Disappearing Act

It’s my weekend for Crusading with Michelle over at the GPP Street Team site. This month Michelle challenged us to paint a background using two colors them stamp into it using the same two colors, so that the stamp fades in and out. I tried this in to different sets of colours – blue/greens and red/oranges; think I prefer the cooler colors overall. I used one of my absolute fav stamps, a Making Memories foam stamp that I use endlessly, and some bubble wrap because it happened to be sitting on my desk. I worked on plain paper instead of in my journal and will be sticking them in there for future reference.

Counting down…

Now that I have made a firm decision to start studying again next year, I’m quite excited. The truth is, I love learning new things and thoroughly enjoy being a Uni student. I did a BA and then a PG Dip in Sociology as a full time extramural student, and was working full time for most of those years. This time I’ll only be doing one double semester paper per year, to start with anyway.

I’m enrolling in a PG Dip Museum and may eventually take it to MA level. The first paper I’ll be doing is Museum Management. Here’s what the website says about the paper “Semester One introduces museum organisation, governance, policy development, strategic planning and marketing. Semester Two introduces financial management, project management and personnel management. Practical skills in project management, budgeting, grant writing, reports and presentations will be taught.”  Bring it on!

Yes, I’ll be tired. Yes, some of it may be dry and boring. Yes, it’ll be a huge juggle some days with Mum, work etc. But you know what? I don’t care. I feel rejuvenated at the mere thought of enrolment day. So here’s a message from the Massey University site to leave you with:


Making big decisions

The last few weeks have been hard for a number of reasons, including Mum and I both being sick, being very busy at work, out-of-work commitments and so on. In among it all I had a lovely weekend away with my best mate, Sandra, in Hamilton. We went on a family picnic with some of her ESOL students and their family, to celebrate Moon Day. It was a lovely day in the Hamilton Gardens and the food was fabulous.  There has been almost no art go on for quite a few weeks now and that makes me unhappy – I hate the feeling of my art taking a back seat. But I also know I have to take care of myself and my family.

As I said to Mum the other day, I also have to take care of my career as I have 20 plus years left in the workforce. As part of planning my career, I’m going to be doing Post Grad Museum studies by distance through Massey University next year. This will sit well beside my PG Dip in Sociology, Advanced Diploma in Art & Creativity (Honours) and professional registration with LIANZA (Library & Information Assoc New Zealand Aotearoa). But it will also be a lot of hard work and I need to ensure I can devote enough time to it. There are other factors too. I’m currently Co-Chair of PubSig, a national organisation for public librarians. I’m on the communications committee for next year’s annual LIANZA conference with responsibility for setting up, maintaining and promoting a Twitter presence. So things are busy on the career front.

However, like the adverts say – but wait, there’s more! Mum is getting older, frailer, and her health is becoming harder to manage.  We were at the Doctor then the Emergency Dept on Friday. I was talking with my sister yesterday and she commented that “managing Mum’s health is like having a 1,000 piece jigsaw where some of the pieces get muddled up and you have to figure out what happened”. We promised Mum 14 years ago that we’d care for her at home. Then 5 or so years ago we promised she could die at home as long as she did her bit. “Her bit” includes spending two days a week in day care with me collecting her on my way home form work, and letting other people care for her when needed, even if it’s really me she wants. We’re keeping those promises because it is who we are and what we want to do.

So, where is all this leading? I’m making some decisions and changes to how I organise my life and what I do with my time. I was playing an online game – that’s gone. I am completing artworks for anything I am booked into but will not be entering anything new through till the end of 2012.  I’ll keep an art journal going to relax with, and keep my hand in, and do the monthly Crusades over at Green Pepper Press. I’m back to doing the washing every night or two so it doesn’t build up. I’m limiting the amount of time I spend on work stuff while at home so I have some down-time with Tony or  a good book. Currently, I watch the news and maybe another hour of tv throughout the evening – I’ll be back to pretty much news only from now on.

Next year, when I start studying, I need approx 12 hours a week study time. I’ll set myself a timetable so I do 2 hours a night 5 nights a week, and 2 or 3 hours on a Saturday. That means I have enough time after work to cook dinner, see to Mum, the washing, and fit my study in. That’ll give me Saturday night and all day Sunday for self and family. It’s a plan – it might not be the best plan ever, but at least I feel like I’m getting things sorted.

In terms of this blog, I don’t want to lose touch with people, so I’ll keep doing short posts about whatever and will still follow my fav blogs. Thanks for being part of my support network.

Still taking it slow

In the last 8 days or so I have sliced open my thumb on the bread knife, had a “quick replacement” filling in a back tooth that took an hour of deep drilling and cost $400, and last night ended up at Accident & Emergency with a very painful hand. Turns out I have a badly inflamed tendon that runs from the forearm to the thumb. Why is it inflamed? The doctor and I have no idea! But it’s hot, painful and swollen. So how much art have I been doing? Zip, zero, nada. 

I have high hopes that, if things really do come in threes, this week will be injury free so normal services can resume. I have the urge to paint, but not the capacity…