Oh, Friday. Like a lunatic, I chased a CanPar delivery truck downtown with the hopes that it might be THE ONE carrying our LoveLife Magnets. I had a feeling. I'm not lying. I followed it in my mom-car and then jumped out and ran after the driver. AND IT WAS THE RIGHT TRUCK!!! So - the good news is that the magnets have arrived. AND - the good news is that I was not arrested or killed for running into traffic. And the good news is that I have many magnets for people that might want them. THE BAD NEWS IS - that my heart is feeling on-the-heavy-side because THIS IS THE END OF THE LINE FOR THESE BABIES. And the other bad news is that some of my favourite magnets ARE COMPLETELY GONE. We didn't know how many of each design would be coming* and THAT was the cause of my worry... These little magnets are special to me - and they are nice. We have varying quantities of the different designs. IT PAINS ME. The bottom line: once they are sold out - THEY ARE GONE. Finished.
Once upon a time I started creating art once a week to make sure that my soul and heart got fed. I made art that was uncensored and as honest as I could - and in turn sometimes naive and sometimes ignorant. But, always straight from the heart of me. I refused to sell the pieces. That once a week - turned into a whole bunch of weeks in row - and that project turned into something I called LoveLife only because each email-with-art ended by saying 'Spread joy. LoveLife.' And that wasn't because I am a total cheeseball - it was because every week after I thought long and hard about whatever was touching/paining/joying me - it turns out that life isn't always great, but there's always something good you can find there. It can be loved. LoveLife turned into something that changed who I was and how I looked at things. (This story and the first 254 weeks of images can be found in the LoveLife book.)
I think others saw something there, too... I started getting a lot of emails and calls and questions and people that wanted to sell my art and show my art and buy my art and steal my art and I didn't know what to do. I had made the commitment to not sell any of the pieces because they were done for me. It took me a long time to decide to put everything together into a book. It seemed like a good compromise at the time, but really - I didn't know anything about anything I was about to get myself into. The book is called LoveLife - Collected. I really didn't WRITE a book. I just had a project that I thought I could share with people in book-form instead of selling the pieces and letting the collection (which I whole-heartedly believe has more power together) stay together. I know, I know - I'm not here to talk about the book today... that's a nine-hundred and seventy-three page story about how to make as many mistakes as possible and how to go as low and as high as you never imagined - AND see for your own eyes how far the people who love you will go to help you. It's a good story.
Oh, I have all kinds of tales from that adventure - the memories flood back. It puts a lump in my throat... always does. Each and every LoveLife image flashes back to that week in time for me. It's my heart's art journal...
*THE MAGNETS: Somewhere along the line I signed a contract in 2005 with a magnet company and without killing the internet with details - it seemed like a good idea because I didn't have to worry about DISTRIBUTION OR SHIPPING (which I had learned from the book - that I was TERRIBLE AT). I had already put a lot of soul and sweat into my project - what was a little more? The magnet company gave the LoveLife Magnets a go but three years later - they 'just don't feel like people identify with my art or like it'. They contacted me a few days ago to terminate the contract and to let us know the inventory was garbage - UNSELLABLE. UNWANTED. If we wanted to buy what was remaining from them (sight unseen) - we had to speak quickly because it was on its way to be destroyed. Ouch.
I don't really need to tell you what happened next... Our house is now filled to the brim with magnets (DO NOT COME OVER IF YOU HAVE A PACE MAKER OR SOME KIND OF TECHTONIC HIPS) and both Dan and my brother Kam have been working their butts and BIG HEARTS off to get these things sorted and running so we can offer the last of the magnets to people that might enjoy them - contrary to what the magnet company believes. We've been going through the inventory we were sent and I am not going to lie - IT HAS BEEN CAUSING ME SADNESS. There's a pretty limited supply of some of the designs. THERE'S A FEW THAT ARE COMPLETELY GONE. I don't even have a copy for myself...
TO BE FAIR - LOVELIFE MAGNETS WILL GO LIVE ON MONDAY MORNING AT 7am Central Time. I'm delaying because we haven't got everything sorted - and I want to give everyone a chance to get in on the magnets they want. ONCE A DESIGN IS SOLD OUT - IT'S GONE.
