Wednesday, December 23, 2009


My two DDs and I celebrated Christmas last Saturday and had a really nice 'girl' Christmas. It was very relaxing and it was so nice to spend time with both of them, we don't often all get together these days. On Christmas day one DD and I might go to see It's Complicated. The other DD has gone to Nova Scotia to spend Christmas with her boyfriend.

Today I received a Zentangle from HybridJ and I love it, she has a real talent for doing unique, very simple ones. Thank you HybridJ.

I got my cards and a small parcel off today, so they will be late arriving at their destination but it will still be the holidays and before New Years. I had a chuckle today when I received a card from a friend with a Starbucks card in it. The card was addressed to me but the card inside was to someone else. I had just been thinking this morning that I hoped I hadn't put the wrong card in an envelope. I phoned her and we had a good laugh and she told me the Starbucks card was meant for me and she had also sent one to the other friend whose card I got, so that was very thoughtful of her.

I hope everyone has a Very Happy Christmas and that the New Year is filled with fun, laughter, lots of creativity and good health.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My DD stopped by today and we went for a drive out to Spanish Banks. It was very cold so we didn't walk very far. It's supposed to have snowed the past couple of days but it hasn't happened yet, at least not in the area where I live.

I feeling like getting back into my creativity and will start this evening. I was going to do some earlier but went out with my DD instead.

We had our Chirstmas party on Thursday evening and it was a lot of fun. A couple of people who live in the building play violin and, along with two friends, entertained us with some lively music. Another tenant played the saxophone and yet another sang some Russian songs. Lots of good food and conversation resulted in a very pleasant evening. This is rather a unique apartment building where we have tried to create a supportive community. When someone is sick, we help each other and we have parties. It's a little like living in little village. There are, obviously, personality conflicts and gossiping but all in all it is very positive. The newletter has helped to make people feel like they matter as well. I have noticed some people coming out of their shells after they have been mentioned in the newsletter for their gardening contributions, photography and being mentioned when they have lost a child. So many of the tenants are alone in the world so I think it helps them to feel a sense of belonging. I hope so anyway. There are lot of very lonely people in the world!

I am going to go and make a necklace for one of my DD's now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Okay, so I haven't been posting, I have been mired in this letter-writing, trying to get the conditions in our building improved. Our week-end relief caretaker has been diagnosed with non-operable lung cancer and has quickly gone done hill. He is such a nice man, is so helpful and willing to do anything for anyone. At the beginning of September he won some gold medals for sprinting. He is such a healthy living man, taking supplements, eating healthy. Everyone is in shock. The doctor kept telling him his cough was nothing. So, we are all praying for him and hoping the radiation helps and the chemo if he has it.

Like I said in my last post, I would love for something really nice to happen. This is getting really depressing.

We have been granted a meeting with the property manager and the general manager of the company so hopefully we can get our message across to them.

After that is dealt with I am really going to focus on the positive as much as possible and get back to creating.

I am still having some problems from the spraying, hope that ends soon as well.

I will be 70 years old on the 30th of December and will give some thought to what I would like to accomplish in 2010. It's kind of nice to start the new year with a new year in my own life at the same time.

I said on Hybrid J's blog that I will have a give-away in the new year to start the year off right. Don't know what that will be yet but am going to think about it. So stay tuned!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I felt tired and depressed today, I don't really know why but I took myself off to the library anyway, only to find that they had completely rearrange the fiction section. I just hate when they do that! Stores do that too and you can't find anything you want. There is really something to be said for the comfort of things staying the same. That's why I liked England so much, things were so old and had such history, it gave a sense of permanency, like there is something in this ever- changing world that is solid and you can depend on it to be there always. Vancouver is really bad for tearing down old building and old landmarks so the things I grew up with are rapidly disappearing. The city is owned by developers. And now, here is a contradiction, I have been feeling very bored with everything lately. Restless, wanting something really nice to happen to cheer me up or somewhere new to go, something to stimulate my imagination, to make me feel alive. I shop in the same old places, eat in the same old places, same old, same old every day. I know it's just a phase I'm going through and it will pass soon but for the moment, I would just like something really nice to happen!!

I got a bit of Christmas shopping done and bought Susan Boyle's CD, I Dreamed A Dream for myself. I listened to it in the store and it sounds lovely. I was watching her Britain's Got Talent You Tube again tonight. I love that clip, she is so natural and so cute, such a beautiful voice. I also bought some bits and pieces for my faerie pouches and a DVD for my youngest daughter. I have to chuckle when I buy movies for her because she likes all the scary stuff like Dexter and True Blood and I am the exact opposite liking Miss Potter, Serendipity and Heartbeat. Children are definitely born with their own personalities.

Time to go and watch Midsommer Murders. I'm surprised there's anyone left in Midsomer, there are several murders in each episode - a pretty scary place to live. *chuckle*

Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanks for your comments HybridJ and Angie, you are still there. Funny how you have developed this connection with people you have never met and you miss them when they are not there. If I was as busy as most of you are with your families and work, I probably wouldn't notice it as much. I am not looking for sympathy or trying to get you to comment on my blog, I am just being honest about how blogging has effected my life. It's lovely to have creative friends all over the world - even if you have never met them.

