Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Catching Up

Hello again! I know things have been quiet lately. Life stuff, ya know? Add to that we just survived a very long heat wave (ask me how much I hated every second of it) and I haven't been spending much time in the studio. Things have cooled down finally, so here I am.

We had some summer adventures around town before the heatwave hit. 
Here's a peek:

Random graffiti found while walking on the False Creek Seawall. I always have my eyes peeled for little gems like these.

We checked out the Food Cart Fest which is running weekly on Sundays from noon-5 pm in Vancouver. If you're in town, go! There are about 20 or so food carts to choose from. If you're a VanCity member, you can get in free-just flash your bank card. If you're not, no worries-admission is minimal-$2 gets you in. You can get all the details here.

We ventured into the forest at Stanley Park and diverged from the marked path to find Two Spirits nestled amongst the trees. It's been there for over 20 years and this is the first time my husband and I had ever seen it. It's pure magic and one of Stanley Park's best kept secrets.

A couple weeks ago, Indy had his first Charleson Park swim this year. I love that I manage to capture him mid-leap! He loves the dog pool there so much. I wish there was one closer to home. Whomever designed this feature in the park is brilliant. My dog thanks you.

In the meantime, I've been prepping for classes and doing some other things that are hush-hush for now. Autumn is going to be crazy busy. The current Health Mentors program will be resuming in September and the 2014-2015 session will also be launching. I've been confirmed to do VIP Transportation Dispatch for the 102nd Grey Cup Festival in November. (For non-Canadians, that's our big national professional football championship.) I had such a great time volunteering at the 99th Grey Cup that as soon as I heard we were hosting the 102nd, I was immediately on board. There are several other things coming up that I am involved in, so my dance card is filling up fast.

Just a quick update for now. Hope your summer is going well!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Perspective on Publishing

So I wanted to share with you something that happened today.

This morning, I woke up to an email saying that a piece of my art that I'd submitted for publication in a book had been accepted. The funny thing was that initially, it wasn't. When the announcement was made awhile back, my name was not on the list. 

Was I disappointed? Not really. I figured that there was a reason, even if I didn't know what it was and I was okay with that. It just wasn't my turn. At the time, I just shrugged my shoulders, was happy for friends whose work was chosen and then forgot about it.

This morning, two months later, the publisher sent me an emailing explaining that they had decided to expand the book to include more artists and they very much wanted to include my work. Sweet! 

So why I wanted to share this with you is that I am sure there are those of you out there who might have submitted work to a book, magazine or project and were not chosen. I want to tell you don't give up. It doesn't mean your work isn't good enough or that you're not an artist or any of the million other (negative) things you might be thinking about why it didn't work out.

Sometimes, there are just so many submissions, it's hard to include them all. Sometimes, it's because the art wasn't the right fit for a particular project.
Sometimes, it's someone else's turn.

I'm not saying it's not challenging putting yourself and your work out there-everyone struggles with that because it's a big deal to make yourself vulnerable. But here the thing: if you believe in the art you are making and if it feeds your soul, keep making it and keep submitting it. The art that was just accepted for this book was not chosen for another book. The author of that book chose two other pieces I submitted instead. No big deal! It didn't change how I felt about this piece and it's now found its way into a different book. One door closes and another door opens! 

My intention is always tempered with the though of "this or something better" when I send pieces of myself out into the world. I've learned to trust that things will unfold in exactly the way they are meant to. So far, so good. 

My wish is that with lots of hard work and a little luck, it will be your turn soon- I'm counting on it! 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Canada 147

Happy Canada Day! Joyeuse Fete du Canada! 
Wishing my fellow Canadians a wonderful day celebrating this beautiful and diverse country of ours-to know it is to love it. True north strong and free!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Buried Treasure 2014

My friend Seth Apter's annual Buried Treasure blog event is today, so I dug back into the archives (no mean feat when your blog is almost 10 years old!) to come up with this post that tells of a unique adventure I had while teaching mixed media, back in September of 2007. Without further ado, here's Adventures in Teaching!

Be sure to check out the other links on Seth's blog today-you'll discover a whole host of new blogs to love!

