February 27, 2015

Window Shopping || 4

Necklace: Moorea Seal | Short-Sleeve Top: Hackwith Design | Pleated Trousers and Ankle Boots: Vaux Vintage

I've been dreaming about white-on-white-on-white outfits lately. Something to do with longing for summer, for days when I can wear my pants without getting slush spatters up the back of my legs, for days when I can lounge outside in airy clothes and just enjoy the sunshine.

This necklace is a part of Moorea Seal's non-profit category and a certain percentage of proceeds go to Women's causes. Which I think is pretty fantastic!  Especially when so many of the products in this portion of the site are so beautiful too!

I've been pretty down in the dumps lately, mostly because of the crazy cold and feeling stuck in the house because of it. Major cabin fever and frustration. It's been helping me to dream about sunshine and warm weather, and my travels in May! I'm going to Europe with my fella and I get to see one of my best friends in Scotland, and I'm so so excited. It takes happy thoughts to get through this weather!

What happy thoughts are helping you get through this long long winter? Or are you lucky enough to be somewhere warm!?


February 23, 2015

The Oscars & Alzheimers

Last night I watched the Oscars for the first time. Controversies and issues with the Academy aside, I was really happy to see famous, talented artists bring up Alzheimers on stage and that so much work in the mainstream media was done on the topic of it this year!

For those of you who don't know, I work as an art instructor at the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, an academy for people with Alzheimers and dementia. It is truly an incredible experience and I am beyond fortunate to have fallen into this position at this particular academy. My coworkers are fantastic, the participants are inspiring and so full of knowledge and humour and stories and it is just so so so so so wonderful that I get to be a part of their lives in this small way; painting with them, laughing with them, drawing, brainstorming, talking to them, listening. Their stories are my favourite thing to listen to on a Monday morning and I wouldn't have it any other way right now.

I love this job. It has taught me so much about human nature and the fragility of it. It is humbling and I am reminded every time I work of how fortunate I am - sometimes literally, by participants, encouraging me to travel and live and experience while I can. It can be really hard to talk to those who are entirely aware of what is happening to their minds, but the experience is so positive for everyone thrives in this environment we've created at the academy and it is so lovely to see.

I highly encourage you to read a book, watch a movie, volunteer at a senior's home or similar program, do SOMETHING, to inform yourself about Alzheimers and memory loss.

Don't know where to start?
• Watch Still Alice - the film Julianne Moore won an Oscar for last night (I plan to read it - it was a book first!)
• Read this article and watch the video about a 'Dementia Village' created in Holland as an alternative to a typical senior's home! It's so incredible!
• Listen to the song Glen Campbell wrote for his wife and daughter when he found out he had Alzheimers which Tim McGraw sang at the Oscars last night as well.
• Watch a video and read more about the philosophy at the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy (My work place!!) and our approach to dealing with Alzheimers and Dementia!

FAIR WARNING. These may be a bit upsetting (the song especially made me cry a little). Know it is not my intention to be a downer or upset anyone, more so just to raise awareness and use my experience with Alzheimers and Dementia as a reminder:

Take advantage of your health, your youth, your ability to DO and to learn. Take care of your body and your mind. Experience everything while you can.


February 19, 2015

Creative Crush: Edouard Baribeaud

 I'm excited to share this Creative Crush with you guys! Edouard Baribeaud is an artist who lives and works in Berlin and Paris (doesn't THAT sound like the life!). These particular pieces are so textured and patterned and cool I get lost staring at all the various marks and combinations of colour. It's pretty expressionist!

Something about this red and blue combo makes me think of 3D images, do you see that too? Baribeaud's website is also incredibly cool and definitely stands out amongst the other over simplistic portfolio websites there are out there. Check out his website here!

What creatives have you been crushing on lately?


February 16, 2015

Thrifty Outfit .o2

Cardigan: Thrifted / Tanktop: Thrifted / Blouse: Thrifted / Jeans: J-Brand
Total Thrift Tally: 3/4! 

A pretty simple outfit - it's hard to go and take photos with boots and jackets etc. outside! We have -40 degree Celcius weather this weekend, it's a doozy. Quite frankly I didn't even consider heading outside for these! So here are just a few photos of my indoors outfit that my lovely friend Sabrina took for me when we did a clothes swap today!

