February 13, 2018

Valentine's Free Printables + Anti-consumer, Inclusive Love.


I had a conversation with my seniors yesterday about Valentine's day. The conversation veered into the topic of consumerism, of exclusive love, and how sad it can be to be the kid in the class who gets no Valentine's cards or candy grams.

While one gentleman argued that love is inherently preferential, he also suggested some ideas for how to love one another, and spread that love beyond just yourselves as a couple. We added to our list of money-free Valentine's celebration ideas: "involve others in co-giving".



My fella and I were coincidentally in line with that this year. We make something for Valentine's day celebrations each year instead of buying anything or going for fancy dinners. This year specifically, we started making a quilt out of my stash of fabric which we will donate to a shelter or other organization once it is finished! I really wanted to continue our tradition of making things, but I really didn't want to accumulate more stuff for myself either. Plus, spreading the love and "co-giving" is a great Valentine's initiative!

So, this year's free printable Valentines include one more "preferential", and one that could be given out to people we love not-romantically, too! I enjoyed testing out some new photoshop brushes for these - what do you think?

Happy Valentines to singles, couples, and all others in between! I send my love to you all!

February 9, 2018

On Being Serious...

... or not.

When I say the words "instagram aesthetic", can you picture exactly what I mean?
Probably.

Whether you're an artist sharing your work, a fashionista sharing your styling, a traveler sharing your adventures, a chef sharing your edible creations, or anything else, there's a particular "cool", "collected", and dare I say blasé, thing about instagram.

Lots of wistful stares at cameras and half-open mouths, pursed a little. Maybe looking away from the camera and posing half-candidly in front of a cool wall.

I'm never happy with photos of myself or my surroundings trying to recreate that instagram aesthetic. I love things to look beautiful and nice but I've placed expectations on myself based on other peoples' style and amount of effort they're willing to put into social media posts.

I love social media and I don't want to ditch it - it connects me with people, connects my artwork with people, and can be such a wonderful community. I do however want to start being more myself, stop worrying about being professional (I try to keep my instagram somewhat profesh, so potential clients can engage with it). But it just isn't me!

I am maybe the farthest thing from blasé. Ever.

One of the first things I can remember my now-fella noticing about me, during a night out with friends, was "You are maybe the most animated person I've ever met." (I can still remember skipping down Spadina street at night, around the corner from the Horseshoe Tavern and a night of nice music) This was also maybe the first time someone had said something like that to me and meant it as a positive. I skip and dance and sometimes sing my sentences. I greet my seniors at work by throwing up my arms and exclaiming HELLO with so much gusto that they stop and do the same!

So here's to being me, and fighting against that instagram social hierarchy algorithm blasé cool-girl BS! Who's with me?

</rant>

January 24, 2018

Get to Know Me, Get to Know You!

Hello everyone!

I realize that, while I share a lot on this blog in respect to my art, others' art, thrifting, sustainability in fashion and life, and more recently some self love/body image content through my Bedhead Project, I haven't really spoken about MYSELF and who I am on a day to day basis in a while.

(There's me, in all my Bedhead -face-morphing-smile glory)


So, I want to offer you guys some little truth nuggets to help you get to know me. And in turn, I hope to get to know some of you more closely as well!

Starting with some fabricated 'FAQ' style questions for myself:


1. What do you do for work?

~ I work primarily with persons with dementia! The place I work at designates themselves as an Academy for persons living with dementia, and I go in and provide arts-based programming a couple of times a week. We have a philosophy that includes relational caring, so I also spend a lot of time hanging out, having dance parties, getting deep, and building relationships with my participants and my coworkers! It's the best ever. I started as a volunteer and ended up staying and working there for 4 years now.

I also work part time as a research assistant through school, also dealing with relational caring, and as a wedding photographer's assistant. From time to time I also do art and design related freelance work.

In short, I do too many things my friends, too many things!

2. What do you do in school?
~ I'm working towards finishing my Master's in Recreation and Leisure Studies. This is a really cool field, I'm discovering, and includes a whole range from tourism, to sports, to parks, to recreation therapy (which is closer to what I do... but I don't call it therapy for many reasons that would require a whole other blog post for). I'm new to the field academically, but my research is on arts based approaches to working with persons with dementia, so with that I am in my element.

My research deals in friendship in dementia care: not something we normally think about as a possibility, but with a critical lens my feeling is: Why the heck not? I'll be working directly with persons with dementia and care partners to find out what they think/feel/know about that.

3. What do you do for fun?
~ I paint, I draw, I collage, I knit, I weave, I take photos, I obsess over fashion, I go to concerts with friends, I cook, I eat good food with friends and family, I go to the art gallery, I dance (alone in my kitchen, though), I watch crappy crime dramas, I goof off with my fella, I read blogs, I blog!

(An example of my for-fun art making)

4. Where are you from?
~ I'm from Toronto, in Canada. I've lived elsewhere (Paris, France, & Waterloo, Canada) but always circle back here. I love my city, and while I love exploring, I'd have a hard time leaving permanently. My background is Belgian, Danish (hence my last name!), and Canadian.


