Monday, December 28, 2015

A December Collapse

Collapse is meant in a good way.  A crumple into sleep, the dark and rest.  After a busy first 3 weeks to the month is has been a nice change in these last few days of 2015 to revel in the longer mornings and extra sleep.

Our holidays have been nice, though I admit I was preoccupied by impending deadlines and keeping it all straight.  But as the year wanes it seems to make sense to have the good and stressful all mixed up since that was a theme of this year for me.

I don't feel that I have tons of observations other than the above at this point.  There is much I am looking forward in 2016.  One big thing is a gathering of ladies.  We are deciding to meet each full moon in a come as you are style.  These ladies are full of magic, we each come from different spiritual places but wish to share ritual and mark the passing of time.  This is a gift that my heart has longed for for some time.  I enter into it with no expectations other than a chance to acknowledge a part of me that has been dormant and needs some nurturing.

I send out many blessings to any who read this humble message for a happy new year, a year of discovery and growth.

Blessed Be.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

November Myth

When I contemplated what I would write about this month's word: Myth, I was baffled for quite some time.  So as we creep halfway through December I now feel ready to sort it out somewhat and lay it down for posterity.

Rather than using the "traditional story" definition of myth I am thinking of the "widely held but false belief or idea" version of the word.  And specifically I'm referring to the myth(s) we tell ourselves about ourselves.  We form stories from birth as our understanding increases.  Other people can break or contribute to the myths we create for ourselves.  These myths can often limit our capacity to change.  And I've held many that broke this year.

One such myth was that I lacked drive to pursue a career.  This year drive burst out if me with a vengeance  and I feel like I crushed several beliefs that I had created about how much time I actually have to make art.

I will hold this year as a marker, a place that revealed many ideas I had about my core that were false.  Perhaps they just could not emerge sooner than now.  37 was when they were supposed to become a part of me.  It certainly is true that age gives one the gift of understanding more about ourselves.  Or maybe it lets our constructed myths crack enough for us to consider other possible realities for who we are.

I have teachers around me, people that love me, who have helped these cracks open up as well.  Challenging me to let go of rigid ideas of myself that are outdated or that limit my growth as a human.  I am grateful for those lessons despite the fact that they can be painful to learn.

As I reach further than I ever have towards putting the pieces of my life puzzle together the coming year feels like a chance to push harder than before.  At this point I feel that I have to potentially overreach in order to understand where the balance or sweet spot is.  And the sweet spot will probably change more often than not but we will just have to adapt to that.

A human trait if ever there was one.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

October the Harbinger

(photo taken by Elliott)

As this year winds down; days getting shorter while the cold creeps closer, I try and hear the herald of winter and just be.
Today I put my small garden to rest, Kyan is home from school with his first cold of the season.  The sun was out and the crisp morning was perfect for trimming the raspberry canes and the stems of faded Lady's Mantle blossoms.   Our home is slowly coming back together after several room renovations.  The process of refreshing after 5 years in this home is fulfilling but made October far from stress free.

There were a few traditions missed, we picked no apples and put out minimal Halloween decorations.  But in the spirit of doing our best with the situation at hand we still made the most of the seasonal fun.

I look forward to the Yule season this year as a time to decorate and make the most of our inside space although living in such a temperate climate we are able to be outside all year (as long as we don't mind the rain)

Dancing the Spiral at Reclaiming's Samhain ritual felt like a complete renewal of my body at the cellular level.  I find that I have become more open to the energy raised each year.  When I leave the ritual space I feel new, almost reborn and that energy carries me through the darkening.  In fact I crave that renewal and look forward to immersing myself in the winter season to come.  Perhaps being an autumn baby adds to the power of this time.  38 bares little problem for me, unlike how I felt last year as my 37 birthday approached.  Looking back on the past 10 months I see why I felt so uneasy last year.  It was a year of change and lessons, a harbinger of growth and things I didn't want to accept.  It may be something I'll reflect more on next month.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Subvert September!

Oh, September you do it to me every year.  Sending me running around like a headless chicken as I naively say: "Sure we can fit in one more thing!"
But we can't.  And this lesson is one that I seem unable to remember as this tricky month rolls around.  So here I am on the other side of another 9th month, glad it's over but amazed that it is so crazy busy year after year.

