Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!




Wishing you the beauty and joy of Christmas shared with family and friends!

Along with blessings for a creative and prosperous New Year 2012!

Sandra

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Preparing for Christmas Craft Nite



In the spirit of excitement getting ready for my friends to come over for a Christmas crafty nite, I dressed up these lanterns with cedar, painted pine cones, ribbon and sparkly glitter for my front entrance. Then I realized that maybe they might be a fire hazard? Oh well, they look really pretty even if the candles aren't lit!



We had fun, laughter, and were surrounded by the twinkling Christmas lights, glowing candles, Christmas music, while working on a few last minute cards, and other surprises. I am so grateful for the friendship of these beautiful ladies! All creative and passionate in their own areas of expertise!

Visit Violette's blog for tons and tons of colourful inspiration! Lucky me to live just a hop, skip and a jump from Violette's magic cottage!

And my friend Paula the writer, and Brenda, the music teacher! I hope to have another relaxed evening like this very, very soon! I am truly in the Christmas spirit after our very festive and fun crafty evening.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Preparing for Homecoming



Only two more days before my daughter arrives home! It's been a long year without her here and we are so excited she will be home for the holidays. It will be a merry Christmas indeed!

Happy creating,
Sandra

Friday, December 2, 2011

First Week of December

I can hardly believe it is the first week of December! Today was so mild and sunny, that I took my camera and went for a wonderful walk in the sunshine. The sun kept playing in and out of the clouds with me, making great shadows and high contrasts. I took a lot of nature photos which I had hoped to upload, but for some reason, I cannot upload any photos right now.

I woke up so early, excited for the day, and wanting to take full advantage of the light while it is here. The days do seem to short right now, I look forward to the Solstice already.

Slowly, slowly, I am gearing up for the Christmas season. Only a few more days until my daughter arrives home from Norway. She has been in Europe now for almost a full year! I want to make sure her room is nice and welcoming for her when she arrives!

Can Christmas be coming in just over three weeks??????

Lots to do and create between now and then.

Happy creating!

Sandra

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vintage Turkey



Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Giving thanks for wonderful family, friends, good health, and the beginnings of the holiday season!

Have a wonderful holiday, wherever you may be during this season...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Watercolour and Waterlogged




What's a girl to do? It's Friday, and I am waiting, waiting, waiting for a return phone call. So, although the rain is pouring outside, I have some wonderful music playing, a cup of tea steeping, and a pile of art supplies.

This is the best way to spend a rainy Friday afternoon!

Creatively yours,

Sandra

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just How I Feel



How quickly my moods change! Yesterday, the sun was shining and it was brisk and cold, but I knew the weather was turning, so I bundled up and dashed out for a walk before the sun went down, and today it is back to cold, gray drizzle. I was feeling all optimistic and energized after that great power walk in the sunshine. But, now, the weather is affecting my mood. I feel a bit isolated and dreary. Can't help it...it's just how I feel. Maybe a little poetry will put me back in the frame of mind I was in yesterday. Can't hurt?



The Autumn Sonnets

If I can let you go as trees let go
Their leaves, so casually, one by one,
If I can come to know what they do know,
That fall is the release, the consummation,
Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit
Would not distemper the great lucid skies
This strangest autumn, mellow and acute.
If I can take the dark with open eyes
And call it seasonal, not harsh or strange
(For love itself may need a time of sleep),
And, treelike, stand unmoved before the change,
Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep,
The strong root still alive under the snow,
Love will endure -- if I can let you go.


by May Sarton, from "Selected Poems of May Sarton" 1978

or maybe Anne Lamott will shake me out of the doldrums.

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mid October




It is an absolutely glorious day here in beautiful British Columbia. Blue sky, crisp and cold autumn day. I was immersed in my journals last week, and had some time to work out some issues about my freelance business.

It always feel like being in transition when you freelance. You finish one job, and then you worry about where the next bit of work is going to come from, and then you make contacts and then you wait for responses, and you think...hmmmm, will I ever get another contract? How will I pay the bills? And then...whoosh, out of the blue, in comes the next contract and you're off and running again.

Some days I just long for a steady job...one where I know I don't have to worry about what is next. And then along comes a day like today, where I am in charge of my own schedule. I can take in the glorious weather, and I truly am my own boss.

