September 21, 2017

Summer Withdrawal • 2017

Oh, friends. What a summer. This happens to me every year, at the turn of the season. I get nostalgic and - admittedly - melancholic, when fall rolls around. This year, my life doesn't change so dramatically as those returning to a new school year, but by proxy I am still neck deep in the back-to-school blues. Many people around me have returned to school and even just by that it feels like it is over. So I thought I'd share some of my favourite photos from the season - I took many on a point and shoot film camera that I'm thrilled by! It's got a date stamp that reads 1998... so let's pretend we've really time traveled because I'm a bit of a geek like that and think it's funny.

From when my fella and I woke up in time to see the sunrise and the full moon set on the lake.

Camping! We did our first hike-camp together this summer, with about 20 other people! It was someone's birthday weekend and we were invited to join in on the fun. By the end there were only a handful of us left, including a sweet 3 year old who was really the life of the party.

Two of my closest friends from highschool - still eating yummy food and getting up to shenanigans almost a decade later (what the heck how did we get that old?).

One of my bosses, Johnathan Ball, painting a mural. I got to assist but mostly just edited photos and watched the magic happen.

My fella and I have a bad tendency to reverse-match when we go away and pack clothes. Here was a real full-on reverse match while camping, and a pretty sky!

This guy just started his engineering degree this month and I am so excited for him!

This summer also marked the 1 year birthday of my mural! And still, no damages or tagging (knock on wood). Yay!

There are so many specifics and beautiful moments I could get into and talk about when I reflect on my summer, but for now I'll leave it at that - a collection of nice images to remember parts of it.
Of course there are plus sides to fall, too. Fall is my favourite fashion season, so that's been fun! I'm going to try and do some thrifty outfit posts soon, as I recently got some GEMS for fall!

What was the highlight of your summer?

September 14, 2017

Summer "Done" list! • 2017

• Read a ton: I read two Harry Potter books, The Colour Purple, and Sweetness in the Belly. The last two were really touching, poignant books. I also read a ton for school - my brain is filling up fast!

• Visit my grandma more often: I did my best to visit when I could. We are selling her house this year and there are lots of things to be done in preparation!

• Go camping: CHECK! I've been wanting to do this again for years, and finally had the time a couple of weekends ago. It was a really great time and I felt very refreshed after some time in the wilderness! (This was already checked off when I posted the list initially!)

• Go to the beach: Womp womp, I didn't manage this one this year. But I spent lots of time by lakes on docks at cottages!

• Make horchata (again!): It was labour intensive but super delicious.

• Ride a bike: Towards the end of summer my good friend moved to England, and she gifted me her bike! I didn't have an excuse to not ride anymore, so my fella (who also just got a new bike for school) and I went on my first bike ride in a DECADE. I will write more about this some other time - it was great!

• Host a girl's craft night: I've had a couple of collaborative art-making nights and hang outs this summer and it's one of my favourite things!

• Make more smoothies for breakfast: I have a thing with breakfast. I am rarely into it, which is why I thought smoothies might be a good option. But I never really got into them either. Oh well....

I'm pretty pleased with how I did with my to-do list this summer - I did all this and so so much more! I want to post about a sort of, regeneration of self, that I felt this summer. I revisited many things that made me feel like a kid again, and I tried new things that helped me grow. It was an excellent summer and I am sad to see it go!

Did you make a summer to-do list? Did you manage to cross many things off it?

September 7, 2017


As an art student I developed an immense appreciation for the human body. In life drawing classes I realized I could find much beauty in the "atypical", "flawed", "unique" bodies of the life models. Through my propensity for art, I value the capturing of "imperfection" in human faces. Crooked noses, textured skin, body hair, scars. I see these in others and love it all.

I use these words: flaw, imperfection, atypical, in quotes, because they are not really how I see them at all. They are unfair descriptors and show just how skewed our perception of beauty is. But what else is new. We all know that in our social context, these are how these traits are seen and described.

As much as I can more easily accept and embrace these traits in the photos and depictions of others, earlier this summer I realized that I still have unrealistic expectations of myself. I see a photo of me and I don't settle for "imperfection". I don't embrace the deep purple circles under my eyes. I don't like the fact that one eye seems droopy in some photos. I don't want to keep photos where my smile is so big you can see funny shadows in my smile. I cringe at photos of my profile. The way my neck and chin look as I gain a bit of weight. This isn't how I feel about myself in real life - but the more photos I see of myself that I don't like, and the more I try to engage in an online world where photos of the self are aplenty, the more my feelings of "imperfection" seep into my day-to-day, outside of photos. I think part of this started when I decided to stop wearing make-up all together. I don't like the feel of makeup, but I stopped liking photos of myself without makeup for a while. I love photos and photography, so this made me feel pretty badly.

So I decided to do something about it. Throughout this summer I have taken photos of myself immediately after I wake in the morning. First thing. Whatever my hair, face, and feelings were doing, I captured it. There is something psychologically empowering, I suspect, about choosing yourself as a subject worthy of photographing. And not just in selfies for instagram, but for my own artistic experiment. I felt excitement. I felt that I loved the photos even though I could see what I normally wouldn't like in myself. My fella got involved, whenever we woke up together, and his photos of me are my favourites. It became an act of self love every morning, and source of love and support from my partner. I've grown so much through this project and am surprised at how much it actually has helped me. At first, I made a point of not publishing the photos. This was a personal practice, a project just for me. How novel in our instagram obsessed world. But now that I've realized how much it impacted me, I want to share my experience.

Here is a small selection of my photos from this summer, and I will continue to post and share them here, as well as on my instagram account.


I want you to join me - if you'd like? Just once? Maybe twice? This was such a transformative project for me, I imagine it could be for others, too!

I want to see you embrace your unfiltered bedhead and I want to see you become reacquainted with your early-morning, natural self, in whatever form that may be. I don't want another hashtag-no-filter post or a phoney "I woke up like this" comment (though humorously that's exactly what this series is about, ha! The REAL "I woke up like this" type of photo). I want you to do it for you. And if you want to share it online, you can use the hashtag #ellbedhead or share the link to your post in the comments.

Go forth - beautiful bedheads!

ps. I'm nervous to post this because it is such a personal project and a personal experience. Also it's all just photos of me, taken by me.... boring? I don't know. I think it's worth it even if one other person tries this and gets something out of it though, right?

See, Read, Listen. 002

See ~ 
Check out the quirky work of Kendra Yee. A few weeks ago I went to a zine workshop by Yee at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. It was a lot of fun, and a pleasure to meet Yee, who graduated from the same OCADU illustration program as me!

Read ~
The Golden Age of Bailing. This article written by David Brooks made me laugh, made my chest feel real tight as I agreed and recognized some of the behaviour in myself, and generally really resonated with me. I've long had the value instilled in me that you are defined by how true you stay to your word: if you say you'll be somewhere, you should be there. If you say you'll do something, you should do it. Bailing feels like the best option sometimes (and for your own mental health, sometimes it is!) but I almost always feel better when I don't bail. Here's a quote from the article:

"Bailing is one of the defining acts of the current moment because it stands at the nexus of so many larger trends: the ambiguity of modern social relationships, the fraying of commitments, what my friend Hayley Darden calls the ethic of flexibility ushered in by smartphone apps — not to mention the decline of civilization, the collapse of morality and the ruination of all we hold dear."


I know some of the folks involved in this video, and am so into the song - too! Calvin Love is a great song writer and a cool performer.