Monday, November 30, 2009

meet Sophia...



meet Sophia......


...a lovely little project that has been added to the shop.

** thanks again to everyone for your wonderful comments on my previous post...it means a lot to me, and I do so cherish all the support I have received! **

Saturday, November 28, 2009

let's just talk about something else, shall we?




Let's just say Thanksgiving day for us was not how we expected it to be.....we unfortunately had a week of dealing with an older child who became somebody else. The rage, the fits, the bursts of tears, the anger towards all of us sent my husband and I in a whirlwind of stress and worry. With the peak happening on Thanksgiving day, our concerns were more about making it through the day than trying to have any rest at all. Dinner was full of tears, as I ran away from the table exhausted and overwhelmed.
What was happening?

Our eldest son is asthmatic, and although his attacks are becoming less frequent as he gets older, he still benefits from a nightly dose of Benadryl to cope with allergies. As luck would have it I ran out, and gave Zyrtec a try instead (what was I thinking?). We unfortunately didn't make the connection until a week later, and with high hopes that this may be the catalyst, we sent him to bed Thanksgiving night without it. As I left the boys' room "thankful" that the day was over, I found myself in bed praying that this was the problem....I couldn't bear the thought that this was something more permanent, and oh how I hoped the worst was over.

The next day became our official Thanksgiving. We woke up to a boy who smiled and was happy. His physical anger towards his brother was replaced by excitement as the boys drew together on the floor by the fire. He no longer kicked the furniture, punched the walls, cried uncontrollably, spit at my face,etc... (Wow. This is hard for me to read that part back. It just tears me up....). He laughed, he hugged, he listened, he cared....he came back.
I know it was only one week, but it felt so much longer. We were scared and worried, feeling like we had lost control.

We are just so thankful. Thankful that we found the problem and managed to fix it. That poor guy couldn't help himself, and we had no idea. Looking back at it now, I can pinpoint the minute it began, and can't help but feel some guilt over not seeing it sooner. He had just as rough of a week as we did, and now we have focused on our thanksgiving "re-do". The dinner may have been leftovers shoved between two pieces of bread and a couple of glasses of "past it's prime wine", but it was the best Thanksgiving dinner we have had. We sat back and drank our vinegary drinks with happiness as the boys smiled and giggled alongside.

It was a great Thanksgiving. Just one day late.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

see you in a bit.....



...the boys and I have been ever so busy the past couple of days getting ready to celebrate
someone's 40th birthday tomorrow. (and the poor guy is trying desperately not to hear the many a slip up of what we have planned tomorrow..."daddy, we didn't bake you something yummy today.....daddy, we were working on a 'oops' (hands suddenly cover their mouths as they run giggling away)......mummy, could we just tell him the one part?.....)
We are so close, and I am crossing every finger I have in hopes that we can finally accomplish the task of keeping everything a surprise tomorrow. Thank goodness they are now asleep, and I can take a big sigh of relief. We have some celebrating to do early in the morning before big A gets on the bus for school, and in between the celebrations will be plenty of baking and stewing as we get ready for Thanksgiving the following day. (The boys have already asked if they can just have the gravy in a drinking cup...ugh, that just makes my stomach so unhappy thinking about that....)

Here's wishing everyone a delicious few days of feasting galore! (sans gravy sippy cups)
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

slow down a bit there girl......


Oh how much I am trying to take things more slowly.......



...and thanks to an offer to prepare for an upcoming solo exhibition (mum's the word until I get the green light!), I have taken this opportunity to try to slow things down a bit. I can sometimes get caught up in the "sales" of creating art, and have been feeling ever so rushed lately. I have barely a moment to just take the time to really sit down and think, and am starting to feel it necessary for my own growth to try to stray away from this production way of thinking and focus more on allowing a piece to have the time it really needs to develop properly.
My days usually consist of trying to get as much work done as possible during my wee one's pre-school hours, and unfortunately " successful" days are determined by how many pieces get produced. I need to be reminded that it's o.k. to slow things down....(even amidst the hectic holiday madness!)

it's o.k. to let a piece sit....
it's o.k. to just sit back and observe....
it's o.k. to just think....
it's o.k. if the piece doesn't find it's way in one session.....
it's o.k. if you need to put the art away for a while and wait until it asks for you to come back....
it's what you need to do if you want to grow....
it's what I have to do....
it's what I am doing right now, and oh how good it feels.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

if you happen to be there



......oh, how I wish I could go! If you find yourself in the windy city this weekend, pop over to
Renegade Handmade on Saturday for the viewing party of their upcoming exhibit, "In-Stitches Embroidery Showcase". I am just so honoured to be part of a group of absolutely amazing fellow stitchers, and so wish I could be there to see the work up close. (Even more envy comes from the inability to be there for Jenny Hart's book signing Saturday night!)

