Thursday, November 24, 2011

Small Business Saturday

I am a strong believer in supporting small businesses. Especially locally owned. So when I stumbled across this website Small Business Saturday, I was so excited! I think it's a fabulous idea. Normally I don't watch tv. In fact for the longest while I refused to own a tv. Lately though I've been watching a few shows here and there and all these commercials about 'Black Friday' has me roaring (they are pretty funny) but also shuddering at the thought that I now feel guilty about my previously 'cute' and very practical Christmas gift ideas, and now has me feeling obligated to go buy ridiculous presents. The funny thing is I still didn't know what the eff a Black Friday was until I heard of Small Business Saturday. I knew it meant spending money at big name stores, but I didn't realize that's what the whole day was actually dedicated to.

So if you're feeling the itch to spend money this weekend, why not turn to small businesses? Look at your list and see what you can buy locally, or even online through small businesses (think Etsy or ArtFire ). If you're on Facebook check out fan pages for great products ( Clay Cafe AvalonL.A Crafts , The Huggable Hoots Collection are a few of my favorite hehe). You can also check out this link for other ideas.

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs. -

So I decided to join in on the fun of this Saturday Small Business idea, and from Friday, November 25 (one month before Christmas!) until Sunday Novemeber 27 at 11:30pm (Newfoundland Time - because I miss home) There will be free shipping up to $100.00 on all orders in Canada and the United States! So if you're looking for a unique holiday present, this is a great time to check out my collection! You can check them out on Facebook or on my website.

Think BIG Shop small!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Victorian Holiday Weekend

If this weekend didn't put myself or the locals in the holiday spirit, then I'm not sure what will. The events began Friday night at the newly renovated Victoria Square. A live band played Christmas carols in the bandstand as hundreds gathered around singing along in good holiday cheer. The mayor, Rob Small, started the crowd in a countdown as he lit up the square with holiday lights. We then gathered into the church where The Amherst Regional High School's band played Christmas carols as the audience sang along. After ever song Owen clapped and requested "E-I-E-I-O". What a little cutie. The night's festivities ended at Dayle's, a local department store where Roger White read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Just before he started reading, all the lights in the store went out, as he began to read parts of the store lit up with a little scene depicting that particular scene in the story. The last set of lights lit up the beautiful staircase where students stood singing Christmas carols. I must admit, I'm falling in love with this town!

ok so this one is blurry, but you get the idea...goal for new year: new camera!
Saturday, my darling Sarah came over to help me with this silly pellet stove. It's the most simple thing to operate and yet do you think I can get it started? Not for the life of me. Luckily Sarah came to my rescue and I could paint the day away nice and toasty. Soon Beth and I headed to her gym where we met up with Owen, Kayla, and her family and some friends. We kept warm inside with hot chocolate while we waiting for the parade to come. Never in my life have a I seen a Christmas parade at night before, but it was awesome! So much hard work went into these floats. Hats off to everyone involved!
My camera isn't loving life at the moment, and therefore I ask you in advance to forgive the pictures, but I managed to find a few half decent ones just to share the fun.

I'll be posting more photos to my Facebook page later on, so pop on over there to see the rest of the pictures I salvaged hehe. Well I should get back to my painting. Lots to do before the Christmas Bazaar!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Newest Collections

After much anticipation, here it is at last, not one, but TWO new collections! I have been a very very busy soul these past few months down in the Spidey Cave! Both collections are very close to heart, which is why I wasn't sure if I was going to keep them for my private collection or let the world see. I finally decided one night as I sat staring endlessly at them, that there was a reason these images came to me. Because of that, they must be honored and left as is. Hope you enjoy them.

*For some reason I cannot access the editing aspect of my website, so for now all art can be viewed here or through my Facebook page. You can contact me by email at for any inquiries.

Sea, Land and Air Collection
Just Keep Swimming
Acrylic and mixed medium on canvas
16x20 - $320 Plus S&H

Life's Greatest Gift
Acrylic and mixed medium on canvas
16x20 - $350 plus S&H

This Journey Requires Patience
Acrylic and mixed medium on canvas
20x20 - $400 Plus S&H
Acrylic on Canvas
18x24 - $430 Plus S&H
A New Life
Acrylic on Canvas
20x20 - $400 Plus S&H
Acrylic and mixed medium on canvas
6x12 - $80 Plus S&H

And as a surprise, I second collection. This one is a mini collection. The first 4 paintings I created when I moved here

Home - petite collection

Acrylic on Canvas
4 8x8 paintings - $65 each or $250 for the whole series Plus S&H

