Thursday, December 29, 2011

Embracing and Walking Through

The end of the year is quickly coming and so many thoughts still make their way through my head and heart, swirling back and forth, looking for a final place of rest.  A new year will be soon begin, bringing about life in old and new ways.

This holiday season was more sobering than I expected, especially in relation to the loss of my father just a few months ago and how much it still really affects my daily life.  Whether the feelings are above or below the surface, I'm still coming to terms with the death that touched my life in such a tragic way not long ago.

In other thoughts, I shared with my dear friend P yesterday how lately I've been reminded that life is just too fragile to walk through each day with a careless, taking things for granted, attitude.  Tomorrow is never promised to any of us, yet we tend to walk around as if it is.  I personally want to change that mentality and plan to do so starting with myself.

I sense new changes coming this year for me personally and I'm going to welcome them with open arms, fully aware that I have every opportunity to embrace them, love them and walk through them to the fullest extent or simply let them pass me by for fear of what tomorrow may or many not hold.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just A Little Note

Above are a few photos from playing around with my new camera today, exploring the functionality and such a bit more.  It was alot of fun going on walks and visiting different places to capture some favourite things.  I've been inspired by a number of peeps from the blog world over the last few years; something I love about being a part of this loving community.

So let me end this little note by sending each of you hope, joy and happy wishes for a new year with special new beginnings.  :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, With Love

Merry Christmas to each of my wonderful bloggie friends.  It's been a tough couple of days feeling the loss of my father this year but doing my best to push through.

Thank you to each of you for all your love, care and concern over the past several months.  It means so much to me.

Merry Christmas, with love!
Sophia xo

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Hello and welcome to another Sunday Sketches - one week before Christmas.  Whoa!  Can you believe it?  (Before I forget, SS will be postponed next week but will resume the week after Christmas.  So, please make note.)

Nothing fancy or special this week as I've been terribly busy with all of the hussle and bustle going on this Chrstimas season. I've devoted alot of my time helping and giving to others in hopes to occupy my mind and heart since it's the first year without my father.  :(

Red velvet cake is my favourite, especially during the Holiday season.  So here's a quick painting of a delicious slice that caught my eye on the shelf at a local bakery. Yum! to visit everyone!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sunday Sketches (WIP)

It's another week of Sunday Sketches and I'm really looking forward to seeing what each of you have done this time around.  :)

Above is a WIP of an idea I had.  Yes, there are a few spots that need some fine tuning but overall I'm quite pleased thus far.

I do hope this little note finds each of you doing well.  Are you ready for the Christmas season?  What are some of the fun things you have planned for family and friends?

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This week's participants:
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Mulling Things Over

Photo: ©2011 ~CoffeeFTW

It's late here and my mind has been mulling many things over tonight.  As I sit here wrapped up in a cozy scarf, snuzzling my my hot water bottle, my mind pages through the list of uncertainties in my life and my heart feels overwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong. I do believe that life comes with some and we must embrace those the best we can but admittedly, it can be difficult at times.  The fact is that everything seems uncertain right now and that scares me.  A year has passed and it seems I'm not much further along than last year, when writing and feeling alone.

As Christmastime approaches, I'm not only reminded of the recent deep loss of my father but previous losses, all the while watching other things I hold dear slip through my fingers right in front of me, leaving a huge taste of uncertainty in my mouth.  Too much can bring fear and loneliness to a level in one's life that can be quite frightful at times, sometimes struggling to keep one pushing through.

I've had far too much loss in my life but have learned to overcome such unfortunate things, turning them into good to not only allow myself to personally heal but ways that bless others in the process as well.  It's just that I'm ready for some certainties where I don't have to worry about always changing bad into good, so to speak.  My heart desires to be able to wake up each morning and know pretty much how the day will unfold.  I desire the things any single, intelligent, talented and lovely girl would want in her life, but that's just not the place I'm currently at right now.

However, all of this definitely builds one necessary and solid thing for me that is SO needed to tackle such a journey.  FAITH.  Faith to continue to persevere regardless of what I see or don't see.  Faith that gives me the strength to leap over a wall and tackle the battle(s) before me.  Uh huh.

My turn IS coming and it will be far more beautiful than I could ever imagine.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Can you believe it's that time of the week again?!  I'm amazed at how quickly this week has passed, let alone the fact that we're moving into the first official week of December.

Above is another one of the custom order holiday cards that I've been requested to make.  Feels like this final project is not progressing quickly, thus becoming quite tiring!  Oh dear me.  Nevertheless, pushing through emotions and thoughts to get these cards completed and hopefully then some down time for the rest of the month before the new year begins.  Who knows what lurks behind the door of 2012...

Happy SS. It's time to take a spin through everyone else's little cozy homes.

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Cocoa, Decorations and Daddy

It's already been terribly difficult this holiday season.  The thought of my father really being gone is taking its effect on me in deeper ways than I ever imagined.  I'm discovering more and more just how much his loss in my life really is.  What makes it even more difficult is the fact that I continue to feel like he's going to call me.  Quite odd knowing that's not possible but I cannot even begin to tell you those feelings.  Real. Very real.

