Thursday, September 21, 2017

Creative Catch up!

Every Monday I think about a blog post and every Friday I can't believe where the week went.  Now I am really dismayed to find out exactly how much time has actually passed.  It is not my intention to be one of those blogs that follow Alice down some rabbit hole!

My daily journal/planner has been reduced to scattered scraps of paper as things disappear.  Not down holes but under piles of stuff.   I can't say as this chaos makes creativity happen.  Certainly not my style of creativity.

I left off with an art lesson at the art gallery.  We are now back in school and I needed to do some kind of clean up.  The Rooster wants the computer down and more accessible so I took it from my work area and replaced it with accessible marking material.  Then the cleared space quickly refilled with 'possibles'!  Piles of paper have shifted to piles of a curriculum which has me tremendously excited.

But first:

The Rooster's genealogy genes have surfaced and that's why he wants an accessible research tool.  Knock, knock.  A Ukrainian bee keeper brought his bees for a visit.  Another learning experience for hubby as he tried to remember basic Ukrainian and the kiddies learnt about bees.   We also got chicks and the grand kiddies have even gotten in on their chores.

And back to his roots we are going.  The municipality honours the early Ukrainian settlers.
We will be spending our sunset years in the little town of Sundown.  That beautiful meadow the Rooster liked so much.  The papers are in our hands and we have chatted with the neighbours.  In fact we joined the line up for the Harvest Supper and met some more friendly people.

We have also signed with a young fellow to build us a small bi-level.  He has offered some helpful changes and he is as anxious to get started as we are.   I feel like we are on the same page and he understands our vision.  Next step is a general meeting of drillers and diggers and line men so we can place everything on the site.  It is unrealistic to anticipate every eventuality but we are doing our level to best to limit the 'we shoulda's!!!'.

So much of my creativity has been in tweaking the new house plan and figuring building placements and landscape generalities.  Once the shovel goes into the ground I shall take a few breaths before turning thoughts to paint colours.

In the meantime I am continuing my style journey.  I have my colours figured and the above is close but I need a bit softer.   A very exciting few months is coming up as the team is helping us discover our individual style.  This just resonates with me as I have been on the trial to discover me and the artist within.  It stalled because, well, it is scary.  awk!  Will I like me?  :)  But the community is so supportive and we are all wanting answers.  I'm excited as this will push the art 'me' out into the light a bit more.  One lady suggested I had perkinality. That's from Spanky and Our Gang!  I liked that.  So am I a naturally classic perkinality or a classic perkinality naturally?  lol 

A style club member suggested I look up an art program for students and it has just been amazing.  I blew the art budget and not on supplies.  Deep Space Sparkle is an amazing resource.  This isn't so much crafts as art.  And fun.  I want them (and me) to learn things.  We study artists!  And the themes  are not just pumpkins and valentines.  Specific lessons have about 7 different grade levels so I can simplify or step it up.   It is also literature based and the local library is most helpful!

I have changed things up and the grand kiddies come back Sunday with us.  Then Monday morning I have our breakfast, chores and plan for the day scheduled.  I can take them back that afternoon or give their mother a longer break.  I do things different from their mum and so this is my classroom and we do things my way.  Much better.  It also means I don't forget necessary supplies.  :O

School begins with our traditional, "If you are happy and you know it... clap, stamp, shout... then your art is gonna show it!"  Dog may have followed them to school  but was not included in the seating plan!

We then start with filling out a 6' time line on kraft paper where we added the first cave art and we'll end with current artists.  I have broken the 10 months into 10 main art periods, 1 artist per month. 

Second period is an art element for the month or an art principle.  We are starting with a dot that goes for a walk- a line.  Sparkle has lists of lessons focusing on line.  The cave drawings are all about line.

Then we drag out our nature journals.  We will focus on trees but the kids do this everyday at home and are making art tables and collecting bugs in jars, feathers and such for winter study!  I just keep the journals moving along.  Science and all is their mother's job.

Recess happens while I get ready for the second half.  pant, pant!

Our artist this month is Wasily Kandinsky.  I like his work and I don't know about the kids but I am learning lots.  He is Russian and the first abstract artist to get recognition.  I am hoping the story book, The Noisy Paint Box,  gets here before next Monday.  Though there is youtube!  lol

Our main project is where we get messy and make a related big project.  Crumpled kraft paper replicates cave walls.

