Archive for February, 2012

7 year olds could be the best thing since sliced bread.
Yesterday morning I hung out with 20 of them and taught them how to paint by blowing through a straw. and then with bubbles. we had fun.
When I showed up at 8:30 they were already a-buzz. Yesterday was their 100 days of school celebration.
Every year they have a scavenger hunt of 100 things. All classes are given a list of 99 things and this year both grade 2 classes had all 99 things. Just before recess the admin gets on the PA and announces the ‘100th Thing’.

before the announcement you can hear a pin drop, when the announcement is made (this year the 100th Thing was a tea bag). The entire school deterioriates into mayham – sheer mayham. screaming and something which can only be called ‘most-definatey-not-a-run’. 🙂

when my grade 2 teacher returned from heaving her class advocate down the hallway towards the office one of her students asked “miss… did you run?” to which she replied “only to get jordan the teabag”…… *insert delightful grin*.

then there’s some impatience and then deafening silence again as all await to hear who won and what the prize will be.
this is when the little voice from the back piped up” Miss? If we win…. can we scream?” of course she said yes, and of course they won A PIZZA PARTY!!! 20 very very excited 7 yr. olds. screaming and jumping. pure joy, I tell you.
I swear we also made art in there as well.
wishing everybody pizza parties and mornings full of art.


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The ceramics community has a giant yearly conference in the States called NCECA and I have been seeing the positive effects it’s had on my husband and our ceramics friends.   It took me a while to find a conference that suits me – I searched through lots of quilting conferences but it just never quite seemed to fit.

I”ve been searching for a group of people that I relate to with my work for some time now.  I have known about the Surface Design Association for a little while.  (I’ve added their URL on the sidebar for future searches).   Turns out they have a conference every year!!!  (I”m a bit late to get in on this years, but 2013 will see me in San Antonio for a week or so.)  and when I went rifling through the site I found lots of images of work that is inspiring and interesting and beautiful.

Carolyn Kallenborn


Lotta Helleberg

to name a few.

I sent off my membership fee for the year. which means magazines in the mail and access to their Sample Library (actual textile samples they will MAIL me to look at.  Pretty darn cool I say….. I might even add one of my own).

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amid the stress.

so I said I had a few things I was working on in my studio. I revisited them this afternoon. I think I’ll call them “Missing” and “Pieces” OR “Lost” and “Found”.
working titles….. works in progress……

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On Wednesday I spent the morning with the Grade 2 class in Matthew Elementary. They have a stellar teacher and I always enjoy my time there.

This year we painted by blowing through straws. (I posted some of my attempts earlier – you can flip back through to find them).
When I had finished my very first demonstration for the children (who were all very interested and entranced by what I was doing) they applauded. 🙂 20 pairs of little hands clapping on their own accord because I blew paint around a page with a straw. It still makes my heart warm and fuzzy.

We set them up with (small) containers of acyllic wash in multiple colors and told them to go to it. They were tentative at start but when they got the hang of it some of their work was remarkable.
we painted with straws and then I demo’d painting with bubbles (which garnered me a second round of applause – equally heart warming). this was fun too. ‘though didn’t take as long as I’d thought it would.

Near the end. (and two calls to the janitor for a mop and bucket, and two calls to parents {{one to pick up a book bag which had a container of paint dropped on it, and one to bring a change of clothes for the other student who spilled a container of paint on her while carrying it to the sink to dump out}}) I have to remember that no matter how smart I think they are, they still have the motor skills of a 7 year old.

After a mildly stressful and terribly fun morning. lovely teacher did the dishes and collected herself. while I read to the students in my new favorite book. ‘ Where the Sidewalk Ends’ by Shel Silverstein and collected myself.
The students collected themselves by listening – is it possible to listen loudly? they were beyond silent and I could hear their little brains working.

This is one of the poems I read them. It’s called ‘MAGIC’

-Magic –
Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a toll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins’ gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.

thank you Shel.

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Had a friend visit over the weekend and I showed her how to reverse applique. It was so very nice to get back on my sewing machine. I tend to feel judgemental about my sewing machine and the work I do on it. When I THINK about sewing as an artform I feel stagnant and boring and Not Creative. Then when I actually DO the sewing I feel connected and a resonance within me. This weekend was a reminder of that joy I feel when I’m stitching on my machine.
I also was reminded of the few pieces of textile work I was tackling back in the fall. I’m pretty sure they’re expressions of my emotions and my Self. It’s difficult to talk about them, and remember why I was making them. I’ve been going through a process (doctors, drugs, counselling, journalling etc…) of sorting out anxieties and depression the past few months – and I’m pretty sure these few pieces are a response to my thoughts and feelings.
Thinking about them makes me feel vulnerable and a veritable boatload of other emotions I won’t go into, let alone, working on them or thinking about showing them to the public. ACK! But I will finish them. I think it will be a good process for me to ponder anxiety and depression and myself for a while longer.
Also ,everytime I tell somebody about my depression and anxiety I almost always get a response of “me too”. It’s not what I was expecting, but it does make it easier to talk about, that’s for sure. And everybody wants to talk about depression and anxiety when I bring it up. It’s like I’ve just given them permission to talk about something they felt they couldn’t. Perhaps making these few textile pieces and putting them out into the world will help others. As well as myself. if for no other reason than it joins the conversation about mental health.

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