It’s been a while Crocodile!

OK, I haven’t blogged in a while. A LONG while! But I wasn’t really sure if I was going to keep this blog up or not. It was meant to be my account of the 6 months I spent in Europe and that’s it, but for some reason I felt compelled to post here again with a little “life update.” Life has been (in a word) busy. But wonderfully, gloriously busy. Actually, to be accurate, the last 2 months have been busy in a good way. The previous 4 were god awful, now that I think about it. We moved Nov. 1. I hate moving with a vengeance so, what do I do? I decide to move again in February! The place we moved to was great, but it was far away from work and I was in the car for an hour and a half a day blowing $200 a month on gas. So we moved to my parents basement for a month while they were in South America, and then we had to move again. But that’s where the good part starts because we found a place near the mountains and close to the majority of our family and friends AND the best part? I have my dream art room! I can make a mess and close the door. No one needs to see the chaos that is Andrea’s creative frenzy.
I wanted to get a job within a month of returning from Europe, and I was putting the feelers out on Facebook about needing a job and one of my friends suggested this kids art studio called 4 Cats. I’d never heard of it before and did a little research online about it. Then another friend sent me a message that the West Van location was hiring so I sent them an email about myself and hoped that we’d be a fit. They emailed back and I went to have an impromptu interview. I hit it off with the owners immediately and got really excited just being in the studio. The walls are covered in art and the job essentially is telling stories about a famous artist (like Van Gogh) and teaching them how to paint a picture inspired by them. Can I tell you how much I love this job? Yes, kids can be difficult and I’ve been sick with a cold almost constantly since I’ve started but I’ve had so much fun going to work and even when it’s challenging…. I’m finding I’m enjoying the challenge.
Kids art from 4 Cats Art Studio.
Butterfly painting by a 4 year old.
Kids art from 4 Cats Art Studio.
Butterfly painting by a 3 year old.
Kids art from 4 Cats Art Studio.
Characters created for the stop motion animation class I teach.
Roy Lichtenstein copy.
We have to paint pictures by the artists we teach and I did this one for the Roy Lichtenstein session.
What else? Oh, Paul had the kidney stone from hell. It was HUGE and took a month to pass. We took 2 trips to the emergency room and finally had to have it blasted with sound waves so that it would come out in pieces rather than one 7mm chunk. The Dr’s wanted it pass on its own but it just wasn’t budging so I’m happy to report he finally gave birth to a collection of kidney stone bits.
In pet news, my poor wee lad of a pup Henry had to have knee surgery AGAIN on his right leg this time. He had to have the surgery 2 1/2 years ago on his left leg, and we have just been waiting (and hoping the day would never come) for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. He’s a 9 year old dog who just doesn’t know when to stop. He rips around like a puppy on speed and doesn’t understand that maybe he should chill out and learn to be the middle aged furry man that he is. Even after he injured it on Saturday he kept coming up to me, hopping on his one good back leg toting his dog toy for me to throw for him. The hope in his eyes was killing me because I was pretty sure that his days of fetch were going to be done for a long, long time. He’s on a slew of drugs and next week I have to start physiotherapy with him. It must be love, the things I do for this dog.
Silky Terrier dog in a basket.
Pre-surgery.
Silky Terrier dog with a cast on his leg.
Post surgery.I’ve been making art again… I think once you have that entrepreneurial spirit it never really leaves you…I’ve been working on a line of collages, cards, fridge magnets and paintings. I actually just found out yesterday that I got into the craft market at the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver. Pretty cool, especially since that was the very first art market I ever did way back in 1993. My life in reverse, once again! I’m so inspired not just from my travels but also from my new job. Watching kids paint with such abandon and enjoying the doing rather than dwell on the outcome is something I’ve been trying to get back ever since I was a kid myself. I always get caught up in making things perfect and if I’m not immediately good at something I tend to give up. I’m trying to fight through those urges and just enjoy the process. Who knew that teaching kids would be an education for myself as well?
Magnets with birds on them.
Lapel pins.
Magnets with birds and butterflies on them.
Fridge magnets.
Collages with birds and butterflies on them.
3×5 Mini Collages.
The other way I’ve been obsessively spending my time is looking into how to make travel writing a viable part-time career. It’s not an easy or lucrative venture. There’s competition coming out the yin yang. I think it must be a dream career for a lot of people, myself included! Until I started writing this blog I never knew that I had any writing ability at all. I had ideas for books, but had no confidence that I could write. My travels inspired something within me that I never knew existed. Isn’t that an incredible by-product of something that I was going to do anyways? As for whether or not I can ever make any money at it is still a mystery but I’m going to take a stab at it and fumble my way through like I seem to do everything in my life these days. There’s no harm in trying, and who knows what beautiful flowers might grow from all of the seeds I’m planting?

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4 Responses to It’s been a while Crocodile!

  1. MW April 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi Andrea;

    I just wanted to let you know just how much I’ve enjoyed your travel posts. You have a real spirit about you and I wish you the best in your current artisitic endeavours (beautiful!) and future travel writings.

  2. Anonymous April 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Not sure I actually sent the other message – great to hear your voice again, Andrea, and to be updated on your life adventures. Brava on the fine teaching! Best wishes with your writing and art – love the pins and magnets and would buy some if they were available in CA – online perhaps? Betsy

  3. Andrea May 4, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Thanks you guys! I really missed blogging and think I’ll be doing more of it now that I’ve gotten back on the horse so to speak!

    @Betsy, I do have an Etsy shop where I sell my art. I forgot to mention it, good business person that I am!
    It’s http://www.smallmuse.etsy.com

  4. Michele May 11, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Hi Andrea! I’m so glad you posted again—I love reading your writing and learning what you’ve been up to.

    Congratulations on your new home, especially the craft room part; you now have a room of your own, something every woman needs. And MAJOR congratulations on your new job, which sounds just perfect for you right now. It’s so awesome that your students are inspiring you creatively and helping you find your inner “just give it a go!” When I worked in the kindergarten here, I was continually amazed at how interesting and fun it was to interact with little kids. It helps that I’m quite childish… 🙂

    I’m so glad the doctors had mercy on Paul and blasted his kidney stone to pieces. I’ve heard passing those things is incredibly, horribly painful. Poor guy! And poor Henry! You’ve had your hands full with illness and injury. Hope everyone is 100% ASAP.

    I miss you and hope you post again from time to time. Your art is so beautiful, so feel free to post pictures of what you’re doing. xxoo

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