Monthly Archives: October 2009

Letterpressmosaictext {Above items available at Sycamore Street Press & Satsuma Lynn

 

I have been committing much of my time to finding my positive center.  I have returned to my large life-chart hanging in my happy studio space.  I have reopened scrapbooks filled with inspiring images of what I hope for and what I feel gratitude for.  My favourites include names like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay and may not be for everyone, but they are for me.

Through all of the listening I am gathering what resonates with me and creating a message that fits my needs.  Some of the main nuggets that I have come upon are these:

Say yes to the things that frighten and thrill you. 

Be grateful for the rain that has already fallen. 

Be open to the people coming into your life; the doors opening to new opportunities; and the clues along the way.

Follow each clue wholeheartedly and it will always lead you to the next clue.

I have said yes to taking photographs.  I have said yes to the photography course.  I have said yes to the craft shows.  I am saying yes to my creativity.  I am saying yes to new friendships.  All of this yea saying will ultimately bring the necessary people and circumstances into my life.

Shortly after I finished watching "You Can Heal Your Life", I found myself on Etsy and was drawn to a letterpress fortune teller listed in my favourite items.  I suddenly had a vision of myself in a small but beautiful workshop that opened out to a wide field next to our house in the country {our dream house}.  I was watching myself move with grace around a large old letter press.  I had a thick canvas apron on and ink stained fingers.  I was wearing a linen tunic and dark denim and could hear the intoxicating sound of paper on paper.  Tssk tssk.  Tssk tssk.  There were children laughing outside in the long grass and Mike was bringing me a cup of tea with the same destiny as the cold cloudy cup of coffee sitting on the wooden desk.  The afternoon sun sliced across the floor and crept through the wooden screen door.  It all provides a comfortable and artful life for us with many hours to spare for picnics under the trees and building fairy houses by the tiny creek.  I am calm, settled, and joyful.

I don't know the first thing about the art of the letterpress, but I do know that there is nothing I can't learn.  I don't feel a crazy sense of immediacy with this, but a gentle coaxing towards it.  A comfortable knowing that it is something I could feel at ease in.  And it fits me so well; a quiet perfectionist who often craves solitude and simple beauty.  I can't deny the thrill that runs through me when I see and touch beautiful paper that is more like beautiful fabric.  I can't help but buy large sheets of textured scrapbook paper even though I am not a scrapbooker.  Such a pure and ancient beauty in the same category as linen and wind.

Could it be that this is what I want to be when I grow up?

 

e.

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The Vaccination Debate

Moonfacecolour

Mike and I have struggled with the frustrating topic of vaccinations for Poppy. 

Firstly, we have found that most of the information available from the non-vaccination side of the argument are based on American standards (which make our research even more frustrating!).  We took Poppy to her first check up with the pact to gather information only.  The nurse practitioner was patient, but firm in her belief that we should vaccinate.  The biggest concern was with the mercury and autism link even though it has recently been debunked.  We were surprised to find out that, in Canada, the only vaccine which contains mercury is the flu shot (a shot we wouldn't go for anyway and even that is much less than you would find in a tuna sandwich).   She also told us that people spend too much time fretting over vaccines when a very real issue lies in the overuse of antibiotics (something else we try to stay clear of as well).

We decided to move forward with the vaccinations one step at a time; one decision at a time.   We have agreed to do the bare minimum and will not be going for the chicken pox or flu vaccines. I am still nervous to trust the same people who allowed drugs such as Thalidomide into the world, but I don't want to make these decisions based on fear alone and put Poppy at risk for diseases that are preventable.  All we want to do is make the right and healthy choices for our child.

Now we are faced with the H1N1 virus and vaccine.  The virus seems to be a ruthless and unpredictable one and that makes me nervous.  It is also close to home as my mother works with a woman who's 4 year old daughter was just diagnosed with the virus, though only a mild case. 

