Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Made In China

I hate shopping. Well, let me qualify that. I hate shopping for anything other than what can be found in a book store, art supply store or stationary shop. Mr. P. has been kind enough to take the girls to the mall to do their shopping in the past. He doesn't like shopping either but is a great dad. When I mentioned this to him, "do you know....I really hate shopping" he laughed and said he could tell by the fact that my 15 year old sweatpants are being held at the waist by elastic bands. (I only wear them at home after all and they are my favourite!)

We all went to the mall together because the girls just had to get something with their Christmas money from their various relatives or they were going to burst. My little Diva's like to shop for clothes and jewelry. I just don't get it, but oh well.

We were walking in a long skinny store which was sporting cheap jewelry, hair paraphernalia, stuffed toys etc. I was checking out the front of the store when I could hear a loud, but high little six year old voice from the back of the store say in disgust,

"Oh my goodness! Junk. All junk from China. Look at this, China, China, China. What crap! Even the stuffed animals are from China! It's all junk." she went on this way in a good rant from the very back of the store to the very front where I was standing and back again.

I have to say I was amused and not embarrassed. The older I get the more it takes to embarrass me.

In the past she's watched the news about recalled toys, jewelry and foods manufactured in China. Shes had her own culled due to potential dangers. She's also listened to adult conversations about these subjects. It's just funny to see a little version of me (she is the only one that looks like a clone of me too) ranting about something just like the big version does on the blog.

Oh ya, and she put her French teacher on notice before Christmas that she wouldn't eat any of the candy canes the teacher was handing out as rewards because they were full of hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and they were just junk. The teacher (a mighty large one) told her that a little candy now and then is good for you. Four of Four then lectured her on the evils of trans fats. When the teacher didn't want to listen and walked away from Four, she told me, she followed her and told her again all about what was wrong with those particular candies. Four only eats natural organic candy canes without trans fat! Doesn't that teacher read labels! (snicker!) I think we've created a monster!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Sorry, No Rant Today!

It was a close one. I had the radio on my favourite talk radio station while doing kitchen chores. I hate cooking so being in the kitchen is never a happy time for me anyways. I was listening to a continuous string of callers complaining about the public transit strike and how we should get rid of the whole publicly owned company and start again, or have the federal government step in and legislate a vote. It said that the union leader won't let the members vote since they will probably vote to go back. The old boys club will no longer control the system. I didn't get worked up. I didn't get angry. I was still feeling positive. Maybe I can go back to listening to the radio again and still stay positive! Then a commercial came on.

".....tune in on New Years Eve and New Years Day for our round table discussions on the newsmakers of 2008!" the announcer stated excitedly.

"....the resignation of Stephane Dion, the transit strike, city taxes......" blah, blah, blah.

I felt a twinge. Okay, if I'm to be honest as well as positive then....it was much more than a twinge. I started to feel a good and proper blood boil simmering. I could read the signs. My body was preparing for the inevitable anger that was to ensue. I reached over and quickly turned off the blasted thing. There. Still happy.

Someone the other day had told me that my mother of all rants had fuelled her mirth. It actually inspired her to look into the political situation since she wasn't a regular follower. I'm glad she had chosen to do this as I think we really need to keep an eye on those slimy political creatures or who knows where the country will end up. I'm also glad that she found the rant amusing. If you can't go to a blog and be amused or entertained then it really doesn't have a point. But for the sake of my happiness and sanity I'm not quite ready to get that mad again. I think I want to be ignorant of our political situation for a while. There isn't one party, including the current leaders, that I want to see running the land. I want to stay oblivious for a time. I want to stay happy.

Friday, 26 December 2008

The Day After

Well, it was a lovely Christmas season. In keeping with my new upbeat live style I'll tell you all of the things that made it so wonderful.

There was a time when I "loved" to fuss over detail. Now I satisfy that compulsion through working the fine details in my art. The Christmas tree had to be just so or it wasn't right. The gifts would have to be decked out in bows and ribbons with tags with names attached written in a fancy script. Christmas morning I'd be showered, brushed, made up and decked out before the gifts were opened since I knew it was being video taped. I'd feel bad about going to dinner somewhere and not provide something for the host. I'd pitch in and help to either prepare or clean up afterwords. Well, not so much now.

The kids let us sleep 'till 7:30 am. That's not normal I realize, but I didn't wake them to complain. After a long day of lazy, we headed out to my brother and sister-in-law's for dinner. My parents and Grandmother were also there. We arrived at 5pm sharp and went right to the dinner table. Talk about timing! I brought a squash. It had a face drawn on it from Halloween. I felt a bit funny about bringing a used squash for dinner, but it wasn't like they were going to eat the face. Since dinner was being served it was too late to cook it. Darn.

I was seated beside my almost 96 year old Grandmother, Rita. Yes, if you've read my blog in the past, she is the one who wears leather, rocks to Billy Idol and keeps telling us how lovely our dog is as if she had just met him for the first time, every 5 minutes.