The family tradition has always been to put up the tree on Thanksgiving Day, along with making the rest of the house festive.  This year I failed to do so but had nothing to do with any lack of trying.  By all means I did, but felt the loss and anger growing within so much that I tossed everything back in the boxes and walked out of my little cozy home to grieve.

A day or so passed and I found myself in front of the tree and boxes once again, only this time inviting my friend C to keep me company. Alas, we sipped my famous cocoa, chatted, decorated - let me tell you how beautiful my place looks, inside and out now.  My daddy would have loved it.  Even the newly lit Christmas house - ones he loved so much.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Hello and welcome to another week of Sunday Sketches.  Most of Saturday was spent working on the two holiday custom orders of gift tags and cards.  The photos above are a few sneak peaks at what I've been working on.

Thanksgiving was a bit difficult, forcing me to push through some feelings of anger and loss over my father.  It's not an easy time of year but doing my best to move forward and "celebrate", as I know he wouldn't want me not to.  So, the tree is up and the lights sparkling. Yeah!  :) to visit everyone else.  Happy SS!

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This week's participants:
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Matchbox Love

Do you remember when I participated in the Matchbox Christmas last year?  This was a special project where a group of ladies (including muwahhh) decorated and filled 25 matchboxes for the holiday season.  Once this was completed they were packaged up and sent them off to a location where they were mixed up, divided out and returned for each of us to have the joy of opening a "present" every day in December - all the way up until Christmas Day!  :)

I found such joy and excitement doing this; waking up each morning in anticipation to open the next tiny box and discovering what delicate gift was tucked away inside just for me.

This year I decided to pass this on to another lovely lady and newly found friend who is in need of a blessing and touch of love this holiday season. I had such fun decorating and tucking away little gifts and ornaments inside each box.  Along with the boxes a little tree, white lights and red baubles were purchased to make it complete.

I know what it's like to feel alone and isolated during the holiday season and what a great way to touch the heart of another simply by giving.

May the upcoming holiday season find you where you're at, wrap you up and show you what true love, hope and joy is all about.

From my heart to yours...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Good morning and welcome to another Sunday Sketches.  My apologies for running behind this morning.  I wasn't able to get to my own SS until late last night, leaving me no "real" light to capture a good photo of it.  But, I'm here now and loving my piece for this week.  :)

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday full of hope, love and joy.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Paint Party Friday

It's been a busy week with misc things, therefore limiting my time on several art projects.  These are part of the custom order of holiday cards that I'm currently working on (and quickly running out of time to complete!)  Nevertheless, still oh so cute and am sure they will put a smile on that special someone's face this season.

Happy PPF!  For more wonderful art, please visit here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Sketches

It's that time of the week again and so glad that each of you could join me.  I really look forward to each Sunday, sharing our talents and encouraging one another along the way.  :)

Here is my contribution for this week.  Along with this adorable little inspiration, I'm finally in that perfect creative mode and have completed a few more holiday cards for one of my customer's.  Keep an eye out for some show and tell this week.

Now, off to start visiting others. Happy SS! :)

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Harvey the Yorkshire Pups

Introducing "Harvey" the Yorkshire puppy. A nice little tag I made along with a batch of snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies for the little elderly gentleman who lives all alone next door to me. It felt good to make him smile.  :)

It was the best thing I could've done over the weekend in lieu of going down a path of complete frustration over some much needed car repairs that have yet to happen.

Seeing his face light up, knowing someone was thinking of him, filled my heart with joy in return.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sunday Sketches

It's time for another fun week of Sunday Sketches and I'm so delighted you could join us.

This past week was a bit bumpy, thus making it a little difficult to get into my artwork this weekend.  However, I did push through and after piddling here and there, finally managing to create the above piece.  Another Beatrix Potter inspiration but I love it and I can't help but wonder how much my father would be loving my pieces as of late.

OK, I'm off to put on a pair of my stripey socks, grab the hot water bottle and curl up on the sofa for a wee bit.

Happy SS! :)

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This week's participants:
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Friday, November 04, 2011

Cozy Time of Year

Photo by: Image: Sacramento Street.

I'm loving the cozy weather lately.  Although it does bring in a bit of emotions for a number of reasons, especially my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without father, it still is my favourite time of the year.

So keep bringing the snow, the perfect hot cuppas, cute cozy socks and all the warmth this time of year brings to my heart.  Ahhhh....anyone care to join me? :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Sketches

(Photo accidentally deleted.  Sigh.)

Good morning and welcome to another Sunday Sketches.  It's beautiful here with the sun just coming up over the horizon.  Another gorgeous sunrise of many colours.

Nothing special this week but wanted to share a couple of WIPs for a custom order I'm currently working on.  This past week proved to accomplish very little with all the extra work at the office.  Hopefully, today will prove to be creative in many ways.

