Island Life

Greetings from the sandy beaches of Koh Phayam off of the western coast off of Ranong province in beautiful Thailand.  I am having a marvelous time and am so grateful.  I have visited my friends in Suratthani where I use to teach.  It was like I had never left and yet so different.  I have so much to tell but at the moment I have no time but to say that life is beautiful. I am meeting the most amazing people from all parts of the globe.  We are staying in the cutest hut on top of hill overlooking lapping waves and surrounded by beautiful flowers, banana and rose apples.  Today was about long swims,walks along the beach and so much gratitude.  I am living at different rhythm with no concept of time, the day or date.  My cue is the rising and setting sun.  In the dead of day the heat gives you the impression of melting and at night a beautiful breeze blows through like a sigh of relief.  I am writing like crazy and will one day share all these wonderful experiences of growth and letting go. To Zoe and Owen I love you and one day will bring you on an adventure of this sort. To my daycare family I love you and can`t wait to share my tale with you.  To you the reader I hope life finds you well with many blessings.


Wednesday 08:30 a.m.

Here I sit on this green couch at gate 16 with a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. I haven't even left yet and I miss Zoe and Owen.  In 30 minutes I will be stepping onto that plane which will bring  me thousands of miles away from them.  What was I thinking?  Before waking them this morning I gazed at them in their relaxed state of sleep and felt such love.  I am going to miss them dearly. Guilt is a strong emotion and I vow to leave it here on this green couch to be picked up on my return.

Toronto airport - 11:30

This is my first time flying alone. In the past there has always been a man at my side.  This is my journey, my graduation, my birthday gift to me.  I promise to myself to let go, have fun and be in the present.  To get to this point in time the puzzle pieces fell effortlessly with ease, almost as though fate was grinning at me saying "Annie, it is meant to be".  Thanks to everybody who made this happen for me.  I am in great gratitude.

I know that I am getting closer to Asia when I see sitting on the floor an Asian man sitting cross legged on the floor using his suitcase as a desk when beside him there are ample available seats. The knot in my stomach has now turned into butterflies.  I trust that my children and daycare family will be happy in my time away :)

Rattling Tin Can - Time - uncertain
Wowzers! First class is amazing!  We each get our own little pod.  What is a pod exactly?  Well it's my very own individual compartment with tv, a chair that turns into a bed, pillow, blanket, bathroom kit with toothbrush, tooth paste and other goodies.  I am happy as can be sipping champagne - yes chapagne- can you blieve it? Her  in first class I am addressed as Miss Boudreau and treated like a princess. 
 My seat - first to the right

Upon arriving onto the plane I got so excited that I exclaimed to the Asian woman accross from me "This is cool, eh?" Either she didn't know what "cool" followed by an "eh" meant or my excitement was to much for her because her reply was a flustered smile and a shift in her seat.

I must take this moment to thank Jay. If it wasn't for him I would not be sitting here going 790 km/hr in the air flying over Siberia, heading towards Thailand.  See you there Jayman!

It is now 11:30 at night in Bangkok.  For you it is 11:30 in the morning. So while you are working doing what you do I am getting ready to have a walk around and try to sleep.  It feels great to be here, there is a familiarity and the people are graciously nice.  Tomorrow is a venture out to the market and then a flight to Suratthani the town where I lived from 1999 - 2001 teaching English.  I hope all is well in your world and see you soon!

Thanks for checking in!


Building Memories

 In northern Ontario about  a 4 hour drive from Ottawa there is a small town by the name of Astorville.  This small town is where I grew up and hold many great memories. A lot of those memories are held in the community center which is the hub for hockey, dances and many celebrations. The community center is extra special to me as my father managed the center for 25 years of his life.  I spent many hours there as a rink rat , running around, playing and of course skating.  To honour my dad they recently named the hall the Renee Boudreau Hall which I am very proud of. This weekend was the carnival and we were there creating more memories in a small community where everybody knows everybody.

It wouldn't be the carnival without "le Bonhomme Carnaval"  Throughout the weekend he walks around shaking hands, taking photos and people guess his identity to be revealed on the final hour of the weekend.