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Cat Came Back

Well, the cat came back. I have three darling whisker faces at home (well four if you include my boyfriend, he has quite the whisker face himself haha) but they are all indoor kitties. So when I found out Jake was an outdoor kitty, I was a bit curious how this would work. Last night as I prepared to settle down for the night and get ready for bed, I went outside with the bag of treats and shook them as I called out to Jake. Nothing. I started shaking the bag a little more vigorously. Nadda. Went to other doors, opened them, shook the bag..still not a thing. My heart started to race. This is not best kind. Finally, just as I gave up and turned to head inside, a hear the most precious little meow. Jake!! You came back! What a sigh of relief. When it came time for bed, I scooped him up, brought him into the bed and hoped for the best. He curled up on my housecoat and purred me to sleep. He was still there when I woke up this morning. Oh I'm in kitty heaven. It's been too long.

On another sigh of relief, I have decided to make no changes to my paintings. I stared for hours at two paintings that had been bothering me the most. Paired together, I truly like them. This could change with the next wave of emotions granted, but for now, I am at peace with my collection once again. So I shall start snapping some pictures and get them posted soon. Unless my mind changes again haha. Oh my.

Well I should get going. I want to get down to the gym again to help Beth paint the offices so she can start renting them out. Oh it's so hard to do anything when you have an awesome cat like Jake around to snuggle all day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Settling In

Here I am at my temporary home for the next month. I must have been a nomad in a previous life, because I can't seem it sit still in this one haha. I pulled into the driveway and just as I got out of the car, Jake (the kitty of the house) appeared on the doorstep to greet me. Filled with purrs, kisses and a cute little meow, we went inside and dipped into the treats bag. I think I'm on his good side.

It was so weird packing up my art supplies and a few other things at Beth's house. As I loaded up the car, I couldn't bring myself to get in it and drive away. I sat on the front step playing with Noel (Beth's dog), then puttered around inside waiting for Beth to get home from work. Finally I decided to just hit the road. I'm not a fan of night driving at all. Sure I'm just getting used to day driving haha. I sent her a txt and off I went.

So here I am, with a vegetarian lasagna in the oven and a bowl of ice cream to tie me over til dinner is ready haha. As I was preparing dinner, part of me felt 19 again. Living on my own for the first time, in my own little apartment. I remember that first night, as I sat down with my pizza and juice and the little tv that came with the place, just defended by the silence of living alone. I quickly learned to love this feeling, though it was scary that first night. I couldn't help but smile as the memory danced in my head. Life has taken me so far from that August night. I turned on the radio, struck up a conversation with the cat (he's quite the little chatter you know) and went on my way. Being alone can be the most wonderful and rewarding thing when you use that time in a healthy way. I have a little planner here next to me which I want to fill out tonight or tomorrow, so much I want to do with all this "me" time over the next 4 weeks.

No word from the paper yet. However, he did only apply Friday, and it was a holiday, so I will practice patience. Well, we both will practice, he's pretty anxious as well. Lots of positive energy.

Now, to tackle to the painting situation. Having doubts about my collection is not the best frame of mind to be in when I want to put them on display for the holidays. The more I look at the particular two I brought with me tonight, the more I wonder if I really need to change anything, or start over. It's always the paintings I dislike the most that people seem to be drawn to. And truly, it's not about worrying what people think or if they will sell (ok to some degree it is lol). That's just a bonus really. But in all honesty painting for me is about the process, the joy in getting lost in a world of acrylics and music and canvas for hours on end. I never began painting with the intentions to sell. In fact the first time I heard someone ask if they could buy a painting I nearly fell through the floor. I'm sure there is a home out there that is perfect for one of these paintings. If not, that's ok too. I felt incredible creating them. That's all that matters at the end of the day.

Packing My Bags

Wow! Here I am hanging out with Monday morning again. Where does the time go?

Today I will  be packing my bags and moving into Karen's house for the next 4 weeks as she is off exploring the world. I'm looking forward to being on my own for a little a bit. Excited about some plans for a bit of self work before the holidays get here. I must admit it's going to be weird with Beth not around. I almost don't want to pack my bags, but it'll be lovely too. I have  lots of plans to keep me busy.

Before I get ready to settle in though I have a few things to do around the house. I also want to get down to the gym soon and help Beth with some painting. She's going to be renting some office space (hint hint for anyone looking hehe) very soon, so we're getting it all ready. I am also anxious to hear from Craig today. He sent his resume in to the local newspaper, Amherst Daily News and is hoping to contact them today. I never get my hopes up too much when he applies for work in case he doesn't get the job and has to stay in Newfoundland working at his current job. He's putting a lot of positive energy into this one, I can't help but get a little excited.

