silly, serious or a life lesson, but an 8 year old should be able to grasp it. The blog is intended to be a heart-warming and funny blog that an adult or an 8 year old would like to read.

4. I would love to hear from every member of your family including kids. Even quotes from pets would be fun.

5. Your quote can be anywhere from a few words to 200 words, and please know that if the blog is considered for publishing in book form an editor will be involved and there may be word changes.

6. No private information will be written on my blog or in book form except the name that you give to go with your quote. Be sure to attach your pen name to the quote, or it will read – anonymous. If it is a quote from a child please add their age. (eg. Elliot, 9 yrs.)

Be sure to check back to see all of the quote postings and updates. Be sure to sign up to be a follower on my blog so you never miss a quote.

***All quotes should be emailed to brandylynn@shaw.ca and must be given voluntarily and with no expectation of remuneration. There is no obligation to participate. There is no guarantee that I will be able to use every quote, but I’ll try my best. I certainly hope that you all think it is a fun idea and you send me a quote or two. ***

Quote # 8

Well, I'm sorry to say this is the 8th and final quote from my neighbors. It seems they are a bit shy or reserved to write a quote for Gavin, and the last quote kind of relates to that;

"If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." - Thumper from Bambi

It always surprises me when people say they can't write, or they don't have anything inspiring to say. I truly believe that there is a secret writer hiding inside of everyone just waiting to come out and say what they mean. There were a few brave ones, and I thank them for that! But I've realized over the last few weeks that if I really want to have some fun with this, I have to open it up to a bigger audience. So this week the invitation to submit quotes goes out to my facebook friends and all of cyberspace who are willing to participate. It should be fun! We'll see what happens.

Today I'll finish with my own quote to an 8 year old kid;

"Remember, don't eat food that is blue and fuzzy." - me as I do a green clean of my fridge.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quote # 7

This next quote is an excellent one for Gavin because he does so many hilarious little things and we love, love, love to laugh. Note to parent: Do not continue to laugh at your child if he is slightly embarrassed. Sometimes I am laughing so hard that I am squeaking and can't breathe when I realize he is completely silent with a huge frown.

Here is the 3rd and final quote from the wonderful Crow family:

"Laugh and the world laughs with you; frown and you frown alone." - Crow Nesters

I think this is a fresh twist on a familiar quote from E. W. Wilcox if I've searched that out correctly. "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own."
1883 E. W. Wilcox

Happy Father's Day weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quote # 6

We had a very nice dinner yesterday and then we all sat down to try to catch up on some "So You Think You Can Dance." It's the only reality show we are hooked on because it is OK for kids and it is amazingly athletic. Watching the incredible bodies, moves and stamina I start to think I should add an extra day of exercise to my regime each week. My husband and son start talking about having ice cream. I am leaning towards "no" and they are leaning towards "yes." Then comes the clincher. My son offers to make dessert for everyone, by himself. We won't even have to get up. He's so cute, but a smart cookie because he knows he'll get the treat for sure if he makes it. He pulls out the stool, gets the bowls and spoons, pulls out the ice cream and the chocolate chips and sprinkles and scoops it all by himself and puts everything away. As he brings our bowls down one by one he seems to have the 3 bears portions completely opposite. My husband gets one tiny scoop. I get two decent scoops and Gavin's bowl is overflowing. We all have a good laugh and we start to talk about only taking what you can eat and my husband says, "I think there was a quote from Mr. and Mrs. Crow about that very thing!" So here it is:

Take what you want, but eat what you take (from a buffet table.) Eat to live, not live to eat. Balance in eating, sleeping, exercise, studying, socializing and recreation is the key to a healthy life. - Crow Nesters

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quote # 5

We are on a roller coaster ride. Just when you think it might be over, there's another thrill around the corner. It is so exciting to see the quotes come in. The next one is fitting because my son has gorgeous curly hair, but wants to get it all cut off for the summer. I don't blame him because he is adorably cute with the curls and he looks like a cool little man after every hair cut. Cool is better according to a 7 year old. Here is quote # 5:

"If you get a "buzz cut" be prepared for people to pat the peach fuzz left on your head. - Crow Nesters

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quote # 4

I am just a big kid. There is no question about that. The reason I say that is because every once in a while, my son has a reaction or exclamation and my husband looks directly at me and says, "I wonder where he gets that from?" I have the same silly expressions, exaggerations and defiant looks as my son. Exactly. We even react to injury or defeat in the same way. I was reminded of this after reading the 4th quote from my neighbor Mary. I am saddened to say this is her last quote and I haven't received a single other quote from the neighbors, but I'm still clinging to the hope that I'll have a stuffed mailbox tomorrow.

"The only difference between you and an adult is experience - and size!" Mary @ 59

Thanks Mary! Your quotes were wonderful!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Quote # 3

One of the most wonderful things I have experienced as a parent is to see my son succeed at a task when I was tempted to walk him through it or hold his hand. I wrap myself in a huge blanket of patience and just peek out to see how he's doing. On his own he is perfectly capable of trying, failing, learning and then - success! The satisfaction is much deeper and clearer for him when he figures it out for himself. Here is Mary's 3rd quote of 4.