Well, it's always a trade-off. Some days like today. I am the winner.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Creative Leap



I have the luxury of a few days where my work projects are all completed, I have the time, the art supplies and the freedom to really focus some attention on a few creative projects that I have been wanting to start for some time now. My house is empty and it's a little bit stormy. What more could I ask for?

But now, oh the possibilities, making decisions and taking action becomes the challenge. So many ideas! I need to get clear, make a plan, and get busy...I'll report back, and let you know how it's all going.

Creatively yours,

Sandra

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Magazine and Creative Gatherings

This is exciting! My friend Nicci was one of the featured studio artists in Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Magazine.
And I was pleased to be asked to photograph her studio for the article! And our friend, Jeni brought her camera to help with all the fun.

Here are some of the original photos from our photo session.










And here are the actual published pages...



Last week, we gathered in Nicci's studio for a little artful lunch. I made blueberry muffins. This is probably the last batch of fresh blueberries I will have to use in baking this year. But happily, I have frozen some for later.


Here is a photo of a few of the original members of our creative artists group. We've been gathering and creating for over 8 years! These ladies always provide me with lots of inspiration and cool ideas.



Thanks for hosting us Nicci! Your studio is beautiful and it is always fun to get together there!

Happy creating...

Sandra

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mail Art Fun



A little while ago, I saw a posting in an email group posting, from an artist saying that if you sent your mailing address, she would send you a hand-painted envelope! Having seen so many blog-posts from various people saying they get cool art in the mail, I thought it would be fun to send in my address to see what happened!

Well, imagine my delight when I received this lovely piece of art in the mail...with Norway maples, (having just returned from Norway, I thought perhaps someone was reading my mind!) and Horse chestnut leaves (with my horsey daughter, this couldn't be more perfect), I had to rack my brain to see if I had given any clues about myself. Nope. Nada. No clues, just wonderful serendipity!

Here is the link to M.H. Dunaway's blog.

And here is the post about her mail art project!

I love real mail, snail mail, handwritten letters, love letters, valentines, birthday cards and more! I really, sincerely hope that mail is not a dying art! If you feel the same way too, maybe you can participate in a mail art project like this too!

Enclosed in the beautifully decorated envelope, was a fortune too! I love this! Thanks Missy...you made my day...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Traveling Art Journal




My travel journal is bulging at the seams. Nearby are some alphabet letter stamps that I have been trying out. They worked great!I am adding details to my journal now that I am home again. For my trip, I did carry a miniature set of alphabet stamps in my bag that I found at Michael's for $1.00. Luggage allowances are getting smaller and smaller, so I really had to think about the size of journal I wanted to carry, and how many art supplies I would really use. I had a smaller zippered bag, filled with pens, a travel size watercolour set, a tiny set of alphabet stamps, and a glue stick. That seemed to be all I really needed. I also carried a child's set of fiskers scissors, but they had to go separately in my checked luggage. Some security checkpoints would probably allow them, but I didn't really want to have them seized in case they weren't allowed through security. No big deal. I could always tear out bits and pieces from magazines or brochures along the way until I had my luggage again.

The funny thing on the trip was passing through security in Paris at CDG Airport. My security checker made me unpack my entire carry-on daypack. This was where I had my art supplies stowed. The art pens were of the most interest to her! She asked me "Are you an artist?", and she indicated that my Micron pens were very, very expensive to buy in France. We laughed together and i told her she should come and visit N. America where the art supplies are so much cheaper! She agreed. I had the feeling that she didn't need to check my bag as much as she needed to check out my art supplies!!! :)

Artists always love to exchange ideas about their favourite tools and techniques!

Happy creating,

Sandra

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Write Time



I love vintage typewriters. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the ease of current technology. I cannot imagine having to go back to using "white-out" and "correction tape". Oh yeah, I am old enough to remember the agony of making corrections manually after typing an almost perfect document.

Sometimes I think that writing a piece with pen and paper stimulates a different part of the brain than does using a computer.

It's all good...all the tools have a place in my repertoire.

Happy creating,

Sandra

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Power of Art to Heal


I recently returned from traveling to Oslo, Norway. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. So vibrant, fresh, wonderful.