We have never been ones to get a flu shot, but everything changes when you have a child.  Everything.  It feels impossible to make the right decision or know what information is true.  We are forced to play the 'what if' game to the bitter end.  What if we get Poppy vaccinated and she suffers some rare or unknown side effect?  What if we don't vaccinate her and she is one of the ones to get a vicious case of the flu?  What if we take the risk of vaccinating and it isn't effective?  All we can do is chose the lesser evil in a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't scenario.

Is it really any worse than flu strains of years past?   Every year it seems to be a new thing that is going to wipe out humans; the bird flu, listeriosis, SARS, the swine flu.  Is this just the over-drugged world that we live in complete with mutating super bugs and insanely intelligent viruses?  People are taking too many antibiotics and numbing their symptoms  with drugs so that they can go to work and infect the public rather than taking the necessary time to heal. 

It is hard to know the right answers, but it all makes me want to go deep into the woods and never come out. 

Please share your thoughts and experiences.

e.

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Lemon Meringue Pie & A Workout

Lemonmeringuepie

I awoke this morning with a new feeling; a feeling I haven't had in a really long time.  I woke up ready to work out.  I woke up feeling ready to move past my fears and in the direction of my dreams.  I woke up and didn't eat for breakfast, the dreamy little lemon meringue pie I made yesterday.  I woke up feeling prepared to do what it takes.  I woke up feeling done with being fat.

I have been struggling with the body that pregnancy has left me with.  I vowed to begin working out as soon as the baby was in this world; as soon as my feet resembled something other than potatoes; as soon as the nausea would allow me to eat a salad again.  But things took a wicked twist and I was taken out by an emergency C-section and long recovery.  Despite me being immobile, the weight began to drop off with breastfeeding alone.  I lost 40 of the 55 pounds in what seemed like weeks…melted…gone.  The procrastinator in me rejoiced and I put off formal exercise and diet for a later date.

Well that date has arrived and I have been stuck at this weight (15 pounds higher than my pre-pregnancy weight which was already above my ideal weight) for months now and it is getting old.  Seriously.  I am still breastfeeding and will continue to do so until February at minimum (another post could be written on this topic), but the frequency has dwindled during the days as I follow her lead. 

My goal is to lose 25 pounds.  Like Oprah, I can't believe I am still talking about this.  I can't believe I am still battling with this. 

Today feels different.  Maybe it is because I am coming out of the facebook fog, or maybe it is due to the sheer amounts of Wayne Dyer wisdom I have been listening to in the past week.  Whatever the reason, I woke up with a renewed outlook on the topic.  Instead of focusing on the end, I will focus on today.  Instead of looking at the huge task ahead, I will focus on the tiny decisions.  Each day I will arrive and feel well.  I will stop holding myself to impossible standards.  I will be patient and kind with myself.  I will celebrate the small triumphs.

Now lets just hope I wake up with a similar clarity tomorrow.

e.

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Boardwalkempty

I have decided to do a facebook detox. 

Although I love the reconnecting and networking I have been able to do with it I find it gnaws insatiably at my valuable time.  Time that will never return.  It is just a little too reminiscent of high school with its pettiness paired with barbed comments, and status updates.  So many souls {though definitely not all!} seeking validation.

In general, it is a rather curious website by which we can creep and sneak into other's lives and base opinions and comparisons upon our findings.   Some people are able to find a balance, but for others it becomes an strange addiction to status updates and what lost friends are doing in their spare time.  For me, it is the latter of the two and I can't seem to stay away from the mind numbing crack that is facebook.  

I may return to it or I may not.  I am committed to 21 days without it and see how I feel after the lame-ass drug is out of my system.  It is a rather daunting task to stay in touch without facebook.  After all, I don't even have the email addresses of one third of my friends and I don't do the telephone {though if I had one like this, perhaps I would be more inclined}.  But it is a tad bit sad if we are merely friends with others because it is effortless isn't it?

