Friday, 19 September 2014

Excerpt From Sophie's Journal

Mum and I really like to hang out together and sometimes we play together too.  Today she took some photos so I could use them to show you a little bit of what our day was like.

Mum doesn't have a lot of fur so she gets cold.  The temperatures have dropped a bit, or so I'm told.  I haven't really noticed but Mum has.  She needed more of her removable fur layers today.

We posed together for this photo but Mum cut me off.  She looks tired though so I'll forgive her this time.  After she took this photo she decided she didn't have enough fur layers so she got more.  She might not be so cold if she didn't insist on leaving her feet bare.  I try to spread my fur around our home so Mum can use it too.  After all, I have more than I need.

Many times a day Mum goes to the bathroom and I always go with her.  She says it's not polite of me to say she goes many times but I don't see what the problem is.  I like to play in the tub with the water and Mum does other things.

Mum turns on the tap to a trickle of water and I sometimes like to smack it and also to drink it.  It gets my head soaking wet, Mum says, but I never notice.  She dries me off with a towel sometimes.  Mum likes to play in water too, I've noticed.

We did some art today and Mum did a bit of work in her art journal.  She doesn't seem to like it when I help, though I do try my best.  I dip my paw into the water, the stuff she swirls that stick around in, so I can test it for her, and I sit on her paintings to help hold them down on the table.  Today mum worked on these two pages, which she says are still in progress.  She put them on her easel to dry but I could have helped her with that.  If I slept on them I could dry them in no time.

Nearby where we do art, there is a shelf and on it mum has many things that interest me.  These dangling things are good to bat at and I happen to know they are not very good craft fair junk she bought for too much money.  I heard her say so.

Sometimes Mum tears up papers and uses them to make other things.  I love it when we play with the papers and lying on them or pushing them off the table is lots of fun.

There are so many great things for me to lie on around our home.  Here are some more.

I love lying on the library table and Mum always has books and papers for me to lie on.  Sometimes there are so many of them it's like I'm in a nest.  Sometimes I think there are too many so I shove some off.  Mum is always taking off and putting on and taking off again her many extra fur layers.  She often puts those on the library table too and those are also great for lying on.

Because Mum did lots of writing today she had papers all over the coffee table so I walked around and investigated those, sat on them and tested them out for comfort.  Mum didn't like that too much and she said something about still using them.

So I investigated these...

And then I had a little nap on a magazine Mum wasn't using.

I was worried Mum might be getting cold so I snuggled close to warm her up.

I kept her company and made her cosy while she worked on something she calls a blog.

Thanks for visiting and letting me show you my day.  I have a pretty good life and I enjoyed sharing it with you.  Have a great weekend full of naps and treats.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Inside Shawna's Brain: Tuesday Edition

I have just recently woken up.  Well, about an hour ago I suppose as there was time for lying in bed feeling shocked at a new day, doing some stretches, showering and drying my hair and dressing.  And I have just made a coffee.  I sometimes have tea in the morning.  My rule is tea before ten but it is now just ten so it's coffee.  This is a good time to mention to Vix that I don't make tea in a cafetiere though such a cafetiere for tea does actually exist.  Often, even prior to coffee, by brain is buzzing with thoughts and even relatively coherent ones, thoughts that actually go together and combine to take the rough shape of an essay with a theme.  Other days, no, they just sort of stack up and progress in a not terribly linear way.

Thoughts Go Something Like This

1.  Ouch.  Well at least that highly tortuous armpit massage seems to actually be helping release my shoulder but now I have a mysterious pain in my upper back.  Friggin' body.

2.  Oh, there is definitely more movement in my shoulder now though.  I can do this.  And this.

3.  This one feels good.

4.  Shower.  Shave my legs?  Nah I'll wear jeans today.  And that blue wool hoodie I havne't worn yet.  Blue-haha nearly everything I have seems to be blue.  I like blue.  Is blue boring?  I like that sweater.  I like it a lot.  Show it on the blog?  Nah, kind of a dull outfit and you wont' accessorise today.  You never do.

5.  Cat earrings.  Yes, today is a day for cute copper cat earrings.  Does that count as accessorising?  Well maybe but doesn't count as 'pulled together' or chic or anything for a blog post.

