Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekly Challenge #272


Good Monday Morning!!

My happy Kindergartener
I hope everyone had a good week!  It's already the end of June and it's so hard to believe that my baby will have finished kindergarten soon!  School ends in Saskatoon on Jun 29th, and while i'm still nervous about Artoo starting the First Grade in the fall, i'm also excited and happy at how far he's come this year.

Chewie and his friends playing with Artoo before school
It's also been really amazing for me to see all the kids in Chewie's grade rallying around Artoo and playing with him at recess and before school.  They all love him, and i know that in the fall he'll have his own little posse looking out for him when i can't.

Chewie is really excited for school to be done.  I remember being in school and those last few weeks were just torture.  These kids are pretty pumped for school to be done because they know that we're leaving on a BIG ROAD TRIP to California in July!

Playing some hockey

Chewie leading his music class
I can't believe that we're leaving in less than two weeks.  There's still so much to do - and it feels a little bit overwhelming, and we will still have to fit in a birthday party for Chewie, as he's going to be turning 8 on the road!!

So i try to remain calm - by going outside and looking at my beautiful flowers.





I'm so enjoying them, but i know there are a bunch of sneaky lilies that are going to wait until we are gone before they bloom.

Disapproving Cloud disapproves
 I also wanted to share these beautiful pics i snapped this week.  There's definitely a reason Saskatchewan is called The Land of the Living Skies.

taken out my front door one evening

Also, this weekend my good friend Sabrina drove up from Regina because she and i had tickets to the Opera!  we went to the Saturday matinee of The Barber of Seville and it was very awesome.  We have gone to a few shows together, it's so nice to have a friend who appreciates a good opera or musical.  (We are going to see The Book of Mormon in September with B-rad.  I'm super excited about that one)

Sabbie and I at the Opera!
Because it was a matinee, we took a little trip to get some ice cream, but it was so delicious we ate it before i could snap a picture.  But.  Trust me.  It was delicious.

Sabbie had a scoop of Coconut Ice Cream and Chocolate Chai Ice Cream in a waffle cone
I had a British '99' - which is soft serve in a waffle cone with a Flake bar and Raspberry puree. 
Sabrina actually treated me to my opera ticket in exchange for a private one on one zentangle class with yours truly.  Of course, there was wine.

wine and tangling; a perfect pairing
and she did really well, if i do say so myself!!

my tile on the left, hers on the right. 
We stayed up visiting with B-rad and polishing off the bottle, (or two) - it was very many good times had by all.

Sunday was father's day, and the boys presented b-rad with the gifts they made at school.  They were both so proud of their projects and so excited to give them to b-rad that they were practically bouncing!  I think school made gifts are just so darn awesome.  I made eggs and sausages for breakfast before Sabrina left to go home, and then we spent the afternoon out at B-rad's mom and dad's for a Father's Day barbecue.

This week's going to be just as busy as i try to get things ready for the trip and also attend some of the last days of school activities.

i'm tired already. lol.

Weekly Challenge #272: "What's Black and White and Red All Over?"
A Zebra with a sunburn.  (Badum TING!)

This week in the midst of all the hubbub, i picked up a tile i had started working on a while ago - to finish it up and catch a bit of zen.  However, when i started tangling - it became apparent that i had accidentally picked up my red Micron, instead of my black one.

My first initial thought was: "OH NO!! I've RUINED it."

But instead of trashing it and starting over, i thought i'd just keep at it and see what happened.

It turns out, it looks awesome, and is now one of my favourite tiles.

To get the red background i used a red paint pen from POSCA
and when it was dry, i tangled on it with my microns
I'm glad i didn't jump at the chance to throw it out.

One of the things that really appeals to me, personally, about zentangle is that it's in black and white (for the most part) and i can turn off the 'colour composition' part of my brain that tends to get in the way when i'm painting sometimes.

 The elegance of limitations.... my tile was now wearing red, so what was i to do? With this tile - the red found it's way there by accident - and because it wasn't part of the plan, i didn't have to think too much about it, i just wanted to see what would happen if i kept going.

And i think that because i create my tiles without any sort of plan when i begin, there is that freedom that allows room for exploration.  If i had planned this tile with a specific idea of how it would turn out, the red pen would have been a fly in my ointment, instead of guiding me into a different direction.

Also - i made the title of this challenge a joke because sometimes i think we can run the risk of getting too serious.  Keep it light!! This is fun!

So this week's challenge is use the standard black and white of traditional zentangle - but also red!  And the extra challenge is to not take yourself so seriously and have fun with this.

