Friday

Thursday

Light has begun to shed the darkness.  I sit here with my chocolate yerba mate tea and am at peace.  There is something about the quiet of the morning that puts me at ease. The promise of a new day is an opportunity to start new, to be open to all opportunities with an open heart.

I leave you now to do yoga, meditate and work on my recent project.  I am felting guardian dolls.  These dolls were inspired by my felting guru Fiona DuthieFiona was the inspiration behind me getting into felting.  She no longer lives in the Ottawa area but contributes to my new favorite magazine Living Crafts.  Enjoy and I hope that you seize this wonderful day.

I leave you now (really I am) with this picture below.  This book - The Complete Artist's Way is a great  inspirartion for me to move through my blocks and live with my creative passion.  There is no other way for me but to live in a way that I feel inspired to live my truth.  Enjoy.

Tuesday

My Etsy Shop

Today I sat myself down and set up my Etsy shop.  You might notice to the left the cute little button that leads to my shop.  I created the shop over a year ago and have finally decided to post a few things and see where it leads.  I learned how to create my banner from Gimp.  To modify my photos I use Picnik.  I still have work to do on my banner but proud that it's there.

I have loved photography since I was 15 years old. My first camera was a purple point and shoot. Now I have a Cannon Rebel.  I have always been shutter happy.  Today I took a break from the computer and went snow shoeing.  I love winter, I really do. 
 

 
 
 

Monday

I found this great site Ted: Ideas Worth Spreading which is inspiring and uplifting.   I wish the news would represent more of this stuff.  We all need to view things in a positive light to create positive change.  Let's fill our minds with positive notions, dreams and goals.  The video below was a great reminder for me as to what is important to me.  This video was exactly what I needed to kick start 2011 in a positive light.  Enjoy! I did.

Happy Planet

Sunday

Christmas 2010

 

Thanks for checking in. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas with lots of cuddles, good food and good company.  We had a nice quiet Christmas with my parents. My mom took great care of us with yummy food and a great bed.  We spent time outside, sliding with cousins. I made a vow to really enjoy the snow this year.  To go out there and connect with my kids through nature.  They are growing so fast!  Time really does slip away.   

Zoe loves her new rabbit hat. She had spotted it at the Churchill craft fair.  I was able to secretly buy it then surprise her a month later by leaving it in her coat sleeve.

This year we all got snow shoes. We went for a little jaunt in my parents forest.  Deer tracks were everywhere.  I love the dead of winter, where the forest is quiet and still.  I love the feeling that being surrounded by trees gives me.  It's the reminder of something bigger than myself.
Earlier this afternoon, I dropped Zoe and Owen off in Arnprior where they will spend the next five days with their father.  It was hard leaving them behind.  I am now using the next few days to recharge and slow down.  I am in the hills and taking time to focus on me.  My plan is to do yoga, meditate, eat good food, take lots of baths and of course  make stuff.  Keep a close eye there will be photos and hopefully some inspiration!
Until tomorrow, for now good night. 

Thursday

Merry Christmas

I am checking out of cyberspace for a few days.  Gonna check into reality and the material world. Have a great holiday and see you next week! I leave you with some photos of last week of us wet felting small balls which we will be stringing in the new year.  Love to you, Annie Bananie and friends
 

Wednesday

Winter Solstice

I love celebrating the solstices!  Winter solstice especially.  There is nothing better than celebrating the light shedding the darkness.
We have  a tradition of celebrating the solstices and equinoxes with friends. It is always ever so special to me to join together and celebrate the turning of the wheel of the seasons.   The seasons affect us on so many levels and it's important for me to acknowledge the changes and celebrate them.  I am a creature of the sun and feel the affects of the darkness.  The month of November makes things a little harder to get up in the morning and feel motivated.  I greet the longer days with my appreciation for the affect of light on my spirit. This year we gathered in the woods for a sledding party, singing, eating and making charms for our homes. 
The 21rst of December feels special to me. Not only do the days get longer but it's the day where I gave birth to Owen.  It's been  6 years ago already and I can't believe that my baby is no longer a baby.  Hi is growing fast and I am loving watching the transformation of him coming into himself.  He is so confident these days and full of ideas.  I love my Owen :) 
 
 
 The web of life keeps spinning stories of our past.  As our children age so do we.  May you take life by the horns and live in the presence of every moment. 

