Friday, August 28, 2015

Life Lately

           Life lately has included lots of cousins- all of the cousins to be precise- with all of our trips back and forth between the Okanagan and the Coast we have put in some major family time this summer- which is just the way we like it! It is becoming a bit of a family tradition that towards the end of August my sister and her family visit us- we do some back to school shopping, have a pizza party by the pool at a swanky hotel and usually go on some sort of wholesome excursion organized by Aunty Sharilyn. Thats just how we role- equal parts mainstream and unplugged- each Aunty providing some other valuable life lesson or colour into our Little's lives.

          This kid lately never stops surprising me- he is pushing his boundaries like no tomorrow- worrying about things that should have no place in childhood- like illness and people leaving. We are doing our best as a family to be honest with him and support his fears and worries but man is this kid ever a worry wort! This boy of mine is more intuitive than I give him credit for.

         Life lately for this kid has her wanting to blend- blend in with the crowd- with what all the other kids are doing- she wants to wear pink. I worry- too much perhaps- but I don't want her unique spirit disappearing just as it begins taking flight- I feel we will have to fight for her individuality in a world of sameness. Maybe I am worrying about things that don't exist- maybe I shouldn't push for either of my kids to be different- maybe I should let them be the same. But then again why be normal?

          So all of these things are happening as we traipse through the fields- in the late summer sunshine with our cousins. For a brief point in time everything is OK- and we know that as long as we travel along with this small band of misfits everything really will be fine. The children are growing and changing- and the adults at this point are only along for the ride- pass the fine boxed wine. Traditions are being made and for the most part life lately- for us- is all about feeling loved.

      Friends it is Friday once again- if you need me I will be doing the more serious back to school shopping which for some twisted reason involves a trip to the fabric store because lets face it- I have sewing to do! Also wine- pass the wine! Much love and happiness friends- Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thrifted Thursday

           Last weekend found us doing all of the vintage shopping- hitting up several special vintage sales here in Vancouver. We have casually been looking for a new to us table- square instead of round- which is what we currently have. As I have said time and time again the best part of vintage shopping is the thrill of the hunt- you never actually know what you are going to end up with and this was just the case for us this past weekend. We had an idea of what we were looking for and yet when it came right down to it we decided on something completely different- we had originally thought to get a set of chairs that matched- but ended with three completely different mix matched chairs to go with the perfect square table.

     Also the girl came home with a sewing basket- the boy got some comics and I bought fabric- treasures all around!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In The Studio

          These days in the studio I have been focusing on smaller and more portable projects- small items that I can come back to weeks later. I will totally fess up to having been in the ceramic studio only a handful of times over the course of this busy, busy summer. I am looking forward to cooler days that are spent closer to home- turning my energies towards the work I am growing to love.

         For me these necklaces really bring together two things I love- textiles and clay- working with colour and texture to create one of a kind pieces. I have sold a few and in fact these pieces were destined for my web shop but have been snapped up before they even had a chance!

           I promise two things that first of all I will be back in the studio sooner rather than later and second of all more of these ceramic gems will be available for sale again soon! My time in the ceramic studio is so important- my time- my quite time! Soon I will return but meanwhile there is sunshine to enjoy and tomatoes to be eaten- hooray for the end of summer!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thrifted Thursday

          This summer has been the hottest summer in recent memory- save the summer my girl was born because no matter what if you are pregnant in August it is hot! Anyways this summer has been a scorcher for Vancouver - the less clothing the better it seems. For me it has been all about lots of light layers- enter in this flowy little tunic top.

         Picked up on one of my wanders it is the perfect beach cover up- going from water to cocktail hour in a pinch- we have very casual cocktail hours when home in the Okanagan! This top reminds me of my childhood where ladies would wander about in simple cotton garments, cut off jeans and bare feet- just the way summer should be!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On Finding Solitude

           Solitude is something I have always sought out- keen to be alone and quiet I was often perfectly happy sitting on the dock at the lake first thing in the morning or cycling through the back roads of the Okanagan Valley - often solo. Since moving to the city I have had to be much more vigilant about seeking out solitude- quiet- peace- both inner and outer. While I have yet to claim transcendence in my practice of seeking solitude there have been a few brief moments of sheer and utter blissed out quiet- one such moment happened a few weeks back on a visit to Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon.

            Smith Rock it's self is epic enough to make a non- believer believe in a greater power- obviously this place was formed with such great power and force that it took nothing short of a miracle- scientific or spiritual it matters not- this is a place of magic and power. While were were anything but appropriately equipped for hiking we took to the trails with relish and happy freedom- to be fair we stuck to the well traveled lower paths and did not attempt the more difficult ones- next time  with proper footwear!