Our letters back and forth with the Property Manager continue and we have reached the point where, rather than dealing with the problems we have, they are trying to silence us - 45 tenants out of 61. Interesting how that works - the abusers become the victims. The 45 tenants whose lives have been negatively impacted by 3 tenants are made out to be the bad ones. This has taken a lot of my time and energy because I was the one who organized the letter writing and continue to post responses and talking to some of the other tenants. I have other things I would like to be doing and need to find a better balance, but when I am involved in something like this, I tend to think about it too much and it keeps me distracted. I have continued to do some crazy quiting but I want to do so much more as I said in my last post. I can't believe that was on Monday, the week has gone by so quickly.

I am really going to make a concentrated effort to post everyday because I miss it.

Angie suggested I post how to make crazy quilts and I will try to do that in the next few days - with my limited knowledge. But I can tell you how to do the bags I make, copying the instructions I used from Haute Handbag and written by Pat Winter.

This is Christmas decorating weekend and I want to have a tree this year. I didn't have one last year and really missed it. I can't do a real one any more because whatever it is they spray them with burns my nose and throat. I've been looking for an artificial one but a lot of them are really tacking looking, made of some kind of paper. The nice ones are really expensive. I did see a Norwegian Pine the other day and may end up getting one of those. The are potted so can be kept, maybe surviving until next year.

I enjoy the lead up the Christmas almost more than Christmas itself. Listening to Christmas songs by Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Doris Day (dating myself here) listening to Dylan Thomas's A Boy's Christmas In Wales, watching The Holiday, Scrooge (with Alistair Simm, of course), Miracle On 34th Street (with Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara and John Payne), reading Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher - just finished reading it - and A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flag. These are my pre-Christmas rituals and the part of Christmas I enjoy most, apart from getting together with my girls, of course.

So, if you decorate early, Happy Decorating and enjoy all your pre-Christmas rituals

Monday, November 23, 2009

I seem to have lost the energy around my blog. Hardly any visitors and many of the blogs I have been visiting have not been posting - except the lovely Rose and Bev and a couple of others that I visit but don't comment on. I have just felt like I haven't had anything very interesting to post lately. I have been busy writing letters to the Property Manager and writing the December newsletter. I have also finished another crazy quilt bag and am well on my way on another one. I have really enjoyed creating them.

I have done a couple of drawings for the book I have written for my Great Granddaughter. I think I will do it as a collage in a board book. I was also thinking of doing it on watercolour paper and sewing it together with ribbons and fibers but this might not be so smart for a young child. I have bought a couple of nice pendants - a rose petal in clear acrylic trimmed in gold and a leaf coated with copper - to make necklaces for my daughters. Christmas is coming up fast. Tomorrow we'll only be a month away from Christmas Eve. so I must get busy on them.
Time for bed. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I have finished the newsletter for the building I live in and have just written a follow-up letter to our property managers, so tomorrow I should be able to get back to creating. I probably won't be going out because we are supposed to get up to 200mm of rain between today and tomorrow and some strong winds. Good days to hunker down and create.
Things are good. My elder daughter dropped by for a visit today, so that was nice - always enjoy visits from my girls. She is just getting over a cold, she works such long hours and was just stopping by between clients. I think young people today have to work so much harder and much longer hours than we did when I was young.
Still getting some side-effects from the sprays but, hopefully, that will be gone by the end of the week. The sniffer dog will be into the affected apartment tomorrow, so here's hoping the problem will be gone.
That's about it for today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I will watch the Rememberance Day ceremony tomorrow and think about the futility of war and all the lives that have been lost in the name of power and greed. It's a very sad day and it's almost always dark and rainy as if the skies are weeping for madness of humanity.
Time flies by, a whole week has passed since I last blogged. I have been busy writing letters and dealing with more spraying. I didn't feel as bad this time but had to have my sliding door open day and night with the heat cranked. A bit chilly but it helped. All these little annoyances seem to take energy.
I will be getting busy, over the next four or five days, writing the newsletter for December.

The rains have come to Vancouver and it's been dark and gloomy for a few days now and very chilly, no more Indian Summer but we were really lucky this year to have it until November.
I haven't done much art or needlework and long to get back to it but I have felt kind of scattered. Hope that will pass soon, Christmas is not so far away.

My great granddaughter was one on Nov. 4th, it's so hard to believe she is so grown up already.

I love Skype, I was just seeing and talking to my granddaughter and great granddaughter. I love this picture of her she looks like she is actually reading the card.
Time to go to bed, goodnight~sleep well!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My friend B gave me a copy of her newly self-published book yesterday. This was a collaborative effort in that she gave me a stack of written notes and bits of paper that were about a crow she called Gilbert and I sorted all the pieces and made them into a story. This was the first time I had done anything like this, so it was an amazing experience.