Thursday

Winter Lights Festival at Lady Evelyn

I just got back from Zoe and Owen's school and my heart is big.  They had a festival celebrating light and it was very touching.  I walked into the gym greeted by at least a hundred shimmering candles.  As the children gathered into the gym they sat in a circle surrounding the candles.  With the gym lights off this had a very dramatic effect. 

I was blown away by the presentations.  Zoe's class chanted the healing mantra of Ra Ma Da Sa and sent children around the world love.  Owen's class sang this little light of mine and collected money for the snowsuit fund.  

 Sending Light
One class brought the candles from the center into a circle and lyed down in the middle. The facilitator explained that everyone feels dark sometimes.  The children lying in the middle demonstrated this by lying very still.  Then they explained that at times we want to move away from the darkness but it's difficult, the children would come half way up and fall back down to the ground.  The facilitator then had the audience cup their hands and send light to the children in the middle in doing so the children rose and embodied this light.  Filled with light the children gave light back to the audience. It was beautiful, touching and needless to say there were tears in my eyes.

My Zoe has been speaking of Christmas since summer.  Do you know why?  Because she likes the gifts.  I am glad that she is in a school environment where she gets to experience that this season is not only about material things but most importantly about the heart.  Thanks Lady Evelyn and it's teachers for being so committed and doing such a great job!

I didn't have my camera at the time but will have some pics sent to me so stay tuned.

Wednesday

Face Painting

 I am itching to share my photos from yesterday where Big Zoe, Little Zoe and Elizabeth were face painting the children.  Alfie Wizzle the elf was looking down from the seasonal wreath that hangs from our kitchen ceiling.   Graeme was so tired he fell asleep on the kitchen table.


 
 
 
 
P.S. - This morning I found Mr. Wizzle sitting on the shelf of the yoga room. If you haven't met Alfie Wizzle  there he is.
 

Monday

Flaglines

I must share with you one of my favorite things that decorates my home, my flaglines.  They are hand sewn by Karie from workermade.  My favorite is the one that hangs in our entryway with the word LOVE.  I also love the Blessings one that's hangs on our front porch.  I love giving people positive messages and I can't think of better ones than love and blessings!!!  My sister had Karie make a set of flaglines with little Avery's name on it.  They really add to a room. 
 
 Yesterday I felted all day and when I mean all day, I mean all day! My hands never stopped. When cooking I would felt while waiting for water to boil,  when talking on the phone still felting and so on. I even contemplated felting in the bathtub but figured the steam might affect the wool.  The project I loved working on the most was a giraffe. He is not complete and I have to tell you that felting spots on a giraffe is a LOT of work.  I am falling in love with him.  He will be another project that I will not be able to part with.  To be worth my time I would have to sell him for a lot of money.  Some felting projects do take a long time to accomplish and it is for this reason that I like to give workshops.  Workshops are great on many levels. They give the felter an idea of the time it takes to make a work of art, they give the felter the joy of felting something of their own and they gather people together to bond and connect.  As humans we are social creatures and love to create ties and friendships.
Another project I finished are these balls and bird.  I am a felting maniac and addicted for sure.
I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. It's not far now and I am very excited about spending Christmas with Zoe, Owen and my parents.  love to you!

Sunday

Pattern Interupt

Here I am in the cabin in the hills, surrounded by trees and facing a small lake that's covered with ice. It's snowing, there's a fire burning and I feel very cozy and happy.  Later it's going to be time for a snowshoe adventure.  Zoe and Owen are with Rob (my ex) and my life of laundry, kids, and so forth has been put on a hold for a day of rest.  At times I still mourn my concept of my family living under the same roof.  I feel torn between my life as a mother and my life as me without kids.  The kids are shared 50/50 between their mother and father.  They seem to be adjusting well and yet at times my heart pulls with sorrow at not being able to give them their father and mother together in a happy relationship. I wonder if it's a feeling I will always have or that throughout the years will dissipate.  I guess time will tell... All that said my life is full of wonderful people and I do love this life as a single mom that I have created for myself.  I love my family of 3, my daycare family and the community of friends and family that surround me.

