Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ten Simple Things

Heather at Shivaya Naturals has a wonderful giveaway happening and all you have to do to enter is post ten simple things that make you smile. Here is what is making me smile today.

  • Kyan breaking into song spontaneously
  • chai lattes
  • my pink primroses in bloom
  • Dave's green eyes
  • seeing the waxing moon
  • hearing the birds singing in the trees
  • taking a walk along the water with my bff's and their babies (some human and some with tails)
  • dreaming of solstice camping
  • planning future sewing projects
  • Kyan's eyelashes (they are devastatingly gorgeous. I think he'll have many a teenage girl swooning someday)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vintage love

Have I mentioned my love of vintage here before? I really do love it. Most of all I love pieces that have a family connection as this table did. They have a story, a history and a connection through time. It is like they add to the overall energy of your home by carrying feelings with them.

This weekend I was given a set of dishes from my aunt-in-law. These dishes are Dave's paternal grandmother's set. She used these ones specifically for passover. They were made in England by the W. H. Grindley China company. They were made sometime after 1928 and have been in the family since the 1930's. So far I haven't been able to find out what the pattern is called. Although they say "The Rossall" on the back but that doesn't seem to correspond to a pattern name that I can find.

Picking out a china set wasn't something that Dave and I found important when we registered for wedding gifts. Instead we chose a nice set of stoneware dishes to use for everyday. And they are fantastic. Receiving a set of china like this is more my style. Luckily I love the pattern. Ivory with gold, orangey-red, blue and black outlining. They set is huge, twelve dinner & side plates and wide soup bowls, four platters, three side dish bowls, a gravy boat and another gravy bowl and a beautiful soup serving dish. I aspire to have a table and occasion big enough to use the whole set someday. I feel so lucky to have this treasure passed on to me. The set is in great condition and the little chips that a few plates have just add to the charm of them for me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where I've been...

Viewing art in the city core::

shuffling through crowds::

spending the day on a sunny & warm mountain cheering::

watching Shaun White win the Snowboard halfpipe gold::

walking with my family in glorious weather::

and making my brother-in-law a 30th birthday cake (it tasted better than it looked!)::

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Art of the Month: Happy Valentine's Day

Well, today has been very interesting. A day of mingling with crowds and checking out future prospects for living arrangements. Oh, yah and it's love day too isn't it?

As a gesture of love and in honour of the memories of past Valentine's Day mornings when our mom would set the table with cards and chocolates for us I made these heart shaped potholders for my sister. They were pretty straightforward to make and I used this pattern from Martha Stewart's site. I went for pinks and purples with green and white since her kitchen is green and red ones may be too Christmasey.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Quick Hello

I just wanted to check in with you all. Things have been a bit hectic this week: cleaning, working, and celebrating. Vancouver is hosting the Olympics and my brother-in-law ran with the torch on Wednesday and we were all very proud of him. My sister and another brother-in-law arrived today from Montreal and will be staying with us for the week. I hope to pop in now and then with some photos of our time during this once-in-a-lifetime event. The opening ceremonies blew my mind with the beauty and symbolism of the dancing, light show and music.
I was not a supporter of the Olympics coming to Vancouver but I am making the best of this situation. The spirit is all around us, athletes who have worked so hard to achieve their dreams and our culture, the culture of Canada on display for the world. Amidst the war of protesters and corporate slogans our city is seeing right now I am trying to live in the gray area between being a stick in the mud and a cheerleader. We are attending two sporting events and will be soaking up some patriotism and some fun too. I hope to pop in tomorrow with some art to share that was inspired by Valentine's Day. Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Today is a day that I would love to be able to reset. It was probably my fault that it went the way it did I just felt stress as soon as my feet hit the floor and well....let's just say that my pride and my car are the injured ones. (don't worry nothing drastic but enough damage to hurt the pocket book I'm afraid)

So since I can't hit reset I'll share a happy little project that I recently finished with the help of many. Throughout my childhood I had this little table and chair (there were two but one was sacrificed to broken kid's toys heaven) I made several imaginary friends imaginary meals that were enjoyed on this table. It is filled with nostalgia for me and to make it even more meaningful it was my mother's when she was a child as well. So when friend's were driving across the country and my mom asked if there was anything that she could send I asked for the table. My dad lovingly took it apart and it arrived like this.

Definitely in need of an update after 30 years or so between paint jobs. Luckily my step-father-in-law is a master carpenter and he glued this back together for me and then I sanded it down and painted it up and voila.

A functional, beautiful, vintage and memory laden little table for a little man. I plan on searching out another little chair so that a friend may join him in tea parties, art making or whatever his little heat desires. I feel so lucky to have this little piece of family history to pass on to him. I wish car paint jobs were as easy to fix as little tables....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Movies That Can Change Us

Every now and then I'll watch a film that strikes a cord. Some people would call it a light bulb moment, you know, it's when you are shaken from your comfortable habits and you think is this really me, do I really believe in this, does it support who I want to be?

Last week I watched not only one but two films that shook me in this way. They have a few things in common: both nominated for an Academy Award, both documentaries and both touching on issues of consumption, food and ethics in humanity's relationship to animals.