Today: Pilot and I have a full day. We have groceries to get and errands to run and I have a doctor's appointment for Baby2. And some decisions to make. It's Girls Night IN tonight because Dan has a fancy work function and would you believe that whiny babies and pregnant wives are not invited. Which works out good for us because we are gonna have a bubble baths and read Dr. Seuss (oh, how Friday nights have changed). Every bit good.
I have three prints left of The Birch Trees. These prints are gallery quality giclée prints. The image size is 7.5 x 10.5 with nice white space surrounding it. Price is $75 (plus $6 for shipping). Email me ASAP if you want one (there are two left).
DON'T FORGET. The LoveLife Magnets will LAUNCH ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 1st at 7am Central Time. (Just in time to ship for the holidays - thanks to Dan).
I. NEED. COFFEE. Let's GO!
Hi Thursday. I'm happy the end of the week is drawing nearer. Really, really pleased about that. This one was a wee test of patience (and stamina) - with all kinds of ups and downs thrown in... which doesn't usually bother me too much, but I'd still like to get onto NEXT week anyways. I feel like NEXT week is ALL GOOD THINGS. I don't know why I feel like that - it's probably just the sugar from my eggnog. The 17 boxes of magnets did not arrive today. I couldn't figure out the glitch in my wireless printing debacle. Crash was on a mission to be weird and crazy. I forgot every second thing on my list of GO-TO's. I couldn't bend far enough past my fat belly to get my keys out from behind the couch - which was as funny as it was totally maddening. AND I lost a sock while booting around the city (figure that one out).
Not terrific - but, not something that a little sit-down with a big glass of eggnog couldn't even out. And a very, very nice pedicure (thanks Riverstone Spa - three cheers for OPI's new colours!).
Today: Well. I'm waiting for the LoveLife Magnet tsunami to hit. Testing links. Packing books. Editing photos. Thinking about roasting a chicken. Paying bills. Sending photos to print. Waiting for a package. Mapping out a new painting. I'm ALSO sword fighting with the wireless network peace I am trying to achieve between Dan's PC and my Mac and a printer, scanner and backup drive.
There are a few of The Birch Tree prints left. They are very, very beautiful gallery quality giclée prints that will be shipping in time for Christmas. They are $75 (plus $6 for shipping) AND they are really nice. Email me if you would like to reserve one for yourself because once they're gone - well, they're gone.
I'm putting a little eggnog IN my coffee to get this day started right. JOY! Go!
Three cheers for humpday. Hello beautiful Wednesday. I got a lot done yesterday. I got Pilot off and laundry on and bills paid and drives backed. I did a lot of preparation for the LoveLife Magnets - this is not a small undertaking. I got The Birch Trees in high resolution and ready to be hung. I got a little more Christmas shopping out of the way. I got deliveries like this was Grand Central Station. I got my camera back and I got settled into a big pot of tea and a bunch of K.Barteski stuff that needed my attention. Thanks for all the comments and emails and STRAIGHT UP CHEER. You should bottle that stuff because it was intoxicating. I'm definitely not claiming to be innocent in life - I'm slipping. I'm still figuring out the difference between what I THOUGHT LIFE WOULD BE LIKE WITH PILOT and how it really is. It wouldn't have mattered if you would have told me straight-up-honest OR IN ALL CAPS or sprinkled with gut-punches - like everything else that I do, I had to figure it out for myself. I DIDN'T KNOW THIS THEN. And now I do. And now I adjust accordingly. New topic.
Right NOW. That's all I know. I know that RIGHT NOW I am enjoying a few moments of silence. I know that our refrigerator is working because I can hear her humming. I know that a decade of choices I didn't always understand lead me to RIGHT WHERE I WANT TO BE. RIGHT HERE.
