empire building

Monday, May 31, 2010

Winnie Dixon and her friend BleetNess(ie) - in truth Bleet's a little in love with Miss D

Oh it's almost a new month. Sigh. I love a new month, a new week ... even a new day so I really love it when a Monday happens to be almost all three. I've signed up for what I expect to be a fantastic Creative Empire building 5 week e-course put on by the sweet & very talented Kelly Rae Roberts - an amazing, tres successful, mixed media artist and author of the completely fabulous book - Taking Flight - Inspiration to Give Your Spirit Creative Wings. The e-course is called Flying Lessons - Tips and Tricks to Help your Creative Business Soar.

I've been thinking (planning scheming, etc.) an awful lot about my own Creative Empire building lately and thinking lots about the lack of actual hands on building of it. Thinking isn't gonna build me an Empire so it seemed the perfect time to sign up for her course that's focused on exactly that, it's a how-to CE Build. There is so much creative inspiration here in the land of blogs it takes my breath away almost daily. So many successful woman creative empire builders. Woman who wanted to give up a job that was killing their spirit and make a good living doing something that they love instead. Recently I've spent some time going back into the archives of some of my favourite empire builders and reading all about their beginnings, the struggles, the successes and seeing gradually over time the total transformation of their creative talents. Truly amazing and makes me feel very excited and most hopeful for my own future successes. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite and most inspiring empire builders here this morning as I launch this (new day, new week and almost new month) next big chapter in my own Creative Empire building.

Kelly Rae Roberts

The Black Apple
Posy Gets Cozy

And these 6 are just a tiny few of the hundreds of amazing CE builders I'm coming across

the one thing

Sunday, May 30, 2010

salmon orange quince blossoms (from the cowboy's gardens) - sigh

I have a new plan - and one that I've actually put into practice this past week and with great success. I'm actually doing something that best friend and designer gal MLou and I have chatted about many times - an idea that she has suggested to me on more than one occasion knowing that I am an obsessive and compulsive to-do list maker and I have a grand penchant for putting way too many items on each days list - that way ensuring ammunition at each day's end for much disappointment, rejection and bad thoughts (toward self).

I now have one thing on my to-do list each day. Uh Huh !

Now of course it doesn't mean that I only do one thing, but like all of us I have a lengthy list of have been meaning to do for like ever things, you know those items that just never seem to get done - their un-doneness constantly leering and jeering at you from their dark, dingy and dusty corner. So ... this past week I've been putting one (just one) of those dreaded, procrastination with a capital P, items on the to-do table each day ... and those darn things are getting done (sighing). One by one, day by day - merci (yet again) MLou. I still make a little list, tres neatly penned of course, on each new blank page of my daytimer, the little list of tend to's : call the insurance co., email so and so, mail this & that but I have one, and only one, task to accomplish each day ... and ya know I'm thinkin' I might even take Sunday's off.

The one thing ... it's a very good thing

big sale on now

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lil' art (giclee) cards, mini poster prints, & a tiny life print all dans la shop at less than 50% off

Hey ! Is it a fine art photo print or is it a greeting card ? Actually ... it's both !

A 3x3 giclee print from an original polaroid. Printed on 100% cotton heavy watercolour paper. Each print is matted in a cream 5x7 mat and then attached to 130lb cream card stock which opens like a greeting card. Each photo art print greeting card comes in a cellophane sleeve with a matching cream envelope and ships in a kraft heavy card mailer.Each Lil' Art print fits a 5x7 frame opening. The perfect gift ?

Oh Boy !! every thing is less than 50% off
+ buy 2 and get any other piece free gratis

more lilac love

Friday, May 28, 2010

more lilac love - 4 polaroids taken yesterday of their beautiful lavender & white goodness

With my last package of Time Zero SX-70 Polaroid film - 6 sheets of film left in the last package of 10. Film that's been kept stashed in the far bottom corner of my refrigerator but ... the good news is this amazing film is once more available to purchase. Tres expensive but available - here

Part 2 of my interview with the lovely Mr. Toast (and Tea) here today

the lilac thief

Thursday, May 27, 2010

all three shades of lilac blossoms gathered early this morning by random acts of pruning

With Missy D, my always willing and most excellent accomplice & assistant extraordinaire, my pruning clips stuffed into the zippered pockets of my hooded, basic black, fleece lined wind breaker (along with compostable black poop bags, a handful of dog biscuits and several must have, favourite 3-ply avec lotion tissues - from the Superstore) I did some lilac gathering this early morning. I've been planning this event, my annual random acts of lilac pruning, for a few days now. I've been waiting for the blossoms to be just right. Each season it seems I must acquire a gigantic bouquet of lilacs and I must have all three shades in that one big bouquet.

We have one, sad, very overgrown and too shaded pale purple lilac here within the terracotta gardens - all it's blossoms are up very high, desperately reaching for some sunlight and far too high for me to clip and prune. Hence the lilac thievery. In my defense only the beautiful dark lavender colour came from a private residence, the white and pale lavender are on land that lilac thieves would consider to be practically public. Wink. I'm enamoured not only their incredible beauty but also oh my ... the scent of lilacs.

