Friday, November 27, 2009

And the painting belongs to Beth - which makes me very happy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tomorrow is the auction and here is the finished painting - not horribly different from the picture posted last week. A bit more paint, some black lines, a signature...but enough I say! Plus I had a deadline to meet so the file has been sent to the printer to make the Christmas cards and the painting is hidden away at work waiting to be unveiled tomorrow.

I'm going to miss it though, it's really grown on me. The photograph doesn't do it justice.

So here's hoping someone I LIKE buys it. Someone who's name starts with B.

I will post the results tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I think I have to move. Just me, and to NY. I found this real estate listing through motherhood in nyc and really it's perfect - I wouldn't even have to paint! And if the current owners leave me their furniture, even better. And I think mortgage would only be around $65,000 US per month. And all my girlfriends could come visit. And the children - they could too because I would devote the entire 4th floor to them. And of course Paul, Paul would love it!

The kids will just have to get used to part time living in NYC and when DUI guy realizes there are no more dinners being served around 6pm ... well, he'll just have to adjust too and acquaint himself to Mr. Microwave.

Back to reality, I think I just got my mother-in-law a little drunk. The love in the house is crazy - hugs, kisses, telling me I'm beautiful ... Wait until tomorrow morning when she wakes up with a hangover. She won't be feeling the love then.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The beginnings of a painting - note the horror that is my painting station. Yes, that is a washing machine.

Still hoping against hope that it will be finished this weekend so I can photograph, design a card and send to printer by Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Paul's working late tonight, Yves (who is Yves you wonder? he's the other presence in our lives, living with us for the past two+ months that I have made a gigantic effort not to complain I mean WRITE about) is at his apartment puttering but will be returning home soon to eat, drink, sleep, drink, shower, drink more ... and because it's just me and the kids, I have made crap for dinner.

Why did I think making crap was such a good idea? Sure a dinner of nachos, mozza sticks slathered in a pasta sauce, fresh tomatoes with balsamic dressing and goat cheese (at least that was healthy and yummy!) sounds GREAT when you are tossing ideas out to the kids ... but after? Caulisse de tabarnaque (thank you father-in-law for teaching me to swear in French!) I feel bad.

I'd be a perfect candidate for a Pepto Bismol commercial and man, I'd be dialing right now if they really had a hotline: "You ate what? Really? And how old are you?"

Instead I think I will cuddle with Jakob and watch Van Helsing for the 30th time and avoid the stupid painting and ever approaching deadline ... and perhaps the glass of red wine I'm cradling will make me feel better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holy crap - November 21 is the third anniversary of my mastectomy! Crikey time has flown by fast.

This also means it's time for my mammogram, for the onslaught of emails from Princess Margaret Hospital as they continue to fundraise for the The Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre which reduces the time from initial testing to diagnosis to a mere 3 hours instead of days and/or weeks. Which for a woman facing the crushing diagnosis of breast cancer means more than I can adequately describe because she can begin planning immediately rather than live in fear, facing the unknown for however long it takes to get an appointment with her oncologist.

Now onto other November tribulations:

I did not take Jakob to the Santa Claus parade this year because I still have not recovered from our November 2007 excursion ... which is covered in detail if you would like to revisit the nightmare that was that afternoon. Not that he wanted to go this year anyway, I could barely get him dressed such was his mood. Or perhaps he was hesitant because he remembered yelling "Santa SUCKS!" as we waited for the sled - reducing the crowd to silence.

While reading through some old November posts I realized I have written virtually identical comments about volunteering to create a painting for my office Christmas card and then donate it to the United Way auction - and each comment was me vowing to never, ever, get sucked into doing this again. Yet here I am once again cursing, stressing, drinking wine (well not at this very moment, it is only 9:44 in the morning after all ... and I'm at work) trying to make this painting look at the very least ... okay.

I'm hoping that very soon I will hit the magical moment when everything comes together and the painting is finished within 30 minutes.

I am also hoping that the magical moment happens this Thursday around 8:00 pm.

But if it doesn't, my back-up plan is to look through older paintings and see if one is appropriate and can be sacrificed for the cause.

And then this year will be the VERY LAST TIME I put myself in this position.

I hope.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I spent part of the afternoon at a fundraiser for MonkeyBiz hosted by Eat my Words ( and had the privilege of hearing Stephen Lewis speak ( He is always so engaging and really makes you want to get involved and help create a better world.

