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WEEK FIVE I’M STILL ALIVE

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week five

I’m so  happy for me. Not only have I lost a good chunk of fat,  I’ve gained a whole new respect for my body and what it’s capable of. It can HEAL,  quicker than most people think too. I do believe that my positive determination and “success is the ONLY option” attitude have much to do with it but it must be paired with sensible diet and exercise. I’m gaining a new respect for how much exercise my body needs to win the battle of the Adipose ( this is where you Google, What is an Adipose? Whovians know)

So here are the symptoms that have either disappeared or reduced significantly. I used to want to crawl out of my skin on a daily basis. The itchiness I had was so unbearable I had to take antihistamines. They worked but who wants to take those every day? Not this gal. I think I’ve taken 3 antihistamines since week 2. That’s a significant change. Most of the itching occurs at night while I’m trying to fall asleep or in the middle of the night. I’m still trying to figure out why but I can correlate almost all my symptoms to being obese and not taking care of my body.

The second thing that has changed is my insatiable appetite. I’m not hungry all day anymore. I can actually survive a whole 2 hours before I get hungry and can even push it to 4 if I haven’t brought a snack with me. Most times I just don’t feel hungry and I don’t miss the hunger pangs one little bit.

The other most significant change takes place in my eyes. I still don’t know how this is related to being obese but it’s not a problem anymore. My eyes would burn and itch every single day. That has not happened in well over a month now. I’m really happy about that because even though I’m not the most amazing artist in the world, I’d be hard pressed to even pick up a brush if I lost my eyesight or became visually impaired. But I don’t have to worry about that now.

I’m very happy with my progress and I’m even happier to be back on another 15 day cleanse. I actually kissed my juicer as I pulled it out of the cupboard where it has been for the past 10 days. I had a great time ending my fast at an incredible wedding, amawwwzing food (shameless plug for #Thyme and Again Catering) but I did not over indulge. I was very smart about it and ate small portions. I did manage to get a little tipsy on beer. I’ve learned that wine doesn’t sit well with me anymore (used to be my favorite drink) but beer goes down like water! Tastes good too. I did put on 2 pounds in 10 days but that is peanuts compared to the mega pounds I packed on in the last 4 years.

Another 13 days of no food, or so I thought. I have 6 more days to Thanksgiving with my family in Toronto so I guess I’m going to jump off the wagon for Thanksgiving and then jump right back on again. Hey, I am not following the reboot religiously and still getting great results. Imagine if I followed it to the letter? I’d be Twiggy by now !

Really looking forward to week six pics!

Week Four

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I’m feeling marvelous. I’m taking care of myself. I’m doing the girly thing again (hair, makeup, beauty nights). I’m really aware of how far I pushed the envelope in terms of my health. I’m not beating myself up for it, I’m fixing what was broken, putting into place what was missing and getting this issue handled. To some this may look like I’m dieting, fixing my appearance with makeup, jewelry and high heels, exercising to stay slim and trim. But it goes much deeper than that.

I can see a direct correlation to the way the world has occurred to me in the past few years. I kept seeming to run into walls, things fell apart when they should have stayed cohesive, life was beginning to seem very difficult and always an uphill battle. Well, I can tell you that not only does excess weight wear you down and stop you from doing physical things but being kept from achieving your goals, hopes and dreams because you don’t and can’t move like you used to can be an unbearable weight on your self-confidence and stamina. And that is where I was before I took my health into my hands. Each pound I shed I uncover a part of me I lost in the process of gaining all this fat and useless weight. And I am loving what I am uncovering. I can be a pretty bold bitch when I allow myself to be. I have always been funny but I am discovering a softer more serious side to myself that has been hidden under some pretty bulligerent (yes I know it’s a typo but I think it should be spelled that way, look at my bold self now!)  blubber. I’m slowly getting back in touch with my compassion but I think it might still be pinned under some colossal thighs. I’ll work it out, I’m positive of that.