The Cove directed by Louie Psihoyos is a thrilling work. Psihoyos and his team travel to a small and idyllic looking town in Japan to uncover a fiercely guarded secret of the horrible slaughter of dolphins that kills about 23,000 of the brilliant creatures a year. This issue is more complex than the mere fact that dolphins are so loved by most people all over the world. Richard O'Barry who brought Flipper to fame is now a driven activist in the plight to free captive dolphins who are being mistreated and ultimately to release all captive dolphins. The film tells his story and is full of suspense as the film team tries to capture this practice on film so that it can be uncovered and ultimately stopped for good.

view trailer here

Not only was the slaughter and sale of dolphins in this film compelling but it also presented some general information about fishing, whale hunting and the toxin levels in the seafood chain that are so important for everyone to consider. Including that at the rate that the world is fishing and eating seafood in 40 years our oceans will be depleted. This fact alone helped my resolve in no longer eating seafood. I can not justify it. I love salmon, I love many seafood dishes but I can survive without eating fish.

Food Inc. directed by Robert Kenner lifts the veil on the industry of food in the United States. There are slight differences in food production and policies in Canada but as an overview of the cultural and political red tape that effects how Americans eat and consider food I think Canadians culture is similar. Factory farms and big business control almost all of the food production in the United States. I can not stress enough how important it is for every North American to see this film. You may think you know where your food is coming from...but do you really? Do you know the person who grows it? What their practices are, how the meat on your table tonight was processed? Who processed it? You'll find many answers to these questions in this film and you'll also find harsh realities accompanied by real steps you can take to change them. This video is the opening 3 minutes of the film.

After watching this one I have some serious reservations about eating animals. Deep in my core I feel that if I can and want to eat an animal I should be able to kill it myself and process it myself and do it in a manner that is respectful and reverent. And the honest truth is that I can't. I feel that I could learn to if it was a matter of survival but what does that leave in the meantime? A guilty meat eater. And more and more I can't resign myself to that. I purchase organic meat but how can I be assured that the animals are being treated the way I believe they should be? The ethics of whether humans should eat animals is not one that I grapple with. I do feel that we have evolved eating meat and that as long as the raising and killing of animals is done with gratitude and respect we can eat them. But factory farms and massive, dangerous and exploitative processing plants are not grateful or respectful of the lives of cows, pigs and chickens being sacrificed for our consumption. These businesses only care about profit margins and bottom lines. I decide where to put my dollars and they are not going towards the perpetuation of this mentality of cruelty. So my commitment is to search out local farmers raising animals ethically and ask them about the slaughter and process of their animals and if I can find ones that I feel meet the standards that I have set for myself and Ky (Dave is already a vegetarian) then I will purchase meat directly from them and invest in a deep freeze. If that is not a possibility I will refrain from eating meat and move into the waters of balancing our way through eating plants only. This post is very wordy so I thank you for making it this far. I hope that every family and individual will see these movies and truly put their money where their ethics are. Demand to buy meat products that are produced with the least amount of suffering for animals possible. We can live in a world that respects all the creatures of nature and is grateful for the food that gives us life.

Cards begin to Arrive


More cards have arrived! View Tami and Lyneya's posts here and here. I am loving the diversity and the different points of inspiration! One Pink Fish posted a very heartfelt and revealing post about the process of making her card here.

*Update* February 4, 2010
My card arrived today from the very talented Michelle. What fun to receive such a lovely piece of art. I love the fire bellow (I had to Google its name, I had no idea) and the colours are vibrant and cheerful. It had lovely red wrapping as well. Thanks so much Michelle.

February 3rd, 2010
I wanted to share news of the first arrivals of cards from the Imbolc Art Card Exchange. Michelle posted about the card she received from Heidi Dawn. And Spiritual Mother left me a message saying that hers had arrived as well. Here is the one I sent to Spiritual Mother.

the Goddess image was from some fabric you may recognize and I painted the background and added lace and glitter. On the front I wrote out Caitlin Matthew's Song of Imbolc.

And the message from Spiritual Mother:

I received the most gorgeous card from you for Imbolc! Thank you so much! Your card is a beautiful work of art and the extra little treasures are wonderful. It's been a hard last couple of weeks, thank you for bringing a glimpse of spring with your Imbolc greetings!

I can't wait to hear about everyone else receiving their cards! Drop a little line off in the comments on this post when you do and post a link to your post about it. I'll update this post as they arrive to include every one's cards. I have already had some interest expressed in doing this again and while I can't commit to hosting this for every Sabbat I will host one again this fall for either Lughnasad or Autumn Equinox. It may take a slightly different form but will remain similar to the ease and artistic flare of this one.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Imbolc in Vancouver

Spring is not just a whisper in these here parts. We are probably two weeks ahead of schedule here and the temperature is warm and things are starting to sprout up everywhere. Yesterday was a misty and gray morning and my friend Sarah and I took a walk with our boys to breathe in the magic of the wheel turning. Some of you are experiencing just the opposite in freezing temperatures (I feel for you) but the earth stirs even where you are it's just not as visible as it is here.

Daffodils on the rise

Buds forming

My Primroses are starting to blossom!