The Beauty and Fun of Trash Collecting

…how can collecting trash be fun or beautiful?

On on our 30 Day Clean-up Challenge people have often commented that they couldn’t do what we were doing. I think one of the reasons why we were so successful and persistent on completing this project was because we could see that it was making a difference. The parks were definitely cleaner and ‘some’ people were making an effort to help keep it that way.

We also had fun while we were doing this. Sometimes it was like looking for buried treasure between the rocks and often we’d be amazed at the things we found. The lost wallet was returned to its owner and Trish also found a cell phone and was able to locate the owner.

After each haul we’d take a minute or two for photo ops. Trish loved posing in unusual stances, sometimes doing cartwheels and hand stands. I on the other hand was a little more conservative with my poses.
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The beauty of trash collecting in the parks comes from discovering the nooks and crannies of the park that I would never have ventured to before. I had never walked onto the rocks before and there were areas around the pond that I discovered for the first time. We also met a lot of wonderful people and we really came to appreciate the beauty of our environment.





A Visit to the ‘Turrets’ With My Little Princess

….turrets is what Winnie calls the playscape in High Park

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my granddaughter so that her mom could spend some time with her father in the hospital. She was very excited when she found out that I was taking her to High Park.

The Jamie Bell Adventure Park was a community built playground and very popular with families. In March of 2012 the place was torched by a suspected arsonists. The community quickly rallied and raised enough money to rebuild the structures and the adventure park was reopened in August of the same year.

When Winnie and I arrived there were ‘hordes’ (the word used by Winnie) of children there enjoying the space. Even though Winnie is not yet four she didn’t let the crowds deter her from having a good time. I got quite the workout running after her so I wouldn’t lose sight of her.IMG-3343

The only way I could get her away from the turrets was to bribe her with ice-cream.IMG-3368

Afterwards we headed over to the zoo to see Fred the peacock. She calls all the peacocks Fred but unfortunately none of them were displaying their tail feathers. She did like this goat standing on the rocks overlooking his harem.

Like the goat Winnie wanted to sit up high above the rest of us and she convinced Oma to lift her up onto this massive stump on the walkway.

After a very long walk back to the car she collapsed onto the cool grass and had a wee rest.

These are the special moments that grandparents live for.

By the way, my husband was released from the hospital and is now resting at home.

WPC – Fun

….where to begin with this great topic, FUN?

The first photo, although not the best quality, brings a smile to my face because of how gullible people can be. While watching this guy, my husband sarcastically commented on how this trick or optical illusion is done with magnets and he said it loud enough for a few people to hear. Soon after I hear the same people, who had been standing close by, proclaiming that magnets are the explanation for this feat.


I can laugh now but at the time I didn’t think it was so funny when this guy wanted to charge me 10 euro for posing with me. He accosted me and we used my camera for the pictures. Boy did I feel duped. In the end I gave him 5 euro and learned a big lesson.

How Would You Look if You Played a Part in the New Peanuts Movie?

…..this is fun to play with

Chris Donner over at Cee’s Photography introduced my to Get Peanutized. The new Peanuts movie is coming out this November and this website lets you create your own Peanuts Character. Of course I had to have long blonde hair and those cool red heart shaped glasses. I also loved school so my setting is in front of the lockers with my sidekick, Snoopy. Give it a try!

Me in the Peanuts Movie

Crazy Hair Day

… day at school

Last Thursday we had Crazy Hair Day. I wish I had more photos but my iPhone ran out of juice. The kids love it when the teachers play along. A couple of scrunchies and presto you have ‘crazy hair’.

Many of children used the spray that adds colour to your hair and some of them discovered that the colour runs when it gets wet. During dance class a few students had coloured sweat running down their foreheads and a couple of students stayed in during recess because it had started to snow and they were afraid that their hair creation would run onto their snow suits.

Share Your World – 2015 – Week 1

… a new year of Share Your World with Cee

How do you get rid of pesky phone calls from telemarketers?

If I hear dead air for a second or two after I say Hello I know it’s a telemarketer and I hang up. Simple!

What are you a “natural” at doing?

I don’t know if anyone is a natural at anything. I know that people might think I’m a natural when it comes to art or public speaking but it wasn’t always that way. I had to work at it to gain confidence and even now I still have doubts about my abilities but I am always willing to try new things and take some risks.

How often do you get a haircut?

When my hair is short I try to get it cut every 6 to 8 weeks. When it’s longer it might be every two to three months.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

Fun for me is creating art and being around friends.

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

Last week I was grateful for having my entire family home for Christmas and having everyone together to celebrate B and G’s birthday. I also loved visiting and spending time with friends.

This week I’m looking forward to some quiet time with my husband before he has to go back for more surgery on his thyroid next Monday. I’m also looking forward to starting a new on-line year long art class with Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple called Year of the Spark.


I can't upload my Year of the Spark poster that I made. How frustrating!

I can’t upload my Year of the Spark poster that I made. How frustrating!

A Messy Day With Paint

…..tensions were high and the paint literally flew

After taking Karine Swenson’s class on abstract painting I decided to pass on some of the things that I learned to my grade 5 students. One thing you should know is that this class is huge by today’s standards. There are 30 students in this class and they take up every inch of space that I have for art. The other problem is that not everyone is on the same project and everyone wanted help at the same time.

I put on a Youtube video that demonstrated some abstract techniques that the students might want to try. This kept about half the class busy while I sorted out the problems with the other projects that were still incomplete. Earlier in the week I went to the dollar store and purchased canvases, small, medium and large that the students preordered and paid for.

Once I got most of the problems solved I brought out the paints, brushes, palette knives, palettes and a variety of other accessories that the students could use on their paintings. I took a canvas and in about 5 minutes I created an abstract piece that used a variety of techniques and i let the students dictate what colours they wanted me to use. I’m not sure I would have used those colours if I were making the decision but the kids aren’t afraid to experiment with someone else’s 1-107 I’m glad I was wearing an apron because at one point when I threw the paint from the knife onto the canvas it came straight back at me and right onto the centre of my red apron.

It was actually a very good teaching moment and the kids could see how easy it is the ruin what you’re wearing. When I finished my piece the grade 5s were ready to start their own paintings.

The following paintings may or may not be finished. Next week when we have art class again the students will decide if they need to add more detail or change something they don’t like. A couple of girls have already made that decision and painted out what they’d done and they will start anew in the next class.

Karine Swenson always says that it’s only paint and canvas. Experiment. You can always paint over it if you don’t like it. I love the energy and freedom of these paintings. The kids had a blast and even though they left me with a huge mess some of them did come back at the end of the day to help me clean up.