Woo! So, that's a start anyway. I feel as though that covers some of the basics anyhow.

Now it's your turn! I want to know the same about you, if you'd like to share your answers to the same four questions, please do so in the comments. I'd love to learn more, make my blogging more personal/about relationship building between creatives (since that's the fun part of the online world anyway), and get to know YOU!

xx

January 18, 2018

My One Clothing Purchase a Month MAX


There are many reasons for my desire to buy less.

Sustainability, saving money, spending more wisely, consuming less, having less "stuff" to deal with, focusing my energy on something other than shopping, trying not to take part in an overly capitalist/consumerist system, etc.

We all know that if I even need to write about this, it's because I have a tendency to shop. I love clothes, I love beautiful fashion. I also actually love the act of shopping! I could spend hours in thrift stores and fill a whole afternoon with looking through piles of clothes and accessories; treasure hunting.

So, instead of buying not-at-all, I've warmed to the idea of only buying one item a month. This allows me to purchase beautiful things, but only if I really truly want or need them. If I choose to make an item my "one" for the month, I had better choose wisely. This also helps me avoid emotional shopping, which is something I've noticed I do a lot when I'm stressed.

So, 12 items in a year, that's not bad. Typing it out though that even seems like a lot. For this reason I'm calling the one item a month my 'maximum' and really more of a less-harsh rule with a bit of wiggle room, instead of going cold turkey.

This month, I already bought a new bathing suit for my trip to Aruba, and even though I'm craving a new pair of nice sandals, a beach bag, light summery clothes, etc. I am actively reminding myself to not even bother shopping or going onto etsy "just to look". By the time February rolls around, I won't be able to order anything online without risking it not arriving in time for my trip, so I'll likely not buy anything else for it. Which is GOOD!

Hopefully in so doing I will have more time to write my research proposal (still in the works, still taking forever), read books, work on my art, etc. Less shopping, more fulfilling activities!

Are you taking on any challenges for 2018? Tell me about it in the comments!

January 15, 2018

Window Shopping: A Warm Vacation

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I have a confession: I've not been living in the moment in the present much lately. I've been daydreaming non stop about a family vacation we just booked to Aruba! It's several weeks away but I. Can't. Stop. Thinking. About. It.

Tonight it is snowing steadily and romantically, but I'm having a hard time feeling the magic and charm of Toronto's millionth winter wonderland appearance. The weather has me feeling some real S.A.D. feelings. Also, last week was a hard week, if you follow me on instagram you'll know that someone I was very close to at work, one of my friends with dementia, passed away. This is an inherent part of my work with persons with dementia, and it is always sad, but this particular one has hit me hard. I'm fine, and happy to have known her and spent so much wonderful time with her. But I've definitely been enjoying a bit of escapism by envisioning the trip to Aruba.

Of course, part of that day dream is all the fabulous beach and summer wear I'll be able to adorn myself with! Ahh, how I miss light fabrics and the freedom from layers. I miss feeling the breeze on my skin and actually enjoying it. I miss the warm sun. This window shopping outfit features two of my favourite online shops as of late: Hackwith Design House and Boheme Goods, handmade and vintage goodies respectively. I can't get enough of their pieces and finds.

Lately I've been really into beige and off-white. Something cloudy and dreamy about it, so even though I'm headed somewhere tropical I'm imagining lots of warm, light, breezy, airy tones. With a punch of orange/red, though! As with the little de tails on this adorable straw market bag. I've already bought myself a new bathing suit and I'm trying to limit myself to that one purchase for the month (an amendment on my year of thrift routine), so for now, just day dreaming and window shopping.

Have any of you been to Aruba? Any recommendations for things to see/do?
xx

January 8, 2018

Sunsetrise - a Poem

Inspired by Fee of Burnt Feather, I'm trying to be brave and share my poetry, even though it is not the art form I am usually comfortable with sharing. Any other poetry enthusiasts/dabblers out there? I've been writing since I was a little girl, and actually first made a blog for the sole purpose of sharing my poetry. I only shared it with my friends, but it was very special to me. After several writing workshops taken for fun and with friends, I'm rediscovering that joy and I want to share some of my word-doodles here.


In mellow golden tones…
Sunsetrise, the cusp of days and nights.
Tender expectation (or disappointment)
In the letting go (anticipation) of a day.
What was and will summed up in succulent tones;
Ruby red in ochre;
Fruity pink in lemonade.
The sky is hot (and tasty).
I want to bite into
The gradated ribbon separating night and day
Across the sky.
Taste today and tomorrow so I can know.
But there is no dessert like the (knowledge) you can’t have.

Temptation and delight,
In the overflowing moments between day and night.
And when clouds roll past in contrasting blues;
Navy and cerulean,
Robin’s egg and forget-me-nots.
Flowers of the sky,
Cousins of the stars.
They all know our dreams;
The ones we whisper out with every exhale
And wish with every intake of air.
The turn of the day, the turn of the night;
The truth in these moments in the sky are ours
But not to have.
Forever out there in the cycle of fluctuating gold and blue.



Let me know what you think, and if you're interested in more!

xx