Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Challenge 219

Happy Monday everyone.

It's been a pretty awesome week, my pal Tara and I have been running together, and back when Artoo was in the hospital our schedule got thrown off. Then her little one got sick.  So once both our kiddos were feeling better - we decided to tackle a 10K along the river.  It was an awesome run, but the most hilarious part was when we finally hit our 10K mark - Tara started laughing and pointed at this sign.

10K - timet to stop. 
Also this week had a pretty big day when Chewie had his grade one year end assembly.  It was super cute, 1950s style.

So cute
and in the afternoon Artoo had kindergarten sneak peek.  It was super emotional for me to see him looking so overwhelmed.  But by the end of the two and a half hours, he was feeling a little more like himself.

Artoo - colouring the barn

So cute, smiley boy.
A few people on facebook have asked me about the weather in saskatchewan - we had a beautiful week with gorgeous weather - finally.  So much so that we busted out the plastic pool, and Artoo practically lived in it all weekend.  I'll admit, i took a few dips myself.
the cutest

Weekly Challenge #219: "Straight Lines all the Tines...er, times"

Today's challenge is a fun one.  The challenge is to use ONLY straight lines, and i found it particularly challenging.  I found it interesting to find a way to use the straight lines to create some movement in my tile.


Nary a curved line in sight. 
I really enjoyed creating this tile, and i may come back to it and try it again some time. 

have a great week everyone!

Have a great week.
If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Weekly Challenge #218

Good Tuesday morning all!

i hope you had a nice weekend, those of you who had a long one i hope it was great!

THANK YOU for all the Birthday Wishes!!

My birthday was pretty low-key, which was okay after last week.


The boys were pretty excited about my birthday though.  Artoo kept saying all day "you're 35 today!!! you are the same age as dad!! it's your birrrrrrrthdaaaayyyy!!!"  We didn't get up to much, as Artoo was still recovering from being in the hospital.

But he was doing so well by the end of the week that he made a special guest star appearance on our local news morning show.  We were on the news that morning talking about the Beads of Courage Colour Fun Run that we do every year to raise money for Beads of Courage Canada.

my shining star

ice cream faces
The weather took a turn, just in time for the long weekend - as it does in Saskatchewan, and the temps dipped below freezing a few nights, so we took advantage of the one nice day to take the boys for some ice cream.  

B-rad and Chewie did some work on the driveway this weekend - as we prep for rebuilding the fence this summer.


Monday we did a bunch of work around the house, b-rad did more work outside and i got to some of those nagging tasks that have been bugging me.  Then my mom came over around supper time and my hubby took me out for a belated birthday dinner, and a walk by the river. 

LOVE 
 Every time i'm down by the river i'm reminded of what a beautiful city i live in.

Saskatoon, SK
It was nice to get some things done - it was kind of a bummer that the weather was so lousy.  But apparently the temps should be nice and warm this week.  

Weekly Challenge #218: "White on Black on Found"

This week's challenge is an option.

The challenge is to do a white on black tile or zentangle inspired piece of art - using a white pen on black paper.  HOWEVER, i know that not everyone has access to those art tools.  

So, there's also the option of creating a tangled piece on a found object instead or in addition to white on black.

personally, i love the look of the white on black tiles, but i never seem to have the patience for them because there's a lot more 'finessing' of the gel pens, i find.  It seems that the ink will flow better if you almost 'dab' the gel onto the page, and then move very slowly.  Which, in hindsight, may be a good thing when it comes to creating a tile.  I find the white on black to be quite challenging.  

I used a Sakura Gelly Roll white gel pen.  They work fairly well, but i also like to use the uniball Signo white gell pen, they ink seems to roll out quite nicely.   

I also find that the black zentangle tiles are not as thick as the white ones.  i think i prefer the weight of the white tiles, myself. 

