Wednesday, 14 December 2011


I did it!  I finally got the nerve to get back into musical theatre.  The first show that I did was "Sweet Charity."  That is why I've been MIA lately.  I've been rehearsing and our show ran from December 2-11 2011.  It was stressful at times,  but fun.  I played Nickie, Charity's best friend.

It was a fun show.  And I loved being on stage again.  So I'm in another one!  This is also a comedy: "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: The Musical."

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The winter is back!

It snowed today.  Hard for a teacher to complete with the first snow of the season.  It is exciting though, we've been waiting for it.  We've had nice weather for a while, but its November, you know?  Time for snow!  And it came.  But it didn't last.

I can't wait to get out my snow boots!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Invasion of the Bronchitis Baddies (or more appropriately, I'm sick.)

I'm sick.  There is no denying it- which I have been trying to do.  I went to the doctor's office, and its official:  I have bronchitis.  I begged him to make into just a cold.  He said that's not how medicine works.

Why does he make all the big bucks?  Al I wanted was a simple cold; a couple days off; legit naptime, and some homemade soup.  Nope.  Not me.  I like to go big or go home.  When I get sick for the first time in a season, I like to get sick.  I make sure I need anti-biotic medication, and 2 weeks in bed!

I've been told that I'm fairly competitive.  I wonder if my mind thinks that there is some weird competition: who can pile in the most mucous into on lung?  Or how much can my sinuses hold until thy explode?  A neighbour broke 2 ribs from her pneumonia- I think my body wants to beat that by coughing so hard that my sternum breaks!

Other great effects of illness?  Face sores? Check!   Back pain?  You betcha!  Stomach ache from medicine?  Or course!  Fatigue?  Oh my, yes!  I had to take 3 breaks from writing this blog post!  And its not even that good!

Send m some good vibes, I would love to be better.  Like yesterday.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Art of another kind

I spent my weekend on an art of another kind.

On a trip to an out of town flea market, we dug around and found this loom.  It was broken and missing a piece, but we bought it anyways.  The best thing I've found about doing art almost everyday, is that I am always full of ideas on how to make and/or fix things.

To fix this, I made another arm out of a yardstick and some dowels I had left over from making canvasses.  And it worked!    So now I'm using some wool and weaving a scarf out of it.  Wearable art!  I love the colors of this wool, and how its working up in the weaving.

I am still working in my journal, layering away.  Nothing that I think is finished enough to show... Soon though!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Journal: More fun than a barrel of monsters

I bought these really cheap watercolors (you know the dry kind kids use?) at the dollar store for my students, and I had one at home.

I decided to try them out on a bunch of doodles I did in my journal. They were pretty ok, actually!  I like how muted the colors are, it let me use as many colors as I want without it looking really busy.

I am torn for which my favorite monster is... I think I like the flying toast dude the best.  Especially because he has duck feet.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Painting: Heart Hommage

"8"x 8", mixed media on canvas

I found out that I have high blood pressure.  Apparently, I don't handle stress well- but does anybody?

I thought it would be nice for me to paint something that showed my heart that I do care about it; and I hope it won't crap out on me because I've been stressy.  This painting kinda grosses my partner out.  But I like it.  I like that if you look closely, you can see that there is an image of a heart under all the veins and stuff.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

I am art!

My good friend Shira painted this portrait of me for the AWOL square foot show this August in Toronto.  She is a great painter, and photographer.

I've never felt like art before, Thank you so much Shira!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Street Art: Peace Stencil

I came across this little dude completely by accident:  I was walking down the street in my neighborhood, and this dog was sitting on the sidewalk.  As I stopped to take a picture,  I didn't realize that the dog was off its leash... at some point the dog came over to me.  As I was taking a picture, I didn't see the dog and-- with a yelp (from me and the dog) I fell over on the sidewalk.  I was okay, the dog was ok, but as I tried to get up, I noticed a little stencil near the ground.  And there was "the little peace dude" (at least that's what I called it when I showed it to my partner later that night.)  This stencil is really small, probably about 5 inches high, and right on the bottom corner of a huge building.  There are other stencils on the wall, which is probably why I never noticed it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Art: Swept

Here's what I've been working on this month instead of my journal.  I was working on it to finish it for a friends birthday present.  She's been wanting something I've made for a while, and I finally had the time to make it for her.  I wanted to make something calming for her, and so I chose blues and greens.  I've been on a weird Picasso-esque cubist faces kick lately, so that made its way into the painting too.

