July 09, 2017

Shop Update: Three Prints and Malala Fund



I am so excited to be able to share with you that not only are there three new art prints available in the shop, but $1 from every purchase of those three prints (Malala, Frida, and Nasty Woman) will be donated to Malala Fund which advocates — at local, national and international levels — for resources and policy changes needed to ensure all girls complete 12 years of school.

As you know, I am a big fan of Malala Yousafzai (Read It and Inspire Me), and, as I was trying to figure out which organization to donate proceeds from the Nasty Woman art print to, I came up with the idea to create a couple more art prints with quotations from the two woman that have inspired me recently and donate proceeds from all three to support education -- which is something that is near and dear to my heart as an Early Childhood Educator.



July 08, 2017

Waskesiu Day Trip 2017: The Hike



We went on a hike through the forest of Prince Albert National Park on a trail called Boundary Bog -- read more about our day trip here. It was a longer hike for my son, but he prevailed and we were rewarded with a lovely view of the eye of the bog.

I am always humbled by a hike in the Boreal forest. I love the feeling of walking among the trees that have stretched as high as they could towards the sun, and, as you can see, I am a big fan of taking photos of fungi -- including my son. The things that grow, are capable of growing, and the things that happen in the forest are absolutely fascinating. You could almost say it's magical, and it's transformational for the spirit as well.



July 05, 2017

Waskesiu Day Trip 2017: Town Site



Since our visit two years ago, we have been yearning to go back to Waskesiu. We made a day trip this time around, and stopped in the town site after a hike to be able to explore the beach -- where we saw a ton of butterflies -- and get yummy treats from the local bakery. 

One of our favourite stops is the Prince Albert National Park Nature Centre. We were fortunate enough to have visited just after the centre re-opened after some renovations. It was a lot of fun the last time that we were there, but now it is beyond what it originally was. As you can see, we were really drawn to the dress-up area, but there was also a puppet theatre with a pretend fire pit where we made up a couple of little plays, a miniature canoe, and a game where you toss fish into a pelican's mouth. 

There were also a lot of areas set up to learn about the environment of Waskesiu. There was a spot where you could listen to different bird calls, and try to lift elk antlers -- which are a lot heavier than you can imagine. Because the centre has created an environment centred more around the cultures of the peoples originally from the area, we were able to learn about the 6 Seasons of the Woodland Cree, which I think we should adopt instead of the four season we currently use -- among other things.


Stay tuned for photos from our morning hike.



June 19, 2017

Read It: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions



I bought this book straight off the shelf in the bookstore. I had never heard of it, or the author, before, but I was intrigued by the content and possibilities of learning that would come with it. I was not disapointed. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote a beautiful letter to a good friend and her newborn daughter, and was kind enough to share it with the world. And for that, I am grateful.

Let me start off by saying that I like how she wrote the book in the form of "suggestions" and not "rules" on how to be a feminist. There is nothing pushy, or rude about the way that she approaches the subject, and you can take what you want from what she shares. How I grew up, my own life experiences, my self-assessments all play a large part in how I view myself as a woman, and how I view other women -- this is true of everyone.

As the mother of a young boy, I read this book as a way to raise my son as a feminist without any changes to the suggestions -- as if they were only meant for girls. Obviously there are some things I will have to alter slightly as he will grow up with society teaching him that he is better in every respect simply because he is a boy. But, the changes I mean are subtle, like respecting women that want to be a full person; keeping a household and raising children together with his spouse; supporting his spouse in all of the choices that she makes and not "allowing" her to do them -- assuming he will marry a woman. These are all suggestions written in the book, but the way they are written is for a woman fighting to make these a reality, not for a man that is going to help her.

I believe he sees a lot of this in the marriage that my husband and I have, and we have surrounded ourselves with strong people that show him a positive influence, but we all slip up sometimes. This book is a good reminder of which direction I want to go myself, and which direction I want to raise my son.

The book also made me realise how fortunate I was to grow up in the household that I did. I was never told that I couldn't play ball, play rough, show an interest in woodworking, or even learn how to fix things that were broken. I was never pushed in a certain direction that was considered more feminine. I was never told I couldn't do something or wear something because it was "for boys". I was allowed to discover and explore the world in which ever way that I wanted, and for that I am truly grateful. My parents probably never realised that they were raising me to be a feminist, but I appreciate that they fostered my interests and this book helped me to see that.




June 17, 2017

Shop Update: Paris of the Prairies T-Shirts



We are so excited to announce that Paris of the Prairies t-shirts are now available at one of the shops where our cards are stocked in Saskatoon, Soul Paper. It is available in two styles: women's crew-neck and unisex v-neck in sizes small-large -- for now.

This has been a project a long time in the making, and it feels good to finally be able to reveal what we have been working on. We also have a few other ideas up our sleeves -- pun intended -- that we can't wait to share with you!



May 29, 2017

Exploring Elk Ridge: Focusing on the Positive



A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to listen to Darci Lang and Darren Lang speak at a conference for my day job. I didn't know what to expect going into it, but I came out of that weekend with a different perspective, not just of my job, but of my life.

We went for a walk through Elk Ridge in Waskesiu after the first day, and it was incredibly uplifting. I couldn't have gone on such a walk with anyone but the wonderful and talented women that I work with and am proud to call my friends. 

Darren Lang was the first speaker, and he was fantastic. He spoke about stress in your life and how you can cope with it. As someone that has gone through mental health issues himself, he was really good at guiding us through ways to reduce stress -- the concept of "chill and choose" was a big take-away from his session. 

Darci Lang spoke on the final day of the conference, and I wish we would have been able to see her all day. She really knocked it out of the park. Darci had a way of speaking that is incredibly hard to explain, but she instantly connected with everyone in the room in a way that you would have to experience to understand -- she travels around the country doing public workshops, so it is possible to see her if you're interested.

Darci talked a lot about seeing the positive things in your life -- the 90% -- and focusing on those instead of the negative things in your life -- the things that take up the other 10%. Easier said than done, right? But Darci doesn't make you feel that way. She has such a positive upbeat attitude and demeanor -- that in no way feels fake -- that you come out of her session with a renewed perspective on life that really makes you question what makes you happy, and how you can look at it differently so that it does make you happy.

I love my day job. I get to work with children every day and see how they change and evolve as human beings that love to explore and engage with their world. I love how each day is different and the children are always doing something new -- sharing a new story, a new skill. Darci asks you if you love your job, and, if you do but you are unhappy, how you can look at the positive aspects of what you love about your job instead of the negatives. The only person you can change is yourself.

That is the jumping off point. There are so many other places and aspects of life to explore with the 90%.



 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_09.jpg