Fall 2016

I am definitely NOT a fashion blogger. Nor would I say I am anywhere near being a fashion expert. That said, the interest I had in “high” fashion as a teen has returned in the past few years. And, I have been following all the runway shows via the internet. It’s currently Fashion Week in Paris, with the Fall 2016 Ready to Wear lines being presented. I’m never going to be able to afford any of the clothes, never mind have the body to wear them. But, it inspires my creativity to look at them.

This time around I am gobsmacked! I cannot believe the Lanvin line.  How bad it is.

Beyond what the critics refer to as the 80s “Dynasty” vibe, I am struck by how ill-fitting all the garments are. They all look like at least two sizes too big for the models…unintentionally! It’s just sad. Unlike the joie de vivre of Vetments, which has intentional strange fits that are striking, new, and (dare I use the phrase) “Fashion Forward”.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Valentino line on March 8th.

 

Reflections on 2015

Despite my best efforts, I ended 2015 without spending at least 15 minutes a day being creative. I haven’t been playing my bass, drawing, or painting. In fact, I eschewed my usual cookie baking spree this Christmas. I think in large part it’s because I’ve been struggling with my depression for the past four to six months.

I can say that I succeeded in my reading goal, finishing the CanLit Bingo challenge. And I accomplished a Mighty Life goal of seeing Paul Weller play live. (Amazing! Worth the hearing damage.) Plus I saw Wilco live again, and they were unbelievably better than they were the last time.

I had to let go of my friendship with Goalie Joe. And although I feel good about the decision, I think blogging about it without having discussed my feelings with her was passive-aggressive. I should have either had a confrontation with her or just ghosted her. But, I am letting that go too. I have to forgive myself for not being the perfect being that expect myself to be.

One of the best things about this year is the amount of time I was able to spend with the mother of the world’s cutest children. I guess I should really figure out an appropriate Joe moniker for her. Her husband is Plumber Joe, her eldest daughter is Arty Joe, and her youngest is Joe Beast. But her. She’s not a Joe. She’s just Clyde. Always has been and always will be.

Anyway, I started the year with Clyde and her family. And I ended the year with them. I spent time with her at the end of July that, although precipitated by a sad event, was enjoyable. And, I celebrated my birthday with them. The bond we have had since she was born was strong before, but is even stronger now. And I love that I’m getting a chance to see her children grow up.

All in all, my 2015 was filled with family love.

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BINGO!

Back in January, I received the “Retreat” newsletter from Random House in my email box, which had a “Reading Bingo” card. This year’s card contained the twist in that it was all Canadian content. I took it up as my reading challenge for the year. And… I did it! A blackout on my bingo card!!

Reading Bingo 2015 (click on the squares for links to the books I read!)

I made a point of not using the same book for more than one square, and I only re-read one book – Anne of Green Gables. The “Book about a Canadian Sports Team” was perhaps the hardest square to check off. Admittedly the book isn’t really about a Canadian sports team per se, but Terry Ryan did briefly play for the Montreal Canadiens, and he does play professional hockey for a team in Newfoundland. So, I decided I would count it.

The highlights of the reading were Who Has Seen the Wind, Tales of a Time Being, and If a Raven. It was, overall, a great experience. I’m looking forward to a new card in January.

Shifts Revisited

A little over a year ago, I wrote about how Goalie Joe and I had drifted apart. Back in July, she came to me and apologized for drifting away. And, I let her back into my life. Easy peasy.

Last weekend I realized that there’s no going back sometimes.

I went out to Mission for a visit. Got to see Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Got to see a lot of people I’ve met in Mission over the years. And got to see a side of Goalie Joe that I hadn’t been able to see so clearly before, a side that just makes it impossible for me to continue to see her as a friend anymore.

I’m not shocked by how things went, nor do I feel sad about it. It is just what it is.