But first let me introduce you to the newest member of our family:

According to Stephen Lewis, ~90% of the money raised through the sale of these beaded creations goes right into the bank account of the families the organization aims to help, with hundreds of homes having already been built for those devastated by aids. Which is incredible considering these are areas where there are traditionally no homes. We are also in a time where governments are pulling away from promises of financial assistance citing economic times and cut backs so organizations are more than ever dependent on fundraisers like the one I just returned home from.

But back to my little elephant. I was told that with some of the creatures, like mine, the form was inspired by a child's drawing - usually an interpretation of an animal they had never seen, only heard of - and then created by the artist. I am absolutely in love with it and that the purchase will help a person or family or community is like the icing on the most delicious cupcakes provided by Eat My Words.

Here's a little blurb captured from Eat My Words website:

The addition of MonkeyBiz to Eat My Words is a match made in the Southern African sunshine. A non-profit organization, MonkeyBiz commissions artists from the townships of Cape Town, skilled in the country’s ancient beading tradition. Each beaded artwork is an enchanting, one-of-a-kind piece signed by the artist, making them wonderful gifts which support a truly worthwhile cause. By supplying the richly coloured beads, MonkeyBiz creates employment and empowerment for some 450 disadvantaged women. Able to work out of their homes, the women can now provide for their families. The love child of ceramic artists, Barbara Jackson and Shirley Fintz, MonkeyBiz flows all profits back into the communities.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day is a day when I step back and think about my Dad who served as an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Canadian navy during WWII on board the frigate St. Therese. He was a scrawny teenager desperate to sign up, counting the days until he turned 18. So scrawny he almost wasn't accepted because the naval doctor considered him suffering from malnutrition and his parents had to prove that no, he was just skinny.

I feel great sadness in my heart because I would love to hear his stories but unfortunately he died in 1980 from heart disease. And as a young teenager I had no time or thought to ask him the questions that I would now give anything to hear the answers to.

Or to be able to tell him how proud I am to be his daughter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jakob - topless and hunched over our double sink, sucking up water with a straw from one sink to blow into the other - just told me a joke:

Why did the M&M go to school?

So he could be a Smartie!

I'm kind of hoping this gives me 30 minutes.

Okay 2 minutes, I forgot his cheeks can hold half a swimming pool.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It has been another month of over extending myself. You think I would learn, year after year, but no, not even close.

Once again I have a painting that I need to finish with a deadline of November 20th looming, and what is required is one that can be auctioned off with money being donated to the United Way and the image then turned into a Christmas card from our Toronto and Montreal offices.

Of course what I have right now is a barely touched canvas sitting on my dryer begging for attention. Because I meant to start this painting in September, not yesterday.

It's been such a crazy couple of months between taking the course from hell, well not the course, having the INSTRUCTOR from hell; a quick little freelance job; a brother-in-law living with us for 2 months while we desperately try to get his life in order (and though we now have his...stuff...into an apartment around the corner, his life is far from settled) and now the painting.

The bane-of-my-existence painting.

But at least I have an idea that I'm running with. Which has been very helpful as I repeatedly get asked how the painting is going. "Fine." What's it of, what does it look like? "It's a secret."

And the acceptance that this time next year, I'll be copying and pasting this post.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The happy couple on Halloween night - post scarring the neighbourhood children for life...and pre pneumonia.

I promise that this will be my last Halloween post - for this year anyway.

Monday, November 02, 2009

I am in mourning for Halloween so I'm posting a few more photos of our decorations and keep in mind, that I haven't even started photographing the kitchen!

A girl needs a place to hang her wings.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

What happened to this week? And how did I not take any Halloween pictures of my 13 year old bottle of mustard and my 7 year old black phantom? I'm hoping my neighbour sends me the picture of Paul and me because everyone needs to take a look at Paul with his eyes gouged out - I think it may be a contender for this year's Christmas card!

All I have to post is a poorly shot picture of me as a fallen angel in between parties and how even Hamish has embraced the event by requesting his food corner decorated.

A few pictures from Jakob's birthday party with Tricky Ricky. That man had the kids hysterical! Jakob could barely breath when Tricky Ricky had him "accidentally" smack Ricky's backside with his wand.

When I look at profile pictures of myself, I kind of like to pretend I have Gwyneth Paltrow's nose. I don't, I have my father's, but it does make me feel better.