Oslo suffered a terrible tragedy on July 22, 2011, where a madman perpetuated a bombing and horrific attack by shooting and killing more than 77 people, including many young people who were at a summer camp.

This senseless act of violence saddens and sickens me, as it does everyone all over the world.

Many people in Oslo asked me if I was afraid to go to Oslo after this happened. And my answer was, no, of course not. If anything, it determined my resolve to go to a place that I love and that I will not allow this terrible tragedy to taint the incredible love I feel for Norway.

I spent a great deal of time in the Oslo cathedral, several visits over many days, praying for the people that died and for their families and loved ones.

In one section of the cathedral, there were numerous drawings from children, with prayers, poems, wishes, and thoughts about what had happened. The floor was an art area with blank papers and crayons.

I felt that this was a powerful tool to help the children process this senseless crime. And the adults wandering around reading these messages of hope seemed to be receiving some semblance of healing at the same time.

Art heals. I truly believe that.

Creatively yours,

Sandra


Thursday, June 16, 2011

June Full Moon

I have missed blogging! So many life changes...family commitments, work obligations, fighting off a terrible bout of bronchitis, and here, suddenly, it is June.

Last night, I looked out the front window, and there in all it's huge orange glory, was the full moon rising.

I paused....taking in the view, and remembered, it's been awhile since I've just been able to relax and be "in the moment".

I intend to do more of that in the upcoming days. And to remember to breathe....and simply be.

And along with that, I intend to be a little kinder to myself, as increasing anxiety has been the main thing I've been feeling the past couple of weeks.

Hopefully, I'll be back blogging regularly now that I am feeling better.

Creatively yours,

Sandra

Friday, April 8, 2011

Be Happy...It's Friday!





Oh I like the spectacular weather we are having today! And it's going to be the only day of sunshine we see for the next several days before rainstorm after rainstorm is expected all this upcoming week.

So, it's another day to post, sponsored by the letter "B".

And it's a perfect day for "B", because, today is my Book Club, and we read the book "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave, and I am looking forward to seeing my book buddies very much tonite.

Also, it's a perfect day because, I rode my Blue Bike through streets lined with Blossoms.

And a few fun "B" blogs from my bookmarks include:

bettymountaingirl.blogspot.comAn ultra cool designed bicycling blog.

Bari J. Fabric Beautiful fabrics and very cute sewing patterns!

Bliss Chick Very fun blog and wonderful free poster for the wild woman in you! Love this art!!!

And I think that I will leave the links at just those three for today.

Believe in yourself...

Sandra

Friday, April 1, 2011

"A" is for April Showers




Twice I've been taken in by April Fool's jokes today! And it's raining, raining, raining outside, so time to play online! Who needs an excuse when it's Friday afternoon? Not me!

April 1st, and I thought it would be fun to post some of the Art Journaling inspiration links that come up in my browser when I start typing a word beginning with the letter "A". "A" is for...

Anahata's Papaya Blog

Alisa Burke

Alma Stoller

An Artful Journey

ABC Creativity

Art Junk

A Whimsical Bohemian

So, is that enough Artsy goodness to share on a drizzly gray Friday afternoon??? Maybe this can be a themed afternoon with nibbles of Apple streudel, Avocados, or Angel food cake?

Check back soon, and I will post another search from all my bookmarks for "B" creative goodies.

With Artsy April inspiration,

Sandra

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Colour Makes My Day!





This has been the darkest, most gray, rainy, windy Wet coast winter in a long time! I've been spending a lot of time commuting to downtown Vancouver, and like most people spend a lot of time looking down at my feet while riding the train to the city.

Usually that is not that exciting, everyone is suitably garbed in sensible black shoes or comfortable black rain boots...but, last week, I started to notice a couple of people who were wearing the craziest, most brightly coloured shoes ever!

I don't know why, but that just brought a huge grin to my face. One girl in particular, takes the same bus/train combo as I have been taking and wow, has she ever got a crazy shoe collection. Vintage, high heels, lace-covered, crazy coloured, not very sensible or easy to walk in from the looks of it! But hugely fun and creative! All I can say, is "thank-you" for that colour splash on an otherwise, dreary, depressing commute.