Here are some more details if any of you can go...

Jenny Hart book signing for Embroidered Effects and workshop
Saturday, Nov. 21st 4pm - 7pm

Opening Reception for the show
Saturday, Nov. 21st 6pm - 8pm

Renegade Handmade
1924 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL

Sunday, November 15, 2009

as I sip my own coffee.......



it's only 7:30 p.m., and the boys have been down for a good hour already. One would think this should be the ideal night to take advantage of a good stretch to work, instead I just sit on the couch with my almost empty cup of "motivational" coffee unable to get myself going. I call my mum in hopes that a quick conversation would help wake me up. We talk a bit about our work, and then I make my way in to the office to see the new painting she has posted in her shop.

....that's when I wake up.

It's beautiful.
I don't care if she said she wasn't ready to be talked about yet. It's time. She's too bloody talented to let this go any longer. Apparently the motivation had a different purpose tonight....
because I am more awake than ever and ever so "motivated" to talk about her.

Please join me in welcoming my mum in her well overdue return to oil painting. She was a fashion forward painter in England long before my sister and I were born (she even got to chase the Beetles down the beach for a movie.........), and continued to ooze out her creativity while raising my sister and I. Melting crayons onto paper plates, "fixing" many a horrible satellite sculpture in elementary school, and playing around with portrait paintings for art college ( i'll never forget taking that one into class and hearing, "you have finally mastered directional strokes". Lucky for me that was the final project for that class....otherwise it would have been pretty obvious some "help" was involved...) became a way for her to keep art close to her side while pursuing the demands of raising a family.

With us girls now grown-up and trying to do the same with our own kids, she has had time to catch her breath and dig back in. If you don't mind joining me in sending some motivation her way, please visit her blog and shout out a big hello!

Mum, I know you wanted me to wait to until you were ready, but you already are.
Your work is absolutely beautiful, and you deserve to be shown off now! You may not be spending any more late nights in the kitchen trying to redraw a very sad looking Christopher Columbus paper figure in an even sadder diorama, but you are still there over the phone giving me reassuring feedback as I call you desperately to help me fix many a pattern or drawing.

I would not be doing any of this if it weren't for you, and with all of the support you have shown me throughout the years, I think it's time to reverse the roles a bit, don't you?

so, without further ado....

welcome back !!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

some bits from my home.....

Well, the plan was to show you all of the wonderful artists that have really transformed this house into our perfect little home......but a temperamental computer is not allowing it to be so at this time. drats.
So let's just call this a lovely little teaser for what hopes to be a more successful post later on the week. (and Beth...I managed to paint the stairwell just for you, so hopefully I can show off your lovely painting next time!)



I have been wanting one of Amanda Blake's paintings for such a long time, that I finally splurged a few months back and bought this lovely little piece. I was so happy with her, that I painted the dining room wall over and bought some shiny yellow paint to "dress" up this little dresser.
(the little blue shoes were my own when I was a little baby living in Iran). It's funny how something so small can affect everything around it....(or maybe it gave me the right "excuse" needed to give myself permission to make all of those changes!)



In my hallway hangs a bag that has taken a rest from it's many a walk with me during the hot summer days and become more of a visual companion as I walk about the house.
My friend Ruby makes such lovely things, and to have one of her bags adorning this door makes for a beautiful way to start the day as I come downstairs. ( I have a feeling she will remain their until that time comes again when I can take the flip flops out and whisk her away to a perfect little beach somewhere.....)

Oh how much I wanted to show you more, but for now let me at least give you this little introduction. The art of collecting pieces you love may take time, but what eventually emerges is so worth the wait. Our house is starting to look more and more like us, and I owe much of it to all of the lovely people I have met since beginning this journey with mummysam. I am feeling more inspired as the collection grows, and cannot wait to see how our house will continue to evolve (that includes wall colours.....I have a bit of a problem in that area, as the kitchen has already been painted over three times in the last 2 years....yeah, just a wee bit of a problem.....)

what things make your home yours?

Monday, November 9, 2009

time for Plan B.....



Plan A: Talk about the absolutely gorgeous day we had in the backyard, with some lovely
snapshots of the boys playing football with Dad.

This plan was not in agreement with little M, as I was quickly informed that mummy was to return to her audience post and stop taking pictures of the game.



