Thursday, December 30, 2010

After Orlando We Were off to Cocoa Beach

After the Hard Rock Cafe we headed to the coast, Cocoa Beach to be exact. We stayed in a beautiful little Inn called The Inn At Cocoa Beach

It is a self contained oasis! They have a beautiful walled in court yard. The hotels and buildings are not right on the beach in this area. The beach and dunes are all public. From the second story, where our room was located, we could see the beach and the full moon!

The next day we walked along the beach a few miles to a pier where the fishermen fish and the surfers surf.
What a treat to be in such a beautiful place. We enjoyed the contrast and the opportunity to be in this wild, open place!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Hard Rock Cafe!

Well after we visited Harry Potter we were on to The Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios in Orlando. Wow. All we did was walk around the place to see all the rock memorabilia. It was unbelievably impressive.

Where else are you going to see a pink Cadillac above the bar? It was spinning too so we could see it from every side.
Bob Dylan
Led Zeppelin
B.B. King
Eric Clapton
John Lennon's Cap
Pearl Jam
Well there were so many more sites to see in The Hard Rock Cafe but I guess you will have to go yourself. Besides the people eating their dinners were getting a little tired of us oohing and awing next to their hamburgers!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gal on the Go

Well I have been on the go for the past couple of weeks now, hence my internet absence. We headed south determined to see the Harry Potter exhibit in Orlando, Florida. We did it and it was spectacular! Well worth the long line ups. Ok they probably weren't as long as when the exhibit first opened. The weather was overcast and seemed to suit the mood of the place. It was a lot of fun. We went on a ride through Hogwarts that was truly something else. We were flying behind Harry on his broom stick. We ducked out of the way as dragons chased us. We were pursued by dimentors. We even got to play in a quitich game. It was magical.

We headed to Olivanders to buy the right wand. Let me tell you that that is no easy task. There are so many to choose from that one has to be certain which spells they want to wield... We settled on Hermione's wand because she knows the most spells of all!

From there we headed over to the candy shop to buy berty bots every flavoured beans. We didn't get a boggie flavoured one luckily. There were chocolate frogs too but we were afraid that they might escape before we had a chance to nibble on them.

The Harry Potter exhibit was in The Island of Adventure theme park, next to Universal Studios and it did not disappoint. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to that magical land that grew out of the imagination of one very talented woman!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Silly Season

Hi All. Well it had to happen. It comes every year. It is upon us. I call it the silly season. In my line of work I see lots of the challenges that come at this time of year. So I call it the silly season.

Like my strange felted santa? I did that a number of years ago in a felting workshop. We had fun but he does look a little demented doesn't he? Maybe it is all that shopping!

On a more serious note I have not posted to my blog because I have been dealing with the grief and loss of some very dear people, theirs and mine. I cannot help but be affected by those whose lives I share. I would not have it any other way. And what I have learned from their broken hearts is to appreciate the most minor things in life, my son's voice, the warmth and life in my home, time, the opportunity to learn, the many privilege I have...
So on this silly season 
I want to say... 

thank you to all of you.
My heart would not be as full as it is if it wasn't for you.
I have learned so much and continue to do so.

I will be forever grate ful...

Friday, December 3, 2010


 Well two weeks ago I started work on this mosaic mirror. I have been attending a wonderful woman's art night that Julie Davidson Smith holds in her studio. We have been doing encaustics but we had an opprotunity to do mosaics on mirrors so I thought I would give it a go. I just had a small wall built in my basement and am so excited to have a place to hang some art. This photo is just after I groated and began to rub off some of the groat.

In this next photo I have washed all the groat off and I have begun to uncover the mirror. Still lots of goup in the center and on the sides.

 The third photograph is how it looks now. I was so pleased after I got it all cleaned up. It was lots of fun and now I feel I have learned the basics and am ready to tackel a small table top. Well not right now but...
The last shot is of me taking the shot. Just wanted you to see something besides my ceiling and see it is a mirror. There I am...hello...

Monday, November 29, 2010

December Has Come Speedy Quick!

Is it just me or has this fall gone by in flash?

I just
completed the last two assignment for my ecourse Sublime. Yes I gave the course but also took it. I tell you those assignments were tough and I wrote them. I might need to do a little tweeking for the next round, which will be in January. It was fun though. Everyone's work is so unique and I love that about this medium.

This picture represents my last assignment but I can't tell what it is or I'll ruin the fun of taking the course.