Here's wishing everyone a lovely day!  Happy SS!  :)

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Friday, October 28, 2011

The last of Autumn Colours

Just a few days ago our cozy little town was graced with a dumping of snow for the first time this season.  OK, maybe not so gracefully, but it sure was amazing.  I still remember sitting against the glass window of a local coffee shop watching it softly tumble down.  So incredibly magical!

As it continued yesterday, it felt like I was making my way around inside this giant snow globe.  Absolutely amazing but this also means that as the snow melts over the next few days the last of the beautiful coloured leaves will be gone.  What a short Autumn!

Anyway, last weekend I painted the above picture, simply experimenting with mixing colours, trying to find a balance with making them a bit more bold than what I usually do.  Although not really my style, I do like the results.  Who knew playing around in paints could actually be fun! Hee  Kind of like playing the game "Twister" and not knowing who/what is going to end up where in the end.  Oh yeah! :)

Happy weekend everyone!

For more Paint Party Friday inspirations, please visit here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Completed Inspiration

I've been delving into all kinds of artsy projects as of late and am enjoying it very much so.  The photo above (although not great due to lack of time in taking a proper one with returning to work this week), shows a couple of magnets and a glass pendant.  Looking forward to doing more special projects with the Christmas season just around the corner.

A week ago Sunday, I had challenged myself to paint one of Beatrix Potter's illustrations.  Above is the completed piece and I'm quite happy with it.

I do hope this unexpected and delightful inspiration continues and that I can find some way to bless others around me and in my life with it.

In the meantime, I'm really missing my father tonight. Tears.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Tales of Morris the Mouse...

Aha...more Ms. Potter inspiration here.  Uh huh.  Since I love cake, presents, picnics...why not incorporate some of my favourite things into a Beatrix Potter inspired WIP.  :)

On another note, our lovely art co-op group has a new record.  We broke 30 participants yesterday! Woot! Woot!  We had several new peeps join us, so please do return to the sign-up list and make sure you've visited everyone.  I'm so blessed to see how we've grown as a group, encouraging each in our art and every day life.  Here's to many more Sunday Sketches!

[Holds out a perfect hot cuppa.]

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Sketches

It's time for yet another wonderful Sunday Sketches.  I'm posting this a little early for a few reasons, but I'm sure you won't mind.

This afternoon was spent at a local bookstore listening to an online show while painting away.  I managed to squeeze in a few little pieces and am pleased with the results.  Nothing terribly exciting but ones where I continue to challenge myself to paint first then add the lines later.  I'm actually liking this process better and finding it eliminates alot of unnecessary expectations.

While there, I managed to inspire an elderly lady walking by to begin painting again. Aww.  She shared with me a little of her story and why she put down her brush years ago.  Smiling here and praying she'll find the same joy that I've found these past few weeks in allowing art to heal my heart.

Happy SS!  Looking forward to visiting everyone. :)

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Friday, October 21, 2011

NEW - Boy and Girl Bookplates

It's amazing how quickly this week has passed.  In some ways, it feels good as I've had some misc blessings and accomplishments.  Such as, my new bookplates above.  There are 3 different styles: Make A Wish (boy), Be the Star (girl) - style 1, and Be the Star (girl) - style 2.

I was also thrilled yesterday to not only sell 9 of my own watercolour cards but received 3 custom orders totaling 41 cards and 6 gift tags.  Uh huh. This pretty little lady is going to be busy over the next month or so.  But that's OK as it will keep my mind occupied as I continue to deal and push through the grief of losing my father just 2 1/2 weeks ago.

So, here's to the most lovely weekend to each of my wonderful bloggie friends and I'll see you in a couple of days for Sunday Sketches and the perfect hot cuppa.  :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Sketches - UPDATED

(Photos accidentally deleted.  Bummer!!)

Hello!  I'm a wee bit late today for my Sunday Sketches and do apologize but didn't want to rush my submission for this week.  I'm learning alot lately that just being loose and free with my painting is making a huge difference for me.

Above is another rendition of one of Beatrix Potter's lovely illustrations.  The rabbit's eyes still need completed but unfortuantely I'm at a coffee shop and forgot to grab tracing paper.  I find it alot easier to experiment with eyes, to tweak and get them just right, without having to erase a gazillion times on the actual piece of art.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this piece as much as I am.  I know my father would be proud and happy of the newly found inspiration. Happy SS!  :)

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Friday, October 14, 2011

The Tale of Whittling Willie

Beatrix Potter continues to inspire me and I'm loving it.  In fact, I'm actually surprised at how my artwork is unfolding these past few days.  It's nothing like what I've created in the past and it seems to hold a simple yet childlike heart and freedom within it.  BUU--TEE--FUL! :)

Today's piece, "The Tale of Whittling Willie", was inspired by an early morning walk yesterday.  Despite the weather being quite chilly, I had this craving to get out and take in everything as much as possible; an unusual desire to see things with a new pair of eyes so that's exactly what I did.