Have a great week!!

And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App, - i'm @iamthediva - come on by and follow me, and i'm going to be using hashtags on the app for each of my weekly challenges.  So if you're game use the hashtag #DC272 (Diva Challenge #272) for your tile this week!  

[i had been using a much longer hashtag for past challenges - iatdwc for iamthediva weekly challenge - but i'm shortening it for ease and for less memorizing random letters ;)]

If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekly Challenge #271

Happy Monday all!!

Thank you all for the much needed week off.  It's been a bit of a go 'round here.

Artoo did end up getting sick, and we ended up going to the Emergency for a bit on Tuesday - luckily the doctors told us that we did everything right and got ahead of it enough that he recovered quickly.

Brave little man
Artoo wanted to wear his Beads of Courage to the ER because he really didn't want to go - but he said his beads would make him brave.  And he did really great.  He held on tight to his beads while they took his Blood Pressure (one of his least favourite things) and afterwards he said: "Mom, i was really brave, wasn't I?"

So brave.  To celebrate them sending us home with meds (instead of staying) we went to have a celebratory Sundae.
Ice cream makes everything better. 
The rest of the week was taking care that his Respiratory Rate stayed where it should, and cuddling and watching lots and lots of Sponge Bob.

Meanwhile, Chewie had his year end dance recital for his Hip Hop class this weekend.  I took him for his dress rehearsal, and on the way home he asked if he could show me a cool thing he saw with his grandpa - his driving diretions were: "It's by the sushi place before we go to our house"

With not much to go on, we actually managed to find it!

RAWRRR
A Tyrannosaurus Rex sculpture made from scrap metal, outside a scrap metal yard.  LOL.  It was pretty neat.  It was one of those situations where i really found myself rushing to get home - it was late and i wanted to get him to bed so i could get on with the million things i needed to do.  My first reaction was to say "No, i'm not driving around looking for a mystery cool thing" but for whatever reason i stopped myself and thought "Why not? What's the hurry?"  I'm so glad we took the detour to find the cool thing by the sushi place on the way to our house. It took 15 minutes of my time, and Chewie was so excited annnnnd we did a cool thing together which will hopefully translate into a thing he remembers when he's older
Goofy Face boy

.

Being almost 8, he's very good and pushing all of my buttons, but then he will say or do something so sweet or so funny that my heart melts into a pile of goo.  I love him, and i really don't get to spend a lot of one on one time with him.  I'm working on that.  Even if it's just bringing him along to pick up groceries...
Hip Hop-Tastic!!
And while his dance recital came at the tail end of a very long and exhausting week - i was super proud of him, and loved every second watching him on that stage.  He was so excited and pumped to dance for an audience.

Weekly Challenge #271: "Beads of Courage"

So, this is the challenge that i had completed for you all last week when my computer decided that i needed to take a break. lol

These are some of Artoo's Beads of Courage
For those of you who have been with me since the beginning will know about this program, but for those of you who are new(ish) here

Beads of Courage is an arts in medicine program that helps kids with chronic or life threatening illness tell the story of their medical journey.  Each bead represents something different.  A different procedure or appointment, or special circumstance.  For example, when seeing a doctor or getting a poke instead of getting a sticker when they leave, they are given a glass bead for each thing.  (blue for doctor, black for poke... some other beads are yellow=night in the hospital, pink=respiratory support, magenta=trip to emergent care, teal=tube insertion or removal, rainbow=therapy; physical, speech, occupational, respiratory) and every child's string is different and unique to their story.

Co-Founders!! Me and my bestie Tara
I got involved with Beads of Courage 4 years ago when my friend Tara and I decided to organize a 5K Colour Fun Run to raise money for the Beads of Courage programming in Saskatchewan.


Runners start out in white - then they run through 5 colour stations where volunteers throw colour at them to symbolize the beautiful coloured beads that kids on this program accumulate through their medical journey.
lovely ladies, all!

The Dream Team!
This was our fourth, and biggest year.  We have an amazing group of ladies who work all year to find sponsorships and to help with all aspects of organizing - and over the past 4 years we've raised of $60,000 for programming in the province. (Not including what was raised this year)

Artoo Covered in Colour

Two  colourful brothers

Artoo's favourite colour - GREEN!

Chewie running through Violet

Handsome Chewie

Artoo really loved running this year! Here is is running with B-rad and Grandpa!


One of my favourite moments this year was cheering Artoo across the finish line!


He was so excited and squealing and cheering, and running as fast as his little legs would go

My wonderful family!
It was a really amazing day, it truly was!