So to recap. This fall I have run and taken the ecourse Sublime. I have created another ecourse which will run in the winter, The Man Code. I have organized the family holiday season, or at least got the plans under way if not entirely finished. I have taken a bi-weekly encaustic class which I have loved. I have continued to run my private practice, done a conference, visited a newly arrived-to-this-area cousin, parented my kids, connected with my husband (and picked his brain for the new course)...And I wonder why the fall has gone by in a flash. But alas I am not like all of you? Don't we try to do everything and wonder why we feel so rushed? Well here is to slowing down but continuing to be creative! Okay it won't be a new years resolution but I can dream can't I?

Friday, November 26, 2010

A New Ecourse Has Been Birthed!


We have launched another ecourse and I am so excited. This one is The Man Code an ecourse for women. We have also created this wonderful e gift certificate. So not only can you take the course you can give it as a gift to your friends!
I put this ecourse together because it has become clear to me that men have a code of behaviour that they live by and as women we know little about it. I thought that if we could better understand The Man Code then we might have less problems communicating with the men and boys in our lives and hopefully less conflict overall. The other thing that I think is important is to have fun with it. So this course is meant to be a playful journey. In fact, I think that it will help us lighten up overall in our relationships with the men and boys in our lives. Here is the link so check it out and let me know what you think.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Trying to Slow Down

I can't believe that two weeks have gone by since I last made a post. I have been very busy. This fall has flown by. Here it is the middle of November already!

Last weekend I had a friend down from Ottawa and we set out our art and worked side by side. That was lots of fun. I really like to work with other artists. We met in an art class this summer and found we had a lot in common. So she braved the drive and we actually did paint and chat and paint and chat...

Last week I launched yet another ecourse for women! It is called The Man Code. I am so excited about this one, as I was about the last one. So I was busy trying to meet a deadline to get it up and running. That is accomplished now and I will fill you in as soon as I can figure out how to upload an image here. So for now here is the link for the new ecourse called The Man Code:  Check it out and tell me what you think!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back From Toronto

Well it does seem that I get around quite a lot but really it isn't true. I did go to Montreal last month and Toronto this month but...

I attended a conference in Toronto last week. This was hosted by the professional organization that I belong to. It is held annually. My husband and I both attended because we are in the same line of work. So we had a weekend away and got some professional development.

I use to live in Toronto. I went to university there and had many great years in that city.

I have many favorite spots but this one I love because of the art on the building. I have always liked the idea that there is a facade that could easily blow off. I guess I see it as a metaphor for people. We often present an image of who we are but if anyone looks more closely they would be able to see that there is so much more going on behind the scenes so to speak.

Well enough of the, we did the conference but also managed to get to some great city spots. We walked down Spadina and had coffee at the corner of Spadina and Queen. What a great place to people watch!

We wandered further down Spadina to our favorite sports store-Mountain Equipment Coop. It was dark as we headed back and walked along the well lit theatre district.

Saturday we only had to attend a session in the morning so we took the opportunity to subway it down to Front street where we walked west to St.Lawrence Market. I can smell the different food vendors as I write this. After that we continued on to the Distillery District. Oh what a beautiful restoration job they have done and what beautiful art everywhere down there! Check it out 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Has Been and Gone But Not Forgotten!

Here we were preparing for Halloween. This is one of the most important rituals-the pumpkin carving! It is messy and gooey but we aren't afraid to get our hands in it. In fact we will get up to our elbows in it if we have to!

However, we got two done and we ran out of steam. But that didn't put a damper on the decorating. We covered the widow in glow-in-the-dark ghosts. We hung a scary mask on the railing and we put ghosts in the tree out front!

Scared yet?

Well the part you don't see is the scary door mat that makes a creepy sound every time a trick'or'treater steps toward the door!A few costumed gools were spooked by it but strangely enough the little ones seemed to enjoy stepping on and off, on and off! Oh the horror of it!

If you weren't afraid before you should be now! This trick'or'treater meant business. Candy or else! So I let him have what he wanted and I was spared. Until next year when we will do it all again. I love this event. The whole neighbourhood gets involved-strange ritual but so much fun.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Montreal is a city that I spent a lot of time in as a kid. We lived there for a few years but even after we left we went back regularly to visit family. I love that city. The memories that stick in my mind are often of the buildings. This photo is typical of what I remember. I think there are lots of famous paintings depicting this very scene. It warms me all over to look at it. 

Well of course one of the reasons I feel especially warm all over now is that my cousin just moved to Montreal. So I get to visit that great city plus spend time with her. We were very close as kids but our families lives took us to different places. She moved to the West coast and we moved to Ontario. Now she is back and we get to catch up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My First Experience with Skype!

