Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Challenge #197

Hey Everyone! I'm back!

Did you miss me? I missed you - it was nice to have a break from blogging and focus on the family - but i did miss blogging and writing and sharing with all of you!

I want to give a HUGE thank you and shout out to all my fabulous guest bloggers:
Cris Letourneau (#192)
Holly Atwater (#193)
Elisa Murphy (#194)
Sandy Hunter (#195)
and
Emily Classon (#196)

It was so nice to just know that the challenge was in such capable hands.  You ladies did an amazing job! Thank you!!

So - I'm sure you're all wondering what we've been up to over here at Casa Diva.  More specifically, wondering how Artoo is recovering.

In my last update i told you a bit about the surgery.

We went to see his Ophthalmologist here in Saskatoon, and she told us that his eyes look very healthy - that the stitches were all still in place.  She told me a bit more about how the botox would work. Artoo had botox injected into his interior eye muscles to relax them, as they have become super tight seeing as they've had no resistance for 4 years (Moebius Syndrome 101: Cranial Nerve VI attaches to the outside muscles of the eyes.  Artoo's muscles have no nerves attached, therefore he can not move his eyes from side to side.)

Right now the stitches are holding everything in place, and as the botox wears off and those inside muscles begin to pull again, we will see the final result of the surgery.  It will probably take until February or so - it's a long wait to find out how successful the surgery was.

wearing a silly hat for Silly Hat Day at Chewie's school
 The double vision seems to still be a factor, and so we see him using one eye more than the other to compensate for that, so we've had to begin patching him a bit each day.  I think it's been helpful, and as the botox is wearing off i see him trying to use both eyes at once.

Still such a happy boy.
He seems to be back to his old self though.  Silly happy song singing laughing boy.
this may be one of the cutest pics of my boys
I feel like so much has happened this month, it's difficult to condense it all into one blog post so i'll just do bullet form... This month... in no particular order:


  • It has snowed much snow.  Chewie is loving it, me - not so much.
  • I have new Winter Tires on my van, so driving is much nicer now.
  • B-rad's car has died so we have been a morning car-poolin' family for the past two weeks as we take him to work before taking Chewie to school - the plus side is that Chewie is on time every day ;)
  • Chewie's parent/teacher conference was great - he's such a smart and caring kid.  (proud!!)
  • I've been doing a lot of art lately, which is nice.  I'm slowly working on creating 100 Mandalas, i took Julie Gibbons' "5 days of Mandala Magic" course in the beginning of November (as well as my second year in her year long mandala magic course), i'm also taking part in Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's #CarveDecember challenge, wherein you carve a rubber stamp each day... (you can see many of these things on my instagram feed @iamthediva)
  • I started painting again (happy!!)
  • I killed my treadmill (sad!!)
  • B-rad and I had an amazing experience meeting the Canadian band Mother Mother (They are awesome!) and watching them rock out!
Also, as many of my regular readers know, i tend to take the last half of December off from challenges - because Christmas with kids is awesome and fun, but it's also crayyyyzeee busy.  So, you have this week's challenge and next week's challenge - then we're back in January! 

Weekly Challenge #197: "New Official Tangle - Arukas"
Last weekend a new official tangle was announce in the Zentangle Newsletter - it's called Arukas... which is cleverly Sakura backwards!



This is one fun tangle.  If you haven't had a chance to play with it - today is your lucky day!!! This week's challenge is to use the new tangle in your tile or inspired piece.  

here's mine: 



ALSO 
Before i go:

The lovely and talented Carole Ohl has gifted me with some Tangle A Day 2015 calendars to give away!


(If you don't want to wait, you can buy your own here)  And so i will be giving away three copies to three lucky people.... 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck everyone! happy tangling, have fun!!

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. ;) 
I will be more diligent with the linkey machine - by editing out the ones that don't work, the doubles, the links that lead to nowhere, the links that go just to blog home pages (this is why we need those site specific urls), and the spam. And there is some spam. PLEASE do not put your *home* page in the linkey machine... please? for me??


60 comments:

  1. I am so very happy that all is turning out so good for Artoo and your family. Good to 'see' you back Laura, however the guests were doing a fantastic job.

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  2. Nice to see you back & hear that Artoo is doing well. I did wonder if Arukas was going to appear - love the idea of a Mandala with that one - your second sample had my eyes really engaging with the pattern. Thanks again for all you do.
    Paula (PEP)

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    1. Oops - favourite holiday tradition, the lighting of an advent candle on each Advent Sunday before Christmas.
      Paula (PEP)

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  3. Fun challenge and your little Artoo gives me inspiration and so much more! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Hello Laura! It´s just a few weeks that I do tangeling... but I am already addicted and I am so happy that I found your blog and challenges! It was fun to work on the different themes the last few weeks - but I am happy to hear that your personal affairs seem to work out well!!
    My favourit tradition is to go for a walk in the nearby little forest, come back home, drink a glass of punsch (I hope this is an english word.... and understandable...) and then the family is going to the "Christmas room" with the music of the Chrismas Oratory from JS. Bach (Jauchzet, Frohlocket...) and then - seeing the tree in light for the first time :-) That´s it.

