Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekly Challenge #206

Good Monday Morning!

It's been a very long week here at Casa Diva.  Chewie has been home from school all week for February break! But! Something magical happened this week!

I have three brothers - and i often say to my mom: "I don't know how you managed to not murder us in our sleep."  and she always just laughs and says that having four kids wasn't so bad because we all played with each other and we kept ourselves occupied.

So many times i wondered when this would happen to me.

Well, folks? The boys actually spent time playing "together"!!
This is a huge deal.

Behold Chewie's Lego creation: Rancor 2.0!
 Tuesday Morning they spent a good half hour playing Lego ships together on the kitchen floor.  chewie made 2 sweet ships and then flew around shooting at each other and ACTUALLY PLAYING!!

Wednesday they took on the Colossal task of ridding the house of zombies.  And off they went, my little zombie-killing duo, and systematically cleared the zombies out of EVERY room in the house.  I'm so glad they took care of that for me, cuz the zombies around here were getting pretty ridiculous.

Thursday they found some play-doh and made amazing creatures and then made little models of each OTHER and play acted a bunch of random scenes.  I really wish i had gotten a pic of their little mini-mes.


By Friday though, it seemed that playing with his brother had lost some of it's charm, and Chewie began pestering his brother - which led to many conversations about how just because HE is bored doesn't mean he's allowed to bother his brother (who is pretty content to do his own thing)

it's so interesting being parents to little human beings and to see how much they are similar, and then see how much they are different.  My little extrovert and my little introvert.  hm.

Friday night i got to get out with b-rad's cousin and attend another Dr. Sketchy life drawing session.  The theme of this night was PUNK ROCK and so the music was rowdy and there was beer and there was this amazing burlesque model named Stella Behaviour who told us her stories from back when she was a PUNK.

She pretty much looked ready to jump over the table and knock a few heads. 

Saturday night my good pal Tara and her hubby came over for some board games, where they introduced us to some fun games.  One of which is King of Tokyo which is like a funner version of Yahtzee where you play monsters attacking Tokyo.  They left the game with us for a while because we thought Chewie would probably LOVE playing it . We were right.

Adorable Monster Boys
On Sunday night we drove out to B-rad's mom and dad's for a family supper - where within 5 minutes of being there i managed to SLICE OPEN MY RIGHT THUMB trying to open a cardboard box for Artoo.   I'm not going to lie. it hurt. a lot.  But i managed.  It's  funny how you don't realize how much you use your right thumb until you lacerate it on a stupid box.

On our way how we got to watch this amazing sunset.

They don't call Saskatchewan Land of the Living Skies for nothing. 
 That's also Venus pictured there as well.  Chewie thought that was so cool that he could see a planet.

Weekly Challenge #206: "Tools/Trade"
So, i sliced open my thumb.  did i mention that?  As we were driving home from my in-laws and my thumb was throbbing in pain, i contemplated perhaps taking the day off from the challenge. Then i thought; "No, maybe i can make this work for me?"  And so when i got home and the boys were in bed, i decided to try something different.

typically, i work on the regular zentangle size tile -  3.5"x3.5", or a zendala tile; but for this challenge i used a zentangle apprentice tile, which is larger than a regular one.  it's 4.5"x4.5"

the reason i used a larger tile is because i wanted to spend as little time on my tile as possible (because of the throbbing bleedy thumb).  So instead of using a .01 Sakura micron pen i used a Prismacolor Brush nib pen.

The brush nib is very soft and flexible, and leaves a heavier line.  Since the nib was super flexible, i really had to slow down (Which sort of defeated the purpose of using a larger nib in the first place, d'oh) and take my time with each pen line.  I also was holding the pen at the very back of my hand because it was the only way it didn't hurt to proceed.


For me, it was very reminiscent of the non-dominant hand challenges because (THUMB!) i had to let go of my expectation and really just focus on the feeling of the pen dragging across the paper.  It was very relaxing, and while it's not very pretty - it's still pretty awesome. 