Monday, June 09, 2014


My creative time is taken up with designing workshops right now. Yes, you read correctly-after a long hiatus, I am excited to announce that I'm about to return to teaching mixed media workshops! An opportunity came along that works perfectly for me, so I decided to go for it. I've missed teaching-I really love seeing the joy my students experience when they embrace their own creativity. I'll be sharing more about where and when I'll be teaching once I have all the details ironed out. Stay tuned!

Right now I am working my way through James Patterson's Murder Club Series. I caught up on his Alex Cross series over the winter and this one is equally as good. I've been reading it as e-books, which I love because it means less running back and forth to the library.

In between books, I am watching Game of Thrones, (which is deliciously good!) Nurse Jackie, Deadliest Catch and I just started watching Orphan Black. I tend to do more reading than TV watching in the summer-I find the summer is a TV wasteland. 

I have also been watching lots of documentaries. The best one I've seen lately is called Mile...Mile & a Half. It's about hiking the John Muir Trail and the scenery is spectacular. If you are an artist, a journaler, a photographer, a hiker, a musician or an adventurer, this documentary is for you. You can find it on Netflix.
Here's a peek at the trailer:

New on my iTunes play list rotation:

We're planning a trip to Whistler in the fall. A few months ago, I won a weekend stay at our favourite hotel, Summit Lodge & Spa. We're celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary at the end of October, so this is going to be an early anniversary trip. We're going in the early fall because we're working around weather-we want to be there while it's still warm enough to sit out on restaurant patios to eat and to have good hiking weather, since we're taking Indy with us. I am going to look into what adventures we might do while we're up there. We've already ruled out zipline and Peak to Peak, since my husband is not a fan of heights. I am sure we'll be able to agree on something exciting to do. I adore Whistler-I love being right in the heart of the mountains. It feeds my soul.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Can YOU Help?

So you've heard me talk about the UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors Program and what an amazing and rewarding volunteer experience this has been for me. (So much so that I hope to do a third cohort with the program!) I have only glowing things to say about the faculty and the students I  have had the pleasure to work with.

What I wanted to share with those of you who are local (living in the Metro Vancouver area) is that the program is in URGENT need of Health Mentors. I am putting the call out here in the hopes that some of you might be moved to step up and help shape the future of health care.

If you are someone who lives with a chronic illness or disability or care for someone who does, I urge you to share the benefit of your experience by applying to become a Health Mentor. I promise you, your story matters! Please take a moment to watch this short video that gives you an idea of the kind of impact you can have.

Inspiring, isn't it? Applications are being accepted for the program until July 31st, 2014 for the 2014/2015 session. You can click here for more information about becoming a Health Mentor. 

If you have any questions about my experience, feel free to get in touch by leaving me a comment and be sure to indicate an email address so I can respond. I'd be happy to talk to you about it. If you know someone you think would be a great Health Mentor, feel free to share this post with them! Thanks peeps!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Going In Circles

This past weekend was a long weekend in Canada. We were celebrating Victoria Day. My friend Deb mentioned she was thinking about new themes for a stitchy-quilty swap and one of the ideas was circles. Well that got me excited because I love circle themed art-so much so that I blasted down to the fabric store and bought fabrics to start sewing. Deb said it and I ran with it. As you can see, I ended up with a pretty little stack of quiltlets. This is what happens when you have a few days of leisure and no real plans. (Hooray for that!) 

I decided on two designs. One was this adorable vintage dog stamp I love, which I thought given the texture of the aqua fabric I got was a very good match. The fabric is a woven one which reminds me of vintage tea towels, The florals remind me of vintage pillow cases. The dog is taken from a 1950's reader. They just seemed to marry together perfectly.

The second design had to do with words that I felt lived in a circle: sacred circle, circle of trust, circle of love, circle of light and what goes around, comes around: Karma. (There were more words I could have used, but I only needed to make 11.)

Here's a close up of the two designs. I loved sewing on the teeny tiny sequins, which really look quite lovely. So much fun! (Although threading a straw needle with numb hands is a master's test in dexterity. Good thing I know a magic trick for threading a needle!) I managed to complete these in 3 days. (I tend towards working obsessively when I'm inspired.) All that's left to do is make and attach some tags to them so the recipients know where they came from. Once I've sent them off, I'll sew a few for myself.

Today I'm spending the day writing-deadlines are looming!