July 15, 2018

Behind the Art: In The Mountains



It is no secret that I am in love with the mountains. If you take a look through some of my vacation photos on Instagram, you'll see that we visit them quite a bit -- though probably not as much as people that live closer than we do. 

Regardless, after my first camping trip to the mountains in high school, I developed a certain affinity for the mountains, and look forward to any subsequent vacations in that direction of the country.

This art print comes from my love of the mountains -- which I know I share with many other people around the world -- and waking up to the splendor and calm that arises from emerging from your tent in the morning and being in their presence.



July 08, 2018

5 Instagram Accounts I'm Currently Connecting With


Instagram is a lot of things to a lot of people. I find it to be a source of inspiration, a place of connection, and a way to waste some time. Instagram is constantly changing, and I find as I evolve in how I present myself and the shop on the platform, that the people that inspire me and that I connect with are changing as well. 

As I enter different phases of my life, I connect with people that I never thought I would before. Here are 5 Instagram accounts that are currently inspiring me, or connecting with my life:



I honestly would not be able to tell you when I started following Ana of Bluebirdkisses, but she only had one child then (around the same age as my son) and she and her husband have since added two more. I remember being drawn to her because our children were close in age, but it wasn't until recently that I really started to feel like I have connected with her. 

She has been quite candid lately about her life and behind the scenes of social media, but what I feel connected me the most is her journey in fitness and a healthy body. There are so many elements that are similar to mine, and I find myself silently (sometimes I make a comment) cheering her on.



Sarah of Sarahgoldenart has been an inspiration to me (if you can't tell by the painting in the photo above and the recent artwork I've been sharing on Instagram) and I am awestruck by the work that she does. Each piece is incredibly unique, and tells it's own little story. I love abstract art for that exact reason: that every piece can be interpreted differently and each person that sets their eyes on it has their own experience with it.



I don't remember exactly when I started following Kelle of Etst, but I do know that I started following her after I spotted a beautiful black and white photo she had taken of her daughter Nella. When I am drawn to a photo on Instagram, I usually head to the account to see if I would like the other photos and stories that are shared before I hit the follow button. 

It didn't take me too long to realise that I wanted to hop in the car and head out on the drive that Kelle was taking, and what a drive it has been. Kelle shares the most amazing photographs, and the stories that go with them are uplifting, inspiring, and sometimes make me cry. This lady has a wonderful gift for using words.



I have been following along with Erin of Boolahbaguette ever since I got Instagram. We met years ago at a Flock & Gather handmade market, and I instantly fell in love with all of the things that she creates, as well as her passion for her work. I really look forward to seeing her posts in my feed. They are a little light during my day.

Seriously, your heart will melt while you look through her Instagram photos. The time and energy that she puts into her dolls and other items really shines through in her photographs. Plus, she has the warmest, most welcoming personality (which I've talked about before) that makes seeing her in your Instagram feed all the more enjoyable.



I first found Elsie Larson and her sister Emma through their blog A Beautiful Mess while I was on maternity leave -- we won't talk about how long ago -- and really enjoyed their work. So I naturally added her to my Instagram followers when I finally got an iPhone, but it wasn't until recently that I really started to connect with her on a different level.

Late last year, Elsie and her husband welcomed their little girl Nova into their life, and, as Elsie put it so well when she shared her first photo with her little girl "We were together. I forget the rest", I really don't remember what Elsie's Instagram account was like before this little ray of sunshine.

I love the photos and the snippets of life in the videos that she shares, especially the songs. Nova has such a beautiful singing voice, and she is so much fun to watch ("painting" is my personal favourite). It really is a treat that Elsie shares so much. Nova is such a precious gift to their family, and it's been wonderful watching the changes that she has caused. It takes me back to when my son was a little guy.


June 27, 2018

What We Love: Summer 2018


Floral Shorts from H&M

I have been struggling recently with finding shorts that fit my body properly. There are pairs of shorts that I currently own, and have owned for many years now, that are starting to fit poorly because of the changes in my body from working out a little more -- boo hoo, I know. I'm constantly pulling at them and they ride up all the time, so I have found myself being drawn to shorts that have a much looser and more relaxed fit, like this lovely floral pair from H&M that are the exact same style as a pair that I own in an orange-y red colour. I love them!



