Flock & Gather Winter Wonders 2015

January 31, 2016

I know this information and these photos are almost two months late, but I really wanted to share them with you. This past December I had the privilege to be included with some of the most amazing makers in the city, and Western Canada. By being lucky enough to be one of the vendors at the Flock & Gather Winter Wonders handmade market. When I had a moment to wander around and explore the other tables, I snapped some photos as well -- sorry for the quality.

Boolah Baguette always has the most amazing little creatures available for shoppers. A little while ago, she introduced clothing for some of her characters which are absolutely adorable. Her Instagram photos make me die from the overload of cute every time I see them in my feed -- don't get me started on when she stuffs their little hands into their pockets.

I couldn't help but sing Drake's Hotline Bling whenever I looked at this fun embroidery from Swish & Craft. She has the most creative mind, and comes up with the funniest sayings to stitch into her fabrics. Her work sometimes has a surprising little twist to it, too.

Mimi & Lala has the cuuutest items available for little girls, and if I had one of my own I would honestly buy all the things -- so my husband is lucky.

Make Your Mark Metalwork makes the most incredible and intricate jewellery I have ever seen. He designs beautiful pieces using precious and semi-precious stones, and uses the tiniest saw blade to cut out every bit of the design himself.

The puppets and other amazing things you will find at Junipermoon Makery always make me smile. I was lucky enough to be across from her the first time I ever did a Flock & Gather market, and I was so excited to see her again. I always enjoy looking at the names and stories that she writes up for her puppets, and I had a good laugh over the puppets she made of Justin Trudeau, Steven Harper, and Tom Mulcair during the election process.

Remade Goods does the most beautiful work with weaving and tying knots -- and such -- which reusing items that she has found. None of the items she uses in her products are new. Talk about a perfect way to reduce, reuse and recycle!

Cloud and Lolly do stunning work. I was really drawn in by their beautiful gemstone bullet necklaces and the amazing presentation of their items -- even though I made have ruined it a bit trying to get a necklace back in the stand. 


Watch It: The True Cost

January 23, 2016

A few years ago I shared my thoughts with you about how I was feeling disconnected with the world because I didn't understand or realise the environmental and social impact that the items of clothing and other personal objects I was using on a daily basis were having on the world. I talked about how I was going to start becoming more environmentally and ethically responsible.

Fast forward three years, and I realise that I have completely forgotten about the promises that I made in that blog post. I have definitely become more aware of the products that I use on my body and put in my body as far as food, face wash, make-up, shampoo, etc. are concerned (minus a couple of items because I needed to use them for the betterment of my overall health), but when it comes to clothing I have completely fallen behind and really don't pay attention to where my clothes come from -- although I have done better with not shopping as much.

Then I watched a film called The True Cost, and it really opened up my eyes to the impact that, what they refer to as, Fast Fashion is having on the environment and the people making the clothes that we wear. They spoke with a woman named Shima who works in a factory in Bangladesh for less than $3 a day, and she said something that really got to me: she asked why people would want to buy things that were made with their blood. And that put everything into a new perspective.

The juxtaposition of the images of people working and suffering in the countries where our clothing is made with the images of us waiting outside stores only to rush in and fight with each other over a specific size is absolutely heartbreaking. There were no words. There were only tears. And it was at that moment that I made a promise to myself, and to the millions of men and women working as slaves in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, India, etc., that I would not be a part of it anymore.

source  -  source

Another thing that I did not think about was the environmental impact that the making of clothing has, right down to the beginning with the growing of cotton using pesticides that are killing the people that use them (including cotton farmers in America), and creating serious health issues for the people that live nearby -- as well as the pollution of water. These are things that we have fought against in our own countries (and still fight for), and no body else deserves this kind of treatment -- regardless of if they live in what is considered a poor country.

All of the people that are working to make our $5 t-shirts are fighting for their basic human rights against a government and corporations that are so corrupt that they would rather make money than protect their people and the people that work for them. I know that this would never be tolerated in North America, and I think that if you were to watch this film you would also see what is wrong with Fast Fashion and that we need to stand up against it.


January 16, 2016

It was incredibly difficult to get him to cooperate for this photo session, and, of course, it is the last one for the 52 Week Project. It's been amazing to see how much he has changed, and how different each photo session could be depending on his mood or what he was excited about that day. I have really enjoyed this project, and will probably visit again in the future. It was a fun way to document his life between the ages of three and five, and it really made me focus on taking more photos of him. As time moves on, that's not something that happens very often and it's something that I really need to concentrate on more -- bring the good camera with you!


Moments in 2015

January 11, 2016

You have just perused some moments that I have fond memories of from 2015. It was a good year for exploration with our son, and we did a lot to really expand his world. Early in the year we grabbed his photo to apply for a passport so we could take him to Walt Disney World late in September. We built him a sandbox, explored Waskesieu in Prince Albert National Park, and took him in a go-kart for the first time.

When we arrived in Orlando, we saw that the cockpit to the airplane was open and were talking about what was inside with Little Boy. The flight attendant asked if we'd like to take a photo of him sitting in the cockpit and we jumped on the opportunity. He loved it! 

I was very excited to have him help me decorate the Christmas tree this year, and then on New Year's Eve we went bowling with my family. I always enjoy his excitement as he watches the ball slowly roll down the ally.

Sprinkled throughout the year I went to the very last Lugo event with a couple of girl friends; my husband and I had our hands painted for a fun family painting that Little Boy worked on; I had the joy of feeding ducks at the Forestry Farm; the forest fires up North and across Western Canada really affected the air quality more than it has in recent history -- we couldn't even go outside most days; a girl friend and I had a lot of fun exploring the comic book convention, and took a lot of fun photos of characters we recognised -- Jinkies! -- and we got drenched one of the times that we went on Splash Mountain.




January 09, 2016

I came home from a seminar to find him playing with his activity book and eating a brownie. What a life :)


Shop Update: 2016 Valentine's Day Cards

January 06, 2016

The 2016 Valentines are now available in the shop! This is really exciting for me because I brought them along with me to Flock & Gather Winter Wonders, and people laughed a lot at them. That is something that makes me feel so good. I love when people enjoy my work, and have so many emotions when looking at the cards. I put my heart and soul into this business, and you are all so kind and generous to me. That's the perfect feeling for Valentine's Day :)


Christmas 2015

January 05, 2016

Our Christmas consisted of driving to another province and spending time with my Grammie along with everyone else in the family -- a rare occurrence that was her Christmas wish last year -- and then driving back home on Christmas Day to spend some time with my husband's family. It was a whirlwind adventure, but it was so very lovely.

I had some precious moments with my Grammie reminiscing about my Grandad -- who had passed away 20 years previously around Christmas -- and her years with him. I've mentioned this before, but they really had a marriage made for a fairy tale, and she confirmed it that day. Other people had seen it too, as someone told her that she was "cherished by him."

As we made our way back home, there was some incredibly beautiful scenery just outside our windows. It was a bit cloudy for part of the drive, and it helped create some really dreamy photographs -- I wish I could share them all -- with the frost and heavy snow on the trees. Breathtaking.

A delicious turkey dinner was ready for us when we arrived at my in-law's, and my husband's Grandma was also there for a visit. Little Boy had a lot of fun playing with his new toys and games, and had us quite competitive with his new game called The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game -- it's still a favourite even after a couple of weeks.

How was your Christmas?

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