B befriended Gilbert when she found him in very bad shape on the grass below her apartment where she used to live. Gilbert was a pretty old bird but she nursed him back to life by feeding him peanuts and bread and anything else he would eat. Eventually, he found a wife and he had several batches of children while B was living there. It is a very interesting story about the habits of crows and how humans can interact with them. She was careful not to tame him or his children so they were still wild and able to take care of themselves. There are also some short bits about a squirrel, some blue-jays and some turkeys that she had as pets when she lived in Sri Lanka. It was very sad when B moved and had to leave Gilbert behind. A neighbour continued to give him peanuts, so she felt a little better about leaving him.

I feel honoured to have been a part of bringing this book to life and B wrote in the front that the book would never have been written had it not been for my help. It has certainly been a great year for me creatively.

I went to see a lawyer today to make sure there was nothing in our letter that were grounds for a libel or slander suit - she said there isn't. So the letter goes off tomorrow with 45 signatures. There are only 61 apartments in the building so that is really good. Hope we get some action. It has been a long process but a very good one for me.
I want to get on now and make some Christmas presents, I have bought a couple of pendants to make necklaces for my daughters and I will probably stick some pressed flowers onto candles to give as gifts. I pressed some hydrangeas and pansies during the summer. I would like to get a couple more faerie pouches done as well.
I look forward to creating again after this busy couple of weeks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wow, major milestone in my recovery from being broken, I have facilitated two meetings with about thirty people and attended one with seven people and managed to get through them all and not run and hide after and stay in bed for a week. The first meeting went really well, the second was awful, I got bombarded from every side and managed to deal with things but finally closed it because it was a disaster and the third one I took control of from the start instead of sitting back and letting two people run over me. It is so strange for me to just open my mouth and let what I want to say come out. I feel like a bitch, and the strange thing is that I care only a smidgen. I spent hours writing a letter and then two people sat in the second large meeting and totally undermined me in front of the three people that we are trying to deal with. Anyway, the outcome of the second meeting was that I would change some things in the letter - even though so many people were happy with it - but when I got the letter that had the changes that one of the other people at the meeting wrote, I found that he had re-written one major section of the letter. I spent an after noon re-writing it incorporating what he wanted with what I had already written. It has been quite the process and I nearly lost it a couple of times. In some situations I have infinite patience, in others I can be quite impatient and this was one of those situations. Anyway, the letter is finished, has been given approval by the sub-committee and now I am looking for a lawyer to check it out because one of the residents we are trying to deal with has threatened to sue us. I doubt he can because we have proof of everything in the letter.

This is such a drag because, as seniors, all we want is a little peace and quiet. On the other hand, we have to stand up for our rights. It just appalls me that the owners of the building and property managers don't deal with things as they should, therefore leaving us to have to demand - in a most polite way, of course - that they deal with it. Everyone has been very supportive and relieved that the situations are being dealt with, they have also complimented me on how well I handled the meetings - even the bad one - so now it will be interesting to see how many people sign the letter. I have also had to come head to head with the caretaker a few times so it has been pretty stressful. At this point, I still feel strong.

Apart from it being a drag, I have learned a great deal and would never do the same process again - there would not be a second meeting - big mistake!

I am feeling very frustrated because after doing all this and dealing with the side-effects of the pesticide (still am), I don't feel centered enough to do any art. I have been working on my crazy quilting because I find it relaxing, but I would like to be doing some painting as well. I didn't have to do this stuff but there is a part of me that just won't sit back and let these situations continue, I guess it's the social worker in me but also that I am inherently outraged by injustice.

Jazmine is back! My daughter is working such long hours, she felt Jazmine wasn't getting enough attention -she was howling a lot so must have been feeling pretty lonely. I am happy to have her back and we are cuddling lots.

That's about it for now. I hope my next post is more about all the art I have been doing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DICHOTOMY - a division of two esp. mutually exclusive or contradictory groups.

A friend and neighbour said to me a couple of days ago that I am a dichotomy. On one hand, I create this delicate needlework and other arts and crafts and on the other I get very angry at injustice and take action on it. I gave this some thought and realized that this is what women are - compassionate, kind and gentle and yet very strong and able to withstand enormous pressures and pains. This led me to thinking about Princess Diana who, I think, was an extremely brave and strong woman and yet had a capacity for such love for her children and compassion for the suffering. To stand up to the royal family and leave Prince Charles was an extreme act of courage on her part. Mother Theresa was also a dichotomy of strength and compassion. I mentioned both of these women together because they died within days of each other with a huge out pouring of love and grief for Diana, while Mother Theresa's passing was like a whisper in the background. Quiet and humble as she was in her life.

I believe that their two deaths within days of each other was a message to the world that we need to return to the Mother. We are unbalanced with too much of the Father. There is a loss of compassion, caring and courtesy and we need to find it again. An interviewer asked Maya Angelou what the world needed now, she replied, "courtesy". I so agree, it seems to be lost.

