in the studio today...

studio day starts out with a cup of awesomeness!  soy milk cappuccino!  yum!  oh and music!  today I am listening to this.

set an intention for the day...

getting my hands dirty with some paint...

 and collage...

finding some interesting hidden messages.  good stuff!
don't forget to use up all that left over paint on your palette!  open up your journal and smear it around!

 and finally my friend linda and her sister karen are cooking up some serious goodness!  patiently waiting to devour it!  SOON!  if you have not yet checked out their previous treats, where have ya been?  go and get them now and that will keep you busy till the new one is available.  they are offering "signed" copies! also available is this gem.  cheers to a creative and well read monday!

new day friday and some faves

picking up my pieces today and putting my humpty dumpty self back together again.  I love that I can rebound quickly from the feelings I had yesterday and how the voices telling me what a big loser I am just stopped.  oh I am not without support in this.  I tell one friend and she tells me she can't believe how patient I was with my father.  she reminded me that he is very angry right now at the situation and of course I felt that too.  I talk to another friend and she says that he is dumping on you cause he knows he can and he probably has no one else to talk to.  true that.  another friend says she loved the words about dan.  ah dan...I say his name and I smile.  love him to pieces and wrote him a long email the other night to remind him of how I love that he is living his life, chasing his dreams and doing it all with grace and gratitude.  I am grateful for my circle who reminds me that I am loved, I am enough and hugs me till I know it.  I know it.

so I wanted to share some things that have been bringing me joy and making me smile lately.  interesting tid bits I found here there and everywhere.  enjoy!

listening to ane brun in the studio.  love that the instruments are simple and the voice is so unique.

she is embarking on a journey that makes me want to go out and buy and bike and join her.  I was recently gifted with a typewriter and am excited to play with it.   I grew up with "typing" being a class in school.  I loved the practice tables so much that I would do them at home for hours on end.  the clickety clack of the keys and ding of the return.  oh my!

the always inspiring beautiful jen is one of my daily reads.  her home study courses are the bomb and her t-shirts have words on them to remind us of our truths.

and if you are looking for an online course to check out then run over to this.  stephanie is not only talented, but caring and kind.  her own story is an inspiration and her e course is so full of inspiration, motivation, exercises and interviews with people who have realized their dreams and sharing their journeys.

I so want to see this.  remarkable!  "if you want your dreams to come true, you have to make them come true".

and a little gentle reminder for us all...

some days your the peep

yesterday I felt just like this poor peep. all run over and squished with my insides open and oozing. oh the day started out fine enough. mom had a opthamologist appointment and I couldn't see the point of returning to the eye doctor yet again to be told that there was nothing they could do and she needed to blink more. we have made several trips there back and forth in the last couple of years and with her condition there is little they can do. except this time it was her doctor requesting the appointment and wanting a report of the findings.

so back to me. I have been watching the oprah life class on tour series this week and the first three episodes had me in a puddle of tears with a pile of kleenex beside me. was it the people she pulled up on stage or the fact that I could relate to the lesson? I'm sure we could all relate to the lessons. stopping the pain, living fearlessly, living with purpose and the power of forgiveness. sound like stuff you have thought about it or dealt with? yes, uh huh.

all of the lessons had me thinking, which is good. I like television that makes you think and I miss "that" kind of television. so me thinks that I should probably try and put some of these lessons to the test. what could it hurt? really? I could try to tell my mom that I love her and give her a kiss every time I see her. yeah, I could do that. I could forgive her for that which she did or did not do and sum it up to - she did the best she could with what she had. ok.

I head out yesterday morning with oprah in my pocket and a smile on my face. I am going to get through this appointment and even surprise mom with lunch out. "oh happy day" ringing in my ear. actually it was rhianna or something on the radio, but it was catchy.

I arrive at the home and dad is calling me on my cell. no doubt wanting to know where I am. I enter mom's room and the first thing out of my dad's mouth is "we're late!" to which I reply, "no, we're not, just relax" and then turn to mom to say hello and give her a peck on the forehead. she looks tired and weak. after lifting her out of her chair, getting her coat on and fluffing up her hair a bit we start out. dad is bitching the whole time down the hallway, "put your head down, look down, jesus maria look down" and trying to force her head down at the same time. here is my theory and I am no doctor but if you kept yelling at me to do something that was next to impossible for me to do, but I could do it, with patience and calm and probably not with YOU YELLING AT ME TO PUT MY HEAD DOWN! whew!

it just continued. in the car he tells me he has brought her glasses. her glasses? she never wears those dad. yeah, but she probably needs too. apparently when I turned around for a quick second dad went off and acquired a degree. we arrive at the appointment. I'm driving of course and so I try to get as close to the door as possible to drop her off. dropping her off means lifting her out of the truck and getting her set up with her walker. all the while making sure she doesn't all of the sudden topple. she ain't no weeble! this one does fall down!

so the appointment actually went really well. mom's eyes have actually improved. seems like life at "the home" has helped her eyes. with the consistent use of the eye drops and dark glasses and probably the humidity level too her eyes look healthy. shazam!

