Books

PicMonkey Collage books April 9, 2014

 

Yesterday after work I met with a friend at a BMV Books store. I love those stores. You can get new and used books for a very good price. I have to watch it tough, because I often cannot leave the store without making a purchase.

The picture above shows the purchase I made yesterday. I could not help it. I bought each book for $1.99. How could I pass that up? Right? I am looking forward to reading them soon.

Book 1: Motivate Yourself and Reach Your Goals: A Teach Yourself Guide, by Frances Coombes

I have a few book from the Teach Yourself series, and I really enjoy them.

Book 2: Fuse: Making Sense of the New Cogenerational Workplace, by Jim Finkelstein

This one should be an interesting read.

Book 3: The Wisdom Of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization, Jon Katzenbach

What are you reading these days?

Enjoy your week!
Cheers :)

 

Learning to paint at CATS

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Community Art Time Studio Logo

I am still getting used to the fact that we are in the middle of March already. I don’t know about you, but for me this year, time seems to fly by even faster. I have not started to work on all my New Year resolutions this year, but I have started some. One of the things I wanted to do this year was to be more creative and learn to paint. I am happy that I had the opportunity to start a couple of weeks ago, at CATS.

CATS – Community Art Time Studio offers free drop in studio time to anyone interested in doing art. You can join them on Thursdays from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. It’s located at 1108 Greenwood Ave, Toronto. You can share some of the studio’s supplies or bring your own.  At CATS you will be spending time with wonderful, talented artists, and they are more than happy to lend you their knowledge to help you create art. You can learn to paint, draw, creating crafts, or anything else artistic that you would like to try. The artists are extremely supportive and encouraging, and very good at giving you gentle constructive criticism when needed.     

I tried my hand at watercolor painting one time when I was there last year, but I realized I wanted to learn to work on canvas and have the pleasure of using very bright colors.  Give me colorful things, show me color, and I am very happy. One of the artists there A, suggested to try to paint with acrylics. She even gave me a cute little square canvas. I was very happy and excited and could not wait to start.

I thought that I was going to start directly on the canvas and that made me a little nervous, but A, instructed me to start from drawing the shapes of what I wanted to paint on paper first to get used to the curves and feel of what I wanted to accomplish. I am so glad I did that, because it gave me more confidence and courage to start working on the canvas itself. So far I have not applied any color to the canvas; I just outlined what I wanted to paint with pencil. It’s a slow process for me, but that it’s ok, as long as I learn and I complete at least one painting by the end of this year. I am looking forward to work on my painting project again when I next visit CATS.

The painting is based on a photo of a cute little pudgy yellow bird on a branch. The branch the bird stands on has beautiful rose color buds. I will try to get the painting as close to the photo as possible. I will post the image here when it’s done, not matter how amateur it will end up looking.   

Have you started working on any of your goals you set out in January 2014?

Enjoy your Sunday!

Fun February

ImageThis year February has been a month full of fun for me. And hopefully for others as well. :) This month, I spent a lot of time with many dear friends. We shared moments from our lives, created and tasted new meatless recipes, and enjoyed Sunday morning breakfasts at Cora’s.

Some of the most interesting and fun experiences were participating in the CineClub. The CineClub came about last December, when I suggested to a couple of friends that we should start a book club. One of them said, ‘What about a movie club?’ I definitely found the idea interesting and we all agreed. We are meeting once a month and so far we saw three movies. How we do it? Each CineClub member takes turns and picks a movie they like to share with the group.

On the day of the showing we get together and the movie that was picked gets introduced to the group. Before we start watching, the reason for choosing it – without giving the movie away – is revealed. At the end of the viewing, the even more fun part begins. We discus what we liked and not liked about the movie, how it affected us, and we search for and share facts about the actors, directors, and how the movie was made. We clarify the story line, discuss what the directors tried to convey and if  was successfully accomplished. Fun, Fun, Fun!

I went into the CineClub with an open mind and I give a great level of attention to any movie we watch, even if it ends up being a movie that I would never picked myself.  That’s why things are getting more interesting and fun for me. The movies I see with the CineClub group stay with me more than any movie I have seen previous. I love the memories we are creating!

And the memories of spending time with dear friends are always sweeter in the cold winter months, especially when we get to share warmth, kitties, good food, drink, and chat. This is why I decided to call this month FUN FEBRUARY. :D

Anything stands out about how you spent your February?

The Hobbit Train

The Hobbit 2 - The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit 2 – The Desolation of Smaug

I was waiting for the subway at Finch Station today. My friend M and I were trying to find some seats on the train that was about to leave. And then I saw a new train pull in at the other platform. “Oh my god,” I said to M, “I have to get out! Let’s get out. I want to take some pictures. Who knows when I will see this again?”  I could not help it. What I saw was a train completely covered with images from the second Hobbit movie, “The Desolation of Smaug.”  It was beautiful!  And, I was so lucky too because I had my camera with me and no other commuters arrived for a few minutes.  Just perfect!  I had just enough time to take a few shots before people started showing up.

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Thorin Oakenshield

I know not everybody is into The Lord of The Rings or the Hobbit, but I love those movies.  I read the books years before the movies came out.  I loved them.  When I first saw the preview for LOTR, I was breathless and of course I did not even need to see the title at the end to know what I was watching.

