Wednesday, 26 November 2014

#5. Orbs and self protection.

This challenge is the challenge that inspired this blog.

When I started going through all of The Diva's challenges from the start I had planned to just do that. Sit on my couch. Drink some wine. Do all the challenges. Then I read this challenge and got weepy. Yes. I started crying. 

I still hadn't met Laura at this point. But we had something in common. We were both keeping something secret. At this point in our journeys with small children that were not well we were not sharing the gravity of our kids situation. 

In this challenge she talks about the realities of a preemie baby which are really difficult realities. But at this point what she's not telling you is its probably not so much the preemie, but all of the very serious breathing and swallowing issues that can happen if you have Moebius syndrome. The fear of whether or not your child is going to make it. 

When I saw the picture that Laura posted of herself and Artoo I can see that she's scared. That she's stressed. That she's ready to do exactly what she says at the bottom of the post.... to curl up in the fetal position in the corner and hide for a bit. Escape the reality of life that is coming. Mourning the loss of having a typical journey through life and having to accept that you're going down an unmarked path without anything to prepare you. I know that Laura was using Zentangle as an escape at this point... a place where she could put her brain down on paper. For 15-20 minutes a clear head, focused on something that wasn't fear.

So when she's talking about self protectiveness it really got to me. She was protecting herself, her family... doing everything she could to protect everyone which is emotionally exhausting. On her challenge this week I see that she's protecting her family... telling everyone a little about what's going on, but not everything... because everything is scary, and it's hard to admit that your child has something that might kill them. It's like Voldemort. If you don't speak it's name... maybe it will go away (it wont). Maybe if you don't tell people it's not real (it is). Maybe if you just pretend it's not there it won't come to haunt you (it will).

So yeah. This challenge was an emotional experience for me. It took me back there. Way back to the days where I lived in denial that my daughter was not as sick as the docs were telling me. I lived in denial for the first year... not even telling some of my closest friends and family what was going on.  I didn't have the answers to the questions I imagined I would be asked. And to this day, I still haven't shared E-Bean's full story with a lot of people. I'm still afraid of our Voldemort. I still try to pretend it doesn't exist... but it does. I'm still drawing orbs in my brain trying to protect myself. Only a few know exactly what's going on.. and The Diva is one of them. So when I hit this point in her challenges when she started divulging a little more info... it really touched me, and made me call her because it was our kids that brought us together.

March 14, 2014 The Diva Challenge #5, Orbs
A picture from our life on the day of this challenge. January 17, 2011

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

#4. Starry Eyed Surprised

Another awesome challenge from The Diva! I really enjoyed this challenge too, but struggled with the idea of having a star in the tile. When I first placed the star and laid out my string I was certain that I was going to absolutely hate my completed Zentangle. It turned out that I loved the tile and you'll see a pattern as a border that I've grown to absolutely love. You'll see that pattern in a lot of my tiles but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. If you recognize it please tell me in the comments!

I got all squealy and pinchey cheeky when I saw the picture of Laura's eldest boy. He's so young and so small in the picture! He's such an amazing young man now. So much older and so handsome! 

Here is my attempt at Laura's fourth ever Zentangle challenge, Starry  Eyed Surprise. 
#3. Starry Eyed Surprise

This Challenge was posted January 10, 2011 and I completed it on March 14. 2014.

My munchkin's 'newborn' photos. She's 4.5 months old here! Photo taken Jan 8, 2011

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

#3. Eyes Wide Shut

I loved this challenge! The idea behind The Diva's challenge this week was to create the string with your eyes closed. I loved making this tile so much that I sometimes close my eyes when I create the strings on other Zentangles.

Also, I LOVED Laura's tile. I loved how the delicate tiles are surrounded by the bold outline. 

Here is my attempt at this challenge. 
"Eyes Wide Shut"

This challenge was back in January of 2011. Laura and I still hadn't met yet! I'm still very proud of Laura for creating her challenge blog and sticking to it. No matter what, she always has a post ready to challenge her followers every Wednesday. No. Matter. What. I find this so admirable. Last week E-Bean fell ill and had to spend seven nights in the hospital. I wasn't able to get my third tile up because I didn't make the time to do it while she was sick. But as I write this now, I think about how often Artoo would have been sick yet she still managed to get her challenge up every week!

Now, for my weekly throwback. Here's a picture from my Camera Roll from January 3, 2011.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A postponement!

Hello lovelies!

Challenge #3 will go live next week. I know I said I would have it ready this morning, but I do not. E-Bean is fine but was admitted to the hospital last night. So I'm focusing on her getting better. 

Thanks for your understanding and I'll see you next week Wednesday!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

My apologies on #3

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all still with me! Post three was supposed to go live at 8am this morning, but it did not happen as I planned. 

Life usually never goes as planned. And instead of Sitting down with a cup of coffee and writing out post #3 on challenge #3 of I do the Diva I sat down with a sick little four year old. We ended up in the ER and spent our evening there. We were able to go home but are back this morning for more medication. 

If you're reading this, I hope you'll pop back again tomorrow for I do the Diva challenge #3. 

