You got see Nigel

Winter is here and Christmas is  just around the corner and my favorite season is over until next year. I love fall with the  beautiful Alberta colors and warm days and cool nights.  I call it the bunker down season, take out the crock-pot stock mee cupboard with my favorite teas and burn my favorite candles . I  do heart  summer and this past summer was  full of adventure , art, creativity and solitude.

I had a wonderful trip back to Vancouver Island to visit my folks and friends. Had some lake time with a a girlfriend and there is nothing like a sunset at the lake. However, I just could not get into the  lake for a swim it is one of the coldest lakes on the island and even though the kids and my girlfriend were swimming there was no way….as a kid I would be in the lake just after the ice was off not sure what has changed ….perhaps just common sense (wink).

This summer I was asked to paint the picture of the pig below for a friends daughter and her reaction to it was awesome. So I asked her to give the painting a title and thus Nigel the pig it is. Introducing Nigel the pig…….

  
 

So for any of you moms out there what would you do with three weeks by yourself at home? This summer I had that time and I had planned to do all these things around the house and I actually did not do one thing……My husband and son headed to Europe with another father and son who are all great friends and  to celebrate the boys graduation this June.  My son has big plans for after graduation which will see him away from home for his chosen career in July….but more on that in a future blog. My daughter at the time was not living at home and so there I was at home alone…..People asked how I enjoyed it, folks it was awesome! I was still volunteering and working but I took time to look after me and as all moms  know we seldom do that. So there were a few girls hanging out at my house for  a wee bit of wine and a whole lot of laughs. I ate what I wanted when I wanted, the house stayed clean and I painted,read,cycled and had some much needed rest. Now of course I missed everyone and  I started to miss the dishes in bedrooms(well not so much) and the day to day happenings of a family but this was some much needed R and R . I wish that I would have taken a weekend here and there on my own when the kids were growing up more often.I can count on one hand how many times I did that ,it just gives you time to recharge your batteries and we are all better for it. So the boys came home from a wonderful trip, my daughter moved back home ( and brought with her a cat) and our home is full and busy and I would not have it any other way…..

Shine Bright,

Kim

 

Adult Coloring Books….relax,create and quiet the mind.

Adult coloring books have taken retail stores by storm….they are in bookstores to grocery stores. In a fast- paced world full of computer games,cell phones and several jobs which require one to sit at a computer it is no surprise that adult coloring books are selling like hot cakes.

I know that painting for me allows my creative gal side to be expressed and gives my mind a rest from the day to day ramblings of life. Hours can go by and I look up at the clock and I am wondering where time has gone. I love that these books will allow others to express their creative side ,slow down their minds and just be…. for me this is total bliss…..

The book below was gifted to me a few months ago from one of the store owners I merchandise for. On one of her trips back to London she saw these taking off and brought as many as her suitcase would hold and they have sold out. The other night I was watching a movie and took a look at the book she had given me and I began to doodle and then color, before I new it the movie was over and I had completed my first coloring sheet.  I have always doodled from a young age and would incorporate it into my poetry as a teen. When I was in University many of my lecture notes were more picture then words(not great notes to borrow, but they sure were pretty!) but that is how I was able to remember the lecture and for some classes not fall asleep…wink

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So if you have been looking for a relaxing mind,body and soul outlet grab one of these coloring books and pencil crayons and go for it. If you are looking for more adventure create your own coloring page …..and as I teach kids to adults it is OK to color outside the lines nothing in life is perfect…..do what you love and love what you do….and watch your heart sing…So when this mug came into one of the stores I merchandise for it had this creative gal all over it. Of course anyone who knows me knows that I just might paint the grass purple. The grammer mistake on the back of the mug folks is all about coloring outside the lines……:)

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So I missed blogging last week and this is a few days late but I have been working on a commissioned piece. Honestly I was a little hesitant to produce a painting this way as I like to paint what I feel at that moment.  Then I thought really just get over what is holding you back and put brush to canvas. Having a ton of fun with this painting so will post when I am done. It is for a young gal that overcame a sudden illness last year and really showed all those around her that life can change in a minute  …..so last year she was in the hospital for her birthday this year she is a healthy gal at home where she should be ……so have a a week to finish before I head back to the Vancouver Island to do a little wake-boarding and surfing….

