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Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2014

a joyful sound

photo credit: Noah Duyan (seriously my 4 year old is good taking photos. Also, he insisted that Kitty sit on my knee for the pic.)

A little known fact about me.... I love music. I mean, not just love music, but rather, I am a musical person.
My mother told me that as a baby, I used to sing. Like not cry, but sing ... as a baby? Its true.
As a little girl, I used to drive my older sister and her boyfriend CRAZY by singing Little Mermaid songs at the top of my lungs, at like 7 am in the morning. They loved me for it.
In grade 5, I joined a city wide choir, that I stayed in till I was 13. We went to Italy and performed in St.Peter's Basilica. It was a very defining moment for me. And as a teenager, I picked up my sister's old acoustic guitar and taught myself how to play. I wrote songs and held coffee houses in my house where my friends and I would perform.
Through the years, I have loved many different music genres. Rock, Hip Hop, Soul, Jazz, R&B, Reggae, Indie, Folk ... each genre speaks to me in a different way, and helps me understand the world a bit. And songs, particular songs can conjure up so many memories. For example, anytime I hear any song from the 1980s movie Stand By Me, I think of my childhood and of my best friend. I love how music can take you to a place and a time.
Over the Christmas holidays, while visiting my friend Natalie, she told me that she had received a ukulele as a gift, and that she had also formed a little singing group with her friends. As I stayed over at her house that weekend, I heard on a few occasions Natalie singing away in her kitchen, to herself and to the kids, and I was struck with how joyful it made us all feel. I knew that I wanted to bring back the music of life into our home. That I wanted my children to sing, play and hear it more often.
I've taken some steps recently, to bring more music into our lives. And while I may not be an amazing singer or a fantastic player, I want my children to hear real live music (not just recorded), so I feel that it is important that I try. I bought myself a ukulele as well, and have been playing children's songs and some of my favourites too. It's been fun to have sing alongs with the kids and to try to learn a new instrument. I'm also just doing my best to sing to and with the kids on a daily basis, knowing that it helps them during transition time or when they need a little positive boost, to hear a certain song.
Yesterday evening, my best friend and I went on a date to see the lovely Canadian group, Trent Severn. To see these three talented artists perform was such a treat for me, and something that fed my yearning for more music in my life. Their voices, their precision when it comes to playing, their stories told through song .... this is what music is about. This is joy.
And finally, last week I purchased our tickets for the Atlin Music Festival that will take place this summer. We will be looking forward to a weekend of camping, hanging with friends and of course, listening to live music performed by some amazing Canadian talent. I can't wait to see my little ones take it all in.

If music be the food of love, play on
From Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

me with Trent Severn ... I have girl crushes on them all

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

slowly but surely

We are getting through the week, slowly but surely. Slowly is the operative word though. How come the days are moving by at a snail's pace? Winslow will be home on Saturday and we are all looking forward to his return (and the fresh groceries that he will bring with him!).
Monday was a bit of a crazy day for us. Meltdown after meltdown, a sick babe (I got puked on!),  a babe who decided to give herself a haircut- what?!? and an upset little boy who was lashing out his confused feelings. I'm tired, but we're all alive and doing well... it's just a matter of getting through the long days.
My good friend Margaret asked me this week, did you ever think you'd be able to do this? The long drives into Whitehorse on your own with two little kids in tow? The long week, all alone in Beaver Creek with the kids? And to be honest, at first, those things really did panic me. Only someone with kids could understand what it's like to have to do these things on your own. If it were possible, my partner would help me out more, but due to his job, he has to stay in our little community for the majority of the time, leaving me to do the grocery shops, appointments, and everything else on my own. The truth is, now that I have had several of these experiences under my belt, I am actually a little proud to say, that I just get it done. We might be watching more TV than I care to admit, there might be more tears than usual from the kids, and yes, it may be hard, but we have also had some pretty awesome moments too...and that says a lot. To say that we've had awesome moments means that we are doing more than just surviving, we are doing things quite well actually.

A few happy things from over the past few days.
~Backyard visitors! I tell Noah every time that we see our moose friends that we are very lucky to be able to see them and that not many people get to say they have moose in their backyards!
~ Wax paper sun catchers. A fun little Valentine's craft to get us in the mood and to decorate our windows with.
~ Hot chocolate outside. I said we'd do it and we did!
~ Quiet moments tucked into the more difficult days.
~ The ability to make my own bread. We were out of breakfast food to eat, so I made two beautiful loaves of bread, which I had to try with all my might to avoid. I'm thankful for having learned that skill this past year. 
~ The invention of the slowcooker. Seriously, the slow cooker has been a godsend these past few days.
When you are on your own and just getting through the days, it becomes apparent to where and whom you can give your attention to. My priorities these last few days have been to take care of the kids, and do it joyfully and with as little stress as possible. I've had to say no to a few outside requests, and prioritize my time accordingly, but that is okay, because my job is to mother these two babes (yes, I still refer to them as my babes) and to put them first.
Hope you are having a lovely week.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

happy things

Happy simple things as of late:
~ a present that I bought for myself came in the mail. I bought some prints from the Taproot print shop when I found out that we will be moving this summer ( I needed a pick me up). I absolutely love Phoebe Wahl's work. To see a lovely tour of her studio, visit this blog post (I just added it now). I put the prints up in our kitchen (my favourite room in the house). I think they look like they belong there.
~making a St. Patrick's Day garland with Noah. He helped with the glue and glitter (of course!). I'm such a suck for holiday things.
~ smoothies and sunny squash soup for me.
~ some new reading material for me.
~ some new reading material for Katia. I couldn't resist it. I love beautifully illustrated books.
~ a quick, easy and mostly painless recovery from my wisdom teeth extraction. So relieved.
~ the sunlight that is returning.