So - this week's challenge is NOT to go and cut your thumbs open.  PLEASE do not do that.  :)

This week's challenge is to try using tools or materials you've never used before for tangling.  Maybe you've always wanted to try tangling with watercolours instead of pens? Or maybe india ink? Or maybe a ballpoint pen? or perhaps you want to use nature and create a piece in the snow or the sand, or out of plants or flowers or twigs... maybe you want to use your sewing machine? Or try some embroidery? maybe you want to use a digital drawing program?

Rick is fond of saying that Zentangle can be done anywhere, with anything, even if it's just a stick in the sand.

What will you use?

happy tangling!
Love Laura

If you have a blog, 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. ;) 
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, February 17, 2015

Weekly Challenge #205

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend, to those of you who were lucky enough to have one.
I'm so proud of my little mixed media artist
Friday was Chewie's Valentine's celebration at school, and i'm so happy he chose to make his valentine's again this year.  We have so much fun playing with all my inks and sprays and stencils and stamps and paint.



Chewie left me this poem Friday night before bed.  I love it, and i'm keeping it forever.  He also didn't want Dad or Artoo to feel left out, so he made one for each of them as well.  Artoo was so pumped up about Valentine's day, he was so happy to get a poem from his brother and one of Chewie's handmade cards.   After the boys were in bed i made them both cards and left them on the table for them to find at breakfast. 

For Artoo
Artoo carried around his valentine for most of the day.

For Chewie
Valentine's day (Saturday) was pretty lowkey at our house.  We got up and had pink heart shaped pancakes for breakfast.  It was snowing pretty hard (nothing like they're getting on the East Coast but enough) so we stayed in all day and played video games and did laundry. (how romantic)

all you need is love
We had a very short bout of nice-ish weather on the weekend - Sunday, to be exact.  It was a balmy -9C so we took the boys out for a bit of sledding.  After the snowfall of the previous day, there was lots of fluffy snow covering the hill.  The boys had a great time.  B-rad and i were exhausted.

So happy!
I love my little family
Chewie and I having a lie-down in the snow after climbing to the top of the hill
 Monday was Family Day, and there was some talk about going sledding with my mom and dad and my brothers' families - But even though the day was sunny and beautiful, the temperature was a nasty -29C so we decided NOT to try sledding, and went bowling instead.

Artoo got some help from dad
 This was the first time Artoo had ever been bowling - if you don't count the one year when he was an infant and still had his legs in boots and bars for his clubbed feet.  He had a lot of fun - but had some difficulty getting any power in his throws.  One ball went so slowly it stopped in the middle of the alley and we had to get someone to come and clear it off.

He kept yelling: "Put some SAUCE on it!" when he'd throw the ball...  it was so seriously adorable.

Chewie had fun too, i think - but he had a very hard time dealing with the fact that he could not get a strike.  That boy likes to win.
Chewie's bowl
B-rad did fairly well, he used to bowl on a team in high school - and i think it is safe to say that i will not be leaving the Weekly Challenge for an exciting professional bowling career any time soon.  In fact, my score was 85.  (5 pin bowling).  Chewie got 101.  (he had bumpers on his alley, i did not... but i'll let him have it - he's pretty proud that his score was higher)

After bowling the whole crew came back to our place and we had ice cream sundaes.  It was pretty fantastic.

Weekly Challenge #205: "Year of the Goat"
This Thursday is Chinese New Year, and in the Chinese Zodiac 2015 is the Year of the Goat (Or the Sheep, apparently... depending on which website you look at)

B-rad was born in the year of the Goat, I was born in the year of the Monkey - even though we're both born in 1980.  (B-rad's birthday in is January, and he's a Capricorn, so he's a Goaty Goat.) lol
Goaty
 This week is to incorporate the Chinese New Year into your tile.  I just did a quick Google Image search for Chinese New Year 2015 and looked around then created this Goat head zendala.

I imagined it looking WAY COOLER in my head, lol, you can't win 'em all - but as my regulars know: It's my own PERSONAL challenge to always post my first attempt.  Whether i like it or not.  I'm not crazy about this one, but here it is.

Have fun! Have a great week.
If you have a blog, 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. ;) 
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, February 15, 2015

Family Day!

Here in Saskatchewan, we are celebrating Family Day on Monday (Feb 16th) - so we're having a long weekend!

In keeping with Diva Challenge tradition, Monday's challenge will be live on the blog on TUESDAY February 17th.

