Saturday, February 28, 2009

As promised, ATC Photos

I must apologize for the quality of the photos, being February it was another greyish day, and using flash just made things worse, so things are a little blurry. Each girl decided to use different mediums and went about creating their own way. Natasha choose drawing and pencils. If you look closely, each card shows a different view of the same city of her creation.Her fun envelopes...Sarah chose watercolors with a variety of themes, making a city view to keep for herself. She had a blast experimenting with various themes, and declined to add anything 3-D.In the next two photos the top rows are the cards and the bottom rows are the envelopes she painted to match each card. Can you spot the fairy in the first photo and the girl in the second photo?
Mira also chose to use watercolors, followed by dark colored pencils. Here she is using watered down Diamond Glaze to glue bits of colored tissue paper over all, chosing the colors, number of layers and cutting the shapes all by herself. She wanted her envelopes to remain white.

Mira's finished Artist Trading Cards, in clockwise order starting from top right: Firefly, Earth, Blue River, Rain (briefly named New York before she decided differently) and Flower.We'll definately be on the lookout for other Kid Trading cards swaps. Now comes the hard part - waiting to see what arrives in the mail from their paired artists! In the meantime, we'll be admiring everyones work at the Kids Artists Trading Card Swap pool at flikr.

Friday, February 27, 2009

ATC Swap is postal!

Yay! Natasha and Sarah decorated their mini envelopes, and Mira came up with very cool names for her pieces of art. She wasn't interested in naming them while creating, so today while writing her information on the back I held each up in turn and she named them. Names like Firefly, Flower, Blue river, New York -no -that's-not-right -Rain (?!?).

Yes I took photos.
Yes I will post them.
This time I will keep my promise because the girls want to see their cards in the
Kids Artist Trading Card Swap pool at Flikr.
I will do that tonight while we sit by the fire playing and waiting for Battlestar to come on.
I can do that because my lovely friend Karen gave me her outgrown Photoshop Elements 3.0 It's what my little EEE will support and really, just perfect for my needs and I didn't have to search e-bay and simply hope I was purchasing a legal copy. (edited to rephrase). And I no longer have to spend my photo editing time away from my family in the cold windowless basement.
Yes, I am having fun sending her little goodies even though she said she wanted nothing for it except the postage. Of course, I still owe her the postage. Oops. Looks like I'll have to send another package.

Hopefully Ramses will join us by the fire tonight. He's still with us and did so well the beginning of the week I honestly think it was the anti-inflammatory the vet gave him that slowed him down. There were some precautions, limits for older cats and those with heart murmurs. Heart murmur she said? I didn't realize he had a heart murmur. She'd never said that before, even when he was ill last spring. And she is thorough and honest and straightforward. Well, I think between that and the poor shape he was in, it was too much. Then he bounced back beautifully after that ham.

However yesterday I was surprised to go upstairs and find that the grey kitty curled up in his usual spot on the bed was instead Silvara! Apparently Ramses forced open the wooden sliding doors to the cedar closet and for the past two days has made his bed on a pile of blankets in there. A nice dark cave. Alone. And though he came down to cuddle me on the couch last night and (as he prefers) sit right next to my face so he could purr cat-food breath right into my nose... he hasn't eaten a bite today. I hope you don't feel like I'm taking you on a rollercoaster ride, but that's what it feels like to me. I love this cat.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

a little bit of Ham

We've spent the week doing all the things we usually do, working, playing, music lessons, etc. etc. and spending time loving on Ramses.

The end of the week was rough as Ram pretty much stopped eating,started acted confused, stopped cleaning, stopped purring when I picked him up. We almost said goodbye yesterday but most of the family wasn't ready. Either way it's such a difficult decision and seeing how much he was suffering was very hard on me. His best, happy hours are in the evening, surrounded by family with laps to snuggle on. So Rich and the girls who spend their days away just weren't seeing what I was. Feeling upset and conflicted and less than up to making a big deal out of cooking, I made a lovely Italian lentil soup for Fridays dinner- simple and comforting. The girls, not so big on lentils, had leftover ham and biscuits. Have to admit that we ate in the living room by the fire. So Miras' plate was on the floor.

When she was distracted Ramses attacked her ham. Devoured it. (Don't worry, we gave her more, and made sure she got to eat it.) Guess salty ham is more appealing than such delicacies as liver and chicken, turkey giblets and other goopy cat foods when you don't feel well.