"Never fear a mistake. If it teaches a lesson, the mistake will go away." - Mary @ 59

Come on neighbors! If you are checking out my blog to see whether you want to participate, just do it! I am having so much fun and it is such a lighthearted project with really no risk at all. I would love to hear the whimsical, serious and soft side of everyone on the street. How often have you ever felt the need to dole out unsolicited advice? Well, here's your chance because I'm asking for it. I'm hoping for a mailbox stuffed with inspirations.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quote #2

This next quote really hits home for me and those of you who have been following my blog will see that instantly. It is about following your dreams. Practically everything I blog about is following my dreams. It's about surrounding yourself with people and things that inspire you and following your passion. The amazing thing is that this neighbor has no computer, hasn't read my blog, and I think we've only met once about 6 years ago. So that just shows that following your dreams is a universal bit of advice.
"Dreams have no boundaries. Whatever you really love to do - follow it thru, the outcome may amaze you." - Mary @ 59

Thank you neighbors. Keep those quotes coming!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Advice for an 8 Year Old Kid

I have never been so eager to receive mail in my life! I guess it's partly because my son is involved and I want this little project to be successful for him. Every day since we delivered the letters we have eagerly checked the mailbox and today was the day!
My plan is to spread words of inspiration out my door, down my street, into cyberspace, and to also be inspiring to my son because he inspires me so. So I came up with an idea. I sent out letters to all of my neighbors asking them to send me their own original quotes from any members of their family for me to display on my blog. The blog is called:
Advice for an 8 Year Old Kid: The Neighbors of Royal Salinger Road
Today I was thrilled to slowly pull the mail from the mailbox and see one of the envelopes I had sent out politely re-stuffed with a response. Hooray! This is so exciting! I am grinning ear to ear. Not only was she the first neighbor to step up to the plate, but she commented on how "novel" my idea was and she submitted 4 wonderful quotes. I will blog about one quote per day. So today I officially launch the first neighborly quote.

"The best way to feel better when you're sad is to help someone, start with your mom or dad." - Mary @ 59

Now, my son is sound asleep of course. But this one single sentence tells me that Mary is pure sweetness and I can't wait to share this quote with Gavin tomorrow. Thank you Mary!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The most thougthful gift

Well it is 1:00 a.m. and I am just about to finally crawl into bed. My entire family is sound asleep. I realized today that I have not sewn a thing since Mother's Day! This was the first time I got to enjoy my new chair which was a Mother's Day gift. It is a very snazzy looking chair as you can see from the photo, and it is also extremely comfortable. I usually realize it's time for bed when my neck or back get tired, but with this chair I could sew all night. I can't believe I used to sit for hours on that hard wooden kitchen chair. What was I thinking? I actually stopped sewing today because the buzzer went on the clothes dryer and scared the pants off me. But I did manage to whip up a quick sample pillow for the kids' class I'll be teaching this summer. And I also did a quick mini landscape featuring a few different types of stitches. I'll be teaching that to kids too. It should be so much fun! I'll post some photos of those samples tomorrow. Night night.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New idea!

I really enjoyed the movie Julie and Julia which was all about self exploration, food and some life changing blogging and I have also been hooked lately on a great blog called Things My Dad Said. You have to check it out to see what I mean. It is hilarious.
So I got to thinking about the reasons I love to blog. I determined that I love to blog because it allows me to write about the big things and the little things that inspire me every day. It also puts me to bed each night on a good note. I realized that the person that tends to inspire me most is my son. And the thing that inspires me most is that he lives in the moment. So I started to contemplate how I can blog in a way that spreads words of inspiration out my door, down my street, into cyberspace, and that could also be inspiring to my son because he inspires me so.
I came up with a brilliant plan (moo haa haa) that includes the 61 neighbors on my street. My fingers are littered with paper cuts and my printer ran out of ink, but Gavin and I had a whole bunch of fun hauling the wagon and the dog today going door to door delivering letters.
Keep watching my blog! I'll tell you more about it when I get the first response from a neighbor. I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

You are absolutely invited!

The show is open! I announced on my blog 2 weeks ago that I now have representation for my fibre art landscape series in the Woodlands gallery. To get a preview of all 17 pieces check out the gallery's website and click on Gallery Artists. You can also view her blog for the announcement on May 27th. For a live viewing, stop by the Woodlands Gallery at 535 Academy Road in Winnipeg.
Gallery Hours:
Tuesday to Friday 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday & Monday – Closed
Your only limits are the ones you choose!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Before and After

Once in a while as a parent I find myself getting into the habit of saying "no" before I even understand what my son is asking for. But it's really not that important that his clothes stay clean or his feet stay dry. Sometimes you just have to have fun and explore the world. These photos are the before and after of a 90 minute adventure scrambling over rocks along the shore of very shallow, but very cool lake water. At first I warned him not to step in water deeper than the top of his boots, but once he did the fun factor skyrocketed by 100%. Love that kid!

Monday, May 24, 2010

May Long Weekend Camping

There is nothing better for this writer's heart than to toss herself into a world of pure family secondment. An escape from reality. A way to live in the now. For my family that is camping. And I don't mean car camping or campground camping. I mean deep woods canoeing and camping. Everywhere we look, there is something new and wonderful to just feel and see. Ten different bugs, the colors of rocks, the leaves and pine needles, a water filled boot, a fish hooked in the eye, the dog's bug bit lip, our first wood tick, the comfy down sleeping bag, a lightning storm at night, the burnt lost marshmallow, and a cool piece of driftwood. Even though we've seen it all before, it's like a brand new experience every summer. The highlights of this trip were:
# 1 Gavin having to wear the same clothes for 2 days because only his bag got soaked in the overnight thunderstorm. He was just thrilled to be his filthy little self but he never did stay too dirty because he actually swam both days in the freezing lake. Brrrr!
# 2 Cooking corn on the cob over an open fire for the first time. Maybe because it took 20 min. to cook, but it was the best corn we've ever tasted.
# 3 Forgetting the big marshmallows and watching the boys try to roast the mini hot chocolate marshmallows. Gavin called it the Harry Potter technique because Daddy was dipping the marshmallow and stick like a wand into the fire for one second at a time. After about 6 dips it was perfectly magically browned.
Happiness is camping!