I layered some of my favourite (thrifted!) tops with my nice pairs of dark blue jeans. It's one of my favourite combos when skirts are kind of out of the question with the weather! You can't really tell, but the cardigan is actually a black velvet and it is my absolute favourite. I wear it aaaaallll the time and since it's black it goes with everything, just adding a nice little element of texture.

What's your go-to item to add some texture to an outfit?



February 15, 2015

Weekly Photo Capsule .5

This week was stressful, but the weekend has been so very nice!

My sister came home from university Friday and my brother had the day off from school, so we all got a chance to hang out! Then my fella came over Saturday for Valentine's, showing up at the door with a really exotic lookin', colourful bouquet. We spent the day building me a new, more legitimate loom (so far I've been using a tiny frame with crooked nails bashed into it, ha!) and I am soooo excited to use it and make some pretties! We finished off the day with a nice dinner at home, a bottle of red wine, and a Game of Thrones marathon!

The top right photo is of my latest painting for class - remember my bizarre model set up that I shared in last week's photo capsule? Well, this was my interpretation with the model in place!

So, can you tell exactly where I got my inspiration from for the Fun & Affordable DIY Valentine's Date Ideas I shared on the blog last week? Hehe. Tried, tested, and TRUE!

How was your Valentine's? Did you celebrate with others? Celebrate yourself? Do share!


February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Happy Valentine's day friends!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to send you guys some love and let you all know how much I appreciate your visiting my little corner of the net now and then. I've really enjoyed forging little relationships with you guys through yours and my blogs over the last two months, and I hope you all have a great Valentine's day and, if not celebrating with someone else, celebrate with on your own and give yourself some love! Love love love!

I also doodled this Valentine's themed mandala the other day. (This is just a snippet though!) I'm kind of obsessed with the circular nature of creating mandalas - I'm working on some actual pieces using this form and I'm very excited about them! What do you think of this one?


February 11, 2015

Window Shopping || 3 (Valentine's Day Picks!)

Red Trousers: Hello Sidney | Slouchy Black Tshirt:  Decades | Shag Knit Caridgan: Vaux Vintage | Tiny Heart Temporary Tattoo: Pepper Ink

Happy Humpday!

Fun anecdote: apparently the term 'hump day' is entirely North American. I used the expression on my Scottish friend's wall on facebook, which led to a lot of questions! For any of my not-North-American readers, it's just Wednesday. Hump day comes from the idea that it's the middle of the working week, the 'hump' one must get struggle to get over, right in the middle.

Anyway, this is the Valentine's day outfit that I'm dreaming of today!  To be honest, though I looove red pants, I have so much trouble styling them! I feel like they only work with white or black, which is exactly what I've matched them with here. Do you have any tricks for styling red pants?

Also, some of you may know I have a wrist tattoo in the same spot as that little heart, and it'd be so fun to add another with a temporary heart tattoo just for Valentine's! And who could say no to that super fuzzy, cozy looking cardigan? I'd wear this outfit out to a nice lunch date or a concert at one of my favourite bars downtown.

What are you wearing for Valentine's day ;) ?


February 9, 2015

Fun & Affordable! DIY Valentine's Day Date Ideas

It's no fresh news that DIY is super trendy right now - but a lot of the DIY culture is focused around the THINGS we need, not so much for our experiences. I really like the idea of do-it-yourself dates, because just like things, we often rely on external forces to provide our experiences for us: movies, museums, dinners at restaurants, carefully crafted drinks at caf├ęs, etc.

Now, especially for events like Valentine's Day, going out and trying to get a reservation or seats at a crowded restaurant or theatre, planning how to get there and paying the strategically inflated prices for everything.... it just seems a little futile for an experience we can have on any other day for cheaper and with much less brouhaha from everyone all over the place. So consider going DIY this Valentine's day and planning a do-it-yourself date! Here are 3 ideas to get you started:

1. Go on an adventure!
Is there a neighbourhood in your city you haven't explored yet? Have you experienced the nearest beach in winter time? What about the nearest park? Bundle up with your partner and go hand in hand on a little adventure, take some photos, discover new things, and maybe grab some hot chocolate in travel mugs! Better yet, make some special hot chocolate at home before hand. I've been tempted to try this recipe for Gingerbread Hot Chocolate with Coconut Milk!

