Monday, November 18, 2013

A Craft Fair and a Christmas Card

The snow fell... it got slushy... then froze solid. The world is patchy and white.  The children squeal and run with mittens trailing from coat sleeves.  It is still November but the cold has brought about an early Christmas spirit despite the perpetual grumblings about weather.  If it is not too hot, or too rainy then it’s too cold and what is this white stuff anyway. 

Brush each salmon fillet with 1/2 teaspoon of oil 
Squeeze lime juice over salmon then rub contents
 of spice packet to completely coat the fish; 
Grill the salmon, flesh side down, until charred.
Saturday was the Annual Kaien Island Craft Fair.  A 38 year tradition.  A busy day for all involved.  Crafters and vendors alike, poured into the local gym an annual community event took place.  It is a social event as much as anything.  A celebration of crafts, a community social event, an opportunity to shop local and support local artisans, a Herculean effort to organize and a good time had by all.

I sold reproductions of my art, cards, and the most popular item – spice packets.  A2 Sized Envelopes ( 146mm x 110 mm) Printed with reproductions of Original Artworks of RiverWalker Arts and filled with an assortment of delicious Spices and easy to follow Recipes for their use. Perfect Stocking Stuffers or ideal hostess gifts. Space on the back for a stamp and address - mail them like a postcard to your favourite folks away.

Gently simmer 750 ml. (1 bottle) red wine, 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
 and whole packet of mulling spice for up to 20 minutes.
Remove the spice packet and serve the wine hot in mugs 
For 8 hours I watched the crowds, talked with folks, socialized and had a great day.  By 5pm I was exhausted, and glad that I don’t work in the retail business. 

For my next project....   This white stuff has got me thinking about my annual Christmas card.  A tradition I started in 1990 with a lopsided candle ringed with pine boughs and bits of holly.  Since then I have put out a different card each year...  what might 2013 bring?  I don’t know. I have little inspiration for this as I think the part of my brain devoted to art is stuck in a Dutch lullaby.  Birds? Reindeer? Snowmen ? Hockey?  Wreaths? Stockings? Nutcrackers?   It’s a dilemma... but I’ve got to start soon or I’ll never get them printed in time!

Here is a peek at a past Christmas Card: 

“When the Snow Flies”
© RiverWalker Arts
The lake is frozen over and the ground is deep with snow.
We are children once again.
Brew me a cup on this winter’s eve and hold me near
For the frosty winds do howl and the glittering snow does fly.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

you know those things you've always wanted to do..... you should do them...

The Family has a cold, we are all hacking and doing our best.  The  washing machine is doing overtime as I’ve transitioned my Peanut from disposable diapers to cloth as he weighs about 8lbs now and the super tiny little chicken legs have put on enough meat that those cloth elastics aren’t too loose.  Part of my problem is I didn’t bother with super mini cloth diapers.. but favour the one size adjustable kind... He will use  the same 24 diapers I bought for Chicken Little that saw him through from 10 days old until I Potty Trained him 2 months ago.  At 26 months – he’s a potty pro! It only took a couple weeks before I was able to transition back to normal after being a complete wacko, obsessed with my son’s bodily functions trying to  - Time it, Predict it,  Anticipate it.... and inevitably mopping up pee off the floor.

It is amazing.. 8 weeks in and I’m on top of things for the most part again.  I’m swings kids, and housework, and dinners and laundry and all the domestic tasks of a mom.  But I’ve also found some balance in my life.  The kind that creates sanity and provides its own rewards. 

The Fishermen Three - Wynken, Blynken and Nod
© RiverWalker Arts
Namely I’m painting again. 
I’ve also learned something very cool. 
Did you know that the average children’s book is 32 pages long.
Yup. Bet you didn’t know that.  I certainly had never noticed.  In fact some books will leave 2 or 3 completely blank empty white pages at the end of the story just to fill up that standard 32 pages.  Wild.  I have been counting pages like a lunatic since I found this out.  I don’t think I’ll ever look at a picture book the same way again. My kids are going to grow up frustrated as I count spreads while I read to them! 

A very lovely lady who runs the local “mother goose” program for babies told me this... and I’m just so amazed that even with some gagillion children’s books in my collection – I’ve NEVER noticed this.  Apparently Picture books are in increments of 8 because of the way the paper is cut from the printed sheets.  So... with my Wynken Blynken & Nod project at 14 completed image spreads.... I’m looking at 28 pages... plus end pages?  I’m closer than I realized..

Not that any publishing company is going to pick me up, and this will be entirely a homemade affair, but I might as well follow the standards!

Now to prep for the craft fair next weekend, and then there are all those Christmas gifts that need a personal touch of a homemade something....  and maybe  shortly after Christmas I’ll have a book to share...

Life is about Living.
You've got a lot of choices.  If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.  ~Steven D. Woodhull