Their mum has asked we include a folktale so I have a list and try to get that in while they work.  If not we can do it after lunch!

The yard, garden, and fruit trees have been amazing.  Kinda makes us wonder why we want to leave.  Then we had another wind storm and more shingles blew off the barn!  So we rolled up our sleeves for clean up and went right on downsizing!

I have been trying to revive my flagging baking skills!  Gluten free scones need lots of work but were edible, at least when warm.  I shall have to use my creative skills to tweak the recipe!   The cookies worked!  The wee town has a small post office and that is it.  We are 'going back to the land'!  sort of. 

And finally I am going to have to get creative with time.  The Rooster hasn't retired yet but we are glued at the hip when he is home so I need to be thinking how I can manage my blog life in the future.

So as the gals say in the style club comments and suggestions welcome!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Creative Instruction

Art 101  The grand kiddies are home schooled.  Their mother and I have a vision for the art program.  It is not about doing crafts which does not thrill me at all.  So I totally am on board with the art program including art history, nature studies/journaling, techniques and Understanding.  We all are learning as we go along.  A new year is approaching and the ideas are rolling in.  When I heard that Pablo Picasso was being featured at The Winnipeg Art Gallery,   The WAG , I did some research and thought we need to do this!  I have coveted a big gallery experience for them and kinda thought they might be a bit young.  The youngest, 5, did indeed think so as there wasn't a lot of colour in his palette and there were a lot of sketches which were hung at an adult's eye level.  :[  But we all enjoyed it so very much and learnt LOTS!

It is a very big experience for little art students and was totally kid friendly. 

 I am learning right along with my students.  We knew not to touch.   I was reading the questions specifically for kids  when Josh sat down on the platform.  Photos with no flash are okay.  A photo opportunity!!!   I 'felt' someone come to stand behind me as I talked about art to the kids and got my camera ready and the photo taken.  You now see a NO! NO!  The nice security man listened and smiled and then told me the platform is a buffer and not to be touched either!  oops.  But he was very nice as were all the staff.

Incidentally this is where understanding comes in.  Picasso was a master class artist and could do remarkably life like portraits by the time he was 14 years old.  But his intense passion was to do more than paint likenesses.  He wanted to paint what HE saw and what HE felt.  Above is a portrait of him, his wife, and his son.  Can you see three faces?   He spent most of his 91 years trying to unlearn the traditions and learn to paint like a child.  That resonates with me because if I want I can just use my camera to record images.  Portraying what I see and feel is an whole 'nother matter altogether.

The kids centre was wonderful.   In fact some adults tried things as well.   Framed glass was available to trace one's friends and make art.  Josh did Jolina and Eliana did me!

Then Josh got very busy.  We had spent time talking about lines and shape on a small painting we'd seen and he was replicating it from memory.  I was SO impressed.  He ran off to check and came back and confirmed it was the same!  ;^)

Picasso was very prolific and worked in many mediums. Jolina liked the pottery and plates best as they had more colour.   I had known that he also did collage, my and Eliana's favourite!

After a lovely roof top lunch and the sculpture garden we went to the permanent gallery.  Perhaps we should have gone there first at it portrays the history of art.  We will definitely be returning after we have studied that a bit more.

Eliana just lighted up when she saw the art supplies in the gift shop.  Jolina had a wish list as well.  Josh went for big works of art and surprisingly the jewelry!  He learned about big numbers! :/   But I wanted 'souvenirs' that would further our studies. These were for sharing but the 9 magnets are reminders but very easy for Jolina to copy.  The wee puzzle helps Eliana stop and see all the details.  The cards will provide details for Josh and also familiarize them all with artists and their works.  The book is a treat.  Very instructive and interactive, finishing with two sheets of collage parts.  I'll photocopy them for the young artists to practice with. ( and me ,too)   I just may have blown the art budget for the first trimester but...

Interestingly enough creativity overlaps into many areas of our life.  I am trying to find creative ways to clothe myself.  I bought some fashion books as well as art books.  I was amazed by Timeless Beauty which uses art as examples of how to create beautiful profiles and silhouettes!  It will spend as much time in the art room as it will my sewing room and closet!  And Mona Winks is a delightfully short but entertaining explanation of various museums which favour the certain eras. You kinda feel like you are there and  he is a hoot! 

