Mama's got a brand new bag?

Baggy Tag, Digital Drawing - © R. Koleilat, 2008

A handbag meme from Andi's new blog where I have to list the contents of my handbag (this is what happens when you're felled by a bum knee, you dream up more blogs and memes).

Since Andi was a good sport on the book meme, I will be one too - even though I really should be working instead.

Be grateful that I am sparing you details on lint and cookie crumbs, and list only objects larger that a chocolate chip:
  • A bottle of Tylenol Quick Release
  • A pair of tiny scissors
  • An empty gum wrapper (not mine)
  • A toy from an unidentified fast food joint
  • A tube of lipstick (a tube of lipstick? when did I buy this one? what a weird colour...)
  • A pen, a pencil, 2 permanent markers, half a silver ballpoint pen with a logo on it
  • A $5-off coupon for a Cranium game (ah, goodie - activity idea for tonight)
  • The other part of the toy from the unidentified etc..
  • An empty zippered pencil bag
  • A tiny sewing kit (almost intact)
  • A button (mine)
  • 2 silver rings (from before I had to wear gloves to step outside)
  • An American penny
  • My huge and ugly black wallet (hint to hubby: let the kids choose my mother's day present this year)
  • An empty bottle of hand sanitizer
  • A receipt from the chiropractor (first session last Friday - apparently, I have a very unstable spine. Now that would explain the excruciating pain between the back of my head and my knees)
  • My dead cell phone
  • A green "green" zippered bag ( I usually forget to put it back and end up going home with plastic bags anyway)

I feel like tagging .... you! If you want me to, that is.




On the way there, I had to stop and show you* this

because Julie does it much better than anyone else.
*you is SuperHarry mostly (aka Apothecarian of Thorts)


Gone Fishing

Fishing, Digital Collage - © R. Koleilat, 2008

Every once & again, I feel obligated to take a break from blogging/blurfing to do some serious housekeeping (both figuratively and in the alternate universe we know as real life). Be back soon.


Book? What Book?

Thank you , dear Frances for tagging me. Here are the rules for this not-a-meme-book-meme.
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
Find Page 123.Find the first 5 sentences.Post the next 3 sentences.Tag 5 people.

I wish I had cheated, because this is what I have for you today, honest to goodness:

"What am I going to do?
'I expect you'll whip through these in no time!' she says gaily. 'The ironing board's just there', she adds with a nod."
from Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess.
What? Did you actually expect me to have A Dissertation on the Dialectic of Neo-Hegelian Nihilism? Don't worry, I didn't pay for it - I picked up a copy at the library because it was on display near the check-out. I haven't started this faschinating book yet, but it was the nearest 123-plus-page book underfoot. Literally. See picture. I am sure Martine ballerine or Junie B. Jones, First Grader would have been considerably more interesting. But rules are rules. And so, I hereby tag Andi, Brian, Fawzan, Joy, and Mazen.

Random Thoughts And Things To Build On

Dreaming of a Love Bird in Paradise, Digital Collage - ©R. Koleilat, 2008

In a column entitled "Be the Change: Living the Me to We philosophy" in Canadian Living Magazine (Feb. 2008), Craig and Mark Kielburger, two very amazing young Canadian humanitarian activists and authors of Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World write:

"... how should we define success?... researchers compared Forbes' 400 richest Americans with the Maasai of East Africa - traditional herding communities with no electricity or running water, who live in huts made largely of mud and dung. The two groups were found to be almost equally satisfied with their lives."

So, for all you thousandaires out there (or in my case, pennyaires), take heart: money really does not buy happiness.

I urge you to find out more about Craig Kielburger - he's the kid who made headlines a few years ago, when he was all of twelve years old, by organizing other children to fight child labour world-wide. He founded Free the Children in 1995 and hasn't looked back since. I love Canada.

Illustration: This is my contribution to this week's 2 Things Challenge, Love/bird. Not only did I actually manage an entry, I also got inspired by Frances' entry, who in turn was inspired by Sue O'Kieffe and John (copyright-dude) Mora, and their fun puzzle-play. If you visited earlier today, you saw a different picture. I had to fix it because Ms. Know-it-all said it could be better. And of course, she was right.

Image Sources: WetCanvas, Gimp-Savvy, my own photographs.



Snow Dragons, Digital Collage - © R. Koleilat, 2008
I've been trying to dig myself out from under the snow in my driveway since last Wednesday. My neighbours, who all seem to own very un-PC snowblowers, zoom by, wave and smile at me as if I'm having a good time futilely waving that stupid shovel around. That face I had on wasn't me having fun, folks, it was me crying!
I had fun creating these "snowflakes" on this very cute website* (they let you save and download your creations, so you earn extra points with your kids). I used a copyright-free photo from Gimp-Savvy for the background and played with it on photoshop.
And speaking of playing, go check out this fun party that Julie told me about. While you're at it, also check out Julie's icy beauty too (hmmm, our last two posts have dealt with the same themes. Coincidence? twilight-zoney... ♫toodoodoodoo♪... )
* There are lots of sites that let you create really sophisticated flakes (fractals, anyone?), just google snowflake generator to find them.



