Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Ah creatively we go

So, some of you know I'm taking an online course right now through Squam. Love Squam, love the teacher, Sarah Ahearn Bellemare. Love her art, and she is adorable. She may not like to be called adorable, but truly she is. You can just tell she's a great person, and isn't it nice to 'meet' people like that?

The course is interesting and well put together. I was proud of myself for signing up, because the painting I do goes on the walls, or as you know from last week, on the outside of my house. I haven't touched art paint since kindergarten. And even then, I'm not so sure, there was a lot of focus on napping back then and I don't have any proof of having painted anything (thanks mom for throwing out all my kindie artwork, I'm not scarred at all, truly).

This is the beauty of online courses, you can get up the gumption to take a course that you would never take in person. And take a course from someone that doesn't live anywhere near you. Very cool aspect of these times we're living in. I took one online course in 2011, and this already my second in 2012. I have a third lined up for August.

So that pre-amble was all about me avoiding talking about my actual painting. And here I go again. I liked the pastels a lot. And I wouldn't have thunk it. Yes, that's vernacular, I know it's incorrect. I did a board with pastels last night, with little bitty bits of paint on top and I liked it a lot more than the paintings I've done this week.

Some of the amazing ladies in the course are doing awesome work, and it's an absolute thrill to see their stuff. What a joy to 'thumb through' their posted work on Flickr. Inspiring, yes. Sarah is an inspiring and supportive teacher, yes. I've told myself that pursuing perfection is futile and ridiculous, yes. I've told myself that nothing is wrong. And yet, I still feel like a complete loser that is producing complete crap.

Aaaaahhhh well, big sigh, it's still been a good exercise.

Last week we had an assignment to go sketch outside. Smidgie and I went on our bikes to the local lakeside and had a grand time, both of us sketching.

My pastel sketch of the weeds (drought-affected) beside the lake.

I just noticed that since I taught Smidge to use the camera last Sunday, she's since taken about 75 pics around the house!! Egads! :)

Happily Bundt-ing

Well I’ve been quite absent of late, not because I haven’t been having creative time. No, I’ve actually been quite busy.
First let me tell you about a delectable Buttermilk Lemon Pound Cake I made last weekend. I’ve never been big on lemons – well that’s not true entirely. I love lemonade, especially fresh homemade (made that too) and I love a slice of lemon in water, especially in hot water in the winter time. But I haven’t been an eater of lemon desserts, that’s more accurate. Being a die-hard chocolate lover, I wasn’t too open to desserts that didn’t involve chocolate.

But alas, I thought chocolate might be too much, too heavy, too kid-like for adults. I don’t know, I guess I was open to new ideas. I sent hubby to the farmer’s market (because I was working) for blueberries, and he came home with 10 lbs of beets. Seriously. Apparently there were no blueberries and being a beet lover, he felt compelled to buy not one, but two containers of beets. But that’s a different story.
So I scrapped the Blueberry Bundt Cake recipe, and then scrambled for a new idea. I’m proud to say that I didn’t falter and lean heavily on my usual chocolate recipes. No, I stood tall like an adult and found a recipe for an adulty (yes, that’s a word) dessert. I found this recipe and baked it in a bundt pan. Though I’ve done a lot of baking in my days, I haven’t done a lot of bundts. Rarely have I bundted, and I don’t mean bunted as in softball. I love the word 'bundt'. And for those like me that love facts and info and useless knowledge, enjoy this history of the bundt cake. Who knew?

So, all this to say, it was delish! It came out of the bundt pan so easily, I was shocked and thrilled because truth be told – it was a concern. I made the glaze a little too loose, so that’s an important thing to aim for next time. And oh yes, there will be a next time.
Next post, what else I’ve been up to, creative-wise, or really non-too-creative-wise, because I’m not thrilled with what I’m producing. Aaaaahhh well.

Photo - who had time for that? It was half gone before I could think to snap a photo. Maybe I'll take a pick of the remaining cake later and post for you!

Hooked on bundts. :)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Aztec progress

Progress is such a cruel word, when you haven't made any. It's hot, damn hot. Even though we have air conditioning, I find it difficult to get myself to hook in July. I love hooking, but the wool just does something to me psychologically. It makes me hot just looking at it. Which from October to April, is a good thing in Canada. Not so much in July.

So here's a shot of the minute amount of progress made on the Aztec. Mea culpa.

You call this creativity?

Well Rocketman and I decided that we'd take a 4-day weekend in July to paint the exterior of our house. I figured that we had the best chance of good weather. We did, if you want sun for drying. We absolutely roasted. I just dripped sweat all day for two days. Rocketman continued for an additional two days after me. Why? Well, I landed myself in bed with a migraine after two days, so Rocketman fired me. Oh and of course there was all the other stuff to do, the regular stuff, like groceries, banking, cleaning, laundry, etc that are the cornerstone of every weekend.

Here are some in progress shots. Covering the white with a grey-blue to match the shutters and new front door. That's the extent of my creativity for the weekend! :)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

What was I thinking?

I decided to sign up for an online summer art course. I'm very excited and quite nervous. Why? Because it's a painting course!!! Egads, what was I thinking? I had to get a bunch of materials that I'm completely unfamiliar with.

But I have to say I am LOVING the course (day 2) and the instructor and the entire experience with Squam. This is my first experience with Squam, and I have to say that I'm really impressed.

Why did it take this long for me to make myself a wall of inspiration in my workspace? Loving what I've put up so far though.

Still needs some stuff added, but I'm really liking having all of this on my wall to fire my creative spirit!

Hooked on having inspirational stuff right out in front of me!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


If I do so say myself, my hydrangea is looking particularly magnificent. Loving it!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Good-bye June. Hello Calm.

My apologies for such a long, drawn-out absence. I beef, really beef, about other blogs being stagnant for long stretches of time, so I should be ashamed of myself. And I am. But to be honest, I just couldn’t possibly pack one more thing in each of the last 10 days. I hated to have wished away June, but I did, I honestly did. It was too much, and I wanted it done. And now it is and I am blissful to be back to my decidedly uneventful life.
And what does that mean is in store for July? Let’s see, the garden is looking neglected, despite Rocketman’s watering efforts. He waters, but he doesn’t dead-head or tidy or weed or many other things. We complement each other well because he likes to do what I don’t like to do and vice versa. Truth be told, I don’t like gardening at all. I don’t like to admit to being “half-empty” about things, but I find gardening futile in the great white North. What do we do it for? A few weeks of flowery goodness? You slave away to get the garden growing and everything looking nice, then poof the blossoms are gone, everything’s dying off and looks awful. In a blink of an eye, autumn is upon us and the endless hours of sweaty, dirty slavery are all down the drain or dried up and rolling into the ditch.
So, attempting a more “half full” outlook, I will look forward to painting the exterior of our house next week. Yes, we’re nuts and are tackling it ourselves. And we pretty much know we aren’t likely to get it all done in one long weekend. And as much as we don’t want to be ‘that place’ on the street that the neighbours talk about because we have a two-tone house, we are still going to forge ahead. I can’t stand the idea of paying someone to do something I can do myself. That being said, I need a lot of paint and tools so let’s hope there’s a paint sale on somewhere this week.  I’ll take some pictures and report back on our progress.

And there’s entertaining to do in July. That will be fun, well once I slog through the whole place cleaning, organizing and scouring. Ah, the crap we put ourselves through. Must get some menus planned.
Last, but never least, I will hope for some relief from incessant heat so that I can get back to hooking. Ah, hooking, how I can’t wait to get going again.
And that, people, is a post about absolutely nothing. You’re welcome, enjoy! J