I must admit that it is a freeing feeling.  Like finally removing a cumbersome piece of furniture from your space. 

As for today…

Today is a grey day perfect for making hankerchief Christmas gifts and perusing my new books Carefree Clothes for Girls and Linen Cotton and Wool . 

Today, the streets and earth are drunk and fat with rain making the remaining orange and yellow leaves pop out of the otherwise muted landscape.

Today I signed up for a photography night course that focuses on natural and artificial lighting.  It begins tomorrow evening.

Today I will stop living in terms of status updates and replace negative with positive.

Today, the wind smells like freshly churned soil.

Today is for making apple crisp while listening to audio books.

Today I remember the quote "Your opinion of me is none of my business".

Today, it ends with me.

e.

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Thescottfamily

So I did it.

I went completely outside of my comfort zone and did a complementary and somewhat experimental family photo session for friends of ours.  And through the sweat and nerves, I enjoyed myself.  It didn't feel like work, but it challenged me in good ways.  On top of that, I am happy with the results and so are The Scotts. 

A beautiful family and priceless friends!

Now I must work out some details: consider some technical training; purchase some new equipment, figure out pricing; and so much more!  I would love feedback from anyone who has had family photos done!  What I am thinking of doing to start is a 1 to 2 hour outdoor session on site, a CD of all suitable photos, all photo editing, organizing.  Perhaps branch out into other products like photo books and prints/canvas. 

To view all photos click HERE.

 

e.

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Sunday24

Annette: Today I stayed home. Earlier in the week I was marveling at the fact that I have not had a day where I simply stayed home in probably a year at least. I read, wrote long overdue letters, and attended to matters of my health and peace. Outside were the crimson tendrils of sunset; the fleeting colors of Autumn in the trees tempting me from my day of rest and repose, but in vain. I stood at my window, in my pajamas at sunset, and vowed to be out and take in the sights, scents and colors of this glorious but fugacious season; just not today. 

Erin:  A long overdue day spent lounging.  Grey linen pants and white cotton.  Fresh laundry.  Afternoon bubble baths.  Contemplating options and dreams for the future.  A happy baby defying sleep.  Good movies and cheap laughs,  Roasted potatoes.  Apple cider and granola bars.  Big dreams of bridge mixture that never came to fruition. …And much more importantly, coming to the realization that perhaps even bigger dreams may come to fruition {yes, even bigger than choclate bridge mixture}, but more on that tomorrow!

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A Dose of Good

Blanketmikedip 
"We must raise ourselves to the levels of energy where we are the light we seek, where we are the happiness we desire, where we are the love we are missing, where we are the abundance we crave.  By being it, we attract it to us…" 

Wayne Dyer

Momstarsdip 
Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.

Wayne Dy

Funnyleaves 

Joy is a return to the deep harmony of body, mind, and spirit
that was yours at birth and that can be yours again.
That openness to love, that capacity for wholeness
with the world around you, is still within you

Deepak Chopra

Famdip2 
"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle"

Thich Nhat Hanh

Blackbird 
"You'll see it when you believe it"

Wayne Dyer

 

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This week's earth's best sunday installment with less rules and new energy…

 

twenty three

Sunday23 
annette::erin

annette:  imagine being sprawled out on the floor in your socks, wanton pillows, limbs akimbo amongst piles of colored markers, oil pastels, crayons, shiney paper for tearing and bedizening, soothing music, the smells of nag champa and sage and the freedom to create and flow without regard to an outcome; that is what you're seeing here. The joy of Sunday artmaking with other good people, a belly full of vegan carrot ginger soup, and wind and rain keening through the trees outside! Art, trust and catharsis are grand and Sundays full of moments of shine are grand!  

erin:   impromtu family photo shoot.  a moment of child-like wonder upon spotting this field of beautiful flitting milkweed.  They stuck to our lips and sweaters and tangled in our hair.  sometimes, depending on the light, they looked like fairies and at other times like afternoon stars.  winded from frolicking.  black birds in the tree tops.  red apples like jewels on naked branches.  bellies full of chili.  surprise snakes and warm rocks. friendly sun and good light.  first time swings and slide rides.  harry potter.  fall and sunday at her best.  thank you for that.