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  5. Welcome back! Glad things are improving in your home. My favorite Christmas memory is spending 10 consecutive Christmas weeks in Lake Placid, NY with my 13 cousins, aunts, and uncles. Best times/memories!

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  6. Fav part of the holiday is getting together w/family members and friends!

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  7. Welcome back! I'm glad to hear Artoo is recovering. Enjoy the holiday buildup!

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  8. the music of the season, no matter what kind of day I might be having hearing holiday music always makes it a good day - especially since too much of the season can be so hectic

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  9. Ooops - favorite holiday tradition - making a shrimp tree for our appetizers on Christmas eve (Styrofoam tree covered in curly lettuce, shrimp and maraschino cherries on toothpicks on the tree). My kids learned to love shrimp with that tree.

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  10. Welcome back!
    My favorite holiday tradition is spending New Year's at my mom's place with the entire family (which is about 25 people in total). Wonderful new memories are created each year :)

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  11. And for the chance of a fantastic calendar, our holiday tradition is to play a mad bad game after dinner, where a set of silly gifts can be won, lost and bargained for, depending on the draw of the cards. Christmas wouldn't be the same without this game. Axxx

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  12. Welcome back! Good to hear that Artoo is doing well :-)
    I played with arukas a few days ago so this challenge was perfect for me ;-)

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  13. Hello, and WELCOME BACK LAURA!!!! And yes, we did miss you very much!!!! Glad to hear that Artoo's surgery went well! And the very most continued prayers for the success of the botox! (It truly is amazing what modern medicine can do!!!)
    Continued prayers for your whole family!! ((((hugs)))) It's great to have you back Laura!!! Your guest posts were very enjoyable and they did an excellent job!!!xo
    And now for my Christmas Tradition........I guess you can say I am very lucky to have grown up in a home with many traditions, but the one I will share is the baking of our Sicilian cookie.The Woochadatta! Every year we all gather at my parents and spend the whole day making these fig, nut, and honey cookies. (It's kind of like a process like tamales.) Anyway, the one thing you will always hear my father say during this process is,...."Did you wash your hands," and "Make sure your hands are clean!!!" I don't think the day would be complete if we didn't hear that! :0)
    Anyways, Carole, I see your calendars every year, and want to purchase one but I never have seemed to get around to it! So if I don't get picked, hopefully I'll get around to it!! :0)
    Laura and Carole, have an awesome week!! :0) Share Humanity


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  14. Welcome back! I'm glad Artoo is recovering well and you're seeing some signs of progress. Sounds like it's been a super busy month for you.

    My favorite tradition of this time of year is appreciating the symbolism of the lights in windows and boughs of greenery -- reminders that the light and new life will return with the turning of the year's wheel.

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  15. My favorite part of the holidays is just getting on the other side of them. I am of the When Harry Met Sally tradition, the miracle is getting from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year's without killing myself.

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  16. So nice to read your handsome little fellow Artoo is doing well and singing along! Just being patient now and hoping for a good result of the surgery. I would love to win a calender so I keep my fingers crossed. I posted a how-to video on my YouTube Channel for those who cannot figure out the step-outs. Laura I am wishing you and your beloved ones lovely holidays with lots of fun, nice food and warmth (and NO SNOW ;-) ) Greetz, Ellen from The Netherlands.

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  17. Glad you are back and things have gone pretty well. My favorite tradition was taking deer hooves and we made marks in the snow so the younger children would know the reindeer were there :)

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  18. I'm sure I can speak for all of us when I say that you were very much missed ^_^ Welcome back!
    I've played with Arukas quite a bit...all of my results have come out looking somewhere between bad and absolutely abhorrent, so here's hoping that I don't have to post any monstrosities ^_^

    My favorite holiday tradition is probably opening the presents...because I'm a teenager, haven't exactly made a whole lot of fond memories yet, and who doesn't like getting free stuff?

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  19. glad you are back and that Artoo seems to be doing well - what an ordeal you all have been through. Many sympathies for the amounts of snow - here in Southern Ontario we haven't had too much yet (knock on wood). Would love to win one of your calendars. and many thanks for all you do with the challenges throughout the year.

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  20. Favorite tradition is reading the Cajun Night Before Christmas in a fun voice to my kids at school.

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  21. Love this tangle - will have to give it a go! Favorite holiday tradition has to be making Chex Mix with my big sister - don't remember how we got started on it but every Christmas we make a huge batch and promptly consume it all (we do share with the family, though). Thanks for the chance to win!