And he felt better after that ham. Saturday was a good day, still full of naps, but also full of purrs. We all feel a little bit better getting to enjoy a few more days together.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ramses Valentine

I have been trying to get a few good photos of Ramses but he spends alot of his time sleeping these days. Not altogether unusual since that's what he does most of the winter anyway. With yesterdays beautiful afterschool light I managed a wonderful series of shots with each of the girls. He actually spent quite a bit of time outdoors by choice this past week in the warm weather; sunning on the picnic table, exploring the garden, probably marking near the entrances to the rabbit holes. He is doing well enough, eating, being social, moving around the house to sleep in the sunny spots. He's still a handsome guy, isn't he?
But you can also see that the left side of his face is becoming more swollen -- even though this is a flattering shot -- and his eye is quite irritated. He struggles so much with the goopy eye meds that I've given up. I'm afraid I'll hurt him and he always managed to squirm away just as I think I've got the stuff in. We're going to see Dr. Allison tomorrow to see if there's something else we can do. I'm a bit afraid to see the inside of his mouth and hear what she'll say, but I also know he's not ready to go just yet. He does let me pet that side of his face and purrs so I think it's mostly sore and not painful. Grooming has gotten difficult, and though he does what he can he enjoys being rubbed down with a wet cloth. {Laugh} - when he was younger he would come into the house all dusty and run to stand on the toilet seat, waiting for his wash-down. He's still quite spoiled.

It's snowing now. Big Fat Flakes. The good news is Sarah made it to school with her Valentines and we still have firewood a-plenty. Hopefully the snow won't interfere with tomorrow mornings Piano recital (Sarah), Girls in Science Day at a local University (Natasha), and the afternoon Valentines party at church, complete with pink lemonade, crafts, and a professional storyteller. Mira is especially interested in the pink lemonade.

Sarahs' Valentines turned out adorable. They looked ever so much sweeter piled in her decorated pail and pinned on the embossed paper hearts wrapped in the cellophane bags, but this is the best I could do last night after the sun set. As I was too lazy to search out a pretty piece of linen to lay them on when there were bags to stuff and children to get to bed you can gaze at Purl Bees' photo if you prefer.

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentines and other things.

We are full into the Valentine making frenzy here. School cards, secret cards tucked here & there for loved ones to stumble upon, and some hearts just for Mira to play with. I might have her string some up in a banner tonight. I need to find a box so Sarah can decorate her Valentines mailbox too. Can you believe we have no empty cardboard boxes? All out with the recycling.

I would post photos, but we can't have the recipients seeing their surprises before they arrive, so photos will have to wait.

The weather was beautiful yesterday, all sunny and warm, soft breezes. Mira said the wind was 'soft magical skies.' I agree. Except I had a migraine - with all the driving that had to be done yesterday I was none too happy about the sunny part. How sad on such a beautiful day. Took a 2 hour nap while Mira was at preschool and missed a lab appointment. Oops. I usually go on Thursdays anyway. At least they understood when I called. Then Tasha woke up with a migraine and upset tummy last night. Maybe it wasn't the weather front after all?

Mira and I are off soon to mail a few postcards, set up RIF at the elementary (K-2nd today) and get out of Natasha's hair so she can sleep off the headache and perhaps go to school this afternoon?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Oh the bug hit and hit hard. The sun came out after the rain and I was even beginning to imagine getting out to rake up those long forgotten piles of leaves... too slushy yet though.

What's that? The Art Center? Yes well, Mira was excited, but somewhere on the way home from school drop-offs her tummy started to feel funny and she looked a bit greyish. So I decided to play it safe. We'll try again later in the week. We snuggled and read and she was very quiet all morning.

Now she's napping.
While Sarah is home, available for dress-up and Barbies and dollhouses.
SO not Mira.

Skating just called. Cancelled, make-ups next week. Too melty today. Lucky for Mira.

Someone (a very nice person who carries wood in so I can enjoy nice fires in the evenings) dropped the wood bag at the back door a week or so back. A whole winters worth of wood bits and dirt right on the rug and in between the pile of shoes and boots and muck that was already there. Not a quick sweep-up job, you know? So today I cleaned the back entryway and basement stairs, washed the rug and put away 80% of the shoe pile. Then I washed down the kitchen walls, cabinets and baseboards before doing the floor. Think I'll run the oven clean tomorrow and have DH move the fridge and stove this weekend. Bathrooms were next. Then I vacuumed and oil-soaped most of the wood floors. Oh does it look nice. No more winter dirt travelling from room to room. I usually don't catch this bug until just before Palm Sunday, so I'm WAY ahead.

Now if only the inside of my car looked this good...