I ALSO know that these UNPAINTED NESTING DOLLS are too cute for works. Originally, I saw them on the Urban Outfitters site, but they wanted $58 US to ship $16 dolls to Canada. And then I checked my boyfriend named Ebay and totally scored. For less than $17 CAN the dolls will be here by the end of the week. I hope that Ebay and I never break up! I am painting them up as our little family unit (including Crash) to give to Pilot for Christmas. I have this fantasy that she will treasure them into her adulthood... but, really WHO AM I KIDDING?? That kid is going to chuck them in the toilet at her first chance. HANDMADE for Holidays.
HOW COOL IS THIS? I found a very cool site called WHAT A LOVELY NAME (through fellow designer Lindsay Kirstiuk). Oh, it's such a fun place to go and lose track of time. You can look up baby names and THEN you can get all kinds of merchandise created with cute little graphics. Plus, the whole darn thing is beautiful to look at. (I CAN, however, tell you that the name we have picked for Baby2 is NOT ON THERE.)
Here it is. The Birch Trees. This is my latest painting and my current favourite. If you want to know more about the painting specifically - it's been posted in the gallery. This piece has no words in it... because I have no words. I've been thinking a lot about THIS MOMENT. The space between breaths. The wordlessness of my love. The hurt and soothing. The whisper between Pilot and Pilot & Baby2. The beauty and stillness that has haunted me for years in birch trees. The actual painting is large and quiet. And not for sale. (Dan says that I have to add YET to that sentence.)
I have a LIMITED EDITION OF The Birch Trees prints available. There are 30 in total. They are gallery quality giclée prints on heavy watercolour paper. The image size measures approximately 7 x 10 inches with nice white space all around. They are individually signed and beautiful. Price: $75 each (plus $6 shipping). They will be ready to go by the end of next week. Email me if you'd like one. First come, first serve and then they're gone.
Today: Pilot's off to the nanny for another day and I'm off for a little photoshoot with a wee newborn. (I'm surprised at how much I am looking forward to seeing a baby... That's good news for Baby2.) I've got a slew of other things to pick up, drop off, and get done outside of the house - which makes accepting and coordinating a delivery of 14 giant boxes of magnets a little TRICKY. We will see how that goes. I also plan to take one hour this afternoon to rest. I'm not a RESTER - but, I'm not feeling great in a hey-that-is-a-weird-feeling-in-my-belly way so maybe I will slow down.
And have a wee bit more coffee. Let me know about The Birch Trees. Go!
Hey Tuesday. Good to see you. REALLY GOOD. I needed a good stiff chaser after a Monday like that. Holy crap show - it was a HALF FULL-HALF EMPTY KIND OF DAY. The visits, the company, the playing, the being PRESENT was ALL GOOD. It was a nice day spending time with the little heart that needs my time and it was a nice day working on being in the moment instead of worrying so much about the outside world. It didn't seem to matter how much coffee I funneled into my fat belly - the fog just never lifted. I'm plain pooped*. My INBOX, however, WAS WORKING OVER TIME as a cocktail party for people who have a beef with me - which is part of life and I get that, too. It was a little overwhelming having every complaint come in on the same day, but that's just part of the deal. (HALF EMPTY.)
It made me think of a few things: Like how did I get into this mess of rhetorically trying to squeeze 54 beers into a six pack? I joke, but it's true. I have more than I can do right now without stranding my little family and I like them too much to leave them hanging. SO some things HAVE TO GO. Yesterday was big for me in terms of SORTING my own crap into WHAT-I-THOUGHT I needed in my life and WHAT-I-DON'T-HAVE-SPACE-FOR*. I even made a list. I reminded myself that I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND. Now, I just need the BIG hairy BALLS to put it all into place. It sucks to have people upset with me and frustrated and letting me know that if I have time to blog and paint - then I obviously have time for them (HALF EMPTY.). But, sometimes you need that push to set things right and figure out how to proceed in a better way. (HALF FULL.) THANK GOODNESS: somewhere in the kerfuffle I ran into this LoveLife Magnet and it seemed like a pretty cosmic response to my day. HOW MUCH ARE YOU WORTH TO YOUR SELF? This is LoveLife#65 which is a lesser known part of the LoveLife Magnet collection - it never used to be one of my favourites BUT it's earned a special place in my heart now. (HALF FULL.)