So!! This week's challenge is to BEad INSPIRED by Beads of Courage!  By our Colour Run, or by whatever gives you Courage.   

For my tile, i used a technique called the Hefty Hack (you can google it, it's super easy and super addicting!! there's lots of YouTube tutorials) to make a colour splotch on my tile, then tangled a string of beads - inspired by Artoo's string in the photo above. 

Splotchy Colour

Beads of Courage
Thanks for coming by this week! 

I look forward to seeing your tiles.   :)

Have a great week!!

And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App, - i'm @iamthediva - come on by and follow me, and i'm going to be using hashtags on the app for each of my weekly challenges.  So if you're game use the hashtag #DC271 (Diva Challenge #271) for your tile this week!  

[i had been using a much longer hashtag for past challenges - iatdwc for iamthediva weekly challenge - but i'm shortening it for ease and for less memorizing random letters ;)]

If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Stay Tuned

EDIT:: PLEASE READ BELOW

Hey everyone,
just posting a quick note to say that this week's challenge will be late - due to the fact that everyone here is exhausted from the Beads of Courage Colour Run that happened on Sunday.

i hope to have a challenge up and running for you all by tuesday morning!

Thanks!
Love Laura



I'm writing this from my kitchen at 11:19 pm on Monday night.  I'm so sorry, but i don't think that this week's challenge is going to happen, and i feel pretty lousy about that.  I really appreciate that you take the time to come and visit and read about my family and see the week's new challenge, so i hate to let you down, but everything is happening right now.

The colour run on sunday (Super successful by the way, i can't wait to tell you all about it) and now artoo starting to get sick, and also me starting to get sick and me having to make an emergency trip to the dentist (which turned out to be nothing) my boys had piano lessons after school and then Chewie had his dance recital dress rehearsal tonight too.

I had planned to write the challenge after everyone was in bed, but instead i ended up fighting with my computer, writing a post and losing it all, and having to restart everything and at this point i'm just going to give up and put on my warm jammies and crawl into bed.

SO let's call this week a lost cause and all reconvene next monday morning shall we?

thanks everyone!!

Love Laura

Monday, May 30, 2016

weekly Challenge #270

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a great week, and a very Happy Memorial Day to my friends to the South.

With the school year winding down, the kids are doing a lot of fun activities!! This week Artoo's class took a field trip to the Forestry Farm, which is a little zoo here in Saskatoon.  It was a great day for it, and the animals were all out and being very active!  I got to go along as a helper mom and it was a very fun day.
Chewie had a field trip too, to a Pow Wow, but i wasn't able to go along on that field trip.  Sadly.

Artoo and friends!
 This weekend was the SaskMarathon so Saturday we set up a Beads of Courage booth at the Marathon Expo and were telling folks about our Colour Run (next weekend!!).  I brought Artoo along for a bit, and he was so charming and was telling everyone about his beads.


I had to take a break from the Expo so i could take Artoo to a birthday party - his best friend at school, Ally, invited him to her Princess Party - and he had a wonderful time!  He even got to meet some fairytale princesses! 

Artoo getting his nails painted green by Princess Rapunzel
 He was Prince Nice, and he was a very nice Prince.

Princess Merida, Prince Nice, and Princess Rapunzel
 Then it was back to the Marathon expo - but this time i took Chewie with me, and he was very helpful as we took everything down and loaded up the van.

Speaking of SaskMarathon - i ran the 10K on Sunday.  I didn't do any training, so considering that i think i did alright.  i felt good about my run, but it was super hot by the end.  My official chip time was 1:14:39.0 and i was aiming for about 1:25:00 so i'm happy!
omnomnom
We have a very busy week coming up with more school activities and the Colour Run on Sunday - and i'm already exhausted.   I could use a nap.


Weekly Challenge #270: "Skye - a Tangle by Margaret Bremner, CZT"
have you seen this new tangle? If not you can see the step outs on Margaret's blog here as well as some of her gorgeous tiles featuring Skye!

I've been meaning to try this since she released it this month, but i haven't had the opportunity!  And since this is MY blog, i made it this week's challenge so i WOULD have the opportunity!

This is my very first attempt
This tangle is definitely more High Focused... and you can see my first attempt did not go as well as i would have hoped.  But my second tile was not too shabby.  i feel like the more i get a feel for this tangle, the better i'll get at it. 

second attempt!  

I will have to spend more time with this one, but i already love it! Thank you Margaret for this awesome tangle to play with!

Have a great Week!