There is an election coming up in Canada.  This has been the longest length of campaign time in the history of our country.  Facebook, radio, it doesn't matter where you look the quotes and promises, the anger and apathy is everywhere.  I have never felt so unwilling to engage in the debate and so pessimistic about the outcome.   While at the same time my urge to subvert our current government could not be greater.

Subvert, verb; to undermine the power and authority of (an established system or institution).

Every value that I hold dear has been subverted by our current government.  That is a hard pill to swallow and frankly it's been happening for almost a decade.  I don't expect perfection or even a government that aligns with my radical views, but I do expect much more.

The reality of our own making can be subverted.  I can choose to undermine my own penchant for putting too much on my plate.  Subverting the government....that is a bit trickier.  Of course it feels damn near impossible.  But I research, I vote and I count.  As small as that seems in the overwhelming odds against.

One of my favourite bands added a pebble to the stream of subversion.   And it gave me an uplifting feeling in a sea of doubt.  Enjoy.

Land You Love - Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde from Phil Maloney on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Intuit August

A new word to me, intuit means: to understand or work out by instinct.  I think that may be an overall theme of my whole life as I rarely use other means of figuring out my days as a mom or as an artist.
I'm sure most of us do use our instinct often but it is just not articulated when we do.

August was full and the fall is shaping up to be busy.  Despite my resistance to a fast paced life it seems that with a family of four people making their best possible life it's just inevitable.  As the family manager so to speak I hover about co-ordinating schedules and making timetables, yesterday it left my head spinning. 

But as Dave is trying to keep his fitness up he suggested an after dinner walk.  I was resistant at first  because it's a bath night, we need to get the boys back on school bedtime routine, etc, etc, but instinct took over and told me that I needed that walk. The rain drenched paths, leaves strewn about by a weekend wind storm (fallen trees from that wind storm even) all of this would calm my mind and be good for us all.  It was more than pleasant, it was healing.

 So bedtime was a bit late, but we'll get back onto the routine eventually.  And the future renovations to our home, soccer schedules, work trips, art show exhibitions to apply for,  community plays to rehearse, all of it will fall into place or not.  Our health, our well-being and connection to nature, must have priority over all of the minutia that fills or days.  Our instinct tells us so. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Around Here

 After some teasing from friends about my Instagram photos and the illusion that social media can convey about our lives being one lovely moment of leisure, I thought I'd do a photo post today sharing our Monday so far and describing the reality just outside the frame.

Our weekend was spent mostly going through our storage room and getting odd jobs finished around the house.  This process goes so much faster when Dave and I do it together.  But that left little time for some time in the studio.  This is a small glimpse at a section of my studio wall today.  It changes quite frequently, along with my mood and inspiration.


Looking out our bedroom window at the trees and my happy spider plant. This week promises some more hot days and I welcome that because I'm not ready for summer to slip away just yet.

 The boys had a laid back morning in their pj's, playing Lego.  Behind is an ice cream shop complete with a parking lot and bench, and the smaller front creation is one of Elliott's new "secret Lego sets"

In the kitchen there is little besides mess to show, but I focused on this bowl of peaches patiently waiting to become jam, and the very ripe Roma tomatoes the rest of which Dave and I enjoyed in a salad last night.

The living room as usual is full of toys in various states.  The easel was brought up from the storage room and quickly covered with art work and letter practicing.

And the balcony is all disheveled as I deal with the aftermath of a rat infestation (oh, please don't ask) so I focused on these lovely Calibrachoa Sweet Chimes which attract humming birds and are the sole surviving plant out there right now.  At the end of this week I hope to have taken back the patio and have it set up to enjoy the last few weeks of warm weather.

Monday, not manic just steady.  And always a little more going on than what the picture reveals. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ever, July

Well, here we are at the end of the month.  We have been home for two weeks and two days now and I am still processing the trip but of course was forced to jump back in to life.  Swimming lessons, play dates and hot summer weather wait for no one.
There is little I'd rather do these days than sit on the sand and watch the boys build and discover new things.  Yesterday a jellyfish was spotted and many bright green pieces of seaweed were buried in sand pits.
It feels settled now.  The summer has surrounded us, made us slightly tired and brown-skinned from sunshine.  The travel was so good but did not manage to get us to that place.  
I am grateful that the season has sunk in.
I am grateful that a few days of rain took the edge off the brittle grass and parched trees. 
Ever grateful, berry eating, long summer days.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

June: Escape

As this posts are plane is in the air.  This Escape has been a long time in coming.