          At a certain point in our adventure the Mr. and the Boy went off to do their own thing and my girl and I continued down the dry path- stopping every now and again to examine the flora- thankfully not running into any fauna! We rounded a corner in the path and a sudden silence descended on us- no other human in site- no noise save for the wind in the rock spires. This quiet beauty all encompassing and my girl became a little afraid- she is after all from the city.

       We quietly sat together by the river- watching the water slip past and after a bit she relaxed into the silence- the tensions releasing from her little body as she found the solitude we all need now and again. While we were not entirely alone we respected each other's silence- this normally chatty girl of mine seemed to tune into the silence intuitively- she just got it. This was but a few moments in a long day but when our time together out on the rock was up we climbed back to the path with much refreshed spirits. So happy to have begun the conversation between my girl and the beautiful silence of nature.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

This is Six

          My dear girl- today you are six. Last night as I tucked you in you started crying- you said you wanted to stay five- you said you wanted to stay a baby. I said you will always be my baby. You are most definitely a big kid now- able to climb the highest monkey bars and run with the pack.

        The past year has brought so many changes for you- we are so very proud of all the things you set out to tackle and succeeded at and also failed at- you learned so much in either case but the fact remains you tried. This was the year of the two wheeler- learning to ride with out training wheels- you are fearless and fast. This is the year of artistic creativity- at six I can see more talent than I ever had- your favourite thing right now is painting with proper acrylic paints. You also are not opposed to crafting with feathers and googly eyes.

      Going off to kindergarten has brought about the most evident of changes- your little songs have changed from English to French- you sing them with your friends. You have a confidence that wasn't there this time last summer- you love school and your friends. You sort of love your brother.

    My girl I cannot wait to see where life will take you for you are an old soul who will surely travel far. From the moment you opened those big brown eyes people gasped at their depth- you were a little old lady inside- wisdom lingered there. As you walk this path through your sixth year you will certainly continue to surprise us all. My girl I hope you live on the fierce edges of life- Happy Birthday.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thrifted Thursday: More Clogs

            I feel like I hit the thrifting Jack Pot with these sweet clogs that were thrifted last weekend in Portland. Also I may or may not have a wooden shoe problem- but that is besides the point! When I saw these awesome clogs tucked away under a rack in a random thrift shop the other day I walked right by them- I thought to myself that nah they won't fit. Something drew me back though and I ended up trying them on- voila they fit- voila they were purchased and  voila now they are all mine! I'm wondering if I am the only nut bar that brings home thrifted souvenirs from vacation?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer Road Trip

        It was about this time just last week that we were excitedly packing our backpacks and checking the road maps in preparation for our summer road trip. This year we decided to visit a place that none of us had ever explored before- Central Oregon and the Painted Hills- fresh tracks for our entire family. The plan was to spend our 11th anniversary on the road with our favourite people- the Littles!

         This trip was a little spontinaity mixed with some actual hotel reservations further down the road in Portland- our final destination- but for the first leg of our trip we had no plans- no idea what to expect. We set off East through the Snoqualmie pass- spending the night at the summit in what must be a busy ski resort come colder months. Friday found us travelling through so many different landscapes- we experienced the wide open big sky plains of Eastern Washington- we crossed down into the gorge and across the Columbia River at Biggs- and wrapped up the day on twisting roads through the badlands of Central Oregon.
           My favourite moment was in the middle of no where- on the plains with the strong, hot summer wind blowing past my face. We had pulled the van over to check out a geographical marker - standing on the side of a two lane highway we were the only humans for miles- we couldn't even see any other vehicles. The deadening quiet engulfed us as we sought to locate the ring of volcanoes surrounding us- a moment that was humbling and breathtaking at the same time.

          By the time we reached the Painted Hills we were all due for a leg stretch- we got out of the van at the same time a tour group arrived so we tagged along to their lecture. Learning how the hills became painted- decaying vegetation in case you were interested. Climate change- as it turns out- is nothing new- these hills were once ancient forests of Ash and Walnut- long since gone- leaving nothing but their pigments smeared across the land.

         I have yet to sort out my thoughts on how this time has changed me- shaped a new line of consciousness- of experience- of colour- of what is important. A revaluation of my own personal connection to the land- or re-connection as the case may be. Time in nature- in quiet- with the people most important to me brings life into focus- gone is the virtual clutter.