art vs. art | fayna attasara vs. leah giberson

i just love this art vs. art comparison because each artist is working in an entirely different medium! both artists portray an empty pool area, devoid of humans with an almost eerie post apocalyptic atmosphere. is is sunday? a holiday? the end of the world?

fayna attasara photographs these beautiful infinity style pools (seen on the jealous curator). alternatively, leah giberson paints her pool scenes and what appears to be a collage like method using canvas.

i enjoy the serenity of attasara's work, but which do you prefer and why?


musings | living with intention...or not

two years ago at this time, i was working at a job i didn't love. in fact i cried at least once a week! i was resolved to the fact that i had no control over that. i thought "well, this isn't making me happy, but what can i do about it?" 

one year ago at this time, i was working at two jobs i loved. i felt powerful and giddy because one day i had made the intentional decision to change my life. i applied for different positions and within a month my life was completely different. i felt excited, and inspired and above all in control. i was happy to go to work and ecstatic about the projects i was working on. i looked at myself and laughed and said "you silly girl - why didn't you make these changes before??" it all seemed so easy.

this year everything is different. i'm no longer working jobs where i am in charge and i feel far less passionate then i used to. it's not that i don't like my current work (and it certainly doesn't make me cry!), it's just that i've had a taste of what it's like to work at my dream, to delegate responsibilities and to wake up and say "god, i can't wait to get to work so i can finish that project/exhibition/art workshop!" 

in a way i feel sort of sad for everyone who doesn't wake up feeling like that. although i always said this to other people, now i know i have to be passionate about my job. it's totally fine to just go, and do it, and enjoy the people you work with and then go home. but it's so much better to go and love it and then go home and think about it some more. 

it doesn't seem as easy as it did before though - to change my circumstances. and goodness knows i've tried! i guess that's why i've been learning so many new crafts and skills. because that, coupled with the delightful things that surround me at work means i feel inspired again. it makes me feel like i have more control over my happiness and my time. 

i'm not sure where i'll be next year at this time, but my intention is to love it. here's hoping!


snail mail | october correspondence club

did you know that the lovely nnenna from star-crossed smile has a monthly correspondence club? she matches you up with a pen pal partner and gives you a theme to write about. then you put your creative muscles to work and send a little letter to your new friend (with a tiny gift of course!). it's a great way to meet new people, learn about other areas of the world and brighten your mailbox! below is the letter i sent to emily of if it's the beaches and the letter she sent me. for my envelope, i took my inspiration from rin of papered thoughts.


patience made | your stationery is sew cool!

in my quest to learn more crafty skills, i've also been attempting to amalgamate multiple skills into one object. once i had learned the basics of the sewing machine, i just knew i had to try and sew my cardstock envelopes. i'm very pleased with how it turned out - what do you think?? (these will be in my shop later this weekend.)


art | mary anne tateishi

sometimes things are so obvious that we forget to include them. earlier this year i featured vancouver artist mary anne tateishi in the lowercase gallery. but i never actually featured her here, on the blog! which is crazy with a capital c because i just adore her artwork. mat's abstract, often collaged paintings are lively, vibrant and full of personality. through their colourful composition, they never fail to make me feel uplifted and optimistic. 


musings | stress

while watching the conversation with amanda de cadenet on lifetime this weekend, i started to think about stress. actually, that's a lie - i've been thinking about stress for quite awhile now. in fact my parents have been telling me over and over again that i need to learn how to manage it. but honestly it wasn't until i heard christina applegate discussing it on the conversation that i started to take it a bit more seriously.

christina spoke about a time in her life that was very stressful and involved a lot of loss. this was followed by a diagnosis of breast cancer. she said that she fully believes that stress breeds sickness and that she needed to learn to adapt a more relaxed attitude.

well, in my case, sickness breeds stress which breeds more sickness. sounds like a bit of a tricky cycle to me! last time i was at the medical clinic, i grabbed some of those little pamphlets on managing stress. they were far more general than i had hoped for... with a distinct lack of actual solutions. i'm not sure what i was looking for - but i could really use some tips on letting loose 'in the moment.' you know, that moment where your mind is running a mile a minute and you start to feel a bit crazed. and you wish you had some kind of little angel on your shoulder who suddenly appeared and said helpful things like "don't sweat it honey!," "sloooow down," and "does this Really matter??"

do you ladies have an advice on the subject? how do you teach yourself to relax? what steps do you take to create a stress free life for yourself?


snail mail | kraft & grey, but then fall comes...

get excited...because this may actually be my favourite piece of mail art - ever! i'm always trying to let loose and "be messy" but it's just not in me. so here i crafted slowly, with intention...and the perfect colour scheme. this is a letter to my friend holly. she lives up in the yukon and just bought a log cabin! so i think the little canadian icons are perfect! i cut them out of a promo card for souvenir gallery.


a handmade holiday

this fall i have been committing myself to learning new handmade skills. i was going to just write "skills" but then you might expect that i'm brushing up on my long division, or learning how to change a tire! rather, i've realized that i love creating - so i'm expanding my crafting repertoire! this holiday i want to make all of my gifts by hand...or most of them anyways! in the past couple months i've learned two different types of bookbinding, the basics of sewing and embroidery, and i'm trying to teach myself calligraphy. in the upcoming months i want to learn:

soap making
needle felting
more sewing
more embroidery
silkscreen printing
gocco printing
linocut printing
paper cutting
mask making
graphic design
stained glass
and so much more!