I have a funny feeling today is going to slip away in a hurry, so I must be off to get some work done. I want to make sure I can post my new collection this week. My inner critic is not impressed with some of my recent paintings. I started off loving the collection and now I am wondering if I should just start over again, or work with what I have. I guess you will just have to wait and find out. ;)

Create yourself a wonderful day and week!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget

Lest we forget.

On this eleventh day, of this eleventh month at the eleventh hour, Canadians stop in silence as they remember the brave souls who left the comfort of their homes to fight for our protection.

To my knowledge, no one in my family fought in any of the wars. It was never mentioned to me at least. But I have stood in the empty battlefields and seen the enemy line. I have fought my own war, and I know people who have been severely impacted by war. My heart goes out to them, and to everyone else whose lives have been changed from war.

I wish there was a way that the world could take the sandbox lesson of "use your words" into adulthood instead of having to use violence. Sadly this ideal world does not exist.

For the lives lost, the scars that remain, Lest we forget. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Creative Juices Are Back

After a two week long hiatus, another creative burst came to me last evening. Perfect timing too, the day before was a rough one. I won't point fingers or place blame, but it is truly unfortunate that some people in power came to very big decisions without ever contacting me to clarify the facts. In those actions, they unknowingly undid so much progress and work that I have dedicated myself to since moving here. So to be able to liberate myself from this emotional burden and spend 10 hours just throwing it all on canvas is WONDERFUL! I was so consumed in my acrylics and canvas that soon the pain was lost amongst the colours and brush strokes and the soothing voice of Jack Johnson. 

I stopped for a dinner break. Beth made the most incredible meal. Poached salmon marinated with rosemary and lemon, corn, and herb and butter whipped potatoes. Owen gave his stamp of approval with a big giant "yum!", and he was right. It was simply divine. All the flavors complimented each other so well. After a quick refuel, I headed back to the cave and was lost in time again.

I'm planing to get back down into the cave soon. I hope my little sleeping break didn't interrupt this creative flow. haha.

Hope you all create yourselves a fabulous day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Story With A Twist

Hello Monday. I can't believe you're here again.

I finally made time to blog. So much to say, and I've never been the best at paraphrasing. haha. Let's see if I can accomplish the art of paraphrasing in this story...

Dinner at Dragon Inn was delicious! After we filled our belly's we all went back to Maddy's where Kim and Stewart taught us how to play Wizard. It's a card game. Now that link will make the rules sound very confusing, but after two or three rounds you catch on  fast. Soon you're developing your own strategies and getting a little too competitive. Remember, it's just a game hehe.

Sunday I went grocery shopping. I think the last time I was that excited to buy kitty litter was when I brought Demetri home for the first time. I took my usual route through Sobey's, and as I left the pet food aisle I made my way to the pharmacy to buy Zephyr's insulin. My body clearly had not adjusted to the time change, so I was just about floored when I discovered the pharmacy was closed. For once in my life I went grocery shopping too early. I was on a time limit though, no diddle daddling. I wanted to be home by 12:00 so I could go to lunch with the gang one last time before Karen left to go home. I decided I would attempt to get the Lantus later on when I was headed to Karen T's for dinner. Well that plan got put on the back burner in a hurry. I turned on the t.v where I had an hour before I had to be at Karen T's. As I flicked through the channels, a show caught my attention about the rapid evolution of dinosaurs. The next thing I knew it was quarter to the hour and I still had only a vague idea on how to get to Karen's. Luckily with the aid of Stewart's map and my foggy memory, I made it there without a hitch.

Karen gave me detailed tour of her house and I was busy with my pen again, taking notes so that when she leaves for her exotic trip to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia I'll be ready to housesit. AND she has an awesome cat! So, you knows I won't be in my glory over there haha. I've mentioned Karen's cooking in the past, but my goodness, she sure knows how to cook! Homemade mac and cheese with a delicious slice of ham and that yummy spinach salad she made the night we went 'Trick or Drinking'. For dessert...homemade apple pie and this wicked good ice cream curled up by the fireplace watching a movie. Now, is that not the most perfect way to end this story?

Oh but there's a twist.

When I arrived home from a cozy visit with Karen, I touched base with Craig and Beth. I then rang the airline she was traveling with to book Zephyr's ticket. They need 12 hours notice at least. Attempt one, I had to call the 1-888 number back again with Beth's confirmation number. Attempt two, they need a credit card to make the payment (because apparently it had to be paid for in that moment, and not at the desk when she checked in the next day). Attempt three...OH! They just happened to notice that she's traveling with an infant, and despite the fact that Beth is bionic woman, this means that she cannot travel with a cat as well. According to this airline, it's one or the other, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Silly airline. And so after a delightful and lighthearted weekend, it came to a very sad end.