While walking along a dirt path, something to the left caught my attention.  I stopped and turned, scanning the sides of a muddy creek, but found nothing.  Or so I thought.  Just as I began to walk away it moved again, making a huge fuss on the water's edge.  It was a little beaver and once he realized I was gazing at him in wonder, he seemed to tilt his head slightly, looking at me in the most peculiar way.

I watched in amazement as he began tugging a dead water rat that appeared half his size down the muddy shore, all the while taking periodic breaks to stop and look back at me.  I smiled.

For a brief moment I felt this magic inside that Miss Potter must have felt while exploring the world around her as a little girl, attempting to capture each treasure within her journals and nurturing each of life with her brushes and made up tales.

Note:  This is a true story. Not made up.

Please visit other PPF's here.  Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Delightful Inspiration

Recently, I discovered a bit of inspiration amidst the grief of losing my father to an 8-month battle of cancer.  In fact, I wasn't even looking for anything of the sort, just a little something to keep my mind semi-distracted instead of fully focused on the loss.

A few days ago I watched a simple yet pleasant movie called, "Miss Potter".  I'd never heard of it before but it sounded quite lovely and the perfect cozy movie to provide a much needed reprieve from the previous days of stress and sadness.  (For those of you who don't know, Miss Potter is a movie depicting Beatrix Potter's life from childhood through her adult years).

When the movie was finished, although Miss Potter experienced loss of someone she loved, I found myself in what I thought to be a temporary trance of hope and newness.  I felt quite inspired that despite my deep loss, I too could move on just as she did, delving into my own art while looking for opportunities to bless those around me.

It's three days later and I'm still feeling this unusual but delightful and fulfilling inspiration inside, regardless of the roller coaster of emotions that's attached to grief.  Since watching the movie, I've found myself researching Miss Potter to learn more about her life and the things that inspired her from childhood on.  I even purchased a divine complete collection of her tales and illustrations.

But it doesn't stop there.  This inspiration is touching my creative soul within as well.  I've found myself diving into my watercolours in what feels like a new sort of way.  As you can see above (left photo), I flipped through my new Potter book and painted (free-hand) some of her illustrations.  It was quite thrilling how well they turned out!

Miss Potter has helped me to see death and life with fresh eyes.  I know so as I witnessed this very thing early this morning while walking alongside the creek.  I'm not sure where this is all going but as long as I feel it, I'm swimming in this newly found pool of hope and creativity.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It comes in waves

I apologize that I've yet to visit my lovely bloggie peeps for Sunday Sketches.  I really thought I could push myself today to do more but I'm not quite there emotionally.  I'm really having a difficult time accepting my father's gone.

Even looking at the photo taken where dad's ashes were buried between grandma and grandpa - I'm still not there.  I feel a huge wave of grief tonight. Huge.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Here I sit on my sofa this afternoon trying to find the heart and strength to continue pushing through the heartache regarding my father's death barely one week ago.  Yesterday was welcomed with open arms as it felt like a brief moment of reprieve from the grief I've been dealing with off and on.  It's been difficult accepting the idea that my father's actually gone, even with the burial of his ashes today.

Although there is a small improvement in my sleep, I still wake up several times throughout each night, reaching for my phone to look for a text from my dad.  He often did that, just to let me know he was thinking of me and loved me.  I feel foolish afterwards, realizing how silly it is and remembering he's no longer here to comfort me in all of his little ways.  In return, reminding me of the loss in my life.

I honestly didn't feel like drawing this week but felt my father would've wanted me to regardless.  Therefore I decided to create a doodle of a few things that made him smile.  This is a personal tribute and a declaration to say,  "I will never forget you, dad.  Never."

Happy SS, my friends.

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Daddy's Gone

It's with GREAT sadness and extremely deep sorrow that I share with you this morning that my father, my daddy, left this world a little over an hour ago.  Every part of me aches, inside and out, but I know he is no longer suffering and in a better place.

I appreciate your warm and caring thoughts over the last several months, during a time that was far more difficult than I could have ever imagined.  Forgive me if this sounds selfish, but your continued thoughts and prayers are much needed.  Like myself, my baby brother is taking father's death just as hard, if not more.


Dear daddy,

Although you're gone from this world I know we'll be singing music again together some day.  I love you oh so very much and promise that I will NEVER forget you and will speak of you often.

"Your precious daughter"

NOTE: Sunday Sketches has been canceled for this week.  Thank you.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Final stages

I sit here tonight after a terrible fit of sobbing and vomiting.  Just a few moments ago my baby brother informed me that father is no longer alert.  Not even facially as he was just yesterday.  He's mainly "sleeping", occasionally opening his eyes to look around.

It was such an incredibly difficult conversation with my brother, exchanging heartache and tears, yet attempting to console one another from such great distance.  I feel guilty knowing I had a week with my father being alert and able to converse with me, yet my brother, only one day.  Now he sits next to my father's bed holding his hand, struggling to stay awake for fear that he might miss just one more glance or squeeze of his own hand from dad.  Many tears here as I share this with you.