do you have any suggestions??

i know it's a long list but it's kind of brightening my life to try my hand at these new things. if i'm not too embarassed - i'll share some of my handmade gifts here! below are some images of what i've created/been working on lately:


patience made | holiday gift tags

is it time to start playing holiday carols?? can i put up my christmas tree yet? yesterday on the way to work, jon played a celtic version of "oh holy night" for me...and my heart was at ease. when i was younger i used to have a cd with twenty different versions of "oh holy night." that's how much i love this time of year, and that is how much i love carols!

taking inspiration from these delightful songs - i have centred my holiday stationery line around them. below are the tags i've created with some of my favourite lines. what's your favourite carol?


art | doug bloodworth

last week my younger brother emailed me a link to the work of photorealist artist doug bloodworth. i laughed as i read his message because he wrote "i don't see the point in recreating a photo through painting, but the concept, and the fact that he did it so well is incredible."

his comment actually made me a bit sad. in a way he's suggesting that because we've developed photo technology, what's the point in practicing antiquated crafts such as painting? to compare it to a different subject matter - i love typography and modern computer fonts...but i also wholly appreciate (and hope to learn!) hand calligraphy. just because something can be captured or completed in a more timely and efficient manner doesn't make other forms of creation less valuable.

and funnily enough, though the term "photorealism" references a comparison to photos, essentially it's just painting. painting the way it used to be: back before artists were celebrated for their interpretation of the world, attempts to depict it were straightforward and anything that didn't mirror it closely was considered blasphemous. and so it seems humourous to me that if a painter uses this traditional style, some will view it as pointless. when in fact it did us just fine for centuries...and centuries...and centuries.

and just one last thing i swear! i don't think photorealists necessarily render their artwork based on photos...but rather the final result simply looks like one.

p.s. check out one of my favourite photorealist painters, as well as one of the most well known photorealists.

p.p.s. this might also give you some idea of the sheer skill this type of painting requires.

doug bloodworth


musings | housework

today i want to talk about housework. no one really loves its per-se, but we all do it for fear of being featured on "hoarders: buried alive."*

my housework dislikes |

sweeping: i can't stand when the dust bunnies catch in the bristles of the broom. then you undoubtedly have to use either your hands or your feet to pull it all out. blech!

the bathtub: maybe because this was always my chore growing up, but i hate scrubbing the tub. i find it incredibly difficult and so very tiresome.

bathroom sinks: it totally grosses me out to clean sinks. if i use a paper towel, i'm less disgusted because i can toss it in the trash - but then i feel bad for the environment. but when i use a washcloth, i have to then clean all the gunk out of the material! two jobs in one :(

my housework likes |

vacuuming: there is something entirely satisfying about picking up all the debris on a carpet and leaving those delightful vacuum lines.

clutter removal: it's not considered a real "chore" but clutter removal is a surefire way to create a cleaner look. i'm convinced that if i put everything back in its place, nobody will even notice the dust!

mirrors and glass: i feel like an artist when i windex. after i'm finished and it's all sparkling clean, i literally feel like i created that pretty mirror myself!

likes and dislikes aside - i often endeavour to put aside whole days to clean my house. this stems from a lifelong habit of what i refer to as "build up and clear up." for about a week and half, my home becomes super messy. i pull things out, but don't put them away. i make a meal, but forget to wash the dishes. while running late in the morning i throw things on counters and floors!

and when i get to a point where my spaces are a complete mess - suddenly i can't think, or work or create - until it's all cleaned up and reorganized! so i clean. and organize. jon is the exact same way. and then we don't put anything away, or wash the dishes, or pick up our clothes off the floor. and as you can see...it's a vicious cycle! and i have no idea how to get out of it. will we be like this for the rest of our lives. any tips?

*just a light joke - i totally get that hoarding is a mental disease.


snail mail | singles send outs

as a little pre-holiday gift, i made some singles envelope and paper sets for some of my favourite bloggers. i'll cross my fingers that they'll like them enough to tell a friend about my stationery. if not - hopefully they'll at least write a letter with them!


musings | a letter to you

hey ladies,

i feel like i owe you an apology (i also feel like i've read this post a million times before on other blogs). i don't usually apologize when it comes to a lack of posting, or a missed subject on the editorial blogging calendar. but all the same - i am sorry about my absence lately.

it's the strangest thing - because i actually have more spare time then i've had in years (it doesn't feel like it but that's what my schedule is telling me). and in fact this summer i worked basically every day - and yet i still found time to post.

but lately it just seems like one thing after another has affected me. i still have the urge to create though. and in fact i find myself taking up new hobbies, trying to learn new skills and rushing home from work to craft. perhaps it makes a good distraction? but regardless my optimism has waned - in fact most of the time i feel downright grumpy (my poor husband!). so i avoided sharing here in this beautiful space to avoid tainting it. but since it seems this situation is going to be more permanent than i had originally hoped - i'm going to make an effort to post here more often - four-five days a week. because i love sharing ideas and art on the isavirtue blog - and god, i love all of you gals so much!



handmade holidays | gifts for brothers

see more gift guides:

a list of cool gifts for the brothers in your life:
an awesome laptop decal from zapo art

a cool but simple support for his iphone by your nest inspired

a sleek and personalized money clip by country mom designs

a unique set of cufflinks by dedalo

a hilarious and personalized anchorman print by delovely arts