However, as you can maybe tell - this is a found object... it's a black coaster from the Cactus Club where B-rad and I went for supper on Monday night for my birthday.  It turned out pretty great, and maybe part of the reason i like it is because of the sturdy weight of the coaster.  

I have a habit of taking coasters and tangling on them.  They just beg to be tangled, sometimes, don't you think?

So this week's challenge is use white on black, or if you don't have those tools, to tangle on a found object!  (if you've been thinking about tangling that toilet seat or that mailbox, now's your chance. lol.)

Have a great week.
If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy long weekend!

We're celebrating the May long weekend in Canada. 

Catch y'all Tuesday morning! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekly Challenge #217

What a week.

For those of you who don't know - Artoo was hospitalized this week.
So so tired
at 7:30 am - Wednesday morning he was sneezing and coughing, by 1:30pm i was giving him inhalers, and by 5:30 we were in emerg and he was on 3 Litres of oxygen.  Yes, it happens that fast sometimes.

We thought, perhaps, he was having another asthmatic episode, but when he did not improve with steroids they ordered a chest xray.  Thankfully, he's big enough now that he was able to do the chest xray while sitting on a bench, instead of the scary way they do infants.  He was unhappy, and i could see he was trying very hard to be brave.  He looked at me and said: "I'm being brave, even though i am very sad." oh. my sweet boy.


so sweet.
The chest xray showed some pneumonia in his lungs.  so they thought it could be bacterial but it just may have been viral and we were told they would be admitting us.  The problem, here, was that there were no beds upstairs in the PEDs ward.  Artoo spend 30 hours in the emergency room waiting for a bed.

yes.  
30.
holding hands
It was ridiculous.  And exhausting - for him and for me.  The first night i had just a little over one hour of sleep.  B-rad stayed home from work on thursday to come to the hospital so i could go home and sleep for a few hours before coming back.  

It took from 5:30 Wednesday evening to 11:30 Thursday night before they had a bed for Artoo.  On Friday morning, he had improved so much over night (amazing what a good night's sleep will do) that they took him off oxygen at 1:40 am.  later that morning they sent us home.

oh, and it WAS a viral pneumonia.  the virus that gave him pneumonia? Rhinovirus - or the common cold.

Artoo showing off his new Beads of Courage

Friday afternoon Artoo and i slept most of the afternoon, and when my parents brought Chewie home from school i watched a bit of TV with him while Artoo slept.  I missed my big little man.

On Sunday, i had the BEST EVER mothers day.
It started when my boys brought me breakfast in bed, B-rad helped them to make me toast with peanut butter and honey.  They boys also gave me the cards they had picked out for me.  so sweet.

cards from my boys, and homemade bathbombs from Chewie that he made at school
 after i opened my cards, we had a big family hug - several, actually, and Artoo read me a story.

Chewie offered to 'help me' pass a level on a video game -  which was more like him playing and me watching.  It was sweet though.  We passed the level.

This button was on my card from Artoo, i wore it all day.
 After lunch Chewie and i made a chocolate cake, and then while it was baking he suggested i go and have a nice relaxing bath with the bath bombs he made for me.

nice job, kid. 
The first 10 minutes of my 'relaxing bath' consisted of the boys coming to the door and shouting: "How's your bath, mom?? are you relaxed?" which i thought was really funny. 

In the afternoon B-rad and Artoo had a nap and Chewie and i went for a walk looking for birds.  We saw 5 robins, 1 crow, 2 chickadees, 1 magpie, and about 15 blackbirds, 2 sparrows and a bird's nest.  It was quite fun.

hunting for birds
 Then Chewie and i had popcorn and watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark together.  We had Pizza for supper along with cake and ice cream for dessert, then cuddles and stories and bedtime.  it really was a perfect day.  I am so lucky to be their mom.

Also - i wanted to share a picture of this lovely lady:

My mama
My mom is pretty darned awesome.  Without her, i'm not sure how we would have survived the past 4.5 years with Artoo and everything that's come with him.  She's seriously the best, and if i'm even HALF the mother she is, i know my kids will be okay.  Love you mom.