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Colourfeatherdip

I just returned from a lovely morning spent with friends.  We met up at a church rummage sale at which I bought 2 wool sweaters, a quilted jacket, a wool blanket, and a vintage toy identical to one I had as a small  child all for a whopping 6 dollars.

As we sat with our sandwiches and coffee after wards, Amanda brought up the idea of communal living.  Something about the word "commune" likely makes some cringe with thoughts of unshaven, smelly hippies out of touch with the rest of he world.  I tend to feel more comfortable calling it an intentional community or eco-village as it seems more in line with my vision of what this could be and should be about.

Mike and I have discussed this on many occasions and we have often thought we should purchase a parcel of land with a farmhouse and sever it into lots upon which people could build humble dwellings like log cabins, yurts, or straw-bale homes.  We have always maintained that each family should have their own home and space, but with an area for gathering and sharing as well.  A community garden and shared tools and weekly meals together.  A healthy balance of community and self.  The main house could be used for workshops, pottery, studio space, gatherings, meals, yoga and so much more. 

I am sure I have mentioned before how passionately I feel about homeschooling/unschooling, but it is a daunting task when taking it on solo.  That is what all of this comes down to; living life solo is scary.  In days gone by, family was  never too far away; there was always community lean on.   In some act of defiance we have decided to brave it alone and I am not so sure it was meant to be that way.

Large and expensive hobbies and ideals could be better afforded with a large number of people to chip in an learn with.  Solar power and wind power may be achievable.  A kiln could be bought.  We could all learn together how to spin wool.  Nothing is as intimidating or as costly when shared with loved ones.  It could make a certain lifestyle possible in many ways.

When I think about is as a melting pot of talents, specialties, and learning it is rather empowering and exciting.  I think it could be a really good thing.  Doing life solo is scary sometimes.  That being said, there are many tedious details to work out, not to mention thinking through the rather ugly possibility of disintegrating friendships and conflict resolution.  There is zoning to think about and I can imagine the legal fees and confusion that would come with many people owning one piece of land.

And then I am forced to think about where we want to be.  Am I social enough?   Am I trusting enough?  Am I willing to give up a certain amount of control?  Am I assertive enough?  Is it worth the inevitable hassle and costs?  Would it not be just as good to have a close knit group of friends to visit and lean on regularly?  Would we prefer to buy our own land and with our dream home and build  a separate gathering house on that land where we could meet, eat together, create together, hold workshops, cook and preserve together?  Perhaps everyone could chip in on the cost and upkeep of this building and everything that happens within it on a share basis.

This is a large commitment and not one I am about to take lightly.  There is a lot to think about and thinking I am.

e.

p.s. This is a farm in our area that used to be for open houses, workshops and woofers, but was sold years ago.  I am interested to see how it is used and run now.  Mom and I attended a workshop in a very tiny part of the cob house construction after Dad and Janet introduced us to them at a tour.  We are hoping to go in for a tour again sometime soon to see their solutions and ways.  Should be fascinating!

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IMG_6950

I am moved by layers of denim, soft grey, and oatmeal.  Cinnamon sticks bubble with a quartered apple on the stove for a comforting air freshener.  Another batch of indian spiced squash soup awaits Mike's arrival home.  The wet fern came in from the cold wind to cozy up in her new winter nook.  Gramma's chair beckons me to sit and knit something warm, but I can't seem to sit still long enough what with baking, warm laundry and dancing in the kitchen with Poppy.

I find so much inspiration in other people's work and creations, but still struggle to find my place in it all.   Despite the peace, the plants, and the homemade food I can't seem to shake this nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Alas, I am in deep need of driftwood, fall bouquets, and new oven mitts.

e.

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