Mindful Monday: Feather Collage


This is a photograph of a collage that I made this past week while on a sailing trip. I found the feathers on a walk onshore in Desolation Sound. On a sketchbook page that I had primed with gesso before the trip, I added some watercolour paint and then taped down the two feathers. I worked on the photo in Snapseed and 100 Cameras to achieve a peaceful and dreamy feeling of an etching. The colours remind me of the sailing charts we were using and I love the movement of the feathers.


Bloom True Bootcamp: Inviting the Sacred



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My little alter above the sea – I loved how a matching leaf was floating by with the tide.

When I read Flora Bowley’s invitation to Bloom True Bootcamp I was snuggled under the covers, listening to the rain on the cabin roof of La Vita, my parents 34′ Catalina sailboat. We were anchored in beautiful Tenedos Bay in Desolation Sound Marine Park.

I had no cell service at the time but I had remembered I’d received and downloaded Flora’s Bloom True email I the day before. I read through her intention for the project and my artistic heart leapt a little – yes – this is what I need right now! 

Flora is a wonderful artist and teacher and I feel grateful for this opportunity to participate as I have been following Flora’s work for several years but not had the opportunity to take a class yet. I ordered Brave, Intuitive Painting and read it cover to cover shortly before the birth of my daughter in May 2013. In this busy year of becoming a mother I have worked hard to develop my artistic practice. Being away from my job as a substitute elementary teacher for a year has given me the mental space to journey into new artistic practices. I crave opportunities to try new creative practices and find a community or tribe. Bloom True Bootcamp is a great fit for me at this moment in time.

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My little alter created from found materials and a tea light.

After reading Flora’s first prompt on Inviting the Sacred I knew at once that I wanted to create an alter from natural materials. What a beautiful and serene location to create in! Once my daughter was down for her morning nap, I set off to shore with my husband. We found a rocky bluff where I gathered arbutus leaves, a flower, a snail shell, a wasp nest, a fern, clam shells and a blue rope a similar colour to my favourite paint colour. I set them in an arrangement on a rocky shelf above the beautiful waters and lit a tealight. I was happy as this reminded me of the hours I spent collecting and building with natural materials during my childhood summers cruising the coast by sailboat. I wanted to spend a few minutes meditating but the mosquitoes were feasting on me!

Later in the day, my husband, daughter and I took the zodiac out to a marine access campsite called Bold Point. We explored the tent pads, examining rocks, moss and driftwood while being serenaded by the seals on the rocks offshore. The campsite was empty of campers but I found the signs of the people who been there before. I spied this beautiful collection of three eagle feathers placed into madrona tree. It’s seems many people are called to create little alters in nature.

Eagle feathers at the Bold Point Campsite.

Eagle feathers at the Bold Point Campsite.

Isabelle contemplating driftwood collection as Daddy photographs Desolation Sound.

Isabelle contemplating driftwood collection as Daddy photographs Desolation Sound.

I’m delighted to keep exploring through the Boom True Bootcamp prompts. Will you join me?

Sharing the Sunshine!

Jill Clayton, Comox Valley teacher, listed my blog as one of “eleven” to receive the Sunshine Award. Thank you, Jill! This award is actually a way for bloggers to recognize other bloggers, as well as to encourage them to share a little bit more about themselves.

Here is a description of this blogging, twitter-generated, meme-type task:

The Sunshine Award gives others an opportunity to learn about me as a blogger and then, in turn, I will send sunshine the way of 11 (or so) other fine bloggers for you to get to know! Although I know every one is busy at this time of year, I hope the bloggers I nominate will be able to share a few interesting things about themselves. They can then highlight bloggers that they have enjoyed following.

