Thursday, March 29, 2012

A New Felt Brooch

I was hoping to show you a new painting this week
BUT I am having some trouble with my drawing wrist and I've had to suddenly slow down this week
and was unable to finish what I wanted to show you (more on that later!).

But I do have a cool new felt brooch to show you...


Here are some close-ups...


It's a hand-made, hand-stitched, one-of-a-kind original.
It will be listed in my Etsy shop along with 5 others very soon,
I am just waiting on some new clasps to arrive.
If you want to reserve it for yourself, just email me at MandySaile@BijousWhimsy.com

I am off to scoot around in our awesome brand new Jeep & to run some errands...I'll see you next week.

XO Mandy, whose listening to Au Revoir Simone in the studio today.

p.s. My next newsletter will be sent out in the next couple of days,
If you would like to sign up to receive them in your email boxes,
Just click and sign up right here, Thanks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sleeps, Snoozes & Snuggles Oh My

I wanted to show you the new felt brooch and bracelet I finished up the other day,
BUT, it's way to dark and gloomy to get any kind of decent photos of them today,
So instead I'll do another bunny post...

This is what my furry studio co-workers are up to today, ha ha...


It would appear that it's a sleepy, snoozy and snuggly kind of day...
Now how in the world am I suppose to get any work done with this cuddle-fest going on, ha ha...
I foresee myself tossing my coloured pencils & stitching aside often today to join in...
For I know a good thing when I see it.

XO A Bun Snuggled Mandy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cuteness For A Monday

Just hopping in quickly today to offer up some of Jin & Jak's super cuteness,
Hopefully it'll get your Monday morning off to a good start
It always helps mine anyhow, ha ha...

I am forgetting the fact that they kept me up most of night last night,
for I slept in the living room with my niece
and it would seem that for whatever reason the buns thought that if it was a good night
for a sleepover than it must also be a good night for noisy all night high-speed rabbit races & chases!


I can't believe the weather lately, ugh,
It's +20 one Monday and than -20 the next.  It's pretty chilly here today...brrrr...
The constant up and down is wrecking havoc on my noggin that's for sure,
as change in weather is one of my biggest head pain triggers...
it's been a kinda of tiring past few days of going about life anyways
with thunder lashing about in my head! Today is no different...
So I am going to be gentle on myself today and might sneak in a mid-afternoon nap perhaps,
as well as lots of nourishing peppermint and green tea,
and hopefully lots of time assisting my beauty, Ella Luna
and than the rest of the time with my oldest of friends...my beloved coloured pencils.

We'll see you later in this week with a new felt bracelet and a new painting,
So I do hope you'll have time to hop in again for another visit.

& we hope your Monday is off to a lovely & inspired start.
XO Mandy, Jin and Jaks

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More Polarity Goodness

So let me tell you more about my collaboration with Cat Ivins of Polarity and Olive Bites Studio.

Polarity is the original maker/home of interchangeable magnetic jewelry.
Cat Ivins of Polarity makes amazing and versatile industrial lockets & bracelets
featuring artwork from various artists worldwide, such as moi.
The jewelry is amazingly handmade from recycled steel auto parts
and are 'welded with love, propane & power tools' right in her New Jersey studio.

Look at the cool bracelet set you can now buy featuring my 'Beautiful Birds' artwork...


Just add your favorite little picture inside
and you have one of the coolest pieces of jewelry ever.
Your locket will be packaged in a cute little tin, perfect for gift giving or storage
and sent with care from Cat's studio.

You can purchase this bracelet, which has the 3 magnetic interchangeable bird lids RIGHT HERE.

The Rabbit, Fish, Bird necklace set I showed you in the last post


is now available for purchase in Cat's shop.


 
2 more sets are still to come...so excited.
(They will all be available in my Etsy shop as well)

Aren't they totally awesome???

XO Mandy aka 'Bijou' of Bijou's Whimsy

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Peek At Exciting New Jewelry Collaboration

I am collaborating with fellow Etsy Seller, Cat Ivins of Polarity
and we have a super exciting new jewelry series coming
combining her awesome earth-friendly interchangeable magnetic lockets
Here's a sneak peek of one of the goodies that will be available...