Oh, just adding this because it’s a big point I want to make. Many people subscribe to the theory that obesity is directly attached to emotions. That everyone who over eats does it to distract them from emotions they don’t want to feel. I can with 100% confidence tell you that this is not a theory I buy. I ate because I love food and did not control myself. I ate because I quit smoking almost four years ago and developed a habit of putting things into my mouth all day long. I was not depressed, angry or upset when I ate. I ate because I love food and the more time passed from not smoking the better food tasted! I’m telling you, for me, it’s all about self control and discipline. Just behave yourself and you’ll be just fine. Misbehave and you spend time in the fat naughty chair or on a few treadmills for sure!

And it manifests itself in a pretty cute little body too……if I do say so myself…and I do. tee hee

 

WEEK FOUR BITCHES!!

 

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Who Who ?

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I’m not really sure how I feel about these four tiny paintings. They are 6″x6″, acrylic and paper clay. Help me out…what do yall think? Any and all feedback is appreciated. I’m really trying to force myself to be more active in the studio but most of my time and focus has been on my health.

I’ve been working very hard at getting fit and I absolutely will reach my goal. What is my goal you may ask? Next year at this time I will either be running, walking or biking in a marathon with my buddies Alex and Maria. I am determined to reach that goal and help out a worthy cause at the same time. I suspect my winter will be pretty full of “art and fitness”. Aren’t we all so very accustomed to seeing “health and fitness”.  Dare to be different has always been one of my mottos!

ART AND FITNESS TALLY HO!!

So here’s who who and updated pics of my fitness progress. It actually helps me a lot to see the progress too.

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NOTHING TO DO WITH ART POST TEE HEE

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So I’ve taken on a new lifestyle that I know will improve my health situation. Let’s face it, no, it’s time I faced it…I’m obese. I pounded on those inches since I quit smoking 4 years ago and I’m pretty sure that I would probably keep going if I wasn’t introduced to the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” It opened my eyes and made me see how much crap I’ve been feeding my one and only body.

Last weekend I visited with the friends who introduced me to this new way of fueling my body. I juiced with them, we talked all day and I learned so much. I Two days later I owned a juicer, top of the line juicer too. I swear the universe is aligning  for me to accept this challenge. I’m not getting younger and I’m not getting healthier either. It’s time to stop the insanity.

My buddy Alex sold me his Breville, multispeed juicer and I love it. I remember I was juicing 20 years ago on Bay Street because I thought it was the cool thing to do. The prep and clean up soon diminished my need to be with the in crowd. It was a bitch. But, this new machine is smooth, quiet and super easy to clean up.

So, I know a lot of people will say that I’ve bought into yet another fad. That this Joe guy who made the documentary is now a billionaire and I’m just another sucker. But it wasn’t really Joe who inspired me. It was Phil the super obese truck driver who not only saved his life by juicing but saved his brother’s life too. You have to watch the documentary just to see the amazing transformation of Phil. That is what inspired me. I know I can do this. I quit smoking and I can quit eating garbage too.

So here is my plan, not Joe’s plan, but my plan.

First week, juice for breakfast. So far I’ve consumed three different recipes.

  • Cucumber, Kale, green apples, ginger, lemon and celery (Joe’s Mean Green)
  • Grapefruit, fennel, orange and basil ( Tuscan Summer)
  • Carrots, apples and ginger ( Carrot Apple Ginger)

So far the Carrot Apple Ginger is my favorite.

Second week I intend to have juice for breakfast and lunch.

Third week I intend to have only juice for 15 days.