And if you're on the App, - i'm @iamthediva - come on by and follow me, and i'm going to be using hashtags on the app for each of my weekly challenges.  So if you're game use the hashtag #DC270 (Diva Challenge #270) for your tile this week!  

[i had been using a much longer hashtag for past challenges - iatdwc for iamthediva weekly challenge - but i'm shortening it for ease and for less memorizing random letters ;)]

If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weekly Challenge #269

Happy Tuesday!

I hope all my Canadian Friends had a happy May Long weekend!
It seems that as soon as things warm up around here, we are busy with things until the snow falls again in the winter.

May is practically over - and the boys will be done school in a little of a month - and then it's off to California for us!  But before that happens there are so many things that have to happen.  Both boys school schedules are busy with year end activities and field trips.  Chewie has his dance recital coming up... and then there's the annual fundraising 5K Colour Run that my friends and i put on to raise funds for Beads of Courage - oh yeah, next weekend i'm running the SaskMarathon 10K (and i've barely trained, it's gonna be a sad run for me)

It feels like we've hit the ground running with no end in sight!

when the boys get along i feel like the luckiest mom in the world
You guys, my flower in my new flower bed are a constant bringer of JOY into my life.  lol.  I mean, look at these tulips!! They're so beautiful.

to bright and lovely
On sunday of this long weekend my family had a fundraiser BBQ to help pay for the registration fees for our family and my parents - for the Moebius Syndrome conference that we're heading to California for.
in this photo you'll see my youngest brother looking 'natural',
my mother in the process of giving a thumbs up,
and my dad and older brother pretending that they don't know us. 
Sadly, the weather wasn't that great and the BBQ was NOT as successful as we'd hoped.  Better than last year's, though.  We may give up on this idea altogether and look for alternative fundraising ideas in the future.

Artoo has super excited this week because he was invited to his friend from school, Quniton's, birthday party!  AND they were going Glow Bowling!! Every morning for the last week and a half he would count down the days until Quinton's party and when the day finally came it was everything he hoped for and more.  :)  He really had a blast at the party!!

Artoo squealing with delight as his friend Ally plays her turn

These good friends!! Artoo and the Birthday Boy!!
Chewie also got invited to a friend's birthday party this weekend.  I don't have any pictures of that to share, though, because it was a 'drop off' party.  But his friend's mom told me when i came to pick him up how polite and kind Chewie was, and how he was always helping and watching over the little ones (all the younger siblings) - and it was nice to hear that from someone else.  Maybe we're doing something right over here.  lol.

Weekly Challenge #269: "New Official Tangle: Ellish"

i was very excited when the latest issue of the Zentangle newsletter was sent out this week (sign up here) with the step outs for the new Tangle from HQ called Ellish!

I've been eyeing this tangle, lovingly, from afar.  CZTs often get a heads up on the new tangles so i've known about this for a little while - but i've yet had the chance to sit down and try it out.

There's plenty of Ellish eye candy on the Mosaic App, if you have that, as well.  Search #ellish to find more examples of this tangle.

my very first attempt -
surrounded by my new Old-Fave, Poke-root and some swirly hair of Enyshou
After completing my first tile, i immediately started another, this time i just let them sort of build off each other.  It was pretty fun to see them grow in front of my eyes.

#ellish #DC269 #hashtag #imawesome #youaretoo

Have fun trying this one out, if you haven't already!! 

And if you're on the App, - i'm @iamthediva - come on by and follow me, and i'm going to be using hashtags on the app for each of my weekly challenges.  So if you're game use the hashtag #DC269 (Diva Challenge #269) for your tile this week!  

[i had been using a much longer hashtag for past challenges - iatdwc for iamthediva weekly challenge - but i'm shortening it for ease and for less memorizing random letters ;)]


Have a great week!!

If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hey, it's Monday... what gives?

Hey everyone,

if you're here looking for the challenge this week - please note that today is a Holiday in Canada!  We're all enjoying a long weekend in honour of Queen Victoria - some come on back tomorrow morning for this week's challenge.

cheers!

laura

Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly Challenge #268

Good Monday morning everyone.

I wanted to say thank you for all your kind words this week.  It's still hard to believe that Angela is gone - but i know that she'll be with me my whole life. 


last Thursday i celebrated my birthday by taking myself out to see my friend Kathy's first solo art exhibit at a local gallery.
exciting!!
Her show is called "Infinite Spaces" and it features her beautiful sculptures, the pictures really don't do them justice.  