 The funnest part of the whole thing is the family hockey tournament.  This year we had two Boudreau teams.  It's always great fun sitting at the edge of our seats cheering our family members on.  I have to tell you there is great hockey played and I am so proud of my lineage and family. On my dad's side I have 9 aunts and uncles, 40 cousins and I don't even know how many 2nd and 3rd cousins after a while it gets confusing!  This year we finished as the champions for 2011!  Yeah!  Boudreaus!

Owen's favorite part was the outdoor activities where he participated in the water boiling contest. He got to make his own fire and was the first to make his water boil!

I leave tomorrow for Thailand.  I will keep posting my stories here. Stay tuned and many blessings.



I got the nicest e-mail last week inviting me to felt an eastern wolf for CPAWS a  conservation initiative for the wildlife in the Ottawa Carlton area.   If you go to Wabi Sabi's window over the month of April you will see a window display made by local artists helping support this cause. It took me about 4 hours to felt this little guy.  It was hard to make him look like a wolf and not a dog.  Well he still looks like a dog but I choose to see a wolf :) I got tutorial here. Her wolf looks like a wolf  and it's beautiful.  On earth day April 22nd we will be meeting  to publicly donate our treasures.

Five sleeps until Thailand and I am getting nervous. 


Last night's workshop was so fun, it was hard to fall asleep with so much inspiration swimming in my head.  Many felters brought extra wool and a needle home to keep working on their creation.  I promised to post pictures of my Little Ellie and here she is...

Have  great, wonderful day :)  I have 6 sleeps until I travel across all those time zones :)


Thailand and Me

Ok, so I have been a little lame, lamo, el lazy on the blog front.  I have a good reason and it's that my head is swimming with preparations for my trip to Thailand.  Yes, you read it right, Thailand. On February 23rd at 09:00 a.m. this girl is jet setting to the other side of this planet.  For what?  Well let me tell you that I have been dreaming of stepping foot onto that piece of exotic land ever since I left it 10 years ago.  I left part of my heart there and I must go retrieve it.  To tell the long story, I spent over two years there.  It all started in 1997 when I got married and took an 8 month honeymoon. My husband (who is no longer my husband) and I  had the great idea of putting all our belongings in storage, leaving our jobs to become traveling gypsies, not the traditional honeymoon but hey I am not a traditional girl.  We landed in Indonesia travelled overland to Singapore, Thailand, Loas. On our return to Canada our gypsy blood still boiling we decided to fly right back over and teach English in Thailand.  I loved teaching Thai children it was a most amazing experience.  We stayed there for 2 years and saved enough money for 3 months in India and flew back home.  Upon our return to the land of maple trees we figured out that there was a little zoe growing in my belly.  So now you know zoe was "made in Thailand".  Of course with new life growing inside of me we had to set some roots down and let go of our gypsy life style.

So much water has passed under the bridge since then and that's another story that I am not willing to tell, well not yet anyway.  This year I turned the big 40 and I am following my dream of returning to the land of smiles.  Seeing as I am half way to 80 I promise myself to live big, think big with a big heart.  The most challenging thing about this trip is leaving my children and daycare for over 3 weeks!  Yes, you read that correctly 3 weeks!!! Can you believe it?  Sometimes I find it hard to believe it myself and am ridden by guilt then talk myself out of it.  I will be bringing a big bag of wool with me to help spread my love of felting.  Stay tuned as my travels will be logged onto this blog as I go.  I only leave next week so stay tuned for more happenings from this side of the globe. Toodles...


Happy Love Day :)

May today bring you lots of sweet kisses and extra hugs. 
May  you feel gratitude for all the souls that grace your life.
May you live large and see the celebration in every moment. 
Happy Valentine's Day :)


Wet Felting and Wed By Hand

Saturday's workshop was sooooo inspiring.  I love watching others express themselves through handwork.  Every workshop at least one person comments on how healing it feels to work with the texture and softness of the wool.  It's natural fibers are so soothing and relaxing to the spirit. This was the first wet felting workshop since my moving to Little Italy over  1 1/2 years ago.  It was a wet affair, lots of work, and fun. 

The process begins with laying down the fibers as a painters canvas.  I always begin with white.  From there I layer the fibers with colours and slowly watch things unfold.  I love how in the beginning of a project I might have a certain intention for my work and love how it always unfolds with a life of it's own.  This is where I find my joy in working with my hands the surprise of what I can make and the sense of accomplishment it ensues.

Laying down the fibers creating lines, spirals and circles is one of my favorite parts of wet felting, letting colour work for me and trying to keep an open mind to the possibilities.