We've started a new tradition in recent years. Every Christmas dinner I bring the crackers. That's the blow up, filled with a prize, corny joke and stylin' party hat kind of cracker, not the needing a glass of water 'cause I just stuffed my face and boy that horseradish dip is hot kind. My mother also bought crackers apparently because two is not enough for everybody.

I opened the first cracker as everybody was vying for time to belt out their corny joke. I reached for my second. Apparently Rita didn't realize this year we all had two or more lying beside each plate. Let me just say when I let that baby blow, Rita just about hit the ceiling. It's amazing how fast a 96 year old can move when she wants to. Nothing wrong with that woman's hearing!

I enjoyed sitting beside her and seeing her pleasure at visiting my brothers brand new home again and again and again. Just as she has every other time she's visited for the past two years that he's lived there. She's happy to see him settled and doing well, but just keeps forgetting she's been there before.

For the first time ever in the history of a family dinner, we managed to make it through without taking about hemorrhoids, penis', farts or other bodily functions.

We moved to the living room and took pictures as we do on every occasion. We always have to get a picture of everyone with my Grandmother because....well, you know. She's 96 almost! She'll probably outlive us all. If she's anything like her mother, she'll be here for a long time to come. It was great to be able to spend that time with her.

I got to sit on the couch with my "5th" child who picks on all of the other real children until they're all hopping on top of us and he's "accidentally" hitting me with his elbow. Last year we were at his office party for the kids when he started playing knuckles with one of the bigger kids. He held his hand over top of me so that the child would hit me instead of him. When I had the shock of a hard smack out of the blue I looked over at him at smacked him as hard as I possibly could (Mr. P I mean!). He yelled like a baby and feigned surprise that I would abuse him like that. By this time all of his coworkers were staring at Mr. P and his shrew of a wife. That wasn't the first time either, yet I somehow found myself seated beside his yet again.

We made it home safely and managed to make it through the whole night before the next bought of stomach flu hit the next child in the family. It was a happy Christmas! Hope yours was too!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Well I'm back. I wasn't sure if I was leaving the blog, or just starting with a new positive outlook. I got tired of being cranky. Venting on the blog was just fueling my wrath. I decided maybe it was time to quit for good.

I said a prayer the other night. It seems like all around us here in my country we are seeing the worst side of everything and everyone. On a personal level we had quite a bit of money stolen from our account due to a compromised debit card as did a very large amount of other individuals over the weekend.

I stood in line at Starbucks trying to pay with said debit card. It kept getting denied. Apparently the police had notified the institution and they froze all the accounts with suspicious activities. I didn't even know our account had been compromised until all this happened. A young very kind stranger stepped forward, once I told them to cancel my rather large order, quietly paid my bill, wished me Merry Christmas and darted off. I tried to stop him, it was much too generous of him, but he wouldn't back down. This was a shock I was not expecting. My view of people has been less than positive lately. In one single second a perfect stranger made me see how wonderfully kind and unselfish people can be! I say to him THANK YOU!

My daughter hurt her finger and by the time she arrived home on the bus it was swollen to double the size of her others and immobile. I'll skip the stupid and potentially dangerous instruction that the teacher on yard duty suggested to her. I was irate to say the least. We made it from start to finish in and out of the hospital in 1 hour and 15 minutes! That's got to be some kind of record for Canada. The doctor was incredible and had her loving her visit so much she wanted to come back sometime;-0 THANK YOU to the kind Doctor!

I was standing in a very kind and generous bakery owners shop exchanging one of my art pieces for the one that will hang for the next little while. A gentleman walked in whom I recognized instantly as an established painter who has one of his works also hanging. I had never met him before. He immediately walked over to the new painting I had just hung and moaned, dipping down towards the floor slightly. We thought he was having problems walking since he is an older gentleman and appears to be unstable on his feet. Turned out though he was moaning with pleasure as he looked at the painting "Oh Rats!" He continued to moan loudly and mutter to himself in French. The owner graciously introduced me, I was incredibly shy about the whole thing. He gushed, complimented and kissed me. He also shook hands like a young African-American teenager, but maybe that's a French thing too. Adventurer would know. I told him how much his positive comments meant to me since he is an artist. I THANK BOTH THE BAKERY OWNER IMMENSELY AND HIM!

God has shown me the good and bad since I prayed. The good definitely outweighed the bad!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Time for new beginnings.


Saturday, 13 December 2008

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about what I did. I sent a Christmas card to my elderly prim and proper Aunts about Frosty picking his nose. Sigh. What the hell was I thinking. Then I remembered one of my cousins pictured looking so lovely in a nurses uniform. This is the card he sends if they get sick.

