Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm Still Here

Hey everyone, I'm still here! Sorry about my absence since my last post, I've been pretty busy and tired so I haven't been up to writing much. Actually, this post is going to be pretty short as I am still very tired.

Just wanted to give a quick heads up:

The blood donation went wonderfully!! I am definately going to try to donate again. It was very interesting process. There were plenty of kind people working there, as well as smiling donors. I got a sticker saying "1st Donation" (yay for stickers!!) although it was mainly for the staff to know so they could explain the whole process to me as we went along.

There was an initial blood test to check my hemoglobin/iron to make sure I was able to donate (they used a small lancet, very similar to when diabetics check their blood sugar levels). Once that was a go, I read an informative pamphlet and then went into a cubical to get my weight and blood pressure checked. After that was settled, I was left alone in the cubicle to answer some questions on a computer to further check if I could donate. For those of you who smoke, I asked the lady working there if smokers could donate and she said yes. :) When I used to smoke I was under the impression that we couldn't donate, but that isn't the case!

After everything was good to go, I was taken to a large area where there were these HUGE plush wonderful lazy-boy chairs!! When I sat in one it was so comfy, I could have seriously fallen asleep.

Beside the chairs there are these machines that hook up to the I.V.'s and hold the bag as it is filled with blood. It rocks the bag back and forth as it is filling up, to mix the blood with an anti-coagulent. It's almost hypnotic to watch...

I couldn't see the machine that I was hooked up to since the chairs were so big and really high off of the ground, so I stole glances at other donors machines. :P

I was pricked by (I'm not going to lie) a pretty big needle (I'm not very squeemish amout needles, I watched her put it in) and I barely felt a thing! Honestly, you know how it feels to go get routine blood tests at a clinic when they take several vials of blood? That actually hurts more than this!! Seriously!
After that you are hooked up to the tube going to the bag, which also has an attachment which allows them to take tubes of blood as well. I had 6 tubes of blood drawn before the donation, as they test this blood for problems before allowing the blood to be given to a patient.

The whole process took about an hour, but the whole giving blood part took only 9 minutes!! There was music, tv, things to read and people to talk to... it was a very relaxing atmosphere. I actually closed my eyes to relax for a bit but then a nurse asked if I was feeling ok (hehe). They monitor you closely but don't hover uncomfortably about. There are always several workers nearby so if anything goes wrong or if you feel a bit off you can flag someone down pretty much instantly.

After that I had to apply pressure to the puncture site for 6 minutes. Then I was off to the refreshment room!!

As soon as I got there a lady asked if I wanted something to drink, and at my request got me some apple juice. Oh yeah apple juice! Then I sat at one of the tables nearby and took a peek at the basket of goodies in the middle of the table (each table had one). Again there was t.v. and reading material. I partook in some Oreo's guilt free! :D They like you to eat something sugary and drink at least your 8 glasses (throughout the day, not all right away!)to get your blood sugars back up and to help replace the blood volume. The donated red blood cells take about 6 weeks to fully return, whereas blood volume and plasma comes back within a day or two (if I remember correctly). Also, if you are planning to donate blood, drink plenty of water the day before and the day of, and eat a hearty meal sometime before you go to donate. It can help make you feel much better.

Anyhoo, that's my story. I donated whole blood, and was told that my donation can help 3 people. :D What a great feeling!! I was thanked for my donation, I felt great, and I made another appointment to donate in December. When I was there I overheard a man at reception who was there for his 80th (!!!) donation. And he didn't look very old, either. Good for him!! :D

If you are a bit anxious about donating blood, I gently suggest that you go check it out, chances are it won't be as bad as you think! I was pretty anxious, and it went awesomely!! There are a lot of people who want to donate blood but can't for various reasons. There are also people who are extremely uncomfortable with donating blood, even if they can (and that's alright!). I just suggest giving it a look see! :)

Wow, this post turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be!! :O

Yum, I'm eating lasagna that my bf and I made. YUM!

Anyhoo, have a wonderful night!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

End of the Weekend

Well it's 9:50 p.m. on a Sunday night, and boy am I full!! O_O My bf took me out for mexican food (thank you so much!!!), and I ate too much. >.<; It was so delicious! :)

On our way to the restaraunt (which thankfully is very close to my home) we saw a raccoon sitting on a fence. It was pretty cute, but at first it scared me because I didn't realise it was there until we were pretty much right in front of it. It didn't seem to mind us that much, I guess because it is a city raccoon.

Tomorrow is a big day for me, I will be (hopefully) donating blood for the first time, and I am very excited for that. Also, it will be exactly 2 months since I quit smoking (yay!).