After another failed attempt at sneaking in some shots, I was quickly guided to my post where I was instructed to resume my role as the cheering squad at once. (and not with a very happy tone, mind you.....) I guess I will just have to move to plan B.



Plan B: Drool over the yummy muffins little M and I made after my cheering duty was successfully completed....and oh, how good these were....



With a few healthier substitutions from this wonderful recipe (i.e., using whole wheat flour, honey, and part applesauce as substitutes) we managed to come up with some treats that not only smelled "oh my goodness" amazing as they baked, but also tasted just as good as they smelled.


This was also the perfect chance to put my first entry into this cookbook since receiving it as a gift from my sister. It is something I have done since the day my eldest son was born, and must say is one of the best routines I have ever stuck with. Making little notes about what your kids are up to when making a certain dish makes for an even sweeter return when making it again.
(it's the humorous entries that get to me the most......the other day brought about such laughter as I cooked up a soup with the accompanying, " 11/07: big A just learned about Santa and being nice vs. naughty. He went in a time-out today, and I overheard him saying to Santa, 'am I going to get coal now?' ")

and now for Plan C: Announce the winner of the Splurge giveaway!

....drumroll........congratulations Melissa of Checkout Girl!!!!! You are the winner of a beautiful set of earrings :) Contact splurge to exchange address information. Thanks to everyone for leaving such wonderful, wonderful comments. It's always feels good to brag about your friends a bit, don't you think?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

simply perfect....



It's amazing how something as simple as a couple of pieces of toast with cottage cheese (accompanied by the perfect hot cup of tea, of course) can bring a mother the escapism she needs on one of those tough, tough days. It may have lasted only 5 minutes, but I somehow managed to stake a hideout in the kitchen and thoroughly enjoy every bite of toast and sip of tea
as my body took a quick rest. They will find me for sure, and any second I will hear the combined stomping (how is it that there feet always sound so much heavier than they are?) of two brothers making there way in, ready to pull me this direction and the other. "yes, I see....that is a lovely track you have made.....yes, what a perfect alien invasion of planet shmarpo......haven't I already asked you not to use the couch as a playground?.....just hold on for a few more minutes, dinner will be ready soon.....no, I cannot make something different.....please don't keep scaring your brother, you know he doesn't like it....because we were up so early, that's why we are going to bed now".....you know those days?
Oh, I have spoke too soon...here they come now, wrapped in aluminum foil and ready to take me as prisoner to some planet near Mars. Good thing I managed a quick refuel...I was just informed
that this journey is going to take a zagillion years.....and that there is no tea or cottage cheese there. They eat rocks.

****Don't forget the giveaway on my previous post!!!! The final deadline is this Friday at midnight!!!!!!!! **********

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I feel like splurging today....... (think giveaway..)



let's splurge a little today, shall we? After a good dosing of treats for the kids this weekend, I think it's a perfect time to do the same for us.....so let's have ourselves another little giveaway.
I would like to change it up a bit this time, by offering something made by the hands of someone very dear to me. In Canada we were as close to twins as you could get (although she already has one of those....maybe I could be the extended triplet?), and moving away to New York was one of the hardest things for me to do. Our lives were a bit too busy at the time chasing young ones left and right (she has three....and all boys mind you....), so unfortunately we have had to start our little creative adventures miles and miles apart. Now that we are both finding our ways creatively, I thought it fitting to show just how much I love this girl by showing her off a bit :)
Please go visit her shop, Splurge, by midnight this Friday and leave a comment as to what appeals to you. I will select a winner, and then send you this lovely pair of platinum and silver keishi pearl earrings.


good luck!


Monday, November 2, 2009

halloween magic.......






here is the recipe for an unforgettable Halloween (taking notes?)

Step one::
in a bowl, mix together
:: one four hour stint of pouring rain (make sure to add it at 4pm, and keep adding until 9pm)
:: one good splash of 40 mph winds
:: two boys already soaked in above rain
:: two soaking parents desperate to come back early and call it a night.

Step two::
When finished, place another bowl of candy outside your door and wait patiently inside until bowl empties itself. (drinking wine while you wait is suggested)

Step three::
Adjust the recipe, by eliminating all of the ingredients in Step one. (except for the boys....just make sure they are dry next time). Save recipe, and try again next year.

:: I have never tried the recipe this way before, and although it didn't turn out quite as good as previous attempts, the boys were still very happy with the results. It's amazing how just a touch of sugar to the recipe can make them want some more :)