They will be listed in both Cat's Etsy shop and mine very soon.
I can't wait.
YAYYY...
More details and info will follow.
I am sitting here feeling very grateful & excited for this new venture.

XO Mandy

P.S.  This locket set is now available in Cat's shop, right here, check it out.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ode To A Gentle Giant

Honestly, I wasn't going to post today because I don't have any new artwork to share
and  well I am usually very fussy with equally mixing rabbit posts with art posts
BUT this blog o' mine is a truthful space
and well  you all know by now that lately bunnies are more present in my days than art-making...
but I have a plan...
a tentative plan, which will allow me to get back to more work!

In the meantime, do let me share some more bunny goodness because indeed
Life feels good
when you have a Gentle Giant Gentle-bun to gaze upon & snuggle the day away with.

I can't believe this is the almost starved little thing I found in the forest a few years ago.
When I found him and he saw me, he laid down...when I pet his head, he stretched out.
When I picked him up...he closed his eyes and fell asleep in my arms the whole walk back home.
And he slept slept and slept some more for almost 2 solid weeks after he was home...
He was just so exhausted trying to live in the wild by himself...


Is my big boy just not one of thee handsomest buns ever
...AHHH, I can barely stand it, ha ha.

He's such a good boy...sometimes more like a puppy than a rabbit.
He runs to you when you call his name...
And when he runs you can really hear it cause he's so big &
well it's one of thee best sounds in the world to me, I just adore it.
He gets the most precious look on his face when he's shy or embarrassed.
He sulks like no one else when he gets in trouble after doing something bad...
Or, when you don't spend enough time with him.
When he's really happy he throws himself over with all 4 legs up in the air &
his pure white belly exposed to the sky and because
he's so big & his back so wide, he usually sticks it and will fall asleep upside down, ha ha.
He loves sleeping and falls asleep at the drop of a hat...
AND
He snores loudly, like a human (truthfully!)...
Sometimes we wake the poor guy up from his snoozes because his snoring is just so loud
and so funny that we can't help but burst out laughing.

He's a happy, calming, soothing & solid soul and I am so grateful to have him around us.
We are especially glad for his gentle and patient ways when it comes to our spazzy
& bossy Ella Luna, we couldn't have asked for a better partner for her.

XO Mandy & Her Snuggle Bud Roo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lemony Lentil Soup

I mentioned making 'a big pot of lentil soup' in my last post.
It's one of our favourite soups EVER...
I've perfected the recipe over the years and will share it will you all here today.
It's super easy and super yummy.


Here's what you do:

First chop a large onion & 4 or 5 medium sized garlic cloves and put that into a big pot with oil,
cook over medium heat until softened (make sure not to burn them).
Then add a dash of hot pepper spice or red pepper flakes, just abit, you don't want it too hot.
Next stir in 1.5 tsp of cumin.
Next you'll want to add and stir in finely chopped parsley (I use a pretty large handful).
Add in a healthy splash of lemon juice (fresh is preferred but bottled will work fine).
Then stir in 1.5 cups of dried red lentils, stir for about 30 seconds.
Now add in 6 cups of vegetable soup stock and stir.
Now you'll want to add 2 finely chopped large sized potatoes.
3-5 peeled and chopped carrots.
If you have it, a nice big handful of chopped Kale is very nice.
Add a dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Stir it all up.
Now you'll want to the pot to boil...leave it boiling for 5-10 minutes,
than reduce the heat to a simmer and let the soup cook for atleast 1 hour.
Add abit of extra lemon juice to taste when your ready to serve.

There you have it.
My secret recipe that we're bonkers for, my best friend is bonkers for, my mom & dad...
pretty much anyone I've made this soup for LOVES it.
It's healthy and satisfying and feels nourishing...
ENJOY.

XO A Vegetarian Mandy

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Red Head In Progress

Today I am working on this pretty little coloured pencil red head...


...I set up shop in our cozy dining room, so that I am near my Ella Luna,
who is spending the day napping under the table by my feet whiles all cozied up to her Roo...