The wet felting process begins with a bottle full of hot water and  3 squirts of natural dish soap.  Before sprinkling the liquid over my design I like to stand back and have a good look at my work.  Once the water hits the wool and starts binding together the fibers really change and transform giving it a different texture and feel.

Once you've wet your project with the water and soap you are ready for friction.  Here you roll up your artwork with bubble wrap and towels, facilitating the fibers to bind.

I love seeing what comes out of the whole process. This is where I get loads of inspiration. These workshops go beyond learning a new skill.  It is about gathering with people and connecting with others.  It is about working with your hands and finding that creative thread that lives within all of us.

Sunday brought me to Wed by HandsKarie from Rehash and I shared a table and it was super fun.  Wed by Hands is an alertenative wedding show featuring local wedding planners, photographers, crafters, bakers and more.   Our table was super cute and one of my favorite things displayed was this sweetheart couple below.  Karie felted the bride and I felted the groom. It was so much fun to work together on this project and we are so proud.  Many people were enamored with this newly wed couple.   Click here to view the flyer that describes our products and workshops catered to couples taking their vows.

In this busy weekend I also had some time to relax and take things easy. It snowed over the weekend which made for a beautiful snow shoe through the woods with branches laden with fresh snow, so pretty. Zoe and I went for a jaunt in the forest. It was  a nice thing to do together and I hope to do more wit her.


You are Invited!

Craft and Cocktails

        A Trunk* Show of Craft
              296 First Ave.
          Friday, February 11
                 7-10 pm

Pillows, clocks, jewellery, soft toys, art work and more by local artists/crafters Karin Flemig, Cristina Solari, Jenn Stone, Karie Ford, Susanne Loerius, Missy Fraser, Annie Boudreau, Adam Guzman-Poole, Kathrin von Dehn and others....

*A "trunk show" is a special sale in which vendors present merchandise directly to store personnel or select customers at a retail location or another unique venue.


Gratitude Friday on Saturday...

 I am grateful for the smiles that grace  my life.

I am grateful for the sparkle in Zoe's eyes.

I am grateful for  love, compassion and understanding. 

I am grateful for beautiful art, colour and texture.

I am grateful for the fire that burns inside of me. 


 We are all born with creative thought.  If you watch a group of children there is not one who does not move, think, talk with creative intention.  As we age some of us start to forget this infinite gift.  Giving workshops is so much fun not only because I get to share the joy of felting but because people leave with joy for having tapped into their creative process.  Here are some dolls created by Theresa a fellow felter. I love the Rasta woman above :)  Theresa also answered some questions below.  I hope life is treating you well and thanks Theresa for sharing with us.

When did you start felting? 
December 2010 at the angel and Christmas ball workshop.

What is it about felting that inspires you?   
The idea that anything can be made with the wool and a needle; imagination is limitless.

What do you do with your finished products?  
It depends on the creation and if it was specifically made for someone.  If not, by the time the creation is finished it will find a home…it just happens. 

You have been to  a few workshops and what brings you back?
I keep coming back for the company, to learn more techniques, and, of course, to buy more wool!

In my experience working with my hands feels very healing, can you relate to this statement?
Sure can.  It is very healing.  Felting is a complete creative process.  It may start off intending to be one thing, but end up being something totally different.  The repetition of the needle going in and out is very meditative.  It’s great.

Thanks for sharing Theresa :)


Moments Falling into Time

Moments tumbling into moments stringing along creating a lifetime.  Inhale take a breath, exhale and time has passed, live for the now in every breath for one day it will be your last.  A little morbid but true.   I am now 40 half way to 80 and I am not sure where time has gone.  It seems only yesterday that I was running through the fields with a child's abandon and a gift for the moment and yet I sit here and the ache in my knee, the stiffness in my back and kink in my neck reminds me of my age and the passage of time.  Today and everyday is about quietening the mind and delving into what is here for me in the presence of time.  I use all my senses to feel, see, hear, observe all there is to live.  I step away from my mind and find the nectar of the here and when time tumbles into time and my 80th birthday comes around I will have savored every experience and know that I have truly lived.  Live for today tomorrow is but a moment away.

I leave you now with these glimpses of moments lived here in this home.  I also leave with this wonderful link to an article called "Parental Bliss Takes Time".