Dec 31, 2010

My New Year's wish for you

May you find joy in the simple things in life
A very Happy New Year to you all!

feline model: my cat Ninja

Dec 30, 2010

What if I could fall in love with my body?

detail from collage in progress

Lately I've been feeling like I'm floating along without 'purpose'.
I'm not working due to disability and not volunteering for the same reason.
Although it doesn't come out a lot on this blog, I have pretty bad depression most of the time (though it has improved a lot since August when I had an amazing Energy Medicine session... when I do my homework the improvements are even better :)

I've tried to make my art my Purpose and it doesn't quite fit.
My art is one of my major Passions and I've always liked the idea of having my Purpose be one of my Passions... I'm not sure why it's not working. I wonder if it's because my art doesn't have big goals?

I had a very powerful dream recently in which I saw myself from behind, doing pull-ups/chin-ups in a backless top. I could see muscles and strength!
I can't even do half of a chin up in my waking life :-)
At the same time that I was seeing my body from the outside, I could also feel what it felt like to be in that strong, powerful, healthy and fit body. It was wonderful!
I've always hated exercising and have never had a body like I had in my dream and I awoke thinking, "What if I could have that?"
I wonder if I would hate exercise less if I thought of it as working toward a goal I desire, rather than a chore I feel I 'should' do?

I felt inspired and motivated and began going through magazines to make a collage, wanting to capture that motivation in a visual form that I could hang on my wall as a reminder. I hope to finish and post it soon.

In the process of cutting collage pieces, I found myself suddenly thinking, "What if I could actually fall in love with my body?"
It seemed inconceivable. Yet enticing!
For many, many years, my body has been a source of frustration and suffering, either not being able to do what I want it to or having all sorts of symptoms I don't want it to have. I feel that I have no control over my body, that I'm powerless.

I've decided to try and change my relationship with my body.
Perhaps if I start falling in love with it from the outside, it will sense that love and begin to balance on the inside.

created at

Dec 16, 2010

Handmade Christmas Cards

In a bit of a flurry, I realised this week that I had delayed too long, as usual, in sending cards out. I have store-bought cards I can use, which would have saved time, but my memory dances all over the place and I can't recall which ones I sent to which people last year! I don't really want to send anyone the same card 2 years in a row so I decided to make some by hand. After a few tries, I came up with a design I liked that didn't take too long to complete:
The background is done using the markers & plastic wrap technique I posted about a while back. It's an easy way to get slightly textured looking backgrounds in a snap without using paint. It doesn't warp paper like wet techniques do.

The balls were made by colour copying my red and green paper weaving, using a circle punch and attaching with glue(stick). The 'strings' are sparkly red gel pen.

I decided to brighten up the back of the envelopes using hand-carved eraser stamps. This snowflake is my most recent carved stamp and I am totally in love with it! It was a project that I was daunted by and doubted I could do... and so put off doing for a long time rather than try and fail. When I finally tried it, it worked out wonderfully! I never know when something may turn out to be much easier than I thought it would. :-)

Video of a hawk behind my house

I filmed this short clip yesterday during some snow flurries and posted to Youtube for anyone who would like to take a peek :)  You get to see it take flight at the end  ~.~
Things like this really make my day!  It was wonderful to see.

Hawk In Tree

Dec 14, 2010

Add Character To Envelopes

I love decorating envelopes before mailing them to people.
I try to keep the decorations simple and quick to do so that if they get damaged in the mail, it's no big deal :-)

Here's an example of one I made recently before sending to a friend who likes blues, turquoises and spirals:

On a piece of paper, I used stamping ink pads for the coloured background, silver pen for the spirals and silver star stickers leftover from my holiday sticker garland project.  Then I glued the piece of paper to the envelope with a gluestick, trimmed the edges, taped the envelope closed and addressed the other side.   All set to go!
It was quick, easy and fun and I hope that it will brighten some postal worker's day.

I try to re-use and re-purpose as much as possible.  The piece of paper was scrap from the recycling bin and the envelope was re-used (hence my needing to tape it closed :)

Dec 8, 2010

A Fun and Frugal Holiday Garland

When I first began working on Christmasy projects a few weeks ago, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to post them on my blog.  I'm not Christian but I love so many things about this holiday.  Since I have a hard time with words, I'd like to borrow from Christie of Grace is Overrated, who perfectly expressed what I had been feeling on this topic.  In a recent post she said, "I didn't want to offend those who might celebrate differently than I do or not at all, for I know that Christmas is not a universal celebration.  Most of all, I want this to be a place where we all feel welcome and appreciated and included."
Thank you Christie, for saying that so well!
I hope that those of you who don't celebrate Christmas will not feel hurt or excluded.  If you'd ever like to adapt one of my projects to a holiday or event you celebrate and want ideas how, please contact me - I'd love to brainstorm.  :-) If you adapt a project and share it online somewhere, please let me know in the comments so I can link to it!  I would love that.
This project in particular lends itself well to any occasion one wants to decorate for.  I love it so much that I plan to make one in rainbows to have up at all times.  Not to celebrate anything (well, I suppose to celebrate my love of rainbows :)

I originally planned to make this garland by punching circles from cool paper and gluing to a string.  I quickly discovered that I didn't have the patience to get the gluestick on the circles and line them up on either side of the string before the glue dried... at least not for the time it would take to make 12 feet of it!  I had the circles all punched out and was very disappointed until I had a sudden brainwave...
No glue.  No punches.  EASY!  And best of all, FUN because I love stickers.

