Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekly Challenge #300

HOLY COW!! OH MY GOODNESS!! CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT!!

Three Hundred weeks ago i started this little community here on the world wide web. 

Three Hundred weeks ago. 

Three Hundred weeks ago i couldn't have guessed the journey the blog would take and where it would take me, both literally and figuratively.  

Three Hundred weeks ago i didn't know the amount of connections that would be made. 

Three Hundred weeks ago i couldn't have imagined the wealth of friendship i have found.  

Three Hundred weeks ago i thought i'd just try my hand at this for challenge blog few months and see how it goes. 

Three Hundred weeks ago i was a totally different person who has grown in incredible ways and has changed in ways i couldn't have foreseen. 

I'm going to just jump right into here because i think this week's challenge is really fitting for this occasion.
If you've been following my blog and my facebook page for some time, you may have guessed that this challenge would be coming.  This Tuesday, January 24th, is Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day.

In the beginning - i came to zentangle for the art.  I was drawn to it because it was familiar.  Then Artoo was born and everything about his birth and his hospital stay and his eventual homecoming was. So. Hard......and i clung to zentangle as my life line in those first months - and eventually it led me here because i knew that i NEEDED to keep a zentangle practice in my life.  I needed to make it a priority because, honestly - this challenge blog? Well.  It saved me back then.  It gave me something i had to do for myself at least once a week, and in the beginning that was all i could manage.  It was all i could do some Sunday nights to sit down and write and create a tile... and a lot of those challenges in the early days i was totally living by the old adage: Fake it 'till you make it.  

And it helped.  Writing this blog for the past six years has sometimes been a challenge, sometimes a chore, but i keep coming back to it because it helped me pull myself out of my own real life challenges, even if it was just for Sunday night.

Weekly Challenge #300: "Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day"
Artoo, the great
My son Artoo has Moebius Syndrome and every year I post this challenge about Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day.  I do this because i love my son so very much.  He is the brightest, the silliest, the sweetest most sensitive and emotionally mature not to mention adorable kid with buckets of charisma and an astounding memory for details and facts.  The kid is so freaking charming.
Grade 1 is awesome
Moebius Syndrome is HELLA rare.
being silly is fun!
Like literally 1-20 in a million rare.  I'm not making that up.
I think he makes this look work
It is a nerve disorder that is present at birth.  It's the cranial nerves, to be specific, that are either underdeveloped, broken or missing causing facial paralysis.  People who have moebius syndrome are on varying degrees of the Moebius spectrum.  For Artoo he has zero movement in his eyebrows, and this eyes don't move from side to side.  Those nerves are missing.
cutest paleontologist ever
Artoo has difficulty with speech because there is some paralysis in and around his mouth - and it's kind of like speaking to someone with an interesting accent.  After a while you just learn how to speak Artoo.
Preemies are magic
When he was born the doctors told me that i would never see him smile.
can i get a hell yeah?
Doctors don't always know everything.

People with Moebius Syndrome can have low muscle tone and can be uncoordinated or have trouble with balance, like Artoo does. And/or they can be born with some missing limbs or underdeveloped or webbed digits, and can also have other disorders, which Artoo does not.
budding artist - oh, my heart
I tell you these things and i share his pictures with you because it breaks my heart that people who have never met him make assumptions about him, based on his physical appearance.  It causes me physical pain when people talk over him and ask me "So, what's wrong with him anyway?" as if he wasn't completely fully aware that they are talking about him.  SPOILER: He is.
he deserves a million trophies
I kills me that he might ever be made to feel that he is less than because a few of his nerves don't work, like - f'real, that's a shitty reason to feel like you don't or can't belong.  It would be just as unfair if the world decided that everyone with green eyes was weird or that their eyes looked funny and no one wanted to be your friend or talk to you....
his future album cover
Artoo wants nothing more than to grow up and be in a comedy band like his current idol, Weird Al Yankovic.  He loves the colour green.  He recently discovered cinnamon buns (at christmas) and thinks they are the best flippin' thing since sliced bread.  He likes to watch Spongebob Squarepants and believes that fart jokes are the height of comedic sophistication.  He can spell paleontologist without breaking a sweat and he can read backwards!
We love Artoo

He can tell you, to the second, how long his favourite songs are and which album it's from and when that album was released.  He has an excellent singing voice and loves dancing.  He likes to write lists and he likes to write fiction stories about Weird Al and his school friends going on field trips to the zoo.  Sometimes the way he talks other grownups kills me because he's so matter of fact like he's like a tiny grownup himself.
ice cream sundaes are the best
I make Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day the weekly challenge each year because i am in the unique position where, for some reason, thousands of people care what i have to say sometimes.
fair rides for the win!