Happy Family Day to those of us who have it! Happy Monday to everyone else.  see you soon!

Love Laura

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekly Challenge #204

Good morning everyone!

We've had a better week, now that everyone is feeling healthy again!
The weather turned cold again, so the boys have been a bit cabin-fevery.

It's always a fun day with facepaints
Chewie has been getting some extra video games time with his dad, and so Artoo and i made some cookies together.

The cutest little pastry chef!

We are all anxiously awaiting spring, though.  Almost every day Chewie will ask me how many days until Spring, or Artoo will ask "Why is it STILL Winter?"  and all i can tell them is: "We live in Saskatchewan, who knows when Spring will come... but it will.  Eventually."

i love this pic of Chewie
I love how much they love each other... You can see in Chewie's hand, he's holding a book.
He was reading to his little brother in the upstair hall before i took the picture.
Heart = Melted
Artoo had a busy week with therapies - as we're trying to make sure we're on track for Kindergarten (WAHHHHH!!!) We also stopped in at his Opthalmologist for a quick check up before we head to Calgary this month to see the surgeon.

playing "games" with Doctor Heather
In between all of this, i've been trying to do a bit of my own personal art - taking 5-10 minutes here and there to get into my studio.  I got some painting done this weekend, and painted Chewie's favourite stuffie, Maynard.  The boys both gifted me with 8"x8" canvasses, acrylic paints, and brushes for Christmas - and included a card asking if i would paint their stuffed animals.  I managed to do Artoo's frog, Roger, on Christmas Day, but haven't gotten around to Chewie's giraffe. 


Weekly Challenge #204: "Valentangle"
I'm not sure who coined the term Valentangle, one of the other CZTs i think - but it's so cute.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner (HINT: it's Saturday) this week's challenge is to get into the Valentine's Spirit.  You can use a heart as your string, or tangle hearts, or use the colours red white or pink... whatever tickles your fancy!

work in progress
Here's mine.  I really quite like it.  I don't use my zendala tiles often enough, they are really quite fun.


I used a renaissance pre-strung zendala tile, a red Sakura Identi-pen, Sakura Micron Pigma pens in black and in red, a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen, and my pencil and white charcoal pencil for shading and highlighting.  

Can't wait to see what you come up with!
Happy Valentine's day!
If you have a blog, 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. ;) 
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, February 2, 2015

Weekly Challenge #203

Happy Monday everyone!

The boys are recovering from strep throat, but i think Artoo has a bit of a viral cough on top of things.  It seems to be going away, but it's taking it's sweet time - as all viruses seem to hook their claws in and outstay their welcome with him.

cutesy poo
 Artoo and i had some sweet arty times this week - he asked if we could make paintings, and so i set up the computer and we listened to his songs and we both painted.  It was totally rad.  loved it.

they love each other, and that's so awesome
 We're still sort of in recovery from last week when everyone was sick, and so one night last week i got out of the house and bought some groceries with this chicka... as you do when you're a mom - you go on grocery trips with friends.... but then we had beer.  it was great.  mmmm. beer.

Beeeeeeeeer.
 Chewie is signed up for a Zumba class with his friend E.  He really likes it, but it's not as "strict" as the zumba class he took a few years ago.  This one seems to be more running around, less dancing, but it gets him out of the house for a little bit in this freezing weather.  I didn't get to take him last week because instead i was at the school attending Kindergarten information night (AHHHH!!!!! OMG ARTOO IN KINDERGARTEN!??) and trying not to hyperventilate with anxiety.   So this week i took him and i brought Artoo with us.

Artoo loves music and we often have dance parties in the kitchen - we got there and he took his boots off and said: "Bye mom! I'm going to go do zumba now!" and made himself at home.

Sadly this class is full, or i would have signed him up then and there... i didn't realize it was a class for ages 4-6, or i would have totally signed him up.

this is probably one of my favourite photos of all time.
 He had just as much fun dancing on the sidelines though.

my three boys, playing dominoes
 Chewie's friend E just got back from Disneyland 3 weeks ago - and now she is 100% into Star Wars.... So, Chewie asked if E could come over for a sleepover.... and every day he asked if it was the day.... so i wrote down the day on a calendar and he could count down the days himself instead of asking me all the time.... but this Saturday.... was the day.

