January was a blur for me and difficult. So many lessons learned as I did a lot of tough work during my course through Training in Power.
Lots of wonderful bits too I am grateful for that kept my creeping along.
I am calling a New Year re-start as so many things are becoming clear and I am finally feeling my head is above water.
Move forward is a mantra I held close in 2015 and the one thing I will cling tightly to as 2016 falls into place.
This year I will also....
Keep working on sorting the house and purging since the last move.
Finish rebranding and re-launching my social media, photography and work life in general.
Immerse myself in barre/ballet along with my yoga, and get over my hump in the drums learning curve that caused me to give up a while.
Catch up on life, bills, thank-you notes and postcards to show I care.
Let go and just be open to everything good I dream of feeling.
Be truly present and strong for my boys, they are my treasures.
I should probably clarify a few things that happened in my busy work season which I keep getting asked about...
I did not open a shop with my Birch Hill business name...I WISH it was mine. It is a lovely space on the main street with a studio that sells all the things I would want to sell if I were able to have a store right now. It was a really hard thing to swallow but an honest mistake by the owner. She isn't from the Okanagan, and I have moved on.
Birch Hill was the house we built I had to leave so this was probably a nudge I needed that just happened to come along at the worst possible time of year. It was definitely an expense I could have done without, but everything happens for a reason. My new logo was done in the nick of time to go to the recent wedding show as I am diving back into the world of photography. Cards and other materials I am having to rebrand are in the works. The new look and name will be ready to show off very soon. I do have work for sale in the new Birch Hill Studio shop too...a large painting and lots of the concrete word art from EachanOriginal. I cannot say enough how much I love that local company and collaborating with them for work has been amazing. Check out their Word for the Year concept...pick your word and put it where you see it everyday...make it a reality.
I did not get married again!
I do not even have a separation agreement yet. The image that appeared in Okanagan Woman Magazine was something I did for friends for a glamour & glitz submission that happened to get used in a wedding feature. The ironic thing was the day I heard it drop through my mail slot and saw it the first time was the day that would have been my 21st wedding anniversary. I was a little taken aback but flattered they used it. Most of all I was honored to show off the work of my talented friends who dolled me up for the shoot and had their work featured. I have been stopped quite a bit in random places like the gym saying they saw my wedding picture and it is really embarrassing but worth a giggle at this point. The headline was Dreams Come True... I dearly hope my bride fail doesn't jinx anyone else because of this...sending loving thoughts out to all you brides to be.
Obviously 2015 went out with a bang of odd things for me (like above), unexpected car issues, some chaos and bills galore. So far I am settling into 2016 in a much nicer way. I hope you too are excited about this New Year and all the wonderful opportunities to grow and learn it can bring.
That was a short & sweet update as I need to get back to the last of my Birch Hill photography edits before the new name and logo launch. I am working at some art images to be printed on canvases and a while back visiting a special family I was moved to capture this deeply loved Teddy for them.
All the best to you friends,
It is the time of year when everyone seems to be hustling and bustling around. Juggling work and life and kiddo things whilst trying to get organized for Christmas. Sadly I think we get so swept away in this mess that we forgot what is really important and what Christmas is all about....
I have dropped the ball on a lot of things lately to pour into my boys as they leave with their Dad on Thursday for a ten day holiday over Christmas. We had our Christmas early and I am trying to spend as much time just being with them as possible before their big trip. One of the things I haven't given the attention I should is Snicks, I promise when they are gone I will do a catch up.
For now I saw something I just want to share as it touched my heart and I think it is a beautiful reminder to all of us this time of year. Not only does it feature a snowman, one of the things I find most magical in the world; the charming animation is set to a beautiful song by Adaline.
Enjoy Lily & the Snowman from Cineplex.
If you also swoon for snowmen check out my Pinterest Snowmen Love board.
take care friends,
Tonight after hockey Ry and I were having a little DQ diner date and there was a man with very noticeable physical and mental challenges who sat near us. We said hello and after our goodbyes to him when we were in the car Ry asked why he was like that. I wasn't sure but I explained as best I could how we are all different in many ways, and all have challenges. I explained some are more obvious to other people, and some do not show at all; and we should always think about what it would be like to be in their shoes and be kind.
I often rely on the internet for help in parenting or my own questions. This compilation by Chescaleigh is rather wonderful. Show your kiddos, your friends and whoever else needs a wake up call to privilege in a non-confrontational way. Ry is going to love this animation by Kat Blaque.
This is it folks, I have been working many a months on creating stock for my favourite holiday show of the year. When I am not doing social media consulting, photography jobs, or teaching art or SUP Yoga I am painting letters or canvases or sorting wee images into catchy magnetic collages. Tomorrow is set up day for the Bottega Christmas Show in Kelowna.
Bottega Farm is hosting the fifth annual charity Christmas Market on Saturday, November 28th & Sunday, November 29th from 11am – 5pm.