I have learned  that grey is a good neutral for me and silver is such a great accessory.  I had thought glitter and  metallics were for the young girly girls. No!  It adds such highlights to our aging bodies.  I am a believer and I may not be a girly girl but I can sure be a senior with sparkle!   Now to find the perfect purse so I can spark some creativity!  The museum silk scarves were way beyond my budget, even with creative refiguring!  lol

Garden wise we have been trying to get everything lovely for next year and the new owners.  This year the blooms have been remarkable both on the trees and shrubs as well as the perennials.  This has been more practical instruction as I observe the length of time for the trees to reach maturity as well asthe  expansion tendencies of shrubs and perennials.  I'm taking note of favourites, (green /white variegation's) and pleasing groupings.  Maintenance levels are also dully noted!  And I don't think we'll be having any vines other than clematis.  The Rooster is right!  If they were once well behaved, they have left that stage far behind!  I am kinda excited to leave this one in good shape and turn to making another creation.

Instruction is always good, even constructive criticism.  It just helps us be that much more creative!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Complex Creativity

Summer should be spent in a comfy chair, on a deck by cool running water with some nice cold lemonade close at hand.

Not the case here by any means as we clock up the miles scouring the highways and byways and then returning to tackle the near and far corners of our current yard.

First up, the Rooster has fallen in love with 5 acres of meadow in a wee town.  Just houses, 2 churches (graveyards), a community hall and a post office in some one's porch.  But it is looking most promising!  The site is a lush wildflower meadow and the trees/bush are on the perimeter.  It has what us flatlanders call a hill!  lol  See those round bales on it!  That would be a good place for a house.  Which leads me to my first creative endeavour that doesn't involve any of my messy supplies.

As a young fiancee, my Rooster promised me a new house!  It just hasn't been something I have held him to but he can't help mentioning that it may take 50 years but...  We'll see.  Way too many options but I do know what we like and how we actually do life.  So from 3 plans to a few tweaks on the favourite and then will be the tally!

Since the actual house plan went fairly smoothly I began to think about the outside.  I did take a landscape course way back when.  I have managed to save the best resources and went to hunt them from the depths of the book closet!  Oh, FUN!!!   This will give us lots of things to talk about during those cold winter months.   The trick will be to contain our enthusiasm to match our energy and resources!

My very favourite book is Outside the Not so Big House.  I am putting all kinds of sticky notes on the page edges!  I do like the 'not so big' concept.  The Rooster is particularly interested in the maintenance aspect!  lol

While our house is sold we will maintain the yard until we have our own place secured.  So we have been making sure all the grass is cut and trimmed.  Sadly the young trees that were to protect the big barn roof didn't survive the winter/spring turn over, except one (?),  but everything else is lush and almost too bountiful.

Remember the blue coop?  That was from that landscape course brainstorming!  And it is off in a far corner!  :/

I am still thoroughly enjoying the 40+ style club.  This month is colour and we are encouraged to get creative with our neutrals and our colour combinations.  I am a cool winter, and a low to medium contrast.  I do have an odd pull to warm colours and since colour can be complicated I wondered if this gal, ColorBreeze,  might have something to add.  She bases her concept on Albert Munsell's colour tree which totally resonates with me as I like his colours.

 Wouldn't this make a great colouring page for the grand kiddies!

Another fascinating fashion tool is beauty bundles!  Since I adore making up vignettes, this totally captivates me.  Who knew one could make an whole outfit around choosing a few items from a beauty bundle.  Pick your favourite neutral and get creative!  I don't have a lot of red so scooped up some beads to make some creative accessories!

At the bridal shower we attended over the weekend  they had props for taking fun photos.  The girls picked their favourite beauty bundles!

And of course their mother is planning for next year's home school curriculum and wants a staff meeting with the art department!  moi!   Jolina (5) just had a birthday and wanted art supplies.  While I drove her home she was busy opening things and trying them out!  She has been my keenest art student and her official school start is this fall so I need to come up with lots of creative projects.