...Occasionally I sneak into the front studio to work on transferring sketches
and to keep company with these two cuties...
(Jaks look all calm and quiet but he's being very naughty and rambunctious today!)


(sorry for the weird lighting of the photos, it's very very glum and gloomy outside today
and I can't stand using the flash on my camera!)

...The day feels quiet and sleepy...
...I am thinking of my best friend in Toronto, whom I miss very much...
...I am thinking of an old friend whose having a hard time and nursing a broken heart...
...I am smiling about another new friend whose just come into my life...
...The jazz is softly tinkling away in the background...
...I am eating a yummy salad that my honey made for me last night...
...I have a strawberry tea in hand because I feel chilly...
...I will soon put on a big pot of lentil soup...
...
How are you spending your day???

XO A tea sipping Mandy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Adjustments, Honesty and Balance

I think I am FINALLY learning to accept and adjust
to the fact that my beloved girl, Ella Luna, is handicapped & won't get better...
and that I am spending more time with her and bunnies, than ever before.

Life feels like it has changed
Some days it feels like it's changed just alittle.
But most days it feels like it's changed alot.
I guess I wasn't expecting to feel such a shift,
since our whole daily routine has pretty much always been centered on the bunnies welfare,
and we have dealt with serious & long-term rabbit ailments before,
 but none have felt like this.

I know some people out there will be saying
'But, Mandy in the GRAND SCHEME of things this isn't a problem at all' or
'Don't take it all so seriously, it's just a rabbit after all'
(I've heard both in variation numerous times!)
But, we all have our own truths, paths and stories, none more important than the next really...
and well, to me, Ella Luna's leg troubles feel big & the circumstances feel demanding...
Adjusting and Juggling our new daily routines of living with a handicapped loved one,
who in this case also happens to be a rabbit...
hasn't been easy...


The biggest adjustment is just in seeing our loved one less than her perfect self
and having such a hard time...we feel helpless, desperate and frustrated
with ourselves because we simply feel like we should be able to fix her.
If I could take on that bum leg for her, I would in a split second.

It's also been affecting my studio time as well...
and time away from my work/studio never sits well with me.
Jonathan is helping me slowly realize that I am doing everything I possibly can
and that I can't be with her every minute of the day,
but still, there is a real push and pull tug of war going on within me,
For I find at the present time,  I can't feel good about being in my studio
when my little precious one, struggles to move around without my aid.
And, when I am in my studio & with my work, I find it tricky to switch gears
and get down to serious work because I just want to be with my girl.
Right now I am mostly sneaking in my art time during Ella Luna's sleepy times, ha ha.


This is where my honey would suggest I interject a big & honest
"Don't feel too bad for Ella"
because other than that bum leg, she's doing great.
She's healthy and happy and very well loved & hugged.
Some days, the leg even improves abit & she can get a few wonky hops in here and there...
Sometimes, we find her sitting up perfectly straight all on her own.

We do spend alot of time bathing her and than gently blow drying her nice and dry,
Because she can't stand/hop normally, she often pees on herself
and we can't have her getting 'urine' scald'...though if you could see her,
you'd be able to tell that she likes the
blow-drying/snuggling sessions very much....
and because of the way she drags herself,
the friction causes her fur to rub off in a few areas & some small sores to appear,
so we are staying on top of that with band-aids & creams & most of the fur is growing back already
.Just incase she has any discomfort, she is on anti-inflammatory meds twice daily, 12 hours apart...
and per doctors orders, needs plenty of daily physio (which she also seems to kinda enjoy)...

We find ourselves in a very awkward spot when it comes to
leaving the house for long periods, ugh...and we are admittedly missing our weekend getaways...
BUT
We wouldn't trade Ella Luna for a trip around the world.