This is my plan and I am determined to succeed. As determined as I was to quit smoking. It’s time to piss or get off the pot (one of my father’s most common phrases, so appropriate)

I’m so very tired of being fat, unable to move like I used to, I hate the triple chins I have and I most of all hate that I don’t pamper myself or primp and preen anymore. I used to be quite a looker you know. Hell I used to be a size 7.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not just about vanity. I’ll admit with no shame that vanity does play a good role because I’ve not even had one single date in 4 years. And don’t hand me that old line that it’s the inside that counts. My insides are fabulous and I still haven’t had a freeking romp in four years. Now is the time when I finally admit that I’ve really let myself go. And I feel terrible. I’m always tired, I’m huffing and puffing despite not smoking , little things like getting up from the floor is a huge production with grunts and groans, I sleep with a CPAP machine which is probably one more reason I haven’t dated. Who wants to sleep next to Darth Vader! Nope, that’s not how I want to live.

So wish me luck and help support me while I fight to regain my health. I’m certain that I will be able to do a lot more acitivities in about 6 months and then the pounds are really going to start coming off. In the meantime, juice is my new addiction and not an addiction that will harm me. It’s a glass full of micronutrients…how can that be bad for you?

Inspiration Salvation

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As discussed in my previous posts I’ve been out of sorts with my studio as of late. Well this weekend my grandaughter renewed my faith in the power of paint, the power of creativity. We spent the entire day in my studio. She painted, I played with paper clay and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. She makes me smile and I love teaching her the techniques that I know. She sometimes teaches me something I didn’t know. For instance, she learned on you tube to glue gun crayons to a canvas and then use a blow dryer to melt them. The potential of this art form is immense. I think I will try it with her next time we are in studio together! In the meantime..here are some more pics of her hard at work on her creations and a little tease of what belongs in trees that I worked on.

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Until we meet again Marie Carter

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Today I am struggling with the death of a colleague. She was my age and lost her battle with breast cancer last night. I am so very, very sad that she is gone but I know she would be the first to tell me to suck it up buttercup and move forward because that was just the very essence of Marie. I’m also very angry at the unfairness of her losing a battle she fought valiantly, with grace and quite comically as well.

She was the toughest chick you ever met and she could be the softest and most understanding woman all in the same breath. She took on her first battle of breast cancer with the force of an Amazon Warrior. She laughed in the face of cancer, literally, and she beat the odds by removing both her breasts. All of her sisters had breast cancer and they beat it. I was sure Marie was going to beat it too. But life is cruel and she was diagnosed with her second round with cancer late last year, 2013. The doctors told her it was terminal but I refused to believe she couldn’t beat it again. She was Marie, Cancer should be scared of HER. But Marie took her leave from our company and went home to be with her husband, step-children and her many animals on her quaint hobby farm. I sure missed those organic eggs when she left and I missed her terribly too. We emailed weekly but it’s just not the same as seeing her smiling face every day.

I know she would not want me to be sad so I will try my hardest to be brave. I’ll think of her as I watch the fireworks from my rooftop tomorrow night, I’ll raise a glass of beer to her as I wish for her a happy and safe journey to her next destination. I adopted one of her barn cats. His name is Marshall. As I sit at my desk trying to keep back the tears, I know once I go home and kiss that little ginger cat, I’ll let the tears flow freely.

My emotions are pretty raw right now but through the pain I can clearly say that Marie is my hero. I often wondered when I would be called to run for the cure. Marie, I’ll run for you. I will try to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer and I will do it for you because you have done so very much for me. Everyone at the office knows that I’m the one to make everyone smile and laugh on a daily basis. You were that for me. I loved listening to you tell stories and each one of them made me giggle. Your light will be a constant missing for me. If there is a God, you’re already entertaining and challenging her!

I love you Marie. I never told you cuz you know…you never were a mushy muffin. I’ll sign this blog off the way we signed off all of our emails since you left the office….HUGS AND STUFF

Breaking out of a cocoon

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As some of you already know I’ve been heavily involved in yarn bombing for the past two years. Slowly but surely my team, the O-Town Bombers have dwindled from 21 member to about 6 regular members and we are not doing as many yarn bombs as we used to. We still love the art form but our numbers are so low that we can only pull off tiny projects. I’m a little sad about this and I’m a little relieved. I love my team and we have a lot of fun together. I also love my studio, which gets neglected while I’m sat crocheting for days, sometimes weeks at a time. So I think a balance is something that was missing and is being put into place through universal forces. I actually spoke to a few people in January about how tired I was of crochet and that I wanted to spend more time painting. Crochet always excites me and I tend to jump into a project before I weigh all the logistics and level of commitment needed.