On Saturday I picked up some theatrical body makeup for my upcoming Hallowe'en costume, from Malabar. Malabar is a dance and theatre supply store, and is pretty much the only place to get a lot of special effects supplies in Ottawa (at least that I know of). I got two large cakes of "Paradise" Mehron makeup, which you apply with a wet sponge or brush. The cakes cost $14 each, but they are also good for about 10 full body applications each, so at $1.40 per full body application, that's pretty good. I got a light blue and a dark blue, and they are so beautiful.

Thankfully my sis was there to help me pick out the proper things, as she is a makeup artist and I tend to not know what I am doing with stuff like that. :P I also picked up some spirit gum remover (expensive!) because without it, removing the crystallized spirit gum from my skin after wearing prosthetics feels like crushed glass. Not very pleasant.

The makeup goes on very nicely, and adjusts its transparency to how much water is on the sponge when you apply it. It builds up on itself quite well, and looks a lot like acrylic paint when applied. You can get some nice fluid lines when you use a brush and a thinned mix of makeup and water. Best of all, the makeup is matte so you don't look super shiny, and it stays on very well with minimal smudgeroos. A little bit comes off if you rub it, but it stays on VERY well, and is definately worth the investment. The colours are also quite striking. I guess the other best part is that it washes off really easily with soap and water.

Now I shall leave you with a pretty picture of some clouds, which I took (I think) in either the spring or the summer. I love taking pictures of the sky!

Have a great night,


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Illumination + Pumpkin Cookies

It is after 3:00 a.m. again, oh well. The good news is, I made some wonderful pumpkin cookies at like 1:00 a.m. this morning! :D They were delicious! I like middle of the night baking, it can be quite fun!

My boyfriend had mentioned that he wanted cookies, and I thought "hmm, yeah... cookies would be really good..." and since we had the ingredients for these, I had to make them. I will include a link for the recipe. Man, do they ever smell wonderful! Perfect for fall.

I did however change a few things, I used light margerine instead of butter, I substituted 1/2 cup of the white sugar for brown, and I added only 1/2 tsp of cloves and added 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the nutmeg. It turned out so good! Plus, I used an extra large egg. Sometimes I find the cookies can use a bit more time in the oven, so just keep an eye on them. Also, I find that these cookies are not so much "cookie"-like, as they are cake/top of muffin-like. So good.
(My sister likes them, and she hates pumpkin). The taste is reminiscent of spice cake. <3

Here are some photos of my first illumitated letters. I got some gilding supplies for my birthday from my family, and I made this piece in August for my sister.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good Morning

Woke up at around 3 again this morning..

Well, I guess I woke up earlier than that, but I stayed in bed until then. As a nightly ritual (since by now I am wide awake) I get up, boot up the laptop, then make an english muffin with Nutella on it. I know, not the healthiest habit, but oh-so-good!! :D I LOVE Nutella! Plus, we just picked up a new jar yesterday (probably because I ate most of the other HUGE jar :P).

Today my friend T is coming over to visit, which will be nice. T has been a friend of mine for years, she is a real sweetheart. She moved here from Japan last year, although she had stayed in Canada for over a year before, studying and visiting. We met each other online on a pen-pal site, corresponded over snail mail and e-mail, and have been friends ever since. You can meet some wonderful people that way, I was truly lucky to find a friend like her. Not sure what we shall do today, maybe go for coffee? Gotta love coffee, that's for sure.

I think I will go peruse the internet and make a tea. :)

Talk to you later,


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yay, Tomorrow is Friday

Good Evening!

I want to be more active in my blog, so I will be increasing my posts over the next little while. Beware, they won't only be about art. :P

Today was a pretty nice day outside, rather cold but otherwise not too bad. Winter is my favorite season, so I am not too worried about the fall cold :P! (Plus, I got some great new winter boots this month, so I am glad to wear them. Finally my tootsies will stay warm!)

My sleeping patterns have been pretty wacky over the last few weeks, so I fell asleep last night at around 12-12:30 a.m., then woke up at 3:20 a.m.. :S Pretty silly, I know. It seems that lately no matter when I go to sleep at night (and only at night because I can nap just fine during the day) I can only sleep for a few hours at a time. It's silly how easy it is to make a bad habit, but hard to make a good one! At least I was able to have a nap after I came back from my visit to the medical clinic this morning.

Ooh, speaking of bad habits, on October 25th I will be smoke-free for 2 months! YAY! I couldn't have done it without the support I got from my family and friends, and from the nicorette inhaler I got too... hehe. So thank you so much to all those who have helped me immensely! :D I appreciate it so much!!

I quit the inhaler after 8 cartrages, so that was about 2 weeks worth of using it. Not too bad if I might say so myself! I had started smoking when I was 13, so this has been a great step for me. :)

This morning I called the Canadian Blood Services, and made an appointment to donate blood this upcoming monday at 10 a.m.. I am very excited! I haven't donated blood before, so I am looking forward to it. I hope that all goes well. ^_^

Well that's all for now, I hope that everyone has a great evening!