This holiday garland has some parts that could easily be done by children and some best for adults.


  • tape (I use painters tape because it is easy to unstick from walls, string, fingers etc)
  • 1 package of coloured circle stickers (any colours you like)
  • thread or string (any colour you like - I used silver because I like sparkly things)
  • Optional:  1 package of coloured metallic star stickers (or any sticker you like that is smaller than the circles)

I already had thread and tape on hand so this garland cost about $2 in stickers bought at a dollar store.  If you use only circles, it would be around $1

Step 1. (kid-friendly)

Stick the star stickers onto the circle stickers.  You can use contrasting colours.  I decided I liked how it looked best when the star was the same colour as the circle.  This photo doesn't show it well but when the light hits the stars, they reflect.
They don't need to be even - this step could easily be done by any age of child that could be trusted with stickers.
Idea: children could also draw on a few of the circles instead of putting stars on them.  They may enjoy later picking out their drawings as they look at the garland.  Another option is to spell out words - 1 letter per circle.

Step 2.

Tape a length of string between 2 walls in a corner.  You could also tape one end to a table and the other to a wall. If you leave the string attached to the spool, then you don't have to calculate how many stickers will fit on what length, just keep on sticking until they are used up!
If you look closely on the left, you can see that I experimented with having circles and stars alternate on the string - it was much too finicky to get the stars to match up evenly so I abandoned that idea.  You can also see that I didn't immediately think of putting the stars on the circles before attaching them to the string!  Trust me, it's way easier to do Step 1 first :-]

Step 3. (not so kid-friendly)

a) Stick the stickers to one side of the string.    I stuck one on the string, pressed the string firmly onto the adhesive and was able to let go while I got the other sticker from the sheet.  This may not work as well if you were using a heavier weight of string. It doesn't have to be in the exact centre.
b) Stick a matching colour of sticker to the other side of the string, lining it up as close as possible to the first sticker.  Don't stress out if they don't match up perfectly.  Once I hung mine, I couldn't even see the mistakes.
c) Decide how far apart you want to space the stickers and repeat steps 3 a) and b) until your garland is as long as you want!

I made a big long garland but this would also look very nice in many shorter strands hanging down vertically from a ceiling.  I used my experimental alternating star/circle piece to hang down from the centre of the garland.

To prevent tangling:
As you fill up the length of string you have taped between the 2 walls, you can loop the finished pieces and tape to the wall like this:
To store:  I will wrap it around a piece of cardboard that I've made notches in each end of, then put in a file folder or envelope.  You could also wrap it around an empty paper towel roll as shown in the photo on this blog: Polka Dot Garland

When made with thin thread, this garland is very light and airy.  It is held up to the ceiling with Scotch tape and has not threatened to fall down.  I doubt the entire 12 feet would hold with just 2 pieces of tape but I hung it in scalloped sections and it's holding well.

If you try this project, or a variation on it, and post online, I'd love if you'd comment with a link!

Happy decorating!

Dec 7, 2010

SNOWtographs and List It Tuesday

For today's List It Tuesday list, I decided to write a few things that I love about snow... since I'm a few days into one of the biggest snowstorms I've seen in my life!

The snow began innocently enough about a week ago and I danced around all excited at the first snow of the year, taking photos like this boring one that I'm now glad I kept for comparison:
First bit of snow
It snowed gently here and there for the first few days and then, within 2-3 days, almost as much snow dumped down on us as fell throughout the entire winter last year!  Snowly moly!  Apparently the reason just one small region can be hit is due to something called The Lake Effect.

Same shed about a week later!

Gracefully shaped snow overhang

I love the way the snow hangs over... seeming to defy gravity

Watch where you walk!

It looked magical last night... I'm looking forward to tonight after another 24 hours of snow!

* * *
I apologise for the big spaces between photos.  They don't exist when I create the post and Blogger won't let me edit them out!

Dec 1, 2010

Christmas-y Wordle

Have you played with Wordle yet?
I love it. :-)
Basically you go to the Create page, type (or paste) text, hit the Go button and edit how you'd like the words to appear (horizontal, rounder edges, random shape, font, colours etc).  You can edit a custom colour pallette like I did with this Holiday-themed Wordle.  The more times a word appears in your piece of text, the larger it will be.  Therefore, if you want different sized words, you will need to have some words appear more than once.

You can write your own text or play around with copying and pasting poems, songs or writing from online sources.
click to see larger image

One of the few things I don't like about Wordle is that it doesn't make an image file you can save.  I got around this by using the ridiculously easy screen shot tool in Windows Vista called the Snipping Tool (which I just discovered today and am very excited about :)
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