My thoughts now?  Many and overwhelming, accompanied with loss of appetite, body pain and sometimes feeling like there's not enough air in the room to breathe!  Ugh.

I'll always call him "daddy".  It might seem childish to some but that doesn't matter to me as he's my father and there's a gratefulness deep within my heart that words could never express.  A gratefulness of knowing that a once tragic past of hurt and pain was mended and healed from a few simple words...

"I'm sorry, my precious daughter."

"I forgive you, daddy."

I know the Heavens rejoiced that day (a little over 3 years ago), watching a father and daughter reunite and start life once again.  I only wish we were able to live that "new life" a little bit longer.

And daddy?  I will NEVER forget you nor stop loving you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One last lullaby

My heart is running on empty this afternoon. I can barely think, let alone function. My father’s death clock is ticking so loudly it’s pretty much unbearable. Just about an hour ago I was conferenced in on a call with doctors, nurses, Hospice and my aunt/uncle and was informed there is nothing else they can do for my father.

I can’t breathe. I just can’t breathe. My head is spinning in too many circles and I feel faint.

I was told that things with my father have significantly declined in the last 24 hours. The oxygen he was put on yesterday is not helping at all. As of today, he can no longer move and is unable to speak at all - only facial expressions to tell them what he needs.

In less than an hour, I will call his room where Hospice will place the phone to my father’s ear and although he won’t be able to respond, I’ll express my love and sing softly to him one - last - time…

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Let me tell you how long it took me to write this short post as my body feels incredibly weak and consumed with heartache far more than any amount of words could express at this moment. My entire body aches and longs for some sort of reprieve but each hour that passes proves there will most likely be none anytime soon.  In the meantime, I feel incredibly ill inside and out. Ugh.

I spoke with my baby brother earlier this morning, providing an update regarding father’s current diagnosis. It broke my heart to hear his sobs on the other end and his cries of, “Oh my God. Oh my God! I felt my body slump against the brick wall outside in the courtyard as tears gushed, trying to find the words to encourage him. Obviously nothing I said felt good enough. I knew that. No words exist in the human vocabulary to comfort anyone of such grief during a time as this.

For now, my father struggles to breathe, is very weak and fighting so much unbearable pain as I sit here thousands of miles away, helpless and waiting…

Monday, September 26, 2011

Unexpected grief...

Although it was only a few hours ago of writing about such a lovely day, I unfortunately received a call from my aunt and the facility where my father currently is, informing me his condition is deteriorating quickly.  So much, that I've been told not to expect him to make it through the night.

I'm not sure if this is it or not, but my heart is very heavy with grief and sadness tonight.  I can't stop crying...

UPDATE:  It's mid-afternoon on Monday and just received a call from my aunt that my dad was placed on oxygen this afternoon as he can no longer breathe on his own.  I can't bare much more, really.  I feel completely helpless and guilty doing anything other than focusing on my father.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lovely Day

I've had quite the lovely today and much needed, let me tell you.  I climbed out of bed early for a Sunday morning, threw on my yoga pants and tee, and made my way to the gym.  You'd be surprised at the pep talk I give myself every morning, but let me tell you how great I feel physically and emotionally after a 40 minute workout.  Uh huh  No, I'm not one of those rock-hard girls nor do I want to be, but I like to be fairly fit.

After a rejuvenating shower I found myself in the kitchen mixing together my own special batter to make French Toast served with eggs, a small glass of Cranberry juice and the perfect cuppa of PG Tips.

Breakfast was followed by a casual half hour walk with the pups, reflecting on life, my father, friends, God and some challenging upcoming changes in my life.  Nothing could ever replace those moments of being able to seek solitude and peace when life seems to be barreling out of control at times.

Last but not least, I drove to one of my favourite local towns where I perused a few shops including a fabulous paper shop (see photos above), a garden store, and chocolate shop with the best dark chocolate truffles around.

Uh huh..this little gal had quite a lovely day.

Sunday Sketches

(Place photo of whimsical tree here.  Accidentally deleted.)

Hello - hello! Welcome to another wonderful Sunday Sketches.  I've been up and down this past week from an ongoing headache to fighting off a nasty cold.  So, above is an Autumn WIP.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this one, but it's been fun thus far.

Now, off to visit everyone else.  :)

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Friday, September 23, 2011

PPF - Live, Love, Laugh

(Photo accidentally deleted. Grr)

When I finally returned to work this week after being ill, a team meeting was held where everyone was asked to create a drawing of how they would like to see their life in 5-10 years.

The above sketch/painting (all with a marker which left black spots all over my hands, let me tell you!) was my creation.  We only had 10 minutes to draw something so it's nothing that spectacular art wise (e.g. my kitchen counter "accident") but it was a fun challenge and something very rare where I work!  :)

Some things in my boxes might not ever happen but hey, one can dream, yes?  My heart and passion is to see every single piece above eventually unfold in my life, all creating the perfect mix to LIVE -- LAUGH -- LOVE!

