Saturday, November 23, 2013


We had a fun photography class this week on Tuesday at TRU where we learned to light paint! I wasn't quite sure what our professor was talking about even though she showed us a video on light painting but once we turned out the light, put our cameras on the tables to steady them (should have brought a tripod) and then turned the shutter speed way down, we had fun. The hardest part was trying to focus our cameras in the dark, we had to to focus quickly while the flashlight was on them and then hope the picture was in focus. One of our fellow students also showed where the "bulb" button was on our cameras ( I have a Canon EOS XS, yes I know pretty basic but it has taken some pretty sweet pictures for me over the years!) and so we were happily trying that. Have to admit, not many of mine turned out but the couple that did made me happy. Here's my favourite!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


So one of the most difficult classes I am taking this semester is a Drawing Class….with pencil and paper. Considering I have never taken an art class in my life it has been a real learning curve, let's just say I'm being very humbled by it because drawing is not easy when you are pretty much a stick person person. Not only that but our professor has us drawing tons every week, so I am always sketching lately which has forced me to learn about lines, contour lines, shading, hatching and cross hatching and much more than I ever knew makes up a picture.

So you can imagine my delight when our assignment this week was to put together a collage on the computer and then change the colour 3 times to add a different mood to the picture. I am including it here, not sure if we were supposed to actually draw something but I used pictures and blended them and then added different colour treatments and a fun gradient on one. Lots of work, but fun work….I'll have to include some of my drawings on here but not yet, maybe another day when I feel a little more confident about them!!

We will see tomorrow if this is what he was looking for because first off every class (4 hours on Wednesday) we all put our pictures up to be critiqued! Like I said humbling when you're in a class with Art Majors….

Monday, November 18, 2013


This was a letter that I sent to the Daily News last week that they put into the paper today. I'm glad they published it because I think it's a topic that isn't addressed enough! There are so many wonderful coaches out there, but there are also the terrible ones that will not listen to parents, that do not want to work with you and have no idea of the influence that they have!

So this letter was written for all those parents sitting in the stands helpless as they watch their kids sit on the bench game after game trying to put on a brave face, but crying when they get home and asking: "Why doesn't the coach like me?"

Dear Editor:

I would like to first point out that I am not a coach and have never coached, although I have had 4 children in a variety of sports including soccer, rugby, basketball, volleyball and tae-kwon-do for the last 16 years.  So I have encountered and watched many, many coaches over that time, including a daughter who ended up coaching basketball. Many, many of these coaches have been amazing examples and mentors to my children.  Unfortunately, there have also been the odd few that I have wondered why they’re doing it! I would like to point out a few things from a parent/child point of view as a reminder to coaches out there.

First of all, every child on every team is giving up time and money. They are giving up family time (which often includes dinner), TV time, friend time, work time (some of them hold part time jobs which they have to let go) and homework time to be on this team. Because of practices, games and tournaments, most of their free time and even their not so free time is being taken by this sport. The costs including athletic fees, tournament fees and uniforms add up, especially if that child is playing several sports which most do. They do this willingly because they love to play.

Second, they are giving up their self-esteem to you. Every time they play, any mistakes they make are under public scrutiny whether to parents, family or friends. When they don’t play, it’s even worse because it’s quite obvious that you have no confidence in them. If you yell at them, berate them and call them on the mistakes they make in public, it’s even more humiliating. Constructive criticism can be useful, but becomes unacceptable when the child’s confidence is completely crushed. Kids will play their hearts out when praised, when all they hear is negative criticism, its discouraging and disheartening and demoralizing.

Third, winning is important but in elementary and even high school most parents are going to agree that they also want their kids to have fun. We want to see good sportsmanship! When your team is winning by 90 points and you still have your top line out, you’ve just lost your crowd, not only the opposing team fans, but your own. Nobody likes to see another team being annihilated and slammed when it’s not necessary. I am embarrassed when a coach deliberately crushes another team. I am also not going to be happy when I hear you telling a player to “take him out” and my child ends up being injured because of it. Sportsmanship also means giving every player the opportunity to play even if it’s for a few minutes. They will never be a part of that team; they will never get better if they’re never given an opportunity to play.

Last, I would like to reiterate that thankfully most coaches are aware of this. I am grateful for some of the amazing coaches who have given up hours, days and sometimes years to coach sports teams, to teach kids athletic skills, to make them feel proud and happy to be part of a team. Every child on every sports team should be treated with decency and respect for their dedication and determination. It has been a privilege to watch my kids play sports over the past 16 years and I’m indebted to the coaches that have made this possible. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I haven't been blogging lately because I headed back to school this fall after 20 years! I'm enrolled in the Digital Art and Design program (referred to as DAAD) and finding it overwhelming some days! I love what I'm learning and it really pushes my creativity. I'm also having to work on my time management skills as I have so many projects due every week and not enough time to work on them. I am learning to do homework every day so that I'm not waiting to the last minute to get something done...this really helps my stress load! I thought I would include a poster that I made for my typography class. We needed to combine type and an image and follow all the instructions to the letter...then we all show our projects to be critiqued (there are about 18 of us). It is definitely humbling to be with kids half your age who are creative geniuses but I am certainly learning a lot from them.

This project worked out well because it's been a page I've been wanting to do for a long time! It was a Visually Enhanced Quotation and I used a favourite picture that I took of my Mitchell playing soccer and added it to a quote. I happily worked on it in Photoshop (extracted it, copied it, layered the opacity and moved it behind layers several times) and then worked on the type in InDesign. It's the learning Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator that are the big learning curves for me....loving it and finding it frustrating all at the same time!

Here's my Mitchell:


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