Pizza and Star Wars and besties
B-rad and Artoo were out for the night at a family dinner, so Chewie and E had the house to themselves.  We ordered Pizza and watched Star Wars and they played Lego and drew Star Wars pictures.... and didn't go to bed until 11:30.... i'm still tired. lol

So, it was a better week - things are slowly getting back to normal.  How was yours?


Weekly Challenge #203: "UMT - Athitzi by Seven"
this week's Use My Tangle challenge is brought to you by Seven - and it is called Athitzi.  You can find the step outs for the tangle HERE  **My deepest apologies - this tangle is by Seven, Not Eleanor.  I must have been half asleep while writing this post.**


I really enjoyed this tangle. I found it very relaxing, and it's a no-brainer - as in you don't have to really think about 'steps' you can really zone out.  One of my favourite tangles is KEEKO because i love to draw those little lines.  So, naturally, i really enjoyed this one too.  It reminds me, very much, or the hatching technique they teach you in high school art classes. 

A good tip is to try to make your rows of tiny lines touch a little bit, and to keep your tiny lines close together. 

This week's challenge is to incorporate Athitzi into your tile or piece.  I know i'll probably come back again and again to this one.  

For those of you who don't know, the first Monday of the month, is a UMT Challenge (Use My Tangle), where the challenge is to learn and use a tangle created by one of you! It's awesome for me, because i don't have time to try all the new tangles i see on the web on a regular basis. This challenge makes sure i'm at least learning ONE new tangle a month... 
if you have a tangle you'd like to submit, please follow this link for the guidelines for submissions. Each month's tangle is chosen at random by www.random.org 

Have  a great week!
f you have a blog, 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. ;) 
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, January 26, 2015

Weekly Challenge #202

Good Morning!
Thank you, everyone, for your amazing submissions for Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day last week.

What a tough week it's been.  Both boys have been sick.  Both with Strep Throat which turned into Bronchitis for Artoo.  Chewie seemed to bounce back fairly quickly, but Artoo gets hit hard with these kinds of things.  Many sleepless nights and coughing fits and cranky family.

Not every week can be jam packed with good times.  This one, unfortunately, was a hard one.

We did get our Purple on for Artoo though and took the obligatory family purple picture. :D

Happy Moebius Awareness Day!!  Love the Harms Family.
I'm going to keep this week short and to the point.

Let's call that week done and move on shall we?

Weekly Challenge #202: "DuoTangle: Chebucto vs Copada"

This week's challenge is to create a DuoTangle, which is a tile using ONLY the two tangles given.  This week those two tangles are Chebucto and Copada.   This is the first time that the DuoTangle challenge has NOT been two official Zentangle tangles.  These tangles are by my fellow Saskatonian CZT - Margaret Bremner.  (you can find the step outs for these tangles in the links above)


These two tangles are both tangles i use regularly, but i thought it would be interesting to use them in a DuoTangle because they're both sort of border-type tangles.  How to work that into a DuoTangle?

I'm really interested to see what you all come up with.

Have a great week! 

If you have a blog, 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. ;) 
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, January 19, 2015

Weekly Challenge #201

Happy Monday everyone!!

HOLY MOLY! WE DID IT!! Last week's 200th Challenge had over 200 submissions!! i haven't had a chance to go to everyone's blogs and sites this week, i'm making may through all the posts slowly!  You guys are so awesome!!



Aaaaaaaaand now for the winners of the 200th Challenge Giveaways!! (are you all dying of anticipation?)

This winners of these prizes were all chosen via Rafflecopter, based on your various entries like commenting and visiting facebook and tweeting, etc! 

Winner #1 
Britt Jacobson!
You won a set of Puzzle Coasters,
Bijou tiles, a tile sampler pack, and an I Heart Zentangle decal

Winner #2: 
Carmela from the Netherlands!
You won tan Zendala tiles, white Artist Trading Cards,
black Artist Trading Cards and an I Heart Zentangle Decal 
Winner #3
Cat Trask!