Look at me! I just got a web cam, thank you tool girl! You know who you are... I have been learning how to use it and guess what? I just did my first Skype counselling session last night! Wow, it was really cool and weird. I was talking to my computer. I do talk to may computer but I never expect it to talk back! Well it did. Of course I know it wasn't my computer talking because that would be really weird. It was my client talking to me through my computer from a city several hours away. Technology is really something. I remember a time years and years ago-okay I have been around for a while-when there was talk about being able to see someone when you talk to them on the phone! Ya, I am that old! I remember black and white television too... that is another story. Anyway it is here. Skype allowed me to do my work with someone who didn't have to come into my downtown office! That is incredible. Okay for all you tech savvy, well versed in Skype, users it feels incredible to me. And of course this means the possibilities are endless. So I guess I have now added another piece to me work and that is to offer Skype counselling.

I love branching out! This summer I added the e-course Sublime to my repertoire and now this. I have felt for many years that I wanted to get out of my office more but I didn't know how I would do that. Well I guess that through e-courses and skype counselling I am leaving my office in a way I couldn't have anticipated. And it feels great!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Already!

Last weekend we closed our summer retreat. It is always sad to do this but the weather was glorious. The Fall colours are breath taking. Blues and yellows appear in combination that you only see at this time of year. The sun warmed us as we worked then took breaks to walk in the woods.

This time of year there are no bugs so we could take our time and really enjoy the beauty. There was so much peace in this place that it quietens the inner chatter. The only things that could be heard were the scampering of the chipmunks as they gather and bury their nuts.

Nature always reminds me of my place in the universe. It goes on doing what it always does no matter what my obsessions are at the time. I like to go and watch it just be. It never fails to amaze me that it continues to grow and change without any attention. And it also seems to do this with such beauty. The moss on the logs grow in the most unique patterns unconcerned in potential onlookers judgments. Ah, if only it were that easy for us humans.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Second Ever Encaustics Class

Well a friend and I signed up for an encausitcs class and it began last night. Unfortunately my friend was sick and couldn't join me on this adventure-feel better soon!

I usually paint with acrylics so painting with wax is a whole new experience. It is a real challenge to think differently. Wax doesn't work like acrylic. It is warm and then dries quickly. The idea, as I am understanding it, is to layer the wax and then carve, embed and scrape your way to a painting. Of course with acrylic you use a brush or pallet knife to manipulate your work. Oh I forgot to mention the blow torch that is required to seal and manipulate the wax. It is a whole new tool unto itself! The heat moves the wax in ways that are unpredictable to a novice like myself. But oh what fun.

Our instructor Julie Davidson suggested that we work on more then one piece at a time. I found this really helpful because when I felt stuck with one of the paintings I could switch to the other. It helped to keep me "loose" as she would say.

I had so much fun. I barely looked up from my work until it was time to go. When I did surface and look around at the other artists I was amazed at how different eveyone's work looked. Some were furiously carving or scraping. Others were using mylar to transfer images. While others were embedding netting, objects and more.

I discovered oil pastels so I began to draw like a kid which was so much fun. Then I realized that if you apply the flame from the blow torch it actually changes the lines that you draw with the pastels. It was well worth the experience and surprisingly physical.

Oh ya, did I mention the smell-bee's wax! It has a lovely sweet smell, unlike acrylics which are icky.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Week One for Sublime!

I am happy to say that I am joining the Sublime class as well as giving it. I have assembled a make shift table for my project since I am rearranging my home work space. My former art table is now the residence of my laptop and external monitor. The technology lives amongst my paints, brushes and other art supplies. So I have left it there since it enjoys the company and I have set up behind it on a small table. I love being able to leave my project and return to it as my schedule permits.

I am so excited about the course. We have a good group who are working away at assignment #1 and already have one student having completed this assignment.

It is so much fun to see how my ideas are translated into the photo journal. It is like unwrapping a gift each time I see an new post.

When I took a painting course this summer I was so amazed at how different the works were even though we had all been given the same instruction. That is what I love about art. It truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Son's Birthday and The First Day of Class for Sublime!

 Today is my son's 9th birthday! Today is also the first day of class for the Sublime travellers. I am excited on both counts.
We had a big birthday party for my son yesterday.We took him and his friends to the local climbing gym and let the boys climb the walls. I highly recommend this activity. No fussing about noise or mess and the kids could be very active without getting into trouble!

Oh ya and he decorated his own cake...

Sublime is up and running today. It feels like a child of mine too. I feel so strongly about the material that I can't wait for people to open their first assignment and begin. I wait with anticipation to see the creative energy that I know will flow from these Sublime travellers!

Off I go now to do more birthday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Buzz Is Out There!

