Fan of…#46….Palms

…thanks to Jez for hosting Fan of….

I haven’t been anywhere tropical in over 35 years so I wasn’t sure how many palm pictures I’d find in my archive of photos. Turns out that the zoo, botanical gardens and countries like England and Italy are all keepers of this wonderful tree.IMG-1133-2
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I particularly like what you find under the palms at the zoo.

What Constitutes a Failure?

….is producing 177 pieces of art in one year a failure?

Last year I had decided to produce one piece of art a day or at least work on an art piece every day for 365 days. I created my own personal challenge of 365 Days of Art. In the middle of November I stopped drawing and painting. Was I discouraged by the fact that I was very much behind my goal or was it something else?

I think that being so far behind was part of it but life just seemed to get in the way, especially in November and December. There were things that I hadn’t planned on like getting ill, my father going into the hospital, the plumbing breaking down and my sister coming for a visit. Then there were the things that just happen, like Christmas parties, concerts and trying to get ready for Christmas.

I recognize that all of these things are just excuses because I see  people out there who manage to create a piece of art every day but I’ve decided that I should rejoice in the 177 pieces that I did create. Here are some of my favourites from 2018:IMG_1412.jpegIMG_0784.jpegIMG_0755.jpegIMG_0627.jpegIMG_0532.jpegIMG_0468 2.jpegIMG_9631.jpegIMG_3709.jpegIMG_6539.jpegIMG_8913.jpeg

So what is my art goal for this year? I will definitely continue making art but the question is how much and should I even put a number on it. What do you think I should do? I have some ideas that I will share later today.

Cheers!

365 Days of Art – Days 1, 2 and 3

…..meditative and fun to do 

I’m loving my personal challenge so far. Three days in and I’ve managed to produce three pieces of abstract art. I won’t always do the same type of art and I will eventually move onto larger pieces. I may even take some of these smaller pieces and use them as inspiration for a larger piece using a different medium, perhaps acrylic or ink.

January 1st, 2018

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January 2, 2018

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January 3, 2018

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Black and White vs Colour – November 27, 2017

…join the fun and change your colour photos into black and white

Thanks to the Maine Paper Pusher for hosting the Black and White vs Colour photo challenge.

Which of the two do you prefer?

Standing in the rain, waiting for Santa.

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“Thinking is the Enemy of Creativity”

…the kids loved this quote by Ray Bradbury

For the last two weeks we have been discussing the concept of creativity in our art classes. Once we established that having artistic ability and creativity didn’t necessarily go hand in hand I shared some quotes from a few famous people.

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on!” – Albert Einstein

“Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso

“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

“Great art picks up where nature ends.” Marc Chagall

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss

The students were then directed to print their favourite quote or part of it onto a white sheet of drawing paper with pencil. Then they were to turn it upside down and start drawing by extending the lines in the quote. Once the page was full they could outline the whole piece in black Sharpie and add some colour.

At this point the quote is almost unrecognizable so to remind us how the art started the child was directed to rewrite the quote somewhere on the paper where there was open space. The grade 3s really got into this assignment. A few forgot to turn the quote upside down. The first photo is the sample that I created so that the students would have a visual when I explained the process. I would encourage any of you to choose a quote from the ones I’ve posted or come up with your own and get CREATIVE. I would love to see what you come up with.

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Thanks to Carla Sonheim for the idea of gathering quotes about creativity and Stefanie von Hoesslin for the drawing activity using the quotes.

Sundays Tree – 131

…..weather remains cool but the leaves are trying to emerge

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Don’t know if this grand old tree is just slow to get out of the gate or if it has succumbed to last winter’s ice storm and frigid temperatures.

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Same location as the previous tree but much more hopeful on the green front.

For more Sunday Trees check out Becca Givens blog.

A Beautiful Saturday – Why am I Creating a To Do List?

….am I crazy or just practical?

I suspect I’m doing this because it needs to be done

To Do List for April 12, 2014

rake front lawn
sprinkle bone meal on garden
take out garden furniture
clean out bird cage
do laundry – started
take out summer clothes and put away winter clothes
clean oven – started
write post – started
go for a walk
dust living room floor and shelves – floors done
vacuum carpets upstairs and down – started
take photographs

As you can see I’ve already started some of these chores. I think I need to fill the gaps with some fun stuff.

My husband must be feeling my energy this morning because he’s started raking the back yard and he’s taken out our bikes and cleaned them off. Maybe we can get out for a ride this afternoon. Well, I’m off to start some work outside as well. Maybe by putting this out there for the world to see I might actually accomplish all of the things on my To Do List or at least get 90% of it done. Wish me luck. I’ll report later today to let you know how I successful I’ve been.

