365 Days of Art – Days 27 and 28

….finishing with my renovation and painting beets

One of the things that I needed to do was finish putting together my set of drawers for all my art papers and art pads, palettes, plexiglass pieces, paper trimmers, assorted papers and magazines for collage and the 101 bits and pieces of stuff that I have collected over the years for my art. So one of my art days was taken up with assembling the drawers and organizing my materials.

Once that was done I was able to sit down and paint another pattern from Lisa Congdon’s class over at Creative Bug. This one is a pattern of beets. On the weekend I finally purchased a set of gouache paints. They’re a little more opaque than watercolours. These patterns aren’t as easy as Lisa makes them look. I definitely need more practice.

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Trying to Get Back to Painting

As some of you know, we’ve gone through some major renovations in our home. Last May my 91 year old father moved in with us but before that was possible we had to create an apartment for him in our basement. That meant moving my husband’s office (he works from home) from the basement to the the second floor where my art studio used to be and moving my art studio to the far end of my bedroom.

I managed to rearrange some of my art and actually got it up on the walls but I had boxes of paper that needed to be shredded and filed. My art supplies are in piles all around the drawing table and the drawing table is covered with more art supplies and my computer. I’m purging my closet of clothes I don’t wear anymore and some craft supplies that I will never use.

A few weeks ago I got my filing cabinet built and I’ve been slowly filling it up with only the essentials. I’ve literally shredded enough old bills to fill five recycling bags. I’ve bought a new desk from IKEA and now I need to assemble it. That’s my next project. Once that’s done I’ll have a new space for my computer and writing supplies and a new surface to sew from. Wish me luck. I’m hoping to get this all organized before Christmas.

Do you have a renovation that’s keeping you from doing what you love to do? Maybe you have some tips to share with those of us who are struggling to get things done. I don’t know what my excuse is, especially since I’m retired.

Renovation and Computer Blues

,,,,,it seems like forever since I wrote a post

As some of you know we’ve been undergoing a renovation in our home so that my 90 year old father could move in with us. During the renovation our phone lines and internet connection went down. We were planning on switching our service provider once the renovation was done so we didn’t call anyone in to fix the problem during construction.

Little did I know that I would feel so disconnected from the rest of the world. A couple of times I would drive to the nearest Starbucks so I could use their WiFi and check for important messages and do my on-line banking. The first time I did this I only had 10 minutes to check my mail because the store was closing earlier than I thought.

For weeks we lived in chaos to get ready for the renovation and then for the actual job. We had to move my husband’s office from the basement to the room where I had my art studio and we moved all the art supplies into the master bedroom (the largest room in the house). My daughters helped me purge and get rid of a lot of stuff. That part felt good but we still have more things to move. Some of the cabinets and the microwave have to be returned and my husband still has more files to go through. Luckily my father is in Calgary for three weeks visiting my sister.

I had a great contractor and he did a wonderful job. He started with the bathroom, fixing the plumbing, repairing the drywall, waterproofing the walls and installing tile in the shower, on the shower floor and on the floor itself and putting in new pot lights. He also put in a new toilet and grab bars and painted.

In the living area he boxed in the duct work, installed 6 new pot lights, added new baseboards and trim and painted the ceiling and walls.

In the old office the floor was pulled up and a new floor put down, the plumbing was retrieved from behind the walls, built in shelves were removed and new pot lights were installed. A fresh coat of paint brightened up the room but the cabinets, counter and sink weren’t put in place when my Dad moved in. Luckily it took only one extra day to move in the new refrigerator and affix the new cabinetry to the walls.

I’m happy to say that our new phone lines are in and the internet is once again working. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I’ll bring you up to date on all the goings on here at Mama Cormier’s.

Till then, cheers!

WFC – Reflections

…..reflecting on how much I’ve missed not being able to post my photographs for the last two weeks

While searching for the perfect medicine cabinet for my father I took several photographs before deciding on one that would work. In the end none of these were chosen.

 

Share Your World – April 10, 2017

…..thanks to Cee for coming up with four more questions for Share Your World

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

When I was in high school I remember that walking events were all the rage. The one that stands out for me was a walk that took on the shape of Canada and circumvented  the city of Toronto. The walk was called Miles for Millions and I remember that it was very long (32.2 miles) and it took me about 10 to 12 hours to complete. The finish line was at city hall and there were thousands of people there. My father was one of the many anxious waiting parents and the first thing he did when he saw me was hug me and step on my foot. Ouch!

Five years ago, this month, when I introduced myself to the blogging world I started training for my first ever 5k race. Every year since I have participated in one 5k run. I’m not fast but my time improves slightly every year. I remember after my first running event I thought I was going to die, literally.

Name one thing not many people know about you.

I worked as a chamber maid for one summer in Oberaudorf, Germany during the Munich Olympics. A delegation of East German men were allowed to come to West Germany for the games and I was the official greeter at the train station. It was a pretty big news story and my photo was on the front page of the local paper.

What is your favorite flower?

My two favourite flowers are sunflowers and Gerbera daisies.

Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc)

I would like a proper art studio with great storage for papers and all my paints and pens. I’d also like a new garage or large shed so I don’t have to look at the eye sore at the back of our yard. Of course it would also be beautifully landscaped with colourful plants and an outdoor fireplace.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for all the help that our daughters have given us in the last three weeks. We’ve been cleaning out the basement and purging a lot of stuff that we haven’t used in years. As you know my father is moving in with us so we’re renovating the space in the basement to give him a self contained apartment. When it is all finished he will have a new bathroom, a freshly painted bed sitting room with new lighting, trim and baseboards and a small kitchen with all new cabinets, floor, sink, microwave and refrigerator. I’m also grateful that the city picked up all the garbage that we’ve been putting on the curb.

This week I’m looking forward to watching the progress that our contractor is making on the renovation. I’m also looking forward to getting together with the family for Easter. We’ve all been so sick with colds and sinus infections for the last month and we haven’t seen much of our family, especially our granddaughter. It also looks like good weather is in the forecast and I’m looking forward to putting away our winter clothes.

Volleyball, Toilets and Trad Music

…..exciting two days

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my personal adventures and daily routines. I don’t know where the time has gone but being sick and dealing with family members who are also under the weather has definitely put my writing for this blog on the back burner. I’m also trying to get my house ready for our new addition. No, we’re not expecting another grandchild or taking in a foster child. My 90 year old father has decided he wants to live with us. Of course, we couldn’t say no.

Since the March Break I’ve been sick with an ear infection and then with a sinus cold. My hearing has suffered greatly and I feel like I’m under water. I can’t tell you how many times I have misheard what people are saying. Sometimes it can be quite comical but it’s also frustrating. I think I’m getting better but in the evenings my throat gets quite sore. Other than that I feel okay and I haven’t taken any time off from work.

Earlier this week, my friend and colleague, P, asked me if I wanted to be part of a volleyball team and play in a tournament against teachers from other schools. I agreed to do it as long as I felt well. By Friday, three people dropped out and that left us with only six players. Regardless of how I was feeling, I just couldn’t drop out, so I went to the tournament.

When I got there I felt somewhat intimidated by the players from the other teams. I think there was only one other player out of 45 players or more who was older than me. On our team, we had two 26 year olds, two 31 year olds, one 50 year old and me, the almost senior citizen.

Once we started playing, I quickly lost any inhibitions and just had fun. My serves were terrible but by the last game I finally worked out what I was doing wrong and my serves improved immensely. There were six teams in total and to my amazement we made it into the finals. In the seventh and final game we played against one of the teams we had lost against. At that point I was happy to place second. It was in that game that I took some chances and I actually dove for a ball and landed on my knees (no knee pads, of course). OUCH!

I got up quickly and assured everyone that I was okay. I kept playing (there were no substitutes) and in a very close game we ended up winning it all. I think we were all a little surprised but ecstatic. Not bad for a group of people that had never played volleyball together. Afterwards we went out with the team we beat in the finals (they were great sports) and had a drink.

Later that evening when I got home I had a bit of a headache and a sore throat. The latter was from the cold and the former might have been from the fall. I think I jostled my brain when my knees hit the floor. Today, however, the headache was gone and I haven’t suffered any aches or pains from the activities of the previous night. Maybe I should look for a senior’s volleyball team to join when I retire.20170331_201317_resized-2

On Saturday, my husband and I spent the day looking for toilets and kitchen cabinets. When we agreed to have Dad come and live with us we knew that the basement would need some major renovations. We bought a toilet, a grab bar and at Ikea we started to plan out the kitchen. They have an amazing computer program for planning out your kitchen. I think we spent a good hour or more just playing around with different configurations for our tiny little space. When you’re done it gives you a parts list and the total cost of your kitchen.

In 8 days our contractor is coming to the house to start the job so we still have a little bit of time before we make our final decision. The tiles for the bathroom are purchased and the living area is mostly cleared so those two areas can be started on right away.

In the evening Kevin and I went out for dinner at a restaurant not far from our house. In the last year we have become quite close with Will, the owner of Sugar for my Honey. He is always trying new things to bring customers into his restaurant. Last night he hosted a great musical event with live Trad music. The group, Nua, is a Canadian trio, featuring a guitarist, a bodhran player and a fiddle player. If music is food for the soul, this group filled the bill. The event sold out and the crowd loved the food and the music. Here is a video of one of their selections from their new CD, Flow.IMG_1524

Flow (click to open)

 

 

Sitting By The Dock of the Bay

….new road and empty beach

My first weekend up at the cottage greeted me with a couple of firsts.

The first new experience was the new road that was built sometime between last October and this June. To get to my cottage I have to take a car ferry across the bay to the island. The ferry makes this trip every 1 1/2 hours and it’s about a 20 minute trip. In the last few years the line-ups for the ferry have gotten very long and sometimes you have to wait for a second ferry to get on board.

The new road is wide  and only one way and makes perfect sense. Now the cars exiting the ferry onto the mainland go up the hill that used to be where cars waited to get on the ferry. The new road allows for cars to form a double line and pretty much accommodates all the cars waiting for the ferry without impeding traffic flow.