The Voice of/and Creation

As per the goal I set for myself this year, I have been endeavouring to spend time each day in the act of creation. Some days this has been easy, and I have surpassed my 15-minute goal handily. Other days, well, can I consider getting my coffeemaker set up for automatic brewing an act of creation?

Recently I’ve been playing with a couple of art projects. One includes a lino-cut print and watercolour wash, which means I need to learn watercolour techniques.

Another involves stitching over a photograph mounted on canvas. The later isn’t really working very well, and I am tempted to just chuck the piece out. Part of the problem is that I’m really not very good at simple embroidery. I can cross-stitch like no-one’s business, but don’t ask me to put satin stitches or lazy-daisies on anything. The bigger problem, however, is that I didn’t have a clear idea what I was going to stitch when I started out – I simply picked a photo I liked, modge-podged it to the canvas, and have been throwing stitches on it willy-nilly. I should have spent more time considering what I wanted the piece to say before I started.

What do I want my art to say?

Nothing. I don’t really have anything I want to say.

I have thought, opinions, and ideas galore but zero desire to share them with the world at large, hence the radio silence on this blog. And maybe this is why I have largely ignored all urges I have had to draw, paint, write, and/or play music. It’s easier to devote my creative impulses to crafts like crochet and cross-stitch where I am simply producing something that is aesthetically pleasing than to excavate something from my soul that just doesn’t want to join the outside world.

Maybe I need to just let go of these thoughts and relax. It’s okay for me to just putz around with art and not be concerned with it being able to “speak” to other people.

Egads!

It has been a long time since I wrote my last post here. And I’d like to say that time has been spent with creatively. Sadly, however, I cannot.

Although I am still being more creative than in past years, I failed to live up to my 15 minute a day challenge…after only one month. (Hangs head in shame.) I think I got off track when I started devoting more time to playing Wii Lego games and watching Netflix marathons of That 70’s Show! That said, I have managed to do some baking and have crocheted myself a sweater.

 

But, it’s only June. There are still basically six more months of creating to be done.

On Tuesday I started an art project working with lino cutting and watercolour. Last night, I started working on crocheting a stuffed hippopotamus for Rockabilly Joe, who is expecting her first child later this fall.

I also anticipate that the project I started on Saturday will definitely occupy some of my time this summer. The name of this project is “Wasp Begone!!”

Last summer I noticed that I frequently had wasps buzzing inside my apartment. (On a side note, I wonder just what the hell is it with this apartment and creatures – see “Critters” tag for more stories.) Towards early fall I started to find dead wasps in my bedroom window sill and on the carpet. Having been stung by wasps before, I found this disconcerting and hung a ‘faux’ wasps nest from my ceiling to ward them off.

A little over a month ago, I found another dead wasp in my window sill.

So….

Last weekend I started a balcony garden, with several types of mint and some lavender, which I read they avoid. And on Monday, Rockabilly Joe gave me some vegetable seedlings (tomatoes, celery, kale, and beans) to plant. I’m thinking about getting flowers but am not sold on the idea as it might be counter productive to the wasp deterrent I’m aiming for. Besides, I’m not sure any of the plants are even going to survive to bear fruit/vegetables.

As long as I get a nice bouquet of lavender wafting into my bedroom window, I will be happy.

 

Arts and Crafts

I’m off to a good start with my goal. I nearly missed putting in my 15 minutes one day last week. But, I simply spent some time before going to sleep, sketching while I laid in bed.

On Saturday, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a program for creating my own cross-stitch designs. Creating my own patterns was one of the reasons I wanted my own computer when I initially purchased one, over a decade ago.

I played with it a bit over the weekend, transforming photos I took into patterns. However, the patterns are pretty large, and I want my first one to be something smaller, less intimidating. Next, I tried an image of a sugar skull I’ve had on file. But there are far too many colours in the image, and the background is black, making the pattern far more detailed than I want.

So, tonight, I plan on playing with basic line drawings of sugar skulls and filling in the colours to see what I can create.

If that doesn’t happen, I’ll be working on the top I started crocheting on Saturday night.