We, as women, have this capacity for deep compassion and caring and enormous strength and courage. I believe that women have lost their way and often try to be like men, when they get into positions of power they act like men. Possibly forced to be that way to get to where they are. Organizations are structured hierarchically and that is not women's innate way. Men are about power and control, women are about co-operation and support. I experienced this way of working for a short time at a women's shelter and it was a wonderful atmosphere to work in. Everyone was supported and encouraged to be who they were and do what they did best.

So we need to "grow down into ourselves", trust our intuition, listen to the whisper of the voice who keeps telling us what we need to do to be healthy and happy. Know thyself.

I am reading a book called A Summer All Her Own by Rosanne Keller. It is about a woman who has been a housewife, mother, her husbands supporter in his career. Her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack. She was very happy in her marriage but, as so many women do when they are left on their own, she realized she doesn't know who she is and she had given up her art because there wasn't time. She goes to Greece (she has lots of money) and spends time there trying to find herself.

She meets a man and he tells the story of a guru: "when the guru sat down to worship each evening, the ashram cat would roam about and distract the worshippers. So the guru ordered that the cat be tied before the evening worship (not a very nice guru). After the guru died, the cat continued to be tied before evening worship. and when that cat expired, another cat was brought to the ashram so that it could be duly tied up during evening worship. Centuries later, learned treatises were written by the guru's scholarly disciples on the liturgical significance of tying up a cat while worship is performed."

And that is what we do, we are tied by cultural and family rules that don't fit us, don't allow us to be who we are, we are squeezed into what family and culture think we should be. So many people are like sheep, afraid to make waves and stay living in impossible ways and/or situations. We need to be brave and stand up for what we believe in.

I have written a letter to try to get some things changed in the building where I live and the caretaker thinks we are not backing him when, in fact, what we are proposing would make his job easier and his living conditions better. He just sees it as an attack on him and gets defensive. I hope he will be able to see it differently. It has been very hard for me to take a stand about these things because we are requesting that three people be evicted, but their behaviour is making life very uncomfortable and unhealthy for the rest of us. The meeting is a four o'clock today so I hope we get a good turn out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I have been very busy writing a letter to the property manager, photocopying and talking to my neighbours so haven't had much time to be creative. I am still struggling with nausea and feeling generally yucky. Not really ill, I actually have good energy and am getting things done but just enough to feel yuck. I have arranged for another meeting tomorrow afternoon so I hope we get a good turnout so we can get this situation dealt with.

I had another moment of awareness this morning while lying in bed ( a good time for me to contemplate things). I wrote in an earlier post about having a sense of desperation about my art and this morning I realized that is gone. It will just unfold as it is meant to and I will get done what I get done.

I read James Hillman's book The Soul's Code, In Search Of Character And Calling several years ago and have always remembered his acorn theory. He says; "The acorn theory proposes ...that you and I and every single person is born with a defining image". "I want us to envision that what children go through has to do with finding a place in the world for their specific calling. They are trying to live two lives at once, the one they were born with and the one of the place and among the people they were born into. The entire image of a destiny is packed in a tiny acorn, the seed of a huge oak on small shoulders. And its call rings loud and persistent and is as demanding as any scolding voice from the surroundings. The call shows in the tantrums and obstinacies, in the shyness and retreats, they seem to set the child against our world but that may be protections of the world it comes with and comes from." "The acorn theory affirms the child's inherent uniqueness and destiny.......each child is a gifted child, filled with data of all sorts, gifts peculiar to that child which show themselves in peculiar ways, often maladaptive and causing pain."

He goes on to say that we have this notion that growth is upward - to be an adult is to be grown up but this is only one way of maturity. Even tomato plants and the tallest trees send down roots as they rise toward the light. Hillman believes that we grow down into ourselves and to plant a foot firmly on earth - that is the ultimate achievement and a far later stage of growth than anything begun in your head.

Ever since I read the book, I have remembered the phrase "growing down into yourself". We are all striving, reaching, trying when what we need to do is settle down and go into ourselves. Listen to that voice that is constantly calling us. Be still enough to hear. I was always reaching and searching, looking outside of myself for answers and now I understand what growing down into yourself means. I haven't really changed, I have just healed the pain of the things that have happened to me on my journey. Of course, I am not perfect. Of course, there are a lot of things that are still an issue but I feel more peaceful and accepting than I have ever been - even as a child.

Something has definitely changed and it is good. Here's to continuing to grown down into myself.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jazmine has gone back to my daughter's and I really miss her!