Lily in the Snow, Digitized - © R. Koleilat, 2008


Diane's Big HeArt and Sue's Joy of Play

Sue & John Soup (Images used by permission) - © R. Koleilat, 2008

Digital Artitsts/Prestigidators Diane Clancy and Sue O'Kieffe are both prolific and generous. But you knew that already. This week, they each wrote two great posts I would like to highlight here.
First, Sue O'Kieffe is extending an invitation to play with her - very exciting. I can't wait to see what comes out of it. Her collaborations with other artists (not all of them digital artwork) have been jaw-droppingly beautiful. Sue has an incredible eye and the end result is always synergetic.

Diane Clancy , besides being indefatigable and inspired, is always on the lookout for worthy causes, and she's pointing the way towards the One World, One HeArt Giveaway.

Last, but certainly not least, Diane is also collaborating with art marketing expert Chris O'Byrne (a man with impeccable taste )to create a fantastic resource for artists and wanna-bes: It's called YourArtMarketing.com and is a website/forum/information hub. This repository will incorporate all the information they both have been working so hard to put forth on their own sites, to make it much more easily accessible to all. Isn't absolutely brilliant? I think it's the beginning of something very exciting. I haven't had time to add my 2 cents there, but I will as soon as I read all that there is already there.
Now, if only someone could give me a hand to finish up the work on my own website (hint, hint, Ms. Paper&Scissors)...


Yay For Scrapbookers (And The Retailers Who Love Them)

I am not a scrapbooker. You have to be way too organized, focused and mature to get into it and do it properly, and for some unfathomable reason, I am one or two of those things from time to time, but never all three at the same time. So, even though I, like, totally dig a bunch of talented scrapbookers, this is not exactly my cup of tea*.

But scrapbooking tools are! Now that entire sections of stores are devoted to paper arts and equipment, there are many, many delightful discoveries to be made for those of us who straddle the creative divide of art/hobby/kids' crafty hour. And this year, I have three new favourite tools (sorry, no links, it's really hard to find any additional info about the first 2 online, just take my word for it):

  • First, this ergonomic cutter (x-acto knife), above, made by Fiskar, which works like an extension of my finger, brilliantly precise

  • Even better, these glue dots and glue tape dispensers (above and right) - well, not both dispensers actually. I only really like the UHU tape roller, works great for me and my 4-year old equally. The Elmer contraption which is supposed to pump out glue dots turned out to be a complete dud. It's quite clunky and as you can see, it ended up disemboweled because it's so much easier to just pick up the individual glue dots by hand. Still, I love the idea of the glue dots: no more mess and everything lays absolutely flat.

  • And last, but not least, my trusty microfiber cloth: this, I didn't find at the art supply store, but rather at the grocery or dollar store. Microfiber cloths are amazing, they clean everything - everything - with just a tiny bit of elbow grease, or a few drops of water. What does a housecleaning rag have to do with an art supply list? While playing with gel medium transfers, I discovered that rubbing the outer paper layer with a microfiber cloth to expose the print underneath saved me from all those painful blisters I was about to get. It does a great job of that annoying rubbing chore with much less effort and much neater results: just wrap a slightly damp cloth around your fingertip and rub. There are many more uses for this miracle cloth in the studio, but I need material for other posts so stay tuned.

    * I know I'm going to be eating my words soon, because I'm preparing another post about a great scrapbooking/digital art resource


Sunday Funnies

Julia Cameron: How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy),
illust. by Elizabeth Cameron © 2005 - Tarcher (Penguin Books) paperback.
Aaaahhh, Sunday mornings.... leisurely brunch, brainy-enlightened weekend newspaper, adorable cherubs with freshly scrubbed faces ensconced in quiet but creative play, kitties fed, groomed and satisfied, curled up on the comfiest armchair.... sighhh....

YEAH, RIGHT!! Not at MY house this morning, or like, ever! Consequently, no artwork, no updates for you today. How about some funnies, though?

Here are some edited quotes from this cute little book pictured above by Julia Cameron, famed author of "The Artist's Way" tomes. I'm not crazy about her writings, but I found some of these little thoughts funny and pointed enough to be worthy of repeating here.

So, how do you actively avoid making art or anything else you enjoy? Among other brilliant (and oh-so-recognizable) ploys:

  • by telling yourself you can only work in absolute quiet
  • by going for the royal family's official portrait in your first year
  • by throttling your joie-de-vivre every time it crows,
  • by talking about it so you don't have to do it
  • by considering the odds of selling your book/artwork/whatever you're making
  • by demanding that what you do be absolutely original and totally brilliant
  • by telling yourself your job prevents you from doing art and then working overtime to prove it
  • by demanding fifteen free hours to create and ignoring the 15 minutes you've got
  • by deciding you can't afford a drawing class, and buying new jeans to console yourself
  • by telling yourself you don't want to be typecast, and turning down that acting job

Are you laughing or crying? What do you do to yourself to hold yourself back? Care to share and get it out of your system? Want to shine a light on one of these self-sabotaging schemes and bannish it from your life forever? No time like the present, my friends.