Weekly Challenge #217: "Duo Tangle - DEX vs BUNZO.... THIRTYFIVE!!"

"so what's with this week's challenge name?" I hear you asking.  I love me a good duotangle,  they're probably my favourite type of challenge because they get people thinking in different ways.

A duotangle is a term coined here at CasaDiva that means a tile or ZIA that is created using ONLY TWO TANGLES and their tangleations.

So, for this week the challenge is to use ONLY Dex and Bunzo.   (step out for Dex are HERE, step outs for Bunzo are HERE)

The reason for these two tangles is DEX is spelled with three letters.  BUNZO is spelled with five.  D-E-X (3) B-U-N-Z-O (5)

35
THIRTYFIVE!

What's so special about 35? On Tuesday (May 12) i will be 35 years old.  Happy Birthday to me!


So this week create a tile using ONLY Dex and Bunzo in honour of my 35th birthday!  :D

Have a great week.
If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly Challenge #216

Good Monday Morning all!

I have been fighting with my computer all day... things loading slowwwwly, shutting down for no reason, losing posts half way through.  Everything about this week's challenge has been, well, a challenge for me.  i've been trying to blog simultaneously through my computer and my phone, but both are proving to be quite frustrating.

We had an amazing and totally awesome break through this week with Artoo!
Tasty lunch!
THIS is what he has been eating for lunch this week.  Here's what i posted about Artoo's lunch on instagram (@iamthediva)
I can't adequately express how excited it makes me that I'm feeding my son this for lunch. It may seem like an ordinary lunch of grilled cheese and French Fries, but to me it's an extraordinary victory. My son's neurological disorder Moebius Syndrome causes (among other things) facial paralysis especially around his mouth. He has a small asymmetrical tongue that does not have full range of movement. For the past 4.5 years all his solid foods have been smooth purées, with the exception of bananas and soft cookies. In the past two weeks he's started eating hard crackers, and has shown interest in eating food like his big brother eats. Things like traveling or eating at a restaurant have always been so difficult for us because it's hard to feed him things that are safe. A simple grilled cheese sandwich and French fries have opened up a huge world of possibility for us. Feeding him has always been a source of anxiety for me as we registered him for kindergarten in the fall. But we are slowly building a repertoire of safe snacks and foods for him that I would feel comfortable sending to school. This a HUGE deal for our little family.
Like, seriously.  HOW FREAKIN' COOL IS THIS??  i'm so happy with this new progress.  YAY ARTOO!!

Okay, i hate to brag but...aw, who am i kidding... MY KIDS ARE SO CUTE!!
 The weather seems to be cooperating again and that means walking through the park to and from school.  Chewie really wanted me to take some pictures of the boys on this big rock by the pond.  I'm glad i did.

Also, Chewie had his year end Piano Recital on Friday - and if i may say so myself, he was fantastic!

SRAW RATS!  nothing by SRAW RATS! those crazy SRAW RATS are coming for you....
(sung by Lounge Singer Bill Murray from classic Saturday Night Live days)
 He played so well, and after receiving his certificate for completing his second year of piano lessons , he also won a Shining Star award for Outstanding effort in daily practice and consistent dedication!

Some people may ask, what's my secret? Well, my secret is if he wants to play video games he must first practice piano, make his bed, and clear all the dishes the night before.   My son practices EVERY. SINGLE.  DAY.


....he really loves video games.

We also went and got a great haul of comic books for Free Comic Book Day - this was our first FCBD and it won't be our last.  All weekend long Chewie has been sitting in his room or at the kitchen table reading comics.
(Don't worry, the Attack on Titan comic was for B-rad, not Chewie)
 Artoo got a little bit of FCBD action too, his very own sweet sweet SpongeBob comic.


 This may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between my boys and comics.... only time will tell.

SO onward to the challenge...