Its hard to give something away that you've made.  I knew it was going to be a gift, but now that its done, I'm attached to it.  I can't keep everything I make, but it never gets easier when I sell or give something away as a gift.  I don't know if it will ever get easier either...

Monday, 18 July 2011

From the Antiques Market

Yesterday, my partner and I went to the Aberfoyle Antiques Market.  I had never been before, it was great!  Besides getting the worst sunburn I've ever had(!) I also picked up these great wooden crates and these printing press stamps.   The stamps are so cool, they come from a 1930's printing press (which wasn't for sale).  They are solid metal, and super heavy.  I'm going to use the crates to organize my growing collection of epherma, and paints.  I'm not sure what I'll use the stamps for yet.  D was really sweet when we bought them, he was like, "you could use those stamps in your mixed media!"

Friday, 15 July 2011

Journal: Do something epic

This page was made when I was inspired by some "motivational graffiti" I saw spray painted on a wall.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New Journal Page

I've been playing with windows in my journal.  I like how you get a peek at the picture on the next page.  I've been drawing a lot of monster-like faces lately.  Not sure what I think about that.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Street Art: "Be Happy" Stencil

There is a prolific stencil artist in my neighborhood.  And I love what they do.  People have really strong opinions about graffiti and graffiti art-- and that's cool.  But you can't deny that this little stencil can make you smile... I found it while I was having a really bad day, and it perked me up. I love the nice surprises you can find when going for a walk.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Journal: Rainy Day

I got to use some new papers I found!  I love these Japanese papers- there are so many colors and textures.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Journal: Brave New Girl

-Summer journal, 2011The thing I love about my journal is that I can make something if its a good day.. or bad.  This was a good day.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Art: "Pocket"

I thought  should start showing some pages from my journal so here is a page I made for my husband.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Why art journal?

I was never very good at keeping a written journal-- I would be intimidated by the lines on the page, and worried that I couldn't fill them up with meaningful prose.  I guess that's why I never considered blogging about my journalling either.  Trying to use words to describe the process and reasons for my sketchbooks is really difficult.  But here it goes anyways:

What are the reasons you keep an art journal, Stephanie?

1. I find using color and shape less limiting than words.  I'm not a great wordsmith, so I would rather draw my meaning.  Or create music about it.

2. I get to learn and try out new techniques in my books.  The smaller format is great for trying a little bit of watercolors; or a small amount of decoupage.

3. My journal allows me to do something creative everyday.  I can't work on my big pieces everyday. Sometimes i get tired just thinking about some of the pieces I should finish, but you know how it is...

4. My journal is a mini portfolio of my work and my photography.  Its a great example of the art I make.

5. I can't screw it up.  And I'm not even afraid that I might.  Art rocks.

6.  Its a great conversation piece.  I've met some great artists by sharing my work with them.

7. Its a visual representation of my life.  A pages tells me exactly what I was feeling that day.  No censorship there.

I am very interested to know why other artists keep art journals...  Why do you keep one?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Roc-pras! (or more appropriately, My New Obsession with Concept Albums)

What is a good way to use up an entire Saturday?  Go through your CD collection looking for concept albums!  Ok, not that good a use of a weekend, but its what I did.  And I'm hooked.  I could listen to these things ALL THE TIME.  They are like little musicals in plastic cases.

I have a lot of CDs.  Certainly more than any normal person.  This has to do with various jobs in record stores; as well as some malfunction in my brain that justifies buying CDs with the dregs of my bank account.

Which concept albums do I have?  What do I think of them?  Well, I'm glad you asked blog o' mine!  Here they are in no particular order:

1. Davie Bowie- "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"

Besides having my love for long titles, this album rocks.  Like feathers and sequins? Check.  Crazy feathered mullets? Got it.  Like matching concert DVDs? Of course you do.  Have some weird crush on David Bowie that continues to this day? You bet.  Its all totally here.   Bonus: Hate those pesky happy endings? This one ends with the depressing ballad "Rock N' Roll Suicide"!

