musings | the sims vs. real life

now that i'm married, people ask me often when i plan to have babies.* i say, listen, i've got a teenager, and twin girls and that's more than enough for me!

i'm sure i've mentioned it here before, but i'm currently in a sim addicted 'situation'** and i can't get out. but it's okay because i'm convinced it's teaching me a lot about life. for example:

one | sometimes life throws surprises at you, like surprise twins, but you just adapt because what other choice do you have?*** you may also accidentally name them the same thing because you think it's just a glitch.

two | you will undoubtedly force your subconscious wishes, and your own beliefs on your children. like pink rooms and after school jobs.

three | my husband had better learn to cook because i'll be too busy taking care of the kids.

four | pretty much you never have time for friends because there's something more important you could be doing, like eating.

five | when push comes to shove and you have to decide if your little red headed girl will be hot headed and argue with her sister, i find i can't do it. i think this means i'm truly a good person.

six | i'll need a lot of money to live contentedly - i wish the cheat "motherlode" worked in real life. 50,000.00 dollars anyone?

* don't worry, jon gets a say as well.
** the jersery shore kids would be so proud of me.
*** aside from ignoring your child and waiting for social services to pick her up.


snail mail | a long awaited package and a bicycle

today i was going to post an image of the most recent letter sent to me by my oldest friend and oldest penpal - but i can't find it! it's one of those situations where i cleaned too good and put everything away too well that now i can't find anything. there was a beautiful pencil crayon drawing on the envelope of a sunset!

so i crossed my fingers, unlocked my mailbox - and voila! a beautiful little bicycle card from an old school friend, and a package i have been desperately waiting for (find out on wednesday what it is!)

p.s. since you're going to come back on wednesday, you might as well come back on thursday for the announcement of a super fun contest!


sunday seller | baka design

i just love these journals/books/boxes by baka design. they seem so simple with their fabric coverings, succinct titles and classic fonts. but then i have to stop and remind myself that these are books - that someone made! and there's nothing simple about that! wow. wouldn't these make a perfect gift? a recipe book for a food loving friend...a pretty pink diary for a sweet sixteen...


exhibition opening | brandi deziel

lowercase gallery presents: brandi deziel

what feels like years and years ago, i saw brandi's work at a huge toronto exhibition - and fell in love. i think about toast crumbs (below) often, and one day hope to add a piece of hers to my collection.


feature art | lara scarr

there is a lot of art to be found on the internet. in the same way musicians were able to redefine themselves and share their music using myspace pages - artists can upload their artwork and have it circling the inter-web quicker than anything they could have done irl. i like to wander my favourite artsy blogs and webpages, until i stumble across something that inspires me (which is incredibly often).

that being said, i have lines and lines of art laden web urls in my evernote program - with the intention to eventually post them here. but sometimes i come across something wonderful through my job, and i'm just dying to share it!

i love these little 10x10 mixed media "collages" by vancouver island artist lara scarr. aside from having one of the coolest names i've ever come across, lara is one of those artists who has been able to prove my own assumed tastes wrong. in the same way i was never in love with watercolour (thank-you jessica durrant and cate parr for changing my mind), i don't consider myself a 'fan' of textile art. but lo and behold - these little dolls, wrapped in their own enigma, have melted my textile fearing heart. i just love the way their eyes stare at me - like they know something about me that i don't.

doll un. lara scarr. 10x10. textile mixed media 

 doll deux. lara scarr. 10x10. textile mixed media

 doll trois. lara scarr. 10x10. textile mixed media

doll quatre. lara scarr. 10x10. textile mixed media


fifty-two projects | project twenty-two

this is project twenty-two of fifty-two projects. for more completed projects, click here

project twenty-two | write in the margins of your books. underline your favourite passages. then, make sure to put the books back into circulation. 

alterations | i just bought this book so i won't be donating it quite yet!

when i first read this book, i borrowed it from the library. there was a number of passages that really resonated with my art loving soul. i'm going to share them with you below.

p 68 "these objects were not old paintings bound in gold frames like their uptown counterparts; these were free-growing sprigs of wild grass, curving around corners and hanging form ceilings."

p 97 "[the paintings] made people speak softly to one another, as if a shouted word might curdle one of the paintings and ruin it."

p 181 "yet this was the first time in conventional art history where no single movement dominated, no manifesto declared it's superiority, and diversity bounced around like spilled marbles on concrete."

p 232 "it was he, he decided, who determined he could use artist's work to make his point, not theirs. he took the artist's right to be obscure and turned it into a curator's right."

p 236 " 'but honestly, art has enriched us. with things, with thought, with conversation, with people. don't you think so hinton?"
'art has de-riched me honey.' "

"up to the seventies, are proceeded in movements...art in the eighties was at an evolutionary moment where it split into chimps, birds, fish, plants and cephalopods all at once."

p 258 "the theoretically ideal space for showing pictures was deemed a windowless white cube, an idea which was cumulative rather than birthed.
...the only things that didn't look good against it were people."