I am very thankful for all the gifts the universe has given me since moving here. It has been very generous in helping me adjust to the move and being away from my family. So I am trying my hardest to change my frame of thought about this whole not having Zephyr here and put my creativity to use as I explore another way to help mend what I was hoping Zephyr could fix for me.

I sense another challenge in my future ;) Stay tunned. hehe.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Keeping Busy

This commercial still makes me laugh. Last night I went to see this movie in 3D with a couple of friends. It still blows me away that we can just go to another province to watch a movie. Back home you need a good reason to leave the province because if you live on the island, you're going to need a plane or boat to get away. I'm not sure when the novelty of this will wear off. The movie was AMAZING! The prices not so much. But it was a lovely treat, that's for sure.

I've been keeping myself very busy this past week. I forgot to mention in my last blog ( I was so caught up with the Imagine concert ) to share with you that on the same day, I drove the CRV for the first time. I mentioned that in a previous blog about being scared to drive it. I'm so attached to my little tissue box car hehe. But I drove it, and WOW! What a difference. You look in the rear view mirror and it seems to have no end to it. I feel like I'm in a dinosaur though, so it'll take some getting used to parking ...haha. Let's just say we don't really have to go into detail about parking.

Thursday Beth did a training crash course for Your Place to prepare me for Friday, she and Owen are gone to Newfoundland for the weekend. Beth has a CanFit Pro conference to attend which meant she needed someone to cover for her at the gym until Jeannine came in for her afternoon shift. Well, I think it worked! I sold a membership, got a lead for another. It was so much fun to finally be hands on and experience what I've heard Craig talk about every day when he came home from work. In fact, him sharing stories from his days at work helped me get through some bits too, because once I saw it on paper, it clicked, like two puzzle pieces coming together.

You know two months ago if you asked me how I'd be this weekend with Beth gone to NL, I would say a total mess. But you know, I'm ok. I'm kinda enjoying catching up with myself. (Although it's mega weird to not be on some adventure with Beth) Beth's sister in law, Karen is here for the weekend (just two doors down with her mother) and we've had lots of visits. I took in a movie, tonight I'm invited to dinner with Karen , her brother and his lady love Kim, and their mother. Tomorrow I'm invited to a different Karen's (I've mentioned her before in my adventures) for homemade mac and cheese and tour through her house. I'll be house sitting for her in a weeks time, lots to learn. I'm hoping to get some painting in today. For now I'm quite content curled up by the fireplace, still in my jim jams (aka pajamas) watching Teletoon Retro. I mean it is Saturday after all! The Smurfs is on right now followed by the Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show! How could I turn that down? I'll get to the dishes and a quick tidy up of my room later hehe.

Happy weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Imagine All The People

There are no words to describe the feeling that sweeps over me when I see a community come together. As Beth, Owen and I walked towards the church my heart just filled with pride for this town as I saw all the people gathered outside on this crisp fall day, on their lunch hour. People holding signs, a table filled with non perishable food items for the local food bank, local musicians sharing their talent all the name of raising awareness for poverty and hunger.

Little Owen was tapping his foot and bobbin' his head to each artist's rendition of the legendary song 'Imagine'. It took everything I had to try to hold my tears back, but they escaped. It was just so powerful.

Here are some photos and a video from today. I may have to upload all the videos to my facebook page later.


Sadly the pre-paid visa I bought never worked on the website for me to make a donation. I'm not impressed at all. ( I did make a donation though to the local food bank here) I  put the visa to good use though and invested some money back into my art again, and ordered some more business cards. Vistaprint had a great sale on, 99 cents for 250 premium business cards, can't go wrong with that hey b'y!

If you would like to make a donation or learn more about Yoko Ono's cause, click here

Imagine There's No Hunger

Today world wide people are taking time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of John Lennon's song "Imagine" by starting a month long campaign to raise awareness and money for children living in hunger and poverty. You can click here to make a donation to the cause. I'm hoping to find a pre-paid visa so I can make a donation, they have limited bracelets which are amazing, but they are limited. Even though I'll be quite sad if I don't get a bracelet I'll still be more than content knowing I donated to the cause....but the bracelets are pretty freaking awesome!!

Locally, there will be a musical event for this charity held around noon the playing of "Imagine" by the church bells followed by performances by local musicians. I am beyond excited for this.  So I made sure to set my alarm early enough so I could go get a pre-paid visa, make my donation and then go see the musical event and hopefully video tape the bells for you all to hear! Let's hope this works!

In the meantime, take a moment to enjoy the song behind the cause ☮ ♥ ㋡