6.  It's not a style blog.  True, but we don't want to bore people. 

7.  Food, do I want some?  No not yet.  Oh God the kitchen looks like Hurricane Shawna hit it.  I suppose she did.  Too tired to deal with it.  That shower took up some serious energy.  Must sit down.

8.  Sophie: what a funny little one she is.  She ran out of food overnight while I slept and has placed her little furry rabbit by her food dish.  Was she sharing the last of her resources with her baby or was she lining up her next meal-rabbit?

9. Where is my notebook?  I need to work out some plot issues.  Too tired. 

10.  I want to go to the store for more art supplies.  No, too tired.

11.  What is the weird smell?

12.  Grow hair grow.

13.  Reading blog comments:  Cool eight of them!  Comments are so fun.  I want to respond at length to everyone.  I wonder who comes back to read my comments and who doesn't?

14.  Which blogs did I leave comments on that I should go back and check?

15.  I should like being tall?  Nope, never have.  Yes, I can reach things off the top shelf and strangers in the grocery store will ask me to.  It doesn't make up for clothing that is too short, towering over other people and feeling too noticeable,  people asking if I am 6 feet (I am 5'9"), being 6'2" in heels and towering even more, and NO not all clothing looks good on tall people.  I look really silly in very short dresses, like I have put on child's clothes.  Those skater dresses-ha!  Ridiculous look on me.  And there's that thing about pants that are too short looking silly.  Where's the flood?

16.  Stop ranting about your height.  It's not that important.  Why do you dislike it when people envy it?  Because you want to point out that the grass is always greener.  And because you are envying their green grass.

17.  Ach!   Too much cohesive thinking. 

18.  It seems like a good day for knitting and watching that BBC detective show.

19.  The hurricane seems to have travelled into other rooms.

20.  Coffee

Monday, 15 September 2014

Layers 'N Stuff I Love

 I like to play with proportions, and here I am clearly doing long over long.  On my five foot tall sister-in-law this tunic would probably be a dress and the skirt would be dragging on the floor.  This may be the only thing I like about being tall.

I put on this outfit and just couldn't get excited about any of my necklaces so I went without.  It was some sort of sign from the necklace gods because while taking some items to the consignment shop I came across this gorgeous blue glass bead and silver necklace which begged me to make it mine.  I obliged and wore it for the rest of the day but I did not take a photo of myself.

Another item that recently held me at gunpoint and made me purchase it (for $5) is this delightful furry bag.  Large furry coats may be the latest thing but I won't be impersonating a Muppet anytime soon.  A handbag that pretends to be a cat definitely appeals to me though.  This bag is so soft I could just spend all day cuddling it, and it doesn't drool like Sophie does.  I suspect it will collect white lint though, which Sophie does not.

Apparently my camera lens needs cleaning but let's pretend it's a special effect and very artsy.

And last but not least, Stephan Fry.  I adore the man.  So sad he is gay as I am sure he would be very happy as my second husband. 

I'm linking up to Share-In-Style over at Mis Papelicos

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Let Them Eat Cake

My favourite thing to have for breakfast is cake.  I like to pour thick cream all over it too.  No, I am not one of those people who can eat anything and stay slim and neither do I exercise like a fiend in order to afford a few more calories.  I eat as much as I want and I eat lots of natural fat but I eat limited carbohydrates.  My carbohydrates come from fruit and vegetables, but I don't eat starches or grains, except perhaps in a restaurant once a month, and I don't eat added sugars, not even in those fake healthy forms called honey or maple syrup.  But I do have cake for breakfast nearly every day.

I use coconut oil, ground flax, berries, an egg and a touch of baking powder, and I'm not sure the baking powder is all that necessary.  Initially I sweetened it with liquid stevia, but now I don't bother as I am no longer accustomed to eating sweetened things.

1 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup ground flax seed/ almond meal combination*
1 tsp baking powder
2 drops liquid Stevia if required or sweeten to equivalent of 1 tsp sugar however you desire
3/4 cup approx of berries fresh or frozen.

Using a microwave, melt the coconut oil or butter in a small bowl.  Beat in the egg with a fork and add the dry ingredients and sweetener if using.  Stir in the berries and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired and top with cream or Greek yogurt.  Eat it right out of the bowl when it is cool enough.