A couple of mornings ago, I was lying in bed trying to talk myself into getting up. I don't know what started the train of thought but it was about how bad I have felt for the past fifteen years, the fear, anger, bitterness, pain, etc. All of a sudden, I realized I'm not that person any more. And then today, after organizing and facilitating a meeting of 30 people last Friday, I realized that I really am healed. After the things that happened to me, I could not be in a group/meeting setting or facilitate a group/meeting without panicking and just wanting to leave. As I facilitated the meeting I was calm and centered and kept everything on track, had to deal with a resident who didn't agree with what we want to do with regards to him and I did so effectively. This, to me, is absolutely amazing. I had so much great feedback about how I conducted the meeting, I was like my old self only better. I have finally turned a corner!
On Thursday, I made a huge pot of vegetable soup and a large bowl of fruit salad and that is what I have been eating ever since. I haven't done that for so long and it feels really good. I gave some to my neighbour and while I was giving it to her my neighbour on the other side came out of his door and said, "It smells really good out here." so I gave him some too.
Yesterday, a friend from Kelowna was in town and just happened to be walking in this area, she has never been to my place before, and when she saw the street name she came and buzzed me. It was so nice to see her. She didn't have much time but I really enjoyed the little visit we had.
I was a little embarrassed because I haven't been looking after my apartment the way I usually do. It was clean but kind of neglected and messy so that motivated me to put things in order today. I got out my duvet and put the cover on, got out an Indian cushion cover and cushion and put that on my bed, reorganized my ornaments and pictures cleared all the clutter from the top of my fridge, put away some purchases of ribbon that were lying about, put my bathmat back(I had put it away because Jazmine's litter box was in the bathroom). It always feels so good to do things like that.
All in all it has been a good week.
I hope the coming week unfolds in wonderful, rewarding way and I wish the same for all my bloggy friends.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I finally completed my second crazy quilt faerie bag. It has my first attempts at silk ribbon embroidery and some stitches I haven't done before, so I have learned a lot. I have found this to be a very relaxing pasttime. I have started on my next one and have had fun shopping for threads and fringes and ribbon. Getting quite a collection. Love shopping for goodies.

I am happy to be back blogging and have visited everyone every day just haven't always felt like commenting or blogging. Still having issues with toxic sprays but don't want to talk about that. I may have a rant about it another day.

I have a new blog I hope you will visit me there.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Five days since I've posted and I am feeling angry and frustrated. I am living in building that is toxic to me. New carpets being layed in two apartments with toxic glue, oil paint with a really strong smell and pesticide spray. It just goes on and on. The manager is very kind and tries to minimize the effects for me but I have been having headaches and nausea and having to go out for several hours every day just to get away from it. I wish I wasn't so senstive to smells and foods, it sure makes for a frustrating time when I don't feel well because of the toxic stuff we are subjected to. Pretty hard to avoid it.

On the up side I have been doing some crazy quilting, starting to get the hang of it and I have written a three Haikus

Yesterday I went to Duderave which is a small area in West Vancouver. I went there for a weeks holiday when I was about thirteen years old. There is a pier there and it's a quiet little sort of English village and is only about a block long. There is a hardware store, a bakery, coffee shops, restaurants, a grocery store, a couple of funky little store and a needlework shop which is what I went t there for. I sat out on the pier in the sunshine, with a nice breeze cooling me and watched the waves crashing as the tide came in. Although, I live by the ocean, so to speak, there are no waves. It was so restful, I could feel all the tension draining out of me. I sat there and did "nothing". I am going to go back again, it takes a bit to get there, three buses and the seabus but it is worth it. I would love to live there but it is a very expensive, high end area, so it's not likely.

When I was on the seabus there were two ladies from Scotland and I offered to take a picture of them together, their camera wasn't taking them very well so I offered to take one with my camera and send it to them. They gave me their address and it is in West Lothian where Susan Boyle comes from and one of the women's brother worked with Susan. Small world. In case you haven't heard of Susan Boyle she was on Britain's Got Talent. Check her out on Susan Boyle Episode l. She has a lovely voice and sings I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables. Anyway, I had a nice chat with the two women, they were going to do all the touristy spots.

We are having a beautiful Indian Summer, what a wonderful few months we've had.

Monday, September 28, 2009

on the cold bare branch
teasing the chill autumn wind
one last leaf flutters
This is from the day before yesterday, I haven't done yesterday's yet - behind already. I didn't write again today, too much to do. I helped a friend do the final edit on her book this morning. I don't know if I mentioned it before but last year she gave me a stack of handwritten notes and I sorted them all out and typed out her book. It is about her relationship with a crow, where she lived before. It's a very interesting story about crows behaviour. When we finished she wanted to take me to lunch and then I had to go do banking and shopping by the time I got home I was too tired. Life's necessities do get in the way of things we really want to do sometimes, it must be really difficult when you have children to look after. I did nothing much creative when my kids were small and they were out playing most of the time when the weather was nice.
Got a positive response from the property manager and she even signed it "warmly". I really am trying to be more positive and less cynical and re-active because I truly believe the energy we put out comes back to us
It's bedtime again, the days just fly by. It I didn't wake up at 4:30 in the morning I wouldn't have to go back to sleep after eating a little breakfast and my days would be longer. Four hours sleep just doesn't cut it.
Good night.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I have had such a fun, busy weekend. Yesterday I went to RubyDogs Art House for a book signing and demo by Violette. Her book is called Journal Bliss and is a very creative book about art journalling. It was nice to spend time with other artists and it is always so positive and cheerful at RubyDogs.