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  22. Glad to have you back. Although I don't play all that much, I love to check up on what you are doing with your family. Hope the operation results are everything you hoped for. That would be a great way to start off the year! My favorite holiday tradition is making greetings and singing Christmas songs.

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  23. Favourite family tradition(s)1. is a party with the extended family the weekend before Christmas - there are over 100 of us now spanning 4 generations. This year it's at my Aunt's house (which used to belong to my grandparents) so I guess that's 5 generations of us!
    2. Because we're in Australia, and it's not exactly 'pudding weather' here, when the kid's were small I sterted making on 'ice cream pudding' with lots of frozen yummy things in it. Now they're grown, as we begin the discussions about what to have for Christmas lunch I'm always asked " You ARE making icecream pudding this year aren't you Mum?' lol

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  24. Your beautiful big chair by the window looks the perfect place to snuggle up!

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  25. Welcome Back Laura - you have sure had a busy month, and deserve to take a nice break to enjoy the holidays with your family. The best part of this Christmas for me, will be having my daughter and granddaughter visit for THREE weeks!!!
    Merry Happy Everyone =)

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  26. Welcome back!!! Of course we missed you, but the guest bloggers did a great job filling in for you!
    Since I don't have a big family (no brothers, sisters, kids, ...) we don't really celebrate the holidays. So my favorite part of this time of year is the extra days off work I get to spend entirely in my pajamas with the cats and my hubby on the couch watching movies :)

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  27. Great to have you back Laura and good news that Artoo is on the road to recovery. I haven't participated in many challenges lately myself (although I was planning on it :) ) Thank you to all the lovely guest facilitators for helping out whilst you've been attending to your family. Arukas is one tangle I've been meaning to try out so what better way to start off with a challenge.

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  28. Welcome home Laura...happy to hear Artoo is doing well, good luck to all of you. We love cutting down our own tree here in the woods of BC where they grow abundantly. Happy holidays everyone!

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  29. Welcome back, Laura! So glad you got the much needed time off that you needed and happy to hear that Artoo continues to improve!

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  30. My favorite holiday memory is spending time with my mother, who I lost ten years ago.

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  31. Welcome back! I enjoyed the challenge - great opportunity to practice Arukas.

    My favourite holiday tradition these days is watching Christmas movies with my hubby - "It's a Wonderful Life", "A Christmas Carol" (the one with Alastair Sim), and "Love, Actually" (though that one's not technically a Christmas movie, I suppose) to name a few. :)

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  32. My favourite holiday tradition is to go to the beach. It's usually hot here in Australia so after present opening it's off to the beach then back home for a BBQ and then a nap. Glad to hear Artoo is improving and life is getting back to 'normal'

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  33. Welcome back!
    Yes, we did miss you!!! Although you were well backed up.
    Happy to see Artoo on the mend.
    I made a mess of my link on the linky machine ... again! I'm really sorry about that.
    My favorite holiday tradition is decorating the house for Christmas and cooking up an unforgettable dinner ... well unforgettable until the next anyway... :)
    Love and best wishes from France

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  34. Glad you are back! Artoo looks like he is doing very well.
    My favorite holiday tradition is decorating butter cookies to look like little Christmas trees. It was the job of my dad and his dad before him. I have taken up the challenge and now my daughter is in on the action.
    They are little works of art and sinfully delicious. The recipe that my grandmother perfected is a family secret.
    Blessings all around. Have a brilliant day! c

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  35. Great news to hear! I am envious of time spent doing the mandalas. I do hope you will share some on the blog posts.

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  36. I did my first completed zendala and left it in the hospital waiting room for someone to find. I hope it brightened their day just a little. Hope Artoo is doing much better. Give him a big hug from me. God bless you all

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  37. I made another comment, but I think it went poof! I'll say this though, my fav thing about this upcoming holiday is having my sister back from Spain. It's only been a couple months without her, but he is muchly missed!!!!

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  38. My favorite thing about the holidays is the time I spend with family and friends, the hugs, the joy. By the way, it's good to hear the the surgery went well and it's good to have you back!

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  39. Your helpers did a wonderful job...but of course we missed you! A highlight of my week is reading your blog, your writing has a spark and including your family photo treasures is so special to see. Thank you for sharing about Artoo and his progress!

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  40. My favorite holiday tradition is doing a Christmas puzzle with my family. We get a new puzzle every year, and we see how quickly we can get it done. Our record is a 500 piece in 4 hours and 13 minutes.

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  41. One of my favorite things to do is make family recipes that my grandmothers taught me - lefse, flat bread, spritz, sweet soup, and rumagrout - and think about these amazing women!

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  42. Definitely making hand made Christmas cards to send to family and friends....also we do a crafting with friends tea that is sooooooo looked forward to each year! The lady that does this is AMAZING!

