365 day challenge – Wink

In 2017, I had the opportunity to meet a fellow artist who shared their sketchbooks with me and I was deeply inspired by what I saw. I thought it was a great way to bank my visions and grow as an artist as well as an excellent opportunity to experiment. So as I mentioned in a previous post, I have given myself a 365-day challenge for 2018 and started my first sketchbook. I am drawing inspiration a daily tarot card as I also practice and grow my intuition. I am really enjoying the process!

Here is a preview of the first few pages of my sketchbook!!! There are 8 squares on each page, and each square represents one day; at the end of the year there will be 46 pages that will make up my new art installation “Wink”.

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A preview of the first month of my 365-day challenge “Wink”

I named my sketchbook “Wink” and found a muse in Lucy (my well-used cup cozy!), a coffee shop find from many moons ago that I fell in love with instantly because I am a sucker for kitsch art. I decided to draw permutations on one of her eyes for 365 days in a row (and yes, I am a sucker for putting extra challenges on myself).

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My muse Lucy!!!

Every morning, I ask a question, pull a tarot card, and record my thoughts in my journal – which is a new thing for me too. There is something very cool about this practice as it helps clear my mind of all the static! I then go to my sketchbook and do my drawing for the day. I have been learning a lot by doing this challenge so far and I am having a ton of fun in the process. At the end of 2018, I will share my sketchbook with the world along with many surprises and a solo art installation called “Wink”. This is the second time I give myself an entire year to experiment and build on a thought and create a new body of work; I find it very enlightening and with so many possibilities. I am super excited about this project and look forward to sharing my sketchbook as it grows.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Beloved

If you know me at all, you will know that I have been a softy for my 4-legged family members for my entire life. I was brought up in a pretty old-school Italian family and we always had a dog but it was for the specific purpose of hunting. I did not follow suit. I don’t eat meat so I’m not into hunting, and my dogs sleep in my bed! hahahaha.

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In my house, my dogs are family members. I have no children and it might be a cliche but they are fur-babies and they are cherished to the max (some may say spoiled!!!) Betty and Cali are my Beloved best friends and they do everything with me. They are loved unconditionally – which they return in spades – and are always super happy to see me come home… I have had many dogs over the years and they each share a special place in my heart and I can’t even imagine not having a dog in my life. xoxo

Goals for 2018

Goals!!! I like to think everyone has them, and I believe they are a tool for growth and creating your dreams. Goals are how I choose to live my life by – Not resolutions as I find them easier to stick to, of course this is just me….

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Photo by Arwyn

As we come to the end of the first month of a new year, I have been working hard to put my goals in a row to be accomplished. Cramming in two online courses and three workshops on health & nutrition, and the science of exercise. All subjects I am very passionate about, considering that one of my goals this year is to focus on being the healthiest and strongest me possible. I am happy to say I have completed these courses and I have learned a lot. I will continue to learn as much as I can on these subjects throughout 2018. I also decided to start two personal 365-day challenges that include creating my first sketchbook and continuing to learn and practice tarot card reading. I hope to be confident enough to offer readings to the public and my friends. I start my day by pulling and reading a tarot card and practice my intuition on its meaning and then do a sketch inspired by that day’s reading. I am really enjoying this learning process and actually look forward to my daily practice as soon as I get up in the mornings. This challenge is also helping me slowly build my new art installation “Wink!!!” which I will share with the world in 2019. I am also trying my hand at some new mediums this year that include spinning wool and weaving. There are some exciting times ahead for me with the announcement and confirmation of two art shows I will curate and participate in this summer! One is a collaboration with my art student Nola which will be held at The Co-op Cafe during the last two weeks of August, and the other being the annual members show at our local gallery on Cortes Island. I will share more on these topics in the future as they come to fruition. Continuing on my project to grow into the healthiest version of myself, I am also super stoked about my upcoming  Pilates Retreat in Costa Rica in March. So there you have some of the goals I plan to accomplish in 2018. What are your goals this year? Curious minds want to know ; ) I always find it very helpful to share my goals with others in some way as it puts solidifies them by putting them in stone, and hopefully your friends and family, or your network can help you stay focused and encourage you. I look forward to sharing the progress of my goals as they grow and wish you much success with yours. xoxo Laura

Weekly Photo Challenge – Variations on a Theme

It’s official: I have taken to a new medium of creating art!!!

It’s been a slow process but I am making strides forward with the help of the few friends who are kind enough to patiently guide me along the way. I have been learning to use my spinning wheel to create my own yarn. My goal is to keep on learning and eventually knit, weave, and naturally dye all the wool I create on my spinning wheel. Every week, I get together for an afternoon with my talented friends and we spin together. There are so many spinning wheels out there! Some are pretty high-tech, some are motorized, and some are traditional – all have their unique style and they also each create different kinds of wool. It’s all very intriguing to me.

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In the photo above, you can see three totally different Variations on a Theme! The various types of spinning wheel that I experience in one of our afternoons. The Louet, the Jensen Tina, and mine – the Majacraft Suzie Pro. For the time being, I am sticking to learning to spin wool on the wheel I own but I do look forward to experimenting on other wheels in the future. xoxo

Weekly Photo Challenge – Weathered

“Where does all the beach glass come from?” A question I have often asked myself while combing the beaches of the Salish Sea over the last few decades. And as you might have guessed, I have collected my fair share of this Weathered glass. With every piece I find, I know there is a story to be told, and I sometimes make a story up in my head as I walk home and add another piece to my collection – maybe it is the remnant of some mysterious shipwreck or a piece of an old message in a bottle that broke over some reef! I love seeing all the colours and shape and how some sparkle and some have a matte finish, some still have some sharpness to their edges while others are completely smooth – each piece is unique on its own. And what do I plan to do with all this Weathered beach glass, you ask? Well, for now it sits in a vintage bowl in my garden to be adored but who knows what the future holds!?!