2. Make Something Together.
I'm fortunate in that my fella and I are both creative folks! If you and your partner are also a creative duo - take this opportunity to make something together, maybe something you've always talked about doing but never have found the time to do. Build a cool DIY honeycomb shelf together! Or paint that awesome geometric statement wall you've been eyeballing online. Are you both not into building/making things? Make dinner together! Make some home-made pizzas with a variety of toppings and see whose turns out the yummiest (you could even get real cheeeesy and make them heart shaped!).

3. Re-Watch Old Favourites (with a glass of wine!)
Stay in with some delicious snacks, a nice bottle of wine, some cozy blankets and marathon your favourite TV show. Game of Thrones is starting up again in April! Refresh your memory by re-watching some of the better episodes from previous seasons. Or, watch some old old films and giggle at awful 80's special effects and funny acting.

Are you DIY date-ing for Valentine's this year? What are your plans!


Ps. Do you like my collaged Valentine's day card at the top of this post? This one and another are available as FREE PRINTABLES on my art blog! Check them out and print them for your goofy loved ones!

February 8, 2015

Weekly Photo Capsule .4

Woooee what a couple of weeks it has been! Mid terms and assignments and work and feeling a little under the weather has made for a pretty hectic bit of time. But I made it through to the other side and am having a nice little weekend of relaxing, finishing Gone Girl, and frolicking about in all the snow we've had here. As I type this there is more falling in a constant, steady sprinkling of frozen glitter.

Yesterday my fella and I went for a little adventure into the park. We had intended on going tobogganing but came home to find that my younger brother had already taken the sleds to the park with his friends! So we met him there, borrowed the toboggans for one run each, then ventured off on our own for snow ball fights, tree climbing, and snow angels. We had snow pants on and it was remarkably nice to feel so invincible against the snow and the cold! It allowed us to just enjoy the outdoors which is tough to do when your day-to-day experience is commuting in it and arriving at your destination with slush spatters up the back of your nice pants and your nose and eyes running from the bitter cold air. Not so fun. It was so relaxing to let out my inner child and roll around without a worry in the world in the snow!

Other bits from the past week: a reggae show at a great bar downtown, The Orbit Room, to celebrate Bob Marley's birthday, and my group's model set up for painting class, complete with out-of-this-world green bubble wrap and a water-y projection on top of it all. I'll share my painting of it when it's all done!

How has your week been? Do you have tons of snow where you are?


February 7, 2015

Year Of Thrift Update: First Month

I'm a little bit late in posting this, let's call it my first month and a week of my thrifty year, ha!

I don't have all that much to report on this. So far so good - I bought a sweater and a shirt from Value Village with incredible patterns, but that's been it this past month in terms of clothing.

I did come up with a new 'exception' for my list: art supplies! I know that, as art students, we don't have to spend (much) money on textbooks, but oh the art supplies. Expensive, necessary, and admittedly so sooo fun! Whenever I walk into an art supply shop I feel giddy like a little kid in a toy store! Those walls full of every colour of paint and all the variety in paint brushes. Ah it is one of my favourite things. And it is something that can't really be bought secondhand.

I have been wondering however, if there are some better, more sustainable art practices that I can adopt: what palette works best, one that isn't disposable? How do I better take care of my paintbrushes to make them last longer? Etc. Etc. Etc. and I think I'm going to begin looking into it!

Anyway, just a little update! Glad that my challenge is going well so far. :)
How has your new year been so far? Any successes in your resolutions or plans?!

February 3, 2015

Creative Crush: Hollis Brown Thornton

I am very often introduced to the work of amazing artists through Juxtapoz Magazine, such is the point I suppose! I was really excited when they posted about Hollis Brown Thornton the other week; really really enjoy his work! The mash up of digital (but OLD digital) things plus old wallpaper and other retro things makes for a really cool juxtaposition (and not just because I got it from Juxtapoz... ha!)

When I ventured onto Thornton's site and read his artist's statement, he talked about his intentions for his work and his interest in the digital world versus the physical world, which actually translates in his process too - which is pretty cool! Some of it is done entirely by hand, and other parts are transferred from digital prints and/or pre-existing imagery!

"The final image is always a slightly flawed representation of the original digital form, illustrating the inherent differences between the physical and digital." 

I think it's fascinating when artists don't just create pieces with meaning in the subject matter - but in the way the art is created as well.

Check out more of Thornton's work HERE!