Life is never static, and with change comes some unbalance, it's normal & healthy.
Life is a beautiful balancing act.
The struggle to adjust & to find time for everything is just part of the dance,
I know all this.
And despite any struggles this whole thing with Ella Luna presents,
The days are still steeped in goodness & beauty & I love that fact...
(living as a severe migraine sufferer, I learnt long ago to see beauty in the simplest of places)

Sometimes yes, things feel abit blurry and wobbly...
and we feel like we'll never adjust or find a way to fit everything in...
But, I think part of the beauty of the balancing act is to just allow oneself to surrender
to not being perfect & to allow ourselves to feel the overwhelm...
To not fight against what we know is the utmost important thing at the time being,
(for me, that's making sure my little fur-people are A-Okay)...
And than trusting that everything else will find it's time and place.
I know I'll find a balance if I don't fight against it.

So the current plan is to just keep snuggling & caring for all the bunnies,
Keep on giving Ella Luna every loving minute that she deserves and needs,
Create whatever art work I can during bunny nap times...
and to not be so hard on myself for whatever else may temporarily fall to the wayside.

Cheers Everyone,
To being able to gently and respectfully accept or own truths and stories, as well as those of others...

I say CHEERS,
 to changes and being able to see the beauty despite the hardships...

and Cheers
to knowing balance will make a beautiful appearance if we just trust ourselves
& in the universe enough to let go, even just a little bit...

Thanks For Listening.
XO Mandy, Ella Luna & Roo

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Today

Today marks my 4th year of blogging
Wow...
(697 post so far)


Today will be lovely.
First a quick zip to my doctors to ask after my troubled wrist...
Followed by lunch out at one of my favourite places to celebrate.

Then I want nothing more than to spend the rest of the day creating more artwork,
(in my upstairs studio shown above)
amongst loveliness such as;
bunnies nearby,
time at my desk in the brilliant sun,
with some beautiful flowers from my honey,
and cup after cup of peppermint tea...
and a huge excitement for all of my planned illustrations & creations.

The makings of a great day really aren't all that complicated in my books.
Though admittedly, a handicapped rabbit does make it a smidgen more difficult, more on this next post!

XO Bijou

Friday, March 2, 2012

Side-Tracked By A Furry Face...

Today I worked on this new coloured pencil...
Well, I am tried my hardest to work on it!

Apparently it was a day to be easily side-tracked...


...Because I was working in the dining room
(to be near Ella Luna, in case she needed help),
and whenever I looked down I was greeted by this adorable face...


...Begging for treats
(he knows that we just did a dehydrating batch of pineapple, blueberries and apples for the buns!)

And than he wanted snuggles...
oh boy this rabbit LOVES to snuggle...
And today I didn't seem to have much will power to resist, ha ha.

And well since I can't always be a superstar in the studio, ha ha...
(not that I come anywhere close to that lately, not with my migraines & Ella Luna, yikes!)
...I am calling it quits early
to go enjoy some cake & some wine with my Dad
Because today is his Birthday, and we love my Dad oh-so-much...


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD.
WE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU

XO Mandy & Jonathan & The Furry Crew

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Fish, Tigger

I am abit sad today
My fantail goldfish just passed away.

I had the feeling it would be his last day so yesterday his tank was gently re-freshened
and candles were lit by the tank side all night long.
(my honey even got up in the middle of the night to re-light more for him, thanks babe)


He was old.
I had him for almost 13 years.

When he was just a tiny little thing, maybe 2 years old, he got stuck in a seashell in the tank...
I thought the cat was crafty enough to scoop him out somehow to eat him!
A week later I glimpsed something shiny in one of the fish tank sea shells...
I jumped up for a closer look & saw something that looked like Tigger's tail.
I called Jon at work in a panic (those who know me wouldn't be surprised that I panicked!)
He of course and as always rushed home to help me out...
he gently cracked the shell apart and
holy smokes there was Tigger, inside of the shell
ALIVE!
He was shaped like a 'C' for quite a few months afterwards...
And I had much apologizing to do to the cat!

RIP Little Goldfish Tigger,
you were a cool fish
& thanks for always delighting my eyes and heart with your lovely orangey-gold glittery-ness.

(I still haven't been able to bring myself to compose a memorial post for my neice Torry McIntyre but I will find the words soon hopefully, as well as show you the picture I created in her memory).

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