For more Paint Party Friday love, visit here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

From Me, With Love

(Photo accidentally deleted)

I've had this idea for months now to create some watercolour holiday tags.  As you can see above, I've started my first attempt at developing some.  They still need tweaking but not bad for someone who has  been sick all day.  Sad, but true and feeling like there's been no improvement since this morning.  Ugh.  But art seems to be the perfect coping mechanism right now to get me through the heartache and pre-grief (is there such a thing?) of my father's condition.

More hot cuppas and a snuzzly blanket or two, please.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Update on Dad

I just wanted to leave a quick note and apologize that I've not visited any Sunday Sketch peeps or bloggie friends.  I've had to deal with several very difficult calls today regarding my father, including two with him in which are potentially my last.

I've cried so much today that it's left me physically and emotionally exhausted.  Every part of me seems to hurt right now.

Please understand that my father comes first since he is dying and tomorrow is not promised.  It's terribly heartbreaking to hear how much he is currently suffering.  My prayers now consist of pleas for angels to take him home.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunday Sketches

It's time for another round of Sunday Sketches!  Uh huh.  I trust that this little note finds each and every one of you doing well and enjoying your weekend.  :)

After doing a few Christmas splotch birdies, it seemed appropriate to throw in a little of Autumn in the mix.  This one didn't exactly turn out as I'd hoped but still cute nevertheless.

OK, of to visit everyone else.  Happy SS!

This week's participants:
Please sign-up below to submit your sketch for this week, which will also allow others to stop and visit.

Grab the Sunday Sketches button here.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Pressing along, splotch birdies and all

Wanted to share one of my recent splotch birdies that I managed to squeeze out after a few days of emotional stuff going on with my dad.  Every time I think I've found a good balance to cope with the current situation, something else happens. My father's health is quickly deteriorating and I'm struggling to accept it again.  Ugh. Tears.

It's been a fairly quiet evening tonight and one that has been needed for the last few days.  I sip on one last hot cuppa for the evening and allow it's warmth to sooth my hurting heart tonight.  It won't be long until I crawl into a bed far too big for just me yet perfect enough to hide in and far beneath a pile of soft blankets that will 'embrace' me as I sleep away the night.

Oh, I almost forgot to link in to Paint Party Friday!  Make sure to stop by and take a peek at the other lovely inspirations.  :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Sketches

(Photo accidentally deleted)

Hello and WELCOME to another lovely Sunday Sketches.  I hope this little post finds each of you doing well.

Above are some Holiday ATC cards that I'm currently working on, along with a sneak peak of my new business cards that are in the works.  Woot!  :)

Happy SS everyone!

This week's participants:
Please sign-up below to submit your sketch for this week, which will also allow others to stop and visit.

Grab the Sunday Sketches button here.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Everything Alice

(Photos accidentally deleted.)

So, what's a pretty little lady like myself supposed to do when wanting to be creative and discover I'd forgotten my paper and pencils when heading out the door early this morning?  Grab a napkin and pen, of course!  Uh huh.

Nothing special but wanted to toss down an idea inspired by a lovely book entitled, "Everything Alice".  I stumbled upon it a few weeks back and fell in love with it.  There's even an adorable blog for it and can be found here.

Now, I'm off to take my camera and do some exploring and pick up a new box of tea!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Welcome to another week of Sunday Sketches!  It's been a delightfully cooler weekend thus far and this little chick is oh so loving it.  Uh huh.  Can you say, pre Autumn?

This week I couldn't get mushrooms out of my head so I decided to throw some ideas to paper.  The first draft was tossed quickly, however, I'm loving the final one above.

Happy SS everyone!  :)

This week's participants:
Please sign-up below to submit your sketch for this week, which will also allow others to stop and visit.

Grab the Sunday Sketches button here.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

My Sweet Saturdays

I love my Saturday mornings.  Although I rarely sleep in incredibly late, I allow myself to stay tucked away underneath a pile of comforters a wee bit longer than any weekday morning, and let me tell you how delightful that can be!  Uh huh.

But before too long, my inner being begins to long for that perfectly made morning hot cuppa.  I toss back the covers, slowly make my way to the kitchen and fill my silver teapot with water. Then I eagerly await the sound of that soft whistle calling out my name, welcoming me to a brand new day.

My Sweet Saturdays are filled with tea, raisin bread, cakes, croissants...whatever my heart needs to feel content.  Ahhh, such bliss.  :)

Stop by Sweet Saturdays for more lovely posts.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Tucked within

Photo by: MissAyleen

Here I sit in the early morning hours, curled up on my comfy sofa, embracing the perfect hot cuppa of English Breakfast.  Pulling my knees in closer, I close my eyes and begin to focus for a brief moment on the feelings and emotions that are tucked deep inside this heart of mine.  Tears begin to well up as I reflect back to sitting in a tattered mauve chair next to my father, holding his hand and telling him how much I love him.  To then hear him softly say in return, "I love you. You're so beautiful and precious. Don't you ever forget that."  More tears.

