Thanks for stopping by my blog. Here I will be posting information about my creative process, inspiration, tutorials and day-to-day activities that make me who I am. I hope you enjoy it, come back often, follow, and invite your friends as well. Click on the painting to your right to be directed to my website.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

African Adventures Continue...

The children have been away this past week visiting their grandparents.  A great opportunity for me to plug away at some commissions and re-group from our world travels!

We finished Morocco with making Fatima's Hands to hang for good luck.  Then we made our way South to Senegal.

Here we dined on a delicious peanut chicken dish with rice.  I think the food has been my favourite part of stay-cationing.  We made some African dolls and printed fabric.  We didn't have any dried gourds to make stamps with, but potatoes are always available!!  Great activities for hot days on the porch.

We're not entirely sure what we are going to do with our printed fabric, but we're leaning toward making pillows.

During this time, we were having a very real heat wave in Ontario.  We took a day off from stay-cationing to hit the beach.  What a beautiful beach it is...Lake Dore is Canada's largest lake without an island, and the sand bar extends very far out (we ventured about half a mile from shore and could still easily touch, with no sign of it dropping off).  As a result the water was SO warm.  It was a lovely day with friends.

Another hot day prompted African inspired painting, as we travelled to South Africa.  Miss E decided to take a more abstract approach, while Mr.O used his toy elephant as a model. 
Finally, before leaving, we took in the local fair.  The children wait all year for this, and as always, it did not disappoint.  Next week we shall continue on!  Hopefully it will be cool enough to attempt our batik and basket weaving before leaving Africa and heading to Australia!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh Morocco- how you do so make our bellies dance.

Stay-cation location two- Morocco.  This stop was a little less intense than Egypt, but enjoyable.  This time we made some lanterns (tea light holders), Fatima's Hand symbols, and tried out belly dancing - or as it is properly known, Asian Dance.  The latter resulting in histerical laughing and surprisingly sore forearms.

Food- once again amazing.  I don't have a Tagine.  I had thought of fashioning one out of a terra cotta pot and base, but I couldn't find one big enough.  SO, I used a dutch oven instead and it was still amazing and new flavours to us- so a success in our books!

Tomorrow we hit Senegal. We will be attempting to dye fabric and make African dolls, batik pillows, and perhaps do some fabric printing as well...it will just depend on how crazy the other two activities get!!  Everyone is still having a great time, and our summer journal pages are filling up with evidence of a summer staycation well spent.

Breaking up our faux vacation was time with friends at a cottage they rented.  Miss E and Mr O enjoyed lounging in this camping hammock.  Swimming,canoeing, crayfish catching, hammock swinging, hamburger eating and marshmallow roasting- what more could we have asked for?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Personal Policies...

Yesterday I had an interesting horoscope.  Now, I'm not one to live my life by these things, but I do find that the video horoscopes HERE do provide food for thought, at very least.  My horoscope discussed a need to review my personal policies and procedures...you know, what you accept, what you believe, how you allow other people to treat you, etc..  The timing was very apt, so I thought I would devote some time to it.  I realised it had been a long time since I really thought specifically about how I felt about myself and my place in the world beyond being a Mommy.

Many of us say that we deserve the best, etc, but does this statement match your personal policies and procedures?  Maybe it's time you thought about yours too?  While determining what you accept from others in terms of how they treat you, equally important is what we recognise as OUR responsibilities to others and ourselves.  Here are my policies:

Policies for Being ME.
1.I matter in this world.  I will not allow anyone to make me feel otherwise.
2.I deserve the best of what life has to offer.
3.It is against policy to allow anyone to make me feel unworthy through their actions or words.  I AM WORTHY.
4.I will not allow the spiritual development of others come at the expense of my own.
5.I am strong. I can handle anything, and have a responsibility to do so as gracefully as possible.
6.I will express my love and gratitude to those who deserve it.
7.Participating in relationships (friendship, familial, personal) to the best of my abilities is SUCCESS.  What other parties choose to do/say/behave is NOT within my control, and NOT my failure.
8.I will not give more of myself to someone than they are willing to give in return.
9.My value will never be determined by wealth or the material.
10.I have a responsibility to myself to seek joy in everyday.
11.I will make the world a better place by raising my children to be loving and mindful individuals.  I will find my own 'stage' and do whatever I can to impact the people I connect with in a positive way.
12.I will not hold anger in my heart.  I will allow myself to 'feel' pain, but will strive to release it.
13.I will actively seek not to speak or act in anger or hurt.  I will be mindful and intentional in my actions, thoughts and words.
14.I will be open to receive all that I request from the Universe, and all that I am 'meant' to receive and learn from.
15.The light of the Universe flows through me.  It is my responsibility to shine it on the world.
16. It is my responsibility to ensure that my children always feel safe, loved, and respected in my presence.  This will be achieved through not one action, but a lifetime commitment on my part of making it so.
17.I will continue to live honestly, with integrity and with genuine compassion toward others.  It is my policy that kindness is not a fault.  There are people in this world who see what is in my heart and value me for it.
18.People who do not accept or comply with the above policies do not warrant space in my heart.

So what are your policies? Take a little time to think about it...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Egypt was a gas!

Well, we staycationed in Ancient Egypt this week, and my children had a lot of fun.  First we made robes and coloured some amulets to wear, as well drew our cartouche(s).

Mr.O and Miss E liked dressing up, and were very excited to try some new recipes. They absorbed a lot of information.  Mr O really doesn't like mummies though.  He asked if he lived in Ancient Egypt if he would have to be mummified.  I replied that if he had wealth he would, as it was custom.  Mr O dramatically exclaimed, "I don't want to be a mummy!!" prompting Miss E to pat his back and say, "don't worry, you won't be a mummy....you'll be a daddy!"

While discussing the mummification process, we made our own mummies and sarcophagi.  These turned out really well.  I think the tube mummies are so cute!

(blogger keeps rotating this image, sorry)
We also painted some tomb art on pieces of drywall covered in joint compound.

Mr O and Miss E liked dancing to Egyptian music- they couldn't keep their bums still if it was playing!  Aside from all the reading, eating, and creating, we also had camel races.  The children each carried a pillow on their back and raced on all fours.  Eventually they ended up shoving the pillows right up their shirts.  It was a lot of fun, and the giggles were worth all the work on my end to prepare it all.

Next week- Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Madagascar! I hope we can fit it all in...I see batik and basket weaving in our future!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stay-cation Preparation!

We're not world travellers.  It's just a cold, hard, fact.

This is not because we do not want to travel, but being a single mum sometimes means you don't get to do extravagant things, like travel abroad....at least not at the moment.  That said, it does not mean that my children and I can't learn about life else where.  It is with this that we begin our summer Stay-cation.

The itinerary is chock-a-block full.  We are starting in Northern Africa (Egypt, Morocco) and then travelling counter-clockwise around the continent, ending in Madagascar.  From there we are heading to Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, Russia, Ireland, Scotland and finally Mexico.  My son is anxious to add a stop in Las Vegas- but I think he just wants and excuse to dress like Elvis.

Our trip includes many crafts, foods, and music- all the things that make life worth living (at least in my humble opinion).  I look forward to sharing our creations soon.  We should be in Egypt by Wednesday!!