Today, after a three hour conversation with my eldest daughter, I went to Granville Island where they had the Garbage Can Art Auction, the proceeds going to Children's Hospital Art Program to buy art supplies - an excellent cause. My granddaughter was under their care for her first eighteen years for leukemia so it is a cause close to my heart. I even bough a garbage can. I didn't get the one I really wanted because it went for something like $300 - but I did get one for my Great Granddaughters first birthday in November. I have never bid for anything in my life so that was a new experience. Another new experience is that I put my name down to be one of the artists next year. Thanks to my bloggy friends, I have the confidence to do that now. Never would have dreamt of it before. So I am excited about that.

I didn't write over the weekend, it was more important to go out in the world and do things - connect, the October word for creative everyday. Something I have struggled with particularly the past few years.

I wrote both of my Haiku's and did one journal page that isn't quite finished yet so will post IT tomorrow.

Friday, September 25, 2009

circle kitty sleeps
with one eye open...waiting
for my soft warm lap

Busy day again today. I wrote a letter to our propertry manager for the tenants with the information from yesterday's meeting. I wrote 1704 words on my story, all made up today, I finished the copying yesterday. I wrote the Haiku when I woke up this morning and just finished my circle kitty. May add more to it tomorrow. It's 11:30 and time to go to bed. I am really enjoying this while it lasts. I don't think I have ever written this much in one go.

Jasmine my daughter's cat is sitting here beside my laptop looking at me, to let me know it is past bedtime. She's sitting right on my mouse. Ha! Ha! She sleeps on my legs for about fifteen minutes when I get into bed and then goes to her little nest at the end of my bed. A soft warm cosy throw made into a nest. She is such a sweet kitty, she's 17 years old and so dainty and cute.

Off to bed, I have spent way too much time on this computer today.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ordered chaos
all jostling talking driving
with destinations

I had a busy day today. Typed 1706 words on my story, just finished now at 11:40 pm. My art journal and haiku for today are above. Had to go to the Dr., my thyroid was hypo but is now hyper so need medication adjustments. I've been on the same medication for years and no problem so don't know what is going on now. I feel better since I cut the meds back, way more energy which is opposite to what it is supposed to be. I guess it will work itself out eventually, perhaps my thyroid gland is working on it's own now. That chakra is about communication and having a voice so maybe it is significant.

Also went to a tenants meeting that I suggested we have because our elevator is going to be out of commission for one to two months and that will have major repercussions for many of the people living here. Many can't get up and down the stairs and many have to go for cancer treatments and other treatments besides wanting to go out for socializing. We had the winter from hell last year while they were doing major work on the plumbing and we had a couple of feet of snow so people couldn't go out to get away from it all. Landlords and property managers are not the most considerate people on the planet.

Good night all. Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Morning sun rising
urban glass glimmering gold
glorious new day

I wrote my Haiku this morning and put it in my art journal. The picture below is the way it looked one morning a couple of winters ago. It really is quite an amazing sight - a city of gold.

My journal painting is gold, obiously, the sun is gold leaf. I want to make my entries simple so I can loosen up and not be so fussy about what I am doing.

I also type 1700 words but I was copying the first chapter of my book because it was originally typed in my very old computer. It is a good way to get started on this project.

It was a busy day and very enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gentle autumn light
soft mellow lengthening shadows
earth settling to sleep

The beautiful sunny weather is tempered by a nice cool breeze, soon the leaves will be changing and we will be surrounded by the beautiful earthy colours that I love so much, browns, yellows, oranges and reds. The shadows are lengthening and the air is mellow and soft transforming from the harsh, bright light of summer. Autumn is my favourite time of year.

Today, I went to a book launch. The book is called Mythogyny, the lives and times of women elders in B.C. It is a collection of excerpts from stories told by women abou the lives. I am one of the women in the book, which is pretty exciting. I am published. Actually, it's only about one page in total. We told out stories to someone, they were taped and then transcribed. It was quite a project and I am happy to be a part of it.
I got a letter from my cousin today, she lives on Quadra Island and I haven't talked to her for a year. She is one of the people in my extended family that I can relate to the best, so I phoned her and we had a nice long chat.
Yesterday, I went for a walk and saw two women walking their cats. They were a leopard cat and an ocelot cat. The leopard cat was only two generations from a leopard. The really were very beautiful.