I continue to wade through the emotions that come along with facing grief, for it's not just the fact of having to watch someone you love die, but trying to prepare yourself in the process of it all for the when.  It's frankly impossible.  On top of that, guilt makes itself known in the most inconspicuous ways and before I know it, I'm blindsided and left with a heavy heart for not being by my father's side every waking moment. Ugh.

Every night I turn to look at my phone multiple times, fearing a missed call.  I struggle with allowing myself to fully slip back into life's regular routine for fear the moment that I do, I'll receive another blow of bad news.  It may sound pathetic, but it's reality and what I wake to each morning.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Autumn Punkins Complete

I'm happy to announce that the two Autumn WIPs I was working on this past week or so are now complete. In fact, the Midnight Pumpkin shown above has already sold!  :)

Happy Monday and wishing all of my bloggy friends a wonderful week! to catch up on all of the Sunday Sketches! I do apologize for the delay in visiting.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Hello and WELCOME to another Sunday Sketches.  First off, let me thank Heather of Rose Hill Designs once more for hosting our lovely co-op while I was away the last two weeks visiting my very ill father and all.

I've been trying to focus on some new handmade watercolour cards for my Etsy shop with the holidays quickly approaching. As most of you know, I'm a lover of Autumn through Christmas and have managed to produce, to much of my amazement, some nice cards thus far.  For now, above are some more splotch birdies.  :)

Now, off to visit everyone else.  Happy SS! :)

This week's participants:
Please sign-up below to submit your sketch for this week, which will also allow others to stop and visit.

Grab the Sunday Sketches button here.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Autumn WIPs

I'm really longing for Autumn to arrive in my cozy, little town. As I sit here with a hot cuppa in hand, I close my eyes and imagine the leaves turning to their familiar golden yellow, bright red and crisp orange colours.  Ahhh.  Oh well, until then, here's an update on my current WIPs that are coming along better than expected.

Happy Paint Party Friday!  Make sure to hop over to here and visit everyone else's lovely projects.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Afternoon Doodles

Just a few doodles this afternoon as I slowly recoup and settle back down into life as much as possible, considering things.  I've been wanting to start work on some Autumn and Birthday cards, so here's a start.

PS Thank you to Lori at Elvie Studio for her inspiration on the birthday chicks.  Of course, hers are far more adorable than mine could ever be, but I certainly loved the creative challange. :)

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Teach Me

©2010-2011 ~Potapova

Before I left to visit my father, my good friend, Anne, shared with me that facing death is one of the most difficult things to do and that its impact on an individual is pretty much permanent.  Nevertheless, I still tried to prepare myself before stepping onto the plane, but let me tell you there wasn't anything I could have done to truly ready myself for what I faced this past week.

Death doesn't just touch you once and then it's gone.  It touches you in many different ways and almost always grabs ahold of you when you least expect it.  Its grip can be emotional and/or physical.  Every time I felt like I could breathe, that the "worst" was over, another blow came along and reminded all over again of what I was facing.  Sometimes, it was quite crippling and took a few hours to recover.

Since I've returned home, it's been said that I look different and how my appearance comes across gentle and beautiful in a new way.  At first, I was puzzled and then immediately remembered the words..."Death changes a person in ways you could never imagine."

I believe it has impacted me through my father in ways that I'll never forget.  However, will I allow it to haunt me or allow it to continue to teach me how fragile life is, to never take things for granted, big or small?

NOTE:  Please know, my father has not yet passed.  He is very, very ill and is dying.  This trip is the last time I know I'll see him.  Facing that and how death is consuming him has been extremely difficult.  Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Once again, I've asked Heather of Rose Hill Designs to host our weekly co-op.  I arrived home very late last night from visiting with my father, but need some time to recoup.

It was great to see everyone still sharing and encouraging one another in art last week and I'm looking forward to viewing your new pieces again this week.

So, please pop on over to Heather's and join in for another wonderful week of Sunday Sketches.  And yes, Sunday Sketches will be back here next week. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Saying Goodbye...

Late afternoon is approaching and I'm now sitting alone and facing the fact of having said goodbye to my father just a few hours ago.  This week has been one incredible whirlwind of emotions; good and bad.  Although I tried to prepare myself in advance, it never touched the surface of what I faced over the last five days.

When I first walked into my father's room on Monday, I felt numb and not yet ready to face the reality of things.  But as the curtain was pulled and my father turned to look at me, every mental support structure within my mind began to crumble.  I walked up to my barely recognizable dad, gently put my arms around him and we both cried for what seemed like forever.

As the week rolled by, subtle things began to catch my attention reminding me of my father's condition.  Things such as jaundice skin that was ice cold to the touch, bones protruding all over from significant weight loss, eyes that were no longer a bright blue but grey and clouded over, and so on.