One Valentines day he sent all of his elderly, prim and proper Aunts a Valentines Day card with him in the buff (well, in a flesh coloured pair of bikini underwear so he says;-) lounging around with a large potted fern in front of his dangly bits.

I come from an interesting family to say the least. A very large extended family made up of characters such as this. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Grandma "C" e-mailed this to me and I had to post it because it's something that actually made me laugh. (I appear to be having another cranky day;-0)

A Christmas Story for people having a bad day:

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce
toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the
Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed
Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were
about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out,
Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the
toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of
rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all
the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally
dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces
all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice
had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door,
yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a
lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to
stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the littl e angel on top of the Christmas

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

These pictures are for Bella Rum and her Dad who want snow over at

6 years ago mid-December I was outside jogging in the evening in shorts and a t-shirt. Yes, in the same city. It was a struggle to get a sprinkling of snow even for Christmas in years of late. Last year and again this, there is no shortage of the stuff! Then it rains, as it's supposed to today when it goes above zero, then freeze and turn into ice pellets and then snow again. It was -28 celcius (-18.4 F) yesterday with a brutal wind!

By the way, that shot is of the street. What street? Exactly!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

To all my Blogger friends, consider yourself Christmas carded.

This is the mock-up for this years card. I'm going with one this year because....well, frankly I'm lazy. I didn't hand draw, colour and put sparkles and stickers on 60 plus cards this year because....well, frankly I just don't feel like it. A month of creating original individualized art by hand was enough for a few years.

What does the theme for this card have to do with the real reason for the season? (That would be Jesus people!) Not a darn thing. It's hard to make a funny Jesus card in good taste, so you get frosty this year.

Off topic....funny story....
I was playing Scrabble with my 13 year old and 11 year old. One of One (13) read a word out loud that Two of Two had placed on the board.
"POOUND, huh, that's not a word Two!" she scolds.
"Um, One, that would be 'POND'." I correct.
"Oh" she says, now embarrassed that she can't read this simple word, "I couldn't tell with the "O" upside down with that!"

Friday, 5 December 2008

Okay. I'm not angry anymore. I'm sad. I don't know why. I expect after such a blow out it's my body just readjusting.

I sat down at my art desk and started up on the beach picture I had previously put aside. I imagine I'll be looking at this one for the next few months. So much so that I'm going to want to slap the kid every time I have to look at her. I won't though...you know, bad anger and all that.

My work is now hanging at the shop in Aylmer. The owner had her's framed herself and it looks beautiful in the frame she chose. That's not one I've posted anywhere for privacy purposes. I think that it's my favourite.

I've launched my art site. You can see the link in the sidebar. So much for anonymity.

Also, if you live nearby and need hay there's a link to a friends farm. Funny story associated with that:

The kids and Mr. P. went out to visit friends at their beefalo farm. There had been an auction up the road and there was leftover livestock that no one wanted. Four roosters. Mr. and Mrs. Beefalo took them in. The Mrs. warned the kids that one in particular was quite feisty and liked to attack ankles much to her chagrin. Avoid the roosters!

Within a short period of time there were 4 crazy roosters racing around the yard with 4 little girls in chase. Not long after that there were 4 kids cuddling and holding roosters much to their (the roosters) delight. Then the children disappeared. It was getting late and all were invited in to tea in the farmhouse. Well, the people were at least. Not the roosters. They were left behind outside with free run of the farm.

Foggy Bottom Farms has a farmhouse in the form of a long bungalow with low windows. On this particular day Foggy Bottom Farms had a long bungalow with low windows, 4 little girls snacking inside and 4 silly roosters glaring in those low windows crowing, frantically pacing and kicking up a fuss demanding the kids return and take up the chase.

Sadly the roosters couldn't take up permanent residence. They went to other farmers once they found out how much fun it was to dig up the vegetable and flower gardens.

Who knew roosters were so much fun!?

P.S. Isn't that drumstick just calling too you?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Mr. Hunter Black In Progress

If Blogger were a person, I'd say he was on drugs! For some reason Blogger was determined to post this picture sideways, but I finally figured it out and here he is. This is my first coloured pencil rendering of a canine. It actually seems like it will take a whole lot less time than pretty much all of my other paintings. Doesn't hurt that it's a whole lot smaller than most as well!

He's being created with various brands of artist quality coloured pencils (I've expanded from working exclusively with Prismacolor and am loving it!) on Stonehenge black paper.

Oh, and yes, he's as devilish as he looks!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

All Done

Big Sigh! Onto the next!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Re-Posting of Beat the Bus

I came across this when I went back to the start of my blog to see how long I've been blogging. I'm re-posting it just for old times sake.

