My tattoo story

I am honoured that NEITHER SNOW published my photos & story about my recent tattoo. If you have a story to share, please do.

COLLABORATION WITH: NADYA, JAMIE & PETE

Every once in a while I’ll be asked to calligraph song lyrics for tattoo clients. Nadya’s story, and the choice behind this song, is so moving.  There have been times my yoga teacher has played “To Build a Home” during savasana. And so the image of both me and Nadya, separated by thousands of miles, lying on the floor and listening to the same song (through speakers or in our heads) and processing it through our difference life experience made it all the more special.

Close introspection usually comes when one choses a tattoo, something permanent that will resonate with you all your days. When I first heard the song, To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra, it came drifting into my head as I was laying on the floor in Savasana at a yoga studio. I was moved by this beautifully haunting song and as it lingered in my head for days afterward, I realized I needed a closer listen.

My husband had just been diagnosed with cancer and we were in the depths of hell. As our family learned to cope with this new world, the phrase from this song –“I built a home for you, for me” spoke to me. They seemed to be the words that represented me and my position in our lives. Our home was our cocoon away from the world — and I provided the comfort & stability we needed to weather the storm. In our home lived hope and strength, positivity, love and most importantly, laughter.

In the midst of treatment I would drive and listen to this song with the volume cranked. On the overwhelming days when the hurt was new and raw I would cry, but as time passed, tears turned to reflection and with it a kind of peace. It is a wonderfully poetic view of life. The very fact that we truly did build our home was a just a wonderful coincidence.

Life is not fair, it just is. Things happen and how we react and cope with the events that shape our lives are what make us who we are. Of this I am constantly reminded, when I look down at this beautifully scripted affirmation on my arm. Thank you Patrick Watson for writing these powerful words, and thank you Mara for working with me to transform them into something uniquely me.

Thanks to Nadya for sharing her story, to tattoo artist Jamie “Grazzhopper” Lindsey (Toronto), and to photographer Pete Nema.

with gratitude…nadya

 

Fifty (year old) Shades of Grey

My eyes flutter open and I see my Fifty laying there beside me in bed. I decide that it is time to wake him up! As I reach to pull the pillow out from between my legs — I need it for back support, I feel a sneeze building up. My allergies are in full swing, and before I can brace myself, I sneeze and my mouth guard pops out of my mouth and flies across the bed and hits my man in the back of the head. Oh my.

Now that I’ve got your attention…

I am very happy to announce that my mixed-media canvases and cards are now available at the Georgina Art Centre & Gallery. It is a wonderful gallery located in Sutton and I am very proud to be a member and participating artist.

georgina centreI recently SMASH-ed our family trip to Paris and completely loved being able to do it as we went. I  documented & collected ephemera (everything from METRO tickets to baguette bags) so by the time I got home and had photos developed, I could stick the INSTAGRAMS and quirky pictures in the places I had stories waiting for the visual. Then I could find the really good 1 or 2 to enlarge & scrapbook or hang. But I still feel the need to …PLAY.

Nadya Edwards

Nadya Edwards

Nadya Edwards

I have decided to try my hand at art journalling. I have been a scrapbooker now for 9 years and as I have ventured into mixed-media, I feel the urge to express myself in more mediums that traditional scrapbooking allows. My first-born-Virgo anal-ness is suddenly being attacked by a dirty-handed hippie. My need for clean straight lines and organized paper and photos is having to fight with my urge to gesso & spray. I’m worried though, because I am not an “artist”. I am not trained — I did take a fine arts university course on colour theory a million years ago when I was in school, but that is all. I am a terrible doodler — hence I have taken up & love Zentangle. But I have always tried & failed at keeping a diary/journal, so this is my attempt.

Got it Goin On

got it goin on

goin on

So here is my first art journal page. Yes, it was back in April, but I was not ready to commit. Julie Fei Fan Balzer is my total inspiration on this journey. Let me know what you think.

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No more pencils, no more books…

altered canvas bookLast week I had the pleasure of attending a workshop in Cambridge with the very talented  Anna Dabrowska. She is a mixed-media artist, designer & teacher from Poland, and Karen Ellis, owner of The Art House was fortunate enough to host this 5 hour class, where we created mixed-media journals, learning Anna’s collage style of using rich layers & details. The time flew as I gessoed, painted with my fingers and learned new uses for masking tape and tea bags!

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Since I am not the apron-type, and we were asked to brinIMG_2434g them, I dug deep and found my university lab coat. Speaking of school, I have to admit I love learning. Sign me up for a class every week and I’d be there (if money grew on trees — which incidentally it doesn’t in Canada anymore). Sometimes you learn new things, sometimes you realize the way you are going about it is good too. I love walking down the business and school supplies aisles — don’t even get me started on back to school sales.

Here is my latest business card — made using Avery shipping tags:

IMG_2489I have a hard time sticking to one business card. As I evolve, I try to incorporate new products & techniques that I am using into my business cards. It is cost effective and people seem to love them. So here is a little tutorial on how I create them:

STEP 1: I make them in batches using AVERY 13035 Shipping Tags size 5. The cards are placed on a Ranger non-stick Craft Sheet. IMG_2465

 

 

 

STEP 2: I use Ranger Adirondack Colour Wash dyes. All the colours coordinate, so you can’t mess up — they blend beautifully.

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STEP 3: Spray 2 squirts of 3 sprays onto the craft sheet.

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STEP 4: Smoosh the tag across the colours, checking the tag as you go until it is full of colour.Then either air dry or use a heating tool (I use the Ranger Heat It Craft Tool) to quickly dry the tags.

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STEP 5: I choose a stencil then along with Ranger Distress Stain in Picket Fence, I stencil on the tag.

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STEP 6: To use up the stain on the stencil, I  flip the stencil over and press it onto another tag to transfer the residual stain. Dry.

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STEP 7: Choose a stamp, ink it & stamp on image on tag.

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STEP 8: Place pertinent information on the flip side. I used AVERY 18663 Clear Mailing Labels. Tie on raffia or ribbon to finish.

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Thanks for checking in!

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My Little Dancer

Don’t you love it when you come across something that really speaks to you? For many of us we find that on the web with Pinterest and StumbleUpon.

I am passionate about many a thing, and one of those is music. Couldn’t live without it and I love following my favourite bands. I have just found a new band to crank in the car, and as I was listening to them, I thought — hey they remind me so much of another band that I miss because they haven’t been on the scene in awhile… And wouldn’t you know as I was furiously youtubing them, I found a connection between those very 2 bands — the lead singer of one had collaborated with the other band. And that got me to thinking…

It’s funny how I find that completely fine with music, but with my art I have a harder time. Sometimes we feel that what we have to offer up to the world may not be unique enough, but you know, everything has been done, we all just find different ways to channel what inspires us.  We all bring something uniquely different to the table that transforms what we do into being ours.

Dancer by Edgar Degas, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

I fell in love with Degas this past March when I was fortunate enough to catch the exhibit, “Degas and the Nude”. The bronze statue Petite Danseuse de quatorze ans inspired me to create the following canvas:

 confidence
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