This is what happened with the Nuit Blanche project this year. I got excited by an idea that one of the bombers pitched and I dove right in. Before too long I realized that I was not truly committed to the project. I hemmed and hawed at the amount of time I would have to spend away from the studio again. I remembered the many hours and days it took to round people up, put together submissions, find funding etc. and I knew that a team of three or four people was not going to be sufficient. I want my team to be honest about whether they can or cannot commit to a project so I had to give that same honesty back to them. I resigned from the project after we had submitted to Nuit Blanche. I gave my team the option to stay in and for someone else to take the lead on the project. Alas, it was all too obvious that even if we had one or two more members able to give their time and jump on board, the project is bigger than our team is. We sadly withdrew. What’s really ironic is a week later I received a wedding invitation from two of my favorite artists and its the same day as Nuit Blanche! I would have had to miss their wedding if we stayed in and that would not have been cool in my books. So I think, nae, deeply suspect, that the universe has aligned with my thinking and my words.

I feel like I’m emerging from a cocoon and hopefully I become a butterfly and not a big furry moth. I will keep the cocoon close to me because I put so much love and effort into it, but it has a big hole in it and it will take a lot of energy and dedication to repair it. In the meantime, I’m going to spread my wings and paint till my new easel is covered in drips.

I’m not saying this is the end of O-Town Bombers, not at all. What is happening is a shift and we shall have to wait and see where that shift takes us. I wouldn’t trade my bombers for anything and I love our Sunday sessions. A major recruit is needed and we shall see when and where that will be. I need to teach a whole new generation of hookers but maybe closer to the fall. I think I need to put my hook down and enjoy my summer by just working on personal projects. Studio, Health, Garden and then crochet in that order.

This painting was actually 95% finished a few weeks ago but the Bombers had the Chinatown Remixed commitment to put the wall up every weekend. That lasted three weeks before interest completely fizzled out. We spent our last weekend in Dundonald Park just crocheting and chatting and seeing our old pal Kenny Ingram!!

Last weekend I finally took two days to get back to the studio and complete “Drip Interuptus”.  Enriched Bread Artists were taking part in Doors Open Ottawa and one of my studio mates had left our studio door open to the public. It was a good feeling to have people come and go and ask questions and see my art. I’m looking forward to the next official Open House at The Loft and I’m determined to have many more paintings finished by then.

I even have time for my rooftop garden now as well so as much as I regret the stillness of the Bombers, I’m appreciating the spare time for personal projects.

 

Absent but not idle

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I haven’t managed to get into my studio for almost three weeks now and I’m jonesing for it I swear! I am going three or four times this week if it kills me ! I’ve just completed weekend installations for Chintatown Remixed and the end is in sight. One more project with the O-Town Bombers is in the works but after that I’m taking a much needed break from textiles. I’m missing my studio, my paints, my sexy mannequin and the ambiance of fellow artists surrounding me.

I’m going get back into art walks again. I’ve missed going from gallery to gallery and there are so many new ones lately. It’s blatantly obvious that summer is here now!

I have a bucket list of things I need to do this summer:

1. Visit the new Gallery 101

2. Visit Central Art Garage

3. Attend as many Vernisage as possible

4. Go back to House of Targ for more pinball and badass perogies

5. Have my art weekend with little Miss Shyanne in July

6. Have my own art retreat outdoors ( I used to do this every year, its been about 4 years that I haven’t) .

7. Visit my sisters in Toronto for a weekend.

 

 

I’m not just another pretty painter you know!