New Game Show

I'm not sure if any of you have heard, but my husband is hosting a new game show, called "Beat the Bus." Here's a partial transcript of the first episode:

Gid'day eh! I'd like to welcome my 3 lovely contestants and their hiddeous looking coach, who apparently just dragged herself out of bed after about 4 hours sleep, for this weeks to Beat the Bus. Elsie is a grade 5 student from Very Religious Catholic School. Tara is a grade 3 student from the same school and finally Karen is a grade one student also from VRC school. (applause)

And let's also give a warm welcome to my assistant Tessie (applause) Who peed in her pull up last night! Well done Tessie! Tessie's job is to attempt to foil the groups progress by adding to the work load.

As you know, on beat the bus, the object of the game is to get completely ready for school in 3 minutes before the bus comes after sitting on your behinds and fiddling around in the hour you had previously to get ready but chose not to use wisely.

Are our contestants ready? Letttt's plaaaaay BEAT THE BUS! (applause)

Coach Sandi: CRAP! The bus is here in three minutes. Let's get moving people! We have an extreme kid make over to do, let's move it, move it, move it!

Tara: Mom, did you see my sandwich?

Coach Sandi: I made it, I handed it to you, if you didn't eat it or put it in your lunch bag then retrace your steps and FIND IT NOW!

Coach Sandi: Karen, get dressed. Karen, get dressed. Karen! GET DRESSED!!!!!

Coach: Elsie, hair, teeth and shoes, NOW! And stop talking to your fish! I'm sure he'll get over the trauma of your leaving him to go to school for the day.

Tessie: Naked bum, Naked bum. Look I have a naked bum. I go to the bus too mommy?

Coach: I can't get you dressed now, I'm looking for Tara's sandwich.

OOOOH! Doesn't look good for the MacIntyre team! Only one kid is dressed and they've lost a sandwich. That will put them behind! And Tessie has thrown them a real curve ball. She's on her way out the door naked to go and wait for the bus. What will coach Sandi do? Will she chase the pre-schooler or work on the sandwich problem? OH! Okay, okay. She choose the pre-schooler! She's searching through a basket of clothes for a pair of underwear.....and YES! she's found them. Good work coach. Now she's looking for a dress.....and another quick success....but, wait! Oh no! Tessie just through them another curve ball...she doesn't like that dress! She says it's "too fit." Quick thinking Tessie. She's wiggling, she's wiggling, she's throwing a tantrum! But coach is ready with a comeback.....

Coach Sandi: Put on this dress right now or I'll, I'll....bring you back to the Tessie store and get one that fits this dress! And don't you dare wipe that boog on the wall! Get a Kleenex!

Quick thinking coach! She's putting on the dress! But is refusing to wear the shoes....okay, okay, now coach is reassessing her options. She's staring at the boog, but decides to clean it up later....she's leaving Tessie and moving back to Karen. She's yelling, she's yelling some more....Karen is smiling and has just passed gas in coaches face. Karen is laughing, still laughing Coach doesn't look happy! Oh no! look out Karen! Coach is ready to pull out the big guns I think!

Coach Sandi: No computer this weekend if you aren't dressed in 2 seconds flat! And Tara did you find your sandwich yet? Elsie, you looked like you rubbed the butter all over your head! Did you actually get any on your muffin this morning? And wash your face! You have chocolate all over it.

Coach Sandi: Son of a....labrador! Elsie and Tara, did you study your words for your spelling test again last night? What? NOOO! Who's agenda haven't I signed. All of them!!!!? What do you mean you have a book club order due today Tara?

Coach Sandi looks like she's loosing control! She's off to look for the sandwich....she checks the basement, again, the bathroom, not there, the other kid's rooms, nope. Not there either. She looks at the dog...she smells his breath...no, no balogna smell there. She looks....disgusted. She re-checks Tara's room. BINGO! She finds her sandwich tucked under her pillow! She raises the sandwich in the air in show of victory with a stellar smile! (applause)

Coach Sandi: Ok Karen, teeth shoes and school bag, now! I'm going out to the bus with greasy and her sandwich losing sidekick with the bad bed head. Get ready NOW! You better be out there before the bus, or else!

Elsie: But mom, you're only wearing your jeans and bra!

Keen observation Elsie! Coach is running to the bed room. She's yelling at the kids not to leave the house before she's ready, because they may get abducted or hit by a car if they're out there alone. She throws on a shirt. She grabs a brush and runs out to the bus. Now Karen is done, Coach is brushing Karen's hair. Karen is yelling, louder, louder....a neighbour opens the door to see what's going on. Coach is throwing spelling words at Elsie and Tara while she brushes faster and faster. Another stay at home mom runs by with her crew on herway to the stop for the public school bus.

Other Coach: I see your right on time and organized today too! (hysterical laughing)

Now coach Sandi is snearing, but turns to flash a smile. She's smelling Karen's breath. She's yelling, yelling....Karen runs in to brush her teeth...but, here comes the bus! Will they make it? Yes! Karen's back. Hugs and kisses all round. Coach recovers nicely with a smile and good morning to the driver while straightening her hair.