On the fitness and weight loss journey: I’m struggling. Up 3 and down 2. Today’s goal is to get out and move and drink at least 4 large glasses of water. One glass down and 3 to go.

I thought I posted this 2 hours ago. Apparently not. In the meantime I’m down 3 glasses of water, 2 loads of laundry, raked the front and the back yard, finished cleaning the oven, sprinkled bone meal on the garden, and took out the garden furniture. I also took down the Christmas lights, trimmed the yew and bagged 2 bags of yard waste. Now let’s see if I can get this thing posted…..an ongoing problem.

Time to Come Clean

……about my weight

It’s been almost 2 years since I started this blog and it quickly became a platform for documenting my weight loss. I never divulged my beginning weight and only talked about the number of pounds that came off. I just couldn’t bring myself to say that number. Somehow it brought me shame and I was afraid that people who knew me would judge me differently if they knew exactly how much I weighed. It didn’t help that all the doctors that I’ve ever been to have always said that I don’t look as heavy as I am. I haven’t even told my husband how much I weigh.

I lost a total of 32 pounds and managed to maintain that loss for about a year. I lost a few more pounds here and there but I always put them back on. Last year I told people that I had lost 30 pounds because the weight started to creep back on. I gained a few pounds and I lost a few but slowly I started not losing all the pounds I gained back. Last summer I was up six pounds, down four, back up four when I went on holiday and then back down four before I went back to work.

Stress has always been killer for me when it comes to weight gain. Also I have some psychological barrier that seems to keep me from getting below a certain weight. In the last 20 years every time I get close to that goal weight my weight loss stops. Periodically, in the last year I’ve talked about getting serious and getting back on track. I never want to gain back those 32 pounds I worked so hard at losing but my drive is in low gear right now and try as I might it just isn’t enough.

Last week when I put myself on the scale (which I avoided since Christmas) I was up eight pounds from September. I watched my food intake all week and when I put myself on the scale again I was up three more pounds. Yikes! I wanted to lose most of that weight before I went to see my sister in Calgary next week. Part of my problem is my lack of movement. I can’t believe how much I let this winter keep me on the couch ( in front of this computer).

My middle sister sent me an interesting article this morning on why we gain weight that has nothing to do with what we put in our bodies. I am guilty on all counts. Lack of sleep and having light from computers and electronic devises in front of us before we go to bed actually causes weight gain. I guess she noticed my weight gain and was too polite to mention it to me. Come to think of it no one has actually said anything to me about my weight gain, even when I’ve complained about my coat being too tight and putting on weight over a weekend. Here is the link from the Epoch Times for the article Two Common Weight Loss Mistakes.

As much as I love teaching, it is a stressful job. In the past, September was the month where my weight gain would start. I would lose ten pounds or more in the summer and then when school started it would all come back. Two years ago that didn’t happen but my weight loss stopped. Part of my problem was that I was happy with how I looked and felt. I loved all the compliments.

I can’t let this continue. So I’m going to start with the two things that the article talked about: sleep and light.

Before my 30 pound weight loss

Before my 30 pound weight loss

Down 32 pounds.

Down 32 pounds.

My goal is to stop working on the computer and watching TV by 10:00 every night. Maybe I’ll read more and organize my clothes, lunch and school bags from 10:00 to 11:00 so I’m not in such a rush in the morning. Hopefully that way I can be in bed by 11:00 and get a solid 7 1/2 hours sleep instead of the five to six that I get now.

Today, still down 20 pounds  but up 12.

Today, still down 20 pounds but up 12.

In the past I weighed myself everyday. I know that some people believe you should only weigh yourself once a week or even less frequently but I find that I put off what I need to do if I don’t check my weight more often. Look what happened when I didn’t weigh myself in almost three months.

I’m still not ready to reveal my actual weight. If only strangers read this blog I wouldn’t care but my family, friends, colleagues and even some of my students read my posts. Some day, but not today.

The most difficult part will be turning off this computer and not constantly checking my emails and stats. I have to admit I’ve become a bit of an addict. I’ll also start using this blog as a platform to record my progress with my weight loss journey, again. It helped last time and It kept me motivated to succeed. If you don’t hear from me on this front please feel free to ask how I’m doing.

I haven’t weighed myself in a couple of days so I’ll start tomorrow and then see how regular sleep and cutting back on the light before bedtime affects my weight. Of course I’ll watch what I eat and for now I’ll aim to get out and walk at least four times a week. I’m not sure how spending five days with my sisters will affect my weight but I won’t use that as an excuse. I’ll enjoy myself but I don’t have to be excessive with food or drink. Maybe I should aim to maintain rather than lose for those five days.

The three sisters taken 6 weeks ago.

The three sisters taken 6 weeks ago.