My needles and wool are here with me. I can't seem to put my needles down.  If I am not making something I feel a little out of sorts.   I plan on giving my family members something made from my hands this Christmas.  So I sit here felting birds looking out the window, watching snow falling and I feel good.  I feel gratitude for all that life  brings me.  I truly live a blessed life.  I feel it. I love it.  May your day be blessed with adventures and gratitude for whatever it is that blesses you in this moment.

 Before leaving you, I have to add that our new friend Alfie Wizzle the elf has been really fun to have around.  Again it's my eldest Zoe who is most curious of all. On Friday she swore she saw him move and was convinced that his smile was bigger than the previous day.  He even has me enamored.
Ciao for now...

Friday

The Elf on The Shelf


 We have a new friend living with us. His name is Alfie Wizzle, he is red and an elf.   When we arrived from the bus stop yesterday afternoon we found a book on our doorstep.  The kids were perplexed as to how it got there.  The title read "The Elf on the Shelf".   We entered the house in great excitement and showed the other daycare children the book and the mystery of it's arrival continued.  Even before reading it we agreed that the Elf had brought it.

We read the book about the elf that lives in our home. He looks over the children and reports to Santa at night and comes back in the morning in a different spot in the house.  If touched the elf looses his magic.  I loved watching the children get more and more excited about this Alfie (named by them).  They started searching the house for Santa's helper.  They were sure he lived in the Christmas tree and even said they could see a small red light about the size of dime hiding in the branches and was sure it was him.  I loved that their imagination saw him in the tree!  That is how big children's imaginations are, they can see things that aren't there!  Eventually they spotted the real elf in his red suit, sitting on the window sill.

He was the object of much speculation.  Zoe my eldest who has decided this year she is a non-believer of Santa Claus really had lots of questions and was the most curious.  She really wants to believe and I don't blame her. She asked many questions and really wanted to touch him.  I still remember when and miss those days when her daily dress was dress up clothes.  I love watching her grow and at the same time I want her to keep her magical fairiness. 
This morning the elf made his way into our felted stocking, hanging in the entryway.  I love catching the children looking up at him! 

Wednesday

All in a Day

Today is Wednesday and I love Wednesday. First of all it's a hump day and hump days are so much fun.  Second of all it's my day to go to teach yoga to Owen's grade one/two class followed by teaching Zoe's grade 3/4 class.  This is definitely a highlight of my week.  To have a group of about 20 children sit in a circle, breath deep and get centered is the most beautiful thing.  Today in Owen's class we lined up in 2 lines, facing one another forming a human tunnel with our hands held up high palm to palm connected with our partner.  We closed our eyes and got centered.  The fun part was turning around in a 360 degree circle to find our partner's palms once again.  The young yogis and yoginis were very centered and focused.  To finish our "game" one person took a turn walking down the human tunel that we created. As the person passed through each child gently touched the child walking through. It was beautiful.  The energy of the room was very quiet, with a special  quality that is difficult to describe.

Zoe's class is older and fun to teach in that we can discuss the human body as we go through the postures.  Today we talked about breathing with a long deep breath so that on the inhale the upper belly expands and contracts on the exhale. It's amazing that 8/9 year olds already breath with a tight breath and the opposite of how we were born breathing.   In learning to breath effectively we can change our state of mind and body energy level.   It's as simple as the breath.  This class is full of boys and it's a little harder to keep them focused but when they are the energy in the room is quite powerful.   What I like to evoke in these classes is a sense of confidence in themselves, body awareness, respect for themselves and others and so much more.

By the time those classes are finished it's 09:30 and I wisk over to Rama Lotus to teach the baby and mom class at 10:00.  Needless to say this class is so much fun!  The babies are cute.  I must admit that at times I can feel some maternal stirrings but know that I will stay a mother of 2 :)

Now I am sitting at my desk, daycare is going on downstairs and I am gearing up to clean and organize my upstairs space.  I  have been so busy felting that things need a little TLC.  When the day rolls around to 18:30 I will be teaching a 20 minute yoga class followed by a felting workshop, then sleep, phew!

I hope your day is as fabulous as mine!

I leave you now with a photo Mei Mei painting the egg onto our home made pretzels.  This child is so sweet with eyes that sparkle and a smile that shines.