I also gessoed and painted many pages in my art journal in preparation for the latest 100 day challenge that I found out about on Bev's blog. Starting tomorrow there is 100 days left in the year so I am going to attempt 100 haiku's and thought I would write them in my art journal. My goal is to write 100 but even if I don't accomplish that I will have done a lot more than I would have without the challenge.
Hybrid J is doing the NaNo challenge, 50,000 words written in one month so I am going to attempt that as well (unoficially). I started writing a book about fifteen years ago. I wrote one chapter and that was it so I will continue with that. Again, if I don't do 50,000 words I will have written more that I would without the challenge.
My crazy quilt is coming along slowly but surely. Tomorrow, I am staying home so I will get more done.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I love this quote from Sex and the City. Every young woman should have this posted on their wall so they don't sell themselves short and get hooked up with a man who doesn't have the same energy and wildness that they do. I love the idea of women's wildness, I love the title of Estes's book Women Who Run With The Wolves. I feel that wildness and wish there was somewhere for it to go. I feel surrounded by people who are so uptight and oppressed. I feel full of passion but don't know what to do with it. Don't you just want to scream sometimes - WAKE UP EVERYBODY. I have just finished reading a book called Footprints in the Sand by Sarah Challis. Two cousins set off on a journey to scatter their Great Aunts ashes in the desert in Africa. While they are travelling they notice that the European people are so uptight and as they get closer to Africa and have African people in the plane with them they find them full of life and wearing clothes of beautiful colours. India is like that too. Beautiful, colourful art and clothing. I love going to Little India (I was there on Thursday) because of all the beautiful fabrics and saris and the mens clothing is so beautiful too. I think crazy qujilting will be a good outlet for this passion for colour and texture. I love collage as well for that reason.
I don't know where I'm going with this, I just feel all of this energy that needs expression. Where will it go I wonder?

Seek those images
that constitute the wild,
the lion and the virgin,
the harlot and the child.

Find in middle air
an eagle on the wing.
Recognize the fire
That make the Muses sing.
William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A whole week since I last posted, I have been busy but nothing every exciting to write about. All my books and my silk ribbon and floss have arrived. I spent several hours today ironing and carding the ribbon. It's sold at a very good price but you have to do the finishing yourself which is fine.

I have been gathering material for the next newsletter.

Saturday I went to the re-opening of RubyDogs Art House, Leanne closed last fall and has moved to a new location. She sells all things collage at really good prices and she is such an upbeat fun person it is a treat to go to her store. I hope she does well. She really does have a dog (a golden lab) named Ruby who greets you when you go in the store and nudges you to scratch her back. She is such a sweety.
My neighbour/friend fell outside the hospital yesterday when she was going to visit someone and landed on her face and had to have 14 stitches on her right eyebrow. She has a shiner and her eye is almost shut. She asked me to take a picture for her in case she has any problems. She had to wait four hours in emergency to get the stitches - our medical system is pretty scarey.
We continue to have beautiful, warm sunny weather, it's such a treat.
That's about the extent of my exciting life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is the picture I finished painting yesterday. I started it quite a while ago, so I am happy to have finally finished it. I got a bit stuck on the hair and the wave so had to stop to consider how to move forward. I used to get upset when I quit about two-thirds through a picture because I started to become critical but I realize now that it is often because I don't know what to do next or how to do the next step. I sketched this picture a few years ago and attempted painting it before but just made a mess of it so I am pleased it went well this time. I used modelling paste to get the texture and learned that you need to give modelling paste a good coat of gesso otherwise it 's slippery to paint on and is glossy.

I received my first order of books today from Chapters, they are way quicker than Amazon. Four more orders to go (yes, I did go a bit crazy). This is going to be a fun week, love getting parcels in the mail.

Monday, September 7, 2009





This is the latest page in my art journal with the above affirmations. It's not a very good scan so I will try taking a picture tomorrow. I finished this and a painting today so I'm feeling very pleased with myself. I will post the painting tomorrow when I have taken a picture of it, it is too large to scan.

Autumn has really arrived. It has been rainy and cool, you can feel the change in the air. It's supposed to get sunny and warm again after tomorrow but the air will probably still have that autumn coolness.

It's 11PM, time for bed.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Got a call from my friend from Kelowna at 11:15 this morning, and she was in town. We met at Granville Island and spent the afternoon together sharing some very personal stuff like we never have before. We have know each other for over twenty years and she is such a special person. She has kept in touch with me over the years even though I haven't been very good at calling or writing her. When I go to Kelowna she has me stay with her and when I have been there time when she has been out of town, has allowed me to use her car. She really is a true friend.

I read Week 9: Recovering A Sense Of Compassion in The Artist's Way this morning and had some insights that I think are going to be very healing. Her description of the difference between discipline and enthusiasm. Discipline is about being driven and working from will-power and turns art into being about discipline rather than the creativity. Enthusiasm is an ongoing energy JC says, and is about play not work.

I love JC's description of our artist within being our inner playmate, and getting up in the morning to create and to do it with a child's love of adventure and a playdate with our artist child. "I'll meet you at 6AM and we'll goof around with that painting" or whatever it is you do. Treat your work as play. I really wish I could learn this. I am getting better at it but I want toconnect with that "feeling" of playfulness.

