Newton the Italian Greyhound
Newton traveled in my shirt to the vet this week and get his microchip. I like how the red and white stripes look on him :) He also had the opportunity to see his siblings and dad who were also getting chipped at the same time. I'm glad to see that he was interested in meeting new dogs and new people. Iggies have a tendency to be very shy and scared of strangers if they are not socialized, so we're trying to make sure that doesn't happen with Newton. So far, so good.  

Newton the Italian Greyhound
We also went shopping for a couple extra items for him. He settled really fast in his secondary den, which will also serve as a carrier when driving. We  lined it up with an  IKEA's TEJN Faux Sheepskin we had lying around for extra coziness for when he's not sleeping on our lap. 

I also found a cute Canada Pooch raincoat and a reversible wintercoat for the remainder of this winter in case it gets a little cold for him. He's getting his last round of vaccines this week so it will finally be safe for him to go to the park. 

somedays you have to create your own sunshine

This quote inspired me to doodle a little something on my Walls Notebook, somewhat inspired by Banksy. I used a cutout silhouette of a person painting the sunshine. 

I like this quote. The way I see it, is it's all about taking responsibility for your own happiness and not always expect your environment or people around you to take care of that for you, because at the end of the day you decided if you're going to be happy or not, right? 

TGIM sketchnote 9

This week's TGIM gave me a "aha" moment, especially when I heard ET say "You're attracted to greatness because it's in you". It makes sense. I guess you're always attracted to things that speak to you  and they speak to you because there's most likely something in common between you and that great person you admire. That's good to know :)  

I get the impression I'm in various stages depending on the areas of my life when I look at the definitions of average, good, great and phenomenal people. In my case, some projects are in the dream state, some are on paper, some are in the works. It's a nice follow up to last week's TGIM. 

12/52 welcome home Newton

Newton the Italian Greyhound
I've been meaning to adopt a dog for a long time and always thought I would get a rescue dog who's at least a year old (they are typically the kind of dog that seem to be prominent in shelters). We thought we'd found the one: a one year old Italian Greyhound rescue from the States, but for some reason we ended up getting one of his 9 week old puppies. So I guess he's half rescued. We named him Newton after Isaac Newton. 

After learning about the 52 : A portrait a week project on Chronicled, I figured it would be a fun thing to do with Newton. It's a simple creative project where you take a portrait of someone on a weekly basis. It'll most likely be a fun way to bond and remember the good moments and the weekly lessons of having a puppy rather than the trials and tribulations or raising him (It requires a lot of patience). So I'm joining at Week 12 , which coincides with his first week with us. 

Newton the Italian Greyhound
This week I learned that all bowls are not created equal. And the ones we bought are easy for him to tip over. At the same time it was a great occasion for me to spell out his name while I was waiting for him to finish his meal. He's a slow eater. 

Newton the Italian Greyhound
Newton the Italian Greyhound
I didn't know much about Italian Greyhounds before. I didn't even know they existed before seeing Jenna Marble's dog Kermit, who's also an Italian Greyhound. They kind of look alike. Hopefully Newton grows up to be as calm as Kermit. Italian Greyhounds are sometimes referred to as "velcro-dogs as they always want to be near you or on you all the time. He's definitely displaying this behaviour already. He always tries to climb on our lap. 

Here he is at a little over 2 months old. It will be interesting to see his growth over the months compared to this bird ottoman that we like to call Grumpy. 
Newton the Italian Greyhound

TGIM sketchnote 8

This week's TGIM is all about becoming who you're meant to be though actions : Getting out of your comfort zone and doing things better, working harder, stop being average. It's easy to be average. It's hard to get to Good and then Great. I can only imagine how much harder it is to become Phenomenal. I bet that the rewards are probably proportional to the effort you put in : Action Reaction. 

I think everyone starts at Average and some decide to take the next step and become Good, Great and Phenomenal. One a scale of Average to Phenomenal, where do you think you are?  I think I'm at the end of average and the beginning of good. I started a couple things, but there's a lot more to do. Working on this sketchnote brought new projects ideas for me to start at some point (hopefully this year). I wanna see how far I can take this as well.  

ANIMAL CONNECTIONS 017 : Tippi and the ostrich

Today I learned about Tippi DegrĂ©, a woman who, as a child, spent her childhood in Namibia among wild animals and tribespeople. Her parents were wildlife photographers and they produces amazing photographs of their child befriending an elephant, a leopard, lion cubs, an ostrich and more. She's basically a real life Mowgli. One of my favorite from the series of photos I saw is the one where she's siting on a ostrich. This is my version of it. What an amazing experience to have as a child. 

TGIM sketchnote 7

This week's TGIM is a continuation of the previous week's. Once you realize and accept the fact that you matter, you can activate your own potential. There are three main points to keep in mind: 

1. Turn on the power : activate yourself
Activate your potential the same way you activate a credit card to be able to use it, or you turn on a computer to make use of it as well. If you don't turn on the power, you can never figure out all the wonderful things you can do with it. It's just a pretty box. The same goes for every human being. You can remained switched off and just follow the minimum standards of living or you can turn yourself on and be all that you can be. 

2. Discover your unique talents 
Next you have to figure out what you are working with. What's in you. What you're good at and comes to you naturally. It's discovering your talent. But it's important to not confuse talent with skills. "Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft." (Will Smith). In my case I know I have a certain talents when it comes to drawing, but I still have to work on it and keep developing it, in order to get to the Phenomenal level.

3. Your experiences make you valuable
Another thing to realize is that you are unique not only because of your talents, but also because of your own life experiences. So there's not need to worry about competition because they can never be exactly like you, even if they copy you. Where you come from, where you went to school, where you work, your family conditions, your financial condition, all of that create a combination that is unique to you so you'll always be able to relate to a unique group of people. I know there are a lot of illustrators out there, but how many have an engineering and interior design background? Probably not as much. And The more you list your unique set of experience, the more you realize that you can use that to your advantage and there's no way anyone could be the same, even a clone because they will never have the same set of experiences.

who are you ?

If I was a real graffiti artist, I would probably be the type to create art pieces that get people to look inwards or inspire them. Very often when I meet new people, I automatically asking "what do you do?". I guess it's the standard question we've been programmed to ask.  But what I really want to ask is "who are you?".  Strangely it's often a difficult question to answer and many don't seem to have an answer it either ... how strange is that?

TGIM sketchnote 6

This week's TGIM has a slightly different tone than the usual videos. There's is one central important message : 

Whoever you are and wherever you are: know that you matter, no matter what.

I truly believe this. There's nothing more disheartening than to hear about people committing suicide because they didn't think that anyone would care or because they thought they were insignificant. They don't realize that the world will never be as good as it could have been because they left too soon, without sharing their own unique gift with the rest of the world. 

People matter not only to other individuals, but to animals and our planet. So even if you're born in the most horrible situation you can make a difference.  What's important is that you are here. Then all you have to do is do you, the best you can and positively affect people around you.

We fail to realize that something as simple as a smile, a hug or a "thank you" can brighten someone's day.  You'll never know how a gesture as simple as this can turn things around in someone's life. Still, when you pay attention to what you do, and how people react to it, you can sometimes get a glimpse of how you can positively affect someone's life and that's proof that you matter.

the human mind is like a parachute...

"The human mind is like a parachute. It only works when it's open." 
This time for my Walls Notebook, I decided adopt the graffiti style. I've always liked the font style of some graffiti artists and how they can turn words into works of art. This is my fist attempt in this notebook.