Have a most lovely day!


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

#2. Two Pencil String

Welcome back!

The Diva's second challenge was to use two pencils to create one string. What a great idea from another CZT Margaret Bremner! I loved this challenge and the resulting Zentangle Tile is probably one of my personal favourites that I've created.
March 11, 2014, The Diva Challenge #2, "Two Pencil String"
Reading her challenge that day, I don't have a heck of a lot to say. I think she probably had a heck of a lot to say, but was probably fighting some sort of inner battle of 'how much do I share?'. I hadn't met Laura yet, but I was at home with my babe, still in denial that she had such a hard road ahead of her. I imagine that Laura was feeling the same things at the same time that I was.... but I didn't have a popular blog to update. I didn't have a bunch of internet family waiting to hear how my new babe was doing.  I know she was scared. Who wouldn't be.

Here's a picture from my household on December 26, 2011. Surprisingly, I apparently took no photos on December 27, 2011.

Thanks again for reading! I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

#1. Simple. Right?

Hello! And welcome to my first blog. On February 1, 2014 I created my first Zentangle. Let me tell you a little back story.

According to Facebook, The Diva and I started our friendship in March of 2011. It started before that, but we just didn't really know it yet. I saw Laura and B-Rad for the first time on Oct 16, 2010. They didn't see me, they didn't know me and I didn't know them. But I recognized the looks on their faces. I felt their pain. When their son Artoo was born he was placed 3 isolettes down and across from my daughter E-Bean. Kitty corner you would call it I guess! We never spoke while we were in the NICU together. I was at the stage in our NICU journey where I was not talking to 'newcomers' anymore. I didn't know it at the time that they weren't newcomers... but they were already at the stage of 'not talking to people' because this wasn't their first time. E was born on September the 5th. On October 31st we were flown away from the NICU for surgery out of province and when we returned, The Diva's family had transferred units. While we were gone, another NICU mom that had become a friend of mine (and still is today) became friends with Laura. When we were transferred back to the NICU here, E-Bean was placed right beside our now mutual friends son! Which was awesome for me because it was a familiar and friendly face. R told me about Laura a couple months later. She commented that we were very similar people. That we had a lot of the same interests. That we needed to meet. So.... I did what anyone would do in this day, I read her blog.  R had told me a few things, mentioned that maybe we were in a 'similar boat'... that we needed to get in touch. But how would I bring that up? Eventually, I geared up the courage to message Laura. 

We met up and we realized we did indeed have a lot in common. Similar tastes in music, art, clothing, we even had the same couch. We also both had chronically sick kids. 

I always admired her artistic talents and loved the Zentangles she proudly displayed in her home. We always talked about how one day I would have her teach me the method. One day. One day kept turning into another day. And another day. And another. I just kept not asking her. I don't know why. I guess maybe I wasn't making the time to do it for myself. I knew she would teach me if I asked. We had talked about it... but I never followed through! My mother in law lives out of town and loves Zentangle. She did not know that The Diva was my very awesome friend. She had heard of The Diva's challenges via pinterest but hadn't visited her blog, else she would have known that The Diva was my friend because they had already met. When I told my MIL who The Diva was she was so excited. She thought maybe she could teach us Zentangle when she was in town the next time. So I had a solid date. A time. And wine. And cake. And we had a 1 on 2 private Zentangle class by CZT Laura H. And it was amazing. 

Here is my very first Tile. 
My first ever Zentangle

I was hooked. Later that night I created another tile. The back of the tile reads, "I should be sleeping. It's 11:56pm". 
My second Zentangle. Wine encouraged.

The next day I took a drive to visit my mom. It's a short drive out of the city through the Canadian Prairie. I was seeing the landscape as tangle patterns. The bales of hay, the sheaths of wheat. When I got to my moms house I immediately created a new Zentangle. Like I said, I was hooked.  
This is my Saskatchewan Tile. Wheat, Bales, and Sky.

I started doing her challenges as they were released. But I jumped in 3 years late! So I went to her very first post. I read it. I completed the challenge. I read the next one, and the next one, and the ones after that. I read them and I was reading things, but then remembering how things were during those times. I was reading in between her words and her lines. I became emotional. Cried a bit. I went back "there". 

A while later her and I went out together. I made a joke and exclaimed, "I'm going to start a blog! I'm going to call it "I do the Diva!" And we giggled in that ridiculous way two 30 something's enjoying some wine might. But then I got more serious. I told her how I when I was reading her posts that I was remembering what those times were like. And I thought it was an interesting perspective. I wanted to go on a journey through time. Start back at the beginning, and do all of her challenges and blog about them as I do them. Her story, my story. Our story? Simple... right?

Here is Weekly Challenge #1 Simplicity. Not unlike Laura's, life was anything but simple at that point. December 20, 2010. I imagine (but this may not be correct) that she had maybe written her first Challenge on December 19. December 19th was the day we brought E-Bean home from the hospital for the first time. 

Here is my take on Simplicity. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my very first very long not so simple blog post. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to have you back next week on Wednesday.