Shine Bright,

Kim

Garden Bliss

I love gardening ,but I have had to really have patience  while landscaping my yard here in Cowtown. After years on Vancouver Island, where I had a wonderful English garden in one home and then a yard full of Rodeo’s and natural scape in another my current home has been a challenge. I do love the fact that I am learning constantly and have met some awesome people throughout Calgary.  My bike often comes to a quick halt  as I take pics of plants or say a friendly hello to the homeowners and ask for their gardening wisdom. I have a few more trees and shrubs to plant in the hardscape and then it is all about adding  more plants that bloom so there is always colour during the short growing season here in Alberta.  Being a city gal again I have opted for container gardens for mee veggies and my butter lettuce and swiss chard are so wonderful. The bean plant shown below is beautiful with its  green leafs and orange flowers that even if I have no beans sprout  it is so awesome. Give me a bouquet of daisy’s over roses any day and throw in  sunflowers and I am one happy gal.

imageI have some time to mee self and I am working on a new piece of art which I hope to finish this weekend and I am finally getting my pic’s into photo books for my kids ……I am talking a few years worth……and my girlfriends assure me I am not alone . Hope to have pics of my creative space soon..

  Everything that slows us down

and forces patience, everything

that sets us back into the slow

circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace.

Mary Sarton

Shine Bright,

Kim

Stampede Inspired

Well last week was the Calgary Stampede and it is one of the biggest international rodeos around. There is the rodeo portion, grandstand shows ,concerts with the likes of Mr Blake Shelton and Ms Sheryl Crow just to name a few. Pancake breakfasts  a wee bit of festive activities in the way of a few beverages …wink. Calgary, gets their cowgirl and cowboy on and it is one awesome celebration.

Gypsy

 I love horses maybe because I was never around them growing up. There is something about the way they look at you that draws me to them. Like my last painting the horse above has been in the back of my mind just waiting for the right time to be painted. So Stampede seemed like the perfect time to put brush to canvas.

My daughter had a sweet paying gig at stampede this year with one of her girlfriends which is great for any university student. When she was over visiting my parents, we were chatting and she was saying how she had to buy some cowboy boots for work.  She then asked if she could wear the ones on our fireplace hearth. Well these boots sit with a an old oil lantern given to me by my Grandps (his girl, so I was a little hesitant). My mom thought he would love having his boots walking around Stampede on his great granddaughters feet. As it turns out my daughter and her friend had a pic of  their boots featured during Stampede…So I will take that as a sign Gramps loved that his boots were kicking up dust at the Calgary Stampede. “These boots are made for walking….”

Next up learning to take better pics of mee art….

Shine Bright,

Kim

 

 

 

The painting below was inspired by a trip  I took to Ireland last year. My hubby had buss there so I tagged along and fell in love with Ireland, as I somehow new that I would. The rolling hills, the lush greenery the friendly people and  Dublin….I had so much fun in Dublin”s Temple Bar District and for anyone that has been there you will know what I mean. The people are spilling out of the pubs onto the cobblestone streets and live music can be heard from almost every pub. The old architecture and hardwood floors and sharing stories and a beer with  complete strangers while listening to an artist sing and play guitar… total bliss.


I must have stood for at least a half an hour(which is a long time for this gal ) taking in the  beauty of the Ireland countryside, with it’s vast colors and amazing fresh foliage scents knowing when the time was right I would have to paint what I was experiencing.  For those that know me you know that I paint  from memory rather then from looking at an actual photo….. I guess that is what puts the wonky in all that I paint. So the end result was the above painting that I titled “Ireland Bliss”….

Last year was a crazy busy year filled with so many new things  that when I sat down to write this I thought wow I have once again not written a blog in forever. So Blog Mondays will be my new goal. I also need to update mee picture as it is a few years old (actually ten years old).There are a few more facial lines and lets not even talk about the white hair however I would not trade either as they are who I am (well the white hair me and Ms. Clairol have a monthly arrangement). As I look at that gal from ten years back I see how much she has grown and what life has given and taught her and I am totally humbled and amazed. There is a simple wisdom that comes with age a maturity that see’s all life experiences as a gift. No matter how big,small,joyful, or hard we all experience different magnitudes of each and  I would not change one experience even the hard ones because they have made me into the person I am today…..and I am loving this stage of my life as I head towards 50.

