Behind the Art: It's Your Day Dad

May 30, 2020

While designing cards for Father's Day, I tried to be sensitive to the fact that some people may not have a connection to the person that they would call "Dad", so, in the past, I made cards that were a little more general that could be used for an uncle, grandfather, or a person in your life that has the role of "dad" but you don't necessarily call them "Dad".

A couple of years ago I decided to make a card that was specifically for dads, and uses the word right on the card. I guess I wanted to include the people that also have someone in their life that they call "Dad" (biological or not). Choices for all!!


What Will The Future Look Like Post-Quarantine

May 29, 2020

I keep wondering what the effects of this time of quarantine and social distancing is going to have on us and subsequent generations. In 20 years what will be be doing that we will look at it and say "This is because of Covid-19". There will most certainly be a lot of trauma from all of this (the cause of trauma doesn't have to be something severe like an attack or car's a lasting emotional response that will come from living through this time in history).

I think about the Depression Era and how it caused some people to began hoarding (not in the way we define it now) because they needed to keep everything out of necessity "just in case". You never knew when you'd be able to get something again, or if you'd ever have the money to purchase it again. My GG had so many items that a lot of people would deem unnecessary that he kept with the intention of using again, or because he thought there might be another use for them later (he still had butcher paper from when he purchased meat). In my family, we often use the term "pack rat".

This is a mindset that was most definitely passed on (my Grammie grew up during The Depression so she does this, too) and continues to this day. My mom keeps things "just in case" and I keep things "just in case" because you never know when you might need a piece of information from People's 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, or when that little piece of string wrapped around a package that you ordered from a little shop eight years ago might come in handy.

These are the kinds of things that I am curious about. I wonder what memories and stories people, especially children, will tell that are connected to this time. How long will people continue to wear masks? Will there be people that have developed a fear of using public washrooms? Will the barriers between you and the cashiers stay there? Will children develop severe mysophobia, and will the numbers for anxiety skyrocket? 

Only time will answer these questions, but my hope is that solutions and support will be provided. We know so much more about mental health now than was known in the 1930s. What ripple effects  from this time are you curious about?


Read It: Becoming

May 27, 2020

If you look through the Read It label on the blog, you will see that I am a fan of autobiographies, and Becoming from Michelle Obama is another addition to the list. First off, I like how the title and author of the book can be a play on words depending on how you read it, and, secondly, I like how she gives us a taste of her entire life story in her voice (no one else's). It's not just about her time as First Lady of the United States, but also includes her childhood and early adult years, as well as her time with Barack before they began their journey to The White House.

What I appreciated most about the book was her candid approach to talking about what African American people go through daily, and her view of it from the perch of First Lady. She provided a lot of lessons for me, and did a lot of heavy work that she didn't need to do. I recognise that and thank her for it. She took situations and issues that I read about daily on Twitter (again where I am grateful for the people that do a lot of heavy work that they shouldn't have to do), and added another layer. 

One thing that stood out most for me was where she talked about her hospital job at the University of Chicago, and the work she did to connect the people inside the hospital to the people living just outside the hospital. I felt incredibly connected to what she was talking about in that section of the book as I work in a hospital in an area of the city that is considered undesirable. The work that she put in to her job to bring the two very different communities together is what I would love to see where I work, and it is what happens when there are people at the table that have those life experiences and understand that it's possible to bring it all together.

The other thing that stood out for me was her kindness. It was an overarching theme in the book. She may not have intended it to be there, but it was. She honestly seems like she has the kindest and caring heart. I had the privilege to see her in person (not up close) when she came to the city as part of a tour she was doing across Canada. It's not very often that someone of her calibre comes to my city so I jumped on that opportunity. It was an experience unlike any other, and, again, she just radiated kindness. That is really an inspiration for me. She is a level that I aspire to reach.


Mother's Day 2020: Ideas for Spending the Day at Home

May 07, 2020
I'm not going to lie, 100 percent of the things on this list are things that I would love to do on Mother's Day this year (or any day, really), but I wanted to give you some ideas of what to do while we are (for the most part) stuck inside this year. I live where there aren't many people and it is fairly easy to keep social distance, some people are not able to do that, so, with the idea that the weather could be bad, or you live in an area that makes it difficult to go outside, I wanted to come up with some really fun things to do at home with your mom, grandma, aunt...(if you're able to be with her this year).

First up is an ice cream parlour in your house. You could set up a sundae bar (Ha! On Sunday), or you could have some fun with it and make a little sign and some decorations. You choose. If you're not able to get the ingredients that you need to be able to have an ice cream shop in your house, you can always play pretend and use playdough.

This is an incredibly fancy fort and way better than anything that I could come up with myself, but The Kitchn has a fantastic list of ideas to help you build the perfect indoor fort. Personally, I would set up the fort in the area where the television is with the intention of using it for a special place to watch a movie.

This one is a classic, but I feel it's necessary to add to the list. It is a simple idea that children can do on their own, or with a bit of help if they need it (depending on age), and a lovely gesture for's one less thing she has to do in the day. It doesn't have to be fancy. If all you're able to do is give mom a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice, the love is there and she will feel it!

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