The BUZZ is out there and I am so excited! Tonight we are hosting our Launch Party for the e course SUBLIME! We sent out lots of invitations and are expecting a great turn out. I can't wait to share my passion with those gals who are new to this material and those who already took the course. Yes, we ran Sublime this summer and it was great! We hired my teenage daughter to be tech support and she was fabulous of course. And to have the input from a teenage girl about the inner girl... Well let me tell you she was a great asset. I was also fortunate enough to have the support of my wonderful mother and her sister, my aunt, who both took the course. It was so interesting to see and hear about their perpsective on the adolescent girl self especially given that for their generation she was a very different entity. All the gals who took the course were terrific and I feel grateful to have been able to work with them! And of course my co-conspirator, who likes to remain behind the camera, has been unwavering in her support and enthusiasm. Without her this never would have gotten off the ground! So lets go to the party and take our adolescent girl self along for the ride and see where she takes us!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010



Here it is the Fall and I am definitely feeling that I am transitioning.

Just like the woods around me I feel the rumblings of change. I am glad that I live in a part of the world where we have four distinct seasons. However, this means there is always loss, as well as gain, as we move from one season to the next. It is also a reminder of the passage of time. As a parent the passage of time is always visible as new shoes and clothes have to be bought to accommodate growing bodies.

Everywhere I look I see growth and decay. It is beautiful, and sad, but necessary. Change is part of life, I know that but that doesn't mean that transitions are easy. I see the beauty in the decay, how can we not? Doesn't mean that I don't feel confused by it. It is easier to identify natures transitions, much harder to have clarity when the transitions are personal.

I do know that I feel grateful, for the branch not dropping on my head as I sat peacefully gazing off into the woods. I know that I did not sit as peacefully in the woods this year as I did last. What accounts for that?


Last summer I was not in transition. I was doing all the same things that I had been doing for years. Although our haven in the woods was new and our exploration of this particular region was too. My inner view was much as it had always been. I hadn't yet expressed my yearning for a creative outlet. That took hold after the seasons changes, in the deep winter. It had been rumbling for a long time. I had made attempts to express it but had not been successful. Until now.

Of course the biggest transition for me is entering cyberspace again. I had been off this grid for about three years. I found having a family and busy private practice all I could handle. When I left work I needed to shut down and focus on my family. As my kids have gotten older and more independent I have felt able to reenter this virtual world. And I am thrilled to be back, in a way I couldn't have imagined. I never knew that I would be able to combine my need for creative expression with the ideas that I have been developing during my therapeutic work. It is a gift to work with people as I do and I am so grateful to be able to take what I have learned and extend it. I am still in transition and am trying to remember to enjoy this stage of my growth process. I am trying to quieten my feelings of loss, leaving my comfort zone, and remind myself of the gain. I have to repeatedly tell myself that learning stems from both.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Launch Party for the E-Course Sublime

I am so excited. We are having a Launch Party for our e-course Sublime. We have organized a lovely evening out for all those women who want to join. I have prepared a talk to give everyone a sense of why I put this course together. It wasn't too hard to write the talk because I am so passionate about the idea upon which the course is based. This idea is that we have lost touch with a vital part of ourselves. This part is what I call the inner adolescent girl-self. I feel so strongly that this part of us has been forgotten. I believe that if we remember our girl within and integrate her back into our lives then we have a chance at limitless growth. And I think that is a chance we all deserve to take.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kids Have Gone Back to School!

The kids have gone back to school and that means that our days wandering in the woods to explore new and exciting worlds hasn't ended but it has changed. No longer do we have endless hours to lose ourselves the way we did just a few short days ago. Now we will be much more aware of time and the new coolness in the air. I have enjoyed my summer, my family and our time together. I cherish these times as much as I can because I know that my children will fly before I know it.

My oldest is already to go... Except that she has to finish her last year of high school. She and I have been working together this summer and it has been a gift. She is bright, enthusiastic, and she is an amazing kid! She is way ahead of where I was at her age, thank goodness. I know that when she flies I will miss her but I know that she has to take her place in the world and pursue her dreams. She is a free spirit and as such she cannot be contained. She must explore endlessly to feed her growth. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

As my children grow into their lives I will be left behind but I have my own dreams to pursue. With them back at school last week I actually had a day to myself. It had been a long time and I missed having my own company. I finally pulled out a canvas that I had been wanting to return to and started at it. It felt so right and wonderful to play with my paints and  brushes again. I usually paint to fill a space on a wall in our home but this summer I took a three day painting course at a local college. It was wonderful to do nothing but paint all day for three days. I would have happily stayed the week had the course been longer. So with the Fall comes endings but beginnings too. I look forward to the days I have to myself to pursue my creative outlets. This time enriches every part of my life and I am grateful for it all.