heading back out to the truck I ask dad to pull it around to the front. "do you got her?, hang on to her!, she's gonna fall!" ok, there is that yelling again and yes I have her! I am not a complete moron and if she falls on my watch it will be a complete accident and not intentional although I was having thoughts of how to silence HIM!

as I am lifting mom into the truck which is really no easy feat. thank goodness the women tips the scale at just over a hundred, but I am small and the truck is big! dad is no help other than his bitching and wanting to get in there and do it and then have more reason to complain about his back. so along comes a perfect stranger who says "oh if she used her other foot it would be easier". yes I KNOW that, I say, but her right leg is stronger. she goes on "well, I used to do this for a living and I had four aging parents that I took care of and..." yes, thank you I say and proceed to pick up mom's little body and place her in the seat as gently as I can all the while hearing the lady say "it probably would be easier if you put her butt in first and then someone on the other side could pull her in". really? to which I reply "well, there is no someone to be on the other side - there is just me". she finishes with "oh yes, of course. well, I just don't want you hurting yourself or anything". I reply with, thank you, I appreciate your concern and thank you for your help knowing full well that I probably sounded like a bomb getting ready to explode. just hissing....

back in the truck where dad starts in about who was this lady and why the hell was she stopped and talking and so on and so forth. mom asks who this lady was and I say she was a friendly stranger wanting to lend a hand and offer some advice. no harm in that and mom agrees. now off to the surprise lunch where again I park in front of the door. easier for me to lift mom out, but also another excuse for dad to yell at me. "oh, jesus christ, well, ok, just take her in and pick the most convenient table". he doesn't pull the walker out and so basically I am taking mom into the restaurant with her on my shoes. kind of like when you were little and used to stand on your dad's feet to dance with him. sigh....

dad walks in after parking the truck and apparently I have failed again cause I picked the table closest to the door. what was I thinking? well, I was thinking that you told me to pick the most convenient table and seeing as I literally carried your wife in here cause you didn't want to unload the walker again, well, hell ya I picked this table. lunch is ordered. we are at ma and pa's fave fish and chip place. they always order the $10 meal of cod and chips. I order halibut cause I like the taste better than cod but more than $10. eating commences after I cut up mom's fish and am quite fine with her eating with her fingers. but then it happens, sometimes you see it coming and you are diving in slow motion like those guys do on tv as they are yelling NOOOOOOOOOOO! but it's too late. she sneezes all over my plate. poor mama. between dad's bitching and mom's sneezing I have lost my appetite. lucky for me I scooted my coleslaw over the side and took a few bites of it. hit the bathroom and when I returned dad asks me why I order the halibut. I like the taste better I tell him. he says well it tastes the same to me. I just tried some of yours and actually it is a bit chewier than ours. WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? I say well then I guess the next time I will order cod seeing as it tastes the same or is it the fact that the halibut is more expensive that bothers you? no, no, no he says, I told you to order whatever you wanted. ok, well, then shut the hell up mister! of course I didn't vocalize that last part to my dad. I just smiled, but what I really wanted to do was cry. I felt like he ran me over and then came back and stepped on me to make sure I wasn't moving. turns out his fish and chip buddy charged us all $10 and so my expensive halibut choice did not break his cod loving bank after all. oh please let this end I cried to myself.

we got mom back to the home. we settled her in. he kept on about something else. something about dan and what is he doing? when is he going to settle down, buy a house, save some money? I say, dan is happy and he is doing what he loves and he is supporting himself. I think that is wonderful dad. hmm mph. throughout this whole day I am hacking up a lung, blowing my nose to smithers and wind up with a bleeding nose as I place mom back into her wheelchair. at no point did either of them ask if I was ok or had been to the doctor about that nasty cough or oh my your nose is bleeding let me help you out. I kissed mom on the forehead and told her I loved her. I said I would. I wanted too. I needed too. I would hate for ANYONE to feel how unloved I felt at that moment.

as I am bolting to my car dad is on my heels. still going on and on about something. I stopped listening, I was done, I came, I did and stick a fork in me - D.O.N.E, done, done. I wanted to turn around and yell at him - do you know dad that every time I see my son or talk to him I tell him how lucky I am and how much I love him and how proud I am of him. he is not perfect, no. none of us are, but he is the best there is and I want him to know it and I want him to feel it from the top of his head to the tips of his toes that he is loved - unconditionally - LOVED. he will never have to wonder if I love him or is he making me proud or do I think what he is doing is good. he will never have to hear me say that he never calls me or how much I need him. he will be free to live his life as he sees fit and as long as he is happy and smiling, I too am happy. I didn't say it though I just kept walking and could feel the tears coming on. I said good bye.
look how friggin happy dan is hanging out in a tree in golden gate park! back home I munch on a fortune cookie and my fortune reads "try a new system or a different approach" and I giggle through the tears.