 Also it's in the hopes that i may reach just one more person; someone new, someone who had never heard of Moebius Syndrome so that when some day in the future they are fortunate enough to meet one of these amazing people they will remember that one blog post they read that one time, and they might remember that underneath the face they're unfamiliar with is a person who is warm and caring and funny and would really really really - more than anything - just wanted to be treated as normal.


 I make it the challenge so i can tell you that it's NOT a disease.
It's disorder.  It's not contagious.
well, unless it's goofy camping faces... THOSE are fully contagious
 This isn't something that "happened to" our family.  Our lives are totally different than i would have ever imagined three hundred and some weeks ago.  But were it not for Artoo none of this would have happened.  We are discovering, as we go, that we are immensely blessed in so many ways.  Ways we are aware of, and ways that i'm sure will make themselves known in the fullness of time. (Wooo!! that was a five dollar phrase! The fullness of tiiiiime)


But simplified; Because Artoo was born i really and truly embraced tangling.  Because i needed to keep tangling i started this blog.  Through this blog i have met (online AND in real life) the most supportive, caring, generous, giving and amazing souls who would never have otherwise come into my life!   

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 if you can.  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 hashtags: #moebiusawareness #moebiuspurple so that the Moebius community will see them there as well.  

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!!

also - the colour for MSAD is Purple, so if you want to incorporate purple into your tile, feel free.  Please consider wearing purple on Sunday, in support of our big man Artoo - The first baby to attend a CZT Conference in utero and resident CasaDiva cutie pants!!! :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 #moebiusawareness 

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

have a great week!

And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App or Instagram - 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 #DC300(Diva Challenge #300) for your tile this week! You can also search in the app for people's contributions to the challenge by clicking on the hashtag from inside the app, or using the search function. 
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. ;) 
If you love the challenge as much as i do, please consider leaving a tip (tip jar in the side bar).  I write this blog for free and have no plans to make it a paid for service in the future. 
 Buy me a cup of coffee, or a new Micron pen!! Click the tip jar on the side for a monthly tip, but if you just wanna throw a few bucks my way THIS LINK

will give you a one time option.    A very big thank you to those who have kept me in hot cups of joe. ;)


Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekly Challenge #299

Good Monday morning everybody!

It's been a pretty non-exciting week for us here.  We dipped down to SUPER FREAKING COLD weather with several days down around the -35C mark (-31F) and that's not including the windchill which sometimes took us down as far as -44C (-47.2F).  Those are the days were we run from the house to the van, and from the van to the school and back again - and then we don't leave the house again unless we ABSOLUTELY have to.

There's a lot of hibernation mode around here.  One of the things that happens a lot in the winter, though, is that B-rad tends to play more video games and i tend to paint more.

So i have begun a crazy project - which you can follow on instagram if you're so inclined (@iamthediva)

When i'm painting a large canvas, i tend to get too precious with the work i'm doing - and i get stuck.  Not knowing what to do next, and so the canvas gets moved to the 'unfinished' pile because i just don't know what to do next.

getting ready to embark on The Crazy
I came up with this idea of: "What if i just had to keep painting? What if i just had to push through that wall of i don't know what to do next?" SO i decided that i would work on ONE PIECE for 50 hours.

I have actually no idea how many hours i tend to put into pieces, so i had no idea if that was going to be WAAAAY too many hours, or not nearly enough.  but, i have begun.  So far it feels like 50 hours is going to be a really tall order to fill.

this is the end of Hour 1
One fun thing that we did this week - B-rad and i surprised Chewie with a movie night on Tuesday.  B-rad took a few hours off work and we picked up the boys from school and dropped Artoo at Grandma's and took Chewie to see Rogue One.  We splurged for the D-Box tickets, which are these seats that rumble and move like a rollercoaster in time to action on the movie screen.

STAR WARS!!!
Chewie and B-rad loved the D-Box seats, whereas i only made it about 25 minutes into the film before i had to move to a different seat.  I just couldn't handle the moving seats and i found them more distracting than enhancing.  But - i LOVED the movie.  I thought it was excellently done, and it makes sense of many of the questions unanswered in the original triology.