2. Pink Floyd- "Dark Side of the Moon"

Does anyone know if this ACTUALLY syncs up with The Wizard of Oz? Even if it doesn't it still rocks.  AND it doesn't creep me out like "The Wall."

3. Styx- "Kllroy was Here"

Anyone know why I own a Styx album?  If you do, please email me the details.

4. Queensryche- "Operation: Mindcrime"

I bought this cause I thought it would be like 1984 but in rock opera form.  It wasn't.  I think its about an ex-assassin waking from a coma.  Funny enough, I couldn't name you another Queensryche album.

5. Marilyn Manson- "Antichrist Superstar"


6. Green Day- "American Idiot"

Wants to see the play on Broadway. Loves Billie Joe Armstrong.  Can't use pronouns.

7. Arcade Fire- "The Suburbs"

I remember hearing the song "Ready to Start" and saying to my friend that I didn't like it.  When asked why, I said "well, it never really begins, it wants to... Oh.  I guess that's the point."  Sometimes I come to understandings slowly.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I Wanna Hold Your Hand (or more appropriately, I Won't Hold Your Hand, M)

I am an emotional and tactile person.  I am a very affectionate person, who has a high level of empathy and sympathy for other people.

I work with children everyday, and those kids need support and contact.  I provide this.

Touching other people has become so natural to me, that sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it.

Until today that is.

On my commute with some friends, we were joking around.  I patted my friend on the head (lightly).  I didn't hurt him, but he flinched and was really uncomfortable.  We didn't really talk about it until the ride home.

My friend is really uncomfortable with other people touching him.  Or people crying in front of him.  Or talking about feelings in front of him, to him, etc.  Uncomfortable to the point of flinching, being "on guard," recoiling away from the touch.

At first I was confused by this.  But it is his bodily integrity I respect, so I don't touch him. Next, I really wanted to find out why he doesn't like human contact.  We talked about it.  He called it a "hang-up" which is fine, but his explanations included something about germs, and control.  I called him Howard Hughes.  We laughed and the ride home continued.

But thinking about this further, I feel kind of sad.  But I can't explain why. I think touching people is one of the ways I express my feelings of care for my friends.  I need the same contact in return.  Can I still be close to my friend without it?  Sure, I guess.  I can use my words; my wit; my lovable chiding... Not touching a friend, is new to me.  A challenge I will readily accept.

I know how I can show I care!  I'm off to make him a pair of Kleenex box shoes.

Friday, 18 March 2011

To keep my coffee cozy

There's nothing better than a hot cup of coffee.  I love coffee.   So I knit something to show my coffee just how much I care.  I made a little cozy to keep my coffee warm.  I think there's something silly about a coffee cozy, usually people make tea cozies.  And I like tea, but not as much as I like coffee.   It reminds me of the people I like: strong, full-bodied... um bitter..?  I don't know what I was trying to get at there, but coffee is where its at.

I'm sure that's why I got 150 dollars worth of Starbucks gift cards for Christmas last year.

Want to keep your own coffee cozy? Use a Bulky Wool of your choice, and on US Size 11 needles, cast on 20 sts.

Knit in double moss stitch until long enough to go around your coffee press, and cast off.

Sew the ends together leaving a space for the handle to come through.  I added a button to the bottom of mine to keep it closed.  And the button I had was really cute.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Spectacles! (Or more appropriately, how the optometrist doesn't think I'm funny)

My new glasses

My partner D and I decided to go on the wildly expensive adventure of getting our eyes checked, and getting new glasses yesterday.

When we got to the office, I embarrassed D by not letting him check us in until I had checked the credentials of the optometrist.  I looked at the diplomas and made sure they were real schools and not like University of Phoenix Online; I asked for the doctor's license number, you know all the stuff neurotic people do when seeing a new doctor.  Everything checked out (Thank goodness!) and we checked in.  I forgot to mention that we were the only people in the place, and the receptionist was not as enthusiastic about my thoroughness.