SCORE: Let's see how our contestants did. They get full points for making it to the bus on time, fully dressed with all of their equipment, and bonus points for studying spelling before boarding the bus.

We have to unfortunately subtract points though because coach has thrown on her low cut in the back shirt, inside out and backwards, thus exposing her bra for all to see. (Not to mention a wee bit too much flesh!) She's also bare footed and has forgotten to put on her make-up. A definate no-no leading to substantial deductions in her score!

Even though they don't win the main prize of appearing organized and a model for the neighbourhood, coach does win the runner up prize of sitting down for 5 minutes to finish her coffee with our lovely assistant, Tessie, using her as a jungle gym before running the errands and preparing for her volunteer work later in the day.

Congratulations coach! On winning a 5 minute break.

Disclaimer: The above mentioned prose is meant to provide a humorous look to at the lives of the MacIntyre family. It is by no means a completely accurate account of their daily routine. The coach is happy to be at home and loves the children very much even though she has written this. The coach realizes she is lucky and does not require a lecture pertaining to the above mentioned story. Any resemblance to persons living or dead are purely intentional. Names have been changed to protect the identities of the participants. Any comments can be sent to biteme@hotmail.com. This e-mail address is not an actual e-mail address, it's only there for your amusement....so don't really e-mail me there....unless you want to, knowing that I won't get it.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

click on photo to get a closer look at the little slimy friend (oh ya, and the frog too;-)

It's hard to show the true colour of this picture without a sunny day, since I know squat about photography. I can't use the flash, it shines off of the wax in the pencil and makes a big white blob in the middle of the picture. Guess I know which course I should take next!

Just little details to finish now. The hand and do a little makeover in a few spots. I look forward to the next one and all of the frustration that comes with it!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Now the little itty bitty picky little details. Stripes on the remaining part of the shirt, hands, touch ups to the face in parts I'm not quite happy with and finally the frog. I've been putting off working on the frog. I've not worked with green's much since the workshops at Allison Fagan's studio. I'm not familiar with the various shades of greens in any of the coloured pencil companies. Means more time consuming testing before actually being able to properly ascertain which ones I need to apply and in what order.

See that little tool on the left side of the picture? An electric eraser that was a gift. I'm about to give it a run for it's money!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Here's my little work space. It's a cold sunny morning. Perfect for working, yet here I sit on the computer instead! Off I go.

Friday, 24 October 2008

This is yet another I've started. It's part of my "Kids Holding Disgusting Creatures" series. I'm thinking my next one will have a tarantula in it. I love spiders and can't leave them out!

I've accidentally worked this painting on the rough side of the paper. It sucks up a lot more pencil and takes more elbow grease, but will be different, so that's a good thing I guess. I'd like to think that sometimes great things happen through accidents, but since I'm a "glass half empty" kind of gal....well, I can't.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Hello again darlings,

I wasn't expecting to be posting again so soon! The next couple of weeks looks like a real thrill. I'll be heading out to Boston, England and possibly either Sweden or Switzerland. Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll look as fabulous there as I did in Korea!

Hugs and Kisses,

Vicki Stripes

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

I've delivered my first portrait to a client for review. Big sigh. She was happy with it despite the fact that I had not yet chosen a colour to paint in for the background. I was expecting to consult with her and then complete the piece. She liked it just white the way it was. I forgot to photograph it. Live and learn. Once any touch ups are done that may be requested, it will hang in a business on the dark side of the river.

Now that I've started a new piece all of the feelings of self-doubt, uselessness and self-depreciating thoughts can resume until I approach the end stages of the next painting.

Friday, 17 October 2008

On to Day Three

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Two of Four

The summer pictures paid off! I've started one of Two of Four. It's on "Madstone" paper. I'm thinking I may not use it again! I only bought it because they were out of Stonehenge at the local Wallack's. I hate to try to venture downtown with a vehicle just for a piece of paper at the other location, so, oh well. Better luck next time.

I'm finding my style has changed slightly to adapt to the new paper. This picture will be a more free, airy kind of painting. Not so photo-realistic.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Cannon at the back of Parliament Hill. Guess where it's pointing....(giggle) .... Quebec!

Yeah Harper!

I know adventurer, but, I couldn't vote for the Bloq. They're only in Quebec, for Quebec and I'm not French enough for that yet!

As Mr. P. says, "How can Elizabeth May be truely green when she doesn't look like she walks, bikes, or runs anywhere." There's a couch potato if ever there was one. Plus she's convinced that anyone that doesn't agree with her is just plain wrong. (I think that way about my beliefs, but in my case I'm right;-)

Ahhhh, dear, dear Stephane Dion. I couldn't understand him in French or English. I think that we're taxed enough without adding some bogus carbon tax boondoggle. Plus he was just so all round silly I had to giggle every time he popped up on t.v. The Preston Manning of the Liberals. Maybe he needs a makeover just like Preston.