Sitting here in the airport from a delayed flight, my heart is completely heavy.  Let me tell you how many times I have now broken down here in my seat, running all the memories of this past week through my mind.

I will find myself curled up under a pile of blankets in my own bed tonight but it will never provide the comfort of such grief and loss found in my heart at this very moment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday

It's my birthday today and I will be celebrating it with my father, as well as my aunt and uncle.  The best gift today is getting to create one of the last few memories with him and sharing it with you.  Nothing could ever take the place of that.  :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flying to Daddy

Sunday, August 14th, 2011, 9:01 PM

It’s approaching late evening on this Sunday night. My stomach is extremely queasy as I try to mentally prepare myself for what I’m about to see/face. I take a peek out the window to my right and catch a glimpse of the tops of white, billowy clouds that only those at ‘home’ can see from below. For a brief moment, I feel lucky and blessed to capture such an incredible view.

As I travel home to see my father for the very last time, thoughts tumble and swirl through my weary mind. My tummy rumbles and I shiver in my seat, as I long for the solitude of my cozy little apartment and a hot cuppa to soothe one aching heart and soul. I want to climb into my big, lofty bed piled high with blankets, cover up my head and sleep until it feels safe to step out into the world once again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Sketches w/Heather

Hello and happy Sunday Sketches to all of my bloggie peeps. :) While I'm away from home, I've asked Heather of Rose Hill Designs to host our weekly co-op. So, please, pop on over to Heather's and continue to play along. Your art will be very uplifting for my father and I. Hugs to everyone and thank you, Heather.

Heading Home...

Photo by: ©2010-2011 ~aimeelikestotakepics

It's been a long few days since I was last out here in the bloggy world.  Please know how much I appreciate everyone's ongoing thoughts and prayers during such a difficult time.  It means more than my heart could ever express.

I was able to speak to my father only for a brief moment, but long enough for him to cry and plead with me to get there ASAP.  I was heartbroken and knew it said alot about his current condition.  I'm thankful as out of nowhere two people offered immediately to cover the cost of my flight so I can go see my father one last time.  My gratitude for such kindness makes me completely speechless.

I will be leaving soon but plan to touch base with my peeps as much as possible.

If you desire, you can make a donation to the charity of my father's choice:

I received a call on Thursday morning informing me that my dad has 3 choices before him regarding his health and what to do.  Not easy decisions, let me tell you.

1.  Surgery - He can opt, yet again, for another surgery - this one being a very serious and critical surgery.  It's not a guarantee for anything but could possibly give him some more time.

2.  Hospital stay - The doctors would admit my father to a special hospital where he would be placed on medications to make him comfortable as possible and have staffing to care for him until he passes.

3.  Home stay - The doctors would place my father on medications to make him comfortable as possible until he passes.

Not easy decisions to be faced with, let me tell you, but we're all pushing through as best we can.

Once again, thank you for your kind words, love and support.

In my absence, Heather has been so gracious to host Sunday Sketches while I'm away.  Look for a special post on Sunday, providing directions, etc.  Although I won't be participating, I'll definitely be visiting everyone for some cheer and love.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Appreciating Life

I love the photo above as it’s one of the many taken the last time I saw my father. How ironic that during that time in my life, my father was taking care of me, as I was recovering from major liver surgery. He loved photography; a passion we both have in common and for the first (and only time) I was able to share that with him.

Isn’t it funny how it sometimes takes devastating things to get us to actually see life and the beauty contained within it? How many times do we take our life, as well as those we love, for granted, not giving a second thought that today may be the last time we have the opportunity to give a hug, a peck on the cheek or to simply say – I love you?

I sat on the floor of the hallway at work not long ago this morning, tears streaming, as my father’s doctor informed me that the results from yesterday’s procedure showed his cancer is at the worst stage possible. Because of this, they're encouraging family to call or see him over the next week or so.

The chapter, “Good bye, daddy” is about to close in my book of life, so I’d like to end it with a few words to my dad:

Dear daddy,

Although life brought much heartache from the very beginning, I’m so thankful that God spared your life long enough to heal things between us. Thank you for all of the wonderful, loving and encouraging words over the last several months; asking me for your forgiveness for the things you had done and wished you had done - telling me how much you love me and how much you are proud of me and the woman I have become.

The BEST memory you could have ever given me was allowing me to pray with you as you gave your heart back to Jesus.

See you in Heaven, daddy.

Your little girl xo

Monday, August 08, 2011

Needing my bloggie peeps...TEARS

As of last week, my father’s blockages have significantly gotten worse, along with not being able to eat, sleep, etc. - for weeks now.

I just received a call that my father is in severe pain and is being transferred to a hospital a few hours away that can better meet his current needs.  I was also informed that recent test results show the radiation and chemo he went through not long ago did NOT help and that his cancer is actually worse than even my father or our family realized. Ugh.

I'm sobbing at my desk and would appreciate your thoughts and prayers to get through this work day.

Thank you.

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