Here are the rules:

Acknowledge the nominating blogger. Share 11 random facts about yourself. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition! Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

Here are 11 random facts about me:

  1. I like to put a big dollop of peanut butter in the centre of my steel cut oats. (I’m eating this right now).
  2. I moved to Comox on Vancouver Island several months after my husband  and I got married in 2010. For me it is the closest thing to Vancouver’s North Shore, where I grew up, that we could afford to buy a house and start a family. I love the ocean, river and mountains here!
  3. I have a baby who will be 8 months old next week. She is giggly, smily and I love her to pieces. My favourite place to road trip is Oregon. I especially love hiking in Bend and the Cascades. My husband proposed to me on a hike here and we returned for our honeymoon as well as this past fall with our daughter.
  4. I’m incredibly excited to have received a monoprinting Gelli Plate for Christmas from my father, who has always supported my art making.
  5. I recently started selling my artwork on Fine Art America; an exciting enterprise during my maternity leave.
  6. I grew up sailing the West Coast with my parents and brother. I especially love Desolation Sound.
  7. I like the sound of rain on the roof at night, but prefer sunshine by morning.
  8. My best friend, Claire, lives in London, England. We have been friends since grade 2. She is an excellent writer, has a fantastic sense of humour and made an amazing speech at my wedding. We Skype in lieu of our old Starbucks dates.
  9. I have a hard time getting rid of materials that could be repurposed. Sometimes I finally part with things I haven’t used in years, and then the next month I discover a use for it.
  10. I’m not eating gluten, dairy or soy right now as my nursing baby can’t digest it. It’s totally worth it for her comfort but I really crave sourdough, brie and a chocolate croissant.
  11. For the first time I’m choosing a word for the year. For 2014 my word will be TRUST.

1. If you had an entire day to spend by yourself what would you do? 

I would sleep in, drink coffee and eat that chocolate croissant, go for a hike, do yoga and paint.

2. My favourite animal is a cat because cats are independent yet cuddly, have magical tails, purr, and are good nappers.

3. What worries you about your job?

I’m worried that I will be a substitute teacher for many years yet. It is so hard to get a contract these days. I really want to specialize in primary yet I’ll likely have to take all sorts of crazy assignments to gain seniority.

4. If you were a photographer, what images would you capture?

I am a photographer and I like to capture my daughter, close up images of natural things and landscapes.

5. What is your favourite children’s book? Why?

The Little Duck by Judy Dunn. As a child I loved that it had photographs instead of illustrations. It’s a favourite to read when I sub in Kindergarten.

6. What is hanging on your living room (any room) wall that you cherish the most?

A sculpture of two ravens, given to me by my husband as a wedding gift.

7. Describe your most memorable road trip or vacation.

In my early 20’s I went on my friend’s honeymoon (yes, they invited me and several others!) to the USA. For six weeks we rock climbed in Yosemite and Bishop, CA as well as Red Rocks, NV. It was really amazing to be pushing my climbing, seeing beautiful places and making good memories with great friends.

8. What is your favourite type of cheese?

Baked brie with cranberries or pears.

9. If you cooked your best meal for your family/friends what would it be?

Chilaquiles: it’s like a Mexican lasagne.

10. What do you think about t.v.?

We don’t have one. I’m not on a high horse about it though…I watch plenty of fromage on Netflix. I can’t stand commercials!

11. Who is a person that you would like to get to know more about?

As a new mommy, I’d like to get to know more mommies in my community.

Here are the bloggers that I would like to acknowledge and encourage (share some sunshine with) as their blogs inspire in a variety of ways:

Sandrine Pelissier ARTiful, Painting demos

Flora Bowley Brave Intuitive You

Emily Jeffords Beautiful Hello

Miranda Studio Mothers: Creative Practice and Life Design

Madeleine Sweet Madeleine

Shannon Kinney A Free Spirit Life

Here are my questions for my blogger nominees:

  1. Where is your best thinking place?
  2. What is one of the best decisions you’ve ever made?
  3. Journal or Sketchbook?
  4. What do you do for “play”?
  5. What is your favourite part of your job?
  6. Do you listen to the radio? (if so, using what device?)
  7. If you could take a class on anything this year, what would you learn?
  8. What is something that amazes you?
  9. Do you have a catchphrase?
  10. Where’s your favourite place to take an out-of-town guest?
  11. If you could choose a word for 2014 – an intention – what would it be?