If you'd like to follow along I plan to post a photo a day to Instagram & Facebook.

Until July then.  Happy travels.

Monday, June 22, 2015

When words won't do....

It all comes at once...the lesson of this year so far.  The good, the bad, the ugly....there is not a separation. It is all jumbled together whether you like it or not.
In a few days we fly east, pause and then fly east again.  The pause will bring celebration and mourning.  Which doesn't seem to fit but again it must.  And sometimes words just won't describe the bittersweet nature of this life.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Mystery

The mystery of May is which word best describes the breakneck pace with which it advanced.  Mayhem, madness and masochistic would suit I think.  Phew.  I'll take a breath now that it's almost over. 
Much of the month was fun and celebration, and of course as life tends to present itself there was (and continues to be) much sadness and stress. 
Our countdown to our England trip looms in the distance and as excited as I am I am still not in a position to plan too much or even make my top 5 list of places to visit.  There is still a long list of things to do, finish, and prepare just in our day-to-day.  I can't say I'm great at approaching life at this speed but regardless I either have to run or miss the train. 
As all of this stuff of four lives lived together zooms around us the boys are growing as quickly as the spring plants.  The reality of their changing selves strikes chords with me daily.  How can the time move so fast?  With each little baby I hold I see how un-little my boys are, while simultaneously shaking my head at how much there is to watch unfold inside them before they exit my daily influence.
Am I recording the sweetness of now?  For their benefit but mostly for my own....I'm not sure how successful I am at that. 
Today a girl I have know since she was born turns 13.  And it literally feels like it was a blink in time.  May's mystery...the stunning dash of our children as they grow.  I'll take a breath again and sit with that for a while.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

London Calling

The countdown to our summer holiday is officially on.  We leave in about 2 months for London England, and Jersey Channel Islands.  To say I'm excited is a huge understatement and in my true fashion I'm doing some fun research on my own and with the boys.  Luckily Kyan developed an interest in knights and castles recently, and Elliott's obsession with shields and swords is playing into our prep as well.  Here are some books that we have checked out from the library to give us some background on our travels. 


This is an interesting read so far, debunking the myths surrounding the ravens living at the Tower of London.  I happened upon it while looking for books on ravens for a future art project.


Edward Rutherford has written many novels specific to cities.  I have read Dublin: Foundation  (Also named The Princes of Ireland) and really enjoyed it.  Historical fiction helps me to grasp a place much better than too much non-fiction.  Much less dry.


Let's Take the Kids to London: A Family Travel Guide, and Frommer's London with Kids (Frommers With Your Family Series) are the guide books I have been looking at.  So far I've just been glancing through but I plan to look more extensively in early June.

And for kid's books we have been reading:

Which is really fun and engaging. 
Although the overall perspective gets harder to grasp as the city grows over time.
 We pick and choose from this one covering the areas we will be going to and the aspects that we can engage a 4 and 7 year old in.

That's it for now.  I'll try and share more about our prep and the trip itself soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Outside

Last weekend we visited a wonderful organization's open house.  O.W.L which stands for Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society rescues injured birds (mostly raptors) and houses ones that can not re-enter nature and releases ones that have healed.

 Turkey Vulture.

  A Barred Owl.  We think an owl like this may be nesting near our home.  
We have seen her/him 3 times now.

And the climax of the day was the release of this juvenile bald eagle.  He was saved by a BC Hydro worker after being caught in a power line.  It was very moving to hear his story and witness this bird's release back into the wild.

There are so many people that dedicate their time to worthy causes, this is just one of many.  Supporting such brilliant work is a great way to send a family day outside.

Friday, March 27, 2015

March: Equal

Being one of the months that brings us the day and night in balance often makes March a positive time.  As the month winds down I am reflecting on how the longer hours of light change our very nature.  All of a sudden we are such busy bees and we try to pack more into our days.  Or at least that is what I do.  A to-do list that was ambitious in January is just not enough in March.  