Weekly Challenge #216: "UMT - Brella by Bunny Wright, CZT"
So, this year i'm pretty excited to have the challenge fall on May the 4th.  For those of you who don't know (and those of you who do) May the 4th is also known as STAR WARS DAY!!!  Why May the 4th?  Say it out loud, you'll get there..... i'll wait.....

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU! ALWAYS!

now, if you've been following this blog for a while, you may know that Star Wars is a BIG DEAL in our house.  Hell, my kids online nicknames are Chewie and Artoo.
my kids are so cute.
Chewie has been watching Star Wars since he was 3 and we had to skip over the scary parts.  We have so many Star Wars books, and stickers, and toys, and movies, and glowing lightsabres, and stuffed toys, and action figures, and ships, and Lego sets....

SO i couldn't have my challenge land of May the 4th without at least doing SOMETHING special for it.

But - today is also the first Monday of the month - which, as you know, is a Use My Tangle challenge where the challenge is to do a tile using a tangle created by YOU!
typically when i select a tangle from the UMT list, i use the random number generator www.random.org but this month i was looking for a darker looking tangle.  And i found one that did the trick.

This month's tangle is called "'Brella" and it's by fellow Canadian CZT Bunny Wright!!  you can see the step outs for this tangle here
 (If you have a tangle you'd like to submit you can add it here and be sure that it follows the guidelines for submission.)

and here is my May the 4th piece, using 'Brella:
join the dark side, we have micron pens. 
I used an offical zentangle apprentice tile which is larger than the 3.5" tiles.  i wanted to make sure i had room enough for Darth's big head. 

TO BE CLEAR: the challenge is to use 'Brella in your tile. If you'd like to add a Star Wars flair, that's totally up to you.

I hope you have a great week!!

If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekly Challenge #215

How was everyone's week?

Here are some Canadian Geese
It sure has been nice to be walking to and from school again, finally  Chewie was thrilled to see these geese in the pond near his elementary school.

cheese!
Artoo and i have enjoyed the fresh air and the bumpy wagon rides...we are so glad it's spring.  FINALLY....

BUT WAIT!!!

then this happened....

REALLY??
Saturday morning it started raining, which then turned into freezing rain, which by the afternoon had turned into full blown snow... which continued overnight.  leaving us with 30+ cm (12") of heavy wet snow everywhere.

so sad.
The snow was so heavy it snapped about 8 feet off the top of one of our trees.  :(

BUT, we decided to make the best of it, and after pancakes on Sunday morning we dressed up the family and went out to make this wicked awesome snowman.

My boys
 Saskatchewan doesn't often get primo snowball makin' snow.  it's often too dry and too cold for the snow to stick to itself.  By the time we got outside, it was already 2 degrees C (35.6F) so it was warm enough to play for a good long while.

Sitting in the SnowMan Throne
By suppertime, the snowman had already fallen over from melting.  Me and the boys are very ready for summer, so hopefully that's our last big snowfall.

Weekly Challenge #215: "Labyrinth"
I've been taking a year long course on Mandalas with the amazing Scottish beauty Julie Gibbons, this is my third year exploring the Great Round of Mandala with her.  And it just so happens that Stage Three (which corresponds with the month of March) involves labyrinths.  I've been thinking about tangling a labyrinth ever since.

I had wondered how well a labyrinth would translate into a Zentangle challenge, and then in my online travels i found a website which said:

A labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes are puzzles, designed to vex the mind, but labyrinths are contemplative designs, designed to focus the mind.  (source)

and i thought, that sounds much like tangling to me!  So i gave it a go.

Now.  I apologize in advance because this week's challenge does involve a bit more planning and careful thought than usual.  And in the end i found it to be very tricky, and i got quite frustrated at some parts because it wasn't "doing" what i wanted it to do.

and then, as i was shading my labyrinth, i was running my fingers along the graphite, along the path of the labyrinth, and i had my Ah-Ha moment.  There was my zen.  it was in 'walking' the labyrinth that i felt that soft focus i get when i'm in my tangling-zen-zone.

