Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Picnic Time

Jeremie and I had a lovely picnic today in Hawrelak Park. It warm, but with a cooling breeze and very quiet - no busy, crazy families today!
We went to the grocery store and bought our favourite picnic food: Kaiser Buns, Cheese, Ham and Potato Salad; we brought grapes and apple sauce from home
A big old comforter was spread out and a couch pillow finished the set-up.
With us came books, my sketch-book and a writing tablet.
It's funny how we always bring so much to "amuse" ourselves with, but all we end up doing is lounging and chatting.
Before we knew it, two hours had flown by; so we packed up our gear, threw it in the car and went for a nice walk.

It was so nice sitting by water again, even if it is just a large pond. The sound is always so soothing and I would have fallen asleep lying there in the sun, had I not felt a tickling on my face and had to fight a long piece of grass out of Jeremie's teasing hands.

It was a very nice day indeed. I wish I had remembered my camera, but this post will have to do for now.

- Jenny

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Art Room

I have successfully turned ugly room into a fairly nice crafting room. It has since become my place of refuge and peace. When its messy, crazy and loud in the rest of the house I find myself holing up here and relaxing.
Here is a picture of my desk - well, technically table. My sister-in-law and her husband recently bought a very cool retro looking table, so mine was no longer needed.

I have my sewing machine, my books and pencil crayons all ready!

This is my bookshelf that currently wasn't being used either. I have here an unfinished sock monkey, an unfinished sock goblin and Mr. Bunkins, who unfortunately cannot be seen from behind the sock goblin.
My little stereo is lovely for playing music while I work or listening to books on tape.

My mother would be so proud! I folded and organized all my material. Previously it was all either in a plastic bin or plastic garbage bags! This is definitely an organized step up!

I have recently (very recently) taken up water-color painting. I bought this small palette of paints and two brushes to add to my already existing collection of brushes. I have a new found and deep respect for watercolor artists. It is unbelievably difficult! And I would be the first to tell about my own horrible ability concerning any art with colour. I have always been a strict black-and-white girl. But I wanted to try something new.

This is my first pitiful attempt. I seriously considered not to post this as it hurts the pride more then I'm willing to admit, but it's good to see your development. If you're wondering what that writing is in the top-right hand corner; it's notes. Notes to myself. Here's my first entry:

"My first attempt. Pretty horrible, feeling discouraged.
Jeremie says I need more practice. Maybe."

This is my second attempt. A landscape scene. It still makes me cringe.

My third attempt. Finally some encouragement! I tried my hand at some flowers.

I decided then that maybe I should stick to Flowers for the time being. I did these two and was pretty happy with the result. They didn't look like blobs and that was good enough for me! :)

I did this one today - and it was crazily difficult despite the easy-looking composition. The background I'm not happy with, but I like the shading on the building and the foliage.

Jeremie has been my biggest supporter. Even when I wanted to throw the sketchbook out the window and just admit defeat, he's been so encouraging and helpful. Reminding me to just practice, and how no matter how critical I am of my artwork, he always seems to find so much in it to compliment me on. <3

We'll see if I can keep up the trend of slowly getting better with each piece of artwork. In the meantime I'm reading every watercolour book I can get my hands on, and just remembering to stay encouraged.

- Jenny

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tale Of The Missing Wallet and Heritage Day '09

Last week was Heritage Days in Edmonton. 5 days where you can walk around one of our parks and visit the entire world (more or less) by visiting the booths and vendors all run by people representing that country.
Despite being a rainy, cloudy day, it was the most fun I've had yet at any of Edmonton's many fairs.
Here's Jeremie and I sitting outside of the Eritrean booth.

We walked around all day and was thrilled when the sun decided to make an appearance. We ate ethnic food and drink. Did a bit of shopping and watched the many presentations that day.
Here the women of Lao are dancing. It was all very cool.

However one of the most interesting and amazing presentations was the Dragon dancing. It was spectacular. The aerobics and stunts these young children can do are mind boggling.
Their show lasted a good 20 minutes. When it was over, the boys under the dragon were sweating buckets - I don't blame them!
The dragons themselves were completely adorable, and did everything from wink, flutter their ears and wag their tails!
Not only did they preform, but they did it all standing on small poles and stilts!
Here I believe we were in Africa, but it may have been the Congo. I told Jeremie we should get one of those masks to hang on the wall, but he said they "creeped him out". Lol! I wanted the Zebra one. It's almost right in the middle on the left, with the strips and little ears.

So the day went by wonderfully until we got home and Emilie and I decided to get a Starbucks iced tea. I went to pay and I felt my stomach drop to my toes.
My wallet wasn't there! I have a pretty deep purse, one of those sling/bag types and I just about dumped my purse in the Starbucks to find it.
Emilie was kind enough to pay for my drink and encouraged me by insisting it must be in the car. I ran back to the car and dug under all the seats - Jeremie (who was waiting there) asked me wide-eyed what was wrong.
Almost crying now I told him I lost my wallet.

This was monumental for me. I've never lost my keys, my purse, my cell phone and definitely not my wallet. Needless to say, I did when I generally do, and freaked out.

But I called my bank and cancelled my credit card and debit right away. As it was a holiday I couldn't phone the police or call the Registration office.
This was a big loss, not only did my drivers licence and health card reside there, but my SIN card and birth certificate was in there as well.
The chances of my wallet being returned if a good Samaritan found were even slimmer as the address on my license was my old address, previous to Edmonton.

I knew it'd take months to get all ID back not to mention the mound of paper work I'd have to fill out.
That night I had a nightmare about my lost wallet, and I woke up relieved, then had that horrible sinking feeling again.

I slouched to the computer and checked my email. An interesting email appeared from the youth pastor of my former church.

"Jen - I got a weird phone call from a lady who needs to get in touch with you immediately. ..It could be about your wallet??" He gave me the name and phone number.

Holding my breath I dialed it right away and was soon was talking to a nice woman who said that yes she did have my wallet.
I could have kissed this woman - I did a happy dance while writing down her address and had a fit of hysterical laughter that brought most of the house questioning my sanity.

An hour later I was on my way to the house with a bunch of flowers as a "thank you." Jeremie and I were greeted by a lovely older Mexican couple who invited us in and gave me a good talking-to about not having all my ID in one wallet.
They apparently had looked for an hour for me, online, the yellow-pages and my ID. They had found my youth pastors photography card and rang him. And he knew how to contact me.

Truly the power of prayer!

- Jenny