I feel like we may have been the last three people to see it.  The theatre was basically empty.  In fact, there were literally 9 people in the whole place.  Granted we did go to a 4:10pm showing (because bedtime)

Chewie went to bed that night feeling special (he doesn't get a lot of one on one time with us) and with visions of starships in his head.  

Sunday afternoon i had the privilege of teaching an introduction to zentangle class to these ladies:

Tangling their little hearts out
Hey girls!!
and here's a close up one of their complete tiles.  (The birthday girl was such a natural, she took to tangling like a duck to water!)


they were a fun crew.  I hope they enjoyed their class! 

Weekly Challenge #299: "New Official Tangle: Drawings"
I have been very excited for this week's challenge.  Over my self imposed (but much needed and appreciated) Christmas break the mothership released the step outs for their new tangle "Drawings" that they officially shared with CZTs back at their ZenAgain conference in November.  

You can see the official step outs for Drawings here.  (remember that it's pronounced Draw-Wings)

Christmas Wings - 12 Days of 3zs
They shared the step outs in tandem with their Twelve Days of 3Zs series.  What you see above is my piece on a 3Z tile, which is one of the new products they shared at ZenAgain.  They are beautiful triangle shaped tiles which are super fun to play with.  (You can find them on the zentangle website, or ask your local CZT if they have any!)

I was lucky to have a lovely CZT offer to share some 3Zs with me just in time for the 12 Days of 3Zs, and i'll share them all with you over the next couple of weeks.  Thank you AGAIN Jody Genovese!!  

I also have many travelling tangles collaborations to share with you, so watch for those in the coming weeks as well.  

AND - also my fellow Saskatonian CZT Margaret Bremner (who attended ZenAgain) was so awesome and brought the rest of the Saskatchewan CZT contingency their own 3Zs to play with, so excpect to see more of those in the future.  ;) 

ANYWAY!!!

This week's challenge is to try out the new tangle Drawings! i look forward to seeing how you fly!!

Love Laura

And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App or Instagram - 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 #DC299(Diva Challenge #299) for your tile this week! You can also search in the app for people's contributions to the challenge by clicking on the hashtag from inside the app, or using the search function.

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. ;) 
If you love the challenge as much as i do, please consider leaving a tip (tip jar in the side bar).  I write this blog for free and have no plans to make it a paid for service in the future. 
 Buy me a cup of coffee, or a new Micron pen!! Click the tip jar on the side for a monthly tip, but if you just wanna throw a few bucks my way THIS LINK
will give you a one time option.    A very big thank you to those who have kept me in hot cups of joe. ;)


Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekly Challenge #298

Hail Hail the gang's all here!!

Welcome back to the Weekly Challenge - as we move into the year 2017!

First!  The winner of my Christmas Wreath tile is Zen Zone Begins!!  Please email me at lauraharmz at gmail.com with your address!!

We had a very busy Christmas between family functions and seeing friends home for the holidays.  It was super filled with food and wine and and laughter and presents and so much chocolate.

On Christmas Eve Day my mom and dad and my little brother and his family came over for a day of eating appetizers.

Here's Willy and I being super duper excited about these cinnamon buns.  See, all my life growing up my mother made these Ooey Gooey caramel sauce covered cinnamon buns, but she was always making them as 'payment' for something, like a friend who helped her when her car broke down, or for a 'grown up party' or for a church meeting - and never made them for just us.  So, every time she burned a batch (which was often as our stove didn't always cook evenly) she'd make another  fancy batch and give us the burnt up ones.

yum yum yum
 So this year my dad decided that the appetizer he would bring would be mom's special payment cinnamon buns.... except two of my brothers weren't home for Christmas.  So William and i had to send them a photo telling them that they were missing out, and that OBVIOUSLY we are dad's favourites because he made us cinnamon buns and they weren't even burnt.  lol

Plus we're the cutest. 

 Speaking of cutest, the boys got the new Pie Face game this Christmas, and Chewie and Artoo had a lot of fun smacking each other in the face with whipped cream.  B-rad may have had a little fun as well.