So besides merchandising and buying which I wrote about in my last blog I am back to doing admin for my hubby’s business. Hmmm numbers which are so not creative however this gig does work the other side of this creative gals brain:) Thank god for coloured highlighters need I say more:)

So whats next on mee bucket list? ….well I see a little sky diving in my future on my visit back to see my parents on Vancouver Island this summer. My partner in crime just may be my dad as he thought he just might need to do this with me. Gotta luv almost 72 years old …..it truly is the new 50…..My parents are so active and I love them for being such a positive influence for me and my family.

Speaking of bucket lists I have a bucket list that has some little things and then some big things (jumping out of a plane falls somewhere in between…wink) that I want to do before I am 50 and in my lifetime. It is amazing when you write your ideas down how much closer you get to obtaining them. Ireland was on my bucket list and before I new it I was standing still taking a moment to breathe and over looking this amazing scenery outside of Dublin. I have been known to be a bit of a free spirit  so when I read some of them to my famdango they were either laughing or like that is cool or really um why ….Well that is the great thing about a bucket list it is yours to do….. So do you have a bucket list? What is on your bucket list?

Shine Bright,

Kim

Shine

photo-3 Words….. Over the past ten years I have chosen one word to be my mantra for that year. It acts as a silent  whisper to guide me to where I need to be at any given moment. Here are a few of my favs ;

Breathe: this word was all around my home when my kidlets were younger and remains today. It is such a simple reminder to slow down and appreciate the small moments, instead of always focusing on the bigger ones. Even when I awoke from an unexpected surgery a few years back my nurse was saying to me ” all you need to do my dear is breathe”. I carry that word with me daily and wow what a difference taking the time to Breathe can make in ones day. So on a recent plane delay in San Diego I found this bracelet in Brighton and knew I had to have it. Whats a gal to do with time on her hands in an airport but shop!

Carpe Diem: Again learning to really embrace each day and to make the most of where   I am at any given moment. Life is always offering opportunities so it was a reminder to seize as many of those as possible and make the best of all that I have.

Strong: To be strong in mind,body and spirit . Working on each of these areas has allowed me to power through all that life brings mee way. I had a girlfriend tell me that she was amazed at how strong I have had to be over the years. I have always believed that life gives you what you can truly handle ….and there is always someone else going through so much more then I will ever experience. I also love to run,cycle ,weight train and I heart yoga which are so much more for me then just exercise they really are about strengthening ones mind. Next up for me meditation. This will be a challenge, very similar to Julie Roberts in Eat,Pray,Love….:)one of my favourite movies.

So this year I have chosen SHINE….for me this is the year to try new things, teach more art, coach a running group, continue volunteering as well as my merchandising gig…. And as the saying goes when you allow your light to shine you unconsciously give others permission to shine their light….Nelson Mandela

So after choosing the word shine it of course starting showing up everywhere. My second class back to yoga my amazing teacher Jody shared this ;

May the long time sun shine upon you ,

all love surround you ,

and the pure light within you ,

guide you on your way.

So what is your word? I have put this question out to my girlfriends and I am loving their choices. The pic above is from my new little studio space. Love the antique frame my Gramps had made years ago and I know he would love what his girl has done with it. I could not part with it as it reminded me of his work shop and him always creating or building something.  My chalkboard is from a salvaged cupboard door as is my breathe sign.  More on my new art space next time…

Shine Bright,

Kim

Happy 2015

Happy New Year …….

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It has been awhile since I have blogged, but this prairie gal has been kinda side tracked…In truth this last year I have put down my paint brushes and tucked my canvases away. There were a few times I pulled them out, however I just did not have that creative vibe directing me to my easel. I have though been using my creative gal side for other endeavours which have been so much fun.  I kept telling myself I would get back to painting and then I realized that it was ok to simply take a break. After all I am the one in my home who is always talking about balance and to make time to try new things. Which sometimes simple means putting what ever it is aside to try something else. I was not exactly following my own advise kinda of a mom thing, but no excuses right!