what i made | grey/gray

i'm very excited to announce that i've added a new colour to my stationery shoppe! as you may have discerned from the title of this post - it's grey/gray! (how do you spell it?) alright alright, i know grey isn't exactly a colour but to me it is! but if it makes you feel better - i've added a new shade to my shoppe! get your grey on below:



musings | goals

there has been a lot of talk lately about goals - it being a new year and all! for most of my life my goals were kept within my head. i always loved making lists but they contained very immediate tasks - finish my art history essay, email my aunt, paint my nails and do my course readings.

i think part of the reason i never wrote down my long term aspirations was because to me, they were always more of a given, rather than goals. i knew i would graduate high-school, i knew i would always work two or more part-time jobs, i knew i would save for university and get a bachelor degree. of course as i grew older, these givens became clearer in my mind, and more real. but still i never wrote anything down.

after university - i realized i no longer had a plan. everything i had imagined for my life had already occurred. i had no idea what to do next! so, like every graduate who has no plans - i went back to school.  something happened during my next bout of education - i started to want things. i started to express (both orally and online) what i wanted to do with my life.

i started by making funny little dream equations (great apartment + beautiful wedding + art gallery job = happiness). then, as my little stationery hobby became more serious, i began to make endless lists of mini goals. using this goal tracker by brittni from papernstitch, i made general shop and blog goals, followed by lists of specific tasks and then divided them into months and years.

i've also made a little life plan for the next four years. jon and i are going to spend a few years paying off our wedding debt and working on our careers. then we are going to take an incredible trip to europe - making stops in austria, italy, france, greece and england.* at that point, we will try to have a couple little munchkins!

i'm still not sure whether writing down my goals is actually the driving force that makes them come true - but it's very satisfying to have something to work towards. and it feels great when i "cross" them off the list! plus, i have a feeling there are some things i would forget about, or procrastinate on otherwise...

*that's in order of importance!


snail mail | kristy g

i was so delighted to receive a finished mail art challenge in my mail box on friday afternoon - from my best friend! of course she's a total gomer and hid her beautiful collage work inside a white bubble envelope! i just love the way she used all the pieces of paper in such creative ways. she pasted on some hilarious lines about humpty dumpty from a music sheet, and cut out a pair of legs from a moo postcard, giving the piece a very emo wicked witch type feeling!


sunday sins | diet pepsi

well! for the last two weeks i gave up pushing away my husband's affections (that sounds horrible every time i write it - read the original post here). i'm pleased to say it's one of the best things i've ever given up! no matter what i was doing or how i was feeling, when he came to hug me/squeeze me/playfully harass me, i sat there and took it all in. even when i was internetting*. even when i was boiling hot. even when i was late for work! 

how did i do it you wonder? well it's pretty morbid but i'll tell you anyway - i asked myself "what if he wasn't here? what if he died in some horrible accident?" because goodness knows then i wouldn't care that he tried to hug me during the good part of the tv show. if that was the case, i would probably do anything to have him come back and squeeze me tight, outside, in the sun, during the hottest day of the year!

unfortunately it still doesn't come unconsciously. i have to remind myself to just stop and enjoy it - although admittedly, last night when we were putting the groceries away - he stopped me eight times to "enjoy" it. holy cow, the ice cream almost melted while it waited for us to hug for the bajillionth** time.


while we were in the grocery store last night, we had one last thing to get - diet pepsi. we pretty much have a poly-amorous relationship with diet pepsi. which, from what i understand - is dangerous. hyper-active thyroid anyone? but it has no sugar! how can it be bad for me?? well at the rate i drink diet pepsi...

but i got distracted by a sneezing fit and stepped outside for a moment. while i did, jon got distracted by (nothing???) and lined up with the groceries. so we both just kind of forgot and i'm taking it as a sign to give it up cold turkey for the next two weeks (also includes coke zero...my mistress).

*breaking news! my computer has just informed me that "internetting" is not a word. so what else is new?

** turns out...also not a word.


photographs & a story | birthe piontek

when i was about eleven or twelve, my brothers and i decided that now was the time to investigate the abandoned cottage across the lake from our own. every time we pulled into the bay, lessoning the engine and drifting towards our dock, our eyes would follow that dark cottage with the growing ivy and the collapsed boathouse. in our heads we would invent stories as to why the cottage had been left in such disrepair. had the owners died? was there an inheritance battle that was yet unresolved?

so one day we walked through the forest around the bay to see what we could find. getting to the front door of the cottage was a roundabout obstacle course that involved dodging poison ivy and running beneath a rotting deck. there was a thrilling sense of fear and excitement - for it seemed the deck - and in fact the whole cottage itself - could come crashing down at any moment. we would pry open the screen door and step quietly inside the kitchen - listening attentively for ambitious raccoons. the walls were scratched, the ceiling ripped apart and belongings scattered everywhere. had it been night time, it would have had all the makings of a horror movie. but perhaps the most perturbing detail was the tea set on the kitchen table. arranged in such a way that it seemed the owners had been enjoying a nice cuppa, in the midst of which they were suddenly called away.