Rainy Monday

Can I really be sad that it's raining after such a cold winter? Only because it's likely that skating lessons will be cancelled for tonight. Oh well, it should be cold enough by the weekend to head back to the rink. I'll just keep my fingers crossed for tonight.

In the meantime I am glad for the birds enjoying the rain and glad that all the yucky half melted black snowplow piles at every corner and curb are slowly washing away. Cold is so much easier to take when the ugly is gone. And the rain smells good.

Mira and I are going to enjoy the rain day, starting with a walk right after dropping Sarah at school. Then we have some craft projects planned. I have a bit of work to sneak in too, but she won't mind with paintbrush in hand. I received Mira's ATC group information (final participant count: over 900). I think perhaps we'll wait until the other girls information arrives to actually make her official art set, but a rainy day is just perfect to visit the art center, don't you think? Maybe we'll do that before we work on our crafty projects.

Are you working on your Valentines?

Friday, February 6, 2009

The birds are singing

Oh yes they are! The air has a warm tinge, and a bit damp too. Oh how nice - no static for a day.

I spent the morning with a friend, chatting away while we were both crafty and Mira watched WallE and drew/cut right alongside us. I managed to make all the valentines for Mira's class, from an idea over at the Purl Bee while we were at it.

And yes, the girls were super excited about the ATC swap. You should have seen the excitement in their eyes when I told them about it, so all 3 have been signed up. (edited to add that this: Nevermind. Sign-ups have been closed.: was meant for you - I replaced the sentence that said you could still sign up and was obviously not clear enough in my hurry. The girls were signed up on Wednesday, so they are in and can't wait to see where they will be mailing their art) But wow - over 540 kids signed up so far and they aren't even done opening e-mails!

Sigh :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Artist Trading Cards Swap

Art Swap
There are a number of blogs I look at monthly (or more often), for inspiration or just plain fun. Today, House on Hill Road has a post about a childrens art swap. Artist Trading Cards, if you are not a long time scrapper, artist or E-bay/Etsy afficianado like Rich's sister Vicki, are smallish cards, works of art. The ones Vicki has collected are Santa Claus art, of course.

If you know my girls, you know they love art. Mira loves painting. Natasha wants to be an artist of some sort when she grows up and continues to amaze me with her drawings. Sarah for a time wanted to be an artitst as well - we all enjoy crafts. I am having an extremely difficult time not waltzing over to House on Hill Road's blog to sign them up. Mira won't have a choice, and I can see Natasha and Sarah jumping at the opportunity, but I suppose I should ask their opinion first, eh?

Rules are: No adults, children only, age 4 and up. Each child will be assigned to a group of 6 children, so they only need make and mail 5 cards. The cards will each fit in a regular sized envelope. Pretty cool huh? Click on the ATC button over on the right if you want more details from the source, as I am only the enthusiastic mother of potential participants :).

Skating update:
It was cold and getting colder. Mira and I took a short walk around downtown before heading back to wait in the warming house and watch the girls from the windows. They did small jumps, glides, turns, and skating with a quick turn to try to continue a glide backwards. They had fun: Natasha thought it was hard, Sarah thought it was easy, and neither accomplished the backwards glide. And they are both very much looking forward to next weeks lesson and hopefully another few hours of free skating later in the week to practice.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Skate Lessons!

I think everyone is healthy again. Phew!
The girls start skate lessons tonight. Only 4 Mondays, but at the outside rink downtown. Sarah has really improved. She skated much of the afternoon on Saturday and hardly touched the side rails. They are definately ready for a basic skills class. Mira and I will be hanging out in the warming house with hot chocolate :heart:

My Valentines and Organizing classes have started.
I am having fun making valentines both from Wilna's class and ideas of my own for some special people. Exciting to log in for this mornings project and see that my name had been drawn as today's winner of the CD of all the class projects. Perfect! I will be saving the PDF's to my harddrive, but I had hoped to keep all my class materials on my mini laptop. No need to print instructions as I can move the mini to my work area, etc. etc. Except you see, my dear little mini laptop has been shipped off for a new battery/charge cord/misconnection somewhere and I won't have it back for about 2 weeks. sniff sniff.

I have a playdate scheduled with my good friend Thursday morning to work on School Valentines. We haven't managed to get together to talk since November. Or was it October? Too long to just pass in the school and church halls :).

And OH am I in the mood to organize. Laugh! Right now I am working on finishing up unfinished projects from the closets:) Feels great!

Mira is not so patiently waiting to do more painting with me. Bye!