* Finely ground almond meal is sometimes known as almond flour.  The more flax the more it is similar to a bran muffin and the more almond meal the more it is like a cake

                                  The uncooked batter looks like this.

                                         Stir in blueberries

                          It comes out of the microwave looking like this.

Potential allergens:  eggs, dairy, nuts

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Parallel Lines

There is a connection, or a parallel as I see it, between my personal style evolution and my growth as an artist.  In both areas I have experimented.  As my personal style has developed in both clothing and in painting, it sometimes takes me awhile to figure out what is wrong if I have not quite been true to myself.  Other influences might creep in and send me in an experimental direction, but there are certain things that just feel right, feel like me and this is the case both with what I chose to wear and how I chose to paint.  Dressing in a way that is not true to my personal style makes me feel like I am in a costume.  Painting in a way that is not true to my personal style makes me feel a painting isn't finished.    

In exploring clothing, it became evident that while I am attracted to earthy and softer colours they do not suit me best.  I am better in jewel tones, rich colours and with medium to high contrast.  In pale colours and low contrast I look lacklustre or washed out and I don't quite feel myself.   In my paintings I have experimented with softer colours, subtlety and small details  as well as a very colourful, vivid and expressionist way of representing things and have concluded that it is the latter that feels like a true expression of myself.  Some of the paintings I had done, which were hung around my home allowing me to observe them and ponder, were too soft and subtle but it took me awhile to pinpoint why they felt unfinished or wrong to me.
When it dawned on me, when I suddenly realised they needed to be more vivid and contain more contrast, that it really is my signature style to outline most of the shapes in black, to use big bold and blobby paint strokes and lots of colour,  I couldn't rest but had to get at those paintings right away.  Whether I have made them better or worse is perhaps a matter of taste and opinion but in my mind I have made them authentic and I am much happier.  It has been a similar experience to finding just what type of clothing I wish to wear, only painting  makes me happier than dressing does.  Painting, when it goes well, makes me happier than just about anything I can think of and I feel very fortunate to have discovered that.

Realism ain't my bag, baby.  And neither is photography as these are not the best photos but I may or may not get around to taking another photo.  I may be too busy painting things Bigger Bolder Faster.  When I let myself paint that way it feels true.  The more I paint that way the more I know myself.  I can stare at a painting and find flaws just as I can stare at myself in a photo or in the mirror and find flaws but I would rather just be happy with what is, learn from it and move forward.  That's why I post pictures of myself in outfits that are not the best ones, or that I have forgotten to accessorise, why I share first draft writing (which each blog entry always is) and paintings which may not be finished.  It's okay for everything to be a work in progress, to not be perfect, to be a little bit undone.  I am not in any way trying to model perfection, but the joy of trying and learning.

Perfection, well I'm not much good at that.  What I do know how to do is to keep trying, to keep going, and to learn something along the way.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Beautiful Spirits

Beautiful Spirits are never crushed.  They might be shoved down, they  might grow up with Communism, religious domination, great loss or pain, poverty or abuse in any part of the world, or perhaps they live a relatively easy life until later in adulthood some one or some event tries to break them.  But you cannot break a Beautiful Spirit though you may try. 

I am privileged to know several Beautiful Spirits and this blog is named for a once private joke between myself and on them.  The world lost him at this time last year and although the ones he left behind feel the pain of his loss, they are also filled with a deep love that cannot be lost.  It's that love we must hold on to.  Just because he is gone does not mean that love is lost.  Forgetting that would be to forget the beauty of his spirit and that spirit lives on in us.

Rest In Peace, dearest Shawn.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ten Photos in Ten Minutes

It's a beautiful sunny day and the sun pouring in the windows inspired me to grab my camera.  I became intrigued with the bright corners and dark ones.  I was making myself a coffee so I began in the kitchen but soon was zipping around the place like a paparazzi hell bent on a bikini photo of Jennifer Anniston which proves absolutely that she is not over Brad Pitt and longs to be pregnant but Justin is going to leave her.


                                      Breakfast of Champions

                               Extra Photos for Sophie's Fan Club