Good news on the magnet front: they are closer than we thought. I hope to start selling them on Friday so those who might be interested can get them in time for the holidays. Dan is so cute because he's really pumped about his new project. (HALF FULL.)
*POOPED. I am 7 months and a handful of days pregnant now - and I am VERY round. This pregnancy is definitely harder in different ways than the first. Truth be told, I feel like I'm fading. (HALF EMPTY.) I'm losing my patience and interest in the things that aren't nuturing me. And doing something about it. AND THAT IS ALL GOOD. (HALF FULL.)
ONE MORE THING: Dan has inspired me to look at situations like hockey games. He actually said I'd be the WORST hockey player EVER. He says, "sometimes you get a stick in the crotch or a punch in the teeth - but, when the game's over you high five and go out for beers." TRANSLATION: Let it go. GET OVER IT. Hold it lightly. Move on. GOOD CALL DAN. (HALF FULL.)
Today: We've got a lot to do. LOTS. As far as I know Pilot is off to the nanny - sometimes plans change over there so I gotta stay loose. I'm going three hundred places to get nine thousand things done. I have to pick up my camera from being cleaned and spiffed. I have to get the pricing on The Birch Tree prints. I'm hacking away at my TO-DO-LIST. It would be AWESOME if people would be patient with me, but I get that I'm not the speediest sometimes and it must be annoying. I'm doing my best.
And I'm living with PRESENCE today. And MORE COFFEE. (FILL 'ER UP.) GO!
Hello there, Monday. What a nice weekend we had. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about gifts and presents (thanks for all the awesome tips of GOODNESS in the comments!). This weekend I tried to focus a little more on PRESENCE. Being here. Being in the moment. LIVING WITH PRESENCE. I think about this a lot. When I was 16 I read a book probably beyond my 16 years - and I don't know what propelled me to it - but, it impacted my everyday in an incredible way. I was probably lovesick over some studpi dude - whatever the reason I picked up the book IT CHANGED THE WAY I THOUGHT ABOUT THE WAY I LIVE. What has STILL stuck with me a decade and a half later: DO ONE THING AT A TIME. Be here. I'm not always great at it - but, it's something I try to do a little better than I did the day before...
I took some photos yesterday of a good friend of mine who is expecting her Baby1 around New Years. (What I'm saying is the girl in the PHOTOS IS NOT ME.) We laughed and joked (and commiserated about our SHAPE), but seeing her through the lens - was nothing short of pure beauty and anticipation and joy. Pure joy. Pure beauty. Pure presence. Like the world let out a sigh... It definitely reminded me to find ways to slow down in my journey with Pilot and Baby2 to look for our own beauty here. To find presence.
Live with presence...
So. With all of this new inspiration to live with presence - I've been looking at ways to streamline my time and our house crap. LIVE WITH PRESENCE PART ONE: we seem to have a lot of stuff and not a lot of space - which is probably the same as saying Dan is a pack rat rodent-type. I've been researching smarter storage systems (our house does not have closets!) and whittling away at the stuff we don't need/use. I've also been fixing things that are broken or TOSSING THEM TO THE CURB. I'm GETTING MY BALLS IN ORDER - you might call that nesting. Taking care of the little things is PART ONE in gaining more presence in my life.
PRESENTS: I treated myself to a little Apple Time Capsule in an effort to streamline my gear and make room for Baby2 (in what used to by my very busy, very technology packed office). It's a wireless harddrive and router WHICH MEANS MY PHOTOS WILL BACK THEMSELVES UP weekly. ON THEIR OWN. Without wires. I tried to go back to a time when I was skinnier and had long flowing hair - but, Dan suggests that I need more than a Time Machine for that. Whatever. NOW I don't have to worry about forgetting to back up the really, really important photos and memories... It's all part of my hardcore technology clean-up. If it's broken, half-working or outdated - IT'S GONE. Which means I have more space in my house and my brain to BE PRESENT. To have presence.
Because these TWO TURKEYS (and one half bean) need my attention more than the bleeping half-working piece-of-shit fax machine I gleefully (and I do mean with a hoot of joy!) tossed into a box to take to electronic recycling. GOOD BYE 1989. Welcome to the FUTURE.
