Saturday, March 30, 2013

Artist's Play Room #51

Please scroll down for the newest Artist's Play Room Challenge and to enter your artwork throughout this upcoming week.

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

I really do love colour, in all forms. We were lucky enough (before we moved) to live across the street from a beautiful park that had a small petting zoo. In the zoo there were about six peacocks, two white and four in spectacular colour. They were allowed to roam the park freely and sometimes they'd fly over across the street and strut around on our street corner like highly painted call girls. I used to love watching them randomly raise their tails and show off their colour. So, this week's theme is peacocks. Feel free to do anything about them or just use their colours, whatever. Have fun, here are a few examples...


watercolor peacockpeacock featherpeacock eyes
peacock doodle/zentanglepeacock head (satire)peacock abstract
Best,






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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Artist's Play Room #50

Thank you to all of you who have commented and cared about my health. I appreciate every one of you for caring so much. Don't worry, I'll work diligently to come back in about six weeks bright eyed and bushy tailed. Enjoy this week's new challenge!

If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

How about this week we do FLIGHT as our theme? Did I hear any distension?? No? GOOD!! Hehehe. So, things that fly or flight... what do you think of when I say that?? It can be an abstract or a literal, hehehe. Here are some examples, feel free to steal them!!


hope takes flight in your heartbirds fly (obviously Jenn, lol)Flight of the bumble bee
kite flyingon the wings of angelspaper airplanes
Best,






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Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Next Four - Six Weeks

Hi everybody. Remember about a week or so ago I asked for your understanding and forgiveness for my need to stop replying to your lovely comments because I needed some "me" time so I could do more art? Well, there was a white lie in there. Yes, I needed more "Me" time but not for art, I've been having some significant health issues and I hoped by lowering some commitments I could work on the issues. I've realized this week that I can't hide from this health crisis any longer and I have to take a significant chunk of time off to deal with my health.

This means that although the APR challenges will go up every saturday (I have six weeks of them prewritten and scheduled), I will not be able to put your pretty art at the top of every week's new challenge. The only blogging I will be doing will be a few book reviews that I have promised publishers previously. They have already sent the advanced copies and I feel obligated to do my due diligence because they sent me the books.  Hopefully with four to six weeks of concentrated effort I can turn this health crisis around and get back to the business of a normal life.

Please bear with me and don't leave permanently, I am coming back and I don't want to lose any of you! I'd miss you all too much. :o)

Talk soon? Ok, make that a little later, I promise.
Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Take Five

I was thrilled to win an advanced copy of Jack Batten's newest mystery, Take Five. Mr. Batten brings back the witty, jazz loving, vodka swilling Toronto criminal lawyer named Crang. It has been twenty years since Batten wrote a Crang mystery and fans will be happy to indulge in the character's smart mouthed dialogue and follow along in a meaty mystery.

As a Canadian, it's refreshing to read a book that's based in a Canadian city. Crang lives with his long time girlfriend in an area of Toronto called the Annex. If you know Toronto at all it's a joy to know where the character is going as the author describes the environment and streets.

Crang, our criminal lawyer has a client, Grace Nguyen, a beautiful and treacherous woman who is the mastermind of the biggest marijuana grow-op business in Canadian history. After Crang works diligently to get Grace a fair deal for her guilty plea, his client disappears on the day she is supposed to turn herself in. The problem with that is she owes Crang seventy-five thousand dollars! Crang has to find his client in the next three weeks or not only will he be in serious trouble with the court judge, he'll also be out a huge amount of money.

This is where the mystery begins. Although the author fleshes out the Crang character for those of us unfamiliar with his earlier work, the author is careful not to overwhelm the reader with superfluous details. Through the cunning and investigative mind of Crang, the plot develops and the mystery deepens. Take Five is a gentler mystery than I'm used to but that can be a good thing when you want a book that you can break up into smaller sections and not feel so compelled to stay up all night to read. Don't get me wrong, it was a good mystery with complex plot twists but it doesn't compel you to read just one more page because "I'll DIE if I don't find out what's gonna happen." I would definitely read more of this author's mysteries.