The most important thing I felt this morning was a connection with the feeling in my body of who I was in my family of origin. I realized my mom, dad and brother didn't want me to be successful, all for very different reasons. There was an unwritten rule that I wasn't to be more successful than my dad or my brother or better than them at anything. I must keep my place as a "woman" subordinate to the men in my family.
Being successful, letting my light shine means leaving my family and being different, not belonging, because I have broken the rules. If I am to be an artist, I have to rebel/leave my family. I have to be DIFFERENT from them, I've always known I am anyway. I don't mean leave them physically, they have all passed away now, I mean leaving them emotionally. I have been afraid to be successful. I have stayed the frightened little girl emotionally, afraid of hurting my mom, wanting to be accepted by my "clan". They left me a long time ago and they didn't honour me/see me or support me. They oppressed me and very nearly destroyed the best parts of me.

None of this is meant to bash my family. I loved them and still do but I need to see and tell the truth about what happened to me and how it affected me. I have know these things mentally for a long time but this time I "feel" it. I understand emotionally how much it hurt me. Iwrote something before, I think it was on the Artist's Way message board about whether or not that empty feelling inside - of not being seen, not being supported and nurtured to be the real person you are - ever goes away. That feeling that something is missing and of not being complete because your parents didn't see you as special or talented and didn't champion you. I think I may have connected with that. I hope so.

I have not really connected with my inner child before, she seemed to be very deeply hidden but seeing her as my playmate makes me smile, maybe that will shift too.

Such an interesting book, The Artist's Way.

Friday, September 4, 2009

This is a journal page I did yesterday. It didn't scan very well. The background is done in watercolours so it's very soft. The words are from The Atist's Way and struck me as a something I need to remember. Just one small action each day will get me where I want to go. I have been painting the past three days but this is the only one I have finished. I have been lost in painting the whole afternoon and sometimes the evening. I love that feeling when nothing else matters except what you are doing. Focus and being in the now. This past week, The Artist's Way has been about Recovering A Sense Of Strength and that has been very important to me because I have felt so powerless for so much of my life and especially the past fifteen years. I really believe that I am recovering a sense of my own strength and creating a new life for myself at last.

I am enjoying working with watercolours and am finding them a little easier to work with than I remember. I love the way they are so delicate and the way they flow together.

I forgot to mention that the tree in my last post was beside the building I live in and a man who owns a lot of property around here, including the apartment building behind us, decided it needed to be cut down because it blocked some people's view. Everyone was extremely upset and the story goes that he was fined by the city for cutting it down but who know if that is true. I am so happy that I got some picture of it just before it was cut down. Very sad, when there are so few trees around here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


George Bernard Shaw
I am really feeling like this quote is true for me at the moment. I have been in a strange sort of mood for the past week and haven't felt like blogging although I have visited everyone every day. I feel in a very quiet reflective mood. I am still wanting to crazy quilt and have ordered several books and some silk ribbon and silk floss. I have also bought some paint to try out for the right colour to paint my apartment. I still want to create the Victorian atmosphere in my apartment and am reflecting on that and may do a story board for it. I just wish I had more energy, I find it takes me longer to get going in the morning than it did when I was fifty. I seem to move in slow motion and then get tired more quickly than I used to as well.
I spent two days writing the newsletter for the building and then had to go out to Coquitlam to pick it up from my daughter. I also sold some of my photos and photo cards so I have been printng those and getting some printed that I couldn't do at home. I love doing them at home, I have an HP Photosmart, a cute little machine that makes amazing prints. It's one of my favourite toys (along with my camera).
The weather continues to be amazing. Only a few drops of rain since May. So unusual for Vancouver.
I have quite a few ideas floating around in my head so am just waiting for the moment when I am ready to start working on them.
I have been working on The Artist's Way and The Joy Diet. I have also just finished reading a book called A Summer Of Secrets by Martina Reilly. It is a novel but the woman in it is in a plane crash and goes through treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a very good book, a few laughs and good story with some very good info on PTSD.
I have also started a new eating plan put together by my daughter who is a personal trainer and is certified in nutrition so here's hoping!!!
Time to get to bed with the hopes of getting up early tomorrow and not waking up at 5 am and then wanting to back to sleep after I've read a little.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I spent the day walking today. I left home at 9am and walked down to Granville Island.

On the way, I photographed some flowers.

I went to Opus Art Supplies and bought some watercolour pencils.

Then to the public market where all manner of foods and some arts and crafts can be purchased.

Then out to West 4th Avenue to Banyen Books looking for The Joy Diet. This is a fabulous book store for all types of spiritual and self-help books. Wonderful amosphere where you can sit and read for as long as you wish. Saw this funky car as I was leaving. Very creative.

More flowers outside the bookstore.

Then over to Yale Town to wander around one of my favourite stores - The Cross. Not much in here that I can afford but it is delicious and feeds my soul.

This is some street art that is done every year. So far there has been Spirit Bears and Orca Whales. This year it is eagles. They are auctioned off eventually and the proceeds go to charity.

These blue and yellow ones were taken another day downtown on Georgia Street.
And finally, home on my favourite transportation, the Aquabus.
This is about finding abundance amongst the concrete and glass and seeing the positive in the city.
I hope you enjoyed my mini-tour of Vancouver.