Dave and I are both stretching the possible for ourselves.  How much can you accomplish today, this week, this month?  Oh, sure I'll add one more thing, I'm sure I have time for that.  And then the inevitable sinking feeling in your stomach happens and you start to get a bit nervous that you have bitten off more than you can chew.  The list in your head or on paper or if you are fancy, on your cool app list thingy becomes rather daunting and you run the risk of avoiding it at all cost.  

But the light in its in your face brightness gives you a tiny bit more energy.  You dig deep, you cross off one thing at a time.  You delegate (maybe).  And slowly but surely it will get done.  It will get done.  Spring comes, snow (if you have any) melts, the wheel turns.  Those equal hours are both a blessing and a curse.  You balance it or  you do not.  But as surely as spring comes you go on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

a few of his favorite things

On Monday the youngest member of our family turned 4.  When one is the youngest I think it is often the case that you do lots of things for others.  Waiting around for others, parties for others, activities based on the interests of others... so over the weekend we tried to do things that were just for the birthday boy.  And here are a few of Elliott's favorite things:

Lego Anakin Skywalker birthday cake

Pony rides

Strawberry ice cream

Happy Birthday to a boy who knows what he likes. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Truth be told I have so many works in progress right now that my head is spinning around and I'm hoping that nothing important gets dropped when I inevitably drop a future ball.  But rather than focusing on those feelings I am going to share two pieces that are in different states today.

First off (and closest to finished) is this piece which I am currently hand quilting.  This is a departure from my usual style but is an image that came to me and demanded to have it's moment.  The muse often does not take no for an answer.

And in an entirely different state is my autumn inspired piece that needs one more coat of acrylic paint before I add the last layer of embroidery.  This is the second in a four part series that will accompany Spring in the World Tree.

The technique I use for these pieces is just layers upon layers.  So they take a while to build and the colours change as the surface evolves.  

And now back to the chaos that is currently my life.  I'll share again soon.

I've linked up with Lee at Freshly Pieced today.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February: Love

Our weekend was quiet and yet things were accomplished.  Small things that are making myself and I dare say us all happy.  We are moving more.  Soccer together, bike riding, walking.  Glorious winter weather with little rain (so far) is helping this to happen.  And art making is happening too.  Which always does me good.  There is no shortage of love here.  And we keep things like Valentine's Day simple for the sake of sanity.

Despite the frequent purges to "stuff" that seems to gather around us I always find more to pass on. While doing a recent purge I decided to use some cup hooks to create a necklace display/storage solution in my closet.  And it makes me happy to look at it and I actually wear my necklaces more often.  It's the little things, it really is.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Poem

On Imbolc

In two lined hands the bowl is held
water shifts inside
trickles leave marks along the side of a blue bowl

The hands are steady,
practiced, and pulse

with healing,
with grace

The hands are ageless
and move with a sureness

that brings comfort
that brings understanding

Great Bridgid
of the fire and the well
I offer you a restless mind, a full heart,
and a body seeking health

I ask for your blessing
I ask for your peace

Friday, January 23, 2015

January Dare

On the off chance that anyone is still reading here, I mean there hasn't been much to read in the last year but I am still here.  I've written posts in my mind but that does little good for the rest of you.  Here I am though.  And it feels good to be here, like I do in fact have something compelling me to write.
My lovely Heidi Joy bought me Nikki McClure's 2015 calendar.  Each month has a key word that works along with the image.  For January it is: Dare.  And so I'm daring myself to come back to this space and sit awhile.  To find where it fits into my world as it is now.

Our fall was very busy, and we traveled to my hometown for the holidays which was lovely.  Turning 37 this year has sent me for a bit of a tumble.  Oddly for one who has never really balked at the actual number of my age, 37 made me nervous and testy.  I've been working on why and it has something to do with melding two parts of myself.  My 20-something dreamer and my 30-something doer.  And if that is reminding you of a long ago post this is the one I talked about that comparison in. 

So here we are at the start of a new calendar year.  There is lots to talk about, think on and do.  I plan to share those things more regularly here because as it turns out I need this outlet now more than I have the past two sparser (in blog terms) years. I'll dust things off a bit in the next while and we'll go from there.