Gandalf the Gray

Gandalf the Gray

You can imagine how excited I am to go see the Hobbit sequel. It is coming out this Friday, on December 13th. Can’t wait!

Bard the Bowman

Bard the Bowman & Thorin Oakenshield

Inside the train there were only advertisements for the movie, all along the entire length, but that did not bother me. :) If you are in Toronto and you happen to ride The Hobbit Train, I hope you enjoy it as much as M and I did!

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins

Have a good week everyone!

Oh…I forgot. Here is a drawing I did of an Orc from LOTR.

LOTR Orc

LOTR Orc

Delightful December

A Late December Night

A Late December Night

I like the idea of themed posts for a blog! I was thinking of a few ideas, and themes, that might go with each day of the week. But then I thought “Why not have themes for each month of the year”? So I would like to start today with Delightful December! For each month of the year I want to write about specific things that I plan, like, appreciate, and particularly enjoy each month.

I like December! And as soon as December starts, I am reminded that another year is close to the end. As I get older every year, I also realize how each year seems shorter than the last. In December I take time to think of the resolutions I made at the beginning of the year, and then, think of new ones that I might like to try on.

Another reason I like December, is because of all the good and delicious things that happen. You get some time off from work -I hope-, spend time with friends and family, eat delicious food, drink champagne -hopefully-, and celebrate the last day of the year being merry and hugging friends at midnight! At least that is what I plan :)

My resolutions for 2013 included not being afraid to be more creative. One of the things I wanted to do more of was drawing.  Before this year, I have not doodled anything since 2003. I figured 10 years is too long without enjoying anything artistic and creative. I did not draw as much as I thought would, but I am happy that I picked up the colored pencils once again. My favourite this year is Listen to Your Heart seen below. It’s simple, but I like the message. The image was inspired by an Oracle Card.

Listen to Your Heart

Listen to Your Heart

This year I also played around with watercolors. See Watercolor Tulip below.

Watercolor Tulip

Watercolor Tulip

Another way I enjoyed being creative this year was by taking photos. I purchased my first camera this June. It’s Panasonic Lumix GF3, and although it is not the greatest camera out there, it was a good price, and it’s perfect for a beginner like me. You can check out my photographs on 500px.

In the year to come, I would like to continue to be creative, save some money, and improve in photography. I will leave the other resolutions for another post.  What are some things you enjoy about December?

Have a good Sunday!!!

The photos in this post were taken by me with IPhone 4, edited with Instagram and PicMonkey.

The Ladybug in the Bus

English: Red ladybug seen from the side

Red ladybug seen from the side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Saturday, I went to DAVID’sTEA shop for the first time.  My friends kept telling me that I had to try these teas. So I went in and bought the flavoured black tea called Fantasy Island.  My friends were right, it was totally worth it.

As I was sitting and sipping my tea today, I remembered something that happened a couple of weeks ago. On November 15, I was traveling by bus and managed to rescue a ladybug. I recorded the experience on my Day One IPhone Journal / Diary app, and today I want to share it with you:

Ladybug

Today I saved a ladybug that was stuck in the bus. I saw this thing flying around. At first I thought it was a piece of lint that fell from someone’s coat sleeve, but then, it got to the window, and I realized that it was a ladybug. I was surprised to see a ladybug so late in the season. Of course I knew that I would try to get it out.

When the bus stopped at the station and people started to get off, I went to the window the ladybug was on. I put my knee on one of the seats that just got vacated and raised myself up just a little. I raised my hand and touched the metal edge of the window, getting a little panicky because the ladybug kept walking up the window higher and higher. Soon after that, I managed to put my palm over it and I tried to grab it with my fingers. Luckily it fell in my palm and I was able to close my fingers over it like a little cage to make sure it would not fall out.

I stepped out of the bus and went to a bench trying to place the ladybug on the top back support piece, but the ladybug would not budge. For a second I was terrified that I hurt it, but when I nudged it a little from behind, it started to move and walk on my finger. The ladybug did not want to walk off my finger, no matter how much I tilted it. It kept walking higher toward the back of my hand. Since I saw that the ladybug will spend some time with me, I thought of taking a picture if it with my phone.  But as soon as I finished that thought it decided to take off and fly. I was happy!

When I first saw the ladybug in the bus, I thought that the ladybug was acting stressed. You know how insect keep flying into a window trying to get out. It might not make any sense, but I felt that there was something desperate in the way it was flying…or perhaps it was my imagination, and my desire to help it get out of there.

I was glad that I managed to set the ladybug free. I often save bugs that get trapped in the bus, in water, and even if they get trapped and tangled in some form of vegetation. I feel bad for them, and I thought hmm….only if I had the same dedication for getting myself out of places and situations that I sometimes feel stuck or trapped in. Do I not deserve as much from myself as a ladybug, a bee, a spider, or any other creature I ever helped? In the future I want to remember that I acted without much thought to save a creature’s life, and reduce its stress and suffering. And that I deserve the same commitment and immediate action.

Walking Through Life with Friends

My friend W and I

My friend W and I

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
 Albert Camus

My life is fortunate for I have many good friends. I am grateful and humbled by their presence, and I could not imagine my life without friendship.

Today I will reach out to at least one of my friends!
Enjoy your day everyone, and I hope you will reach out to one of your friends!

Cheers :)

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