I know that this song from Young Summer is a few years old, but, in my defense, I just recently heard it for the first time, and I think it has the perfect chill vibe for summer. I mean, her name even has the word "summer" in it. How could it not be meant for the season?! It's perfect for lounging on the deck while sharing a drink with friends, or even reading a book.


Travel Pouch from True Leaf

I am in love with this travel pouch from the shop True Leaf. Not only does that beautiful floral pattern make me think of a tropical vacation (say Hawaii or Cuba), but it would be perfect for holding any odds and ends that are needed on said getaway. Plus, it can double as a fold-able clutch to be used at any time...not just on a holiday.




June 22, 2018

DIY: Little Dragon Wings



What you will need:

18 gauge wire
Electrical tape
Ankle or toe pantyhose
Spray on Colour hairspray

I have made these wings several times in the past few years. Two were for Halloween costumes -- a butterfly and Tinkerbell -- and one set was for this little dragon that I created for my first cosplay for the Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo a couple of years ago.


I used the following video from the Martha Stuart show (we won't even talk about how long ago that was on air) and adapted it for a smaller version, including using ankle length pantyhose instead of wasting the ones for the whole leg. I then attached them to a little dinosaur stuffie that belongs to my son from the shop The Wooden Quail.




June 18, 2018

Behind the Art: Just Numbers



Today I am starting a new series on the blog to share the ideas and reasons behind the designs and art of the cards and art prints that you can find in the shop, starting with the card that I created for my mom's birthday a few several years ago (if you really want to know how old she was turning, look at the number in the centre of the card).

The card began with this idea to sooth my mom of the idea that she was approaching 60, and that the ages that we all turn are just numbers, nothing more. There are so many other things that we can define ourselves by other than a number. This is something that I am slowly starting to learn as I creep closer to 40.


May 31, 2018

Weight Update: My Journey to Circuit Training


 
It's been a while since I last had a weight update -- you can find them here -- and a lot has changed since then. The last time I shared my weight with you, I was 126lbs. I never fluctuated much from there. The lowest I reached was 125lbs, and, up until the summer of last year, I had really started to plateau in terms of what exercise was doing for my body and I was starting to get bored. 

In August 2017 I started to really step up how many reps I was doing after being inspired by some really toned people, and in November of the same year, my sister-in-law invited me to her Cross Fit class as part of an open house. I was fortunate to already have some of the muscles necessary in order to keep up, but that class had me beat by the end and I was moved in a different direction of working out.

My workouts always consisted of working on each muscle group, and keeping my body strong -- especially my legs and core -- so that my running wouldn't mess up my knees, but I did high reps and no sets. The Cross Fit class inspired me to start doing lower reps with multiple sets, and so I started doing research on different exercises that I could do at home to work my muscles without getting bored by doing the same thing over and over while saving some money by doing it all at home.

My workout always consists of arms (10 push ups, 15 tricep dips, 10 dumbbell swings), legs (20 lunges, 10 sumo squats, 20 single leg dead lifts), core (15 boat pose sit ups, 15 sit ups, 10 leg lifts) or all three (10 burpies, 10 inchworm push ups, 12 renegade rows), and I push myself to do my circuit as many times as I can within a 10-15 minute time span -- which is usually between 6-10 times. That means I'm doing 60-100 pushups within a short amount of time, and there are so many different things I can do in multiple combinations that my workouts are never boring, plus it only takes 10 minutes out of my day. Sometimes I also like to throw in some sprints on the treadmill as another way of mixing it up.

It didn't take me long to notice the results in my body, and, although I have gained about 5lbs, my clothes fit looser than before I started gaining. I am proud of the progress that I have made, and the strength that has come with it. I have come a long way from the person that I was 6 years ago, and I am ready to enter the realm of 35 with a body that is more powerful than it has ever been and can help me keep up with my family.



*Remember, I am not an expert on nutrition, nor am I a trainer, but this workout has helped me lose fat and gain muscle. If you are looking to lose weight, do your research and get some ideas from the experts. It's not going to happen unless you try.


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