So what have I been up to….well there is this oh so sweet store in Alberta’s Children’s Hospital that I have been merchandising and helping buy for on  a volunteer basis. This place is near and dear to my heart and  I am truly  blessed to be able to give back to a place that has given my family so much. The store is primarily run by volunteers and some other very hard working folks and the profits raised go directly back to the hospital which is so very awesome. It is here where I met this wonderful sales rep who recognized my passion for merchandising and buying and has recommended me to other stores and voila……I am merchandising here and there and having so much fun…..I love it …..on mee feet all day but I never was a desk girl……so a wee business is happening and I am following one of my passions. I have always loved the art of story telling and buying and merchandising is simply another way for me to do this.

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So after six months of not painting things started to direct me back to my easel but I kept putting it off…. Enter divine intervention, that will send you signs and when you ignore them will land you right on your behind. In  terms of my art I had an offer from a dear friend to purchase my elephant painting for his office and it just happens to go with the title of his book. He really wanted to pay me for the piece but I refused the humble artist thing. So he told me what he thought it was worth…. wow…it was amazing and I will leave it at that the humble artist thing again….wink….Again enter divine intervention as I was checking out all the amazing artists at this years Stampede I began talking to a gal about the Artist Ranch Project and I said I painted and showed her mee cow painting  and a cute little prairie scene she asked me to submit my pieces ….flattered…..it is juried and five artists are chosen…another sign to get painting well just maybe……

Here is what I believe when life is out of balance the universe gives you a bit of a shake and when you ignore it then it kinda kicks your ass. So needless to say it is good I stand when I work because I don’t think I could have sat last year at a desk…..:) So what was to be a routine eye appointment to discuss my annoying 47 year old eyes(I have my readers always on my head and refuse the neck chain….no matter how damn cute they can be…) turned into an appointment that has for now saved  my eyesight. Within  a week of that appointment I was diagnosed with  Narrow Angle Glaucoma and had laser surgery. I have had a few knocks on my door in my almost 48 years………and I have truly learned to listen, learn and be grateful for the lesson that each experience is there to teach me. For a person who is so visual this was a wake up call to get painting again. In truth painting has also been a place for me to go when I need to express what I am feeling so painting a wild flower garden was all that and then some(painting tittle is Shine). So I am back with paint brush in hand…..merchandising another sweet store in addition to the one at Children’s Hospital and hearting both opportunities.

File-banner-kodak4“The meaning of life is to

find your gift,the

purpose of life is to give

it away.”

                                                       Joy J. Golliver

Shine Bright,

Kim

P.S. After the eye episode my famdango purchased a guitar for me knowing how much I have always wanted to learn to play  guitar and how music is another love of mine(and I thought a creative back up plan is always good). So 2015 is the year for another creative endeavor. Totally hearting the dove on it, it is so me……for those of you that know me you will not have to hear me sing….wink

 

 

Prairie Cow Whimsy

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Prairie Cow Whimsy

Lots of color…..and of course the whimsy that I heart. I  just love to paint things in a different light. Recently I was at my son’s hockey tourney in Sicamous,BC and the team stopped at the Dutchman Dairy for ice cream and I took a few shots of some dairy cows and voila…..Had fun with the eye lashes and she is looking very girlie and as my daughter always says its all about the eye lashes.

20131204-162704.jpgSo just before the snow blew in I was out for a walk in my neighbourhood and I so hate taking a photo but my fam was wanting an updated pic of me…..so this is it ! Taken just in time because the pic below is of the igloo my son his buddy built after the snow storm rolled into town. Sent them out to shovel the driveway and they built the igloo and did I mention it was -18C/-25C with the wind chill they came in an hour later for some hot chocolate….frozen solid….loved their creative energy…..Keeping bundled up this week as we are in a bit of a freeze.

20131204-162845.jpgHave started a new painting and I am really trying to make time each day to paint. Easier said then done some days….but I am such a morning person that I love to get up while the rest of the house is asleep grab my java and my paint brush. I have an hour before life begins and I love taking that time to be creative.

Smiles,

Kim

Polar Bear Whimsey

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Polar Bear Whimsey

I had a lot of fun with this painting. I was born in Churchill,Manitoba so I guess this Polar Bear has a little piece of my beginnings attached to it. Loads of layers in the background and a lot of fun using the translucent white acrylic paint by  Golden Fluid paint. This piece is making it’s way to a special home if all goes as planned…..just finishing up my  rendition of a cow and she is full of color as well…..will post her soon!

Smiles,

Kim