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  43. Welcome back! Glad to read that Artoo's recovery is coming along well. sounds like he has been a trooper. One of the traditions that we did with our kids as they were growing up, and they wanted to continue it as adults, was looking for the pickle ornament on the tree on Christmas morning. Was really funny to see them as adults trying to find it. Almost lost a couple of trees over that, but it was fun.

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  44. My favorite Christmas memory was decorating outside trees for the forest creatures. We would string popcorn and dried cranberries, Dried oranges and apples, and we make stars out of suet, peanut butter, and birdseed. We decorated tree really heavily, and then sit back and watch the feasting. Northern Maine bliss!

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  45. Welcome back, Laura. So glad to hear that Artoo is recovering nicely. We're all rooting for him.

    Even though I haven't been participating these last few weeks (On a trip for a couple of weeks, along with preparing for the trip and recovering from it) I have been doing some of the challenges; just haven't posted anything. Your guests did a great job, but we all did miss you.

    My favorite part of the holidays is lighting the Menorah (we celebrate Chanukah), and we get to do it for 8 nights.

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  46. Great to have you back! A fave holiday memory is going to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas parade as a child with my family. They used to air the parade Live on Christmas Day (back in the day) so we would get curb seats & sit for hours. We saw Regis Philbin every year & have some great family screenshots (dad set the VCR so we could come back & watch the parade to find ourselves). I miss the Good Ole days at Walt Disney World. --Kim Skates (having difficulties posting)

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  47. So glad to see things are going well for you. There are so many favorite memories that I have growing up of Christmas. It was my father's favorite holiday, so much so that we called it "Greg's Day" as a joke many years. While he liked getting gifts he loved to see the faces of those whom he gave something to. This is our first Christmas without him and it's definitely been tough. I think the thing I am going to miss the most is getting woken up by my dad on Christmas morning. Even moving 4 hours behind (from Pennsylvania to Alaska) I still couldn't beat him to the phone to say Merry Christmas first (my first year here he called me at 2 minutes to midnight just so he could say Merry Christmas on Christmas itself for me and my husband). As I'm writing this the tears are welling up thinking about all the crazy ways that he woke me up over the years. The one thing remained the same no matter what, his pure joy for the day. Even at 55 (last year) he was still like a little kid when he woke us up to start the day. I miss Pabee but his love for the season will continue because I intend to continue it. Thanks for letting me write this :)

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  48. Welcome back, Laura! I am glad things went well, and I wish Artoo continued success during his recovery.

    Thank you again for letting me help out while you were away. It was such an honor to be able to write a guest post and to help inspire so many amazing creations. It was wonderful to read each post and to see what beautiful pieces people created. I felt blessed.

    It was just me and my parents for Christmas, and we always had a low-key day. To make it more fun and last longer, we always bought/made each other lots of presents so we could be opening presents for hours. It was a fun tradition that we still do to this day. We also used to go to the movies on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas day because it was so quiet then. We still like to go to the movies sometimes. :-)

    I apologize if you get multiple posts here. It kept going back to a blank screen after I hit "Publish." We'll see. :-)

    Happy holidays!

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  49. New to zentangle - the man I got a rib from says I am a A slight bit obsessed but calm so all is good - love ur site and look forward to challenges Thank You for doing this and making me smile!

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  50. Thanks so much for arranging the guest challenge hosts Laura. The diversity of challenges was awesome. It's also great to have you back, and to hear that all went well and is on track for little Artoo.

    Favourite holiday tradition - picnic at the open air cinema in the few days before Christmas. Lucky we live in a warm climate (Sydney), but last year it did rain and thunder whilst we snuggled into our bean bags to watch Frozen. This year it is Night at the Museum 3.

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  51. Yes, sure we missed you, dear Laura!!! What a question ;-) Although the guest Blogger did a great work. Thanks for the fun experiences! An good recovery for Artoo and happy Holiday-greetings Beate

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  52. I love getting together with family and friends, eating a nice meal and catching up on the things we all did that year.

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  53. My favorite Holiday tradition is reading Christmas stories by a lit tree on Christmas Eve. The whole family gathers round in their jammies, and everyone reads their favorite Christmas story out loud.

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  55. Getting ready for Christmas with a Diva's challenge on wrapping paper.

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  56. I finally posted a response to the challenge; 1st time in a couple of months.

    The first link I posted was incorrect The second one should be right.

    Continued good recovery to Artoo, and Happy Holidays to everyone.

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  57. OH I get the Tangle a Day every year and cannot say enough good things about it. Try to win! and if you don't then cough up and buy one - they keep you drawing every day!

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  58. My favorite holiday tradition is putting up our tree with my husband. It takes two days cuz we look at all the ornaments and share memories about it.

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tangle me some zen, baby!!