We had our "pre-screening"  and D went first.  Through the door, I could hear a lot of laughing and conversation.  That's cool, D's a charming guy.  Apparently, listening through the door of a medical office is not cool, or so I was told went they caught me listening.  It was my turn, and being a woman who knows what she wants, I demanded the same level of jovial conversation as D had.  Needless to say, I didn't get it.  And I think the "tester" was overzealous with that puff of air in my eyes too.

Now it was time for the real deal.  I saw the doctor.  We talked about my last eye test (10 years ago) and set to the task.  I rocked those big letters.  I was good on the medium letters.  I guessed the small letters.  I got them wrong.  I asked if anyone ever got those letters.  She said, "Yep, people who can see."

It was not going well.

Next slide.  I guessed.  And I got them right!  But the doc guessed I was guessing.

Next slide: I guessed again.  The doctor said, "Oh, come on! Just tell me you can't see them."

I said, "I can't see them."

She said, "are you saying that becasue I told you to?"

Me, "Yes."

Then she asked me to read the letters I could see.  So I did.  I needed glasses.  She said I should wear them all the time.  I said that we both knew that wouldn't happen, so I asked when were the most important times to wear them.  Begrudgingly, she told me while driving and at night.  Deal.

The doctor warned me that with my new glasses, I would be wobbly, and the floor would look uneven.  I may stumble a little for the first few days.

I said, "that's ok.  I'll just start drinking now.  At least I can have fun while working these new glasses."

Then she told me to get out.  It's too bad I only have to see her once a year.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Sloppy thirds and fourths (graders)


This is what my workspace looks like in the middle of the day.  You like neatness?  Don't teach 3rd grade. 

We used all those sheets for togas this afternoon.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Instead of counting sheep, count embarrassment

There are few things I really love to do:  and sleep is high on that list.  And nothing is worse than when a good sleep is ripped away from my tiny hands on a work night.

Insomnia, you are definitely not a friend of mine.

Instead of counting sheep, here's a list of funny happenings/things I said to the students on our field trip last week:

One of the girls was goofing around on the subway, and she fell right into the lap of a cute high school boy.  She was so embarrassed, and had the pinkest cheeks I ever saw.  She looked at me, and I said, "Do you feel like a goat?"

Confused she looked at me and asked, "like a goat?"

I replied, "Baaa-aaa-ad?"


I let the girls buy some candy for the ride home on our field trip.  One of the girls bought a box of Nerds.  (Remember Nerds?! Definitely a cool choice.)  She was studying the box intently while we were on the subway.

I tapped her on the shoulder, and when she looked up I said, "Looking for a picture of yourself, Nerd?"

She giggled.  I giggled.  The guy in the seat beside her giggled.  It was a good ride.


My students love to sing.  They sing anytime.  And the music of their 8 year-old lives, is not exactly the soundtrack  would choose to live by.   I often have to tell them, "there is a time and place to sing.  And this is not one of them."

Sitting on the crowded city bus, I heard a little voice start singing, "Sparks Fly" by Taylor Swift.  The voice inside my head said, "that has to be one of mine."  Before I could say anything, all of them started singing "Sparks Fly."  Loudly.  On a crowded bus.  I told them the bus driver probably would want us to stop becasue he didn't like Taylor Swift.  He said, "no its fine.  I like it."  The only talking bus driver in all of Toronto wouldn't back me up.  So then I though a compromise would be in order; I asked them to sing Sarah McLachlan song, "Ice Cream."  So they did.  Then a passenger on the bus said, "Whoa, they take requests.  Can you sing some Bon Jovi?"

And all my 8 and 9 year-old students started to sing, "Living On A Prayer."

I still don't even know how they knew that song.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Twenty questions

I was playing twenty questions on the train with a commuter friend.

They asked me, "Animal, vegetable or mineral."

I said, "mineral."

After the twenty questions were up, they could not guess.

I told them the answer, "it was Hellen Keller."

"But you said 'mineral?'"

I said, "I know, because she rocks."

Happy carpool/ commuter month!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Why third grade and science fair sometimes don't mix...

While trying to come up with science fair project ideas, one of my students was really mad at me for vetoing her idea.

She wanted to do her science project on unicorns.

I asked her what was scientific about a mythical creature.

She responded, "while if a horse and a narwhal had a baby, it would be a unicorn.  Its biology."