A video posted by Laura Harms (@iamthediva) on

PIEFACE!!
Here in Saskatchewan we have had some nasty cold weather but without any snow!  It looked like we would have had a brown Christmas this year, but thankfully Santa brought with him some Christmas snow fro the North Pole and the boys woke up to a beautiful White Christmas.  This was a very magical year for the boys... The Elf on the Shelf, Santa, Christmas Snow and Christmas Magic... it breaks my heart that the magical years are almost over.   I'll hold on as long as i can.

With the snow, that meant we got to take the toboggan out for a spin, so we did some sledding on New Years' Eve Day, then home for hot chocolates and a fun movie before bed.

Happy New Years from Casa Diva
Our New Year's eve was pretty tame - as in the boys were in bed by 8, and B-rad and i watched a movie and i fell asleep on the couch.  He did wake me up at twelve for a midnight kiss, though.

Weekly Challenge #298: "UMT - Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam"
 For those of you who are new, the first Monday of every month is a Use My Tangle Challenge, where the challenge of the week is to use a tangle created by one of you!  If you have a tangle you'd like to submit you can add it here and be sure that it follows the guidelines for submission.

This month's UMT is Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam, and you can see the step outs here - this is a fun tangle for me, as i do so love drawing orbs.  

Here's my take on it: 

"La-la-la-la-Life goes on"
It felt so good to be back in the zentangle game again - having taken my break.  It was nice to put pen to paper and to get my zen on.  

So have fun with this tangle!  Have a great week!

And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App or Instagram - 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 #DC298(Diva Challenge #298) for your tile this week!  You can also search in the app for people's contributions to the challenge by clicking on the hashtag from inside the app, or using the search function.  

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 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly Challenge #297


Happy Monday Everyone

Last week Chewie had another choir performance, this time for his school.  The Christmas songs are so cute, and there's nothing like listening to 150 voices singing about the Hip Hop Reindeer pulling the cool old Santa Claus around.  lol

There's one more Choir performance this season, i believe.

There's my boy, front and centre in the green scarf - Row 1

Artoo and i did some paintint this week, and he decided to paint this awesome portrait of our Scout Elf

This is a painting of our elf Elfybulla

B-rad's work Christmas party was on Friday and when i picked the kids up from school Artoo had a bit of a fever - and so there was some frantic changing of plans... such is our life.  So, B-rad and i stayed for dinner and then left early.  but i did snap this cute pic

cute
He seems to be doing okay right now, but we're keeping our eye on him. 

as for our elf this is what he's been up to this week: 
Mr. Potato Head reading stories to Elfybulla and his buddies
Elfybulla knocked down all the movies on the shelf and then displayed these two...
 it's like he's trying to tell us something
the boys had a pretty bad day of yelling and misbehaving so Elfybulla took a day off and stayed home so the kids could think about their behaviour
He returned! He climbed up into the Christmas Tree and knocked some of the decorations down
He spent the day relaxing in Artoo's stocking
he went camping with some buddies in a tent made from a story book

He brought the boys some kid sized mugs and was going to make them some hot chocolate,
 but had some troubles with the marshmallows (So far this day has gotten the biggest laugh)
It's really been fun listening to the boys look through the house for Elfybulla and then laugh when they find him.  It's a bit of work to do every night, but so far it's been worth it.  

I'm really trying to soak in all the Christmas Magic i can, because i know that before i know it, and before i'm ready, the magic spell will be over...  but for now - Elves and Santa and reindeer and holiday magic!! 

Weekly Challenge #297: Holiday Bash!

i have been thinking about this week's challenge every day this past week - and i was having trouble coming up with something... so here's what i HAVE come up with.

I took a peek at what my previous year's last challenge of the year challenges have been.   To date they are
Dec 2015 - "Give the Gift of Zentangle"
Dec 2014 - "Keep it Simple Silly"
Dec 2013 - "Merry Happy"
Dec 2012 - "New Tangles and a Diva Dance"
Dec 2011 - "give"
Dec 2010 - "Weekly Challenge #1"

What's that you say? Weekly challenge number one was on December 20??? YES.  We are now officially six years old.  I have been coming back virtually rain or shine every week for over HALF A DECADE to bring you the weekly challenge.  What a ride it's been.

So this week's challenge, the last challenge of 2016 (I'll be back January 9th) is to revisit one of the previous year's challenges and do it again!

And here is my tile:
Happy Merry!
I've made a holiday wreath on a zendala tile - and i'd like to give this to one of you!  leave me a comment and tell me you'd like to win it.  I'll randomly select a winner over the holidays and announce it when we come back in January!