Signing Up to Save a Life

This isn't art related, but it is very important.

I just joined up with the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. That means if I am a match with someone in need, I can donate stem cells to help them survive. I think that's pretty cool. It's a great program, I suggest checking it out!

This quote is from the OneMatch website:

"How does OneMatch work?

OneMatch maintains a database of tissue typing results of all Canadian prospective donors. Whenever a patient requires a stem cell transplant, OneMatch is able to search this database to identify potential matching donors.

Because Canadian Blood Services' OneMatch is a member of an international network of registries, we can also search more than 11 million donors on over 50 registries in other countries. By agreeing to make their donor data available worldwide, international registries have significantly increased the odds of being able to find a matching donor for any patient, anywhere in the world. "

Here is another quote, explaining why more stem cell donors are important:

"Is there a matching donor for every patient who needs a stem cell transplant?

Even with millions of donors on registries worldwide, a perfect stem cell match isn't always available. Some patients have uncommon antigens that may be very difficult to match. In these instances, even with everyone's best efforts, it may be impossible to find a donor. It is for this reason that OneMatch is committed to building the diversity of the database by increasing the number of potential donors who possess unusual antigens."

OneMatch is easy to join, you can do so on the web site, and within 8-10 days you will be contacted on how to get a swab taken from your mouth, and then you will be in the database! Pretty easy-peasy! There are also other ways of signing up, explained on the website.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Old Art

Here is another older piece I had done, this time in Adobe Photoshop. I never really finished it, so the edges aren't as clearly defined as I would like, but oh well. I'm pretty sure the file for the picture I was working on is gone now. In total this piece took about 6 hours, but that was due to the fact that there was a body as well (which I didn't picture because I didn't like how it was turning out!).

Sorry for my long absence! A lot has happened over the last few months, and I hadn't felt the need to blog (to be honest I completely forgot all about it!). In the summer there were about 4+ birthdays (including my own, yay!). In upcoming posts I will be elaborating on some wonderful new art products that have come into my posession recently, giving my reviews for them.

Until then, take care and enjoy life! :)


Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy (Belated) Canada Day!

I was busy on Canada Day and so I did not make a post, but I meant to, so here we go... Happy Belated Canada Day.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago and thought that it was very fitting.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Acrylic Moon

A moon is a pretty thing to paint!

(Edit: I used the burn tool in Adobe Photoshop to bring some of the darkness back in the picture, my camera reflected a lot of light off the paintings surface).

Art in Progress

Here are some pictures of a painting I am currently working on. Some photos are earlier shots, I was trying to take pictures at different stages of the painting. I am not liking the latest stage of the painting as much as I would like, but it has a long way to go so I am not too worried about it.

Ducks Are Cute

Yesterday my friend and I went to the nearby lake to take a walk and some pictures, and I had to post this one because it is so cute!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Earthquake In Ottawa

Well, that was strange! We had an earthquake here in Ottawa, I think it originated around the Ontario-Quebec border, and it registered a 5.5!!

That is so strange for here!!

I had an appointment and I was waiting to take the bus back home, but since I was standing by the side of a busy road I didn't feel anything (since large trucks were going past). If I did feel anything, I probably thought it was a truck. :P

Thankfully everyone is fine, I haven't heard of any injuries. Crazy stuff!!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gross Temperatures

Today it is pretty warm outside, but tomorrow's forecast is scary:

29oC and feels like 37 degrees Celcius!!! (84.2 degrees F and 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Also, the humidity is supposed to be at around 67%. Ugh, not looking forward to it. Usually I wouldn't mind as much but since my boyfriend and I live in an apartment on the 9th floor with no air conditioning, I like to complain about it. ;)

Now to talk about art:

I've been working on some acrylic paintings right now, but they have a long way to go until they are finished. I'll keep you posted on this.

Until then, the picture I posted is of some mushrooms I drew a couple years ago.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Art From Before

Well, I figured I would start adding art to this blog (since it's about art) so here we go! These are from the last 2 or so years.

A Welcome Post

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my blog! This is the first time I will be making an effort to write a good blog, although I can't guarantee the quality of it.

I chose the name Art Evolve, because I am constantly learning and hope that my art moves forward.

In this blog I will be exploring and discussing different aspects of art, from drawing and doodling to painting, music, writing... and my journey exploring it.

I will post art that I am working on, have finished, and interesting tips that I have learned along the way. I am also welcome to constructive criticism with my work, as I am far from perfect.

I will also have posts about favorite and interesting artists that I have great respect for.

I hope that you enjoy your stay at Art Evolve.


Products I'm Really Enjoying Right Now

Good afternoon, dear readers! Today's post is about some of products that I've been enjoying lately!  Swatches (where applicable) ...