Tuesday

Night Terrors

Owen my 5 year old sometimes wakes up screaming in terror and it frightens me.  My attempts at consoling him are refuted by his stares into the unknown with a look of utter fright as he points into the dark void of his hallucination.   Whatever he sees in his minds eye has him completely terrified and my heart breaks as I try to console him. I have often wondered what it is that makes him so frightened.  I have felt frightened myself to see that my hugs and soothing words have no effect at breaking the barrier between illusion and reality.  Eventually 15 minutes will pass and so will the "episode". In the aftermath I lie beside him stroking his face and hair as tranquility once again sets upon his face.  In these moments I wonder and fear that he is troubled in some way.  I worry that his parents separation is "damaging" him.  All these thoughts that plague me.  I say this to you in knowing that if you are a mother, there is a part of you that understands what I am saying, understands the responsibility that we feel to raise emotionally healthy children.  I feel the responsibility and sometimes I feel like I fall short of my expectations.

In a recent conversation with my sister Mad, she said that her son Ian also experiences episodes of waking in terror and it's called night terror.  It feels nice to hear that there is an explanation to his crazy wakings in the wee hours and his frightful screams of terror.  Thanks mad for that light bulb moment.

Friday

Gathering

Wednesday 9 women gathered in my home and felted balls and angels.  A great atmosphere was created as conversation flowed freely and hands were busy at work. There was an eclectic group of women from a midwife, yoga teachers, homeschooling mom, and home daycare provider.  When I am with a group of people creating, talking about life, I am at my happiest.  I love learning from others and hearing other people's experiences.  It was all lovely and I am loving this hosting workshops in my home. It's been a dream of mine for many years and as this year is about being creative and living my dreams it all fits in quite nicely.

 
I fell in love with felting 4 years ago (I think, time can be very elusive for me).   My mad passion for barbed needles and wool began at a workshop for childcare providers where I learned to felt dolls.  I have had a love affair with this art form ever since.   Now my mission is to join community through creative expression.  So many people tell me that they are not creative and I always disagree with them.  I truly believe that we are all creative.  It is part of being human.  It is my opinion that when we put our creativity aside we create a void within ourselves.  I could keep on going but that will have to wait for another time.  I have been so busy lately that I am surprised my head is still on straight.  My plans for the next 24 hours is to go hang out with my dear friend in his cabin in the woods, go for a walk in the forest and warm up by the fire.  I am sure there will be a little felting in there somewhere ;) Have  a great weekend and see you soon!

Wednesday

Christmas stocking

 Here are the concentrated faces of children hard at work. You might remember us sewing some stockings last year that were hung on our seasonal wreath.  Well I had forgotten about last year's endeavor and Grey (above) reminded me a few weeks ago of the fairies who left chocolate in our handmade stockings.  So this year we continued the tradition! 
 
 

Tuesday

Idle Hands

I am still flying high from Sunday's Idle Hands show.  It was a great honour to be part of a group of such talented people! There was lots of talent in those two rooms.  Quality art work was everywhere from refurbished clothing, blown glass,  felted scarves,  drawings, jewelry and so much more.  If you weren't there this year, you must attend next year.  What a great way to do your Christmas shopping while supporting Ottawa artists.  Here is a glimpse of what was there. 
 
 
 I thought these 3 women had a clever idea of taking old books and turning them into bags and boxes.  Unfortunately I have no idea of their business name.  Anybody out there know?
 
 

 Coincidentally Haley By Hand is an acquaintance of mine from eons ago.  Here is another example of a mother taking inspiration from her children to make handmade things and bring it to her community.  Aren't they cute?  I want one for myself!

 Karina Bergmans inspired me with her refurbished clothing.  Check out her website there is a lot to this woman.

The scent of these soaps filled the lobby.  By the end of the show only a few bars were left. 

I feel very honored to have been part of this show.  It totally has upped the bar for me and inspired me to keep learning and growing.  This is what I love to do, learn and learn some more.  I love stepping out of my comfort zone and widening the parameters of my box.  It's early for new year's resolutions but hey why not?  This year I vow to open my gates of creativity like never before.  I will open up to my full potential, work hard and give back to my community.
 Of course here  was my table. People bought loads of felting kits and wiped me out of my decorative balls and felted soaps. All in all it was a great show and I hope to be juried in again next year.