Happy Holidays everyone and a Happy New Year.  May you all have cups full of cheer, and ink in your microns!! 

If you love the challenge as much as i do, please consider leaving a tip (tip jar in the side bar).  I write this blog for free and have no plans to make it a paid for service in the future. 
 Buy me a cup of coffee, or a new Micron pen!! Click the tip jar on the side for a monthly tip, but if you just wanna throw a few bucks my way THIS LINK
will give you a one time option.    A very big thank you to those who have kept me in hot cups of joe. ;)



Lots of love from Casa Diva!

See you back here January 9th!
Laura

And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App or Instagram - 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 #DC297(Diva Challenge #297) for your tile this week!  You can also search in the app for people's contributions to the challenge by clicking on the hashtag from inside the app, or using the search function.  

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, December 5, 2016

Weekly Challenge #296

Happy December y'all!

On the last day of November Chewie's class had a fun field trip to the Western Development Museum, the local boomtown museum, to see what Christmas as like in Saskatchewan a hundred years ago.  Here he is, dressed like a little prairie farm boy.

Ready to get to work
He had a lot of fun, but he says the best part was being given 'a hundred pennies' to go 'shopping' in the general store.  He said he bought Snow Shoes, and a saw, and some cloth and some candy and some toys, and still had 34 pennies left over.   (The general store gives them a checklist with a hundred pennies on it, and let's them pretend to go shopping so they can see how the value of money was back then)

It's only the first week in December and we're already off and running.  The most notable thing that's happened in our house right now is the return of our Elf on the Shelf, ElfyBulla.  He's our Scout Elf that keeps an eye on the going on in our house and then reports back to Santa each night before finding a new place in the house to hide. 

The boys had been talking about ElfyBulla a lot in the past week or so, wondering when he would come back.  They both had seemed to settle on December 9th, for some reason, as the date he'd make his triumphant return - so they were both super surprised and pleased when he showed up bright and early on the first of December. 
When ElfyBulla arrived to find we had not put up our Christmas Tree yet, he remedied the situation by making one of his own, and leaving a big mess, as always. 
The boys were super exciteted to see him
We made sure to remedy the situation as soon as possible, and put up our tree that night.
ElfyBulla was so excited to see the tree that he had to make some gingerbread cookies before finding a nice place in the tree to munch on his snack.


Nothing like a tasty gingerbread man 
again, he left a big mess - and the rest of his cookies undecorated.   The boys were very happy to decorate the leftover cookies (and eat them as well)

working together to make a tasty snack
Day Three found ElfyBulla relaxing by the bath.  The night before the boys had a very hilarious bubble bath, and it must have looked so fun to our elf, he had to have one too.  Artoo thought it was very funny that he was wearing a towel.

chillin' with his homies
And December 4th found ElfyBully working out on the chin up bar, trying to get his summer bod ready, i guess  The boys found this to be hilarious, and they have been telling everyone that he's just 'hanging out' on the chin up bar today.

he's got KILLER ABS!!
i caught this amazing shot of artoo yesterday morning as he was enjoying his morning smoothie.  I tell you, he could really rock a moustache.  don't you think?

There's only 10 people in the world who could pull off a smoothie moustache like that, and he's nine of them. 

Weekly Challenge #296: "UMT - Moowa by Anya Ipsen, CZT"
For those of you who are new, the first Monday of every month is a Use My Tangle Challenge, where the challenge of the week is to use a tangle created by one of you!  If you have a tangle you'd like to submit you can add it here and be sure that it follows the guidelines for submission.

I'm really excited about this month's UMT, because this is another one of those tangles that i've seen floating around facebook and the mosaic app and i haven't had the chance to use it yet.  BUT NOW'S MY CHANCE!!

You can find the step out's for this tangle HERE

moowavalous


Have a great week!

Before you go this week, i just want to let you know that the last challenge of 2016 will be next week, December 12 - and then i will be taking the rest of the month off for Christmas - as i've done in the past - with the challenge resuming on January 9th, 2017! 


And if you're on the Zentangle Mosaic App or Instagram - 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 #DC296(Diva Challenge #296) for your tile this week!  You can also search in the app for people's contributions to the challenge by clicking on the hashtag from inside the app, or using the search function.  

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