dear April

Monday, March 31, 2014

our huge bedroom geranium is loving the longer days / the crescent beach / lichen love / cottages and the sea wall / ice ice baby / tiny clementine seedling (instructions here) / branches, snow, shadows / more lichen love / looking out into the Northumberland Strait from atop the crescent beach sea wall

Winter is hanging on for dear life here in Nova Scotia. Wednesday we had the biggest & wildest blizzard of the 2013/2014 winter season, yesterday was an all day freezing rain storm and today another winter storm advisory lurks in our near future (15-30 cmd of snow). It's funny I don't mind any of it. I hear so many people/Canadians complaining about Winter fatigue (we Canucks LOVE to complain chat about the weather) and this winter came early for us, much earlier & much nastier (bitter cold & lots of snow) than usual. We're happy to see you dear April ;-) we've been patiently waiting your welcome arrival.

cat in a box

Friday, March 28, 2014

scenes from my rousing everyday game of Cat in a Box with my best dude Oliver - Play + Creativity = Innovation ;-)

the best way out
is always through
Robert Frost

& Hey !! 3 of my greeting cards with Madison Park Greetings have been nominated for Louie awards - Woo ! Hoo ! Kind of like the Acadamy Awards of the greeting card industry - check out my nominated designs here


Monday, March 24, 2014

fresh snowfall yesterday morning / oh my geranium 1 / early morning in the back fenced in yard / I am handsome with a pink gerbera daisy - Oliver / dried hydrangea blossoms / we ♡ salads / I am handsome in a box - Oliver / rare dwarf Northern Serengeti ocelot the only one in captivity / Cavallini LOVE calendar / Virginia Creeper buds / our BIG black velvet chiclet atop his favourite windowsill pillow in my studio / one of my little daphne shrubs with yesterday's fresh snowfall

set your life on fire
seek those who fan your flames
Rumi (of course ;-)

I have so many thoughts about the is Rumi quotation  - I really want to give myself permission to abide by this rule

We're bracing for a wild & wintry, hopefully final, blast of winter on Wednesday. A nor'easter. Bring it on I say !

surrounded by love

Saturday, March 22, 2014

itty bitty Betty in her laundry room basket in a room of her own (complete with closed french door, no boy cats & with all the essential feline amenities) someone's a lil' Princess / I do love to pose in sunshine - handsome Oliver / the big black velvet chicelet Bleet / cats lounging - that darn Virgil, he makes me smile / itty bitty Betty's breakfast nook (also in the laundry room of her own) / my favourite place - the chocolate brown nest / I also look very handsome wrapped in contrasting flannel / itty bitty Betty, once again, in her laundry room basket with a patch of  sunlight - natch / I ♡ cardboard boxes, especially ones with windows / ocelot / Oliver on the cat pillow in my studio surveying the scene

There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go.

Richard Bach

There's a difference between knowing and believing something. Believing it in that true & faith-full way. I am a perfectionist, no question, a perfectionist in that it's like carting around a 20lb shield way that Brené Brown talks about in her book The Gifts of Imperfection. I try very hard to never fail or make mistakes and I know that that is crazy talkin'. I know that's crazy by heart. I can recite a whole raft of quotations about the necessity of failure and mistake making in achieving success and authenticity in life, even more quotations remind me/us that if you don't feel vulnerable (Fear and Doubt) from time to time you're probably not living a very exciting or passionate life.

Perfectionism is like a 20lb shield that we carry with a thought process that says this, 'If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, and do it all perfectly, I can avoid or minimize feeling shame, blame, and judgement. 

Brené Brown

I do know these things are true, but I'm still learning to believe that they're true. And the only path I can see to believing is plain old trial by fire, plain old try, fail, make mistakes (& big ones) ... then get back up, fail again, try again, fail better.

I'm trying to let go of a long time dependency to sleep medication, a dependency from another time in my life, a time far far away from where I stand now. A time when Fear & Doubt ruled the roost around here especially in the middle of the night, that darn witching hour 1am - 3am. Nights (or early morning's) when if I woke up Worry & Loneliness, Doubt & Fear would all pile into the bed with me and I would feel physically & emotionally overcome with Panic and Sleeplessness. I began taking 1mg of Ativan at bedtime, it worked like a charm ... for years and years and it still works now but smothering my feelings and my fears isn't how I want to live anymore.

Last night as I lay awake, yet another night, through the witching hour instead of Doubt & Fear I felt instead absolutely immense gratitude, and for so many reasons, even or maybe especially for my mistakes. I thought to myself at this moment right NOW I have absolutely everything I've ever wanted or needed. I am surrounded by love ... so what's the deal with this fear thing ;-)

I have everything I need or want
I am surrounded by love ... it's true
I am filled with gratitude

Brené Brown's 2 famous TED talks on shame and vulnerability - watch & repeat as necessary + happy weekend

flowers, cats & courage

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oliver in my studio windowsill / 3.97 pink gerbera daisy from Walmart, I need one in every colour / BleetNessie / Virgil / LOVE from the Fresh Exchange / warm enough yesterday to open a window, Bonjour Spring / dried hydrangea blossom / the truth - me trying to sort through my most recent library, bedside, book pig haul - avec cats of course / my comfort, my 3rd dog, my Oliver / dog & cat upstairs hallway chair with seeds / & oh my, geranium ;-)

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.  It's about the choice to show up and be real.  The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.  Brene Brown from The Gifts of Imperfection

Listening to Brené Brown interviewed on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday on repeat. Holding hands with courage, trying to let myself be authentic & feeling a whole lotta vulnerable. Happy to report that Miss Dixon, my Winnie girl is hanging in there, huge appetite (always a good sign) and lovely wanderings with me and Samuel several times each day in our big yard - hooray ! 

& here's to lots more daring greatly !