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Adventures on the Horizon

2017 was an interesting year since many things in my life changed: decisions were made, I met some new friends, and had some awesome experiences. One of the best things that happened was my decision to take my physical health more seriously, and at the dawn of 2018, it has already become a lifestyle. I had joined some of the exercise classes that are offered on Cortes Island last summer and in so doing, have met very talented instructors, including a Pilates teacher who has a home on Cortes Island where she teaches classes for 3 weeks in the summer since she works and lives in New York City the rest of the year.

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Téana Davids told us about a retreat she facilitates in Costa Rica once a year. Of course this caught my attention since I have not left Canada since 2001! I love the Salish Sea region where I live but I finally got the itch to travel again. In the past, I used to travel a lot and to many places, but as events happened around the world I was very content with keeping close to home. I got my new passport, booked my flights, and one of my best friends was also intrigued, so this year we are off to Costa Rica for a one-week Pilates Retreat! I am so excited to spend some quality time doing something good for my health in the tropics with my best friend celebrating our birthdays together. Check out the links below and maybe this is something you might be interested in doing too!!!

Téana Davids:  www.sixpetalsretreats.com

Location: lacarolinalodge.com/

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth

Over the course of 2017, I had the opportunity of viewing the sketchbooks of some of the artists in my network and I got really inspired!!! I have never worked out of a sketchbook but I saw many different ways to use one and felt it as another way for artists to Grow, experiment, and lock down ideas.

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So I decided to start my very first sketchbook in 2018! Since I have a thing about collections and I also love a challenge, I thought I would use my sketchbook to start a new body of work by doing one sketch a day for 365 days and see what I come up with, what I will learn, and what kind of Growth I will see in my art practice if I put my head down on a daily basis for a year.

I am currently on day 8 and I have already learned a lot! I am very excited about this experience and have started to look forward to my daily practice. My goal is to create a body of work to do my largest solo show in 2019 along with an art book to go with the collection called “Wink!!!” It’s super fun to watch the Growth of my sketchbook and I will share sneak peaks over the year, so stay tuned and I hope you will enjoy the process as much as I enjoy creating it. xoxo

Garden to Shelf

Before I sign off for some quiet holiday time, I have one more post for you all. To end the year on the right note, here is my last instalment in my Garden to Shelf series, which was born from my desire to create items that exist in my garden but that I still seem to buy – wasting both money and packaging (for more info on this series, please check my previous posts on the topic!) So without further ado, here is my  recipe for a yummy herbal tea to make at home from your herb garden and enjoy!!!

 

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Chillax Garden Tea

It is very simple to make:

You grow the herbs – and then pick, wash, dry, and blend the herbs… and enjoy!!!

Use equal parts of chocolate mint, lavender, and sage flowers (not leaves… flowers!)

Crush the chocolate mint leaves lightly then toss with the lavender and sage flowers. I like to leave the flowers intact because it looks pretty and delightful. Pour a cup of hot water over a teaspoon of the herb blend. Steep covered for 3 to 5 mins and sweeten with honey, or maple syrup – my favourite. I make this as a loose tea but you can get reusable bags if you prefer. Make sure to check them out because some contain plastic. So why did I choose these three herbs? I explain this at the bottom of this post to make sure you read it to the end. I am devious that way… hahaha

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Who doesn’t need to relax, take some downtime, sleep better, or just simply chillax! This is something I have been doing my best to bring into my daily regime (I will touch on this more in 2018) because I can be one of those people who gets up and goes, goes, goes… and just keeps on going until I crash! Well, this was the old me… the new me strives to be as healthy as possible, has accepted that rest heals and that downtime recharges our batteries.

So here are the reasons why I chose these three herbs:
– Lavender helps with insomnia, nervous stomach, anxiety, depression, and severe headaches/migraines.
– Sage is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It helps with digestion, hair growth, memory loss, colds, and headaches. It also helps disperse heat…
– Chocolate mint helps with inflamed joints, muscle pain, headaches, relieves tension, freshens breath, digestion, and cools organs.
I have been learning so much with this project, that I just might continue sharing more yumminess from what I grow in my garden in 2018. Happy Chillaxing…

Winter Solstice

I would like to take a moment to wish you all a wonderful Winter Solstice and much peace, abundance, and joy in 2018!!! However you choose to take a few moments out of your everyday life over the next two weeks to express your love and gratitude to your family and friends, I hope it is filled with good food, much laughter, and many special moments. Thank you for supporting my art, following my blog, and taking a moment to share, comment, or send me an email. I really do appreciate every single one of you more than I can say!

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Air Mail by Laura Balducci

2017 was a bumpy year for many of us and the planet in general, even if just with the extreme weather around the world… and in my backyard! But it was also a successful year in many ways, and it is now drawing to an end. I, for one, am ready for the next chapter as there are so many new goals to be set and achieved, and many challenges to conquer. I feel like I accomplished a lot with my art this year thanks to all of you, and for this I am very grateful.

I have also faced personal challenges; as you may know I had to make the big decision of retiring from my career as a stylist/makeup artist due to physical issues. The last two months have in fact been very strange for me… for the last 32 years, the build-up to the holidays was always fully booked with hair cut appointments and I usually ran around like a crazy person… But not this year. I am taking advantage of this quiet time to sign off and spend some quality time with my loved ones, my zoo members, and in my art studio. I am focused on doing art in different mediums these days and I look forward to the results. I am pretty excited to share the future with you all and I invite you to check my website/blog every once in a while as I am planning an overhaul in the year. I’ll be back in the first week of 2018 to chat about my new goals! No resolutions for me this year!!!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season!

Sincerely,

Laura Balducci