LIVE WITH PRESENCE PART TWO: is to make sure I am carving out a nice chunk of time to focus on the things that fill me up. Like painting. Last week I started and finished a painting that reminded me of that like a HEART ATTACK. The Birch Trees. I haven't found exactly the right words to express what this one means to me - because it's heavier than I was expecting. It IS PRESENCE to me. It's on the top of my list this week to get photographed and posted in the K.Barteski gallery. Dan is working hard to bust my chops and get me to release the original - which is essentially like asking me sell Pilot. Which I told him I WOULD DO if he gave all of his money to a not-for-profit art gallery (which made him faint).
BUT. I am releasing a special edition of archival quality prints. I will be taking preorders for The Birch Trees gallery giclée prints starting THIS Wednesday. The painting is out for scanning and I'm still waiting on the price and sizing info WHICH I WILL POST ON WEDNESDAY. Everything will be complete (and thanks to Dan SHIPPABLE) in time for Christmas. Sweet!
LOVE LIFE MAGNETS. I got an estimated arrival date of Friday the 28th which means we will definitely need the weekend to get organized and then THE MAGNETS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO YOU (in time for Christmas!). Right here. Yikes. I'm excited and nervous at the same time!
Speaking of magnets...
If one of these comments are yours - SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS because I have a LoveLife Magnet with your name on it. And a couple of other treats. I LOVED all of the comments and GOODNESS LISTS. I found lots and lots and lots of cool things to add. So very good of you to play along!
Today: Pilot and I are going to visit in the morning with some friends we haven't seen in years. We're going to eat well and have good naps and BE PRESENT. And then we are going to go do some shopping.
Live with presence. And coffee. GO!
Hi Friday - you sneaky bugger, you. No better day than a Friday to talk about a little GIFT GIVING and wish lists. This is a holiday goodness list... some of the things I've been thinking about for Christmas. Some of the things that would make great gifts FOR ME. Some things I already KNOW I love and I think they would make GREAT GIFTS FOR EVERYONE ELSE. Some things I'd like to give. And some things are just good. A GOODNESS list all prettied up and fancy-looking for a Friday. Let's do this.
Kal's GOODNESS LIST...
Any and all of these things would make me SMILE in a big way. But, so would a nice hug.
Today: Pilot and I are off for breakfast with Tammy. We will see how that goes because Pilot's been doing some weird waking in the night and crying and shuffling of her early bird schedule that I was getting used to. She's getting up EVEN EARLIER. SO. I'm tired. I'm pooped. I'm SO HAPPY it's Friday. I'm looking for coffee like some kind of JUNKIE. I'm loving the snow outside. I'm fighting the urge to paint and INSTEAD I am nurturing the urge to cuddle with Pilot. We are going to take a load of electronics to MEC because they will RECYCLE them (it's a NO-NO to throw electronics in the garbage). We are also going to get groceries so Dan and I can have a DATE-NIGHT-IN tonight and not have to eat hotdogs. Sweet.
I'll leave you with these happy weekend thoughts: LOVE LIFE MAGNETS and BIRCH TREES and WARM HEARTS.
Oh, and - leave me a comment with a link or something from YOUR own Goodness List and Monday morning I'll announce a couple people to RECEIVE a LoveLife Magnet gift of their own.
Hey November - WHAT'S THE RUSH???? Goodness is Friday. Let's GO!
Short post because I'm behind and Pilot and I are off to spend the day being busy. She's a busy girl. She must get that from her mama. MAYBE her Dad. Definitely NOT from Crash because the only thing he's busy with these days is slugging out in front of the fireplace. LUCKY DOG.
More about the above picture as soon as our MAJOR-MONSTER-DELIVERY gets here. ;) Oh, my goodness. We did NOT start out the week thinking that this would be something we might EVER tackle. EVER. The timing is definitely interesting. That's all I can say.
Triple Arm Pump to having coffee and catching up with friends. Thanks Kerri.
SUPER Triple Arm Pump to another new Lilla-P Origami wrap being delivered yesterday. It's TRUE LOVE.