Here are a few sites to help you create your own labyrinth to use as a string.
how to draw a labyrinth
draw your own labyrinth 

Here's my tile:
Have a great week

If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekly Challenge #214

You guys!! how fun was last week's challenge? LOL.  I love how creative you guys got!! (I saw many scissors and tangled kitchen utensils, so fun!)

Strings are everywhere! :D

This week we had lots of Sunny days, but April being April the wind was very cold even though the sun was warm.  looking forward to those warmer days.  annnnny day now.

on the weekend we had a fundraiser BBQ at a local hardware store to raise money for our family to go to Los Angeles next summer to attend the next Moebius Syndrome Conference.  For those of you who are new, my son Artoo has this rare neurological condition, so attending these conferences have been very amazing for us.

anyway - we have to sign up for these BBQ dates with the hardware store in January, and you take what you can get, and we got saturday.  It just so happened that Saturday was very windy, super chilly, and we had a very poor go of things.  we didn't lose money, but it was very close.
The day was cold, but the food was hot
Luckily, i have really great friends and family who made the day fun, despite the weather.  I did get this sweet wind burn, though.  So, i guess that's something.  

the sad thing is that both Friday and Sunday were sunny days.... ah well.  Better luck next year, i guess.

How was your week?

Weekly Challenge #214: "Amanda Day/Earth Day (Round 4!)"
This Wednesday is Earth Day. I know this because it's on my calendar, but mostly i know this because Chewie is learning about Earth Day in grade one and so he comes home and tells me its X many days left until Earth Day.  

So, there's this thing that happened 4 years ago, when Chewie was only 4 and Artoo was 18 months old - Chewie decided to rename the Earth Amanda.  I'm not sure why.  I don't even think he knows anyone called Amanda.  But the name has stuck.  

See the past Amanda Day challenges here: 

For these Amanda Day challenges, it seems i like to do them on Zendala tiles.  They roundess just lends itself so well to the Earth, don't you think? 

This year, at WeLove2Tangle in the art shop - i picked up two Masking Fluid pens.  So i thought i'd try them out on my tile this week. 

She's got the whooooole world, on her kitchen table
I sketched out a VERY ROUGH Amanda onto my zendala tile, then using my masking fluid pen, i tangled on the Earth. 

It dries blue so you can see it.  Then you watercolour overtop and
when the whole thing is dry - you erase the masking fluid
Using the pen was challenging because it was so thick, but overall i liked it.  This might be fun to try on an Opus tile, perhaps.  ANYWAY, i tangled on my Earth, and then i used some Twinkling H2O paints in varying shades of green and blue, and painted overtop. 

When the whole thing was dry, i erased the masking fluid, but the white was TOO white.  

Sorry, i didn't take a picture of the super white tangles. 

So to 'push back' the tangles a little bit, i went back over the Earth parts with a very light wash of green.  

It's not my favourite thing i've ever done, but i like it. 
When i went back over with the wash, i lost a lot of my tangle definition.  But overall - i like it.  
As always, my own personal challenge is to ALWAYS post my first try.  regardless of it's state of 'perfection'.

i think it's an interesting piece - and plus sometimes art doesn't work out on the first try, and that's okay.  But i'm interested to keep trying this technique to see where it takes me. 

So, this week GO wherever the challenge takes you; round tile, or plant like tangles, or use earth tones, or used recycled materials, or something cool i haven't thought of!!

 - - - Happy Earth Day everyone! (Happy Amanda Day, Chewie!)

Have a great week.

If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;) 
If you have a blog or host your images on line (like on Flickr or Picassa or Pinterest), add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here) Also, please feel free to come back often and visit the links of those people on the linkey machine - don't forget to leave a comment or feedback, everyone loves feedback. ;)