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Ice Day!

26 Apr

Blizzards, snowfall, and storms aren’t uncommon for Aprils in Thunder Bay.  City closure due to weather is pretty uncommon as well, but an ice storm has given us a day off school and work today!

The girls and I started our day with peanut butter banana smoothies and yoga. We did lots of playing and painting, planted seeds to start our garden, and just after lunch we decided to go outside.  We smashed tons of ice off the car and other surfaces outside; a surprising inch or so thick in lots of places!

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When the wind got to be too much we came in to watch a show but the power went out!

I had an idea to keep us entertained, something I’ve wanted to do since the lightpainting workshop at Neechee: Experimenting with portable light in the studio.  Flashlights, sparklers, strobes, etc.

Now, it’s hard as heck to get the girls be still and follow my directions – they want to do their own posing and follow their ideas, but I let them run the show and still got fun results!

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Once in a while a school closure is such a treat – a surprise sleep in annnnnd a day with the kids.  Good attitudes all ’round at this house.

Spring Sundays

2 Apr

It’s very much a spring day today!  Warm sun, no bitterness in the wind, enough snow has melted that there are massive patches of dry grass, and the air smells a little more alive.

So, I’m relatively kid-free on Sundays, therefore I reserve it for shoots, editing, cleaning the house, spending time with family, and time for myself.

I had a shoot scheduled this morning, early enough that I had time to do whateverrrrrr I wanted for a bit afterwards, so I indulged in a walk at the marina.

Prince Arthur’s Landing is really one of my favourite locations in Thunder Bay.  It’s a place to bring the family, it’s a place to feel connected, a place to go alone, a place to people watch, to sit and think, to be active, and to see lots of dogs (I saw at least three this morning but photographed zero, sorry).

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Creating as a form of healing

2 Apr

A while back I wrote about using photography as a form of mindfulness and I’d like to add beading and jewelry-making onto my list of avenues for healing.

I first started making jewelry two years ago while I was in school for social service work. I just started out by beading wrap bracelets at night after the kids were in bed, but I soon found other outlets for creativity.  A good friend and I began dabbling in silver-smithing together and we’ve been of great influence to each other.  Mostly inspired by rocks and gems – pieces are earthy and comprised of mostly natural materials.  Everything is one of a kind, handmade.  From hand cut and stamped silver, to pieced-together chain, to rings soldered together from scratch.

The materials I gravitate to are leather, agate, jasper, shell, quartz, amethyst (local!!), turquoise, lapis lazuli, sterling silver, glass, other stone: rough and polished.

Even the process of picking out materials is therapeutic!  Going through the silver catalogue, tumbling my own stones (a month long process), sauntering through the bead store and picking out what catches my eye.  Sitting over my table, arranging it all together, forming a complete piece for someone else to love.

This has been such a venture so far, and it isn’t slowing down.  If I only had more hours in the day I could get to all the ideas I have!  If there’s one downside to creating, it’s time constraints.  But I enjoy that I can do this in the company of others.  I regularly work with a friend, and if I’m really in the mood to get crafty while the kiddies are around, I will get them to “help”, by picking out beads, or handing me tools, and they really love being part of the process.

I’ve been selling locally at craft fairs, but have been hoping to have things in stores, that is my next big step.

Urban Infill 11

27 Mar

One of my favourite events of the year, within my top 5, among the other incredible Definitely Superior events: Urban Infill: Art in the Core.

Revitalizing our downtown by capitalizing on assets of art and culture, and linking/reinforcing connections through accessible empty spaces and existing arts, commercial business/social spaces. With vision and innovative arts and business, we can fill up the empty spaces in our downtown, and help to connect and create that unique niche of an urban arts and entertainment district. ~Re-discover your north core Waterfront District through contemporary art!

Featuring works by 400 regional, national and international multi-disciplinary artists at 25 downtown locations, including DefSup, commercial spaces, art galleries, artist studios, and empty spaces transformed into new art/performance venues. One of the largest presentations of visual and media arts, unique to Thunder Bay.”

These photos are from the gala lastnight – I strongly encourage you all to check out the installed art this week!!! Visual art exhibitions continue: Sun. March 26-Tues. March 28, 12-6pm.

Stop in at Def Sup to get a map and start from there, 250 Park Avenue (Thunder Bay).

I always photograph this event and love it, this year I entered two pieces which made it even more meaningful to me.

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Diane Landry’s – Knight of Infinite Resignation

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First Tour getting started

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Wearable art featured in window displays throughout downtown

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My favourite “piece” – by Barbara Benwell

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Morning Light

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“All the Marks You Left in Me” a piece about emotional scars left behind from abuse

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Sprouts by Janna Zachary (only the cutest painting ever)

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Michel Dumont and his creation

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Couch Money Kareoke

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Best, sexiest voice in Thunder Bay: Robin Ranger

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Neechee Studio light painting

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Top: “The Engagement Photo”

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I am not a fan of this gesture, but this piece is a giant fuck you.  A healing piece. Fuck you Steven for everything you did to me, for every mark you left in me. For snuffing out my light, for crushing my spirit. Thank you for showing me what love is Not.

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A collaborative poem to go along with this, written by my friend Katie:

water under the bridge
like broken glass
fuck your apology flowers
you stupid ass

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Miss Temperance

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Sam explained a piece by one of his students Parvaneh Darabi: she had gone to restore to find frames, and found these photos lost within

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bts and snax!

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Hazelwood Conservation Area

6 Jul

July 5, 2016

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Happened upon the most beautiful sunset.  Unexpected. Blew our socks off.  And then the mosquitoes ate us alive.

Photo Workshop – Using art in recovery

2 Mar

When I was in the social service worker program at the college, I had a wonderful placement at Alpha Court.  The agency provides support to individuals struggling with addictions and mental health issues.

One of my requirements for this field placement was to create a group.  I designed a photography workshop, which aims to teach individuals the functions of the camera, as well as light and composition concepts in order to have control over the images they create.  I want to give people a new skill that they can use within their recovery process, or as a new way of expression.  Now I have this nice little lesson plan in my pocket and it has come in handy several times since graduating last spring.

I’ve had the pleasure of facilitating two workshops now through CAHEP (Community Arts & Heritage Education Project).  I’ve recently been working with youth, which has been really great because they are bubbling with ideas.  In the group, shooting, experimenting, and all that hands-on stuff is integral.  In the first group we explored long shutters, light painting, and capturing movement.  This current group was free to roam the waterfront and get creative with what we saw there.

The facilitator should shoot too right?  These are my shots just for fun and I am totally looking forward to what the participants have to show next week!

Random Assortment

21 Feb

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