That is all for now. Happy days dear friends.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

late night rambles

Hello there. Late night rambles as I lie in bed with my two little ones. We have had the stomach flu this week. Fun times have NOT been had.
We received some exciting/scary/nerve racking/ put you in your place kinda news this week. It involves a move (in the Yukon). In the next few months. I'll share more when it's more finalized. It's been weighing on my mind a great deal. Ah the life of a police family.
We are off to Cuba in about 2 weeks and I am very excited to get into the sun for a bit. Living in the North takes it's toll with the lack of sun light in the winter. Warm sun, sand, bare feet, a nice drink in hand... yes, here we come! Hubby will be turning 30 while we are there....trying to think of something fun to do for him.
Today I came across some prints of a favourite artist of mine and had to give myself a little present. It's been a rough week. New art always helps that. I bought a Nikki Mcclure print and 2 by Pheobe Wahl. I really love Pheobe Wahl's work.
In other news, I have been getting into the habit of painting with Noah lately and I love it! Before
I had children, I dreamed of doing this with them one day. Painting side by side. Quiet time together. It feels so good.
And that is all for now.
ps. I cut Noah's hair this week so it will be ready for Cuba! Makes him look so grown up I think.
Gosh I love his smile.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

the need to create

Recently I've had a little resurgence in my desire to be creative and make things. In the matter of one week, I have completed 3 projects and I have been really happy with them. They are not for anything special, except for us to enjoy, which makes them even more special.
The first project I did was a set of little houses made of crayola air dry clay. I love this stuff because it gives immediate results and it doesn't need to be fired. I use this clay quite a bit with Noah, especially at Christmastime to make ornaments. It also works well for hand prints.
I had seen many of these types of houses on Pinterest and Etsy, and yes, I do believe in buying and supporting other artists, but I also believe that it is okay to be inspired and to make things for yourself. Would I go and sell these little houses on Etsy, when other artists do so? No. Would I sell them at craft sales here in the Yukon, when no one else makes them up here? Yes. For as long as art has existed, artists have found inspiration from other artists. I think as long as you give credit, don't try to take business from others, and don't pretend to be the original one, then it is okay.
I quite like how my little houses turned out and I think I might make some gnomes to go with them....or  some matryoshka dolls.
The second project I completed was a sundress for Katia, using some old pieces of fabric that I had on hand. I wanted it to be ready for our upcoming trip to Cuba, but I didn't use a pattern and unfortunately, it turned out to be way too big on her. I think come summer or fall it might fit her, and it would look cute with a long sleeved t-shirt under it.
And last, my favourite one of them all, a painting that I did of a matryoshka doll. I have a thing for matryoshka dolls. Yesterday, I got out my paints (and Noah's paints too), and we painted together. I haven't completed a painting for quite some time, and it felt so good to have the desire to do it. This painting was completed in just over 24 hrs. I went back to it a few times and would spend about a 2-3 hrs at a time at it. I used water colours for it and am happy with how she turned out.
And that is all for now. Who knows if I will continue with this creative streak (I hope so!) It would be nice to make up a few more paintings and clay houses. Sewing is not quite my forte, so I think I will take a little break from it for now.
Creating art and things to use is something that I just need to do. It is part of who I am. Since having children, I have found it very hard to find the motivation and attention that making art requires. I find myself often feeling scatterbrained and unfocussed, but lately it's been different. I really appreciate that making art is a gift that I can give myself. It's not for anyone else but me. It allows me to escape and focus on something. It feels right.
How about you? Have you felt the need to make lately?

Friday, September 21, 2012

red, yellow, orange, gold

The leaves out our back window are the most beautiful golden yellow. The other day I pulled Noah up on to his bad and told him to look out his window (he has a great view from his room). I showed him the beautiful yellow leaves and told him the would begin to drop soon, and then the trees will be bare. I've been enjoying that I can talk about the season with him and that he is starting to understand this shift in nature.
One of my goals for this school year (not that Noah is in school yet), is to begin to learn about the seasons and to find ways to celebrate each one. I drafted a working list of ideas that we could work from, and so far, it's been so much fun.
For me, there is no better way to integrate an idea into our day to day life than to physically experience it. We've been getting out for lot's of nature walks, picking up beautiful leaves (which we've pressed in a book for some Autumn crafts), and making seasonal crafts. 
The other day we worked on making coffee filter Autumn leaves. I chose to only put out "Autumn" colours (no blues, greys, blacks ect), so that our leaves would have some unified colours. Once our filters had dried, I used a sharpie to draw out leaf shapes, cut them up and hung them in our front window for people passing by to enjoy (we also enjoy them too, the colours are so pretty when up in a window).
The other fall craft that we did was to grate some old crayons (again, we used Autumn colours) and to sandwich them between wax paper. We then covered the wax paper with an old towel and ironed the wax paper shut. I then used a sharpie to draw leaves and cut them out. They produced such deep and rich colours. 
I have to say, I've really been enjoying this Autumn so much. We've had such lovely days, where we really get to go out and enjoy it (it hasn't been too cold), and I've been having fun with Noah, watching him experience the season with new eyes. 
And how about you? Have you been getting crafty yet? Is the cooler weather making you spend more time indoors?