the front room, nearest to the deck, was off limits (a sincere word of warning from our parents). we had schemes that involved tying a rope around one or the other and sending them into this forbidden area - but they never came to fruition. the bedrooms were filled with endless mid century treasures. furniture from the eighties, colourful sundresses from the seventies and puzzling papers of shorthand from the sixties (i sat for hours back in my own room, trying to work out those penciled hieroglyphics). and it was here that i found the naughtiest surprise of all, a book entitled "the happy hooker," a force of non-fiction that encouraged me to mentally mature well before my time.

i was reminded of that place this week, when i came across photographs by birthe piontek. originating in germany, but currently settled in vancouver, canada, piontek takes us on an exploration of the individual. the photos show no people, but the inhabitants seem to be there all the same - personified in the form of a forgotten locket, bedraggled linens, cracked china and broken birdhouses.


feature art | leslie shows

i could spend hours staring at these works by leslie shows, trying to figure out what types of media are making up each layer. my mind jumps back and forth from abstraction to a sense of reality where for a moment, i am almost certain that i'm looking at some sort of tropical beach scene or geological rock formation. i enjoy this video on youtube, where shows describes an installation piece - wall works. i think her thoughts regarding language and colour are fascinating. both can suddenly jump from being itself, to being a signifier, and having a whole variety of meanings applied to it by humankind.


what i made | valentine sets

every once in while i make something and i'm just totally in love with it. and hopefully whoever you are totally in love with will love these valentine/anytime envelopes! whew - that's a lot of love! i like the idea of using envelope packs like these to write a series of love letters. they can be used as part of a gift finding scavenger hunt, or hidden about the house for him/her to find...


musings | memories

yesterday it started snowing for the first time this year. i'm hearing stories about the lack of snow all over canada. but here on vancouver island it's not particularly strange. the first year i moved here, february felt like spring.

when i was little my brothers and i use to pour orange pop or pepsi on snow and then eat it like a treat. thinking back, i'm not entirely sure how clean the snow was. but then, i don't have a great memory at all for details like that.

in fact, i'm comfortable saying that i have a terrible memory. i've always been so jealous of those people who, when they quarrel with someone, they are able to list the other person's past mistakes like they are checking consecutive points on a scoreboard. i know that sounds totally horrible but there's a great deal of resentment that develops when time after time you hear someone say "name one time! name one time i've done that!?" and i have to stand there and mutter, "well, uh...i know you have...um..."

instead of specific memories, i seem to retain feelings. sometimes i'll encounter a repeat client at my job, and i can't quite recall their name, when they were in last or what they purchased. but i will have a very distinct feeling which either tells me i like them...or something they did rubbed me the wrong way.

however, since i can never name specifics, i think this makes me a very forgiving person. you can't really hold anything against others if you don't know what it you are...holding.

the other night as i was falling asleep, i started thinking of all the houses i have ever lived in. it made me very homesick. but worse than that, i discovered that the further i went back, the more unclear my memories became. less like videos, and more like pictures. less like my memories, and more like someone else's reality. i lived in a teeny townhouse for almost ten years, but i can't picture a moving memory. i can see my pink bedroom, and the heating vent where i used to lie listening to the television downstairs late at night. i can remember standing in the bathroom in the dark, trying to be brave enough to say bloody mary more than once. but i can't remember dressing in my room, or washing my face in the bathroom. i can't remember day to day life and all the little things. sometimes when i think i've recalled the colour of the living room couches, or what we did at my eleventh birthday party, i realize it's a photograph i once saw, not a real memory from my mind.

in a way, it makes me feel like i've lost a number of years. it feels like it was a dream i once head, rather than something i experienced day in and day out. jon has an elephantine memory and i sometimes wonder if he is making things up. because how could he possibly remember the names of all of his neighbours or what games he used to play with his omi? i don't know these things about myself!

does anyone else have a memory like mine? do memories fade even more over the years and how do you hold on to them?

snail mail | stamp frenzy

today at the post office, the cashier put sticker postage on my first package. booooring. so i kindly asked if we could use real stamps for the second one which was going to france. well by golly - i think they've been holding out on me! look at all these great stamps below! i didn't even know there was such a thing as a 'five dollar' stamp, and i just about died when she pulled out the chubby walrus stamp.

it seems we are quite fond of our flora and fauna here in old ka-nada....

p.s. did you see the 'sock bun' post?


snail mail | envelope graphics

i was getting a little bored of plain coloured envelopes this week and so i decided to switch it up with these letters i mailed out. the first one, is a print-out of the isavirtue blog - seriously that's my blog! it's for dana from wonder forest - the designer of this lovely blog. the second envelope is a print out from a type book scan. my lovely friend magdalyn gave me this beauty for christmas (lucky me!!) and it included an online pass with access to over a thousand wonderful images like the one below. perfect for envelopes if you ask me!*

*but then, i'll make anything into an envelope...