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The second biggest change is the state of the beach. It’s completely empty. No beach chairs, benches, toys, boats or people. Where is everyone?

Last fall new rules were implemented for the beach. Everything had to be removed before the season ended or it was removed for you. I get that. The new rule, however, requires you take everything with you at the end of each day and not leave anything behind when you go back to the cottage. This is a bit of a problem for people with boats and for elderly people or people with disabilities who would have a problem carrying beach chairs back and forth, especially up the dunes.

As for the people, I have to admit that it was a bit chilly on Saturday for people to be sunbathing but there weren’t even any folks out walking along the beach. Hmmm?

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Share Your World – Week 27

….thanks Cee for more great questions this week for Share Your World

If you were the architect of one existing building, which building would you select?

What an impossible question! There are so many wonderful buildings out there in the world that I’m sure my choice will probably offend a variety of people for a variety of reasons. I’ve decided to limit my choice to buildings in the city I know best and that would be Toronto. I am a huge fan of the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). It was recently renovated and the architect is Frank Gehry. I love that Gehry built the addition around the old building and preserved the best features of the original gallery. My favourite features of the new addition are the Galleria Italia and the Baroque Stairs.

http://www.ago.net/frank-gehry-redesigned-ago

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What is one of your favorite quotes?

My favourite quote is ‘Live, love, laugh, learn’. There are many variations of these four words and I love them all.

What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?

I am most comfortable in reds and royal blues. The OA at our school says that I can wear all colours well but that is not true. I just know what colours suit me and I tend to stick to those colours.

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What is something you learned in the last week?

In the last week I learned about the mystery plants that were gifted to me and how to play the chord Dm on the ukulele.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful to the temporary caretaker who helped me with my dilemma  in the library. He made a few phone calls and saved me a lot of work. Hopefully when I return at the end of the summer I’ll have a new floor in the library a new caretaker who’ll be as considerate as this one was.

In the coming week I’m looking forward to returning to the cottage and hopefully seeing Germany in the finals of the World Cup on Sunday.

 

A Good Start to the New Year

…. I finally got around to continuing with the clean-up and reorganization of my bedroom

In the summer I posted pictures of my messy room and then thoroughly cleaned and reorganized one half of it. It was this half that I took ‘after’ pictures of. I had good intentions of getting to the other half before I returned to work in September but there was always something better or more pressing to do. I also spent a great deal of the summer at the cottage so ‘out of sight, out of mind’ as the saying goes.

The 'after' picture back in July.

The ‘after’ picture back in July.

Unfortunately once I was back at work there really were more pressing things to do, like keeping up with this blog and preparing lessons.  As Christmas approached, my room became the dumping ground, once again, when we needed to quickly find a place to put things when guests were coming. My room also became a safe place for gifts and it turns into wrapping central.

As a result, my goal to tidy and reorganize my room was put on the back burner and as a result all the good work I had done in the summer was no longer evident. I had to start all over again.

Hard imagine that it actually got worse than this.

Hard imagine that it actually got worse than this.

It’s not finished but I am feeling better about my accomplishment so far. The Christmas wrapping paper and ribbon are organized and ready to go back into the basement to be stored until the next festive season, 11 months from now. When shuffling through my stacks of paper I found a Christmas gift that I forgotten to wrap and give to my friend, L, and I found my lost ownership papers for my car. Bonus!

I started to reorganize all my crafting and painting supplies that I know I will use. The challenge will be going through bins of supplies that I haven’t used in years and pack them up and get them out of the house. When I finish here I will be returning to my room to tackle more unfinished business. Maybe I can get in a picture or two of my ‘new space’. Don’t hold your breath.

I’ll bring you up to date tomorrow on my progress.

Cheers!

Happy Canada Day!

…. a beautiful, hot day with lots going on in the city but very quiet at this end of town

No one was free to go to the cottage this weekend and I didn’t want to drive by myself so I started on my bedroom. I’ve even bought the paint. I think renovating and gardening are very Canadian things to do on the long weekend, next to going to the cottage. The streets are pretty quiet but Home Depot was busy.

Of course I can’t paint till I’ve removed the clutter. I’m starting at one corner of the room and working my way out. The problem is that the things I’ve cleaned up are spilling into the hallway. I need to decide what to do with the items I’ve removed and find a new home for them, preferably Good Will.

De-cluttering is a bit like losing weight. You have to stay focused and not stray from the goal. Don’t bring more things into the room than you take out (calories in vs. calories burned), celebrate the small accomplishments and don’t beat yourself up when you have an off day. Recruit help along the way. My blog family has definitely kept me on track with my weight loss. Now I need to find someone to help me remove the clutter from my life. Anyone interested?

I’ve started at the easy end of my bedroom, the side that I frequently organize so that when you walk by my bedroom it looks pretty good. The difference is that this time I’m removing even more items than I would normally. It’s when you take a couple of steps into the room when you really notice the chaos.

Oh well, I shan’t perseverate. On with the job. I’ll let you know of my progress when it’s noticeable.

Cheers!

Happy 145th Birthday Canada!