Jack Layton, among other things, was promising more doctors and nurses. WHAT? Was he going to create them in his lab? How can you hire MORE doctors and nurses when there aren't any TO hire! Nice little trick that. Make a promise to do something that can't be done right now, but can't come back on you.

Above all else, if I hear one more person whining about carbon credits and environmental change (notice it's not called global warming anymore!) I'm going to have to slap them silly! I've been sitting here freezing my tata's off after one of the colder, wetter summers we've had of recent years while places like China and India are polluting the world and poisoning the people with their little chocolate coins(China). Go bug them first. I show no pitty for any country that poisons such important staples such as milk, grains and chocolate!

That's my rant.

Yeah Stephen!

Monday, 13 October 2008


Bike path under Parliament Hill. That's the Supreme Court (of very ridiculously ridiculous Liberal judges) of Canada on the Left. Quebec on the right.

Oh, and just because I can, a little plug for tomorrows election....GO STEPHEN HARPER!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Parliament Hill

After a humbling morning of expressive drawing of a nude figure in art class, I decided I needed to perk myself up. I haven't enjoyed the photography side of drawing until recently, but, now the bug has bitten me!

I've been in the Parliament buildings, through, on top of, in front, underneath and at the sides of Parliament Hill, but never directly behind. I had heard tell of a feral cat sanctuary directly at the back of the Parliament buildings. After trudging along with about 30lbs of drawing and camera equipment I was about ready to give up! I had found a daycare, oodles of foreign speaking tourists, statues coated in bird poop, RCMP officers and Public Servants, but no Stray cat joint. Just as I was ready to give up, there it was! It actually does exist. I've gotta say though, turns out the MP's aren't the only fat cats up there!

P.S. Doesn't that raccoon look like the cat that ate the canary!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Awk! I've Been Framed!

Ok. Not framed quite yet but, finally complete and at the framing place. I get to do the actual framing when the supplies come in to help keep costs down.

Now, by the way, would not be the time to tell me that you see a little something that should be changed.

Big Sigh (of relief!)

On to my next victim....I mean subject;-)

I was just thinking....maybe I could make this my "thing." You know, my gimmick.

"Why exterminate when you can perpetuate! Have your portrait painted with your favourite roaches, rat, spider or other household vermin! Keep their memory alive long after you eradicate them."

hmmm.....it was just a thought.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Gasp! She's nude!

Started my first art class today. Expressive Figure Drawing. No pictures to post. Nude models and all. When they asked if anyone hadn't worked from live models before I had to admit that I have only worked from photographs. I was the only one. I also volunteered that I was used to bringing the photos right up close to my face while drawing. The model told me not to worry about it, she showered before the class.

There were three men in the class. Regulars from what I could tell. The teacher was familiar with a couple of them. I thought I really sucked at the drawing at first. Until I took a look at the work of a couple of the guys. Two of the men were obviously there for the nude show since their artistic talent was questionable.

We ran through various poses with the longest being 15 minutes and the shortest a minute. I went from taking 40 to 100 hours of painting a detailed coloured pencil piece at home and in workshops to drawing a complete figure, shading and all in three minutes. You can imagine how many poses I was actually able to finish. It was good though. It did loosen me up. I came home and scribbled much of the rest of my current painting in record time. Now I have to find a happy medium.

Oh, and for any guy out there wanting to know.....ya, the model was young and hot! Wonder what the male model will look like.

I leave you with some Inuksuk's with the peace tower on Parliament hill visible in the background. THIS is something pretty to look at on the Ontario side. Yeah, finally!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

One of Four with Willie

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! 3/4 done. I start my art class tomorrow at the art school. Expressive figure drawing. Live models and all. I wonder if they'll be nude?;-) I think it's safe to say that there will be no rats there. At least not modelling.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Hello again Darlings,

Well, I finally got out and about! Just a small tour, but great to enjoy the sunny hot weather. Only one more day to do and I'll be back home where I hear it's miserably rainy and cool.

Here I am about to visit the temple.

Hugs and kisses Darlings!

Vicki Stripes
This is one of the smaller squashes from the garden. Butternut. The squash, not me. I've never had luck growing these babies before and now I have a couple the size of Toronto. I think I'll carve them for Halloween instead of the pumpkins. They didn't come out quite as spectacularly.
This fellow let me get within a couple of feet of him. He's been taking the neighbourhood trees apart one by one. Unbelievable that one woodpecker can do so much damage. At least I can tell the neighbours I shot him. They just don't have to know it was only with a camera;-)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

South Korea

Hello Darlings!

Well sweeties, we made it safely to Korea. Sadly I sit in a hotel room in a suitcase while Mr. P. is enjoying lovely landscapes such as these. I'm plotting my escape as we speak!

Mr. P says that he's sick of noodles and rice. It could be worse! At least with noodles, he knows what he's eating.