washroom wednesday

ah yes, washroom wednesday you say? let's just say that this decorating the new home has been quite a challenge. from time to time I am still convinced that I am on a holiday and that I will be returning to my former home "soon". with that said I have not flexed my brave muscles when it comes to hammering holes in the wall or picking out items for the rooms. I wanted to share one of the rooms that for now are complete. our main bathroom.

when we renovated our bathroom in the old house we had a medicine cabinet with an etched mirror on the front. it is definitely old, but has wonderful character. I have held on to the mirror front all these years. it spent some time in my son's bedroom and now it is the mirror in our main bathroom. the towel is also vintage so to speak. mama had it in her piles of towels and it was the perfect colour so I scooped it up. we went with a pedestal sink cause mama said "I like a da sink" when she saw it in the show home. so although it would not have been my first choice because of the lack of storage. I do like it.
the basket over the sink houses extra toilet paper, wash cloths and kleenex. I picked the basket up at a second hand store. the colour and wire texture drew me to it. it was probably used for a flower pot basket at some point, but it fits on top of the tank perfectly.
the spot above the toilet consists of a collage of all the different bathrooms and bathroom elements that I have collected from our travels around the world. there are washrooms from cuba, mexico, italy, the dominican republic and chicago. there is a photo of the bathroom from my uncle's house in italy which is a stand up toilet. I also included a photo of the potty pot in the nightstand from my aunt's house also in italy. there is a picture of an outdoor sink and a couple of signs directing us to the appropriate facilities. I just printed the photos on my home printer and white washed some inexpensive ikea frames and voila.
there is a bit of wall next to the shower and here I framed a piece that I calligraphed and watercolored. it was not made with the idea of hanging it in the bathroom, but the colours and words just worked.
the wall opposite the sink has a towel bar and centred on the wall I framed up a piece of art that dan did in high school. he called it "clear hearts, grey flowers". it looks like some kind of resist and watercolour. I have hung on to this for years wanting to hang it up and finally I did.
with the assistance of "joey" I share with you my homemade trash can. dad had some leftover fence boards and so I drew up a design of what I wanted and just whitewashed it with some gesso.
the lid is a piece of wood that I collaged with little bits from our life and then added a knob from anthropologie.
here is a picture of it when I was working on it at mom and dad's. I made one for the master bath as well and the only regret is that I didn't incorporate a little door on the side near the bottom. it would have been a great place to hide extra toilet paper. especially in the main bathroom where there are no hiding places.
and there ya have it! I also wanted to share this, cute!

tuesday thank you and WINNER!

typewriter gifted by wendy gilchrist
I am thankful that I am a member of an outstanding group of women. we all agreed to be the party planners for our group. twice a year we plan an event from invitations to desserts. the whole sha bang! we laugh, we eat and we share and we support. we are non stop ideas and our main goal is that the attendees feel special and have a good time.

I joined the group in hopes to find a tribe so to speak of supportive and loving women. a reason to get out and get inspired and have fun and of course make stuff that others would enjoy.

artwork by barb keir
background quilt by nadia munarolo-kurjata

I had no idea that I would meet such awesome women. I have witnessed kindness that makes your heart burst open. I received the kinds of hugs and kisses filled with such love that you would think they were my sisters. in a way I guess they are. their generosity occurs in quiet little moments. they are not looking for the hoopla. they simply want to let you know that you are loved. and I am. and I love them. I love the insides and outsides and in between sides. every single droplet of them. I am so blessed.
loot bag by jeanine alexander

we had our meeting on sunday which started with me being picked up from my doorstep. I love being able to jump in the car and let someone else do the driving. I was offered snacks in the car for the long ride. truth be told it is all of fifteen minutes, but it was so cute! rice cakes and tootsie rolls. francie makes me smile. she is a burst of fresh air and always makes me feel like I am enough.

we arrived at barb's house and dropped ourselves into the spots around the fireplace. I love a wood burning fireplace! jeanine starts out with a story. I love her stories. I love the emotion in her face as she tells us about her delight in being surprised for her birthday on the weekend. she was greeted with friends and family from out of town and it made me feel so happy to know that her family appreciates and loves her as much as I know she loves them. she gave us all "birthday loot bags"! remember those? each of ours were personalized. mine even had a couple of cigars from cuba! ooh la la! a yummy cupcake, popcorn ball, brownies, a rubber stamp of our initial. we had such fun digging in and seeing what we had. presents for us for her birthday? awesome!

wendy brought her old typewriter for me. I had shared how I wished I had a typewriter again. mom no longer had mine and wendy said she had one or two and so there ya go! how much I say? oh, nothing she says. actually I want you to help me with my headboard. she admired what I did with my headboard and would like to do a similar project for her room. done!

barb looked up all of our names and hand calligraphed them with their meanings on little pieces of paper for us. huh? oh my goodness! a little nugget of her time put aside for us. who wouldn't feel loved?

we cut, we ate, we laughed, we brainstormed, more laughing, lots of laughing, sharing ideas and tiramisu by yours truly for dessert. oh it was a yummy night. these moments in time that I am in awe of and so very thankful for. I wish for all of you the same love and support!

AND THE WINNER OF THE BOOK IS.............yvonne! congratulations!