Each one of these boxes had peep holes you could look inside, and see a magical whimsical world she created.
one of my favourites
a view inside "Infinite Sadness"

A peep into a magical land

She also has been making these gorgeous doorways


And these beautiful keys.  She's currently working on making 5000 key art pieces and you can read about her journey and manifesto on her website www.5000keys.com

this was my favourite key in her show

these key 'prints' make such a rad art piece.  It may be one of my favourite from her show.

me and the keys
It was so great to go and spend time at her show - Kathy has a very special place in my heart (and on this blog) because if it weren't for Kathy asking me if i'd ever heard of Zentangle before, this blog might not even exist!!

If you're in Saskatoon, i really suggest you go and check out her show at SCYAP on 3rd Ave. ;)

On Friday my friend Jaimie asked me to go out with her to a Gem and Mineral trade show - she had won free tickets, so i said yes - because i love rocks and stones and gems.  It was so fun and i loved everything. i probably could have spent many many dollars there, if money was no object. lol.

Afterwards she suggested we go and get some supper, but then she said; "I have a great idea, let's go and get supper at Crackers, and have a few drinks and sing Karaoke!"  I haven't been to Crackers Karaoke bar in YEARS, and said sure - that would be fun.

on our way there, she suggested i text my friend Tara and see if she wanted to come too, but Tara said: "Mayyyybe" - and given that her husband was leaving the country the next morning for work, i figured she probably was busy and so i left it at that saying: "She knows where we're going, if she can make it, she will"

Like.  I must be totally oblivious to everything.  Because, it took me walking into the bar, and all the way to the back and literally STANDING in front of a table where my friends Tara and Jen were already waiting with birthday balloons and gifts to figure out that i had been Surprise Partied.

my lovely friends Jen, Tara, and Jaimie
and my friend Rae showed up as well!!
me and my friend Rae
It was a surprise Karaoke party - and guess who was the mastermind behind the whole thing?? B-rad. I have to say, i'm a pretty lucky girl.

We had so much fun - and i sang my Karaoke Jam - which is "All that Jazz"... and i killed it.  and we sang  Spice Girls, and Summer Lovin', and the girls got up and sang happy birthday to me and they brought out a cake from the kitchen - it was so awesome and i felt really and truly loved.  A real pick me up from my slumps at the beginning of the week. I was really feeling down because of grief, and it did  nothing but rain for 3 days, and my birthday was kinda ho-hum... i remember thinking that being a grown up is sucky cuz no one makes a big deal on birthdays anymore... but my friends made me feel very happy.

I have great friends.
Thank you, friends!!

FLOWERS!!!
by the weekend, the weather was nice again and i finally planted the rest of my flowers - you may remember this flowerbed from the fall - it looks so pretty full of flowers.  It really makes me so happy.  Such a nerd, i am.

The boys have also been hilarious this weekend.  B-rad and i have been talking about what kind of tattoo to get for our tenth anniversary (which was in 2014) and so Artoo said he wanted to have a tattoo of Rowlf the Dog.  What? Dude.  That would be some killer ink.  Naturally, i obliged.  Love me a Crayola Tatt.

What a badass, showing his pipes and his sweet Muppet ink.
Chewie found a new friend on our crescent and spent most of the weekend riding bikes up and down the block and playing with his new buddy - so it was lucky that he stayed still long enough for me to snap this picture of him on the swing.

My goofy boy - i love you.  And your sweet summer buzz cut. 
It's crazy to me that the boys have less than 6 weeks of school left.  Where did this year go?  Summers are so short here that it seems you wait so long for them to arrive to have them flash before you in the blink of an eye.

Weekly Challenge #268: "A bit-o-black" 
Thanks, Donald, for pointing out that my numbering was off last week. LOL. We should be back on track now.

This week's Challenge is to add a bit of black.   Just add a bit more black to your tangles in a way you wouldn't normally do.  You may find that when you add a bit of black it adds a bit more drama to your tile and makes it more dynamic!

Here's my tile:
fancy
For my tile i just used a simple "X" string, and used 4 tangles that are my go-tos.  From the top clockwise they are: Ennies, Shattuck, Hollibaugh, and Tripoli.

How i added black:
Ennis - i coloured in all the bits of space between my small circles
Shattuck - i added black to the first 'stripe' of each 'fan'
Hollibaugh - i rounded the corners and filled them in with black
Tripoli - i like to draw circles inside my triangles - but usually i fill them in with black and leave the spaces white - so i switched it up and filled in the spaces and left the circles white.

It should be really interesting to see where you all add your black bits - to see how that changes the tangles and gives them more OOMPH!!

Have a great week, everyone.  Have fun with this one!

Love Laura

If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)