You won White, Tan and Black tiles,
Bijou tiles, and an I Heart Zentangle decal
Congratulations! i hope you enjoy your loot!

I have to say that i was just tickled pink by the number of people who bravely shared their tiles last week!  There were many of you who said you followed along but had never posted until now... i'm proud of you!! I hope you had a pleasant experience!

Thank you, everyone, for making last week my most successful challenge to date.  Last i checked we were at 209 submissions, so that means:  

SECRET PRIZE NUMBER 4!!

This prize was selected using the random number generator from random.org and i randomly selected a number between 1 and 209.   and the winner is: 

DIANE TREW!!
Diane, you have won:
The book of zentangle, signed by Rick and Maria (and me),
and a Bijou version of my Mac'n'cheese tile,
complete with wearable frame (just add chain, or pretty ribbon), and an I Heart Zentangle decal
Diane, please email me at lauraharmz at gmail dot com with your mailing address! 

Thanks to those lovely souls who have fed the tip jar!! Sign up if you're interested (on the side bar or here)  Tipping brings good Karma, and makes the Universe happy and gives all the kittens of the world super fluffy marshmallows.  Please, think of the kittens.  :)

Weekly Challenge #201: "Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day 2015"



Moebius Syndrome Awareness day is Friday, January 24th.



For those of you who've been around since the beginning you know that my son, Artoo, has Moebius Syndrome.



For all my new friends - Moebius Syndrome is a congenital nerve disorder affecting cranial VI and VII nerves controlling the lateral movement of his face. Moebius is a spectrum disorder - so some cases are more severe than others.


We've been extremely lucky that Artoo's symptoms haven't been too difficult to adjust to. 


Without going into too much detail about his condition; we deal with delayed developmental milestones, eating/feeding issues, club feet, low muscle tone - just to name a few things, and of course - being unable to deal with viruses and bacterias, he gets very sick. very fast.


Not a lot of people know about Moebius Syndrome, which is not surprising given the odds of having a child with Moebius is 1-2:1,000,000



yes.  you read right.  one million.  There's currently about 5,000 people on the planet with Moebius Syndrome 


When Artoo was first born and we'd take him to the hospital for emergencies, we'd tell the doctors that he has Moebius Syndrome and they would say: "What's that?"  We've had to become the experts on the syndrome, and the advocates for our child, finding our way through the haze of the medical system.



i also want to stress here that Moebius Syndrome is 
NOT A DISEASE, it's a disorder affecting his nerves.  The word disease implies that he is sick, or that he could 'get better'.   A lot of people assume that people who have Moebius Syndrome are mentally disabled because of their facial paralysis.  This is simply not true.  It does not affect intelligence, in fact - Artoo is really super smart. 


He's now 4.5 years old reads just as well as his older brother.  He's incredibly smart, and he really loves to sing and dance.  It's not uncommon for him to sing out loud, at the top of his lungs... in places like the doctor's office... or the grocery store... or outside of Chewie's grade 1 class.  Much to everyone's delight.



If you ask him what he'd like to be when he grows up, he will tell you: A Palaeontologist. 




To raise awareness for this disorder is this week's Challenge. Use the Moebius Syndrome Foundation's logo as your string, or create a moebius strip out of paper and tangle that... or some other awesome creative thing that i haven't thought of.


Here's two versions of the logo for you to work with.  You can print them or trace them or draw your own.


For those of you who remember this challenge from last year, please don't submit your tile from last year.  I'm going to send the link to the Challenge to the folks on my Moebius Syndrome support group on facebook, i'd love for them to see all your amazing artwork so that each and every one of them will know that they are not alone and that we are aware!!

If you are going to post your piece, also, to Instagram (@iamthediva), Twitter, or Facebook - please consider using the hashtag: #MSAD15


OH, also - the colour for MSAD is Purple, so if you want to incorporate purple into your tile, feel free.  Please consider wearing purple on Saturday, in support of Artoo - The first baby to attend a CZT Conference in utero! :D.

If you do, and you'd like to send me a photo, you can send it to lauraharmz (at) gmail (dot) com, or post it to the Challenge Facebook Page with hashtag #MSAD15

Thank you everyone for being so supportive of our family!! it means so much to us.

have a great week!