Lilac polaroids to come.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

favourite pink tulips from the terracotta gardens displayed in a deco cruet from Flo's house

No. of times this bouquet was knocked over by cats (?) before I photographed it - 4

Beware of flower displays in clear glass vases or containers. There seems to be some fascination with water - water that must be ultimately spilled for the utmost in cat satisfaction. The flowers then dragged about a bit, their beautiful petals becoming ratty and chewed on. The bigger the bloom, it seems, the more destruction there is - the sweet tiny forget-me-nots for example were merely spilled (that vase knocked over at least 4 times) - no dragging, no chewing, no tattering.


happiness is

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

who's the man ? uh huh ! it's tres handsome (and very athletic) Oliver - most amazing cat ...

Happiness is ... {
No. 84} - feeling productive.

I'm beginning this new week without a project currently on the go here at the TTD*. I finished up a thrilling new typographic product design job last week for my main customer/company and instantly I found myself feeling a bit on edge.
That no new project in the pipeline feeling. That all my eggs are pretty much in one darn basket feeling. That how is it that I've been living this at times tres nerve wracking freelance life for almost 9 years feeling ??? and all these rapid fire thoughts followed instantly by Oh my, where would I be without the cowboy ? (and all the wonderful love, safety and security that came bundled up along with his handsome, absolutely perfect for moi, self). Why go there ? I remind myself. Because ... I reply (to self) it reminds me to be grateful, oh so very grateful, every single day and all the time.

Miss D and I are about to hit the streets. There's much needed rain in the forecast for today.
I have my ongoing list of need to do's and must do's to attend to and we'll see if we can't just drum up another thrilling design project.

and Hey there Madam Universe ! I'd love to go here ... maybe Shammy would meet me there

*TTD - teak topped desk


Monday, May 24, 2010

two planes at dusk - racing each other high up in the sky among pink wisps of clouds

It's a holiday weekend here in Canada - Victoria Day weekend. Yup ! that would be Queen Victoria Day. In this little seaside village this weekend is the (unofficially) beginning of summer the cafe's open again for the season for lattes & grilled panini sandwiches and the best date squares ever, the ice cream parlour steps away from our front door has also just opened, fancy pants cars fill the grocery store parking lot and the summer crowd are all back and opening up the cottage for another season.

It's an official holiday here at the TTD as well. It's sunny and warm. There's a lovely strong breeze coming in off the water and we're puttering around in the garden again today.

birds, blooming, besotted

Sunday, May 23, 2010

apple blossoms - everywhere - their scent blowing around the village this early morning

Mr. & Mrs. Common Grackel - who build their nest each year at the peaked roof line of this old brick house, deep in a sheltered tangle of Virginia Creeper vines - are freaking out this morning because Bleet is out in the garden sunning himself or plodding along one of his his well worn paths. Their babies are getting ready to fledge and the site of a cat sends them into a tizzy of chattering, swooping madness. They don't realize that the big, fat, black velvet chicelet has long lost his interest in birding. Thank Goodness !

Everything is blooming - the lavender and white lilacs, the palest pink apple and pear trees, big poofs of pink and magenta flowering crab trees, wild plum ...

And I swear I love that man and our new life together just a little bit more, a little bit deeper
each and every single day. We're having so much fun working away at the yard and gardens.
Sigh - a big ol' tres happy sigh.

be kind & caring

Saturday, May 22, 2010

comfort, love & safety - a truly amazing photograph by Mark Loper

This photograph makes my heart ache and swell to ten times it's normal size. It proves, yet again, that animals large and tiny are just like us - they have feelings and they crave love and comfort as we do.

Be kind and caring to all living creatures.

That's what this photo speaks to me.

up into the big sky

Friday, May 21, 2010

Winnie Dixon sitting with me on the crescent beach early yesterday morning

More big feelings of gratitude and thanks this early morning. I feel very blessed. How is it that all my hopes and dreams are coming true. I'm thinking and wondering far too much, always, about the how of it all ? perhaps the secret, my secret, is that I always did keep a few hopes & dreams ... even in those times when it felt like I wanted to give up, despair and hopelessness like a cozy quilt I wanted to tuck in under and that dark place began to feel - the safest, easiest & most comfortable place to be. I know that it's crazy to constantly question my good fortune - and honestly I do try to not pick away at that big question how ? but what surrounds me now feels so miraculous - it really does.

Not a day goes by that I don't look up into the big sky above me and say thank you. To who I'm not quite sure ... but someone, or something deserves my thanks.

Hey that darn expat Brit guy Mmm over at Hot Toast & Jam is featuring us today in his weekly blog round up Feature Fridays (he interviews a different blogger each week). Can you say tres long winded (yikes I sure did prattle on !). Fantastic questions. Merci Mmm !

joy & delight

Thursday, May 20, 2010

more marvels of nature - the common dandelion


it lies in all of us. sleeping ... waiting ... and though unwanted ... unbidden ...
it will stir ... open it's jaws and howl. It speaks to us ... guides us ...
passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have ?
Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love ... the clarity of hatred ...
and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear.
If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace ...
but we would be hollow ...
Empty rooms shuttered and dank.
Without passion we'd be truly dead.

Joss Whedon

I think for years I've been very afraid of my own passion. I saw it as something wild and unruly. A thing to be tamed or smothered. A sign that something was surely wrong with me. My heart would beat rapidly, my breath would become shallow, the tears would fall ... oh so many tears fell and I would most often feel shame. Crazy as that now seems. I'm beginning, finally, to embrace it's intensity. To appreciate and be thankful for it's many gifts and to welcome with wide open arms it's variety of complex characters.

Sadness & Ache, Joy & Delight ... sometimes arrive all together and holding hands.