Ciao for now loves,

Vicki Stripes,


Friday, 5 September 2008

Half way there

This painting is about half way done now. Can't wait to finish. Yes, she is cuddling a really big rat. Yes, he liked it. No he never bit. Yes, he reallly loved chocolate too!

Hello Darlings!

It's time to dust me off and take me traveling again. I'm heading out to Korea tomorrow with Mr. P. sweeties! It's 26 hours of travel time before we arrive. I don't expect he will bring me in his carry on or flash me around the plane so looks like I'll be in the cargo hold until we land. That's ok though, he's stuck in econo class until we arrive so I'll be much comfier than he!

Hugs and Kisses loves, see you when I get back,

Vicki Stripes


Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Mr. Yummy Ain't gettin' through!

Remember Mr. Yummy the mailman? Well, this time it wasn't me with the red face! (for a change)

Mr. Yummy rang White Mocha's door bell upon realizing that he had forgotten to get a signature for a package that he had delivered earlier that day. White Mocha answered the door, opening it only a crack. She was concerned that Pepper, her large mailman eating dog, might lunge at him if she opened the door fully.

As White Mocha was signing the necessary form, Pepper, knowing his favourite afternoon treat....mailman.....was on the other side, started to try to push through her legs. She started shifting her hips and legs side to side, to match whichever direction Pepper tried to escape through.

"Don't think you're going to push your way through here!" she said as she swayed her hips and signed the form.

It wasn't until after she had closed the door that she realized that Mr. Yummy had probably not been aware that the dog was attempting to push his way past White Mocha from behind. He had most likely not seen the dog at all. He had probably thought she was talking to him!

Poor man. No wonder he dashes down our street at the speed of light. It appears that there's always somebody hitting on him!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Only two more sleeps and I start doing so serious drawing! Yeah! No more excuses. I think I'm scared! What if my apples start to look like tomatoes and my tomatoes like people. I've been having more than a few nightmares about this. Well, if all else fails, there's always "Welcome to Walmart!"

This is along the beach in Aylmer. Now that we are finally getting summer it's a nice place to visit. Yes, again, the beauty is in Quebec.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

"I just wanna sit on the edge and put my feet in the pool." says 4 of 4.

Sound familiar?! Well, next thing I know there's a dog and 6 year old treading water in the deep end of a friends pool.

She had a very wet half hour walk home.

I've gotta stay away from water.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

All Dry

Not So Much!

"I just wanna get my feet wet Mom!"

Famous last words as she falls into the water. I managed to get the whole progression of the event. Talk about lucky shot!

Mr. P. suggested that we go to the marina on the Quebec side. That's Ontario just across the river.

Monday, 25 August 2008

One week to go and I'll have time to draw! (insert evil laugh here) Back to school time kiddies!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

How's that little ditty go?

"Leaves of three, let it be?"

No. That can't be right because, One of four apparently did everything but lick it. She's got poison ivy up her legs, feet and arms? Not bad, but not pleasant.

"Leaves of three are for me!"

I can walk all through the stuff without harm....so far. Now give me a poison oak plant and we'll talk rash!

These aren't poison anything, but I thought they'd look nifty on my new black background.
Geez I'll miss summer!

Friday, 15 August 2008

God help us! I'm starting to find more of these nasty creatures lying around! Most aren't so pretty as this! It's the first time I've seen a pink maple leaf!
Fall is coming. The leaves are turning. The days are getting shorter. Soon time to hibernate.
I wish someone had warned me this summer was only going to be a blink long. A rainy, cold, musty blink.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

This is Two of Four with her new bestest friend, albeit temporarily, Toady. It may also be my next drawing. I have two portraits on the go, but thought with all this extra time I have floating around I'd start a third. RIGHT!

One of Four asked if I was going to include the dirty fingernails in the painting. She was quite appalled when I explained, "If you see it in the picture....you'll see it in the painting."

I guess she won't want it for her room.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

These looked good enough not to eat! These were on the golf course which my parents home backs on to.

I found these little gems while looking for golf balls in the heavy brush backing onto my parents backyard. I don't believe I've ever seen fungus this vibrant before! Not even on my bathroom walls!

Monday, 4 August 2008

We stopped on the way home from doing some out of town visiting to take a picture of this incredible view. Before you ask, yes, this is in Quebec. My province isn't as gosh darn pretty.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

He walked up onto the over-sized front porch of my favourite cafe in a 100 year old converted home. Late fifties to early sixties, crazy long grey thinning hair blowing wildly behind him. He had to have been a professor at one time, or perhaps worked in the arts. His attire gave him away. Particularly his sandals.

He approached the cushion lady.