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I’m also a yarnbomber (aka textile artist, aka crocheter, aka hooker) ! And this is the installation my team, The O-Town Bombers whipped up for Chinatown Remixed 2014. 

It is titled “Take it or Leave it”. A wall of flourescent generosity. People are encouraged to take something and/or leave something in the various pockets along the wall.

For me, there are many great moments of observation in human nature. Many people did not want to take anything because they didn’t have anything to leave in return. Even after being assured that they didn’t HAVE to leave something behind, many refused to take something for nothing. Then there were people who wanted to leave the entire contents of their purse and many parents who guided their children that they must find something to leave behind in the pocket before they take anything. There were also unsupervised children who came back a few times to the wall and who had to be stopped from removing everything from the pockets. They were being very sneaky about it and they had to be told to move along and leave something for other people to enjoy. There were many artists who latched onto the idea right away and many couples who giggled secretly as they peeked into the pockets. . My favorite was the young mother lugging around several children who put a condom into a pocket. Subliminal messaging perhaps?

I would like to officially thank my awesome team for coming out and whipping the panels to the fence in lightning speed and precision and for sticking around the entire Vernissage and Sunday. I would also like to thank Lisa Knight for her brilliant design and idea for this wall and for pushing through the chronic pain that she has to live with on a daily basis. You are a trooper Lisa and a great example of not letting anything stop you.

I also have to give a huge thank you to my mother and fellow Bomber who has been by my side crocheting little dolls to put in the pockets since February. You are the best hooker I’ve ever known woman!

Chinatown Remixed is an amazing adventure for all local artists in Canada’s Capital City and I’m so honoured to be part of it for the second year in a row. I love the support and dignity that is given to all artists. I am grateful for businesses throughout Chinatown that support and show off their talented neighbors. A huge thank you to the generosity of those neighbors as well in helping us support The Door Youth Centre in Chinatown by leaving donations in our fundraising box.

O-Town Bombers will continue to exhibit Take it or Leave It until June 17th but only on weekends. The unfortunate thing about public art (especially warm and fuzzy public art) is that it gets stolen. We will be setting up every Saturday and Sunday until the end of the Remix. Hope you come down and Take Something and/or Leave Something. It’s a great chance to go home with an O-Town Bomber original work of art.

 

Anne-Marie and Amanda hard at work sewing pockets on the wall.

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My amazing mother, Olga…our oldest and most prolific hooker proudly showing off her wall.

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The designer of our wall, Lisa Knight smiling as her idea becomes reality.

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If she’s not planking she’s dancing…our fun gal Amanda!

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The wind was cool but the sun was bright. The weather was actually quite cooperative all weekend! Yaaa!

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These girls were absolutely thrilled with the idea of picking pockets and not getting arrested !

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Ottawa is such a generous city !

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The wall could be seen from quite a distance.

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Our loveable goofball 🙂

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This little girl investigated every pocket. She found this little doll and put it right back in the pocket. For her, the prize was getting to look in each pocket. I finally convinced her to take the doll and then her and her father had a 10 minute photo shoot in front of the wall and the Chinatown Archway. She was the highlight of my Sunday!

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So far in 2014

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My team member wrote about our yarnbombing adventures this past long weekend. I suppose I will post some photos shortly.

the Raven quoted "craft more"

It has sadly been awhile since I have blogged or even thought about blogging. I had hit a funk. I used to craft as much as I could. Almost everyday had, however small, crafting or creating art, some expression of my soul. Then something happened, somewhere, someone, somehow I was told I was not good enough. The inner critic is an artists and crafter worst enemy, and then on top of that have an actual living being tell you that you are not good enough…..disastrous.

I have com to a point where I am telling the inner critic and any doubters to shut their pie holes cause I have had enough of their chatter. This year is when I will come out of this shell and shine once more!

What better way to start then Chinatown Remixed 2014, ‘a month long celebration of art’.

May 17, 2014 the vernissage. I…

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