QUADRUPLE Arm Pump to getting my shit together with a new scanner, WiFi printer, fancy phone, and plan for making this kid-thing/work-thing happen a little more smoothly.
INFINITY Pump for Harmonium. I'm not there yet, but I'm getting closer...
My WishList is coming on Friday.
Today: Well - a year ago my TO-DO list would have thirty-two things that I would intensely crush from all sides and angles, but since fancy-pants Miss Pilot wasn't around to SEE THINGS ROLL AROUND HERE we are going to have to back the train up and do things a little differently this morning. Starting with bananas and cheerios. And stacking plastic containers. And chasing the dog. And saying LA LA LA LA over and over and over very, very LOUDLY. That's okay with me today. The work can wait. I'VE GOT TIME.
And coffee. AND something else to give away tomorrow (GET SERIOUS - this is so awesome!) GO!
Okay. WHEW. I started out cocky yesterday and then Tuesday and I got in a serious fist-fight. I came out punch drunk for sure. I had MORE to do than I thought and a couple of curveballs and an aching URGE to finish the birch-tree-painting (which I did, by the way, but will post when I get better light to take a nicer picture of it). It was still a great day... HARMONIUM. That's my new word. Things ran smooth like clock-work and although I didn't get to EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING - I made progress. I danced with time.
I loved reading all the comments from yesterday's post. TIME. Something that I have definitely learned about TIME since Pilot appeared IS THAT I WAS SURE GOOD AT PISSING IT AWAY BEFORE HER. HA. I'm one of the biggest advocates out there for ME-TIME and PAINTING-TIME and BREATHING-TIME... BE-TIME. Harmonium. I can SEE how it makes me a better person for her to be around and for Dan to be around and for Crash and the rest of the world, too.
If this is your comment - YOU ARE THE WINNER of Elise Blaha's custom letterpress stationary. And let me tell you - THAT IS A GOOD SCORE. EMAIL ME and I will get you in touch with sweet Elise. I also want to ask you all a favour: everyone always toots this BUY HANDMADE horn for the holidays. It's a sweet sounding horn if you ACTUALLY DO IT. DO IT. I put in my order for a set of my own Elise Blaha CUSTOM LETTERPRESS STATIONARY last night and I am challenging you all to do the same. Buy handmade. (Thanks Elise for the very cool giveaway!)
SWEET TIMING: We received THE BEST GIFT yesterday from Marsha & Hannah. Custom postage STAMPS. WOW! They are so cool. I would NEVER have thought of it - but, my aunt Marsha is a thinker and she came up with this sweet idea. SO COOL. The stamps are gorgeous. Thank you SO MUCH!! I thought it was an especially nice touch by the Universe to have the stamps arrive on the day there was custom letterpress stationary to be won. Now, I have the coolest stamps AND the cards to put them on.
RANDOM: I love the look of my "current" paint brushes. They're all battered and bruised and that makes me HAPPY. Everytime I get down to painting I remember just how much I love it. How much I need it. I made some sacrifices this week to make it happen. I didn't have a plan or an idea - just a basic need to put paint to canvas and the STOLEN TIME to do that. Worth. Every. Penny. Worth. Every. Second.
Today: is just plain BUSY. Pilot is out of the house today and just thinking about it makes me miss the stinker. I am taking my camera to the 'camera-spa' for a cleaning and tune-up. I need to locate a sealer/varnish type medium that I can apply over photos (ANY SUGGESTIONS?). I am picking up paint so we can get started on new colours in the foyer and second floor (shhhhh - don't tell Dan that he's got work to do this weekend). I am crossing my fingers that my prints ARE READY ALREADY FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE. Geez. I have a BUTTLOAD of technical work to do to get my favourite client ready for a little RENDEVOUS WITH MARTHA STEWART (more on that later). And if I don't remember to make hair appointments for Dan and I soon - well, he will be mistaken for Kramer and the rest of the world will see JUST HOW MUCH GREY HAIR I really have. ;)
*EXCITING LoveLife STUFF coming (hopefully in time for Christmas). I might be able to announce MORE of what we are going to tackle SOON (I'm waiting for a shipping date).
Okay. This day is already rolling. Go!