Tag Archives: inspiration

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.

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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.

Mindfulness & inspiration ~ creating is therapy

3 Mar

One of the things I’ve been exploring this semester through school (and trying to incorporate in my personal life) is mindfulness / mindful meditation.  I’ve been struggling, and making excuses.  No time, I feel interrupted by the kids, not feeling motivated to make it a daily thing, etc, etc.

But, I experienced an amalgamation of things today that took me by surprise.

On the way out of Chapters this afternoon (I practice self care through flipping through books, smelling coffee and being around people without having to talk to them), my eye was caught by a magazine with an old double reflex camera on the cover.  It was the spring volume of bella Grace magazine – and when I flipped through, I found articles on gratitude and the most nostalgic images that were really speaking to me.  I purchased it.

The first article I read inside is titled: Finding Stillness Through Still Life – By Kim Klassen.  She takes quiet time to herself, in her favourite spaces, nooks, and crannies and sets up still life photographs. The items don’t need to be related in anyway of course, just a simple collection of objects.  This, she realized, was her meditation and mindfulness.

I felt so inspired by this because I had been struggling to find my way into this really great practice, and here is the perfect way for me to approach it.

Today I worried about not being productive, I felt anxious about schoolwork, I didn’t end up committing the time I hoped to to housework.  And then I got today’s inspiration.  The last of the day’s sun came in through my windows, and I practiced mindfulness.

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For those people that I have worked with, I imagine it’s noticeable how -in the zone- I get when I am behind the camera.  Nothing else goes through my mind but what I see through the lens.  My subjects, the background, the angles, light, posing, details, focus.  I can’t imagine a better way for me to be in the moment.