Over the two days, the festive market will feature some of the Okanagan’s finest artists & crafters . Festive live music, kids activities, specialty treats, food, drink + much more, all set in the heart of beautiful South East Kelowna at Bottega Farm
Minimum donation $3 | children are free
All proceeds in support of Karis Support Society; a local charity that provides safe housing, support, life skills, and training for people caught in life altering addiction and mental health.
Karis Society supports a cause close to my heart and it's a magical venue in the forest with live music, wonderful food and the most beautiful Christmas spirit always. I am so honoured to be picked as a returning vendor.
Being a maker is not easy and unlike a 9-5 typical job there is no guarantee with pay no matter how hard you work. A forty hour work week would be a luxury during peak selling seasons and you pour your heart into your wares. Artists and makers of all types often struggle to make a living in the name of following their passion. This Black Friday weekend don't support the big box stores and be blinded by the masses into crappy stuff you don't need. Shop local, shop small, support your community. Find Christmas Spirit in events filled with the energy and passion of people working in a sustainable, creative way.
Come say hello and see what I have been working on with Eachanoriginal, I have been working with them for over a year now and love sharing their line with stores and at shows. Handpainted pieces all made in Kelowna with love. This show is juried and has a really gifted group of artisans, you will not be disappointed.
Well, it seems John Lewis has done it again. They have created the most beautiful Christmas mini film for 2015. Watch Man on The Moon. Even the Grinchiest of Grinches will be moved by this compilation...
I have been looking for this Solar System light for Ry locally and have had no luck.
Last year I could not stop watching their advertisement with Monty The Penguin. Watch it here:
John Lewis Monty the Penguin. I do think it is still my all time favorite being a Momma of boys who adored penguins, the Man on the Moon did not disappoint though.
Our television, especially YTV, is loaded with awful commercials showing cheaply made, awful children's toys right now. Even Ry has commented on how trashy all the girls stuff is. I have so much love and respect to John Lewis for keeping their ads about the holiday spirit and the magic of Christmas.
I have a full week prepping for a big Christmas show at Bottega this coming weekend. Last year it was the perfect way to begin the holiday spirit for me. I am honored to be a part of their 5th Annual Christmas Market at Bottega.
Firey, hateful opinions are flooding my Facebook feed and the news we are given seems to be nothing but awful stuff. I do not want to live in a bubble of naivety. Yet I find that it is near impossible to stay updated on all the issues needing to be addressed without becoming thoroughly depressed and bitter.
I really hope we can make a shift in the right direction. No one can change the world alone. Pick your causes and do what you can. Don't let the heaviness and fear take over your days because it is giving up your power to all the darkness in the world.
Take care of yourself and embrace the things you are grateful for so you can help from a place of love and grace.
And one last thing I would love to share...
Yesterday I shopped to make shoebox donations for Samaritan's Purse with my boys for Operation Christmas Child. I made sure to buy things my boys would like and want. We spent about $100 in total but it brings me great joy to know some children who have nothing will get stuff they need as well as some toys and special things to make them smile. We have donated warm winter wear and some other things as well to our local Mission and I am looking for a way to serve in someway that I can afford with work and being a Momma. I barely make my rent as is so it saddens me I cannot give more but I have several charities I trust who help here and abroad and trust what I do donate gets used where it is most needed. Even when times are tight it doesn't have to be material things you give, we have time, resources and loving energy we can share as a society that are bound to lift us all up as a whole. Don't be naïve and trust ignorant information. Make your own decisions, listen from your heart and not a place of fear, hate and selfishness. We are all smarter and better than that.
This has been a jumble of a post and simple shares but they reflect the things I have been wondering about in a powerful way. Hope they are comforting and inspiring to you as well.
luv ya friends,
My long, narrow driveway is covered in a thick blanket of gorgeous fallen maple leaves. I adore the sound, lush scent and sensation of walking through them. The days are getting colder and rather wet. I am afraid there will be a fine line between when I rake them up and say goodbye to the pleasure they have given me, and when I have to start shovelling snow.
A gambler I am not but I am going to 'stay' as long as I can this round.
Although sadly the calendar page is flipped past October now there is lots of autumn-ess left to enjoy.
Fall into my Pinterest Autumn Love page and help me hold onto all that goodness and keep wishing winter away.
It is also soup season once again. My Souper Suppers board is loaded with inspired recipes to warm you up as winter comes upon us.
Just when I think I have found every Emerson quote I could possibly love another one presents itself. The one I found today resonated deeply in my soul. I nature I always find my peace, I crave it.
It couldn't be a more perfect October day. Finishing up chores indoors, then heading out with the boys to O'Keefe Ranch for the afternoon to enjoy autumn at it's best. We are doing some family fun activities then I booked a ghost tour at 4:30 as I am too chicken to do the Field of Screams at night.
I read today they need more volunteers if you are available and braver than I. I think being a actor in the haunted corn maze would be so fun if you have the time.