Now let me explain the cushion lady. She graces the patrons with her presence, pretty much every meal and coffee break from what I can tell, because she is there almost every time I am regardless of the time of day. When she arrives whatever she sees, touches, tastes, smells, or sits on, near, or around belongs to her. I have learned this first hand after watching White Mocha get a talking down to for sitting on a chair she decided previously would be hers even before she was seated at the table. Oh ya, and she carries a pancake flat seat cushion wherever she goes. Hence, the cushion lady.

Well, the professor decided he would like to read one of the numerous daily papers sitting idle (and belonging to the cafe) on the table the cushion lady had just inhabited. Apparently the professor didn't know the cushion lady's rules and asked if he could read one of them. His request was denied! Apparently she can read five different papers all at once and wasn't willing to share.

He glanced in my direction, appearing to notice me for the first time. I had picked up a copy of "Le Droit" from the chair beside me and handed it out to him. I have no idea exactly what had been said in the previous exchange between the two, as it was in French, and I had my mp3 player on and couldn't actually hear their conversation clearly. In a quick and totally unexpected move the man reaches past the paper in my hand and grabs me mid arm with both hands and shakes me while laughing and repeating "The doit, Ahahaha!" Saying I was stunned would be an understatement. Apparently he didn't know I was English and from Ontario!

In Ontario all persons must leave a minimum two foot radius comfort zone around each individual. We don't touch other people! We're of British decent for goodness sakes! Do you see anybody touching the Queen!? A move like he just made could result in assault charges on my side of the river!

He takes the paper, at least I think he does, who the hell knows, I don't remember much other than sitting there with my mouth gaping open, listening while he chatters on a mile a minute as he sits down with a large smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye. I have no idea what he is saying.

I put my head down and pretend to focus on my book. I can feel eyes boring into me from the table across as the cushion lady rises and moves down to visit with some other patrons, knowing that her papers and cushion will now be safe from the professor. I glance up out of the corner of my eye to see a broadly smiling professor toast me with his copy of "Le Droit." I look down quickly afraid that he might come over and shake me again. Bizzare.

The cushion lady bursts out in boisterous peels of laughter for all to hear. I realize that she is French and therefore somewhat louder than the English, (having a Francophone Grandmother, I'm allowed to say this) but she seems to be overdoing it. She seems to need to prove something to either the professor or myself. Whether it's that she can have what she's not currently using, or that she has people that actually like her somewhere, I'm not sure.

Quebec. What a weird little place.

Monday, 28 July 2008

I started my day bright and way too early for me cycling to work with Mr. P. Today I decided to cycle the long way home. This involved staying on the Quebec side longer and cycling downtown to Hull before crossing over to downtown on the Ontario side of the river. Unfortunately part way there I hit the wall.

Chocolate muffins (which are really chocolate cupcakes under the guise of muffins), the breakfast of champions, do not a good breakfast make! So I happened upon a convenience store along a beach just as I had run out of steam.

I decided some Life Savers would do the trick and went in search of just that.

I didn't realize upon entering the store just how gosh darn sexy I was looking this particular day. Was it because I was all hot and sweaty in my lime green cycling shirt with a frog imprinted on it and skin tight cycling shorts with my oh so stylish clip-less clip-in shoes? Or maybe it was the coffee stain adorning my shirt and left sock. A souvenir from my break at Moca Loca. Maybe I seemed exotic with my purely Anglophone words and accent.

Whichever it was, the very kind purely Francophone clerk offered to make me a fresh breakfast tomorrow morning "....if it's ok with your boyfriend", he added shyly at the end.

Geez I love Quebec. Even I look good over there!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

During the Workshops I took, we were told numerous times to take the art and hold it away from us, or up to a mirror. That way errors will show more readily. For me though, viewing it on the computer screen has done the same thing. I see now the things I would change, but probably won't bother since this one was just an exercise. I won't tell you what they are though! You'll have to figure them out for yourself!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

In the 30 years that our extended family has owned the cottage, I've never before seen these type of wildflowers. I came across fields of them today. The picture doesn't do them justice!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Sunday, 29 June 2008

How a dog enjoys Canada Day Weekend at the cottage.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

My Father and me have been taking workshops with coloured pencil artist Allison Fagan. She does amazing photo-realistic stuff. You can find it at:


This was my homework. Not quite complete, but due Saturday. Arrrgh!

Friday, 9 May 2008

The May newsletter for a coloured pencil artist, Teresa Mallen, who has been a big help to me is now out. You can find her work, newsletter and blog at:


I've started my next portrait (and photographed for a few more still life and portraits) but can't post my progress until I've asked the parents of the child if it's ok! So here's my description.

She's a dark haired beauty with lovely expressive eyes which beam with life and a definate mischievousness. See if you can create a picture in your mind of what she might look like while I try to capture it on paper. Wish me luck and success!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Now that I am spending my time drawing I find I'm short on words. As an old boyfriend of mine used to say, "you can't have a chick, car and money all at the same time." I guess I should count myself lucky. I may not be able to speak, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.