And one last photo to remind us all to stop and smell the roses even when summer is at its busiest and most creative!  pst!  Those are lilies and smell heavenly!  The white roses are way at the end and the very last ones beat the lilies hands down for fragrance!   :)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Embracing white and red

I have just had an amazing week.  No! No news on the housing front.  I am reconciling to another winter here.  But...

Before I reconciled that,  I consoled myself with playing around with OOTD's which are outfits of the day.  In my case that is pretty casual..  I wore a comfy outfit all day and when I went to post it to the 40+ style club  private FB page I realized I hadn't felt uplifted.  Hmm, why not?  My conclusion was that it was primarily a warm palette and I am a cool winter.   What we wear does affect how we feel.  You know the motto- Dress for Success!  Then I got to making my ootd's in neutrals.  Stone/beige is tricky.  All white is a stretch for this messy gal.   But greys ...

This could be my look!  Now to add some colour, but not piles as too much colour seems to overwhelm me.

Here are the details I posted:

#ellenpukalo #hourglass
Ready or not! Momentous week. OOTD had me working with neutrals. Colour I have a handle on. Contrast I get, sort of. Value even in quilting is my struggle. So low value contrast causes me angst! Ditched all black. Not too smart because I just eliminated a lovely distinguishing line. edgy, Tracy? Light neutrals and a hint of soft femininity, Sally. ( 'member I wanna be sweet). Guess that means I load up on white cause beige is tricky for me since I am reconciled to not being a warm winter. lol So what cubby hole did I stash all the tints in? grey- silver and all the lovely other light to medium greys. duh!
My style as it continues to evolve: A- amiable, red is one of the colours that draws people in.(learned that in public speaking) Full out red and white is more contrast than I want/need. Therefore, A- is for accessories! A little dab will do you! And they don't have to scream like a scarlet letter. oye! red running shoes, Autumn ;) B- backgrounds, my light and going to be versatile and interesting neutrals! yay! C- creativity shown with accessories on my background canvas (note the c) and my soon to be revived sewing skills! (help Deborah)
Hope I am not unrealistically optimistic (tis my nature/style) but I have managed this month to somewhat gather and corral all the galloping and wildly plunging ponies in my personal style stable and head through the colour gate for July! whoo hoo Ruth Essex   Gosh, Canada has a birthday and EVERYTHING is red and white especially this weekend! ha, I'll be right in style.
I have included my neutrals in the comments. Note this isn't so much about styling- just figuring my backdrop. Get out your red pencils all you 40+ers!

And then these were the various options:
This is what I would hope is more stone than that common pink beige. Even with some accessorizing with colour it is pretty blah.

actually I'm a bit stumped to accessorize.

ivory? not so hot, how about we call it a tint of hopefully clear cool yellow. I was hoping anyway!

a little edge? A lot of creativity. I did make the tote.

So the 'best' ??? for last. white, black, grey This is where I learned black with white spots is very different from white with black spots!

Hitting my stride!

I had this fabric in my considerable stash and thought hmmm.  Not flowers.  I am not a floral person and turns out flowers/prints relate best on gals with lots of highlights (texture to their hair).  I am light and sleek.  I hadn't known that but I have never been much for prints, especially small prints.  This fabric shows lots of colour tint options and some edgy X's to bump things up from blah.

Then I went to have my shower and now the whole FB site knows I posted in my jammies!  lol 

I just LUV, LUV, LUV! my IKEA shower curtain.  Lots of white, some smooshy, watercoloury, tints that are a light/medium value, and that lovely black line!  BINGO!

 The topic for 40plusstyle club in July is colour and I must admit that Ruth Essex has so changed my perceptions with her insight into the looks we put up on the site.  She tells us why or why not it works.  So helpful and now she is doing the master class for this month.  Here is a video I snagged to show you why I think July is gonna be a red letter month!  If this link doesn't work it can be viewed on the public FB page-

S0...  OOTD and accessorizing. I need a red statement necklace.   Actually, I am pretty pumped.  Home decor, personal clothing style and a focus for my fibre arts and even my jewelry making justification (all those beads but no big red ones) is all starting to make sense.  I'm a little bit, well, maybe a lot, ADD when it comes to colours and style so all this understanding could be a good anchor.    Looks like I really have something to celebrate!