Let me expand on what I was saying in the previous paragraph. To me there are two types of mysteries. Those that you don't dare put down, they consume all your time from the moment you read the first page, then there are mysteries that intrigue the intellect, they make you think about the twists and turns. It's ok to put these mysteries down for a few hours and let the details sink in. You read these books on lunch breaks and before bed but you can count on them to be a little gentler on the psyche. I used to read "The Cat Who..." books by Lilian Jackson Braun. Her mysteries were gentler and Jack Batten's book is similar. You still got right into the characters and the who done it of the story but reading the book over several days didn't cause heart palpitations, lol. This is not a "Mission Impossible" or "The Davinci Code" type of book where you're running headlong with the character, going a thousand miles a minute in your brain, trying to keep up with the words as you gobble them up. It is a solid, interesting and complex mystery that will intrigue the reader and definitely wet the appetite for the next Crang book.

If the star rating systems on book sellers' sites would allow for half stars, this book would get a solid 3.5 stars. To me it's a good B+ type of book but since I cannot give half stars I will unfortunately have to settle for giving it a 3 star rating, although it is better than that. I look forward to Jack Batten's next Crang mystery, let's hope it's not another twenty years before he writes another!

Jack Batten's book Take Five will be coming out in paperback on April 20 of this year. It's ISBN number is 978-1-77102-273-6 and is published by Thomas Allen & Sons.

Jack Batten's Facebook page
Take Five on Amazon.ca
Jack Batten on GoodReads.com

My review of Take Five is being submitted this month to the ARC challenge on Art & Sole. The Artful Reader's Club, started this January by Darcy challenges us to read one book a month, review it and then make a piece of art to illuminate something in the book. My illustration refers to Crang's addiction to good coffee, in the book he covets his neighbor's coffee so he goes out and purchases a whole coffee bar set up for his office. I can totally relate to that addiction. ;o) The cups he bought were cobalt blue so I decided to do those blue mugs.


Best,




If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Things I Overlook...

My name is Jenn and I kill plants. I am officially starting a plant-a-holics group, feel free to join me in my shame. It's not like I want to kill living things but I am notorious about forgetting to water them. Maybe this is why I don't have a pet... ;o)

I have a gorgeous plant that sits in the window of the living room. It is not beautiful because of anything I'm doing though. I swear I have tortured this plant for ten years. He must think I hate him because I notoriously forget to water him. Only when I look over and his leaves are hanging over the rim of his pot and I swear I can hear him choking out, "water, wwaaatttteerrr!" do I actually water the poor suffering guy. It's pathetic, he is what I overlook all the time.


I actually think of him as a SuperHero plant, he defies the logic of Nature. How does a plant who hasn't been transplanted in five years, where his terra cotta pot actually cracked from the pressure this winter, survive with so little water, fertilizer and attention? I haven't got a clue but I have to admit, I admire his tenacity. Let me add, we totally love him, just because I forget to water him on an ongoing basis doesn't mean that I don't love looking at his beautiful happy green leaves. He's bushy and thriving despite my neglect. Do you think he'll forgive me someday?? Mom and I intend to transplant him when it's warm enough to go outside. I want to get him a new and shiny big square turquoise pot, give him the pretty pot he deserves. He's my SuperHero plant. His resilience makes me truly happy and I've immortalized him in my Moleskine. Let's call it "Ode to my SuperHero Plant". ;o)

Title: "Ode To My SuperHero Plant"
Best,



If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Artist's Play Room #49

This last week has been in celebration of women. I know this theme made many of you think and I'm happy to have helped all of you explore what being a woman or the women in your live means to you. I found myself looking inside and accepting things that I tend to hide about myself, realizing that by maturing, it's ok to be truly yourself and even if that's unusual or different, that's ok. I so enjoyed reading about how you all came to do the art you did this week, let me show you all that you accomplished...
ParulBooNatalie
MichelleJezBoo
GloriaMoragCat
ArnoldoCurrieMy own Art
Add captionStephanie
If you haven't read the rules & guidelines, please go here. If you've landed here after this challenge has been completed but would like to participate in a current or future Artist's Play Room Challenge, just either click on the APR button in the sidebar or click here and you'll be taken to the latest APR Challenge!

Are you having trouble using the Mr. Linky to add your submissions to APR? Well here's some help! Just click on HELP and you'll be taken to my Linky Help Page. Cool, huh? I've got your back!

Two weeks ago the theme was "What do you Treasure?", and I thought it would be fun to do it's opposite, "WHAT DO YOU OVERLOOK?", so that's our theme. This can mean so many things, are you clumsy and tend to trip over stuff? What, does the cat get underfoot? What things do you just forget to do all the time? Have some fun, think outside the box and create something that maybe just seems to fall off your To Do list all the time. Here are some things I thought of...

watering the plantsdust bunniesthe dirty laundry
I forget about the veggies
in the crisper. ;o(
I lose track of timeoverlook the trash

Best,






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